Thursday, 31 December 2009

New Year's Eve - Bah Humbug!

I'm not sure if you are allowed to Bah Humbug after Christmas, but I am going to anyway. Bah Humbug. I am not a fan of NYE!

Before kids, I used to indulge in the New Year's mayhem. Night clubs, pubs, house parties, music festivals, BBQs, weddings, dinner parties - you name it, I've done it on NYE. As I have gotten older, the nights have generally gotten more nanna-ish, but I was still in there. Staying up late and bringing in the New Year with a few (too many) beverages. But when I think about it. It was just another night. Nothing special really. Well, if you count queueing for hours for a taxi or walking half-way across Sydney to get home because you got so tired of waiting for said taxi that the drunk and disorderly you thought it might be a good idea to walk home instead. In high heels. In the rain. At 3am. You know what I mean? Nothing special.


Since having children, we have had a pretty good excuse to stay at home. 3 out of 4 of the kids were born in late December, so having newborns meant that people wanted to see us about as much as I wanted to go out! This year though, we have had a few invitations and my husband, who is quite partial to a New Years festivity, decided it was time we braved it out again. So we are. We are off to a BBQ at my sister's place. Seven children 5 and under. Ripper Rita!


I am feeling a little nervous about the menu. I have no control over what we are having for dinner and, since it is still Week One of WW, I am still not very well-versed in Points friendly choices. I will be going online (www.weightwatchers.com.au) to do a little research before I go. I have also saved as many Points as I am allowed to (handy that this is an option within the program so you can "save up" for events and festivities during the week), but seeing as I really don't like NYE I am hoping that I can control my intake so that I will not have a blow out! I have worked so hard for the past 4 days and I really don't want today to ruin my chances of a good first weigh-in. Not NYE. The most disappointing night of the year.

Wednesday, 30 December 2009

Shopping Fiasco


I hit the supermarket last night, as per the plan. The kids were all in bed and my husband (The Geege) was at home with them so I drove off at 7.20pm with my trusty list in hand and, apart from trying to be done by 8.30pm so I could be home for the final episode of Private Practice, all the time in the world.

It wasn't a bad time to go shopping I discovered. The local folk of Hornbsy must like their Tuesday viewing because I practically had the aisles to myself. This was a good thing as I am quite partial to a sing and a jiggle as I shop and I could do that uninterrupted.

I had quite a few items I had to really look for this week. That is one of the downsides of changing what you eat. You really can't find anything in the store. Except for the 80g of unsalted roasted peanuts, I think I managed to get the right quantities and flavours for all of my Weight Watchers meals. (The recipe selection on the Weight Watchers website is excellent. I am really just having the usual meals, just made the Weight Watchers way).

My biggest concession is the purchase of skim milk, which I am not a fan of. I figure I can have it on my cereal in the morning and add some milo if I want a drink of milk?

So after burning through the list and making it to the checkout (8.20pm), I was on target to be home for my TV show. I snagged a brand new checkout girl (not a major obstacle once I offered to bag the items for her).

At 8.30pm I went to pay for my shopping, which was surprisingly a little cheaper than usual and then it happened. You know. "It". My EFTPOS was rejected. My credit card was rejected. I had nothing to pay for my (almost) overflowing trolley load of stuff!

Of course, it had to be the one time that I left my mobile at home too. I had to ask to use the Coles landline so I could call The Geege to help me! The embarassment of it!

Fortunately for me, technology is so advanced now that The Geege could instantly transfer money and the cash register could "suspend" the transaction until I was ready to pay. In my day as a checkout chick, the transaction would have had to be "voided" and re-entered! I am grateful that I was a disorganised shopper in 2009, rather than 1999!

It didn't help me arrive home in time for Private Practice though. I caught it from about 9.00 onwards, so if anyone can tell me how the fire started that killed Heather, that would be great!

Tuesday, 29 December 2009

And they are off

I have mentally been preparing for this Weight Watchers (WW) program since I found out I was one of the chosen bloggers at Kidspot.com.au. I decided the best way forward was to get the bad food obsessions out of my system by indulging them. Chocolate. Check. Chips. Check. Beer. Check.

I ate enough treaties over Christmas to create a staggering initial weigh in result, up three kilos on my usual weight! All those rumballs and Mum's rocky road! The only way is down for me now...

So the gist of the WW program is that it gives all foods a Points value so that you can keep within a total number of Points for the day. It is like calorie counting only much easier because you just have to add up to 20 or so. In my case, 27 (because I am breastfeeding they give me a few extra points so I can choose normal calcium-based products instead of low-fat).

The way to stay motivated is to set little goals along the way, so I have come up with a few goals for the next 12 weeks.

Firstly, I want to lose 8kg, which will bring me into the 70s, and very close to my pre-babies' weight. My plan is to eat less, track my points, drink more water and to exercise. It sounds easy on paper. I will have to see how it goes in practise. I am still not 100% sure how I will squeeze the exercise in, but I am going to try to get the heart rate up at least 3 times a week.

So, December 28 was Day One. I made it through the day, even though I wasn’t in my normal habitat and relied on others to feed me for some of the day.

It was not without its hiccoughs though.

I had to weigh in on Mum’s scales as we were away for Xmas. I spent a few minutes recovering from that. Then I couldn’t get to a computer, so I had to manually track points. Note to self – guestimating is not going to cut it! But the real challenge was the birthday party I went to in the morning.

Sister A is a great cook. You know, the Nigella Lawson baking Domestic Goddess type of yummy? I attended my 6 year old nephew's birthday party and was faced a sea of delights. A chocolate Star Wars cake (with little R2D2 figurine), a dozen fluffy scones, and a bowl of lollies! All of life’s food temptations staring me in the face!

I had two choices - turn and walk away from the food table (have you noticed that you never really see thin people milling around the food table at parties?) or make a reasonable choice from a bad bunch.

I never really pictured myself standing around at a birthday party looking up Points in my (borrowed) Weight Watchers book, but what was a girl to do? You can't miss out entirely on the amazing baking on offer, can you? But what was the best selection? Low Points but tasty.

It turns out that a scone, with a little jam (no cream) is a 3 point snack, while a slice of chocolate mudcake constitutes my entire day of Points, so I went with the scone! It was delicious. Difficult, but not impossible, to stop at one. Looking forward to another one another time. But not today.

The rest of my day went without incident. Today I must shop for the family. I will spend some of this afternoon checking out some of the 1000s of recipes on the Weight Watchers site and putting together a shopping list, and then I will brave the masses at the supermarket. And shop like a thin person.

Thursday, 24 December 2009

A Christmas Story

This photo was taken exactly one year ago - Christmas Eve, 2008. As you can see from the picture, I am rather large. Huge in fact (even my legs. What's that all about?). Expecting twins. It never really occurred to me that my babies would be born on Christmas day. I wasn’t due until January 17th, and I had a C-section booked for January 5th, so I thought that the twins would be born in 2009. It was still 2008 on Christmas day. I was safe.


Here is what happened the very next day...

I had my first contraction at about 9am. My three year old son was still examining his loot in his Santa bag while my 2 year old had already dragged everything out and opened all the boxes and was eagerly waiting to go to his Nan and Grandpa’s for the possibility of yet more presents. After 3 further contractions, about 15 minutes apart, I calmly told my husband that I was in labour at about 10am. He laughed and told me not to be silly. Denial. We hadn’t settled on names yet. Denial. They can’t be coming. Denial.

We packed up the kids and the dog and headed over to the in-laws for Christmas lunch. I had exclaimed that I was too big to move and would be staying at home, but my husband insisted that if I really were in labour, it was probably a good idea to stick together. I concurred. So I donned my enormous Maxi dress and drove to my parents-in-law’s place. Only 2 contractions in the 15 minute journey. Nothing too painful. Not too bad.

Once we arrived and the commotion settled a little, my mother-in-law noticed my demeanour. She asked me if I was “okay”. I told her that I had been having some contractions for a couple of hours. Nothing major. Denial. She insisted that I call the hospital. So I did. Given my previous complicated obstetric history, they informed me that I needed to come in pronto. So I stole a couple of my Mum’s famous rumballs out of the fridge and headed back to the car. Four contractions on the 40 minute journey, a couple needing my attention and a few deep breaths, but I was feeling pretty good. Denial.

When I got to the labour ward, there was much faffing to be done. They tried to listen to heart beats, but the babies were having a lovely party in utero and wouldn’t comply with the medico’s instructions. After an hour or so on the “trace”, whereby the midwives confirmed that I was indeed having regular contractions (you didn’t need to be Einstein to know that by that stage!), I had the necessary examinations which confirmed that because labour was progressing so nicely it was time for the scheduled C-section. They couldn’t “stretch me until Boxing Day”. My third emergency Caesar. Christmas babies. Unbelievable! Thank goodness for the rumballs. I wasn’t going to eat again that day.

There were an insane number of people in the operating room. Most of them plucked from their Christmas feasts for the occasion. Sorry. Because the babies were 36+5 weeks gestation, the doctor said there was a chance that they may be a little small and may need some time “feeding and growing” in the NICU. I thought to myself that it would be a travesty for me to be as large as I was and for the babies to be tiny. What was occupying all that space if not the babies?

As it turned out, there was nothing to worry about. Dew Drop was born at 3.01pm, 25 December, 2008 weighing in at 3.24kg (7 pounds 1). His sister, The Minx, was born at 3.04pm weighing 3.365kg (7 pounds 4). Dew Drop was breech and came out swinging. The Minx was transverse and needed a forceps delivery (I didn’t know that happened with Caesars? You?). Both were healthy and breathing on their own. Phew!



It was an extremely overwhelming experience, and the strangest Christmas I have ever had. I fell in love with my new Christmas bundles instantly. I was delighted they were here and I was no longer pregnant. I was stoked they were so big and healthy. I was amused that they arrived on Christmas Day. Christmas will never be the same again. They only have themselves to blame.

Tuesday, 22 December 2009

Hoping to be a WW star!

I have been selected as a Weight Watchers (WW) blogger for Kidspot Social!

For those of you who don't know me, I am a 36 year old mother of four kids (3 boys and a girl), all under 5 with a set of twins (turning one on Xmas day). This is a wonderful opportunity for me, so many thanks to WW and Kidspot Social for helping me out! Oh to be slim again!

I have done the WW thing before, and fairly successfully (although never to goal weight). It is an excellent concept. This time though, I have to juggle 4 small children and their individual palates, breast-feeding twins (that has got to give me a few extra points though huh?), and a husband who has just opened a retail business and who is rarely at home leaving me as (practically) a single Mum with very little time to exercise. It will be interesting to say the least! The thought of all of this fills me with a mix of emotions:

1. Excitement, might I actually be able to legitimately focus on myself a little to get myself back on track?

2. Dread, the silly season on a few points a day? Is that possible? and

3. Fear, just how organised am I going to have to be? When am I going to have time to exercise?


So, December 28 is the official beginning to the 12 week program. In the meantime I will be getting down to some intense planning. The thing I remember most about the Weight Watchers program from before is that PLANNING is key. Plan what you buy, plan what you cook and plan what you eat each day. It is a long way from my random approach at the moment so will take a bit of time to get right, but this is what I will be focusing on to start with.

I look forward to sharing this journey with you and hope that some of you will take up the challenge yourselves. Being a Mum doesn't mean we have to be stuck with rolls of extra loving, with large lady undies or, my latest little drama, under-boob chaff (no I didn't know it was possible either). So here's to putting an end to all of that the Weight Watchers way!

*This post was originally written for kidspot.com.au
** Cartoon from cartoonstock.com (used without permission)

Tuesday, 15 December 2009

Are they twins?

I went on a big walk this morning (refer here for motivation) with my twins and (nearly) 3 year old after dropping my 4 year old at daycare. We ended up at the shops and, at this time of year, it is a dangerous place to be with a BIG pram.

The stores are rarely wide enough for a single stroller, let alone the big rig. The number of things that we had to dodge just to get to the counter in the post office would make your head spin. And the people. There are so many more people to weave through. Happy little Christmas shoppers everywhere!

I was asking for trouble when I entered the shopping centre.

I actually have 3 hand-me-down prams, all twin style, and the one I was using this morning has the added benefit of a toddler seat on the front. It is enormous! It attracts a LOT of attention. More attention than a woman in her white trainers and comfy pants would ever purposefully ask for.

So we circuited the shops doing a little more Christmas shopping trailed by a sea of comments:

"You've got your hands full there, love";

"Oh, are they all yours?";

and (this morning's favourite uttered by a large beer-bellied elderly gentleman with a particularly sleazy expression) "Have you worked out how it happens yet, love?".

You just get so sick of the comments! What's it to you, anyway?

Today I also had a ridiculous number of people ask me if my B/G twins are in fact twins. They really do not look a thing alike granted, but they are the same age, same size and sit side-by-side in a pram. What else are they going to be? Who would be mad enough to take someone else's kid Christmas shopping?

There really is a societal expectation that twins need to be matching. The reality is that fraternal twins have the same chance of being similar as regular siblings. They too can be chalk and cheese. Fair and dark. Tall and short. You get what I mean?

So let my shopping excursion be a lesson for us all.

Do not go to the shops with three small children in a pram unless you are prepared to wear a T-shirt explaining your life story on it.

Do not attempt to Christmas shop with three small children in a big pram.

And do not have twins unless they are identical because it is too hard for people to understand the concept of fraternal twins.

And if you do have identical twins, be prepared for the inevitable "Are they twins?" because even mothers of identical twins spend their lives answering that question.

Friday, 11 December 2009

Not a fan of the common mosquito

I've got a few issues today with the common mosquito. I am not a fan. They seem to be everywhere and causing trouble wherever they are.

I have questions about these little suckers. My top three mozzie-related queries are thus:

1. My poor little (nearly) three year old is covered in mozzie bites (again). He seems to get attacked the minute he gets into our backyard (or anyone else's for that matter). Even when I slather him in, probably highly poisonous, bug spray the poor little mite still gets eaten. He comes out in these great big lumps which he scratches constantly (surprisingly he hasn't had a major infection yet - cross fingers). So I ask, are there more mozzies out there these days or are they just becoming smarter, bug-spray resistent, super-mozzies?

2. My other son doesn't get bitten at all. Well, rarely. So why doesn't he? and finally,

3. My husband and I were having a quiet beverage last night, outside, after the kids were all (finally) asleep and I had been to the shops to start the Xmas shopping. It was pretty late, and yet, we were still being eaten alive by mozzies. I thought they went to bed after dusk. What's with that?

I know vampires are all the rage (fine '80s expression) at the moment. Think Twilight. Think True Blood. And I am quite partial to a vampire. But I could live happily without these blood-suckers in my life.

Thursday, 10 December 2009

Are Mum's allowed to get sick?

I went out with some girlfriends last night for some pizza. We had a lovely time but as I was getting ready to leave at the ripe old time of 9.50pm, I started getting stomach cramps. Oh-oh.

I have a long (boring) history of Irritable Bowel Syndrome and the familiar pains meant that I knew I had to get home. Pronto.

So, I walked in the door, straight to the bathroom and then off to bed after a few words with my husband.

Only, it wasn't IBS that I was experiencing because this morning I am completely exhausted with sore joints, a sore tum and a headache. I have brought a virus into the sanctum!

The thing is that it seems that as a Mum I'm not really allowed to be sick. I meant, physically I AM sick, but the barber has to keep on shaving if you know what I mean?

There is breast feeding, breakfasts to prepare, children to get dressed and "ready" for the day, the vacuuming to do, the dishwasher to unpack - need I go on?

My husband did his share of chores this morning and then went to work. And here I am with my sore head and my achy limbs dealing with my four small children. When would a Dad ever experience this level of parenting joy?

The upside is that this too will pass. I will make it through the day. So what if the big boys watch a little too much TV for the day? So what if I use disposable nappies for the day? So what if I don't get all the housework done? We will survive the day.

The downside is that not only do I have to feel the love of this virus myself for the next 24 hours but I will probably have to nurse my children through it too! Days of whingey babies ahead of me. Oh joy!

But, for today there will be only one whinger allowed in this house. The one who is sick and who can't spend the day in bed where she would like to be.

That whinger would be me.

Wednesday, 9 December 2009

Still got my big pants on!


I realised this morning as I was getting dressed that I am still wearing my big lady undies. You know the ones that you get after you have a baby and you are supposed to wear them for a few weeks (while your C-section scar heals)?

Well, I'm still in those.

I'm not really sure how this happened.

Last Christmas I gave birth to twins. They are baby 3 and 4 for me and, as I had already had a couple of emergency Caesars, I had a booked C-section planned for early Jan 09. The babies decided to come a few weeks early, so there I was on Christmas morning with the familiar breathlessness of early labour, thinking 'not today kids'. As it turned out, I had no option but to have the surgery that afternoon and so two Christmas babies it was for me.

The thing is, I was completely unprepared. I didn't even have my hospital bag packed. Some would say I was in a state of denial. I just think I was too busy getting ready for Christmas.

Anyway.

Here's where I segue back to the undies, my husband had to pack and bring in my stuff for my hospital stay. Being a man, he brought in my smallest, sexiest g-strings! Of course, the underwear situation needed to be remedied. I just needed comfort at that time in my life. I needed to bring in the big guns. At least size 20!

My husband sent my sister-in-law to the shops to purchase the post-natal comfort undies. I laughed out loud hearing the story of my then 12 year old niece walking through K-Mart grasping the gigantic undies to her chest while surveying the store for any sign of anyone she knew on the way to the check-out. She was simply horrified at the thought of being caught! Imagine if someone thought they were for her!

And so the undies came into my life. And they offered comfort. Who cares about VPL after you have just had twins?

Which brings me to this mornings little eye-opener. I haven't just had twins anymore. They are almost one now, and yet, the undies are still there. I don't need the 'above Caesar scar' comfort. And yet they are still there. And so I conclude that I think I must like these ballooning undies! Why else would I still be in them? Why else have I steered clear of my low-riders? I may just be a big-pant girl now. Perhaps I will never return to my former underwear habits.

My poor, poor husband.



Submitted for Flog Yo Blog Friday 6.08.2010. Follow the link back to RRSAHM for more flogging action.


rrsahm

Tuesday, 8 December 2009

The weather really aint helping

So I am supposed to be focusing on shedding a few kegs before Xmas. On Xmas day my twins will be one and that was my cut-off for return to pre-twin pregnancy weight. I still have 2-3 kilos to go (depending on the scales I use) but I just can't seem to make it happen. It is a case of So Close and Yet so Far!

Let me just reiterate by saying this is a pre-twin weight goal I am working towards. There is also a pre-baby 2 weight goal (another 1kg) and, of course, the pre-babies weight goal (I am at least 5 kgs off that!) and the ultimate goal, which is the 5 kilos that I always wanted to lose even before having kids but was having too much fun to. There is much shedding to be done!

I have discovered it is not a good time of year to be trying to lose weight. In addition to the Christmas functions and the 'let's catch up before Christmas' play-dates, there's the weather! It is just too damned hot to exercise! My husband has his own business, so I spend an awful lot of time hanging out solo with my four kids. Exercise has to be something they can do too. Needless to say we normally do a LOT of walking and kicking soccer balls at the park, but in this heat? What's a gal to do?

So I resort to this, a public declaration, to be my motivating factor. I am going to reach my Xmas weight-loss goal and you will be my witness. You will have to trust me when I post my numbers, but I can be trusted. I am a mother of twins and two others. Definitely trustworthy.
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