‘That’ time of year

I can’t remember who said it, it was quite likely a few of you – but this is a terrible time of the year to be trying to get anything done. I don’t know why I thought I could work against the trend and stay on top of things, but I was definitely wrong.

Life has taken over once again. I’ve had to spend a few days sorting out Christmas presents, yesterday was spent visiting with my Aunt and cousin (which was actually really nice), there is house work to do and stuff to organize and for some reason Lauren seems to have decided that she only needs 1 hour of sleep during the day – she is SO wrong, but I’m yet to convince her otherwise. Also this leads to her going to bed much earlier and then waking at 4am thinking its time to get up and it taking at least an hour to get her back to sleep. It gives me very little time to actually get any of my own work done, that’s for sure, needless to say that the chunk of night I’m awake for is doing nothing for my energy levels.

So progress on the rewrite is slow, very slow. And in the meantime I sent Birth Rights off to a good friend and got some absolutely fantastic feedback which has set me up for a rewrite of that too before I can submit it to that competition – thank goodness the deadline isn’t til the end of January otherwise I don’t think I’d make it. I really hope I DO make it, and will be trying my best to. I think I’ll just stick with the current rewrite for now though rather than switching paths yet again. That seems to happen too often and I don’t want to make a habit of it.

So much to do! Never enough time. Instead of spending any more time blogging though, I best get to work and try to get a little writing done – before that baby wakes up and I have to try and convince her that she should really just keep sleeping for a little longer.

Hope you’re all well and having a nice build up to the festive season!

Another year older

I made it to 29! Very quietly I must add, it seems that barring a couple of friends (and of course my wonderful family), everyone else forgot! I don’t like to make a big deal about my birthday, but it seems I like it even less when most of my friends don’t remember it at all. Oh and this is not about all my net friends, I don’t expect you to know because it’s not like I’ve told you! lol

It was a decent day, my brother and his family visited in the morning then we watched Ivy dance in the end of year ballet concert (she was very good! A lot of the kids were out of time and swaying the wrong way but she was watching and mimicking the big girls who were leading them – so proud!) then went to Mum’s for dinner – yum. Best way to end a birthday, and I had the best ‘cake’ ever! A plate piled high with some of the most gigantic chocolate covered strawberries I’ve ever seen.

And now it’s done with for another year, and we can move on towards Christmas which is really coming up fast. We’ve put up no decorations, and got no presents yet. It’s pay day tomorrow so I’ll have to go and blitz that sometime this week I guess.

I slacked off on the writing front this weekend, but will get back into it this afternoon. I don’t have all that long to try and complete this story! It feels like I won’t be ready to put it up for Christmas, but it’s still my goal so we’ll see how well I do. I spent a little bit of time last night drawing up some designs for costumes and that was fun. I suck at drawing, specially from my imagination, but the general idea is there and I’m looking forward to getting some fabric and other fun stuff and testing out the design. I’m hopeful that it’s an intelligent one and with a few tweaks along the way I’ll be in business (not quite literally, but you know, in a couple of years time!)

Secret Santa

I just got a present in the mail and I HAD to blog about it. It’s probably one of the nicest presents I’ll get this year and it’s from someone who I don’t know, and who doesn’t know me.

One of the forums I frequent is OhBaby! I have done ever since I found out I was pregnant with Lauren and it’s been an amazing place to be – you’ll find answers to just about every pregnancy/baby related question you might have and it’s been lovely sharing the journey with other women who are at the same stages of their pregnancy, baby stages, or lives in general.

Every year they do a secret santa, organized by a couple of the wonderful senior members. It’s always lovely to get something in the mail, and it’s always nice to check the forums out and see when the gift you sent arrived and how it was received.

This year, far and away, was just wonderful, and perfect timing as well! I’ve been feeling quite flat, and starting to reassess just how I’m going to take back some ‘me time’ and reclaim my life a little bit. And then I get this:

Isn’t that wrapping paper gorgeous? And a lovely notebook whose title makes me smile, some pencils made from newspaper with lovely fruity designs, and Toblerone! my fav – though I only eat it when someone else buys it for me. It’s one of those chocolates that tastes best when it’s a gift. The card is gorgeous as well, and I just feel so special! This anonymous gift (all the way from Singapore!) makes me feel warm and fuzzy about writing. And very warm and fuzzy about OhBaby! as well.

Aww, I do love Christmas.

What month is this?

Now, I know I don’t get out much, but it’s still August right?

I took the girls to the Warehouse this morning to get seedlings so that I can finally get the garden in and sorted (well, half of it anyways), and there were women coming out of the shop with rolls and rolls of Xmas wrapping paper.

Xmas? Already??

And yes, I got inside and there are stands already set up, wrapping paper, ribbons and bows, cards, decorations, someone was even buying a fake tree….

Already??

Maybe it’s that in these tight times people are thinking ahead, but I would have thought it was better to cut back altogether rather than still spending up large, but over more months rather than in one go just before Xmas hits. Personally, I’d not stopped to think too much about it just yet. As far as I know, we’ll be staying here and probably having a meal, but the family always contributes to that so it’s not like it’s going to blow the bank. We’ll probably make gifts again, but then we often do, it’s much cheaper in general. Crazy, Christmas.

Anyways, I’m feeling slightly better, well enough to edit I think, so I’ll get into that this afternoon. We’re gonna get these plants in the ground this morning and I have to shuffle around the stuff in the house because all going well Dad will be coming down tomorrow with half our new kitchen WOOOOO.

So it will be a couple days of chaos while we shift the laundry stuff to the new home that is being created for it, and then get other stuff sorted out in the kitchen. Several steps closer to having a kitchen, how exciting! I keep thinking its still months off, but this makes it more real.

Oh and also the Xbox360 is back, yay!!

Anyways, best feed the kiddies then get these plants in the ground. Oh and take some painkillers lol, that way I’ll be more effective.

another day of Christmas

Today my Dad and his girlfriend come down for a few days, and the in laws come across from their town for a few days as well. So it’s Christmas continued for us! When all the presents are dealt with I can happily say that Christmas is over – Ivy’s biggest haul is normally from the in laws so she will be jumping for joy when they arrive in town.

I would love to ask them to give less, but, for several reasons I’ve realized I just need to let them have this.

Anyway, yesterday went better than I expected. Breakfast was lovely and relaxed, and the drop off went well. In fact I was given a gift that I didn’t expect at all – a comment which really confirmed for me that I need not worry about Ivy’s bio-mum wanting her back. I know that after all these years I should have stopped worrying, but the reality is that where my little girl is concerned, legally I have no rights whatsoever and it weighs pretty heavily on me at times.

Never mind though! I feel more relaxed and at ease about the whole thing now. I actually quite like her other mum. We have a lot of similar interests, she’s intelligent, funny, easy to small talk with, we never really have the opportunity to do more than that. It’s complex, really, my emotions and feelings around it all. Not easy to explain.

Anyways…. we had roast turkey for dinner and man it was good. It’s become our new tradition (begun last year), and I think it’s the only time of the year we really have turkey. It’s just so expensive here! We’ll be having left overs for lunch mmmmm something else to look forward to.

Oh and I even managed to get some editing done yesterday ;-) And we watched the newest Beowulf was well. All in all a reasonable day really. No complaints from me!

Merry Christmas!

Well, it’s Christmas morning – earlier than I expected to be up, but here I am all the same. I kind of misread the clock this morning, so when Ivy called out I said she could get up – turns out it was only 6, not 7… ah well!

Thankfully there are some Christmas cartoons on this morning to keep her in the spirit, now that we have another hour to kill before everyone arrives and she can open some presents.

I recieved a present this morning. I think you’d have to say it was a gift – my short story was moved forward in the Critters queue and is up for critique now, rather than in two weeks time when I expected it to be. While initially I was freaking out, now I am kind of happy – it means I don’t have to wait. I will start getting some crits sooner rather than later, I won’t end up spending the next two weeks thinking about it and overanalyzing my story or worrying about what kind of crits I’ll get back.

And besides, maybe I won’t get that many since everyone is in holiday mode ;-)

I didn’t get much sleep last night, so I’m pretty tired today. My Mum, step dad, brother, sister in law and nephew are all due to around in just over an hour now for breakfast and I am really looking forward to that.

Normally I have to split Christmas up in several ways. My parents are divorced, so that’s two meals taken. We normally take Ivy out to her biological mother’s side of the family for Christmas lunch, and then sometimes the in laws are in town, and I have to make sure I see my Nana if she’s not at either of my parents.

This year my Dad lives in a different city (he’s coming down tomorrow), Nana is down south with my Uncle and the in laws aren’t in town until tomorrow as well, which means there is a lot less running around to do today.

Breakfast should be nice, and the lunch drop of should be interesting.

I have to confess to loving and hating Christmas, I love being able to spend time with my family, I love watching Ivy open her presents and have as much fun as she does. I hate having to drop her off for a few hours.

I’m kind of selfishly hoping that one year we won’t have to, but her maternal grandmother is pretty good at organizing it. It’s a complex situation really, one which I am sure a lot of families face these days. I mean, I have the split family thing as well, I know how it goes. It doesn’t make it any easier though. Doesn’t make the anxious pit in my stomach go away.

I know she is a smart girl, a resilient girl, but that doesn’t mean I don’t worry. She’s not seen any of these people for more than six months, and while logically I know they are family, a part of me cringes at the thought of leaving her with them. They only live 20minutes away, they could see her more often than a few times a year if they wanted to. I know they love her, but I wish they would make an effort to be a regular part of her life rather than just expecting to see her on the big holidays.

Every time we drop her off I pretty much count the hours until our girl is home safely with us. Last year it was only an hour, which while in some ways was wonderful, was also frustrating. We’d dropped her out there and then a half hour later gotten a text message that her mother had taken her back to her house and we could pick her up in twenty minutes. Ivy had been really excited about seeing everyone that year, she’d still been seeing them on a regular basis at that point, but no, her mother decided to change all the plans – Ivy didn’t even get to have lunch, or spend much time with her Nana.

This year she doesn’t seem to know who I am talking about when I mention this other side of her family. I’m sure she will remember when she sees them. I’m hoping she does and has a really good time. I hope she knows that we’re not leaving her there because we don’t want to spend time with her, it’s just because we kind of have to.

One year I hope we can just spend all Christmas with each other. Yes, I am a selfish mummy and I don’t really like sharing my little girl. But I know I have to.

No more excuses

I have got to get this story written! Or at least write more on it. It’s important, which is probably part of why I’m putting it off. It’s so hard to delve into the worst parts of your life when there are other people in the room. Even though hubby knows it all, has sat here and held my hand and listened to the stories – I just can’t write it down while he’s sitting next to me.

I mean, if I can’t write a sex scene while he’s here, or write torture, or mass murder, then I certainly can’t write this. And it’s not like he would read it without me saying he could, but it’s the fact that to see the TV he has to look past my screen and it FEELS like he’s reading it as I write.

He’s back at work today though, though it’s only a half day and I’m not sure I can get much writing done this morning with both girls to play with as well. We shall see. If he’s sitting watching the cricket this afternoon I can steal his headset, drown myself in music and hopefully let the words flow.

There are lots of other things to do as well today, being that tomorrow is Christmas and the family is going to be here. Housework galore!

I’d also love to get halfway through the Lifelines edit – I know I wanted to have it all done, but that’s just not going to happen unless I find a way to stop time while I work on it.

Anyway. Less blogging, more writing I say. The dishes can wait…Laurens just fallen asleep and Ivy is occupied so I should make the most of the free hand time.