Sunday, December 11, 2016

New niece


Exciting news early this morning, my new niece Ashleigh was born! We went and visited in the hospital in the afternoon, after mum Ping had got some sleep. Ashleigh is less than 12 hours old here.

Yesterday we spent all day out at a big shopping centre, Christmas shopping in the morning and then we saw "Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them" after lunch. We haven't finished our Christmas shopping yet, in fact we have no idea what to get for a couple of people including my sister-in-law Ping! I don't want to just get baby stuff, I want to pamper her, and it's her second baby so she already has a lot of stuff. I asked her but she had no ideas. Also her parents are here looking after her so she doesn't really need me for anything. Hmm, still thinking.

Only two weeks to Christmas!

Thursday, December 8, 2016



This morning I sent my synopsis and the first three chapters of my book to another literary agent. I only really have a choice of four Australian agents that I like the look of and that take my kind of book, and two aren't accepting submissions at the moment. I'll check those two early next year, but otherwise if this one doesn't take me I'll be querying publishers directly which is also fine, I just wanted to try the agents first.

It took me a few days to get this one organised because they wanted a hardcopy mailed to them instead of an email (I am actually a tiny bit concerned about how old-fashioned this is, what does it say about the company?), and my printer ran out of ink and then once I bought more and refilled that the printer decided it was hungry and spent an afternoon chewing up paper. But that is done now.

Jasmine's teachers were at a union meeting this morning so I drove her to school rather late, and somehow I'd forgotten to have breakfast and I had to stop at the post office anyway so I went to a café. French toast with bacon sounded nice (definitely not diet friendly) but it was horrible. The syrup was spiced with something I didn't like at all. I ate most of the bacon and about two bites of French toast. Such a shame. Probably a good thing for my waistline and my blood sugar levels that I didn't eat all that sugary sweetness.

Really stinking hot day. I didn't notice it much, at home in the air con, until taking the kids to their gymnastics class in the late afternoon. That building is so hot in summer and freezing in winter and always smells of kid sweat and feet! But I pretended I was in a sauna and tried to enjoy it.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016



Yesterday my weight finally went down to 78.8 kg! An official 5 kg loss, after eight weeks and one day. I'd bought a celebratory charm a couple of weeks ago when I got close, I put it on the bracelet yesterday.
It is the last all-purple crystally one. Nearly all my charms were "earned" with health and fitness goals accomplished, plus a couple of gifts. It's taken years to get this many charms!

It is now that time of the month and my weight is up again a little bit today... but the achievement still counts.

There's been a tradesman here the past two days, I thought he was putting in the decorative rocks around the pool but no he was just putting up the scaffolding for it, which looks rather imposing. Actual rock won't be until next week or the one after. 

Sunday, December 4, 2016



I'm feeling a bit crushed right now, my first choice literary agent has decided not to represent me after reading my book. It happens I know. You hear stories about how JK Rowling was rejected seven times or something. Tomorrow I'll send it off to my second choice!

I've now finished the official eight weeks of my Blood Sugar Diet. Despite many wobbles in the past few weeks my weight is finally back down below where I was three weeks ago.

Starting weight 10/10/16: 83.8 kg
Finishing weight 05/12/16: 79.0 kg
Total loss: 4.8 kg

I still can't quite crack that 5 kg loss! I plan to continue on the diet principles for another two weeks taking me to the end of school term and nearly to Christmas, then a relaxed couple of weeks before getting strict again. The BSD is specifically an eight week kick start to improve blood sugars (weight loss is an additional benefit) before moving to a more general Mediterranean diet with more calories and healthy carbs, but I think I need to be strict for a while longer especially since I haven't been sticking to it well. I read of other people's amazing losses over their eight weeks and feel jealous, but actually I am happy with 4.8 kg. It's a lot better than my usual attempts.

Yesterday we had family over in the afternoon and for dinner. I got to cuddle baby Lucy a lot. Veronica is a first-time mum and finding out how hard it can be, especially since Lucy has reflux which causes pain after feeding. I found myself in the slightly weird position of giving breast-feeding advice. I don't feel like I'm an expert, but on the other hand my children did turn out nearly perfect so I must have done something right! With Tim's help, of course.

It's hard not to feel a bit rejected and sad...

Friday, December 2, 2016

O tannenbaum


On Friday Tim stayed home again and I was sick too. Had a nap in the morning, another one in the afternoon, then was in bed by 8:30 and slept nearly 11 hours! Feeling much better today.

We put up the Christmas tree today, or at least Tim and the kids did while I was out doing the grocery shopping I would normally have done yesterday. I could have helped decorate when I got home but was too tired. Jasmine got the decoration idea from the internet, and it looks lovely.

In the morning we went to a three-year-old's birthday party, came home for lunch, I did the grocery shopping, then we walked across to the grassy area across the road to a Christmas Picnic in the Park that has apparently been organised by people in our street for more than 30 years. It was nice, we got to meet some neighbours and everyone was very friendly. A bit boring for the kids as most people were of the retired generation, although some younger people with kids came a bit later. There are actually a lot of children in our street but we didn't see many of them today. Aiden brought his remote control plane over and Jasmine had her phone so they were ok. We stayed about an hour and a half I guess. I was feeling pretty tired by then, it was a big day considering Tim and I were sick yesterday.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Not so chipper


Aiden was home sick yesterday. Tim home today and I'm not feeling so chipper myself.

I watered the pool for the last time today. I thought that was the only pool thing for a few weeks, but no. The guys doing the decorative fake rock formations and water feature at one end of the pool came yesterday to look at the site, and are coming back next Tuesday to do the work! So things keep ticking on.

Haven't heard back from that literary agent yet. I didn't expect to, they say up to six weeks, but I still keep hoping every day!

I learned yesterday that my side of the family isn't doing Christmas dinner this year! We usually have lunch with Tim's family then go to my Poppa's for dinner. Poppa is my mother's father, 98 years old and still in his own home with no assistance. Of course his daughters and daughters in law help with the big dinners.But my mum and aunt died last year, a lot of people will be overseas or interstate, and one cousin is having her second baby by caesarean a few days before Christmas so my other aunt will be looking after her and the toddler. Basically it would be me and one cousin instead of the usual crowd. Poppa will have a quiet Christmas dinner with his son and I've been told to visit a few days later. It's a bit sad really, I'm not close to that side of the family but it's nice to see them at Christmas and the occasional wedding.

On the up side, I'm hosting lunch for twenty and won't have to worry about getting them out of the house at a certain time so we can leave. Usually we have to rush the present-unwrapping. This year people could hang around for a dinner of leftovers if they wanted. Although with three new babies needing naps I don't know if anyone will stay! It will probably be the one year when everyone rushes home.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Secret Santa


I'm feeling a bit disheartened by Christmas today. Every year we buy presents for close family, but also have a "Secret Santa" where we draw names and buy one present for a not-as-close family member. When I say "draw names", I am organising it this year like most years and I make sure it works out so people aren't Secret Santa for someone they would buy for anyway. We used to all buy presents for everyone, but as everyone got married and started having children the group got too big so we switched to this. People give two or three suggestions of things they would like. This year every person who has offered suggestions has asked for a gift card from somewhere.

Maybe that seems fine to you, and if that is what people want why shouldn't they get it?, but to me it seems we've gone from careful loving thoughtful gift buying each year to essentially just giving each other money. Might as well pass some cash around the table then back into the original wallet because that is what it ends up working out to. And no present to unwrap, just a little card in an envelope. Thank goodness the children still get real presents from everyone.

So how should it be done if I ruled the world? Well for example my suggestion for myself was a mortal and pestle or earrings. Two things I genuinely want, but gives the buyer a lot of scope to choose something themselves. I can look at a gift of earrings and appreciate that they took the time to choose them especially for me. How different to me walking into a big department store and taking two seconds to grab a gift card from next to the cash register, which is what I'll be doing. Having been given a suggestion, you kind of feel you have to get what they ask for. But it makes me a little sad.

It has been suggested that next year we only buy for the children and not adults in the extended family. Might as well.

I've been hosing down the pool every day while the concrete cures. Tim and I did a bit of gardening and clearing up yesterday but really we can't do much until the pool is finished. There are lumps of dried concrete sitting on our front lawn waiting until we get a skip bin at the end of the build, and the backyard is a mess.

My sister-in-law Ping is due to have her baby in a about a week. So that is exciting. Her father is funny, he has two daughters and they both have girl children so my son Aiden is the only boy in the family (his grand-nephew-in-law? not a very close relationship!) and he makes such a fuss of him! Aiden is a bit uncomfortable I think although always very polite. We know Ping is having another girl.

My weight was up 0.4 kg this week to 79.9 kg. Very wobbly two weeks.