Friday, April 11, 2014

FFS Friday - Counting Biscuits and No Sleep.

  • I recently subscribed to Runners World magazine, iPad edition, through Amazon. It is a great read. This month's issue is dedicated to the 2013 Boston Marathon. I read it non stop and realised what a privilege it is to have a working, moving body. NO FFS.
  • I've been paying more attention to my body and actually enjoying moving it. In fact, getting downright non-endorphin'd when unable to run. FFS.
  • M calls them 'Dorpins' or 'Dolphins'. It took us a few days to work out what she meant when she asked Mr S 'Daddy, do you get dorpins from riding your bike?'. NO FFS.
  • She throws a lot of threenager tantrums at the moment. FFS.
  • I thought 'Terrible Twos' was... terrible. It was not. FFS.
  • A lovely young couple have bought the house next door to us and have been renovating a storm before their wedding this week. They are completely lovely. I'm certain they think I'm a stalker, as I offer them cookies, tomatoes, zucchinis. I feel like a bit of a stalker doing it, but it's how we roll in the country. I just have trouble remembering their names, and I mixed it all up again today. I get nervous meeting new people and then I'm pretty much convinced they hate me. FFS.
  • I'm not getting much sleep at the moment. Daylight saving can go and get f... take a running jump. M & P have been greeting the world between 5-6am most mornings. FFS.
  • They're both a bit unwell, and last night went a little like...
    10.30pm: lights out.
    12.30am: M awake. Mr S attends. M asleep.
    2.30am: M awake. Making a strange sound. Realise she's sounding like she's got croup. (FFS!) Mr S brings panadol, a vaporiser and a drink.
    3.30am: lights out.
    5am: P awake. Feed, nappy change and back to bed.
    5.30am: lights out.
    6am: Mr S's alarm goes off.
    6.07am: Mr S's alarm goes off.
    6.14am: Mr S's alarm goes off.
    6.21am: P awakens. Mr S's alarm goes off.
    6.40am: M awakens.

  • M and I baked cookies today. I froze 3 dozen dough balls, baked 2 dozen and gave M a sheet of non-chocolated cookies to decorate with sprinkles. She ate a lot of sprinkles, licked the beater, tasted the butter, tasted both kinds of sugar and lost it when I wouldn't let her eat any more ANYTHING. FFS.
  • We baked them, they cooled, we had one each. NO FFS.
  • We were outside and I noticed that M suddenly had a neverending biscuit. I asked how many she had eaten. She said 5. FFS.
  • Her counting is excellent, but 5 could actually mean 7. FFS.
  • She then threw an awesome tantrum about her socks, her shoes, how neither fit, her feet hurt, she didn't want to go outside, her socks, her shoes, her feet hurt, she didn't want to go outside... FFS. It made me think of this:
  • She locked herself in her room. I thought seriously about continuing to garden outside and leave her to it. However, I tucked her into bed, said 'nite nite', closed the door. I came back 15min later to see her snoring. NO FFS.
  • It was 4pm. FFS.
  • I came back again 15 min later to hear screaming. FFS.
  • And finally, M is trying to drop her day sleep.

    I'll let the gravity of that statement fully sink in for you.

    I KNOW. FFS.
Dear Baby G

Sunday, April 6, 2014

100 Days of Happiness - Run, Girl, Run.

In 167 Days I will hopefully be lining up at a start line in Sydney, with Sarah and HB close by. At least, until the starting gun goes off and HB will be off running 4 minute kilometres, with Sarah not far behind.

A month or so ago Sarah sent me a message and said 'I'm doing the Sydney Blackmores Marathon'.
I said 'Wow! Awesome!'
She said 'You should do it with me.'
I said 'uhhhhhhhh what?'

Sarah listening to all of my excuses, declared them null and void and advised me to harden up. Actually, because she is delightful, she did nothing of the short. She listened to my excuses, said encouraging exciting things and left me to it. So I talked to Mr S about it and I didn't let the fact that I've been running for less than 6 months intimidate me (too much) and I said yes.


I am somewhat genetically predisposed to running. As in, I've got gigantic long legs that like to run fast. Now they aren't particularly speedy but they like a good run. Since I've been exercising regularly my hips don't hurt anymore. I know, right?

I downgraded my initial enthusiasm to a half marathon after reading lots of training manuals and books, which advised to be running for longer than a year before committing to a full marathon.

My BRF and I began to up our training, and pretty soon we were running 2km non stop. Then we did the MONA GASP run, which was 4km, non stop.

This week I cheated on my BRF, abandoned my family on Saturday morning and went for a solo run. It's rare that I run in either daylight or solo, so it was such a treat. I aimed for 5km, and after flagging a touch at 3.5km, I looped back to the car, ate some jellybeans, drank some water, found a toilet and kept going. I packed it in at 6.6km - my furthest distance ever!

My recovery has been awesome this time. Usually I'm suffering with shin splints that ache as much as newly engorged breastfeeding boobs (sorry boys, but it's true) and various joints complain. This time? Nada.

There was something funny on my leg the other day when I was getting dressed. I was concerned for a few seconds, and then I realised it was a quad muscle. Oh! An actual muscle! I have great Lady Guns from tending to my veggie garden and lifting two toddlers, and I've had Runner's Calves for a while, but Actual Leg Muscles are very exciting.

Mr S is endlessly patient listening to me waffle on about my Personal Best times and Heart Rate Zones, with a good serve of 'OMG MUSCLES'.

I have not lost significant weight in numbers, but my clothes are fitting nicely these days. My BRF is actively trying to gain weight after our exercise has seen her lose weight! She also looks amazing.

So my 100 Days Of Happiness can begin here. Running makes me so happy. Sewing makes me happy. My little daughters make me happy. My Mr S makes me happy. I love this song - it makes me happy.


Thursday, April 3, 2014

I used to be a grown up.

When M was a tiny baby who cried a lot and I was a new mother who also cried a lot because my baby cried a lot and why can't I fix this... well, my aunt called me and said 'She is learning to be a baby and you are learning to be a mother. That is all. It is okay.'

I still remember the timbre of her voice as she said those words to me and the relief I felt then is still the relief I feel now.

In many ways I suppose I am still learning to be a mother. As M grows into a toddler/little girl/tiny dictator/threenager I am again at a loss as to best roll with the punches. P is strangely enough a different person, so she's not exactly the same as M, making her journey different too.

I went back to my job when M was 20 weeks old. It was agreed upon that I would work from home, and ten days out from my return to work, it was decided that that would't work for my employers. I bandied about with the option of freelancing for them, but that wouldn't work because they feared it would be viewed as a 'sham contract', despite my having been a sole trader in my friend for the past ten years. So we reluctantly found a daycarer and I reluctantly went back to work, and hated it. So tired. Stressed at leaving my non crawling baby with someone else. Tired.

Then I began to enjoy it. Coffee alone! Shopping alone! BEING ALONE! I struggled with my workload and balancing short days with continuity of projects. I struggled with my colleagues who couldn't understand which days I was working, week to week. (I worked the same days every week.) I loved being a grown up again, but I found it so difficult.

I fell pregnant with P when M was 10 months old and my morning sickness was revolting. I carried a bottle of soda water in my handbag at all times and snuck out of the office at 10am every morning for a pair of potato cakes with chicken salt. I ate a lot. Some early pregnancy complications meant that we didn't feel like sharing this pregnancy with the world until we were certain everything was progressing ok. I mean, my gigantic bump at 6 weeks should have been certainty enough, but I hid that sucker under a scarf. At week 14 I handed in my maternity leave form to surprised employers, who looked even more shocked when I took my scarf off to show them that indeed, I was eating for two!

Surprise! Not just fat.

It was a difficult and tiring pregnancy which took it's toll on me early on. In hindsight finishing work in my second trimester would have been a lot easier on my body, but my financial situation didn't allow it. I balanced everything pretty poorly and forgot everything both at work and at home. I pinned a lot of things and spent a lot of time staring blankly at a wall trying to stay awake. At week 35 I finished my last day at work. Two of my colleagues remembered, made me a card and organised an afternoon tea.

Best. Card. Ever.

As the time to return to work approached I still wasn't ready. I extended my leave and thought about what I might like to do come September for my return to work.

A few phone calls later from my employers and I was offered a redundancy. I accepted and all lines of communication ceased, and on the last day of the financial year it was finalised. After five years of service, a place that was a huge part of my life suddenly wasn't anymore. It was a strange feeling. Even though it was an outcome that I was happy with, it still really felt like I was fired.

I'm not entirely sure that my employers actually told anyone of my final departure. I still run into my lovely ex-colleagues who ask when I'll be returning from maternity leave. It's safe to say I don't feel the love!

However I digress. Today I realised something important.

M and I were making brownies in the kitchen. She was sitting on the bench covered in chocolate, licking the beater and grinning at me. There was music on in the background, the kitchen was warm, P was snoozing peacefully in the other room and we were happy.

Photograph (c) Andrew Smyth

You can tell I love her, because I share the beaters and spatula.

I don't have a 'career head' on me at the moment. I'm here, enjoying the moments that make me smile, make me sad, drive me bonkers and make memories. I'm able to enjoy this time fully because this is what I do in the mornings. I get up and spend time with my family. It's because of the ailing print book economy and small business decline that I'm able to do this. I'm so grateful I live in a place that allows us to live and thrive on one wage. M and P are tiny for about five minutes. It's five minutes that I want to grab, bottle and hold on to forever.

Pretty nice, eh?


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