Friday, December 18, 2015

2015 Review

1. What did you do in 2015 that you'd never done before?
Give birth. Be a Mom. Stopped blogging.

2. Did anyone close to you give birth?
ME! Actually a lot of people I know, obviously you meet people with kiddies the same age as yours and going thru the same things as you. So this list was too big to remember this year.

3. Did anyone close to you die?
Not that I can think of.

4. Did anyone close to you get married?
Sheesh, I can't even remember.

5. What countries did you visit?
None ... babies are a bit of a hinderance to travel ;)

6. What would you like to have in 2016 that you lacked in 2015?
Nothing. 2015 has been pretty damn perfect :D

7. What date, from 2015, will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
2nd April, the day my daughter was born ♡ And 7th July, the day we moved to Cape Town.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Well, I think becoming parents and moving provinces (with a 3-month old) were pretty impressive ;)

9. What was your biggest failure?
Well, being a Mom didn't quite go as I imagined and it took about the first 5 months to really setlle into it. Since then tho, there hasn't been a single complaint. Before then, really, it was just learning how to manage and getting very little sleep and figuring out what our gorgeous little girl needed from us. Not complaints, really ... just life adjusting ;) But at times I definitely felt like a failure.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
You mean aside from being cut open for a caesar?

11. What was the best thing you bought?
Another new house? This time in Cape Town ;)

12. Whose behaviour merited celebration?
Without question, The Trucker. I couldn't do this parenting thing without him. Seriously, he picks up all the pieces and gets everything I can't find time for done. And my folks. I definitely couldn't have made it thru this year without their support and assistance and time and baby-sitting. And the Babe Girl. Wow, she is one amazing little thing, watching her learn and grow is The. Best. I'm a lucky lucky girl.

13. Whose behaviour made you appalled and depressed?
Some of my friends, honestly. Although not appalled or depressed, just sad and sorry. Lives change, people move on, out of sight and out of mind, I guess.

14. Where did most of your money go?
On Baby things and a new house and the move and now "tweaks" (nothing as dramatic as renovations) on the new house.

Oh, and just recently on Gypsy who had quite an awful experience in early December ... she went for an abdominal scan and we found out she had Bladder Stones. So we scheduled the operation to remove them for 2 days later. Unfortunately they couldn't even start the operation because her heart rate slowed so much she needed CPR under the anaesthetic. So they wouldn't operate again until she'd had a cardiac scan to rule out any underlying issues ... which thankfully showed up clear. So then she had the actual surgery. She is healing well and is back to being our fabulous forest cat :)

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
My Babe Girl

16. What song will always remind you of 2015?
Erm ... not sure really. "Kung-Fu Fighting" HAHAHAHA The Trucker sang it repeatedly to The Babe Girl when she started to kick her legs and since then whenever you sing it to her she gets this massive grin on her face. It even works when she is crying. I think it's hysterical.

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
Happier or sadder? Happier, so so much happier. How many people can honestly say that they have achieved everything they wanted to by 35 (not everything for my whole life, am just exactly where I wanted to be at this age).
Thinner or fatter? Probably thinner, but only because I was 5 months pregnant.
Richer or poorer? Poorer, 6 months of maternity leave will do that to a gal.

18. What do you wish you'd done more of? and 19. What do you wish you'd done less of?
More appreciating every minute of my tiny baby (which I did try to be mindful of, but already at 8 months I can't remember he being properly tiny anymore). And I wish I'd stressed less about everything I did as a Mom, but I think that comes with time and learning and finding your feet.

20. How will you be spending Christmas?
With my family. I am so excited for The Babe Girl's first Christmas, I've had a tree up since the 1st December (I've never put up my own tree before because we've always gone to family for Xmas) and the pressies are almost all wrapped and under there already! I have no idea how I became so organised this year HAHA.

21. How will you be spending New Year?
With friends at a relaxed braai ... they also have babies around The Babe Girl's age and other older kiddies.

22. Did you fall in love in 2015?
Yes, with my daughter ♡

23. How many one-night stands?

24. What was your favourite TV programme?
I don't get to watch too much any more. I loved UnReal tho.

25. What did you want and get?
My precious daughter. To move home to Cape Town. 6 months of maternity leave. A fantastic work-life balance (I reduced my hours and get to leave the office at 13h30 each day to spend the afternoon with my Babe. It is the best decision ever!)

26. What did you want and not get?
I don't think there is a single thing on this list.

27. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I turned 35 and did not have a very good day ... The Babe Girl was a bit of a nightmare, I got very little sleep :( But it all came together in the afternoon when we had a family nap and The Trucker got us sushi for dinner (you can eat it cold HAHA). And then he surprised me with an amazing gift a while later, a bag from Desigual!

28. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?

29. Who did you miss?
My Joburg friends :(

Friday, October 09, 2015

Yo Momma!

So, hello there little blog of mine ...

Haha, yep it sure has been a while. But I'm back at work (Day 3) and things here are still pretty slow so I thought I'd take the opportunity to write a little update on my last 6 months. Hey, if you're really lucky I may even get around to writing up the last 2 Turkey 2014 posts!

Yoh, so I'm a mamma. Life sure is different since March! I had my gorgeous little baby girl on the 2nd April. She arrived at a tiny 2.64kg, 44.5cm. In fact I think "Oh my word she is tiny!" was my first sentence when I saw her. What you don't realise till you give birth is how rarely you actually see or hold a newborn ... usually by the time friends are up for visitors, it is weeks after the birth and their babies have grown.

And she did have some hair :) That was the thing I most wanted to know on her arrival - since these days her 10 fingers and 10 toes had all already been counted in many scans.

Fast forward to last week and my baby had her half-birthday! Yep, she is now 6 months old and still pretty tiny (well, to everyone except us because we can see how she has grown!). She is finally starting to wear 3-6mnth outfits and weighed in at 6.3kg and 60.5cm long.

It hasn't been an easy 6 months of mothering.

I struggled with breast feeding, which is not nearly as natural as you might've been led to believe. But we found a lactation consultant when the Babe Girl was 6 days old. We weaned her off her formula top-ups (encourage during our 3 days in hospital) and got her exclusively onto breast milk. But then we moved to Cape Town and my milk dried up (apparently the stress can do that) and by the time I got it back with the help of Eglonyl (and Castle Milk Stout), she was only interested in drinking from a bottle! Cue more time spent expressing. Which, let's face it was bound to get tedious eventually. So around 4 months, we switched over to 100% formula. It wasn't the plan in the beginning, but that is how life happens and everyone is fine for it. So, no mommy guilt here :)

We struggled with sleeping. Everyone said it'd get easier after 6-8 weeks ... I thought week 8 - 10 were 2 of the hardest! But we got a bedtime routine down and life got much easier :) Till we hit her 4 month sleep regression and ended up getting a sleep consultant in. Around that time, I also ended up starting cipralex because the lack of sleep and motherhood suddenly combined to give me severe anxiety. And it is no fun feeling permanently on the verge of a panic attack.

There are many perks of being an "older" mother, I had the financial flexibility to take a full 6 months of maternity leave (no idea how people manage with less!) and to adjust my working hours (leaving the office at 13h30 to collect the Babe Girl from daycare makes such a difference!). But, a serious downside, I discovered, was that at this stage of my life, I was used to being good at what I did every day. Being a mom definitely didn't come as naturally to me as I expected. I thought I'd be better at it. I took my confidence down a notch because most of the time I don't know what I'm doing. And I've been banned from Google because that didn't help make me feel any better about things either! Nothing like 50+ conflicting views on what is wrong or right to muddle you more!

Seriously, one of my most terrifying realisations was that 3 days after your baby is born, they send you home from hospital and say "Bye, see you in 6 weeks" (well, you'll see your paed & gynae). Like, really? How on earth can I be trusted to know what to do with this tiny little thing? (Clearly we figured it out tho ;) )

All that said, life is wonderful. The Babe Girl is quite amazing and far more easy going than I am about all this - haha. She is a complete delight and I adore spending time just hanging out with her, watching her get better and better at everything she does!

She's been sleeping in her own room since about 4.5 months and been sitting well on her own for ages already! She is a chatty little thing (wonder where she got that, haha!). And even tho she is a distracted bottle-drinker, she is a very enthusiastic eater (we start solids just before 5months because of this). Seriously, we call her The Hoover! It's like feeding a shark, haha. Her latest thing is to take the spoon from me and feed herself. She is pretty amazing, I'm more than just a little bit in love with everything about her!

Oh yes, and we moved to Cape Town. Because, you know, having a baby wasn't enough for us, we decided to move provinces when she was 3 months old too! That was smoother than one might expect and we're very happy here. We got extremely lucky and have bought a house that is 5-10 minutes from both my folks houses, has easy access onto the M3 and in walking distance to the shops (I barely used my car during my leave, would just pop the Babe Girl into her pram and go shopping!). It is also in a very family orientated neighbourhood, with lots of parks nearby so our afternoon Baby & Dog walks are great fun and varied!

Madam has been going to a nearby daycare for a few weeks now. We decided that since we had the time, we would phase her in slowly, starting with just 2hrs a day for the first week, building up to her full time there this week.

Righto, that's enough of an update for now. You're mostly all caught up ;)

Tuesday, April 07, 2015

21 October: Istanbul

We woke up late-ish and had a slow morning ... we had a free day in Istanbul!

Showers were lukewarm, but I spose that's cause we were late. We had a quick breakfast and then The Trucker had to quickly login and sort some work stuff out. This is what he's been lugging our cute new slim little laptop around Turkey for!

After that we headed out. We borrowed a Metro card from the hotel and walked up a long hill to get to the station to load it with credits. 2.25Tl a trip. First we headed to Eminonu, the harbour stop to find out about Bosphorus Cruises. The ones the hotel was offering were 40EU, including a meal etc. I'd found one online for 12Tl. Unfortunately when we arrived they were closed. Ticket sales for their 14h30 trip would only open at 1pm!

So we decided to kill some time with one of my Istanbul picks, the Archaeology Museum. Unfortunately a large part of it (and many other things around town) was under renovation / construction. Not sure how much of a difference that made but, it certainly wasn't as impressive as I was expecting. And The Trucker was terribly bored.

I'd hoped for more (anything) about the Giant Heads at Mount Nemrut that were too far off our tour path for me to include ... and something on Gobekli Tepe! Didn't see a thing!

Just after 1pm we headed back to the harbour and bought our tickets for the 2hr cruise. Then we had to wait till 2pm before the gates opened for boarding. Luckily The Trucker and I split up so I got us great seats upstairs on the balcony and he got us the 10Tl Audio Guide.

I'm not exactly sure why everyone recommend a cruise up the Bosphorus. I didn't find it any more interesting than the museum. And my ears got tired of the Audio Guide around all the "Summer Residences"!

After that we wandered the Spice Bazaar and then walked back to our area. We ended up stopping at the Best Western for a drink on their terrace to watch the sunset (and play with our new selfie stick). And ended up having a little dinner there too. Biggest starter plate of chips I've ever seen!

Thursday, April 02, 2015

20 October: Kusadasi to Istanbul

We got collected by our next tour guide at 9am. I think this lady was my least favourite. Wish we'd had the guy from yesterday again!

She first took us to Mary's Church (or House). I didn't really follow it all. It sounds like somewhere along the way Mary swapped Joseph for John the Baptist (or did Joseph die?) and ran off to Turkey to hide (and apparently died here).

I will say it is surreal and a little hard to follow the history which overlaps with names we're very familiar with (Cleopatra, people from the Bible etc.).

We whirled thru the 2 room house that was clearly a religious experience for others (Catholics I presume ... apparently all the Popes have been to visit too). I quite liked the jam-packed wishing wall. Did consider wishing for a girl - haha.

From there it was off to Ephesus for a long day. Shewee. It was pretty cool but, I could've done with more unguided wandering on my own. The problem is, as fascinating as all the history is (and parts of it really are!), t is all very overwhelming to absorb or contextualise there and then. Impossible, even. It's amazing to see that so long ago, the Romans were so advanced ... central heating, saunas, plumbing in the communal latrines.

We walked thru a special section of terraced housing which had incredible mosaics. It was truly amazing. As much as we know tho, it's still hard to picture or imagine living then!

We saw the ancient library, which was very cool. And the much larger theatre, which although it seats far more than the one at Heirapolis, wasn't nearly as impressive (I didn't think).

From Ephesus, we went for lunch. Seriously, THE BEST lunch we've had on this whole trip! Finally, no touristy buffet but a selection of local dishes. Manti and Gozleme were my faves.

From lunch we stopped briefly at the Temple of Artemis (one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World - probably the only thing impressive about it).

And then The Trucker and I decided to skip the leather & carpet sales-y portion of the day and got to spend an hour wandering the Kusadasi coast with a Starbucks caramel frappachino in hand instead. Yip, we totally scored on that one!

And then, at 5pm we left for the Izmir Airport to catch our flight back to Istanbul. We arrived back at the same hotel, checked in, got a different room and pretty much went to bed.

Wednesday, April 01, 2015

19 October: Pamukkale to Kusadasi

Our experience with the hotel (Hotel Koray) just deteriorated. And after we looked it up on Trip Advisor, we were amazed at how many of our complaints were the same as people had listed there!

The wifi signal was rubbish. After I was already in the shower, The Trucker had to go and find clean towels! The breakfast was the least impressive we've seen so far (except there was watermelon :) ). The owners (or managers ?) were also not very helpful.

We're actually a little confused right now as they seem to have us registered as Graziela Someone-or-other?! Our itinerary says we're where we should be. Perhaps Graziela booked for us, but none of it left us feeling overly confident about this place.

We're being collected for Heirapolis and Pamukkale tour at 11h30. And at some point after the tour we have another "approx 3hr" bus ride ... let's hope it's better than the last one!

While we were waiting, we took a stroll around the area surrounding the hotel. The town seems in terrible disrepair. I would not advise staying here.

Needless to say, everything worked out and improved exponentially as soon as our tour arrived to collect us.

Our guide for Pamukkale was great! And again, we met some interesting people, for the day. We headed to the top entrance of Heirapolis and took a wander thru the unexcavated town up to the theatre. Which took our breath away!

Wow. Seriously, wow. It was amazing. I was completely in awe. I do think it helped that we watched Spartacus earlier this year. It really made the experience more real, imagining the people who lived here and attended the theatre (which was used for gladiators and animal fights as well as plays and other things).

On our way down the hill, we saw the tomb of St Peter being excavated in the distance. And then we wandered down to Cleopatra's Pool. Which wasn't at all what I expected. We decided not to pay the 32Tl to swim there but, rather visited the museum in the old bath house and then went down to the actual pools and "swam" there.

It wasn't quite what I was expecting, but it was pretty cool. The calcium deposit is just a large clump in the middle of perfectly normal mountains. Reminded me a bit of the stretch of fake snow in Lesotho at Afriski! Haha.

They divert the water regularly to different pools to allow others to dry out and kill the algae. But the pools we could go to were quite shallow so the water had lost it's warmth. The real fun was sitting in the canal with the warm water rushing past you!

After that our tour drove us to Kusadasi, our next overnight stop. The hotel here, Hotel Sozer, is awesome, with a sea view! Which definitely makes up for the last one. Reminds me a little of our experience in Nah Trang.

We checked in and immediately headed to the stretch of restaurants along the coastal road. We (oddly) settled on a Chinese spot and had a very nice dinner. I had Chicken with Satay sauce and The Trucker had Sweet & Sour Beef.

After dinner we headed to the Doubletree where the people we'd met on the tour had promised to leave some of their famous chocolate chip cookies for us. The Trucker is such a sneak! Delish :)

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

18 October: Fethiye to Pamukkale

We were up before 8am, showered and had breakfast at the hotel before checking out. We left our luggage at reception and hopped on the scooter. Lots of exploring today!

By chance we passed the Lycian Tombs carved into the side of the mountain (in 350BC apparently!) (we had planned to find our way to them later in the day) and then continued on our way to Kaya Koy, the nearby ghost town.

What a gorgeous ride over the mountain thru pine forests (looked like Tokai forest!) ... although we were a little nervous about our scooter's ability on the steep uphills, we managed just fine.

Kaya Koy was pretty cool. Although, again, it's all Greek houses that were abandoned after the "swap" in the 1920s. What was amazing was going into one that had been preserved. Wow!

Read a little online about the whole swap. Sounds like it was all religious #sigh. People do dumb things in the name of religion. I mean who cares what someone else believes? Why do countries even have religions anyway? Should be down to personal choice. Also weird is to think that less than 100 years ago ... how few people were probably openly atheist? Frowned upon, I imagine. I find the whole religion thing quite surreal.

Then we headed back to Fethiye. Took a bit of a ride thru more suburban bits before taking the coastal road back to the city centre.

Stopped for BK for lunch haha. And then took a stroll along the harbour side. Such a nice walk. Although I did expect more in the way of beaches.

The Trucker decided he needed a beard trim at one of the many barber shops. It is quite amazing to watch these men, such a craft really. And you can't rush them!

And then we returned our scooter and collected our bus ticket and our laundry and returned to our hotel to wait for our transfer to the bus station at 4pm.

Our bus to Denizli left at 16h30 and our itinerary said it'd be an approx 3 hour trip. But I doubt it ever is ... ours took 4.5hrs. So instead of arriving at 19h30, in time to get some dinner, we arrived at 9pm.

And then struggled to find our hotel transfer. They said sorry, no one had phoned to confirm what time :/ Urgh, so we grabbed a quick toasted sarmie at the big Denizli Bus Station and then grabbed a local bus to Pamukkale.

We arrived at our hotel around 10pm.

Monday, March 30, 2015

The Final Countdown

Morning! Shew, that was likely the "last" weekend of "Just the 2 of us". Nope she still hasn't dropped. And it didn't really go as planned ...

On Thursday night we decided to try a new (for us) restaurant in Rosebank called Hashi. We've been slacking a lot and figured we should try cram in as much "Date nighting" as we could before The Arrival. OMG it was exactly what we needed. The food was incredible. Although we both completely over indulged. If you enjoy sushi I would highly recommend it! It's not the sort of place that would end up being my local, regular sushi spot, even if it were close enough because it's expensive and the portions are large, but for a treat it is perfect!

I wish I could remember all of what we ordered but even when it arrived we couldn't tell what was what so I can't even recommend my favourite dishes. But go, try it, it was delish!

On Friday, after working from home all day, I headed to the office for a good friend's farewell and The Trucker had gone to play cricket. There was also an office braai on the go so it seemed like a good opportunity to say goodbye to people as many seemed surprised that they wouldn't be seeing me a) for a very long time (maternity leave) and b) possibly ever again (moving to Cape Town). It turned out to be quite a nice evening and good to spend some time with everyone :)

I don't know what we thought we'd be spending the rest of the weekend doing ... I had a vague notion of cramming in as much "us" time as possible ... but doing what, who knew? It didn't happen that way. There were too many last minute things that needed to be done. The Trucker has spent the last 2 weekends fixing up little things at my old house so we can put it on the market. Damp proofing and painting was last weekend. This weekend was finishing the painting and putting new counter tops in the kitchen because we'd bought a built in oven-stove to replace the stand-alone one. He had guys come in to actually do most of the work, but needed to be over there to supervise most of the time.

Also, he'd hurt his back at cricket the night before so was pretty miserable and walking hunched over like an old man when he came home around 6pm.

We did see each other earlier than that ... he managed to pop out for a bit before lunch so we could go to Baby City. Here comes a disappointing story! Remember that awesome incredible amazing Baby Monitor we bought last November at the Baby Expo? The one we were so excited about?

Well, he tried to set it up last weekend. And very sadly it doesn't do what it says on the box :( We tried to get it to connect to our home wifi: nope. We tried to get our smart phones to connect to it from the spare room (4m away, maybe?): nope. Well, it'd work for about 10 seconds and then you'd lose connection and never seem to get it back. Pretty unreliable if you're hoping to monitor an actual child of yours. Luckily I'd kept the slip and the CPA says you have 6 months to return something that doesn't work as advertised (or something). So he'd taken it in during the week to get a refund so we could get the older (working) video-sound-movement monitor instead.

They kicked up a bit of a fuss but the manager of the store got the Area Manager on the phone and they issued the refund. So on Saturday we went to get the replacement and a few other things.

More disappointing is when I was sorting thru the nursery on Sunday afternoon (this is about as close as I get to nesting, I haven't been down on my knees scrubbing floors or anything - haha), I realised that they'd also sold us the large mattress instead of the standard for our cot (after he'd asked while we were there, able to show them exactly which cot we had bought) during our previous big shop there. So we have to now return that along with the linen (all still packed and with slips, I am getting good at keeping them!). AND we have to return the baby gate we bought on Saturday's shop (I know the babe won't need it yet, but it's more for the dog at this stage ...) because when he took it out of the box to set up, it's bent and physically the lock can now not even connect :/

I am a little over Baby City right now to be honest. In our 3 big shops with them, all where we've spent over R2500, we have to go back and return something. How freaking tedious!

On Saturday evening, we took it easy at home so The Trucker could rest his back. It's still not 100% today, but definitely a bit better.

On Sunday we headed to Salvation Cafe with friends ... gotta have that breakfast if we're cramming in our favourite things to do! And they spoilt us by buying us the base for our car seat! I am so thrilled ... we tried to put the car seat in for the first time on Saturday. Trying to strap the seat belt into all the right places in no easy feat and I can't imagine it'd be easier with a baby sitting in it either! I am sure it probably gets easier with practice, but now I, at least, won't have to worry.

From there is was grocery shopping and then home for a relaxing afternoon - The Trucker very much needed to rest!

Friday, March 27, 2015

Prayer for the Dead by James Oswald

The search for a missing journalist is called off as a body is found at the scene of a carefully staged murder.

In a sealed chamber, deep in the heart of Gilmerton Cove, a mysterious network of caves and passages sprawling beneath Edinburgh, the victim has undergone a macabre ritual of purification.

Inspector Tony McLean knew the dead man, and can't shake off the suspicion that there is far more to this case than meets the eye. The baffling lack of forensics at the crime scene seems impossible. But it is not the only thing about this case that McLean will find beyond belief.

Teamed with the most unlikely and unwelcome of allies, he must track down a killer driven by the darkest compulsions, who will answer only to a higher power.

This was a slow starter for me. Based on the title and the first murder, I began to worry it would have some serious religious overtones ... which put me off. Also I was reminded what a struggle it is to read a thick hard cover book. They are heavy! Haha.

But at some point, when I really gave it a chance, I was completely absorbed and in the end thoroughly enjoyed this story. I didn't guess whodunnit correctly, although there was a tie-in with a specific character I saw coming a mile off (I thought he'd done it).

I also quite enjoyed the character of Inspector McLean so I will look out for more from this series in future.


* This is one of my Featured Book Reviews, sponsored by Penguin Books.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Thanks for all the fish.

So just a quick update. Clearly The Littlest One won't be arriving today :) I feel like that at least alleviates some pressure off her future sibling from possibly being the only one in the family who is not born on the 26th of the month ... haha.

On Monday, The Trucker drove me to Sandton (to try and remove any traffic issues that could be affecting my blood pressure) and we had everything checked again. My blood pressure was still high (149, I think) and there was still no protein in my urine. The doc was happy that although it was high it seemed stable ... so we'd just check it again at my Wednesday appointment.

Yesterday my blood pressure was right down below 140 although there was a very minor trace of protein in my urine. So we got the all clear :) Seems likely the 2 days working from home definitely helped!

At the moment it's sounding likely that we'll make a call at next week's appointment and she may arrive next Thursday (SECOND of April - haha). She still hasn't dropped. I've read some stuff online from midwives about that not being a good reason for a caesar, but am trusting my doc. If they haven't dropped there is often a reason they haven't (cord too short, cord around the neck, hands in the way, forehead presenting) and I could try going into natural labour, but likely it will end with an emergency c-section and just cause additional stress to us both.

I have a week to get my head around the idea of a caesar. I know I have always maintained, whatever is best and safest for us both. But I clearly had definite leanings toward natural labour (with pain meds tho). The thing I like least about the idea of a caesar is she'll be out in 5 mins and then whisked off with Dad while I lie around on the table for another 45mins getting stitched up ... that's the longest we'll ever have been apart. I really liked that with natural labour she would come straight to me and for that first hour all three of us would be together bonding.

It probably sounds like such a ridiculous thing and I'm quite sure that even 6 months from now it will be the last thing I remember or care about ... so few moms (the ones I've chatted to about this) seem to remember much about the birth after their child has arrived because although it seems like the biggest deal right now (from where I am in the process), once the kiddie arrives, everything changes and is about them and those are your memories. Irrelevant how they arrived, all that matters is that they did.

So anyway, I've bumped up my leave. I officially only have 4 days left of work and I'll be working from home for all of them. So yesterday I went into the office and cleared out my desk and handed in my access card. It felt so weird. Peeps I've been working at this place for almost seven years (there was a lot to send for shredding that had been piling up in my drawers - haha). And after my maternity leave I won't be going back to the Joburg office (unless a lot changes in the next 6 months) because we'll be moving to Cape Town (!) and I'll be going back to work at the office there. Yikes. It all feels very peculiar, actually.

I am sure you can imagine, since my blog posts have already become fairly erratic (we don't do much anymore so there isn't that much to write about), I have no idea what'll happen to them after next week. I was hoping to finish up my Turkey posts before she arrived, but I think I'm about half way so I'm not even sure I'll get that done :( At this point I'm not committing to anything.

If you don't hear from me here for a while, I'm sure I'll be around with more byte-sized updates on Twitter & Instagram. Blogging has been fun and a much needed outlet, but I'm not sure yet if it's part of my future. Thanks for reading :)

Here's to a whole new phase!

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

17 October: St Nicholas Island to Fethiye

We had a slow start to the morning. After breakfast we left St Nicholas Island and took a 2hr trip to our next stop. OMG, I felt so awful! The boat was rocking dreadfully, I felt completely ill. But I survived ;)

We stopped in a little bay just before Fethiye, for one last swim and lunch.

This cruise was such a superb experience. We relaxed wonderfully ... which is usually quite tricky for me to actually do on holiday because I'm all about cramming in as much experience into the time as I can. I would highly recommend it. But, I'm not sure what it's like when it's "in season" ... we were the last cruise of the 2014 season.

And then, we were saying our goodbyes to the crew, our tourmates and the boat.

From there we headed to our hotel, Villa Daffodil, and showered and relaxed before heading into town to rent a scooter and find a laundry.

We also had a browse thru some of the shopping streets and shared a meatball kebap (yum!).

Woo! Being back on a scooter really made this feel like a holiday - haha. We rode along the coast, actually passing the bay we had stopped in for lunch.

After a nap back at the hotel, we headed to dinner at the top Fethiye restaurant on Trip Advisor, Mozaik Bahce. Of course there was a waiting list ... we'd completely forgotten it was a Friday night! Haha.

But it wasn't too long, soon we were eating red pepper bread (amaze) and I finally got to try Manti. Wow, that was absolutely delish!

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

16 October: Butterfly Valley to St Nicholas Island

Early this morning (about 4:30am apparently) the boat headed to our next stop, Butterfly Valley. We woke up at 8am just as we arrived. There was no one else around at all!

Unfortunately it was a very overcast morning but we still had a pretty awesome swim. And, actually, after I was out, I had the next exciting sighting of the trip, from on the boat (the viz was so good!). I watched a cuttlefish swimming about. Very cool!

After that we headed to another little beach where the group of doctors were hoping to go Paragliding. Unfortunately  for them, even tho we saw loads of people floating down from the mountain, their trip was cancelled due to wind.

We didn't stay too long and didn't even leave the boat to explore the busier-than-Butterfly-Valley beach.

From there we headed to our overnight stop at St Nicholas Island.

I was off the boat with the snorkelling gear (barely any working masks and only one snorkel!) almost immediately after lunch. Best stop so far!

So many fish. A sunken city (sort of). I saw 2 more eels, a school of about 8 little cuttlefish and 3 pufferfish. Also, sadly, plenty of litter.

By the time I headed back, The Trucker was over his need to relax (last night catching up with him - haha) and we headed out to snorkel together. After a Nutella Roti / Pancake from a sales-boat. We saw hardly anything! Very disappointing.

We relaxed a little more, the group of doctors got collected from our boat for their next stop and the rest of us headed up to explore St Nicholas Island's ruins just before sunset.

Monday, March 23, 2015

36 weeks, 3 days

Friday ended well with an awesome Baby Shower at the office! Wow, so much yummy food and friendly faces and did we ever get spoilt with more gifts!

So I left the office on quite a high. I decided to come home for a bit and revel in all the cute baby things and relax a little after driving thru the traffic before going to get my blood pressure re-checked at Olivedale.

Turns out they wouldn't check my blood pressure or urine protein at Olivedale Maternity-Labour ward. I was told to go to casualty. I found the whole experience quite awful and after wandering around there and seeing their Maternity & Labour ward I couldn't be happier that that is not my hospital! (Maybe it is because of their renovations, who knows?)

I did take a wander to their casualty ... but the place was full and I really had no desire to sit around actual sick people waiting for who knows how long. Fed up with the experience, I got back in my car and headed for Sandton where I felt instantly better. The place is lighter and feels more "in control", there were people to be seen on duty, I didn't have to hunt them down.

(photo: 16 weeks vs. 36 weeks)

They let me rest for a bit before taking my first reading. And then, because that was high, I waited again for a second reading. It was lower than the first but still higher than Wednesday :( On the plus side, there was no protein in my urine.

After a look on Google to try see how I can lower my blood pressure, I think I probably have Gestational Hypertension and not actually preeclampsia ... since I don't seem to have any other symptoms for it other than the high blood pressure.

The nurse phoned my gynae and I'll go get it checked again today. I really wasn't expecting it to be up again. I got home and bawled. I'm okay now, but it was a bit of an emotional weekend ...

We made home made pizzas and watched series and went to bed early.

On Saturday morning I had a very lazy time ... although The Trucker was up early. He had arranged to get some work done on my old house in preparation to sell it (painting, damp proofing, that sort of thing). I stayed home, read my book, watched some tv ... rested. Until about 1pm when I'd booked a hair appointment in anticipation of our Maternity Shoot later in the afternoon.

All was going well till about 15h30 when a crazy storm rolled in. Luckily we could move the shoot from the original location (James & Ethel Grey Park) to the studio nearby. I was a little disappointed that we couldn't get a nice natural outdoor shoot, but I wasn't going to take any chances by postponing it! I think the photos will still be great :) We had fun!

In the evening we watched Fury. Which was okay. I'm a bit over movies lately, to be honest.

On Sunday we had absolutely no plans so we had a lazy morning in bed and then met some friends at Blandford Manor for a late breakfast.

After that we took a drive so The Trucker could show me the progress on the house he is building. Wow. It is looking absolutely amazing! Unfortunately I wasn't feeling great after that so he dropped me back at home before going to do the grocery shopping.

I think I spent the rest of the day in bed dozing and reading my book. Probably just what my body needs! The thought of still being at work this week feels a little overwhelming right now, but thank goodness I get to do it from the comfort of my own home ... so less stress, more comfortable.

What happens next is anyone's guess!

Friday, March 20, 2015


Shew. So a bit of a weird week, really.

Tuesday marked One Month till The Littlest One's expected due date. Eep.

And then on Wednesday we had our next gynae appointment ... from now on they're weekly! And my blood pressure was up. Apparently that could be an indicator of preeclampsia so I've been told to work from home as much as I can and get my blood pressure and urine (for protein) checked again today and Monday before next Wednesday's gynae appointment.

What that really means is that she could be here A LOT sooner o_0 I am hoping it was a once off anomaly and today when I get it checked it'll have all gone back to normal. I'd really like her to stay put till 38 weeks (and more importantly till I have had a few days off work to just relax and settle my mind!).

The only real plus is that The Trucker and I have always joked that we wished her birthday could be the 26 March (careful what you wish for?) because he is on the 26 February and I'm on the 26 April. Haha. It would be kinda perfect. But not enough for me to be wishing it could happen now, for real! It feels way too soon.

The other thing we'll discover at the next gynae appointment is if she has "dropped" ... she still hasn't and apparently if she hasn't by 37 weeks, she is unlikely to. Apparently neither my sister or I dropped when my mom was pregnant with us. So that'll mean natural is not an option anymore.

While I'm pretty terrified of both options, I was really hoping for natural. But, will obviously go with whatever the safest option for us both is.

So, in light of all that, I packed my hospital bag this week too ... That's actually harder than it sounds because I'm still using so much that I'm supposed to pack. And a lot is "in case you need it" items ... but still, we're now packed, with a list of "grab before we go" items on the bag too (so we don't forget in the moment!).

And then, on some advice from friends who said "go out for as many dinners as you can", The Trucker and I tried a new spot last night. Our eating out has slowed down dramatically (I'm sure you've noticed). I just don't have the energy or inclination, honestly.

But decided as any night now could be "the last" before she arrives, we decided to try The Windjammer. It's big draw is the view from the deck, but there was a private function there so we just sat inside ... looking out over the petrol station o_0 It's a pretty weird choice of venue, I'll say. But at least the food was nice. I had no idea what I was in the mood for ... I'm avoiding all Indian and Mexican cause of the heartburn / reflux. But as soon as I saw the sole on their menu, I was sold ;) Haha.

Yum. I am not a big fan of fish generally ... I only really like salmon and sole. So this was a nice treat :) The malva pudding we shared for dessert was okay. Tasted a bit orange-y (?).

Anyhoo. Tomorrow is our Maternity photo shoot so I'm pretty excited for that ... and hoping the weather is nice :) And that the bambino stays put!

Thursday, March 19, 2015

15 October: Kas

Struggled to get up this morning. It was darker than I expected in our tiny cabin.

After breakfast we headed into Kas for a quick visit. It's such a quaint little town. First stop was coffee. The Trucker is struggling with the instant on the boat - haha. I tried "coffee with ice cream" but it wasn't quite the sort of iced coffee I'm used to.

After that we wandered around the town a little. It really is so quaint with so many little shops and restaurants!

Haven't bought a thing yet. Honestly I'm not sure this is going to be the holiday for it ... Haven't given ourselves much time. I think I might like some of those glass tea glasses tho ... and some apple tea. But not a single idea for anyone else gift-wise. It hardly even seems worth sending postcards what with the postal strike in SA.

We stopped for a waffle with ice cream and then headed back to the boat for lunch.

After lunch The Trucker headed off with the other South Africans for some scuba diving and the rest of us left the harbour in the boat.

I snorkelled off the boat for a while and there really wasn't anything worth mentioning. The highlight was seeing an eel swimming between rocks.

A while later the others showed up on a boat and scuba-ed not too far from us (They'd had to wait an hour and a half before they even left the harbour!). Apparently they saw 2 turtles but also very little else worth mentioning. I no longer feel like I missed out - haha.

Then we headed into another protected bay for the night. We had a rousing game of 30 Seconds. I went to bed at about 10pm but barely slept because The Trucker & the others stayed up being noisy and playing drinking games for another 3 hours. Pfft. Boys o_0

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