With a Little Bit of Hindsight…

These past couple of days, I can’t help but think as to how I was last year. I’ve been looking back at past posts, pictures and reading my pregnancy diary. I can’t believe it’s been one year already, and yet some memories seem so distant (I’m thinking it’s due to the lack of sleep and foggy brain I had at the moment).

This time last year I was nearing the 36th week of pregnancy. The following week I would look something like this:

This picture was actually taken 3 days before C was born. I was nearing 37 weeks of pregnancy. You can even see the dark nailpolish referred to below!!

I was wearing my pregnancy ‘uniform’. I had my faithful long white skirt, my denim one, a couple of singles and dresses, and I hated them by the end of the pregnancy. I would cry when I opened my wardrobe (still do sometimes) and felt like a whale in a sea of goldfish.

Me, as the giant blob, at week 36!

I had terrible backache, heartburn sucked and finding a comfortable seated position was a feat. I had attended three maternity classes and was looking forward for the fourth, where we were supposed to discuss breathing techniques during labour. That lesson never came for me.

I was thinking I had 4 weeks left of pregnancy. I had a pedicure and facial planned for before the baby arrived. I missed those appointments and went into labour with dark nailpolish on my digits.

I had ugly thoughts about being out in public and having my water break there, for all to witness. Sort of like being a teenager, going out, getting your period and marking your white jeans. Thankfully both never happened, and that deed was left for the midwife to perform.

I had prepared my hospital bag, although when the time came, I didn’t even take it with me. We had a camera with fully-charged batteries, I had reading books and snacks packed in there. In actual fact we were lucky to get a couple of pictures of C’s moment of entering this world with A’s iPhone, just before the battery gave away.

I was worried (petrified, terrified and so scared) about labour, when in actual fact I was really, really (I mean REALLY) lucky with the whole ordeal. My delivering midwife still mentions this to me every time we meet.

And my luckiest bit of it all was having A by my side. He made it with only a couple of hours to spare but was there when I needed him the most. Deep down I was convinced he wouldn’t be. I can never be thankful enough for that.

I’ve probably bugged you all with this photo, but it is one of my favourite. Me, a couple of hours before C arrived. Wearing my pregnancy ‘uniform’ and holding the obligatory fan at hand!

There were a hundred other bits I was worried about after Cesca was born. A left 3 days after C was born, and I decided to stay at our place alone with C. I was worried about that. I was worried about everything concerning C and her feeding. I would panic thinking about moving back to England with an 8-week old and 3 months worth of things, AND more so thinking about how I would take care of a baby alone with no help at hand. Somehow it all worked out and we’re all doing good 🙂

So to last year’s Josepha, I wish I could reassure you that all was going to be okay. I need not have worried about the little bits and bobs. The world works in mysterious ways, and things do fall into their place.

xxx Jos

Memories are made of this…

Little Munchkin is now over seven months old. Seven months and nine days to be precise. Looking at her, I find myself asking the same question over and over again – “Where has the time gone?” She no longer is a baby. She giggles when I jump up and down and sing to her – the crazier the move, the louder she squeals, she moves her head to the left and right when I block her favourite TV programmes, she screams when I try and clean her nose and when she’s fed up, she’ll let everyone around her know of it.

My pensive angel at 3 weeks 🙂

This weekend we shifted from the Cocoon to the Footmuff, and I have to admit I became a bit teary-eyed. When she was born, she was so small she got lost in her Cocoon. We’d have to prop her on blankets and put the neck piece to keep her in place when using the Bee. She is now thrice her birth weight, exceeding the 9kg mark (and that was according to last month’s weigh-in), she’s grown tall (her 9 month-old trousers no longer fit) and she’s my own Jack-in-the-Box, never stopping for one minute, always kicking, always on the go. She’s tiring, but she’s fun.

She went from this…

…to this.

So I finally sat down and ordered her first six months of life in photos. I received them today, bought the album and will now start putting the photos in place. The first photo I ordered was that of the pregnancy test sticks – where it all began. I put in my pregnancy pictures – my favourite is my 19 week picture. I remember straining my back backwards in order to make my slightly rounded tummy more prominent. The picture of me awaiting her birth at hospital follows, her first picture (a macabre one at that) is next, along with the early days of her life – her first bath, the breast-feeding days, her first visit to Malta. She was so small, yet just perfect 🙂 We have pictures of her christening and of course Christmas follows that.

And that covers the first six months of her life – 1st July 2011 to 1st January 2012. Some of the pictures will be placed in her Baby Book, and the rest will find their place in her album. Her first album 🙂

Now today I plan on printing posts from this blog – posts that dealt with the pregnancy and Cesca, right up until the beginning of this year. I plan on having them filed and stored with the album. I stopped writing in the Baby Diary I kept all throughout the pregnancy when C was born, so this blog will help fill in any gaps I didn’t write there during pregnancy, and will also follow on from there, till now.

That way some things will never be forgotten, and my memories of those wonderful six months, and the nine months preceding that, will become C’s property, and she too will get to know how happy she made us all. From that moment back in November 2010 🙂

A baby will make love stronger, days shorter, nights longer, bankroll smaller, home happier, clothes shabbier, the past forgotten, and the future worth living for.

One Busy Stork!

My friends have been keeping me busy. The past three years, we’ve had so many of our friends tying the knot, we’ve even had two occasions when we had two weddings together on the same day. Some couples had been dating for ages, others got married after a whirlwind romance and others were an obvious choice to everyone except themselves.

And now said friends, and lots of others, are popping. Popping babies I mean. Last year, many of my friends and acquaintances had babies, and it seems 2012 is not going to be different. Some of my friends have already had their little ones (two to date so far this year) and others are expecting, and some have just started announcing it! I’m super-excited for the ones who’ve just announced they’re pregnant – maybe because I loved mine so much.

2011’s Gozitan poppers produced little Carla, Emma, Giulia, Kimberley, Robin, Katya Marie, Jean, Nina, Karolin, Martina and Lauren.

We then had the American-born Gozitans (I am allowed to call them that, hux?) Lucas and Noah – cousins at that, with little Noah born a couple of hours before C – and both had the same due date! And pretty little Anaya and Natalie, C’s American second cousins!

Fellow English ladies, Miss Emily was born early on in January last year, making her already one year old, and Little Isla came a couple of months after C!

2012 has already welcomed little Giorgio and gorgeous Ela – both mummies are amongst my oldest friends. And I have more to wait for! Two of my dearest friends are expecting – one in a couple of weeks and the other has a couple of months to go! Add a sweet cousin as well expecting her first-born, and yes, I can’t wait!!

The nicest thing in the world would be C befriending my friends’ children 🙂

If any baby was forgotten, please excuse my forgetful mummy brain!!

‘Twas a day in November…

One year ago we found out we were pregnant.

We took two tests and both came out positive.

We were in shock, we were happy and we knew our life would never be the same.

One year on and we can not imagine not having our little munchkin in our lives.

She’s a handful at times, she does not stay still for one moment, she always wants to be entertained and she is slowly becoming the Queen of Squealing. She loves being the centre of attention and gets bored of things very easily. She does not nap for more than 15 minutes at a time, yet she wakes up yawning and stretching as if she’s been at it for hours. She seems to be as outgoing as her parents are not. And for that reason, I look at her and am fascinated.

We knew our life would not be the same after reading those pregnancy sticks. I thought I had an idea what to expect – reality taught me that I did not have the faintest clue of what motherhood would bring.

I miss my ‘me’ time, I miss my uninterrupted sleep, I miss having quality time with A when we’re not both half-asleep and I miss having a tidy place. I miss my pre-pregnancy clothes (nope, they still don’t fit) and I miss having my old stomach back.

But the way Cesca’s face lights up when I talk to her, the way she wrinkles her forehead when she makes an effort during tummy-time, and the way she ‘eats’ food from her spoon, make the gloomiest of day light up.

So here’s to you little girl.

Smile on 🙂

Our first image of you xxx

The early days

How unsmiling is that 🙂

Dear Body…

I read this article in a magazine last week and thought it really interesting, and eye-opening to lots of women out there. Including myself. Most primarily, at this point in my life, myself.

What would you write in a letter addressed to your body.

Yes, your body.

It had to be an honest letter. No excuses, no messing around. Just the plain, hard and truthful facts you’d want to share with your body and tell it, if you could.

Mine would go something like this:

Dear Body,

I’ve lived with you for the past 31+ years. We never really had a truly loving relationship. During the course of the years there have been periods when I was really happy with you, other times where I just loathed you. Hated you even. If I were to be truly honest with myself, I know it’s not your fault. It all stems out from my lack of any willpower. For I have none. None at all. But blaming you for it all, is much easier.

Aesthetically speaking, there are parts of you which I do love. I love my small upper half. I never truly minded not having the biggest bust in town. It started to be an issue with me when I was growing up and seeing all my friends’ boobies grow while mine seemed to be stuck at the same size and shape from when I was 12. But I grew out of that phase and learnt to accept my small booblets. When days come when I wish for a bigger bust, I help you dear body, by wearing what A calls my chicken fillets. They’re reliable and most importantly, just a temporary fix.

I was never happy with my lower half. My thighs to be precise. For whenever I dieted, my face and upper half always took the toll, whilst my stubborn thighs remained as is. Having a small bust and big thighs spells disproportion, which is what I just hate. Then I discovered Spanx, which are a god-send on certain days when looking at you in a mirror is a tough feat.

I loved what pregnancy did to you. You were an absolute rock and I loved being pregnant. I remember waiting eagerly for your shape to change, for you to start showing the pregnant roundness I so wanted round my tummy area. And when you did at around five months in the pregnancy, I could not show you off enough! I marvelled at your elasticity and at your tenacity during the latter part of pregnancy. And as for labour itself, you surprised me to say the least. You helped me into facing what I was most scared of, and we both came off with flying colours.

Post-pregnancy and I am not liking you again. I helped you gain around 20kg during pregnancy, most of which is gone, but these last six kg do not want to budge. Not one bit. I am happy that my upper half is back to normal, though on certain days I do miss the cleavage that breastfeeding gave me. You fit perfectly into my nursing bras. Yet now they are a size too big But my tummy area right down to my knees are unrecognizable. I detest seeing myself in a mirror, and am desperate to get you back in shape. Shopping for myself is no longer fun, so I just shop for Cesca, resulting into many items of clothing she will only wear once, IF we’re lucky in that! I want to get you back into shape for Christmas. I want to discover will-power, find it and use it. Please help me in any way you can!

I don’t want you to become stick-thin. I don’t think you would look that good. But having you in my pre-pregnancy shape would be perfect.

Not that you ought to because truth be told, I have abused on certain instances. I have tried every diet known to mankind, some worked, others did not. The most absurd diet we tried must have been the Atkins diet, where I could honestly hear you crying out to me to stop with that nonsense, but I went on. Until you gave me a stern warning in the form of dizziness and black spells, and then I stopped. Because of that ridiculous diet, you do not accept avocado in any shape or form. And I totally understand, because who in their right minds, would stuff you with it, fried, as a breakfast, every day for a whole fortnight?

On the whole you have been great. You haven’t become ill too often, you’re quite resilient and overall quite healthy for which I am totally grateful.

Now if only things would improve on the aesthetic-side of it all…

Keep up the great work dear body. And I promise to start some serious work of my own.

Yours truly

Josepha

xxx

Ten Things You May Not Know About Me…

Last week I was tagged by lovely Clare at accidentallykle.com to blog about ten things you may not know about me. I have to say that this was one of the hardest things I have had to write about. I mean, what don’t you know about me? It’s not as if I hold back on my blog when it comes to anything really. So after drafting this entry for three times, I think I have finally found and unearthed ten things about me, which you may not know, which may surprise you or which you can totally agree with me upon.

Number One:

I love languages! I love the accents, the words, the phonetics, the signs and symbols and everything that make up different languages. When I entered into Sixth Form and had to choose the subjects I was to study in order to be able to read Law at University, I was thrilled to learn that Maltese and English at an Advanced Level were a must, and that I could choose another language at Intermediate Level (I chose French). English was my favourite, and the literary side of the subject was heaven for me. I learnt the whole of Macbeth by heart, read and re-read Pride and Prejudice a gazillion times (it is one of my most favourite books ever written), and loved the tone of Philip Larkin’s poems. Reading has always been a strong passion of mine. Now that I currently am on what can be called a career break, I would love to start learning German, by means of the Rosetta Stone course. A is quite mystified as to my choice of language. All I know is that I love the guttural sounds of the language and the long words so typical of German. Now if only time were not a problem…

Number Two:

Erm, I am a vain lady. Yes, I love the materialistic side of life. I love clothes, shoes, bags, make up, accessories, getting my hair done and doing my nails! I tend to overdo it at times, feel as guilty as ever afterwards, bask in self-pity when my bills start arriving, and start re-doing it all over again to make myself feel better! A vicious circle if there ever was one! However nowadays our expenses have increased, so quite sadly I have had to decrease my retail activity. However I married a man who loves shopping himself (when he’s in the right mood), so when he’s in the zone and I’m in need of a boost, it’s a happy day in the Farrugia household. And now we have beautiful Cesca, and the shops are full of beautiful things for little girls…I’m sure you understand!

One bag, two bag, but none too many!

Beautiful things make me feel happy, and improving my appearance any way I can helps with boosting my confidence levels sky-high. At the moment my body is not exactly fashion-friendly (the last 5 kg from the pregnancy just won’t budge off!), so this weekend I’m treating myself to Botox. I have had it done before, I loved it and could not top it up back in November when it was due, since I was pregnant. So today I’m getting injected with poison, and I can’t wait 😉

Number Three:

When I met A, I was actually seeing someone else. Yikes, that makes me sound bad, but honestly it was not done with any cruel intentions! It just happened that a mutual friend introduced us at what was then the wrong time. A couple of phone messages, a difficult decision and a gamble later, we officially became a couple 🙂 Pity that the other person took it rather badly and bad-mouthed me quite a bit, especially since I had not cheated per se. Notwithstanding everything that happened, looking back now, I would redo everything again!

Number Four:

I love July! I have already blogged about this previously, but to sum it up quite briefly the reasons are the following:

– July 29, 2002 – I met A.
– July 2009 _ A proposed.
– July 3, 2010 – We got married.
– July 1, 2011 – Cesca was born.

Enough said 🙂

Number Five:

I have very strange likes and dislikes when it comes to seafood. See, I do not like fish, but I love shellfish. I love tuna fish coming from a tin, but hate fresh tuna. I love fried calamari, but cannot stand it cooked otherwise. I used to love octopus, but can’t eat it now. I will eat pasta with salmon, but will not have salmon any other way. So I stick to prawns, clams, mussels and lobster (you have to love lobster!) and that is basically all the seafood I eat. I know I am missing out on loads of delicious fresly-caught fish, especially in summer in Malta, but there you go.

Number Six:

I love being a mother to Cesca. I have always loved children and they have always taken a liking to myself, so when I found out I was pregnant I was scared at first, but that feeling soon turned to pure happiness. My pregnancy was as smooth as could be, labour was much less traumatic than I had expected (and feared), and meeting Cesca was the most beautiful day of my life. However the first two weeks of Cesca’s life were the most difficult for me. I felt overwhelmed by the huge responsibility that was suddenly placed on me, I felt scared handling her and would go into a panic attack every time she would start crying, especially when we were out in public. I would think of life alone with her in England and start doubting whether I could do it. However it all changed when I talked to another friend about it, and she told me that she had gone through the same thing when her first child was born. I felt relieved that I was not alone, and I understood that having doubts did not make me a bad mother or person. I just needed some time to adjust and start understanding Cesca. Nowadays I spend all day with her and would not change it for a minute. I walk to the centre with her, we have coffee together and visit shops as well. And if she starts crying, it’s not the end of the world. After all, she is but a baby. My special baby.

My wide-eyed cheerful little wonder xxx

Number Seven:

When I was in secondary school, our form-teacher organized a trip for us all to Italy. I remember visiting beautiful places such as San Gimignano and most particularly Pisa. For the wrong reasons…My friends and I dared eachother to steal a postcard from one of the street vendors there. As luck would have it, when my turn came and I took the card, the owner saw me and started shouting at me, yelling for me to replace the card. Fellow class-mates were staring, our form-teacher was shocked (I was not exactly the rebel back in secondary school…nor am I now!), so I let it go and ran like crazy to the awaiting coach. Never ever again did I touch something not belonging to me.

Number Eight:

I love lists. I am totally in my element listing down things to do and then crossing them out when they’re done. My purse is full of lists – shopping lists, phone lists, the whole lot. It helps me feel more organized and rather pleased at the end of the day when I see what I managed to get done during the day. I loved listing errands when I worked as a Notary back in Gozo. The list used to be nearly the same every day (Banks, Public Registry, Land Registry), but crossing out the errands done, was always pleasing and satisfying. Organizing my wedding proved to be the Master Challenge of Lists, but I loved each and every list entry…and eventual crossing off.

Number Nine:

My father’s death was without any doubt, the hardest thing I have had to deal with in my life. It was and is still very hard at times, but I am now in a content place, where even though I miss him like crazy, I have accepted that even though he is not with me physically, he is constantly by my side. As a result of this terrible event, I have somewhat become numb to what would otherwise be considered a horrible thing. When someone dies, my level of sorrow is not as strong as it was before my dad died. I know what the family is feeling yet I somehow feel detached from it all, and always end my thought with “Whatever they’re feeling and going through, we went through the same, if not worse, thing”. When I hear stories of children not talking to parents over a stupidity, I get mad with rage but it soon passes and I just pity the children. For I know what they’re missing out. And I know how bad and terrible they will feel in the long run. But then again after a moment or so, I just feel numb. I guess when something that horrific occurs in your life, the numbing effect is one of the things to happen to you. Amongst other things.

Number Ten:

In connection with my number one, I have to admit that deep down I am quite a nerd. I am the girl who always carries around a big bag to hold the book I would be reading at the time. I take a book with me everywhere – the hairdresser’s, the shops, in the car, even when I go to the loo. My mother tells me that when I was four, one of my favourite pastimes would be sitting on her lap reading out new words from the newspaper! One of my most favourite television programmes here in England, is Countdown. I try and play along with the contestants, but some of them are too darn smart! I could spend hours playing Yahoo! Literati without getting bored. My dream job would be to own and open a bookshop, a Borders-style bookshop, where reading would be part of my job. That might work here in England, but not so in Malta, let alone Gozo. Since having Cesca, reading has been placed on hold and I only read a couple of pages a day when I have the time to. I sincerely miss delving into a book and getting lost for a couple of hours in the imaginative world of literature.

And there you go! I managed to pull out ten things which you may or may not have known about me! Writing this post entailed delving into myself quite a bit and remembering certain episodes which I had forgotten about. But it was a real pleasure doing so so, and hope it’s half as fun to read as it was to write.

Hey guys, I would love to read about Your Ten Things!

http://www.alisondee.wordpress.com
http://www.anecdotesfrommalta.blogspot.com
http://www.the-fish-in-malta.blogspot.com
http://www.allaboutg.blogspot.com
http://www.workingwithlight.wordpress.com
http://www.thelifeofthemaltese.blogspot.com

A picture is worth a million words!

My cousin’s wife posted some pictures of her Hen’s Party, held on the 30th of June, a day before Cesca was born.

One picture really took my fancy. It’s me, less than 10 hours before before C was born. I was most likely already in the labour process, without actually knowing it! I remember having terrible back pains, feeling the heat and being happy yet jealous of a dear friend who had just had her baby boy that day (when her due date was exactly the same as mine!)

So this is officially my last pregnant picture 🙂

And the next morning….

A million and one things happened between one picture and the other 🙂