Friday, January 30, 2015

The Face of Deception by Iris Johansen

An unidentified skull...

A trail of terrifying secrets...

And a woman whose talented hands could reveal the shocking truth...

As a forensic sculptor, Eve Duncan helps identify the dead from their skulls. Her own daughter murdered and her body never found, the job is Eve's way of coming to terms with her personal nightmare. But more terror lies ahead when she accepts work from billionaire John Logan.

Beneath her gifted hands a face emerges from the skull he has given her to reconstruct—a face no one was ever meant to see. Now Eve is trapped in a frightening web of murder and deceit. Powerful enemies are determined to cover up the truth, and they will make certain that truth goes to the grave...even if Eve gets buried with it.

I can't remember exactly how I heard about the Eve Duncan series, but I added it to my list and gave the first book a whirl. Aside from a bit of a dodgy Kindle copy (occasionally I lost the end of a sentence? Luckily it didn't detract from the story as a whole), I am hooked enough to give the next in the series a read. It feels a little like it might follow the Eve Dallas "cop meets, then marries wealthy guy" theme, but we'll see how that pans out. I'm also nervous about the whole "getting advice from her missing/dead daughter" in her dreams thing ... but for now I can look past it ;)

Also, so far I like the character of Eve less than Diane Fallon, but here is hoping she doesn't spend every story getting attacked for her role in crime-solving (I'm not betting on it tho).

* These books are part of the Eve Duncan series: The Face Of Deception (1998), The Killing Game (1999), The Search (2000), Body of Lies (2002), Dead Aim (2002), Blind Alley (2004), Countdown (2005), Stalemate (2006), Quicksand (2008), Blood Game (2009), Eight Days To Live (2010), Chasing The Night (2010), Sleep No More (2012), Taking Eve (2013), Hunting Eve (2013), Silencing Eve (2013)

Curtsies & Conspiracies by Gail Carriger

Sophronia's first year at Mademoiselle Geraldine's Finishing Academy for Young Ladies of Quality has certainly been rousing! For one thing, finishing school is training her to be a spy - won't Mumsy be surprised? Furthermore, Sophronia got mixed up in an intrigue over a stolen device and had a cheese pie thrown at her in a most horrid display of poor manners.

Now, as she sneaks around the dirigible school, eavesdropping on the teachers' quarters and making clandestine climbs to the ship's boiler room, she learns that there may be more to a field trip to London than is apparent at first. A conspiracy is afoot--one with dire implications for both supernaturals and humans. Sophronia must rely on her training to discover who is behind the dangerous plot-and survive the London Season with a full dance card.

In this sequel to New York Times bestselling Etiquette & Espionage, class is back in session with more petticoats and poison, tea trays and treason. Gail's distinctive voice, signature humor, and lush steampunk setting are sure to be the height of fashion this season.

So, it wasn't as good as the first one, I suspect because I now had an expectation. But it was still completely enjoyable and I'd definitely recommend it. I really enjoy the characters :) So I'm a little sad there is only one left in the series before I'm all caught up. But apparently the 4th book is expected sometime this year :)

* These books are part of the Finishing School series: Etiquette & Espionage (2013), Curtsies & Conspiracies (2013), Waistcoats & Weaponry (2014)

Thursday, January 29, 2015

A Goodie Bag from Sunstar GUM

So a little while ago I got an offer for an Oral Care Sample pack from Sunstar GUM to celebrate National Fresh Breath Week in South Africa (2 to 9 February < that's next week, folks) and it arrived this week. I'd never heard of them before ... and honestly, ordinarily I wouldn't have looked twice. But one of the pregnancy side-effects I am having is that I have noticed some blood when I brush my teeth. Aside from a pink tint when I spit out the toothpaste tho, there is nothing else wrong with my teeth. At the ripe old age of almost 35, I still have yet to have a single filling.

So generally I feel like I have teeth in very good condition although I know I don't take care of them as well as I should ... complacency, no doubt. So when this offer came up I jumped at the chance and was completely blown away by what I received!

There were things in there I'd never heard of or used before! The things that got me most excited, which I used last night, were the Sunstar GUM Red-Cote Disclosing Tablets (R39.95). You chew on them for 30 seconds and then rinse your mouth and it stains all the plaque on your teeth in red!

There are tons of tablets in the little pack, but I love it for the novelty! And I think it must be great when you're trying to teach kids about their teeth and why they need to brush them. The Trucker said he used them when he was a kid so he was less excited by the discovery than I was ;)

The other thing I've immediately added to our basin shelf is the packet of Easy Flossers (R39.95 for 30). I hate flossing my teeth but these are perfect. Next I'll give the Flosbrush Automatic (R84.95) and the Tongue Cleaner (R39.95) a try tho!

There are so many other little things to try ... some of which I'm not even entirely sure when or what to use them for (things like Soft-Picks?). But big thanks to Sunstar GUM for the opportunity to try them all and learn something new about oral care!

The other awesome thing they're doing is running a Kiss-O-Meter Challenge from 01 February. You have to answer an oral care quiz and (here's the important part) for every person who takes the challenge, Sunstar GUM will donate a toothbrush to The Toothfairies working at the Red Cross War Memorial Children's Hospital. I didn't even know this initiative existed, but I think it's an awesome one to support!

* You can purchase Sunstar GUM products from dentists, Dischem, selected Pick 'n Pay, Clicks and other pharmacies.
You can also enter to win a fresh breath tool-kit from Sunstar GUM worth over R500 on Health 24.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

28 weeks, 5 days

Mkay, so you might've noticed I haven't included a fruit/veg size comparison in this update. It's because nothing seems to agree! My What-To-Expect app says she's a cauliflower ... which the size-chart I'd been using previously says she was on Week 25 o_0 I don't really know how there is no consistency. There was in the beginning. So now I give up. I'm pretty sure she's over a kilo now tho, since she was 914g at the previous scan and apparently she grows 200g a week now! Gotta triple that weight before birth, you know? Unfortunately, I don't know where she is going to go! I already feel huge!

I started taking "bump" photos at 16 weeks and we do one every 4 weeks ... shewee, can not believe the change! It's not as noticeable when you're living with it day-to-day!

Yesterday we had the 4D scan. Again I was a little nervous because she had a rather quiet weekend ... I supposed because we were so busy. And mostly I feel her when I'm lying on the couch watching TV or in bed while reading ... and there wasn't much of that on the weekend. Yesterday, thankfully she was back to normal and even put on a show while I was in the bath. It's still super weird watching my tummy move around. Haha.

The Trucker seems to have lost a little interest cause she stops whenever I tell him to come watch. Typical. But he really seemed elated by the 4D scan. It's quite incredible! And we did get some decent face shots! Her head is on the opposite side from our last scan and she was no longer spine-forward :) And she was wriggling about ... none of which I could feel. Which also made me feel better. Cause it means that just cause I can't feel her all the time doesn't mean she's not mobile in there.

The other good news is that the cord isn't around her neck. Which is all the gynae said the 4D scan might show that she couldn't see yet ...

I can't remember if there was anything else to update ... the 4D scan kinda overshadows everything else - haha.

Oh yes, we saw the lawyer last week. Absolutely worth the peace of mind, I'd say :) We used BKM in Rosebank because I work with one of the partner's sons. The bit that impressed me most was that the lawyer we met with has a child with another lawyer and they've also decided not to marry. And I agree, if anyone would know if there were legal implications of raising a child with your partner, without being married, it'd be them :) And, in spite of ALL the people telling me that so-and-so-that-they-know just got legally married quickly beforehand, to make it easier when they had the kid, there really is no legal need or benefit to do it. We will likely have to meet with a Tax lawyer next to discuss how best to structure our wills and stuff. It was kinda terrifying knowing how many of my friends with kids don't have wills ... your money just goes into a guardianship fund run by the government and only becomes available when the child turns 21. And apparently by then the money has often been lost or forgotten. Scary stuff, especially since this apparently happens *even if* you have a will and leave everything to your child (a minor). I definitely wouldn't trust the government with my child's inheritance!

What else? Oh yes, we've booked ourselves in for an Infant CPR course, run by a neonatal ICU nurse. Am really looking forward to that cause I haven't done any first aid or CPR training before. Am also a little nervous since then you likely become hyper-aware of all the things that can go wrong ... but I'd rather be prepared!

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Long Weekend Bliss

Shew. A 4-day weekend was JUST what I needed. Of course tho, I didn't get a bunch of stuff I thought I would done ... of course. But the break from the office was important. My head is so not in the right place these days. And basically I have 2 months & 1 week till my maternity leave kicks in. It's hard to focus on the day-to-day dramas.

So anyway, on Friday we were up at regular work time (OMG I hope it was just because it was overcast this morning that it's already not light when I have to get out of bed ... so depressing!) to collect The High Life and his boyf at 6:30am and head out to Sun City!

We had a weekend at Black Rhino in Pilanesberg with them planned (with The High Life's family) so we thought we'd start a little earlier and have a day at the (fake) beach :)

It was a fabulous morning. A quick stop for breakfast at the Harties Wimpy and then some paddling at the very quiet beach. The boys had fun on the slides and I found a shady spot to relax. It was pretty quiet when we arrived (bliss!) since the schools only went back this week ... but we were quite surprised at how it filled up. Nothing even close to full by normal weekend standards, but definitely more than I was expecting. Still. It was a great way to spend the morning, sipping on virgin daiquiris.

We had a quick lunch before we met up with the rest of the group and followed them to Black Rhino. We stayed in a private lodge, their friends have fractional ownership and get to use it for 4 weeks of the year. It's a pretty awesome set up. One main house with the kitchen and entertainment areas, a pool and jacuzzi (which wasn't working) and then 4 chalets with huge en suite bathrooms and outdoor showers. All this with your own private game ranger to take you on game drives whenever you want.

We had an amazing time, saw some awesome game and ate delish food (self catered).

Game-wise we had an awesome time with a little Ellie and got to see 3 male Lions with a kill (it has been years since I've seen that!). And then my absolute favourite was a playful little Rhino. Usually Rhino "babies" leave their mom's when the new baby is about to be born, apparently. But we cam across a mom with an older baby and then a little baby ... obviously the older one never got the memo that it was time to go out on his own. And the little one was having an absolute ball playing with him. Will try get some video because it was honestly to incredible to watch! We sat for ages with them.

And, although that wasn't everything, those were the highlights.

I was pretty exhausted (it may have been the heat) and snoozed a lot of the time when we weren't on game drives or eating.

On Sunday we left just before 11am and got home and slept some more. In the evening we went back to The High Life's folks house for a last braai before they flew home yesterday ... well, they were supposed to, but that little weather issue in New York seems to have grounded them here a while longer.

On Monday I had a super lazy day. I read my book, had breakfast and then headed to Sorbet for a Power Hour Pedicure before getting my hair cut. Yes, I needed a pamper day :) I had grand intentions for the rest of the day, but honestly, the heat floored me and I didn't do much else aside from walk Pepper and make dinner.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

The Night Killer by Beverly Connor

Forensic investigator Diane Fallon fights for her life in her eighth mystery.

Diane is driving through a downpour on a windy mountain road after picking up a set of rare Indian artifacts when a tree suddenly slams across the hood of her car, revealing a human skeleton in its hollow trunk.

As she starts to investigate, she's ambushed by a stranger and forced to run for her life. Stranded in the night with a killer, Diane must uncover a secret hidden away by time and distance-or she may not live to see another morning ...

Again, I enjoyed this one. I like the series but I suspect it is getting a little formulaic. Every one I read has the lead character ending up personally embroiled and attacked in some way ... which I suspect is not how it happens in real life at all, ever.

That said I still enjoy the characters and will keep reading.

Monday, January 19, 2015


Ah, the weekend. I definitely need more of those. I am struggling to find the motivation to come to work these days ... at least I have another 2 4-day weeks in a row :D Yip we're going away this weekend with The High Life (who is out visiting from Bermuda) and his family.

This weekend was good. I definitely have lost interest in doing too much! So on Friday we did nothing: stayed in, ordered take-out (Nandos) and watched Birdman. I'd heard it was brilliant. It wasn't. It was boring. It felt like a Woody Allen movie ... something that was taking itself far too seriously but didn't really go anywhere. Yawn. Although these days that probably means it'll win a ton of awards. Michael Keaton also seemed to be playing a role written for Bill Murray.

Anyhoo. On Saturday we had a lazy morning and then headed to Smile to try it out (I was thinking of it as an alternative to Papachinos as a possible Baby Shower venue ... since it is new and has a pretty cool kiddies area). My meal was delish, but the service was pretty erratic. And the menu is fairly small. The play area looks like fun, but it wasn't easy to see from all the tables.

After that we did a few random errands that didn't really amount to much (nursery related). And then when we got home The Trucker mowed the lawn - the grass grows so fast in summer!

In the evening we headed to Col'Cacchio with friends for dinner. Wonderful evening.

On Sunday we woke up to a very overcast morning and took Pepper out to Walkhaven. Awe she absolutely loved it! And then we got the grocery shopping done and The Trucker went to play cricket while I relaxed for the afternoon. The lazy has set in big time! I am justifying it as there will not be much time for lazy in a few months!

Then when The Trucker got home he made us zucchini noodles with a tomato & bacon sauce. OMG. It was so good. We'd bought ourselves a julienne peeler in the morning's grocery shop ... we lucked out and found one at Verimark for a mere R20 (I thought they must've listed the price wrong!). All in all, a meal we will definitely be making again :)

Friday, January 16, 2015

27 weeks

So we had another scan on Wednesday :) All is going well. I feel like I should actually mention how awesome this whole pregnancy thing has been a bit here ... I feel like I'm only really saying anything when I have an occasional symptom / side effect.

So, in case you were wondering, it has been awesome. It is awesome. Not having had any nausea and even the few symptoms I've had haven't lasted very long. The sheer exhaustion only lasted about 2 weeks in the very beginning. I haven't had a sip of Gaviscon in ... okay I can't remember when I last did (I needed it for about a week on and off). I had that tendon pain for 24 hours. I had some lower back pain in early to mid December. And that, really, is that.

It's awesome being pregnant. Well, it feels the same as not being pregnant mostly. Aside from this huge bump ... which I LOVE. I know, how can you love a bump? It feels amazing. I have no idea why. But it is awesome to just stare at in the mirror and to rub (like a self soothing). It is quite something to celebrate being bigger. And I think it looks fantastic. Okay, so my boobs have not gotten any bigger ... which I was sorta hoping for, but hey, I haven't had to spend money on new underwear either :)

And, I can categorically say that it is so SO so much better now that she is kicking. I got a bit nervy there, worrying about it, but all that has stopped. She kicks fabulously and it is such fun. I find myself staying awake at night to "play" (feel) her. The Trucker has felt her quite a few times since ... although I think he is actually a bit bored with it now, haha.

So yeah, the latest scan wasn't anything very impressive. She is lying horizontally across my middle with her back/spine facing out ... hope she turns before our 4D scan at the end of January!

Her current estimated weight is a whopping (?) 914g ... apparently that puts her in the 40th percentile (or something). So yeah, from here it's mostly just packing on weight for her. Eep.

And then we made 5 gynae appointment bookings before we left o_0 It's kinda mind-boggling. We went from monthly ... now our next will be in 3 weeks, then every 2 weeks in February and every week from mid-March. Can not even begin to think how much that'll add up to o_0 $$$

And then she'll be here ... I've put in my intended maternity leave (assuming she's not too early). That was weird! Haha.

We're no closer on her name, although the giant sheet of paper on her bedroom door has quite a few ideas. We're still waiting on the shelves for the garage before we can start really clearing out her room (fingers crossed that will all come together in Feb!). We still want to meet with a Family Lawyer and update our wills. We've booked our Antenatal classes (we start in Feb). I think that's everything ... it's feeling a bit like it's really going to be a speedy downward slide from here. A little terrifying since this is such a nice phase. Haha.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Curse of the Spellmans by Lisa Lutz


Their first caper, The Spellman Files, was a New York Times bestseller and earned comparisons to the books of Carl Hiaasen and Janet Evanovich. Now the Spellmans, a highly functioning yet supremely dysfunctional family of private investigators, return in a sidesplittingly funny story of suspicion, surveillance, and surprise.

When Izzy Spellman, PI, is arrested for the fourth time in three months, she writes it off as a job hazard. She's been (obsessively) keeping surveillance on a suspicious next door neighbor (suspect's name: John Brown), convinced he's up to no good - even if her parents (the management at Spellman Investigations) are not.

When the (displeased) management refuses to bail Izzy out, it is Morty, Izzy's octogenarian lawyer, who comes to her rescue. But before he can build a defense, he has to know the facts. Over weak coffee and diner sandwiches, Izzy unveils the whole truth and nothing but the truth - as only she, a thirty-year-old licensed professional, can.

When not compiling Suspicious Behavior Reports on all her family members, staking out her neighbor, or trying to keep her sister, Rae, from stalking her "best friend," Inspector Henry Stone, Izzy has been busy attempting to apprehend the copycat vandal whose attacks on Mrs. Chandler's holiday lawn tableaux perfectly and eerily match a series of crimes from 1991-92, when Izzy and her best friend, Petra, happened to be at their most rebellious and delinquent. As Curse of the Spellmans unfolds, it's clear that Morty may be on retainer, but Izzy is still very much on the, cases - her own and that of every other Spellman family member.

(Re)meet the Spellmans, a family in which eavesdropping is a mandatory skill, locks are meant to be picked, past missteps are never forgotten, and blackmail is the preferred form of negotiation - all in the name of unconditional love.

Ah, just an awesome confirmation that I love this series and style. It's such a fun, easy and enjoyable read with great characters ... although the "twist" was very predictable (without detracting from the general enjoyment of the storytelling).

* These books are part of The Spellmans series: The Spellman Files (2007), Curse of the Spellmans (2008), Revenge of the Spellmans (2009), The Spellmans Strike Again (2010), Trail of the Spellmans (2012), The Last Word (2013)

The Years of Rice and Salt by Kim Stanley Robinson

It is the fourteenth century and one of the most apocalyptic events in human history is set to occur: the coming of the Black Death. History teaches us that a third of Europe's population was destroyed. But what if? What if the plague killed 99 percent of the population instead? How would the world have changed? This is a look at the history that could have been - a history that stretches across centuries, a history that sees dynasties and nations rise and crumble, a history that spans horrible famine and magnificent innovation. These are the years of rice and salt.

This is a universe where the first ship to reach the New World travels across the Pacific Ocean from China and colonization spreads from west to east. This is a universe where the Industrial Revolution is triggered by the world's greatest scientific minds - in India. This is a universe where Buddhism and Islam are the most influential and practised religions and Christianity is merely a historical footnote.

Through the eyes of soldiers and kings, explorers and philosophers, slaves and scholars, Robinson renders an immensely rich tapestry. Rewriting history and probing the most profound questions as only he can, Robinson shines his extraordinary light on the place of religion, culture, power, and even love on such an Earth. From the steppes of Asia to the shores of the Western Hemisphere, from the age of Akbar to the present and beyond, here is the stunning story of the creation of a new world.

So I *really* don't like to quit reading books half way thru. I knew this was a long one and was really looking forward to reading it. Such an interesting idea, what if history had veered off down a different path, one specifically affecting the continent I live on ...

I got about 16% of the way thru (according to my Kindle). And then I stopped. I just could not get into it. The style never felt easy. I almost gave up sooner, but I persevered, thinking it may come together. But it never clicked with me. I am glad that the last lines of each chapter eventually stopped telling me to read the next chapter (so weird!). And in the time I was reading there was only a vague hint of  the alternate history. And it seemed to hinge too much on the Buddhist concept of reincarnation ... the same people repeating in different story lines (I think I got to the 3rd mini story before giving up).

Nope. This one was not for me. I prefer to look forward to picking up my book for some absorbing escapism ... not tedious concentration (unless it is really interesting).

Monday, January 12, 2015

Back to the five day weeks...

Shew. It is always surprising to me how quickly a holiday becomes a very distant memory when you get back into the routine of regular life. I know, this year is not really going to be the year for regular life in the grand scheme of things, but for now, it still is the same day-to-day back at work.

The weekend was mostly good. Aside from a very annoying and painful (and presumably) pregnancy side ,that I'll tell you about in the next preggie update, which lasted from Friday evening to Sunday morning. It did rather put a damper on my mood.

That was after The Trucker & I took Peps for her afternoon walk at Golden Harvest where something peculiar was on the go apparently (we didn't see anything but heard from other dog walkers as we arrived). And we heard a horror story of how one of the little old ladies I bump into while walking often had been attacked there on New Years Morning. Can't find news reports on either incident ... So now The Trucker won't let me walk Pepper there anymore :( Such a pity because she loves it so! It's the only place during the week I can take her and let her off her lead and really let her run around.

But the good things were a surprise dinner on Friday eve with the ex-Housemate (up for the weekend for a visit from Cape Town) and CollegeInstructor at Let's Meat. Very cool to catch up again :) I went for the Surf & Turf again but didn't think it was as good as the last time I had it ...

On Saturday, The Trucker and I got our grocery shopping out the way for the weekend. Because on Sunday he had 2 cricket games scheduled and I definitely had a do nothing day planned (recapture the holiday!)!

That was pretty exhausting and we napped when we got home. And then he woke me to go to a braai with friends. I was definitely feeling very grumpy-pants by this point, but it turned out to be a really nice afternoon/evening. Luckily it wasn't a late evening and we headed home around 19h30 and I climbed straight into the bath!

Luckily, when I woke up on Sunday morning I was feeling much better :) So I spent a very lazy morning at home reading and not getting out of bed till late and then just relocating to the garden. A leisurely breakfast at home. Eventually The Trucker came home at about 2pm (ish) and we had lunch. He was quite exhausted so we had a lazy afternoon and then watched American Sniper in the evening.

I dunno what I thought of the movie, really. The Trucker recently read the book, which is why he was super keen to see the movie. As war movies go, I think it's pretty good. I'm glad I don't have to deal with a partner going off to war. I think it must be very hard to deal with and understand what makes them keep going back when it seems obvious their loyalty should be to their family, but they feel a stronger sort of loyalty to protect their country. Nope, I don't really understand that at all.

I found the ending terribly sad as well. So unnecessary.

Friday, January 09, 2015

Sleep Donation by Karen Russell

From the author of the New York Times bestseller Swamplandia!, and finalist for the Pulitzer Prize, an imaginative and haunting novella about an insomnia epidemic set in the near future.

A crisis has swept America. Hundreds of thousands have lost the ability to sleep. Enter the Slumber Corps, an organization that urges healthy dreamers to donate sleep to an insomniac. Under the wealthy and enigmatic Storch brothers the Corps' reach has grown, with outposts in every major US city. Trish Edgewater, whose sister Dori was one of the first victims of the lethal insomnia, has spent the past seven years recruiting for the Corps. But Trish’s faith in the organization and in her own motives begins to falter when she is confronted by "Baby A", the first universal sleep donor, and the mysterious "Donor Y".

Sleep Donation explores a world facing the end of sleep as we know it, where “Night Worlds” offer black market remedies to the desperate and sleep deprived, and where even the act of making a gift is not as simple as it appears.

It sounded like an interesting read ... I was expecting something like The Program or the Last Survivors series. It was not. I did not get this book at all.

Maybe it's just me, but there were a lot of wishy washy bits that I had no idea what they had to do with the storyline. And don't get me started on the ending (did the publisher lose the last few chapters?). The book starts with an interesting idea, but really does not deliver. I would not recommend reading this.

Wednesday, January 07, 2015

25 weeks, 5 days

So here's a quick preggie update. I can NOT wait for our next scan (in a week). This lengthy break since our last scan due to the Xmas break is torture!

Generally, I haven't worried too much about The Littlest One, but it always seems to kick in, in the last week before a scan. I guess since it's really the longest time since we last saw her and made sure everything was okay.

This time it's worse than ever! I was getting super nervous about the lack of kicking before we went away. I tried to go for an NST (non-stress test) but they (Olivedale) advised against it before my third trimester. I was 23 weeks then and super nervous about no sure signs of kicking ... they said that there was no guarantee they could pick up the heart beat so it would likely have ended up just worrying me more o_0

Luckily that has stopped worrying me ... turns out she has been kicking for a while. But I only realised at 25 weeks (last Friday) because The Trucker managed to feel her kick too! OMG that was amazing, to watch the expression on his face <3 And that was when I realised that that feeling was actually her kicking :D Yeah, yeah, it really does feel like a muscle twitch / bubble burst ... once you *know*.

I've been dying for her to start moving. I thought that would alleviate the worry ... I was wrong o_0 Gah. This parenting lark is not for sissies. Now I am more worried, constantly wondering if she's kicking enough or when last I felt her etc. etc. And she seems to only wake up and show it early in the mornings and in the evenings. So I don't seem to feel her during the day at all.

And I only feel her in very specific places ... based on my guess she doesn't seem to have moved much, I'm pretty sure it's only her feet kicking I can feel, no extra arm movements. Plus I still haven't figured out how to trigger her to move ... except that it most often happens when I lie on my sides (I presume then I'm squishing her?).

Urgh. The worst part is knowing a friend of mine picked up an issue and had her baby premature because of the lack of kicking (okay it was at about 30 weeks?). And then
yesterday, someone at work told me how a friend of hers had her baby in the last few days at 25 weeks (800g) ... I AM 25 weeks! I am trying not to think about this and just hold on till next Wednesday without panicking too much.

After the next scan I think they start to get more frequent ... from February I think I'll be going every 2 weeks. And we have the 4D scan at the end of January too :) This little bun needs to stay put, her nursery is still just a vague intention - haha!

Aside from that, other regular symptoms seem to have crept in. I bought my first bottle of Gaviscon. It took about 3 days before I realised what I was feeling was heart burn (since I've never had it really before). Luckily I've only had it fairly mildly (I think?) and a couple of times since then. It's more just a discomfort.

And she (my belly) is starting to feel really heavy! I was struggling with back ache so we bought a support band. So far it does seem to have helped (I only really wear it when I'm wearing a dress which has no support). But lying down is really best. Also sleeping on all the foreign beds (at The Trucker's mom & mine) during the holidays didn't help either!

Oh yes, and the first Baby Shower invites went out last Friday :D I am having an early one in Cape Town in February, which my sister, one of my girl-cousins and mom are organising. I swear, flying is uncomfortable ... No more of that! (aside from this last already-booked flight, obvs). At the end of this month I'll send out the invites to my Joburg one.

I swear, people find it so weird that I'm organising my own one ... I don't have family here and it's not like a wedding where you choose bridesmaids who know the position comes with a specific role. I feel too weird asking my friends (since there are so many different groups). Plus it's not going to be anything fancy. I'll adapt the invite that has already been made and book somewhere for brunch. Maybe I'll even blow up a balloon or two ;) Haha. Perhaps there'll be cupcakes. I'm so not into the whole games and dress-up idea! I just want a nice time with my friends :)

Tuesday, January 06, 2015

Xmas 2014

Well hello there 2015! Shew.

In case you were wondering, yes the mild panic and realisation that we have only a mere (approx) 3 months left before The Littlest One arrives has set in. We could remain in denial right up until we got home from our holiday on Sunday ... now, not so much.

So the break and holiday was good. Busy, but good. We had a lovely time visiting The Trucker's Mom with his sister and niece for Xmas Eve and Xmas Day (that seems like forever ago!). And then we flew to Cape Town on Boxing Day and jam-packed a lot of family time and visiting friends!

We tried some new restaurants. First up was the new Honest Chocolate Cafe for brunch. While I definitely recommend popping in, I'd say rather save this for an afternoon tea than a brunch. It's a bit much chocolate first thing in the morning! 3 of us shared a Banana Bread Bunny Chow and a Chocolate Nachos. The Bunny Chow was definitely the favourite.

And we did a long lazy lunch at Cosecha (which I booked after reading this review :) ). It was awesome and I highly recommend it. It's a gorgeous setting and the food was yummy.

As usual, I read a bunch of JD Robb books :D

There was lots else, of course, like our most used Xmas pressies (so far): my Zoku Fish Slow-Pop Freezer Mould (yes, I asked for this specifically and which we've discovered works brilliantly with Sir Juice ... I highly recommend this for surviving summer!) and the money we got that we bought a blow up pool with on Sunday after arriving back to the Jozi heat. Winning.

Right now tho, I need to dive into my inbox since everyone else got back yesterday (I couldn't face starting with a 5-day week!).

* These books are part of the In Death series: Naked in Death (1995), Glory in Death (1995), Immortal in Death (1996), Rapture in Death (1996), Ceremony in Death (1997), Vengeance in Death (1997), Holiday in Death (1998), ~Midnight in Death (1998), Conspiracy in Death (1999), Loyalty in Death (1999), Witness in Death (2000), Judgment in Death (2000), Betrayal in Death (2001), ~Interlude in Death (2001), Seduction in Death (2001), Reunion in Death (2002), Purity in Death (2002), Portrait in Death (2003), Imitation in Death (2003), Divided in Death (2004), Visions in Death (2004), Survivor in Death (2005), Origin in Death (2005), Memory in Death (2006), ~Haunted in Death (2006), Born in Death (2006), Innocent in Death (2007), Creation in Death (2007), ~Eternity in Death (2007), Strangers in Death (2008), Salvation in Death (2008), ~Ritual in Death (2008), Promises in Death (2009), Kindred in Death (2009), ~Missing in Death (2009), Fantasy in Death (2010), Indulgence in Death (2010), ~Possession in Death (2010), Treachery in Death (2011), New York to Dallas (2011), ~Chaos in Death (2011), Celebrity in Death (2012), Delusion in Death (2012), Calculated in Death (2013), Thankless in Death (2013), ~Taken in Death (2013), Concealed in Death (2014), Festive in Death (2014) ~ included in Anthologies

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