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!

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Coastal dreaming.

On Monday we loaded up the car for a quick overnight trip up the coast to visit family and friends.

I love it when we do these trips, they are always last minute, grab what we think we need (always forgetting something important) and head north listening to some strange assortment of kids music, singing at the top of my lungs while the boys plead with me to stop.

We had a great time frolicking on the beach, swimming in the pool and spending time catching up with people who are important to us.  These are my people, the ones that have seen me through all sorts of challenges and triumphs, the type of friend that doesn't require constant checking in or phone calls, where a firm hug and warm smile upon seeing each other again brings us right back to where we left off.

I saw one girlfriend and her now teenage daughter, it constantly blows me away that I held her tight as a baby, my first experience at seeing love grow before my very eyes, not only the love of her mother but my love as an extension of the affection I felt for her mum.  It was probably the first time I saw a glimpse of the intensity motherhood would later bring me.  To see her now flourish and begin her own journey to adulthood make me so proud of both her and her mum.  It makes me think that every now and then you are given a moment which is such a gift, a moment in time which gives you pause to take stock of what a journey this all is.

I love these moments, and on days which don't go to plan and feel overwhelming it is wonderful to have these firm hugs and warm smiles to look forward to.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Superhero running in the rain.

Saturday was the first anniversary of my local park run, and because runners are generally crazy and like to have fun it was superhero themed.  Hugo found this so amazing as he has only just started to become interested in superheros and especially spider man, the torrential downpour that occurred just as we started running was an added bonus.

It was a hard slog, and probably the last run Otto will do in the pram, we figured out that with both kids weight and the pram weight I am probably pushing close to 40kg around an undulating 5km run. The current weight gain of both kids is being felt in my legs and also I have noticed a huge shift in my times.  About six weeks ago I was able to run at a 5:17 pace, currently I am around a 5:44 pace with both boys.

The rain made me a bit slower as I was worried about slipping with the pram, but this run was all about fun and trying to catch and overtake the other superheros!

I love how excited Hugo got while we were running, and how much he gains from this experience, I only hope that Otto will continue to somehow come with me, either a combination of running and pram sitting, or scootering beside me.

A fellow runner came and shot a great video of us setting off and towards the back of the people you see me come through with the pram, it was hugely busy this week so I stuck towards the back.

Later that afternoon we headed into the city to see 'Erths dinosaur Zoo' at QPAC.  I was a little bit concerned about how the boys would manage it, so it was quite a relief when they loved every minute of it, plenty of children ran away crying as the dinosaur puppets were often very life like and behaved erratically, although that only added to the atmosphere. 

We had such a wonderful Saturday together, and a great way to start the new year!