Albion hoy!

As soon as it began, the nearly three weeks of freedom have drawn to a close. Tomorrow we head back to our tiny flat, in our crowded city, back to jobs that make us want to kill. How fun for us. The long flight back to Blighty with a two year old? Also fun. This time the child has her own seat, so everything crossed she is as well-behaved on the way home as she was the way here. It's an overnight flight, so I remain ever hopeful that a long sleep will be her dearest companion. Mama wants to get her book on, watch rubbish movies, and make her way through the first Bust magazine she's read in a year.

We were meant to spend this last evening with my Dad and his girlfriend in Philly. However, when we spent a couple of days with them upon our arrival, The Dude overheard the GF say to my Dad in regard to a window-tapping P, "You have to tell her no, lord knows no one else is going to do it." I think we know what phrase immediately ran through my mind, the oft-returned to, much-loved oh no she didn't. I'd thought we did really well reigning in P in their immaculate, toyless domain, but it seems others have a different perspective on our parenting style.

For the record, we do not make an overriding use of the word "no". We want P to explore, be independent and adventurous. However, this does not mean I allow her to manhandle precious glass figurines, smack glass french doors with sticks, or rip the ears off cats. She is unfailingly polite for a two year old - she says thank you, please, and pardon. She's British for god's sake, of course she has manners! When she starts to get frantic over small matters, I have even taught her to calm down and say, "be patient" to herself. I know as her mother I am inclined to think she is perhaps better behaved or more intelligent than others may perceive her to be, but conversely I also know P is fully capable of being a complete asshole and I think I would have realised this had she truly been naughty.

We weren't going to tell my Mom what was said, since she still has unresolved issues regarding my Dad despite the fact that their unhappy marriage ended about 15 years ago. There is no love lost between my Mom and the GF either, so that certainly compounds the situation. My brother, who chronically has one or both feet firmly and entirely in his mouth, alluded to it soon after we got here. I told my Mom what was said, and her reaction was to stop pushing her cart in the middle of Wegmans to loudly pronounce, "Who the FUCK does she think she is?" See readers, this is the origin of my foul mouth! Blame my Mom. Oh, and Molly.

As I am facing a long 36-48 hours, I suppose I should step away from the laptop and an old episode of Cold Case on TNT. Godspeed to me, again.


The beginning of the end

Alas, this is not a post about Aunt Florence's recent escapades - you'll have to wait until the next post for that I'm afraid.

I'm just here to wish myself a happy birthday now that I'm so very, very old. I kid of course, 30 is totally the new 12. I'm not bothered by this landmark birthday at all, as all of the cool kids are in their 30s, 40s and 50s. The Dude, who is six years older than me, is a bit disappointed that he is no longer married to a broad in her 20s and instead is stuck with an old hag now in her 30s. I'm to ignore the fact that I'm married to a guy peering down the barrel at 40 though. Cheers darling.

Presents. My kid sang "Happy Birthday" to me today, finally dropping the "happy birthday dear P" part that she's been clinging to for weeks in favour of "happy birthday dear mummy". I'm honoured that of the 8000 times this song has been sung recently, she has at last determined that her birthday has passed and it's my turn. By the time The Dude turns 36 in a few weeks she might be able to make it topical!

The Dude appealed to my immense nerddom and bought me a book entitled, "Ghost Towns of Pennsylvania", which I am not ashamed to admit I had paged through earlier in the week. More presents are to come apparently, though given the loss of the credit card and the limited dollar cash supply, this may be limited to a free grilled cheese sandwich or gratuitous boob fondling.

My brother got me the new David Sedaris and Seasons 1 and 2 of "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia" on DVD. My Mom, crafty minx that she is, managed to creep over to the gallery next door and buy a series of small paintings I have been coveting. Not that anyone is particularly bothered, but pictures will follow when I can be arsed to upload some photos. I'm annoyed, as my Mom's cash flow is about as limited as mine currently, so now I have a heavy dose of guilt to go with my beautiful new pieces.

Here's where I get unpopular - I'm a bit frustrated with some other relatives because my own birthday passed with little recognition in favour of P's. I know it's so dreadfully selfish of me, but seriously, just because I have a child now doesn't mean I cease to exist. A card would be nice you know. I understand you gave P a card and presents and/or money, but I'm fucking 30 - recognise! I have never understood when people say things like, "Don't worry about me - just get a gift for the kid!" Uh, no. It's not that I'm spoiled, we compromise enough as parents. Now we have to give up our birthdays too?

So, for all of my family that could care less that as of 8.09pm I am officially a 30-something, I've sent myself a card.

Now if you'll excuse me, I must go have a birthday shower. I just got off the phone with Molly and the sexy Minnesotan twang paired with the throaty huskiness of her voice have made me all hot and bothered.


Message from the front lines

Lest anyone think that suburban Pennsylvania is without internet access, or that I am having such a fabulous time living large hanging at Wal-Mart and gorging myself on Denny's, I'm here to disabuse you of such notions. I am desperate to have a good couple of hours to just go online and read blogs, but I had forgotten that my own love of the internet has its origins - my Mom is forever on this thing googling local antiques auctions, and my newly-single brother has been trading miserablist MySpace messages and emails with his cohort of roughly 2126 friends. We are a rather internet-addicted family sharing one ickle laptop and it is decidedly most unfun. It's nearly 12.30am, so I'm going to be rather brief, but I had to get some blogging out of my system.

So my daughter turned 2 on Saturday. 2. It has been two whole years since the best night of my life, and this week is exactly 2 years after the worst week of my life. She has been marvelling in the whole birthday process, and is still singing Happy Birthday to herself and excitedly referring to every cake-like item as "P's happy birfday cake". She thinks her uncle is the funniest person alive, which he very well may be. P's language has accelerated so much in the past few weeks that I am both amazed and slightly saddened that my baby is gone. The mullet is still in place, but even that is slowly disappearing. Oh - tangent. The Dude says P doesn't have a mullet because a mullet "must be curly". WTF? He's such an idiot sometimes. Anyway, favourite P'isms from our time here:

"Mummy, head hurt. I poor baby."
"Ouchy knee much better."
"Gaypa (grandpa) funny! Uncle Dogs (don't ask) funny!" Parentheses mine, fyi.
"Starbucks gimp" - said when told to tell the dog (Gabe) sorry for bitch slapping him. Her love of Starbucks has clearly infiltrated all aspects of her life. For instance:
Me: "P, let's walk this way back to Grandpa's house." P: "No. Starbucks."
"I pooed. I stinky."

I'm tired, my brother is looming over me demanding the computer so he can muse at length about the reasons behind his break-up with his friends via IM. I have some fanfuckingtastic Aunt Florence tales which I was going to blog about now, but as I should really go to bed, I'll leave those for another time.

I hope to comment around soon, though I should make a personal shout-out to my girl DD for having her daughter, who by this late stage is probably nearly 2 herself. Better late than never I suppose.


The sunny side

God grant me the courage to not try to karate chop a plane window so that I can toss my child into the cold, unforgiving waters of the North Atlantic.

She is not always the screaming, hair-pulling ratbeast from hell. Sometimes she reminds me why that pain has lessened to a dull ache. There are the difficult times - far too many these days for my liking, but then there are moments when I realise that I would take a thousand of those times for just one glimpse of this:

She came to get down. Apologies for the sideways nature of this video. I don't have the in-depth knowledge to flip it.

Godspeed to me.



This, my 300th post, is just to celebrate what a magnificent idiot I am.

I lost my wallet yesterday for the second time in six months. I had to cancel all of my cards and stupidly believed that other than the inconvenience and severe marital strife caused by this event, all was taken care of. I'd forgiven The Dude for displaying his assholishness earlier in the day, and we were starting to pack in preparation for our departure on Saturday. We logged on to check some of our bank details, and realised that of course as we have joint accounts, his credit cards had been frozen too. Fuck.

So now we're headed to the US in 36 hours with only a fistful or two of cash. I phoned the credit card company in desperation, and instead of sympathy I got a woman who could barely speak English (seriously - for a job on a fucking phone?) telling me that I couldn't get a credit card in less than a day. Cheers bitch. I almost started crying, because yes, I am simply that weak.

The Dude has taken to his bed, so disappointed and annoyed with me for being a scatterbrain of epic proportions, and so tomorrow brings yet another dark day. I just feel ill and completely useless. Happy 300th to me.


What's yours is mine

My brother recounted some funny snippets to me the other day involving our dear Aunt Florence. Having only been able to share them with The Dude thus far, I thought I'd air them here. I know none of you have ever met The Crazy (though Molly's visit last year meant she missed her by sheer days), but hopefully you'll find this funny anyway.

I've summarised my Aunt's personality a bit before. She lives in a trailer with a handful of cats, is on disability, and her shopping mecca is the Salvation Army. I know, I know, good for her being frugal, right? Fair enough, but I am rather tired of hearing, "Well Pru, I'm afraid I won't be able to get you much for your birthday this year, because I have no money", her mantra for the past 20 birthdays at least. Never in my nearly 30 years have I indicated that I expected anything, let alone a magnificent and expensive gift.

My brother says that recently Aunt F. has been slowly trying to take over my Mom's belongings. Upon spying a small stone rabbit key-hiding apparatus in my Mom's living room (yeah, I don't know why it's not actually outside either), Aunt F. asked where my Mom got it. Mom said it was a gift from a friend, which prompted my Aunt to say, "Hmph. I wish I had friends like that." I echo her sentiments - I've always lamented the fact that of my three whole friends, no one has ever thought to buy me anything even resembling a key-hiding garden ornament. What a bunch of tight bastards!

A couple of hours after the key-hiding lust episode, my Aunt spied some random antique trinket my Mom picked up at an auction. Lacking any hint of subtlety, my Aunt picked it up and said, "I like this. Can I have it?" My Mom, bewildered, figured that it was easier to just let her have it then perhaps point out that this wasn't a Salvation Army donation centre.

It seems she has a habit of fixating on certain items and magically acquiring them. My Mom was involved in dog fostering for awhile, and had a few terriers which were abused and ill-treated by previous owners. Part of her job was to gradually socialise them and make the dogs comfortable with people again before they were to be adopted. My Aunt took a shine to one of them and said to my Mom, "She's so cute. Can I have her?" My Mom laughed, believing it all to be a joke. My aunt's reply? - "No. I'm serious. I want to take her." Thankfully for everyone involved my Mom ensured that my Aunt left the dog. My Aunt loves P but of course doesn't see her very often, so I'm just waiting for that inevitable conversation: "P is adorable! Can I have her? No, I'm totally serious."

Completely apropos of nothing, I just thought I'd spread the good word to anyone who doesn't read my Twittering - I got my fat ass up and out of the house and went running tonight! I was up with P from 2-3am last night, I had a frantic and suckassy day, the kid didn't get to bed until 8pm, and STILL I laced up my aging running shoes and ran like a motherfucker. Ok, in fact I only started the Couch to 5K programme today, but it's a start, right? Right? I'm trying to ignore the fact that back in the day I ran track, cross country, and played competitive soccer year round, and now I'm doing a run/brisk walk combo for a mere 20 minutes. Oh, how the athletically mighty have fallen.

However, if I want to be like this sexy fine girl again, I have to do what I have to do.

Ok, I was like, 14 there, and I don't want to have the body of a 14 year old girl. Also, seriously, what the fuck was up with me back then? America's Next Top Model wasn't on for another 10 years, so what that posting was about I have no idea.


Music Monday: DeVotchKa

Going on the whole two bits of feedback I received on the manner in which Music Monday is presented, I'm going to do both videos and the playlist. The playlist probably won't work again, plus doing both may get a bit involved after one week awhile, but I'm just going to go for it. I've realised that it's not always so much about preaching the gospel of good music, but I like compiling all of the songs and listening to them myself too.

This week's chosen ones are DeVotchKa. I'm a bit of a latecomer to the DeVotchKa bandwagon, admittedly. The Cheese Wife mentioned them to me a couple of years ago, which is kind of weird because usually it's me bringing the Cheese Wife into the 21st century musically. You may recognise their music - a fusion of Eastern European and contemporary indie in the vein of Arcade Fire - from the soundtrack of "Little Miss Sunshine". Simply put, they are magnificent. Listen to them. You'll thank me.

As per usual, some of the videos are weird ones made by YouTubers. There's even a Charles Manson one. Yeah, I don't know either...

How it Ends:

Till the End of Time:


The Clockwise Witness:

You Love Me:

Viens Avec Moi:

This Place is Haunted:

Such a Lovely Thing:

Charlotte Mittnacht:



If the player doesn't show up for you, it will work if you pop it out.

More info:




So close,yet so far away

When I signed up for NCLM, I did it because I thought it would motivate me to comment. Mel's exhaustive (and exhausting) list of 200+ blogs thrilled me and though I hardly needed any additional feeds, I jumped in enthusiastically. At first. As I started to click through the blogs on the list, I found most of them very hard to comment on. I don't know what to say to women still battling, and the language of infertility is a tongue I no longer seem to know.

It's been almost three years since I last did any sort of treatment. I was a treatment slacker back in the day anyway, with an indifference to protocols and a distinct lack of care when it came to scientific terminology. At least back then I was in the middle of it there was the occasional glimmer of recognition when blog-reading.

When I come across a new infertility blog, it is hard for me to recall that part of me. That is not to say that I've got my kid now and my past has been erased, but I feel like I have lost that connection with infertile women who have yet to be mothers (by whatever means). I'm sure they feel the same about me - it is hard to come up with much to say about babies and toddlers when you have yet to have that experience. I always felt that way before P arrived.

The added difficulty is that the infertility blogging circle has widened greatly. Obviously this is great because it signifies increased awareness and community, never a bad thing. I clicked through blog after blog and no name was familiar to me. None of the commenters names were familiar, yet there were thirty or forty for each post. Back in the old days, I felt as if I knew of most IF bloggers, though I certainly didn't read or comment on all of them. It's really odd to be a part of an online community for a number of years (ok, 3 1/2), and find yourself moving from the inner rungs to the very outer circles without ever noticing your gradual marginalisation.

I suppose this is what happens when you achieve the main objective of that circle and you edge further and further away from what you once were. Before my successful IVF I defined myself as an infertile. Now I'm a mother who sometimes forgets this previous identity, a former self whose acquaintance I am rather happy to leave behind.

I got an email today from a good friend in my Mums and Hellbeasts group. THE email. You know the one - "Hi, I'm pregnant with number 2!" Three years ago this would have decimated me. Well, I guess technically I wouldn't have known her since we met through this group, but nonetheless...When I read it my heart didn't sink, I didn't get teary. However, it still made me sad. I'm happy for my friend of course, but there is still a sliver of Her around reminding me that this feeling will never completely pass. I may not be able to expound on ECM, FSH and luteal phases with all of the women still trudging on through, but unfortunately I will always know the sting when those words are said.


On the road

Alright, I get it. You don't like the dulcet tones of Jenny Lewis and you certainly don't give a shit about how Music Monday is presented. That's ok, I get the message. You're lucky I'm such a nice person, or else I'd curse you with the autoplay so that you were blasted with each Monday's chosen theme/band just for visiting without any action on your part. I hate that myself, so rest assured, that won't happen.

The Dude and I decided to live on the wild side yesterday, and booked ourselves on a flight to the mighty Pennsylvania in two weeks' time. We'd been hoping to go for awhile, but were deflated by the absurd prices - £1750 for the three of us. That's $3500 American dollars right there. Nearly $4000 for two adults and a small thing to be crammed into a tiny metal tube hurling through space for 6-8 hours at a time. Not surprisingly, we were rather turned off by this.

We realised that we had some air miles accumulating in a deep dark chasm somewhere, courtesy of using a certain credit card and shopping at a specific supermarket. The flights altogether came to less than it would have been for just one of us to fly. Viva capitalism!

For any of you that may come to this blog and roll your eyes in annoyance with what I say, sit down, put your feet up and smirk at this little fact - my child, energetic, spirited product of a petri dish and the talents of a hot young Greek embyrologist, sprung from my loins - will not have her own seat on the flight over. That is to say, she will be lapbound for the journey to Philadelphia. 7 hours of wriggling, smacking, hair-pulling agony, and that's just me. Help. This may be the death of me, and I won't yet be 30. Do me justice in your memorials and eulogies please.

I am looking forward to so many things once I get there, if I get there - our favourite local cafe, thunderstorms, the weak dollar, Old Navy, Red Lobster, American TV, showers, yard sales, and something else...what was it...oh yeah, family. Them as well. My Mom has managed to cheat death thanks to the Ferret Stroker's bad aim with his pellet gun, though P's blow-up swimming pool is no longer with us. I pray for the Ferret Stroker's own safety that he doesn't pull any stupid shit when my kid is around, or else I shall commit many violent physical acts against his person.

Now, I just need to get through the next couple of weeks of work, a struggle at the moment. I spent my working afternoon today being patiently authoritarian for 10 minutes, then spending the rest of my time in a menage a chat with Molly and DD. They give good chat, those two, particularly together.

Less than two weeks 'til Brain Trust, two weeks 'til Brain Trust...