Wondertje


This working name for this post was The ICSI Baby files… simply diary entries from unexpectedly the last leg of a very long process. This entire year has been rough and the reason I couldn't blog anymore (no promises). While there is still a mountain of other issues to tackle, I now have an extra reason to get back to happy.

T-3
It’s nine am, the day after our official departure on our ICSI journey, and I don’t know what to think or feel. From going peanut butter slow for so long it now all seems to be going at warp speed. No wait, no delays. In fact, we even picked up the complete arsenal of drugs directly after the appointment. To practising self-injecting when we came in not even knowing if and when we would be starting and fearing the worst... another delay, another doctor, another test. And now gearing up to get started this weekend. And if we’re successful Baby J in a month! Unreal. Need time to process. I repeat: Need time to process.

T+5
Day five of shots. The first one my guy did because the self-injected totally freaked me out the moment I really had to do. Why did no one mention it would feel like a spreading bee sting? Day two and three, less stinging. Day four, go figure was really painful. Can we just leave it at not pleasant. Day five was finally so effortless, that in my morning grog I had to peek to make sure I’d actually injected it. Yes... I stab while looking the other way.

T+7
Side effects, what side effects? In my mind, I’m like I’ve got this. I feel completely unaffected. No mood swings... at least no more than usual. No puffiness or discomfort, except having to be strict with my wake-up call. She’s such a morning person, said no one ever. Plus, I have to eat regularly and timely to avoid constant nausea. Not a big thing unless you have the eating habits of a petulant toddler. Guilty. 

T+10… Time to rename
Whoa, mama! Head still spinning. Life really does happen when you’re busy making other plans. We went for our Sunday morning run in the forest and while I didn’t think much of the extra wheeze because heck, I’m asthmatic, the swollen sausages fingers and painful chest made me wonder what the heck was up?

So, when we got home I opened my trackers only to see one said test yesterday and the other test tomorrow. I figured it must be the hormones from the drugs that are causing a delay but in the end, I caved and did a test… because it’s not like I don’t keep a stockpile of those suckers. Threw it in the cupboard and went to grab some food because of the aforementioned nausea when empty.  When I went back to get it, there was a squinty fake pink line in both boxes! In disbelief, I showed my guy and he was stoic and said ‘it can’t be’ and went back to watching television and didn’t mention it further. Of course, I mentioned it and we talked and decided to do another test in the morning.

Needless to say, I got no sleep. Six am I did my next shot and then took the test. By then my guy could hardly wait the five minutes needed. The result was another barely there double pink. What the hell to do? I’d taken ten days of drugs of which we had no clue what the effect would be only a baby. Who do you call and ask at six am on of course what was a bloody holiday?

At seven we gave up on the idea of sleep and starting searching for usable telephone numbers. We finally ended up getting in contact with the delivery ward as weekend and holiday calls are taken there. We finally got a call back around 9.30 am, telling us to come in for testing. After scrambling to find somewhere for our kids we went to the hospital and they took a sample for testing and told us to come back in an hour. Our cheapie tests weren’t wrong, but they needed to confirm with blood work. Those results came back that afternoon. All I remember of that call was Congratulations, you’re pregnant!

The next day saw more calls with our specialist as it was highly unexpected and not-standard procedure to get this outcome midway through ICSI, especially when we had zero chance of getting pregnant or as the first sarcastic specialist said "miracles can happen". Hopefully our first echo will show a happy, healthy, little bean. Baby J, February 2018! But for now, we smiling like Cheshire cats and bursting on the insides. It’s been a long time coming..
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Wearable marble

Designedlifeblog.blogspot.com Wearable marble

Designedlifeblog.blogspot.com Wearable marble

Designedlifeblog.blogspot.com Wearable marble

I was swooning over the brass and marble holders from Yield when I saw the Petra collection.  Natural stone, geometric shapes and precious metals. I've been looking for a simple but unique necklace that is not too trendy or overpowering. These pieces add just enough interest to make a subtle impact. Pictured is my summer fashion musthave, the Menorca necklace.
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Summer is...

The Designed life Summer is...

The Designed life Summer is...

The Designed life Summer is...

The Designed life Summer is...

Summer is hot days and warm nights. Summer cooking is outdoor cooking.  And while I'm still totally digging our current funky barbecue, I'm now looking for ways to get the barrel barbecue by Konstantin Slawinski. It's best to have a separate barbecue and firepit, right?..
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Roasted pineapple pound cake

Designed life blog Roasted pineapple pound cake

Designed life blog Roasted pineapple pound cake

Designed life blog Roasted pineapple pound cake

Summer is here! In May! With a vengeance! And that makes me want to bake, go figure.. 

Nothing heavy or difficult, because God's knows it's too hot in Holland to be standing endlessly in the kitchen. This super moist cake, with a hint of summer, is perfect for the BBQ weather we are having. Long live warm, sunny and tropical!

Ingredients
1 can pineapple chunks
1 tablespoon vanilla powder
1 cup butter
1 cup sugar
3 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla paste
1 1/2 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
pinch of salt
100 ml milk
splash of white rum
coconut flakes
powder sugar

Roast the pineapple in the juices with the vanilla powder until reduced. Set aside. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Butter a bundt pan and dust with powder sugar. Separate the syrup from the pineapple. Puree the pineapple. Set aside. Cream the butter and sugar. Add the eggs and vanilla paste. In batches add the flour, baking soda and salt. Add the milk, one tablespoon of rum and gently fold in the pineapple puree. Pour into prepared pan and bake for 45 minutes or until firm. 

Add a teaspoon of the syrup at a time, with one additional teaspoon of rum, to the powder sugar until thick but pourable. Prick the cake while still warm and pour over the remaining pineapple syrup. Once absorbed drizzle over the glaze and top with coconut flakes. Be generous as the sticky, gooey glaze is the best part. That and lying in the sun with a drink and said slice of cake..
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For mom... Caramel almond bagels






Baking and blogging went the way of the dinosaur this year. The why is a story for another day but I thought the best way to get back to both was to make something I crave. And since the kids have been mentioning mother's day, I thought to heck with it. What I want? Breakfast in bed, hot coffee, homemade strawberry marmalade, tooth-achingly sweet caramel and bagels.. fresh, homemade bagels with caramel drenched almonds. It's good to be a mom!

Life's short...eat the bagels. All of 'em!
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Colour Monday

Designedlifeblog.blogspot.com Colour Monday

Designedlifeblog.blogspot.com Colour Monday

Designedlifeblog.blogspot.com Colour Monday

Designedlifeblog.blogspot.com Colour Monday

We love Easter! The egg search is paramount for the kids. So much so that they don't even realise that last year's haul is part of this year's decor. It's spring, the grass is green and the blossom trees have showered. So of course it's got to be a colour explosion on our Easter table with loads of flowers and chocolates..lots of chocolate! 
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