10 years difference

My ring finger has developed a reaction to something (the joys of having a screwed immune system) and currently I can only fit my engagement ring and the ring I bought myself in to the smaller space available on my finger.

Some folks might read in to the fact that I am not choosing to wear my wedding ring, and have chosen instead to continue to wear the ring I bought myself. Luckily for me the grumpy Dutchman isn’t one to read in to these things. Being largely unsentimental he called me a self-involved bitch and happily went on his way. In fact if the GD had had his way I may not even have gotten a wedding ring – he would have been happy if the two of us just knew in our hearts that we were married and we didn’t do any of it. Not because he eschews material things and would rather collect ‘experiences’, no; he would have been happy not spending the money and saving it for something more important – you know – like records.

I have spent the large part of the day clearing out my cupboards, going through my drawers, sorting out old bags and shoes and putting together rubbish sacks of stuff for the refuge. Yes rubbish sacks, I have five so far, and I haven’t yet gone through the stuff in the kids room. (My stuff in their wardrobe – we have feck all storage in this house).

I don’t have any feelings about not wearing my wedding ring. The me who chose it nearly ten years ago (yes I chose it- the GD isn’t dumb) is definitely not the same person as the me who wears it today. For one thing I am nearly ten kilos heavier, have eight tattoos (I was an ‘unblemished’ bride – although I was pregnant so you know – swings and roundabouts) and I think a much more definite sense of style. Bear in mind of course that in a recent survey on Facebook 7 out of 10 of my friends said they wouldn’t be friends with me anymore if I bought these;

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I don’t care – I feel like it would be totes worth it – I LIKE them.

Anyway, the me I was ten years ago was a very different beast. She didn’t have kids, had just travelled overseas for the first time and thought she was SO worldly, wore mostly clothes from the op shops, was not allergic to anything – or was at least blissfully unaware, drank most nights with her friends and then got up every morning at some un-godly hour and ran for 8kms with the same friends, lost weight just by maybe eating a salad that night and really, really wanted to get a tattoo one day. Just a small one – in a discreet place, you know like my ankle or something.

Things change.

I’m struggling at the moment with some of it. I’m obvs older, and mature-er and have different priorities – like keeping my kids alive through the holidays for example – and I have good friends and all sorts of great stuff going on.

And while the ten kilos extra doesn’t consume me like it would have ten years ago, and I am confident and fine mostly with the way I look on a day-to-day basis, it still bothers me. It bothers me that all the things I have done – which have worked in the past – aren’t working now. It bothers me that I can’t move as fast as I used to, and don’t last as long as I used to. It bothers me that my knee plays up when I run more than 5 kms – and god forbid – the pain has been preventing me from wearing some of my extremely cool heels. (Chuck Taylors and Birkies for the win but).

It bothers me that 3 years on from diagnosis my gut still blows right up like a pregnant womans randomly and that fucking salad can give me stabbing pain. It bothers me that it bothers me and that I havent found a definitive, actual thing I can do every time to fix it.

So, I’m trying a new look with just two sparklers on my finger while the rash heals. I’m getting rid of all the clothes that don’t fit me because holding on to them with no hope in sight of fitting them again is pathetic. I’m reading books about healing my gut and I’m sleeping in on Tuesdays and Thursdays instead of running and hurting my knee more. And I’m trying to ignore the voice in my head that says I’d be a better version of myself if I weighed what I did ten years ago. Because she was cute but I’ve got way more style.

 

 

 

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Reaching maximum capacity

We have come to a working agreement with the lads. If they misbehave they get 5 minutes in their room and I threaten them with the immediate and permanent death of their wee burgeoning social lives. Just the thought of not being able to play with Eli and Daiwick has them scuttling off to their room to sit out the 5 minutes punishment for swearing/hitting their brother/breaking something of mine/breaking something of theirs/refusing to clean up – you name it! Their bedroom has seen a lot of time out action in the last couple of days. But we are cracking it  I feel positive. No one has died.

The grumpy Dutchman has sort of given up smoking. He does not feel positive. He is really living up to his moniker at the moment. It is choice fun. He has resolved – and told people which was daft – that he will not be buying any more cigarettes. Very clever. Very subtle. Full of loopholes. He can still smoke other peoples cigarettes. Tricky. You see he maintains that it is his right to get lung cancer if he wants it. I think he secretly thinks he is bullet proof. His cancer proof dutch lungs to go with his giant dutch teeth and pretty blue eyes. He maintains he is only giving up because of the cost. I have mentioned how stingy he is. I don’t care – I’ll take it!

I am so pleased that he has stopped – for one and most obvious thing right off – he is in the house more! With me and the kids! Right there! Being really fucking grumpy that he doesn’t have cigarettes! It’s SO fun. But at least he’s not stinky. Grumpy, but not stinky anymore.

I have done a lot of fuck all since we hit the ground. I had that day where I unpacked the bags from our holiday and moved a bit. I took the lads to the movies – yesterday? Maybe? It’s all a blur – and we walked there because my car sucks, but really I’ve done a lot of nothing.I have watched a LOT of Third Rock from the Sun. I have eaten a LOT of stone fruit. They go together remarkably well. I keep waiting for Netflix to cut me off. It keeps asking me if I want to continue and I keep saying yes please! I keep waiting to be bored with not moving and watching TV and it still hasn’t happened. I have been day napping.

I hope I still fit my pants by the end of the week….

 

 

School holidays – what did I do to deserve this?

You know the joke ‘School holidays are when parents truly appreciate their child’s teacher’. Well colour me amused.

I have become a strong advocate for working through the school holidays. If only I could find someone willing to take my children. Summer school anyone?

I exaggerate of course. But there is no pretty way to describe two over-tired, over-excited, sick of the sight of each-other little dutchmen. We started out ok. I went to boot camp before either one woke up and then managed to come back have a nap! Magic. Granted it was one of those ‘one ear open’ naps where I needed to be somewhat cognisant of what the little angels were getting up to (and when I heard them plotting to make pancakes in my spotless kitchen with the chocolate coconut milk I did get up finally).

We started off slow, they pottered and I managed to read some of Dr Libby’s ‘Accidentally Overweight’ (It can’t be my fault right?) but increasingly as the day went on the wheels started to fall off.

I am now hiding on the bed listening to my youngest scream blue murder about going to bed early (a consequence of naughty behaviour previously) and it sounds very dramatic through the wall. The 8 year old has helpfuly decided to put a record on (so that he can really rub it in that he is still awake) and I can imagine he will be similarly heartbroken when I announce that he is off to bed in 3 minutes.

After I set off WWIII I may put my headphones in and try to read some more of Dr Libby’s book. I am deteremined to finish at least one of them!

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Happy New Year!

Good day, and good year to y’all.

We touched down on home ground yesterday, New Years day, and it’s important to say that travelling with the GD and the children when one has spent the night previous ‘welcoming’ in the New Year is just as much fun as it sounds.

I did not make it to midnight – I never do. And I am thankful that I got the sleep that I did because I did not feel good in the morning. Adulting fail.

The GD got two hours sleep. And that’s only because I let him sleep past the alarm and got up myself to start organising the fam. We needed to be on the motorway by 8am to be at the airport and the grumpy Dutchman opted to stay awake until nearly 5am with his brothers. I need to say however that he was remarkbly chipper all morning – perhaps still drunk.

Thank god for hot chips. They performed their miracle cure and by the time we were on the plane I was feeling like a human – just in time because the GD was hitting the wall.

Such a relief to be home. We had a wonderful holiday but I was starting to need my own space again. We flew out of beautiful dry heat into a wet cyclone of sorts – it’s still warm but windy and wet – and who needs more than that as a reason to stay home and do exactly nothing?

Me and my feminist Kanye tee shirt have stayed indoors all day today. On this, the second day of the year we decided that going out or doing anything might be a little too hard so we stayed home and unpacked and slept and played with Lego and watched shit TV. Bliss.

You know, apart from the cabin fever affected kids who have wrestled and fought and generally driven us crazy all day. The 5 year old in his wetsuit and the 8 year old wearing pre-teen attitude like armour.

I haven’t made any resolutions but I have thought a lot about what I want out of 2016. Stay tuned for a ‘planning’ post.

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364. One year on. A summation of parts.

Good morning? I am in Australia and it’s early AS so it’s probs midday for my friends who read this in NZ. The time difference has got my body clock all fucked up and we go home tomorrow so it’ll start all over again!

Well. Well well well. It has been a whole year since I jumped on my lappytoppy and declared for all the world to see (all 5o of you lol) that I was going to change things and be denied everything delicious and appreciate everything wonderful and generally do what I could to heal my gut and get some good stuff going.

Oh what an optimist I am! Lol at me for all the world to see.

Things I have learned this year;

  1. Lists are a good way to fill a blog post.
  2. Sugar is really fucking addictive. I quit ciggies way easier. Of course you can’t get pregnant to quit sugar but if that was a cure I might consider it. (And, actually, sneaking off to have a moro bar when I have too many wines is probably better for me tbh).
  3. Raw veges still give me a sore tummy – there’s no easing them back in to my diet slowly or gently. They stay OUT.
  4. The more people (that’s you guys) that read your blog = the more pressure you feel to be funny and upbeat = less posts on grumpy/shitty days.
  5. No alcohol was easy after the first 7 days. Way easier for me as a person who has already had two kids and has no social life – probs harder for you popular young things with lives and social obligations.
  6. I do regret having had that drink on my birthday and ‘breaking the seal’ primarily because I wanted to see the looks on peeps faces when they heard about my amazing will power and fortitude. Not because of any obvious gut issues.
  7. Number 6 is a lie – Alcohol gives me a big round belly and my anxiety levels definitely rise. I just like wine so I lie to myself damnit.
  8. Work and the stress associated with it contributes SO much to whether I am taking care of myself. When things are hard at work everything else falls apart and this year has been a hard one for lots of reasons at work.
  9. I have learned that it’s never ok to comment on a persons body; it’s none of my business what a person looks like or why they look like they do. It’s not my journey and not my business. This rule does not extend to asking where they got their gorgeous shoes/dress/bag – a grrls gotta keep up with the play.
  10. Yoga is not for me. I am no good at the slow, spiritual, breathing crap. I like to run and jump and be fast and nearly die and feel like I have REALLY had a good workout. Dr Libby be damned.

I haven’t written since November because life got busy busy busy and I was just hanging on and riding it out.  This post is not a final post, but I needed to acknowledge that all my big talk at the start of the year was for nowt and that I have pretty much gone full circle. Perhaps inevitably.

From my first ever post ‘The fact that my skin is the most sensitive it has been, my belly looks 6 month preggers half the time and random and unrelated food can give me terrible stomach pain‘ is totes sames. And I will admit that it got better there for a wee while when I was in the throes of strictness and had the energy to keep it all together. I will admit that. But I was no fun to hang out with either – no easy lunch dates – the restrictions consumed me (ironically) and became so big and unmanageable. Sucked balls.

So. Here I am in North Lakes, Queensland at my Sis-in-laws place, feeling more whale like than ever, but also way more ok with it than ever, more tanned than I’ve been in ages (honestly a tan makes it ALL ok) and having had way more ‘quality’ time with my children than anyone deserves.

My youngest child has spent the first 8 days of our holiday being terribly home-sick, sobbing great big wet tears for our dog and house and generally being a cling-on at all times; up until yesterday where he declared that he would like to live here now thanks and become outraged at the thought of us boarding the plane tomorrow. The eight year old has morphed overnight into a 14 year old, complete with nonsensical grunting and eye rolling whenever I speak, an uncanny ability to know when the coke (forbidden for kids normally) is being taken out of the fridge and a drooling, zombie-like addiction to the xbox (one of the reasons we don’t have one at home). Also he pulls the fingers whenever I get the camera out thanks to one Uncle (who may not ever be forgiven by my father who was outraged at the photo below – he clearly doesn’t know my child very well to be shocked by that).

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The grumpy Dutchman is content in the bosom of his family – toying with the idea of giving up smoking when we land on home ground (yay for that idea!) and hanging out for alone time because we are all sleeping in the same bed at the moment. It’s been wonderful to see all of the cousins hanging out together, the littlest being doted on by her older rellies and the nearly a teenage girl attitude that is coming off my 11 year old niece in waves – I love teenagers, have I mentioned that? I’m not even being sarcastic – it’s a sickness I have.

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We fly home to our fur-children tomorrow for a brand new year, and I’ve got two weeks before I am going to allow myself to think about work (the source of all the stress in my life at the moment lol). Two weeks more of ‘quality time’ with my kids before they head off for the holiday program and two weeks to finish all those books I have started reading.

I will be writing next year, I enjoy this bloggy thing – and I am very appreciative of all of you who have read it this year and ‘liked’ my posts or written lovely comments or generally just agreed with my ranting and raving.

Have a safe and Happy New Year’s eve – I will be asleep before midnight you can count on it! See you on the other side.

Peace.

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.These images are from our wanderings around Brisbane city.

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Ok I lost a day and I didn’t do Spin on Wednesday morning, I actually did it on Thursday. And you know, I didn’t die. It was bloody hard though. I expected it to be full of lithe, blonde, spinning queens, but I was pleasantly surprised to find myself in a room with three other women (8 bikes but not a full class) and they were to be expected;. there was muscly, superfit-never-misses-a-class never-actually-had-any-bodyfat-in-her-life 50-year-old, young blonde trying-out-this-fitness-thing and not really sure why she got up and when will it end, there was tattooed, mid 20’s, pink hair, big boobs, straight edge fitness grrl. Then there was me; sort of old, sort of tired, moderately tattooed (young tattooed girl didn’t like that) and barely keeping up. The instructor remembered me from three years ago when I used to go to their gym religiously and she was kind to me thank god.

30 minutes later I got off the bike shaky and dripping with sweat but it felt great and I am going back tomorrow! Ha ha. I may just die yet.

Today was the youngest childs last day of daycare. He is officially going to start Primary school on Monday. No more baby boy. I have all sorts of feelings about this.

I celebrated (?) by getting my very first ‘playsuit/jumpsuit’ thing. I have avoided onesies and grown up playsuits like the plague but this one spoke to me – maybe it’s the drop crotch and my aging-white-girl need to be down with the kids…. Anyways it’s huge and I love it – it’s like wearing my bed outside – and teamed with my birkies and lonely hearts bra it is the ultimate over-grown toggler look. #manrepeller

The GD took some not very flattering pics for me. Happy Friday everyone!

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Posting two nights in a row bitches. Small steps. Small goals.

I am the proud mother of a five-year old, an eight year old and the belly of a seven month pregnant woman. Alas I am not pregnant. Just round. Just in time for the holiday we have looming on the horizon in Aus.

We head to Australia this year to celebrate Xmas with the extended Dutchie clan (from Germany as well as Aus) and I am very much looking forward to seeing my Sis-in-laws again and all the wee cousins (some of whom were very little when I last saw them and now are nearly teenagers – fark!). I am looking forward to the HEAT and the beaches and generally hanging with my little family too with no work to interrupt us.

What I am just plain dreading is the summer clothing/swimsuit factor. Normally I love a good shorts/mini skirt + singlet combo but with the weight I have put on this year I am not feeling the look at all. It took me a while to even be a heat/summer type person – a whole lot of exercise in my early twenties and just plain growing up a bit and not giving as much of a shit about what people thought meant that I started showing more skin than just the gap between my jeans and ankles. In my teens I wore black jeans, long skirts, tights – general cover up and sweat to death type stuff – but it was the 90’s and we were ‘alternative’ – we could look as ridiculous as we wanted to and people just thought we were nuts anyway.

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Yup that’s me in summer wearing a full length pink, long-sleeved top/dress thing over jeans with a leopard print fur jacket. Because, you know, pretending that you are not melting simply because you don’t wanna show any skin is really cool.

Obviously I didn’t die of heat stroke. But it was close.

Small steps – tomorrow I am doing a spin class to see if I can still do it. It’s been over a year since I did Spin so I reckon I might die. Stay tuned!

312 The end of an era

Well. It’s official. I have two school age children. This time 5 years ago I was settling into a cocoon on the couch with my newborn and my GD hovering nearby. It was so much easier with the second one (the breastfeeding and not thinking we were going to drop him or anything) and we came straight home from the hospital all ready to settle in to being a two child family. Someone had at some point told me that two was easier than one because they entertain each other or some shit. They were lying of course. I wish I could remember who it was…

Anyway, my youngest son is now officially 5. I won’t lie and say it was all very breezy easy in this little household this morning. Mamabear was a bit ‘happy sad’ and had a little crazy smiling cry whenever I thought about my baby being a big boy now. He doesn’t start school yet – has to wait for the intake – but the school visits have been rubbing it in. I am now the mother of two school age children.

Which kinda changes my ‘selfie’ in my head. Somehow it feels that much older. I mean obviously I knew that eventually I would get to that point – but in my daydreams I go from having ‘togglers’ (the 5 yr old can’t say toddlers yet) to teenagers in one step. Rather than experience the slow decline I transform magically from vaguely-stylish-young-mum to eccentric-but-doesn’t-care older mum of teens – you know the ones – the ones with the house that all the kids hang out at, they dispense advice and feed them all and always have one or two of their kids mates staying for indefinite lengths of time.

I hadn’t thought about the ‘in-between years’ and the transition period from young to eccentric. Where all my cool pre-children-clothes are covered in sticky hand prints, my heels replaced with chucks for running after evil eight year olds and the laundry couch mocks me from the once safe haven of the TV lounge.

The good news is that I look around me and I see other women around about my age going through the same thing and they seem to be doing it ok. I’ve even met a couple of really cool women in the last few weeks and that gives me hope. I don’t need new friends – god knows I neglect my wonderful,patient friends enough already – I don’t need more people to be absent from; but obviously it can be done.

#midlifecrisismuch?

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Well it’s official. It’s folio season so that means I am falling apart. Cracked skin all over my hands and forehead, red and raw scalp, dry itchy skin all over my body (this is apparently a coeliacs thing) and I’ve got that manic energy that comes with knowing that all the boards are due REALLY fucking soon and I may be the only thing standing between complete and utter abject failure and a scrape though pass for some of my girls.

I heard myself shout somewhat hysterically to my seniors yesterday ‘I seem to be the only one with any sense of urgency here – where is your passion girls?!?’ I sounded like SUCH an Art Teacher cliché. The other in the room thought it was hilarious – especially as I barely even got a raised eyebrow from the class. (They think I’m cool – no really they do).

I actually secretly, not so secretly, love this time of the year. Eventually (I hope) the panic sets in with the art kids and they start producing work non-stop and with that production comes new ideas and extension and the ‘aha!’ moments that are vital to finish them off successfully. That’s if these guys ever get to that point.

But it’s not good for my adrenalin levels blah blah as per Dr Libby and her sciencey stuff about hormones and stress and stuff. We are probs all in the constant flight/fight/panic mode at the moment as we lurch from student to student trying variously to inspire, cajole, motivate, scare, soothe and push in to getting their work finished. I should be focussing on my belly breathing, slow walks and green tea in the morning.

But instead today I caved and inhaled half a pack of mini Whittakers almond gold.

Sorry Dr Libby.

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