2018: a look back on the year that was

It’s incredible to think how much has changed in this past year. I started the year breastfeeding a 2 month old and couch bound a lot of the day, and finish the year training for my first ever half marathon. It’s been an up-and-down year, sure, like most people, but there is so much to be grateful for.

Once again I did the 1 Second Every Day video, which I’ve shared below for you. Take a look and let’s enjoy 2018: the year that was.

Highlights (in no particular order):

  • My son turning 1
  • Celebrating my second year of marriage with my husband
  • Running 5km with friends in the Sunshine Coast marathon festival, and doing the Muddy Rumble obstacle course with other friends/family
  • So much time with friends and family, loved it all
  • Dropping 20 years of anger and moving on
  • Losing 15kg
  • Our holidays away – Gold Coast, Stanthorpe, Townsville for my cousin’s wedding, camping trips
  • Being able to run again
  • Returning to work (a little bit of “me”)
  • Attending the Commonwealth Games (bucket list right there)
  • Those gigles from my son (nothing beats that sound)
  • Home renovations – pergola being built
  •  [...]  read more

    2018 second quarter review (one second a day)

    Halfway through the year already! It’s time for a visual break with this short video. It’s my usual one second a day, which I’m doing better at remembering videos more often instead of pictures.

    Videos are way more interesting right?

    Some highlights:

    • The commonwealth games
    • Another 3 months of my baby’s development
    • Getting back into running again
    • A run of bad health (including one hospital visit for Luca and one for myself)
    • Entering an obstacle course race with some friends and family

    It’s been a wonderful 3 months; thanks again to everyone for spending it with me!

     

    Running, sleep and me time

    This week there’s been a shift in the air. I’m probably going to jinx it, but everything seems to be going well. I feel rested, energetic, motivated, and in love with my husband. My baby has given me a good sleep. My running training is on track.

    I’m the happiest I’ve been in a long time. I feel like “me”.

    There’s a big disclaimer here. It’s not that I hate my life or anything. It’s just been a really trying time for a while now. I still plan on writing about some of the more personal things, but we’ll come back to that later.

    There was a lot of things going on. We weren’t well, and we hadn’t slept properly since before our baby was born. I was at the heaviest I’ve ever been in my life, struggling to find time to exercise (a huge factor in my personal happiness) and I was still coming to terms with who I am as a mother.

    But as of this week, I am so ridiculously content with my life.

    Running training and my “me” time

    When I split up with my ex many moons ago, I got back into running. What I found was that it was instrumental to my happiness.

    Running fulfils so many needs for me:

    • A way to deal with stress
    • Time to “tune out” – I put the headphones on, turn up the volume and run
    • Time for “me”
    • Assists in weight loss and toning my body
    • A way to get out of the house (on some occasions – see below)

    So without it I’ve really felt it hard to deal with stress. And being a new mother is definitely stressful.

    Months ago I had done a 6 week trial with a fitness squad on the Sunshine Coast, which I absolutely loved, but it was expensive. At the time we were on one wage, so that was tough. I’m now back at work 3 days a week so we have a bit more income, but that means on the days I’m not at work it means I have to go to get value.

    It became easier to have a gym membership, but then when I found out child minding was $6.50 every time, after 3 sessions I may as well have just stayed with the squad since it ended up being the same price. I couldn’t always guarantee my hubby would be happy to look after the bub while I exercised, so it all just became too hard.

    I quit the gym.

    Desperate to run, I realised my in-laws had a treadmill which they hadn’t really used for a while. I asked if they would mind if I borrowed it; they didn’t, and brought it up to our place one weekend. I was so excited.

    For my birthday my friend signed me up for a 5km race in August, but I hadn’t done anything about it. So once the treadmill arrived it was time to pull my finger out and start training. I found a 12 week training program online, stuck it to the fridge and prepared myself. Now my ritual is that every day I cross the day off on the count down to the race. It means I’m accountable for my training, and I don’t forget about it. I’m happy to say I haven’t missed a single day of training in over a week now. I’m on a good roll!

    At the moment I’m doing training sessions either at night after the bub has gone to bed, or in the afternoon if the hubby takes him out for some boy time. I’m trying to get my bub more consistent with his naps, so that when he goes down for a sleep I can run then too.

    I am absolutely loving it. My fitness is terrible, to the point I’m proud that I can run for 5mins without stopping right now – a far cry from what I used to do. But right now the end goal is a 5km fun non-stop. From there I’ll keep going. The old Kelly is still inside of me, she’s preparing to come back. I’m just being realistic that it will take some time.

    Sleep

    Since he was born Luca has been a terrible sleeper. It’s been rare to get more than 3-4 hours of sleep at a time. We typically go to bed early enough that our total sleep works out to be 7-8 hours, but when most nights you’re up at least 2 times a night, 7-8 hours still hurts. There’s a massive difference between how you feel when you’ve had a 2 hour stretch vs 3. After 3 hours you feel human, after 2 you will kill your husband for simply breathing wrong.

    Tuesday night was our country’s final game in the World Cup. I expected Luca to wake up around midnight as usual, right on time for kick off. Hence I didn’t bother setting an alarm.

    What actually happened is that for the first time in forever he slept for 7 hours straight. I didn’t go to bed until 10, and got to sleep through until 4am.

    Let me repeat, I got 6 hours of sleep in one stretch.

    For a split second I was disappointed I missed the game, and then I suddenly realised how amazing I felt. Luca had a feed and went back to sleep until just before 7am. When he woke I was greeted with the biggest smile, and lots of cuddles.

    I’m really really really hoping this is the start of Luca sleeping through the night, but I’m also trying not to get my hopes up at the same time. I don’t want to be disappointed I just need to take it all in my stride. Occasionally I let myself dream though, but I shouldn’t wish too much. Soon I will blink, and he will be a teenager that I’m trying to drag out of bed to get to school on time.

    But hey, if it’s possible, another 6 hour stretch of sleep wouldn’t be bad! I’ll take what I can get!

    The night time party battle

    Every night after the baby goes to sleep a battle rages within myself. I become giddy. I have two hands free and the time is my own. There’s so much I can do, and yet I don’t know where to start.

    So many choices, so little time. Most times, due to sheer indecision, I end up watching tv, drinking a warm drink and then going to bed. Such a waste.

    The night time routine

    The thing is, I love my child, right? And I have no regrets. Before he was born, I had a busy night time. I had my 52 list to tick away at, I could read a book, do crafts, go to the gym. Any number of things. I would come home and get stuck in. It was rare for my hubby and I to have “quiet nights”.

    Once Luca was born that wasn’t an option anymore. He came first.

    We didn’t start getting into a night time routine for a while, later than we should have. So we didn’t really figure out when “our” time was. But now we have it down pat:

    • 5pm milk feed
    • 5.30pm solids feed
    • 6pm bath
    • 6.30pm milk top up/start to wind down
    • 7pm bed

    It’s not always like clockwork, and it’s not always in that order. Sometimes he’s so exhausted (daycare days) we may skip the second milk feed and he just passes out. Sometimes he might be so hyped up that he stays up later. But on average he’s usually asleep by 7.30pm.

    Sleep is always an option

    Before Luca was born I was usually asleep by 9pm. That’s early by most standards I believe, but that was because I was up by 5am. I’d have had a solid 8 hour sleep and be raring to go. I’d get up early and head out, whether it was for a run, bike ride, swim at the pool, or a walk with the dog. Mornings were amazing, and getting out to watch the sun rise was one of my favourite parts of the day.

    Now my sleep patterns are disgusting. Take the last month for example. My average nightly total is just under 5h 47min. I don’t wake up raring to go. I wake up trying to pry my eyes open to see if the monitor is squealing in my ear that the baby is up.

    You can see how late I’ve been getting to bed from that graph. I’m trying to stay up and reclaim some time for myself, but in doing so I’m sacrificing sleep. So if Luca is usually asleep by 7.30, why am I not going to sleep straight after?

    At night I feel like the old “me”

    Because night time is my time. Even though he’s going to be up in a few hours, every night I’m hopeful he might sleep through. And so every night I try to give myself just an hour or two of doing something for me.

    This could be any of the following:

    • Write a blog post (hello, this is what I’m doing tonight)
    • Knitting
    • Sewing
    • Aimlessly reading nonsense on the internet
    • Watch TV/movie
    • Read a book

    Last night I managed some craft time and made my friend a present on the sewing machine. Craft is fun, I really enjoy making new things. My skills are lacking pretty dramatically, but practise makes perfect right? They’re not terrible items that I make, they’re “concept” items *grin*

    Recently I’ve found I’ve been spending the time mindlessly watching TV. I have netflix, hayu and a smart TV with catch up channels, and just recently started a trial of stan (I don’t intend to keep it – I just wanted to watch a show a friend was telling me about). I’m a reality TV junkie, and right now with so many shows on TV every night I have so many things to watch. We even have a facebook group for it (any other junkies can join too).

    Did you notice what’s missing from my list, though? Time with my husband. Tonight is our monthly “date night”, but because our son has been sick we never got around to organising something. Not even something small and special at home. We’ll catch up on that tomorrow night – I have no intentions of letting that get away from us. We still need to make time for us. But we dropped the ball a little this month. And I don’t think we’re spending enough time together at all.

    Getting to the point…

    All of this is a very long winded way of explaining why I haven’t been blogging recently. I’ve been doing so many different things, and slowly ticking away at blog posts, but all you would have seen is radio silence.

    I think I need to get a bit more of a routine in setting aside one night a week to write. I’m behind. I’ve written Luca’s 7 month post but have’t uploaded it, and in 2 weeks he’ll be 8 months. I have so much other stuff to say. And I don’t think I can afford to sit and stew on posts before they’re published anymore. They’re going to be a bit raw.

    But seriously, other parents identify with me about the need to stay up at night time, right? Night time is when you can do whatever the hell you want to because it’s our time. Our days are spent dedicated to our children, or workplace, or anything other than ourselves. It’s why we get excited the closer that bed time gets.

    So I’ll just be over here, sleep deprived but reclaiming a bit of time for me. Whatever that may mean.

    What does everyone else do at night time? Does anyone else get excited by the kid’s bed time? [...]  read more

    Today I made a Retail Manager cry

    Now, before you go thinking I’m horrible, please bear with me.

    Today I went to a local cafe with friends. We had been craving some quality chocolate, and I loved the hot chocolates there. When we arrived I noticed there were a few dirty tables and assumed they’d been busy and hadn’t had a chance to clean up.

    We found a table in the far corner away from everyone else. We had one 2 year old and my 6 month old plus pram, and wanted to make sure we weren’t in the way. The table had some crumbs on it, but being a mother of a young one I had wipes. Mothers always have wipes. We cleaned the table down, sat down and decided what we wanted.

    Our selections made we went to the counter. We waited a couple of minutes while they finished up what we were doing then placed our orders.

    The manager and the cashier girl briefly spoke, and the girl timidly advised there’d be about a 10min wait on food.

    “Sure, no worries!” I replied. We weren’t in any rush. I also joked with her about my being deaf when I misheard her ask me a question.

    I paid and made my way back to the table.

    Only a few short minutes later the manager came over with my drink. She advised she’d upsized it to a large free-of-charge because “I had been so nice to her staff”.

    She explained they’d had such a bad day. A staff member had come in with concussion, still expecting to work, and she’d had to send them home. From there the day grew worse. They had been abused all day, she explained. You could see the pain on her face. My heart ached for her. It explained the state of the restaurant, since they were a man down and so run off their feet they hadn’t been able to catch up yet.

    Now, I know that there may have been some mistakes made that could have irritated some customers and made them upset. Sure. But I am so strongly of the belief that there is absolutely no need to be rude to staff. I’m the same way with certain call centres for telco staff. They’re humans, with emotions. They’re so often on the receiving end of abuse. It doesn’t need to be like that. Explain the issue and work towards a resolution (wish I could apply the same rule 100% of the time at home with my hubby, I let emotion get in the way there, but I’m working on it). My point being that screaming and tearing someone down doesn’t get you anywhere.

    An idea suddenly presented itself to me.

    “I want to buy them a present, try and improve their day” I declared to my friend.

    We finished our food and drinks and headed to the grocery store (the only thing left open). I picked up some flowers and then began hunting for some individual gifts. Suddenly I spied some “Wonder Woman” stubby coolers. Perfect. I purchased them and we headed back to the cafe.

    “Hi!” said the manager when she saw us back again.

    “We bought you some presents to try and improve your day”.

    I handed over the flowers and the coolers.

    “Are you serious?” she exclaimed.

    She covered her mouth with her hands, her face turned red, and she began to cry. So of course I cried (I cry when anyone cries, I’m soft).

    I reiterated I hoped her day would be better now.

    Her other staff member hugged her as she remained speechless. Finally she managed a “thank you”, clearly overwhelmed. We talked a bit, then I bid her farewell.

    When I left she had a smile on her face. Mission accomplished.

    See? I’m not nasty after all!

    I have a few points to be made from all of this:

    • There’s no need to be rude to staff even when there have mistakes made
    • We’re all humans with emotions
    • You don’t know what battles everyone is fighting
    • When you see someone having a bad day make a random gesture to try and improve it. You don’t know how much of an impact it can have

    I really hope her day went well after that. My friend and I walked away so glad that we’d gone to the effort instead of just talking about it.

    The smile on her face was worth it.