Monday, November 25, 2013

Sledging is it just socially acceptable bullying?

Maybe I'm totally wrong and I'm way off the mark here but I don't think that sledging has any part of any game be it cricket, footy, netball etc.  Unless you have been living under a rock you might have heard the furore about the sledging dished out by the Aussie Cricket Team and as I understand quite possibly the English team in return.  The first I'd heard of it was when I read Em Rusciano's article for Mamamia defending Michael Clarke and his sledging in the test match (you can read her article here:

Just in case you missed it when James Anderson (English bowler) came out to bat and face Mitchell Johnson (who had been bowling particularly well) Michael Clarke (the Aussie captain) in a particularly vicious fashion pointed at James Anderson and said "get ready for a f&$)(;g broken arm".  This came on the back of David Warner saying in a press conference that the English side was batting with "scared eyes".  Now I'm sure that the Aussies have been on the receiving end of sledging and I know that some of this over the years has been in particularly poor taste but does that make it right.  Just because everyone does it doesn't make it acceptable.  

Em went on to describe anyone who complained about sledging as dickheads.  There were many who supported her position and really feel that it has always been a part of the game so stop whining about it and that we are just becoming a nanny state.  

I actually take a very different view of sledging.  I see it as a form of condoned bullying.  I understand that bullying is defined as systematic intimidation between people who are not equal physically, socially or intellectually.  But I would argue that the purpose of sledging is to weaken the opposition and put them off their game.  The thing with sledging is that we never ever know what is happening in a person's life and whether in fact that sledge is the thing that tips them over the edge.  Take for instance the time that Glenn McGrath sledged an opposition player who retorted with a comment about his late wife not knowing (or perhaps knowing and not caring) that she was at the time undergoing treatment for cancer.  It is said that Glenn lost the plot.  Understandably so, but if he had just done the talking with his bowling and not dished out the sledge first then the situation wouldn't have degenerated.  

The bigger problem I see with sledging is that whether our elite sportsmen/women like it or not they are role models and looked up to by kids all over the world and these kids want to go on and emulate them.  These people in many instances take huge amounts of money from sponsors because kids love them and so that parents will in turn buy the sponsors equipment.  This puts them in a unique position of wanting the money but not wanting the responsibilities that comes with it.  

Kids unfortunately do not draw the line between they are elite sportspeople who are equal in abilities and I'm playing in a local junior cricket competition and whilst I might be able to bat and bowl the kid I'm bowling to is struggling enough with standing a few short metered away having a hard leather ball bowled at them.  Kids sport typically is not equal abilities, and it is rarely equal in terms of social, physical and intellectual aspects either.  Often times the only factor that ties kids together is their age.  

Equally sledging that happens on sporting fields all around junior sport often is then brought back into school yards.  I've seen it happen.  It's heartbreaking knowing that a child is out their trying their hardest (and let's face it at least they are having a go) to hear how upset they are by things that are said.  In cricket the rule is that sledging is not tolerated (even at elite levels) but it is up to the batsman to determine that they are feeling intimidated and to ask the umpire to have it stopped.  Great work with that rule it seems a little stupid really they are already feeling intimidated and in front of the people dishing it out they have to ask the umpire to stop the intimidation!!! 

Don't get me wrong I have over the years chuckled over sledges and there have been some beauties but I think that the world has moved on.  Bullying is no longer acceptable and it was or perhaps not acceptable but certainly an accepted part of growing up.  We were all told to buck up and deal with it. I certainly feel that perhaps we aren't teaching our kids good resilience skills and that we perhaps need to do some more work in this area.  But I really don't think that accepting that sledging happens and has always happened is good enough.  Lots of things used to happen and have changed now so why should we continue to accept sledging.  

I'm also of the opinion that not everyone can be man of the match or has the required skills/abilities to be captain but I don't think that being sledged will help you develop in your given sport.  It is more likely to get kids with lesser abilities to give up.  What happens when in the playground the kids say but it was just a friendly sledge?  Why is it a sledge on the sports ground and acceptable but bullying and unacceptable anywhere else?

The other thing that just doesn't feel right to me about sledging is that nine times out of ten it is the team that is winning and thus on top that dishes out the most sledges.  Sledging really just looks like bad winners to be honest.  We might need to teach our kids how to be more resilience and how to loose but I also think that to be good parents we need to teach our kids how to be good winners and humble. 

The problem with sledging is that kids just don't differentiate between when it's appropriate and when it's not.  When they see their heroes (rightly or wrongly and probably sportspeople as heroes is a whole other blog) doing it and it being acceptable they want to emulate them.  There were a number of people commenting on Em's article saying that it is up to parents to teach right from wrong and when it is acceptable and when it isn't.  You know what I raise my children to know this difference and I have a zero tolerance on it but sadly my kids live in a society where not everyone has the same upbringing or standards as they do, so I also need to teach them how to deal with it.  We might be becoming an over regulated nanny state but sadly when people don't teach right from wrong and leave it up to everyone else to do that for them I'm not sure what choice there is.  

As an addendum I've just heard that Johnathon Trott (English player) has gone home due to a stress related illness so what if it was a sledge that tipped him over the edge?? 

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Loneliness and making new friends

Is it possible to feel so completely and totally lonely in a houseful of people?  I would say yes it is.  That is probably totally self indulgent but I truly think it is possible to be lonely even when you are surrounded by people.

I think sometimes we feel lonely for a life that we once had, or that we thought we had.  Whatever it is sometimes in life we can be completely surrounded by people and still feel lonely.  And I think in this era of social media that lonely feeling is worse than ever before.  We live in a time when we are more connected than ever before and many of us have hundreds of "friends" on Facebook but that real tangible friendship that can help cure lonliness is even further out of our grasp.

The hardest part about feeling lonely is knowing why you are lonely and then setting about fixing that.  The older we get the harder it is to make new friends and sometimes through no fault of our own, our circle of friends gets smaller and this comes with its own set of challenges.  In addition to this our lives get busier and so whilst we want to make new friends we find there is no time. 

I consider myself to be a good friend and I am extremely loyal so once you become my friend that's pretty much it unless you chuck me as a friend.  I have noticed particularly this week I don't have a lot of tangible friends.  By this I mean I have a number of friends that I consider close friends but they don't live in the same state as me but I know that if I needed them they are only a phone call away.  But as far as tangible friends to go for a walk with or have a coffee or to just sit with I don't have many and one of those is currently out of the country. 

This got me to thinking about how do I make new friends?  I have youngish children but I have always avoided the playground pick up mainly because I have always found it to be just as cliquey as it was when I went to school.  I am sure this isn't the case but I always feel like everyone there always has someone to talk to and I feel like I am intruding on their already established friendship by saying hi.  I also didn't grow up in the area we live in, this I have found particularly challenging.  

It seems that many people who live here grew up here, went to school here and as such their kids are going to school with their friends kids.  This makes it hard to make new friends when some of the mums in the playground have no need to make new friends because they have their childhood friends so with our really busy lives it is hard enough to make room for our old friends let alone developing new friends.  

In addition to this having some issues around self esteem, anxiety and depression it is very hard to put yourself out there to meet new people.  Because let's face it new people or potential new friends don't want to hear about those real problems so we pretend, we pretend that life is ok and that we are doing ok.  The problem with this is that when the time comes to lean on. The new friends it is really hard to do it for fear that they run a mile so you don't open up, you keep them at arms length and in reality you keep them as acquaintances rather than developing a real friendship.  

There are no easy answers to feeling lonely or making new friends.  It is hard to put yourself out there it puts most people in a vulnerable situation and takes us out of our comfort zones and let's face it who likes that.  

So I guess I'm asking how do you make new friendships?  What suggestions do you have? 

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Sounds gourmet but its not really ...

Tonight I answered a blog question what's for dinner at your place? I typically have staples that I go to most nights. I have a couple of reasons for this I know the kids will eat them with minimal fuss and they are easy. As much as I love to cook I find the monotony of cooking for kids difficult. My kids will eat meat and veges, they will eat broccoli, typically they are pretty good with the boring. It's the meals with flavour or a little different that they get fussy with. But of course they are the meals that I love.

Most nights I find myself cooking two meals. My hubby & I probably only eat with the kids once per week. This is just something that has always been, maybe not great but works for us. Ours kids have always had an early bedtime and he is a shift worker, so many nights hubby isn't home. I like to get the kids into bed and eat in peace. Now they are old enough to not need my help to eat I will often use the time they are eating to prepare our dinner. Sure it is more work for me to make two meals but at least I know they are eating well and we aren't fighting over meals.

Anyway tonight I made my super easy Chicken Soufflé. It is a dish my nana used to make when I was a teenager (very scarily nearly 30 yrs ago!) My Nan learnt to make this when she went to a council run how to use your microwave course when she first got her microwave (that had a dial knob for the timer!!!) Cooking it tonight it brought back memories of being in the kitchen in Caringbah as a girl watching Nan cook. I learnt so much about cooking and my love of creating meals and cakes that bring smiles to those I love from those days spent watching Nan. I look back and realise that whilst it felt boring to me the life Nan lead, she was a beautiful homemaker, she sewed school uniforms for the local uniform shop from home for extra money for her & Pop. I realise now that they lived a frugal life but boy we were loved.

There are so many things about my childhood I miss and one of them is the opportunity to tell my grandparents all four of them how much I loved em and how much of an impact they all had on my life. Very sadly both of my grandmothers and one grandfather passed away befor ei was married or had children. One thing that probably make me saddest is that neither of my grandmother's met my children especially my gorgeous girls. I watched one of my grandmother's my Nan slip away from us ever so slowly with Alzheimer's it robbed her of so much but allowed me to appreciate how fragile life was. My other grandmother Nannie was taken suddenly in a car accident with my Pa. That was the day my life changed forever. I don't think that you ever really recover from that kind of shock.

My Pop was a beautiful gentleman someone whom I had the privilege of spending lots of time with after my Nan passed and before he died because I was in a fortunate position of not working and being available to take him places. Pop was in a wheelchair towards the end and he knew that I would take him shopping to Miranda Fair at Christmas time because I could park in the disabled spot if I had him with me. I'm sure he really hated shopping but went so that I could get a good parking spot!

I'm so lucky now that my parents have an amazing relationship with my three children and I hope that they grow up with the beautiful memories I do.

Whenever we would go to dinner at Nan & Pop's I would be asked what did I want for dinner I would always say chicken soufflé. I am slowly introducing different meals into our kids diet and tonight they had chicken soufflé, which sounds gourmet but its not really.

Here's the recipe in case you want to sound gourmet one night.

Chicken Soufflé
1 onion finely chopped
1/2 cup chopped celery
3 rashers bacon chopped
125g mushrooms sliced
2 tbspns shallots chopped
Chunk of butter
Can cream of chicken soup
Ctn sour cream
3 cups cooked chicken (a BBQ chicken shredded)
1 cup SR flour
1 cup grated cheese
2 eggs
1/2 cup milk

Combine the first six ingredients in a microwave proof bowl cook on high for 10 mins
Add soup, sour cream, chicken cook for a further 6 mins on high
In a mixing bowl combine flour, eggs, milk, cheese spread across the top of the chicken mixture
Cook for 8 mins on high

Serve with salad or greens or alone whatever works.

Nb this recipe is for a 500w microwave (this was the best 30yrs ago) I adjust times to suit my microwave for the first two but find 8 mins on high in my 1000w microwave for the topping is needed to cook it.

I hope you enjoy our family chicken soufflé. What are some of your fond childhood memories?

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Glass houses ...

By now everyone will have seen the news about Chrissy Swan and the fact that she has publicly admitted to smoking while pregnant. To be totally honest I haven't seen the tearful interview she did on The Project last night and I only know of the story through social media. Part of me wants to watch and read all of it but then a bigger part of me feels like by doing this I am contributing to the masses who feel they have a place and right to judge.

Don't for one second think that I condone smoking while pregnant because I don't! Let me make that clear. I'm not a fan of soft cheeses or blue meat but I'm pretty confident that I may have eaten all sorts of foods that are/were/or could be on the banned list of substances to ingest when pregnant. The main reason that I am confident I did this is because I didn't actually realise that there was a banned list of foods! I understood the big ones no smoking, no booze and no drugs.

Luckily for me I didn't do the smoking or drugs and booze that stopped as soon as I found out I was pregnant. Of course the major quandary I had was that when I was pregnant with both our son and twins I was literally so sick that I was put on drips to hydrate me and told by drs to eat anything at all that I could keep down. I was also medicated to help me keep some food down and other complications so whoops there goes the no drugs thing.

But of course the world didn't crucify me partly because no one knows who I am and partly because it was ok my dr gave me the medication and told me to take it so it must be safe right? Then let's look to the food thing the list these days that is out while pregnant is HUGE! The big ones as I have mentioned are soft cheeses and blue (raw) meat. What I am sure I didn't know was raw eggs, cold deli meats, prepared salads (like potato, pasta) were also on the list.

Recently I saw something that someone couldn't give up their soft cheeses when pregnant even when there was a known listeria outbreak. She was happy to take the calculated risk that she wasn't going to contract listeria rather than give up her favourite soft cheese. I also saw on another site that someone was craving soft serve and she was concerned that this was endangering her unborn baby. Most people were relatively normal about things but there was at least one suggestion that she was trying to kill her baby by deliberately eating soft serve, seriously folks you don't know this lady and to suggest she is trying to kill her baby is going way beyond the pail. Not to mention the dozens of other mean, nasty comments about the risk she was exposing her baby to. I don't understand this, people still felt they had the right to disagree with her. And attack her is it not her body and her baby? It was soft serve after all!!!

Why is it that everyone with a computer now feels it is their God-given right to share their opinion with the world (much like me here...) Again not defending Chrissy but from what I've read she was pretty upset on The Project and she gets it, she understands and knows that what she is doing is wrong and she clearly appears to struggle with it.

Is it my place to attack her for smoking or someone else for their food choices or someone else again for drinking while pregnant. The answer I keep coming back to is no it isn't! The reality is I am not a perfect parent in fact I am not a perfect person I am terribly flawed and I make so many mistakes.

I feel for people who are in the public eye (and equally me a little for putting this out there) because once you put something out into the public domain you no longer own it. It is clearly commonly accepted that if you are a public figure then you no longer own yourself either. As a public figure you put yourself out there Chrissy makes a living by giving us her opinions on many things but really does that in turn gives us the right to attack the way people do?

We as a generation are constantly telling our children not to bully others, to be nice, to play nice. But what sort if an example do we as grown adults set for them? As grown adults people particularly women say some of the most nasty and horrible things to each other. These aren't even people that know us well these are just "people" who have taken exception to what we say or do. Why is it ok for adults to bully other adults, to call people names very publicly, why is it that adults can do these things (and these adults mostly are also parents) but we are forever telling our children not to.

Well you know what I call bullshit! I say that it is not ok. It is not ok to call anyone a name, it really doesn't matter what they do unless perhaps they are doing something directly to you that has an affect on you in real life or your children directly. I say that it is time that we stopped being bullies and we stopped justifying being bullies and saying we are doing in the public interest. You know what that is utter crap. When we call people names even if they are people we don't know and they don't know us it still has an affect on them especially if we do this online. Public figures google their names (heck I google my own name from time to time!) they know the things we say they can read and you know what I'm guessing it hurts.

Just like it hurt all those years ago when I was bullied and called names at school by the tough girls and the mean crowd well I'm telling you it hurts to read things nasty things said about yourself online. I've also read things about myself said by "friends" and it hurts. Just because Chrissy Swan doesn't know me doesn't mean that my words have any less power.

Frankly I think it is time we concentrated more about what is happening in our own backyards and own families and with our own children with our own lives before we start pointing the finger at others. As a parent I have a duty to show my children how to live by my example. Many years ago when I was teaching I had a child that swore a lot and right up in my face, it got so bad that I had need to speak to the student's parent after carefully explaining to the parent what was happening in class and could they help me they promptly turned swore at their child and I saw instantly that the apple doesn't fall far from the tree.

I think that if we show our children that its not ok to call someone a name that will have far more power for them than just telling them it's not ok. If we tell our children don't call someone names but then turn around and do exactly that then it is a very hard and strange message for our kids to learn and most of the time they will struggle.

Perhaps just maybe if we stopped being so nasty and judgemental all the time to each other and supported each other more then maybe just maybe we could help each other. Perhaps if we have a friend who is struggling with an addiction to cigarettes instead of crucifying them for not giving up we help them and support them so they can give up there is a chance it might work.

I'm just saying until you are perfect yourself perhaps lay off on the vitriol. What's that saying people in glass houses shouldn't throw stones!


Friday, February 1, 2013

I love to bake, what do you love?

I love to bake, more than that I love to spend time making really yummy things that I know my family and friends will enjoy to eat. I would say that I really have somewhat of an addiction to food magazines and I definitely indulge in far too much food porn and all of this only serves to fuel my desire to cook for everyone.

Some would say this really isn't a problem they know that anytime I am asked I will definitely whip up some kind of decadent gooey dessert that is totally fat and sugar free (ok so it probably is neither of those things at all but it is guaranteed to be gooey and decadent!). Of course a couple of years ago when our big boy was diagnosed coeliac I thought my world was going to end, little did I know that all the diagnosis did was open up a whole new section of cookbooks for me to drool over!

As far as the coeliac diagnosis went to say that my first reaction was one of shock and disbelief and I even looked at the dr and said surely not surely it could be something else ... You know less lifelong and less life impacting (I was thinking purely of how this was going to impact my life and my low affair with food to be totally honest!!) I look back now and realise how silly that reaction was, given I have such a love affair with food really I was probably best placed to deal with this challenge thrown at us.

In the just over two years since the diagnosis the variety of food available in the stores has grown exponentially, this largely I would think due to the fact that it is now fairly trendy to have some kind of dietary requirement and wheat intolerance is right up there at the top of most lists. But there are still so many things that you simply can't buy so what is a girl with a love affair with food to do but experiment.

In the past couple of years I don't think there isn't a family favourite that I haven't converted into gluten free. Of course there have been a few failures along the way like the strawberry shortcake that I made for my dad's birthday last year it didn't quite turn out, and I am sure there were more. But I would think that overall most of the conversions have been more than successful!

Last weekend I discovered a totally decadent banana roll with cream cheese filling, I was just waiting for an occasion to make it (mainly because as much as my man loves my cooking his expanding waist is testament to that) he just doesn't need me to make cakes for him! When we invited to a friend's house for a post Australia Day BBQ I knew I had the perfect place to try out my new find.

Of course as with lots of recipes this one was found on the web made by a lady in the states and wasn't gluten free so was going to need some modification. First substitute was the flour typically is use a gluten free premix bought from the supermarket mainly because I am not sure if mixing my own flours would be cheaper though this will be something I will investigate this year. Then partly because I couldn't find my baking soda and partly because I didn't read the recipe properly prior to making it I used SR flour instead of plain plus baking soda and baking powder.

Often times I find that making a sponge can be daunting and overwhelming but since Christmas I have made three chocolate sponge rolls and now this so I have decided its all in the attitude if I have the attitude it will fail then well it quite possibly will. Making a sponge that also had fruit in it was certainly a new experience but it worked and cooked perfectly.

The next step was a little tricky and is probably the most overwhelming part of making a sponge roll and that is the rolling. The trick that I read in this recipe is to roll while still partially warm and cool it rolled this will help the roll to stay rolled.

The last step and this is the bit that made the already very yummy banana sponge simply irresistible and also some more modification from me to the source recipe. The source recipe called for whipped topping something I had not heard of and upon researching decided I would do without and substitute with pure cream instead! The filling compromised of cream cheese and brown sugar whipped until the sugar was dissolved then I added the pure cream and whipped until it was thick then came the fiddle part unrolling spreading the filling and re-rolling.

I am pretty sure I put too much cream in but there were absolutely no complaints. Just before serving I drizzled some caramel topping over the roll as she had in the picture. When I brought it out for dessert there was no complaints about any of the modifications in fact I would argue that probably no-one even knew they had happened.

I get a real sense of pride when people eat my baking and say nothing because they are too busy eating. Sure I probably do like to do it for the compliments because I think in life we all do things that we know we are good at but in honesty I don't mind if I don't get compliments I really do cook simply because I love it. I'm pretty sure this is an inherited gene my mum and both grandmothers are/were great in the kitchen and I hope that I will pass this love onto our kids.

What is something you love to do or are really good at that you hope to pass onto your children?

Til next time

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Celebrate the ordinary

 In a world where society celebrates success as the be all and end all of everything and the kids who aren’t the top of their game or the best in the class often get overlooked.  I think the same goes for parenting.  Recently I got to thinking that as parents we often celebrate how much our children can do and often forget how much effort this could require from parents.

Often we see other children and we benchmark our kids against them and think, I wish my child could ... or I wish my child was better at ... However what we forget is the incredible effort that is often required by parents to get our kids to this level.  Olympic champions are not simply born champions they have parents who have sacrificed countless hours of sleep to get them to training, forgone family holidays because they needed to get their child to yet another meet.  Brilliant scholars are the same often our children who are gifted and talented in academic areas or the arts (creative, dramatic, etc) require huge commitments from parents to keep their child entertained or at the very least challenged.  This is not to mention the financial burdens of having children who excel in one area or another.

Sometimes when we see “other people” doing these things with their children we can be overwhelmed with feelings of guilt that we are not or cannot provide our children with these same opportunities.  We as parents need to give ourselves a break!  We forget to celebrate all the things we do do for our children.  We provide them with safe, loving environments.  We clothe, feed and shelter them.  We provide them with all the things that they need to get through each day to be well-adjusted children.

We need to remember that even though our children may not be the biggest, best and brightest - they are and will always be ours.  At the end of the day the most important gift we can give to our children is for them to grow up knowing they are loved no matter who they are and what their abilities are.

We as parents also need to stop beating ourselves up if we can't do everything our friends can with their kids, they may have different gifts to us.  My gift is certainly not in the area of craft with my kids, but when they are sick I can be the world's best nurse, I can do vomit no worries at all.  The fact that I would prefer to stick needles in my eye than do finger painting or teach my children the alphabet does not make me a bad mother.

We all do the very, very best we can for our children within our gifts, abilities and financial constraints.  That is all that anyone can hope for.

  Some days I am just pleased to get my kids from wake up to bedtime and know that I have fed & watered them, I quite possibly have yelled at them but that is ok, we have played a little, I might have read to them but I might have more likely plopped them in front of the tv for a few minutes of quiet and I have cuddled them.  I know I need to stop beating myself up for not doing craft or having the most immaculate house or Masterchef plating up skills (even their flops look better than my best most of the time!)  What I am sure of is that my kids know that I love them and even when I am cranky I am doing my best.  We cry together, I have said sorry to them and we create lots of memories in our home.

There is no doubt in the world that I wouldn't love to have a perfect showroom home and perfectly coiffed hair, makeup and parenting skills, sadly though all of that has skipped my place.

Hugs to all of the amazing families out there, it doesn’t matter what you do as long as you do the best YOU can that is what counts. 

Our kids won't remember who taught them the alphabet or how they were born or fed when they are 25 but they will always remember who loved them!

Kids, jobs & pocket money

I have tried all sorts of ways to get our kids to tidy up after themselves. I have tried yelling, threatening, bribing, doing it for them but nothing works. Least of all the doing it for them that only serves to frustrate me more!

So this year I am going to try something new. We are going to try pocket money. Fundamentally I have a issue with pocket money mainly because when I was a kid pocket money was 20cents these days it seems that going rate is $2 per job!!! I remember getting $2 for washing the car!!! I also fundamentally object to paying them for simply picking up after themselves.

In addition to this my other issue with pocket money is that I rarely carry cash these days so it is a major pain in the neck to have cash on me to pay the kids.

We have a list of jobs that they have to do and then optional jobs that IF all the must do jobs are done then they will get paid to do the optional jobs. This might seem mean but I am not going to pay them to be a member of our family.

I'm still not sure what I'm going to pay the kids for doing their jobs but I'm figuring that the likelihood is that I won't have to cough up too much cash, given that they won't do their "other" list and will try to do the "paid" list first. My plan is if their non optional jobs aren't done then it doesn't matter if they do the other jobs there is still no cash. If I have to remind them to do jobs then they don't get paid either.

Their non optional jobs include: hanging their school clothes, putting away their school bags, keeping their room tidy, being nice to each other, having their equipment ready for their after school activities, making their beds, cleaning their teeth. Their paid jobs are cleaning the bathroom for my big boy and hanging the washing out for the girls.

In addition to this I think that I am going to try and implement the lost property bucket. This did the rounds of the internet a while back and I can really see the merits. Instead of getting angry that I am picking up their things I am going to ransom them back.

I was at a birthday party today for one of the girls friends and it would seem that in talking to other parents I have quite high expectations for our children when it comes to jobs. Apparently most kids don't have jobs and they certainly aren't expected to do things that my kids are. It would seem up place is almost a bootcamp!!!

We will see how this new system works it may be pie in the sky stuff but I have to try something right???

Thursday, January 24, 2013

I wish I could die!

Ok so that is probably very dramatic and also somewhat of an overreaction but at that moment when I was sprawled across the footpath with complete strangers wanting to help me that is how I felt.  I have a habit of being a bit clumsy of late I wish I had a reason for it!

Over the last six months my injuries have included t4 syndrome in the right shoulder with some postural overload thrown in (couldn't use my arm properly for about 3mths!!!), I dislocated my finger taking Zac's surfboard off the car, I tore the muscle off my shin bone tapping a paint tin lid into the tin with my heel and now I have sprawled myself across the footpath for all to see.

I had a glimpse of what this looked like when my mum fell on our way out of the train station at Central at the beginning of a family outing to see Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.  Poor mum she rolled her ankle and hit her elbow and everyone walking past kept offering help but given there were three other adults and three kids she just wanted to get out of there and for the ground to swallow her up!  Boy do I know how she felt.  In mum's case she ended up with a small break in the bone between her shoulder and elbow and a small fracture in her ankle!

For me I was simply walking along racing to get back to work after ducking out for a leg wax and I just didn't see the piece of wood at the edge of the garden bed so I think I partially stepped on it rolling my left ankle and thumping my right knee into the concrete!!!  I am not sure really what is hurting more today.  I had an X-ray on my ankle and we are pretty sure there is no major damage just a really bad sprain.  My knee however feels weird, again, I am sure it is nothing major but its sure as heck not comfortable.

In reality I think I have a family of clumsy people one of our twins has been stitched up twice once inside her mouth and once in her chin, that's not including the huge fall she took and split her lip when we were visiting Warrnambool last year.  Our son had two trips to hospital with suspected spinal injuries from football (not quite falling over but still ...) and our other twin fell out of the caravan door.  That combined with my mother's ability to fall at the drop of a hat I think my kids are destined to be the ones that fall a lot!!!

Its quite frustrating really because I am sitting looking at a gorgeous day outside that I really can't walk to the beach to enjoy!!

Oh well there are certainly worse things in life that a little bit of public humiliation!!!  Oh and at least I wasn't the lady walking down the street in Port Macquarie with her skirt tucked in her knickers! Have you had any public humiliation of late?

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

What is love?

My man and I have just celebrated our 12th wedding anniversary.  We don't always buy each other gifts and there is never any expectation to buy them.  He bought me a gorgeous silk scarf and I gave him some bed linen (a gorgeous white doona set I loved).

This got me thinking about what is love?  Is love buying gifts the other person wants, is love showing them you love them them every day by doing things for them (like making lunch or coffees or things like that), is love just being there for each other when you need to be, is it being there even though you don't think you need them?  There are so many different ways we can express love to others and so many different types of love.

In our early years we have love for our parents, siblings, wider family, friends this is formative love.  This is when we really learn about love I think.  Growing up I knew categorically that I was loved, it didn't matter what I did and I did lots that upset my parents (the worst being getting my father's drivers licence cancelled back in the day when having a gold licence was a big deal!!!) sure they were disappointed and even angry with me but I always knew without a doubt I was loved!

As we move through our teenage years we discover the love for another person an equal to us, that we usually fall deeply and madly in love with.  Well let's face it we think that is love but really it's infatuation because the first opportunity that someone better comes along we fall deeply and madly with them and again and again the cycle often for some of us repeats itself over and over.  I know that when I think back there was AT least 4 possibly more that I was going to spend the rest of my life with!  I have two extra engagement rings as a testament to this.  When I think of my man I know that in the end I married the right guy.

Then you get married and have children and boy nothing prepares you for that love!  The love a parent has for a child is indescribable, to me it is something that is unending and sometimes it is a love so strong you think you might suffocate from it. I never knew the strength of the love that I would feel for my children, when I had our son I truly thought my heart was full and would explode with the love I felt for him and I just wasn't sure that if I had more children I would have enough love to go around but then I had my twins and boy I found out in an instant that your heart simply swells to make room for more children.

Love for me is an undying friendship, it is passionate, it is being there for each other when the chips are down, it's butterflies in the tummy (but not all the time), it's loving the present you get even though you hate it and to me most important of all it's knowing that they are the one person you want to see you naked and when you are old!

What is love for you?

Monday, January 21, 2013


Ok I'm pretty sure I'm not alone here but I hate doing the washing!  To me it is such a pointless exercise especially washing my kids clothes.  They are terrible at keeping the clean ones clean and in fact even discerning which ones are clean and which ones aren't.

I will typically find piles and piles of clothes in the kids rooms including but not limited to wet swimmers in swimming bags from swimming class, wet towels also from said class, wet towels they are too lazy to hang back up in the bathroom, clothes that are in various stages of dirty and clean washing they were too lazy to put away (this is often found back in the dirty washing basket!!) it annoys me no end.  I actually often find dirty clothes back in the clean clothes drawers because they have been told to clean up so they just pick everything up and shove it out of sight.

But my disdain for washing doesn't just end there.  I really find it such a pointless exercise it reminds me of Groundhog Day you do the same thing over and over it never changes.  You wash the clothes for them to get dirty again and then you have to wash again.

I know people who get quite frustrated with how I do my washing.  I am happy that it has just made it from the dirty basket into the machine but apparently that isn't good enough.  I am supposed to sort white and lights, light colours, dark colours, towels, sheets, permanent press the list goes on.  As I say I really don't like washing and yet it seems to dominate my life.  I rarely see the bottom of the washing basket my man and I share and I only get to the bottom of the kids because well they have less clothes.

I wash don't get me wrong but I just don't like doing it.  I am also guilty of going through the basket and washing the favourite clothes with the least favs staying at the very bottom.  The beauty of washing this way is that I will often get a surprise when something appears back in my cupboard!

Having said all of that I can appreciate a good drying day you know the one where the sun shines high and there is a nice breeze strong enough to blow the washing but not so strong it blows you over when you are trying to hang the washing.  I am also pretty lucky in that my man understands that I am washing challenged and if I can do the washing part I am unlikely to do the bringing in part or the folding part and picks up my slack.  We make a good team my man and I.  I am also pretty lucky in that he actually (if I am completely honest) does a darn sight more of the washing than I do!

My favourite part of washing however is the feeling of fresh sheets as you slide into bed that first time or the crisp doona cover as you unfold it and make the bed it always looks nice.

Oh and ironing its not something I do so let's not go there ... What are your thoughts on washing?

Sunday, January 20, 2013

2013 what have you in store for me?

It feels like a lifetime since we heralded in another new year.  I try not to make resolutions mainly because I rarely stick to them, so I like to see how I am feeling a few weeks in and reflect on the year that was and what are my hopes for the year going forward.

This year I know that I want to send more real paper letters to friends!  I love getting mail that is anything other than bills but this typically only happens on my birthday but even then most of the time I might only get one or two cards in the mail.  So I think that is why I made the effort to make Christmas Cards with a little story about our family and I actually posted them out to my special family and friends.  I am not offended or even upset when I don't get them in return but I do love getting surprises in the mail.

I am also in the midst of making a stack of little gifts to send out when the mood takes me.  I love to gift give I am pretty sure that is my number one love language, of course I love to receive them who doesn't but for me the thing I love the most is to give them.  I am not even overly fussed if I don't get a thank you but I really love to know that they have been received.  To me I try to think of how special it must feel that someone has thought so much of you that they would make something and send it to you.

Another thing that I really want to try really hard to do this year is not make my kids feel guilty for being kids and my husband for just chilling.  Sometimes it is all too easy for me to get up and do things like sweep the floor or clean the bathroom (you know those jobs we hate to do but have to be done) and someone will say leave it I will do it or will offer help and I usually reply with "it's fine, I will do it!"  You know that tone that I'm using right?  Well it's not healthy to use that tone for them or for me.  If I don't want to do the task and they offer I am going to take them up on it or if I need it done there and then and I know that won't happen I am going to try to respond kindly and say thanks for the offer but I need to do this now.

I am going to make a bigger effort to enjoy my kids instead of yelling at them or sending them off somewhere else to be kids.  Kids are messy and noisy and apparently (though I don't remember this) I was just like them once, so I am going to try harder to enjoy the mess and noise, because I am sure before I know it they will be grown up and I will miss that noise (but quite possibly not the mess!)

We are also off on a family holiday with my entire extended family so 12 of us are off to the most magical place on earth!  I am going to enjoy this trip I am going to soak up all the memories and the joy on the faces of the kids as they see the magical things at Disneyland but first we have to survive the plane trip 14hrs with my brother should be interesting but to my happy place I will go!

I really want to do more to look after myself I think it is important that the kids see that I care about myself enough to take some time out for me.  I plan to get into the good habit of regular meditation and regular exercise.  Exercise for me is limited by what my knees will allow me to do but bike riding and swimming are thankfully things I love to do and can do.  I hope to start Pilates too.  Hopefully with these things will come a renewed love for healthy food!  I have a love for food but I typically like food that tastes great rather than food that is particularly healthy!

Lastly, I am going to write my blog, this is something that I have been trying to do and wanting to do for as long as I can remember but have never committed to writing.  I guess I think of it as slightly self indulgent and wonder if anyone will care about my life, but its time to move past all of that and put it out there for me!

Til next time.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

So the holiday is over ...

It feels like a lifetime since I have been at work though it is really only two weeks.  Partly, it feels so long because I only officially work three days in the office so had two days off prior to officially going on leave.  The other reason I am sure it feels so long since being at work has something to do with the 2095kms we have travelled by car since I have been on leave!

In true Aussie style we packed up the car and headed off on holidays!  These holidays included two family Christmas celebrations and a New Year celebration.

On Christmas eve in the pouring rain My Man loaded up the car with all the presents, surfboard, body boards, 5 bikes and clothes to head south to my parents house.  They have an amazing home that we love to visit it is very close to the water on Jervis Bay with amazing views it truly does make you want to say "ahhhh the serenity ..." We always have a lovely time when we visit my parents the kids love going there and hanging out with Nan & Pop, though I suspect it have more to do with that Pop lets them pretty much do whatever they want (he has always struggled with the word no even when I was a child), and I think they especially love Pops boat!!!

We had a very lovely Christmas day with my family and the kids had fun playing with their cousins.  After Christmas we stayed for a few days and headed home just in time to unpack and repack the car to head north for our second Christmas celebration with My Man's family.

The car once again loaded up with bikes (that we didn't use once on our trip north far too hilly in Port Macquarie as it turns out!!)  and surfboard more presents (though less that the trip south) more food and lots of clothes we headed north.  The drive north was uneventful albeit long!  The kids were pretty awesome thanks to the DVD player in the car (what did we do as kids lots of really annoying games of spotto and I spy I think!)  We had the one stop at a mandatory golden arches though thankfully the kids weren't interested in the food there more the toilets!

Eventually we arrived at our home for the next week a gorgeous caravan in the front yard of My Man's sister's house.  It was great to have a little bit of space that was ours for a week.  After unloading what seemed like half the house the kids were off playing and in usual style for my family one of the kids hurt themselves!!  I tried the tough love, ice pack, and mummy cuddles though non of this really worked!  After about 2 hrs My Man and I headed off to the hospital to ensure there was no break and in true kid style she woke up the next morning and ran on the leg that was hurting so much the night before she had to be carried everywhere!!!

Our trip north included a second Christmas celebration, a New Years celebration, movies, surfing lessons, catching up with friends and lots of swimming.  It was sad to leave but mostly because leaving meant that it was back to reality when we came home.

So that brings me to here Sunday night before work tomorrow morning ... what I think I would really like to do is stay at home watch the kids and knit but I know this isn't possible.