Dec. 12th, 2016 01:36 pm
lnr: (pink hair 2006)

A short list of things

  • My mum's gall bladder is safely removed, hopefully good riddance
  • My phone has died again, and is on its way to Giffgaff to hopefully be fixed under warranty
  • I have a startlingly old-fashioned dumb-phone to keep me in calls and texts in the meantime - usual number
  • Am considering buying a new phone in the New Year anyway
  • I've booked the eye test Specsavers have been reminding me about since March - now only £7.50 instead of a tenner :)
  • I dyed my hair purple, coincidentally the same shade as 10 years ago, in just the week people are comparing old and new photos - it doesn't look quite as bright as it did on bleached hair of course
  • The Christmas tree is up and we have some lights in the garden too at Matthew's request, and a decorated office door at work
  • I have printed out the Christmas card list, ready to start writing cards, late as usual
  • I *think* I just did the last bit of present shopping, I gave in and did it online, couldn't face the shops

hair tree

Any phone recommendations welcomed - current phone is a Samsung Galaxy S4 mini, and I like the size and the general look and feel and so on. I'd like something with a little bit more power (mostly for Pokemon Go). Looking to spend around £200 again sim-free, or find something on contract for around £15 a month since that's roughly what the Samsung has worked out as over 24 months (including a fiver a month on 500MB of data, and the occasional top-up for calls and texts).

And if you'd like a Christmas card and are not on my usual list then drop me a line with your address!

lnr: (Pen-y-ghent)

Goodness it's a while since I posted here! Apologies to those who follow me on Facebook (or my photos of Matthew on blipfoto) and have probably heard most of this already :)

Read more... )

NB: My two recent LJ posts were partly as a result of seeing this - so I'm reposting in case it inspires anyone else:

'When you see this, make a post in your journal or in a community. It can be anything: a crosspost something you've posted on Tumblr, a few words about the last thing you read/watched, or just a "Hi, how is everyone?" Then go read your f-list and leave at least one comment.'


Nov. 4th, 2014 08:19 pm
lnr: (Default)
So following on from my post last week I took a self-assessment test on the NHS webpages, and scored somewhere between 10 and 15, most likely around 13 - indicating that it's likely I'm suffering from moderate depression. Anyway I went to see my GP today (well I say my GP - I'm not sure I've actually seen Dr Rann before, but she seems nice and coped calmly with me sobbing at her :). After explaining how I felt she asked what I was hoping to get from the appointment, to which I said at least partly just to get someone to agree I wasn't just imagining it. But eventually I left with:

- A prescription for a low starting dose of sertraline (anti-depressant)
- A sheet with some online resources for DIY CBT to try
- An appointment for 3 weeks time to see how I'm getting on, and if the CBT seems helpful to refer me for a course

She also suggests I see if the university counselling service can offer any help too, and really thinks 2 years of sleep deprivation is probably a big issue and suggests we need to do something about the night wakings. I'm not prepared to give up breast feeding (which she didn't suggest but equally didn't sound terribly supportive of) but we can try cut down how often we offer milk at night and see if he wakes less as a result - it may not make much difference though, as he was down to just one wake most nights before he was full of cold, so I think it's more than just wanting milk.

Anyway I felt a bit better for going, but a bit wobbly at the same time.

And I feel like the Pensions Officers meeting in London today was well worth attending and hopefully having written a brief report on it for our action committee and exec on the way home on the train has been really useful too, so a positive day overall.
lnr: (feminist)

So, I'm now running 5 days late and counting. I saw the midwife on Monday and she reckons baby may well turn up of its own accord at the weekend - but all is well in the meantime and there's no need to try do anything to hurry it up just yet. Seeing them again next Monday. Quite happy to continue to potter about and enjoy all this unexpected leisure time - definitely not bored yet.

So what I have I been up to? We bought a new bird table from the RSPB and built it. I've finished the last Wheel of Time book (review on librarything), read a book on coping with starting a family from Relate (review on librarything) and started the next in Tad Williams' Shadowmarch series. I finished my jigsaw. Clare came round for lunch at my house, I took cake round to visit Lucy and Edward, and I've had lunch in town with Cat from our NCT antenatal group (3 of whom now have baby boys - the rest of us are still waiting). The internet did a good impression of being fixed for 10 days, and then broke again, so I've got another engineer booked for Monday (if I'm around!). And today I've done some more baking - chocolate fudge cake (using this cake recipe and this icing recipe) and cornflake cakes (using up the icing, which turned out to be about twice as much as needed). It's all good.

bird table
fudge cake cornflake cakes

lnr: (Icknield Way)

This is what a 9-months pregnant feminist looks like, in a somewhat drafty Fawcett Society Tshirt. Not only do they have excellent Tshirts but they do excellent work towards equality in the UK.


In addition to (briefly) dressing up to celebrate the day I've also made a loan to a woman in a less advantaged country, via Kiva. If you were to sign up using my link you can make a free loan of $25, thanks to a generous sponsor, and they'll give me $25 to donate too.

lnr: (Icknield Way)

Well, I'm now just over 39 weeks pregnant - which means about a week to go until my official Due Date. Apparently most babies are born within a week either side of that, but first babies are often late. All I can do is wait and see, but there's no sign of this one getting ready to emerge just yet.

I can't believe it's now four whole weeks that I've been on "maternity" leave (technically I'm using up normal annual leave at the moment, and my maternity doesn't start until my due date). The time seems to have flown by and I'm still really enjoying it - and not in the least bored yet. I've been enjoying some crochet, and done a bit of a jigsaw, and found time for more reading than I've done in ages - not to mention some baking (flapjack again this week - less overdone this time) and plenty of time just chilling out at the computer. I've even been to the garden centre and bought some plants for the newish border in the back garden, and it's looking much nicer.

Crochet! Plants

It's been a lovely weekend being able to share some of this time with Mike though. Yesterday we had a brief potter to the shops in the village and wandered over to have a look at the river, and found a map showing some permissive footpaths/bridleways we weren't really aware of before - so today we went out for an explore. A bit of a grey day but lovely and warm and it was a nice little walk of about 5 miles. Feeling good - if a bit tired. Here's a map:


As for the intermittent BT broadband problem - well since the second engineer we've had a few dropouts still, but it's mostly been better than it was before that. It does still seem to go when we're on the phone though - that probably needs more testing - and I won't be convinced it's definitely completely OK for a while yet.

I think next week I don't actually have *anything* in my diary in terms of meetings or appointments - so will have to try and make the effort to be a bit more sociable and go see a couple of people perhaps while I still have the chance!

lnr: (Icknield Way)

This week has been largely characterised by lots of time waiting for BT. Last week I finally got round to reporting that our broadband connection keeps dropping out intermittently. It's been doing it for a while really - at fairly random intervals it just drops out for between 30 seconds and a couple of minutes - sometimes just when we're on the phone, and at other times it's every half hour, and sometimes it's just random. Anyway having replaced the ADSL filters in January, and replaced an elderly handset on Wednesday the errors were still happening, so I spoke to them on Wednesday last week and they made me plug the router into the master socket for 24 hours to see if it fixed the problem. It didn't, so I spoke to them again on Thursday, and after a basic line check which was fine the second-line support team promised to call me back on Monday morning after their Exchange team had had a chance to investigate (they suggested Friday, but I said Monday since I knew we were going to be away Friday night). Since then there has been an inordinate amount of waiting!

On Monday I waited an hour for them to call me, then tried 1471 and discovered they had in fact tried to call me on Saturday while we were out, so I called them up a bit cross, and they didn't exactly apologise but did agree to send me an engineer on Tuesday afternoon to come and see if they could find the problem. On Tuesday I waited in all afternoon and the engineer didn't turn up - I replied to their text message notification to complain, and got a courtesy call just after 9pm. It seemed there had been a "communication issue" between the booking team and the engineer. Anyway since the issue seemed to have gone away temporarily they promised to call back on Wednesday and check if it was still OK. Of course the connection started breaking again overnight, so on Wednesday morning I called them again rather than waiting for the call back, and after quite some time waiting on hold another engineer was booked - this time for Friday morning. On Friday I didn't actually have to wait long for the engineer! Amazing! He came, was polite and helpful, but couldn't actually find anything wrong though he admitted he couldn't stay and monitor indefinitely to wait for another problem.. He did move our master socket upstairs into the room we keep the computers in, and replaced it with a modern filtered one, which means the other sockets in the house now only act as phone lines, but no longer need ADSL microfilters attached to them. About an hour later the connection dropped again, and after a couple more outages I called BT again - and they've booked me yet another engineer. This time the earliest they can manage is Tuesday morning, so once again I wait.

Since then the connection has actually been up a bit more reliably than before, but still drops out when we're using the phone. An improvement I guess - we'll see how it does over the next couple of days! It's just as well I've been at home though! It would be even more irritating if I were having to take time out of work for this, rather than time I was happy sitting around doing jigsaws, reading, geeking and crocheting :)

There have been other bits of waiting this week too - waiting for baby - who is fine to stay put for another couple of weeks as far as I'm concerned - and waiting for assorted parcels in the post. I now have more maternity bras (you really needed to know that) and we also have a baby bath, changing mats, and a nice new chest of drawers in the nursery for baby clothes with a changing table on top. We've put the pushchair together too and packed the hospital bags, and been for a tour of the Rosie Birth Centre - which was lovely. All feeling much more ready than we were a week ago!

So after a very chilled out day at home yesterday the plan for today is another relaxing morning, then to head into town this afternoon to see Wreck It Ralph at the cinema and go out for dinner. Since as several people have pointed out we might not get much chance for that sort of outing for a while :).

lnr: (Icknield Way)

Quick summary of the rest of last week:

  • Tuesday: into town for a lovely cuppa with Gail and a haircut
  • Wednesday: Joanna came round for tea and biscuits, and our pushchair was delivered (we've not unpacked it yet though.
  • Thursday: presentation scan at Rosie, visit to garden centre

The most important bit being that the scan confirmed baby is actually head *down* after all (possibly because it has moved since Monday) - so I don't need an appointment to try and turn it round, and hopefully can have my nice maternity unit birth after all. Though of course there are still many reasons why that might still change. Very good news!

Planning a lazy Sunday in tomorrow, then next week I have a whooping cough jab, a union meeting, an ikea delivery and a tour of the Rosie birth centre with Mike to look forward to. Still enjoying plenty of walking and gentle cycling and my weekly pilates class too - though might make Monday my last pilates session.

lnr: (Icknield Way)

Last year Mike and I went away for the weekend nearest Valentine's Day, and had a lovely time in Stamford. Valentine's Day happens to mark the anniversary of when we got engaged, which makes it a little extra nice to celebrate it - but generally if you go out you end up with over-priced set meals which can often be disappointing - so we're happy to time shift it a bit. This year we also decided that while it would be nice to go away it wouldn't be too wise to go very *far* away this close to my due date. So instead Mike took Friday off work and we had an early weekend in the far off city of Cambridge :)

We actually had a nice quiet morning pottering round the house, and I did a bit of gardening too, then we headed into town on the bus and checked into our hotel - The Varsity Hotel and Spa on Thompson's Lane - which it turns out had upgraded our room, to a really rather enormous one with a lovely big bathroom and great views out on two sides across the roofs of Cambridge.

Bedroom Bathroom

We decided to make the most of the nice evening, and headed out for a touristy walk around the backs and through town, taking in bits of Trinity and Kings, and the Corpus Clock. Then we filled the big bath with *all* the bubbles (a foot deep in bubbles alone!) before heading out to dinner in the restaurant which is associated with the spa/hotel. It calls itself the River Bar Steakhouse and Grill, and definitely specialises in steak - which Mike enjoyed. I went for a pretty decent venison and ale pie instead, which at least had good pastry even if it was still technically stew in a bowl with a lid. We didn't have room for pudding - but did have a box of chocs back in the room which made up for it :)

Trinity in the evening sun Kings just after dusk

Saturday morning after a lie in we had a lovely big cooked breakfast, and then headed out for another nice walk. It was a really spring-like morning, and heading along the river was lovely - though crowded with other walkers, cyclists, rowing coaches and joggers - the river itself was busy too. All very photogenic. Then we had a bit of a potter round the shops before heading to the Fitzwilliam Museum to continue being tourists for a little longer. Despite having lived in/near Cambridge for just over 14 years it's the first time I've visited! We skipped through the Egypt/Rome/Greece exhibits fairly quickly as Mike had seen them before (with my dad, while mum and I shopped for wedding dresses), and were perhaps a bit underwhelmed by the room full of European/Japanese pottery and most of the galleries of paintings, but then there was a room full of pottery, sculpture and even some jewellry, including a couple of Barbara Hepworths and suddenly I was much more engaged. And the last room we visited with an exhibition of contemporary Chinese pottery just blew me away: China's White Gold.

Our last stop before heading home was Brown's - for a rather lovely afternoon tea. Finger sandwiches, scones with jam and cream still warm from the oven, and a decent little selection of cakes too. Lovely. We've had a really nice time, and all well within 10 miles of home. Recommended!

More photos from the weekend can be found over on Facebook (public link).

lnr: (Icknield Way)

So what did I do with the rest of my first week of maternity leave?

  • Tuesday: went swimming, celebrated Same Sex Marriage Bill passing second reading, did some more crochet of baby blanket.
  • Wednesday: helped man UCU stall at university induction event in the morning, UCU general meeting at lunchtime, SW class early evening, followed by NCT breastfeeding class. Long day!
  • Thursday: a bit of gardening, and melted chocolate and cream together in preparation for making chocolate truffles, started trying to choose pushchair (big thanks to everyone who offered advice). Ordered useful boxes from ebay.
  • Friday: Exciting Ocado delivery - quite a bit of shopping covered in fabric conditioner. Wandered into village to replace some of it from Co-op (some of it was rescued by washing). Finished making the chocolate truffles. Tried a couple of course :) Boxes arrived so sorted through two chests of drawers and managed to considerably declutter as a result. Found a taker for the chests of drawers too!
  • Saturday: Another 10am to 4pm NCT ante-natal class. Then mum and dad came to visit. Made apple crumble. Sorted big pile of baby clothes and other goodies from Steph and Dave. Early night.
  • Sunday: cooked breakfast, then into Peterborough with mum and dad to look at pushchairs. Home via Pizza Express in Huntingdon. Waved mum and dad off then actually ordered pushchair online. Still too full from lunch to have much more than cheese and crackers for tea - though I did also eat the last slice of Christmas cake. Finished baby blanket!
  • Monday: lazy morning reading in the bath and then chilling out, then midwife appointment in the early afternoon (see below for more details). Gym in the evening for Pilates with Clare.

As for the midwife appointment: Urine tests still fine, baby measurement still good, blood pressure good - all excellent. Less good> baby appears to have moved into a fairly breech position. Midwife called Addenbrookes and they should ring me back tomorrow to make an ultrasound appointment to check for sure - and if so then probably arrange to try and turn the baby some time next week. There's about a 50/50 chance that will work apparently. If not they'll probably want to book me for a C-section at 39 weeks because they don't like to attempt a breech birth especially in first time mums. Obviously it isn't really ideal when I've been hoping for a nice natural birth at the midwife-led unit - but hey, if it's unavoidable then there's no point fretting about it. In the meantime I should stay active, choose upright sitting positions where possible, and try doing some kneeling down with my chest lower than my hips - they suggested doing a jigsaw on the floor, which sounds like a plan :) I probably won't try moxibustion though the student in with the midwife suggested it as a possibility.

At least in the meantime I have a haircut to look forward to tomorrow, and coffee with Gail - and then on Wednesday the pushchair should arrive and Joanna's going to come round for a cuppa too. And Friday we've booked ourselves a night away at a nice hotel to celebrate a slightly belated Valentines - in Cambridge :)


Pram blanket

lnr: (Icknield Way)

The most obvious thing this week is that it's been my last week at work. Very little actual work remained that still needed doing - though Caroline had me having a go at the written test and programming test they've devised for the interview candidates for my maternity cover, to get an idea as to whether they were aimed at around the right level and would take the right sort of time. It was surprisingly fun. She also found me another useful little bit of perl script to write for her too so I spent rather more time writing code than usual - nice easy stuff :) My maternity cover job has now finally been advertised too - closing date 18th February if anyone might be interested. The week finished on Friday with my lovely colleagues surprising me with a big tray of pink and blue cupcakes and a lovely card and box of chocs. Obviously not knowing which colour bun was the right one I had to have one of each :) I shall miss them over the next year definitely, it's going to be very strange not getting up for work tomorrow morning!

Yesterday, despite it being the weekend, we were up fairly bright and early to pack up some lunch before heading into town (into a mildly fierce headwind) for the first session of our NCT ante-natal classes. It was quite a long day really 10 til 4 without only half an hour (by agreement) for lunch - but we packed a lot in. It was lovely to meet 7 other couples all of whom are also expecting their first babies in March. It looks like we're all hoping to give birth at the midwife led birthing centre at the Rosie hospital too. Lots of information to take in, but Sian, the class leader, has promised to email us all lots of info. We've got a breastfeeding session to come on Wednesday, and then another long day next Saturday too. With it being a class right in the middle of town there's quite a spread of locations around Cambridge for people to have come from - but it's nice to know that there'll be at least one mum in Shelford that I'll know in advance :) Have promised to let her know the details of the bumps and babies class that apparently runs in the village once I manage to get hold of them myself.

After our class we had a bit of a wander over to the retail park not far from Mill Road to take a look at pushchairs/buggies. Steph and Dave did offer us their Silver Cross pram, but we've decided it's a little big to be practical for us, and Mike really quite fancies spoiling us with a new one anyway. We're a bit torn between going for a simple buggy, which works out the lightest and most compact option - not to mention the cheapest, or going for something which can do front and rear facing positions and has nice big wheels for off road use. The Quinny Buzz 3 is quite tempting. We also need to think about whether we need to get a car seat even though we don't have a car - possibly just so we can get baby home from the hospital in a taxi! Though one of the couples yesterday did very kindly offer us the long-term loan of one which their brother-in-law had given them, as it was spare. Sending me home in a taxi and letting Mike walk with a pushchair would be one solution, but a bit weird :) Does anyone know if there are local taxi firms who can provide car seats themselves? Though if so would we trust them?

Bump is now 35 weeks old, and reportedly around 46cm long and 2.4kg in weight - about the same as a honeydew melon. Of course by this point the weights are all going to be very much averages - as all babies come out a bit different. I still seem to have a pretty compact bump for this stage of pregnancy really, but am measuring the right size for my stage, and everything else was well at my last midwife appointment on Monday too. They're coming thick and fast now with only just over a week until my next one - and I'm waiting to hear back from the GP practice nurse as to when I can have my whooping cough jab too.

Not much more exciting has been happening this week. We saw very few birds in the garden for the birdwatch - probably because the weather had got so much nicer they didn't need our food supplies so desperately any more. The bedside tables have gone, leaving us with more space in the living room, and we enjoyed our haggis :) We bought a new shower curtain too - so exciting :) Mike and I have been mostly chilling out, watching DVDs and reading (him) and knitting (me). I finally finished my giant fuchsia pink mohair shawl which has been going since 2005! And I've just started crocheting a pram cover for baby Snape too. I expect I shall spend much of next week crocheting and reading and playing computer games - though I'm going to try and make it to the gym for a swim a couple of times too if I can. Got some union stuff on Wednesday too which I will still go to since for now I'm only on annual leave not maternity.

Big shawl

lnr: (Icknield Way)

So on Sunday night afternoon last week it started to snow quite heavily, and Mike and I went out for a fab walk in the snow - which cunningly lasted just long enough that our roast lamb had 2 minutes left to cook when we got in :) Having gone out after dark we didn't take the camera, but were amazed at how much light there was. Walking around nine wells nature reserve we even turned the head torches off, and it was like wandering round in a black and white photo. Beautiful. Monday morning the roads were well covered in snow - a good couple or three inches probably - and it was obvious that even the main roads wouldn't be very clear yet, so rather than push the bike to the end of the road and then cycle I decided to walk and get public transport. At least some trains were cancelled and others late, and the buses were reporting severe delays, so rather than the nearly a mile into the village for a one-every-20-minutes bus which is unreliable at the best of times I decided to take the longer walk to Addenbrookes, where there are *loads* of buses into town to choose from. It's about 2.5 miles, and even with 5 minutes stopping to take photos it took about an hour, which isn't bad! Took Mike's hiking walking stick, which has a nice spike on the bottom, but still had a rather scary moment crossing the road on Macaulay Avenue, where the cars had started to polish the snow into ice already. The photos have all been added to my snow album on Facebook, but here's a quick preview:


Tuesday I decided it would be too icy to be safe, and worked from home. By Wednesday morning it was starting to look a bit clearer outside, and the bin men turned up having failed to come on Monday, so I thought I'd make an attempt to get the bike as far as Hinton Way on foot - and ended up giving up in under 100 yards - it was just *too* slippery to be safe. The road on Macaulay Avenue was like glass, and the pavements were only slightly better in being lumpier! So another day working from home was called for - once I'd got over my fright :) It thawed a bit during the day though, and with the help of my trusty stick I did manage to make it out on Thursday and Friday - with quite a bit of walking on the road where the pavements were icy - and only 20 yards of really difficult stretch on Thursday and 10 on Friday. And despite the forecast there was no more snow overnight, and now the sky is blue, the sun is shining, it's well above zero and hopefully by the time the weekend is over it will all be gone and we can get back to normal :). It has been very beautiful at times - but just a bit too treacherous.


Bump is now 34 weeks old - 2.2kg which is about the weight of a cantaloupe melon, and 45cm long. Next midwife appointment is on Monday - must remember to ask about the whooping cough jab, since they haven't mentioned it to me yet! Our NCT antenatal classes are 10 til 4 next Saturday and the one after - which actually now turns out to be a bit of a nuisance, since we were hoping Evan and Gina could come and visit, and mum and dad wanted to pop down too - and do us a huge favour and bring some baby things from Steph and Dave. I'll be on leave by then though - since this week will be my last week at work - so perhaps we can work something out.

Speaking of work it's been another pretty busy week - some useful scripts written, some more showing Julia of various bits of the postmaster job, some fixing of people's broken email programs (I've gone off Eudora even more than usual) and some success in finding good ways to make other ones work (getting Thunderbird to display more information from our LDAP email directory than previously thought possible). Lots of things ticked off my to-do list, and only a few items remaining - one of which is to have a go at some of the interview questions they're planning to ask my maternity cover! Could be fun, but mildly intimidating :) Apparently the advert should be out early next week. I've also been tidying out my desk and starting to fetch things home - bit of a panic as I thought I'd lost an important key but it turned up again in one of the things I'd brought home. I've been tidying my desktop computer too - and am now busy downloading all the odds and ends of personal stuff that has accumulated at work over the last nearly 11 years. Only about 40 minutes download time remaining :)

Mike and I are still ticking along nicely enjoying the easy life - Les Mis was great last weekend, and we had a nice dinner out too - though it ended up being somewhere else and with a long wait. It turns out all the chain restaurants on the leisure park are insanely busy at around 7pm on a Saturday - who would have guessed! Planning on taking it pretty easy this weekend - some bird watching in the garden for the RSPB, and someone coming to pick up the two bedside tables that have been lurking in the living room for the last couple of weeks :) I bought haggis for Burns Night, but we ended up having something else and it will be our tea tonight instead - yum. All in all life's pretty good.

lnr: (Icknield Way)

So what's new since last week? Well, there's been some rather wintry weather! We woke on Monday morning to a cm or two of snow. It snowed some more during the day but didn't really settle further, and melted quite a bit on Tuesday. On Wednesday we woke to freezing fog - and I cycled to work and back in -4°C! Thursday was even colder, but bright and sunny, and since I was working at home for the day I got the chance to take some pretty photos in the garden but otherwise stay indoors. And Friday we were promised yet more snow - which looked like it meant business when it arrived, but in the end settled less than a cm deep. A bit of an anti-climax really, but at least it meant it's still easy to get about here in Cambridge at least. I took lots of photos.

Frost at dawn

On Sunday BHF came for the furniture - and refused to take the bedside tables because they've been painted. Drat. If anyone wants a pair of large chests of drawers in a nice blue colour and can collect from Great Shelford I can send you photos :) They did take the DVD racks though. I've spent much of the week knitting, and have now pretty much finished my scarf for Mike - I just need to weave in all the loose ends of yarn. I hate that bit! Evan and Gina (who live very near the Welsh border) decided it would be better not to come and visit this weekend - which was probably the right decision given the weather en route, but is still a shame - we shall have to reschedule. This leaves us at a bit of a loose end this weekend - which today at least we shall fill with a walk into town to see Les Mis, have dinner at Nando's and the bus home.

Work has been busy, but productive. Couple of useful scripts written from scratch, though not quite in service yet. A bit of software tested and documented (though again the docs haven't gone live). And some rather intractable problems with Eudora bullied into submission. Only 10 more days left to work! Though in theory I could juggle the holiday around and spread them over more than 2 weeks I think I'm probably just going to get them out of the way ASAP and then enjoy my break!

As of today Bump is 33 weeks old, is up to 44cm long, and weighs 2kg - which is supposed to be the weight of a pineapple, but the one in our kitchen is just under 1.4kg. I clearly need a bigger pineapple. I got the tape measure out too - and I'm now about 43" around the bump! Heartburn continues better than previously, but I'm definitely starting to find the four flights of stairs at work leave me a bit more breathless than they did. And I had a random nosebleed last night - which are apparently more common in pregnancy - I don't think I've ever had a proper one before! Thankfully Mike is an expert :) Still both pretty chilled out about it all - probably need to think about buying a few more things for the baby before long, but there's no rush. 5 to 9 weeks to go!

Addendum: I finished Mike's scarf!

Mike's scarf - finished

lnr: (Icknield Way)

So, since last week we ordered a crib for the bedroom from the NCT. Steph and Dave have kindly offered to let us have Ollie's old cot for when the baby is a bit bigger and moves into their own room - but I particularly like this one as you can securely attach to the side of the bed and lower one side to provide a sort of bed-sharing feature. And even if we decide we don't get on with that it folds up beautifully and has its own carry case too - and is a much better size for our room than a full size cot would be. It arrived on Thursday night (dropped round by our next door neighbour who we hadn't seen in a while and was delighted to hear our news). We've put it up today - very quick and easy and no tools needed!

Bed Nest Crib

Today at 32 weeks we're up to 1.7kg and 43cm long - which is apparently the weight of a fresh coconut. I'm starting to feel really quite *big* now and no doubt that will only accelerate over the next few weeks. Hard to believe there's only 6-10 weeks to go! I'm still feeling mostly well, though very tired. Bump is still wriggling away - which is always reassuring - no matter how well my midwife appointments go I can't help having moments where I worry. But at my last one on Monday my BP was fine, no protein or sugar in my urine, uterus is measuring the right size for the number of weeks, and my blood test results from 28 weeks had come back normal - apparently my iron levels have actually gone *up*. Still gaining weight within guidelines too - though nearer the top end after Christmas for some reason :) All good.

At work I've finally completed the one major project which we wanted to get done before I start my maternity leave - which was to get our new internal mail server into service. It's been running as a test service for quite a while - but now those few users who still have an actual local mail account (mostly test accounts and system accounts) are running on an Exim/Dovecot system on linux, rather than a Sendmail/UW IMAP system on an elderly HP! We had a few teething problems on Thursday when we swapped the delivery over - but it does all seem to be working fine now. I've got just 3 weeks of work left now - and just a few odds and ends of scripting to do, plus continuing to help Julia understand the bits of my role she'll be covering. They do have leave to employ someone as maternity cover, but that won't start until March since before then I'm actually on maternity leave. I think they're still drafting the job description and haven't advertised yet!

Apart from that it's been a pretty quiet week. I've actually made some progress on knitting the scarf for Mike which I originally hoped to have finished by *last* winter. Perhaps it'll be done for next year. BHF had a collection locally, so all the unsold books went out last week (hopefully they arrived to take them away before it rained!). I've also contacted them to take some unwanted furniture so they'll be coming round tomorrow to collect two old bedside tables and two DVD/CD racks. And the latest Robert Jordan/Brandon Sanderson book has been picked up from the Post Office - finally the Wheel of Time series is complete! Though I'm going to insist on finishing the Tad Williams I'm in the middle of before starting on it.

Looking forward to a quiet week at work next week and then Mike's parents coming to visit next weekend. It will be lovely to see them!

lnr: (Icknield Way)

Had a lovely New Year's Eve with just the two of us - a proper sit down dinner with candles, which is pretty rare for us, and saw in midnight while reading in bed :) Not very exciting but pleasant - and it was a very tasty dinner. New Year's Day I did some leafleting for Slimming World round our street, and then went for a long walk with Mike - 10.5 miles was probably slightly overdoing it to be fair :)


Hobson's Brook and Grantchester

Back to work for just three days this week - which is probably just as well as we've been pretty tired. A fairly useful three days for the time of year though - and it looks like my new mail server will be going into full service early next week - right on schedule. Once that's done that's my last big project before I'm on holiday and then on maternity - but I've got another 4 weeks left to work, and no doubt plenty of odds and ends of stuff to do too, as well as a few more things to document or show Julia before I go.

Taking it pretty easy this weekend - enjoyed some of the CITV Old Skool re-runs of children's TV yesterday and today (Dangermouse has probably been the highlight). Took the Christmas decorations down last night, since that's 12th night. Today on reading of King Cake I got the urge to bake. We looked through the new baking book we got at Christmas, but it turned out we were a bit short of eggs for most things, and it turns out we don't even have enough oats for flapjacks. Back to the G&B book instead and another go at the chocolate brownie recipe, though scaled down to 2/5ths of the recipe. They look good!

Next midwife appointment is tomorrow afternoon - but all seems to be well at the moment. Bump is as wriggly as ever. Beginning to be a bit harder to sleep, but mostly because whichever hip is underneath is feeling a bit weighed-down by the rest of me, which doesn't seem to be something which the usual tips on pillows would address. Heartburn is much more under control though - cutting down fizzy drinks and cutting out coffee definitely seems to have helped. 7 to 11 weeks to go!

lnr: (Icknield Way)

A not very quick and somewhat random review of the year (so far :), in varying detail, with lots of links to photo albums on Facebook.

Read more... )

We're planning to finish the year off with a quiet day today, and by cooking ourselves a lovely dinner to celebrate New Year's Eve tomorrow. It's been a good one. I can't promise to write as much next year, but it's definitely going to be fun!

[Other years in review: 2011, 2008, 2007, 2006, 2005, 2004, 2003.]

lnr: (Icknield Way)

I'm quite enjoying keeping LJ a bit more up-to-date, even if it's been a couple of weeks since my last proper post, and I'm mostly posting in bullet points. Since then I've:

  • Planted a David Austen rose in the garden - Malvern Hills
  • Started to get into posting pictures on Instagram - though I prefer not to play with the filters
  • Had my first free NHS dentist appointment (maternity perk)
  • Bought some nice new clothes from M&S, ebay and Isabella Oliver with my birthday money
  • Had my first UCU committee meeting, a meeting for Pensions Officers in London, and a union event on stress and workload in the department
  • Had a lovely day off work with Mike: a frosty walk taking lots of photos, Christmas shopping, cakes from Patisserie Valerie
  • Went out to the Crown and Thistle in Great Chesterford for Mike's work's Christmas party - excellent meal and lots of fun
  • Watched some Masterchef, some Time Team, some NCIS, and the rest of season 2 of The Walking Dead
  • Whinged quite a bit about the heartburn I've been suffering from - though it's improving a bit now
  • Posted Christmas cards, wrapped Christmas presents, put up Christmas decorations and iced the cake!

In the coming week I have a glucose tolerance test, a midwife appointment, a haircut, my work Christmas lunch, my Slimming World group's little Christmas party, and then we're off up North for a Christmas with the Blairs in Mirfield and Littleborough - which I'm looking forward to lots. In the meantime here's some photos, and a link to the album from our frosty walk

Christmas Tree Rosehips in frost Frosty Landscape

Life update

Dec. 2nd, 2012 09:12 pm
lnr: (Icknield Way)

So since Wednesday I have:

  • Ranted about people who don't know how to use Bcc appropriately
  • Taken some pretty pictures of a frosty morning (see Facebook for more)
  • Baked a Christmas cake and wrapped it up to mature for a couple of weeks
  • Had some bits of lazy weekend: watching telly, playing computer games, chilling out
  • Had some bits of non-lazy weekend: feeding the birds, tidying the garden, walking to the shops
  • Updated the Greengrocer post with this week's fruit/vegetable

My plans for the week include the Dentist on Tuesday, and my first UCU committee meeting on Wednesday. And maybe next weekend or the one after I'll bake mince pies. For me personally it's still rather too early for putting up decorations though - give it another fortnight.

Frosty morning

lnr: (Default)

So, what have I been up to since my last post?

Socially there was Sally's 30th Birthday party a couple of weeks back, consisting of a ceilidh and lots of cake and cheese. I danced a little less then I normally do at these things, and certainly kept the spinning a little less wild, but had a good time dancing nonetheless - and it was nice to catch up with people too - though as always there were folk I feel I should have said hello to but didn't get the chance. I skipped most of the cheese but had far more cake than is strictly good for one in one evening - mmm cake! And last weekend (while Mike was away at John's Stag Do) I invited a few friends over to finish off a half-drunk decanter of port while it was still drinkable and to eat lots of cheese and trifle. Good fun. To make up for not seeing each other much at the weekend Mike and I both took Monday off and had a lazy day playing Minecraft followed by seeing Skyfall at the cinema and a Chinese dinner out - very tasty but we were so full after our starters that we took the main course home as takeaway and it it for Tuesday's tea! There was a very pleasant retirement do for a colleague at work too.

Pregnancy wise, last week I had my Fetal Anomaly Scan - which is technically optional but pretty much standard these days, and that confirmed that basically the baby has all the right bits in all the right places, and seems to be growing well and moving about much as you'd expect - and we've got a couple more pictures to prove there really is a growing creature in there. They didn't look to see whether it was a boy or a girl, so we'll wait and see when it's born - no more routine scans from here on in. Both Mike and I can feel it moving now. The standard measurements of fetal growth are now from head to toes, rather than crown to rump, and in the last couple of weeks we've had a 26cm banana (quite big, but plausible) and a 27cm carrot (rather more unusual!) - can't wait to see what Saturday's fruit or vegetable will be - a cucumber perhaps? I've definitely got a noticeable bump now, and people outside my direct team at work are now starting to notice and wish us well. Still putting on weight within guidelines - though if I were to carry on at the rate of the last fortnight I'd be getting a bit on the too heavy side - so a bit less cake for a couple of weeks should be a good idea.

Work wise things have been positive - though it's very strange training up Julia to cover for me while I'm gone. She's now doing lots of the things I normally do! But I do have plenty of projects to keep me going in the meantime. Need to start thinking about when I want my maternity leave to start, and notify work within the next three weeks or so. And towards the end of that I'll have my next appointment with the midwife too - on my birthday of all days :)

All in all life is pretty quiet, but good.

lnr: (Default)

Really productive week at work - I'm training my colleague Julia up so she can cover the most of the postmaster parts of my role once I'm on maternity leave, which is quite rewarding, but John and I also managed to get a new server up and installed and running as a replacement for the very elderly hardware which was doing our virus scanning and giving off repeated temperature warnings from the CPU whenever it had any mail to process! Plus I've made a bit of progress on some documentation which isn't even really my area but has become my problem which is also good - though it'll be more satisfying when it's finished.

At home by contrast it's been a pretty lazy week - watching Sherlock (the BBC version) and The Inbetweeners (series 3) on rental from Lovefilm, playing some more Minecraft and so on. I pre-ordered the new XCom game online and got a free copy of Civ V with it, which led to some amusement (but not much progress) on evening - and having spent all night downloading it I've spent this morning playing the XCom game. It's definitely quite good fun :) Whether it's 30 quid and 12GB of download worth we'll have to see. No baking this week.

Now 19 weeks pregnant and this week's vegetable is a giant tomato - well, it says "large tomato" but I've never seen one which is 15cm across. I'm pretty sure I may have actually felt the baby move now too! Not enough for Mike to feel yet. Just over a week until the next scan! With a birthday ceilidh for a friend to look forward to in the meantime. While bump is getting quite a bit bigger it's not slowing me down much yet and I don't intend to let it stop me! Weight gain suggestions from the US have now been plotted on a graph and my gain so far is nicely between the upper and lower suggested amounts so far. Still eating sensibly (she says while tucking into an apple :)

In today's fit of doing something useful though I rang our mortgage provider up to arrange a new deal for when our current fixed rate runs out in December - to make sure we don't default to their standard variable rate. Rather bemused to note that they do a quick valuation of your property themselves using a computer model and that took about £14K off the expected value of our house - meaning we no longer had a good enough Loan to Value for the deal we wanted. Turns out that if you ask they can do a more complicated version though, which they do warn you could be even worse. Provided it gets a high enough confidence score they can use that instead - and in our case it did - undoing the £14K reduction and adding a further £25 on top! Given it makes 0.3% difference in the available rates it was worth asking, but I do wonder how many people just believe the first computer and don't even ask!

You can catch up on any ranting I make midweek either on Facebook or twitter. I won't repeat my thoughts on bad cycle facilities or union action here.

August 2017

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