Thursday, August 22, 2013

Thankful Thursday - He passed

A quick post for Thankful Thursday.

A picture (slightly blurry and he refused a re-shoot) says it all.

J-man Passed.


Linking up with Francesca for Thankful Thursdays

Francesca Writes Here

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

IBOT - Scones and Jam

My skin has been troublesome lately with a fresh dose of Shingles, weird 'other' rashes, a swollen eye and eczema. Today after a few days reprieve it took a turn for the worse, itchy and hot and just generally unpleasant to dwell inside of.
All in all rashy, itchy skin is not the worst affliction on the planet, but it is hard to keep that in perspective while clutching icepacks to your chest and snorting Zyrtec.

It's time for some TLC, a gentle few days, some down time. Time to indulge a little and feel nurtured. I don't really eat chocolate and it's too early for wine....

Time for tea and scones.

When you are feeling like crap , recipes with 3 ingredients are a gift from heaven!

3 &1/2 cups SR flour
1 cup lemonade (once again thanking The Man I Married for the Soda Stream he bought himself me for Mothers Day one year)
1 cup cream

Mix, cut out circles with scone cutter or glass. Bake at 220 until golden brown on top.


A gorgeous hot cup of tea in a pansy teacup and plenty of jam.

Hopefully the "Itchies and scratchies " fade quickly but in the meantime I have scones to keep me company.

What is your 'comfort food ' ?

Linking with Jess for  I Blog On Tuesdays xxx

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Show me your freckle

A chocolate freckle the size of a bread and butter plate.

Oh Yeah!!!

We went on a little adventure today to the Corowa Chocolate Factory, a cute little 'factory' nestled within the bowels of the old Flour Mills in Corowa.

There was lots of chocolate on display and for sale, the smell was heavenly and we bought up...

Confusingly, almost all the chocolate for sale is from the Junee Chocolate Factory, and not from Corowa at all.

 - some investigation via Google tells me they have the same business owners.. but I kinda think if I go to a factory, I'm expecting to buy produce from that factory, not the one 600 km away, or at least that it is obvious that what you are buying is not their own product. We didn't know what we bought was not produced in Corowa until we got in our car to drive away.

The main event for the day was Miss 9 making her own Chocolate freckle.
A thick disc of gorgeous silky Belgium chocolate is poured onto a plate and then the kids can got crazy topping them with sprinkles and coconut. It is then set in the fridge for 15 minutes and kiddo can take it home.

Do you see how big that is ?? As big as her head! All that chocolate for just $5 , that is good value!
There is a lovely coffee shop available and we scored a table right next to the heater, I could have easily sat there all day and watched people come and go, sipping my Chai Latte and pretending there was no housework waiting for me at home.

Where do you love to go, for an escape from your reality?

Time to link up for the Weekend Writer Blog Link-up.

Please add your weekend post to the linky below, if you blogged Saturday and Sunday you can add each post separately.
Happy Blogging xx
For guidelines and hints visit this page


Friday, August 16, 2013

Turning Four

Cathy from The Camera Chronicles has asked this week "Do you remember your 4th birthday?"

In truth there are probably about 5 seconds of memory of this day and the rest is helped generously by faded, yellowed photographs.

At 4 I was a teeny, tiny, little dot of a thing, almost ready for school

Obviously the bowl haircut was very much in for the year 1976, and that fringe is probably why my eyebrows got scared and half of them disappeared entirely and Never Returned!

But I digress.....

At the time we lived in Sydney at the bottom of a GI-GANT-A-NORMOUS hill, in a culdesac

Next door lived Stephanie, and across the road lived Corinne (who once snuck into our backyard and swung on our swing when we weren't home !) and around the corner lived the twins and so...
On my 4th birthday, after preschool, but before the big sister and big brother got home from school, we had 'tea'
I tried to crop the picture to save Corinne from this less-than-flattering-pose, but hey, reality is what it is, and I very much doubt she reads my blog (or remembers my name), so here is the full photo.

We sat outside and ate sandwiches and smiled - well actually everyone else smiled for the camera while I stuffed my face

I don't remember much of being 4, except that my brother was my best friend, and my sister knew absolutely everything that was important , like reading and writing and how to tie shoe laces so they stayed done up without any help.


Do you remember being four?

It's Flashback Friday so visit Cathy at The Camera Chronicles for some blog-loving

Saturday, August 10, 2013

How To IVF

I'm suspended 2 metres above the ground between cold metal stirrups and a blue vinyl seat. The paper sheet across my legs hides nothing as his head pops up into view.
The headlight on his forehead is bright as he asks me "Do you play Golf?"
Ummmm, No!
His head disappears between my thighs and I start my meditative chant again.
"You are not here. This is not happening. This is a tropical beach paradise. You are lying on a beach Lisa. Breathe Lisa Breathe. "
There is prodding and poking. The room smiles and several heads nod as the 'right place' is chosen.
IVF is not for the faint-hearted and it certainly is not for those without their sense of humour.
Amongst the driving desperate yearning for a baby comes moments of sheer absurd hilarity.
Our Miss 9 is an IVF blessing.
I had my tubes cut, burnt and tied at the ripe old age of 25, thinking I would not want any more children. I was wrong.
For the next five years I cried whenever I passed through the baby aisles in Target or Kmart. I craved a baby, even as I watched my other children grow.
The Man I Married resisted and hedged but eventually agreed to follow the IVF route to have our sweet girl.
IVF is a weird hormone driven beast that can take you from high to low in a heartbeat.
First of all there are appointments and blood tests, counselling and assessments to decide if you are a suitable candidate.
In our case, the swimmers were swimming, the eggs were hatching and for some reason they decided we were sane enough to parent another child.
Next came sprays up my nose to make my schedule match the schedule of the doctors clinic. Everything needs to happen Monday to Friday between the hours of 8 and 5 and they make that happen with a nose spray.

It was time for injections in the belly.
At this point many readers might wince but I've had worse mosquito bites and the endlessly dangling carrot of a baby just makes it not so bad. It's not fun, but not bad.
I remember one night when I'd gone to the celebration dinner of a friends Yr 10 hospitality class.
I ate, I clapped but always on my mind was the deadline - 9 pm = needle time.
There I was in a high-school toilet cubicle, having just injected my daily dose of hormones, when I dropped the syringe.
In slow motion, I watched it drop and roll out into the main bathroom area, where it came to rest against a beautiful 5 inch cream suede heel.
"Oh, for god sake" I heard the owner of the shoe mutter, and she turned on her gorgeous heels and marched out.
Emerging from my cubicle I picked my syringe up and felt strangely guilty for absolutely no reason at all. 
I didn't re-enter the dining room. I went home with a big bag of chips and climbed into my comfy PJ's. I didn't want to know who owned the cream shoes. I just wanted a baby.
My ovaries did what they are supposed to do for IVF and instead of producing the usual one follicle for the month they produced 15. Yay!

You know that full, off-colour feeling you get a few days before a period? Multiply that feeling by 1000 and that is what it feels like to have 15 + follicles swelling in your ovary. Jeans didn't do up, elastic pants felt too tight, for a while I considered wearing a Muumuu.
The idea of a baby made it okay
Every couple of days I would drive 80 km to the clinic where a nurse would stick an ultrasound wand up my Hoo-hah to count and measure the diameter of the follicles. This was great social event every time with random nurses popping in throughout the exam to discuss progress, the weather and the perfect way to poach an egg while I laid back and smiled.

Two days before the determined collection date I was instructed to give myself Trigger injections to tell my ovaries it was time to Set Them Free.
On Collection day we arrived at the clinic and I changed into another paper gown, while hubby wandered down the hall and tried to pretend he wasn't about to have an intimate relationship with a paper cup. I went to sleep and woke up feeling as though a small alien space ship may or may not have run me over.
Then came what we like to refer to as The Long Wait.
The 3 days when you wait to see if anything, anyone, fertilised.
Do you remember, back when you were a kid, on the night before Christmas. You were waiting, on the brink of something good, but the anticipation and the underlying fear of complete disappointment was enough to have you bouncing around like a cat on Crack. It feels like that. But worse.
We were lucky enough to have 7 fertilised eggs, and so the time was scheduled for a transfer.
Which brings me back to my opening , legs in the air,  a mining helmet and me trying to think of witty comments about golf while the Doctor held in his hand the most precious little bundle of cells I have ever known.
I would have laughed at anything at that moment, paid for 100 lessons with Greg Norman. I would have agreed to a Saturday morning 6am Golf game every week for the next 50 years if only good Karma and luck could tell me this little bundle of cells were going to stay put. Guided by ultrasound, the good Doc selects the best place in the uterus to place the bundle and oh-so-gently, releases it into the world.
The bundle of cells transferred, I was sent away and told to carry on with normal life ( which I took to mean go immediately to bed and don't move unless the house is on fire).
This led to my "Addiction to testing". Those readers who have been in a similar situation may know what I mean. 
I became hyper-aware of the pregnancy tests in the toiletry aisle of the supermarket. I could spend an hour reading them all, and deciding which one was the most reliable. Which one could give the earliest prediction of success or failure. I knew them by size, colour, days before period, lines or dots or +'s.
I must have bought every Clear-Blue, Pregnosis, Crystal Clear and 1st Response pregnancy test within a 15 km radius of our home.

I peed on every stick, analysed the varied shades of white, almost white, off white and "if I put my head on the side and screw my eyes up I can almost imagine a second pink line" white.
Even now, passing the tests in the supermarket is a sombre moment as we carefully nod to each other and avert our eyes.
The first transfer result was amazingly positive but I knew almost from the start that something didn't feel right. At 9 weeks we returned to the IVF clinic for a scan where they told us that there was no heartbeat. The little bundle of cells had implanted and tried very hard to grow but for some reason it just couldn't keep developing. We were so very sad, heartbroken and generally ripped-off. I probably could have dealt with a no-pregnancy result , but to get a positive result only to have that squashed was hard. Of course my body doesn't do things easily so I ended up having a curette.. some drama.. another curette... drama....
A few months later after A LOT OF DRAMA that is far too complicated to explain, I found myself back on that blue vinyl chair, two metres above the ground. Two little embryos had been thawed and one of them had successfully defrosted. Doc still had his headlight on and once again we were discussing Golf. I zoned out. I breathed.

This one stayed!
Even now, nine years later, I sometimes look at her in amazement and say "You were frozen. How can that be?"

The best Icypole ever -

I know we were ridiculously lucky, that we are blessed beyond measure. I don't take any of this for granted. I promise.
We donated our remaining embryos to a couple, but sadly they did not result in a positive pregnancy. I feel so sad for that couple and yet I know we tried.
Many readers also know I donated eggs, a couple of years after our darling girl was born, to a couple who had no hope without donated eggs. You can read about their story here. (It ends very happily :-)

For those who have questions, I am an open book, ask away. If you are considering donating eggs, or wondering how your body will cope, all I can say is the horror stories in the movies are not always a true reflection of how it will be. IVF is not on my top 10 list of fun things to do, but it certainly isn't on my worst either. xxx

Time to link up for the Weekend Writer Blog Link-up

Please add your weekend post to the linky below, if you blogged Saturday and Sunday you can add each post separately.
Happy Blogging xx 
For the rules and hints visit this page

Friday, August 9, 2013

The Baby Stuff - FlashBack Friday

Babies are a marketers dream come true.
As soon as someone says the word 'Baby', manufacturers and Sales teams start rubbing their little hands together and brainstorming new and wonderful ways to guilt the new parents into buying stuff they don't need.
One of my closest friends is having a fourth baby after a really big gap (** read: surprise baby **), and during that gap she gave away all her baby paraphernalia .

The cot, the high chair, bouncer, her sanity...
So we've been looking at what she will need and what is available.
My, oh my, how things have changed in a few years.
The first and most obvious requirement is a pram.
Back in the early 90's when J-man was born, a steelcraft pram was the way to go.
If this looks like you take the baby's bed and whack it on a tray, like a flat bed truck you are 100% correct.
Look at those wheels, perfect for going over, well, not much really. The tiniest pebble could lock one of these up and have you teaching your toddler some very new words.
These had some pretty impressive features like a lap belt (none of this high brow five point safety harness stuff malarkey) and a reversible handle in case you got sick of looking at your little wonder. It required a degree in engineering to collapse, and a car boot almost as big as a swimming pool to fit it in.
These days you can purchase some really cool space shuttles prams with aerodynamic everything.
When I buy my next car I'm just going to buy one of these and install a motor.
Next on the shopping list is a high chair.
Originally we had a timber one, with little metal catches under the tray to detach it for 'easy cleaning'.
Then we upgraded to a schmicko plastic and coated metal chair with padded seat and a flip-over tray. Once again safety was not an issue with a single grey strip of webbing to stop your child sub-marining out the bottom. It was always loose, always covered in 3 days worth of weetbix and had no safety mechanism whatsoever but hey - it was there.
Covered in cutesy pastel kid vinyl which cracked and split within 3 months of purchase, it blended into absolutely No-One's home ever!
The flip-over tray meant that when small child had had enough and was getting cross they could lift and drop the tray repeatedly, sending food and drink all over the floor. Nice.
High Chairs have come a long way. In fact I wouldn't mind a set of six to replace my dining chairs.
Car travel with a new born in the early 90's meant you have one of these wedged into your backseat.
You plonked your baby into the capsule (often still wrapped in blankets) and secured them with a wide strip of Velcro across the belly effectively creating a small torpedo.
When it was time to leave the car you could remove the capsule and take it inside. The noise the Velcro made when undoing it was like a nuclear explosion, and they weighed a tonne .
Car seats now follow a similar principle except they have extras like seat belts! Very pretty.
Even the things to cover their little butts have changed - Nappies in Australia and the UK, Diapers in the US .
When we used cloth nappies they were white squares of towelling. For baby No.1 these were thick and fluffy and absorbent. By baby No. 3 and about 3000 hot washes they were almost see-through and were usually odd-shaped quasi-rectangles.
What's that you see? Nappy pins. Yes! actual sharp edges allowed to go near our precious wee-ones wee.
On freezing cold days in a town not too far from the snowfields of Mt Buller I would hang my little squares of white on the line and watch as they snap-froze like cardboard. I do not miss those days.
The lady at the Baby Boutique in town told me that Modern Cloth Nappies have "revolutionised the eco-aware mothers ability to choose earth friendly options."
Errr , okay.
They still just catch the poo right? I mean the Modern Cloth Nappy doesn't take time out each day to attend Earth Summits or petition the local member of parliament for better green waste disposal options?
Still just poo catchers ! Pretty ones !
And so to sleep - cribs and cots haven't changed much, although the baby hammocks are pretty cool and if I could afford an adult sized one, I would be sleeping in it right now.
However the how-to-sleep-your-baby rules have reversed. When I had my little people the rule was "Always and only on their side". We were told to not sleep our babies on their backs due to risk of choking. In the hospital they were swaddled to within an inch of their life and placed on their sides.
Now it's on the back and minimal blankets.
There were a few miscellaneous items I have found that have, quite frankly left me a little concerned.
Like I said, a Baby is a marketers dream.
Brooke,  if I catch you with a butt fan or bacon flavoured formula I will organise an intervention !
Linking up with the fabulous Cathy from The Camera Chronicles for another Flash Back Friday . Share your memories xxx

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Best Book Titles - Wordless Wednesday

Let me say this first - I am easily amused.
Set me down with 10 spare minutes and a google screen and I am as happy as a pig in poo!

This morning with a cup of coffee and too much time on my hands, I thought I would find a new book to download onto my Kindle.
So I googled "Funny Books" and hit search.

Now that I have stopped snort laughing, I am sharing my favourites, in all their glorious wrongness.


For woodworkers who have already made enough decorative bowls and cutting boards.

It seems there is no end to the handiness of some people, and whether you are a cat owner or dog owner there is no reason why you shouldn't be able to shave them bald and come up with something cosy.
If Self Improvement is more your thing, don't worry! I have something special for you.
I've tried this. It totally doesn't work.

Like, REALLY love him.
In red ink.
That's a lot of love.

Perhaps I should get a copy of this for J-man , along with a balaclava and a machine gun.

oh dear!

I think I already read this one.. I am awesome!

For those preferring some fictional escape -

Love the little elf cuddling Santa LOL


A question every mother has asked at least once in the toddler years.

Okay this one might be a fake but it made me laugh.

But this one is real. Someone actually thought that was an appropriate title.
And finally, for those nights when you just are not "In The Mood"

I'm off to buy some wool.

Linking up for Wordless Wednesday (or in my case Minimal Word usage as I can never shut up completely)

Trish at My Little Drummer Boys  

My Little Drummer Boys

Bree @ Twinkle in the Eye

& Create With Joy