Wednesday, December 31, 2008

i did make something!


ha, i have something to show after all, i just forgot (i forget a lot these days...) over christmas my mum made the tiny mittens to match the hat that i made before she was even born, and then i used the rest of the wool to make the little scarf/neckwarmer. a bit of mother daughter cooperation!

right now she's finishing my stripy crochet blanket (i started it, not anticipating the 3rd trimester tiredness. mama continued it while she was staying here to help me with m., after that i managed all of 3 rows, so i brought it home with me for christmas...)it's made with organic cotton, the pattern is random stripes

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christmas surprise

we're back from germany today, pretty tired with a grumpy nearly 9 week old, but happy!!

we surprised my parents for christmas with a visit, which was great fun! we didn't think we'd make it home with getting a passport for our little one and everything, and told my parents so for weeks, but we did get everything sorted in time! we let my sister know and she picked us up from the airport on christmas eve, and put us up at her house for the afternoon, then in the evening she and her boyfriend went in to my parents, as they had planned, and told them to stay in the living room for a minute as they wanted to set up their present in the hall, then they went to the back door, let us in and told my parents they could come out now. the look on their faces was priceless! it was such a happy evening! they had been disappointed but understanding that we wouldn't be coming to germany this year... a lovely laid back week was spent, with the cousins getting to know each other (my 2 year old nephew was besotted with her, he licked her face!)

as i like to blog with photos, and have nothing much to show myself (except for a gorgeous daughter, but i'm not sure yet how i feel about posting lots of pictures of her on the blog... or how my husband feels about it... i probably won't, apart from the 1st day picture i already posted), here a picture of my mum's christmas pyramid ornament (these are traditionally pyramids of angels, and you use small candles to power the propeller that makes it go round, but mama puts hers onto the swedish stove that heats their living room (so hot... we were close to melting point!).

i love discovering little things i made years ago, that my mum still keeps, like this candle (old candle stumps sorted by colour, and poured into jam jars and similarly cheap containers, that can be broken off when the wax is hardened). this must be at least 20 years old, because i seem to still have considered stick on gold stars an essential!

or this salt dough sheep (i hadn't realised salt dough could keep so long! maybe i varnished it??)

the wool is made with a garlic press... mama displays it with her collection of christmas angels
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Tuesday, October 28, 2008

chocolate and pear cake

mmmh... it turned out quite well!

350g of butter
350g brown sugar (some soft, some dark)
5 duck eggs
300g self raising flour
30g cocoa powder
4 tbl sp milk
2 pears

10" round tin, 180C (fan oven), about 1 hour 30 minutes (or until a skewer comes out clean)

Monday, October 27, 2008

i made a bag

it's a simple oversized shopping bag, or maybe it'll be a laundry bag, for the hospital! the size was based on my (currently essential) wedge cushion, so i can bring it to the cinema or a restaurant with me, should we go once more before the baby comes! anybody out there that's pregnant, too, get a wedge cushion! so comfortable! it has an angle so your knees are lower than your hips, instant extra room for the bump! and your back will get less sore, too! mine's very firm, and 4" thick at the back, i got it from 'the back shop'. if you're good at cutting upholstery foam you could probably make your own! i have another one, from 'lidl', but it's not as angled and not as firm. i use that one in the car.

the fabrik is 100% cotton, from ikea, i added the tiny embroidered bird,
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the bump today (39 weeks)

i think it might be changing shape, getting lower maybe?
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Saturday, October 25, 2008

a walk without the crutches

i don't like how the camera seems to do very aggressive 'JPGing'... i don't know what it's called, but when i zoom in i see horizontal and vertical lines, i think it has to do with compression...
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Thursday, October 23, 2008

today i made carrot cupcakes

i had nearly all the ingredients... the recipe comes recommended by jo from piosacakes
i'm not very good at icing...

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

bump, less than 2 weeks before due date...

sorry about the bad image quality, was trying to take a picture outside and couldn't find my tripod, so it's handheld... not sure how the camera came up with this exposure...

Sunday, October 19, 2008

last week's 'belly shot'

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apple cake

i didn't quite get it right, it's slightly undercooked, i think. possibly too many apples (i used the right amount of apples but i think they were very big... or maybe the 30 min was for the smaller amount, my mum's recipe specified doing either the recipe in a round tin or double the amount on a baking sheet, but the time said 30 min for both... or, 3rd possibility, i think my mum has the 'oven sized' baking sheets, whereas mine is a big cake tin, so it's the cake would be a bit deepe than my mum's.
next time i go for 40 min, or for half the recipe...
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Friday, October 17, 2008

some pictures from last month

i thought i'd posted these already... a line of freshly washed baby clothes!

the only sunflower we got this far...

closeup of the cutest babygrow...

after a week at home, i have to say, being off at home is much more fun if you're fit to go out! i finally got the new camera (just a point and shoot), and would love to go for a walk or a drive to take lots of pics and try out all the different modes, but with crutches and no car, i'm kind of limited... can't post any pics taken with the new camera yet, the house is too messy!

will hobble off now, and tidy up a little, and maybe work on some crochet... (i did make matress covers, but they are not worth photographing!)

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

pregnancy hormones

right now i'm just feeling very happy to be married to my husband... i didn't post any photos on our anniversary, but today i feel like posting one!

he brought me lindor chocolates. and he's drinking non alcoholic beer during the ireland qualifying match (in case i go into labour). and he's giving me hugs whenever i need them. and he's letting me have the first sip of his bottle of becks non alcoholic, the cold one (if i had a bottle of my own it would take me all evening to drink it and it wouldn't be nice at all after the first few sips).

Monday, October 6, 2008

36 weeks bump

4 weeks to go, or maybe only 1? or as many as 6! i can see now how people get very impatient, this baby is starting to kick me sore, plus p's granny could race me now, and she's 92, with an artificial hip!

Friday, October 3, 2008

hyper with exhaustion!

what a week! i'm not even gonna make it to yoga tonight, still in work, waiting for CDs to burn... busy busy week! had meetings and gave training every day, in preparation of maternity leave, only 2 weeks left! and diary's filling up for next week, but i am looking forward to my antenatal appointment and 2 days off, so next week should be much easier. but still, so much to organise and sort and explain to my replacement!

getting really restless now, can't believe it's still a month to the due date and possibly another 2 weeks after that!! it's getting harder to walk, got some kind of pelvic girdle pain, and feeling bruised and battered from all the kicking. i won't even start talking about sleep...

i can't complain though, i've had it so so easy compared to so many of my friends! this is really the first week where i properly feel the discomfort and pain that comes with a pregnancy, most of my friends were much earlier with that.

looking forward to the weekend and some nesting and resting!!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

yummie tea...

i discovered this tea recipe on apron thrift girl's blog, and made up a similar mix with what i had in the cupboard and in the garden! it's yummie!

for a pot of tea (about a litre) i used 3 chamomile flowers (the ones i have are really strong), one lavendar flower from the garden (mine are very small this year, normal sized ones i'd probably use a half), one big sprig of mint from the garden (crushed) and two tea spoons of dried raspberry leaves (the ones i got are called 'pure raspberry leaves' and are green, not read). All this goes into the 'tea sock' (a filter/strainer for the pot) in the pot, fill up with boiling water and steep for ten minutes. stir 2 teaspoons of honey into the pot. drink some while hot, let the rest cool down and fill into a caraffe or bottle, for the fridge, i quite like it cold!

i'm not sure how much i'm supposed to / allowed to drink while pregnant, but i had 2 cups yesterday, and two today. i might step it up a little as i get closer to my due date (the raspberry leaves are supposed to 'tone' the uterus and make the contractions more effective when it comes to labour, that's why i bought the raspberry leaf tea initially)

if i manage to keep the tea drinking up then i might make up a mix, i might even try the rose hips in it, but from all i remember i don't like them, never have, too sour...

Sunday, September 21, 2008

one big spider...

there are loads of them around this autumn!
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Saturday, September 13, 2008

Another day out with visitors!

We went to the usual close by attractions, if we get many more visitors this year we'll have to think of some new places to go, so we don't get bored!!

Skerries Harbour was lovely and busy, everybody making the most of the warm day, knowing well it might be the last for the year!

the sun going down always makes for a nice photo opportunity, these are all taken with my old, clumsy, slow, noisy, annoying olympus x715 camera... ach, it's nowhere near as nice to handle as the benq... it'll do for blog photos, but i really hope i can get the other one fixed... and maybe get a more advanced one, for when the baby needs lots of photographing, all going well... (still scared of jinxing it if i assume all will go well...)

Friday, September 12, 2008

my camera is very sick!!

:-( just paralysed! it kind of half starts up and then goes into error mode, display frozen or off, and the lens out or half out!! the only way to switch it off is to take the battery out, but that doesn't retract the lens, oh dear... i've treated it so well, never dropped it or got it wet or anything...

i don't like to be without a camera, it makes me uneasy! i like to have it with me most days! just in case! i love digital, i don't mind taking 20 photos to get just one good shot, and i love being able to take pictures of bits that i'd never bother to get printed, just to show on the blog or send home to my sis or parents. p got it for me last year in february, on ibood, so it is still in warranty, unfortunately it's a 'carry in' manufacturer's warranty, and i have a feeling it might be for the UK only, they don't even have an irish phone number... have to wait till monday when their warranty department opens to find out. it wasn't expensive, as far as digital cameras go, under 150€ including all the bits, postage, tax... all of it! so if i go down the warranty route, i might spend a large percentage of the price on sending it to and from the UK...

i might see can i bring it into one of the camera shops in town, but the two i tried today were no good. in one of them the guy was pressing on the lens to try an make it retract! he even left a big fat fingerprint on it, i think to work in a city centre camera shop you don't actually have to have any knowledge of or interest in cameras... ah well... p managed to make it retract properly by pressing a lot of buttons at the same time, so at least i can transport it safely and won't be asked if i dropped it!

if i can't get it fixed i think i'll have to get another compact, and i'll have to decide on one soon (only 7ish weeks till baby's due!). i had just started to think about getting an SLR-like camera, but i don't think i could handle having only a bulky camera, i really like to have something small that i can slip into the handbag or jacket pocket, it was supposed to be in addition to my point and shoot!

i like what i'm reading about the lumix lx3 , but it's only just out and not in any shops here, and gee, it is pricey for a compact! but it reminds me of my precious old analog olympus myu, no zoom on that one, but a lovely bright lens and it takes great pictures. although the flash can be a bit bright... alternatively maybe the tz 5 but i heard it's got noise problems?

i seem to be quite set on something with a wider angle lens, and at the moment i like the panasonic ones best, but i'll have to do a bit more research... when really i should be preparing the house for the baby!! i seem to be suspiciously easily distracted...

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

pregnancy dreams, and not just mine!

anybody else have weird dreams during their pregnancies? some are panicky and scary, or just unpleasant, and showing how i'm a bit worried i'm not quite ready for this baby!

like the one about us having a baby boy, and friends coming to see us in the hospital, and they are asking what we called him and we realise we haven't decided on a name, and our friends are horrified at us being so uncaring and unprepared as not to give our baby a name!

but some are nice dreams, too...

my favourite is the one where i discover i have a pocket on my belly, you know, like you'd have on a hoodie, and i can carefully put my hand in and feel the baby, and i can stroke her hand and she holds my finger and i know it's a girl and she's happy and content in there!

one of my friends had a dream about my baby! she said she was over to visit and i had 'taken the baby out to show her' like that was the most normal thing in the world, it was a boy and he was smiling and had dark spiky hair, she said it was all very lovely and cute, until i said, 'right, now you have to help me to put him back in, he's too young to be born yet'! thankfully she chose to wake up before it got to gross!

i finished my scarf yesterday!

remember last winter i started this scarf? well, after some 'summer' hibernation and a final giving in to the bad weather and knitting woolly things again, it's finally finished! i was worried it wouldn't be long enough, but everybody kept telling me it's fine, just start on the decrease rows... i reluctantly gave in, this scarf is near impossible to unravel and restart, because of the dropped stitches (i find), but i needn't have worried! i washed it yesterday, in the machine's 'wool and delicates' cycle, together with a cream jumper (that said dry clean only, but i don't approve of dry cleaning...) using wool detergent.

perfect results! both jumper and scarf came out unharmed, and the scarf grew from a just about OK 180cm to a brilliant 250cm! i dried it flat on the guest bed and am delighted to find the wool turned softer and drapier and the scarf is just what i wanted! and just in time for the miserable september weather that's hit us this week.

i'm not a hundred percent sure if i used the wool cycle properly, there was quite a strong detergent smell off the wool, i wonder are you supposed to run a rinse and drain cycle afterwards? or is that just the way wool detergent smells? if the smell doesn't go i'll have to do a rinse&drain and lay it out flat on the bed again... will the drapiness stay if i wash it again?

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

belly at 31 weeks

if i take my arms up it looks a little less big and even more pointy!!

Sunday, August 31, 2008

day out with the visitors

we had a fun day yesterday, well, fun for most of us, it started quite rough i imagine for my husband, who woke up with the mother of all hangovers.... and staying in bed wasn't an option because there was still more tidying and cleaning to be done than i could manage before the visitors arrived! my baby belly had calmed down considerably, which was good news because i don't know how i'd have managed showing them around otherwise!

we picked my parents and their friends up from the station and had coffee and biscuits here, and they had a little look around the garden and house (with the usual comments from the guys about how much less sturdy and 'proper' houses in ireland are built... they were knocking on the plasterboard walls and comparing the window frames and width of the stairs to home. i'm starting to feel like we live in a cardboard house!). Then we headed to Skerries for a 'walk around the head' and a drink. then we went to the Mills to have a look at the Farmers Market and for some coffee and cake/their homemade soda bread, then on to Ardgillan Castle. The ladies loved it, the guys are way unfit and not used to walking... my mum was telling me when they went around dublin the women were mostly walking ahead, leasurely, chatting, and every now and then stopping to see could they still see the guys in the distance, and then letting them catch up! we left them behind as we explored the walled gardens, they are always a big hit with my female realitves, who get excited to see plants they have at home all labeled and categorised, and to see some of them grow to twice the size, and others that they keep indoors grow happily outside.

We had dinner in the stoop, which everybody loved, and we all got to chat and rest some more (outings with 'older' people involve an awful lot of breaks and sitting down and stopping...). eventually we dropped them back to the train station and they all got on the train, it's kind of cute watching your parents on public transport if they drive everywhere at home, we could tell they were excited and nervous, making sure it's the right train twice, then all heading off down the compartment looking for seats together... i'm glad they get to travel like this is in a foreign country, i know it gave me lots of confidence, travelling and realising i could do it. who knows they might take another trip abroad, go to paris or prague for a long weekend, now that they know they can manage!

P and I were completely exhausted by the time we got home! especially P with the remnants of his hangover...

Friday, August 29, 2008

lying low

i took the day off today...

my parents and their friends arrived in town yesterday and we met them for coffee and took them for a walk around the city centre, making sure they get their bearings, pointing out nice pubs and restaurants... i was so delighted with the nice weather and wanted to make sure they see the city in the golden light and take home some nice impressions, knowing the next few days might get quite gray (and look out, what a gray day!!) seeing so many people out enjoying themselves on a mid week evening, they were surprised by that, but of course they get way more lovely summer evenings at home than we do here.

i must have overdone it a bit, i walked from stephens green to brown thomas to meet them, then we made our way with a few turns to the busy feet cafe (it's not that easy finding a cafe with space for 8 people on a sunny thursday evening!) after that we weaved our way back towards their hotel, along grafton and dawson and nassau street, the tourist information, the foggy dew, temple bar, the 'italian quarter, finishing at that pub on mary st that's in a former church. there we split, and i could really feel my belly. the husband and i made our way back to o'connell st and i could started to get cramps and pains, we decided to get a taxi back to my office where i had parked the car, but of course my husband had had a pint with my dad and friends so i still had to drive home, i got a bit scared with the pains and had to breathe really deeply, and moving my foot from exelerator to break was really sore...

i went straight to bed when we came home, but didn't sleep properly all night, (the baby had lots of extra energy from sleeping all afternoon/evening while i was walking) every time i got up to go to the bathroom the cramps started again, scary! there was no more pain though, so i'm pretty sure we're OK. anyhow, i'm off today, taking it very easy, but there still is a lot of tidying up to do, before the visitors come up to our house tomorrow! i'm leaving all the strenuous stuff for the husband though, who unfortunately has a work night out tonight, so it'll be left to him in the morning, when he most likely will have a hangover!!

all not ideal... but i'm glad i could take the day off at short notice, and of course i'm not telling my parents, i'm going to say i'm working from home! wise people that they are they were saying all along the way that i should turn around and head back to the car and not overdo it, and i was ignoring it, thinking i was going to be fine and wanting to spend more time with them. i miss them, they are going to spend most of their time sightseeing with their friends while they are here, looking forward to seeing them again tomorrow. i just wish their friends would do stuff on their own for at least one evening so we can spend some time with just my parents, but they all don't speak any english and want to stick together, and the friends are looking towards my parents as the seasoned travellers, because they've been here before!

i also thought my mum looked very tired and red eyed and my dad looked like he lost weight so i'm a little worried about them...

Wednesday, August 27, 2008


sorry, is it just me or is rachel allen pronouncing onions in the most peculiar way? we were just watching her make roast chicken and were nearly on the floor laughing, especially as she said it so often, we didn't count but it went 'then i take the annion and i peel the annion, then i put the annion into the saucepan..." anybody know where she's from?
the other thing that cracks me up is that she often looks like she hates the food she's tasting, while saying 'i lav the flavour, mmh, it's delicious' and it often looks like she hates touching produce, too!
enough bitching, i have to say i love her clothes, make up and jewellery, and the actual food looks yummie!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

break ups

two of our friends broke up this weekend. i feel really sad that it didn't work out for them, and also because i'll most likely be losing a friend, she's only moved in with him last year and we started doing lots together, we get on great, now she'll be staying with family in the city centre, and then rent her own place, maybe near here but there's no way she'd stay living in this village, it's just too small. and by next summer she'll most likely move to the south side, for a new job, and i won't get to see her much at all any more! she's quite teary and sad, but at the same time relieved and happy, because she's finally made the step, from what she said and from the impression i got, she's been working very hard to try and be happy in the relationship, to settle with him, to build a future, it just didn't work, she was edgy and things just weren't falling into place. i remember being in a similar situation, and every little extra bit of commitment was making my want to jump out of my skin, and i was doing all i could to ignore it and to be 'grown up' and 'work on the relationship' like my much older boyfriend at the time was telling me to.

i had a feeling there were some issues, and that they might break up, but still i was hoping that i was just imagining all that!

add to that the miserable weather, the mess in the house (lots of little organising projects started but none of them quite finished), a slightly hungover husband... what a miserable day... i just have no energy! i slept like a log but still feel like all i want is to curl up and go back to sleep.

instead i did laundry, some tidying up, filing papers from the last 5 years, and hugging my husband a lot, because i'm upset over the breakup and grateful that we're together. now i'm writing this post while watching 'last choir standing', after a bowl of half and half cornflakes and crunchy nut (this baby is making me like food i usually don't buy at all! and it seems to have a thing for sweetcorn...) and i'm feeling a little better already.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

mamma mia

we had a girlie cinema night out, to see mamma mia last night, hilarious! really cheesy, of course, and the plot is slightly confusing, they had to try and somehow fit in as many abba songs as possible. most of the singing is alright but Pierce Brosnan's singing and dancing is so bad, we were dying laughing in our seats! the youths did my head in, but the 3 ladies were brilliant, especially done up in shiny seventies gear! a very cheery film, for sure, unfortunately i'd had non alcoholic beer, i think the film would have been better with a few cocktails. my favourite thing though was the interiour design, light turquoise blue walls, slightly distressed bright red accessories, beautifully embroidered throws and cushions, any type of apron you can imagine, seventies style tablecloths on the clothes lines, mismatched plates and chairs...

at the end of the film i was more or less decided. i was going to paint one wall in our bedroom that colour, and do a similarly bright and mismatched nursery, but the girls pointed out that it all looks right in greek sunshine, but won't be so lovely on an irish, dark, dank, rainy, day. i'm not convinced, i think especially in grey weather bright colours are needed!

Monday, August 18, 2008

missing july

how weird... july is missing from my blog archive!?
and i was nearly sure i posted a bump picture a few days ago? that's gone!

ok, found the bump post, for some reason it appeared with a june date? blogger is doing funny things...

WIP - yet another baby beanie

not sure if i prefer this heart shape or the one from the last?

Sunday, August 17, 2008

eclair desaster...

this is a picture of yesterday's attempt to make chocolate eclairs... i used duck eggs, which i think might have been the problem. i tried all kinds of temperature time combinations, but the centre just wouldn't cook! it was gloopy, eggy, shiny, wet, nearly custardy. what a waste of a saturday afternoon! the reason i tried making them was that the weather was awful, torrential rainfall! and i thought i'd feel much chirpier if i could have the eclairs i fancied without leaving the house!

you'd think i'd have gotten into the car today and bought some, but no, i'm attempting them again. with medium chicken eggs. the dough looks lighter this time, less oily, wish me luck!!

the recipe i'm using is a german 'windbeutel' recipe,

60g butter
1/4 l water
pinch of salt
150g flour
1 tea spoon of baking powder
4 eggs.

i'm going to do some more experimenting.

using the fan oven i'm starting with 20min 200 degrees, (eclair shapes, not german sized profiteroles or mini profiterols) i'll try all sorts of combinations again, from different other recipes, and hope that at the end of it i'll get at least 2 eclairs for dessert tonight!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

bump picture! (28 weeks)

my bump

my toes

my arm

(after only one stab by the midwife!)