The wrong side

Today was just an ordinary day. Nothing exceptional happened. Normal stuff was the name of the game.

The only difference was my all day, long lasting, deeply pervading, utterly foul mood.

This is how it happened. I woke up. I went about my day. The universe conspired to be as annoying as possible. I got annoyed. The more annoyed I got the more I thought about what a twonk I am. And eventually I came full circle and laughed at myself. Which is nice. I think this might mean I'm a grown up now.

I had to return a pair of stupid jeans to a stupid shop. When I bought the jeans I bought one pair of blue and one pair of black. Same style, same size, different colour. Thinking I was making a fantastic decision which would save me time and hassle. I only tried on the blue pair. The black pair didn't fit. I couldn't live with the resulting muffin top so they had to go back.

That's what started the terrible mood.

After getting lunch for the littles I tried to squeeze in some weights. Got changed. ( Hate getting changed into workout clothes, such a waste of time). Laptop ran out of juice before I finshed. Bah.

Realise I should clean the bath as it was still full of grass from last nights bathtime. The other parent in this family bathed the offspring after they'd been rampaging through freshly cut grass but didn't think to clean up the resulting mess. I could have left it but everytime I entered the bathroom the little storm cloud above my head would have grown a smidge.

Realise I've forgotten to marinade the chicken for tea. Do it in a hurry. Chop vegetables in a hurry. Get mad that eating healthy food requires so much bloody planning and shopping and chopping. All the chopping. Hence the hurry.

Drag hoover outside to clean car because I cannot bear it one second longer. It is really so mucky inside I'm a little ashamed. But quite proud when it's clean again. For at least an afternoon right?

Get mad that poor Baxter has a sore bum again. He really seems to have the most sensitive skin on his booty.

Welcome husband home actually laughing at my own ridiculousness.  Life is funny isn't it? The things that get us down and preoccupy us. I'm glad I don't have many days like today. And that I have some lovely bright pink macaron (thank you!) and the Great British Sewing Bee to watch.

Photos from the weekend when I was considerably cheerier:)

 

 

So that was April

The news I know you've all been waiting for. I bought a pair of dungarees. I have failed to wear them out of the house yet but I will!

I logged on to the old bliggety blog this morning and realised it's been a whole month since I've posted which might be the longest time I've not blogged since January 2011 when I first hopped on this train.

There's a whole host of reasons why, which you may or may not be interested in but I'm hoping to get back into writing here more regularly and keeping our family album up to date. Does anyone out there actually have a family album filled with printed photos?

I wrote last time that Whole 30 has been a huge change in my life. It has changed food, meals, shopping and more around here. I think it's sparked change in other changes of my life too. I'm trying to be more deliberate and conscious about all the stuff.

For years now when people ask me what I do I explain apologetically that I only work one day a week and the rest of the time I only at home parent my three small children. So I decided to stop doing that because it's rubbish. I work very hard when I'm at work and I work very hard when I'm at home, no apology needed.  And I do it this way because I choose to. This way what I earn contributes to our family finances rather than pays for childcare. This way I get to do most of the school runs and I get to spend as much time with my children as I can whilst they are young. I get to colour and paint and dress up and Lego everyday. I am making memories and shaping little minds. No need to be sorry about that so I won't.

I suspect people think that at home parents have more 'free' time than parents who work outside the home. I don't know who's right on that one I just know that while my kids are awake my time is spoken for. If I'm not actually doing, reading, changing, feeding etc I'm cleaning and preparing for what's coming next. Go me.

But I also know that even when no one 'needs' me I feel like I can't switch off. There's always something I could (should?) be doing. As a result I don't feel like there was much time left for me to choose what I want to do. Or there wasn't and that was making me crankier and grumpier than I needed to be. And no one was going to sanction that time for me so I had to take it myself. The one thing I do have is flexibility. There are a few times in my day when I need to be in a certain place at a certain time but the rest of the stuff I do I'm free to do anytime I please.

So I decided to change the way my day happens, to fit things in here and there, to prioritise some things over others and to see how I felt.

I felt like I had the food thing much more under control. I also know I wanted to fit exercise in to my daily life. Not just moving around - I already do a lot of that - but dedicated, committed breaking a sweat exercise. I want to be a good example and I want to feel fitter and healthier. It's that simple.

I signed up for Beachbody on Demand so that I could work out at home with my laptop. I completed 60 days of the Insanity workout. It was hard. Making time for that was hard. Missing other things to do that 6 days a week was hard. Working out at 9pm on work days was hard. But would you believe it worked? I'm fitter for sure and now I really want to continue. I've created a new habit which I wasn't sure I would manage. I don't want to recommend the Beachbody route specifically because it's definitely not for everyone. But I would recommend making plans to do something for you and sticking to it come metaphorical hell or high water. I'm excited to see what happens next.

Baxter has dropped his morning nap so I usually try to exercise when he is sleeping at lunchtime. That means for the 40 minutes or so I'm doing that Grier is more than likely watching television, sometimes drawing or playing. And I feel guilty about that but this is the easiest way for me to get it done and still be able to keep on top of everything else. 

So that's my long winded explanation of why the blog has dropped off the priority list for a while. I would like to find a way to make a little space for it but we shall see what happens. I feel like we all deserve a little time and space to do more of what makes us happy, don't you?

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This

Lots been happening. Too much to write about it here. Been trying to stay on the exercise train by making it a habit that sticks rather than something I do when everthing else has been taken care of.

I always wish I had more time for reading. I can't make any more time in my day - especially not when I'm trying to fit exercise in daily too. But I can listen to podcasts and audio books whilst I cook and clean and do all the other things which need done. I'm really enjoying this Happiness podcast even though I didn't manage to finish the book. An episode of the Freakonomics podcast never fails to both entertain me and make me feel like I've learned something too.

Still eating mostly Whole 30 compliant meals. It's been a year since I first started that particular journey and I'm so glad I did. It's changed the way I see food completely and changed the way I feed my family.

I'm reading this book by Oliver James and finding it has provided lots of food for thought. I can only actually read a little bit at a time because I need to mull over the previous section before I can move onto the next.

And finally I'd really like to buy a pair of dungarees. But am I too old? Am I not hipster enough? Am I delusional to think they are cool?

All very important questions.

Snuggles

 

 

This Boy is 7

The gifts are wrapped, the breakfast prepared, the bedroom is filled with balloons.

Try as I might I can't quite remember what 7 felt like. Being a grown up has squeezed it out of me.

Luckily I birthed the most sensitive, articulate, compassionate, tenacious, astute, imaginative boy I've ever met and he shares it with me everyday. We often marvel at how well Brodie verbalises how he is feeling. And how those feelings are experienced to very extremes of human emotion. He feels big and he loves big.

He holds the world around him to very high standards. He holds himself to even higher ones. He commands us to find more, be more, live more.  He is mindful, lives in the moment and sees the good in others sometimes before they see it themselves. He is as grateful for tiny moments of joy as he is for the big things.

He is the kind of big brother I wish every child could have. He is gentle and thoughtful and playful and kind. Scratch that - he's the kind of human being I wish we could all be.

If this all sounds too good to be true I would counter the above with the fact that he is a real living, breathing, growing child. He makes bad choices sometimes. He makes it right. He wanders off the path and then gets right back on it. He rarely makes the same mistake twice. I hope he is always willing to make amends, to say sorry and to move on.

In his seven years on the planet Brodie has helped me make more sense of the world than I did in the 28 years I existed without him. He has challenged me to look in dark places, to confront truths and let go of falsehood.

Thank you Brodes. Have a wonderful birthday. We couldn't love you more.

 

 

This Life

Two blog posts in a month. Whooah there Caroline. 

The last couple of weeks have been big in the world of Grier. She won a Mother's Day competition run by Waterstones and her drawing is being used in their national advertising. If you visit a Waterstones branch they should be displaying posters which feature her picture and if you see it will you let me know? 

It was very exciting for us all to go along and see it and for Grier to pick up her prize.

dishwasher obsessed. i wonder if this domestic streak comes from me?

prepping for world book day. do you know who he is?

sit with your sister and let me take a nice picture. nope.

billy the penguin is this baby's best bud. forever.

would you mess with captain no beard?

and this weekend was Grier's first dancing show. she was so ridiculously grown up. She skipped off backstage without me. She came on stage without a hint of nerves or trepidation. She danced, she smiled. She rocked it. Proud doesn't begin to cover it. 

And this week someone in our family is turning 7. I know, how can that possibly be? Hold me.