Month Thirty-Seven

Dear Husband,

How time flies when you’re having fun. And apparently also when you’re not doing much of anything at all. It seems like the past couple of weeks have melded into each other as the days have gotten a little hazy of late. And I don’t think that’s just baby brain either. Maybe a number of late nights managed to temporarily erase a couple of things from my memory. It did occur to me this month that I completely bypassed the fact that my office moved locations again last month and it therefore received nary a mention. Not that my office relocating has a lot to do with us or with you per se but as per usual (since we have been through this before), when I get caught up in something, how long I think I will be is very different to how long it often takes me to be ready.

Usually when I end up working at the office late, you will offer to come and pick me up. This usually precedes a conversation that frustrates me because I am made to put a time on how long I think it will take me to do what I have to do. And I can always find something else to do. Home is a long way from work in the car so its really nice to have a lift but at the same time, I often find it easier to get the train because then I’m not running late, I’m just taking my time. You want to be helpful though and busy and not alone (the dog apparently doesn’t count) so it seems you’d rather hop in the car by yourself for half an hour to come and get me sooner than wait at home with the dog until my train arrives. And predictably enough, when the office relocated, I was in the city late trying to do what was necessary for the fitout people (which seemed to be nothing much at all in the end) and coordinating the movers I hired (which consequently didn’t work so well cause I was physically at the new office and not the old one) and 8 o’clock turned into 9 o’clock which turned into 10 o’clock. And then I made you drive to the old office and back to the new one again cause the movers forgot the cooler box which contained the beer and icecream.

So I’m sorry that I get caught up in things and I’m sorry when I say I’ll be leaving soon but then I don’t. I was really sorry the other day when you said you thought I might have stayed at work late so I didn’t have to go home. That wasn’t the case at all! I really did get sidetracked by the magician and the caricaturist and the party that was going on in the office as I left…as unbelievable as that sounds for a business that does financial planning. Sometimes its nice to see something different or unusual in your day – and I had just worked an hour and a half longer than I had expected to so it was a chance to unwind a bit before heading out for the boring train trip home. It wasn’t you. Honest. But what does make me feel slightly better about all this is that you do the same thing.

You worked a stock take at work a while ago and you told me you’d be done by the time I got to the station around 7. Then you said dinner had just arrived for the boys so I caught a bus home instead. Then you called me to say you were almost done but that you might go to the pub for one drink and come straight home. A little while later you called me to say you hadn’t left for the pub yet but you would soon. Then you called from the pub to say you’d be home after 9 once you’d had a drink. Then you apparently had more than one drink because they talked you into another one and you called closer to 10 to say you were finally coming home…Then there are the times that you head out to do “a couple of things” at the shops and you tell me you’ll be about a half hour / forty-five minutes or so and then two hours later you waltz back in the door. The only difference with these situations is that I’m not usually waiting for you to get home, I’m taking advantage of the time in the house by myself.

Anyway, the late nights were over a month ago and this last month, we unfortunately couldn’t include a free trip to Perth which was on the cards for a short while. Your work told you that you were first on the list and they even went to the trouble of sending an email to the staff asking for volunteers to fly to the Perth office and work for two weeks. They said they would fly the partners over on the middle weekend and pay for food and accommodation etc but then they couldn’t get their act together and nobody went. That was a bit disappointing. I was kind of looking forward to a sort of babymoon. Even if we did go to the Margaret River and I couldn’t drink anything but it wasn’t to be. You at least made up alcoholwise with WhiskyLive however.

The only thing that does come to mind for this month was the return of WhiskyLive to the social calendar. Last year they canned it for some reason but this year they held it on a weeknight so you and my dad took yourselves off (or rather mum and I dropped you) in the city so you could partake of many wonderful whiskys. I gather you both had a good time. You weren’t really sober by the time you got home. Ravenous but not sober. Even though they apparently had more food there this year. But I took pity on you however and drove you to McDonalds at eleven o’clock at night instead of going to bed so you could get some food that would help soak it up. Because that’s love.

Lovingly yours,

Your Loving Wife

* Photo taken at Murmur bar on your birthday

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Week Twenty-Seven

Dear Button,

Even though I don’t really have any cause to complain, because I’ve still got a ways to go and I am certainly not “huge”, I am starting to feel “big”. I feel the extra weight when I am walking up stairs and when I am bending over to do the washing up. Bending over to fold clothes is also hell after the first 4 t-shirts. And my belly often feels all distended when I have a big meal. I’m sometimes not sure whether theres enough room in there for you and dinner. Which is to say that I usually cram big meals in there and then think slightly better of it when I feel full to bursting afterwards. I was just thinking “TTT” which is what my Nanna used to say when she was full which meant Tummy Touching Table but lets face it, mine does that anyway at the moment so its really not a reliable gauge.

Its not the most comfortable feeling however and heres a note to self: do not go out walking on a very full stomach. Ever again. Earlier this week I thought it would be a great idea to take the puppy for a walk and it seemed the most convenient time was right after dinner. Now I have been spending part of my days of late power walking up and down the East and West corridors at work in heels so I assumed that a nice evening walk in runners would not be a problem. Which was where I was apparently mistaken. After eating what was probably more than my fair share of butter chicken and rice (hey, it tasted great), Sparky and I took the puppy out and I kid you not, I was literally holding my stomach for about 80% of the walk.

I felt like you were bouncing up and down every time I took a step and like I was going to pull my stomach all out of shape just on the basis of one walk around the neighbourhood. It was not a good feeling. And then there was the fact that I ploughed straight into Sparky because I was looking at an sms on my phone and wasn’t watching where I was going. That was really uncomfortable too. And dumb. I mean he was trying to teach the puppy to heel and had been stopping repeatedly without warning for the last half an hour (which is very annoying to walk behind I must say) so I don’t know why I assumed that he would not do it again whilst I had my head down but he did and then I ran into him and then ouch!

In other news, I never realised that dressing whilst pregnant was going to be such a chore. I mean I’ve already whinged about the lack of suitable warm clothing here but my next gripe is that layering is so complicated! Now that I’m suitably pregnant, I have ceased to have a waist and therefore frequently do not have waistbands as such. I favour the non tramp look however so I prefer items of clothing that cover my belly but that means that pants cover me from the bottom up and my shirts cover me from the top down. And cause they’re all meant to be for differing stages of pregnancy, they are all stretchy, elasticated, clingy, belly-hugging types of clothes.

So on any given day I might wear a bonds maternity tank so the tank goes down over my belly. I want to wear a skirt with boots though so the tights come up over my belly and the tank. I have a nursing top with a couple of layers at the front which goes down over my belly and the tights. I then put on the skirt with the high waistband that comes up over my belly (and it looks best when its over the under layer of the nursing top) but under at least the top layer of the nursing top. Then I have a wool poncho thing which goes over everything. And this is all fine until you have to go to the bathroom and peel yourself open at the middle so you can do your business before putting your wardrobe back together again. I tell you, its complicated!

You are apparently more straightforward.

You are:

  • About 900g which I am told is about the same as a cauliflower ma petite Chou-fleur.
  • A cm longer than you were last week.
  • Sleeping and waking at regular intervals and opening your eyelids (which have been fused since about 11—12 weeks).

I am:

  • Feeling more and more kicks.
  • Trying not to scratch my rash.

I have decided that one of the side effects from being pregnant is a rash that I seem to have acquired on the back of my right knee. I have never really suffered from eczema before and I can’t think of anything different that I have been doing or that I have been exposed to apart from the whole growing another human inside of me so I’m chalking it up to a pregnancy thing. Especially because both my shins are often itchy as well. Sometimes insanely so. Most of the time I can ignore it but I have now resorted to Sigmacourt cream to make it go away because its extremely irritating and in addition to that, not very pretty either. So I am hoping that it does go away soon and that it is just a hormones and body out of whack thing that has made it flare up at the moment. Because Spring is practically here which means shorter skirts and no tights (and incidentally one less layer to worry about – I’m just saying).

Alles Liebe,

Lexelah

Innovation Degeneration At Dishlex

Dear Dishlex,

I was just wondering on which planet your dishwasher designers are currently living because they seem to have designed the drawers in our new dishwasher for maximum inefficiency. Or maybe I should ask where are they living because if you were to answer Lilliput, well at least that would make a little more sense. If everything we owned was about half its current size, I’m sure it would fit beautifully. As it is however, we own normal sized things for actual people and despite my ninja/tetris-like dishwasher packing skills (which seem to allow me to get twice as many items in the dishwasher as a number of other people also responsible for packing it), this is only a help when its full. When I am wedging resting the items against each other as opposed to just resting them on the surface on which they were intended to sit.

Now maybe you all come from offices, dorms or households where all the dirty dishes get stacked on a bench or similarly available surface until it is deemed that the pile would be sufficient to fill a dishwasher. Perhaps you wait for this point before you even attempt the packing itself. This would then mean that it doesn’t really matter what the actual configuration of all the little metal bits on the tray or drawer are because as I mentioned, the contents can just rest on each other anyway. For the rest of the population that stack as they go however, the fact that you can only stand glasses and mugs along the edges of the top level and none in the middle (unless you want them to fall over every time you close the appliance) is very annoying! And when you can’t actually fill up the dishwasher, this may mean that by the end of a wash cycle, you discover that some items have spent the whole time with their open side up and so all you ever get for your troubles are containers full of water. Which you inevitably end up spilling on the dry contents below when you get them out.

But my gripe doesn’t stop there. Don’t be lulled into a false sense of security that maybe you stuffed up the top shelf but at least you got the bottom shelf right because you didn’t. The fact that the prongs on the bottom level are sufficient to hold as few bowls as possible is also a cause for acute frustration. In a location where there are more than four people who eat breakfast, it would be convenient if the prongs were just a little farther apart so we could fit bowls and plates and cutlery & the like but sadly, no. It pretty much becomes one or another sometimes. If the only thing we wanted to fit on the bottom was plates then we’d be laughing but we usually end up trying to fit crockery, carafes, chopping boards and overflow glassware that doesn’t fit on top. Which in some cases is an exercise in futility because in addition to the prongs being quite close together, they are also quite short which means that mugs are ok but hi-ball glasses and carafes tend to topple over.

And the fun doesn’t stop there. The oh so clever cover on the cutlery receptacle which allows you to place each individual piece of cutlery into its own hole is all good and well unless you have one of those BBQ like cutlery sets with the fat plastic handles or those metal cutlery sets with the really wide bases or, you know, peelers and other such kitchen utensils. Now we can take the cover with the individual holes off but I can’t help thinking that it might have been a good idea to make this cover in two halves rather than one piece because most of our stuff fits but all of it doesn’t. And speaking of things that you can detach, the wine glass holders are also all good and well but when they are attached and out in order to accommodate wine glasses, there are not many glasses that fit under them so you get to waste space and when they are “conveniently” folded back, one supposes to be out of the way, glasses don’t even fit properly along the edges so we have to take them off to stack the dishwasher without wine glasses anyway. And the damn things have clamps that snap easily.

All in all, I would have to say that the design of this particular dishwasher should be awarded the status of EF. Epic Fail. Thankfully, I didn’t actually pay for it and its not mine so I don’t have to deal with this when I go home. On the upside though, now I know that if I ever have to go dishwasher shopping, there is a brand that I can strike from the list straight up.

The office gopher and dishwasher stacker.

Week Twenty-Six

Dear Button,

Far out brussel sprout, you must have had a bee in your bonnet or ants in your pants or something this week. You know, figuratively speaking of course since you’re not actually wearing any clothes right now. You were just wriggling about all over the place! And at all sorts of times too. I used to find that you’d be fairly quiet through most of the day but that when I sat down in the train on the way home or when I finally lay down to go to sleep, you’d start to readjust and make yourself comfortable. Or whatever it is that you do. Now, its a different story.

At the moment, you’re active when I’m sitting at my desk working, when I sit down to relax and when I’m just standing or walking around. And also it seems after I eat something. No matter what I’m doing. I’m starting to wonder whether whenever my blood sugar goes up, you wake up. I must say, occasionally its a little disconcerting. Especially at work. I’ll be talking to someone or about to sink my teeth into a task and then you’ll kick me or punch me. Its quite distracting. And I can see it now too. So I have now literally started navel-gazing once or twice. Looking down at my stomach and watching the different bumps and lumps. Its like an episode of Dr Who or Alien where you see someone’s skin move and stretch before a new life form pops out. I am assuming you won’t be just “popping out” however…especially in the immediate future.

So I have been experiencing increased movement this week in addition to that new glorious side effect of being pregnant, reflux. And can I just say that Mr Reflux is so not my friend. He and I don’t get along well. He is in fact an unwelcome guest. I would say he is also a pain in the butt however, anatomically speaking, thats the wrong end. Having Reflux around is more like that constant sensation that there is bile just waiting to creep up the back of your throat. Its not that I feel queasy because I don’t exactly or that I actually have acid or bile in the back of my throat (because I don’t have those either) but I have had this “off” feeling that disappears momentarily when I eat something but lingers the rest of the time. And it leaves a bad taste in my mouth. Both figuratively and literally.

So its not all peace, love and daisy chains at the moment. Its not bad though. It pretty much means everything is happening as it should but its another adjustment. But then, you’re changing constantly.

You are:

  • About 36 cm from head to heel.
  • Weighing about 760g.
  • Hearing both my voice and Sparky’s as the network of nerves in your ears is much better developed than before. In fact each of your five senses are fully developed.

I am:

  • Getting softer ligaments in my lower back which can be stretched or damaged if I wear 3 inch heels daily. Which I don’t. Just thought you’d like to know.
  • At the end of the 2nd trimester and about to get into the apparently yucky 3rd trimester.

So I hope you’re having fun in there.

Alles Liebe,

Lexelah

Week Twenty-Five

Dear Button,

I believe I have turned into the moaning mama. The one that utters an unnecessary grunt or groan sound whenever I bend low, squat down or roll over. Like those female tennis players that need to vocalise every time they have any contact with the ball, I’m not sure that it serves any real purpose and its possibly quite annoying to those that are around to hear but you do it anyway. Like it somehow makes everything easier…because everything is getting that much harder at the moment.

Oh, don’t get me wrong, its not really hard of course. I’m not suffering per se. Its more that it surprises me when I can’t seem to do something today that I had no problem with yesterday. Walking up the two flights of stairs at the train station in the morning is now an effort. All of a sudden I am contemplating whether I can do tasks sitting down rather than standing up when I would not have previously given it a second thought. Even when I go to sidle past a group of people because I want to get by I am realising too late that I’m not as thin as I was any more and I bump my belly (or rather you). Sorry about that.

For all that though, everything is apparently going well and you’re perfectly healthy. I also went and saw the OB this week. On my wedding anniversary. Didn’t plan it that way but then it seemed like a good excuse to take the day off and go and do some other things. Like get photos taken. Sparky and I went back to the photographers that shot our wedding and had some family portraits with the “bump” and the dog. I have a feeling that more photos were actually taken of Reuben than of us in the end but hopefully we’ll get something nice from it. There’s not that much more to report however. I am apparently now right in the middle of that 20-28 week Goldilocks period. You know, not too big, not to small, not too hot, not too cold…just right! But right now…

You are:

  • Getting solid bones
  • Enjoying maturing brain cells
  • In possession of fully developed hands and sexual organs
  • Growing more hair with a distinctive colour and texture and everything (and if you take after both your parents at all, it’ll be a full head of hair on a big head!)

I am:

  •  Noticing you move more and more

Every day, sometimes in both the morning and the late afternoon/evening I can feel you moving around. Thankfully you’re not keeping me up at night but I frequently find that if I have a restful period after hours of movement and activity, that is when you start to dance and do somersaults. Or maybe its karate. Apparently your head is down the bottom and you’re limbs are closer to the top so I’m not always sure whether its kicking or punching that I feel but sometimes you give it a good go. Sparky has even felt you once or twice now. The look on his face the first time was pretty cool. This doesn’t explain why you’re sometimes active whilst I’m at work but maybe you’re just saying hello? Or saying that you want me to move? Although if that’s the case, you probably mean in a way that’s convenient to you and not to me. Can I just say, I tried to cut my toenails last night and boy, was that difficult!

Bis dann,

Lexelah

Month Thirty-Six

Dear Husband,

Happy Anniversary! Three years now. And the last one that it’ll be just the two of us. I know we’re both looking forward to the baby, probably with equal parts apprehension and eager anticipation, but at the same time, there is a small part of me that is sad to see what we have now go. The freedom to go out on the spur of the moment, the freedom to stay out if we want to, the freedom to go to a movie/a café/a party (not that we’ve been doing a lot of that recently, but at least we can!)…At the moment, our life is that much easier. We can both sleep pretty much whenever we feel the need. Sort of. I must admit, you never seem too happy when its me that is exhausted and wants to peel off at 9pm to hit the sack like a nanna but then you don’t try and stop me either. You also do your fair share of turning in early since you’ve been keeping up with this group training gig that often wears you out. Sometimes more than you anticipate. But then that’s what happens when you decide to run a half marathon!

This month, you decided that you were going to go on one of the fortnightly runs that the training group was starting. You don’t run normally of course and you’re not generally a fan of running so you tell me but apparently it seemed like a good idea at the time to head out to Balmain for 7am and join them so off you went. Better you than me I say. Prior to this of course you had been hunting down new shoes (in numerous stores right across Sydney I might add) due to the fact that the sticky tape you had adhered to the old ones (I swear, that’s almost as bad as my old Sea Scout Patrol Leader – Kent used to stick his badges on with blu-tack and that didn’t really work either) wasn’t really going to stand up to sustained movement. Movement that you thought would be a tiring run of around 10k’s. So you got your new shoes on the Saturday and the first thing you did in them was to join a Sunday run on an unplanned route that the group was making up as they went along.

And they went along for about 18k’s!! Now I may be crazy sometimes but dude, I think you missed a whole big step in there. That is like waking up and saying hmm…I haven’t done any training but I think I’d like to run a half marathon today…

But you survived. You completed the run. You made them all think you were nuts when you announced that you’d done it in new shoes (I did tell you that this might not have been the smartest idea on the planet) but then you didn’t get the massive blisters that I expected so it all seemed to go well. Comparatively speaking. You were of course moaning and groaning (loudly) and hobbling around the house for the next week as your body desperately tried to recover but you were very proud of yourself. You told me so. For about two days straight. That’s ok though cause I was proud of you too. I have been really impressed that you have kept up this training thing and I have seen a difference. Emotionally as well as physically. I know some of the results haven’t been coming as fast as you want but they are coming, I promise, so I hope you can stick with it. Although I was hardly surprised when you decided that running by yourself on a cold Canberra morning was just not on your list of things to do.

When it just so happened that the fortnightly run that those in your training group were doing was going to fall on the weekend that we were going down to Canberra for my father’s birthday, you apparently promised the group faithfully that you’d still go for a run (I think I sniggered on the inside). You dutifully looked up a route that you could run around Lake Burley Griffin though and you rationalised that Canberra would be cold of course but after you had been jogging for about 5-10 minutes, you would warm up sufficiently and be fine for the rest of the run. You were told it would be foggy out but you figured that was neither here nor there and you assured me that you were going to get up and head out before 8am. You also asked if I wanted to take the dog to the off leash park before I expected you to finish so we could all travel back to my parent’s place together…and you didn’t have to run up the hill. I grew up in Canberra however and I am not insane so my response to that was pretty much Hell No. I am not giving up a warm bed after what I assume will be a crappy night’s sleep on a sofa bed to stand out in the freezing cold in a coat I can’t do up cause my belly is too full of baby just so that the puppy can go for a run before breakfast. Although I probably put it a little more politely.

And surprise, surprise, we woke up at 8:45 when my phone told us we had 15 minutes to get to breakfast at my friends place a couple of suburbs away. You decided (even after your sleepin because you were tired) that you had enough time for a shower before we left and when we did actually leave the house and get out into the cold and down towards the lake, you were shocked that you couldn’t see more than 10 metres in front of you! Because of the fog. Which my dad told you about. Despite being born in Armidale, you just showed your Sydney boyness right there. My father was born in London. When he says fog, he means fog. Not mist or haze or whatever it was you expected to see, but fog. And even Canberra fog is not like London fog. I’m guessing though that maybe even if you did get up on time, if you’d looked out the window before getting dressed, you might just have crawled back into bed anyway. Since people told you to take a photo of yourself whilst you were out jogging however and put it on facebook, I offered to take a photo of the fog so you could pretend that you really were out there, they just couldn’t see you but you said no thanks. Oh well. Can’t say I didn’t offer.

The rest of the month passed by I think without much to recommend it, or maybe that was comment on…Work happened, weekends came and went and the weather was a bit up and down. Our anniversary was really nice though. Even if you were convinced that you should have planned it differently or planned it at all or whatever.  The OB appointment first thing was necessary and booked in advance but pretty much went like all the other appointments. Everything was fine, I got asked about three times if I had any questions or concerns or things I wanted to discuss, I said no and you sat there quietly not saying a word. Then we both got our hair cut which was something I’d been looking for an excuse to do for ages. Getting my hair cut that was, not yours. Although you did need it too. We then had to fit in lunch before getting anniversary photos taken by our wedding photographers which was a little rushed I will admit.

I’d say we’re preparing for parenthood because we seem to be opting more for the breakfasts and lunches rather than the nights out (or maybe that’s just me). I didn’t really arrange to be somewhere however or tell you that I wanted to fit in a leisurely lunch before the photo shoot which I probably should have. Especially since you have your own schedule now where you’re trying to eat at certain times of the day and the leisurely lunch didn’t seem to be one of them. I did enjoy it though and you assured me that you did also. And then there was the family/anniversary/pregnancy photo shoot. A shoot where I’m pretty sure there were more photos taken of the dog than of us but then, he is pretty cute. I’m not going to turn into a crazy dog lady and put up photos of him all over the house but I am glad that we will have some photos with him. Some photos where we are just a small family. At the beginning of our life together. Just the two of us, you and me, but with a four-legged friend and a bump of things to come. I want to remember this time because we will still be a couple even when we are a bigger family and I’m glad we had those years to be just you and me.

The next year is likely to be crazy for the both of us and a whole heap of stuff will change but please know that I love you and I’m glad you’re the one doing this with me.

Ever yours,

Your Loving Wife

* Photo taken at this year’s Vivid Festival

Week Twenty-Four

Dear Button,

This week was another busy week! I may have moved into a new office last week but that didn’t mean that all the work was over this week and everything would be back to normal. No. The office is now a whole lot bigger and since we haven’t quite got the phones sorted out, there is a lot of up and down and traipsing from one end of the office to the other. Often quite quickly because I have someone on hold and my phone tends to hang up on people if you don’t get back to them promptly. Stupid phone.

So there was all the physical up and down and forward and back in the office this week. There were also several deliveries and bits of furniture showing up which meant trips down to the loading dock and a bit of construction. My boss came out whilst I was sitting on the floor screwing feet onto the sofa and was all “what are you doing!?!” but I maintain that I got a male to tip the couch on its end for me first and I wasn’t exerting myself with the allen key by any means. Besides, I like building furniture. It makes me feel like I have accomplished something which is kind of nice since there are a number of other things I haven’t managed to finish sorting yet.

And that as far as I can remember is all there really is to say about this week. I can feel you start to get a bit stronger and bigger but it’s a gradual thing and its hard to say from one week to the next that there has been a really noticeable change. It usually strikes me when I do something that I haven’t done for a while and the outcome is different that hey, everything is really progressing. Like looking down in the shower and thinking hmm…if I stand up straight then I can’t see my toes any more. Weird. I don’t exactly have to go out of my way to check that they’re still there or anything but nevertheless, when I used to look down, there was feet there. Now theres just belly.

You are:

  • Officially at the edge of viability. Woohoo! That is, most hospitals would automatically attempt every possible life-saving option were you to be born now. PS, that is not an invitation!
  • Still pretty skinny
  • Developing cells that produce surfactant – a substance that helps air sacs inflate easily and stops small sacs in the lungs from collapsing

I am:

  • Supposed to be doing regular and gentle exercise…does walking the stairs to and from the train count? Probably not.

So there you go. Reading a few other accounts of this period of time, it occurs to me that I am relatively unstressed and not bent towards depression which is awesome. I’m not having random anxious moments or panic attacks and I’m still pretty happy with my “I’ll just wing it” plan. The classes through the hospital that Sparky and I are booked into next month may burst my bubble but I hope not. I am also hoping that my relatively relaxed state now will help you be a cruisy baby when you get here but only time will tell I guess.

Alles Liebe,

Lexelah