As always I'm a step behind the rest of the blogging world when it comes to timely posting, but I know you guys will forgive me as always because I'm just that awesome.
So yesterday I wrote about what happened in December 2013, and why it was by far the worst month I've had for a long time. But December was only one month. What did I think about the rest of the year I've just had? To be perfectly honest I can't remember the past 12 months too well, probably because I was just too damn busy to stop and store much in my long term memory, but according to my phone's calendar and photo gallery, below are some of the things I managed to accomplish this year.
I kept Miss K alive for another 12 months
So according to the photos on my phone, the last photo I took of Miss K was on 24th December in the emergency room at Sunshine Hospital while she was driving dangerously. (Luckily if there was an accident we were surrounded by trained professionals.) But according to the lump in her bed she's still very much here so I'm considering that my biggest accomplishment to date. Anyone who has kids will tell you exactly how hard they are to keep safe, with their desire to touch everything they shouldn't touch, and jump off all the things you don't want them to jump off, so every day you can get them to bed in one piece is a win. Miss K and I have had a lot of ups and downs this year, a few major changes to our routines and quite a bit of stress and worry, but she is definitely blossoming into a beautiful child (despite her love of temper tantrums) and not a day goes by when I don't feel proud of her.
I finished my schooling
This one I still remember pretty well (probably because I ended up taking my final exam at McDonalds.) I have since gotten my final results, and while I didn't get a perfect score for the exam, I am pretty sure I got enough to pass the unit and I'll graduate along with everyone else in March. I haven't heard anything from my tutor to say otherwise, so I now just need to sit back and wait for my certificate to show up in the mail. I'm pretty proud to say the least that I managed to stick it out with this course, and I will finally have a piece of paper to show people that I know stuff about things. I still don't know if I'll ever actually use my new qualification outside of taking payments from clients, but at this stage that doesn't really matter as much as the fact that I actually managed to finish something.
I got a job and managed to keep it
So for anyone who saw the post I wrote when I first decided to try going back to work, you will know that the last time I worked for my boss I made it through 6 months before quitting and moving to another town over 100 Km away. (Not because I was scared of my former boss, just because the pickings are richer out west.) Well the 6 month mark came and went in December and I managed to ride out the storm and not quit my job this time. To be fair though I had no intentions of quitting this time, and given that I am older and wiser than I was in 2007 it wasn't hard to stick around this time. The work is still challenging, and I see more horrible things in a week than I ever wanted to see in a life time (such is the way when people start fighting over their children), but my boss is super generous, totally understanding about how hard it is to juggle kids and employment, and brilliant at her job, which makes my job easier. I still have to wear a monkey suit to work every day, and now I've been told I'm not allowed to put my hair in a pony tail while at work, so the demands will never stop, but I'm determined to keep my head down and just keep bringing in the moolah.
I started a business
Yes I am still a business owner, even though things are pretty quiet on the business side of things, but I managed to hit a pretty big sales target that Kaszazz give all new consultants and I'm loving all the perks being afforded to me as a consultant. We have officially gone multi-national so any of my crafty readers out there, check out the link and come see the awesome things you can do with our products. (Ok sales pitch over, I'll go back to being a blogger now.)
I got my teeth fixed
So this one I never blogged about, partly because it was too awful to talk about at the time, and partly because I hate my teeth, so talking about them is never high on my list of things to do. But I did get sick and tired of all the holes and pain so I gave in and visited a dentist. Two extractions and seven fillings later I'm still in pain while I continue to heal, but at least my smile looks normal. There was also one fun visit where the anesthetic wore off before the dentist was finished, and being the scaredy cat I am, I didn't have the nerve to tell her to stop playing with my teeth and drug me up again. That tooth took forever to stop hurting, and there is now a lump on the gum directly above it, so I need to go back to the dentist again this week to get her to check it out, but I'll get my teeth cleaned at the same time so it's not all bad. Seriously guys, brush your teeth every day. It saves you a hell of a lot of pain in the long run.
Miss K started day care
I know I swore black and blue that I would never send my daughter to day care and let strangers take care of her, but as always life had different plans for me. My big sister Sam has valiantly taken care of her for the past 6 months while I went off to work, and she did it without a single complaint (ok that's not entirely true, my daughter is a handful) but the strain of taking care of her own two children plus mine did get a bit much in the end. So I decided for her sake, and also to help Miss K learn to socialize with children who she isn't related to, that the time had come to put her into a program. We had a few weeks of orientation in December, which was actually timed perfectly because they came right after Sam's brother in law died, so she was really too busy taking care of her own family and didn't need the worry of Miss K as well. Orientation went super smoothly and Miss K is loving going to day care two days a week. She starts again on the 6th of this month while I'm still on holidays so if anything goes wrong I'm still close enough to deal with it for the first week. Sam's baby is starting school this year as well, so she won't know herself, being totally child free while Miss K is in day care, but she'll still get her one day a week, plus pick ups the rest of the time, so she won't be totally deprived of her time with Miss K. (Her words not mine)
I met long lost family members
So again this is something I didn't discuss at the time, but I actually got to meet one of my big sisters for the first time. I've mentioned before that my dad had 5 children with a previous wife, and I had met all of them except one. Well the Gods of fortune smiled on us this year and nearly 20 years after I met the first of my half brothers and sisters, I finally met the last one. The meeting was strange to say the least, as I could see the similarities that come with sharing a genetic bond, but given that her and her brothers and sisters were fed lies about our family their whole lives, things were slightly strained at first while we tried to figure each other out. But my big sister and her partner are lovely ladies, and great mums and I am proud to be able to say I now know them. Miss K also got to meet a missing link in her family tree when Ady and his father finally reconnected after I don't know how many years of being estranged, and things there are going great. We make sure to pop in to visit him every month while we're down visiting Nonna, and while she has no idea we have anything to do with him (Ady hasn't gotten up the nerve to tell her and I refuse to get involved), it is lovely watching him develop a relationship with his only grandchild. He spoils her absolutely rotten any chance he gets, but he also genuinely loves her. He drives trams for a living, and lives very close to the route he drives, so any time a tram passes us as we walk down the street, they stop where they are so they can meet Miss K. It's fun watching my daughter disrupt Melbourne traffic and get away with it. If only she knew exactly how much power she held.
I made some wonderful blogging friends
So for anyone who has read anything before this blog, you'll know I have a blog crush on Karen from Baking in a Tornado. This lady just comes up with the best ideas for blogging, and I look forward to taking part in her blog series every chance I get. I get three chances this month, so I'm over the moon excited right now. But she certainly isn't the only wonderful blogger I've had the joy to cross paths with this year. From Vanessa at Babbling Bandit who writes about her daily struggles with depression with such raw honesty you can't help but feel her pain, to Stephanie at The Pursuit of Normal who makes me feel so much better about my own screw ups, and everyone else I have spoken to this year, (there are too many to mention), I will just say you ladies are all wonderful, and your writing has touched me so much over the year, so thank you.
Well I think that's a pretty good year. I'm sure other things happened too, but if I really gave you a play by play of the entire year, we'd be here until 2015 so I'll leave you now with my absolute favourite photo of 2013, Miss K as a fairy.