Thursday, October 30, 2008

We before me?

Currently in my latter pregnancy stages (37 weeks as of tomorrow), whatever I put on feels too tight, or warm, or restricting or hot. Seriously, if you could walk around in miu-miu’s 24/7 I’d be a happy lady.

Fortunately, work finishes up tomorrow and that’s the end of restricting work suits and the like. If I choose to spend a day at home next week, I can go bra-less if I want (my favourite thing right now for some reason).

I just headed out at lunchtime to Barkins to see if I was able to find some maxi dresses that I could wear with some cardigans. I spied them in the shop window the other day and they looked very comfy and expandable over the bump. Unfortunately when I tried them on they were very see-through and I decided best not to buy them.

While wandering through the store, I decided to look at their sleepwear section as I need to pack the labour bag this weekend. The baby’s is packed and so is Richard’s. Mine is not.

I’m finding its becoming a common theme lately. I’m more concerned the baby has enough cute clothes and wraps for hospital and that Richard has snacks and drinks and a toothbrush to see him through the long hours of labour than myself. Aren’t I the one giving birth?

It’s the same with shopping. I am finding it increasingly harder to buy something for myself. I’d rather spend the money on the baby or get something nice for Richard since he’s working so hard right now.

I desperately need my hair cut and coloured right now, but I keep putting it off for other stuff. I remember my mum doing this a lot when we were kids. One day I caught her sewing up her bra. ‘Mum, please buy yourself a new bra! ‘ - I think I was 13 at the time when I said this to her. She explained to me when I became a mum, I would understand. And I think I do now, but I also believe there has to be a balance where you don’t neglect yourself as well.

So with that in mind, I got myself some funky new pj’s for the hospital. Three quarter length grey marle cotton pants and a purple baby doll style tank top with white stars on it. Totally impractical for breastfeeding of course! But, I’m looking forward to that shower after birth and settling down on the bed with my new baby and husband and having that first family photo together.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

My man...

Lately I have been thinking about how much I love my husband. I do love him so, so much. Throughout pregnancy he's just been terrific. He's patient and will listen to me prattle on about anything to do with babies or pregnancy. He even watches all the birth shows I am subjecting myself to on the Health channel (including Jon and Kate + 8 - I am addicted to this show). I just know he's going to be a terrific father.

Richard has so much more patience than me. I am seriously too impatient and he just has it in bucketloads. I think our kid is just going to love that.

If I had to pick what I love about him the most, its that he has integrity. He's very thoughtful and will think before he speaks.

When Richard was a baby his mum noticed that he had a curvature of the spine and throughout primary and high school he had to wear a brace for his scoliosis. At 17 he went through a major operation where his lung had to be deflated and his back had to be cut open to create a steel rod to go on either side of his spine. We've talked about this a lot and what he went through at school and with his health. I think he's the bravest man I've ever met. He refuses to feel sorry for himself and is so positive about everything life has to offer.

When we left London I got all his family and friends together and organised a big suprise party for him. Moving to Australia was one of his dreams and he wasn't sure if he could do it on his own which is why after six weeks together, he asked me to come with him. I immediately said yes even though I was very happy with my London life at that point - something inside of me said it was the right decision to take an adventure with this man. The party itself was a massive success. I organised an Asian Elvis impersonator that had once given him and his mates a cab ride home after a big night out. The venue was also where he had his 21st and it was during that evening that Richard pulled me into the adjoining room and told me one day he would ask me to marry him. It felt like that even though we had lived on opposite sides of the world for our whole lives, there was a reason why I moved to London when I did and it was to find Richard.

Some things in life are just meant to be and I remember the scared 27 year old me who got on that plane in Perth and decided to go to London for a while and have a huge adventure. Secretly, I wanted the adventure to find me my soulmate and it did. I thank god every day that I said goodbye to all I ever knew and found the man of my dreams.

Love you sweetheart xx

Monday, October 27, 2008

My hair

I am at a loss as to what to do with my hair before the baby is born.

Currently, it needs a good cut and needs to be re-foiled. My roots are shocking and its gotten pretty long and tatty. Hair grows fast during pregnancy!

I've always tried to have a new hairstyle every six months but it always goes back to what it is, a medium length bob tucked behind my ears.

Each morning it takes me 45 mins to do. I wash it, spray it with leave in conditioner and blow dry it straight. Then I get the straighteners out and section it. It takes forever and its not something I will have time to do when the baby is here. I'll be lucky if I have time to wash it.

This is what it currently looks like (this photo was taken last year and I was v drunk)

And I am thinking about this haircut, simply because I like the colour and it looks a lot easier to manage:

But then if I keep it long and get a good colour and trim, I can do it before I go to bed each night and tie it back in a pony tail the next morning.


Sunday, October 26, 2008

The M Word

If I have one regret in my life and I try not to live life with too many regrets, is that I wish I had bought real estate when I was younger. Instead, I spent it on big nights out and clothes.

Then again, in my 20's, I didn't really earn serious money. It was only when I moved to London and got my career sorted out and came back to Australia that I started to earn half way decent money.

Even now, I wish I just earnt $5-10K more. It would make a huge difference. Unfortunately, I'm too lazy and have trouble sticking things out. I started a counselling course in 2007 and have only completed one unit. I loved the course but it was so expensive and we were in savings mode for the baby. But, in order for one to progress, money needs to be spent doesn't it?

But, I know I am a hard worker. I've worked for the same recruitment company in Sydney for four years now and in that time I've had two promotions. Now I work in their HR department and my boss is telling me that I will be really missed when I go on maternity leave this Friday. I know that I am relied upon, that my colleagues can trust me to meet deadlines and that I am quick to complete all my work. I am complimented on my efficiency almost weekly which makes me feel really good. In HR, I like to get back to people quickly when it affects their working life or salary.

I've made the role my own and my boss said if it wasn't for the economy right now, he could give me that extra $10K.

If I hadn't have met Richard, I reckon I'd still be shit with my finances. But Richard is brilliant with money, even though, like me he regrets not buying a place with his brother in London. Had he have gone half in the maisonette his brother bought in West London and consequently sold last year, he would have made a tidy sum. But like me, boys nights out and the lure of travel beckoned.

Now we watch all those home shows on the Lifestyle channel with Phil and Kirsty and Sarah Beeney and quite frankly its depressing. We want our own home, but are basically scared of getting into so much debt and being tired to a mortgage. Then again, paying $490 a week for a two bedroom flat in the eastern suburbs of Sydney is just silly too.

Anyway, this year, Rich and I have worked hard to save. We have saved enough for me to have six months off work, its all spreadsheeted and accounted for in the excel spreadsheet I put together. We also managed to save a nice sum for a house deposit too.

This morning over breakfast, we talked about the first home buyers grant. Its now $14K for an existing house or $21K to build your own house. We love Sydney, but our hearts aren't here. If we had family here it might be a different story, but we don't. So that leaves Perth or London. And Richard's love affair with London ended a long time ago. Its still home for him and he misses his family desperately, but knows we can have a good life in Perth. And my family are from there and we are all really close. It just makes sense to go there, especially now with a baby on the way.

The plan is to move over there in July next year. Richard bought up the possibility of getting our pre-approval from the mortgage broker that we know in January and taking a holiday over to Perth before his parents arrive in March to scout possible buys. We'd rent it out for 6 months and then when we move over, stay with my parents for a few months and then move in. I think its a good idea, but its scary too. Do we get something small that we can add a bit value too, live in it for a year or so and then sell? Or do we get a big mortgage and have room to grow? And what about me not earning any money in those six months? Richard suggested I could go back to work for 2 days a week when his parents are here for 6 weeks and they can help out with childcare. much to think of.

It seems like this is a good opportunity and maybe its a case of jumping in quickly. But I am scared that one of us will be made redundant or we have difficulty finding work in Perth. Too many variables to think of. And don't they say that in the first year of your baby's life its a good idea to not have too many drastic life changes? Argghhhhh...but I do want our own place though.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Ah, bleach, I love you.

This morning my husband told me he had to go to work for the day. Which is a bit of a pain as we are counting down the weekends till the baby gets here and I'd like to spend as much time together as possible. But, bless him, he's a hard worker and he's finishing up a massive project that finishes, yep you guessed it, a week before the baby arrives. So I can understand his reasoning for going in on a beautiful day.

So this morning, I got organised. I was up with the birds at 8am. I had my fruit, milk and Elevit tablet for breakfast. I had my shower and got dressed. That pesky basket of laundry has been taunting me for weeks and today was the day it was all getting done.

I finally finished cleaning our little flat at 5pm today. Everything is just taking a bit longer than it used to. I'll feel like I am bursting for the loo and then I go, and for my efforts I receive a minimal tinkle from my flower area when in actual fact I feel like I might die if I don't get to the bathroom in a hurry. What does that mean exactly? Is the baby's head lower?

And god I scrubbed today. I attacked everything with bleach. I am obsessed with the smell of it and feel an immense amount of satisfaction when I can smell it throughout the house. I do wonder if I am reaching Obsessive Compulsive Disorder levels of cleanliness. It took all of my willpower to not attack the toilet with an old toothbrush.

I also wrote out a list of all the jobs I need to do in the next four weeks and tested out whether the pram fits in our car. It doesn't. We have a DINK 3-door car and a family about to engulf it. I am only beginning to realise that babies take up space and we need a bigger house and car. Oh well. We'll get there somehow.

If we take the two big wheels off the strider, it just fits in the boot. So when Rich got home this afternoon we did a few practice runs of getting it in and out and collapsing and opening up the pram. We just need to bear in mind when we next do that, we'll have a baby in the back seat who might not have the same patience as the two of us.

Logistics, I tell you. Its what keeps me up at night :)

Friday, October 24, 2008

The weekend is nearly here...

Thank god. This week seems to have dragggeeedddd.

Rich and I had a good start to Friday morning. Well, almost, if it wasn't for that bloody banshee screaming bird that lives outside our bedroom window. Four mornings in a row its been making extreme calling/mating sounds with no other birdlife responding. It starts at 5am and I'd be a lot happier if it started at 6am when my alarm went off.

Anyway, I digress.

Richard's parents have now booked their flights to come to Sydney. They arrive on the 4th March next year to meet their new grandchild and Richard is really excited. He really misses his parents and I know the pregnancy has been hard on him, with not being able to share it with them, unless you count updating them on the phone. I guess we have both felt that, as my family is in Perth, so, yeah its been tough but good for us both I think too.

Rich also got up early to make a trip down to Surry Hills post office at 6am to collect our pram (go the Steelcraft Strider 4 in red!!) which came in a big box and with a big postal bag of clothes from my lovely sister in law Amanda.

I hope the pram is not a big bother to put together (like the cot). I'm sure it will be fine.

And I can't wait to put one of the teddies in it and take it for a test run around the apartment!

Apart from that, this weekend I am getting all Aggie and Kim-like and will be nesting to my heart's content. I'm on a mission to save more space in our tiny two bed flat. I've bought plastic boxes and wardrobe hangings from Bunnings and I am re-doing our whole walk in wardrobe. Jesus, life has changed! Next I'll be overdosing on Tupperware.

And maybe, we might get to see that new Simon Pegg film in Gold Class since we have been overdosing on Magnums lately (the wrappers include a free upgrade to Gold Class).

Have a great weekend everyone!


Wednesday, October 22, 2008

An ode to Charlie

On the 27th November 2005 my first niece was born, Charlize (Charlie) Collyer-Braby. I have three brothers and my middle brother David had Charlie with his wife Emma. At the time David and Emma had only been together about 2 months. The pregnancy was a shock for all of us and I happened to be in Perth when David announced the news. He announced it by handing me an ultrasound photo. My mother couldn't stop crying.

Since Charlie, my other brother Ross and his fiancee Amanda have had two boys - Jack and Harry. Everyone in our family loves these kids so much, but for some reason Charlie holds a special place in all our hearts.

Maybe its because she is a girl.

I remember meeting her for the first time and holding her. I thought my heart would explode and I couldn't help but be overwhelmed by that feeling. She looked at me with these big eyes and stuck her hand in her mouth.
Charlie is now nearly 3 and my mum babysits her each Tuesday. I call up when I come home from work to talk to her each week. Last night, this is how the conversation went:

Charlie: HELLO?????????

Me: Charlie, its me, Jo-Jo

Charlie: Doh-Doh!!!! Can I talk to Richard? Where's Richard? Is the baby in Richard's belly?

Me: No, its in my belly. Richard's at work but he will call you when he comes home.

Charlie: Oh. Doh-Doh, today nanny took me on the slippery dip and we had sgetti (spaghetti) and I want to talk to Richard.
Me: That's great Charlie. Richard is coming home tonight to put stars on the ceiling for the baby's room.

Charlie: Me and nanny get on a plane to Sydney and see Richard and the baby????

I love talking to her. And she loves Richard.

Richard doesn't have to do a lot. He can sit on the couch drinking a beer and Charlie will gravitate onto his lap and start twirling his hair.

She is such a GOOD kid. My mum reckons she's 3 going on 30. She susses people out pretty quickly so I think her judgement of character is going to be good when she's older. She also loves other kids and babies. So much so, I think she's dying for a baby brother or sister.
Unfortunately, I don't think David and Emma want any more kids. Its just as well we have our little one on the way as I think they will be great mates. Hence the reason why I am keen to move back to Perth next year, so these little guys can get to know one another.

Anyway, Charlie is a dream come true and her birth was met with so much happiness in our family. Having her as a flowergirl on our wedding day meant the world to me. And she was such a trooper for someone who had to wear a big fluffy white dress on a 45 degree day.

Our baby is due on the 21 November. I wonder if I go late and it comes on Charlie's birthday? We'll see I guess.

Monday, October 20, 2008 much longer can I last?

I'm on the countdown. For work that is. I have this week left and then next week. And quite frankly it can't come soon enough.

You see, at home, its easy. I can walk around bra-less and if I get hot, I can walk around the flat in my undies and a singlet if I want to. At work its a different story. My shoes seem to be getting smaller and I must admit my maternity bra is getting tighter. Note to self: must get a bigger size!

Right now I am sitting at the computer, bra-less, with two wet flannels over my boobs and a wet flannel on my bump. I CANNOT STOP THIS ITCHING! And I scratch it, but not too much.

So far there is no rash, but that hasn't stopped me raiding the various creams and lotions I have stacked under the change table that would normally be used for the baby's bot bot to slather on my boobs and bump.

This morning at 3am, while pacing the loungeroom (naked - I'm so bloody hot these days), it hit me. I will be giving birth, and soon, I will be pacing the loungeroom with a baby. Good lord Jo, its hit you at nearly 36 weeks? Where have you been, denial city?

Sometimes I think because it took us 13 months to conceive this little beauty that its taken longer for the pregnancy to sink in. I'm not sure.

Anyhoo...hurry up work. I have lots to get done. I need an afternoon nap and its not nice walking down Pitt St getting stabbing pains in your noo-na during your lunch break. The general public don't want to see that :)

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Life is changing already

I am so excited. Tonight I just ordered our pram on the internet. I'm in love with it and I've maxed out my credit card this week (must not tell Richard this).

Its a Steelcraft Strider 4 and its in red. I have to get red as red goes faster, right? I did like the pebble colour but thought red was more 'us'. My husband goes for the Sydney Swans and Liverpool and I'm a Freo Dockers supporter and no doubt the baby will be co-erced into supporting one of these teams and they all feature the red colour.

Plus my dear mum bought the baby red crocs. In minature. It'll colour co-ordinate at least!

So, I am so excited about our pram. I don't drive at the moment so I plan to use it a lot with long walks to Surry Hills while I am on maternity leave for grocery market trips and lunches with me and the babe. And Richard wants to do laps around Centennial Park on Saturday mornings with the baby, but now he is torn - Strider or Bjorn?

I remember when our Saturday mornings consisted of sunglasses, hangovers and fried breakfasts at a greasy spoon! Now we'll be up with the birds! And we love that now...I think Richard has had two hangovers in all my pregnancy...

Last night Rich took a 35 week preggie shot for me. I'm stressing as I think I have dropped slightly and now I am wondering if the baby is going to come early. But I am still short of breath so I don't think I have - maybe its the photo.

We also see Ellie our midwife tomorrow morning. Rich is coming so he'll hear the heartbeat which he loves and hopefully she'll be able to tell us a bit more about our bubba.

I'm getting excited now. Bubba - are you a boy or girl? Are you excited about meeting us? So many people love you so much already...I can't wait for you to meet everyone...

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

My latest crush

Since I found out I was pregnant, there are days where I have found my mind wondering to my life prior to getting all grown up and responsible like.

I've reminisced about the carefree days, clubbing in Paris, travelling through the country side in Spain and giggling with my 10 million flatmates who I shared a poky house with in London. I've also been remembering long hot summers in Perth, where we would sit on the beach for hours on end and then head out to watch bands on Saturday night. Life seemed to be about fun, cute boys and hangovers back then.

I remember one particular night when the girls I lived with in Perth suggested going to a club in the city to see Boom Crash Opera. I've always loved their music. I thought they had amazing energy and a really good sound. In particular, I LOVED their lead singer Dale Ryder.

He was born in India, and had this wild look about him. The curly hair, come hither bedroom eyes and baggy 90's shirts. 'Dancing in the Storm' is one of my favourite songs of all time. Watch it here and see how CUTE Dale is:

This particular night, high on champagne and hot weather, 5 of us stormed the dancefloor at this club before BCO were due on stage. I remember laughing a lot and thinking what a great night it was going to be. My besties and the cute man on stage. Out of the corner of my eye I could see a man with curly hair smoking a cigarette in the darkness. He was sitting to the left of the stage, in front of the dancefloor. When I looked closer, I could see it was Dale Ryder, watching me and the girls carrying on like dickheads and getting too drunk!

That night, BCO were on fire. They sung all their hits and I scored a wink from Dale towards the end of the night, I thought my heart would burst out of my chest! You could see they loved their fans and really enjoyed playing for the packed house.

While sitting at work yesterday, a BCO song came on the radio. I immediately thought of that night. And when I got home last night, I decided to google Dale and the boys from BCO. Dale now heads a cover band in Melbourne called the Dale Ryder Band and the BCO boys still get together from time to time to tour.

I couldn't believe how much Dale has changed though, if you look at the piccie above. He looks a lot different now and well, middle aged! I guess it happens to the best of us.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

How many people does it take to assemble baby furniture?

My husband and I decided that this weekend would be operation baby. We've had houseguests for the past two weeks who left last week to go back to the UK for three months. So, we now have our flat back to ourselves. Just the way we like it. Peaceful. Clean. We can even walk around naked if we want to.

With six weeks to go until our baby arrives, we decided now would be a good idea to get the nursery organised. Because, I am 34 weeks pregnant. Women have given birth at this stage before and we haven't even bought a cot mattress yet.

So, off to Bondi Junction we trot. We decide to get there early as my husband can't face it when there are millions of people around. I of course, could die there quite happily.

We had to get three things: a cot mattress, monitor and Baby Bjorn.

No one explains to you that when you start to buy the baby items, that a whole new world becomes apparent. Did you know there are two types of Baby Bjorns the salesperson in DJ's tells me? No I reply. And a million size different cot mattresses it seems too. We had our measurements written down and because we didn't purchase our cot in DJ's, they can't help us. Why didn't you purchase your cot here we are asked? And do you have a bassinette, as all babies should sleep in bassinettes the ever helpful salesperson informs me.

Looking at my husband, I could see he was getting tetchy. I suggested we purchase the Bjorn with back support and get the hell out of here. The sales person was all of 18 and she was beginning to annoy me.

After four hours, we are in the car heading home. We have the Bjorn, the right sized mattress and a monitor. We can set up our nursery.

We start at 3pm. We clean out the wardrobe and fasdidiously vaccum the room and scrub the windows and mirrors. We take the cot out of its box and start working away.

8 hours later...we have assembled a cot.

My husband is a smart man. He designs major engineering projects and is currently putting together a water treatment plant. This bloody cot tested every ounce of our patience. And its instructions didn't help, they could have been written in Swahalie for all we cared.

But we have a cot. And a change table. The cot even has Bert and Ernie and half the Sesame Street gang in there too. This baby won't be lonely because while my mother was over from Perth earlier on it the year she ensured the baby would have more friends on the wall in the form of stars, ducks and cows jumping over moons. I've somehow let my mother design the room when I had an idea of how I wanted it to be. But strangely it works. I like it. I like getting up in the middle of the night when the baby is kicking and walking in there. I imagine peering into the cot and seeing a baby in there.

Baby, your room is nearly ready. We still have a few more things to do, but with 6 weeks to go, your dad and I are nearly there.