Monthly Archives: January 2013

Welcome to the end of the month

How is it the end of January already?! Time is definitely speeding up, I’m certain of it!

Big news this week is we finally got a house to rent! It’s even in the same area as we’re already in, though not nearly as conveniently located and being quite a bit dearer than we’re already paying. However, it’s a bit bigger (5 x 3!), and is in a nice quiet cul de sac, so should be a good move. Removalists booked in for next Friday, so now really have to get moving on the packing thing. Yuck.

I’ve been madly editing away, trying to get One Small Step and The Bone Chime Song both heading to print-readiness. Of course, spending a heap of time on FableCroft has also resulted in spending a heap MORE time on FableCroft as it winds me up to do other things too! Like this post about FableCroft’s awards eligibility for the year ahead! And investigating review outlets. And looking into new projects… Eep!

What else? Kids are swimming again this week, which has been fantastic. The cost is a bit steep, compared to the wonderful Vac Swim program we loved in WA, but I’m really happy with their progress and will definitely find a weekly lesson for them through the term. And we’re gearing up for back to school (next Tuesday) with a trip to the uniform shop on Tuesday, and we do the school book pickup today (or maybe tomorrow – I’ve had bugger all sleep so may not be bothered today!).

Wessely kidsOh, and we had the child health checkup for bubs this week – he’s doing well :) Growing perfectly on the curve (top of the average for his weight, which was to be expected!) and looking good. He’s a little sweetie whose new chuckles are SO infectious! Adorable.

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Busy week

It’s amazing how quickly time races when you are busy. This past week or so has been a blur of socialising (mostly kids), house hunting (still no luck) and publishing activities (whose silly idea was it to put two books together at the same time?!). And just like that, another week is gone!

We had extras here for most of the time – Miss MauMau spent Sunday through Friday here with us, while her mum and brothers were away, to give Mr Flinthart a week on his own. The kids had swimming lessons each day, and we tried to do something else in the afternoons to avoid house-boundness. The girls impressed me by having very few niggles, and only one or two very late nights chatting and giggling! We also had husband’s friend Marty Sunday to Wednesday. Husband flew up to see him in Byron Bay the previous Wednesday, and they were supposed to be driving back with machinery. Somehow that didn’t happen, and they both flew back Sunday instead.

IMG_3449On Tuesday, Master Two became Master Three. We went to Treasure Island for a pirate-themed birthday party with his two little mates and some additional big brothers and sisters and friends. The kids all had a great time, and I didn’t have to clean up :)

The swimming lessons have been good – week before last we were out at the school pool for a week. The big kids built up some stamina again with lots of lap swimming, and M3 got to do lessons too (although we had a few problems with that – first day I didn’t take my togs and he was feral, even with M10 helping in the water. Thereafter, I went in with him, which was fine, but on the Wednesday, after several warnings, I got him out halfway through the lesson as he just wasn’t listening – no problems for the rest of the week then. Follow through on your threats parents, it works!). This week we’ve been at the swim school near home, which has been great as we’re walking to and from each morning. M3 isn’t swimming, but I’m impressed with their teaching so I’ve booked him in for lessons starting after school goes back. We were lucky to get MauMau in for a class at the same time as the other two, and they all did well.

IMG_2675I should note here that I’ve finally decided to get proactive about the weight I’ve put on over the past several years. There’s no more kids for us, so no excuse not to try to shed some of the “baby” weight (and the lazy weight that’s come with it!). I’ve signed up for 12WBT which is in pre-season mode, and during the warmup period, one of the tasks was to record everything you eat. So I started using the My Fitness Pal app to do this, which is a calorie counter too. And boy, does it wake you up! We now own both digital kitchen and bathroom scales to help record this stuff properly, and it’s amazing how wrong you can be about portion sizes when you aren’t taking any notice. In the past three weeks, just by calorie counting and thus better portion control, I’ve lost five kg. Last week I also increased my exercise thanks to the daily walk to the pool, and when we move, I’m getting a cross-trainer. I don’t expect every five kg to be as easy as the first, but I’m encouraged and keen to keep losing! Thanks Alisa and the other friends who showed how well the 12WBT can work, which helped give me a kick.

I realised just now that for the first time in a while, I haven’t got a holiday To Do list! Well, basically it’s getting these books to print, packing the house and moving. Just need to get a house now…

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Breastfeeding: anywhere, anytime

I happened to be feeding the baby while watching Sunrise on Friday, when host David Koch (Kochie) passed comment on the story about a breastfeeding mum who had been asked by lifeguards to move away from the poolside (where she was supervising children AND feeding her baby). Kochie took the problematic stand that he supported breastfeeding mums BUT… And it’s the “but” that is the issue at hand. The thing is, in Australia, the right to breastfeed in public is protected by law. That’s it. There’s no qualification on that right, no footnote that says you have to cover up, be “discreet” or “modest”. There’s no part of the law even saying you have to feed SAFELY (one of Kochie’s arguments was that the mother of the story was, basically, being irresponsible by feeding on the side of the swimming pool – it’s really a diversion from the issue, but if you want to argue the point, in fact no, that’s STILL HER CHOICE, and if she was supervising other children, also a necessity. So yes, please Kochie, “leave duty of care aside”).

The thing is, many women choose to be “discreet” while they are feeding. They try to find the parents’ room, they use a muslin drape, they sit back from the crowd. That is both their right and, most importantly, THEIR CHOICE. And for me, there is the key word – choice. How, when and where a breastfeeding mother CHOOSES to feed her baby is the thing – if she wants to be discreet, her choice. If she is happy to let it all hang out, ALSO HER CHOICE. And, under Australian law, no-one else gets to dictate to her what her choice must be.

Sunrise helpfully put the segment from this morning’s “debate” on the topic online (which also includes Kochie’s original comments from Friday, but not the later discussion he had with his “angels” on the issue, which is separately here). I have to say I was a bit disappointed by the Sunrise webgoblin who seemed to be favouring the tweeters supporting Kochie more than the other side in the #sun7 hashtag retweets this morning, and the coverage throughout this morning’s show really didn’t seem to be taking it seriously. And while I think Sam Armytage herself wasn’t on Kochie’s side, I take issue with the way she opened the questions this morning to Amy, “…this is obviously an emotional issue…” Actually no, it’s LAW. About as far from emotion as you can get!

What really interests me about people who are “offended” by breastfeeding is that they rarely seem to be offended by women in low cut tops or bikinis. And they are quite okay with front page and headline news photos/footage of Tony Abbott in his little speedos (I don’t want THAT image in my face, but that too is Tony’s personal choice and you know what? Also not illegal.) [Thanks @MissBaileyWoof on Twitter for making that comparison!] 

Well done to the Destroy the Joint team for getting behind the Sunrise Nurse-in this morning, and for pushing the issue through the social media circles over the past three days, as well as to the women who organised it. It really does seem crazy that we still have to have these discussions, on a process that is both protected by law and is one of the most natural things in the world! In the end, if you don’t want to see women breastfeeding in public, you have a very simple option: don’t look.

Storify on the topic from today.

Destroy the Joint's montage to support the Nurse-in. Yes, Daniel and I are part of this!

Destroy the Joint’s montage to support the Nurse-in. Yes, Daniel and I are part of this!

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Running on the spot

Feels like I’m constantly trying to get things done right now and for every step forward I make, another ten steps appear! Top of the list is the house hunting, which is proving depressing. Have applications in on a few places, one that we’ve now been waiting over a week to hear from (and of course, it’s the one we really like, and knowing our luck, we’ll get it, after I’ve spent a week stressing and wasting time looking at a bunch of others!). Have had one rejection so far, and am at the point of looking to a) pay more money, b) look in less convenient suburbs and c) think about smaller places. None of these things are ideal, but we’re getting a bit desperate. Did I mention we’re supposed to be out by next Friday? Ha.

Another thing taking up a lot more time than anticipated is the Aurealis Awards. Entries closed in late December, but we’re still trying to chase down works that haven’t been received by the judges. We’ve noticed particularly that some publishers entered works that they then didn’t send, which is a bit unfair to the authors who think their works have been considered. So I’ve been doing lots of emailing to entrants, and sometimes to the authors of works, to try to ensure fairness and inclusivity, which are big goals of mine for the Awards. And we’re getting there! But it’s been time consuming.

I’ve also been doing a lot of FableCroft work – got a little roll on over the past week, and FINALLY managed to get ebook versions of Epilogue and After the Rain up at both Amazon Kindle and Wizard’s Tower Books. I’m very pleased to have finally jumped that hurdle, and look forward to bringing out the 2013 books in all formats much more quickly!

And that’s what ELSE I’ve been doing! Working on 2013 books! FableCroft announced that we’ll be doing Joanne Anderton’s debut short story collection, The Bone Chime Song and other stories (April), and I’ve been working on One Small Step as well, and a couple of other projects that we’re not quite ready to announce yet, but will be really soon!

We’ve also had lots of socialising (the kids mostly) and more visits from the Merrick-Woods family, and swimming lessons started this week, which is a chunk out of each morning. But the house isn’t a hideous mess, the washing etc seems relatively up to date, and I’m not yet a blibbering mess on the floor. Have I started packing? Erm, no, not really. I keep thinking I should though! Next!

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And since the holiday?

What have we done? Well, we’ve had Helen, Stewart and Julala visit off and on since last Sunday, as they try to find their perfect spot to relocate to. We’ve been house hunting ourselves, and have checked out those rentals suitable for us and put in a couple of applications. Fingers crossed one comes through quickly, because we have less than two weeks now until the move out deadline (though chances are we won’t be able to get out before then anyway – ah well!). I’ve been desperately trying to get a little ahead on the editing/publishing things I’d planned for the month, in anticipation of losing a significant chunk of time to packing/moving. And I’ve actually packed the first box! Fortunately (?) quite a lot of our stuff hasn’t been unpacked, which means less stuff to box, but there’s still a fair bit. And some boxes/bags which need redoing. *sigh* What else? A flying visit from the Flintharts while the Merrick-Woods were here. A couple of other quick social catch ups with local friends. An owner inspection of the house which forced a much needed tidy up. And working through a LOT of holiday photos and some blogging. Not all that a productive week, but a start has been made!! And now I am caught up on blogging. Woo!

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