Monday, December 22, 2008

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year...


Yay Moe Santa
Originally uploaded by mellopuffy
Well it's been quite a year. We're now on holiday (LOLZ! not for the next 18 years) and am enjoying time with the whanau.

Hope you have an enjoyable festive season, good luck for the year ahead - see you next year!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Moe


Moe chillin'
Originally uploaded by mellopuffy
In 12 weeks he has:
Gained 2.5kg (5lb 10oz)
Grown 11.5cm in length
Has his noggin grow by 6 cm
Stolen his mummy and daddy's hearts with a smile....

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Milestones


Moe & Phil - 2 months
Originally uploaded by mellopuffy
Here's Moe and Phil - look at Moe holding his head up! And Daddy does look pleased... and yesterday whilst having a wriggle on his tummy, Moe managed to roll himself over onto his back :). We also had a sleep through on Thursday night from around 10pm to 5am! It was bliss other than I woke at 4am, looked at the time, then couldn't get back to sleep until he woke at 5. Oh well, it was nice to have around 5 hours uninterrupted sleep anyway.

Moes Feet - 2 months
Originally uploaded by mellopuffy
He has such lovely feet! Awwwwwwww....

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Moe's first 7 weeks...

At the behest of a few friends, here's some photo goodness for all you bloggy stalkers out there... thanks for the messages, I've been meaning to post about my experience - maybe in the next few days lol!

I had some breathing difficulties when I first came out, so this machine helped me breathe for a day in NICU

Daddy and me
Originally uploaded by mellopuffy


My first bath
Originally uploaded by mellopuffy


My car seat test, NICU
Originally uploaded by mellopuffy


Aunty B and me
Originally uploaded by mellopuffy


ooooo sunshine, again
Originally uploaded by mellopuffy


Grandad and me
Originally uploaded by mellopuffy


Grandma and me
Originally uploaded by mellopuffy



Hmmm sunshine
Originally uploaded by mellopuffy
Hmmm sunshine

What you lookin' at?
Originally uploaded by mellopuffy
What you lookin' at?

Friday, October 03, 2008

Regular transmission to resume soon...

Hi everyone, thanks for the nice comments. Just to let you know that I am still in hospital at present as Moses is in NICU due to his prematurity (born at 34 weeks, 6 days). He is doing really well and is getting bigger by the day, and doesn't require any monitoring. My wound (I had an emergency caesarean after an hour of fruitless pushing.. Moe was aligned a wee bit wrong so just wouldn't go through the hole!) is healing well and I am beginning to get out a bit more. The support at Dunedin Hospital has been great, but you do go a bit stir crazy after a while.

Anyhoo, just to let you know that I will post the full story sometime soon, probably when I finally get home with our fantastic wee boy. I will try and post some more photos soon, if you want to check out some in the meantime, just follow the link to Phil's blog on the right hand sidebar (Phil's photos from Dunedin).

cheers, better go get something to eat lol....

Mel

Monday, September 15, 2008

Ow ow ow.... not bees, but baby....



Hmmm - 6 odd weeks to go, and gosh, I've already got an intimate relationship with Panadol going... How will I cope if I go over term (as is statistically likely)? Oh the joy of getting up 6 odd times a night (already... I thought that wasn't supposed to happen until after the birth) and having wee Bubba A regularly punching my left kidney and using my cervix and nearby organs as some kind of trampoline.

Despite being so uncomfortable, I still managed to find the energy to go slightly crazy in the weekend and decide that the washing machine needed to be thoroughly washed (including removal of the agitator and scrubbing of all the greasy crud underneath with a toothbrush). I even got excited about the geranium at the front door and spent some time this evening (ooo it has been so lovely and balmy here in Dunedin over the past few days) pruning it carefully. It is strange, going from moments when you almost totally forget that you are pregnant, to ones when you can barely move, to having your insides treated like the unlucky player at the bottom of the ruck. Perhaps this is what allows women to feel prepared for labour (light at the end of the tunnel and all that)?

Excitement tonight when I went to take a look at a blog I regularly peruse, Frugal Me to find a somewhat lengthy comment I posted a few nights ago had been featured on the blog! Hee hee, how nice!

Anyhoo, here's the latest photo, as well as a piccie of the lovely cake Mandy made for my baby shower. 33 weeks....

Monday, September 01, 2008

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Hat


Hat
Originally uploaded by mellopuffy
I've been getting this impulse to do something with my hands. That, and the request that we take along something special that we have bought/been given/planned to the final antenatal class had me looking through my copy of Stitch n' Bitch to find something that I could have a go at knitting. This wee hat popped out (easy, cute, etc.) as an idea, so off I trotted to the knitting store to buy circular needles etc.

So here it is - my first attempt at knitting in ummmmm 15 years? It took far less time than I thought it would. Seeing as there seems to be a lot of people in my family alone that are popping out sproglets, I think I might be able to keep myself busy for the next wee while.

9 weeks to go today. I'm feeling BIG (more photos to come soon) and quite a few of the preggie clothes that I have been wearing for the past 14 weeks or so are even beginning to get tight! Went up to my parents place in the weekend as Mum organised a baby shower for us. A really lovely chance to see family. And mum ordered yummy cookies and cupcakes for the party which was awesome (I'm such a cupcake fiend!). One of our oldest family friends confided that in all her years, she had never actually been to a baby shower before! Everyone was really generous, which is such a great help (even using trade me, getting the basics is pretty expensive... though I must admit I am a sucker for slings etc in pretty fabrics).

My cousin N had her first baby in the weekend (on the other side of the world from here...). I got a few texts as her labour progressed (fantastically, she managed a 10 minute second stage of labour - I should be so lucky!), and then finally, a really neat message after she had taken her new baby girl, Emily, home, about how amazing she is.... I'm coming over all emotional now!

But seriously, the enormity of it all is beginning to sink in. I'm impatient to see what our little person is going to be and look like, but at the same time I guess a bit apprehensive about how things are going to go for the rest of the pregnancy and of course, during the labour. Our ante-natal classes are finished, and we're now seeing the midwife fortnightly. Baby A is apparently already standing on its head which is good. I like the feeling of knowing what it is that is actually poking and prodding me from the inside (I know where the legs and arms are now). So wish me luck!

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Hmmm I wonder which side bubs is sitting on...?

Movement is definitely being felt now - in fact at times it is positively uncomfortable (belly button area being esp sensitive). There is something strange about looking down and seeing half your belly sticking out further than the other side. There is still another week until we see the midwife again, so I'm counting down to be able to find what position the baby is in etc. That will be our 28 week visit, so from then on we will be seeing her every fortnight - only 12 weeks to go! I managed a good walk down to St Clair and (most of the way) back with Amy this afternoon - for some reason I'm feeling a bit more energetic than I was a few weeks ago. I have been going to preggie yoga which is really helping the sore muscles and ligaments - they just don't seem to stick around annoying me as much now.

In literature news, I have made the resolution to resolutely ignore the statement repeated in many of the baby rearing books I have been perusing of late, that it is IMPERATIVE that I follow this or that advice that they are touting. Other than it being imperative to feed, cloth, change your baby (as well as avoiding dropping it on its head of course), I don't see how any other advice can be 'imperative' - I mean all babies are different, ay? What is good advice to dealing with one baby may not work with another....so I've decided that I must view this phrase with suspicion. There just seems to be so much critical writing out there that bombards pregnant women from every direction, I'm almost at a point where I want to shut everything away, in order to avoid imploding from the anticipation of my own inadequacy!

Right - rant over, glad I got that out.... move on....

Monday, July 14, 2008

25 weeks and counting....

Yup I'm getting big now.... on the whole have been feeling a lot better than I did in the first trimester, but definitely get tired easy! Not as fast on my pins either (and I have a fabulous waddle going on too lol). Add to that a niggling sore muscle on one side of my groin/inner thigh that won't get better. Might try some panadol before bed tonight to see if it helps.

We finished tidying the study/nursery and spare room/study in the weekend finally, so will be able to put some before/after photos up soon. The cot arrives tomorrow (hopefully) and I scored a change table as well off trade me again over the weekend. So we are just about sorted in the furniture department. The wriggling does feel strange, and I still find it a bit hard to actually connect those scan photos with the activity going on in my belly. I am starting to look forward to meeting Baby A when he/she appears outside of my body though (that's my impatient side showing). I better knuckle down - there's a whole semester to go before then!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Hmmmm - keeping peace with the neighbours (or not)?

So for some time now, one of the new next door neighbour's has been leaving their place at 5.30am. I know this, because to do this they turn on an external light, that shines directly into our bedroom due to those charming decorative side windows you get in 1930's houses (you know the ones, either side of fireplaces?).  This is despite there being (I understand) sensor lights fitted on the outside of the house.  Because they've left, the light stays on until 7.30ish or when someone else gets up and thinks to turn it off.

The question is.... do I go over and ask that they stop turning it on?  Is this reasonable? I think it only annoys me so much at the moment because I'm up during the night more often, and its such.a.bright.light. which makes it hard to get back to sleep (and we have covered up one of the windows with a towel, but you have to take that down every day cause the window gets moldy, and it would be $400 for blinds, and the light also shines directly into what will be the baby's room...)

Added bonus this morning - roadworkers starting at 6.30-7am outside our place.  Super good, cause I'm up 5 times a night anyway at the moment peeing.  The crisp clear morning air carries the beep when the trucks back up particularly well :). They're still there - repairing the damaged section of road that appeared after the heavy rain in the weekend....
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Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Back to skool...

Tonight Phil and I went to our first ante-natal class, yay! Run by the Dunedin Parent's Centre, I get the feeling that it will be well useful. And we have a great group - all due within a month of each other of course, but most of us around the same age as well.

Tonight was mostly about getting to know each other, but we did do a wee exercise at the end where the boys and girls went into separate rooms and filled out a big piece of paper about the physical, emotional and lifestyle changes we are going through...

No prizes for guessing what came first on the boys list ;)

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Christchurch and Cupcakes!

I'm off to Chch tomorrow  - will be nice to visit the whanau and am taking the opportunity to catch up with a few friends. AAANNNNNDDD I get to go visit this nice shop.
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Tuesday, June 24, 2008

The one in which I complain loudly about tradespeople in this town....

Yes, well, I've had quite a day.

Our carpet was supposed to be laid today by a local carpet company. The quote process had gone fine, measuring was all done ok, and we arranged a time for the carpet to be lifted, then another time for the new carpet to be laid.

Thanks to the lavish but random tastes of the previous owners of our house, the carpet chosen to grace the main bedroom and study was a suitably expensive Cavalier Bremworth Sisal (yet they couldn't face the extra cost for proper suede finish paint for the living room, giving us their homemade sandpaper finish instead). So when we decided to finish of by carpeting the spare room (which had the rankest, dustiest old carpet ever) we were looking at around $950 to do approx 10sq metres.

The carpet layer arrived today (4 hours late).

He laid the underlay.

He laid out the carpet to be cut and put down. Then asked me "do you want the lines of the carpet to to be parallel to the door like in the other rooms?".

I'm like "What? - match the other rooms of course..."

"Um - well I don't have enough carpet to do that..."

So it turned out that the guy that had originally measured the carpet (and who, funnily enough, is no longer working for the company) had not made the obvious conclusion that we would want the pattern of the carpet heading in the same direction as that in the other two rooms done in the same carpet. So ensued an afternoon of talking to the carpet people, arranging for the correct length of carpet to be ordered ("should take about a week"), and arguing the toss as to whether we should have to pay for the extra carpet required (which I think the Consumer Rights Act says I don't).

Arghhhhhhh! What is wrong with tradespeople in this town?

This comes on top of:
- the wrong fridge being delivered to us (box was labelled incorrectly - unfortunately a lesser rather than better model)- making the total delivery time for the new fridge two weeks.
- the insulation debacle - which continues with a price increase (from head office of course) that has occured between the time we accepted the quote and the time we actually (after 2 months of emailing and leaving voice-mail messages) managed to get the stuff delivered to us (and which I am also disputing).
- tradespeople promising quotes, but never turning up to do them.
- and of course, the garden rubbish removal fiasco of last November (the $85 quote and $450 bill - don't get me started!!!!)

I really really don't know how people think that they are providing anything approaching good customer service when these sorts of things happen on such a regular basis. And I'm assertive (but not rude, I might add) about disagreeing or pointing out things that don't make sense!

What is even more frustrating is the way I am treated when I do this... in the case of the massively increased gardening bill of last Nov, it took me 25 minutes of arguing the toss with the guy before he would accept that I wouldn't pay the amount he had invoiced me, as I had a written quote for approximately a fifth of what he was asking for. Sure, I was happy to pay a bit more than the $85 as we had added to our rubbish pile - but not made it 5 times bigger in the interim, so I wasn't going to pay 5 times the quote, especially 2 weeks before Christmas.

Even today, the carpet people were not happy with me when I said that I would not be happy about having to pay the extra for the 0.3m of extra carpet that they failed to accurately measure for...

In other, more positive news, I finally made kiwifruit chutney today (a la the Edmonds cookbook). Note to self, do not use Eve apples in cooking - they don't soften up enough...and saute the onions first. And what is with the Edmonds obsession with DYC Malt Vinegar? I diluted the quantity they recommended with some cider vinegar, hopefully to improve the flavour of the chutney. It tasted ok upon completion today, but I'm going to leave it for a week to improve before trying it properly for the first time.

So how was your day?

Monday, June 23, 2008

Question...

What does Elvira wear around the house?
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Heaven is....

Homemade hummus eaten in the kitchen with carrot and celery sticks....
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Sunday, June 22, 2008

Painting

Well we've finished one coat and the walls are looking good. I've eaten half a packet of Forbidden Fruit lollies and the floors of the hallway have a light coating of plaster dust. Hope it comes off when we rewash the floors...

Undercoat


Undercoat


First coat of Rickshaw with flash


First coat of Rickshaw without flash

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

What the #$^@ is Jude Dobson on...?

Apparently a nice retainer...

Well now apparently we have to watch out, because get this, 1 IN 4 of us could be suffering from a condition known as, get this...'Dry Eyes'. Lovely Jude (and that gravelling voiced voice over guy) sadly ask, "Do you suffer from dry, itchy eyes?" This is apparently, a condition so dire, we must go out and spend $$$ on specially formulated eye drops to correct the terrible condition. WTF!?! I would think just turning down the thermostat, dehumidifier or heat pump might help to sort things out...ARGGGGGHHHH!

In other news, the painting has started, Phil has finished the first coat of undercoat and it'll be my turn with the VOC-free top coat sometime in the next few days... Plan is to start with the section of wall behind the door so any errors are less noticeable ;) The room looks different already! Old carpet is supposed to be coming up today so we'll get our first shifty at the dodgy bit of floor underneath too. Fingers crossed, I'd rather spend the $$ on getting lights fixed than new tongue and groove...

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Half way there....




Well today we have made it to the official half way point - 20 weeks gestation exactly. The anatomy scan was on Monday, and Mum came down from Christchurch to attend with us (lots of oooo's and ahhhh's - things have changed a lot since I was in the womb). It was quite awesome - the sonographer spent about 20-odd minutes zooming around looking at and measuring just about every part of Cleitus - all the while studiously avoiding 'down there' as P and I would like to have a surprise when our wee bundle enters the world. We got a good few pictures and a DVD of the whole scan as well, which I have been boring my friends with over the past few days. Will try to pop up one of the profile pics in the next few days, they are so detailed! All was well, though the sonographer did observe that Baby A is about the size of a 21 week old foetus at present - so we may have a big baby on the way! (not so sure if I like the sound of that...:) ) - I reckon it must be something to do with all the Milo I've been drinking, lol!
In other not so exciting news, only 2 exams to go (all over on Monday) and then I have 2-3 weeks of blissful holiday (aka not feeling guilty cause I should really be doing some study). It's been a hard semester, and frustrating getting to this point feeling like I can't really make up for the lack of work I did whilst morning sick. Despite knowing that, I know I will still be really disappointed at myself when my grades come in...
The nesting instinct has also thoroughly kicked in, hence the paint query a few weeks ago. For those who could see a difference, we are going with the Rickshaw as it is a warmer colour. We also have new carpet going down next week, insulation going in the ceiling, and various electrical repairs being undertaken as well (primarily outside lights so our guests don't have to embark on a suicide mission when they leave our house after evening visits). Bathroom plans on hold due to cost :(, but if the house is much warmer, I don't think I will mind so much - will try and put a fan in the bathroom ceiling to do something about the condensation though for the interim. I've also managed to buy a baby buggy (trade me), a new Fridge/Freezer (Smiths City)and sold our old fridge (trade me again). I am now an official Trade Me addict! Though when they came to deliver the new fridge, we discovered the box had been labelled wrong and now we are going to have to wait even longer for the new fridge. The delivery guys were mightily peeved, after lugging the thing all the way up our hill! Hopefully the people that bought our old one won't mind too much about the further delay... if they do, I'm bloody contacting F&P and asking for a discount to cover the lost $$ !!!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Moroccan Roasted Pumpkin and Red Pepper Soup

A really easy pumpkin soup I whipped up tonight. Takes just over an hour from start to finish :)
  • Half a pumpkin, deseeded and chopped into really large chunks
  • 4 medium size red peppers
  • Olive oil
  • Onion, chopped
  • Garlic, chopped
  • Approx 500ml Chicken or Vege stock (don't use powdered stock - it is too salty)
  • Can of Moroccan Spiced (or Indian Spiced - its up to you) Tomatoes
Preheat the oven to 180-200C. Put the pumpkin (skin at the bottom) and red peppers into a baking tray. Brush the pumpkin with olive oil. Put the tray into the oven and roast until the peppers are blackened and the pumpkin is nicely browned and cooked through (about 30 min). Transfer the peppers to a bowl and cover with gladwrap. Once they are collapsed, remove the skins, stalks and seeds (keep the juices that come out of the peppers - you'll add it to the soup too)
Heat about a tablespoon of olive oil in a large saucepan. Saute the chopped onion and garlic until transparent. Remove the skin from the roasted pumpkin and add to the saucepan. Add the tomatoes and the stock and bring to a gentle boil. Add the red peppers and their juices and heat through for another few minutes.
Take soup off element and check for seasoning. Use a stick blender to smooth the soup out a bit (leave some chunks). Serve in big bowls with nice chunky fresh or garlic bread on the side. Yummy!

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Sunday, May 25, 2008

A choice to be made.....


bedReseneRickshaw.jpg
Originally uploaded by mellopuffy
So here is our spare room with Resene Rickshaw on the walls - please compare and tell me what you think with the other image below....

bedAlmondFrost.jpg
Originally uploaded by mellopuffy
This is the same shot with Resene's Almond Frost in the background

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Pony

cat
more cat pictures

Asko - environmentally friendly...?

Is it just me, or is it bizarre for a company claiming green credentials to have an ad showing not one, but TWO full size dishwashers in a kitchen....?
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Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Musings

So...is that guy on the Instant Kiwi ad the guy from OpShop? He's somewhat familiar.....
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Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Hey where you been? It's been so long.....

Well some of you might be wondering about the long period (ha ha, NOT! - excuse the pun) between posts. As you can see from the lovely picture attached, in the interim I have become the incubator of a baby bun! It's just that I've had this spot of bother with morning sickness (ha ha, who ever named it that - I might kill them ;) ), and haven't felt like doing much of anything. Have managed to keep it together for uni, but that's about it. Thankfully the 8-10 weeks of all-day car sick feeling and occasional random vomit seems to have ended now (I really really feel for those friends of mine that have been through worse than what I have...!)

So I'm currently at the 17 week stage. Baby A is due at the end of October (right in the middle of exams) - and no, we don't know what the sex is and do not plan to find out until B-Day.

Early days were a bit fraught - we had some endometrial bleeding at around 5 weeks which was understandably scary but thankfully we got through that okay, and all has been well at the 8 and 12 week scans. We got an excellent photo at 12 weeks which I will post as soon as I can find somewhere to scan the thing. Phil has named it 'Cleitus the Foetus' for now - don't know what we'll do if it's a girl ;) . On the whole I have been reasonably comfortable, my lower abs complain quite a bit and lying on my back just feels plain weird. At night I have quite a few visits to the loo (in preparation for night feeds they say). I went to aqua-aerobics last week which was the first proper exercise I've done for quite a few months and felt fantastic afterwards so I will definitely have to keep that up.

Our next scan is in a couple of weeks. Mum is coming down to go along with us which will be great.

In other news - we have a heat pump!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (large number of exclamation marks are an attempt to convey the magnitude of this new addition). I don't think I really realised just how cold our house has been until it's not any more - I mean I was finding it pretty frickin' freezing getting up to 7 degrees C in the kitchen, so now to find its 14C at 7 am is pure pure bliss! Once insulation is added to the roof cavity (I know! We have NONE there at present, why on earth the previous owners were happy to drop an easy ton a room on fancy carpet but not $1200 on ceiling insulation, i do not know...) it should be even cosier. Add to that, the new rug in the living room, plans to update the bathroom, new carpet in the spare room, preparation for a nursery etc etc, some might accuse me of having a spot of the nesting bug!

So all is well in the Archer-Orchard household at present - hope youse all are well yourselves... more photos to follow ;) - Mel

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

A different angle on the anti-smacking debate

I was interested to read this article on stuff this evening. What interests me the most is the attitude of the study's authors (or perhaps more accurately, the journalists take on their attitude - I haven't read the study myself). To quote: "Infants subjected to Supernanny-style parenting end up behaving just as badly at two years old as other children, Australian researchers say". After reading the article, I think I would prefer it if the byline had more of this sort of focus: "Children subjected to harsh discipline and verbal abuse are no more well-behaved than children who have a warm and sensitive relationship with their parents".

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Falling Kiwi


Found this post by random on Youtube - I like the choice of Nitin Sawnhey's "Falling" in the remix. Why do things like this almost bring a tear to the eye?

Rise up, rise up....

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Beautiful Haze

"It might be good to tell the boss that I don't give a toss and to stick his lame-arse job
Now I'm sure that I can...." ;)*

*with thanks to SJD - hope he doesn't mind me poaching his lyrics - I finally threw in the job. Figured my mental health was worth more than $12.21 an hour....

Cloud

Today at around 12pm on an otherwise sunny day, this cold mist came down and enveloped the hill that we live on... lasted around 30 mins then back to bright sunny day!

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Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Groovin to Antiques Roadshow

I can't believe it but Phil just boogied to the theme of Antiques Roadshow!?!

Monday, January 21, 2008

Free Rice!


I was browsing on the Snopes Urban Legends page today and I discovered FreeRice. It's not a hoax site - you really are donating rice to hungry people, by playing the word game on the site. Each word you get right donates 20 grains of rice. The advertising revenue generated by your participation on the site (you'll notice ads at the bottom of the page) pays for the rice! What a great idea! More info if you're interested on the Snopes site here.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Friday, January 04, 2008

Happy New Year!

Not much to tell really. Went to bed before 12 as was feeling a little dodge (maybe the beer?) and I had to work at 6.30am New Years Day.

My one New Year's resolution is to try more to see and experience the positive in everything, thereby (hopefully) opening myself up to more positive experiences ;).

Hope everyone had a good one....