Thursday, December 28, 2006

Back In Time For Hogmanay

We've been criticised by several of my family members for not updating in several days.

We have lots of really good reasons. This holiday season has been probably the most difficult one this family has seen in a very long time - lots of really sad and emotional circumstances have occurred, not to mention all of the illnesses being passed back and forth. (Did I mention, I got sick right after Scott?)

But again, I don't feel like getting into all the reasons this festive season hasn't been the most festive for us, so I'll just give you our best excuse for why we haven't updated.

I've been in hospital!

Before you concern yourself, I'm fine, Baby's fine, Scott's fine. But on Boxing Day, I started having what felt like really regular contractions in my low abdomen. I had about five in one hour so I called my midwife and took a long, hot bath to stop them. They did stop but started back up about three hours later. My midwife had said if they continue or start back up to go to hospital. So when they started back up, I called the hospital and they told me to come in and to bring an overnight bag in case they needed me to stay. So I packed a bag, and we got to the hospital around 9.30pm. They checked me over and thought it was possibly a UTI but also possibly preterm labour so they kept me overnight. It was my first overnight stay in hospital ever. It was weird. The following morning, the doctor saw me, but the pains hadn't lessened despite the antibiotics so they kept me another night. Let me tell you, it was the most boring and uneventful hospital stay in the world. They never verified UTI, but they did decide it wasn't labour so I'm home.

My hospital stay was very eye-opening, to say the least. How any woman could comfortably have a baby in a normal hospital, I don't know. I stayed in a room with four beds, and the poor woman next to me had to labour behind her pulled curtain with three other people in the room with her. How. Utterly. Horrible. Then she went off to have her baby and came back. I could not do that.

Let me quickly add, by the way, that for some, the hospital is the best place they can imagine having a baby. Many feel safe there and that is perfectly acceptable. I have no problem with other people having babies in hospital. But me? No way, no thanks, not ever if I can help it.

Basically, these are the things I learned regarding how I personally could not have a baby in hospital:
1. Hospitals are SO UNBELIEVABLY BORING. How on earth would you distract yourself during early labour? No TV, no stereo, no snack food. I'd go stir crazy.
2. The privacy, though this hospital was probably better than others, is still barely existent. The poor woman next to me had to labour knowing that there was a woman with a baby right across from her. Surely knowing things like that would distract you from being able to just go with it. I know I'd feel unable to make noise or moan or walk around, knowing I might wake up a baby and the baby's exhausted mother.
3. Hospitals, no matter how good they are, still rely on schedules. Each mother was handed a sheet on which they were to record how often and how much the baby fed, how many nappies were changed, etc. I just cannot be bothered with stuff like that.
4. Women are encouraged to breastfeed (in this hospital anyway) but are then supplied with loads of formula to supplement with. They are encouraged to get the baby to drink however much and then chart it. The whole time I was in (one full day and two nights), I never saw so much as a nipple. All the women said they were breastfeeding though... Not to be condescending, because I'm not saying this in a holier-than-thou way, but it's no wonder breastfeeding is such a challenge to so many women. If babies from day one are fed bottles full of yummy milk and then are suddenly given a boob that has nothing but a few dribbles of colostrum, of course they're gonna refuse! "What's this?? WHERE'S MY FOOD?!" (And of course, there's the nipple confusion issue, too.) But if you give the baby your breast only, they'll suckle a bit, get some colostrum, and eventually, your milk will come in and they'll get what they've been working for. Babies are born with enough fat stores to get them through those first 24-48 hours before Mummy's milk comes in; they don't need formula, but they do need colostrum. Obviously there are exceptions to the rule, but in general, bottle feeding them to start with and then offering them a boring, rather empty boobie is gonna cause problems. Anyway, that was a rant I didn't mean to go so far on.
5. I want to use cloth nappies exclusively. How much would hospital staff hate me?

Anyway, that's enough for now. I just got way too carried away there. Sorry. I need some sleep. ("They" aren't kidding AT ALL when "they" talk about sleepless nights with a baby. I had to sleep through THREE babies last night - and I wasn't even the one who had to get up and feed/change them!)

So anyway, 2007, march on. May you bring this family some cheer (and a baby!)

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Nae Good

My poor wee hubby is unwell. Very unwell, really. I've never seen the sweet boy so poorly. Luckily, it isn't the flu, as I first suspected, at least not according to the doctor, but whatever it is, chest infection probably, it's screwing with his asthma which freaks me right out.

Sick Hubby

He's under there somewhere.

I hate that he's sick during Christmas. He got a one week sick line so he won't be at work this week, which is just as well. I hope he feels well enough to enjoy his Christmas dinner tomorrow. We managed to go out last night to a friend's house, but we had to leave quite early because the poor darling wasn't feeling well. He slept through church this morning, but for once I didn't give him a guilt trip over it. He really wasn't well enough to be there.

But - I was, and I went dressed like Santa Claus. Even though Santa mixed up spells Satan.

Christmas Eve Lori

(I couldn't cover my cute pigtails with a hat though, so that's why the black head scarf. It wasn't part of the festive outfit. The green eyeshadow was. And I wasn't really trying to look like Santa Claus; just wanted to be Christmasy.)

Merry Christmas all. Hope you all wake up to the smell of chocolate gravy in the morning, like my man will be.


For Mom

Mom's been hounding me about another bump picture. Since I was going out last night (which means putting on make-up) I took one last night. Here you go, Ma, hope you're happy. ;)

Bump 32 weeks 6 days

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Peppermint Pinwheels - The End Result

Peppermint Pinwheels

Well, they didn't turn out exactly like the picture, but they were tasty nonetheless. Not very red or very pepperminty but still rather good sugar cookies. I think I'll attempt them again, but next time I'll a) make the swirls red and green (for Christmas, of course) and b) do both swirls in peppermint, not just the red. Or maybe leave out the peppermint altogether. Who knows. At any rate, they were a hit at the party I took them to last night, which somewhat made up for the lack of enthusiasm the last time I baked for an audience.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Peppermint Pinwhee --- Excuse Me?

Not all is well in the Second-to-Last House in Greenock right now, but we'll manage. Lots of disappointments today... no need to go into them all now... things like my working from home plans are shattering (but rather than discuss that here and possibly get fired, I'll tell you in private if you wish for details)... etc...

But I don't want to dwell on the negative. So I present you with this: (!)

Peppermint Pinwheels in the making

Go ahead and laugh, but this veiny confection is gonna be delicious once it's hardened (heehee!) in the fridge, been sliced (yipes!) into thin cookies and baked at 350 degrees and look like this:

Peppermint Pinwheels - The Desired Result

Ah, that makes me feel better. Food always does (except nowadays when food, any kind of food, or the lack of food, gives me flaming acid reflux which bubbles and boils its way up my esophagus all the live long day, positively forcing me to pop antacids like candy even though I personally hate medications of any kind and avoid them to the greatest extent possible, preferring preventable pain to subjecting myself to ingesting foreign substances, like antacids which are full of aluminium, particularly now that a human life form is developing in one of my internal organs). Yeah, peppermint pinwheels.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Hot Scottish Rock Stars and Stupid Obstetricians.

I don't know which of these is bigger news: the fact I might need a C-section or the fact that I saw Stuart Murdoch jogging.

I'll start with Stuart Murdoch.

You see, I've been anticipating this for two years now. Before I moved to Scotland, I envisioned myself blithely sauntering down the street in the West End and casually passing Stuart also blithely sauntering down the street and inviting him out for a cup of tea. Yet I've worked in the West End for almost two years now and have never seen him about. His diary is full of entries about him on his laptop out in the middle of town, etc, but I've never caught him. Not in the town, on the subway, in a pub, on Byres Road or in a trendy teahouse.

Then today, the first day of my last week in the West End, Stuart jogged right past me.

He was far enough in front of me for me to clock him, so by the time he passed I knew it was him... because, you know, I stared. And he stared at me, but in a slightly 'oh dear, she must think she recognises me' annoyed way. Sorry, Stu, that this didn't happen the way I planned it. I'm sorry I didn't ask you for a cup of tea.

But thanks for jogging past me and fulfilling my dream, to some extent.


All right, so about this c-section thing. Well, to be honest, I'm not worrying myself over it. Basically, my placenta is still too low, but I've still got a few weeks for it to correct itself. The doctor doing the ultrasound couldn't tell me exactly how close to the 'os' (internal cervical opening) it was because I didn't have a full bladder. Well, geez, guys make up your mind. For my first scan I was told to have a full bladder so I did. For the second scan, I showed up ready to pee my pants and they told me I didn't need a full bladder. So this time I show up empty-bladdered, and I'm told they can't tell me anything definite because I didn't drink enough. Bah. So I'm scheduled for another scan after the new year to check up on it. And then I'll be having regular scans from then on out to ensure a vaginal birth is safe.

If the placenta doesn't migrate away from the os, it'll be a c-section, whether I like it or not.

But again, there's time. The placenta doesn't actually move, being attached to the uterus, but the uterus does expand, so the position can change slightly. If a section becomes necessary, then I'll just deal. But I'll probably cry first. I'm so excited about having a homebirth and experiencing a natural, intervention-free birth, that it saddens me that I might not get it. But again, I'm not gonna dwell on it. God is in control, I'm confident of that, so whatever will be will be.

Good news is, it's still a girl. ;) Though the doctor (what's with doctors?) didn't get that I was joking when I asked if he could just verify she's still a girl. He looked at me confusedly and said, 'They don't change their sex.' Oh, don't they? Well, that's a relief! Idiot.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Christmas Show and stuff

So this weekend has been eventful.

Tonight was our Sunday School Christmas show. I didn't realise how nervous I was until after Sunday School this morning when the kids were going crazy and going into huffs over getting called out and 'swearing' they weren't going to show up tonight. But the kids all arrived (plus a few, we had to improvise a few wise men costumes) and it actually all went off without (much of) a hitch. The angels had a bit of trouble with the wording 'peace on earth and good will to those with whom God is pleased' and ended up saying something to the effect of 'Glory to God in the highest, and good will ... peace on earth... good will to those men ... with who God...God is pleased', and they also declared that Jesus was 'convinced' by the Holy Spirit, but other than that, it was good. The only major mistake was mine and Scott's fault as we tried to lead the parents and children in some Christmas carols with the guitar and for some reason, when we started 'Oh Come, All Ye Faithful', neither one of us could remember how it went and we both started singing to two totally different (and wrong) tunes, and then we started again, just to sing the wrong tunes again, and everyone laughed, and then one of the older men in the audience began it for us in a completely different key to where Scott couldn't pick it up with his guitar so we just went a cappela. I couldn't stop laughing; in fact, Scott had to gently push me back a bit because I was laughing so hard in the microphone. I couldn't look out into the audience because I could see in the corner of my eyes all my friends laughing and I was desperately trying to compose myself.

Anyway, it went well, when all is said and done, and none of the kids huffed or swore or hit anyone over the head with a shepherd's staff, so it was truly a success.


This weekend was also Scott's birthday weekend. Today is his official birthday (happy birthday, honey), but we celebrated most of it yesterday, because today was going to be so hectic. He got The Game on dvd and Bopit Extreme2 from me, two suits from me, his gran and Kate and Faisal, two comic books he used to read as a kid from Kate and Faisal and Lego Star Wars II for PS2 from his parents. We had a very nice meal at Thai Siam, and I baked him a cake, which was about one and 1/2 cups of oil and 1/4 a cup of sour cream away from disaster. (Basically, I was going to make him a red velvet cake, but the recipe called for one and 1/2 cups of oil which thoroughly grossed me out, but I didn't have any applesauce* to replace it with so I decided last minute to make him a pumpkin cheesecake instead but saw the recipe called for 1/4 cup of sour cream which I did not have. Luckily, I had a chocolate cake mix in the cubbard in case of any cake emergencies, so he got a very special boxed birthday cake...) And today for breakfast, he got to choose what he wanted me to make, which ended up being bacon (fried) rolls with potato scones, so that's what he got. And we had cake for lunch.

Now it's time for my bed. Tomorrow is the third and final ultrasound scan to check the placement of my placenta. I'm not worried about placenta previa anymore; I have a good feeling all is well. I've been practicing good forward leaning positions to get the baby in optimal foetal positioning, and I'm feeling really positive about the birth. Only eight more weeks! That is, unless the girl likes her dwelling so well she decides to stay on an extra two, in which case, there might be words.

*You can replace oil in any recipe with the same amount applesauce, making your recipe far healthier and tastier.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Angels We Have Misinterpreted On High

It was nearly 12 am on Saturday night, and I'd just remembered I had yet to write the nativity play to be rehearsed the following morning at Sunday Club. So there I was, in bed, in pajamas, with my laptop open and my trusty ESV (Especially Sanctified Version*) Bible beside me. I know the story by heart, but it was late and I was tired and I didn't want to have to think too much. I started typing up narration and dialogue, using my Bible as a guideline to keep me straight with the old familiar story. An angel appears to Mary and then Joseph, Caesar decrees the entire world to should be registered, Mary and Joseph saddle up and head to Bethlehem, but there's no room in the inn, so they sleep in a stable, Jesus is born and wrapped in swaddling clothes and laid in a manger. Nearby there are shepherds in a field and the angels come to them declaring 'Glory to God in the Highest and on earth, peace and good will towards men--'



Luke 2:14: 'Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!' (ESV)

Peace among those with whom he is pleased? Suddenly, my Especially Sanctified Version seemed Especially Soteriological (in the Reformed way). I had never heard such a translation.

So, like a good little wanna-be theologian, I went downstairs and pulled down my New American Standard Bible (NASB), another word-for-word literal translation. It said, '...And on earth peace among men with whom He is pleased.'

I scratched my head. So where did I get that line 'peace and good will towards men'? It dawned on me: Ah-ha! I only recently switched to ESV and NASB; it must be from the old NIV (New International Version - a looser, more colloquial 'thought-for-thought' version) days, my old favourite (before I knew better, snicker.) So I pulled my old beloved NIV study Bible from the shelf and turned to Luke 2.

'Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests.'

I'm puzzled. And feeling slightly duped.

Who taught me 'peace and good will towards men'? It may not sound like a big difference, but it actually changes the 'Christmas message' significantly. Even the innocent Baby Jesus Lying in a Manger story is now swaddled (ha) in theology. Was he born to bring peace and good will to men (in general) or just to those whom God favours?

It was now very late, and I had to finish the play. Not wanting to be controversial (being one of only approximately four Calvinists in my church, I didn't want to be accused of indoctrinating), I kept the 'good will towards men' line and finished off the story - careful to note that the wise men (however many there were) arrived much later and not at the stable.

The following Sunday, I discussed this issue with Jeff and Scott. We pulled down a few more translations to inspect. We found our culprit(s): King James Version (KJV) and New King James Version (NKJV). Both say, '... and on earth peace, good will toward men.'

After discussing the magnitude of this change (and Jeff, might I add, is not a Calvinist), I realised I couldn't, with good conscience, leave the line so skewed. I changed the script to say 'peace to those with whom God is pleased'. Though it felt controversial, who was I to change or add to the Word of God?

The implications of this have been really mind-boggling. Not that I didn't already believe that Jesus came only for the Elect, but to find evidence of this in the 'Christmas' story was really surprising - and eye-opening - to me. The angels essentially told us that the Baby Jesus was born to bring peace to only a select group: those with whom God is pleased or even perhaps those whom God favours. What a radical difference that makes!

What a difficult difference that makes.

On the back of my ESV Bible, there is a blurb about the translation process. It states something to the effect of 'The translators agreed to put aside doctrinal differences in order to render a translation that is true to the original text'. I wonder what translators must think when they come across passages in the original text that make them think of something differently than they always thought before? I wonder how hard it is to put aside personal doctrines in order to render a true translation? I wonder if people of all different doctrines change their minds on several points after an undertaking like this?

Which sort of unintentionally brings me to the other issue I came across while writing this children's play. Some translations blatantly do not put aside doctrinal differences in order to render a true translation. I don't know what scribes and translators were doing with the KJV/NKJV, but that was a long time ago and they were also the first English translations, so I won't be too hard on the old King. But take, for instance, The Message's take on the verse (and ooh, I'll try hard not to get all up on my soapbox about The Message...): 'Glory to God in the heavenly heights, Peace to all men and women on earth who please him.' (Similarly, the Contemporary English Version says, 'Praise God in heaven! Peace on earth to everyone who pleases God.')

The subtle change in the verse passed right over me upon first read. Jeff actually had to point it out to me. I was just surprised that The Message didn't follow the traditional catch-phrase and not a bit surprised that it added 'women'. Did you see what else I'm referring to?

What's the difference between 'Peace among men with whom He is pleased' (NASB) and ' Peace to all men and women on earth who please him' (Message)?

Syntax, semantics, rhetoric.

The point of this entire post is how drastically those things formulate our beliefs and theology. What else, I can't help wondering, are we being spoon fed that is subtly yet fundamentally wrong?

*I think it was Bryce who dubbed it this, though I could be wrong. At any rate, I stole this moniker from someone and love using it. ESV actually stands for English Standard Version.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Parcel in the Post/Oh Yoda Tree

There are several things I could write about tonight, but I think I'll just narrow it down to the two most pressing.

Parcel in the Post
I got a card through the letterbox from the Royal Mail saying they had a parcel for me. This is always an exciting occurrance. I know that I have several things due to arrive soon: a present for Scott, the baby monitor I ordered from Mothercare, two packages of presents from my mom and a present from Devon and Liz. I couldn't wait to get to the mail depot after work to find out which it was.

It was none of the above! Now this is always even more exciting, when you don't know what it is or who it's from. So I got in the car, and as maybe we all do, I opened it immediately.

It was from my internet friend Alex.

Let it be known, Alex and I have never met, but it's funny how much I consider her a real-life friend. A couple of years ago, she knitted me the cutest hat, to which I, in response, painted her portrait. One day, we intend to cross the short distance of the island of Great Britain and meet.

Let it also be known, and publicly appreciated, that I have received many adorable baby gifts since I became pregnant, from family and friends. Schmooker has been given some of the cutest items in the world from people who already love her. We are thankful for and love every last gift you have sent us.

But oh my goodness, I just have to tell you that the things Alex knitted are to freaking die for.

(click on the photo to view all)

Alex, you are unbelievably awesome. COME TO SCOTLAND. (Or we'll just have to go down there!)

Oh Yoda Tree
I felt I ought to address this issue before anyone took any great offense, looking at our Flickr pictures.

Last year, I struggled a lot with the idea of Christmas. I wasn't even sure we ought to be celebrating it at all. There is no biblical mandate to celebrate the birth of Christ; we are only told to remember his death. I also wasn't sure how I felt about all the other Christmas things, like Christmas trees, presents, Santa, etc. It all seemed so pagan and worldly. I did a lot of reading up on the different origins of these traditions and what I found a lot of times upset me. It seemed that if celebrating Christmas were even acceptable at all, the way we do it currently was far from godly.

But a few things I read made sense to me. On the subject of celebrating Jesus' birth, I read a comment somewhere about how if a multitude of angels felt it was good to sing Glory to God in the Highest, in celebration of the birth of our Saviour, then surely it was right for us to do the same. Maybe the Bible never tells us to celebrate Christ's birth, but I came to agree that that doesn't mean it is wrong to do so. However, the way we were doing it still bothered me. Then I read something else, I do believe on a Messianic Jewish website/forum/something-or-other. A Christian non-Jew was asking the same kind of questions as me, and someone (a Messianic Jew, I believe) responded that in his family, they celebrated the holiday with a tree and presents, etc, but divorced the unreligious traditions from the story of Christ's birth. It was two different occasions. The tree and presents and family dinners was all part of a holiday, but they did not try to make those things religious. They shared the story of Jesus birth with their children as they would any other story in the Bible, but they didn't try to combine the religious story with the unreligious holiday.

This made sense to me. After all, family dinners and presents aren't bad in and of themselves. Teaching your children about giving and receiving graciously is a wonderful thing. A big decorated tree in your home isn't necessarily bad either. What I felt was bad was somehow trying to make all that about the most fundemental aspect of my entire life, indeed of the entire world, Jesus Christ. What trees and tinsel and Santa Claus have to do with my Saviour and Lord, well, there is no relationship.

So I decided that's how I would approach Christmas. I would separate the two ideas - the birth of Jesus from the decorations and presents. I wouldn't try to make the holiday 'symbolic' (though if my kids draw symbolism between the 'gift' of God and the gifts at Christmas, then that is fine). I will emphasise that Jesus was born so that he could live as a human being without sin and later die to take our place as a holy sacrifice. Scott and I will read our children the story of Jesus' birth.

We will give presents as something separate.

This separation settles the discomfort I felt about Christmas as a whole. It also leads me to become more and more annoyed at everyone throwing a big hissy fit over which department stores aren't saying 'Merry Christmas' anymore because OH MY GOODNESS, ARE YOU SERIOUSLY TRYING TO KEEP CHRISTMAS LINKED WITH CONSUMERISM?

So basically, I'm only saying all of this so that no one thinks the new 'Holiday' tree topper in our house is pure sacrilege...

Saturday, December 09, 2006

How DOES he make his money?

I noticed yesterday that 'some' (cough IE cough!) browsers don't seem to have the ability to process images with a transparent background, so some of you have been getting the images at the top surrounded by an ugly gray box. Hopefully I have remedied that. But I don't like having to do what I had to do. Transparent is my FRIEND.

I'm also thinking I'm going to do away with the top frame, and just keep the skinnier side frame. Does everyone with tiny computer screens agree? I like frames, but I think maybe they make it too difficult to see the main content. Also, I know frames are so part of the past, but I'm still using Blogger to post with (I SO need to get with the program, don't I?) and I don't like trying to design things in blogger - I like using my Dreamweaver.

Anyway, for the time being, we've got a guest in our home (Jeff, the EX chicken farmer, which by the way, the EX makes me very sad and I'm having a bit of an identity crisis for him...) so I don't need to engross myself in webplay. I need in engross myself in some French toast! Cheerio!

EDIT: On second thought, I just got the top frame to shrink to fit the smaller birdie image, and I've changed my mind. I'm sticking with the frames for now unless you all beg me to do otherwise (because your lives depend on the frameset of my blog).

Friday, December 08, 2006

A New Hope Home

I'm really impulsive.

(At this moment, you who know me are rolling your eyes and thinking, 'Um, duh'.)

I get something in my head, and I really have to act on it. IMMEDIATELY.

Take this house for instance.

It's fabulous. And I want it.

Sure it's a bit out of our price range. Yes, people are going to be clamouring over it. We don't really have any hope of landing it.

We're not even sure yet if we want to buy.

But it's perfect! I mean, really perfect. I mean, not just kinda perfect but like perfect in every way. The location. The size. The lavendar walls. The gorgeous kitchen. The Amtico flooring.

It's also directly next door to Scott's parents house.

(Now some of you are thinking, 'I knew there was a catch!')

But this is actually completely agreeable to me. Sure most people would balk at the idea of living directly next door (as in, the next number) to the in-laws. But not me. No, I actually rather like the idea. Sure, there would have to be some rules put in place - no unannounced dropping in, etc (even though we've been guilty of unannouncedly dropping in on them before), but in general, I think it would work out just fine.

And did I mention the house is PERFECT?

The only hitch is, well, the price. But surely people have bought houses slightly out of their price range before? In fact, hasn't everybody? You'd definitely think that after watching an hour of Home and Garden television.

So back to me being impulsive.

I'm afraid if we don't view this house right this minute we'll lose any chance of getting it. If we don't book a solictor NOW and put in a bid NOW we'll lose it forever. Scott says we have to wait until tonight when we can talk about it. But what if it's SOLD by tonight??

If it were up to me, I'd be putting in an offer this weekend. Thankfully it's not up to me. I don't even know how much of a mortgage we could get, or what to do with a mortgage at all, for that matter. Or how to hire a solicitor or if a solicitor is even necessary. And I don't know what kind of fees are involved. Or how long the process takes. Or when we'd have to move in. OR EVEN IF WE WANT TO BUY A HOUSE AT ALL YET.

But this house is worth it. And I'd overcome my Mortgage Fear to have this place. I'd pack up my belongings with an eight-month gestated baby in my uterus for this place.

But part of being impulsive means that in a few days I may not luv this house with all my anymore. It might get sold, and I'll forget all about it (though I might glare at the new owners when we happen to see them entering and exiting). So it's a good thing Scott's not impulsive.

On the other hand, oh my gosh what if it sells THIS WEEKEND and we totally lose our chance of getting it because we waited too long?! Scott, hurry up and call the bank!

UPDATE: Sold. :(

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Give Me Chocolate or Give Me Death

Dear Raging Hormones,

I understand that you are circulating my body for a very good reason. I understand that without you, my little schmooker wouldn't grow right and my body wouldn't be able to cope with her inside me.

But for the love of all things holy, would you mind settling down just a bit?

Because of you, I want to scream at things. Because of you, I want to chop people's heads off on a regular basis. Because of you, I want to cry about every tiny bothersome thing, and it's beginning to get just the slightest bit ridiculous.

Today, you nearly made me shout obscenities at a group of Fifth Year girls standing outside the disabled toilet. It wasn't their fault, assumably, that there were several schoolbags blocking the door, meaning that the school's disabled children wouldn't have a chance in hell of getting to the toilet if they needed it, but because they were the only people near the said bags, I wanted to shout my head off at them for not caring about other people, including their very own peers, and disobeying rules like 'Do not block the door with your bags' or even 'Do not leave your bags lying in the hall during break times'.

I also had absolutely zero interest in the fact that a pretty flower was sent to one of the girls in the office, and when she came in, excited about receiving them, I barely looked at her. Who cares about your dumb flowers? Who cares about 'Kenny' or whatever his name is. NOT ME.


And because of you, I found myself crying in the nurse's station as I took a short rest during the day because I was so tired and probably should've gotten my blood tested for anemia so now I'm probably gonna die.

And then, you, in conjunction with the Royal Mail, had to totally screw up my afternoon, causing me to have to repackage my parcels TWICE and then in the car as well because one parcel was over 2kg and what's the big freaking deal, hmm? But I nearly threw the boxes of Christmas presents at the mail guy for telling it me it was going to be £50 to ship unless I repackaged them (again) into two separate packages. Gah!


So, dear hormones that are protecting my child and body, as much as I am indebited to you for all the work you are doing to keep me fit, I'd appreciate if you'd also take a moment to consider my sanity. And while you're at it, maybe you could lay off the tiredness?

And if you happen to see your friend, the Uterus, could you ask her to please stop contracting, and if you see your other friend, the Vagina, could you ask her to please stop with the whole making-me-waddle thing? It was cute at first; it's not cute anymore.


Sunday, December 03, 2006

Holy Mackerel!

30 Weeks

I'm a whale!

I'm now 30 weeks pregnant. That sounds so FAR. I mean, the 20 week numbers sound nice and cute and second trimestery, but 30?! That's like, ready to pop. Not really, Schmooker is actually not welcome to arrive until at least 38 weeks (ah, heck, we'd still take her earlier than that, but she'd have a serious talking-to about arriving to parties too early and not allowing herself to bake all the way through before making her appearance. We want our babies well-done, not medium rare. Ew. That's an awful analogy.)

Anyway, disgusting steak-baby references aside, I'm very excited about my 30 week mark and commemorated it by allowing myself to buy a little outfit (it was only £5!)

I can't wait to meet my little girl.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Catching the Worms

Hello, readers of the blog formerly known as 'Second-to-Last House in Greenock'!

Yes, we've 'redesigned'. (Scott says it's more of a 'reskin'.) I've been trying to think of a new idea for the blog for a while now, since we are a)expecting a new addition to the old scottandlori and b)because we may not be in the second-to-last house in Greenock for much longer. (Or heck, maybe we'll be here forever, who freaking knows.)

Anyway, I've toyed with lots of really stupid new names and design ideas, but none have been satisfactory. Then last night in bed, I decided on a little black bird... with a pink background.... but what did it all mean?

It didn't really mean much, but then I thought about early birds catching the worms... and how that fits in with our very near future... being early birds for a very long time, as soon as the baby arrives. So there... that's the meaning of this whole silly thing. Maybe by seeing every hour of the night, we'll catch some worms...

Or something.

Fine, it's just an excuse for me to put a cute little bird on our website.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Another Blether About Books (and a bit about life)

Actually penned on Thursday night, 30 November, but not posted, as I lost my stolen wireless connection.

I don't use the word 'enchanting' often (or ever), but in the following sentence it is most appropriate:

I just read the most enchanting book. I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith is simply marvellous. I'm actually so sad it ended. I'd have liked Cassandra to go on forever and ever until she died. Most books don't encourage me to think on in the context of the story; I'm usually quite happy with the way they end and though I'll very often dwell on the contents of the story for some time after, I rarely think what might happen to the characters after the book ends. This book is rare for me in that I really do want to think may happen after Cassandra finished her journal. I wonder what happens to her, her family, the Cottons... without getting specific (because I think if you're looking for an enchanting book to read, you should head to your library right now and pick up a copy), I just wonder, hope, want everything to keep happening for her.

My brother gave me this book, telling me I'd love it. I believed him, but it's taken me this long (five months, or is it eight?) to start it. It's a quick read (or maybe I've just had a lot of time on my hands, being in bed for a million days), but it's lovely. I wish I could read it again for the first time.

Perhaps I'm building it up too much now. I'll stop gushing. It was a really good break after reading the 500 exhausting (but well worth the effort) pages of Just a Little Prick* by Peter and Hilary Butler on vaccinations. I'm now reading Notes from a Big Country by Bill Bryson. I never did finish Vanity Fair. I'll admit I lost interest when Becky moved in with the Sir Pitt Crawley. I'll try to pick it up later, but I just find all the Crawleys so hard to like. And Becky's boring descriptions of them haven't kept me interested enough in Becky to keep going.

In other news, I went to work today. I stayed until 1.30 then came home. My boss didn't expect me to stay the whole day, which was a relief. Around noon I felt my body positively crashing. I'm still not over this thing, but I desperately needed to get some work done so I'm glad I went in. I'll go in again tomorrow and hopefully stay the whole day. I need to. And luckily it'll then be the weekend. More sleeping, or rather, trying to sleep. Let me just say cold plus heartburn plus big wiggly baby in womb makes it very difficult to sleep, as if just one of those things weren't bad enough on its own.

Oh yes and two more things:
First, Scott's parents are back from Australia and Japan. They came by tonight with soup, for which I am entirely grateful. They also brought us pressies - a kokeshi doll for me, some Japanese letter openers for Scott and a hand-knitted teddy bear for Schmooker, made by one of the ladies in the Melbourne branch of our church. They told me what my Christmas pressie will be too, but I'll keep that a secret until Christmas.

Second, I'll be working from home starting in June. My boss gave me the okay today. :D Praise God! And I get to take the iMac mini home with me to work from. Hurray!

*I actually think the back cover blurb for this book is horrible in comparison to the actual content of the book. It sounds all alarmist and blindly anti-vaccination and conspiracy-theory. The book is actually, in my opinion, well-written, not alarmist or conspiracy-theorist and fair. It's quite scientific and absolutely full of references to medical literature, not just opinions and theories. So if the subject interests you, don't let the back cover fool you. I think it's unfortunately misleading. And again, I think it's worth the effort, if the idea of vaccination doesn't just 100% sit well with you.

[UPDATE for Friday:] I did go into work all day today and managed just fine. I also OFFICIALLY officially finished Christmas shopping, as I finally got The Gran her present. We also got to start in on our advent calendars today, it being the first of December. Today's present for me was a gorgeous hat. Good times!