Tag Archives: Socks

Ooh, Socks Did it Again!


One of the main themes I had when I first started this blog back in October 2012 was to follow my best friend’s journey into becoming a parent. I posted almost-weekly for nearly the entire pregnancy, as it was as much a learning experience for her as it was for me. It was great fun to have our weekly phone call (still being done) and get the update on where baby Button (now quite the little character) was in her gestational progress.

I introduce Socks here, and further explain our fantastic friendship here. If you would like to read the whole saga – it is pretty funny at times! – the link to every Socks post is here. Might be a few random posts about “actual” socks in there too, sorry!

Okay background is covered! New news! Socks and Bear have been making another new family member for the last 42 weeks. 42? Did I say 42 when a human gestational period is 40 weeks? Yes, yes I did. She went over time, and over over time… and FINALLY the docs said, ‘durr, yes, we have room at the inn.’

Believe me, Socks was not happy, not happy at all to have things delayed so long! She was scheduled to go in, being pretty much ready to go for over a week (just not having contractions yet) and it seems that everyone else decided to jump the queue ahead of her! She was due the 13th March. I had been joking since she told me she was pregnant that her child would be a Paddy’s Day baby, but thinking the whole time she’d be sooner. When she started to show signs of being ready, I was hoping for 6th March, as it coincides with the birthday of a loved one of mine (pretty apt as Socks’ daughter has exactly the same birthday as my only niece).

But no. The 6th passed, the 13th went by, the 17th was green (for me) but not a green light for them. Since then, it’s just been a drawn out waiting game.

The boy didn’t want to come out! Oh, didn’t I say? It’s a boy this time! He already seems to love his momma, as 42 weeks is a loooong time to hang around.

But! No more. Socks now has a son! Born yesterday at 7:52 pm, weighing in at 8lbs 4oz (3.74 kilos) and over 20 inches long (52cm)! Not an ouch to be had on Mom’s part, either – three pushes and hello, son!

Congratulations to Socks and Bear and Button on the new member of their warm family. He’s a lucky guy to be a part of it!

A Picture Speaks a Thousand Words?


I’m super low on energy as I have some sort of upper respiratory infection.

Also, coming down off the Paddy’s Day festivity excitement is slightly depressing.

Also, I always get a little weirder than normal in the spring. Even as a child, spring has messed with my head. All that potential life and energy and just plain potential, stored up and waiting to burst into…. well, I never quite managed to burst into anything particularly special so maybe that’s why I get a bit bummed out.

Anyhoo – I got a wee ceramic watering can and some narcissus bulbs for Christmas. I planted them and left them on my kitchen windowsill to grow.

And they did, of course. And they also looked like Spottie’s favourite snack – a long stringy thing. After he had a good munch, I moved them to the fireplace mantle, which is out of reach and too crammed with stuff for Spot to consider jumping up.

I thought I was just taking a picture of my flowers. But what I saw was a little snapshot of me and who I am, displayed above my fireplace. Shall we have a tour?

Left to right: The plate is one made by my dad and his wife. She is a potter, amongst many other talents, and for several years they made Celtic pottery and toured the USA selling their wares at Irish festivals. Absolutely stunning work, and I’m very happy and proud to display their craft where it can be seen immediately. I’d love to share a link, but sadly they have retired from pottery-making.

The skulls – in old Ferrero Rocher chocolate boxes, no less – are ones I found myself. Top is a fox, bottom is a groundhog. I have a cat and an opossum, too – they just aren’t in the photo.

Well, the flowers of course. The wee watering can actually works as one, so it is pretty efficient at getting rid of excess water, despite having no drainage holes at the bottom (ye know, where they normally are). If you have time to stand around holding it at an angle to drip while keeping the long leaves from breaking. Meh. Will move the narcissus elsewhere I think.

The wonderful Celtic-carved skull! Man I love that thing. I bought it at the Cleveland Irish festival one year when dad came to sell their wares. I just fell in love with it. I believe I got it from Gaelsong – be warned, they are more than happy to send you catalogs full of drool-worthy items. I don’t see much stuff of their quality even over here. Maybe they just have an awesome photographer…

The wee white thing is a Philips IMAGEO LED candle light – we have them in red and blue and just love them. That’s the US/Canada link, but of course they sell them in Ireland and the UK (not sure about Australia/New Zealand). Cheap to run, charge quickly and cheaply, can be used on the charge base while lit, and give nice flickery light for hours and hours with no fire danger. I’d give them a 10 out of 10.

There is also the tiniest bit of a postcard that Socks sent me from her vacation to Maine in the fall of last year. ‘got lobstah?’ Hahahaha! I’d love to go to Maine.

Last – because it is not the least, not by any means – is the Ouija board.

I wrote so very much about that board that I think I will have to take a better photo of just the board and do a separate post. It’s incredibly important to me and deserves an explanation.

What treasures do you keep in a place of honour?

A Small Favour to Ask


Hello, kind friends. I would like to ask a favour of you – just of some of you – just the ones who have been hanging around reading my blog for a year or more.

You stalwart readers know all about my best friend, Socks. I blogged about her pregnancy for … well, about nine months, give or take. It was a helluva ride for all, especially at the end!

Now and again I would mention her husband Bear. Usually to poke fun at him for saying something silly and/or revealing about his fears at becoming a dad.

He survived all that.

But now – he’s about to become something worse: FORTY.

Yes, I know – quite a lot of you (and me) smile at recollections of our 40th. But you know he’s a sensitive guy, and far from his family and friends right now, dealing with being a first-time home owner, business owner, new dad, and now the insult of being “old.”

I’d like to ask you to post a happy birthday wish in the comments, which I will send to Socks. She’s making a compilation of Happy to ease her Big Bear’s difficult transition.

Will you help?

Socks and Button update!


I’ve had some requests to know how Socks and Button are doing. My blogging about Socks was meant to only be me following her pregnancy from a long-distance viewpoint, along with our initially shared view of ‘babies? no way!’

What? You want to hear about meee!?!?

If you want to read along from the start, go to the links below. I did them in order from oldest to newest. Please do read a few: it was a lotta damn work. The first two links talk about why I love her, how I felt about my best friend’s decision to have a baby, and some things that were hard to write, especially about her miscarriage. The rest are my somewhat weekly pregnancy updates. With those, I tried to be both funny and informative, because I know sweet fuck all about this sort of thing, but I like funny and science.

Back story: go here, then here, and the updates: one, two (sweet pea), three (blueberry), four (raspberry), five (olive), six (prune), seven (lime) (the next post freaked her out, it was a bit of fun inspired by the drawing in seven: HAHAHAHAHHA), and eight (pick a fruit, any fruit). Nine (avocado) (I still get weekly searches for this photo. Y’all are weird). Ten (mango). Now we know! Eleven (melon/banana). Twelve (pomegranate), thirteen (eggplant), fourteen (rutabaga), fifteen (jicama), sixteen (melon, for sure this time!), seventeen (pumpkin), eighteen (WATERMELON!!!), twenty (a bigger damn watermelon!)

Then my massive freak out when she was in labour

I love that gal to bits!

Sheeeeit, I’m almost too tired after all that to write anything new. Well, I did spend a lot of time writing all those posts…but not nearly as long as making all those links, so I need to ‘woman up’ and continue! (Don’t you just hate the term ‘man up’? As if one gender has a monopoly on getting shit done?)

So! Everyone is healthy and happy and growing and learning (Socks is about to embark on reverse-growing, however, as she’s tired of the leftover baby-bellah). There was a pretty bad health scare at first, involving way too much time spent in the natal intensive care unit, but it was a problem entirely able to be solved, and Button is no worse for the experience. Socks won’t forget it anytime soon, but she’s doing great at not being over-protective.

Button is not called Button any more, however. ‘Monkey’ is a common endearment that I hear. Along with ‘Little Squirrel’! But her real name, which I’ve been given permission to share, is one we talked about for months. Let me introduce, at the age of almost five months, Saige! Isn’t that just beautiful?

Saige sleeps well, eats well (they are just beginning to experiment with solid food – apparently the new idea of ‘flavour’ shocks her quite a bit still). She’s very active and wants nothing more than to walk, the sooner the better. Socks has been telling me for months that her daughter seems clearly frustrated that she can’t make her limbs do what she intends them to do, and she is fascinated to see Saige’s progress.

Saige has already given her first neck-hug combined with a sloppy kiss, and this was verified by Bear who just happened to be there at the time. ‘ Did she just…?’ ‘yeee-eee-sss…’ Mommy=melting, of course.

My darling niece (by love rather than by blood) seems very, very interested in technology, too:

And I’m dead impressed how a child under six months can attend to an iPad so well. As an aside, my sister’s daughter can use an iPhone quite well and she’s just a few months over two years old. Interesting! Why is it so easy for someone so young, even really, really, young – to grasp but older folks have difficulties? Is the software so very user-friendly and intuitive that we older folk over-think it and cause our own problems?

Ah, that’s another thought for another day. Here’s Saige trying to nom Socks’s first baby, Beanie, instead.


A Little bit of Button


Babies are hard to draw! They are missing all the wrinkles and lines that us auld folk have, and so a picture can only be a few simple lines that gives the faintest suggestion of who they are. Maybe that’s on purpose – at just a few weeks old, a baby is not yet who it will be.

Another reason to be proud of our lines; they tell a story of personality and experience. There are our crooked smiles, our frowns. A lifetime of physical efforts writ upon our faces, our hands, and even our knees.

Or maybe I’m just making excuses for why I haven’t put up any drawings of Button yet! I’ve been working on one for a while. I wanted to do something that just wasn’t working. The joy of digital art is that I can save and share what I have now, and play with it again at any time. Just in case I figure out how to do what I see in my head, of course.

So, this is, indeed, simple. Just a few lines and a little shading. Socks took a photo when her Super Lady was just a few days old, and I loved it so much I had to create something from it.

Sorry about the HUGE watermark. I get a lot of Google Image searches and I don’t like the idea that my work is being stolen. If you really like this, I’d be glad to email a copy without the watermark.

And of course, Socks will get an extra-special version 🙂

Button has arrived!!!


Button is here! I don’t know if I’m to share her name or photo – actually I think that when I can, I’ll draw her and that can be the ‘photo.’ She is 7lbs, 12oz, and 20 and 1/4 inches long. I’m sorry I’m too emotional right now to translate into metric 🙂

Everyone is fine! Socks was starving afterward and is just getting to spread the good news after her long-delayed breakfast.

So happy! Ok I’m getting my iPad wet…

Socks is in labor… Sort of!


I can not believe that I got TWO more phone calls with Socks while she was still pregnant! They will be the last ones, though, because she is in the maternity ward right now…

She told me during our chat last night that the consensus of the medicos was that she, at a week overdue, would need some pharmaceutical assistance. They offered her a chance to come in on Thursday, but the ‘phonecall caught her off-guard and she said no. They had been saying Friday since Monday, after all. She had originally thought Thurs might be okay because it was the solstice, but getting a call first thing in the morning and being asked, ‘Hi! Want to do this early and with medical assistance?’ made her freak a little bit and refuse. I totally get that; 9 entire months (and then some) of expecting labor to start when it was naturally time is fine. An expected surprise. But having it scheduled and then offered an earlier date? An unexpected surprise. Just not ready yet!

So last night, she told me that she was to ring them at 6 am and see if there was a bed available. Maybe there wouldn’t be, if other babies decided they did want to make their big debut today. Apparently the space was indeed to-let, because she’s been at the hospital for over five hours now.

And could be, for daaaays. Things just aren’t moving very fast! She’s not getting ‘ripe.’ A bit of an odd term to use for the mother, isn’t it? I didn’t think she was growing, too. But, her innards still have some work to do in order to let Button out.

So, no real news at the moment. She’s waiting, having contractions sparked by the Pitocin, but they aren’t painful at all. She’s on clear liquids only; ice chips, lollipops, jello, etc. That’s going to get dammed old dammed quick, I fear. Oh! She told me that when they arrived, a single scream echoed through the ward from another woman in full labor. She said the look on Bear’s face was priceless. He told her that he was thinking, “Holy SHIT, am I going to have to listen to that for hours?”

Also, last night I asked how her mom was doing. Socks told me that Button is going to find it really weird, after she’s born, when Gramma talks to her face. Because all this time, Gramma has been talking to her butt. A lot.

Now, if Bear will come back from eating homemade Thai soup letting the dogs out, maybe he can figure out for us why her texts from her phone aren’t getting through to me. Right now we’re limited to iMessage, iPad to iPad. Which is fine for me, really, I’d be replying via free Internet text anyway. And let’s face it, this thing never leaves my side, er, my thigh…

Cheering you on from a distance, my dear one!

Socks has The Bigger Watermelon…


Well! We are all still waiting. Still! Button didn’t come on the date I wanted, and didn’t come on the date Socks wanted, and didn’t come on the date the doctors guessed, either. Waiting… I feel as though I’m on hold with the cable company and listening to terrible music. Tom Petty, maybe…

Socks and I (and occasionally MommaSocks and iDJ as they wafted past our respective camera lenses) had a FaceTime session last night! I laughed unmercifully every time Socks stood up and showed me her bellah. It’s HUGE. She’s sticking straight out underneath like a shelf. She’s scaring people when she goes out in public. I really, really, want her to call a cab, just for the fun of it and pretend to go into labor – as long as someone video records the driver. I’m cruel, I know.

She was officially due yesterday – and I predicted she would be early. Pfft, shows what I know. I’d love to be doing a hidden-camera recording over her shoulder right now whenever any one asks, as they all are doing right now, because she is HUGE, ‘Soooo, when are you duuuuue?’


O_o just looks so much better on a human face than in text. She’d have the top rank on YouTube in no time. Can you imagine the looks of terror, especially in the hardware store? ‘Look, lady, I can fix a leaky toilet, but no way I can fix that kinda leak! Let me show you where our garden furniture is, please? Just sit down for a bit and don’t give birth, I mean, strain yourself…’

I won’t go into effacing and dilation here. If you know what I’m on about then it’s kinda seriously intimate; and if you don’t then you really don’t want to know and the numbers won’t mean a thing! Suffice to say things are progressing normally even if it feels a bit slow. OH! I nearly forgot, this is something that sort of annoyed me and Socks both: last checkup, the doctor intentionally did something and then said something along the lines of, ‘That should move things along!’ As Socks related to me later; Um, excuse me? Did I ask you to ‘move things along’? No, no, I did not. In fact, I’m pretty sure I’ve stated several times I would like nature to take its course and the less interference the better. What the hell?

So despite her enjoying being pregnant for the most part, and having a pretty easy time of it, and now being quite damn ready to no longer be pregnant, thankyouverymuch, she still would rather not have outside encouragement unless medically necessary. A great example of what kind of parent she will be! Even if the idea of using the snot-sucking bulb grosses her the fuck out. It’s clear on the end that goes in baby’s nose, so you can see how much oook comes out. *gag*

Waiting… At this point, at my house, no phones or iPads or anything resembling a communication device is turned off, or put in ‘airplane mode,’ or uncharged, or out of hearing range. I can’t do anything else, really – the waiting, currently, really is the hardest part!

Damn you, Tom Petty.



IT’S WATERMELON TIME! Finally, the last fruit. And the biggest one! And the one I giggle at the most! I asked if there was one more fruit in the list, just in case she went overdue – and Socks said, ‘What are they going to say at this point? A bigger watermelon?’

Well, folks, this is quite likely to be the last ‘Socks Has…’ post. She’s coming to her due date very soon, and as of yesterday her daughter was making moves toward the exit. My prediction on the baby poll is Tuesday the 12th at 8 am. Any betting people in the house? Fancy a flutter?

I like that date because in Europe, her birthday will be 12/6/12. How cool is that? I picked 8 am because, while Socks is a morning person and gets up at the ass-crack of dawn, she’ll be tired, so a little lie-in while lying-in seems like a good bet. Of course her cousin had to go and ‘The Price is Right’ me and went for the same day at 8:01. Humph. I guess he thinks she’s lazy.

In any case, I’ll be damned surprised if next Thursday rolls around and there are still only two people in their house. We will see, we will see…in the meantime, my phone is fully charged and near to hand at all times (currently, keeping out of this crazy hot sun by lying in the cool grass under my shorts, which I am not wearing, obviously. Be glad this isn’t a video-blog). Just in case. Oh man, I’m gonna scare the shorts off my co-workers if ‘the call’ comes when I’m in the office! I know I’ll scream like that fella on the roller coaster. You know, like this guy. Maybe with less use of the F word, because I’ll be happy, after all.

Momma Socks is coming tomorrow, and I think she might be a bit early but welcome nonetheless. There’s still a few bits and bobs to be done, because at this point poor Socks has given up on doing much more than a couple of things in one day. Getting into a comfortable position is hard enough work right about now.

Oh! Last belly pictures, too: stolen from her blog with weeks of cooking helpfully labelled. Aw.


And a reminder of those ‘Socks Has A Lime’ days, now long gone by:

SAME SHIRT. A little harder to get in and out of recently. Like, needing assistance and probably having to sit on the floor with her arms over her head screaming ‘Get it off me! Get it offffff!’

I have to share the pic of her diaper bag, which she only got yesterday – because it looks nothing like a diaper bag:

It’s actually really pretty, and very classy. Of course it is; it has to match Socks! It will be a shame to put poopy diapers and sticky bottles into this bag. I’ll just start picturing it now as being full of damp Cheerios.

The last bits I want to share are some examples of Socks’ and Bear’s fabulous communication skills. Firstly, they have agreed that while Bear will be in the delivery room, he stays on the ‘waist-up’ side of her body. Some things cannot be unseen. I agree totally – he doesn’t need, or want to, see everything. She’ll be happier, he’ll be happier. The other one… might seem a bit odd. But not to me, or either of them. Socks asked her hubby about breast feeding etiquette, at home. She expects to do a lot of the nursing in private, but of course that won’t always be practical. So, she asked if it would bother him if she breastfed on the couch, next to him – would it bother him? Now, before you get righteous about this I have to explain: they do not ‘share’ bodily functions. At all. No farting into the couch. No peeing with the door open. Nothing. (Soooo not like my family!!!) They’ve been married 12 years and they have kept this one thing private between them. It makes perfect sense, then, to ask if a new thing which is also a natural bodily function is okay for family viewing. Because they are such good communicators the question had to be asked!

He looked at her like she was wearing a green party hat with sparkly blue smoke coming out of the top and said, ‘Of course! Why wouldn’t you?!?’

And that’s my storytelling done…

Love you to bits, Socks, and I’m so happy you took me along with you on this very personal journey. I never thought I would enjoy the process so much. I’ve never felt so close to a child I’ve never met, and I feel closer to you than ever. Thank you for letting me talk about your experience here, and have a laugh at your (and Bear’s) expense. I’ve learned so much – about you, about him, about children, and about myself.

The next stage starts soon, and I know you’re going to be some of the best parents ever. I hope the birth doesn’t hurt too much for too long – I know, that you know, that it will all be worth it.

And we all get to meet Button any day now! Roll on the 12th 🙂

Socks has a Pumpkin!


Bwah-haw-haw! A PUMPKIN!!!! She’s got another living being, inside of her own living being, that’s the size of a gawd-damn pumpkin! Hahahahahhaa!

Okay, she understands why I think this shit is so funny, and doesn’t hate me for it – even though I did feel the need to explain to her yesterday on the phone why I did nothing but laugh last Thursday when we got a rare Skype moment. You see, to me, being so far away, she’s the exact same person she’s always been. I just cannot mentally picture my best friend being any different. She is who she is, and I love her to bits for it. I can hear about water weight gain, and swollen ankles and foots, but I just don’t see it. Not in my head. My mental image of Socks is probably not much like her actual physical being, though – being so far away for so many years, my head-image of her is a composite of the facial expressions I see in photos, memories, and her overwhelmingly awesome personality. Whatever an intelligent, no-nonsense, hardworking, logical, thoughtful, funny, irreverent, responsible, sarcastic, confident and just plain sexy (my personal definition of sexy; I totally think my BF is hot) woman looks like to you, that’s what Socks looks like in my head.

So… seeing her, in a tight, black and white, horizontally-striped tank top just set me off into paroxysms of laughter. She’s hyoooge! And I know she’ll snap right back afterward, back to someone I can see on Skype and not be giggling my hole off at. And I don’t mean physically – not exactly – I mean… I’ll know when she feels different, when she can move properly and help with the new house renovations and just… be Socks again.

Which might be a problem, in all fairness. Who amongst you moms found that you were almost a different person after becoming a mom? Did you notice? Did you think it was a change for the better? Could you go back to who you were, and would you want to? I’m wondering for a few reasons: one because I know damn well I’d be a shit parent of a human. Two, because this is something Socks used to worry over but now she doesn’t. I am someone who likes to observe and is fascinated by human nature, and I really, really, am interested by this change in my best friend.

I’d love your input – the people I’ve met via this blog are so very insightful and willing to give hard questions a proper mulling-over.

Okay just had a totally freaky thing where condensation from my beer-glass (previous post) dripped on the bottom right corner of my iPad and it went nutso for a bit – kept changing case randomly. Might be a temperature-difference thing?

Anyhoo – Socks has a Pumpkin. Last week was a ‘winter melon’ whatever that is. Neither she nor I can be bothered to figure it out. But last week, on Friday, she had her last ultrasound and everything is good. She’s got two weeks left, but if Button comes now she’ll be fine and at least 7lbs. Doc said there’s nothing to do but wait, and stop taking the baby-aspirin.

There’s no sign of Button coming now, though! Socks is just starting to have Braxton-Hicks contractions, which she says are usually over before she’s realised they have started. Her terrible swelling has gone down – 4lbs in the last week! – which startled her doctor until she explained just how bad it had gotten. Her cure? Loads of water intake, and watery fruit as a snack – grapes, watermelon, etc. Yum.

She’s also staved off stretch marks with sweet almond oil, and no sign of varicose veins either. Doing well, and lucky – not to say by any means these things are bad, it’s just sort of the last thing you need when even the Internet is saying you’ve got something the size of a pumpkin in your abdomen – and in only 9 short months, I’m amazed anyone’s skin and legs could keep up with that!

Yesterday, Socks and Bear drove to Ikea to buy a dresser for Button. Mostly because the shipping was $200 and I don’t care what you drive, a 3hr round trip won’t cost you that much. It was interesting to hear that Bear kept pointing out that everyone was staring. As Socks said, ‘I was in a bright pink tank top. I’d be hard to miss! But how often does anyone see a nearly full-term pregnant lady out in public? They don’t go out. They hide.’

Socks: ‘We worked hard for this belly, why hide it?’
Bear: ‘You couldn’t if you tried.’

Poor Bear, though. As the end draws nigh he is getting really upset about the idea that he has to see his beloved wife in real pain. He’s a big strong manly man, but this is one thing he knows he isn’t strong enough to handle. Or thinks he isn’t – Socks and I know he’ll make it, even if he does faint. Neither of us will think that’s a sign of weakness – it’s totally a sign of true love.

Socks, on the other hand, isn’t afraid of the imminent pain. She’s just excited. I hope I can relate this properly – she said that all of this time, Button has just been a concept, an idea. Not to her – once the terror of another miscarriage had passed – but to us. To everyone else, on the outside of her body, Button is still an idea, a theory. Socks is thrilled with the idea that she will soon get to share with others the person she’s been interacting with through pokes, kicks, hiccups, random movements, sharp pains, and those long, slow nights when she just listens to what is happening inside of her and plans for the future.