DD minus What? - The Introduction

Right, so before you all get cranky with me for having missed quite a few days on this countdown, let me explain two things:

#1: I missed Christmas Day and Boxing Day because, well, theyre Christmas Day and Boxing Day. I had people to see, presents to unwrap and a big plate of fresh prawns to eat.

#2: I've missed the other 3 days because, well....i gave birth.

Yes, ladies and gents, you ready that correctly - i would formally like to introduce the blogging world to Flynn Charlie Freshfield, born December 27th, 2009 ( or at what would have been DD minus 15) :

There he is - my very own little dude. After having known since the 20 week mark that we were having a boy it has been fantastic to finally meet him. I wont go into the gory details of the actual birth ( although i probably will at some point - its a tale every mother wants to tell ) but suffice to say after only 6 hrs from first contraction til the big arrival i was happy to see a perfectly formed little person turn up. If you cant tell from the photo Flynn has his daddys nose and my hair ( check out the hair - isnt he spunky?! ) and he weighed in at 6lbs and 9 ounces he's on the smaller side of average ( which tends to happen when you arrive 2 weeks earlier than expected ).

So far, all is going relatively well - he's had a little trouble getting the hang of the whole feeding thing and he has this funny little sqeaky noise coming from the back of his throat when he's sleeping deeply - which alternately super cute and super scary because it sounds like he's struggling for breath - but other than that both he and I - the mumma! - are doing just fine.

So there you be. I'll leave it relatively short and sweet for now. I just thought i would take advantage of the fact that Mr Gil was kind, and smart, enough to bring me my lap top to amuse me during this 3rd day in hospital and fill you loyal reader type people in on my absence. Hoping you all had a very Merry Christmas and wishing you all the best for your New Years celebrations ( i predict mine will be spent in front of the tv, watching fireworks from downtown Sydney whilst i breastfeed)......

DD minus 18: Santa Comes Tonight!

Indeed he does - and for anyone who's counting, yes i missed another day ( through circumstances i care not to discuss right now, i was unable to use my computer ).

So yes - its Christmas Eve, which in my immediate family is both an exciting and sad time, all at once. I know thats i've mentioned it before on this blog and on previous blogs, so i wont dwell on it too much but Christmas Eve is a little sombre in my family as my younger brother passed away on this day - 20 years ago this year in fact. 20 years is a long time ( so long that my mind boggled when i realised the whole anniversary this morning ) but suffice to say i'm pretty sure it hurst now less, especially for my parents. So there's the sad part.

However, now that there are little kids in our family again, its back to having that whole exciting, " Santa comes tonight!!!! " part. This of course applies to my brother and sister-in-law with both of my neices but what is exciting is that next year this part will apply to me. At least a little. My baby will be just under 1 yr old next Christmas, so its not like they will realise who Santa is or what he does, but i myself can get caught up in the whole baby's first Christmas and baby's first photo with Santa thing. Its going to be cute.

And yes, before anyone gets a little up in arms, i know that Santa is the only dude who gets a little loving at Christmas. I understand that there is another guy by the name of Jesus who was apparently born on December 25th and that quite a few ( million ) people around the world happen to have a special celebration to celebrate his birthday. So here i am acknowledging Jesus' role in this most sweet and joyous of holidays, even though i dont subscribe to his particular brand of religion.

Neither, apparently does little H - she told me earlier that Grandma had been reading her a story about Mother Mary and the Baby Cheese......

DD minus 20: The Day Of The Slug ( And Winning An Award )

The day of the slug - and who, or what, is the slug you may ask ? The slug, my friends, is me. Thats what i felt like today - a big fat lazy slug. I woke up as the same time as usual, got up with Mr Gil and ate my breakfast and saw him off to work and after he'd left i thought i'd watch the last 20 minutes of the morning variety program. This was at 8:40am - next thing i know, i open my eyes and its 10:30am. I'd fallen back to sleep! And even when i opend my eyes and realised what time it was and what had happened, my first instinct was " man, cant i get just five more minutes ? ". I dont know what it was - maybe i'd done too much work yesterday afternoon after another attack of the nesting instinct - but i was just overwhelmingly tired, lethargic, sluggish; and it didnt really get much better over the course of the day. I had a shower, woke myself up a bit, but all i could manage the motivation for was web-surfing, tv watching and magazine reading. Way to spend the day Amy.
And so, there is not so much to report on today. However, thank god for Chantal over at Growing Up...Townsend Style. She's very kindly bestowed the " Happiness 101 " award on me, and thus she has saved my blog post for the day from complete and utter boringness.

The award also comes with a meme of its own - i'm supposed to list 10 things that make me happy and give this award to 10 other people. That being said, i dont think i want to name 10 of you - i think i'm going to go with 3. I mean, i want to keep this award somewhat exclusive.... if i share it around too much it'll lose all its glory! ( Kidding, of course. Or am I ? ) Anyhoo, 10 things that make me happy:

1. My neices , H and B. One is 4 years old, the other is having their first birthday in 8 days time, but they are both adorable little cuties that do amusing things.

2. " Ripe " by Ben Lee. Its just a really good pop album that makes me want to sing along. Singing along makes me happy.

3. Mr Gil, my gorgeous fiance. Granted sometimes he does things that make me unhappy or frusturated, buut most of the time he makes me insanely happy.

4. Mangoes. One word - yum. I am so having one after i'm done with post.

5. Finishing a crossword puzzle. I'm trying to keep my brain sharp to stave off baby brain moments and possible dementia, so being able to completely finish a crossword puzzle ( and not the type which is entirely made up of pop culture answers ) gives me a real buzz.

6. Blog post comments. Hint, hint people...

7. A really good nap. I know the napping itself is kind of a non-event but its the refreshed feeling after a really well earned nap that makes me happy.

8. " Amelie ". I've seen this movie 7 or 8 times, and i own it on DVD, but it doesnt matter how many times i watch it it never fails to give me that fuzzy, feelgood, feeling.

9. Jeans and a white tank top. I've mentioned the power of this very simple outfit, but i'll say it again - jeans and a white tank or t-shirt always make me feel sexy, and feeling sexy makes me happy. Hell, the power of this outfit has even worked for me whilst i've been pregnant, which is really saying something.

10. Macadamia icecream.....mmm, mmm, mmm, mmm.

And who am i handing my award to?

Sheena at If These Walls Could Talk

Paula at Insert My Blogname Here

Andy at WildARSChase

Go to it people!

DD minus 21: Ah Crud, I Missed A Day

I promised myself that i was going to write a post every day of this countdown and then i got busy and distracted and went and missed a day. Poo to that! It was, of course, 22 days til the due date, it was Sunday yesterday and what distracted me was H's ballet recital and then going out for dinner. Her dance recital was so cute - all the little tiny girls are all dressed in sweet little costumes and they do their little dances as best as they can. At least one girl in every group dances way-out-crazy, and usually someone freezes up and starts either crying or waving to their families in the crowd. Once all the little girls are finished their routines they're allowed to get changed and then sit in the audience to watch the older girls perform. Highlight of the night:
H to my dad, in a quite moment between dances " Hey poppy, you should do ballet instead of golf!! " Every person in the immediate vicinity burst out laughing.....

Now, to today. The majority of it was spent tidying around the house and i finally got around to making more room in our linen cupboard so that i could unpack some more boxes from the garage. Yes, i know what your thinking - i've been living in this house for almost 6 months, surely i'd already done all the unpacking ? Well not quite.... i'd kind of left all the boxes of junk stuff til last because i didnt really have anywhere much to put them. Until today. The nesting instinct strikes again!

The only other noteworthy thing i got up to was catching up with P, my best ( and also pregnant ) friend. We've both been so busy working and doing baby things that we havent had much time for a catch up, but todays weather and the fact neither of us was working made it the perfect day for an icecream break. What was really fantastic though was being able to discuss all the little pregnancy niggles and birth worries with another impending first time mum. I mean dont get me wrong, its nice to get the advice of women who have been there, done that; but it was really great to get to talk about all the worries and issues and discomforts and the handful of good things ( hallelujah for the babys head moving down - i've discovered the ability to breath again! ) with someone else who's experiencing it for the first time and is just as confused as i am. P is due 4 weeks after me, so i suppose i'm just a tiny step ahead of her in terms of growings and goings on, and i'm hoping for her sake ( aswell as my own! ) that i have a good birthing experience..... i dont want to freak her out anymore than she probably already is!

So thats my Monday in a nutshell. For the record it was one scoop of macadamia nut and one scoop of passionfruit icecream and it was scrum-diddly-umptious! Tomorrows agenda? A run to the recycling center with all my excess cardboard - you know, from all that tidying and unpacking i did today - and afternoon tea with my nan, who i wont be seeing on Christmas Day. Oh, also, i plan on fitting in a nap somewhere ......

DD minus 23: Oh Good Lord, I Think I'm Leaking

OK, i dont just think i'm leaking.... i know i'm leaking. I also know that is probably too much information for most of you ( Leaking ?! Leaking what, from where?!? ) but in the rundown to giving birth i wanted to make note of it. Although i know its completely normal, noticing that i've burst some kind of hole in my boobs is kind of a freak out.

And now - forgetting that. Its Saturday! Which you would think seeing as i'm on maternity leave and staying home everyday doesnt mean much, but it does - firstly because it means Mr Gil isnt at work either, and secondly because tonight is my work Christmas do. I'm not going to call it a " bash " because i believe a bash requires a few more than 5 office staff and their partners, and neither does it qualify as a " function " because im thinking not many functions are held on the back patio of someones house. No, i think calling it a " do " is the best way to go on this occasion. Its not a barbecue either because there wont be any actual barbecuing - its just the few us getting together for a drink, a chat and a meal of some nice cold roasted meats, some prawns, salads and dessert and the obligatory pre-meal snacks.... chips, dips and cabanossi and cheese. Mmm, mmm, mmm, mmm, mmm!

I have graciously allowed Mr Gil to have a few beers tonight, seeing as its technically a " do " and all. No, i'm not some kind of beer-Nazi fiance who wont let her man drink - rather i've had to put my foot down and ask that he not have his usual beer or three after work every day just in case i go into labour. I mean the last thing i want to do if i go into labour is try and wake him up when he's sleeping off a few drinks, or have to drive myself to the hospital. To be quite honest, i dont think my head would be clear enough to operate car controls when the moment finally comes!

So, two and half hours out from the do/party thingy, i think i'm going to take a shower, fix myself up with a clean bra and possibly take a nap.... not necessarily in that order. Rundown of party happenings ( and any tantrums that may or may not be thrown over certain presents, as mentioned yesterday ) in tomorrows post!

DD minus 24: Dude, Its Raining

This is highly unusual. Like i said in my post of two days ago, it was 38 degrees celsius and only due to get hotter. Today, out of nowhere, i wake up to an overcast sky, steady rain and 28 degrees celsius. Ah, weather patterns - you never cease to amaze me.

So, with the arrival of a little rain, today has been a good dayto do, well - not much. I had to go out and buy a Secret Santa gift for one of my work colleagues ( my work Christmas party is tomorrow night, and i thought i'd better not leave it til the very last minute ). Only problem is that the guy i had to buy for is not exactly my favourite person in the office. And when you only work with 5 other people, being the " not favourite " is not exactly an enviable position. Anyhoo, so i gotta go out and buy a present for this guy and the only idea i can come up with is either going to tickle his funny bone or completely offend him.

See, my main problem with this guy is that he is a mooch. That is, in an office job where the hours are 9am to 5pm ( what a way to make a living... ) he sits at his desk and actually does some work from, maybe, 11am til 12:30pm, and then from 1:30pm til about 3pm. The rest of his working hours are spent " procrastinating ". You know, for lack of a better term. For instance, we open at 9am and it takes him roughly half an hour to count the cash in his till and organise the days paperwork. Then he volunteers to go and do our banking and walk to the post office to check our mail. This, admittedly, can sometimes take a while, especially if the queues at either place are long - however, a job that takes the rest of us maybe half an hour always seems to take him in the vicinity of 45 minutes to an hour.

So this gets him back around 10:15 am.ish... at which time he'll sit back down at his desk, answer a phone call or two, help a health fund member/customer if he isnt quick enough at hiding from them and then its 10:30am which is time for a coffee break. And, of course, this means he needs to leave the office again to buy his coffee and then his 10 minute morning tea break usually takes him 20 minutes. Which is how we arrive at his 11am start time.

I wont go into the details of his working day after his one hour lunch break ( dishes that need washing, garbage that needs to be taken to the bins, pottering around in my eyewear dispensary and generally annoying J and i ... ) but suffice to say his habit of wheedling his way out of actually work AND GETTING AWAY WITH IT has really given me the proverbial shits. I cant say that i'll miss having to put up with him while i'm away on maternity leave.

So, with that all explained, what did i manage to find and buy him for his Secret Santa gift ? A book entitled " The Lazy Persons Guide To Life ". I happen to find this quite funny, as does J and one of our other colleagues - giving a lazy person a humourous guide to being lazy ..... hilarious! The problem is not only is he a master procrastinator but he also has mood swings like a teenage girl on her period.... which is to say you cant predict them and they arent always pretty. So tomorrow night we find out if he sees the humour in my joke ( even though it is an actual dig at his laziness.... ) or whether he gets offended by the " lazy " tag.

Here's to a good laugh.... and a nice long break from his annoying, whining, woe-is-me, procrastinating ways.....

DD minus 25: More Yucky Medecine?!?

I am not ashamed to admit that i am completely and totally tuckered out as i write this. Hanging out with a 4 year old day has really taken it out of me, so god only knows what i'm going to be like in the first few weeks of having a newborn....

H, my 4 year old neice, is a very cool little person. She's not the kind of little kid thats prone to tantrums ( although when they do happen they can be a doozy! ) and she's happy to sit and watch tv for a while if her very pregnant aunty is a little tired. Even better, she came up with the great idea of playing doctor with me this afternoon - she the doctor and me the lady who has just had a baby ( wow - what an imagination... ). The game involved me lying on the lounge and her checking my heartbeat, blood pressue and throat with her little toy doctors kit, and making me take about 12 doses of yucky faux medecine. I also needed a few needles as did the baby, but the good news is after a few days bedrest in hospital, my faux baby and i are doing fine. This game lasted around an hour, which was plenty of time for me to recover some energy and keep on keeping on.

What else was fine was " Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs ". I'd read some good reviews and although kids movies are usually a gamble, this one paid off. There was enough laughs for little kids but the occasional joke that only the adults would pick up on; the animation was great; and the concept was easy enough for a 4 year old to understand but no so juvenile as to leave me bored. Basically, this crazy backyard scientist invents a machine that turns water molecules into food and through a slight mishap the machine gets launched into the sky - effectively feeding off the water in the clouds and making it rain food. Thats enough for little kids - its raining food, and giant food at that ? Hilarious! H decided that if she could make it rain food she would want big hamburgers; i was voting for giant icecream cones. Either way, thats enough post-film conversation to pronounce this one a winner.

And now, i'm thinking its time for a plateful of mango and then its off to bed. Oh, and also, our muffins ending up a winner also - i'd planned on banana but H had the idea of throwing in some gorgeous juicy cherries aswell. Mr Gil has had two and plans on taking with his lunch tomorrow, and my brother ( H's dad ) told her that they were really nice so..... so, yea, go team Amy and H!

DD minus 26: Dude, Its Hot....

Yes, of course its hot - welcome to the Australian summer. So in the part of Australia where i live, the temperature starts to heat up from around the middle of November and there isnt usually any cooling down to speak of until early March. Generally, i am in love with this part of the year:
* First of all, its the Christmas period. I know there's something to be said for a white Christmas ( you know, by people in the Northern Hemisphere ) but i'll take the heat and the sun for my Christmas celebrations.
* Its the season for all the best fruit - namely peaches, cherries and mangoes. I've said it before, i'll say it again - mangoes are the food of the gods.
* Putting your lawn sprinkler on to water the grass and letting all the little kids run through it
* Barbeques - cooking outdoors, eating inside with the air conditioner on
* And a few other things i cant quite remember right now

Dont get me wrong, i'm still much happier to have this weather than be stuck in winter, but this summer i'm really feeling the heat. Guess why? Oh yea, i'm pumping around enough blood for two people and thats keeping me extra warm as it is - and the combination of heat and being on my feet have given me ankles the size of an elephants. Sexy.
I mean it only got to 38 degrees celsius here today ( thats 100 degrees for your Fahrenheit type persons ) but its only set to get warmer and, like i said, the heat carries on for quite a while. o matter - now that i'm on maternity leave i dont have to go outside if i dont want to, or be on my feet all day, so i can indulge myself in a fabulous hourand half long nap under the airconditioning in the afternoons. Which i did, today. Naps are fabulous.

But before i took a nap? I have finished the baby's room - i am now officially a rockstar! Or at least i felt like one this morning when i had finished putting up the wall decals and vacuumed the carpet. I am loving the wall decals. Check it:

I apologise for the flash reflecting off the paint there, but how cute are my little puppies? If your in the market for wall decals, for kids rooms or otherwise, try http://www.dezignwithaz.com/ . Theyre a company based in San Fransisco and they have some really cool stuff.

And now, onto tomorrow. I can promise there will be a lack of baby updates because - tomorrow i'm babysiutting my neice all day. Yep, i'm hanging out with H while her mum and dad are at work. So far i plan to take her to the movies and to make some banana muffins for our afternoon tea so instead of baby talk you can expect a run down on the antics of a four year old, possible a movie review and a critique of my banana muffins ( made straight out of the box ). Mmm - muffins.....

DD minus 27: Look Whats Finally Coming Together

You know how when you've been wanting to do something for months, and for better or worse you've ( kind of ) been procrastinating or just not quite finding the time - and then, finally, you get your arse into gear and the project is nearing completion .... you know how that makes you feel ? That " wow, look what i've done ", personal pride kind of feeling ? Yep, thats what i've got going on because..... the baby's room is almost done!

I feel like i've achieved a lot today. Its not just the physical act of washing and drying and folding piles and piles of baby clothes and cot sheets and fleecy blankets - although seeing all those little clothes hung out on my washing line was kind of sweet. Its more than that. The near completion of this physical task - the painting, the putting together of furniture, the washing and folding, the organising and decorating - is symbolic. It means I'm READY. Or as ready as i'm going to get anyway. Sure, i still need to pack a bag for the labour ( altough i did pack my bag for the actual hospital stay today - go me! ) so i'm technically not quite ready, but i feel like i am.

I also feel excited, nervous and a little scared - but on top of all this, i feel ready. I know i'm repeating the same word over and over here but theres no other way to explain it. I feel like i'm in a place where, even though i am excited and nervous and just a little scared, i'm also at ease with whats going to be thrown at me and i'm pretty sure that i'm going to be able to handle it, no matter how bad it appears to be. It might be because i've been having all these little conversations with other mothers or other pregnant women lately - like my beauty therapist today ( by the way way, lower leg and foot massages are the bomb! ). Its nice knowing that i'm part of a group - which has literally billions of members.

She asked me if i had thought about pain relief for the birth ( which i have.... kind of ) and how i think i'll make it through labour ( which can literally last all day if not longer ).

Here's what i'm holding on to - billions of other women, since the dawn of time, have been able to do this. And if they can, i can to. Simple yes, yet motivating. If so many other women can do it - can be strong, can bear down in the face of pain, can kick and scream and fight until the " job " is done ( or, for the Zen ladies out there, bite their lips and do it all in silence ).... then so can i. I can be that Superwoman.

And seeing as i've put together a piece of furniture all by myself this afternoon, made up the cot, sorted and folded all the clothes my child owns and cleaned the bathroom, i think i'm well on my way to that superhero status....

DD minus 28 : Its The Final Countdown

So, here it is, my ambitious new blogging project.

Wondering what " DD " is ? Its Due Date. Thats right - as of today there is exactly four weeks til the due date for the birth of my first child. Bearing in mind that only around 5% of babies are actually born on their due dates, this countdown is not going to be very accurate. I mean we could get to DD - 14 and i could go into labour; or we could hit DD + 7 and nothing might be happening. Nevertheless i'm going to start an official countdown today anyways.

Now, before you all close this page out of boredom, this countdown is not going to be all " ooh, i'm having twinges in the lower abdomen today! " or " When are my stupid waters going to break already!!! ". There will, of course, be some of that ( whats a countdown to a birth without it ? ) but there'll also be a rundown of whats going on in my head and my heart, what i've been up to now that i'm on maternity leave and just general, non-baby related chit chat. And besides, there will be Christmas and New Years thrown in during the 28 day countdown and a planned " Best of 2009 " post aswell.

So - whats going on here on DD minus 28 ? Well today is officially the first day of my maternity leave so i dont really have any routine to follow or anything that i absolutely MUST do. That being said, the giant watermelon bellied bird in me is anxious to get my bags packed for the hospital. You know, like i said, just in case this countdown doesnt quite make it all the way to the end. Its amazing to me how much stuff people/doctors/magazines have recommended i need to take! Ok, pyjamas, plenty of underwear and nappies and clothes for the baby are kind of obvious, but :
* cooling spray for my face during labour
* sugary snacks for energy
* Ear plugs
* Loose change for phone calls
I mean that kind of stuff i wouldnt really have even considered. I'm sure any mums reading this are laughing their guts out at me, but seriously the last thing on my mind is some fancy moisturising spray for the labour ward. Plus, until my antenatal class, i didnt know you were allowed to eat anything during the whole event so i wouldnt have thought to pack lollies either.

So theres that - and there is also lunch with my sister coming up. I thought i may aswell get out and be social and enjoy being a lady who lunches before i become a mum who wears lunch all over the front of her shirt. I'm thinking chicken carbonara is sounding good.....

Guess Who's Back...

Back again! Amy's back! Tell a friend!

Okay, yes, that was a lame reference to a long forgotten Eminem song, but basically what i'm trying to say is that i'm here. No, i didnt die. Nor did i run off and join the circus, fall into a black hole or even give birth. No, the incredible truth is that my wireless internet modem up and died and of course my internet providers are incompetent and sent me the wrong part twice before i finally got what i needed.

So i missed my little old blog here. Truth be told there hasnt been anything overly exciting happening in my life ( although i'm currently reading " Eat, Pray, Love " by Elizabeth Gilbert and its been provoking all kinds of self-explorative thoughts .... ) however: this Monday the 14th of December will see a resurgence of regular posing on this blog. And by regular, i mean EVERYDAY.

Unless of course i'm abducted by aliens, lose all connection to the electrical or, God forbid, go into labour....