Thursday, November 30, 2006

Thursday Thirteen #4 - my new car

About my new (2-month-old) car…good and bad in no particular order

1. As it is black, it gets dirty very quickly. My sister warned me about this beforehand.

2. I love that the seat lifts. I knew that when I first got it, but only figured it out about 10 days ago!

3. I like the feel of the indicator lever. I know this is weird but there is a little groove which I play with while driving - quite soothing in the traffic.

4. This car has a temperature gauge - quite a useful tool, if only to corroborate my feelings about how hot/ cold it is.

5. Central locking - love it, love it, love it. One click and everything is locked. Saves me so much time.

6. I love how when I remove the key from the ignition, the doors open automatically.

7. My old car didn't have a side pocket and this one does. Very useful to hold my water bottle. The water bottle in my profile picture is exactly why I chose that picture. I always have a water bottle (and an apple) with me.

8. Power steering. My word - what a difference it makes to parking! Just a flick of the wrist turns that whole car. Before, it was turn, turn and turn some more before the car would turn.

9. This is a neurotic car though. The petrol tank sign starts glowing when there is still 5L of petrol left. I can go to work and back 2 whole days on that. But wait! It then annoyingly starts blinking when it gets right down to the bottom. (My husband would say I shouldn't even know about the blinking light!)

10. And the hooter…is an excuse for a hooter. It is a pathetic little beep-beep.

11. Oh, and the joys of airconditioning. I am only now fully appreciating it as we're at the end of spring going into summer. And it's nice and powerful so I only need it on for a few minutes to last me about 10 minutes.

12. And I love how, when I approach the car and click the button to open the door, the light comes on inside the car. V useful at night so I can see the ignition.

13. And last but not least, it is extremely zippy. I can weave in and out of cars very easily with it. I even feel cooler in it. Now that's got to count for something, does't it?!

Here she is - beautiful!

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

My husband, the comic

We've been back and forth with 2 friends (married couple) on the email organising our next supper date. We all just reply to all so everyone can see what's going on.

Friend: what can we bring along??

Hubby: Um, roast beef, a lasagne, a salad, rolls, drinks, after-dinner mints. Leigh, have I left anything off? Placemats. No, maybe that's too much. :)

Me: D, you should start a blog!!!

Hubby: "Fullofbolony.blogspot"?

Me: (sent only to him) You can still make me laugh after all these years!

Hubby: Cool. You still make me... well, we'll discuss later

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Thursday Thirteen # 3 - doctors and health

1. After I made the appointment with the infertility doctor, I decided to make my annual dental appointment.

2. My doctor is very popular and she's always booked up weeks in advance so I can only see her on the 7th Dec.

3. The minute the appointment was made my top left molars started seriously annoying me. It feels like my tooth is moving because food gets stuck there.

4. For the first time in my life, I can't WAIT to get to the dentist.

5. On a more interesting note, yesterday's visit to the infertility doc. We were early for once and had to fill in so many forms that we were actually on time!

6. First, before they even see you, they make you talk to a counsellor who put us through the 3rd degree but not in a bad way. They check for a history of depression and all sorts of things in case you crack through the emotional trauma.

7. Speaking of which, she made me cry!!! I think it's when she said that we have to get used to "maybe you're not meant to have children". She meant "naturally" but I just heard blah blah not meant to have children blah blah and that was me!

8. Then we went to see the doctor. Nice, gentle man (if a bit too quiet for me – I mean I was doing more talking than he was) who had to quickly do an aspiration (whatever that is) before he could see me.

9. He did an internal sonar (my first – I don't recommend it) which was fine although I have lots of fluid. He thinks it's blood from the endometriosis (gross, I know), but no big deal.

10. Then the fun started. Apparently we have a 2% chance of conceiving naturally because we have both male and female factor infertility. I was devastated by these shocking stats although today I told D that I've always been in that 2% in other areas of life like top of the class, so I will just have to be the 2% that conceives!!!

11. He suggested we go for IVF straight away with ICSI (where they inject the sperm into the egg) – a mere R25000. Hello! At our salaries it will take more than a year to save up R25000 for one treatment cycle!

12. I want D to get a new spermogram because I can't understand how the sperm count can go down from 94 million to 0.8 in 3 months. If the sperm count is okay after this new test, then we'll do AI first, a much more reasonable R1500 a shot. Otherwise, I really don't know.

13. After the meeting with the doctor, I had some blood taken (they are checking my hormone levels) and seeing as I was already invaded with foreign instruments, I had a PAP smear too.

And that's all for today. Amazingly, I am remarkably calm writing this now. Yesterday, I was a wreck. I looked terrible from all the crying!

So, for all you fertile people out there, remember to thank God everyday that you had an easy time falling pregnant. I wouldn't wish this on my worse enemy!

Now I will go cook and bake up a storm – nothing like food to cheer you up!

Monday, November 20, 2006

our own little coffee shop

The other day we were out at the shops somewhere and D wanted to go for coffee.

I really didn't feel like being out anymore so I told him I'd make us "special" coffee at home.

This is the "special" coffee - in a cup just like at the coffee shop!

Now doesn't that look good?

Saturday, November 18, 2006


Just this week, two things at work happened that reinforced once again why procrastination is so bad.

1. We instituted a procedure on one of my campaigns that made it necessary for us to set up a procedure document. The process person drafted it and sent it to me saying that she'd like my help making the language plain and simple for our call centre agents to understand.

I'm usually quite good at this type of thing so I don't know why I didn't just do it there and then. Nevertheless, I didn't and for a whole week this thing hung over my head. It was also not urgent just something that has to be done somewhere along the line.

My self-imposed deadline was 1 week so I told myself, come hell or highwater, by the end of Thursday I would give her an amended document.

Well, when I finally sat down to do it, it took me not even 10 minutes to proofread and edit that thing. And it was easy!

2. Buoyed up by my little mini-victory, I decided to tackle a report. This is another something that is not urgent but is a nice-to-have. Now there is nothing more boring to me than sitting and working with numbers. Funny because I'm good at it but I just don't enjoy it. Unless it's sales figures of course. That I love looking at. I think it's the goal-oriented side of me that enjoys the sales figures.

Again, I buckled down and started doing the report and it took me about 20 minutes, including drafting the email to all the powers-that-be.

Only 30 minutes work and yet I procrastinated a whole week!!!

I think next time I don't want to do something I should just remember Flylady and tell myself, I can do anything for 15 minutes!

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Thursday Thirteen #2 - Favourite foods

1. Granny Smith apples – I just love that crisp, sour taste and anything with apples (apple pie, cake with apple, stewed apple and custard)
2. Hot wholewheat toast with fridge-cold chunky cottage cheese
3. Toasted cheese and tomato on wholewheat bread
4. Pancakes - my favourite filling is apricot jam with a squeeze of lemon juice.
5. Hot wholewheat toast with avocado, and again, salt and lots of pepper
6. Most curries but my favourite is my mother's chicken lentil curry
7. Fettucine alfredo
8. Thai mussamen curry
9. Almost any muffins
10. Chocolate cake – must be moist
11. Lemon meringue
12. Custard anything – real custard, custard-flavoured yoghurt, custard with hot pudding….
13. Cadbury's chocolate – nothing else, no Belgian, Swiss or anything else but Cadbury. It is "the best loved chocolate in the country"

Now I'm feeling hungry!

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Thank goodness for quick-thinking people

I made my first appointment with an infertility specialist for next Wednesday!

(in open-plan office)

Me (whispered): Hi. I'd like to make an appointment with Doctor K.

Receptionist: Is this for your normal check-up or for infertility?

Me: Umm, the second one please

Receptionist: No problem, how about next Wed?

Me: Thanks so much!

Monday, November 13, 2006

Infertility, the disease

Infertility is the most serious disease I've ever had. In fact, it's the only one!

Aside from this, I am quite a healthy person. I exercise, drink lots of water (by choice - water is my favourite drink. Yes, I know I'm a weirdo) and eat healthily except for the 3 days before my period, when I become a raving chocaholic. I've been told this is a lack of magnesium.

Funny how every month I convince myself I'm pregnant so I don't even notice the chocolate binge.

Like today. I woke up, went to the loo and there it was. The Period. Then it all starts falling into place.

Tender breasts = premenstrual, not pregnant
200g chocolate in 3 days = premenstrual, not lack of discipline because it's weekend
Clearly I'm in denial because the doctor said it will never happen naturally. However, I do believe in miracles but at what cost? And who said we'll be given once of those miracles?
When I really allow myself time to think (and most of the time, I think that I keep myself busy to avoid the thoughts), I really start to question everything.
  1. Did I bring on the infertility by working too hard and stressing myself out?
  2. Did I wait too long and ignore well-meaning family and friends' "you guys really should start a family"?
  3. And the worse, am I a bad Christian? Surely if I have enough faith, it will happen.
  4. Or even worse than that - maybe God doesn't want us to have a baby. I can't believe this seriously though because I know without a shadow of doubt that I'd be an excellent mother. I've always been good with kids, I think because I treat them like people and acknowledge that they have feelings, thoughts and opinions just like everyone else.
I write about these things on this blog because aside from my husband, there's no-one I can really talk to.

Well, let me clarify - I can talk to my other infertile friends about the infertility. I can talk to my husband about the God & Christian issues. But I can't talk to any other friends about the Christian stuff.

This, in my opinion, is why we get such a bad rap sometimes. Because everything has to always be so positive. My own MIL says things like "oh that happened because they weren't listening to God, or weren't praying enough". Not About This. That is precisely why we haven't said a thing to her. Or To Any Christian. I can't handle the you guys must stand on the Word and keep confessing speech.

Well today, I decided I'm out of denial and tomorrow I need to make our appointment with a fertility specialist and just go hear what's what.

The other thing is I'm not even sure how far I'm prepared to go but that really is another post. I need my beauty sleep after all.

Good night.

Friday, November 10, 2006

My personality profile

Your Five Factor Personality Profile


You have medium extroversion.
You're not the life of the party, but you do show up for the party.
Sometimes you are full of energy and open to new social experiences.
But you also need to hibernate and enjoy your "down time."


You have high conscientiousness.
Intelligent and reliable, you tend to succeed in life.
Most things in your life are organized and planned well.
But you borderline on being a total perfectionist.


You have high agreeableness.
You are easy to get along with, and you value harmony highly.
Helpful and generous, you are willing to compromise with almost anyone.
You give people the benefit of the doubt and don't mind giving someone a second chance.


You have low neuroticism.
You are very emotionally stable and mentally together.
Only the greatest setbacks upset you, and you bounce back quickly.
Overall, you are typically calm and relaxed - making others feel secure.

Openness to experience:

Your openness to new experiences is low.
You're a pretty conservative person, and you favor what's socially acceptable.
You think that change for novelty's sake is a very bad idea.
While some may see this as boring, many see you as dependable and wise.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Thursday Thirteen #1 - This week at work

1. On Monday we went on a strategy conference far, far away (okay, 157km round trip). I hate driving long distances so this was very stressful for me.
2. Fortunately the venue made up for the distance because it was absolutely beautiful. And the food was very good too, which is always a plus!!!
3. Unfortunately the distance traveled surpasses what I normally do in a week, so petrol-wise that's not good. And these guys are so wealthy it seems petty for me to claim back the money.
4. I left home at 5:55 and returned at 19:00. This caused me to miss my hip-hop dance class which did not impress me in the least.
5. As a result of the conference, we are adding more structure to our department. Normally this is a good thing because I like clearly-defined processes.
6. However, our project manager is sending out form upon form and frankly, I'm concerned that I won't have time to action and actually do my work if I have to be minuting everything!
7. I took the bull by the horns (as they say) and chatted to her this morning. Exactly what is the purpose of this doc? Who is this doc intended for? So isn't this duplicating work? Eventually she conceded that I can use my own systems as long as the main things are documented (this is on my main portfolio).
8. At lunch today, I spilt mushroom and herb cup-a-soup all over my desk. Some of it splashed on my keyboard too so I had to log a call for them to swop keyboards. How disgusting - it is amazing how much soup one cup is when it's all spread out.
9. Today was Weigh-Less weigh in and……… I only gained 1kg since the last time I weighed (3 weeks ago). This is obviously all the holidaying in Thailand and Malaysia. (Two other ladies gained 1.2 and 1.8 kg in a week despite following the plan, so I was ecstatic at my small gain).
10. The party I mentioned some time ago? Well, our colleague came in to say her final goodbyes before she flies to Vegas on Saturday. The dept has already changed because she honestly was the life of the place.
11. My main campaign has been stressing me out a bit this week. Why? Because I can't control other people's work and they keep promising delivery dates, not delivering and I have to pacify the client. The client doesn't even believe me anymore and this is frustrating because IT"S NOT ME!
12. I am dealing with it through excessive reading of blogs and blogging.
13. I'm doing the monthly blog posting thing but I'm cheating a bit – I have 6 blogs in total so I'm posting somewhere every day. I have committed to posting here every 2nd day though. A strange thing has happened though – I find myself easily posting to at least 2 blogs a day.

And that's my first Thursday Thirteen.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Women are the same everywhere

Apparently I've been so out of touch that I didn't even know there was a blog challenge thingy happening this month. Well, now that I know, I'm up for it. I'm going to blog something every day. It will not all be on this blog considering I have a couple of business ones too, but there's only 23 days left - I'm sure I can do it (famous last words).

We got back from our holiday in Thailand and Malaysia a few days ago. The sightseeing was beautiful and so was all the food and shopping but I'm always more interested in the people and their culture.

One thing that really stood out to me in Asia is how obsessed the women are about their looks.

1. We caught many shop assistants preening themselves in front of their hand mirrors when they were not helping customers.
2. All the ads on TV are about being whiter and having fairer skin.
3. The health and beauty aisles are FULL of skin lighteners.

I'll admit that at first I thought how ridiculous it all was and then it struck me - we're all the same, just about different things.

I have curly hair and I want straight hair. In the past when I had good hair years, people with straight hair used to look longingly at my curls. Alas, those days are gone forever, but I digress.

White people want to be browner so they bake in the sun to tan, and these Thai and Malaysian ladies want to be whiter.

And of course, we all want to be thinner...

Even though we're all so diverse and have such vastly different lifestyles, there's still this common bond.

On the whole, my self-esteem is pretty much intact (or I'm just thick-skinned). But I do wonder at which stage (or age) do we get to this point? The one where we don't think we're good enough or pretty enough just as we are.

I wonder why it's not enough to just enhance what we naturally have?


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