Right is Right, Right?

Dear Husband,

I am not sure if you are actually aware but I just thought I’d mention that right of way in a vehicle is not your God given gift. The road rules do allow you to be in the position of “power” (and I use that term loosely) a portion of the time but this is not something that falls automatically to you all the time by divine right. Take the following cases in point:

  1. You are driving in the left lane of two lanes travelling straight ahead. You are gaining slowly on the car ahead of you in the left lane (who is a good 5 car lengths ahead of you) and incidentally also on the car travelling in the right lane (who is about 4 car lengths ahead of you). The car in the right lane merges left, into your lane and maintains his speed which is pretty much just shy of the car ahead of him (oh, the audacity). This does however mean that you have to slow down sooner than you wanted in order to stay in that same lane. Somebody call the police! A driver was going the speed limit and “keeping to the left unless overtaking” with clear indicator signals which meant another driver did not have to break suddenly…
  2. You are driving at a somewhat sedate pace (below 60kph) in a lane leading up to a major intersection and you allow someone in a slip lane to merge in ahead of you. After letting them in however, they don’t really speed up to the full speed limit but cruise along until they reach the intersection which is a set of (red) traffic lights upon which everyone in the lane ahead of you must pull up and stop. The light does not go green before you are stopped. Should the person that drove to the conditions ahead of them and didn’t inconvenience you in any way other than the fact that you couldn’t speed up fast enough to break harder than you did be flogged for their perceived insubordination in your eyes? I think not.
  3. You are driving into the drop off bay at the local train station after having had to slow down for a roundabout and you see someone turn a little too tightly as they are driving out of the drop off bay. This unfortunately means that they momentarily end up in your lane (on a bit you haven’t reached yet) before correcting by which time you have thrown up your hands in a visible gesture of disgust as if to say “What do you think this is, idiot? Your personal driveway!?”.

    Now I will grant you that in case number 3, you technically did have the right of way and the other driver was technically in the wrong but I would also like to point out that:

  • at no time were we in any real danger of a collision,
  • there are no lane markings on the road,
  • there was full visibility (ie no nasty surprises), and
  • the other driver didn’t actually hold you up from dropping me off.

So I personally felt that your reaction, like those which resulted from the other two scenarios, was a trifle unwarranted. And just for the record, I did not yell at you.

I will admit that I can be selfish and occasionally inconsiderate but I have you to constantly remind me that just because I happen to be feeling tired or under the weather, this does not actually give me carte blanch to act like an arse. Just because I feel bad does not mean that I get to take it out on everyone else and I should be more tolerant of those around me instead of seemingly flying off the handle about things that wouldn’t have bothered me so much if I was feeling more with it. Which is what I tried to point out to you when you appeared to behave as though the other driver committed some cardinal sin. Until you chewed me out for yelling at you.

I may have changed my tone of voice or emphasised my point more than you appreciated. You could even say that I would have sounded snippy with you. I probably used language that you didn’t care for and I will admit that I did (technically) raise my voice to a level that would have been above my normal conversational volume. I did not however use excessive lung capacity to loudly vocalise anything and I did not yell. I was P.O.’d when you then had a go at me though and I seethed for a good five minutes on the train to work but I maintain that I didn’t yell. That was just your sore head talking.

But I am sorry that you’re feeling sick and exhausted. You did apologise and say that you didn’t mean to have a go at me, you were just feeling really crappy. I know you don’t like being Mr Cranky Pants either and you hope that I can be a safe person whom you can vent to without being judged too much when you happen to be at your worst. And for the record I am trying to be more understanding of the fact that you don’t say the same things to people’s faces that you do in enclosed cars and houses. Sometimes however, I watch you berate other drivers and just think, I do that, would you get that mad at me?

Driving you mad no doubt but yours,

Your Loving Wife

*Photo taken at Sculptures By The Sea

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Week Twenty-Three

Dear Button,

This week was like a test. A test to see how much I could handle, how much I could let others handle and how much I could ask for help. In case you wanted to know, my office moved location this week and I was the one who finished off the packing and who organised the movers and the placement of stuff in the new office. Partly because I like to be in control, well, actually, mostly because I like to be in control and also because that kind of stuff that doesn’t specifically fit in anyone else’s job description ends up in mine. Gopher girl was apparently written into the contract somewhere in really small print…

Anyway, given that I am now quite obviously pregnant, there are a number of things that I can’t do and also a number of things that others won’t let me do. On the up side, there does happen to be a number of things that I just don’t want to do and it’s a lot easier to palm these off by telling people I obviously shouldn’t be doing them. But that doesn’t mean that I’m not overdoing it. I am trying to be good. I am asking people to lift things for me and letting people help when they offer but sometimes, when you want something done, you just have to do it yourself. Wow, there is a lot of “do” in this paragraph…it almost sounds repetitive, or like it doesn’t make sense. You know when you stare at something for so long or reread it so many times that you start to wonder if its actually right or not? Probably not yet, huh?

So yeah, I pulled a couple of long days (and nights), lifted more than I should, didn’t eat as well as I ought but I got to the new kitchen first and got to put everything where I wanted it. I did tell people that they could move it if I was suffering from baby brain and the layout of items didn’t make sense but people seem to have stuck with it so either I did ok, everyone is scared of me or they just don’t care. All in all though, I only got a couple of slight twinges that suggested I should back off and no jarring pains that announced you really shouldn’t have done that so I’m assuming I haven’t managed to break you. There must be buckets of pregnant women out there that attempt more than they should so I’m going with knowing when to stop is the good thing. Not that you never start anything in the first place. Because like I said, when you want something done…

You are:

  • Surprise, surprise, a smidgeon bigger than last week and about 500g
  • Still developing blood vessels in your lungs
  • Going to have your pancreas kicking into gear around now

I am:

  • Now getting comments that I am fat!
  • Considering that I should really put get organised on my to do list

I really will get organised eventually. Probably. Although I am starting to feel a little huge which tends to suck some of my energy. And it doesn’t bode particularly well for the future since I am not actually huge yet and that part is yet to come but I guess I’ll just deal with that when I get there.

Bis dann,

Lexelah

The Question

Dear Husband,

To Flush or not to Flush. That is sometimes my question. It is that dilemma often faced at 3am in the morning when you question whether it is better to potentially wake your guests (or your hosts) from what you hope will be blissful slumber with the whooshing of water and the moaning of pipes, all in the name of cleanliness and hygiene…or just hope you can get to the toilet first in the morning. Whether you should run the risk of waking your child (or in our case the dog) with the newsflash that hey, I am theoretically up and available to play, RIGHT NOW, with you, or stealthily steal straight back to bed in the hope that you can get back to sleep and deal with what was left over at a more civilised hour.

Sometimes the answer to this question comes with qualifiers. Like I can excuse No. 1 with extenuating circumstances amounting to courtesy (or self preservation) but I have a strict No. 2 = flush policy. Or maybe it is dependent on the proximity of the toilet and related pipes to the person(s) you do not wish to wake that affects your decision. Since we live in an old house, I can certainly appreciate that the resulting level of noise generated by a decision to flush may well be an important element of your thought process. We can’t really however claim water restrictions as a contributing factor (apparently this was the case in Goulburn a couple of years ago). Whichever way you look at it though, perhaps some people will think me terribly uncouth but I feel that there are in fact times in life where when to flush or not to flush is indeed the question.

Perhaps others will support me however in the belief that when every member of the household is up (or out), it is past all possible restrictions for neighbourhood noise and you are not suffering from some physical ailment that hinders your either reaching the button on top of the toilet or actually depressing it, that there is no excuse whatsoever for not flushing the toilet after use. I say this with all possible love as I point out to you that on more than one occasion recently, I have come home after work to use the amenities and have had my eyes fall upon what I believe should not be. Now maybe I am being unfair. Maybe we have a phantom loo that regurgitates that which is has formerly swallowed so you did in fact flush in good faith. Maybe I was mistaken in my conviction that the bowl was indeed barren when I left it those same mornings and you accidentally forgot that you had something else to take care of from the previous night before you left for work.

Not that this is really an excuse you can use on an ongoing basis though. Now I know that you were raised in a household of women and therefore leave the toilet seat down. Most of the time. And I know that when you decide not to flush in the wee small hours of the morning, as a concession, you do actually place the lid down. This is also a good thing. Honestly though, it doesn’t leave me with a nice surprise when I lift that same lid up for use at 6:45pm when I get home. So I thought I might just let you know that whether to flush or not to flush should absolutely not be the question but merely when to flush or not to flush. In my humble opinion of course. And I also wanted to add a gentle reminder that I’m not really partial to surprises and you can’t blame this one on the dog. Just in case you were going to try because you blame everything else on him at the moment.

Lovingly yours,

Your Loving Wife

*Photo taken at Gracebrook Winery I believe on one of our wine trips

The Well Of Lost Socks

Dear Husband,

The Well Of Lost Socks is growing. Somewhat dramatically it would seem. I just thought you should know. In fact, I was wondering if you could explain it…because it seems to be full of your socks…

As you may or not be aware (because after all, washing the clothes is one of “my jobs”), I keep a shopping bag handy in the laundry to house any and all of the lonely socks that result from my loads of washing. I place all of the solitary socks in this bag rather than putting them back in the relevant sock drawers as I am ever hopeful that the matching mate will show up in a future load of washing. Each time I find a seemingly forsaken foot covering, I check to see if its partner has already found its way into this bag and I can reunite them and return them to their rightful place – usually your sock drawer which perpetually stands open for some reason. As has more often than not been the case recently however, more isolated items of your attire have been going in than pairs have been coming out. Out of the bag that has been named The Well Of Lost Socks.

Just so as you know, every time I gather the washing, I do try to find pairs of socks. Especially your socks. Sometimes this is not easy to do however as you tend to take off your socks all over the house, occasionally when you’re on your way from room to room and then you just leave them. There are also always a number socks that can be found amongst your floordrobe however as this pile of clothes and shoes usually gets rifled through several times before it gets to washing day, part of a pair may easily go walkabout. I am always hopeful that the other half will just show up in a future load of washing though but as I have recently noted, this seems to be happening less and less.

After doing almost all of the washing that I could find on the weekend, I was dismayed to see that the Well Of Lost Socks is markedly fuller than it was several months ago. The ratio of your socks to mine is also about 10:1. And seeing as my sock is one of a pair of sports sock that was last worn by you in error, its almost like it is your sock as well. So I was just curious as to whether you could explain the disappearance of so many of your socks. Do you throw them away? Do you hide them? I’m pretty sure the puppy is not disintegrating them without my knowledge as he habitually leaves your socks alone when they are laying on the floor in the living area. Maybe the washing machine eats them although I find it strange that it doesn’t take more of mine should this be the case. I honestly don’t know what happens to your socks, I just know that it’d be nice if there weren’t so many of them that seem to disappear into thin air.

Perplexedly yours,

Your Loving Wife

Whats In A Name

Dear Button,

Well you may be pleased to know that Sparky thinks I’m nuts. He also thinks I’m pedantic and occasionally unreasonable and a whole host of other traits. Not that you really care right at this moment but I’m sure this will be useful for you later when you two want to band together because you both don’t agree with me. Or, you might slightly sympathise with him whilst, I don’t know, you’re in the middle of actively disliking me because you wish to the depths of your very soul that I’d chosen another name for you…

I know I went through that stage where I hated my name and I wished it was something else. Usually something shorter and easier to spell because I was tired of other people getting it wrong. Or something with a better contraction because I was convinced for about 15 years that the natural diminutive of my name was far to masculine sounding. Later though of course, that was the very thing I liked most about it. Anyway, I do remember being teased early on and resentful, mostly of my mother at the time (really sorry mum!) as though my name were purely her choice alone and my father never had any say in it. Which I know full well is false because I have been told that he vetoed naming me after two former queens and that is why my middle name is not Victoria.

I think choosing a name is important. I think your name can make a real impact on your life and since there is an abundance of options out there, I have decided on the following guidelines to help narrow it down:

  1. No single syllable names for the first name. This is the pedantic, unreasonableness that I was talking about before. Which definitely doesn’t go down well with Sparky who has a single syllable first name. I just have a personal preference for longer names. I think they give you more options. I think they have more…gravitas. As much as I might like some of these names, I am intending that no child of mine will be Ken or Paul or Grace or Jean. I don’t mind if my children want to be known by a diminutive that has only one syllable. Tom or Jack or Elle or Fin are all fine. Just as long as it’s not the full name.
  2. No places. This one usually applies to girls’ names more than boys’ I have found. And it does mean that I am writing off some lovely names so I am really not against them in general. I even know some great kids with “place” names. I have just choosen not to use them myself, regardless of the spelling. So no Adelaide, Sidney, Indiana or Savannah.
  3. No nouns. This one is a little more related to some of the more, shall we say, unusual names out there. Things like River and Apple and Peaches and Thorne. Perhaps I’m terribly boring but I like more conservative names. Although that doesn’t mean that I’d go for Hyacinth or Petunia. I’m not really a fan of those either. This also counts out options like May and June and some other names I’d otherwise consider but at least it helps refine the options.
  4. No unfortunate names. Given my new surname, I’m not sure that there are many options that would really come into this category but just so as you know, I’d never want you to grow up having a name like Anna Sassin, M(ichael) T(homas) Wallet, Justin Time or Barb Dwyer!
  5. No wacky spelling. As much as its nice to be an individual, its annoying to grow up with a name that no one can spell. Sometimes this is a cultural thing and not a stupid spelling thing however. Like with your father’s name. Were he to live in Germany, he would most likely have his name spelled correctly a whole lot more often than he does now. Or it’s a cultural thing like some of the Gaelic names. I have always thought that Saoirse was a lovely name but the majority of people outside Ireland wouldn’t have a hope in hell of getting it right. A lot of Australians have learned how to spell (and say) Siobhan or Niamh but anything less common…forget it. Same goes with weird silent letters that people add to be different, or superfluous letters, like the “y” in Shayne. Kids with that name will be forever spelling it out. I’m not going to guarantee that you’re going to have a name that is easy to spell or that people will never get wrong but at least I am endeavouring to use a conventional spelling of whatever we decide to put on your birth certificate.
  6. No terrible meanings. This one is a hard one. Mostly because its subjective. What I might think of as inoffensive, you might think was unfortunate. I know I have not been overly fond of some of the meanings of my name. I am however glad that I never had a name that meant “bitter” though. As much as some of the names themselves are rather pretty, the meaning somehow doesn’t seem all that nice.

So given these guidelines, we have been collating a list of names that we would both consider but we are still a long way off deciding. The favourite still happens to be one we had before we started looking through the baby name books but I think for the final decision we will reserve judgement until we meet you. Because you might look like someone completely different.

Lexelah

* I would credit the image if I had the faintest idea who owns it.

Week Twenty-Two

Dear Button,

So I took my first belly photo this week. I know, I know, the beginning of the 2nd half of my pregnancy is not the best time to start doing this but hey, better late than never. And at least it was the beginning of the 2nd half. I honestly had the best of intentions of doing this a whole lot earlier but then the first time round we miscarried early and the second time round, I was waiting to pass that first milestone of a longer pregnancy and then I didn’t get my backside into gear before we had the “scary scan” and then for a while I think I almost felt like I would jinx myself if I took photos. Don’t ask me why. There was also the logistics of actually taking the self portrait that would look sufficiently non-crap that I’d consider sharing it and that seemed a herculean feat in and of itself.

I eventually found the motivation to clear a space though and set up the camera with enough time to take a couple of shots in natural light. They were by no means brilliant and it is very clear to see that I quickly got bored (by my poses and my dodgy photo editing) but at least they do offer historical evidence that I did look the way I did once upon a time. Because this seems to be the main “symptom” of my pregnancy at the moment. The fact that I have a belly. I’m feeling reasonably well right now. Apparently I’m looking well too. I’m not excessively tired and I’m still comfortable enough to sleep through the night. Either the weather is warmer or my body temperature is starting to rise because I don’t feel so perpetually cold any more but neither do I feel hot and bothered so that’s all good and not inconvenient in the slightest.

There are still no major food aversions, cravings or smells that make me gag. I am missing being about to eat deli meats, runny eggs and morning-after-cold-pizza but there is an awful lot I can eat so its not as if I’m on a diet of plain rice and vegetables. I don’t have swollen ankles, I’m not itchy, there are no strange skin blemishes, I’m not nauseous and there aren’t really any aches and pains to speak of so it all sounds incredibly boring (or blissful if you’re one of those women who have really suffered through pregnancy). Maybe you’ll get here and you won’t sleep, you’ll grizzle all the time, you’ll hate the pram and the car seat and this will be like the trade off for an easy pregnancy. I’m kind of hoping not but you never know. This could also be the calm before the storm so to speak and I could spend the coming months feeling less than peachy shall we say. I’m hoping not on this count as well but only time will tell.

What I did notice the other day though was I’m not so good on only one leg any more. Let me explain. Normally my balance is pretty good. I’m not a klutz by any means and I usually would think nothing of putting on socks whilst standing up. You just lift one foot in the air, pull on the sock and then you do the same thing on the other side. It’s a little different when your centre of gravity has a subtle shift however. Apart from the fact that lifting your foot anywhere near your hand now more or less equates with kneeing or “thighing” yourself in the belly, I have noticed that there is an extra little wobble in there some of the time. Especially when I try to keep the knee out of the way. And occasionally a second pass is required. Note to self here: do not even think about going near a bicycle till the end of the year.

I tell you, I’m starting to feel like a little kid. Before long I’ll have to make sure I’m sitting down before I put on my pants, socks and shoes. Or make someone else do it. At least the socks and shoes part. I’m pretty sure I can handle my pants. And your pants when you get here. Which still isn’t for a while I hope as there is a fair bit of developing to go yet. But at the moment:

You are:

  • Apparently following a regular schedule of sleeping, turning sucking and kicking and have settled on a favourite position in the uterus.
  • Measuring around 27cm from crown to heel.
  • Actually proportioned like a newborn apart from the need to fatten up.
  • Lacking the pigment in your iris though the rest of your eye is formed.
  • Getting the first signs of teeth in the form of tooth buds beneath the gum line.

I am:

  • Putting on weight.
  • Waiting.

Alles Liebe

Lexelah

My Rock

Dear Husband,

You are my rock. And you do rock. But the reason I came around to this notion is through a thought process with which you would probably find issue. Basically, I decided last night that perhaps instead of your other name being “Sparky”, it should be “Peter”. Which means “rock”. Well, actually, it means “stone” but you know, close enough.

So I decided this last night when you were busy “tsk tsk tsk”ing me for something completely irrelevant. Like being snuggled up all cosy in bed before you’d made it back to our bedroom after we shut the puppy in the kitchen for the night. Or the (in my mind, completely necessary) singular eyebrow raise when you kept going and shaking your head at the same time. You were tsk tsk tsk-ing me and it sounded just like a rabbit, or, well, what I imagine a rabbit might sound like. What Peter Rabbit might sound like.

Then I thought of the times when you weren’t trying to mock scold me and it occurred to me that at some of those times, it is occasionally I who am mock scolding you. Because I have noted that periodically you like to behave like the boy who never grew up. And whilst I’m no Wendy, it has crossed my mind on occasion that you may just have a few Peter Pan tendencies…

So between your Peter Rabbit impersonations, your Peter Pan tendencies and your moments of startling brilliance as “Sparky” (I did once tell you when we were trying for “Button” that I wanted to pick up a pregnancy test and your first response was “Why?” to which I wanted to respond “You can’t seriously be asking me that question!?”), I figure you’re tipping the scales towards “Peter” at the moment.

And hey, its better than “Mary” – because I’m sorry honey but you do still pack like a girl whenever we go away anywhere. If anyone is going to take “everything but the kitchen sink”, its not going to be me.

Jokingly yours,

Your Loving Wife

* Photo taken at the last Sculptures By The Sea