'A portrait of my children, once a week, every week for 2013'
Gus - thrilled to be on the cable car up to the Botanical Gardens whilst holidaying at Daddy's hotel
Felix - returned from a visit to Nanny and Pop's house determined to ride a two-wheeler so we got out Gus' old bike, pumped up the tires and let him go for it. He can get those peddles moving - but only just.
'A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, for 2013'
Gus - racing around the bike track at Karori Park. Man he goes fast on that bike of his!
Felix - loved riding around Te Horo beach on his 'nake bike. Look at that gorgeous boy! I had to take the bike seat up when we got home as we realised that he's had a growth spurt since the last time he rode it.
I don't think that I've talked about my Crossfit endeavours here before - so here goes.
On my birthday December 2012
I had had enough of dressing to disguise my well-rounded figure. I was sick of feeling fat, frumpy, constantly lethargic, and just generally like s**t, so I knew it was time to get serious about exercise. I had tried getting back into running but it was just too easy to make excuses to not go - who wants to run in the wind and/or the rain. The time had come for action.
Grant had joined MaD Crossfit the previous June and after his first session had been trying to convince me to join to. So in January this year I finally felt ready and able to make the commitment to get 'me' back. It was hard work but so worth it. Its not like attending a regular gym where you can slip in and out unnoticed. The coaches care about you and make sure that you're doing the work right and safely. It doesn't matter if you come first or last because you're supported no matter how you do - whether you're lifting 15 kg or 150 kg. I remember feeling so intimidated when I first started by what everyone was doing and what they were capable of, but while I'm still amazed at peoples' strength and determination, I've learnt to just concentrate on what I'm doing and give it my best. This is my 'me' time. Its fun and I love it!
We have also joined the 'band-wagon' with the Paleo food too, something that is not atypical of Crossfitters. This was not something we undertook lightly, but something that was well-researched and discussed plenty. When taking into account both of the boys intolerances it made sense for us to try it out and after just a month we could see the difference that it had made not only to the children but also to ourselves.
Photo taken last month
So nine months on and I feel a million times better - the lethargy has gone (aside from when the kids keep me up all night) and I've become stronger than I would have thought possible. I can do pull-ups, cartwheels and box jumps. Things I never dreamed of being able to do. My only complaint is that none of my clothes fit me anymore! Hmmm, not the worst problem in the world to have! So if you're wanting to get 'you' back and aren't shy of a fun challenge, give Crossfit a go.
Oh nothing, just the sound of silence. The sun is out and Felix is asleep while Grant and Gus are on a supermarket run for me. I am wholeheartedly embracing the silence right now.
This week has been a rough one. It was Grant's away week and with a lot happening for him at work here as well as in Auckland, it meant that we really haven't seen him since this time last week. When the boys don't see their Dad, they start misbehaving, and then to add to it they became unwell again. Then, as they're feeling poorly it means that they're up throughout the night (and who can blame them), and then starting the day between 5.00 am to 5.30 am each day too. What is with that!
So as a person who really and truly needs sleep to function, this week has been taxing on me. I will be honest and admit that at one point yesterday morning I took myself to my bedroom, shut the door, had a good old cry and then regrouped - formed a plan and bucked up! I put away the tablet and the DVD's. Grabbed the doona cover, a stack of books and invited the children to join me on the couch. Gus was reluctant at first but as soon as I started reading he joined us.
Things got better after that. There was less hitting (it didn't completely cease), less raised voices and we were all kinder to each other. We managed until Grant got home late yesterday afternoon when I finally took a shower and practically ran out the door. The three boys needed some time to re-connect and I needed to get out of the house and breathe.
Why is it that some days it seems that anything is possible and then other days just making breakfast seems like a massive achievement? Do you have days or weeks like this?
'A portrait of my children, once a week, each week, for 2013'
Gus - deep in concentration as he paints the sleeves of his t-shirt. He once again demonstrated his capacity to think outside the square as he lay on his side with his legs bent so that we could fit his entire person on the paper. Ka pai to mahi!
Felix - working his little fingers into the gap to get his paint brush out. He really had to persevere with this problem, and eventually worked out that the best way to get it out was simply to tip it out. Nice one!
I took my son shopping for ballet shoes yesterday. Granted, it was an odd situation: the confused looks from fellow customers and the suggestion from a shop assistant that "the boys shoes are over this way" confirmed it, but we didn't let it worry us. Silently I did ponder if this day was going to mark a turning point in Gus' life. Ce la vie I decided, and the more I thought about it the more I wondered if this was just Gus engaging in dramatic play; playing dress up like he does when he puts on a pirate or robot costume. He is wonderful, he is beautiful and he is conflicting. He is who he is. We will love him regardless, always and forever.
My two boys are pretty much opposites. Gus will rarely be found playing without his shoes, whereas Felix would happily walk around in wet freshly mown grass in socks. Gus sees a plate of cake and enquires as to the whereabouts of the cake fork, whereas Felix would be happy to devour porridge with his hands. Gus is ferocious and passionate in life whereas Felix is sweet and a lot more delicate.
At times I can forget that despite being raised in the same house by the same parents with the same rules, the expectations for each child need to be different. They each have their own strengths and weaknesses, and need to be afforded the time to develop and engage in the world in their own unique way. The recent completion of my assignment on language acquisition prompted me to really pause and reflect upon this. Most timely I say! XO
Gus has been asking to use the camera a lot lately - and he usually takes a really good picture too. In this shot he positioned me in front of the door, kneeling, with my red (and definitely NOT brown) lipstick. Just before he was about to take the shot he told me my hair wasn't right and disappeared to get a spray bottle to flatten my flyaways. Hmmm! Anyway, I figured it was a great chance to show off my GAP-tastic Cowl. I love, love, love it and can't wait to knit another one. What a pity my sister's birthday is in summer. XO
Or watch nga manu - which is what the boys are doing here - the Tui in the Kowhai tree
My wonderfully passionate, proper and very cuddly big boy recently gave me a timely reminder to just stop. I am the type of person who loves to get to the end of the day and think to myself "Wow, I achieved so much today". I love to see the results of my efforts. Unfortunately I occasionally need reminding that cuddling on the couch with my little ones with a book or in front of a movie is achieving something. I know it sounds crazy, but I do at times need to be prompted to leave the dishes, forget about the wet washing waiting in the basket or to leave Mount Washmore for another time and instead get down and play with the kids. You would think that as a trained early childhood teacher I would know these things, and yet I forget.
So over the past few weeks when one or all of us have been unwell I have been stopping, pulling the blocks out, grabbing a stack of books or putting a film on and enjoying my wonderful children's company. There is far less of Gus's "Mummy look at me, look, look, looook, looooooook. Mummy!" and many more cuddles. We all need reminding sometimes, no one is perfect. I am just grateful of the reminder (and cuddles). XO
My thanks to Gus for insisting on taking my photo - which, incidentally, I had thought of doing so I could share my Caramel Cardigan but just not got around to doing.
I just adore it! It is so warm and cuddly - and as a person who has been deeply entrenched with the need to wear singlets and keep my chest covered (thank you Nana), I really appreciate the extra warmth that the double front provides. This is my first big project and now I can't wait to begin the next. I just have to concentrate on my studies for the next two months and then I can knit and sew until my heart is content - well...!
So, as I do, I have been thinking and dreaming about all the wonderful projects I would like to do. Here are a few.
I have actually started this Baby Kimono Cardigan for my nephew or niece due in October. I am using a muted moss green from Ashfrod Yarns and its beautiful. A great unisex colour.
And... I have actually started this Il Grande Favourito jersey too, but only just though. I have cast on and that's about it. I figure that if I start it now then it will be ready for autumn as the my cardigan took almost six months to complete!
This Poolside Jersey has also caught my attention and as I haven't knitted a lace pattern before this is definitely going to be one that will have to wait for my full attention.
And my dreaming is not just limited to knitting - I have chosen the summer dress that I'd like to make too. Its another gorgeous pattern from Pattern Runway. But I think skirts may be in order this summer as well so I am pining for another Very Gathering Skirt, which is a free pattern on her blog and maybe an A-Line skirt too. Who knows - only time will tell, and allow! With spring in the air are you ready to get the sewing machine out too? Xo
The kids and I took a little trip up Kapiti way yesterday. I was having no luck slowing Gus down after his operation on Tuesday so I decided we could do a little hunting and gathering - in a way. The first item on our list was Manna-Cow Milk. We drove along keeping an eye out for the signs as though on a treasure hunt, a simple little sign here and another there and eventually we found the right farm. We took a couple of wrong turns; not that it is hard to find but it is when you have two children yelling at you "Let me out, I want to play with the lambs and cows in the daffodils." It really is very beautiful up that way.
With the milk stowed away safely in our chilly bin we chased a few chickens, patted the farm dogs and picked a few flowers before heading off for the next bit of our little adventure.
We found an orchard advertising pick your own limes, and not that I have a clue what to do with all the limes Gus and Felix picked, it was fun. Surprisingly, no one fell over in the muddy puddles, no one jumped in said muddy puddles and no one tried to take a bite of the limes either! Gus spent majority of his day resting and restrained in his carseat, whilst having a lovely trip out!