Reflective NY Blog from Somewhere in the Middle of the Tasman Sea

This time last year we were traveling all around North and South America with my family, my best friend and his family.

Checking out Glacier National Park in Chile

Checking out Glacier National Park in Chile

Have been missing them, and remembering what an absolute comfort it was to share the adventure with them and the handful of friends we made that trip.  At least we will see them IMMIDIATELY – IF NOT SOONER (our friend Gabriel’s catch phrase) once we arrive back in our beloved Land of the Long White Cloud on Monday as they are there visiting for Christmas.

Gabriel and the children at Sabatini's at breakfast

Gabriel and the children at Sabatini’s at breakfast

So much has happened since then. Some things have been wonderful, others terrible, and many simply indifferent.

The year has brought unspeakable grief, as well as lofty and hard-fought triumphs and accomplishments, both for us personally and for people we know and admire.  New babies have arrived, while other children and people have been called away too soon, leaving a lot more questions than answers, but living on forever in the hearts and minds of those left to mourn them. Couples we know and Love have purchased homes or tied the knot, while others have made the final arrangements in going their separate ways.  Just like any other year, 2013 has been punctuated with joyful and terrifying new beginnings or anticipated, sometimes shocking, or even on a few occasions, long overdue endings.

On balance this has been the year we have stayed closest to home since our first ever-overseas trip together more than a decade ago.  Unfortunately, staying close to home did not mean getting all that much closer to those we know and Love.  The year whizzed past and appointments were made and frequently not kept to spend time with the people we hold dearest.  In a household that used to open its doors several times a month, or even a week for dinners or parties, we found that just getting the kids fed and watered and meeting work and general commitments and appointments left us with precious little time or energy for much more than sleep.

Perhaps we haven’t made the strides we’d have liked to in our environmental and alternative energy initiatives.  But we’re always moving forward, however stifled the pace may seem. We’re palpably close to re-wiring so that we’re hooked up to the 8 Kilowatts of solar power that is collected from the cottage to service our primary property in the city.  That’s going to feel great.  My parents bought us a worm farm for Christmas (thanks guys!), our third electric vehicle will be arriving soon, and Grumpy is still working on a stunning little micro-hydro system to ensure we can power through our energy needs (including charging the cars) during the rainy days of winter up in Matakana.  And last but not least, I am still making plans to try and get us completely off grid for 6-12 months and surrounding the move with the single most elegant and engaging PR campaign EVER!  Do I have to stay in the country for that whole time?  I guess if we actually do plan on being carbon neutral, my travel addiction will have to take a back seat for the duration.  I break out into a cold sweat just thinking about it though.

Some other stuff has popped up, big stuff that is taking priority at the moment and will do throughout the year.  I have faith that it will come together how and when it should though.

So, as is customary, I will start the year with lofty and ambitious ideas about the things that will be accomplished with some Hobbit planning and savoir-faire.  I’ll likely fall short early and hard and probably just carry on much the same as I do every year.

I will, however, share with you a short list of things that will absolutely be made a priority this year, and I encourage you to take a few moments to do the same.

1)  Laughter will be an absolute priority:

We already laugh loud and often, but instating some sort of quota and ensuring it is met might be something worth investigating.  Is there an app for that?  There ought to be.  I may get Grumpy working on it…

2)  More nature, less Internet: 

I may have to take extreme measures such as joining a tramping club or finally buying a paddleboard or sea kayak so we can walk to the bottom of our yard and venture out onto the harbour.  Finally planning and planting the extensive food forest we’ve been talking about for years now.  So watching it grow, and raising the kids to get out and pick and appreciate fresh fruit and vegetables was once a pipe dream that is set to become a reality.

3)  More visits: 

More, actual, look people in the eye and hear what they are saying and share words and hugs and laughter in person instead of on social media VISITS.  A few months ago, I ran into a woman who I Love and admire beyond words. I had not seen her in person for nearly a decade.  We caught up in Manhattan of all places, and just touched the very tip of the iceberg on what has come to pass for us since our exceptionally close friendship way back in the late 90’s.  She is only just up the road, and I mean to see her, and so many other people, and when I do, it is a touch of magic and the most effective and sincere remedy to the constant nattering of my frequently troubled mind.  Friendship is a mighty force indeed, and one that I fear I take for granted.

4)  Get rid of stuff. 

I want have a serious desire to just have less crap!  I’ve taken an awesome step in the right direction by curbing consumption this year.  I used to relish shopping and picking up trinkets or hunting bargains on our travels or even in our own back yard.  I took a 6 month self-imposed shopping sabbatical which successfully changed my habits in that department in a real and lasting way.  Christmas shopping was an absolute chore this year, and precious few people got gifts.  Yet, as far as I know, all the salubrious and flourishing relationships remain pretty much in tact.  So yes.  Less stuff.

5)  Take it easier.

So, among the many things I know, yet frequently choose to ignore is that failure is actually an option.  Trying and falling flat, can be a far more fruitful and useful endeavor than getting something right or having it fall easily into place.  And as long as a person is always moving, learning, and growing, there’s no need to move mountains all the time.

There’s a fairly long list of other stuff I intend to do of course, but I shall leave it there.

Hope that the New Year is safe and amazing whatever you may be doing.  And if 2013 was less than stellar for you and yours, I do hope that you are able to leave it behind and have a much better 2014.  It’s my year (Chinese Astrology) and I expect great things are afoot.

Update on the Crazy – An Unexpected Blog from a Recovering Sad-Sack Hobbit

Sleepovers are still relatively unusual for our kids, but last night we had a couple of cute kids stay over. This morning, the children woke us up at 6:00am. As I try and whip out a blog before 9:00am, they’re eating porridge, laughing and watching Christmas music on YouTube.

Not sure about the rest of the parents out there, but I generally feel like a bit of a phony or an imposter when these amazing little humans call me mum.  Mums are smarter, older have their stuff together way more than I do… don’t they?

So today I’m going to talk about parenting.  Kind of.

I’m currently in the midst of attempting to drag myself out of what has been diagnosed as a fairly impressive spell of pre-natal depression.  I wasn’t familiar with pre-natal depression, despite having post-natal with both of the older two children.  None with the third child.  This has been a very real and heart wrenching struggle, for Grumpy and myself.  The guilt, self-loathing and total despair that comes with whatever chemical cocktail is working its way around my brain at the moment has been, on occasion, completely debilitating.  I want to enjoy this pregnancy, and I want to be excited to meet the miracle that will be joining our family.  Yet, no matter how hard I cognitively reason with myself, or how deep I dig, I keep running into feelings of being unprepared, terrified, overwhelmed… even resentful.

I had mentally prepared myself to be finished with breeding, and the older three children are at a point where they are all very independent indeed.  No more nappies, or ass-wiping, breastfeeding or separation anxiety.  We have three communicative and entertaining little people who, for the most part, we’re able to rationalize with. Having my body, my emotions, my life and my plans hijacked by the responsibility of a new person messed with my head and made me feel things I am really not proud of.

We all take different paths and have different experiences on our parenting journey.  I had wanted children more than any other single part of the plan for my future, from the time I was a very young and lonely child growing up in a fairly desolate wilderness somewhere smack dab in the middle of Alberta Canada.

Prior to meeting me, my husband was quite decidedly opposed to getting married and/or breeding.

Second “official” date I laid down an ultimatum:

You either consent to having children one day, or don’t waste my time.

Three months later he’d proposed, a year later we were married, and three months after that we found out we were going to be parents, well ahead of our planned schedule.

Grumpy experienced many symptoms of Couvade Syndrome.  This is essentially a “sympathy pregnancy” with varying symptoms.  He put on weight, felt nausea, was moody and even had strange cravings if I remember correctly.  Some men go so far with Couvade Syndrome that they even lactate.  Not the case here.

So where was I?

Oh yes.

After gaining nearly 40kg and (not surprisingly) giving myself gestational diabetes, the day finally arrived for us to be induced and meet our first son.

I’ll spare you the details of the actual birth.


When he arrived my mother cried.  My husband cried.  Daniel didn’t cry.  He was gorgeous, and small and perfect in every way.  Grumpy was hooked, my mother was hooked.  People came from far and wide to coo at the first heir to the Hobbit throne.

But where were these feelings of Love and joy?

I felt confused, shell-shocked, and quite numb.  The whole experience was surreal and not at all what I was expecting.

The weeks that followed saw me fall into a deep dark depression indeed.

I did not feel any of the feelings of maternal bliss or completeness.  Was something wrong with me?

I felt like a fat, sad, sore, and miserable feeding receptacle.  I was sleep deprived, overwhelmed and saw the best years of my life swallowed up by a mewling, puking, little parasite.


Then, one night… at absurd O’clock, a very sleep deprived and bedraggled 26-year-old mother snapped.  I looked down at the small and helpless creature I had finally managed to feed and rock to sleep after HOURS of crying.  He was breathing peacefully in his sleep, and occasionally wincing with the pain of his terrible reflux, or perhaps just still sobbing in his sleep after his epic crying session.  Helpless, delicate, peaceful and… mine.  He did not ask to be here, yet here he was.  And he needed me.  He needed me to protect him, to nurture him, and for the time being just to survive.  And I fell truly, madly and desperately in Love and have never recovered from this deep and absorbing state.


He’s going to be 9 in a few short weeks.  He’s a gentle, engaging, and imaginative boy.  At times he drives us batty with his tendency to faff about, or his chronic daydreaming.

Thinking back on all of this and sharing it with you here today has certainly given me some food for thought.

Not a lot in life is what you expect it is going to be.  Of all the feelings I’ve felt as a woman, a mother, a friend, a person even; guilt is not a particularly productive or useful emotion.  I bang on to everyone that they’d be better to count their blessings than their challenges, yet here I am, wallowing in a sea of chemical and situational self-pity.

I’m going to try and stop that now.

From this moment I am going to celebrate every little ninja kick, every hiccough, every roll that I can feel.  I am going to celebrate and care for my rounding body and myself.  I’ll feel sad if I need to and as happy as I possibly can because oh lawdy lawd I will regret squandering these moments when they’ve passed.

So this blog didn’t turn out at all as I’d planned.

I wasn’t going to talk about depression as I do feel I bang on about it a bit, yet, there it was.  Exposing itself in black on white on my screen, waiting to be read and used however the reader chooses.


Why I’m Inspired by Introverts…

Why I Adore Introverts

There are so many misconceptions about introverts and extroverts.

There are thousands of articles and numerous definitions of introversion and extroversion.  I’ll sum up and Dee-ify it for you as best I can here:

Introversion and extroversion are at two opposite ends of a scale that Carl Jung used to help identify personality types in people.  Introvert’s thoughts, energies and activities tend to be focused inward.  Introverts “recharge” through quiet and introspection, and are generally drained or depleted by excessive external stimulation.  Extroverts view the world and themselves through external cues and stimuli.  Extroverts seek and process energy (and to a great extent understanding) from the world around them.  They tend to recharge and glean perspective through interaction with other people and interacting in social situations.  We all have bits of introvert and bits of extrovert in us that surface at different times and in different ways.  Most people have a tendency towards one end of the spectrum or the other, while some people have quite even proportions of introversion and extroversion.  Those people are referred to as ambiverts.


People think introverts are shy and extroverts are confident.  Neither of these things is strictly true.  I know introverts that are bursting with confidence, charisma, character, and credibility, and can (if they choose) have a crowd eating out of their hand.  These people are sometimes referred to as performing introverts.

Extroverts are also not always confident, and can often be terribly insecure indeed.  I am a quintessential extrovert; therefore, people assume whole-heartedly that I am confident.  The truth is, despite having extreme trouble using my “inside voice” in just about any situation, I suffer from crippling social anxiety issues.  Going to other people’s houses scares me and often ends really badly because I drink too much or talk too much (or both) because I am nervous and act like a total prat.  School pick-up is a nightmare and like running a gauntlet, even though I truly and deeply adore the friends I have made (particularly those at my daughter’s school Corelli, which is populated with amazingly diverse and talented kids who come from absolutely fantastic, supportive and engaged families) I still dread it.  But then, once I’m there and engaging with folks I know and have grown exceptionally fond of, it is generally a very pleasant experience indeed.

Over the years, I have engaged and nurtured relationships with many introverts and extroverts.  While both have their charms, advantages and pitfalls, I want to take a bit of time to share with you some observations, as well as my deep respect and gratitude for the introverts in my life and in the world.


Introverts are generally a lot more careful about who they consider friends.  Seeing as they only have a limited amount of precious energy that gets drained through interacting with other people, they tend to be picky about who they spend time and energy with and on.  This is opposed to extroverts, who my exceptionally introverted husband occasionally calls “energy vampires” and who make a lot of noise and take up a lot of “space” and suck that precious energy right out of people.  Sigh.  Yet we’re still happily married (most of the time) after a decade… go figure.

So I’ll break it down to five reasons I personally feel inspired and energized by the introverts in my life.  DISCLAIMER:  These are Dee’s personal insights gleaned from her own experiences, and probably have no scientific or empirical data to support them, but this is my blog. So Pfhfhfhfhfhfhfhfhfhlllllllttttt.

1)  Attention to Detail

The Introverts in my life seem to have a superhuman ability to identify and remember seemingly insignificant details that end up being spectacularly important in one way or another.


I’m thinking particularly of a few people as I write this.  I have a friend Ness, who is ALWAYS doing things for those around her.  She picks up on the tiniest cues that the people around her need something and is the first to rally around any of us.  Another fabulous introvert who I absolutely adore is Xanthe.  She’s beautiful beyond belief, and humble to a fault, and has the most unreal ability to make me feel special by paying close attention to detail and when we get a chance to talk, everything is so thoughtful and relevant!  Mind boggling to someone like me really.  Yet I am seriously thankful for them and others like them.

Introverts seem to listen to the things I say and remember them, and pull out gems of helpfully recounting things they have noticed at the most opportune times and make people feel very special indeed.

Extroverts are exceptionally helpful as well of course, but often take more of a bull in a china shop approach to tackling things, while introverts like the ones I have mentioned here tend to take a much softer and detailed approach.  Wish I could be a bit more like that.  But for now, I just really appreciate all you quintessential introverts who watch quietly and unerringly from the sidelines and pick up on important details that someone like me often misses.

2)  Humour

I don’t know if all introverts are freaking hilarious, but there are some that I know that quite literally bring me to tears of laughter.  I’m thinking in particular of Erin as I write this.  You don’t get much more introverted that this lady.  Not only is she a pathological over-achieving thrill-seeker (she like jumps out of planes and stuff) she is totally destined for a career in stand-up comedy.

I spent a weekend with her down in Christchurch not too long ago, and she kept me in stitches with stories of night-club shenanigans and being pushed down water-slides or out of airplanes.   Erin was born rather prematurely and she’s a twin.  Her and her brother (who I have yet to meet) are both very introverted souls.  Erin spends most of her time cruising around in a wheelchair as she’s got cerebral palsy.  If you try and lay a pity party on her because of this fact, her quick wit and significant intellect will quite frankly chew you up and spit you out and you may not even know it is happening.  Erin is nearly through a grueling law degree from Canterbury University.  She travels extensively and regularly jumps out of things like planes or buildings in her spare time.  And if you take the time to shut up and listen to her – she will tell you a story about any of these things that will make the muscles in your face hurt for days afterwards.


I once asked her if spending an entire weekend with an extrovert was kind of like going on a bender, as in, was it like having a bit of a hangover once I’d left.  Apparently – it is.  And I am unspeakably honored that she expends her precious introverted energies on me from time to time.  There aren’t many people who can make you laugh the way this girl does.

3)  Inside Voices

Even extroverts need some quiet time.

Another thing I adore about my introvert family and friends is the comfortable silence that can exist between us.  I can spend hours in the same house as a seriously introverted friend without having to say a word, and I don’t feel anxious about it.  The silence is comforting and just being in the same quiet calm as said introverts is rejuvenating.

4)  Different Perpective

Introverts have a very different take on life, Love and the universe.  While still waters can run very deep indeed, the introverts I know and Love don’t seem to have the same flair for dramatics and OTT actions and gestures as myself and the other extroverts we kick around with.

I quite liked this table I found on the Internet:


When I’m in need of advice, I find the introverted approach of “chill and think long and hard before you do anything rash or stupid” has saved my ass on many occasions.

Taking the time to talk about things with an introvert often means they’ll spend careful time considering a conundrum and generally offer a fabulously fresh perspective, and for that I am always thankful.

5)  Generally Lower Maintainance

This last point is a double-edged sword.

Introverts aren’t as quick as their extroverted counterparts to put their hands up and say “what about ME!”  Bearing this in mind, I’ve found that immense stretches of time can pass, years even, without any contact with my introverted kindred spirits (Russell, Tere, Sandra, Rachel to name a few).

Introverts tend to be more chill regarding spending time together, and accept online hang outs and the odd call or email as enough fuel to keep a perfectly meaningful relationship alive.  Considering how busy and self-absorbed I am, this is a blessing beyond measure.

Well… as usual, I could go on and on about this but will leave it there.  Trying to stick to a 1500 word maximum so I don’t bore anyone to tears and force them to stop tuning in for these meaningful meanderings of mine.

Hope everyone is well and the spirit of the holiday season is touching you in a good way and not contributing to too much stress or discontent.



Delusions and Dissonance

I know exactly what kind of douche bag I do not want to be. 


I don’t want to be a “don’t you know who I am?!” kind of douche, lacking in humility or the ability to give every single new person I meet a fair shake before passing judgments or deciding I don’t like them.  I don’t want to be the kind of person who places my needs above the needs of others, and I don’t want to be the kind of person who thinks the world revolves around them and them alone.  I don’t want to be blissfully blind to the fact that everyone is fighting a hard battle, or the world around me is full of complex and pressing social, political and environmental issues.  Definitely don’t want to be a name-dropping hipster douche, and very keen not to be a backstabbing-false-friend-kind-of-jerk either. 


Probably my BIGGEST concern in the personal douche level department is being a deluded douche.  You know, the kind of person who has character flaws the size of the Grand Canyon and builds layer after layer of cognitive dissonance padding between them and the reality of the issues that cause them to be their own worst enemy.  I’d much rather face the stuff head-on I don’t like about myself or need to work on, and try to be a better person. 

As far as I can tell, I am doing a passable job of trying to avoid many of the aforementioned pitfalls, however, it turns out the upshot of that is that I sometimes excel at being another kind of jerk completely.  I’m a pushy, steaming hot mess of hard-to-handle, and some people find me absolutely appalling, vulgar, and quite enjoy nursing a healthy dislike for me and voice that quite openly.  Not everyone appreciates my honesty or willingness to share my opinions.  Some people, even people that I would call my friends, seem to relish pointing out how annoying I am and how lucky I am to have anyone tolerate my deep and varied failings. On the surface this doesn’t seem particularly kind or constructive, but if it makes them feel better, go for it I guess.  As long as you season it with some respect, kindness and concern as well.


Being at least moderately aware of the many and ever-evolving ways in which I suck is not absolution from the dumb, hurtful, or destructive things I do and say.  It just makes it ever so slightly easier to handle the venom that people spit at me, because I can honestly think or say: “Yes, I know that I suck, and your observation of this is undeniable, but oh my giddy aunt I am working on being a better person!”

Recently, I have had cause to ask Grumpy weekly, if not daily, if we are as deluded as most other people seem to be.  He’s pretty confident that due to our entrenched lack of self-esteem, and zero investment in appearing “cool” or keeping up with the Joneses, that we do a pretty good job of dealing with reality most of the time.  We are also armed with the Love and respect of some pretty harsh critics and very clever people who don’t suffer fools.  Sharing a common need to try and be decent human being ties us all together as our strongest social, and perhaps spiritual bond.

He also pointed out that if you didn’t have a few delusions about your own worth and importance, you’d quickly become suicidal, because the harsh reality of our insignificance and inadequacy would probably cause anyone to get pretty darned depressed… And none of us are actually insignificant or inadequate, as long as we are tied to other people in a positive way – we are significant beyond measure and our actions and influence are infinite and echo through the ages.  If, however, we go through life seeking nothing but self gratification or building a false façade, it won’t take long for the cracks in our lives to start showing and things to start crashing down around us. 

You know that saying: “The first step to recovery is admitting you have a problem.”  Well, that is the essence of what I am trying to get across today.  So many of us battle terrible demons and try and fill a cosmic emptiness with all sorts of distractions, obsessions and messed up priorities.  If, like me, you keep running into the same problems over and over again in life – take a step back, and look REALLY look at what it is you are doing and why you do it, and how that keeps affecting you.

I was going to go into a long and convoluted rant about something I struggle with and have since I was very young indeed, but I’ve deleted that and I will give you the short version:


I am a desperately needy and undeniably annoying person.  I do not inherently believe that anyone could or would like me just as I am.  So for as long as I can remember I have felt compelled to do things for people or “buy friendship” through actions or favours.  That makes me a target, and also stops people from wanting to get close to me because it can be mighty awkward indeed, and I eventually snap and freak out and have a “what’s in this relationship for ME!” moment, quite often out of the blue or at inopportune times that actually don’t have a lot to do with the person I am lashing out at.

It is really REALLY hard to admit that


But I am working on it.  And I am building boundaries, and I am learning to say no to people.  All of these things are a bit of an uphill battle.  I used to make excuses, and convince myself that the cycle of loneliness and disappointment was just terrible luck, or I was a victim.  Simply not true.  I was sabotaging relationships at every turn, and the only remedy is honesty.  My dearest friends are very (nay, gobsmackingly!) honest with me, as I am with them.  My husband calls me out when he sees me acting like a total dickhead in an attempt to buy friendship or win people over.  One of his least favourite Dee moves is when I get drunk and tell people how much money we have or start giving things away willy-nilly.  HE HATES THAT!  I think I am getting better though.  But acting this way not only makes me a rather sad spectacle, it sabotages relationships in a very real and lasting way. 

And you know what.  When I stop throwing things at people and smothering them, and just accept that maybe there are people who like me for me, things go a whole lot smoother.

I could go on and on about my own delusions and dissonance – and bring up dozens of examples of seeing other people’s own struggles.  Perhaps one of the most common delusion I see people suffer from is being mean.  Mean people don’t seem to know that they are totally messing up their lives and the lives of others.  They make excuses for bullish and amoral behavior, and justify abhorrent actions to themselves until they don’t know how to deal with people rationally anymore.  Perhaps a bit of that power-corrupting adage, but I’ve noticed that bullies don’t seem to get that they’ll be a whole lot happier if they humble the heck up and try collaborating rather than dominating people an situations.  True story.



I doubt I’ll get more than a handful of readers with this Friday rant.  

For those of you who suffered through reading it, THANK YOU!  And I hope it was in some way helpful.

Bit of Shock and a Whole Lot of Shame.

Well.  I wasn’t expecting that.

Saw the extra appendage not even a couple of minutes into the scan.  Upon having it confirmed the proceedings had to be paused while I sobbed uncontrollably for a couple of minutes and tried to compose myself.

It is now coming up to noon and I’m still stuck in a cycle of weeping, sobbing and ugly crying.

No longer crying because of the disappointment of finding out it is a boy after trying so desperately and for so long for a girl.  I am  crying because my deepest, darkest fears of being a complete fucking asshole are staring me in the face.  With the luxury of wallowing over this very trivial matter, and reacting in this completely unreasonable and terrible way,  I am left with a very  jagged pill to swallow indeed.  I have stopped my day – because I have the support network and resources to do this (while most people do not) and am bed ridden with grief and shame over the excellent results of an anatomy scan which show that this child is absolutely thriving and I should be consumed with happiness, yet am taking an utterly Veruca Salt approach to my reaction to this event instead.


The world around me is full of people struggling. Couples are stuck in a cycle of trying to conceive, and women who are carrying on with unplanned pregnancies and have no idea how they are going to provide for the child and themselves, and parents nursing terminally or chronically ill children.  Meanwhile, this baby is thriving and will certainly bring joy to our, and many other people’s lives. Everything I need and want is at my disposal, and I am angry and upset at myself for not successfully playing God and being able to affect the gender of the life inside me. I. Am. Completely. Ashamed.

Not sure if I am making a terrible mistake documenting all of this publicly and pouring my heart out online the way I do.

I assume that once this total meltdown passes, I’ll look back on how hormonal, irrational and dramatic I am being and wish I could erase my confession.

And if and when this child arrives, I do not want him to think for a moment that he is not Loved and welcome in his mother’s heart and life.  And I certainly do not want him to carry around for all of his days the stigma of his mamma desperately wishing he were a girl.  There is a reason for everything, and the reason I have been sobbing uncontrollably, screaming, and throwing things across the room is that I am a very spoiled control freak.  And admitting that, and facing that terrible side of me is making it difficult to breath.

Tomorrow I’ll get up.  I’ll feel suitably embarrassed, and I will carry on with the many things that need doing.  The invitations that should have made it out last week, the client work that I swore I’d make a start on a fortnight ago, the planning, the packing, the booking of flights and cars for the many “pinch me, I must be dreaming” adventures that lay ahead… it will all get done and I will continue to live in my ivory fucking tower where precious little is ever denied me, and I’ll continue to have the luxury of blowing an absolute gasket when things don’t work out the way I want them to.

It is perfectly okay to hate me a little (or a lot) after reading this.

I certainly do.

Hoping to be back on track and a little less cray cray tomorrow.

Less than Perfect Pregnancy

Anyone who has even a passing acquaintance with us (and this includes people in airport queues, subways, the tube, buses, trains, waiting rooms, restaurants, and even on a few occasions elevators) will know that we ‘s been trying to conceive a girl as our final bite at the breeding apple.

We’ve used the Shettles method.  This relies heavily on timing, and meant that our militant observance of the methodology resulted in 18 months coming *snicker* and going with only a couple of chemical positives to show for our herculean efforts.


We finally succeeded in planting fourth and final Hobbit human in August and are due to be welcoming the arrival on my 36th birthday on April 28th 2014.

Nearly halfway through the arduous task of growing a person, today is the day of the scan to find out the gender of our baby.

I’ve been in bed, genuinely unable to move, all day yesterday after being on the go for a solid 18 hours Saturday, organizing a Thanksgiving fundraiser that was enjoyable, if not actually very successful.

Saturday, yesterday and today I’ve fielded over a dozen apology texts, emails and private messages of people who had RSVP’d and were unable to make it.  Tis the season to have to much on for many people, so I am not upset, but the level of effort involved did not correlate on any level to the financial or social success of the event.  I did have a lovely time catching up with friends I had not seen for a far too long, and with only 30 or so people attending, I was able to talk to everyone and I even got some fantastic newborn cuddles from some dear friends’ 6-week old daughter.

Yesterday, and this entire pregnancy, has taught me a number of things:

1)  If you think you can “do it all” and do anything justice; you are wrong.

After a very rocky and abysmally financially unsuccessful first 6 months establishing a boutique PR firm, things have just recently started to show real promise.

The strategy is simple: manage a portfolio of ethical, socially responsible and environmentally sustainable clients.  As fate would have it, the only real traction and light at the end of the tunnel (working with clients who meet the criteria, and also pay their bills) has come since forging a new relationship with a new business partner a few months ago.   About the same time I found out I was pregnant.

Then there are the other matters of trying to plan a very large renewal of vows party, run a household, manage geographically challenging properties, volunteer for several charities, spread the word on numerous causes (particularly the uptake of clean energy and Electric Vehicle Technology), assist various friends and family with everyday issues they may ask for help with, maintain social contact with an equally busy bunch of people, AND gestate.

I fear I am not doing many (if any) of these things justice, and the gargantuan effort to even keep all of these proverbial balls in flight has depleted me beyond recognition.  I am sad to report – the world continues to both turn and have countless issues and injustices – despite my attempts to “do what I can with what I have.”  So something has to give, and soon, or this Hobbit may be heading for a nice quiet padded cell somewhere.

2)  Family first.

I’ve been so busy and tired, that I’ve missed out on the stuff that sets the foundation for family.  I cook maybe once a week, miss out on the children’s events, arrange precious few play-dates, and haven’t been making time for them as individuals.  Bringing another person into the fold, I seriously need to re-assess things.  I’m trying to strike a balance between a sense of personal achievement, pondering my own morality, setting a good example for the children, and being at least an adequate wife and mother.

Now this may sound painfully cliché, but I am going to tell you anyway. Of all the things I have ever, or will ever do, our children are the most amazing, rewarding, fulfilling, frustrating, heartbreaking and important.  Letting them know that, and being available to them is the biggest honor and responsibility imaginable.  I needed to write that down, and I’ll be reminding myself of it a frequently.

3)  What will be will be.

There are things we can control, there are things we cannot.  Understanding the difference between these things is something that occasionally escapes me.

I make bad decisions, trust people, take people at their word, embark on projects, often without effectively weighing up the risks or potential rewards.  I sometimes think, if I want something to be true strongly enough, work hard enough, hope with enough earnest… that I can somehow affect the outcome.  Sometimes this works.  Sometimes it does not.

4)  Appreciate the things that are.

Like everyone, I waste time thinking about what could have been or what will be, at the expense of enjoying all the wonder of what really makes my world a very special place.

One never has to look very hard to find things that they are lacking.  I have three (and hopefully eventually four) healthy, cheeky, intelligent, empathetic, generous, funny and loving children and a husband who adores and supports me in good times and in bad.  These things do not come without sacrifice and daily effort, but they are realities and I am thankful for them every single day.  That’s to true. Most days.  I am genuinely thankful MOST days.

5)  Grass seems greener – it really isn’t.  Enjoy wherever you are and whatever you are doing for what it is without pining for what has been or will be.

I envy so many people, in reality as well as in principle.  I envy those without children for the freedom and disposable income that having children has taken away from us.  I envy working mothers who managed to balance their careers throughout the childbearing and rearing years and are now amazing and respected career women.  I envy the stay at home mothers who are content and engaged in their community (people scare me, and even school drop off is a traumatic and gut wrenching activity) and keep a tidy house and bake from time to time.  Most of all, I envy people who seem to attract support and who seem to have things come terribly easy.  I give until it (as of today and yesterday quite literally) hurts.  I try to do what is right and good and ethical at every chance.  It is frustrating beating myself up over falling short on perfection on every measure, and watching other people dance quite happily through life with their own pleasure and needs being met as an absolute priority.


You know what.

What other people do and how they live their lives is not any of my business unless their lives are obviously intertwined with mine somehow.

I am going to spend more time enjoying my own yard, and not peeking over the fence into others people’s.

6)  Pregnancy is magic, and difficult, and kind of gross.

When I am not up the duff, I miss it.  I stare longingly at women and their preggy bumps and pine for the kicks and rolls of the second and third trimesters.

I swore this time I would enjoy every moment.  Document it all even.  Lots of belly-bump pictures, lots of enjoying the process.  Managing my diet and exercise better than in all the other pregnancies.


I am rolling from day to day and week to week, and barely remembering to take my pre-natal vitamins.  During the first trimester, I was lucky to be able to keep anything down for more than 20 minutes.

Now I have a little bit more energy, and I can feel the little person rolling around in my belly every day.  I wonder what they will be like, how they will fit into the chaos that is this family.  I am completely terrified, nervous, anxious and feel utterly ill-prepared on every level for this child.

I don’t get a chance to do this ever again, and understand that there are people in the world who have tried for years and in so many ways to conceive their own children without success.  I can’t speak to how that must feel, and thinking of them and their plight makes me hate myself for complaining.

This particular baby is a very unique experience indeed.  I was just starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel and could almost taste the freedom that comes from having the children be more independent and self-sufficient.  Now, I am battling through all the physical and emotional changes of being pregnant, and dreading starting over again from scratch.

I wonder if I will look back and read this in a few years time and be upset that I could not appreciate it for what it was.


So I’m just heading into the shower now to get ready for the scan that will reveal the gender of this child.

I’ll keep you posted.

And whatever the outcome, I know… I really, actually totally understand, that I am blessed beyond words to have this opportunity again and if this child is healthy and content, it is worth celebrating every single day.

Happy Monday.

Thanks for reading.