31 October 2013

Checking in on my new year's resolutions

Today I thought I'd check the progress of my new years resolutions, and see how far have I come since April's check-in.

I have been trying really hard this year to stick to the things on my list. They aren't just a list of fluffy resolutions (ie. buy new underwear, eat less chocolate - ok, I do need new underwear and I should eat less chocolate! ) I wanted them to be something that is going to change my life for the better.

Eat (be) healthier

It's taken ten months, but I have finally joined a gym! After much procrastinating and saying to my husband "I need to join a gym". I finally went to a local gym and signed up for a 7 day trial. While I'm worried about being locked into a 12 month contract (I prefer the no-contract option) I found myself puffing after chasing Cherub around, so knew I had to get serious about my health and do something about it. Tomorrow night I have one last session on my 7 day trial, then I will be signing up for 12 months!

We have been sticking to our weekly menu plan really well, and even saving money by not buying items that aren't on the list. Of course, there's the odd occasion when we don't feel like the meal we have planned, and buy take-out. But usually we are pretty good at sticking to what's on our menu.

I finally saw a GP about how I was feeling. We talked about ways to manage my feelings, and my GP has prescribed some vitamins and is sending me off to get some blood tests done. As I mentioned
before, I think having a chat with someone about how I'm feeling or what I've been going through has been of help.

Declutter and organise

Keeping the house free of clutter and organised has been one of my biggest struggles. I can't seem to keep on top of it. When I think I have it under control, another pile of stuff seems to appear out of nowhere. Or the washing takes a life of its own and is piled up to the ceiling, along with the dirty laundry waiting to be washed. Its never ending.

I'd love to be one of those Mum's who has a spotless house, and can have people drop in unannounced and not be embarrassed by a huge mess, but unfortunately that's not the case here!

This resolution is a work in progress and something I will need to work on.

Make new friends/save old friendships

I am happy to say that I have made further progress with this resolution. :)

Popette has been a little lonely at home and recently asked if we could arrange some playdates with friends of her's from daycare. As someone who is not good at breaking out of the 
comfort zone, I left a note in the pidgeon holes of each girl inviting them on a playdate with Popette. Popette was so happy when we got 3 replies saying "Yes please!"

We caught up with two of her little friends a couple weeks ago. The girls all had a great time running around and playing together at the park. I also had a nice time chatting to each of the mums.

We have another playdate planned for next week with little friend no 3, followed by more playdates in the coming weeks.

I am taking the girls to playgroup more regularly, which has been good for me as it gets me out of the house and I get to talk to other women. Plus its good for the girls. They are getting out of the house, playing with other toys, making craft and sometimes playing with other kids.

A few months ago I opened up to an old friend of mine, telling her how I had been
struggling. We seem to talk to each other a bit more regularly than before, which is a good thing.

Spend less time on computer, more time with girls. þ

I have been trying to limit the time I spend on the computer to when Cherub has her day nap, or when Popette is busy drawing or chilling out on the lounge. While I do spend a bit more time writing posts, there are other days when the only time I go on the computer is in the evening. While I'm not giving the girls all my attention, all the time, I have been spending more time with them playing, creating, laughing and going out. So I'm happy with this resolution.

The results so far - 3 out of 4. Not too bad!! :)

Have you been ticking any items off your resolutions list, or have you given up and thrown it in the too hard basket?

25 October 2013

Being grateful: For having a home, changes in the weather and heroes

This past week has been full of stress, and fear of the unknown but with that given me a number of things to be grateful for.

One of the biggest fears for me was of the bushfire coming in our direction and destroying our house; its more than a house to me its our home & life of 12 years, its the girls 1st home, its a place where we've made some beautiful memories as a couple and as a family. While there are so many people who have lost their homes, I am grateful that we have one.

The view from our front veranda last Thursday

Wednesday was a horrific day with extreme weather conditions and predictions from the RFS that the fire would take a turn for the worse.

I am so grateful that the weather wasn't as bad as they predicted, and while the fire is still burning, it hasn't destroyed any further homes and is currently under control.

I am also grateful for the men and women of the NSW RFS and other emergency services, who dedicate their lives to protecting people and their homes.

I've read stories of firefighters that have fought a fire somewhere else while their own home was being destroyed by a fire, these people are the real heroes and I am so grateful for them.

What are you grateful for?

I am linking up with Octavia and Vicky for 52 weeks of grateful and With Some Grace for FYBF.

22 October 2013

Craft: Bottle-top stamps

Popette and I had a little fun today making some stamps using craft foam and some bottle tops. It's very easy to make, and gave the kids something fun to play with once Cherub woke up from her nap.

Our assortment of stamps
With a black marker pen Popette and I drew some shapes onto some craft foam, which we carefully cut out. Then using sticky tape stuck the shapes onto the bottle tops making stamps!

All you need is:
Craft foam
Marker pen
Sticky tape or glue
Cleaned bottle tops (we found juice lids worked the best)
Stamp pad

Suitable age group: 2-5yrs
Estimated time: 10-15 mins (if Mum or Dad helps cut out the shapes)
Messiness factor: medium (remember to buy stamp ink that is easy to wash off little hands)

20 October 2013

Some happy news amongst the chaos

With all the stressing of the fires that are blazing around us, I forgot that we had something to be happy about this week.

Popette finally received a letter in the mail inviting her to Kindy Orientation in November. Popette is so excited and can't wait to attend "big school" next year. Me on the other hand is a little apprehensive about my "big girl" attending school. I'm sure I'll have a box of tissues handy on her first day.

To celebrate, we took the girls out for a little "celebration dinner" of pizza & pasta.

Me and my big girl

If you have been following the blog's FB page, you would have seen my updates about the Blue Mountains bushfires. I've been trying to stay calm, but unfortunately that hasn't been working too well. I have been on edge since Thursday, experiencing headaches, and not sleeping well as I've been too worried about the fires spreading. I'm thankful that the girls don't realise how the close the fires are to our house.

Taken outside the front of our house on Thursday
Hubby has been busy in the yard today raking, mowing, mulching and blowing leaves to have it prepared for the worst case scenario. I’ve been packing a few bags with clothes & paperwork just in case we get evacuated. I'd rather be prepared then running around wondering what to pack if it approaches us.

The weather forecast for the next couple days doesn’t sound good. The RFS are expecting the fire to spread with the hot/windy conditions that are predicted.

Thanks to those of you who have sent through your support & well wishes.

08 October 2013

October is mental health month

The quest for chasing happiness has been high on my "to-do" list this year. But I found the more I thought about being happy, the more miserable I felt.

I'd be lying if I said I had a bad life, I don't. I am very lucky to have a wonderful husband who is loving and supportive, and two adorable little girls.

I love my girls, but there are times when I get so frustrated (no doubt like most parents) and can't seem to be the "bigger person" and walk away from the tantrums, outbursts etc, or often lash out at the trouble maker, then feel really terrible for doing so. 

Ever since my Dad died, I found myself struggling with being happy, feeling tired all the time, unmotivated, and snapped at the people I loved. I didn't have the energy to do things that often made me happy. I found that I just wasn't myself.
Some days I feel really emotional, especially if I've spent time with my Mum, as we often talk about Dad. Dad's death has hit us both hard. Unfortunately, my brothers don't live locally so are not around to give Mum or myself the support we need, which means we've been struggling with Dad's death by ourselves instead of as a family.

I've been lucky to have a couple of close friends, and my husband to talk to.

Last week I saw my GP for a check-up on my chlosterol, and chatted to her about how I was feeling. She also treats my Mum, so knows what we've been through with Dad. Not just Dad's death, but the constant care that Dad needed, and when we both found Dad after he had passed away.

Source: http://www.pinterest.com/pin/125397170847437234/

Lately, I've been trying to find contentment in being grateful, spending quality time with my family, and finding a little time to myself. Some days it's hard to find time for myself or think about what I am grateful for. It is a work in progress.

Having a chat with someone about how I'm feeling or what I've been going through has been of help.

October is mental health month. If you know someone who is struggling, try to be mindful when talking with them. You don't know what their journey involves or what they may be going through. If they haven't been in touch for a while or have avoided catching up, it doesn't necessarily mean they don't want to see or speak to you maybe they just don't know what to say or having a rough time. I can say this as I have been through that exact feeling with my own friends, and unfortunately it has taken a toll with me losing some friendships on the way.

If you know someone who has had a rough time of late, why not be a friend and check in with them to see how they are doing and ask them "R U OK?".

{This is not a sponsored post, its just something I strongly believe in}

04 October 2013

Being grateful: For my Mum

My girls, Mum & I taken on Mum's birthday

This week I am grateful for my Mum. Mum & I have been through a lot together this past year. Dad is always on our minds. I know Mum misses him deeply as do I. I'm grateful that we can talk about him, and be there for each other. There are days when I'm feeling down and in need of some company, and Mum has been there to listen over a cuppa.
I'm grateful to have such a close and loving relationship with her, I hope that one day I will have that same relationship with both my girls. 
I hope that we can be there for each other, and talk about anything like I do with my Mum. 
I am grateful to have a good relationship with her, and to have her as my Mum.
I love you Mum. xxx
What are you grateful for?
I am linking up with Octavia & Vicky for 52 weeks of grateful.