Archive | September, 2010

Another week, another plan

28 Sep

So after last week’s hissy fit where I single-handedly managed to ruin the one day that The Boy and I got to share together, I got a do-over. Last weekend The Boy and I drove to the coast for a completely unplugged weekend of sand, surf and sleep. Without the surf, because there were hundreds of nasty blue-bottle jellyfish in the water and after my last experience with one of those things (ascending from a dive and practically swallowing one whole as it sucked onto my face with a death grip that stung so bleeping bad I thought I would DIE) there was no way I was putting so much as a toenail in the ocean.

Anyway, aside from the crazy blue jelly fishes of doom, the weekend was lovely. We BBQ’d, mucked around with friends, ate, slept, stuck our faces in rock pools and drove there and back singing loudly to our two new favourite songs – B.o.B’s “Airplanes” and Flo Rida’s “Club Can’t Handle Me”. I felt like a teenager again, but without all that crappy ‘OMG no-one likes me’ angst. In fact, for the first time in a long time I felt like I was born to be in this skin. It appears I’m growing up. Finally.

So with some quality husband time under my belt, I came back to work sore as shit and feeling a bunch of muscles I didn’t even know I had, and with some crazy allergy that’s making me look like I’ve spent the entire weekend raging in tears. But feeling good. Oh so good. It’s even baby-making time and I’m not stressed out of my head. Because, I’ve decided that there’s other stuff I’m going to do.

Sure, we’re still trying. But not ‘let’s put everything on hold til we get this RIGHT, dammit,’ trying. I’ve just put in my application for a Masters degree in International Development which I am THRILLED about, so much so I can hardly stop myself from racing down to Officeworks right now and buying new pens and books ready for the new year.

I’m also spending a lot more time on Kenya Aid stuff because it makes me happy, and someone’s gotta do it. So keep your eyes peeled for some exciting new events on the Kenya Aid calendar next year! I’m even planning a trip to Kenya in May which I really, really want to do because there’s a bunch of stuff over there that I need to catch up on and throw myself into. This plan of mine is causing some slight marital discord – The Boy is hoping I’ll be pregnant by then and I’m pretty much forbidden from taking his budding offspring anywhere dangerous – but hey, that’s what marriage is about, right? Pushing each other’s buttons until someone cracks and ends up in tears.

Baby making blues

20 Sep

Ahhh. As if there isn’t a better way to feel good about making babies than by having an argument. Way to get your guy in the mood, right?

As I was explaining last week, I have recently turned into the PMT monster. I found out I was not pregnant (again) and was feeling the sharp edge of every menstrual hormone. Perfect time for a pack of cigarettes to fall out of The Boy’s pocket.

Which it did. On Sunday afternoon. Our one day together.

Cue tears and tantrum.

I don’t even know why I started. I knew The Boy was still smoking on nights but I thought, stupidly, that since we were actively trying to make a baby he’d have stopped. Unfortunately we don’t live in my little fantasy land of smiles and psychic mind reading. We live in the real world where we don’t have a baby and I get to spend my days scarily obsessing over what we can do next month to improve our chances.

Anyway, we argued. We went to bed still wary of each other with nothing much resolved. I came to work angry, bitched to my colleagues about it all, then sat down and tried to rationally figure out what’s actually going on.

So far I have….

The Boy’s side:

  1. You know I’m still smoking… but only on nights… so why all the yelling?
  2. I am quitting… sometime.
  3. OMG I married this? You know what I feel like now? A whole freaking PACK of cigarettes. Yeah, that’s right. The second you leave I’m gonna smoke those m*ther f*cking bitches like a caterpillar on a mushroom.

My side:

  1. Smoking decreases male fertility. We’re trying to make a baby. How can you not see the problem here?
  2. When you see me running around charting temps, not drinking tea, coffee or alcohol, exercising every night of the week, giving up sushi, analysing bits of my body I’d rather not be thinking about and stuffing my face full of vitamins every day, and then ultimately getting worn out from not succeeding despite doing all this, I don’t understand how that has zero effect on you.
  3. You said you’d quit when I got my driver’s licence (done), when we got married (done), and when we started trying to have kids (done). What else do I need to do here?
  4. Now I am upset. There is no coming back from me being upset, no matter how rational you think your argument is.

Right. To be fair, The Boy has cut down on his daily nicotine intake. I am immensely proud of this. I think it’s great. And maybe I’m being too hard, but I figure if he can not smoke for days on end, which is truly awesome, why ruin it by smoking when he’s working a night shift?

What gets me is that while I knew he was still smoking, a part of me just hoped he’d see how much it hurt each month and just… stop. It’s not as though he hasn’t quit before. It’s not as though he doesn’t want this kid as much as I do. So I don’t get it.

I know part of him is thinking that the effect his smoking has is miniscule. Yes, the bogans down the road who drink like fish and smoke like chimneys and still have more kids than Centerlink can afford might be fertile despite their continued substance abuse. Or they could just be boinking like rabbits because they don’t have much else to do.

But what I don’t get is that even if he thinks there’s a tiny chance of him smoking affecting our ability to conceive, why do it? Why let me, someone you love, get hurt month after month if (and I’m totally not saying it is) that’s a contributing factor?

Now we’re at a stalemate. He won’t quit now because I’ve nagged him, and I think he’s being stubborn and selfish. I’ve tried not saying anything about it. I’ve tried being supportive. I’ve talked about how his smoking affects me and other people who care about him and I’ve tried to make him feel guilty. Nothing. And honestly, I can’t try anything more except try to not resent the broken promises.

Sigh. Disappointment’s a bitch.

Oh, it’s you.

17 Sep

 Of course it is. Never late for a visit, are you.

I’m going to come right out and say that today is not one of my better days. I’m in a shitty mood, ready to pick a fight. I just haven’t had found a suitable target yet. I’m sure when I get home and see The Boy this will be resolved, as he’ll have undoubtedly left a cushion skewed on the sofa and we all know that a baby rhino dies every time you leave a cushion out of place.

Because, yes, it’s that time of the month. I fully understand I turn into a monster when I get my period, more so now because I’m not taking my regular hormones and as such am in incredible amounts of pain. Top that off with another non-pregnancy and you’ve got one seriously ticked off chic.

Thankfully, The Boy knows better than to point out that I’m being an unreasonable bitch. Probably because he knows that I will slowly and deliberately tear him apart if he even so much as looks like he’s thinking it. He picked this up pretty quickly; it only took a few hysterical months for him to catch on that you don’t mess with the PMS monster, no matter how right you think you are.

So aside from today’s disappointment, I’m bored as f*ck and seem to be stuck in life’s waiting room. I don’t want to leave in case my number is called, but I’m really quite hungry for adventure. I need something to work towards. The thing is that without study, a wedding, a new job, or a round-the-world trip to plan, there’s nothing much going on in my life. The Boy is busy with study and work, and I’m… well. I’m at home, keeping the house clean. Ish.

I’d book a holiday, but the only places I want to go are China and Kenya, the only time I can go is January, and I can’t go if I’m pregnant. I’d start my Masters but the one I’m leaning towards requires me to quit my job and undertake a 17 week practical placement. And I don’t really want to quit my job because we’re supposed to be saving for a baby. And, no matter how bored I am, there is no way I ever want to plan another wedding. Don’t get me wrong, I loved every minute of it. But I’m quite happy with my current husband and all memories.

What to do, what to do.

One more day

16 Sep

One more day until I get my period.

Of course, logic tells me that it’s going to happen this month, just like every other. I’ve had the same damn symptoms – sore boobs, cramps, and uncontrollable moments of sobbing at the Huggies ads – but there’s still this glimmer of hope on the horizon that I’m able to torment myself with.

Because, you see, my temperature hasn’t dropped. It probably will tomorrow, but I was expecting it to today. So when it didn’t my heart caught in my throat and I’ve been left with the thought all day that maybe, just maybe, we hit the baby jackpot. That the stork has finally figured out our address. That the baby blanket I’ve been crocheting is actually for me this time.

Of course, tomorrow I’m probably going to be an emotional mess. This has happened before – right before the wedding my predictable-as-a-Swiss-train period was a couple of days late because I’d managed to get myself so worked up my body simply lost track of the days. And it hurt. Because then, like now, I’d got myself completely wrapped up in the excitement that things were actually happening down there.

Sigh. Silly me.

While I know the chances of me being pregnant this month are slim, I can’t help but feel we’re in with a shot. I’ve been taking my temps, I scored some lovin’ on all the right days, and there’s nothing wrong with either of us (that we know of). And I want it so much I’ve given up tea, alcohol, sushi and soft cheese, just in case. I’ve given up TEA, little microscopic egg. That’s how much your would-be mother loves you.

So I know I’m going to wake up disappointed tomorrow, and I know that this tiny little scrap of hope I’m living on is going to make me into an emotional wreck, but I simply can’t stop myself. It’s so hard to try, and fail, and not know what you should be doing differently to make it all better. The days grind to a halt as you wait for yet another morning of elevated temps, waiting and waiting until you can reliably test for two little red lines. Friends around you get pregnant in a heartbeat; have babies, plan their second, moan about the vomiting, sore boobs and lack of sleep that you’d so dearly love to have. Anything to avoid another two week wait of hope, nerves, and eventual heartbreak.

I never thought it’d be this hard. I never thought we’d have any trouble conceiving. I never thought it’d hurt so much each month, that I’d want it so bad it would feel like I could hardly breathe. I never thought I’d be so wrapped up in the idea of starting a family that I’d spend my days willing that little microscopic egg to just stay, stay¸ for one more day, and then another, and another. I never thought I’d get upset when I saw my friends have kids before me. I never thought that I’d never want to talk about it.

But for today, there’s one more day. One more day of anticipation that I can hang on to. I just hope that that little egg is holding on as tight as I am.

A man called Donald

15 Sep

There’s this guy, let’s call him Donald.

Donald is a pretty special dude. He comes out every Wednesday, stands on one of Parramatta’s busiest corners, talks quietly to the crowd that rushes past him. He wears the same thing every week – a pair of pressed, brown slacks, polished shoes, and a white short-sleeved shirt that’s seen many a wash. He parts his hair neatly and has a nice smile, with bright albeit slightly sad blue eyes. 

I’ve never heard exactly what it is Donald is trying to say as I’m usually just another one of the harried faces that brushes by. But from the look of him and his quiet manner, I would guess he’s offering something religious. I’d never seen anyone take one of the little white booklets he likes to hand out, nor had I ever seen anyone stop, or even smile at him. Yet he stays there week after week, delivering his heartfelt message.

For some reason, last week Donald caught my eye. I didn’t stop. In fact I think I may have shook my head at him, thinking that I didn’t need his message because I already have a pretty good relationship with God. But each step I took past him got harder and by the time I got back to the office I really regretted not turning around and picking up one of his booklets. I smiled, but I didn’t accept the message. I couldn’t help but think I’d passed over something I should have paid more attention to.

I soon forgot about Donald.

But today, there he was again. This time I took one of his booklets from his hand as I passed and nearly choked on the amount of faith Donald had managed to pack into that thing. The booklet itself was standard issue – directions to a couple of Psalms and a short explanation – but at the bottom it had this crease from where he’d been holding it. Those seven small pages were dented by Donald’s hand, holding it as he must have been for hours and hours. I only just managed to hold back the tears.

Despite the fact that Donald would probably hand out only about five or so booklets  day, if that, you have to respect the amount of faith and goodwill each of those five booklets contains. There’s a guy that really believes in what he’s doing. And he’s not just saying it like so many of us do; he’s out there actively trying to reach the world with a message he believes in with his whole heart. He’s doing what he knows he should, because he wants to, and because he truly cares for all those people around him that he doesn’t even know.

Donald, quite simply, has heart.

I wish I had Donald’s courage. I don’t tend to talk about my religion because I’m vain and care too much about what other people think. I rarely put my beliefs on the line and there’s no doubt that my relationship with God is much more about taking than it is about giving. Sure, I say I’ll change all the time but the truth is that I probably won’t. Not beyond a marginal level of improvement at any rate.

I guess what made me so upset to find that hope-filled crease in Donald’s paper was that for all I ask God for, every hour of every day, I don’t do much in return. Yet there He was, seeking me out in my otherwise self absorbed day, to let me know… what? That he’s heard my prayers? That he’s still there? That I’ll just have to be patient and wait my turn?

Whatever it was, I heard it. In my heart of heart’s I heard it, and it’s OK.

Inappropriate work noises

14 Sep

So I’m sitting at my desk, well and truly supposed to be working, but I’ve just come across The Oatmeal and for the life of me I can’t figure out how I’ve lived a full life to this point without being aware of its existence.

In fact I’m so enamoured, I’ve just ordered two posters that I can’t wait to put up at home. Because subtle I am not, and The Oatmeal has just given me a highly creative excuse to win the whole ‘a lot’ argument from a few weeks ago.

So aside from giggling myself stupid over these humourous little treasures, I’ve spent the past 30 minutes trying to look like I’m working with my ‘serious face’ on, while browsing through The Oatmeal’s archives.

But when I got to this, I just couldn’t help myself. I let out one of those rip-roaring snorts that anyone with even a modicum of decency lives in fear of and had to hide under my desk while pretending that I had mysteriously just contracted whooping cough.

Unsuccessfully, I might add. Better get back to it.

The Mars and Venus of housekeeping

13 Sep

As I was slaving away over what was a seemingly endless list of housework yesterday while The Boy enjoyed his Sunday, reclining on the sofa, watching football, I tried not to get myself worked up about the fact that should I indeed be pregnant, happen to give birth to a healthy child and then suddenly die, my child would be raised in squalor.

Because The Boy simply does not know how to clean. Nor does he really realise that things need cleaning, until they start smelling so bad he, feigning ignorance, has to ask what he can possibly do about it. After he’s done this he can, of course, ignore it, satisfied that he’s let me know he’s noticed that I should have done something about it by now.

To be fair he is on nights right now, which means he is usually so tired he can do little else but eat, sleep and make these grunting noises that I understand as meaning ‘I love you’. And in truth, my imaginary child probably wouldn’t grow up in squalor because The Boy would do what he’s always done – get his mother to clean up for him. (If it’s one thing my mother in law didn’t do – and trust me, The Boy is an excellent human, he’s compassionate, communicative, generous, loving and intelligent it was to teach him how to clean.)

Anyway, as I huffed around with the mop I got to wondering about just how many men there were out there who didn’t have the vaguest notion of how to clean a house. I’m sure the majority suck at it and I’m sure that those with wives are mercilessly whipped into shape.

Unfortunately, I’m not the nagging type.

I, in fact, am the stupid type that has let my man get away with barely lifting a finger for three years.  Now he feels quite comfortable to watch me as I run around the house picking up after him. Until I make some snide remark, like I did yesterday, about whether he will in fact be able to pick up his game when we have kids and I’m too fat/tired to argue with him about it.

If I’m to believe John Gray – author of Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus – I’m actually benefitting from all this housework. It’s a boost to my hormones. According to Gray, women can’t relax because their hormones won’t let them – they need to be running around and cleaning up after a man all the time. Apparently this is when us women folk are at our happiest.

I feel I’m qualified to counter this assertion with the suggestion that if there was not always a looming list of household chores on my to do list, I’d be quite happy to sit down on the sofa, relaxing with my alpha male. Sure, I probably enjoy housework more than The Boy, because when I’m done it feels good. Because it’s done. NOT because I had a blast cleaning a weeks worth of urine stains off the toilet bowl.

High expectations

7 Sep

I’m going to preface this post by saying I have absolutely nothing of interest to say. I am, quite simply, bored. And sick. Again. But mostly bored.

Technically, I’m supposed to be working. Or should be working, but I’m at the tail end of my overly long one hour lunch break and feel like I should have just got back to work 20 minutes ago, rather than wasting time checking to see if our country has a new leader yet or not (it doesn’t).

But because I’m unwell, and because my eyeballs feel like someone has taken to them with sandpaper, and because my brain feels like it’s trying to push its way out my nose, I’m not exactly inclined to do much work today. I’d much rather potter around and try to find something to cheer me up because the office is deathly quiet and I’m desperately trying to hide behind the mountain of work on my desk in the vain hope no-one will notice me.

Anyway, aside from being dicked around for the past 17 days about who will take the helm as Australia’s next PM, I can’t find anything interesting going on in this country anymore. Sure, someone blew up a whale on the WA coast (which I think is horrible) and there have been the usual medical breakthroughs that say that women just aren’t doing enough of this or that and are subsequently putting their babies lives at risk (this week it’s sunshine, last week it was junk food, the week before it was lack of sleep), but aside from that, nada.* And thus I am BORED.

If I’m honest with myself, what I really want is to be pregnant and sitting at home in a rocking chair with my enormous belly, knitting something pretty with a quiet look of contentment on my face, while Milo plays with the ball of yarn at my feet and Ry fixes me tea. I would KILL for a cup of tea right now. And a foetus. And a rocking chair.

I don’t know quite how it’s all going to work, but that’s my plan. To make a nice living baking cakes, knitting, and doing other domestic related trivialities. While busting hard stories on international crime, of course. I guess I’m having another mid-twenties crisis where I start to question the meaning of life and realise that I’m still in the same damn holding pattern I’ve been in for years, despite having done my best to convince myself that I’m actually doing something I like. Don’t get me wrong, I like where I work now. I just wish I were doing the same job for Kenya Aid, from home, with a cake in the oven and a cat on my lap. And a meaty feature on my computer.

I guess what I want, is it all. Isn’t that what us Gen Y’s were promised way back in the day when our mothers decided to throw in the apron and tell their kids that they could be, and do, whatever they wanted? What they should have done is given us some realistic expectations. Like, ‘You can have it all, as long as you don’t want too much’. Or, ‘Sweetheart, you’re actually not all that bright/industrious/good-looking. I love you, but you probably can’t have it all so how about you have a think about it now, before you hit highschool, and try to lower your expectations just a bit.’

But no. I was indoctrinated into the you-can-have-it-all camp. Which means I get the pleasure of swinging between the elation of trying to do everything that comes my way, and the realisation that I can’t possibly do it all and do it all properly. Sigh. Just another day of confused expectations and ideals I guess. Maybe I am pregnant after all.

* I blame Steig Larsson. Ever since I started reading the Millennium trilogy I’ve been obsessed with Salander and the need for some serious investigative journalism. I need to crack a conspiracy. I just haven’t found one yet.

The two week wait

6 Sep

So the whole trying to get pregnant thing? Totally does your head in.

I spent years actively trying not to get pregnant, convinced that I was so fertile just kissing a boy would get me with child before you could say Holy Mother Mary (thanks, Mum). But turns out all that worry, all those fretful moments, were a complete and utter waste of time. Now that I’m actually trying to get pregnant, I’ve learned that:

  1. There’s only a 20% chance that you’ll get pregnant in any one cycle
  2. That’s providing you have sex on the right day before ovulation
  3. There are any number of ‘pregnancy’ symptoms that you can torture yourself with that are also suspiciously (exactly) like the symptoms you get when you ovulate, or when you get your period
  4. There is nothing as utterly crushing as getting your period when you’ve convinced yourself that those phantom pregnancy symptoms you’ve been experiencing  are actual pregnancy symptoms
  5. The two week wait is enough to make any woman offer a sacrifice to the fertility gods to deliver her with the lucky two red lines, ten days early

If you’ve got an irregular period, or you managed to luck and get pregnant first try, good for you. You probably haven’t experienced the torture of the two week wait and I honestly wouldn’t wish it on anyone.

As for me, I’ve joined the sad ranks of those who obsessively pore over Google search results trying to find confirmation that the latest twinge, tingle, craving or mood swing is a reliable indication that there’s a bun in the oven. And I’m not alone. There are thousands of us out there, some who have been doing the whole temperature taking/abstaining from anything enjoyable like chocolate, soft cheese and alcohol thing for over a year. A YEAR. We’ve been vaguely trying for the past three months and I’ve already let my imagination run loose to the point that I know exactly what the first day of school is going to be like for my adopted children, Pandu and Lila. And I’m getting really freakin’ cranky without my daily six cups of tea.

Anyway today, Monday, was the first day that I realised I had actually ovulated (based on the 0.3C raise in my temperature that I detected at 6am this morning) and could now start obsessing over whether I felt pregnant or not (I don’t). Already I’ve stalked out a few baby-making sites and have found out that I should/shouldn’t be able to feel something by now, and that if I can/can’t then I’m definitely/not pregnant. Sigh. And to think, I now have 12 days left of this before I’m either a) devastated or b) committed to freaking out that something indescribably horrible is going to happen for the next, oh, say, rest of my life.

Crapola

2 Sep

I wouldn’t necessarily call myself a greenie. Sure, I recycle, but I’m not exactly going to be awarded Environmentalist of the Year. Even if I do manage to grow my own tomatoes this year.

But I am, on the whole, conscious of the level of crap that I let into our house. Neither The Boy nor I like waste, and we’re always pretty conscious about what we spend our dollars on. So it was with some amusement that I stumbled across this site today that details exactly what moronic items people feel the need to include in their list of household items. Such as:

1. The somewhat suspicious looking ‘Banana Bunker’

2. The Mayo Knife – a knife that spreads, you guessed it, mayonnaise

3. The rather space aged watermelon cooler

4. A keepsake bag for you positive pregnancy test that looks suspiciously like those $2 plastic pencil cases you can buy at Kmart

5. And my absolute favourite – the Daddle, or Daddy Saddle. What’s that you wanted for Christmas? A pony? Well sweetheart, just look at what Daddy got you! Almost as good as the real thing, right?

I can’t believe there are people out there that actually buy this shit. I can only hope that these are filling that niche of completely useless secret santa presents that are doled out at Christmas work parties then forgotten five minutes later. Except the Daddle. The second I get pregnant, I’m totally getting Ry one of those. Because every man needs to feel like he’s totally whipped at some point, right? And did you see those kneepads??