Monday, 30 April 2012

In between the rain

Autumn has arrived here, with bursts of rain through the day. TBone took Master Z outside in the brief periods of sunshine yesterday to play some soccer.

 Most of the time he looked the part

 But sometimes he showed that his co-ordination genes may have come from Mummy.

Game ended with an intercept from the dog. Princess K 1 : Humans 0

Hope you had a lovely weekend.

Chantel x

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Cry Me A River

When I was younger, I prided myself on not crying. I never had tears, regardless of what I saw, read, or happened. For some reason I saw it as a weakness, as 'girly' and emotional. 

My Granddad was renowned for being an 'easy' crier. He was a wonderful loving man, who wasn't afraid of showing his emotions. He passed the gene to my mum, and until I met my husband I thought I had escaped the eye floods.

When I met TBone, it was as though a switch was flicked and the flood gates opened. I will never know what it was, if it was just pure coincidence or if it was an age and maturity related thing, or if it was having something in my life that I valued so much that the thought of losing it allowed me to feel real emotion and not be ashamed. 

Nowadays, I am a sap. I. Cry. At. Everything. 

I cry when I read books - Marley and Me was tears from the beginning to the end, happy tears and sad tears. I cry when I read blogs, the emotionally painful ones and the uplifting posts. I cry in movies and I cry at some TV ads. I cried watching 'Beaconsfield' the other night when the boys were singing The Gambler and the rescuers heard them, I cried in 'Touch' when Keifer heard the voice message and I cried during The Biggest Loser when Graham said to The Commando that his abseil experience was all the better for having him by his side. (I would like The Commando by my side but for so many different reasons!) (Reading that paragraph back, that may also say something about my terrible tv addiction and taste!)

This time of the year, is full of crying times. I cry at the RSL ads, the playing of The Last Post and seeing the ANZAC day parade. I cry when I see someone I love hurting, I cry when Master Z is not feeling well and I cry when I see pure joy in someone's eyes. 

I have learned not to be ashamed of my wet eyes. I now cry without shame, I am that embarrassing person in the movie theatre whose body is shaking with tears. I saw 'Desert Flower' at the outdoor cinema and wailed from start to finish. Goodness knows what people thought around me. But I wasn't embarrassed, I don't make excuses for it any more, I accept it as an emotional release that I obviously need.

Linking up today with Jess from Diary of a SAHM as it is Tuesday!!! Head on over and view all its awesomeness!

Are you a public crier? Or do you try to keep the tears in?
Chantel x

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Self Portrait

Linking up today with Jess from Diary of a SAHM for IBOT.

Last week, Jess put a call out for people to help read and comment on the posts that link each week. I put my hand up, as this is the one linky that I regularly follow and although I don't comment on every post, I do read all the posts. By being part of Team IBOT, I will be able to comment on all the wonderful posts that are linked up each week.

Jess asked the 6 of us to answer a few questions about ourselves and also to post a photo. I neglected to send a photo as I am not very good at reading instructions, and Jess used my blog picture - which to be honest, I would have sent anyway.

This is the picture I use on my blog, for twitter and commenting etc. I think this is a representation of how I want the world to see me - doesn't she look relaxed and without a care in the world?! I used a cartoon, not for anonymity, but as I just don't have any photos of myself. I have been looking through our photos, and since Master Z was born, I am only in a handful of ones we have taken. I put on a huge amount of weight when I was pregnant and have only lost half of this. I think this has a lot to do with why I don't 'do' photos, but I realise I have missed so many opportunities to be in photos with my little boy and I think this has been quite selfish of me. I tend to be the photo takerer (so a word!) and shy away from being in group photos. I am one of those annoying people that 'untags' myself from photos on Facebook and I usually demand to veto any photos people take of me if I think I look really crap.

I have decided that this would change as of today. I won't hide behind a drawing and I am going to lay myself bare. What better way to get it all out there (don't worry, I mean figuratively) than to put it on my blog. I am including a few of the photos I have of myself from the last few years and once I press 'publish' I am going to have to get over my insecurities.

This is the photo I put on all my uni Master's degree unit home pages - mainly as you can't really see me and 'hey, check out Everest in the background' Pity its about 7 years old..........

This is the worst photo of me, but was taken at the happiest point of my life. He was born at 7.10am, and I had an hair appointment booked for 9.00am that day - he didn't have the decency to wait for me to get styled!

6 months after Master Z was born, at a wedding in New Zealand - not a great photo of either of us, but I like this photo as it shows my total love for that boy (chubby bubby :o))

The only photo of our family I could find. I am horrified at this and will start to change it.

The only photo we have of me by myself. In New Zealand - almost 2 years ago! I hate looking at it, but will have to get over it!

And finally, here is a photo of me, today, warts and all. No make up, minimal sleep and I haven't brushed my hair for a few days. I am going to change my twitter and blog photo to something that is my reality. This is the start of it for me and hopefully I can start to be in photos so that Master Z can know that I was actually there by his side each day.

What are you like at having your photo taken? Are you a shining light, or a wall flower?

Chantel x

Thursday, 12 April 2012

Small Things

I am currently addicted to Where's My Water? a puzzle game app that I have on the iPad at the moment. I am late coming to the party, but have spent my last few nights mastering all the levels.

Simplistically, it is a problem solving game based on the premise of needing to fill Swampy the Alligator's bath with clean water. You dig the dirt away with your finger to allow the water to flow through certain pipes. I had been playing this particular level below for about 20 minutes last night and was bombing out every time. It wasn't until after several minutes of utter frustration that saw steam coming out of my ears, that I actually stepped back to see how I was tackling the level.

For this level, you needed to get the blue (clean), purple (poisonous), and green (sludge) water from the areas on the left out in a certain order. When I looked at what I was doing, I was releasing them in the same order every. single. time. and I hadn't realised. I was repeating the same mistake over and over and over again, without any learning from my error. It took a simple change in the order I was getting the water out for me to solve the level very quickly.

So many things in our lives that frustrate us are from us repeating the same behaviour over and over again. (Many come to mind for me, particularly what I eat). Sometimes It is not until we step back from the situation, breathe and assess that we can see that often a negative outcome that keeps repeating for us can be altered with one simple change to our habits. 

Is there something in your life that you keep repeating the same action over and over again with an unsatisfactory outcome? 

Chantel x

Wednesday, 11 April 2012

Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Questions, Questions, Questions

One of my single, male, 35 year old friends was lamenting the other day about how he kept getting asked by people when he was going to settle down and get a girlfriend. He was finding that this was the question that was dominating everyone's conversations with him, from his family, friends and workmates. 

I reminded him that our friends who had been together for over a year, we're always asked when they were were getting married, our newly wedded friends were being asked when they were having a baby and with Master Z turning 2, we were constantly asked when we were having our second. Hell, a friend was asked in the hospital last week, hours after giving birth to her beautiful second boy if she was going to try for a third!!!!!! Only a few hours after!!!!!! 

Many of the questions are well meaning interest or just to make conversation and finding common ground, but it can come across as seeming to be a need for people to want to know when you are going to be making the moves to fit into the 'house with a white picket fence' ideal of life. Married, 2.5 kids = happiness. If you don't fit into that box surely you can't be happy???? I am sure that is what my friend feels and he has said that he is fed up with the questions and in honesty, he doesn't want a relationship just for the sake of it. He has decided that although he has always wanted kids, he doesn't want a relationship just for that reason. He is not looking and surely that should be ok. 

I have been upset recently by the constant questions about when we are having our second baby - believe me, I am dancing as fast as I can on that one, but life doesn't always fall into place like that and not everyone strives for the house with the white picket fence. Some people look for the modern , colourbond fence, others want no fence at all. I hate being put on the spot with that question as I am sure that my friend gets uncomfortable every time he is grilled. 

I try to make an effort when talking to people, particularly those I don't know, to stay away from those presumptive questions and I hope that I have never made anyone uncomfortable with those questions in the past. I get that people are taking an interest, but they would be better placed asking me how the beautiful boy that I do have is going, or asking my newly wed friends how their new house is going, or my wonderful friend who has just given birth in the hospital how she is feeling. 

What questions do you find put you on the spot and make you uncomfortable? Am I being precious and unreasonable?

Linking up today with Jess at Diary of a SAHM - head over there to see what others have written for Tuesday

Chantel x

Monday, 9 April 2012

Gunna Girl

First, can I just say I was at odds as to how to spell 'Gunna' - 'Gonna'??? Went with phonetics. Please correct me if I am totally wrong.

I am a Gunna Girl. It is one of my worst traits and something I really try to curb.

I get grand ideas, get really passionate about something, make elaborate plans with the best intentions, then fail on the follow through. 

I have the most beautiful pile of fat quarter material sitting in the cupboard calling out to be made into a quilt - I went to the quilt shop, googled heavily, bought every quilting tool imaginable and now just occasionally stroke the pretty fabric.

I have piles and piles of scrap booking 'stash' - just waiting for me to bring my photos to life. I even promised one of my best friends a scrapbook album of her wedding photos - that never translated for her - something I am not proud of.

I was going to be a celebrant - researched it all, went gung ho at how I would design the website, how I would market it, what my niche would be - that idea has gone all but quiet.

I started talking up how I was going to do law when I finish my MBA - again researched thoroughly, spoke to heaps of people - now I have gone quiet on that one too.

I was always 'gunna' sponsor a child through World Vision. I talked about it, would often look it up, then something would come up, or I felt money was needed elsewhere at the time. My privileged life got in the way. That personality trait of mine disgusts me and makes me ashamed. 

We aren't well off by any means, but at the end of the day, we have enough money for our mortgage, clothes, holidays and not having to worry about where our next meal comes from.  Above all, we are fortunate to be able to take our safety for granted. There is no worry that we might be at risk of kidnap, that we wont be able to access medicine when we need it, or that our kids won't be able to receive an education.  Eden, one of the greatest Aussie bloggers has been in Niger for World Vision and has written brilliantly and with passion about what she has seen. She has inspired me to get off my butt and do something very simple and sponsor a child. 

I went to the World Vision website and was faced with thousand of children to choose from. I felt quite 'dirty' choosing as it felt like I was rejecting one child over another. I eventually used the selection criteria of 'Boy' and 'Aged 2', the same age as Master Z. The search gave me a little boy called Sidy from Senegal, so he is now our sponsor child. I can't wait to get the starter pack so I can read more about him, where he is from and what programs World Vision have in his area. I can't wait until Master Z is old enough that we can talk about where Sidy is from, what his life is like, so that he can begin to understand about the rest of the world and appreciate the easy, privileged life he has been blessed with.  

I am by no means patting myself on the back for donating to charity, but I am happy with myself that I finally followed through on one of my 'gunnas'. And I hope that I may even get around to that quilt!

Chantel x

Friday, 6 April 2012

I think lack of oxygen to my brain from exercising may be making me crazy......


I have been feeling in a real slump lately with this whole exercise, nutrition, health thing of the 12 wbt. I am not seeing the scales move STILL and feel like I am flogging a dead horse. So, I decided I need something to aim for. 
Something to work towards....

I signed up to do the HBF Run for a Reason in Perth on 27th May. That's 7 short weeks away - yep, 7!!!!!!

I am not a runner. I could swim for miles, I could swim all day. Running however, is another story. I run at the gym, 4 times a week, but only on a treadmill, and only 5 km. That's 7 kms less than what I am expecting myself to run in 50 sleeps!!!! And when I say 'run on the treadmill' - I mean that in the loosest sense of the word - I more shuffle my feet with my arms flailing about.....

I think I might be crazy......

But, it will give me something to aim for. It may make me stick to healthy food choices and avoid alcohol (still not doing this yet) and it may just kick start a new passion and habit.

I have done heaps of reading (one thing I am good at is reading and planning!!!) and designed myself a training programme, one that includes a long run, a medium run and 2 short runs a week, as well as one session of stretching and core work and one aerobics class a week. I have worked it so that I will have a few practice goes of 14 km runs in the weeks prior and hopefully I have increased it slowly enough that I will not pass out each Saturday.

My aim is not to race the 14km, just finish. And I know that I won't really be running, but more 'jogging'. I am aiming to complete the 14km track without walking or stopping for a rest. I know I am not going to break any records and that some people walk faster than I jog. I have put myself in the group just before the walkers and prams - if I finish before them, I will be stoked! I want to see if I can actually stick to a goal and hopefully drag my health and weight loss along with me, kicking and screaming.

I wanted to fund raise for a charity that worked with genetics and genetic disease as it is an area close to my heart, but unfortunately there weren't any involved in this run. In light of a tragedy that a good friend is dealing with at the moment, and also seeing the good things that Madam Bipolar is doing with her blog, I think that LifeLine is the charity that the Run for a Reason is supporting that fits best for me. I think by having a run that fund raises for a charity definitely makes you more accountable and means there is no backing out!

Watch this space!!!!!

Linking up today with Kate for the 12 WBT journey over at Kate Says Stuff

Have a safe and happy Easter break - I will be running somewhere.....

Chantel x

Monday, 2 April 2012


 My week has been a rollercoaster.
  • New nephew arrived last week, that new baby smell makes my ovaries burst.
  • News of friends' pregnancies makes me feel warm and fuzzy knowing that they are bringing another special version fo themsleves to the world
  • A tinge of personal saddness, wanting it to be me in that position. Must keep my Pollyanna plaits firmly in place.
  • Group of work colleagues have won a lotto 1st division - 10 of them sharing 1/19th of the jackpot - not "chuck in your job" life changing, but enough for them to have some breathing space and hopefully some fun - proof that real people can win lotto.
  • A good friend's brother passed away on the weekend in tragic circumstances. My heart aches for her and I want to be able to take away her pain.
All these things make me so grateful for my journey of life and I will be giving my boys extra big hugs tonight.

So many things running through my head at the moment. So many happy things and also so much saddness. So many blog posts to write, but I can't get the words to form onto a page. I need to sit back, take stock and work out what I want to say.

Chantel x