The End

This blog is now closed. The story continues over on Flip Flops and Flying Carpets.

Thank you for reading.

She's Here!

During the evening of the 27th January, I was sat at the computer writing a blog post. I'd just eaten dinner and David was at a work function... I was enjoying a relaxed evening to myself.

At 19:30 everything changed when my waters broke and just like that, our beautiful Emily was on her way.

She finally made it into the world on Friday the 28th January at 14:11 GMT, weighing 6lb 10oz - a completely natural birth involving no pain relief other than Entonox (gas & air) and my trusty TENS machine, and a neverending amount of support from David - just the way I wanted it to be.

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I'm guessing I might not be around as much in the coming few weeks ;) But I'll be be back! Sweepstakes winners will be announced and rewarded soon.

Calm

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There is something so majestic and serene about wind turbines.
Watching them seems to calm my spirit.

[Lord knows I need it right now...]

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The Nursery

It's been a mostly frustrating weekend full of stop-start contractions and false hopes. Twelve minutes apart for hours on Friday night, but no baby. No more regular contractions either after Saturday lunchtime. So now we keep busy...

And because so far you've only seen my initial "idea board" and then just a little taster of the nursery, I thought that a proper post was overdue. I've spent a lot of time in there today, and while there are still some finishing touches needed (such as the second set of curtains), this is pretty much it!

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Can you see the teddy bear pictures on the wall? I fell in love with them at B&Q over the weekend! Rattan chest also from B&Q. The rainforest animal wall art is a Fisher Price Room Make-Over Kit (stickers). Cot and dresser are the Sleigh range from Babies R Us. The armchair is an Ikea one we already had - we'll change as and when we see fit. Curtains, 123 baskets and windowsill pictures are also Ikea. Cot mobile is Mothercare Sunshine Garden. The wall behind the cot is painted in Dulux Soft Truffle, from when I redid the room in 2009.

I am fully aware that Emily will not use this room for several months to begin with (there's a moses basket waiting for her in our bedroom as of today). However, I don't like the thought of - after months of sleeping in our room - suddenly transferring her to a room she barely knows. My idea is to spend some time in the nursery with her whenever I can beforehand, for her to get used to the environment and therefore already be familiar with the room when the time comes for her to move into it. Will it work? Only time will tell. No harm in trying! :)

Dear Emily

It's been almost 9 months since you came to be (and far longer that I've dreamt of you). These months have been a rollercoaster. I've been ill, I've been weak, I've had to give things up, and then I felt great, but never for one moment have I regretted you. It's all been worth it. And I already know that the moment I hold you in my hands the first time, it'll reaffirm what I already know.

I've felt you tumble around since week 19... I won't ever forget that most precious moment when I felt that first kick against my belly. You've made me laugh and you've filled me with inexorable happiness. I love you immensely, my little hiccuping princess.

Your Daddy and I can't wait to meet you. (Everything is ready, it's just up to you now...) He's madly in love with you already, totally infatuated. You've reacted to his voice and his very presence since week 20, which makes me quite sure the feeling is mutual. Such a little Daddy's Girl!

We will continue to sing to you, and dance with you. You seem to like that. We will undoubtedly gaze at you in awe and disbelief. A lot. And we'll get things wrong sometimes. Go easy on us, we'll figure it out eventually. But rest assured, you're in good hands.

Now hurry up and get here, Little One. Let us finally put a face to our amazing Emily.


Inspired by and thanks to Beak Tweets and First Time For Everything.

[image is one of my maternity shoot photos]

A Little List

Sushi
Wine/Baileys/Martini/Pina Colada
Sleeping on my front
Getting out of the bath easily
Running
Putting on my own socks
Bending down
Painting my toenails
Lingerie


...Need I explain? :)


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Maternity Photo Shoot

Last weekend was an exciting one. My good friend Nataliya took my maternity photos! We'd been talking about and planning it for weeks. When the time came, typically, I was stumped as to what clothes I should wear, Nataliya wasn't feeling very well and on top of everything the weather was awful!

But it didn't stop us having a whole lot of fun - and the pictures...wow! Well, see for yourself... ♥

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For further information and enquiries, see Nataliya's photography website!

For the record, I was at 36+3 weeks in these pictures - 4 days short of full-term! And PS - the sweepstakes are still open!

My Gripe with the Telephone

Alexander Graham Bell (or whoever really invented the telephone) was a genius, he really was. I can't deny that. I couldn't imagine a world without telephones in some form. Living in a different country from the majority of my family has been much easier thanks to our ability to simply pick up the phone and have a chat whenever we so please.

There are, however, the negatives. Telemarketers and scammers, mostly. They get hold of your number and they call and they call and they call, and even when you scream at them to stop calling, they call some more.

Sometimes, like today, even my mobile line isn't immune.

And the conversation always begins the same way: "Hello Madam, my name is X and I am calling you from Y. How are you today?" I don't know you, you're not interested in how I am, get to the point (this is not generally a silent thought). "Now, I must inform you that this conversation will be recorded for training purposes." (Lovely - I'm helping to create more of you.)

Today's call happened to be someone claiming to be calling from my internet provider. "Are you happy with the service, Madam?" (If I weren't, believe me, you'd have heard).

He started out by trying to get me to change my land line provider. I wasn't having any of it. He then claimed that my internet contract was about to end and said that he could renew it for me while giving me three free months. "Can you please confirm your full name and your address?"

Why?

"Data Protection, Madam."

(Bollocks.)

Sir, while you may be the most honest man on earth, you may also be the biggest liar and not in fact calling from X at all. Why should I give you my personal details when it was you who called me?

"But I'm telling you I'm calling from X!"

Yes, but that doesn't necessarily make it truth.

"I cannot help you without this information, Madam."

Well, I'm quite certain that if you were calling from X, you've already got all that information displayed on your computer screen and therefore do not need any further information from me. Again, may I remind you that you called me. I am quite sure that were my contract about to expire (I have since checked and it was automatically renewed back in October), I'd have received some form of correspondence informing me of such.

"OK, Madam, goodbye." :)

Call me paranoid, but wasn't there something just wrong with that picture?

And what on earth possessed me to answer the phone?!

The other day someone called the landline (a few times) claiming to be calling from some obscurely-named place that dealt with our "computer warranty". He claimed that our computer was at risk and he needed us to... (we didn't let him go on. I can only assume that he was about to ask us to give remote access to someone there to allow them to "fix" our computer. Big joke.) What didn't help his case was that he had no idea which of our computers he was actually referring to... "the Dell" was all he could say.

Gullible, we are not.

And when it comes to genuine telemarketing calls, despite having registered with TPS, it's made no difference whatsoever. I am one of those people who will instead just let the phone ring. As a general rule, I never answer the landline at all. And when it comes to mobile calls, I do not pick up if it's a number I don't know. My reasoning is that that's what my answering machine is for (failing which, my curiosity takes over and that's when google and sites like whocallsme come in handy).

David is appalled by this and always has been. He hates watching as I put my phone away when it's still ringing. He, like many others, believe a ringing phone is to be answered. Personally, I think a phone is there to assist me, not have me be it's slave. It's there to make my life easier, not to fill me with rage.

Then again, maybe next time I'll take this approach... or this ;)

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Project "Fill the Freezer"

Right, the time has come to start thinking about filling my freezer with meals for "afterwards." Anyone would think planning this would be a piece of cake for someone like me but if I could put it off until the last minute I probably would. Which is why I've sat myself down and forced myself to think up a list of things I can make that will freeze nicely to be eaten in a few weeks' time.

People are very kind and there's already been talk of food being brought over, but anyone with food allergies will know it's much easier said than done. Sure, I can say "mind the garlic", and people will very kindly oblige (while wondering how on earth I live, I know), but very few know to check ingredients of ingredients. And that's generally where it all goes pear-shaped. So for this reason, I am generally quite reluctant to accept food cooked for me that hasn't come with an ingredients label attached to it, as prissy as that may sound.

So I need to get cracking.

Here is my plan:
Bolognese Sauce (with about a kilo worth of mince!!)
Sweet Potato Soup
Kidney Bean Soup
Penny Soup (and a good stock of pitta bread to go with all three)
Tuna Cakes (the only way I'll eat fish)
Ross il-Forn (a Maltese rice dish)

This, in addition to a good amount of pre-packaged frozen supermarket meals and general frozen goods, David making roasts at the weekends, and a small but trusted amount of recipes I know I can throw together quickly, makes me think we'll survive Emily's arrival.

Perhaps my question should more realistically be: do I have enough containers to freeze everything in?!

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Baby Sweepstakes

A few days ago we got talking on twitter about due dates. My official due date is the 2nd February, although it was originally the 8th February. I'll be full term on the 12th January. Of course, it's really anyone's guess - Emily will turn up whenever she wants to. (I've tried to get her to give me a sign as to when she plans on arriving, but alas, to no avail...)

So people got guessing over on twitter. And in all my efficiency, I started putting a spreadsheet together. But then it occurred to me that there might be a more fun way of doing this: Open it up to everyone, and offer a prize!

Here's how it's going to work. Leave a comment on this post with:
1. one date guess
2. one weight guess (in pounds and ounces)*
3. your email address

Simples.

You may wish to choose to guess at just date or weight - up to you. Either way, make sure you leave your email address!

* If you'd like a picture for reference, use the latest ones here - and keep in mind I'm not very tall! (5'3")

There will be two winners. One will be the winning date guess and the other the winning weight guess. If the date/weight has been guessed by more than one person, I'll draw the winner using a random number generator. If no one has guessed the date/weight, then there's no win.

Please only submit one date and one weight guess per person!

The prize will be a scratch card (one for date, one for weight). Now, I only have access to UK or Malta scratch cards so prizes are unfortunately limited to persons in these countries. However, anyone else is more than welcome to make a guess - just for the fun of it!

Over to you - get guessing! This should be fun :)

[Thank you for your entries! Sweepstakes are now closed 19.01.11]


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