Sunday, 28 April 2013

13 weeks...

Missed the announcement? I'll forgive you... Click HERE! :D 

Saturday, 27 April 2013

Therapeutic Streamlining...

My parents are both very entrepreneurial types. They both think idleness breeds illness. Both say that people get ill once they retire. Essentially they believe in purpose.

As a teenager I was never empathised with for school holiday boredom. My mum had two responses to "I'm booooooored" one was to give me a chore to do and the other was "only boring people get bored". I stopped saying I was bored.
Be it that they were right all along or be it that that stuff travels through the genetics or be it they raised me like it... They're right. I function far better with purpose. All the mechanics that make me seem to spin around with fewer clunks and clinks when I have just a little less time than I think I need. When I'm spread a little thinner than I'd like I seem to make faster, sturdier decisions.
It's easy to think about all the things that make having one child easier. Money. Time. Energy. This week I'm thinking about one of the things that makes having two easier. Not that I have two (yet) but what I do have is the prospect and with that I'm already having to divide my mind and my priorities.
Though I find this less overwhelming and more rather therapeutic. I find it clears my brain of a lot of unnecessary. I'm thinking clearer. I'm reaching conclusions quicker and making firmer decisions. Making better use of time and energy.

Feels good.


Sometimes we expand ourselves to fit. Sometimes that "filler" is hot air.
Ni Hao Yall

Wednesday, 24 April 2013

My Health... Then and Now...

When I was young, like late teens to early twenties young, I thought about my health in two ways... Am I dying? Nope, nothing else is really worth looking in to then. And am I fat? The fat thing wasn't exactly a "health" question.

I abused my body in all the ways I will never admit to my daughter. I had a five ended candle and all ends were aflame. Just the idea of prioritising my 5-a-day or sleep seemed to be for the weak or for people with far less to do at 4am.

Forgive me readers, I was a (over) confident and (over) energetic arts student.

Nostalgic times of self-neglect aside, now I'm a Mum. Now I've experienced pregnancy and in the midst of it once again. I breastfeed. I am sans that boundless incomprehensible energy. Now I am aware of my body, my health and I ask more questions about my body besides "has a leg fallen off? No? Then yeah I'll come out!"

I'm really getting why on planes they get parents to fit their oxygen masks before their children's. I'm finding myself fixing Euna's first a lot recently. Consequentially getting myself in a pickle and ending up no help to anyone. Like if I wake up hungry. I think to myself "I'll get Euna's breakfast first" Because baby's go first. I make porridge. I get Euna in her chair. By this point I am heaving over her milky bowl of torture...
So it's hard at the moment. To all the people I have recently told "I feel fiiiiine!" I was lying. I don't feel fine. I feel lucky and I feel beyond excited. But moment to moment, between the s
cans and midwife appointments, when I;m not ogling baby clothes or names, when I'm not envisioning a new nursery or daydreaming watching Euna paw a dolly like a mini-mummy... When my mind is on everything mundane and chore-focused, it's hard.

I'm tired.

My friend always says "you don't get something as miraculous as a baby without a journey beforehand". So I travel. We travel.
When I'm old I am sure I'll look back at moments where I heaved over a bowl of baby porridge and see magic. I wonder if I can romanticise these moment in the present.  These moments can't be romanticised in the present. They need to be hard now to be looked back on and seen as the dues you paid. And remember this is my second time. This time I'm a walking spoiler alert who knows that at the end of this  is someone you'd do it all a thousand times for.

So I'm taking perspective from that. Spending a little more time prioritising my oxygen mask (aka food, sleep, downtime, license to hormonally rage... *insert any other pregnancy necessity here). And I may also stop obsessively insisting I am fiiiiiiine.
A moody black and white for a slightly moody post...

Sunday, 21 April 2013

12 Weeks

A bumpless first bump pic...

So The Story Starts...

Firstly. If you didn't read my last post I would love it if you skipped back a post to catch up...

Second pregnancy. Second baby. What does that mean?

It means I've done it before and I know to expect everything I experienced before. Sometimes this reassures me. Sometimes it makes me realise I know nothing. Sometimes it makes me think I have this big black hole where the memories of my former pregnancy should be.

It's expectations. Again. Hello.

The planner in me uses them as bricks to build a picture of everything I need to expect and be prepared for. Of course the reality has been different.  I've been slightly sicker this time. Slightly less tired. A lot more confident in my and my body's ability to see this through. A lot more anxious with the expanded knowledge of "what ifs".

I'm grateful for the differences and the new story these differences are writing for this little one.

The biggest difference has got to be in me and how aware I am that (if everything is as we hope it will be) there will be a baby at the end of this! First time around a baby was such an obscure concept. I didn't know how I would feel, how being a Mum would feel, what it would mean to be a family, care for a family and be loved within a family. I didn't know just how hard and fast you fall.

Parts of me grieves for that lost naivety. What a wonderful surprise discovering all of that was. Oh this is what everyone is talking about!

Better though is the excitement that replaces it. Now I know, whilst I don't know it all, I do know that love. I know how I feel about my baby when it comes. I know that bliss. I know what those little newborn "mip" noises do to your resolve. I know how that newborn smell sucks you in and ties you forever.

Oh I'm excited.

I'm also less worried about the practicalities. This time I know how all of the above that bonds you and means you just do it. You find ways. You get up. You carry on. You're far happier to do it than you ever imagined because you never factored in the love.

Here the story starts. We're feeling lucky and excited. And I can't what to do this on here!

I have just learnt that this is called a "selfie"...
Not my own work, but certainly the best photograph that's been taken this week...

Thursday, 18 April 2013

A Letter to My Daughter... Because I Want to Give Her a Sibling...

Dear Euna

We want to give you a sibling. We want to be parents to another. We want to give us a larger family. And I want to tell you why.

I want you to have a constant friend. A friend who will know you their whole life. A friend you can have round for tea every night. A friend who's toys are here everyday. A friend who will talk to you everyday. A friend you can bring on holiday, every holiday.

I want to even the score for you. Two grown ups and one child just isn't fair. How do you ever expect to convince us to buy you a dog on your own? What kind of bargaining power will you ever have to change the channel on your own? You need back-up and we want to give it to you.

We've had the most wonderful time together, alone. Just you and I. This time is engraved in me and has changed me forever and because of that (and infinite other reasons) don't ever underestimate how important you are to me. That said you need so much more than just a Mummy can give, than I can teach you, show you and experience with you. You need to share, negotiate, argue, apologise, love, hate and sacrifice. You can't do those things with me and you can't just do them occasionally when you see a friend. If it ever looks like I'm ignoring you, I'm not (actually I might be but it'll be essential) and also I'm making all this stuff happen for you.

Your childhood and family are a huge part of you. No one will get your particular brand of childhood and family like a sibling. No one else will really have lived this part of you like a sibling. You will be able to share these stories, memories, jokes, events, traditions and values with someone forever.

"Forever" brings me to the part makes me feel a bit sick. Your forever isn't my forever. Everything being right in the universe I won't see all of your forever. But if everything is right then they will. If there's ever a time I can't be there, I hope to give you someone who will be.

Finally, baby girl, you're going to be the most epic big sister there ever was. I see it. I see you want to wipe my face with a baby wipe. I see you feed your little friend Josh raisins. I see you cuddle everything, my cuddle-bug. I see your patience and your kindness and your humour already. I know you have so much love to give a sibling. You're going to be wonderful, I'm already proud.

I need you to know this is all with you mind. This is all from love for you. I need to write it down and know it for both of us if it ever feels like I've run out of hands, eyes or hours in the day.

All my love


So friends... This also my way of telling you...
Can you see???
 Just to be clear...
Due 29th October... I love this baby already!

We're so happy and so grateful xxx
Ni Hao Yall

Wednesday, 17 April 2013

How Much Good Do I Get?

Sometimes I convince myself  we're only allowed so much good. Like there's a pot of it and it gets dished out evenly by some cosmic justice force. I look at my home, my husband, my baby and our shared health and a silent streak of panic tears through me that I must be owed something terrible. 

I then do a little moral tennis and throw back and forward it's all random to it's all down to karma. Both make me feel better. Both make me feel worse. 

Then I get restless and go eat a biscuit.

We're waiting to find out how much more good we can get away with. Waiting. 

In the meantime, between now and a time when I can be far less cryptic, here's some sunny day snaps...

Sometimes there's no logic that'll keep your thoughts worry free whilst you wait. You just have to wait and eat biscuits.

Saturday, 13 April 2013

A Happy Plod...

Posts are a struggle at the moment. Nothing feels large or prominent in my head. 

Everything's taking a calm and happy plod in to the warmer weather, which on it's own, obviously, brings contentment. 

So I was thinking about the ingredients for being content. I did some reading. Turns out the post I thought about writing has been written about a zillion times. I still took myself through writing it in my head. I thought about a list, a Contentment Checklist. It would include good food, creative outlets, down time, exercise, sleep. I thought about a Make Me Happy Mantra. Some composition of the words confidence, strength, acceptance, gratitude... Blah. (And a reasonable sized cringe.)

What about maintaining calm? Staying contented? I always think a part of who we all are is how we strive. We move. We grow. Constantly. 

We tirelessly ask "what's next?" "now what?"

So much of growing babies and nurturing a family is about chugging along, doing the same thing you did yesterday, just being. Sometimes I think the contrast of striving for the next chapter against remaining as we are is a lot of the root cause of difficulty being a Mum. 

I had a ballet teacher once who told me that even standing still the correct way should be hard work. He said a mouthful there…

With this in mind I've taken on a little project. Something for my "now what?" to snack on. Taking my own advice from when I used to constantly tell students to start with what they love, they will be good and work hard at what they love and the rest will follow. 

I love taking pictures. I'm starting here. A Facebook page. See if people "Like" me.

Then I realise, when I find myself too shy to share this with my Facebook friends, how frightening sharing something you create is. What an intimate thing your creativity is. How vulnerable it feels putting something you invested time, thought and pride in to. There's a stroppy teenager in us all who wants screw up their Maths homework and shout "yeah well I don't even care it's s&%@ because Maths is stuuuupid anyway!"


Be brave. I want her to be brave. I want her to be inspired to try new things. It needs to start with me. *Gulp* 

Our week... Some of the aforementioned calm, contentment and warmer weather...

 I'll get bored of her in shoes soon... I promise.


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