08 October, 2013


Today has not gone smoothly.

It could have something to do with the stunt Madam pulled on the way up the street to the chiropractor's office. Having strapped on her brother, grabbed my bag and coffee and (lastly, of course) freed her from the carseat, she decided walking wasn't something she chose to do right that second. Given the fact that we'd been stuck in rush hour traffic on the way there and had roughly thirty seconds to make our appointment, that wasn't really an option. I appealed to her logical side, reminding her that she likes going to see Gail, Gail lets her play with the bits on her desk while she waits for New Kid and myself to be adjusted... her response to said logic? Spaghetti Baby. On the street. I had to put my coffee on a stranger's car to secure New Kid to my front with one hand while I used the other to haul her butt off the pavement. Upon second collapse, I had to wrestle her under my "free" arm, collect my belongings and walk at speed with her flailing away while pedestrians tried to decide if I was abducting her.

It could have something to do with the fact that we repeated the performance, minus the coffee, on the way back to the car.

Or it could have something to do with the fact that she threw what was most likely the most epic tantrum H&M staff have ever seen. Picture this... baby resting peacefully in the pushchair, angelic looking blonde child looking at clothes and exclaiming "pitty!" at random intervals. That's about the time said angelic looking blonde child decided to have a rifle through my bag. Now, in my bag are various bits that a child shouldn't get her hands on. Like the bribery sweets I pack just in case. Or the foot long knitting needles I just bought in the hopes that some day, in the distant future, I will have a time during which both hands are free. Kids don't look so angelic wielding a pair of foot long spikes, blonde curls notwithstanding. So I said the "n" word. ("No". I don't use that other word, and shame on you for thinking it.)

You would think I had slapped her in the face while I stabbed a puppy repeatedly with those knitting needles from before.

Our world erupted. Shrieks, flailing limbs, madness. I thanked my lucky stars that I'd grabbed the carrier as we left the house on the off chance that she might get tired and want to ride instead of walk, strapped on New Kid and proceeded to (YET AGAIN) prove my agility at wrestling with one kid while wearing another. I managed to get her off the floor and into/onto the pushchair. Now came forcing the plank she'd become to morph back into a child that bends in the middle. Having finally managed that and forcibly restraining her with the pushchair straps, I then embarked upon the Walk of Shame to the tills, because I tell you what, after all that I was having those bloody t-shirts. Of course, the whole way there she's shrieking at the top of her lungs, which has now finally upset her brother to the point that he's begun to wail as well. Stereo, and not the good kind. About the time we make it to the queue, she's coughing to the point that she's gagging. All I can think is "she ate tuna for lunch...!" In (fairly) hushed tones, I inform her that if she throws up, I'll knock her head off. I'm pretty sure the guy in front of us heard me, because he let me go in front of him, which if you've ever been to London you'll know just doesn't happen. I paid, and we went home. She hiccupped most of the way back to the house, looking teary and pathetic, causing strangers to make sympathetic faces and noises at her. I wished I'd recorded it to show them.

She *might* live to see her second birthday on Friday. I make no promises.

23 September, 2013

Like Mama, like Madam.

My kid is weird.

Kid Mach 1, that is. Kid Mach 2 is too young to show his true colours. He might still be "normal" like Himself... you know, my ninja accountant husband.

Exhibit One. I present for your appraisal the following picture.

That hat? Her choice, both as a purchase last winter (hence the jauntily perched angle on her melon, it's too small now) and as a wardrobe choice today (when it was really too warm to need a hat, but her stubbornness knows no bounds).

Exhibit Two. This morning while I was sorting her breakfast in the kitchen, New Kid started kicking off on the sofa. I asked Madam to go see if she could make him happy as I was up to my elbows in jammy toast. She said "okay" in her piping little voice and hied herself to the front room to cheer him up. How did she do this, you ask? She got about six inches away from his face and shouted "HAPPY!!!"... When that didn't work (insert shocked disbelief here) she came back into the kitchen and said "cry!" with a confused look on her calculatedly innocent visage.

Exhibit Three. This afternoon on our way into town to pick up some lunch, I asked her if she'd like sushi. As a response, she shrieked so loudly as to startle several dogs and their humans and took off at a run towards town.

I rest my case. Freakchild. But then, normal is boring, right? RIGHT? Right.

22 September, 2013

Ode to Boy.

My son is six weeks old today. That's right, my SON. How surreal.

We won't mention how he's the size of a three month old. Fee, fi, fo fum.

I feel like I should record some of the details, because let's face it, my memory isn't one of my most stellar qualities. It's not helping that the six weeks he's been on the outside seem to have literally flown past. One second he was a newborn, I had a lapse in judgement and blinked momentarily, and now he's six weeks old.

He smiles. A lot. Sometimes he laughs in his sleep, which is doubly hilarious because he hasn't laughed while conscious yet. He has angry legs when he's thwarted. Same goes for his arms, he thumps me well and truly when I'm slow giving in to his demands for breastage. He'd rather I went topless and stayed on the couch with him in my lap for easy access 24/7. When he's sad, his sad face is the saddest sad face anyone ever had. Ever. Most of the time I'm pretty sure he's my grandfather reincarnated. He doesn't have vacuous baby eyes... he looks like he's got something to say, and from the look on his face, it's something sarcastic. Hence the Granddaddy reincarnation theory. He is handsome and strong and stubborn and cuddly, and as far as I'm concerned, exactly how my son should be.

It's still super weird to change nappies with a penis in them, though. Just sayin'.

04 September, 2013

Plus one.

That's right, folks. New Kid finally deigned to exit my ovarian Bastille, and we are now a family of four.

Things they don't tell you about adding a human to your already populated household:

1. 1+1 does not equal 2. 1+1, in Toddler/Newborn Math, is actually more like 5. The constant threat of random violence (intentional or no) from Toddler toward Newborn puts you on permanent alert, there's always a nose that needs wiping just as you've gotten Newborn to latch on for a feed, or Toddler decides they're starving TO DEATH while you're up to your eyes in Newborn Poo (so completely warrants the capital letters...).

2. It doesn't just take twice as long to leave the house. Add in a buffer of half an hour to however long you think it's going to take you to walk out the door. Someone will poo and require a change. Or will dump the half a coffee you never managed to drink down themselves and will require new clothes. Or will fall over because they were being a retard and stood on the block box even though you told them not to and it tipped over they're a toddler and require a cuddle and yet another nose wipe.

3. All your worries about not being able to love the new addition as much as you love The Chosen One your first child are ridiculous. You realise that you can love two people equally as much but in totally different ways, and get a little weepy writing about it because you're still hormonal and you never realised how happy you could be while never, ever getting enough sleep.

New Kid didn't enter the world as smoothly as we'd hoped. Despite the chiro visit the week before The Event, he managed to flip around so he was back to back. Back labour sucks. That's all I'll say about that. I did, however, get to labour in the birthing pool for a while, which was HEAVEN. I cannot tell you how nice it is to be gravity free in the midst of all that pain. Warm water washing over your lower back during labour should be mandatory for every birthing experience. I should start a petition, that's how lovely it was. Of course, I had to get out of the pool right at the end because New Kid, following in the tradition of his elder sister, couldn't wait until he was on the outside to let his meconium go, but HEY, it was great while it lasted.

All I'll say about the labour itself is... well, OW. Entonox is lovely stuff (even though Himself swears it makes me cuss like a sailor) but it's just not enough to mask the feeling of pushing out almost eleven pounds of human. That's right, this child was 10lb10oz at birth. 23in long. I had two foot of baby. The funniest thing is that there's not a single roll on him. He's solid, yeah, and has some thoroughly chubbulous cheeks, but no rollage. He's pleasantly squidgy, though.

He had some issues straight off... he wasn't breathing properly, had inhaled meconium, had a fever, etc. They had to intubate him to get him breathing and pump out some of the meconium, took him to the neonatal ward for the night and gave him a lumbar puncture because being born with a fever can sometimes be a symptom of meningitis... scary stuff. I was so out of it from the birth that they weren't telling me anything, it was all "he's fine!" until the next morning when Himself told me the real deal. He went up to see NK in the neonates ward while I was still getting myself together and fed him a bottle, yet another "not as I'd hoped" scenario. Madam nursed within the first hour of being born, and I was worried NK wouldn't take to breastfeeding after that first bottle... silly worry, really, as he's managed to put on a pound and a half in the three weeks he's been attached to the girls. *grin*

So, all is well. There's been laughter, there have been tears, and some of them were even from The Toddler, but we're still alive and kicking. Of course, we're mostly kicking each other what with four bodies crammed into our bed, but it's all good. We'll get another mattress down one side. These are the joys of co-sleeping. *lol* I'll leave you with a picture of the wonders of New Kid. Bask in the glory of his chubbulous cheekage. I mean it, go bask.

Have you basked?


06 August, 2013

Boys are lazy.

I'm not even going to apologise for how long it's been this time. *lol* I have a toddler, I'm really pregnant, and I need no further excuse.

That's right folks, I've gone over, despite all the assurances from chiropractors/doctors/midwives that I wouldn't make it to the 5th. The "water breaking on my due date" luck I had with The Brat seems to have failed me this go around, and I'm now ONE WHOLE DAY OVERDUE. (None of you are allowed to castigate me for dramatic overstatement, I don't care if you went two weeks over, this is about ME, as everything is. So there.) We had a little scare yesterday, New Kid is normally so active that it's borderline painful (sometimes not so borderline, if I'm honest) and he didn't move yesterday. Like, at all. I drank a Coke, I poked and prodded... nuffink. So I called the midwives at the hospital and they had me come in so they could monitor him. I waited until Himself got home to keep Madam and took myself off to triage, where after half an hour of monitoring NK finally deigned to show himself and began to wiggle as per his usual. We're both fine, but I wish he would lay off the shock tactics.

The little beast that's been masquerading as a blonde angel all this time has finally shown her true colours. At 21 months old she's decided that sharing is for pansies and that anyone who dares touch her toys (or toys she's playing with at group, or toys she's seen and begun to head towards, or toys that belong to other children that she'd quite like to play with even though they're occupied by other hands) deserves The Wrath of Bratface. Said Wrath is normally accompanied by a feral noise that's somewhere between a growl and a shriek of rage, and it's reduced many a friend to tears. My vocal cords have begun to fray from all the lecturing about how we share with our friends and how it isn't nice to scream I've been doing lately. Add to that the fact that she was an utter butthead to her father all weekend and it makes for a very pleasant environment at Chez Gabs. Mi madre thinks it's because she senses her little universe is about to be turned on its head, so I'm hoping after the dust has settled and she realises she's still my favourite things will revert to their previous resting state. *grin*

I'm still staying as active as humanly possible, attending various appointments for reflexology and chiropractic work, going to groups with The Brat, running errands... I went to Ikea yesterday hoping against hope that the trip would kickstart NK into gear (because what else would you do at nine months pregnant but go to Ikea?) but that obviously backfired. Well, it backfired for me, Madam was pleased with the outing for multiple reasons. First, she got to hang with one of her best buds (we went with a friend and her toddler). Second, I had made cookies the day before and brought a bag for bribery purposes. Third, she was the recipient of a tiny table and stool that I bought for the express reason of teaching her some table manners, and pleased doesn't cover her reaction. Best. Toy. Ever. And fourth... well, have a look at the picture below.

That's how she rolls. I mean, to be fair, I'd probably enjoy Ikea even more if I had somebody roll me through in a fleece nest with cushions and homemade cookies. These are the pictures I'll be showing at her wedding.

Okay, she's bored of allowing me to type unmolested. I'm now fending off twenty-odd pounds of flailing blonde child, so I'll wrap this up now. Send me delivery vibes, I'm about ready to reclaim my body from the ginormous parasite I've been carrying for nine months now. Actually, I really just want to sprawl out on my stomach. It's going to be so awesome. *sigh* Catch you on the flipside.

04 May, 2013

You wouldn't like her when she's angry.

So, the She-Beast has made a return to our 'appy 'ome...

Lately, Madam has taken to waking somewhere between half five and six o'clock in the morning. Not for a drink, not for a quick stir... for the day. Which means that even if New Kid kept me up until eleven with acid reflux or simply his own reenactment of The Karate Kid, I'm up somewhere between half five and six o'clock in the morning. For the day. On its own, I could deal with this situation. However, by eight in the morning she's getting tired, and for Madam, tired isn't a good enough reason to sleep. Her FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) simply won't allow a graceful slide into unconsciousness, so instead she starts to whine... then cry... then scream and flail. For somewhere around two hours. Every morning. The only thing that stops the flailing is singing, and let me tell you, I'm running out of songs. Somewhere around the half-hour mark my already flagging voice (thanks to the cold I picked up from Herself two weeks ago but can't shake due to LACK OF SLEEP) gives out, which if I'm lucky is a minute or two past her FOMO backing down for a temporary respite. If I'm unlucky... well, you don't want to hear about that. Welcome to my world.

Despite this recurring madness, I've decided that this would be the perfect time in my life to start a new business venture. Because who doesn't start a new line of work while six months pregnant, right? There's a vintage fair in Old Spitalfield's market in Brick Lane that's simply calling my name. I have all the vintage goodies that I bought with the intent of stocking my Etsy shop still spilling out of my storage (because it turns out that having a toddler doesn't mesh well with spending hours on the computer uploading photos and writing descriptions for items for sale... who knew?!) and it's doing my head in. I'm sitting on money, and I'd much rather be spending it on obscene amounts of salad from Marks and Spencer. So after some research, this vintage fair presented itself as a viable option, and I'm going to give it a go. The first incarnation of my stall will appear in a couple of weeks, and depending on the reception may very well become a regular thing. What could be better than returning to my market stall roots and being forced to buy ridiculous amounts of vintage from local charity shops without fear of repercussion from Himself? I see no down side. So wish me luck, and if you're feeling really charitable, come see me on the stall so I can leave you in charge while I pee like the pregnant lady I am. *grin*

29 April, 2013

Aggression in a decidedly non passive sense.

I've had a funny sort of day.

Madam woke at quarter to six as per her usual these days, so she had a shower with Himself and we proceeded about our morning business. We decided to revisit a music playgroup we tried last week with a friend (which was met with a resounding positive result) and hopped in the car. Normal careful driving procedure ensued, and when we got to the end of our road we got trapped behind a singularly special person that had obviously decided stopping to chat with a friend on the pavement was more important than making sure the cars behind them could get through. As I waited, patiently I might add, to have room to continue our journey, all of a sudden I heard a loud bang on the back of the car. For a split second I thought in a panicky jumbled way "have I hit something?!" only to remember that I was sitting still. I looked behind me to see a mother and her three children crossing the road behind the car, and realised that her eldest son (maybe eight years old) had punched the side of the car. PUNCHED MY CAR.

I didn't even think, I rolled down the passenger side window and called "excuse me???" The mother stopped, so I informed her that her son had just hit our car. She looked confused, so I repeated myself and pointed out which son had done the dirty deed. She looked at him, and at this point he volunteered his excuse for his behaviour. "I didn't see you."


Sorry, you didn't see my car?? You didn't see my car, and that's why you punched it? Right. That makes total sense.

The mother apologised, and from the look on his face as I drove off he received a thorough telling off, but my morning was decidedly skewed from this weirdly violent encounter with a total stranger's mutant offspring.

So instead of shakily trying to put the day back on track, I have instead dealt with all the unpleasant business that's been waiting for me on my list. *grin* I called the NCT to inform them that I will take official ownership of the baby group that I've been "temporarily" running for a year now, but that I want the discounted NCT membership applied retroactively due to their lack of competence in finding a permanent replacement. I responded to Kwik Fit's insanely insulting response to my complaint about their local service centre having failed our car's MOT in order to coerce us into paying for unnecessary works to the car. I also reported them to VOSA and to Trading Standards. In other words, I took the unrequested aggression thrown at me this morning and passed it on to the people that deserved it. *lol* I kicked butt and took names, and managed a 45 minute nap with Herself halfway through.

Don't mess with me, punk. I'm not afraid to write a sternly worded email.

17 April, 2013

Life as we know it.

It's been a crazy couple of months. We found out that New Kid has junk, which Himself is very smug about. I got food poisoning for the second time this pregnancy on Easter Sunday, which lasted for a week instead of the usual few days. That's the fun of my body protecting New Kid instead of focusing on healing itself. By the end (after a night in the ER on IV fluids and anti-nausea meds) I wished he could have gotten a slight case just so he'd feel too bad to keep trying to kick his way out from the inside. Bratface spent that week hanging out with her Nannie (Himself's mum was here for the week, coincidentally) and then spent the next two weeks getting re-accustomed to rules and the world not always revolving around herself. She didn't appreciate the lesson.

Himself turned 33 this week. We didn't do presents for him, the man wants for nothing save sleep (and short of resorting to Benadryl, Madam isn't helping with matters), so we made him a cake. I say "we", I made him a cake, and Herself helped by eating bits of unused marshmallow and scraps of icing. In case you're wondering what a birthday cake for a 33 year old man looks like, see below.

Madam was very angry that I wouldn't let her put her face into the cake before Himself came home, and then I added insult to injury by forcing her to eat dinner before she had a piece. It all worked out in the end, she was finally allowed to eat the face off a minion and was thus appeased.

We went to Toddler World on Friday to let Madam have a real run around (in the hopes that it would knacker her enough to force a good nap, which it did) and the following scenario unfolded. We walked downstairs to see that not only was the normal full sized bouncy castle in evidence, along with all the ride on toys and soft play bits, there was a huge new bouncy obstacle course complete with inflated slide. See below.

With all this glory to choose from, what did my daughter play with? See below.

Yup. Huge gym full of crazy toys, and my kid plays with the toy kitchen. For ages. That afternoon I finally bit the bullet and went to Ikea to get the toy kitchen she'd played with at a friend's house for her. She's suitably grateful, and spends a significant portion of each day opening and closing the doors and turning the burner lights on and off. Between that and her bag lady shopping trolley full of dolls and detritus, she's pretty set.

Himself is crazy busy at work, but he seems to thrive on running about like a madman so we're allowing it. For now. I've caved and hired a cleaner to help get the house in decent shape before New Kid escapes my uterine Gulag, and she's magic. Having her do the normal maintenance frees me up to get on with spring cleaning, and so far I've washed wardrobes and windows, cleaned out and rearranged cupboards, gotten rid of out of date goods and unused kitchen bits, and started repainting the living room. New Kid never stops moving. Never. I'm assuming that means he's healthy and am attempting to ignore him to maintain my sanity. So all told, we're doing okay. Hope it's the same on your end, and that I manage to post again before The Dude is born.

14 February, 2013

A family of four.

As you all know by now, we're up the duff again. I won't go into my typical rantings about how the pill is a joke... *grin* Anyway, we were obviously meant to have two children, thus it shall be so. Of course, Himself is having a little nip and tuck after the second one deigns to exit my ovarian Bastille. "No More Unexpected Babies" is our philosophy for life from this point forward.

I'm equally as sick as I was with Madam, if not a little more. I won't go into major detail here either, Sister Three has a tricky tummy and I wouldn't want to make her join me in empathetic pukeage, but let's just say it doesn't take much to set me off. Add to this the fact that Madam is teething again (think majorly rotten nappies) and I'm holding my breath a lot. A lot. I'm experimenting with various food combinations, the main issue there is that something will work once or twice, and then the next time I go to eat it, no dice. *lol* For three days I ate nothing but cous cous with hummus and falafel, and now the thought of hummus... *shudder* Oh well. This too shall pass. Right? RIGHT???

My waistline has rapidly expanded. Like, rapidly. I'm back in preggo jeans, which is great for me (I'd forgotten how comfortable they were) and bad for everybody that has to look at me (they fall down REALLY easily, and I'm sure most of Uxbridge has gotten a glimpse of my rear end by now). I'm also having trouble stopping Herself from planting a forceful foot in my midsection... she doesn't understand why I've ceased allowing her to use me as a live-in jungle gym. *lol* Himself is filling in admirably.

While we're on the subject of Himself, I know you're sick of hearing it, but I'm going to say it again. My husband kicks your husband's butt. He comes in from work, having braved the over an hour long journey from Soho after a full day's work with a VERY early start, and jumps straight in with Madam. He takes her upstairs with him to change into sweats, he feeds her dinner, he plays with her, he does her nighttime bottle and changes her into a clean nappy and brings her to bed. Mind you, about the time he's playing with her, he's sent me upstairs to go to sleep. After he's brought her to bed, he goes back downstairs, tidies up the living room and kitchen, does the dishes, moves clothes to the dryer or folds what's dry, sorts the rubbish and recycling, then comes to bed only to start all over again the next day... are you catching what I'm throwing? Yup. I'm lucky. Think lottery lucky. *smug*

Anyway, we need to get moving. Swimming with friends today, and I need to have a go at the house given that I've been Bad Wife lately and let Himself do all the work. Hope you're all having a great Valentine's Day, use it as an excuse to eat chocolates. At least, that's what I do. *grin*

14 January, 2013

Drama mama.

Despite (or perhaps because of?) my no more drama policy for 2013, I find myself embroiled in yet another online battle with a silly little girl. I'm on the fence with this one. You see, I'm sick to death of hearing/talking about it, but I'm also physically unsettled by the speed of escalation and the depth to which it plummeted.

Forgive me for beating a dead horse, but I'd like to put a couple of things out into the universe. If you publicly lambast a friend of mine over a minor misunderstanding, I'm going to take offense. If you let your friend call me or my friends scumbags without stepping in, I'm going to take offense. If you then go on to email other friends of mine to tell them how horrible I am, I'm going to take offense. Call me crazy. Also, if you post something on Facebook, it's not "private". Venting is not the purpose of Facebook. If you want to vent privately, buy a journal.

If you want to vent publicly, start a blog. *grin*

Isn't it funny how cutting drama out of your life causes more drama in the short term? I need to be more careful about who I let into my little world. Or become a better judge of character.

11 January, 2013

Ode to Himself.

Christmas over and done with, Himself had to return to the UK to work on the 2nd January, while Iz and I spent a little more time with family. In the week between his return and our return, he was a busy little bee, and those activities are detailed below.

* He hoovered the entire house, sofas included.

* He steam cleaned the wood and tile floors.

* He cleaned the bathroom, and I mean CLEANED.

* He did a shop so we'd have food the first few days back, and bought the expensive avocados.

* He left me with a full tank of petrol in the car.

* And since our return, he's done all the dishes every night. Amazing.

Three cheers for Himself, people!