Tuesday, October 31, 2006
This week I have been nesting by proxy: my mum has been here so the house is clean and sparkly, I have no ironing pile, my freezer is full and M has been well-occupied with rather more books and jigsaws and less beebies than usual. I don't think it is going to fool the baby though, not much chance of it emerging until I have scrubbed the skirting boards with a toothbrush* (*insert other insane act of cleanliness) myself. I feel like it's my turn now, though, my other due-around-now friends having produced their offspring and being fully into the no sleep, nappies and feeding routine.
No other news, today having been occupied by building regs and national insurance. Don't ask.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006
It’s nice living in a village. (Although Vicky next door tells me everybody is interrelated and it’s best to check just whose cousin you are speaking to before saying anything controversial!) Arrived home today to find yet another missed parcel delivery but, as I’d spotted the postie’s van parked down the road, I thought I’d go and find him and see if he’d hand it over and save me a trip into town. (The reason I hadn’t been here when he came was that I was queueing at Parcelforce to get yesterday’s missed delivery so I wasn’t very keen to have to go again.) I stalked him around the village a bit then pulled up opposite: no sooner had I hopped out of my car – not on my road or anything – then he waved and told me to wait by his van and he’d get my parcel. I don’t think I’ve ever had a postman know me by sight before, and I like it! Am all warm and fuzzy and belonging-feeling inside.
Am in the midst of my first ever ebay sale: it is very exciting and I find myself obsessively checking the site every hour or so. I have 20 watchers! (Like Buffy, but more so). Is that good?
I’m single-mumming again this week, with Cameron in Budapest (not exactly trivial to get to and from so let’s just hope this baby doesn’t decide to make an appearance). M revealed herself as ringleader on Monday when, she and Mia having been shouted at for jumping into my (empty) birthpool with shoes on we overheard them in the kitchen. “Mia, are you feeling sad? Why don’t you get in the pool? Go on, get in the pool" (fortunately, Mia takes more notice of being told no than Maggie does). And she also tells me in no uncertain terms that this baby is not to be a boy (her friend Gwen has a 2-day-old baby brother) because we need two Maggies*. I don’t think she believes we don’t get to choose. Conversations continue to be slightly on the bizarre side: she just told me she doesn't want a boat and a car and an aeroplane but she does want a snowman. Right.
*Like one isn’t enough. More than enough.

Friday, October 20, 2006
Two-year-olds are great (well, mostly, when they are not being, you know, two). We have had a lovely day: I am feeling pleasantly emotional and nostalgic-in-advance for these last few weeks of being mum-to-one. On the bus into Chester (library; coffee and muffin/milk and biscuit; bank; new trainers for M), Maggie told me I like great grannies. And the fimbles. But I love you best.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006
My pool has arrived! Which is very exciting (except that it's in next-door's hall at the moment, which isn't a lot of use). Otherwise, no real news, just plodding along trying (and mostly failing) to hold back the tide of housework and laundry that threatens to take over as soon as I turn my back. New cleaner is coming on Friday, though: she can only do 2 hours but that will be better than nothing and hopefully enough to allow me to retain some hold on my sanity.
Had my hair cut today while M was at nursery: it took an hour and a half. I like being pampered as much as the next woman (well, unless the next woman is, y'know, Victoria Beckham or somebody) but I was fidgeting and on the verge of leaping from my seat to proclaim "for pity's sake, stop!" when it came to an end. So much for my plans to shop-mooch and have a lovely coffee: I'd only paid to park for 2 hours. I'd blame the fact that my (very nice really) hairdresser was suffering a little, having been out to celebrate one of the juniors turning 17 last night - never try to keep up with a 17-year-old, I advised her wisely - if not for the fact that last time I went she took an hour and three quarters. I need to find a speedier cutter: life is too short (and it is only a chin-length bob).

Saturday, October 14, 2006
Full steam ahead with the shouting again (well, the being irritable). I have Hormones and they are making me mad. And a cold, still. And cbeebies makes me want to throw things (so does the football but that one I really do have to bite my tongue about!).
On the bright side, the midwife came and dropped off my homebirth "kit" on Friday (a cardboard box full of absorbant things, plastic gloves, etc) and agreed that my birth plan wasn't at all outlandish or unreasonable. M was a nightmare while she was here (worst point was when she managed to grab, take the lid off and spill my urine sample on the coffee table!) but I am glad she came. She knows where we live now, too, which is probably a good thing!

Wednesday, October 11, 2006
Today has been a good day. I resolved last night to try to get through without shouting (I've been the world's shoutiest mummy lately) and have mostly succeeded. Of course it was a nursery day, which helped - she *loved* nursery today and was quite disgruntled when I turned up just as she was about to draw a picture - and we haven't tackled bedtime yet (but - shock horror - Cameron is in the country and will be home for tea), but I'm feeling quite calm. Had an hour of reflexology while M was at nursery, too. And most excitingly the midwife rang and cancelled tomorrow's antenatal appointment (meaning we can get to M's swimming class without having to break the sound barrier (or the law)) because she is going to come on Friday and drop some things off for my home birth! Eek! Am very excited indeed (suspect it will be plastic sheets and unexciting things of that ilk, but it has driven home how close it is getting). And the morning room, which has been a repository for piles of teeny tiny baby clothes, is starting to look more normal again as I have nearly sorted them all out and at least half the newborn things are washed and folded away ready.
Still knackered though. And have a cold. I just twigged last night (am slow) the reason why I am so exhausted: by this stage in my last pregnancy, not only did I have a husband who came home most evenings and no toddler, I had a cleaner who came twice a week and did all my ironing! Must make some phone calls and get organised with home help again.

Sunday, October 08, 2006
OK, remind me now why we thought a second child might be a good idea? I can't get the first one into bed without serious bodily harm (to me not her) and much screaming (me, not her). At least number two should start out small and sweet. (M is small and sweet but bloody bloody heavy when she falls off the back of your chair where you have told her about a hundred times not to climb and saves herself by grabbing fistfuls of your hair, thus rendering you slightly bald and very sore of neck. And then I had to run out of the bathroom to investigate the HUGE crash - all the stuff off my bedside table including lavender oil which spilt on the pillow - and slipped over bashing my shoulder against the doorframe. Sore and bruised and very cross.)
Hey ho, she's asleep now. I had such lovely plans for tidying the house this evening (C is away again) thus starting tomorrow morning all fresh-slatey and immaculate. But I think I'll camp out on the sofa with the remote control and a large bar of chocolate instead. Plus ca change.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006
All last week's cleaning and list-making turned out not to be so sensible after all, as I spent most of Thursday and Friday beached on the sofa trying to decide whether to have flu or just be utterly exhausted. I lost my appetite, too, which perhaps suggests some sort of viral weirdness, but have tried to take it a bit more easy this week (am once again blessed with energy). Cameron is away again (he left at 5 am; the joy) so there is only so much easy available to me, but what there is I am trying to take.
Went to Edinburgh on Saturday. On my own. On the train (well, on a bus then a train, this being Virgin Rail after all). Most uncomfortable, the seats not being at all designed for 8-month-pregnant whales, but it was lovely to be in Edinburgh which is still one of the most glorious cities to visit. Had a lovely lunch with my lovely friend Rachel, then a lovely visit to her lovely flat to meet her lovely cats, and a wander about her lovely neighbourhood. Followed by a trip to our old university mucker Dave's even-more-lovely flat, where I had the view from my bedroom explained (never mind the Pentland Hills, that big house there belongs to JK Rowling!). He lives in an illustrious neighbourhood.
Saturday night was a "reunion" - 10 years since (their) graduation. I was a bit of an intruder, having mosied off south for a year and come back to complete my finals the year after, but they didn't seem to mind. It was a very pleasant evening; nobody seems to have changed a bit (apart from a few more grey hairs, offspring, wedding rings and kilos) and there was really no need to be scared.
And on Sunday I woke at 5, realised there was no toddler demanding food, and had a real, proper lie-in. Lovely. Then I just wanted to be home again (24 hours was long enough for me): when will they invent a teleport? Met Gareth's baby, missed my train (forgot to build in waddle-time), was rescued by Lorna and Dan who very kindly returned from the Savacentre and drove me down the M6 to rendezvous with Cameron and Maggie just half an hour later than my trainbus was due anyway. Phew.