thewhitelily: (Lily)
Something was wrong last night.

I've not yet discovered anything I can't eat because it makes William upset, but I'm seriously searching yesterday's menu for anything that I might not have had since becoming a milk bar (potential culprits: pistachios and turkey) because last night...

This parenting thing, eh? Not so straightforward... )

Relief was almost instantaneous. It must have been the placebo affect that caused the results within a few seconds - or perhaps just the distraction of the strange taste in William's mouth - but he had definitely tapered off to occasional sobs within five minutes, and within fifteen he was happily feeding. Not just consoling himself with sucking while he quietly moaned, but staring up at me and making soft happy noises. Half an hour later, it was time to go back to bed - but he was wide awake. He kept smiling and drinking me in with wondering wide eyes: You're so clever, Mummy! You can make anything better!

Yeah. We went to bed together, with me cuddling his little warm swaddled bundle chest to chest, since he was too awake to go back in his cot and I was too tired to spend half an hour unsuccessfully trying to put him back to sleep then end up bringing him to bed with me anyway. I fell asleep before him; every time I'd sleepily open my eyes to see if he was drowsy enough for me to put him back in his own bed, he was still staring up at my face, transfixed in wonder.

I don't know when he eventually fell asleep, but he slept through until midday and woke up bubbly and content.

Hurrah for panadol.
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So, William's a month old today, and I've not really said anything about how it's all going.

Well. Extremely, incredibly, unbelievably well. I honestly can't believe how easy a baby William is to look after - and how much I'm loving... I was going to say perhaps not *every* minute, but to be honest even when it's the middle of the night or my shirt's smeared with poo or my bra's soaked with vomit or his sad little face is all screwed up in distress, I'm just trying to soak up the experience of him being this tiny and (and this cooperative!).

He's put on over a kilo in his first month of life, which is absolutely brilliant. He attached and ate very well from the beginning, and although at the beginning I kept having to wake him to feed, he's begun making it quite clear when he'd like to be fed, which is... well, a mixed blessing (particularly on days like today where he's presumably having a growth spurt and has essentially decided he wants to be fed constantly - by which I mean I can only obtain any breaks at all where he's not crying by giving him my finger to suck on instead, which pacifies him for maybe 15 minutes before I have to put him back on the breast for another hour - but this is fortunately unusual). As long as I get seven or so feeds in during the day, he only demands one or two night feeds. Nights with two are better, because the only real difference is that he agrees to go back to sleep after the second, so that I can catch an hour or two more sleep and end up with eight hours total. At first we had to spend a few minutes rocking him and singing to him a bit to convince him to go back to sleep again - but now he's figured out the difference between night and day and he's usually asleep the moment we put him back in his bed again. Woot. Seriously.

Oddly enough, even when he demands feeding in the middle of the night, he doesn't actually wake up. He'll squeak a bit, and I'll look at him and he'll be fast asleep. So, I'll go back to sleep. He'll squawk a bit more seriously, but when I look at him again he'll be fast asleep. And so it goes on. Eventually, the squawks get so frequent that I'm getting less sleep waking up every time he makes one than I would just by picking him up and properly waking him for a feed. When I finally decide to draw the line and feed him I'm almost always convinced I'd done that last time he made a noise so I'd already been feeding him but had fallen asleep doing so and so it's time to change sides or put him back to bed (despite the fact that I never feed lying down now that I can sit up, because of the risk of falling back to sleep). It can be a bit distressing, actually, because by the time I'm awake he's fallen silent again, and I start searching for him beside me and he's not there and I worry he's worked his way down under the doona or fallen off the edge of the bed or got wedged between the mattress and the wall... And then I look over into his cot, and he's just there, fast asleep, making no noise, and I feel like an idiot for having fallen for it again. Still, if that mid-nightly ritual is the greatest of my sleep difficulties, I'm definitely a lucky mother.

The last couple of weeks he's been having more difficulty feeding. It's like he's completely forgotten what a nipple is for - he's very happy to hold it in his mouth and lick it or even cuddle it close to his cheek like his very favourite friend, but he seems to have a lot of trouble remembering he's supposed to start sucking. Or even realising that he's obtained his objective. Whether he's calm as anything or absolutely frantic with hunger and shaking his gaping mouth from side to side like a laughing clown on speed and windmilling his crazy arms in the hopes that will help... somehow, it doesn't seem to make much difference to him noticing that it's right there in his mouth, all he has to do is start sucking. This has been heaps better since I realised that I could bait-and-switch by getting him sucking on my finger (which for some reason he's *always* ready to suck - I've got a hickey on my fingertip), then swapping in the nipple when he's got the idea. But because of all the mucking around - and the usual increase in wear and tear on a sensitive part of my anatomy - I've been getting pretty sore, which has been making things even more difficult, because it's not like I can take a couple of days off feeding him to heal. Fortunately, I found some good (if counterintuitive) advice to attempt to feed him more often rather than less so that he'll be calmer and suck more gently, which has made great strides in keeping things from reaching the cracked-and-bleeding stage.

I've been expressing breastmilk the last couple of weeks as well (ever since I started getting really sore, so that if things get really bad I actually *can* take some time off) and it seems I can consistently pump one extra feed per day when I first get up, so I've been building up a bit of a stock of frozen milk to cover me if I want to have a couple of extra drinks every now and then, and to keep at potential babysitters (ie. grandparents) houses as well as, once I've got enough of a buffer to make me comfortable, donate to the Australian breastmilk bank for babies in need who, for whatever reason, can't have their own mother's milk.

I went to see Harry Potter on Sunday, which I enjoyed a great deal, but was perhaps most notable for the fact that it was the first time I'd been out of William's immediate vicinity since he was born. I was away for three and a half hours total which, since he eats approximately every two hours, meant Hubby got to give him a bottle. He accepted that quite happily and seamlessly switched back to the breast afterwards, so essentially that means I'm free to have him babysat or leave him with his dad whenever. Now I just have to work on wanting to be away from him. :)

So that's how he's going for sleeping and eating - I won't go into detail about his other primary function, except to mention that we've just started using our cloth nappies, which are 'modern cloth' - ie, just like a disposable with velcro closures, elastic legs, stay-dry liners, and waterproof covers, only when they're dirty you chuck them in the washing machine. So far, I'm pretty pleased - we'll see if I still feel that way after a few washing days. :)

As for his personality... he's so much more calm and content and easier to settle than I'd expected. He doesn't seem to cry for no readily apparent reason at all. If he's a bit unsettled, it's a short checklist of: hungry? (feed) dirty? (change) wind pain? (sling him over the shoulder in a fireman's carry) tired? (swaddle and rock) just plain sad? (present finger for sucking) And that's essentially it. Of course it's a full time job - I was expecting it to be a full time job. I wasn't expecting to feel calm and in control and almost always able to solve his problems when he's upset.

At this point he has essentially three 'quiet alert' periods every day - one first thing in the morning, one in the afternoon, and one last thing before bed. Each period is one to three hours (depending on whether he has a feed in the middle and keeps going), and during the time (unless he's having a bad wind day) he's just this amazing happy little sponge. He windmills his arms and kicks his legs, lifts and attempts to support his disproportionately sized head on his little pipe-cleaner neck, and grunts and coos like mad. He watches everything - his particular favourites are lights and the security grill above my breastfeeding chair - but he's happily been holding eye contact since he was a couple of weeks old. We think he smiled his first real 'social' smile today, which is a big milestone. We've yet to see when it's repeated. Quiet alert periods are the highlight of my day - I just sit with him cradled on my lap making faces at him, poking my tongue out and cooing back at him, and marvelling that this very small person will one day be full sized.

I can't believe it's already been that long - but I guess as they say, the days are long but the years are short. All in all, I think it's fair to say that so far, I'm loving motherhood. :)

Picspam!

Nov. 16th, 2010 12:45 pm
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First of all for the pick of the lot:

IMG_4364

Next is the highlights package: )

Gluttons for punishment can visit here for the full set.

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All sorts of uncensored stuff under cut, mainly for my personal records, so not necessarily for the faint of heart.

Read on if you dare... )



Summary version for those who just want the are-you-okay version, or get bored or squicked in the unbelievably tl;dr above. :) )

Selected picspam to follow.
thewhitelily: (Default)
William Brian Hunter, 3.406kg (7lb 8), born 9:57am November 3rd. Mum and baby both healthy.

More details to follow. *sleeps*

Swelling

Oct. 24th, 2010 09:59 pm
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To whoever has stolen my ankles:

I appreciate that it was a funny practical joke to look down an hour ago and realise that my legs were essentially cylindrical from the knee down, but it's rather disconcerting not to have any visible protruberance or change in shape due to ankle bones. Particularly since, as far as I can recall, they were totally fine yesterday. I'm beginning to be concerned that if swelling continues at this rate, by the time I reach my due date I'll have a pair of feet more suitable in shape for an elephant than a human being.

If the thief could please just return the bones in question overnight, we'll say nothing more about this.

Thanks in advance,
Lily.
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So today, I'm counting myself as officially eight months pregnant: I'm due on the 14th of November, today is the 14th of October.

I had my last scan a week and a half ago - Gil is tracking at slightly above average size, with a truly prodigious sized head. Somehow, I can't work up a great deal of excitement along the 'must have big brains!' track that everyone keeps telling me. Maybe I should stop taking those Omega 3 supplements? :P

Various pregnancy / life trivia / tl;dr... )

Hopefully I'll be all ready in a month. Hopefully I'll be ready in two weeks, since that's really the beginning of the critical zone. I wish I was ready right now - it would be great to be all prepared and just catching up on sleep and conserving as much of my energy as I can to face the impending change.

Tired

Sep. 28th, 2010 09:32 am
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I am so unbelievably tired.

When the car pulled into the garage at work this morning, I laid my head down on the seatbelt for a few moments to rest my eyes before I could face getting out of the car. After some prodding by Hubby, I managed to get one foot out onto the ground, then needed another break. I may call time of death at work in the midmorning and go home, because this is ridiculous. I literally can't keep my eyes open for more than a few minutes.

I feel like I'm about to head into Uni to hand in an assignment after two all-nighters in a row, without the accompanying semi-alertness of intellectual overstimulation or the adrenaline of the short term limit on the task ahead (ie. once I've dropped the assignment in, I can go to bed and sleep for a week). I did, I must admit, stay up until 10:30pm last night - AND the night before - so maybe that's the pregnancy equivalent of all-nighters. Still, given I generally wake up around 8:30am, that's ten hours sleep each night. Surely that should be plenty for woman and fetus, even if I am sleeping for two.

Someone's siphoning away all my resources, and likely to continue doing so for the foreseeable future. At least in seven weeks or so, he'll be capable of obtaining his own oxygen, even if he still needs me to process and manufacture his food.

Still, I can't help feeling sorry for the poor little sod: he's had the hiccups pretty much non-stop for the last several days. Maybe that's what's taking all our energy.
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I can has camera!

It is distinctly awesome - I've been lusting after a DSLR for some 6 years, and so it's great to finally get the chance to put all my research to good use. I'm pleased with the weight of it - given I tend towards weak wrists, I'd been a little concerned that it might take a while for me to build up the muscle strength to use it naturally - but extended periods of cat-stalking with the lighter 50mm prime lens weren't any problem at all. I need to go for a photo-walk this weekend with the 18-200mm lens. Now I come to think of it, I mostly use the tripod to eliminate camera shake, so I don't often handhold for extended periods of time - although maybe that'll change now I have faster lenses/better image stabilisation.

In any case: Hubby! Cats! Me! More bump than ever before! Clickety-click! )

Oh, and by the way, having a remote control absolutely rules. I am so, so sick of using the self timer and running back and forth from the tripod just to take one more photo. Being master of my own timing and only having to run back when I actually want to look at or change something on the camera is hugely better. I also worked out how to use the delay on the remote control after the first set of pictures, so hopefully this is the first and last time you'll have such an easy job of playing spot-the-remote. :)
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We've entered a study of Baby Triple P which is a new offshoot of the Positive Parenting Program (one of the only evidence-based parenting courses around). This one is aimed at couples expecting their first child. We're yet to find out whether we're in the control group or the group that actually gets to do the course (darn you, scientific method!), but from what I've heard about it from others at my Aquamums class, I'm really hoping that we make the coin toss.

We've already done antenatal classes, a separate class on keeping well during pregnancy, and this last weekend a breastfeeding class administered by the Australian Nazi Breastfeeding Association (which was good, if unofficially but hair-tearingly bigoted against things like pain relief during childbirth and mothers who also work outside the home), so if we don't get in we won't exactly be entirely lost for information about what to do when my lodger decides it's time to move out.

And even if we don't get to do the Baby Triple P course, I've already found the initial survey we each had to fill in (presumably to compare our current happiness and relationship status with that after we've had the baby - and then compare the changes between the group that did the course and the control group) incredibly interesting - and quite an emotional boost, to be honest. Among other things, I had to list how many times in the past day/week/month Hubby's been physically affectionate, verbally affectionate, done household chores either unprompted or on request, provided sympathy, socialised with my family, discussed and resolved relationship issues, confided in me, talked through financial issues - and also, because the questionnaire asks of course, how many times he's been verbally or physically abusive, critical, controlling, invaded my privacy, lied, or went back on his word - and then how happy I was about that number.

I won't list numbers here (although I will say the second group of answers had a thankfully large number of zeros in it), but I will say that I'm one incredibly lucky girl. May my life and relationship continue to be as awesome as they are right at this moment.

Edit: We got in. Well, they say we got in, and that the control group don't receive the course at all. But it is, after all, run by the psychology department. Maybe they're just saying that and we'll be going along to course lectures filled with lies! Hmmm, I suspect that wouldn't get past the university ethics committee. Is paranoia a pregnancy symptom?
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I hadn't realised how different Gil's movements would feel as my pregnancy continued to develop. From the tiny little flutters at the start, to the sharper more insistent poke-pokes, the poke-drag, the octopus-playing-the-drums, the foot-on-bone-hey-stop-slumping-mummy feeling of a kick in the ribs, the whoops-looks-like-I-can't-bend-in-that-direction-at-the-moment and more recently...

Well, I can only describe it as seething. As there gets to be less and less room, and Gil gets bigger and bigger, I'm managing to distinguish between body parts. Now I can usually feel (or often even just look at) my stomach and identify the position of his bottom (or head, depending on which way up he is), because of the way his position distorts my entire abdomen. I can still feel more pinpoint motions from his feet and hands, but they're blunter and stronger and I can feel them all the way from the beginning of the motion to the end, even if it's moving perpendicularly to my skin - and usually associated with some sort of equal and opposite motion. Now, when he's active, I'll feel and see his whole body moving at once - if he tries to stretch his legs a bit he'll also be headbutting my cervix, arching his back all along my skin, and scrabbling with all his limbs for purchase, and resettling himself once he's actually moved. Sometimes it looks and feels a bit like two snakes fighting in a sack.

It's getting no less weird to look down at my expanding tummy and just find myself thinking... who thought this crazy shit up, and what were they smoking? I mean, seriously. Embedding something of roughly 6.5kg (including baby, placenta, amniotic fluid, and engorgment of uterine tissue) inside one's abdomen, pushing aside all one's other organs which were doing perfectly fine right where they were thank you very much, not to mention another 7kg of extra breast tissue, blood and general fluid volume to lug around, all on top of joints that are severely loose in preparation for the craziest bit of all - not to mention that part of the thing embedded in your abdomen? It's got a mind of its own. Literally.

Other than my general issues of continuing to be weirded out by the whole thing (which is less of an issue and more of an awe that I hope never fades), pregnancy's going pretty well for me.

Bullet points extraordinaire )

Morphology

Jun. 25th, 2010 10:33 am
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So, an excellent 20 week Morphology Scan, where they go through all the parts of the baby's body counting and measuring, making sure they're all there and all in proportion. And everything is well! Gil's perfectly formed and well-sized for dates at about the size of a large mango.

It was nice to see the doctor who did my CVS again - he obviously loves his job and had fun writing silly notes on some of the more interesting bits of the scan. Speaking of which, we have rather unmistakable visual confirmation: it's most definitely a boy. But I'll leave our young man some privacy and at least won't post the proof online - although I'm not promising the pictures won't come out for his twenty-first party. :)

Video within... )
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So Hubby's sister's wedding's over and all that's left is dealing with a zillion photos.

Picspam within... )
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He's moving!!!

At the moment, I can only feel it if I lie down and just breathe very quietly with my fingers over my stomach, but it's *definitely* Gilgamesh getting down with his funky self in there. I have to resist the urge to keep poking him to try to keep waking him up and make him do it some more, so I can lie there all day feeling it. :)

Women seem to have a lot of trouble describing the sensation. I've had people say it's like a bubble, or butterflies in your stomach, and my sister said it was like having a goldfish in a bag and feeling the fish flick past through the plastic. My mother in law couldn't come up with any description at all.

I think it feels like a muscle tic in your eye or something, although obviously this is in my abdomen. It's just like that involuntary muscle movement that you don't realise you've made until you feel a tiny twitch.

Hmmm. I thought it would suddenly feel a whole lot more real when I felt him moving, but it still feels a bit like a weird dream that's just got a few specifics out of place, or a story I'm telling, or something like that. Maybe it'll feel more real when his movements interrupt me in the middle of doing other things rather than needing to practically meditate to feel him.

In other news, you'll likely have piccies of The Bulge looking very impressive in a week or so. My sister-in-law's wedding is next Saturday and I've finally got around to altering my MOH dress to fit both Gil and I at the same time. If I hadn't known the dresses were bought before we'd even thought of getting pregnant, I would have thought they'd been specifically designed to show off The Bulge to its best advantage. Yay, looking pregnant, rather than just waistless!
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See above. No Downs. No other chromosomal disorder. One squidgy little Y chromosome. And two weeks after the CVS - out of the danger period - our latest scan still shows his heart going thunka-thunka, despite his every acrobatic effort to create an early audition tape for Cirque du Soleil rather than allowing the doctor to get a microphone on his heart for more than two beats in a row.

Also, see my face, which is grinning widely, and has been ever since we got the news.

'Agatha' has been re code-named 'Gilgamesh' while we squabble over a real name for him. The list's only got two options on it, but... well, we both like both of them. We might even end up waiting until we meet him in person to decide one way or the other - or until another name jumps out of nowhere and bites us on the nose.

PS: If you're wondering what's going on, I've just unlocked a series of posts from the last couple of weeks, starting here. Now we've got the all clear, I'm comfortable with it being public.
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Well, it looks like the shifting placenta and getting hold of the CVS last Friday was too good to be true, and I'm darn lucky the doctor went in a second time to collect a bigger piece of genetic material.

Because even with both combined, apparently it's still an incredibly small sample. They usually have enough for two flasks, one for the short term result and one for the long term. This time, they only had enough for one flask - and that means no interim results. In addition, the sample is so small that even in its single flask, the long term result is likely to take closer to three weeks than two to grow to a suitable size for testing.

Apparently there's a chance today - the sample needs its flask and growth medium changed, and they might be able to do a FISH test on the dirty flask - but I was told not to expect this, as it isn't likely. I was also told earlier that they usually didn't do FISH on CVS samples, there was another technique that was better - I don't know whether this is because it's easier or because it's more effective or more certain - so I don't know what the error margin would be even if I did get a result today.

I'm 14 weeks on Sunday, so today (Wednedsday) is probably the last day I could get a bad result and book in for a surgical termination. Tomorrow might be possible if (as wikipedia seemed to suggest) the FISH test takes another day to perform and the doctor's got room to squeeze me in. On the other hand, do I really want to be taking it right down to the wire and booking in for a procedure on the absolute last day the doctor considers it safe for my future reproductive health? On the basis of a test on a dirty test tube that might be less than accurate, with very little time to think or consider? These questions, I am successfully resisting the urge to obsessively research.

On the up side, I'm successfully keeping myself thoroughly distracted by reading baby and parenting books, which appears to be extremely effective at keeping me thinking positive. It's interesting - I've heard about the psychological effect of asking someone to make a choice while assuming the result you want (ie. 'do you want the option with the sun roof and leather seats, or the dashboard GPS?', rather than 'do you want the car?') and I think this is related. How do should I breastfeed most effectively? What dicipline techniques are most effective on a toddler? What should I do if my baby turns unexpectedly pale white on one side and bright red on the other?* All of these are questions that assume a positive outcome and a healthy child, and while I'm thinking about which way to deal with my healthy child, it's harder to worry about not having a healthy child at all. Yay me, I can hack my own brain!

*Yes, this was actually a sample question in one book. Apparently the answer is: baby's circulatory system is not yet mature and blood pooling sometimes happens - turn the baby upside-down for a few minutes and colouration should return to normal.

On the even further up side, I'm past the critical danger period and thus likely to be mostly safe from the worst case scenario - ie. miscarriage of a healthy baby - at this point. And that's a damn good thing.
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I'm so incredibly relieved: apparently I have a highly obedient child, because she shifted her placenta on request. Actually, I should have known it was never in doubt, because every time I see her on a scan - including today when there was a big damn needle in there with her - she won't sit still even for a second, constantly kicking and somersaulting all over the place. I guess I should have known that the chances of anything staying where she'd left it for long were pretty slim. It's probably my fault for letting her train and grade with me - I expect I'll feel the impact of her side-kick soon enough. :)

The Big Damn Needle was less scary than I feared it would be - although I deliberately didn't look - because the feeling of pressure/cramping from that was completely overwhelmed by the discomfort/pain of the pressure of the ultrasound on my over-full bladder. (The volume in the bladder is the main method they use to adjust the relative placement of internal organs - on Wednesday when they were trying to get things to shift around, I had to go to the toilet seven times trying to let 'just a bit' out and drink two glasses of water to top it all up again, all within half an hour. By the time the doctor called it as 'not possible', I believed him!)

The doctor did have to go in with the needle twice, as the first time he wasn't certain there was enough material extracted, which was unfortunate, but apparently the vaguely pinkish colour of both samples was an excellent sign; usually it's a red wine colour from bleeding, so hopefully Agatha won't even notice it's gone.

Aside from what appears to be a vampire bite on my stomach, being slightly sore and crampy (and, it seems, better off than most women in this situation as I haven't needed to take the paracetamol + codeine they supplied me with) and having to fight off the cats who seem to find 'bedrest' an excuse to want to perch on my stomach, I'm feeling brilliant. Optimistic and full of confidence that it's all going to turn out okay. No, aside from a local anaesthetic, the only drugs they gave me were a cup of tea and a couple of malteasers. :)

The critical danger period for miscarriage (1 in 100) is the first 72 hours, and the danger entirely passes (well, returns to normal) after two weeks. The next 24 hours is essentially bed rest, after that it's just no heavy lifting, no housework, no energetic activities, nothing that uses my abdominal muscles even as much as sitting up without the use of my hands, and absolutely no fun. By the time I get the results on Monday afternoon, I'll be past the worst of the danger.

Monday afternoon, and we'll know for sure. Oooh, and we get to find out the gender, too! Yay!

I'm just so incredibly relieved. Even without knowing, the end is in sight! :)
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I had a nice post typed up about my first scan, where we heard baby Agatha's heartbeat going thunka-thunka-thunka and saw her perfect little fuzzy image on the monitor, and I really should have posted it while I was still high on the shiny happy moment.

Because the second scan was... less comforting. The long and short of it is they've given Agatha a 1 in 166 chance of having Downs Syndrome, which falls into the 'high risk' category. If they take my bloodwork alone and ignore my age and the beautiful visual scans, the chances are 1 in 28. For anything else in the world, 1 in 166 would be pretty darn comfortable odds. For this, it's... just too big a risk to be comfortable taking.

The answer is more testing. )

The morning of the attempted CVS, I dreamt I was Granny Weatherwax, which was a bit random but totally awesome. My dreams are always very... physically, emotionally and plottily immersive, much more than they are visual, and I could feel my massive, solid boots gripping the back of the sputtering broomstick, the flap of heavy skirts against woolen stockings, the drag of the wind against a hat held on by a zillion pins, and the inexorable determination of chasing down the train that carried the magical kitten that was the key to unravelling the entire impending disaster of the plot. I've never felt such supreme confidence and certainty of purpose in my life, and I think it must have been my subconscious's way of giving me a boost.

But this morning, Granny Weatherwax is gone. I'm afraid. Not so much of the chance of the results coming back bad--oddly enough, that's still managing to stick in my rational brain as 'ridiculously unlikely, but just can't take chances'. I'm afraid they're not going to be able to do the CVS tomorrow and I won't know, and I'll spend the next four weeks feeling like this, unable to stop myself from researching termination law and termination procedures and termination risks and so on to make sure I'm as informed as I can be when the news comes, because I'm a programmer; I spend my life sorting through and making decisions about edge cases no matter how unlikely. And in this situation I just don't need to be, there's some things I don't need to know and I don't want to know and just... please, tell me my baby's going to be okay?
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I'm told that the accumulation of material possessions cannot make me happy.

Hmmm. Let's count.

Things currently making me outrageously, deliriously happy include:
• My awesome, awesome house. It's spacious, it's beautiful, and it's increased in value by about a third since we bought it. Three years later and I still walk in every day, look around and say: "Yeah. Win."
• My roomba vacuum robot, which putters around cleaning my awesome, awesome house while I'm at work or asleep or victoriously watching it and imagining building a robot army to TAKE OVER THE WORLD!!!
• My new Toyota Prius (well, second hand, and five months old even to me, but from 2007 which is years newer than I've ever had) which is shiny and white and has brakes that work and which we actually put a steering wheel lock on rather than, as we did with its predecessor the '95 Festiva Trio, leaving it unlocked on the kerb with a sign saying "please take me".
• My Taekwondo trophy, with its shiny little gold-painted figure kicking arse on top.
• My manuscript of Futureproof, currently standing five scenes shy of complete second draft.
• My investment unit, which settled two weeks ago and, despite being highly negatively geared and currently scarily untenanted, I have great confidence was a fabulous deal chiefly thanks to my awesome negotiation skills and ability to be a super-bitch to a real estate agent.
• My new Westpac financial accounts, which through a combination of lesser fees, lower interest rate, and better rewards, will save me approximately $1,800 per year over the Commonwealth, as well as providing me with a significantly more convenient account structure.

And then there's this... )

In any case, I hope it continues to help, because tomorrow (well, this morning, it looks like, since I'm a slow typer of LJ posts) Hubby and I are off on another trip to the US, this time to California, Nevada, and Arizona. Mostly national parks so, if it turns out that the experience is only just beginning, at least I’ll have something to take my mind of it and, if necessary, can look at the pretty view as I vomit into a pretty bush.  I’m sure Hubby will be glad of the opportunity to add a little authenticity to otherwise generic picture-postcard photographs. :)

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