28 March 2012

Eating intuitively

Ooh, I'm so confused. You know I read a lot, right? I think I've read too many health/fitness/diet books. They've confused me with all the different approaches. I've read the Dukan diet, Sarah Wilson's I Quit Sugar, Paleo, Jillian Michaels, Michelle Bridges... I'm confused!

OK, I'm going to look at this situation slightly differently. What has worked for me in the past? What has worked physically, and what has worked mentally?

It makes sense to me to eat less sugar. I know I eat too much sugar, that I have what I'd almost call an addiction to sugar, in the form of chocolate and alcohol.

It makes sense to me that low fat products are actually not great. They're often high in sugar.

Additives. I believe that we need to eat clean, as much as possible.

I feel that too much wheat is not good for my body.

Most protein bars, most protein drinks and some powders are not good for my stomach. Let's just say it produces a lot of odour.

I know my portion sizes are too large. I know that I have huge issues with stopping, I know I gorge myself. A whole block of chocolate, a whole box of crackers. I just cannot have certain foods around me or I eat them, all of it, whatever it is.

I do not do well with writing down what I eat, counting calories or points or saying OK, I'm allowed to have this and this today, but not that.

I feel best when I eat protein, vegies and a little bit of carbs. I know I need to eat breakfast before about 7am. I know I need to eat regularly or I start to fade, feel grey and irrational.

This is what I know, think and feel. Time to eat clean, and intuitively.

27 March 2012

Emergency plan - do you have one?

At 2am, the smoke detector went crazy. Those things are SO. LOUD. Both Itay and I jumped up and ran to the hallway where the detector is located. I switched on our bedroom light as I ran past, shut O's door and  Itay grabbed a chair, then managed to pull the little gadget off the ceiling. We ran to the kitchen, I turned the light on and Itay managed to snatch the battery out. Silence. Amazingly, neither of the kids woke up, even though the detector is situated just outside O's door. Huh? How do they do that, yet wake up if an imaginary spider is walking across a wall? meanwhile, my heart was pounding crazily and Itay looked so startled!

We both did laps of the house, sniffing, checking switches and electricty outlets, obvious fire hazards like the oven, iron... You get the idea. No smoke or fire to be seen or smelt.

I lay in bed afterwards, unable to fall asleep easily. My mind drifted to the thought of a real fire in our home. I have to say - we're not at all prepared. Our passports, birth certificates and precious photos are not stored together. We have no fire extinguisher, no fire blanket and we haven't really spoken to the kids about what to do in an emergency. I'm embarrassed to admit that we don't have contents insurance.

Not good, right? We need to get on to it. Make a plan. Do you have an emergency plan in your household? How do you store your important documents?

26 March 2012

Beach session

I know, I know. Every week I seem to post pictures of us at the beach. Well, I guess that's just what we do. The beach is our place. Our happy, family place. The rain has been on and off for the last week or two (or three) and so on Saturday morning when the sun was shining through, we packed up and headed to the out. It was a little windy but so, so gorgeous. The beach had a particular scent on Saturday, a mixture of sunscreen, BBQ and sunshine that was just so blissful.

O needs new swimming stuff before next summer. We wear our swimmers hard and the elastic is popping through all over this rash shirt, so that it is almost dress length!

Counting to ten. One, two, three, four, five, six, eight, nineteen, eleven!

Showing Aba his counting fingers.

She is so enjoying this concept of reading, writing and letters. She did a brilliant job writing all over the beach in both Hebrew and English with her "pens", crazy sea plants that looked like quills.

We love the beach. I make myself jump in every single time we go to the beach, no matter how cold it is. I just adore that feeling of immersing myself in the water, the freedom of swimming under water, the burst of air as you pop up out of the water. I love it. Hate sand though!

Oh, I'll miss summer.

23 March 2012

No style

Yesterday I wasted seven dollars something on the Shop Til You Drop magazine. I say wasted, because out of the whole magazine, which is dedicated to clothes, shopping and imparting a certain style, I found two items of clothing/accessories that I could imagine wearing and importantly, fit within my meagre budget. Honestly, I just couldn't see anything at all that I felt I could wear.

Then today I'm wearing a new pair of work pants. I've made a mistake with them. They wrinkle when I wear them. I am usually quite obsessive about fabric that wrinkles - if I like an item of clothing in a shop, I will take a corner in my hand and squeeze. If there are wrinkles when I let the fabric go, that's the end of that. Often very cheap fabrics wrinkle, but then you've also got linen which is just a crinkle-fest. These pants weren't so cheap.  I suppose I could check the label of these pants, but whatever they are, they are annoying me. I'm not sure how I let this happen! Not only that, I had them shortened (I always, always need my pants shortened!) and they're too long! They keep catching on my shoes. Agh!

I feel so "mumsy" these days. After my disastrous short hair cut, I have made it even worse by going back and trying the fringe look again. After comparing the photos in that post, I actually did think the fringe look suited me. So a week ago I had my hair coloured again and I had a fringe trim again. I hate it, again.
I feel so style-less. I think I want to be a little bit bohemian, colourful, comfortable and just feel my own style. It's not happening! I don't wear heels, I want to be comfortable when I'm out on the weekends playing with my kids. I just cannot seem to find much that I like these days. Do you have a style? Or are you struggling along, just trying to be comfortable?

20 March 2012

Play dough mess

My baby boyo was beginning to get a little sick on Friday so he was happy to cruise around at home after we caught up with our playgroup friends. In between rain showers, we sat outside and had some sensory fun. We made this play dough a while ago and O squished it all together and it became green. We also made this coloured pasta and coloured rice quite a long time ago. I tipped some rice and pasta in to a bowl and let him go for it. We had a great time poking it in to the play dough and making funny shapes, then he just tipped the whole bowl out and covered the table with pasta and rice. Then he tipped most of it on the ground...

We left it all outside while we to pick up M from school. We dropped in to the library then headed home. M thought it would be interesting to fill the plastic bowl with water and throw in handfuls of the coloured pasta and rice, which immediately turned the water a murky colour as all the food colouring leached out. Rice and pasta went all soggy and then water spilt on to the play dough. Mm, what a mess! They did have fun though ad I was glad I’d had a little think about getting together some more interactive activities for him on our day together. These things were ready to go so it was super easy. Just what I needed that day, which was hard in other ways. 

I need to think of a few more activities we can do this Friday. Any ideas?

19 March 2012

The girl

"Why are you holding my hand, Mummy?"
"Because I like to, bubsy. I love holding your hand. Is that OK?"
"Yes, Mum."

I had a "get to know you" interview with M's teachers earlier in the term. They mentioned they had read back over our comments from the initial interview we had last year (prior to school starting) in prepation for this interview. At that time we noted that M can be highly emotional and volatile at home. We also pointed out that only a very, very few times had she shown this form of behaviour at day care, other than the relentless tears and separation anxiety she (and I) suffered for almost three years.

Well, it seems that she only displays this kind of emotion and irrational behaviour at home. She's an angel at school. She loves it. She still skips in daily and has made some little friends. She loves the activities, she's enjoying reading and writing and really, we couldn't be happier. We're happy because she is happy.

But oh my goodness, her behaviour at home. Wow. It can be simply revolting. She speaks so, so rudely and is so, so bossy and at times she is downright mean. Then I look at this face and wonder where it comes from. parenting is so difficult some days.

16 March 2012

Fridays with my boy

Now that my little guy is not sleeping during the day, I need a plan. OK, he needs to sleep, but he doesn't want to. I ask gently, and if he says no, I don't push it.

Anyway, our Fridays used to go something like this: 9.30am -11.30am was our playgroup/mothers group time. I've been meeting up with this beautiful group since M was just under four months old. We do a huge variety of activities. For a while there we hired a hall and organised activities, themes, cooking, dancing, stories. It was great. We have met at the beach, parks, gardens, playgrounds, indoor play cafes, each other's houses, the pool, the library for story time and shows, Playschool shows, movies, birthday and Christmas parties...

Then we headed home and had lunch. M and O would sleep, and then just O. M was happy to watch a movie, do craft activities and generally play quietly while I did my thing. Afternoons involved various activities at home, sometimes grocery shopping, trips to the library or the park. Sometimes we'd just drop all plans and head to Brisbane or down the coast to visit friends.

Now. O doesn't sleep, so I need to get a little bit more organised about planning activities that he is going to enjoy. To be honest, we haven't attempted much (if any) craft, cutting, pasting, painting type play with O. He's a little destruction man and so it has been very difficult to do with both the kids together. So I think now is the time for him to be offered these activities. I've sourced some truck/construction colouring pages for him. I'll set up the easel outside for him with some paints. What else would he like?

He loves anything dirty, silly and naughty. Anything with balls. Wheels. Water. Sticks. Trucks. Bikes. Hmm, that doesn't sound arty crafty at all, does it? I'll have to have a think.

15 March 2012

School paraphenalia

School is hard work. For me! Keeping up with which folder goes back to school on the right day, which book goes back when, library bag, home activities, home reading, recording reading, permission slips, going to school for activities, organising extra stuff like orange clothing for the anti-bullying day on Friday, a blue shirt for cross country day, Easter hat craft supplies, a donation bag of chocolate eggs, special tuckshop order (her first) , stuff for crazy hair day and a gold coin donation... I’m exhausted by it all and our house is littered with paper, books, folders and lists. And the artwork – M is just so prolific, she creates about a tree worth of art and craft each week, both at home and school. I see all these great ideas on the internet for command stations but I cannot get my head around a space or a place for such a thing. I don’t know how to get ahead!

Then I look at her school shoes which she has been wearing for about seven weeks and wonder if I have the strength to return them, they look terrible. They’re leather, but they’re peeling, stitches are ripping off and basically they look very old, not fairly new.

What do you to do to keep all this school stuff under control?

12 March 2012

Sunday with friends

There are some days, so weekends, some weeks where it is so difficult to focus on the blessings, the positives and the gratefulness. I've been experiencing this "low" for a little while now and this weekend was trying. The whole experience of just being tested my patience and my sanity this weekend and I am actually surprised I made it through without losing it at someone, anyone.

On Sunday, the boy woke us early and the niggly, annoying feelings just continued. The day was a bit messy, but made brighter with a trip down the coast to visit friends and a birthday celebration at the beach. Friends always seem to make the day brighter. The weather was on and off, with dark clouds, sunshine, hot sunburning sun and drops of rain.

My kids, snacking and facing the sand dunes instead of the waves. I'm not really sure why!

O, head mechanic assistant. Fascinated by his Aba changing a tyre on the car. Oh yes, we had a flat tyre. Notice the cute little grease stains on his cheek?

Here you go, Aba!

I managed to sneak in a little half hour nap which eased my cranky pants attitude, but I have to say I physically felt the silence when they went to bed, absorbed it and just breathed out. Somehow, I managed to get through the weekend without doing something I'd regret, like screaming at my kids. I just held my mouth and held my sanity. 

Do you have times like this?

9 March 2012

Boy at the beach

A couple of Fridays ago was Dr Seusss' birthday. I'm sure it was no coincidence that our local library was hosting a Dr Seuss story session. I've been to these sessions before and while they're fun, they involve loads of parents and kids squished in to a room and I'm really not sure it was something that O would like. Also, it was a glorious day.

We headed to beach instead. My little guy was thrilled - he simply loved being at the quiet beach, with only a few other kids and older people splashing around. We played, he surfed and no way was I allowed to help him do anything. We built castles. We packed away as a religious man assured me my son wouldn't be bitten by jellyfish or bluebottles if I believed in the bible.

O assured me he would be happy (which means not crying) when we had a beach shower. he normally screams - but he kept his word this time! We had a snack in the shade and he chased seagulls. He pulled a few daredevil tricks on the playground equipment.

Lunch time and we treated ourselves to Sushi train. he scoffed down his gyoza and miso soup and it was such a delight just to hang out with my little boy, watch him and only him, answer all his questions and just absorb him. he watched his favourite Fireman Sam while I finished the damn shopping list, and then, he fell asleep. Even though he says "I'm not tired" and it was only 20 minutes until we had to pick M up.

It was just so blissful to revel in one child, in my boy who has always shared me with his sister. Love him so.

7 March 2012

Farewell, dear sleep

My boy is the sweetest little sleeper and has been since he was born. But in the last couple of weeks, my baby has begun to refuse his daytime sleep. I'm devastated. Most parents would agree that the day time sleep can be a sanity saver. That quiet time when you can close your own eyes (I'm a big fan of this!), or have a quiet lunch, read a book, work or do a bit of preparation for dinner, write the shopping list... The ways I utilised this time were endless!

I'll be honest, my absolute favourite way to enjoy the afternoon nap was to... have an afternoon nap too. I simply adore the afternoon nap and I always have. Itay and the kids don't agree with me, and I know Itay is thrilled that we no longer have to work around O's nap.

My little babies are growing up. Bye bye, day sleeps. I'll miss you, so very much.

6 March 2012

School is cool

I don't remember school being quite so much fun as it seems to be these days! Above is Grandma Poss, the class possum who comes home in her very own Australia tote bag. She likes to hang out in the garden, so we needed to take photos, paste them in to to Granma Poss' scrapbook and write about her stay with us. M was beyond excited to get Grandma Poss, as she's been waiting since almost the very first day of school.

M looking not so happy that O wants to be in the photos too. He's so in to the idea of big school, but he now understands he'll have to wait a few years.

She actually said "don't take photos of me in my pyjamas" and she went off to choose something more appropriate. Hmm. The fake smile is plastered on, too.

They've also cooked fried rice, lamingtons, tacos, made sandwiches, popcorn... I seriously do not remember school being this much fun when I was a kid!