Friday, July 31, 2009

Surviving The Week + Infertility Blood Tests

Hi, people!

I've survived the week, though some days I got more tired than other days (my feet always get so sore every day 'coz I move around and stand so much). From today until the next 7 weeks, I'm going solo in cleaning the hotel rooms for 8 hours a day 5 days a week UNLESS there are many guests coming and then I'd get help from someone else. Well, at least I had told them that I WOULD NOT and COULD NOT endure any overtime work 'coz this type of work is so physical and they confirmed that I wouldn't be asked to do overtime. Well, that's a relief!!! :-))))

Wonder how much weight I can lose after this training is done HE HE HE HE HE...

Anyway, here's some update on my infertility test:

The doctor called me yesterday and told me about the blood test results. She spoke SO fast in Finnish so that I really had to concentrate hard, but at least I understood the gist. She said that all the results were fine EXCEPT for one hormone called "prolactin". She found that my prolactin level was high, so she ordered me to do another blood test just to test my prolactin level on a different day of the month.

Because the first blood test was done on my 2nd calendar day (the first calendar day is the first day of menstruation), she wanted me to come in the middle of my cycle. I counted and today would be somewhere in the middle of my cycle, though it's pretty hard to determine, since my cycle period varies from 31-43 days (the median range is around 35-37 days). So yesterday afternoon before I left home, I told my boss that I had to go to the lab today.

So I did...and they took two vials of blood from me this time. I didn't have to fast, but I had to be awake at least for 4 hours for one of the tests. So we'll see what the results are like. I asked the doctor what that high prolactin level meant. She said that IF the second blood test showed that my prolactin level was still high, she'd want me to go to a hormone therapy centre or something like that (not sure where it is in this village, though). Ugh...

I also browsed online to find out more things about this and I just try to prepare for the worst, hope for the best. :-))))

OK, now time to blog-hop a bit. I'll continue blog-hopping later he he...Shinta, THANKS in advance for the award!!!!

P.S. Forgot to upload a pic of cucumbers in my MIL's greenhouse. :-))))

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Bought The Ticket to Indo!


I CAN'T believe I'm really going back to Indo again. I bought the ticket today. R2 said that "Just buy ittttt" HE HE HE HE HE I'll be there for roughly a month ('coz I have to make sure I leave and go back on a weekend so that R2 can drop me off and pick me up in Rovaniemi HE HE HE HE...). He can't go with me 'coz he has to work.

So I'll fly to Indo on October 31st and fly back to Finland on November 27th.


Anyway, about the training...found out today that the cleaner in the hotel is taking a seven-week-holiday starting this Friday, so I'll be doing her job for at least 7 weeks. Found out from my BIL that I could cancel this whole training thing if I wanted to (but that meant that I'd get some punishment - not getting any benefit for dunno how long).

Well, I'm going to try my best to stay here until my training contract is over BUT I'm NOT going to force myself to work beyond my limit. That means I'm not going to accept any overtime during this tiring physical part of the training. Doing overtime is fine if it's office work (but still I'm going to DEMAND free time afterward 'coz I'm not paid salary), but I just can't handle cleaning from Mon to Fri if I have to do overtime. No way, thank you very much.

Yesterday I felt like I wanted to collapse after I got back I guess my body has slightly adjusted to it. So we shall see how far I can go with this training. But right now the only thing that keeps me going is that if I can handle it till 3 months, I'll get enough money to replace this ticket money that I've spent HE HE HE HE HE HE...

Anyway...I'm going to blog-hop only during the weekend, OK? Hope you're all well. I'm going home, MOTHERRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR he he he he he he he he he he he he he he...

P.S. I guess Mom's so worried about me, so she even told me to just quit this training. I told her "not yet 'coz I can still handle it" he he he he he he...

P.P.S. One bad thing about cleaning hotel rooms is that my hands SUFFER. They're SO dry and chafed that right when I get back home, I have to put so much baby lotion/moisturizer and olive oil and then put on my gloves (R2 laughed out loud when he saw me with the gloves in SUMMER!) to keep them moist. :-))))

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Short Update + 3BT Random Days

1. First harvest of the strawberries - didn't get too many, but still it was exciting!!!

2. Eating the fresh strawberries on such a HOT day (around 25-27'C). Oh my heavenly!!!

3. Hearing a colleague speaks to her child on the phone and saying "Rakastan sinua" (I love you).

4. A smiling, friendly colleague.

5. Laughing at the irony when hearing one person at work saying to me, "You should eat more. Take some bread, won't you and get yourself fattened up a bit" whereas my aunt in Indo tells my Mom that I've gained weight (based on my recent pics).

6. Zumbaaaaaaaaa cardio workout. It's fun (though hard to follow in some parts), but it's a nice change after doing Taebo for over 2 years.

7. Toying with the idea of going back to Indo this November (read the notes below this 3BT post for further info). I can just imagine eating all the glorious food and meeting my family and friends again...and I bet at that time Ken either will have been walking already or he'll be learning to walk already. I'd love to play with Ken!!!

8. Having a hubby who's not fussy even though I'm not a really diligent house cleaner.

9. Knowing that I was tired from cleaning the hotel rooms for hours on Saturday, hubby washed the dishes and cleaned up some other parts of the apartment without being asked. Ahhh...I feel loved!!!

10. When talking to hubby about the possibility of my going back to Indo and asking him if it'd be okay if I stay there for a month, he asked, "Do you have to be there that long?" :-D

11. Despite our being cranky due to fatigue on Friday, we didn't get into any fights (didn't lash out on each other) and we managed to control ourselves.

12. Giggling like crazy when reminiscing about the movies/series I grew up with (I'm going to share this with you later on sometimes - have to compile it first).

13. Getting my food package from YIIIPPPPIEEEEEEEEEE!!!! Now I have so many ingredients that I could never find from any of the stores here. YAHHHOOOOOO!!!!

14. Getting good advice on my training period from Karen. THANKS SO MUCH for listening to me and giving me valuable advice!!!!

Since I haven't much time to separate my posts, let me just write here a short update about my training. It seems that my boss wants me to help out the hotel cleaner for the whole of next week, so I have to go to work at 7 am already. It doesn't matter 'coz it means I can go back home earlier. What surprised me was that she told me that if I could handle it, I would then be doing the whole cleaning thing ALONE while the official hotel cleaner is on her summer holiday later.

I was rather shocked, 'coz when I came to do this training, I was expecting them to teach me more of the office work instead of cleaning. Granted it's not a huge hotel, but I don't think I can manage doing it ALONE EVERY DAY for at least 4 weeks (remember that I'm not getting any salary, just some unemployment benefit). My boss did say that if I didn't think I could handle it, I should just tell her. So I'm planning to tell her that sometime next week after I know how sore my body'll feel like. (side note: at least one good thing of doing this cleaning thingie is that I HOPE I can lose some weight 'coz I've gained 5 kgs since I moved here he he he...)

To be honest, I had been thinking of going back to Indo since a few months ago, but since this opportunity came (at that time I THOUGHT I could get an office job after this training ends), I decided not to think of going back to Indo...but now...I'm not sure anymore. I did get some editing job at the office, but right now it seems that I'll be doing the hotel cleaning for at least 5 more weeks (hopefully NOT alone 'coz I can't guarantee that I can handle it alone). Though I can see already that there's so much office work to do, still they didn't give me any more than the editing job (which would be finished soon).

That's why I've been browsing for plane tickets to Indo. The more I think of going back to Indo, the more I couldn't care less about whether or not they'd offer me a job here later or not (esp. 'coz it'd be FAR easier for me to fly to Indo now when I have no kids 'coz it's such a long trip; plus R2 can't come with me if I go to Indo in November). It doesn't seem that they'd offer me a job, anyway (or not the kind of job I expect). I haven't really decided yet, but in a week or two I have to decide so that I can get the ticket with the cheapest price available. OK, now time to cook and blog-hop a bit later on...

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Adjusting to Training

Hi, fellas! I've been pretty tired these past two days. As a matter of fact, I'm going to take a nap soon after publishing this post. I'm gonna catch up with you people this weekend, OK? After my nice holiday in Rhodes and being at home for a month, I need time to adjust with this 8-hour work schedule.

The first day at work I did a 5-hour cleaning job of the hotel (there was a short break in between and also a lunch break) and after that I was told to read the company's brochure. After I was done reading the brochure, I had nothing else to do. So it was a bit boring at the end of the day.

I thought I was going to have some physical pain today from the cleaning job, but nothing except the fact that I hit the sack at around 9.45 pm already (I fell asleep in just a few seconds - at least it felt like it HA HA HA...). On second thought, maybe it didn't hurt at all 'coz I mostly dusted instead of changing the sheets and other stuff.

Today was a MUCH MORE interesting workday as I got to edit some travel brochures and also check the typos and check the prices and everything else to make them look good and helpful for the customers. There are some missing info, which I've told the boss, so I'm not done doing this yet.

Not sure why (I'm not on my PMS, just finished my period), but I'm TOTALLY WHACKED. Just want to sleeeppppp for 12 hours hi hi hi hi...Hubby teased me by singing, "Sleepyhead, are a sleepyhead..."

So this sleepyhead is going to sleep now. Just wanna let you know how it goes. Oh, yeah, I'm sure there'll be more cleaning days later on when the main worker there gets a long summer holiday. At least it'll be good for my program to lose some weight. I've gained 6 kgs since I moved to Finland 2 years and 4 months ago and so far I've lost one kg. Don't wanna gain more weight 'coz that means I have to buy new clothes - I'd rather save money to buy a plane ticket to Indo rather than buy new clothes he he...

OK, nap time!!! Take care, everybody! Until this weekend!

Friday, July 17, 2009

3BT: Random Days

1. Reading a website that reminded me to send a thank you or love card to my hubby.

2. Sending that e-card to my hubby filled with words of gratitude and appreciation.

3. Getting a "thank you", a hug, and a kiss from hubby after he opened the e-card.

4. Watching hubby's naked body in bed at night. Yum yum...

5. Finding a wonderful forum online for infertile people that helped me feel that I wasn't insane with all the turmoil inside me.

6. Reading this beautiful reminder when self-pity kicked in:

We have no right to ask, when sorrow comes, "Why did this happen to me?" unless we ask the same question for every joy that comes our way.
~ Philip S. Bernstein

And all of a sudden the world became A THOUSAND TIMES brighter! :-D :-D :-D

7. Crying out all my pent-up fears, doubts, anxiety, stress to God and feeling good afterward, 'coz I know He understands every single thought and emotion even though I don't need to use words.

8. Excitement 'coz I'm going to call my Mom via Skype today.

9. Hearing this beautiful quote while watching "The Curious Tale of Benjamin Button":

"You can be as mad as a mad dog at the way things went
You could swear, curse the fates
But when it comes to the end
You have to let go..."

Image taken from here

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Infertility Myths

Before I start this post, I just want to let you know that I've finally received the copy of my training contract. I'll start on Monday and it ends on October 19, 2009. I'll be working for 8 hours a day, 5 days a week (at least she said in the beginning it'd be 5 days a week - well, if they ask me to do overtime, I'm going to demand compensation in terms of taking some time off 'coz they're not paying me any salary). So I'll be so busy after next week he he...Oh yeah, my job includes cleaning the hotel and office work.

OK, now on to the infertility thingie (mind you that a couple is considered infertile after trying for a year). Yesterday went by bike to the health care centre in the morning after fasting for 12 hours (I brought some chocolate to eat after the test was done). They took 4 vials of my blood. I think they also took some blood to determine whether I was diabetic or not ('coz I told the doc that I'd never taken that kind of test before). We'll see how it goes. I think they want to determine my hormone levels by taking my blood.

I'm rather tired of meeting old school friends in Facebook and hearing some of them them say, "Come on and have a baby soon" whenever I tell them that their kids look cute (as if having a kid is solely based on their efforts). Not that I misunderstand their good will in wanting us to feel the joy of parenthood 'coz they've felt it...but still after hearing it again and again and again, it just feels like hearing a broken I decide to write this post.

Let me take some excerpts from Infertility Myths article:


“We are in control of our reproductive lives. We can determine when, where, and how we will conceive and give birth.”

God gives us wonderful freedom to make many choices, but we must never forget that ultimately we are not in control of our reproductive lives. God is. “Unless the Lord builds the house, its builders labor in vain. Unless the Lord watches over the city, the watchmen stand guard in vain . . . Sons are a heritage from the Lord . . . “ (Psalm 127 NIV).


“Infertility is caused by stress. Try to relax. Take a vacation or a cruise.”

Infertility is seldom the result of psychological factors. In 90 percent of all infertility cases, infertility specialists are able to determine a physical problem. According to Resolve, the national infertility support organization, “Psychological stress is more likely a result of infertility than the cause.”

On the other hand, I totally appreciate all the effort and support I've received until now. If any one of you wants to read this long article, I've also found a great one here:

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

3BT: Random Days

1. Last night it was raining and sunny at the same time. Thus I could see double rainbow again!!!! Magnificent!!!

2. Went to the doctor and laboratory on my own and being able to communicate (and understand) with the staff there to find out what to do next. It feels GOOD to be able to understand!!!

3. EXCITEMENT to get my food/balm package from Germany. Through an acquaintance, I found out about this site: Toko Indonesia. They have SO many things that I've been missing and their price isn't too high, either. I've ordered many things from them and they told me that they were going to send the package to me today. YIIIIPPPPPPPPPPIIIIIIIIIIEEEEEE!!!

4. Because of #3, I don't have to ask my friend to buy and send me those things anymore. This way I also have full freedom on how much I want to buy without burdening anybody.

5. Having fun while taking pics of myself jumping the other day in Kelujärvi (I realized I'd never tried taking pics of myself jumping). Had to jump over and over and over to get a good pic (I used my timer to take the pic). Here's one of them:

6. Hubby dropping me off and picking me up at the health care centre yesterday 'coz it looked cloudy, so I was hesitant in going there by bike. I appreciate his thoughtfulness in coming home before my appointment just to find out whether I needed a lift or not.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

East and West Revisited + More Photos

Remember I once told you about a Chinese woman (who was born in China) living in Finland who wrote a Finnish novel? Well, I started reading it a long time ago, but then got distracted with other books (yeah, bad habit, I know). Anyway, I continued reading it again yesterday and I found interesting things, esp. about the cultural differences.

Here I just want to mention one point I found in the book. In one chapter, this main character, a Finnish woman who moved to Finland to be with her Finnish husband, is wondering about the value of a mother in a boy's life.

She said that in China there's this saying that goes something like this: "If a man loves his mother, he can also love his wife."

This main character has read somewhere about a research. The research is about this: "If you're in an accident with your wife, child, and mother, which one would you safe first?"

The result of the research is interesting. Most Asians state that they'd first save the mother, because they only have one mother. Then they'd save the wife, because she can give birth to more children. And the last one they'd save is the child.

Most westerners state that first they'd save the child, because he or she has got the highest life expectancy. Unfortunately I don't know the rest of the result.

When I read that question, I was also confused. What would my answer be? It wouldn't be an easy decision, would it? But when I imagine such a situation, I can almost hear my Mom yelling at me, "Save your child first!" he he he he he...I can't answer any other way about that hypothetical situation, 'coz it depends on many factors: whether or not it is easy to help that person get out of the scene of accident, who's jammed under what, etc. etc. etc. *knock on wood*

One thing that I find true about cultural differences here is the calling of your first name. Here even at work you call people by their first name, even though they're much older than you. In Indonesia, it'll be considered VERY impolite - more like an insult (unless the person is only a few years older than you or unless they ask you to call them by their first names).

It's hard to describe these cultural differences if you haven't lived in both worlds, because there are still so many subtle and less subtle things that make up a culture.

Now let me share some more weekend pics here.

Last pic: I have NO idea what this flower is called.

P.S. I just went to the health care centre and tomorrow I'm going to do some blood tests (I assume they want to check my hormone level). Weirdly enough, the doctor didn't do any tests on me (I was assuming that she'd at least do an ultrasound, but she didn't). But she did ask me many questions he he he...

Anyway, she wants R2 to give sperm sample later on but he has to make an appointment first. I can do the blood test any time I want to 'coz she's put it on the computer already (in my file, I mean). Better do it quickly before my training starts (though not sure yet when it is going to happen).

Monday, July 13, 2009

Weekend Photos

Before I start, I just want to let you know that I signed the training contract today, though there were no dates or how many hours per day/week on it. I asked her about it, but she said that she'd add them later. Weird. Had it been a real job contract, I wouldn't have signed it without knowing my working hours, but since it's only a training contract, if there's something wrong on the paper, I'm sure the unemployment office won't accept it. Before I can start, the unemployment office must accept it first and then send me a copy of it, but I THINK I may start the training next week for around 3 months. So I'm gonna be busy again! :-D

On Saturday we helped my in-laws cover the strawberry field with a net. While doing so, a hare scurried away from one of the corners. It jumped so faasssttttt to the neighbour's field ha ha ha...

Here are the pics...

Next pic: FIL was putting some poles so that it'd make it easier for us to pick the strawberries later on.

Next pic: Notice the yellow clip on the net? Yeah...MIL, R2, and R2's brother had to put clips on the net all around the field to make sure that it stayed there.

Here are some other things that my MIL has grown.

Below is a pic of ruohosipuli or chives. The greenery next to it was the place where we planted potatoes a while back.

A close-up pic of the flower he he...

Next pic: I have NO idea what flower this is, but it's VERY tiny he he he...

A close-up pic of the flowers in the above pic:

I just LOVE LOVE LOVE these Tiger Liliesssss...every year I'm tempted to take pics of them he he he he...

OK, time for me to blog-hop...

Friday, July 10, 2009

3BT: Random Days

1. When my cold hand accidentally touched hubby's bare back last night when we went to bed, he shrieked in surprise, but didn't get angry. Instead, after realizing that my hand was cold, he grabbed it gently with his hand and he pressed it onto his super warm back. I don't need diamonds or expensive gifts to show your love, just keep on treating me this way for the rest of my life...

2. Being able to see my brother, Ken, my bro's wife, and Mom through webcam.

3. Fresh cold blended mixture of apple, strawberries, and bananas (a litre of it). Yum yum...

4. Having a very positive mother who always encourages me and supports me.

5. Memoriesssss...beautiful memoriessss...let me also share here some old pics of me and my friends...Looking at these photos took me back to those beautiful moments spent with my friends.

First pic: I was around 15 years old. It was probably taken in 1993.

I forgot when this one was taken. Probably around 1998 or 1999. So at least 10 years ago.

This one was taken on my friend's farewell party before she flew to Holland. September 2003.

This last one was a pic of me and my ex-campus friends in 2004 when one of them visited Bandung again after having lived in USA for a few years.

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Death on My Mind

In this post I'd like to say my condolences to all the grieving people in the world. Death has been on my mind for the past week, not because I want to kill myself, but because of the news I heard about somebody's death.

First was the death of Cliff's brother Allen. I pray that God give him and his family comfort and strength throughout this tough time.

The second death I read about was when I clicked on a link distributed through Facebook. In that site, a woman wrote a post about her husband's death due to heart failure or heart attack or something like that. Mind you that the guy was still young. They had been married for almost TWO years only when the guy died.

The third death I read about was from my penpal. We started writing each other when I was at the uni (I think, or was it High School?). She's from Germany, but she moved to Sweden to further her studies and to be with her Swedish boyfriend. I never knew that her boyfriend was sick. She wrote me yesterday to tell me that he died six weeks ago due to incurable cancer.

There's nothing like death to shake your perspective of life and everything important in life suddenly changes. All the little things I wanted - all my dreams and goals - suddenly mattered less and less...all I want is just to spend as much quality time with my loved ones and cherish them as best as I can and just tell them that they are so precious to me.

Of course as time goes by, we tend to "forget" that death is lurking in the corner...and I'll go back to chasing my dreams and goals...until death news comes to shock my system again. It's just a natural human nature, I guess.

Anyway, if I think only of myself (being selfish), death is a welcome end to my tasks on earth. As much as I love my life on earth, but still death is like the last curtain call where I bow and hope that I have done all my tasks well before I vanish from the stage of life.

However, when I think of the loved ones I'll leave behind, I can't bear to think of their sadness and their longing. I just hope that if I'm taken first, God will prepare my loved ones to continue life after I'm gone...

When it comes to my loved ones' death...that's something I don't know what to say yet. I'll never know until or if it happens first before my own death.

Life's so fragile...reading about three people's deaths in the course of a week is enough to make me realize again that everything we have (including our life) is on a loan to us. When we die, we're not going to bring anything with us to the other side...

All of this brings me back to:

"God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I can't change
Courage to change the things I can change
And wisdom to know the difference..."

May God comfort all whose hearts are in grief...

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Rhodes Trip: Epta Piges, Filerimos, Butterfly Park

I think I'm having a writer's block 'coz I don't know what to say in my blog. Yesterday I wanted to write something, but nothing came out he he he...I guess my mind must be in "silent mode" HA HA HA HA...

Anyway, let me share some more pictures from Rhodes again, shall we?

Epta Piges is also called The Valley of 7 Springs, though we couldn't find all 7 of them. It was too tiring already 'coz the road going there was so rough. Without knowing (due to the unclear road signs), we followed the fastest road there, which turned out to be so tough to handle. It was very rocky and winding and narrow. Thank goodness we hired an ATV, so it was pretty solid to travel through such terrain. But still I had to grab hard on the back of my seat so that I wouldn't be thrown away. When we reached the place (at last), we realized that there was a main road that we could go through (a nice asphalt road). Bugger!!!

Anyway, on the way there we saw a few tourists WALKING through the rough, narrow, rocky road towards the 7 Springs. It took us about an hour by ATV to reach the place in the heat...I can't imagine how long it took them to walk there. Gee...and there were no suitable places to rest in between, either.

Next pic: One of the springs we found there (we only found 4 springs and then we decided to go to the next place to visit since we were tired already). We saw a tourist jump into this spring and swim there. A tourist guide told us that there are two springs where you can swim in - one is the spring of youth and the other one is the exact opposite. Though we had worn our bathing suit, we didn't swim 'coz we didn't know if we were allowed to do so or not. Besides, we went to Tsambika Beach to swim after leaving this place he he...

Saw these lovely creatures in the area near the first spring we found (the area where we found a restaurant).

Okay, now let's move on to Filerimos. Filerimos is again located on the mountain and there's Ialyssos ancient city nearby. In Filerimos there are many artwork depicting Jesus' journey to Golgota. Here's one of them...there are at least a dozen of these on a long stretch of path...

At the end of the long Golgota path, you see this...You can actually go upstairs, but we didn't do it 'coz it looked claustrophobic enough for me. I mean, the stairs were only big enough to pass by one person at a time and we could hear some voices it would have been a hassle if we got up there and found that some tourists wanted to come down.

So we just walked around the area near the huge cross...and here are the views...

After we browsed through Ialyssos ancient city, we followed a path that lead us to this...

At the end of the above pic, we found this opening. Just magnificent!!!

Next stop is Butterfly Park. Unfortunately we didn't see too many butterflies there. Thus we couldn't take pics of many butterflies as they flitted about so fast (and there were too few anyway). However, it was quite a huge park and we were quite tired of going up and down the stairs. Gladly the place was filled with trees, so it wasn't too hot he he he...

Here's one restaurant in Butterfly Park. We ate there before we took a bus back to Faliraki. Only after some time we realize that there are regular public buses going to Filerimos, Kamiros, and Butterfly Park from Rodos (read: downtown Rhodes). But that means we have to take a bus from Faliraki to Rodos first before we board the bus from Rodos to Butterfly Park (for example). It cost €5/person to go to Butterfly Park from Rodos.

Instead of just butterflies, we also found these animals in Butterfly Park he he he...

Finally R2 could take a decent pic of this yellow butterfly outside the Butterfly Museum.

The entrance ticket we paid to get inside Butterfly Park included the ticket to go inside Butterfly Museum. Here's one pic of the museum (it was a very small museum, though):

Okay, I think this is long enough.