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When you are: September 2009

29 September 2009

Potentially offline for a while

I'm changing domain registrar so may be offline while the transfer takes place. If there is an outage hopefully it won't be for long. And I hope I don't miss the email from eBuyer saying I've won a new car!!

23 September 2009

Advice taken (to the letter of the law)

Well stated, my favourite read is Marcus Berkmann's Fatherhood: The Truth. He knows this, the blog has seen traffic from his house. So I'll go out on a limb and say that there is one piece of advice he gives that I have recently mentioned again, but have taken quite literally over the last couple of nights. And that is not to make any jokes about pie eating.

BUT, and here's the crucial part, he does not mention that the older sibling can't say anything about our pastry topped cuisine. So when I ask number one who ate all the pies...


And that absolves me, and Marcus, of any responsibility.

14 September 2009

[2] Looking for a new car - groundhog day has started

It had to happen, and it's happened now. We're having to revisit the old task of looking for a replacement vehicle due to the expanding family.

When MOTS said goodbye to her Bug in favour of an American piece of gutless scrap we didn't consider the possibility of a second. Which meant our requirements were OK with the hatchback. But now, with a boot full to the brim last month for camping and the very real event of needing additional space for number 2's gear, we are not going to manage to travel with just the hatch or the saloon. We are entering a new world, that of the ESTATE.

Next I'll be wearing cord patches on my elbows. An ESTATE? Me? Oh no, what have I become? Never before in a car brochure have I read how many litres of fresh air is in the boot, but it's now target number 1. Oh, how things change!! And with a tighter budget for a bigger car this is going to be a big challenge.

11 September 2009

[2] The clue's in the title...

I have posts, unpublished and never to be, dating back to May 2008 on this particular topic. So what I'm trying to do is look back at them, summarise, and post in one go. I expect it won't be a short one, so here we go.

And as it say's "the clue's in the title"!

Just so we're clear, the title holds the clue!

Before the onslaught of the economic disaster that was the latter part of 2008, we had re-evaluated our pension plans and realised that our existing plans were not going to come to fruition. Besides, all it was doing was fuelling the already overheating property market. And with a couple of close calls we decided to stick the sensible hat on and concentrate on paying one mortgage off before taking on another. To cut to the chase, we started overpaying our existing mortgage and gave up on the idea of going into buy to let.

After doing the sums we got to the point of realising that the amount we pay on nursery fees, more than our mortgage overpayments, could be going on reducing our mortgage even further. In fact we are actually paying 3 mortgages just now anyway - our own, the overpayment, and nursery fees. But what if we didn't overpay? We'd still be debt free in under 15 years. What if we reduced the mortgage amount but kept the original term, rather than reducing it? Extra monthly cash, that's for sure.

And then I had a brainwave.

If we reduce the mortgage amount, but keep the same term, the reduced payments will cover Junior #2's childcare, until Junior #1 goes to school at least.

Whoooaaaaa, that came from left field. And within an evening we've gone from having had no discussion on the subject whatsoever to us writing on bits of paper what our thoughts are about having another sproglet, so we can simultaneously show the other whether this was an option or not for each of us.

Now when we started off the first time round, we almost did the "yes / no" on a bit of paper thing, but didn't need to as we were on the same page with it. This time we did, and initial non-committal-food-for-thought-only thoughts were:

Me: Whatever (I sneaked a third option on the inside of the paper, much to MOTS' annoyance!)

And then some deeper discussion took place and an hour later we did the paper thing again, this time with a more serious undertaking. And MOTS took my paper so I didn't have "Whatever". But I did write on hers "DEFER", and also on mine, meaning defer decision for sleeping on and consideration.

Me: Whatever

Eh? I managed to sneak another "Whatever" on this slip of paper too! Bastard, me, apparently.

Try again. Not expecting MOTS to change her defer, I wasn't disappointed. My "whatever" lost 5 characters, work that out for yourselves!

24 hours later and MOTS is clearly a yes but without the guts to admit it. ASDA didn't have any pre-natal pills in, so she's obviously looking. We're MOTS is thinking about time-scales and when to go to HMBARNS next year*, and could we change it if plans had to change, we'll have to ditch the two cars and get an estate... She's a yes but too scared to admit it.

Oh, the blog. Hmm, that's going to be a tricky one. Obviously I can't post as we go as we'll give the game away. This first part was all written up originally in May of 2008, so has gone unpublished for a while.

The interim has been with its little dramas, but we're finally there. One weekend in July of 2009 we get blue lines all over the little white stick. As luck would have it it was our wedding anniversary, so poor MOTS was dry when we went out. The sacrifices... and the test hadn't even been done at that point! But a great morning after when it was!!

So quite a gap there. A few moments, but those are for after dinner conversations.

Yes, here we are, we're having another. Are we mad? Certified. We have someone to blame - one of the nursery staff said it would be good for the first, to give him something to focus on, to look after. And with that if it all goes horribly wrong it'll be Gayle's fault!

Bedtime reading: Berkmann. Surprised?

* When this first section was written we had already booked 2009's visit to HMBARNS. By the time we got blue lines we'd been, so needn't have worried. This time, however, we're looking at having a very very very young one just before we go, so WILL have to change dates. Sorry, Vicki....



The clue's in the title.... it's also been a clue in the category list for a while too. As I've been writing posts but leaving them unpublished MT has picked up the new category and added it to the index, with no posts viewable under it. Did anybody ask? No. Did anybody wonder? Hmm...... did anyone notice?

Right now MOTS is feeling ever more tired, having left me and the boy to our own devices in a museum yesterday to go and sit in the car for a bit of a timeout.

I'm not immune - currently on call for work one week in two, plus I seem to have a deluge of extended family PC related issues to be on the case for too, so I never seem to be getting to grips with the impending arrival - and I've only known [for certain] for 8 days. I can't say anything though, just hope I get no more hassle so I can start thinking about what the bedrooms are going to look like in a few months time.

We're planning some changes, the odd wall out here and there to get rid of some useless built-in wardrobes, and to get the first born's new bed in what is currently the guest bedroom (that's the end of an era, can't afford the luxury of that space any more). So that's the bed having to go, and any guests having to doss down on the futon in my office - Hmm, nice. We can recommend some nice local hotels though...

Yes, it's all change. We know what to expect, so it's more relaxed this time so far. But then again we have no idea what to expect. We will know the practicals, like which end of the nappy is which (seriously, we had a long hard look at them when MOTS was up the duff the first time, wondering whether that flimsy seam was really meant to split when you put it on). But we have no idea about some of the others, like dropping off time at nursery and school, fights, where the third one's going to sleep (I'm not losing the office).



9 days to go to the first scan at just under 9 weeks. And we finally have a nickname that has sort of stuck. Nicknames, pet names, they tend to be my domain in terms of ideas, getting ratified by the fat lady (to be). But this time it was all her doing. And the name? Well, it's the combination of an anagram and an acronym. The two components are:

TWO - the clue's in the title
ITS - as I wind the fat lady (to be) up about the possibility of twins, and as our financial ruin would be impending for any number of girls, we go for Iain's Twin Sisters.

Jumble all that up to get an all time favourite snack, the Wotsit.

Having ratified the fat lady (to be)'s idea of Wotsit, I sit here giggling at the prospect of getting a good slap on the train tonight when I present her with a bag of them. Will it hurt? Yes. Will it be worth it? Certainly. My only regret is not buying a multi-pack, but I suppose bags of crisps are really the only thing cheaper in sixes - our very own Wotsit certainly won't be!



Yesterday the fat lady (to be) had an appointment near where I work, so I walked along with her. As she approached my work her gate was noticeably different. Was it the hand in the pocket? Or something else?

I have been saying that this time around it will all appear a bit quicker. Citing every other local mum who has changed sooner with #2 there's always been some excuse - yeah but Alison is smaller to start with, Brenda is on number 3, Cathy is blonde. So tonight, at just under 8 weeks, when she came home and said her trousers were feeling a little tighter I had to offer my words of wisdom. That it was because, either:

  1. I was right, she's changing earlier
  2. She ate all the pies

Either way I was on a hiding for it. But if she has to go out and spend money earlier, then so be it - I just hope she enjoys doing so. While she can.

8 days to first scan... I don't think we need it, it's just a confirmation of what we already know. But, it will be of use because I for one am in denial. Not in the same way I was the first time around, I'm more relaxed, but until I see on that screen a little heartbeat I won't believe that there will be four of us. I'm really looking forward to it, but still with some level of anxiety just because of history. Overall I'm looking at it as a stage to tell Grandparents. And I have ideas of how to break the news, although that ball will ultimately be in MOTS' court.



Swimming today for the first time in ages. MOTS ducked out on this one as she's been feeling very tired over the last 3 weeks, with an increasing level of nausea. Our local council considers it bad form for any form of pizza (pavement or otherwise) to be left in the pool.

Me and my boy enjoyed it though, and I know we'll have a lot more time as just the two of us as time goes on. That's why we bought a 2 man tent as well as a family tent - so the two of us can head off for a night or two. I'm looking forward to that, when he's a little older (not too much) and can help, get involved more, and really enjoy himself. And once he can erect the tent himself then I can sit back and relax with Auntie Stella...



With baited breath we have been looking forward to today. A little apprehensively, but at the same time with excitement. Or so it was on my part. On both parts there was denial, but on MOTS' part there was a defence mechanism in place that would not let any excitement in.

So what has today been?

Our 8-and-a-half week scan. Given history we have the opportunity for a check-up to make sure everything is going well, so having taken it with boy wonder we have taken it again. And given the number of rooms for scans we were surprised to be in the same room yet again - fourth time in the same room. It was only last week I was describing the layout to MOTS, and was not far off 100% accuracy. So it felt familiar, comfortable (apart from for MOTS who was bursting for a pee given the necessity for a full bladder).

There she laid. There I sat. And on went the scanning head. Right, there's the bladder, very full. And there's a another black void - ahh, that'll be the bits we're interested in.

With boy wonder we got straight there, cut to the chase, found him first go, with a heart beating. No such luck this time. No sign of anything. So my hand got grabbed tightly. And then we got the commentary:

"There's the yolk". Seen that before years ago. Still nothing else.
"And there's baby". Hand being squeezed still, no sign of movement.
"And there..." we can see it, thank fuck for that, "... is the heartbeat"

Denial over. Panic over. Apprehension over. Measuring starts. 18mm. 18mm of thing making Mummy very tired and feeling pukey all the time. Diced carrots, anyone?

More to the point, MOTS can calm down now after winding herself up ahead of this afternoon. And I can lay off being so supportive, it's tiring sometimes. Not that I would ever shirk that responsibility - more relish it. The only thing is I can't wind her up about the possibility of twins any more. GUTTED.

Oh, and no pictures printed, DOUBLE GUTTED. Which throws my plans for how to tell grandparents right out of the window. Oh well, we're going to make that call in a few minutes*, wish us luck! We're not sure what the reaction will be like or who will be most surprised by it.

*Actually typed up on the 6th, we had "our little secret" for a night!



And that's grandparents told. Over Skype, and under the pretence of talking about PCs. Now who would buy that sort of line??????

It IS twins, by the way.

Oh look, ANOTHER sucker......



Careful times ahead, with the annual birthday BBQ coming up very soon, and it being ahead of the "normal" let the news be told stage, MOTS is fearing being rumbled. Oh well, if she is it'll only be a couple of weeks until the news is out for real. Literally, only 2 weeks - from BBQ to scan we're looking at 13 days. Talk about bad timing!



Vicki has very kindly let us rearrange our trip to HMBarns next year - very much appreciated! I think we owe Vicki & Steve two lunches now (actually three if you use my accounting methods). In her last email she's asked how boy wonder is taking the news.

And that starts raising interesting questions that we'll need to consider later on, some of which we've thought about already, some of which we hadn't. Big post due on that one later, but highlights here. As of yet all I've asked, much to MOTS' annoyance, is whether he'd like a baby sister. "Hmm." Baby brother? "Yeah". Well, that seals the deal then. Above that no proper talks, it's too far away to be building his excitement up just now, but we will explain as the fat lady turns up. In the interim that leaves one question to be thought about when it comes to gender - do we tell him, do we find out at all, or do we wait for the big day like we did the first time around? Big day for me... 100%.

And thanks due to Grandpa for the useful tip about big toy from baby sibling to older sibling - taken on board. Hmm, on board - sounds like a boat to me, I'm thinking about 60' long, 43hp Beta Marine engine, moored up near Skipton.



The dating scan. Could be descriptive of the act of browsing some match-making lonely-hearts website if it wasn't for a context around it - the dating scan was this afternoon. Vital statistics were on the report afterwards:

  • Measurements: 52.4mm (up from 18.9mm in 3 weeks and 2 days)
  • Gestation: 11 weeks 6 days
  • Count: 2 - yes, it's twins
  • Cardiac pulsation seen: Yes (why they just can't write "heartbeat" I'll never know)
  • Activity: Yes
  • Official due date: 13 March 2010
  • Daddy joking: Yes - there's only a count of 1 in there
  • Picture count: 3 (up from 0 in 3 weeks and 2 days)

We had the first son and heir in with us, and with a few "moments" of wanting to go back to see the trucks in the main waiting room he cooled down and was as good as gold in the scanning room. Having a second screen which the two of us got to stand by was a bonus - a new addition since we were in there first time around - a less than satisfying experience back then. No, this time was great. Apart from he thought it was him as a baby, mainly because we have the video of his scan on the iPod Touch and he plays it between screenings of Wall.E, Cars and Finding Nemo. At some point he'll realise that he's going to have a baby brother or sister, and that it is NOT going to be a figment of John Lasseter's imagination!

New album created, the URL for which, along with username and password, should be passed on accordingly. If you haven't got them, email me!



The news is slowly starting to break out. Not long to go now before it's absolute common knowledge. We haven't really planned an order of service, so with a couple of folk told already for specific reasons, then it'll be a press release soon. The sooner the better I say, this post is getting far too big!

05 September 2009

Baby's first...foul language

It had to happen at some point. Armed with soap and water, the mouth now needs a good clean-out.

On Tuesday night MOTS had to take her car in for an MOT test the following day, so I followed her to the garage with boy wonder in tow. On the High Street there was the usual double-parking, and as usual chaotic due to it being a Co-Op delivery wagon right next to a mini-roundabout.

MOTS gave way to the oncoming traffic that had right of way over her, I was two cars behind at this stage watching to see if there was a gap big enough for the three cars to get through. I was also aware of the pink Punto with pink flower stickers* on the side waiting to get out of a side street opposite the truck.

Then the gap opened up.

And out in front of MOTS darted the Punto. "Cheeky bastard" said Rich at work when I told him this. "And those are EXACTLY the same two word I used". Closely followed by the same words being repeated in the back seat. With a Scottish twang, of course - more like "Cheeky basta".

It was always going to be me. It was always going to be in the car. The only surprise is that it took so long.

* Note: This very girlie colouring was being driven by some big bald headed bloke who looked a bit of a hard-case. Seriously. Maybe that's why he wanted out, so nobody saw him driving his bird's car.

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