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.
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'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 me...so 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 :)
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 entry...here 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 top...here it is in it's more restful hue of blue and white....
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'....it can be annoyingly unco-operative and may just decide to gain weight instead (or even worse not change at all from last week!!!!!)
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 board...my 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 :)
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 tardiness....in 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 fairy...so 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 home...so 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 above...you 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!)????
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 them...to 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 me...here's some more shots...
Hope you all had a great weekend as well...whatever you were up to!
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 agend...it 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 them...plus 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'.
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.
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 brothers...one 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!!
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 not...at 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...
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 store...it'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 back...now 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 find...it 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??
I was so relieved to see him that I embarrassed myself and got all teary when he came out through Customs and we got our hands on him.
The KATs were soooo excited that they insisted on buying helium balloons to give to him...the lady in the shop felt so sorry for me spending so much money on the stupid things she gave me a free bunch of roses!!
Anyway, back to the bawling...yes, after the girls excitedly gave him a big cuddle I got a big bear hug and lost the plot...standing there sniffling and telling him how much I missed him! For the record that has NEVER happened before! I'm putting it down to being carb-deprived :)
He's naturally struggling with jet lag. It really sucks having to cross so many time zones...nothing compares with the bone-weariness that you feel when you travel for 23hrs straight!!!
I on the other hand are struggling with letting go of being BOTH parents and switching back to my 'natural' predisposition of 'Good Cop'.
It's illuminating when your partner comes home (Posie I'd be interested in your view here) that you have to adjust your parenting to accomodate the need to have both of your onboard with decision making and the like.
It had only taken a couple of weeks for me to get used to making decisions without consulting him with respect to our daily activities...and the minute he got back it was an immediate about face....I have to take into consideration what he thinks!!!!
Interestingly it has also highlighted the fact that as far as the girls are concerned, daddy isn't as much of a funster as mummy is (ha ha). Mum is spontaneous, mum is willing to do crazy stuff....dad on the other hand (jet lag or no jet lag) is a little more staid!
I can definitely be the 'bad cop' when I want to be...my neighbors can all attest to my ability to read the riot act...but I've realized that my preferred modus operandi is to be the 'good cop'...to chill out and go with the flow.
Unfortunately as we all know, being a parent involves switching between the two on a regular basis...so I shall suck it up and ensure that I don't let my good cop tendencies get too comfy!! It is nice though to have SM back home to pick up the slack in the bad cop department.
How do you manage the good cop/bad cop switcheroo in your household??
I'm experiencing a first of sorts. It's wierd and scary but strangely addictive....
I'm leading in something. Given that my usual position in any sort of 'competition' is usually bringing up the rear this is most definitely a moment of wonder for me.
What am I leading in I hear you ask??
That would be my club's 9 Week Challenge....you know, the thing that has been ripping the fat off me faster than a Dyson sucks random objects left on my floor?
At the 3 week mark I am 6.7kg's down and am officially WINNING by a significant margin on the 'leader board'. My closest competition is some bloke (pretty sure it's a guy)...and I don't care cos unless he's considering a sex change in the next 6 weeks he's in a different comp!!
Unlike the Biggest Loser, this comp is purely on weight loss....not total percentage of weight loss in relation to your size....so kudos to me for being a giant heifer and there possibly being only mildly overweight women trying to lose their last few kilos of baby weight (I don't know this for sure but supposing it's the case I've got an immediate advantage as I have BIG numbers to forcibly remove from my frame).
Anyway, I don't care....I'm just totally amazed that I'm actually the leader at this point.
My trainer from Biggest Loser central casting keeps stressing that I not get complacent....I'm assuring him that's the least of my worries...I'm more at risk from completely self-sabotaging this little campaign as my imposter-syndrome psycho behavior is just itching to get a bit of the limelight and stuff my good work up.
So far, I've kept this under control and am sticking to the rigid, 'take-no-prisoners' food plan like the proverbial chewy on the sole of your best sandals.
As I march into week 4 I am already starting to think about my 'after' shot....I can't avoid them really as they are plastered all over the studio as a form of motivation. Now, on the one hand they do the trick...but they are also a salient lesson in the perils of spray tan's and how to look like a skinnier version of oneself with a skin tone that has the same tone as a dried apricot!!!
I am sure I will seek input on this as week 9 draws closer - to spray tan or not to spray tan, to go the full blow dry and apply make-up that is usually saved for work only (and usually applied in the car park before going into my workplace) and potentially splashing out on some new bra and knickers to create a spectacular foil to the nanna knickers and bra I was donning for the 'before' photo!!!
In the meantime, enjoy the photo of my smiling face 6.7kgs down from 3 weeks ago...taken by the oldest KAT down at the beach yesterday :)