Saturday, April 30, 2011

The voyage

Oliver is 17 weeks today! Weaning is going very well he seems to like everything so far and it's really enjoying the whole process. In fact he's sleeping much better, no more noise at night so I think he was hungry!

Last night we went all out for an early dinner. We sat Oliver on the high-chair in the restaurant (padded with our sling! We had forgotten the stroller!)

And then a song played on the radio in the background. I wasn't paying attention really, I've always found it difficult to listen to lyrics (unless for some reason someone tells me to do so!) but Mike started singing along and said "Are you listening?". So I tuned in. It was an Irish singer (Christy Moore) who I actually really like. The song is called "The Voyage" and the lyrics are amazing (now that I listen!). The chorus goes:

Life is an ocean and love is a boat
in troubled water that keeps us afloat
when we started the voyage, there was just me and you
now gathered round us we have our own crew

Needless to say I teared up! If you have time, listen to it too. If you are there in your journey I'm sure it'll talk to you too. If you are not, know that your journey is not over.

And last night we found each other again.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Blog restyle, ICLW system, Attic and mojo

Do you like my new blog look? I do! I think it looks fresh and here Spring is in the air!! Though today is a bit wet, but hey it's Ireland and we had incredible weather for so long! Come to think of may have been our summer...Anyway, I realised I missed my second blogversary (April 9th) so I decided to give it a facelift and to add a thingy on the sidebar which hopefully will remind me next year.

I'm really working hard this time at ICLW. I feel I have not participated for so long I owe to the community to do my best to comment on every blog in the list. So I have a system. I started from the top and the only blogs I have not commented on are those that at the time of me reading them had not posted since the ICLW week started. You have to have a screening method or with 179 blogs on the list you'll never manage. Anyway, with two and half days to go I'm at number 90. And this is on top of my normal commenting which has also taken a turn for the better as I want to make sure I return the love and support to all of you knowing I've not been the best since Oliver arrival. And I don't want to be one of those bloggers that disappears once their miracle arrives.

And no floor went down in the attic. More preparation took place though and more defects have been discovered. So new email to the architect who will recall the builder who will come and fix it...

Finally my mojo is no where to be found. I feel as attractive as a plastic bag... not sure when this started, maybe a few weeks ago, my period is attempting to normalise but not quite there yet. I bleed for a few days, then it stops and then it's back for a couple of days only a day later. I wonder if the hormones are doing the same and upsetting my normal self so much. So it's not fun for Mike. But what can I do? It's not the baby at all, it's just my body that's upsetting my sexuality. Can't seem to shift the weight, my boobs could do with a boob job and overall I'm just flabby. Maybe it's because I've always felt very comfortable with how I looked that now that I'm not, I can't possibly see how Mike may still find me attractive. Still all worth it when I compare it with what I gained in my life, but it would be nice to get a bit of horniness back...

Sunday, April 24, 2011

16 weeks, Christening and Easter!

Happy Easter everyone!

My little one was 16 weeks yesterday and the Christening went very well! All of Mike's family joined us with his sister and BIL being God-parents. The ceremony on Ester Vigil was beautiful, and Oliver wore the Christening robe that Mike wore at his! Now, not my style at all but I understand traditions! Here's a pic from last night (do you see how blue his eyes still are?)

As milestones go, Oliver is now a pro at lifting his head when on his tummy! Wohoo! Still not really liking it but not crying as much. And he's definitely attempting to roll over (onto his right side) which causes major migrations in his crib and then he gets stuck quite often sideways. Quite funny to see! He's a big smiler and very chatty too! He's very interested in his toys and we think he's now intentionally grabbing things too (like my hair for example). He loves his baby rice and next week we'll start introducing sweet potatoes and then apples. One thing is that he's waking up much earlier these days, not really hungry I think, just bored to be in his crib (or stuck with his head on the side of the crib!)

And mommy yesterday had a pampering massage which was a gift of the Ultimate Vet Hero! She got one too and we had a lovely time together. Today will be a quiet day in our household, I'm pushing for the wooden floor in the attic to be put down...we'll see.

Finally, I'm loving being back on ICLW! I've already met new friends!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

ICLW I'm back in business!

It has been a while! Welcome readers to my blog, you can find my story on the left (it's a summary, shouldn't take too long!) and I want to finish something I started last year. In July 2010 I had used half the alphabet to say something about me. Never got around to use the other half! So here it goes.

N Neil Patrick Harris. How I didn't know he existed till a few weeks ago is something I'm actually ashamed of! I'm now a big fan and just getting over my little teenager crush (at the tender age of 36!)

O Oliver. He's my little miracle, born on New Year's Day after such a long journey! Do you see my blog lists on the right? My dream is to have all the cyber friends in the top list moving down to the second one and then to the third one.

P Patches. He's our other cat. The sick one, the one that got The Ultimate Vet Hero into our lives (see later). He's doing much better, still on medications and certainly prone to pick up anything that goes around. But he's the Dude's best buddy and we'll do everything to keep him healthy (even with no pet insurance!)

Q Quest. The quest for a child has been part of my life for the last four years.

R Research. That's what I do for a living. I am a chemical biologist and lecture in one of the Universities in Dublin. I love my job.

S September. Mike and I are both born in September. One day I got to thing that there are exactly 740 days between us.

T Tubeless. I lost both tubes due to ectopic pregnancies. I giggled when the nurse told me to "be careful" at my six-weeks post-natal appointment. But T is also for Twitter! I'm new at it but if you are there too let me know and I'll follow!

U (The) Ultimate Vet Hero. She has become a very good friend thanks to Patches's ill health. We are going out for dinners and inviting each others to our places. Husbands get on great too. She'll be moving back to California as soon as her husband gets the green card. We won't know what to do then!

V Valentina. She is my sister and Oliver's aunt. In charge of all the classical education oliver will get!

W Worry. I worry a lot. I can be of great support for others, but I don't seem to be able to do the same for myself and often I spiral down the loop of irrational fears.

X X-Factor. Do you watch it? I did last year.

Y Yoga. I had a very good teacher, loved her style, and then an absolutely awful one during my ante-natal classess. She really got on my nerves. That's not the way it shoudl be right?

Z Zoolander. It's the name of Mike's car. We thought it had a blue-steel look.

I hope to find new blogs to follow as well as new friends who follow me!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

So much for a plan! (updated with video-clip!)

Well, I gave in and this evening I fed Oliver a little bit of baby rice! He loved it! I am following Annabel Karmel's New Complete Baby & Toddler Meal Planner and so even though Oliver is only 15w4d old I followed my instinct and introduced baby rice (just a tea spoon) to his diet. Milk is definitely not enough. I thought it was last Saturday when I posted but nope. Last night he was very unsettled again, chewing hands and on the verge of crying. I really think he was hungry.
Today it was a struggle to get him through his normal four hours break between 210ml feed of the almost all hungry babies formula. For the last couple of weeks I actually gave him a sip of water or fennel tea between feeds when he seemed to be getting impatient. At 8pm this evening we gave him almost half a bottle of formula to make sure he wasn't starving and then we tried the rice with the spoon. We filmed this moment and we were on Skype at the same time with my parents! Would you believe it, he didn't spill a thing! The book said it probably would take a few attempts and very likely the food would have been all over (babies still have the tongue reflex which pushes against the spoon) but not my boy!
Hopefully this is going to be enough now till the 17 week mark.

Video uploaded (it took ages!!) let me know if you can see it!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

15 weeks and crazy week

Oliver is 15 weeks today! I was thinking lately when I was counting pregnancy weeks. It definitely didn't seem this fast! He is doing very well, we are quite good at sticking to a sleeping routine: he has a nap in the morning (generally in the pram when we are out for our walk) then I'll put him in his crib around 1.30-2pm and he can sleep between 30 mins and 2 hours. Sometimes he has another snooze around 7pm then wakes up for the last feed (between 8 and 9pm) and then back to bed for the night afterwards. In the past week we never had to do the 11pm feed, we lowered the proportion of the low lactose formula and increased the hungry babies one and he's much more satisfied. Hopefully we'll be able to delay solids of any kind for another couple of weeks as recommended. I'm really happy about this. We have also changed the teats in the bottle with a those with a bit faster flow and he seems much happier.

So my last post was on Monday and all was well.

Tuesday started very well. I got awarded grant for a project and let me tell you, these days it ain't easy. Then we got a text that MIL was rushed to hospital as she was unresponsive. I have not updated much on her situation, but after the first amputation back in November they had to operate again in February above the knee as the wound wasn't healing properly. Since then, she was moved to a rehab place (one and half hour drive from Dublin) to start physio. We went visiting her on Sunday and I didn't think she was well. She seemed very frail and weak. But happy to see us and Oliver of course, we went out for coffee and it was a nice afternoon. So the text shocked us no end. The news seemed to be that she had a stroke, probably a very mild one, and when she came round she had no speech issues and only the left arm felt a bit limp and sore. Anyway, she was sent back to the rehab place like nothing happened. I can't say enough how bad small hospitals can be...
On top of this, we had a family of four for dinner. I had prepared pizza since the day before, it was a great evening, but I was wrecked afterwards. We got our video camera and already started filming Oliver (clip will be posted in the near future!).
Wednesday The car seat arrived and Mike fitted it in his car. We went to college together and I had something like 3 meetings (while officially on maternity leave of course). Came home and headed straight to a residents' meeting. Back home around 9.30pm. Quick dinner and straight to bed.
Thursday morning was fine, Oliver and I went for a nice walk in the park and got back home at lunch time. At 2 pm the builders arrived to do work on the attic floor. Oliver didn't sleep at all and by the time they left he was in a mess. Crying, unsettled, tired but couldn't sleep...the works. At 7pm some relatives came to visit. They staid till over 9 pm. Let me just say it didn't help matters. Plus, my period showed up unexpected (24 days since the last time).
Friday I woke up after dreaming I was dead. Seriously. Can you imagine anything more depressing? But it turned out to be quite a good day. Oliver was back to is placid self, I got a lot done, The Ultimate Vet Hero came over for lunch (Patches has an ulcer in his eye, just to add to his load) and told me she'll be moving back to Cali in November. So so sad, I'll miss her a lot, I didn't think she was going to go so soon. But it means we'll definitely go visiting her in Summer 2012. On the other hand, I doubt we'll find another Vet Hero for Patches, let's hope I've learnt enough to keep him alive and well! Then our high-chair arrived wohoo!
And now it's Saturday. Let's recharge the batteries and hoping for a calmer week!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Oliver, Attic and Shopping spree!

Oliver was 14 weeks on Saturday and is more and more interactive! The other morning he was looking at his right hand with great interest...moving it closer to his face, then farther away, then moving the little fingers! It was really cute! No interest in the left one though and it didn't really happened again.'s progress! Tummy time is going a little better, lifting the head is no longer a struggle (not really enjoying though) and toys are much more interesting. The wooden mobile on his crib is just the best thing ever and doesn't seem to be getting tired of it at all. Sleeping has never really been an issue with him and it's getting even better. We feed him around 8pm and then we put him to bed (awake) around 9. He puts himself to sleep! We feed him again around 11.30 and then sleeps till morning. Two nights ago, we skipped the last feed as he was sleeping really soundly and he didn't wake up in the middle of the night! babies do, last night we had to feed him again at 11.30. Thing is hungrier than ever and during the day I often have to add anther 30 mL to the 210 he's taking! So we are getting ready to give him something more...I know guidelines recommend no solids before 17 weeks (and the paed said to start then) but I'm of the opinion that a little spoon baby rice is not going to do him any harm. He's already on the "hungry baby" variety of formula (since he was around 8 weeks I think) and we mix that with a low lactose prep but we are reducing this significantly as it's not half as filling.
Anyway, I'll hold off certainly till the end of the week and effectively I'm planning not to give him any other type of solids before 17 weeks. Somewhat of a compromise.

The Attic saga is still not over. Mike met with the builder and architect and came to a satisfactory agreement over the items we weren't happy with. So he's coming back to try and fix whatever he has to fix and we obviously cannot put down the wooden floor till then. Let's hope we'll have it sorted by the end of the see, my mom and sister have kindly offered to come up in September (two weeks each) so that we can delay putting Oliver in the creche till October. So if we have the house finished everyone will have more space and independence.

And shopping. Oh my God it's so so fun shopping for baby stuff. As you may remember, I didn't buy anything while I was pregnant for the fear of jinxing the miracle (totally stupid but I can't turn back the clock) so we have lots of little things to get. I bought today a high-chair! And a weaning book with recipes till toddler age! Plus two boxes of organic baby rice, spoons and a bowl with a suction device at the bottom. And Mike ordered a car seat as Oliver is growing out already of the bassinet we were kindly given for his car. Tomorrow we are also getting our hands on the camcorder Mike ordered from the States and I can't wait to make a video diary of Oliver's progress!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Twitter and Modern Family

Oh boy...isn't Twitter addictive?? Very much so! Funnily enough I have the impression than when celebs tweet (ok....ok... you got me...I only really mean ONE celeb ah!) it's as if they actually talk to me! Somehow it makes them more like "normal" people. I had a very nice conversation with The Ultimate Vet Hero who's now become a very good friend, she is from Cali and definitely much more into showbiz than me and she said how strange it is to imagine that actors are in fact real people, with friends and things to do. Granted their friends are likely to be other celebrities, but sure they must have also non-celeb friends from their pre-celeb life right?

Anyway, I decided to use Twitter also for Ectopic Pregancy Ireland. It has been a great success, all the Irish radio stations I have contacted have retweeted my message and this has generated a nice cascade of retweets! Hopefully we'll be able to reach out even further!
I'm still not very skilled with Twitter, just know the basics, but for now that's all I need!

Thank you for all your suggestions on what to watch while waiting for new episodes of HIMYM. To get another Neil Patrick Harris fix I had a look at Doogie Howser MD. It was never aired in Italy so it was new to me. Well. I watched the first episode (in fact the first few mins) and no no no no, he's way too young there!! Cute maybe, but not my style! Never liked younger guys, may never be a cougar LOL! So I skipped to the last episode of the show....mmhh still not transitioned from cute to hot... and still too young!
I'll just have to wait I suppose! On this topic, my friend Valery pointed me in the direction of another blogger who very recently had posted on her blog about "Secret Celebrity Boyfriend" I truly recommend the post as it's hilarious and made me think I want to do a similar one soon!
In the quest for another sit-com, I had watched a good few episodes of The Big Bang Theory, but it's not so much my cup of tea, so I started watching Modern Family and I love it!! Took a while to get used to the hand-held shooting style which generally I don't like, but now I'm on a binge!

Finally a quick update on the attic. We have cleared the area (put away all the boxes into storage space under the roof) and we are ready to put the floor down. If it wasn't for the fact that we noticed the underfloor is extremely uneven in one meeting with the architect and builder this week...