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!!!!
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