Day 68 – Eight years and counting.

Eight years ago today, I married the grumpy Dutchman.

We had a wee passenger on board – I was 5.5 months pregnant and you can imagine the havoc this caused when I had to tell my dressmaker and get a whole new dress designed. And yes, I walked down the ‘aisle’ barefoot and pregnant.

But aside from not being able to get happily drunk at my own wedding, being preggers had its one advantage. I can never forget how long we have married – no matter how fuzzy my brain – I simply go to my eldest boy’s next birthday and I know. He is currently 7.75 years which means that we must have been married for 8 years. That’s aaaaaages man. It feels like it took nearly that long to get used to calling him ‘my husband’. Weird.

And I know it’s a cliché but I married my best friend. My super sexy, grumpy, Dutch best friend. Sure, he forgot our very first wedding anniversary. He forgets my B’day every year (and it’s weird because it’s the same day every time). Up until last year he had to ring me every time he needed to know the lads birthdays. But he remembers other stuff. He remembers to tell me to stop talking when I’m body shaming myself. He tells my thighs and tummy to ignore me and that he loves them. He sees past my ‘I’m going to be good and not have carbs for dinner’ as the bullshit that it is – carbs aren’t ‘bad’ or ‘good’ they are just food – and feeds it to me anyway because I want it. He didn’t run away when I got pretty awkward to take anywhere that there was food and he puts up with all that shit.

He changed all the nappies when the lads were young and did all the baths with our eldest when I was irrationally afraid to do it. He cooks more than me and he usually remembers to do veges without nagging.

But. He gets naked where and when he feels like it and I find little ‘puddles’ of his clothes all over the house. He leaves his empty beer bottles EVERYWHERE. I find them in the bathroom, the lounge, the front porch, the shower. He falls asleep in random spots around the house and it is increasingly rare that we wake up in the same bed. (last night he slept on the couch with the kitten to ‘settle him in’ and don’t ask how often he sleeps with the dog). He is a night owl and I am an early bird. He doesn’t understand my thing for shoes. He has a weird thing for fake guns. He can’t remember a single password or work modern technology beyond a very basic functionality. For the first 6 or 7 years of our relationship he rang his Mum every time he got a bill, thankfully I trained him out of that….

You know the best thing though? He’s mine and I am his. And for now that is still exciting, and comfortable and the most ‘right’ thing I can think of.

Day 64 – going off the grid

I have got the munchies HARD. I broke on the way home and bought 3 nectarines – they didn’t make it through the night. I have been fantasising about cheese. Cheese for fucks sake. I have been eating blue corn chips because we have them – even though crunchy scratchy. Feeling generally bleurgh with the munchies.

BUT tomorrow means the start of our wedding anniversary weekend. The in-laws are taking over childcare duties as of Friday afternoon and we are heading to the Coromandel. I don’t know if our B&B has Wifi, the guy can’t even email me back about GF breakfast options (he is shaping up to be an arse and we haven’t even met him yet) so I am not sure if I will be posting. I think I might take the time off from being witty and urbane with y’all – ha ha – and just live in the moment.

Even if ‘the moment’ consists of us being rained out all weekend and having to lie around all day catching me up on Breaking bad – oh dear how sad!

Have a good weekend – see you on the other side!

(Oh I forgot to say that Master 7 did not on fact eat his delicious sushi roll. Apparently he ‘wasn’t hungry’ and only ate the three biscuits he got! He left the carrot sticks, muesli bar, popcorn – all of it. Why do we bother…)

Day 42 – local talent

The 'mini Gypsy love necklace' by Zoe & Morgan.
The ‘mini Gypsy love necklace’ by Zoe & Morgan.

My Valentines present arrived in the post today. The GD goes past it every half an hour or so and exclaims ‘Another parcel in the mail! what are you always buying?!’. I have reminded him a few times now that it is my Valentines day present. And as he is going to be at a stag do all day and that night (and useless the next day) I have no qualms buying my own gift.

It’s a system that works. We have been together for a while. (13 years in March) and we have sorted it out by now. In the beginning for birthdays and valentines and Christmas I would go all out and over a course of weeks beforehand get him a whole lot of stuff that was thoughtful and cool and fun and meant to be this big heaping pile of STUFF to show him how much I loved him. He would go out the day before and find the first thing that sort of fit the bill. I remember one year he got me a book on Art Deco jewellery ‘because you like old stuff and jewellery’. The worst was when he didn’t get paid until after the event, so didn’t bother because he had no money. Needless to say that I would have very hurt feelings. I would sulk and cry and be upset and be all why the fuck can’t you be more thoughtful you arse? Why can’t you just put some thought in before the event and get me something nice that means something? why why why?!?! So he stopped. Just stopped. Too hard he said. You complain about everything I try he said. And I would complain and bitch and carry on to anyone would listen.

And then one day someone pointed out to me that I knew he was shit at this when I met him and fell in love with him. Why did I expect him to suddenly get any better at any point? And eventually it sunk in. It’s true. I was expecting him to change when that isn’t what people do.

So we reached an agreement. I stopped buying him heaps of stuff because he knows I love him and he hates me spending money. And now I give him a list to choose from or I just buy it myself and give it to him to wrap. Because I am that shallow and I am not someone who will ever be happy with nothing from my significant other on my birthday no matter how old I get. I’m not painting a pretty picture I know. But anyway it explains the box on the bed. (and I think I explained that I like ‘stuff’ in my previous post – beautiful, NZ made or designed if I can get it – stuff). I think if I was a bird I would be a magpie.

And I know the GD loves me. He does the dishes every day. He vacuums a lot. He doesn’t run screaming when I go all gooey at the thought of having a third child. He doesn’t even go pale anymore. He quietly and calmly reminds me how tired I am and leads me to watch our ‘prepared earlier’ children trying to kill each-other.

Long story short, on Valentines day I will be at a five year old’s birthday party with my little lads and the GD will be at a stag do with strippers and booze.

Day 38 – The beast is awakening.

I ate half a pineapple today. I picked fights with the family. I lay down for a nap and didn’t sleep because nobody would leave me the fuck alone. No I don’t want a cuddle goddamnit. The boys were so scratchy and irritable that I won’t be surprised if Master four bleeds before me. The grumpy Dutchman lived up to his name. Our cycles are synced. All four of us and three of them have no uterus.

Probably yoga would have helped? Nah – I would have been dangerous around all those heavy breathers and grunters. No patience for ponsnobby wankery today mister. But our family bike ride was really good and I was able to drag my sorry ass up the hill – with the extra weight of master 4 on the bike – and that felt good.

No Ma’am, it ain’t no fun being a woman on the eve; I have a sore tummy – admittedly that could be the pineapple that I’m not supposed to be eating – I am cranky, I am hard to live with and there is no chocolate in the vicinity.

But, you know, at least I’m not pregnant!

Day 31 – Last day of the month!

It is the last day of the month! 31 good things for 31 days 🙂

  1. The I Quit Sugar dinner for tonight was great! Coconut cream and Tumeric chicken, Kale and Coriander Quinoa – YUM and the kids ate it!
  2. Bootcamp in the rain today – new location so we were nice and dry – fun times!
  3. More quality time with my Grandies. Nana has been moved to a Nursing home and although she isn’t happy it means she is in the same town as me so I can take her bacon sandwiches and visit Grandad next door in his place.
  4. The sun is rising later – I like to start the day in the dark – it’s nice to watch it rise, sets me up for the day.
  5. School is getting started – looking forward to seeing the girls in my cohort.
  6. Summer fruit.
  7. Hot days.
  8. Summer rain – cools the night down just perfectly.
  9. I know I complain – but school holiday hangs with the lads have been lovely.
  10. A new Niece! I might get to cuddle her soon.
  11. A new dress.
  12. And some new jewellery….
  13. A week in Christchurch without the family to just read books and hang out with my sister – bliss – I could have stayed longer!
  14. Getting my car fixed so it didn’t look quite so derelict.
  15. Alcohol free = clear head in the mornings.
  16. Swollen and sore tummy SO rare that I actually notice it as unusual.
  17. Waiheke Headlands Sculpture trail – Heat, Walking AND Art.
  18. Laneways 2015. People watching heaven.
  19. A friend’s wedding to look forward to ❤
  20. Molly in the bed purring in my side.
  21. Master 7 going to work with the Grumpy Dutchman and earning his keep painting with his dad and Opa, so proud of himself.
  22. First swim of the season.
  23. Friends being so supportive and accommodating of all of my ‘special needs’. I seriously and genuinely appreciate the lengths people have gone to.
  24. The acquisition of a new sculpture from an artist friend.
  25. New shoes. Shoes in general.
  26. Small boy cuddles.
  27. Small boy kisses.
  28. Quality time with my sexy man.
  29. Yoga 3 times a week. I’m getting there slowly…
  30. Breakfast dates with my grrls.
  31. My wonderful friends and family.

Phew! got a little hard in the middle there 🙂 31 turns out to be a lot.

Bring it on February!

Day two, an old standard, a failure, and a slow start

It’s been an up-and-down 24 hours – with me having to remember quite hard not to have refined sugars and little trickies like that – bad habits have taken over and it will take a while to retrain. I spent all night last night, once the kids were in bed, going to the kitchen, opening the cupboards and fridge and then wandering back to the lounge defeated. I blame it on my free right hand – no wine glass occupying it….

I woke up this morning wanting to make something for breakkie that wasn’t an omelette or smoothie – and not toast which is my fave – because of the ‘crunchy’ bits.

There has been this recipe floating round on various do-gooder-healthy-recipe sites that had piqued my interest and this morning I got the lads all excited and said ‘hey mama’s gonna make banana pancakes – yum!’ cue excitement and ‘when are they ready mum!?’ (I’m not even off the couch yet).

You see the beauty of these pancakes is that they ONLY take two ingredients – I KNOW amazeballs huh – and ‘taste just like normal pancakes!’. I looked them up (thank you Aunty google) and got started. So NOT hard. I literally had to break three eggs and one and a half bananas into the blender and pulse. Then fry.

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Voila! You like my photo? they look good right? Except that they SUCKED.      They were terrible. Like the gross uncooked bit in the middle of french toast that you always slather in tomato sauce so you don’t have to feel the texture. Bleurgh. Master 7 took one bite, spat it out again (he’s not an egg fan and I may not have been very clear with him on the ingredients). Master 4 had two – liberally sprinkled with brown sugar – which by the way is the way the ‘healthy website’ recommended they be eaten because they know they suck too. I put four aside for the grumpy Dutchman figuring he’d eat anything and had to throw mine away because there wasn’t a single thing I could think of to add to them that I am allowed to eat. SO. Breakfast failure on day two. I ended up having the last two pieces of bread in the bag – waste not want not – and I just won’t buy anymore I promise. That crunchy tummy scratching peanut-butter toast never tasted so good. But I did miss the coffee I would have usually washed it down with…..

(Note – after reading this a few of my friends commented that they had made the pancakes and they liked them – major difference seems to be that they cooked them in butter and mashed instead of blended them – might try again later in the year if I pick dairy again 🙂 )

Last night for dinner I made a big roasted vege salad – this is my go-to if we go places and need to bring a contribution, it’s filling, jam packed full of veges and you can change it up, I also like to add things like salami, chicken, smoked salmon, avocado – depending on what’s around – if you weren’t avoiding dairy Feta is great in it too. And when there is only a few manky bits left in the bottom of the bowl I can throw them into the pan for breakfast with some eggs too – it’s an all-rounder!

I got the original recipe out of the ‘Allergy free cooking’ book by Dr Sue Shepherd, which specialise in recipes for folks who follow a low FODMAP diet, but I make alternate versions of it depending on who will be eating it because a lot of peeps don’t like Aubergine and I find garlic ‘infused’ olive oil weirdly hard to get at most stupidmarkets. Also I am not allowed nuts and seeds at the moment and my favourite used to be to throw some toasted pumpkin and sunflower seeds on it too. For last nights salad I roasted pumpkin, 3 colours of capsicum, courgette, sparrowgrass and green beans in olive oil and sea salt, then tossed up with baby spinach when done. I chopped some avocado into it as well – because YUM and it had the added bonus of pissing off the GD just that tiny bit more…. He hates avocado – it used to be something we bonded on – the only two people in the world who hated avocado but I have converted. He may never forgive me.

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This morning I took the little lads to see my Nana, their Great Nana, in the hospital where she is for the moment. They were loud and ‘wrestly’ and playing with wholehearted abandon out in the grassy area – much to the conscious old folks delight – but not so much to some of the sicker folk and bedridden patients. In order to shut them up for fifteen minutes so I could hang with my favourite old grrl, I promised them Mad Mex for lunch. We have only tried this once as a fam in town and it was great – no sore tummy for me, lots of GF options and the kids were very excited. Today we went to the one in Ponsnobby because I knew I would get a carpark with everyone out of town.

Hmmm….. The realisation is dawning that the reason the boys loved it SOOO much the first time is because we let them have the ‘real authentic soda’ from Mexico. (Which btw all tastes the same – like SUGAR and masses of it – I had grapefruit and there was nothing sour about it). This time they had water. Not so great with spicy food. Also the sour faced queen who served us threw sour cream all over Sol’s kid nachos before anyone had time to blink so of course he refused to eat them. The girl who took over serving was better and she asked before she put anything on anything which was good – the good thing about Sol’s meal was that one kid eats free with grown up on Thursdays and Fridays so we chalked it up to experience (And when he was starving later he ate the whole congealed mess in the car).

I got the ‘Naked burrito’. which is naturally GF (and DF because I declined to have cheese and sour cream). I forgot about my raw food rule though and I think the DELICIOUS salsa combined with the medium heat chilli gave me a terrible tummy ache. Or maybe it was indigestion because it was so yummy I ate it pretty fast! Sad face. I came home and instead of taking the lads to the zoo as promised ended up sleeping and reading my book all afternoon. So. Note to self – take it easy on the Mexican for now – but later – might be a good option.

All in all, day two was pretty easy – as expected – having given up sugar and booze for 14 weeks at the start of 2014 I know what to expect really – headaches and body aches from the lack of sugar for the first two weeks but it’s the ‘bored eating’ that gets me. I was stricter last time and cut out fruit too – because it kicked off cravings – and the way I’ve been going through this bowl of plums today is pretty telling. No fruit tomorrow. And no I don’t count tomatoes in that restriction because how else would I make my delicious Avocado and Tomato salsa that goes with my breakfast omelette?!?

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No bootcamp this week – holiday for our instructor, and Yoga was shut today – although my aching legs probably need a days rest to be honest after yesterdays effort – we’ll take the lads (all three) down to the beach after dinner and let them all have a big run. It’s so great living in this city – never more than twenty minutes from a decent beach – and the one tonight is five minutes away!

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