- This morning, I microwaved NOTHING. I don’t mean I put in an empty bowl or mug, oh ho ho, isn’t that funny? I closed the empty microwave, pressed the buttons to start it, and walked away, apparently expecting a warmed breakfast to appear out of thin air, like magic.
- I read a story about a couple whose baby was born at 23 weeks, and died a few hours later. I fully knew what the post was going to be about, and clicked the link and read that sucker anyway. I am now re-hydrating to replenish vital moisture lost to copious tears.
- I introduced myself to someone, and she said, “Jamie? THAT is an interesting name!” This threw me off so much I just stared at her for probably a full five seconds before blurting out, “IS IT?!” No response.
U.S. vs. U.K. (NHS): Prenatal and antenatal care
I had Dexter when we lived in the U.S., while enjoying the top notch benefits provided by video game companies. (Seriously. They’re great. Billing people would gape at me all the time, in disbelief over what was covered.)
From second trimester on, my pregnancy with Cricket is under the care of the U.K.’s National Health Service, aka NHS England. Matt still works for a video game company and therefore receives private health insurance, but after some research, we discovered that NHS care would be comparable and in some (boring) ways, better for us and our situation.
For the uninitiated, the U.S. has no national health service. All of my care was provided in private practice, via employer-provided insurance, paid for by us in the form of a paycheck deduction. The NHS in the UK is most similar to a single-payer plan, but does not truly fall under that definition because in addition to being paid for via our taxes, there are trusts involved and as mentioned, private insurance is in the mix.
Nap laps, tantrums and stepping in poo
Dexter is having kind of a tough week.
On Tuesday, I woke him early from his nap to get to a midwife appointment on time. It’s been cold and wet lately, but that afternoon was sunny and cool so we played in the front garden a bit before heading inside. It was all fun and games until he tried to step down a concrete step onto our driveway, slipped and fell.
That’s when I realized the bottoms of his shoes were coated with poo, about an inch thick.
Dexter sees snow for the first time
London snow is unusual. The city is 3-4 degrees warmer than the most of the rest of the UK and we just don’t see flakes very often.
But on Thursday, it snowed, a pretty good showing – almost complete ground coverage with fat flakes still falling when Matt got home from work.
Our usual evening routine is Matt and Dex play while I make/finish dinner, then we eat, then bed. That train doesn’t derail very often, but still, when Matt said, “You wanna put on coats and boots and go outside and show him the snow?” I only had to think a second before saying yes.
Who knew how long it would last, or when we’d see it again?
Dexter Ian: 21 Months Old
We put a fake baby brother on Dexter’s Christmas list.
No one bought it for Christmas but then Matt’s mom sent it for Three Kings.
The idea was to maybe start play-acting some stuff, feeding and holding, to get Dexter used to the idea of a baby in the house ahead of Cricket’s arrival. Dex knows there’s a baby in mommy’s belly, but I’m pretty sure he doesn’t get it. Our hope was that Fake Baby Brother would give us an anchor, a way to talk about things so they’re a little less abstract.
We weren’t sure how it would go, but it turns out that Dexter loves that baby. He feeds it, puts it to bed about 493 times a day, wraps it in a blanket and is very diligent of being sure the baby has its paci.
He is so freaking adorable with that doll that if I wasn’t already pregnant, I probably would be by now.
Hello London: Exploring the Science Museum
London’s Science Museum is gorgeous. It’s beautifully designed and curated, a pleasure to wander.
Top Books of 2016… and Dexter’s picks, too!
You: “We get it, Jamie. You really like books and reading. You are weirdly dedicated to the library and are super happy that Dexter loves books, too, and you talk about it all the damn time. WE GET IT.”
Me: “BUT HAVE YOU SEEN A WHOLE BUNCH OF PHOTOS OF DEXTER READING BOOKS, ALL GATHERED IN ONE ADORABLE COLLAGE HERE ON THE INTERNET?”
You: “[sigh] No. Fine. Show us.”
Me: “If you insist!”
You: “Don’t push it.”
Dexter reading photos are at the end, but first, my top books of 2016.
Another relatively light reading year for me, but there are some treasures. Maybe next year I’ll get to read more. I hear you get LESS busy with two children, right? RIGHT?
Seriously, though, reading is a big part of my life and one of my 2017 resolutions is to put some effort into it. It’s always come easy because I’ve always had lots of time for books, so if I read a few duds, who cares? There were 3-4 good books for every bad one. Now that that has been untrue for two years in a row, I’m putting some effort into research to make sure my precious reading time is of higher quality. Man, this is some privileged person problems, here. Also note that the links below are affiliate, so if you click and buy a book, I’ll get a few pennies (literally) to put toward my hosting.
Here are previous lists, and here are the 2016 picks:
Our first Christmas in London
I really thought we’d have another 17-20 years before we’d have to worry about Dexter face-planting on a pub floor, but it happened a few days ago. We were with friends waiting to be seated for a late lunch, in a slightly crowded bar area, when Dex sucessfully navigated the stairs and then when taking his next step forward, stumbled and completely failed to stop his fall. (The puffer coat and new backpack he was wearing probably didn’t help.)
Matt scooped him up and sure enough – mouth full of blood.
Dexter vs. Santa 2016
Last year, Dexter met Santa for the first time at the EA holiday party held at Matt’s office. He was much more interested in removing his socks than getting to know Claus, and his face was that knowing, “I’m just doing this to make my parents happy” smirk that he continues to perfect.
This year, as his is nature, things got more judgmental.
Hello, Florence: Views to die for, telescope porn and the Florence Marathon almost strands us
After Dexter conquered his carousel fear, we took him home for a nap and then bought him some pizza when he woke up. He was pretty happy about it.
Our itinerary was loose, but we knew we wanted to wander around and look at Christmas lights, eventually heading to Guilio Giannini, a shop where six generations of family have been master bookbinders since 1856.