Tuesday, May 24, 2005

No News is Good News

My apologies for my disappearance to my faithful readers (MWAHAHAHAHAHA... Ahem... I'm ok now.) We've been to a wedding over the weekend, and we've also gotten the keys to the new house, so we are painting and DIY-ing like Bob the Builder on Amphetamines, trying to have everything ready for the Move in a week. Friday, the 3rd of June. Our Moving Date; etch it in your mind with red-hot letters (in other words, Join the Club.)

The wedding was Stella's and Jon's (Peter's cousin) and it was lovely, featuring among other things Stella's friend, Maureen ("call me Loreena dear") singing a capella and Mia disco-dancing with her cousin, baby Harvey. That girl has all the moves, I tell you! When you see a two-year old lying on the floor and trying to slide between her dance-partner's legs, you've seen it all. In true celebrity style, we were fashionably late arriving; (translation: we arrived 10 minutes before the ceremony, me in jeans and flip-flops and with a t-shirt wrapped around my hair because it was raining, and walked in straight in the reception which was taking place in the hotel lobby, to be greeted by champaigne-drinking, evening dress-clad relatives, before running to the room to change!)

Anyway, very short entry today, because Peter is coming home and we have to go paint again. Until next time, here are some of the baby clothes I've picked up from the charity shop, and a new belly-shot with something extra! House pictures to follow soon, I promise!

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UPDATE! Yes, I don't have time for a whole new entry... So shoot me (but then you won't get to see the pictures of the house, *snigger snigger*) We have now finished painting the two bedrooms, and laying the floor in Matilda's room. It looks so lovely, I can't wait until we move!

Of course, getting this done involved me spending a lot of time covered in paint and dust, getting around on my hands and knees, or scooting on my butt (Hey, have you ever tried getting up from the floor with a great big belly in the way? It gets old quickly!) On the bright side, it just so happens, according to my midwife, that these are exactly the things I have to do as much as possible, to help the baby take the right position for labour. Who would have thought that women ARE actually meant to spend hours on their hands and knees, scrubing the floor? Funny that.

It's been quite warm here lately (really hot, for english people) and several unsuspecting strangers have seen the Belly and asked me if I've started suffering in the heat yet. My greek readers, please join me in LAUGHING LIKE A LOONATIC at this comment. I'm greatful for not being in Athens though!

More at a later date :)

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Democracy Strikes Back

Great news... We got a phonecall from our property lawyer yesterday; apparently after 3 long months (one of which involved basically sitting around and waiting while nothing was happening,) we are now ready to exchange contracts for the house we've been trying to buy. And unless something unpredictable happens whithin the next couple of days, we'll have the keys to our new house by the 20th of May. OUR HOUSE! So come August, I'll have a house AND a baby. I'm growing up... Eeek!

Plus, now that we have a house to put the stuff in, we'll be able to finally buy Matilda's crib and pram:

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Well, not really us, the two sets of grandparents are getting those, because they offered. We, so far, are getting some LUVELY second hand clothes from charity shops. I love charity shops... So far we have about 8 sleep-suits per size, to last us to 6 months, a full set of vests for a newborn, and a brand-new (you can tell it hasn't been washed more than a couple of times, if that) snow-suit that's just the right size for winter... AND it's a unisex colour. All cost on average £1.50 a piece. I feel so smug :)

We took Nanoo and Domino to the vet on Monday. Nanoo had been on a strict diet for a month now, after the vet who spayed her declared she was too fat. (The Nerve! Is this fat? I blame fashion magazines, personally...)

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But anyway, Bunny's health is the most important thing, so we put her on a diet and she was only allowed a special low calory rabbit mix, and grass in place of a treat. Grass, as in the green stuff that grows outside our door and looks like it'll swallow the house because we never mow it. Instead of, oh, a banana a day, like she used to have. And the low-cal bun-grub looks like poop (Seriously! I end up cleaning her box a lot more these days, because I can't tell how much of what's in there is poop and how much is left over food.)
So after a month of eating the Poop Du Jour, Nanoo went to the vet who weighed her and announced that she weighs 4.6 kg, and a month ago she weighed 4.4 kg. BEFORE she had her uterus removed! Does that sound right to you? Nope, me neither, and it only reinforces my theory: All diets are pointless, neigh, dangerous, and we should all eat a pint of chocolate brownie ice-cream a day, in an effort to maintain a healthy weight :)

My apologies to my greek readers, but I have to save this for posterity (and any non-greek people who happen to find their way here:)

Today is the 1st of May in Greece. The 11th of May for the rest of the Civilized World, but anyway.

The 1st of May this year coincided with Greek Orthodox Easter Sunday. Bummer, as noone likes missing a bank holiday, and soon rumors began circulating; the Greeks decided that the 1st of May would be moved to a new date. Say, the 11th. Today. (Hey, we invented Democracy. We can do whatever we want!) Everyone was happy, until about a week ago, when the government announced most emphatically that NO, the 11th of May would NOT be a bank holiday, just a normal day, with a few minor exceptions:

  1. The 1st of May celebrations would take place.
  2. The Parliament would not be meeting, because politicians have a duty to attend the celebrations.
  3. Any public servants who felt the need to attend the celebrations too, would be excused from showing up for work.

In case you haven't spotted it yet, this leaves private sector employees, who (according to the government) had to clear it with their employers if they wanted to strike in honour of the 1st of May.

After a lot of mayhem, a new announcement followed a few days later. To spare private sector employees' feelings, public servants would now have to show up for work too, but the Parliament would still not be meeting.

The Result: All worker's unions in the country immediately declared they will be going on strike. Today, Wednesday, 11th of May in Greece:

  • The Electricity Company, The Water Company, The Phone Company, Buses, Taxis, Trains, The Subway, Passenger Ferries, National Television and Radio Channels and Lawyers will not be working.
  • Hospitals will be operating with Skeleton Crew.
  • Olympic Airline flights will be cancelled. In an effort to prevent complete chaos, (MWAHAHAHAHAHA! Er, excuse me. I think they were actually being serious) OA announced they will be keeping ONE flight per destination, and ONE international flight per country. The only problem is, because Air Traffic Controllers want to strike too, OA was unfortunately unable to announce WHICH were the flights that would actually take place. What's more, depending on what exactly the Air Traffic Controllers decided, the one-flight-per-country regime might be extended to ALL flights by privately owned or non-greek companies as well.

In short, everyone has decided on a strike that would send the country into a one-day-long paralysis. Well, almost everyone. The Teachers Union has decided the government's offense was so grave, the strike should last for three days instead. After all, why not have a 5-day weekend if you can? This has always been our policy, and it has served us well.

Friday, May 06, 2005

Finally, some recognition!

I found this little gem today; and of course I couldn't resist. (Gem... gems... Ah, I miss D&D. *sniff-sob-WAHHHH!!*)
So without further ado.... I give you... ME!

I am a d4

Take the quiz at dicepool.com

And I quote: "You are a four-sided die, a d4. Otherwise known as a tetrahedron, a "Caltrop", or (to a lesser degree) "Ol' Pointy". This stuff bores you, so I'll get to the point. Others tend to see you as petty, conniving, manipulative, argumentative, defensive, greedy, and needlessly antagonistic. You see yourself as focused, effective, efficient, influencing, shrewd, tactical, and direct. Both points of view are in fact correct. You always know the best way to get things done, a fact that never wins sympathy with others. Whenever you manage to gain control of a situation, your solutions are swift and brutal. Unfortunately everyone else is convinced that granting you such power is, "a bad thing" and often conspire to keep it out of your hands. Such short-sighted fools!"

HAH! Beat THAT if you can! Ok, now I'll go back to my alternate personality, the one that likes cuddly kittens, and fluffy clouds, and lovely flowers, and little children that go skip-skip-skip and sing merry tunes. But I swear, I *did* answer the quiz questions as best as I could!

On to more important (More grown up? More sane?) things. My cousin is having a baby! My cousin Katerina, who is like my sister (yes, I like to embarass my extended family as well) is having a baby and is due 5 weeks after me. As if that wasn't exciting enough, I found out today she's having a little girl! WOHOO! Of course now my mind is full of soppy images of these two little girls, sharing a sister-like bond, looking forward to seeing each other every summer, writting letters to each other and pretending they're twins. All this is Bad Karma, you understand. They are probably going to grow up despising each other, simply because it's the Universe's way of telling me "Neener Neener Neener!" (Or something slightly more articulate, one would hope.) But I sure am going to do everything in my power to push them together. Does locking them in a room and not feeding them until they bond count as child abuse? Really??

At this point, here's a little quiz for you:

What was Katerina's first reaction upon hearing the news that I was going to have a baby?

a) "Congratulations!", jumping up and hugging me.

b) Tears of joy.

c) "I need a smoke", while staring at me in shock.

Yes, you guessed it, it was c. And at the time she was pregnant too, but didn't know yet. Again, Karma! Actually, most of my friends where really shocked that I was having a baby. I don't know why! (Really, isn't the world ready for the mini-version of me?) But I find Katerina's reaction especially funny, in retrospect. Ah, I love her. I wish we lived closer to each other. She's the best! CONGRATULATIONS KATERINA AND LESLIE... I miss you both!

There, that was cleansing. I feel all soppy now.

And while we're on the subject of reactions to my pregnancy, here's today's list:

The Top 3 things my mum has said about me since I got pregnant:

1. Oh, you look... Pregnant. When I was 12 weeks along, at the airport, after seeing me for the first time in 4 months. The conversation continued as follows:

Cathy (my sister-in-law): You mean because she has this special glow?

Mum: No, because of the Belly.

2. Oh, did she think that you were having twins because you look so big? This was after I had my first scan, and I told her that the technician said everything looked fine, and there's only one baby in there.

3. Awww, she wants the baby to be pretty! After I said I hope the baby looks like Peter.

But really, she means well. She's so excited about Matilda, she wants to embroider sheets for her crib. And hey, I forgive her everything. She's been a wonderful mum. I even forgive her for saying I'm sick, because I want to have a Rabbit AND a Cat AND a Baby (or two... or three... or four... you get the picture.)

And speaking of pictures... Isn't the love of my love going to make a wonderful dad? Yes he is! And you can't have him, I saw him first. Move along now! Move along!

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Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Farewell to braincells...

You know, I used to be intelligent. I used to be able to tackle multiple tasks without much trouble. I used to be able to interpret simultaneously, hearing a sentence in Language A, translating it in Language B while hearing the next sentence in Language A, taking notes, and looking things up at the dictionary at the same time. Then the unthinkable happened. I got infected by the illness commonly known as Pregnancy Brain.

So I thought I'd make myself useful yesterday, and do some laundry (whites.) I gathered up all the dirty white stuff, carried it downstairs, and thought that since I was doing whites, I might as well throw in the underwear I had on. I grabbed a fresh pair from the drawer and went downstairs to change. (If you are feeling puzzled right now, this is a necessary precaution to keep Domino downstairs -and away from the rabbit- since he has decided he needs to be attached to my leg at all times.)
Well, I strolled downstairs, opened the washing machine door, put all the dirty laundry in, and started the wash. Fed the cat, and suddenly realized that -hey -I don't remember actually taking my trousers off. A quick self-inspection verified that yes, I still had the old pair of underwear on, and I couldn't spot the fresh pair anywhere. Until I checked the washing machine. There it was, a little bright blue blob going round and round in a sea of white and suds. Feeling stupid, I stopped the washing machine, drained the water, went upstairs, got a fresh-fresh-pair-of-underwear, and also picked up some white socks that I had forgoten the first time around, went downstairs again, opened the washing machine door, retrieved the suddy pair of underwear, rinced it, hung it to dry, and restarted the wash. But wait! can it be? I STILL haven't taken my trousers off and... and... I'm not holding the fresh-fresh-pair-of-underwear any more! Yes, the FFPoU had become the second casualty in the war of washing, and the old pair was still proudly holding its ground on...ermm...my crotch. At this point I decided to give up. My already fragile self-esteem couldn't take much more, I was rapidly running out of clean underwear (this was becoming one counter-productive wash!) and I wasn't sure I trusted myself not to stick the cat in the wash next time.

So there you go. Now you've seen me humbling myself infront of you all, plus you've learned more about my underwear than you ever wanted to know. Personally, I blame the increased blood-flow to my uterus. Not enough left for my brain to function, it seems. Those of you that know me and are willing to testify that I could have easily done this kind of thing PP (Pre Pregnancy,) I DON'T WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU!! Ok, leave a message if you like, but be gentle. I might kill you and blame the hormones.

Monday, May 02, 2005

The Fur is Flying

Wow, a first entry... The pressure, the pressure. What should I say to get people interested? IS there such a thing as people being interested? (I've heard there is... One can always hope!)

We have a new family member. Last Monday, Domino joined the family:

Aka: Stinky Malinky, Smelly Pooperson, or Winnie (You guessed it -The Poo!) This adorable little bundle of fur has proven quite capable of producing his own body weight in poop daily. Which Peter has to clean up, because -hey! I'm pregnant! Thank you Matilda :)

Domino has settled in quite nicely and we have even managed to persuade him to *not* spend the entire night mewing pathetically outside our bedroom door, acting as if being left alone for the night feels similar to having his ears slowly cut off with a rusty file (YES, this imagery DID cross our minds AT 5 IN THE MORNING, when we were lying in bed, listening to him. CAN YOU BLAME US, RSPCA?) and refusing to move the few meters from our bedroom to the kitchen to have a drink, so that when we finally let him in in the morning he is so parched that he knocks my glass, licks the wet spot on the floor and we have to carry him downstairs to have a drink and produce the next installment of his specialty -poo!

The Bonster, on the other hand, is, well, how shall we say... Less than impressed. In fact, she's positively livid at this intruder. She attacks the cat on sight, displaying all the determination (and grace) of a charging bull, and has happily trampled him on at least one occasion. Those of you that know Nanoo can picture this, I'm sure. We're hoping that eventually they'll get used to each other, Domino will learn to keep away, or at least that all this running will help bunny loose some weight. More updates on WWIII, on the 12:00 news.