Thursday, June 20, 2013

School: What They Don't Tell You.

That's Miss D. It's week eight of her first term at school, and this is what she does now... marches ahead independently when in the school yard for pick up and drop off. Her world has changed. And so has mine.

During her last term at Kindergarten I spent a fair bit of time preparing Miss D for the coming first term of school, so did the kindy and so did the school itself, and with a few hiccups here and there she has intergrated quickly and easily, just as I knew she would. What I wasn't expecting is how unprepared I would be.

I was expecting my own first day anxiety, sending my first born off into the big school, relinquishing the reigns a little and of course the inevitable tears (my own) that went with that. What I didn't realise was that first term would leave me with my own head spinning and feeling a little bewildered.

Here are the things I hadn't thought about:

You have to make a packed lunch every single day Packing lunch every day can be a nightmare. Especially as I do all my own baking, including the bread for sandwiches and the school still has a blanket no nut policy.

You can't run late It's not casual like kindy was, we were actually hardly ever late for kindy, but they seriously weren't fussed what time you rocked up. School is regimented and once that school bell has blown if you aren't in class, you are late. I have even found myself chasing down the class, despite the fact that the bell has not yet rung, I have found that if D's teacher is on a mission she will set on her path regardless of how many children have arrived for the day.

School Uniform, is not as easy as it seems like it would be. Having a girl, she still likes to have a variety of outfit choices so the washing is constant. Plus there are the hair dos....not my forte.

I read newsletters cover to cover...if I actually recieve one in the first place. We had a student free day sprung on us with a days notice in D's first week at school. I questioned the teacher, "It was in the newsletter, it went home the first day of school". That's great except the newbies started on the second day of school......oh and aparently you have to sign up to recieve one.

School yard attitude is not checked at the door. Seriously, two days at school and alrady I was getting "Whatever mum!"

School hasn't changed since I was there. D: "Hey mum, open the gate" (hands gestured like two gates)"Pick some flowers" "How many did you pick?"
Me (knowingly): "one"
D (giggles): " You have one boyfriend"

Getting to after school activities can be nuts Two small chldren needing to be changed into ballerina outfit in a very short space of time. One ravenously hangry (yes, I Said HANGRY) and tired. Cue lots of tears and shouting (sometimes my own).

Week 8 is hell week. Seriously, my sister told me just this week, and she is right, wish I'd known sooner.

The tiredness you were expecting manifests in suprising ways. I expected random tears and out bursts in the late weeks of term... but no, tiredness is being expressed with extreme attitude, and lots of picking on her little sister, and "It's not fair!" and "I have to do everything".

There are bake sales. And fun runs and excursions and you might not know until the last minute.

The little one misses the big one. So much.

The 5 year old has worked out that they are not just an extension of you, that they are in fact actually an independent little person I think this is the one that has blind sided me the most, and it encompasses so many aspects of the above, and it's the one I will probably take the longest to get my head around. It's quite facsinating and heart wrenching at the same time. I am no longer the be all and end all.

So, in a nutshell, this term has been a major learning curve for the entire house hold. And I think it's one that will take us some time to get used to. I am very proud of the way D has handled this term, and not so proud of the way I have handled some of it..... but I guess I'm still learning too.

But seriously, bring on school holidays. I need a rest too!

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Here We Go Again....

So, I'm marathon training did that happen? Bear with me, I'll try and explain.

A couple of months ago, back when I was training for my first half marathon of the year, I went out for my Saturday morning run. A not too shabby 18km on this particular day. I had gone about 2km's when a runner fell in place next to me.

"Nice day for it", he said.

"I'm glad," I said "I still have a long way to go."

And that started a bit of a chat. Turns out he was about half way through a 30km training run, was training for the up coming Gold Coast Marathon and was registered for all the up coming fun runs I was doing. He talked about his training regime, and about some reading he had been doing about marathon nutrition. Suddenly I'd gone 10km, at a much faster pace than usual and not even noticed. Sadly I had to turn back at that point, but he'd already set me on such a fast pace that I kept it up, with a smile on my face, all the way home, feeling so motivated about the weeks to come.

Some may find it a bit odd that I would chat to a stranger for so long. But see, runners are like that, and it seemed natural to me.

Fast forward a couple of months and I hit Mad May . That month was just so inspiring for me. Smashing my half marathon PB and then doing it again was awesome, but it was more than that. It was sharing it with my big sister as well as, week after week, running along side people who shared the same joy in their pursuit.

The thing about running is that it is so personal. Every time you go for a run, you are doing it for yourself and you only have yourself to beat. It makes it so easy to encourage others, and encourage is what any runner will do.

I have competed in 7 running type events so far this year, and the comraderie shared in each always makes me smile. Things like; having a fellow runner tell you you are doing an awesome job as they run past you at the 18km mark of a race; or having my sister finish a run and then start running back down a summit to run my last 500m up hill with me, and have another runner barrel past us with a big smile on his face saying "I'm glad I'm not the only one heading back down to finish with someone"; to see the smiles on individual faces at the end of a race, in large groups, congratulating one another; or even just the supporters who come out to watch their mother, father, sister, brother, son, daughter or friend finish a race time after time....and cheer everytime. These things are amazing.

I guess in short what I am trying to say, is that running makes me happy. So after having already had so much fun this year, doing something I love, it was so natural that I should decide, yet again, to aim for that marathon goal. And that is where I am at. Yet again staring down the barrel of several weeks ahead of long training runs. But I know this time it is all about mental strength, the strength to get my shoes on on a cold dark morning and head off all on my own for a 30, or 35km jaunt. Because honestly once I am out that door and have started feeling my feet on the pavement, I can't wipe the smile off my face.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

That Awkward Moment When...

I have an infliction... I suspect it's quite a common looks a bit like this.

Stick a camera in front of my face, and I WILL freeze, and almost definitely do something stupid. Like many, if I have to get up and do some kind of public speaking my heart will race and I will stammer and stutter my way through with flamming red cheeks. It may have a little to do with the violin recitals I was often encouraged to do in front of family and friends at home as a child..... only to find the audience laughing the whole way through... but it's also likely it's just a quirk.

Oddly enough since I have had children I have found that so long as they are with me I can sing, dance and generally be silly in public no problems. I'm in the supermarket, pushing a trolley, Miss M is with me, good song comes on the radio, I'm singing. I'm walking though a shopping mall, Miss D feels like a bit of a dance, no worries chick, I'll join you..... But me solo, camera in front of my face, no way, no how.

It doesn't stop me trying. I tried today. I donned some sparkles and demonstrated some stuff on camera... I also lost my power of speech.....and my brain, I lost that too. Camera on, stunned mullet impression, camera off intelligent woman comes back. Guess it might be time to give up that Hollywood actress dream.

Anyone else have this quirk?

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Impossible Schimpossible

"Sometimes I believe in as many as six impossible things before breakfast"- Alice Kingsley, Alice in Wonderland

Today I did something that I thought was impossible, and the funny thing is it isn't the first time this month.

I realised a few months back that May was going to be pretty filled with running events. I signed on for True Grit with my sisters way back in January, realising at the time it would be a back to back weekend with the Mothers Day Classic the next day. I signed on for the Color Run a few weeks later, and I had already decided that I would be doing my first Half marathon for the year in May, I just couldn't decide whether it would be the Greenbelt or the Barossa, the former on the first weekend in May, the latter the last. I don't know at what point decided I would do both, and round out May with 5 events, and I am not sure when exactly my big sister decided she'd do it too... but all of a sudden we had Mad May on our hands.

I started with a bang and did my first impossible thing on the first weekend.

I have mentioned before that I have been running off and on (mostly on) since I was 13, I have always believed myself to be a slow runner and in fact it's not even been until last year that I have actually considered myself a "runner". For a long time cracking 5 min kms seemed like an impossiblity, 5.30 has long been a comfortable speed for me. At some point since I completed my first marathon last year my speed has improved. I didn't realise just how much until that first weekend in May. Tatum offered to run with me as a support, she'd done a big run the day before and didn't feel the need to do a PB. I grabbed the opportunity, hoping I'd at least crack two hours. I ran it in 1 hour 44 mins and 24 secs, smashing over 12 mins off my pb. I ran an average of under 5min kms for the whole distance. I was still shaking my head in disbelief at that this morning. There were major high fives and hugs between my sister and I, her support had been amazing, and I guess somewhere in all of that I had forgotten that my legs actually did that running.

The next weekend on the Saturday we tackled True Grit. We completed it in around 1:50 and I was truely knackered and very battered and bruised when I crawled into bed that night. I believed there was no way I would beat my previous best time for the Mother's Day Classic the next day.....but I did, only by about half a minute. But there you have it another "impossible" thing made possible.

The next weekend was a bit of a rest with the Color Run being a short distance that I covered with Luke and the girls in tow. It was a beautiful morning. I must admit though, despite the "rest" I had been feeling pretty tired out this week.

Fast forward to this morning and I had told Luke that I would be happy with anything under 2hrs, because I was running "by myself" this time. Don't get me wrong, I always intended to give a good go of it, I don't enter anything with any other intention. But any runner will tell you that you have your good runs and your bad runs, and I assumed this morning wouldn't be great. I was feeling tired and I was aware that my support runner was going for her PB this morning and I would be doing this one "on my own", and as I said before, I had really forgotten that it had been my own legs that had run those other "impossible" races.

I am waiting on the official time, but it would seem that I crossed the finish line in 1 hour 42 minutes and some seconds this morning. I think it might be time for me to start paying to attention to Lewis Carroll a little more and believing in the impossible.... after all, if you put in the hard work in any area of your life, good things really do happen.

Friday, May 24, 2013

No Words.

I have had no words for a long time now. Since September last year in fact. Time has marched on so quickly over the last few months. After a massive year of goals achieved 2012 ended in a rush, suddenly it was 2013, the days have run together. So many happy days, so much has changed and so much has stayed the same.

I am not going to go into detail about the last few months, the girls have aged another year, D has started the journey of school, there has been sewing, baking, talk of renovations, yoga and oh so much running.... there has been joyous time spent with family, rediscovery and fun, work, warm days in the sun.... and apparently no time for writing.

But the moment has come when I realise I have missed it and it is time to start documenting again... time to find my words again.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Hear Me This

Back in 2010 The Divine Miss M was lucky enough to get a brand spanking new pair of grommets for a first birthday/Christmas present, after the first year of her life being plagued with chronic ear infections. Here she is rocking her gown.... if only all patients looked this cute with their butt hanging out.

We'd been down ths line with Delilah too (I blame Luke's genes!) so I was relatively (we'll as much as my stress head is able) relaxed about the procedure for M.... though I might have had a tear or two, nothing like the blubbering I did when D had hers done, I blame the pregnancy hormones for that. Mackenzie came through her little op fine, and it was a realtively stress free experience. Except for one pesky ear infection that took a few weeks to budge, little M had been infection free since.... until two weeks ago, when her left ear drum perforated.

Her Doctor had mentioned a couple of weeks prior to this that he would likely need to put grommets back in if the fluid in her ear hadn't drained by November..... fast forward a month and he tells me today that she needs to have it done now. He said "How does September 24th sound?" I said "It sounds like my Birthday."

So this year, rather than getting a little op for her birthday/Christmas, she gets one for my birthday instead , in two weeks time. I've been thinking about it all day, and I am feeling quite nervous this time.... how does one tell there coming up to 3 year old that they are going into hospital for an operation? I know this is minor, compared to what other parents have to deal with, but how do I explain it? More importantly, how on earth do I explain to the child who is perpetually "Hoooooooongry" that she can't have breakfast?

D gets it. I told her. "So Kenz is going to hospital to get her ears fixed, ok Mummy!" *shrugs* "Do we still get to have cake?". That was easy to answer.... "In this house there will always be cake on Birthdays". Hmmmmm..... maybe I'll bribe M with the promise of cake.

Friday, August 24, 2012

The Long Run And A Scary Photo Of Me.

24 hours after completing my first ever marathon, I decided to check out the photos Luke had taken of me post run. I was horrified and immediately made them black and white, despitely trying to make myself look better.

Five days post marathon, I'm ready to show a pic to the world (or at least my 17 readers!), because hey, this is what I looked like after running 42.2km, and I need to be proud of that. So here I am in all my sweaty, shattered, fuzzy haired, exhausted, nauseated, tear stained glory.... I'm with my bestie, Gemma, who'd done the half as part of her training for the (gasp!) New York Marathon..... I'm sure she'll be totally thrilled that I have shared this with the world (you'll keep it to yourselves right? All 17 of you!), but hey, next to me she looks like a godess.

So now that I've frightened you, I will spare you all the details of my 4 hour and 23 minute run. However, I do want to share a couple of things I learnt.

1) I learned that determination will get you anywhere you want to go. The lovely Amy of Giggleberry Creations, who is also an avid runner, asked me post race how I'd coped with the pain, how my mind had coped and if I'd wanted to stop. The answer for me was quite simple, I wanted to get to the finish line having run every single step, so the pain was inconsequential, just a side effect of the big picture. Therefore stopping was not an option. I just kept chipping away, knowing that with every step the finish line was gettng closer, and so was my dream.

2) Realising a dream is a very emotional experience. When I reached the little marker that said 1km to go, a big smile crossed my face, and then quite unexpectedly a big lump formed in my throat. I spent the last kilometre fighting back tears as I realised I was going to do what I'd set out to do. It got harder and harded as I got closer to the finish line as more and more people were there clapping me on, telling me how well I was doing, that I was almost there. I could barely look at my family as I ran past them to the finish line, the sight of Luke and the girls almost made me lose it. I grimaced as an old man put a medal over my head at the end, telling me "you deserve this, you've worked hard for it". I held it together until my Luke put his arms around me and said "Baby, I am so proud of you", then I came undone....... probably contributing to making that picture of me above even more unattractive.

The support I have received in the last couple of weeks has absolutely blown me away. I have cried a lot of tears, over these last two weeks, pre and post marathon. The encouragement from people I have never met has warmed my heart. Apparently I have even inspired some to give running a go, or to run further.

What I have achieved with my running isn't for everyone. But having a dream is. Realising your dream is too........ Now what should I aim for next?