My Life Abroad: The Adventures of Two Birds
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May '11

Meet LuLu


It’s been a struggle getting used to having a dog.  For all intents and purposes, I’m a “cat person”.  I like my cat to sleep with me, sit on my lap, snuggle, talk to me, etc. etc.  If I wasn’t married, I’d be a cat lady.  Yeah!  I said it.  Cat Lady Lainey. 

But, about 2-years ago Birdie talked me into getting a dog.  I thought for sure I was doomed.  That our cat would run away, and that I would hate having a dog.  My brother had a big dog once.  It jumped up on me and scared the shit out of me.  They lick places they shouldn’t and most of the time they don’t mind. 

Overall, I wasn’t excited about a dog.  It was at a time when I was very sick and in fact, after we had picked the type of dog and picked a breeder – I ended up being in the hopspital for the first 6 weeks that we had our dog.  I missed the puppy part and came home to a little crazy dog.

I love my dog Spot.  Spot is a Smooth Fox Terrier, cousin to the Wire Fox Terrier (see the link below for Wikipedia). 

Spotty will have the addition of a new little girl on Friday, Lulu.  We went to the breeded last week to pick her from the litter and she was just as cute as a button.  I’m not excited to go through the training process but once they get the hang of it, these are excellent dogs.  They are high energy and love to play! 

Lulu is Spots first cousin, and she will be a great addition to our family.  Even our cat Pete would agree – dog’s make good pillows!  I’m getting very excited for our new puppy.  Here you can see a picture of Birdie holding up our new addition.

Aug '09

Update on things…

So far so good… 

Well, this is my third week back at work and I’m getting back into the swing of things here.  My contract with Origin Energy is up at the end of October and I am looking forward to getting a new assignment.  I will most likely still work in the CBD (Central Business District) of Melbourne, which is great because you have everything at your fingertips – shopping, restaurants, bars, scenery, friends, trains, and the list goes on.  I think I’d miss not working in the city – the experience is really worth it.

My Australian Citizen (dual citizenship)

Well its official, I am eligible to take the written citizenship exam- and get my dual citizenship U.S./Australia.  It means I am an official Australian immigrant 😉  I get to vote, and have an Australian passport, and of course I’ll get to be an Aussie! I’m very excited.  Once I sit for my exam I will get to go through an official ceremony – stay tuned for more on that and pictures to come.

Weekend Getaway

So, Rod’s been saying we should get away for a weekend, I’m looking forward to heading off to the Gold Coast for a couple days – pool, beach, Audi A6, and Sea World!  We’re staying at the Sea World resort and will be looking forward to the roller-coasters!  Sea World is located on the Gold Coast, which is in Queensland on the eastern seaboard – it’s the one and only amusement park in Australia.  I’m really looking forward to getting in the heat, on the beach and out of this cold Melbourne weather. We’ve been trying to get away to the Gold Coast since my last job when I was travelling but haven’t had much luck as we both got sick last time we tried to go.  Just a couple weekends away!


Flemington Races

The races are coming! The races are coming! After being here four years I am finally going to get my experience at Flemington Racecourse in THE BIGGEST horse race in Australia. November 3rd!  It’s a public holiday and we get the day off from work in Victoria for the Melbourne Cup – and this year we are going to the races with out friends Georgia and Damian to live it up a bit with fancy dress, big giant hats and a glass of champers in hand. I’ve always wanted to go to this – it’s suppose to be super crowded and I hear you may not even get to see a horse run by (crowded), but if I can get a taste of the feeling of Melbourne Cup day in general, I will be happy!  It’s one of those things that you have to do when you arte here and something a lot of Melbournians never do.  Much different to the country races we go to each year (and you may have seen elsewhere in my blog), here are some pics from last year’s races…


flemington.jpg hats.jpg horse_viewed_08.jpg

Medical Update

So far so good I say, I have had my first round of check-ups with each of my specialist doctors and my blood work came back “almost” normal.  Once my bloods are back to normal I can be taken off of the chemo therapy and steroid drugs and be but on something less toxic, drugs that wont mess with my immune system.   I guess they will call this remission but I have no idea at this point.  My next set of check-ups is the 1st week of September.  I’m hoping to get a new kind of bandage for my finger – that is still healing – and for the docs to have a look at my other fingers.  I have regained feeling in the fingers of my right hand retaining only a little numbness on the tips of two of my fingers, but on my left hand I have one finger that has still gained no sense of feeling – I suppose my biggest fear right now is that I might lose another finger in this process.  So on that note… the drugs make me tired, irritable, and have to pee a lot, and the fingers are still healing. I can’t hope for much more than for my kidneys, liver and lungs to stay clear until I get on my next regimen of drug therapy – pray for good blood work and for no further deterioration.

Options: Adoption v. Surrogacy

Due to my condition I am not able to carry to term so we have been researching our other options.  We’ve been struggling over this.  There are very few options in Australia within reason.  Our friends have been on a waiting list for 3-years now to adopt a child from Thailand, they still don’t know when that is going to happen. The waiting list in Australia is years long 3-5 years.  Adoptions from countries outside Australia are limited to a very small number in the low hundreds.  I’ve resorted to finding out how to adopt from the U.S. as it only takes about 1-year and 5000 babies from Russia are adopted in the US alone. It’s quite odd really that it is so difficult here. Worst of all is that surrogacy is illegal here – so we can’t even pay someone to carry a child for us.  We are hopeful we will find some options here through a company that sets Australian families up with a surrogate in India or the U.S. to carry the child,  If we are able to harvest my eggs we would be able to have our own child through surrogacy – but we won’t know if harvesting eggs will jeopardise my health until I am in remission and we can do some proper testing.  Only other option would be to get a donor egg and Rod’s sperm for a surrogate – which isn’t ideal but is a possibility.  I suppose we will throw around all the options and costs before we decide to go forward or decide to just keep it the two of us.  We’re both 40 this next year so a decision is coming soon.