After Christmas and before New Year’s 2021

Santa and Mrs. Claus @beamish_museum 🎅


Tomorrow my baby with be one year old. It is insane and amazing. I’m excited, proud, and sad. This means that the magical year of being together is over. It means the tiny newborn who needed me with him constantly will soon have to go to nursery and not know where I am. I honestly don’t even know how I’m going to cope being away from him.

Luckily, my work has allowed me to return part time on a trial basis, so I have three days in the library office abs four days at home. Steve is working from home anyway, so he can work a staggered schedule while Jack is down the street playing and painting and making friends. (At least, this is what I tell myself.)

I did not finish a book this year. Most days I barely had time to take a shower or even find time to eat. I did some things that I consider progress because I found a niche for my book series and started working on it. However, I’m not even half way through the first draft of the first of four books. But that’s just how it is and at least I have focus and a goal which is a lot better than where I was before. In 2019 I was pregnant and too exhausted to do anything and I didn’t even know what I was going to write when I had this whole year off.

I didn’t finish reading a book either. I have loads of books that need reading and/or reviewing but that is way down on my list of priorities.

So what am I looking forward to in 2021? What can we look forward to, really? I can hope that lockdown eases up a bit, so Jack and I can go play together. I hope that Florida gets its act together so we can visit my parents.

I have planned on a mummy blog and a podcast for the future, so that’s something to focus on. Aside from my family, there’s nothing really meaningful or mentally distracting to get involved with in 2021.

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Making the most of Christmas 2020

Getting festive. ☃️

On Friday, it will be my son’s first Christmas. It will also be his 1st birthday four days later. I’ve congratulated myself and my husband on surviving this year. 

Mister Pick worked a total of 8 weeks in the office this year. He was home for three weeks after Jack was born, then when it was clear that coronavirus was a thing that needed considerable consideration, he started working from home since he had two vulnerable people at home.

That was on the 13th of March.

My family is in Florida and his family is in Liverpool, so we had little to no support during this year and even if we did have anyone living nearby, it wasn’t as if anyone could have come over anyway. But the amount of times I thought I was going insane from sleep deprivation, plus not being able to go anywhere for ages was just so, unbelievably tough for all of us.

I was trying to look after a newborn, Mister Pick was working, Jack was trying to suss out colic and sleep and all the other millions of things babies need to go through as they develop into a one-year-old. We all did this together and I’m so grateful for the time we’ve had.

So, this Christmas I’m making even more of an effort to celebrate. It’s always hard for me this time of year when I’m away from my parents and there’s no Florida sunshine to wake up to on Christmas morning (it’s something you definitely miss when you don’t have it). And this year we couldn’t have flown to visit even if we’d wanted to risk it because London is in Tier 4 lockdown. This means I have to make the most of it. I have to do my best and make Christmas a happy time for all of us because what else can I do? Why feel down about it when there are so many other things I can be grateful for?

As this year winds down to a close, I’ll miss this special time we’ve had together as a family. Of course, I’ll look forward to next Christmas when socially distanced Santa and canceled parties aren’t a thing. I’ll look back on this time as a blessing because we’ve had so many memories made together as a family despite what’s going on in the world.

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An Update for December 2020

Obviously, I named him Buddy. #elfontheshelf #babysfirstchristmas

It’s 10 days until Christmas Eve.

It will be Jack’s first Christmas, followed by his first birthday. This week we have plans to see Santa, attend a Christmas “party,” and listen to Christmas stories. I’m hoping all of it is as traditional as possible because right now, it feels weird celebrating the season when we’ve been at home all year anyway.

But no matter, it will be fun because it will be Jack’s first, so we’ll enjoy that part.

As of this week, I’m not longer on maternity leave but am on annual leave until February. It seems quite surreal as well because I’ve not been home for a year and I have a little boy moreso than a little baby. (Insert crying emoji.)

I got to about 15K words for NaNoWriMo this year, so it wasn’t a complete bust. I was going to cut my losses and make the book a novella since it’s the first in a new series, but I’ve decided to aim for at least 45K or so.

It’s been really hard with mummying 24/7 but I think any writing I’ve done (and the planning for the series) is a win. The year has been productive as far as my personal writing hobby is concerned.

I’ve also been toying with making a Mummy blog because the world doesn’t have enough of them. Seriously, it makes sense when you’re focusing on being a mother all day, your instinct is to write about your experiences. I’d started posting on Medium, but I think I’ll go all in and make a site all of my own.

For my bullet journal, I’ve watched so many great videos but by the time I sat down to work on a weekly spread, I was totally zapped of ideas. Today, I started working on this week’s layout and decided to just make it how I wanted and not worry as much about perfection because it’s my journal and no one else is going to see it (except my family).

Other than that, it’s just all Pick all the time over here. We’re hanging in there as the rest of us are and just taking each day as it comes.

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And update for November 2020

Flower by the river

Halloween is over. It’s time to get the Christmas lights up and prepare for Thanksgiving.

In England, we’re still in Lockdown 2.0 so there are limits on what Jack and I can do this month. Luckily, we’re allowed to go back to one of his baby classes so we have that to look forward to each week. Plus, it’s good for him to keep seeing other kids, I think.

Mister Pick and I have already started getting ready for Christmas because, like many people this month, we figure why not celebrate early and enjoy the season after the crazy year we’ve had?

I can’t go to any Keeping in Touch days at work and I haven’t ventured to even walk around the mostly-closed mall. I’ve just been taking walks with the family and keeping our heads above water. At least this lockdown was something we could prepare for and knew what to expect.

I’m still trying to keep up with NaNoWriMo 2020 but today I discovered I lost a chapter from yesterday. It’s not great literature, but it did make me feel like I’ll never get anything accomplished. It’s tough to steal moments to write, so it’s that much tougher than it would be if I wasn’t mummying 24/7.

It’s also tough to keep up the bullet journal but I did at least start a November spread today (even though I’m a couple weeks late).

I’ve considered starting a blog just devoted to writing with tips and activities, prompts and writer interviews but, again, I don’t know when I’ll have the time to get that together. I at least got bookblogarama active again after being on hiatus for a long time.

And with that said, I’ll close this update because block editor in WordPress has just deleted text from this entry. (I’m doing well with technology today!) It isn’t a riveting post but I hope everyone is keeping well and getting their writing done.

Happy November!

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An Update on Halloween’s Eve

Green window

It’s been a slow couple of weeks.

Jack got sick last Sunday. It was a cold coupled with throwing up, so I spent a few nights holding him a lot and trying to get him some rest.

Luckily, he’s feeling better now but I’m still worse for wear. I have a runny nose, cough, and sinus headache. I did have a fever. I also had a loss of smell. But all of this is from the stuffy nose and the cold. I didn’t feel it necessary to get a test. I’ve had many colds in my life, and this is one of them.

What troubles me is that with all the social distancing and super hygienic conditions that these places supposedly have these days, Jack still got sick. If we can catch a cold, we can catch Covid.

I’ve wanted to keep taking him to classes just to get him used to other kids because, unfortunately, I’ll have to go back to work next year and he’ll have to go to nursery. I worry about this constantly, and I want to make that transition as easy as possible for him. (I’ll be a wreck. There’s no way around that one.)

Despite this illness in the house, I’ve been able to write a bit in snippets, which keeps me sane and makes me feel productive in some respects. I’ve posted to Medium (the last article was on the subject of said baby illness) and worked on my book.

I don’t know why I say “book” when I have about four I dip in and out of. I love beginnings of stories, then slog through the rest.

What I’m doing is something along the lines of YA romance, and I’ve found Jami Gold’s Romance Beat Sheet.

This has helped me plot a little better than I usually do because I have always been a pantser and I end up not knowing how to steer the story back to where I wanted it to go. Does anyone else have this problem? I’m so impatient and I really want to crank out a decent 1st draft, then edit it without having to totally rewrite the story. This is why I’m amazed that people can churn out a book a month.

Today is Mandalorian Season 2 day, Halloween’s Eve, and the day before I do another Keeping in Touch Day at the library. We’ve not been able to find pumpkins anywhere nearby, so this may be the most subdued Halloween we’ve ever had. But it’s 2020, so what else can we expect?

If anyone else is taking part in NaNoWriMo next month, good luck to you!

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