Thursday, January 31, 2013
The motivation to housekeep. It is still hot. I worked slow and steady. Halfway through I noticed how filthy our ceiling fans were....again. Lucky we only have three! (Baby wipes are awesome for cleaning fans.)
Since I have a rather inflated view of who actually reads my blog, and nothing makes me feel more validated that thinking people care about the things I have to share....
So, here are my top 3 super awesome housekeeping tips:
* Aside from everyday functional cleaning (washing up, sweeping etc), make sure you do things you husband will notice, or he will be inclined to question what you have been doing all day. Its sucks, but it's just how it is - at least in my house anyway.
As good as it makes me feel having clean fans, my husband won't notice unless I point it out. Makings beds, eliminating piles of clutter, folding washing (ugh!), cleaning the super filthy vanity. Nothing beats the quick tidy before he walks in the door - even if you have been lost in an awesome book or TV series for most of the afternoon!
* Keep the number of 'dumping grounds' (clutter spots - you know what I mean) you have to a minimum. I have two main ones - the other side of the brown couch for the kids toys I find laying around. It faces into the playroom so you can't see it from the living areas. Every couple of days (ok maybe once a week...) I yell at the kids to clean it up. (I am working on the yelling thing) My other one is a couple of in-trays I have - my paper dumping ground. I am terrible, I swear I only sort it every 4 months. Michael likes to use my study desk or sewing table for the dumping of random things - doesn't make me happy!
* Everything feels better when the floors are mopped or carpets vacuumed.
An easy middle of the night bed change. I am getting used the fact that I am going to have to get up quite regularly to change sheets while Jack is transitioning out of night nappies. Last night because of how he was sleeping the wee only went through his sheet - meaning I didn't have to wash his 'wee mat' and plastic sheet as well the next day.....yay!! Small pleasures - if you are a mum you will understand how awesome this is!
Wednesday, January 30, 2013
A sunny day. After days of heavy rain and a laundry full of soggy towels and dirty clothes, I was grateful for some sun to be able to do some loads of washing.
Now I just have to fold them all - worst job ever!
I like to ask Michael to do it. According to me, the washing job is complete as soon as you take it off the line - or after a load of washing gets put on, depending on the day. Yeah, I am pretty rubbish at getting it straight out onto the line too!
The kids going back to school. I kind of feel like a horrible mum for saying that. Although I loved (periods of) them being home for the holidays, they were getting just a little too much. They were bored and starting to fight and bicker a lot. Frankly, I think they were over it too. This morning Ash said he was pretty excited to get into learning new things, and Jack was so happy to be back with his BFF, Zoran. Amelie was just super excited that they didn't start learning on the first day, but instead did fun things and got organised for the new year. She loves organising - when she is in the mood that is.
To be able to exercise later in the morning. It's nice to have the option of sleeping just a little later and going to the gym after I drop the kids of at school.
To have power. So many people in the area still have no power from the storm, and it has been a couple of days now. We were incredibly blessed to have not lost any at all. My heart goes out to them, it would be a huge challenge....and one a admit I would deal very badly with. I am super cranky just trying to deal with the kids in the heat!
Monday, January 28, 2013
That the worst of the storm missed us. We didn't lose to power at all or suffer any damage (other than the very minor flooding last night). We have been extremely lucky.
Being finally, almost, prepared for school. For three kids books are coved and felt pens, crayons and pencils are labelled - and I am totally spent. Although I have absolutely no idea what I am packing for their lunches tomorrow.....
Psych. The best show ever (really if you haven't seen it, you....must!!) - it made all that contacting and labelling bearable.
Sunday, January 27, 2013
A handy husband. Still loads of rain, it hasn't stopped, and water was starting to come into our garage. I would have no idea what to do, however, my handy husband is handling it....he has been outside for a while doing 'handy stuff' with the drainage. All I know is, the water level is down and our garage is dry. Oh yeah, and he tied down our trampoline.Thanks stud!!
This talk on testimony and conversion. Since this is something I have been thinking about a lot lately I am grateful it was the topic of our Relief Society lesson.
Singing this hymn, 'How Firm A Foundation', in sacrament today. It is one of my favourite hymns. Every time I hear/sing it I am reminded that my Father in Heaven knows me, has a plan for me and that if I stick with Him all will be well.
Being an Australian. Yesterday it was Australia Day. Traditionally we celebrate with bbqs and beach days, but this year the weather totally washed us out. It has been raining almost constantly for a couple of days, and in Australia - that means flooding. No dramas where we are but it has been a major buzz kill for me. I have felt totally removed from the celebrations.
I stayed home, did some cleaning, contacted school books, watched new episodes of some of my favourite shows with my husband, and had burritos for dinner. Just a regular rainy day and not a sausage or steak in sight.
It didn't stop me from thinking about what it means to me to be Australian though. I love my country. I am so incredibly grateful for being blessed to live in freedom and safety, with a, for now, stable economy. To be able freely to choose so much of my life - my career, my education, my faith.
I was watching a humourous debate last night on "Is there such thing as being too Australian" - and if there is such a thing, what it actually means to be Australian. It reminds me of my year 11 (or 12) oral on a similar topic. There are a few iconic Australianisms - our self decprecating humour, "tall poppy" syndrome, beer drinking culture, our belief in mateship and our generosity to help others. But Australia's strong mutlicutural heritage means being Australian has so many different flavours and I love that.
My grandparents are Russian and came over after World War II, after being in a German prisoner of war camp, in search of a better way off life, because they didn't want to go back to oppressive Russia.
To me Australia, is the land of opportunity and new beginnings.
Happy Australia Day!
Friday, January 25, 2013
Combat. Even after a late night, and a middle of the night bedding change (Jack, not me) I still wouldn't miss getting up a 5am for combat. In that 45min class, I feel strong, powerful and confident. Not just physically strong, but emotionally and spiritually as well (it sounds weird I know - but true nonetheless). My foes are beatable, my weaknesses can be overcome.
(I have probably blogged about this before...)
Regular boxing/kick boxing/other martial arts (as awesome as they would be) just wouldn't be the same. The music makes it for me. Smashing it out, increasing intensity with each musical build up - there is nothing like it! Honestly, I feel euphoric - and just a little emotional. I am sure it is quite hilarious for the instructors (I am, hopefully, not the only one - since the early morning class is always packed out) to see a group of females, smiling, as they beat the crap out of an invisible opponent. I don't usually imagine a person, any more - there have been moments - I would like to think that I have far less pent up anger than 'past Natasha' had. My target is usually a disempowering feeling or situation.....I love Combat.
Our early Australia Day morning tea, and the chance to get to know my neighbour more. I made scones, she brought lamingtons, and the kids chatted non-stop. Show-and-telling all their toys and favourite DVD's. We finished with some craft - paper chain snakes. Definitely remembering that one for another day - paper strips, sticky tape and a felt pen = at least a hour of peace.
My cute little reminder of the awesomeness of parenthood. It was another hard day on the parenting front. My two youngest are fighting a lot lately and Ash had a friend over, which always seems to disrupt the children's playing dynamic - does that happen to anyone else? The friends want to be alone, the left over children wail that they haven't had any friends over for ages, and the annoying of each other begins....
Well Anyway - my day was going like that, I am sure the heat wasn't helping, and the fact that I hadn't taken them out of the house for more than a quick grocery/video stop in two days. So I decided on the local pool, for my sanity more than anything.
The three older children were occupied on a long blow up "something" they have at the pool sometimes on holidays, where you have run along as far as you can before you fall in the water, and I was watching Jack in the smaller pool, and reading. Jack was bouncing everywhere. So smiley and excited to be swimming and was showing me all the super cool things he could do with his kick board. I nearly cried, tears watering my eyes but not quite spilling over - I had been having such a garbage time with them all and then my little guy being all cute, happy and bouncy melted my heart and I wouldn't trade parenting for anything in the world. I helped make him - how cool is that!
I am grateful for parenthood. Grateful that it pushes my limits daily. I can have at least a dozen successes and failures in a 24 hours period (I am on call nights as well, especially during this no-nappy night toilet training business.) I have developed so many personal skills being a mother that no other job would provide (at least that is what I said on my resume!). It's hard and it's awesome - and on a good day....I love it.
Books. How good is escaping in a book? Brilliant.
Thursday, January 24, 2013
It's a home made hair treatment. My first one.
As much as I try and love myself just the way I was made, I kind of dislike my hair - it's thin (periods of intense stress has just made it thinner), fine and oily by nature. I also colour it quite regularly at home - my one cosmetic vice - so it's dull and dry and I have notice more hair loss than usual! Ugh, I want to cry!...since I am not really schooled in the art of beauty I have never really considered using any kind of treatment on it. Instead I take a trip to the hair dressers every couple of months, when it's driving me nuts and I want to shave my head, and get the ends cut off.
So this morning I was feeling inklings of the 'head shaving' kind and since I can't get to the hair dressers until next week at least, I thought I would google myself a solution.
(The oil and honey is now dripping onto my lap and my hands are sticky from the honey - possibly/probably I put too much in....)
It actually has an egg yoke in it as well, although I made the mistake of warming the oil and honey before the egg yoke went it. Umm not the best idea - cause it didn't stay totally raw.....
|No make-up, no photoshop - just me....eek!!|
Wednesday, January 23, 2013
The hard days. When the bickering and fighting is seemingly non-stop. When Master 5 screams in response to every little annoyance. When I just want to get in the car and drive away.
Because without them, I wouldn't appreciate the absolutely brilliant days!
Michael coming home. Even if it is after dancing, and almost the middle of the night and he has to wake me up to cuddle me.
A fridge full of pie. It helps me feel as though I have accomplished something.
Yesterday I was grateful for.....
Finding out our ward was having a 'bake-off' for the Australia Day Activity. It got me all excited about making pie again, so I made two to practise - lemon meringue and banana coconut cream. After the competition the desserts will be sold to raise money for EFY (Especially For Youth)....which is awesome.
Pressure baking freaks me out though....
Tidy kid's rooms. However, Amelie did some extreme negotiations - she did a deal with me that if I cleaned her room she would do my work....cleaning the vanities and sweeping the floor. She did it. I think I got a raw deal, but I was desperate.
Monday, January 21, 2013
Absence. I am a big sap. Occasionally Michael goes away for work, it is not for long, but I still miss him like crazy. Funnily enough, he can drive me totally nuts when he is here, with the way that he teases me and loves to get me all wound up.
I would love for him to walk in the door now and tell me the salad I made him for lunch was crap - I would smile and tell him at least he was healthy, and that his body thanks me. Then I would give him a big smooch.....*cough*
The last week of the holidays.....and milking it for every last drop. The only time we left the house today was to go to the supermarket. It rained and the kids jumped on the trampoline in their swimmers, they lego-ed, Amelie dragged her feet cleaning her room but sang a lot on her imaginary microphone to her music (ugh - its such an effort...and still not done!),I finished a novel, googled some recipes, played the Wii with Ash, exercised, and yeah, did some really, really light cleaning.
Sunday, January 20, 2013
Family. I still think there would be nothing better for us all (3 couples, 3 kids, 1 dude - but seriously bro, I hope this one lasts - she is a very good catch!) to move up to Mum and Dad's house and all live together, commune style.
The distraction my awesome Valiant 10 Primary class is from all my spiritual drama.
My children. That even though they don't want to go to church some weeks, they almost always enjoy it when they get there.
My husband. For being cool with me staying and hanging out with my family far longer than was prudent, considering the long drive home and work in the morning.
Being motivated enough to start doing some weights again. I always lose my mojo when it comes to personal weights sessions. I don't know if it's to do with the fact that I don't have a workout buddy, or that it's hard work and I don't like to push myself. Whatever it is I would like to commit once a week to working on my strength (in addition to a my Body Pump class and the resistance training I get from Combat).
Michael is completely anti weights training when it comes to women, or men for that matter. He thinks, for men, that muscle should come from pure hard work not poncing around in front of the mirrors at a gym. Fair enough. However, when it comes to women, I beg to differ. He likes to go on about how beautiful a women is with her soft natural curves, but I know what he looks at and most are those women who are the 2% (or something) of the population that just naturally have shape in all the right places, and the rest probably do some sort of strength training he just doesn't realise.
When a women gets older, no matter how gorgeous she was when she was younger, and she has done no form of strength training that is when you start to notice it. Especially in her posture.
Weight training can, for example:-
Improve mobility and balance
Increase bone density and strength
Enhance performance of everyday tasks
Assist in the prevention and control of health conditions such as diabetes, heart disease and arthritis
Decrease the risk of injury
Improve sleep patterns (from the Vic State Government Better Health Site)
Why wouldn't you start training? It is not at all about crazy buff man arms and a ripping six pack......I highly recommend it ladies!
Making good food choices. And not resorting to take out because it was easier not to prepare something. I am really feeling the responsibility of keeping my family healthy at the moment.
Weekend quality time with my super studly husband.
Friday, January 18, 2013
Time at the pool with our neighbour and her gorgeous little girl. We have lived next door to each other for two years now and it has only been the last few months that we've moved beyond mere pleasantries. Mind you, my kids have been having conversations with her and her daughter ever since we moved - they are far more comfortable meeting new people than I am!!
An afternoon sleep, AND a tiny pre-pool morning nap. Dancing last night and Combat early this morning - 5 hours sleep does NOT look good on me.
A new episode of 'Suits' to watch with my sweetheart. Plenty of ethical grey areas to make me question why on earth I am studying law, with just enough moral resolution to keep my watching. I love sharing my favourite TV shows with my husband - he is not quite as excited about them as I am, but I think he secretly gets into the stories and characters!
Making the choice not to be lazy and order pizza for dinner. My family's bodies will love me for it.
Having my handsome little man fall asleep on me and getting to carry him to bed. I love that little guy, almost 6 and he still feels like my baby. I clearly need more babies - darling, pleeeease?! *sigh* or at least have the grandchildren over more often.
Thursday, January 17, 2013
So at the moment I am feeling rather down and I am finding it hard to be filled with gratitude.....so it may be simple tonight.
Today I am grateful for.....
Shopping with my children without tantrum and drama. Today they were able to spend some money of their own on (almost) whatever they wanted. It was fun watching them make choices and be independent - I let them make the purchases themselves, even going as far as sending the older two off on their own with a spot to meet up when they were finished.....I was so proud of them!!!
Sharing dinner with a friend and happily paying it forward.
Wednesday, January 16, 2013
The opportunity to be home with my children during the school holidays.
Having the extended motivation to clean up my walk-in robe....and yes, it feels fabulous!
A brilliantly creative 8 year old daughter that makes excellent banana fritters.
A husband that loves dancing as much as I do - if he had to choose, I am sure he would choose me though.....right?
A beach day with friends that we do not often get to see. The kids played together brilliantly!! Absolutely love it when that happens. No bickering = bliss.
Dodging the bullet that was a previous boyfriend* (the relationship was so disastrously complicated - I am not even sure that it could have been labelled!), finding a good friend in his ex-wife, ("ex" - ugh...is there a better prefix, please let me know!)and therefore still getting to hang out with their awesome children!!
Stopping by to see my fabulous Babushka on the way home - love her so much! She fed us mangoes, we helped her sort the toy box and I dozed on the carpet while my children played around me (I am my father's daughter!). She is 87 (I think), and I selfishly want her to live forever. Or at least so my children can have her in their life growing up as much I had her in mine. I honestly can't imagine my life without her.
And "Pushing Daisies" time with my most excellent husband.
*9.23pm - So I feel bad about this comment - I have been thinking about it on and off all day - it is phrased rather callously. So rephrasing - I am just really grateful that my life didn't turn out the way that I wanted it to at the time with that particular person.
Monday, January 14, 2013
Surviving pre-school shopping with all the kids.
Having Lou over for dinner and as a dancing buddy.
The slightly cooler weather.
The chance to sweat it up on the dance floor.
A husband who is happy to serve others.
Sunday, January 13, 2013
Saturday, January 12, 2013
Today I am grateful for.....
How absence makes the heart grow fonder,
Jack. His happy chatty ways were hilarious to me tonight. He met an old man at a family get together, my uncle's uncle and promptly got along with him. On meeting Jack immediately waved and stuck his hand out. A little later he came over and said to me
'I like that man!!'
Yesterday I was grateful for.....
The opportunity to witness my beautiful step-daughter's marriage and sealing to a wonderful man.
A fabulous husband who is heart meltingly good with babies. He spent most of the reception chilling with his 4 month old granddaughter.
Being part of such an amazing inlaw family. When I was a young women I wished my now sister inlaw was my mother. I think I got the next best thing.
Thursday, January 10, 2013
Today I am exhausted but totally grateful for family.....
I really enjoyed hanging out and chatting with my Dad tonight -and annoying him while he made dinner. Also loved teasing Mum and being her guinea pig.
I am so thankful families can be together forever.
Wednesday, January 9, 2013
An extended swimming pool pass - and therefore swimming at the local pool without cash outlay on this crazy hot day. Also glad that the heat forced me into the pool and I enjoyed my little man, Jack, showing me his impressive swimming ability.
Finding the latest Stephanie Plum book at the local library.
Being able to make it to a Pump class this morning and giving my muscles a workout.
Surviving and having a successful week 1 of my detox - despite having a houseful of lovely smelling fresh bread.
The first couple of days (maybe 3) I was quite hungry between meals even though I was eating a good balance of fat, carbs and protein at every meal or snack (although I didn't have the coconut cream until day 3, and I adjusted my oats portions until I settled with the one below). That has settled down now and I am satisfied almost to my next meal.
I have been eating almost exactly the meals I had in the original post:-
Breakfast: 1/2 cup (uncooked) oats, cooked on water in the microwave. topped with 1/2 a banana, a few frozen blueberries, a tbsp-ish of flaxmeal, some mixed raw nuts and a dash of coconut cream. (so full after this and I usually can't quite finish it all!)
snack: if hungry a piece of fruit and some more nuts
Lunch: Spinach leaves, some diced cooked sweet potato, 1/2 a tomato, diced cucumber, shallots, maybe some red cabbage or capsicum and a good amount (not sure how much) toasted mixed seed (pepitas, sunflower seeds and pine nuts). Dressed with balsamic, virgin olive oil and chilli or if I am feeling asian soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, dash of sesame oil and chilli.
Snack: if hungry, cut up celery and carrot and more nuts or hummus.
Dinner: something involving beans or lentils, vegetables and brown rice.
Snack: I REALLY look forward to this! Fruit salad - watermelon, rockmelon, a few grapes (I think they are pretty sugary), half a peach or nectarine.
I have been having cravings - but surprisingly not for sugar, I guess that depends on what your poison is. I have been craving homemade meatless nachos, pizza and popcorn (although I managed to take my kids to movies and relatively easily go without - a big thing for me!).....all junky, salty carbs! That is my poison.
My face has cleared up - Michael commented on how good it was looking last night. I don't know if its a combo of both, but I have been also washing it with an 3:1 castor/olive oil combo. Whatever it is I am happy with the results.
I weighed myself once - on Sunday (morning of day 4). Only because Michael was hassling me to, he broke my rules and weighted himself everyday! I had lost 2.3kg - though I question the accuracy of my original weigh-in as there may have been some water retention from all the junky food I had been eating. Either way my pants are fitting better already and my waist feels smaller. I can definitely tell the difference when I put my gym clothes on. Michael has lost 3-4kg in that last 7 days.
Exercise: In seven days I have only run 3 times (45mins-1hr), and did one pump (weights) class.
Definitely happy with my results!!!
Tuesday, January 8, 2013
Good Disney movies. Really enjoyed watching "Wreck-It Ralph" with the kids today.
Technology and how easy it is to gain knowledge. Being blown away by the awesomeness of the talks chosen for the Gospel Teaching and Learning series. I am getting more and more excited and grateful to be able to teach the Primary this year!
School holidays. Still a couple of weeks of not having to prepare 4 lunches in the morning - I plan to enjoy it.
PS. This is my 200th post....Yay!
Monday, January 7, 2013
Play dates, refreshing deep discussion and the opportunity to share a few of my beliefs.
Being in a position to "pay it forward".
Having quite a few detox friendly dinners in the freezer (3 varieties - red lentil dahl, kidney bean chilli, pumpkin vege and lentil soup....what I lack in variety I have made up for in quantity!
Surviving Day 5 of my New Year Detox with minimum food fantasies - my dancing pants are a little looser!
The opportunity to go dancing tonight - I was exhausted and left early, but I had some great dances.
A super helping husband who had the nightly chores all done when I got home - even the dishes were put away as well as washed!!!
A husband who works hard to support us.
Sunday, January 6, 2013
My calling as a valiant 10 teacher in Primary at church. I was very excited and a little nervous to have a new group of kids.
Being able to fast for the whole day this fast Sunday - I do it almost once a month, but it is always a challenge!
A husband that takes care of cutting the boys hair for me......however, I wish he was also good at the eradication of head lice, my least favourite job.
Not caving in and getting pizza tonight - craving it so bad! Again, at least its not sugar, right? Detox day 4 done.
Saturday, January 5, 2013
Finding the only decent new release movie in the video shop....."The Sapphires" - twas awesome!!
More beach time with my kiddies. Loved watching them have so much fun and getting better at catching waves!
A organised playroom and moderately clean house that doesn't make me want to yell all the time.
Surviving Day 3 of our self imposed detox, craving for some homemade nachos though! (at least its not sugar!!)
My absolutely legendary husband lovingly buffing up my nails and giving me a foot bath while we watched the movie.
A good day!!
Living near the beach, the ocean was wild and dumpy....but I loved it.
Making and sharing memories with my children. Today was their first time on boogie boards.
The opportunity to share my step-daughter Brier's first time through the temple - I can't wait for the chance that I am able to go through with my husband.
Food. This detox has me so hungry at the moment!
I haven't been including the basic things that I am grateful for every day, ie. A house to live in, a car the runs, my health, my family, children, enough food to eat.....it is those things and experiences that stand out to me additionally on any given day that I have chosen to focus on.
Thursday, January 3, 2013
Our awesome neighbour who kept an eye on our house when we were away.
A sensitive body that doesn't let me get away with not taking care of it for long.
The boys happily helping outside this afternoon pulling weeds.
Being home, even though the house is still trashed.
After a not so good sleep last night, retiring late and waking up with the sun/heat (definitely back in Queensland) I went for a run - I wasn't going to but Michael expressed his surprise that I hadn't yet, so I did.
It was a rubbish run. I felt heavy, and weary - it was hard. I was depressed and felt like I wanted to vomit. Not physically, more of an emotional purge that only a good cry can do, but I couldn't do that either. I felt so icky I had to turn off my iPod, the music was driving me mental.
So as I was running/struggling and thinking the idea can into my head that maybe my body was rather toxic. Even though I had been running a bit over the holiday period I hadn't been kind with the food that I was eating. You know, sugar is poison (sooo much chocolate!) and all of that. Plus my face is evidence, I am like a hormonal teenager, with big sore pimples on my chin and lower cheeks. At that moment the thought of eating anything made me feel sick.
So I compiled a two week New Year Detox for myself, which I have started today:
1. Cut anything that doesn't grow from your diet
Protein will include nuts, seeds and legumes and Carbohydrates from legumes, oats, brown rice, quinoa and sweet potato. Fats from nuts and olive oil, and coconut milk/cream (not dairy). Yes to veges and fruit.
Lunch was sweet potato and mixed salad (spinach leaves, tomato, capsicum, cucumber) with mixed toasted seeds and dressed with virgin olive oil, balsamic and ground chilli.
Dinner tonight is red lentil and vegetable dahl with brown rice.
Breakfast tomorrow (I felt too yuck to eat it today) will be porridge with mixed berries and nuts or mushrooms. (thinking to experiment with coconut milk)
snacks: dried apricots & mixed raw nuts, cut up carrot and celery (maybe with some organic peanut butter), a banana
2. Drink 2 litres of water a day - especially in this heat.
3. Do some kind of exercise every day
Wednesday, January 2, 2013
I am grateful for a car that traveled well over 4000 km and got us home safely.
For children that were extremely well behaved and tolerant during the journey.
And even though I spent a whole lot of time being cross at him today, I am so incredibly grateful for Michael - for driving us to Tasmania and back, on a holiday he really didn't want to have, so that children could spent Christmas with their father. Grateful for his organisation, super packing skills, and responsibility so we got everywhere on time and I didn't get to stress out much!
Lastly, I am thankful for Ms NavMa(m) for not getting us lost, and taking us on a spontaneous tour of the Great Lakes on our way down to Hobart.
.....and I am already behind!
Yesterday was filled with cleaning, packing and squeezing every last minute of time with Michaels family before leaving them to travel back home.
So on that first day of the year and of Gratitude, my heart was filled with thanks for family. For the fortune of being married into a family so fun, easy going and lovable.
Thanks also for the opportunity to connect and forge relationships with lost family.
Lastly, I am grateful to be able serve the ones I love, for those acts of service make me love them even more.