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Journal :: April 2005
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01.04.2005 (fri)
Today I had to work non-stop. I don't know why there's such a tendency for fridays to be this crazy.
I worked for 3 different clients and had tons of phonecalls, people asking for new work and quotes. It was a mess. And here I was thinking I would take it easy this week.
Since hubby's going to a Tai Chi seminar tomorrow I may have to do a bit more work, just to catch up. But for now I'm too tired to do anything else. My shoulders hurt, my head hurts and I've been drinking milk all afternoon because my stomach was killing me. Good thing the milk works, though. And since I need the calcium anyone there's no great loss.

The website I've been working on lately is finally online at www.stec.pt.
I would have gone with softer colours but sometimes you have to compromise a bit in order to please the client. But since it's for a Workers Union I guess it had to be aggressive rather than institutional.
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04.04.2005 (mon) - 17 weeks
I got a lot of 'boring but necessary' things done today. Things I always need to do at the beginning of each month.
I'll probably be starting a new work soon that will keep me busy for the next 3 weeks.

Hopefully after that I'll be able to take a week off, since hubby's got some vacation time planned towards the end of the month. By then we should have the test results and know about the flat so we'll either be terribly depressed or making lots of plans.

I've been feeling nervous and slightly depressed for the last couple of days. It's probably just hormones but it doesn't make it any more fun just because there might be a cause.
The weekend was particularly bad because, apart from going to lunch with my parents on Saturday, in the pouring rain, I was home all the time and didn't feel like doing anything.
I eventually recorded the start of a melody for a new song on sunday night but didn't get very far. Then I played for a bit and finally gave up.

I have been feeling a lot more sensitive lately and things get to me more. So I've gone back to the safe stuff that always make me feel better, like Jane Austen and Miss Marple.

At night we went shopping. I finally got a couple of bras that fit (since the size of my boobs seems to be increasing weekly if not daily) and food for the week.

We had dinner rather late and I have a feeling it will be hell to get up in the morning.
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05.04.2005 (tue)
As predicted I started a new work today. It's basically a really long form and some associated pages but, even though it's fairly straight forward work it takes a long time and requires a great deal of attention to not make mistakes that will prevent it from working properly. It has a few challenges in terms of what is the best way to solve certain situations but I'll get there eventually.

So it was a long day but I was able to do the layout for the whole form. Now I have to give the proper names to all the fields, which is incredibly tedious but necessary and see if I can spice up the entry page a bit.

I also had lots of other little things to do but they didn't take very long.

On a completely different subject, Scully is the weirdest cat we have. She's really cute and fluffy but can't stand being touched. She'll do anything to avoid being touched. Well, that's not entirely true - unlike other cats she won't try to bite. She has never bit me or even tried to. She just wants to get away.
Lately we've been doing yet another ea treatment on her cause she's always getting ear infections. Now, as you can imagine, for a cat who doesn't like being touched, being grabbed and having something stuck inside your ear is a most traumatic experience and usually means she'll run away every time she sees us and we won't see her for a month after the treatment is over.

This time, however, that's not true. She's actually coming to sit on my lap several times during the afternoon and even occasionally at night, when I'm in the living room. This is completely unheard of for her. True, if I move too much or try to pick her up in any way she'll go away again, but still!

The other way she's different from the other cats is that she's the only one who watches TV. It started with Mr. Bean and a golf ball and it's been going on since. She's particularly fond of a scene in the new Harry Potter movie where a bird flies happily across the screen before being hit by the whomping willow.
Unfortunately I believe this is because she is less clever than the other cats and not more. I guess she doesn't realise the birdies on TV aren't real.

But I'm happy she seems to be acting a bit more sociably lately and not so afraid of us.
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06.04.2005 (wed)
Angel season 5 finally arrived today. I've been waiting for that since February!
I couldn't resist and watched the beginning of the first episode during breakfast and laughed out loud. I really missed having one of these shows to watch.
And the way I've been feeling lately this kind of escapism is just the thing I needed.
I just hope Joss Whedon gets to do another show soon cause he's got a particular sense of humour that really works for me.

Then I got to work, which was pretty mindless today, as it consisted mainly of naming form fields and radio buttons and testing if everything was working properly.
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08.04.2005 (fri)
When I woke up today I thought I was going to have a quiet day with nothing much to do but work kept coming in throughout the day and ended up being quite busy. A couple of problems that have been hanging on for a while were finally solved and I did what I could to the point where I needed more information from the client and had to stop.
Fridays always manage to surprise me.

At night we went out to dinner with my brother and girlfriend. We finally went to an Italian restaurant we love but have only been to a couple of times before. It was very crowded and smoky but the food was good as always.

Then we went to a coffee shop for a bit, also crowded and smoky, and had some ice cream (since I don't drink coffee). At half past midnight hubby and me left cause we were pretty tired. Not exactly the life of the party, I'm afraid :)
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10.04.2005 (sun)
I tried having a relaxing sunday.
I've been playing again, just for fun - learning a couple of new songs that I can sing along to. I don't have the patience to learn anything too intricate, though. I've been learning songs on the piano the same way a lot of people learn them on the guitar: play the chords and forget about the fingering until I can be bothered. I'm concentrating on rhythm more and loosening up the way I play instead of being so focused on being precise. Playing from the gut rather than using a metronome. And the funny thing is that last time I recorded something I was pretty much on the mark. It's never 100% accurate but it was pretty close.

We also went to the park for a walk. It was a bit longer than usual, which pleased me. I like walking. If it's in pleasant surroundings and I don't have to rush, I don't get tired easily.

Then we came home, had something to eat and Pedro started teaching me Tai Chi. We did the first five or six moves and now I have to practice. It's actually a lot harder than it looks, if you're going to do it correctly. But it was fun.
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11.04.2005 (mon) - 18 weeks
I've started having dreams about the baby. I dreamt it was a boy and I think my maternal instincts are finally kicking in. I never thought they would, to tell the truth.

And starting today there's a chance to get a call about the test results so we're a bit more nervous than usual. It's just weird because I feel since it's all going on inside my body i should be able to get a feeling about what's going on. That's obviously not the case but it makes it that much harder to deal with. Still, I'm trying not to think about it too much but now I don't feel good about going out in case anyone calls.

Thankfully I have a whole season of Angel to distract me. So far I'm loving it. It's a lot funnier than the previous one. But I miss Cordelia.
This morning I watched the episode I've been waiting to see ever since I heard about it - Smile Time. There's nothing funnier than puppet Angel beating the crap out of Spike :)

At 7.30 PM, when I wasn't expecting it anymore, I got a call with the amnio results. Everything is normal. I think I must have asked 'are you sure?' about ten times :)
But I completely forgot to ask about the sex of the baby - I guess considering how nervous I was to get that call, anyone would forget - and now I have to wait another week until the written report arrives.
So it's good news for now and one less thing to worry about, even though I think I need to look at the report before it sinks in.
I called everybody with the news which resulted in plans for the weekend :)

I also took some time to do the first Tai Chi moves a couple of times to make sure I don't forget them. I did it all the way through but I had a doubt on the very last one. I have to ask hubby about that.

At night I watched the second episode of 'Lost'. It seems like it can be a pretty good show if they don't fuck it up. I've been fighting very hard not to look up anything about it on the internet - the temptation is too great :)
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12.04.2005 (tue)
Today was mainly work. But I'm not as stressed as I used to be, especially because I know I'll finish my part of things before the client sends the rest of the necessary content, so there's no rush. But I'm still doing it as fast as I can because sometimes there are unexpected changes that eat up too much time and I'd rather be ready for that.
and it's also less stressful to work for clients that actually respect what you do. It's rare but I seem to still have a couple, which is nice.

I think that's one of the big problems our country has in terms of productivity - the bosses just want to throw their weight around and treat their workers as useless ants they can just step on. If they took the time to be polite, encourage people and say positive things about their work when it's good, they'd see people working harder and being happier about their job.
Even when dealing with an outside agency this works because whoever is doing the work is still a person and the idea should be to keep a good professional relationship, because if that's true even when something goes wrong and things have to be fixed, there will be more initiative and will to make things right.

Anyway, I know part of that is terribly idealistic, but at least when it comes to people working for you, on a fixed monthly income there would be advantages to appreciating their work when it's worth it. Otherwise companies risk losing their best and smartest employees simply because they feel unappreciated and can probably get paid the same somewhere else.
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13.04.2005 (wed)
By noon I had finished the work that was left over from yesterday. Now I have to do quotes, which is incredibly boring. But I have to get around to it sometime....
I did a bit of Tai Chi and then jumped into it. In the meantime more work arrived so I'll be busy again in the afternoon.

I had lunch and watched 'Monarch of the Glen' before going back to work.
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14.04.2005 (thu)
I finished the work I had around lunch time. There's still a really big correction to be done but the client is supposed to confirm before I get to it because it will delay things a couple of days.

While I was having lunch hubby called. Apparently he felt ill and had to come home. It seems like mild food poisoning or something like it but we can't figure out what from.

The deadline for the house thing is getting near and I still haven't heard from the bank even though I've sent email and left phone messages. I guess I'm going to have to go there myself tomorrow and try and find out what's going on.

I also have to figure out how to get my test results since they're being sent to the hospital.
All these little things that I need to take care of are making me nervous to the point where my eye has started to twitch again. I really hate when that happens.

I watched Alien vs Predator and it's an OK movie, even though I felt that the little 'personal' details they try to stick into the beginning of the movie felt totally fake and it was probably better if they just stuck to the action. But I saw the extended version, so maybe that's the stuff they actually cut out :)
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15.04.2005 (fri)
I thought I'd have to do a lot of legwork today but I was able to do things on the phone instead. I didn't actually solve anything but I got whatever information was available without having to spend two hours in a waiting room.
So I guess I just have to wait a little while longer.

Work always manages to turn up on fridays and today was no different. I got confirmation that that really time consuming change I was waiting to hear about has to be done so I jumped right on it. It was too much work to finish today, though, so I'll have to continue next week.

The most surprising thing that happened today was that I think I started to feel the baby move. It's really difficult to be sure but after it happened a couple of times I became positive that that's all it could be. So it has begun :)
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18.04.2005 (mon) - 19 weeks
I had work for most of day but by 6PM I was done. I just grabbed my Miss Marple book and took a nice warm bath to relax.
It helps momentarily but my eye still hasn't stopped twitching. It just takes breaks but eventually it comes back. And since I can't take any medication to make it stop, I have a feeling I'll be putting up with this for a very long time.
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19.04.2005 (tue)
It was a fairly quiet day and the work I've been doing is now over. So I took time to read and take care of the plants in between checking my email.

Now I have to decide if I'm accepting new work in the next few months or if I'm just going to keep it simple. I'm afraid to start something that will be dragged indefinitely and that won't be finished by the time I have the baby, but at the same time I can't see myself doing nothing for the next 5 months.

Hopefully something will come up that's not too time consuming or particularly prone to unforeseen delays.
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20.04.2005 (wed)
The deadline for making an offer for the apartment is getting closer and the bank still hasn't confirmed the loan. They're cutting it a bit close...
And we just found out that we may have to include a check with the proposal and I don't think we have time to get it done. This is really starting to test our limits. But I don't feel like quitting until I'm absolutely sure there's no chance, even if it means extra leg work.

In the meantime I keep having people knocking on my door to ask if I know anything about next door. It really pisses me off. They're the competition and they're wasting my time but don't seem to care. Half the time I refuse to answer.
The guy that came over at lunchtime said he was from the court but didn't actually show me any document to confirm that so he could be anybody. He asked tons of questions, including how much I had paid for my apartment (like I'd tell him) and wouldn't leave, even when my phone started ringing. Eventually Jones managed to escape and I had to chase him up the stairs. Talk about annoying!

At four I left for my monthly doctor's appointment. Everything seems normal - size and mobility - and I have a bunch of new tests to make during the next few weeks. The usual.
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22.04.2005 (fri)
So the day to make our offer on the flat next door finally arrived. Last night we printed the letter and this morning was nothing but a painfully long wait. At 1 PM we drove to the courthouse and delivered the envelope. Then we went out to a coffee shop to pass the time before the opening of the offers. There were lots of people in the waiting area when we arrived. After waiting for a while we were shown into a little room, along with a bunch of other people, where most had to stand.

As soon as the first offer was opened we knew we never even had a change - it was a lot more than we could have ever offered. I felt like leaving at that point but remained in my seat. Then there were several around our price range, some higher, some lower, and a couple others up there with the first.

The funny thing was that the highest bid cam from the very bank that is selling the flat, which makes me think two things, firstly, 'shouldn't that be illegal?' and secondly 'what's the bloody point?'. I mean. Couldn't they just keep it and be done with it? Or is this some sort of money laundering scheme?
Anyway, everyone in the room was rather ticked off but in a way I think we both felt slightly relieved. It was worth trying but it would mean a lot of work, mess and money to pull this off, so it's probably for the best.

So we left the courthouse and went shopping. At 5 PM we came home and had a late lunch and then I just rested for a while.
At night we did our taxes (which has become a much more bearable thing ever since we've been able to do it on the internet) and watched Seinfeld during which I feel asleep on the sofa and had to be coaxed into going to bed.
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23.04.2005 (sat)
Someone called at 4.30 AM. We both got up but I told hubby not to answer because our phone registers missed calls and I wanted to write the number down in case it becomes a habit. Hubby called back and it turns out the call was made by some old woman who was, from what we could infer, preparing to leave for the weekend or something and was waiting for some man (probably a son) to go pick her up. But she dialled the wrong number and got us instead, and when we called back and she realised it wasn't who she thought, she just hung up.

Now, Knowing that is was some confused old lady and not some wanker making the call diluted some of the anger that inevitable immerges when you're woken up in the middle of the night for some reason. But the fact that she hung up instead of giving an explanation or apologising makes me a bit pissed off nonetheless. So she may be getting an unexpected feedback noise call at 3 AM one of these days if I feel so inclined.

I mean, after the day we had, the last thing we needed was to to woken up in the middle of the night!
I couldn't go back to sleep after that so I sat up in bed reading for an hour before I could try again.

When I did get up in the morning it was to clean the flat. I think I've gone into nesting mode and am preparing the place for the new arrival, now that the worst possibilities seem to be out of the way.
I threw out a lot of stuff that had been accumulating in corners and started painting the hallway. The idea was to paint the second bedroom, but the hallway was also dark and depressing in that off-white shade, and it didn't have much furniture to move, so that's what I decided to start with. It ended up taking the rest of the day and was pretty exhausting, but it feels satisfying and there's something uplifting about the smell of fresh paint. It's like stating over :)

Tomorrow we're going to try to move all the furniture from the second bedroom and into the rooms where it's supposed to finally rest but that's going to be a big job and since I can't carry anything too heavy, I'm doubtful that we'll manage to get everything cleared.
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24.04.2005 (sun)
After all that climbing up and down benches and step-ladders yesterday, I woke up with really sore muscles on my legs. It did not, however, stop me from picking up where I left off and proceed to clear out one of the cupboards we're supposed to move today.

Unfortunately hubby had a really bad night and is still not feeling very well, so I'm not sure how much we'll actually manage to get done. Still, yesterday was a good start.

Turns out we actually managed to get a great deal done. We moved most of the furniture and managed to put everything back in the cupboards instead of having books and things all over the place.
Since it was mostly carrying, pushing, bending, climbing and so on, I was completely destroyed by the end of the day. But I think it was worth it because we now have all the computers in one room, so I can just close the door behind me at the end of the day and have the rest of the house to myself, I stop having connection problems and we can get started on painting the second bedroom and get ready for the baby.

I know it's too early to start fixing the kid's room but my feeling is that I hav to do this while I can still move around easily because it involves assembling furniture, climbing step-ladders and so on. If I leave it for much later I'm not sure I'll be up to it.
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25.04.2005 (mon) - 20 weeks
Today we went to my in-laws' for lunch. We got home at 5 PM and went to work painting the baby's bedroom. We managed to do two coats but I don't think it looks even enough.

In between coats of paint we watched episode 4 of Lost. It's starting to look like they're going to drag the whole thing out forever and each episode will be little more than the backstory of each of the characters. I hope I'm wrong and it turns out to be more than that because it had such a promising start I'd hate to be disappointed.
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26.04.2005 (tue)
When I woke up in the morning I checked the baby's bedroom to see if the paint job was done. Unfortunately it was too streaky, which meant a third coat.
When hubby got up we started painting and then had some lunch and left for IKEA.
We bought tons of stuff - a changing table, a really cute chest of drawers, sheets and baby towels, a shoe-closet, some shelves for the office and some other stuff. We had to have a couple of things delivered since they didn't fit in the car but we still carried a lot of stuff ourselves.

Then we spent most of the evening assembling what we could.
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27.04.2005 (wed)
Another long tiring day.

I rearranged some furniture in the baby room until I was happy with the layout.
At 11 IKEA delivered the rest of the furniture we bought yesterday. I really wasn't expecting that because the woman who arranged the transport first said 'we'll deliver tomorrow' and then said it wasn't possible and could it be on thursday. Weird.
So, early in the afternoon, we assembled the shoe-closet that's going on the wall in front of our bedroom door. It's a perfect fit.

At five we went out and bought a stroller. We were looking for a crib but the only one we liked was too damn expensive and besides it seems that it's not a good idea to put the kid in a regular crib until after six months because of SIDS, so we got a stroller with 3 different attachments: a baby chair, a car chair and a good size crib. The last two attachments will probably only be useful in the first 6 months or so but it does take care of quite a few problems all at once.

I was really tired by this time but we still had some food shopping to do so it was 9.30 PM by the time we were ready to go home.
If I'm still gaining weight after all this I don't know what else to do!
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28.04.2005 (thu)
My mother woke me up at 11. I was fast asleep and wasn't going to take the call, but she called twice in a row so I immediately imagined that something might have happened. But no. It was simply the usual 'so, how are you' call.
I don't usually sleep this late, so I can't blame her for thinking I was up, but I'm so tired from all the work we've been doing this week that it was the first day I had allowed myself to sleep a bit longer. I mean, isn't there a rule that says when people are on vacation never call before noon? If there isn't, there should be.

So I got up, grumbling, picked up the phone, tried to sound alive and not be annoyed at questions such as 'so, what colour did you paint the room?' and then fixed myself some breakfast, since by then I knew I'd never be able to get back to sleep.

The cleaning lady arrived at one and I had to go around the flat picking up all the left-over materials and tools from the previous days. Then I cleaned myself up, got dressed and tried to decide what to do for the rest of the day.
It's not too pleasant being home on a vacation day with the background noise of the vacuum cleaner but I'm also feeling a bit too tired to walk around all afternoon. Decisions, decisions...

We finally decided to go out, halfway through the afternoon. Before leaving we decided to check the mailbox and there was a letter from the hospital - the test result we already knew but we had been waiting for the rest of the information - and it's a boy!

Somehow I knew. I've been telling people for ages I thought it was a boy. I don't why but as much as I've always felt it would be a lot of fun to have a girl, it didn't feel right when I thought about it in connection with this pregnancy.
Guess I won't be teaching him any make-up tricks then...
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