In which I clear up the sex of this baby…
Let’s hear it for the boys.
In addition to the photo I used on Friday to show you my baby bump, my friend Sarah took quite a few more of me and Simon and Adlai while we were in North Carolina earlier this month. What you can’t tell from these photos is that we were being eaten alive by mosquitoes – Sarah did a good job of capturing some beautiful shots between all the slapping and swearing.
Here are some of my favorites…
Also, if I’m honest, my “bump” in these photos is probably 40% due to eating too much barbecue.
A couple of weeks ago, we took an impromptu trip to North Norfolk (England, not Virginia). Simon had taken a few days off work, but we hadn’t really made any plans, and then a friend offered us her parents’ caravan (Americans, read: mobile home). It was cozy and funny and floral, and reminded me of our friend’s grandma’s house at Myrtle Beach.
Our friend James gave us a very specific list of things to do while we were there, and every one of them was just perfect.
1. Stop at Stiffkey Stores. Have a coffee and a cake, and look at all the lovely things.
2. Go to Wells-Next-the-Sea (yes, that is the actual town name). Sit in the harbour and eat the best fish and chips in the world. Watch your child implode from excitement as you ride a little train to the beach. Dig your toes in the sand.
I didn’t know how much I needed a vacation until I took one.
Stay tuned for the rest of the story.
I know what you’re thinking, Americans. It’s not Mother’s Day. Except it is, where I am. Or it was. Yesterday.
And I spent the weekend doing what any self-respecting mother would do: hanging out at my sister’s house watching chick flicks and eating an entire pizza.
Bonus of your sister marrying your brother? Your sister, whom you were pretty sure you were only going to see once a year, now lives an hour down the road.
Dan rubs Catherine’s feet. That’s nice.
Simes wasn’t too hot on feet-rubbin’…
…but he did help me make a real cute little boy.
Happy (day after) Mother’s Day to all you British Mamas! And hey, Happy Mother’s Day to you Americans, too. I think we all deserve more than one.
PS – Simon doesn’t mind the foot-rubbin’, really. But he’s got a broken shoulder so, you know, I took a rain check.
I was looking for something to jot some notes in the other day, and picked up an old journal. I flipped through the pages to find a clean one, and came across this list I made last year, called 30 Things to Do Before I’m 30.
I’ll be honest, I was a bit scared to look at it, but as I read through, I realized that quite a few of the things had been done, and the ones that hadn’t, well, I didn’t actually mind that much.
Some of the things I was able to check off included:
#7 Plan and throw Adlai a sweet 1st birthday party.
#16 Visit Scarborough – where I met Simon – and see how it’s changed.
#14 Lose my Adlai weight (plus 5 pounds).
Some of the things I wasn’t able to check off included:
#17 Get more organized (yeah…about that…).
#18 Grow a kitchen herb garden.
#28 Make a house-cleaning schedule and stick to it (and about that too…).
So I’ve finished about half and, really, that’s not too bad. And, as tomorrow’s my 30th birthday, I could technically bake a cheesecake right now, and read through the Bible all night tonight, and run a 10k when I finish.
But I won’t.
Because I checked off the most important one – #13, Be a good mama. – and that’ll do me just fine.
Ladies and Gentleman, your attention please:
I have just cleaned the bathroom, and I feel like Wonder Woman.
Most of you are probably thinking, “Yeah, so? I do that every day (or week, or whatever).”
But if you read my post a couple of weeks ago on Things We Fight About, you probably will have gathered that Simon does the bulk of the bathroom cleaning.
I know, it’s pathetic.
But I hate cleaning the bathroom. And more than I hate cleaning the bathroom, I hate having a dirty bathroom. I know this defies logic, but I think the reason I suffer temporary paralysis at the thought of cleaning the bathroom is that the thought of touching the dirtiness in the dirty bathroom is just too much for me to bear.
Simon and I had a conversation before we got married about having children. We knew we both wanted them, and Simon asked me if I wanted to stay home with them. I told him I did, but that I also wanted to do some kind of work while I stayed home. You know, something creative. He thought that sounded great. Then he asked me, “Do you think if you stay home with our kids, you should be responsible for the bulk of the house cleaning?”
“Well,” I replied. ”I don’t think I should be responsible for all of the house cleaning. Because taking care of kids is a big job. But, as I will be home all day, I think it’s only fair that I try to do as much as I can during that time. And I like the idea of being the keeper of our house.”
We agreed this sounded great, and then we got married (not just like that, but you know).
For the first few years of our marriage, it was a non-issue. We were both working full-time, so we shared the housekeeping duties pretty much 50/50.
Then we had Adlai.
And while my intentions were good, I had overlooked one minor detail: I am a horrible housekeeper.
My parents can vouch for this.
My dad used to make me stay in my room until it was clean, but it didn’t work because I would happily play in there for hours.
Then he tried locking me out of my room because I hadn’t cleaned it. I’ll be honest, I never really understood this one; how was I supposed to clean it if he wouldn’t let me in?
So, now that I’m married, and have a little, boy, and stay home, it’s time to put my money where my mouth is, so to speak. Simon is absolutely amazing and I am so grateful to have a husband who quite happily (well, moderately happily) pitches in. And, I’m happy to say that, over the years, I have gradually improved at several housekeeping jobs: the laundry, vacuuming, and, most of all, decorating.
But the bathroom has remained my nemesis.
The shower was dirty, the toilet was dirty, the sink was dirty, and I had had enough.
So I put on my ugliest clothes, pulled my hair up, and went to work.
The shower and sink were done without too much fuss.
But then, the toilet. My Everest.
I took a couple of deep breaths (but not too deep. Ew.), quoted some scripture, and dove in (you know, in a manner of speaking).
I nearly threw up twice.
But that thing is shining like a beacon in the night. Like a lighthouse guiding home a weary sailor. Like…
Well, like a really clean toilet.
And I feel like donning my bulletproof bracelets and saving the world from dirt and soapscum.
I know I’m always like, “Oh my gosh, my husband is so cute! Ah! I love him!”
And it’s true, he is. And I do.
But what I would never want you to think is that our marriage is perfect, or easy.
I’m married to a sweet man who loves me very much and is an amazing father to our son, but we work really hard at loving each other because, I’m telling you, that’s what we have to do. (If anyone tells you marriage is never hard work, they are lying to you and should be flogged in the public square. ”Boo! Boo! Bow to the Queen of Rubbish! The Queen of Slime! The Queen of Filth!”)
Anyway, because I’m always writing about how much I love Simon and how wonderful he is, I realize it sometimes sounds like we never argue or fight, and so, just to clear things up, I’d like to present you with the following list of things we’ve argued about. (Those marked with an “R” are recurring arguments we’ve had more than 10 times.)
1. Simon’s used earplugs, which I find in our bed, under our bed, in the bathroom, on my dresser, etc. (R)
2. My tendency to leave dirty dishes on the kitchen counter for days. DAYS. (R)
3. Simon’s trail of baby powder footprints, which tell me exactly where he walked after his shower the night before. (R)
4. Simon’s Pepsi Max habit. (R)
5. My olive habit. (R)
6. Simon’s Mars Bar habit. (R)
7. My straighteners being left on all day/overnight, or being hung over the radiator. (R)
8. Simon coming home from work at 5:30 instead of 5:20.
9. My growing collection of water glasses beside our bed.
10. Simon’s growing collection of dirty tissues beside our bed.
11. How many seconds Simon should hug me in order for me to feel properly cuddled.
12. How many times times we’ve each cleaned our bathroom. (hint: I don’t know actually know where we keep the bathroom cleaning spray.)
13. Whose turn it is to get up with Adlai at 5:30am. (R)
14. Money. (Surprisingly, this is not much of a recurring argument, which I attribute to Simon’s amazing budget.)
15. Where we actually keep my mixing bowls/the saucepans/the matches/the broom/various other household items. (R)
Of course, we fight about some big stuff occasionally, too, but y’all can’t expect me to tell you everything. I’m bound to start a fight.
Someone landed on my blog this week by typing in the following search term:
“What happened to smitten mama?”
What happened, indeed.
We moved into our new house nearly a month ago, and our phone and internet have still not been set up.
There have been numerous phone calls to British Telecom. There has been heavy sighing. There has been weeping and gnashing of teeth.
No internet feels like more than just an inconvenience to me:
I’m a web editor with no web.
I’m a 3000-mile-away daughter and friend with no Skype or email.
I’m a blogger with no blog.
I’d love to say it’s all been sorted out and I’m back with a vengeance, but alas, no such luck. The most recent update is that the BT man will come on Tuesday. We can only hope this will be V-Day – the day I get to Skype my mom, do my online grocery shopping, and overload Great Smitten with everything I’ve been saving up for the past month:
Oh my goodness.
My brother-in-law (squared) is a genius with a video camera. Here’s a sweet little movie he made of the cutest baby in the whole wide world.
This gives me so many ideas for collaborations we can work on together. Ohhh, now my brain gears are turning…