Monday, August 25, 2008

A plan

A few weeks after my initial psychologist assessment I received a letter in the mail from the doctor letting me know that she had referred me on for therapy sessions and that I would be contacted soon regarding them. A week after that I received an appointment card saying I had an appointment on the 25th with the fertility counsellor.
The timing worked out really well with the appointment being on the 25th as I had been scheduled for Jury Duty this week which also happened to coincide with the weekend we wanted to go away down south to climb Bluff Knoll. I sent in my stat dec declaring I couldn't attend Jury Duty and thankfully an appointment with any kind of psychologist etc seems to be enough for them to run screaming from you. Who really wants a basket case sitting in judgement on others?
This of course means that we can definitely head down south this weekend.

I am so looking forward to it! For those of who not familiar with the area, Bluff Knoll is is in the very south west of the state near Cranbrook. Christian and I will be driving down with our friends Daniel and Helen and staying in some Rammed Earth Cabins about 90kms out of Albany. I'll make sure I get heaps of photos while I'm there, especially the view from the top!

Anyway, back on topic. So, I had my second appointment today. When I arrived I was told that there had been a bit of a mishap and I'd actually been booked in with the wrong lady. The lady I saw today is just a Fertility Counsellor and doesn't deal with general anxiety issues. She was great though and since I had gone all the way to see her she discussed some of the fertility related issues with me. This mainly centred around my weight loss issues since fertility treatment itself holds no problems for me (although I'll re-assess that when we get to the pointy needle part...)

Essentially I'm at a point now where our treatment will not proceed until I lose weight. Until that point I'm thrown in with the druggies and smokers who will flat out not be treated until they have come clean. My doctor lady said that they aren't trying to make all mothers-to-be super models but of course the drugs they give you to help are less effective the bigger you are and larger doses can be dangerous. And so we got down to the nitty gritty of 'If you want a baby so much, why haven't you lost weight?'.

Fair enough question but at the time I couldn't really come up with an answer. In the end we figured out that I'm scared of having a baby because I worry that I won't be a good enough mother and I also tend to lose sight of the end I should have in sight. When you concentrate so hard on what the scales are saying you do sometimes forget that you're doing it for a baby.

We've come up with a few strategies to get me through to my proper therapy session. One of them is to have something visual I can see every day. At the moment I track most of what I eat online but it's easy to forget to log in and record everything or not log in at all. By this stage however I'm pretty good at figuring out what foods I should eat and in what quantities. It's not rocket science after all. But she feels I still need something visual and so I'm going to make a chart up that counts down the kilos and each time I lose one I can cross it off. It's easy enough to say 'My first goal is 75kgs' but it then makes me concentrate on a single figure and that can sometimes be unachievable. This way I can concentrate on the each kilo and not get bogged down trying to attain something that's still out of reach.

We also agreed that my 'danger zone' is the several hours between the time I finish work and the time Christian gets home. I binge more often when I'm alone and so the doctor suggested that I stock up on sugar free gum and chew as much of that as I can. This way I won't want to put anything else in this gob of mine because I'll already be chewing. Over time I'll reduce how much I chew so I don't get hooked on this as well!
The problem with this is that ever since I had braces I just can't physically eat gum. It feels all yucky and squishy and rubbery *shudders*
I am trying however to not think about this (I'm chewing some now) and I'm hoping that this will help me in times when I habitually snack, such as being online or reading.

There's a couple of other things I'm going to try out but I hope that these will help me start to eat more healthy and to fall pregnant. I think the hardest thing is going to be not getting so caught up in the weight-loss part that I lose sight of the fact that I'm doing this so we can start a family. We shall see I guess.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Father figure

I'm going to tell you the story of my hero. The bravest, most courageous, generous and loving man I know. My Dad.

When Dad was a young man he trained as a carpenter before joining the Australian Army. He did two tours of Vietnam, the first as a Tunnel Rat and the second as a Vampire. When we were growing up Dad spoke little of his time in the war but he collected all the books and literature he could about it. Both of the roles in which Dad served put him into situations in which I'm sure he witnessed countless horrors and so none of us ever pushed Dad into talking about it. He played a vital role however and his children are immensely proud of him.

When Dad returned from the the war he became a Prison Officer and started off working at Fremantle Prison. Once he was fully trained he was transferred to several regional prisons, including Wyndam where he met my Mum. Mum actually lied about her age when they met as there was a nine year age difference between them. I don't think it bothered Dad much that he had a younger girlfriend as they became quite serious and after the birth of my older sister Jo they married (the second marriage for my Dad as he had married earlier and had had a son, my half brother Scott).
Dad was soon transferred to Pardelup Prison farm where I was born and a couple of years later we were transferred again to Roebourne where my younger sister Barb was born. We stayed in Roebourne for about eight years and in that time Mum and Dad went through quite a lot. I was constantly hospitalised with my asthma and Barb came down with chicken pox which led to a rare blood disorder in which her platelets were destroyed. She was kept in isolation for months and if anyone even brushed against her she would haemorrhage. Several blood transfusions later she was released home but it was years before she was well again.

Eventually Dad was transferred to Bandyup and we moved down to Perth. Dad has a wanderlust that he has passed on to all of his daughters and so none of us can ever sit still. Every weekend that Dad wasn't working he would take us out and about. Almost all of the places that I'll be taking Boo and Mouse in October are 'Dad places'. He would take us to Mundaring Weir one week, Hillaries Boat Harbour the next, then we'd be off for a bbq at John Forrest National Park or swimming at Lake Leschenaultia. Dad also introduced me to Cricket and whenever there was a game on at the WACA he'd take us there or we'd watch the away games at home together. When Barb started playing Dad would take her to the games and I'd tag along to watch. He was always interested in getting us out of the house and we always had so much fun.

Mum and Dad split when I was 17 and that was really rough. I remember one night when Dad slept the night in the spare bedroom - I stood in the hall knowing that Mum was down one end and Dad was down the other and I just burst into tears, knowing that it was never going to be the same.
Dad moved out shortly afterwards but we still saw him as much as we could. Jo had Darcie and he became such a doting Poppy. I was working as a manager at KFC at the time and when I had days off during the week I'd meet up with Dad and my sisters and we'd take Darcie out to new parks and 'Dad places'.

Dad was still working at Bandyup as a Senior Prison Officer even though he'd passed retirement age. On the 27th of September, 2001 a cell fire broke out and Dad was the first on the scene. He risked personal injury to help several prisoners to safety and was awarded a Commendation by the Justice Department for his 'dedication, courage and outstanding commitment to duty'.
Dad eventually retired but continued to work at the prison on contract.

Soon Dad met Dianne online and we all knew that it was getting serious. Di lived in Canada and it wasn't long before Dad booked a ticket and headed off for a few weeks to meet her in person. He returned but not for long, organising to go back to Canada for a six month stint. He did this several times, staying there for six months and then coming back here for the next six to spend time with his growing brood of grandchildren. Barb has three children and all of them dote on their Poppy.
Christian and I married in 2003 and Dad and Di came over for the occasion. Di is a lovely woman and we all got along like a house on fire. After returning to Canada, they two got married and we couldn't be happier having Di as a step mother. Dad had to come back here to apply for residency over there and I must say we were rather heartbroken at having Dad leave for good. The kids were miserable and miss him as much as us older kids do.

As the trip of Boo and Mouse comes to an end, I'll be getting ready to fly out to Canada to spend some time with my Dad and I am so excited. Jo and Darce are going too but are flying out several weeks before me. We have so many plans and it's going to be fantastic to catch up. There are so many things Dad wants to show us and his wanderlust will be well taxed. I doubt we'll be spending much time in the house while we're there.

I guess the whole point of this post is that sometimes we take certain people for granted and don't fully appreciate them while they're here. So I'm going to say this...

"Dad, we've never been a family that really vocalise our feelings but I want you to know that I love you and you're the best Dad a girl could hope for. Thanks so much for everything you've done for me and I cannot wait to see you come October."

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Cake or Death?

Quite a while ago my brother in law Mikey made a suggestion that was so inherently awesome that it just could not go undone.
Barb had been making some cake (it may have been the TARDIS) and we were throwing around suggestions for which cake she would make for my birthday. Mikey just looked at us and said 'Duh, isn't it obvious? You have to do Cake or Death.'
For those of you not familiar with the delightful Eddie Izzard, Cake or Death may not mean a lot to you but it has become a bit of a cult classic among my group of friends. It was such an appropriate suggestion that there was no going back.

So last night was the night. My Cake or Death party had arrived. Barb had worked hard the last couple of days and apart from a small hiccough when transporting the cakes, they arrived at my place looking fabulous.

Barb was going to make the lillies herself but didn't have enough time and so she paid a small fortune for these ones. She then ended up complaining that she should have made them since her lillies taste much better than shop bough ones.

We'd thrown around a few ideas on how we would achieve 'Death' and pretty early on decided on a headstone. To get ideas Barb Googled 'headstone cake' and came up with a link to my blog! She wasn't impressed that I hadn't included a photo of what I thought it should look like!

Since it's not that often I get to dress up all pretty I thought I'd make the effort for the evening (it was my birthday do after all!). It actually turned out to be one of the most expensive outfits I've ever worn! I wore my netting skirt I bought in Edinburgh, my big boots and the corset I bought for K-Lees' wedding and when I added up how much all those items cost me it came to over $500! Since my wedding dress was only $350 it is definitely the most expensive outfit I've ever worn. I rather liked it though!
This isn't the best photo, it's a little dark but it'll give you the general idea.

Barb had left Mikey with the kids and came round beforehand to help set up. I think she rather enjoyed having a little time to herself and so she asked if she could have a shower and get ready here without three screaming children clustered about (a rarity for her). She may have been a little excited by this 'me' time however as she wasn't concentrating completely when shaving her legs and ended up with a gouge two inches long up her shin that bleed profusely for a number of hours.
All ended well as she didn't bleed to death and she stayed to enjoy the party.

Jo came around beforehand also but didn't stay as she had to get home to Darce and the puppy. Before she left I made sure I got a photo of her with Barb as everyone says they look like twins. I've never been able to see this. I'll grant you that they look more alike than I do with either of them but I've not ever thought they were almost identical.

I'd had roughly 35 people RSVP to say they were coming and about ten people say they might be coming and so I went into a bit of a mad panic rushing around making sure I had enough nibblies and drinks. I shouldn't have worried however. I guess it's a little like a Tupperware party. They always say to invite twice as many people as you'd actually like there since half of those who say they'll come never do. In the end there were only about twenty of us and I have so much junk food left over that it'll take forever to get rid of. Normally I'd be a little disappointed that so many people didn't show up (and the majority didn't even let me know they wouldn't be coming) but at the end of the day everyone who turned up were the ones I really wanted to be there and that's important. I'd rather have a smaller gathering with my real friends than a larger one with acquaintances any day.

First to arrive was Smerk! We hadn't seen each other (literally, not internetly) since the Spicks and Specks live show and it was great to catch up. We've promised to catch up again before Christmas and hopefully we'll catch up before Boo and Mouse come in October. But if things get too hectic and that doesn't happen at least we'll know that we'll see each other at the MoH Perth reunion!

Tash was the second to arrive and it was great to catch up with her too. We got to know each other back in our Rally days and you become friends really quickly when you spend hours sitting in freezing rain doing nothing but waiting for a yellow T18 with red splotches to come hurtling into the pits so you can change the tyres.
Tash is a little like Smerk in that she lives in the same city but on the other side of it (but in the opposite direction to Smerk) so we don't get to catch up anywhere as near as often as we'd like.

I had several work friends come round and that included Joanne, my 'date' from K-Lees' wedding. Jo and I have always gotten on wonderfully and have heaps in common. Like husbands that say hardly anything and are quieter than mice. Myles and Christian can sit in a room for hours and say two words between them. Despite this, Myles and I get on really well, perhaps due to my experience with filling in the silent gaps myself. A while back when we'd only met a few times Myles turned to Jo and said 'I really like that Annie girl. She's really nice' and Jo just nodded and agreed and Myles said 'You know exactly where you stand, it's really refreshing. I really like her' to which Jo replied 'Bloody hell, is she your other wife?'. And so I am now known as Myles' floozie and he as my 'other husband'.

I'm not too sure what Chiaki is doing in this photo...and I didn't even suggest (out loud anyway) that she may excel in certain

I managed to track down my hubby for a photo. He was rather shaggy beforehand and I knew he'd be shaving but I asked him if he'd leave a bit on as I think he looks hot like this! It makes kissing him a little scratchie but I don't mind!

After having my photo taken with the other hubby it was time to get a photo with the other love of my life. Joanne and I were rather unaware of Steve and Kathryn in the background at the time...

The guys from work who showed up.

I can't quite recall what we were going on about that was so funny but I think it had something to do with cleavage...

It was soon cake time but before we did that I made everyone sit down in the lounge room and watch Eddie so they knew the reason for the cakes wasn't because I was a nutter. Then I was made to blow out candles and everyone sang Happy Birthday. It was rather funny when they got to the 'Happy Birthday dear...' part because there were 'Annies', Netties' and 'Annettes' all in there together and so it sounded like 'Blahblahblah'.
Barb got this awful photo of me turning around and so I look like an ape but that hasn't stopped me from posting bad photos before!

Christian got Buzz for his birthday and so fun was had by most playing that for a while.

The last photo is of Chiaki and I since the other one of her that I had wasn't exactly flattering! By this stage my contacts had gotten a little blurry and so I'd thrown on my glasses. I forgot that no one really sees me in my glasses so I got a few strange looks at first. These are the ones I ordered online. Only cost me $8 US! Woo!

All in all I had a fun night. I had a few drinks but didn't get drunk - in fact I don't think anyone drank enough to get drunk. I think the memory of Christian's party was a little too fresh!
This morning I've just spent tidying and doing this post but hopefully a little later on I'll go for a hike with Christian and then maybe read for a bit (I bought three Doctor Who books with the money Mum gave me for my birthday). A nice relaxing end to the weekend!