1. We had a lovely (though not restful) holiday in Mount Franklin, staying in a house called Arda Cluggen with Martin's best friend since primary school, Matt, his lovely lovely woif Kate, and their kids Mieke (10 weeks older than Fred) and Quinn (2 weeks older than Una, actually Quinn was born on Una's due date). Photos to come. Fred and Mieke rode a pony. Fred and Mieke collected pinecones in the deep, dark forest. Una rode around and around the house on her little bike/trike/quadcycle (it has four wheels). We went to the Chocolate Mill where I had the best hot chocolate ever. They brought it in a bowl. Words cannot describe.
2. Fred has an angel and a devil on her shoulders at the moment. We've had some bewildering tantrums that have lead to us having to enforce some pretty harsh rules (for me anyway, as I am not a natural disciplinarian). Last night she refused to hang up her towel and it escalated into a hugely dramatic stubborn battle of wills which everyone lost. It resulted in Fred going to bed without her stories - a huge deal in this house and Martin and I were in and out comforting her all evening until she went to sleep, though we stayed firm, no stories if she wouldn't just FREAKING HANG UP HER TOWEL (why why why wouldn't she just hang it up??). Today she threw a similar enormous stubborn wobbly about putting sunscreen on, absolutely refused to back down and so I went out without her. Martin said it took her twenty minutes to calm down, then she started screaming at me as soon as I got home an hour later (she doesn't usually maintain her rage so long). She's begun lying too (she told us last night that she had hung up her towel but she didn't want us to go and check), she's testing every boundary. I know it's a stage, it screams developmental from every quarter, and I know she's still exploring the difference between lying and imagination. But it's fully hard to live with.
3. Frederique spent Tuesday up in the kinder room. I'm wondering if they're thinking about moving her up. Perhaps the extra stimulation would help. She's at an awkward age, because her birthday is the 21st April and we had to decide whether or not to start her in 4yo kinder this year (the cut off is 30 April). In the end because she's such a wild child we decided to wait, also she's a wee little thing and the trend, particularly for parents of boys, is to hold back so I felt like we had little choice. But occasionally I question it, mainly because in other senses she seems so ready to move on to the next level, particularly in terms of reading.
4.Una has her cast off...hooray!!! She got it off yesterday and seems to be missing it...she keeps peering up her sleeves. But last night's bath was fantastic for her. The doctor expressed slight concern about Una not walking. I'm not so worried, because I'm pretty sure it's more related to personality than anything - she's just not that interested. But I am so way fully ready for her to walk. She weights 12.5kg (1.5kg less than Fred), and if she doesn't walk soon I'm going to need back and shoulder surgery. Mmm...general anaesthetic...doesn't actually sound all bad.
5. I am a writing machine. I hope to finish Indigo Girls (chicklit novel) by the end of next week. I am loving writing it and as it takes shape I am beginning to feel like it has some really nice aspects. The two main characters (it's a headhopper, switching between the p.o.v of 2 very different girls) are taking on a life of their own and there are some new elements in the story I didn't plan on but that give it depth and dimension. Both girls are surfers, which has meant lots of research - I will have to find a surfer to read it for me to tell me whether the surf scenes ring true. Writing with an outline is actually kind of liberating - every time I slow down, I just go back to the plan. It also means that I get to enjoy the way the story unfolds, instead of worrying if I am writing myself into a corner. I still find there's room for spontaneity, particularly in terms of backstory and characterisation, it's not as limiting as I feared it might be...so far. 12000ish words to go.