Friday, 9 October 2015

...Did I fall asleep?...

...for a little while.

Soooooo...it's been a while, hasn't it?

It's strange - for the first few weeks, it was very odd that I wasn't writing every day. Now I don't know how I had the time to do it all! It's probably a good thing I stopped though, as I am very boring and am running very short on storage space for all the pictures I was taking! Am currently working on that though.

So. What's been happening since I last blogged in January? I honestly can't really remember!

This may be a looooooong post. Soz.

In January I had a mass clear out in my loft. I thought I had a LOT of stuff up there but it turns out it was just a right mess and whilst I was able to throw a lot away, the space is a darned sight better than it was!




 So. Much. Stuff.

It is always a good idea to sort through the stuff though. As you never know when you'll find those long lost wasp nests that you were keeping for a rainy day.




Yup, was real happy to find those. Luckily, Daddy Hartley helped me sort them out and they were empty. Phew! Now it's tidier, they will hopefully not come back...wishful thinking, I know!

What else have we done?

Well, it's not all been fun. Paul was off work with depression for a couple of months, which was horrible. One of the worst times in our lives, in fact. He's over it now, with the odd off day and was very lucky to work for a company who couldn't do enough to help and support him.  It has been a struggle but with the aid of CBT treatment and a Mindfulness course, his outlook on everything has changed and he has come out stronger and more awesome.

While he was bad, we didn't really do a lot, to be fair. We did go to Wales for a long weekend with the intention of climbing Mount Snowdon, however Paul did his back in the day before so we got the train 3/4s of the way up. Couldn't get to the top, sadly, as it was still snowy. Which means we'll have to go back again! It would have been the perfect day to climb, the weather was lovely but alas, it was not meant to be.





This is the train, by the way.



Shameless selfies!


This was the view from our room in the guest house. That is Snowdon (apparently) right there. How lovely is that?!

That was in March, I believe. We've not made it back yet. One day!

Hmmm, what else?!

Barney got a collar and tie and he lived up to his name sake from HIMYM!


Maia turned 9 and carried on being a mama's girl, of course



We ate a lot, drank a fair bit, went to the cinema a couple of times and planned some home decoration that we've been meaning to do for YEARS! Literally!

Our bedroom was the first room we decorated when we got the house back in 2008. We haven't touched it since. Except to peel off paper which I can't confirm was ever stuck to the wall properly! It was on when we moved in but had been bubbling and hanging off for as long as I can remember.

We chose our colours, got the equipment and got on with clearing the room of all the crap that generally seems to accumulate in a room that never changes!




So we had all good intentions. Strip the room of all the paper and clean down the walls then get a base coat on the plaster, then the next day we can start painting.

Yeah...slight set back on that one...


This was lurking behind the wallpaper!


Yep - I screamed. Out loud. It scared the wotsits out of me so can you blame me?!

Just so you get an idea of scale:


It's rather large. Just for comparison, Paul is 6'3".

We can't just paint over it though. I mean, that would be cruel to the future occupants of our house! So we made the decision that the wall needs a layer of wallpaper putting over it to save that moment of fear for someone else as well.

But that would need to wait for the next day. Until then, the wardrobe would have to go in front of the face so I could sleep in there!


Paul's Dad came over and helped us wallpaper. He made the decision that he'd wallpaper all the walls for us, which is fine. It did mean it would take a little longer to get everything done, but if it all looks good then it's worth the wait.


Wallpaper done - time for colour!


 Yep - a lovely shade of cream called 'Galadriel' graces the wall.


Very nice!

Then for a feature wall, we went for a brave choice called 'Sail the Seas'.



I was a little scared of the colour...but went with it...


And I really like it!

Then gloss which really made it work!



Next came carpet! We had horrible plain floorboards which were scratched and uneven before, and it was my new year resolution to get carpet before winter comes. I DID IT!


 Before...


 After!

Yes, we have new sockets as well! Isn't it purrrrrrrty! We got the best underlay that we could and it's so plush! Love it!

Then we had to furnish the room!


 Drawers, wardrobes, everything.


We did end up putting doors on it!

One of these days, I'll take the 'after' pictures of the room. We finished in June and I've not done that. Oops.

What else has happened...

We went on holiday and I only took pictures of french kitties (see my instagram account for those pics!).

Paul's friend John married his lady love Becky in July!

Photo courtesy of Becky's facebook page and is not mine. Thank you whomever took this photo!

My very good friend Chris and his wife had their first child, a little girl! She's totes adorbs and tiny and stuff!

Photo taken by me on Chris's camera and therefore even though it's my artistic skill, it's technically stolen from Chris's Facebook page. Hope that's shiny, pal?!

My friend Stevie married his lovely lady Danni at the end of September!

Photo taken by my friend Karina Fullwood and borrowed from her Facebook page.
And last weekend, my friend Lee tied the knot with the beautiful Bernadette!

Photo taken by Lee's friend Abby and taken from Lee's Facebook page.
 (I really need to take more/better photos at events. Mine were all shaky - hence the borrowing of other people's pictures)

What else...

...

Hmmm...


...


Oh yeah...


...


Paul and I started work on what could possibly be our greatest ever creation!


Yup. So this is happening! I'm not just eating all the pies! This picture was taken back in June.


This one in August at 13 weeks!


And this one today at 20 weeks!

Our little Puddin' is happy and healthy and waves it's foot at all of you blog readers who still have me on your feed!

We haven't really advertised my little situation. There are many reasons for it, some silly and some sentimental, but mostly because we wanted to make sure that everything is ok and healthy as far as they can tell and it is! Yay!

So, blog readers, you gorgeous lot, this is our little secret, k?! Because it's fun to know things that other people don't, dontcha think?!

I have been ridiculously ill with morning sickness and whilst I wasn't so bad I ended up in hospital, the nausea started around week 5 and got worse and worse and worse. Week 16 is when it started to ebb and I'm mostly ok now, despite a few days a week with me feeling (and sometimes actually being) sick. There are things I can't eat or drink because it reminds me of my morning sickness. I hope that goes away soon. I don't miss drinking alcohol one bit (that is the only positive I have from my morning sickness!) and am a big fan of Victorian Lemonade. The slightly sour cloudy stuff. MMMMM. No other cravings as such. As yet. Is that disappointing?

I have some ideas for blog posts for further down the line before the end of Feb when Puddin' is due, so hopefully I won't be so much of a stranger for the next 20 weeks.

20 weeks. Crikey.

Here's me, this morning, full of cold and caked in make up to hide the greyscale (eczema) which is slowly taking over my face.


Iccle bump! I still just look fat to myself when I look down so I'm trying to embrace the bump as it's only going to get bigger! EEK!

And to end the post with images far prettier, here are my fur babies, who have NO idea what's going to hit them in 20 weeks time!























Catch you on the flip side, folks!

Oh, and all name suggestions are more than welcome. We are stumped for a male name! The cooler and more literary the better! :)

You're all great.

Saturday, 17 January 2015

17th January 2015 - The year so far!

Hello Blog, it's been a while! Ok, so not that long for anyone reading this but it's been nearly 3 weeks for me!

I have to be honest, writing this became a bit of a chore last year. There's only so much for me to talk about when you don't actually do anything. I'm sure it got quite boring for people reading it as well! Sorry about that!

So I thought I'd do a weekly round-up maybe, as I can't quit cold turkey! Except I have had no motivation to even write that!

So I figured I would write whenever the mood takes me and go from there! I'm sure you won't miss me too much!

So, what have I been up to? The honest truth - not a lot! Lots of cleaning, tidying and gymming! We are actually back at the gym and have gone every weekday morning (except Wednesday, of course) for the past two weeks! We also haven't been drinking since the 2nd Jan and so combined, we're feeling good! Except the usual aching from the gym, but that's good pain, allegedly, so can't complain!



My last mouthful of wine until at least Feb 14th! We may decide to stay off the booze longer but at the minute, 6 weeks is a good time for us! Plus I REALLY need to hoover the carpet!

The biggest thing for me, so far this year is that I have been able to smell and taste things a little! I know that sounds really weird but I normally have no sense of smell at all. Which therefore limits my sense of taste somewhat. I discovered this with what a lot of people would consider the best smell in the world. Cooked bacon.


I was only having cereal but I asked Paul to cook a rasher for me to see if I could taste it as well as smell it and I could!

This has continued from the 3rd or so to date! Two weeks of being able to smell stuff! It's a bit overwhelming! The downside of this is that I have REALLY bad sinus pain. I haven't had face ache like this since I had the operation on my nose nearly 4 years ago. Oh, and there are the nosebleeds. Epic nosebleeds. So you know what? It's not worth it. If they continue I guess I'll be going back to see Treebeard (the Ear Nose Throat specialist...see what I did there?) and see what he says. If they want me to have another operation, I will have to think about it. I don't think I want to go through all that again. Plus we watched a new episode of Big Bang Theory last night (my new go-to tv show as I haven't really watched it before) where Leonard has to have his deviated septum fixed. That's kinda what I need doing. Seeing his post-op look (even though fake) reminded me of how horrible it was, so I don't want to go through that again.






This is me in May 2011 with bandage and without the bandage, which shows the swelling on my face.

Yep - unattractive. Horrible. So I don't want to go through that again unless there was over 80% possibility that I would get my sense of smell back for good.

I am also wearing the same jumper as I type. I need new clothes. :)

Anyway, back to life.

We started looking for new healthy foods this month to try to save a bit of money and eat better. We (when I say 'we', I mean Paul) has been making 'Overnight Oats' every morning for the past couple of weeks for breakfast and they're...interesting!

They don't taste wonderful. They don't taste of much at all to be fair (that's not just my opinion, Paul agrees too) even with fruit in them but they keep both of us full until lunch time! No desire at all to snack on anything! So it's worth eating something blah!


They're oats in almond milk and fat free vanilla yogurt with chia seeds and a bit of cinnamon. Then leave overnight. Before eating, add whatever fruit you like (blueberries are my choice) and devour!

My Secret Santa gift arrived. I had an IOU on Boxing Day and sure enough, it came through the post!


A collection of kitty poetry! Lovely!

On the back of the gift tag...


£60 of free wine! When we're not drinking! Plus we're not new customers. Boo. I might give it to T if she manages to not drink all of January! There's an incentive!

So life ticks on in the Kirkham household. Seriously, nothing new to see here! The cats are fine as ever. Barney's very naughty at the minute, mostly in the early hours of the morning. Probably because he's hungry, but nowt we can do about that, pal. You're still on a diet!

They've both taken to the shelves for the first time in a long time. Probably because I've tidied them so there's space! Maia likes the shelf next to me on the sofa...


It's a good spot to get a cuddle or two from me, plus she can see what I'm eating and try to steal some!


Barney made space for himself on the other set of shelves, on one much higher up. I was a little afraid of the shelf buckling under him but it's fine. He knew he was being naughty but there he stayed for a little while. Naughty sausage.


Still, when he cuddles your hand while he sleeps, you can't stay too mad!

Yesterday I took a delivery of January's Cat Hampurr! I was quite excited about this! The kitties were equally excited!


Inside were a couple of different types of dried food (we will use a little treats so as not to overly dilute the light food they're on at the minute), some Thrive dried meat treats which they LOVE (but apparently stink!), a thick bag on catnip and a catnip toy. Which Maia couple wait to get her paws on!


I tried to get a pic of everything in the box. The cats would NOT let me. The lure of the nip is just too strong!


This is Freddie the Fish, from Beco Pets. It's made from recycled plastics and fully recyclable. Plus it's stuffed full of apparently excellent catnip. It made Maia drool so much, I had to put it to dry after about 10 minutes!


Barney approved of the nip.

I had to put the nip and the rest of the treats away, but of course, I couldn't deny them the box. Which was left unattended. The gorgeous purple tissue paper also became a toy in itself, however. Must have been in close proximity to the catnip!


Roly Poly Barney belly! There's shreds of purple all over the downstairs floor this morning. I think they've been trying to make catnip scented ticker-tape!

I get these boxes every other month. I am tempted to get them every month but I can't justify the expense at the minute. We'd also end up with a lot of food that may not be conducive to the cats losing weight! The up side of what we get in these boxes is that it's good quality food, rather than the cheap crap that they used to eat. So I know I'm not feeding them bad things, but the vet says diet so diet we must. They both seem to have more energy since being on their diet, which could be a combination of better food and also losing a few ozs. Long may it last! Playful Barney is a fairly regular occurrence, but playful Maia is a joy to behold! She's 9 next month, which I know isn't really old, but it doesn't happen very often so I need to make the most of it whenever I get chance!

So that's all really for me so far this year. Rather miserable, I know. We don't really have any other plans for the rest of the month either! Just cleaning, tidying etc. I am determined to be more house proud this year and actually complete some projects in the house I have wanted to do since I bought it. Which is nearly 7 years ago. Houses are expensive!

So I guess I'll see you soon! Maybe!