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….


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.



I managed to get three hours of editing done yesterday. I’m almost a third of the way through the novel, which was the goal, but oh well! Today I’ll hopefully make some more good progress and be getting close to having this minor things done by the time Christmas rolls around.

I’m still enjoying it, and even finding big sections where I’m not making anything more than minor changes which is nice. Of course I’m worried I’m just being lazy, but I figure that if I am it will come out when I get feedback from readers and from there I’ll be able to learn what to look for a little better.

I keep going over different ways to start the story tomorrow. I ‘think’ I know which one I’m going to use, but we’ll have to wait and see. I’m still a little nervous that I won’t do the story justice, but I guess that’s one of those wait and see things as well.

Crazily enough, I got my crit for the week done as well. I was stunned at my productivity. While most of the editing was done with baby on board, I actually had some time when she slept in bed! It’s nice that she is starting to be okay with that, though it was weird because she slept for so much of yesterday. Hell I even got to play some RockBand with hubby last night.

We’re pretty much organised for Christmas now. A few little things to wrap, some last minute food stuff to buy the day before, oh and a house to clean. But otherwise done. I’ll be really pleased when it’s over with, though this year it’ll be dragging out from the 25th through til the 29th.

Oh, in other news, Lauren’s rolling onto her sides heaps now. It’s so cool to see her developing! I can’t wait for the first time she makes it all the way over onto her tummy. She first did the side roll a couple weeks ago, but now I can see that it’s no longer just an accident, she’s doing it on purpose. Very exciting.

Best go and get some work done while I can. It sounds like hubby is having a difficult time getting her to sleep but I’m just going to pretend like I can’t hear that for now 😉



Thought I should get around to posting a pic of the tree as it is now. Turned out very Christmasy, fancy that!


I love that every time I enter the room the smell of pine is so obvious. I’ve decided that when we move to our new house (lol speaking like it’s a done deal aren’t I? It’s not yet) we’re going to plant one in a barrel. I’ll have to figure out how to stunt its growth so it doesn’t get too big, but a living Xmas tree has got to be good, and the fact that it will be growing with our little family would be pretty neat as well.

Guess I better do some research to figure out if it’s possible 😉 Bound to be though!


A nice day

It has been. Better than yesterday – all that birthday pressure is gone, I love it.

Us girls spent several hours this morning/noon around at my Mum’s house using her washing machine. It’s so good to clear some of the backlog and YAY there will be clothes to wear to work and preschool tomorrow! The repairman is finally coming around in the afternoon to fix it tomorrow and I can’t wait to start using cloth nappies again.

Anyway, it was nice. Mum and Ivy made pikelets, I sat and cuddled with Lauren. It was really chilled out, and Mum and I even managed to have some adult conversation in amongst the talks with Ivy.

After getting home and getting Ivy down for a nap Lauren and I were out again to a friends house for Christmas nibbles. That was nice too! Two hours of conversing with adults, friends I haven’t seen either since the birth of Lauren or shortly after.

So I was feeling quite chilled out in general, and then I managed to lie in bed for a half hour and read a book in relative peace… Lauren slept, and Ivy spoke to me in whispers so as not to wake the baby. I didn’t even cook dinner – it really was a better day than yesterday! lol

I managed to read through Road Trip this morning, and am hoping to get Kerryn’s short story dealt with this evening. I’ve done some editing/reading on Lifelines, and maybe I’ll even get on to a little more of that as well 😉 It feels good, and so nice to have some adult time, some chilled out relaxation time. Bliss.

Oh and for my birthday Lauren gave me four hours sleep in a row – it’s a first! Bless her.


The Birthday

28years today. Well done me!

I remember distinctly getting to 21yrs and my mother saying that she was so glad I made it. She knew it had been tough getting there, that there had been times when it was a little touch and go for me so felt it was only fitting that she should acknowledge the fact that I got there in one piece.

I fell to pieces again not long after that, but I’ve spent lots of time putting those pieces back together. Every time I think I’m almost there I get a little reminder that there is still some work to do.


So, yesterday I called Mum to ask if she had some lights for the christmas tree because I had got one. She’d gone and bought me one for my birthday too! She had also been thinking about our family tradition, and thought it was time to bring it back as well. I’ve kept the tree she got for me and given the other one to a friend and her two boys who are so thrilled with it. I’m glad that everyone is happy! Mum also dug out all of our old decorations and we all put some time into decorating the tree.

As she said, there were loads of good things from back then, and obviously we both thought it was time to reclaim some of those things. Mum has been doing it for years in small ways. There was the year she got me a real Carebear, Love-a-lot to be precise. When I was a kid I desperately wanted one but we couldn’t really afford it, so Mum got a bear that looked very similar and stitched hearts on the front. I loved it, it was as good as the real thing – getting given one again a few years ago was awesome too! She found a Thumper soft toy at a garage sale as well, it could very well be the same one I had when I was a child.

I kind of gave away just about all my childhood toys in my later teens. I’m not sure what I was thinking at the time, looking back I have to wonder if I wasn’t divorcing myself from my childhood. I did a lot of that from 15+, 15 is the age at which my parents separated, they got a divorce for Christmas a few years after that.

They do get along really well. I am incredibly blessed to have a fully functional family despite the fact that my parents aren’t married any more, and I admitted years ago that I thought they were happier apart, better off apart and I’ve gained other family members because of this, most importantly my stepdad John, who is just the best thing that could have happened to all of us.

Anyway, the point is that I’m realizing that I had put up a lot of walls between myself and my childhood. Like I thought that it wasn’t real or valid because my parents relationship broke apart. I know that’s not the reality, but it’s how I felt. I rejected Christmas, got rid of most of my toys, swore I’d never get married – obviously a lot of those things have changed.

I’m married now, and before that there was Ivy and I started to break down the walls between myself and my childhood. I DID have a Christmas tree last year, but it wasn’t the same as this years one. It didn’t have the same meaning, I guess I was just testing out the waters.

Now Lauren is here as well, and I’m reaching through and pulling back memories that I thought were well and truly lost, or at least buried beneath other things. I had a pretty wonderful childhood in many ways, I want to value that, remember that, and in doing so hopefully be better placed to help create a wonderful childhood for my own children, full of all the mystery and beauty that my own held.

Even though my Mum doesn’t read this, I just want to say thanks Mum! You are awesome, and I love you, and I don’t know what I’d do without you. I wouldn’t be half the woman I am now if it wasn’t for you, and while you always say I raised myself, you should know that your ways and your words modeled for me the kind of person I wanted to be. The kind of person I am.



So I got our Christmas tree today.


We have a very old (and unused for several years) tradition from when I was a kid. We’d get our tree around the time of my birthday and decorate it, and seeing as everyone is coming around for dinner tonight for said birthday I thought it would be really nice to get a tree and for the first time in ages, decorate it as a family. Seeing as they are all going to be here for Christmas breakfast anyways it’s kind of fitting they do some of the work 😉

It’s a nice looking tree, though it will look nicer no doubt once it’s got something on it. Ivy is going to flip when she sees it! I can’t wait to let her loose on it. She had heaps of fun last year, but this time around she is just that little bit older and it’ll be even more fun. I’ll post a pic of the chaos later. And it will be chaos, but I’ll love it because she’ll have been the mastermind behind it. Who cares about symmetry and matching things up!

Of course, for some of you on the other side of the world it’ll just seem strange that it’s in front of the fireplace – you have to remember it’s summer for me though!

Anyway, back to the cleaning. It’s like a pre-Christmas clean out, will make the work a lot easier in another week or so 😉

P.S the house smells of pine, man I love that smell. It brings back other childhood memories I have: of going out onto the back of the farm every few days to fill a box with fresh pine needles which I kept in my room because I loved the smell so much. Unfortunately it never lingers as long when it’s just the needles in your room, a whole tree works a lot better. Hmm I wonder if I could grow a miniature one? lol

P.P.S (or is it P.S.S?) I also really miss traipsing across the farm to select the ‘perfect’ Christmas tree, thanking the earth for providing it, and chopping it off (normally just a branch, we had some huge pines). The cost of a tree these days is just insane… but so worth it.