Monday, 30 March 2015

Lamb Mobile

I finished the lamb mobile for over the baby's crib last week

It turned out fairly well--I'm just glad I finished it, and on time, too!


Once we get the crib in place, we'll put it up and make the final little adjustments--I left a lot of slack on the strings so we can get it to look a bit more even once it's up for good.


Wednesday, 25 March 2015

28 Weeks Pregnant


This morning I had another midwife appointment and everything looked great--baby has a good strong heartbeat, and even gave the doppler a kick. I had my 28-week blood testing done, so we'll find out the results of that check at my next appointment, at 31 weeks. 

The lovely second trimester is officially over now, replaced by the third trimester's swollen feet and ankles, back ache and a return of fatigue. I'm still doing my yoga and walking, and swimming is feeling great these days--I might have to start going swimming more often. My writing has been a real struggle--I've always thought 'pregnancy brain' was a stupid stereotype meant to keep women down, but now I have to admit that it's real. I have a hard time focusing on work and my writing just isn't up to its usual standard. We're changing the office into the nursery in just 10 days, though, so hopefully the added time pressure will help me get things submitted sooner rather than later--I've always been good at pulling it out of the fire and I work well under pressure!

Frustratingly, I can focus for hours on baby-related stuff. I'm nearly done with the lamb mobile (pics to follow!), I can spend ages online updating the Amazon baby wish list, and before our trip to Mothercare last week, I made an inventory list of all the baby gear we've accumulated so far. Why can't I show that kind of energy and dedication to my writing, at least for a few more weeks?! I blame the nesting instinct.

Baby has been making its presence known these days with lots of kicks and movement.
It's lovely and reassuring, but it's also really freaky. Someone asked me to describe it, and there really isn't a good way to describe it--it feels like something is jabbing at you from the inside, because that's what's happening. The early movements were easier to describe--'flutterings'--and sometimes it felt a bit like when you drive too fast over a dip in the road, that sinking stomach/roller coaster feeling. Now, it really does feel like there's a little creature in there (Richard doesn't like it when I say it's like an alien's in there, but really...it does feel like it!). I did a yoga move yesterday morning where I leaned back and I saw a very pronouced lump (either baby's head or butt) right in the top-middle of my belly, just below my sternum. When things like that happen, I'm simultaneously in awe and grossed out--that pretty much sums up my whole attitude towards pregnancy, actually! It's amazing and miraculous, but also pretty icky and weird. Can't wait until June!

Tuesday, 24 March 2015

Pram and Mothercare Outlet

 On Saturday we went to the Mothercare outlet in Rotherham--there are only 2 outlets (the other is near Edinburgh), so we're lucky to have one relatively nearby (38 miles). It was amazing--good selection and really low prices. We're definitely going to have to go back after the baby arrives!
 We managed to get the pram we've been wanting, in the colour we wanted, for an amazing deal. It had just come in that morning from a baby product show, and since it was ex-display and last year's model, we got it for less than half price! The manager swapped the colour pack for the one we wanted, too--I'd given up hope of getting this navy and white stripe one, because it was this year's model and it was out of stock on the Mothercare website, but she was happy to change it over for us.
 There are 4 different configurations, depending on the age of the kid: 1) Pram (the UK standard is that babies should travel lying down flat in the pram until they can sit up on their own, around 6 months--seems a bit over the top to me, but I love the classic carriage look! Also, I didn't get a picture facing into the pram, but it has a cushioned white liner when it's in that configuration), 2) Parent-facing Pushchair (above & below)

 Biscuit has been sniffing the pram since we brought it in, so we stuck her in the seat for a quick photo--she's left it alone ever since!
 3) Outward-facing Pushchair, with or without "cosytoe" (foot-cover that zips on/off the seat liner)

  

















4) Infant Car Seat on the base--we left the car seat in the car, so this is the website photo (as you can see, this year's model has a brown handle and black frame but is the same as last year's black handle/silver frame model otherwise). The car seat is just plain black, as the colour pack only involves the liners/hood/cosytoe/chest straps. The colour pack can be replaced for just £50 (or £35 at the outlet), so it would be cheap and easy to freshen up the pram for a second kid someday down the road.

The travel system also came with a raincover, which I always think makes the kid look like they're in a big clear plastic bubble for medical reasons, but they're very popular in the UK and they really do make a lot of sense with the changeable weather here.
We got a lot of great deals on clothes, toys and bottles, too. I'll be posting more pictures once we get the nursery sorted out over Easter break, but in the meantime, this was one of our favourite bargains. We got a very cuddly, fluffy bear snowsuit to keep the baby warm when we visit Minnesota, marked down from £32 to £12! The little feet and hands (or paws) attach with buttons, so they can be taken off, too. It came up on the receipt as a "boys bear suit", but Richard and I agreed that any outfits that make the baby look like a stuffed animal are probably gender-neutral.

Saturday, 14 March 2015

Warwick Castle

We stayed in Warwick on our way back from picking up the new car--it is such a lovely little town! Richard & I had no idea it was so nice!





The Lord Leycester Hospital, a home for retired soldiers, in former Guildhall buildings dating back to the 14th century. It's partially a visitors centre and tea room, but there are also still flats where ex-servicemen and their wives live!


St Mary's

Warwick Castle--Great Hall







Entrance to Warwick Castle

The oldest bit of the castle dates back to 914, but it was officially commissioned by William the Conqueror in 1068.


They have a real working trebuchet, with shows twice a day where they fling a huge flaming ball up 150 meters in the air!

video

This part of the castle was converted into a stately home in the 17th century by the Greville family (Earls of Warwick). The 8th Earl sold it to Tussauds Group (the company that runs Madame Tussaud's) in 1978--as sad as it is that it didn't stay in the family like Chatsworth, I've got to admit that Tussauds has done a good job. 

Clock that once belonged to Marie Antoinette

The bed that Queen Anne died in (she didn't die at Warwick, it's just the bed)

I loved this ladies' sitting room


The library

The woodwork in this bedroom is so elaborate & crazy


We did a walk around the towers and castle walls--the stairwells were very tight & steep, but the views made it worthwhile






The drains at the top of the towers were so scary!




View from the tower--I love the Tudor architecture!

Wednesday, 11 March 2015

26 Weeks Pregnant



26 weeks felt like a proper milestone for me, because it's 6 months--it really sounds like a long time (half a year!), and since most people think of pregnancy in months, not weeks, it's an easy one to convert (52 weeks in a year, so 26 weeks is 6 months). Whereas having 5 months or 4 months left to go felt like a long stretch of time, having just 3 months left feels like no time at all--especially when it comes to getting my writing and editing done!

Baby is now around 14 inches and weighs about 2 lbs. The growth rate from here on out is just crazy! Now that all of the major framework (organs, skeleton, etc.) is in place, the baby just fills out over the next 14 weeks, tripling or quadrupling its weight by the time it's born. I'm guessing the baby will weigh around or slightly over 8 lbs, because Richard was over 9 lbs and I was 8 lbs 12 oz. 

A 2-pound baby's kicks are proper kicks, no longer little 'flutterings' that could be mistaken for gas. I've been feeling a few good kicks while sitting at my desk after lunch, and Richard was able to feel a good one the other evening, too!

I'm feeling huge these days, and worried because I know I'll only be getting bigger for the next 3 months. The prenatal yoga videos do seem to help make it more comfortable, so I'll try to be more diligent about doing them every day.