Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Halloween Horror

Oh America I cannot pretend to understand you.

You make Halloween an entire month-long festival of candy and costumes and props and spray-on cobwebs, yet when I drop Anna off at preschool this morning resplendent in her Tinkerbell outfit it seems she was the only belle at the ball. WTF? Halloween-a-palooza somehow doesn't extend to the actual day? There was one other pint-size fireman cowering by the rabbit hutches, but everyone else was as we Brits say 'in mufti'. What, suddenly you're all concerned about the practicality of this holiday and decide to dress everyone sensibly and appropriately? I have been assailed by pumpkin paraphernalia for weeks! I repeat, WTF?

I died a million repressed British deaths. It was the parental equivalent of that dream where you turn up to school naked. Fortunately my little Flower Fairy is 2 and didn't realise the massive faux-pas that had just been committed. She trotted off to find little Jayden/Brayden/Squayden to say "fuck yeah I'm wearing wings beotch, throw-down Ugg-boy". While I mumbled about a change of clothes being in her cubby and fled.

Her father will be picking her up.

Friday, October 26, 2007

First Born

The universe is having a cosmic joke at my expense, I have the flu, on top of residual catarrh from a two-week old cold that I have still yet to kick. I'm not up to posting anything that requires thought, so I've 'borrowed' this from Sticky Feathers. When I responded to her post, I failed to say, crikey 7 weeks early. What the chuff!

Questions About Your First Born.

1. were you married at the time? yes.

2. what were your reactions? equal parts excited and terrified - oh and I somehow didn't believe that the pregnancy would 'take'. It's a good thing a pregnancy is 9 months long as that's precisely how long it took me to get my head round the idea of being a Mum.

3. how old were you? 31

4. how did you find out you were pregnant? I came back from holiday and thought, hmm, wait a minute, it's been more than 4 weeks since I was last flying the red flag, maybe I should take a test. I took one, it was negative. Many days and tests later I finally got a faint pink line (and promptly googled 'faint pink line'), then I took a digital test, and crikey moses it said 'pregnant'.

5. who did you tell first? I called LK, he was at a friends house watching the Raiders. I couldn't wait for him to come home, so I called him on the phone and said 'I'm pregnant' he said 'that fast? What happened to all the practice we were supposed to get'. Then when he finally came home he made me re-test (test #6).

6. did you want to find out the sex? No. About 75% of friends told me they thought I was carrying a girl by the shape of my belly, and they were right. I bought a girl's onesie (babygro) at Baby Gap 2 weeks before delivery on a hunch.

7. did you deliver early or late? 2 days late - on my late Grandad's birthday, his first great grandchild.

8. did you have morning sickness? Not really, it just felt a bit like motion sickness, although I did spectacularly projectile vomit on Christmas Day. White robe, projectile vomit of coffee. LK could not stop laughing for the next hour. There was no warning, I was midway through opening presents and midway through a sentence and suddenly, BLEURGH.

9. what did you crave? Sweet and tart fruit; cherries, strawberries. It was the wrong time of year. I spent a fortune on cherries imported from Chile.

10. who irritated you the most? People who promised not to let the cat out of the bag when I told them I was pregnant. I had not intended to spill the beans so early, but my brother was visiting from England and would have rumbled why I wasn't drinking. I wasn't prepared to be pregnant and not ready for people to know before I was comfortable with the idea. Plus my Mum had a late miscarriage before me and I was terrified of the same thing happening.

11. what was your first child's sex? Girl

12. how many pounds did you gain throughout the pregnancy? Just less than 28lbs, (2 stone) and no stretch-marks, which I only realised about 2 weeks after giving birth, and then I was in the shower going, 'well I never'. I was convinced I was going to get stretch-marks as I'd already had them age 14 when I grew about a foot in one summer.

13. did you have any complications during your pregnancy? Nope, I was still playing league tennis when I was 7 months pregnant.

14. where did you give birth? Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital

15. how many hours were you in labor? All told about 24 hours, 12 hours of early labour interspersed with some truly awful contractions, then 2 hours of real balls to the wall contractions in the hospital when I went from 1cm dilated to 9cm in only 2 hours (the nurses quote was 'fast labours are good, but they can be very very painful'). No shit sherlock. I had an epidural which slowed things tremendously and then she was born at 9:20pm. Just in time for cocktails.

16. who drove you to the hospital? LK. It was a five minute drive and I had 3 sets of contractions en route.

17. who watched? LK. I declined the mirror.

18. was it natural or c-section? Natural.

19. did you take medicine to ease the pain? Naturally I had an epidural. As the docs I work for say 'they don't give out medals for bravery in labour and delivery'.

20. how much did your child weigh? 8lbs 10oz. Good Lord, she was only 2 days late people. I birthed a watermelon.

21. did your child have any complications? No, she was a whopper and was Apgar 9 and 9. We were very lucky.

22. what did you name him/her? Anna Rose. Anna for her maternal great grandma whose birthday was the day before, and her paternal great grandma was Erna (Danish Anna). Rose because despite being born in the US she is still an English Rose.

23. how old is your first born today? 2 1/4

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

How Can We Sleep While Our Beds Are Burning?

California is on fire, again.

Santa Barbara County has been declared a State of Emergency by the Governator again. That makes it twice this year for God's sake. It's going to be pretty hard to justify house prices at this rate. Fortunately for us the headlines are the only terrifying aspect of this latest natural disaster, oh and I suppose the idea that Santa Barbara is going to be inundated by refugees from San Diego and Los Angeles, crowding our streets, drinking our lattes. Heaven forbid.

CNN's headline is 'Mass Migration as State Burns', unnerving I think you'll agree, and even the good old Beeb has California Fires Affect 500,000 which I almost typed as 'California Fries Affect 500,000' probably far more lethal when you come right down to it. The BBC map shows raging wildfires from Santa Barbara to San Diego, with hurricane-strength winds and a diaspora of SoCal residents. Going where? The Ramada Inn?

It's all a little surreal here, there is appalling air quality, dirt and ash raining down and the smell of smoke in the air, but that's also probably true in Manchester right now as well. We do however have a fantabulous sunset going on courtesy of the fires, so thankyou San Diego.

Every mushroom cloud has a silver lining.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Do Unto Others

This cold has kicked my arse. I'm finally on the mend but still operating on only one lung and half a nostril. We were at lunch this afternoon at LK's favourite taqueria and in front of everyone Anna grabs a napkin, puts it under my nose, holds the back of my head and says 'blow Mummy, blow hard, you have boogers.'


Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Bwa Ha Ha

Ok, that's certainly more seasonal. That's actually a photo of our pumpkin sitting outside our front door. Unless it's already been nicked by some 8-yr-old cholo. Now I'm just having a mare with my fonts and title placement. It's just too much for my snot-addled brain. We're all in the throes of some deathly virus courtesy of Typhoid Anna. Our house is littered with used tissues and animaux - Anna's pronunciation of her flotilla of tiny plastic animals she is desperate to play with at all hours of the day. We are too far gone with snot to protest the tide of giraffes, zebras and agitators (alligators) that are continually washing up on our carpet. Woe betide the errant midnight wanderer in search of Advil, a plastic rhino to the instep will make you forget that paltry head cold in no time.

Still, on a cheerier note - have you seen who the Madrid Masters have hired as their ball girls this year? Skanky crack addicts with giant boobs. No actually they're Spanish models, but you could have fooled me. Models it seems are not best suited to playing fetch for tennis players. Watching them break into a trot after a tennis ball puts me in mind of a herd of newborn giraffes galloping across the Serengeti. How anyone can be that gangly, with knobbly limbs flying everywhere yet still have such voluptuous cleavage is beyond me (but I'm sure LK will be pondering the phenomenon).

As you can read in the BBC article linked above, the models have been charged with bringing the game into disrepute by gazumping the usual crowd of pint-size tennis players eager for the chance of stardom. In all fairness though, I think they're doing an amazing job of making sure they'll never be hired for the gig again. Tonight's crop are in shapeless pale grey mini dresses with giant black trainers (sneakers). Bristling with clavicles and elbows, and honking great bosoms.

If I'd had more than 8 hours sleep in the past 4 days I'd write something witty about ball-girls. But I can't, I just can't.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Normal Service Will Resume Shortly

I know I know! What the chuff is going on with the header. Nice summery image - it's October you moron!

The point is, I have finally, finally worked out how to manipulate my blog header, a bit of a personal victory, so you'll just have to bear with me while I give it a proper sorting out. That is with all my spare time of course - in the time it's taken me to do this Anna has been wreaking havoc toilet-papering the entire second floor, and tipping everything out of every drawer. Honestly, what does she think I am, a parent?

Friday, October 12, 2007

Wardrobe Malfunction

Bit of a shocker at the gym this morning. I'd decided to wear a pair of yoga trousers rather than shave my legs and go with shorts. Big mistake. As soon as I started even the faintest trot on the treadmill they started to head south. I had my i-pod in my right hand and my clothing in my left. Fortunately I have just enough curve in my depressingly boyish hips to stop my pants making a complete bolt for it, but that, coupled with my jog top which was headed towards my ears left me showing a vast expense of polar-white midriff. Eva Longoria I am not. My post-Anna muffin top was out and proud. I ploughed on regardless, feigning ignorance and pretending that my bright red face was cardio-related not mortification. After all, damn it, I'd paid that $3 for childcare and I was going to sweat. Naked or not. I'm sure all the doctors in SB this weekend will be wondering how so many gym-members ended up with snow blindness.

Back to shorts and a T-shirt next week I think. Why do all those stupid jog tops have to be made for midgets anyway? Am I the only person who has more than a 3-inch torso?

Tuesday, October 09, 2007


As you've probably noticed by that tasteful decal I have on my sidebar, I have, with reckless abandon, signed myself up for Mrs. Kennedy's NaBloPoMo. Honestly who doesn't love a challenge?

NaBloPoMo for those who don't know or for those wary of committing to a double-click on the above link is National Blog Posting Month, the premise of which is to write a blog entry every day for a month. Inspired by NaNoWriMo, National Novel Writing Month where you write a novel in a month. Shortly followed I'm sure by NaDroSproMo which is National Conceive and Drop that Sprog in the space of a month, which to mind is just about on a par.

I signed up because I was so involved with lurking and reading other NaBloPoMo wannabes slog through their marathon months last year. Something that actually inspired me to start this here masterpiece midway through November 06.

As you may have guessed, I'm already having second thoughts and I haven't even chuffing begun. I'm thinking it's perhaps a little rash in hindsight considering we'll have house-guests for 3 of those 4 weeks, and I'm hardly 'prolific' at the best of times.

I suppose this is just by way of a warning; in November you'll be getting a lot of crap coming your way. Want to know what vegetable I pulled out of my daughter's arse this week? What jests and japes our hapless tenants have been up to (remind me to tell you about tonights screaming match over a stolen telly...).

I know, you can hardly wait.

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Ways I have been woken up recently:

1. Anna, inches from my sleeping face


2. Me, out cold. Anna, frustrated and peeling back my eyelids:
"MUMMY! Are you in there?"

Friday, October 05, 2007


Actual. Star. Sighting.

The other night we went out on the town without the appendage, and it was bloody marvellous. To be able to pay attention to what people are saying without having 95% of your brain on Anna damage-control - wonderful. So there we were sitting down to some sushi and hot sake with our friends Mooks and Raf (or Ass as Anna calls him), and LK turns and says "dude, check out the all-NBA table right behind us".

Literally inches from us, two giant uber-athletes, a random older bloke and a token hot Asian chick who may or may not have been an WNBA star because she was a chuffing giantess too.

Raf (with his back to the NBA table in a reverent whisper): Dude! That's Cuttino Mobley and Mike Dunleavy. Who's the guy in the sweats behind me?

LK: Shit, that's Sam Cassell

Raf, loud as you like: Dude, he is so on my all-alien team.