Monday, April 30, 2012

Run.......for your life.....

Yesterday I did something that 6 months ago would have been impossible. Yesterday I did something that not long ago people would have laughed out loud at the very prospect.

Yesterday, I ran in my first ever 10 kilometre fun run.

To me, I have just accomplished a miracle. For the past 10 years I have done very little in the way of exercise. I was busy, making and bringing up babies. No excuse, I can tell you now, but I used it all the time. I sneered at the thought of physical exertion of any description.

Coffee, Cake and Couch....that was my motto.

I don't know what changed. Maybe deep down I knew that I was unhealthy. Perhaps I knew that to continue this lifestyle would lead to my own self-destruction.

Maybe it was my Dad getting sick at the end of last year that made me realise that we are not all immortal. That I am not invincible. That I need to take care of myself to take care of my family properly.

I want to be a good role model for my children. I want them to realise that their Mum and Dad are healthy, fit and accomplished people.

Toward the end of last year I had started running/walking a short distance but had slacked off over Christmas.

So in January I started...

Wake at 5:30am, running gear on, dog on his lead, off I go.

That first day was hard, I swear I barely managed a kilometre. I huffed and puffed in the early morning sun. The dog pulled me along, almost dragging me.

I finished, exhausted....but strangely euphoric. Strange, that euphoric feeling. I hadn't achieved much and yet it was there, shimmering gently under the surface for the rest of the day.

The second day was much as the first, but at the end that happy glow again.

Day three, why am I liking this so much?

The end of week 1- hard
week 2 - still hard
week 3- 2 kilometres, no stopping.......... I tell you now I could have conquered the world that day.

As the weeks raced by, I ran further and faster. I clicked over 5 K's easily. But I struggled to get to 6 and then 7.

Then, one day the dog stopped dragging me, I started dragging the dog.

The day I ran 8 kilometres without stopping was amazing. I felt on top of the world, like I could achieve anything.

It was on my 10th week of running that I finally reached my goal of 10 kilometres.

I ran it easily several times before my ultimate goal of the 10km fun run.

Yesterday was hard. There were a lot of people jostling for position. The wind was strong. It felt far and difficult.

My head kept telling me, 'you can't do this, you can't do it' .......I can and I will.

Running towards that stadium was amazing, I knew my husband and children were there waiting for
me....

As I ran in they yelled and cheered and I felt unstoppable.


I finished in under an hour. Which is my best ever time. But in all honesty I was just happy to finish.

The rest of the day was an exhausted, happy blur.

Last night as I tucked my gorgeous Mr 5 into bed, I was all geared up for the rain of compliments he always gives me if I do something great.

'So what did you think of Mum running in a race today?' I questioned.......
'Well, Mum I really didn't want to tell you this but it was kinda embarrassing'

Ummmmm, OK.

'Why?' I asked

'You run funny' was his prompt reply.

Thanks mate......the perfect end to my perfect day.


Thursday, April 19, 2012

Healthy-ish Chocolate Chip Cookies

One of the many things that I seem to do at the beginning of each year is to give my family's eating habits a bit of a kick up the a***. I start to freak out that we are not healthy enough and then I give our whole pantry/fridge a make-over.

    Anyone familiar with my obsession with food would be aware that I love creating, making and baking sweet treats. I would bake up a storm at least three times a week and then we would eat it all. Of course our meals were always quite healthy, but these were also put under the microscope and given a bit of a shake up.

I really went to town on the sweets though. I haven't stopped baking, it is one of my favourite hobbies after all, I'm just giving our treats a bit of a healthy kick.
This recipe was tested out on friends only last week and was given the big 'thumbs up'. Now they are not 100% healthy, but I have substituted several ingredients to make them healthy-ish.








Healthy-ish Choc-Chip Cookies

3/4 cup rolled oats

1 cup SR wholemeal flour

½ tsp baking soda

½ tsp salt

¼ cup butter, softened

¼ cup canola oil

1/3 cup granulated sugar

1/3 cup brown sugar

1 large egg

I tsp vanilla extract

1 cup dark chocolate chips



Preheat the oven to 180C.

Grease and line two baking sheets.

Process oats in the food processor until fine. Transfer to a bowl and add flour, baking soda and salt. Beat butter with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add oil, sugars, egg and vanilla and beat until smooth and creamy. Add dry ingredients and beat together on low until combined. Fold through the choc chips.

Drop a teaspoonful of dough onto the baking sheets one at a time, 2 Cm's apart. Bake for 15 minutes or so. Cool before transferring to wire racks.




Monday, April 16, 2012

How To Be A Good Parent......

The year is 2012, which means several things. It's 20 years since I settled permanently in Australia. It's 8 years since I first started dating my husband (then boyfriend obviously) and it's 10 years ago that I became pregnant with my eldest daughter.

10 years.....wow!

10 years ago today - the date memorised, I peed on a stick and those two little blue lines appeared. I remember it as though it was yesterday. A rush of emotions; disbelief, shock, trepidation, fear and joy....pure, simple, unadulterated joy. I had always been one of those people that hurtled toward parenthood, that made the decision very early on that 'When I grow up I wanna be a Mummy' and here I was pregnant...with my first baby.......all of my dreams, hopes and aspirations collided at that point.

Right from the start my focus was on my baby. I was obsessed about proper nutrition, exercising gently and even 'educating' the tiny little person growing inside me. I was one of those people that put headphones on my burgeoning belly and played Mozart...cringing now at the memory.

I read everything......and I mean everything about healthy pregnancies. Problem is that pregnancy is the easy part, it's when little bubs emerges that the 'real work' begins.

So, here I was tiny babe in arms and a big, bad world that I had to bring her into. Scared shitless doesn't even begin to cover it. But, in my typical obsessive style I did everything I could to become the 'Best Mum Ever'

Every waking moment, every second of every day was spent with this lovely, little person. I was devoted to the extreme. I cuddled her every time she cried, I freaked out at every little scrape and bruise, I obsessed over every little scrap of food that passed her lips.....poor bloody kid.

With my second pregnancy I relaxed slightly, I craved hash browns, eggs and bacon and ate them. I didn't read nearly as much. I rescued the poor child from listening to classical music.

When he arrived I was a bit more laid-back. I didn't carry-on about every squeak and whimper. He grew and thrived without me freaking out.

And so to child three. As you all know by now, relaxed doesn't even begin to cover it, she eats dirt, licks the dog, enjoys the cat's biscuits, plays in toilet water and thrives. Absolutely thrives.
She's independent, feisty and intelligent....they all are. But it surprises me that my parenting has changed so much, from obsessive to laissez-faire and everything in between.

What have my children taught me over the past 10 years? To be a good parent. To relax and enjoy. To care and love........To be the 'Best Mum Ever' for my children.

My greatest accomplishment!!!!



Tuesday, March 27, 2012

The Cat's Miaow......

As I sit here with my new laptop on my (you guessed it!) lap, I am getting constantly interrupted. I've rewritten the same starting sentence around five times. I've corrected several spelling mistakes (and as we ALL know I do not 'do' spelling mistakes)

Now, you all may under the misconception that Miss Tornado Two is having another one of 'those' days. Well today she is a little ray of sunshine. Playing happily and quietly with her dolls and her dollshouse.

Today I am being interrupted by someone and something totally different....here, let me introduce you.......

My helper........


Meet Pippa, our new and very adorable kitten.

On Friday Hubby and I made the journey to the GC Animal shelter and picked out Miss Pippa. It was a hard choice to make, there were so many lovely little babies there. Timid ones, shy ones, naughty, boisterous, crazy kittens everywhere.

Of course we chose a rumbustious one. Our household is pure chaos and a timid cat would soon feel the strain. Miss Pip fit the bill nicely, although lively she wasn't the craziest there. She loved getting picked up and having a snuggle. She purred loudly and often.

Once we had filled out our adoption papers we headed home.

The surprise waiting for the kids when they arrived home that afternoon was wonderful. Miss 9 (our animal lover) cried tears of joy. Miss 2 squealed with excitement, Mr 5 pulled out all her new toys and insisted she play with them 'now', Mickey (our dog) wagged his tail and gave her an enthusiastic lick.

When Mr 11 joined us the very next day he was beside himself. His cat that he had from when he was a baby passed away last year. So having a new friend really made his day, she slept with him that night and he was overjoyed.

As cute as the little ball of fluff is she is also very naughty. She races around the house at top speed. Her claws are sharp and she loves to launch herself at an unsuspecting passer-by. At night is her favourite time to play, she doesn't care if you are asleep or not, she'll just attack any limb protruding from the bedclothes. We have all taken to closing our doors at night to keep her out. Being awoken at 2am with claws digging into your foot is not an enjoyable experience I can tell you now.

So, as you can probably tell, Pippa is the perfect addition to our crazy household. She fits right in amongst the screaming, yelling, mess, mayhem and pure and utter joy that is our house......................


Welcome Miss Pippa-Cat!



Wednesday, March 14, 2012

A Day In The Life Of Miss Tornado Two....


Hmmmmm...what to do today?

The best place to sleep at night is Mum and Dad's bed. I get all cosy and comfy in my favourite position - my feet on my Mum's face, my head nestled into Dad's armpit.

The sun barely touches the sky and I'm up....full of spark and pizazz and ready for my day.

Of course, I can't start creating havoc on all and sundry without my daily Milo fix. Milo is my favourite thing in the whole world....apart from chocolate....and perhaps ice-cream. I figure if I ask for it incessantly Mum will have to give it to me. But she's stubborn, my Mum, so I only get it in the morning.

'Milo-Milo-Milo-Milo-Milo-Milo-Milo' I demand, until it's delivered into my hot little hands.

Slurp, slurp, guzzle.

Now....what do I do after Milo? Oh, that's right....create havoc.

First I'll knock over my brother's carefully constructed mobilo tower....I'm sure he won't mind, he only spent an hour creating it.
Now, my sister has the her dolls house looking lovely....I still think it needs some rearranging.....I'll throw some Barbies and furniture around...ahhhh, that's much better.

Mum's asking me to come and get dressed. I know that if I ignore her long enough a funny thing happens and steam starts to come out of her ears. I think I'll wait and see if she does it again....it always amuses me.

I've fed my breakfast to the dog, done a wee on the carpet, refused to wear anything but my best party dress, squeezed a tube of toothpaste down the sink, drawn a lovely picture on the coffee table and emptied a container of rice on the floor. Quite a productive morning I think.

Time to take the big kids to school. I know Mum loves it when I run away from her in the car park, in the school grounds, in my brother's classroom and back in the car park on the way out again. She especially loves it when I make a mad dash right toward the busy road. I can tell she thinks it's great because her face goes a lovely bright red colour and she says alot of funny words. I think one of them rhymes with 'Truck'.

The middle of the day is one of my favourites. Mum sets some paint up and tells me that I've painted lots of beautiful colours. While Mum is busy hanging up my painting I quickly paint one of her brand, new outdoor cushions a lovely orange colour. I think she'll really like it.

Dog food tastes nice. Just saying.

We dance with maracas, until I whack Mum over the head with one.

Mum sets me up to play with my tea set while she hangs out the washing. I start to think that my 'tea' will be much nicer with some real sugar in it. I climb the shelves in the pantry, grab the sugar bowl, I then proceed to dump the whole bowl of sugar into the tea cup. Ohhhh Yuuuum! It tastes so good. Here comes Mum, I bet she'll like a taste too.

Steam is coming out of Mum's ears again. Hehe!

School pick up time. Yaaaay! I can play chase with Mum a bit more!

Scribble looks great on my big sister's homework.

Cereal is really something best eaten off the floor.

I really love to wash my hands....again and again and again. I like it even more if I pump the entire contents of the soap dispenser into my hands first, then I can have a bubble party!

I won't get in to the bath, you can't make me....................................................I won't get out of the bath, you can't make me.

I will not eat anything but ham for dinner. Just so you know.

I WILL NOT BRUSH MY TEETH. Not even if you try to pry my lips apart. I will scream and yell and cry all with my mouth firmly clamped shut.

Sleep is for wimps. I don't need sleep......I don't want sleep......Only babies go to sleep.

I......
Am.....
Not......
Tired.....




Mum, Mum, come here, I forgot to tell you something......

I.......Wuv.......You......







Monday, March 12, 2012

Getting Off My Lazy A***.


Must.Try.Harder.




Why, hello there....


Long time no see.....

As you have probably noticed, or not........ depending on whether you ever paid attention to my random ramblings of the past......I've been AWOL for quite some time.

You see, I seem to have been suffering from an ailment, and a serious one at that. I like to call it 'dodgy Internet access', but it can also be known as 'can't be arsed', 'bone-idle lazy' or even 'blog-overload'.

I love blogging, I really do, but for a while there it was TAKING OVER MY LIFE.

So, I had a holiday, a hiatus, a lovely bloggy vacation. Ideally I had planned to only have Christmas off, but that slipped into January, February and now March has reared it's head, all without a peep from me.

Once I had passed my self-imposed break it was really hard to get back into it. In fact, to be honest I didn't even check my page at all during this time. Truth be told I was too scared to have a look. A bit like a garden that has been overlooked, I expected it to be overgrown, ugly, unkempt.

    
Time to do some weeding?
 


But of course, it looked exactly the same. A little bit of love, some pretty words and pictures and I'm sure 'she'll' be up and shining again.



So, what have I been doing for the past four months?

Honestly, I haven't been as lazy as I'm making myself out to be. You see (I'm sure you've all forgotten so I'm going to remind you) I live with these creatures. Four of the buggers. They are small, cute and they smell funny. They are also messy, difficult, annoying and disruptive. I'm sure you've heard of them.....'children' is what they are called.

You can find a description of these little monsters in any dictionary.......

children; A person between birth and puberty

Although, personally I like my own definition better.....

children; small. They make mess, fight incessantly and eat you out of house and home. They speak a strange language that can be described as whinging or whining, sometimes interspersed with a little bit of demanding. These creatures are abundant in their displays of affection, adoration, love and humour.

These mini people have been keeping me incredibly busy, but secretly I have missed writing. I've missed sharing the craziness of my life with you all. Sometimes it's like taking a giant weight off my shoulders, like chatting to a long lost friend.

So, I'm officially back. I've missed everything and everyone, hopefully, this time I can do this all much better. xxxxxxxx


Monday, November 21, 2011

Friends are Forever.......


When my eldest daughter started school I was nervous. Nervous about her making new friends, nervous about making friends myself. I don't socialise effortlessly and easily like some people do. I always feel self conscious, like I'm going to say or do something wrong, like everyone is staring at me and thinking 'What an idiot'.

After a while, I started to see the same girls (ladies really, but to make us all feel young and hip I'm going to say girls) everyday. We would chat at school drop off and pick up and then we started meeting each other for coffee, shopping and birthday parties. My insecurities slipped away, I was part of a group....and a wonderful group at that. The BBQ's started, the social gatherings. We could count on each other to take care of each others kids and to pick up  the pieces when our lives went wrong. New babies arrived and they would fit in amongst the group, the children, the husbands and us girls.

Women make wonderful friends. We love and laugh big. We give it our all, we care. Our hearts are permanently on our sleeves.

Then, we found out that one of us has to leave. To start a new life somewhere else...a long way away. We know that she'll be back, her and her wonderful family, but for a while there will be a space, just waiting for her, for when she comes back.

Last weekend we said goodbye. Not in a crying, hugging kind of way. We escaped....just us girls....on a weekend getaway. We said goodbye with laughter, love and fun. We said goodbye while cracking jokes, eating tonnes of food and relaxing.

So, to our dear and darling friend. We wish you all the best, we wish you happiness and health in your new home. And we'll all be here, waiting for your return.

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