Monthly Archives: September 2014

New room for the baby

Our spare room has always annoyed me.

It was originally designed as a garage, although the first owners 25 years ago had no car so it was built as a reception room. They had it as a dining room three steps down from the living room, then the guy we bought the house from put up a partition wall and made it a bedroom. The only thing is, he left the steps and just stuck up some shelves. It always felt a bit unfinished, but was a perfectly usable spare room after a coat of paint.

As a baby’s room though, we knew it needed some TLC.

Finding a joiner in Aberdeen was my first challenge – the first guy came round, spent half an hour advising me – and then never even sent through a quote! Two others scared the beejesus out of me with their figures – and then I found Zsolt. He was recommended by my accountant, who told me he submitted the tidiest books she’d ever seen, so that was a good omen. His quote was very reasonable, he was pleasant, he called and arrived when he said he would, so we were happy to give him the job – and what a gem he turned out to be! Reliable, tidy, and a real perfectionist – I am absolutely delighted with the work he and his assistant carried out.

They pulled back two walls where, as we suspected, we found the insulation was completely inadequate and showing signs of mould. An unexpected concrete column didn’t allow any space for insulation, hence the draft and condensation we always found in that corner. Zsolt built the wall out two inches to allow him to insulate around it, then put up new plasterboard and taped and filled it – no need for plaster and the three-day-drying-out period.

The old frame before it was built out slightly to allow insulation around the stone column

The old frame before it was built out slightly to allow insulation around the stone column

Insulation around the window was also woeful - I'm so glad we fixed it!

Insulation around the window was also woeful – I’m so glad we fixed it!

It was the solution to the weird steps-and-shelves arrangement that made me happiest. Turns out Zsolt is a master craftsman and a carpenter to trade – his real passion is building furniture. The wardrobe he fashioned out of the space is just beautiful. He also suggested a hanging rail which could be pulled down for easier access, and gave me lots of options for shelving in the other half. So we went from this:

mummykimmy refurb3

to this:

mummykimmy refurb5

then this:

mummykimmy refurb6

and this:

mummykimmyrefurb8

How gorgeous is that?

To finish off a great job, they painted the whole room white, including all the woodwork around the window and the skirtings and then, because he had half an hour before he had to leave, Zsolt went round all the doors in my house adjusting hinges and shaving bases so that they all now close silently.

Did I hit the jackpot or what? It was the least I could do to hand him a cheque before he left. As a self-employed person myself I reckon prompt payment is the best way to show your appreciation for a job well done. I am also going to keep in touch so that in the new year, when he finishes a big restoration project, I can get him some press coverage and redesign his website. Rod and I are also now seriously considering building an extension rather than moving – if Zsolt is in charge, it will be a work of art.

The carpet arrived yesterday, the new single bed is coming tomorrow and a blackout blind is being fitted next week. We’ll build the cot and put up some pictures, fill the wardrobe with all the freshly washed and folded baby clothes and see if we can even fit the rocking chair in.

I’m due in three weeks – and I’m more excited than ever to spend lots of time in my beautiful new room.

Complete with new carpet - just some furniture and a blind to come and we're ready for you, baby!

Complete with new carpet – just some furniture and a blind to come and we’re ready for you, baby!

Leave a comment

Filed under Aberdeen, baby kit, home

What’s this strange feeling?

I’m feeling a surprising emotion right now – I think it’s called… relaxed.

I’m trying to figure out why.

I think it’s because I had nothing in the diary today, except a nail appointment at 3.30 to get rid of the gel polish that chipped about three days ago. Clean nails, as my friend Jenny will agree, is a very quick route to relaxation.

I think it’s also got something to do with my finally feeling better after a stomach bug and a lot to do with the sun shining all day long and my getting four loads of washing hung outside.

It’s what was hanging on my beloved whirligig, though, that’s given me this warm, happy glow.

mummykimmy baby clothes on the line

At ten o’clock this morning, with the wee man safely off to nursery and the joiners working tidily in the spare room, I sat on the floor in front of Homes Under the Hammer with a can of Dr Pepper and two huge airtight storage bags.

Inside were all the wee man’s baby clothes from birth to 12 months.

I spent a nostalgic half hour going through them all, separating out all the white, yellow and green stuff, remembering who had given us each and every outfit. Some of the stuff is just so gorgeous that I don’t even care if it’s a girl, she’ll go out dressed in blue. I mean LOOK at this snow suit!

mummykimmy blue snowsuit

As I waited for the washing machine cycles to end I ticked a whole load of small tasks off my list – you know those little tasks that always get bumped to your “one day I’ll get round to it” list – like copying over those massive video files to free up half your hard drive? I did some filing, put away the Asda shop, made a menu for the next week (yes I still do that) and generally reclaimed that feeling of control that has been so absent from my life lately.

To top off a splendid day, the wee man came willingly home from nursery, ate a whole plate of tuna salad and gave me lots of lovely kisses and cuddles. Then an amazing thing happened. Daddy came home early! The wee man just about burst with excitement when he spotted him through the window and cannoned into him even harder than usual. Off they went to play and I realised that, with the chicken roasting in the oven (great menu planning) I could actually just…. Go and sit down. So here I am blogging, with a neat little pile of folded newborn babygros next to me and unchipped nails and a clean house and a roast chicken in the oven.

I could get used to this.

The end of Shellac - it's the end of an era…

The end of Shellac – it’s the end of an era…

Leave a comment

Filed under Aberdeen, fashion, pregnancy

No room for the muse…

The muse has temporarily deserted me.

I used to really look forward to writing a new mum blog post, those days something funny happened or life taught me a valuable lesson. It would be a treat to open the laptop, upload the photos and indulge my creative writing hobby while the wee man slept.

Maybe that’s been the problem – the lack of sleep.

The naps – those wonderful oases in our crazy days – are long gone, and this summer the 12-hour-straight slumbers from 7.30pm have also disappeared. Some nights it’s been 9pm before he’s finally conked out, only to be up again three hours later. Those nights there’s just time to eat something before passing out ourselves.

But something else pretty big and important has taken over my life recently, and it’s no exaggeration to say it has totally floored me. Pregnancy.

It’s been a totally different experience from first time round. I haven’t enjoyed it at all. I’ve felt generally under the weather the whole time – bone tired, over-emotional, nauseous, achey and completely lacking in energy. I’ve fought it, of course. I’ve taken the supplements, eaten healthily, drunk lots of water, tried to stay active (even though my pelvis has had to be realigned and I’m doing physio every day) and clung to my perspectacles. I’ve made huge efforts to stay rational, to count my blessings that the baby’s been growing healthily, to control the tears and rages, and to continue to be a good mum to the wee man. It’s been a huge effort, especially for a woman with no energy.

Filming for the local business news broadcast - and hiding the bump!

Filming for the local business news broadcast – and hiding the bump!

My business, meanwhile, has taken off. It’s been the best trading year yet. It’s been my escape, living three days a week in a world where success can be measured and to do lists can be achieved. I’ve formulated and delivered effective strategies, returned to some proper journalism, met interesting new contacts and received praise for jobs well done. I’ve felt in control and successful, a nice contrast to toddler battles and a body that challenges me in some new way every day.

mummykimmy press call

Now though, I am four weeks away from my due date. I have finally, and reluctantly, gone on mat leave. The wee man has moved up a class at nursery and now goes three and a half days, which are more evenly spread out during the week. We have found a second babysitter – a trainee paediatric nurse who lives locally – and who the wee man loves. The sleeping has improved – though he is still up once or twice through the night – and even I have to admit that the headspace freed up by not working has allowed me to relax a bit.

Four weeks to go...

Four weeks to go…

I’ve bought myself a new notebook, glued the scan pictures into the first pages and started writing lists. Baby names, suggestions from other mums, things to organise before the wee one arrives… and I’m excited! I’m looking forward to having time alone at home to nest. I can’t wait to go through all the wee man’s old baby clothes and wash anything white, yellow or green. I’m delighted the joiner is coming to build a fitted wardrobe in the baby’s room and paint the whole place white. I’m even up for the challenge of scrubbing the pram and car seat.

I feel a sense of achievement already. And maybe the muse is returning…

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Aberdeen, health, pregnancy, pregnancy & health, pregnancy & work, sleep