Weight Woes & Ear Checks

It’s been a month since I last posted updates – oops!

Good news first: Vivian is still seizure free and we are a month into weaning Vivian off of her anticonvulsant medication (a quiet woo hoo!).

Bad news: It’s been this long between posts because we had a setback with Vivian’s weight and it has been hard for me to come to grips with it, and because Vivian’s birthday kept us really busy (will update about that soon, I promise).

The day after my last post, we had Vivian’s next pediatrician appointment at the hospital, where she was weighed for the first time in three months.

We were pretty shocked when the scales read 7.65kg, meaning Vivian had only gained about 320g in three months. It was super disheartening when the pediatrician pointed out that this put her at the first percentile on the hospital growth chart (based on forumla-fed infants). She did grow 8cm over those three months, though, so her growth hasn’t been stunted at all.

Ben and I left that appointment full of gusto about getting Vivian onto three meals of solids a day, and me vowing to research everything I could about getting more calories into these limited (smoothest of smooth) solids.

The pediatrician also put in a referral to get a dietitian working with us. I will admit that it was really hard going home and realizing that yet another thing with Vivian is not going to be easy. Really hard. But she’s still smiling, and laughing, and being as active as ever, so she’s definitely not failing to thrive. On the bad days, she makes us really work for those smiles and laughs, but it’s still worth it.

I was also pretty confused because the New Zealand Well Child books use a different growth chart than New Zealand hospitals use. The well child chart is based on breast-fed infants and is the one used by the World Health Organization. On that chart, Vivian’s weight put her at the tenth percentile, not the first.

Vivian was weighed again last Monday and now weighs 8kg (I think this puts her at the 25th percentile on the WHO chart) after a lot of hard work by Ben and Vivian. Ben has been working on upping the volume of solids at every meal, along with adding things like cream and butter to Vivian’s solids, which she doesn’t seem to mind. We’ve also discovered Vivian takes after me and shares my love of peanut butter. Her only accepted savory flavor to date. We’ve got a long road a head of us on food! Hopefully we will get there one day.

The dietitian finally made contact and saw us last week and didn’t really tell us anything we hadn’t read already while researching a higher calorie diet for Vivian. She did, however, point out that breast milk wasn’t providing Vivian with an adequate amount of iron past the first 6 months. When I mentioned that this information was somewhat outdated, and that the iron in breast milk is more readily absorbed than iron found in other foods, she didn’t look particularly pleased with me and so I spent the rest of the meeting on edge, and was pretty disappointed with the information she provided.

At the moment we are still continuing with donor milk, as we haven’t run out yet. She did mention a supplement we could add to Vivian’s breast milk that will boost the fat and calorie content and dropped off a sample for us, which is a good avenue to look at, but a large amount of powder will need to be added to the bottles and we’re not sure Vivian would readily accept the flavor. Something for us to trial, I guess.

Slight rant: Today we were back at the hospital for an ENT appointment that was completely superfluous and a waste of time. We were there for all of 90 seconds once we were called back from the waiting room. They only wanted to check Vivian’s ears to make sure there was no fluid build up or sign of infection, even though we already see the hearing specialists at least once a month (usually twice a month)!

While I do appreciate that they have Vivian’s best interests at heart and that they’re being vigilant with her hearing health, we could have told them her ears are clear because they were just looked at 10 days ago.

I leave you with what Vivian thought of the waiting room:

What Vivian thinks of having to wait for her appointment #hopeforvivian

A post shared by Gwen (@gwenami) on

And will try to update with how Vivian is getting on in physiotherapy and her birthday soon!

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When the Days are a Blur

This happened:

200 Days Seizure-FreeWoo hoo!

The rest of the days are a bit of a blur, as Vivian has been up most nights with stomach pain, from what we can tell. I think it’s related to starting solids. And when she wasn’t up with stomach pain, she’s wanted to have a party at 3am for an hour or so.

I made up a batch of pears purée, not realizing exactly how fibrous pears were for little baby tummies. Although she enjoyed it a lot(but the texture freaked her out a bit),  we had a bit of a double whammy with carrot and pear in one sitting, which caused her to have a sore bum. I think it’s going to take a bit of time for her to adjust to eating solids, but since she’s our first kiddo, we don’t really know what’s normal and what isn’t.

Ben and I are both so excited by Vivian’s interest in solids, though. We just can’t get over it. I had a teary-eyed moment at work when Ben sent me this image of all the food she ate in one sitting, without getting much on her bib. It was a very special moment that I don’t think I’ll forget any time soon. I am so mushy even looking at it again now.

Solids

Vivian’s milk intake has still been on the low side, and she had a temperature for a day or two this week. I think if she was coming down with something she would’ve displayed more symptoms by now, but she’s just been super fussy overall during the day, too. I don’t know if this is the start of teething? Something else? Whatever it is, it’s not been fun!

Vivian has been extremely fussy during her physical therapy sessions as well, which isn’t like her. I’m not sure if it’s tiredness due to crappy timing or again, if she’s just not feeling well.

We have ordered a custom wrist brace for her right wrist, because she tends to hold at an unnatural angle. Hopefully it helps. If she does it because of high muscle tone, it might actually be bad to use, because then her muscles will strengthen by pushing against the brace. It’s all very up in the air. We do try to correct her wrist position, but it’s hard to do it all the time. You can see it in the image below; it usually happens when she’s sitting and wanting to interact with toys.

Eating Mr. Snail

Update on the missing ophthalmologist notes: the eye doctor gave us a last-minute appointment last Tuesday to clear things up. He thinks he must have seen another two babies with some severe eyesight issues, and may have superimposed one of their cases onto his recollection of Vivian’s case when he wrote that latest letter to me. Her original prescription is correct, and yes, she should wear her glasses as much as possible. They are definitely making a difference in her strabismus and her vision. Glad that’s been cleared up!

He still thinks it’s too early to test for corticol vision impariment, and said that the test would do one of two things. Either give us a really good reading and show that Vivian’s eyesight is working normally (as in sending signals in a timely manner to her brain), or give us a crappy reading, which could just mean that Vivian isn’t paying attention during the test, or that Vivian’s vision isn’t working properly. He said the second instance wouldn’t give us great information to go on.

I am still wanting to know what BLENNZ will say though, so we’re proceeding with the assessment in early May with them.

Until next time, big hugs from us to you!

Transitioning, Little by Little

I’ve written several times about how Vivian would only sleep in her hammock. It started because of her horrible reflux. When we were in hospital, Vivian would hardly sleep. She would scream and scream. Nurses would come from other NICU rooms to try to help soothe her, because being the biggest baby there meant that she was also the loudest. We found a Nature’s Sway hammock in the NICU hallway and have never looked back. Luckily we had already purchased one for home when I was pregnant, to put in the lounge. Little did we know it would be Vivian’s preferred place of slumber.

You may have noticed in the first picture of my last post, Vivian was asleep in her crib! This is not a fluke. Ben has been working very hard over the past two weeks and Vivian now has most of her day naps in the cot, with her Baby Shusher and Ben’s phone, which has a looping app playing me singing “Twinkle, twinkle, little star” over and over.

I know that sounds absolutely terrifying (it is; my singing is really bad), but for some reason Vivian likes white noise to get to sleep now. We are going with it. If anything, it’s helped the transition of sleeping while bouncing to sleeping while being still, because the constant that has remained is the white noise.

The important thing is that she’s actually sleeping outside of her hammock and his is a huge step for us.

We aren’t pushing it with Vivian’s night sleep, but we plan on trying it again soon.

Unfortunately she will still only eat while swaddled, either in the hammock or the crib (we have her on an incline in the crib). I did discover that she will sometimes eat randomly for me in other places – the car seat, while sitting back on my feather pillows, etc. Anything where she is in a semi-sitting position seems to be game, but only if she is hungry enough, and it is never a feed as good as it could be if she was in the hammock. With us being so concerned about her weight gain, we have again just gone with it.

Now that she is eating a lot better, we can start transitioning her eating habits to back in arms (hopefully) or at least out of the hammock and into a bean bag or sitting up in a more upright position.

The main reason we need to do this is because she’s not going to fit in the hammock much longer! She really is getting long. Our little girl is growing up.

From this:

Vivian 2 months old in her hammock

To this:

Vivian Made with Love

This picture is about two months old now, but it’s one of my favorite pictures of her at the moment. I love this smile.

But that’s not even the most exciting news that has happened this week!

Since we’ve had the corner seat for Vivian, and the table bit that goes with it, we have watched Vivian try to bring toys up to her mouth a bit more. We decided to try giving her some yogurt to see if she’d get any in her mouth, and boy did she ever!

She loved it. We are over the moon about this. Last time we tried feeding her some kumera (like sweet potato) and she didn’t like it very much. It’s one of those things the pediatrician said we should just wait a month and try again.

Check out this video!

Though she isn’t ready to grab food and turn her wrists to get it in her mouth with a proper pincer grasp, she is at least licking the yogurt off of her hands, which is awesome. She has never really noticed when we eat like other babies would, so she’s had no real interest in anything other than her bottle and even then she doesn’t acknowledge the bottle unless you brush her cheek or mouth with it. Now we know she will enjoy tasting some new things in the near future and maybe we can get her eating some high-healthy fat smoothies or similar, as a start on real food one day.

Baby steps! But so very exciting!

New Year’s wishes

I can’t believe this year is over.

It’s gone amazingly fast (most of it), except for when I was waiting for seeds to grow and moaning on here about that!

We’ve had some awesome things happen in our lives this year, for better and for worse.  I’m hoping 2012 brings more happiness for the now & gwen house, and that the ground stops moving in Christchurch.  I already have new ideas for the garden next spring if we’re still in this house by then.  I guess only time will tell :)

Starting this blog is probably one of the best things I’ve done for myself in ages.   I never really expect people to read it, but it’s always a blessing to receive lovely comments from you, and it’s been awfully therapeutic for me.  I’ve needed an outlet for a while and gardening, while quickly becoming my most favorite hobby, is quite a solitary experience for me.  It’s been wonderful reading so many blogs and (e)meeting so many lovely bloggers out there!

Things are still full steam ahead outside!  I picked my first King of Blues beans today and blanched them in some salt water.  They tasted amazing, and were longer than my hand — I wasn’t expecting them to grow so long!  The kittens had to inspect them before cooking, of course.  In the picture, I’d snapped all of then in half, so picture them twice as long as that.

I think this variety of beans would be really great to grow if you have kids.  Watching them turn from a dark, purple-black to green while they blanch is lots of fun!  The magic happens very fast. :)

I also tied up the peas a bit more today, and pushed them over the top of the fence so they’ll grow in that direction instead of flopping over.  Some of them have started to yellow.  I’m not sure why exactly!  I’ve always read that peas don’t need much fertilizing/feeding, so I haven’t really feed them in a while.  I’m wondering if it’s a deficiency or if they just really dislike being so close to spring onions.

I picked a bunch of sugar snap pods and lots of huge snow peas that I’ll be eating for dinner tonight!  I’ve found that the pea pods have a really sweet smell when you pick them, even though the flower has dropped off of it days before then.  It lingers on your fingers like marigolds do when you’re deadheading them.

I moved the red sail lettuces from bed #2 to bed #1 to make room for all the tomatoes and capsicum plants.  They were touch and go for the first day, but they’re settling in nicely and look like they’ll be bolting this week.  We had some really hot days last week that made my green lettuces bolt, so I pulled them from bed #1.

I spotted our first tomato today as well and let out a little cheer!  Nearly all the full-sized tomato plants and pear tomato plants have flowers on them now.  In a few weeks I think we’ll get a lovely first crop!  I can hardly wait :)  We’re going to attempt making our own chutney & tomato sauce with what we harvest in 2012.

The nemophilia is looking as lovely as ever, with the white snowstorm poking up through the baby blue-eyes.  I think this flower will be a keeper for me.  I’m going to look forward to growing them every year.

Best wishes from now & gwen to you and yours! :) See you in 2012!

Thankful gardening

I can’t tell you how much growing your own food makes you appreciate all the time you spend tending your garden.  There’s something about nurturing your plants that makes it so fulfilling when they finally give you something yummy!  I am so very thankful that I’m able to have a vegetable garden this year.

my first zucchini / courgetteI got to eat my first courgette tonight!  Leon tried to make off with it!  It was a very sweet little courgette and I’ve never had one as fresh as that.  I sliced it really thin and sautéed it with some thinly sliced button mushrooms in a little olive oil, salt & pepper.  Tasty!

Everything else seems to be growing at a very steady pace!  I was only in Wellington for two days, but I swear everything grew by 2-3 cm while I was gone.  My peas and beans have shot up super high, and I had to put a few more horizontal lines of twine on the fence this evening.

My first snow peaI also got to nibble on my first snow pea of the season today!  It was so sweet and lovely. There’s another little snow pea growing that I’ve got my eye on.  I feel bad for watching them like a hawk, but that’s what I’m growing them for! :)

While I was watering my garden, the neighbors behind us came home from work and I asked if they wanted any lettuce, as it’s been hard for me to eat it fast enough.  They gladly accepted, and we spent some time chatting about gardening.  I think the husband is now expected to build the wife a raised garden bed, much to his dismay!

Once they get that in, I said I’d be happy to give them a couple tomato plants and some lettuce, too, since I’ve got some seedlings almost ready to plant.  Or maybe I’ll sow some more seeds and surprise them with their own little seedlings.

It’s cool how gardening can really bring people together, too.  They are lovely folks, and I’m really glad I broke the ice with them!

Gardening makes me a very happy & thankful gwennie.

What was the first thing you picked in your garden this year?

 

Pie is good.

I didn’t get to post yesterday because I was just really tired when I got home, but man, the wind came out in Wellington yesterday!

And lots of rain, too.  I’m sorry that I spoke too soon in yesterday’s post by bragging about how beautiful the weather had been.

I guess this means I’m out of the official NaBloPoMo.  Oops!

But some awesome things happened that completely made up for it!

Paul's lime & coconut pieI was in the office for a pie dayEmma‘s husband, Paul, and I work for the same company and he ‘s known for his love of pie.

Some of you may remember the post where I talked about pros and cons of working from home.  Paul was nice enough to point out another con for me the day after that post was published with a picture of a pie he’d brought into the office that I would never taste because I work from home.  Cause that’s how much of a nice guy he is. *cough*

No really, Paul is an awesome dude, and he makes a mean pie.  He brought in not just one, but two pies yesterday!

The first one was one I’ve been wanting to try for ages — a lime & coconut pie.  It was so delicious.  The best pie I’ve had in practically ever.  I should really get the recipe from him sometime!

Paul's lime & coconut pie

The second one, I was unable to take a picture of because I ate it too fast.  It was like a strawberry mousse pie with an oreo crust.  It was so yummy!

I didn’t need to eat lunch yesterday, because I had the pie.  I know that’s super healthy of me and all, but I’m only in Welly once a month and it’s even rarer for me to be there for a pie day!  It was really lovely getting to see Emma again too, and their little munchkins who can make your heart stop from cute overload.

Next time I go up I need to take up some of my hazelnut shortbread cookies to balance out the distribution of calories.  They can’t all be coming back with me to Christchurch!  One of the other guys in the office is gluten free, so I need to do some testing to see if gluten free shortbread cookies are even remotely possible.  I have a feeling they won’t be.

To everyone in the US, I hope you’re having a lovely Thanksgiving surrounded by friends and family and that you’re enjoying a pie of your own!

How do you like them apples?

I’ve updated you folks on just about everything I can in the garden week, so I was wondering what I should post about, drinking a nice cold glass of apple cider after work today.  And then it hit me!

Drinks are nice, right?

I went searching for some apple cider cocktail recipes, since I think it would appeal to  both the folks experiencing the wonderful colors of autumn in the northern hemisphere and the folks down under gearing up for summer.

Cider on the left, juice on the rightI need to point out some things before we get started.  In the US, the apple cider I remember drinking when I was young didn’t taste anything like the liquid I’m drinking here in New Zealand.  One of the fondest memories I have of being a teenager is going camping at a renaissance faire — one of the first Harvest Faires, and drinking hot apple cider to keep warm.  It rained the entire weekend, but we didn’t care! :) I don’t remember it containing alcohol…

I did some googling and found out that in the US, the only difference between juice and cider is that cider is unpasteurized, and cider is non-alcoholic, unless it’s  ‘hard cider’, which has fermented.

Which led me to search for how to make your own apple cider or hard apple cider.  Check out that link if you want to find out how!  Also, cute dog footage in the video there, too.

New Zealand Apple CiderHere in New Zealand, the apple cider you can buy in stores contains alcohol, but not a huge amount!  It won’t be knocking me on my behind anytime soon.  It’s also more of a summer drink, as far as I can tell.  Some of the local breweries often put out a summer beverage and an apple cider in the spring here.

I’m drinking an Incider while I’m writing this — the whiskey wasn’t getting consumed any other way, really.

Here are the drinks I’d like to try!

Cold apple cider cocktails:

Apple Pie Martini (via ask.com by way of )

1 1/2 parts vanilla liqueur
1 part vodka
2 parts apple cider
1 tsp cinnamon
squeeze of lime

Pour all ingredients into a shaker filled with ice & shake well.  Strain into a chilled martini glass & serve.

Apple Breeze (via Bar None Drinks)

3 oz. Malibu Rum
5 oz. Apple Cider

Mix together in a highball glass & serve (I’d probably have mine with ice).

Incider Cocktail (via Bar None Drinks)

1 1/2 oz. Blended Scotch Whisky
Apple Cider

Pour into an old-fashioned glass and fill with cider. Garnish with a slice of apple. YUM! :)

Hot apple cider drinks:

I can’t wait to try some of these when it gets cold out!

Hot Apple Toddy – sounds perfect for when you’ve got a sore throat!

2 oz whiskey or apple brandy
1 tsp sugar
hot apple cider
lemon wedge for garnish
cinnamon stick for garnish
2-3 whole cloves for garnish

Coat the bottom of an Irish coffee glass (or whatever glass) with honey.  Add the whiskey or apple brandy.  Fill with hot apple cider & stir well.  Garnish with the lemon, cinnamon stick and cloves.

Hot Buttered Cider (via Flora’s Drink Hideout)
Makes 10 serves

7  cups  Apple cider or apple juice
1/3  cup  Brown sugar, packed
4    stick cinnamon
1  teaspoon  Whole allspice
1  teaspoon  Whole cloves
1    Lemon peel, cut into strips
1 1/2  cups  Rum
5 tsp Butter or margarine for garnish
Thin apple slices to garnish
Natural cheesecloth to make spice bag

Combine apple cider or apple juice and brown sugar in a large saucepan & add the spice bag made from your cheesecloth containing the spices and lemon peel.  Bring cider mixture to boiling, then educe heat and simmer, covered, for 15 min.  Remove and discard spice bag.  Stir in rum.  Pour cider mixture into mugs (make sure they can take the heat).  Float about 1/2 tsp butter or margarine on each.  Top each serving with one or two thin apple slices & serve!

Mulled Cranberry Apple Cider (via Tammie from Carolina Heartstrings )
Makes 4-6 serves

4 cups cranberry juice cocktail
2 cups apple juice or apple cider
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tbsp brown sugar

Mix all the ingredients together in a large saucepan.  Cook over medium heat to boiling point.  Stir to blend the spices.  Remove from heat, ladle into a mug and enjoy!  Also, read Carolina Heartstrings, it’s great blog! :)

Do you have any apple juice/apple cider drink recipes to share?

Picture credit

A snapshot sort of Sunday

Goodness!  Another week gone.  I swear time goes so fast in the spring.   I love doing these snapshot Sunday posts — it’s fun to see how plants change from week to week, and what things were like! This week’s post makes number five.

Since it rained quite a bit, I didn’t get to take too many photos.  I think a lot of these were taken on the same day, but I think they’re still pretty in some way!

Stealth potato. UGH.

One of the rogue potatoes that keep popping up in raised garden bed #1.  They’re pretty, but I don’t want them there!

So pretty! :)

My courgette buds are growing!  The one on the left will be a female flower, and eventually a courgette (hopefully), and the skinny stemmed one will be a male flower.

Possible rock crop plant?

A close up of one of the  ‘Name that Plant‘ plants.   I’m afraid to repot the mystery palm in this container because I don’t want to break these little guys…

Sleeping in his favorite spot

Moose loves sleeping on this old computer desk we have on the front porch.  It’s pushed up to a window pane so it’s a bit sheltered, and the sun makes it nice and warm.  I love seeing little kitty toes!

Too much lettuce!

My lettuces are definitely ready for me to eat!  I picked a lot of the red today and will start on the green in bed #1 tomorrow.

First lettuce picking

The first red lettuce of the season at now & gwen! :) It’s enough for about four eight salads!

sweet & sour veggies

I meant to do a recipe post this week, but got distracted.  I’d forgotten I took this picture of a quick sweet & sour stir-fry I did.  Ben doesn’t like many veggies (more for me) so I cooked his up with chicken, and had whatever veggies I had in the fridge for mine (along with some of the chicken).   I like how the steam is all wispy in the top of this one.

Looking at that last picture has made me extremely hungry!  It’s time for me to go have my first salad of the season.

How has your week gone?  How are your gardens looking?

Fiddly Dee Potatoes

I’m dedicating a blog post to potatoes today.

When I was younger, sometimes we would have mashed potatoes for dinner (sometimes with skin, sometimes without), with peas and corn.  Pretty cheap, probably not enough protein, but it was dinner.

I usually love potatoes.  Probably not as much as my dear Ben, though, but they’re pretty high up there!  I’ll take them any way I can get them.  Mashed, in soup, roasted, potato cakes, potato rösti, hash browns, gnocchi,  french fries, and lastly, potato bread (which I haven’t had for about 7 years. Sadness).  Oh! Let’s not forget potatoes in a tasty peorogi, either.  Yes, I am a fan of potatoes.

Until two weeks ago, that is.

Potato sprout

No innocent potatoes were harmed in this post.

I forgot to mention that I planted some seed potatoes in old recycling bins right before I left for Wellington.  But this blog post isn’t centered around those innocent sweet little seedling potatoes.

I filled my first raised garden bed with a mixture of things, one of them being leftover soil from the old raised bed that’s on the side of our house that busted apart on me.  There were potatoes growing in that old garden bed that have been there for years, and I thought I did a really good job at not transferring any over into the new garden bed.

I was wrong.

Potatoes really persevere.  They are hardy little bastards!

That bed was set up on the 26 of September.  I got back from Wellington on the 30th of October to find a freaking potato plant poking up between the green lettuces in the bed.  And not a small one, either.  A very large shoot, with lots of green leaves.  I was only gone for 4.5 days!  It wasn’t there when I left. I would’ve taken a picture of it, but I was just so shocked to see it there that I ripped off the shoots and hoped I wouldn’t see it again for another 4 weeks.

Well, less than a month later,  there’s another one in the other end of the same garden bed!  I decided I didn’t want potatoes in my raised beds, because they tend to take over things.  BAH.

Potatoes have moved down a few spots in my favorite food list because of these little renegades.

Ben just laughed about it.  Blatant potato-love going on there.  No regard for my garden plan!

A snapshot sort of Sunday

Ack, I’m behind a day!  And I just missed Sunday in the US by 40 minutes, so I can’t even act like I did it because of that either.

I blame Wellington for making my allergies go nuts and me being too meh to get this together yesterday.  I finally have my nose back today! The amount of nose that I usually have, anyway, which is to say probably half a nose?  I am allergic to cats, but more of other cats than my own cats.

On to the pictures!

Airport poppy

Pretty flowers at the airport! :) They looked like poppies, but I could be wrong?

Airport poppy

I really loved their colors! So vibrant :) Spring is definitely here!

Blue skies

I’m glad I remembered my sunglasses on this trip.  Usually I forget them, and end up getting bad headaches if I’m in the sun too much.

Office nerf gun arsenal

Obviously, our office is not a normal office by any means.  This is the fully-stocked nerf gun cabinet.  I choose to remain unarmed, as folks don’t tend to aim at unarmed coworkers as much!

Rainy Wellington morning

The second morning I was there, it was foggy and rainy, but I didn’t mind.  It was nice to stand outside, protected by an overhang, and listen to the birds greet the day.

Shya and Dauny

The later half of my trip, I stayed with some expectant friends & their kitties so I could attend their not-baby-shower party!

Jackolantern

The gathering was Halloween-themed!  Pumpkins (they were squash) were carved, and glorious spooky snacks were made!

Stuffed date cockroaches

Cream cheese & walnut-stuffed  cockroaches (dates) were my favorite.

Peanutbutter eyeballs

These white chocolate-covered peanut butter & rice cereal balls went down a treat, too.

Bat wings

I was too chicken to try the bat wings after I saw what color they were.  Very impressive!

Mystery flower

And there were pretty flowers there, too!  I’m unsure what kind this is, but it caught my eye and wanted its picture taken.

I had a really lovely time in Wellington :) I’m so lucky that my job can be done from home, but it’s nice to get to see everyone in the office once in a while and catch up with friends!

How was your weekend?  Doing anything for Halloween?

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