Wednesday, January 02, 2013

2012 in review.

I haven't felt particularly inspired to write my usual end of year/new year posts Not sure if it is part of my overall blogging malaise or a deeper desire to not share stuff.  Anyway I figured it wouldn't hurt to see how I did my my list of resolution at the beginning of this year.

1. Deal with my health and fitness issues.
Well I sure stuck to that!  I've pretty much worked out what sets off my endometriosis and have had several pain free periods lately.  I started a strength training program and I'm now the fittest/strongest I've been in years. I saw a physio about my hip problems and while I have not fixed that issue I at least know what the problem is now.

2.  To run 10km without stopping.

Running the full 12km City to Bay fun run pretty much dealt with that!

3. To get more organised.
As usual this was an epic fail. :) But I shall resolve to do this once again this year. Hope springs eternal eh?

4. To switch my crafting from fun to profitable.
Well the big problem with this one was my total loss of craft mojo this year.  I did create quite a few things but not in the way I used to (none of it was just for fun.) I still really haven't got it back yet so this year is likely to be rather uncrafty.

5. To stop wearing my nursing bras.
Done! Now the search is on for the perfect sports bra. :)

Felix started school and loved it, Poppy started childcare and tolerated it. I have not gone back to work yet but I did a work related course during the year and now that Poppy can cope with childcare I feel better about looking for work.  All in all it was a good year and I achieved a great deal of personal growth (both mentally and physically.) I think 2013 is my chance to build on all the ground work I put down in 2012 and make some big changes in my life.



Friday, December 14, 2012

Poppy turns 3.

Sorry this is a bit late Poppy, but I've been so sick that I just couldn't get this posted on time.


This year has been a pretty big one for you. Lots of milestones, lots of amazing moments and very few set backs.  You are so different to the other two kids and I find myself underestimating you all the time as I struggle to keep up with you.


You started childcare recently.  I would never have even considered putting either Daisy or Felix into care but you have handled it really well. There are tears, of course, as you adjust to this new situation but your carers have reassured me that once I leave you brighten up and play happily until I come to get you.  They are all impressed with how well you speak - it must be from all the practice you get all day, everyday! You certainly talked earlier than your siblings, which was quite a surprise to us. Now that I can put you in childcare for one day a week I can head off back to work so that will be a new adjustment for you, but I know you'll handle it.


You are now toilet trained.  I had to try a couple of times over the year but eventually you made the decision on your own and were dry day and night in about a week. You have the occasional accident (usually during a tantrum) but other than that life is good.  I am so happy to be done with nappies forever and I think you are happy about it too.  As soon as you stopped wearing nappies to bed to stopped waking up so many times and that is a blessing for all of us.  You only really wake once a night now and even better, you are happy to go back to your own bed rather than crawl in with us.  If it is late enough in the morning (after 5am) we just bring you into bed with us as it is easier than settling you but I'm fine with that occasional visit.


You are my girly girl.  You love the colour pink, and Dora, and baby dolls.  You love to dress up and you love jewellery.  You love singing and dancing and drawing and painting, and you finally love giving other people hugs.  Especially people who have known you for three years now and were wondering if you were ever going to acknowledge their existence.


What are my hopes for you for the upcoming year? I hope you keep enjoying childcare and don't mind me putting you in there several days a week. I hope you keep opening up to people and not spend so much time burying your face into my leg any time anyone speaks to you. Other than that I just want you to be happy.  Being the baby of the family can be tough sometimes but I think you've got enough spunk to get through.


Saturday, July 14, 2012

Felix turns five.



In two days time you will start school and you are unbearably excited about the prospect.  You've been 'over' kindy for about two terms now and most of your kindy friends started last term so you've been desperate to join them.  And I suspect the idea of a canteen and lunch orders may have a little bit to do with it too.


On the outside the only real change I've seen in you in the last year has been the fact that you are taller and perhaps a little less chubby in the face.  All the big stuff has happened inside that head of yours and it's all been pretty amazing to be honest.  You are such a confident guy these days, but that is tempered by your quiet nature and your desire to assess a situation before heading into it.  Your kindy assessment said you were a quiet kid who didn't join in much but I know that had more to do with the total lack of supervision and poor teaching there than it did with you.  You love peace and quiet, and enjoy working on your building projects for hours so in a room with 30 screaming children that are trashing everything you are unsurprisingly quite reserved.  I think you are going to love the scheduled and disciplined school environment and I know you are desperate for some academic stimulation.

You have been a great little reader and writer for a while now.  We hadn't noticed how good you were until you begged for your own reader from kindy (to be like Daisy) and you read it without any hesitation.  You love Grug books and anything by Mo Willems and take pride in writing your own birthday cards for friends.  This is another reason I am not worried about you starting school - you are bright and you've picked up a lot from Daisy so I think the transition will be a lot less stressful because of that.


You are still the funniest person in the house.  You dance like a crazed muppet, you dress up in the *wildest* outfits and your impersonations are pretty damn hilarious.  At home, when no-one else is around, your personality really shines through so I hope one day you'll have the confidence to be that person outside one day.  On the flip side you are also tremendously emotional and can slide from a great mood to tears in a heartbeat.  You pretty much cry at least once a day over what I would consider quite minor stuff but hopefully you'll build up some resilience at school.  You feel things very deeply and take offence at the smallest slight but I think that is all just part of who you are, and you'll just have to learn to manage it better.


You are not at all interested in sport.  You love to play outside but you much prefer digging holes in the lawn to any organised activity, although you do like riding around on your bike and scooter.  I wish you didn't enjoy ripping all the leaves off plants and distributing them around the backyard but I think Poppy does encourage you a bit.  And your crazy chalk drawings always brighten up my day, even if they mean that your clothes are completely covered in chalk dust afterwards.  You pretty much draw either a Moshi Monster, the pigeon from the Mo Willems books or Grug and you are quite good at them now.


What do I wish for you this year?  I hope you love school as much as I think you are going to.  I hope you develop a bit of a thicker skin and don't sweat the small stuff so much.  I don't want you to lose any of the things that make you so special but I know that school has a way of making kids conform (peer pressure I guess) so we'll see how that goes.  I hope you continue to love your sisters and want to hang out with them as much as you do now.  It is so lovely when all three of you play together nicely and that happens a lot more now than it used to.  I hope you still let me hug and miss you even though I'm not really allowed to do that in public any more.  I'm cool with that, I understand how you feel, but you'd better still let me snuggle up to you on the couch in the evening OK?  

Saturday, July 07, 2012

070712

It's funny how reading can take over your life.  I remember when I used to read all the time - I packed more books than clothes when I went to Bali on diving holidays and the Darwin library was a refuge for me during the long hot (and lonely) days of summer.  I read on my days off, at night when I was trying to get tired enough to sleep, on buses and trains and planes. Then I had kids. Suddenly there was no such thing as 'down time' or 'me time' and the brief moments of peace I snatched were used for luxuries such as showers and cups of tea.  I started sewing and knitting again (for the kids more often than not) so as the kids grew I used my night times and quiet times to create things, leaving craft projects strewn around the house in the ways I used leave books.  My mental health has been pretty patchy since I had Daisy and simply lost the ability to focus on things like story lines (I struggled to follow TV shows if they went for longer than half an hour) and I seemed to lose my empathy for fictional characters.  Well that has all changed now and I am so very happy about it (although I am surprised by the knock on effects.)

This year is the National Year of Reading here in Australia and thanks to my myriad librarian friends I have been kept up to date on it via all means of social media (Facebook, Twitter etc.)  I made the decision to rediscover my passion for reading and also set a good example to the kids as they watch Daddy reading all the time but not me.  Each month has a theme so I figured I would pick three books per month that fitted the theme and leave the rest of the month for my craft stuff and that worked for a while.  I have discovered, however, that my desire to read has somehow smothered my urge to create and that has been totally unexpected.  Apparently my brain is not OK with switching between the two at the moment so it will be interesting to see if I see some kind of balance by the end of the year.  Right now I am waiting for the third book in the Game of Thrones series to be available at the library so I'm trying to focus myself back on to my craft pile (a half made scarf for a friend's child, some long sleeved tops for Daisy, some tracksuit pants for Poppy.)  Unfortunately there is a Neil Gaiman book on the shelf here that I really want to read so I suspect there will be some inner turmoil over that this week. :) 

On the flip side of all this intellectual enrichment is the physical improvements I have been making.  I stopped running a couple of weeks ago as it was getting too dark for me to safely run and I spent too much of my run panicking about being attacked by dogs. I decided that the best thing to do was to take a full break from it and focus on muscle strength instead of my cardio fitness.  My physio told me I had to strengthen my glutes in order to stop injuring my hips while I was running and I also had the 2cm gap in my abs from all the child bearing I've done.  I have been using a variety of free 7 day challenges plans from skinnyms.com (the Summer Arms and Summer Abs ones)and now I am working my way through the 30 Day Shred by Jillian Michaels (also for free as the workouts are all on YouTube!)  Amazingly enough I have managed to completely close the gap in my abdominal muscles in this short amount of time so now I can focus on tightening up the muscles under my belly button and getting my strong core back. 

That's it really.  I'm reading, I'm working out and I'm happy.  I have three kids home with me all day thanks to the school holidays and so far I'm still sane. Felix's 5th birthday is coming up this week and we also have Chris' parents coming to stay with us for a couple of days. Life is good.


Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Daisy turns seven.


These blog entries sure come around fast don't they?  It seems like I've only just finished rounding up one year and another is ready to be written.


There are a lot less obvious changes to talk about this year.  A lot of what is going on is inside your head and I am not always privy to that (until it bursts out in a torrent of angry words after I have offended you in some unknown way.)  You are taller, of course, still skinny and have your beloved long hair.  You are missing four teeth, although the adult teeth are coming through quite quickly at the moment, and you have at least two wobbly teeth on the go too.  This has given you quite a cute lisp although I try not to point it out too much as I don't want to make a big deal of it and embarrass you.  A lot of what I say and do embarrasses you at the moment so I am learning to be mindful of this.


You still love school although you had a rough start this year thanks to your high expectations not being met. You felt you were being treated like a little kid and that you deserved better but it all sorted itself out quite quickly.  Maths is still your favourite subject although Chinese seems to be challenging that position this year.  You don't technically study geography at school but you love studying the map and memorising all the flags so hopefully that becomes more of a feature in your classes soon. Your handwriting is still appalling so we've been told by your teacher to get some occupational therapy done in order to sort it out while you are still young.  In this digital world handwriting is going to become less and less important but if you don't get your pen licence at the same time as your peers (thanks to your handwriting) it's going to really upset you so we'll get on to it this term.


You still have no idea what you'd like to do when you are a grown up and change your mind depending on which TV show you are watching.  Bondi Vet? You want to be a vet. Young Talent Time?  You want to be a pop singer.  Bondi Rescue?   You want to be a lifesaver.  And so on.  I shall continue to push the angle that you should do something that you love as life is too long to be spend most of it in a miserable and unsuitable job.

Have you hit any other 'milestones' this year?  Not really.  You've just grown up and grown into the personality we've been observing for a few years now. You love to entertain us (singing, dancing, telling jokes), you love your family, you love your friends and you desperately want a pet.  Preferably a dog but a kitten will do.  We have decided to cave in on this issue recently (shhh, don't tell our landlord) and will be getting a kitten at some point in the year.  It all depends on when we can afford to buy a decent animal and not some 'puppy mill' creature, but when we bring the kitten home it will be the happiest day of your life.  In closing, I'm really not sure what to expect of you this year.  I think most of what happens will be inside your head and seeing as how you dwell on things for an eternity before sharing them I doubt I'll have much of a clue about what is going on. I'm pretty certain you'll face it with your absurd sense of humour and analytical brain though, and work your way through all the changes you're about to go through.



Sunday, April 15, 2012

150412

One week of the holidays down, one to go.  It hasn't been so bad this time around, although I am yet to convince the kids that boredom is character building.  Daisy has done a lot of reading (almost one book a day so far) and Felix has done a lot of Lego reassembly so they are trying to make their own fun, but Poppy's attempts have simply revolved around annoying her siblings so far.   But I refuse to be negative about it all and just try to do my own thing in amongst the fights and the interruptions that happen every five minutes.  I cannot stand parents who moan about their kids, whining about how little they get done and how their kids get in the way all the time.  Obviously it's OK to complain from time to time but when you actively choose to only see the negative side of a situation you miss the small happy moments that occur. They are little for such a short period of time so I feel you have to embrace the chaos and pick out those tiny moments when you can get your own stuff done (and that is when you work like a demon, not procrastinate on Facebook etc.)


As it is birthday season I have been busy making presents for a variety of people.  I have been madly knitting up small scarves for Daisy's friends as birthday presents  - two down, one on the needles and who knows how many more to go!  Daisy's birthday quilt is well on it's way and I am now up to the point where I can sandwich the top, batting and back and make a decision on the free motion quilting pattern.  I have a load of batting scraps so I am going to throw together some mini 'quilts' and practice some patterns before I go to work on Daisy's actual quilt, and then it will just be a case of binding it.  I am confident I can get this all done in the next couple of weeks. 


I have managed to lose the excellent recipe I had for marshmallow that I used last year and have had two epic failures recently in my attempts with alternative recipes.  I need to make black and blue marshmallows for Daisy's birthday cake so hopefully I can get it right before the end of the holidays.  It's not the cooking that annoys me but the horrendous clean up afterwards - everything is so damn sticky!  Chris is taking almost all of this coming week off so that should free me up a bit to deal with the boiling hot sugar syrup and seemingly endless whipping of the marshmallow in the mixer.

So that's my plan really.  Get some knitting done, make some marshmallow, referee fights, read my NYR12 book selection for this month ("Feel",) set up things for the kids to play with, play with free motion quilting and occasionally lie in the sun for short periods of time. Oh and run in preparation for the Mothers Day Classic which is not too far away at all.

Monday, March 05, 2012

210212

I have so little to say here right now.  I share so many bits and pieces each day via Facebook that by the time I sit down to write in my blog it feels like everything has already been said before.  I never really got into the micro blogging aspect of Twitter and keep my account alive only so I can follow the Tweets of others, but Facebook seems to have taken on that role almost by stealth. I love the instant feedback I get from Facebook and the ability to hold ongoing 'realtime' conversations about this things that I post. But I still feel compelled to come back here and write up my updates as I have so much of the last five years recorded here.  It's a dilemma.

My New Years' resolutions are going well.  I'm due to see my physio again next week so I can work on my stomach muscles some more, although I have given serious thought to just buying some 'shapewear' so I can pull my tummy in artificially.  It's not that I am avoiding getting myself sorted out but more that I cannot afford to visit the physio as often as I need to right now.  Perhaps once I go back to work I'll be able to afford more regular visits.  In a similar 'health' vein I am seeing (boom boom) an optometrist in order to get new glasses.  I've had the pairs I own now for over three years so I am really overdue for a prescription renewal.  My resolution to run 10kms is well and truly in sight.  Last night I ran 7kms and I still had some left in the tank so I'm going to punch it up to 7.5 kms on my next run. I had actually set 7.5kms as my May goal as the Mothers Day Classic is on then so I've achieved it several months early, so now what I am going to work on is my time. My pace is a little on the slow side so I'm going to go back to running shorter distances at a faster pace until I work back up to 7.5kms.

I have been testing out some prototypes for knitted things to sell.  Just some cardigans at the moment (to go with the nappy covers and soakers) but I am thinking of maybe doing some little knitted dresses as well.  What I am trying to work out is which patterns knit up quickest and use the least amount of yarn so that I can produce a decent amount of stock with the smallest cash outlay.  For now it is a matter of continuing to test patterns and make modifications but I am hoping to have completed this by April.

That's it really.  I'm still battling whooping cough, although the frequency and severity of the coughing fits have reduced considerably.  I'm focussing on the future in a lot of ways right now, preparing Felix to start school in term 3 and completing Poppy's toilet training before the cold weather kicks in.  I'm continuing my resolution to read three books a month based on the National Year of Reading themes and have decided to combine it with my need to design a new site for Mum in March.  The theme is 'Think' and I have chosen three books relating to website design that will definitely get me thinking. :)