Still cookin’

13 May

Friday 13th! The perfect day to have a baby. Or so my body is trying to tell me.

Personally, I’m doing my best to ignore it. But, you know, it’s getting kind of hard when the best I can do is chew my lips as my back and belly radiate PURE UNADULTERATED FIRE every 20 minutes or so. All I can say is that this better not last the next five weeks, and that I’m seriously re-considering my previous declaration of a drug free pregnancy. I no longer want to be a hero. Survival has now moved to the top of my list.

Anyway, to sum up the last 10 days:

1. The Boy made it home. We had a beautiful weekend together, including a much anticipated picnic in Leura. I very ungraciously demolished a tasty meat pie. But me being ungraceful is hardly news these days. You should hear me trying to put on socks. I’m pretty sure our neighbours think we’re keeping a hippo over here. Photos to come.

2. I’m still at work but I’m over it. So over it. I can’t sit in my chair. Nor do I particularly want to be sitting in my chair. Henry, clearly, doesn’t want me to be sitting in my chair either the way he’s kicking the crap out of my bladder and kidneys. I’m in agony and I’m totally over pretending I’m happy to be here. But I’m holding onto the fact I only have four more days to go.

3. I have my baby shower this weekend! I’m super excited to be seeing my lady friends again – it’s been way too long – and I’m even more excited about the fact that I’m making southern style pulled BBQ pork for us all to demolish. Mmmm. Meat. The Boy, of course, could have partaken in our pork-fest had he consented to a mixed party but, sadly, he misses out. He’s probably banking on leftovers, but I’d like to remind him here that he’s got Buckley’s chance of getting between me and the meat the way I am now. I’m the girl that polished off our ENTIRE Easter stash while he was away, and still managed to demolish half a packet of leftover melted chocolate. In one day.

4. I’ve been unable to blog because I’ve been busy. Shocking, I know. But I’ve been catching up on study, trying to get the new Kenya Aid website built (almost done), and getting the new girl here at work up to speed on all she needs to do while I’m away while keeping her away from the worst of Dumb and Dumber until I’ve escaped and it’s too late for her to change her mind. Sadly, she’s already noticed Dicks proclivity towards perving down our tops. I’d like to tell her he’s just as blind as he is deaf, but I don’t think she’d buy it.

5. Pork Chop has assumed a VERY uncomfortable position that had me on the phone to the doctor today, thinking I was in labour. I’m still not convinced I’m not about to see an arm poke it’s way out between my legs because something astonishingly painful is going on right now. And, though I never thought I’d say it, I’m hoping this is a normal part of pregnancy. Because I still haven’t got the car seat fitted yet (nor my name changed, nor my taxes done) and so NEED these next few weeks of maternity leave to get my shit sorted. Be a good boy, buddy, and stay put for a while longer, OK?

That’s it! One long weekend, four days of work, then I’m free as a bird until the little one arrives. Time to get my domestic goddess on.

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H is for hair, and hormones

3 May

To the hormones that have caused the hair on my legs to stop growing: perfect timing! Since I can no longer see my feet shaving my legs was becoming a real pain in the arse.

PS – if you guys want to move in permanently, I’d totally be cool with that. I’ll even bake you a housewarming carrot cake. With walnuts. And lemon cream cheese icing.

To the pregnancy hormones that are causing my stomach to fuzz up: WTH dudes! Totally not cool. You need to take yourselves and your sprouting follicles back to wherever you came from. And put the toilet seat down before you go, ok?

The inner workings of a broken mind

2 May

Or… what I think about when I’m left alone for more than three days.

The Boy is in Kenya. Rural Kenya. A place we’ve been together a number of times. A place I’m not afraid of.

Except, you know, when I’m not there and it happens to be 2 o’clock in the morning and no matter how many times I try calling I can’t make a connection. I don’t know how many times I called but it was enough to make me realise I’m going to be one those mothers who will not be able to sleep until every child is tucked safely into bed. Even when they’re 40.

Anyway, last night played out something like this.

10pm: Went to bed. Knew that The Boy was leaving the village and hoped he would make his flight before the rains hit. Felt safe and reassured that he would be on his way home soon.

Midnight: Woke up and realised that The Boy may get caught on the roads in the rain. This would be bad. The car could slip off the side of the road and I wouldn’t even know. Resolve to not panic until I could check Kenya’s morning paper for potential fatalities.

2am: Send The Boy a text message to see if he made it or not. Get no reply. Start to panic because he really should be in Nairobi now. He’s either had a car accident, been involved in an airplane disaster, or has been mugged by corrupt police. Try to remain calm. Perhaps the text message just didn’t reach him?

2:08am: Determine that the text message did not, in fact, reach him. Try calling. No service. Try calling his Australian number. No service. Try to not to picture his mangled body.

2:14am: Figure six minutes is enough of a gap to try calling again. Call goes through. No answer. Wonder why he isn’t picking up. Get angry at him because for all he knows I could be in labour! Think to myself he is totally going to regret not picking up if I really am in labour.

2:16am: Start thinking about labour. Stomach tightens. Download a contraction timer app.

2:30am: Feel Pork Chop wiggle. Determine I’m not in labour. Start thinking about the need to put rubber sheets on the bed though because it would totally suck to ruin the new mattress with an amniotic fluid tidal wave.

3am: Try calling again. No answer. Attempt to reassure myself that between the crap coverage I get from Optus while in the house, combined with a somewhat dodgy international phone service, The Boy probably just isn’t getting any of my text messages or missed calls. Try to get some sleep.

4am: Wake up and check phone. Still no messages. Convince myself that The Boy has met some unfortunate end. Wonder what I’m going to do as a single mother. Probably sell the house because I won’t be able to afford the mortgage. Rent somewhere cheap, a small apartment maybe. Try not to think about living in my mother’s spare bedroom. Picture me and Henry sitting on the floor of a linoleum tiled kitchen eating cans of baked beans. Panic.

4:15am: Realise that I’m totally capable of being a single mother if left with no other choice. Start dreaming about working from bedsit apartment, making up fairy tales and freelancing to scrape by.

4:16am: Realise I probably wouldn’t be able to afford internet. Reach for blood pressure cuff because surely all this worry is going to kill me. Blood pressure is reassuringly normal. Too normal, perhaps?

5:09am: Wake up to a text from The Boy. He has arrived in Nairobi. Hurrah! Fall back asleep knowing that all is well in my world.

5:45am: Wake up. Have somehow convinced myself that the text was actually sent by The Boy’s murderer (he must have been mugged after all) to throw me off the trail so I don’t report him as missing in the morning. Very clever.

6am: Alarm goes off. Sun is coming up. Realise that it probably was The Boy texting last night, not some mysterious mugger. Quickly scan the newspapers just in case.

And this is the shit I don’t tell my counsellor because I’m fairly sure if I did, child protection services would be waiting for me in the delivery suite.

I’ve just died

28 Apr

And gone to craft heaven.

I happen to be a bit of a craft addict. I love, love, love anything handmade and can’t wait to get more time to make finish even more crafty things.

While I’ve always been a fan of Design*Sponge and it’s DIY section, I have an insatiable appetite that often results in me spending way too much on How To craft books that I inevitably flip through, drool over, then leave for dead. So I’m always on the lookout for lovely new ideas that can be found and undertaken with minimal effort/expertise/outlay.

Today, I hit the crafter motherload. The stuff dreams are made of (and instructions of how to make them).

Two websites. Way too many ideas. Spotlight here I come.

Not Martha
The title sums up this website just perfectly, don’t you think? Every time I say craft I swear The Boy thinks the house is going to be filled with crochet doilies and painted sweaters. But I like MODERN craft, and that’s just what’s on offer at Not Martha. Check out the papier mache Easter eggs! And the Dahlia brooches! Goodness! So much crafty goodness!

Curbly
Curbly has a bunch of craft projects alongside a whole heap of ideas and guides on home improvement. So much easy and fun stuff to do here, you could give your whole house a makeover every week. I truly can’t wait to delve into this site and get started on some fun stuff, like knitted floor cushions,  and coloured spoons. *Drooool*

So these I’ll be saving for the weekend. Apparently the wet weather is set to continue which is awesome if you’re home, snuggled up under a rug drinking Milo. Less awesome if you’re trudging through puddles on your way to work, or hosting an outdoor event that is totally going to flop if it rains. Sigh. Only three more working weeks to go!

Whatever I choose

27 Apr

I’m sitting at work watching Henry punch and roll his way around my stomach, gently pressing the odd stray foot back into place and wondering how I got here, how I scored this life. Because some days I do question whether I’m deserving of such happiness; I question what I’ve done to be blessed with so many things that I all too often take for granted. My family. Friends. My husband. My home, my job, my health, my freedom and now, my son. I wonder why my life isn’t harder, then I fret that I’m not trying hard enough to BE something; that I’m drifting in too many directions. Writer. Designer. Wife. Mother. Cook. Devourer. Sewer. Knitter. Blogger. Charity worker.

When I’m asked what I’m going to do with my life I get the impression that I’m supposed to pick one, maybe two of these things and stick to it like a fly to flypaper. So I choose, trap myself, and then after a few months or a year I’m left wondering where the rest of me went. Lately I’ve found that I can’t write because I spend too much time worrying about where the rest of me has gone, and I can’t do anything else because I’m too worried about my inability to what it is I’m supposed to be doing – writing.

And then something happens and I wake up and realise that I’m more than just one of these things. To steal a line from Little Women, courtesy of Kelle Hampton, I am, in fact, a great many things. And I’m happy with that. I love the fact that I’m free to do whatever it is I choose, and yes, I realise how lucky I am to have the means to take my time while choosing.

In seven short weeks I’m going to become a mother. It’s not going to be all I do, and I’m not going to be the best at it. But I am determined to find a balance and make time to enjoy more hungry mouthfuls of life without worrying that I’m somehow missing out, or stuffing up, or wasting opportunities.

So when you ask me what it is I do the answer is a great many things. This and that. Whatever I choose.

Flying solo

25 Apr

The Boy left for Kenya today and up until 2pm I was keeping my shit together. Call me the Queen of Denial. But now I’m home alone, missing him like crazy, and wishing beyond anything I could wind time back to last night and make it last forever. I’m also wishing the freaking cat would stop periodically clawing the flyscreen and settle the hell down for the night before I totally snap and throw the little bugger back out in the rain.

Today’s word is “Bah” and is brought to you by an excess of pregnancy hormones and the pity party specialists. 

So. I’m 32 weeks pregnant, The Boy is somewhere in the air over the Indian ocean, The Cat is about to be made into mittens, and I’m feeling more than slightly ill at having massacred at least two chocolate bunnies in an effort to release some much needed endorphins. While my mood hasn’t exactly improved, I do have one energetic little fetus that is using the sugar rush to punch the crap out of my belly. And that, at least, never fails to make me smile.

Have cold, want soup

13 Apr

Urgh. Flu season! The one downside to winter and commuting to work on a train packed full of people who don’t cover their faces when they sneeze. And here I was thinking I’d avoid it this year by feasting on multivitamins, vegetable sticks and OJ.

Anyway, I’m at work, doing my best to spread love germs. What I really want is to be at home, in bed, with a big mug full of soup and a few movies. Because soup totally kicks arse when you have a cold. There’s minimal effort involved in eating it, it’s warm, and usually only take a few minutes to make.

I happen to be really, really good at making soup – I think, perhaps, that it may be genetic. My mum still makes the best ever vegetable soup when I visit her in winter and I remember pots of bubbling soup featuring prominently in my childhood – massive saucepans full of pumpkin, potato, or ham and pea soup that we’d gradually make out way through, boiling it every day for extra flavour.

By far my favourite soup this winter is potato and leek soup. It’s an oldie but a goodie, and The Boy and I have been making it with tubs of cream and a heady dollop of horseradish. I can’t quite remember how the horseradish came about – I think I wanted steak sandwiches one night and forgot the meat – but it’s a stroke of genius. I can’t get enough of it and will suffer days of heartburn and nausea for this soup it’s that good.

POTATO AND LEEK SOUP

  • 6 red skinned potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 2-3 leeks, sliced
  • chicken stock, enough to just cover the potatoes – about 1 litre
  • 250 ml of cream
  • 2 tablespoons of horseradish cream
  • splash of olive oil

Heat the oil in a large saucepan over a medium to high heat. Wash and slice the leeks, using the white part only, and toss them in the pan. Saute until there’s some colour in there, adding a bit of stock if things are starting to stick.

Peel the potatoes, cut them up into 2cm cubes, and toss in with the leeks. Cover with the chicken stock and boil until tender.

Whiz up the potatoes and liquid using a bar mix until smooth. Start pouring in some cream, stirring over a low heat. I normally don’t add the entire 250 ml but it’s up to you. If things are looking a bit too thick, add more chicken stock.

Dollop in some horseradish cream and serve, topped with a sprinkling of parsley if you like, with fresh garlic bread and Parmesan. Or just do what I do when I’m home alone and ladle it straight from the pot into your mouth in big, hungry spoonfuls.

Fire drill fail

12 Apr

Our office had a fire drill yesterday. We failed. Mostly because of our cavalier attitude about finding out that we’d left one of our workmates in the office to fry. And partly because we tried to send the other one we don’t like back in.

Sadly, this is probably what would happen in a real fire:

Fire warden: One, two, three, four, five… we’re missing someone from level 2.

*silence*

Fire warden: Who’s missing from level 2? Anyone know?

Me: …did anyone tell Dick we had a fire drill today? Or did someone just jam his door closed with a chair and make a run for it?

…..

Moral of the story: Don’t be a Dick.

30 weeks!

11 Apr

Whoop! I know both The boy and my OB disagree with my calculation of Henry’s due date but neither of them have access to my ovulation spreadsheet so believe me when I say I KNOW, down to the hour, when our kid was conceived. This also means his actual due date is probably the 20th and not the 24th, of June. And yes, those four days make all the difference when you’re 10 kilos heavier than you normally are and can no longer put on shoes without grunting.

Anyway, if you go by my dates, and not the date specified by the medical professionals, I’m 30 weeks today! Henry is the size of a butternut pumpkin and I’m the size of a Biggest Loser contestant. I’ve only got 10 weeks to go and while I’m impatient to meet my little man I also know that I’m seriously going to miss this time when it’s gone. It’s getting to the point where I want to be lost in the excitement of every last day – watching my belly, taking photos, getting ready and savouring every last moment.

And lost I am. The Boy and I did a sneaky ultrasound at the hospital last night and saw our fat little pumpkin wriggling and squirming around, sucking his toes and his fingers and looking every bit the happy little cherub. As far as we can tell he’s still all boy, still looks just like his Dad, and is the cutest little fattie ever. And boy is he a kicker.

While the little man may be just as active as ever I’m certainly slowing down. Who would have thought that the snail’s pace I’ve been running at for the past 7 months could get any slower? But with only four weeks left at work and the desire to do nothing but eat, sleep and spend time with The Boy I’m finding it harder and harder to haul myself out of bed each morning. But haul I do, and here I am, wishing I could simply sleep through the next 10 weeks and wake up a family of three.

Fattie

8 Apr

I’m having a fat day week month. Pork Chop assumed a very definite head down position around 4am this morning and the result is that while I managed to just squeeze into my shirt, I’m not entirely convinced I’m going to be able to get out of it without the use of scissors.

My colleagues took particular delight in discussing just how huge I had become overnight and it was determined that I now ‘looked like’ I was having a boy. This made me feel slightly better, since apparently boys show in the front whereas girls show all around, so I can take some consolation in the fact that at least my arse doesn’t look (that) big. But hey, it’s got a whole 10 weeks to catch up.

In other news, The Boy is in Adelaide busy sitting the second half of his physiology exam. Left alone for the whole evening and with no-one to cook for, I decided a chocolate sundae with sprinkles was the perfect thing for dinner and promptly made myself sick on Ice Magic topping and sugar. I ate an orange afterwards to try and make myself feel a bit better about the unabashed gluttony I’d just engaged in, but this just served to make Henry go bananas – so much so I thought he was going to choke himself on his cord.

To make myself (and Henry) feel better about all that I had a bath, then decided to simper about in the nursery colour co-ordinating his baby clothes with his new cloth nappies (which arrived mid-week and are TOTALLY AWESOME). All in all it was a pretty good night. And now there are clothes everywhere, and a few nappies in the bed, because they were just too darn cute to leave all alone in Henry’s room.

Mustache cushion, anyone?

And today, since I’m working super hard, I thought I’d share a link I found to what is possibly the coolest online fabric shop, EVER. Aside from having a totally awesome range of really funky prints, you can even design and print your own fabric! Can you believe it? Oh, belieeeeeve it my friend! This website has totally changed my world and I can’t WAIT to order some pretty fabrics for yet more unnecessary decorative cushions and skirts that I will half make and never wear.