Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Taste of Joburg 2014

So we almost missed Taste again this year (I missed it for the first time last year when we were in USA & Bermuda) ... we were due to arrive back from Turkey at around 10am and I doubt after a lengthy flight either of us would've been up for it. But this is one of the things I'm considering a perk of us having had to postpone our trip.

Although I'll be honest when we arrived at Monte it certainly did not start out feeling that way. When we headed thru the casino to the "entrance", we saw the queue ... and we walked and walked, following it, trying to find a place at the end. The queue wound it's way around Monte and we eventually found the end at the entrance to the movies. OMG. We did consider turning around right there!

Luckily we waited around to see how fast the queue would move and were pleasantly surprised. 15 minutes after we took our place at the end of the queue we were out the Monte doors and into the sunshine and it wasn't too long after that that we got thru the entrance gates to Taste. Moods sufficiently soothed we'd had sufficient time while queuing to decide on what we wanted to eat and the next move was acquiring our scoins (wonder how much the South African Coin Exchange paid for that priviledge?).

So originally neither of us had circled that much, but I feel we tasted quite a lot by the time we left (2 hours later). I was certainly feeling quite stuffed and we blew the last of our scoins on Lindt truffles ;)

Our first stop was The Blackanese Sushi Bar (a place on my "to go" list), but sadly they seem to have removed the Spinach & Cream Cheese, Beef & Ginger Dim Sum that we both wanted to try off their menu. Pity.

Not to be deterred, Le Sel @ The Cradle was next door and we had each circled an item to try there :) I had my eye on their Lamb Tagine Rolled in aubergine & served with babaganoush (ah, I have such memories of the babaganoush I had on my holiday in Egypt. I can only hope to find some in Turkey!). Let me just say, that to start, this was a superb decision. I thoroughly enjoyed it. And even The Trucker, who isn't as much a fan of aubergine as I am, wolfed down his half!

He ordered their Chai tea infused Creme Brulee. Very tasty!

From there we headed to Sprout360 and shared their Leek & Spring Onion Risotto Balls with coriander pesto and black olive sand. I made sure my Ball did not touch any sand :/ Quite nice, but a very mild flavour from where we'd come.

Then we wandered some of the little stalls and discovered Fruize Gourmet Ice Pops. We tried their Apple, Cucumber & Mint (yes!) and then before we left we went back and tried their Strawberry & Balsamic (not quite as good, or maybe I was too full by this point). I would definitely get some of those Apple, Cucumber & Mint ones for my freezer this summer!

Across from here, we spotted the Liquid Smoke stand. We've been on the hunt for this stuff ever since we saw it in an Indian Curry recipe (apparently the very reason they were importing it themselves!). I'd seen the website which said you could get it from some Spars, but have never actually found it. So we got ourselves a bottle of the European Beech. Yay.

I think at this point I was very thirsty ... and, as far as the eye could see, there were only alcohol brands. When that's what they're promoting, I suspect they don't take kindly to someone asking for a "Virgin". But, luckily I came across something I have been dying to try! Happy Me's Bubble Tea. We tried a Berry one with Yoghurt bubbles (twice). I like it :) But it is a very weird sensation the first time!

Then it was definitely time for more food! I think I hit Roots@Forum Homini for their dessert, Lemon Tart served with Almond ice cream, verbena & dehydrated citrus while The Trucker got the Nkomazi Chicken Curry Bunny Chow with butternut atchar & brinjal chutney from Licorish next door.

Both were superb! The lemon tart was divine, I could definitely have done with a larger portion. And the bunny was very tasty and so cute in the little roll!

Then I stopped at Gwefey (which I'm dying to go back to, if only they'd open one closer than Sandton!) for their Hong Kong Sweet Chicken Pies (Hong Kong pastry stuffed with chicken in char siu sauce). When I saw them, I knew I'd had them previously at their restaurant and how divine they were! So so good. The Trucker barely got a taste, I wolfed them down before he realised how good they were - haha.

After that I got my Spicy peanut calamari from Beluga which wasn't quite what I was expecting. But it was nice :) And The Trucker who has a complete aversion to all things "fishy" even tried it and liked it. While eating it, I noticed that That's Amore was next door. It's been on my list of restaurants to try for a while so I was disappointed to realise I had nothing circled ...

But, I noticed they had a Melanzane special which wasn't on the printed menu! My fave. I penned it in for later because The Trucker was dragging me off  to the Woodview Beef stall for the Wagyu Beef Slider he'd been waiting for all afternoon.

Okay, so this was the only stall with a significant queue that never seemed to dissipate, but it moved quickly enough and this was the one thing we both ordered. Yum!

Then we bumped into @clairam and some other friends and went and hung out with them in the Castle Milk Stout tent. The Trucker had a beer and I stood around bemoaning the sheer lack of non-alcoholic beverage options ... and eventually went to get myself a 2nd Bubble Tea from Happy Me.

After a catch-up drink, The Trucker headed for the Vivace at The Radisson Blu, Sandton's Mini vetkoek filled with curried lamb mince & peach mint chutney. I'm not sure if he really wasn't that impressed with it or just didn't want to share ... haha, either way I didn't get a look in.

Which was fine by me, at the same time I was eating a very ordinary Traditional Crepes with Strawberry & cream from Food Ink.

After that we were really feeling the need to sit and find some shade ... but in lieu of that, we got ourselves a Peanut Butter Las Paletas ice cream instead :) Brought back memories of New York's High Line!

After that everything was ticked off so we headed to get my Melanzane from That's Amore as our last dish. And on our way there we found the actual Woodview stall selling Wagyu meat, which I reckon pretty much made the entire afternoon for The Trucker! He promptly bought us a rump, which he cooked for us on Sunday evening. It was delish :)

Anyway, The Trucker didn't bother to taste my melanzane since he isn't much of a fan of aubergine. It didn't look that impressive, but it tasted good. I was very happy I'd spotted it on their specials board!

But now I was really struggling and full and hot so we decided it was time to leave, after one last stop at Lindt ;)

All in all, yet another wonderful afternoon spent enjoying fabulous flavours ... but who knows if we'll still be in Joburg for next year's one? Perhaps we'll be in time for Taste of Cape Town next year instead ;) Although it looks like it is in April, and we'll be otherwise occupied (!) and won't have moved yet back, so probably we'll only see you again in 2016.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Foodie Weekend

Shew. It was actually a good weekend. By Sunday evening I felt like it had been longer than usual. Unheard of, really.

So yes, good, aside from this whole being sick thing. No, not morning sick, coughy-snotty-sneezy sick. It is driving me nuts. I've been taking the same stuff the Doc gave me last time (about all I can take, apparently) ... and this morning I'm actually feeling a little better for the first time in days. It's typical tho, only really bad in the mornings and evenings. Vampire Flu, anyone?

On Friday evening we went for dinner with some friends at Curry Palace. I'd never been before and it was quite yummy :)

On Saturday The Trucker was up early sorting out the tiler for our patio and buying the gutters etc. Very exciting. So yes, the next phase of Patio is complete and looking fantastic. I love the tiles we chose, they hide the dirt (which is why I wanted something darker) and they are non-slip. And just generally awesome! Can NOT wait for The Trucker to fix the bamboo to the roof and put the gutters up and it to be pretty much done (there will still be one or two little things to finish but it'll be usable).

In the afternoon we did the annual pilgrimage to Taste of Joburg (full blog post coming). It was awesome, but shew, a hot afternoon! We didn't stay very late and then didn't do much for the rest of the day.

On Sunday we took back the last box of tiles (one of two that I'd rushed out to buy at the last minute yesterday) and some unopened grouting before heading to breakfast at Doppio and then grocery shopping.

When we got home, we cleaned the tiles (they were still covered in the grouting dust) and put everything back on the patio. And then The Trucker mowed the lawn!

In the evening he cooked us some Wagyu beef (from Taste) and made us some Smoky Mash (we also bought ourselves some Liquid Smoke at Taste). Dinner was amazeballs!

Friday, September 26, 2014

Just What I Needed

Ah Friday. And the best kind of Friday ... because I'm still home and in my pj's. Sure, I have my laptop open and have already sent 5 work emails and responded to GTalks (before 7:30am). But working from home is still a win.

And this week was even more win with that sneaky Wednesday public holiday :) I can NOT explain sufficiently how that was quite possibly the highlight of my Whole. Month!

So yeah, work was somehow more manageable this week. And on Tuesday/mini-Friday, The Trucker and I decided to give the new Pizza Hut that just opened in Honeydew a try.

So, I have had Pizza Hut before. I don't think we had it in America, but I definitely had it in Canada. And well, you know me and new things ... had to give it a try. My first impression was that the menu is very small. But, we were pretty much there for an American reminder of proper Pepperoni pizza, so that was okay.

After queuing a little to place our order, we were told it'd take 40mins. Not too bad, we thought, because the Pizza Perfect closer to home (where we usually get our pepperoni fix ... strangely a pizza I never ate before America and is now our standard order!) can take anything from 1 - 1.5 hours on a Friday night if you call around 7pm.

We wandered to the nearby Woolies. Which turned out to be a win for us. We stocked up on breakfast supplies and things for our Rib braai the next day. So by the time we got home from Pizza Hut, we needn't leave the house again till Thursday morning :) And we didn't, except for taking Pepper for a walk in the afternoon. That, I think, was a large part of why Wednesday's Public Holiday was so perfect!

Anyway, we got our pizza's home and to be completely honest, I didn't really enjoy them. The Pepperoni one I was so looking forward to had crisped pepperoni on top ... it had obviously been cooked. Usually it doesn't because it is under the cheese, I guess? But this was literally crunchy. Completely ruined for me. Yuck. We had also ordered a BBQ Chicken & Bacon to try. It was okay, I preferred it to the crispy pepperoni, but pretty much how I remember Debonairs (which I never eat).

So yeah, we tried it. But now we're saved of ever considering it an option again. What a waste.

But then the perfect Wednesday dawned. We had a lazy morning, read our books and made breakfast (scrambled eggs & bacon on croissants). We cleaned the house because Wednesday is usually the day it gets cleaned. And then The Trucker had some work to do and I pretty much lazed on the couch or on the grass reading my book. It was bliss :D

I don't even do nothing on weekends ever ... I think I'd forgotten what a difference it makes. Anyway, when he'd finished working, we took Pepper for her walk and then had a Rib braai for dinner at home. Yum! Eating outside, on the patio (where we'd also eaten breakfast!). It was an all-round perfect day, with perfect weather and everything.

I also discovered Woolie's new (non-alcoholic) Mint Mojito drinks ... OMG. I LOVE it!

Thursday, September 25, 2014

10 weeks, 6 days

Hey, look at that, you're all caught up :)

So my What To Expect app updated last week and now I'm confused about the sizing ... previously I thought it worked like birthdays ... in your first year, you were however many months (not yet 1). And in your second year, you're 1 year, however many months. So I assume the weekly count for how big your baby was and what was happening worked like that too. So now I'm 10wks, 6 days ... so currently in Week 11? But Week 11 is a lime-sized fetus and now my app is saying my baby is still as big as a prune (Week 10's size comparison). So yeah, no idea. I'm still going with my way.

Especially now that I've scrolled back thru all their weeks and they seem to be counting differently. I can't seem to enter the date of my last period, only my due date. And now they have Week 1 starting a whole week later. So basically, the app is now useless (without constant user intervention). #sigh And to be honest, right now they feel a little like email spam too ... Who has time to read that many emails? So yeah. I'm avoiding them currently.

So, I had my first (and second) vomit. But I'm still not convinced it's morning sickness (am I in the world's biggest denial?) ... blowing my nose triggered it both times (and they were like 1.5 weeks apart!). Because without my anti-histamine, I wake up with so much mucous and post-nasal drip (tmi?) so coughing and hacking up phlegm used to happen occasionally before I started taking my allergy meds. So I'm still sure that's probably what caused the incident ... I am especially convinced by today's because it was more like making myself throw up because of all the phlegm. Honestly I suspect I may have tonsilitis today :(

Aside from that, I also started using Bio-Oil daily on my boobs & belly ... who knows if it''ll make a difference this early on and I also started using it on my legs because I have such dry skin and, well, summer. But that didn't last long ... I try do it when I remember now. So much for getting in the habit, haha.

I'm also feeling very fat. And I'm sure that's because I weighed more than I would've liked before I got pregnant ... but now, between the lack of will to exercise due to exhaustion (aside from my recent swims at gym) and the snacking, I'm sure it's not helping :/ I'm still trying to be good, but The Trucker's like "you're pregnant" and I'm like "There's no pregnancy to see here, it's all fat". It's a little depressing, but I'm trying not to worry about it too much. I'm not obese or anything ... just not thrilled with my current state of flab and I suspect until I actually have a proper preggie belly, I'm just going to continue feeling fat.

And then there is the hair growth. WTF. Obviously I'm noticing it where I usually shave (legs & underarms) because it is so much longer by the time I shave following my same-old regular routine ... it's crazy.

Other than that, still boring and abstract, honestly. But next week is the first Gynae Appointment (at a whopping fee!) so I am super excited :) Not expecting any major revelations, just hoping that in the scan it looks a little more human and a little less peanut and that we can hear the heart beating. Eep.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Green River, Running Red by Ann Rule

In her most personal and provocative book to date, the #1 bestselling master of true crime presents "her long-awaited definitive narrative of the brutal and senseless crimes that haunted the Seattle area for decades" (Publishers Weekly). This is the extraordinary true story of the most prolific serial killer the nation had ever seen - a case involving more than forty-nine female victims, two decades of intense investigative work ... and one unrelenting killer who not only attended Ann Rule's book signings but lived less than a mile away from her home.

Shew this was a long book to read. I'm not really sure if I thought it was good or not tho. It started out just with victims, which, I guess, is how it starts out when you're investigating. When it did give you snippets of the killer's early life, you still had no idea who he was (and I really didn't because I'd never actually heard of this guy before this), which I liked.

But there were so many victims, and they did start to blur together. It would've been nice to have a timeline or something. If they were ever mentioned again, I couldn't really place who was who.

Still, it is a hectic, awful story. It's a crazy story. It's a scary story. It wasn't all that long ago, and the guy (Gary Ridgway) is still alive, in prison (thank goodness). And a quick search on google shows they are STILL looking for bodies and he's still trying to get attention for it.

I guess it's most scary because he wasn't a stereo-typical serial killer. With below average intelligence he evaded capture for almost 20 years. And was married to a wife who knew nothing and suspected nothing. How frightening is that?

Monday, September 22, 2014

Far Too Speedy

And in a blink of an eye, I'm back at work. I couldn't need this Wednesday Public Holiday more ... or any sort of holiday in general. I'm not sure if it's because I was actually expecting to currently be on holiday or if things are just in some weird crazy zone here.

There see, that's a screen shot of my work-week calendar from Outlook ... mostly the only free time is 7 - 9am. And then on Friday I actually have booked out time to do some real work. The rest are all meetings (thank goodness there is a half hour meeting every day in there for lunch!). It makes me tired just looking at it :(

But anyway, back to the weekend ... Shame, Peps really has struggled to get back to normal this weekend. But she finally seemed almost there yesterday :) She was totally out of it on Friday after I collected her and although she perked up a bit on Saturday, she still wasn't her usual crazy self. Gypsy has been super noisy and needy as well ... I think she was worried about Pepper. Friday afternoon was pretty awful :(

So am super glad that instead of sticking with plans to meet CollegeInstructor for dinner, we had him come over and we did homemade pizzas instead. Yummy and much better to be home with Pepper. Good to catch up with him, he's about to head off on a 6 week holiday to Mexico & Cuba. #jealous (although apparently half of Mexico has washed away recently - okay not quite but still, they won't be heading to Baja California as planned).

On Saturday morning we headed off to try a new spot for breakfast, Cafe Duarte, ... because they were on a list of where to get Eggs Benedict in Joburg, and The Trucker loves that (me, I'm only interested if they do it with spinach ;) ). The Trucker said it was good (he had the paio version). I had french toast with bacon.

And then we headed out, with nothing much to do, and had a very busy day. First we decided to go and look for tiles for the patio again ... the ones we'd liked last time were pretty expensive. And now, with the baby arriving in 2015, we'll know that we'll be moving back to Cape Town by the end of next year ... so we have probably a year left in this house before we rent it out. So we are being less fussy about things. So it was off to CTM with a budget to see what we could find. We found 2 options, one light and one dark.

And after taking it home to look at, we were certain. The dark tile outside was the one. I love the tile we picked and bought, and it was an absolute steal (R55/sqm)!

The Trucker had checked out the wooden poles we had originally intended to use under the clear roofing, but that would be an expensive exercise (R3500), so we discussed going the bamboo route instead and stopped at one of the guys on the side of the road near our house to get pricing (R1000). Luckily we'd already measured the area we needed and we ordered it then and there. Yesterday the guy called to tell us it's ready, so The Trucker will collect it today :)

And the tiler (who did our bathrooms & kitchen) is coming on Thursday or Friday to tile the patio floor. Soon it'll be pretty much done, just in time for us to enjoy it in summer! I can't wait :)

And we even managed to do some clothing shopping! I wanted some new shorts and a couple of skirts (I have very few) for summer (and Turkey!).

We relaxed at home for a bit before heading out again to an SCM Birthday at Rusty Hook. Was good seeing everyone again :)

We left as the lightning was starting but didn't make it home before the storm started and the hail kicked it up a notch! We pulled in at a garage along with a bunch of other people and stood watching. We were a little upset cause we were really hoping to get home and enjoy it from under our patio roof :)

Sheesh, what a storm. Don't think the car was too badly struck tho, it seems undented. Although you'd never believe it, hearing it from inside the car while driving! And the patio roof held up :) Although the concrete floor was still pretty soaked from all the bouncing hailstones.

I was super worried that Pepper could get inside because she was struggling to jump up after her op, but she was completely dry when we got home ... till I raced out to cover the bunnies and she followed me :P Haha. Silly girly.

On Sunday we had a very lazy morning, after another early start with the animals, we went back to bed and I read my book while The Trucker slept. No puppy training for Peps today.

We did our grocery shopping and that was pretty much it for the day since we'd had such a late start. Plus I wasn't feeling that great. It's hard to explain. I don't think it's morning sickness. It's not even severe enough to be considered queasy. It's just "unsettled" ... a bit like being on a boat or hungover I guess. Either way, picking food to eat or shopping is not easy when I feel like that haha.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Worst Work Week.

Shattered. This has been my worst week in a while. All work reasons ... I don't have a moment to think, I barely have time to eat. I literally have been getting home frazzled. I don't think this is pregnancy related, but I'm sure it isn't helping.

I managed to get to the gym for a swim twice this week so far. Which was fantastic, in this heat, so refreshing. Other than that I have literally not done a thing. We've eaten at home. Read our books and gone to bed. I have never need a weekend so badly ... and all I'm hoping this morning is that I don't actually end up having to work this weekend *sob*.

In other news, Peps is going to get spayed today. I'll collect her after work. Poor puppy :(

Thursday, September 18, 2014

13 September: 9 weeks, 1 day

So it's kinda weird now that the "secret" is out. Lots of lovely congratulations from online peeps :) But it's also been quite a strange thing to experience, the whole telling people thing. As I said previously, we weren't specifically NOT telling people, but we sorta just told them as it came up (oh, you're not drinking alcohol?) or was relevant (erm, you've scheduled me on work well into what will be my maternity leave). We told people as we saw / spoke with them and I have found the reactions very entertaining.

I guess because I'm a first time mom, I can relate so much more with the people who don't yet have kids. They're like "Oh congrats, how exciting for you" (or sometimes a little more enthusiastic because they know we were trying and did this on purpose and have wanted it for a while). But then the conversation moves on to the things you always talked about with them ... That's pretty much also how I react when people tell me they're pregnant. Previously my happiness for them was also tinged, internally, with a little damper of "when will it be my turn?" but mostly just thrilled for someone who's life is turning out the way they wanted and good luck to them :)

I've never been the girl queuing to hold someone else's baby. Make no mistake, I have wanted my own kids my ENTIRE life. It has never even been a question for me. But other people's kids don't really interest me beyond "oh she's so cute" or whatever. You know, probably the very normal non-mom sort of reaction?

But the already-moms. Wow, they squeal and clap and jump up and down. It's like I've just got membership at some club and they are thrilled to have a new member (victim? I dunno?). Perhaps this will be me in future?

Right now tho, I find it very strange to see the difference :) And then there are the advice-givers who (surprisingly) fall into both the non-mom and already-mom groups. I find this so strange. Probably because no one has given me any advice yet where I've felt "Damn, I did not know this. This changes everything!". It's all stuff I have to explain (or just nod & smile thru) that I already know (ginger biscuits and dry crackers help with nausea / that hollow feeling), and am already doing (drinking lots of water) and have already made my own personal decisions about (if and when I'll be eating sushi).

What is most peculiar to me is that I haven't met a mom who doesn't lament the constant stream of unsolicited advice from people ... yet some of them still do it? Boggles the mind. Is it strange that I don't really care how other people are raising their kids. Make no mistake I may ask what they're doing and their opinion on things, just to hear different points of view ... like this whole current baby-led-weaning craze I find fascinating. And no, I have no opinion of my own on it yet ;)

Actually being asked "how are you?" is also weird these days. Like people are waiting for me to tell them how awful it is so we can compare morning sickness stories ... I don't have anything exciting to tell. I don't feel 100% in the mornings but have avoided any actual vomiting so far. The thing I enjoy hearing least is when everyone else started their morning sickness ... especially when it's still in the future for me. Haha. It feels like a pokey witchy finger pointing at me saying "I'm still coming for you, my pretty".

And then there are the people who want to shower you with all the things their kid no longer needs. I've had verbal offers of this, but have received nothing yet, so am unsure where I stand on this. It sounds helpful since there really is a lot you need for a kid. But I'm also getting offers for baby books (not books for babies, books about babies & being pregnant) ... what are people using baby books for these days? I have Google. In fact I have Google available pretty much 24/7 on my phone ... if anything weird happens that I'm unsure about or any sort of question pops into my head, I google it. Often right there and then.

Speaking of Google, I had to use it the other morning, the day after the scan. I got this super weird feeling ... and didn't really know what to google exactly, but I found the answer I was looking for. See, much better than paging thru a book, hoping for the best ... And for my daily / weekly baby growing progress updates, I have the What to Expect website and app and emails. And then there are some fabulous blogs too ;) Really, who has time to read anything more?

So yeah. Baby is plodding along internally, and I'm handling the new interest in my belly from all and sundry as best I can :)

Aside from that I didn't really think I'd had any cravings yet ... except that I can't seem to go shopping on my own anymore - haha. But at the moment Green Apples are my go-to food. I know for a lot of people that's also a nausea thing, but I think for me it's the fresh crispness. We added apple pieces to our chicken salad the other night and then I made my first "weird concoction" for dinner the other night ... I had some Cottage Cheese with Tzatziki and I mixed in pieces of chopped cucumber and apple. And I had this "sauce" on my ostrich burger. Yeah, I think it qualifies - haha.

The other thing I've noticed is "craving" (probably not really craving, more just simple thinking about and wanting) childhood comfort type foods ... white (best of both) toast with honey on. Yum. And when I was grocery shopping the other day, I came home with about a month's worth of dessert options (Lite custard and packets of Simply Delish jelly powder and soya chocolate desserts - so hopefully not completely terrible for us, haha!). Which is even weirder since I'd stopped wanting dessert after dinner for the couple of weeks before then.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

9 September: 8 weeks, 4 days

So we had our first scan today! Baby's first photo. Not that it looks at all like a baby yet :/

But it has really given me a much needed peace of mind ... I dunno why I was so worried. I guess since I'm now 34, I've heard many stories of friends who've miscarried their first pregnancies ... and others who have struggled to even get pregnant for the first or second time. I guess it's about wanting something so bad and just being nervous.

But all is looking good. I know it's still not a 100% sure thing ... they do say wait till 12 weeks and all, but seeing it, not an empty sac (biggest worry!), has made a world of difference. It's real, it's there. It has a teeny heart beating a million times a second (okay, so not quite that much, but faster than ours nonetheless). We couldn't hear the heart yet (cause it was just an ultrasound tech, not a doctor, they said they won't do them till 12 weeks), but we sure could see the flashing little blip in the middle of the peanut / jellybean shape.

In case you're wondering looking at that very un-baby-like looking photo, the baby is the peanut shape at the bottom. The circle thing floating above it is apparently the yolk sac

It is nerve wracking, lying there, unable to see anything ... I spose when it's the very first scan they'd rather check things out first. But trying to measure The Trucker's or the tech's expressions ... eventually I burst and asked if everything was okay. Yip. All good :D

She measured the embryo/fetus (apparently that switch over is happening this week!) and everything is spot on (she has me as 1 day ahead: 8 weeks, 5 days ... which I doubt makes much of a difference in the grand scheme of things)

So today was probably the most exciting day since we first found out (shew, it's almost a month since then already!).

Haha, and did you notice that the baby is apparently the size of a green olive (2.54cm) this week? The Trucker is convinced (hopeful?) I'll start craving olives sometime during my pregnancy, because I HATE them. However, I am pretty sure there is nothing on earth that could make me want to eat an olive and that there is nothing in them that a baby could possibly need ... so I reckon I'm safe ;)

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

5 September: 8 weeks

So, I now definitely have some symptoms to show for it! Luckily (and thankfully) still no true morning sickness. I mean I do get that starving hollow feeling, and feel marginally ill, but no vomiting at all as yet ... when the feeling hits, I just stuff a mini ginger biscuit in my face, drink some water and I seem to be okay :) Those mini ginger biscuits packets from Woolies & Spar are a life saver for preggie ladies, I expect :)

What I am experiencing tho, in abundance, is pregnancy fatigue. Seriously. It's unbelievable. The Trucker was always the napper in our family ... seriously the man will nap every afternoon available. I usually laze reading my book next to him, but I'd very rarely actually fall asleep during day time.

These days tho, I nap every weekend and have been falling asleep in front of the TV. And before he even comes to bed most nights ... because he's about 5mins later than me! He says it's like I have sleep apnea :/

You remember when he tore all those tendons in his ankle, I napped thru it. After yelling for me, the poor injured boy had to hobble all the way to our bedroom to wake me and tell me I needed to take him to the ER. Oops.

We went for dinner the other night, and I was falling asleep at the table, barely able to maintain conversation past 20h15! And to make things worse, because he's in the moonboot, I had to drive us home! I've told him there is no way I can drive after 8pm any more ... not cause I'll fall asleep at the wheel, I doubt that'd happen, but because I can't concentrate thru the exhaustion properly. I can't focus.

That's why I've been so bad at  Boot Camp, aside from being doubly exhausted from it, I usually only have enough energy to fall onto the couch or curl up and snooze when I get home from work in the afternoons. It's ridonkulous, it is completely surreal. I mean I'd heard about it before, but I NEVER understood! Prior to this, it sounds completely mad that you could be this exhausted by doing nothing. I apologise to any pregnant woman I doubted before. This is no joke.

Other than that, still pretty abstract. People are finding out as I chat to them and they notice I'm not drinking alcohol etc. Plus work has me scheduled on projects into my Maternity Leave next year :/ And everyone seems super excited ... I think they're a little disappointed that I'm not more excited.

Do not misunderstand. I am SUPER excited. Inside. It's not real yet. I know it, but I don't quite believe it. And I'm still terrified something could go wrong ... But, hopefully next week all that will change because we're going for our first scan!!

I know it might be a bit early, I've heard you can only hear the heartbeat from 9wks. We'll be 8.5wks then ... But my first gynae visit feels like miles away (we'll be 12wks I think) because of our Turkey trip, it was the first appointment I could get. And when our trip got cancelled, I did try to bring the appointment forward but by then she was fully booked. #sigh

OMG. I am nervous and excited and terrified and can NOT wait till Tuesday :)

Oh, and in case you were at all worried, my blood tests came back and I am immune to the German Measles, so that was a relief (although, mostly expected)

Monday, September 15, 2014


Shew. Feeling a bit low this morning. And I have a busy week ahead. I think work might be stressing me out a little lately.

But the weekend was good. Just, not enough ... as usual haha. On Friday I stayed late at work because there was a talk on Ancient Civilisations by a friend of mine. I'd sent her a link to the SCA Conference because I knew she'd find it interesting ... I did too, but only a few of the talks and it was quite pricey. And the talk she gave was based on things she'd heard there. It was fantastically interesting and I was amazed at how many placed I've been (Pyramids & Sphinx, Nazca Lines and Machu Picchu, Great Wall of China) and still want to go/see (Aurora Borealis & Rapa Nui) popped up - haha! And she told us all about an amazing place in Turkey that I won't get to ...

We had a quiet evening at home on Friday ... we were supposed to be on a plane to Istanbul :(

On Saturday, I went to meet @Arkwife and @Rubyletters at our usual, Papachinos, for brunch. So lovely seeing them again :)

After that I got home to find The Trucker and the gardener planting the new plants and adding more compost and lawn dressing. Looking awesome :)

And then at about 4pm we collected The Trucker's niece and headed off to visit him Mom in the Free State (and we took Pepper with us too). We got there after dark and had a relaxed evening.

Was surprised with our first gift for the baby by his mom, a bunch of clothes and a blanket (why is it called a receiving blanket? How is it different to a normal blanket?) and little booties. She'd even washed it all already! All very cute and a little frightening. Eep. The Trucker and I decided we weren't buying anything till I was 12 weeks (not too long now). Plus I guess it was a reminder of how everyone else gets involved. I know The Peeb has been knitting up a storm already ... but that's a little further away so less real. Now everyone seems to be waiting to hear if it's a girl or a boy before buying anything more ... shew. We don't even have anywhere to put the baby's new clothes yet ... the spare room is still full of unpacked boxes and tools :/

And then on Sunday morning we all headed to Bethlehem to visit his gran in frail care. We got home at about 5pm and did our grocery shopping.

I was not feeling great. I think, in future, I'm going to have to take some of the ASIC tablets I got (for when we fly since I won't be able to take Stugeron this time) when we drive long distances.

Early to bed. But unfortunately haven't slept well the last 2 nights :(

Friday, September 12, 2014

The Hitman's Guide to Housecleaning by Hallgrimur Helgason

With some 66 hits under his belt, Tomislav Bokšić, or Toxic, has a flawless record as hitman for the Croatian mafia in New York. That is, until he kills the wrong guy and is forced to flee the States, leaving behind the life he knows and loves. Suddenly, he finds himself on a plane hurtling toward Reykjavík, Iceland, disguised as an American televangelist named Father Friendly. With no means of escape from this island devoid of gun shops, this island with absolutely no tradition for contract killing, he is forced to come to terms with his bloody past and reevaluate his future, to tragicomic effect. The Hitman's Guide to Housecleaning is a story of mistaken identity, human destiny, and the forces of good and evil present within us all.

I thought this sounded like an interesting read ... but I was wrong. It was fairly tedious, really. I don't really know what the point of the story was. And I know not all stories need a point. But this one really did not grab me whatsoever. It was all so very blah. Time I'll never get back.

More Quiet

Shew Friday. I needed it. Work is a blur of a million different things at the moment. And home is nothing but relaxed. Seriously afternoon naps are the way to go. It's been so hot this week!

So yeah, we haven't done a thing. Well, I watched to movies this week ... How to Train Your Dragon 2 and The Fault in our Stars.

I enjoyed them both. I wasn't really sure where How to Train Your Dragon could really go after the first one ... but I guess they did a pretty good job. The only bizarro bit was the whole "mom" aspect ... am not sure what Mom would give up her baby to go look after animals and never look back. Even if they were dragons.

I loved The Fault in our Stars. I've heard people raving about the book, so was keen to see the movie. And it was just lovely. Sad, cute, funny and lovely. The Trucker came in from a Body Corp meeting half way thru and was less than impressed than me - haha.

What else ... there are a few more back-dated preggie posts for me to put up next week before I start blogging about that in my regular posts. Needless to say the highlight of this week was our first scan :D

I should be exercising more. Boot Camp this month was a total fail. I've just been too exhausted and then too hot this week. I was going to go swimming but then, I didn't. I have been walking Pepper daily still tho.

Oh, and see that funny Gypsy Cat pose? That's how she perches, waiting to play with Pepper at bedtime. Got a cute little video of them too :) Awe.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

25 August: 6 weeks, 3 days

So it's been just over a week since I last wrote. We've upgraded from an orange/apple seed (0.33cm) to a sweet pea to a blueberry (1.29cm). Hopefully.

Boy was I wrong if I thought trying to get pregnant was the worrying part of things ... I mean, I'm sure anyone trying deals with those thoughts. Where, you know, you've been trying NOT to get pregnant, your whole life so far, using contraceptives ... but you never really know if you actually can until you already have. It's stressful. And as each month passed by (I know, it was only 3), I made contingency plans. We'd go get checked after trying for 6 months, if we couldn't, we'd go straight to adoption and not pour money into IVF.

Then it happened :) That worry was over. But a whole new set of worries kicked in. And let me tell you, these are worse! Being 6 weeks pregnant is frustrating. Especially with barely any symptoms. I'm pretty sure I'm still pregnant (I haven't miscarried), but how do you know everything is A-okay in there? Now I'm worrying about everything I do ... will it affect this?

Is my bath water too hot, what was that shooting pain when I sneezed, can I eat that? And then there are symptoms I didn't even know were symptoms, until I googled them and found out I was perfectly normal ... what did women do before google? Is that what my runny nose is?

But yeah, aside from worry, I don't really feel pregnant at all. I carry a pack of mini-ginger biscuits around with me ... and I definitely need to get something into my stomach sooner than usual. But is that the start of morning sickness or just a reaction to having my new Preggie multi-vitamin after brushing my teeth? I do find that I go from zero to starving these days when dinner or lunch is late tho.

It's a weird place to be ... and this weekend I went to fill my usual scripts at Dischem. I'd asked (not my regular doctor cause he was off) the Doc last time I was there about my meds because we were trying and she said they were fine. Then this weekend the Pharmacist said no ways to my anti-histamine. At least last week I already scheduled an appointment with my GP this afternoon to discuss what I can and can't take etc. (particularly with our upcoming trip to Turkey) since my Gynae appointment is ages away!

After Doc update: So I can't take my anti-histamines. But I did get some meds for the virus making my nose run. And he checked my belly ... apparently he thinks I'm further along, more like 6-8wks based on how high he can feel my uterus above my pelvis (or something). It's very weird to me how variable this whole thing is. I mean we were trying so I know exactly when my last period started. And I was using the ovulation sticks (the 7-pack not the digital which is all they seem to show on their site) so I also know exactly when I was ovulating ... so I have no idea why this is such an inexact science or how I could be further along than that :/ In exciting news tho, he gave me a referral to go get an ultrasound before we go to Turkey. So at least we can hopefully see the baby and go on holiday knowing all is fine. Wonder if we'll be able to hear the heartbeat yet (it'll be in about 2 weeks). I hope so!

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

17 August: 5 weeks, 2 days

So, my first post as an official Mommy-Blogger. I found out on Thursday that I'm pregnant :)

It wasn't quite the experience I thought it would be ... all pretty ordinary really. And I don't feel any different. It was a massive perk finding out on the day I was flying down to Cape Town to see my family for the weekend tho :) So much nicer to share the news in person.

So we hit the jackpot on Month 4. Pretty normal, I gather. I had joked with The Trucker at the beginning of the month that we'd better get pregnant this month as my period was scheduled to start during Oppi, and well, I can't really imagine a worse idea (part of why I was so keen on the Kreef Hotel and nearby toilet idea!).

Since I've been tracking things and whatnot, I've been pretty much exactly clockwork with my ovulation and my period, if not on the day, perhaps the day before.

On Monday last week I started to wonder ... but I wasn't getting my hopes up. I set Thursday as The Pee-Stick Day, trying not to get ahead of myself.

I went to the loo frequently last week, as I had done the month before in my period week ... constantly checking if it had started or not yet. I can't remember if it was Tuesday or Wednesday that I began to think that this might really be it. I googled when the best time to do the Urination Test would be: A week after your missed period. Well who can wait that long? I get that it's probably smart, in case of an early miscarriage, you can just assume it was a late period and try not to be too crushed. But since we were flying down to Cape Town on the Thursday evening, there was no chance I was waiting that long.

So on Wednesday I decided to go get the blood test done. There are two options, one pretty much like the pee-stick, which gives you a Yes or No, and another than can actually tell you how far along you are.

I went with the more detailed option since I knew I was doing a pee-stick the following morning. And I worked from home on Thursday so I could go get my results.

I told The Trucker about the blood test on Wednesday evening. And on Thursday we got a dark blue plus-sign on the pee-stick. OMG. This is real. But is still doesn't really feel real. Because it doesn't feel like anything, yet.

I went to get my blood results at about 10am on Thursday and it said I was 4 weeks pregnant. Well, I already knew that since I know exactly when my last period started. So I also know I'm due a week before my 35th birthday next year. Wow.

We called The Trucker's mom from the airport and told my folks at dinner in Cape Town on Thursday evening. We called our sisters on Friday morning. Everyone is super excited for us :)

I haven't felt any morning sickness or anything yet ... sometimes I do get a hollow hungry feeling tho. I haven't had an aversion to any foods or smells yet. I only have minor boob tenderness when The Trucker hugs me tight against his ribs. So far I'm lucky :)

But it's also a little nerve wracking. It definitely doesn't feel real yet. And although we're not NOT telling people even so early, it doesn't feel quite as exciting as I thought it might. There was no pang in my gut of "OMG What have we done?", which I guess I always sort of expected to accompany actually doing a pregnancy test (this was my first one ever) and getting a positive result on top of it. I guess that means it's the perfect time and we're ready :)

I suspect we're in for a huge surprise and, of course, life will never be the same again ... but first we have 2 weeks in Turkey to get thru before I even have my first Gynae appointment. And, I reckon, until then it's all going to carry on feeling pretty unreal. Aside from the no-alcohol and no-sushi and no-pretty-much-anything thing ... that's a bit annoying ;) Haha.

Monday, September 08, 2014

Back to Busy

Shew, well we went from what looked to be a quiet weekend to actually a fairly busy one. I worked from home on Friday, mostly from my bed, in my pjs. It was bliss.

And then in the afternoon, we got an invite to go round for toasted sarmies & a catch-up with one of The Trucker's friends. So we had a nice relaxing Friday evening with some epic toasties chatting with friends (and watching a little Jimmy Fallon on YouTube ;) ).

On Friday, The Trucker had a whole bunch of sand delivered to the house because he had 3 guys coming to screed the patio floor. And we planted some new grass as well. So basically what this meant was a LOT of driving for me. Off to buy 36 squares of grass. Then to the local nursery to ask about a soil testing kit (our plants are dying and we wanted to check the acidity of the soil). Found out they don't sell them, but will do them for you if you bring in samples. So back home. Then back with 3 samples from different areas. Then wait-wait-wait. Really, there is only so much wandering of a nursery one can do. Eventually we got the results (the corner Gypsy uses as a loo is -5, it should be +7 !!) and bought some lime, lawn dressing and compost.

Took that all back home, but couldn't fit any new plants in, so it was back to the nursery with me. And then when I got home and finally thought I could rest, turns out we needed another 19 squares of grass!

Anyhoo, it's all looking like it has potential now. We gotta move some dying plants away from Gypsy's corner this week. I bought some clivia to go there instead (I gather it need acidic compost, so seems best). Unfortunately, Pepper messed up a part of the screed before it had completely dried ... so not sure what we'll do about that :P

After the screed was finished and most of the grass laid on Saturday afternoon, we headed to Hogshead to meet up with some friends. And then had a very lazy rest of our Saturday. We watched Maleficent and Blended.

Maleficent, I'd heard, was pretty good. But it wasn't really. I'd recommend skipping it. It was quite boring and completely predictable, of course. It's sorta sweet, but time you'll never get back.

All I knew about Blended was that it was the new Drew Barrymore & Adam Sandler. Who knew we'd be laughing at their Sun City Holiday!! The Trucker didn't really seem to enjoy this that much, but I liked it :) You know, in a 50 First Dates sort of way. I mean, obviously it makes it somewhat cringe-worthy to watch them in "Africa". But other than that it was just the light feel-good movie I needed :)

On Sunday Pepper woke us before 7! But I managed to go back to sleep till 8am and woke up to see The Trucker had spent the time putting the lawn dressing on the new grass. I made us some breakfast and then we had to bath Pepper who had had an absolute ball playing in the lawn dressing (mud) as The Trucker watered it - haha. Poor girl, wasn't very impressed with the bath process, but she was so soft and clean afterwards, I definitely think we'll have to do it more often!

After that, I went and did the grocery shopping before we headed to lunch at The Wolfpack with @Sascha_with_a_C.

This is such a cool little restaurant with such yummy burgers & sides (love their onion rings with wasabi mayo!) and the trick definitely seems to be Sunday lunch (because you can actually book a table). Plus it was such a gorgeous day. After that we stopped at Filo for dessert on the way home :)

When we got home, I took Pepper for a walk (look how big she is now!!!) and then lazed in the stinky (compost!) garden reading my book and snoozing. There is something about being outdoors, the feel of the sun and the cool breeze that snoozing on the bed inside (which The Trucker prefers and was doing) doesn't have.

Anyhoo, that was pretty much my weekend.

Oh, and on Friday we also paid to change our Turkey tickets and tour! So it is back on ... just postponed by a month. Feels a little weird we were supposed to be flying this Friday!

Friday, September 05, 2014

Still quiet

Hmmm, well, it has been a super most uneventful week here ... I went to boot camp on Monday afternoon. And then we had dinner with The Trucker's 2nd Parents on Tuesday at Shalow Waters. Yeah, for Chinese food, that's quite a win. Crispy Beef with noodles :)

And then a regular night at home on Wednesday and I had a work thing on Thursday so only got home around 7pm (in time for dinner).

And, really. That was pretty much it. Well, aside from all the Turkey back-and-forth. We have got an okay from The Trucker's doc that he can fly on the 10th Oct. But he's not too happy that this will involve injecting himself to ensure he doesn't get clots. So with that info, we began investigating how much it would cost and, sadly, our low-cost fare that we were so chuffed with has sky-rocketed and it's gonna cost 70% MORE!

So then we had to re-decide all over again ... this hasn't been an easy decision. But last night we decided to just go for it, and we'll just have to take it easier than usual, but we'll still have an awesome holiday! So today we'll hopefully be finalising everything. Fingers crossed folks.

Life is pretty quiet at the moment, I think because we were building up to holiday-mode (so no plans since we'd be away), but then the carpet got pulled out from under us ... so you end up in a weird limbo until you know what is potting. We also have a surprisingly quiet weekend ahead ... I guess it also has a lot to do with having and invalid man at the moment ;)

Oh, and I nearly forgot! Look at this cool #hilskittytin that Gypsy got gifted from the nice folks at Hill's. Along with a voucher for their food. Which will come in super handy since both her & Pepper already eat it!

And, apparently you can get your own tin too! They'll be available at participating veterinary outlets in September, while stocks last, with selected purchases of Hill's Science Plan Feline (1.5kgs or larger bags). And they have 4 different tin designs to choose from!

They are also hosting a fun Facebook photo contest in September on crazy places some cats like to sleep on their facebook page and there are #hillskittytin prizes and food to be won.

Now I just need one for Pepper's food too :)

Note: If you cat doesn't already eat Hill's and you are keen to start them on it, they recommend that you transition your cat/s onto Hill's over a week – especially if it's a fussy eater or resistant to anything 'unfamiliar'. Simply start by mixing it with their usual food so the meal is about one fifth Hill's. Slowly increase each day until it is exclusively Hill's. I didn't know that!

Monday, September 01, 2014

Monday Already?

Nope, so not ready for Monday ... again. Life feels a little rollercoaster-ish lately. And, while I'm enjoying work in retrospect, I'm finding it quite exhausting being pulled in many different directions and not really feeling like I'm on top of any one thing ... especially since I have days where I literally have an hour & half at my desk between meetings. But I'm still expected to get things done.

So there is some definite Sunday-night dread happening lately. You know, that not wanting to fall asleep because then it'll be Monday morning almost instantly :( It's not ideal. I really needed this holiday that is no longer happening ...

So yeah, we had to decide about Turkey this weekend. And we've decided not to cancel, but rather to reschedule it. We are waiting to hear when the last Blue Cruise runs (sometime mid-October) ... it's be very sad to miss out on that. And we're hoping to still squeeze the trip into October since the weather does not sound awesome in November. But if we have to, we'll still take our chances and go then. It's a holiday regardless, right? And, if we don't postpone, we lose our entire tour deposit (we could probably get about 4k back on our flight bookings, but that'd be it).

Anyway, so we'll probably finalise the new dates in the next day or so. The Trucker's foot is still huge, but he managed to put weight on the injured foot this weekend. So he is feeling more confident about his healing.

Other than that, it was a mixed bag of a weekend ... I got home from work exhausted from the week and curled up on the couch watching Good Morning, Vietnam. Yeah, after Robin Williams' death I downloaded a bunch of his old movies ... I thought having now been to Vietnam might make the movie a bit different for me, but it wasn't really ... I mean it's not like I could recognise anywhere. Still, he is great in that movie.

In the evening we headed to dinner at Cafe del Sol with @Sascha_with_a_C. Shew, that place is amazeballs. We should go there more often. I had my absolute usual (my favourite!): The Beetroot Carpaccio to start, followed by the Amatriciana pasta.

We had a fairly late start to Saturday morning and then headed to another friend for brunch at her new house (I think she moved in around the same time as us, so not that new, but I hadn't been there yet - haha).

After that we had a very lazy Saturday. We both dozed and napped till I took Pepper for her walk and then we had Ostrich Burgers at home for dinner. We watched The Killing S4 this weekend. They so nearly mucked up the ending. If those 2 had kissed, which they probably did but thankfully didn't show ... damn, why do they think everyone who works together ends up together in series? So yawn.

All in all, I'm sorry it was a the final season. We both enjoyed the show. But the characters certainly spiraled in this final one ... so I guess they actually did a pretty good job of tying it off. As always, you can NEVER predict whodunnit :) Definitely a giant plus.

On Sunday The Trucker was up early and got collected to watch his cricket team play in the final (which they won ... you can imagine how much more bleak he was to be unable to play). I had to take Pepper to training (thank goodness she did much better than last week!) and then had some friends coming over to visit for coffee. And after that I had to go grocery shopping. I was not particularly happy by the time I got home to him complaining about how tired he was :/

So The Trucker went to nap and I curled up and watched How To Train Your Dragon. I've heard the 2nd one is brilliant, but had never seen the first ... so I figured, why not. It really was quite adorable. Made me want to cuddle with Gypsy & Pepper :)

Then I made us a late lunch and in the evening we tried to watch Bad Neighbours, but stopped half an hour into it :/ I think the highlight of the evening ended up being when Gypsy got kicked off the couch (our laps) so we could eat dinner and she went to stand next to Pepper's bed (where she was sleeping) ... she does this often and usually curls up on a piece of blanket hanging out of the bed. But this time she climbed in and sat right next to Peps. Usually Pepper can be completely floppy-asleep ... until she spies Gypsy and then she is wide awake and wants to play. So this was super unusual. The two of them slept curled next to each other for probably 2 hours. And even when The Trucker took Pepper out to wee and I moved the bed (Gypsy was still snoozing in it) to the bedroom, when Pepper got back she stared, tail-wagging at Gyps for a few minutes. And then just flopped back into the bed next to her. It was heart-melting stuff folks. Which probably only lasted another 15mins before they were chasing each other around the room with their usual pre-bedtime antics!

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