Fly By

This summer is flying by. July is suddenly nearing its’ end and I’m three-fourths of my way through this pregnancy. It seems I’m growing by the day and my wardrobe is becoming more and more limited as the days pass. Unlike my pregnancy with C, I am still able to wear some of my pre-pregnancy dresses and tops, although trousers are now out of the question, because even the elastic-band trick is not working any longer. So I have my ever-faithful numbered tops, skirts, trousers and beloved flat sandals, and I’m set it seems. The only items of clothing I can experiment with are accessories, so at the moment I’m splurging  on necklaces and bracelets. And clothes for C of course..the little missus is constantly outgrowing her clothes and gives me the perfect excuse to go shopping for her. Her clothes are my guaranteed ticket to burn.

We are spending our days swimming, going out for ice-cream walks, meeting up with friends and eating. I don’t know about you but (pregnancy aside) I eat more in the summer months. I go out more often, dine out more frequently and finish each meal with an ice-cream or something sweet. Winter plates may be heavier, but summer eating is much more frequent it seems. At least for me.

I’m enjoying the last few weeks of being a mother of one.  I am sometimes scared of ruining the balance we have reached with her when the baby comes. We know her routine and her dis/likes, we love her late mornings and laid-back attitude, and I do fear, yet know, that she will change with the new arrival. She is a tall three-year old, yet she is still such a young girl. She still needs reassurance and warm cuddles, she looks to us for smiles and kisses and is full of love. A new baby will take away some of the attention she has grown used to now, but I’m believing and hoping it will be for the better. Add to that a new school and lifestyle and she sure is in for a change. We are trying to make the transition as easy as possible for her, we talk about the baby everyday, she kisses and hugs my tummy and has started helping me out with daily chores I’m no longer able to do myself, yet I know that it will still be a shock for her. However her character reassures me that she will be the best older sister for her sibling.

Again, I can’t believe that at three years of age she will already be an ‘older’ sister.

Time is flying by. Our days are lazy ones and I’m trying to enjoy each day of this summer to its’ fullest. I can’t fully appreciate the summer as much as I did in previous years, with my aching back, tired legs and a kicking baby, but I’m doing my best.

So far, so good.

I can't believe we will soon be going back to these days...it seems surreal, slightly scary yet at the same time I can not wait!

I can’t believe we will soon be going back to these days…it seems surreal, slightly scary yet at the same time I can not wait!

 

 

Something Beautiful

When you live on a Rock, it is very difficult to keep certain things hidden. Not that you actually have anything to hide, but you prefer talking about some things a bit later rather than sooner. When we lived in England we managed to keep most of our things to ourselves and reveal them at our choice and timing. Gozo is a hundred times different. Some people here are gifted with that particular talent of recognizing the tiniest iota of change in others before they’ve been told about it, and you can not refuse answering their questions or queries.

Again, we have nothing to hide. At this point we can not hide anything not even if we wanted to.

I will let this photo of myself (on the right) and my friend Maureen (on the left) do all the talking…

Two friends, two bumps :)

Two friends, two bumps 🙂

That’s right. Cesca’s going to be an older sister!

I’m more than halfway through with the pregnancy, and have started recently growing on an hourly basis (or so it seems to me!) We feel blessed and thankful, everyone and everything is so exciting and I can’t wait for summer to end and get to meet our Number Two! We talk to Cesca about the new addition all the time, mainly to get her used to the idea that she will soon have a sibling to share her life with. I don’t know whether she fully understands what is going to happen, but she makes me smile (and shed a tear) when she hugs my tummy, kisses the baby and tells us that “mama’ has a baby in her tummy swimming upside down”.

So the not-so-secret secret is out. Again, it has not been a secret in Gozo for a couple of weeks now.

And nor do we want it to be. Not when something so beautiful is happening 🙂

 

Any Trace, Gone

Anyone who has a child will confirm the fact that once the little angel has arrived their life changed. Some reasons for this are obvious – you fall in love with someone from the moment you first find out about their existence, or from the first moment you feel them inside you, and then when they make their appearance you know that you’d walk to the moon and back for them. It’s definitely a case of love at first knowledge, feeling or sight.

Once you’re settled in at home with the baby, nothing is recognizable anymore. Your tidy house, and your quiet corner are suddenly gone. Instead a hiatus of baby apparel descends on your home and it suddenly becomes a stranger’s house. Baby cribs, muslin cloths, baby creams, nipple creams, baby pumps, mummy pads, breast pads, books you still believe in (before you realize that nothing beats your maternal instinct), sterilizers, Molton tablets, formula, tiny dummies – that becomes your house. Normal conversation ceases to exist and suddenly all you can talk about is your baby.

Baby grows up a bit, starts appreciating and playing with toys, and the real mess starts. You can forget about ever seeing your floors cleared out. There is always something on the floor. Whilst you are tidying up one corner of your house, rest assured that the baby who’s suddenly gone quiet is making a mess at the other corner. Do not bother clearing up the toys before the baby goes to sleep – they are experts in making a mess.

Then weaning starts, and the stains and smells and stickiness begin. Baby-grows which until now have only been sometimes covered with milk and still practically brand-new, now have orange stains so stubborn no amount of Vanish can remove! Your recipe books starts filling up with baby recipes and the kitchen cupboards are full of emergency food jars. Planning trips and travels becomes ten times more difficult. You have to calculate how much milk and food to prepare, the number of nappies to take and outfit changes of course are always a necessity.

Babies grow into toddlers and then there is the greatest change. Any trace of your self is gone. Our iPad is no longer ours. Our television is no longer ours. My writing pad is now Cesca’s drawing book. My handbags are full of toys and cracker crumbs. Baby-less Me would thrill at ordering clothes and shoes online. Nowadays the packages which arrive are baby books and baby clothes, which strangely get me more excited than any package of mine ever did. My precious necklaces and bracelets are now half-missing and half-destroyed. My lipsticks are all chipped and my expensive bronzing powder now has a hole right in the middle. Mobile phones are found in the washing machine and creams are placed in the toilet. That’s toddler life for you.

Any trace of a baby-less and carefree life is gone once children are born.

And with a toddler, any trace of a baby in the house is gone as well.

The crib goes, the cot goes, baby starts sleeping in a proper bed, the high-chair is gone, the toys are now grown-up blocks and figures. The apps on our gadgets are now more complicated and less cartoonish. My once-BabyTV-loving baby now can’t get enough of Mr. Bean and she cries with laughter at each episode. The 7-month old baby whose first word was ‘mama’ now talks ALL THE TIME. Simple words have become replaced with ‘laryngoscope’, ‘meteorites’ and ‘synagogue’ (don’t ask). Sippy-cups are gone, as are food worries. She is her own person, she knows what she wants and she is suddenly much more independent than you want her to be because in your eyes, she is still that small baby you brought home from the hospital.

It’s a nostalgic time when babies become toddlers. They’re suddenly not ‘yours’ anymore. Living in Malta I don’t spend as much as time with Cesca as I did when in England. The reasons are obvious, but a part of me misses the exclusivity we had going on. More than about sharing Cesca, I know that what it’s really about is Cesca growing up and needing me a bit less everyday.

I can’t imagine how I’ll feel next year when Cesca starts school…

From this...

From this…

...

…to the messy part…

...to the inquisitive part...

…to the inquisitive part…

...to the part where you realize that your baby is all grown up.

…to the part where you realize that your baby is all grown up.

Unfamiliar Ground

If you follow me on Instagram, you might have realized that today was not an easy day. In fact it was the sum total of a frustrating and anger-fuelled situation which I will not bother you with. Let us just say that The Move was not easy. No, not easy at all. And since I now suddenly some extra time on my hands, it’s about time I stop banging my head against the wall and start writing instead.

Following my last post, we went along with our gut instinct and started C at a play-school. As I expected I was nearly in tears dropping her off to join her new friends. She was a bit apprehensive at first, probably overwhelmed by the other ‘babies’ (her word not mine) in the room, and by the great number of toys suddenly available to her to play with. By the time I had talked to one of the carers present there, she was hard at play, not even looking out for me, and in no time at all I had sneaked out of the room, feeling I have to say rather dispensable.

The whole time C spent at the play-school, I was on edge. I was worrying, thinking way too much and on the verge of calling the school a dozen times. I was envisioning the worst – cries, screams, fights, blood, injuries…what can I say? I have a very vivid imagination. A was calming me down, assuring and reassuring me that she would be just fine. So when the time came to pick her up, he was proven right. She was just fine. She was playing with another girl and when I went in for her, she merely acknowledged my presence with a smile and continued playing. Only after a couple of minutes did I get a proper hug. I was told she only cried a bit when she realized I had left and was an excellent girl for the rest of the morning. I even got a yummy sponge cake with strawberry jam C made herself – you can see it here 😉

The carer told me that she played with other children, she was following them around the play-area and she even came back with new words – ‘shapes’, ‘triangle’ and ‘circle’! So after one session at play-school, I am not regretting our decision. It seems that slowly but definitely, we are on the correct road.

Of course the real test lies on her next play-school date. Whether she will enter willingly or kicking and screaming is another thing to be seen.

In the meantime I’ll try not to kick and scream myself.

Bits of Randomness

For some reason I can’t seem to manage and write a decent (or half-decent at that) post on one particular topic. My mind is a mish-mash of things, and as a result I’m giving you a random post. Whatever comes to mind, I’ll write down.

 ♥

First of all, this week I baked. I did some tasty cupcakes, thanks to a recipe I stole from Ina Garten (aka the Barefoot Contessa). It was an appropriate recipe since I could add whatever I wanted, and add I did. I put in some goji berries, white chocolate and almonds and they came out good without being too sweet. For Halloween dinner I made an apple, raspberry and blueberry crumble. I love crumbles, they’re so easy to make, the house smells fantastic while baking it (cinnamon, apples, berries, nutmeg!) and add to it some hot custard and you really won’t want for anything else, especially when it’s raining outside and you’re in a warm home! However cooking has become a bit of a patience-test for me. Why?

I blink and Miss Busybody is there. She’s everywhere!

The cupcakes about to go in!

A case of over-baking. I guess American measurements are a bit different from ours…

Crumble Delight!

Goodness.

Halloween came, and while we did not make it for the trick-or-treating part (rain outside, tired baby, hot home – you get the picture?), we did welcome some young fairies, pirates, pumpkins and vampires. Baby Pumkin who is two months younger than C and a nearly 4-year old Vampire (that’s 4 years in his actual life) were C’s favourite visitors. She could not stop gawping at them, whispering ‘baby, baby’ over and over again. Yes, 16-month old Cesca is all grown-up now and anyone under the age of ten is a ‘baby’ in her world. I’m afraid I didn’t make the cut…

Canterbury’s Wicked Witch. Bed-hair, unwashed face, pj’s and all 🙂

The Husband and I watched Drive. Now I don’t know about you (ladies) out there, but I have a soft spot for Ryan Gosling. Ever since he turned my insides to putty in The Notebook, I can not resist anything he features in. Now this film was a bit gory, a bit too crude at times, and for the first half an hour of the film, Mr. Gosling nearly said nothing at all. That of course made it better for me to study him better without any interruptions. He does not possess that obvious good look about him, but something about him just makes you stop and stare. At least it does for me.

We have also finally decided on Santa’s and our presents to C for Christmas. The problematic part will be taking everything with us to Malta. What I saw last week in our Fenwick, and totally loved was a wooden horse on a stick.  Not only would it look great standing upright in a corner of C’s future room (practically mummy thinking here), but in an episode of Charlie and the Numbers, Number One has an exact same horse. She loves the episode and loves the horses that appear, so I’m thinking it’ll be a nice addition to her toys. Yes I know, I could buy it from The Rock and save myself the hassle, but I have a large selection to choose from here in England, much more than in Malta I”m thinking. So although I will probably be limited by height, I must start  measuring the luggage…

I’d love a horse on a stick like this, though not this design.

Have a happy weekend!

What goes around DOES come around…

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I’m writing this post outside on a balcony, chilled water glass in hand, listening to the wind blow and watch the sea waves crash against the shore. C has just gone down for a nap and A and myself are soon off for a swim. We’re hoping the jellyfish are not in attendance today. I’m finally getting a tan, my hair is back to being presentable and I’m thinking we’ll soon have a new walker in the house.

But back to today.

A couple of weeks ago I had written about a particular episode which had upset me. I had then prayed for karma to work its’ magic and to give this particular person what she deserved. I’m not an ill-wisher, but the personal attacks and vile comments that came out of her filthy mouth made me pray for karma’s intervention.

And it seems that finally Karma’s found it’s way round this person.

For after some tough decisions, our moves have been made and we can now put our minds at rest.

Karma will do the rest!

Little Monsters

The past two weeks, nighttime has become a nightmare of sorts.

On a typical seven-day week, C was usually sleeping through the whole night 3-4 times, and waking up for her 2 oz of milk on the other nights. I wanted to cut down that habitual feed because I knew she was not hungry, but it was only a habit she was growing accustomed to. So with the advice of some friends after I wrote about it here, I’m happy to say that the nighttime feed is over. I take some ounces of water in bed with me, just in case she really is thirsty but so far she’s never taken it. I was very happy with the night situation, and a rested me is a happy me!

However then, teething problems started.

C got her first two teeth within one week of each other when she was six months old without any moan or problem at all, and from then till these past couple of days, no other tooth broke through. During last week’s check-up from papa’, we found that the upper four frontal teeth were all visible beneath her gums, and they were definitely on their way down, and a lower one was making its’ debut as well. Fast forward a couple of days, two teeth have broken through and the others are on their way there. And also, a very cranky and restless being has taken over my Cesca.

The night before we left for Malta last week, C woke up at 3am and spent four solid hours crying and screaming the place down. She was tired but could not sleep due to her screaming. I was scared because she’s never been much of a crier, and this surpassed everything I’d ever known her to be. Some Calpol later, she finally slept at 7 in the morning, and A and myself were two headless zombies for the rest of the day. Not so great when you have a flight to take later on in the day – a flight means an hour-long car drive to the airport, a three-hour plane trip to Malta, 45-minutes car drive to catch a ferry we always end up losing for a couple of seconds, a 30-minute ferry trip and a 15-minute drive home.  Exhausting is an understatement.

And now nights are really exhausting. She will sleep peacefully for the first 3-4 hours of her sleep and then it starts. She will start kicking her feet (rather loudly), getting her feet caught in the crib bars (she’ pulls down the bumper cushioning), wake up for her dummy, toss and turn, and eventually I bring her in bed with us just so I can stop getting out/into bed every hour. She will then kick some more (she is one hell of a kicker I can say that much!) swing her hands around, moan a bit and sleep, sometimes till 7.30am and today, when it’s nearing 9am, she’s still in bed.

She’s become a bit of a moaner as well. I can’t venture near her mouth area for she will push me away quite roughly and turn her head. Although she still has not started going through the separation anxiety phase, I feel we’re getting there for whenever A or myself leave the room, she will cry out for a couple of seconds. And then it’s business as usual.

I long for one continuous night of sleep!

And the return of my normal Cesca!!

She’s not THAT grumpy (YET!)