Friday, April 22, 2011

Mr Greedy, Mr Bump and all their little helpers

So, I think it is pretty obvious who is playing Mr Greedy in this story!


My mum took this photo today so that we could send it to daddy, and I have to say even I was surprised at how big I look. Amazingly my enormous belly is not too much of a problem in a day to day situation, though bending down is quite tricky, and I have been attempting to do that quite a lot lately.

Although we didn't see anything of the plumber, carpenter or tiler this week, I am lucky enough to have had several helpers and a little more progress has been made on the house. The painter came on Monday and Tuesday and completed all the painting in the laundry, study and cloakroom, and on Wednesday my mum and dad came to help with building the flat pack furniture for the study and moving books down the stairs. With any luck,  by the end of Easter weekend, the old study will be totally cleared and ready for me to start making it into a room for the baby and the cloakroom will have shelves and hooks.

I am also getting a little bit more ready to have a baby. On Monday I went to visit the hospital (Hinchingbrooke) where Mr Bump will be born. It is lovely. I am hoping to stay low risk so that I can use the midwife only unit. Another amazing helper came along on the visit with me. I feel so very very lucky as I have a friend who is both a practicing doula and trainee midwife, who is supporting me for this whole journey. She came on the hospital visit and asked the questions I didn't even know I needed to ask and then came home with me for the night to help me with the birth plan. She is awesome, and I feel so so fortunate to have her by my side. The comfort, security and support that I have just from knowing that she is there with me is the most amazing gift for which I will be eternally grateful.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Developments downstairs

So, the bathroom may have come to a halt with the main man on his holidays, but there has been progress in other areas.

Thanks to loads of people helping out, including my mum and dad, and a friend who came for half a day's painting in exchange for 6 eggs, 3 tomato plants, and some beer, it is starting to come together and look as though it may possibly get finished one day.

The floor is down in the new bit


The doors are on


The bench top and sink are in (washing machine and tumble dryer will go under here)


The new toilet and handbasin is fitted (but not yet connected)


The old toilet has been removed, plumbing all sealed off and hidden away.


Plans for next week are for the painter to do the woodwork in the new bit and treat the doors. Then he will smarten up the old loo, which is aspiring to become a cloakroom very soon. I will be busy making flat pack shelving up for the new study and moving things in. Hopefully by the end of next week I'll have a functioning new study and new cloakroom...

... then I'll be able to get started on the nursery, which really isn't such a huge task, more about clearing a space and getting all the baby stuff in one room so that I can see what I have and what I need.

Feeling so much better about it all now.

The end is in sight!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Spreading Happiness - or should that be Blissfulness?

Following an interesting interaction with people preaching doom and gloom at me at my front my door, a little facebook conversation among friends resulted in me posting my thoughts on happiness. You see, my door knockers are waiting for God to fix things. They believe that the world is going in a downhill spiral and that we face certain doom because there are not enough people asking God to sort the world out. I told them that I thought people may be able to do something too, and was immediately shot down. According to my visitors, we can't do anything but believe and trust in God!

Now, don't get me wrong, my gripe is not with people that believe or trust in God, that's totally fine, but those people who are passive, and do nothing for themselves or others and expect God to do it all - now they really get my goat. Surely a few little human helpers on earth would be a good thing right? Lots of them would be better!

And then there is the philosophy that goes with focussing on doom and gloom, or on the brighter side of life. We have a choice of what to focus our energy on. In Australia I was lucky enough to work with a great organisation called OzGreen. Whilst working with their YouthLEAD program I learned a phrase that they share with all participants; "Where you put your energy GROWS" .  In my experience this is most definitely true. So, shall we choose to grow doom and gloom or happiness? Well, I know my thoughts on that. Where you put your energy is your choice.






As if to reinforce the growth of my happiness theory, no sooner had I posted my comment referencing this on Facebook, than an item came on the radio about Action for Happiness - a new mass movement for social change being launched today. Their website is currently receiving an overwhelming number of hits, but when you can get on, take a look. There is an article Let the Happiness In in the Guardian too, and a video on YouTube



and another talk I found on the TED website



So, lets all go forth and create a little happiness today.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Grape Thing


Yes I know, not a very sophisitcated name, but this is how it's known in our family.



Ingredients

A packet of sponge fingers
Almond cordial*
Bunch of green grapes
300-400ml double cream
1 -2 tbsp demerara sugar

Method

Place sponge fingers in the bottom of a flan dish to cover base
Soak with cordial/almond essence mix
Wash grapes and cut each in half (remove pips if they have any)
Place grapes, cut side down, to cover the sponge finger layer
Whip cream and spread over the top to cover grapes
Sprinkle the sugar over the top of the cream
Place under a medium grill to melt the sugar
WARNING: you need to watch this - if you leave it too long the cream will melt and you'll have a disaster - remove as soon as the sugar starts to blend in to the cream
Chill in the fridge (overnight if possible)

*this can be hard to find - substitute with almond essence and other fluid such as sherry or another nice cordial - the one pictured used Morelo Cherry cordial which worked quite well

Friday, April 8, 2011

One day to go on the bathroom - it will be a miracle if actually happens

So, this is how the bathroom looks as I leave it this morning. The tiles that are in place so far all went on on Wednesday. The tiler was unable to achieve anything in the bathroom on Thursday due to the carpenter and plumber working in there. The plumber has fitted the toilet (though I had to call him out at 9.30 pm last night as it was leaking!) and the bath is plumbed in, and there is water to the shower but it is not fitted yet.


The carpenter got the units in and the bench top fitted.


I am liking how it's looking, but I don't think it will be done today!

Yet to do:
  • fix the leaking loo
  • put in waste for the sink
  • tile the remaining 2 walls, including the fiddly bits like round the window, door and recess.
  • grout all of the tiles
  • move the pipes for the radiator
  • install radiator
  • put in shower
  • replace floor
  • add fixtures and fittings (shower rail loo roll holder etc)
and two weeks before the builder/tiler returns...  Perhaps I will be pleasantly surprised/amazed.

FX

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Bathroom Blitz

For those wanting before, during and after photos of the bathroom - here we go...

4th April am

This is before. Not too bad you may say (I am thinking that now!!!) but, I had no shower, no storage space, the toilet didn't flush  - and it was pink!

4th April am


In all honesty I wouldn't have bothered if it weren't for wanting a shower. To put a shower in I needed to tile above the bath, and the tiles would be different, so I had to change all the tiles.  Plus I needed a new loo, and would like a cupboard under the sink and so the idea of ripping out the whole lot and starting again was born. I should have a bit more space too as it was possible to knock out the fake wall so we can move the toilet and sink back 8" or so.

4th April pm

By the time I got home on Monday night the old bathroom suite was in the back yard, the tiles off, the fake wall gone, the new bath installed, and the shower pipes in place.

4th April pm
Bill the builder came on Tuesday - not much appears to have changed, but he plastered some bits and prepared the surface ready to tile.

April 5th pm

5th April pm

He has 3 days to get it done before he goes on his hols.


Will he do it?