Friday, 28 November 2008

Why doesn't anyone tell you these things?

Being pregnant is very, very weird, at least for me. It means that my body does some pretty strange things and I have no control over them – so in a sense it’s a little like being possessed.

For example, I have the charmingly named “restless legs syndrome” which basically does exactly that. Every evening, when I’ve finally finished all my chores and jobs and I sit down to watch some TV and relax, my legs (in particular my left leg) have other ideas. It is very difficult to describe but basically I can’t just sit there without moving my legs and every minute or so I have to keep wiggling, moving and shaking my legs. Very, very annoying and nothing I can do about it.

I’ve also got some weird cravings. Last time I was pregnant I didn’t really crave anything (but I did consume masses of cucumbers and banana nut muffins). However, I kinda knew that those cravings were not really for real ones and I chose to act upon them. This time around, things are different. I really crave terracotta clay – to eat. The feeling came over me one day, out of the blue, and ever since I can’t stop thinking about it. There is a name for the condition: geophagia and while it’s nice to know that I am not going crazy, again I am involved in some strange behavior and can do nothing about it.

You may have deduced from these two symptoms that I could have anaemia and you would be right. A recent blood test confirmed that I am slightly anaemic which isn’t completely unexpected as I am vegetarian. But getting the diagnosis wound me up as the solution is obviously iron supplements, but these have rather unpleasant side effects. So I’m trying to manage it with diet and I can only hope that it works.

Of course my growing shape also brings with it a few issues like making me waddle, making me look like some deformed creature and making it very hard to get comfortable when in bed. I already had issues with my looks a few months ago and getting bigger isn’t helping at all – so I’m avoiding mirrors, cameras and anyone that dares to say “wow, you certainly are coming along!” Oh, and anyone that uses the word “bump” when referring to me or any part of my body.

So basically I am now a deformed, angry, restless, tired, hormonal woman that likes to eat clay… nice. I am getting pretty bored with the whole thing by about now and would love very much to go back to my normal body, the one I can control. The only thing that keeps me from going crazy is knowing that, no matter how weird and boring things are right now, they are SO much easier than living with a newborn baby.

It is only then that I will realize how little control I have over my life… I think I’d rather eat clay.

Thursday, 27 November 2008

Giving thanks

Although I don’t celebrate Thanksgiving as they do over in the USA, it is still nice to stop for a moment and think about those things I’m grateful for:

I’m grateful that my family and I are healthy and well. It’s so easy to forget that not everyone is so lucky and that we take health for granted most of the time.

I’m grateful for my friends, both near and far, because I think that whenever I need someone to talk to I can usually find someone. I am also grateful for the tools that make it possible for me to easily be in touch with people that are physically very far (or that I’ve never met!) but are close to my heart.

Almost every day I give thanks for my son, who is (most of the time); a very good boy and I know that he will go far. I hope his sister has the same sweet disposition and gentle personality (or at least isn’t a screaming diva, gosh how I’m dreading that!)

I’m thankful because we seem to be doing okay even with all this talk of economic meltdown all over the place. We made some lucky choices a little while ago and that appears to be working out just fine.

I’m very grateful to be able to make my own choices and be free. I’m thankful for a happy life and my two amazing boys. I’m thankful for being happy and to sometimes be able to make others happy.

I’m thankful for peanut butter sandwiches, weekend lie-ins and fresh flowers. I’m thankful for kind words, chocolate brownies and pepperoni pizzas. I’m thankful for being able to express my creativity by making pretty things or writing in this blog. I’m thankful for the chances I get to run outside in the sunshine, which gives me energy and an excuse to buy more running skirts.

I’m grateful to have experienced some amazing places in my life and for the hope that I will get to know some more in the future. I’m thankful for being who I am and for the memories I have made along the years.

In short, I am very thankful for all those things that make up my life.

Monday, 24 November 2008

Just as I grow, so does my stash

I am not scrapbooking as much as I used to lately. But it really isn’t because I don’t like doing it, it’s more because I keep running out of photos! As many of you know, I’ve been doing this for so long that I rarely have more than 3 months’ worth of photos in my To-Do pile and because I like to do double layouts with lots of photos (and do lots at once), I get caught up fairly quickly.

For a few months now a combination of factors has meant that I have been taking fewer photos than I used to. Probably the main factor is that as I get bigger, I am less and less inclined to be around a camera, in case anyone dares take a photo of me.

A lesser factor is that my camera has taken a few knocks and is slightly limiting so often I am a little disappointed with the eventual results. I have also not had many occasions where I’d want to take photos, but that is a lame excuse as I used to take photos of ANYTHING before. So it’s mainly issues with laziness, perceptions of me and the camera.

The end result boils down to a lot fewer photos than I used to take, which means that I am even more caught up with the scrapbooking stuff. I even made an album before I went away a few weeks ago, so that I would only need to insert the photos in it! I have noticed that my card making time is also increasing as I satisfy that creative streak in me.

So why did I spend a fortune in stash today?

I know that I don’t really need it but I did anyway. Well, I sort of do… you see, I’m starting to plan the new baby album and as I know we’ve got a girl coming, I need to stock up on the pink stuff. But don’t panic, I didn’t go too pink, after much search I settled on the Infuse collection from Basic Grey (there’s another thing, I RARELY buy BG so I really must be losing my mind) and then bought bits and pieces to match so that I can put an album together.

You see, when Samuel was born I had about three projects on at once: a pregnancy journal, a new baby book and a whole album just about him. I knew that if I ever had a second I would never be able to so this much work again but I also wanted to avoid the “second child thing” where there’s hardly any photos of that second child around. I just thought it was so unfair so I’m trying to redress that inevitable misbalance somehow. So a baby girl album seemed a fair thing to do and once that’s completed then we will revert to ONE album for the whole family which is what I do now and I find it works best for me.

When I’m going to find time to do this all is something I yet have to work out but at least I now have the stash to get busy with. And maybe I need to get a new camera…

Thursday, 20 November 2008

A study in contrasts

This is a beach near Bournemouth (UK) in August:

Note the grey skies (remember, this is August!), it was actually chilly enough that day for me to be sitting on the beach with a sweater on. It was very crowded as this was the last weekend of summer holidays so people were determined to get out regardless of the grim weather. Also notice those brightly colored windbreaker things: such a weird thing! My thoughts are, if you need those things you shouldn’t be sitting outside…

It didn't deter people though - some children were even swimming in the ice-cold seas and of course you can see all these people sitting out in what is pretty ugly weather. This part of Dorset has some of the few beaches in the UK that actually have sand so at least it was soft to sit on, and not on pebbles which is more common. But the beach is pretty small and everyone is crowded on a very tiny space: imagine what it's like on a NICE day!

But anyway, compare this to a photo of Miami Beach in November:

It isn’t very busy because it was a mid-week day in November (and I purposefully took the photo to try and avoid people in it). The weather was gorgeous but still a bit windy for Southern Florida standards, because of Hurricane Paloma that was whirling out in the Caribbean. But it was still good enough to sit out in and get a tan, which I did, and for lots of people to consider swimming, even though the red flags were out and the sea was pretty rough. But the sand is cool and soft, the water not freezing and the beach wide and spacious... a proper paradise.

If ever there was a better visual way to explain why it is that I find the UK so depressing sometimes, I can’t think of a better way than to contrast these two photos. Sure, it is an unfair comparison because of the geographical location of these places but you must remember that I was born and raised on lower latitudes so I’m much more used to sunshine and warmth and the never-ending winters that we get here in the UK are too much to ask for… even after nearly 12 years living here.

Now why did I go and post this today? It’s only made me feel worse… I guess I am a little homesick. It’s going to be a long time before I feel any warmth on my skin that doesn’t come from a radiator and before I get to sit out in the sun and not freeze.

I need to book a holiday soon. Before I burst into tears, ideally.

Tuesday, 18 November 2008

Happy 80th Mickey!

Today is Mickey Mouse’s 80th birthday. On November 18, 1928 “Steamboat Willie” (incidentally, the first short with synchronous sound) debuted at The Colony Theater in NYC. He’s of course gone on to become one of the most famous (if not THE most famous) animated characters as well as the icon for The Walt Disney Company and appears on countless tons of merchandise all over the world.

On a more personal note, I can’t remember a time when I didn’t have some sort of Mickey Mouse item around me. Even my nursery (which of course I didn’t decorate personally!) had Mickey Mouse images and from that moment on I guess this little mouse and I were lifelong friends. Even though I have gone on to know and love many other Disney characters, it is Mickey that has always remained my favorite (and the one always on my watch, my earrings and/or my necklaces!)

So to celebrate the birthday of this little mouse that roared, and a beloved friend here is the short that started it all – and it is still as entertaining as it was 80 years ago!

Thursday, 13 November 2008

Reality bites

I was sitting on this very beach yesterday, looking out at the sea, enjoying the breeze and feeling the sun on my skin...

I'm back in the UK now and needless to say the view isn't as nice (or warm) as this. I'm very tired, very jetlagged, very depressed by the weather here but cheered up by the memories of a brilliant week in Miami. Even though I always hate to leave when I'm on holiday, it's not because I don't want to come home and this time I really missed my boys so in a way, I'm also happy to be back.

I just wish it was at the very least sunny!

Monday, 3 November 2008

Election Day

Tomorrow is a big day for the USA – and the consequences will ripple throughout the world. It is a privilege and a responsibility to exercise your right to vote so make sure you do, if you are a citizen of the USA.

I personally hope (probably like most of Europe) Obama wins and a new era starts in the White House (not to mention a historic new addition to the Hall of Presidents in WDW!). But as long as everyone that can votes and has his or her vote counted, then democracy has worked and proven the system right.

So if you can – VOTE. It's not every day that you get to choose what the new animatronic figure will look like in a Disney attraction.


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