Friday, 26 August 2011

Nous Sommes Back!

I know that one shouldn't complain when one is on holiday, but here are ten things I have struggled with whilst in the South of France (in 38 degree heat) and very heavily pregnant...

1) Heaving my remarkable bulk onto a lilo whilst retaining some dignity.
2) Watching all around me drink copious amounts of rose whilst I look on enviously.
3) Not being able to kyak to the Pont du Gard for fear of disproving Archimedes' Principle (and capsizing).
4) Heaving my remarkable bulk up from a sun-lounger.
5) French squat toilets: difficult to negotiate with precarious centre of gravity. (Although I did find the fact that Gertie did a wee on her grandmother's foot the first time she attempted to use one more than faintly amusing.)
6) Avoiding all those delicious but 'illegal' cheeses.
7) Covering up the chloasma or pregnancy mask.
8) Trying to get my back as brown as my front: impossible with a bump this size!
9) Climbing to the top of the amphitheatre in Nimes. Highly ambitious given the size and quantity of the steps.
10) Looking glamorous in a bikini. Ha!

That's not to say that it wasn't all brilliant and worthwhile. The 14 hour drive home was interesting, although my husband probably didn't fully appreciate the urgency and frequency with which one has to pee in this condition.

37 Weeks Pregnant: Wondering why I finally have an 'outie' belly-button when that never happened with babies 1 and 2.
Currently reading: How to Be a Woman
by Caitlin Moran

Friday, 12 August 2011

The Pied Piper of Languedoc


Well here we are in the south of France once more, staying at a fabulous house complete with pool in a tiny French village in the Languedoc region. All idyllic, and there are still two weeks to go.

The particular joy of this place is that it contains enough rooms to accommodate both sets of grandparents plus an aunt and uncle and neice or nephew or two. Admittedly, in some families this could represent a vision of hell, but with the constant vying for the attention of the grandchildren, Big-Fat-Enormously-Heavily-Pregnant-Mummy gets to have some proper rest and relaxation.

And my mother (or 'Nano' to the grandchildren) appears to have turned into the pied piper of Hamelin, merrily leading all the children off in the early morning to get the freshly-baked baguettes, pains au chocolat and croissants for le petit dejeuner, thereby leaving parents who inevitably stayed up too late the night before to have an extra hour's peace in bed. Though she brings them back later, so this legend has a slightlier happier outcome than its German counterpart.

Need to supervise a two-year-old and a four-year-old in the pool whilst you get on with the important business of sunbathing? Then there's an uncle or older neice on hand to fulfil that role. Bliss.

I just hope this baby doesn't come early. Usually I'm wishing these last few weeks away, just wanting to get on with the business of meeting the new arrival. Not this time!

36 weeks pregnant: Wondering if participating in the extremely competitive volleyball tournament was the most sensible idea, and pondering exactly how one can achive an all over tan when clearly lying on one's stomach is a physical impossibility.

Currently reading: The Book Thief
by Markus Zusak

Wednesday, 3 August 2011

Things That Go Bump in the Kitchen


Another year, another birthday, another mess in the kitchen, another baking triumph (but don't look too closely, it's a little, er, 'rustic' round the edges).

Yes, Gilby was two last week, and with a few days to go before the event he announced that he no longer wanted another train cake, but 'Mr Bump'. Good, I thought, at least it's round. Though blue was not the most appetising colour for the, mostly adult, guests at his tea party.

Pregnancy hormones must be kicking in big time, because I also MADE bunting for the occasion. I saw some for sale at the primary school fete and thought, 'Twenty quid for a couple of metres? Pah! I'll make it!'

So, having invested in a sewing machine and a selection of fabric, I reckon my bunting has set me back over £200. Oh well.

But the little man was on top form, dressed in shirt and tie for the day, and even going as far as to sit back up in bed, more tired than I've ever seen him, just after kissing him goodnight to say, "Thank you for my party, mummy," in the sweetest, most angelic little voice.

Now, lest all this sound too good to be true, and I'm even sickening myself with the homely baking and bunting imagery, let me just pronounce, for the record, that the terrible twos began in earnest the very next day as Gilby kicked and screamed and demanded, "More presents, more presents, more presents..." for hours. So domestic bliss was short-lived...

34 Weeks pregnant: Definitely not feeling the bikini body...
Currently reading: That Summer in Ischia
by Penny Feeny