52 Books in 52 Weeks – June

Here it is, the June post :) Like I said for May it has been a pretty busy time of late and remember I also discovered Netflix recently, so I have not been as good a reader as I normally am hahaha. But I am happy to say I am still ahead of schedule for my reading this year… just.

I know I normally do at least 4 books, but with everything else going on at the moment and some of the changes I have been making to my life I haven’t had as much time to get through the books. I also find myself with several books half read at present because I am the type of person that puts myself through that perverse torture. Two of them are bios, one is really heavy and the other couldn’t be more opposite, but both are interesting. I am trying to get through those asap. I am also working on another Book vs. Movie post because people seemed to enjoy my last one.

31. The Lie – C.L. Taylor

the lieInterestingly I came across this book completely by accident, I was teaching one of our casuals how to use BorrowBox and as part of that I logged into my account and we went through how to browse for, preview and borrow and item and this happened to be the item. Afterwards I was kind of intrigued and decided to read it.

It was pretty different and you were reading the story in a dual timeline which for the most part actually wasn’t confusing so kudos to the writer on that. As the cover states there was definitely some ‘dark and creepy’ going on and if a friend every asks me to go to Nepal on a whim I will think twice :)

The vast changes in people some might say stretched the imagination a bit, but I actually didn’t feel that way at all, this is possibly because I have personally had a friend go from best friend of 11 years to completely withdrawn from me overnight because her fiance didn’t like me so obviously I find it more believeable. I guess I felt that this story was a good example of how much the influences of others can change someone even when they have a strong sense of self and to be honest when someone does get involved in a cult that is generally what happens, a complete personality overhaul overnight. Quite sad really.

The stand out character for me was Al, I really liked her and thought she was a great character. Emma/Jane was pretty good too and I really liked her boyfriend, he was lovely :) I really enjoyed it so if you are looking for a creepy mystery then check this book out.

 

32. Evil Librarian – Michelle Knudsen

evil librarianMy friend the YA Librarian handed me this book and suggested I give it a read. I later found out she was using me as a guinea pig to decide if she was going to read it haha sneaky, sneaky.

The best friend (Annie) of our main character Cynthia falls in immediate love with the new Librarian Mr. Gabriel and he is pretty handsome so at first Cyn understands her unrequited love, but then she starts to feel that something is quite off about Mr. Gabriel and she suspects that he is in fact a demon.

There is some swearing in it that does seem really random, not because the situation they are in doesn’t call for swearing, but because it doesn’t fit with the rest of the book’s tone. The other thing that bothered me a little was the main character, (I try not to include spoilers so I will be very vague) I wasn’t into her personality swings from meek to ferocious, they just seemed odd at times.

Overall, this is a really funny book and will be amusing for both adults and young adults.

 

 

 


The brilliance of eBooks

Have I told you all how much I love eBooks? No? Maybe? All the time? Well I can’t help it, I totally do.

With my library card from work I have access to literally hundreds of eBooks at the tap of a screen. If I go through the Library website I have access to a number of online reference books (like medical and legal volumes plus encyclopedias) and online databases.

My library also has two eBook platforms; Overdrive and BorrowBox. Overdrive is American and therefore has a wide range of eBooks and audiobooks on it whereas BorrowBox is Australian so concentrates more on Aussie and NZ authors which is great too.

Due to the fact that it is winter and therefore snowy, rainy and cold out, plus the fact we just got a boatload of new content on BorrowBox here is one of the promos I put together for our social media promotion.

BorrowBox BeFunky1

Created using befunky.com

Normally I pick up physical books whilst at work because hey, I’m already there right? But sometimes I forget (I do get very busy) and find myself stuck on the weekend without a precious novel (THE HORROR). Then I remember not to fret, I do not have to go down to work on my day off because I can just pick up my iPad and open the app for either Overdrive or BorrowBox and find a great book to read :) Most recently I chose ‘The Lie’ by C.L. Taylor which was great, you will see my brief review in my June 52 Books in 52 Weeks list, it is number 31 :) – I promise June will be out soon, a little shorter than normal, but it is definitely coming!

You will know from past posts of my fall from grace due to my Netflix addiction, you do have to pay for Netflix, (let’s be honest though, the amount is less per month than a single visit to the movies) but wouldn’t it be amazing if soon you could get Netflix access through your library card too.

Gotta love my job :)


Caring what people think

I want to talk about what people think of me.

Let’s be honest we all like to think that we don’t care about what others think of us, some of us even believe it when we say it, but we all have someone whose opinion matters to us.

For many years I suffered greatly by obsessing over what people thought of me. I always tried to be the good person who was not controversial and was a good friend no matter what that person did I stood by them (to a point obviously, I mean I completely dropped a friend who slept with my boyfriend – years later I found out this never happened though, she was just jealous of our relationship). Now I am older and (hopefully) wiser I realise that being this way meant that I was in some toxic relationships, with men for sure and even with friends. I was friends with someone for over a decade and the first time I did something she didn’t like (which by the way was spending too much time with my new boyfriend and asking her if she was sure about the guy she was about to marry after I caught her crying every night for a week) she completely removed herself from my life overnight and kicked me out of her house (she had asked me to move in to help her pay the mortgage) and lied to all of our friends saying that I had walked out and left her with no money. WTF? I learned a lot from that experience and I am pleased to say that I have not had a toxic friendship since.

After the incident above I did a lot of soul searching because I didn’t really understand what had happened and then it occurred to me that no matter how much she upset me and hurt me and did things that were horrible I never spoke up about it. I kept my hurt feelings to myself and felt that I must have deserved it. When I fell into serious depression following the sudden death of my grandfather and leaving an emotionally abusive relationship she withdrew from me and would stop inviting me out places. When I organised a NYE party she organised something else and convinced everyone to go (I even found out much later she told some of them that I had cancelled the party and was going to be there), but I told myself that she was right and I wasn’t good company and it wasn’t her job to babysit me while I felt sorry for myself. Dammit that is the DEFINITION of a best friend; they should be there for the smiles and the shit! I was reasonably good friends with her boyfriend and after they broke up he and I became very close friends (and still are to this day actually). Even though he lived far away he would visit me most weekends and spend time with me, we went out a lot and he helped me get out from under my depression cloud. He is a very good person and one of my best friends.

Through this friendship (which was never anything more than that even though she wanted to pretend it was, I have a lot of love for him, but there were never “romantic” feelings attached) I learnt a lot about myself. I learnt that I was a pleaser; I would do my upmost to ensure someone was happy even to the detriment of myself. This had a great impact on my depression because obviously if I was spending all my time pleasing others there was very little time left to make me happy. His friendship has taught me that the perfect friend isn’t one who pleases you all the time, it is one who is brutally honest with you, it is someone who will be there through the shit and the smiles and it is someone who is proud to be your friend.

I am a very different person to who I was back then, generally speaking I am a happy, positive person. I am still a bit of a people pleaser (mostly at work, but I think that is expected haha), but I do a lot more for my own joy now than I used to. The old me pushed herself and became bulimic trying to fit in and fight my way to the top and get more pay, the new me realised that whilst I adore music and writing, I am not the kind of person that would survive well in that kind of industry. I also realised that I am passionate about literacy, research and books and I decided that I wanted to spend my life doing those things and am now a Librarian.

I have spent a lot of time over the past few years telling myself that others opinions do not matter and for the most part they don’t. This does not mean I do not have a moral compass, it just means that if I want to do something like jump on the back of my Hubby’s Harley, I do it because I want to and enjoy myself and do my best not to worry that someone might think there should be a wide load sticker across my ass. I have also found the true audience whose opinions matter and I would do pretty much anything to keep looking fabulous in their eyes… my nieces and nephews.

Ella3

If someone in the street calls me a fat ass I might get very down and possibly resolve not to eat anything but carrots for a week, then I get home to find my nieces are visiting. They run full pelt at me screaming my name knowing I will catch them and hug them and kiss them. Then they invite me to a tea party with cupcakes they made with Nan that day (and invisible tea) and I forget about the ignoramus on the street and I forget about the carrot promise because none of that matters. All that matters is eating a cupcake with two beautiful little girls who are looking at me like I am a living Goddess or an Amazonian heroine and certainly the best thing since sliced bread. So I take my cake and eat it too :)

Mmm cupcakes!

Mmm cupcakes!


Cycle fail and getting on with life

I haven’t been around the last week or so, sorry about that. Very bad of me.

So clomid round 2 was a failure, I had a bit of a breakdown the night before AF was due. On the Saturday we had been at my nephew’s birthday – they were turning 3 & 4 and my nephew had been asking me for a Buzz Lightyear toy for weeks so I had bought one for him and he just bubbled over with excitement and joy when he opened it. He was screaming, “BUZZ! It’s BUZZ! I got BUZZ!” he was so excited that whilst I was attempting to remove it from the box (seriously there are so many ties on those things) he was trying to play with it around me and saying over and over, “I love him, thank you, I love him”. I was so happy he loved it and at the same time I was thinking ‘are we ever going to have this moment with our own child? Are we going to be able to give them their first bike and teach them to ride it? It was quite devastating to think that it might not happen. I kept it together at the party and most of Sunday, but then as I was in the shower early Sunday night it all came rushing in and I just broke down. I got out, dried myself and went to my bedroom and over and over again I just kept begging AF not to come, it wasn’t long before Hubby found me. I don’t think he knew what to do because he had never seen me like this before. To be fair I don’t ever remember being that worked up, I was shaking I was so upset and mad at the same time because we have done all the right things and it just feels like a cruel joke. He let me cry it out and got me to tell him everything I was feeling, I was just raw and open and told him that sometimes I felt like a failure as a woman, I kept apologising for being broken at which point he got kind of frustrated and told me that this wasn’t my fault and I had to stop thinking like it was. The thing is I know this, but sometimes it doesn’t help and I think that breakdown has been working itself up for some time which is why it was so massive. I felt better afterwards for letting it all out and for talking and for letting myself feel the sadness of so many failed cycles. Generally I am a very positive person, but when you bottle away the pain and just keep moving on eventually the bottle spills over and you just have to take the time to FEEL it.

I am feeling much better and together now. I have talked to my boss about the fact I will have to go for surgery, even though I don’t know when yet I thought it best to give her a heads up because it is difficult to get time off sometimes, but if they are aware of what is going on they will do everything they can to work around you which is awesome. She confessed to me that she had this same operation twice and her talking to me about it was a complete blessing. I love you guys, but I had no one I could really talk to face to face about this and she just opened right up and told me about her experiences and we talked about what led to this point. I let her know how long we have been trying for children and she sympathised with me and said once it happened once she thought I would be fine and even suggested that I try again straight away after I get my first if I wanted two so there was a much smaller chance of meeting the same difficulties hahaha. My boss suggested this, she is so amazing. Even though it would mean a LONG time off work she was fully supportive of that idea. Whilst I know that this is not something we will pow wow about all the time, I realised that having someone in front of me talking about it gave me a lot of relief. I now find my level of freak out about surgery at an all time low :)

On the awesome news front… Our house was FINALLY approved by Council. We signed the first of the final bank papers and are signing the builders papers on Thursday. I can’t wait. So excited to get our build date!!! It’s been so long in the making that I almost feel like we should take a bottle of champagne down there for the day they break ground hahaha.


52 Books in 52 Weeks – May (running late)

Wow, this is really, really late and I am so sorry you guys! It’s not that I haven’t been reading, it is just that with so much other stuff going on I haven’t had time to sit down and get my thoughts together about what I read. So here comes May’s list… give me a little while to get June together :)

I should warn you that there are SPOILERS in the following because one of the books I did not enjoy and the only way to explain it properly was to “spoil” it.

27. The Adultery Club – Tess Stimson

the-adultery-clubLet me start by saying that it was probably stupid of me to pick this book. To me adultery is a no, no. If you are having serious feelings for someone other than the person you are married to then there is something in your marriage that needs addressing… before you start an affair… not after. But, I am doing this whole, ‘try something new’ thing so I picked it.

Here’s the basic blurb… Husband is a divorce lawyer who is happily married to Mal and loves their little family (young children), he would never do to his wife what his clients do to their other halves. Then a 20-something woman comes to work in his office, apparently she is okay looking, but he turns into a 17 year old hormonal freak whenever he catches a glimpse of her knee (I mean come on you guys, seriously? A knee? I can honestly say I have NEVER been turned on by a persons knee, but whatever, different strokes and all…). The story is told from 3 peoples points of view, Hubby, Wifey and Mistress, pretty much the only likable characters in this for me where the wife Mal and her ex boyfriend. I just wanted to smack Hubby and the mistress around so much!

The mistress at the beginning seems like a normal chick, then she becomes the mistress and it is like she is replaced with this braindead clingy, whingy thing that kind of looks like the character at the beginning of the book. She tells lies, she does some serious manipulating, I mean, she pretty much does everything a person should not be doing in a relationship!

I think the biggest kicker for me is that I don’t think that the husband learned from his mistakes, I found the end very unsatisfying. I won’t say too much in case you guys want to read it and like I said I am really against adultery so I am likely biased, but this was definitely not a book for me.

28. Renegade – Diana Palmer

renegadeYup it’s a harlequin book hahaha. I knew it was a romance novel, but didn’t realise it was harlequin at first. Besides it is a best seller :)

I actually enjoyed this book, it was a nice, light reading story. I wasn’t too into the name ‘Tippy’ at first, but she grew on me in general. Since reading this book I have discovered there was actually one before it which probably explains a few things, but it was okay as a stand alone also.

I liked the character of Cash, usually the males in romances are over bearing macho types that have big barriers up that the women slowly overcome, this book wasn’t like that which is a nice change. Although the first time they sleep together he asks for something which is really odd and I am pretty sure no man has ever said that the first time they had sex with someone. It was a nice book and I would probably read the first one.

 

29. The Recipe Box – Sandra Lee

the recipe boxI thought this book was a totally sweet and moving story. I don’t know why, but I always love when people find creating through food therapeutic, maybe because I find cooking and experimenting with food therapeutic… who knows :) I am also a sucker for stories where people visit, move to or really have anything to do with small towns hahaha.

Grace (our main character) is newly divorced Mum who has a daughter who is having some issues, her best friend has been fighting cancer and she has been regularly visiting her at her old hometown. Due to a number of events Grace desides to take her daughter there to finish out school. They move in with her mother with whom she has a strained relationship.

I don’t want to say too much because I did really like this book and apparently it was the author’s first so kudos to you :)

What can I say? Drama, cooking, good food, family, love… I’m all in :)

30. Immortally Yours (Monster M*A*S*H #1) – Angie Fox
immortally yoursWell I read the second one and kinda liked it so I figured I would go back and read the first one. I liked this one too and the second one in many ways made SO much more sense to me after reading this. But in some ways reading this first book made me not like the second one. For starters the relationship in this one is good, I really like both the characters and how they develop and how their relationship develops. So it kind of felt like the relationship in this book was cheapened by the fact that in the second one she moves on (…or is it backwards? Crap, I don’t know) so quickly.

Generally speaking the story was pretty decent, although I enjoyed the plot in the second book more. Again the sex scenes were pretty RAUNCHY so I guess points for that hahaha.

All round it was an okay book, I don’t know why I am so on the fence about it to be honest.

 

 


Specialist blues

I am apologising in advance for any snarky or sarcastic comments I make in my post. I am a little upset and scared about the outcomes of our appointment and it turns out that sarcasm is my go to dealing mechanism :)

Friday we went back to the fertility specialist, it was not fun and parts of it I got annoyed with. He wasn’t impressed that I stopped taking Eutroxsig instead of doing his suggestion of seeing a hair loss specialist. I explained that within 2 days of ceasing the medication my hair had stopped falling out and I had stopped sweating rivers and that by trying it this way I had saved myself over $350 that would have been spent needlessly because the hair loss was not because I am fat (which is basically he told me before). He still wasn’t impressed and told me he would give me a different medication to see how that goes, but that I really, really need to be on thyroid medication and that not taking could affect my fertility (apparently freaking everything I do or do not do affects it – who knew my reproductive system could be so finnicky).

He asked me how much weight I had lost and I said, “another 5kgs so 10kgs in total”. He said he wouldn’t count from before he started seeing me so I still needed to lose another 6-10kgs before IVF would be approved for me. WTF? That kinda made me feel like how hard I had worked to lose those 10kgs didn’t matter at all! He just wove them off like they were never there. Rude skinny man, he obviously has no idea the torture of trying to be healthy and lose weight when you have PCOS, Insulin Resistance and thyroid problems, how insensitive and douchy! Before we got married (pre-diagnosis) I went to the gym at least 3 days a week for cardio and weights, Zumba 2 days a week, pilates 1-2 days a week, I ate EXTREMELY well and as the due date got closer I actually ended up going to a shake diet because I just was not losing any more weight… in the end I could only just dip below the 100kgs mark… with all of that work I still couldn’t get smaller than that. That is seriously de-motivating. Meanwhile in the couple of months since we had seen him Hubby had ONE piece of homework… to go and get a blood test done and he never did it. The damn Doctor didn’t even mention it. I brought up whether there was more we could do to help his sperm and Doc says, “oh he has 3% normal, so that should be okay”.

Then comes the fun part, he wants me to have laparoscopic ovarian drilling, he seems to think that I have endometriosis even though we have found no trace of it on scans and I don’t have symptoms. He seems to believe that it could be significant basically because he has no other excuse for why we are not pregnant after over 3 years of trying. I asked about checking for tube blockages and he said they can do that at the same time because then I will be knocked out for it – which to be honest is kinda nice because I wasn’t looking forward to that test.

The problem isn’t ovulation because I am ovulating which is why I was confused at first because he just said, “we are going to move forward with ovarian drilling” and I was like, well hang in there buddy, why are we drilling for oil when it’s coming out of the ground of its own accord? But apparently he suspects endo and feels that even though I am ovulating perhaps the endo is creating a hostile environment for fertilisation or some crap. I have done a bit of reading on the process since and a bunch of the stuff (even the pamphlets he gave me) all say it is to start ovulation in women with PCOS who do not respond to medications. If I have endo and it gets rid of it I suppose I have to do it right?

The only time I have been admitted to hospital was to have my wisdom teeth removed and I had a panic attack just before being wheeled in. You guys I am totally freaking out. Hubby and Mum are all, it’s nothing, just keyhole surgery, we both had out appendix and gall bladders removed and we are fine. I get this and I know that there is a very low risk, but Jesus, they are going to be burning off parts of my freaking ovaries… thems the baby egg makers.

If any of you have been through this surgery I could really use some positive stories that have come from it.

I also have to still lose that weight so I am thinking I will have to get super strict and serious, I might have to develop my own challenge around this so I can make it work. I got the other medication last night too and started taking it this morning, early days, but I will let you know if I need to raise wig money :)

I could totally rock this look right? I loves me some purple!

I could totally rock this look right? I loves me some purple!


Clomid cycle round 2

So here I am on my second round of Clomid 50mgs. The emotional stuff has been a lot easier this cycle, but the ovulation stuff has been a LOT more noticeable. I have had serious cramping and since my basal temp had dropped significantly the morning after that started I assume it is ovulation time. The cramping was very similar to period cramping in that it was low in the abdomen, not as severe as the cramping I often get with AF, but definitely noticeable with a few serioius twinges that made me jump or exclaim out loud. Anyone else had this on Clomid?

Around the cramping time I found I didn’t have much of an appetite, yesterday in particular I ate VERY little. I just really didn’t want it and I figured that if that was what my body was telling me then okay I shall listen. It started off the same way this morning, I couldn’t really face the idea of breakfast, even though my breakfast is generally a protein shake. So I thought I would have a breakfast bar when I got to work, I ended up being able to face it around 10-10.30, then I had some low GI biscuits, but the sweetness of it wasn’t for me. Since then I have been ravenous and I am completely craving salt, I tried to have good stuff for lunch including yoghurt and I ate the yoghurt (YUMMO), but seriously I could not shut my brain up. It was demanding chips. This is kinda weird because last night even though I didn’t want to eat I was getting cravings for plain corn chips at like 11pm last night which are really salty too. Long story short, my brain won, but I bought the reduced satruated light chips so it didn’t get me all the way – it was begging for full fat crinkle cut :) This kind of all consuming craving is pretty new to me, well I guess I have had it for chocolate, but not so bad that it was all I could think about. Then I realised it has been a REALLY long time since I had a potato chip, any kind of potato chip. Seriously it would be a few weeks at least. Thinking over my meals from the past few weeks I think they have been a little low in the salt department too so I am thinking I can see what happened here :) Might have to have a couple of scrambled eggs on toast nights. Oh man does that sound good! Okay, so the craving hasn’t really settled down even though I should be salt happy now, what the? So hungry, very weird.

We have an appointment with the specialist on Friday, I think for me this will be crunchtime as to whether we proceed with him or not. He is okay and I felt a lot better about him at our second appointment, but we shall see because I was less than impressed with the hair shenanigans and I never bothered to ring and tell him that I had elected to not go to a hair specialist and instead just stopped taking the thyroid meds because I didn’t like how I was on them. I have been okay with tracking my temperature (I have missed 2 days, the first one because I had dogs desperately jumping all over me because we overslept and they needed to be let out for their morning ablutions and the second being this morning because I woke up late) so I have that data for him. I have also been tracking the length of AF and my cycles since November 2014 so I have that data for him too. You can really see the difference the metformin is making. I was always around 33 days (sometimes it would not come at all) now I was 30 days for many months and just last month I went down to 29 which is pretty cool. Not cool that I have AF more frequently, but at least the timing is sorting itself out to be regular :)

What do you guys think? I am thinking 36.07 was my O queue :)

What do you guys think? I am thinking 36.07 was my O queue :)

So if I assume that 36.07 was my ovulation queue, how long am I supposed to wait until I test for pregnancy? I normally just wait for AF to come to town, but I want to make sure that I am not actually conceiving, but it is not being retained so I thought I would do a pregnancy test a bit before AF was due to make sure. I figure the only harm to come of it will be the money I spend on tests :)

If this cycle doesn’t work we will also have to decide whether we proceed with Clomid at a higher dose or I don’t know… do something else. I guess we will discuss that with the Doc. To be honest I am not sure what I want to do yet. I am feeling a little frustrated because I have done a myriad of tests and take all these pills daily and in 5 months my Husband keeps forgetting to take his Menevit (1 pill a day) and has not been able to get down the street to do ONE blood test. I have done many, he was asked to do ONE and in 5 months he hasn’t been able to get there. It’s a bit of a downer really. Also because I know if we agree to move forward and get to the point of IVF the Doc will only insert one, we go through all the pain and needles and hormones and money and everything for one microscopic chance? That doesn’t make sense to me. Twin me up baby, give me double the chance. Still unsure how I feel about that whole part of it, but we shall see I guess.

How are you guys all doing on your journey?


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