Thursday, 20 December 2012

Dear Santa

Dear Santa,

I don't ask for much really, the odd diamond or pearl encrusted tiara, latest model Mercedes Benz, another island home and of course those edible gold statues of the cadburys chocolate bar range for my collection... see? I'm of simple needs. Sure I could ask for something as fakily altruistic as world peace but I imagine that would take up a lot of your time during this busy season and besides, I would really hate to come off as a shallow minded beauty pageant entrant.

You see Santa, the wonderful E at Whining at the World has tagged me in a Christmas "blog a long" originally started by Jess from 'Essentially Jess' where bloggers share our Christmas wish lists on our blogs as part of the last IBOT (I blog on Tuesdays) for the year.

It seems that E has already put her dibs on those highly desirable cleaning fairies and private cooking tuition from Jamie Oliver, so this could be a bit tough but, here goes my wish list for this year:

*Firstly - some doubt has been cast recently by my older children as to your actual existence, so as today is the last day before the world ends can you have a brief chat to some of your friends, (the Easter bunny, tooth fairy etc) and prove your existence to my kids by allowing the world to continue beyond tomorrow, thus still bringing Christmas to all. 

* Secondly, can you please postpone Christmas day to the 27th, so we can make the most of the boxing day sales 2012 before the retailers figure out whats happened.

* As per last years wish, The Princess's hair has finally started to grow, and I thank you for that. However, its luscious curl whilst pretty is becoming rather hard to tame and it's lack of length renders it impossible to tie back, which is unfortunately giving off impressions of Fran Fine's mother from the Nanny and risking most unwanted Nit infestations... So this year, could you please provide a magic potion to let it grow to pony tail capabilities before pre-school starts?

*Chocolate. And not that cheap crap either - good stuff.

* I could also really use a literal truck (make it a tipper) load of 'magic erasers' - it seems The Princess has recently discovered her inner artist and my house is her canvas.

* I never forget my friends so I would love to give my friend T a nice present this year - she would really like a Kitchen Aid and its out of my budget so could you see to it she receives the purple coloured one? That or she would also settle for Johnny Depp in his birthday suit with a strategically placed Christmas bow.

*Last but not least, I am really need my Sanity back, half way into day one of the school holidays and my marbles have well and truly rolled away and we have more than 6 weeks to go. Oh that reminds me, perhaps you could also make a few alterations to the English language - those silly nonsensical words for example have you ever wonder why it is that when you are sane you are sane but when you are crazy you are called in-sane, wouldn't it make more sense to be called out-sane? Yeah them.



So that was my first I Blog On Tuesdays post and of course in typical Suzi style two days late. Luckily IBOT could theoretically also stand for I Blog On Thursdays :D 

I must also tag 5 people:

Your it!

Cate from Keep Cate Busy
Melissa - The Things I'd Tell You
AM - The house that AM built
Trish - My Little Drummer Boys
Eden - Edenland

Friday, 14 December 2012

I forgot to mention the best news in the world...

In all my months of broken Internet, I forgot to mention the best news in the whole world!

You may remember how I donated eggs for my SIL & BIL who have been struggling with infertility earlier in the year?

Just when it seemed the odds were stacked against us, she got the best news in the whole wide world, that it worked -  she is going to be a mum!!

Now she is just over halfway through the pregnancy and has the most perfect watermelon out the front baby bump, we just found out its a little girl and I am SO EXCITED! I know it doesn't matter as long as its healthy and all that jazz, but I was secretly really hoping she would have a girl, I have really enjoyed having The Princess after all my boys so a new little niece to bestow pink pretties upon is just perfect!

So miracles really can happen (with just a little help from modern medicine) and this Auntie is going to seriously have to avoid the baby isles in Target once she is born or risk going bankrupt - I don't know that "but it's pink and sooooo cute" is a reason the bank will except for defaulting on the mortgage...

Have you ever considered egg donation? (It's a bit of an emotional roller coaster but so worth it, feel free to email if you have thought about it and have questions.)

The story of my egg donation journey is at the top of the page for anyone interested.

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

HO HO Hum...

Well its apparently 13 days until Christmas. Does that strike fear into your heart too or is it just me?
I have developed a rather uneffective coping stratagy recently of if I can't deal with it just put it in a corner and forget about it - unfortunatly this has resulted in some rather unpleasent letters from telecommunications and electric companies insisting on immediate funds or threatening to send out the hired goons...

This debt avasion isnt exactly intentional, I have lost my part time job due to being too old and expensive in a dying retail climate so we are financially even less well off and it's just all so depressing - upon reciept of another huge bill a sigh of oh crap MORE debt and sticking it in a pile I just don't seem to bring myself to look at again.

The trouble is I have done the same thing with Christmas this year, frankly, Christmas Sucks it is all too hard and expensive and I have put the whole notion in a corner and tried to forget about it, much to the childrens horror, poor darlings keep asking me when its time to start advent calanders... ahem...

We did manage to put the Christmas tree up on Sunday, thanks to DH who found the centre sticky part that all the branches slot into -for some unknown reason, last year I thought it would be a good idea to store it in a 'safe place' away from the rest of the tree. The kids decorated it and I knew my bah humbug was getting bad when I didnt even feel the need to re-do it after they went to sleep, its just been left with the lower 1/3 covered in decorations and nothing on the top or back - this would normally kill me.

I have bought exactly two presents and they were because I was roped into going to a next door neighbours jewellery party and could buy on the spot - I guiltily used the cash from the hidden part of my wallet that belongs to son number 2 (who is saving up to buy himself an iPod touch) to pay for them.

To add to my excuses top it off with rego due in two days, my car decided now is a great time for the gear box to blow up, so I have a friend and his car trailer helping me drag it into littlebig smoke for a quote on monday. The chances of the car being fixed before christmas are less than that of the impending appocolypse and there for with four children and only available transport being DHs ute it seems we wont be driving to the big smoke as planned for christmas celebrations with family this year.   Sigh.
So despite the temptation of converting to a non-christmas celebrating religion I really need to come up with a plan to get in the spirit and create something christmassy but cheap for the kids - I googled it but just got distracted by a house with christmas lights themed to  'gangam style' which I have inserted below for your viewing pleasure.
How is your christmas shaping up, are you a whinging bah humbugger like me or one of those super organised types I would like to be?
Do you find really expensive things ALWAYS break down in december?

Saturday, 1 December 2012

Mylo Xyloto - Cold Play Sydney 2012

There is something very special about the intense feeling of anticipation that comes over a crowd of 50 thousand when the lights go out and the stadium is plunged into darkness, the screaming stops for a moment and everyone catches their breath knowing that in just a matter of moments the rock gods you have been waiting 10 years to see are about to burst onto stage.
It had been 8 months since my friend and I had sat at our computers with bated breath as tickets went on sale hoping we wouldn’t miss out as we had on their last visit to Australia. Then suddenly this was it – our long awaited weekend in Sydney for Coldplay’s ‘Mylo Xyloto’ Tour was finally actually happening!

We got to a packed Sydney Football Stadium lined up for the customary memrobilia and fought our way through the crowds to find our seat.  

Every person in the audience was given a wristband with a different coloured strap at the gate, they had a funny little battery pack on them no on or off switch and no explanation as to what they were for. But at that moment, when the lights went out we finally found out their purpose as every wrist in the stadium erupted into a mass of multi-coloured flashing lights, the effect was indescribable.  

As the music started, fire-works exploded into the Sydney skyline and massive screens that  looked like neon ringed trampolines threw out images of neon walking men and close ups of the band, and our wrists flashed in time to the music. It’s no wonder Chris is so skinny, its not just drugs, the sheer amount of energy he throws into his performances is phenomenal and warranted at least three sweat soaked shirt changes.

During the set, which included favourites from not just Mylo Xyloto but X&Y and Viva la Vida too, confetti fell from the sky, giant multi-coloured balloons with flashing colour changing lights were thrown into the audience and bounced around, nearly knocking people off the seat ledges as they jumped up to touch them.

“Paradise” rang out with an intense firework finale and the band said goodnight and left the stage, after approximately three flashing wristed, screaming, clapping stomping standing ovation attempts to get an encore later people started to wonder if they were actually coming back!

 Just as it looked like a full scale riot was inevitable, they appeared, on a smaller stage at the other end of the stadium and performed some acoustic ballads from albums new and old then heading back to stage number one and doing another fantastic energy and firework filled set before saying goodnight for real.     

We left the stadium with a wave of several thousand others all heading in the same direction. Some held giant balloons above their heads, lucky enough to have caught a little piece of memorabilia to keep for all time and as I looked at the wrist band I didn’t recycle in the bins provided, I knew it was an experience I will never forget. but just to make sure I bought the T-Shirt.

Thursday, 29 November 2012

A Perspective Kick in the Pants

3 months ago my Internet died and I dropped off the face of the blogging-planet, and although I am usually fairly optimistic and grateful for my place in the worlds, I have recently lost sight of that a bit forgetting to be thankful, helpful and have been generally wallowing in a self-induced pity party. I even stopped writing.

A couple of days ago I got that kick-in-the-pants perspective injection that I have been missing.

I had stuck my headphones in and was listening to Ed Sheerens A Team on the iPhone as I walked out to the car to pick up the kids.

I was in a generally foul mood and cursing the fact that the gear box in the car has got something seriously wrong with it that I can’t afford to fix which means I can’t go over 40km and as such I can't drive it any further than the kid’s bus stop.
I was cursing the fact that I haven’t heard back from the bank about a somewhat desperately needed loan we are waiting on and also cursing the very minor first world problem that I love this song but have to take my head phones off to drive so I can hear the cars crazy rev pattern.
As I approached the car I thought to myself, ‘why does this shit always happen to me? I just wish I could know that everything will work itself out’. I slumped into the driver’s seat, turned the key and started hearing double. Huh? Is my friggin iPod broken too?! As I pulled out my earphones, I suddenly realised that my iPod was not broken and my most minor problem had self-resolved. ‘A Team’ blasted through the car radio. I laughed out loud at my pessimism, maybe that was a sign.

I crawled to the bus stop and pulled out my phone again, oh wow, I actually had 2 bars of 3G reception! On a whim I looked up Eden Riley’s blog (I haven’t read a blog since the Internet died.) Then I saw she had been in India.

WTF? – I scrolled down to discover that Eden has been busy doing the world vision thing again, this time in India! How bizarre, a country I don’t tend to give a second thought to and yet only last night I watched a movie called “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel” which is based there and that morning read a magazine article on it.

As I read the words and stared at the pictures as my heart stopped just a little bit as I adjusted my life perspectives.

I had a flashback to another movie I had watched last time my Internet had been down for an extended period about education in the poorest parts of Africa and remembered how the day after I had seen that movie, I had discovered Eden was in Africa.
I think I definitely got my sign. I picked up the kids and we came home where they ran straight inside and took up their positions on the couch.

I stared at them for a minute, each one of them completely absorbed in technology, iPods, iPad’s and TV not a thought as to whether they would go to sleep hungry or cold, thoughts about marrying for anything but love never crossing their minds and certainly  no risk of dying young from preventable diseases.
We are so lucky, to have been born where we are, to be given choices, rights and opportunities the fact that as a women I can even apply for a bank loan is something to be thankful for. So many people, so many children on our Earth don’t.

Thank you to World Vision, thank you to all the wonderful people out there like Eden who are spreading the word – it is so inspiring to SEE the difference these programs are making to people’s lives.
If you are in a position to donate this Christmas, head over to the world vision website by clicking the link to the top left of the page, and there you can make a one off donation or even sponsor a child, every cent counts.




Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Just Be

I have spent the morning childfree, writing and reflecting. There is a red breasted black and white robin that has spent the morning admiring his sweet self in the reflection of my lounge room window.

He has watched me as I have written my monthy articles for the local newspapers, fluttered his little wings and sung as I have typed up all the minutes from the committee's that once upon a time decided to become secretary for.

He took no notice of the cat on the inside of the window doing that funny little meow cats do when they want to devour a bird, none at all not even as I wrote a short picture book story for my nephew.

He then he entertained his own self merrily as I drank from my large mug of hot coffee and admired the budding lilac trees.

He sat upon my outdoor chair covering it in little presents as I filled my roaring fire with wood to hide away winters cold touch.

No worries, not a care in the world, sing a song, fly high and admire ones self. The robin simply danced away.

I take a lesson from the little bird, such a small but such an important part of our world.

Sometimes its good to sit to dance and reflect, to write, to draw, to sing and to just be.

Happiness is taking time out for the little things.

Wednesday, 25 July 2012

The Mathematics Of IVF Disappointment

Sometimes, when you have put your emotional all into something it still doesn’t work, your last ditch effort still doesn’t fix it. Sometimes things just aren’t meant to be, even when they should be.  

22 Eggs, 19 mature, 13 fertilized, 8 made it to day 3, 6 made it to day 5, One fresh embryo transferred only two suitable left to freeze.

 3 out of 22.

You can’t help but be disappointed; you can’t help but wonder why?

As much as you don’t think you will be emotionally attached as a donor aunty until there is something physically there to see and be attached to, as much as they tell you they can’t promise anything and you say you understand, nothing prepares you for all the what if’s, all the maybe’s and that in the end all you are left with is a bunch of statistics and numbers that steadily decrease along with your hope.


3 chances:  1 in 3 pregnancies end in miscarriage


2 chances: Will it even stick? The Fertility Specialists say 50% chance.


1 chance out of 22

I have never been good at maths but I don’t like those odds.

I should be looking on the glass is half full side – 3 chances or even 1 chance is better than none. But it’s really hard to do that when they said my eggs were good, they said BILs sperm was good, so why?


Seven more days until we find out if it has worked, find out if she is pregnant.

Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Well, that’s that then.

After two full on weeks and months of preparation, it’s all over.

Kind of anti climatic, so much work up and then all of a sudden my part is done. Finished.

Yesterday around 8am SIL, BIL and I pushed open the double glass doors of the fertility clinic for Egg Pick Up (EPU), it was a surreal feeling -this was make or break time.

The lovely receptionist ushered us through a door and into a little area with a few lockers, a bench seat and doorways leading off from it marked ‘theatre’ and ‘ultrasound’, she indicated towards a third door marked ‘change room’ and gave me a warm smile.

Everything off and then everything on said the receptionist as she pointed to a little blue basket with sexy looking gown, robe, hat and booties in it.
Gorgeous Huh?

After I was all gowned up, they took us through to the recovery area with a couch and hospital bed where we would wait for my turn on the table. We joked nervously with each other for a while taking happy snaps of the three of us together which we could later present to any offspring on their 21st birthdays as the day of their conception.

We had a brief scare when we asked the fertility specialist if it was ok that I was not bloated at all that morning when the previous day I had looked 4 months pregnant not really thinking much of it – the concerned look on her face was quickly covered up by a rather fake looking smile as she said I’m sure its fine and rushed me back into the door marked ‘ultrasound’ where they checked to make sure I hadn’t ovulated earlier than expected – ‘it’s very rare’ she reassured me, ‘but its better we find out now than when we get into theatre...’

Luckily, I’m just a freak and the follicles were all still there panic averted we went back into the recovery/waiting area, briefly saw the embryologist who looked younger than me and the anaesthetist an older man who bore a striking resemblance to Dr Mike from All Saints, then the nurse called me into theatre.

Now I was quite nervous, walking into a huge room with more people than I realised would be there I climbed onto the bed, lay down and the nurse put a warm blanket over me. The anaesthetist held my hand and told me he would now put in a canula to administer my drug cocktail. The FS chatted about random stuff while she waited and I realised the canula was already in, I hadn’t even felt it.

Dr Mike held up a syringe of clear liquid and said now I’m going to give you some happy juice, it will make you feel awesome, like being stoned and he winked, don’t worry, you probably won’t remember this conversation .I got the distinct impression Dr Mike knew exactly what it’s like to feel stoned...
The FS said it takes about 20sec to work, and to tell her when I start to feel it, at that moment my head started spinning, “there it is” I said, ‘that was quick’ she remarked and  I woke up in the recovery area with an oxygen mask on my face.

It’s a very strange feeling to know that you have been totally violated while you slept and upon awakening you wouldn’t have a clue that it had happened if they didn’t tell you. It was a lot better than I expected though a bit of very mild pain in the tummy but more like doing too many sit ups the day before than actual painful pain though going to the toliet hurts like buggery!

My SIL and BIL came in and announced they had harvested an awesome 22 eggs! I had a cup of tea and some toast before having the canulas taken out and being given permission to get dressed again. Once fully clothed and heading out I dignified myself by nearly falling down again – a bit like when you have been drinking all night sitting down then you get up to go to the loo and it hits you all at once.  

We rested at SIL’s place for a while and then she presented me with a huge beautiful bouquet of flowers and drove me back home to the farm and to my darling husband and own bunch of noisy little monkeys that I am so, very lucky to have.

And now it’s done, my part is over and the rest is up to her. I had a call from the clinic this morning who informed me 13 eggs had fertilized which is apparently an excellent result although to be honest I was a bit disappointed that it was only 13 out of 22 possibilities. The next 5 days will see how many make it to blastocyst stage and then they will transfer one to her and freeze the others for future use.

Fingers crossed x

Monday, 16 July 2012

D Day

I have been abit slack on the IVF blogging front, but I will catch you all up at some point.

Meanwhile it's 6:25 am and I'm typing this on my iPhone, my alarm will go off at 6:30 and I have to get ready to leave by 7:30 for Egg Pick up. I stayed the night at SILs place due to recent car trouble ( that's a whole other story) and the fact that being at theclinic late is NOT an option.

On my last appointment there on friday, I had an internal ultrasound which showed 15 large follicles on the right and 7 large on the left plus about 20 little ones.
The ultrasound lady said it was an "enthusiastic result", and I am at risk for OHSS or ovarian hyper stimulation syndrome - essentially that's where your swollen follicle filled ovaries leak fluid into your abdomen.


So now it's D day, or rather E day, and we will find out how many of those follicles have nice mature eggs in them, and I am silently shitting myself about having an anaesthetic - even though it's not a big one - I have never liked the idea of people fiddling with my body while I'm asleep and I hate the feeling of no control you get from drugs. So it's time to suck it up, go and shower and wish my poor sore mouth had drunk more water before midnight last night.

Wish me luck!!

Thursday, 12 July 2012

Stab Thyself

I stared at the clock about 7:30 last tuesday night and knew that the moment of truth was coming, the lady from the clinic rang in the morning and said my levels were perfect and to take the first GonalF shot after 8pm. Im ok with needles generally, my Dad was a vampire, ahem I mean blood collecter.

 When I was little I used to go in to work with him when he was called in on weekends and watch him do his ward rounds, so blood and needles were just part of life. I worked in a vet clinic and gave immunisations to animals so I had experience there to, however when it comes to actually sticking a needle into your own skin, it becomes an entirely different matter.

The clock struck 8, I had the 'how to' booklet memorised, 8:15 - I could never be a drug addict, god I hope I don't get diabetes, must eat better...
8:20 - ok come on Suzi, the 16yr old kid down the street had been doing it for years (diabetes) if he can do it so can you.

At 8:30 I got the stuff out of the fridge and set it up, The husband was grinning at me, saying "just do it, quick go on! It's not that hard" ha! What would he know.

8:40- I held the needle pen thingy inches from my skin, double checked the dose - still 150... more helpful words from my beloved "give it here, i'll do it, you just stab!" Yeah i dont think so...

8:45 I took another look at the needle and back at my pinched up tummy flubber, ok deep breath, stab thyself. I looked back down, the needle was in, I couldn't even feel it! I pushed the little button on the needle pen, counted to 10 and pulled it out. The dose had been delivered correctly. I did it!!! I was so proud of myself I felt like the kid that just rode the rollercoaster at Disney land for the first time.

Now only approx 20 more needles to go...

Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Building Bridges

Last week I built a bridge, and got over it. Literally.

A made in China E-bay special, It is a long awaited and essential part of my Fairy Garden Project, After finally bidding and getting a super bargain price, my bridge arrived on Friday and The Husband said he would put it together for me on Saturday.
But being the impatient type, I didn't want to wait 24 whole hours so I decided as a capable women there was no reason why I couldn't just do it myself!

So I dragged the heavy box inside and set up in the lounge room, put the TV on for the Princess and opened the box:

 A begillion small pieces of timber, 8 bolts, 8 nuts, 16 washers and196 small black screws.
Deep breath, yup I can do this...

Now The Husband is a chippie by trade and has an assortment of power tools including a power screw driver thingy, but of course he takes these tools to work with him, so I was left with the option either doing up 196 small screws by hand or waiting until Saturday for him to do it.

Did I mention I'm impatient?

I got out the trusty Phillips head set up in the lounge room and started screwing, I screwed for hours, so hard in fact that at times I thought my hand would fall off. I only interrupted by shouts of "Delicious Arsehole!" and "Grassy Ass" from The Princess who would have benefited from a little more speech therapy and annunciation practise before undertaking Dora The Explorers informal Spanish classes.

Suddenly there was a knock at the lounge room window - I have a kilometre long driveway and a big dog so people don't usually get to the house without me noticing, to make matters worse it was the septic service guy, now he is a lovely bloke but he is a dead ringer for Orsen Hodges from desperate housewives and I didn't realise he was coming today so he scared the bejesus out of me and... well... I screamed.

Once I regained composure Orson's double informed me that all was well with the septic which he had already checked while I was busy screwing in the lounge room and I parted with $100 for his trouble. Back to the task at hand I continued on blisters and all until I finally had something that resembled half a bridge:
Note my so called guard dog asleep in the background...

All I had to do was screw the final panels into place and it was complete, a beautiful quaint little bridge perfect for a fairy garden! OK who am I kidding the last piece didn't fit.

Of course it didn't.

So I lugged it outside and positioned it in the work-in-progress fairy garden anyway and waited for The Husband to come home so I could tell him how awesome he is and beg him to cut it to size and make it work. Which he did, because he's awesome.

But not before telling me that my bargain 'ceder' bridge was in fact dodgy pine and would be lucky to last the winter, then he used his cordless screw driver thingy to screw in the screws I couldn't get down all the way and he informed me with a slightly evil grin that it was in the garage the whole time as that's where it lives and he takes a different one to work.

Of course he does.

Have you built a bridge recently?
Are you as impatient as me?
Do you buy dodgy crap on E-bay all the time too?

Thursday, 7 June 2012

IVF / Egg donation update

image credit

So we are progressing slowly towards the impending egg donation, I have started taking the pill (just the normal birth control one) so that I can sync my cycle with my SIL. In less than a month I can start injecting daily with ‘Gonal F’ which will stimulate my ovaries to create multiple follicles which each house an egg waiting to mature. After approx a week on the Gonal F, I will add a second injection to the mix which stops me prematurely ovulating thus allowing as many mature follicles/eggs as possible.

I am excited that it’s all happening but I am starting to freak out that it won’t work or I will develop “ovarian hyper stimulation syndrome” which is where too many eggs are created and you get really sick and have to stop the cycle.

A question I been wondering about, but  haven’t asked is that if the FS (fertility specialist) does have to stop the cycle for any reason, then does my SIL still have to pay the full costs? This IVF stuff is enough to turn your average person into a hardcore bank robber (think 10K + a pop!)

I’m feeling pretty crap at the moment to, the birth control pill and I have a limited history as I have a habit of over reacting to hormones and get sick whenever I have had any hormone related birth control (that explains the four kids for ya!)I took the God awful ‘Depo’ injection once and bled continuously and threw up every single day for 6 months – the actual injection was only supposed to last 3. No wonder it’s called effective birth control, with all the side effects sex is the absolutely last thing on your mind!
So true to form I am nauseous, exhausted, have a constant headache and am getting really annoying bouts of hot flushes all day and all night. Ugh. Hormones suck.

SIL keeps asking how I’m feeling and I lie through my teeth and tell her I feel great! Last thing I want is her feeling guilty or worried that I’m going to bail out on her, I wouldn’t even consider it. Bailing is NOT an option, I want a new nephew or niece dagnamit!

So that’s where I stand with that, I guess I will update again when I have to start sticking myself (eek!)

Monday, 4 June 2012

Blogs, books and why opinions are like fixing engines

I’m sure you have all read ‘Rise of the Mummy Bloggers’ by now and are aware of some people who have nothing better to do than make poorly researched comments and whinge about women who are building careers and making a living from telling their stories. People have been doing this in mainstream media for decades, so why not social media? 
A lot of comments that I read were from people who I imagine wouldnt hesitate to check google if they had a problem with their car engine.
 I would like to point out that they might just come accross a blog  in their search from a bloke who replaced the thingy watsit on the engine but it turned out it didnt fit the way it should but his story tells of how he fixed it anyway using a garden hose and a bobby pin, you know stuff you don't find in the manual.
I have a problem with a teething toddler and I dont want to read give them a teething ring for $4.99 I want to read somebodies personal account of how and why the red star shaped teething ring is better than the blue one and why, and also that yes they are goddamn tired after not sleeping in two days thankyouverymuch.
The key point Im trying to make is we want information that is not just useful but that we relate to, when we relate we feel validated and it makes us feel NORMAL. Blogs give us that somebody to relate to, and its really nice to feel normal especially after 48hrs of no sleep.
The world of mainstream media is slowly catching on to just how powerfully influential the average person armed with a computer can really be. The blog has become a valuable tool for teaching the world that as individuals we ALL have a story. Our own feelings and emotions are just as important as those of everybody else. By sharing our stories with each other we have the ability to create networks of support that span the world over, we have the power to teach people in all walks of life and at all ends of the globe.

We will like some blogs and not others and other people will like the ones we hate and loath the ones we love - thats the beauty of it. There is something for everyone out there, if you don't like it you dont have to take the book back to the store for a refund, you can just move on. Simple.

As for monatising? As long as there is money, there will be marketing and the ads we see in the magazines and the newspaper are really no different to those on the blog, the main difference between the two forms of media lies in accessability and the artical itself.

The magazine or newspaper lays down a carefully edited and re edited story designed to sell to the majority and make a profit for the company. 

The blog gives an oppertunity to view the unscripted world through the eyes of one other person, raw and real.

Like it or not the internet has changed the world, we are more powerful as individuals than we have ever been before, information about anything and everything is literally at our fingertips whenever we want it. We have been given the opportunity to embrace this change, to better appreciate the diversity around us and encourage true equality in this great planet we all live in.

When you blog don’t be afraid to speak up for yourself out of fear of a few negative comments, there will always be people who are validated by your voice no matter how small. Remember, when combined our small voices become large and loud and if we all speak together, we will be heard!

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

How many telstra employees does it take to change a light bulb?

Answer: Im sorry, I can't answer that question, Hold please and I will transfer you to the correct department...

Update on my little telecommunications saga - I HAVE PHONE SERVICE AGAIN!! (touch wood)
Trevor never did show up - he may indeed have gone back to prison. Instead a very lovely older gentleman who I will call Peter, came and determined the problem and (get this!) FIXED IT!

It turns out thrifty old Jack who used to live here must have accidently dug through the phone cable at some point and then taken the liberty to fix it again all by himself and avoid paying someone to come out bush and re connect it properly. The downside being that everytime it rained the wires would get wet and short out.

This is what it looked like:

electrical tape won't fix everything...

So now I have these two fancy looking orange star-pickets on the edge of my driveway to mark where the cable is too shallow and will eventually need to be dug in to regulation depth.

Peter admitted that although there has been a work order placed to do said repairs it could quite possibly take 2 years or never actually happen so in the mean time it might be an idea to add some decorations to the star pickets and jazz them up a bit.

I took his advice:

After- A Work of Art!
Before - Boring:

So now that I am able to make phone calls again I will call the aforementioned telecommunications company and tell them I am under NO circumstances paying the bill they just sent me for the last month with no service. If they don't accept my terms I will put them on Hold and divert them to my mobile and back to the home phone... And repeat.

Monday, 14 May 2012

Second Nature

I remember being young and watching my mother change the gears in the car while we were driving. I marvelled at how she seemed to just ‘know’ where the little stick needed to point without even looking, when I asked her how she did it she replied “After awhile it’s just second nature, you don’t even need to think about it.”

Parenting can be a bit like changing gears, it’s hard to adjust to at first, if you do the wrong thing you can end up with a terrible noise! There are also days when you are firmly stuck in reverse and just praying for an automatic. But for the most part after awhile those gears will just flow all by themselves, it becomes second nature and you don’t even need to think about it.

I have now been a mother for 10years, I still stall and crunch the gears sometimes, but not as much as I used to and when I do my eyes don’t well up in embarrassment at the people watching me and judging me as they once did.

I watch friends and family going down the path of motherhood for the first time and I recognise their struggles, I understand their frustrations – I was them once. I am wrangling my fourth 3 year old but now I can grin at the way she still manages to get one over me (in exactly the same way her predecessors did) rather than curse myself for still not knowing better.

We grow up with our children, they probably teach us a lot more than we could ever teach them and as we watch them morph into little human beings with their own opinions and ideas we realise that we just have to take each day as it comes get ourselves into gear and enjoy the ride.

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Water Play for Wordless Wednesday

Counsellors, needles and magic wands

I had my first 'Egg Donor' internal ultrasound for ‘base line fertility’ a procedure very aptly called “Dildo Cam” by the lovely Faerie Saerie. If you don’t get the drift already, essentially you rock up to the local imaging place get greeted by someone very bubbly and much younger than yourself who proceeds to insert a “wand” into places Harry Potter only dreams about.
Miss Bubbly then takes multiple photos of your Ovaries, Uterus and measures follicles and checks the endometrial thickness, removes her magic wand, charges you $220 and bids you farewell.
All in all the ultrasound wasn’t as bad as I was expecting it to be, which is a good thing as I will be having several more once I begin taking the hormones , one every two days in fact!

Then it was time for the counselling sessions, I was to have one on my own and then one with my SIL & BIL – I did the solo one over the phone so that I didn’t have to travel into the big smoke for just the one appointment, this would have been easier if the phone hadn’t been crackling itself into oblivion at the time –did you see my rant regarding a certain phone company?
Despite the phone’s best efforts after a lot of “pardon?” “what?” “hello??” we got our thoughts across and she deemed me sane enough to donate.

The second counselling session was with all of us, it only went for 20min as we has already discussed everything with each other and have the same opinions regarding donation, ethics etc which made it nice and easy.
With the all clear from the counsellor and results from blood work and ultrasound in tow, my SIL and I headed off to the FS (fertility specialist) yesterday and got the OK to proceed as well as the details of which drugs she will put me on and their dosage rates which are based on my blood work.

The two drugs I will be taking are ‘Gonal-F’ which is daily for approx 14 days and ‘Orgalutron’ which sounds like a bad ass transformer robot but is in fact a drug that stops ovulation, this is taken daily once the follicles grow to 14mm (as determined by ‘dildo cam’) to ward off early ovulation. These are both by self administered injection which while Im not needle phobic - I foresee the actual sticking of them into myself as well erm...  a challenge.
So its really happening now! We officially start the cycle early July.

Monday, 30 April 2012

Dear pathetic excuse for a phone company that rhymes with Hellstra...

My hatred for you began just before I moved to the bush when you had me blacklisted under the title“identity fraud” because I had the nerve to purchase two mobile phones and an wireless internet connection from you, but since you eventually cleared my name and admitted the mistake was yours I will let that little incident go for the duration of this post.

I will also not mention the fact that I paid $50 a month for internet connection that didn’t ever work for the best part of a year before you finally admitted there was no available 3G service and agreed to close the account with no cancellation fee.

So anyway, upon moving here and receiving new phones for my husband and I, I was assured I would have “excellent” mobile phone reception in my new rural location. It is true that I do indeed get (intermittent) reception, although one bar is not really considered excellent in my book and I can only achieve said single bar if I stand clinging precariously by one hand to the front veranda post whilst leaning into oblivion with my head tilting just a little to the left.

As the thought of falling to my impending doom should I ever want to make a phone call was unattractive at best, I decided to do the sensible thing and set up a home phone account too so that if one of my children were bitten by a deadly brown snake or the husband rolled the tractor I would at least have the ability to phone 000.

Now the home phone account was set up at the bargain price of $69 per month and has proceeded to die every single time we get more than half a mm of rain, first it goes crackly so you can’t hear the person on the other end which may I add can make for a whole lot of future awkwardness when you think you are talking to the husband you had the best sex of your life with that morning and it turns out to be your mother in law.

Then after about 48 hours of “What? What? Who is this? Hello?” it will kark it totally and there is no longer a dial tone.

Now in case you live in another country or deep in a cave somewhere, you will have noticed how over the last little while eastern Australia has been getting rather a lot of rain...

Every time this happens I assume my veranda hugging position and with my life on the line I phone up the ‘faults’ department. Where they are unable to hear me properly due to poor reception and after a bunch of ‘pardon me?’ and ‘can you please repeat that’  and 'do you realise your phone servive is not good?' I find out I have been transferred to the wrong department.

Finally it gets sorted out and after the lovely friendly consultant promises me someone will be out to fix the line within the next 7 days I am asked to hold and answer a survey question on my experience – but not before the consultant assures me it is only to rate HER PERSONAL performance and to please not let it reflect my views of the company.

Without fail on day 7 somebody called Trevor who looks like a cross between Hagrid and an axe murderer in a phone company uniform always arrives and temporarily fixes it until of course the next time it rains again and we go back to square one.

Two weeks ago my phone died AGAIN, but  this time Trevor never came.

 So after pondering  for a few days if perhaps another happy customer finally snapped and took it out on old Trev, I decided to call up the company again and find out.

By the time I have been redirected through ‘ADSL’, ‘Mobile Services’ and ‘Sales’  it has been 40 minutes and my foot and arm are asleep from clinging to the post in the icy wind. I finally connect to someone who CAN help me a lovely sounding lady, and my mobile battery went flat.

 So dear unnamed telecommunications giant, I’m more angry than Matthew Newton and have developed a twitch in my right eye. If there was ANY other telecommunications  companies that serviced my area I would have given my children up to be with them. In the meantime while my mobile battery charges, may God help Trevor if he turns up before I have had a coffee and some zanax.

Have you ever been f$#ked around with by a telecommunications company?

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

A Voice That Cannot Be Broken

Sometimes as writers, our greatest fear is misinterpretation.

Eden Riley wrote this post about having her words manipulated by a magazine and it got me thinking again, as so many of her posts do these days.

Magazines, newspapers, television segments - they are all like a game of Chinese whispers, you tell your story through an interpreter whos job it is to make a socially acceptable and profitable story for their company, the end result is often far from the truth.

When someone else changes your words – usually to benefit themselves’ - it cuts like a knife. In mainstream media I have had my words twisted, added too and downright lied about and it feels like a massive betrayal of character even when the reader is none the wiser. I think that is why I have grown to love blogging.

The blog is a unique form of media, it’s real.

The blog is our chance to have a voice, an unedited story or opinion about what matters to us. Sure some people won’t like it, there are always going to be those that scrutinise your life, methods and motive but it really doesn’t matter – in the grand scheme of things people will always read what they relate to, empathise with or lets them escape their reality for a while, so tell your story.

I can’t speak for you- you own your words, not me. But I know that no matter how honest, and how emotionally I write I haven't given away everything, I am still a private person and nobody could ever really know what its’ like to walk in my shoes, as for every word I write there are 1000 tears, 1000 laughs and 1000 thoughts that I don’t ever mention.

The words I don’t write are not lies by omission, they are my story to tell -or not- in my own time.

Sometimes we have to be strong and remember why we started writing in the first place, remember the thoughts going through your mind the day you wrote that first awkward post and think about how much you have grown since then, how many friends you have met and how much perspective you have gained in new areas.

You represent your own blog as your place to speak and be heard, and that is a voice that cannot be broken. happy writing.

Wednesday, 11 April 2012

Let's Make A Difference!

Eden Riley has spent the last week in Niger Africa with world vision raising awareness of the hunger crisis, she was interviewed on the Breakfast Show this morning in a segment that was nearly cancelled but thanks to Twitter love was allowed to continue (see we are already making a difference!)
 We are lucky to live in a time where we are able to use social media to raise awareness, Eden has inspired many other bloggers to write posts on this topic now and she's only just getting started.
We all grieve for an ideal world that doesn’t exist and we each have problems in our own lives of varying scale and although one persons’ problem may seem petty to another, they are still  valid  because they affect them and their lifestyle.
One basic fact is that we can ALL do something to make our world a better place, after all every human on this planet is in it together, we are all different and yet  exactly the same and we all have the same basic needs.

 The money spent and earned from war and fighting, is far more than enough to ensure every person on the planet has food, shelter, education and basic health care. Think about that for a minute.
Money is well described as the root of all evil, people become obsessed with it and the power it brings – to some it is an addiction, no different to your standard drug addiction or alcoholism.
Sadly though in our world, if you don’t have it you simply cannot survive – the people dying every day from easily preventable diseases and famine are proof enough.

It’s particularly ridiculous when you realise that much of the money we deal with daily doesn’t even exist. It is but numbers on paper- borrowed interest- its’ just numbers. If everyone in Australia withdrew the money in their bank account the country would collapse because the money isn’t physically there to take!

Over time we realise that the world has become entwined in a pyramid scam of the scariest proportions and the few people at the top of the pyramid hold the power and the people at the bottom? Well they don’t matter.

The fact is until the people at the top beat their addiction to power and money it becomes up to us, and while it can be as depressing as hell to think about how small we are in the great scheme of things, we are NOT powerless, we CAN certainly still help.

We cant all travel to Africa and we can't all write inspirational blog posts but we can each try and do a little something each day to help out someone else - from opening a door, lending a hand to a stranger, making a simple phone call to say hi, we ARE making a difference.

It’s these acts of kindness- even the smallest ones, that have the ability to change someone’s moment, their day and potentially their lives.  Watch the smile on a person’s face when you help them, it makes you feel better too.
To all the great people out there who raise awareness of world and local issues, you are doing a wonderful service, awareness encourages appreciation, it has the ability to change people’s views of their own lives, we become less greedy and more thankful, more helpful and more fulfilled within ourselves.

It doesn’t really matter what it is that you do, how big or how small but today, try and make a difference in someone else’s life. 

 Oh and if you haven't seen it already, head over to EDEN'S BLOG, grab a cuppa and be inspired to make a difference in your own way. 

Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Just Between You & Me (and the rest of the world..)

image credit

Secrets are funny things, and problematic ones to those of us who blog – you see, it’s against human nature to hide stuff – we have a yearning to talk it out. But sometimes the fear that those we ‘talk it out’ to may in turn ‘talk it out’ to others, can often prevent us from telling those closest to us some very important things. So we blog them instead, blatantly sharing our private innermost thoughts masked by an often false sense of anonymity.

I was chatting to a friend on the phone the other day, she is also a blogger and the only real life friend I have who knows about my blog. She enquired as to weather or not SIL & I had spoken to the rest of the IL family about the impending egg donation - the answer to which was not yet, the only people who know are you, me and.... well, the rest of the world.

It then dawned on me how potentially writing about this could hurt my husband’s family – what if they find out about my blog one day and become aware that the whole cyber world knew something they didn’t that would affect them directly for the rest of their lives?

SIL, BIL and I had the ‘when do we tell?’ discussion again after our FIRST IVF APPOINTMENT.

It has already been decided that the child and of course family in general will know about the donation and who donated – my own children will (when they are old enough to understand) know that their cousin/s are genetically their siblings.

The IL family are already aware that SIL & BIL would most likely need an egg donor, but they don’t know that I offered, they accepted and now we are going ahead.

To talk about one’s infertility is hard, to decide if or when to discuss IVF is a deeply personal decision that only those going through it can begin to understand.

I have told SIL that it’s a choice for them to make, and not me as they are the parents of this future child – I am purely supplying a piece of DNA for the puzzle.

If we told the family, I think MIL would be happy, after the 8 grandbabies her sons have produced, I think she is really looking forward to her little girl carrying a child whatever the means, plus she would be able to help with babysitting during any awkward IVF appointment times.

This being said, SIL has also commented on feeling like she is constantly being monitored for signs of pregnancy by the people that know of their previous IVF attempts and I have been getting little “Ooh she didn’t have wine at the party on the weekend, do you think she might be pregnant finally?” comments from people, so those feelings are justified...
The truth is personally I would rather they waited until there is a confirmed pregnancy, but for purely selfish reasons.

I know my IL family and feel like there would be lot of pressure to ''perform'. Whilst I am young and tick all the right ‘Egg Donor’ boxes, I secretly worry, what if there is something wrong with my eggs? What if there is a genetic condition that makes BIL& I incompatible? What if the pregnancy doesn’t hold?

I also now know that my other SIL (SIL2) went to her doctor to find out if she was able to donate, but due to a thyroid condition she cannot. SIL2 and I have a rocky past and I wonder how she would feel that they are going to use my egg. That her children will not be genetically related to the potential babies?

I like to think that when all is said and done all anyone wants out of this is to see SIL & BIL with a happy, healthy family and hopefully any ill feelings of not being told will be forgotten when a baby is born.

But for now, let’s just keep it between you and me.

Wednesday, 4 April 2012

Egg Donor IVF - the first appointment

On Monday I had my first IVF appointment, I was nervous and excited as I drove into the big smoke wondering what was going to greet me when I arrived. I thought about how my SIL and BIL must have felt when they first embarked on this journey so full of hope and excitement which would decrease with each subsequent appointment until they were eventually told that as a couple there was no more treatments for their infertility.

I never had to worry about any of this, quite the opposite actually. I remember sitting on the toilet age 17 clutching the pregnancy test in my hands tears rolling down my cheeks looking at the two lines staring forcefully at me and thinking “Oh my God”. I also vividly remember sitting in that abortion clinic for a ‘chat’ with the clinic nurse and feeling physically sick after hearing her graphic description of the procedure.

 I remember walking out those doors shit scared but with a new sense of purpose knowing that I was not under any circumstance going to return to that place and that despite the odds and hard road ahead I was in fact going to become a mother.  

I remember that feeling of combined pure joy and absolute terror as I clutched my baby boy for the first time thinking ‘I am totally responsible for this life a real human being, its existence, its growth, its emotional well being and its future all depend on my actions’. It was a surreal moment.

Now as my baby is fast approaching ‘double figures’ I drive into the big smoke praying desperately that I can help two people that are young, healthy and very much in love create the family they have worked so hard for. The countless pregnancy tests SIL has taken and the gutted feeling of sitting on the toilet, tears rolling down cheeks because for her there is only ever one line.

I arrived at the Fertility Specialists private rooms and was met by the smiling and equally nervous faces of my SIL and her husband. We made our way up a narrow flight of stairs and long corridor to the office. As we entered we were greeted by the receptionists smiling face and I filled out the usual forms while we waited for the Fertility Specialist (FS).

Finally the door to her office opened and the FS walked out and ushered me in, she is a tall lady with a friendly demeanour and I felt instantly comfortable. She asked me a bunch of questions about my cycle, past medical history, past pregnancies and my lifestyle. When she had finished she gave me a big smile and said I was the poster child for egg donation.

She then invited my SIL & BIL into the room and she discussed genetics, hormone injections and went over the egg collection procedure in detail and she told what was to happen now.  Basically for those interested, we need to coordinate our cycles (by way of the pill) and I need to have an internal ultrasound called a ‘baseline for fertility’ as well as a stack of blood tests to check hormone levels, STDs, and potential vitamin deficiencies. Then all going well we will start the actual IVF cycle in 5 weeks time.

We collected our scripts and my referrals thanked the FS and headed over to the Fertility Clinic to book in our appointments for the mandatory counselling – We need three sessions -one for The Husband and I, one for my BIL and SIL and one with all of us together.

We also booked in the ‘Nurse Chat’ which is where they will teach me how to use the different medications I will need to inject into myself daily for approx two weeks before egg collection.

We left excited and with the “We’re going to make a baby!” buzz. It was funny because although the circumstances are far from normal, it doesn’t feel weird at all.

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

The Birthday Cake That Nearly Wasn't

I was going to make a princess fairy castle birthday cake for my little princess' 3rd birthday last week.
It was supposed to look like this one...
(image credit)
I had it all planned out to perfection (thank you women's weekly cookbook) but of course when it came to crunch time, I ran out of eggs, my square cake tin vanished off the face of the planet and I was prepared that I would once again have to call on Aunt Sara Lee to come to the rescue, just like last year and the year before that.

In a hopeful last ditch effort I raided the recently barron chicken's coop and my thoughtful feathered babies had bestowed two whole eggs upon me! I then set to work attempting a slightly smaller and now round bottomed fairy princess castle cake.

Hours of careful sculpting and ice cream cone balancing later, it looked exactly like someone had thrown up an un-iced wedding cake.

I then did what any other self respecting mummy would do and threw a tantrum, ate half a block of chocolate and had a coffee while the husband shook his head at me saying helpfully 'you do this every year.'

So avoiding the urge to hurt him physically I returned to the kitchen and flicked through the book hoping to come up with a way of saving the cake that my last two eggs had made.

Then I saw it. On the back inside cover was a tiny glimmer of hope - little pictures of the front covers of all the WW books on the market, I had found the answer!

I looked at the two squarish slabs placed awkwardly on the top of the round bottom and my mind did that picture -anagram thing you always see on The Simpsons, I held the round cake on top of the two squarish slabs and smiled, I was saved.

After some freezing and some fancy skewer work, I iced the cake and then proceeded to cover up the dodgy icing with tiny 1/2 marshallows, added some more decorative lollies/ cover up flowers and I was done.

Taa Daa!

and while it might not be up to the proffessional standards of some of you amazing mummy- blogger-come-birthday-cake-queens, I am bloody proud of it :)

Are you a mummy-blogger-come-birthday-cake-queen?
Do you hate baking as much as me?
How awesome is my toadstool?