Thursday, 28 January 2010

Can't Sleep

Can't sleep. Again.

Insomnia is partly due to pregnancy, partly doing tax return this evening, and partly J stressing me out just before bedtime about me stressing about tax return.

I've cleared my work inbox and fired off all the 'must get round to doing those' email actions that have been hanging around for a week. Imagine the faces of clients and colleagues alike when they check their emails tomorrow morning, urrr, later this morning, and see missives from yours truly sent at 1.40am!

Am in grave danger of getting an undeserved reputation as a workaholic.

God bless Ebay. I've just rounded off my productive insomnia session with a spot of soporific* shopping.

I have bought:

1. A lavender and hops sleep pillow bag

2. A maternity body support cushion

3. A maternity parka coat. OK, so it won't help me sleep but I'm fed up of the rain and wind attacking my midline now that my normal coats won't do up over my bump.

Right, am finally tired. Nightie night xx

*Don't you just love this word? Hardly get a chance to use it, but love to slip it in when I can.

Friday, 8 January 2010

Snow Nutters

My friends in the West Country sent me a video of them skiing in their back garden. Very impressive. I like to see people making the most of our weather instead of grumbling about it.

But then I was told about someone snowboarding through Henley town centre a few nights ago, towed by a jeep! I didn't quite believe it until I saw this.

That looks pretty fast.

I'm speechless.

Tuesday, 5 January 2010

My High Fives - What are Yours?

I've just been tagged by A Mother's Ramblings with this High Five Meme. I need to list my top five highlights of 2009 and then tag five other bloggers to list theirs.

So here goes:

1. Getting Married
This is something I've wanted to do since I was sixteen. Due to a penchant for choosing unsuitable men (up until recently of course!) and a tendency to mistake pure lust for love, I've had to wait until the grand old age of thirty-six to marry the Love of my Life. They say the best things come to those who wait.

2. Scuba Diving in Thailand
I used to be a hardcore diver, happy to plunge into the icy depths of the Channel and the Irish Sea in nothing more than a semi-dry (for all you non-divers that's neoprene that is 7mm thick on the arms and legs, and14mm thick on the torso and looks like this).

Since having Ella I've become a committed holiday diver, and a very infrequent one at that. Diving and kids don't mix too well (it's often a pricey holiday and what the hell do you do with your little ones when you're underwater - leave them on the boat with a bunch of strange men?).

Diving with John during our honeymoon just off Kho Phi Phi island,
in the Krabi province of Thailand, was a really special experience. John started to learn how to dive in the UK six months before our holiday, doing both his Open Water and Advanced courses so that he was qualified to dive to the same depths as me.

The aquatic life was beautiful and plentiful. Watching the fish and holding hands with my new hubby under the warm, clear Andaman sea was a big high point of 2009. Shame J put his back out the next day, rending him out of action for diving and other wonderful honeymoon pursuits (yes, including that kind) for the rest of the holiday.

3. Falling Pregnant with Number Two (and finding out my lil sis had beaten me to it)
Ever since a year after Ella was born, I have hoped to give her a sibling. I was resigning myself to the fact that I wouldn't ever have another child - firstly due to no suitable potential father, and then once I'd met and fell in love with J hearing him protest frequently that he felt too old, impatient and knackered to deal with a baby.

Somehow, miracle of miracles, the tide turned and J agreed to go for it. I gave up booze, he gave up smoking, and 2 months later I was up the duff. Result. I called my sis, the lovely Urban Pixi whose reaction made me even happier: "I was waiting for you to say that, I'm eight weeks pregnant!".

I'm sure you can imagine my delight at being able to share all the strangeness of pregnancy with a loved one who is experiencing the same things, for example:
  • A smorgasbord of aches and pains (back, feet, and occasionally feeling like someone has kicked you in the fanny due to SPD)
  • Frequent night-time loo trips
  • Bizarre bodily happenings e.g. nipples turning from a light cinnamon to a dark chocolate, a constant view of the inside of our belly buttons, butterfly flutters in our tummies from the little bairns.
I'm currently 17 weeks pregnant, or thereabouts, and Little Peanut is due to make his/her grand entrance on 10th June.

4. Camping in the Witterings
Me, J and Els and a bunch of our favourite people (with a few sorely missed exceptions) went camping in The Witterings.

The sun shone for days, we lounged on the beach and swam in the sea, played in dinghies, made sandcastles, and - when the kids were in bed - had wonderful al fresco evenings involving much quaffing of wine, lots of giggles and a few ticking offs from the campsite owner for our effusive, and rather loud, conversation post-11pm. Tut tut.

All of the eight kids were pretty good throughout our holiday, so much so that the childless members of the group were charmed and broody in equal measure.

5. Working with SAP BusinessObjects
The marketing agency I get most of my work from had their contract extended to work with another part of SAP, and so I took my first steps into the world of Business Intelligence. I won't bore you with the details, but basically this has increased my hours to about 20-25 per week which has turned out to be a perfect work/life and time/money balance for me.

It has also given me the opportunity to get out of the house more (I usually work from home), thanks to regular partner and internal SAP meetings and at least one day a week working on-site at the SAP BusinessObjects offices. To top it all off, some of the new team and new SAP partners are really fantastic to work with, and the software itself is really interesting. Honestly it is!

2009 has been a fantastic year, and I'm fully expecting 2010 to be the best year yet. I have a fabulous, sexy hubby, a beautiful, intelligent daughter, a job I love, a new baby and a new niece/nephew on the way, lots of time, lots of freedom, enough money, wonderful friends. And I know there's more good stuff coming my way.

Bring it on!

I'm tagging these fabulous bloggers to share their 2009 highlights:

My good friend, and (who knew it until now?) wonderfully warm and witty writer Hari at Thankyou For the Days

Undisputed Queen of the Mummy Bloggers, Susanna at A Modern Mother

Feisty, zany and thoroughly entertaining Jo Beaufoix

The no-holds-barred-make-you-pee-your-pants-with-laughter-yet-often-poignant More Than Just a Mother

And, last but not least, the Uber Parent Amy at And 1 More Means Four who is the personification of calm and good parenting - she has four girls with a boy on the way and manages to hold down a part-time job too. Wow.

I'd love to hear some of your highlights too - leave me a comment and let me know what delights 2009 has brought you.

Friday, 1 January 2010


I have pretty much everything I want. Lucky girl. So, the only thing I asked Santa for this year was a White Christmas. I figured thin thighs and a flat tum would be beyond his magical powers. Especially in my condition.

I didn't expect to get what I wished for.

It snowed a few days before Christmas. Proper thick snow that fell 6 inches deep and stayed put. For days.

Els got really excited then realised that snow is horribly cold and hard to play with when a) you only have woollen mittens not waterproof ones and b) there's only your mum to play with.

After a few days of being cooped up at home, our travel plans disrupted due to heavy snow and not enough grit and salt on the roads, we finally ventured out en famille on Winter Solstice. It was a consolation for not being able to get to Sarada's solstice party.
We had fun throwing snowballs in the dark, and then decided to head for our local pub.

I treated myself to a Snowball of the Advocaat variety, and we listened to the locals tell tales of abandoned Beemers and Mercs strewn across Henley. We later found out that John Lewis customers in High Wycombe ended up sleeping overnight in the bed department!

The white stuff was everywhere, and has only just melted. It may not have been a White Christmas as defined by the Met Office, but I definitely got the Christmas pressie I asked for.