Easy like Sunday morning

This weekend in the UK is a 3 day weekend as we have the May Day Bank Holiday on Monday. Extra weekend days are such a treat! It’s like having 2 Sundays! You get a real shot at winding down and enjoying life.

I recently asked on my Facebook page; “What would be your perfect Sunday?”. I admit the response wasn’t overwhelming! (There were 0 comments, but its early days for the page and only 5 fans so far, so I remain positive for the future). But I have been thinking about how I would spend my perfect Sunday… and indeed whether I will be able to make the time to have a perfect Sunday this weekend.

To me though, the perfect Sunday would be like a perfect any other day of the week. And it would start with having had a really sound sleep the night before…

I’d wake at a reasonable time; not too early, but early enough to enjoy the quiet of the morning, say about 8am? The sun would be shining, the birds would be tweeting and  there would be a lovely fresh summer breeze rippling through the curtains. I can almost smell the freshly cut grass just by picturing the scene.

My Beloved and I would make our way to the garden for breakfast. And somehow, magically, with no-one else in the house, there it would be sitting ready for us. Fresh hot croissants, fresh fruit salad and a pot of really nice coffee. We would read the newspapers, browse the magazines and generally relax. Now, I’d be happy to settle for breakfast in my own garden, but if we were in our garden in our little French property by the sea (a dream of mine… check out My Bucket List) then that really would be the perfect start to the perfect day!

After breakfast, we’d wander around a local farmer’s market and then take a stroll along the beach. Again, most happy for  that to be our own beach here (with internationally renowned art installation, but a little cold and no crashing or bubbling wave sound effects) but if it could be the south of France, Malibu or St.Barts that would be preferable!

Lunch would be light and al fresco. Then I’d get together with all my friends and family for a good old fashioned party. I’m thinking BBQ, a band and one of those raised, square wooden  dance floors they have at southern fairs in the movies.. with lights all around. Of course it would need to be catered, so that everyone could relax and just enjoy… and this would definitely need to be held at our French residence as there’s not enough room in our back yard for all of my family, let alone a dance floor and a hog roast!

The day would end around 11pm (hey, that’s a late night for me), with myself, my Beloved and our little furball all cuddled up in bed with warm milk and a feel good movie… and we wouldn’t have to worry about hangovers or work the next day because in the world of Perfect Days those don’t exist.

Oh and at some point in my perfect day, I’d receive a call from an Internet Mogul offering me mega-sponsorship so that I could give up my job and blog for a living!

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Scaredy Cat

Are any of you afraid of the dark?

My Beloved and I have lived together for almost 4 years now. Before that I lived alone. Every night. With the lights out. And had no problem whatsoever sleeping.

Since we’ve lived in the same house I’ve been on numerous trips and left him home alone, but he’s only been away once overnight. I slept (well, on and off) with the lights on, the TV on and the deadbolt on the front door – which I almost cut my index finger off trying to get closed, being that it was so rusty from lack of normal use!). And I don’t mind admitting; it wasn’t loneliness that prompted the “ON” environment, it was fear.

There are some nights, even when my Beloved is in situ, that I hear strange noises I need to reconcile before being able to sleep. Not that I would ever attempt to seek out and reconcile these by myself. No, my preferred method is by proxy. My Beloved gets up, goes downstairs (with a heavy sigh, usually), checks everything is as it should be and returns with the news that, as expected, there is no-one else in the house except me, him and sometimes the cat.

Now don’t get me wrong, as I’ve stated in a previous blog, my home is my sanctuary. It’s my safe place. Just not when I’m on my own at night, it seems…

And, it would also seem that the Gods are looking down on me and have decided that I’ve been having too easy a time of it lately. They have re-instated my “recurring nightmare”. Now this is a dream, a nightmare, that I have had (on a recurring basis) on and off a few times in my life, starting in my late teens/early twenties.

I dream that someone has gotten into the house and is standing at the foot of my bed, poised and ready to kill me. Now, I can’t see what this person looks like, I can only really see a dark shadow. But I know why he’s there and I am petrified. Petrified to the point where I suffer sleep paralysis. I can’t move at all (though my Beloved has a fair few scars and bruises that would beg to differ) and I’m trying so hard to scream but I can’t make a noise. Eventually I manage to make a kind of muffled scream, which sounds more like a poor attempt at a moan from a bad 1970’s porn movie. And then I either eventually wake up myself, or in the last 4 years, my Beloved wakes me… and generally holds me, like a human safety blanket, until I feel safe enough to fall back to sleep (which can sometimes be hours).

It wasn’t until a couple of years ago that I found out that my mother experiences the same recurring dream (except her shadow is a recognisable person). Although, she hasn’t had the dream for a long long time. And my brother also suffers sleep paralysis.

Well I (and my Beloved) had 2 sleepless nights this weekend, after 2 attacks of the Killer Shadow. And still, after all these years, I have no idea why it happens or what it means. Although, it’s probably related to my fear of sleeping alone now, when my saftey blanket isn’t there.

I hear you scoffing and laughing! Surely, I’m a grown up and can tell that it’s only a dream. Well, I can only say that, personally, I’ve never been able to wake from a nightmare, tell myself “Oh, it was only a dream” and turn over and go back to sleep, like they do in the movies. Either I’m a complete and utter scaredy cat (which is not entirely that ridiculous an accusation) or those guys in the movies are merely having a bit of a bad dream, rather than the full on terrifying, pant wetting, nightmares that I get to “sleep” through. (Though, I will at this stage, point out that my one saving grace is that I don’t actually suffer the indignity of actually wetting my pants.)

I’ve consulted many dream meanings books and websites and none of the explanations seem to make sense. Mind you, that may be becuase I can’t find one that tells me the meaning of “a shadow at the end of your bed ready to kill you – but not actually killing you”. The only thing I have been able to ascertain is when the dreams tend to occur. That is that the timing of the dreams (i.e. when I have spurts of recurrence) tend to be in times of uncertainty or change. (But then there have also been plenty of these times in my life when I haven’t had the dreams).

That and if I watch anything remotely scary, for instance the Angels on Dr.Who or Scary Clowns and Axe Murderers on CSI on Saturday, then the Shadow tends to make an appearance.

So, if anyone out there is a dream interpreter – or even better an Exorcist – please can you help me?

The thing that’s worrying me today is that my Beloved is away on business again this week. And I’m not sure how or if I will sleep.  But I’m not telling you when he’s going, just in case I see you in the middle of the night at the end of my bed!

It's good to share

I felt my first flutters about 2 weeks ago… They were very faint and at first I wasn’t sure that it was actually my baby I could feel (thought it might be wind… not unusual for me these days unfortunately!). But in the last 3 days little Strawbug hasn’t stopped dancing! So now I know that’s exactly what I felt 2 weeks ago. It’s the weirdest feeling, but humbling and trully amazing (I know, I use that word a lot when it comes to Strawbug!).

My beloved was almost in tears the other evening (in his defence, he had drank a couple of glasses of wine). He told me that he can’t wait to be able to feel (from the outside) what I can feel (on the inside). It’s kind of nice that, for now, it’s just me and Strawbug sharing these moments together… but I feel a little sad that my beloved is “left out”. So, I’ve been thinking a lot these last 2 days about how I can include him more in something that’s happening inside of me…

It’s difficult, because I can’t help him to feel what I’m physically feeling (though I do a pretty good job of helping him feel how I’m mentally and emotionally feeling! poor thing!). And I know I’m not the first mum-to-be who has felt this way. As always, my research for this blog started with the obvious google search; which led me to this post on peainthepodcast.com and many other blogs and articles which recommend taking your partner along to classes, to ultrasound scan, buying him (or her) books for the daddy (or mummy) to be, who isn’t carrying the child. These are all great tips. But my beloved is already very involved in all of these ways and I still feel like he’s missing out.

I love my partner with all of my heart and more… we share just about everything (come on, it wouldn’t be healthy to share 100% of your lives!). And I desperately want him to share this.

The other big piece of advice on offer is talking. Talk to your partner. Tell him/her what’s going on. Refer to the pregnancy experience as a joint experience, answer questions with “we” instead of “I” or “me”. And talking is good, talking is great… though my beloved will tell you that I have a tendancy to talk too much! But it still doesn’t help him experience it the way I am experiencing it.

So how do I really share this pregnancy with him, as fully as I want to? Maybe the answer is, I don’t… or more likely, I can’t.

Any ideas you guys have though, would be greatly appreciated! Please leave a comment…

In Sickness And In Health

I’m living in what feels like an Emergency Room this week. Thankfully (at the time of publishing, at least) little Strawbug and I are feeling good, for a change.

So, we’re playing nurse.

The trouble started two nights ago at around 4am. Our little furball appeared meowing his little heart out. Constantly. After 20 minutes of walking around the house with him, still meowing, he disappeared under the bed and then silence… A few minutes later he re-appeared and started making the most unimaginable noise. A cross between choking and gasping for air. Shortly after, the poor little mite vomited everywhere. I didn’t realise such a little thing could produce so much spew!

2 minutes after that, we smelled it. Whilst under the bed, he’d burrowed into a storage box of clothes and “had an accident”. MY storage box of MY clothes, I hasten to add. In his defence, I worked out later that the 20 minute tour of the house was him looking for his litter tray (which we’d packed away only last weekend on account of the fact he hadn’t used it in a month now that we don’t lock him in overnight).

I wont share with you the details of the accident. Needless to say, again it was everwhere and it was rancid. It kind of amazes me though that, even through the gagging (of which there was much), all I could think of was my poor little furbaby and how bad must be feeling. Maybe it’s true after all, that having a cat is a good training exercise for having a baby?

I did get let off relatively lightly though. Being pregnant, I couldn’t clean up any of it. So, it fell to my brave (but very green and almost vomiting himself) beloved to make everything like new. My guess is I will be reminded of this when Strawbug arrives and experiences an equally icky accident!

You’ll be glad to know that my little cat is all better now. Unfortunately, my beloved isn’t. He’s taken up the gauntlet! No coincidence, I fear. I feel terrible that he’s been plagued after his good deed. I just hope he steers clear of my clothes box!

Baby On The Brain

Wow! It’s been a while since I wrote anything. Well, in relation to how regularly I’d been writing in the few weeks leading up to my absence, at least.

It’s not that I haven’t had anything exciting or interesting to share. Au contraire… It’s just that I’ve developed a syndrome; Baby-On-The-Brain. So, I’m currently living life in my own little world, thinking about babies, my baby, constantly. I think about nothing else, not even work… even when I’m there!

Since the big announcement and my pregnancy becoming “official” a little bump has popped out of my belly. It seemed to appear from nowhere, overnight.

I experienced a mild panic yesterday when the hard, round mass that I’ve so quickly become accustomed to, went all soft and squishy. I honestly thought I’d mis-placed my child! A quick visit to mumsnet reassured me that I hadn’t mis-placed little Strawbug at all, (s)he was probably just having a rest towards the back of my body. Still, I was mighty relieved when the round mass hardened up again. Phew!

I wish I had one of those baby heartbeat listening devices. I was taken completely by surprise (and tearful delight) when, at a recent midwife appointment I was introduced to the drum rolling sound of my baby’s heartbeat. Amazing! Exciting! Real!

Come to think of it, it was about 2 seconds after that experience that I started hugging my little bump… and I haven’t stopped since. All I can do (all I do do) is hold it, stroke it, rub it gently in a soft soothing circular motion. I’m sure people think I have constant gas (which I do, but that’s another matter)… I don’t care though. I just keep on hugging little Strawbug, not letting go.

Do you think it’s a prophecy of my motherhood?