11. February 2009 · 1 comment · Categories: Anneli · Tags: ,

When I wrote my last post on Jan 31st, I had no idea how close Squirt was! At around 9pm the following day (Feb 1st) my waters broke and at 03:49am on Feb 2nd little Anneli was born at Forlossning in Varbergs Sjukhus, Sweden.

She is completely perfect and we’re all feeling very well and very happy (if a little tired). Expect blog posts to be a bit infrequent for a while!

Click here for more photos.

31. January 2009 · Comments Off on Full time · Categories: Anneli · Tags: ,

Well, “full term”, according to the medical establishment. I’m 38 weeks pregnant now and in theory that means that Squirt could make an appearance anytime from now.

I think that the bump is starting to drop down a little lower, which is a good sign. When we asked the midwife if she thought Squirt was a large/small/average baby, she said it was “väldigt lagom”, which basically means “very just-right”.

19. January 2009 · Comments Off on What I knit, while I still could · Categories: Craft · Tags: ,

Before my hands got too sleepy to knit, these were the last things I finished.

Baby mittens:

Are they not cute?

And a little hat:

There is one more hat, but I haven’t woven in the loose ends yet. How am I doing on the gender-neutrality?

I saw a physio on Friday and got one wrist brace for my right wrist, and another one for the left should be coming in the mail. It has definitely helped me to sleep at night, and what has also helped is drinking a shedload more water and being taken out on little walks by Linus when we manage to remember. If I get more improvement from using the braces, I may manage to pick up the needles again before squirt gets here … we’ll see.

16. January 2009 · Comments Off on domesticity · Categories: Craft · Tags: , ,

Mmmm, fresh bread.

This was made using the super-easy bread recipe here. It is insanely simple and really delicious. According to the instructions, you can keep the dough in the fridge for up to 2 weeks, during which time it acquires more of a sourdough flavour. However, despite mixing up enough for 4 loaves at a time, we haven’t managed to keep a batch for more than a few days, so I wouldn’t know.

I’ve also been doing some sewing, since knitting is off the menu while my hands are all sleepy. I made some cushions for the kitchen sofa:

And I’m working on covering a piece of foam for a seat-cushion for this sofa as well. All this fabric was a super bargain at Ikea – 39kr each for rolls of 1.2m x 3m (about £3.20 or $8 NZD). I’ve also sewn up some curtains for the kitchen.

The weather has been fluctuating between fairly warm and fairly cold. Last week we woke up one morning to an outside temperature of -9, and a frozen water pipe that prevented any hot water from making an appearance in the bathroom. Luckily L’s recent tool-buying bonanza had included a heat gun, which he could use to defrost the pipe and get things working again. It had dropped to around -15 in the night, which is probably about as cold as it gets in this part of the country. After that everything warmed up a bit, and it’s been above zero (3-5 degrees) up until last night when we headed back into frostiness.

The baby room is all prepared now, and we got two lovely big parcels of baby goodies this week from Mum and Aunty A in England. The baby will now be clothed! We still need to buy nappies but I feel quite a bit more prepared. The insanely cheap Ikea flooring looks pretty good, and we have a cabinet with a changing bench assembled.

In pregnancy news, I saw a physio today about my sleepy hands, and I got a pair of wrist splints to wear at night which should help me sleep. Well actually I only got the right one, because they couldn’t find a left one in the right size so she will post me one and I should have it next week. So here’s hoping that it helps keep my hands awake so I can get a good night’s sleep!

28. December 2008 · Comments Off on Sleepy hands · Categories: Anneli · Tags: , , ,

New pregnancy symptom: carpal tunnel syndrome. Yes, the plague of computer users has struck me down at last. I’ve been a software engineer for 11 years, and spent 4 years learning to be one, so I’ve basically been in front of a computer for the last 15 years with no wrist problems to speak of – and now pregnancy-related tissue swelling is squeezing up nerves and causing my hands to take random naps.

It is worst at night (very annoying when my hands can sleep but I can’t) but they also start to tingle when I do almost anything that involves gripping anything – holding a knife, lifting a heavy kettle or bottle, knitting (oh no!), and a little when typing. During the day, a quick shake of the hands will usually relieve it, but in the nights I need to flap my hands around and change arm positions till I find a way to wake them up.

We had a quiet Christmas day in the house – we had planned to go up to Gothenburg but I was headachey and tired so we stayed in. We started painting in the second bedroom and then I had an afternoon nap while Linus pottered. On boxing day we hit the big sales and bought a TV and some new LCD monitors to use when working. We also looked at a few million sofas, but haven’t made a final decision on that yet. That evening we went for a delicious turkey dinner at L’s aunt & uncle’s.

Yesterday we ordered ourselves a baby buggy & car seat, and I’m somewhat relieved to have done that now. It’s a Britax travel system, where the car seat can snap into the buggy frame. It also comes with a flat bed and another seat, so apart from needing a bigger car seat at about 1 year you can continue using the system up till about age 4. We’re planning to use the flat bed as the baby’s first bed inside as well.

In the evening we had L’s cousins over for dinner, and they helped out with a whole lot of lifting and carrying and organising and painting. The second bedroom is now painted white (including the random black wall sections added by the teenage goth who lived in it before) and since our bedroom is quite small we will basically use that room as a giant wardrobe. Next chore is to clear out the third (smallest) bedroom so we can put a baby changing table and some storage in there. The baby will initially sleep in our room, but when it moves into a cot that room will be the nursery. However it is currently full of boxes of junk and it needs painting and has some old and dusty carpet that we probably want to replace.

23. December 2008 · Comments Off on Our great big family car · Categories: Home · Tags: ,

Here’s a picture of the new car:

Today we took it for a spin to get rid of some boxes at the recycling place, and pick up our last christmas gifts, and buy a christmas tree. It handled all those tasks with ease – in our last car, the back seats did not fold down so it was impossible to put anything large in the car. But with the help of a new tarpaulin to protect its delicate boot, we got a nice big christmast tree into the back with no problems. Now we just need to find a place in the house for it … (the tree, not the car)

Here’s a couple of pictures of the house that Linus took today. The garden looks a little grim, but we have big plans for it.

In the pregnancy news, I had to take off all my rings today because my fingers have swollen up a little. They’re not particularly swollen or fat, but just enough to make the rings feel quite uncomfortable, especially when I’m somewhere warm (like the house, or the car, or the shops, or indeed anywhere that isn’t outdoors). So I have all my rings on a chain around my neck, which was a slightly early Christmas gift from Linus.

22. December 2008 · Comments Off on Good morning sunshine · Categories: Home · Tags: , ,

This was the view from our lounge shortly before sunrise yesterday morning:

The front of the house faces East, so the sun then popped up and blinded me throughout breakfast.

Today we picked up our (nearly) new car – a 1 year old Saab 9-5 station wagon. It’s a proper grownup family car, can run on petrol and/or ethanol, and can also go fast so L is happy. We also visited Skatteverket to apply for my personnummer, which is going to take some unspecified amount of time (usually 10 days, but it’s Christmas, so no-one knows). And of course we did some shopping – mostly Christmas shopping, but we got a tree holder for the Christmas tree that we don’t have yet.

In pregnancy news, the bump seemed to have a sudden growth spurt overnight on Saturday and I woke up feeling much bigger and heavier. Squirt is having some very active squirmy periods and I’m sometimes finding a little foot sticking out my right side, fairly high up. Occasionally I get some other body part poking lower down on my left hand side – I imagine Squirt is doing this:

Although, he/she is head-down, so you’ll have to invert that into an upside-down mini Travolta.

That’s my best guess to what’s going on, anyway.

10. December 2008 · Comments Off on mini break · Categories: Travel · Tags: ,

The week before last, we snuck off to Paris for a 3 night mini break, and (unlike my other half-dozen or so trips to Paris) we even managed to do some touristy stuff.

Our first outing was to the Chateaux de Versailles:

Which was sparkly.

The next day we descended into the Paris catacombs:

Not so sparkly. I was a little alarmed by the sign warning of the 130 steps down and 83 steps up that would be required, since even unpacking the dishwasher makes me start panting these days. But actually the staircases weren’t too much of a problem, and we went straight to a cafe for refreshments when we got out.

We also went to see Keith Jarrett doing a solo improvisation concert, and took a nice dinner cruise on the Seine. The set menu included a bottle of champagne and a bottle of wine per couple – I had half a glass of champagne, and Linus made a valiant effort and managed to polish off most of the rest.

Back in London, we are in the thick of moving arrangements for the big shift to Sweden. The movers are coming next Wednesday to take our stuff, and we fly over on Friday. We are staying with my cousin in north London for the last 2 nights after all our belongings have left. The BMW is on Ebay and we’ve been looking at Saabs on the internet – ooh, to have a car with functional heating! What a treat!

There’s not much news on the pregnancy front. We had a bit of a growth spurt last week, so I suddently felt a bit heavier and really notice the increased waddle and the difficulty of rolling over in bed. I had my last appointment with our local GP yesterday, all was fine and she was confident that baby is head-down at the moment, so I’m hoping he/she stays that way. I’ll be 33 weeks when we fly, but SAS will accept pregnant lumps up to 36 weeks and I have a “fit to fly” letter from the GP so all should be fine.

Here’s a picture of the whole family in Paris:

12. October 2008 · Comments Off on it’s a … surprise! · Categories: Anneli · Tags: ,

we went for our 20 week scan this week, and were hoping to find out what we’re having. well, know we know – we’re having a stubborn little brat! he/she was not being very cooperative and the sonographer had to do a lot of poking and jiggling just to get a good view of all the bits she had to check and measure. when it came to trying to find out the sex, there were a pair of little feet planted firmly in the way, blocking any view of the baby bits. the sonographer very kindly offered to have us back for another go, after going for a walk and getting a coffee, to see if that helped. it didn’t, but at least we got a picture:

so, unless we decide at some later date to go for a private scan, this baby will be a february surprise.

05. October 2008 · Comments Off on house – before and after · Categories: Home · Tags: , , ,

A full set of “before and after” photos of the flat are online now, here

And here is a picture of the belly last week, at 20 weeks:

This morning Squirt was kicking hard enough that we could actually see my tummy moving from the outside. We have the inaccurately named “20 week scan” this Thursday (at approx 22 weeks) and if Squirt is cooperative then we should be able to find out whether we should call it a he or a she.