It’s been a while …

So … I haven’t written on here for a while.

You’ll probably remember that I left off at the beginning of November in order to take part in NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) and you’re (obviously) wondering if I hit the mark, if I made the cut, if I achieved the dream – the big 50,000 words, a WHOLE novel. And the answer is YES! (Sort of.)

Winner Badge Certificate

I say sort of because, while I did indeed complete the 50,000 words I haven’t completed the whole novel. BUT I’m getting there – somehow. Despite piles of stinky washing, teetering towers of bowls and cups and plates to be washed, the ever constant call of my vacuum cleaner, the necessity of getting showered, bathing my boys, feeding us all, entertaining and engaging my children’s interest on a day to day basis, staying in touch with friends and family, going to church, spending time with God, toilet training our new puppy (that’s right – we now have a puppy) I’m still writing. Yes, there’s a ridiculous amount of mistakes. Yes it all needs editing and re-drafting and cutting and pasting and screaming at but I’m doing it! I’ve always stopped myself before – fear of failure, I suppose; that ever present terror of being a self-fulfilling prophecy – “I can’t do it, I’m not good at it, it will never happen” – so, to avoid disappointment, I’ve never done it. I’ve never taken the leap. And that made me sadder than I think failing ever could. But now I am.

I took a break – I had December off (I was pretty much in a food-induced coma the entire time so I wouldn’t have been able to write, even if I had wanted to) but now I’m back on it; 60,000 words and growing, not to mention the endless changes I’ve been making. It’s all very exciting – it’s all very scary. I’m on the home stretch – just four chapters to go until completion. I can’t believe how close I am to seeing part of my dream realised. *GULP*

NaNoWriMo isn’t the only thing we’ve been up to these last few months. As I mentioned earlier, we now have a puppy! She’s called Bella – here she is;

Bella

A Miniature Schnauzer she is super tiny, and super cute! Noah adored her straight away;

Bella cuddles Noah

Babu took some convincing;

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But luckily, he loves her now! He can’t say her name though, but he tries, bless him. I just wish it didn’t come out ‘Babba’.

Bella is now well and truly settled in. And by that I mean confidant making wee wees and poo poos all over the house. And I mean all over. And we thought potty training Noah was hard – he was a doddle! At least we could sit him down and explain it to him, or bribe him by giving him food while he sat on the potty watching movies (don’t judge me – it worked!) With her it’s just a matter of “she’s going – quick! Put her outside!!”

She’s getting pretty good at going out now though, but accidents will happen. And they do. A lot.

Bella newby

The advice people give you when you get a puppy is pretty much along the same vein as when you have a baby – everyone’s opinions differ; everyone thinks they’re right. When she has an accident on the floor some say “Rub her nose in it!” (Ew!!) others tell you to ignore her and treat her only when she does good things. Some tell you to get a dog crate, others to let her have free run of the house. It really doesn’t matter what they say – it’s what we decide to do that matters.

Ash and I have both grown up around dogs. My parents race Siberian Huskies, my mum showed one of them, she had two miniature Shetland Sheepdogs and now has a Smooth-haired Collie. My sister had a German Wirehaired Pointer who I adopted when she moved away to university, and who lived with Ash and I when we got married. She passed away early last year.

We’d talked about getting another dog for a long while, looking on the odd occasion, but always chickening out. We wanted to be sure. We didn’t want to get a dog and then not be able to give it the time and attention it deserved. Then finally, early December, we took the plunge. And now it’s like we’ve always had her. The boys and her play chase, they throw balls for her, and wrestle, they cuddle up and watch films together and give her treats. I think it’s fairly safe to say that she’s their dog. And she absolutely adores them. God forbid if we put them to bed and she doesn’t get to say goodnight or if they stay over at their grandparents’ house – she doesn’t know what to do with herself. So cute.

We’re extremely happy with her – Ash more so than anybody. He’s smitten.

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All together now – “And they call it puppy loooooooooove!”

Having a dog again is great, even if the accidents aren’t!

These weren’t helped by the recent weather.

We’d just had our first full day free of any accidents indoors when…the snow came. Bella has never seen snow before. Bella did NOT want to touch the snow. Bella did NOT want to go out in the snow. Bella did NOT want to make toilet in the snow. Oh dear. That took some perseverance, but  I can safely say now though, that she has no problem going in the snow. In fact, it might be safe to say that she likes the snow a little too much.

Like Noah. Noah loves the snow. The first day it snowed he shouted “It’s Christmas!” No amount of explaining otherwise is taking that away from our child. Snow equals Christmas – end of story, end of conversation.

It’s safe to say that when you have children you have to learn to sacrifice a lot of things; your time, your wants, your needs, your dignity. I don’t particularly like snow. Sure, to look at it’s all white and pure and clean and fluffy and beautiful. That doesn’t wipe clean the fact that it is cold and wet and makes my fingers and toes hurt. Noah doesn’t understand all of this. He sees snow, he wants to build a snowman – he wants to make snow angels – he wants to pelt mummy and daddy with snow balls. And so when Babu was napping one day, I decided to push aside my reticence and take my little boy out into the snow to play. I told him all I could to prepare him – it would be cold, it would be wet, but if he wanted to play in it he’d have to push past all of that, which of course he wanted to do.

So suited and booted we went playing in the snow (FYI we had to go buy Noah some Wellington boots after this as his shoes were soooooo wet!)

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The other thing Noah and Bella both have in common when it comes to snow is that they love to eat it. So all the images of Noah with his glove in his mouth is him actually trying to eat the snow from them. (Don’t worry, we guided him away from the yellow stuff…)

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