28 March, 2011

Jelly Bean is but one baby.

That's right, folks. One baby. Not two, as my rapidly expanding belly might suggest. Thank goodness. *lol*

My due date has been changed to three days later than originally predicted, JB's estimated date of arrival is now October 9th based on the measurements they took during the scan. In this picture, he's 49mm long. How something that tiny can make so many changes in my big ol' body is beyond me...

That said, his antics on screen were hysterical. I'm talking fish out of water, random electrocution kind of movement in there. Himself's comment? "If that's what he's doing in there, it's no wonder your stomach hurts." *lol* JB wouldn't pose for his measurements (which proves he's related to Himself, who refuses to pose for pictures as a rule) until the technician had rapped on my belly a few times with the machine. Of course, Himself says JB's related to me because he won't hold still... guess he's ours, eh?

I'm still having crazy pregnancy dreams. Last night there were several, but there was definitely a frontrunner in the weirdness stakes. I was at my mother's old house in north Arlington, the one they sold years ago, but I was still my age now. For some reason I was throwing a massive tantrum, going through closets and throwing things out onto the floor, and all my vintage stuff for the Etsy shop was there so I started throwing that too, smashing it to bits. Yeah, strange dream, but it was the detail that threw me. There were specific pieces that I smashed that are currently sitting upstairs in the spare room waiting to be listed in the shop, tiny cut glass vintage shot glasses, 70s bar handle teacups and saucers, a ceramic Delft clog... very odd. All that detail, and I have no idea why I was so mad. Go figure.

I've been feeling a little better lately. Yesterday saw Himself and I tramping out for an explore around the neighbourhood. We headed off down the canalside, stopping for chats with all the local dogs on the boats of course, and then headed back via the local park we hadn't visited until yesterday. What a gem! It's got a bandstand, loads of planted beds, plenty of picnic space, play areas suitable for all ages, tennis courts and a newly installed workout area. All this alongside the canal with the ducks and geese squawking away while kids toss bread with their parents. Plus, the weather yesterday was absolutely gorgeous, sunny and warm. This meant that lunch in the pub garden was practically obligatory... all in all, a very pleasant day.

I suppose I should see what has the moglets so excited in the conservatory, there are some slightly worrying crashing noises emanating from out there at the moment. Let's hope they haven't done anywhere near the damage I did in my subconscious last night.

22 March, 2011

Migraines and flightful swine.

So, Jelly Bean has become physically active. On Saturday I was sitting on the couch watching TV with Himself, and all of a sudden I became aware of a fairly strange feeling in my lower abdomen. Sort of like a butterfly trapped in there, sort of like bubbles zipping around... Jelly Bean must have been particularly enthused by whatever we were watching.

It's been a pretty rough start to the week, health wise. I've had some serious headache action, yesterday being the peak of the awfulness. We're talking dark room, horizontal kind of headache. No fun. The cats didn't mind, of course, it just meant they had a human heat source upon which to pound and purr.

I've managed to get a couple of bits done though, our new furniture came toward the end of last week and Himself spent pretty much all of Saturday putting it together (to the point that he now has a screwdriver handle shaped hole in the palm of his right hand, flat pack's so much fun!). I've unpacked a few boxes, though, two full of DVDs which are now in situ in the new units, and two full of knick knack keepsakey kind of stuff which were really fun to unpack. One of them I don't think had been unpacked at the last flat from the flat before... it lovingly cradled pictures, magnets (which would have been fairly useless at the last flat anyway due to the pint-sized fridge there) and most happily, THE WINGED PIG. *blissful sigh* Oh, the joy that is the winged pig. And yes, its "wing-ED".

Of course, Himself hates the winged pig, but I hung him in the conservatory (the pig, not Himself) so that will have to suffice as a compromise.

We've got the first sonogram tomorrow, I'll update with a picture after the appointment. Let's hope it only shows one sproglet on the screen! Everybody think "single baby" thoughts for me...

17 March, 2011

Italian Cream Cake.

Years and years ago, my Aunt Janie sent me our family recipes so that I'd have a little piece of home here in the UK. I've delved into it on many occasions, most recently Norma's chocolate cake with white between layers for a friend's birthday. In the making of the cake, loads of childhood memories swamped me, and it turns out that some of you have the same memories about the same foods that we shared back in the day. I've decided to share the recipes now and again, there's no good reason I can think of to hoard them all to myself. Share the love, right? *grin*

First off, for Kelley, Italian Cream Cake. Enjoy.

Italian Cream Cake

2 cups sugar
5 eggs, separated
1 cup buttermilk
1tsp baking soda, dissolved in milk
2 cups flour
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 sticks margarine
2 cups coconut
8oz cream cheese
2tsp vanilla
1 box powdered sugar

Preheat the oven to 325.
Grease and flour three round cake pans.

Cream the oil, sugar and one stick of margarine.
Add the soda to the buttermilk, then add along with the egg yolks and flour to the creamed mixture until well mixed.
Add 1tsp vanilla.
Fold in coconut.
Beat the egg whites to stiff peaks and fold into the mixture.
Bake for 45-50 minutes, until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.
Cool before assembling/icing.

Melt the remaining stick of margarine with the cream cheese.
Add 1tsp vanilla and stir until mixed well.
Add the powdered sugar gradually until the consistency is to your liking.

Let me know how it turns out, send pictures!

Productivity and diatribes.

So, this morning has been fairly productive. Is it sad that I count managing to sleep until twenty to ten as productive? I don't care if you think it's sad. I haven't been able to sleep much lately, and I had to get up to pee three, count them, THREE times last night, so the lie-in was particularly welcome. So there.

I also managed to change the cats chip details to the new address. Yes, we moved here in November. Yes, it's now halfway through March. It's still on my list of productivity. Stop being so nit picky.

You'll have to forgive my slightly crotchety attitude these days. While the nausea hasn't been as horribly overpowering this week, several other symptoms are vying to take its place. The current front runner for the role is... wait for it... ocular migraines! That's right, folks, the few I had a couple of years ago weren't the end of that particular story. Pregnancy hormones increase the amount of blood in your body, which causes some swelling, and one of the side effects is migraines. The ocular ones are particularly fun, the way they hit me is I get an electric looking wavy line through my vision in my left eye, then my peripheral vision disappears until about twenty minutes later when it clears and the headache hits. The one I had on Saturday turned into a headache that lasted through Tuesday.

I finally called my GP for an appointment to ask about the migraines, and the other weird little body issue I've got these days (my left hand has gone numb to the wrist three times in the last month, apparently another fun extra-blood issue). His answer was pretty much exactly what I expected, he can't give me anything for the migraines while I'm still in early pregnancy. At least he apologised (fairly profusely) for the fact that the hospital lost my first batch of blood, and I didn't even bring it up...

Himself has been beyond great during this whole kerfuffle. He's become pretty accustomed to coming home to find me curled up on the couch under an afghan looking miserable, and instead of getting frustrated with me or going out drinking with mates to delay having to come home to me, he's been trying to find solutions to make me feel better. On Tuesday, he brought home tiger balm (both the mint and the cinnamon types because he wasn't sure which smell I would prefer) that had been recommended by a coworker for headaches. He dispenses shoulder massages with impunity, and brings me drinks to my little nest on the couch whenever I want them. Lovely.

On a slightly more amusing note, Himself ordered us some furniture last week. We needed DVD storage space, they're all still in boxes, and to that he added a coffee table and a TV unit. The coffee table was meant to arrive on Tuesday, for which we were given a delivery window of anytime between 7am and 8pm (!!!). So I stayed in, not wanting to miss the delivery van. Come quarter to eight in the evening, Himself arrived home, and still no coffee table. I rang the company, who extremely unapologetically informed me that I'd have to ring the depot and that they were closed until the next morning. I gave up the fight there, took the depot's details and hung up. Himself sat in his armchair looking preoccupied, grumbling occasionally, until finally he embarked upon a fairly vehement diatribe about how we paid for a delivery slot and this was COMPLETELY unacceptable. I sat in awe as the vitriol spewed forth, then offered my suggestion that he could always call them back himself (expecting that he, in his hatred of speaking to phone line staff, would back down). Imagine my surprise when he proceeded to ring them back and give them the most emphatic bollocking I've ever heard him dispense to anyone in our entire time together! He spun out a story about how his wife had to take a day of holiday from her job and stayed home all day waiting for this delivery that never arrived, and when they suggested he call the depot he informed them that he expected them to call the depot and sort the problem, and then and only then were they to ring him back with their solution. Impending fatherhood seems to agree with him. *grin*

So, I'm planning to get a little more productive activity sorted out today. I might even, I don't know... do some laundry! I wish you all a productive day as well. x

04 March, 2011

Magic food, insomnia and seeing red.

So, nausea sucks. Luckily (please, touch wood on my behalf RIGHT NOW) it seems to be tapering off. Bad timing, considering that I sort of quit/sort of got sacked from my temp job last week. Let me explain...

The "office" was actually a donated shop front in a local shopping centre here in Uxbridge. Seeing as how I was working for a charity, you can't really complain about the surroundings. So, the one thing about this "office" is that it didn't have a door, it was just the gate that pulls down out of the ceiling. Which means every smell passing that gate wafts into the room. Which means the cafe next to the butcher across the hall had combined smells seemingly simply to make me urp. It had me running for the ladies a little too often for me to be a reliable employee, so the charity and I had to part ways.

Anyway, I've been home again for a week, which sounds fab and all, but I have a significant amount of guilt about not working, which added to feeling gross makes for not a super happy Gabs. Believe me when I say that guilt is completely self-inflicted, Himself has been beyond supportive during this whole process. I just had it in my head that the job with the charity was going to be through the end of March, so it was hard to walk away from it after only a month.

Meh. I need to accept that I can't control everything. A prime example of this particular principle would be the call I received yesterday from my doctor's surgery. I gave blood on Sunday, six vials of blood to be precise, for the required pregnancy blood tests they needed to run for my iron levels and the probability of Downs, etc. There had been a "mix up" with the phlebotomy department, and I have to go in and have more blood drawn. Considering that the first time I almost passed out (and I'm not exactly a natural fainter, mind you) I'm not really looking forward to it. And I'm annoyed that they won't tell me what happened to the first six vials they took other than a "mix up". So I'm going on Friday to give another six vials, let's hope I don't look like a raisin by the end of it.

That said, I can control the colour of my hair. *grin* DON'T WORRY MIMS, it's only semi-permanent. I'm just getting so bored with the length while it grows out, I was starting to go slightly more mental than usual. So, red it is.

So that we end on a really positive (and slightly amusing) note, yesterday was fab. I went into town to meet Himself for lunch, but there was an ulterior motive for the trip. That's right, ladies and gents, my regular jeans are simply too uncomfortable to be borne anymore, and maternity jeans were high on my list. That said, apparently all pregnant people are short. Well, maybe not, but from the few pairs I managed to find locally in Uxbridge, you'd think I'm freakishly tall. Think preparing for a flood. A big one.

So, I needed more variety and bigger shops. This meant central London. SO, I packed a book and a few apples and headed into town. I met Himself at my favourite restaurant in the universe, ordered my single favourite meal in the universe, fell on it like I hadn't eaten in weeks, and spent the rest of the afternoon bouncing off walls because I felt... wait for it... NO NAUSEA AT ALL. Magic food! The place? Joy, in Soho. The food? This incredible mix of Mexican wrap with falafel and the most gorgeous salad with balsamic dressing. Mmmmmm. I could eat it right now. I mean, RIGHT NOW. *drool* Awesome.

I headed from there to buy fat lady... I mean, pregnant lady... jeans. I tried on pair after pair, most of them were the flood variety, and then finally ended up in Next (which Himself's sister swears by). I narrowed it down to three pairs, chose one, took them to the till, and guess what! On sale. That's right, they cost me £8. This, of course, meant that I could afford to buy a few bath bombs from Lush and some Cinnabon. Again, *drool*. All in all, a good day. Now, I think I'll go eat a Cinnabon. While I'm wearing my pregnancy jeans. It's like a self fulfilling prophecy. *smug*