Wednesday, 27 August 2014

You Are So Not Coming On Holidays With Me...

I cannot believe how fast this year seems to be going for me.  It is my first year with all of the girls at school and to be honest I had imagined that by now I would be a little bit more organised and somehow finding a little bit more 'me' time!  That hasn't really happened but I am taking small steps to get things heading in the right direction.

One of the 'me' things that has really been lacking this year is time to exercise, even just to get out and go for a walk.....and it is starting to show with more than a few excess kilos piling on!

At the beginning of the year when we were on holidays we were walking to the beach, swimming in the lagoon, enjoying plenty of fruit and home cooked meals.  Then we returned to the chaos that is our home and our everyday lives and bad choices crept in...especially now that I could enjoy a hot chocolate in peace and quiet...I may have really taken advantage of this one!

Then autumn and winter came along and since our current sleeping arrangements see hubby and I still sleeping in the loungeroom on the fold out sofa while other rooms are painted etc.. we easily fell into a very comfortable routine of night time hot milo and midnight snacks as we watched our way through the World Cup, followed by the Tour de France and then the Commonwealth Games.

Slowly jeans became too tight and were gladly placed with leggings and tracksuit pants.  It was when these elasticized clothes started to feel a tad tight that I did a double take!!

I had planned on returning to my local Contours gym earlier this year.  It has been a few years since I was a member but I did like the concept of it...but a few weeks after I had thought about returning I received an email that they were closing down....!!  I tried right!!??

We've had more than our fair share of winter coughs and colds and a few stomach bugs thrown in so it is time for a healthy start to spring for the whole family.  

Time to dig out my zumba dvd's (unused might I add!!), dust off my Michelle Bridges workout dvd's and get myself an at home exercise routine underway.  And if this Sydney rain ever stops I could add walking the girls to school a few times a week to my schedule.

And an overhaul of some of my eating habits might be in order too!  Perhaps I could limit those delicious hot chocolates to a once a week treat!  Today marks 17 days without so much as a sip of coke and 3 days without a taste of a chocolate steps !

My big picture is to improve our overall health and fitness but if I manage to shed a few kilos before our Christmas holidays this year well that would be a bonus because I am not too keen to take them on holidays with me!

Watch this space...!!!  Well hopefully, coz I'm not really good and consistent exercise and healthy stuff!!!

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

The Best Bad Luck!!!!

On Boxing Day last year we headed off for a two week family holiday up the coast.  We had scoured the internet and booked a little house on a lagoon which was just a short walk to the beach as well...perfect!!

Family holidays have been few and far between in recent years so we were more than excited.  (I totally love holidays!!!!!)

Although we did manage a bit of down time here and there on the holiday, keeping watch of and keeping up with five children is pretty exhausting in itself!  So at the end of the holiday hubby and I discussed returning to the same place at the end of this year but extending our stay to three weeks....hoping to get a bit more relaxing in this time!!

When I contacted the home owner in April he informed me that they had already taken a booking on the house for part of the time that we wanted.  No!!! I was devastated!!  And in disbelief that somebody was already booking an end of year holiday even earlier than I was!!!

Not one to be beaten I just figured that if I had found one holiday house that I could find another!  

Well...okay that proved a lot harder than I originally thought when my budget was taken into account!

The house that we had stayed in was very basic and in original condition and thankfully they charged accordingly which was great for us!

Phone calls and emails soon highlighted the fact that the other holiday houses on the lagoon were being rented out for more than double, some more than triple, what this house was going for and there was no way that we could afford that.

Eventually I stumbled upon another house, this one beach front, that was also in original condition and thankfully being rented out at a reasonable figure (well as reasonable as 100m from the beach can get!!)  

But....of course there has to be a but!!!  The beach house was only available for some of the dates that we wanted to stay!

Amazingly though it wasn't all bad luck!!  It actually works out that we can get our three weeks week at the beach house where we will celebrate Christmas and Boxing Day and enjoy all that the beach has to offer...

Our view for the first week!!!!!!

...then we will pack up and move about three minutes down the road to our trusty lagoon house to spend the next two weeks enjoying windsurfing, fishing and all the other good stuff the lagoon has to offer as well as sparklers and toasted marshmallow on New Years Eve!!

Our view for the second and third week!!!

Now I might just make these pictures the wallpaper on my phone so I can see them every day and get through the next four months will all of its school activities, dance concerts, drama performances, Christmas functions etc.. etc... etc...

Let the countdown begin!!!

Monday, 18 August 2014

The Perfect Weekend....

By about Wednesday or Thursday of last week I began dreaming about the perfect weekend.  

We were down to only 1 sporting activity and that was Miss 10's netball semi final which was at 9am Saturday by 10am Saturday we would be sport free....!!

Hubby was not working...huge bonus!!

So I let my mind race with ideas of a family outing...I even had access to a free family pass to The One Fine Baby Fair in was looking good!!

I was excited by the prospect of a fun family weekend for the first time since winter sport started.....not that dragging sleeping kids out of bed to drive up the mountains to be at soccer at 8.30am on a wintry Sunday morning isn't fun !!!

But then reality struck and I was informed that Miss 16 had to be at school from 10am til 3pm on Saturday to work on a design and tech project, Miss 13 had to be at school from 2pm til 4pm on Sunday to rehearse for this weeks violin concert, Miss 10 got invited for a sleepover on Saturday night, Miss 15 wanted to go to her friends house on Sunday to do their maths homework....

On top of all of that it rained most of the weekend and we have a very, very blocked toilet (waiting for the plumber to come back and dig out pipes this week!!).

Well at least I was able to sneak out to a local market on Saturday before the rain came. And I baked cupcakes on Sunday.  So not all bad I guess.

Friday, 15 August 2014

Wiped Out....

The last few weeks have been exhausting!  With school, sport, training, after school activities, doctors appointments, specialists appointments....oh and the blocked toilet to top it all off!!!

Today I am totally wiped out!  

I don't have anywhere that I have to be today (well except remembering to pick the girls up from school this afternoon!!)...

I don't have anything that I have to do today (hmm that is if you exclude all of the cleaning etc...but hey it will still be there tomorrow!!)

I have contemplated watching a movie, or making a trip to Spotlight, even going back to bed....

Next week is crazy busy so I have decided not to feel guilty if I do absolutely nothing today! I'm not sure what I will do....but I can tell you that it will probably feel like one of the quickest days ever!!!

Oh and I can tell you that having written up my monthly planner for August and having meal planned for this week have definitely helped keep things on track when there would otherwise have been chaos!!  And putting $50 in petrol in the car on Monday has saved so many trips to the petrol station !!!  Tiny steps in the right direction.

And for some crazy reason I decided amongst all of this to give up drinking coke this week...a step towards a healthier me....and to be honest there will never be an ideal time to cut down so this was probably as good a time as 5 of no coke...which essentially means no caffeine and no sugar as I don't drink tea or coffee!!!

Right then off I go to do feels so weird !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Monday, 11 August 2014

Oh My Gosh....I Need a Plan...

So last week I sat down with my monthly planner and wrote out all the things happening in August in an attempt to gain back some sort of order!  You can check the blog out here...

The result even scared me a bit!!  The month is full of the usual school days and school stuff as well as after school activities....but it also has a whole heap more thrown the primary school musical, doctor and specialist appointments for Miss 16...and more....

There is one whole week where there is something extra on every day that week so I will be out on the Monday, at Miss 10's netball gala day on the Tuesday, co-ordinating the primary school Dance-a-thon on the Wednesday, assisting at Miss 5's tabloid sports day on the Thursday and doing canteen duty at high school on the Friday....!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Once I saw that week filled in I instantly knew that I would not be able to get through the rest of August without a plan...a meal plan.  

I need to sit down and do some serious meal planning.  Meal planning is something I do in a fashion that could only be described as sporadic.  I plan for a fortnight, get most of what I need in the online grocery shop, forget to get the rest and then we get busy and the plan goes out the window!!

But with winter sports coming to an end there should be more evenings at home and more meals eaten together at the dinner table rather than in passing as one comes in the door and another goes out the door!

Starting with the pretty meagre offerings already in the pantry, fridge and freezer I am sitting down now and writing out a list of dinners then I am matching up these meals with the days that they best suit....

This week looks like this so far.... cakes, mash potato and salad
Tuesday..........chicken and cashew nut stir fry with rice
Wednesday.....meat pies, chips and salad
Friday.............chicken burgers

I am hoping to manage to add to our selection of home made freezer meals this week too because with activities scheduled for every day next week there is little chance of me cooking at the end of the day!!  

So I am hoping to make and freeze...
garlic prawn linguine with creamy sauce
beef stroganoff 
spaghetti bolognaise
fried rice

I'll also need to plan afternoon snacks as well....I always forget about afternoon snacks until about 2.59pm when I am on my way to pick up the girls....then I find myself praying to find an unopened packet of biscuits squished up the back of the pantry or a stick of celery and a carrot that haven't completely lost their crunch!!

This weeks snacks look like this so far...
fruit salad
dip and crackers
homemade cookies

So there's the is looking good so to go online and order any other groceries I need...then to start chopping up salad and fruit from my trip to the local fruit n veg shop this morning.....

Here's hoping I can stick to the plan!!!

Thursday, 7 August 2014

"one shoe two shoe red shoe blue shoe..."

Well in this case it was one shoe, two shoe, pink shoe, purple shoe....

This morning started the same as every other....repeatedly telling the older girls to get out of bed or they would miss the bus, whipping up some toast for their breakfast, sneaking in for a quick shower once I was convinced that they were out of bed....and eventually they made it to the bus stop on, or so I thought!!

Then I moved on to Miss 10, hoping to leave miss 5 sleeping as she had been sick yesterday and I was planning to let her stay home again today....

But Miss 5 whom I have to poke and prod and beg and bribe to get out of bed on a weekday was today awake of her own accord.....not a win!

So eventually Miss 10 was up, dressed etc... and then she was walking around the house with that all too familiar look....the one where you know they have lost something that is essential for getting to school....

And today the essential item was her shoe....!!!

She had found one runner in the bathroom and was wandering the house looking for the second one.  She looked through the lounge room, under her bed...I'm pretty sure she was even gazing towards the ceiling at some stage...but all to no avail.....the second runner was not to be found!

Given that she had just worn these exact runners to netball training last night I could not fathom how they could be lost only 12 hours later....she may have been told once or twice that if she had put them in her room then she would know where they were.

As the clock ticked at triple speed as it always seems to do on a school morning I started to look for the shoe myself.  First stop bathroom where Miss 10 found the first shoe....and what do I find???

One runner....but sadly it is a runner belonging to Miss 15.  A bit more looking around the bathroom and I am yet to find Miss 10's missing runner....but I am also yet to find the second of Miss 15's runners.....and then the realization......oh no!!!!

Miss 15 has taken runners to school for PE and in her enthusiasm (haha) to get to school she has mistakenly picked up one of her runners and one of Miss 10's....eeeek!!!!

They are both white but one has pink trim and the other has purple trim.  I look at the two shoes and consider the possibility of Miss 10 just wearing them as a pair to school....start a new trend perhaps!!  But.....

they are both left feet....oh my gosh!!!!

By now time was not on our side and we had to get to Miss 10 had to rummage around and find some runners belonging to another of her sisters....thank goodness they have similar sized feet!!

After dropping Miss 10 to primary school I had to take Miss 15's remaining runner to her high school so she could do PE later in the there I am handing over a plastic bag to the school office which clearly contains only ONE shoe....I was like..."sorry it could only happen in my family!!!!"

So finally problem solved....well apart from the fact that Miss 10 is at school wearing Miss 13's Nike runners that she paid for herself :-(

Oh and in all the fuss Miss 10 forgot to pack her lunch and of course only realized when we arrived at school so I had to return to her school office with her lunch. probably could only happen at our house!!!

Tuesday, 5 August 2014

Time Flys....

I will never cease to be amazed by how quickly time passes...seems like yesterday it was school holidays but here we are already in week four of this term.

We all have the same amount of hours in each day but I always feel like other people are getting so much more that making lunches, washing dishes and scrubbing toilets out of theirs. 

They seem to have time for a little lunch time walk on the beach or time to sit down and sew up a storm.  I am hard pressed to bake a batch of cookies and for the life of me I don't seem to be able to string more than a few days together when I attempt Fat Mum Slim's Photo A Day challenge.

I would love to find time to exercise every day, to be able to blog every few days, to take a day to shabby chic a table or sew some clothes for the girls.  I'd love to have my house in order, my paperwork in order....

So it seems it is time for a bit of a life overhaul!!  

Time to take a look at the way things are being done around here and time to put a few more systems in place.

It always seems to be that when things get even more busy or when unexpected things come up that any systems or routines that we do have fly out the window and we go into some sort of crazy survival mode in which the bare essentials seem to get washed, cleaning is confined to the area that can be seen from the front door as all visitors are confined to the hallway and the grass grows to the point where we start to forget that we have a veggie garden!!

My aim, in my spare time (haha), is to think through some processes and come up with some today I am starting with my monthly planner for August....writing down everything that August holds rather than flying by the seat of my pants and trying to remember where we are supposed to be!!!!!

Well there's August pretty much booked up !!!!!  I think I'd better look at some easy meals next to keep on track with feeding the troupes!!