26 May, 2011

Funerals suck.

Immature choice of words, accurate sentiment.

Norma died. I know those of you Brit-side have no idea who I'm on about, but Norma was... well, she was awesome. She was officially a cousin several times removed, but I grew up thinking of her as sort of an honorary grandmother/aunt/person who spoiled me rotten. She kept me while I was a baby, and taught me to swear (when I was two, I said "well hell, I thought we were going to the damn store" to my mother... NOT AMUSED) and to play king-in-the-corner and solitaire while my great grandmother thought we were sleeping. She sang like an angel and whistled like a bird, baked the most sinful cakes (chocolate cake with white between layers and fudge icing, anyone?) and laughed like a loon. She's also the reason I can't eat fudge... *lol* When I was wee, she handed me a plate and let me go to town, which led to several days of sugar induced yuk. Haven't been able to touch the stuff since, which to my way of thinking was a pretty big favour she did me. And she didn't let me die from choking on a french fry at Wendy's when I was a baby, even though she'd given me the fries in the first place and the guy at the next table had to give me the Heimlich. Twice. Because I liked the fries, why would she take them from me?

Anyway, the funeral was today. I hate funerals. I'm not pretty when I cry. And Norma's plot is right next to Granddaddy's, and I've managed thus far not to visit his grave. I had to pretend it wasn't there. However, I managed. Plus, there was a load of family there that I probably haven't seen (and thus haven't seen me, old and pregnant or otherwise) in about fifteen years. So it was really more of a mini family reunion, if a slightly subdued one. And I got two fab presents... My great uncle does a lot of carving, and brought me a hand carved wooden cross with the most gorgeous natural grain to it. The Mimi has one, and I sit and stim on it while we watch TV, it feels so good, so it's great to get one of my own to take home with me. Then my great aunt and I were chatting, and in the course of the conversation she asked me if I ever wear scarves. I said of course I do, to which she took off the most fantastic (and obviously vintage, I'd scoped it while we were chatting) number from around her neck and said it was her mother's (my great grandmother's) and that she'd brought it to give to me, but that she'd wanted to find out if I'd wear it before she handed it over. *grin* Result! It's red with a cream wicker pattern and greyish blue roses, doesn't get much better than that. I put it straight on and just managed not to do the happy dance in the graveyard. See how mature I'm getting?

Himself gets here on Friday. In the past, I will not tell a lie, my visits to Texas sans-hubby have been a bit of an escape from an occasionally turbulent relationship. Plus, I don't think a little time apart can hurt any relationship, it makes you appreciate each other more (or realise you had more fun without them and break it off, but that obviously didn't happen here... *lol*). Anyway, I realised today that this trip is probably the first that I've wished he was here just about every day. Just for silly things, like seeing my mother's cat asleep in the fruit basket or to watch Monster Brother completely misbehave at Sister Four's orchestra concert. I think we might be hitting our stride, people, you might want to watch out. God knows what would happen if we truly aligned our wills against an obstacle... shrapnel comes to mind. I just hope he's not COMPLETELY put off by the huge lump of baby I'm currently hauling at waist level. It's one thing to see it on skype... it's another to try to hug me.

Speaking of huge lump of baby, I should get some sleep. JB has taken it upon himself to become my tiny human alarm clock and has begun waking me at unholy hours of the morning by turning flips in my abdominal bastille. Or maybe he's doing yoga? Bloody hippie baby... must be part of the veganism thing. So, to bed with me. G'night.

21 May, 2011

Spaghetti and bookishness.

So, it's eleven at night. I should be asleep. This, of course, means I'm blogging instead.

Sleep and I aren't the fast friends we used to be. We're in a bit of a dry spell. Where I used to rush headlong into the waiting arms of Hypnos, now he and I hesitantly circle each other like junior high kids at a school dance.

I am referring, of course, to the necessary evil of sleeping on my side. It hurts. My hips hate me. If I were physically able to ignore the severe discomfort of sleeping on my stomach as I used to so enjoy, I'd be constantly aware that I was squishing the baby. On occasion, I wake up with a start in the night lying flat on my back. This leads to the panic of "I've cut off my superior vena cava and JB will be born retarded!!!"... Hey, you can laugh, but my darker imagination is taking over these days. I'm certain that every little twinge down below means that something's terribly wrong, and today while standing on a chair changing a lightbulb, I couldn't help but ask The Mimi, "What would you do if I fainted and fell?" She looked up at me with a start and said she'd call an ambulance, then asked me what I'd do if she fainted. *lol* We make good housemates.

Speaking of today's chair climbing activities, that was a momentary break in the hours of cooking and baking I embarked upon this afternoon. One of The Mimi's friends had a sad thing happen this week, so she decided to send over a home cooked meal (cue Gabs to Apron Patrol). I called my mother to ask her for her recipe for chicken spaghetti, and after possibly the third wistful sigh and comment about how much she'd like to eat said spaghetti, I offered to do enough for her house too. The offer was jumped upon with slightly appalling speed... *grin* So, I made enough for two families plus leftovers, to be accompanied by a french loaf and salad.

Before I could start on the pasta, I had to make inroads into the famous chocolate cake recipe our family only trots out for seriously special occasions (because it's a pain in the ass to make). Tomorrow being the Mater's birthday, I figured that was special enough and rolled up my sleeves. You know, it's remarkable how much easier baking is with a Kitchenaid mixer. That's right, folks, The Mimi has a Kitchenaid. What's more, it's vintage. And avocado green. *sigh* I die. Anyway, it's fab, and made the pain in the derriere cake more of a flirtatious pinch. This attempt turned out much better than my last go, attempted for a friend's birthday, probably because all our legacy recipes are in American measurements and brands, and can be difficult to reproduce at home. Let's hope she appreciates my devotion and love (because, you see, I love her more than the rest of her kids, that's why I'm her favourite). *grin*

After I'd cleaned up most of the detritus from three hours in the kitchen, I had a very nice bath, some dinner, and then realised that I hadn't sorted out JB's baby book yet. Now, while I realise this might sound odd as he's got some time yet to bake (we don't want a runny baby, that skewer has to come out clean) I needed it sorted for tomorrow's festivities. Not only are we having the final wedding shower for my cousin, the family decided to add a baby shower for yours truly, PLUS it's the Madre's birthday. Big day. I need the book ready to take signatures of everybody in attendance, because JB might be offended in later life if I don't record every single thing leading up to his arrival... right? Okay, maybe it's more for me and my atrocious memory, but I'm blaming it on JB. Sorry, little dude. So, I cut, arranged and glued to my heart's content, and I think I've got a pretty decent start on my first foray into scrapbooking. Let's hope Himself agrees, as we've discussed it over the phone but he hasn't actually seen the papers I chose to back the memories...

Okay, I see Hypnos edging toward my group of friends, trying to pretend he's only looking at the posters on the wall. Let's see if they play any BoyzIIMen.

11 May, 2011

Clean sheets and dirty thoughts.

Here I sit, tucked up in bed (which by the way, has clean sheets due to my fit of productivity on my way out the door for work this morning) resting against a mound of pillows, watching my heart beat through my belly. Pregnancy is super weird, it's doing odd things to my body (my right ankle is swollen just at the front, not my toes, not both feet, just the front of my right ankle) and I'm having seriously dirty thoughts about Himself randomly throughout the day. Bloody hormones. He seems to be an even mixture of embarrassed and gratified by the trend my thoughts are taking, which is pretty cute.

Things have been crazier than I intended them to be over the last few weeks. The job with OM has been super flexible, but damned if it doesn't make it hard to walk out the office door when leaving means cutting down on the paycheque for that week! *lol* That said, my earnings this week meant that I didn't have to put my new glasses on my credit card as I'd previously thought I'd have to do, so methinks the decision to work was a good one.

New glasses. *sigh* I do love finding funky frames. Unfortunately, yours truly is so picky, finding ones I'm willing to commit to is harder than it sounds... just ask Himself about the several months we spent searching for the current pair. *grin* Then, when we did find them, they were in a very eclectic (read: pricey) boutique in Portobello, and were handmade in Japan... I won't share the price tag, it embarrasses me even now. I have never loved frames more in my life.

So, I finally managed to find the right frames (Ray-Bans, same frames as my sunglasses but black and silver instead of shiny red) and progressed on to having my eyes tested. I was a little worried about that, the ocular migraine symptoms still haven't gone completely, I continue to get the electric lines in my sight once or twice a week, even though the headaches seem to be leaving me be for the time being. I was pleasantly surprised, though, my vision has actually improved a little, in the form of my right and left eye having the same prescription as each other for the first time in years. The bonus was that in addition to the seriously awesome Groupon that Other Mother bought for me (spend $50 to get $225 to spend at this one particular eyewear shop), my natural chattiness paid off in the form of a discount on not only the eye exam but also the frames themselves because I'd made friends with the girl who worked there. *grin* She actually called their Ray-Ban rep to see if they could get me a deal, and it just so happened they could, which I accepted gratefully and went on my merry way. Score one for Gabs!

I ate an unholy amount of salad for lunch today. I know that seems completely out of left field, but it all ties in with watching my heart beat through my belly (because it all comes back to the belly these days). I came home and made vegan pizza for dinner, but my lunchtime salad was the main event for today. Sweet Tomatoes does take away containers, so I popped over during a pretty busy workday to grab a vegan-friendly bite. I loaded so many veggies on top of my salad that when it came time to eat it I had a hard time finding the lettuce. It was so pretty, a veritable rainbow of edible loveliness. Turns out that my eyes were bigger than my (prodigious) stomach, though, I couldn't eat the bread or the mixed bean salad I'd picked out to accompany my meal. I'll have to be more conservative next time.

On an even more random note, as I exited the truck this morning to head into the office, I looked up and saw a spookily familiar face. Lo and behold, the maintenance guy in the Highlands turned out to be an ex from high school... a particular memory/mistake (interchangeable words in this circumstance) that I never thought I'd cross paths with again. I'd literally just hung up the phone from talking to Himself (catching up on the latest antics of the moglets, they headbutted through the cat flap and he had to block it up by screwing wooden barricades on both sides of the door, as apparently the web of electrical tape just wasn't enough to deter them from their quest to escape) and was caught completely off guard. I was forcibly reminded of why we parted ways not moments after we greeted one another, as even with my burgeoning bump I caught him trying to look down my top. His attempt to reminisce about our relationship and pointed comments about how he was shocked I'd managed to stay with a guy long enough to get married and procreate made it very easy to say goodbye and get to work. Of course, he continued to walk past the office door, singing loudly so I'd know he was there, three or four times before I finally shut the door and was left to work in peace. Some chapters of my life are better left un-revisited. *shudder*

So, I'm off to Austin this weekend to see Sisters 1 & 3. I'm going to spend a night each with them, then we're all together going to float the river on Saturday. I'll be covered in SPF100, as my natural tendency to tan has only been multiplied by the hormones making my skin even more susceptible to the great golden orb. Should be fun, Sister 3 has taken a job as a nanny down there, so I'll get to hang out with her kiddo, and Sister 1 has three cats from whom I can get my feline fix. So, I'll work in the office, and hopefully in The Mimi's garage, until Thursday night, then toddle down for a family and feline filled weekend. And hopefully eat some more salad. Yum.

04 May, 2011

Vegan gluttony.

Here I sit, in Granddaddy's chair with my feet up, laptop precariously balanced on what's left of my lap.

I've eaten Chipotle at least six times since I got to Texas. For those of you not in the know, Chipotle does burritos. Heavenly, droolworthy burritos. I get mine with cilantro rice, black beans, sauteed onions and bell peppers, pico de gallo, corn salsa, lettuce and guacamole. When it's filled and rolled up, it's a little larger than the size of a can of Coke. Massive. Deee-licious. JB is a big fan. I will point out however, that Chipotle habit aside, I've actually lost weight in the last month. Going vegan cut out most of my caloric intake, and my body is thanking me. Himself was concerned about the health ramifications, but I had actually checked with my doctor before I left the UK and he assured me that I had plenty of weight to spare. *grin*

I've lucked into a great job for while I'm home, OtherMother called me about a week after I got into town and asked if I wanted an afternoon's work doing some data entry for her at the office. I, of course, jumped at the chance. Paid work, sitting comfortably at a desk, with OtherMother's company while I enter invoices. Bliss. Then OM's boss, being the force of nature that he is, decided that I should stay on until I go back to London. He even asked if I'd consider staying longer than June... *grin* Unfortunately, I sort of have a pressing matter to attend to in the UK or I might actually consider it. It's great work, well paid, about ten minutes' drive from The Mimi's house, and it's giving me the chance to chat intermittently with OM. Works for me.

In other news, the family has decided to take the wedding shower they're throwing for my cousin and make it a joint shower for her nuptials and for my impending motherhood. Unfortunately, Himself won't be in town for the festivities, which makes me a little uncomfortable (seeing as how I didn't get knocked up all by myself, I sort of think he should be involved in anything baby related) but it's a lovely thought on their part and Himself swears he doesn't mind, so I'm going along with it. It will be nice to see the family all together, there are people that will be there I haven't seen in years.

Himself has been a busy bee in my absence. He bought the aforementioned car, he's been cleaning out the house and putting boxes in the loft, and then came the piece de resistance. We skyped yesterday, and while we were on the webcam he walked the laptop up into the ex-sewing-room/future-baby's-room. The last time I saw it, it was painted beige with a wallpaper border of fairly hideous teddy bears left over from the previous occupants' decorative taste. Yesterday, my eyes beheld a completely blank slate, stripped of wallpaper, sanded, and painted with two coats of stark white. Himself's comment, "now it's ready for you to decorate when you get back." Cut to me in tears. *lol* It's the biggest gesture he's ever made, and I just fell apart. (I'll admit to still getting a little weepy when I think about it.) He just grinned, obviously having anticipated the waterworks.

Other than eating and working, I'm mostly just hanging out with family and friends. I've managed to spend a little time with pretty much everybody important in the last couple of weeks. I've spent a night with my aunt, hung out talking (probably too late into the night) with both my mother and The Mimi, spent a couple of afternoons with the smartest nineteen month old on the planet, taken Monster Brother around town, and spent the occasional stolen moment wandering around Target with Sister Four (who still can't keep her hands off the bump, it's pretty cute). I'm not getting enough sleep, though, chatting with The Mimi is too much of a draw to just go to bed... however, that's exactly what I'm going to do right now. I'm tarred, so to bed with me. Let's hope for no more bizarro pregnancy dreams where Himself dies in increasingly horrible ways. *sigh* Sweet dreams, all.