Thursday, 25 June 2009

House Renovation 2009 - Week 6

I don't have any pictures for you this week... we were in a rush to get away to visit friends on the weekend, came back in the dark and then it rained. It's coming along nicely though and you're in for a treat when I get back in there with a camera!

New stuff:

  • Electrics, plumbing, plastering, insulation.

  • All door and windows and glazing are in.

  • Our rain tanks under the new floor (4000 litres - yes, that much) are connected to the new roof runoff. We're going to use the rain water for the garden, second loo and the washing machine. There is some very clever filtration stuff in the downpipes so leaves and muck should keep out.

  • Decking on the little raised deck is done.

Annoying stuff:
  • The hardwood floor has been postponed to next week because the walls are too damp.

  • Our neighbours are disputing our fences (we had to take the old ones down both for access and because they were unsafe). We had a surveyor come out and tell us where our boundaries are and they're 15cm to 30cm outside where the old fences were. So we took back our land - like you do. As our property is only 7m wide those extra centimetres are precious! Of course both our neighbours chucked a fit.

    We have decided to make nice to the Greeks we share the common wall with, and have moved that fence back 10cm onto our land. With the language barrier I doubt they even know how nice we are being! I've told Milord to write them a letter with a copy of the survey so that their english-speaking sons can hopefully get the message across. Oh well.

    And we have decided to fight against the shitty-loud-music bloke on the other side, especially after the attitude he brought to the table (ie. screaming obscenities in the street at 7am Monday morning). Funnily enough he seems to have come around to our way of thinking since then. We think he might have a personality disorder.

So, it's coming along.

Last weekend we went away to visit RuralChick and her family. They live an hour and a half inland and uphill, and it is cold there (5C to 10C colder than Sydney). They live on a big property with horses, chickens, ducks and a baby bull, and it's a complete change to the city. Think rustic charm and log fires and twigs in the bathwater. Milord got roped into herding cows on the neighbour's farm - luckily I wasn't expected to muck in!

Her kids are delightful and seem to really like me, although they're sad that the piggy-backs have stopped lately. Instead we read books, did drawings, built Lego... and occasionally I had a chance to talk to the grownups! Very nice. And it was lovely to have some home-cooked meals and to get out of our house for a bit.

The weekend after next we have to get out again because our floors are getting varnished. We've booked a cottage on the beach a couple of hours south of Sydney and we absolutely can't wait! It'll be my first holiday since February and my last holiday before the baby comes, and I'm looking forward to it.

Wednesday, 24 June 2009

Preggy Meme

Yeah, yeah, but there really is not much else going on with me!

Picked up from a preggy blog - she's at 35 weeks and just been belly-rubbed by a stranger... oy.


  • How did you find out you were pregnant? Well, my period was 2 weeks late, and I was taking home pregnancy tests.

  • What kind of Pregnancy test did you take? A pee-onna-stick one?

  • How many? That month? One every few days from shortly before my period due date. So, um, about 4 in total?

  • What were your 1st symptoms? Missing my period.

  • Who was with you when you found out? I was alone in the bathroom, but Milord was in the house...

  • My 1st reaction: "Aha. Right. Ooookay then, here goes!"

  • Who did you tell first? Milord

  • Their 1st reaction: "Oh shit!" (he's still in trouble for this)

  • Was your baby planned? Yes, very.

  • When was the baby conceived? Wednesday December 17th. I pounced on Milord straight after work before he could pour a glass of wine ;-). He thought it was a spontaneous sex attack, but it was very pre-meditated!

  • How far were you when you found out? 20 days.

  • How did your parents react? Thrilled.

My baby

  • Due Date: 13 September 2009.

  • Do you know the sex? Yes, a girl.

  • Any names? Yes. ... *crickets* ... no we're not telling!

  • Any Ultrasounds? 3 so far, one at 8 weeks, one at 13 weeks and one at 19 weeks. I'll need one more to check my placenta soon.

  • Have you heard the heart beat? Yes.

  • Who do you think it will look like? Me hopefully. I don't think Milord's features would suit a girl!

  • Will the baby have siblings? Eventually, with luck.

  • Have you felt the baby move? Oh boy, have I!


  • Did you have morning sickness? No. *phew*

  • Did you have any cravings? Not really, except a crazy need for salt at the start of my second trimester.

  • Did you have any mood swings? No.

  • Are you a high risk pregnancy? No.

  • Any complications? No.

  • Formula or Breastfeeding? I'll give breast a huge attempt, but I won't beat myself up about it if we don't get it right.

  • Have you bought anything for the baby yet? Yes, most of the big things.

  • When did you start to show? I say at 13 weeks. My friends say at 6 weeks, but they're just being mean about my fat roll!

  • How long could you wear your regular clothes? I had to get out of normal trousers at 13 weeks. See above.

  • Will you keep the baby’s clothes? What do you mean by "keep"? If you mean as a souvenier, then no. Hang on to for the next one, yes.

  • Home or Hospital? Hospital. I'm a scaredy cat.

  • Natural or Medicated birth? Epidural. Epidural. Epidural! (see above)

  • Who will be in the delivery room with you? Milord and a few medical staff I guess.

  • Do you think you will need a C-section? Hope not.

  • Will you cry when you hold the baby for the 1st time? I'm not a crier, but after labour who knows?!

  • What’s the 1st thing you might say to the baby? "About bloody time!"

  • Will you let anyone video tape the birth? No. Effing. Way. ew

  • Are you excited? Yes. Not jumping-up-and-down excited, but that could be because I'm so darn tired!

  • Who will help you with the baby after the birth? Milord will take a couple of weeks off work, and then after that I'll be flying solo. I wish my family was closer.

  • What is your favorite thing about being pregnant? The baby at the end of it?

  • What is the worst thing about being pregnant? Being so weary.

  • What’s one thing you miss doing since being pregnant? The one thing? The ONE thing? Geez.

  • Any days you wish you were not pregnant? Yeah. All of them. If I could just get to the baby part without having to go through pregnancy I would.

  • Are you ready for a baby? You betcha.

  • Do you have insurance? Yes.

  • How many kids do you want? Two. Milord says 3 and I say shaddup.

  • Do you talk to the baby? Does a whispered "oh please settle down" at 2am count?

  • Do you still feel attractive? Beautiful, yes. Attractive, no. I hope to meet up with my mojo again at the other side of this.

  • Have you had your baby shower yet? No. I'm not sure what's happening with this. I had a friend offer to organise one, but she's said nothing since... is it rude to remind her?

  • Do you like kids? Yes. Babies, not so much.

  • How far along are you now? 28 weeks.

Tuesday, 23 June 2009

Preggy Rant

Week: 28 and 2 days

Nothing much to report. Weight is stable and the bump seems to be a lot more out in front. I'm having trouble sleeping - I just can't get comfy and then the slightest snore disturbs me... and they're not exactly slight yaknow? Oh and the baby is getting really kicky now - I can see my tummy bulge - and I can't fall asleep with that going on (note to self, no more sugar before bedtime).

Here is another stupid article warning women not to leave childbearing until late in life.

I don't know any woman personally who has "chosen to wait" until their late 30s / early 40s to have children. My peers who married at 25/30 already have 2+ kids, and that's what I always intended to do too.

You think I want to be 37 and pregnant with my first? You think I'm thrilled that I'm going to have to try for #2 almost immediately because the big 4-0 is looming? (I have no intention of trying for kids after 40. I don't care if celebs manage it - I am not Madonna.) I am so tired now, what's it going to be like next time when I am even older and trying to manage a toddler?

Why am I pregnant so late in life? Because I hadn't met my husband until a couple of years ago you knob! What, I was supposed to push out a couple of sprogs during a bad relationship, or as a singleton, a decade ago, just because it was my optimum physical time?

No. Bloody. Way.

Conversely Milord will be turning 50 next year, when our firstborn is 7 months old. He's not exactly chuffed with the thought of being 70 as she goes to college, and I can't see many piggy-back races ahead. Why did he "wait so long"? Because he hadn't married someone prepared to have a family until quite recently!

Every woman I know who is deliberately having kids late is in a newish relationship (with the notable exception of one friend who hit 40 without ever meeting Mr Right and has done the very brave choice of artificial insemination to become a single mum). Up until now we haven't had the right circumstances for a family, but if we'd been in the right place with the right person at 30 we'd most likely have done this then.

We know it's risky. We know it might not happen. Do you expect those of us who found each other late to not have kids at all because we've missed the "most fertile" window?

Huh. Now pass me latest article condemning teen mums will you?

Friday, 19 June 2009

Preggy Update

Another week, another update. Why do I feel like there is nothing else going on in my life? Well, there is, but nothing fun!

Week: 27 and 5 days

No real growth until yesterday when I blimped overnight. My wedding rings went from too loose to too tight and I feel enormous! I'm guessing the bacon hock soup I made Wednesday night was too salty (but devine) and I'll deflate in a day or two... so I'll take the measurements from Wednesday morning.

Weight: 74.5kg (same as week 25, +3kg since start)
Boobs: 101cm (-1cm from week 25, +2cm since start)
Ribs: 84cm (-1cm from week 25, +2cm since start)
Waist: 95cm (same as week 25, +8cm since start)
Hips: 101cm (+1cm from week 25, +3cm since start)
Thigh: 58cm (-1cm from week 25, same as start)

How peculiar are those measurements?! Smaller here, bigger there... I made an effort to eat salad and veggies last week so perhaps I've de-flabbed a little. I think the baby has dropped a bit too. She's jolly active so I'm not worried about the lack of gain.

I was looking at all my preggy pics on the weekend and stared at these (the first ones) for ages. That was just post-Christmas and I was overweight and disliked my shape intensely. How thin do I look then compared to now! Flattish tummy! A waist! Wow - I've forgotten what it's like to have a waist.

Here's pics from this week:

My belly button is mutating. I have a very deep innie and it's slowly stretching and getting shallower "It's growing!" says Milord (not in an appreciative way). It's still an innie, and I wonder if it will eventually pop or if it'll just stretch flat. A while back Mom said to me that she doesn't like the look of popped belly buttons and she hopes mine doesn't. I didn't know what to reply to that. Personally I don't find the look at all offensive and if mine pops that'd be kind of cool.

Oh and in other news, IrishMILF had a baby boy yesterday! How exciting - I can't wait to meet him.

Thursday, 18 June 2009

Beautiful like me

Latest topic: What event or time did you feel your most beautiful? How did this event shape your view of yourself? Do your family, friends and children know about this event and how important it was?

What event or time did you feel your most beautiful?

So many times and events spring to mind. My year 12 school dance, when I was glamorous for the first time ever. My first summer in London when I discovered how to dress to flatter my shape. My early 30's when I learned to love living alone and lost loads of weight. My wedding day.

But I'm going to go with... now. As I enter my third trimester of my first pregnancy.

No I don't like being pregnant. Yes I feel like a beached whale sometimes. But still, oddly enough, I feel utterly beautiful. I didn't feel this way in the beginning, but now that I am obviously pregnant I think I look amazing. Is it the overwhelming joy I have in becoming a mother? The glow? The lack of hangovers? The whole Earth-mother/goddess thing? I have no idea, I just know that I am beautiful.

How did this event shape your view of yourself?

I'm hoping that it will make me more forgiving of my post-baby body. (Note to self: come back and read this later)

Do your family, friends and children know about this event and how important it was?

Sure... although I doubt they know I feel beautiful. Unless they're reading this - hi guys!

Wednesday, 17 June 2009

House Renovation 2009 - Week 5

Hey lookit: doors and windows!

Now you can really start to get an idea of the lovely big bright room this is going to be.

I got home early on Friday and wandered out back to chat to Milord and the builders who were having an end-of-week beer. After oohing and ahing at the work I suddenly looked around and said "Hey, isn't this room quite a bit longer than it should be? And the laundry a lot smaller?"

"Oh yes" they said. "Like it?"

Well sure, except now the kitchen is going to look stupid because it isn't centered in the space, the sitting area will be pokey, the dining area too big, and the laundry is so small I'm going to have to stack the washer and dryer on top of each other! Growl.

Everything bar the laundry can be fixed as we haven't had the kitchen constructed yet. I'm off to see the designer this afternoon - I reckon I'll make the kitchen space a little bigger and move it 2 metres towards the glass doors. This will give us a balanced space, a decent sitting area and a sensible dining area.

It's lucky I noticed the change - no one tells me anything!

Friday, 12 June 2009

Preggy Update - Third Trimester!

Week: 26 and 5 days

I'm finishing my second trimester! Yay! Only 3 months left of being pregnant. No, I don't love being pregnant, sorry. What's to love? The only pro's I can think of so far are:
- no hangovers
- no periods
and oh, well.

Milord is officially nesting. I was happy to wait until our renovations were over before accumulating stuff, but he can't wait that long! I guess it's his way of getting involved... He's started gathering baby music, nursery rhymes and kids TV, and last weekend we bought the (matching sturdy pale wood) cot, change table and toybox off eBay. We also bought a brand new super-duper 3-wheel jogger pram (as I plan to be a jogging yummy mummy). Now for a car seat and we'll have all the big stuff for the baby.

My weight and belly are the same as last week. Growth spurt over... phew.

My sleep is becoming broken as I need to visit the loo several times in the night. I also wrestle with the body pillow when I roll over and have to take it with me! Luckily I fall asleep very easily again, and I can still sleep through the baby's kicking (once my bladder is empty anyway).

I'm feeling fine and my cold is finally over. On the whole I have it pretty good I reckon. No acne or mood swings or swelling or aches. I'm sleeping a lot, and on the weekends I average 10 to 12 hours a night. Milord was joining me for the long sleeps, and then wondered why he was twitchy and wide awake at 3am!

Things I can still do:

  • Paint my toenails.

  • Tie shoelaces.

  • Shave my legs.

  • Groom my pubes.

  • Get out of bed / out the bath / up off the floor without help.

  • Cross my legs.

  • Wear (sensible) heels.

  • Wear my wedding rings.

Things I can no longer do:
  • Turn over in my sleep.

  • Run for the bus. Well, I probably could, but nah.

  • Sleep for 6 hours straight without needing a wee.

  • Sneeze/cough without peeing a little. *sigh*

  • Eat a full meal portion. Probably a good thing!

  • Certain... uh... "positions". We're finding alternative ones.

Thursday, 11 June 2009

House Renovation 2009 - Week 3 and 4

I'm getting a bit behind with these, so here's 2 weeks in one post. We have massive changes happening at the back of my house... I only wander around there on the weekend so it's always a big surprise for me!

Looking at the back of the house, towards the street:
Week 3: half a new roof, most of back wall demolished, new side/laundry brick wall built.

Week 4: new roof complete, foundation pillars built, new floor bearers and joists.

From inside the house, looking backwards:
Week 3:

Week 4:

This week they tell me we are installing huge rain tanks under the new floor, building window, wall and door frames, and perhaps even getting the floor base, windows and doors in!

Wow, it's all go at chez Saffa! We're about to set our kitchen order in motion (should take 4 weeks to delivery), and in about a week we'll go and beg the bank for more money to finish... erk.

Thursday, 4 June 2009

Preggy Update

I started this post a few days ago and then work got hectic and I didn't finish it... so, as at Thursday last week:

Week: 25 and 4 days

Here we are at the end of my second trimester. I'm starting to feel huge (Milord has begun telling me I look huge, which I don't appreciate much). My tummy is tight for the first time, although not itchy luckily.

We seem to be having a growth spurt. Drat.

Weight: 74.5kg (+1kg from week 23, +3kg since start)
Boobs: 101cm (measured without the too-small bra this time - yikes, +3cm since start)
Ribs: 85cm (+2 since week 23, +3cm since start)
Waist: 95cm (+2cm from week 23, +8cm since start)
Hips: 100cm (same as week 23, +2cm since start)
Thigh: 59cm (+1cm from week 23, +1cm since start)

The only measurement there that worries me is the thigh increase, because that's the only one not directly baby-affected. I have been very lazy lately - I have stopped my gym membership because I've lost the mojo and done no walking since catching this cold. Next week when I should be recovered I'll make a point of walking to work several times a week again.

Check out the boob update! Milord has been telling me for weeks that my boobies are bigger while I tell him they measure the same... until I take off the bra I was using as a benchline! It's way too small now and was squidging me. So yes, they are bigger and fuller and stuff.

Did you know your ribcage expands when you are pregnant? Not all of it obviously, but the hinged parts do as your organs get jammed up under it as the baby takes over your abdomen. No wonder I can't breathe properly. Or eat properly - I get full after mini-portions now... not a problem as I just eat twice as often!

Tuesday, 2 June 2009

Beautiful Like Me

Another topic from Wicked StepMom for her Beautiful Like Me project. (There are a group of bloggers out there trying to write posts for the future generation to inspire them to be happy in their own skins.)

What person or people are the most influential about how you feel about yourself? Who influences you the most to feel beautiful?

A hard one. Wicked StepMom herself says it's her family, past and present.

For me that doesn't hold true. My family certainly influenced my self-image growing up, but they don't at all now (although I think they're proud of me, which is nice). Milord can make me feel beautiful with a rare compliment (or make me bin a pair of jeans with an ill-advised comment) but he's not the major influence on how I feel about me.

The person who makes me feel most beautiful in myself... is me. I like me. With or without the flab, bad-hair days or run-down skin I have the confidence to stand tall, raise my chin and sally forth no matter what, knowing that "I'm worth it"!

I don't think this is going to be useful for the kids we're trying to inspire though, because this confidence in myself was earned by living at least 3 decades. In my teens I was trying to please school and family. In my 20's I was trying to please various men. In my 30's I finally realised that the only person I need to please is me, and that once I really accepted myself the rest of the world would follow suit (and if not then good riddance to them)! By that point I had travelled the world, excelled at a career and grown into my skin.

How would you get a teenager to be the most influential person in their own life? Now there's a question!

Monday, 1 June 2009

Happy Place

Thanks for all the really sweet comments you guys. Sometimes one just needs to vent.

(Kat - you asked about parks nearby. Yes, we have several, but it's been raining pretty much constantly for the past week and is set to continue this week. bleah)

Actually Sunday was a much better day. Milord woke up in a good mood and fetched me from the bed I'd made up on the sitting room floor (my coughing was keeping both of us awake so at 3am I moved) for the most satisfactory cuddle I've had in ages. We had a good chat about the things that are bothering us and resolved a couple of items. So that's all good.

Lack of sleep due to coughing is still a problem but I managed a nap Sunday afternoon and 7 decent hours last night, so I'm starting to catch up. I went out and bought a "body pillow" yesterday and I think I'm in love! I knew the belly was making sleep uncomfortable - I may not sleep on my back (baby weight cuts off blood flow for both of us), on my front is getting impossible, and on my side pulls me forward and my chest feels crushed - but I didn't realise how uncomfortable until now. The only problem is that the pillow is nearly as big as me so switching sides in the night is a mission. I'll just have to get used to sleeping on one side all the time!

The Greeks next door have calmed down - it seems the language barrier stopped the old man from hearing "we will fix anything damaged" for a couple of days. It helps when he stops shouting long enough to listen, of course. As a peace offering we bought them a pot of narcissus and a couple of bottles of wine... Milord is still too annoyed to take them next door though so I have a pot of narcissus flowering on my bedside table! Lucky me.

I was browsing my blogroll and as part of an interview one of the bloggers was talking about his "Happy Place"and it made me think.

My "Happy Place" is always a long white beach at sunset. I am completely alone, walking along the waterline. It is a warm evening, but not hot, not humid, and no flies. Interesting bits of flotsam and small shells dot the sand, and the remains of a wreck lies at the edge of the dunes, ripe for exploring.

It's actually a real memory of Noordhoek Beach in Cape Town, South Africa. I used to work nearby and on summer's evenings after work I'd drive to the beach and go for a long walk. There'd be a other few walkers and surfers about, but on the whole I'd be alone with my thoughts and the sussurus of the sea. In recent years it has become unsafe to walk that beach alone - I stopped when a girl was dragged into the dunes and raped. Which kind of messes with my "Happy Place"...

What's your "Happy Place"?