Sunday, 26 January 2014

Learn, Laugh, Love.

It's been a fair old week here at the family HQ. My husband got some new glasses (badly needed), we needed some work done on the car (there, there, wallet), although thankfully the work on the car wasn't as much as I feared. I was laid low on Tuesday by some sort of stomach bug which had me vomiting and generally feeling like a wrung-out rag. Wednesday I did a split shift at work, 9-12, then 5-9pm. It makes for a long day, but it was the option for working around my husband's working hours and making sure my brother, who very kindly agreed to watch them in the afternoon/ evening, didn't have the kids for too long. Thursday was a normal working day, it's also luckily one of my husband's days off. Friday was my birthday.

We still haven't heard anything about a nursery place for the twins, and I'm really hoping we get a clearer picture of whats going on this week. It's been almost 2 months since we spoke to the Health Visitor and she said she would put in the referral. I keep trying to phone the office, but I can never get an answer, and with young kids, finding a time to call when I might actually stand a chance of hearing the other person can be tricky.

Gareth is Mr Kind and Helpful. He puts his dishes in the sink after he's finished eating, asks for things he knows his sister likes (grapes mostly) in order to give them too her, and he's started taking her by the hand and trying to lead her around. There are moments when he tries to wrestle and do rough play with her, and she simply isn't having it, then her indignant squeals could shatter glass. Mostly though, they get on very well, even though they have very different personalities. I love hearing them giggling together, and yesterday I heard Molly tell Gareth 'You are funny!'

Molly. Clever girl, and loves to show it. Counting, recognising written numbers, and being able to say what each one is, even when they're in random order. Colours, shapes, and some letters. She's singing more too, which makes me smile, she sings as she plays.

For all the mess, the whining because there's no peanut butter (or peeba baba, as Gareth calls it), the protests because it's the wrong cup, or bowl. The fights when Molly is playing with a toy which Gareth has been ignoring, and he suddenly decides he NEEDS it NOW. In spite of all that, they set a very good example. Laugh more, play more, give each other little things to brighten the day. Never stop learning, help each other out, but don't be afraid to stand up for yourself.

Learn, laugh, and love. Kids are pretty smart, aren't they?

Sunday, 12 January 2014

Taking (on) Each Day as it Comes

Well, this healthy eating and exercise thing isn't so bad. I'm starting to quite enjoy the exercising part, although yesterday I nearly fell of the exercise bike while trying to pedal, hold a plastic plate and 2 toy cars, and pat Gareth on the head all at the same time. Some of the kettlebell exercises require quick reflexes when the twins are around too. Like checking a swing part way when they decide to walk right in front of me. Or telling them 'No!' when I'm on the floor getting ready to do some Russian twists, and I can see them getting ready to launch themselves on top of me. Other than that, it's all good. Molly even counts for me while I'm doing my kettlebell exercises. She's also very encouraging when I eat a salad, she smiles and says 'Mamas eating yummy leaves!' Can't persuade her or her brother to try them though.

Even without any noticeable weight loss, I'm feeling the benefits. I feel a bit 'brighter' all round, less sluggish, and my 'women's things' are lighter and easier than they've been in months. Even on day 1, I didn't have to take a single pain killer.

Food wise, it's been easier than I thought. My motto has been 'cut back, not cut out.' Nothing is banned, it's just a case of consuming less of some things, and more of others. Less coffee, more water. Less bread, more veggies. Less cake, more fruit. That sort of thing. This morning I was eating my poached eggs with spinach, arugula and watercress, and thinking 'I like this better than I like eggs with toast.' Not bad for a dyed in the wool carb junkie. Besides, I've found if I start the day well, the rest usually follows.

Healthy habits, really, aren't that hard, it's our minds that trick us into thinking they are. Mostly, I think, it's about realising that our lives are something we participate in, not something that just happens to us. It's about activity, not passivity. It's about getting up in the morning, and with a good dose of determination and humour, humility and flexibility, taking on each day as it comes.

Thursday, 2 January 2014

Trying to Start the Year Right

Well, here we are, a whole 2 days into 2014. It's stopped lashing rain and blowing a gale here in the not-s0-sunny West of Scotland, so the start of 2014 is already better than the end of 2013.

I  decided to start the exercise part of my new years resolution a few days before the end of last year. I've been doing some sort of physical activity every day apart from one. Sometimes it's just trundling away on the exercise bike while I say a rosary, but I suppose something is always better than nothing. Exercising in front of the twins isn't as bad as I thought. The only problem is when they want to be so close to the pedals of the bike they're in danger of being hit by them, or when they think of a list of things mummy must do/fetch/fix/or put in a different bowl or cup 7 times in the space of about 20 minutes. They've also stopped napping consistently (sob) so I do need to get used to exercising with them around.

The healthy eating is fair to middling. Like the exercise it's about learning new habits, and re-learning positive old ones that fell by the way side. It's about realising that it doesn't take much longer to chop a few veggies for a salad, than it does to make some toast and slather it with butter.

I'm trying to make myself eat well, and do some exercise, regardless of how I feel emotionally. Like this morning. Both kids woke up through the night, and while Molly settled in next to my husband, Gareth was President of the Wide Awake Club from 1am until around 4.30am. When I got up, I was tired, but I made myself get on the exercise bike and then prepare a healthy breakfast.

And now, it's 2pm, a time when not so long ago the kids would be napping, and if I was tired I could rest my eyes for a spell too. The twins will also be up later than usual, since we need to go and pick my husband up from the train station at 8.30. It's going to be a long afternoon, so the smartest thing to do would be to find something useful to do.