One of the more exciting aspects of starting a family for me has been the thought of having someone to pass all of my stories on to.

Other than you guys, I mean. Because you guys are cool, and all, but I don’t expect you’ll be telling your descendants all about that time Terry and I flooded the bathroom, or that other time I managed to lock myself in the (same) bathroom, or… other things mostly involving bathrooms, apparently. And, OK, I mean, now I come to think of it, I guess they’re NOT really The Greatest Tales Ever Told, are they? But they’re MY tales, and I’m looking forward to having a whole new person to bore senseless with them pass them down to, so that all of these random acts of stupidity will not prove to have been in vain. Or something.

(*That category is the best thing on my blog, by the way. Much better than, say, this post, which – SPOILER ALERT – starts off OK, but then takes a dark detour through cancer wards and mysterious injuries. Honestly, I’d just go and read the Random Acts of Stupidity instead, if I were you: there are pirates and everything!)

It’s funny, though: the more I think about this brand new person coming into our lives, the more I’m struck by the idea that this time of my life, which feels so very REAL and current to me, is actually occurring in someone else’s far-distant past. I’m going to do a bad job of trying to explain this feeling, I know, but it’s like… you know how when your own parents sometimes tell you stories about things that happened either before you were born, or when you were a baby/toddler, and it feels like they’re talking about something that happened, like, a hundred years ago or something? You’re IN some of the stories, but it’s a version of you that you just can’t remember – or even imagine – being, so it feels like it all happened in this distant, almost-mythical time that you can’t quite bring yourself to believe in, even although you know your parents probably aren’t lying to you. The photos are faded, the clothes and hairstyles old-fashioned, and although it, too, was very real and current to the people who lived through it, to you it will only ever be a story – and a bit of a far-fetched one, at that.

That’s what my entire life up until this point – and for quite a few years after it – will be to my baby. And that’s kind of freaky, don’t you think? I mean, I’m basically living in the PAST here, people. And I have SO MUCH to tell him/her. SO many things to bring this new person up to speed on. Like, I need to tell him/her about The Beatles. About 9/11. About all of the holidays Terry and I took, and how one time we broke someone else’s bathroom, because we’d apparently run out of stupid things to do to our own. I just… I have NO IDEA how I’m going to get this kid all caught up with the events of my OWN life, let alone, you know, the entire history of the world. GOD.

(Yes, I know the baby probably won’t even care about all of my stupid stories, especially the ones about bathrooms. But at least I’ll have tried…)

So, in a bid to help things along, I’m re-starting my weekly diary entries. Or I’m going to try to, anyway. I used to post these every Saturday, but then I got pregnant and had to hide it from you all for weeks, THEN the pregnancy diary sort of took over, and now it’s basically like I have no life other than worrying about whether I can feel the baby move yet, or if it’s just a bad attack of gas. Probably because I DON’T really have a life other than … you get the picture.

Anyway! I’m obviously updating you on all of the pregnancy stuff in my weekly pregnancy diary posts, so you’ll be pleased to know that these ones will be (largely) pregnancy-free, and will focus instead on all of the other stuff that happens every week, that I never really bother writing down any more. Things like…

The continuing war against cancer

hospital corridor

So, as you know, Terry’s mum has been having chemotherapy for gastric cancer, and it turns out that chemotherapy is a real bitch, seriously. Of course, we’re hoping chemotherapy will be the bitch that kicks the ass of the even-bigger-bitch that is cancer, and if it is, we’ll thank it very much for that, but that’s all well and good, and appropriately pep-talky, until you find yourself standing in a branch of TK Maxx, clutching the box you’re planning to use to hold all of your baby/pregnancy memorabilia, and listening to your loved one sob down the phone, because she just can’t stop throwing up, and she doesn’t think she can do this any more, and then suddenly everything feels very bleak and hopeless, and very, very Not Good, and then you’re looking at that baby box, and thinking that not all of the memories of this time are going to be good ones, are they? And how on earth are you supposed to deal with THAT?

Terry and I were in Edinburgh when all of this happened, but luckily Terry’s sister and brother were much closer, and, by the time we got there, Lila had already called the hospital, who’d told her just to bring her mum straight in. She was admitted that night, and spent the next two days in hospital: she’s back home now, and feeling much better, but, of course, we’re very aware that this was just round one, and there will be many more bouts to go before we’ll even know if it’s having the desired effect. So it’s hard, and it’s scary, and it’s all kinds of awful, really, in ways I can’t even begin to describe, but it’s what we’re dealing with right now, and I’m just glad that Terry’s mum is feeling better, and has so many people in her corner -as do we, of course. I have a feeling we’re going to need them.

My left knee

the blue crossIt seems a bit crass, really, to go from cancer/chemotherapy right into pointless whining about a minor injury, but I want these diary entries (and my blog in general) to record the little things as well as the big things, so, with that in mind, I invite you all to look at my left knee, which was injured in mysterious circumstances earlier this week, and which is, even now, still recovering.

I say “mysterious circumstances”… It would be fair to say I’ve been more than a little bit distracted lately, so literally all I remember about this incident is briefly thinking, “Wow, THAT’S gonna hurt later!” and then just blithely going about my business… until a few minutes later, when I tried to go upstairs, and realised I couldn’t put any weight on my knee, because, OUCH. I dunno… it FELT like someone had hit it with a hammer or something, but I’m pretty sure even I would’ve remembered that, and there was no bruising or swelling (I bruise really easily, too: when I was a kid, my parents used to worry that the school would assume they were beating me or something….), so my best guess is that, being the clumsy oaf that I am, I’ve just turned or moved awkwardly, and managed to sprain it or something. All I know for sure is that I spent the next day or so walking up and downstairs sideways, and having to be assisted out of my desk chair, because I couldn’t put enough weight on the leg to push the thing out from under the desk. So that was fun!

(Oh, and the blue cross is some kind of plaster for sports injuries or something, that Terry thought would help. It didn’t.)

Making plans, then changing them

all-white bedroom

The main reason we were in Edinburgh this week was to visit IKEA (Also known as ‘Just a Really Big Version of Our Own House, With All of Our Stuff in It, Really’) to look at bathroom cabinets. You see, I’ve all of a sudden taken agin the cabinet in our en suite. I hate it. And I want a big, shiny, Pinterest-y one instead: one that I can fill with clever storage solutions, and organise to my heart’s content. Terry is not so keen on this plan, but, then again, I also want to change the bed (I really wasn’t joking about wanting a bigger bed, by the way. Let’s just say I have PLANS.), the wall colour, and one entire corner of the bedroom, too, and I guess the bathroom cabinet (Oh, and by “cabinet” I mean, “with a sink attached.” So, also a sink. And a new backsplash, because we can’t replace the sink and keep the old backsplash. Also a new mirror, some towels, a towel rack, and, actually, a new shower would be nice, too, but then we’d possibly have to move the toilet, and if we do THAT, we might as well re-tile the floor…) seemed like an easier win at the time.

We did not get a new bathroom cabinet. Actually, all we got was a new cushion cover for the living room, some new plates, and about a ton of that Swedish chocolate they always have by the cash register. I’m planning a trip to a different bathroom retailer for next weekend. Terry doesn’t know about that yet unless he reads this blog post, and my guess is that he’ll look at it, think, “Nope, too long!” and check out. And y’all thought I just rambled on for the sheer hell of it, didn’t you?

How was your week?

17 Comments
  1. Get the bigger bed, you’ll love the space. Think cuddly mornings with a gurgling baby and crawling (all over you) toddler.

  2. I know exactly what you mean about your parents’, or even grandparents’, stories not seeming real. You mean they had a life before us?? 😉 Your little boy or girl will love hearing your stories, especially the silly ones. I don’t have children but one thing I would’ve loved to have told them was the time my granny got stuck on the roof trying to get us back into the house after locking us out!

    I’ve been going through our old family photos lately. My granddad was quite a photographer and there are lots of old pictures of Scotland in an album charmingly entitled ‘Snapshots’ as well as lots of my mum and auntie when they were children. Then when I came along there are even more, many of them black and white evoking an even greater world-before-time feel. My granny also had quite a collection including many of her out and about with her pals on motorbikes and in the Land Army during the war. My parents were very young when they had me so I was used to seeing them at their most glamorous and youthful, but it’s quite a surprise to see my grandparents, who brought me up, as good-looking and fashionable twenty-somethings.

    I love hearing my parents’ stories, right up to the time they met for the first time in a lift at Earl’s Court tube station (where my dad used a lame chat-up line – obviously it worked though!). Last year I was in the same lift. It was a strange feeling knowing that even though I’d never been in it before, it was part of my ‘history’.

  3. 1) your post about getting locked in the bathroom was the second one I read on your blog and the one that made me sign up! Because it made me think ‘well, these people sound fun, I want to hear more’
    2) life isn’t just the big things, it’s the small things too, so I am sorry about your knee, man

  4. You made me want to laugh, cry, giggle and write about five different comments while I read your post. I will just go for a strong hug to you, Terry, his mom and your whole family. You are in my thoughts, more often than I think is normal for someone who only reads about you on the Internet (and I mean that in a good, non-creepy way).

  5. I want to tell him my stories later on too, but I’m positive that if I do, he’ll end up buying me a straight jacket then get me permanently committed to the local psychiatric hospital for the rest of my days.

  6. Chemo is awful and so shit to have to go through something that makes you feel so crap in order to make you better.

    As for getting a bigger bed, do it. We went up to a superking last year and it’s the best thing I’ve ever bought. Ever. I try to convince everyone I know to get one. Doesn’t take up much more floor space but so much room on it. Bloody marvellous.

  7. Lovely post. Hope is mum is feeling better soon, I can’t even imagine what that feels like!

    Rachael xox
    http://www.rachaeldickinson.com

  8. Dear Amber,
    Thank you as always for sharing your life with us all….and firstly, yes, chemo is horrific, the thing to hold on to is the great love and support you have in your family, if everyone keeps looking out for each other, it is all a little easier even though it will still be hard…
    I had a thought on your knee, and I will try my outmost not to trigger any health anxiety, if I unwittingly do, please forgive me…anyway, it sounds a bit like what happened to my knee last year, complete with crablike moving whilst my leg was sticking out sideways when trying to crouch…..I found that elevating it and resting it on a stack of fat pillows ( now there’s an excuse for some further pillow shopping!!) ideally with an ice pack, did a lot of good. I also bought one of those soft knee brace things ( link: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Seagull-Knee-Support-Tendonitis-Osteoarthritis/dp/B016AT0NCE) and that was such a relief. It really stabilised the knee and I didn’t have to think about accidentally moving it in a stupid way….the downside is that it is butt ugly….but you should be able to get leggings over it. Obviously I can’t say if my knee thing is the same as your knee thing and you may have found a different solution already, this is just what made me feel better…
    I’m looking forward to hear more pregnancy news, in the meantime all my best wishes to all of you…..xx

    1. Sorry, I’ve only just seen this for some reason! My knee pain actually only lasted for a day or so, so it wasn’t something that required a brace or anything like that – I think I must just have strained it or something! Hope yours is feeling better!

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