Archive for November, 2005

Thanksgiving and a call from Mumsy

November 25, 2005

Hoorah! Mummy just called from her hospital bed and sounded pretty good. Was so great to hear from her. She had her hip replacement operation yesterday and I was very upset and worrried. Upset that I am so far away and couldn’t be there with Mum and Dad, and worried because although it’s a routine operation, it’s Mum and I worry.

I woke up yesterday relieved that all going well mum would have had her operation and be out of theatre while I was still asleep and not awake to fret about her. But then Daddy called just as we were about to head over to Mary’s for Thanksgiving and said that he didn’t know what was going on because he’d finally got some information from the hospital and they said she was still in theatre. It was supposed to be a two hour operation and it was coming up for five hours then. Desperately wished I could be there to hold Dad’s hand and give him a hug then.

Anyway, we continued to Mary’s and around 6 o’clock GMT Daddy called again with the good news that Mumsy was off the operating table and in the recovery room. She was to be allowed visitors in half an hour and Dad was about to head off into Plymouth to see her. Yippee!

Not quite sure what happened yesterday yet as Dad is going to give me a proper ring when he gets back home later, but Mum said her surgeon explained that the operation had been complicated but he is happy that he did a great job. She then apparently had a bad turn and scared Daddy to bits in the evening when her blood pressure plummeted and she had a low haemoglobin count. At the moment she still has low blood pressure and whereas if all was normal the nurses would be moving to get her mobile already, she is not allowed out of bed. I think that’s what Mumsy said anyway, the mobile connection was a bit dodgy. Dad should enlighten me later anyway. Am so glad she is okay and sounding like herself.

So, yes, Thanksgiving was yesterday, and yes, operations are scheduled on Thanksgiving because, no, we don’t celebrate that in England!

Mary and Hank did a great job as hosts and we had a little family gathering with all the local Allens and Hank’s parents too. Mr and Mrs Leslie once again said how lovely that Christmas 2003 was when Mum and Dad came to theirs for dinner and how much they enjoyed their company. They both sent Mumsy and Daddy their best and hoped Mum would be back on her feet soon.

We had a delicious turkey meal and then Bill and I passed out on the back porch for a bit. We awoke to find that the kids, Max and Julia, had taken everyone over to the adjacent field to jump hay bales so we wandered across there ourselves for a bit to hang out. All in all, apart from being concerned about my parents back in the UK, a very relaxing and nice family day.

*****

Just off the phone with Daddy. Poor thing is starving, dog tired and has just burnt his tea to a crisp. He elaborated on the surgery details by saying that the operation took a lot longer than expected because Mum’s hip was a great deal more damaged than they had realised and had completely seized up. Apparently the surgeon had a hard time sorting it out but is very happy with the work done.

Then he said that he’d been sat talking to Mum last night when she suddenly went white and lapsed into unconciousness. The nurse checked her blood pressure and found it very low indeed (like zero) and the crash team had to be called. They worked on her while Dad was in the room and thankfully her blood pressure slowly came back up. The doctor said that this is something that can happen as a result of the morphine and anaesthetic dilating blood vessels. The anaesthetic is now out of her system and she’s now off the morphine so such a scary moment won’t happen again.

She still has the low blood pressure and low haemoglobin count, but is being treated for that. She was supposed to start physio today but exercise is off limits for the moment, and it looks like she might be staying an extra day in the hospital as a result. So, a very long and rough day for Mum yesterday, but all is well now and she’s being well looked after.

Sproglet gets mail

November 18, 2005

Baby Allen got a parcel in the post yesterday. A parcel that came all the way from Australia. A parcel from Sproglet’s obviously excited aunt and uncle to be.

I was quite amused when the postman came and I had to answer the door in my monkey pyjamas, though he is probably used to such things. Once in my paws I started to tear into the parcel tape then thought better, and was very good and waited for Bill to get home before proceeding.

It was so exciting when I did get to open the parcel and examine its content. Twas like a mini treasure trove of cute things. Mel had quite obviously got carried away looking at baby stuff, for which little baby Allen is going to be very appreciative. It was so exciting to get our first clothes for baby.

We now have bunches of the cutest bibs, a couple of tiny little baby bodysuits, a lime green froggy rattle toy (which is not Genghis’ despite what he thinks), one of those baby towels with the hood on one corner, a Tigger feeding bottle and a little gadget for cutting baby nails. Everything is in nice bright primary colours and has the cutest little farmyard or zoo animals on it. Bill and I particularly like the little orange bodysuit with the boating animals on the front, so tiny and cute! Hoorah! No pastel blue or pink stereotypes for Sproglet!

Thank you Melly and Sy! ❤

Halloween Pumpkin Carving

November 8, 2005

Just before Halloween was the annual Pumpkin Carving Contest held by Martin and Tina. Bill was the reigning Pumpkin King and before the event I helped him to customise his cloak a bit by sewing a large grinning pumpkin face onto the back of it. The year before, I was the King so had sewn little felt pumpkins all around the trimming. He signed his crown for his time in reign, wrapped up warm and off we went.

I wasn’t sure if I was going to be able to carve a pumpkin this year as I was feeling quite grotty. However, I didn’t do too badly and once I got immersed in the process it took my mind off my queasiness.

Pumpkin carving usually goes hand in hand with cider drinking for us but this year I was good and stuck to water. There was so much alcohol around and not a drop to drink..bah!

Bill stormed through his pumpkin and was running around talking shit while I still laboured in the corner over mine. I did finish in time though and managed to get my pumpkin proudly lit at the front of the house ready for judging.

Halloween really seems to have snuck up on us this year. Last year I was really prepared and had been working on my dragon costume well in advance. This year it feels like we looked up and Halloween was merely days away. It seems to be a general feeling though as many of the shops were lacking the usual abundance of Halloween props, neighbourhood houses that usually sport crazy decorations remained bare and there were certainly fewer participants at the pumpkin contest. Getting through to the final round of judging was thus relatively easy as unlike previous years where several rounds are endured, we culled the competition in a matter of two sweeps through the offerings.

The judging usually goes like this: everyone stands around outside as one by one each pumpkin is evaluated. Cheers of “YAY!” or “blow it out!” determine its fate. Pumpkins deemed to be particularly bad suffer a cruel fate:

Needless to say, Bill retained his crown with his contribution of Stitch Face:

I came in third. However, I think I was robbed as before the judging began I heard several people commenting that my pumpkin was Bill’s. I think that explains why there was such a strong contingent trying to push me out of the running even though I swear mine was better than the second place pumpkin! Also, Mr Second Place had a crowd of mates to cheer him on, whereas I just had Bill. Tina tried valiantly to keep my pumpkin in the running, but twas not to be.

Second Place Pumpkin: (boooo hissssssss…blow it out! blow it out!)

My effort for 2005:

Still, the way I was feeling I was glad to have made one at all. Shortly after the judging we had to beat a hasty retreat and head back home, where I went straight to the bathroom and started throwing up again. Oh joy! Silly baby, when Sproglet’s born we shall have to have words.

Three cheers for Bill, Pumpkin King 2005!

Pip ray! Pip ray! Pip ray!

Bonfire Night

November 8, 2005

Remember, remember, the fifth of November,
Gunpowder, treason and plot.
I see no reason why gunpowder, treason
Should ever be forgot…

On Saturday Mary and Hank celebrated being in their house for over a year now. They invited a bunch of friends and family over and went to the local paintball fields to take pot shots at each other. Bill got really fired up about this and donned his complete camo gear. As I was off the team (I decided it would probably be a good idea not to risk injury to baby or myself) Bill’s best man, Richard, took my spot. It was good to see him in person. I had almost forgotten what he looked like as in my mind he’d been replaced by Klangaddin, a little dwarf hunter with a big gun and a nice white bear!

We all met up at the Leslie’s and then the brave soldiers went on to the paintball fields from there. Looking at the recruits I was a little concerned. I’m not sure any of the others had been before and their choice of clothing was a little skimpy, and beacon bright. We managed to persuade a few of them to put on some extra layers and dark coloured long sleeved shirts before they went!

I stayed back at the house and had a lovely time on Mary and Hank’s new screened back porch. The only thing to ruin the peace was the sound of real shooting coming from the woods, I guess it’s deer season. 😦 The back porch is really amazing and like an extra room. They even have a flat screen tv mounted on the outside wall so you can recline in a nice comfy lounger and watch the telly. At least, this is what I would have done if I could have actually found something worth watching on it!

A couple of hours later Bill’s folks arrived at the house and we pottered about until the paintballers returned, tired and bruised but in good spirits. Bill was unscathed (though very sore the next day) but a couple had some nasty battle wounds. Richard had managed to collect a cluster of welts down one side, and one young lad had a very angry welt right in the middle of his back. That was apparently Richard’s doing. The boy’s dad had got shot while requesting his son’s surrender, so Richard had taken no chances and pelted him in the back before the same happened to him!

Back at the house as evening came we watched the sunset then lit a bonfire at the bottom of the garden. Toasted marshmallows were a great way to finish the day, and the bonfire was very apt seeing as Guy Fawke’s Night was being celebrated in England. No fireworks for us in Georgia, but I think paintball was a pretty good substitution too, even if I was out of action.

Actually, this year was the 400th anniversary of the Catholic plot to blow up Parliament and take out the aristocracy and overthrow King James I in one foul crash of bricks and mortar. Guy Fawkes was supposed to light the fuse but was discovered hiding in a cellar below the House of Lords with 36 barrels of gunpowder. He was tortured for days until he gave up all his co-conspirators (despite the authorities already knowing full well who the perpetrators were) and then hung, drawn and quartered.

Although some folks seem to think that by burning Guys on bonfires we are honouring the attempted treason, in reality I’m sure we are celebrating that the plot was foiled.

I hope the Brits got to see some good fireworks this year and the weather wasn’t a damp squib everywhere?

Baddit and I

November 7, 2005

This weekend while at Mary’s house Bill’s mom wanted to know what on earth a Babbit is. So, this post is for Fran.

Babbit is the best toy bunny in the world. He was made for me by my daddy when I was little and I love him to bits. Daddy even knitted his jumper himself, with a little bit of help from Mum who had to teach him to knit first. As Dad keeps reminding me, “it’s not Babbit it’s “Baddit”,” however his name has slightly changed over the years and he is quite happy to go by both.

Here is little Kay aged around two in 1978, with Babbit in tow: (photo probably taken and developed by Dad. I certainly remember photos swirling around in the bathtub from time to time.)

Of course, when I emigrated to the USA there was no way I could leave him behind. He came to university in Lancaster, and Manchester with me and now is enjoying life in Atlanta. Life is a little more precarious for him here though as he has to spend most of his time right up high, out of the way of the dogs. I think I have a soft spot for red cords because of Babbit’s dungarees…why I couldn’t resist buying my maternity cords the other day when I spotted them.

Kay and Babbit, aged 29, 2005:

Finally, a picture of Babbit in all his glory:

He’s seen a little wear and been on many adventures. His poor jumper seems to have shrunk and he’s missing a few whiskers but he’s still looking dapper. He’s a special rabbit.

Talking to Mum on the phone the other day she said she’d dug out the Babbit pattern for Dad to use to make Sproglet a Baddit of his/her own. Good! Cos s/he’s certainly not getting his/her mits on mine! If Dad does make sproglet a Baddit, that would just be so cool. I’m very excited.

November 4, 2005

Am now back from pregnancy aquarobics. It wasn’t too bad, despite the crazy man that came in and interrupted proceedings by ranting and raving at us for being there. Apparently he did the same last week. The other girls call him Dr Evil. He was a piece of work. We had just started the class when he came into the pool room and started bitching at us for using the pool when he wanted to use it. As he was fully clothed in a three piece suit he didn’t come across as terribly eager to jump into the pool and go swimming. In fact he was first spotted passing the window outside where he stopped when he saw the class and stood scowling at us for a while before deciding to come in, waving his id badge and demanding we leave the pool! The instructor asked him to go have his words with the duty manager and stop harassing us pregnant ladies, to which he curtly replied “what’s that got to do with anything?”. Ugh, nasty man. We found out later that he is actually a psychotherapist who works at The Wellness Center. *shudder*

Eventually the crazy doctor departed and peace resumed. There were five of us there and I did feel like a fraud because everyone else was obviously heavily pregnant and their bumps were barely being contained by their bathing suits.

The class consisted of the us jumping around lots and me being quite confused as to what we were supposed to be doing as it was hard to hear the instructor, or see what her legs were doing beneath the water. It really felt like I was just flailing about but I’m feeling rather wobbly now so I guess I must have been doing something! Good to get out of the house and get some exercise.

Oh, another thing…I really wish Americans used changing rooms and didn’t have “locker rooms” for changing in. Locker rooms are exactly what they say they are, nothing more. A room with lockers. Come on, privacy people?! How is it perfectly okay to be visually assaulted by naked flesh in a locker room, but for the slightest glimpse of concealed anatomy on the tv to be subjected to blurry boxes of censorship? A room full of naked pregnant women is something I would rather not have to experience thank you, and I certainly don’t feel comfortable stripping off in front of strangers myself. After my shower I ended up gingerly trying to get dressed in the small wet cubicle while holding the curtain taut in an attempt to close the gap between partition and wall, and keeping all limbs tightly sucked in to avoid getting my dry clothes soggy against the dripping walls! Ugh.

Ooh I want a glass of wine. /cry

anticipating baby bump

November 4, 2005

I’m a little nervous at the moment. Bill should be coming home from work in good time today to take me to Pregnancy Aquarobics. I’ve pulled out my swimming costume from the depths of my chest of drawers and thankfully it seems to still fit me. In fact, I feel like a bit of a fraud to be honest as although I’m definitely knocked up I’m not exactly showing yet. I almost feel like I need to wait for a prominent bump before enrolling in any classes in case I look out of place and not pregnant enough to be there!

Saying that, although I’m not really showing yet my normal clothes were definitely beginning to get very uncomfortable on. By the end of most days last week I’d given up and was wandering around the house with my fly at half mast. So, on Sunday we decided to take the plunge and try to find me some maternity clothes.

This was a hilarious and scary experience as again I didin’t really feel pregnant enough to be browsing the maternity clothes and was nervous people were looking at me funny. And then when I went to try some stuff on I was confronted with a fake tummy in the form of a pillow and velcro strap in the changing room! It was a sort of tear shaped cushion and I couldn’t decide which way was supposed to be up, and didn’t really feel up to asking the assistant! This contraption looked more convincing with some garments than others, and was mostly just pretty embarrassing. I had to keep hiding behind the curtain and amid giggles asking for Bill’s opinion rather than brave going outside where other people might see me too.

I have to say the maternity wear selection was pretty dire, but in the end I emerged with a pair of jeans, a long denim skirt, a pair of red cords (my favourite as they match my hair*) and several nice baggy tops that should all last me through pregnancy as my tummy develops into a bump. I’ve been wearing this gear already this week and although it’s a tad big on me at the moment have been feeling so much more comfortable.

The bottoms are funny as they look perfectly normal until you get to just below the normal waistband, at which point they turn into a wide band of stretchy elasticated at the top. You can definitely stuff a couple of cushions down the front of them! Very comfy. Aaah.

***

When I’ve not been having to get up every 5 mins to go to the loo I’ve been dreaming very vividly lately and although most of the time I can’t remember what on earth I was dreaming about mere minutes after waking up one particular adventure stuck in my mind this week. I dreamt I gave birth to an exceedingly hairy ginger baby. He was very hairy all over and when we got home from the hospital it was very confusing because we couldn’t tell Genghis and our newborn apart. I’m sure this led to all sorts of embarrassing capers and situations but unfortunately I can’t remember the rest of the details of that strange dream.

***

*eek I hope my freshly dyed hair doesn’t run down my face in the pool this evening! After much googling I decided this week that I was going to take the plunge and redye my hair. I had been hesitant as I’ve been told that it isn’t proved that bleach and dye are safe to use during pregnancy. However, I just couldn’t stand the look of my faded dreads any more and they went back to a deep reddy purple again on Monday. To be on the safe side I was however very careful not to dye anywhere near my roots or scalp so it’s mainly just the tips and body of my hair that is dyed again. No bleach was involved and I only used a vegan vegetable based dye so I’m pretty happy baby is perfectly fine. I’m certainly happier and feel bouncier again.