Month Seventy-Seven

Dear Husband,

We tell anyone who asks just how happy we were with the decision to move here. We both consider it the best move we could have made and the glow has not yet worn off. You still tell me periodically that you love living here. That you are happy we relocated. That you are glad we get to bring up our kids here. And I still find myself having quiet moments where I walk up the drive and think wow, we really do live here now. Everything we have is definitely not something I saw us being able to afford a couple of years ago and I was wrong to ever think that this town was a compromise for Canberra. You wanted acreage and I didn’t. You wanted rural and I didn’t. Our new home was the “compromise”. Every time we drive into Canberra though, I think thank God I didn’t move back there. Not that there is anything wrong with Canberra. I have friends and family there but its not my home anymore.

Neither is Sydney. I don’t miss that place either. I went back for three nights this month to officially finish up work and to go to the Bookclub Christmas dinner. Rather than taking public transport, I got a hire car to get me to Kellyville where I was staying. I arrived back into Sydney to traffic and rain. I then had to take an hour long bus ride into the city. I worked long days just trying to get loose ends tied up and then had a long trip back to family where the house that is normally kept at arctic circle temperatures at night was in the midst of a broken air conditioner episode and a busted water heater episode. So my big fat pregnant self spent a few nights sweating it out in the heat and humidity before declining a cold shower in favour of a wet washer wipedown in the morning. My trip was just awesome.

Work was equal parts flattering and frustrating too. The first day I was there, we had the group Santa party and catch up. As per usual, we’d run through social updates such as new people coming, old people leaving and birthdays. As an agenda item, they welcomed a new employee to the team. They talked about someone from the wider group retiring and then they talked about an EA from the dealer group resigning. And then they went through a business update. I was completely flabbergasted. I was also extremely hurt and practically in tears. I couldn’t believe that when all the offices were brought together via a videoconference (ie. probably my last opportunity to see the interstate people), the executives could talk about a staff member from the wider group retiring (ie not an actual employee of the dealer group at all) and someone from within the team resigning after six months and they couldn’t spare a breath to say goodbye to someone who had been there for five years! Not a word was said.

I got an sms from the Group Managing Director late that night to say this was actually on purpose because they thought it lessened the occasion of me leaving to put it in the same breath as someone who had been with the company only six months. They had actually planned a morning tea to say farewell to me so I should act surprised when that happened. Now I am grateful for the morning tea. I loved the native flower arrangement they gave me (way nicer than flowers requiring a vase). I also appreciated the kind words. My first boss and my last boss both spoke and it was lovey to be appreciated. Also, an executive with whom I considered I’d previously had a precarious relationship was SUPER nice to me…which was a little weird. On the whole though, I have to say that I think the lack of a mention at the group catch up was handled really badly.

So there was that moment where I was incredibly bitter and upset and there were the meetings where I was trying my best not to get frustrated. For weeks I had been asked to prepare proper handovers to allow others to complete tasks. I did my best to cram five years of knowledge into manuals and emails and conversations so that I left everyone prepared. I got the feeling at times though that some of what I had to say was in one ear and out the other. The expectation being I guess that if I was going to contract at least until the baby was born, I was practically on call so anything that seemed like it should be in the “too hard” basket was really still in the “Lexie” basket. I could just take care of it myself. Which I am happy to do. I want to still do work for the company but I was trying to get them to the point that they didn’t have to rely on me if for some freak reason they couldn’t utilise me. It was weird to walk out late and by myself on Friday evening feeling like I’d just left a chapter smack bang in the middle…

And then the very next week, there was Christmas. Oh, Christmas…a glorious time for some. Genevieve was definitely full of wonder at the sheer multitudes of presents for her. It’s the first Christmas she has really been able to appreciate that part. For the rest of us, it seems slightly like an exercise in trying not to kill each other. Or sarcastically slam each other into a wall. For me, Christmas was a bit of a pain in the backside. Because apparently I failed to tell you that despite the fact that we have celebrated Christmas with my family for the past seven years and every year we have eaten a hot roast as part of lunch, I did in fact expect that a cooked roast lunch would be part of our festivities this year and personally happened to want this as well. I stupidly made the assumption that when my sister discussed providing some meat and when I spoke about the fact that I’d like some roast chicken or some roast lamb, it wasn’t just a passing fancy that I was aching to drop like a hot potato. And speaking of potato, when I happened to specifically mention that I wanted either some roast chicken or some roast lamb at lunch because I happen to like that part of Christmas, I apparently failed to mention, specifically, that I would like some vegetables to go along with that. And Lordy did the shit hit the fan when I wanted to include hot vegetables with the hot meat for the hot lunch.

Then there was the present. I tried to communicate that there wasn’t much I really wanted for myself because the current things on my wish list are quite expensive and rose gold jewellery in general is not terribly common. I mentioned that one of these days I’d like a watch but I’ve never seen anything I liked which cost less than a couple of hundred dollars. You were immediately well have you looked? Are you even trying to find something? You then went and promptly found a second-hand one within our price bracket but got real pissed with me when I took one look at the picture and said no because it has diamonds on it. Just like with the house hunting, you never asked me specifically what I was looking for in a watch. You just blithely went ahead and made an assumption that I would have no other criteria for a piece of personal jewellery. Later you went and did exactly the same thing again. You found some earrings that you liked and asked me to take a look. When I dutifully did so but mentioned that they weren’t really to my taste, you got frustrated all over again which I think is kind of unfair.

We ended up settling on getting me a fitness band which will fulfil the role of sleep tracker, step counter and watch. That sentence makes it sound like this was an easier process and one that I didn’t get grief over but that would incorrect. You went a couple of rounds with me about why I wanted a fitness band and what exactly I thought I was going to do with it as well. Christmas really was a pain in the bum.

And on top of all that, there was also the episode this month which landed you on crutches! Now that the weather is much warmer, you and Genevieve went to the pool. You were getting ready to go when she decided to play with a pool noodle right near the waters edge. After you had removed all her flotation aids. She unfortunately dropped the  noodle into the pool and promptly tried to retrieve it by herself. And that was when she fell in. At which point you hightailed it to the pool’s edge as you were not right beside her and jumped in feet first. Into the shallow end. This screwed you up emotionally for a couple of days an physically for a bit longer. It also scared the pants off Genevieve. Your reaction that is, not the pool. Now don’t get me wrong. I am glad that no one was seriously hurt (or worse). I think it was an accident and no one was at “fault”. I do kinda wish that you had paid a little more attention before you jumped in though. It sounded as though you were right there scant seconds after she went in so she needed help and not panic. I admit I wasn’t there though so maybe that is not fair.

And that wraps up this year. Next year will bring with it a whole new set of challenges, memories and changes I’m sure. In the meantime though, we have now passed the Christmas hurdle so happy New Years Eve to you and may our next year be a great one.

Silly seasonally yours,
Your Loving Wife

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Day 238 (AC)

Dear Peanut,

Merry Christmas! From all your family to you. Including your exhausted, puffy and big-bellied mama! I don’t know whether I am eating more this time around or exercising less but I am definitely bigger than I was with your sister. So much so that some clothes that fit me last time I was pregnant are too small this time and I actually had to take all my rings off. That was painful. They weren’t actually cutting off circulation but it had gotten to the point that I noticed them on my fingers and if nothing else, I remember how unattractively swollen I was after delivering a baby that I thought it best to remove the jewellery now lest it be a real issue later. Cause there was one of those rings I definitely did NOT want to be cut off! So instead I had I had to work off the three rings on my 4th finger over several days as it was too painful to do them all at once.

On the plus side of my many kilos, I don’t seem to suffer from pregnancy cankles or excessive water retention but I’m definitely not feeling trim, taut and terrific. More tired, tubby and tetchy. My conviction growing stronger every day that I really don’t want to do this again. It was like that in the first trimester when I was doing a lot of thinking that this pregnancy better stick because I wasn’t planning on a re-run. Then I got to the 2nd trimester stupidity when I started thinking that a big family would be awesome and I could totally go another round and maybe get another girl so I could use all those girl clothes again…I was clucky while I was already pregnant! I am now back to the original standpoint. Not that its not going to be awesome to have you but I think you’re destined to be a younger child and not a middle.

I met a lady the other day who has recently given birth to a daughter. I saw her talking to another young child that was obviously hers and asked if she had just the two. She said no, she now had eight. All singletons. So respect to her. Really. But I am so not going there. I’m pretty sure that your dad doesn’t want me going there either. With the brain-mouth filter in hiatus during the pregnancy, I haven’t been the nicest lady around and at the rate I’ve been going, given another go around, next time I probably really would bite his head off!

So once again this does just seem like a bit of a whinge. Please believe me that I did have these grand plans initially of keeping these a lot lighter and hopefully an entertaining record of what my journey was like with you. I’m not sure it quite worked out like that. Although in the interest of adding anecdotal items, it just so happens that our current bench height which I think is a fraction higher than the old house is incidentally the perfect height to rest the belly on while I am doing the washing up. I am not great on my feet in one place at the moment but this almost makes it bearable to perch my poochy self on the edge of the bench. As long as I don’t splash myself with blisteringly hot water. I have already lost sensation to the skin around my flat belly button but below that (where I can’t see), I can still feel and damn it, washing up water is hot.

Much love,
Mama

Day 231 (AC)

Dear Peanut,

This was a big week for us. It started out with a growth scan which told me some of what I already knew (i.e. you are going to be big) and some good news that I was waiting on – I am no longer high risk and am cleared to deliver naturally. Although I must admit that a small part of me was probably hoping that the decision would be taken out of my hands and I would be required to not go through labour again and would need a caesarean. I know the recovery is worse with a Caesar and also that plenty of women would give their right arm to deliver naturally. I also know that I had a really good experience last time so its not as if I am concerned about repeating a bad experience but I do remember that it was hard and tough and now I know that I am going to go through it all again.

But you are also looking very healthy so that is good. Everything is looking largely (being the operative word) as it should and things are flowing in the right direction. Which it took several attempts to ascertain because you would not stop moving. Your sister was in comparison a very restful baby. You are on the other hand a very energetic little thing. You are constantly pushing and stretching and wriggling so it will be interesting to see what you are like when you arrive. Whether you’ll be a Houdini that is impossible to keep wrapped or whether you’re calm and peaceful (yeah right). Cause when you’re not specifically moving, you also now get hiccups. I have felt this before and wondered whether I would again with you – apparently so.

And with the rest of the week, I worked in Sydney. I drove up this time instead of taking the bus so I couldn’t just doze or rest on the three hour trip. I was also staying with family so I was a long way out of the city which meant early mornings and late nights getting back. There was a lot of walking around the office and to and from bus stops as well so it was more exercise than I am currently used to which I am sure will leave me wiped next week. This week I have probably been running on adrenalin. The change of pace and scenery kicked me into another gear during the day so whilst I was tired, I wasn’t exhausted as I was in and around the city. I managed some late nights too because I was either up late chatting or out at bookclub with the ladies. I would totally crash when I finally got to bed of course (and it was awesome to have a bed to myself with no toddlers, no partner disturbance and no dog) but I slept better than I have for a while so that helped. The humidity was notable and uncomfortable though so I was once again glad that we made the move that we did and we’re out of Sydney. Its fun for short periods of time but I really don’t miss it. I think you’ll be a lot happier here than you would have been in our old house too!

Much love,
Mama

Day 224 (AC)

Dear Peanut,

I don’t think that anything of major import happened this week. Although I am posting under the early December date, I didn’t actually write this letter on that date so I guess that means I was probably tired and drained. When I wasn’t working I was probably trying to rest. I think I cancelled the midwife appointment that I had scheduled because I really felt that I didn’t need it. Sixty odd k’s is a long way to drive to tell someone that I don’t have any questions.

This cancelled appointment also means that I would have morning tea with one of the ladies from town and her toddler though. She lent me a couple of maternity tops to wear which was really nice because my summer wardrobe that fits is sadly lacking. That’s still really all I have to tell you about the week though. I’m just plodding along really and you seem to be growing on your merry way as well.

Much love,
Mama

Week 157

Dear Genevieve,

Because. Because, because, because, because, because…(not for the wonderful things he does). But because your favourite top is wet, because it has not yet been put out to dry, because it needs to be dried after it has been washed, because I washed it the other day, because you got it dirty, because you spilled food on it, because you wouldn’t wear a bib, because you didn’t want to, because you’re contrary child….very contrary!

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We have been suffering from “The Why” this month. All children get to this stage so I’m told and it is apparently a good thing that you’re questioning your environment and starting to put cause and effect together. However, it is also bugging the crap out of me. Because sometimes I think you ask why just to have something to say. Particularly when I tell you something at the same time as telling you the reason behind it (just as normal conversation) and then you ask me for the reason! Seriously child!?! Do you like silly questions or do you just not listen? And when I think that you have just asked me a silly question, I sometimes turn it back on you to ask what you think and you give me the right answer. So then I’m frustrated all over again that you asked what is therefore a silly question in the first place!

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I am trying to be considerate of your curiosity and not to resort to it doesn’t matter or worse yet, because I said so. I am trying to be patient but as my belly gets bigger and bigger with your brother, my fuse is getting that much shorter and my brain-mouth filter more non-existent. Sorry about that. It would really help me though if you were a little less lazy and thought just as much about what you said as what you wanted to know. Although perhaps I should also practice what I preach with your father a bit more, yeah?

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So apart from that, given the date I am writing this for November, you have also just turned three! You are growing up fast and are turning into quite the little lady. With her own definite opinions too. You were very particular about when you were and were not three. You have been showing us for weeks on your fingers how old you were and how old you were going to be but I think you associated actually being three with your party. Because you were apparently still two before your party and after it! And your party was clearly the only appropriate place for anyone to sing happy birthday to you. You got very upset when absent family members called you at the end of the day and wanted to sing to you over the phone. You didn’t want a bar of it.

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It was a long day for you and you did really enjoy your Peppa Pig party so all things considered, your dad and I figured the day was a win. You and I went to storytime at the library and then your friends walked down to the park with us and we had food and helium balloons and a long play on the play equipment. Your dad and a friend had decorated the tables at the park and you happily ran around having heaps of fun for a few hours. In theory, all the presents were cool but you were more excited to play with your friends than get stuck into your new possessions which I think is a great thing. You were exhausted by the end of the day.

And speaking of exhaustion and sleep which I wasn’t really but I am now, you seem to be back to often waking once in the middle of the night. Not all the time but its not a once in a blue moon thing either. Which is inconvenient for me because I am the only one that hears you because your father could sleep through a freight train passing over the house. So I will be the one who gets up to you in the night and then we seem to have created a routine whereby you come in to us in the morning. And hop into our bed. Which has its plusses and minuses. On the plus side, if you come in after 6am and crawl into bed with us, you go straight back to sleep and will happily doze quietly for the next two hours. The unfortunate part of this is that you sleep on my side which makes it very hard for me to toss and turn which I need to do to alleviate the discomfort of the belly. Which is why I have taken to top and tailing with you some days. If we send you back to your own bed though, you we may have to settle you again and you won’t sleep nearly as long. So it’s a catch 22 really. I probably get about the same amount of sleep either way but the quality is better when I stay in my own bed.

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Other than that, we haven’t has as many tantrums this month which has been wonderful. We have had a lot of attitude and whingeing though which is something we’re working through. Sometimes you can be the most delightful child. I may want to sit down for some quiet so I’ll ask if you’d like to watch some Genni tv and you smile prettily and say oh thank you mama very enthusiastically. If we actually prompt you to use your manners when we give you something else like food or drink however, we can be lucky to get a mumbled thanks. Contrary child, contrary.

Alles Liebe,
Lexelah

Day 217 (AC)

Dear Peanut,

You have lots of hair. So the OB tells me anyway. We had another scan this week and amongst the black and white blobs that only seem to make sense at the checkups and never on the pictures I come home with, there are fuzzy bits that are apparently hair.

This doesn’t surprise me at all because your sister came out with a full head of dark hair when she was born. No baldies in this family. There may be a blondie as your father had very light coloured hair when he was young and your sister definitely got lighter in the months after she was born but I don’t think you’ll be suffering from no hair.

Apart from that, I still feel huge an exhausted if I have to stand in one place for more than five minutes. Moving is not so bad. It feels like a full on cardio workout sometimes but actually getting somewhere tends to take my mind of feeling like I have to waddle to make any progress. And I think I do waddle occasionally. If I’m really tired and I’m not thinking about it, I think there is a little more side to side than there is straight forwards but then that could be in my head.

Everyone tells me that I look great and you are all out in front. Personally I think that is people trying to cheer up the big fat pregnant lady but maybe I’m just biased. And cranky from lack of sleep. I could definitely do with more sleep at the moment. And not having to turn over 436 times a night. Sometimes it feels like all I do is turn over at night which is an arduous process and frequently has me grabbing the edge of the bed for leverage. I am positive I look completely ungainly. I remember at my antenatal classes or your sister, everyone had to say what they were looking forward to after the baby was born. Many were looking forward to breathing again. That wasn’t and isn’t my problem. Right now I can tell you that I am looking forward to not having to turn over in bed all the time! I’m just saying.

Much love,
Mama