#583 Zumba and my Mini-Me

I think it’s the onset of Spring, and the increase of milder weather, that has seen our family getting more active as of late.

And to all of you Mother’s out there: I know. I feel ya. Totally. I only started trying to get into some kind of exercise routine once baby girl started once-a-week kinder sessions this year, so I know, it’s hard. Even more so when you want to get fit again, don’t have the luxury of uninterrupted kid-free time, and you just don’t know how you’ll fit it all in.

But I say one thing to you: try.

Just try.

The first time I decided to do my Zumba workout with baby girl in the room, she did not let me have it! Whinging, complaining, crying for my attention, grabbing my leg, standing right next to me so I had to stop what I was trying to do, in fear of knocking her out in the process.

I felt horrible, deflated, and guilty. All normal feelings as a Mother, I know. But I just felt shit.

Shit for not succeeding.

Shit for making her cry.

Shit for trying to have a life for a short while other than that of a Mother.

I don’t even know why a week later, I tried it a second time. I think then I had decided I had to give her something, and my phone with kids playing with toys on youtube, was the perfect antidote.

It actually was.

She sat nearby, watching videos for 30 minutes, occasionally looking up at me and saying “good job Mama!” as I huffed and puffed.

Aww this girl. She melts my heart.

She also asked about 7 times during that period if I was finished – “not yet” I’d respond breathlessly. “5 minutes.”

Is what I said every 4 minutes.

Lately though, a further change. I tell her I’m doing some Zumba, and she goes and gets the DVD for me. Pops it in the player…

And then starts to workout, with me.

It’s something I never would have expected, especially back when she was practically crying for my attention. It’s such a hard place to be in, because of the horrible Mum guilt you feel when they want you, and yet you are trying so hard to reclaim that old, personal part of you, and move towards something that both helps, motivates, and inspires you to be a better person – and meanwhile they are still crying in the background.

It’s not like they want your attention once a day. OMG, that would be easy-peasy. No. It is a hundred times a minute, and it is constant, never-ending, and fatefully ongoing, every second of every hour of every day of every every every every DAY.

You are their greatest idol, and they your greatest cheerleader. You wouldn’t have it any other way. But it is still, hard.

So today. I am warming up, doing my moves. I take off my socks so that they don’t slide on the carpet. She too stops and takes off her socks. Then, I take off my hoodie because I am getting hot. She stops and gets my help in taking off her jumper, so she is only wearing her long-sleeve singlet.

And we are there side-by-side, me and my Mini-Me, reclaiming carpet space and dancing in Latino bursts.

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She only lasted about 5 minutes before growing bored and wandering off to play with Peppa Pig Lego and watch TV. But those 5 minutes were pure gold. I was chuffed.

And not only is it cool to have a little version of me prancing around to Zumba, but it is nice to know that our healthy habits are rubbing onto her, and setting good examples for her life ahead.

So she is now letting me exercise, doing it herself, and we are both happy?!

That is a whole lot of gratitude there ♥♥♥

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#443 Beautiful things at the Royal Children’s Hospital

Baby girl was only little when we learnt of her hip dysplasia. Her left leg socket wasn’t fitting snugly around her thigh bone, creating the possibility of the bone slipping out, and not forming properly, and in turn hampering her future prospects of walking normally.

Or something to that effect. It’s not that an uncommon thing, as I soon learnt, though at the time I was absolutely distraught. My baby girl had to wear a leg brace from the early age of 8 weeks, for nearly 5 months, with the upside being that she was able to spend the second half of that time wearing it only at night, allowing her the possibility of movement during the day.

This of course pushed back her rolling/crawling/walking milestones. I was still impressed however when she took her first steps at 16 months – that was her willpower to move about and cover as much ground as she could. My trooper girl.

All is good now. She stopped with the brace when x-rays showed the socket wrapping around the bone, securing it more tightly, and follow up x-rays over the years showed further positive progress in that area.

Which is why we were at the Royal Children’s Hospital today. These doctors have a predisposition for cautiousness and check-ups.

I was so pleased to see the halls, walls and rooms in a new light this time when we walked in, about 2 years after our last appointment. The lift interiors had brightly-coloured drawings covering from top to bottom, and on the ground floor there was a windy climbing pipe contraption, with a huge mechanical butterfly upon the top with its wings slowly opening and closing every so often.

In the orthopaedic section there was a craft table set up for the kids, where they could colour in, paste scraps of material on paper, and create some special artwork to take home. Volunteers oversaw this area, helping out the kids where needed, and nearby there was a playmat with building blocks and cars to push around.

Soon, there was a “choo choo” sound, and whether coincidence or not, an odd-looking clown then wandered by to entertain/make fun of the kids. He blew up bubble-type balloons, called children “Nanna” and “Adidas” (“because that’s what’s on your top”), but most importantly, he made them laugh and smile.

He made them forget they were in a hospital. All of these things made the children forget, if only for a bit.

And isn’t that a precious thing… while we wait for a world where children never fall sick, in the meantime let’s make the world a little happier, a little more fun, a little brighter for the ones who do need to visit a doctor for whatever reason…

… and I’m so happy to see an institution like the RCH, doing just that. It makes me proud to be a human.

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And, baby girl is doing well 🙂

#421 Kinder days no.2

….. and we are BACK. Back from school holidays, and back to kindergarten.

(Mwa ha ha).

Even though baby girl only goes one session a week because she is 3, those 5 hours mean a lot to me, let me tell you. If only for sanity, for catch-up, for myself, those few hours make such a difference, and the absence of them over the past few weeks has been sorely felt.

Today I did grocery shopping, alone.

Today I recommenced Zumba – my body needed and wanted it, BAD. (My left leg not being able to perform a particular movement towards the end of the session, showed me how badly my body was out of whack).

I ate well, having extra time to prepare a healthy lunch.

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(No that’s not cucumber, that’s broccoli stalk – shop your vegies finely, pop it into a Microwave safe container, fill 1/4 to a 1/3 with water, and put in the microwave for about 2 minutes with the lid ajar, or if you have the above Tupperware contraption, even better. Mix with tuna, carbs, or all of the above – done).

I cleaned the house – let me tell you it was very necessary.

I completed and ordered online invitations for my parents 50th wedding anniversary – sis and I are extremely excited.

Ahh, there’s nothing like catch-up. Getting ahead. Feeling accomplished.

I love Kinder.

#322 Re-commencing the holidays

Our holidays have been on hold since my Dad was taken to hospital several days ago. And even though he was discharged yesterday, I was still busy with both him and Mum today, organising many other things for them.

I would run to the side of any of my immediate family members or close friends who needed me, whether due to health, heartache, or general ‘help’ reasons. And I am so grateful that Dad is now doing better.

But I can also say that I’m grateful our holidays are starting up again. We went out to dinner tonight, and it was great to do so with such satisfaction and relief, knowing that not only did Sis and I do everything we could for our parents these last few days, but they are both getting looked after and WILL be getting better. Things ARE actually, genuinely, on the improve.

Which means my last few days of the holidays, will surely be on the improve too.

(Exhale).

#321 Freedom from hospital

I walked in and out of hospital a lot today.

Re-park the car. Get some coffee. Get some food. Make a phone call. Re-park the car.

Repeat repeat repeat.

And in that time, I saw, A LOT. People getting wheeled in on beds, masks over their faces. Wheelchair-bound patients, angry looks on their faces. Elderly people sitting side by side, hunched over in their solitary hospital room. The sound of pain. The look of helplessness. Tiredness. Despondent eyes. Clinical walls and grey grey grey, EVERYWHERE.

My lips did turn upwards too, though. I remembered with weird fondness, as I looked up to the familiar flight of stairs, how over 3 and a half years ago I was in the midst of such pain, only to be met by the most amazing, beautiful and curious eyes in the world, in the immediate aftermath.

I saw babies. I saw mother’s and father’s carrying their own. I looked at little children, the adult hands they were holding, and a part of me was happy.

Despite my thoughts, I was still happy to be able to move in and out of the hospital as I pleased, to not be bound by ill health or medical necessity to require a stay, no matter how short or long, there. And it was twice as nice when I walked out late afternoon, with both Mum, AND Dad beside me.

He was discharged today. An unexpected happiness that we are so happy about.

I know there is a tremendous amount of positivity and amazing acts performed by the medical staff in hospitals all over the world, but seriously, I’m just glad that I was able to leave the premises today. With both my parents.

#319 Little Scares

Big things aren’t always the best things. Sometimes, the little things are much rather preferred.

Take a little scare, over a big scare, for example.

It’s been a long and tiring day. It felt like it took 3 times as long to drive to the hospital where Dad was, following his health scare this morning. Plagued with worries and unreal scenarios in my mind, indented by the picture I had of Dad smiling at us that I posted about the other day, I was a bit of an emotional mess.

But I had no reason to be. Because it was a little scare. For now it seems anyway, and they are keeping him overnight more as a precaution, than a real concern. Dad is good, his spirits are well, and I even noticed how we had a moment of silly family fun, as Mum, Sis and I waited for Dad to be moved into another room, joking with the ‘taxi driver’ (bed mover) in the process.

I will take a little scare any day. When it comes to my family, it allows me to at least, breathe a sigh of relief, and express deep heartfelt thanks for it.

 

#300 Gratitude amidst Gingerbread and Grave news

Number 300. Well there you go.

Gratitude has to be mentioned prominently. Well of course, it is a gratitude blog. But more so, it was certainly felt deeply today, and it was by chance that it was so poignant on my number 3oo post.

It was chaotic today – let’s just say that much. No, we’ll say more. We’ll say that baby girl wanted to potty train, which meant I was bargaining with her, which meant she skipped her nap, which meant I kept an eagle eye on her as I made my annual gingerbread men bikkies to take to work tomorrow…

and then I had my MIL arriving, I had to do dinner, I dropped a metal bar on my foot (part of the bargaining, set up an outdoor playset for baby girl) my nephew called me mid-dinner prep to talk Angel (I could not by any chance refuse THAT call) and it just went on and on and on.

I was exhausted. My foot was sore. Baby girl was playing up big time, due to no nap. And the end of the night felt so far away. I couldn’t wait for it.

And then my sister called. And she sounded concerned, which naturally, made me concerned. She basically told me that my youngest nephew’s teacher has been diagnosed with a pretty grave condition – hearing it made my heart sink. I listened to her and she read something out to me that she wanted to get my thoughts on, something she wanted to send to this teacher to lift her spirits. I hid in my closet listening and talking until baby girl found me. I was rushed. There was yelling in the house. The kitchen was a pig-sty, from dinner prep and earlier baking. I was mentally and physically exhausted. But suddenly, EVERYTHING was put in perspective.

I was happy to have all those little annoyances in my day. I won’t even call them problems.

So happy to have food to mess up my kitchen.

So happy to have a daughter that is responding to potty training, and happy to have a daughter, full stop.

So happy to have a workplace to bring gingerbread men to.

So happy to have a steel rod that sets up my daughter’s outdoor table set, even if it does give me a bruise for days to come.

All of these things make my life beautiful. Let’s not forget during this busy Christmas period, that there are people who are sad, lonely, and suffering. Let’s spare a prayer, a thought, a wish for them.

And when you are rushed off your feet this Christmas season, just be aware.

Be aware how damn lucky you are. We all are.

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