Mini Monday – Life’s Better With Cake

It’s been a few weeks since I posted, and that topic was a little… depressing.. SOooooooo.. I’ve decided that today required a Mini Monday post!

As a mother, it’s my job to do right by my kids. Quite often that’s saying No when I know that saying yes would prevent the screaming, meltdowns, tantrums and general dislike. However, there are sometimes when small things can make such a huge difference.

I took the two girls to the shop the other day to fill up our trolley full of groceries. As I passed the cake aisle I noticed a huge mark-down ticket on the fun novelty cakes. Having previously had one of these cakes for Mr6’s birthday I knew they were of an ‘okay’ variety, regarding ingredients. Not perfect, but okay.

So, after much debate and some rock, paper, scissors, we picked a cake! For no other reason than sometimes, days are just better with cake. The kids had so much fun, pretending it was everyone’s birthday, and then cutting it. According to Mr6, Miss4 now has to kiss a boy because she touched the bottom!

20131205_185118

So next time you’re in the midst of a rough day, or you just feel like there’s too many “no’s” in your life… stop.. relax.. and eat cake!! (Unless you’re like me, and don’t eat any of the ingredients included in cake, in which case, buy someone else a cake, and make their day!!!!)

Have a great week x

R U OK? – It’s OK To Say NO

Today is once again, R U OK day in Australia. This initiative started as a movement to raise awareness and open channels to help people struggling with life. According to the RUOK website www.RUOKDAY.com:

The R U OK? Foundation is a not-for-profit organisation dedicated to encouraging all people to regularly and meaningfully ask ‘are you ok?’ to support those struggling with life.

R U OK?Day is our national day of action on the second Thursday of September (12 September 2013), and dedicated to reminding people to regularly check in with family and friends. We also have Resources for You to use throughout the year to help you ask ‘are you ok?’ regularly of family, friends and colleagues.    Stephen Fry

You might remember that last year I wrote a blog post about it, and at the time, I was NOT OK. You can read all about the reasons here: R U OK 2012.

Since then I have had many struggles, up and down, and I am still working through them, but for today, I can say, “I am OK”. Who knows what tomorrow brings. My anxiety peaks and waves, comes and goes. Some days I feel like I can conquer the world, and some days I feel like I want to hide out in my room all day and not talk to anyone.

The reason I’m bringing this up is because I want to ask YOU the question: ARE YOU OK? R U OK? ARE YOU ALRIGHT? Nothing is ever black, and white. I know nothing can ever be solved with a cup of tea, but it sure can ease a burden! Let me be your tea-maker. I am HERE for you. I will listen, I will not judge, and I will not set out to solve the worlds problems. Sometimes all you want is a friend to listen and acknowledge, not judge, not try to solve the issues, or tell you where you might be going wrong. I am your friend.

Not AloneIf you don’t want to talk to me, just know that You are NOT alone. With the progress in social media and the access we all have to the internet, I have found that you are open to a world of opportunity and hope. If you have anxiety about being in public situations, you can be comfortable in your own home and reach out. If you don’t like the way you look and it makes you depressed, you can be behind a computer screen asking for advice. You don’t have to put yourself in situations that may cause you to be even more “not OK”.

So, today, at this point in time, why am I feeling OK? I think it has something to do with finally seeing a psychologist. It took me a couple of goes, and it’s not always first one is the best choice, but the one I have been seeing was not trying to read my head, or solve the worlds problems of why I am the way I am. We were simply letting it be and working with how we can work with that. It’s hard work, and it’s not all roses and sunshine, but the one thing I have learned is, FriendsEveryone needs someone to talk to. By talking about my issues with someone who was non-judgmental, my whole attitude changed. I’m no longer holding onto feelings inside myself, and no longer taking it out on my loved ones. Again, not always having great days, and yes I regress, but I know that I’m getting better. You can too. All you need to do is ask the question.

I hope you are aware that you are not alone. You will be OK. There is help available. If you go to one doctor and they say they don’t believe in ‘depression/anxiety’ then go to a different doctor. Start doing Yoga (I know it sounds naff, but it did help me!). Start exercising, even just a 15 minute walk outside in the fresh air will clear your mind and help.  If you want to send me a private message, then please do. My email is: sydneygen04@yahoo.com .

I’ve listed some resources that you can go and check out and maybe gain a little further information and maybe some help?

Take-The-First-Step

RESOURCES:

Beyond Blue

R U OK Day

Dancing with the Black Dog – A blog

and just remember:

You__ve_got_a_friend_in_me__by_pocket_full_of_posy

Doing the lunchbox switcheroo

Have you heard of Soup? No, I’m not talking about that yummy, winter goodness that makes you feel better on cold days, or when you’re sick. I’m talking about The Soup.com.au – a company that lets you do some market research in the comfort of your own home. I’ve been applying to Soup projects for a while now and have received some pretty awesome products to test out. There’s never a lack of interest in our house, especially with the 3 young children, and their friends and families.

This new project I’ve been assigned is all about Meadowlea margarine. It’s called the “lunchbox switcheroo” and I’m very excited to be an ‘official blogger’ on the project. Having children that are huge toast and sandwich lovers, I quite often find myself muddled over to what is best to put on them. They’re quite the ‘fussy’ lot, however there is always a request for something ‘under’ the Vegemite.  I thought this project would be perfect for our family!

When looking at children’s nutrition, in my opinion it’s always good to be looking for a whole food approach. I was absolutely astounded to read then, that by making the switch to Meadowlea you can save your kids 2.5kgs of saturated fat. If I’m saving my kids that, and I’m also eating toast/sandwiches, then I’ll be saving myself that too. This is a very good thing!

Check out these photos of what 2.5kgs of fat looks like. The kids thought it was ‘gross’ hahahaa!

Ewwwww…. And to think.. in the past year I’ve lost at least 6 of these blocks, off my body. Wow!!! Puts all the food choices into perspective!

Meadowlea is also 65% less saturated fat than butter, as well as being a natural source of Omega3, good for healthy heart function and general well-being.

For the next month, I’ll be making the switch. I’ll be reporting back as to whether the children have loved it, hated it, or not even noticed!

I’ll also be running a competition in a few weeks, with the winner receiving a $50 gift card, so stay tuned for details on that!

For now..I’m off to think of fun and creative things for the ‘lunchbox’….

Talking About Dogs..NOT the Furry Fun Kind….

We interrupt our regularly scheduled program to talk about dogs….

That’s right. I was supposed to write about the school holidays that have now long gone, but instead I feel the need to post about the dog that visited me for snuggles yesterday.

I love dogs. I would definitely be classified as a Dog person, unfortunately this is not the type of dog I like to pet, snuggle and visit with. This was ‘the black dog’. I just wanted to document, mainly for my own self, how easily it can be to go from high to low in one day.

I had a lovely morning yesterday. I got the kids off to school and daycare, and then the youngest and I went to have a coffee with a wonderful friend. WE don’t catch up enough in real life, but I so do enjoy it when we do. We had coffee, chatted and took Little Miss to the nearby park. It was lovely, relaxing and enjoyable.

How can you not LOVE and SMILE at this?!?!!

After a couple of hours, I got some lunch and headed home. My problem began when I walked into the house. I have been studying and neglecting housework so very much, and it was evident yesterday. The amount of ‘toys’ and “useless crap” that was lying around, dishes not done, kitchen a mess, was completely overwhelming. I ate lunch and put Lil Miss down for her nap.

Now here would have been a good time to get up and start clearing and cleaning away all the mess. I didn’t have distractions of a child following behind pulling things out, it was a lovely day, I had a full belly from lunch., but you know what I did? I had a sudden overwhelming urge to give up. It was a feeling inside me that crept up so gently, all I could feel was my chest hurting and the need to cry.  That was when I realized, the black dog had come knocking at the door. Not so much knocking, as showing itself in through the doggy door and settling in my lap.
All I could do was lie in bed and cuddle my blanket wondering why I could be feeling this way. My life is wonderful, I have a supportive husband, a great house, a car, I’m studying. Just another example of how this damn thing doesn’t discriminate. Luckily for me, I feel that my journey through this and the impact, or ‘length of visits’ seem to be assisted and shortened with the help of social media. My twitter followers are great, and all I have to do is tweet something about how I’m feeling and I’m overwhelmed with new ways to think and cope, and distractions to get me back on track.

At the height of my snuggles with the Black Dog

I’m also amazingly lucky to have my husband in my life. For all the pressures he is under at work, he always ‘just knows me’ and knows when I need him, even without telling him. Unbeknownst to me, he had thought I needed a break from having to wake Lil Miss and get Mr5 from school, so came home early to do a brief stopover, before continuing with his work! He was able to come home, hold me and understand.

While he left to get Mr5 I decided to have a shower and reclaim my day. There was to be no more snuggling with the black dog, things needed to be done.  Showered and dragging myself away from the computer, I started slowly… just as I had finished cleaning my kitchen, and hanging the dishcloths to dry, there was a burst of sunshine through the back doors. I smiled, for the first time in hours, realizing that the signs were there telling me to just do it. Move and keep moving. All will be ok.

By the end of the night, I’m happy to report, I had reclaimed my living room of all the children’s toys, moving them into a separate area, away from the living room. My anxiety peaks whenever I see so much mess from the kids. I’ve decided that if I take that mess away, and it’s out-of-sight, I can get my anxiety under control.

My house is now clean, tidy and I am feeling much better today. I wasn’t impressed with the visit from the dog, but I’m grateful I was able to push through it and come out the other side. It’s just amazing to me, how quickly it can creep up and take over every thought, every feeling, every sense of your being. Even when you are internally telling yourself you do not want to feel this way, You are chanting for it to go away.

Time heals all things, and with help, I know I Will get through this. I have been terrible about getting further assistance with this, but yesterday affirmed for me, I need to make it a priority.

That’s it for now…. I’ll try to post about the school holidays next… and then I’m starting to blog as a part of a Mummy blog challenge….. I’ll fill you in more soon!!

Like I said, this post was more for me, but I thank you for reading….

 

~ Something else I forgot to add, which was an incredibly important part to not succumbing too much to the black dog, was the fact that I have gained 4kgs since my weight loss journey ended, well really 6 when I was at my optimum. I am struggling with getting back on track and doing the right thing food wise. Knowing it’s 80% food choice is a mantra I keep telling myself. Yesterday when I was at a low, I kept chanting to myself – I am not hungry, I am not hungry…this is the black dog talking.. do not eat meaningless food to make yourself better….. I will admit that It was HARD! In the past I would have opened the cupboards and eaten ANYTHING and EVERYTHING, regardless of what it was. I’d make something if there was nothing. With the education I received on the 12WBT program, I was able to convince myself not to eat. A little win for me!!

Fathers Day 2012 (belated post)

I was going through my photos the other day and realised I had a couple of Fathers Day pics which really summed up what a magical day it truly was. How was your Fathers Day this year? Every year I always send out a message to all those single parents who are acting as Mum and Dad. It’s got to be tough to be a single parent, and not get any respite or reprieve, so again, I thank you parents out there that do it day in and day out!

This year all of the children were really able to get into the Fathers Day spirit! We had something very special planned and I was excited that Mr 5 and Miss 3 were able to keep it a secret!!!!

We started the day with letting Dad have a sleep in! Then when he got up we made him breakfast and let him read the paper in peace. We spent some wonderful family time at the park – minus my phone (daddy likes when mummy isn’t attached to her phone!) – and then it was time to head home and banish daddy upstairs to get his surprise ready! The kids set up the front room as a movie theatre and made a huge mattress picnic for daddy. They hid all the presents around the house and called him down.
In typical 5 year old style, daddy got NERF GUNS, underwear, and The Avengers DVD. I was ambushed by NERF guns and NERF wars, and lots of giggling and squealing!!!!!! We all settled in and had a lovely family afternoon of watching The Avengers together and spending a special Fathers Day today.

So… what did you do for Fathers Day? What type of things do you think we could do next year to top this year? We are always on a budget, so things at home are always a winner!

I hope you all had a lovely Fathers Day … Thanks for stopping by! My next post is all about surviving the school holidays!