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09:46pm 30/12/2016
  In light of all this, I'm importing my journal to dreamwidth, just in case. If LJ suddenly died I'd be very sad to lose all my entries, even if I don't do much in here anymore.

For DW people, I'm ashfae over there too, because predictable. =) Though I doubt I'll move back to this sort of journalling until the kids are older. It requires more than two minute stretches of time, and lately that's what I have.
 
     

(4 coffee-spoons |Squeeze the universe into a ball.)

 
   
11:28am 25/04/2015
  I honestly hadn't realized that I hadn't updated this since before the birth. I'm very sorry!

Happily in this case, it was No News Is Good News. The birth went just fine, and Chris and I now have another daughter, named Zoe Amelia. She's a super easy baby but sleep deprivation and never having two hands to type with are still the order of the day (and night), so all my internet time is pretty much reading Facebook on my phone and typing what I can with one hand. Hence the lack of updates. Very sorry about that!!

I'll put up photos when I can. But she's beautiful, and Robin is an adoring older sister so far (we're astonished). Robin is also going through the terrible twos, so things are pretty noisy around here, but cute in-between all the screaming times. Which aren't that numerous. But are very very loud. So loud. I love earplugs.

And yes, Zoe was named partly after Zoe from Firefly. No one is surprised by this, I assume. ;)
 
     

(9 coffee-spoons |Squeeze the universe into a ball.)

 
   
08:54pm 24/02/2015
  C-section in one week.

Much to do.
 
     

(4 coffee-spoons |Squeeze the universe into a ball.)

 
   
10:29pm 02/01/2015
  So we still don't really have a clue what to name Batgirl. Chris has a name or two he really likes but which I'm more "Hmmmmm" about, I have a name or two I like but he's more "Eh" about...with Robin I was always sure I wanted her to be Robin, even though I kept that to myself, so it wasn't anything like as difficult.

So bring on your suggestions, everyone. Silly, serious, whatever, throw names at me. I hope one we both like is out there and we just haven't run across it yet. Otherwise I'll have to fall back on Terpsichore.

(I'll be having a planned c-section, and I roughly know the day theyll aim for, so we've got eight weeks and a few days to figure this one out)
 
     

(12 coffee-spoons |Squeeze the universe into a ball.)

 
Overheard Lately: The End of 2014 Roundup   
11:04pm 01/01/2015
  Includes Inquisition, Hobbits, karmic payback, and how to identify a superspy. The Robin mentions and puns are now taken for granted as inevitable.Collapse )  
     

(3 coffee-spoons |Squeeze the universe into a ball.)

 
   
10:27am 31/10/2014
  I was glancing through past entries, trying to find a particular one/see if I'd posted a particular thing. Dear lord all my entries from the past year/year and a half are depressing.

Um. I promise there've been a lot of good times and things, too, for what it's worth. Honest. It's that lately I'm mostly on Facebook, and I come here for ranting. The hilarious/joyous moments stay over there, or get collected and posted all at once in Overheard Lately entries.

But to give you some of the nifty things from lately, The Saga is finally for real this time drawing to a conclusion; we've found a system of asthma medication that's working, and I've been doing a lot more walking lately and am very happy about it. Yay, exercise! (at least, by recent standards). I start work again on Monday (third try; I ended up signed off again last time).

I'm feeling and looking a LOT more pregnant, which admittedly is a mixed blessing. My 20 week ultrasound was recently, and Batbaby appears healthy, and is a girl. =) Which I'd started hoping for despite always having said/thought I wanted one of each, so I'm quite pleased about that.

Mom came to visit, partly because she thought (correctly) that I/we needed looking after given recent events. This was both incredibly helpful and a huge pleasure. She got to play with Robin a lot; Robin still doesn't like anyone touching her or picking her up aside from a few uber-trusted ones, but she enjoyed playing with Mom and knows to call her 'Oma'. (German for grandmother, and the nickname Mom chose for herself). In small pleasure, Mom and Chris and I all went for afternoon tea at the Balmoral and spoiled ourselves silly with decadent treats. Which were decorated with tiny ghosts for Halloween. They were very cute.

Best, while Mom left this morning and that's rather sad, she'll be back again in six weeks for Christmas. So soon! =) I've seen a lot of my parents this year and it's definitely been the best part of the year.

As another neat thing...we failed to get to Florida for one last trip before the baby's born (won't get back to the States for years, traveling on planes for 18+ hours with one toddler was bad enough and we can't face the prospect of doing it with a toddler and a baby). We failed to get to Germany to see my brother and meet his wife. We even failed to make it to bloody Cambridge, which was the next crackpot hope. But we damn well are going to get down to York for just a couple days of holiday and I'm really looking forward to it. We both love York, it's a neat place to be and I have some nifty friends there, we have a little money to splurge on a nice place to stay in the center of town, booyeah.
 
     

(2 coffee-spoons |Squeeze the universe into a ball.)

 
The Saga, er, sagaing?   
02:04pm 15/10/2014
  Things are certainly improving. I'm back at work today! YAY! No one was really sure if I should start again yet, but so far so good.

And Mom's come to visit MOM MOM MOM MOM I'm so happy to see her. =) =) =)

I still have a lot of trouble, especially with coughing; can't tell if the coughing is because of the asthma, because I have a cold, or just because I've been coughing for months and my throat is a wreck. Or a combination thereof. Hmmm.

In short, I'm tentatively resuming normal life and seeing how I get on. At least, as normal as life gets when you're almost five months pregnant. Meeep!
 
     

(1 coffee-spoon |Squeeze the universe into a ball.)

 
The Saga STILL Continues   
09:05pm 06/10/2014
  So, after getting out of the hospital, I stayed home less than 48 hours before going back. That was exciting, in a thoroughly uncomfortable sort of way.

Turns out that in addition to (or perhaps because of) Mothra and Moraxella the Infections of Doom, I now have asthma. It might be temporary; that's pretty common in pregnancy. But it's probably been complicating things, and hit hard a few days ago. When I went back in, I couldn't really talk or walk much (one woman kept asking why I hadn't gone to A&E instead; erk?). They gave me lots of steroid antihistamines to clear out my lungs and a shiny new inhaler to use twice a day (the old inhaler--heh, all of three weeks old--is now the relief one) to help keep things under control in the future. Stayed in for another three nights and just got released today.

For those of you who'd been concerned/interested...it was prednisone they put me on. It wasn't a decision made lightly, I did some research and talked to several doctors (including Mom, who I woke up at 3am, yikes, poor Mom) first. It was a short oral dose though (finishes tomorrow), and brief enough that it shouldn't hurt the baby, especially at this stage. So hopefully no harm done. And there's no denying its effect on me was dramatically good. The difference between morning-me and evening-post-prednisone-me was astonishing. Breathing! It's a great habit! Anyway, I think spare me the horror/worry stories, please, because unfortunately it's a done deal now. Ultimately, there wasn't much choice; my other options were few, and it wasn't going to do anyone any good if I couldn't breathe decently. Or even half-decently. Edit: Actually, I was wrong! It's Prednisolone they put me on, which is similar but not quite the same thing. Huh.

Speaking of the baby, I got a super-quick ultrasound while I was in just so they could check on it. Not only is the baby's heartbeat entirely healthy, it's, and I quote, "Dancing around like Michael Flatley." If Riverdance is still around when it's old enough to join, career sorted.

So I'm back home again. I have a new normal to get adjusted to. Theoretically I was supposed to go back to work today; appointment with my GP tomorrow to talk about when that's actually likely to happen, and to get All The Letters to send to work, the gym, and United Airlines. That's a nifty detail; Mom is coming to see us! She was heading out to Germany to visit my bro anyway, and Chris' parents are going out of town for two weeks, which is tiring at the best of times, which these manifestly aren't. In addition to everything that's been going on with me, Chris was left largely alone to single-parent Robin, who of course decided it was the perfect time to get several ear infections and have two nights where she threw up. Gyaaaaah poor Chris. So we're really relieved Mom is coming to lend a hand. Plus, grandmother time for Robin. Yay! And if my GP sends United a letter explaining what's up with me, they won't charge her for the ticket change. Yay again.

I say this a lot, but it deserves repeating: DEAR GOD I am so lucky to live here. In the States I would now be very broke and very fired. Instead I've been well taken care of in the hospital, and my job is super-supportive and determined that I be completely healthy before coming back. It's fricking amazing. Thank you, taxes; I will happily pay you forever.
 
     

(8 coffee-spoons |Squeeze the universe into a ball.)

 
The Saga Continues   
02:32pm 02/10/2014
  So for those of you not on Facebook? Things got more interesting.

I spent the past five days in the hospital with breathing problems. Actually that's a bit more dramatic than what happened, it's not as though I was constantly hooked up to oxygen or something. But it was labored enough that they wanted to keep a close eye on me and use nebulisers to give my lungs regular direct medication for a while. Two days in the middle were pretty bizarre.

That said, things did eventually improve (largely thanks to more antibiotics), and I'm out! YAY! HOME! So glad to be back.

The tests revealed that it wasn't Mothra, but yet ANOTHER bacterial lung infection, this one called Moraxella Catarrhalis, a name I find vaguely hilarious (the evil pizza infection!). Conclusion: having a compromised immune system (thanks to pregnancy, in my case) royally sucks, and if there are any anti-vaccers reading, I'm going to throw essays about herd immunity at you until you reconsider your stance.

So now I'm back to where I was when I last posted, really. My breathing is much improved though not 100% (still can't walk around or do much without getting short of breath), I cough a ton and produce enough mucus to make several sequel films to the Blob. Exercise beyond walking up and down the block, slowly, is off the cards for the moment.

But I'm hoooooooooooooooooooooooooooooome. =)

Save your sympathy for Chris, though. My time in the hospital was tedious but not that bad (the food was even edible); meanwhile he was here alone with Robin, who of course picked then to get sick and throw up in the middle of the night. Meeeeeeep poor Chris!!! My in-laws have been lifesavers as always during the days, taking her on non-nursery days so Chris could get a break. They're going to France for two weeks in a bit, and Mom is going to come out and look after us then, which is a big relief to everybody. Hopefully I'll be better by then, but since this has been going on for almost two months, I'm not counting on it and neither is anyone else.

For now, back to computer games. I managed to do dishes and put clothes in the laundry, and that's exercise enough for the moment. Baby steps, Fae.

...that's a silly saying, really. Robin takes baby steps, and technically they're small, but she does so many of them so fast that she covers a lot of distance! Rather contradicts the spirit of the saying. ;)
 
     

(10 coffee-spoons |Squeeze the universe into a ball.)

 
   
09:14pm 26/09/2014
  Right...let's catch up.

I mentioned a weird chest cold thing about a month ago. It wasn't. It turned out to be haemophilus influenzae, which despite the name is not a type of flu. Don't google it, it just looks scary. Long story short, I had a seriously problematic bug (I nicknamed it Mothra). It's been kicked by antibiotics now, but has left me with a charming, temporary (please god let this be temporary) case of acute asthma (or something very like it). The sort that means you pause to breathe when going up stairs, and walking two blocks becomes a major event, and wheezing is a way of life. I've been off work for weeks; I'm signed off until at least October 8th and possibly longer. (if I were in the States, I'd be so fired, oh god; my boss is being wonderful, thank heavens)

On the other hand, I'm sleeping at night now. And a lot during the day. Still coughing, but not as much and not with anything like the repetitive frightening violence of what was happening before. Dad was visiting, and insisted we both sleep with our bedroom doors open so he could hopefully hear if I started dying of asphyixiation in the night. Um. Not a joke. It's been a very strange month.

Things are improving, but so slowly. It's not just impatience, I'm kind of scared. Oddly, I wasn't before, probably because I didn't really believe things were serious as opposed to just incredibly annoying. (and in fairness I was probably right about that, though we did a ton of tests to make sure of the fact) (and it was epically annoying/frustrating, especially during the periods of No Sleep Ever)

My worry is that I'm not exercising at all, haven't for over a month. And I'm four months pregnant. That ain't good. I need to rest, but...merggg.

I was wondering if anyone has any advice. Some of you have asthma, I know, of a more chronic form than whatever this muck is. Mine doesn't seem to have triggers the way proper asthma does, it's just constant. (yes, I have an inhaler, and it's getting used religiously; I'd be in trouble without it) I was thinking about trying just some light yoga at home. Something. Stretching without hard breathing being involved, since breathing requires negotiation lately unless I'm sitting still. I'm trying to walk a bit every day but it's so hard to know when I'm overdoing it. Mom's told me to behave like when I was recovering from the Caesarian, and walking around the block was an exciting achievement. Merf.

We've had help. My in-laws watch Robin every other day, and Dad was here visiting for two weeks; not much of a vacation for him but he was invaluable company. For a lot of it, Chris and Robin went to stay in Dalkeith (first time I've been separated from her overnight since she was born) and Dad and I stayed home. Everyone slept better that way. They're back home now, and Dad's back in the States, and we're managing, though Chris is exhausted.

We hired someone to come clean the house. This was a really, really good idea.

I just wish I knew how long this was going to last, and could make it easier for Chris. There's so little I can do right now. I read a lot.

The good news is that Batbaby seems to be thriving despite all this chaos. Moves around a lot and has a healthy heartbeat. Robin can point at my stomach and say "Baby!" But she also points at her teddy bear's stomach and says that, so I rather doubt she's got it.
 
     

(18 coffee-spoons |Squeeze the universe into a ball.)

 
Overheard Lately: Puns, Robin mischief, and sausages   
04:19pm 27/08/2014
  And rumors of actual content.Collapse )  
     

(10 coffee-spoons |Squeeze the universe into a ball.)

 
   
03:41pm 30/05/2014
  Oh thank god the new version of livejournal included a "Switch back to the old version" link.  
     

(3 coffee-spoons |Squeeze the universe into a ball.)

 
   
02:41pm 12/03/2014
  I'm not checking this lately, as was no doubt obvious; I'm not even managing to read entries, much less write my own. It's all about Facebook, because that's the thing I can do in lots of two-minute intervals, which are usually all I have to spend (or at least, when I have longer intervals I have other things I need to use them on). Blame parenting and general tiresome being a grown-up-ness. Sorry, guys. =(  
     

(3 coffee-spoons |Squeeze the universe into a ball.)

 
Overheard Lately: Thor 2, Diablo 3, and Les Mis: the Parental Edit   
01:49am 10/01/2014
  And some Robin, because she gets into everything.Collapse )

In actual news, I have a nasty case of bronchitis and no voice. Actually no voice, I can only whisper. As my largely-deaf dad is visiting, this makes communication interesting. Mostly I pull out my laptop and type at him. That's amusing, but being sick is very boring and I'd like to be well now, please. Not least because my birthday happened in there and I slept through the whole thing in a feverish daze. We postponed cake and presents until I'm better. I'm not better yet, but I'm better enough to be impatient!!
 
     

(7 coffee-spoons |Squeeze the universe into a ball.)

 
crosspost from FB, details later   
10:35am 03/11/2013
  Adventures in Parenting news:

Through a mixture of perfect bad timing, Robin managed to pull a mug of new-made (and thus just boiled) hot tea over herself last night. The short version: she's going to be fine, I spent the night with her at the hospital but she's already been discharged, the scalding is all pretty superficial and there will hopefully be no scarring at all (only one blistered area, on her chest, about the size of a two-pound coin). No nursery until she's healed, so two weeks or so, which is going to make the next two weeks interesting workwise. But as disasters go, that went about as smoothly as possible. In part, apparently, because Chris and I reacted to the incident *exactly* right and prevented it from being a lot worse.

In conclusion: first aid training for the win, NHS even more for the win (I don't even want to think about what the last 14 hours would have been like in the States), Robin for the win (she's already back to her happy, curious self, though seeing her high on nasal morphine was rather hilarious), and I am going the fuck to bed now.

P.S. In odd ironic news: the time when the accident happened was almost exactly, to the hour, when I went into labor a year ago. Hell of a way to celebrate your upcoming birthday, kid.
 
     

(14 coffee-spoons |Squeeze the universe into a ball.)

 
   
09:31pm 22/10/2013
  So, let's catch up a bit.Collapse )  
     

(18 coffee-spoons |Squeeze the universe into a ball.)

 
   
09:04pm 15/09/2013
  You don't want to read this entry. I shall write it anyway because you've gotta whine somewhere, sometimes. But unless you're inclined to sympathize with a parent, and willing to read about gross stuff babies do, avoid. Believe me, no offense will be taken.

It's a good thing she's so damn cute.Collapse )
 
     

(23 coffee-spoons |Squeeze the universe into a ball.)

 
   
11:16pm 08/09/2013
  I'm a bit down this evening. Solution: post another edition of Overheard Lately. Someday I really need to fix the tags on these things.

Overheard lately: Making up your own lyrics is more fun.Collapse )
 
     

(5 coffee-spoons |Squeeze the universe into a ball.)

 
   
08:47am 28/06/2013
  So I could be stressed. We move out in ONE WEEK and most of that week wil be spent up in Orkney, and there's so much to do. (anyone want to come weed the garden/mow the lawn? It's an unholy nightmare. I'll pay you in brownies)

On the other hand we went into Edinburgh today to do afternoon tea at the Balmoral. It was amazing. Also much better value for money than you'd expect, seeing as they kind of lob cake at you. So much cake. We had the full tea and then they bring this cake trolley around and ask if we want any, and we all eyed it dubiously going "...you're not serious, are you?" so they gave it to us to take away. In this staggeringly pretty box. Dear god. My sweet tooth met its match and then some.

And it's impossible to be stressed when you're full of cake, even if you do move in a week and the backyard is a mess.
 
     

(4 coffee-spoons |Squeeze the universe into a ball.)

 
Overheard lately in the Ash-Chris Household...   
02:16pm 20/06/2013
 
mood: accomplished
Contains Hobbits.Collapse )
 
     

(6 coffee-spoons |Squeeze the universe into a ball.)