Baby impact!

Having a child really takes up all your time! It doesn’t help our computer’s hard drive packed it in too…

Frank’s first 13 weeks were quite eventful, as he needed a harness for his hip joints. More on that in a different post though.

Now that we have more of a routine I find myself re-evaluating a lot of the ways I’ve run this household. Don’t get me wrong, I did it well – but I did it for two working adults. Now I am home all the time and we have a baby. That means less time and more washing, among other things. Add to that the need to save money and a strong desire to leave a better world for my boy and I’ve ended up with my first major order from ethicalsuperstore.com. I initially just looked for ecover washing up  liquid refills and went a bit mad. The product I am most excited to try is the ecoegg laundry egg. Apparently it’ll last me 210 washes, has no harsh chemicals and no fragrance! I’ll let you know how well it works (or not…)

Fighting the overdue blues – with baking!

Baby is now officially overdue and I am getting really bored. Today I decided to combat this by baking cheesecake – the German kind.

Don’t get me wrong, I love the anglophone version of cheesecake – non-baked, biscuit base, nice and creamy. But there are many fond childhood memories associated with the traditional baked Bavarian cheesecake. Some people put fruit in it – those people are wrong and you should shun their cake-based opinions. It really works best with Vanillepuddingpulver. You can use something like Dream Topping or Angel Delight, but it’s not the same. German “pudding” is boiled milk with flavourings and starch; there is no gelatine involved and usually no eggs – it’s like milk jelly and absolutely delicious.

If you are lactose intolerant or vegan I’m sorry to say this recipe is definitely not for you – it uses four different types of dairy!

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius (fan oven).

Dough:

200g plain flour

75g butter

45g sugar

1 egg

1 tsp baking powder

Mix together. This is very crumbly – that’s okay. Press it into a prepared 26cm springform.

 

Filling:

500g quark (fromage blanc or skyr could work too if you can’t find quark)

125g sour cream

250ml milk

140g sugar

110ml oil

2 eggs

1 pack vanilla pudding powder / similar

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Blend together. This is entirely liquid, so assemble your cake as close to the oven as you can – you don’t want to carry this around!

Pour the filling into the form and pop into the oven. It takes about 45min or until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean. Be careful when you take it out – it will still be wobbly and needs to cool down to set.

And there you have it! One delicious German cheesecake.

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Baby update – 37 weeks and term!

It’s now term time and I’m about ready for baby to come out! Since it is half German, I’ve informed baby that there are two options: being early or being on time. I’m not sure the message got through though… so we play the waiting game!

37w

How far along?
37 weeks 1 day
Baby is now:
about 3kg and about 33cm
Total weight gain:
8kg
Sleep:
Good when I can get it, but it’s difficult to find a comfortable position to fall asleep in.
Exercise:
Personal trainer once a week and the occasional walk.
Mood:
Excited.
Cravings/Aversions:
Not really – it’s been a fairly boring pregnancy regarding cravings.
Symptoms:
Sore back, sore belly – just all round soreness now.
Missing:
Sleeping on my stomach and getting out of the tub easily.
Movement:
Lots and lots – but always hiding as soon as I get the camera out.
 Maternity Clothes:
All the time.
 Worst Moment of the week:
Washing machine vibrations throwing a glass off the sink, causing it to break.
Best Moment of the week:
Finishing the “must do before baby” list.
Looking Forward to:
Baby!

Finally, a hobby room

I thought it would never happen! It’s still not 100% (or even 80%, I think), but it’s usable, it doesn’t look awful and I feel I can show it off!

Remember this was a room of disaster. There was a giant ugly nineties built in wardrobe that stank of smoke and used about five times the amount of screws necessary – it was clearly a home construction. Behind that we revealed two alcoves and a whole lot of damp plaster falling off the walls. The floor was smelly ugly carpet and all the wallpaper was incredibly tough to get off. This room really tested our limits!

 

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That wardrobe though…

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About three hours into wardrobe removal

mess

dramatic…

When the plastering finally was done, we laid new flooring, as getting the original flooring repaired would have been extortionately expensive and taken several months due to broken bits.

But now! Now the room looks like this:

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Upon entering, you see the two desks and the lovely sunny view. The little alcove is now shelving and will probably receive a third little shelf at the top.

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On the left wall is my fabric stash, a chest of drawers full of sewing and crafting materials, some books, all our sheet music and most of our instruments.

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On the right is the computer desk, office materials and pin board.

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This is still the messiest corner. The sofa pulls out into a double guest bed. The incredibly wonky wardrobe is a leftover from previous tenants and currently holds all my LARP costumes, wigs, armour etc. We’lll eventually replace it with a newer, higher wardrobe that doesn’t loom over the sofa like that and which has door that actually close, but it will do for now.

 

We both spend quite a lot of time in here now and I have to say I love it! It gets sunshine (or at least daylight) all day long thanks to facing south-east.

 

The banister and maternity leave

Work had gotten increasingly stressful – as it does – and I was really struggling. Then in the last few days things started to escalate: trouble at parents’ evening, impending inspection and then yesterday pupils actually physically fighting in my classroom. For the first time in my life I reached my limit – shaking, heart racing, sorting out my next class before hiding in the staff room for a short, hysterical cry. Luckily my amazing colleagues clocked on immediately and ordered me to go home. I went to the doctor and have been signed off to start my maternity leave early. While it makes me feel like a failure as an employee and colleague, as a human being I am immensely relieved. I slept better than I have in weeks and am now ready to tackle everything left to do in the house!

When I last updated I said the shoogly banister was finally about to be replaced. Just a reminder of the hideousness that was:

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Just plywood and horror. NOW however…

stairsataris

 

How gorgeous is that? And most importantly it is properly anchored in the ground and does not shake precariously when touched. It still needs to be painted, but that’s a small thing. It just opens up the hallway so much and there is much more light in the actual staircase. It still makes me smile every time I see it 🙂

 

 

All and nothing

That’s what it feels like I’m doing at the moment! I only have 23 working days left before my maternity leave, but there is so much still to do at school in those that it will probably be over before I know it. At the same time there is almost nothing happening in the house – when I get home I am so tired I just have dinner and crawl into bed!

Hopefully we’ll be able to give an update on the upstairs landing soon though. The terrible banister we have at the moment *should* get replaced this week. It currently looks like this:

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I never even bothered to paint it because I knew we were going to replace it. All walls were that dusky purple at the bottom and a colour that can really only best be described as dead flesh on the top…

And here is why it’s getting replaced:

Yep, that’s in no way actually fixed into the floor and therefore totally pointless for babygates! Plus it doesn’t actually look very nice at all. So fingers crossed it will all work out this week.