Monday, December 19, 2005

Must be Due for a Panic-Fest About Now...

Whats the best way to get Week 27 off to a memorable start? Spend all morning at the hospital? Yeh!

I was woken at 2am with cramping, which I initially just ignored, but after it started moving around to my lower back, and then radiating down through my groin and into my thighs it was pretty hard to ignore anymore. It was coming in waves, lasting about 30-60 seconds, and coming every 5-10 minutes for about an hour. I eventually woke up Monkey Boy to get me the wheat pillow and my pregnancy books so I could look up what the hell was going on. Dr Google was too far away (in our New Study) to be consulted at this particular juncture. The wheat pillow made the cramping settle down, but this morning over breakfast it was still there so I rang the birthing centre.

They thought it was probably Braxton Hicks, but to come in if I was worried. Well, I'm not going to pass up an opportunity to be worried, so we put the painting of Spudly's room on hold and went to the hospital to get everything checked out. After being on the CTG machine for half an hour, hearing Spud's heartbeat AND his hiccups and kicks, being poked and prodded, urine tested, bloody great speculum shoved up my whatsit (OUCH!) they confirmed two things:

1. I was definately having Braxton Hicks contractions
2. Spudly is a Hyperactive Baby.

Seems he's moving around so much that he's upsetting my uterus and making the contractions stronger. Given his father, I shouldnt be surprised really...

So now I know what the Braxton Hickseses feel like. Personally, I'd like the contractions to not get any stronger, please.

Oh, and as M said at our girlie lunch yesterday, I'd like one of those births that involve an orgasm.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Its a Sign

So the in-laws were driving home from country Victoria last week and noticed a sign in a small country town, just this side of the border.

Keeping in mind that Spudly's due date is March 27...





They have Mashed Potato Wrestling, and crown Mr & Mrs Spud.

I think, under the circumstances, we'd win.

The title. Not the wrestling.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Those were the days....

Outraged by Manuela's recent comments about my faux-pas photograph, which I'll Have You Know was Very Stylish way back in 1990, I have decided to come clean, step into the light and admit to all that I was an 80's Fashion Victim.

Not as bad as Lala, who is still wearing HER 80's outfits, but nonetheless...

Whilst cleaning all the shit out of the soon-to-be-Spud-room, I came across some old dressmaking patterns I had squirreled away with the obvious intention of making one day. Actually, I did make one of them, and I still have it somewhere...

I am particularly fond of the purple puffball, especially with its divine little bows around the hemline. Would go very well with the Leg O Mutton Sloives, Kimmy.

Friday, December 09, 2005

Dont get in my way - I'm Nesting!

I've been back from our WONDERFUL holiday for a whole week now, and I probably should have written a little something to describe the lovely time we had canoeing and relaxing and eating and such, but as soon as we got back we started renovating and I've been trapped under layers of paint ever since.

This has very conveniently coincided with the onset of the nesting instinct, which I must say I never believed in before. I have revised my opinion.

So, when the dust settles, and the paint finally washes off my skin and out of my hair, I will write something extraordinary (or, at least, write something...)

In the meantime, here's a couple of photos from our holiday:

Panda and Spudly enjoy a lovely spread of nibblies and champers for our 2nd anniversary breakfast.

Dawn at our cottage hideaway

The happy couple find their favourite driveway and do a dodgy self-timer portrait in a gale.

Not looking quite so relaxed and gorgeous, here's me getting stuck into our front room, which has been in various states of falling-downness for 5 years:

This is how I will look for at least the next two weeks. Charming. More renovation photos will ensue once the room is finished. Which will be tomorrow. Hehehehe. Tomorrow! Boff-o!

Yesterday we had the 24 week antenatal appointment. Everything is hunky-dory, the Birthing Unit are v. happy to have me, Spudly's heartbeat is nice and strong and loud, and he's practicing for the synchronised swimming team. I feel enormous, which is probably becasue I AM enormous, and my ligaments have started hurting in my lower pelvis. But never mind that, I've got cornices to paint...

Oh, and so's you understand my enthusiasm for getting stuff down asap, here's the room where Spudly will be sleeping:

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Mixed Bag

A few general observations and such before I go away for a week and have a glorious holiday for the first time in a year.

  • I've been sick. Man Cold* sick. Some dodgy Monkey gave it to me, and I'm Not Impressed, especially since he gets the good drugs and I get nothing. I think I'll be better by Monday, when we leave, but in the meantime: WAAAA!
  • Spudly can now be seen moving around! I oughta sell tickets. This is most definately the weirdest thing I've ever experienced in my life. I feel like I'm in Alien.
  • I had really bad reflux last night and had to "sleep" propped up for the first time. And I was hoping to get away with no dodgy tummy stuff happening. Hmph. Perhaps it was the packet of Mint Slice biscuits I had for dinner...
  • I found a really cool bug in my strawberry patch today. Anyone know what it is? I know its a beetle. But what kind of beetle?

Its our second wedding anniversary on Tuesday, so we're heading off to the spot where we started our honeymoon and go back to every year. We have a self-contained cottage on the clifftop overlooking private wetlands. Its quiet, very secluded, and the only sounds you can hear are the frogs and birds of the lagoon. I can not wait.

When I get back, I might write a post on how a Monkey and a Panda got together.

I wont send a postcard. And as much as I dig you all, I'm glad you wont be there.

* Man Cold: a type of upper respiratory infection that is essentially very mild and short-lived, but the sufferer is convinced nonetheless they are going to die.

And So The Family Saga Continues...

I had to take my father to see his specialist on Wednesday. This time he had another memory test to check whether the Aracept is working and improving his memory or not.

The answer is not.

Only one point of difference from 4 months ago, and that was in the negative direction. He's also lost 5 kilos in the past 8 weeks, which is quite a concern. He gets to stay on the meds for another 8 weeks to see if he's a "late responder" but the Doc is not optimistic. Nor am I.

I briefed the doc on the situation at home, and with my wiley and tricksy Panda ways managed to convince the doc of the necessity for him to take responsibility for convincing my mother they need help. I've told mum the doctor wants to speak to her next Wednesday morning, first thing. I havent told her what about. And the best thing about my plan: I'm going to be away and uncontactable all next week, so she cant ring me up and abuse me after she gets off the phone from him.

I also told her that I would not be able to guarantee my availability to take dad to further appointments from now on.

As much as it pains me in one way to do it, I have successfully managed to extricate myself from the untenable situation of taking full responsibility for people who dont want to be helped.

Now I just have to ensure I dont get sucked back in. Although, with a Monkey on my team, I dont think thats going to happen.

Friday, November 18, 2005

Dominate The Subversive Paradigm!

Activist Mama
You're an agitator! Your kids have grown up on the
front lines of rallies and pickets, and chances
are that you boycott at least one company for
its bad business practices. Your kids are
learning what matters to you and how they can
change what matters to them.

What kind of a freaky mother are you?
brought to you by Quizilla

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

I Know You Have An Opinion

So let me have it.

New Poll time: which way does the toilet paper HAVE to hang?

Not that I'm a Pedantic Whackjob or anything (that's Monkey Boy's job), but I like mine to hang forwards. Easy access when you need it.

Oh My God! They Read My Diary!

Yes folks, I'm bored today.

How did they know I had a huge crush on MJF???

Your 80s Heartthrob Is

Michael J. Fox

What I Did On My Weekend

In lieu of anything interesting to say, here's a photo essay on how we spent our weekend.

Monkey Boy recently retrieved his Lego from his parents place. They think we wanted it for Spudly.

They were wrong.

Battle Dragster. Note the rather excessive amount of weaponry. I think one of the guns was labelled a Cheese-Gathering Torpedo. There's a little man with a slopey brick for a head behind the blue canopy.

Assorted vehicles for backup. You never know when you will need a wacky tricycle or a Headless Hotrod.

Its a helicopter. It has guns and goes woketa woketa. Apparently.

Disabled Battle Segue. Mr Spastic previously had only one hand, but through the miracle of medical technology (and finding a spare hand on the floor) he had a donated hand reattached. As yet he doesnt have much feeling in it, so he fires the rocket launcher with his good hand.

Space Pirate on his Hovercraft Space Pirate Radio Station, which plays nothing but Take On Me by A-Harrrr.

Mr Teapot Rotor-head controls the whole fleet, and shoots flames out of his head. Handy.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

I Almost Forgot

Spudly LOVED The Bangles gig, of course. Especially the really heavy bass that makes your chest vibrate. I got lots of kicking through that! And I had my very first random drive-by belly grope after the gig. The woman was very nice and all, but it was weird. And so it begins.

The next morning we had our antenatal appointment at the hospital. Which they kept us waiting almost an hour for. Grrrr. Results of the ultrasound were as normal as you can get, which is disturbing, for me anyways. I will have another ultrasound at 32 weeks to check on the low-lying placenta, but I have been assured both by the hospital and by Google University that a low-lying placenta at 20 weeks is extremely common and they do move. I believe them. I will not worry. I will instead look forward to another opportunity to have a look at the Spudster.

My blood pressure has gone down down Funky Town. 100/50. This seems ridiculously low to me, but apparently this just happens between 18-28 weeks. It explains the lightheadedness and dizziness and such. Must drink more water.

I was given the all-clear to use the Birthing Unit, which is fabuloso. We spent another half an hour around there to make another appointment for 4 weeks time, but got a tour out of it. V. pleased that their birthing philosophy gels exactly with mine: that is, birth is a natural event that the body knows how to do and not something for the medicos to get all uppity about.

Spudly is kicking many times a day now, which is very comforting. Well, the kicks in the cervix or further around the back arent quite so comforting... I've discovered he reacts very quickly to chocolate. Every single time, he's kicking away within 10-15 minutes of me eating some. I have decided therefore to have some medical emergency chocolate in the house at all times, for those occasions when I am panicking about not having felt him kick in a while. Purely for emergencies. You understand.

So, nothing happening in the medical department for another month. In the meantime, Monkey Boy finishes his prac. teaching placement next week (that is, the Friday coming up) and the week after that we GO AWAY for our 2nd anniversary holiday, back to the place we started our honeymoon, for 4 whole days of peace and quiet and relaxation and canoeing and canoodling. Yeh-heh.

I Stand Corrected

Not about the divineness of The Bangles. This was never in doubt.

About the Johnny Depp-ness of previous lovely pirate image.

Lala (and Monkey Boy): you were right. Seems I was taken in by some bloody Pommy lookalike.


To make up for this indiscretion, I now provide the following for your enjoyment...

Now thats how you do pirating. Mm-mmm. They can unbuckle my swash any time.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Spudly's First Gig

The delightful V bought me a very lovely birthday present. Tonight she pays up.

We're Going Down to Adelaide to Do Something....*

The question is; should I go the big Susannah Hoffs hair or not? I have the earrings. From 1985. Sad, I know.

Monkey Boy has already been muttering displeased things about His Son being forcefully exposed to Crap 80s Music.

If you know the song I have horribly misquoted, I will love you forever.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Letting the Team Down

MOGADISHU, Somalia, Nov. 5 (UPI) -- The Seabourn Cruise Lines ship "Spirit" was attacked by pirates off the coast of Somalia early Saturday morning but escaped capture.Two boats carrying between eight and 10 pirates armed with machine guns and rocket-propelled grenade launchers attacked the "Spirit," which had 150 passengers and 160 crew members on board, CNN reported.

Pirates in a tinny? Pirates with rocket-propelled grenades and bazookas? Where's the really big hats and the eye patches? And the cannons full of forks? And the swords? I dont see any swashbuckling going on.

Pirates these days. They have no idea. These guys are just giving pirates a bad name. Havent they heard about the Pirate Code?

They need a few lessons from this chap...

Now HE'S a pirate!

Friday, November 04, 2005

Check Out My Assets!

My blog is worth $15,807.12.
How much is your blog worth?

There's another Poll over there

Having resoundedly won the last Vox Pop, I now graciously retire undefeated in the House of Panda Philosophical Debates World Series. Panda: 2 Monkey Boy: 1

You are, of course, all correct. You CAN look at something you cant see. You cant see air, but you are looking at it. You cant see the individual molecules of your computer screen, but you're still looking at them. Monkey Boy is just daft when he says you cant look at something you cant see. That's what you get for swinging from trees and eating bananas all day I guess.

So, the new Poll. We've decided to keep Spudly's name a secret. (Hint: Its not Spudly. Except to my mate M, who insists its an excellent name and will continue to call Spudly Spudly.) Well, when I say secret, of course I mean I've told two people already. But one of those was my therapist, so that doesnt count. The other was told not to disclose on pain of death. We figure that telling people is just opening ourselves up to unwelcome comments on our choice, and protestations about not including any "traditional" family names in there somewhere. Do not fret, my friends: we have not decided upon Mykynzy.

What would y'all do? Spill the beans or keep it a secret?

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

And The Verdict Is....

Ultrasound Day. 19week poser shot. How d'yall like my new op-shop $12 outfit?

Check out how much the pudding has grown in 3 days.

And now from the inside:

  • Fingers and toes all accounted for (we both were couting them as they waved around).
  • Brain present.
  • Heart functioning properly.
  • All bits measuring 19 weeks.
  • Size of head 6.5cm x 4 cm, which is the size of Spudly's entire body only 6 weeks ago.
  • Personality: subversive. Did not want to co-operate or face the right way.
  • Placenta: low-lying at 1.6cm fromthe cervical opening. I will not panic. I will not panic. Its still early days and it can (and more than likely will) move up by the 8th month. I am, however, Googling placenta praevia.
And the thing everyone wants to know.....












Thursday, October 27, 2005

Bellies! Get your bellies here!

Yes, I'm slack in the posting photos department. Since I'm now scared of Manuela, I have done as she ordered, and got the belly shots off the camera. At considerable faffing-aroundness to me, I might add.

Here's Spudly at 16.5 weeks:

And as a comparison, today at 18.5 weeks:

It doesnt look like there's been much change really, but when I look closely I can see that my belly is bigger overall and possibly a bit lower, rather than having changed shape.

Although, when you look at big pudding from the front, it definately looks more pregnant than fat.

The pyjamas are most fetching, dontcha think?

And by way of something more pleasing to look at than daggy peejays and a big belly, alpacas that live next to the in-laws:

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Shopping and Snacks - the Thinking Woman's Prozac

Its truly amazing how much Retail Therapy helps make everything better. I took myself op-shopping yesterday afternoon and for the grand total of $22 found myself two pairs of pants that fit divinely (including a brand new pair of hipster jeans - god how I've missed jeans), 3 divine and sexy tops which accentuate the cuteness of my belly, and an adorable little fluffy purple coat for Spudly.

I got home to find Monkey Boy just pulling up, 2 hours early. He bunked off school so he could come home and make sure I was okay. I love that monkey. Even more so after he suggested snacks. Crisps and icecream blocks. Yummo. Love those "banana" flavoured Paddle Pops. Taste like no banana I've ever met.

I want to thank everyone who left me incredibly sensible and wise comments on my last post. You guys totally rock, and you're heartfelt expressions of care really touched me. Of course, after stepping back a little from the intense emotion of the other day, I can see that the right thing to do is look after me first and foremost. This is a novelty for me. Not something I've ever really done before, so it is an alien concept, but one I will do my utmost to embrace.

So enough wallowing in the mire of fucked parents! On to happier things!

Like Spudly movements! Which is a fair old indication that this baby is still alive. Alive, and most definately kicking. Last night I was trying to get to sleep and had to give Spud a stern talking to about the time and place for aerobics classes. So this might actually mean that everything is, you know, okay.

And boobs! Actual boobs! Boobs that will now hold a pencil! They had a growth spurt this week. By crikey, did they have a growth spurt.

And its less than a week until the ultrasound.

And the plastering in the front room will be finished today, which means we will have a NEW STUDY in 4 weeks time! I have been waiting for over 5 years to get this room finished. Its very exciting.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005


What is it about our parents that gives them the power to make us feel like we're naughty children again? Or is it just my mother?

I am all cried out this morning. Yesterday did NOT go well. Not that I expected it would, but I did expect to be able to get out of mum and dad's house without a screaming match. Stupid me. I managed to get away from there just before bursting into tears, whereupon I went and sat on my friends porch crying for an hour waiting for her to get home. The tears came again in the middle of the night after rehashing the events of the day and realising that yet again my mother has managed to make me feel like a horrible person.

I'm exhausted. Monkey Boy, who sat up with me and helped talk me through the anguish, is also exhausted. Spudly took the opportunity to start a bit of enthusiastic dancing on my cervix to let me know that he/she actually is still alive.

Apart from the usual crap that she spews forth in these situations (nothing wrong, not having help, blah blah) she also took the opportunity to let me know that:
  • If I hadnt left her at the supermarket that day she would never have had the fall and wouldnt be injured in the first place.
  • I dont care about her at all, I only care about my father.
  • I dont care about anyone but myself.
  • I'm an interfering, problem-causing bitch.
  • I've never done anything to help them before so why start now.
  • I should just go home and leave her alone and not come back.
Her behaviour, the tone of her voice, the look on her face, all took me instantly back to when I was 14 and she was going through menopause in a permanently psychotic state. I still bear the emotional scars from that period of my life. I didnt really need such a vivid reminder of exactly what it was like.

Dad's GP is very concerned about the situation, very concerned about mum's fall and the fact that she hasnt had any treatment, and very concerned about the level of care (or lack thereof) that dad is getting. But here's the thing: our wonderful health system seems to operate on the premise that the patient has to want assistance before they can receive it. Yes, that's right. Ask the crazy person if they're insane. Even if I could get an ACAT (Aged Care Assessment Team) through the door, they will ask dad (with dementia) if he needs help, and ask my mum (lying, in denial, stubborn and/or suffering head trauma or complete breakdown) if she needs help. Neither one will say yes, so they wont get help.

And that is the bottom line. I could go to the Supreme Court to have the Medical Power of Attorney declared invalid. Which, it turns out, it is, since dad already had dementia when he signed it. Then I would have to apply for Guardianship of dad, if not both of them. And then what? I'm solely responsible for every single decision about my parents lives while trying to get through this pregnancy and deal with a new baby? Monkey Boy made it perfectly clear that even if I were insane enough to consider this option, he would put both feet firmly down and absolutely forbid it.

I feel like no matter what I do at this point, I am doing the wrong thing. If I do everything possible to help my parents, I'm putting my own health and Spudly's at risk. If I look after myself and Spud then I'm putting my parents' health at risk. If I accept that the system is fucked then I am condoning it, helping to perpetuate its fuckedness and letting down people who manifestly need help.

There is nothing I can do to help my parents without - ultimately - compromising the health of Spudly. Therefore the only thing I can do is walk away. And this sits very painfully with me.

Friday, October 21, 2005

Pre-emptive Euthanasia, anyone?

I made some phone calls yesterday morning about my father. Found out about the District Nurse who can come around to do an assessment as to what kind of care he needs and how bad the incontinence is and such. Then rang my mother to have a chat about it and find out if she was aware of the smell in the house the other day.

Go on. Guess how well it went.

Yep. Insert previous wailing banshee episode here.

I started off by asking her if she noticed the smell of urine on Tuesday. Yes. She had. She's been spraying air freshener around the house until Wednesday night until she couldnt stand it anymore, then told dad he stank and to go and change and have a bath. Well, he changed his clothes but he didnt wash. So, she put up with this situation for THREE DAYS.

Me: Fairly obvious he has an incontinence problem.
Mother: Oh no. He'd just run out of underpants because I hadnt done any washing.
Me: Running out of jocks does not make the whole house reek of urine.
Mother: All men dribble a little bit.
Me: This is not a little bit of dribble. This is very clearly an incontinence issue.
Mother: Dont be stupid. He's not incontinent. He goes to the bathroom.
Me: How do you know? I rang up the Aged Care Assessment....
Mother: (crying and screaming) NO! Just leave me alone! There's nothing wrong with dad and I wont have people coming into the house to take over. Just leave me to deal with it in my own way.
Me: But your NOT dealing with it, your ignoring it. (Gratuitous use of the f-word) I'm not going to let dad live like this, in his own filth, without any help.
Mother: (still crying and screaming) You cant take over. Just leave us alone. There's nothing wrong with him.
Me: (More use of the f-word and hang up.)

So I rang dad's specialist, who wants dad to see his GP to check it isnt something simple like an infection which has precipitated the incontinence. But he also believes that my mother needs to be assessed as she's more than likely not competant to make any decisions and that if she continues in refusing assessment or treatment for dad then I will have to apply for Enduring Power of Guardianship. At the moment, both she and I have dad's Medical Power of Attorney, with her as first Medical Agent and me as second. I discovered that if she refuses to act according to dad's wishes or in his best interests then I can override her decisions, which is obviously what is going to have to happen in the short term. But that of course means constant fights with her, probably to even get in the house in future.

In the immediate term, I made an appointment with the GP for Monday, at which I will not only get dad checked out but mention my mother's injuries and her mental state and see if anything can be done for her. I doubt it though. I had a long chat with a good friend of mine last night, who will go around to see them on the weekend. My mother likes N and since she is older than me and not her kid, we figure that mum is more likely to listen to what N has to say, even if it is exactly the same as what I've been saying to her.

I SO dont need this. My stress levels are through the roof. I woke up in the middle of the night last night bawling about this crap. Monkey Boy doesnt need it because he's now stressing out about how much its upsetting me and feels bad because he's on prac placement for 5 weeks and not around to help as backup. And Spudly sure as hell doesnt need all this adrenaline running through its system.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

We will now return to our regular programming

Okay, feeling much calmer and less likely to kill today. Monkey Boy came home bearing Macaroni Cheese, so how could I NOT feel better?

I've been meaning to do a few more pregnancy updates, but, um, havent. Here goes:

  • My blood pressure this week is 128/70. Nice.
  • My brain is on vacation, judging by the fact that on more than one occasion I hold my bag or purse in one hand and continue to frantically search for it. I've also put my box of muesli in the fridge. WTF???
  • I think I'm still getting occasional flutters, but now I'm just not sure if I'm making it all up.
  • According to The Books, Spudly can now hear and is able to detect light shining directly on my belly. We're going spotlighting for Spudly tonight!
  • Hormones...well you already know what they're doing!
  • Starting to get very antsy about the upcoming ultrasound. I want to have it very much, but not if there's any bad news a-coming.
  • Mostly I have more energy and the renovations are now progressing. The other day I got stuck into plastering until my arms ached so much I had lost the will to live. Pacing. I need to learn pacing.
  • I've been taking weekly belly shots, but am too slack to walk all.the.way.over.there to get the camera and faff about plugging it in etc. You'll just have to wait. Then I'll do a series. Wont that be exciting?
  • We now have baby stuff in the house that people have given us. Like a pram. And a baby sling/carrier dealy. And a high chair. And some baby clothes. Its too weird. I walk past the pram several times a day and wonder who the hell that's supposed to be for.

On a housekeeping note: my gmail account has been playing up, so if I dont answer your emails for a while its not because I hate you. Its because gmail is being stupid dumb and gay and wont let me open any mail.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Family Update

Lets start with the crappier family update story, so we can finish on a high note. How's that sound?

Went to see my olds yesterday. I walked into the house and it absolutely REEKED of urine. My dad reeks of urine. His bedroom reeks of urine. His clothes were filthy. WHATTHEFUCK???

Can my mother not smell this because she lives with it or is it yet another case of "Oh, I cant deal with this so I'll ignore it?"

I didnt talk to mum about it yesterday because I didnt want to embarass dad. Much easier to do on the phone, because then he's not hanging around trying to listen to what's being said. Dad's specialist appointment is not for another 4 weeks. I'm thinking that if things have progressed to the point of obvious incontinence issues that maybe staying in his home is no longer an option.

His condition continues to deteriorate, despite the medication. It would not surprise me at all if he is continuing to have minor strokes. I left the room for ten minutes yesterday to go to the shops and when I got back he didnt remember that I'd been there at all.

I really dont know what to do. Phone calls need to be made. Advice needs to be sought. I need to find some way of not stressing radically over fixing this.

Now on to the happy family matter:

Monkey Boy has been estranged from his parents for just over two years. They didnt come to our wedding. There was a huge falling out when we started planning our wedding, which appeared to come out of the blue when we changed our plans and they were "not approved of" by the old folks. Hurtful things were said. Monkey Boy threw some poo-covered bananas. I felt like I wasnt a welcome addition to the family and it was all my fault.

In hindsight, these things never come out of the blue, and it actually had nothing to do with me. It had nothing to do with the wedding. It had a lot to do with the expectations they had of Monkey Boy, and those Monkey Boy had of his parents. They were each expecting the other to behave in ways that were unrealistic. He couldnt see who they were, and they couldnt see who he was. (It probably didnt help that his mother was going through menopause at the time.) So Monkey decided that for his own sanity he couldnt deal with them. He had to break ties in order to break the really negative patterns that had been present his whole life.

Best thing he ever did. Monkey Boy figured out who he was, and that he wasnt responsible for everyone else's happiness, and that it was okay to do what you wanted to do and that wasnt letting anyone else down. He got his shit together. He started living HIS life, not what someone else thought should be his life.

Then, unexpectedly, a few weeks ago, his father rang. They agreed to meet up for lunch to talk stuff over. Monkey Boy told him about Spudly. His father told his mother about Spudly. His mother immediately rang home and was incredibly happy for us. They decided to put the past behind them and make a clean start.

They do actually seem to have changed. They both seem much calmer than they were when I met them 3 years ago. They seem much more accepting of me, and of who their son is. I'm not sure what has brought this about: whether its the honeymoon phase of having their only son back in their lives, whether its the space apart to reflect upon the things that happened, whether its HRT, whether its the promise of the first grandchild. I dont know.

I am just very relieved that this background stress is no longer hovering around us, that at a time when I feel like I'm losing my family Monkey Boy has regained his, and that there can be at least one set of grandparents for Spudly to grow up knowing.

Hormones Are Not My Friends

I have to bitch.

Not because I want to. In fact, I have thought a lot about posting on this, because the person concerned may read it. But post and bitch I will, because really, its not about her, its about me. And I need some feedback. I need you guys to tell me I'm not a horrible person. Only if I'm not, mind. If I am, then please let me have it.

Friend, whom I shall call Britney for the oh-so-clever "Oops I Did It Again" reference, did a drive-by "up-the-duff" announcement yesterday. Her second. Neither conceived whilst "trying". Both conceived ridiculously easily.

But wait. there's more. On the basis of peeing on a stick three times she is telling her employer this week. No hcg test. No second, third, fourth hcg test to check levels are doubling. No panic-induced ultrasound to rule out ectopic etc, only one to check dates because she doesnt know when she conceived.

Just assumes that its all normal and a pink line means in 8 months you get a baby.

Must be bloody nice.

I hate her.

Well not really hate. Okay, I hate the fact that she can get pregnant without trying and has no bloody idea how lucky she is, and I hate the unfairness of our situation in comparison and okay so I hate her.

I hate the fact that in the time its taken us to conceive Spudly, with all the tests and medication and loss of dignity and regimented sex life and loss and heartbreak we've got through, she's had one child and is now expecting another. I hate the fact that she's known for a few days and assumes she will get a baby out of this. I'm 17.5 weeks and I dont expect a baby out of it. Not really.

I also hate the fact that I feel this way. I wish I could just be happy for her. I'm fully aware that how easy or difficult it is for someone else to have kids makes no difference to my experience and outcomes whatsoever. I'm also fully aware that there are going to be people out there who will be thinking "Just shut the fuck up, you're pregnant. What the hell are you bitching about this crap for."

I'm jealous as hell that it happens so easily for some people, that they can pop out kids without even blinking, and that they can do it over and over. Since Spudly is a statistical marvel, I'm not holding out any hope for another "natural conception." Which means, as we know, once infertile, always infertile, and back to The Clinic we would have to go. More than likely, if Spudly hangs around, this will be our only child.

Its not fair and I want to pout and stamp my feet.


*stamp stamp*

Hello hormones, my old friend,
You've come to help me kill again....

Friday, October 14, 2005

Another Vox Pop

Since my hormones have overtaken me and I'm now getting the "round ligament pain" in my lower pelvis, which bloody hurts, I'm not feeling particularly sociable nor talkative.

I have, however, put up a new Poll to settle an ongoing argument in the House of Panda: can you look at something you cant see.

Think carefully about this one. It will require a thought experiment or two. Think about air, or individual molecules, or men who are staring at their keys and still cant find them.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

16 week Update

Okay, so I didnt get to update you all as soon as I would have liked, but as promised I came back and am ready to spill.

Firstly, the Poll. I won the first. Monkey Boy won the second Poll. Which leads me to believe that y'all are FUCKED and completely inconsistent. HOW can the majority say that next Saturday is the one in the following week, but the Monday in the following week is THIS Monday? HUH??? (Assumes Pauline Hanson accent). Please explain. Monkey Boy and I have been arguing over this for the past two years. He has weird-ass conceptions of how time is divided up, and I maintain that time is divided into days and weeks and months and years and seasons and its a fairly useful construct to stick with because then everyone knows what the hell you're talking about. THIS monday is the Monday of the week your currently in. THIS Saturday is the Saturday of the week you're in. NEXT monday or Saturday would thus be referring to the week after the one you're currently in. Why dont people get this?????

There endeth my rant.

Now to the Spud.

  • Far exceeding my wildest expectations, I made it to 16 weeks, developed a very nice and obviously-not-peppermint-icecream-belly and STARTED FEELING FLUTTERS!!!!! Oh my god what a weird sensation. Like a cross between a twitching muscle, butterflies in the tummy and gas. And that Spud can really move. Probably will turn out to be hyperactive like its father. Oh goody.
  • The nausea has pretty much stopped, although occasionally the gagging still happens, usually after eating and then engaging in any sort of movement.
  • I'm not as tired as I was in the first trimester, but I did spend the entire weekend in bed, so I dont know where that leaves the previous statement on the factually correct continuum.
  • I need to pee continuously.
  • I have headaches every day, which sucks.
  • I need to eat continuously.
  • My digestive system is...sluggish....shall we say.
  • The skin on my face has plumped up and some of my wrinkles laugh lines have disappeared, as has the acne. Woohoo!
  • I have peach fuzz on my belly. No-one ever warned me about peach fuzz. I'm wondering at what point do I have to start waxing?
  • I have stopped worrying about Spudly being okay and replaced it with worrying about getting the house finished in time and about the whole childbirth thing. Two nights ago, I woke up about 3am in an absolute panic about how Spudly was going to come out. So I woke up Monkey Boy and informed him that he had 5 months to figure out some sort of alternative Spudly Transportation Device that did not involve it coming out of either my fanny or my abdomen. I am leaving it in his capable hands.
  • Next scan is November 1, which happens to be Melbourne Cup Day. I will thus place my bets according to the outcome of the scan.

I'm sure that there's more stuff. The pregnesia hasnt improved any, so there's bound to be heaps that I've forgotten. I have a belly pic on the camera that I will indeed post once the camera is charged again. There's also some family stuff to report on, but that's needs a post all of its very own.

Saturday, October 08, 2005

I Am A Bad Bad Panda #2

Okay, okay. I'm sorry. I truly am. I knew that there would be people starting to freak out, but I didnt expect to have 52 emails in my inbox when I got online again!


I'm slack and too stupid to remember to pay my ISP account on time, thereby having no internet access for two weeks, but other than that, perfectly okay.

I do want to say, though, that I am very touched indeed by everyone's concern for my well-being and I find it amazing that people I've never met can care so much about me. So thankyou and big soppy internet hugs to everyone who expressed their concern.

I also want to say that you dont want to get on Manuela's bad side, because she WILL track you down. Crazy bloody Canadadians.

Right. Now my aliveness has been confirmed, I'm going to read what everyone else has been up to.

I will be back. Soon.


Friday, September 23, 2005

Spudly's First Report Card

We had our antenatal review appointment yesterday, at which I was to get the all-clear for using the Birthing Centre, and get the results of the NT scan.

Important matters first:
  • Nuchal fold measured 2.5mm, which is within tolerance.
  • My risk of Downs Syndrome is 1:759, half the normal risk for my age group. Awesome.
  • We heard Spudly's heartbeat again, this time a more sedate 153bpm. Seems it didnt appreciate the full bladder on Tuesday. Well, neither did I!
  • Crown to rump length is 7cm.
  • Spudly is, officially, an excellent baby.
  • Next scan is on 1 November.

Now to me:
  • My blood pressure 130/80, normal for me.
  • My chest is clear.
  • The top of my uterus is now just under my belly button.
  • My paranoia about no nausea, headaches, emotional retardedness, painful tummy, various body parts going into spasm, etc is all perfectly normal and can be blamed on the progesterone. Stupid progesterone.
  • I have an extra thud in my heart, which is consistent with my mitral valve prolapse.
As a result, I have to have an Echocardiogram in 3 weeks to check there is no backflow of blood into the heart. Once we have the results of that test and the 19 week scan, they will decide on Birthing Centre or not.

But apart from my dicky heart, which isnt really all that dicky, everything is Normal.

Fancy that.

What is this "normal" of which you speak?

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Meet Spudly

Two amazing things happened yesterday.

1. I threw up for the first time. Stupid bloody wand monkeys making you drink 1 litre of water in half an hour when you already feel queasy. What do they expect you're gonna do?

2. I stopped worrying.

Here's why:

Measured 13 weeks. Heartbeat 180bpm. Seems to have the appropriate number of limbs. Keen on waving at the camera and kicking.


That's a baby.

In me.

So that paunch ISNT just peppermint icecream and macaroni cheese (listening, Jet?) Its an


It has its father's head.

As I was saying to Monkey Boy yesterday, I cant even get a tomato plant to start flowering in 7 weeks. How on earth does the Spudmeister go from a little blobby thing to an actual fully-formed human in 7 weeks?

No bloody wonder I've felt like crap.

So. Spudly. There you are.

Very nice to meet you at long last.

Monday, September 19, 2005

More input needed

One of us was not satisfied with the outcome of the last Poll. One of us has therefore decided that a similar, but different in an important way, question must be asked.

C'mon people. Do you want Spudly to come from a broken home?

Go vote then.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Infertility War Syndrome

We Reproductively Challenged Bitches must have some sense of what it must be like to be a war veteran. I think that now I finally understand why it is so hard for those men to come home and rejoin regular society. They just dont fit in anymore. They're experiences have been so utterly life-changing and so out of the realm of ordinary experience that no-one who hasnt been there can possibly relate to them. So they cant relate to "regular" people (or, "regular" people cant relate to them), and they dont want to keep in contact with their war mates because its too painful and brings back to many memories. What do they do? To whom can they turn for kinship? My guess is that there are precious few places they can turn.

This is kind of how I feel too. I've changed so much over the last two years that I dont fit into my "regular" group of friends anymore. I dont feel exactly like I fit in with women who are still in the trenches of infertility treatments. I dont feel comfortable in labelling myself "just another pregnant woman", because I'm not. I'm a pregnant infertile who is totally paranoid its all going to come crashing down in a big pile of bloody grossness at any minute. And that's a fairly select group with which to find a Local Chapter and have Coffee Mornings.

This sounds a bit like a "nobody loves me, everybody hates me" whinge. I know that's not true. There ARE people who love me. There are people who get what I'm going through (though they all exist in my computer). But my circle of comfort and belonging has changed, and I dont have anywhere - apart from with Monkey Boy - that feels like home now.

Its probably a transitory phase, and probably not helped by the increased hormones. I definately feel like I'm entering the "emotional and weepy" part of the proceedings. My therapist would tell me this is not at all surprising given what huge changes I've undergone and that it will feel strange and uncomfortable for a while.

But goddamn it, I hate strange and uncomfortable! I want warm and fuzzy and everybody loves me.

I want to not have been at the front line.

Is the Universe trying to tell me something?

I'd only just finished writing a couple of emails to people about how nobody loves me and everybody hates me or, conversely, how I hate everybody. Then I trundled off to check where the past day's visitors have come from.

There's a search query that found me.

I'm number 8 on the list of an msn search for "positive attitude".

Firstly, how bloody unlikely is it that you would put those two words together and think that my blog is a reasonable place to find what you're looking for?

Secondly, is it not telling me something that I end up being NUMBER EIGHT on the list?

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Lalalala not listening...

Cricket is a dumbass game anyway.

We never liked cricket.

We realised how crap it is and decided to give it away.

We chose to lose so we never had to play again.

We seeded the clouds so it would rain and we'd lose time.

Warney deliberately dropped catches.

We bribed the umpires to make crap decisions.

Stupid cricket.

Monday, September 12, 2005

Spudly gets some sunshine

I still reckon it just looks like I'm fat, but that there is a 12 week old Spudly.

Sunday, September 11, 2005

Milestone the second

12 weeks. I made it to twelve weeks.

In the past week:

  • my nausea stopped
  • the headaches that last for hours replaced it
  • I got laid
  • my lower back started hurting constantly (possibly due to point 3)
  • the DBTs grabbed hold of my brain and wouldnt let go
  • my Snarky Bitch levels have risen propitiously
  • my belly popped
  • I've been finishing off Spudly's pancreas
  • my nausea came back (thus lessening DBTs)
Another whole week until the Nuckle-Head Scan, but I think I might actually be able to last that long now, without going completely insane.

I'll post a belly shot soon. Mostly, I think I just look fat and bloated. Monkey Boy thinks I look glorious, so I'll choose to believe him, and possibly wont divorce him this week. Or would that be next week?

This is not just a Poll

This is a "Lets-End-This-Argument-Once-And-For-All" Poll.

Its all about what one means by "this week" and "next week". One of us (I wont say which, so as not to skew the voting) thinks that "next Saturday" means the Saturday that is coming up next, (e.g. in two days). The other thinks that "next Saturday" means the one that is in the week after the current week.

This argument has been going on for about two years. We've vox-popped all our friends and the votes are split. We need an international perspective.

We both think the other's perspective is completely fucked.

Its up to all of you to save our marriage. So please, vote wisely!

The Stats are in.

50% of you cant start a relationship without alcohol.

50% of you think the idea of having sex for fun is rather amusing.

55% of you are either in your 30's, or have exceptional taste in music, or are teenagers just discovering the "retro chic" of the 80's.

74% of you first had sex between the ages of 16 and 23

75% of you like my honesty more than anything else.

28% of you have had between 1 and 5 sexual partners, but surprisingly, 27% of you have had over 30 or lost count...

64% of you are left-wing subversives

80% of you must have a weight problem, given your thoughts on peppermint iccream

25% of you would eat kitty pie if there was no dolphin pie left. 10% of you are allergic to pie.

The vast majority of you are only interested in voting in polls that are about sex or food.

I have therefore determined, through my extremely scientific study, that the average Pandamonium reader is a left-wing subversive in their 30's, obsessed with sex but doesnt actually enjoy it, has poor social skills, is appreciative of honesty, and despite being overweight likes eating Dolphin Pie.

You people are weird.

Batten down the yardmasts! Trim off the anchor! Bring me another cabin boy, this one's busted!*

I have to admit to something.

I like pirates.

Our engagement party was a Pirate Party. I was a wench, and Monkey Boy was the Cabin Boy (whom I later busted). The most original costumes were Varz wearing Aaaarrrgyle, and Mollarky, dressed as a sleazy video pirate.

My most-watched video is Tripod Tell The Tale of the Adventures of Tosswinkle The Pirate (not very well). I can recite every line. Its sad, I know.

Thus, (thus? Who the hell says thus?) I thought it beholden on me to spread the word about INTERNATIONAL TALK LIKE A PIRATE DAY on September 19.

'ere be the links, aaarrrr

so its time to practice those yarrs, me hearties and shiver-me-timbers, maties.

*I didnt write this line. Some very funny boys did.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

One more thing...

I know its a new week, and therefore there should have been a new poll by now, but...meh. Cant be arsed at this point. Although I do have a shiny new question to put to you all, it will have to wait until I can be bothered collating the data from all ten previous polls and put together a profile of the Average Reader.

I am amused to learn, however, that none of the people who answered "My name is Julie and I lived in Brisbane" are actually Julie from Brisbane. Maybe those people know her though. Possibly through her previous connections to the Pie Underworld.



This is why I take Prozac, right?

I am somewhat relieved to read today that I am not the only one having Dead Baby Thoughts. Somehow, to my mind, this makes it less likely that there is actually a dead baby, and more likely that I am just neurotic and paranoid.

However, my brain is not content to just accept this theory. Oh no! I read elsewhere, in comments in blogania, about antiphospholipid (did I even get that right?) antibodies causing miscarriages at any stage of pregnancy even when a heartbeat is seen, and immediately worry that I havent been tested for this APA dealy, and worry that I cant find all my test reuslts.

I am so fucked.

No, really, I am.

I also dreamt this morning that I went to the hospital for the NT scan and was given a drug to make me go into labour because I 'd had a missed miscarraige. Not only that, but my three brothers were all there (2 of whom are dead) and I was screaming at them that they'd never been there to support me before and they could fuck off and as far as I was concerned I didnt have any brothers, AND my ex, Fuckhead, was also there wanting to see Spudly and I had to get security to keep him away from me.

I envy people who dont rremember their dreams. I always remember mine. In full technicolour, with all senses working. Sometimes this is not a Good Thing.

As Monkey Boy said at 5am when I woke up out of this nightmare: "Fluffy bunnies, fluffy bunnies. Jumping kittens."


For the first time since the Fateful Day, I'm Back In The Saddle. All it took was for the nausea to subside. Who knew that when you dont feel like throwing up your toenails, you can actually feel...quite...receptive. Especially to the idea of Sex For Fun, and not having to keep one's legs in the air for half an hour afterwards, and knowing that there are only two obvious signs of whether we've Done It Right. I'd forgotten.

Sex. Fun. Who'd a thought?

Monday, September 05, 2005

Paranoid Moment # 3759

Middle of the night, I'm lying on my tummy. Realise that I can lie on my tummy without it hurting like it did a couple of weeks ago. Poke tummy. Poke tummy more. Poke tummy really really hard. Nothing. Decide that only possible explanation for lack of tummy pain is that Spudly is no more.

Realise that I didnt dry retch until 4pm yesterday. Put this together with lack of ouch in the tummy region and completely freak out.

Wake up Monkey Boy, who says a lot of sensible things about ligaments changing and uterine growth and hcg levels finished peaking and such and such. Think these are all very sensible things, BUT....

Stupid brain.

Saturday, September 03, 2005

And I bet Santa isnt real either...

Gaddamn it! I so wanted that story to be real! And they're not even good cookies? Go on, dash all my hopes and dreams then.

When I wake up, more often than not before dawn each morning, I usually have several witty or deep posts floating around in my head. Somewhere between the birdies starting their singing and me finishing my surfing of everyone else's blogs, those ideas just...disappear. I cant even remember what they were now. And they were really good. Crap.

What I will do, though, is apologise generally for not commenting on blogs as much as I used to. I do read every blog on my blogroll every day. I am happy when things are going well and sad when they're not. My brain just tends to seize up and nothing worth writing comes out most times.

And besides, when its a crappy old grey and rainy day, the Gulf Coast of the US is descending into anarchy thanks to a government that couldnt give a crap, and the universe is fucking with too many people that I've come to care about, what can one really say?

I'll plagiarise Lumi and say: Great big mucousy donkeys balls.

Friday, September 02, 2005

Free the Cookies!

Here's an email I received today.

Look, I dont know if this is an urban legend, or if it did really happen, but I figure that a cookie recipe is a cookie recipe and there must be at least one other person out there who would like to subvert the dominant paradigm one cookie at a time.


If you do make them you definitely need to halve the mixture.

This is a true story. Please forward when you finish reading!

A little background: Neiman-Marcus, if you don't know already, is a very expensive shop; i.e. they sell a typical $8.00 t-shirt for $50.00.

Let's let them have it!

My daughter and I had just finished lunch at a Neiman-Marcus Café in Dallas Because both of us are such biscuit lovers, we decided to try "the Neiman-Marcus cookie". It was so excellent that I asked if they would give me the recipe. The waitress said with a small frown, "I'm afraid not, but you can BUY the recipe." I asked how much, and she responded; Only two fifty
- it's a great deal!" I agreed to that, and told her to add it to my bill.

Thirty days later, I got my VISA statement, and the Neiman-Marcus charge was $285.00. I looked at it again, and I remembered I had only spent $9.95 for two sandwiches and about $20.00 for a scarf. At the bottom of the statement, it said, "Cookie Recipe-$250.00". $312.50 (AUS) That was outrageous!

I called Neiman's Accounting Department and told them the waitress had said it was "two fifty", which clearly does not mean "two hundred and fifty dollars" by any reasonable interpretation of the phrase. Neiman-Marcus refused to budge.

They would not refund my money because, according to them; "What the waitress told you is not our problem. You have already seen the recipe. We absolutely will not refund your money."

I explained to the Accounting Department lady the criminal statutes which govern fraud in the state of Texas. I threatened to report them to the Better Business Bureau and the Texas Attorney General's office.

I was basically told: Do what you want. Don't bother thinking of how you can get even, and don't bother trying to get any of your money back"

I said, OK, you've got my $250, and now I'm going to have $250 worth of fun." I told her that I was going to see to it that every cookie lover in the world with an e-mail account gets a $250 cookie recipe from Neiman-Marcus... for free.

She replied, "I wish you wouldn't do that." I said, "Well, perhaps you should have thought of that before you RIPPED ME OFF!" and slammed down the phone.

So here it is! Please pass it on to everyone you can possibly think of. I paid $250 for this, and I don't want Neiman-Marcus to EVER make another penny from this recipe!

NEIMAN-MARCUS COOKIES (Recipe may be halved)

2 cups butter
24 oz. chocolate chips
4 cups flour
2 cups brown sugar
2 tsp. (Bicarb) soda
1 tsp. salt
2 cups sugar
1 8 oz. Hershey Bar (grated). (Cadbury chocolate for
5 cups blended oatmeal
4 eggs
2 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. vanilla
3 cups chopped nuts (your choice)

Measure oatmeal, and blend in a blender to a fine powder.
Cream the butter and both sugars.
Add eggs and vanilla, mix together with flour, oatmeal, salt, baking powder, and Bicarb (soda). Add chocolate chips, Hershey Bar, and nuts. Roll into balls, and place two inches apart on a cookie sheet. Bake for 10 minutes at (180) 375 degrees. The above quantities make 112 cookies.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Make the funny lady stop

Looking to waste some time? Want to laugh until you cry?

Have a looksee at Baby's Named A Bad Bad Thing.

I think these people need to realise that since there are only 26 letters in the alphabet and 6 billion people on the planet, no matter how hard you try, finding a "unique" name for your child is pretty much a waste of time. Unless you WANT to saddle someone with Fijwytnogked. Which might actually be Finnish.

My favourite quote from this site:

I really like Freddy Prinze Jr. I heard his dad was really talented and died tragically. What was his name?

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Late-night Realisations

Before I met Monkey Boy, I was involved with someone I shall call Fuckhead (for that is what I call him) for 4 years. Fuckhead is a violent manic-depressive alcoholic. I knew about both the manic-depression and the alcoholism when I got involved with him. I learnt about the violence later. For most of our relationship, I tried to figure out ways of leaving. I was scared, both of him and of being alone for the first time in my life. I knew from the very begining that this would never work, but I felt like I owed him some sort of duty of care. No-one else wanted a thing to do with him; his mania and alcoholism had burnt almost all of his bridges. I was the only one left who was prepared to help him get the professional help he needed.

As time went on, it became increasingly apparent that there was no helping him. By this time, however, I was so emotionally battered that I didnt have the energy to fight anymore. I blamed myself and felt so stupid for having stayed so long in such truly horrible circumstances. Everyone says "If my partner ever hit me, I'd be out of there so fast..." blah blah blah. But the thing is, as with so many other major life events, you really have no idea how you'll react until you're faced with the situation. It has taken me another 4 years to come to terms with what happened to me and why I didnt just end the relationship when it was obviously a Very Bad Idea to stay in it.

Recently, with nothing much else to do, and a desire for whalebone corsets and crinoline, I've been devouring the classic novels. I've just finished the last of my Austens, and I'm now starting on the Bronte collection again. The current selection is Anne Bronte's The Tennant of Wildfell Hall.

Last night, after being woken by thunderstorms, I picked up the novel and began to read. The following passage struck me like the lightening that was striking the ground not so far from here. Nothing that I could write would be better able to elucidate how I felt during that relationship. Strangely, the writing of a devout Christian woman of elevated class, some 180 years ago, tells my story:

Since he and I are one, I so identify myself with him, that I feel his degradation, his failings, and transgressions as my own; I blush for him, I fear for him; I repent for him, weep, pray, and feel for him as for myself; but I cannot act for him; and hence, I must be and I am debased, contaminated by the union, both in my own eyes, and in the actual truth.

I am so determined to love him - so intensely anxious to excuse his errors, that I am continually dwelling upon them, and laboring to extenuate the loosest of his principles and the worst of his practices, till I am familiarised with vice and almost a partaker in his sins. Things that formerly shocked and disgusted me now seem only natural. I know then to be wrong, because reason...delares them to be so; but I am gradually losing that instinctive horror and repulsion which was given me by nature, or instiled into me...

Perhaps, then, I was too severe in my judgements, for I abhorred the sinner as well as the sin; now I flatter myself I am more charitable and considerate; but am I not becoming more indifferent and insensate too? Fool that I was to dream that I had strength and purity enough to save myself and him! Such vain presumption would be rightly served, if I should perish with him in the gulf from which I have sought to save him!

Thankyou, Miss Bronte, for showing me myself.

Why I Hate The Telephone

Mother: We have a bit of a problem.
Panda: what?
M: The poplar tree in the corner of the garden has fallen down onto our fence and most of it is in the neighbour's garden.
P: Oh dear.
M: Can Monkey Boy come and cut it up for us?
P: Well, Monkey Boy has a busted shoulder. Surely the council has someone who could get rid of it for you?
M: Ooooh, I dont know....blah blah blah.
P: How's your hip?
M: Not good. I was trying to vacuum last week, hanging on to the walking frame and dragging the cleaner around a bit, and I tripped and fell and twisted my knee. So I havent been able to get to the doctors to get another script for my blood pressure medication, but its okay, because I've been cutting them in half so I dont run out.

P, off the phone, to Monkey: My mother is fucked.
Monkey: Your mother is retarded.

Next Day:

M: The council cant help, but they have a list of contractors who will do the work and we 'll get a $100 discount for being Aged Pensioners.
P: that's good.
M: But we dont know how much it will be. $100 off what??? Cant Monkey Boy come and do it? (whining) I'll pay him for his trouble.
P: Monkey Boy has a busted shoulder and I'm not about to ask him do something that's going to make it worse if you can get a professional to do it for you.
M: wah wah wah wah wah. Well, I'll ask C (neighbourhood acquaintance) and S (neighbour in whose yard tree now is) and if there are no offers there I'll get a contractor to quote. When are you coming to take dad to his appointment?

P: (thinks to herself) Yes, I'm fine thanks Mother, apart from the exhaustion and the nausea and the headaches and the profound lack of desire to go anywhere and do anything, and yes, your grandchild is still alive and is doing quite well, thanks for not asking. Anymore of your problems you feel like dumping on me now that you've woken me up?

Monkey: You know, any right-thinking judge would find grounds for Provocation...

Monday, August 29, 2005

This Week's Poll

The question for which comes to you courtesy of Monkey Boy, who is sick, sick, sick.

It is also an homage to Jet, who will be the only other person who gets the joke.

Sunday, August 28, 2005


10 weeks today, so we now officially have a baby, and not just an embryo.


Sniff. They grow up so fast...


Something Good May Be Happening over with our Shoe Goddess.

Go give her some lovin before her head explodes.

Saturday, August 27, 2005

The one in which Panda realises what she's got herself into.

At some point over the last 24 hours, an idea has crystallised in my brain, escaping as a fully formed and coherent OH MY GOD this morning.

I'm having a baby. Like, I'm not just pregnant, but I'm having a BABY. A little PERSON, who will be here in 6 1/2 months. And I'll be expected to look after it. To know what to do when it cries. To know how to change it's poopy bum properly. To know what to feed it. To know what to tell it about the birds and the bees, and whether to let it eat dirt, and how late it can stay out on a school night, and all about illicit drugs and and some point it will turn around and tell me "I HATE YOU! " and then want to borrow the car.....

I'm going to squeeze another human being out of my fanoir and the medicos are going to let me leave the hospital with it, UNSUPERVISED and be responsible for its welfare. For ever. Or until its therapist says it shouldnt have anything to do with me anymore.

I dont think anyone has thought this through very well. When the midwife at the antenatal appointment asked me how I wanted to feed the baby, my first thought was "Oh, we'll just free-range it with the chickens."

Seriously, you should meet my cats. They're all deranged in some way or another. This does not bode well for a happy, well-adjusted Spudly. I am not responsible enough for this job. As Monkey Boy is fond of reminding me. I have no moral authority. None.

And no idea about babies either.

They sleep alot, right?

Thursday, August 25, 2005


In lieu of anything of note to write about (other than I have a new cordless phone so I never have to get out of bed again), I shall respond to some recent comments.

1. Spudly is indeed the new name for the Guinea Pig/Piglet. Courtesy of Princess Fanwah the Phantom Pooser.

2. Lala wants to know how I'm REALLY doing. Well, I'm REALLY tired, REALLY nauseous, REALLY bored, and REALLY brain-dead. I'm also REALLY amazed and gobsmacked that I'm pregnant, and REALLY REALLY happy.

3. I'm sorry, but I am not interested in data recovery systems, free downloads, debt consolidation, building muscle whilst losing weight, rose gardens, cheap satellite tv, nor, as hard as it is to believe, anything related to long island zip codes. I'm very glad you all think my blog is awesome and that you like my point of view. You may like to note, however, that since my point of view about spammers is to hang em high, I have now indroduced word verification on the comments. Future spammers will be tracked down and force-fed Spam.

4. The 3 people who voted that I should step away from the ice-cream lest I turn heiffer-shaped can kiss my lard-ass.

5. There is no point 5.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005


A new one. Over there---------->



Wont take long.

I'll meet ya back here.

Panda 1. Bedbugs 0

Okay, so it took me a couple of days, but I managed to fight off the attack by bed bug insurgents and can now get to my computer again.

While I was sleeping under attack, Monkey Boy had a birthday, which was a very exciting affair of driving to the River Murray and eating hot chicken, and touring antique shops on the way home.

Yesterday, we had our first ante-natal appointment at our chosen hospital, which was very exciting because it was the first time in I dont remember how long that I've had a wand and gel used on me that didnt end up where the sun dont shine. We got to have a go with the doppler machine, and after three attempts at finding the little bugger, we heard Spudly moving around (which sounds like claps of thunder) and then a heartbeat! Its the most amazing thing I've ever heard in my life. Swoosh swoosh swoosh of my blood flow, and underneath a very feint and very fast ch-ch-ch-ch-ch-ch-ch-ch. And some gas noises apparently, but that's Spudly, not me.

I have the Nuchal Translucency scan (aka Nucklehead Scan) in 4 weeks to assess whether there is an increased risk of Downs Syndrome, which to be honest, I'm only having because I want to have a peek at Spudly again. There's also a follow-up appointment with the ante-natal clinic to decide if I can use the Birthing Unit or have to go to the normal Labour Ward. There's no reason at all I should be considered high risk, so its really a matter of protocol.

My blood pressure has gone down since it was last taken a couple of months ago, which is a Good Thing, and its now nice and completely nice. Oh - and my icecream binges have not done anything to my waistline. Still the same weight I was two months ago. Lets see if some profiteroles today can change that.

I'm officially due on March 27, and officially 9w3d, which is 1 day behind what I thought. Meh. I never was much good at math. I've changed the ticker accordingly.

I heard our baby.


Saturday, August 20, 2005

I hope the bed bugs don't bite

Scraping smaping. Oprah needed my attention. Today, some American crap alleged "sit-com" needs my attention.

I have sent myself to bed, with supper, and I'm staying here until the bed sores set in, or tomorrow, whichever comes first.

Monkey Boy has even brought the computer into the bedroom so I can still communicate with the rest of the world without having to exhaust myself dragging my sorry ass all the way over there....into the next room.

He has also appointed himself as Monkey In Control of Panda's Gourmet Activities. Seems I cant be trusted to judge for myself how much food is an appropriate amount. I swear it didnt look like that much icecream.

Friday, August 19, 2005

High Achiever

I actually managed to do said dishes, and prepare said Hearty Soup like I claimed would. I must say, I totally rock in the soup-making department. Which is great, unless you have to control how much you eat. Then its not so good. I couldnt actually make myself stop eating the soup last night. So at about 8pm I looked like I was 5 months preggers, and could no longer belch with confidence. Stupid soup.

Today's efforts will involve scraping paint from the walls in the front room, and doing more dishes.

Before I get carried away with all that activity though, I will have a bit of a lie down and think about things I might like to eat.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

In which my brain stops working and I cant think of a snazzy title

We added a new edition to our family yesterday. A chicken called Tilly, courtesy of our neighbours. This is not just any chicken. This is the biggest chicken you've ever seen in your life.

Tilly is to regular chooks what regular chooks are to bantams. We call her Gigantor. She's currently sorting out the other girls, making sure they understand that Things Are Now Different Around Here. I think she might be part turkey.

I would go and take a photo to post, but that would involve effort on my part, so its not gonna happen.

I had great plans for yesterday. It was sunny so I thought I'd cut back the hedge, which is in danger of losing some limbs thanks to recent heavy rainfall. I got as far as finding the shears, sitting in the hammock to contemplate said hedge, and there I stayed for the rest of the day.

Todays great plans include doing some dishes so that there is a clear flat surface upon which food preparation can occur, and then preparing some food in the form of a Hearty Soup for dinner. We'll see how far I get. Last night's culinary delight was packet Macaroni Cheese.

I am discovering that making lungs and eyelids takes up a lot more energy than I expected, and also takes away the desire to give a crap about anything else. As a result, if at any point I dont post for a whole day or two, dont freak out. I will be trapped under something warm and fluffy and doona-shaped, marvelling at Oprah's hair.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Its my party and I'll whinge if I want to

Yesterday was the worst day yet, probably not helped by the fact that I had been awake since 3am, had to drive 1 hour into the city to drop Monkey Boy off at uni and then see my therapist, shop for some wool, go back to uni to wait for Monkey Boy and wait and wait and wait and felt like I was going to die.

Dry retched fairly constantly all day. Smells are really affecting me now. Especially the smell of a public toilet. Oh.My.God. Next time, I'll take that stuff the forensics dudes use when looking at mangled bodies.

Almost lost my meagre brekkie in the toilet before we left home, and almost lost my Subway sandwich in the David Jones Food Court at lunch. I'm not sure they would have appreciated that. Not at DJ's.

Despite this, I still managed to polish off an entire large bottle of ginger beer in the car on the way home, and insisted on stopping at the supermarket to get some peppermint icecream, of which I demolished a huge bowl with Ice Magic as soon as we got home. More retching. It was worth it though...mmmm...peppermint icecream....

My back hurts, my tummy aches, my boobs hurt, I feel bloated, I feel sick, I'm exhausted, my IQ has dropped considerably.


P.S. Appropos of nothing, the Ticker...well the purple flowery bit is the same as the tattoo I have on my ankle (1st anniversaary present) and the butterfly is the same as the tattoo I have on my shoulder (finally got the guts up to leave first partner/happy 28th birthday present). Just thought I'd share.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Did You Know?

That this blog is the top ranking site for the search ' existentialist meerkats'?

What I'd really like to know, however, is why Luke from Hobart (see Guestbook) was googling existentialist meerkats in the first place. Maybe that's just what they do down in Taswegia.

Did you also know that it is perfectly possible to be both starving hungry and feel like throwing up your toenails concurrently? Food is NOT my friend. However, I gotta say, I soooo could never be bulimic.

I know I had other stuff to write about, but its all...kinda...gone... Pfft! Maybe it has someting to do with being awake since 3am.

As my favourite slurry Jet would say: Bacon.

Monday, August 15, 2005

Stuff and Things

Firstly, in light of yesterday's spam: a new Poll.

Secondly, now that Blogger is letting me post pictures again, I can show you where I was on the weekend:

That's me on the left, hangin with ma homies.

Thirdly, here's my lovely new sparkly from my lovely Monkey Boy:

I am suffering a severe case of baby-based IQ deficiency today, so that's about as enthralling a post as you're gonna get. Or maybe its all the crap magazines I've had to read in various hospital waiting rooms every day last week. Either way, Passions is starting to look like a well-crafted and realistic drama.

***Edited to add: hcg is now 82,494. Now there's a happy number! Doubled every 101 hours since the last one, as Dr Google says it should. Yay for Piglet!

Sunday, August 14, 2005


Is not just something disgusting in a can that my parents still eat.

Its also something I now get on my blog, cunningly disguised as a comment.

In response: thankyou for your visit. I am unable at this time to support our (well, your) troops by purchasing...whatever it is you're selling... This is because I cannot in any way support either the war in Iraq nor the continued presence of troops in that country. In addition, I believe that wearing a badge supporting the people who are responsible for killing innocent civilians is abhorrent.

Awaiting the backlash...

New! Improved! Sparklepanda now with 30% more sparkle!

Maybe its a Bad Sign* that when I dont post for a day people put out an APB on my sorry ass.

Its off the search party...I'm still here. Just incredibly sore and unable to move very much and exhausted. Where have I been?


Well, they wont let me post photos at this time. You'll have to wait.

Additional reason for being so sore and tired is wandering all over the city on Friday doing the grocery shopping at the market, and then cruising The Mall for some late night shopping. Monkey Boy decided that I should have a Little Something to celebrate the Piglet. I decided this should be in the form of a ring. So he found me a lovely rose gold and diamond sparkly for Not Very Much. If blogger werent experiencing technical difficulties right now I could show you. As it is...its rose gold, and 10pts of diamonds. Understated yet still sparkly.

What else? Had another visit with Vampira for updated HCG numbers, which I'll get back on Monday. I wanted another scan, of course, but Dr Nice said there was no point unless the numbers werent going up and anyways a blood test is cheaper than a scan. Pshaw! Like that's a reason.

Yesterday I felt so bloated and uncomfortable I went and bought my very first pair of maternity pants. Mostly because I feel fat, not because I actually look pregnant. To the untrained eye, I look exactly the same as I did previously. But judging by the number of comments I get on my "bump" I guess I've always looked like I'm pregnant then.... Like I said: fat.

*To shut Manuela up, by Bad Sign I mean that I post way too frequently and/or am too predictable in the timing of my posts. I do not mean that its a Bad Thing that people think about me and wonder if I'm okay. Thats kinda nice.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Warning: pg ment.!

Pshaw! If you're that sensitive, you're at the wrong blog.

So anyways, back to the real topic at hand.

Almost 8 weeks. Still pregnant. First antenatal appointment booked and happening in two weeks. Still feeling queasy as all hell. Still unable to judge how much food is too much. Still have burgeoning boobs. Still have mild cramps. Tummy becoming less capable of remaining enclosed in pants. Husband becoming all protective and territorial.

In addition, psycho-bitch-from-hell-Panda may be about to make a long-awaited re-appearance. I have no tolerance for any bullshit whatsoever. None. As evidence, I hold up Exhibit A: actually telling my mother she's fucked. Exhibit B: sending my brother a copy of my post about how my mother refuses treatment which is gonna set that cat among the pigeons. I can feel the level of unreasonablenessnessness rising. Which means one thing of course: that my progesterone is on the way up!

All in all, the worse I feel, the happier I am. How is it that the brain can manage these complicated emotional gymnastics?
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