This has to be the best press release I’ve ever received. And the most cackles I’ve ever made in an office full of people. First, before you start reading, start by playing this video. Ready? GO
Welcome to Snowballs, a range of underpants designed to keep a man’s testicles at the optimum temperature for sperm production and fertility. Seeing as I’m on something of a “please god can I finally have a baby, oh please come on it’s not fair” kick, these have taken some of the sting out of the tail.
And the tale. No less than four more pregnancies announced in the last two weeks. I am so fucking happy for these wonderful people. They are really wonderful. I am also fucking miserable. Now I respect my fertility fighting friends far more than I ever did before. This is, as they say, something you can only understand if you are totally immersed in it yourself.
So, to lighten the mood and get you cackling, and to inspire those ladies and gents out there who are also muddling along against fertility, here is the video for Snowballs AND some Vanilla Ice to wash it all down. Get that booty shakin’!
I tend to avoid confessional style blog posts. I love the idea that I could be making people laugh and I also would rather tell deeply personal stuff to people face to face. This is about to change. I need to document what I am currently going through (god, that sounds dramatic, doesn’t it?) for my own posterity if nothing else.
For the past few weeks I’ve been feeling nauseous. So much so that one night, out with Squidge (a girl’s night treat as The Husband was away), I was gripped with such a wave of nausea that I could barely breathe. Now, this all was good news. Why? Because we have been trying to create Squidge Mark 2 for the past 11 months and I thought, “OMG, result!” When I was knocked up with Squidge I was ill all the time so this was potentially fabulous news.
The pregnancy test I had lurking at home was negative and I’d been experiencing kidney pains for a while so I figured it was time to go to the doctor. This is where it gets a tad tedious. Instead of my having a problem that can be described “above the belt” so to speak, I have to talk about pee. Oh, how my glamorous life continues.
There was peeing into jars (for which you now have to pay 30p) and testing and sending the samples off to the laboratory. Unexplained blood, could be an infection, don’t worry we will let you know. I totter home in tears. I know I can be a drama queen, but to go into a doctor hoping for pregnancy and walking out without anything but a possible infection is shit. And I hate the whole wishy washy, “Oh I don’t know what it is but the tests will show it“, attitude of doctor’s in the UK.
There, I’ve said it. It is a massive bone of contention between The Husband and I because I have absolutely no trust in this medical system at all. Not after my hellish experiences in pregnancy and labour and nearly losing my child because the doctors ignored me. But they are other stories for another time.
I didn’t go home with a feeling of knowing that it was likely an infection and that I was going to be alright. Instead I went home feeling like something was wrong but nobody knew what it was and, honestly, very worried that nobody would actually find it unless I pushed. This was Thursday afternoon.
The doc had said that the tests would be in on Monday so I needed to make an appointment to see them again after they came in. I did. I saw another doc but this man inspired confidence. He spoke straight, he gave me answers and he respected my nerves. The outcome?
The next bottle of pee revealed more blood. If the tests came back negative for infection then there was the possibility of malignancy and I needed to go to a specialist to test for the big C. I left the surgery in tatters. You see, I haven’t been feeling great for over a year and have ached and pained my way through 2011 thinking it was all part of getting old. Now a voice said, what if… What if? What if? What if?
It’s this voice that has accompanied me through the nights since Tuesday. The voice that started screaming on Wednesday morning when the doctor called to tell me that they were referring me to the specialist and to wait for the appointment in the mail.
The doctor did say that it was likely to be nothing, that the chances of me having cancer were slim but he also said that my history of smoking did put me in the danger area. Boy, have I been castigating myself for being incapable of losing that ridiculous habit. Bloody things.
So here I am. I have not yet had the appointment in the post nor have I found out the results of the first test. The doctor said they would call me if the result was positive so, theoretically, since I didn’t get a call it means the test did not show infection so it is likely that there is something else going on here. Terrifying much?
I vacillate between thinking that this is fine, I’ll be fine, and that at least I don’t smoke anymore, and thinking that I have failed in my life, have left no mark and that my daughter will grow up without her mother. Like I did. How do you stay positive in the face of What If? I don’t know. But I am going to find out…
I have come to the conclusion that the School Run is not suited to a wedding anniversary. This is why…
7am: BLEEP BLEEP BLEEEP. The Husband’s built-in iPhone alarm wakes me up from a deep snore sleep. I realise I am still sick. I go back to sleep.
7:30am: Meep Meep Meep, WOOF. Meep Meep Meep WOOF. Squidge’s Animagic puppies (she got these for her birthday) are eeping at each other while she manages her doggy zoo on her bed. I place pillow over head. At this point the fact that it is a) our anniversary and b) my morning shift has not been remembered.
7:45am: “Mooooooommmeeeeee” The adorable voice howls, I mean, calls at me from the bottom of the stairs. I smell coffee. I rise, like a zombie (seriously, if you saw The Hair you would totally think I had been dragged out of a grave backwards) and head for the smell.
7:47 am: “Happy Anniversary darling,” says The Husband, looking annoyingly perky and talking to me before I have caffeine. I can get off on a technicality for that. He hands me a lovely card with blood on it, “Look,” he says, “I bled for you.” Suddenly a lightbulb goes off in my head. OH. My. Holy. Knickers. I have his card, but I haven’t written in it. I have his present, but it hasn’t arrived yet. I have his gift voucher, but I didn’t print it.
8am: I have shut the lounge door and am frantically writing in The Husband’s card. I pause for a moment to praise myself for its amusing joke involving the Kama Sutra. All the cards I buy him are rude. It’s important. I am also juggling a child who is not interested in remaining in the same room. She is like a cat. If the door is shut she has to go through it. I am trying to print Amazon voucher at the same time but screen faces kitchen and the door has glass panels so is blindingly obvious I have not prepared his present. The Husband is being rather sweet about pretending not to notice his Crap Wife.
8:01am: Fastest card writing and printing in the West. Duly handed over and I’m making French Toast for breakfast. We got some Manuka honey yesterday and, along with the Olbas oil tissues, the cough mixture, the Beechams, the honey and lemon tea, the rooibos tea and the echinacea it has been added to my “eff off you effing cold” armoury.
8:05am: Am frantically juggling hot spitty pan, temper is frazzling as coffee machine on a go slow and STILL no caffeine, and child has come into kitchen for the fourth time to argue about getting ready for school. “Mom, how am I supposed to get ready if I don’t have any school clothes to wear?” she asks. I snap. I pick her up and carry her into her room, dump her on floor, yank shirt, knickers, socks, and pinafore out of cupboard (all of which are in plain sight) while yelling (not REALLY yelling), “It is all here so stop coming up with excuses. WHY we have to go through this EVERY morning when *blah blah blah*”
8:15am: Sulky child sitting at table with French Toast. Husband glaring at Sulky Wife who knows she should not have gotten cross but is refusing to back down in spite of having now had some coffee. The Husband is also grumpy about being undermined by aforementioned wife when he weighed into Getting Dressed Argument. The Husband is tad sulky too. I attempt to lighten mood by going, “Ooooh, look, Manuka Honey!” The Husband responds with, “Bet it is just a marketing scam.” Child responds with, “It tastes funny! I don’t want it! Ack! Ack! It makes my throat burn.” I try to drown self in coffee mug.
8:25am: Child sits like angel while I brush her hair. She is, stubbornly, refusing to offer hugs and to make friends. She is a master manipulator and knows how to push her mother’s buttons. I am so pathetic.
8:30am: The Husband hurtles downstairs screaming, “TIME TO GO!!! We are late!!!” He insists Squidge goes as she is, sock-free, as she was told ages ago to get ready. He relents as he walks out the door, half carrying her and half putting her socks on. Silence reigns over the house.
8:55am: Email: Dear Husband, thank you for my lovely anniversary present. I love you. Not sure we should have our anniversary on a weekday anymore.
You ever have a fat day? The day where you turn and accidentally catch sight of your ass in the mirror and a part of you starts screaming like Munch and doesn’t shut up for at least 24 hours?
I get them. Funny how I get them more now that I actually am fat. I look back at skinny me and mentally slap her for stupidity. If I still had that old figure I’d be sitting here naked and wearing nothing but knickers on the school run. If I did that today, there would be heart attacks, medical emergencies and a restraining order. And that’s just from my husband…
I read, recently, that as you get older and into your 40s a woman’s body deposits fat on the arms and thighs as a part of some or other ageing process (translation: god has a sick sense of humour) but I had no idea this happened OVERNIGHT. Yes. If you are not 40 yet, please be warned that you will go to bed 39, looking ok, but wake up 40 with your upper arms and ass dragging on the floor behind you. Allow me to give you the name of a good surgeon…
Anyway, this morning, as I was wrestling my arms into some sleeves (kidding) I got an email from a dear, dear Saffa I love. This email has officially made me laugh so hard that I may need back surgery. Here it is, enjoy…
The Husband and I, since July 2006, have been haunted by the Inconvenient Poo.
It all started when Squidge was a baby. As we sat down to dinner, looking down at the adorable little baby in her playpen/cot/pram/baby holding device with fond eyes and happy smiles, she would get that focused expression that can only mean one thing. An enormous poo.
At first we didn’t notice but after a few weeks we realised that, no matter how we shifted the timing, Squidge would have a poo as we sat down to eat our dinner. I am surprised that I wasn’t really thin back then. It is hard to return to cold food after having wrestled, for ten minutes, with a crap that has possible sentience.
We even named her poos after Scottish distilleries when Squidge had the most powerful and utterly terrifying poo ever at the Glenmorangie distillery. I was off on the tour, sipping whiskey and licking whisky caskets (no, not really) while The Husband had to race into the nearest loo and literally CUT her clothes off her and throw them in the bin. There was, apparently, poo up to her neck.
So, those violent and messy poos are Glenmorangies, the ones that are accompanied by lots of noise and dramatic crashing noises but somehow yield no real results are called Dalwhinnies, and the Glenfiddich is the more casual and yet alarmingly whiffy poo.
To this day Squidge will declare, usually in a loud voice and usually at a restaurant (with non-child carrying friends trying not to look horrified), that she requires a poo JUST as the food lands on the table.
However, the Inconvenient Poo does not just strike when food is nearby. It has a plan. It wants me to have a nervous breakdown and cause my last nerve endings to collapse in anguish. For the Inconvenient Poo will almost always arrive WHEN WE HAVE JUST LEFT THE LAST TOILET BEHIND.
And when I say last toilet I mean – it is late and we are in town and all the shops are closed and there are no nearby pubs or restaurants, we have just hiked to the beach where there are NO public toilets in reach and an accident WILL occur by the time we hike to the ones we can find, on a bus, on a train when I am carrying 16 bags and then have to wrestle them, her and ME into the tiny toilet, on a train where all the toilets are out of order and there are still 1.5 hours to go (this HAS happened), and when all the toilets in the surrounding area are out of order…
We have also had the, “Oh I didn’t realise I had a poo” while standing in it on the floor of a restaurant. The “Oh god what the hell do I do with this” poo that appeared while walking through a nearby farm and resulted in my burying it. I still feel faintly worried about that farmer hunting me down somehow. And the “I appear to have had an accident mum” when in the car on the M25 where (apparently) nobody is allowed to wee because there are NO TOILETS.
Actually, am considering a side business of opening up some rent-a-toilets on the M25 for people like me who drank an entire large skinny latte before hitting the M25 and then realising, in a massive traffic jam, that Houston had a Problem.
To this day we are haunted by the Inconvenient Poo, an all powerful being that remains utterly in control. The only weapons we have are wipes and spare knickers. Stay on your guard parents, next time it could be you…
On Friday morning I was running around the house like a blue-arsed fly, trying to get all my ducks in a row before I went to meet up with other mums in the park. This whole “juggle a full time workload with a school holiday” thing is rather tough. I am so tired I may need a holiday off on my own when Squidge goes back to school. Am SUCH a lightweight…
I am pootling this way and beetling that when I suddenly realise that I’ve failed to call my poor father in two weeks. “Shit,” I say, believing it to be a barely heard mutter. I should know by now that I am incapable of anything quiet. I was born without volume control…
Squidge looks up at me in horror.
“Mummy!” she says, “Did you just say ‘shit‘?”
I look at her guiltily.
She shakes her head and says, “Daddy is supposed to say that, not you.”
Finally the power is back on and I can show you all the magical, brilliant, hilarious and wondrous posts that came to me for this, my first ever blogging carnival.
Before I stand on the podium and sniff into my hanky crying out, “You love me, you REALLY, really LOVE me,” I shall show you the genius of the humans who write on the web. (Ten points to whoever guesses the actress that said that at the Oscars many years ago…)
To start with we have a post from Kids Party Heaven that will make you nod in recognition of lessons learned and moments of cringe. It made me think of times when I did things so utterly daft I still blush today when I think about them. Not that this was that bad, obviously, but just how well it is written and how quickly you are taken into the moment. Grumpy, funny and inspirational. Just how we like it! And if you are ever on the lookout for a fab children’s entertainer, then Diane is your lady.
Next up we have Nelly’s Eggs, a delicious blog by Nelly that talks about her life and her first baby. Her post is called Welcome to Spain but only just and describes what seems to be the same holidays departures as I have. I too get all panicked and race to gates and end up late while The Husband looks all relaxed. I think Nelly did this with remarkable composure, if I am honest and boy can I relate! I love the way Nelly writes, it is very emotive and engaging.
Next up we have Tots 100 slebs Diary of a Frugal Family sending us their post on The Worst Weekend Ever… Cass writes this with such brilliance I was crying with laughter and empathy. Actually, it had me crying with laughter full stop. My favourite colour is pink, the same shade as your nipples. Oh, oh, so funny. Thank you for this, Cass. Thank you!
In A Bun Dance, a blog written by the witty and sharp Ellen (and I have to mention here that I am smitten with the nickname The Panther of News) had me pondering questions like – if you were stuck In The Night Garden who would you shag? Seriously? Answer that if you DARE. Her post Sh*g, marry, avoid – the Edinburgh Moonwalk version is very entertaining indeed. Although they were too nice in their options. Ha!
Muddling along Mummy sent me a post called The Friday Rant Club – give us some proper role models and boy did this post hit some spots with me. I completely and utterly and totally agree with her on this. I think anything that has Celebrity Dad of the Year attached to it is a waste of time and effort. Why not get real people to nominate real dads for real reasons. And who voted for these slebs anyway? Bravo on this post! Can you hear me clapping from here Mrs Muddling?
Joanne, another talented journalist and blogger, sent me her discussion of the week about reviews on blogs. She asks some serious questions and suggests some thoughtful answers that are well worth considering if you do blog reviews. Reviewing is a serious business and, as Joanne says, you have to avoid playing fast and loose with somebody else’s money. It’s definitely worth chatting about – what do you think?
Finally we have something to take your mind off the grumpiness and to make your troubles melt away. Scarlett’s Kitchen, a blog written by Alice that covers her adventures in the kitchen with Mini-Chef. There are recipes and stories galore. She sent me a post on Where does our food come from? that offers a lovely idea for a day out with the kids that is educational and fun. Well worth visiting for the recipes and the feeling of comfy relaxation you get when you sit down to read.
And that is it! I wasn’t inundated with entries, I’m afraid. I think this is due to the fact that I didn’t pimp it out as much as I should have. In fact, if it wasn’t for Alice I would have completely forgotten. If you have a blog that fits the theme and would like to be included, I don’t think it’s too late!
Go on, send me your entries anyway! I’ll keep this up all week so newcomers can get their carnival posts up and their genius out there.
And to round things off, here are two videos that make me scream with laughter.
I feel sorry for my husband. I really, really do. I mean, let’s face it, he is married to someone who would (in the old days) have been labelled as mentally unstable and put into a huggy jacket for all eternity. Nowadays I am merely considered “quirky” and he is forced to endure great pain. Like when I nearly killed him on Father’s Day…
Let’s start at the beginning of this truly insane weekend.
On Saturday, after a lovely morning of pootling through Brighton and purchasing all manner of delightful objects for Father’s Day, Squidge and I returned home to fetch The Husband. Then the four of us trundled off to her school to view their Art Day which was, essentially, the kids’ artwork in frames on boards.
We loved her pic. The Husband grinched about the fact that we have to pay £6.50 for a framed pic in yet another fund raising activity and muttering about writing a blank cheque and being a bank. I was all misty-eyed about the awesomeness of a painting done by my little genius, all framed and ready to go.
Then on the way home, on a narrow sidewalk, a woman hit my child with her mobility scooter. There was this sickening “crunch” and then that cry that no mother EVER wants to hear.
I felt her hand ripped from mine and everything seemed to go in slow motion.
It was like I was turning in syrup. My child lay on the pavement, arm outstretched, face almost under the wheel of the scooter. I screamed, “Oh my god!” The world ground to a horrible halt.
I cannot tell you how hideous that moment was. I ran to her, checked her out. Made her move arms and legs. And down the side of her beautiful face was a raw scrape where the wheels had ripped her skin off. Other than that my lovely brave child was alright.
The Husband and I were NOT.
I was so shaken I kept walking with Squidge, I wanted to get to a wider part of the pavement so I could put her down and look at her more closely without being bumped into by people. The Husband was torn between me and the woman. We both knew we couldn’t say anything more than the horror on our faces. She kept saying sorry.
I knew I couldn’t beat up a woman in a mobility scooter. But BOY was I angry. I had already been irked by her aggressive driving, practically forcing me to jump out her way. Now I was fuming. But I kept walking. I didn’t want to upset The Husband and Squidge any more than they already were.
We went to a local coffee shop as Squidge said she wanted a hot chocolate and we were both happy to oblige. Then we talked about what had happened and The Husband shared his bombshell.
He said that those machines are really heavy and that if it had been an inch to the left it could have crushed her skull. It sounds dramatic but he is not prone to fits of fancy. He was right.
The strength left my legs. Really. When that realisation kicked in I could barely breathe.
Two days later and we are both still very disturbed by it all. Something so simple could have been a tragedy.
Should mobility scooters be allowed on the pavements? I am inclined to say no, now.
In spite of our drama we forged ahead for a fabulous Father’s Day. He got breakfast in bed, lots of pressies. We went to the fair and did some random wandering around and looking at vintage cars and laughing at donkeys in the Donkey Derby and nibbling on fudge.
We also saw this at one of the stands.
No, I don’t get it either. A prize to the human who can connect the naked man in a thong with his legs chopped off to a Lion’s fundraising day and stuffed toy animals.
It was an ace day until, after eating the dinner I got for him, he fell over ill and has not been able to move much since. Awesome. I poisoned The Husband on Father’s Day.