V sad

Excitement versus Reality

So morning sickness is all up and down all over the place. Yesterday was bad, but I managed to put on the slow cooker for dinner, thus making dinner for my husband for the first time in a while. This morning was bad, but was better after emesis (the medical term - and thus least offensive term - for puking). I'm just all over the place. I feel ok when I'm talking to friends on the phone or in person, but my tummy is miserable when there's no interactive stimulation. I'm thankful for friends and phone calls.

I've decided to take another month off school as I just don't know when I'll get better and it's better for my class that I take these chunks of time off. So I'm again, very thankful for the school's flexibility, but am also getting a bit bored.

When James is around, or when talking to friends, it's easy to be excited about Sprout. I'm hoping that I get some good pregnancy symptoms, and not just the crappy ones. I've had some dreams (which I hear is normal) about Sprout being out-of-uterus, which I'm always a little sad to wake up from. And lead to daydreams throughout the day of a totally unrealistic dream-baby. In my first dream, Sprout was a boy named Atticus (same name as my cat) who, despite being only a few days old, was developmentally a toddler. Unrealistic. In my second, Sprout was a girl newborn who never cried. Again, unrealistic. But I think this lack of realism is nice for one who's sick of being sick at this stage.

To reiterate, I am excited. Part of me wants to set up a full on nursery with loads of cute ideas and things. The other rational part of me is wondering how to do that in Halls Creek without spending a billion dollars. So no cute nursery. I know that soon I'll get a baby bump and I'm pretty excited about that! I'm going to have another scan soon and I'm excited about seeing Sprout on a monitor. I really want some cute maternity photos taken when we're down in Perth in my third trimester. We're watching TV shows about pregnancy and birth, reading books, talking about parenting. I AM EXCITED!!!! Damnit.

But I'm not a-glow with maternal feels right now. I'm sick. I feel bad for not being able to help James more around the house. I feel bad for not being able to teach, or even sit up long enough to get my reports done on time while at home. I hate vomiting. I've lost even more weight. Eating is fraught with emotions, pressure and guilt, whereas before I ate things I liked in moderation - and that was the extent of my feels about it. I also feel a bit of pressure to be EXCITED!!! Damnit. I know that we tried for ages to get Sprout to... sprout. And every night I thank God for Sprout and pray he's still alive and still growing. If I miscarried, I would be SOOOOO upset. I don't wanna think about it beyond coldly assessing it as a potential reality I might have to deal with (please God, no!) There's just so many feels to deal with and the predominant one right now is:
"Gosh my tummy is upset, maybe eating something will make it go away. Maybe continuing to lie here will help. I'll stand up and get some food from the kitchen. What food? What food will make me feel least BLAH right now? Cup of soup? Fruit? Leftovers? Too much thinking about food, I should just stay here for a bit longer. ... Now my stomach has sharp pain as well as feeling upset. I should definitely get some food. Getting food. Why does sitting and standing up make me wanna puke?? Here's a kiwi fruit, yum! Need to peel off skin. Still standing up, ugh! Now eating. Eat quick. Now lie down, oh thank God I'm lying down again. I probably have another hour before I have to think about eating food again."

So, whoever's reading this. I AM excited. I AM thankful. Please be aware that Sprout is wanted and loved already. But please be aware that my life feels a bit sucky right now. If you don't like my venting on facebook, go to my facebook page and change the notifications that appear on your newsfeed. Problem solved. :)
Buffy bored


I like the sedentary life. Quiet, plodding on by, board games, chickens. Books. A few other teachers up here have blogs and I've been reading theirs. They're funny and exciting and full of camping adventures. I like camping! But whenever a long weekend rolls around, James and I are so pooped and in need of a rest, that we spend the whole weekend resting. And that's really nice, y'know? We like having people over for dinner, chats and games. Or going to other's. And camping *is* fun. But it's so much work and blah blah *grumble grumble*

Besides, its not like I'm really up for camping at this stage in my life anyway. It's hard enough to summon the energy to get out of the house, let alone set up a tent and go for a hike! Which is fine with me. But I hope there'll be more camping adventures soon.

Speaking of, last lot of school holidays we were SET to go camping. Excited, planned, YEAH! But we jumped in our 4WD, turned it on and brom brom brom...
The batteries had died. And they wouldn't be jumped-started back into life. As we were giving another teacher-couple a lift to Broome, we swapped all our stuff to our sedan, jumped in it and drove to Broome. So instead of camping our way back from Broome, we stayed an extra day and chilled out. Given we were still adjusting to the pregnancy-bomb, it was just as well that we had the non-stressed, non-working, non-hiking time to ourselves. And yay for 2 cars!

We still haven't gotten the batteries replaced. But today I am feeling better than I have in the past 4 weeks, so I've gotten out of bed(!), eaten breakfast(!!), and made some phone calls(!!!). Now I'm sitting here eating morning tea because I got hungry again(!!!!). I credit this to my regular intact of ondansetron :D.

Anyway, life is a little dull around these parts as I wait for the mechanic with 2 spare batteries to rock up. Thus the revival in blogging recently.
Claire young glasses

Life/Pregnancy Update

So how's life going for me now that I'm a bit more settled into a routine? Pretty good actually! I still get tired and I still get nausea, but it's more manageable now.

I'm taking my antiemetic medication every 2 days, which is enough to keep me from feeling horrible. The day I take it, is almost a normal average day for normal good-health Kat. The next day is not as good, but still not bad. Then the 3rd day I feel very sick and the 4th day I'm throwing up again. The throwing up is not once a day, btw. So medication is taken every second day.

Last week I had my very first ultrasound. It was really really good to see Sprout! I feel sick and tests say I'm pregnant, but I can't see any evidence. And what if he's miscarried and I don't know it? *fear, worry* But the ultrasound put a lot of that to rest. I could see his heart fluttering away. He was there, a little blob on the screen! His head barely distinguishable from his tail. But he was there and his heart was beating. Phew!! I was sad that James wasn't there to see it. But I took a sonogram image to him at school as soon as the bell went.

And on my way into the classroom, I got mobbed by a bunch of students wanting to see the sonogram and getting all excited. That was really sweet, with the students all excited too. One year 7 stuck around for ages in this happy-glow. So now the sonogram is stuck on the fridge with some love-heart fridge magnets to remind us that Sprout is there. Alive. Beating heart.

It's also nice to be excited for other people's pregnancies. My post about our struggle said that I had blocked various pregnant facebook friends from my news feed. But now they're all unblocked! A couple of friends have given birth recently and that's super exciting and happy! And I've found out that some other friends are also in the early stages of pregnancy, and that's super exciting and happy too!!

Some days are pretty sucky. On Wednesday just this week, I delayed taking my meds by a day (so was on day 3 of medication taken Monday) and was hoping just to fall asleep, take a tablet in the morning and feel better. But NOOOO. I couldn't get to sleep. I was lying in bed feeling HORRIBLE! I tried eating some food which made me feel even worse. I was literally on the cusp of vomiting for an hour. And hoping that I would, so I could get some relief and go to sleep. But NOTHING happened. It was the WORST!! So James ended up fetching me a tablet. And half an hour later I was fine. So since then I've decided that I don't need to suffer through this. I have medication. The health department actually pays for this super expensive medication (it's like, $20 a tablet) because we're in a remote town and the only access to it is through the public hospital. Yay!

I think that if it weren't for the medication, I'd be in some horrible rotten state, atoning for my sins or something else extreme. So I am SUPER thankful for this medication. Because life would be totally miserable without it!! With it, life is pretty good. I don't know if I'd have enough energy for teaching, but thankfully it's not something I need to worry about for another 2 weeks. I don't think I would. The times when I have gotten up and done something around the house (cooking, cleaning, etc), I get tired really easily. So I do a job, take a break. Do a job, take a break. And the breaks are loooong. And the jobs are quick!

So this was longer than I expected *ramble ramble*. I just wanted to give an update to my life and how I'm coping with it all. :) Toodles
Xander friends, Willow friends

10 years of Buffy


In my daily interactions with people, if there's something that I want to complain about IRL, I say, out loud, "grumble grumble". And then I go put up with whatever it is that is ever so slightly sucky. Extra work to do: grumble grumble. Meeting to go to: grumble grumble. Grocery shopping: grumble grumble.

I don't intend for it to be complain-y. I actually think it's a little bit funny to say it. And then I go and do/put up with whatever.

So the other day I was watching an episode of Buffy with James when this happened:

James turns, looks at me, shocked, and says "that's why you say that!"

Yes, this is why I say "grumble grumble" out loud. Just as you hear Willow say it. There are many things I say because of Buffy.

March 20th is the 10 year anniversary of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. My favouritest tv show Of All Time!! I just wanted to share a little bit of how Buffy-culture has shaped me. :)
Marie Antoinette bath

Story Time Part 3

I tried working through the nausea. We told all the staff at the first staff meeting back at school. I worked on Tuesday, but was exhausted and stayed home n Wednesday. I worked on Thursday but was exhausted and stayed home on Friday. Well, I came to school, but ended up crying in the Principal's office instead. I was slipping on my teaching duties big time. I couldn't give these students what they needed from me. I couldn't live up to the expectations from management. I couldn't get through a whole teaching day without a nap. I couldn't do it!

I think if I just threw up in the morning and could get through the day, I'd be ok. But this nausea is a complete killer!! The past 2 days since, staying at home, have been much improved. Even though I'm still tired, still NAUSEATED, I can rest in bed all day with no stressors on me. The principal was SOOO understanding and kind about it, which really helped with the decision to stay home.

It's very hard to be excited about Sprout when I feel so crappy. But I am excited. It's just buried deep down beneath the nausea ;). We're not going to find about Sprout's sex. We have a short list of favourite boys and girls names, but they're all top secret to avoid the dreaded unasked-for opinion and judgements concerning our choice of name :P

I'm worried that I'll end up miscarrying. Or something will go wrong somewhere down the line. But as there's nothing I can do about it, it's been quite easy to turn these worries into prayers. God is in charge, no matter what the outcome! The Lord gives and the Lord takes away; may the Lord's name be praised!

I think that's the last of these stories for now. But I'll keep updating as things progress :)

Oh, and the antiemetic, Ondansetron is DA BOMB!! It's been linked to cleft palate, so I'm not taking them every day, all the time. But I visited the midwife today and needed something so I could exit the house. Only when required. It's pretty damn effective though!! I have another antiemetic, but it's quite pathetic!
Dawnie excited

Story time!! More stories

So anyway, that Sunday I called a few of my closest friends to let them know the news. We had a couple over for dinner that night that we were driving to Broome. They were flying out to Perth, but James and I were spending a couple of nights there for relaxing purposes. So we let them know too. Although the news wasn't Public, I was happy to let people know. That was if Something Happened, I would have some people in the know to provide support in the fallout.

We drove to Broome, had a nice time relaxing. Really just letting it sink in a bit. Talking about names, about travel plans for the end of the year, about anything. It was really nice to chill out away from home and everyone else. As I thought about it and read a couple of books, a few of them were all "find a good obstetrcian" and I was like 'in Halls Creek!? You gotta be kidding me!' So I called my friend Karen, who's had 2 children whilst living in remote towns in the Kimberley, and she gave me the benefit of her experience. I needed a doctor's appointment, then the community midwife would take care of me for the rest of it.

So then when we returned, I got a doctor's appointment and it was confirmed. James called his parents who were more happy than he thought they'd be (but quite unsurprisingly to me). He was planning to tell them the next time they had one of their routine phone calls. I tried to encourage him to make that routine phone call sooner rather than later because news like this isn't something you just chuck in there: "oh yes, the chickens are doing well, had a lovely time in Broome, by the way, Kathryn's pregnant..."

Then, by about the Thursday of the 2nd week of holidays, the nausea started.

dun dun DUUUUUN!!!
BG Hansi

Story time!!

Hello blogosphere!

So I've been meaning to record these things for a few weeks now. So here are some stories!!

Sunday the 28th of April was on the first weekend of the school holidays. The term had been along one, I was quite tired by the end of it, PLUS, I'd just been on a school camp that, although it went quite well for the most part, ended on a bad note. I was beyond exhausted, emotionally drained and a bit of a wreck. My period was due on that Friday. Saturday was spent curled up in bed recovering. Sunday was church and throughout the service I started thinking that my period was late, but I probably wasn't pregnant and I shouldn't get up my hopes *safeguarding my mind*. So soon after church, I took a test. As I was sitting there, it came up positive. But I knew I wasn't really pregnant! Why would the test LIE to me!? What a cruel thing to do! I've had a shocker of an end to the week, I'm tired and sick of being tricked, what a mean, horrible thing to do to LIE to me over something as important as this *cue crying*. I showed James the test who thought it was negative (because I was crying) and was more confused when I said it was positive.

I rushed to the shops to get a different test before the shops shut. Then I called Mum. But Mum wasn't at home in Carnarvon, she was staying in Perth and her mobile was off. What do I do? Who can help? I called my friend Angela, who has the amazing ability of remaining calm in the face of a a positive pregnancy test, and has the secondary amazing gift of knowing Exactly What To Say. So she gave me some good advice and helped me to calm down. But given I so rarely call ANYONE, she answered the phone all excited and already *knew* what I was calling about, God bless her!

So I took the second test later that afternoon and it was positive too. And maybe, just maybe, it was actually true. Maybe there was a teeny tiny life growing in me. Maybe I was actually, finally, after lots of trying and hoping and failing, pregnant.

Mum finally called back at 11:30pm, when we were fast asleep in bed, super concerned and eager to put her mind at ease. In a very drowsy state (my aim was the finish the call and go back to sleep asap) I informed her of being pregnant. She was So. Excited. I don't know if she slept that night. But after chuckling at Mum's enthusiasm, I drifted back off.
twilight Angel

Kat's Hazelnut Muffins: an experimental adventure in gluten-free flourless baking!

_MG_4284Yesterday I made some delicious muffins! They were completely experimental and I was VERY pleasantly surprised at just how well they turned out! They were adapted from a carrot cake recipe that I've heavily adapted in turn (see here). I thought these were incredibly delicious, particularly as the cocoa makes it just a little bit chocolatey, without being overwhelmingly CHOCOLATE!!! Also, I love nuts. Not so much eating them straight, but in stir frys or baking, nuts are awes!

They were quite easy to make and I'll probably be making them as often as I can (and as often as I can find hazelnut meal). So anyway, here's the recipe!

  • Electric mixer OR whisk
  • Spatula
  • Muffin tin
  • Muffin patty pans
  • Oven

  • 3/4 cup butter (room temperature) (I always forget and end up microwaving it for 10 seconds)
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cocoa powder
  • 2 cups hazelnut meal

  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees celcius.
  2. Cream the butter and sugar together. I used my brand new, Christmas-present-from-husband Breville Scraper Mixer Pro, but I'm pretty sure you can get by with a whisk and elbow grease (before my electric mixer, I only had a bio-organic mixer, aka, James).
  3. Add eggs and beat in.
  4. Add baking powder, vanilla essence and cocoa powder. Mix until combined.
  5. Add 2 cups of hazelnut meal. Mix until combined. The mixture will be quite moist, but that's ok.
  6. Divide mixture between 12 muffin patty pans
  7. Place in oven for 20 mins. Or until cooked. Because the mixture is dark, it's a bit hard to tell when they're done because they're not "golden" on top. Just give them a check and poke 'em with a toothpick to see if the insides are cooked.
OPTIONAL ICINGUGH! I hate doing icing! I always find that I never have enough/too much and I think the amount of icing people like is HIGHLY subjective. I like lots of cream cheese icing on my carrot cake, but I only like a little bit of butter icing on a standard cupcake. I decided to go with butter icing for these muffins an I think that was a very good decision. Given this was a carrot cake adaptation, I had thought that cream cheese icing would be the way to go. But butter icing tasted great, so I'd recommend that. I also flavoured the icing with some vanilla essence. I don't know if that's usual because I rarely make butter icing. Anyway, go find a recipe for enough butter icing for 12 muffins and make that. I'm not giving you a recipe :P
As you can see from this photo here, the muffins are quite moist and dense, but they hold together remarkably well and aren't particularly crumbly, well, less crumbly than my carrot cake which has flour (aka, gluten) and is held together primarily by icing. Day 2 of eating these muffins show that they are even less crumbly than Day 1, probably just as crumbly as a cupcake. So there you have it!

Let me know if you make and eat them, and what you think! I'm a little bit proud of myself for making my very own recipe :D
Buffy comfort, Xander comfort

I'm Struggling With Infertility.

So I've decided to make this a blog post for several reasons. (1) I want people to know about this. (2) It's not a secret and I don't like feeling like this is a secret. (3) In sharing this, I hope that relationships will be deepened and there'll be greater understanding and sensitivity.

I've delayed blogging/posting on FB/telling people in person for several reasons. (1) I do not want advice. (2) I do not want platitudes. (3) I do not want anything except sympathy on this topic. Then talk to me about other things in life, I'm still Kat. I didn't tell my Bible study group because I was afraid of hearing things like "God grants us the desires of our hearts", "just relax about it, it'll happen in God's timing", etc. GRRR!!!

So here it is: James and I have been trying to conceive for about 9 months, unsuccessfully.

For those who don't know, this is how a typical cycle looks like. I get my period, we wait for about a week then start trying, then we wait for about 2 weeks, then I get my period again. This is what it feels like. We start trying and that's good and fun. Then we start waiting. I notice that something about my body is ever-so-slightly different and wonder if it's because there's now a baby in my uterus. But no! Don't start hoping, self. It probably won't happen. But it might! But it probably won't. But it might! For 2 weeks. Then my period is late by a day, or I've miscalculated when it'll start and things are a little more hopeful/exciting. Then I get my period. I'm a little disappointed but hopeful for the next cycle.

But that slightly sad yet hopeful conclusion changed one day about 6 weeks ago. A very awesome friend announced her pregnancy and my reaction was off the planet!! I was weepy and depressed for about a week from it. I hated being intimate with James and it was affecting my teaching at school too.

We decided to take a cycle off from trying. And that was really good. Then I got offered a classroom teaching position for next year and we've decided to stop trying until April to (1) give me a break from trying to conceive and (2) be able to finish out the school year in case I do fall pregnant.

I thought I was coping all well and good with not being pregnant, but yesterday at church I spontaneously burst into tears without warning! I was a bit embarrassed about it. Anyway, I don't like the idea of waiting to tell people after 3 months that you're pregnant. The reason people wait is in case they miscarry, as the risk is highest in that time. I don't like that waiting-to-tell-idea because I'd like people to rejoice with me, and mourn with me. How can people mourn with me if they don't know anything, or that I was pregnant in the first place? All this leads to: when do you tell people you're having trouble conceiving? When is the natural time to bring that stuff up? I don't know, and I'm sick of feeling like it's a secret. So here it is: we're having trouble conceiving.

We've both had preliminary tests for this stuff and nothing had shown up. When we return to Halls Creek next year, I'll get the doctor to take a week's worth of blood samples that should show up ovulation hormones, or lack thereof, and we'll take it from there.

The baby wave is starting amongst friends of mine. There have been 4 announcements in 2 months on facebook. Each time I feel a little sad that it isn't me. I am happy for them and I wish them all the best, but it is still hard for me. I don't want to be the kind of person who hides friends on facebook to avoid their happy news because I'm trying out self-preservation tactics. Or blocking their baby-related pinterest board for triggers. Yet, that is what I'm doing. I love you, friends. But I need to not cry all the time.

If anyone feels like they want to make life easier for me, this is what I'd appreciate: Please tell me if you're trying to conceive. When I hear happy news from you, it won't be a shock. Furthermore, I would have been praying and hoping for you and be emotionally on board with your pregnancy. And I think also, I won't feel so isolated. A friend's sister has been trying for a while now, and even though I'm not close with her, I am hoping and praying and anticipating her one day, maybe, finally, falling pregnant. I feel like we're in the same boat and I'm actually glad there's one other person in the whole world struggling with this as I am.

So there it all is. There are a couple of articles I've read that've been super helpful and I would appeciate if you read the before commenting:
What NOT to say to someone struggling with infertility
What can I say to people who tell me I'll get pregnant if I "just relax?"
The Infertility tag on Offbeatfamilies which has a variety of articles on the topic for further reading.
christian bale my hero

Why I Haven't Been Blogging Recently

This is a brief update because I'm doing my tax and feel guilty for even posting this. But I was reading my friends page for the first time in a LONG time and felt compelled to provide you mob with an excuse for not posting.

1. Full time work is hard, y'all!
2. I've been writing letters home to my nearest and dearest. This has replaced blogging AND RL journalling.
3. Most of my internet time has been on the tablet and the LJ app is pretty terrible. I very much dislike writing entries on it and reading your entries. Mostly because I can't comment to the entries and then I'm annoyed at LJ+tablet to continue any further.

I've been keeping tabs on those of you with FB and that's pretty awesome. But I'd like to read/blog more often than I am. Writing letter is a greater priority for me though. eing so isolated in Halls Creek means that I'm even more keen to hold on to dear friendships in Perth.

And BTW, if you'd like to be penpals with me, my postal address is PO Box 117, Halls Creek, WA, 6770. It's the school address as Australia Post doesn't deliver mail up here and we can't be bothered getting a PO box for ourselves. We're away during the holidays anyway, so we don't need access to mail then. And if we are in town during the holidays, we can as the AP staff to put aside our mail for us. I really love sending and receiving letters and would certainly love to write some more!