Sunday, 13 October 2013

Short stories of a mini-heatwave

So this was written over two weeks. This weekend has been grey and cool, rather than hot and sticky. We've had a really low key week of watching Modern Family and a very ill husband. Forgive the disjointed nature of it all!

It's hot again in LA. This is directly attributable to something called 'The Santa Ana's' which are basically winds that bring hot, dry desert air in. The temperature over the weekend really tested my limits (but mostly my patience.) I was grumpy, uncomfortable and a downright nightmare to be around. Thankfully our house is a perfect 71F all the time (21C) so I didn't really notice when I was inside. Outside, I was heavily reliant on our car's air conditioning system. At least it was just one weekend. This upcoming week is scheduled to be much more pleasant. Thank goodness.

As interesting as the weather is, it's merely to serve a background to the other small things that have happened the last week or so. If we're friends on Twitter or Facebook, you'll know I spent Tuesday morning on the Labo(u)r and Delivery ward of the hospital I volunteer in. A lovely lady drove in to the back of our car (whilst using her phone, of course) at, optimistically for LA traffic, 15mph. Neither of us were hurt or anything (I actually thought the car had stalled...) but I told my colleagues at the hospital, who then ratted me out to my favourite surgeon. He insisted I go and see the OBs on the fifth floor ('It's one elevator ride. You'll be out in 20 minutes") I called our own on-call doctor, who said 'Go if you want, you sound fine to me though' which is exactly why I picked this doctor's office. Everyone else (including my antsy husband) wanted me to go, so I took the elevator up, and everything was fine. Which I knew. More than fine, really. Kick made it pretty obvious to everyone that she was VERY healthy by refusing to stay still long enough to get a decent trace on the monitor, sounding alarms at the nurses station continually.

Of course I ended up being there significantly longer than 20 minutes, and by the time I got home I was exhausted and grumpy. To cheer me up, husband bought me some lovely happy sunflowers. It's sunflower season here in SoCal, so they are EVERYWHERE. I love them. They make everyone happy. Especially my cat. Joan knocked the vase on to the floor from the breakfast bar in the kitchen, decapitating half the heads and flooding the carpet. Since these things only ever happen when I've run out of kitchen roll, I was left trying to mop it up with dirty tea towels and multiple profanities. The remaining flowers have now moved to a new home, on the bathroom floor. I'm calling them 'toilet flowers' since I can see them from there, which sounds ridiculous but honestly is the place I spend the most waking-time in our house...

Joan 'helping' me sew. It's just as well she's adorable...
Yesterday, husband spent a good half hour playing with winding up the cat, then went out. Of course she then went and knocked the remaining flowers over, completely destroying them. Cannot help but feel this is indicative of husband's parenting style, but trying not to get too far ahead of myself...

We went to one of the swanky baby shops in Santa Monica to try and find a couple of very specific things we want (basically anything from the Skip Hop website) and some toys to attach to my activity gym, and while we were walking around, admiring the seriously expensive (but very beautiful) baby gear we noticed a baby rocker sitting in the corner. We spent a few minutes talking about it and how nice it was until we realised it was one we have already bought. It's sitting on the nursery floor. It's nice to know we have such good taste, and that something that we bought pretty cheap on Amazon is in stock in a swanky shop that prides itself on 'only selling the best', but we still felt pretty stupid. Is baby brain contagious?

You know where we finally found baby toys we liked? Target. They were dirt cheap. I should really learn to trust my (cheap-ass) instincts. After two long weeks of sewing for hours a day, I finally have an activity gym. This is it.

Joan is convinced everything in this house is hers to play with. Poor Kick.
Yeah, I bought it in Target for $50. I tried EVERYTHING to make my DIY effort work. The poles just weren't strong enough to stand up to even a moderate amount of cat-battery, so I figured it would never cope with a baby AND a cat pulling on it. Thankfully, the main basis for my own one was a quilt which is 100% salvagable as a proper quilt. It is beautiful, it matches my obnoxious lime green pram/car seat combo (which I also love, by the way) and it was a pretty enjoyable thing to make, so the last few weeks haven't been for nothing. And I really like the Target-bought one. The colours are awesome, it matches all the other toys we bought (from the Infantino 'Go GaGa' collection) and husband really, really likes it, so everyone wins. Except my blistered sewing fingers.

Activity gym Quilt for keeping baby 'warm' in LA...
Yesterday we finished all our baby shopping. This little lady has everything she needs if she decided to make an appearance tomorrow. Nappies, cotton wool (I was always taught at Nursing School that you should never use wipes on a new born. Am I really old fashioned?!) a changing pad, some bottles and a steriliser, towels and washcloths (again, no soap til they are a few months old), more sheets for the crib (which she won't need for months anyway) a low bassinet to sit next to my low bed, a rocker to vibrate and bounce in and a bundle of clothes to get her through a few weeks at least. All I need is my Ergo, some socks and a few hats, just in case it is cool. I'm saving these things for shopping with my mum when she arrives (5 and a half weeks!) 

33 weeks pregnant with almost 5lb of baby inside me.
I've mentioned before that I've not put on a whole lot of weight, and I'm generally a pretty small pregnant lady. Everyone (docs, nurses, strangers on the street) was telling us that she was going to be a pretty small baby. Well, I had a scan at the beginning of last week and she weighed 4lb7oz. That's not particularly small. In fact, if she was born now she'd be too big for preemie clothes (which finish at 5lb) If she gains the rule of thumb 'half-pound per week' they expect babies to for the last trimester, she will be an 8lb baby at birth. That's pretty big. And renders all the 'newborn' size clothes I bought totally useless. I'm focusing on the 'waste of clothes' aspect so I don't get too caught up in the 'pushing out an 8lb baby' side of things. 

It's a bit strange being so far away from our friends and family for all this. A friend from home is due 10 days before me, and yesterday her family threw her a baby shower. I had a small stab of jealousy. Not for the actual shower part, but at the thought of everyone rallying round her to make sure she had everything she needed. We've no idea if we'll get any presents from anyone. I'm not lonely here, but I do only have a few friends. It's expensive for anyone to post things over and I'd never expect it, plus there's always a small element of out-of-sight, out-of-mind. We've bought absolutely everything ourselves (with notable exceptions of nursery furniture from husband's parents and pram/car seat from mine.) I certainly don't mean to complain about ANY of this, we chose to move to out here, chose to have a baby out here, chose this life. I love living out here. I just sometimes wonder how different things would be if I was having a baby at home.

And so now we wait. This week involves a car seat fitting, a breastfeeding class and a doctor's appointment, so it's pretty busy in baby-land. After last week with a sick husband trying to work under multiple deadlines I think I'm ready for a bit more excitement...

1 comment:

  1. Ok...some thoughts. First of all, leave it to LA to help us appreciate cooler weather, huh?

    Secondly, so sad your activity mat didn't work out, but it makes a great blanket and I love the one you got at Target! Great bright colors. Makes me wish I'd gotten that one.

    Third, I want to buy some cotton wool. Where and how do I do that? I've been trying to figure out what to use instead of wipes at first. The baby class said to just buy paper towels and cut them in half?

    Finally, you still need to tell me something you want for your baby or you're going to end up with a bunch of socks and frilly tutu skirts from me!


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