Heatwave. Too hot for me and I hate to think how Edith must feel in her fur coat. She does occaisionally enjoy baking her tummy though (this photo is from a couple of days ago), so maybe it's not as bad as I'm imagining.
Today was my last day at work until... Ummm... I've had the baby and find another job, so... my last day at work for a while. Naturally I celebrated with Doc C by going for an ice-cream after work (I had a scoop of cheesecake ice-crem with mixed-in raspberries in a waffle cone; Doc C had amaretto ice-cream with mixed in pecans in a cup) and will shortly be eradicating all the alarms in the house. No more getting up at 6 in the morning for me (unless the Baby Overlord decides it is to be so)
I don't really know how I'll be spending my time until the due date, I mean obviously we'll be moving house and getting prepared for Eva, but it's more the day-to-day thing. It's just so unusual for me to have that 8 hour block of time that usually gets devoured by work back at my disposal, and I can't quite grasp that yet.
Let's hope I use the extra hours in the day productively, and don't disappear into a detective novel rabbit hole.
How adorable is this? The Very Hungry Caterpillar is such a classic of children's literature, so of course it was the first book I added to our Amazon baby registry and I added the wooden pull-toy Hungry Caterpillar because it was just so cute - And my Mum snapped them both up!
Yesterday Doc C picked up some packages from the post office, and in one of those were our caterpillars. Squee!
It is so simple and so beautiful, and I love the way it moves when you pull it along. My only concern now is that I'll be so attached to this little guy by the time that Eva is old enough to play with him that I'll be reluctant to hand him over; if that is turns out to be the case we may need to look into getting a stunt caterpillar.
We have decided to get rid of our Dell desktop, because after four years it's become something of an unwieldy paperweight. Doc also took our laptop to the university's computer clinic, because we suspected that I had seriously maimed it; actually it turns out I had kind of killed it. This left us with something of a gap in our technology, because nice as the iPad is, it's simply not designed to do everything we need it to do.
So after work today we went to Staples and bought a new HP laptop. Squee!
Doc is kind of freaking out about spending money on things like this right now, but honestly we can't move to a new city with a new baby without the necessary tech to hand.
Last night I think I probably slept for about 4 hours, and it was probably less - But that's just good training for when our new commander-in-chief, Eva, is born right? Mostly I just sort of lay there, on my side but propped at angle by my pillow fort, then I tried browsing the internet on my iPod and couldn't find any good celebrity gossip and, of course, I got up several time to go to the loo because Eva was dancing on my bladder.
This is always a good opportunity to keep an eye on the suspicious neighbours down the street, whose house I can see from the bathroom window. At one point I was convinced they had a well-to-do meth lab set up, but now we've started watching "Breaking Bad" and I no longer think this is the case because there are never any strange gas emissions coming from over there. I do still want to know why their lights are always on though. They can't possibly be sleeping with the main lights on in all the rooms, so what is the deal?
Admittedly I have been the most suspicious neighbour in the world since watching "The Wire" and I suspect that "Breaking Bad" will hone some suspicions whilst disproving others.
Our friends Randy and Laura have very kindly offered to throw a baby shower for us, and asked that we set a gift registry somewhere so that people could buy us stuff. I wasn't convinced this was an actual thing that would happen, because it just seems too good to be true doesn't it? You choose stuff and other people buy it for you? Really? Doesn't that sound like a total scam?
However, I stand corrected because I put a link to the baby registry on Facebook, and then next time I looked four items had been purchased for us! Ok, things were kicked off by my Mum because she wasn't going to let anyone else buy "The Hungry Caterpillar" (the book and the wooden pull-toy. So cute. Thanks Moth!) for her grandaughter, but still! Weird! And great!
I may actually expand the list, because we were being quite restrained at first but it's hard to know what you really really need. Car seat, a crib, nappies and some clothing right? What else? Does anyone have any suggestions for 100% must have baby stuff?
Following a direct message tweet of concern from my lovely friend Stu I realise that I should perhaps clarify a couple of things, because where I thought I was being discreet it may have read as something being very wrong, what with the bursts of radio silence and everything.
So! Let's have a quick check-in with everyone!
Evalyn the Foetus - Very well thank you! She is moving around a lot, which feels more like she's trying to tickle me than kick me.
Doc C - Very well thank you! Doc C has recently triumphed in the house-hunting arena, had his tenure approved by his department and was nominated for a teaching award this year. He is also an outstandingly supportive husband, and deserves a bloody medal for that!
Jen Alien-Spouse - Very well thank you! Currently weighing in at 205 pounds, but still feeling good and very much looking forward to moving house. I will be looking to find a new job in Asheville after Eva is born, so if anyone has any leads in the direction please let me know.
Edith Cavell-Cat - Very well thank you! She totally meant to run head first into the cupboard door the other night, and doesn't know why anyone would have laughed at that.
Nancy Wake-Cat - Very well thank you! Nancy is high on my pregnancy pheromones and can often be found rolling around on the floor in a stupor of happiness. She clearly has no idea what is coming up in the next few months, and I am concerned about how she's going to react to so many changes so close together, but she only has a tiny cat brain so let's hope for the best.
Now, onto the more pressing issues.
Why are we moving to Asheville? It's been something we have been thinking about for a while, and, quite honestly, we've tried living in a small town for five years now but have come to the conclusion that it doesn't really suit us. I'm so much happier in an urban setting with good public transport and actual pavements (American translation: Sidewalks) to walk on; not to mention decent bookshops, restaurants and art galleries/museums. We are going to miss the friends we have here, but Asheville isn't that far so we will still see them, and Doc C is going to be working here still after all.
Why are you downsizing apartments? This is purely economic, because I won't be working for at least five or six months, and we can't guarantee when I will go back to work and/or what sort of pay I can expect to get when I do. We decided it's better to be cautious, and set our budget to within Doc C's salary for a year or so. This means no cable television or other such fripperies until I get a job, but we can certainly live comfortably and provide a nice home for Eva. We are still going to have internet access, let's not be silly here, so I expect I'll be watching a fair amount of instant streaming films on Netflix until Eva is born and then, I am given to understand, I will never have a free moment to spare for the rest of my life. Actually I expect that Eva will be deprived of Dora the Explorer and instead introduced early on to the tripped out weirdness of "The Prisoner" and, if I can find it on DVD, "The Magic Roundabout"
Finally, yes, there is an elephant in the room, and that elephant's name is not something I want to discuss publicly on-line. Friends may feel absolutely free to apply privately for the full scoop, but otherwise I'm just not going to be bringing the subject up again. And really why would I when it makes me feel frustrated and sad? We could be talking about things that are far more fun like video games or sequins or bunny rabbits! Relentlessly cheerful subject matter only at Alien Spouse from here on out! Grrr!
This weekend we went to look at the new flat, and I really like it! Doc did very well! It's true that it is half the size of our current place, and the bedroom in particular is going to be a tight fit; the bed is going to have to be wedged up against a wall, so to get in and out will require one of us clambering over the other.
There is absolutely no room for superfluous clothes storage, so on Sunday we had a massive cull on our wardrobes. Doc went first and I sat on the bed and helped him make the more difficult decisions, and then he did the same for me. Our approaches were quite different - he'd pick something up, and pull a face and I'd say "Well, it's a bit boring and if you don't feel comfortable in it then I think you should get rid of it", where as the moment I put the first pile of clothes on the bed Doc C was like "THAT. I hate that! It is so unflattering on you, what would it take for you to get rid of that?!?!?" It worked really well, and we actually did get to our stated goal which was to empty one chest of drawers entirely and reduce the walk-in wardrobe by half to three-quarters.
Our next job is to empty the loft space here and have a long hard think about whether we really need to keep what's up there - I think it's just suitcases and Christmas decorations, but there is bound to be something I'm not expecting.
There is a lot going on this summer, the most obvious being the baby, but also we have to move house by the middle of July; I had to work, so Doc C has been house hunting by himself this week. He found a one-bedroom apartment that he thought was really charming and that we would like living in, so he put down a deposit on it and we heard today that our application has been approved. We can pick up the keys and start to move in on the first of July. I am so excited about this!
Of course I'm not sure how much use I'll be for the actual moving because, you know, pregnant ladies are not allowed to pick things up. As I told Moth when e-mailing her about it, I will probably pack/unpack and direct all other operations from a bath chair. At least we have two weeks to actually move stuff, so maybe we can do this in shifts? I don't know. I also don't know how the furniture is going to fit into the new place because I haven't seen it yet; not even photos because the pictures on the letting agents' website are actually of a different apartment in the same building, and the layout is slightly different... So yeah, I trust Doc C implicitly on this and just hope the sofa is actually going to fit throught the front door.
The really exciting part is that we are moving cities and transplanting ourselves to Asheville. This was always a half-discussed option, but, once I'd definitely decided to leave my job rather than go on maternity leave, it suddenly became a viable option - Not a cheap option, or what you might call a sensible option, but definitely viable. We will be living on beans-on-toast until I find another job, but hey we will be living in a vibrant and exciting city where I will be able to walk to where ever I want to go. Seriously, the new apartment is 40 minutes walk away from my hairdressers! Woot!
And of course we are looking forward to driving for two hours with Nancy in the car when we move the cats (Edith's coming too, but she's fine with being in the car) - Oh, the heart-breaking wailing will be audible for miles.
OK... So... I just resigned from my job... Deep breath in... Deep breath out...
Obviously this is the thing I couldn't really talk about before, and I still think it would be foolish to go into the whys and the wherefores on-line, don't you? It's really not that interesting anyway, I promise!
I've given notice that my last day will be the end of this month, and after that? Well, Doc C and I have an interesting plan already partially in motion, but that is a post for another day.
There is, once again, stuff going on that I cannot really blog about just yet (no, I'm not pregnant again - let me finish having this baby first! Eva says "Hi!") - So in the meantime, here is a picture of a pretty blue butterfly that I photographed when we went for a nice long Sunday afternoon walk.
In an unexpected turn of events I have totally lost my appetite, it's really annoying. According to a quick amalgamation of the many many opinions on the internet this is not that unusual during late pregnancy, because of the size of the baby, and because of the usual scapegoat of all pregnant women - hormones (when I got a bit weepy during a really sad audition story on "So You Think You Can Dance" the other night I blamed it on hormones. Doc C just laughed even harder at me.)
I hate not being hungry! Hate it! It makes me feel listless and unwell, and I don't even get to enjoy planning what I'm going to eat for my next meal.
As you may have gathered by now I love food usually, but right now all I can really face the thought of are smoothies or soup, so I'm making a shopping list of things that can easily be made into those two things. Doc is going to have to fend for himself or get used to a mostly liquidised diet for the foreseeable future.
We went to Asheville for my haircut on Saturday, and we had a few other things to take care of as well. Mostly this involved going to shops that we do not have in our own small town; for example, why would we need a maternity shop actually in our town? I mean, who gets pregnant here? Aren't babies just found in a cabbage patch? It's stuff like that about living in a small town that drives me crazy!
We also decided to go to World Market and buy some British food. We are fully stocked with Hobnobs, Branston Pickle, Malteasers and Tunnock's Teacakes (although I've already eaten all the Wine Gums). I also wanted to find a small dish, so we went to look in their kitchenwares section - And discovered a display of Diamond Jubilee related nonsense! Oh deep joy! Naturally we snapped up a commemerative mug, and if there had been a tea towel I would have bought that too.
This lucky find meant that for the actual Jubilee I was able to sit on the lawn eating scones with jam and clotted cream and drinking PG Tips out of a proper Diamond Jubilee mug. Brilliant!