Olivia picked these out, at the shops, yesterday afternoon. Between the deli & the $2 shop, the florist would be her next favourite. As it is mine. It feels indulgent to nip in there and just splurge on flowers.
We chose white carnations. They will not last long. But they are delightful never the less.
You have been waiting so long for it to be YOUR turn at kindy.
They have watched you, those lovely teachers, come in with your siblings, every day now for three years. As a tiny baby, as a toddler, you became familiar, and now it is finally your turn.
And this morning when I dropped you off, of course you knew exactly where to put your bag. You knew where the toilets were. You know all the teachers by name. You are totally and utterly at home.
You sat down straight away at the craft table and didn't even look back at me.
When I bent down for a quick kiss, you told me "Mumma, you need to GO now. Leave me here by myself please."
And so it has started.
As quickly as these babies came rushing into my world, dare I say, crowding my world, with chaos, they are now moving out of it. To do their own thing.
Olivia is at school and so is Charlie soon. Lexie is now at kindy. All three of them, away from me.
There is no need for me, anymore, to breastfeed or swaddle anyone. No need to help them eat, or walk, or dress. All three totally toilet trained. The safety gates and childproof locks are gone. Self sufficient.
No rush to watch Playschool at 9.30am.
No constant demands upon me & my time.
I am glad, I am sad. I am glad. Sad, glad, sad.
I do not know much this morning, aside from I miss them.
But today, I especially miss my little Lexie.
I can't wait till 3 o'clock to pick my cheeky little tacker up...........
A week or two back, I posted about how I was chucking out the scales, and adopting a new approach to my eating, my diet and my relationship with food.
I have been really happy with "letting go of perfect".
I have been eating well, and I have only dropped the ball a few times on my mission to eat supportively.
(Sunday night in front of the Masterchef final was a good example of "mindless" eating. Handfuls of peanuts anyone?)
I have been tracking, every single day, everything I have been eating.
Just jotting it down, along with how hungry I was before I ate, and how full I felt after having eaten.
It makes for very interesting reading. This emotional eating bizzo is a such a complex puzzle for me.
I have always known I was an emotional eater, but I suspect I was always too nervous to delve into that any further.
Now I am feeling like I am in a good place to tackle this emotional eating business once and for all.
So, one of the main things that prompt my emotional eating are -
- When I feel like I might "miss out" on a treat by depriving myself. I know why. Now that I have analysed it a little, I can clearly remember feeling like this as a child. For a couple of reasons, food was often restricted, from me. My mother no doubt had my best interests at heart, and I know she was doing what she thought was best at the time. But it evidently impacted my relationship with food.
She operated on a strict budget, and there was very rarely "treats" or "junk food" in the house, ever. When she did buy such treats, it was restricted, out of scarcity. And it was rationed out. So of course, I always felt like I wanted more. I had older siblings who always got more. But I wanted more too, to be like them, I guess. But I wasn't allowed.
Out of all of us, I was not fat, but as a child I the one with the sturdy build, in comparison to my siblings who were all long and lean. My mother had battled with her weight through her teenage years, so I think she was terrified I would turn into a "fat child". She put me on a diet at aged 7. When I look at photos of myself at this age, I was not fat. At all. But I wasn't skinny either, so I guess she was trying to anticipate weight gain? I don't know.
Either way, I was always told "no more for you Lucy", whilst my siblings were allowed more. "That's enough, Lucy", whilst my siblings helped themselves.
See? Scared of missing out.
So the minute I put myself on a "diet", all those feelings of being "deprived" and "restricted" and "being the odd one out" return. And make me feel sad.
So the instinct is, of course, to rebel, and eat loads of all the restricted treats.
Which is what got me overweight in the first place.
Arrrggghh! See? A complex puzzle.
But, since choosing to chuck out the scales and not restrict anything at all, I have been a whole lot happier.
And whilst I have not weighed myself, instinct tells me I have not put on any weight at all. And that I have probably lost some weight.
That achy, sore feeling you get the day after a strenuous workout. The cause of DOMS is actually unknown, but scientists think that they are caused by a breakdown of muscle fibers; & this is particularly true when doing weight-training exercises. Other research claims that the soreness comes not from the damage process but from the rebuilding process. Ouch. But I like it. That ache tells me I am doing good.......
Last week, last Monday morning at 6am, I did intervals of 400m sprints on the treadmill, backed up by sets of 40 squats. Ten times. (That is 400 squats. Mad.)
By Tuesday lunchtime, legs ached like nothing on earth. I could barely bend over.
By Sunday lunchtime, and several kilometers of walks later, I am fine again. The DOMS have buggered off.
Good job too, because at 6am this Monday morning, I tortured my top half and my arms.....400m sprints on the treadmill, backed up by sets of 20 tricep dips and 20 bicep curls.
So tomorrow morning, the DOMS will set in again, in my arms this time, and ache for a week.....
And next Monday, it will probably be sprints backed up by sit ups........so my core and my pelvic floor and my abs (all the middle bits) will ache from the DOMS.
Think of the firm arse Lucy, think of the lovely lady arms. Think of the lady garden.........
So, yep, I ache all over. But it is a good ache, and I love it.
So much so, that lovely husband and I purchased a sporty little number in the stroller line - the Pedigree Fitnesswise Easylite jogger stroller thingo - made in New Zealand, it was all graphite and trend at the time.
I quickly (obviously) realised that sleep deprivation coupled with "I have no fecking idea what I am doing in relation to this new baby" meant that a new mother's priority is not actually fitness. Her priority simply becomes staying sane.
So the stroller became just a ridiculously expensive pushchair.
We then went onto quickly have Charlie, and then Lexie. Olivia was not yet walking when Charlie was born, so we progressed up from the jogger stroller thingo to the tandem limo -
Designed totally to just lock toddlers down, this one was built for shopping centre surfaces only - instead of all terrain, it was more like no terrain. But, it did the job. I hated it with a passion, and it was cumbersome and unwieldy, but it kept them safe, and meant that I could at least get out and about with two small littlies.
And Lexie came along so quickly that I actually needed it for much longer than I ever anticipated.
For about a year, I was the "lucky" Mummy who was using the above twin stroller for Olivia and Charlie, AND had Lexie in the Baby Bjorn . (Three under three anyone?)
Gradually, of course, over the past 4 years, my babies, they all got easier to manage. Olivia learned to walk, Charlie was never a runaway toddler, and Lexie was happy to be popped in a lightweight umbrella stroller -
I am openly horrified & embarrassed at the amount of strollers we have, and that they were all purchased with great intent, only to be now gathering dust in the garage.
So it was with delight that I retrieved the original and the best out of a dusty corner this morning and gave it's tyres a pump up. A quick wipe over to clear the cobwebs, and she is ready to go..........
Because this morning, once Olivia and Charlie are dropped off at school & kindy - well - me and Lexie are going to cover some kilometres. Yep, I am off on a little fitness jog with my youngest and the Fitnesswise Easylite jogger stroller thingo, using it for the purpose for which it was designed and purchased - to get a little exercise with my child in tow.......
Lexie is nearly four. But only weighs in at about 15kg, so is a total titch. She is not quite up to a 13.5km circuit just yet. But, when I suggested the stroller idea, she jumped at it, and helped me clean it up, and is very excited by the prospect of going running with Mumma..........so.......fingers crossed we all go the distance!
(And if anyone wants stoller recommendations - take your pick - I still have no idea.......)
A couple of things of have happened since I did that last interview.
Firstly, I have a new phone that has a voice recorder on it. Which Charlie LOVES to play with. Loves the sound of his own voice much? Yep.
Plus, my four year old is now, as of today, a big five year old. It's his birthday.
So I give you "An Interview with a Five Year Old"
Me - Hey Charlie, how old are you?
Charlie - I am FIVE today. I am still not catching up to 'Livia.
Me - And what day is it today?
Charlie - Muuum, (in exasperation) it's my BIRFDAY. (Pause.) Did you not know that Mum? (Worried.)
Me - Yes darling, I did know that. Don't worry. So, tell me, what happens on your birthday?
Charlie - I go to kindy, and I am taking cakes. And I will eat five cakes 'cos I am five.
Me - Right. And what else happens on your birthday?
Charlie - Everyone sings "Happy Birfday" to me all the time and I get loads of parcels from The Office. (I think he means the Post Office. And he'd be right. I have been carded every day for a fortnight to nip in and pick up packages for Charlie!)
Me - And what happens later on today Charlie?
Charlie - After kindy I have to play with Lexie but I don't want to 'cos she is 'noying, but I have to, and then I have to wait for Daddy to get home and I get to have my best dinner, and that is pizza wiv pineapple.
Me - Charlie, did you open some birthday presents this morning?
Charlie - Mum, (exasperated again), you know I did. You were there when I opened my presents.
Me - Oh, OK. Remind me Charlie, what did you get?
Charlie - (Jumping up and down with excitement.) I got a Leapster and a SpongeBob game. Mum, can I please play with my Leapster again now? PLEEEEASE Mum?
Me - No, we have to get to kindy.
Charlie - Mum, you are a meanie. It is MY BIRFDAY. (Fake cranky.)
Me - Later, I promise.
Charlie - Mum. Please make sure Lexie doesn't play wiv my Leapster when I am not here? Please?
Me - OK mate, I promise.
Charlie - Mum, you can play wiv my Leapster if you like. I'll let you.
Me - Thanks sweets. Charlie, can I tell you something?
Charlie - I know what you are gonna say Mum. You are gonna say "I love you".
And then he reached across and gave me a big smacking kiss.
Me - (Heart melting) Oh Charlie, how did you get so charming?
Charlie - (running off) 'cos I is handsome Mum, 'cos I am five.
Happy Birthday mate. Today, as all days, you rock my world.
Like a tweeny groupie, I am very excited to hear the recent news about Robbie Williams rejoining Take That.
The Take That Reunion.
(And the idea of them performing at the Olympics Opening Ceremony is icing on the cake, it really is. Robbie is not daft, evidently.)
I was not a tween in the original heady days of Take That's original success. In 1990, when their mega stardom was yet to be realised, I saw them play at Leeds Uni, in Yorkshire, and I was just twenty one. It was love at first listen, for me.
I know they are cheesy, but I love pop. Still do. Call me vapid, I just like popcorn for the ears. (And I genuinely do believe that Gary Barlow has a rare & just phenomenal songwriting talent.)
When they spilt up, when Robbie left them, in 1995, it was like the end of an era for me. Robbie left them in the same week that I left the UK to move to Australia. The formal announcement that Take That made regarding their spilt came in the week I decided to live in Australia permanently, in February 1996.)
(And to the English backpacking friends that stayed with me that year......Brett, Matt & Dan: I cannot listen to "Could It Be Magic" without smiling and thinking about the three of you.......xx)
My fondness for this legendary boy band has always remained. I have CD's of all of their early albums (Take That and Party, Everything Changes, Nobody Else) which I still play.......and still love.......
What is my "number one soap box topic"? That'd be drink driving.
When I was a child, growing up in the 1970's, my Dad was a habitual 'drink driver'. He thought nothing of a few glasses of wine at lunch with a client, then a couple of swift halves in the pub after work, to then drive home, three sheets to the wind. I am so horrified and ashamed to admit to that, and constantly amazed (and utterly relieved) that he never killed himself, or someone else, through this disgusting habit.
I passed my drivers test and got my licence when I was seventeen. I had a car. I was still at school, and I partied hard with an amazing group of friends.
We all had part time jobs, and that allowed us the luxury of being able to fund both drinking, and driving.
We were fairly wild, I suspect, for our age.
But I was so truly lucky.
My younger brother was involved with my schools drama department, and was active in the production of a drink driving awareness campaign for youth, designed by the West Sussex Police. He "starred' in the production, bless him. It was brilliant in it's effectiveness, for me and my friends.
We quickly made a mutual promise to one another, my school friends and I, to take turns in being the "designated driver".
And whoevers turn it was was simply NOT ALLOWED TO DRINK AT ALL. Softies only.
It is easy.
Whoever is driving simply DOES NOT DRINK.
If you have had a drink, CABS ARE REQUIRED.
If you don't have the money for a cab, call someone to come and get you. (Maybe you should've thought of that before you downed those beers?)
I know that the "rules" say you can have a certain amount to drink before you are "over the limit".
But what about hormones?
What about the food you may or may not have consumed and how that affects your inebriation levels. Medication you may have taken?
We all accept that alcohol impacts individuals very differently. So how can any specified number of units ever be deemed "safe to drive"?
And how can anyone prove how long it takes for alcohol to work its way through our system? ("But I only had a couple and it was over a few hours...............")
And the biggest one, for me, is mental judgement. Alcohol is a mood enhancer. It makes us all a little more happy, or a little more miserable, or a little more confident, or a little more arrogant.
Which makes the majority of us able to "sell", to themselves,that they are "fine to drive."
No, you are NOT fine to drive.
You may be "under the limit".
You might, if you get stopped by the police and get breathalysed, just "pass".
BUT YOU MIGHT NOT. You might kill yourself, or worse, someone else, before you get pulled over by the booze bus. Or maim them for life.
We have all heard the typical phrases.
"I'll be fine. There are no cops out this weekend."
"I'm fine to drive, I've only had a couple. It's only a short way home."
"I'm fine. I didn't get pulled over anyway."
Oh yay, good on you. You didn't get busted by the cops. BUT YOU COULD'VE KILLED OR MAIMED SOMEONE.
I do not care what the legal blood alcohol limit is.
It makes no odds to me. If you drink, and then drive, you are dangerous. If I had my way, there would be a zero tolerance on drink driving (just like there is in my head.) Ban the consumption of ANY alcohol before taking the wheel. Drinking and driving is EVIL.
Please, just do not do it.
* A note on the images in this post. They are all "easy on the eye". I have not included the much harsher and terrifying images that depict the reality of drink driving accidents. Google at your own risk.
As some of you will be aware, I am a member of AMB (Aussie Mummy Bloggers). It is the best online network I have come across for Australian parenting bloggers to get together to share ideas and stories.
And AMB is currently holding a blog carnival, to showcase the very best of blog posts by it's members.
The enchanting Kristin over at Wanderlust is hosting the carnival, with aplomb, so go there for a wonderful load of reads.........if fact, if you click the wonderful button below, it will take you straight there.........enjoy!
We had another family date at the drive in last weekend.
(My clever daughter, Olivia, won us free tickets, bless her.)
So this weeks treat was Shrek Forever After. (Which was good....I am a little bit of a Shrek fan, to be honest, and this one did not disappoint.)
I was reticent to spend the exorbitant candy bar prices ($7 for a small popcorn?!) so this week we took a picnic dinner of homemade "junk" food.
Which included homemade sausage & vegetable rolls.
Warm, wrapped in foil, eaten in the back of the car.
The recipe is an adaptation of one I found, yet again, in my Granny's collection of recipes......
Homemade Sausage & Vegetable Rolls
500g sausage meat (I get mine from my local butcher, which is a pork and veal mix)
1 small onion, grated
1 large carrot, grated
1 small can creamed corn
1 cup breadcrumbs
1 tablespoon tomato ketchup
1 clove garlic, crushed
2 teaspoons dried mixed herbs
Salt & pepper
1 egg, beaten
3 sheets puff pastry
Pre-heat oven to 180`c
1. Combine all of the ingredients together in a large bowl, and mix well with your hands.
2. Cut each puff pastry sheet in half
3. Lengthwise, spoon the sausage meat mixture down the middle of each piece of puff pastry
4. Roll over, and seal the pastry with brushed egg wash
5. Place the sausage rolls on baking sheets, lined with baking paper, sealed side down.
6. Brush with egg wash, and sprinkle with sesame seeds (and a little more salt and pepper.)
7. Cut on the diagonal into the size of sausage roll you need (I cut mine into 4, giving me 24 medium sausage rolls.)
8. Bake in an 180`c oven for 20 mins
(We also took a big bag of mandarins, and a handful of Freddo Frogs, as well as a Tupperware tub full of homemade popcorn. We all had a top time, with our drive in picnic...........)