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.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Manageable chunks


Yet another pool day. The tree-stump-grinder-guy came, ground up the big stump into sawdust and chopped up the roots into manageable chunks, and told me how he used to work for pool companies and there are no happy pool customers ever. So cheering. Well he was the biggest rip-off so far in terms of money for time spent, but I couldn't find anyone else who would do it at all. At least it's done now.

I swept the worst of the sawdust out of the pool (first time I'd been right down in the pool hole so that was kind of fun) then hosed down all the concrete which took a while. I have to do that every day for a week. Then in two hot sweaty sessions I moved all the "manageable" chunks of tree root out of the way. Actually they were a pretty good size and weight really, nothing I couldn't lift. There will be a big waste skip at the end of the pool build, hopefully that stack will fit in along with the big chunks of leftover concrete now decorating our front lawn and various other things. I certainly got in my exercise for the day. Hot and tired.

Then I waited around for the temporary fencing, it was two hours late so I could have gone out after all. The fence guy expressed surprise that we were only getting it now instead of as soon as the hole was dug a couple of weeks ago. I don't know if that was my fault or the site manager's, but he only just told me to get it two days ago. Aside from safety reasons, it's good to have the fencing there because it gives us a better idea of what the whole backyard will eventually look like and how much space we have for plants and seating etc.

Aiden dropped a full new bottle of lemon cordial on the tiled kitchen floor. Smashed everywhere of course. Sticky AND sharp! Took me ages to pick up all the shards then mop and pick up more shards and mop some more.

I plan to start Christmas shopping next week, assuming I don't need to hang around the house for more pool things. I've got a good idea for Tim, so that only leaves my kids, I think six adults, and everyone else's kids (11 children from about 4yrs old and under, I might just wrap a lot of things and hand them out randomly! No, not really, I love buying presents. And wrapping them. Does anyone else love wrapping presents? I should get a seasonal job at a department store doing the gift wrapping for customers.) If the pool was going to be ready I would have bought my kids lots of pool ponies and water games and stuff, but I won't now. Aiden just had a birthday so he's already got everything!

Wednesday, November 23, 2016



This morning they concreted the pool, arriving around 6:30am and leaving by 10:00am.

It takes three weeks for the concrete to cure, and for the first week I need to hose it down every day. There's a couple of things happening tomorrow, but apart from that I think no tradesmen here for those three weeks.

I ate terribly today, but at least I went for a walk while the kids were at acrogym...

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Skinky, son of skinky


We have a new little lizard houseguest. Skinky I (the first) ended up in the ensuite bathroom before he disappeared some months ago (I like to believe he moved outside to enjoy the nice spring weather and find a mate), Skinky II was first spotted in the back hall so probably came in via the laundry door, he now seems to live in the kitchen. I do worry about stepping on him, he sometimes sits right in the middle of the floor. If I'm cooking and moving around there a lot he retreats to the wall. When I can't see him I assume he's under the fridge. He is so little and cute and unafraid. Not the same lizard as I'm sure he's smaller than the original became, but maybe he is the son of Skinky I.

The pool dramas go on. I've decided if you want a pool it's better to find a house that already has one and move! Today I've had the pool plumber to do some pre-plumbing, discovered he didn't know we want spa jets at the step/seat bit, organised for the site manager to bring those round today, soothed plumber whose schedule for the day is now messed up, organised a new tree company to come and look at the big twisted rooty stump remaining in our backyard - it came out of the pool hole - that no one seems to want to deal with, recovered from the price he quoted, got him to reduce it a bit but still horrendous. Got a list from the site manager of all the things I still need to do. Also the guy who did the steel cables last week came back to add a few more where the water feature will be.

Everything is covered in dust from the backyard, especially as Aiden likes to play out there in the dirt. He never went out there when it was covered in trees and shrubs. Yesterday he was smashing rocks with other rocks and breaking them to smithereens. Anyone read the Ramona books?

It's very hot for the third day in a row. Still only spring! The plumber pointed out that the plastic things holding the steel cables in place are melting. They've gone all wonky. I've spent a bit of time outside and I feel a bit hot and headachy. I don't know how the tradesmen do it. The plumber was there for hours in the heat. I did take him one cool drink.

I'm feeling a bit stressed and when I am stressed I eat. At least I can't go out and buy junk while I'm expecting various tradesmen at any time! I'm restricted to whatever is currently in the house. Cheese and crackers and cashews, while not unhealthy in themselves, add up to a lot of calories.

Oh and a couple of days ago I went back to a little bit (half a sachet so 1.5 grams) of sugar in my tea. So much nicer! I still didn't like unsweetened at all, after nearly six weeks to give my taste buds time to change. I still plan to buy a Stevia plant and give that a go, but for now I'll keep my tiny bit of sugar.

....oh yeah, cool change and a sprinkle of rain. I went and stood outside in it for a little while.