Wednesday, February 27, 2013

8/52 - Playtime

Tully - the best fielder we had for backyard cricket!

Flynn - having a go on the 'bumpy ' cars with Dad

Its no secret that summer is fast escaping us, so we've been trying to make the most of the last chance to enjoy a sunny, warm, play outdoors. Tully got her first real introduction to Poppys beautiful back lawn ( and her first taste of fuzzy tennis ball - um, him? ) this week. At first she wasn't too sure of it but I guarantee but next summer, when she's off and toddling, she won't be able to get enough of it!
In contrast, on a rainy Saturday, we took the kids to the show and a neighbouring tiny town. To be honest, it was a real disappointment for us parents, but the boy got his go on the dodgem cars - and really, when you're 3 years old, isn't that all you need?

Linking up again with the 52 Project at CheAndFidel

Monday, February 25, 2013

There's No Business Like Oscar Show Business

Ooh - I love me an Academy Awards broadcast! Once upon time when I was young and single and didn't have to share a TV with anyone I would stay up until the wee hours of the morning watching the ceremony on delay - which meant that I would have to block my ears all day so I didn't accidentally hear the winners in advance. These days, Australian TV broadcast the show live during the middle  of the day, and seeing as I was home today with a toddler who lost TV privileges ( normally we watch a lot of ABC2 but Flynns listening ears were broken today, so his channel got turned off ).... I got to watch most of it!

Of course, the biggest part of the fun of an Oscars ceremony is the fashion - who looks awesome sauce and who resembles a train wreck. And now, with the added benefit of tablet technology, I can chase up all the Oscars live blogging and get all the fashion goes whilst watching the awards be given out. So, without any further ado, here are my top 3 looks from the 2013 Oscars red carpet - you know, from what I've seen so far:

At first this struck me as a little bit too bridal - but then you look at Charlize's prefect face and her awesome haircut and it just changes the whole look of the dress. Its relatively simple, it fits her really well and its a very classic shape. Love!

I love the structure of this one, the space-agey thing it has going for it, and I love that Naomi chose this instead of something softer. She's so little and petite and she looks like a real warrior princess in this!

This one seems to be polarizing the fashion critique pages, but I love it... And I think most of that love is to do with the fact that its different to what Halle normally wears ( you know, either strapless or super cleavage, and sheer, with a full-ish skirt ). Plus - its black and gold and stripes and sequins!

As for train wrecks - I can't say I've come across anyone that was full blown nutso this year ( hello Bjork swan dress and Celine Dions backwards suit! ). But sadly, I did find one of my favourite actresses in a dress that underwhelmed me so much it made me sad:

Oh Anne - too simple, and too wishy-washy. But hey, her hair looked awesome and she won the Oscar so yay for her!

Again, linking up with IBOT as hosted by Jess over at EssentiallyJess!

Sunday, February 24, 2013

She Works Hard For The Money

So its official - this mama will soon to be heading back to work.... And I really don't want to. The fact that we have a mortgage ( or two, but don't even get me started on that ) aswell as business loans and a car to pay off necessitates my going back to work, but thankfully two days fulltime is enough to help cover the necessary bills.

Somehow I don't think I'll be as composed, or as glamorous, as this Aussie working mum....

I know I went back to work after having Flynn but I feel a bit differently this time. Last time was the same - I had to go to make a living, and yes I would miss my little guy, but I also was looking forward to having adult conversation again, and a chance to use my brain for something other than remembering nursery rhymes and feeding schedules. This time though, I'm not.... I dont really care for the work anymore ( though I still love my coworkers ) and I really don't want to have to deal with head office management again.  'Inept' is not quite the right word, but let's just say the way head office deals with their branch staff really gives me the Shitey McShites.

Plus, I'm really gonna miss my Tully. I remember being a bit nervous about leaving Flynn at daycare, and wondering what he was up to, but I don't recall 'missing ' him in a way that upset me. This time I'm already upset at the thought of leaving her, even though I'm lucky enough to have got her in to the same beautiful carer as Flynn, whom I trust like a family member. Maybe its because she will be a bit younger than Flynn was when I went back to work, or because she hasn't yet reached a few milestones ( such as first word, or crawling ) that I am sick at the thought not missing out on.

So I have seven weeks to cherish the alone time with my baby. Seven weeks to wrap my head around going back to a job I no longer want to do. And seven weeks for Tully get her crawl on and start babbling ' mum, mum, mum, mum ' so I don't feel like I've missed out and let her down.

The sacrifices we mama's make for our families, hey?

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Not Tolerated !?!

I was doing my usual blog/news round up over breakfast this morning when I can across a little article about Dee Why Grand shopping centre and their ridiculous new 'policy '. Basically, centre management had had enough of people complaining about noisy children and have now decided to ask parents with screaming children to leave the centre. Because, you know, screaming just wont be tolerated:

Yea. This.

Apparently, screaming children offended enough people that they think its OK to boot them, and their parents, out. First of all - who are these people, the ones complaining? Yes children who are excessively noisy are annoying but you have to be a pretty sad, pathetic, petty little person to complain to centre management about it. And if centre management is that concerned about how offended these people are, what will they decided is intolerable next?

People who wear their jeans so low or so tight that their arse crack is hanging out offend me - can you boot them? Girls who wear tights that AREN'T PANTS so I get a very definitive view of their camel toe make me nauseas - can you get rid of them too? I'm also offended by single men who leer at passing women, people who go into the supermarket without shoes on, old women with overpowering lavender perfume that makes me want to vomit and groups of teenagers who are talking about how wasted they were the weekend before. Are all those people going to be warned about their intolerable behaviour too? Nope. Because that would be ridiculous.

As is the 'screaming child policy '. Kids will be kids - no matter how well they are raised, no matter how many manners they've been taught, sometimes kids just have a 'moment'. Yes, there are those parents who take their kids to food courts or cafes or pub bistros and let their kids run riot while they nosh, and they shit me too - but I'd like to think they are in the minority. And I'd say so are the people who are sad enough to complain about this sort of thing.

Oh - and just a tip to Dee Why Grand : if you want a nice, tranquil food court, don't put it next to the bloody children's playground!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

7/52 - Out The Front

Tully - she's found a new friend

Flynn - ( not ) hiding in the bushes

We live in a duplex that has a tiny little backyard - not big enough for playing, or for barbecuing or even for having a little outdoor setting - but the front of our duplex has a little verandah. So when we want to spend a bit of time outside playing, we have to do it on the front yard, and this Saturday just gone was the perfect lazy afternoon for being outdoors. Tully got put in her activity centre, we let Buzz the dog out, Flynn rode his bike up and down the driveway and challenged me to a few games of hide'n'seek. When I wasn't playing, Mick and I sipped on drinks and chatted while we watched the kiddies enjoying themselves. Bliss - and all from the comfort of our front verandah!

Linking up again this week with CheAndFidel for the 52 Project.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Dear Tully, 6 Months Old

Happy half-birthday my little punkin'! I know its totally cliche to say but the time really has flown - I think its because I'm more of a relaxed Mum this time around, and I'm getting much more sleep, and I can thank you for both of those things little girl. I'm cruisy because you're cruisy; I'm well rested because you sleep like an angel. One who only wakes up once a night, has a feed and a snuggle, and goes straight back to sleep. I love it, and I love you!

You're still very much a 'people person ', loving to be involved with everything we're doing, and you'll take a cuddle from pretty much anyone, but you have a bit more of a serious side too. You've become very observant, and you quite often have periods where we can't coax a smile out of you - because you're too busy, concentrating on watching the world go by, taking everything in. And one of you're favourite things to watch is you're silly bloody brother. You love him - you laugh at him, you smile, you look for him when he isnt there. It makes me such a happy mum to see the way you guys interact together, even at your tender age. I can't wait til you can actually play together....

As far as accomplishments go you can roll ( though you,re only just getting the hang of it and still don't do it that often ) and you can sit unaided. I keep forgetting you're pretty good at that one and I lie you down on you're play mat, then you crack it at me because you want to sit up! Grandma swears you said ' mum ' the night you had your first sleep over but I haven't heard it so I'm not counting that, though I am counting 'champion eater' because you have taken to solids with ease! I was going to wait til 6 months to start you but you were so interested in food we couldn't make you wait any longer. You still look tiny in your highchair though!

And that is it my baby girl - I love you, I'm proud of you and you make my heart burst with love everyday. I can't wait to see what the next 3 months bring!
Love, love, love! Your Mama Bear

Linking up with IBOT over at EssentiallyJess !

Sunday, February 17, 2013

The Double Fitness Challenge - Weeks 1 and 2

The first fortnight of my fitness challenges has been a real mixed bag. I felt verydelt relatively confident the first week - I completed the nominated fitness sessions, I practiced yoga 5 out of the 7 days and I ate really well. I kept a food diary, counted calories and weighed up the best options for each meal before I put anything in my mouth. Even though I didn't lose the number I would have liked on the scales I was feeling pretty proud of myself.

Just gotta keep holding on to this...

This past week, week #2? It started off well but the its ended up a bit of a washout. Monday through to Thursday was good - I exercised, I ate well - but then we hit Friday. I did my normal Friday run around in the morning ( took Flynn to daycare, did the groceries with Tully ) and then once Tully down for a nap I was pumped to do my exercise, a High-Intensity Interval Training - or HIIT - session. I'd never done one before but I knew it was go, go, GO for a minute then a quick rest, repeated for only a 15 - 20 minute time frame. I gave it my best shot and even though I felt like keeling over I kept pushing.... And when it was over, and it felt like my lungs were going to burst I promptly ran to the toilet and threw up. And then had the gross, semi-nauseas feeling you have after you throw up and I just wanted hot chips.... So I gave into the craving and had takeaway for tea.

Even though my trainer assures me that its OK, that I probably  just pushed myself a little too hard, I still felt like a real failure, like I'd really let myself down. That led to some old anxieties kicking in, and  I skipped Sundays walk/jog/walk cardio session because I didn't think I could do it and I was afraid of throwing up again. ( I didn't completely skip exercise though - I did a session of yoga and for a walk with my family in the afternoon ). So then I was doubly disappointed in myself because those were just excuses, and it's let them beat me.

So here I am, Monday morning, the start of another week and I'm all ' chin up, chest out ' and ready to keep trying. I want to get in some good, strong, yoga practices this week on top of my set exercise sessions ( I'm already seeing some flexibility coming back, and a few Sun Salutations added to our nominated yoga routine have ha dme feeling strong and supple again! Here's on to weeks 3 and 4...

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

6/52 - Lessons

Flynn - getting his swim on

Tully - just a little bit sad

Flynn has been taking swimming lessons the last few weeks. We haven't been able to afford proper lessons til now, and as we don't have a backyard pool our beautiful 3 yr old has ended up a little nervous around water ( unless its coming out of a sprinkler. He's a pro at running through sprinklers!) Even so, he's trying his hardest at his lessons, even when he's feeling anxious, and he's making this Mama so proud. I swear the first time he kicked his way to his teacher under the water I did a little happy dance on the sidelines! 
As for Miss Tully, she's been coming to the swimming lessons as a spectator, sitting up in her pram in her sun hat, just watching the world go by. Poor little thing has also been teething for a while, but this past week has been hard on her. Less smiles, more brooding, and whimpering in her sleep. We hope toothy leg #1 comes through soon so we can have our little sunshine back!

Linking up again with the '52 Project ' over at CheAndFidel - a portrait of your kids once a week, for 52 weeks...

Monday, February 11, 2013

My 'Reality' Rules

I know I was preaching tolerance and unwavering support of a fellow human beings only a couple of posts ago but.... am I the only one who finds some measure of enjoyment in seeing tall poppies cut down? And by 'tall poppies ' I mean reality TV contestants who think they are tres awesome and are a little too big for their boots. And by reality TV I'm talking specifically ' My Kitchen Rules ' in this post but we can apply this situation to pretty much any reality TV contest. I'm not am I?

I'm talking people like these two pairs...

I mean, if you're going to spend half a dozen episodes talking yourselves up and sprouting off about how good you are, you won't get any sympathy from me when you fail dismally. And if you're arrogant enough to waste time singing ( badly ) and dancing when you are supposed to be cooking ( during a cooking competition ) I might just smirk a little when you're given a sub par score. Its all well and good to be confident, but if you're going to be obnoxiously so you had better come up with the goods, otherwise you just end up looking a goose.

Or, you know, you could just be quietly confident and humble and just a little bit adorable and leave everyone a bit surprised - right Mick and Matt?

Linking up again with I Blog On Tuesday over at EssentiallyJess

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Sleep, Glorious Sleep

No, this is not a post about how many baby is not sleeping well. Truth be told, Tully is a great sleeper - she only wakes for one night feed ( although last night she slept the whole night! ), and even if she woke twice or even three times she's still be a far better sleeper than her brother was at the same age! No, this is a tale about the power of a new mattress....

Not my bed.... But oh so pretty! And from here....

Once upon a time, there was a very contented couple - let's call them Amy and Mick - and they loved each other very much. Even so, they seemed to be bickering more than usual, especially early in the morning or during that hazy, heavy period of the afternoon when everyone suffers from ThreeThirtyItis. They also both complained about sore backs, and sore hips, and wondered how they had gone from blissful lovey-doveyness to being super cranky pants.

They couldn't blame the baby - she was awesome. They couldn't blame the 3 yr old - he slept all night most nights, except when he needed someone to turn the bathroom light on so he could pee at 3am. They blamed how tired they were but why were they so tired when the children were keeping up their end of the bargain? Then, one day, it came to them.... The mattress! Yes, the stupid bloody mattress was near 8 years old and getting truly comfortable on it was like trying to get restful sleep in economy class ( which, as we all know, is nigh on impossible ).

So they went to the mattress and bedding precinct of town and got to testing. They took off their shoes. They rested their heads on pillows. They tried hard, they tried soft, until they found one that was 'just right'. Mick picked it up in his van and drove it home, where Amy made it up with fresh cotton sheets.... And they slept peacefully that night, and every night since, and went back to being lovey-dovey.

The moral of the story? When you feel like smacking your partner in the face or punching him in the guts and the only reason you can come up with is because you're exhausted.... Buy a new mattress!

Friday, February 8, 2013

Its Happening Again

My little Facebook mothers group, that I previously wrote about here, is beginning to falling apart and, though I've never actually met any of the other mums in real life, I'm a little upset by it. Some women are choosing to leave the group because they are busy with children and work and life and that's fine, though they will be missed; but its the few that have chosen to leave on the last day or two because of behavioural issues or disagreements that vexes me.

The same thing happened in my real life mothers group - once the babies got older and we started to know each other a little better, little pockets of friends formed within the larger group. Or cliques, if you will. That in itself is fine. Its when those cliques start to feel they are better than others, or exclude others, or talk about others behind their backs for amusement that they become a problem. And it always happens on large groups of women.

Why can't we women just bloody get along and support each other? Why can't we know that yes, we can have our friends but we don't have to be horrible or arrogant or careless towards the women they don't count within their inner circle? I know we all do it - yes, I'm guilty of having gossiped from time to time - but we don't have to be malicious about it.

Sometimes I long so desperately to have a big group of girlfriends, the way I used to do in high school and early adulthood. I get lonely and wish that I had a handful more friends, or even one great one ( other than my wonderful sister ) to be close with. And then I remember that my amazing circle of girlfriends from high school started to breakdown when someone outside that circle accused me of gossip ( which wasn't true ), and I remember that making new friends as an adult woman is pretty difficult.

And that, well, it just makes me sad....

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

5/52 - Getting Bigger

Flynn - Vegemite face!

Tully - playing with her new best friend

Tully can now officially sit up on her own. She still gets a bit of a wobble on sometimes so I sit on the floor with her for now, but its not really me she's interested in.... Its that wobbly penguin right there. Mr Penguin used to be Flynn's but he's passed it on to Tully and she can't get enough of batting it around and watching the balls roll around in his tummy. Just so long as she's happy to sit and play and she's not in a hurry to start crawling yet, that's just fine with me!

Linking up once again with CheAndFidel's 52 Project....

Monday, February 4, 2013

Is Preschool A Prerequisite?

This past week I've been looking into early education options for Flynn. He's just turned 3 and he already attends daycare, but next year when he's a 4 year old I thought it would be nice if he could attend preschool. Oh yes, I thought it would be 'nice' - but I never thought trying to find him a place would be so competitive!

Preschool. No, wait, that's 'Playschool '.

I live in a rural city, population roughly 40 000 people - but we only have two dedicated preschools. I knew enrollment day was coming up for one of them and thought ' great, I'm not working, I can get there right on 8:30am when they start taking enrollments '. But then I asked a few friends who'd had kids go there before and I was advised to get there to line up at 6:00am and I thought ' 6-freaking-am?! No way can I do that with both the kids! Ah well, I'll try and get there at 8am and take my chances '.... Which is what I did, and there were at least 45 people in front of me. I reasoned with myself that with the amount of places available, and the fact that some of those in the line might have been for the 3 yr old class, Flynn might jag a place for next year. Then I found out the 3 yr old kids from this year get first preference for next year and I realised he probably won't.

So how important is preschool really? In the scheme of things? Is Flynns entire life in jeopardy if he doesn't attend one year of preschool? Am I bad mother if I can't find him a place? I mean, the first person in that line got there at 4am.... FOUR HOURS before the enrollments actually opened. Should I have tried that hard?

Then I thought about it, and talked about it with Mick and my family and some friends and I realised that, for us preschool is NOT the be all and end all. Flynn can recite his alphabet and he loves talking about letters and sounds of words, so he's already on his way to loving learning. And hell - I didn't go to preschool and I was the dux  of my primary school and I think I've turned out a pretty OK person!

So - does your child attend/will be attending preschool? Is it vitally important to you that they do? Why/why not?

Linking up again over at EssentiallyJess for I Blog On Tuesdays....

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Time To Be Challenged!

So - remember my conceptual goal for 2013? To focus on being better, but knowing I won't be perfect? Well, part of that for me was definitely a want to be a better mum and a better wife. Its not that I felt I'm 'bad' at either of those things but rather that I felt I could do more if I felt better physically. I've been quite tired the last few months - and yes, I know I have a 5.5 month old baby who still wakes for a night feed, but its more than that. Its a lethargy that I just can't seem to shake, that hits me around lunchtime and I just feel blah. I thought I might be iron deficient but after blood tests it turns out I'm not. So... I thought on it, and decided a small change in diet and an exercise shake up were in order. And, not two days later, an awesome opportunity fell in my lap...

Two opportunities actually. Firstly, one of the beautiful mums from my Facebook mothers group is a personal trainer, running fitness groups and boot camps in Melbourne. She posted a message on our board saying she was wanting to trial offering an online personal training program, similar in scope to the Michelle Bridges 12WBT , and was hoping some of us other mummies would be her guinea pigs. Cue me raising my hand and jumping on board! So tomorrow I officially start my 12 week program ( which I can't link to because its a closed Facebook group ) and though I am cacking my dacks I'm also a bit excited!

Then, the same week, Bettina over at Little Old Souls had decided she was going to set herself a yoga challenge, based on a book she had been reading, and wondered if anyone would like to join her? Cue my second hand raise! I loved my yoga before my children were born ( so much so I had started saving money so I could pay to train as a yoga instructor ) but my practice fell by the wayside as I headed into the 3rd trimester with Flynn, and I'd never picked it back up. I thought not only would this yoga challenge be a great way to ease myself back into yoga, but it would also be a great compliment to the 12 week fitness challenge aswell. My aim is to do a 20 minute routine 5 days a week, and to build on that as I get better ( or if I have the time up my sleeve ).

So - have I bitten off more than I can chew? Am I being too ambitious? Only the next 12 weeks will tell but I think as long as I focus on doing the best I can and not on being 'perfect' at it, I think I'll do OK!