Saturday, December 31, 2011

New years eve matter!

Welcome to 2012.

I'll start with the obligatory "happy new year"!!

If you're reading this with the remains of a hangover good for you!

It would not take much to have welcomed in 2012 with more fanfare than us.  I'd like to say that it's having children that makes us boring on New Years Eve but that would be a dead-set lie...we were boring on NY Eve way before kids came along!!!

This one takes the cake though.  We had a 'hodpodge' dinner of left over snags in bread and potato salad which left me feeling decidedly uninspired and then went for a walk/scooter up to a local highpoint to watch the fireworks down at Manly. 

For a few minutes I thought we were truly the most desperately boring family as it was ONLY us taking up position at 8:45pm but by 9pm there was about another half a dozen families who'd also thought this spot may have a decent view. 

There's something a bit underwhelming about fireworks off in the distance with no musical accompaniment or crowd noise.  The girls were a bit ho-hum about it and so were the adults.  We all cleared out within minutes and headed home in the dark.

Once the KATs were put to bed, we sat and watched the selection of crap TV that was on offer.

I managed to stay up til midnight and see the bridge/harbour display (which was fantastic I thought) and then went to bed.  No alcohol had been consumed since a midori and lemon squash before dinner.  Bleak!!!!

The thing is though, I don't really care!  I feel fairly relaxed and we have been spending our days doing quite a lot of incidental exercise and hanging out at the local swimming pool with the KATs. 

Sydney weather has finally managed to pull itself together and we're all enjoying some warmth.  I've even managed to get sunburnt (much to SM's annoyance).

I haven't contemplated any NY resolutions as it's just Business As Usual in the "personal inventory" department for me - keep exercising, remember to be 'more than I think I can be' which means jogging to the pool instead of walking (and feeling great about my fitness) and not beating myself up about enjoying festive indulgences.

It's all good and I feel great.  Hope you do too :)

Image from here - gee that Marc Newson is a talented bloke!!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Roadtripping to the land of the less fortunate

Today I managed to tick off my last 'to do' of the school year. 

It involved my second road trip in a week out to Auburn (a suburb of Sydney).

The round trip took an hour and a bit and was accompanied by my current favourite Christmas CD by the rather yummy Michael Buble.

Along for the ride today was our Oldest KAT and Middle KAT.  They were there as my 'roadies' and they did a stellar job with minimal complaints.

What was this roadtrip in aid of?  Let me explain...

A couple of months ago I acted on an idea that had been festering away for a involved recycling all the no longer required stationery that our kids accumulate at the end of each school know, the stuff that's perfectly good and COULD be reused the following year...but my how they all love to take the stationery list and go crazy getting NEW bits and bobs!!

What happens to all that perfectly good stationery?  It goes towards my household clutter...filling drawers, spilling out of containers and generally contributing very little in a household that is well catered for already in the colored pens, crayons and marker department.

So instead, I decided to organize a stationery drive and collect all the unwanted 'stationery stuff'' at our small school and take it out to our 'sister' school which is in the starkly underprivileged and heavily migrant community of Auburn.

Two car trips later, the school now has colored pens, markers, crayons, erasers, rulers, paper and a few other bits and pieces that were donated and this can all be passed onto families that cannot afford to furnish their young-uns with newly purchased 'stuff'. 

I am guilty of spending an inordinate amount of time in the "it's all about me" zone.....doing this has made me feel useful and that I have contributed to another community in a useful and helpful way.  I was also pleased that it gave us an opportunity to remind the KATs and their school mates of the needs of those less fortunate than themselves!

So, whilst this might not be what we think of when 'roadtrip' is mentioned, it's a roadtrip I was happy to take :)

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Doing a few laps in the pool of self-congratulation

I have learnt as a mother that things don't usually go to plan.

I probably should have learnt this particular life lesson well before having children, but having arrived at the parenting caper without this particular skill I have spent a fair amount of time attempting to feel comfortable in the "shit that really went to hell in a hand basket" zone!

Yesterday however, was one of those sunshiny parenting days where things managed to go off without a hitch.

I had Saturday to get ready for the birthday extravaganza we had organized for our Middle KAT on Sunday (note to self - plan any future parties for a Sunday and block no commitments Saturday to prepare as it really is great for not losing your mind).

Sunday morning I managed to get all the final "details" sorted with time to shower and do a passable impression of "self grooming".  I had the able assistance of my production co ordinator, Saint Mike and we managed to get kids, food, gear, decorations and all the other bits and pieces (including the KATs) loaded into the car and to the venue with our sanity completely intact and enjoying the ride!

I didn't lose the plot.....not even ONCE which is unheard of, I didn't exhibit too much extreme control enthusiast behavior and the party went off without a hitch. 

Even better than a very happy birthday girl was a very happy birthday mother who managed to get her 'table scaping' just about perfect and even managed to get photographic evidence of it.....

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

They don't call it the silly season for nothing

Every year I get to the start of November, look at my calender and think "oh this is okay, we're looking good...December will be fun"

Every year I get to the start of December and think "oh my God what the hell was I thinking, how did I manage to get through all this crap last year?"

Sometimes I'm a bit slow on the uptake.  When it comes to this annual Groundhog Day experience it would be an understatement to say that this has happened a few years running....this year being NO exception!!!!

This year I decided that I needed to have an added injection of adrenelin and decided to organize a neighborhood christmas drinks & nibblies....and never one to do things in half measures, I went all out on the decorating!!

As you can see, it turned out okay.

So too did the evening, if you don't count the fact that it pissed with rain for the week before, that it pissed with rain the day of and in fact during the event and we had forty plus people (adults & kidlets) crammed onto our back patio!!!!!

Oh and then there was that minor matter of a 5 year old who clearly needed a refresher on the danger of sharp knives who decided to use a carving knife which was for the ham to cut herself open a breadroll and proceeded to cut her fingers. 

I truly thought she'd severed an artery with the amount of blood everywhere.  Selfishly, I was momentarily concerned that blood had got on the ham!!!!! (only for a nano second I promise!!!!)

Fortunately, although she did manage to scream like the proverbial stuck pig, it was only a flesh wound and after a trip to the hospital (which seemed the right place to be after 10 min of screaming and not allowing anyone to look at the fingers) she returned 2 hours later with two bandaids on said fingers.

Mind you, that was two hours too late to save me from a minor melt down after she and her parents had departed for the hospital....standing in the kitchen, feeling a tad shaky and then having a few tears as I felt so bad that she had injured herself at our event and with our goddam knife!

One of my neighbors helpfully mentioned that this could be our own neighborhood version of "The Slap"!!!!  He's such a joker!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)

Anyway, the party was the beginning of my craziest week so far:

Sunday = Christmas soiree
Monday = children's dance concert out at Homebush (ie miles away), toddler in tow, picked up kids after school and then didn't get home til after 10pm
Tuesday = swimming carnival + work
Wed = middle KATs birthday + school concert + work
Thurs = work + after school playdate
Friday = spend day at school organizing 'stationery drive' that I dobbed self in for and then back it up Fri night with a party
Sat = run around shopping for middle KATs b'day party
Sun = said b'day soiree at offsite location backing up in the evening for carols under the harbour bridge with extra children in tow

Silly Season just doesn't describe it!!!!!!

Hope you're all having slightly less manic time :)

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Tying up the loose ends

If I was a writer I think I'd be really crap at writing the endings to my books.

I know this because I've detected a bit of a 'trend' in my blogging.................leaving too many things hanging!

This is partly a result of my 'scattergun' approach to blogging - I don't plan the posts, I just blurt them out with my fingers on the keyboard....and then I may not think about them again once they're out there in blogworld.

So today, in the interests of resolving a few 'hanging' items, I thought I'd give you an update on my most recent post re our Oldest KAT and the perils of the school leadership contest.

As expected (and well prepared for) she didn't get the guernsey as School Captain....nor Vice Captain.  That honour went to a young lady who chose to do a 'rap' for her speech which apparently made her even more 'hip' and appealing than she already was (as she is a very nice girl with a lovely disposition).

The Vice Captain went to an all-round superstar, great at all sports (rep team this and rep team that) and a good make it even better she's a really polite, unassuming girl who is impossible not to like.

In short, our oldest KAT was happy for both of them....even though she was a tad disappointed, she masked it well and kept a smile on her dial!

With the key positions out of the way, it has then evolved into a 'now who gets what' toss up of all the other 'leadership' jobs that give the kids a chance to shine in Year 6.  Today we found out that our gorgeous girl will be the Learning and Resource Captain which means she gets to be the spokesperson during Literacy, Library & Numeracy weeks next year.  Right up her alley!

Now, onto the second major thing that I've left hanging.......................what was the outcome of my 9 Week Challenge (ie did I win!!!!)

The short answer is YES!

I managed to blow the 'competition' away and was the overall winner for my centre with a total weight loss of 17.9kgs.

Last Saturday I was presented with my prize which includes a bunch of 'goods & services' ranging from Beauty treatments, Runners, Photo Session, Car Wash & Detail and a few other bits and pieces.  Saint Mike hunted in the envelope for a cheque...............which was not forthcoming :)

In the end, the prize had become a tad insignificant as I'm now nearly 4 weeks post-challenge and am well along the road of trying to lose weight without the aid of my Siberian diet!  I'm adjusting to eating more food and managing the 'plan' myself without a daily regimen to follow and this has proved to be quite tricky for me. 

Added to this, my trainer decided to resign and disappear without so much as a good bye which has left me feeling like one of the people on Biggest Loser when the American kick-ass trainer says it's time to go back state-side...............devestated, lacking in confidence and like someone has chopped off my right arm!!!!

My new trainer is really lovely (funny way to describe someone who kicks my butt) but he's not the same as my old one.  It will take a bit of getting used to.

In the meantime, I am trying to give my head time to catch up with my body - I'm physically fitter than I've been in an eternity (definitely pre-youngest KAT fitness levels) but psychologically I'm really struggling with imposter syndrome and look in the mirror and still see a fat person.

I'm just keeping up my exercise and diet routine as best I can and focusing on stabilising myself between now and New Years so that I don't regress.  Then, it will be game on for 2012!!

It really is a journey and in the past I never admitted that and somehow acted like I could get a free ride...I've now accepted that it's a tough road and only hard work will get me there.

Image from here - I was hunting for an image depicting 'loose threads', couldn't find one...settled on this one as I really love the use of the ribbon!!!!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Channeling Tracy...or not!

The movie Election would be one of my favourite films.  I've always had a thing for Matthew Broderick and I am a big admirer of the talented Ms Witherspoon...she seems like a pretty ballsy chick.

We're in the midst of a bit of an election in our house.  Our oldest KAT had to prepare a speech for the school to convince them that she would make a great school captain.  As it's only a small school (19 of them will be in Year 6 next year) they all get to make a speech as the teachers and principal consider it a great opportunity to practise their public speaking and talk about their strengths.

I have been preparing myself all year for this event. 

Practising being magnanimous. 

Practising the "I don't care face". 

Practising the "Primary school is such a small part of your life" speech

............all in preparation for the eventual outcome that our gorgeous, intelligent, caring, generous, girl probably won't get the gig.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not being defeatist.  I'm being a realist and a pragmatist (quite unusual for me I might add!!!).  The reality is that if it's a popularity contest, our Oldest KAT wouldn't win...she's spent most of her school years on the outer and struggled at times to 'fit in'. 

She's her own person.  She doesn't go with the crowd and she's certainly no Queen Bee! 

I should also mention that her only resemblence to Ms. Flick is her intelligence and beauty...perhaps by Year 12 she may have her single-minded ambition!!

If it's decided by the principal and the teachers I'm sure she'll get a mention.  But if they have half a brain (and I know they do) they will not put this pressure on her as they know that it will only add to the weight of pressure she puts on herself and may bring out elements of her personality (the bossy bits) that we are working to tone down...not fuel!

In the unlikely event that she is chosen we will be suitably proud of her and totally supportive.  I have just reached the point though where I think it's best for her to NOT have this honour and deal with the possible thought in future years "was that my high point" (though I think she has it in her to be Prime Minister if the truth be known :))

I can also confidently say that I have no need to validate myself as a mother by geeing her on to get this job....I know I'm a great mum (and can also be a complete and utter psycho nut-case) and NOT getting school captain is not a vehicle I have ever coveted to reinforce my position in the world!

My only hope is that it goes to one of the quiet achievers in the class and not to one of the "shiny" know the ones, parents that hang with the 'right' crowd, always appearing to be cruising through life in the 'easy' lane.  I don't suffer fools gladly and if one of those smug little princesses (okay get a grip Elizabeth) gets the gig I may have to sit on my hands to stop from gagging!!!!! 

Oh, Oh....I think I need to practice the magnanimous face again!!!!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Favourite Things - November

It's been a long time between 'Favourite Things' posts...sorry folks!

This month it's just ONE favourite thing - my new pinboard and shelves.  A project designed and executed by moi with the able and enthusiastic support and help of Saint Mike!

This is what it looked like before....

BIG window looking out onto our neighbor's house and our fence...not exactly a postcard view!!!  We used to have a blind here that we put down at night to save anyone embarrassment but it was removed during the kitchen reno's and I quite liked it without a blind...but I didn't like the view.

So with no intention of removing/filling in/replacing the sash was desperately in need of a solution.

Knowing that I am now an expert in the use of my trusty staple gun...and having made do without a pinboard here (if I haven't already mentioned it, this is our desk/work area) I decided that a pinboard running the width of the lower sashes was the order of the day!!

The yan to my yin (noticeboard) was shelves to store all the CRAP that accumulates on the workspace...not too high that we couldn't reach them easily (I hate having to get the step ladder) and sturdy enough that I could also put some herbs in pots up there as it's the perfect sunny spot for them!!!

90 minutes at Bunnings with KAT3 and I had all my supplies...over the weekend, SM and I got to work....voila...DONE!

I should say that it's not 'styled' in any way shape or form....but I love it just the same...and the pot plants are on my list to do!!!!

It has made such a difference to our use of the space and I love the colors in the fabric (as you know, a bit of a penchant for greens and blues!!!)

Hope you like our handiwork??

Monday, November 21, 2011

My very own Clark

Unless you live under a rock it's a bit hard to fail to notice the imminent arrival of the festive season!

In our house that signals the emergence of another of Saint Mike's alter egos - Clark Griswold...he of National Lampoons Vacations fame.  For those of you living under above mentioned rock...this will have you shaking your head in ignorance!!

Being Canadian, SM has a thing for his old neighborhood there are two times of year for houses to be preened to an inch of their lives...summer, or more specifically July/August when the snow has thawed, the ground has softened and the gardens are in their glory....and December when the christmas lights get put up!

This will be our fifth christmas in our house and last year (the 4th) SM really hit his stride in the ornamentation department.  We actually became a neighborhood sensation of sorts with cars driving by to see our display and people walking past with their children.

In the spirit of our very own neighborhood Clark, I've organized a neighborhood drinks & nibblies to celebrate the season of Saint Mike!!

As he's quite the traditionalist, the display will not be erected until the first weekend in December, so we've got a couple of weeks to wait.....bring it on I say :)

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Easing Into Camping - Round 2

We ventured into the great outdoors this weekend.  Three days down at Jervis Bay at the beautiful Booderee National Park.

This is the 2nd time our little family have attempted to leave creature comforts behind and 'rough it' for a few nights.  Last year we hedged our bets by hiring the camper trailer but staying at a Big 4 park whilst experiencing the "delights" of Dubbo and Western Plains Zoo.

In the spirit of 'one step at a time' the 2011 edition of the KATcapers family camping trip we stuck with the camper trailer but took the plunge in the above-mentioned National Park.

Much to Saint Mike's amusement I have completely embraced our annual foray into camping.  This year I purchased a dutch oven and prepared the makings of a cheese and herb damper!!  It came home enthusiasm waned when I tired of washing up after the 3rd meal...having to trudge off to the toilet block to use the sink wore thin REALLY quickly!! 

The KATs embraced the experience whole-heartedly...they loved the freedom of roaming about unfettered and our littlest KAT in particular became Miss Independant when she found a friend her own age and from then on didn't even want her big sisters trailing after her...she was just OFF! 

We had a camp fire and toasted marshmallows....sang songs and enjoyed the stars.

We had loads of fun enjoying the new kayak that mum and dad purchased for the trip - it is a sit on one...good for us novices and just enough fun for everyone without being too much hassle!

Sleep time was a cosy affair with us all in close confines.  SM and I had forgotten how uncomfortable the camper trailer double bed is...felt like we were sleeping on a piece of MDF!!!  Nonetheless, we didn't have the array of chain-smoking grey nomads that we had to deal with at the Big 4 so my ear plugs were redundant except for blocking out the sound of the waves in the distance and the wind rustling through the trees!

As we headed back from the beach yesterday in preparation for packing up, the KATs reflected that we'd had a great weekend and that after all the discussions preceding our trip we hadn't actually sighted a tick, leech or spider!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

All in all, this easing into camping is going next year I intend for us to actually purchase our own tent and requisite 'gear' and sample more of the delights of 'nature'.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Swim Little Fish Swim

A great day for our middle KAT and favourite little 'fish'....she made it through her 1st Reconciliation, kept her butterflies in check and we celebrated with a fantastic family dinner.

Keep on swimming up to the surface little fish...I love to see your beautiful colors shimmering :)

Friday, November 11, 2011

A Bex and a good lie down

Yesterday was the final day of my 9 Week Challenge.  Are you ready for the number...........cue the rocky theme and accompanying fist pumping image..............


An average of almost 2 kilograms a week for 9 weeks!

I was happy for about 3 minutes as I breathed a sigh of relief that the challenge was over and I had managed to keep up my average for the final week given I have been rather under the weather and the furious exercise had unfortunately had to give way to common I'd been stressing that I wouldn't manage to lose weight in the final week.  My stressing was obviously good for the metabolism!

Why did my euphoria last 3 minutes?

Well after the weigh in and the tape measure were done, it was time for the 'after' photos.

I had been soooooooooooooooo excited about my 'after' shots, envisaging a visual transformation on par with the one that's been going on up in my head.  Unfortunately they failed to live up to my expectations....I got a glimpse of them and almost lost the plot. 

All I could see was a blob that didn't look any different from the 'before' blob next to it.

This is probably another one of life's little lessons about not building something up quite so much....a photo taken in poor lighting with a body that still needs to lose probably about the same amount of weight again to be in any way shape or form on the 'healthy' side was never going to look fantastic in a sports bra and undies!!!!

Cue the snide, nasty voice in my head "ha ha, you thought you looked pretty good didn't you??  Ha ha, you're still a fatty boom baa".  The voice in my head can't spell very well either!!

I kept a smile and a positive face on and left shortly after.  Took myself off to the local shopping centre and had a coffee and sourdough toast with jam as a 'treat' and tried desperately to make the voice shut up.

Alas, I'd opened the door and it proceeded to throw a loud and obnoxious party for the remainder of the day. 

By the time SM got home with a lovely bunch of red roses as congratulations I was a bit of an exhausted and emotional mess and ended up taking a couple of headache tablets and going to bed early....

Do I think my journey is over..............................NO!!!!

I have more weight to lose.  Even more importantly though I have more work to do to drown out that voice in my head that tells me I'm not worthwhile and aren't as good as I think I am.

So exhausting!!

Please don't think I'm hunting for compliments.  I'm not.  This is brutal honesty and no fishing is intended :)

I've stuck this picture on the fridge with the accompanying words to remind myself that the 'voice' is full of SHIT!!!!

Friday, November 4, 2011

Putting Mum In Her Box

Undelivered note found on our Oldest KATs bookshelf.  Relates to an incident (one of many this week) where I refused to provide answers to her homework...instead suggesting she employ the power of Google to research the topic herself!

Dear Mum,

I should be able to get help from my mother, I need help and your reason not to help me is IRRELEVANT.


I am not talking to you!!!!!


P.S. You scrunched up my homework!

Lessons to be learnt from this missive to me from our oldest KAT:
  1. She needs a refresher on the perils of excessive use of exclamation marks
  2. Her overuse of above mentioned exclamation marks indicates a strong genetic link to her mother!!!!!
  3. Her future as a barrister is looking brighter every day :)
  4. She has mastered the art of the 'persuasive text'....what's next when you're 11?
  5. I am so going to get revenge when she has her own children and tells them to 'google it' (or the technological equivalent at that time)
  6. Hang on why wait til then, I'll be whipping out this palm card (what the above was written on) at her 21st!
Have a great weekend :)

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

The Faithful Departed

Yesterday was All Souls' Day. 

There you go, that's officially two references to god-bothering in one week...that would be a record for me!

All Souls' Day is a day to remember 'the faithful departed'.  My dad would definitely be one of those! 

Christopher Allan Pleasants. 
Best bear-hugger on the planet
Beautiful and masterful player of the guitar
Frustrating pain in the neck!!
Undiagnosed manic-depressive!!

............I. Miss. You!

His birthday was October 28th so it's been a bit of a week.  I think the above really sums up how I more words are required.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Swimming Down in the Deep

Our middle KAT is preparing for the sacrament of First Reconciliation. 

If you're shaking your head, this is a god-bothering thing that involves trying to get a bunch of 8 year olds to understand how it's important to ask for God's forgiveness when you consciously do something bad.

It can be tricky getting the penny to drop!

Last week we missed our 2nd session of preparation as I was laid up with a very nasty case of tonisilitis (hence not much blogging has been done).

To catchup, middle KAT and I sat down after dinner tonight to go through the material on our own.

As she can sometimes be a tad fidgety (understatement of the century), I was having trouble keeping her attention....then we got to the bit about thinking of an example of where she had done something that hurt someone else.

Out of the blue she whispers in my ear that she thought of when she told her daddy (that would be SAINT Mike) that he was a 'mean daddy'.  I asked her if she meant it, at which she shook her head.

Tears were now welling in her eyes as I asked her if she had told him she was sorry....NO, she cried.

Did she think she'd feel better if she told him she was sorry I asked.  "I can't" said our beautiful girl.  "I'm too ashamed".

We had a few minutes of crying and me trying to explain to her how I sometimes say things that I don't mean but I know are hurtful...and how saying sorry can heal your heart....and then I did what all good mothers do, I called out to daddy to come and see us.

She was quite upset by this point as I explained to daddy what had transpired but as far as I'm concerned it was soooooooooooooooo important for her to see that her daddy loves her NO MATTER WHAT and that she can TELL HIM ANYTHING...even something that upset her so deeply.

The ensuing minutes were very special for both of them as SM can be EXTREMELY guilty of 'failure to express' in the emotion department.  I was really glad I pushed the point and based on the emotional outpouring from our little girl, she clearly needed to get it off her chest too!

As I explained to her later (quite well I think), she is like a beautiful, bright fish who swims near the surface when she is happy - glinting in the sun and her happiness is there for all to see....but when she's sad she swims deep down into the depths and hides her feelings in the darkness.  In contrast, I explained, her older sister (equally bright and beautiful) is constantly on the surface...exhibiting all her emotions for everyone to see...she rarely swims down 'into the deep' to hide how she feels (a bit like her mother!!!)

The danger is that we can't always see clearly and don't always recognise that the little fish is down there feeling sad....because on the surface all looks quiet! 

We finished our session, had a lovely cuddle in bed before she went to sleep and I know she went off to sleepy by land with a lighter heart. 

Moments to cherish and reflect on :)

Monday, October 24, 2011

Inquiring Minds Want to know

At the request of my younger sister I'm posting a current shot of me to prove that I indeed the incredible shrinking woman (or at least my boobs are!!!!)

As of last Friday I'd lost 11.6kgs

Mid way through Week 7 with two and a bit weeks to go the situation can be summarised as follows:

  • I'm buggered!
  • I've gone through 2 packs of disposable happy pants having realized that morning walks and my bowels are never going to get along :)
  • I'm sick of the monotony of my daily regime of protein shakes, plain chicken, plain lean beef and NO fruit/nuts/potatoes for this last 3 weeks
  • I've graduated from 90 min of 'moderate walking' per day with 15 min of 'hard cardio' to 60 min of walking plus 30 minutes of 'hard cardio'....which for me is the "Cliff Young Shuffle" (for those of you NOT Victorian and as old as me he was a geriatric long-distance runner in the 1980's that shuffled rather that jogged....but he got there in the end!)
  • I take so many pills at night that the KATs think it's fun to feed them to many colours mum!!!  Don't worry they're all safe...there's just quite a few of them!
  • Mark my trainer told me on Monday that's it's all 'mental' from here on in...yes I thought, in one sense it definitely is bloody mental...don't think that's what he meant sadly!!!
  • I'm still on top of the leader board...planning on staying there if it kills me!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • Have I mentioned I'm buggered?????????????????????
The next few weeks are going to be dire, I can feel it already - throat sore today and feel like I just want to go and have a very long nap!  I will keep going though as "Project L" as SM calls it has been well worth it so far...I like the competitive, goal-oriented, STRONG person that I am becoming :)

Friday, October 21, 2011

Grateful for my staple gun

My staple gun probably outranks my laminator machine as my favourite 'tool' at the moment.

Isn't that sad...I just used the word 'tool' and it's got nothing to do with sex...shows what my life has become!

Originally I had a 'manual' staple gun....but a while ago I upgraded to a whizz bang electric version...boy does that thing pack a punch.  I reckon I could definitely use it in a home invasion if push came to shove!!

In my 'Favourite Things' post a few weeks back I included a shot of my 2nd hand patio setting.  My sister started the ball rolling on the 'what were you thinking' remarks...and when I asked for opinions from Blogland...the never one to be backwards in coming forwards Bron made her derision clear!!!

So, in honour of Bron and the irony that I get to post this as a Grateful Saturday are the before and after shots....I am no longer interested in feedback....I love the new oilcloth cover and since I stapled away an afternoon recovering the stupid thing, the rest of the world can take it or leave it :))

Patio setting with it's 'original' covering (and fringe) in all it's olive glory!!!!

To save you scrolling to the it is in it's more restful hue of blue and white....

Have a great rest of the weekend :)

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Scale Anxiety

Friday is my weigh in day.

Weigh-in day causes me to be extremely anxious. 

Tomorrow is weigh-in day...ergo I have butterflies in my tummy and there's another 24hours to go!!!!

I am trying to challenge my thinking, reminding self that I've done EVERYTHING I've been asked to do.  I eat what I've been told to eat and have put it into the calculator on the Biggest Loser website (which I am still a subscriber to) and I KNOW I'm eating less than (but close to) 1000 calories per day! 

Did I hear you gasp??  I told you it was a Siberian diet!!!!

I am exercising like an Amazon...90 min walking 6 days a week, plus 15min of 'hard cardio' which for me has been running on the treadmill (with breaks to catch my breath) and seeing Mark, my trainer 3 times this week.

Logic tells me that I should have lost weight.

Problem is that my body scoffs heartily at 'logic' can be annoyingly unco-operative and may just decide to gain weight instead (or even worse not change at all from last week!!!!!)

Tomorrow will signal the end of Week 6 of the challenge

I had lost 10.2kgs as of last Friday (end of Week 5 for those of you not paying attention)

Am I happy with that result for 5 weeks worth of effort??  YES!  Ecstatic!!

Does it mean that I'm not driving myself even harder to keep on losing for these last four weeks (now only 3 weeks)?  NO!  I've turned into a machine...and a competitive one at that!!!!

I'm still on top of the leader closest competition is 2kgs behind me....and I want her to stay there!  She's on my tail though and I can't slack off...

I do keep reminding myself that this should not be about winning....but I'm starting to think that it's easy to say that when you're NOT winning...but when you are, goddamit you just want to stay on top!

Anyway, further updates will be forthcoming tomorrow....wish me luck :)

Monday, October 17, 2011

Unreliable tooth fairies

I think SM and I need to outsource our tooth fairy responsibilities.

For the second time in as many months, we have proven ourselves to be completely and utterly unreliable in this department.

Thankfully the way we have literally fallen asleep on the job has been in respect to lost teeth from the mouth of our oldest KAT...she finds the whole thing highly amusing as she is completely attuned to the fact that the 'tooth fairy' is just a euphanism for 'free money'!!

After the first instance of 'failure to deliver' which occurred whilst SM was overseas, I did what all self-respecting parents do.  I bribed her into silence...the 'tooth fairy' agreed to take it on the chin and double the contribution for her this way she kept quiet and didn't let the littlest KAT know what the tooth fairy can sometimes be guilty of unacceptable standards.

I blamed the first incident on SM, he has always been the one to masquerade as the tooth when the baton was passed to me in his absence it was a given that I would forget to do it....but this time, SM was at he has no excuse (don't you love the double standard!).

Tonight I will write him a coded message left on the bathroom mirror to remind him of his tooth fairy obligations...and this will hopefully avert a manky looking tooth remaining under the pillow for a third night running!!!

How do you approach the whole tooth fairy situation?  Do you have a special receptacle (a la the picture can actually buy these on Etsy!!!!)...or do you just go with the tooth naked under the pillow? 

Oh and how much do you pay out per tooth (we are a gold coin family!)????

image from here

Sunday, October 16, 2011

memories are made of this

A bit of a weekend catch-up from me today....mostly pictures, few words (or at least that's the plan as I start to type)

My arms feel like they're not quite attached to my body due to a 'workout' from Mark my trainer.  He is referred to as the 'butcher' by SM for the way in which he is 'carving me up'!!!  This mornings session was no exception.

Sat morning SM took all three KATs to swimming squad and whilst the older two were being flogged by their swim coach, he took the littlest KAT for a swim (we are trying to get her on the path to swimming on her own this summer).

In the meantime I went for a session with 'the butcher' and then headed down to Manly for a walk....such a great place for a walk if you can avoid tourists, toddlers, geriatrics, prams, scooters and other such 'toys' as you try and walk at a consistent pace and in a reasonably straight line!! 

To finish off my walk I decided to tackle the road that leads up to Manly Hospital and St Pat's amongst other things...the gradient is not to be scoffed at and it's a long rise...took me about 15 minutes to get all the way to the top...and then I gently stumbled back down!!

Having made my way back to Shelley Beach I was met by SM and the KATs and we spent a fabulous four hours down at the beach enjoying the fact that what had started as a fairly overcast day had transpired to be absolutely delightful...clear blue skies and a pearler of an afternoon!!

For some reason the sprinklers were operating so the KATs enjoyed some retro fun running under, through and over the amusement of all the adults looking on.

We then moved down to the beach where I ended up getting into my cossie and going for a refreshing dip with the girls...whilst SM had a well deserved daddy nap on the beach. 

A fab day was had by all...memories are definitely made of this :)

Okay, enough verbal diarrhoea from's some more shots...

Hope you all had a great weekend as well...whatever you were up to!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Grateful for our neighbors

We've lived in our current house for nearly five years. 

When we moved in, we were new to the suburb and had made the big leap of moving 'over the bridge'...that would be the infamous Spit Bridge.  Famous in Sydney for it's narowness and tendency to be a huge monster of a bottleneck!

Our immediate neighbors on either side of us were quickly befriended...they are both older couples with adult children.  They have been in varying degrees substitute parents, grandparents, friends, helping hands and great BBQ companions over the last five years.

The suburb has also experienced an influx of young families and had a baby-boom in the time we've been in residence so we're fortunate to have met neighbors a bit further afield...over the back fence and to the right type of distance or just around the corner.

I am so grateful to have met so many lovely neighbors and try to catch up with them as frequently as our busy schedule allows.  Last night, one of our neighbors hosted a ladies evening at her place.

She wasn't selling anything, she had no hidden was just a chance to catch up over a glass of bubbly and copious amounts of wicked chocky and shoot the breeze.

We had a lovely evening and the conversation traversed many and varied topics from books, TV shows (The Slap got a mention of course!), babies, children, schooling, husbands, labour experiences (always a huge hit) and everything else you could imagine we could share.

As I am still rigidly sticking to my Siberian diet my contribution was 'in that spirit' but a little bit wicked nonetheless - Pineapple with bashed mint and caster sugar and Strawberries with balsamic drizzled over a bowl of yummy blueberries unadorned as they were delicious on their own (and I couldn't think of what to add to them except chocky!!!!)

There are times when I feel incredibly lonely without having my family and friends that live interstate around.  But then I am buoyed by the fantastic neighbors that I am surrounded by and I feel comforted and 'at home'.

So thanks to Maxabella and her Grateful Saturday for forcing me to reflect on something like this that I am truly deeply grateful for :)

Wednesday, October 12, 2011


Having been travelling down the Blog road for 18 months now, I am continually amazed and inspired by so many of you.

Each blog I read, from the most humble 'just keeping a diary for the kids to read one day' to the ones that are Nuffnang 'manna from heaven' (and all the ones in between) are so special.

When anthropologists look back at things in another 50 years, the uptake of blogging by women will surely have to rate it's own chapter...if not a book!!

Yesterday I was at the doctors and a mum was there asking the two receptionists if they could sign a form for her (she needed two signatures)....she commented that with 2 kids under three she could go days without meeting two people at once!  I'm sure that was tongue in cheek (or I think it was). 

Whilst logging onto a blog won't help her with her signatures, how nice is it to think that you can still 'connect' with people when otherwise you would be quite isolated :)

I enjoy reading about the challenges, the triumphs, the trivialities and all the other 'stuff' that you post.  It's a privilege to be a part of your world...even if only your blogworld!

I know I'm just regurgitating all the stuff that's been said before on the value and enjoyment of blogging but hey, it's my blog...I can regurgitate if I feel like it:)

I was going to list some that inspire me at the moment but the truth is that singling them out would be too difficult!!  Suffice to say that staying up to date with my blogs is an important and savoured part of my day.


Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Too Olive For Its Own Good

I have two sisters.  An older sister who lives in country Victoria (happy birthday for the 13th if you happen to read this K) and a younger one who lives near Cambridge in the UK.  I also have two younger of whom gave me the lovely feedback on my shorthand for Saint Mike!

My younger sister and I are alike in many ways...most of them good :) 

We have a few qualities that can be both a blessing and a curse.  For example, we were both at the deep end of the pool when they turfed in the 'foot in mouth' gene...which was shortly after they tossed in a hefty dose of the 'let's call a spade a shovel' gene!!

Proof in point - upon reading my post on my favourite things for this month, my younger sister calls me up and informs me that:

a) The olive green patio setting has got to go
b) She's not a fan of my new blog design!!!

.....on the upside she quite likes the positioning of the lovely Samoan photos she gave me.

This got me to thinking.

Is she the ONLY person that took one look at the patio setting and shook their heads in disbelief???  I somehow think least one friend who reads my blog (hello JB) has now tactfully informed me that it's a bit of a shocker (not the frame just the cover) and that it comes down to the fringeing/tassley bit!!!

So I'm opening up the floodgates for anyone who does read this blog to truthfully tell me that they hate the patio setting....if it makes you feel better I've decided I hate it too and have bought a lovely new oilcloth in blue and white (and no fringe)!  Now I just need to make time to do it...

JB also commented (verbally) that the medicine cabinet looked better in 'context' with the rest of the kitchen...thanks to Rebecca from Rebecca Getting Real who was a fan of it based on only seeing the photo I provided :)

For everyone else, here's another shot of it 'in situ' surrounded by our new kitchen and Ikea shelves (and more of my copious supply of storage baskets)

I cleaned the counter especially before taking this shot :)

On the topic of the new blog design, I'm also happy to take feedback so feel free...I'm keen on it but I also liked my old blog heading with SM and the girls legs...

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Things I'm Loving - October Favourite Things

A bit of a 'fluff' post today.  I committed to doing a monthly post of some 'favourite things' so here they are!!

Things that are making me smile when I pass them...hope you enjoy them too!

My lovely and talented sister found these shots for me when she was on holiday recently in Samoa.  She gave them to me as a thank you for staying with us as they came through Sydney.....I love them.  They were going to go in the kitchen but I liked them here instead...what do you think?

This is an old first-aid cabinet I picked up at a 2nd hand furniture's holding all my herbs and spices.  A bit quirky and fun...just what our new kitchen needed!

OMG I'm in jar heaven...our pantry was bursting at the seams so I've taken some of the stuff out and put it in these jars on the adjacent built in shelves that SM made for me a few months I just need some labels and we're set!

I've had a hankering for a pinboard for a while.  I priced one at No Chintz and they were $550, so I decided to make my own!  The fabric is an Amy Butler fabrice which hasn't come up too well due to my crap phone camera...but believe me it's delicious...turquoise blue and the most gorgeous green...just made for moi :)  Total cost to do this one was about $130 and I got to use my Staple Gun!!!!

Spotted the globe in a 2nd hand store...just LOVED the colors immediately!  The scrabble picture was an on-sale find at a really great little store called Neck of the Woods down in Manly which unfortunately is closing down (boo hoo).  The volkswagon print is a limited edition that I bought online...we had a bright orange combi van when we were growing up so I have a bit of a soft spot for them...I really love this picture!!

Any finally to my 'nanna' purchase - the patio setting...again, 2nd hand store is the BEST place to sit and read the paper and catch a lovely breeze...oh and check out the goings on in the street!!  I'm not sure I'm going to stick with the oilcloth, the green is a bit olivey for me...but I'm living with it for a while to see if it grows on me.  The hurricane lights are my burst of color hanging above the table...can't wait for a warm night when I can get them going!

So there you have it...more of my favourite things for the month of October.  What do you think??
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