29 June 2012

Liebster liebster

I got an email today which made me smile. It was a notification of a comment from Schez on my latest Thankful Thursday post, saying that she had given me a Liebster blog award!

You might recall that I was fortunate enough to have been awarded this once before. Although it has the same name and the same purpose, the rules for passing on today's award are quite different to the last time. (The image also looks a little shinier!)

Here are the rules:
  1. Each person must post 11 facts about themselves.
  2. Answer 11 questions the tagger has given you and give 11 questions for the person you tag.
  3. Choose 11 people & link them to your post. (They must have 200 followers or less)
  4. Tell them you have tagged them.
  5. Remember, no tag backs.

11 facts about me: 
  1. I am left-handed;
  2. I play the guitar like a normal person, not upside-down/back-to-front like some lefties;
  3. I'm a lawyer but I've never represented someone in court in real life;
  4. When I was a kid I used to think that if I could just wiggle my nose like Samantha on "Bewitched", I could do magic too;
  5. I love stationery;
  6. I'm a chocaholic;
  7. I believe that prayers have helped me;
  8. I can't dive - I'm a bellyflopper every time;
  9. I have blue eyes;
  10. Hubby and I got married on his birthday;
  11. Sometimes I daydream about moving to Sicily (although living with austerity measures does not enter into it - it's a daydream, after all).

Schez's questions for me:

  1. What did you want to be when you grew up? A doctor, then a singer, then a foreign affairs officer, then a lawyer .
  2. Who do you most admire? I can't narrow it down to one person. Just people generally who are able to be kind and positive when life seems determined to break them.
  3. Where is your most favourite place to be? In my snuggly warm bed.
  4. What is your favourite TV show? Right now it's either "Revenge" or "Once Upon A Time"
  5. Do you believe in guardian angels? Absolutely, without a doubt.
  6. What is your favourite treat? Guylian chocolates
  7. What are your hobbies? I have too many for a mother of three kids: playing guitar, knitting, reading, writing, blogging.
  8. What is your favourite childhood memory? Christmas with my nonni. The three-bedroom house would manage to accommodate 7 adults & 2 children and still look presentable for visitors.
  9. If you go to the cinema, what flavour popcorn do you order? If not popcorn, what else?! Just plain popcorn ... or a choc top.
  10. Who or what makes you laugh? Hubby. And he does it when I'm grumpy which really pi$$es me off, and makes me laugh at the same time.
  11. Who would you want to see live in concert? Andrea Bocelli.

 Questions for my tagees:
  1. Does vegemite go in the fridge or the pantry?
  2. Today, are you where you thought you'd be ten years ago?
  3. What is your favourite thing about blogging?
  4. Do you have any quotes you live by, or just favourite quotes?
  5. Do you know any foreign languages?
  6. What's your shoe size? (yes, I was looking at my feet when I thought up this question)
  7. Which do you prefer, winter or summer?
  8. What is your favourite colour?
  9. Do you like your name?
  10. Do you have any regrets, like, big ones?
  11. Have you ever experienced déja vu?

Tag Time!

Now, I have done a (very different) Liebster thing before, but I would still like to tag those bloggers I tagged before, because I still love reading their blogs (the ones who are still blogging anyway). Now if you've already had one of these awards, don't feel any pressure to do the Liebster thing again, but of course, do if you want to :-) So here they are in no particular order:

  1. Gina from The Baynhams
  2. Hilary from Making Each Day Count
  3. Naomi from Dialogue of a Wallflower
  4. Melissa from From Boardroom to Babies
  5. Mez from Back in G-Town
  6. Mumma G from Musings From Mumma G
  7. Bree from Twinkle in the Eye
  8. Lara from This Charming Mum
  9. Lil from Lil and Hubby
  10. Madeline from The Things We Do

More hip stuff

It's been a couple of months since my last blog post about hip stuff.

MissyMoo2's(3) next x-ray and associated appointment is next week (and second opinion the week after).

I'm nervous and worried.

Prayers please.


28 June 2012

Thankful Thursday: My Own Space

I've never lived alone.

Growing up, I lived with my parents and sister. Since then, I've lived on campus at uni, with friends, Hubby, then add in MissyMoos 1, 2 and 3. In my teens, I used to assume that I would live alone before I met someone special and had a family, that I would spend some time in my own apartment, with just my things, possessions arranged the way I wanted them, being completely autonomous and independent. It didn't turn out that way. I have had my own bedroom before, which is about the extent of it, but even that was a long time ago considering I've been married for seven years!

I don't regret it at all. I love having people around me and I think I would have been lonely and bored if I'd lived alone.

That doesn't mean I don't value a bit of my own space.

Yesterday at work, I was finally completely set up. Desk, drawers, swivelly chair, computer, phone, folders, my professional notes and documents retrieved from a cupboard at home and returned to their natural environment. A photo of each of the MissyMoos up on the wall above my desk and a framed wedding photo next to the computer complete the picture.

My workspace.

My space.

My life is not isolated. Having to share my things and my space means that I'm also fortunate enough to share in the love and happiness that my family gives me. Having said that, it is nice to have a place that is off limits to little hands, that is respected and not interfered with. It doesn't worry me that I share an office with someone else. A corner of it is for me. I can have things just the way I want them, arranged so that I am comfortable, happy and productive. That is what I'm thankful for this Thursday.

Linking up with Kate at kate says stuff for Thankful Thursday

26 June 2012

"I Spy" in July

Hi people!

I was thinking about trying to get a theme up and running for July and I've come up with "I Spy in July".

It's fairly simple. What you need to do is write a blog post inspired by something which you see. You can do it as often (or not) as you like during the month of July. No particular posts on particular days are required, photos are a great idea, although not essential. Open your eyes and let your imaginations run wild.

I will try to do as many as I can, although I don't think I'll manage one every day in July with this funny thing called real life getting in the way!

If you do want to participate, all I ask is that if you write an "I Spy in July" post, please link back to my blog.  I don't have any linky widgets, so if you do join in, please also leave a comment on this post to let me know and link to your post so we can all read what you spy in July! Spread the word and happy blogging!


25 June 2012

A special day for MissyMoo2

Those of you who have been reading my blog posts lately may have noticed that my description of MissyMoo2 has changed from "MissyMoo2 (2)" to "MissyMoo2 (3)". If you had not noticed, please go to your CV and remove the term "attention to detail" from your list of strengths. It's ok, I'll wait.

Done? Good. Let's continue.

Yes, my beautiful MissyMoo2 turned three early last week, so early in the week that the appropriate thing to have done would have been to celebrate her birthday the preceding weekend. This, unfortunately, was not possible. The Saturday of the preceding weekend, we had a naming ceremony for our friend's first child to attend. It was a very important day for this new family and something we couldn't miss, even more so as they had attended all of our MissyMoos' baptisms. So, no birthday celebrations that day. The Sunday of the preceding weekend was MissyMoo1's best friend from school's birthday party. It's her best friend, our families have also become friends this year and Rupunzel was coming - there was no way there could have been a clash there.

Hubby and I discussed it, wondering if we should celebrate twice: on the actual day and then the following Saturday. If we did that, when would we do cake? When would we do presents? If there was only a couple of days difference between the birthday and the party we could have dragged it out. But it just seemed that little bit to long. Yes, we are a birthday week family. But a birthday week to a three-year-old would have just seemed like a birthday eternity.

In the end we made a decision, which we still think was the right one in the circumstances, but which is laced with a tinge of regret. We decided not to tell MissyMoo2 that it was her birthday on her actual birthday. We decided to tell her that her birthday was Saturday.

It felt weird. We lied to her. We had to be sneaky, telling relatives not to ring on her actual birthday, but on Saturday. We organised Skype calls with interstate relatives for Saturday. I didn't let MissyMoo1 (5) mark off the days on the calendar (a job she loves doing), lest she realise that the day written down for MissyMoo2's birthday had already been crossed off.

MissyMoo2 didn't know any better. She was fine. But we knew. We knew when she actually turned three. And Hubby and I both noticed during that week that she seemed ... three, but we couldn't tell her so. I was preparing her for turning three, saying she was a big girl, asking her how old she was. Occasionally I would let slip: "You're three now", to which MissyMoo1 would pipe up: "No she's not, it's not her birthday yet", and I just had to hold my tongue.

Incidentally, last week was the beginning of the Target Toy Sale. One night, Hubby went out to get a few things, and, feeling a little guilty about the whole date-shifting-subterfuge, we overcompensated a little in the presents department:

It seemed like a really loooong week to get through. But once we got to Saturday, MissyMoo2 really enjoyed her birthday party with her immediate family and Nonna and Par. Much like last year, the MissyMoos had a wonderful day at home, dressing up and playing in the sunshine. Even MissyMoo3 (8 months) got out there, eating grass and squealing at her sisters. We figured that this is probably the last year we can do this low-key family thing with MissyMoo2 (well, without protest anyway), as next year she will be at pre-school and will have friends of her own who she might want to invite over on her birthday.

We had a cake made at a local bakery, as I'm great at cupcakes, but not so crash hot at the big ones. (I know my limits!)

This one was delicious. True to form, MissyMoo2 ate the icing and the cream.

She had a great day. And now we can say, both officially and unofficially, we have a three-year-old again.

23 June 2012

Scarf and beanie set for MissyMoo2

I've completed another knitting project!

MissyMoo2 (3) was very excited about me knitting these for her. I chose those colours because they're very girly, and she is such a girly girl.

She has had the scarf for a few weeks now, but I only finished the beanie a couple of days ago. When I gave her the beanie this morning, I put it on her head, but she took it straight off. She likes it, but she doesn't want to wear it!

21 June 2012


MissyMoo1 (5) arrived home with something special today: her first ever school report card.

I wanted to open it straightaway, but decided to call Hubby at work first. He's not usually big on ceremony like that, but I wanted to make sure he didn't want us to open it together when he got home.

Thankfully, he was happy for me to open it before he got home (I don't know if I could have waited), a decision for which he was rewarded by my reading out the entire report to him, then and there, over the phone.

I'm so proud of our big girl. She's where she should be academically and her grades for effort and comments were just wonderful. It warms my heart to know how well she has settled into school now, how she is giving everything a go and how she is growing in so many ways. She's a beautiful girl, inside and out.

Kidspeak Gems: MissyMoo2

MissyMoo2 (3) in the lounge room: "We just cleaned up, and now it's in a mess."

Someone else noticed...

Thankful Thursday: Thursdays

I am thankful for Thursdays.

Now that I am back at work part-time, Thursdays are like my Saturdays, except that I have one less child at home than Saturdays with MissyMoo1 (5) being at school.

I am even more thankful that the past two Thursdays have been sunny, as on Thursdays washing is now a priority.

I am thankful that, even though I'm not feeling overly thankful about anything in particular today (just mildly thankful about a lot of things), since participating in Thankful Thursday blog posts, once a week I make myself sit down and think about what I am thankful for.

Apart from Thursdays, today the thing that is starting to stand out in my mind as I ponder what I am thankful for, is my faith.

Calm down non-Catholics or those who do not like to discuss/believe in religion or spirituality. I am not going to preach to you. I'm not a huge fan of uninvited preaching myself. This is not an evangelising blog, it is a personal blog. And I am speaking about my personal experience. What I am going to say is that I have noticed over the past few years, a gradual strengthening of my faith. There are peaks and troughs, of course, and I have a long way to go, but I am happily on a journey. I don't have all the answers, and I'm ok with that. I am finally approaching a place where (sometimes) I don't have to control everything and I can just have faith. And I'll thank God for that.

Linking up with Kate at kate says stuff for Thankful Thursday.

Crazy Talk #2

"Watch out, she wants to grab your dongers!"

- Me to MissyMoo2 (3), who was sitting a little too close to MissyMoo3 (8 months) while playing chime bars.

20 June 2012

Parallel universe

The last couple of weeks since starting work seem to have gone very quickly. I sometimes feel like I'm leading a double life, and that when I'm sitting happily in one existence, the other is a parallel universe.

A few hours ago, I was sitting at a computer in corporate-wear (including awesome shoes), reading legislation, drinking coffee and drafting documents. Before sitting down to my computer at home just now, I was baking cupcakes in my kitchen for MissyMoo1's (5) cake stall at school tomorrow, dressed in my pjs, ugg boots and beanie (yes it's cold).

As people, we really are multi-faceted beings, aren't we? There's just so much to any one person, and yet we're always attempting to put people in a box, to categorise them in some way...

Anyway, time to ice these cupcakes...

18 June 2012

Hold onto your Polly Pockets, it's crawling time!

For the past few weeks, I have been describing MissyMoo3's (8 months) stage of physical development as "wanting to crawl" or "nearly crawling".

That changed this morning. She is now crawling.

Not chase-her-sisters-up-and-down-the-hallway crawling just yet, but shimmy-on-over-half-a-metre-to-get-to-the-newspaper-mum-thinks-is-out-of-reach stage. Sigh.

I am excited for her and for all of us. This is another milestone for our baby, bringing her into more active participation in family life. A thing to celebrate.


I really liked the sitting-but-not-yet-crawling stage. It was ... easy.

With the third child now definitely mobile, things get stressful. With scenes like this to increase my heart rate, who needs to jog?

Age-appropriate toys are a great concept for children, specifically first-born children. But when your curious, fearless, newly-mobile baby has older siblings, particularly sisters, peril lurks in every corner. I remember this fear from when MissyMoo2 (3) first started crawling. But now, with two kids' worth of little stuff, I have come to the realisation that I can no longer control the mess. Polly pockets, Barbie shoes, Littlest Pet Shop, non-Duplo Lego ... Sorry, I need to stop there before I begin to hyperventilate. Right, so instead of attempting to create order from chaos, my tactics need to change: this time I focus on the baby.

I have brought out the playpen in an attempt to create a controlled environment. If I need to leave the room, MissyMoo3 is promptly plonked in there. If she wants to have some time on the "outside" (or the "exercise yard"), I will be shutting all bedroom doors and let her do laps of the lounge room and hallway.

Let the games begin!

17 June 2012

Work works

So, it was my long-awaited return to work last week. Are you all wondering how it went?

It was amazing!

The only thing serving to restrain my happiness at being there was the accompanying guilt at feeling happy doing something without the MissyMoos.

Sure, it wasn't perfect - it's work. And I'm sure that spending two days catching up on hundreds of pages of new regulation isn't everyone's cup of tea. But it was my cup of tea. Well, cup of coffee actually. Two of them. From a coffee machine in the lunch room. Consumed uninterrupted while still hot. Mmm.

Getting everyone ready in the morning wasn't any more stressful than usual, as we're already used to getting organised for the school run. My routine of getting myself ready first before getting started on the MissyMoos worked well. Nobody cried when I left: MissyMoo1 (5) left for the bus stop at the same time with Hubby, MissyMoo2 (2) was just looking forward to doing craft with Nonna and MissyMoo3 (8 months) is easy-going and not quite old enough to be super clingy as long as she's with someone she knows well. MissyMoo3 hasn't been left alone with Nonna much yet, but she didn't get upset and I'm sure having MissyMoo2 playing with her helped her immensely.

MissyMoo3 didn't pine or whinge. But she did have her protest: no bottles. She just flat out refused her formula. She drank water from a sippy cup and ate her solids without a problem. But no bottles. Nonna even tried to sneak in some formula from a sippy cup, but MissyMoo3 wouldn't be tricked. When Hubby got home, he gave it a go too, to no avail. Then when I got home, I tried giving her the formula and she basically inhaled the stuff. Even from a bottle, milk must be mummy's domain. She used to drink bottles from other people, but since going back to work she refuses, even if I'm in the room. But if that's all she does, I'm pretty lucky!

So, back to the office. I've mentioned the coffee. It was also very social, being my first time back there in 9 months aside from a couple of short visits. When it wasn't social, it was quiet. I could concentrate on what I was doing and the only interruptions were the soft buzzing of telephones ringing, as opposed to whinging or arguing little ones. I could write without having the pen snatched out of my hand. I could go to the toilet by myself. I had a lunch break.

As I mentioned above, I know work is work and it won't be awesome all the time. The shimmer will fade as tiredness sets in (it was tiring) and various deadlines approach. I find when a full-time mum, I'm really good at it because I'm always in that mindset, and it was the same with work-mode when I worked full-time. Working part-time means there needs to be a bit of a switch in mindset. After working two days in a row, I found that the next day I was a little rusty at planning kiddy things a few steps ahead so that things would run smoothly. But it's all a matter of remembering that working and parenting take effort and organisation, each in their own way.

I think one of the great things about working part-time when you have a young family is the "best of both worlds" experience. I know and accept that I do miss out on things in both spheres - it's inevitable as I'm not there all of the time. But then, when I go to work it's refreshing. I find that I'm very motivated while I'm there, and because I know I'm only there for a limited time, I'm also very productive, perhaps more so than I would otherwise be. Equally, when I am back home with the kids, I appreciate being with them more and I want to do more with them.

I'm happy to have had a good experience of returning to work, to a job I enjoy. But by far the best part of my day was being on the receiving end of excited cuddles from my beautiful family when I got home.

15 June 2012

Questi piedi piccolini

Ho fatto questa foto a febbraio.

Questa photo mi dice tante cose:

Queste tre sorelle sono così piccole e graziose.

Le mie due figlie più grande sono cresciute tante da quando erano bimbe.

Queste tre sorelle si amano molto.

Queste tre sorelle sono simile sotto tanti aspetti, ma ogni sorella è anche un'entità distinta.

La traduzione

Penso che, invece di trovare delle idee nuove per ogni post per questo blog, sarà una buona idea tradurre qualchi post dal mio blog scritto in inglese.

Forse posso cominciare stasera. Ho bevuto un bicchiere di vino - penso che conosco meglio le lingue straniere dopo un po' di vino!

Oggi ho comprato un corso avanzato d'italiano su Ebay. Arriva fra qualche settimane. Spero che potro studiarlo per conoscere meglio l'italiano.


14 June 2012

Thankful Thursday: Sunshine

Yes, this is just a photo of the sky over my backyard.
Nothing special, you might think. Except that it is something special.

It's blue.

This week, our weather has consisted of downpours, dumping huge amounts of water in a nanosecond with little visibility, broken up by dreary grey skies and showers.

When I saw this view this morning, I got excited. Nice weather makes me happy. I smiled. The washing machine went berserk. I thought I might even take the kids out for a walk.

I am glad I took this photo about half an hour ago, because it doesn't look quite as good now. Having said that, there is still a bit of blue in our sky, and the washing machine is still going berserk. I hope to be able to hang it out. I still hope to go for that walk.

I am thankful for blue skies after a week of grey. Even if it may only be fleeting, I am thankful for the hope that a break in the weather can bring.

Linking up with Kate from kate says stuff for Thankful Thursday

10 June 2012

The end of one era, the beginning of the next...

A few weeks ago I blogged about my upcoming return to work.

Looking back at it now, those few weeks seem to have flown. In that time, I have been doing my best to make the most of this maternity leave stage in my life. I have played with my kids, caught up with friends, blogged up a storm, knitted, read, written, while still keeping aside a couple of do-nothing, at-home days. All in all, I'm pretty happy with how this time has been spent.

In the past day or so, I have been a bundle of nervous energy. I have written lists for Nonna, who will be looking after the little MissyMoos during the day. My shirts are ironed, the pantry is stocked with lunch thingies and I'm trying to think organised thoughts, so I don't let too much slip through the net at home. I'll only be at work two days per week, but like anything, as it's different to the current routine, I need to put extra thought into it until it becomes the routine.

I have been looking forward to going back to work. The past 9 months of being able to stay at home full-time with the MissyMoos have been amazing, but they have also been tough. Having a new, third, baby has been a hard slog even though MissyMoo3 (8 months) is such a good little thing. I'm grateful to have been able to spend this time at home with all of them, and particularly during MissyMoo1's (5) first few months at school as she has adjusted to such a huge change in her own life, but I'm now ready for the next stage in our lives. I'm ready to spend some time outside the home, use my qualifications and contribute to our family financially. I'm happy that I have the opportunity to go back to part-time work in my profession and to hopefully be a role-model to my girls in a few different ways - as a mum, a professional and a juggler!

I'm sure I'll look back on this 9 months with rose-coloured glasses at times, when life is a new kind of busy. And I know I'll miss my girls when I'm away from them. But, at the risk of sounding harsh to some (although I don't mean it that way), going back to work has gotten easier every time I have had a new MissyMoo: possibly because I know we've done it before and survived, possibly because my work is part-time, possibly because being looked after by their Nonna is the best kind of childcare I could hope for them to have aside from the care of their own parents.

So, Tuesday is the day. Only two sleeps to go!

I have every intention of keeping up with my blogging - it has become an important part of my life and I love the connection it has brought me to people I would not otherwise have come across. Just don't be surprised if you hear from me a little less frequently, at least for the next few weeks while we're adjusting.


07 June 2012

Thankful Thursday again - Awesomeness

So this week's Thankful Thursday has a theme. But I only have a birthday week once per year, so I've decided to keep that off-topic Thankful Thursday post and write another on theme.

"The idea here is to push modesty aside and talk about three things that are awesome about you without fear or guilt or any sense of self promotion - just an honest account of why you rock.

And then you get to choose three other people, state why YOU think they are awesome and tag them so they know about it. Hopefully they then might want to join in as well!"

Why I am awesome:

1. I am dedicated: to my family, friends, work, interests and hobbies. This post is a prime example of my awesomeness, with my dedication to writing not one, but two Thankful Thursday posts ... in my birthday week. (Did I mention it's my birthday week?)

2. I have a lot of love in my heart and I always try to show it. If I fail, I just try again.
3. I'm a bit silly and like to have a laugh. I don't take myself too seriously.
Three people I think are awesome
1. Gina: She is an amazing friend; someone who, in the early stages of our friendship, saw me at my most vulnerable, "practically" delivered my baby and then stayed on as a good friend. She is quirky, funny and a wonderful story-teller. I'm so happy she's in my life.
2. Hilary: She is one of the first bloggers I followed who I don't know personally. I love reading her blog - it's so honest and down-to-earth. She's had a rough few weeks with baby illness, but she is still being selfless and thinking about her kids 100%. What a great mum!
3. Lara: She is a great writer and mum. I feel like I connect with her, and our kids are roughly the same ages. She is interesting, funny and I enjoy reading her take on many wonderful things, including fab book reviews.
Linking up with Kate from kate says stuff for Thankful Thursday.

Thankful Thursday: Birthday Week

This week is my birthday week and I am oh so very thankful.

Since day dot, my family and I had always celebrated birthdays, but it was not until Hubby and I started dating that I was introduced to the concept of the birthday week. Hubby has been a great advocate of the birthday week in the time I have known him. Let me explain.

The birthday is still celebrated - it is, of course, the day around which the birthday week is based. It is, shall we say, the climax of the birthday week.

The subject of the birthday week is permitted to decide when the birthday week begins, be it from a week before the birthday and ending on the birthday, a few days beforehand and finishing a few days afterwards, or commencing on the birthday and finishing a week later. Factors contributing to the decision on when to position the birthday week include: day of the week on which the birthday falls, timing of other importants events/birthdays, whim.

I am in amongst the birthday week right now. This week I haven't taken nearly enough advantage of it because I've been thinking about other things, but I'm settling into it quite well right now. I'm having a nice glass of red (just to clarify, this is being drafted Wednesday night - I am not drinking wine at 6am on Thursday!) while listening to MissyMoo3 (8 months) say "mumumum". MissyMoo3 (5) and MissyMoo2 (2) have made me some cards. Tomorrow will be morning tea with B and on Saturday I shall be the guest of honour at a family lunch.

Birthday weeks are awesome. So is my family for making it special. There is a thankful overload over here this Thursday.


Linking up with Kate from kate says stuff for Thankful Thursday.

06 June 2012


When I first started this blog waaaaay back in December 2009, I said that I was doing it as a creative outlet, to practise my writing. Since then it has morphed into mainly a mummy blog, which I guess is understandable, as I am a mum and it is a huge part of my life (and the MissyMoos just provide me with so much material!).

What I didn't tell you way back then is that there was an additional motivation for starting this blog, lurking in the background...

I had started ... um ... attempted to write a novel.

It began in November 2009. MissyMoo2 (2) was 5 months old and MissyMoo1 (5) was just shy of 3. Its commencement was nothing short of inspired. I still remember when the concept came to me. I was in the shower and ideas just came flooding into my mind. I was so excited that when I got out, I grabbed a pad of paper and wrote it all down while I was still in my towel. I didn't want to forget anything, because I've had the experience in writing songs where I've come up with something wonderful (or so I thought), not written it down and then completely forgotten it. That's devastating. And you just can't get it back.

I was truly inspired and highly motivated, but with two very little kiddies, finding the opportunity to sit and work at such a long body of writing was difficult. I would stay up late at night and write. In winter. With cold fingers.

By September 2010, I had 60,000 words. But I started working part time and my story was a bit bogged down. I didn't really know where I wanted it to go. Time passed, life got busier, another Missy Moo came along. I no longer knew my characters intimately; we'd drifted apart.

Recently, I started thinking about the story again. I realised that it had always been there in the back of my mind, waiting for an opportunity to grab my attention again. To be honest, the timing is crap. I'm about to go back to work. I have a thousand half-finished things that I enjoy doing. The novel is the biggest unfinished thing I have lingering, though, and it's bugging me a bit. But it's not only the bugging me that's making me think about it again. I also want to finish it. I've tried getting back into writing it, but it's hard. I'm having to refamiliarise myself with what I've done. And any attempts to change the story result in going back over everything to work out if I've missed something, as well as getting rid of some of the writing that I'm really happy with but which doesn't fit into the story any more.

When I started looking into novel writing in late 2009, I read about somebody who had taken five years to write their first novel. At the time, I thought to myself: that's a ridiculous amount of time to take! Well, I'm now halfway there. And bloody hell, if I'm still talking about this in another two and a half years time I'm going to have bruised shins from kicking myself!

So now I know there's nothing for it, I need to just get on with it. I'd love it to be published one day, but I don't have any expectations of that happening. Even if nothing comes of it though, I have to complete it ... for me. It needs to be finished!

So stop blogging about it, Francesca, and open that Word document!!!

Kidspeak gems: MissyMoo3

MissyMoo3 (8 months) said her first word a month or so ago: "Dadadadadad" (third time lucky for Mr O!)

Today she said "Mum" and she's been saying it non-stop for the past ten minutes in her sweet little baby voice. Oh, my heart is melting. What a great birthday week present!

I wuv my baby.

05 June 2012

Imparare l'italiano nel tempo libero...

Ho preso un corso d'italiano dalla biblioteca. Ho fatto la prima lezione e ho cominciato la seconda. Nella prima lezione, ho imparato l'imperfetto e il passato prossimo. Questi tempi ho imparato a scuola 15 anni fa, ma ho apprezzato la revisione.

Stamattina ho scritto una lettera ad una delle mie zie a Sicilia. Ho scritto molto. Sono sicura che la grammatica non era perfetta ma sono fiera che ho potuto scrivere una lettera così lunga in italiano.

La settimana prossima, ricomincio a lavorare due giorni la settimana. Penso che andare a lavoro mi lascia meno tempo per fare le lezione e imparare meglio l'italiano. Ma voglio continuare. Spero che posso trovare un po' di tempo libero...

04 June 2012

I believe in fairies

MissyMoo1 (5) believes that fairies are real. So do I. I believe in many fairies and I discover new ones all the time. Here are some examples of fairies which visit us:

Colouring-in pencil fairies

These fairies are sneaky and like playing tricks. They hide colouring-in pencils one at a time, when your child desperately needs that colour and no other colour will do. Don't even think of suggesting that the sun could be orange just this once when a fairy has taken a liking to yellow. No amount of searching can retrieve it. Tears are shed, feet are stomped, and we haven't even started talking about the child's reaction yet. Then, just when all hope seems lost and the child is persuaded to use a different colour (or try a different activity altogether), the fairy returns it ... to an obvious place, serously, right in front of your eyes.

There must be a whole family of the buggers in our house at the moment, because they've done away with a whole pencil case full of them! I can't find MissyMoo2's (2) pencil case anywhere and she needed her pencils this afternoon so that she would be amused while I helped out in MissyMoo1's (5) classroom.

Dirty laundry fairies

These fairies are hard workers. They ensure that no matter how much washing you do in any given day, there will always be something remaining needing to be washed. Their vocation in life is to ensure that your dirty washing basket is never empty. They also have a special talent which they apply to a household when a new baby is born. They can increase your washing exponentially. They did a great job here when MissyMoo3 (8 months) was born. Instead of increasing the washing of four people by an extra 25% to accommodate the fifth, the previous amount of washing was doubled. No joke. Those fairies are powerful.

Putting things in weird places fairies

You know the ones. They put the house keys in the fridge, the homework in the baby's room and your glasses on the bathroom basin even though you know for sure you took them off in the bedroom. I have a feeling that the colouring-in pencil fairies start off in this category and then specialise.

Spew fairies

Sorry for being gross, but a blog post on fairies wouldn't be complete without a mention of these. Hubby and I have named them: Leopold and Felicity. We'd met them before, but once we started having MissyMoos, we saw a lot less of them and thought that perhaps they'd forgotten us. As we'd moved house a couple of times, there was a hope that they may have lost the trail. Alas, that was not to be, and they occasionally attempt to befriend our children. We've been fairly good at keeping them away from the MissyMoos (touch wood), but they sometimes manage to sneak in there.

Do you believe in fairies?

03 June 2012

Best friends

We've had one of those fantastic, happy days today and I just had to blog about it.

MissyMoo1 (5) and MissyMoo2 (2) play together quite well these days, overall. It has been a case of gradual improvement since the upheaval of their baby sister's arrival, at which point my inability to always intervene when their play got cranky meant that they had to figure it out for themselves. Or else they just screamed.

It has been getting better but, as with all siblings, they have their moments of friendliness and followed by times when they can't stand to be near one another.

Today, though, was something special.

They got along pretty much all day. They played wonderfully together, using their imaginations, giggling, singing songs, agreeing on things, colouring in, building cubby houses. They wanted to sit next to each other to eat their morning tea and lunch. Actually, they were inseperable for most of the day. Thick as thieves. And they didn't even fight over MissyMoo3 (8 months) when she was sitting with them. When it was time for MissyMoo3   to go to sleep, I had to tell them to be quiet even though I didn't want their little happy sounds to end.

Good day.

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