27 June, 2011

Sometimes I just get mad.

I am not a happy bunny today.

I had a doctor's appointment last week to have some moles checked (pregnancy makes all sorts of stuff go wonky, moles being one of them). The doctor mentioned that it was time to have my 25 week checkup and had me book an appointment for today. I asked him what the appointment would cover, and he replied that it was just a general checkup.

I got there this morning, he checked my blood pressure and asked if the baby was very active, all normal stuff, but then he asked me to hop up on the examining table. As this was a first, I asked what for. He said "to hear the heartbeat of the baby".


Had he told me last week that this would be the first appointment at which we would hear the baby's heartbeat, Himself would have taken the morning off work. That way, he could have been there for this milestone. Pardon me if I'm sounding a little overdramatic about it, but Himself has been there for all the firsts. He was there for the first scan, he felt her move before anyone else, he was there when we found out the sex... he should have been there when we heard her heartbeat.

I managed not to cry, but it was a close run thing. It's a shame all around, Himself not being there sort of ruined it for me. I mean, it was still incredible to hear her little heart going a mile a minute, but all I could think of was the Himselflessness of the moment.

I have another appointment in three weeks, and the doctor said that from now until she's on the outside we'll hear the heartbeat at every appointment, so Himself is going to try to get that day off. It still won't make up for it, but he's still excited to hear her. I just wish he could have today.

16 June, 2011

Clean curtains and vegetable soup.

I've been pretty industrious since my return to the UK. I mean, yeah, I've spent an inordinate amount of time watching Gilmore Girls and napping with the cats (who are loving it, by the way), but I've also made two batches of soup, done laundry, run errands, and taken down the curtains to wash out the fifteen tons of cat hair that accumulated in the two months I was gone. Because yes, I washed them right before I went to Texas.

People are always inordinately impressed that I make soup from scratch, which I never fail to find a little crazy. It's just so easy! Plus, this way I control the amount of sodium I'm putting into my body. I never used to give a toss about sodium, it's funny what being pregnant does to your interest in food... *lol* So, I thought I'd post exactly what I did to this batch of soup in the hopes that one of you out there will give it a go and be converted.

For this batch, I went to the veg stall and bought just about everything they had, and below is what actually made it in:

Three carrots, chopped
Two red onions, diced
Half a small white cabbage, chopped
One can of kidney beans in water, rinsed
One small can of sweetcorn, rinsed
One large courgette/zucchini, chopped
One large handful of new potatoes (skin left on), chopped
Three stalks of celery, de-stringed and chopped
One punnet of cherry tomatoes, quartered
One green bell pepper, diced
Boiling water to cover
Two tablespoons of vegetable stock powder/bouillon

Heat a glug of olive oil in the bottom of a large lidded saucepan, and toss everything in. Sautee for about fifteen or twenty minutes, until it smells gorgeous, then pour over the boiling water and add the stock powder/bouillon and cover with the lid. Bring back to the boil, then reduce to a simmer for about half an hour. Eat like a pig.

Super easy, very healthy, and if you fancied it you could add chicken or pasta or rice. Go make soup!

14 June, 2011

First class and girl babies.

Brace yourselves, folks, this could be a long one.

After four days at the airport, I finally made it on a flight. I was on the phone with Sister 3 when I glanced up and saw my name on the cleared list. I raced over to the desk to ask if I'd imagined it, but before I could get a word out the desk attendant ceremoniously handed me a ticket with my name on it. I might have kissed her on the cheek and then burst into tears from the relief. And, it wasn't just any old ticket... that's right, I got a seat in FIRST CLASS. It deserves the capitals. I was greeted at my seat with a flute of orange juice and a menu from which to choose my dinner selections...! I was given a real pillow, a real quilt, and noise cancelling headphones. Dinner was five courses. I managed to sleep for four full hours, and when i woke up I was greeted with a warm croissant and a plate of fresh fruit. I was given a fast pass through passport control. My hands, feet and ankles were not swollen. Basically, it was awesome.

The bonus was the fact that by making the flight on Saturday, I didn't miss the scan we booked before my exodus to Texas (the only reason I was so stressed about getting back to the UK by Monday morning). Himself managed to keep me awake for the whole day after I got off the plane, a personal first (I always say I'm going to stay up, and then I fall asleep, and when Himself tries to wake me up I get a little violent) so I actually managed a full night's sleep on Sunday night.

We made our way to the hospital on Monday morning, rested and ready to find out the story about Baby Brown. Then, of course, we made it to the maternity ward car park. Where it was one in, one out. With seven cars in front of us. With fifteen minutes to our appointment. So, Himself went to park the car at the university while I went in to let them know I was there. Having fully expected, especially from the state of the car park, to have a significant wait ahead of me, consider my shock when I was informed I'd be seen exactly at my appointment time and if Himself didn't make it back from parking in time that he'd be shown back to the scan room when he eventually made it in. I immediately called to find out how far away the car had ended up, which led to Himself sprinting back out of fear that he'd miss the scan. This, from the man who doesn't even run for a bus. *lol* He arrived, breathless and sweaty, just as the lady was calling my name.

We headed back to the exam room, I got gooed up with the gel they use, and the lady started checking the normal health stuff. She got clear shots of the feet, ankles, legs, arms, brain, and one kidney. The child had its legs crossed, and refused to give up the goods on the rest of the health stuff too, so the scan tech told me to go take a walk and drink a coke and come back. Half a coke and a dance around the waiting room later, I was re-gelled and flat on my back for the second round. The tech got the other kidney, the heart, the bladder, the stomach and the lips (they check for cleft palate here)... and still no junk, as this time the baby had its feet up in the crotch like it was doing yoga. The tech said we could give it one more shot and sent me out for the rest of that coke and another walk. Himself had to run (again, literally) back to the car and put more money on the meter, and made it back to the waiting room just in time for us to get called back again. Thrice gelled and on my back, we waited breathlessly (Himself a little more breathless than yours truly due to his extensive cardio workout) to see if the little monster would finally give up the goods...

Three little lines. Thus came crashing down the hopes of having a boy. *lol* There was a clear, distinct lack of penis on that screen, and no matter how we poked and prodded Baby Brown, she truculently refused to grow one. So, a daughter we shall have. We've been discussing names, and without even trading blows or raising voices, but no decisions made yet so you'll all have to hold your horses.

Speaking of Herself (I'm seeing this becoming a thing), I woke up at 1:14am this morning needing the ladies', and got back in bed assuming I'd drop right back off like I did the night before. Madam had other ideas. Methinks she figures she's Texan, because her days and nights are COMPLETELY transposed. She took the time after 1:14 to practice barrel rolls and sparring with the walls of my insides. I managed to stick it out until 3:48am, at which point I gave up entirely and went downstairs to watch TV. Well, I partly watched TV and partly watched my stomach lurch from side to side. Because she never calmed down. Himself woke up and had a shower around half six, so I went back upstairs to lounge in the bed and watch him get ready. Kit joined me, of course, which made it all the more cozy when I dropped off shortly after Himself left for work. I managed to sleep through the first of his phone calls around ten to ten, but the one at quarter to eleven pierced my determined doze and I decided I should maybe wake up. The rest of the day, you ask? I've done NOTHING. I've watched Gilmore Girls, I've faffed around online, I've messed with the cats. It's been heaven.

I will eventually have to leave the house, I'm aware of this fact. Just not today. Hope you're all having as good a day as I've had, minus the abdominal gymnastics.

10 June, 2011

Home again, home again.

Well, not exactly. That's right, folks, I'm still in Texas.

I've flown non-rev loads of times in the past. It's always been a little frustrating not to get on the plane with everybody else, to have that uncertainty about whether you'll be proceeding with your plans as scheduled, but it's always worked out in the end. I've only been bumped once, and that was just from first class to coach during the trip Himself and I had to take to LA for my spousal visa. I've never actually not made it onto a flight. This is a wholly new experience for me.

I started trying to leave Wednesday (was that only yesterday?!)... There were only two flights that day, so I was there in plenty of time before the first one and checked my bags and waited patiently like a good little girl. I wasn't even perturbed when I didn't get on and got rolled over to the second flight. It wasn't even that big of a deal when I didn't make it onto the second flight and had to get a ride back to The Mimi's house for an unscheduled extension of my stay in Texas. That made it all the more exciting when her friend (on whose passes I'm attempting to fly) called and said she wanted to list me as her "companion" so that my flying privileges would be upgraded and I'd have a better chance of getting home. How great is that? I'll tell you how great, it's off the charts nice of her. So I came home and listed myself as a higher grade of traveller and went to bed with high hopes of getting on a flight today.

So this morning; I took donuts over to the siblings who still live in Arlington, I had lunch with Mi Madre at Fuzzy's tacos (which does a mean grilled veggie sandwich, btw) and I took a leisurely shower in preparation for another day at the airport. I turned up expecting to slide my passport through the little automated machine and get my security pass like I'd done the day before... to no avail. The little machine refused to acknowledge that I'd been listed for a flight and issued me with a scrap of paper advising me to seek human assistance. So I went to the line for the international check-in. Where the staff repeatedly only served people in the first class queue or people who had successfully utilised the check-in machines that had so rudely rebuffed me. For an hour. By the time I made it to the front desk, I was in tears brought on by the concern that something had gone wrong in the system and the frustration at having been so thoroughly ignored while others got the help they needed. The lady was very nice about it, but I still felt like a tit.

Anyway, I finally made it through security and got to the gate, where I missed getting on the first flight simply because the gentleman who was meant to turn up and leave one seat on the plane free for yours truly didn't make it in time, so a couple got our seats instead. The close shave, rather than disappointing me too thoroughly, only gave me hope that I'd make it on a later flight. That was, until they started offering people $900 to change their travel plans and fly tomorrow. So, needless to say, I did not make it on either remaining flight. That was complemented nicely by the (rude word) "gentleman" working the desk who refused to tell me if I'd been rolled over to the flight tomorrow (because I wasn't walking away without assurance that it had been taken care of) until I said something to the effect of "look, you have to understand that I'm six months pregnant, I've been waiting in the airport for two days, I have to call someone to collect me, and all I need to know is whether I've been rolled over" with what I'm sure was a slightly hysterical/homicidal gleam in my eyes. He then grudgingly hit the few keys to send my info in the system to the right place, to which I said "thanks, that's all I needed to know" with what I KNOW was a sarcastic tone. I don't care that I'm supposed to be nice to these people because I'm flying non-rev, he deserved a smack in the head for speaking to me the way he did, he's lucky only my sarcasm reared its ugly head.

So, I'm home, tucked up in bed having just demolished a bowl of leftover vegan macaroni salad from the baby shower, blogging about flight frustrations. JB is kicking his little head off in there, same as he was this morning. He's always a little frantic in the mornings, which I attribute to my full bladder crowding him, and normally when I get up to relieve myself he calms down. This morning, not so much. He kicked the entire time I was in the ladies', and seemed to fully enjoy himself. You try peeing when there's an homunculus boxing with your bladder... *sigh* I just want to make it home for the scan on Monday, I'll be fine even if I have to sit in the airport for two more days as long as I'm home by Monday morning. Send happy thoughts into the universe on my behalf, won't you?