Thursday, July 31, 2008

I love when that happens

Last night, out of the blue, Steve says to me he's going to buy some shares. Just like that.

We've spoken before about investing in some shares. It's always been a moot point, because Steve has never wanted to do it.

But last night, he told me he's going to seriously look into it this time.

And then, he became ever so handsome all of a sudden. I think it's something to do with him making a decision totally left of field (for him) and kind of adds an unexpected zing to the friendship we've been forging with each other for fifteen years now. It's nice to know that it doesn't always have to be about muscle jobs - like when he knocked down the wall between the kitchen and the living area here - for him to get back on my radar.

Magnus, you're shelved. For now.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

So much to say...

And about zero energy to say it.

I went and did Magenta Ray today. This is my colour. The one that most resonates with me, the path I walk, the lessons of it pretty much represent my journey.

Its main key point? Magenta delivers a lesson again. And again. And again. "Do you get it? Do you get it? Do you get it?" Are we there yet? Sounds vaguely familiar in relation to .... oh, I don't know, MY ENTIRE LIFE????

It is Mother love, universal love, unconditional love. I was on track for a while there, a few years back, but somewhere between then and earlier this year, I lost my way. I got side-tracked in cynicism and ill-positioned energy and really let myself down. It was all learning. I am different again now. I feel balanced. In this state, I can see how far I have come and can very clearly welcome the work back in with open arms this time.

I first did this colour in 2003. Three months before I got pregnant with Ellanor. It took me two more years to pick up any more of this kind of work, as Magenta scared me off it all so. This time was entirely different for me. It felt like a coming-home of sorts and I loved every page, even though it is one of the biggest colours to integrate.

I will write more on it sometime. I will. All in good time. For now, I am coping with rising fear about this sinking feeling in my belly. I had only just today begun to let myself say, ever so tentatively, that I think it'll all end up in a baby this time. But now I am fighting my brain to keep the garish visions out of my head. I sit here on the couch willing ANY other thought into my head so that I can try and ease my body. I'm tense. As if I'm waiting for that familiar "bang" and ensuing pain that has heralded my post-implantation miscarriages over the years.

GAHH. I'm so tired.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008


There are a growing number of words too delectably mispronounced by the LGBB for me not to share here.

The LGBB is partial to a character who is green all over, yellow spots and loves eating roses (though she doesn't watch the show, this particular character is still pointed out excitedly) - yes, that's right. Dorory the dinosaur. You know Dorory? From The Wigga-wools?

The other thing Lolly likes to do is point out beautiful fowlers. In the garden. Aren't fowlers ever so pretty? I like camellia fowlers myself.

She also likes to eat skips. "You want a biscuit?" I will subtlely try and correct. "Yes," she'll say. "Biskip...s." Who am I to deny a girl a skip? Or a biskip?

And (my personal favourite) we have suddenly begun talking a lot about the Australian platyfluss. As in, it's got webbed feet, bill like a bird, lives in the creek platyfluss.

I can't deny, I haven't been discouraging her as much as I probably should. I'll always repeat the word she was trying to say. Sometimes twice. And she repeats them back to me. The way she's always pronounced them. Incorrectly. But thoroughly deliciously.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Did you say TWO weeks?

There was a sac. Measuring spot on for dates at 6wks4d.

The heart beat could not be detected (it was a tummy ultrasound) so I'm going back in two weeks. Me. The cast iron, nerves-of-steel woman *guffaw*. Two weeks???

We'll see how long I last. I looked imploringly at my Ob and he looked back steadily at me and said what I knew: any peeks before then might cause more anguish. I am not going to succumb to the temptation for a dildo-cam look. Let whatever happens happen between now and then. Let's just see if I can do it, 'eh?

I shall just have to be the kid before Christmas. Uh, where Christmas Eve is TWO FRIGGEN WEEKS LONG.


Before this gets to be a very dreary on-edge blog, I would like to announce that we are starting to talk reno's again. Ahhhh, that's the spirit. Something to pin our hopes on. We are drafting up some rather good plans, ones that can work around the fact that we may well have a newborn to contend with when they begin (or are finishing) and to ensure minimal disruption, as well as thinking ahead and sensibly about not going into too much debt with big plans all in one go, we're designing it so that we can do it in bits.

Stay tuned for the next instalment of the renovation plans, then - namely, Part 1: The Laundry. Woo hoo, excitement aplenty (if you're a plan fan).

Cold feet

I've had extremely cold (ice block cold) feet and, in particular, toes for nearly two weeks now. The symbolic nature of this physical discomfort doesn't escape me.

For the past week solid, I have spent my time ensuring my feet don't get too cold but it never works. Guaranteed, at some point during the day, I will suddenly realise my toes are snap frozen. The LGBB thinks it's mighty funny that mummy has her feet in a bucket of really warm water. But it's been the only way to get them back to normal temperature, before putting on two pairs of socks and house slippers. And sometimes, even all that has not deterred the circulation from scarpering.

You would think, being on aspirin AND vitamin E (which has similar, if not slower acting, blood thinning properties), that my circulation to my feet would be pretty hunky dory. It hasn't been lately.

I had just slipped back into bed this morning after a(nother) toilet stop and thought how cold one can get so quickly when out of bed. I tuned in to my feet and the familiar pangs of icy pain were there. Yet they warmed up fairly quickly once I was back under the covers.

That's when I remembered last night's dream. I lay there feeling so calm and ready for today. Scan day. For what happened in the dream was that I had been given, by unknown but caring hands, the comfiest, warmest, most snug pair of slippers and as I slipped my feet into them, I recall exclaiming, "These are for me, I'll take these ones." I knew in my dream that they would keep my feet warm.

To me, this is indicative of my subconscience readying me for whatever I am to discover today. I am not saying this dream represents that things will be fine with the baby, not by a long shot. What I am saying is that despite the outcome, I have been prepared for this all along. I'm well looked after, even if I feel like it's too much and I can't cope with whatever has to happen.

Why do I always forget this, though, and spiral into the whirlwind of thoughts going on in my head? If I could just remain focused on what I do know, I am sure I could be far more graceful in this life.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Oh, you

Today's lesson is how to turn being caught doing something naughty (like wearing mummy's "garpses") into something irresistable so you don't get in trouble.

And always, always, make no comment and hide behind your Blue Blockers when confronted by the papperazi.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

For now

I am pregnant. For now.

We will enjoy this. For now.

I know it has implanted - can just *tell* (oh, and the spotting, for me, is a plain give-away) - so I am hoping, like we did with the LGBB, that whomever has latched on is also the full set of Twisties.

Cannot thank you enough, my cyber friends. I am gratefully receiving your continued well wishes and it makes me feel braver and more stoic.


Friday, July 25, 2008

Sixes and sevens

hI thought it best to update before bed. I know many of you have checked in today already, thank you for doing so.

After 8am I had no more pain to speak of. I've had thigh muscle pain (the sort you get when your period's coming, or when you've done 3 rep's of serious lunges at the gym) which doesn't make me feel fantastic about things.

HOWEVER... through all this doom, I've also not really had the usual end to a pregnancy that I, personally, am used to. I have to keep a glimmer of hope and light at the end of this (weekend long) tunnel. I'm also trying hard to look forward and not keep recounting my history on my fingers. Dates, feelings, gestations... I'm trying ever so hard to keep them hazy, for this is not any one of those times.

Most promising of all, tonight, again, the spotting has completely gone. I know I said that yesterday afternoon too. But it has. I'm going to take that as another small victory. Not sure how, but I am going to stay positive. The other little excitement is that when the pain subsided (and perhaps it was just explosive gut pain...?), I was left with the most familiar buzz in my belly. I've only ever put this down to "life" happening in there. I remember it with Ella and with Lolly. With my pregnancy at the end of '04, I didn't have it. But given that at that point I only had my pregnancy with Ella to go by, I thought not much of it. That is, until we discovered of course that it was not growing and had fallen three weeks behind dates.

Enough of that.

Precisely three more sleeps. And then I might be a little wiser.

The Big Dipper

Welcome to a rollercoaster week in the life of a recurrent miscarrier.

I went to bed full of ... well, I was going to say high hopes, but I don't ever get that sure about these things, so I shall say ... faith that all was going to be well. I suddenly got struck by morning sickness (at 5.30 in the afternoon), or so I thought.

In hindsight, who knows what that was? Perhaps it was my body pre-empting something it knew was going to happen.

This morning, not even the LGBB's ritualistic calling out to herald the start of her day woke me up. At 6:55, I was instead jolted awake by her being carried in the bedroom by Steve. He gingerly put her down next to me and she whispered, "Guh'morning Mummy" sweetly in my ear. Then patted me hard on my head and smooshed up my hair a bit and yelled "Wake up Mummy!" Then she put her face down next to mine and planted the softest fairy kiss on my cheek. Hey, you've gotta mix up the lurve.

Then just as I stirred (I found it difficult to wake this morning, even including the smacking upside the head), I was struck with a surge of pain. A tidal wave that was nowhere and everywhere. Uh oh. I know this, this is too familiar.

"Damnit," I said to myself and went to the toilet. As suspected, on wiping I found red blood. The nastiest kind: bright red. "Great."

Steve hopped in the shower as I passed him by with a "It's red now" and he tutted and touched my arm lovingly. I climbed back into bed and shut my eyes, the sounds of (that ruddy) Hi-5 theme song filling my ears and the LGBB bopping along to it next to me. I stared at her in the semi-dark. I just made sure I stared at those features, those amazing eyes and the clear, open face, the toussled golden hair. I thought of all those women out there who are still miscarrying and don't have any other baby to hold onto. I was one of those women for years. And I was so hoping this would end my cycle of loss and torment over same.

About five minutes later, another wave of turmoil hit me and I thought twice about trying to hold it in. But not. I was lying on white sheets, after all.

Steve was just getting out of the shower and I asked if we could "swap rooms". I didn't want him to have to stand there towel drying himself watching me expel ... "whatever".

I got the runs then. I was trying very hard not to push at all, half expecting with the pain I was in to lose it all. But no. Only more blood.

So this is the state of play, people. I still don't know. I am spending yet another day in bed with feet up, but first I must do the run to occasional care with the LGBB. I am so very relieved she is going to have some other company today. I am starting to feel ghastly, this feels so very self-absorbed.

More later.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Downgraded from Amber to Yellow alert

Ok, so I think the feet up bum down self-management is working.

I think ..... I think ..... the spotting is stopping. Say that five times really fast, by the way.


I don't want it to get lost

So here is the post I did pre-spotting. It's an incredibly important post (to me... and this is my blog after all!) because it honours my Grandmother and all she passed on to me, unbeknown to the both of us until after she passed away.

I meant to just post it and leave it there for a while, keeping a respectable distance from anything else more pithy and banal. But of course, the current dramas took precedence over Sherry.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008


As at lunchtime Wednesday, I've now been driven to putting my feet up under the covers in bed. Keeping warm, keeping grounded, "plugging in" and really concentrating hard is all I can do to keep my end of the bargain up. Still no pain. But whole lot of pink. And brown. And a little bit of *sorry about this next word* sludge.

I'm just going to be focusing on that little womb room in there, occupied by one strong energy at present, and if it decides to stay in the body that has been conceived for it, then all well and good. If not... I do believe it will hang around til the right one, next time.

It's not lost on me that this is exactly what happened with Ella. But it's not her. And it's not that situation either. Been there, learned from that, don't think it would be of any benefit this far into my journey to go through that same thing again. So, no. This is not going to be a repeat of my past.

Even if the end result is not supposed to be a baby (this time), I am really going with the experience. Doing things differently. Treating myself with respect and love. I have nobody else to do it. Steve is at an auction today all day, buying for work, and I can't reach him right now to ask him to come home. Currently, I am sitting with my feet up, bum down, in bed under the doona. Lolly is sitting next to me and we're having corn chips and a salsa/refried bean/sour cream dip for lunch - complete protein, good for vego's like us! - and we have a stack of books, Foxtel and an assortment of "friends" (it's Scraps and a little tiny dolly that the LGBB calls Cutiepie today) to keep us happy.

I feel so warm and snug. I feel like I have done myself a good turn already just by putting my feet up and putting myself first. There are worse things that can happen to Lolly than be subjected to a day of tv. I wanted to watch LazyTown (shuddup) so she has to too ... not that she's complaining, she loves it.

In a moment, I'll be putting her to bed, getting some hearty vegetable soup and coming back to bed to watch some awesomely crappy Hallmark movie. Aaaaah.

I've cancelled all the appointments (except the GP visit for my referral tomorrow) that I had lined up for the next three days. That included some auditing assignments out and about and I have had to call my people and let them down. I felt dreadful doing it, a couple of them were a bit miffed but hey. This is serious stuff and I am in my crunch week.

Sometimes, if you don't put down the ground rules, people will just continue to accept all that you are prepared to give them. And I can't be that available anymore. Not now. I'm learning that now.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Don't call me, I'll call you

About six weeks? Yep, time for spotting. Like clockwork, it has started over an hour ago (it's currently 6pm). Nothing in the past fifteen minutes.

It's brown, but has that telltale red halo.

The outcome of this ... who knows. I still have my bets on this little mystery blighter. But I shall reserve my judgement. I could be out next hour.

If you have my phone number (and PLEASE take this the right way), please understand I am not up for phone calls. I love you for wanting to and that is plenty enough for now.

Thanks for going with me on this so far.

Let's see, eh?


A rundown on the Numero Uno menagerie (aka bedtime/playtime/travel pals) so far:

1 x stoner dog named (Bob) Marley = $xx + P&H, shipped by the dearest, largest heart in WA (was awaiting the LGBB in her crib before she even came home from the hospital)
1 x scruffy dog named Scraps = $40 at a toy store (became the LGBB's BFF when she met him on her first birthday)
1 x guilt/rush/impulse purchase at an airport named Cummee (the bunny) = $30 (has become the LGBB's knock-around buddy, but she treats him like shit and disses him a lot)

Enter stage left, the mangey, ugliest teddy on the shelf: Sherry = priceless.

Two weeks ago, on an impromptu shelf-swiping (as you do) of stuffed toys and teddies, many of which she has shown little to no interest in, the LGBB spied a little, white, stiff, upright bear. Literally the ugliest bear on the shelf. Amongst the plush bears (some of which were the best of my collection as well), there she sat. A lone bear, standing out like a sore toe but overlooked for years.

This was Sherry, my grandmother's bear.

My father's mother led one of the most heart-wrenching lives I've ever heard. And I could do well to take a leaf out of her humble book, rest her soul. I believe I owe much of my tenacity and sense of survival to her. Or, at least, to the memory of her and the knowledge that she lived such an amazing life yet never bleated or complained ONCE about it. About other things, for sure, oh absolutely. But never about how hard her life had been. I would do well to remember that more often and close my own trap sometimes. And the times I do, inevitably it is thanks to calling on her energy, her strength, for she is still very much an incredible force. I'm sure there are many people have had such a strong character like this in their lives who, when they pass away, you end up finding out much more about the depth of that person and what they went through and it makes them all the more amazing to you. You know?

Grandma Ruby (the very one Ella is named after - Ellanor Ruby) was one of four, that she knew of (it turns out, as Dad has been uncovering doing genealogy research for the past decade or so, that she was actually one of a staggering and tragic TEN). While in the seventh month of bearing what was to be her final child, Grandma's mother was taken ill and passed away, the unborn baby taken with her. My Grandma and her three siblings currently under their mother's care were all shipped off to foster places. Grandma ended up in an orphanage for quite a while - I think something like two years - and eventually, she and her younger sister, Joan, would end up fending for themselves from a very young age. Working and getting by, a couple of great pals and sisters, in wartime London.

Fast forward another 50-60 years, a couple of years after my dear Granddad passed away, to the year when Grandma announced she had bought herself a bear. At the time, the concept of an 80-something year old woman buying herself a bear, and a crazy ugly one at that, didn't consume me all that much. Hardly even piqued my early-twenties interest.

What I failed to recognise was that this was an incredibly important and special bear. We did not know, until after Grandma died, the extent of her story. Of losing her mother, of course. Of a father who, rather than attempt to raise his children, farmed them all out (the result of which, the first time, was a period of vile sexual assault that ended up in court and across the papers when Grandma was a young girl of 11). Of then having to survive through childhood to a point in her adolescence when she could just take care of herself. And that she did, admirably. Her own pregnancy losses after she met my grandfather are documented in my book (for she is a strong influence stringing through my own life story, in terms of finding strength during struggles to conceive).

All these things culminated in this octogenarian grandmother exclaiming one day that she had bought herself a bear. The bear she never had as a child. These days, thinking about it, of course my heart really aches for that lost, tough, frightened little girl. So fractured by the separation of her family that nobody ever even thought to give her a teddy.

And the day after Ellanor died, my father turned up, armed with this old lady's old bear. The gift she had given herself.

"I thought you might like Grandma's old bear," he choked, handing it to me. I thanked him, but was kind of repelled. After all, the bear was so stiff to hold. There was no hugging it for comfort. I found it almost humorous that Dad had given me a bear as an offering of comfort when I didn't gain any satisfaction from even touching it. I felt so guilty for not feeling more.

"We named it, you know... Sherry," Dad told me that day. Now that was kind of funny, I conceded. Grandma was reknowned, suburb-wide, for her penchant for a decent sherry *blergh* and would even mix up her own brew from two kinds. I never knew there were different tasting sherries until the day Grandma comically showed Steve and I how she made her own. Sherry. Yes, it seemed quite fitting.

On to the shelf Sherry went, with my teddy bears to date. Once the LGBB was born, several more bears and animals were added. Sherry stayed, not front and centre - more back and side. That is, until two weeks ago.

Ever since Lolly laid eyes on this bear (mind you, she has been sleeping adjacent to the box-shelf that houses all these stuffed toys and Sherry has been in full view for the past two years), she wanted to know "WhassAT!???"

"What's WHAT?" I asked, mimicking her.
"THAT!?" Lolly exclaimed, pointing to Sherry.
"That bear? You don't want that bear, do you?" I asked. What a snob, thinking about it.
"Yeah!" the LGBB breathed, more an acceptance of my having understood her than a request to offer her any other toy around Sherry. I gave her permission with a nod and a "You can say hello to that bear" encouragingly.

Lolly beamed as she pulled the stiff, white, dusty bear down from the shelf. "Hi," she said softly, gazing at her (wooden, stiff) features. I felt my breath catching in my throat. It was rather emotional, seeing my Grandmother's bear being loved by a little child.

"Do you know this bear's name?" I asked my daughter.
"Mmmm?" Lolly enquired.
"Sherry! Her name is Sherry."
"Sherreeeeeeee!" Lolly was very excited.

And that was it. Ever since then, it's been Sherry this, Sherry that. In fact, it's actually Sherry-bear. I showed Dad when he came over on the weekend for Lolly's second birthday. He was a little overcome, very touched.

There on the floor, surrounded by party-goers and in amongst the new toys was Sherry. Front and centre.

Edited to include a picture of Sherry and Lolly, (sitting in a tree):

A letter to Nick Jr

To: Nick Jnr

Dear lazy, predictable programming heads,

What gives with the saturation of Dora on your channel?

This is to inform you that I may just have the only child on the planet who is not into Dora the friggen Explorer. Thank heavens for small mercies, I know.

Would you, therefore, kindly refrain from airing back to back episodes of this garish, over-voice-acted cringe-worthy American-accented program in the mornings? Whatever happened to The Upside Down Show in the morning, for instance? Okay, so the guys aren't what you would call eye candy, but they are brilliant. At least it gave Australian children the chance to hear the accent of this country. And hey, they did that thing many children's shows don't do: provide intelligent humour invoking chuckles from children and their parents/carers.

Want an idea? Give Ollie his own show. An actual time slotted show, not the in-between-shows spots. The guy's gotta make a living. He is the figurehead of your channel.
And he is a genius - look at that days of the week song, for instance. He is a natural marketer. Give him a morning show! Imagine how much more entertaining this would be, for one example, if Ollie was hosting. Gold mine waiting to happen, I'm telling you!

Anyway, just some suggestions to float at your next programming meeting. Please... spare a thought for the kids who really don't want Dora droning precociously in their ears and are just after a nice bit of not in-your-face television every so often.


Mother of a Thomas the Tank Engine and Dora-repellant two year-old.

Monday, July 21, 2008

How can I do this?

Simple. I am just going to have to. Have apparently 'made my bed' and hoooooo boy, am I lying in it.

I speak of the going-out-of-my-mind-with-this-pregnancy thing. Currently, I have that kind of sinking feeling that I seem to have when I've got my period. Like on about day two of it. When the pain that's been there for the past 24-48 hours straight suddenly lifts and it gives my tummy such welcome, light relief that it feels like it's floating. In a blissfully pain-free cloud.

Well, I don't know why I'm having that sensation now and it's making me (even more) nervous. I know, on the other hand, that feeling 'nothing' there right now is good. Oh so good. I don't want pain *cringes, recoils away from the thought* Heaven knows, I do NOT want the physical or emotional pain of one more miscarriage. And now that I am this far along, well... it looks like I am in for some sort of pain, regardless of how far I get. See? This is what I am reduced to deducing these days! It shouldn't be looked on like this. But for me, yep, this is what I do. Where my mind goes.

I haven't got my period. Obviously. But this lightening is unnerving. It's still there. I'm so sorry, baby, I plan to give you a break, I do. If only you'll be there next week and I can see you're okay for myself. Until then, I am not analysing every twitch and murmur, but I can say that I am consciously working overtime to try and relax the muscles around my uterus because it feels like it is in knots. I am anxious. Anxious about something I never knew I wanted until it was rehanded to me on a platter. Again. For the how-manyeth time???

Oh dear. Sorry. Bleat endeth. I just literally have nowhere else to put thoughts like this.

Aaaaaaaand.... big sigh out.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

No wee's, no poo's

The other morning, feeling what I thought was blood trickle, I did that automatic thing I have always done: I dropped my pants to take a quick check.

Forgot there is now a toddler in the house when I do that.

So there we both were, she with her clothes on and a clean nappy and me with my pants in my hands, around my thighs. I'd forgotten she was even there. That is, until she said merrily, and quite encouragingly, "No wee's.... no poo's."

Obviously, I was relieved that neither of these were what greeted me either and because my pants were clean, I was granted leave to continue playing without having to have my bum changed.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

It's over for another year - photos as requested

Our little girl is two tomorrow. Can hardly believe it.

The party today was a hoot. A really nice laid-back time. Just a few little friends of the LGBB's (girlfriends' children) and our family. All people Lolly is really relaxed around, loves and who love her. Nice.

The cake. Sigh. The LGBB's head nearly fell off she was that beside herself when she saw it. It made all the painstaking chopping of red licorice to outline the letters worth it. The cake was a two hour masterpiece that tasted like utter shite, if you ask me (the kids would probably say different and actually, one little poppet came to me in the kitchen with her plate, declaring it a "lovely" tasting cake....awwww! So young to be politely telling white lies). The cake itself was actually lovely (a nice fluffy butter cake) but oh dear God, have you ever tasted purple icing?? Mind you, everything tastes like I have just brushed my teeth right at the moment (hey, a good sign surely, huh??!) and the kids sure woofed it down. Perhaps it was just me after all. In fact, it was such a nice compact little cake that we just gave the four toddlers a teaspoon each and giggled as they hoed in. They had a ball.

The Hi-5 Heads-on-Toothpicks was a last minute brainwave I had at about 11 o'clock last night. Steve asked if he could set fire to them today. I said no. He said, not even Nathan? And I said no again. The LGBB sat and pointed to them all by name, so excited that her dearest friends had turned up to her special party. I swear my heart nearly oozed out of my chest it was that melted. I know. I'm such a sap.

Oh, by the way, I had my hair chopped off to my previously shortest layer on Thursday night. And she put a dark rinse through it too. Now, I love the cut. I am still working on getting used to the colour - find it too harsh - and hope it will settle into something more soft. I think I am finally getting over my "gotta have dark as possible hair for my skin tone" thing. Time to head back towards my natural honey blonde. Dunno. I'm still thinking on that one, probably brought about by the shock of the darkness of the semi she put in this time. But the cut, yeah, the cut ROCKS! My father, however, decided to tell me as he was leaving this afternoon that he had taken lots of photos of me with the LGBB today because (his words) "I know you won't look like this for very long and you look so much like your sister." I asked what that was supposed to mean - like, as in, am I only suitable enough to take a picture of now?! (I knew he hadn't meant this, but I am woman - and hormonal - so I put the fishing line out there) He took the bait and back-pedalled with his answer, which I immediately wished he hadn't done for it was kind of worse to hear.

He virtually all but said he didn't like my hair and literally said he liked me better blonde. Ok, fair point. But gah, for anyone out there who has a male partner with daughter/s, I implore you to just remind him that HE is her self-esteem maker. Not so much Mum. It's Dad who does it. There is something so much more slaying about my father saying the slightest disapproving comment that gets me - I don't need his approval, but I do need to know he approves of my appearance.... is that odd?? Another person could make the same comment and I'd just wave it off with a "whatever, it's not your taste, fair enough" but with him, it's like I've disappointed for straying from my birth-given colouring and it's kind of like I've rejected his genes! Oh now I'm thinking about it all entirely too much.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Don'cha hate that?

You're standing in a clothing department and eyeing off a really lovely top. Considering its shape, its colour, whether it's in your size.

And then you see a really untrendy old lady in boob-high elasticised track pants and a sensible fleece cardigan over a collared tucked in shirt (not that you're necessarily "trendy" yourself, per se) browsing the same top.

So many questions pop into your mind. What does this make the top, then? Really awful? Okay still? Is your judgement in clothes alright or has it soured? Or has her direction changed? Is it that she is branching out? Have you both just watched Trinny & Susannah and decided it's time for a change in wardrobe styles?

I hate that.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

My blog, my confessional

***NB: Please do NOT read this entry if you are PG sensitive or LTTTC sensitive. I'm well aware of my wide demographic of readers, I've been to hell and back with TTC and even got to a low point where people falling pg, even other LTTTCer's, was too much to hear. Trust me. And this post may sound flippant (to you) depending on your position - twisting the knife is the last thing on my mind as I write the below entry.

Welcome to pregnancy #12, people. Willing to observe the ride with me? However long it lasts this time?

I guess I should 'fess up that I got the most ridiculously obvious positive line on a test that I think I have ever seen for this stage. Don't go getting excited. Please. Leave the corks in the bottles for now.

My last (unplanned) pregnancy was four months ago now. I can't believe that much time has flown already. I realised after the fact that keeping quiet wasn't going to help me sift through my feelings much. So this time, you're along for the ride if you read this blog regularly. Because this time, regardless of the fact that this too is another unplanned (but obviously not well avoided) pregnancy, I feel more mentally prepared and willing to accept another little person into our lives. Last time, the LGBB wasn't even walking yet, I was still under all sorts of stress with juggling everything, still had lingering depression (when does that ever NOT linger these days though???), still felt so embittered about.. well, lots of things.

When I called my Homoeopath yesterday to make an appointment, he said, "And is this good?" It was a valid question. Last time, I contacted him and said even though I had begun to spot, I was torn about whether I was relieved about it or saddened. I discovered that I was both, simultaneously. I told him this time that, yes, this is good. This was unexpected but wanted. Very much. So I have made an appointment with him, advising that I have to do everything within my power to at least be healthy - in mind and body. And with the LGBB, he helped me with both those things.

Funny how Lolly walking of her own accord opened both our worlds up like I wouldn't have believed. And I freed up all that brainspace that was reserved for subconsciously gnashing my teeth that there was something wrong with my baby, hence the gross motor delay. She's still not fantastic at walking, not out of the woods, but we're all keeping an eye on her balance (which is taking forrrevvvvverrrrrr to build) and looking out for other signs of trouble. Sigh.

Aaaaaaanywho. I went to Peace Space on Sunday for a retreat day. Just me, the laptop, the book. I spent the day with Neri and Jen and they helped me A LOT. It was just a blissful day of cups of tea, great conversation and trains of thought and lots of healing feelings. I have felt so much better this week already because of the connections to things I made.

While there, Jen (being the intuitive that she is), had a twinkle in her eye and a cheeky grin on her face when I asked her, jokingly, "There'd better not be another baby out of all this." She had been reading a passage aloud for me to take in. It was about the Bear wisdom I wrote of earlier this week. I can't remember which section of the text caused me to suddenly say something that is totally unlike me - never in my previous years would I do the arm-crossed "back off" to ANY baby making its way to us - but I said it before thinking and Jen turned to me, grinning. "I think there is ..... soon," she added as a loaded after-thought before turning back around and continuing reading. The smile took a few sentences to fade from her face. I watched her, a little bit too scared to ask her ... just how soon is soon.

That night, back home, I got to thinking. Hmmmmm, last period was June 11. Probably had birthday sex somewhere around .... oh dear, the 27th ..... haven't been plotting my fertile signs properly since the last miscarriage .... hrnnnngh. Oh well, probably nothing. I'm only a couple of days late.

Early the next morning, however, I awoke with a full bladder and lay there thinking, "Do I collect this wee in a cup and do the test later? Stealthily? After Steve's gone to work? Just how late am I? Can't be more than .... 1, 2, 3 ... ooh, hang on, 5 days late??" Leapt out of bed, collected the sample, hopped back under the covers and forgot the cup was there. I even hid it from Steve. I put it in the cupboard under the sink (hey, as the title suggests - my blog, my confessional). I was not even sure there would be an obvious reason why I was late. I had no other "symptoms". But something was sort of making the hairs on the back of my neck stand up, recalling Jen's little interaction with me the previous day.

Steve left for work. I heard his car door slam, the LGBB was busy being a ballerina with a bit of beautiful velvety ribbon (did I mention? It's so gorgeous, she has taken to all things "Ballerina" and chants the word - don't ask me where she got it from and so word perfect, too, because I don't think I'd ever said the word to her). And I suddenly remembered: my wee is in a cupboard under the sink.

Got the packet open and took out the last test from March that I had bought - that line had been sooooooo faint it could hardly be photographed, the next test done the following day (on CD35 for those interested) was just as faint, it was barely there - and I dipped the stick. Counted to ten, put the cap back on, put it down on the counter and made sure the liquid was moving across, looked across again at the instructions - wait for 3 minutes, cool, ok - looked back at the window and a line was already there. Ok, that must be the control line. But then, as the liquid hit the right hand side, another line appeared. Confusion. That's ... two lines. But which is which then? Checked the instructions again and, oh wow, the test line was coming up at the same time as the control. That's a definite positive, I thought.

I've been surprised at how chuffed I am. How straightforward this has been so far. It is difficult not to get/be excited. I can't, though. Please understand, even if your intentions are in the right place, that I can't hear that everything will be fine. We are not a "normal" couple, Steve and I. We do the initial conception part pretty well. The implantation bit has sucked, more often than not, though, and we need to be wary over this next week and a bit because the six week mark and under is when I lose most of mine. I am fully expecting to have pain at any moment, the real mind-fuck being that the further along I go, the more I am hopeful while at the same time, I know that a miscarriage will hurt more the further along I am. Know what I mean? I fear the pain, the physical pain, most. I know how to deal with the mental pain. But the physical stuff always varies. And usually, if implantation has happened and the baby suddenly stops, I literally feel a BANG. Like a ... can't describe ... a painful POP, really sharp and sudden. The only one I had when I was awake and it happened like that was in 2002 - I've written it into the book - and I was doing 110km/h up a country freeway at the time. Little bit dangerous to get sudden blinding pain and lots of blood everywhere.

But that's (hopefully) beside the point this time.

After clearing next week (the rough six week mark), if we do, we then have to be regularly monitored to twelve weeks - the developing foetus won't measure anywhere near dates if it is "unbalanced" and considering the termination I had to have in December '04, the only pregnancy that had no bleeding whatsoever and I naively thought this meant it would all turn out just dandy this time, was not confirmed by ultrasound until the first and last time I saw my dear Ob, THIS time (any next time, actually) I am not going to lay back and wait and obliviously think that just because I am sick and my boobs are getting more tender and I haven't had pain or bleeding that it means all is ok in there.

Right now, I am feeling all very zen about it. There is no point doing anything else. I'm just bracing. My mind is in turmoil over whether to let out an "eeek!" but my heart and my cellular memory know it's not kind of my mind to convince me to be anticipatory in any way yet. And then there's all the other months. We are literally not in the clear until a baby is delivered safely to our arms, because sometimes the abnormalities brought about by varying combinations of the imbalance of chromosomes that have the potential to be passed on by Steve cannot be determined by ultrasound. We could opt for a CVS or amnio, but we have agreed before that the risk - given there is a risk of miscarriage - is too great. We are already highly susceptible to miscarriage (4:6 chance of miscarriage.... that's approx. only 2 in every 6 pregnancies successful, to you and me, Russ). I don't want to add another factor to flavour the already heavy mix.

When the LGBB is in front of me, when she is anywhere around, she is all I see and all I think about. When she is in bed, I am increasingly thinking or focusing on this pregnancy and how it will turn out. Just wondering. Just slowing stepping, inching, towards that first Ob's appointment (not for another week and a bit yet aaaaaargh).

As I have reiterated to people, we were NOT trying to have a baby. We have simply thrown caution to the wind since the LGBB was born. I can literally count on one hand the number of opportunities this entire YEAR that it would even be possible it could happen. Given that there have been two pregnancies out of these *cough* liaisons, I am thinking either one or both of them is immaculate :P or that Steve and I are just really, I don't know, tuned in? Someone upstairs has got my number. Or his. And they have really called our bluff on agreeing to not ever try again to have another baby.

And just to be cute and tempt that nasty hand called Fate that little bit more, I have created a ticker. So that I can obsess on something visually too. You'll find it at the bottom of this page.

So we're hanging on to our hats and strapping in. This is gonna hurt. Coming along for the ride?

Oh, by the way, want to see my CD34 and CD36 tests?? Control line's on the right...

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

A kitchen update

This is my perspective of someone else's story that I have been granted permission to tell.

Once upon a time, I had a dear friend. We were close. .... Oh, and we still are ....

My friend had to give birth to her last baby horrifyingly early. I was called to her side and stood by for the entire thing. I stood guardian by her boy as he was wheeled by a full medical team to a city hospital NICU.

My emotions remained completely under a lid, firmly close so that I may serve my very dear friend as her own life - and that of her son's - lay in the balance.

It was a trauma, as a friend, that I am deeply honoured and still sort of disbelieving that I was involved in. That friend is alive and walking today. I still can't quite comprehend how close she was - she was dying, literally, and nobody knew until it was very nearly too late.

What does all this have to do with a kitchen, I hear you ask? Ah, well, dear reader. That is where my friend's husband comes in.

Those first days in the hospital, he was walking around in his work clothes, having sped for three hours to be by his wife's side. He literally only had his car and the clothes on his back and he was far from home for a convenient change of attire. He was not to make to the operating theatre in time before she went in. "There is no time," the doctors had told her. And she lay there helpless, pleading in vain. Both of us were crying - I was shedding tears for her and for her precious babe and this unavoidable situation. My thoughts were also torn for her man, driving, driving, driving. So far to come and with only a mobile phone as contact. What a drive that must have been for him. Fuck.

The first I saw of him was through the windowed door of the NICU. I congratulated the new father and left him to meet his son, having kept a very respectful distance while the staff had worked to make the little man comfortable. I did not look at the baby. How could I when my friend, under general anaesthetic and beginning the race of her life, had not yet sighted her own baby boy? I cry now as I think about how hard that would be for a mother to give birth and wake up, suddenly "unpregnant" and then not able to lay eyes on him for days. Days.

And then, her husband came out after about half an hour and we sat chatting idly. Mostly about names for the baby. He had that new dad shakiness about him. His eyes were red rimmed with emotion, but gallantly, there were no tears.

Weeks passed and my friend was still recovering from her own ordeal and now left to single-handedly watch over and tend their baby. Her husband had had to return home - they had other desperately worried children to care for. I supported as best I could. I felt absolutely useless but did what I was able, mostly making the drive in to the hospital as often as I could manage. That first week, I was virtually camped there, willing her on from the sideline and sometimes from the frontline as she slipped in and out of lucid states. It was damn frightening. And that was just how I, as a friend of this family, felt.

Some time into the NICU stay, my friend phoned me and said she and her husband had been discussing us. More specifically, our kitchen.

"Yesss...." I said, dubious at what was coming next. I'd seen him wandering the hospital halls and café in his "****** Cabinets" polo shirt.
"We've spoken and decided that the least we could do is give you a quote, something to benchmark the other quotes you've been getting," she offered.
I tried to desist. She's probably a more stubborn person than me, if that's possible. I lost.

They came over. He quoted us. Took meticulous care with samples and measurements. The quote came in. How could we not commission him to do the job.

"I would be absolutely honoured to have him build this for us," I said to my friend. Every time we are in it, we think of our friends. I think of how different, how very different, it might be. That first Christmas after their baby was born, my mind had started to think the unthinkable and I was beginning to prepare myself for how best to show my love and support for their children at what could well have been a tragic Christmas.

He has left nothing out of this masterpiece and catered to all my requests - er, he nipped one or two in the bud too! - and the craftsmanship is awesome. I have an appliance cupboard, which the long bench runs into. I have a beautifully curved island bench with separate dark wood panelled backing (to hide the shoe scuff marks from people sitting on the stools!). I have a split cupboard-and-drawers-under-bench pantry (SO good on the back, everything accessable). There are soft-closers on all the cupboards and drawers. Low voltage halogens in frosted glass display cupboards. Halogen task lighting under the display cupboards.....

He is my Kitchen McDreamy!

I love it. Thank you, Peta, for putting him out on loan for us. He did you so proud. xoxox

Ummmm... p.s. Any bright cookies out there want to tell us whether to keep or turf the ceiling roses? We're getting rid of the fan you can see in the photo. But our families are split 50/50 with regard to keeping them. Steve says they go. I say they stay :(

And you can't see, but the white has metallic flecks in it. Like sparkles. Looks great.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

The birthday that may well explode her head

The LGBB has just discovered in recent months, on the back of her Dad's, then a little friend's and then my birthdays, that birthdays come with happy feelings. More importantly, they come with CAKE. Or, as one little LGBB calls them, "happybirthdaycake" - all one word, really fast. Perhaps she says it fast so that when she's asking me for some, impishly, with the slyest look she can muster, she possibly thinks I might say "Ok" to the request before I have time to go "Hang on.... no!"

I am going to attempt

...a Hi-5 hand logo cake.

*I hear your frightened gasps*

There is some chance the LGBB won't even recognise what I was trying to go for. I only hope I bake something big enough to fit the template I've drawn out. Oh, doesn't it sound so kitsch already....

At playgroup last week, someone asked what I was doing for a cake. Now, we rarely go to playgroup and have not been for the past term because we go to Gymbaroo that day instead. Anyway, last week was our swansong from that group, I am afraid - I do not need to be invited as an afterthought to a joint 2nd birthday bash for the kids at a bistro, only to turn up with my excited little girl and find that there is no little table present for her, no party hat.... that is just wrong on many levels - she didn't notice but I, as her mother, just died a little bit inside, fearing I had been wrong to not keep flogging the ailing donkey by forcing her to go there every week when it was clear she was just not comfortable in that group, and so nor was I..... Had I been the cause of the other mothers thinking only far enough ahead to invite us but not include us in the Kris Kringle present draw? Not even put a simple cardboard party hat at our place on the table? (at the very end of the table, don't you know it) I was so disappointed and hadn't even thought there would be anything like that there, otherwise I would have chucked one of our party hats in my bag from home, just so she could have one. She didn't notice she didn't have one, as I said, but call me an embittered third child; I just felt so churned up inside that she missed out.

I actually think the only unwise decision I made was making ourselves available for this birthday get-together, in hindsight. We are different to them, Lolly and I. Small talk is not something I am very good at anymore, and not that I am a person who only speaks when it's deep and meaningful, but I just want to talk about things that either or both interest me or the other person and also are enjoyable. I don't enjoy surface small talk with people I barely know. What I do know is that we, the LGBB and I, fit like gloves in other groups and have a thoroughly entertaining time in those social circles. So I just received a lesson that I will trust my daughter's discernment of who she likes to be around. These kids were not one of those groups. Fair enough.

So, I described the cake I was going to make to this mum who asked. I received a smirking retort that I could buy a perfect cake topper with Hi-5 printed on it to put on my cake instead -- or better still, could get the entire cake already made up -- at The Cheesecake Shop. Forgive me for wanting to bake and spend the time, but .... back off! Go buy your cake, it's just not my thing, just like baking one is not yours. I didn't even bother to explain the point that I am one of those "simpleton, tragic" mums who actually like to stress out over getting the angle of a thumb just right on a Hi-5 cake. I don't want to buy one. I want to do it myself. Just for the sheer red-faced, sweaty love of the pressure of it. *

Being that everything good in the LGBB's life is cake and candles, she is going to absolutely drop her eyeballs out of her head this weekend. Her second birthday is this Sunday.

I blinked, I think, because how the heck did we get here so fast??

* And I would like to just soothe the beast in anyone reading by clarifying: the simpleton, tragic bit was just that - a bit. A quip. I don't think of parents (cos dads make birthday cakes too, y'know!) who make their children's cakes as that way at all. I was cynically assuming a projection. Me, I think there is far more satisfaction in DIY cakes than there is handing money over for someone else to do it. However.... that doesn't mean I think people who buy theme cakes are wrong or bad or "tragic" - I personally just enjoy the challenge, that's all I mean to say.

Monday, July 14, 2008

I'm hibernating.

A little like being on a winter solstice of my own, I feel really happy not to update about anything just for now. Once again, apparently I've got nothing.

All is good. Sometimes it's blah. But mostly, what I am doing right now is stockpiling energy like a chipmunk would stuff acorns in its cheeks. Which is a kinda funny analogy if I think about it, because several of my friends over the years have called me Squirrel for some reason. Must be my high cheekbones. You'd think they are sort of lofty and Claudia Schiffer-ey but no. They merely give me the said look of ... a squirrel with full cheeks. Just look at my daughter for further clarification (it is a strong gene in my side of the family, even the Japanese nieces have the same feature, awww!).

Now, to Bear. I am sitting with Bear right now. In fact, I am being a bear. Aside from the hibernating feeling of now, I'm really doing a lot of that "sitting in a cave" stuff. Energetically, it's wise of me to do this for the moment. So I'll leave you with this thought that I've been pondering, from Bear wisdom:

"If we choose to believe that there are many questions to life, we must also believe that the answers to these questions reside within us. Each and every being has the capacity to quiet the mind, enter the silence, and know."

Thursday, July 10, 2008


The plan is, I am going to do a grief counselling course with Bonnie Babes before the year is out. There is one coming up, my registration is almost complete for it. I'm nearly in.

That's the plan.

I am going to have to take one helluva deep breath and just.... do it. I want to give more. And this is how. I know now. Partly, this is how.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Is it wrong that I am crying? With laughter?

Excuse the link. Can't embed this one. But trust me.... it's so worth clicking.

The scariest cut

I'm talking when there is hair. Too. Much. Hair! The first hair cut. Like, proper, take-lengths-off-the-ends hair cut. Not just the neatening of the fringe cut.

I have been searching for a hairdresser, listening out for good recommendations - none have been forthcoming, or none have come through anyway. The cheapest I've found have been in the $15-19 range and I think that is just ludicrous. Although, there is no price on a safe and happy-fun-slide experience for the LGBB's first time in a salon chair because, damn, she's going to have to get used to them and I would rather her experience be jolly. Not as if she's going to see the dentist. Or orthodontist. Podiatrist. Physiotherapist. Psychiatrist. Or any 'ist that causes fear. We're into 'paths in this house - homoeopath, osteopath.... psychopath, you know, the usual alternative stuff.

Now, I know what you're thinking: and yes, it also crossed my mind fleetingly as the shears hovered above her locks, that it may have been impulsively bold of me and could very well end up in tears and absolute disaster (especially given that her birthday is next weekend and she'll be "on show") but... I went for the cut myself. Last night, just before dinner, at the peak of her squealy-excitement at Daddy coming home earlier than usual (thank you, EASTLINK), I grabbed her little nail scissors and went the chop. What the hell was I thinking?

The result, I have to say, isn't bad for free. Especially, also, that there is the double whammy of the two or maybe even three cowlicks (courtesy of yours truly, who only began to learn how to tame hers in her late teens, and unsuccessfully even then for a a few more years). These cause the hair that begins at the roots in Lolly's fringe on the left side of her head to end up over on the right and vice versa: the right-rooted hair ends up crossed over to the left. Hmmmm. Tricky.

The LGBB was intrigued about being able to look into one mirror, held by Daddy, and see the back of her head in the one behind her. What's this! I have a back?? So I did get a good clear, oh, I'd say 40 seconds to get the lengths off. The ends that were going ratty and had started to say more loudly, "MY MOTHER IS GOING FOR THE CELEBRITY BLONDE HAIRED SON LOOK." And let's just remember, people, they are little boys. And the LGBB has eerily similar hair which has been disturbing me lately.

So, without further ado, here is your average none-too-shabby home cut (courtesy of Tommee Tippee nail scissors):

Compared to before:

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Does anyone get it?

I speak of Ready, Steady, Cook. One of you (or more than one) must surely like it, because it is STILL on. Nobody asked me if I wanted my one tiny window of maaaaaybe, if I'm lucky, catching a glimpse of something on tv to be bloody this.

I don't understand. What use is it? Really. And that guy, that one freaking guy (a floor manager or a camera man or a, I don't know, a gaffer or something) who "WOO-WOO-WOO!!!!"s so bloody annoyingly each time they go to a commercial break or press the audience 'Applause' button. He shits me. And the theme music makes me shudder. Urrrgh.

You'd think I watch it, but I don't. I simply have a vehement dislike for it and have to turn it off if I happen to (rarely these days) have the telly on in the background while I work. Like today. And, oh God, I must go and change the channel. Immediately.

It makes me very cross. Which may just answer some of my questions regarding whether I am unduly stressed, contributing to my current health concerns....

Monday, July 7, 2008

She loves me, she loves me not...

Faced with the eternal moral dilemma for a dog, Jazz must choose whether to accept the rare kiss or go for broke and steal the sanger from the LGBB's hand (Mummy overruled and allowed the former only).

You can see the struggle in the young dog's face - the nose and mouth are turning upward as if to pucker up. The eyes are concerned she'll miss her chance.

But a brave dog knows she has nothing to lose by trying. So she does and is foiled by the lightning-fast Copperfield-esque moves of the LGBB, who manages to confuse poor Jazzy's pea-sized, one-track brain.

Nothing in this hand.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

All played out

Can I get y'nother beer there, Ted?

Teddy recovers after being played to the extreme by one LGBB and this is how we found him on the couch. All strung out and in need of a good lie down.

Aren't we all.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Just an out-loud train of thought

It's so surprising, the number of people who will compete over anything. Anything. And so subtle too, sometimes.

Stick them behind the computer screen and out they come. On many forums, anywhere.

The interesting thing I find is that I don't often come across people IRL who are as willing to puff out their chest and oppose something one has just said. Thank God. How tedious.

*slaps wrist* STOP looking then!

Friday, July 4, 2008

Without further notice???

No NO NOOOOOOOOO!!!!! Surely not! Isn't there some other way? (There isn't any way around it, I've asked...)

I am not allowed to drink coffee until given the all-clear.

I have had a persistent heart palpitation since waking on Wednesday morning. Comes in fits and bursts and in the late afternoon to evening, it becomes downright uncomfortable - I feel my heart drop in my chest and if I have a finger over the artery on my neck I can feel it skip the beat then follow it up with a great whooshing echoey beat the next one after that. It's causing breathlessness and compression headaches and neck pain. And er, yes, it's become a tad alarming. Especially when I have to mention my apparently genetic predisposition of "heart trouble" - Grandma, Dad and of course, we cannot discount Ella.

Even when I went to my conservative, dare I say rather anti-establishment, Homeopath and he told me it would be wise for me to get some further tests done, I admit to doing a little bit of a silent poo in my dacks.

So, readers, let's just wait and see. I haven't told my family, it just doesn't seem necessary. Dad would worry; he has what has apparently become a life-long fibrillation, despite numerous procedures to get his ticker working normally again, and he now manages it with some heavy duty drugs. Dad! The fittest mid-60-year-old I know. He can't have coffee anymore either. But he's twice my age.

No. Let's not panic or get ahead of ourselves here......... I have not been handed a life sentence without my beloved nectar of the cacao bean. It's just for the time being, til the tests come back. I have to book for bloods and an ECG to be done. Soon. So they can shrug and say they "dunno" what it was, "but you can go back to drinking now." Yep. That's what they'll say.

I will have to sit on my damn hands in order not to get my shaky mits around my coffee plunger. The lemon tree will be getting a good plucking and I plan to sip hot lemon water.


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