Thursday, March 29

Thankful Thursday - The Birthday Edition

In case you missed it, last week saw me turn thirty four.  To say I had mixed feelings about it is a bit of an understatement.  As it turned out I had nothing to worry about.  In fact there was a teeny tiny part of me that regrets my mini meltdown and no body loves me.

In previous years my birthday has been celebrated over a number of days.  Why let such a momentous event be restricted to celebration on just one day.  This year was no exception.  I guess in many ways I could say it started way back on Monday when a lovely friend took me out for lunch.  The local pasta hang out had some new specials that were pretty special indeed.  Two pizzas and soft drink for twenty bucks!  Not to mention incredibly yummy and almost to big to finish.

By the time my sister and her gorgeous little family arrived on Tuesday afternoon the birthday magic was alive and well.  Increased with the arrival home of my brother on Wednesday and a family dinner to boot.  In amongst it all I spent some time hanging with Jess from Diary of a SAHM which is always more than a pleasure in itself.

Thursday was scheduled in as a big one. There was coffee, lunch, shopping, oh and one of the major fundraisers of the year for the school.  Thankfully the girls classes were easily sorted and everything turned out to be a huge success.  The super big plus side was it meant I didn't have to cook or even think about dinner and the night before my birthday.

Oh and I also got presented with this

Yep it really did taste as good as it looks.  In case you are wondering they are non other than Whitlam's chocolates.  My all time favourite!

My dear friend (yes the same one who took me out to lunch on Monday) just happens to be the very talented cupcake baker from House of Cupcake  I had been planning on asking if she would be able to squeeze making me a cake into her very busy week.  Only when she told me just how busy her week was I decided against it.  All week long I have listened to this magnificent cake that she was making only to have it presented to me as a bit of a birthday surprise.

And the best part is I still haven't gotten to my actual birthday yet!!!  Talk about awesome.

Naturally the children woke early, only to be swiftly taken downstairs by one incredibly wonderful husband.  I had been planning to get up at eight only the excitement of it all was too much and I called everyone in so they could shower me with gifts.  Well at least that is what I was hoping for.

You know that incredibly wonderful husband I mentioned earlier? Well he didn't disappoint here either.

Other than a token CD that I brought myself a week earlier and hid in the kid's drawers, just to make sure there was a present for the day, I hadn't really given any clues as to my heart's desires in terms of presents.  I may have mumbled at some point something about an armband to hold my phone while I run but that would have been it.  This year I really just wanted to be surprised.

Surprised is an understatement.

Amazingly wonderful superstar husband got me a tandem skydive!  Super super exciting.  At this stage we haven't got a date for when the big jump is as the weather is a little tricky to predict, but rest assured it will be in the very near future.

So this Thursday I am beyond thankful for all the trouble and thought that those who love me put into to making it my best birthday ever.

Joining in with Kate for her

Tuesday, March 27

The Changing of the Guard

Right now, right here is not where I am meant to be.  This post was supposed to have been written yesterday, scheduled for this morning and you are actually meant to be ready something entirely different. All I was meant to be doing this morning was linking said post up to the hug free Jess, over at Diary of a SAHM.  Clearly that well laid plan has all gone astray though.

Instead I sit here blurry eyed at some ridiculous time in the morning trying to sit of something insightful to say.

There was a time when a little while ago when most of my blogging occurred at this time.  It was one of the few times of the day I could escape the clutches of children and the responsibility that comes with them, steal a few moments with my thoughts and share them with you, my super duper awesome readers.

The downside to all of this meant that children would generally get to school late and half dressed as we tried to race out the door well after we were meant to because I had somehow become so engrossed in what I was doing.  Since this whole blogging gig is meant to be for fun and there is no monetary gain from it, it just didn't seem right to use it as an excuse for constantly being late.

So I changed my ways.

I introduced organisation and order into my life.  I imposed a heap of rules upon myself and began to implement a new way of life.  One where the little things would matter.  One that involved structure and routine, or at least had some resemblance of structure and routine.  Both are relatively new concepts to my life so the adjustment period was taking some time.

It was good.  Life was good.  I could feel and even see myself getting on top of things that had previously left me feeling overwhelmed and at times useless.  I knew that there were other women, mothers, who were able to keep a top of simple things like washing, the dishes, house keeping and to know that I was slowly joining their ranks made me pretty darn happy.

Mind you I still have my off days where the washing and the dishes and everything else seem to pile up and try to become insurmountable but I wise to their wicked ways now.  I know that as long as I do a little bit each and every day then they just won't get the chance overwhelm me.  Which then means I will have time to do the things I love without that little nagging voice telling me I should be doing something else.  Win win all round really.

So what went wrong with today I hear you ask? What has made me revert back to my old ways that I so desperately want to leave behind?


And their refusal to go to sleep.

One of life's largest battles faced by too many parents.  It seriously does my head in.  For the most part two out of three children have got it down pat.  The third however sees sleep as something only for the weak and refuses to do it on a fairly regular basis.  She has actually been heard at times saying she is allergic to sleep.  Which when you see the fuss she can kick up at bedtime it does almost seem plausible.  If of course it wasn't so ridiculous.

Part of me thinks that I shouldn't complain too much.  It has been quite a while since a night like last night.  Not only that but we are coming down from a massive week where routines partly fell by the wayside.  Rules got bent and late nights were had.  Excuses are a plenty.

Then there is this other part of me, that actually speaks much louder than the first.  She is old enough to know better.  She needs to learn that she can no longer use sleep as a manipulation tool to get what she wants.  I am wise to her ways and there is no room for them here.

On the upside though I don't need to worry about the dishes for a few days.  There is a sleep refusing child in need of extra chores!

Joining in with all the other iBotters for

Monday, March 26

There's losing and then there's losing

As a child I was always a bit disappointed by the fact I never got to play up a level.  I wanted to and I thought that I was able to.  There were girls on my team that did it and I was just as good a player as them so I thought I could play on more than one team as well.  Sadly for me my parents thought otherwise.  Taking me to play one game a week was more than enough, they felt no need for me to play another.

Naturally when the basketball club asked Miss Nearly Eleven if she was interested in playing up a grade I said of course!  This week however saw me question whether I was right in my decision.

After losing a hard fought game against a team who was slightly larger, both in size and quantity of players, Miss Nearly Eleven and three of her team mates quickly splashed cold water on their hot red faces as they refilled their empty water bottles.  They then returned to the court for their next game.

Only to discover that this week they were it.  There were no reserves, and in fact they were a player down.  Their opposition who were a great deal taller had five players and the same again in reserves.  It was a slaughtering.  That in the second half took a turn for the worse.

image from here
Just after the start of the third quarter one of my daughter's team mates fell and hurt her ankle.  This left three under twelve players facing five of the biggest under fourteen kids I have ever seen.  Mercy rules came into play and it really was more like a training session than anything else.  To the credit of those three girls though when they saw an opportunity they took it and never gave up.

The levels of determination, guts and stamina that were displayed out there were amazing.  It was a pure mummy proud moment.  Watching her to continue to fight despite her exhaustion and knowing they still couldn't win made my heart swell.

I have mentioned previously how at times  my daughter's basketball team has been quite convincingly defeated over the years.  There have also been just as many times when they have been the winners.  Unfortunately though it appears as if this season is not going to be one of those times.  Which I am fine about.

What I am not fine about though is her getting annihilated every week in an age group one up from hers because there aren't enough players to field a full team.  You see when the club asked if she could play the extra game I agreed but only if she was a back up player rather than being a main player.  I certainly didn't expect for her to play an entire game on a team short on players.

When I checked with Miss Nearly Eleven how she felt about it all she said that losing didn't bother her as at least she was given the chance to play.  When I asked how playing against girls who were clearly much bigger than her she said that didn't matter.  She figured that it would only help to make her a better player.  Talk about more proud mummy moments.

Making IT Matter

Now I guess it has been a while since I have stopped and shared what I have been making matter.  Rest assured this is not because I not been making the time to make things matter.  In fact it is the complete opposite.  I have been in overdrive making sure that wherever possible I am making what I do matter.

It has been at times incredibly exhausting, but it has always been rewarding, and I am rather glad of my new found levels of effort.  I can honestly only see things going up from here.  Life is nothing but full of positives and I am ready to embrace it with all that I have.  

Recently I have found myself being able to make the time for a number of new activities and I can not understand why I have not made such a time before.  Like running.  These past four weeks were I have made the time to go running have been awesome.  Each day I run I feel stronger and faster than the day before.  In four short weeks I have exercised for over fifty kilometers.  I am still a bit away from being a full time runner but I know it won't be too long before I will be able to say I run 5km a day.

As I was recently lucky enough to win a copy of Then Came You Over at The Surprise Beginning I am about to make time to read it.  I arrived home today to see it sitting on my doorstep.  Next to it sat another parcel from some kind PR Lady who wondered the other week whether I would like to try out some beauty products.  Didn't I tell you that life was good?

Unfortunately the last week has not seen me make much time for writing.  Which was a little disappointing but totally understandable given how large a week it was.  Not to mention all the things I didn't blog about.  Like surprise cakes, parachute jumps and Harmony Day International Markets at school and about a hundred other things.

Anyway this is a new week and moving forward is what I do.  Plus since I am currently making the time to write now all is easily forgiven.  There are a number of other things that I put on hold so I could make the time to write.  One of which is reading the above mentioned book.

So that brings me to what it is exactly this week that I will add to my list of mattering.

  • I really want to focus a great deal of this week on the blog.  I want to make sure that when the people from the Sydney Writer's Centre swing on by to check out my nomination for best blog 2012 I am looking my best.  As such I hope to complete an awesome post each and every day this week.  Since I have five titles already lined up this should be achievable.
  • Running will naturally still be a strong focus and continue to matter every other day.
  • Maintaining harmony between the girls.  Miss Nearly Elven is not always as tolerant and patient as I would like her to be with her younger sisters.  The greatest shame in this is that when she wants to she is the kindest, caring big sister I have ever seen.
  • Keeping Mount Washmore at bay and ensuring the kitchen remains free from the perils that can come when faced with towers of dishes.
I am tempted to add a few more but I must remember not to push myself too hard too fast.  Something running has taught me.  It is all about pace.  Not wining, not losing.  Just getting there in the end and hopefully getting there faster than last time.  

When I look back to what my life was like six months ago, I see chaos and disorder.  Which sure is still around, but now it seems more manageable.  I feel more in control and able to do things then ever before.  Which is strange because I have never really felt out of control either.  

Anyway I hope that you take the time to make something matter this week as well.  You will be surprised with the difference it can make.

Wednesday, March 21

On a Brighter Birthday Note

One of the things I love most about my birthday is that I share it with my little sister.  Now before you go all, I didn't know you were a twin, that's because I am not.  She was my seventh birthday present and to this day I don't think I could of a better present than her.

Well at least that was until I had to have a birthday without her.

When she was 18 she decided to take a gap year and spend some time touring Europe, which meant she was away for our birthday.  I hated that year.  Unfortunately it was the first of a few birthdays without her.  Slowly I have become used to her not being here for our special day.  I still don't like it, but we have different lives and live in different states now so it is just the way life is.

This year was the first year I was really ready to embrace celebrating my birthday without her.  With a sudden urge to have the focus all about me it would be much easier for me to have all the limelight if she wasn't here anyway.

Only guess who turned up yesterday afternoon?


Yep!  *Squeeeel*

That's right folks in more years than I care to remember my sister and I are able to spend our birthday together.  I am so excited by the fact that I can't even think of what we should do.  Not that it really matters because whatever it is we will be doing it together!

But wait there's more!

My brother, who works away two weeks out of three, just happens to be in town this week.  So that means for the very first time ever my brother, his wife, their six month old daughter, my sister, her fiancee, their newborn son, plus all my lot, and our mum, will all be in the one place at the one time.  It seriously does not get better than that.

So in a matter or moments, the birthday that I wasn't really fussed about because I wondered whether anyone would make enough fuss of me has suddenly become the best birthday in a long time because I will be surrounded by those that love me most.

Birthday Blues

So Friday is my thirty fourth birthday. I had hoped that by writing it in word form as opposed to a number it might not have seemed like such a big number, but there is no hiding from numbers. They are what they are. And thirty four is only one away from thirty five which is only five away from the big 4 - 0.

Which is kinda like the half way mark in life and one that I am not really ready for. There is still so much to do before I reach the half way mark.  Lucky I have six years to think about it.  Or rather six years to make it happen.

Only it is not the actual number of the birthday that has caused the blues.

Now before I go any further I feel I must put in a bit of a warning. What you are about to read may very well sound like something out of the mouth of a spoilt and ungrateful brat of a child. It is quite possibly going to sound whiny and whingy.

In our family birthdays a big. They are a true celebration of the birth of the person in question. They get to pretty much be treated like royalty. Whatever they want to do, eat, go what ever. The choice is theirs. The day is theirs. Get the picture?

Only thing is it feels like years since I have truly had that happen. The joys of being a mother I guess.  There are still children that need tending, mouths that need feeding and all the other joys that come with having children.  Sadly they don't stop just because it is your birthday.

It's not that the past few years have been terrible they just haven't been great either.  And when I think back to it the great birthday's are outweighed by the not so great ones.  There have been too many parties that people didn't come to.  Too many times when people were too busy to help me celebrate my special day.

When someone asks me what I want for my birthday what I really want to say is... ...I want to be waited on hand and foot. I want to be pampered and fussed over. My every need catered to before I even know it's a need. I want gorgeous food served to me and delicious drinks to sip on.

All without me actually having to ask for anything, because let's face it asking for something is not really a strong point of mine. Even on my birthday.

I was certain that this year it would be easy to make it all about me. Certain that this year people would be able to read my mind and just know that I wanted to be fussed over and treated like a princess.  To help things along I even sent out a few feelers to check we were all on the same page.

Of course that hope started to fade when people I needed to help make the day the way I wanted informed me they were not able to do as I needed. Trying to hold on to my last shards of optimism I looked for alternatives, only to come up empty handed and not really all that excited about having a birthday.  Again.

In so many ways this all feels so de ja vuish.  I have been here before.  Waiting, hoping.  Trying to trust that the birthday fairy will wave her wand in my direction.  Some times she does and sometimes she doesn't.  Only time will tell.

Fairy wishes & butterfly kisses

Tuesday, March 20

The Price To Play

I have previously mentioned that this year my husband and I decided that we would all play the same sport.  We thought that the idea of the whole family being involved in one club would allow for some great family bonding time.

Since hubs and Miss L both played hockey last year, it only made sense for Miss Z and I to join in this year.  Many moons ago I once played hockey and just between you and me I fancied myself a little.  In fact I am sure the reason why some of those girls weren't nice to me was because they were jealous of my natural skills...

Moving along.

Finally the sign up weekend arrives.  Despite the tiny little demons that keep telling me it is easier to just not play I am adamant that I will not give into my fears.  I will get out there and interact with people unknown, and who knows possibly even make some of them become known.  At least that is what I think till I see the sign up fee.  For two adults and two children to play a season of hockey I needed to pay just over one thousand dollars.  Yep you read right $1000.

Crazy hey?

And that is before uniforms, sticks, and shin pads.  Here let me just find another five hundred.  Did I mention this is after Miss L has also played a season of basket ball which comes in at about $15 per week after a $70 registration fee and $30 club fee.

Before I get too carried away with grumbling about how broke playing sport is about to send me, I must say we did not walk away empty handed.  The kids both got a simple back pack sponsored by the evil golden arches and made in some underdeveloped country for probably about 50 cents.  It was accompanied by a probably toxic water holder, also sponsored by said evil big company and a T-shirt that was not sponsored by anyone other than the sport of hockey.  It will be good for them to train in if nothing else.

It really saddens me to think that it is so expensive to play sport these days.  As it is we are becoming a society plagued by the perils of obesity and yet only the well off are able to afford to play organised sport.  If by chance you are talented or good at your sport and wish to go further in your chosen sport then prices just soar even more.

Looking back on my own childhood I was fortunate in that I got to try a great number of extra curricula activities.  So did my brother.  My sister however not so much and I can't help but wonder if the cost of it all was a factor in my sister missing out.  I had never really understood how people would say that children were expensive till I had to get two of them sorted for school.  Trying to get two of them sorted for sport made me realise the same as well.  I shudder to think what it will be like by the time I have to do it for three.

So needless to say I am not playing hockey this year.  Which I am kind of sad about but also a little relieved.  There is always next year.  Which may actually work out better because by then I will be fit. As opposed to now where I am only still trying to get fit.

Rather than setting an example of a healthy lifestyle choice of playing organised sport I will show the girls that it is possible to be fit and active without joining a club or being part of a team.  I have slowly been plodding away with my Ease Into 5km app on my phone and can already feel myself getting stronger.  I have a bootcamp app that I need to start soon as well.  I know that these little changes and bursts of energy are just as important at role modeling good behaviours as playing organised sport is.

When I originally thought about this post I had planned to link it up with the lovely Nicole over at
She has this awesome Youth Sport Linky going on.  Only since this isn't exactly the most positive side of youth sport I am not sure I should.

However it is Tuesday and I have blogged to it is definitely going to link up with my dear friends Jess over at

Monday, March 19

Wish Me Luck!

Yep that's right people I am giving it another go this year!

Last year it was an eleventh hour decision to enter.  And when I say eleventh hour, I mean minutes before the cutoff time.  In my mind leaving it to the last minute made it an easy excuse for not getting anywhere.   This year it is almost the polar opposite.  Well at least in terms of when I decided to enter.

This year saw me have my name on the nominee list within hours of nominations opening.  I was not giving myself the chance to question whether I was even worthy of entering.  No crazy self doubting notions allowed.  If the Sydney Writers' Centre didn't weren't interested in finding as many blogs as possible they wouldn't have sent me so many emails telling me how to enter.

Mind you know I am wondering if I have entered in the right category.  To some the obvious choice may have been easy for a blog called A Parenting Life.  However the Parenting category is not where I put myself.  I really wanted to be able to enter the Words and Writing section but I knew that wasn't really the best fit.  I mean technically any blog with words on it could enter but I think the judges may be looking for more than that.  Instead it was the Personal/Lifestyle box that I ticked.

When I first started my Internet writing journey I focused on sharing what I knew.  Which back then was how to created a happy early childhood.  Parenting for me, till then had been a breeze, and I thought I had it all in the bag.  So much so that I should share it with the world at large.

A Parenting Life was originally created with the notion that it would be a place for parents to come for all things parenting.  A little hub of information, if you will, you know with craft activities, recipes, great advice, ahhh...the possibilities.

Clearly though that is not quite how it has turned out.  Which is fine.  It has some of those aspects that I thought it would but it also has many others as well.  What it is not though is all about parenting.  It is about much more.  It is a way of life.  My life.  Personal Lifestyle just seemed more fitting.

Anyway now that I am entered I have until April 13 to make sure I am looking my very very best.  Which actually works quite well for me.  I have been thinking about changing things for a few weeks now so this will be the incentive that I need.

On that note there is some editing I must be getting to.  Make sure you pop back soon and check out the new edition

Thursday, March 15

Thankful Thursday - Hope and Inspiration

Rayisa, as always was up early. Early morning was her favourite time of the day. Always had been. There was something magical about the final minutes before the sun rose into the sky and gave light to the new day. It seemed to bring with it total peace and a hope that everything would be ok. She also liked the fact that there was no one else around to disturb her. The silence and solitude of the time meant it was a perfect opportunity for her to connect to the fairy realm.

Since Tulip had been born though she had learnt to share her precious morning time. Not that she minded though. Tulip's smiling cherub face was a pleasure to see at any time of the day. She probably enjoyed the morning fairy time as much as what Rayisa did.

This morning Rayisa managed to get up nearly an hour before anyone else. Which she was a bit pleased about. She knew that today was going to be a long one and the morning meditation time would give her the stamina she needed to get through it. Lately all the days seemed to require extra strength.

Her fathered had been sick for as long as she could remember. It was only in the last few years though that it had really begun to take it's toll on his body. He had been diagnosed with a terminal illness just as Rayisa finished highschool. She had cried for days as it turned her whole world upside down. After all much of her world seemed to revolve around her father at the time, she couldn't imagine life without him.

As it turned out the doctor said that his disease would not kill him for at least ten years and it would only be the last few that he would suffer through. Those ten years had been and gone, however the man she saw now was one that was barely existing. Slowly her worst fears were being realised as the strong mobile mans she once saw was becoming a frail and decrepit shell of a man that had begun to wobble as he walked. It broke her heart to helplessly stand by watching.

Grayson was much older than most of her peer's fathers. She had never noticed this though until she was in her late teens. Actually it wasn't until he first began to get sick that it really sank in just how old her father was. Grayson was a good twenty years older than Rayisa's mother and most of her friends parents.

Despite having led a hard life and always working in the sun he had maintained his youthful good looks. Grayson had always said that it was having such a young wife and familiy that kept him going. Rayisa was the eldest of three children, the youngest being born when Rayisa was nearly twelve. Rayisa knew that the credit for his looks was really due to his connection to the fairy realm. The fairies would never use their power to change people but believing in them and living a life true to their beliefs provided people with an inner peacefulness that seemed to deter the aging process.

Today I am thankful I found these words.

I wrote them many years ago, well four, to some that is many.  When you write a novel, or at least the better part of one, in one short month, four years can seem like many.

For the last few months, I have been under the impression I had lost my only real attempt to make it as a writer.  Over fifty thousand words.  Words that I slaved over.  Some nights struggled to find but find them I did.  All lost.  Despite having multiple copies they all seemed to disappear of the years.  Another reason why four years feels like many.

With the realization that the last copy was not where I thought it was I lost all belief that I could ever actually make it as a writer.  Of course the only thing stopping me from being a writer is myself and the fact I don't take enough time to actually write.

Anyway you can only imagine the excitement I felt today when I remembered starting a LiveJournal account with the notion it would house my novel.  I even called it, A Novel in the Making.  This excitement doubled when I not only remembered my username and password but I logged on to find I could actually access it all.  Of course after the first week I stopped posting there, but that is only a minor detail.  

At least I have something.  I have more than what I had yesterday and hopefully by the end of the week I will have more than I have today.  Finding this, plus a few extra posts that I will probably publish over the next few days has given me the inspiration to try again.  I once again feel connected to my book.  My characters are once again feeling familiar and the urge to write is overwhelming.

For that I am more than thankful.

Joining in with Kate for her

Wednesday, March 14

In the Beginning

The blank screen just stared back at her. She could not think of a single thing to say. Her mind was far from blank but she just couldn't get the words together to form any sense. She 
sat there and let out a big deep sigh.

“Ahhhhhh” that felt better, even in it did only last but a minute.

She tried it again. This time straightening her back and holding her shoulders square. She tended to slouch a lot and the muscles in her upper body could notice the difference when 
they were called upon to work.

Of course it took a lot more effort to stand straight and tall.
That's probably why she rarely stood straight and tall. Rayisa was against anything that needed a great deal of effort. It's not that she was lazy as such, she just wanted to ensure that she got maximum results for minimal effort. Which really if you think about it makes a 
whole lot of sense.

The sighing didn't really work. She still didn't know what to say. She couldn't even think of where to start. After all it wasn't every day that you had to give a speech at your father's funeral.

Even just thinking about it she began to choke up. It's not that she couldn't deal with her father's death, she just couldn't believe he would no longer be a part of her life. At least not in a physical way like he did now. Deep within her aching heart and somewhere amongst her pool of inner tears she knew that he would always be a part of her life and when she needed it the most she would be able to call on his strengths.

They say there is no other love like that of father and daughter, and she new it to be true. Of course she loved her mother but she was certainly a daddy's girl. Everything with dad was so easy uncomplicated. Her did not seem so judgemental and if he did disagree he rarely spoke his mind. Her father believed it was up to the person to live their life and that meant living with the choice you made.

Lifting her head and looking at the blank screen she still felt no inspiration. How could she really think about what she would say at her father's funeral when he was still alive. Pushing towards eighty he had led a good life. Rayisa had always loved hearing stories from his past.

Initially she thought she could simply retell some of his more well known stories but then she realised she would never tell it as good as him. That and the fact that someone would probably jump up and correct her. Her family was like that. Always quick to point out a flaw in someone else.

Deciding this could wait a bit longer she turned the computer off. The shut down music blared through the speakers, making her jump but also reminding her to turn them off. She still didn't understand why he had asked her to get this ready now? But then he had been doing some strange things lately.

Picking up the hairbrush she ran it through her messy hair. Looking in the mirror she caught a few sparkly hairs. Some might call them grey but to Rayisa it was a sparkle. That was the way she liked to look at everything in life though, with as much sparkle as possible.
Reveling in her natural beauty she was pleased with the reflection she saw. In some ways she had more confidence than your average beauty queen, then in others she was still a shy and quiet seven year old that dreaded talking to anyone outside immediate family.

She decided that it was time for her to pull herself together and get into action! Her head had been throbbing for a while and she took that as a sign to go for a run. Maybe all the answers would come to her then. She started to braid her hair. While she loved the feel of a ponytail bouncing about as she ran, she couldn't stand the sweaty strands that would stick to the back of her neck. A braid was much more practical and where ever possible she liked to choose the pracitcal option.

Just as she was tying the elastic on the end and trying to recall where her sneakers were she remember she couldn't just go for a run anymore. She was actually amazed to think that she had forgotten. What kind of mother was she?

Not wanting to be too hard on herself Rayisa tried to console herself with the fact that she was still only a new mum. Little Tulip was after all only 17 days old. It was still hard to believe that the pregnancy was over. She had heard people say it was the longest nine months of your life, but she had no idea exactly what they meant till faced with it herself.
It was the running that she missed the most. She had kept it up till the six month mark, but since then she had limited herself to walking only. Having waited a life time to meet her creation she didn't want to jepodize anything in the final months.

She had expected to start running the moment Tulip was born. She had even gone and gotten one of those super duper extra flash jogging prams complete with it's own suspension for rocky terrain. Then the doctor said that there should be no running for at least six weeks. Apparently her body needed to heal.

Needed to heal? She hated the way that society put such a negative spin on a woman's body. She had not been sick or injured. There was no accident or wound she just had a baby. A very natural and non ill event. Rather than healing she liked to call it adjusting.
Her body (and mind) had to adjust to the new being in her presence. A beautiful little baby sent down from the fairy angels called Tulip.

As much as she hated to admit it though, the doc was right. Once she got home, running was not something she felt like doing. Up until now she had not even thought of going for a run. With broken sleep, milk production and washing nappies who had time for a run?
Plus till Tuesday she had still been bleeding. Even though it had been nearly 12 months since her last period she remembered enough to know that running at that time of the month was never great. Now that was done with she was feeling slightly more energised. Her milk production levels had also stabilised which was nice.

Now that she did feel like a run though, she was a bit disappointed that she couldn't just take off and go for one. This being a mum meant more change than she realised. Of course she had always known that it would be a lot of work but she thought that the first few weeks would have been a bit slower. But no. As always time just flies and there is no rest for the wicked. She wasn't complaining though, so far she loved every minute of motherhood, but then again she knew what a blessing she had been given.

Most mothers think that their babies are special but she knew that Tulip was destined to a life full of greatness. She wasn't completely sure what shape this greatness would take but she new it was there. Plus she had it on good authority.

Looking at her watch Rayisa decided that she probably still had an hour to herself. Tulip was a perfect baby, already settled into a routine and very predictable. Since she had already been asleep for just on an hour Rayisa knew she had some time up her sleeve.

Moving along, slowly getting it done.

When I sat down to write this post I had no idea what it was going to be about.  Part of me wanted to complain about how finding time to write was once again an issue, while another part of me screamed furiously Don't do it! That is BORING and no one wants to read trite like that.  Given I am nothing if not generally positive I listened to the scream and stared at the blank screen for a bit longer.

Once I realised I still had nothing to share I trundled over to trusty old Facebook.  As much as I love hanging out in Twitterland the never ending appealing of mindless clicking games will always win.  Aside from that most of my time on Twitter is as an observer and right now I don't want to observe, I want to interact.  Not that swapping coloured 'gems' to make three of a kind is really interacting but it is slightly more mind activating that eaves dropping on the Twitter conversations of others.

Eventually I managed to spit a paragraph.  It went a little something like

It had been another long day.  Again.  In fact it felt like the days were just getting longer and longer.  Only Sally seemed to be getting less and less done.

Ok so maybe not quite a paragraph.  There was a little more but I deleted it all and this was all I could recall.  Clearly not quite best selling material so no real loss I am sure.  I have been thinking that I really need to get more fiction happening, naturally though it is easier said than done.  Anyone who has ever said anyone can write a book has obviously never really tried themselves.  Mind you I do have an 
e-course sitting in my inbox that states it can teach anyone to write a book so for the sake of the course perhaps I am wrong.

Anyway, moving right along.

Writing fiction for me is a bit of a struggle at times.  At other times it is not.  Actually there has only been one time when it was not a struggle and that was back when I did my first NaNoWriMo, which I believe was November 2008.  Seems like a life time ago now though.  In that time I have lost my father, given birth, welcomed a niece and a nephew in to the world and countless other things.  One of which includes losing the multiple copies of my novel draft.

Yep you read that right.

I have lost all the copies of my draft novel.  Fifty thousand words down the drain and not likely to ever be seen again.  Shattered is an understatement.

People have said in the past well if you wrote it once you can write it again but honestly I am not sure I can.  I know that it had some serious flaws in it.  As you would expect since it was written in only one month (yep one month, go me.)  But at least it was something.  It was a start.  It was a pile of papers that held promise.  A pile of papers that showed to me this whole trying to be a writer game was worth pursuing.

When I first realised that one of the copies had disappeared I did not worry.  I knew that I had a back up and I was pretty sure that I even had a back up back up.  When I discovered that the back up back up was also non existent my heart jumped a little.  I began to imagine what if the back up is gone as well.  When I began to look for the back up without much success I could feel the lump of fear growing in my chest.  When it was finally confirmed that there no longer was a copy of my novel in any shape or form I cried.  And cried.  In fact even thinking about it now for too long can bring about a tear.

There are a few snippets of it here and there but at the end of the day they basically amount to nothing.  Well negative nancy says it amounts to nothing, when positive pearl drops back in a bit I am sure she will see it in a whole different light.

Thinking back to some of my posts the last week or so I guess it might seem that old negative nancy has been in residence for a while and maybe on some levels she has.  However that is not all bad.  Like I was only saying to Miss Nearly 6 earlier today we need the sad so we know what happy is (we were talking about sad parts in the movie she had just watched)  I need negative nancy so I can appreciate positive pearl when she stops in.

On the whole I am actually feeling really good about life.  Which is nice.  I can feel myself getting better as a writer, just the fact that I am actually writing on a rather regular basis is an improvement from the way things were.  Regular exercise is slowly becoming a way of life as well which is also pretty darn awesome.  I have even dared to go out in public in leggings, because that is what runners do and I feel like I am well on my way to being a runner.

Speaking of running, it appears as if the sun may be peaking out from behind a cloud.  So on that note I will leave it here but I will be back in the not to distant future.  With my birthday only a little over a week away there is much I need to say.

Tuesday, March 13

Catching Up With Friends

Walking in she scanned the lawns.  There were a few people about but none of them where there to meet her.  She tried not to look out of place, despite feeling like it was glaringly obvious that she was.  She was not really one to attend social gatherings.  At least not anymore.

There was a time when she thought that she was the life of the party.  She shuddered now at the thought.  Now she was much more comfortable to hide in a corner.  Or better yet not venture out at all.  But here she was, pushing the limits of her comfort zone.  Two social outing in the one day.

She decided that the first thing to do was pay a trip to the loo.  Suddenly her bladder felt like it was about to burst.  She wasn't sure if it was nerves or the beer she had earlier, perhaps a bit of both.  Either way the toilet was first on her agenda.

Her old school friends weren't there yet.  Then again she was a little bit early.  Which made a nice change, generally she was the last to arrive for anything and everything.  Sometimes she was sure she lived in her own time zone.

As she washed her hands at the basin she took a minute to ponder her reflection staring back at her.  She knew she wasn't the same person from high school and she didn't expect her friends to be either.

Why did she keep calling them her friends?

It is not like they really spent that much time together in school (some twenty years earlier).  Once they graduated she lost touch with everyone.  Well at least she had lost touch with everyone till she discovered Facebook.  She was constantly amazed at the number of people from days gone by that were suddenly thrown back into her life thanks to the wonder of modern technology.

Mind you she was not completely sold on whether it really was great or not to have all these past people return to her life.  Some wounds don't heel.  Some things can't be forgotten even if they are forgiven.  Some things don't change.

She never really felt like she fitted in very well and as time passed the feeling had only grown.  Not that it really bothered her as she relished the idea of being different.  There were too many clones in the world, she didn't need to add to the pile.  People seemed too concerned with trying to be something they weren't.  She had often wondered why that was but was yet to discover the answer.  At this point she would just have to leave it as one of the mysteries of the world.

Now that her bladder was empty she decided it was time for another drink.  As she walked up to the bar she wondered what she what order to drink.  Rum was her preferred beverage of choice, always had been.  She figured it stemmed from her desire to be different.  Ladies weren't meant to drink rum.  Not that she was a lady per se, another choice she had made years ago.  Sure she was female but whether she was really feminine was another question altogether.

She rarely wore a dress or any of those pastel colours often associated with being woman.  Instead her wardrobe favoured practical and comfortable pants or shorts.  They seemed to make her hairy legs more inconspicuous.  The hairs didn't bother her at all (naturally which was why she had elected not to conform to societal norms) however sometimes she got a bit jack of all the stares and comments that could come with them.

She picked her beer up off the bar and had a sip.  She had decided not to go with rum.  It was probably best to stay with beer today.  She had had one earlier and was driving.  Plus she knew that rum would go down just a tad too easy, especially with all the jittery nerves that were racing through her.

As she turned away from the bar she did another quick scan of the crowd.  Nope.  Still no familiar faces.  It was just after three now, the agreed meeting time.  Perhaps everyone else had changed their minds?  Surely not?

Trying to relax she decided to sit outside under the shade of the beautiful palms.  There was a lovely  sea breeze blowing and most of the afternoon heat from the sun had faded.

She positioned herself near the entrance.  That way she could watch for their arrival.  Even though she had not seen these women in person for years Facebook had kept her up to date on everyone's appearance.  Like her, her friends appearance had not changed all that much over the years.  Just older with a few more wrinkles and a bit of extra weight.

Sitting down she felt more uncomfortable than before.  Her solitary figure standing out amongst the groups scattered around her.  People were laughing and chatting.  The wind carrying the merriment from one table to the next.  It really was a lovely way to spend a Saturday afternoon.  Though to her the thought of being at home curled up asleep next to Tulip was as equally appealing.

This was the first time in six months since she had been away from her new born.  While she was on some level enjoying the time to herself the feeling that a part of her was missing was slowly overwhelming any joy.

She checked her phone.  It was nearly twenty past three and no missed calls.  She would wait another five minutes and then go.  Chances were that Tulip would need feeding soon.  Just thinking about it made her breasts fill.  Then again it may just have been the beer.  She could vaguely recall that alcohol could have that effect.

Swigging down the last of her drink she took one last look around.  Still no recognisable faces.  Feeling slightly disappointed she resigned herself to the fact that no one else was coming.  They must have cancelled and forgotten to tell her.  Some things never change.

Joining in with Jess over at Diary of a SAHM

Monday, March 12

Trying to Make it Matter

Last post I mentioned that I was in somewhat of a bad mood.  If you know me well you know that really that doesn't happen very often but when it does.  OMG.  Not a happy place to be.

I know in the post I said I wasn't really sure why I was letting the grumps take control of me.  Part of me thinks that it is because of my neglect of writing.   Granted it has been a busy week, helping the canteen, after school meetings to start planning a camp, not to mention play dates, housework, shopping and trying to learn how to run.  However.  There have been times when I have found myself with a few odd minutes here and there to spare.  Time when I could have seen what words were going to flow from the pool that is my brain.  Only I have stupidly wasted the time playing mindless games.

Old habits can be hard to break.  I had been doing well for a while though and I will do well again.  I just need to remember to Make it Matter.  While the meme may have been put to rest for a while I am still actively making various aspects of my life matter.

I am slowly easing into being able to run 5km, thanks to my fancy app.  I also have a boot camp one by the same developers which I am looking forward to introducing myself to this week.  I can not begin to explain how awesome it feels to be able to say I went for a run.  Sure it is still not a fast or long run but a run is a run and it is all better than sitting on the couch.  Or at the computer.

For the most part I have been able to stay on top of the washing and dishes.  However when the washing machine went on strike last week everything seemed to slide.  Hopefully the repairman will be able to help get it all back on track tomorrow.  Naturally we have a week of rain forecast so getting it dry will be a fun challenge of it's own.

There are a heap of posts that I hope to get sorted this week.  Things like a bit of fiction from days gone by as well as a few interesting viewpoints I have come across recently.  There is also a stellar idea about the price we pay to participate in sport.  Then there is also the birthday preparations as we are about to enter one of our peak celebration times.  Five birthdays and Easter all within a month.  Crazy.

Somewhere in amongst all of that I hope to spend some more time honing my crochet skills and having a good hard look at myself.  The wind of change is blowing once again my friends.  I am feeling somewhat inspired and trying to be particular positive so I am thinking that perhaps now is a good time to ensure I am heading in the right direction.  Or at the very least ensure I know what direction I want and need to be heading in.

Busy, busy, busy.  I almost feel overwhelmed thinking about it all.