Ex Pat Mamma

Thursday, March 31, 2005

Drama Queen

Er pupo, it appears, is just a big drama queen. Absolutely fine, not even particularly "big for dates." Just swimming about nicely in his personal ocean and causing the odd attention seeking scare. Likes getting his picture taken, this one. Can't think who he takes after....

Good to know all is well though :)


Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Eins og hvalur

Told you so. For ages I've been moaning about how enormous I am and now it is official. The midwife thinks I am so big that she is sending me for an extra scan tomorrow morning just to make sure everything is ok (so I like to phrase it, although I'm really thinking "to see if anything is wrong"). It didn't occur to me being so big could be a sign of any problem, but since my uterus is the size of a woman a month more pregnant, they want to check. Surely if there were two in there someone would have noticed before now....

The bikini has been jettisoned in the name of decency. It was getting to the stage where it could only cover one boob at a time. Time to don the serious big black maternity swimsuit (thanks aunty JC!). I thought black would make me look smaller. Ha! Nope, look even bigger. Ah well.


Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Unashamedly Old Farty

Reykjavik. Yawn yawn, rain, wind, traffic, SUVs that have never been near a bleeding farm, let alone mountain, big roads, pretentious people and... the odd shop. After the five hour drive in the luxury romabill, my back was hardly in the best of shapes, but I did need to do my annual Debenhams run in the hope of finally getting a double duvet. Scandinavia is a strange place where lovers don't so much share a bed as stick to single ones together and each have their own sheets and covers. And still they have the highest birthrate in Europe. Perhaps there is something in this....

The car, incidentally, was most accommodating and only scared us once with a flat tyre on Saturday morning. Broken valve. Trouble was trying to find a garage to get a tyre on the Easter weekend; and we needed to come home on Monday for the midwife appointment today (Tuesday). We are still on the spiky winter deck, but the spare is a summer tyre, so it wouldn't really have done to drive the 400km home with one odd tyre.

So, Thursday morning, off we go and get to The Mall. Which is SHUT!!! Minor panic sets in. I KNOW it is Easter, but surely the shops shut Friday and Sunday and Monday, not Thursday??? No information at the Mall, no-one there, no signs about opening hours (well, apart from the saying it was open from 11am on Thursdays - just obviously not this one.) Back into town and Mall # 2 which is similarly unoccupied, but at least has a sign stating it would open at 1pm. Phew! Just on Sunday hours. FINALLY, after one year of waiting, got my double duvet. And a couple of babygros even though we said we didn't need to buy any clothes. And, believe it or not from the man who thinks a pram is "just a pram," it was hubby who got excited and wanted to buy them.

Sunday morning I rolled over and said to hubby... "I'm ready to go home now" and he looked and said he felt the same. We just want to be HOME in our little flat in our little town, lying on the sofa reading the paper. That is life. That is the most blissful thing I can imagine. And here I am. Home. At work right now, on a holiday, but never mind. Next weekend, I can find 10 minutes to lie on the sofa and read my paper ;)

24+2 and losing count.

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Financial Woes, Visitors and a Well Deserved Holiday

Yes, I've been gone a while. Life, busy as always, became rather overwhelmingly stressful last week. On Tuesday, I arrived home from yoga, all calm and relaxed and looking forward to a quiet night, opened a letter from University of Toronto to discover... a bill for 5,470.01 dollars! Yes, that is correct, five and a half thousand dollars!! For a degree from which I graduated in June last year, a degree I completed over a year ago. And if my balance isn't cleared by the end of April, they will send it on to debt collectors. Meanwhile, they would withold my records, meaning should anyone bother to ask, I couldn't prove I had ever set foot in UofT, let alone earned a doctoral degree.

I knew it was a mistake, but it is one thing to know it is a mistake and another to convince bored, generally untrained and mostly discourteous administrators on the other side of the Atlantic of the fact. "But it says on the system...." I emailed. I emailed again. No reply. No reply. By Thursday, I was getting so anxious that I called, to wait on hold and my great expense and then finally talk to a very rude woman who said I should check the system in a week to a week and a half to see if had been fixed. I asked her for her direct phone or email and she told me to just use the general information lines. To which, of course, no-one replies to the email and the phone bill costs a fortune for someone abroad. Well, gee thanks. I asked for her name, which she reluctantly told me was "Mrs Vince" but a quick search of the University directory showed no such person and frankly I believe she was lying.

Still, I received an email on Friday to say they had sorted out the mess and that my balance was again at zero. It read, I quote the entire message:

Your student account has been adjusted and the balance on the student accountis $0. Disregard the invoice.
xxxxxx xxxxxxx (name concealed to protect her job).

NO APOLOGY!!! No explanation. Simply shocking.

I took the opportunity to order some copies of my records so that if they screw up again, I can at least prove that I studied there. My balance is in fact at 0.02CAD credit because of yet another administrative error (a typo in this case, I believe). I await the cheque.

Some friends of hubby arrived from Italy on Friday to stay, so we have been showing them around and generally entertaining. We're all off to Reykjavik tomorrow, where hubby and I will spend Easter. I don't particularly like Reykjavik, but I do like the idea of a wee holiday and a whole week without having to get up at 7am :) I also need to try to buy a double duvet: something that it is not actually possible to buy in this town; and I might splash out and spend 2 days wages on an ugly maternity bra that actually fits. One with room for breast pads seeing as I continue to dribble... (Sorry if that grossed anyone out!) The five hour drive to get there (and back) doesn't appeal, especially since there will be five adults packed into the Romabíll but you can't have everything.

My belly continues to expand (I have long since stopped referring to the same as my "waist"); hubby calls me "Balena" (whale in Italian). If I get any bigger, I'll be getting my own postcode.


Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Nocturnal Acrobatics

I believe I have reached the pinacle of Stupid Injury proficiency.
Pregnancy is, as you may have noticed, a strange condition that does strange things to one's body (in my case, rather strange to begin with). For some weeks, I have been suffering from random leg cramps which usually strike in the middle of the night and are not exercise related (I don't even have to move for them to start.) Last night, whilst happily dreaming of marking a multiple choice exam and discussing with a colleague whether the right answer was d) all of the above; or a) Princess Margrét of Denmark likes stew, such a cramp took over my left leg. It was agonising; the worst cramp I have ever had and I leapt out of bed yelling and crying and being completely unable to release it. Hubby came to the rescue and helped me pull the cramp out. He's been watching too much football on telly, because he was pretending to be a football physio. Which is a nice job, now I come to think about it... hmmm.....
Back to the point, whilst we managed to release the cramp eventually, the pain never fully went away and today to add to my sore back and sore head, I now have a sore leg, as though I have pulled a muscle.
And my friend in Canada thought I must be elegant. How little she knows.

Limp, limp...


Sunday, March 13, 2005

Er pupo is an opera fan

Yesterday, my husband, some friends and I went to an afternoon concert with three sopranos and a tenor. It was all light opera arias and er pupo was most impressed. When they were singing he was, as they say in Scotland, giein it lalde. At the intervals between the arias he was completely still. He's never responded to external stimuli before, so it was all very exciting for proud mummy. He obviously has his standards because mere recordings have no effect whatsover and he doesn't respond to mum and dad's dodgy warblings. It's gotta be the real thing :)
Definitely Italian then: paternity no longer in doubt


Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Don't read this if you are pregnant!

It's 3.15 on Wednesday and I am counting the minutes till I can go off for my swim and a quiet night. In all honesty, I don't normally do this at work, but I slept badly last night and have had trouble focussing all day.

On Saturday, when I went for a walk with hubby, I had four "contractions." My belly went really tight but there was no pain. I put it down to "Braxton Hicks contractions" which are little practice contractions that don't hurt and don't signify the start of labour. It seemed a bit early, but then, I do seem to be pretty "big for dates", so I just accepted it. I had another on Monday after a light swim so perhaps light exercise brings them on. Nothing to worry about, though.

Last night, in the middle of the night, I had one so strong it woke me up. It wasn't painful, but I woke up to the same tension across my belly. All would have been fine, had I not gone back to sleep to have the most horrible dream. I dreamt I went into labour, now, (i.e. at 21 weeks) and lost the baby. BB gave me a good kicking when I woke up as if to say: "hey, I'm still here!" but I was still upset. I spoke to my friend who is a nurse with four kids of her own and she assured me that it wasn't too early to have Braxton Hicks and that as long as there was no pain, or any bleeding, etc. it really wasn't anything to worry about. Hard to concentrate today, nonetheless, as I've kept feeling very sad.

Not nice at all. I KNOW it is only a dream and it shouldn't upset me so much but it is hard just to forget about it.

Mother in law thinks I am enormous and should eat less. Hmmm... you think I'm not trying to eat less?! I am constantly starving and only want bread, pasta and chocolate. I'm laying off the chocolate, but I can't give up my bread and pasta. If I don't have my 4-6 slices of toast and cheese for breakfast I feel hungry and miserable all morning. And that can't do the baby any good, now, can it? She called the baby "er pupo" and I think we might pick up the name. It is Roman dialect for "the kid" and seeing as my little champ is going to grow up and play for AS Roma, and seeing as the captain of Roma is widely known as "er puppone" (the big kid - not being exactly famed for his intellect), bb might as well start learning Romanesco early on. In addition to English, Italian, Icelandic and Genovese....


Monday, March 07, 2005

Did that just happen?

Friday; lunchtime meeting, bank appointment and.... bunk off with hubby. So naughty, so nice :) Curled up on the sofa and watched a movie and only panicked once when the phone rang and I knew I had been "caught"! Saturday, beautiful day, long long lie, pottering about, buying plug covers to prepare for imminent arrival, nice walk in the sunshine, dinner party at friends'. Sunday, fantastic day, drive to Olafsfjörður where we had never been, discovery of the best jacuzzi I have ever been in, ice cream for lunch, drive home, afternoon nap, mutual haircuts, evening service, the most amazing Northern lights (changing so fast, with lots of purple which is unusual as they are usually mainly green) and good good sleep.
All you Brits complaining about the snow. Tee hee; for over a week, we have had the bluest, clearest skies and about 10 degrees every day :)

I can't remember the last time I had a weekend like this. No work whatsover. Long may they continue.
Or, er, not now I come to think of it... come July the long lie will be out for a start!


Saturday, March 05, 2005

Pressie for BB :)

Grandma bought us a pram!! That is bb's grandma, my mum (this is going to get confusing...). My dear mum, who weaned herself off eBay only to become addicted to the shopping channel has bought us a big 3 in one with 30 cm wheels (this is the most important thing in Iceland) with carrycot, footmuff, raincover, the works :) :) :)
Now she just has to find a way to humpf all 19kg of it over to Iceland.

One of my colleagues had a baby last Thursday and yesterday I suddenly felt very jealous indeed! I want to be sitting at home all ay holding my baby :)

BB continues to grow and swim about and is taking particular pleasure on sitting/standing/jumping on my bladder at the most inappropriate times. Which lead me to wonder... how does one go for a pee if the baby is lying asleep in your arms? Do you put it down and risk waking it up? Do you just hold on? Hmmm... not sure my pelvic floor muscles will be up to such self control... better get squeezing.