Stuff and nonsense

NYC↑↑ Evidence #657 that we live in a small world: Madeleine went to daycare dressed in this ridiculously cute hotdog-pretzel t-shirt the other day, a gift from one of my best friends in the world. As we were entering, one of the dads also doing the drop-off admired her shirt and said "that's my favourite city," and of course I said "me too." We got talking and it turned out we'd lived in New York at the same time and were practically neighbours (he was in the Lower East Side and I was in SoHo), and he used to manage one of my favourite restaurants, where my friends and I would go all the time. And here we were, half a world and an ENTIRE different lifestyle away, dropping our little girls off to play. Autumn↑↑ I took this photograph on the way back from a coffee run because I saw the leaves on this little tree and thought "WHAAAT? IS IT AUTUMN ALREADY?" And then I realised the leaves weren't turning brown for the season, they had actually burned up during the recent heatwave. Poor tree.

I have been indulging in a little bit of we-can't-catch-a-break feeling sorry for myself dumps lately. On Friday night I had sudden and extreme pains in the chest and stomach, and thought I had some kind of food poisoning. After a sleepless and very painful night I went to the hospital first thing the next morning, and had emergency surgery the same day. Seemed I had an inflamed gall bladder which was also causing problems for my liver, so they whipped the gall bladder out and "oh by the way I stitched up a small hernia behind your belly button on the way out." Thank you, two pregnancies in quick succession, which apparently caused all of the above (not the heatwave). Now I've been told "don't walk, don't drive, don't lift anything," instructions that are almost IMPOSSIBLE to follow when you have kids (which explains the hernia - I had no choice but to ignore the "don't lift after giving birth" instructions in order to care for Madeleine). Last night I was a bit teary. Madeleine cried for ages after going to bed because I had to have the babysitter lift her in there but she wanted her mummy. Then Harry cried and cried because he had wind but I couldn't hold him the way he needed to be held due to the wounds in my chest and belly. Of course Madeleine did eventually get to sleep, and Mr B cuddled Harry until he fell asleep, but I just felt useless as a mother and like I'd let them down by being sick. Again. I think my body has had enough. I have been pregnant and/or breastfeeding (with a little thing called "giving birth" in between) constantly since 2011. During my pregnancy with Harry, I was sick for nearly the whole time. Nothing serious, mostly viruses carried from daycare to Madeleine to me, but it wasn't fun. I'm a bit over it. And now we have the medical bills to pay on top of all our other bills (thank you, multiple unanticipated problems during home renovation), right when I'm working my lowest hours ever.

BUT... I live in a beautiful house in an amazing city - the first time I've felt "at home" since leaving New York - I have an incredibly hard-working, loving and supportive husband who is also very good for a laugh, and the two most adorable children I could ever wish for. So when I'm not feeling sorry for myself, I feel incredibly thankful. It's all worth it. It really is.

Caterpillar↑↑ This guy and his funny faces! Last week I wrote what I guess you'd call a sponsored post (in that I was given a gift voucher to go shopping and wrote a bit about what I bought). I so rarely do these kinds of posts because they sit uncomfortably with me, and I wonder how you feel about them - I don't want you to feel like I'm trying to sell to you or use you! A while ago I made up my mind to only accept gifts etc with posts if I would a) actually happily spend the money myself anyway, and b) think what I'm writing about might interest or benefit you (or both). And I've followed that rule in every one of the (very few) sponsored posts I've ever written. Last week after I wrote about my little boy and his beautiful Very Hungry Caterpillar stash, Mr B read the post and said it was "delightfully snobbish." It got me thinking. Because I hadn't intended to be snobbish at all, delightfully so or otherwise. I thought I was being truthful. And I wondered if I was being too apologetic in the post because I was worrying too much about your reaction. I don't know. What do you think? Am I being unfair on the sponsor? On you? On myself?

(And here I am, worrying about your reaction again. But you matter to me! I can't tell you how amazed I constantly am that you take the time to read this blog, and how much that means to me.)

I'll leave you with this little video because it is pure joy. If you ever get chocolate gelato all over your face and front on a 42 degree day, this is how you should clean it off.