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Boxes and suitcases everywhere. This is my current reality. Those boxes we’re not shipping to Canada are full of stuff for charity. It’s a minefield.
The clutter makes me anxious. It’s a combination of excitement and being totally overwhelmed, so every now and then I find myself disengaging to regain some semblance of focus. I do this sometimes. Browse the internet, read a book (and I’m beta reading a FANTASTIC ONE at the moment), or do a watercolour. Or, in today’s reality, write a blog post.
Today, folks, is my wedding anniversary. Nine years ago, I married the awesomest dude on the face of the planet – he’s my best friend and soulmate, the greatest father and sweetest husband ever.
In honour of that, I’m taking the day off blogging. 🙂 OK, not only that, we’ve got some errands to run too.
Fair warning – this is a long post.
After Friday’s big news, we’ve had a lot of good wishes, emails and questions. I thought I’d address some of those today.
Most people were surprised that we’re so unhappy in Germany, especially considering how happy all of our photo diary posts look. I talked about this briefly on Friday, but one of the main things I’ve learned while living abroad is that you can’t judge people’s lives on an hour Skype session every now and then, or on the photos or blog entries they post online.
As a teenager, I dreamed of moving to Hollywood. At first, I wanted to act. Who doesn’t? But then, one fateful day, I saw the work of my first idol, Steven Spielberg. More than anything, I wanted to follow in his footsteps and make films. I wrote many brilliant screenplays (they were Oscar winners one and all 😛 ) and the lands over the ocean beckoned.
Little did I know back then that I would end up immigrating, but to a totally different part of the world. Germany. And today is the two-year anniversary of that move.
After the Writing Update post, I was asked how it’s going otherwise. So, here we are.
Somehow, these kinds of posts are the most difficult to write. I don’t know why. It’s such a no-brainer to put in hours of research for *writing topic* or spend an evening painting something for an art tutorial, while writing about my personal life never gets easier. And I don’t mean sharing photos of the stuff we’ve been getting up to. Those kinds of posts write like a story.
These honest ones, though. Posts like these mean being vulnerable on the internet. After six years of blogging, that’s still not a feeling I like.
It’s a normal Tuesday and you’re scrolling Facebook. Everything has been going great today and you feel chipper. You’re happy for your cousin who’s pregnant again, you like the pic of that high school friend’s new puppy and you laugh at the ridiculous Star Wars meme.
The following post though, it ruins your day.
A while ago, a friend suggested that I write something on this topic. Yea, I’ve been trying. Do I have a nice, glowy outcome planned for this post? No. Not at all. #idontknowwhatimdoing
All I know is that this is something I struggle with immensely, especially when I’m obsessing. As in now.
Being in the moment is difficult enough in our day-to-day lives. I mean, we’re bombarded with things to consume from all angles. We can access anything from our phones, which means from anywhere we have wifi reception. So checking Twitter while at a coffee date with a friend is totally doable, and also kind of the norm.
For me, it started way back when with Red Alert 2 and Age of Empires – still one of the best strategy games out there.
Actually, that might be inaccurate. The first game I tirelessly played was Frogger, when I was a wee tadpole myself, then it moved to Tetris and Super Mario. Red Alert and AOE came after that.
I know Mondays are supposed to be for Weekends in Pictures, but this weekend didn’t go down in that kind of way. While I do have a few photos, they’re just of stolen moments in between, and I want to keep them for our personal records.
So, this is another update post, to keep you informed and my schedule running. 🙂
In a way, this is a continuation of my train of thought from the stigma post. Maybe you want to click there before you continue. 🙂
For the most part, this post focusses on someone who suffers in silence, but the general message can be applied to anyone who is hurting – even when they freely talk about it. With that said, let’s get to it.
I guess I should make it clear from the get-go that this is going to focus on mental issues, though you could probably use the message for any other kind of stigma too. I don’t know yet, I’ve just begun to write this post. 😛
This is a topic close to my heart. It’s one I’ve failed to voice too frequently. In fact, I failed yesterday when an opportunity presented itself.
A big promoter of stigma is false information – a thing we spread or allow to keep spreading too easily. So. This is my chance to redeem myself and add some facts to my ramblings. Please click the links, learn something, and hopefully, understand certain illnesses better.
My kid will turn three in under a week, can you believe it? I struggle to.
Kayla is a happy, sweet little person. She loves to cuddle and kiss and say ‘I love you, Mama’, which obviously melts my heart. She and I have a blast together, and that’s a good thing, considering she’s home with me all the time. Honestly, I adore her and being her mom.
It’s been ages since I updated you on any of my obsessions. Today, I’m going to fix that.
As many of you know, I’m currently revising The Physician’s Apprentice. My editor‘s advice was to flesh out some scenes, so I’m adding words. This means a particular kind of madness has come over me. You know how I get. 😛 At this point in time, it looks pretty much like this.
This time though, she totally outdid herself.
When I forwarded my mom a video of a quiet time book in January, I have to admit it wasn’t even a subtle hint. I was preparing to rewrite The Physician’s Apprentice and I could use something to occupy Kayla for those moments when I had to work. So when Mom told me she’s going to try to make a book, I was ecstatic. I mean, I knew it would be good.
I never imagined she’d make this.
It literally took 6 months to make. I have no idea of the cost involved, but I imagine it was a pretty penny. And my mom’s poor hands and shoulder suffered for this work of art.
Prepare to feast your eyes on the mother of all quiet time books.
We’re safely back from our trip to London, of which I promise I’ll share some photos this week. I just wanted to let you know I’m still alive, even if I was unsure for a minute there.
We arrived back in Germany last Monday night and on Tuesday, the floodgates opened. Kayla was super ill, straight through the night. All of the laundry I’d brought back from vacation and done so neatly paled in comparison to the mountain of vomit-stained linen I now had to wash.
But still, the laundry was the least of my problems. Seeing that little person so sick is the worst thing ever.
This weekend was a sad one, because it involved a final goodbye. It was my grandmother’s memorial service on Saturday, in Durban, South-Africa. Thanks to modern technology, we could be part of it from thousands of kilometres away via a Skype call. It pulled at my heartstrings that the pastor used my tribute as a part of his sermon. It still felt surreal though.
Being away from my family during this time has been extremely difficult. In fact, it’s one of the most difficult times we’ve had to endure since immigrating. I still wish we could have been there to hold hands and give hugs, be hugged when we cried and just be a part of it all. At least we got to see the whole family while we skyped.
Continuing on the other day’s shape-thing‘s wave, my mom made a second cool gift for Kayla. This one is a fishing dam with glittery fish and fishing poles.
And it’s just as easy to make and effective at occupying little hands as the shape-a-ma-jig.
What makes this one great is that Kayla can fish on her own or one of her parents can join her. She loves fishing with Mom or Dad and then mimics what we do. If we catch a green or purple fish, she’ll aim for one of the same colour. The concentration on her face is priceless too.
Once again this is a great teacher of colour and awesome for fine motor skills. It also installs concepts about magnetism and movement, because Kayla realises now that when she moves the fishing pole too much (AKA wildly), she can’t catch fish. She knows she has to move it slowly. Slow is a big thing for a two-year-old. 😛
When my folks came to visit, my mom brought some cool hand-made gifts for Kayla. I mentioned in a post that I would share more about these gifts with you, so I’m doing that now.
As a mom of a two-year-old who still has her own things to do and ambitions in life, I’m always looking for educational and effective ways to keep my kid busy so I can see to other things. The house doesn’t clean itself, after all. Note to self, I really need to invest in a Roomba.
Anyway. My mother had this genius idea to make Kayla a shape chart? A shape puzzle? It’s a shape-a-ma-jig. She probably found it on Pinterest, knowing my mom, but I’m giving her full credit for this awesome invention. And the best part is you can make it too. You’re welcome. 😛