September 11, 2012

Francesca's Farm

Francesca's farm is small. There are only three animals in it so far. But even since making this video last week, a snake, a horse and a gob-smacked mama have been added. The rate at which children learn at this age amazes me. I had forgotten. What a blessing Francesca has been added to my farm to help me remember.

September 7, 2012

National Fertility Week - There's Even A Quiz!

For those of us who struggle to fall pregnant, 'fertility' is another F word. And it's not an issue that goes on for just a week. Weeks become months and months become years and those years are filled with anticipation, anger, heartbreak, jealousy. Name an emotion and infertile couples OWN that emotion. Bitterness? Own it. Denial? Got three mortgages on it. Sadness? They've put houses and hotels on that one!

But the urge to have a baby is so strong, it can't be shut down or ignored or denied. You all know about my struggles with unexplained infertility. The feeling of failure and helplessness can be overwhelming.

Fortunately we live in an age when infertile couples have more options than ever before, more knowledge at their disposal, and terms like 'barren' are relegated to the waste bin along with 'bloodletting' and 'hysteria'.

This week is National Fertility Week and I urge any of you, my beautiful parents-in-waiting readers, to have a look at the official website. You'll find information on everything from egg freezing to male infertility to assisted reproduction. There's even a Fertility Quiz which is a must-do for anyone you know who might be putting off their baby-making agenda. It's quite an eye-opener actually. For example, what do you think is the answer to this one?

In 2009, the percentage of Australian and New Zealand women aged 35-39 who went home with a baby after beginning a cycle of IVF treatment was:
The answer might surprise you*.

So spread the word. National Fertility Week doesn't have to end on Sunday. It can go on every day of the year as we tell our stories and share our knowledge, making sure the next generation of young women have the best chance of success when they're ready to start their families.

*Answer is 18 percent. Woah!

September 3, 2012

Nanna Hats & Other Signs Of Growing Old

Friday night was our first Friday in several months that we didn't have Jack's rugby training and I can tell you, John and I were quite giddy with all the Friday night possibility that lay before us. Where shall we go? What shall we do?

In the golden days of part time children and heady romance, a Friday night knees-up might involve smart cocktails and designer beers in a Balmain wine bar followed by a swanky dinner in town at 9pm and a nightcap and long chats into the wee hours of the morning.

How things have changed. On Friday, I dug a voucher out of the bottom of a green Coles bag for 50% off main meals at the local pub and off we went at 5.30pm with the little kids in tow. In an attempt to capture the sophisticated recklessness of the Ghost Of Friday Nights Past, John ordered me a very large caprioska and indulged in a designer beer himself. And oh! It was delicious!! The vodka limey wonderfulness of that cocktail loosened me up and we had a fun hour eating our half price pub meals and chatting to our neighbouring diner (who happened to be Shannan Ponton from The Biggest Loser with his adorable new 9 week old son) and letting the kids eat ice cream.

And then we were home and it was still only 7.30pm! The kids were in bed and the possibilities of our evening spread out before us like an all-you-can-eat buffet at the Pre-Kid Saloon!

A movie! That's what we needed. A fabulous grown-up movie. With subtitles. Perfect.

I'm fairly sure I watched the opening credits but don't quote me. Take a tired mama, a caprioska and a little too much giddy anticipation and you have a soundly slumbering woman on the sofa at 8pm.

Not quite the result my husband was hoping for when he plied me with a cocktail and agreed to watch a Pedro Almodovar movie instead of Friday night football.

Falling asleep on the sofa, at a time when most of the crazy kids are only just starting to get ready to go out, is only one of the ways in which I appear to be growing old. But I'm not sure it's a bad thing. I've replaced partying with practicality.

Last Sunday I did* the Pub2Pub with three girlfriends. Sure, I could have worn a sporty looking cap. But a cap doesn't cover your ears or neck from sun exposure. No, I'm afraid only a wide brimmed hat would do. A nanna hat if you will. Yes it is daggy. Yes it makes me look un-sporty. But the other great advantage of getting old is that I don't give a shit. It's all about practicality. And no sunburn.

Not that there's ever really a question of how sporty I am. You're reading a woman who fell down her front steps a week ago. Just missed a step and bang, two bloody knees and scraped hands later I'm making a call to tell my mother I had a fall. A FALL! Ninety year old ladies have a 'fall'. Toddlers quite frequently have a 'fall'. Forty three year old women are not meant to have falls!!!

Other recent indications of my increasingly geriatric tendencies:
  • Being on the back stairs, I got distracted by Francesca and stopped, not to wonder what I was going upstairs or downstairs for, but whether I was going up the stairs or down the stairs. Now that's just plain scary.
  • Accidentally saying 'the' Facebook the other day. As in "I've put those pics up on the Facebook". Soooo baby boomer!
  • When I'm not listening to ABC local radio or reading the Women's Weekly, I'm listening to Smooth FM. And knowing all the words, even to Carpenters songs. But how is it I can remember all the words to Close To You and can't remember buying the roast chicken I found in the fridge last night? Frightening.
On the plus side, however, I am more tolerant these days. Tolerant of fools, toddlers that insist on carrying around bowls of rice bubbles, people who turn left from the centre of the road, husbands who snore and nine year olds who still think farts are hilarious. But I am less tolerant of bubble-bursters, naysayers and bullies. I used to put up with it. Now I don't.

And when I woke up early on Saturday morning after my caprioska induced slumber, I felt great. No hangover from too many wine bars and night caps and late night talkfests. No self-recrimination about what I may or may not have said in the throes of alcholic abandon ("We'd make bewdiful babies doncha reckon?").

I woke up on top of the world! (But not looking down on creation. That would be an indication of a near death experience and I'm not quite that old. Yet.)

* By 'did' I meant I strolled the whole 13kms talking to my friend. But it was definitely a fast(ish) stroll.

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