Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Blue on the Brain

Throughout this second pregnancy Chris and I debated if we should find out the baby’s gender. We did with LLC – I always felt that I’d want to be surprised but when push came to shove in that ultrasound room, I couldn’t wait. My want to know got the better of me. Not even because I wanted to kit out baby’s room or know what colour clothes to buy.....I just wanted to know.

This time, we seriously considered not finding out and having that magic moment where we meet our child in the flesh and take that life-shaping glance at their anatomy. But again, I just couldn’t do it. Even Chris, who first time around would have happily waited had I not been so keen, seemed to want to know.

So at my 21 week ultrasound we asked the question and tada – it’s a boy! A healthy baby boy.

A in not a girl....? I have to admit, I was slightly stunned. Having grown up in a house of two girls and now as mom to LLC, girls have become my comfort zone and a big part of me kept picturing baby number 2 as another little lady. But as the ultrasound technician kept pointing out, we’ve definitely got a little dude on the scene or something is really awry down below.

Now that I’ve got my head around it, I’m really excited. If we only have two children, we’ll have had both the son and daughter experience. My aunt tells me little boys really love their mothers. My work colleague/mother of a small lad tells me little boys are wonderful. I never doubted it, but I’m also sure I won’t fully appreciate the thrill of my boy until he pops out and I get to know him.

In the immediate, one of my first thoughts was that I’m going to have to learn how to clean boy parts and avoid being sprayed! So mothers of sons out there, talk to me! What new adventures will life bring for us in the blue zone?

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

The things we do for our children

I was walking through our local park, home to tactless teens and moody mums, when I heard an almighty wail. Distracted from our duck watching, LLC and I turned to see a little girl of about four burst into a tearful meltdown while her mother wrestled desperately with a long reed. At first glance it was a bizarre sight.

And then I saw it: a small doll, partially enveloped by the murky algae-rife water of the adjacent pond, gently bobbing away three feel below the pavement lining the water’s edge. I now approached sympathetically just as the mother won her battle with the reed and our eyes met.

“Would you keep your eye on my two while I try to fish out her dolly,” she desperately enquired motioning at her hysterical daughter and slightly stunned smaller son, confined within a pushchair.

“Sure, of course.” I murmured gentle words of encouragement to the little girl as her mother poked and prodded her doll through the railing. With each unsuccessful effort, her level of hysteria mounted. The reed was just too short.

“I better try from the other side of the railing,” the mother reasoned. She moved further down the pavement where the railing began and moved to the other side, gripping it as she shimmied along the concrete slant leading to the water’s edge.

Try as she might, the doll was still out of her reach. Her daughter’s tears reached a new powerful crescendo while her son and LLC watched on in awe from their strollers.

“Here, take my hand,” I offered. We locked fingers and I braced my shoulder against the railing for leverage. “I’ve got you.” I extended my full arm  through the bars until the railing dug into my shoulder. But that reed was flimsy and useless, and the doll swirled and dipped with each failed attempt to fish it out.

“If I lay down and you grab my ankle, maybe I’ll be able to reach just a big further,” Reed Mama cringed.

“Sure, yes, go for it,” I tried to pump her up. “Okay, I’ve got your ankle. I won’t let you go.”

And this is how another kind mother found us. She promptly detached the sun cover of her pushchair and passed it down to Reed Mama, who used it as a much more effective fishing line to catch and capture the sodden dolly. We three mothers exhaled, and cheered.

Back on level ground on the right side of the railing, Reed Mama presented the beloved dolly to her crestfallen little lady. Dirty and wet, the doll reflected the wear and tear of her ordeal and this brought on a fresh wave of wailing.

Reed mama rolled her eyes at me, dusting the dirt from her clothing.

Sunday, 6 November 2011

Snapshot from our neck of the woods

The last several weeks have passed in a blur – not a bad blur, but a blur all the same. I’m tired, and although we’ve been on the go and I’ve been travelling more than usual for work, this is mainly due to my penchant for going to bed at midnight, 1am and sometimes even later. I’d ask Chris to drag me up the stairs to bed but he’s just as bad as me in this department.

I don’t have time revel in this pregnancy as I did the first time around. I still subscribe to the weekly update emails, but I rarely a spare moment or feel compelled to read them. Pregnancy comes with less of the ‘wonder’ element. My main focus is keeping up with an active toddler! Here are some of our updates:

LLC: Dynamic, opinionated, feisty, affectionate with a rapidly expanding vocabulary and love of the ‘repeat after mama’ game. She’s really into dancing, drumming even though we don’t have a drum set (but with real drum sticks – totally dangerous) and singing ‘Twinkle Twinkle Little Star.’ Our fab friends from Devon just stayed for the weekend with their little toddler and the two girls managed to play and share together with a moderate amount of violence and paddies. Result!

Pregnancy: I’m now at 19 weeks and my bump is definitely bigger than it was at this point with LLC. Alice at More than Toast aptly says this is because the second time around your “abs are shot to shit,” or something like that and I think she’s on the money. Dressing has become a fun game, since many of my regular clothes no longer fit but my old maternity wear is mostly too baggy. It’s getting harder to flip over in bed from one side to the other without feeling like I might pull something and I’ve regularly felt the baby moving about for the last couple of weeks.

Exercise with Bump: Keeping fit is important to me, and issues aside, I plan to keep running until the weather gets too bad, or my bump obstructs my view of my feet! I’ve also re-started pregnancy yoga, which is some lovely, incense fuelled zen time for me. Having solely used yoga breathing as my method of pain relief for LLC, returning to this class was really important to me.

Halloween: American festivity runs through my veins, so I enjoy that Halloween has become more celebrated in the UK. Aside from retailers totally cashing in, I enjoy carving pumpkins and singing witch songs to LLC.  It's actually a great creative avenue for kids. We dressed her as pumpkin and she went to her first late-night costume party where she sampled an array of normal and spooky food and chased after balloons before crashing out on her nap-mat.

Work: Very busy. I don’t tend to discuss my job here on the blog but I benefit from working part-time for an employer that affords me lots of opportunity. Things are going well for me in this department though a side affect lately has been an aversion of the computer after hours, cutting in to my blog time and making me fall seriously behind on emails. Sigh.

So that’s life right now. Nothing riveting, but very full. Although I’ve been quite quiet on this blog lately I have lots I’d likely to write about here so hopefully I’ll re-find some sort of balance. Watch this space 