Thursday, September 28, 2006

Personal Correspondence from Blog Readers Anonymous

Email 1

Dear Ms Dalley,

It has been brought to our attention that after considerable thought and not a small amount of pondering you have decided to create your own blog.

Our society (Blog Readers Anonymous (BRA)) is delighted to hear of this impending new blog.

Word has been circulating amongst BRA members for a number of days now that your launch is imminent.

BRA would like to offer you considerable support for your venture. We believe that you will find our support to be an uplifting, and not-too-separating experience.

However there is a certain degree of impatience to see the launch of this blog building in some quarters. In order to placate our firm BRA members, please could you supply the URL of your blog as soon as possible.

The world is waiting.

In eager anticipation,

Mavis Firmbottom
Secretary
BRA


Email 2 - Response

Dear Ms Firmbottom,

Thank you for the kind letter from you and the distinguished members of Blog Readers Anonymous (BRA).
What an honour to be recognized by such a respected society.

I am delighted to let you be the first to view the launch of "The Fast and the Fabulous."

http://fastandfabulous.blogspot.com/

Respectfully yours,

Trudy Leanthighs
Beginner Blogger


Email 3

Dear Trudy Leanthighs, (and may I mention how aptly you are named)

I have been to aforementioned Blog site and see no signs that you are a beginner blogger at all. In fact I believe you may already be an expert judging by your witty and well-sculpted first entry.

BRA would like to know if we may make a public announcement about your new Blog on the Randomaneous site. Bearing in mind this will open you up to public scrutiny, please consider your response carefully.

BRA would hate to be responsible for angry accostments in Starbucks, or even the drooping of your Blog morale. BRA is firmly against drooping.

Thanks for your consideration of our request,

Yours,

Mavis Firmbottom
BRA


Email 4- Response

Dear Mavis Firmbottom,

Thank you for your kind email. May I reciprocate the mention of apt namelyness.

I would be more than delighted for BRA and in particular the renowned Randomaneous site, to make a public announcement about my blog's creation.

I am aware of your firm standards against drooping and feel that such a public announcement would only lead to more perkiness.

I entrust myself to the hands of your creativity.

Yours,

Trudy Leanthighs
Beginner Blogger



Public Annoucement from Blog Readers Anonymous (BRA)

Dear all, I am delighted to unveil our latest and greatest blog.

I feel sure that we will all be enjoying it's verbal flourishes and piquant insightfulness for many years to come.

The author, Trudy Leanthighs, has become a personal friend of mine and for that reason alone I will not be accosting her in Starbucks about any personal comments she makes about me on 'The Fast and the Fabulous'.

I hope that my more mature and experienced readers will note the reference to that epicentre of the movie canon in the title of Trudy's blog. (The fast and the furious). As we all know, Trudy is a firm fan of the acting talents of that fine young man, Vin Diesel. He also has great guns.

Please patronise the establishment of this new blog in a manner commensurate with your status as members of BRA by offering your daily support in an uplifting manner,

Yours as always,

Hilda Firmbottom
BRA

Click here to sample The Fast and the Fabulous

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Retail Therapy

Yesterday, mostly I read a book.

It was "One Good Turn" by Kate Atkinson. (I would create a link to it...but I am too lazy. Plus those of you who are reading this at work can now waste an extra 2 mins by searching for it on Amazon. See how considerate I am?)

Kate is one of my favourite authors. (Along with the heady company of Dickens, Peter Hoeg, Lawrence Sterne, Margaret Atwood, Wilkie Collins....oh and too many others to mention)(Which, yes, means I have forgotten their names).

Kate usually writes something 'they' call magical realism. Which probably goes along way to explain why I like her so much. Unless the term 'magical realism' means nothing to you.

In which case let me attempt to elucidate by example:

"Roger pulled the car over. He was nearly out of petrol. A large nearby tree bent over and lay on the ground. "Why?" It groaned to itself."

Yes, a kind of realistic book where barking mad things happen for no good reason.

Anyway, the latest Kate Atkinson is not like this. It is a crime novel. It is good. (Although I prefer more singing trees and airplanes that turn into oranges. And dogs that are in love with the goat from next door). The last line was my favourite bit. It made me smile.

But this is all by the by. Although I will mention that for the majority of my reading time I was kneeling on the floor leaning forward up against the bed in a most uncomfortable position - that in theory helps the baby twizzle round to the right position. Hum. Doesn't seem to be working so far. (But see, just see how noble I am??? Can you see it?)

The point of this post was REALLY to tell you about going into town AFTER the book reading, but as usual I got carried away talking about myself. Er, although the rest of this post is also...talking about myself. Surprise! That's kindof what a blog is though, right?

Anyway, I went into town, had coffee with Mel from antenatal class - who had her baby SIX WEEKS ago. SIX. SIX. SIX.
(Sorry, started banging head on wall)
Then I went straight to the shoeshop and bought myself these:


Mmmmm. Drool. Drool. I had to get the girl in the shop to tie the laces for me when I tried them on cos I couldn't do it myself without giving myself a kniption. And a kniption is not something you want to have in public.

Rather than ask her to untie and remove them for me (and also peel me a grape while she was at it) I just wore them home. Admiring them all the way. Yet another Adele impractical shoe purchase - what with the green suede and the gold material. But purhlease -they are so pretty.


By the way, did you know this?:

Mona Lisa pregnancy theory mooted

The scans can look beneath old paint and varnish
The famous smile on Leonardo Da Vinci's Mona Lisa could be because she is pregnant or had just had a baby, research suggests.
Canadian scientists used laser and infrared scans to produce a 3D image of the painting.

This allowed details beneath layers of paint to be seen - including a gauzy dress then associated with pregnant or new mothers.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Uh. Whaaa?

So I was just walking down the road.

In my flip flops as it has just turned gloriously summer-like here.

Walking a little like a Japanese geisha who is severely restricted by long skirtedness.

Or perhaps it was more 'waddling' like a duck.

In any case taking teeny tiny steps so I don't have to go "Oooh" outloud at every pace. (Just cringe internally)

And then.

I got wolf whistled.

From a passing car...which appeared to contain 'yoof'.

WOLF WHISTLED.

What could I do but laugh?

And feel sorry for the short-sighted youth who was just about to be ridiculed by his mates for accidentally wolf-whistling a 9 month pregnant woman.

Are there any other circumstances under which this is acceptable behaviour?

When someone bids you farewell by saying "See you on Thursday!"

And you reply - outloud. OUT LOUD. "Hopefully not!"

And it is perfectly acceptable?

When you are hoping to go into labour at any stage....it becomes acceptable.

I'm being optimistic as her due date is not till this Friday and let's face it that is a bit of an arbitrary date which means not much in the greater scheme of things. Despite this Dave has scheduled the birth in. Apparently it's going to start at 2.30pm on Friday and she'll be here by 7.30pm. Which would be a bit of a lively schedule if you ask me.....

Meanwhile I am torturing myself with thoughts that she could actually, legitimately be another 2 weeks!!!! Oh the impatience!

I seem in the last few days to have genuinely reached that 'fully pregnant' feel which some women seem to experience for weeks/months. It's the...ooh I can hardly twist around to look over my shoulder when reversing the car.....please don't make me bend over I may never be upright again....argh I have a 7lb baby bouncing on my bladder and bottom-bumping my stomach....FEELING.

I've just been to the midwife and the breaking news is that for the first time in about 8 weeks Baby R (shall we call her Drumstick?) has moved position! Sadly it is the wrong way!!! She is now a little bit posterior....so her spine is running down my left side....but further over and heading around the back.

Hopefully this just means she has decided to take the long route to the correct side.....via my backbone. Fair enough. I am a bit of an ambler myself when it comes to getting from A to B.

Otherwise, all is well....just about every possible little thing is ready....we have decided on a firstname...if she is in fact actually and really a girl. But don't ask me what it is as we won't unveil it until we see her and see if it fits. I'm also getting a bit worried that with all the spoof names we've been bandying about (Cynthia, Agatha, Esmeralda, Drumstick) when we announce her REAL name - you will all think it is a joke! This is what happens to the girl who cries "Wolf!" or "Fire!". Actually I used to know a guy called Wolf Forrester-Barker.....but that's beside the point.

So be warned...when the name is announced attached to details such as birth date, weight etc...it's the REAL name. And stifle your laughter my friends. Stifle it, I say.

Ok, just to distract you from all this nonsense...how about some MORE pregnancy photos? Yes there are more....unbelievable isn't it? But inspired by Lynley's beautiful shots taken by the lovely AJ...I felt most thwarted that AJ wasn't here to make me look all wistful and content etc. So I booked a Taupo photographer....and I have to say the girl done good! Well, I like them anyway!



Friday, September 22, 2006

The more reckless elements amongst you are demanding more details...so what can I do?

Ok so it's just Cathy and Krista who are asking all sorts of specific and informed questions about Baby R....but I hate to deny anyone of a blow-by-blow account of all things detailed concerning the babe. So here are as many details as I can think of concerning her...and inevitably myself. Don't worry I will spare you the scary, girlie details.....I only send those out by email to those with cast iron constitutions!

She is currently standing on her head with her backbone running up my right hand side....her legs crossing over to my left hand side. Kind of like a 'g' formation. She has been in this position for weeks and weeks and weeks and weeks. She isn't one of those babies that does dramatic cartwheels and makes your stomach lurch like a Mexican Wave. She seems to have found her spot and stuck to it. Of course there isn't that much room for her to tango about!

The 'ideal' position as far as I understand it is for her to be head down but on the other side...so kind of like a p...this makes for the easiest exit strategy. But she can suddenly swivel into this at any moment during the actual delivery so it's not a biggie that's she's the other way around. I keep doing all the correct things to help her move into position...sleeping on my left, leaning forward at all times, not leaning back - oh no! The forbidden pleasures of slouching and lounging...these are foreign to me! Still, it makes no difference! Oh well! As long as she isn't breech (bum down) or posterior (her backbone to my backbone) things are hunkydory.

When I do something that annoys her - you know make an inappropriate joke or slurp my soup from the wrong side of the spoon - she kicks me in my left hand side. If I'm lucky her feet will kind of hit me in the ribs which makes me go "Oh!" and rub the spot vehemently. That usually calms her down. She's not so much about the kicking, to be honest.

The thing that sets her off is if I roll onto my right hand side in bed (one of the FORBIDDEN positions). She doesn't seem keen on this position at all. Or perhaps she is a stickler for the rules??? My daughter? Not likely!

Occasionally she'll kick me while I'm bobbing about at Aquanatal....but I take this as a sign of her deep enjoyment. (As you can tell I don't have a clue what's going on I just interpret it according to my whim......is this good parenting???)

She'll quite often get hiccups at night and then my right hand side will pulsate for a little while as she hiccups away! Somebody told me that babies who get hiccups (wait for it...this is bizarre) have a lot of hair!!!! Erm, how on earth does that work? She has a plait like Rapunzel and accidentally chews on it and gets gas????

Other than that the most common movements are as she turns her head...and that is quite a peculiar sensation I can tell you! She's 2/5 to 3/5 engaged...which means that her head is 2 to 3 fifths down in my pelvis. The baby doesn't get to 5 fifths engaged until about a second before she pops out...so that stat really doesn't tell you anything!!! First babies apparently engage their heads earlier as they are more squished for space and get pressed down sooner. Nice!

Sometimes she'll get a complete wiggle on and just squiggle and squirm non-stop for ages. Probably at least an hour I'd say. This often happens when I sit down after wandering around and being active for a long time. (My motions rock her to sleep and when I stop she wakes up). So about 7pm in the evening is a lively time....or when I go to bed. Also at church!!! She can push up into my ribs & lungs at these times and it gets quite uncomfortable and hard to breathe. I tend to pace or rock or walk about if she has a wiggle on. But often she just wants to wiggle and wiggle she will! This only usually happens once or twice a day. I guess wiggling has limited appeal when you can't really move anywhere!

She seems to be quite a chilled out baby in terms of reactions....things don't seem to get her all hot and bothered. If I have a really cold drink...or spicy food....or listen to loud music...she takes it all in her stride. She did leap about continually during the Pirates of the Caribbean. Don't know if that was all the vibrations from the sound effects. Or the fact that she really likes Johnny Depp with eye liner. I have my suspicions.

While being pregnant my tastes have changed quite a lot...so I don't know if I can attribute this to her personal tastes affecting mine. Or whether it is the hormones. But if it is all about her...we can establish the following:

1) She is obsessed with the potato. I have never eaten so much potato in my life. Mashed. Boiled. Baked. Fried. Chipped. It's all good.
2) She likes bacon. I have never liked bacon! Oh but now......those piggies are not safe around me!
3) She likes beer. A lot. I have never liked beer....but when I sneak a sip of Dave's these days...it is like NECTAR. It takes considerable restraint not to neck the lot.

(Is it coincidence that she spent time in her formative months with a) my parents - the devotees of the bacon butty and b) Sarah Dalley -one of the few elegant women I know who loves beer?)

4) She likes her tea strong. A good Northern strength with a dash of milk. But...but.. I like my tea weak with loads of milk!!!
5) She has a wild passion with all things Citrus. At a conservative estimate I have consumed about 342 gallons of orange juice in the last 9 months.
6) She's not so much about the sugar. Makes her feel gacky.

So....that is what we know about the adorable munchkin so far.

Well, when I say 'know'...clearly I am making most of it up as I go along!

Hope that has satiated Cathy & Krista's need for details....and not killed the rest of you off!

By the way, I already feel extremely fierce about the cherub...so please don't leave any disparaging comments about her. Or I will be forced to seek you out in the wee hours and put a bat up your nighty.

You have been warned!

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Are you a glass half-empty or glass half-full kind of person?

So this should separate the sheep from the goats....the espressos from the lattes....or more to the point the cats from the dogs.

Here is an email that my lovely sis-in-law - Christa sent me today.

So my question is, who do you relate to more?

And don't give me some tripe about not relating to animal behaviours. I've seen how you eat.

(Although if I were inclined towards being a dog, I might like the tripe....hmmmm)

A Dog's Diary

7 am - Oh boy! A walk! My favorite!
8 am - Oh boy! Dog food! My favorite!
9 am - Oh boy! The kids! My favorite!
Noon - Oh boy! The yard! My favorite!
2 pm - Oh boy! A car ride! My favorite!
3 pm - Oh boy! The kids! My favorite!
4 pm - Oh boy! Playing ball! My favorite!
6 pm - Oh boy! Welcome home Mom! My favorite!
7 pm - Oh boy! Welcome home Dad! My favorite!
8 pm - Oh boy! Dog food! My favorite!
9 pm - Oh boy! Tummy rubs on the couch! My favorite!
11 pm - Oh boy! Sleeping in my people's bed! My favorite!



A Cat's Diary

Day 183 of my captivity.

My captors continued to taunt me with bizarre little dangling objects.

They dine lavishly on fresh meat, while I am forced to eat dry cereal.

The only thing that keeps me going is the hope of escape, and the mild satisfaction I get from clawing the furniture. Tomorrow I may eat another house plant.

Today my attempt to kill my captors by weaving around their feet while they were walking almost succeeded. Maybe I should try this at the top of the stairs.

In an attempt to disgust and repulse these vile oppressors, I once again induced myself to vomit on their favorite chair. I must try this on their bed.

Decapitated a mouse and brought them the headless body in an attempt to make them aware of what I am capable of, and to try to strike fear into their hearts. They only cooed and condescended about what a good little kitty cat I was. This is not working according to plan.

There was some sort of gathering of their accomplices. I was placed in solitary confinement throughout the event. However, I could hear the noise and smell the food. More important, I overheard that my confinement was due to my powers of inducing something called "allergies." Must learn what this is and how to use it to my advantage.

I am convinced the other captives are flunkies and maybe snitches. The dog is routinely released and seems more than happy to return. He is obviously a half-wit. The bird, on the other hand, has got to be an informant. He speaks with them regularly, and I am certain he reports my every move. Due to his current placement in the metal room, his safety is assured.

But I can wait.

It's only a matter of time..........

Thursday, September 14, 2006

38 Weeks



Holy smokes! Can it be true? Have I managed to get Dave to hold an ACTUAL camera in his hand so that I can have a photo sans the toilet lurking in the background?

Yes 'tis true - the pregnancy husband's duties are never-ending and he patiently pursued me around the house last night trying to find enough light to illuminate the bump.

I'm 38 weeks today and the babe is officially full-term, even though most pregnancies run to 40 weeks. So in theory I could slip into a mildly uncomfortable, evenly paced labour at any moment! Then again if she decides to be a bit on the fashionably late side I could have another 4 weeks to wait!

In this case as in many others I am hoping that little Esmeralda takes after her father - who is the model of punctuality and the very antithesis of procrastination. In fact if you could bottle Dave or somehow turn the essence of Dave into a pill - he could single-handedly erase time-wasting and procrastination from the face of the earth. It would be a more exciting discovery than a diet pill that actually works! So you scientists out there - get working on that ok?

Of course my personal motto is "Why procrastinate now, when you can do it tomorrow?"

Anyway, while we're talking about Dave....can I just tell you that he has been a totally amazing pregnancy minion/husband?

I lose count of the number of times he pops back at lunchtime from his high powered job where he is responsible for millions of dollars worth of buildingy stuff - only to find me crying on the couch for some inexplicable reason. At this point he then shows exemplary behaviour by:

a) noticing that I am crying/have been crying/am imminently about to start crying
b) giving me hugs and asking what is wrong
c) not sighing and rolling his eyes when I respond that mostly I don't know
d) saying something encouraging
e) making a sandwich with enough cheese to re-constitue the moon if it ever falls out of its orbit - thus making me laugh (at the amount of cheese he uses, not the thought of the moon falling out of the sky)

Sometimes he comes home after a hard day of about 83 hours of work in which he has solved more fractions & disputes than Kofi Annan ever managed to...and finds not a piping hot dinner prepared for him by his layabout wife. No, in fact finds layabout wife, laying about either looking sleepy or tearful. And he doesn't go ballistic. In fact he might just cook the dinner himself. And even refrains from putting 203 chillis and 7 sackloads of spice into it - to suit his own personal long-ago-exploded tastebuds. Instead he follows the Bland Guidelines that I am currently enforcing in all cooking. In fact soon I will be releasing my new cookbook "Beige and Bland - Adele's Pregnancy Cookbook".

Also, he is always telling me what a good job I am doing growing and looking after the baby. And that he is proud of me.

Plus he is totally interested in the purchase of all baby accoutrements and takes time to shake them, bend them and work out how the 23 safety features work. In fact I may have to call him up every time I want to use the stroller/car seat/bouncer/toilet...just to remind me how to do it!

Yeah so he is pretty amazing. I feel very, very lucky to have such a fab husband.

(Oh and did I mention that he earns actual MONEY? And I get to SPEND IT.)

Meanwhile, Harley is getting very anxious about the impending new arrival. Please witness his stressed out pose....

Monday, September 11, 2006

Nesting....or just a bit of light cleaning

Finally the nesting instinct kicks in.....

Or is it that I just got around to cleaning up?

Well I haven't got the urge to scale the walls and clean the picture rails. (Fortunate, as there aren't any.)

Or to ascend ladders up the side of the house and scrub the windows with my toothbrush.

And the tile floors are still safe from my close attention with a scourer.

Ok, so really all the 'nesting instinct' amounts to so far is a bit of hoovering, washing and ooooh - the piece de resistance - Shannon, are you ready for this? I organised the food in my cupboard into types....."carbs" "spices" "sauces" "snack foods" "jams & spreads" etc.

Phew! An achievement indeed.

Oooh and I washed all the baby clothes and bedding in eco friendly non-allergenicy stuff. And made up the cot and bassinet. So just in case Baby R decides she can't wait another 3 weeks to meet us, we are almost ready.

Oh and I sewed tags on a wall hanging for the nursery. And put things up on the walls. Cos we're renting we can't do much about the boring grey/brown walls so I've tried to snazz it up a bit with accoutrements.

I tried to take some photos to show you the baby's room....just in case you are interested!!!! I'm sure you're all as fascinated as me by bed linen and wall hangings......hmmmmmm! Enjoy!








Friday, September 08, 2006

Journalism at its best

This is the front page of the Taupo Times today.

Honestly.

Not photoshopped.

Just here in all its unadulterated glory.



(It was a police dog...in case you were wondering)

Monday, September 04, 2006

Spring is sprung. The grass is riz. I wonder where dem birdies is.

I'm back from the big smoke (Auckland) where there were malls....oooh...and big shops.....oooh and big roads...nyahh.....and the ocean.....aaaahhh.

Ah yes and the conference was jolly good too. Billsibob Johnson (as he's known to his friends) (ok, only to me) was amazing and inspirational as always. And God showed me some stuff. That made me smile. So that was good.

On the downside I missed y'all terribly and it just didn't seem right at all that none of the TACF crowd was there. We would have had a lot of fun in the HS if you had been. >sigh<

Anyhoo, back in the dizzying heights of Taupo (we realised the other day that there is only one set of traffic lights in the whole town. ONE. Freaky McDeaky)....spring has sprung and the grass has riz. Yes September 1st marks the first day of Spring. Confused? You should be. But the lambs are gambolling and the daffodils are blooming and so I guess it really is Spring.

Winter in Taupo is a complete doddle compared to the UK (rain, rain and more rain) and Canada (snow, snow and more snow)...and there have been many, many days of sunshine so hot you can sit outside in your longsleeves with scant regard for a coat. Ok it has been a tad chilly at times too....but minus 3 hardly relates to a Torontonian minus 30 does it?

And I'm not just telling you all this to incite you to move here instantly. Ok, yes I am....but it's the truth nonetheless. By the way Dave has been known to offer bribes of buying a boat for people who move here. A boat that they would share with us. But a big ol' shiny motorboat nonethesless. I just mention it in passing....

Ok other than these sad attempts to lure you to the other side of the world (come see the lambs gambol...they gambol people, they gambol)...what else is new?

I'm week 36 of ye olde pregnancie...actually nearly week 37. That's 37 out of 40 for those of you unacquainted with the binary system of pregnancy calculation. ( I like to throw in some technical mathematical terms just to amuse Jason W).
So the end is really, very nigh. Although apparently the last weeks drag...so it may not feel that soon to me. Dave and I have an appointment with The Loveliest Midwife in the World, Sonia, tomorrow to discuss our birth plan.

My unoffical birth plan is:

1) Go "ooh" I'm having contractions
2) Wow, these aren't so bad
3) Hmmm...I think I'll hop in the birth pool with my rubber duck
4) Splash, splash...who needs an epidural?
5) Wow, I'm ready to start pushing...already...and it's only been about 4 hours and gosh it doesn't really hurt that much
6) Push! Push! Ooh look there's the baby, she's just popping out so easily
7) Ahhhh....look at lovely baby...she is lovely and unsquished and I instantly know what her name should be...and Dave agrees.

The End.

Now don't bother me with realism at this point...me and my rubber duck and my non-painful contractions are doing very well without you and your cynical laughter thank you very much.

Just to distract you from leaving sinister comments....here are some more photos of the bump. I know, I know, I keep posting these but Cathy says that there are never enough. And who among us would wish to deprive the lovely Cathy of anything her heart desires? Especially since she had a dream in which I pulled the baby out of a pouch to show her....and I am secretly hoping that I really do have a pouch. The Kangaroos really seem to be onto something with that birth plan....