Friday, 31 December 2010

The End of the Year

Friday, 31 December 2010
Well this is my last opportunity to add one more post to my pitiful number of posts for 2010! I have to say that New Years has crept up on me rather as I've been under the weather a bit over the festive period - the snot monster has paid a prolonged visit but hopefully I'm on the way out of it's clutches now.

So 2010 has been a fabulous year for us. The safe arrival of Number 1 son in April changed our lives for the better as he's an absolute joy to have around and the family has definitely been enhanced by his presence. He is now nearly 9 months old and today crawled properly for the first time. He's a strong little chap and his favourite pastime is standing up holding onto our fingers. Oh and he also got his two front teeth for Christmas!

Number 1 daughter is also a delight - she's growing like a weed and still doing terrifically well at school. Her social life still dominates with swimming, ballet, Greek school and play dates defining our weekends. She'll be 6 in June and we're going to surprise her with tickets to see the Wizard of Oz in London. I'm not big on kiddies parties and given she was obsessed with the search for Dorothy on TV and asks incessently if she can go to the show I thought it was a much better birthday treat. Plus I'm pretty sure the cost of the tickets is less than the cost of a party!

Next year sees me turning 40 (eek!) so we're having a big family party that also includes a Christening in the morning. The date was chosen and booked back in September so imagine my horror when Royalty decided to crash my party weekend LOL. The Royal Wedding is the day before our celebrations and has done us a favour by giving everyone that day off work so it's not all bad (but it was my weekend first!)

2011 is going to be the year of belt tightening in our house for sure. I go back to work in a week (10th Jan) and 80% of my wages will be going on childcare some months (it's a term time arrangement so some months we won't have to pay the full amount) which means there will be very little spare income for us. This is a good thing though as we've become very wasteful over the last few years and I think looking at ways to use what we have, spend less and generally become better at managing our lives can only be a good thing.

Looking back on 2010 I have been pretty good at reducing the junk in the house and not buying more stash but that was definitely just a practice run for 2011. I haven't had many finishes stitching wise (6) but I also haven't had many new starts (5, 4 of which were also finished) so my WIP list is still long but not increased. I've also read 42 books this year which is pretty good (I usually try for one a week). Hopefully next year those numbers will increase a bit as I won't have that 'new baby' issue that curtailed my productivity for a while.

Anyway, I'm going to post my 2011 goals tomorrow and have to sign off now to go play 'Guess Who' with Lia so I'll just finish up by wishing you all a Happy New Year and I hope that 2011 brings you all that you wish for.

Tuesday, 16 November 2010

Scream House

Tuesday, 16 November 2010
I know, I know, it's been a while yet again but I haven't been idle. I finally bit the bullet and got on with finishing Just Nan's Scream House (the stitching was finished a looooong time ago). So here it is (apologies for the crap pics, DH's camera is broken and mine isn't that good!

Wednesday, 20 October 2010

Ho Hum

Wednesday, 20 October 2010
Time does fly, doesn't it!

I can't believe it's been a month since I blogged but I guess the days march on. We're all fine and pootling along as normal - life has been exteremely uneventful hence the lack of posting.

I've just confirmed with my Manager that I will be returning to work on 10/01/11 which doesn't seem that far away now so I'm trying to make the most of every day I have at home with Connor. He's a total delight and going from strength to strength. He's just past six months old now (see I said time flies!) and has been on solids for a month and a half - he absolutely loves his food! He's able to stay sitting up if you help him and also commando rolls around the floor so no longer stays where he's put.

Lia is also doing well, is back at school and still enjoying it - I have a few concerns regarding her new teacher but have a parent teacher meeting tomorrow so we'll see what that brings.

I have been doing a lot of stitching so I will attempt to take some pictures and start posting about crafty stuff again - I have grand plans regarding what I can get done in the next three months before work starts again!

Tuesday, 14 September 2010

We're home

Tuesday, 14 September 2010
We've actually been home for nine days now but last week was a blur of unpacking, washing, ironing, getting ready for school, shoe shopping and school days! I'm back to feeling pretty much like we never had a holiday LOL.

We had a fabulous time away, the weather was amazing (32 - 40 degrees) and we swam in the sea, in a river, in swimming pools, we saw relatives that I'd never met (and some that I had), travelled the whole length of Greece and back, shopped, ate and relaxed.

Here's some pics from the trip:

Me and Connor (yes a rare pic of me!)

DH and Lia

Kavala - our house is one of those on that big hill!

Connor and DH in the sea


So now we're back home and settled down into a routine. We're on the run up to Christmas now which means it's a countdown till I'm back at work in January! Time has flown by and I know it'll be even quicker towards the end of the year.

Lia is now officially in year 1 at school and yesterday lost her first tooth! She's most excited about not being the smallest in the school and is really happy to be back. Connor is now a blonde! His baby hair is pretty much gone other than a quiff and his new hair is very blonde indeed. He's rolling over properly now and can roll back too. As of last week he's been eating solids and loving it - no building up slowly, he's right in there demanding lots of food.

As for me, I'm just organising a big party for next year. I hit 40 (OMG!!!) in April and I always use a 'zero' birthday as an excuse for a party plus we're having Connor christened on the morning of the party so it'll be a joint birthday / christening. A little unorthodox but hey, that's me LOL. I have ambitious plans for the party so will no doubt spend the next seven months going a bit bonkers getting it all organised and being waaaaay too excited for my own good.

Monday, 16 August 2010

Off on our hols!

Monday, 16 August 2010
We're off in the morning for a three week tour of duty in the mother country. Or visiting DH's relatives in Greece if you prefer.

It's been very busy here with holiday entertainment and getting ready for the trip but we've been having a great time. Connor is growing fast and has his first tooth (he's had it for about three weeks now but I don't think I mentioned it before). Lia is extremely excited about seeing all her Greek relatives so is a little hyperactive and DH is in holiday mode which means he's not doing much, including packing...

I've got about 10 small stitching projects packed to take with me so finger's crossed I get some decent stitching time in.

Saturday, 7 August 2010

Summer holidays days 11 to 16

Saturday, 7 August 2010
No I didn't get bored detailing the minutae of our holiday life, I took the kids back to my hometown for a few days and, as I stayed with my sister, was away from all forms of modern communication (not only do they not have internet I forgot my mobile phone at home!)

So we had a nice few days down there chilling out and enjoying spending time with family. Now we're home we've spent the day chilling out with friends and making stuff with Hama beads (Lia made three things, her friends made one each and I made six. Really.)

DH is at a beer festival today so he'll be good for nothing tomorrow which is why I invited friends around for a BBQ. Ok, it's really because I'm trying to empty the freezer before we go away in nine days but I'm such an evil wife I'm going to enjoy him suffering a hangover whilst cooking burgers...

In other vaguely interesting news I'm no longer breast feeding. I was going to keep it up (I'd been thinking about stopping before suffering in the heat in Greece) but my body had other ideas and my milk started to dry up. I've no idea why as Connor was feeding the same as usual and I had had plenty of milk but we persevered for a week with him valiantly trying to stimulate the milk but to no avail. I gave him his last feed on Monday evening and since then he's been a bottle only boy.

Sunday, 1 August 2010

Summer holidays days 9 and 10

Sunday, 1 August 2010
A nice weekend here - yesterday DH and Lia had a day together painting, going to the cinema, etc whilst I looked after Connor. Today we visited friends and had a lovely day catching up with them and Lia got to play with their kids.

Friday, 30 July 2010

Summer holidays Day 8

Friday, 30 July 2010
Well a quiet day here as we stayed home and vegged out in front of the TV - we watched Nanny McPhee, lots and lots of Charlie and Lola and even more CBeebies. We did do some crafting this afternoon when Connor had a sleep but generally it was a vegging day :)

Thursday, 29 July 2010

Summer holiday day 7

Thursday, 29 July 2010
We went to a local farming museum which was fab and we did a 'make a farm in a box' activity which was fun - lots of colouring in and sticking.

In the afternoon we watched Toy Story as Lia's going to see number 3 on Saturday so we're building up to it LOL. Oh and we raided my bead box to make a necklace for Lia and another for Nayno (Lia's toy cat). Connor chilled out most of the day and was generally his usual happy self even though he does appear to have cut his first tooth!

Wednesday, 28 July 2010

Summer Holiday day 6

Wednesday, 28 July 2010
We spent the day at an RHS Garden with friends:

Tuesday, 27 July 2010

Summer Holiday day 5

Tuesday, 27 July 2010
Well we went out to the local library today as they had a 'play with Hama beads' session for kids. Lia made a heart and really enjoyed it - so much so that I've ordered a bunch of beads and stuff from Amazon. We've also painted her finger and toe nails and baked buns and iced them.

Connor is sleeping so I've just made lasagne for dinner with the idea that I can just stick it in the oven later and not have to worry about it when I'm feeding him.

I've also done a bit more cleaning up in the kitchen and made four pockets for the bags I'm making. Tonight will be ironing I think - hopefully it'll cool down as it's hot and sticky right now.

Oh and here's a pic of the pair of them...

Monday, 26 July 2010

Summer Holiday day 4

Monday, 26 July 2010
A quiet day at home given we were away for the weekend as chores needed to be done. Washing done, some ironing done, fridge cleaned, hob cleaned. Oh and a supermarket trip. And the guinea pigs cleaned.

Lia was a bit stir crazy by the evening but we did do some aqua beads and some maths plus I helped her finish up something she was making from one of her birthday presents. She gets dedicated Mum time when Connor sleeps so I hope we can do something she wants every day.

Connor, as usual, was a good boy and ate and slept as well as he always does.

Sunday, 25 July 2010

Summer holidays Days 2 and 3

Sunday, 25 July 2010
Well that was a quick weekend! We went to my hometown yesterday morning and stayed over at my sisters house coming back home this evening.

It was a lovely weekend - lots of friends for Lia to play with and lots of cuddles for Connor. Oh and a lovely BBQ today.

I am now wrestling with some homesickness - I haven't lived at home for 18 years but it is still home and all my family are there. Now my bro and my niece have littluns too it's hard to leave - Lia and her cousin Luisa adore each other and there were lots of tears when they had to say goodbye. We are going back in 10 days though so we can spend a little more time together but it's just not the same as being able to pop over whenever we want (it's a two hr drive).

Oh well, DH isn't averse to moving there so you never know, if the job situation works out we might end up there/

Friday, 23 July 2010

Summer Holidays Day 1

Friday, 23 July 2010
Lia woke at 6.45am, Connor at 8.00am

Lia has dressed as a Princess, drawn a million pictures, made a robot, done ten pages of a maths text book, played with her brother, watched Nanny McPhee and the Big Bang and the Wizard of Oz.

Connor has eaten loads, sucked his thumb a lot, rolled onto his front a million times each time eventually crying till I turn him back, pulled my hair a lot and had a nice long (4 hr) nap.

I've tidied all the DVDs and done some ironing. All in all a nice chilled day!

Saturday, 17 July 2010

Blimey time flies!

Saturday, 17 July 2010
I can't believe it's been so long since my last post - I guess life just has been moving on.

Connor is now 14 weeks old and sleeping through the night. Well, he has for the last three nights at least so there's time for that to change. He goes down at 7pm, has his 10pm feed and then he's been sleeping through till at least 7am - this morning it was 8.30am! He's also having a good long 2 -3 hr nap around lunchtime so I'm getting some me time back!

He's growing well - following the 50th centile pretty much which is good. He can roll over onto his left side and back as of five days ago and is almost exclusively sucking his left thumb. Going by my Mum's theory that means he'll be left handed as I am (my bro is right handed and the pair of us were opposites with thumb sucking and side favouring from this early too). Still, it's a long while yet so we'll see. I have to admit I'd like it if he is left handed - I've always been the only one in the family so it'd be nice to share that with him. And if he's not then hey, I'm still unique LOL.

As for Lia well her first year at school finishes this coming Thursday. Talk about time zooming along, that's her reception year done and come September she'll be in year 1 and officially a school girl. It's been a busy year somewhat dictated by my pregnancy and Connor's arrival but she's been fantastic and has had a great end of year report.

Today she has her first ballet exam. She's doing a little dance to the song Thumbelina and is very excited about it. She's unlikely to be a professional ballet dancer (she's over the 90th centile for height and weight!) but she absolutely loves dancing so I don't see her stopping any time soon. We're also pushing her to learn to swim - she's pretty confident in the water but just not swimming yet - there was just never enough time for proper lessons when I was working full time but I'm going to book her on some for September.

Talking of September I'm sure it's going to come around really quickly. There's three weeks of school holidays to get through and then we're off to Greece for three weeks, getting back two days before school starts again. I'm pretty much sorted with uniform and the like but we will be going shoe shopping the day before school unless I can find something while we're in Greece.

Thursday, 24 June 2010

11 Weeks

Thursday, 24 June 2010
So here we are at 11 weeks!

Connor is doing really well - smiling lots and lots and we had our first laugh on Sunday (just for Daddy on Father's Day). He sleeps around 8pm now which is good and is still having a 10pm feed then waking at 4am and then again around 7.30am. A pretty good routine I'd say.

The good news is that he doesn't seem to be affected by the heat at all - he must have more Greek blood than English as I'm wilting rather. We've booked to go to Greece for three weeks in August so this is cold compared to how it will be there - the only good news with that is that they have a lot more aircon that we do here.

Development wise Connor's mastered two thirds of the male life skills - sleeping, burping, farting and lying around flapping his willy in the wind. All he needs to do now is find his bits for a good scratch and wrestle the remote control from his father and he's done...

He's also got pretending to be a super hero down pat too...

As for his sister, she's doing okay too - her reading is coming on so well as is her basic maths. We've introduced a reward system for her to encourage her to keep her room tidy - every night it's clean before she gets in bed she gets 10p and if she does that all week plus being generally a good girl then she'll earn £1 pocket money a week so she can save up and buy something.

The idea is that 1) we don't have battles re room cleaning any more, 2) she learns how to add up money and 3) she learns she has to earn money to buy things she wants. This all starts properly come Monday as I'm going to blitz her bedroom this weekend so we have a blank canvas starting point.

I think that's about all the news from here - DH and I are pootling along adjusting to less sleep and a new routine. I'm trying to work out how I can fit in some exercise during the week (other than walking lots and pushing the pram). The problem is that DH isn't home at regular times - it can be anything between 6.20pm and 10.00pm - so I can't guarantee getting out on the same night every week which limits options a bit. I'm hoping to get started with swimming though as I can do that two or three times a week whenever it works for us.

Stitching wise I'm working away on my Big Round Zipper - you never know I might even manage a progress picture some time soon

Friday, 11 June 2010

Road Trip!

Friday, 11 June 2010
Connor and I are off on a road trip today. It's my annual weekend away with a group of stitchy friends and this year Connor will be joining us as I obviously cannot leave him home for four days!

We're just waiting for a friend to arrive and then we'll be off - it's a three hour drive so it'll be his longest trip so far in the car - fingers crossed he'll sleep all the way.

He'll be a very spoiled boy by the time he gets back though - all those mad women who are lining up to give him cuddles - several of them have also offered to help out with night feeds (he has bottles at night) so I might even end up with more sleep this weekend than I've been used to recently!

We're all doing okay - Connor is now nine weeks old (how time does fly) and smiling away all the time. His sleeping patterns haven't altered much but occasionally he'll sleep for two - four hours in an afternoon so I do get a bit of a treat sometimes. Lia is in her last half term of her first year at school - that time really has flown - and still enjoying it and doing well.

All in all life is pootling along nicely here.

Tuesday, 1 June 2010

Happy Birthday Lia!

Tuesday, 1 June 2010
Unbelievably my little girl is five years old today!!!

Friday, 28 May 2010

In the absence of anything interesting to write

Friday, 28 May 2010
Here's some photos!

Lia dressed up for Pirate day at school:

Connor and Daddy bonding!

Connor practising to be a Rock God

Thursday, 20 May 2010

Six weeks

Thursday, 20 May 2010
So here we are at six weeks already! I've been signed off officially by my Consultant so that's great news.

Connor is growing well and he now sleeps in his cot all night - he's such a noisy sleeper that we get a much better nights sleep with him just that bit further away! He has his 10pm feed from Daddy and generally wakes me between 3 and 4 am so I'm hoping it won't be too long before he's sleeping through - he just needs to get a bit bigger so he can have a bit more milk in his tummy.

He's also happier spending time in his swinging chair - not long though, five or ten mins at a time, but it makes all the difference to be able to put him down and know he won't squawk straight away. In the last couple of days he's found his fist to suck too.

Lia's still loving him, she's being great and helpful and doing well at school so I really can't ask for anything more.

We've also booked our summer holiday to Greece. Almost three weeks! We fly to Athens and stay in a hotel for three nights then fly to Kavala where we have a house to stay for two weeks then it's back to Athens for three more nights and home in time for Lia to go back to school. Before we've always staying at my inlaws but there's just not enough room for us any more hence the hotel. DH is a feeling a bit weird about the hotel thing - it'll be the first time he's been home and not stayed at home - but a friend of ours works in a hotel chain and has got us a great deal on a fantastic hotel so hopefully that'll make up for it.

While we're there FIL will be 70 and DH will have his name day so there'll be lots of celebrations. Also SIL has just had a baby girl so there'll be plenty of baby showing off. That is absolutely the last baby of our generation in both families barring accidents! We've got a ratio of four girls to three boys so it's pretty even and the age range is 5 days to 5 years so they're all pretty close.

I'm really looking forward to this holiday - we've pushed the boat out a bit spending wise but it's likely to be the last time we manage such a great holiday for a LONG time as once I'm back to work and Connor is in nursery there won't be much spare cash or spare holiday time...

Tuesday, 11 May 2010

Five weeks

Tuesday, 11 May 2010
Can it really be five weeks already?

We're doing okay here. Connor is growing well - last weigh in he was 9lb 11oz which puts him exactly on the 50th centile of the weight charts and well up on his 8lb 7oz birth weight. He's still sleeping well at night and not much during the day and feeding has slowed down a bit. Week 2 - 3 he had a complete feeding frenzy but he's slowly but surely settling down to more of a four hour routine now. He's having two bottle feeds now - the evening feed and the night feed - as breast milk was just not getting him through a decent chunk of sleep time at night, I'd feed him for an hour or so and he'd be up for more in under two hours.

Day feeds are all from me though and that's going just fine so we're now in the routine we're likely to continue with until six months when I'll slowly give up the breast feeding.

Sleep wise he goes down about 7pm and DH wakes him at 10 for a bottle then Connor wakes me around 2am for his next feed. Most mornings he's then back awake aroun 5.30 - 6am for his breakfast.

Apologies if this is a little tedious to read but I want to write it down to remember! I started this blog just before Lia was born and I was back reading the early posts today in a bid to see how things were with her compared to how Connor is. It was quite a revelation as I remember her being hard to get to sleep but I didn't remember quite how hard it was!

She also didn't sleep during the day and at around 7 weeks I started sleeping her on her stomach for day time naps which made all the difference - she instantly went from not sleeping at all to sleeping for 3 hours at a time! Admittedly for the first couple of days I was totally paranoid she was going to die as I was going against all 'official' advice but when I was a baby my Mum was advised never to put us on our backs, we should always be put on our tummies. Oh and in Greece they advise sleeping the baby on it's side so my choice is to sleep the baby however works.

The difference with Lia is that she didn't sleep much at night either so it was awful. I can cope with Connor not sleeping during the day as I'm not so tired I can't see straight. I will, however, try him on his stomach in a couple of weeks or so to see if that helps during the day. I remember that we didn't put Lia on her stomach at nights until she was four months old (we were in Greece the first time) by which time she was able to roll over anyway.

So that's about it when it comes to Connor really. He's not doing much other than eating, sleeping and crying still but he has made his place in the family totally clear:

I am still missing stitching though. I got the last part of Bent Creek's Big Round Zipper through this week and I am so keen to get started on the design (I've not even started part 1 yet) I keep picking it up and looking at it. I know that it won't be long before I can get started again but it's torture being surrounded by all my stash and not having the energy or time to dive in...

Friday, 30 April 2010

I miss stitching...

Friday, 30 April 2010
I didn't realise how much until today but I'm really having withdrawal issues! I've not had caffeine for three and a half weeks now and am coping just fine with that but not picking up a needle in that time? Really bugging me!

Obviously there's nothing I can do about it for now - having a new baby does not really leave time to do anything for myself but I'm hoping it won't be too long before I get the chance to stitch a little. I was definitely stitching by the time Lia was three months as I had some obligation stitching that I did so I can pin point the exact time I did it.

Still, we're working really well here. Connor is a hungry boy and feeds A LOT during the day but in return for that he sleeps well at night. He goes down around 7pm and then DH does a bottle feed around 10pm meaning that I get a good chunk of sleep as I'm in bed for 8.30pm and Connor wakes me around 1am, if not later. Depending on the timing of his night feed I'm then woken any time between 4 and 6am for another feed. Weekdays we're all up around 6.30am to get ready for work / school but weekends he'll often have another sleep after the morning feed.

All in all I'm averaging around 7 hrs sleep a night which is more than enough to remain human. The downside is that I have no evening time to do any stitching and as he only cat naps during the day I don't get any done then either.

But it's not forever right? And he's certainly more than cute enough to make up for the stitching deficit.

Friday, 23 April 2010

Better pics of Connor

Friday, 23 April 2010
Now his jaundice has cleared up we can take lots more pics!

Saturday, 10 April 2010

Introducing Connor

Saturday, 10 April 2010
Born at 9.48am 7th April by Caesarian. All is okay - I'm sore and tired but that's to be expected, he's very calm and contented and eats and sleeps really well. Lia is totally in love with him and would sit and stroke his head 24/7 if she could. More importantly she slept through every bout of his yelling last night which means we don't have a grumpy child today.

Saturday, 3 April 2010

Lia's Easter Present

Saturday, 3 April 2010
So here's my 'little' girl all dressed up in her new Belle Princess dress that was a gift from her Nonna (Godmother) for Easter. Could she look any more pleased with herself LOL.

Thursday, 1 April 2010

Yes I am still around

Thursday, 1 April 2010
No I haven't had the baby

Yes I am getting lots of rest

No I haven't taken any pictures of my crafting progress despite my best intentions

Yes I will try and take some this weekend

Have a lovely Easter everyone!

Thursday, 18 March 2010

Tail Feathers

Thursday, 18 March 2010
So I've finally completed the quilt top. It's huge! I do still have the stitchery to do but I'm thrilled I've managed to put the top together - it's probably the fiddliest quilt top I've made so far - over 300 1" blocks for a start!

Monday, 15 March 2010

Work, what's that?

Monday, 15 March 2010
So I'm now officially on maternity leave with less than four weeks to go till Junior arrives.

I plan on taking things nice and easy but do have a few jobs to get done as well. Today I'll be finishing up the ironing and then working on Tail Feathers - I have a window of five hours to myself on week days while Lia's at school so I'm hoping I can get one job plus some crafting done every day.

And even if I just lie on the sofa and veg in front of the TV at least I'm not at work LOL.

Wednesday, 10 March 2010

No I haven't had the baby yet...

Wednesday, 10 March 2010
I'm just short of things to say here at the moment!

It's still four weeks to go and I've now officially entered the fat and uncomfortable stage. I have two more days at work and then I officially won't be working again until 2011! I'm pretty much exhausted by the time I get home these days and the hardest part of the day is getting through the hours between school pick up and Lia's bedtime as I have so little patience I find myself snapping at her.

Poor thing, she's being an angel at the moment but it must be hard having a grumpy Mummy! I put a stop on play dates a couple of weeks ago so she's not getting fun time with friends either at the moment but I'm thinking that will change next week as I'll be able to rest a bit during the day when she's at school.

It doesn't help of course that DH has been working late a lot recently so he's been getting home after bedtime which is normally his job.

I've not been doing too much crafting wise - lack of energy in the evenings means most nights I just can't be bothered to pick anything up - but I have done a bit more on my stitched Noah's Ark quilt as I figure if I don't make the effort to get it done in time for Junior's arrival it'll end up at the bottom of the WIP pile until I'm on course to be a Grandmother.

Any spare energy has been spent clearing up in the house and getting domestic jobs done. Today I phoned round to arrange quotes for carpet cleaners and have three coming tomorrow and friday so hopefully one of them will be able to come next week and get that done. Other than that the last job on my list is a full internal valet of the car - I usually get it done once a year and it makes sense to do it now rather than when I have to juggle a baby too.

I still haven't found the foot pedal for my sewing machine though...

Tuesday, 2 March 2010

In my defence...

Tuesday, 2 March 2010
I'm really tired. And I was bored at work. And I had about 10 mins to fill till I could leave. And it was a lovely sunny day. So I surfed a bit. I did avoid the stitching shops but I had a quick look at some of the quilting shops and I happened to go to Thread Bear (fab shop, fantastic service, huge variety of stock - go check them out!).

And whilst there I thought I'd see what they had in that was new and I saw this lovely charm pack. And because it was sunny and spring has sprung and my defences were weak plus they're lovely little girl colours I had to buy it.

And of course then I googled Moda's Spring Fever and I found this lovely quilt kit. I'd like to say that no, I didn't buy the kit - for a start I'm not buying from the US at the moment as I had two import duty bills recently which I don't mind paying, it's the £8 on top that the Post Office charge that bugs me, and also it seems to be taking at least twice as long as usual for anything to get here from the US and I'm running on limited time!

Anyway, I thought maybe I'd see if there was a jelly roll around and sure enough, a quick google found them at Nerybeth Crafts (I've removed the link because they appear to be out of stock now!) so of course I just had to get one as a charm pack on it's own won't make a particularly big quilt now will it?

So I'm now excitedly waiting for my stash! I've been really good up until now but I couldn't resist these and also I got my Health in Pregnancy grant through last week and decided that having a small stash purchase will help my health no end LOL.

Talking of pregnancy I'm now 34 weeks and at the point where I want it over and done with. Sleep is almost non-existent, I'm averaging 3 - 6 hrs a night with a lot of waking up. It's my dumb restless leg syndrome which has now spread to my arms as well. I knew it was going to get worse, it did when I was pregnant with Lia, but it's just unbearable some nights and worse when I'm tired so it's a bit of a viscious circle. Still, I don't have any other symptoms and everything else is going well so I'm just grinning and bearing it and counting down the days.

I finish work at the end of next week and then it'll hopefully be a bit easier as I can nap during the day if I need to

Thursday, 25 February 2010


Thursday, 25 February 2010
My reading mojo appears to be back with a vengence!

As long as I can remember reading has been a big part of my life - I was quite a solitary kid and regularly read a book a day - and that didn't change much all the way up until Lia's arrival. Obviously my reading levels dipped at this point as I was a little preoccupied but I've never not had at least one book on the go.

This last couple of weeks I've been seriously tired in the evenings - work plus being a Mum plus not much sleep pretty much wipes out my reserve energy stocks and stitching and quilting tend to just get put to oneside, especially on weekday evenings. However, I have been picking up books again and getting through them at something like my old speed - two or three evenings can see off a novel.

As previously mentioned reducing my stockpile of unread books is on my to do list for this year (my buying books mojo never stopped despite my reading mojo taking a dive LOL) so that was my motivation to push myself into reading more. Of course I only have approx six weeks before there'll be another reason to be preoccupied but for now I'm making the most of it.

My current reading is 'The Truth about Melody Browne' by Lisa Jewell and I highly recommend it. I don't think I've read anything from this author before but I'll certainly seek out other things she's written as this is a cracking good read and I should finish it today (I started it two evenings ago).

Sunday, 21 February 2010

Has anyone seen the foot pedal for my sewing machine?

Sunday, 21 February 2010
I know it's in the house somewhere. Or at least I am sure it's in the house somewhere LOL.

I want to have the machine serviced and the guy I spoke to made a point of mentioning I should bring the foot pedal in with the machine. Well I don't use the foot pedal at all and I have absolutely no idea where it might be. I know I saw it not so long ago but can I remember where?

Hopefully it'll turn up in my general tidy up of the house that is now underway. We've pretty much finished the baby's room now (just the blind to put up) and all of his stuff is in there instead of being scattered around everywhere. I have washed, dryed and ironed all the clothes, sheets, blankets, bibs, etc I have and they are all sorted and put away. We've been so lucky that I actually have excess clothes and have put aside a big bag full for a friend who is having boy/girl twins a few weeks after I'm due.

I ran through my inventory of baby stuff and there is now absolutely nothing I need. Seriously. With what we've been given, what we had stored and the odd thing that we've gone and bought the only thing that I don't have in the house right now is powdered baby milk (I intend to breast and bottle feed combined just as I did with Lia).

I am officially ready to have a baby LOL.

So now all of that stuff is safely packed away in his room I can start clearing up the piles of mess that have appeared around the house and you never know, I might even find that foot pedal...

Thursday, 18 February 2010

Tail Feathers

Thursday, 18 February 2010
Last June I signed up for the Buttonberry BOM for the Cinderberry Stitches Tail Feathers Quilt. I got my first months package, made up the block and started the stitchery and then it all fell apart a bit as I got pregnant!

The best laid plans and all that...

Anyway, I decided that it would be sensible to get as much of the actual block making bit of the quilt done before the baby arrives as I might then have some kind of chance of getting the stitcheries done.

It's a pretty intensive quilt top, there's definitely no way I'd do it if it wasn't a BOM as the fabric strips are all 1.5 inches wide and as well as the main parts of the blocks there are 376 one inch squares and 24 log cabin blocks each with 13 pieces! There's enough cutting as it is but if I had to cut the strips as well...

At the point I was inspired to get on I had the first seven parts of the BOM (there's 10 in all) so I put together the seven centre blocks including the appliqued birds and stitchery transfers, I cut all the mini squares and I put together the first 12 of the log cabin blocks. I now have part 8 but haven't put it together yet as I'm waiting for part 9 to arrive so I have enough fabric to make the second half of the log cabins. I'll then also put together the last two middle blocks. I'm presuming month 10 will be the final four appliqued birds in the corners of the border but they'll just have to wait till I have the time and inclination to get them done - the package should arrive around the same time as I'm in hospital giving birth LOL.

So here's the blocks I've put together so far:

Wednesday, 17 February 2010

Log Cabins

Wednesday, 17 February 2010
A couple of weeks ago I had a burst of energy and got a bunch of quilting done.

A friend mentioned an eBay seller who had some lovely batik log cabin kits and I ordered one which resulted in:


There are actually 16 blocks in all which I am putting together into four cushion covers, I just haven't sewn the last 8 together yet. The kits are extremely well cut and presented so I just had to buy another couple once I'd done these, the next ones being blue and purple. They arrived this week so I may just get them put together before the imminent arrival...

Tuesday, 16 February 2010

17 working days...

Tuesday, 16 February 2010
And counting!

Yep, that really is all I have left at work, two full days this week and then three more weeks to the finishing line. I can't believe it has come round so quickly but, to be honest, I'm really feeling the tiredness now so I'm glad it has.

I've also got problems with a guy at work who has major issues with me because I'm pregnant. He has major issues full stop and has, over the last couple of years, upset, angered and generally pissed off every single person in our office with his attitude and behaviour. Granted, he has several personal issues but he treats people appallingly, ie he talks to people like they are a piece of crap, and then uses his problems as a get out clause for behaving that way.

I am not unsympathetic to his problems but he certainly isn't the only one with issues and none of the rest of us feel the need to bring ours into the work place. Certainly none of us use them as an excuse for our behaviour.

Anyway, one of his problems is that he and his wife cannot have kids of their own. They do have an adopted son but this guys whole attitude is that this isn't good enough and it's not the same as having his own. In itself I find this offensive as he truly behaves like his son doesn't count in the same way as a 'real' child would. I have friends and family who have adopted children and not one of them would dream of having this attitude, equally I have childless friends who have not managed to adopt who would kill to be in the position he is in.

So, to cut a long story a little bit short, this guy cannot cope with sitting in an office with me because I am pregnant. He sent me an email telling me this and stating that it was like 'being stabbed in the guts' when I was around. To be fair, I didn't need the email as he'd made it abundantly clear that he has a problem with me - he puts his headphones on when I walk in the room, he doesn't acknowledge me speaking, he lets doors slam in my face, that kind of thing - but to have it written down in that way was really upsetting.

Thankfully my boss thought so too and he has been ordered to attend counselling and is currently only working part time hours. His attacks on me are the end of a long line of official complaints but thankfully because he did this part of it in writing (most of his previous encounters with me and other staff have been verbal) it is easier for the boss to make this an official process.

DH is, as you can imagine, a little stressed out about me being here with him and some of the other staff are also concerned that he is unhinged enough to actually harm me. Obviously I try not to think about this too much and I honestly don't think it would come to him being a physical threat to me but it is extremely uncomfortable being around him. I work in a large open plan office though and there are 20 guys around all of whom would welcome the chance to throw themselves between me and him so hopefully the next three and a half weeks will pass without incident and then I don't have to worry about him for nine months.

Another not good thing is that DH's cousin died in his sleep on Friday night. He was only 30 and, as far as everyone knew, was fit and healthy. The autopsy showed it was a massive stroke which, if one can take comfort from things, is a good thing because it means there is nothing that anyone could have done to save him. As you can imagine the whole family is devastated - he was the baby of his generation and he and DH were extremely close growing up. I never had the chance to meet him although I have met his parents and grandparents - we had hoped to catch up with him last summer but our trip to Greece was aborted due to my pregnancy.

Poor DH, I've never seen him this upset and it's awful not being able to make it better for him - it's good that he has the baby to focus on but nothing is really going to be able to fix this pain.

On the good things front we're finally making progress on the baby's room and doing that is keeping DH occupied. It's practically empty (just one chest of drawers left in there we don't have any room for anywhere else) and painting has begun. Carpet is being fitted friday afternoon so all other decorating has to be done by then but we are currently on schedule to be done so I'm not too worried. Yet. I am relying on DH getting his finger out when I'm not there to nag though (he's home doing child care for half term whilst I'm at work cos I have no holiday left).

Monday, 15 February 2010

A bit of a makeover...

Monday, 15 February 2010
So what do you think?

I thought it was time for a change and, in honour of the expected arrival I thought I'd move to a more 'boy' coloured theme for a while.

My only issue is that in changing it I have somehow lost my links to the blogs that I read. And of course I didn't have them backed up anywhere! Oh well, I guess it's an excuse to go read lots of blogs!

Friday, 12 February 2010

Another Hobby?

Friday, 12 February 2010
When we moved house my sister gave us a piano and that piano has sat in our house for two years waiting to be tuned. Yes, I am a disgrace!

However, in the spirit of getting lots of things done before the baby comes and we have no spare money for things I decided to get it sorted and, as of yesterday, the piano is now tuned and ready to go.

When I was a kid I had piano lessons for a while and then my Dad bought a Yamaha organ (go figure!) so I switched to having organ lessons and continued those for several years. Don't get me wrong, I'm no great musician but I could play well enough to entertain myself and, occasionally, others.

I can't sing a note and am unable to play by ear but give me the music for something and I can pick my way through it. I remember a family friend who would always play when he came round and he couldn't read a note of music but could play anything he'd heard and I was so envious of him but he envied me because I could play something I didn't know if you just gave me the music. Just goes to show nobody is ever happy LOL.

Anyway, it must be at least 15 years since I played anything more than Chopsticks on a piano but last night I impressed myself by picking up the sheet music for Fur Elise and, after a few run throughs, being able to play it! Okay, it's not the most challenging piece but it's a recognisable tune and I played it.

Of course I'm now obsessed with continuing to play and get back into the swing of it and am keen to get out and get some sheet music. All that's been going round in my head since yesterday is the theme from The Piano which I absolutely adore so that is my goal, to learn to play that piece. In my head I now have time - only four more weeks of work and then nine months of maternity leave - but I'm not sure that it's a realistic goal given the production of a baby very soon LOL.

The funny thing is that 36 years ago my Sister bought the piano whilst she was pregnant with her first child (I should probably say that, due to my father marrying twice, there is 24 years age difference between me and my Sis, or rather my half-Sis to be accurate) with the idea that she'd have plenty of time to play it. I don't ever remember her playing it that much but me, my Bro and my two nieces did all learn to play on it so it wasn't a wasted investment.

Still, even if I don't have much time, Lia is showing an interest in it so hopefully the next generation will learn to enjoy it as much as I do.

Friday, 5 February 2010

An update on Lia

Friday, 5 February 2010
It occurs to me that I've not mentioned Lia that much lately and if I don't boast about her achievements while she's still an only child she's likely to get even more overlooked in a few weeks LOL.

She's settled into school fantastically well and is still really enthusiastic about going which is great. She's got a 'best' friend plus a small group of good friends and has at least one play date a week at the moment (while I still have the energy to cope!) Last weekend we got her a scooter as it's the current craze and all the girls we walk home with have them. I'm not normally an indulgent parent but she was really good for the first three weeks of term and never once asked for one even though she was the only one that didn't have one.

Her school subscribes to a national maths website called Mathletics. It's not part of the curriculum, it's purely for her to do at home as additional tuition option, and it is based on the curriculum and features short exercises and tests that she gets points for completing. And we all know that Points mean Prizes!1000 points or more in a week gains her a bronze certificate that she gets given in assembly at school. Five bronze certificates get her a silver certificate and four silvers gains a gold medal. You can only gain one bronze a week so it's at least 20 weeks of consistent work to gain the medal.

We currently have four bronze certificates and she's determined to get a medal (even if she's not exactly sure what a medal is LOL). I've got a display book that I'm keeping her certificates in - as well as her maths ones she's got ones for attendance, good work and a 'star of the week' for her class. At this rate I'm going to need a much bigger book! She loves getting the certificates though so I can't complain - they really motivate her to concentrate and learn.

As for reading, again she's doing really well. She's in the higher group for reading which is encouraging and she can pretty much read the books she is bringing home to practice on. Most days she reads at least one book to us, more likely two, at bedtime and it's amazing to see her progress just since Christmas.

Thankfully, getting Lia to do all of this isn't a struggle - she absolutely loves doing it so I don't feel like a pushy parent. In fact sometimes I feel like a bad Mum as I just don't have the energy to help her as much as I should LOL.

She's growing up fast and I'm really enjoying watching her. I'm so pleased that she's settled into school and has her own things to focus on, hopefully it will make her more comfortable in her world when the baby arrives.

Oh and her current best achievement as far as she's concerned? She can finally whistle! Okay it's a bit of a windy whistle still but she is constantly practising in order to get better...

Thursday, 4 February 2010

Stitching for Me!

Thursday, 4 February 2010
Well Spooky Spots is now officially my second finish of 2010. Of course I don't have a picture yet but I will take one soon.

I've never been a particularly organised stitcher - to begin with I just stitched whatever I fancied, mainly finishing things before starting something else, but then, as my stash expanded rapidly so did my WIP list until I ended up with over 40 WIPs, some with literally no more than 30 - 40 stitches in.

So, at the beginning of last year I wrote myself an extremely strict rotation that was designed to reduce my WIP list dramatically and, for the first six months, it was working perfectly. Then I got pregnant. To be fair, I didn't increase my WIP list in the second half of the year but I didn't reduce it much either.

I now have a little over eight weeks before baby arrives so I am determined to just stitch on exactly what I want in 2010, new project or WIP, whatever I fancy with the only rule that anything new has to be completed so my WIP list doesn't grow. Given I have already finished one WIP from my list this year I'm pretty much guaranteed to end the year with less WIPs than I start with as long as I'm careful.

Why am I wittering on about this? Basically as justification for picking up the new Just Nan Winter Hearts Humbug as a new start last night rather than going through my WIP pile...

Tuesday, 2 February 2010

I am stitching!

Tuesday, 2 February 2010
Here's my finished Michael Powell Mini Snowy Chapel:

And here's my Shepherd's Bush Spooky Spots WIP (almost a finish now, I've made a lot of progress since I took this pic!)

Both of these were kits in my stash - the Michael Powell was started last year so is officially a WIP off my list and the Spooky Spots is a new start this year - I'm only allowed new starts this year if they are also going to be finishes too which means small projects only. I'm also mainly going to pick up small kits in my stash so I don't have to worry about any floss or fabric I don't have. See, all in the name of stash reduction!

I've also finished my second book of the year too. But I also caved in and used my christmas book token (what can I say, it was burning a hole in my pocket LOL) so three more books arrived in the house (I just can't resist a 3 for 2 offer).

Also, I had a lovely stash parcel arrive today - everything included was either a commitment or some stash additions for projects I already have but it a relatively large parcel so I'm not yet feeling that virtuous with my clearing out. It included the first Just Nan Humbug, SamSarah Alphabet Baubles N and O, a part of The Big Round Zipper, a cut of 20ct linen and a button pack for Shepherd's Bush Halloween Night and several skeins of weeks and gast.

It was a lovely thing to receive on a dull and gray Tuesday morning!

Saturday, 30 January 2010


Saturday, 30 January 2010
So, in six weeks I finish work and will be at home until 4th January 2011! I was originally only going to take six months leave but having worked out the money angle I decided to take nine months (with DH's full support) as we'll be no worse off months 6 - 9 if I work or I stay at home.

I'm still trying to get my head around the fact that I only have six more weeks to work THIS YEAR and I'm still going to get paid for the rest of it LOL. However, I am determined to reduce my stash intake significantly this year in all areas. So stitching, quilting, reading, toys, gadgets, general stuff that I just buy cos I like it, cute kids clothes, colouring books for Lia (seriously I have about 50 stored away!) and so on and so on, all will take a significant cut in 2010.

Right now I'm on a de-cluttering mission. It's going to have to be slow and steady but I'm determined that things will be sold/donated/trashed rather than left in boxes in the loft and garage. We have boxes we haven't touched since we moved two years ago which rather suggests that most of it is unnecessary to us continuing to live full and happy lives.

I've piled all my unread books into one place and I am picking them out one at a time, reading them and then getting rid of them - either by giving to friends or donating to charity. Okay, I'm only on book two out of about 150 but I will not go into a book shop and buy more. For definite. I have a £10 book token in my purse from Christmas that I will use if I absolutely can't cope without getting a couple of new books but other than that I will not go into a book shop! It's ridiculous that I have so many unread books - everything I own I bought because I really wanted to read it so I should actually get on and do just that.

Quilting and stitching stash will be a bit harder as I have some commitments to BOMs and stitched series but other than those I am determined to be good. Just as I bought every book because I really wanted to read it I bought every project or piece of fabric because I really wanted to stitch it so I really need to get on with doing just that.

It's not going to be easy - I can be a real spendthrift - but less money coming in and significantly less time available to me mean I'm determined to get my head into gear and try. I'm sure the longer I manage to get on with it the better I'll feel and the easier it'll be. DH is fantastic, he absolutely never nags me about my stash (although to be fair he probably doesn't realise just how extensive it is LOL) and he says that he doesn't mind because he sees me using it every day. However, what I am seriously determined to fight is the tide of things that arrive in the post that more than replace what I'm using up!

So, watch this space. I'm hoping to have lots and lots of things to post over the next two months as it's my last free time for a while. I'm also keeping a log of all the comes in and all that gets finished and goes out so I'm hoping that later in the year when I review things I can be proud of my achievements.

At least one thing is guaranteed to reduce - we kept all of the baby/toddler stuff from when Lia arrived and, because this is definitely the last addition to our family, we can use and remove it all now. No re-storing anything. In fact, because we know this is a boy we have already cleared out six bin bags full of saved girls clothes and passed them on to other family members. Admittedly we have inherited a whole bunch of boy stuff from others too but at least it'll be used and then passed on again.

Have I convinced you guys? Well all I have to do is keep on trying to convince me too LOL

Friday, 29 January 2010


Friday, 29 January 2010
Apologies, I yet again let time pass without popping in here to say hi.

All is okay, in fact, better than okay. I now have less than 10 weeks to go till Junior arrives - I do have an official 'too posh to push' date now but I'm not sharing because I'd rather announce his arrival than have everyone knowing it is just about to happen - and my consultants are extremely happy with my progress.

I guess everyone pretty much knows that diabetic mothers have big babies but the truth is a little less cut and dried than that. If you are diabetic you have the potential to have a big baby and you also are at a higher risk of pretty much every complication there can be from miscarriage to still birth and all the defects in between but, and it's an important but, if you keep your blood sugars as perfect as possible you will have as normal a pregnancy as a non-diabetic woman, risk levels are no different.

So it doesn't take a genius to work out that it is entirely the mother's responsibility to control her blood sugars as well as she can. Not just because you don't want to have to get a 19lb baby out but because the higher your blood sugar at birth the more dangerous it is for the baby. Very simply this is because if the mother's blood sugar is high and her blood is being transferred to the baby then the baby will over produce insulin to combat the additional sugar. Once baby is out there is no high sugar level but there is still an over-production of insulin so the baby's blood sugar will drop significantly and quickly causing serious problems. The over production of insulin is what causes the baby to get fat too.

So there endeth todays medical lesson LOL. Very simply, the more normal my blood sugar the better for my child and my sugars are pretty much spot on perfect. I also have a fantastic medical team supporting me - a dedicated diabetic specialist midwife, a dedicated diabetic consultant and a dedicated diabetic specialist obstetrician - and I have been seeing them every three weeks throughout the pregnancy so far. After I get to 32 weeks I'll see them every two weeks up until the birth.

I was in the same medical position when I was pregnant with Lia and she weighed in at 7lb 15oz (3.6kg) and was absolutely perfect, I'm thinking I'm not going to get junior in under 8lb but I'm hoping for not much over. At the moment he's exactly on the 50th centile of the growth scale which is fantastic.

It certainly makes me glad how medical science has progressed because as little as fifty years ago diabetic women were routinely sterilised because it was too dangerous for them to become pregnant...

On a lighter note, we're just starting to get the room ready for the baby. We have a plumber coming a week tomorrow to move the radiator in his room and then we can paint and get the new carpet down. We pretty much have all the furniture we need but I need to see it all arranged in the room with everything in its place so I can be sure we have all we need.

Lia is still extremely excited at the prospect of a baby brother and is very keen to help with all the organising. She's also still enjoying school and seems to be thriving. She was the 'star of the week' in her class last week which meant she got a certificate from the Head teacher - she got hers for making a big effort to listen to everybody for the whole week. It's caused a lot of fun in our family as she's now officially the first female on both sides that can produce documented evidence of her ability to listen LOL.

On the crafting front I have been sewing up a storm, I finished my Michael Powell mini design and am over half way through Spooky Spots by Shepherd's Bush. I've been getting my money's worth from the sewing machine too. I will definitely be taking pictures this weekend so will bore you all with them next week

Have a good weekend everyone

Friday, 8 January 2010


Friday, 8 January 2010
Firstly, a Happy New Year to you all. I apologise it's a late greeting but hey, better late than never right?

The Family V had a great festive season - Lia was spoiled rotten by Santa but is just a bit too small to understand she needed to make the most of her last christmas as an only child LOL. It shows what a terrible Mum I am that when asked what her favourite present was she will tell you 'sweeties!' Sure, not the bike or the Barbie or anything that cost more than £1, just all the sweets and chocolate she doesn't normally get...

We spent Christmas with my family (my sister and BIL were fantastic hosts as always) and it was nice to be spoiled a bit. Being six months pregnant meant nobody expected me to do anything so I got extra brownie points when I did help out. It was also nice to catch up with the other kids in the family, Lia has three cousins, all younger, and she loves them to bits. The oldest one is now two and a half and a right little chatterbox - her and Lia together really are hard on the ears! My bro's little boy is now 13 months old and running around, he's a real delight and it'll be great when I give him a boy cousin to play with as the others are all girls. The youngest is only a few weeks old but that just meant I got in some baby cuddles too.

We spent New Years at home but with friends round - Lia had her first friend on a sleep over so sleep for me was short. We got to bed around 1.30am and, despite being awake until nearly 11pm, the girls were awake at 6.30am! I was the only one of the three parents left in the house that wasn't hung over (the other dad sensibly headed home around 1am to get a decent kip in his empty house) so I got to be the responsible adult whilst DH and the other Mum suffered.

As for me, I'm fine. Only around 12 weeks to go now, I can't believe how time is flying! To answer Kathy's question yes we do know the sex and it's a boy this time. Lia is so excited and keeps telling me how she was right all along and I was wrong (she was so adamant that she wanted a baby brother that I spent the first 20 weeks trying to convince her it could be a sister just to avoid disappointment).

Health wise I'm doing great - the diabetes makes pregnancy interesting to say the least but, just as I managed with Lia, I'm doing pretty much text book perfect at the moment so I'm getting great reports every time I see my consultant. It'll be another six weeks or so before we start talking birth options though and I know that it's pretty much an elective caesarian or nothing but until it's actually agreed I'm trying not to think about it too much.

So anyway, on to the snow mentioned in the title of this post. We in the UK have been in the grip of a major cold snap for the last week and where we are we had over 12 inches of the white stuff in approx 12 hours a few days ago. I only remember one or two winters as a kid where I saw as much snow as we have now, we've actually been snowed in for three days!

Lia's school has been closed for the last three days and I have not even considered venturing the 20 miles to work. At six months pregnant and being insulin dependent I don't think I should be risking getting stuck anywhere. I did walk to the hospital yesterday for an appointment - it took just over half an hour to get there and I lost count of the number of times I nearly fell as the pavements are just blocks of ice. Thankfully I got there with no mishaps (DH was with me to make sure I was okay) and the route home was a bit less slippy.

So here's some pics of the snow and Lia and her Daddy building a snowman

An arty shot taken about 11pm after six hours of constant snow fall

The garden first thing in the morning after several more hours of snow

The beginning of a snowman...

Can you tell what it is yet?

Getting there...

Where's Daddy?

Here he is!

Yes I do pose for the camera a lot...

Snow wouldn't melt

The three of us!

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