Thursday, 5 December 2013

Are you there, little Pocky?

Whilst I type this, I'm wrapped up in the warmth of the duvet with only the gentle rustling of bare branches beyond the window, trying to feel our little Pocky. I'm still not totally sure if the subtle rolls inside my tummy are my baby, and I still can't really get my head around it being in there. I feel a bit like I'm waiting for something to click into place in my mind.

There is so much going on at the moment that I feel like I haven't given myself enough chances to stop still and take it in. What with the house and work deadlines, sometimes I actually forget, and that's the last thing I want to do. I want to be able to bottle up every moment, as being pregnant and experiencing it with my best friend and love is like nothing else.

I've been going to bed too late, spending what little daylight there is in an airless office and battling my way home on two tubes, a train and a bus. Today it all got a little bit much. I feel silly saying that I felt exhausted, as I know I have yet to experience the true meaning of the word with what we have to come and my work's not really hard. But with sweet Jonny's persuasion and a little reminder that me and the baby need some rest, I've stayed at home with my Buddy-cat. I feel guilty. The guilt of taking the day off as a freelancer and the guilt of being a little bit pathetic. I have huge respect for any mummas to be who get on with physcially demanding or super stressful careers with other kids in tow, as in comparison to many, I have nothing on my plate.

We have our 20 week scan tomorrow (which, being the 'anomaly' scan, I am pretty nervous about). Perhaps seeing again will help me believe it though. Of course, it's also the time the gender could be revealed... I always swore I'd never want to know and Jon is sure of that too. However, just lately I've been waivering. I don't know if i'm 100 percent sure, as obviously there's no going back. I just wonder if it would make it feel more real. To help give those self-conscious whispers to my non-responsive belly button a bit more weight. To be able to imagine a bit better, the little mystery human being that's the focus of our thoughts and dreams.

I did this quiz last night. One question that perhaps summed up my changing school of thought was 'when you book a holiday, do you like to plan everything'. Perhaps my Google Drive full of spreadsheets is a good reflection of my psyche. I'm a little bit of a control freak. Yes, I like suprises. Yes, I used to save my Christmas presents till the end of the day so the fun wouldn't be over. But maybe that's because I was kidding myself - I'd always managed to do a little bit of sneaky detective work beforehand for reassurance.

If we found out, we'd get both an amazing suprise tomorrow, plus five months of dreaming and everything after that. Again, that's hoping and hoping that everything goes well. Little person, whoever you may be, we love you so much already. So I guess it shouldn't really matter, right?

Jon just took the quiz, and it said we should wait. I'm so confused! What would you do?

Sunday, 1 December 2013

And here it is...

It turns out that there are lots of decisions to be made when doing up a house. Lovely decisions. We feel incredibly lucky to be able to make a home pretty much how we want it (within budget of course).

When it came to finding a property to buy, we had an idea of what we were after. Light was of utmost importance. Having lived in basements during my student time in Bath made me extra appreciative of being able to wake up with sun bouncing off the walls. We needed a second bedroom, and somewhere to work. In our last flat, we turned the hallway cupboard into a decent workspace so we're pretty adaptable.

Over the six months we were looking, we watched as our budget allowed us a beautifully finished three bedroom period property, to it looking more likely we were going to have to bid farewell to our dream of a staircase and go for a much smaller flat. The market went crazy and prices jumped by about 60k on houses we'd seen. We made offers on all manor of 1960s, 1930s and Victorian properties and were outbid time and time again by cash buyers who would put down way over asking.

Whilst the panic set in, we appreciated that while we may not get what we envisaged, we were still incredibly lucky to be in this situation at all.

One day however, in the batch of estate agent emails, I noticed that one house we'd passed up months ago due to being waaaaaay overpriced was still being advertised. This was odd, as usually things were only lasting about two days on the market. Phoning the agent, he confirmed the unexpected, that nobody was interested in this little house.

We could kind of see why at the price they'd given it. It went against our dream of light filled ceilings, as somewhere in it's history the original Victorian windows had been replaced with led panelled peepers about half the size. It was dark. There were beer cans scattered across most rooms. There was damp. My mum even noticed a paw print in a left-over casserole dish  (this must sound very bitchy as these photos were taken on the first viewing when a perfect showhome effort had been made by the tenants. To be fair, we did tend to have our other viewings first thing on a saturday morning... We must have been pretty annoying).

Hopefully, though, we've managed to see what it can be. It's an ugly duckling but it's got bloody good spaces. A lovely garden with what one day can be a studio. It has stairs, and storage - two lofts!! No longer will we need to keep Henry the Hoover inside our bed. Whilst it may not be the coolest area of West London - far from it - the commute isn't too awful and our road is full of young families our age. There's a park and the river a short walk away. Plenty of places to push a little buggy.

We were pretty pleased with ourselves. Usually known for being meek and mild, I became a stubborn bargainer and we managed to get it at a price which allows us a bit of creativity in making it our own. Starting, of course, with those windows ;-)

So, everyone, this our new home. And tips and ideas would be much appreciated!