29 April 2013

How I'm travelling...new years resolutions check-in

Every year I make a resolution with the good intention of following through on it. For instance "Lose weight", but usually it doesn't happen. So at the beginning of this year I made four new years resolutions to myself, which I am trying very hard to follow through on. 
As we are 4 months into the year I thought it was time to check-in and see how I'm travelling, and hopefully by writing it down I become accountable of what it is I need to do and make sure I do it.

Eat (be) healthier

A couple months ago my Hubby & I had our cholesterol test done. Hubby's came back perfect, whereas mine wasn't good. I have high cholesterol and need to make changes to my diet, including eating smaller portions, take red krill oil tablets and exercise more.

We are eating better, but still probably eat a little too much, and I'm still not exercising enough so I really need to join a gym or a class of some sort.

For a while now I've been feeling a little flat, and not entirely happy with myself. I had a chat about how I was feeling to my hubby, and mentioned that I might see the GP for a little chat and get my hormones checked out at the same time.

Next steps...
  • Make a visit to my GP for a check-up
  • Sign up to the gym
  • Write a menu for the week and stick to it 

Declutter and organise

Hmm, I haven't made as much progress with this resolution as I would have liked. I have a made a small start in getting paperwork tidied up on my desk. We now have two document holders, one is for guarantees and manuals, and the other for bank statements, childcare statements, etc. So the pile that I had on my desk is getting smaller. I really need to keep on top of things that don't belong on the desk, like the girls drawings.

Next steps...
  • I need to go through the clutter we have around the house, and sort into piles what is junk and need to be chucked out, what needs to be put away, if it's broken get repaired or toss out, or donate what we no longer need/want.
  • Buy a small whiteboard so I can keep track of what jobs I need to do each day, and not get sidetracked by something else.
Make new friends/save old friendships

I have made a little start at breaking out of my comfort zone (which you can read about here) where I've started taking the girls to playgroup so they (and myself) can make some new friends. As we've just had school holidays playgroup hasn't been on so we've missed it for a couple weeks, but we'll get back to it this week. I'm hoping "Popette" will start interacting with some of the kids there.

Next steps...
  • Hubby & I need to make more time for ourselves. While we love spending time with the girls, we miss spending time together. I think we need a few dates organised for just the two of us. 
  • Make contact with old friends and arrange a catchup.
Spend less time on computer, more time with girls.

This hasn't been going all that great for me. I try and devote time to both my girls, and spend time doing something with them separately, which in the end doesn't leave much time for myself.

When I do have a little break, it usually results in me turning on the computer and logging onto FB or writing on this blog. I then feel guilty (oh the guilt) for taking a few moments for myself or for being on the computer (my husband is sure I spend all day on the computer!)

Next steps...
  • I know I need to manage my time better with this one!

Did you make any new year's resolutions this year? What are they? Are you on track with them?

11 April 2013

Mister Maker comes to...Castle Hill

Do you like Mister Maker? We love him in our household.

On the weekend we were lucky to have a "meet & greet" with Mister Maker in his one and only appearance in Sydney. We really weren't sure if we'd get a ticket to see him, as the ABC shop only had a limited number of tickets to hand out, so we didn't say anything to "Popette" in case we didn't get a ticket.

But after a very long wait in several queues, numerous toilet breaks and multiple walk-bys to catch a glimpse of Mister Maker, it finally came our turn to meet him! And what a lovely person he is. He's so much like what you see on TV.

He thanked us for waiting for him, and shook mine & Hubby's hands. I felt a little starstruck, as did "Cherub" who starred up at him. But it was my big girl "Popette" who was over the moon to meet her craft "idol".

She gave him one of her splatter paintings which she made after watching one of his shows, which he thanked her for and said "Is that for me" then said he will take very good care of it. I can only imagine how much craft and paintings he receives from his fans, but he made "Popette" feel so special.

While he signed some autographs "Popette" and myself (she was a little shy) asked about the Shapes and the Maker Mobile. He was so sweet and replied that the Shapes were fast asleep, and that the Maker Mobile was home with Scrappz who was tidying it up for him.

After some photo's we said our goodbyes. We must have only spent 3 or 4 minutes with Mister Maker, but in that time he was polite, spoke to all of us (even "Cherub" who adores him) and took the time to answer our questions and make "Popette" feel special.

On our way home in the car an excitable "Popette" talked non-stop about him. This is some of the things she came out with (I had to share, it's too cute!)

“Mister Maker might come to my place and do some craft.”

“Good meeting Mister Maker”, “Been a while since I saw him”.  (As if she's known him for years!)

“I think it’s the first time he's been in Australia” said Mummy, "Oh, we will have to see him again”, said Popette. Popette then decided that we should go to Mister Makers house, so we can meet the Shapes, and see the Maker Mobile.

“I don't want Mister Maker to go”, said Popette. Daddy then told her that he had to go home to Scrappz, Tocky, and the doodle drawers. (Love it!)

While the 4 of us waited over 2 hours (including 40 minutes for a ticket) to finally meet Mister Maker, it was well worth it. Thank you Mister Maker for making my girls day!

08 April 2013

A mother's pride

I am so proud of my girls, in particular "Popette", my big girl.

On Friday I watched her at swimming lessons where she dog paddled, kicked and floated on her back. I was really proud of how determined she was at paddling and kicking at the same time, then floating on her back while kicking her legs. Every now and then I'd see her sweet little face beam up at me with a huge grin, and remember her as the bubba with that same cherub face only a few years ago. It reminded me of how small and sweet she still is.

Paddling away at swimming lessons

She has been going through a rough time these past few months. As I mentioned in my last post, for the past 3 months she's been having anxiety attacks when we drop her off to daycare, but seeing her at swimming lessons (after taking a year off) and doing so well, made me so proud of her.

Sometimes I wish she was still my tiny, sweet, defenceless baby girl, so I could cuddle her and protect her from all the horrible stuff that happens in life, but alas she's not, she's my "big girl" and is growing up so so fast.

For the past month "Popette" has been learning how to play the ukelele in music class, which she is loving! Her favourite part of music class is when they get to play the instruments. Although, when they have "magic chair" time (when each child takes turns to sit on the "special" seat and chooses a song they want to sing) she is my little performer, and will sit up straight and belt out a song to her little hearts content.

My little musician
"Popette" also loves to draw, paint and make craft!! Yesterday we got the chance to meet our craft "hero" Mister Maker, which made "Popette's" day...but that's another post for another time!

My little "Cherub", who is now 18 months, has finally mastered the art of walking. She walks every chance she gets. Most of the time it's around the house. She's at that age where she's getting into everything (I honestly forgot how bad that was!) She is a very cheeky tot, and does this cute little scrunched up face when she's being cheeky (reminds me so much of her big sister) or when she gets in trouble she'll hold her hands up in front of her face (a la peek-a-book) to hide from me.
My cheeky cherub
She's become our little troublemaker and often picks on her big sister! She loves playing blocks, looking at her books ("Popette" tells me she is reading, lol) and playing with her big sister.

The girls love each other to bits, and love playing in the new tent we bought them, or at the sand & water table on the back deck.

Those sweet little girls really make me a proud Mumma.

04 April 2013

Breaking out of my comfort zone

For the past couple weeks I have been trying something different.

Last week I took the girls to a local playgroup. It's the first time I've taken both girls to one. A couple years ago I took "Popette" to a couple of different playgroups just to check them out, but I didn't find one that I liked or felt right.

So last week I thought I'd try a local playgroup a friend of mine had invited me to join. She had asked me sometime ago (like when the girls were much younger), but for some reason or another it just wasn't the right time. "Cherub" was either having a nap at the time it was on, I wasn't coping at taking two kids out or we had another play date with someone else.

The shy(ish) introvert that I am would rather hang out at home (when I'm not cleaning that is) with the girls or take them down to the shops, rather then go somewhere new and meet new people. I guess I've become a bit of a hermit since "Cherub" was born, and have found myself making excuses why I shouldn't go somewhere so I can stay home.

When I arrived at the playgroup, I was thankful that there were a few faces I recognised from various social gatherings my friend had organised, so it wasn't too scary for me.

"Popette" who has been terribly clingy since her Poppy passed away, enjoyed colouring-in at playgroup, but didn't play with any of the other kids. I'm hoping she'll get back to her happy little self, and start to enjoy playing with kids again soon.

Ever since my Dad died before Christmas, she's regressed to a clingy, needy, whingy toddler who wants me to do things with her or be with her. Don't get me wrong, I love spending time with her, but when I think back to when she was 3. She used to be so independent for a 3 year old. She loved playing with her friends, loved going to daycare and music class. Would have no worries with interacting with kids she didn't know, and would run off with her friends to play.

For the past few months she's been having huge anxiety attacks when my husband & I drop her off to daycare. It's so hard watching her upset herself, and at times nearly vomit, because she's afraid we won't be there to pick her up or because we are leaving her.

She's supposed to start "big school" next year, but the Educators from the daycare think she won't be 'socially ready' for "big school". If you had asked me last year if I thought she'd be ready for school next year, I would have said "YES".

She is such a sweet natured girl and often tells me "Mamma, I love you so much." She has a big heart and often worries a bit too much (probably gets that from me), especially when someone she cares about is sick or not feeling well for someone so young.

My big girl

I'm hoping by getting out of my comfort zone, and taking "Popette" and "Cherub" to some playgroups, and other social gatherings with friends will help her bounce back to her fun loving self.

I'm so afraid she's going to become a sad little introvert and not want to play with anyone. I hope I'm doing the right thing. I've been wondering if I should change her to a preschool, or keep her at the daycare because it's familiar and she knows the Educators. Still undecided about that. It's so hard to know what the right thing to do is. I guess that's one of the toughest jobs about being a parent, making the tough decisions and hoping that the ones you make are the right ones.

When was the last time you were out of your comfort zone?

01 April 2013

Vote for Off to the Park in blog competition

Just a quick announcement!

This year Off to the Park has been entered into not 1, but 2, blogging competitions! I am thrilled that my little blog has been included in the nominee's list for both of these competitions, especially when there are so many fantastic blogs out there in the blogosphere!

For the past year I have been working hard on the blog so if by any chance I was to win something it would be a reward for all that hard work.

The first competition is the Voices of 2013 ran by Kidspot.

On 14 March the list of nominees was annouced and Off to the Park was among a huge list of wonderful blogs, yay!

The wait is now on for the Top 100 Bloggers to be annouced! You can see the list of nominees here.

The second competition Off to the Park has been entered into is the Best Australian Blogs 2013 Competition ran by the Australian Writers Centre, which is why you'll see the below badge appearing on the site.

Voting has begun for the People's Choice Award round, so if I could ask you all a huge favour and pop over and vote for "Off to the Park" by filling out this form, it would be much appreciated! Blogs are listed alphabetically.