Thursday, April 17, 2014

On the beach


I'm back! We've been away on holidays.

First news, we have successfully put a holding deposit on the boy puppy after missing out on the girl, and after much thought have decided to name him Thor. Blond and gorgeous!

On Saturday we drove to Sydney to my husband's aunt's wedding. She is the disorganised kind, so I bet my husband that she would be at least an hour late - but no! Right on time. The wedding and the reception both went smoothly. The only bad thing that happened was that the kids were playing on a knee-high wall behind the church after the ceremony and Jasmine slipped off, grazing her thigh badly on the way down. Honestly, it was as big as my hand (including fingers). She was upset at first, of course, but after the pain subsided a bit I think she rather enjoyed having it to show everyone and get a lot of sympathy. Hmmm, I wonder where she gets that from...

We spent the night and the next morning at my brother-in-law's so we got to see my cute little niece, then Sunday afternoon and night at my mum's. One of her legs has swollen up badly each time after she's had a bone-strengthening injection, so she needs to see someone about that. She was limping a bit worse because of it. A couple of days before we arrived, one of the house drainage pipes collapsed so when my brother had one of his eight hour showers (he has OCD) the house flooded. He just went to bed and mum got up the next morning to sodden carpets, which she felt too overwhelmed to do anything about. She didn't even put down towels or anything. We tried to dry it up a bit when we were there, and she had at least organised a plumber who came when we were there. She and my brother are fighting more about his hoarding, now that her health isn't so good she isn't coping as well with that stuff. It will be a great thing for her when she moves to a nursing home and finally makes him get his own apartment (which she will pay for). It's all just too much.

After those dramas we headed off down the coast to a seaside resort town called Kiama. Tim and I used to go there before we had kids. In fact our first holiday together was there after we had been dating for three months. He got food poisoning (or a virus maybe) one night and spent all night throwing up. Bit of a tester for a new relationship! I had to negotiate with the hotel for an extra night because he was too weak to leave bed the next day.

Anyway, Kiama is lovely and I don't know why we hadn't been back since we had children. I booked the hotel in a bit of a rush and "family room" turned out to be extra beds squeezed into a normal small room, but the view was great and the weather was very interesting. Hot sunny days changing to freezing heavy storms in the space of a few minutes, and back again. We watched the sky and spent as much time as we could out of doors and had a lovely time. Beaches and long walks and seeing the two blowholes and trying different restaurants.

On the way back we went on a suspended walkway high above the treetops on the side of a mountain. None of my photos really did it justice. Very very high. Not bad for someone scared of heights!

Looking forward to my own bed.

Thursday, April 10, 2014



We've gone and bought a cavoodle! We won't get her for a while because she was only born on Monday. I was doing some research and there were long waiting lists for all the kinds of dogs we liked so I put my name down for this newborn puppy, from a breeder about an hour away. I have seen a photo of four sausage-like bodies snuggled up to their mother, no idea which one is ours. We get to meet her in about 3 weeks and bring her home another month after that. So long to wait! But at least the gate should be done.

A cavoodle looks like this:
Or this:

Aren't they just the cutest dogs ever? There are a few colours but ours will be champagne, like the ones in the photos. (photo credit oakhurstcottage)

Plenty of time to buy bedding etc and move all Lego pieces behind closed doors. Now we have to agree on a name! My daughter and I each have our own ideas...

Edit: Wow, in the less-than two hours between the breeder saying they had two puppies left and me asking for the female, she had been sold! So we've got the boy. I hope. I sent reply email within about 5 minutes this time so they'd better not have sold him too! Have to rethink names now.

Dogs and rain


We have been waiting for our backyard fence to be finished so we can get a puppy. The fence has been done but another couple of weeks before the guy has time to do the gate. Our dog will live inside most of the time but I want to be able to put her in the backyard on nice days when I'm out shopping or something. We are planning on something smallish and cute and fluffy, probably of the spaniel x poodle variety like a Cavoodle or Spoodle. Today the gardener was trying to sell me on the idea of a Staffordshire Bull Terrier, apparently he has two-week-old puppies just opening their eyes. If you don't know Staffies, they are little balls of pure muscle. I'm sure they have lots of lovely qualities, but they also have the highest attack rate in Australia. So I was diplomatic, but no. Not quite what we want.

Our little girl is away at school camp this week, I hope she is having a great time. Unfortunately I think it has rained a lot where she is (here too). I hope she has enough dry clothes. We are going to a family wedding tomorrow (more rain) and then coming up we have a few days at the beach booked - not to swim, but it's a lovely area - and it's going to rain and storm there as well the whole time. Sigh. I don't mind a bit of rain, but when you are clambering over slippery rocks to see the famous blowhole or sitting on a wharf eating fish & chips you really don't want to do it in chilly windy wet conditions. Oh well, we'll make the best of it. Hopefully the tiny cinema has at least one kids movie. And at least we are not camping!

I've been sleeping much better, I think, starting to feel almost normal. Although I did fall asleep in my chair again yesterday afternoon. But I no longer feel like I really shouldn't be driving a car. I'm keeping the CPAP on basically all night now, or at least until 6am - then I have a short time without it so I can lie on my tummy. The new mask stays on my head much better. It's the older model (the new model that I tried first has only been out for about 6 weeks) and it is not as good in most other ways - it is noisier, and bigger so it makes my face sweat all around my nose - but I suppose staying on is most important. Why they took away the adjustable straps on the new model I don't understand! I might give the other one another try later, next time I go back they'll fiddle with the air pressure settings so I'll have tried a few different things before I have to decide to buy.

My husband was just offered a work trip to America for two weeks. But he's decided not to take it, two weeks (plus travelling) is a long time away from his family. And on my part, I'd be a bit scared for him. America seems so dangerous, everyone has guns and they have a murder rate 4.7 times higher than here (I just looked it up) and I don't know if I'd ever dare go there. I'd worry about him the whole time he was away. And I'd miss him of course. He's been overseas for work without us before but not for more than a week.

Last day of term before two week Easter Holidays! Yay for holidays. And Easter.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

New mask


I've been having a bit of trouble with the mask for my CPAP not staying on properly so I called them today. Even though my follow-up appointment wasn't until Friday they managed to fit me in today which was lovely of them. I have two new mask arrangements to try, one of them feels much more secure, so I'll see how it goes.

The technician also looked at the information captured by the machines and while I'm wearing I'm not having apnoea events (average of 0.1 events per hour) so I just have to use it consistently. At the moment I'm still taking it off in the night, after about 4 hours.

It was really good to hear that it is working and therefore worth the effort, I needed to hear that today. I am super tired. Forgot my phone (never do that), walked away from the bakery leaving my bread sitting on the counter, missed two turn-offs when driving, walking up to school to get the kids was like running a 5k.

Aside from that, I am doing ok.

Sad thing this afternoon. Mother of someone who recently died contacted me to see if I had any memories of him or knew anything about his book, apparently he contacted me to edit his manuscript and got a quote but never sent it to me. I wasn't able to tell her anything, I didn't even remember him unfortunately (a couple of emails three years ago that didn't lead to anything, so I'm not really surprised). She is self-publishing his book in his memory. I felt bad having to say I'd never even seen his book and didn't really remember him. He was only 22 when he died.

Cuddle your children while you can.

Aurealis Awards


Last night was the Aurealis Awards for Australian Speculative Fiction (Fantasy, Science Fiction, and Horror). I was one of the judges and it was in Canberra this year so of course I went. The kids had a sleep-over at a friend's house so we even got to go out to dinner first!

Actually I didn't like the dinner much, even though it was a fancy-ish place. The sauce on my chicken was quite nasty, and who doesn't have any chocolate on the dessert menu? Crazy! I like my own cooking best because I cook what I/we like, but of course it is nice not to have to cook sometimes. And it was right next door to the ceremony so it was convenient if not very nice.

The Award Ceremony was good, and not at all boring, amazingly enough. The various hosts and award-givers were all spec fiction writers or publishers so had great imaginations. The general theme was that they kept talking about the future of the Awards ceremony: in 50 years after the zombie apocalypse, in 100 years after the last remaining humans had moved to another planet, in 150 years when everyone left was a clone of the next speaker etc. Very entertaining. And I got to see quite a few "famous" people (ie published authors) and also made a contact with our biggest fantasy fiction publishing house which is awesome considering that is what I am writing at the moment and she gave me her contact details AFTER I told her that!

Someone I know fairly well didn't recognise me with my short hair and I didn't recognise someone else with her new short hair, so that was fun.

I saw some pictures of the ceremony today with me in them. Always a nasty shock.

Sleep isn't going so well, last night the mask shifted a bit and blew air into my eyes, leaving them very dry and gummy (and me without enough air). I think I need the fit adjusted, I'm seeing the sleep people again on Friday for a review. Still a work in progress.

Thursday, April 3, 2014



Night three with the CPAP was awesome. I was so tired that I'd fallen asleep earlier sitting up in my chair, so it probably helped that I could barely keep my eyes open. I managed to get to sleep pretty quickly, I woke a few times and at least once had to readjust the nasal pillows (turns out if it's getting loud it's because they aren't in right) but basically slept through until 6am. That is SEVEN HOURS sleep! With only maybe three waking interruptions. How amazing is that?

I took of the CPAP then because I felt wide awake and didn't think I'd get back to sleep but then I did, for another hour or so. It was a dark rainy morning which made sleeping in easy. If you count that, although presumably I was doing the apnoea thing every few minutes, that is 8 hours sleep.

The CPAP hardly bothered me at all, so I am getting used to it already. Huge leap from yesterday.

I felt hardly at all inclined to snap the children's heads off this morning which was a welcome change. I was still pretty tired from about 11am but I can't catch up months of poor sleep all in one night. I can see a light at the end of the tunnel. Or rather a darkness, of closed eyelids.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Night two


Night two was worse than night one with the CPAP. I don't know why, but I just couldn't get to sleep. I dozed a little but mainly tossed and turned and got up twice for the bathroom in two hours (I was right, the tubing can reach the ensuite so I don't have to unplug anything, I just walk in there with it all still on!). The air pressure on the CPAP starts quite low but after a while it slowly ramps up (that's why they asked me how long it takes me to get to sleep) and after a two and a half hours I felt like Darth Vader.

I think the problem was just that I couldn't stop thinking about the process. Breathe in, breathe out. Breathe in, breathe out. Keep mouth closed. Breathe in, breathe out. I tried telling myself I was doing nose breathing meditation but that didn't seem to help. So shortly after 1am I took it off and went to sleep quite quickly.

I'm not discouraged (although I admit I was hoping for instant success), I know it can take weeks to get used to. So I'll just keep putting it on every night. Try to get through the days without biting anyone's head off. Write a little every day even if I don't want to and I'm only producing rubbish that will be edited out later. Find things to enjoy other than food.