Saturday, November 28, 2009

The Hairdresser Madness

Living in a different Country from that you have grown up in, brings some issues like...trying not to look exactly like everyone else coming out the hairdresser. And you are not used to it. In Ireland this is something so common it's unbelievable. There are probably 3 or 4 hairstyles...long straight hair (not very difficult to just trim), curly (usually medium-long), medium length bob and I can't think of another one. The fake blondies have the same colour blond, it's unreal, the straight hair also are the same, Jannifer Aniston had hit hard here I think.
I had long hair before, and it is as straight as spaghetti, so for a while I didn't mind too much spending and hour or two and answering "yes" to the standard question "Do you like it?". Then I wanted to change, a nice chop, lighter and more me. For a couple of times I just couldn't convince the hairdresser to cut it short. You should have heard the excuses..."but you have just put highlights in..." or "it suits you so much this way...". And believe me, I HAVE tried a few different places. Finally a hairdressed in a new saloon took me on one time and she went for it. The length was gone but, how could I say more clearly "I don't want hair across my face??". No joy, I always come out with a "curtain" of hair hanging over my right eye. Great. And there is just no point in arguing. I've lifted a white flag with that one. At least she's shortening it. Today I thought I had a chance. My usual hairdresser wasn't there and I had a different one, short hair herself. I was very clear, I even showed her a picture on a top fashion magazine dedicated to short hair...We seemed to be in agreement and then...there she starts puling the hair to one side, I knew the "curtain" was coming. She shorten the hair a good bit at the back at least, but it's the front that matters more! I kept telling her my hair wouldn't stick across the forhead at that fashionable angle unless she glued it to it. But she tried. And tried some more. Then she shortened it a bit. Then a bit more. She even "taught" me how I should dry it to make it stay that way. Yeah right. Once I had a perm, a real one (ah.. the eighties...) and it disappeared two days later when I washed it!! I know my hair, I've had it 35 years and I can tell you, unless you overload it with wax/gel/spray and a few prayers it'll go back to it's original position. Straight down.
I gave up. I left the saloon annoyed, without leaving a tip and with the "curtain" across the forhead. Like the hairdresser who cut my hair. I should have known better.

Back home, I cut that "curtain" myself, and swore not to go back there. Not sure I'll find a better one though, I'm nearing the end of the list of places I can think of and I just think it is silly to pack in a haircut too when I go to Italy...but unless I have some seriously recommended place for the next time I might have to do just that!

Friday, November 27, 2009


I am not sure how long it was since I had a perfect cycle. 28 days and AF had shown up. Amazing. I was telling you that I feel like my old self and this is an other sign.

On a different note, we had the first hurdle dealt with for the attic conversion! The owner of the apt underneath have no objections whowhhoo! So next is to get the approval of the board of Directors, I'll put a letter together over the weekend.

Finally, I seem to have some problems in leaving messages to blogs in which the comment box is imbedded in the I the only one?

Sunday, November 22, 2009

The attic project update

The architect came on Thursday and we thought he was great. He looked at the house, at the various rooms and, of course at the attic! He sees great potential and so do we. So what do we have to do?

First of all we need to ge permission from the owner of the apartment underneath us with whom we share the roof. We know the couple living there and we had the feeling they were renting, but anyway, I sent Mike to talk to them and sure they had no problem at all with us converting the attic and will give us the name of the owner (we feel it maybe the County Council). Hopefully we'll get the contact today and I'll follow this up next week.
Next we need the approval of the Directors of the Managment Company, we knew we had to have this and one advantage, according to the architect, is that they are the developers of the estate, so they know about buildings and stuff (ie if the project is good and adds value to the property they'll be able to see it).

Once we have this in place the architect will apply for planning permission to the Council. Ideally we want to open two windows in the wall and we hope the neighbouring unit won't object (we already have 3 windows on that wall, it shouldn't be too unrealistic).

The architect will get back to us in the next week or so with a budget proposal and a list of things to do. The job itself, once we have planning permission, should only take 4-6 weeks and it would be better if we move out (and move back in the granny flat I was renting when I first move to Ireland!! The landlady became like family to me and came to our wedding in 2007).
I think spring sounds like a plausible time for the job, watch this space!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

ICLW week determination

This time I'm determined to post twice as required for this ICLW cycle. You all just deserve it. I just realised I've already made two new friends (welcome!!) and can't wait to read more about you.

Let's see where we are at. Well, you can read most of my IF-drama in my profile. Yes yes you got it right, two damn exctopic preganancies out of two fresh ICSI cycles have wiped away any left hope for a natural pregnancy ever to happen to me and I have to tell you that two natural cycles after the last surgery and methotrexate (yes that too! and I've called myself the Ectopic Queen ever since) I cannot believe I'm back to my normal self of three years ago, before all the TTC business started. You see, if there is no hope there isn't the disappointment! And you may think "poor thing...sure I would say the same if I was tubeless.." but no no I really mean it. Even when we (I) said in the past "ok, let's take a break from this crap (i.e. no OPK, no BBT, no TTC, no LH/FSH/HCG and the classic WTF)" I never really was on a break. Deep deep down I was still hoping for a miracle...they happen sometimes right? And I know you understand the stress of it all.

Anyway, we now know that our only chance is with ICSI (male factor was the only reason of our childless life apparently) and we'll give it another shot in January/February (we have dates actually, so all going well EC will be on the 3rd of February).

Meanwhile I'll be talking about work, the attic project and anything else that goes on in my life in between cycles! Thank you for stopping by, I hope you'll stick around!

ps: I'm celebrating my 100 post here! ...and 3 years of TTC madness

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Busy busy busy

You know the way you go away for just a couple of days and you get back and things have piled up like you haven't done anything for the last month?

I've now done a lot of the tedious work and decided to blog a bit. The lab-madness has shifted from one student (who's now back to her good self) to another. She's also finishing up her PhD and if I have to say I'm confident she'll do well at her viva I'll be lying. A lot. Nothing to do with the quality of her work. All to do with her personality and lack of confidence and background knowledge. I'll have to consult with a colleague to see if we can do something to help her. Thankfully it won't happen before spring, I may be well pregnant by then and worried about other things!

And, would you believe it, my new superduper computer is gone back to the makers! Yeah yeah I know, if I had gone for a Mac it would have been better...ah well too late now, I just hope when they'll ship it back it'll be ok. For all the IT people out there, the problem was the "BSOD" (aka Blue Screen of Death!), not sure if it was a hardware or a software issue :o(

Finally I should meet up with the girls for the Ectopic Pregnancy support group on Saturday! Really looking forward to it now. A big hug to my friend Mad Hatter who's third IUI didn't work. If you can stop by and give her a hug.

ps: the architect will come over this evening to see the attic!! Woohooo

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Brand new Fran

I have it!! I have my new toy!! Yes ladies the new computer is here and I love it....oh the pleasure of fast response to commands, the new features of the no it's not a Mac, that's what my sis has but I chickened out and bought another Win based laptop! And being a gadget addict I have spend hours with it already...

And sure being in Italy just forced me to by new clothes and shoes! They sell them in Dublin too of course, but...ah well, you just cannot compare them!

Everyone here is well and altough I'll fly back tomorrow, I have another work committment here early in December, so...ah well, I'll just have to come back again, poor me... :o) but next time Mike will probably not come so travelling will be a bit less fun.
And the food. Oh yes, it's the chestnuts season and I nearly ODeed on them!
What can I do to have Ireland importing them regularly? How is it that they don't have them? You should see the stuff they sell, apples imported from New Zeland... pears from South Africa...oranges from Brazil....come on, keep at least normal fruit local and bring in the chestnuts from mainland Europe! Am I asking too much?

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Lots going on

I'm really bad at posting at the moment! I'm so deeply engaging with bloggers going through cycles that I forget to update my own.

I have everything crossed for all of you my friends, I can't wait to hear your good news and even more to confirm the good news which cautious IFers are not able to fully enjoy just yet.

So I have no updates on the attic project because the architect hasn't called back yet, and the only other thing going on at the moment is work. I went back into the lab myself to do a bit and I had forgotten how much I enjoyed hands-on-research. I have to try and do it more. I've nearly finished teaching for this semester and the next one will be quite a lot more demanding, but I won't be thinking about it just yet! My PhD students are all doing well, no drama at present, let's hope it'll last.

And on friday we're flying to Italy for a quick weekend, I'm meeting some colleagues at my former University and most importantly...I'm picking up my super laptop!! No...I didn't convert to the cute Mac...I didn't have the courage, but I can't wait to put my hands on the new toy that's waiting for me there! My next blogpost will be from there :o)
Also I asked specifically my mum to buy loads of chestnuts....I love them roasted and you just cannot find them in Ireland....and then I'll go out with my friends for some delicious hot chocolate...mmmmhhh can't wait! Mike on the other hand is very happy that he can watch the Ireland-France World Cup match with my dad. Every one's happy!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Here I go again

...on my own...
Goin' down the only road I've ever known....
Like a drifter I was born to walk alone...
An' I've made up my mind..
I ain't wasting no more time...

Perfect lyrics actually! I got the dates sorted out with the clinic!!! A little dance please...
So I'll start the pill with the December cycle (around Christmas), until the 17th of January. Scan dates: 21st of Jan, 27th of Jan, 29th of Jan and 1st of Feb for EC on the 3rd or 4th of February!!!

I'm very happy with this, they had offered an ealry date (EC on the 20th of January) but that was too similar to the date of a FET I did this year and I think I prefer a different month this time for transfer! Same protocol as the last time (short with antagonists) and a bucket of fingers crossed!

For hose of you who don't know the song I'm talking about at the beginning of this post, please have a look at this link, it's an ad for Twix and I think it's brilliant, the old lady singing in the rain bringing tea somewhere far! Let's hope there is a warm shelter at the end of the road!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

The attic project

While waiting to get definite dates from the clinic, I have the time to explain a bit about our project to convert the attic.

First thing to be said is that we live in a duplex. Here's a picture to give you an idea:

This is not really our place but it's definitely very similar. So you see, we live in an upper apartment (two-storey apartment) and underneath us there is a ground floor apartment with its own door. We are also in a block of 8 units in total (4 up and 4 down) and at the end of the block.
Theoretically we are not allwed to convert the attic as our roof, to which we have exclusive access, is in fact the roof of the ground floor apartment also. Due to a series of strange Irish regulations we wouldn't even be allowed to change the interior layout of our apartment without approval of the Board of Directors of our Management Company. Having said that, if all the 4 upper duplexes in our block are on board for the attic conversion we'll have a very strong point with the Directors.
Unfortunately, with this recession going on here stronger than anywhere else (or that's the feeling anyway) the neighbours are not ready to spend on the attic, but they have all expressed support for us to go ahead. We currently have two and half bedroom. The third one is so small that we se it as office, so we coudl really add one in the attic. Our next-door-neighbour Pat is an engineer and said he was going to do soe drawing for us. This was weeks ago and I haven't seen anything yet! So I've sent the dear husband to enquire and to make sure that either he was giing us some drawing or we woudl call our architect in and do things properly.
You see, ideally we'd love to have windows on the external wall but there may be objections to it (we already have 3 windows on that wall) so we would have to consider putting in velux on the roof. The space is very big for an attic, we could have easily a 5x4m area with plenty of headroom in the lowest point. So I want to fit in a nice double bedroom and a bathroom.
We will have some technical issues to sort out also such as how do we get the hot water up there without using a pump and if we have to use a pump will it serve the sink and bidet also as well as the shower?
So as you can see it's all a bit up in the ... attic at the moment, but hopefully I'll have clearer plan soon!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Moving on

Thank you so much for the comments on my last post. We were away last weekend and I had the opportunity of talking to a good friend of mine who's a clinical psycologist (and I think she's pregnant!! see later) about my student and she agreed with you all that she needs to see a doctor very soon. So I talked to my student this morning again, she feels much better, appears to be the usual lovely girl I got to appreciated so much during the years and although she has not gone to the doctor yet I made her promise that as soon as she feels things are changing again she'll go. And I'll have her under very strict surveillance!

So as I was saying we went to visit friends in the countryside last weekend. We have two couples of very close friends who are even closer among themselves. T is Mike's best friend and A, his wife, is a fantastic girl and a very good friend of ours. They know all about our IF and have been amazingly supportive (during my FET last April we went at their wedding carrying the penguins!). C and D are the other couple, they have a baby who's 18 months or so and absolutely adorable. A and C are both clinical psycologists and they have been great help during the dark days. C is pregnant again and I so much appreciated that she called and told me very early on (she is 10 weeks), she said it was difficult but also she knew it would have been disrespectful of me actually not telling me. And I was truly happy for them. This was last week news.
And then we went to T and A for the weekend. I had the immediate impression she was pregnant too. They didn't say though, so it may be just very early, but I knew. You know the classic things like she's not even tasting the wine (and he's not even offering it to her, very unusual!!) and being a bit more tired than usual. Yet we went for a nice walk up the hills and did a lot of gardening. So Mike doesn't think she is. I bet we'll get the official news in a month or so.

We'll be the only childless couple left. I admit, this had an impact on me that I probably understimated a bit. I felt sad at the idea, out of the circle so to speak. I'm afraid they won't call us anymore, maybe just out of consideration that it may hurt us being around their children, their happiness. Which we don't have.
And I got my period on friday night, right on time which was great, but somehow brought back the feelings of fear that I had when I was bleeding due to the ectopic. God....I'll be absolutely terrified if I'll get pregnant again. Not sure what to do about it.
I called the clinic today and I'm waiting for a call back. Ideally I don't want anyone IRL to know about this, I know everyone is just trying to be supportive, but the stress of keeping real people up-to-date for me is a lot right now. We'll see. Hopefully they can schedule us for January/February, I want to be on the pill for as short as possible.

And I know I haven't updated on the attic conversion yet, but i promise it's on my list of things to do!