Wednesday, 2 March 2016

2nd March 2016

**This post may be a little ranty. Well, it's my blog, damn it, and therefore I shall do with it whatever I like!**

So here we are in March already. How time flies!

Except for me, it doesn't.

You might recall my little revelation in the last installation of this blog, back in October when I admitted to the world (which isn't readership is limited) that I was expecting a bambino!

We were given a due date of 26th February 2016. Back in August when we were given that date at our 12 week scan, it was an age away. To see it come and go...and then a few days after go as well (including leap day, which is a bit of a shame - that could have been fun. Probably not for the kid, I guess) it's a PAIN. Literally.

I am now 40 weeks + 5 days. Yes, 5 whole days. Which doesn't sound a lot and in normal day to day life it's not. When you've been preparing for something and are given a date to work towards, only for that not to's a bloody long time.

Plus I am getting loads of messages from people asking if I have had the baby yet and when I say no, I get the 'try this' or 'why not' messages back. I'M TRYING! I DON'T KNOW WHY I HAVEN'T HAD THE BABY YET. BABY DOES NOT WANT TO COME! I know people are just excited for us but it feels like we're being judged and doing it wrong because it's not here yet. I have no control over it, soz. All the usual methods of trying to encourage the baby to come have been tried. I won't list them here but you know what they are. Spicy food is the most commonly suggested one. We eat spicy food all the time. Was never going to be the winner!


I finished work when I was 36 weeks pregnant which was also right at the end of January. Perfect. That would give me 4 weeks with which to get everything sorted for the baby and have some time to relax.

I should have worked longer. I'm so bored.

Granted, I couldn't really work longer as I have developed carpal tunnel syndrome with my pregnancy which means my hands are in agony pretty much every single day and typing is a mare. Yes, it is actually paining me to write this post. You're lucky people.

I do get to wear these gorgeous accessories to bed every night though.

My gauntlets. So attractive. It's supposed to help ease the pain. It doesn't. Plus they're attached with velcro straps. Yeah - when you have carpal tunnel, your fingers hurt, go pins and needles-y and sometimes you lose your grip. So getting them off of a morning...not easy in any way.


I have done as much nesting as I can. There's more I could do but all my enthusiasm has gone out of the window because I have no idea how long I'll have before baby comes! I might still have AGES to need things to do!

So yes, this baby, whomever it is, does not want to come and meet you, world. Are you offended? I am! My midwife says to consider it a compliment. That it's so happy and comfortable where it is, it doesn't want to go anywhere. I'll just take it's really expensive crib back to the shop then, shall I?

Sorry. That episode of Friends where Rachel is really cranky because she is's true. I am Rachel.

ANYWAY. That's me. Grumpy McGrumperson.

So while I sit here in bed, because walking is painful because I have a fully grown baby in my belly that isn't coming out and it weighs quite a lot, I may as well see if I can catch you up on what's been happening since I last wrote.

Not a lot. I'm pregnant and therefore fun things (to me) aren't fun any more.

The end of last year brought lots of annual leave for me. Which I needn't have taken but they only told me that after I booked it all off and made plans.

The office was supposed to be moving from around the corner from here to a place in town. That didn't happen. No idea why. It was also supposed to happen whilst I was on annual leave. At least I didn't miss that, I guess. Although if it does happen now, I'll be on maternity leave. I don't think I was ever meant to be involved in the moving process!

We saved a hedgehog from suffocation. It had buried itself in a load of plastic sheeting and we weren't comfortable with it, so we put it in a box with some cat food, water and blankets. We don't have a garden so didn't want to leave it to roam the alleyways by us, with the rats and broken glass. We called the vets and they asked us to weigh him to see if he would survive winter on his own. He was on the border of the safe weight so we made the decision to keep him overnight.

Yeah, after emptying his bowels everywhere, he did a runner in the night and we never saw him again. Ungrateful so and so.

November was also Paul's birthday, so we went for a few lemonades (me) and beers (him) and a slap up Jamaican meal. Curry goat and rice and pea with dumplings. Delish.

We also decorated the spare room, ready for our little Puddin. Ha. Why did we rush? Sorry. I'll snap out of that.

You know me, I love decorating. This room hadn't been done since I bought the house (which completed on the 26th February 2008...why is that date such a big deal in my life?!) except for a bit of wallpaper and a few shelves. It needed a lot of TLC which we gave it. It still took FOREVER to do though. The walls were dreadful and unevenly plastered so we had to sand EVERYTHING. The paint had chipped on all the skirting revealing that previous owners had painted the whole room bright blue. Bright royal blue. Which required a LOT of primer and gloss to cover. Still probably needs another coat. Which I would do if I could hold a paint brush. But carpal tunnel means I can't.

I love being pregnant, can you tell?! ;)

We chose a shade of pale yellow, after I got obsessed with neutral paint swatches and had about 50 on the wall to choose from. It's a sickness. We both looked at them in different lights at different times of the day and narrowed it down to the yellow or a pale green. I did like the green but it was colder than the yellow.

It took 3 coats of the premium paint to get even coverage. I'd expect that with cheaper paint but not the quality stuff! Never mind, it got done and we're pleased with it. It's just the wood and metal work that needs some extra love but quite frankly I don't think the baby is going to care, somehow.

This is a before pic. Sort of. You can see where I've attacked the cracks etc with the filler!

Paul and sander trying to get rid of the blue under the white and pretty much failing miserably!

This is the best we could do without using paint stripper, which I can't use because oh, I'm pregnant.

A sort-of after shot. This is in bright sunshine with a clean carpet! It is nice and pale in real life, honest!

We also bought some stickers to decorate the walls so it felt a bit more like a baby's room. We can easily remove them and transfer them wherever we want and we're really pleased with them. Here's a sneak peek!

It's so tempting to put googly eyes on all the animals. It almost looks as though we have aready!

Just so you get an idea of scale:

There's a rather dishevelled Paul. Who is 6'3" tall.

So synthetic light makes it look REALLY yellow in there. Ah well, yellow is my favourite colour so I don't mind!

We have very kindly been given a cot bed by one of Paul's colleagues so that has also gone up in there.

The cats have claimed it. Along with the car seat and the pram carrycot which are being stored in the cotbed. We have had to cover everything with towels and cat beds to protect them!

Hmmm. What else...?

We went to visit Ted to pass all Christmas presents on to the family in the Midlands. He got to (sort of) meet his little cousin!

Patting my belly and saying 'baby' is just the cutest thing ever. Fact. Although he now calls me Caiyine and that is also pretty darn cute! He turned 2 yesterday! How can that be?!

What else...?

Oh yes. We had our baby classes! We paid to join a local group to meet other people who have babies due at a similar time to ourselves. They were good. We got to learn things and socialise. Plus Paul got to pretend to be a Daddy to a little one...although he may be demanding a DNA test in the near future...

We named him 'Smash' after a character in 'Friday Night Lights' which we binge watched.

What else?

Paul got a new company car. A shiny red one. I am a non-driving female. I know nothing about cars. It's shiny and red and goes brum. That's about it!

That's about it really. Everything has been about preparing ourselves for our little one's arrival. And we're still waiting.

There were 7 other couples in our baby classes. One couple didn't complete the sessions but we know they have had a little boy. The other 6 couples have also all had their babies. 1 boy and 5 girls.

Does this make my gut feeling that we're having a boy any stronger? Yes. I have thought we'd have a boy since pre-conception and that opinion hasn't changed. I am drawn to boy clothes and toys. I don't know whether that's because I'm used to looking for Ted or general instinct.

Now, to the cats!

Do they know I'm pregnant and things are going on with their Mummy? I really think so. I have to contend with this:

Unflattering bump shot!
Yes, it's a dirty rotten job. Maia loves bump. Bump loves Maia. They kick each other. It's cute. Except when it gets painful. Maia has some sharp claws on her back paws.

I was also extremely privileged this last Sunday when I was feeling sleepy and a bit sorry for myself.



An actual 'he came to me and wasn't forced into it' cuddle from a Barnacle! He was purring too!

Paul was upstairs (I take up a lot of room so no space for him on the sofa) and I had to send him a Facebook message from my ipod to come and have a look for himself. Couldn't reach my phone to text him and he couldn't hear me shout - the football was on.

It's a dear diary moment! He has been a little bit clingy recently. Cats are very perceptive, it seems. I have no idea what they are going to make of Junior if when (s)he eventually quits being a lazy bum and decides to be born. Maia is 10. I have had her for 9 1/2 of those years. She's Mummy's girl. Barn is Daddy's boy but apparently loves his Mama a little at the minute.

So I guess we shall see. I'm a bit worried - I'm not going to lie. They're used to being our babies but then having an actual baby who needs all our attention may put their noses out of joint. Maia will be terrified, of course, but Barn...jury is out.

And that's that.

Except for one last thing. Because I couldn't leave you all without a proper 'bumpie' showing how pregnant I am, could I?! Yes, there's a bump in the pic up there but that makes it look like I have a monster of a belly and that was a few weeks ago...oh...yeah...I DO have a monster of a belly!

Make up free and fake smile. You're just lucky I brushed my hair! The postman didn't get the same luck this afternoon! This pic was taken especially for this post as I typed. You're welcome.

For comparison's sake - he's the last pic I gave you at about 20 weeks pregnant. A whole half-pregnancy ago!

OH LOL! I felt massive there as well! HAHAHAHAHA PAST CAROLINE. Little did you know!

The one teeny tiny consolation I have is that if you look at me from behind (which I encourage, by the way), I don't look pregnant! I'm all bump and all up front. I've not really put any weight on as such (except in the belly and the udders) so hoping I won't need a whole new wardrobe after this child decides to grace us with it's presence!

I'm just grumpy because I'm impatient to meet our baby. Paul and I are so ready to get to know the little person that likes to dance at silly o'clock in the morning! We want to know if it's Phoebe or Phoebo!

What do you guys think? Girl or boy? Tiny baby or chunky monkey? WILL IT EVER ARRIVE?!

Feel free to comment with any guesses. And name suggestions. We're still on the market! My colleagues were suggesting loads of boy names before I left and all I kept thinking was 'great cat name'. Doesn't help with the baby thing!

I will post again after baby is here. No idea when. I'm sure there will be a social media announcement. Probably made by someone else, not by us, completely stepping on our toes to tell the world that our baby has come before we are ready to tell the world. Not that it's a pet hate of mine or anything...
Borrowed from the Kicks Count Facebook page. 

So to sum up - due dates are a load of rubbish that should be taken with a pinch of salt and should be renamed as guestimate date because only 5% of babies actually arrive on their due date which should therefore indicate THAT IT IS WRONG. Pregnancy makes you no fun and extra grumpy towards the end, except when you're all nesty, which is actually kinda fun and please let us tell the world we've had a baby - if you want to congratulate us, do it via direct messaging or text. Yeah.

Sort it out, science.

Y'all have missed me, haven't you?!

Catch you on the flip side, when I'll be a Mummy! Unless this baby never comes and I feel the need to rant again...

Friday, 9 October 2015

...Did I fall asleep?...

...for a little while.'s been a while, hasn't it?

It's strange - for the first few weeks, it was very odd that I wasn't writing every day. Now I don't know how I had the time to do it all! It's probably a good thing I stopped though, as I am very boring and am running very short on storage space for all the pictures I was taking! Am currently working on that though.

So. What's been happening since I last blogged in January? I honestly can't really remember!

This may be a looooooong post. Soz.

In January I had a mass clear out in my loft. I thought I had a LOT of stuff up there but it turns out it was just a right mess and whilst I was able to throw a lot away, the space is a darned sight better than it was!

 So. Much. Stuff.

It is always a good idea to sort through the stuff though. As you never know when you'll find those long lost wasp nests that you were keeping for a rainy day.

Yup, was real happy to find those. Luckily, Daddy Hartley helped me sort them out and they were empty. Phew! Now it's tidier, they will hopefully not come back...wishful thinking, I know!

What else have we done?

Well, it's not all been fun. Paul was off work with depression for a couple of months, which was horrible. One of the worst times in our lives, in fact. He's over it now, with the odd off day and was very lucky to work for a company who couldn't do enough to help and support him.  It has been a struggle but with the aid of CBT treatment and a Mindfulness course, his outlook on everything has changed and he has come out stronger and more awesome.

While he was bad, we didn't really do a lot, to be fair. We did go to Wales for a long weekend with the intention of climbing Mount Snowdon, however Paul did his back in the day before so we got the train 3/4s of the way up. Couldn't get to the top, sadly, as it was still snowy. Which means we'll have to go back again! It would have been the perfect day to climb, the weather was lovely but alas, it was not meant to be.

This is the train, by the way.

Shameless selfies!

This was the view from our room in the guest house. That is Snowdon (apparently) right there. How lovely is that?!

That was in March, I believe. We've not made it back yet. One day!

Hmmm, what else?!

Barney got a collar and tie and he lived up to his name sake from HIMYM!

Maia turned 9 and carried on being a mama's girl, of course

We ate a lot, drank a fair bit, went to the cinema a couple of times and planned some home decoration that we've been meaning to do for YEARS! Literally!

Our bedroom was the first room we decorated when we got the house back in 2008. We haven't touched it since. Except to peel off paper which I can't confirm was ever stuck to the wall properly! It was on when we moved in but had been bubbling and hanging off for as long as I can remember.

We chose our colours, got the equipment and got on with clearing the room of all the crap that generally seems to accumulate in a room that never changes!

So we had all good intentions. Strip the room of all the paper and clean down the walls then get a base coat on the plaster, then the next day we can start painting.

Yeah...slight set back on that one...

This was lurking behind the wallpaper!

Yep - I screamed. Out loud. It scared the wotsits out of me so can you blame me?!

Just so you get an idea of scale:

It's rather large. Just for comparison, Paul is 6'3".

We can't just paint over it though. I mean, that would be cruel to the future occupants of our house! So we made the decision that the wall needs a layer of wallpaper putting over it to save that moment of fear for someone else as well.

But that would need to wait for the next day. Until then, the wardrobe would have to go in front of the face so I could sleep in there!

Paul's Dad came over and helped us wallpaper. He made the decision that he'd wallpaper all the walls for us, which is fine. It did mean it would take a little longer to get everything done, but if it all looks good then it's worth the wait.

Wallpaper done - time for colour!

 Yep - a lovely shade of cream called 'Galadriel' graces the wall.

Very nice!

Then for a feature wall, we went for a brave choice called 'Sail the Seas'.

I was a little scared of the colour...but went with it...

And I really like it!

Then gloss which really made it work!

Next came carpet! We had horrible plain floorboards which were scratched and uneven before, and it was my new year resolution to get carpet before winter comes. I DID IT!



Yes, we have new sockets as well! Isn't it purrrrrrrty! We got the best underlay that we could and it's so plush! Love it!

Then we had to furnish the room!

 Drawers, wardrobes, everything.

We did end up putting doors on it!

One of these days, I'll take the 'after' pictures of the room. We finished in June and I've not done that. Oops.

What else has happened...

We went on holiday and I only took pictures of french kitties (see my instagram account for those pics!).

Paul's friend John married his lady love Becky in July!

Photo courtesy of Becky's facebook page and is not mine. Thank you whomever took this photo!

My very good friend Chris and his wife had their first child, a little girl! She's totes adorbs and tiny and stuff!

Photo taken by me on Chris's camera and therefore even though it's my artistic skill, it's technically stolen from Chris's Facebook page. Hope that's shiny, pal?!

My friend Stevie married his lovely lady Danni at the end of September!

Photo taken by my friend Karina Fullwood and borrowed from her Facebook page.
And last weekend, my friend Lee tied the knot with the beautiful Bernadette!

Photo taken by Lee's friend Abby and taken from Lee's Facebook page.
 (I really need to take more/better photos at events. Mine were all shaky - hence the borrowing of other people's pictures)

What else...




Oh yeah...


Paul and I started work on what could possibly be our greatest ever creation!

Yup. So this is happening! I'm not just eating all the pies! This picture was taken back in June.

This one in August at 13 weeks!

And this one today at 20 weeks!

Our little Puddin' is happy and healthy and waves it's foot at all of you blog readers who still have me on your feed!

We haven't really advertised my little situation. There are many reasons for it, some silly and some sentimental, but mostly because we wanted to make sure that everything is ok and healthy as far as they can tell and it is! Yay!

So, blog readers, you gorgeous lot, this is our little secret, k?! Because it's fun to know things that other people don't, dontcha think?!

I have been ridiculously ill with morning sickness and whilst I wasn't so bad I ended up in hospital, the nausea started around week 5 and got worse and worse and worse. Week 16 is when it started to ebb and I'm mostly ok now, despite a few days a week with me feeling (and sometimes actually being) sick. There are things I can't eat or drink because it reminds me of my morning sickness. I hope that goes away soon. I don't miss drinking alcohol one bit (that is the only positive I have from my morning sickness!) and am a big fan of Victorian Lemonade. The slightly sour cloudy stuff. MMMMM. No other cravings as such. As yet. Is that disappointing?

I have some ideas for blog posts for further down the line before the end of Feb when Puddin' is due, so hopefully I won't be so much of a stranger for the next 20 weeks.

20 weeks. Crikey.

Here's me, this morning, full of cold and caked in make up to hide the greyscale (eczema) which is slowly taking over my face.

Iccle bump! I still just look fat to myself when I look down so I'm trying to embrace the bump as it's only going to get bigger! EEK!

And to end the post with images far prettier, here are my fur babies, who have NO idea what's going to hit them in 20 weeks time!

Catch you on the flip side, folks!

Oh, and all name suggestions are more than welcome. We are stumped for a male name! The cooler and more literary the better! :)

You're all great.