Goals Update – Week 6 – Lesson: Running from Zombies really does give you a little more motivation!

I am a day late in posting this weeks update. I didn’t think it was fair to write it yesterday when I was having such a blah day, you know the kind, where the motivation to wash the dishes is at absolute zero and the zombies on your running app were just not chasing you frequently enough to make you feel that you got a decent workout, you know what I mean? No? Maybe that one is just me.
It’s the day where you finally had to admit defeat over the lawns and call the local lawnmower man to do it for you and you woke up that morning and realised that, even though you had a lovely evening having dinner with your husband’s ex and their wonderful teenage daughter and the ex’s bubbly second daughter, that it was your wedding anniversary and that even though you have been together for 14 years and married for 4 you cannot recall a single time when you actually celebrated that fact together as husband and wife. It is supposed to be your husband and not his ex that you have dinner with on your anniversary surely? Or maybe that is just me too?

It has actually been a bit of a blah week all round, nothing going quite how I wanted it to and I don’t feel I have achieved anything really. It was the kind of week that had me second guessing myself and wondering if I shouldn’t just pack it all in and give up on the whole goal setting thing altogether.

Maybe my blah feeling stemmed from the fact that I have spent a lot of time crying this week. Not in sorrow mind you but in empathy. You see I was recently nominated by one of my readers for a versatile blogger’s award and part of the rules of the nomination are to thank the person who nominated you, which I have done but thank you again Elizabeth, and to pass it along to 15 other bloggers who have touched your life in some way. Well at the time of nomination I was only following half a dozen or so other blogs and so I figured I had better get reading if I was going to find 15 others to nominate. Wow. It is amazing how these small snapshots, these tiny windows into other people’s lives can have such an effect on you. I have read stories of beauty, redemption and discovery and so many of them have made me cry that I was beginning to wonder if I was becoming nothing more than a big blubbering sook! Pah, wondering nothing, I have always been a sook – I can (and have) cried over TV ads.

Anyway I didn’t want any negative feeling seeping into my post so I delayed.

Luckily today I am feeling a lot better which is surprising actually as I had a rather severe case of Pinsomnia last night. Here I was at 10pm, all the chores done, congratulating myself that I would be in bed by 10.30 tonight after a quick check of my emails… before I knew it the clock was reading 12.30am and I was in the midst of a pinning frenzy fantasising about all the fabulous places I want to travel to someday. Pinterest you will be the ruin of me I think.

So onto the achievements (or lack thereof) for the week. It hasn’t been a total write off, I just had more in mind is all.

I still have no idea if I have lost any weight. I now know what is wrong with my scales but am no closer to being able to fix them. I am officially admitting defeat in this area as well and will buy a new set. In the mean time I plan to take my measurements so I can see if I am getting any smaller as opposed to just weighing less. Of course I won’t know if I am until I measure again in a month but it is a start. I will not be sharing those measurements though, sorry if you were curious.
To my shame I have fallen off the 30 day challenge wagon. I don’t even have a good excuse, I got to day 17 and just stopped. I vow that today I will pick up where I left off. I have however been enjoying using the elliptical trainer and ‘running’ from zombies with the new Zombies, Run! app I downloaded onto A-Man’s phone. Hope he doesn’t mind, who knows he may even use it himself, he is a bit (lot) of a zombie fan too.
I have joined an online community called SparkPeople. It is a free program that allows you to count your daily calories, track your exercise and get tips and recipes from the site administrators and other community members. I have even followed along with one of their yoga videos which was interesting. I was a little more flexible than I thought but a lot less than I should be. I know a lot of people are steadfastly against counting calories but I have found success on Weight Watchers in the past and find that kind of system a lot more effective for me than anything else I have tried. I considered joining again but object to having to pay the $35 odd that WW charge for their online program and I sure as heck am not dragging my children to meetings for $15 or $20 a week! So far the 4 days I have completed on SparkPeople has been great and the exercise log means I can more accurately keep track of how much to pay myself.

I really thought I would have all my lanterns done by now but I think some sticky 2½ year old fingers got hold of some of my supplies and I am missing some components necessary for completion. If he remembers what he did with them he is not letting on. If I don’t find what I need in the next few days I may have to make a strip to the store though I really don’t want to.

I have not paid any more off my credit card either as I never did list any more items to sell online. I really will make more of an effort in this area, especially now the travel bug is hitting hard (thanks to my aforementioned bout of pinsomnia) and I need to get saving rather than paying off.

As I promised to myself I have been trying plenty of new recipes lately though I am remarkably crap at remembering to photograph my creations. Although I try my meals never seem to look quite as beautiful as the ones in the book or magazine I copied from, so I don’t feel honest using their photo to show you, even if the recipe is the same (which it usually isn’t quite, I just can’t help myself but change it just a little).The one time I did remember (and even took photos of all of the steps) I forgot the dish in the oven so my final photo looks terrible and the food is about 6 shades darker than I intended. It is close to, but not quite, burnt beyond redemption so although it looked disgusting it actually tasted ok and the kids were happy to eat it too. I am still of two minds as to whether to share it though. I also had great intentions of trying some raw energy bars this week. It seems you can’t log onto facebook, pinterest or any food blog lately without it featuring some clean, raw or Paleo (or better yet – clean, raw AND Paleo) recipe. It seems to me that about 90% of them involve dates, almonds and coconut oil, maybe with one or two extra ingredients thrown in but the basics are always the same, and the other 10% require a juicer. Now I have all of those things but I don’t believe we are designed to live on dates, almonds, coconut oil and juice. I am not opposed to including them in my diet though so I got myself set up to make some of these miracle treats. Just before I started loading ingredients into the food processor though there was a wail from the bedroom announcing that Sunny was awake and kitchen playtime for mummy was over. On the way down the hall to collect her I shoved an almond inside a date and ate it. You know what? It was good, and that is good enough for me, I found a new snack and saved myself some extra dishwashing. Win!

Something that I am proud of this week is how I have thrown myself into the FlyLady system of home management. I am still not so hot on following all of the routines I have been trying to put in place for myself though when my dinner guests arrived on Tuesday I was not scurrying around the house frantically shoving clothes under beds and wiping bathroom sinks as I usually would be at the prospect of visitors. The house was already quite respectable and that felt good. I am still not caught up on all of the laundry folding that needs doing but I am getting there.

On that note I am off to fold another basket in front of the heater. The sun is shining but it is still rather chilly and my toes are cold.

Goals Update – Week 5 – Lesson: Happiness is a clothesline full of clean linen.

I don’t mean that literally. Although there is a certain pleasure in the acknowledgment of a job done , another tick on the ‘to do’ list, it is more what the line of washing represents. That despite the thunder storms and hail of the days previous or the need to sit huddled together in our fluffy socks and dressing gowns, sipping our morning cocoa or coffee while we wait for the heater to take the chill of the air, mother nature is giving us a break. The apple tree may be bare and the lawns over-long from neglect borne of wild weather but today the sun is shining, the cats are lounging and I am getting stuff done. That makes me happy.

I have thrown myself headlong into the housework this week, not exactly following the FlyLady principles but using them as a guide. I have done a lot more than she recommends but the satisfaction I have got from the extra tasks completed is my justification. I was about to write that I have nearly re-claimed my office due my my marathon folding effort last night until I turned around to find that my oh-so-helpful children have very kindly redistributed half of my folded laundry to the floor. Well I guess that serves me right for not putting it away this morning.

I have also been working hard at my 30 day challenge although I admit I only made it through half of my workout yesterday. To make up for it I am going to add some cardio today on the elliptical trainer. A couple of weeks ago I tried to download the “Zombies, Run!” app for my phone but although I have a smartphone it is apparently not compatible with my model. Today I think I will upload it to A-Man’s phone and use it on his. What better way to get zombie apocalypse ready than by getting fit while inuring myself to the sound of pursuit? Exercise savings to date $33 though I am not sure I am keeping account of my time very well. I think I will start an exercise log today to help me keep track. I am quite interested to see if I am doing more or less than I think. I have also discovered the step counter on my phone so I will start using that too. I once heard that you shouldn’t go to bed until you had done 10,000 steps for the day, I wonder what I do?

I haven’t paid off any more of my credit card as I forgot to list any new items for auction so I am still at $206. I have a whole bunch photographed and ready to go though so I will make a focussed effort to list 25 tonight.

I am getting used to the taste of Agave nectar and I do recognise that it is starting to taste sweeter to me. This is a good thing. My sugar dependency seems to be lifting. I still add sugar to my coffee in the morning – or rather Agave to my coffee but am not adding it to anything else and my desire for lollies and biscuits is lessening too. I am now happy with a slice of apple 90% of the time if a sugar craving hits and I have so far resisted pinching any of my children’s snack bags of cookies. Last night for desert I had the frozen banana ‘ice-cream’ that is so raved about online and although I did not think it tasted like ice-cream, I did enjoy it.

I think that is all for now, happy days people xx.

Seriously… another one of THOSE days!?!

Me and the kiddy-winks are housebound, full up with a cold. You know the kind, sore head, streaming eyes, nose pouring goop like someone forgot to turn off the tap at the slime factory, really charming. Sick enough to make you feel really crap but not sick enough for the excuse to stay in bed all day and let someone else (hubby) take care of everyone for a change. Hubby is not sick, probably due to him vacating to the spare room at the first sign of a sniffle (not that I blame him), he is at work, making money to pay for all the throat lozenges, tissues and laundry powder we are going through. I feel sorry for him actually (not as sorry as I feel for me right now but sorry enough), he came home for lunch today to find me lying on the lounge floor still in my dressing gown, hair un-brushed, bleary eyed, croaky voiced and with a wad of toilet paper shoved up my left nostril.

Today has been another one of those days. I am not going to bother counting all of the EW moments so far, suffice it to say they have been numerous and disgusting and the day is only half over. I will provide you with just a snapshot of the 15 minutes leading up to hubby getting home for lunch…

I have just cleaned up the 4th nappy explosion of the day. On a mainly liquid diet, necessitated by how difficult it is to breathe with a blocked nose and a full mouth, the children have been eating a lot of soup and drinking a lot of juice. This has the unfortunate side-effect of similarly liquid nappies. We are running out of clothes, fast! Poor Miss R has been hit the hardest, she is just a snot pouring, pooping, puking machine at the moment.

As I am leaning over her wiping last nights dinner from half way up her back I feel the sudden warm rush that proceeds a bout of sneezing and nose blowing. Expecting the standard nasal drip that has been a constant these last two days I hastily wipe my nose on my sleeve – yes I know that is gross but as I had my hands full of shitty baby that was the least of my worries – to find that I am not in fact snotty, I am bleeding. Continuous nose blowing for the last two days has obviously burst a blood vessel as I keep spontaneously springing a bloody leak every few hours and this one is a doozy! The blood is literally pouring and with nothing to hand but wet wipes I make the, admittedly bizarre, decision to whip off my sock and jam the hem of it in my nose. Hey it held the blood back long enough to let me finish getting a new nappy on my girl. Not taking the time to re-dress her into her pants I let her run free in just her top and diaper and instead attempt to stem my crimson fountain.

At this point Master A draws my attention to him as he has finished his lunch and wants down from his high-chair. He is covered in jam. Feeling too horrid to bother with anything more complex we have had jam sandwiches for lunch and I am not sure exactly how much he has eaten but I would estimate conservatively that he is wearing at least a quarter of what I put on his plate. Despite the fact that I am still bleeding profusely I go to one-handedly clean the jam from, well everywhere. He sneezes and, with the kind of precision only a toddler can master, I now have a great jammy booger in the middle of my chest! He is delighted! Not only did he manage to hit Mummy but he also now has a huge booger bubble ballooning from his nose, I feel sick. I am vaguely aware of little hands tugging at my pyjama leg but it is not til I hear the gurgling cough and gag of Miss R choking on her own mucous that I look down, in time to witness her vomit all over my one naked foot. Still bleeding I liberate the boy from his chair, wipe the girl’s face with a wet wipe, mop up my chest and hop to the bathroom to run my foot under the shower.

By now I figure the only way I am going to stop the bleeding is to lie down, so, replacing the sock up my nose with a handful of toilet paper, I do. Two minutes later hubby comes home. “Oh Darling are you still feeling a bit crap?”

“Yeah something like that.”

Sock, Sock, wherefore art thou missing Sock?

I went sock-less today. Search as I might I simply couldn’t find a matching pair. They go into the washing machine in pairs, I hang them on the line in pairs, yet there is never a pair in the drawer. This is not a new phenomena but a regular occurrence in our house, well for me anyway. My husband always has his socks in pairs, lots of pairs, but it is not hard to make pairs when every sock you own is army issue green. I would be willing to put money on him having a sneaky stray single sock hiding in the back of his drawer, it can’t be just me, surely?

My home most definitely reflects my state of mind. When I am feeling low or having trouble concentrating my house is a mirror of the inner chaos. I can’t find anything, it seems everything we own is dirty, used, empty, in the washing machine or in a pile on the couch/chair/bed/floor. Then there are those very (very) rare times when I am focused, organised and feeling good and the house shows that too. The laundry is clean, dry, folded and put away, the dishes washed, dinner cooking and plenty of teaspoons in the drawer (we make a lot of tea in this house). My husband would probably try to tell you that this never happens but I maintain that it does (if infrequently) and I am sticking to that (actually clinging desperately, in the hope that I am not a lost cause).

I mentioned in my first post here that I wanted to find a system that works for me so I have done some (a lot of) research. I have found a whole bunch of websites dedicated to helping S.H.E.’s (sidetracked home executives) like me by helping them out of their C.H.A.O.S. (can’t have anyone over syndrome) and teaching them to F.L.Y. (finally love yourself) – see I am even learning a whole new language with this, it must be good! A while back I found FLYLady and thought she was good but didn’t really do anything about it. I have decided that her system is the one I will attempt to follow as she makes sense to me and doesn’t assume that my house is in any way close to where I want it. She assures me I am not behind, I don’t need to catch up and recommends just starting where I am – Hooray! So many of these dedicated sites give great long to do lists that would be impossible for anyone but a childless stay-at-home spinster who is perfectly organised and does nothing but clean, but I can’t reach that window to clean it, there is a pile of laundry in the way!

FLYLady recommends creating a Control Journal for your home, as do most of the similar sites and I have decided (there is that word again!) to do this, to create a home management folder to help me keep on top of the cleaning chores, household expenditure, bills, birthdays, shopping lists, contact lists, appointments, knowing exactly what that is in the back of the freezer etc that keep overwhelming me. This will be my craft project for the month of April as well. Multitasking, I am so clever! I will post pics when it is done.