Category Archives: That’s just how I roll

Things that are making me smile

I went for a walk to get a coffee today and our local coffee shop had this up. It made me smile (and want a t-shirt) so I asked the barista if I could take a picture of the sign. He seemed excited that people wanted to share it so I thought I would.

coffee-joke-sign

Seriously though… this needs to be on coffee cups and t-shirts… ooh and totes. You just know as a librarian, book lover and someone who is trying to reduce their waste that I love a good tote 🙂

Something else that made me happy recently is that my cover for my new phone arrived. At the beginning of the year I got a new Samsung S7 in rose gold. My contract for my old phone was a few months out of date so it was really time. I always have my phones in wrap round cases – I think it is what makes them last so long. I found a cover I LOVED online that I wanted so much that I literally waited a MONTH for it to arrive from Hong Kong. It only cost $12 though so BONUS!

new-phone-cover

Honestly, this looks even better in person than I thought it would. Often (as with my last phone case), when the item arrives the colour, quality or image are not as good as you had anticipated. With this product the colour is great, the quality of the materials and stitching is good. The names of some of the texts are a teeny bit hard to read sometimes, but if you are a Harry Potter fan you will be able to work out what they are 🙂

I was super pleased with this, it still makes me happy. The owl is SO cute. I really have a thing for owls, always have. My favourite are Tawny Owls, they are just so little and cute, Boobook Owls are also super adorable and have incredibly expressive faces… plus they have the word ‘book’ in their name 🙂  I don’t think it is overly fair to keep such beautiful animals as pets, but I would love to have them hanging around my place. This little sketch of Hedwig is probably the sweetest I have seen to be honest.

What has been making you smile lately?

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Raw: Infertility

Warning: this is going to be raw. I am not going to edit it and I am going to babble. I do not expect my thoughts to be flowing perfectly because that’s not what happens to my emotions when I think about this. This post is about the struggles of infertility from my perspective and I’m not gonna lie, there will be swearing and talk some people might find uncomfortable. Oh and it will probably be long. How long? Hmm… as long as I need it to be hahaha. 

I’m just going to say it, I am going to say what we are all thinking. Infertility is BULLSHIT! It is a horrible, no good, low down, nasty bugger of a thing!

contentbullshit

Source: iaintskinny.wordpress.com

One of my fears growing up was that I would be barren, I have no idea why I had this fear. There was certainly no precedence for it, but have it I did and more than once I have wondered whether my fear somehow brought on my condition/s (AKA PCOS, Insulin Resistance and a slow as all hell metabolism). You know mind over matter and all that jazz. Obviously this is probably ridiculous, but you think a lot of strange things on the IF journey.

The IF journey has a huge effect on not only the women involved, but also their partners. If they are open about their struggles it will possibly also effect their immediate family, other children they have and friends.

I often feel as though the word ‘infertility’ could be used synonymously with ‘depression’ or ‘anxiety’ because in my mind there is no doubt it causes or greatly contributes to causing both. There is no way you could go through this process, this journey and not be affected by it, if I ever meet someone who says they aren’t I am going to ask what prescriptions they are on because I need to get me some of that!

Each month is this stupid mental and physical roller-coaster. Let’s have a look shall we…

From day one of your cycle (first day of Aunt Flo (AF)) you are cramping, in pain, yet dedicated to trying for a baby so you are already basal temping first thing in the morning and recording it down like a dutiful soldier (let’s not mince words here because you are fighting the war against infertility). For those who haven’t experienced this let me be more clear, we take our temperature and write it down, then chart it to figure out when we are ovulating. We do all of this first thing when we wake up of a morning before even sitting up in bed. We do this everyday of our cycle, which means we do this every day of the year, every year until we fall pregnant (or switch methods).

Once AF has finally disappeared a new game begins. Depending on how long you have been trying to conceive (TTC) you might be just basal temping, you might be using ovulation strips (you pee on them) to identify when you ovulate and there are many other techniques and/or medications you could be trying. Pretty much the further into the game you get the more you try. At this point I am more than 4.5 years into this baby making game… tenacity people 🙂 So here is what I do. I temp every morning, once AF finishes we then start the sperm meets egg method which involves having sex every two days, from the 10th day of my cycle I continue basal temping and back it up with peeing on an ovulation stick. Once I get a positive result we ‘try’ three days in a row, then skip one day and then have sex again. After that comes the wait, you’d think this meant a holiday which I would totally deserve as all the above is pretty exhausting whilst maintaining a full time job, house and eating, pooping and now apparently exercising and whatnot.

“The two week wait” – this sentence wets the eye of even the toughest of the infertility community. The two week wait is the space between when you ovulate and the end of your cycle. It is completely torturous and the whole time you are asking yourself if there was more you could have done to ensure pregnancy and you are praying and begging whoever is in charge up there to help you out. Trust me, it doesn’t matter how non-denominational you are, at some point you will pray. Naturally stress, anxiety and angst is probably not good for a developing embryo, but hey there is only so much chocolate one can eat and we can’t have alcohol because we are trying to get knocked up. ‘Knocked Up’ I used to enjoy that movie, now it just pisses me off.

The closer you get to the end of the two week wait the more anxious you become. You pay attention to every little twinge in your body, do you feel nauseated? You cup your breasts trying to figure out if they are bigger or sensitive. You have conversations with yourself convincing yourself over and over again that there is no point in taking a pregnancy test early because the results won’t show properly. How long can you hang out? This past month I made it to day 29. I had no indications whatsoever of AF, no cramps or spotting at all. So I tested, and… nothing. Big fat negative (BFN). Naturally I was upset, an hour later I go to the toilet and there is AF. Meanwhile what is this ‘Aunt Flo’ stuff? It’s a period. I HATE getting my period, but I love when my Aunts come to visit. It is a period in every sense of the word and the words it gives you when it comes are “You period Are period Not period Pregnant period Again period!”

2ww

Source: sachablack.co.uk

Then with the beginning of your period you are back to cycle day 1 and get to start the fun all over again.

You would think this would be enough to throw anyone off balance right? Right! But just for the heck of it, let’s add on some more stuff.

Amongst all of the above you will need to be seeing probably a GP and a Fertility Specialist (because we are all made of money too) and they might put you on Clomid which turn your ovulation cycles into overdrive, imagine if a normal ovulation cycle is a Nicholas Sparks novel inspired film like the Notebook, well Clomid and it’s awesome emotional side effects are the equivalent of Arnie taking on the predator. You will be WAY emotional, in fact on day 6 of my first round of Clomid I cried in the middle of a restaurant you can read about cycle 2 of Clomid here and here.

If you have PCOS and/or Insulin Resistance you will probably be put on Metformin which can also have some amazeballs side effects. Seriously you guys they are so awesome… not. In a post called ‘The Metformin Effect’ I discussed the fortunate and not so fortunate side effects of this medication and also have some very handy hints on how you can handle them until your body is used to it and settles down.

jelly_beans_shellac

What is your fave colour?

If you have a lazy ass metabolism you will probably be put on something like Eutroxsig or Oroxine. This can be hit and miss and definitely look up the side effects in case you have a bad one. I was on Eutroxig at first and all my hair started falling out. Then I finally got changed to Oroxine and thank god the hair situation has calmed down.

Then you have the surgeries. Convinced I had endometriosis the specialist decided to do a laparoscopy complete with a uterus clean out, tubal flush and ovarian drilling (which is exactly what it sounds like). For me this was not fun. I also got an infection in one of the wounds which made me very sick and I still didn’t get a baby.

Then you can move on to IVF. This is where you spend your savings, or take out a loan/second mortgage, dip into your superannuation or just spend your future kids college fund on a variety of medications and medical procedures where they give you lots of drugs through needles to send your ovaries into crazy egg producing mode, you have a bunch of blood tests (more needles), then ultrasounds where they stick a wand up your vajayjay, then they put a massive needle up and through your vagina wall and into your follicles to extract said eggs (apparently some women are knocked out for this, but I got to experience it all in HD! Honestly one of the most traumatic experiences of my life to date), then you get to be completely angry at your partner because all they have to do is have a date with a sample cup. The sperm and eggs are put in a petri dish for 24 hours for their own date and then the angst begins again.

sperm meet egg

Sperm meets Egg

For me it went like this.

Because I had done wayyyy too much reading into statistics I decided that 11 would be a good base number… we got 9 so that was already disappointing for me. Overnight 6 fertilised which is more than 50% which is good so then I was happy. Come day 3 and 3 were looking good, come day 5 and only 2 were looking really good.

They transferred 1, more tubes and what not up my vajayjay freezing the other and sending a sample for genetic testing. Then I was sent home to start the dreaded TWW yet again (see above). My TWW did not end as hoped and there were LOTS of tears to be had.

Meanwhile your first period after egg retrieval and transfer is a painful SOB!!! Seriously it was SO BAD that the cramping disturbed my bowls and I had to leave work because the bleeding and diarrhea was sooo bad I could not be out in public!

Then there was more waiting to see if the embryo we had frozen was normal… 4.5 weeks later we found out it was THANK whoever is upstairs!

I truly hope that one day my journey ends with my husband and I having a child, but to date I can summarise my IF journey as follows: waiting, perfunctory sex, all of the NEEDLES and going broke. Not to mention the fact that I feel like my vagina should be charging admission at this point, she’s reaching studio 54 numbers now. And then there’s breaking your heart once a month when AF arrives or you don’t see that second line on the pee stick. I just want to earn my stripes!

There is still much for me to figure out like how to do those pee sticks without peeing on yourself… so hard to pee on teeny stick when you first wake up in the morning.

I have terrible days, friends, an unhealthy obsession with chocolate, fellow bloggers and a sick sense of humour seem to get me through. What gets you through?

 


Upcycle – Birdcage succulent planter

One day I came across a beautiful vintage look birdcage that was a bit worse for wear and so had been cast onto the corner for garbage pick up. I loved the style of it and thought it would be a terrible waste to send it to the dump so I grabbed it and took it home. I have always loved the idea of upcycling and I decided I was going to figure out a way to make this into a beautiful planter.

Here is what I was starting with. Meanwhile check out the little photobomber I just discovered haha.

Here is what I was starting with. Meanwhile check out the little photobomber I just discovered haha.

I have no idea what this horrid, tacky, stubborn, pink, sticky crap was, but it was everywhere and a pain in the butt to remove!!! I resorted to an old toothbrush, boiling water and detergent, followed up with some alcohol wipes.

Evil pink stuff

Evil pink stuff

So once it was all clean and pretty it was time to decide what I was going to do with it. I had a vision of creating a succulent planter. The idea being that in time the succulents will grow and poke out through/overhang the bars. So I went shopping…

My haul :)

My haul 🙂

Then it was time to find out if what was in my head would translate well to real life [I should note that I know others have done this successfully, but I was doing it without any instructions from any of those people 🙂 ]. I lined the base with Coconut fibre to stop the soil from falling straight through the bottom of the cage.

Make sure you compress it well. I tried to make mine a bit like a nest with the edges raised.

Make sure you compress it well. I tried to make mine a bit like a nest with the edges raised.

Then I added in the succulent planting mix and my succulents. Here are some photos of the finished product 🙂

 

I chose succulents that would spread, grow and hang out between the bars nicely as well as flower in different colours.

I chose succulents that would spread, grow and hang out between the bars nicely as well as flower in different colours.

 

 

I am very proud of my first upcycle attempt. Especially considering there were no instructions… I am happy to report that there were no pieces leftover post construction 🙂


My curly haired Adonis

Warning: Some people might find this post uncomfortable to read because it is about lady parts 🙂

The other day I reached a new level of love and appreciation for my Husby, during the day I had a very slight itch in my nether regions, but it died off and so I never thought about stopping on the way home to consult a Pharmacist.

It’s very cold here at the moment and due to the fact it was a chilly 2 degrees outside I put the electric blanket on 30 minutes before we went to bed so it would be toasty warm for us. Now I am not sure why the delicious warms aggravated the situation [and I don’t care why it happened as long as it never happens again], but for some reason it did and all of a sudden I was in significant pain and itching like crazy. I have had thrush before, but this was like the Hulk version – seriously, bad (but not green, I must emphasise that NOTHING was green!

Completely mean, but DEFINITELY NOT GREEN!

I tried to manage it on my own with some Googling (yes the web doctor thinks I have cancer) and an ice pack – yes an ice pack… in 2 degree weather. What was I thinking? I’ll tell you what I was thinking, I was hoping with all my being that my twinkle cave would get frostbite and fall off. The ice calmed the itching slightly, but the pain was still horrible.

Queue my superhero checking out my lady flower to give his expert opinion of “I think it looks normal”, my response of, “trust me this is not normal, it has to be Hulk thrush or something”. He asked if I had a cream or medication for it, I replied sarcastically that of course I kept a stash of beaver cream for exactly this situation (I feel quite bad about this now, but at the time I had little patience). He calmly started Googling, I tried telling him I had already done that and tried everything, he ignored me which just added to my muffin pain fuelled rage, “What are you doing? Please tell me you are not playing a fucking game right now!” he shook his head no. So I ignored him for a bit and just lay there clutching an ice pack to my crotch feeling ridiculous, in pain, exposed (well obviously) and vulnerable.

Then I realised Husby was getting dressed, “what are you doing?? Where are you going?”

“I found a 24 hour chemist” he replied (at this point it was 12.30am), “I am going to go get some stuff to help”

“Wha…what?” I stuttered, “Where is it?”

“It’s about a 35 minute drive, I’ll be as quick as I can” he went to walk out of the room.

“Wait” I said, “Really? Are you seriously going to go to a pharmacy 30 minutes away at 1am and buy me vagina medicine?” he shrugged and replied,

“Sure, why not? That’s how I roll” he laughed and walked out the door.

I was left mystified as I realised I had the best Husby ever created, many of my girlfriends Husbands won’t even buy tampons at the supermarket and here is my curly haired Adonis off into the dark of night seeking a cure for my punaani’s ills. He came back an hour later triumphantly clutching antihistamines and thrush cream, I am not sure what the antihistamines were for, but they knocked me out for a couple of hours which was nice and the cream felt like when you put aloe vera onto sun burn…. I could almost hear the sizzle as my map of Tasmania cooled.

Best. Husband. Ever. 


52 Books in 52 weeks – June

Some different books this month including one I was quite surprised to like.

Here is the list 🙂

Number Title Author
23 –

Jun 2-8

False Impressions

Stamping Sisters mystery #3

Thayer, Terri
24 –

Jun 9-15

City of Dark Magic Flyte, Magnus
25 –

Jun 16-22

City of Lost Dreams Flyte, Magnus
26 –

Jun 23-29

Darkfever Moning, Karen Marie

 

Continuing on my path of aiming to read books I wouldn’t normally I went to the Library and grabbed a couple of books by authors I had never read – I will neither confirm or deny that part of my choice was based on alluring covers 🙂

False impressions

False Impressions: Stamping Sisters mystery #3 – Terri Thayer

This was an oops, I didn’t realise it was number three until I got it home… damn fine print 🙂 Luckily this series is one of those that does not have to be read sequentially so we got along fine. I found the characters interesting and the story overall was quite good. I liked that the book was different from your typical mystery and there were character/economic points that I felt really fit with real life situations, for example the main character April has to live in her fathers restored barn with his partners parents because she does historical stamping for restoration projects for a living and there is not much call for that so she has no money – so there are those kind of side stories that make the characters more “real” and relatable which is great. I am definitely considering going back to read the other two – although I am hoping the villain is better hidden because I figured out who it was really quickly and everything after that just confirmed my thoughts until the big reveal and I was kind of sitting there going, ‘oh come one April, you are not this stupid!’

 

 

city of dark magic

City of Dark Magic – Magnus Flyte

This book held surprise for me, here I was thinking I was getting a paranormal suspense novel with a female protagonist (Sarah Weston) who is a music student working a summer at Prague Castle Cataloguing Beethoven’s manuscripts (hello! I am a Librarian and a muso – like that wasn’t going to catch my attention haha). What I wasn’t expecting was a sexual element – which at first was really strange and to be honest whilst I now understand why she had a high libido I am not entirely sure it needed to be talked about so much, but I suppose danger, magic and sex kind of go hand in hand. Once the sexual element came in I really wasn’t expecting to like the book, I admit… I judged. I figured it was going to be literary porn masked as a serious novel, but I was pleasantly surprised and indeed rather swept away with the twists and turns in the book. It hooked me and I really, really enjoyed it – it certainly was not porn and as you got into the story you came to understand what that first shock had been about. There is a book two and I am hot on the trail to finding it 🙂

 

 

CITY-OF-LOST-DREAMS-COVER

City of Lost Dreams – Magnus Flyte

I found book two! 🙂 Hooray! I do hate when you start reading a series and have to wait forever for the next book *cough cough* George R. R. Martin *cough*. Slight spoilers, but not really.

This book did have a different feel from the first one, the story was split between Prague and Venice so whilst the main protagonist was still Sarah you spent more time than in the previous book seeing the story unfold from others points of view. I really enjoyed these books for their uniqueness, it was a really different concept that not only challenged the way you looked at the world, but also in the end looked at how people choose to spend their lives. Two different immortals; one who spent their life trying to achieve and brought science and medicine forward in leaps and bounds and one who spent their time frivolously searching for a way to end it all – don’t worry they are not Vampires 🙂 Just humans.

 

 

darkfever

Darkfever  – Karen Marie Moning – SOME SPOILERS

This one I just grabbed from Overdrive because I had nothing to read and it sounded interesting and had a pretty cover. Turns out I was right with my earlier assumption… danger and magic mean that at some point or other in a book you’re going to end up with sex… why is that? Whilst the whole book was not a sexual tone the couple of times it was it was kind of a shock.

I found the story okay, you have no clue who is bad and who isn’t for the entire book. The female protagonist kind of grows on you, but she spends a lot of the book insisting she is not a bimbo, but whining about her looks and nail polish… I get the impression that the fact is at the beginning she WAS a shallow bimbo, but she is supposed to be slowly changing into someone of depth due to what is happening around her. I have no clue what is going on with the character of Barrons, if I was living in that place I would be spending my days (when he is not around) going through his house from top to bottom searching for ways to protect myself from him – he seems like a psycho and throws Mac around – it’s very strange!!!

One thing that really annoyed me was that I didn’t feel like the ending was an ending, I thought it was the end of the chapter, turned the page and there was the glossary… umm wtf? I google the title… dammit it is a series and nowhere has the second book, this annoyed me because the book had no kind of conclusion, seriously… the narration is done from some point in the future as though she is telling the story of how she got there… naturally I figured the end of the book would at least get me to the point the narrator was up to, but no… nothing. It was really weird, but it also drew you in so I kind of want to read the others, although admittedly that could be my love of closure 🙂 Don’t even get me started on how Mac magically transformed into Buffy TVS after one lesson on where to stick the pointy end… just… don’t.

supernatural-books

And so we go into July… so many books… so little time. What are you reading at the moment? I am open to suggestions 🙂


The Squirrel Effect

Remember how a few posts back I talked about my New Year’s Resolutions and one of them was about accepting home truths? Well here is another for the pile 🙂

It is what I call ‘The Squirrel Effect’. I am a pretty creative person, I love creating things, I love trying new things so am always starting new projects and buying ingredients to try new recipes. The problem I have come to realise is that sometimes I lose interest… or my interest shifts to something new… AKA SQUIRREL! [if you don’t get the reference go and watch Disney’s Up!]

up

I decided to write this post after reading “Good boss, Bad boss” on LauGraEva’s blog, I remember that I first discovered this about myself when I was my own boss working at home. I was younger and had the misconception that I would have so much more time because I was working from home; I was wowed by the fact that in the middle of winter I could wear my flannel PJs and UG Boots to the office 🙂 Needless to say I very quickly realised that watching Firefly whilst answering work emails was not a good plan when I replied to a client informing them that everything was “Shiny”.

shiny

The same thing happened when I was unemployed for two months last year, I thought I would have so much time and I would be able to keep up on everything in the house and get a bunch of projects done that I had been unable to start… pfft… didn’t happen. I did get some vegies planted and caught up on washing, I also cleared out the closest and sent a bunch of stuff off to charity, but there was so much I didn’t get close to touching which was seriously disappointing! I even used to make deals with myself like: ‘okay, we are putting a wash on now, you can watch one episode of Big Bang Theory and then you have to go and put it out’, but then invariably I would try and find things to do inside like the project I started creating Christmas decorations by up-cycling books… that was way fun… and messy and kind of took over my coffee table for a week before Hubby got the royal poos 🙂

At the moment I have 2 major projects that I need to get too, one is that I found a vintage bird cage by the side of the road and I have the idea of somehow turning it into a succulent planter for my mates for their combined 30th bday – they both like up-cycle/vintage so I think they will love it. Then Hubby had to go into hospital etc. and long story short their birthday has come and gone and I haven’t finished it 😦

it's because of the Squirrels...

it’s because of the Squirrels…

I also have a project I desperately have to start and finish before October for my Best-Friend’s wedding and…. I was about to tell you all about it, but then I have just realised that I think she reads my blog from time to time and so I cannot tell you about it, but it is pretty awesome. I have never done anything like it before and actually have no idea whether I am able to do it, in theory [AKA according to my hella awesome research] it will work, but in practice… who knows.

My point is that these two projects in particular I really need to get done and I can’t afford to

SQUIRREL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

SQUIRREL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Thank you Mr. T.

Queen Latifah:
And the winner of the 2014 Grammy for Best New Artist goes to… CatT.

The audience goes wild and my music fills the theatre as I throw my arms around my Hubby for a massive smooch and then make my way to the stage. Naturally I pause along the way to high five Adam Lambert and pound fists with Dan Reynolds. I make it to the stage and by some miracle do not stage a re-enactment of Jennifer Lawrence’s Oscar fall, I embrace and pay homage to the amazing Queen Latifah and accept my amazing award. I turn to the mic and clear my throat whilst trying to subtlety wipe away tears of joy.

Oh Jen, you fall so gracefully :)

Oh Jen, you fall so gracefully 🙂

Me:
Wow! Thank you. This moment… means more than I could ever convey in one acceptance speech.

I came here tonight fully prepared to bow down to any one of the amazing and talented nominees as they won this title; don’t worry I am not suggesting you need to bow to me. The thing is, no matter how hard we push and work and pour sweat, blood and tears into our work, at no point will you ever sit there and go… yeah, I got this in the bag… come at me Grammy. As one of the nominees for this award tonight I found myself in such esteemed company and I wish to thank each one of you for the amazing contributions you make to this industry.

I must also thank Universal Music Australia for taking a chance on an unknown artist from South-West Sydney, for believing in me, for hearing me and my music and helping me translate who I am for all the world to hear. Thank you for fine tuning me because God knows I needed it.  

To my fans, without you there is no way I could be here. Thank you for sharing this journey with me and for seeing something in my music that you love. I hope you continue to be touched by my music and I will do all that I can to keep this train going.

Mum & Dad… thank you for letting me play music too loud and for not yelling at me when I then sung over my too loud music with my even louder voice. Thank you for inspiring me creatively. Mum, thank you for always being my editor and grammar Nazi, you are my guiding light.

Mr. T. … Thank you for being who you are, thank you for being my soul mate and for keeping me laughing for the past seven years. Thank you for encouraging me to sing and not being afraid to tell me when I was flat, thank you for letting me listen to any genre I want and for letting me play Adam Lambert’s music in the car really loud… thank you for learning the words so you could sing along too 🙂 Thank you for missing me singing around the house when I go away, thank you for missing it so much you learned every Adele song so you could sing them to stop yourself being lonely without me. Thank you for loving me, thank you for being my best friend and always being there, thank you for your support. I know you are happy sitting down there right now… really happy, because we are married… and being married means half of this award is yours. Congratulations on your Grammy baby 🙂

Thank you all.

 Inspired by the Daily Prompt