Sunday, January 30, 2011

Lovin' It, Sepia Style

Ooh, it seems like ages since i've done a Blog This! challenge ( even though i actually write for the blog...oops! ). So i thought this week seemed like as good a week as any to get back aboard the challenge train, and seeing is this week is a photo challenge it could be easier! Whats the brief?
Share your favourite sepia photo with the world.

Your photo can be of anything, just keep in sepia tones!

Thats one of the photos we had taken when Flynn was 3 months old ( almost, nearly, a year ago! ). Even though it turned out he was running a fever and THATS why he wouldnt stop crying, i like this picture, with his big brown eyes, his little squishy lips and his fat chubby hands. Sure, he looks sad, but it was essentially a good day and the first professional photos ( my friend is professional photography, and was just starting up her business - we were like her guinea pigs! ) we had taken of him. Oh Flynny - i cant believe you used to be that small!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Operation Slimdown - Welcome to 2011!

Welcome to the first " Operation Slimdown " update for this year everybody! ( Ok, not quite exciting enough to warrant an exclamation point but i digress... ). As usual, every second Tuesday finds me giving you a rundown of whats happening on the weightloss front however, this Tuesday ( and somewhat unusually ) i actually have something worth noting... a loss! Halle-freaking-lujah, i finally lost a decent amount of weight!

I know i set myself a goal of 10kgs lost by November 5th but i've been trying to lose weight since September. So whats changed to see this miraculous turnaround? Well, first off, its a bit of an attitude change - i kept saying i really wanted to lose the weight but i still kept eating the same food ( only, less of it ) and only exercising 3 times a week. After seeing myself in my sons Santa photos and having a cry, and then subsequently having a whinge to my dad ( no good whinging to Mick, he loves me the way i am. Bah! ) my dad said " Well why dont you pull your finger out and give it a good go, and stop sooking about it ? ". Aah....he may be a man of few words, but when my Dad does say something its usually pretty good advice. So, with that kick in the bum i did some research, asked a few people some questions and....changed my eating habits.

Monday the 10th of January i started a 12 day experiment. I challenged myself to have a " Celebrity Slim " shake or meal replacement for breakfast and follow the Tony Ferguson eating plan for other meals ( yes, just like religion, i pulled my weight loss philosophies from all over the place ). What did that mean exactly? NO CARBS - AT ALL. So for the 12 days leading up to my birthday i ate no bread, no cereal, no rice, no pasta, no flour products.... just the shake, at least 3 cups of vegies and 2 pieces of fruit,2 small serves of protein and at least 2L of water a day. I thought " I'll do this for 12 days and see if it works, and on day 13 i'll reward myself with birthday cake! ". A pretty good plan, methought. How good? Lets go to the stats:
Bust: 93cm - down 4.5cm
Waist: 78.5cm - down 3.5cm
Hips 101cm - down 2cm
Bum: 104cm - down 4cm
Thigh: 65.5cm - down 1cm
Weight: 74.1kg -  down 3.7kgs

Oh yea - down 3.7kgs in 12 days! And, as you can see, shrinking measurements all over the place. I am very proud of myself for having the discipline to steer clear of carbs for 12 days ( lovely, lovely delicious carbs ), although i'm not so proud of the huge bowl of pasta i ate to celebrate my birthday ( hello stomach ache! ). So there you go, the tale of the tape... and this week its a good story! I'm going to try and cut way down on the carbs, and every so often i might do a week totally carb free, but this 3.7kg loss has totally reinvigorated my drive to lose 10 kgs by my wedding. Wish me luck!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Birthday Blues

Firstly – yes, i know i haven’t posted for a week. Its uncharacteristic. Truth be told, i have no excuse except the fact that i couldn’t really be bothered. I have been reading, and commenting, on other peoples blogs, i just haven’t been enthused enough to write anything on mine. But i digress....

For those of you have been paying attention the past few weeks, this past Saturday was my 27th birthday. I had big plans to go to the zoo with Mick and Flynn but the stinking hot weather put an end to that ( too hot for us, and too hot for the animals to even bother coming out of their shade or shelters ). No matter – i thought my boys could take me to lunch, and then i could have birthday cake with my family. All good.

But it wasn’t – it wasn’t all good at all. My mind, and my heart, wouldn’t let it be. I wanted so much to really enjoy my birthday, to enjoy the time with my family, but i just couldn’t. Somewhere in the back of my mind, in the depths of my heart....there she was. There it was – the shadow of my lost friendship, hanging like a black cloud over everything. Even though i was surrounded by family, i felt like something ( or someone ) was missing. The first birthday with no “ happy birthday! “ text, no card, no shared cake. And even though i had loving family around me i felt strangely, mind-numbingly, alone.

I had lunch with Mick ( Flynns teeth were playing up and i didn’t fancy having a squirmy, sooky toddler with me at the restaurant), then we had birthday cake at home, an d then i went for dinner at my parents ( which i didn’t eat, because i didn’t feel hungry ). The first chance i got i snuck off and sobbed my heart out, the kind of sobbing that makes you dry heave and makes your head ache. My dad came and found me and i poured my heart out to him – he’s always really good with advice and gave me a few words of wisdom, and confirmed that i am NOT, in fact, a horrible person. So i swallowed my tears and went down to the loungeroom to watch “ Toy Story 3 “.

And thats my birthday – drowned in a sea of lonliness and bitterness and hurt, and seemingly controlled by someone who wasn’t even there. Bring on my 28th!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Smile For A While

Bare with me while i babble - i'm just going to write, even though i dont have anything specific to say, because i want to. Need to, even. See in the wake of the personal tragedy unfolding in the blog world, and the devastation in Queensland ( and northern NSW and now Victoria ) and hell, the untold suffering the world over, i want to write, but i dont want to write anything sad, or sensitive, or sorry. I would love to write something extraordinarily uplifting, a post that would get linked to and Twittered about, that would be sent around the world to bring a smile to the face of people everywhere. Sadly, i dont think i really have that in me. At least not today. With that in mind, however, i thought i could at least bring a smile to one persons face, in the hope that smiling is contagious. And so, ladies and gentlepeople, here is a short list of 5 things that have made me smile in the past fortnight of gloom:

1. Flynn turning around and blowing a raspberry " pfft! " noise really loudly after his Daddy had...erm..."passed gas". Seems he is already, at one year and 20 days old, a typical boy who finds farts funny. Who am i kidding? Farts are funny to everyone!

2. Losing weight - i know, finally! For those of you following along with my Operation Slimdown, keep your eyes peeled for an official update next week.

3. Finishing two books inside of two weeks - its not a record, but i reckon its pretty good, especially with a demanding little person crawling around. I read " The Persimmon Tree " and " Fishing For Stars ", both by Bryce Courtenay, back to back ( you know, seeing as one is the sequel to the first ). I really enjoyed the " The Persimmon Tree " but felt that " Fishing For Stars " got bogged down a little too much in unneeded details, which made it a bit harder to get through.
4. Swimming in the afternoons. Our neighbour has gone away for a few weeks and granted us full permission to use her pool ( as long as we also clean the filter ). Its been nice just to be able to pop across the road for a quick dip when we get home from work, and Flynn is beginning to love the water. Ooh, and bonus smile: he looks so cute with his big fat tummy in his swimmers!
5. The idea of being able to go clothes shopping soon - not on a grand scale, but rumour has it that my mum and dad are going to give me some cash for this purpose for my birthday. I havent been able to go clothes shopping for a while - baby stuff and maternity-leave-without-pay put a bit of a dent in my clothes shopping budget - so the thought of being able to take a bit of time and find a few cute things has made me smile...

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Open Letters

To all those Dubbo residents who complained about the traffic diversions in November -

Well dont your complaints seem petty now? Boo hoo, so it took you an hour to get across our one remaining bridge to get home after work ( instead of the normal 10 minutes ) - hundreds of thousands of people are now effecting by flooding in Qld, and 72 people are missing in and around Toowoomba, assumed swept away by a wall of water likened to an inland tsunami. I hope you're looking back retrospectively and feeling ashamed of yourselves. Next time, man up and be glad you still have your homes and loved ones - who cares how long you have to spend in your car to get to them?

Someone with real perspective.

To Lori and her babies,
My heartfelt sympathies to you. It seems odd to be so moved by the plight of someone whom i've never actually met in real life but never-the-less feel I know - but what i do know about you, Lori, is that you are made from strong stuff, and i trust that you will use this strength to drag yourself through the pain and muck and absolute shittiness of grief. You will no doubt find a way to smile, sometimes, and will find a way to keep your beautiful babies smiling too. I have said it elsewhere already, but when you collapse, my wish is that the wave of support behind you lifts you up again.

With love,
Just one part of your bloggy wave of hope.

To my darling Mick,
Stress less dude - i dont mind making my own birthday cake. I love you down to my bones, and i know that you'll make me an awesome birthday dinner, but i also know you arent exactly a cake master. Its cute that you have decided that seeing as you arent much of a baker that we should " make the cake together " and i am totally willing to let you help, even if "help" amounts to you hanging out in the kitchen with me and taking turns stirring. As far as i see it, making my own birthday cake means i get to choose what kind i want, whether it be plain old chocolate mud or that decadent looking raspberry and coconut layer cake recipe i've been wanting to try for a while. Its a win-win!

Love ya guts,
The (almost ) birthday girl.

To the weather,
Hold steady man! I really, really want to go to the zoo for my birthday so if you could just promise not to a) be too stinking hot or b) pour with rain well... that would be ace. I'd like abit of sunshine and warmth, just not enough to fry myself and my boys on the way around the zoo track. I plan on walking ( gotta lose those birthday cake calories somehow! ) so if you could just grant me this one request i promise i wont complain ( much ) when you royally screw up my winter by being freezing cold and soggy.

Thanks in advance,
A sun seeking, zoo trekking, birthday mama.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Step 1: Find. Step 2: Lose

So i've been doing a lot of thinking over the past week or so, and i think i've come to a realisation of sorts : i've lost myself. Or at least part of myself, a big defining part, and i think its holding me back. I know a lot of women say they lose themselves after becoming a mother, but thats not what i mean - on the contrary, i believe becoming a mum has added to what i define as "me". What i'm talking about is since my best friend "dumped " me, so many things that i thought i knew about myself, definable truths, have been completely shattered, to the point where i've lost something really important.

If i can no longer say " My name is Amy, i'm an Aquarian and my best friends name is Blahdy Blah " then what can i say about myself ? For 10 years that was one confirmed, absolute truth, one thing i never had to question, and it held me stable when other shit got me down. And now? Its not a truth anymore and so much of what i invested in that relatinship seems like it was a facade ( on her side at least... ) that now i'm questioning so much more. I've lost a whole lot of self-confidence because i've been questioning myself so much, and i think that lost of self-esteem has really attributed to my slight weight gain and inability to lose any significant amount of weight. I've lost my "mojo "....for a while there i had the confidence to believe in myself and know that if i put my mind to something, i could do it.

I need to find that again - i need to find that will power and drive that saw me exercising 6 days a week, going out weekends and getting dressed knowing i looked good baby! I know that if i can find that again, i can push myself to be consistent and lose the 10kgs i've promised myself will be gone by November 5th. I'm not sure how i'm going to get it back when someone whom i thought was one of my biggest supporters no longer wants to associate with me, but somehow i'll find a way. There are enough people - good people - in my corner that i'm sure it will be no time before i'm on top of the world again soon enough! And now that i've figured out that i have to find what i've lost in order to lose something else, i can move forward with a goal in mind....

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Good Vibin', For Lori

So today I am sending every good vibe i can muster out to Lori from Random Ramblings Of A Stay At Home Mum, and i need every single one of you out there reading this to do the same. See Lori, who usually a hilarious bundle of cack ( and never fails to mention my fear of clowns when she has the chance... ), has this morning posted that her husband is struggling in intensive care, and things seems to be touch and go for him and there family. Lori and her hubby Tony have two small children ( the Bump and Chop ) so you can only imagine what Lori must be going through right now. So, if your the type who prays, please do that for Lori and if, like me, positivity and good thoughts are your thing, please send those out to her too.

And in a show of solidarity, you can head over to Kristin's page at Wanderlust and link up with Flog Ya Blog Friday ( which is usually hosted by Lori ) and show her how many people are thinking of her. Also, if your able, you can also donate funds for Lori at Kristins page - because, should the worst happen, Lori may need not only your thoughts and prayers but a little financial help too. We love you Lori!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Oh Yea, Its Gonna Happen...

So you now how my conceptual goal for the new year was  To honestly speak my mind, instead of hoarding emotional crap until i explode in a sudden, and fierce, inferno of rage/jealousy/melancholy ? Oh yea, i am totally going to be working on that and i feel that te very first instance of this "speaking my mind " will be happening in the near future. Probably next week. See one of my co-workers is just really getting on my nerves, even though we are only 2 days into the working year, and i'm afraid that i'm just going to have to tell him. And it just wont be pretty.

This guy is lazy, obnoxious, and overly opinionated ( though he very rarely has any fact or anything resembling real information/experience to back these opinions up ). He wheedles his way out of work as often as he can, spends hours of the work day pottering around doing pretty much nothing, and even when he's at his desk its under extreme duress and all he does is complain. If i were unfortunate enough to have have to sit beside him i think i would have leaned over and whacked him by now. As it stands, my desk is across the office and i can choose to ignore him, most of the time. But when he skulks into the lunch room while i'm trying to read and enjoy my lunch break, and complains that he's so exhausted ( despite being childless, in his 20's and still living with his parents, so no real exhausting responsibilities ), that he hates this place and its draining him and blah blah blah... well, that just gets on my goat.

If its so bloody unbearable, then QUIT. YOU ARE MAKING THE OFFICE A MISERY FOR THE REST OF US. If my mother has the balls, at the age of 48, to admit that she dislikes her workplace and its atmosphere enough to quit and find another job - which she did ( she started her new job today... ) - then maybe he should grow a pair and do the same.

Too harsh? My resolution doesnt really include being unnecessarily mean, but believe me, this little diatribe will have been a long time coming and will be on behalf of the entire office. Tune in next week to see if it comes to fruition...

Sunday, January 2, 2011

I Solemnly Swear: New Years Resolutions 2011

Ooh, my first post for 2011 - how exciting! Except not really, because its one of the obligatory " New Years Resolution " posts that every blogger worth their salt is doing. Mine probably wont be all that much different, but what the hell ? Read on anyway!

#1 - The Conceptual Goal - that is, the thing that i would like to work on whose success and/or failure can not really be physically measured. ( You still with me ? ) Last time i went with the whole abstract, emotional, personal goal thing was 2009, a year in which i promised myself i would say " yes " more often than " no ", thus opening myself up to opportunities i would normally have missed out on. And what did that get me ? A gorgeous fiance, and a crazy, cheeky, spunky baby boy. So the whole conceptual thing kind of worked out for me. So whats the brief for this year? To honestly speak my mind, instead of hoarding emotional crap until i explode in a sudden, and fierce, inferno of rage/jealousy/melancholy. So there you have it - this coming year i will actively try and let others know how i'm feeling, when i'm feeling it, instead of trying to hold my tongue in a vain attempt to keep everybody happy ( everybody except me that is ). I have learned the hard way over the year just gone that no matter how much you hold in, no matter how you want to keep the peace, that sometimes its just not worth it ( and some people will never be happy, regardless of what you do, so you may aswell just get the truth out there from the start ).
#2 - The Physical Goal - that is, as opposed to the conceptual, the thing i would like to work on that whose succes and/or failure, can be seen, felt and measured. Like... wait for it.... weight loss! Oh yea, me and a bazillion other people around the globe, all jumping up on the weight loss bandwagon. As you know, i'm already on that particularly slow thrill ride, but my resolution is : To stay on the path to weight loss, to accept that it may be a long, slow journey, and to hit my pre-pregnancy weight of 67 kilo before November 5th. Which, for those of you cant remember, or do not know, is the date of my wedding. So that gives me roughly 10 months to lose 8 kilos-ish. Thats an achievable goal, right ? I think going into the second hase of Operation Slimdown back in September i was under the impression that the whole weight loss game would be a bit easier. What i forgot is that i'd had a baby and had nowhere near as much time i'd previously had to dedicate to exercise. Now, i think i realise its going to be a little more slow going, and that if i just persevere i will make my goal and be gaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaawjus on my wedding day!