Thursday, December 31, 2009

THE MATHS OF THE BIG BUMP

And another thing while I'm ranting... I don't get the Maths...
The hospital told me on 2 December that the baby was 3.1kg. The hospital told me on 30 December the baby was 3.7kg. So she grew 600g in 28 days, or an average of 21.4g a day. I have ten days of my pregnancy remaining, supposedly, so I would estimate Baked's birthweight on 9 January to be 3.9kg, not 4.5kg. Can it really be that they expect her to grow at 80g a day from now on, ie four times more than she has grown in the last month????
What a load of nonsense!

THIS WEEK'S PREGNANCY UPDATE

On Sunday I went to Ikea for some shopping. I was finding walking harder and harder, feeling like a nerve at the top of my left leg was trapped under the weight of Baked. I concluded Baked had descended.
On Monday Thomas was massaging my belly and asked, somewhat surprised where Baked was hiding as she wasn't in her usual position under my left boob. We again assumed she was hiding somewhere in my pelvis.
On Tuesday my doctor confirmed Baked had indeed gone for a walk down below, so things were becoming slightly more imminent - at last phew!
Today I was booked into the hospital for another sizing scan. At my last hospital appointment nearly four weeks ago I had been assured that today would see us offered a plan of action if Baked was still an out-sized tot, so I was relieved to be facing the decision to be induced...
The scan of course confirmed that was indeed the case. Although the rate of growth had slowed marginally, they are still estimating a due-date weight of around 4.5kg (just short of 10lbs). They also showed me quite how low down she was and that she is no longer OP - way-hay!
I was sent round to talk to my consultant. A midwife took me into her room and explained she'd see me first. She looked at my notes and asked if I wanted to book my caesarean. I asked what the current size of my baby was and she told me she was approximately 3.7kg. Marcel and Léon were both 3.7kg (around 8lbs). Marcel was my first baby and I managed to have him at that weight. Léon was 3.7kg and OP, took 21 hours and I had him without any drugs and was back to normal three weeks later, so why on earth would I sign up for an elective section, knowing I could in theory go into labour tonight? I refused the caesarean. She looked surprised and examined me. She asked a second time if I wanted to book a section. I really am beginning to wonder what the issue is in that hospital with understanding the phrase 'No thank you, I'll pass on the caesarean'. One last time she suggested it, saying I could always book it and cancel it if I go into labour naturally, once again I declined. She stepped out and returned saying my consultant wasn't going to see me after all - I guess he was only interested in scheduling my section around his New Year holiday so if I was declining it I was not worth seeing. At least that spared me the effort of declining it a fourth time in half and hour!
As I prepared to leave, the midwife attempted scare tactics... If you go past your due date the hospital is closing down so I'll give you the number of the new place as you'll need to go there. We do let people go two weeks past their date you know...
Thomas asked about membrane sweeps and induction but was told they wouldn't do that yet... so they are willing to do a caesarean but not to induce me - curious - either she is ok to come out now or she isn't, and surely avoiding a potential emergency section two weeks after my due date must be in everyone's interest if she's already 3.7kg?
Anyway, I went home feeling rather deflated at the thought of potentially being allowed to remain pregnant and immobile until January 23rd, by which time I'll no doubt be forced into a section as she'll be pushing 6kg by then at this growth rate.
As a parting shot she did suggest red wine and vigorous sex... the main problem with that of course is that if I have the red wine, I'm likely to be in a coma long before the oldest kid goes to bed during the Xmas holidays so I'm not too sure how to fit the vigorous sex into the timetable. Ho hum...

Sunday, December 27, 2009

IKEA IS BEING A WEE BIT CHEEKY

You know me, I'm not one to moan about Ikea as it is my favourite shop but today they annoyed me by being just a little too cheeky...
Due to the imminent arrival of
Miss Baked, we needed to move all the bedrooms around and create space.
Currently Marcel has the biggest bedroom containing a triple bed - one of those double beds with a single bunk on top - and Léon and Anna are sharing the smallest bedroom with a small bed each. Given the choice of swapping rooms with them, or choosing a mini person to share with, Marcel opted for a straight swap but his colossal bed will not fit into the smaller room. Marcel isn't particularly fond of his huge bed anyway so off we went to Ikea to buy a normal single bed frame. This one was advertised at just £30, which suited our budget... but when we found it in-store it seemed to be £45... odd.
I checked the online page on my phone:


HEIMDAL
Bed frame
£30
Assembled size
Length: 206 cm
Width: 96 cm
Footboard height: 47 cm
Headboard height: 120 cm
Mattress length: 200 cm
Mattress width: 90 cm
This product requires assembly This product requires assembly
Good to know
Slatted bed base, mattress and bedlinen are sold separately.

Now I don't dispute that a mattress and bedlinen may be something you actually have at home but I find it odd that a bed frame comes without a slatted bed base, as these need to fit the bed exactly. Mattresses can hardly be expected to levitate after all... so the slats turned out to be the extra £15. I am not happy :-(

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

XMAS CARD 2009


xmas
Originally uploaded by PhylB
Yeah, I know it's a cop out, but it's snowy and I'm 9 months pregnant and disorganized and all that - it's better than nothing, surely!?
Merry Xmas everyone!

Monday, December 21, 2009

PUDGE'S SELF IMAGE





I think it is time I gave Marcel another talking to... Marcel has pointed out on occasion that Léon has special ears, hinting at aeronautical abilities akin to those of Dumbo the elephant - evil boy! I prefer to tell him he's special - after all he just isn't our Pudgeman without the ears.
When asked the other day at nursery to draw a self portrait however, he came home with this!


Marcel!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

CRAZY MAN


Crazy man
Originally uploaded by PhylB
I guess you can love someone without loving everything about that person!
Thomas has just one character trait I will never get used to. It makes me cringe, faint in horror and want to scream and cry. I can't even bear to watch him do this between about September and March in Scotland every year. It sends shivers up my spine! I wonder if he's certifiable?

Friday, December 18, 2009

ADVENT CALENDARS, DANISH-STYLE

We never did advent calendars when I was a kid - my family wasn't religious and the advertising world hadn't quite mass-marketed the cheap chocolate ones on even the most heathen amongst us back in the 70s.
When my big kids were little, everyone had chocolate ones at a pound from ASDA, so they got that.
When I moved in with Thomas, he explained that the Danish way is to make your own. So in a more personal way, he bought the three (at that time) kids a present each per day for the 24 days of December, wrapped them in napkins, numbered them and put them in a cardboard box each. Last year they got a sweetie or chocolate two days out of three and a small gift of a pen or rubber or the likes every third day roughly. The kids really enjoyed this because it wasn't predictable like the chocolate ones. I enjoyed the effort and personal touch he was putting into their Xmas. Everyone was happy.
This year we needed to cut down on costs so the small pen-like gifts made up about one present a week, with the rest being single sweets, a chocolate biscuit or the likes.
This is the first year Anna has had a calendar and obviously she knows exactly what she wants and makes no bones about it. In the first week she received a matchbox car as the present on day two or three, that seemed acceptable enough. Then she had a run of approximately ten days with only food items. Yesterday she received a pack of felt tip pens. Obviously ten days was enough to have forgotten she ever had received a non-food present, and long enough for the food items to have become her routine. On opening her napkin and watching her pens drop out, she marched over to Thomas in disgust (despite her great love of drawing) and shouted Where's my cake?!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

HOW WILL I GET HOME NOW?

What with Woolies, Borders, Zavvi, Land of Leather, MFI, Allied Carpets, Barratt Shoes, Adams and all the rest we should be used to UK companies going bust but the news that Flyglobespan went belly-up today really has upset me. Although I have not used it in the last 3 years, Flyglobespan was my favourite 'route home', my direct flight to Nice and the whole Côte d'azur and the first place I intended to take Thomas and the kids once our own finances stabilized enough :-( I am not a happy bunny.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

INTERESTING CULTURAL DIFFERENCES

We all have our preconceived notions of other cultures and on the whole I imagine many Brits think Scandinavians are probably less uptight, sexually speaking, than our fellow countrymen. It is a shame very few Brits read Danish, because this article would make even the most liberal fall off their seats in surprise!
Can you imagine a biology teacher in this country asking the 15 year old boys in his class to spend their morning break in the loos providing sperm samples for them and their classmates to examine under the microscope in class? I think not! :-D

WHAT RECOVERY?

So Brown still claims we're on our way out of recession? Can me sceptical but I did work in shops over Xmas as a student. This is not the length of queue I would expect ten days before Xmas in Glasgow's largest shopping centre for Santa's grotto. Granted, it was taken on a weekday, though given it is aimed mainly at under-school-age kids, that shouldn't matter. But in saying that I was in Silverburn last Saturday at 3pm and the queue was a mere three people longer.
Certainly, when Marcel and Lots were tiny, Santa queues could take more than an hour to move into the grotto. This one patently wouldn't! I suppose the politicians think we aren't noticing these small details.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

MONEY LAUNDERING


Money laundering
Originally uploaded by PhylB
I've been nagging Marcel for weeks (years?) about his inability to remember to put his laundry in the washing basket or the washing machine. Tonight once again I tried crossing his room only to be ensnared in three very large dirty bath towels, last Friday's uniform and five odd socks. I brought them down, as he was visiting his father, and stuck them in the basket in the downstairs bathroom.
Meanwhile, I went to empty the tumble dryer, and came across a £10 note. I knew it wasn't mine because I have no trousers with pockets that currently fit me. Thomas had no recollection either of losing a tenner. I knew where my bet would be, so I put it in my purse and waited...
Marcel returned at 8pm. About ten minutes after he went to bed, he came running downstairs in a panic. Where is the washing I left on my floor? he asked. I pointed at the laundry basket, though had a vague notion, I could already guess what he was searching for. I left him to hunt. Ten minutes later, he asked if I had found a tenner lying anywhere in the house, or my car over the weekend. Funny you should ask... I said, because I happened to find one today in the tumble dryer after I washed and dried the clothes. It must have been in someone's pocket. He visibly paled Did the ink run? Did it shrink???? As I fished in my bag for my purse, I tortured him with stories of possibly shrunken, visibly wrinkly notes. I'm evil I know but you have to get them to empty their own pockets when there are so many people in a family, or you could spend you life emptying pockets (just ask Thomas about his hankies!) and I figured the shock treatment might do the trick.
Of course Marcel's tenner hadn't shrunk. It simply looked rather comically wrinkled. Marcel decided to iron it just to be sure it would look authentic when he tried to spend it.
I guess this is money laundering at its most basic. Hopefully, the lesson will have been learnt now... and if not - at least I had a laugh!

Friday, December 11, 2009

"SORRY, YOU WERE OUT!"

No, I BLOODY wasn't!!!!!!
I was sitting in the coffee room yesterday morning working. I saw the postie come up the path, post the letters and leave. I never get letters. I get junk mail and the odd bill. Was I going to put down my laptop and table and go check the mail... not really.
Thomas came down from the office an hour later and handed me the card saying 'Sorry , you were out!' They wanted me to wait 24 hours for them to take my parcels back to the post office behind ASDA - odd that because even at 8 months pregnant I can walk from my house to the post office in 20 minutes. They must be going via Manchester...
Personally, I would mind less if their card said 'Sorry we're too understaffed or lazy or whatever to bring parcels on our delivery rounds so pick them up yourself' but blaming me when my house has lights on, someone sitting in the front room and steam belching out the side of the porch indicating my central heating is on just pisses me off!
Of course to cap it all this morning we had freezing fog. Thomas went out to grit the stairs. And what do you know. A second Royal Mail parcel saga... Today's parcel had been left on the front steps without a card or knock on the door. So it looks like they randomly either chuck your mail willy nilly on your front doorstep for anyone to pilfer or they don't bother to bring it in the first place!
Remind me why they were out on strike recently? Seems to me they can do as they bloody like and get away with it.
I am now awaiting two last parcels from ebay... it'll be fun to see which method they arrive by... of course they are potentially lying somewhere in my garden, maybe in the plastic toy box or Pudge's Wendy house outside but I've had no card to tell me.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

PERFUME


Stacked perfume
Originally uploaded by Spigoo
Maybe I'm just thick... (don't answer that), and I'm not a perfume person anyway but I have never understood why every Xmas our TV screens are taken over by perfume ads. I first noticed it in France, but you see it here too to a lesser extent. Why do these companies spend so much on TV advertising? I understand they need you to know their product exists but who chooses a perfume based on anything but its smell? Last time I tried to sniff my telly screen I found it very hard to decide between the Chanel and the Yves Saint Laurent...

NOT A TRAIN DRIVER EITHER...


A sausage face
Originally uploaded by PhylB
And a day after Léon announced he wanted to be a DVD illustrator, Anna is also showing signs of being an artist!
Over lunch we noticed she seemed to be taking various different food items but not eating them. She arranged them on her plate then announced: the ham is a face, these two sausages are the eyes, this sausage is the nose, this bread is the mouth and this bread is the hair!
Not bad for someone who can't draw a face yet!

Monday, December 07, 2009

WHATEVER HAPPENED TO TRAIN DRIVERS AND FOOTBALLERS?


Two boys in hats
Originally uploaded by PhylB
Driving Léon home from nursery one day last week, he suddenly announced he'd decided what he was going to be when he grew up! That's quite surprising given neither of his older siblings seem to have the slightest idea yet, but given he's only four, I assumed he'd come out with train driver or footballer or some such thing.
"Ok Pudge, what are you going to be?" I asked as I braked at the traffic lights.
"I'm going to be an illustrator" he said quite seriously "a DVD cover illustrator" he elaborated!
I nearly crashed the car in shock! Had he swallowed one of my dictionaries? Surely he didn't really know what that was. I asked...
"It's the person who draws the lady and man with the gun on the DVD cover and then colours them in," he said describing the cover of Mr and Mrs Smith!
So there you have it...

Sunday, December 06, 2009

CARNIVORE KID


Anna drinking coffee
Originally uploaded by PhylB
We all know Anna is a bit obsessed with meat. She wants to call the baby 'Spis-chla' (she eats meat) after all.
Today took the biscuit. Thomas made us each a latte with breakfast. He asked if we wanted a special flavoured one, having opted for xmasy gingerbread for us. Marcel wanted caramel, Charlotte and Pudge opted for chocolate and when asked what flavour she wanted in her coffee, Anna replied chicken... of course!!
Yeuch!

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

BAKED

I'm beginning to think we must have been in an ironic mood when we adopted the nickname Baked... given how small baked beans are.
After October's discovery that Baked was possibly larger than we'd been expecting, I was dragged back in today for another growth scan to check how things had progressed over the last six weeks. I saw a sonographer, a midwife and a consultant, each for ten minutes so of course my appointment took 3 hours. Thank goodness Anna had gone to Granny's or she'd have been hysterical with boredom.
First we went for a scan. I am officially 34 weeks and four days pregnant at the moment (though by my reckoning, I am actually 34 weeks and three days). Baked was asleep, as she often is in the morning and lying in completely the wrong position for scanning. The sonographer checked her limbs and heartbeat and moaned a bit about her position and seemed to be about to give up when Baked turned to the screen yawned very clearly and moved over just enough for the diameter of her head to be measured. Figures popped up at the bottom of the screen saying the estimated gestation was 37 weeks and two days - ho hum... Then she moved again and the sonographer said she'd take a quick stomach diameter too. I waited with bated breath. The screen calculated 39 weeks and 2 days, and the foetal weight popped up at 3.15kg. Oh great! Lots was only 3.28kg at birth and even Marcel (the biggest) had only been 3.75kg.
I was sent round to the consultant with a new graph plotting Baked's expected birth weight to be 4.5kg (that's just shy of 10lbs for any imperial weirdos out there).
The consultant decided to check in the old fashioned manner... feeling my belly with his hands and confirmed he agreed with the technological findings of an hour earlier. His plan is therefore to have me back in on 30 December to check her size then (if he can fit her whole head on the screen to measure its size) and come up with a strategy. He also suggested an internal examination that day to determine whether or not to induce me. I just love internals. What a fun way to finish the year! If my cervix has started preparing for birth I will be induced then so she isn't allowed to grow beyond week 38. I thought I was doing well being on number five never having needed to be induced. I can tell New Year's day is going to be fun.
Of course, he then went on to explain that he doesn't know if my pelvis will cope with a baby more than 20% bigger than my norm, so will be left perhaps with a decision to opt for an emergency section if she gets stuck at the end of labour. Oh this pregnancy is just getting better and better... I thought I was doing well to get to number five never having needed a section. I haven't even had drugs since Marcel - I am planning a painful but bearable natural birth and am being thrown into inductions, sections and god knows what. I am not amused. Finally, he explained I will be granted an elective section if I want one. Aren't you listening to me???? I don't want any kind of section, I don't even want a bloody paracetamol. I want a normal, drug-free delivery. Time to sue the Dane and his big genes???
Oh and to top it all. Bloody Baked is currently (and has been for several weeks) OP into the bargain. I have already had two nightmarishly long, drug-free OPs and I could really do without that added hiccough. Grrrrr.
Anyway, I'm away to ADSA tomorrow to buy ingredients for a curry, raspberry tea and all the rest to start my own induction programme this weekend.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

WHAT IS XBOX THINKING ABOUT?


Team Chaos Live
Originally uploaded by salendron
The kids have an Xbox 360. I assume this is the case for many kids. You create yourself an avatar - a virtual you - that you use to represent you when you are playing in the house or online against school friends.
Marcel created the first avatar of course because he's 12. That meant that the other kids also wanted an avatar. First Lots tried to make one. You chose between pre-defined bodies, hair, clothes, colouring etc. Charlotte's problem with her (not -out-of-the-ordinary-for-a-nine-year-old) waist length hair is that the avatars can't have hair longer than shoulder length, despite there being four or five pages of hairdos to choose from. So Charlotte's avatar doesn't look like her.
Of course, no sooner had Lots made one than Pudge and Bits wanted one each too. Pudge wasn't an issue - you can do wee boys, but Anna encountered a new problem. All the female avatars have boobs! I know Anna is a bit young for Xbox, but kids happily play on them from five upwards. How many five year old girls have short hair and boobs?
Given my kids also have a wii, where making a child avatar is simple, I wonder what Xbox is thinking about?