Saturday, 29 December 2012

Never fear, I've changed it now

Motherhood does strange things to you.

In recent months I have realised that I can not only survive but totally function on 3 hours sleep a night, that baby sick can be successfully dabbed off most things without showing and that singing the muppet show theme tune in a ridiculously high pitched voice will shut my son up (as will wild applause; he's my boy alright).

But it also makes you dippy as hell.

A year ago I was able to talk on a range of subjects with no issue.... current affairs, world events, the merits of a variety of different cheese based snacks (mini cheddars or wossits... hmmm....) and then Rex arrived.

I had always heard of baby brain but had been dubious, not that I would have publicly said that, but it was always something that would happen to other people.

And then one morning, around 8 weeks after the boy arrived, I found myself sitting on my bed after a shower with only one shaved leg.

I had stepped in the shower, lathered up, shaved my right leg and got out. Evidently I wanted to keep leftie slightly fuzzy.

Which brings me to today when I was buying a paper in the newsagent and I suddenly remembered,

'Cheesecake42! That is my blogger password!'

And so I return to you, full of posts to come about Christmas, babies and why you should never put cheese in a dishwasher.

Just you wait.

Saturday, 17 November 2012

And he is doomed

In my quest to get out more and not live like a hermit, I took Rex to the local mother and baby group. It was great, we sat, we chatted, we ate cake; what is not to like?

We came to the part of the session where it was 'song time'. We all gathered in a room and sang the customary nursery rhymes. There was Polly Put the Kettle On, Miss Polly Had a Dolly, Happy and You Know It and The Wheels on the Bus. Rex beamed the whole way through, he was charm personified, there were even giggles.

Then the nice woman organiser announced it was time for the church songs. They started with My God is So Good. Rex started to cry. As soon as we got to Jesus Loves Me, he was in full on scream.

The nice woman announced it was bible story time.

Rex stopped crying.

'Jesus spent 40 long nights...' the woman read.

Rex yawned and went to sleep.

The dirty little heathen.


It is tiring work being a devil child

Thursday, 15 November 2012

And so it starts

Rex watched the England game with Steve.



It went something like this:

Steve: We are the ones in white Rexy. Yep. White.

Rex: Oooaahhh.

Steve: No baby boy. Sweden are shit.

Rex: Aaaaooooo.

Steve: I know Rex, that is Joe Hart. Mummy fancies him but then mummy fancies a lot of people.

Rex: Raaaraaa.

Steve: Exactly Rex. That's Ashley Young. He is appalling. What do we say? A-pall-ing.

Rex: Eeeeeeee!

Steve: That is what I said! How he plays for England is beyond me.

Rex: Whurrrrrrrrrrr.

Steve: I know. I may switch over.

Rex: Hic. Hic.

Steve: Now don't be petulant and get the hiccups. This is the start of a long and disappointing road for you. It is the curse of being an England fan.

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

He was more than a little offended..

I took Rex to the clinic. In theory we are meant to go every week but, since the health visitor stopped visiting us at 6 weeks, I haven't bothered. I am an attentive mother like that.

Anyway, we went. We dutifully lined up and waited. We got to the front where you basically strip your baby and pop them on the scales; it is a dignified activity.

The health visitor, a smiley lady with a singsong voice, looked at the scales:

Health Visitor: So, 13lb 13oz. Let me just write it down on my chart. There. Wait... Tilly is only 3 weeks old...

Me: Umm...

HV: ...and last week she was only 7lb 4oz...

Me: Umm...

HV: ...that is a a 6lb 9oz weight gain in only a week...

Me: Um...

HV: Oh my goodness! What could have caused that weight gain?!

Me: (Looking at naked Rex on the scales) Maybe the penis that 'Tilly' grew in the week..

Sunday, 11 November 2012

You remember Alex...

She came up last weekend.

On the train she met a dwarf who was on his way to Market Weighton to star in a horror movie about the life of Jimmy Saville.

Could only happen to her...

Saturday, 10 November 2012

How times have changed

The Saturday night before Halloween, Steve went out. He put on real going out clothes, spritzed himself with aftershave and headed into town for the evening.

Me and the baby went to my mum's where we played with everyone and watched the Muppets. If I had been able to have a glass of wine then my evening would have definitely beaten his.

Anyway, around midnight I packed up Rex and our things and bundled him in the car to go home. He was crying, he was tired and cranky. Knowing that a drive in the car very often sends him to sleep, I decided to text Steve and offer to pick him up from wherever he may be.

What can I say, I was feeling brave and daring. In my head I was superwoman with real powers. I mean, I can produce milk to feed a baby so I was obviously capable of driving into town and collecting a tipsy husband.

We set off. All was going well. The baby went to sleep, the roads were clear and, before I knew it, I was turning into the city centre.

It was as I was dodging the drunk people who were falling into the road as the pubs kicked out that the baby woke up. Realising that it was dark and he was not being cuddled or fed, he started to wail. Loudly.

The traffic lights turned red and I stopped. Locking doors so that Halloween revellers couldn't try and get in, I started singing his favourite song 'Joshua Giraffe' at the top of my lungs. His wailing grew louder.

The lights turned green just as I got to the line about Joshua being trapped in a zoo with buffalo poo.

I pulled up on a side road, just by the club that Steve said he was in. I clambered into the back seat to try and comfort the baby while texting Steve to say we were here. He replied saying that they would be 10 minutes.

The baby would not be comforted so I did what has come to be the solution to many problems.

I got my boobs out.

Yep, I decided to feed Mr Rex to shut him up.

So there I was, in the back seat of my car, feeding my 8 week old son at quarter to one in the morning, occasionally being stared at by passing witches, skeletons and bunnies (I know, I was confused too, why would you be a bunny for Halloween?).

It took Steve and his friend Mike another 20 minutes to find us and then I had the fun of driving them home while Mike cooed over the baby in the back.

Damn, I'm a good wife.

Thursday, 8 November 2012

Night time

I remember the night as it used to be. It had too forms, occasionally it was a delicious time of drink and dancing, kissing and laughing but mainly it was purely wondrous; sleep and slumber and dreaming and cosying. It was magical.

In later August this, of course, all changed.

This little boy arrived.



And from then on, it became a time of awakeness. Not that I particularly minded, offspring have some sort of power which makes you happy to see their little faces, even at 3am.

As the nights wore on I came up with things to fill the time while the boy was feeding; suduko puzzles failed - too much brain power for that early plus require a light, likewise, reading was not an option.

TV and wandering round the house have become my preferred tactics (mainly the former as it can be done from bed), and, from these activities, I have discovered a multitude of things that I never knew before.

1) Some TV channels still stop broadcasting after about 3am. I know!

2) E4 shows all kinds of wonderful comedies in the middle of the night, back to back Big Bang Theory, old One Tree Hill, The War at Home, Home Improvement and According to Jim.

3) Night time is v v lonely, you will feel that you are the only person in the world so you will look out of the window in the hope of seeing a light on in a house. Instead you will see the swarthy figure of a man walking down your street in a long black coat. You will momentarily feel comforted, 'Hooray! Another human being!', you will think and then you will wonder, what is a man doing walking down your quiet village street at 4am on a Tuesday? He must be a murderer! Or a vampire! Yes, he is definitely a vampire! Vampires always wear long black coats and stride with purpose, you have seen it time and time again on Buffy! You then realise that you are standing gawping at him at a window with only a 9 week old baby for protection, so you duck under the windowsill, waking said baby.

4) They show Monday night American football very early on a Tuesday morning. I like the New England Patriots especially one of their linebackers Dont'a Hightower, mainly for his name.

5) Nothing happens on facebook between 1am and 7am unless it is a Friday or Saturday night, then there will be a flurry of drunken activity around 2.30am.

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Some tales

You must excuse the lack of postage because a very sad thing happened.

I stood on my laptop and smashed the screen. Twas tragic. I cried. More than once. So this post comes to you through the exciting method of plugging said laptop into the tv thus making a massive computer which is Very Cool (although difficult to buy secret presents on).



Anyway, the nature of this post is birth.

The birth of Mr Rex was not straight forward, of course it wasn't, I mea, was it ever going to be with Steve and me at the helm? And, I would like to share the story of it with you. I do, however, understand that not all of you will want to read about me in labour (although we ended with a c section so there will be little talking of vjay-jays) so I will be posting the story in a separate section of the blog. I am still trying to work out how to create such a section so bear (bare?) with me.

I do, however, have to tell you the most brilliant bit of giving birth. It was not hearing my newborn son's cries for the first time, no, that went more like this:

Doctor: He's here!

Me: He is? Really?

Steve: Yes! Can't you hear him crying?

Me: No!

Nurse: There! Did you hear that cry?

Me: No!

Surgeon: He's crying! Can you hear him?

Me: Maybe I could if you all stopped asking me!

Silence

Me: I still can't hear him!

Steve: There, that little squeek then. That's him!

Me: I thought that was a dog!

Steve: A dog? We are in an operating theatre! Logically, why would there be a dog here?

Me: It is 11pm on a Bank Holiday Monday and I just signed a consent form giving permission for a man I have never met to slice me in two. Logic is not playing a huge part of my day.

No, this is the really brilliant part.

After they got the baby out and I had kissed him, they gave him to Steve and Steve sat just by my head on the right while they finished my surgery. When you have a caesarian, they make you lie with you arms out to your sides, like you are on a cross, and, while in this position, I was clutching a tissue in my right hand. Suddenly,

Steve: Liv, do you have a tissue?

Me: Yes, for some reason I am still holding this one from the labour room.

Steve: Great, I am really hot so could you mop my brow?

I reached up, behind my head and dabbed at Steve's head. While I was still being operated on.

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Now, lets remember, we're very sleep deprived...

Steve and I were in the living room. Steve was eating. I was feeding the baby and myself simultaneously. We were watching How I Met Your Mother. The adverts came on.

Steve: Seriously, a Christmas advert already?

Me: I know, but it is October. Christmas is just round the corner.

Steve: I am looking forward to this Christmas, it is going to be awesome. I'm not usually big on Christmas but it is going to be so special this year. I want us to get the big tree, play Christmas songs, see everyone and just celebrate.

A new advert came on. It played for a minute and then:

Me: Another Christmas ad! Wait... this is the exact same Christmas M&S advert as last year! With the X Factor contestants.

Steve: I was about to say! Are they saving money or something? Why reuse it? It is not as if last year's contestants are particularly rele..

He stopped.

Steve: Oh God... Liv, we're playing this How I Met Your Mother on Sky+. It is from last year. These adverts are from last year.

Me: I had totally forgotten that we had pressed play.

Steve: Me too. We must never speak of this again.

Friday, 5 October 2012

The father of my child ladies and gentlemen!

So at the minute our evenings consist of TV and food, takeaway if we are living on the edge.

Living in the land of little sleep and fuzzy brain, the TV must be simple; I'm talking Big Bang Theory, Rules of Engagement, Pointless (although that can be a tad taxing), anyway, tonight's viewing choice was American Pie 2. A classic I think you'll agree.

Watching with Steve of course, meant that I was subjected to his constant film critiquing expertise. He is quite the Barry Norman.

Comments included:

"She is not attractive, face like a spat out toffee."

"Stifler may be cooler than Barney. But in a less cool way."

"I need to buy this song. Sum41 rock."

"This film is ridiculous."

And then came the bit where Kevin claims to have slept with three women over his first year at college.

Steve: "Three over a year? Shocking!"

Me: "You prude! Three is hardly a huge number over 12 months!"

Steve: "That's what I mean, three was good a weekend for 18 year old me! I woke up in a hotel room with more!"

I rolled my eyes.

Steve: "Wait... no that was the same number. I think. And it is all very hazy..."

Monday, 24 September 2012

And we muddle through...

One of the must have baby things we have discovered are muslin cloths. They are basically squares of material that we use for just about everything Rex related - wiping up sick, draping over our shoulders to catch sick, putting under his head to stop sick getting on surfaces.

Did I mention that Rex likes to be sick?



Good job he is super cute.

Anyway, before he was born we had only three of these miracle cloths, within three days of being home (and approximately 11 washes), we realised we needed more.

So off Steve went to Tesco, the hub of cheap baby products, there, he searched the aisles.

The muslin cloths were nowhere to be found, not in the baby aisle, not in the clothing section, no, so he approached a helpful Tesco employee...

Steve: Excuse me, I was wondering if you could tell me where you keep your muslins?

Tesco man: Ummm... I'm sorry sir?

Steve: I am looking for your muslins, where do you keep them?

Tesco man: Well we don't 'keep' them to start with and I can't really tell you anymore, you may need to speak to a manager about your enquiry and why you need to know.

Steve (getting exasperated now): What? Why? All I want is to buy some muslin cloths for our new baby!

Tesco man: Ohhhhh! Muslin cloths! Sorry, I thought you said Muslims! The muslin cloths are with the home furnishings, third aisle on the left.

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

And I gave birth to his child a fortnight ago...

This morning I came downstairs after a lovely baby free lie in after a hideous baby full night.

Steve and Rex were on the sofa. MTV was on loud and Steve was making Rex dance to Girls Aloud.

"We are having a party!" Steve shouted.

He had that slightly manic look of someone who had been alone with a newborn for a good few hours with no-one to talk to.

I gave him a kiss.

"Thanks for the lie in Mr, I feel soooo much better."

"No problem," Steve replied, "Did you know that you aren't allowed to say 'drunk sex' in a song? That song by the red lipstick girl was on, the how we do one."

"Rita Ora?" I interjected.

"Yep, anyway, it was on and she was allowed to say 'drunk' and 'sex' but not together, evidently 'drunk sex' it just too naughty."

"How bizarre", I observed.

"I know right, especially for you, I mean, isn't that what you specialised in at uni?"

Monday, 10 September 2012

The first adjustment

I am a big fan of cards.

I send a lot, I buy a lot, hell, one of my favourite places to browse is Paperchase; window shopping for cards? Awesome is the word you are looking for.

Anyway, one of the things I love the absolute mostest is receiving cards. It is for this reason that I love birthdays and Christmas and it is the only thing that stopped me plunging into a deep grump after our wedding.

Naturally, I have loved all the cards that Rex has got. There are lots.

In fact there are so many now that I am actually jealous.

You see, I have always been in the firm belief that you should aim to receive as many birthday cards as your age, so if you are 30, you should aim for 30 cards, 8 for your 8th birthday etc.... Therefore Rex was onto a no fail situation, being 0 and all. I mean, one would be a success for him, 10 an absolute triumph.

He currently has 54. And I have had messages from friends and family saying that they are still sending them.

For my last birthday, I received 26; I turned 28. This meant I had to go out and buy myself two cards. It was sad in every meaning of the word.

Two weeks old and my son has more friends than me...

Saturday, 1 September 2012

Introducing....

I had to go with the cheesey traditional title!



This is Rex Arthur Nye.



He is very little and very scrummy.



He was born on Monday at 22.59 and weighed 8lb 10.5oz.



We are suitably obsessed with him as he is frankly awesome.

Saturday, 25 August 2012

The lack of baby is now getting to us all...

On Thursday Steve and I were walking by a newsagents.

Steve turned to me,

"I'm going to get a drink, want anything?"

I resisted the urge to shout 'yes! I want to give birth, give birth!' and instead politely declined.

I followed him into the shop.

Steve selected his drink, chose a bag of crisps and picked up a paper.

The man at the till told him the price: £1.94.

Steve rummaged in his pocket and brought out a handful of coins. He handed them over.

We waited as the man counted it; I scanned the magazine headlines, Steve studied the penny sweets.

Suddenly the man spoke.

"Ummmm... Sir? These two coins are not 10ps."

"They aren't?" Steve was surprised.

"No, they are World Cup France 98 collective coins."

"They are?" Steve blinked.

"They are", replied the man holding out his hand with them in, "And I am afraid we don't accept Paul Ince and Graeme Le Saux."

Monday, 20 August 2012

The insanity continues

I have often mentioned my lovely sister Alex on here before (occasionally known as Lola - don't ask, it is a long and complex sister story), what I have neglected to mention before is that she is insane. Completely so.

Stories about her are legendary.

She once got beaten up by a blind man with his white cane.

She accidentally duped Liza Minelli into thinking she was in a west end play.

During the Olympics she went to a handball game and excitingly sent us the link to iplayer so that we could see her brief moment of glory in the crowd. On the footage she is doing a little dance. By herself. Surrounded by other, seated, spectators.

She also does a kick ass impression of an ostrich and has her name in the credits of the last two Harry Potter films. She is all kinds of awesome.

So, thinking that the baby would be here by now (didn't we all....), she came up to see us this weekend.

In a conversation over tea, I asked how her lovely boyfriend Dan is; Dan, it should be worth mentioning, is an actor and currently starring in a play in the west end with Hannah Spearitt from Primevil and S Club fame. It is also worth noting that, as part of this play, Dan and Hannah have to kiss a little bit.

"Oh, he's fine", Alex starts, "In fact, I have hardly seen him,  I am so busy at work and so is he. He is at a wedding this weekend. Someone from Primevil's wedding. I can't remember if it is today or tomorrow..."

"Is it Hannah from S Club's wedding?" I ask excitingly (for, as we know, I am a loser for celebrity gossip).

"No", she replies, "Someone else's, Hannah can't even be there you know. Which is why I called NHS Direct."

The whole table turns to Alex, confused.

She blinks, "Oh, yes, Hannah has shingles, so I called NHS Direct to ask them what to do."

"Ummmm... doesn't she have her own people to do things like that for her?", someone ventures.

"What? No, not for her, for me. I rang up NHS Direct and asked them what I should do as my boyfriend regularly kisses someone with shingles and I was about to visit my sister who is very pregnant and may even have a newborn and I didn't want to pass on shingles or chicken pox."

"And what did they say?"

"She said it wouldn't be a problem but if she were me then she would stop my boyfriend kissing women who are sick. I didn't mention it was Hannah from S Club 7, I thought it would confuse matters."

And with that, she returned to her pasta.

Friday, 17 August 2012

This is what our evenings have come to

We were watching Midsummer Murders. We are rock and roll like that. This particular episode featured old Barnaby (still my fave over new) investigating the murder of an orchid collector (of course) and, to get help with some Latin translation, he employed the skills of a local monk. It is all happening in Midsummer isn't it?

Anyway, the appearance of this monk prompted Steve into thought...

"A monk! This must be an old one. We don't have monks anymore do we? I wonder why they died out?"

"Died out? They aren't a species! Anyway, there are still monks and nuns."

Steve, as usual, didn't believe me.

"No Liv, there aren't. They got rid of all the monks and their monkeries."

"Do you mean monasteries by any chance?"

"No. Monkeries. Where monks live. Monasteries are those ruined castle buildings with only half walls and no roofs."

"No, monasteries are where monks live. Some of them are ruins. Monkeries aren't anything."

"Doesn't matter - they don't exist anymore anyway. I refuse to believe it, there are no longer monks pottering about in brown robes beekeeping or anything."

Ten minutes later, with the help of Google, I had proved that yes, monks still existed, that there was, in fact, a monastery in Leicestershire with real life monks whose daily activities included beekeeping.

I gloated for a while until Steve also used Google to prove that a monkery was another accepted term for a monastery.

It doesn't make it better that we did this in the same living room on separate computers does it?

Cooler than cool, we are.

Thursday, 16 August 2012

I went to Asda

I mooched around, finding my items and headed to the tills.

While packing, the lady asked me when I was due,

"Two days ago," I cheerfully replied, popping some bagels into my bag.

She looked panicked,

"Umm... errr... two days ago? As in Tuesday?! Do you want to sit down?"

"I'm fine, honestly," I smile.

"Really though," she continues, "shouldn't you be at home, sitting, waiting?"

"I did that yesterday and all I achieved was feeling incredibly down and cross and bored with nothing to do. So today I have come here and stocked up on fun things to do," I point to the items I am packing, "I figure that, if I give myself interesting tasks; cookies to bake, films to watch, magazines to read, then the baby will come just as I start them. Sod's law and all that."

She blinks at me.

"Plus I needed toothpaste."

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Never going to happen...

The nesting instinct is a myth.

I should know. I have been waiting for it to kick in for a while. It was always going to be remarkable for me, I mean, you remember my skankiness, right? But I was hopeful. You hear stories of women repainting their hallways, ironing curtains and scrubbing already clean floors, all because 'the nesting instinct just overcame them.'

It isn't true.

I mean, they did those things, sure, but not because of some primal instinct.

No.

The truth is much, much more depressing.

It was while I was ironing all of Steve's shirts (a new low if ever there was one) that it first occurred to me, then, as I was hoovering under the chest of drawers, the idea grew a bit stronger, finally, as I was sewing labels into my youngest brother's new school uniform, it clicked.

I wasn't nesting! I was bored! Yep, it is my belief that women do not go on crazy cleaning sprees because they feel the need to make a perfect home for the baby, no, they are purely bored as hell.

I mean, when this nesting instinct supposedly kicks in, the vast majority of women will have been at home, off work and alone, for at least a week. And that is a long time with nothing to do. The usual fun things that fill your time are out; you don't want to go too far from home in case you go into labour, you get knackered walking too far so shopping isn't an option and seriously, there is only so much TV a girl can take. So you look around you and think, alright, I literally have no more excuses as to why I can't clean the bathroom.

And you give in.

Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Eviction process started...

So today is my official due date.

Too bad no-one told the baby that.

Having been convinced he would be early - I was early, Steve was early and I foolishly listened to everyone telling me that there was no way I was going to make it to my due date, I was just too big - I have now resigned myself to the fact that I will probably still be pregnant at Christmas.

I just don't understand why he doesn't want to be born yet.

I have explained to him that EVERYTHING is ready; we have built the pram, packed the bags, all his clothes are washed and put away, his moses basket is set up and ready, the house is clean and tidy, the Olympics are over so there are no distractions and, on Sunday, his Nana, Nanny and uncles even helped to put the owl decal up in his room.



We are ready!

But nothing.

I then decided to change tactic and telling all the things he is missing out on - Olympic closing ceremony (you missed the Spice Girls baby boy!! And Jessie J is a skin tight cat suit - you'll regret not seeing that when you are 15), a yummy takeaway pizza tea, a 4th birthday party with a real life Peppa Pig, Tilly the dog running into a ditch of water thinking it was grass and a big bonfire with your Dad and uncles.

Still nothing.

Bumping into my year 5 teacher on a walk, I asked her to shout at him to get out in her most scary voice, I mean, it petrified me as a 10 year old and we did whatever she said. But apparently Baby Parham is a tad more stubborn than me. Or else too scared.

I then tried bribery - yep, resorted to it before I am even a parent. I told him that if he came within 24 hours then I would let him have all the Pom Bear crisps he liked and maybe even some sweets.

Nada.

So now, I am going to aggressively poke my belly until he puts in an appearance.

Has to be worth a shot.

Thursday, 9 August 2012

Day 9 of Maternity Leave

So... these are my towels.



It was while I was on the third round of washing/putting away today that I decided I ought to take a picture as they are so pretty in their mix of colours.

Alas, I am not like the co-ordinated ones amongst you whose towels are all the same. Mine are eclectic. I am certainly not like my lovely Aunty Joan who's whole bathroom is a deep turquoise, chosen specifically to go with her favourite Radox (she also marks each day of the week with a different alcoholic beverage, just one of the reasons she is my hero at 87 years of age).

Coincidentally, it was also during this third round of washing/putting away that I realised I really want this baby to come now as I may be going a bit insane. I mean, I have just done an entire blog post on my towels....

Wednesday, 8 August 2012

Day 8 of Maternity Leave

Steve got home.

"Steve, Steve!" I shouted.

"Good day?" He enquired.

I grab his hand and pull him to sit on the sofa.

"The best", I garble, "I was reading the phone book..."

He interrupts me, "Ummmm... why?"

"I was looking for someone called Enis whose first name began with P so that their name was like P.Enis." I explained.

"Busy day then?"

"Anyway, there is no-one in our area who has that combination, can you believe it?"

"Shocking", he said, looking particularly unshocked.

"Anyway again, I did find someone with an even better name.... Mr Poupard!"

Saturday, 28 July 2012

The naming continues...

It has been well documented that we have been struggling with names. This is something I did not expect. I mean, I am obsessed with names and have been my whole life. I am super cool like that. Since I was a little girl, I would pour over name books and pick out the names of my future children. I had lists and lists of them.
When we found out that I was knocked up, I was super excited about the naming potential, I imagined us having cosy evenings surrounded by my name books (I have 11 don't you know) and making brand new lists of names that we both loved.

Tis not to be.

This is an example of our general naming conversations:

Me: Gilbert?

Steve: Grape. Next. What about Gabriel?

Me: Slept with one.

Steve: Oh yes, the vertically challenged boyfriend before me.

Me: OK, I have got it... Cassius.

Steve: I think that a Cassius has to be black.

Me: Put on the list for the next baby then.

Steve: Very funny. Ooooh... Roman?

Me: Like it. But it makes me think of Roman Polanski which makes me think of raping drug induced 14 year olds and I really don't want to think of raping drug induced 14 year olds when I hear my son's name.

Steve: Duly noted. Right, according to Mike who has googled 'Coolest boys name ever', the best name is Bounty.

Me: I am not naming my son after the chocolate that is left in the bottom of the Celebrations tub every Christmas.

Steve: So we are back to Baby Boy.

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

In which I feel like a hippo

I am ready for this baby.

Well, actually, that is a lie.

I am totally unprepared. Unprepared in every sense of the word. The cot is yet to be built, the teeny tiny baby clothes yet to be washed. And I am completely sure that Steve and I have no idea what is about to hit us.

But still I am ready for this baby.

I decided this two evenings ago when I was attempted to haul my huge self from the sofa,

'I feel like a huge, fat hippo', I wailed.

Steve looked at me, with a face that was full of admiration and pity (don't ask me how he combined these two emotions in one expression but I found it v v impressive), he sighed,

'Oh my baby, you look gorgeous, glowing and not at all like a hippo. A baby hippo maybe but definitely not an adult one.'

A shot of my baby hippo self from my recent maternity shoot with the wonderful Slice of Pie Designs (have you visited their website? They are awesome!)

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

What's in a name?

We are now five weeks from D Day.

Yep, that is soon.

Checklists have been made, rooms have been painted, birthplans have nearly been written (I think, 'No idea, never done it before but would like everyone to be happy and safe' covers it generally). We are so close to being ready.

The one thing we have no clue on? The kid's name.

It started with the ex issue - do we rule out all names of people we used to go out with. I thought yes, knowing full well that Steve's past girlfriends all had vanilla names anyway. Steve said no, reasoning that with my dating history there would be no male names left.

It was a good start I am sure you will agree.

Then we discovered that we liked girls names. We have a girls name. In fact we have 10 girls names. They are easy peasy. But, as you know, this one is boy flavoured and, despite my suggestions, Steve thinks it would be cruel to call a boy a totally female name. Me, I think he would like to be called Primrose.

The problem is that we just don't agree.

I like good names.

Steve likes rubbish ones.

Our evenings are spent firing suggestions at each other:

'Jacob?'

'No.'

'Amos?'

'No.'

'Casper?'

'No.'

'Lucas?'

'No.'

The poor boy is destined to be called Baby Boy. Which at this point is starting to sound pretty good.

Saturday, 7 July 2012

28 going on 5

On Wednesday night, very late, I watched the end of the Sound of Music.

I stumbled across it (although I am super cool and of course own it on DVD...) while waiting for Steve to finish in the bathroom and, like a old shoe, it fitted perfectly so I had to dedicate myself to the rest.

When my sister and I were little, The Sound of Music was one of the films our Nana practically forced us to watch. She was very much of the opinion that the My Little Pony videos that we were obsessed with were just a load of whooey and gave us awful fake American accents. She was right. She therefore bought us all the musical classics on video to show us what 'proper society' was like and teach us how nice it was to speak correctly with a cut glass accent; unfortunately this backfired when we saw My Fair Lady and my baby sissy shouted at me to 'move my blooming arse' in the middle of Debenhams. My Mama = not so happy.

Anyway, it would be an understatement to say that The Sound of Music formed a large part of our childhood. We sang the songs, danced the dances, drew pictures of the characters and decided who we would play if we did a show of it (for some reason I always wanted to be Marta, the totally wet one... FYI, now I would so go for kick ass Brigitta). Even now, occasionally I will receive a text from my wishstar which is just a quote:

"They're gone!"
"Mother, would now be a good time to sing about our favourite things?"
"I'm Marta and I'm going to be seven on Tuesday and I'd like a pink parasol."

You get the picture. So when I came in just as the Baroness was being ceremoniously dumped by the Captain, I felt I was settling into a precious, happy moment from my childhood.

Except, it turns out, as an adult, the film is really gut wrenching. They are escaping from the Nazis. They have to climb a flipping mountain into Switzerland. They have to abandon their home (including Fritz, their trusty and silent butler!), their homeland.

I found myself sobbing when Georg chokes up singing Edelweiss, I was overcome with this horrible realisation that these people were standing up for what they believe in by refusing to join the army and that they must have been terrified hiding in the Abbey.

I came to the realisation that I was obviously growing up and how serious life was.

Fast forward to today when I came to write what has become a totally over the top analysis of a film, I relooked at my feelings and was feeling all deep and insightful.

Wow, I thought, I really am a hugely reflective person, I analyse and identify with the innermost meanings of....

I stopped.

I had just remembered that I had some Love Hearts in my bag. Five minutes later, I was happy munching away and thinking about who I would give my love hearts to if I had to pick.

The world felt normal again.

Friday, 6 July 2012

Baby remember my name...




I love Fame The Musical. Not Fame the film or Fame the TV show. Fame the Musical - the one that plays in the West End and tours the country.

I have loved it since the first time I saw it in London aged 10. I mean, what is not to love, they dance, they sing, they jump off cars, they swear. Tis the complete musical package I tells ya.

So, in The Great Move, I was thrilled to find a tape of all the songs from Fame, my car only plays tape so it was PERFECT.

And it has been.

Every morning I get to sing along in the car to I wanna make magic, Pray and In LA. And I properly sing.

I am that cool.

And the baby kicks along. It seems he loves inappropriate musicals as well.

I like that we are bonded on this.

Although it worries me that he especially loves 'I just can't keep it down'....

Thursday, 5 July 2012

The most basic things

'And then it was really funny', I said, 'I mean, him saying that! He's Scottish for God's sake!'

'Um no', replied the PA at work, 'He's Irish.'

'No he's not', I responded, so confident in my statement, 'I have heard him speak a million times, he is soooooo Scottish.'

'He really isn't', the PA was equally sure, 'In fact, here is his passport from the Dubai trip. See, Irish.'

'Irish?', I blinked in disbelief, 'But he has a Scottish accent!'

'No, he has an Irish accent', the PA was talking slowly now, 'What was your degree in again?'

My voice whispered:

'Linguistics'.

Saturday, 30 June 2012

The Steve - 21-30

The final part. This has been so hard. I feel that I must have missed a million things. Still, you'll get ten more when he is 40...

21. Steve is an honest man. I recently asked him if our wedding day was the best day of his life, he paused and said no. A dangerous move if ever there was one but he went on to explain that while it was one of the best days, there are others that match it; the Sunday his train from London was cancelled so he could stay one more night with me, the night we were in New York, eating in the East Village, it snowed and Steve managed to tear the crotch of his jeans trying to climb into a cab. See, honest and hilarious.
22. He loves men in socks programmes. The ones where they dig for random bones or bits of pots. Yep, the really really dull ones. He also love Poirot. And the Discovery Channel. I am now starting to doubt whether he is actually turning 60 not 30...
23. Family figures highly in his life. And not just his immediate family. Mine too. I have a big, lovely, complex and occasionally overpowering family. And he adores them all. Watching him with my family makes me so very very happy.
24. He hates fancy dress. I know right?
25. I have had the easiest pregnancy but obviously there have been things I can't do. Such as shoelaces. Steve has somehow managed to be supportive and protective without being condescending, patronising or making me feel completely rubbish and inadequate. This is quite remarkable - I look out for these things especially you know.
26. As you all know, he is wonderfully random and funny. I laugh every day. Sometimes with him, often at him.
27. I love hearing stories of Steve as a child. There is the one about him stamping on an ants nest at the age of two until he was covered head to toe in ants. The one where he threw a rock into the sea and forgot to let go. The one that details the time he asked for a 'Jervis Road tea' at a friend's house. Having children had always been important to me, but, over time, having Steve's child specifically became my hope for the future. I hear these stories and now I think of our son and what stories I will tell about him in the future.
28. Our holidays are the best. Wherever we go, we have the most fun, just the two of us together. Our honeymoon was one of the most special times of my life. Steve and I click together on these breaks away like no other time and I love having those memories and look forward to a million more.
29. For someone who was a bit taken aback when he found out he was going to be a daddy (remember that story?), Steve is now more excited than I am (I am stuck on the terrified bit for now). He talks about the baby, to the baby and he wants him here now. He is going to be an amazing Dad. The only thing I worry about is that he is not fond of sticky and snotty which, I am led to believe, is quite a big part of parenting.
30. In his own words, he is just Stevie P. My Stevie P. And I wouldn't have it any other way.

Friday, 29 June 2012

The Steve - 11-20

And we're back with the birthday count down. Just to update you, yes, he found the presents.

11. He is bizarrely obsessed with cocktail sticks. I find them everywhere. He picks them up and fiddles with them for hours. They are forever behind his ears and in his mouth.



12. He is so supportive and generally fantastic. His faith in you is absolute and continuous. If you are stressed and say you can't do it, he will blink at you and say you can.

13. This Sunday is his 30th birthday and, when I asked where he would like to be taken to lunch, he chose Pizza Hut. Yep. I have yet to break it to him that I believe the 'unlimited ice cream factory' for birthday children doesn't extend to 30 year olds.

14. His rants are legendary. And by god does he play up to them. Incredibly liberal (except when it suits him not to be), he will happily go on for tens of minutes to anyone who happens to be in earshot about anything that has particularly got his goat. Favourite topics include religion (these rants can extend to hours) and anything that the Daily Mail feels strongly about...

15. Steve and his brother and his father (both called John incidentally) are a tight knit team. Circumstances have meant that they a very strong unit, an all male unit I may add. And, while all the most welcoming and friendly men in the world, it is a hard group to break into. But it is most definitely worth it.



16. Steve is bizarrely talented in so many ways. He can repair your light fitting, he can take pictures of your family reunion, he can teach you how to play cricket, he can cook you a delicious bowl of macaroni cheese. He is amazing with children, delightful with animals and can put even the most nervous person at ease. He can hoover and iron far better than I can, he can sew buttons on shirts (something I am still incapable of), build fires and make up the best bedtime stories. He can't hang washing out though...

17. He claims he remembers very little of his childhood. But he is lying.

18. The man has broken the same ankle three times. The second time, the doctor asked when he had broken it the first time and queried why it hadn't healed properly, Steve couldn't answer him as he couldn't remember ever breaking it before. A few questions to his Dad and all became clear. It seems that a four year old Steve had been having a jumping down the stairs competition with his brother. Steve had hurt his ankle but an ice lolly seemed to solve any issues so a trip to the doctors was not deemed necessary. His Dad just carried him for a few days.

19. His eyes melt me everytime. And I won't even mention his bum except to say that I believe it has won awards.


20. His favourite word is moist. A word I detest. Proof, I suppose that opposites do attract.

Thursday, 28 June 2012

The Steve - 1-10

As you may or may not know, this Sunday my lovely Steven James turns the grand old age of 30. To celebrate I have decided to tell thirty little known facts about him. I will be starting right now with the first ten.

1. He detests cooked pineapple and spends time meticulously picking it out of his takeaway sweet and sour. The phrase 'I can see you pineapple, stop mascarading as a piece of chicken' has been uttered more than once in our house.

2. Despite being a very liberal person, his two favourite heroes are Barney Stinson and Jeff Bingham. I know.

3. He is always popular with the ladies. Always charming, always funny, he is very crushable. And I love that about him. I love to watch him make everyone feel special. I love to see him flirt. I love that his romantic history is as checkered as mine. It makes for very interesting conversations...

4. Football is the thing. The Thing. He puts his heart and soul into it and it annoyingly upsets me when he gets crushed when England get knocked out of another tournament.

5. He rocks the stubble and sunglasses look.



6. Stupid is something he is not. But he thinks he is. And not in a tell-me-I'm-not way. He genuinely thinks that he isn't bright. Which is ironically the stupidist thing he thinks as he is one of the most intelligent and clever people I know.

7. He laughs like no-one else I know. And one of the things I love the most is making him laugh. The look he gives me when he laughs like that at something I've said makes me feel like no-one else on earth.

8. He refuses to drink juice with pulp. A proper, proper child.

9. He knows all the words to C'est La Vie by Bewitched and, if you get him just drunk enough, he will put on an awesome dance show to it.



10. He is generous to a fault. Nothing is too big. Nothing. He is unfailingly loyal and will always be your friend if he likes you. Which makes the fact that he is mine all the more wonderful.

Come back tomorrow for 11-20. In the meantime I must go, I need to drag my pregnant bum off the sofa and make sure Steve hasn't found any of the presents he is currently searching for....

Wednesday, 27 June 2012

So today...

I forgot my teaspoon and therefore had to eat my two petit filous fromage frais with my finger.


Twas messy.

That is all.

Saturday, 23 June 2012

Tilly Tuppance

So this weekend we have a house guest.



Yep, the lovely Tilly has come to stay.

She has been here for two days now and has eaten approximately 11 spiders. Why I am not sure. I mean, they are hardly nutritious or delicious.

Steve, of course, is an absolute softy with her. He keeps trying to teach her tricks, allows her to sleep on his chest and text me throughout yesterday stressing about she was managing at home by herself. I wasn't worried. I mean, there were spiders galore.

Speaking of Steve, I will be doing a big piece next week (possibly two or three) on him and his quirks in celebration of his 30th birthday.

In the mean time, I wish you lots of love and churros. Because, well, they are yummy.

Monday, 28 May 2012

Choo choo

I come to you from an iPad on a train.

This morning Steve and I set off on our last just-the-two-of-us holiday. We considered Barbados, toyed with San Francisco, nearly went for Fiji before deciding on Chester.

Our bags were packed and we hitched a lift to the station with the father-in-law (£10 a day to park at the station? No thank you!). After a brief 5 minutes in the sunshine, we boarded our train. Steve carried our matching cases to the luggage rack while I evicted a squatter from our reserved seats; normally one to feel guilty about such things, even this didn't dent my mood, I mean, I am nearly 7 months pregnant and he was drinking lager at 11am and reading the Daily Sport.

We settled in our seats, made sure our tickets were to hand so as not to delay the ticket inspector when he came and took out our respective books.

Ten minutes passed.

Steve remarked that he was peckish. I brought out the bag of triangle cut cheese sandwiches which he had made this morning.

'Hmmmm', he pondered, 'But it is only 11am, maybe I should wait until 12.'

'We're on holiday', I reasoned, 'And besides, I have pepper sticks as well for later.'

He tucked in.

Two minutes passed.

Steve stopped mid bite.

'Dear God, what the hell has happened to us?'

'What?' I replied, crunching on a pepper stick.

'We are too young to be sitting on a train on our way to a summer holiday in Chester, debating whether to eat our sandwiches in plastic bag even though it is technically not lunch time.'

I let this statement sink in for a second.

'We could attempt to do it in the train toilet?' I halfheartedly ventured.

Steve's eyed my large bump and then wearily,

'For the sake of logistics and common decency, I think it is best that we read our books.'

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

For I am a rare breed

Things have been busy here.

Steve has been working super hard, not only at his actual job but on his degree, it has been a huge undertaking but one, I am glad to say, he is excelling at.

We have had some lovely family birthdays to celebrate.

Preparations are being made for my lovely in laws wedding which is two weeks today.

The house has been completely ignored due all the business.

And me, well I have been mainly getting fatter, failing at hypnobirthing classes (it seems I am not great at relaxing..), laughing at the wriggles in my tummy and thinking about my own birthday.

Yes, you remember I love birthdays don't you? All birthdays but my own is, of course, super special. Why it has not been made a public holiday yet is beyond me. I love everything about birthdays, the celebrations, the cards, the love and, I am not ashamed, the presents! I am a very lucky girl - my friends and family are always too nice and buy me things when they really don't need to but this year I am a tad worried.

The problem is, I suppose, I am fairly unusual as a female. You see, I am finally going to admit it....

I hate baths.

Yep, really. The water gets too cold, too quickly, I get bored very, very easily and, after about 8 minutes I start to feel like I am just lying there, stewing in my own dirt. I mean ew. Why do that and waste an hour of my life running the thing, getting in, getting bored, getting cold when I could jump in the shower and achieve the same result in a quarter of the time?

Yes, my hatred of baths is nearly legendary among my family but it does cause a problem around present giving times. You see, the bath hating is slightly extended to general pampering. Don't get me wrong, I like to paint my nails.... no wait, I like it when my nails are painted, but treatments leave me cold. I don't get it. And don't even mention spa days or massages. I am very funny about being massaged and really feel quite ill with it. I am a rubbish girl aren't I?

Which brings me back to the birthday issue... being up the hilary, the usual staple gifts of alcohol and clothes are out - am I doomed to be overwhelmed by a million bath sets?!

Thursday, 10 May 2012

My knocked up self

So I am 26 and a half weeks pregnant now and definitely look it, no longer am I the girl who could have just eaten a big lunch.



It is very strange watching your body change. I have always felt fairly comfortable in my skin; I have had body hang ups like everyone and will never be my thighs biggest fan but generally I have always been pretty happy with my lot.

I therefore never really thought about how I would feel about pregnancy changing my body, I assumed I would be perfectly happy and embrace it.

And I have.

But it is disconcerting. Not just in the things no longer fit way (I miss you pink vest top!) but in the way your body is no longer your own. There are wriggles and kicks and punches in your tummy that you have no control over. Someone else has literally set up camp in you. And things that were super easy before such as putting socks on or tying a shoe become five minute tasks as you just don't bloody bend that way! Gone too are the looks from boys across a pub, I am now very much the up the duff one and therefore invisible to the male species. Now, yes, I am with husband and yes, we are very happy but seriously ladies, we all appreciate the odd admiring glance from a randomer from time to time don't we?

Balancing all these physical changes with crazy hormones is fun to start with and I generally manage it and feel like a hot 27 year old woman with child and then someone comments,

"Wow Liv, you are huge! Are you sure you aren't having twins?"

"God, you have really got big now, you won't be able to fit through doors soon."

And I am nearly a quivering mess of tears.

I swear, I will always remember this when I am talking to a pregnant woman from now on - and people, if you know of someone avec un bebe dans le tummy then please just say the following:

"How are you? You look gorgeous! Best looking pregnant person I have seen!"

THE END

ps. as a side note I must mention that The Boobs have also reached gargantuan proportions; put it this way, I am approaching the second half of the alphabet in cup size at a disturbing pace!

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

For he is my love

So I hauled myself upstairs to bed.

It had been a long day and I was looking forward to cosying up in bed with my Steve who, although slightly ill, was in that lovely stage of poorliness where he was no longer throwing up or disgusting but still retained the slight vulnerability and cuddlability of a sickee.

Yep, I would scooch into bed and cuddle up with my boy with my little baby boy kicking away inside my belly and drift off to slumber feeling happy and lovely.

I practically skipped into the bedroom.

Steve was sat up in bed with a pen and paper, he smiled at me.

"Now Liv, did we do it in Newcastle on that weekend we stayed there on the way up to Edinburgh?"

I blink at him.

He continues.

"What? I'm making a list of all the cities we have had sex in. I've got to 19 and want to make it to 20!"

Saturday, 21 April 2012

Things I have come to discover 5 months into my pregnancy

  • Socks are a challenge
  • Random strangers will come up to you and touch your stomach
  • 99% of the time you will resist the urge to punch them
  • Feeling your baby move = awesome
  • Seeing your stomach move when the baby moves = freaky deaky
  • A double HH bra cup will fit on a grown man's head
  • You will sort of forget what you looked like unpregnant
Me at 20 weeks, I'm now 23 weeks and a scary amount bigger...

  • You will miss wine. A lot
  • You and the baby will become a little team and you will talk to him constantly
  • You will get strange looks for this
  • When pram shopping, it will not be amusing when your husband pretends to use the model in Mothercare's handles as fighter jet controls
  • The recommended 100g per person of pasta is not enough
  • You will have nightmares about your baby being Stewie Griffin
  • It will become nigh on impossible to tend to your ladygarden. Turns out you can't bend that way in the shower

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

So it was a mistake putting my mobile number as the RSVP on the invitations for my Nana's 90th Birthday party.

Some of the conversations I have had today....

Me: Hello

Random Man: Hello, who is this?

Me (confused): Well, you called my phone, so who is this?

Random Man: I don't want to say but I can come to the party.

Me (even more confused): Right....

Random Man: You know, the party, on Sunday, for the birthday.

Me: Ah! Right, yes. Great, well, we'll see you there. What is your name?

Random Man: I'd rather not say, but I live at number 8. Oh, and are presents necessary?

Me: No, not at all. We would just love you to be there to celebrate with us. No presents required!

Random Man: Well she is getting one. (Hangs up)

---------------------------------------------------------

Me: Hello

Random Woman: Hello, is that Livy?

Me: It is! Is it about the birthday party?

Random Woman: Yes, I am Beryl from Number 12. We only moved in a month ago, we were so pleased to get the invitation but unfortunately we are unable to come as we are seeing friends on Sunday.

Me: Oh what a shame, thanks for letting me know.

Random Woman (continuing as if I hadn't spoken): Well, I say friends, my husband used to work with the gentleman in 1976, or was it 1977, and since them we have met up for lunch on occasion. It will be only the second time I have met his wife though; the last time we met up she was in Abu Dhabi for some reason. I think it was Abu Dhabi - somewhere exotic and foreign anyway, and I said it was a shame as the time before when she did come was lovely. We went to a gala dinner and had a lovely time. I am not sure if she is coming this Sunday though.

Me: Well I hope you have a lovely time.

Random Woman: We will. I have only met your grandmother once, it was a few weeks ago and I was going to the chemist for some reason, oh yes, I think Alf needed some aspirin - he has a bad heart and the doctor recommended it, I wasn't sure but you don't question medical professionals do you? Anyway, I saw your grandmother at her door so I went and said hello. She was lovely, I am amazed she is 90. What a great age and she doesn't look it. It is such a shame we can't come. Will you be doing cake?

Me (in a bit of a daze): Cake? Yes, we have ordered one.

Random Woman: I love a nice piece of cake. Victoria Sponge is my favourite. It has been so lovely talking to you, do you live locally?

Me: Ummm.... fairly.

Random Woman: Well I will tell your grandmother how nice and chatty you are.

Me: Thank you. Have a lovely weekend.

Random Woman: You too! Bye.

Me: Bye.

Random Woman: Bye bye

Me: Bye

Random Woman: Goodbye and god bless.

I hang up.

It may be a long few days....

Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Abbrevs

"And how is baby today?"

The midwife smiled at me.

"Kicking away", I smiled back.

"And Mum?"

And that is when I nearly punched her in the face.

I had forced my smile through clenched teeth when she had missed the definite article and referred to the baby as just 'baby' but referring to me the person to me myself with no-one else in the room really made me squirm.

I know, I know, I am being slightly unreasonable. The, otherwise lovely, midwife was just trying to be a bit more personable but seriously, I am not three! The baby is a he (did I tell you that?) or it or 'the baby', I am 'you'.

Also, please don't refer to me as preggo or preggers ('up the hilary' or 'knocked up' is fine though) and don't ask about my hubby (bleeeeeeurk).

And, just while we are at it, I eat vegetables, not veggies; I like chicken sandwiches, not sarnies; please don't get me a crimbo prezzie and spag bol makes me feel physically angry (but I love spaghetti bolagnaise and would be delighted if you made it for me).

And if you follow all that then, natch, it will be totes amaze :)

Stern Puppy agrees with me. So there.

Monday, 9 April 2012

I do so love a hat

Age 2

When  I was younger I was definitely hat girl.

Age 3
Age 4




Every day a different hat would be perched on my casually messy head and I would be set. I had so very many. All of them hung on pins on the picture rail around my bedroom. And they were never conventional hats; in fact I believe there was only one baseball cap, an England one natch.


No, these hats were bizarre and vast. They were made of satins and velvets and they came in every colour of the rainbow. I loved them so much. I even wore my red school beret (compulsory for special occasions only) every day for the first year at secondary school.

I have no idea where these hats are now.

Yes, seriously...
It was when I was 15 and transformed my hair from its shoulder length mass to a Winona Ryder crop that suddenly my hats became redundant. It seemed ridiculous to hide my new found coolness and besides, you always running the risk of appearing bald if you cover short hair with a hat. And, at 15, I was certain that boys did not dig bald girls.





But the other day I was thinking, I may just have to start reinvesting. After all, hats make you suddenly feel more enigmatic, engaging and foreign than you were, bare-headed, only a moment prior… and I do have shoulder length hair again...

Thursday, 29 March 2012

Dear Baby

I was thinking the other day about how my life is going to spectacularly change. And that is, in large part, down to you. You have already caused so much fuss and excitement it is unreal, and not just from us, I hasten to add. From our parents, our brothers, our sister, our friends; more and more I am somehow realising that when you get here in August, my position as Cute Adorable One will be under serious threat from you.

And, uncharacteristically, I won't even fight it.

A lovely, dear friend of mine was telling me yesterday about how 'they love you already'. And I suddenly thought... I don't know if I love you yet.

This is not going to turn into some cheesey 80s movie skit where I now declare that my feelings for you run deeper than love or anything.

What I feel for you is different than how I know and understand love to be. It is very primal and overwhelming; a feeling that you are so so precious and need protecting. The responsibility of that protection; of keeping you safe inside me, is almost too much sometimes. I worry if I am doing it right and then think myself silly as how can you really do it wrong.

But I am not sure I love you yet.

After all, we have never been formally introduced. I know nothing about you (well, apart from the fact that you are currently the size of a banana, I tell you, that makes eating my breakfast quite an odd experience). I don't know if you are kind or generous, if you tell lies or are mean. I don't know the colour of your hair (if indeed you have any) or the size of your feet (I'm guessing small though..). I don't know if we will get on. I don't even know if you are a boy or a girl.

Sometimes, when I feel your little kicks inside my tummy, like pokes or flicks, I move my hand to you and you instantly stop moving. Are you scared of me? Are you hiding? Or are you, as I suspect, just being an awkward bugger who won't play nice?

This afternoon we are going to see you again.

I can't wait.

I am very nervous though.

What if they tell me that you are sick? That you will be sick? That there is something wrong? What if they tell me that you will be super right wing? Or not like cheese!

Any situation (well... barring the cheese one) will be ok though. I am strong enough for anything. I know I always will be when it comes to you. Now, if you could be a dear and keep your legs open so we can at least find out your flavour that would be just perfect. And will significantly reduce the name arguments between me and your Daddy, I promise.

And I am looking forward to loving you.

love from,

your Livy Mummy x

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

How it all began

This is the story of how I found out I was pregnant. Yes, Father-in-Law, you may want to stop reading now..

It isn't particularly exciting, or particularly strange but, in true Livy and Steve style, it is a teeny bit confusing.

One Tuesday in early December 2011 I was feeling rubbish. I was tired and cross and cranky, I ached and wanted to cry. I had had a hell of a day and all that was keeping me going was the thought of a bottle glass of wine at the end of the day.

Getting in from work I headed straight to the kitchen (it really had been one of those days), pouring the wine, I was salivating at the thought of the first sip* and was looking forward to sitting down with it and writing some Christmas cards.

I walked through to the front room, sat down and raised the glass to my lips, ready to sip, I suddenly stopped.

The smell. The smell of the wine was just too much. I felt sick.

And I never feel sick when it comes to alcohol. I can put it away with the best of them, I can drink wine like water (not a fact I am proud of, I'll hasten to add). Something was obviously wrong.

I tried again.

Nope. Bad bad badness.

One more go, and I forced a sip down.

Mistake. Oh big mistake.

My body rejecting alcohol was a worrying sign for me. I started to panic at all the things that could be wrong... the words 'cancer', 'liver failure', 'heart disease' flashed through my head** and then I thought of the worst possible thing... maybe, at 27 years of age, my body was simply sick of drinking. Nearly fainting, I staggered to the bathroom and stood over the sink, staring at my reflection in the mirror.

It was at this point that I noticed a pregnancy test just peeping out of the cabinet.

Suddenly my hell didn't seem so hellish; I could just possibly be up the Hilary! I eagerly did the test and waited. And waited. No big fat line appeared but a little shadow did appear where the line should.

This was not good enough! I needed answers! I needed to know whether or not to emergency dial NHS Direct.

So, I did what any Cosmo girl would have done and I legged it to Tesco to buy a digital test to try again.

Bingo. Clear as day. The word PREGNANT flashed up on the screen.



Just a teensy bit giddy, I took a photo and sent it to Steve's phone with the tag line, 'Are you ready to be a daddy....?'

Relaxing with my Christmas cards, knowing that I wasn't dying or even turning teetotal, I awaited his response.

Unfortunately I had forgotten that Steve had just got rid of his iphone and was temporarily using a Nokia brick, circa 2003 which could not receive pictures.

Which is why I got this reply:

"I've been thinking about this and yes, I think I am nearly ready. I mean, do I want to have another big drunken summer holiday first? Yes. Is it a massive responsibility? Yes. But I definitely think we are there. Lets enjoy Christmas and then think about it."

Suffice to say, it wasn't entirely as I had pictured it.

Three hours later, with him home and an unscheduled powercut in play; we sat, cuddling by candle light, Steve drinking the wine and me freaking out that I would be facing a sober, chubbier Christmas time that year.

And all was well.

* I do realise that I am channelling an alcoholic here but please, remember people, that I am now unable to drink it at all!

** So I am not an expert on medical science or the human body. But I am, obviously, a drama queen.

Sunday, 25 March 2012

Hello from surburbia

So we had been in Homebase for about twenty minutes, searching and searching, when Steve threw the lightbulb that had gone from his bedside lamp the night before onto the floor and declared,

"That's it. I'm just going to buy a new lamp."

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

To help my sorting

We moved. And, after a rough few days (I cried, A LOT), I am finally feeling a bit more settled and feeling that this house will work for us!

So now I have a question... what do people do with all the extra and superfluous things you accumulate over the years? You know, the sentimental bits and pieces like photos and letters and old birthday cards?

As we have already established, I am a sentimental fool and have a plethora of, well... crap for want of a better word! Last night I unpacked and organised our study (all while listening to The Writing's on the Wall by Destiny's Child), and there, in box after box, were things that were of absolutely no use to anyone but were so important to me; programmes from graduations, ticket stubs from first dates with Steve, pictures drawn by my brothers when they were little, old school projects and lists I made when I was 7 of all the names I was going to call my babies (to be fair they may become quite useful soon...).

Where do they go? Where do they belong? Because they are threatening to take over the significantly bigger house we have just moved to! Answers on a postcard please...

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

It's controversial topic day!

Yep, you are in for one of my rare but ultimately fun opinion pieces.

Lucky you.

This time I am focusing on a topic close to my heart and very much in the press at the moment.

Gay marriage.

Specifically, gay marriage and its current main (and very vocal I might add) opposers, the Catholic Church.



Let me start by saying that I am not a religious person. I count myself as a committed atheist and was raised in the church of Say-Please-And-Thank-You-And-Stand-Up-For-What-You-Believe-In. And I am still there now.

I also want to say that this is not an attack on religious people. I have the utmost respect for someone who can pour their belief and faith into something. I can't though and, as long as you don't preach to me and tell me (and by extension others) that our lifestyles and beliefs are wrong, then we will get along just fine. Some of my favourite people are religious. I am just not.

So here goes...

I was upset and angry to read the letter written by Archbishop Vincent Nichols and Archbishop Peter Smith, respectively President and Vice-President of the Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales, explaining the Catholic understanding of marriage.

Firstly, I understand that the Catholic Church have certain views on homosexuality and, when it comes to that issue, the Catholic Church and I will have to agree to disagree. I believe that there is absolutely nothing wrong with two people of the same sex loving each other and having an adult, consensual relationship. It makes no odds to me and some of the people I love the most are gay. Hell, if Steve and I can be together, why the hell shouldn't anyone else?

In the letter, I took specific issue with two particular lines; the first,

'Marriage is intended for the procreation and education of children.'

basically makes me feel like an incubator. It has reduced my marriage to a means to reproduce.

My marriage isn't that. I would have 'reproduced' with or without a piece of paper telling me it was ok. I have also not conceived a child as a direct result of being married. Steve and I love each other, we loved each other before we were married and we love each other now we are married. The baby I am currently housing did not occur because God told us to and we had ticked the necessary married box. It occurred simply because we wanted a baby and that wanting just happened to occur nine months after our wedding, (it also has something to do with a night of copious vodka shots and a double bluff but that is another story).

The second line that sat awkwardly with me was this,

'We have a duty to married people today, and to those who come after us, to do all we can to ensure that the true meaning of marriage is not lost for future generations.'

The Catholic Church have no duty to me and I find it presumptuous of them that they feel they can speak on my behalf, on the behalf of all married people.

The other issue I have with the church's position on this topic is that it is taking the literal meaning from the bible which, if I am not mistaken, isn't the case for a million other topics. The bible states, for example, that daughters may be sold into slavery, that you are forbidden from working on the Sabbath, that you may not ever eat shellfish and I won't even mention the ban on contraceptives that the vast majority of even religious people seem to happily overlook.

These things have evolved. So has the notion of marriage.

I would encourage you to read this fantastic and intelligent article by Greg Jenner. It details the evolution of marriage and discusses the Catholic Church's arguments against it.


So what does marriage mean to me?

Marriage means loving someone. And them loving you. And you both wanting to stand up and tell each other that. It is something that means everything and nothing. I would not love Steve less if we weren't married; it wouldn't affect the strength of my feelings for him or my commitment to him but I do feel that it has cemented our relationship and, for me, that is nice.

Nice, I said, not vital.

I value our relationship and our marriage is an extension of that.

Steve and I are very lucky.

We are lucky that we met and fell in love, of course, but we are also lucky that we both happened to be one man and one woman and therefore could do pretty much as we pleased without the judgement or condemnation of others. We wanted to get engaged, we got engaged. We wanted to get married, we got married. We wanted to have a baby, we made a simple decision not to use a contraceptive. It was that simple for us.

Isn't that lucky?

If Steve was a Stephanie then we would have had to fight continuously for all of the above. And we would have had to face a host of judgemental people. We would have been left out and excluded. We would have been whispered about and called names. Our lives would not have been our own.

And all because of something we have no choice in; our gender and who we fell in love with.

Because, and tell me if you disagree, I really didn't have much choice in who I loved. I went out with men I didn't love, no matter how hard I tried because they were sweet/cute/hot as hell/rich/had a fab name. And I had loving feelings for men that I didn't even like. My heart led the way. Not my head.

And I don't believe that anyone should be discriminated against just because of that. If you love someone and want to marry them then there should be no-one standing in your way. There wasn't for me and what makes me any better than anyone else?

Monday, 12 March 2012

A reflection

So moving.
It's a bitch ain't it?

I mean, I am a sentimental wuss at the best of times but try moving out of the flat you have lived for five years, the first home you had with your husband and mix in a whole lot of pregnancy hormones and you have a weeping, wreck of a Livy.

Not so cool.

It has been difficult watching the home we have made and love being packed into boxes. It has been even harder seeing some of my things go to charity or in the bin. Hell, I even cried sending off two pairs of shoes that I sold on ebay to their new owners and I bloody made money doing that!

We officially get the keys to our new, lovely, bigger, has-a-fricking-range-cooker house on Thursday and I am a mess of mixed emotions.

On the one hand it is going to become our new, family home. And it is perfect for that; it has a garden with a real life greenhouse, it has three bedrooms, it has a driveway and an open fire place (must buy guard...). It is also closer to our families and in a great village with a lovely village pub and a school and a Co-op. I mean this is what you want and wish for your new family right? Our baby will have a lovely childhood in a happy, safe place.

On the other, it is hard to say goodbye to a flat that really made us. When we moved in together we were 22 and 24 years old. We were babies, just starting out, playing house almost. We had to buy a hoover; neither of us had one. We couldn't work out how to work the washing machine. It was in this flat that we became adults, in this flat that Steve asked me to marry him and, gross too much information, in this flat that our baby began.

And we are leaving it.

It also has a kick ass, so gorgeous I could die brick wall but that is beside the point....



This week is going to be hard.

Told you the wall was gorgeous.

Thursday, 1 March 2012

Getting the priorities right

Steve and I were talking about our honeymoon.

Steve: I think that guy in the restaurant had a crush on you.

Me: (feeling secretly smug) Really? I wouldn't be surprised. Most men do.

Steve: Really...

Me: Of course, I am the hotness, super fun and like to drink. What is not to love? I am a man's dream!

Steve says nothing.

Me: (pensively) Although... in my current knocked up state I am going to lose two of those qualities.... can't drink and vastly becoming unhot. Remind me to up the funness when we are next with people, ok?

Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Good thing he is pretty...

So I was reading an online newspaper and came across this headline:
'Meet the Great-Grandmother who is only 25 years old!'

Reading between the lines and considering the date, I, of course, understood to what the article was referring and read it outloud to Steve.

There is a silence.

I repeat it and add,

"Guess what date she was born on!"

Steve: Ummm... your birthday?

Me: No.... she is 25 and a great grandmother, guess her birthday!

Steve: How would I know? My birthday?

Me: No! How are you not getting this? She has had 25 birthdays but is actually 100 years old... so her birthday is...?

Steve: HOW THE HELL WOULD I KNOW?! I thought you said she was 25, now she is 100?!

Me: IT IS 29TH FEBRUARY STEVE! For the love of cheesecake! Bloody hell! How else would she be a 25 year old great grandma?

Steve: I just thought she was a really big chav.

Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Jam it up!

As I believe I have neglected to tell you, we are moving in just over a fortnight. I mean, what else would you do when you are 16 weeks pregnant other than pack up you and your husband's entire lives, inform what seems like a billion companies of a change of address, rearrange insurance, council tax and utilities and work full time eh?

Anyway, today is sorting out Livy's Clothes Day.

I know.

I am currently sat in my living room, surrounded by clothes, black sacks and a marker pen. Now, it turns out, I am ruthless. I have said goodbye to the jeans I first kissed the Steve in, the pink tweed Kookai jacket and mini skirt suit that I spent my first pay packet on (tis hideous by the way and hasn't fitted me in 6 years) and my beloved pink Tinkerbell hoodie.

There is an exception though....

Pyjamas.

Cuuuuuute. Incidently I do not own this pair. Although I wish I did.


Counting up I have 11 pairs of jammie bottoms (less tops for some reason) which seems excessive for a woman with only one bum. Just to be clear, those 11 don't count the pair I am currently wearing to bed or the two maternity pairs I have stashed in a carrier in the spare room.

And I cannot get rid of any of them.

It seems I am doomed to stay in bed a lot...