Friday, 29 August 2008

Long time, no see

I have no idea how to catch up on the last two and a half months in the unpredictable time I have before Lily wakes up, so I'm not even really going to attempt it. I have been way too busy getting used to my role as Mummy to spend a lot of time on the computer. And when I do have free time, I generally have more important things to do than blog. But I have been thinking about it and I reckon that with Lily's photoblog and our determination to keep things that are relevant to both of us on our website, I need to refocus this blog.

I feel like my everyday life type stuff is either too boring, or too personal to publish publicly.
I'd love to have a cool, crafty blog (as if there aren't already millions of those out in internet-land) but am only just getting back into stuff like that and don't feel like I'm doing anything new or original.
Or, I could just abandon the blog, since it often just feels like one more thing I have to catch up on...
So, to the (two or three?) people who actually read this - what should I be talking about here? What do you actually want to read? Why do you check this page or have it in your blog reader anyway?

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Friday, 13 June 2008

Just in case... read this blog, but not our website, you should probably know that I had a baby on Monday. Photos, vital stats and an explanation as to why this is such a brief announcement are over at

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Saturday, 31 May 2008

My 6hr trip to the doctor's

So usually when I go to the GP for my check-up, I leave the house about 40 minutes before my appointment (to account for the inevitable wait for a bus) and am home within another 40 minutes. Today, I arrived home 6 hours after I left...
My appointment was actually with the surgery nurse, just to do a check on my blood pressure and protein levels, since both have been sitting right on the borderline of acceptable. My protein was fine. My first blood pressure reading? 153/110. Seriously. That's insanely high. She made me sit for a while and take some deep breaths, took it again and it was still 141/100. Still too high. High enough that I had to call the hospital, talked to a midwife and was told to come in for monitoring. So I gave Elizabeth a call, she came and met me and we went to the hospital where they hooked me up to a fetal monitor, made me sit back in a reclining chair and took my blood pressure 3 times over about an hour to assess the situation. My blood pressure dropped steadily over that time and Squishy's heartbeat and movements were fine, so they sent me home with instructions to rest and to call the delivery suite if anything feels off over the weekend.
OK, I admit, we could've been home about 4 and a half hours after I'd left the house, but by then, we were both hungry and I really wanted to get some yarn to knit a little pram blanket for Squishy, so we went and got some lunch and visited the local yarn store (where the lady was heaps more friendly and helpful than anyone I'd previously encountered in the shop) before heading home.
So basically, I left the house planning on seeing the nurse, getting some yarn and coming home to relax, probably including an afternoon nap. Instead, I had a massive detour to the freakin' hospital because my body is being a pain. I've been giving the baby pep talks, trying to convince it that coming out soon would be a good idea. Not too sure it will work though...

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Tuesday, 27 May 2008

stuff i made

Just putting up little photos, most of which are pretty dodgy and quickly edited but better than no picture at all. You can click on them to see them bigger.

OK, first up my new address book. 4x6" index cards that I designed and printed. Easy to update/replace when people's details change and plenty of space to make extra notes or whatever. I'm keeping them in a perfectly-sized mini file folder thing that I found.

This quilt block was made as my contribution to a project organised by an online community I belong to. One of the members lost a lot when her home was broken into shortly after they'd experienced a fire. So we made her a quilt. Well, a bunch of us made squares and one of the really talented quilters collected it all and assembled it into a quilt.
I painted the land masses onto some blue cotton, stitched the planet onto the black (by hand - I was impressed at my own skills) then embellished with embroidery floss.

A needle holder. After over 2 years of living in this country, I am still getting used to the space restrictions and the importance of well-organised storage. My biggest problem is with the 'well-organised' bit at the moment and I found myself knowing I had things I needed for projects, but unable to find them. Like various sized needles. So I got some felt (didn't even choose the colours - they're the ones that were in the little pack I found), stitched a few pieces together with some embroidery floss, attached a button and voila - no more lost needles.

Calorimetry is one of those projects that everyone in internet-land seems to have knitted. And here's mine. I'm not sure how happy I am with it - I think it's too fat, as in it covers too much of the top of my head - but since I managed to finish it right as the weather got too warm to wear anything like it, I'm going to call it finished and re-visit when it gets cool again after Summer.
This is the point where I should tell you what yarn and needles I used and any adjustments I made, but I can't actually remember much and don't know where I'd have put that information. When I get around to updating ravelry (one step at a time) I'll put the details there.

And, saving the best for last, some clothes for the baby.

That there is a 0-3 months sized onesie (because I refuse to buy anything smaller, anticipating a big baby) that I embroidered. I googled jellyfish to find an image as a basis, added the text then printed, transferred and stitched. I had grand plans to make a bunch of cute little personalised onesies, but so far, this is it. So baby will be wearing lots of plain white to start with.

Tank top/Vest (it seems to have been published under both names) by Debbie Bliss from Essential Baby, one of the many knitting books I have borrowed from the library in the last few months. Knitted in the recommended yarn, which is Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino - one advantage to living in the UK is when stuff like this is easily available (and much cheaper than you'd pay back home). The actual top only used just over one ball, so I made a matching basic hat with the rest - I kinda winged it, based on something I found about baby head sizes, so I have no idea when exactly it will be the right size for Squishy's head, but that's cool. Especially since even though I knit the 0-3 months size in the top, my tension/gauge was off (I knit loosely) and I ran with it, so I don't know exactly when that will fit either. Besides, who really knows how big a baby will be before it's born...?
Anyway, I'm really happy with the top. It's my first ever actual garment - I had to sew seams and attach a button and everything. I successfully matched my decreases front and back, picked up stitches for the neck and arm bands and I even did a neat job of weaving in all the ends. And, I really like the stitch pattern, simple but effective, and think it will look totally cute on little Squishy.

I have a couple other projects I want to work on, but the energy is not there at the moment. And I'm a bit worried about pulling out my sewing machine, which most of the projects I have in mind require, because I don't do well on the sewing machine when my brain is not fully functioning - I get frustrated easily enough at the moment, without adding in a piece of heavy machinery. Oh well, I'll just let my body keep working on the biggest project of all and get back into it when I feel up to it.

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Monday, 26 May 2008

8 days to go...

OK, I'm well aware that due dates are really a rough guess, rather than a deadline and that my chances of giving birth on June 2 are slim to none, but you should all know how the number 8 has a strange appeal to me and hey, at least it prompted me to write a blog post, right?

So what's been happening? Not much. That's why I haven't updated - don't really feel like there's much to say. Ummmm...

In case you didn't follow the link in my last post, I have been still taking photos and making silhouettes of my growing belly, but they're now over in Squishy's very own photo blog. This is also where the very first photos are likely to appear once s/he's born.

We're now planning on putting most of our photos on our website - ones of the baby on the photo blog and the travel ones as galleries attached to our posts about our travels. This is partly because it seems so silly for us to have underutilised web-space, but also due to the fact that my flickr pro account came up for renewal recently and I just wasn't feeling it, so I am back to being on a limited account. Of course, this may change later, if and when my interest in the online world returns.

OK, it's not completely true that I spend no time on the computer. In fact the last week or so I have probably had my laptop out more than I'd like. But I'm just not feeling up to interacting, so most of the time is spent playing silly little games (I'm a sudoku champion). I am still reading blogs and occasionally checking places like ravelry, facebook and flickr, but I'm not saying much. I'm not really sure why this is. I guess it's partly because it feels like more effort (mentally/emotionally) than I have at the moment. I think I also worry that I'll just come across as a whining pregnant lady or something.

Speaking of whining pregnant ladies, I'm pretty much over the whole thing. So yes, Sharon, you were right - you definitely hit a point where even the pain associated with labour seems like it will be a relief. I want to be able to roll over in bed without fully waking up and having to readjust my many pillows to make myself comfortable again. It would be awesome to be able to climb the stairs or walk for more than 15 minutes without running out of puff. And I cannot wait for the day when I can stand up (from the couch/bed/wherever) and not need to go to the loo right that instant. I'm also done with the health stuff - I don't feel like going into too much detail, but let's just say the woman I saw at my 36 week check at the hospital was hopeless and I left the place almost in tears, because, as often seems to be the case in this country, I had gone into something with (I was going to say high, but really the problem is having any) expectations.

That feels like a really bad note to leave the post on, but I can't think of anything else to talk babble on about. I have some stuff to show that I have made, but I'd rather do that in a separate post, besides, I need to sort through the photos first.

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Sunday, 11 May 2008

site update

We've spent some time working on our website. It's not quite finished, but there are a couple cool new features and some actual blog posts, so go and poke around.

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Wednesday, 23 April 2008

33-34 weeks

Really starting to feel big now. Depending how Squishy is positioned, my belly button is often non-existent. Sleeping a lot and get tired easily. Not too interested in the computer lately, thus the lack of updates, here and elsewhere around the web. Would much rather play Mario Kart on the Wii, especially because I can comfortably do so while sitting on the couch with my feet up. Apologies to anyone who I owe an email to (there are quite a few of you).

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Tuesday, 8 April 2008

32 weeks

Another silhouette - still trying to perfect the whole process from taking the photo to outlining the thing, so they're not quite as comparable as I'd like, but oh well. Another trip to the GP tomorrow - it's the first time Graeme can come (being unemployed as he is at the moment - we've been playing a lot of Wii)and he's quite excited to hear the heartbeat again, although he's well aware that Squishy is here and seemingly doing OK, from the amount s/he makes my belly move around.

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Monday, 7 April 2008

More Snow

Yes, it is April. Yes, I am in London, England. Yes, it is supposed to be Spring. But, this morning I woke up (at 10am, no less) to find that it had not only snowed overnight, but was still falling and actually sticking. Judging by the cars, we got about 5cm of snow. There's nothing like snow to encourage me into alertness - we were quickly fed, washed and dressed and out the door headed to the park. This is not the usual English reaction to snow. In fact, we were surprised at how few families we found in the park, but there were a few having snowball fights and building snowmen. I wanted to build a snowman too, but Graeme wasn't interested and helpfully reminded me that bending over to roll a big ball of snow would not be the easiest thing for me to do right now, so instead I made a mini one:
finished snowman
(photo by Graeme)

We walked around the park, trying to work out which ducks were the ones we'd seen as little fluffy ducklings a couple of weeks ago, had some morning tea in the cafe and took a bunch of photos (see both mine and Graeme's flickr). By the time we headed home, it had stopped snowing and the trees were all dumping their loads. The sun has since come out and melted the rest away, well, at least what we can see from our window.

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Tuesday, 1 April 2008

31 weeks

More accurate than last week's because it is based on a photo taken just in my underwear (I know you all wanted that image in your heads :D). Although I did have to guesstimate part of the curve of my back (because my arm was in the way) and the top of my head (since I was still wearing a towel after washing my hair - also why I appear to be bald).

Not much new to report, other than an annoying toothache that has just popped up and brings varying degrees of pain/annoyance. I hate the dentist at the best of times, so the idea of going to see one while I still have a fairly active gag-reflex and can't accept drugs or x-rays is beyond unappealing, so I'm putting it off as long as it's bearable (I know that's probably not the best approach, but what are you going to do about it?). At least if I do have to go, I have my magic NHS maternity card that entitles me to free care.

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Monday, 31 March 2008

Suggestive Cravings

So far, I haven't craved anything really crazy or unusual to eat as a result of being pregnant, but I have been experiencing a lot of what Graeme and I have labelled 'suggestive cravings'. I see an ad or a photo of some food, or Graeme suggests something we could eat and I become fixated on the idea of getting my hands on whatever it is and devouring it. Take, for example this photo from one of my flickr contacts of 'Toblerone Dip' (which sounds pretty awesome - click through to the photo for the recipe). However, it's not the dip that is stuck in my mind, but those little candy sticks over on the right side of the photo... I wonder if I can get them over here.

photo credit: Toblerone Dip by Steve Kay

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Thursday, 27 March 2008

30 weeks (and 2 days)

I know I promised photos, but even though I don't feel too hideous in person, I'm feeling very non-photogenic - as in no matter how many photos Graeme takes of my profile, I think they all look horrible and am therefore going to keep them to myself. This is the style I want to go with for my pregnancy photos anyway - I'm thinking a series of silhouettes along the bottom of a photo album page will look quite cool. Yes, I am already planning baby photo albums/scrapbooks. No, I have not got anywhere near finishing the albums of our adventures so far, but I am hoping to start the baby one before the baby even arrives and try to keep it somewhat up-to-date.

So, as I mentioned on Sunday, I am now 30 weeks pregnant. It's strange to know that even if I go past the due date, it is still only just over 11 weeks until Squishy will be here. The hospital policy is that they induce at due date +10 days, which is 11 weeks tomorrow (and also the day AFTER my sister flies back to Australia, so we're all hoping baby comes on his/her own). We now know this piece of information because we have (today and last week) attended the ante-natal classes offered at the hospital. The classes were pretty good in getting us familiar with the hospital and what we can expect to happen and all that, but we kind of wished we could have ticked a box somewhere that said "yes, we are both quite intelligent and even with the pregnancy brain will understand things the first time you tell us, so please put us in the class for smarty-pants" because it did feel as though stuff was being 'dumbed down' (hate that term, but can't think of a better one) and repeated too much.

Anyway, that pregnancy brain I mentioned? Yeah, it's stopping me from being coherent and forming phrases, sentences and paragraphs that I am happy with. So I'll go back to the good old standby of bullet points...

- Squishy is still very much a wriggler, but is clearly starting to run out of space. I am constantly reminded that there is a baby in my belly, especially when I lay down to go to sleep or have just woken up myself. Graeme enjoys the sensation of pushing on my belly and getting kicked. I think it's funny when s/he shifts sides and my whole abdomen visibly moves.

- I've seen the GP a couple more times. My blood pressure insists on hovering at a level that is technically ok, but still high enough to be a potential problem if it changes. Yesterday there were minute traces of protein in my urine (sorry if that's too much info) so that's something else they 'have to keep an eye on'. As much as s/he moves around, Squishy is always lying head down (the way s/he should be) when I'm checked, which is good, and s/he has a good, healthy heartbeat. I feel like that is way more info than anyone would want to know about the physical stuff, but I'm sure some of you will appreciate it. At least I didn't tell you how many times a day I have to pee (just so you know, it's a lot - lol).

- I'm very much looking forward to having Squishy out here in the world. I'm even kind of looking forward to the actual giving-birth bit (which I'm currently planning on doing without an epidural, which shouldn't come as much surprise to anyone who knows how I feel about taking any sort of drugs - I'll even avoid paracetamol if I can). At exactly the same time though, I'm freaking out about all the things I feel I should have already done and wondering how exactly I will handle having a baby to look after 24 hours a day. I know logically that all a newborn needs is food, warmth, love and a clean nappy, but it's hard to quieten the part of me that wants everything to be 'perfect'... whatever that is.

- I've suddenly become really interested in hearing people's birth stories, so if you want to tell me any, please do. Did you choose to have drugs? What did you do to make labour more bearable? Did you have to be induced/have an emergency caesarean? How did you find breastfeeding in the beginning? Please don't worry about scaring me or anything - I've already read some shockers, but I'd like to know more from people I actually know, if that makes sense. Just email me if you don't want to share it with the world. Oh, and mum - I've seen forceps up close and in person now. Sorry I was such a stubborn baby and wouldn't come out :)

I dunno what else to say, so feel free to ask me if there's something obvious I should be telling you about and haven't even mentioned. Squishy says 'hi'.

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Monday, 24 March 2008



So, we woke up this morning and it was snowing. Snowing like we've never seen before in London. It didn't stick at all, so if we'd woken up only an hour later, we wouldn't have seen any snow, but it was still cool because it was falling so thick and fast. This photo's not the best, but it's hard to capture falling snow, so I went with the one plant that had collected a bit.

When we came over, and particularly when we stayed in the UK for Christmas last year, lots of people mentioned a 'White Christmas', but we always knew if we really wanted one of those, we probably needed to go to continental Europe. So imagine our surprise when they started predicting snow for Easter weekend. According to Graeme (who is nerdy enough to research these things) it is actually more likely to snow at Easter than Christmas here, especially when Easter is really early, like this year. Something to do with the lunar phases or some such.

Anyway, we also kind of got snowed on yesterday, but it was more like sleet/teensy hail. I was hoping to be able to share some dinosaur photos, because we went to the Natural History Museum, but it was crazy busy (at least this time we got in - last time we tried to go, the queue to get into the place was ridiculous and we skipped it) and the queue to get into the dinosaur room was over 45 minutes long, so we gave up. We're thinking we'll try and go next week on a weekday while Graeme is between jobs (his final day is Monday - I don't know if I've written about what's going on with his work, but you can go read his blog if you want more info). Best thing about free museums - if they get too crowded you can just leave and come back another day.

I've got some new belly photos and some pregnancy type stuff to update on as well, but I think I'll do that tomorrow (when I will be 30 weeks along - crazy!). Hope everyone has/had a great long weekend.

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Tuesday, 18 March 2008

Following Jamie Oliver's lead

I know I need to do a proper post, but this is kinda a 'this week only' thing and deadlines make me do stuff...

So, there's been a Sainsbury's (that's a supermarket chain) ad running here where Jamie Oliver (he's like their spokesman) makes this awesome looking dessert using hot cross buns. Of course, we had to try it. We probably could have winged it based on the easy instructions included in the ad, but we looked it up and found this on the Sainsbury's website (copied to here because it didn't have it's own static page to link to):

Hot cross pudding

Try spreading marmalade on halved hot cross buns and place in an ovenproof dish. Pour over enough of our Taste the difference vanilla custard to almost cover the buns and allow the custard to soak into the buns for about 15 minutes. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes at 180˚C, fan 170˚C, gas 4. Finish by placing under a hot grill for 5 minutes until golden brown.

More details and our adjustments:
We used 3 buns - make sure you get nice ones that have lots of fruit and stuff in them - and they fit perfectly in the dish we were using. That was basically how we decided how many to use.
We used apricot jam instead of marmalade because Graeme's not really a fan of marmalade.
'Taste the difference' is the fancier (read: more expensive) store brand. We just used long life custard out of a carton because we already had some in the pantry.
We didn't let it sit and soak, mainly because we were following the instructions as remembered by Graeme - I can see the benefit, but there was nothing wrong with ours.
We sprinkled some ground cinnamon on top because we like cinnamon and it seemed like a good idea - I think it was.
It was so good that we agreed I should share it with all of you. Well, technically, Graeme suggested I email the recipe to my mum, but this seemed a better way to share the love.

No photos, because we pretty much devoured it as soon as it came out of the oven (well, 2/3 of it and then Graeme promptly finished the rest), but I still have half the buns left, so I'll probably make it again in the next couple days and might take a photo then.

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Sunday, 2 March 2008

an expensive day out

This morning we trekked across to the other side of London to go to a Baby Show. Not something I ever really saw myself attending, but we wanted to be able to see and touch all the cloth nappy options (there are a lot) and also be able to look at all the pram/stroller/pushchairs in one go and this seemed like a good way to do it. We weren't planning on buying anything, just looking, assessing options, forming opinions. Uh, yeah. We spent about £600... Yeah, that is a lot of money. But over the next week, we should take delivery of an infant car seat, a convertible pram-stroller, a 3-wheeler frame that will take both of the former (they call the three components a 'travel system', apparently) plus a cot that works as a bedside co-sleeper or a stand-alone and can be folded up and transported like a travel cot/playpen that comes complete with matress and linen. I also brought home with me a fantastic C-shaped pillow that I can start using immediately and will be very useful for feeding. I could just link to the exact products, rather than my shoddy descriptions, I guess, but for some reason I feel weird about doing that. Might change my mind though when you all start bugging me for more details. Anyway, basically the only other big purchase we will be making for Squishy is a supply of nappies (those things ain't cheap, especially since drying takes forever here, so we need a decent supply), so I guess it isn't too bad.

Apologies to those of you uninterested in baby stuff - I realise that was a very boring post, but the grandparents seem to like to know this stuff...

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Saturday, 1 March 2008

My so-called February

I know I've been a bit MIA, but I've just been feeling blah and not up to posting, or even talking much. I kind of know what the issues are - a combination of a long depressing winter, a reminder of the time we've been away from home and a body that really isn't loving this whole pregnancy thing. It sucks that right when my body is craving more sleep, sleeping is uncomfortable and only happens in short stints. Basically, I am experiencing a complete lack of energy and feeling as though my creatvity is zapped. That said, not everything has been bad. Here are my February highlights:

- We saw Cirque du Soleil perform Varekai at the Royal Albert Hall. We paid a ridiculous amount of money for the tickets, but it was totally worth it.

- We went to an ice skating show at Wembley Arena with a few of Graeme's workmates (those £5 tickets again). It was so lame that it was great and the biggest cheer of the night was for the winner of last years Dancing on Ice, an ex-Rugby Union player. Speaking of Dancing on Ice, I had to basically push one of the professional skaters from the show out of the way so that I could escape the bathroom at interval.

- I had my first antenatal visit with the GP. Even though officially my GP is a middle-aged guy, everytime I go, I get to see the younger female doctor and she's great. While she was checking Squishy's heartbeat, baby decided to try and kick the doctor.

- We went to Anfield and saw Liverpool play Middlesbrough. They actually won AND 3 of the goals were scored the end we were sitting (last game we went to they had a one-all draw and both teams scored at the opposite end). It was a really long day though, as we decided to take the train rather than drive and didn't bother to stay overnight, so it took me most of this week to recover.

- We hit the 2 year anniversary of our arrival in London. It's cool that we've been here so long and we really have done a lot of things that just wouldn't have happened if we'd never moved here. It's also great to know that we are definitely well into the second half of our stay. I just kinda wish we weren't on the opposite side of the world to all the people we care about...

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Tuesday, 5 February 2008

Feb 4

An insight into my wardrobe:

Feb 4

On days like today, when I don't have any plans, comfort wins out when I get dressed. That, and what will actually fit. I have 2 pairs of maternity jeans, but they're not the most comfortable things for lounging around the house. I have one other pair of maternity pants that are super comfy, brown cordurouy with one of those giant knit fabric waistbands that sit up over your belly. But I like to keep them for when I am going out of the house. So when I am at home, I live in assorted track/exercise type pants. These pink ones were bought in Australia about a week or two before we came to London as the type of pants that are perfect for wearing on 24 hour flights - knit fabric, pretty loose/wide legs, nice wide waistband that doesn't dig in. They don't go out in public much though, because, well, they're pretty bright pink. I actually wore the same style in navy blue on the flight.

The red top is the same one I wore yesterday - yeah, I'm gross, but really, you can wear clothes for a couple days before they start to look or smell worn when the weather sucks so bad. I am a bit in love with maternity tops, not just because they work with a growing belly, but because they are nice and long. Plus, I've bought every single one of them on sale so far...

So yeah, pink and red was already super awesome and I didn't feel the need to match anything, so I just grabbed the first cardigan I saw. I can't actually do this cardigan up anymore, but it's enough extra warmth for around the house (we're not like most English people who keep their houses at some ridiculous temperature, we like to conserve energy)

I kinda like this colour combination.

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Squishy's first hat

Last Wednesday, I made my first ever ebay purchase. Well, kind of. I did all the bidding and paying and all that, but I was using Graeme's username and paypal, because I don't have either of those things, and he was sitting next to me the whole time. I'm not really sure why, but I've always had a bit of an aversion to the whole thing (ebay and paypal), maybe it's all the horror stories I've read. Anyway, I ordered a bunch of bamboo circular knitting needles, for an absolute steal compared to going out and buying needles at the shop. I know bamboo isn't as slick as metal and therefore the needles are supposed to be slower to knit with, but I'm not a very fast knitter anyway, so I don't mind. I bought long ones, because I really want to knit my first pair of socks two-at-a-time using magic loop and this wool:

regia 4-fadig

Well, when the package turned up on Friday, they'd sent me straight needles instead. I literally cried and told Graeme "this is why I've never used ebay", but a few emails between Graeme and the shop owner later and not only were they sending the ones I had actually ordered, but they said to keep the ones they'd sent by mistake - awesome! So, since the circulars arrived on Saturday, I now have 30 new sets of knitting needles for less than it'd cost to buy 5 from the craft store.

Having not knitted anything more complicated than a scarf for a while, I decided to do a little project before I dove into the socks, so I went through my knitting books, looking for something I could knit with the yarn I already have on hand (which isn't a lot at the moment). I settled on a hat for Squishy, knit using the leftovers from my Gryffindor scarf, using the Umbilical Cord Hat pattern from Stitch 'n Bitch.

Feb 2

I started on Saturday and finished on Sunday. I originally wanted to put stripes on the actual hat, but the gold I have is more a thread than a yarn and it's way too scratchy for a baby's head, so I put a couple stripes on the cord. Of course, Squishy is due right when the weather will should be warming up and I have no idea when this will actually fit him/her, but it's tiny and cute and makes me want to knit a whole heap of little things - I might stick to the 6 months sizes from now on though, so I know they might actually get some use.

Feb 3

oh, and in case you didn't notice, this post includes photos from the first 3 days of February

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Friday, 1 February 2008

Squishy's first photo

Squishy's first photo

So, I had my second and third fetal ultrasound today... Squishy was being a pain in the butt (not literally) and wouldn't move into a position where the technician could check the spine, so I had to go for a walk and 'do some starjumps' to encourage some movement then come back in for another attempt. Thankfully it worked and Squishy appears to have all the right bits in all the right places. Once that was sorted, we had to go sit in the waiting room for another hour before we got to see a midwife - sigh. At least from now on, most of my check-ups will be at the GPs, which is easier to get to and never seems to have a very long wait.

Things that might interest you about the day:

Squishy is a wriggly baby - besides laying in a tricky position to scan, s/he didn't stop moving around the whole time and the technician said she'd hardly ever seen such a wriggler.

Squishy is a fatty already :D All the measurements fell within normal growth rates, but the abdominal circumference is at about the 97th percentile, while all the others are right in the middle.

We didn't find out the sex, though we could have if we wanted as the technician was pretty confident that she knew it. Graeme especially is still convinced it's a boy.

I think Graeme appreciated the scan more than I did - I was happy to just hear the technician say that everything looked right, but for Graeme it was more of a 'dude, there's a real baby in there'. I have been feeling movements for weeks now, but they're not strong enough yet to feel from the outside, at least when Graeme is around, so this was like his reassurance that it really is growing and moving.

Since all my results are now normal and all that, the 'shared' part of the shared care that I am supposed to be getting kicks in. Over the next 18 weeks, I am expected to visit the GP's 7 times for check-ups, get another blood test at the hospital (but I don't have to see anyone, just go in, give the blood and leave, basically, it's just to check my iron) and see the midwife again once in early May. If I'm still pregnant at 41 weeks, I go to the midwife again. That's lots of peeing in cups, since they want a sample every time you see someone to check the protein levels for signs of diabetes. This also means that I am now responsible for my own Maternity Record, an expandable booklet that has all my test results and notes in it. It has to come with me everywhere I go, including when I turn up at the hospital in labour. It's quite interesting to flick through, mainly for bits like the breastfeeding page, where there are a million questions and points for discussion that the midwife is obviously supposed to go though, but mine just kind of has this squiggle next to the first couple of questions because as soon as she asked if I was planning to breastfeed and I said yes, she seemed satisfied - the rest of it is clearly the stuff they're supposed to say and do to convince you that breastfeeding is a good choice.

So yeah, you probably don't care about all that information anyway - you can just go back to looking at the photo :)

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Tuesday, 29 January 2008

A random thought...

In book 7, where were Crookshanks and Pig?

I will expand in the comments - don't read the comments unless you have read all 7 Harry Potter books, because there will be at least one fairly significant spoiler in my own comment. If you have read the books, please discuss...

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Saturday, 26 January 2008

Jan 25

Jan 25

Graeme went to fifteen for lunch today with work. I got to make my own sandwiches, which I didn't even finish eating because one and a bit sandwiches filled me up. Of course, I was hungry again like an hour later...

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Jan 1-15

Finally catching up on those photos I owe you. As I just wrote in my description of this set on flickr, the real purpose of this exercise is to document my year, more than try and take a masterpiece every day. Though hopefully there'll be a few great photos along the way...

Click through to the photos for more description.

Jan 1-15

1. Jan 1, 2. Jan 2, 3. Jan 3, 4. Jan 4, 5. Jan 5, 6. Jan 6, 7. Jan 7, 8. Jan 8, 9. Jan 9, 10. Jan 10, 11. Jan 11, 12. Jan 12, 13. Jan 13, 14. Jan 14, 15. Jan 15

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Wednesday, 23 January 2008

January 16

I do have a photo for every day this year, but for today, you just get to see the 16th, because I got my butt in gear and uploaded those ones. This is another 'Day in the Life' series. Click through to see the full set.

January 16

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21 weeks

I always thought I'd get really into the whole pregnancy thing - taking way too many photos of my growing belly, keeping a journal as soon as I found out, bugging everyone around me with constant talk of the baby, that sort of thing. But so far that hasn't been the case. I was feeling bad about it but I'd still keep putting it off because it felt really dumb to start doing something like that at some random point. Then I decided to start at 20 weeks, you know, kinda the halfway point and on the day it ticked over to 20 weeks I felt like rubbish and didn't want to say anything to anyone, let alone the world at large or this little thing growing inside me. And finally, sometime last week, I realised it really doesn't matter and it's not worth stressing over. Maybe this is part of my attempt to get more prepared for motherhood - I am trying to be a little less of a perfectionist and not let the small things bug me so much. It's a fairly new goal for me, so no real idea how well it'll work out. Anyway, on Sunday, when the little counter thing I have told me I was 21 weeks pregnant, I made Graeme take a photo, and here it is:

21 weeks

We have attempted to take photos before this, but none of them came out that great - at least now we've found a spot in the house to take them...

Uh, yeah, so some random things I am discovering:

Morning sickness can last much longer than you think, especially if you let yourself get hungry or tired, and then, when you finally think it's gone, it can randomly hit you again one day for no apparent reason and you will just chuck your guts up. Thankfully, by this point, you will have become an expert at knowing when your body plans to projectile vomit and can make sure you are in a suitable room.

Your brain simply does not function the way it should. I usually have an awesome memory and some days I forget things 5 minutes after I've heard/read them. Words and sentences do not come out the way you think they should. Everytime I have cut up tomatoes in the last couple months, I have referred to them as strawberries :)

One day, your top (t-shirt, jacket, whatever) will fit. The next day, it won't. The problem won't just be your tummy, but also your boobs, which have suddenly become massive.

Maternity clothes are hard to find, often ugly and usually way too expensive for the fact that they definitely have a limited use. H&M is my new best friend, especially after the sales.

You get really sick of trying to work out how to refer to the baby. 'It' seems way too impersonal, but you don't want to label it with a gender, because then people will assume you know what it is. For the record, we don't plan on finding out the sex, but we still usually refer to it as 'he', since the odds are high that that is what we'll get. Either that, or Squishy :)
"I shall call him squishy, and he shall be mine, and he shall be my squishy!" -Dory in Finding Nemo

The fact that you have passed the first trimester doesn't really do much to alleviate your fears that something will go wrong. Much better are the little kicks that tell you the baby is having a party in your uterus (or, as Graeme said, building extensions), even if it prompts a sudden urge to pee. I am also hanging out for my ultrasound and midwife's appointment next week to get some extra reassurance that everything's fine. I'll also have a picture of Squishy to show you then.

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Wednesday, 16 January 2008

OK, so...

I have my new computer. Yay.
Unfortunately, I am still going through the process of getting things the way I like them - installing all the programs, trying to decide what needs to get copied across and what can just stay on backups, starting to do stuff and realising I don't have the files or programs I need in order to do it, getting annoyed with it all and having to just put the computer down and not look at it for a couple of hours. I really want to start all my file sorting and whatnot off right on this computer, because my last one was a bit of a mess, which means even copying my data back across seems to take ages. My to do list keeps growing rather than shrinking.

I have been taking photos every day, but I haven't viewed any of them other than on the camera's LCD, so some of them are likely pretty awful, since the weather has been miserable, there's hardly any natural light and I haven't been doing all that much so most of them have been taken in and around the house.

Anyway, while you're all waiting for me to do a proper update, you can do something to help me out. Send me an email to kate [at] kateandgraeme [dot] com and include as much of the following as you're happy for me to have:

Your name (AND your screenname, if that's how I know you)
Your postal address
Your contact numbers
Your birthday and the birthdays of the rest of your family (year too, if you're willing)
Anything else you really think I should know?

Through moving and not staying on top of things and all that, I have lost (or never had) some of these details for a large number of people and I feel the need to rectify that. So I want to start pretty much from scratch. If you are reading this, I want to know this stuff, ok? I don't want to make promises I can't keep, but I would like to become one of those people who actually sends out proper mail and birthday cards and stuff again - I rely too much on email and it's just not as personal. If you like mail, send me your details. Oh, and if you are related to me and want to send details of other people I should know about, that'd be cool too.

OK, back to getting this computer doing what it should.

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Tuesday, 1 January 2008

Almost 2008...

still alive...

My computer sucks too much right now to spend much time on it. We re-installed Windows and Graeme did some thing where he told it to avoid the dodgy bit of the hard-drive so it isn't crashing anymore. But it isn't doing much else either, since I don't want to go to the effort of setting it back up properly when my new computer has been ordered, plus it'll probably explode if I ask it to do too much.

What this means:
  • I never sent out Christmas cards - the outside bits are made, but I never got around to finishing and printing the thing for inside.
  • I still haven't typed up a report on our trip to Italy.
  • I can't edit/sort/upload any photos, because they're all being stored elsewhere (thus the pretty Paint picture above).
  • I've been spending way too much time playing Super Mario Galaxy on the Wii.

The only thing of interest I really have to tell you is that I plan on attempting to take and share at least one photo every day in 2008. I tell you this to make myself more accountable. Of course, you won't know if I'm actually doing it until I can show you evidence, which according to Dell should be in about a week and a half. Hopefully, that'll also make me take some fat pregnant belly shots.

Oh, and if you're paying attention to the date and time of this post, you'll notice it's not far off 2008. We're totally boring and staying home, which is where we've spent most of Graeme's week and a half of holidays. It's been great.

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