Tag: idle thoughts

The Imp

In just over six weeks the Imp will be two years old. It’s hard to imagine. There’s this weird thing when you have a child where on the one hand you feel like they’ve always been around, and on the other, you wonder where the hell the time has gone, were they not a newborn like, last week?

I realise that my writing about the Imp might not be overly interesting to all, and I fully understand that. Other people’s children are only so interesting really. Though more interesting, funnily enough, once you have one. This surprised me. I also find it difficult to know how much to share, since I do want to respect her privacy (ignoring that teenagers and young people these days seem to share absolutely everything online, so who knows what it will be like by the time the Imp gets to that age?). Sometimes I feel like I’m “proud momma” who wants to plaster photos of her cute monster everywhere, while at the same time I don’t really want to put her photo up all over the internet. It’s why, as she’s gotten older, I’m generally trying to only post photos now and then, and usually ones where you can’t necessarily see that much.

Anyway, as I’m approaching the day she turns two, I wanted to write down a few of the things she does. She’s a proper little monster. Again, I realise this is only interesting for… Well, probably me as I will come back and read this in the future, and possibly some of my family.

Why is she a little monster you no one ask?

Proof 1: The other week I found her in the cat’s litter tray together with some of her Duggee figurines. They were having a bath apparently. Cat litter all over the floor. I need an anti-bacterial shower. Like in the movies when they walk through that tunnel and get thoroughly sprayed.

Proof 2: Any time she can make it into the kitchen (there’s usually a gate locking her out) she will throw whatever she can in the dog’s water bowl. Like her toys, or kitten plush, or her feet! When I tell her off she just laughs in my face. She really respects me, people.

Proof 3: I left her in the living room for a few minutes watching nursery rhymes while I quickly washed up some dishes. I popped my head around after a couple of minutes (like I always do) to find her sitting in her high chair. It should be noted that when I left her she was on the floor…

Proof 4: She will tell the cat off whenever he’s on any furniture, loudly exclaiming “NO!” and waving him off. She will also chase him through the flat. Also the dog. The poor animals. (Yes, I do tell her off… See point 3.)

Proof 5: When she’s finished eating she can’t just… you know… Finish. She has to chuck any remaining bits on the floor. Including mug, plate and half-eaten yoghurt.

Still, I love my little monster. She can obviously be very lovely as well. And the truth is she’s probably no worse than any other toddler. They’re just little nightmares the lot of them.

“Flowers” for mummy.

And that’s November gone…

The Imp and I went to Sweden at the start of November and stayed until December 1st, so we’re only just back in the UK, really. While in Sweden I attended my grandma’s funeral, which was incredibly sad, yet a beautiful service. I’m glad that I could get there and pay my respects, even when living in another country. There’s always a fear of missing out on important events when living far away.

During the rest of the visit, we saw family, visiting my dad for a weekend and one of my sisters for another weekend. There was snow for a few days, but a good couple of weeks were just gray and dreary with rain every day. Those days were absolutely miserable.

I’m frustrated by myself and my lack of writing – both on the blog and otherwise. I was never a very prolific blogger, but since the Imp it’s been pretty dismal. In my last post I mentioned having written a chapter for a novella, that’s about as far as I got since after that the Imp decided that sleep was not something that she needed. Suddenly her already rubbish evenings turned into a flurry of “no I will not sleep until 11 pm at the earliest”, and I would most commonly fall asleep with her or shortly after. Even the odd evening when she did fall asleep I got nothing done because I was either exhausted or expecting her to wake up any moment (which she often did).

Four (and two more nearly through) teeth later, and it looks like there might finally be some light at the end of the tunnel. She’s actually been asleep by 9 pm a couple of evenings now. I won’t hold my breath, but if I can at least get a couple of hours to myself in the evenings again, maybe I can get some writing in. Wish me luck!

The Imp enjoying a snowy day.

Chronic Fatigue and Motherhood

I’ve suffered from chronic fatigue (CFS) for a long time now, and I have periods when I’m definitely doing better – and others where I’m definitely doing worse. Same with my fibromyalgia. However, I always feel like I can cope better with the pain than I can with the tiredness and exhaustion. I realise that this makes me lucky in some ways, the fibro isn’t nearly as bad as it could be, and for that I am grateful. The exhaustion can be debilitating though. And somehow I decided that I would add a baby into the mix. (Well, technically a toddler by now.)

I will never regret having the Imp, I love her above all – but there are days when I feel like the worst mother because I simply don’t have the energy to do everything that everyone else does. There are days when we just hang out at home because I can’t contemplate leaving the house, I’m just too fatigued. Fortunately, the little Imp seems quite happy to potter around at home, wreaking havoc the way I imagine a small hurricane would.

For the last few years, I’ve managed my fatigue somewhat. I’ve been able to work full time, which has been a definite win, even if it’s been at the cost of some other things having to go. During the years I’ve noticed that I can’t have it all, I have to choose where to expend my limited energy. I can either do my hobbies, keep a clean, tidy home or work. The last couple of years I worked, and my hobbies suffered. (As for cleaning, I was somewhere in between. I managed to sort of keep on top of it, even if not perfect.)

Pregnancy was okay. I was exhausted, but I think even women with no previous health problems are exhausted during pregnancy. Especially if they, like me, work waking night shifts.

Then enter the Imp. I’ll be honest, the first few months after she came along I was doing great. Exhausted? Yes. But I don’t think any more than any other new mum (or so I like to think). My pain was nearly entirely gone. It was amazing. Maybe six months down the line the pain started creeping back though, and both it and the exhaustion has been getting progressively worse.

The Imp is 14 months old today, and yesterday I was so tired I just wanted to sit down and cry. I struggle with feeling inferior to other mums, who manage to care for their child, going out and doing things every day and keep a neat, tidy home. At the moment I can’t do either. I feel like I’m stuck, trapped in this body and mind that are sluggish and fatigued – all while the house crumbles around me.

There are so many things I want to do. I feel like I need to do. But I can’t bring myself to do them. I’m just so tired. All I want to do is sleep, it’s what I would have done in the past, but with a little one running around that luxury is beyond me.

For months the exhaustion has been getting worse and worse, the lack of sleep definitely not helping. The Imp isn’t a great sleeper, still waking up several times at night, and she won’t let anyone else settle her. Only I can get her back to sleep (I am also the only one that can get her to sleep when first going to bed in the evening). I’m not sure how to fix it. At this point, all I can think is that I need to rest. But there is no rest to be had.

Day at the beach when we had summer weather at Easter.

Ps. I’m sorry about the rambling nature of this post. I don’t know if it’s making any sense, and I’m quite honestly too tried to make it make sense.

Hacked

A little while ago I started a separate Instagram for the Imp called Grumpy Baby. It was just for fun, because she has resting grumpy face, and sometimes her grumpy photos just give me a chuckle. It has all of like 8 followers or something, nearly all family members. So imagine my surprise when suddenly I got an e-mail from Instagram telling me that the e-mail associated with the account had been changed. Followed by another e-mail saying that the username had been changed.

It gave me an option to click a link to revert the e-mail change, which I did as soon as I received it. However, and I can only assume it’s because of the user name change, the reversion didn’t work. I got about halfway through only to be told the account didn’t exist. Hopefully the half-done reversal blocked the hacker too though, because in the 24 hours it took me to retrieve the account, nothing was posted on it.

In the end, I did get the account back – but it did require a bit of work. Especially since one of the things they want is a photo of you holding a hand-written sign with your username, and the person in the photo should be on the account. Since the account only has photos of the Imp, I had to take a photo of her with a sign. And yes, I did it while she was sleeping, because otherwise said sign would have been eaten and/or crumpled by grubby little hands.

While all this was going on, I discovered that someone must have the password for my @spellbound.nu e-mail, because I was getting lots of spam of undelivered messages. So someone was using my e-mail address to spam people. Great. I’ve since changed the password, and I haven’t received any “undelivered” messages since, so hopefully that’s stopped it.

Not a very interesting blog post this, I suppose – but I hope it may serve as a reminder to change your passwords now and then. I have had the bad habit of using the same password in more than one place. In large part because I have a terrible memory, but I will just have to do a password retrieve every time if I have to – because this was a really frustrating experience.

Oh, and if anyone wants to see the occasional photo of resting grumpy face, her Instagram account is grumpybaby.02.

Whinging

Since I got pregnant my CFS (chronic fatigue) seems to have gone into over drive. I have absolutely no energy, and all I do is work and sleep. I’ve barely spent time by the PC since a couple of months into the pregnancy, and I’m getting nothing done in regards to anything. This includes house chores, writing and everything else in life.

I talked to the doctor about it who agreed that I’m exhausted, but there’s nothing they can do about it. He offered to write a recommendation to have me switch from working nights to days, but I honestly don’t think that would help. I’d have to work more days per week to make up the hours, and it’s quite physical during the day. The other option, as he said, was to stop working. Which, sure, great – except I can’t afford it.

Still, I only have another four weeks to go now until I go on maternity leave, so I just have to make it until then.

I also found out recently that I have gestational diabetes, so no enjoying all my little pregnancy cravings. So far, I seem to be able to manage it with diet alone though, and I hope that will continue. It’s not easy to eat regularly and exercise when all you want to do is sleep, so I do worry a lot about it.

Anyway, that was me having a bit of a whinge. I think we all need it now and then.

2017 – A Look Back

With a new year having started, let’s have a look at what I was up to last year.

In February I left my job as a Teaching Assistant in a special needs school to work nights as a Support Worker for a former student of mine. Not sure if it was the best choice in hindsight, but I needed a change and this gave me one.

In March I had a miscarriage, and it was about as devastating as you might think. A few weeks after I ended up in the hospital for three days due to complications (an infection) from the miscarriage, and I was quite unhappy for some time.

In April I went back to Sweden for a holiday, celebrating Easter with my family. It was a lovely trip as always, but they never seem quite long enough.

In May we adopted our cat since I seemed to be suffering from empty nest-syndrome and needed a baby in the house. He was such an adorable little ball of fluff. We love him to bits, but in all honesty he’s grown up to be a bit of a prick.

In June the boyfriend and I went on our first holiday together that wasn’t either going to his family in England or my family in Sweden. We went to Spain, and spent a lovely week alone in a house with a private pool. It was amazing. We were also visited by my sister and her partner and little girl, which was a lot of fun.

In July my dad visited with his wife and my baby brother (who was approaching 8 at the time). We visited Swanage and mainly just hung out together and had a good time. That concluded the family visits for the year though, and I’m hoping to get some new visits this year again.

In August I spent two weeks back home in Sweden with my family, which was great. The weather wasn’t as awesome as I might have hoped, but it was still warm enough to enjoy some summer evenings out.

In October we had our bedroom re-painted, and it turned out really well!

In November we finally passed the first 20 weeks of our second pregnancy and could breathe a little easier after what had happened earlier in the year. We announced it on Facebook and it was suddenly official! I also visited Sweden again for a week since I realised I soon wouldn’t be allowed to fly, and it might be a while before I can go again.

What was your 2017 like?

2018? Wait… What?

I can’t quite believe that it’s 2018 already. Last year went so fast, a lot of things happened, and now it’s suddenly a new year. With even bigger changes happening.

Christmas was spent here in the UK this year. The boyfriend and I have an agreement that we spend every other year here and every other year in Sweden with my family. It was quiet, but nice. On Christmas Eve we visited the boyfriend’s grandmother with a lot of the extended family, then had a nice Swedish-inspired Christmas dinner at home. On Christmas Day we went over to his parents’ house where we spent the day with them, his sister and her husband.

New Year’s I was working, so not much happening there.

I got some lovely Christmas gifts, which I just simply have to show off. I got other nice things as well, but I don’t want to photo spam you too much.

I got some amazing books.

Coasters in the shape of cats!

The boyfriend got me a Kindle!

An owl snow globe! Is it just me, or does it look a bit like Hedwig?

Who doesn’t need a Hogwarts sign with hooks?

Personal Update

So, it’s been pretty quiet around here lately – that’s because I’m spending hardly any time at the computer these days (and I’m too old to write anything longer than a text message on my phone), due to feeling exhausted (and uncomfortable) most of the time.

There’s a reason for that.

If everything goes well, there will be a baby joining us in March 2018.

I’m happy, but also terrified.

It’s frustrating in a way though, because pregnancy seems to have exacerbated my chronic fatigue, and I’ve spent most of it being more or less passed out on the couch when not at work (and only barely staying awake at work). Which means that, again, nothing is being written or edited. I need to try to pick myself up for the last trimester and do as much as possible, because who knows what kind of time and energy I have once the baby arrives (methinks – very little).

Anyway, it’s good news. And lots of writers are parents, so hopefully I’ll figure out a new routine eventually where I can fit both baby and writing.

Future Imp, ETA March 2018.

#WIPjoy

During July I participated in the #WIPjoy game on Twitter, where each day you answer a question regarding your current work in progress. It was all hosted by the lovely Bethany A. Jennings (@simmeringmind) I chose the novel I’m currently revising, and used the hero, Nathaniel as the main character for those prompts. Below are all my answers for the tag.

1.Describe yourself and your WIP!

I’m Emily, I recently moved to England, and I write various genres of romance. WIP is a regency romance, first of four.

2.Your MC’s aesthetic in 7 phrases.

Nathaniel – dark eyed, rake, honorable, loving brother, responsible, dark suits, sandalwood soap

3.Your first inspiration for this WIP.

Lots of regency romances and an old idea.

4.Three books that go nicely with yours.

Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen Anything by Julia Quinn, so let’s pick two at random; Romancing Mr. Bridgerton, and Splendid

5.A line in which your world comes alive.

6.Would you rather: get trapped in your story for a week, or have your antagonist enter your own life for a day?

I’d enter my story for a week – it’d be like a holiday to Regency England. But one week is enough, I do enjoy indoor plumbing!

7. A line where the plot thickens.

8.What would your MC be like as the antagonist?

As an antagonist Nathaniel would ruin others plotting and scheming because he doesn’t agree with what they’re doing.

9.What would the antagonist be like as the MC?

Christian Grey. Controlling and bordering on abusive.

10.Dish about a favorite side character!

Jacob, Lord Wortham, is one of the hero’s best friends, and is a rake with daddy issues. Sarcastic and enjoys annoying others.

11.What parts of this WIP are drawn from personal experience?

Probably some of the heroine’s shyness/struggle with crowds. The love and annoyance you feel for your siblings.

12.A line you nailed perfectly.

I found this incredibly difficult, so I just went with the first line of the novel.

13.Would you rather: never publish this WIP, or watch it be adapted into a horrible movie.

Bad movie adaption over never publishing any day. I still enjoy books even if they have bad movie adaptions!

14.Describe your MC’s personality with a GIF.

15.A line involving a decision.

“You could marry me.”

16.Choose an ideal reading spot, food, drink, and music to go with your book.

Under a blanket on the couch a rainy day, with chocolate and a cup of tea, the rain smattering against the window.

17.What’s something you’re still figuring out about this WIP?

I’m still trying to figure out/decide a title. And the surname of the main family. Because I don’t like the original one.

18.Share a thought that keeps you going as a writer.

I’ve been writing as long as I can remember, and I just don’t like who I am when I don’t. If I’m not a writer, then what am I?

19.A line that was hard to write.

I honestly don’t remember, it was a long time ago that I wrote it, and in revisions they ALL seem difficult!

20.Would you rather: have tea with your antagonist, or be stuck in an elevator for 3 hours with your MC?

I’d normally not want to spend time with antagonist, but I can’t deal with elevators. Will have to ignore him and drink my tea.

21.Why do you yearn to share this story with the world?

I guess I hope that someone else will love these characters as much as I do.

 

 

Taking the Summer Off

Lately I’m so incredibly tired that I’m not quite sure what to do with myself. I’m barely functioning. I don’t know whether it’s the heat, the lack of sleep/weird routines that come from working night shifts, or my CFS acting up – all I know is that I’m dead tired.

Combine that with my fibro getting worse again the last month or so, after having been fairly manageable for a while. It’s still not as bad as it could be, for which I’m grateful, but it’s making some things harder than they need to be.

All of these things affect my mood as well. Which is not unsurprising. When you don’t have the energy to do any of the things you want to do, or set out to do – you feel like a waste of space.

And so, in an effort to let myself off the hook and to give myself some space to recuperate and hopefully get some energy back, I’m taking the summer off from writing. I don’t want to set myself up to fail, because it’s soul-crushing to do so. I’ve done it before, and it was a hard thing to come back from.

I will still be around, blogging when I have something to blog about, and probably writing down ideas and things for whatever I’m writing on. And sure, if I suddenly have a burst of energy, I’ll do some writing/revising. But I won’t set any goals for July and August, because I know I would fail them.

Some people say that you have to write every single day, and as much as I’d like to do that – at the moment it’s just not possible. Sometimes you have to realize what’s going on with your body and your mind, and take care of yourself. So that’s what I’ll be doing.