Thursday, November 20, 2014

An Astronaut's Guide to Life on Earth by Col. Chris Hadfield

Colonel Chris Hadfield has spent decades training as an astronaut and has logged nearly 4000 hours in space. During this time he has broken into a Space Station with a Swiss army knife, disposed of a live snake while piloting a plane, and been temporarily blinded while clinging to the exterior of an orbiting spacecraft. The secret to Col. Hadfield's success-and survival-is an unconventional philosophy he learned at NASA: prepare for the worst-and enjoy every moment of it.

In An Astronaut's Guide to Life on Earth, Col. Hadfield takes readers deep into his years of training and space exploration to show how to make the impossible possible. Through eye-opening, entertaining stories filled with the adrenaline of launch, the mesmerizing wonder of spacewalks, and the measured, calm responses mandated by crises, he explains how conventional wisdom can get in the way of achievement-and happiness. His own extraordinary education in space has taught him some counterintuitive lessons: don't visualize success, do care what others think, and always sweat the small stuff.

You might never be able to build a robot, pilot a spacecraft, make a music video or perform basic surgery in zero gravity like Col. Hadfield. But his vivid and refreshing insights will teach you how to think like an astronaut, and will change, completely, the way you view life on Earth-especially your own.

This wasn't the book I was expecting. That's not to say I didn't enjoy it, but it was a lot more "self-help" than I realised it would be.

Still it's an interesting story (the bits that are more story and auto-biographical) and he sounds like a guy who's without doubt had some incredible life experiences. And I think he did some amazing stuff education-wise and exposure-wise for life-in-space while he was on the ISS.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Lack of Interest

So I'm in a weird lacklustre space about the whole "online" thing at the moment ... I'm just not that into blogging or instagraming or tweeting.

I don't really know what to do about it. I *need* to get my Turkey posts done. And I have one on our long weekend in Kruger to write. But when the evenings and weekends roll around I just lack the interest. I feel like I have this long to-do list (but it feels like admin, not fun) and I don't want to do any of it ... so I don't. And then I feel guilty about it ... but still not enough to do anything about it.

That said, I did manage to sort thru and select my favourite photos from the last of our Turkey trip and our Kruger trip. So I do feel some sense of achievement ... but not like I really made any sort of dent still.

Maybe it's hormones, maybe it's the end of the year. I don't know. But if I get quiet (or terribly boring), now you know why.

The weekend was okay. I went to after-work drinks with some friends from work. Was lovely to see one of the girls' new house (wow!) and catch-up with everyone. You don't realise how little you actually see / socialise with people at work when you're busy. It was really nice.

On Saturday we were up before 6am (wtf!). We headed out early for breakfast and went to browse Baby City, looking at prices for cots and prams and car seats. We're going to Mama Magic at the end of November, and apparently they have great specials ... but I wouldn't know what the normal sort of price is before now. Sheesh. So many options.

Which got me thinking about nursery themes (do you really need one?) ... at the moment I'm thinking Dinosaurs ... or Wild Animals. Nothing too girly about tho haha. And we won't be painting the walls or anything (cause we'll be moving to Cape Town and renting the house out). So it makes it a little tricky.

It also got me thinking about the whole baby shower thing. It feels weird asking people to organise it for me ... I mean I guess I'll have one at work. And then I realised this weekend I should probably do a Cape Town one with my family and friends there ... that's an easy one to ask someone else to organise since I'm not there (have picked a date for that, now to find out if I can fly - Kulula says it should be fine, but will confirm with the gynae). But I feel weird for the Joburg one. I have so many different groups of people. Anyway. Just another thing on the list.

And I've been getting Maternity & Newborn photo shoot quote. Shew. I don't know how you decide. They vary greatly in price and what you get (time and photo number wise). Just add it to my to-do / to-think-about list. Sigh.

After Baby City, we headed to Meoli and I'm very pleased to have a new pair of comfy maternity pants. Skirts are easy, but Joburg's been so overcast and drizzly lately, I needed another pair of pants (the ones I inherited constantly need pulling up, so not great for any kind of walking around!).

And then The Trucker went to play cricket for the afternoon. And I went to buy Gypsy a pressie ... Pepper got some new toys earlier already! I bought a pot and some catnip seed ... we'll see how it goes haha.

We had a lazy evening at home.

On Sunday we woke up before 6am again ... but went back to sleep till about 8am. Then we headed off to get the grocery shopping done, before The Trucker went to cricket again.

We bought Pepper a kong because we'd read you can make them popsicles to keep them entertained while at work so I made a mix of chicken stock and treats and froze one for her to try. It worked wonderfully and she really enjoyed it ... for the solid half hour it took to finish it. Haha. It definitely had her attention 100% during that time!

And that was our weekend. In a nut shell. I guess I had more to say than I realised ...

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Back Again

Yawn. Shew, I had an absolutely awesome time in Kruger with the folks! Had some fantastic animal sightings (saw the Big 5 on 2 different mornings before lunch!) but more on that later ...

Right now I'm a little tired because we had a trip to the ER with Mom last night after an amazeballs dinner at Licorish!

First the dinner. Mom & I both had the Game Plate. The Trucker had the Fillet Plate and Daddio had the Beef Fillet with Truffle. Mom and The Trucker got to enjoy the wine pairing too. Shew this weekend has been hard not to be drinking :(

Our food was superb and the service was brilliant. Was very sad to hear about the death of their Chef on Sunday tho.

And then towards the end of dinner Mom took 2 myprodol that she'd been given for in case after last week's hospital visit. The pain didn't go and by 21h30 Dad & I were sitting with her in the ER. We were home by midnight after she'd been given some pain meds in a drip and instructions to see someone on her return to Cape Town (already the plan). They reckon it's gallstones. Luckily it doesn't seem badly infected or anything (yet), according to her blood tests.

It was horrible. Watching someone in pain and you can't do anything to make them feel better. No doubt this is just a taste of what is to come with a baby :/

Anyway, they're heading home this afternoon :( This gloomy weather is doing nothing to improve my mood. I would love to just climb under my duvet today!

Friday, November 07, 2014

Bye Again

Sheesh. Just a few work hours to get thru and then ... I'm off on Holiday AGAIN! I know. You can quietly hate me just for a moment. But hey, gotta get all the travel out the way before the Baby arrives ;) And this one is super exciting, my Mom & Dad are flying up from Cape Town to join The Trucker & I for 4 days in Kruger :D

Can NOT wait to see them later. Was super nervous yesterday cause Mom ended up in hospital and I didn't know if she'd still be able to come. But she's got meds and is still coming! YAY.

Anyway, that's all I really had to say this morning :) Let's hope today is not too exhausting.

Thursday, November 06, 2014

16 weeks, 6 days

Yoh. Yesterday was supposed to be this amazing incredible day when we found out the gender (fingers crossed). But the morning went terribly! I had what I presume could only be my first foray into the rollercoaster of Preggie Hormones.

Before I'd even had breakfast 3 things had set me off at home between The Trucker and I (and at least 2 of them are things that probably would've months ago anyway). I ended up in tears. Luckily I didn't say anything I knew I'd regret. And then after I managed to get it together enough to actually leave the house, the stupid Woolies yogurt 6-pack wouldn't separate (That's it! I'm not buying them anymore, something happened a few months ago, they changed something and they are now close to impossible to "snap" easily without often opening the foil lid) ... I lost 2 yogurts of the 6 in the process. And then the little screw came out of my sunglasses. Again (it happens often, thankfully the screw has always been nearby). Aaargh.

I got in my car and drove off and ugly cried the whole way to the appointment. I think the overwhelming disappointment of everything going wrong on a day I wanted to be happy and exciting and had been anticipating for so long just crushed me.

Even after we arrived (40mins early, morning traffic is so unpredictable), I just sat in the car, not getting out. Miserable. I swear, if I'd been able to postpone the appointment at any point before then, I would've!

But eventually I went in and we had our appointment. Everything is as it should be :) This time I'd been keeping a list of questions. And we finally got to see the baby again! Shew it has gotten so much bigger. I know it shouldn't be a surprise, but some how it is. It didn't look as cute as last time, it was harder to see the whole thing in one view. And the face is still a little weird ... it has these big black holes where the eyes are now. It's creepy. A little too much like something from Halloween. I think we saw a lot more cross sections in this scan than last time where we were just kind of looking at the whole Baby. It's legs we crossed but we did manage to see the gender.

Shew, when you see it you wonder how anyone ever can tell!! I suppose if you know what you're comparing it to it might be more obvious but as a total newbie looking at that scan I was like "what?".

While I definitely reached the point where I wouldn't have cared (but if it was a boy, I'd probably be more concerned next time around), we got the fantastic news that it's a little GIRL! Look, it's not 100% at this stage, obviously ... we should know for sure after the next scan, but the Gynae said she'd be very surprised if it changed. Then again I've heard of it happening to quite a few people. She did also say that she wouldn't say either way if she wasn't fairly certain.



I had to go for more blood tests (spina bifida this time, I think). And then I had another (probably typical) pregnancy freak out. Everyone I know is having girls ... what'll the world be like in 15-20yrs? Is it the hormones in our food? Hahaha. I can laugh now. The Trucker was like Oh my Gawd. It's just a girl, stop freaking out.

And now, more rational, I can think of all the friends I have who've had boys in the last 2 years ... shew. Yes, I think the crazy hormones are kicking in.

And then I had a fairly rubbish day at work. We both did. So I decided we should go out to dinner to celebrate. It's been a while since we tried somewhere new together. We headed to Steamworks.

It was quite nice. I think it made us feel a bit old tho ... it was very loud. The food was tasty but expensive, I thought. The Trucker had the Steamworks Burger and I had the Lamb Pie. The have (2) Virgin Cocktails so I had one of them and a good selection of craft beers. I was sad to miss the Fiery Gingerbeer :( Haha.

Oh, and I thought this convo with my Mom was hilarious! Haha.

Oddly I ended the day a little as I started it, in tears. But rather tears of hysterical laughter. We vaguely started discussing names at dinner ... I really just have a long "Not" list at the moment, so no, we're not even close. We were waiting to find out the gender before we even discussed it. So I started showing The Trucker entries from The Bad Baby Name Blog. OMG. It makes me laugh every time. So hard that I can barely breathe and tears roll down my cheeks. Hysterical. Although, probably completely unhelpful haha.

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