Are you ready for this?

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Location: United Kingdom

Yes...this is ALL about me, and mine. Marvellously self indulgent, feel free to tell me how splendid I am, leave comments, nice ones please, I have little kids and teenagers who can do the rude stuff. I am a grandma, to the glorious Joshua, I'm allowed to look frazzled and weary, I earned it. The older I get, the more I see that hanging on and being patient is worth it! They ( whoever 'they' are) are so right when they say you never know what is around the corner, it isn't always an articulated truck! It is vital to make the time for making memories, friends are the greatest treasure, I love mine. I am rich!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

And I'm off!

With some OCD checking of bus ticket, plane ticket, passport, money, bus ticket, plane ticket, passport about to drag my bags down the hill to the bus stop.
I am so nervous I can hardly stand it. Just get through the next 24 hours and I will be there....which is so exciting, well I can hardly stand it.
I hope to take enough pictures to remember the weekend but not so many that it stops me actually enjoying it all.
Will be back on tuesday.


Wednesday, June 25, 2008

People say the bestest things!

Eleanor Roosevelt:
You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You must do the thing which you think you cannot do.

Marilyn Ferguson:
Ultimately we know deeply that the other side of every fear is a freedom.

Swedish proverb:
Worry gives a small thing a big shadow

Sarah Orne Jewett:
Yes'm, old friends is always best, 'less you can catch a new one that's fit to make an old one out of.

Marcel Proust:
Let us be grateful to people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.

George Santayana:
The loneliest woman in the world is a woman without a close woman friend.

Ecclesiasticus 6:14:
A faithful friend is a strong defense: and he that hath found such an one hath found a treasure.

Anaïs Nin:
Each friend represents a world in us, a world possibly not born until they arrive, and it is only by this meeting that a new world is born.

Katharine Butler Hathaway:
A person needs at intervals to separate from family and companions and go to new places. One must go without familiars in order to be open to influences, to change

Steven Foster:
You may wonder, 'How can I leave it all behind if I am just coming back to it? How can I make a new beginning if I simply return to the old?' The answer lies in the return. You will not come back to the 'same old thing.' What you return to has changed because you have changed. Your perceptions will be altered. You will not incorporate into the same body, status, or world you left behind. The river has been flowing while you were gone. Now it does not look like the same river.

There, I read those and felt better about flying ( which scares the bejeebers out of me in a ridiculous way)
Know that I have the best friends in the whole world and appreciate that not only am I blessed to be able to do what I am about to do but that I will be a better person for doing it.
Also, I took one of the double dose diazepan the Dr gave me, last time she gave me a low dose and I was afraid to take them in case it made me incapable, so I waited til I was on the plane and it didn't work....this time I thought if I take one on the day when I have nothing else to do or nowhere I need to go, I can see how it affects me and then know when I am safe to take it on Friday.
Oh my goodness, I took it nearly an hour ago and I am so spaced out! It works, am all woozy yet capable of getting from A to B with bags....a little wobbly maybe but I do believe that I can get on that plane and have a lovely time in Boston.
I hate that I get so afraid of these things but am happy that I decided not to allow my fears to dictate what I will or will not do anymore.
Boston..are you ready for me?

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Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Just because.....

He is, quite frankly as perfect as it is possible to be AND gramma gets to have him all to herself sometimes.

And somehow, this is one of my favourite pictures of him, those tiny little hanging legs, so tired after being pulled up with a tummy ache, blessed relief by lying on a cushion and hanging over the edge of the chair ( with daddy hovering to make sure he doesn't fall)

Daddy's big hands holding his tiny boy.

Endless kisses on that velvety head.

Blissful sleep.

And a picture to show how like his Uncle seth he is, Seth was 2 weeks and Joshua 12 days when these were taken, same pixie face.

I post these today because from now on, for a few posts it will pretty much be Boston, more Boston and even more Boston. Its almost here, the trip, the meetup, the fun and laughter.
Oh how excited am I?

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Sunday, June 22, 2008

She's making a list...

And checking it 352 times!
Yes people, it's list time.
Things to do before I go.
Things to buy before I go.
Things to pack.
Things not to pack.Things I have already packed. Things I have to wash before I pack.
Oh. My. Goodness. STOP with the lists!!!
So it's what...23.17. Sunday, that's today over right?
So 4 days left, well 3 1/2 til I get on a bus to Uncle Barry's house.
4 1/2 days til I get on a PLANE and fly to BOSTON.
I am so excited ( I tell you that because I know I have been so laid back and blase about it, scarcely mentioning it and all.)
I've been so excited that I couldn't wait to get started....I think I may have about 32 cases worth of stuff already waiting in Boston, Seth and his basketball stuff, Eli and his high school musical obsession, Isaac was getting sort of left behind a bit, I wondered and I puzzled and DING! Idea!!
I was chatting with Cathy and within minutes we had Isaac pretty much covered, he is going to be a mini Johnny Cash type person.
He has awaiting for him ( thankyou Cathy and your unbelievable online shopping skills) 2 pairs of cowboy boots, ( one red, one black) 2 shirts ( one red, one black) spurs ( like real cowboy ones!) Belt, buckle, hat, one of those lace tie things. I am probably more excited about seeing him all decked out in his cowboy stuff than he is to get it all. How clever of Cathy to know we had to get 2 of each ( although we did get size 1 and size 2 boots so he can wear one pair when the 1st pair are hammered)
H has his bribe, I mean gift, all bought and waiting ( again Cathy and her big boy George) he has a super duper iPod station thing, we will be booming til the neighbours weep. It is a portable one that was more expensive than the one that just sits plugged in, we must have the portable one for when we go, um...when we go CAMPING, that's it because we do that a lot.....check my blog.
Did you find all the entries when we went camping? Oh yes, one, entry where H took the boys on father and son camp, one night and the other two times when he didn't, because it rained.
You will never see an entry where I go camping. Never. Unless the world ends and we are forced to live on hilltop when we won't have internet anyway so, hey, still won't read about it.
However, we must have the portable iPod station, clever George managed to get the carry bag thrown in, so H is covered, bribed, thanked.
He has been so incredible about this whole trip. Not a single murmur about it, I will admit that if the tables were turned and he was going away for what is beginning to look like 5 days, with a group of people he had never met, leaving me with the boys....I am pretty sure that I would be very gritting teeth about it. Not H, he truly seems as excited about the trip as I am ( and not in a 'yeay 5 days without her' kind of way either!) He loves to hear our plans, he encourages me to buy things and prepare, he loves the people I am going to meet because he has heard all about them and also sees me snorting and laughing with them online every evening.
He hasn't said a word about money or what it is costing, he has just been a splendid example of gloriousness.
So, it's that time ...too early to really get ready and pack the bags, so close I can almost touch it.
Should probably go and make a list of something....

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Friday, June 20, 2008

Glad that's over ( for now)

I came to post about how great it is the the horrendous nightmare of the past few days is all OVER, phew. Only to see that it was all so horribly horrible that I didn't blog about it all ...yes, now you know how bad it was, even now I think it is best left in the distant memories shoved behind my aching head, twitching left nipple ( for I have to go off on a tangent and explain in detail about my twitching nipple because if I read a blog that mentioned in passing a twitching nipple and then left such a fabulous subject I would be as mad as all get out. So, stressful is not the best word for the past few days, at one point I looked at H and mentioned that OW have a big stabbing pain in my head, wonder why and he stood, back to Sophie and pulled a crooked face and asked why I didn't have a damn good eye twitch to go with that pain, he even bought home flowers today, FLOWERS from H? Things have been bad, he loves me, he showed me in a way he usually deems silly and unnecessary, wow, flowers. So we went shopping and as we walked around the store, he getting bread, me getting chicken, my left nipple began to vibrate, it was quite the most bizarre and intense feeling to have whilst bending over a cooked chicken stall ever.
What? on impulse, I grabbed my boob and looked down and then remembered where I was and stopped. Walked a few more steps, buuuuuuzzzzzzzzzzzzzz, vibrating nipple. WTH?
Had to go and find H because a good wife will always share a vibrating nipple with her husband, even if they are in public.
"Hey, my nipple is buzzing" He didn't seem nearly impressed enough and asked which bread rolls we should have with our chicken and salad.
We went to pay and as I stood waiting to enter my pin number, I felt the buzzing again and looked down, I swear that my left nipple was visibly twitching!! It was only with the most enormous amount of restraint that I stopped myself from making the man on the check out look because Hell that is one great party trick isn't it? Look, you good folk may well get a tic in your eye when you are stressed but me? I get a nervous tic in my tit. I am, as always one step ahead.)
Anyway. The whole few days has all been a about Sophie, massive, public, colossal, meltdowns and scenes of such heartbreak and mental illness as I hope never to see again.
She is now back to normal, almost. She has saved her job, has sincerely apologised to everyone concerned ( but me, which is par for the course because I imagine that she thinks I know she is sorry and doesn't need to say it) She will still have her room and I will make sure she pays the rent when it is due so that she keeps the room.
The only good thing about episodes like this is that she now sees ( and we hope learned) that she needs her meds, that actually, even though it seems the world is out to get her, it is actually her paranoia and her poorly head that causes all her misery, people are just people and they are staying the same while she is hissing and spitting, swearing and hurting. Oh my goodness, this is such a long and painfully slow process.
However, this time next week I will be in Boston, actually there with my bags and my passport with pretty american dollars that look like monopoly money, that I don't have to buy toilet paper or cereal with. I will be spitting distance from Target and juice bottles by rubbermaid. I shall be able to buy clothes that fit my comfy and squishy gramma body without having to go to a fat girls shop.
I shall be eating out and ordering in, sleeping in a big old bed with just me.
I shall be leaving my bed unmade and finding it all made and tidy when I go back to my room with throbbing feet and happy heart.
Most of all though, I will be with, in real life, actually with the best friends a girl can ever hope to have. We have had weeks and weeks of chatting and emailing, endless laughing and crying and sharing and learning all about each other. So to know that this time next week I will be able to touch these people, see these woman, laugh with them, slap their hands when they are rude and make me snort my diet coke out of my nose, watch their faces contort as they laugh with me, well the shopping and the hotel and the restaurants all pale into insignificance, because really, that is absolutely the very best part of it all.
So, Jenn, Julie, Cathy, Rachel, Sara, Gretchen, Michelle 1 and Michelle 2, Jackie, Di and Colleen...I have had the best time this past few weeks getting ready to meet you in person, the chats, the emails, the laughter and the impatience is all part of what is to be next week. Jamie will be there next week but she has missed out on all the preparation and so much fun in the run up to the meet up, I hope that she will still enjoy the weekend, I know for sure that we all will, if the nightly chats are anything to go by, iron pelvic floor muscles or not, I have a feeling that we might all do well by packing some lady tena pads, depends or anything useful in times of incontinence.
I don;t think any of us are bringing our laptops, we will all be so busy doing that we don't think we have time for writing, no chatting online because we will all be there, in the SAME ROOM!
So blogs will be left unwritten, posts on websites we frequent will be scarce and intermittent, some will be home on sunday and others monday, I won't get home until tuesday afternoon. I shall be weary and full to bursting with American fare and memories.
I shall also be more than a little sad because the past few months have been so filled with preparing and planning, saving and imagining, I can't even begin to imagine how empty I will feel when it is done, over, finished.
I guess we will just have to start planning the next one, bigger maybe, different certainly but better? I don't think anything could ever be better than what we have planned for this time next week.
Nearly there girls! The wait is almost over. Oh I am so excited I think my nipple might vibrate!

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Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Conversations in our house ....part something or other.

" Mum, you know my skin is halfway black, can I go out in the sun until I am properly black and then either shave my head so I look like Kobe Bryant OR get those lines in my hair like Xhibit on Pimp my ride?"

Me with H.
"Ow, I have a big pain in my head, wonder why that is"
" Ha! Think yourself lucky that you don't have an eye twitch to go with it " ( as he nods his head behind Sophie)

"Jenn Mac and Cathy want to know what size clothes I wear. I wear a 10. Tell them 10, I am not wearing a size 12, no way no how" ( as she sits with overflow from every available place, boobs, belly, bum.....luckily a 10 in the US is a 12 over here, phew, maybe we can cover that body a little better, since she stopped taking drugs her addiction of choice is food)

Sophie to Daniel
" Bloody hell Daniel you are getting SO fat!"
( wow.......there's an open opportunity to retaliate, which he did not, to his credit)

And when we stopped talking we just took pictures of the unbearably delicious baby.


And at last Papa H got to meet Joshua.


And Joshua got to meet Papa H and his sideburns, which are the new thing, because that is how we do it in England. I am told.
I think I am to be commended for being as sane as I am considering that I am surrounded by so much bizarre and eccentric behaviour.

Oh another conversation ( more of a statement really as it beggared a response)
" I think I would be really great in Big Brother."

Let's not even imagine that.

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Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Just keep taking the meds people!

Does my life seem like a badly written soap opera to you? I say badly written because if this were to made into a soap, no-one would watch it because it is all so ridiculously unbelievable. At the risk of showing the world, via the internet just how disfunctional this family is, here is today's episode of Disfunctionals of Devon.

Mother of 6 and child #1 walk down the street to house of unmarried child # 2 , girlfriend and newborn son ( of unbearable deliciousness)
In the house is said son, girlfriend, mother of girlfriend who shall be called Nana Turley ( or Turkey, take your pic) also alcoholic, yet rather sweet father of girlfriend, hereafter referred to as Coconut. Also baby of unbearable deliciousness.
All inside house are ready to leave and meander into the town center to see to chores and errands and walking in sunshine, child 2, girlfriend, unbearably delicious baby, Nana Turley and Coconut have plans to meet with great grandparents of new family member at place of work, child 2 has worked there a good while, is well liked and respected, about to be promoted and thus, venue seems ideal for happy meeting.
Unfortunately, daughter ( one and only and known far and wide for her irrational and frequent outbursts of extraordinarily irrational proportions) also works at child 2's place of work, against child 2s better judgement but cheerful and unaware boss. who did hear comments like " argh! No, don't touch her with a barge pole...she is quite unstable and although often delightful.....well, OK but , oh dear, well, yes. Hmmmmm" he heard that but thought t'was all in jest and so offered daughter work, 3 weeks in all has been well, if a little rocky at times, bearing in mind that the restaurant is upper class, daughter is prone to language of an uncouth nature and unaware that most people exercise restraint in public, which is to be advised..
So, scene is set.
Family leave house, Nana Turley ( who mother of 6 thinks could well have been very like daughter in her heyday) is no longer married to coconut, she dwells in Turkey ( hence name) with her boyfriend who is roughly 30 years her junior and speaks little English. Nana T is here for a mere 10 days ( although entire family will testify to the fact that it has felt oh so much longer)
Girlfriend is trying to make the most of mother ( her mother) for the short time she has her here, daughter is, or was, trying to muscle in and take over somewhat ( lack of tact and ability to read between lines or think of feelings belonging to anyone other than herself) has become a little unwelcome and nana Turley and girlfriend, at a loss, begin to ignore daughter and pretend she isn't there, in the hope that it might actually become true.
Daughter gets A message but as always is the wrong one and takes offence, unable to think WHY girlfriend ( who had baby 9 days ago and is hormonal and wants more time with her mum even if no-one else understands that, it is true and should be granted and sympathised with) and her mother don't want anyone around but themselves for this precious short amount of time.
Nana Turley makes inappropriate comments about our group being like the Addams family, mother of 6 grits teeth, child 1 does the same, ignores rude comments and carry on into town.
Nana T is rude and gossipy about Coconut, mother of 6 tries to pretend she can't hear as Coconut is RIGHT THERE!
Eventually mother of 6 can't stand anymore and makes excuses to leave and bids a fond farewell to Nana Turley, child 2, coconut, girlfriend and unbearably delicious baby.
Rest of group leaves to go to place of work, posh restaurant where business people go for luncheon to discuss matters of great import. ( can you begin to see where this is going?)
Mother of 6 gets phone call from child 2 asking what is the matter with daughter because she is beginning to behave badly and from thereon in, it all gets very ugly.
This where I should give details because it is all so unbelievable unless you know Sophie.
The long story short is, mother goes to restaurant and removes daughter before she loses her job and possibly her head ( as child 2 wants to knock it off to shut it the hell up)
After much ranting and inability to turn her mouth off for even a nanosecond, with so much raging and swearing and F'ing and blinding, vocal expletives against Nana Turley who daughter insists has single mindedly set out to exclude her from unbearably delicious baby's life ( even though she has seen and been reassured that everyone, apart from Jordan who lives with girlfriend and delicious baby and is trapped with Nana Turley has gained only a small amount of relief from texting somewhat desperate messages to mother of 6)
She feels that everything is about her, she cannot see that girlfriend wants to be with her mother, mother wants to soak up every second of unbearably delicious baby before flying back to Turkey tomorrow.
No, in daughters eyes it is all about her and a scheme to oust her from the presence of delicious baby. She is furious and unable to see that this meeting place was a great idea and not AT ALL a deliberate attempt to rub her face in the fact that she is not the center of unbearably delcious baby's life, or girlfriends life or son 2s life at this present moment in time.
Why oh why can't she see that the behaviour exhibited today, she herself has made the whole family feel she should be kept away, who wants to be near her after that?
Mother of 6 gets daughter in car, where she sobs and wails, yells and accuses, until she admits that things have been so good, she has been so happy that she doesn't need her meds anymore so she stopped taking them when the baby was born.
For the love of all that is rational WHEN WILL SHE LEARN?
If the world was perfect, if she had the man of her dreams, in the palace of her dreams, with a million in the bank.....if all that were true and she stopped her meds cold turkey she would feel LIKE CRAP!
She has crashed, smashed back down and can't think she will ever feel better.
I will now have to live with this fall out for days until the meds are back in her system.
I am sitting here with my ticket by my side, passport in full view and a pile of $s just for me.

9 days. Just 9 days until I get 4 days break, with no phone calls, no emails, no knowledge of life here in Devon. Surrounded by laughter and fun, sunshine and friends. A much needed boost to my ever exhausted batteries. Nine days.

Bring it on and don't forget your medicines.


Perfection..with pictures.

You may have noticed that in this clip ( of entirely too much deliciousness) I refer to myself as Gramma. This is completely bizarre as there is nothing I can do about it, I open my mouth to say Nana and out comes gramma, everytime. The more I say it, the more I like it.
I like that I am the only gramma he has.
Nana will be holidays in the sun and parcels in the mail.
Gramma will be up the road and every day.
Nana will be spoken about and on the phone.
Gramma will be spoken about and seen so regularly as to be a part of the fixtures of life.
Nana will spend time getting reaquainted twice a year.
Gramma will be just up the road and available for tea parties.
I like being gramma.

Even though it means speaking in a ridiculous high pitched voice and saying sentences the wrong way 'round because cuteness and tiny sneezes make it impossible to just talk like a human being who rather likes the English launguage.

To a gramma, even bogies are cute, bless his little sneezing head.

And the most glorious part of being a gramma...this.....

Hearing that sound and never, not ever feeling despair or such weariness that it drills right through your sleep deprived brain.
Not that this child is making anyone feel that way. He is, as predicted the most laid back baby with even more laid back parents.
I am in awe of these 2 young people.
They just do it all so beautifully and confidently.
Incredibly enough, this baby is bathed every evening at 7.30 and after he has been fed, he goes to bed..upstairs. Mel and Jordan watch TV downstairs, put the monitor on and that little chap stays in bed until the morning. He sleeps for 3-4 hours at a time, wakes up and is fed and back in his crib within 20 minutes, right back to sleep. Mel does that 1am feed, Jordan the 4/5am one and they are all so incredibly chipper and rested that I feel almost annoyed, so sure was I that I would get a call or 3 to take him so they could sleep.
Mel, of course has lost all the baby belly, looks too beautiful for words.

He has been all over the place and even had a picnic in the park today with his uncles, all 4 of them.
Dan came to visit and, like the rest of us, fell under the littlest person's spell.



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Sunday, June 15, 2008

Happy Fathers day.

I miss mine. I must say though, that right now, it isn't that gut wrenching kind of missing. Much more a gentle ache sort of missing.
I think the panic feeling has lessened, maybe even gone. For so long when I thought of him I would remember he was gone and my insides would begin to twist and feel like they were on a roller coaster, and my emotions would charge about like the ever late rabbit in Alice in Wonderland, trying to find a place to be, where it didn't hurt or feel so bereft.
Feeling better, in itself is sad though because this man that was so indispensable, well we discover that we can go on, we can still breathe and laugh and do all those mundane every day things that seem so much less important now. Necessary though that we reach this stage in order to just stay sane and give what needs to be given to those left behind.
He's all about anyway, in his grandsons, with their teeth and drip catcher chins, also on their somewhat naughty behaviour.
Elijah is his papas boy, he looks very much like him and he has the same delicious wicked streak. My dad would dance in the chip shop to see his children squirm with embarrassment.
Today for instance, in church, we managed to get a pew right near the front, we are usually late into the main meeting having had to gather the boys from the primary room.
I was so pleased to be in the main chapel and not at the back where the noisy chair scraping people sit. Heaven.
Elijah however was not in the frame of mind to be reverent and still. He has caught the hyperactivity bug from somewhere and we are beginning to wonder if it is here to stay, always a bit busy we were relieved to see that he still loved to sleep, take naps, snuggle while he sucks his thumb and twiddle and ear...not so much anymore, he is too busy to jump and run and bounce, more jumping, shouting, throwing..oh the endless throwing of anything and everything .
So he climbed on seats ( get down, sit still, do NOT get up there again)
he grabbed hymn books and slammed them shut ( Elijah! Put that down or look at it quietly)
he slapped Isaac and laughed so hard at this fun pastime ( keep your hands to yourself and behave, you are a big boy and I know you know how to be reverent)
He whispered in a number 12 voice ( Shhhhhhh, please keep your voice down and Elijah if you do not behave then I will take you out, you won't like it if I take you outside, sit down, read your book and BE QUIET!)
Then, he did, he really did, he got his little cup of sacrament water, that reminds of of the blood Jesus shed for us, he tipped it in his mouth, tipped back his head and he gargled, rather impressively and very loudly and then that made him laugh, which made him choke which made him laugh even more and so proud of himself was her that he felt compelled to yell at Isaac, just to check that his trick hadn't been missed.
So, without further ado abd because this is the most important and reverent part of our meeting, feeling he had disrupted quite enough of other members worship, I stood him up, held his arm and as I stood up to take him oustide......

"Oh NO!!! Oh PLEASE no! Don't SMACK ME! I am being GOOD, I am being GOOOOOOOD, I don't want a SMACK....I am being GOOD...well alright but I will be good NOW! Please don't SMACK ME!"

And that was that. Can you imagine how hard it was not to join every other member of the congregation who couldn't help but splutter and pinch their noses, to grin and have their shoulders shake because trapped mirth must out somehow?
We walked the walk and we went into the quiet room and I'm afraid, because he had been warned several times, he did get 3 swift smacks on his bottom.
Oh how sad it is to be four when no- one likes you and everybody just is mean to you and anyway you haven't even done nothin' and your eyes are so huge that they turn your face into that of a bush monkey. Tear filled of course.

I always think of my dad in times like those because he always had the hardest time keeping a straight face, he would stick the tip of his tongue in between his teeth and bite it, trying not to let that laugh out. I miss him but he is still so here. It's just a gentle ache now and I think, quite possibly that I can live with that.
Happy Fathers day.


Thursday, June 12, 2008

Tiny steps. ( with update.....that's a record, even for me!)

So, here we are then.
Little hiatus going on.
No stomach bug ( oh JOY!)
No baby today ( must back off a tiny weeny bit, sometimes)
Still 2 weeks til Boston.
Sophie is good.

Wait....what d'you say?

WHAT????? Sophie is GOOD? Hold back there a moment.

She is.
Right now.
She is working, being a good girl, doing things we haven't witnessed much at all. ( good things, normal 19 year old, sesible person things)

I am thrilled and happy and very guarded, but not to her, to her, I am really thrilled and REALLY happy.
Jordan told Sophie that once the baby arrived, she would have to find somewhere else to stay, he said it most days, making sure the message got through, when his son was born they wanted to be able to be a family, be able to sit in the living room without Sophie crashed out on the sofa, all such normal things to want.
Sophie, in her usualy way behaved as though she didn't hear a word. However once Joshua arrived she surprised us all. She came to see me and told me that she had to stay somewhere else and said " they want to be a family and they should be, if I stay there I will get in the way and also I won't be able to mind my own business, I want to pick him up and love him all day long, I want to change him and pick out cute clothes, but he isn't my baby so I have to get out and sleep somewhere else."
" I am so sick of having to go to different other peoples' houses to find various clothes and makeup and not having anywhere that is mine"
She waits until 1am , when she knows H is asleep and my defences are down and then she 'pops' in, she will chat and then say " oh, I suppose I should try and find somewhere to sleep" even I can't make her do that ( as much for the poor unsuspecting subject of choice, who wants a knock on the door past 1am and a pitiful girl begging for a floor?)So she sleeps here on the dining room floor.
Last night. 9pm.
" Mum, H, I am going to see a room tomorrow in a house share, I hope I get it and can move right in, do you mind if I sleep here until I know if I can do that?"
She did, she thanked us both and was told that her being polite and asking BOTH of us made all the difference, the fact that she has cleared the dining room first thing every morning and put all her bedding away has made a huge impact on me and even H. Even H. He said today that her asking made an enormous change. Her following through with promises shows she is growing up.
I don't think I have ever seen this amount of growth in Sophie before, so many times I have lifted my hopes, believed we have 'made it' and she has crashed but I have never before seen such tiny steps taking her so far.
She has taken so long to get where she is and the difference this time is that she hasn't taken any backward slides, no two steps forward 3 steps back, just tiny little steps in the right direction.
The other thing is, she is doing it herself, I stopped making calls for her, stopped picking up prescriptions for her, stopped asking her what she was doing about a home. I stopped. When I stopped, she started. And she can do it by crikey.
She has been working full time for 2 weeks, so far so good, I haven't heard any complaints and if there are any to be had I always hear about them. So that's great isn't it?
Sophie didn't get the room she went about, someone beat her to it, however they did offer her a room that will be available on July 16th, that means she has enough time to save and pay off her overdraft ( ha ha ! Just caught myself getting so carried away, don't worry, I realised the foolishness of my hopeless dreams, back to real life right away) That means she can have a few weeks of fun and crashing on peoples' floors and they won't mind because it is temporary and only until July 16th.
It also means that I can buy all kinds of pretty things for her room in Boston, things that she will treasure and look at and feel pride because she has this great room that is all HERS and when it comes to paying her rent she will do it happily because her room will be such a joy and will giver her such a sense of pride because SHE is working to pay for it. ( is the plan, a good one I think?)
Tiny steps are my favourite kind I think.
1.30am. She came in stoned. The only tiny plus is that whatever she took was bad stuff, she did not enjoy it, she will enjoy every single moment of today even less. I can guarantee it.

If I write on my blog, right here, something like .......

I have never won the lottery, I am pretty sure I never will. I am not yet willing to say for sure it will never happen, but this's looking pretty certain.


Gosh, I have been thinking about how no-one ever bought me a brand new car and tied a big pink ribbon around it, like that would ever happen. Yes I can quite confidently say that although I am guarded I think this won't happen


I have been thinking about how I have been so fat for so long, although I can't say for definite, I feel really sure that I will not wake up thin and firm bodied tomorrow.

What do you think? Worth a try?
Lottery win,
New car left outside
Size 10 body with a washboard belly??

Yes?? ( am buying a bloody ticket just in case.)

Address is
Helen Back ( nee Highwater)
666 Door slamming Terrace.
Stupid Town
Keep your Mouth Shut

I prefer lighter colours in my cars thankyou very much. Ribbon optional.

Oh the clothes I will buy in Boston for my new sylph like self.

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Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Well, I wasn't ready for THAT!

Well, well, some unexpected emotions have been making themselves most unwelcome today. I have no idea where they came from, am completely aware that they are ridiculous apart from the fact that at the time, they were very real. So real in fact that I wept copious amounts of stinging tears.
The whole experience of becoming a grandmother has been extraordinarily powerful, I had no idea that I would feel so strongly about this little scrap who is only mine in a second hand way. Once removed. From a distance.
The mothering instinct doesn't leave when your child has a child. I want my son to enjoy every positive and blissful second of being a father. I want him to excel in as many ways as is possible in the raising of this precious boy.
There are so many ways in which Joshua, should he following his fathers footsteps, will be the most glorious man. What better start is there for a boy than to have a father he should emulate?
Jordan is young and he hasn't had a particularly good role model for a father. His dad has loved him but has been ineffectual, he has stumbled at every single important hurdle. Luckily, the effect that this has had on Jordan is to make him determined to be different. Phew. Take a deep breath.
Jordan has faced some nightmares in his life that most young men don't face. He beat them, he is a good man. He is also very young.
I have watched him work, climb his chosen career ladder, I see people gravitate towards him and I feel enormous pride that I did so much of that. I know that he is who he is, I also know that I raised him from 23 months until he was 12 on my own. Through unbelievable circumstances.
He is a wonderful man, I am breathtakingly thrilled with how he is with his tiny son.
What I am trying to say in my long winded way, is that I still feel so much the mother, not just to him but to Mel and I am so grateful to be able to help them in the ways I can. H, as always is so gentle and accommodating, staying here with the squitty bum boys ( and raise a hand in gratitude to Joshua because without his being born, you so would have had daily and detailed account of how often and how violently these 3 boys have expelled their bodily contents over the past FOURTEEN DAYS, enough said) while I swan off to go to reflexology appointments, to go and walk with Mel, to run here and there, to see my grandson born, to kiss him, bath him, go shopping.
I don't feel the mother to Joshua, what I feel for him is something so new, I have yet to work out how it works. I want to give him the sun, moon and earth and I want to wrap it nicely.
I knew that I would love the fact that the nitty gritty is not my worry, I am so done with teething and night feeds, bulky great nappy bags, folding pushchairs up and down and all that malarkey.
So onto the bit that hit me in the heart and head today.
The first one has been to visit, big deal. We all know that this is a happy little blip in hi sself centred life, ooooh grandbaby, must visit and make a fuss, have fun and grasp the moment and then fizzle off into the distance while I continue my quest for happiness, must find happiness for ME, grandbaby is cute but must keep on keeping on doing what is needed for ME.
Whoppidoo. So why was my stupid heart and head so sad that fizzy grandad gave silver things and presents, a wad of cash and a big gesture? Beats me, but it did. A lot.
Mels mum is here, from Turkey, also buying presents and toys and stuff and more stuff. She is the other Nana. I want to be Nana but darn it if I can't quite make myself say it and when I open my mouth I hear myself saying " Let gramma get you a squeeze!" Gramma? That's my MUM! Who's gramma?? Oh well, we will see. Anyway, the thing is, I found myself snot crying in the kitchen to a bewildered H. Snot crying without any punctuation at all ( but will add some, just to make it easier to share)
"oh I know I am stupid and I know what I CAN give is so much more important and actually I remember my mum crying about this and I thought she was CRAZY but the thing is they are all buying him stuff and giving him hundreds of pounds for his bank account and toys and more stuff and I spent all our money on reflexology and petrol and knickers and newspapers and Lucozade so Mel would have energy to push and parking and lunch and more oils and more parking and boring stuff like chewing gum so I wouldn't breathe smelly breath on Mel when I was whispering to her to push harder and now I have no money for silver things and toys but wait til I go to Boston, he is getting stuff no-one else can buy because Argos? Stuff Argos! I am going to Boston and Cathy has Ralph Lauren stuff for him but I didn't buy that but she is my friend and so its sort of because of me and Jenn has a tiny little basketball kit for him and everyone loves him so I know this is all so stupid but WHY CAN'T I STOP CRYING?? The other Nana is going out tonight so I am going to get me a fix and give him a bath and that will be lovely won't it?"
And guess what, I did and it was.
It was bath time and you know that feeling when you are new at something and you know it needs doing but you are a bit scared to do it? That's bathtime at Joshuas house.
"He needs a bath but he hates it and I really wish I didn't have to do it because he really hates it but he needs it" said Mel ( who is English and hasn't heard that in America you don't bath a baby when it still has a cord, or that if you do it might all end terribly because we are in England and horror of horrors we DO give teeny tiny babies baths and wash off all the stinky old milk and pee and stuff. And guess what? Nothing. Sweet smelling babies with everything still working and the sky doesn't fall in, imagine that!)
So, oooh let me at him, can I do it? And Jordan came too.
Big bath with one of those impressive shaped hard plastic contraptions that support the baby. Right.
So I shoved that out of the way and I lay him in the water, hand under his head, he was screaming until I put the plam of his hand under the warm water. It is like magic. Enough water to cover him sufficiently to keep him warm, head and ears above the water and a firm grip, put that palm under the water and miracle of miracles the screaming will stop, those tightly screwed eyes will open and a look of such bliss you just know life is really alright.
Jordan stopped dead in his tracks, he called Mel...
"what? No screaming so I know he isn't in there yet and Oh would you look at you .."
"She just put his hand under the water and let him hold her finger...LOOK, oh mate, Nana really knows!"
Yes, she does and you know what? There isn't a silver certificate holder that can hold a candle to what Nana knows. Is there?
And for your enjoyment would you see what else Nana did?

( tiniest of teeny feet, be still my heart!)

Itty bitty finger nails.




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Tuesday, June 10, 2008

OH Blog it! With pictures! ( and complaints, quite a few actually!)

There are things I love about blogs and stuff I HATE about blogs.
I love funny, irreverent, tongue in cheek blogs.
I hate boring, listy blogs.
I am so disinterested in product lists and go here buy this, link that,see here blogs. If I want stuff, I will find it, thankyou.
What makes me more mad than any other bloggy thing, what will make sure that even if you are the funniest blog in the world, is if you set your blog up so that I cannot use my back button, if I try to go back, to where I was and all I get is your blog again and again and again, you're dust, I am making sure I will never ever read your blog again because you just made me see how completely narcissistic you are, all that " no, you may NOT leave my blog, you must stay here and read only ME, I am the ONLY thing worth reading, click all you like, if you want to leave here you will have to close down and start ALL OVER AGAIN Because I am the be all and end all."
I hate that. My whole body is, as I speak twitching with rage because I was on one lovely blog and saw they had a list of blogs they read...aha! I thought, I bet those are great blogs.....was happily reading new people and new things, hit one on the list...oh how dull, soooooo boring, I could care less about your stupid lists and opinions on what I should buy and where to shop, shall go back and find another funny blog...except I can't because Mrs I am the only blog worth reading and you can't leave did that thing. Click....stay right ....did you get it yet???
Such a small thing to be so cross about but every time that happens it makes me react the same way. I even want to leave a comment asking why they feel they are so important that we must be trapped in their stupid boring blog?
I like to read a blog and imagine I am sitting with the writer, listening to the news of their you ever read a blog and feel that you KNOW that person? A complete stranger can reach out and make you feel at home, make you connect to them and feel you are friends?
Then you can read a blog and wonder what in heavens name they are thinking, oh some blogs are so dull and you can't for the life of you imagine that these people have any friends at all because if THIS is the best you can come up with....oh dear.
I read comments on blogs and long to read the blog of the commenter and am so often disappointed that there IS no blog..why? When the funny and witty comments bring tears to my eyes and an ache to my sides, why do THESE people not write blogs?
I love good photo blogs, ones where a single photo can show you such fun, joy, love, pain.
I read health blogs, ones that carry me along in a world of pain and fear, as well as hope and triumph, heartbreaking, inspiring, hopeful, terror ridden.
I do not read political blogs or finance blogs because I have I have yet to find one that is remotely entertaining although there is one called get rich slowly which has some great ideas for budgeting and learning good money practices.
I am frustrated when bloggers don't update often enough ( for me) I like every day, 2 days maybe I can deal with, I am impatient with the tendency for a weekend hiatus, come on people, weekends are made for blogging, don't you have even MORE fun on the weekends? Don't make us wait for monday for the dirt!
I am vain to the point of believing that people who read my blog couldn't possibly wait a day or two to read about ME! Which is one reason I write nearly every day, the other is that no-one here listens to me, I tell you all my every thought because I can, my brain might explode if I didn't have my blog, so mush to say and no-one to listen to me in this house filled with male people, Sophie could listen, except she is so keen to make herself heard that even I with my ability to interrupt the best of people can never get a word in edgewise.
I actually find myself living my life in such a way as I judge everything by how it will read on my blog, is that worrying? Something happens and OOOOH that will be SO funny/ sad/ gripping / scary on my blog.
I talk to my laptop when I read blogs, I laugh and I will answer questions out loud, will sigh and ask myself why I bothered to read that, I tut and weep, I exclaim and worry....I love blogs, what did we do before them? Can you imagine having a journal library, where we could go and read peoples' diaries? Unthinkable isn't it but that's what we are doing with this blogging obsession ( and it is an obsession for so many of us!)
Hoorah for blogs, every kind of blog, apart from the 'do n't bother with the back button' kind, those ones I put a curse upon, may you hit the 'delete this blog ' button and be unable to save your rotten old boring blogs. That'll learn you.

Oh and I hope to have a photo session with the baby boy today, so check back later and see if we managed any good ones!

Disclaimer....if at any time you have sold me a camera, you may want to stop reading now.
Really, don't read any further.

It is now Later.

Yes I did get some sort of good ones with my very old point and shoot, because I learn very slowly, I bought one camera from a photographer, turns out it was hopeless and I did think to myself, hmmm maybe I should have wondered why a photographer would sell a camera, if it was, you know, a good one and all. Did I learn from that experience? Why NO, and again at Christmas I did it again, how exciting a photographer was selling a camera I should BUY IT!
Yes, I will and I did and yet again...why, I ask myself would a photographer ever sell a camera if it took good pictures and worked and basic stuff like that?
The answer is, they wouldn't, they would buy themselves a new camera that DID work and take great pictures and then off load the stupid one that locks and won't click, that will not, no matter what you do, or try, take a close up picture of a baby's foot or face or even its whole body if you back halfway out of the room to see if the damn stupid thing will just TAKE THE BLOODY PICTURE! They would do that, to someone who is clueless and thinks they are getting a bargain.
I have learned my lesson now. Honestly. I will be buying my next camera from a shop, so that if it is useless and refuses to work at all, I can take it back and complain and get my money back maybe.
I have given this camera a chance and wondered if it may be ME that is stupid and useless but honestly, even if I were totally idiotic, surely putting a camera on auto and just aiming it and clicking, that would work wouldn't it? It doesn't it just makes a whirring noise and nothing, nothing at all.

Gah....look, sweet baby pictures, let me look at them and calm down and get myself all right with the world again.....deep breath.....




Tiny boy and big teddy.





Socks on, socks off, a Nana can never EVER have too many shots of bendy legs and feet with big old leg holes and corned beef skin, I know this because there were TWO nanas there saying "oooh look, no let me see again, let me get a picture...awwwww tiny legs and too big socks, let me eat him on a biscuit. No, I could eat him without any bread and butter, just let me eat him any which way!


Ahhhhhhh, there now, that's better. Who cares about anything? Not me, nope, not me, all is pretty good in my world right now.


Monday, June 09, 2008

Settling in.

Little blond head that just begs to be kissed and sniffed and kissed some more.

And little kissy mouth that we love to just look at and exclaim over.

He is a good baby and I might have had a word with him this morning about that. I told him that this is all very well, but if he lets his parents sleep they aren't going to call me and beg for a couple of hours on their own to sleep now are they?

I am finding this transition into Nanahood somewhat strange. When I saw him born I was struck by the fact that I am now a new mother by memory only. I am a grandmother, my years of being the mummy and all the joys of pregnancy are over. Completely.
They have been over for 4 years of course, after the vasectomy and decision that we are done reproducing, we made that choice and it was the right choice, such old bods that we are.
Seeing Joshua born and remembering that inexplicable joy of meeting your baby for the first time, the incredible importance and high status of being an expectant and then a new mother is addictive, I never believed that I would ever be done. When I had Elijah and saw him, I knew I was finished, he was my last baby, it felt pretty good.
The sadness of knowing that I would never feel that again was fleeting, this new experience of being a Nana is something so new and overwhelming that I am taking a while to get used to it.
We all think we do the best job, that we know what to do, how to do it, what works and I DID know that I would know how to help Mel give birth, I am good at that, I know how to deal with the pain, know what tricks to use to get through it and to deliver a baby well. I was right and I did help her, she has told me and several other people that I really helped and that she doesn't think she could have done it without me. Of course she would have done it without me, we just like to think that it was as good as it was because we worked together and experience worked well with enthusiasm. For us it worked very well.
What happens now is a different kettle of fish.
I don't know what is best for Joshua because I am not his mother, no matter that I have had 6 children, I haven't had him, he is not my baby, I can continue to be Jordan's mum, I can tell him and Mel because I am a mum to her too, that they know what is right for their baby, when they call (and they do!) and ask advice I can ask them what they think, I can point out that even if he has big veins in one arm, he is relaxed and happy, he is not in pain, he is eating and sleeping and the chances are he just has big veins in one arm, they can ask the midwife to look when she comes next.
I can look and think that maybe I did things differently and then I have to shut my mouth, they are doing such a great job, he appears to be as laid back as his parents and pretty much seems happy wherever he is ( darn it, there goes my theory that I would be summoned to take him so they can sleep!!) Jordan and Mel are relaxed and are soaking up the fact that they have 2 week together to be parents, to get to know their baby and not worry about work and the world outside, they have people visiting and calling, they have already been outside and to the shops, they are enjoying their new world.
The first one came hurrying down to meet his new grandchild and I found myself prickling with indignation, he left when Jordan was 23 months old, has visited when nothing else was happening, taken them for holidays when it was convenient, never paid any child support worth mentioning, has to be reminded when they have birthdays, has never once been to a school or even known anything about schooling for these children and yet HOORAH look! I am a grandad.
He has said " oh we are Nannie and Grandad" well I was amazed at my vehement reaction of "WE " are nothing at all. H and I are Nana and Papa can be whatever you want, all on your own and when the novelty wears off, no-one will care or even notice.
He was there when I popped in for a baby fix this morning and I swear I walked out of there thanking the Lord for H, such a gentleman and so clever. Never have I seen him with his hands down his trousers scratching his bits, certainly not in public.
H would never stare at a young girls belly and make comments about how well it's gone down and how devoid of stretchmarks she inappropriate is that?
Jordan wanted to know when H would be going to meet Joshua and I was able to tell him that he is waiting for the coast to be clear.....when the first one has gone, when the Nana from Turkey has been, Papa H will go and meet his new boy and get to know him. All in good time, all in the right order. He has just been happy to stay here with puking and pooping little boys ( bizarre stomach thing still going on but we are assured by the doctors that their irritating to the degree of fury level of energy and ability to still jump, yell, shout, play all day long is evidence that he night time shouting, whining and puking/pooping is not too worrying.) Eli is recovered and will most certainly be going to school tomorrow, thank heavens for that! Lovely H who just stays in the background letting me grab all the limelight and soak up all the good stuff , happily keeping the home fires burning and sheets changed, clean shorts outside the bathroom and white rice on the boil. Glorious H.
What a joy life can be, how much we can grow when we face up to life's new challenges and make the very best of it all.
It has been so hot and sunny, beautiful weather and time is flying towards my trip to Boston. I am beginning to get nervous and think of all those things that I could worry about and then I just think of who else will be there, the fun we will have and 7 hours on a plane will be more than worth it!
17 days. Bring it on.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

The tale of Joshua Alec.

So, 3.50am and I am awake again, a short yet refreshing nap, disturbed by Isaac and his tummy ache. Amazing how, after such fervant prayers on Friday night that as the boys slept they would be made wel, that the dreadful bug that had seen them vomint and expel at terrifying rates from the other end would leave, that the morning would find them well and healed, I prayed that neither H or I would suffer from this bug and that also, I would be able to see my grandbaby born. My prayers were answered, this morning everyone was well, happy and poop free, when I got home however that all changed...the bug is back it would seem
Saturday at noon, having watched the boys laugh and play, not a belly wobble to be seen, I got a text from Mel to say she was alone and that she had had a consistent and miserable abdominal pain and what should she do?
After I spoke with her and recognised the 'voice', that lower pitched close to possessed voice that only a women in true labour ever has, I called the midwife for her and the ball began to roll.
By 2pm I was with Mel and Jordan at home, 2 visits from the midwife told us that she was indeed in labour and that whenever she was ready, she could head for the hospital.

She sort of wanted to bounce on her birthing ball but ouch, maybe not....after Jordan had blown it up a bit more for her.


The contractions were good ones, but still amusing, still giggling when she stood, legs crossed oofing and yeeeowing, I knew that there was plenty of time but knowing the road we had to take was going to be horrendously slow and traffic ridden, I said that we should start out pretty soon, get to somewhere near the hospital and then wander around a while.
Now, our family is up for a laugh, pretty much most of the time and Mel fits right on in. So we drove to Mothercare which is a mere 5 minutes from the hospital, it is said that if your waters break in Mothercare they present the mother to be with a whole heap of goodies. The midwife told Mel that her hind waters had gone but the forewaters were bulging, oooooooooh BULGING! Maybe they will POP and BREAK if we wander around for a while. They didn't but we did laugh a bit and it filled in a good while before we went to the hospital and Mel was able to buy some new big knickers just for the occasion.
At the hospital all was very relaxed, giving birth in England is a treat, so accepted as a natural thing there are no drips, no monitors and no alien type garb for the midwives and unless specifically called for, not a doctor in sight. No gowns, no restrictions, just a bed, some reassurance and as much time as you need to birth yourself a young 'un.
Basic checks made, reassurance given and the all clear to do whatever felt right until such time as we needed extra help.
At 6pm Mel started to comment on how, actually this isn't bloody funny anymore and look, drugs...where are they? Ouch.
Gas and Air. Such simple words but such profound relief, so effective and yet immediately gone from the system once you stop breathing it in. You must know how to use it, forget just half hearted puffing, drag in great gobsfulls, one after the other, at least 4 before you begin to get the most bizarre feeling of pins and needles and then, only then do you feel that this stuff might be bloody fabulous and contractions? Pah! I laugh in your face oh pain of childbirth. Literally laugh in your face.
Mel was embarrassed and so Jordan had a go....

And she had a pathetic attempt when she didn't have a contraction, just to see what it was like and wasn't sure she was impressed, then another contraction came and she listened to me as I told her how to breathe and OH! Then she got it....ahhhhhh it works, hehe heh.hahahahaha....this is not called laughing gas for nothing.

Oh Nitrous Oxide, how we love thee. N2O to those of us who are really familiar with it, Mel laughed and she laughed and she proclaimed such love for it that she may have mentioned that she no longer had need of Jordan. Maybe.
She would get a pain, breathe, relax, stop breathing that gas and then she would laugh, we would laugh, much wheezing and off we go again.
She would drop the gas at her side in between contractions and say that she actually may not really need it because she couldn't feel anything and was just having a she would try not to use it and then see that OW! It hurts.
I mentioned that when she got a death grip on that gas contrapttion, when she spat and swore at anyone who even suggested she loosen her grip, then we would know that the time was getting close.
Jordan helped her, held her, stayed quiet unless asked not to stay quiet, I rubbed aching backs and whispered how well she was doing and reminded her that breathing was a really great thing to remember, out as well as in, so we could SEE she was breathing because that pain? It'll get you breathing so shallowly and teeny tiny puffs as you try to get the hell away from it. She was so good because although she was perfectly at ease telling Jordan to piss off and shut the hell up, she is so polite to me and she would say " I am breathing" and when I would say "but you have to do it so we can see it, BIG breaths in and FOOOOOOOOOOOf it out, try it and see how much better it feels" she would humour me and try it and then she would say " oh, OK, yeah" and then she got it. And it worked.
I might take just a sentence to boast about how the midwife said I should BE a midwife. I knew I would be pretty good at the whole doula/ birth coach thing and darn it if I was too.
So, from 6pm until 9, those contractions came thick and fast without a break. At 9pm I went to get the midwife ( who had been in and out, listening in to the heartbeat with that magical little wand, watching for a few minutes and then popping out again) after I went to tell the midwife that Mel was making the 'cow' noise and wanting to push, she examined Mel, found her to be 9cm and she broke the waters.
Pretty much right away Mel wanted to push and did once or twice and then the contractions stopped, frustrating except it gave Mel a break that she desperately needed, after sitting on a bizarre very low to the round ( forcing a squatting position) seat, rather like a half toilet seat, the contractions began again and after several pushes ( and that may have been when Mel may have been tempted to yell at me!) when I managed to persuade her that this baby was not coming out until she got so mad that she pushed against that pain until it hurt more than anything she ever imagined and if it felt like she was tearing then good, bloody well make it tear then...she did it, she got mad enough that damn it she was not going to stop until he was out. The midwife was great, she applied pressure right where it was needed and although Mel did get a small tear Joshuas birth was incredible, the immediate recovery and feeling of normality was incredible to see. No drips or catheters, a small running stitch to repair, no after effects of any drugs just an enormous feeling of pride and joy.
Such overwhelming love for that tiny little scrap of brand newness.


A new daddy who can't understand how any man can ever not want to feel like this,


A new mummy who feels as though this is what she was made for...


And a new Nana who feels something so extraordinary she can scarcely find the words. But sometimes, who needs words?


Such was my joy that when I returned home after midnight to discover that H had gine to bed, was fast asleep, with ear plugs in situ, having locked the door and left the key in the lock, I was well and truly locked out, well I only hated him for a fleeting moment, as long as it took Jordan to run up the hill and climb through the downstairs window that H had left open. ( there's something to worry about when I fly to Boston in 19 days time!! Must convince him that a burglar could just as easily get in that window and steal his laptop in a trice!)
Oh what a day we had.
I am a Nana. For real.


I am a Nana.

JOSHUA ALEC 7lbs 9.5oz 10.10pm June 7th 2008. Precious boy. I am a Nana.

I have so much to say but I am so overwhelmed that I will let you see why and tomorrow tell the tale, I was so happy to be there. What a joy.


Friday, June 06, 2008

And now, for something completely different!

Things are not going well. Elijah has had some kind of weird stomach thing for a full week, perfectly well and cheerful he has had diarrhea the likes of which has had me heaving and gagging, he is completely cheerful, wants to eat and yet...over and over again, farty bum " Eli! Did you poop again? " he does this little jump / surprised look and then says " Hmmm I fink yes I did!" and off we go again. We have bleached, disinfected, anti-bac'd, starved , hydrated and he has skipped and sung and pooped his way through the week.
Last night, Isaac woke up and was all unnecessary, upstairs downstairs, all over the place, H came down here Isaac came in with me and he whined and fidgeted all night until this morning when he let us know what the whining was about....yes more poppy boxers and surprised looks ( well how on earth did THAT happen? Heh heh!) They really think it is hysterical, none of them ( and yes Seth joined in!) are at all miserable, they have been playing, running, jumping and all the while ( pardon my language) shitting through the eye of a needle.
We have had little piles of clean boxer shorts outside the lavatory and they have been running downstairs yelling "Ha! I did it again, the dirty ones are in the basket!" This has to be the most revolting game I have ever witnessed, I am thrilled that they aren't ill as such but good heavens!
Toast and Coca Cola, all day that's it. ( Coke is magical for the runs, and it did work, by lunch time, not that anyone actually ate lunch) the stream ( eww) had run dry and they were safe to stay downstairs. Seth has been up and down those stairs all day long, keeping a tally of how many false alarms he has had. I am so grateful that they are old enough ( apart from Elijah) to just do what needs doing, we have followed behind saying " WASH...use this gel....." and then running to spray and wipe.
We have a strict no farting rule which Eli cannot keep too and so he has been the winner of the clean boxers part of the game. If you get gas, do it on the toilet because this is not fun you guys!
I had to escape just for some fresh air, this house has a cloud of green toxic fumes hovering over it, thank goodness for good weather and open windows.
They were all pretty much exhausted by 8pm, they watched the Lakers /Celtics game and were asleep in minutes.
8.30 there was a loud and piercing scream and then as I reached the bedroom, more puke than I have ever seen, especially from someone so small who has hardly eaten a thing all week. Poor Eli, poor bed and poor my iPod, yes, hoorah for ugly plastic iPod skins with High school musical pictures, that thing saved my iPod from certain puke death.
We stripped the bed and threw the whole lot in a black sack and in the dustbin, life is to short for sorting all that kind of stuff out....ack I shall buy new duvet and sheets tomorrow, that one was in its last legs anyway, luckily the beloved animal blanket had fallen on the floor and escaped the horror.
I put Eli under the shower which always makes him cry, he hates that, wrapped him in a towel while we remade the bed daddy had scrubbed and cleaned and he jumped right in, snuggled down and said " Ahhh, I don't fink I will puke again, night night"
H has gone to bed and said he will be shoving his ear plugs in as far as they will go because he can't bear to hear anymore noises tonight!
I am so glad they are happy but it s the weirdest thing ever!
I have banned Mel and Jordan from the house and I met them outside today in town, I cannot bear the thought that I might miss the baby's birth and even worse have to stay way from him when he IS here.
I can't tell if I feel ill or not, queasy but honestly the day I have had who wouldn't feel ill? So much stink in one day! SO much laundry and cleaning, smells of all kinds and then the disinfectant smell on top....ewwwww and ack.
If I do get sick ( although I have to say I absolutely don't believe in being sick, it is against my core beliefs, so I think I will be fine) I will stay away from Mel and Jordan completely and I think my heart will break a big bit. I have so enjoyed this time getting to know Mel, I love the fact that I love her so and that she rather likes me. Mel's mum is flying in on monday, if that little stinker hasn't been born before then, Mel is being induced on monday. I have a terrible feeling that I am going to miss him being born, between this bug and Mel's mum being here....Mel says it won't matter that the more the merrier but it will matter.
I want them to enjoy the birth of their baby, I won't turn it into a 3 ring circus and I don't know Mel's mum well enough to be able to relax when she is around, she is entitled to be right by her daughters side if that is what Mel wants and so if she is here before the baby is born I will step back and wait until she has flown back to Turkey before I muscle in and love on that baby.
If this bug keeps wreaking havoc it won't be a choice anyway. It's all a bit cruel isn't it? Right now, this whole puke thing?
Mel and Jordan have completely accepted that this baby doesn't seem to know how to get out on his own, she says she is only uncomfortable when she has contractions and that she has accepted that he will be here on monday, with help. It is a relief to see her happy again, she will have her mum close by for a week and any girl wants that at a time like this, just 2 days to wait and then he will be here, or on his way for sure! Please let that stomach flu be a 24 hour one, I have no idea why Eli has had this for so long, he has been a stinker for sneaking food whenever we aren't looking so hopefully the other boys will be better by the morning, I am afraid to go to bed for fear of being woken up by nightmarish scenes of mass pukedom. I might have me an all night vigil, at least until H wakes up which is usually around 3am.
I am more than a little fed up by the timing of all this and just hope that the morning brings miraculous healing of all things stomach related.
This has been an incredibly emotional week, all without even seeing that little person arrive, who knows what it will feel like when he is here. I have been a weepy old thing all week.
I am weepy with relief about Sophie and her job, scared that having money will take her back down the scary road, excited about the baby, disappointed that he isn't here, excited, disappointed, excited about Boston, scared about Boston, thrilled that even in my wildest dreams I wouldn't have imagined things falling together in such a way for this trip, I think that I am really meant to go and have the time of my life, I am so thankful to all the people that have made it happen for me ( oooh is this a speech?? Where's the podium?)
I feel something so huge is happening and of course it is, so much going on all at once. Almost too much to take in at one time. Lucky me. I just can't wait for this baby.

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Oh look! No baby!

I am such a snob about my blog, if I bore myself thinking about what to write...I don't write anything, I'm sorry if there are aching fingers clickedy clicking the refresh button to see if this tardy grandbaby of mine has deigned to bless us with his presence. The answer to that is still a resounding NO I am afraid.
I started to write a witty update that was to end with THE END because that would have made me hoot with laughter, but dear life it was dull and never got further than 'we walked' and so delete and shut down won over the day.
How many times can an impatient Nana to be say " No baby yet" without driving herself nutso?
Jordan and Mel have turned their phones off, that means that I am getting ALL the phone calls, I get all the emails and all the texts.
I broke down last night and mentioned the nipple stimulation, Mel reacted pretty much the way I Imagined she would " Oh, I know about that but you have to do it for HOURS!" and the midwife has told her about sex so I can leave that one alone.
We have walked, bounced, eaten spicey food, worn my fingers to the bone with reflexology and back massaging with Clary sage and Jasmine, Mel can barely walk because " Oh, do pardon me for waddling but there is a head between my legs" the boy is a sneeze away from falling out. If all else fails, on monday she will be induced, which by then will mean the Doctor saying " COUGH" and making sure he is in the line of fire to catch said lazy gitlet.
He is just too much like his parents, both of whom will happily stay in one spot having a doze until something exciting comes along or they are physically ousted from their warm and cosy spot.
He is a week late today, I forgot to see what the stupid widget was saying.....I think it may have started from scratch becuase last time I looked it said 10 days to go, I didn't show Mel that because she may well have shot the messenger, we are treading lightly around this normally sweet and placid girl at the moment.
HA HA HA!! LOOK! The baby in the WIDGET has gone, been born, got out, My grandbaby wins! Na na na na na ( but not NANA!) well if that doesn't pretty much say it all. I am ridiculously annoyed by that because i was looking forward to making that skinny little baby disappear when my real life plump and healthy boy grandchild arrives, how dare they presume that because 41 weeks arrived it must mean that the baby was born and I forgot to remove said widget. How very dare they?

What other news? Diarrhea, so much of it. Eli has had it for a week and that may be because he keeps sneaking the worst kind of food ...Isaac came into our bed last night and whimpered for 2 hours..then let us know why, Seth just began his day by yelling that he needed a shower, say no more.
I will take the time to say THREE WEEKS TODAY I will be in Boston, with the laughing ladies.
I have been having a huge private freak out this week about it. The beginnings of the flying colly-wobbles have begun which I expected, I can battle with those I think, not nearly as worrying to be flying alone, when I knew that the boys were flying with us in December I was so sick of the idea it took a hefty prescription to even get me to the airport.
My freak out this week is all about me. It is truly a battle of wills, with a Fat, poor chick on one shoulder and a reasonable loving one on the other.

Fat chick " Oh my goodness would you look at you! Are they all going to get a shock when they clap eyes on YOU "

Reasonable Loving Chick " what utter hogwash, does it matter to YOU what anyone looks like?"

FC " No, but that may because they are all so lovely and have nice homes and pretty clothes, they are girly and know what to wear with what, unlike ME with my 'this fits, that'll do ' approach to life.

RLC " You are being ridiculous now. Your home could be lovely if you got off your admittedly large backside and did something with it, 5 months is long enough....get up and make it beautiful, so its rented, big deal, that means the landlord gets to pay for repairs, doesn't mean you are destined to live in a squat, do your stuff"

FC "Don't you start in me RLC, I am going to Boston, I need money for that, we are hittin Target and outlet malls , I am squirrelling money away, every wooden blind I buy now means 10 minutes in a shop in Boston, Priorities people priorities!"

RLC "well there you go, you answered yourself, your house isn't worthy of showing because you made a choice, you look the way you do because you make a choice everytime you open your mouth and shove food into it, can't help you with the crazy hair, that's your dad's doing and you can't speak ill of the dead, you may have to suck that one up and pray for no rain or humidity when you get to Boston. Clothes, hmmm Target have good ones, you're going to have to fight that life long battle wherein you feel obliged to buy for every one else and not yourself, if you want nice clothes you need to buy them and then wear them...unavoidable"

FC....."ack, you got me there, that's a tough one alright. I shall make it my challenge when I get there to buy things for ME, might need some pushing in that direction, will you help me out?

RLC " you bet I will, just make sure you don't go buying any wooden blinds for that house before you go, just shut the curtains and pretend you are out if anyone calls, that old 'sorry we're in a mess but we just moved in' statemnnet so doesn't work anymore."

I am trying to say that every negative ridiculous statement churning around in my head is just that, I know that all those people I am going to meet, love who I am, they don't care if I live in a rented house with ill matching curtains and carpets, with antwacky old paintwork and grotty lampshade, they don't give a stuff whether I have a credit card or not, they won't notice ( and even if they did won't care a jot) that my clothes aren't crisp and pretty, new and fetching, I know all this, I don't need anyone to tell me that it doesn't matter, I know it.....making myself accept it is the hard part.
I glimpse myself in a shop window and just feel like scuttling away into a hole, I am dreading having cameras pointed at me and feeling that maddening grimace that can't quite make it into smile, that look of complete idiocy that fills my face whenever there is a camera pointed anywhere in my direction, it's beyond me why I can't just smile and be done with it.
Oh look a camera! Look stupid!
Anyway, I am giving myself a jolly good talking to, by the time I get to Bsoton I shall be so maddeningly confident I suspect I may find myself shoved to the back of the room when the camera come out because 'remember Helen? How annoying was SHE? My goodness she was in our faces the whole time with her 'take a picture of ME!' '
I have found a song just right for the occassion....all together now......

Oh and before I go....guess what! No baby yet. ( not even in that little widget up there, nope not even there!)

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Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Almost, but not quite.

I think, in fact I almost know that it Is possible to die whilst laughing, I almost did today. I can't remember the last time I laughed the way I did today, gulping, unable to breathe in, whistling 'til you drop laughing. I was afraid at the same time as just heaving with mirth.
Why you ask? Well, I shall tell you.
Mel had an appointment with her midwife this morning, hoorah, progress, the midwifes words were " you can't be more ready without actually being in labour, 2cms dilated, fully effaced and the baby's head is so low she could stroke it, +2 station then. Memories swept ( oh that phrase will always be now won't it? Never a membrane sweep, always a memory sweep ) and it worked! Mel totally forgot all her previous frustration, such hope and griping contractions......hoorah!
So we went shopping, we had lunch, we did more shopping with ooofing and ooh hang on. let me grab you-ing.
We did reflexology, we ate, walked and we walked some more.
We went into TKMaxx and looked at the lovely things, baby clothes, grown up clothes and shoes. Oh the shoes! Jordan saw a pair of basketball boots and he put them on and that was my undoing, these were the biggest shoes any of us have ever seen in our lives, they were a size 20, which I think is a 22 in the states. They were HUGE, now Jordan has enormous feet, long thin feet.....but these shoes on the end of his long lanky legs, oh dear.
I laughed and I laughed, he laughed and we couldn't see Mel and as I gasped for breath and somehow told him he mustn't take them off, I called her cell phone..she answered but it was too late, I had passed the point of being able to speak, while she "What?? WHAT? I have no idea what you are saying??!!!" I managed to wheeze "Shoes..come to shoes..." and I knew that if she laughed the way I was, she would have that baby right there in the shoe aisle of TKMaxx.
She didn't find them half as funny as I did though, she just stood open mouthed asking what size they were...until she tried them on and they stuck out further than her belly and then she laughed and I still laughed! I really thought I might die, almost but not quite.
I did of course take pictures, but only had my cell phone and I can't for the life of me work out how to get them from phone to PC, I have set up, downloaded, sync'd and given up. Darn it.
My chest ached for a long time after that laugh, and I felt so charged and ready, for what? For this baby. He is coming, he really is but he is as laid back as his parents and will do what he needs to do.
We have added red raspberry leaf tea to the regime, purely because it can't hurt. I drank raspberry leaf tea with 5 of my pregnancies, I swear by it but I drank it from 24 weeks, every day and at the end of my pregnancies I upped the intake to 3 cups of very strong tea a day. After each easy labour, without fail the placenta has been admired and the cord marvelled over. It works, it does not start labour but it sure as eggs makes it work when its going. It increases a great blood supply and helps the uterus contract effectively.
Anything that can't hurt and may help is being brought in.
There have been many contractions since this morning, not regular but often, they have been mild and some have been enough to make Mel grimace and life her bottom of the seat, she has climbed stairs and more stairs and has been doubled over with some great contractions.
We have no idea what will happen, I am convinced that the time is very close, the biggest pointer is that it appears that Jordan is driving her insane. By his very being, he is wrong, annoying and anyway why is he HERE?! By the way...don't TOUCH me. How cool is that? If you ask me, in my vast experience of impending motherhood....she's almost there. I have yet to meet a woman who adores her partner while in labour, I have no idea why we turn into snarling animal like creatures when we are birthing our babies, I don't understand why the very presence of the father of our baby is so irritating to us, if they try to leave or even suggest perhaps going outside for a breath of fresh air after being stuck in that delivery room for 18 hours, well see how that goes over don't leave til I say you can leave and it is not yet, no its not....but just don't touch me unless I say and then do it right or heaven help me you will feel the pain as deeply as I do. Oh....and don't breathe on me because it hurts, your breath hurts, in fact, to be safe, just don't breathe. At all. Until I say so.
The power we women have when we are reproducing is phenomenal, we are not to be messed with are we?
So, right now ( having just had a call from Jordan) they contractions have begun in earnest, they are hurting, we like hurt. Is he coming, this grandson of mine? Well, almost, but not quite.

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Tuesday, June 03, 2008

I am such a liar.

We have changed our minds. The baby is staying where he is and we are not giving it another thought. We don't mind at all...ho hum, take your time.
Today there has been no reflexology, no Clary sage or jasmine oil, forget the blasted eggplant Parmesan, walking? Nope. He can just stay rigt where he is.
We are not talking about him, or even thinking about him. Nope not even a bit.
We are skipping a shower, letting our hair stay dirty, we care not whether the camera has batteries or the phone is charged, I haven't looked at the petrol gauge because who the hell is going anywhere?
Oh we have much more interesting things to discuss, the weather for example, sunny and warm and well, we can sit and relax and who in their right mind would want to be pushing a pram on a day like this? Especially one with a tiny baby in, with bendy little corn beef legs and tiny socks...not us, nope, not us.
I mean, it's just a baby isn't it? We can walk down the street, any day of the week and see everyone elses babies and we can ooh and ahh and then tell ourselves that by the time our baby is here, well THAT baby will be so yesterday and dull, ours will be all new and tiny and the best one in the world, so no hurry, we can wait.
All this impatience, it's for other people, not for us, because'll all happen when it's meant to happen, when he's ready he will be born or when the Dr thinks he is cooked enough he will encourage him to come on out ...which always makes me sad ( although 5 out of 6 of my children have had to be ousted by forceful means!) why sweat it?
We have stopped worrying ( anyone convinced yet??)
We looked at tiny clothes today and said " see that? we would buy that if you were out but ha! Back on the rack, you blew it baby, see? That'll show you tardy boy!"

Every day seems so long....and that's just for me, I daren't ask how Mel is about it all, we don't need to ask because its plain to see how she feels, or felt, because now we all have a completely new outlook.
Oh for goodness sake, I am so unconvincing, luckily the boy can't read, so hopefully is he is totally convinced and will GET OUT ALREADY!