Thursday, December 30, 2010

and two more bump photos

a kiss for the baba...

bumping bellies!
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bump pictures 37 weeks

37 weeks according to my dates, 36+2 according to hospital.










Loving my bump (apart from how uncomfortable it is!)! My friend Elaine took the pictures with her digital SLR and I did a bit of contrast, red eye correction, black and white and glow on them in picasa. This will probably be the last time my belly won't look wobbly! For the rest of my life! I got lucky after Emm and there wasn't much damage done, but this babe is meant to be bigger, and also, you probably can't stretch your skin like this, twice, and go back to normal afterwards!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

christmas day

We had a very quiet, but lovely, christmas day, with a fire down all day, lots of chocolate and christmas sweets and mandarins, a little bit of unwrapping, but we kept it the presents to a minimum this year. We had a few more presents from Germany today (we did Christkindl, doing the 'Bescherung' together, on skype), and M is going to get more from Peter's family, but it was nice, even without lots and lots of luxurious presents! I have to admit, I enjoy buying presents, and it was nice to be able to do it a few years ago, when I was earning money and didn't have a mortgage to worry about. There were a few years where I was buying for all my family, and most of Peter's, and for my friends, and I loved it! I enjoy the giving much more than the receiving, mostly because I am quite picky about what I like. This year I got a voucher for pregnancy reflexology (something I would have just booked and gone for when I was pregnant with Emm) and a clipboard with lists, that I actually bought myself and P just wrapped it for me. It would have been nice to get some little surprises, too... Something I hadn't asked for or bought myself!

At the same time, we're all relatively healthy, M's eyes are OK for the moment and we have a new consultant, the pregnancy is going well as far as we can tell, and we were fortunate enough not to have to travel anywhere during the cold snap, and not to have to worry about the heating bill, or food!

her new kitchen being unveiled.

...straight to work!
raiding the tree

some more snow play

Today the thaw has set in, the snow's gone from the roof and trees and walls, the snowmen have melted to small mounds, there's rain and melting water everywhere. On the upside, it means some of P's family might come after all, for dinner on Tuesday!
Tomorrow we have to brave IKEA, and get Emm a new bed, we really shouldn't put it off any longer, with only 4 weeks till the due date! It'll be enough change for her, without giving up her cot and seeing it used by the new baby straight away, I think it'll be better for her to have a few weeks settling in, with the cot out of sight, before we set it up in our room.
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christmas eve


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Thursday, December 23, 2010

snow pictures




P says this is the most snow he's seen since he was a little kid. It's certainly more than I have ever seen in Ireland, and I've been here for nearly 9 years... Emm is loving it!

On a not so nice note, the stomach bug that we seem to have avoided for the last two weeks seems to finally have arrived at our house, P is miserable today! Emm and I have met a lot more people just before and after they came down with it and have escaped so far, but it looks like we might all have it for christmas! For most of my friends it's been a 24 hour bug, so lets hope that's all it's going to be... I really hope that if we're going to be struck with it, Emm and I won't get it before tomorrow afternoon, as we just got tickets to see 'The Snowman' at the concert hall in the morning!  Fingers crossed...



pepparkakor

swedish gingerbread men and other ornaments! Other pregnant women apparently get the nesting instinct, cleaning their houses... i've clearly gone mad making and icing gingerbread... i really should be in bed, not tying red cotton string to biscuits. i've hung some of the ornaments into the tree, in the top layers, i better wait with the lower branches until christmas morning, I have a suspicion they won't last long!
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Monday, December 20, 2010

Birdfeeders

Today we finally got a proper snow fall, I'd say 6 inches at least, and it's still going. We haven't had any snow to speak of in the last weeks, but it's been quite cold. Lately I've noticed some robins and tits out in the garden, They must have come from the countryside to the village gardens, looking for food! I spoke to my mum, who loves to watch wild birds, and she said the best way to feed them is to make some fat bird feeders. I bought some cooking fat and bird seed, got small clay pots, string and twigs from the garden, and checked my baking cupboard for oats, and some leftover nuts and seeds (great way to use up the slightly out of date ones!). As it's nearly christmas I threw in some raisins as a treat, too! you can also add peanut butter and any unsalted unroasted nuts and seeds.

You melt the fat (Vegetable fat, lard, beef drippings, whatever you can get your hands on.For today's batch I got some free cutoffs from the butcher, and added the rendered fat to the bought stuff) over a very low heat, then stir in your seeds, chopped nuts and oats. Leave to cool. You use the twig and string to hang the pot from a tree, with the twig serving as a climbing branch for the birds. Hard to explain, easy to show http://www.geo.de/GEOlino/weihnachten/52056.html this link shows it quite well.













During my first attempt yesterday I hadn't looked it up properly, thinking I remembered it all from when my mum made these when I was a kid. I forgot to put in the little branch for climbing, and also didn't let the mixture cool down enough before filling the pot. The birds don't seem to mind so far. I made another one today, and this one's by the book, just waiting to set on top of the garden shelve.














We had Emm's follow up appointment last  week and the professor said her retinas are reacting to the laser treatment as they should. He isn't the one doing her long term treatment plan, so he wasn't answering any questions, in fact, when I mentioned we might get referred to London he nearly seemed insulted and wound up the appointment very quickly. I don't think even as a professor, he has any reason to feel offended if parents are looking to see a specialist, if he has only had one or two patients with this condition in his entire career... I forgot to ask for the October photographs of her retinas and he didn't offer them either, I'll have to call the nurse on tomorrow and ask will she email them to me. I'm still annoyed the professor didn't take any before and after photos during the operation, and didn't repeat the angiogram, which is what the consultant had said would be done initially... We see him again in January, so I think we'll just have to wait until then to find out what the next steps will be.

I had an antenatal appointment on Friday, and the midwife reckons this baby will be bigger than Emm was! It's lying oblique at the moment, she said that's OK at this point. I certainly get lots of kicks and I think it's still twisting and turning a lot, sometimes it feels like there's just not enough space! I feel as big as I was just before Emm was born, and I still have 5 weeks to go!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

making christmas cards


I've been experimenting with using Emm's artwork for christmas cards. My baubles didn't quite work out, but I was very happy with the snowman,


so I made a little series! I used two of her drawings that had only pale colours, and mostly blue, on white. I cut it into wide strips so that I'd have a rough guide to for the size of the circles, which I then cut freehand.


I used red card (which came with matching envelopes from a bookshop in Germany, 3.45€ for 10 about 2 years ago) and glued three circles on, trying to make sure to get a bit of texture by mixing and matching darker and lighter circles, or by turning them so the lines would go in different directions. The carrot noses are done with white glue and red glitter, everything else is drawn on with black ink.



Sure to delight grannies and aunties!

I love red and white for christmas decorations, but I might let Emm loose with lots of shades of green, and then cut shapes to make christmas trees, because I have lots of cream coloured cards in my paper crafts box! I'm not really a big fan of glitter, but it seems essential in irish crafts for kids (maybe in Germany, too, but it wasn't around when I was little...). Emm enjoys the stuff greatly, so I'm sure the christmas tree designs will feature some, too!

I enjoyed the bit of peace and quiet during her nap time, making the cards, ignoring my floors which are in dire need of mopping...

I've got a super itchy eye, which I'm pretty sure I got yesterday, ironically, from the hospital for Emm's eye operation! They had the air conditioning set to heat the place full blast, it was worst in the tiny play room, imagine sitting under a hair dressers dryer hood! There was no getting away from it, and now my bottom eye lid is swollen and itchy, can't think of the name for the condition. The pharmacist gave me some over the counter drops to calm it, but so far it's not making a difference! At least now Emm doesn't feel too hard done by, having to get eye drops, as she's not the only one!
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Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Eyes update

We're just back from the hospital, and Emm had laser on both eyes. She was a very brave girl, didn't cry once or make a fuss, with lots of sets of eye drops, and blood pressure measuring and general taking her away from the play room and toys.
It's a bit strange, she was booked in for another EUA and FA, and if necessary they were possibly going to do some lasering. Then they phoned us on Monday and said they spoke to the specialist in London and he recommended they laser the left eye and see about the right eye. This morning we noticed the EUA and FA wasn't on her file, but the nurse added them. After the OP the Professor came down to speak to us and told us the OP went well and that he'd lasered both eyes. When I'd asked about the pictures he said he didn't take any! I'm a bit annoyed, as this was what our new consultant had ordered in the first place, a second set of pictures to compare and assess whether there had been any change!
We're glad they did the laser and that the Professor said he didn't 'see' any change, but I really would have liked there to be pictures to show it. Especially if we want to get a second opinion abroad it would be good to have some 'before and after' pictures from today. Also, I hardly even bake a cake without taking pictures, so I thought it strange of a surgeon doing extensive laser surgery without documenting the process... Maybe they were too busy? The ward certainly was full today...
He agreed to let us have copies of the images, but I'm not sure if he will have them digitally. I wanted him to just email them to me, but he was saying 'I'll have them for you next week, at the appointment'.