Monthly Archives: June 2016

I don’t do the…

Another exhausting summer day… at the beach!

For those of you who know me well this is my worst nightmare, I don’t do the beach. Why? Well largely the sand, it gets everywhere it shouldn’t & chaffs places it has no business chaffing. It gets in your ears & nose even when you just walk past it on the grass & don’t even so much as place a toe anywhere near it – & don’t even get me started on it invading your food. I can’t stand it.

Then there’s the ocean, a vast open expanse of water in which we are not welcome. I don’t do open water & the ocean even less. It has all sorts of nasty things that wrap themselves around you & cling on even when you exit the water in complete panic thinking that it’s trying to eat you alive – seaweed is the worst. I can’t stand it.

Why do I do it? I like to see my kids having fun doing the things that I have long since grown out of, because yes I liked the beach as a kid. As long as I have a decent camping chair that keeps most of me sand free then I’m good. The kids are just starting to want to really venture into the sea to swim, & they can do so in the lifeguard zone while I paddle my feet. Not so bad really.

I am now leaving my very tired glowing boys with a nanny so hubby & I can enjoy dinner out & the start of his 2 week vacation with some friends who are in town from Calgary.

I love patio weather!!

This is what it’s about…

It was just what I needed, a day of sunshine & pool fun.

In the New Year we welcomed new students to both my boys classes. The eldest (boy) joined my elder son in his Grade 4 class, & the younger (girl) joined my younger son in his Grade 1 class. Their mum & I hit off from day one & we’ve now become good friends, in fact, she is going to be a class parent with me in Grade 5. I learned recently, before school broke up for the summer, that they have a large backyard with a tennis court & swimming pool. As you can imagine my kids were all over this bugging me about when we were going. Pool mum promised them that when the weather really got hot they could spend all the time the wanted over there – I quickly advised her that they would now be packing their bags & moving in with her. We had a playdate arranged for last week but unfortunately the weather was cool & had been rainy in the morning. This week that all changed & we’re back to mid-hi twenties again. So this morning we all piled into the car – dog too because I can’t really leave her all day – & off we went. That was at 9.30…

At 5.30pm I returned with 2 extremely tired boys & a hungry dog! The boys went for showers while I unpacked wet gear & fed all the animals, hubby is on call so I knew he wouldn’t be home anytime soon & I really couldn’t be bothered to cook. We had munched on veggies, tortilla chips, dips, watermelon, popsicles, ice cream etc. all day & even the boys weren’t interested in a simple bowl of pasta. Instead, I resuscitated myself with a large cup of tea (because I was exhausted from all that sitting by the pool sunbathing) & I had a request for scrambled eggs from one & grilled cheese from the other. I kid you not they were both falling asleep in their food & it was only 6pm!

It had been the kind of summer day that kids dream of, splashing in the pool with their friends, water balloon fights, snacking & sun screening whenever they pasted the table, & later in the day two other of our school friends turned up to join in the fun too. Pool mum & I might have looked like it was a relaxing vacation, but we were constantly on guard, watching for Nerf guns being secretly taken up the side, telling them to walk on the poolside, reminding them that you only go down the slide when its clear at the bottom, you know the kind of perfect summer day that mum’s dream of.

When schools out for summer this is what it’s all about, happy tired kids = happy parents!

The trigger…

We all have at least one chapter in our lives that we never want to re-read, but sadly there are triggers that pop up & catch us unawares, forcing us to re-visit very unhappy memories form the past. Today the boys & I met hubby for lunch when he had a big gap in his conference schedule. We all drove downtown to park up at the conference centre where we would peel off to do some shopping. As we approached the parking lot he mentioned something that gave me an instant wave of nausea, but it wasn’t until a few seconds later that I felt sick to my stomach.

There it was, the trigger, the thing that I hoped I would never see again. It stood innocently in all it’s glory waiting to create many happy memories for others, when all it did for me was to destroy my idealistic illusions of a significant birthday. I wanted to cry.

Once we had said our goodbyes the boys & I had little choice but to pass the trigger again. They were excited to see it, reminiscing about the fun they’d had, & hoped to one day do it again. It will not be an experience I will ever want to repeat, that ship has sailed along with the devastation that followed. No matter how hard I tried I couldn’t sound enthusiastic, I tried to steer them away & change the subject, unsuccessfully.

I don’t think they noticed my change in mood, but hubby did when we met for lunch. It was not a subject we talk about in front of the kids, & especially with a member of the conference present who also joined us for lunch – he too brought the subject up. I wanted to be as far away from it as possible but there was nowhere to run.

It wasn’t until this evening when hubby asked me again if I was ok that opened up & broke down. He hadn’t appreciated how much it would get to me still, but then his experience of that time has always been very different to mine. I suppose I too am a little shocked at my reaction, maybe there is still a part of me that has still not moved on & accepted that it is in the past. I have come a long way since then I don’t want this to set me back.

Pickled & Baking!

After the success of hubby’s work event I have been in a persistent lounging state baking in the garden.

10.00 – Dropped hubby of at Canada place for his conference.

10.30 – Java’s house via Whole Foods to buy flowers to say thank you.

11.30 – I finally leave Java’s house because I required a caffeine fix first.

12.00 – Home… lunch… a load of laundry inserted into the washing machine.

12.30 – Lounger

13.00 – Lounger

14.00 – Suddenly remember the laundry. Chopped watermelon.

15.00 – Lounger (ordering school uniforms from Marks & Spencer online).

16.00 – Watch the boys fill the trenches under the swing set with water & dive bomb it with their feet as they sail through at top speed on the swings.

16.30 – Forbid the boys to enter the house in their filthy state & make them strip at the back door, wrapped them in towels & packed them off to the shower (very pleased with themselves at how disgustingly dirty they were).

17.00 – After showering myself I contemplate some sort of dinner concoction from the event leftovers (all cooked by a very good chef so there is no way I’m allowing any of it to be wasted!)

17.30 – Pasta dish concoction in the oven & where the hell is hubby??

17.45 – Younger child is melting down because he went to bed so late at the sleepover & was awake early.

18.00 – Hubby arrives very apologetic, we eat dinner immediately & younger child almost falls asleep in his!

19.30 – Tired boys in bed, time to drink leftover wine!

20.00 – Order new bikinis online because I’m not going to have time to shop before we go away.

21.00 – Pour more wine & wonder how I’m not pickled by now!!


Crazy day getting the house in order for hubby’s work event that we are hosting. The kids & the dog are having a cheeky sleepover at Java’s house. The caterer’s are doing their thing setting up. Hubby is holding board meeting. The sun has decided to show up for the evening, & I’m on the wine before 50 people descend on us!

Happy Weekend!


After waxing lyrical about the benefits of pilates I could hardly get out of bed this morning. The left side of my abs are agony & I know exactly which exercise my instructor had me doing to cause the pain. I wasn’t comfortable with any sort of twisting action before I started pilates again last year, now I’m not nearly as cautious as I used to be. Yesterday, on the reformer, I was sat on a box holding on strap in one hand with my arm out behind me. I then pulled the strap so it was in front, only twisting my rib cage. The other arm was also stretched out but not holding a strap. I remember the first couple were fine but the weight did feel a bit heavy. My instructor held my hips in position so I didn’t move them – the entire twist was done through my torso. The more I did, the heavier it began to feel but I was determined not to give in & say that.

I know I’m stupid, I still don’t listen to my body, too stubborn to speak out. Well now I’m suffering because of my stupidity. I’ve been taking painkillers all day without complete relief, & every move is done with extra care especially if it involves twisting. At least I’m out with the ‘Mom’s who need wine’ group tonight, & I’ve managed to thumb a ride from someone who is passing my way & doesn’t know how to get to where we are going – result!

Hopefully once I’ve downed a glass or two I will feel a bit better.

Pilates Vs. Physio

I’m avoiding my physio more & more. Why? Well, since starting pilates a year ago I am a lot more in tune with my body & how to keep it physically healthy. It was always my hope that I would get to a place where I didn’t rely on it so much & I think I’ve finally got there. I also think my current medication (the injections I take bi-weekly) is also the best I’ve been on yet. I have thought a few times in this past week that I should see my physio since 3 weeks have past since my last session. However, part of me wanted to go to my pilates class today & see if that helped my neck pain. Sure enough, it did!

Pilates is not a replacement for physio, I will always need to have the intense & often painfull appointments that have kept me going for so long, just not as frequently. So far I haven’t had any IMS (or needles as I often refer to them) in months now & I can honestly say I am better for the break. The difference with pilates is I can do it everyday at home, I have put the recent neck pain down to a busy period at the end of school & therefore not strictly doing my stretching. I also know that stress & tension play a very big part in how my body feels – even if I don’t realize I’m suffering from either. No amount of stretching is going to help that, but believe it or not my pilates instructor can.

I also happen to really enjoy pilates, I feel so good afterwards & my body responds very well. I think everyone could benefit from just 10 minutes of basic stretching most days of the week. I get it that’s it’s not often possible to dedicate the time, especially if you rely on your own discipline. I don’t do the same things everyday I switch them up, but there are some basic stretches & exercises I do make a point of doing.

So, if you are someone like me, even if you have problems with your back & neck without having been labeled with arthritis, take it from one that knows you only get one body so look after it & treat it to a pilates class!

Wiggling broccoli with stems that burn!

The dinner table discussion this evening began with one of our younger son’s facial expressions. He has some of the best looks a 7 year old could have, honestly, they can be laugh out loud funny. The conversation evolved into our elder son asking what the funniest face we ever remember him doing. Now, my husband is usually very good at regaling these kind of memories, & often when prompted he can recall the incident/occasion, which is what happened this evening. However this evening I was the storyteller, the one who remembered those moments like they were yesterday.

So what was his funniest facial expression? For me his most memorable was when he was beginning to eat more solid food. I used to steam large florets of broccoli so they were not quite mushy soft but not crunchy hard. When preparing them I left a long stem so that he could hold them & chomp on the soft floret. It was a great way to get him feeding himself. However, although he loved broccoli he didn’t take to it the first time he tried it. Like most kids he required several patient attempts before he eventually decided he liked something. I always remember when he did try something new, like the first time he tried broccoli, he would examine the foodstuff intensely for a moment before taking a bite. Then would come the highly amusing, & very sharp sideways wiggle of his head. The look on his face would resemble someone who had just tasted a corked wine. Lucky for us he grew to be a big fan of vegetables & still is to this day. Then the conversation moved onto the first time our younger son tried his first floret of broccoli…

The immediate reaction to the stem being placed in his hand was priceless. He sat holding it in exactly the same position for several minutes with a look of horror on his face as he examined it (I have a fabulous picture of him doing so). At first I thought he wasn’t going to even attempt a bite, but he obviously decided that it was worth a try. That look of horror intensified as he thrust it into his mouth & couldn’t even bring himself to chew it, instead, the entire contents just cascaded down his chin & into the tray of his plastic bib. He then dropped the stem as if it had burnt him – all equally as hilarious as his big brother’s sharp wiggle. Seven years later I am pleased to announce that broccoli is one of his favourite vegetables.

Of course there were other memories that I would love to share, but it’s impossible to describe the facial expressions that made that moment so memorable. I capture as many as possible & scrapbook them, so that one day when they hopefully have children of their own they can slide the memory out from the shelf & share it with there own family, probably because their own kids have done or do something similar.