Tuesday, May 31, 2011

"I'm back in the saddle again"

Last week was my first day back at the gym. Very exciting! Tori and Eadie took to it like pros, walking straight into the child care room, said "hello" to the staff, and instantly began playing. Even first-timer Anabel let the staff pick her up and hold her while I was still in the room -- what a relief!! Hopefully the process of settling her in will not be as strenuous as it was for the first two!

Meanwhile, my experience was quite similar. It felt comfortable to be back and I was excited to try new things as well as those I already love. But I also knew I had to start off slow. I first started with a consultation and was surprised to note that I only have about 6kg to go before I am back to pre-baby weight. But I'm actually more concerned about toning rather than weight-loss. I've grown quite fond of my new curves, even though I don't fit into half my clothes. For the first time in my life I feel a fullness I've never had. I think they call it "voluptuous", and I'm liking it! Thanks to breastfeeding I haven't been this "full" up top since before Vettoria was born. Having said this, I also haven't been this big around the middle either, and I've got the stretch marks to prove it. UGH, what having children have done to my poor body... This old grey mare ain't what she used to be!

So my goal now is to tone-up rather than slim-down. I've learned over the years that it's easy to get skinny but with that I also look gaunt and lose elastin in my skin. And this causes wrinkles, and unfortunately I have enough of them already so I'm making an effort to prevent any more! I know its futile as I am now 30 with three kids and looking older is inevitable, but dang it I will still try!

So for my first day back I got a Personal Trainer to show me some machines which would help tone me up. And then I went on the treadmill.. Ah... it felt so good to be back. I began jogging and was aware that this was the first time I had run for months and months. So I started off slow on 7km p/hour instead of the usual 10km.  But within the first minute I needed more, and couldn't resist pumping it up a bit.. so I rebelled against my plans and pushed myself up to 8.5km p/hour. Felt so good! But, I didnt' want to push myself too hard, so I only ran for 1km. Even though I feel I could have kept running, I was feeling the strain of my unfamiliar and unfit body, so I know I have a way to go before I can enter any races or aim for the usual 10km p/hour. But, I'll get back there again and I'm looking forward to going in more events. There is a city marathon coming up in August or just after, so I might see about entering a 5km or 10km race then. Yay!

Meanwhile, when I started this post I had gone to the gym once and had all intents to return at least 3 times a week. But the girls became sick, and we have been pretty  much house ridden for the last five days. I've got the sniffles too, so I'm waiting it out before I head back.. anyway, will keep you posted!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Love 'em Those Duckies!

The other day Cassandra and I took our girls to the lake to feed the ducks. It never ceases to amaze me how exciting it is to feed ducks, even at my age! On this particular day the ducks were crazy. They were jumping on eachother, practically fighting over the pieces of bread the girls were throwing into the water. And there were so many of them! All of the new little babies we have watched for months are now grown, and they have certainly increased the world's duck population, at least at Underwood Park :-) 
We managed to get a pic, as well as some happy snaps of the cousins playing. Enjoy!


   

Mummy & Daddy Spit the Dummy....

So last night Juan and I were sitting innocently on the couch watching the telly. Anabel was quietly fidgeting in her bouncer chewing at her hand, as she has countless times since she was born. I noticed she was a 'sucker' within the first two days of her birth, and her pepe (dummy/pacifier) has proved to be a great comfort to her in the middle of the night or on car rides. But she has always gnarled on her fingers despite having the pepe at hand (no pun intended).

So you can imagine our horror as we listed to her gnarl away this particular night and Juan noticed that it was like she was "...trying to find her thumb or something". As we have only raised 'pepe-suckers' to this point, this new form of self-comfort was foreign to us. Unbeknown to her, her little thumb was hidden amongst her other fingers, so she couldn't quite get a grip and get it in her mouth. It was so cute to watch until she suddenly stopped fussing and we could see exactly why. Notice anything?????


She found her finger! "NOOOO!"

As cute as it is, this photo terrifies us. We don't want a thumb sucker! At least you can throw a pepe in the rubbish bin! You can't do that with a finger! As soon as she had that finger in her mouth she was asleep, as still and quiet as can be, her pepe spat out infront of her. So, naturally in the most gentle way we could we pulled her finger out of her mouth and were relieved to see she didn't start to cry. But we think the damage has been done. I saw her searching her hand again today while she was settling for her nap, so I quickly got the pepe and put it in its place... But we'll see how long that lasts... I'll keep you posted.

The Big Chop

So after giving my own hair a cut recently (and with surprisingly normal results!) I decided to give the kids' hair a try as well. I had already cut Tori's hair once before but with scary results.. I was aiming for about 2cm off but in my quest for perfection I ended up cutting a little more than that........ but you know, that was like ages ago and now I am older and wiser so this time was going to be better... right?

I knew I wanted to give Eadie a fringe that didn't fall all over her face, and give Tori a trim to get rid of the thin hair at the ends which was always knotting. Here is a BEFORE pic just to remind everyone:


So I took them into the bathroom and we began. It went something like this: 
Snip snip snip... look... snip snip... look again... snip.... 'oh no, what am I doing?' snip snip snip.... 'why did I do this?' ... snip.. 'what was I thinking?!'  Snip snip snip snip snip... 'Thats too short... it needs a bit more off this side..' snip snip snip... 'oops...' snip snip.. "Sure, it's looking great Tori!"... snip... 'Heaven help me....maybe that will do and nobody will notice...' snip snip... 'just one more...I think that will do...' Snip... 'yep.. I'm done... Oh, wait...' snip... 'Ok.. Done. Now push her away before I see more mistakes!'

And I did that TWICE! Talk about nerve-racking! I just about had a heart attack. I just kept cutting and cutting and every cut felt so wrong! The scissors went this way and that way as if my hand had no control. Want to see the results? Check out my babies:


Despite it all, I think Eadie's new look makes her eyes 'pop'. And as for Tori, well I am sad that I accidentally cut off a few too many of her gorgeous curls, but it is now thicker and it suits her beautifully.

Seriously, I don't know how my mum did it throughout my entire childhood.. I just wish she was here to do her grandkids now! But until then I think I'll let the professionals take care of it. Lucky for my kids they are gorgeous enough that even their scissor-scary mother can't stop them looking fabulous :-) Phew!


Wednesday, May 11, 2011

HAPPY 2nd BIRTHDAY EADITH!

Our cheeky Eadith Indiana is now two years old, how exciting! We celebrated by going to her favorite park and spending time with our close family and friends. Juan and I were excited to build Eadie up for her 'big day' and made a big deal out of it as the days ticked by. When it finally arrived she had perfected answering "I'm two!" and holding up two fingers when someone asks "how old are you?". Such a cutie!

She had a great time running around eating lollies and chasing bubbles! As our house is not big enough to hold family AND friends (or even just family comfortably for that matter) the park provided entertainment and space for lots of people to enjoy.

This year we rushed to "Cinderella Park" about 3 minutes drive away to find that there was still ONE gazebo left which we practically sprinted to grab. How quickly the park fills up with kids parties! There were at least four of them on at the same time, so we were glad we arrived at 9am to get the one last good spot (having said this, I cannot wait for the day when I have a house and backyard big enough to have parties at my actual home!!).



I actually remembered to snap pics of the decorations this year of which I am particularly proud of as I actually spent time making them instead of just buying them! I tried out two new things: 1) tissue paper flower balls, and 2) a cookie tree. I was so excited about the flower balls, they were so easy and they looked fabulous. I will definitely be using them instead of balloons more often. The cookie tree was a lot of fun, and very easy too. Cassandra gave me the idea and I wondered for a couple of days "where do I find enough good branches to make it?" I looked around some people's backyards to no avail, and glanced about local streets as I drove from place to place. I even considered buying them.... Then one day it hit me - I have a State Forest in my suburb! Durr!! Daisy Hill Forest is about one minute from our house so, shaking my head I drove there and of course found five perfect branches for my little tree. I spray-painted them almost-white and positioned them in a bowl. I then made delicious little cookies and Juan and I iced them at 1am the night before the party (yes, 1am..). We then hung them up and I was really pleased with the result! Fun, yummy, simple... my kind of decoration!



As for Eadie's cake this year I was totally happy with how it came out. We (Tori and I) decided on a Dora the Explorer theme and I bought figurines so she could keep them as a gift as well. I opted for a 3-tier design for three reasons: 1) I wanted an entire tier dedicated to Alisha's gluten-free family, 2) I wanted a tier for my family to take home because, well, I am a chocoholic, and 3) three tiers looks more fabulous than two ;-)

Having said this, is NEVER ceases to amaze me how long it takes to organise food for a party. Despite having prepared DAYS in advance, I was once again standing in my kitchen at midnight with an aching back putting the finishing touches on the cookies and cake. Is it just me or is this what all mothers do? Am Ireally that slow at this decorating thing? Do I make too much? Do I do things the hard way? Do I leave too much to the last minute? I'm not sure. I have been doing this for four years now and I think I still have a lot to learn about the whole 'toddler party' planning scene. Oh well, I can only improve I guess! Meanwhile, the cake came out great and although I'm exhausted, the pics and memories are well worth the effort.


Eadie walked away from this party not only a year older, but also with a car-load full of great toys, books and clothes. Dora the Explorer was the Hero of the day, and she actually scored TWO pairs of Dora PJs! Another pair given as a gift to Tori as well, we now have Dora PJs galore, much to the girls delight! Add to that Dora books, hair clips and figurines, as well as a dress, sandpit toys and a new backpack, Eadie decided she really liked this whole birthday party thing.


The party was delightful and Eadie ran around enjoying herself with bubbles and chocolates while she played with the other kids. In her prayers tonight she thanked heavenly father for her party and when I asked her what she loved about her party she instantly said "my cake"... and that made me smile :-) ...

Our cheeky little monkey is growing up so fast! She is such a special, happy girl. She is funny and independent and mischievous... but she also is so compassionate and caring she never ceases to amaze us.
To our special baby girl:

"Happy Birthday!"







Who loves Public Holidays?? We do!!

Australia is awesome for MANY reasons, but one reason I just LOVE is the fact that we have heaps of public holidays throughout the year, which means Juan gets days off work and we can spend time together doing fun things. This year's Labor Day was no exception, and we decided to hit Southbank for some family fun. I was so surprised by how busy it was, but who could blame it, the weather was absolutely perfect!

I confess I did something I NEVER thought I would ever do... I left the house with my toddlers dressed like twins!! I'm embarrassed to even type it out! It's just that I knew I wanted to take pics of the girls and so I wanted them to 'blend' with each other. So I dressed one, then found 'similar' colored clothes for the other, and before I knew it I was looking at two little girls dressed in denim skirts, pink tights and light pink tops.... oops. As embarrassed as I was even in my own presence, I couldn't be bothered changing them so I just let it happen. It got worse when they both wanted to wear their matching gumboots, but by that time all pride had gone out the window and I let that happen too. But as conscious as I was about it as they walked along, it made me smile when someone said how adorable they looked... Why thank you, I dressed them myself... ;-)




We strolled throughout the park and along the river, stopping to let the girls play on the toys along the way. We then finished off our stroll with our fave ice cream and then headed home for dinner and bed. What a great day!





It never ceases to amaze me how much I love being with my family. Just walking around and hanging out fills me with such joy and contentment! I feel so blessed to be surrounded by my loving children and husband. Meanwhile, we snapped some pics throughout the day-- enjoy!