Thursday, December 22, 2016

Ho Ho Ho.

Like every other parent of young children out there we are living and breathing Santa and all things Christmas.  It is my most favourite time of year, the weather is warm and everyone starts cracking the champagne and taking advantage of the long afternoons, the sounds of kids enjoying themselves and making memories always brings a smile to my face.

Last week we kept up tradition of the Santa photo in the city, combined with the parade and lights at King George Square.  We have been doing this for a few years now and each year it gets better, Otto and Hugo spoke to Santa for the first time this year and put in their requests (a surprise for Hugo and a metal detector for Otto), while Miriam smiled at him and tried to pull his beard off, securing us the cutest Santa photo going around!

I always put a lot of effort into their Christmas outfits and this year was no exception but much harder than usual with a girl in the mix.  Sadly too late for this year but definitely bookmarked for next year I found a website that will coordinate both boys and girls Christmas outfits and will make custom orders for older children!  

While I understand how exciting it is for them to be getting a visit from Santa, I have been trying hard to also remind them that it is the season of giving and not just receiving, so today we did our usual bake for the neighbourhood and dropped the offering to our neighbours.  This was the first year that the boys really understood and happily went and knocked on neighbours doors, wishing them a Merry Christmas and enjoying the smiles and thank-you's from everyone.

The school holidays have also allowed me some variations on my training schedule.  Instead of hot and short runs to school we have been heading to our local park and running 5kms, followed by a play and croissants by the water, not easy to guess which version is our favourite!

All this extra training has really paid off, last week I managed a sub 28 min (27:46) 5km with the double pram, the first time I have achieved that since coming back to it after Miriam.  I was so happy and proud, fitting my training in has required a lot of planning and ingenuity at times but to have a result like that just keeps propelling me forward.  I can't wait to see where running takes me in 2017, but for right now I am celebrating the small wins, and enjoying the croissants and time spent making memories with my little people.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Getting back into it.

One big impact of having Miriam and training has been all about patience.  When I had Otto I wasn't doing any exercise, my activity level mostly consisted of walking our dog, I had tried to get into running but found that I just couldn't find the time, something I have a little giggle about now!  When I had Hugo it started off the same, I just couldn't seem to find the time, however after about six months I realised it was something that I HAD to find time for or else my sense of self was going to be wrapped up in these two amazing but demanding boys, and I needed something for me.

I bought my first running pram not long after so that it didn't matter if Han was home from work on time, or travelling, I could always get my run done.  It took me over 12 weeks to complete the couch to 5Km but it was one of the best decisions I have made.  It propelled me into a new passion, running was something that was relatively free, easy to do with the boys in tow and I could fit it in around our schedule.  Fast forward many months and I found Triathlon, now the boys are older and I was trying to fit in swimming, running and riding around our schedule while Han had taken a job that included more travel.

Then we decided to have another baby, it is one way to test your organisational ability by adding another human to look after, especially as Han travelled for work on the first day of term 2 when Miriam was 2 weeks old!  This time around I have had to learn patience, both with myself and my body, having a third baby, who was both big and late means that the effect on my body has taken longer to heal, and in some cases is still ongoing.  I would have loved nothing more in those early days to head out for a run and clear my head, or go to the pool and spend some time on myself, but after heading to the pool once at 7 weeks after giving birth I quickly learned that I needed to go slower.

So finally now that Miriam is 8 months old I am ready to get back into it, my expectations have been suitably lowered, I understand that it will take time to be able to do what I used to do, and while it can be frustrating, I am trying to remember to love my body for all it has given me.  Because while it might be a bit extra lumpy and bumpy right now, I wouldn't change these children for all the world.  

Sunday, November 20, 2016

So what has been happening?

So, It has been almost a year since I have sat at my desk and contemplated this spot, and I have just spent a good evening reading back through my old posts.  What a wonderful trip down memory lane that was.

To catch this space up properly would take far too long, so here are the cliff notes!

  • I did the Mooloolaba Triathlon in just over 3 hours.
  • Hugo started Kindergarten and loves it.
  • Otto started year 1 and isn't convinced by this whole school and work idea.
  • I fell pregnant and moved house in the same month.
  • I swam throughout my whole pregnancy but that was the only training I did.
  • I had the most delightful and amazing baby girl, we called her Miriam.

  • We are now complete as a family and I couldn't be prouder of our three beautiful children.
  • I competed in the swim leg of the 2016 Noosa Triathlon after 3 weeks of training and a seriously bad head cold and got my arse handed to me!
  • I have read so many books since falling pregnant and during breastfeeding and will do a post about my favourites soon.
So obviously life has been busy, fun and crazy, I am hoping to use this space to keep an online diary of my own training journey to Noosa Tri, to keep me honest and somewhere that I can come to reflect once it is all said and done!

Welcome Back!

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Life and training.

It took a while, yet the whole family has finally recovered from the respiratory virus that graced us in the second week of school!

I have hit training as hard as I can, it is only 18 days until the Mooloolaba Triathlon and one of the biggest items on my life bucket list.  I am nervous, terrified and also trying hard to visualise crossing the finish line and how that will feel, trying at least to see myself running across and not crawling!

Now that Otto is at school, training has had to become flexible, and often more intense a few times a week rather than more evenly spread out.

On a Tuesday (we call it super Tuesday) and Friday (fun Friday) Hugo and I do a mini brick session which is fun for him and hard work for me.

Ride 7km to the pool,
Swim 2-3km in swim squad
Run 2-3km sprints around the pool
Ride 7km home.

I also go to the 2 hour brick sessions on a Saturday with my training club.

While these aren't huge numbers, I hope they are at least training my body to withstand the demands of racing in different sports put together usually in the heat.  I don't have the ability to get out there and attend much training, but I want to do the best I can.

I was trying to explain my love for this sport to a friend of ours the other day, it is hard to explain, every time I go to leave my bike in transition and head out to wait for my wave to start, without fail, I wonder why the fuck I thought this was a good idea.  However, at some point, your brain changes gear, you start to realise that the only reason this is a good idea is to prove that you as an individual can choose a goal and go for it, some races are good and you feel comfortable, others are terrible, your arms won't move in the swim, your legs just won't go in circles any faster on the bike and running feels like quicksand.  Those are the races that are the greatest accomplishment for me, while it might be a terrible time it is a feat of mental endurance to keep going when everything is telling you to stop.

I do this for myself, but I also do it for the boys.  In a world full of technology, attendance certificates and trophies it is an important lesson that you train and work hard for nothing more than personal satisfaction.  I am never going to win a race, my whole aim is to not finish last in my age group and when the boys ask if I won I proudly say "no, but I did finish".

Also, to be honest, I do it for the wine and chocolate!

Saturday, February 14, 2015

From head-lice to Asthma.

So this school thing is certainly full of surprises, and sometimes not always the fun type.  We were only a few days into the first week of school when a head-lice alert via email came in, of course it was frustratingly vague, no idea which grade or if many grades were affected, was it just one child or a whole infestation of these tiny white itchy buggers, pretty instantly the rest of us were scratching our heads in dread and confusion.  While I remember having lice during school, I actually don't know what I am looking for, and Otto's love of the sandpit certainly didn't help the situation.  It was very interesting to Otto who proudly proclaimed to everyone that he was "mice free" the next day, thanks to Hugo's aversion to the letter L.

The second medical issue was by far the most scary and troublesome of the two.  Otto went to bed without issue and exhibiting no symptoms of being sick on Monday night but awoke only a few hours later struggling and gasping to breathe which started a night I don't wish to repeat any time soon.  Torn between waking up Hugo and heading to an emergency room or staying at home and waiting for the on call doctor I chose to stay and wait, thinking that a child with difficulty breathing would be considered a priority.  I was assured many times that the doctor was on his way only to finally have him arrive 4 hours after the first phone call, thankfully the doctor wasted no time administering the drugs that was needed and while his breathing didn't become normal it did become a little easier over the next hour.

The next day was filled with appointments to try and see if we can understand how a healthy child with no history of respiratory illness can, in the space of 4 hours go from peaceful sleep to respiratory distress.  It seems as though the only answer is that he is developing asthma, not the kind that gives you day to day symptoms, but the type that attacks out of nowhere and is serious straight away.  Great.  Going forward we have a small plan, but best of all I have a plan as his mother for when this next happens to me in the middle of the night and I am on my own struggling to decide what is best for us all, it was such a lonely and distressing position to be in and I am so thankful that it ended well.

Otto was more than happy to have a day resting at home, he loves going to school but each day mentions how much he misses us and playing with his toys.

Thankfully by the next day he was well enough to go to school, I did wonder if I should send him but Otto was more than keen to go, and he was pretty much back to normal.  Hugo and I hit up the pool and I swum to clear my head, so many 'what if's', 'could have been's' and 'thank God's' in my head with each tumble turn.

I can't tell you how grateful I was for the friends that understood I was on my own dealing with a scary situation, I got so many lovely emails, texts, emergency chocolate and flowers.  It made me so unbelievably touched to realise the lovely community we make as women and mothers, so many of these wonderful people had been in situations like this themselves, or simply understand how sometimes we just need someone to know we are there for them.

In a totally cheesy way it reminds me a bit of this ad that has been doing the rounds on facebook, typical of a big company these days to plug in on a persons emotions in the hope that they will also cash in, but the message is still a valid one.

Thankfully the rest of the week has gone more smoothly, Hugo and I have managed to catch whatever it was that set Otto off, and I am trying not to think that a week of training for the Mooloolaba Triathlon was most certainly NOT in the schedule, but next week is a new week.  Although, if that was week 1 &2 of school term, I am a little concerned about week 3!

Monday, February 9, 2015

On with 2015

So far this year has been going really well, we are all adjusting to our new lifestyle of school routines, continued flying in and out by Han for work and Hugo and I still hanging out at home.

Around October last year, mum's with older school children started warning me about the organisation required of having a child at school.  I am not sure if they saw the dazed and confused look on my face or if I had managed to screw up forgetting something at kindy one time too many, however by the fourth or fifth time it got mentioned to me I stood up and took notice.

October commenced with crazy de clutter and organisation around here, nothing and no one was safe, no cupboard too high or intimidating and no cupboard left unopened.  By Christmas I was working on little sleep but with a deep satisfaction that it was done, I googled, pintrest(ed?) and searched you tube for the best tips before commencing a cupboard, which made a huge difference to how I pulled it all together.  The wealth of information made me feel a little less crazy for basically becoming obsessed with organising!  I know fold sheets with Martha Stewart finesse and there is absolutely nothing in our cupboards that isn't used regularly or has a definite purpose, and I can't tell you how good that feels.

I have a mountain of belongings for a garage sale that speaks volumes underneath our house, exactly why did I purchase all these items?  Why did I keep them for so long?  Why did I think I needed them?  It is more than a little humbling especially as we have lived in countries with unspeakable poverty and always felt as though we were already good at filtering our wants and needs.

This year I am determined to take it further, I don't have anything really left to organise but I know I can do better with our budget and groceries.  For a while now I have been making our own washing detergent and yoghurt, dreaming about a big chicken coop and veggie patch, even making sure that our landscape architect understood that these would have to feature in any garden plans and obsessively sending him great designs incorporating play structures and chicken coops (although that might explain why I don't hear from him often!).

I have experimented a few times with making our own bread, only in the bread maker and yet it always turned out really stodgy, with massive holes in it and I was never happy with the results.  I continued to buy bread anyway as we don't really eat all that much of it, until now.  With Otto starting school the demands for bread has skyrocketed in this house and I was starting to notice a huge difference in our weekly shoppping, add to that the fact that I don't really understand all the additives in the bread we buy and I saw an opportunity to try my hand at bread making yet again.

Inspired by a few posts on this blog I figured I didn't really have much to loose, searched pinterest once again and Hugo and I got all the ingredients plus a few extras for some special biscuits this morning.  It was amazing, you would think bread isn't something to get too excited about but I loved watching it rise, knowing that the yeast was in there doing it's job, kneading it and working hard to get the best rise and most amount of air into the dough.  I followed the directions exactly and was rewarded with some of the best bread I have eaten in a while, I felt so accomplished.

This of course means I can now add this book to my birthday wishlist and hopefully learn a whole new skill.

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Your mountain is waiting.....So get on your way.

Just like that, in a blink of an eye Otto has started school.  I could go on and on about time being a cruel mistress, but we all know that, I have lost track of the amount of times I have said the phrase "the days are long but the years are short", not always believing it to be true because some of those days felt as though time stood still!
However, nothing compared to seeing Otto run off happily to evolve and start the long journey of self discovery without me by his side.  It was both elating and incredibly devastating to know that the time has indeed gone, never again will that little two year old tell me all his secrets, stumbling over words that he hasn't learnt yet, holding my hand at every opportunity or bringing huge armfuls of books to reading time.  I will treasure those moments forever in my memory while at the same time I am really looking forward to what this new stage will mean for us all.

Otto is already soaking up school and all it offers, they started homework on the first full day and he hasn't looked back, each day he is more than excited to tell me what new letter they learnt that day and the rhyme that goes with it.  The first library borrowing experience was beyond exciting as is each playtime he gets with friends.  I on the other hand am so grateful for the community of other mums that we have managed to build in this area from kindy and other places, the facebook messages going between us all have provided me with not only support but wonderful laughs as we all navigate this new phases together.

Oh well, one down and one to go, thankfully Hugo has another year at home before starting Kindy or I wouldn't know what to do with myself!