Saturday, 28 February 2015

Going A' Shopping

This morning (once I can drag the Moose away from watching Have Gun Will Travel on his kindle), we are piling in the car and driving three hours to shop for baby stuff.  And to visit the Moose's mum and fix her phone (she can't seem to call us anymore).  Then we will drive back and hopefully be home before dark.

I know it is a bit early to shop for everything as I am just 20 weeks on Monday.  But the thing is work.  We have harvest starting up in a couple of weeks, and once that gets going, just getting the groceries turns into a hassle.  We could be working 7 days a week for WEEKS.  So there won't be any trips to the city until mid May, realistically (days off during harvest are for relaxing and cleaning the house and restocking the pantry).  And I am not going to buy things online without first checking them out in real life.  Since we will no doubt need at least 2 trips to manage to get everything we need, it is important that we do this first one now. 

So, what are we off to buy?  I have a spreadsheet.  I have researched the important things.  But honestly, I don't know.  I have two shopping personalities: the get in, get it done type with the list and knowing exactly what I want, and the indecisive me that gets overwhelmed and either makes panicked impulse buys or lets the Moose win out with the cautious "we can get it later".

Thing is, I don't want to drive three hours there and back to go shopping more than twice.  Especially not in the winter when there is less light and the roads get icy.  And not when I am the size of a house and would rather spend the day around the house (or specifically on the sofa).

So...we shall see what today brings...

Monday, 23 February 2015

It's a...

Girl!!  99% sure.  The Moose will continue to be the only male in the house.  I was convinced we would be having a boy, simply because there are so few boy names that I really like and just about everyone I know has had girls, but either way I was prepared to be happy.  The Moose is quite excited since he was hoping for a girl (though he would have been happy either way too). 

The ultrasound went well, she has all the requisite parts in the right places and things seem to be working fine.  She was very wiggly.  Probably because I ate a few lollies 15 minutes before the scan. 


She is measuring small.  Still within the normal parameters, but only just.  I was a small baby, my sister was small, my mother was it is just that this baby will be small like we were and not something more serious like all the stuff I spent the rest of the afternoon googling.  Damn you google.  Something tells me there will be at least one more ultrasound in my future.  I guess a small baby could explain my small bump too. 

So, 19 weeks today.  I might do an update next week at the halfway point.  I sort of wish I had done weekly updates from the beginning, but it just felt strange. 

Cleo gave my mini bump a wee cuddle and purr this morning.  She plopped down with her hindquarters on the snoogle and her front on the side of my bump.  Not for very long, but it was pretty cute. 

Sunday, 22 February 2015

Point proven

About the bad drivers from my ranty grumpy post the other day.

Traffic backed up over a kilometer each side.  It was a head on crash between two rental cars, one driven by a British couple, one driven by a Chinese couple.  We had to wait over half an hour while they cut out the British couple from their badly damaged car.  The other couple (the ones who caused the crash by driving on the wrong side of the road according to the newspaper), had only minor injuries.  Had we been 15 minutes earlier, it could have been us. 

And, the car that had been stopped in front of us (also driven by tourists), later failed to give way at a round-about and nearly got t-boned by a van. 

Even people who have plenty of experience behind the wheel make mistakes.  But there are far too many people driving here who are not experienced enough to handle our roads or speeds.  And people get hurt.  Thankfully no one died this time (although I believe one of the British tourists is seriously injured, hopefully they will make it).

But the scariest thing, it could have happened to us. 

Friday, 20 February 2015

The Grumps

I am so effin grumpy today!!  I need to vent somewhere before the Moose comes home so I don't unload my grumps at him.  And I'll try to find the bright side to each grumpy thing.

Yesterday was spent working with a combined crew of people, most of whom I would never choose to associate with.  My co-workers are ok people, generally speaking, but oh my god...all that frustration and grump I felt towards them when I was working with them 5 months ago??  Still here.  The same conversations.  No person on the planet can do any job as well as this team can and the other teams just bollocks stuff up, the client is wrong about how something should be done, oh, and my personal pet-peeve conversation: Muslims are the source of all the world's evil (this is not explicitly said, but rather implied by banging on about anything negative that comes up in the news every single day of the week).  Followed by complaints of "do-gooders" and "PC gone wild".  Arg.  And non-stop talk about minutia (they once spent half a day talking about different types of wood and the various building applications of it, not because their hobbies are carpentry or anything, but because two of them were building houses...Half a day...about wood...). 
  • Best part of the day:  Conversation with M (the insensitive miscarriage girl) in which M complained of another crew doing something wrong, and I replied "oh, the same thing was done at vineyard x" knowing full well that it had been her crew that had done it!!  
I have been up since 4am on account of a big ginger tom (Big Ginge).  He has been coming into our house to eat our cats food, which generally draws Cleo into a fight with him, or gets Toffs growling and hissing.  I have put away their food the past few nights, but he is determined, and seems intent on searching the house.  He is bold too, and doesn't shy away from us much.  In all honesty, he would probably be happy to be on good terms with Toffee and Cleo, he doesn't seem to be looking for a fight.  But neither of the girls is happy with him coming into their territory and locking our cats in at night is not an option in the summer.  So...after chasing him out of the house at 4am I spent the next two hours trying to come up with some plan to keep him away for good. 
  • Plan for dealing with Big Ginge, as formulated when trying desperately to get back to sleep for a few hours before the alarm:  place a bowl with a small amount of food in the shower (he will find it), stay awake waiting for him to come, beat Cleo to him, lock him in the shower and turn it on (with strings attached to the tap...gotta remember to attach them earlier), and drench the bugger.  I will have to open the door to turn the shower off, which will drench me and let a soaked angry MASSIVE tom cat free into the laundry, but I should be able to chase him out the window then spend at least half an hour cleaning up the mess.  Or I will lock the cat flap and pin him with the broom and dump water on him.  Simpler, but could end even worse when Cleo joins the fray.
 Being unable to get back to sleep, but still having some sexy lucid dreams, I thought I would wake the Moose up for a bonk just before the alarm was to go off...but it turns out that Mooses are too tired at 6am for sexy times, and the cuddle didn't lead to a happy ending so much as me starting work 10 minutes later than I had planned. 
  • Typically the Moose likes morning bonks (on weekends, at 8 or 9 am), and I hate them with a passion.  I am not human in the morning.  I need to brush my teeth and be awake at least a few hours first.  So...naturally I will remind him of this every time he cuddles close on a weekend to try his luck.
I worked on my own today, which is awesome when grumpy.  I was even stomping on field mushrooms which usually makes me feel better (sort of like bubble wrap), but most of them were old and soggy, and didn't really cheer me up much.  And I did have to make an uncomfortable dash to the long drop (outhouse) with an emergency bout of crooked guts.  On the bright side, the prunes I ate all week have more than solved the constipation issue.  And thankfully I didn't see the spiders that were no doubt everywhere around me.  But as I left work (I finished at lunch time!!  Yay for early finish!), I found that the rabbiter (guy who shoots rabbits) had locked the gate on me, which meant I had to climb a fence and wade through long prickly grasses to get the key, shove my hands up some spider infested lock box, and without seeing what I was doing and with more or less one hand, open a padlock. 
  • The big boss, who I need to talk to, was in one of the vineyards I was at this morning, clearly to make his bees angry since I was going to have to get a bit closer to the hives.  He didn't stop to talk, and I didn't bother to chase him down, and best of all the bees were still dozy.  But I did think briefly about asking him if he was keeping busy as a bee, or if he had heard the buzz, and those corny lines cheered me up where stomping on mushrooms failed.  
The break lights in our 4wd have gone out, and since the Moose had to drive farther than I was going to have to, I sent him out in the starlet (or the Tardis) and I took Roger (the Rav4).  It also happens to be Chinese New Year, which has brought a ton of tourists to the area, and some of these tourists have perhaps never driven a car before.  There is also a motorcycle rally in town.  Not an ideal time to have the break lights go out.  But the only incident on the way home was when the car travelling only 80km/h in front of the glass truck in front of me decided that the right turn lane into the busy fruit stall would never do, and felt the need to come to a complete stop in the middle of the highway for about 10 seconds while waiting to cross traffic which wasn't there to turn into the fruit stall.  At least with a big ass glass truck in front of me, the truck travelling behind me had to see us slow suddenly and stop.  But now I don't want to go out on the roads again. 
  • I don't mean to sound like it is one group of people and they are all bad drivers.  That is not true.  Bad drivers come from all over the world.  Lately it has been European backpackers and old people who don't know how to drive and seem out to do me in.  In this region, especially in the summer, it really is a problem.  There is no bright side to this perennial grump of mine.
I went to the supermarket after a tahini-Moose issue (the reason why we don't send the men to the grocery store...will I never learn?), and of course caught a glimpse of my arch nemesis the Bush Pig and her daughter the Princess (I did not give them these nicknames).  I don't think I have written about them before.  I used to work with them.  In fact, the Bush Pig and I were friends, once upon a dark age.  The Bush Pig and her family are the reasons why nearly half of the permanent staff at that particular vineyard have quit, and why they can't keep casual staff.  One day I will write up the saga...and probably prove that I am not very mature at all and can hold a grudge like nothing.  Anyhoodle, Bush Pig and Princess were in the beer aisle, and I needed the adjacent aisle (dips and cheeses and things), so I figured I could pop down and be out before they left the beer aisle.  Wrong.  I ran into someone else from work who has been stood down until harvest.  I didn't talk to him long, but instead of going back up the aisle and across the back of the store, I stuck to the original plan and had an encounter.  She was surprisingly polite (which I didn't expect) and I wasn't polite at all.  She said congrats and I said thanks and ran away.  As you do.  Shudder.  Last time I ran into her at the grocery store we just ignored each other, which I prefer.  So now I feel a bit guilty for not being very nice.  But mostly I just feel all the rotten luck of a grumpy day.
  •  There is no positive spin for this.  The Bush Pig is the world's biggest bully. 
To top that off, I am looking particularly fat today.  My bump is not really a bump yet, but just looks like a bad beer gut.  I cannot wait until I have a proper bump!!  One that cannot be partially concealed by my usual levis and a loose shirt.  I am sick of people asking where the baby is too.  I thought I was getting a bump...but the new kilo I had gained came off when the prunes took effect, and I think today I am just bloated and gassy.  I have felt some flutters and bubbles, but it is hard to tell them apart from all this digestive upheaval at the moment.  
  • On the bright side, the Moose and I have Monday off!!  It is Scan Day, and if this little bubs isn't too modest, we might find out if it is a boy or a girl!  And even if we don't find out, at least we get a peek at what it is up to.  Hopefully all goes well and everything appears healthy!
Ok...that was a long post, and while I am sure I can grump about a million other things, I should probably go do the dishes that the Moose didn't do last night, and hang the laundry, maybe cut the grass and tidy up the house for the weekend.  Burn off the last of the grumpy energy.

Wednesday, 18 February 2015

Cleo's sure-fire hangover cure

No, it wasn't me.  Of course I am not drinking (although beer, I miss you SO much), and the Moose has had only the occasional beer or cider, because he is a moderate Moose and is probably not allowed to have things that I can't have unless I am feeling overly generous.

This happened just after New Years, and to our neighbour G.

Our neighbour is a lovely woman who has a westie terrier named Molly (Cleo's best friend).  Molly comes to visit Cleo, and Cleo goes to visit Molly.  And honestly, Cleo thinks she owns the world, including Molly's house.  Often she just wanders over through an open door, or sits and paws at the door until G opens it. 

So, after imbibing a bit too much over New Years, poor neighbour G was suffering from the after effects, and was miserable, sitting on the loo with bucket on lap, not sure which end was going to go.  Molly, being a sympathetic dog (and not a sadistic cat...ahem...Cleo) was sitting by her feet, looking up at her with those gorgeous dark eyes to give what comfort she could.  At which time Cleo (no doubt thinking "harden up!") launched herself through the window like some kind of ninja, landed on G's back and gave her one hell of a fright, which in turn freaked Cleo, who leaped back out the window.  Lets just say poor G was in the right place to be startled that much in the condition that she was in. 

I don't know how she manages it, but a surprisingly large number of photos of Cleo have her making some goofy looking face or another.  Or maybe I just always catch her before a yawn.  Being naughty is tiring, after all.

Tuesday, 10 February 2015

Fat pants

17 weeks pregnant.  I have had to retire my work jeans.  They are just getting too tight with this growing bump (I am only 1kg up on my pre-pregnancy weight, not sure how but I blame work).  My work jeans are being replaced by old lady fat pants.  Elastic waist, no tailoring to the leg whatsoever, and too short to be pants and too long to be capris but perfect length for old ladies to avoid tripping on.  I am all sorts of sexy (lucky for the Moose, who has been married to me for three years today!!  Happy anniversary Moose!).

I have one pair of maternity jeans, and they are way too nice for work.  I foresee internet shopping in my future, since there simply are no stores selling maternity clothes within a 3 hour drive.  There are, however, lots of shops selling old lady clothes, and old lady fat pants.  Score. 

Saturday, 7 February 2015

Some Q & A

I have never done one of these, and since I can never think of anything to post about these days...well, I thought I would give it a go.  Mel over at Stirrup Queens posed the following questions to everyone reading her post to see who would answer them.

1. When was the last time you cut your hair? Did you like the haircut?

A couple of months ago I got a trim to correct the mullet I was coincidentally growing after deciding to grow my extremely short hair long again (I always cut it short in winter because static, and grow it long in summer because ponytails are way cooler than short hair on a hot day!).  The hair cut (well, trim, I guess) was well done but not mind-blowing or anything.

2. Grapes with seeds or seedless?

Seedless, but I will eat grapes with seeds.  I work in vineyards (wine grapes, not table grapes) and it is nearly that time of year when I can start happily munching away on fruit while I work!!

3. When was the last time you went to a fancy party? What did you wear?

I first read this as fancy dress party, in which case it was in 2010 with a 60s theme for a 60th birthday, but I didn't dress up because I had just moved back to NZ and didn't have anything or time.  But a fancy party??  Hmm...probably never.  I am not a fancy person.

4. What colour is your bedroom wall?

Sadly light pink (not painted since house was bought), but that will be changing soon.  Some shade of green for a feature wall or two, and I will use the tan/buff colour we used in the spare bedroom for the rest, and a neutral for the ceiling.  I hate painting ceilings. 

5. The worst smell in the world is…

Cigarette smoke.  I want to kill smokers.  The second worst would be mothballs (I attempted to clean out the glory box that we took from the Moose's mum's place yesterday...ick).  And the third worst would be silage.  Makes me gag just thinking about it.  The world is full of bad smells.

6. Last thing you spat out.

A large bite of fish taco when I started inexplicably gagging on it.  As this was two weeks ago, I can't really attribute it to morning sickness, especially since I had no nausea with it.  Just...suddenly started gagging.  Before that was a piece of fatty meat at the company Christmas party...I am all sorts of wonder I don't get invited to fancy parties.

7. Do you sing when no one is around? What do you usually sing?

Yup.  The other day at work I sang Guns and Roses for a couple of hours.  A few days before I was humming Shaggy bit of a grab bag for what I sing, but I always sing the wrong lyrics.  

8. Your least favourite name (and it’s okay if it’s Melissa; I can take it).

 I went to school with a girl named Charmel...and yes, she was exactly like what her name would suggest.  I think I dislike names that give you a strong preconceived notion of what the person should be like (especially when they turn out to be that way).

9. Did you like the food served at the last dinner party you went to?

Dinner party?  I don't go to those.  The last party I went to was the company Christmas party, and I was disappointed with the food, but I was looking forward to it so hard that disappointment was inevitable.  And my taste buds were a bit off anyway.  But I was starving so I ate everything I heaped on to my plate!

10. What is your most prized possession? Would you kill a unicorn in order to save your most prized possession?

There are a few objects that I have that are important to me.  One is a wall scroll and painting I got in Japan when I was living there.  Another is the program from my grandpa's funeral, which has travelled with me for nearly 20 years.  My wedding ring is probably the most important to me.  I can't really wear jewelry much (metal allergies, no occasion to, etc), and rings have always been difficult.  If I feel like I can't get a ring off I panic.  I almost never wore my rings from my first marriage.  They were never comfortable.  This one I never take off (though I do check that it slips past the knuckle a few times a day to prevent panic if I think my hand is swelling).  The Moose is a keeper.

I would not kill a unicorn to save any of these things.  They are just things and life will move on without them.  Plus, a unicorn!  That's like a pony but better.  I would kill a unicorn to save the Moose and the cats (but the cats would owe me big time, and could probably take a unicorn on their own).

Cut-and-paste the questions onto your blog and answer them, and then pose 10 of your own.

Oh crap, the hard part.  I don't think many people read this blog, so this might be a waste of time, but here goes:

1.  If you could only do one really well, which would you rather do, sing or dance, and why?
2.  What was your favourite subject in school, and why?
3.  What would your super power be?  What would you use it for?
4.  If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go?
5.  Do you have any strange phobias or aversions?
6.  What is your earliest memory of?
7.  What is your favourite word in any language?
8.  How do you deal with a massive spider in the house?
9.  If you could go back in time and talk to your younger self, how far back would you go and what would you say?
10.  When was the last time you did something out of your comfort zone, and what did you do?

Sunday, 1 February 2015

Friday night's alright for fighting, and rules

Crazy cat lady post about on only if interested in cats.  

In the wee hours of Saturday morning Cleo beat up a tom cat (and took the fight crashing through the neighbour's shed from the sound of it).  At least once a week she chases off another cat, so it really isn't unusual for me to bolt out of bed (harder to do wrapped around a Snoogle), stumble to the window and yell out "Pusses knock it off!!".  Nothing like a cat fight to pull you out of a snug dream land into reality with your heart in your throat.

Cleo came racing back into the house and hid under the sofa (the sofa Toffs had been sleeping on), and sat there and growled for ages.  I got up to inspect the damage, as I usually do after a fight, and poor Cleo was limping.  And still growling, though more at her reflection in the glass of the door than at us.  After letting her calm down a bit, we managed to get a look at her paw.  She had sliced open her pad.  So we made a trip to the vets (since it has been, oh, what 2 months since the last one?), and Cleo got an injection of antibiotics (no pills since I took her rather than the Moose) and a painkiller, and some treats because the vet liked her.  And she likes this vet, so she behaved herself beautifully.  There is a male vet that she absolutely hates and will growl and hiss at, but she was purring away for the lady vet!  So, $110 later...

And later, telling my mom about it on skype, my mom said that the cats will always get great medical care regardless of the cost, but I will probably tell my child to "walk off" a sore throat.  I informed her that with the public health service here I won't have to pay anything (or not much of anything) for this child.  What I should have said was that I learnt the "walk it off" thing from her, and my sister and I both turned out fine...but unfortunately I just wasn't in full on smart-ass mode. 

But it did get me thinking that I will need to establish some rules for my parents with regards to the cats when they come down here after bubs is born.  My cats are spoiled.  I hope to keep it that way.  But to my parents, cats are just cats.  My dad kicked at (don't remember if he connected with or not) our old family cat when she hissed at my niece when my niece was two (which resulted in a huge family fight and me moving out of the house) and I am not going to put up with that sort of behaviour for a second.  So, the rules:

1.)  Cats may be petted on their own terms, never swatted, kicked, thrown away, etc.  You may chase the cat off, but beware that may result in the cat becoming wild and expecting to play a game.  In which case, the cat must be played with.

2.)  Meows open doors.  Whatever door the cat wants open EXCEPT the hot water cupboard, since Cleo has twice gotten stuck behind the hot water heater, and now she is probably too big to be pulled out.

3.)  Yes, we have a cat door, but no, you still need to open the door for the cat if she is sitting there looking at you.  Once eye contact is made, the door must be opened.

4.)  Dinner is between 4:30 and 5:30.  Or whenever the cat says so (usually this is Cleo, Toffs doesn't really care because she won't eat until way later anyway).

5.)  If cat is outside meowing at you, you must go outside to play with the cat.  Toffee meows constantly for treats if you are in the kitchen.  Meow back and sing a duet (it pisses her off), or get out of the kitchen if you can't take it.

6.)  Fights between Cleo and Toffs can be settled with a stern word, with chasing off the puss who started it, or with treats.  If Cleo is about to ambush Toffs, saying "Cleo!" sternly will give Toffs adequate warning of the situation and probably avert the whole fight.

7.)  When a cat enters the room, you must announce her presence, or at the least greet her. 

8.)  Snuggles are only appropriate when the cat desires them.  Toffs only snuggles the Moose, Cleo only snuggles at 4am, or 10 minutes before the alarm goes off.  Never touch Toffee's belly, her paws or her tail.  Chin rubs are preferred.  Cleo will roll over for belly rubs, and may be picked up, cradled, paws and tail touched, without fear of needing stitches.  She will, however, suck on and bite (lightly) fingers.

9.)  Treats are always appreciated but must be given equally.

10.)  Tiggy handles any and all issues between cats and bubs.

I suppose my parents will just laugh at these rules, or roll their eyes, but anyone who kicks a puss is getting kicked by me. 

Cleo and Toffs are totally members of this family, and always will be.  We will all have to adjust when bubs arrives, but I will do everything I can to prepare them for this.  And this child will be raised with a healthy respect for cats (and all animals).