#365 A whole year!

It’s officially been done folks – I’ve been doing this insane thing, called ‘an item of gratitude a day’ for a whole year! No breaks, no mishaps, although sometimes I completely forgot to post in the busy-ness of life, but then soon made up for it immediately afterwards… despite all of life’s many ups, and many downs, I’ve nailed this MOFO to the wall.

One year down.

Just the rest of my entire life to go.

Sigh. But yay too!

And it all started with a God-damn car crash.

Not only does today mark a year of this blog, but there were two other significant happenings, on this February 23rd:

  1. I started exercising again. It happened during my new-found ‘me’ time in baby girl’s 5-hour kinder block, and it has been something that has been on my mind for a while. You know when you just aren’t happy with ‘things?’ Well the only way to change it, is to DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT. And I took action today. AND I felt awesome.
  2. I just literally found out that someone dear to me is pregnant. So, it all feels very poignant and happy and memorable, and I am just stoked to the point that I will fall into a heap from the excited exhaustion soon.

That’s it peoples. I am happy. And mostly, I am grateful.

That’s the whole point, isn’t it?

 

 

#154 New tan boots

Simple and materialistic today, but I got some boots and I’m not even excited. I’m relieved.

These boots have been about, let me see… one, two, three, FOUR years in the making.

I didn’t put off their purchase for lack of anything… well kind of.

At first, I was pregnant. I thought ‘I won’t buy boots now. I’ll be practical and buy me some new shoes after baby, next Winter.’

Then, I was with new baby. And I thought ‘I have no time to go looking for freaking boots! Next Winter.’

Then, I was busy adjusting back to work, while still busy at life. ‘Boots, what boots? Next Winter.’

Then I had time, but ‘All the boots are crap? Why do they have sky-high heels or flat-arsed soles? Happy medium, anyone? Next Winter.’

Now, I was DETERMINED. And this Winter, today, I got these beauties on sale.

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Don’t get me wrong, I am grateful. But seriously, this thing took way too long. I should have just bought the damn boots four years ago, and gotten myself a brand new pair today. No yesterday. I’ve done the very thing I never do anymore: put off any type of joy or fulfilment or happiness or satisfaction of any kind in any medium, just because I think it’s best to save it for later/a better day/a perfect scenario.

*cough (bullshit) cough.*

The moral of this story? Next time I’m preggers, I’m buying a pair of bright red super-high and shiny heels, just because.

 

#135 My dancing girl

She’s not only my baby girl. She’s my dancing girl.

She loves music. It makes me so happy, I can’t even express how much. Not only because both Hubbie and I love our music and a good partay, but there was a time when I was seriously worried that my unborn child would be affected by the stress in our life back when I was pregnant. I was worried that the trauma would bring her into the world a scared, angry, affected child.

I am so grateful that nothing can be further from the truth.

The last few days she has been spontaneously dancing and clapping to Prince in the car, and calling out to us if we don’t join in. She runs up to the stereo speaker each night and points, telling us to put on the music so that she can dance. When we do, she jumps around wildly, waves her arms about in a ‘come on!’ motion, and just goes crazy. We look at her like ‘what are you on? Can we have it too?’ before joining in on her shenanigans and turning the kitchen space into a dancefloor.

And even when she had the cold (and she still is getting over an annoying nose – blocked vs runny) she still has the energy and willpower to run into the room screaming with joy when she hears the music come on.

She is our inspiration. I want to be like her when I grow up.

 

#128 Baby girl’s resilience

It’s probably the reason she slept a whole of 3 hours in a late afternoon nap the other day. We couldn’t wake her up, for about an hour, despite two loud TVs, rotating owls singing musical tunes above her portacot, all the lights on, and my incessant calls to her.

She must have needed it.

I was apprehensive coming home from work today. She had been put down for a nap, and I was on guard, wondering if the dry throat and cough I had woken up with this morning would also present itself in her.

She slept solidly for 2 hours. She woke happily. But when she called out to me, I heard the rasp. And then there were a few coughs.

She was clearly showing signs of the cold. The dreaded freaking Winter cold. The hardest month for me is always July, mid-Winter, and on this the first day of that miserable month, I woke up sick. With Baby girl sounding like she’s shelving a frog somewhere in the depths of her throat.

And yet, as the night wore on, it was ME getting weaker and crankier, baby girl happily dancing, playing and even eating all of her dinner. We wrestled a bit, and she proceeded to jump off her Dad’s desk and onto his lap (a really BAD habit). She is a picture of joy.

This girl has been a trooper before she was even born. Developing inside of me, my repetitive mantra to her was that she was protected. She was in my ‘cocoon.’ At a time of sickness and loss and death and deep turmoil and depression, she withstood all of that, and came into the world, a happy baby.

I am so grateful to my trooper. That was my nickname for her in my womb; that is my nickname for her now, and forever more. I see her prancing around, screaming with her broken voice at Daddy to wake up from the couch. She is not phased that her voice is like that. She could care less.

She goes on.

When I am whinging that I’m weak, and tired, and I have to do everything, I look at that girl and think ‘wow. What an inspiration.’

Chin up.

#99 Cheap wine

We’ve always had an abundance of wine in our house. Leading up to and after our wedding, we received a zillion bottles. Add to that, one time Hubbie bought a box of 12 cheap wines from the bottle shop because they were on special… cleanskin. Generic label,, not necessarily a ‘label.’ I don’t know, maybe it was $20, $30 for the lot? He said we could drink it as an everyday wine, and even use it in my special pastas and what-not.

The box of cheap wine sat in the corner of our garage. And the other bottles got drunk, slowly throughout the years.

I’ve increased my enjoyment and consumption of red since then. It took absolute ages to get through the stuff, because I tended to mix drinks and drink other, sweeter stuff. During that time, my tastebuds matured, and so I started to seek out more refined, bolder flavours. Something quite significant also happened to make me start drinking more red: I got pregnant.

Now before you arrive on my door with pitchforks, let me make clear, I started to drink more of it after my pregnancy, and still then, after I finished breastfeeding. So, in total, I had been off alcohol completely for 22 months.

Almost 2 years. I have always enjoyed drinking a few with company, at a party. Since recommencing though, I will now have a glass of red almost every night.

Part of it has to do with being off it for so long. I’m making up for lost time. Part of it has to do with knowing I’ll be off it in the future when I get pregnant again. I’m getting ready for future lost time. Additionally, it’s warming, and I enjoy it with my meal. I’m not going crazy. But I am having fun with it.

Since starting the red again, we’ve been going through our alcohol cabinet. Drink some of those, buy some ‘nice’ ones for an occasion. Get given some more. Drink cabinet wines, buy new ones, get ones. Continuous cycle on repeat.

Wednesday night Hubbie pulled out a beer. I can’t not have a glass if he’s having a drink. I won’t have anything if he’s having a dry night… again, it’s a company thing. I went to the cabinet… and came up with two expensive bottles of wine.

After all these years, that was ALL that was left, and yet I didn’t feel quite right opening them. I’m not a hoarder of fine things that don’t get used… I drink these lovely bottles. But at that moment, I just wanted any old bottle, and would rather have saved the $$$ ones for a Saturday night with Hubbie, or when we had company over.

Then Hubbie remembered. The box of cheap wine in the garage.

He took one out, this cleanskin, and we looked it over.

WE 3 Cabernet Merlot 2009. Wine of Australia. Exclusive to Dan Murphy’s. Mulgrave address.

Hmmm. Seemed ok. Taste-test required.

Both of us had a sip. Not bad. Not bad AT ALL.

Hubbie went back into the garage, and took out all the bottles we had there, filling up our cabinet with 11-12 of them. They had hardly ever been used. Until now.

Tonight, as I again sipped on the regular red, I realised I was chatting a lot. Not in a tipsy way… I was just happy. This red put me in a happy state. I don’t know what it is about it… but it’s good. It tastes good, the colour is nice, and the price back then was way good.

I’m grateful for great-tasting, cheap wine. Affordable to most. Simple. Clean. Fun.

Just another reminder to not judge a book by it’s cover…

#19 Skinny black jeans

There’s been an ongoing question brewing in my mind for the last few months. A kind of on-and-off one that I tried to ignore, which just became a no-brainer earlier today.

As I squeezed into my skinny black jeans, I noticed how difficult they were to zip up, and also noticed the little gap that was left on the top. I also noticed just how tightly they gripped my tummy, so much so that I had skin sticking out on both sides.

I’ve always been skinny, and even when pregnant I only carried baby girl in my tummy. After birth my tummy went back to normal within a few weeks, but it’s not because I did anything special: that’s just the way my body is. There is nothing to be revered or celebrated about that, because that’s it, I did nothing. The women who put on heaps on weight during pregnancy and then find the strength to lose it, are the ones who should be applauded. In fact, if you still have excess weight a year after your child has been born, that is also ok. The first year of a child being born is such a rollercoaster ride that all Mums need to be cut slack in ALL regards, and let to do what they can and want when they can and want, in their own time. Weight, can wait. I know it can be a health issue, but seriously? Fuck off. A woman has just brought a little human into the world. The weight will work itself out in due time, when she has due time.

I digress. So I’ve always been skinny. And when I saw the flab sticking out of my tight jeans, as if it were about to burst, I wasn’t impressed. My baby girl isn’t a year old. She’s 2 and a half.

‘But you’re a busy Mum!’ You may cry in my defence. And thank you, that is true. I am very busy. I have so much on lately, that I don’t know where my head is at. My mind is so full with details, and events, and story ideas, and things I need to buy, and that person’s birthday, and I forgot to email that guy back, and oh shit that bill, but Hubbie needs me to drop off his suit….

Yeah. That happens, and then I find myself in this random lull, where I just stop what I’m doing and stare, my head going blank for a moment in an effort to force a temporary break from the ongoing cycle of my life. And then I blink and go ‘what was I doing?’

Despite my busy-ness, it does not excuse the fact that certain things, like exercise and health, especially at this stage of Motherhood, should not be ignored. Also, what should also not be ignored, are all the pastries and chocolates and cakes and croissants I splurge on when having coffee.

I have coffee pretty much every day. If I have one sweet thing (or two), with my coffee, and then I have something sweet later in the day, that’s up to 3 sweet items a day. In a week you’re counting approximately 21 items of cake/pastry/chocolate that I’m ‘treating’ myself to.

Add to that my carb-addiction, and the realisation hit me hard today.

I’m still skinny. But my tummy is starting to show. And how could it not.

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So, thank you skinny black jeans. I’m not going to diet. I don’t believe in them, as I believe moderation in food and exercise are key to a healthy lifestyle, and you need to allow yourself your favourite foods and treats. But it has to be balanced. I’m not having anymore sweets with my coffee, only on days when I’m with Hubbie. Which might be 2 days a week. Also, I’m watching my carb intake. Instead of filling up a 1/3 of my plate with it, I might just reduce that to a 1/4.

I might do some at-home Zumbo too. Even if baby girl wants to join in and jump around with me, all the better. It’s not for losing weight, it’s for being healthy and also for getting her onto the right path for her future. I can’t control what she does later. But I can control what I expose her to. And that needs to be healthy and positive things that promote well being and optimum happiness for mind, body and soul.

I’ve always loved my jeans, but today I’m holding gratitude too.