Tag: self care

Our secondary infertility story: Part 1 (15 months trying to conceive).

This post was written in October 2015 when everything was still fresh in my mind. It hasn’t been published until now, because it was a very difficult thing to talk about and process at the time. I would like to finally share my story of secondary infertility and beyond (currently expecting a little miracle in February 2018 – we are over the moon) over the following days/weeks. It’s both therapy and also hopefully something that someone else might find helpful or informative or interesting. I tried to document my experiences by writing the stuff I would have wanted to read. I’m no hero or crusader but I do hope that I could make at least one person feel less alone. 

As I sit here on the first day of my stupid (literally) bloody visitor for the 15th month since we started trying for a baby, I am feeling a little bit nervous. A little bit overwhelmed. See, I thought waiting for my period was stressful for the 14 months that came before this! The confused feelings of hope versus pessimism fighting each other every single day until I got that negative at home pregnancy test or later, when I’d given up on those and just waited until the bleeding started.

But no…this is a little more stressful! See, there’s all these rules before they start doing some proper tests (I have already had what feels like litres worth of blood tests removed from my body so it totes doesn’t count) and they all depend on where you are in your cycle. I won’t bore you with every little detail, but basically once my period arrives I have to jump into action. An ultrasound 3-4 days in, a blood test to prove I’m not pregnant (doesn’t take a rocket scientist but I do understand why they do it), an X-ray to check my tubes at 10 days (which isn’t as lovely and easy as it sounds and involves stuff stuck up my clacker and dye forced through my tubes)!

I have a long way to go on this journey (even if things go amazingly with early medical intervention for whatever might be wrong with me it will feel like forever haha), but I am starting to learn so many things. Here are some of those things…

It’s all pretty fucking emotional 

I mean, I’m not stupid. I knew this would be an emotional rollercoaster. I mean, duh. But I didn’t realise just how much. I have cried over things that I never thought I would cry over. I think I tried to be all matter of fact going into this, which is a ridiculous expectation because have you met me (or read my blog)?

Some days, the weirdest (in)fertility related stuff will make me cry like a baby. I don’t even mean a single tear rolling down my cheek as I grieve for the baby that feels so far from my reach. I mean, big fat tears that keep on coming. And the craziest thing? It feels so damn good to cry sometimes!

Earlier this month, I found out that the 5K fun run I was going to do with friends wouldn’t be a realistic option, because I will most likely have that X-ray right before it. I had been so excited about the run. If it hadn’t been fertility related, I would have shrugged, made mock angry noises about not being able to go, apologised to my friends and been done with it. But what did I do? I CRIED LIKE A BABY on and off for two whole days. And the thing was, I wasn’t wallowing. I was just crying! It’s like you kind of get on with things, but you cry too. It’s like a release valve that keeps me going, weirdly enough. I guess sometimes the bigger disappointments rise to the surface when you experience smaller ones.

Get a really awesome magazine subscription – treat yo’self!

All these appointments mean some sitting around. I have learned that I really want to make the most of that time. It’s like my poor woman’s version of the mythical ‘me’ time! Before all of this, I considered getting a subscription to my favourite magazine Marie Claire. I then thought, don’t be silly, Kez. When’s the last time you actually got through an issue from cover to cover? Don’t waste your money!

NOW? Now I think it will be the best investment ever and will give me something nice to look forward to – a little distraction. Also, you get a discount if you subscribe, so technically I am saving money 😉

Always a fan of a bargain!

You have to let people in

I know it sounds funny because I’m generally quite an outgoing, open person. But sometimes I just can’t talk about certain tough things going on behind the scenes for me. I freak out about making myself vulnerable or about how people will react. I worry about burdening others with my problems (even though I am always happy to be there for my friends). When we made our first appointment with the specialist, I started to open up a bit with those closest to us and the most wonderful thing happened. A lot of people were full of love and support. I mean, sure, I should have expected that because we have such beautiful people in our lives (hashtag blessed and all that), but I am an anxious freak sometimes. I know it’s wrong, but sometimes I just expect the worst.

I didn’t want to be that person who never talks about it, because no-one ever talks about it. The year leading up to that had been so stressful with nobody to share the struggles with. I decided that I just couldn’t go on any longer keeping it in or I might explode.

When the kindness started coming back to me, I was so overwhelmed. It was the first time in my adult life that I had ever put myself on the line so much. To see that there was nothing but love and positivity was so humbling (and shocking) to me that I actually took a few days to let it sink in and accept it. To all of those who have been there for me/us – I thank you from the bottom of my heart. You have no idea how much you’ve made a difference.

Some of the weirdest stuff will make you feel better – just go with it

Want to know something totally embarrassing and ridiculous? Right now, my fight song is Bad Blood by Taylor Swift. Yep. Because each time I get my period (instead of being pregnant), now we’ve got bad blood. It makes me giggle, but it also makes me sing at the top of my lungs like a loony. It’s not even an optimistic song and the metaphor doesn’t quite translate and I really find Taylor Swift irritating, but it makes me feel all bad ass. I get all feisty and for a second, I feel like I’m gonna blow up the place with my awesomeness and (sometimes) good hair and maybe everything will be OK. I am not even gonna apologise for it. I’m just gonna take the laughs where I can. Even if mostly I’m just laughing at myself. #squadgoals (OMG I hope you know that was a joke)!

The other day, my mum (who is amazing and went through infertility with my dad before they adopted my brother and I) said, “You just have to learnt to go with the flow…literally.”

Yeah, it’s funny. So expect stupid ‘period’ jokes*. If you’re too grossed out, you might need to find another blog haha.

Get organised

I just bought myself a whole bunch of planners and stuff. It’s helped for two reasons. One being that now I know where the hell I’m supposed to be and when. There are so many dates and times and appointments thrown at you when you start this process. I have to remember haematology appointments (I may have a little blood disorder** – no biggie), specialist appointments, dates to have blood tests by, ultrasound dates, blah blah. It’s a bit overwhelming. I have a dedicated folder to keep my referrals and test requests from my doctor in. The idea of losing some of those just gives me anxiety! I have to know what’s going on each week and I admit I had become a bit chaotic and disorganised before this, so it’s been a great kick up the arse.

The second benefit to being more organised is that it helps me to feel in control. It calms me. At a time of my life where I couldn’t be more out of control of what’s going on (i.e. not knowing what’s wrong with me or whether I’ll be able to get pregnant again or when that might possibly happen), having a way to keep organised just makes me feel like I’m nailing something. I can breathe out, knowing that I haven’t forgotten anything.

I hope that sharing this stuff helps somebody else. If you’re going through this too, I am cheering you on. I really am. I know that I am new to this whole process and I can’t imagine what it’s like to try for multiple years with no success***, but I am sending lots of love x

I shall leave you with this…

x

*It actually got less and less funny

**I was subsequently tested again and got the all clear – turns out I have a slight tendency to be a ‘bleeder’ but I don’t have any diagnosis for Von Willebrands as originally suspected

***3 years later…

The Happy List #50: Birthday Week edition.

Last week was my 33rd birthday week. Not just a day, but a week! I sure know how to milk something for all its worth haha. But y’know, sometimes you have to stagger out some of the celebration/s and somehow it just becomes one big festival of birthday. I am not complaining! I think being alive for another year is always something to celebrate, whether you’re 1 or 100! Or you know, some kind of obscure, non impressive, non-milestone number like 33. Although, 3 is my lucky number, so two of them next to each other has to be a good omen, right? RIGHT? Oh goodness, I hope so!

I had so so much to be happy about in the past week or so and I sincerely thank everyone who had anything to do with me enjoying my birthday so much. You’re awesome.

Here are just some of the many things that made me feel happy…

Celebrating with my MG (we’ve been over this – it stands for mums’ group)

We don’t just celebrate our kids’ birthdays, but our own too, and I was so excited to have a girls’ night out! Not only do these girls have my back in so many tough situations, but they’re a shitload (technical mathematical term) of fun to hang out with in the good times too. We had dinner and I had pork belly and mojitos and the bitches wouldn’t let me pay for anything and they surprised me with a gorgeous gift and man, am I a lucky girl.

Our night after that was just an average bogan night on the home town (if you lived here you would understand ?), but good company made it so awesome. We danced to ‘pub rock’ played by a cover band, the 40 something year old front man sporting dyed black hair and a ginormous flavour savour – which is how all pub rock should be delivered – and sang all the back up vocals loudly from the dance floor whether anyone wanted us to or not. I really think that classic pub rock playlists have not changed one bit since before I was born and that it is quite amusing.

It felt really good to be out and about, with a new outfit and a face of make up too. Feeling like I’d actually made an effort! What a novelty!

Getting my guitar out

Some of you may have already seen my Insta story on the topic, but basically I hadn’t played my guitar since some time in 2010. It’s a beauty and she’s as good as new because sadly, she got put away not too long after I received her as a birthday gift from Mr Unprepared back then. We had a quite terrible year that year, followed by a year in which we became parents (which is awesome but time consuming – HA HA HA) and I just never picked it up again. Just kept it in its bag and moved it from room to room.

I’d mentioned to Mr Unprepared that I’d love to get playing again (especially to share the joy of music with the Little Mister), but that I’d like to get a few things for it first. He listened and he took care of everything! I walked into my office on my birthday morning to find my beautiful baby with new strings, a flash tuner, a new stand and even a matching pick.

AMAZING. She’s more beautiful than I remembered and she sounds AWESOME. I am so grateful. I’ve got to face the fact that I will have to cut my beautiful manicure short to play properly but that’s OK haha.

Turns out I only remember how to play (I use the term ‘play’ very loosely – I’m no musical prodigy) Blink 182 songs…might be time to update my repertoire (and grow out a nice flavour savour BAHAHA).

Dinner with my little family

I appreciate any family bonding time as a little family of 3 so much. We hadn’t been out to dinner, just the three of us, in so long. It was so great. Of course we laughed our arses off at being in the restaurant at 5:30pm (a five year old’s hangry meltdown avoidance strategy) – it was empty! Mr Unprepared joked that he’d booked the whole place out just for us for my birthday. He thought he was Kanye West or some shit. It was great, though. The Little Mister was very well behaved and if he occasionally forgot his indoor voice, nobody was there to notice!

The food was great (it was so well presented I felt like a Masterchef judge when I shoved a fork into it) and the mojito was strong. Perfect! I think we should do that more often, birthdays or no birthdays!

Online splurging shopping

On my birthday, I was feeling really disillusioned with the current clothes shopping situation in my home town. There’s not a whole lot of variety to choose from at present. I was feeling frumpy again and I wasn’t sure if I’d have anything cute to wear for my girls’ night out. I also realised that I lacked a great casual wardrobe that is easy to put together as we transition from summer to autumn to winter. It’s that weird in-betweeny time.

Luckily, I remembered that I had internet access and some birthday money! After some false starts (dodgy aforementioned internet and some crap where I had to call my bank), I finally picked out a great wardrobe for myself (with everything 40% off)! Almost every top and skirt will mix and match, can be layered up for winter and should be fat day/PMS proof (fingers crossed I’ve nailed the sizing because I fluctuate like a mofo)! SO EXCITING. I am impatiently awaiting delivery!!

Getting my hair did

I was very excited to make a hair appointment for the first time since August 2016. My hair was getting really long and I would describe the style as blaaaaaaaaaaah. I was quite over it.

I went to my fave salon and they did some magical shit. We’re working on gradually lightening some panels under the top layers so I can rock some rainbow inspired hair (currently the turquoise is working for me). Which means I’ll have to go back again soon. Bummer. NOT!

I also got a beautiful cut – a long bob which falls just right – because my hairdresser is a genius. SO GOOD.

I know it’s such a cliche thing to say, but there’s nothing like a fresh hair style/colour to really make you feel good about yourself. It has given me such a boost!

It can be a bit hard to keep this stuff up financially, but I think I will try harder this year to prioritise it.

Other stuff that has made me happy:

  • Wrapping up my 100 happy days photo challenge – more on that later…
  • Absolutely nailing my ANZAC biscuit making
  • The Little Mister attending his very first ANZAC Day dawn service (and being so good)
  • Lilac fingernails
  • Surviving the school holidays with only a couple of “OMFG WHEN WILL THIS END” moments
  • Nailing all of my self care goals for the week – it felt so self indulgent but I must have really needed it – been through the wringer and back with all of the infertility/fertility stuff I guess
  • The Little Mister’s musings about just about anything (as long as he isn’t interrupting the grown ups incessantly or whingeing of course haha). He makes me laugh.

What has made you feel happy lately?

F*ck yeah, self care!

Oh, hey! How are ya? I’m pretty good because this week is my birthday week. You’ll find that I’m not one of those shy, don’t like to celebrate types. I think birthdays are frickin’ rad and that everyone deserves to feel a bit special as they reach the milestone of being alive for another year! I’m even OK with ageing! While I’m not always loving the look and texture of my skin, I’m pretty stoked with the stuff that makes me feel wiser each year. I wouldn’t trade that for anything at this point! Not even the completely on point, dewy skin of an 18 year old! OK, maybe…I don’t know haha.

Sure, I cried the night before I turned 20 but that’s in the past now. Did you hear that, family who still laughs at me about it? It’s TOTALLY IN THE PAST ?

I don’t often throw a big party or anything – last party I had was my 21st I think. I get too anxious and worry that nobody will come and it’s just all a bit awkward, truth be told. But I love a good pampering, a little trip away or a girls’ night out!

Since I’ve become a parent, I have really treasured my birthdays.

When people ask what I would like gift-wise, I am quite honest and blunt about it. I want something that gives me permission to be selfish. I don’t feel guilty about that at all. I work hard for my family all year ’round! This is one time I can stop worrying about being ‘sensible’ (well – within reason – you know what I mean?).

I’ve decided to give myself a little birthday self-care to-do list to achieve ASAP, which I thought I would share with you.

They are the things I don’t always do throughout the year, because they can cost a little bit more of my time, energy or moolah. Things that can be a little bit easier at birthday time!

Get my hair done.

I have already made an appointment and I am so excited because I am going to try something totally new. If it’s a success, you’ll know all about it in due time! I can’t remember exactly when my last hair appointment was, but I do know that I have put off going back to my fave place because getting your hair done costs money and I kept talking myself out of it. During birthday week, I say f*ck it. Also, a little gift money does wonders!

Order some new activewear.

I need some more tights, maybe a hoodie or two. Activewear that I can be in during the cooler months. I’m gonna splurge on the good shit that doesn’t turn see through when you bend over. I KNOW.

I don’t buy all the crazy brands. I’ll probably never realise my Running Bare potential or figure out the Lululemon thing. I’m probably not a Lorna Jane girl. But I do like me some nice, stylish Cotton On Body stuff.

I’ve been putting this off forever!

Get my guitar out again. 

I have the most beautiful acoustic guitar that Mr Unprepared gave me for my birthday in 2010. Problem was that 2010 turned into the year from hell, followed quickly by 2011 when I got pregnant with the Little Mister. I kind of forgot to keep playing (or even sleeping or going to the toilet alone). I hope that 2017 will be the year I start again. I’m not talented but I love giving it a go. Music is everything!

I need new strings and I’d love a good tuner. I’ll be butchering my favourite songs again in no time, hopefully! I’d love to share it all with the Little Mister (another big fan of anything musical).

See if a ‘lash lift’ treatment is right for me and if so, get it done!

I have shorter lashes. They are straight and they point down FFS. Mr Unprepared and the Little Mister have glorious lashes that are neither of those things. I am mad jealous. Great lashes are wasted on the boys! I only just found out about lash lifts and I am really intrigued! I am too scared of extensions and fake lashes, so maybe this could be for me? If so, I really want to give it a go!

Look into local group fitness options that I can afford.

I’ve struggled with the gym concept at times, but now that the Little Mister is full time at school, I wonder if there is something I could do? Something with the motivating group aspect that fits into my life timetable, isn’t prohibitively expensive and doesn’t make me freak out about being locked into anything. I don’t always love all the classes offered at the local gyms and I just want to get my money’s worth while getting fit and working on my health.

I know there’s a heap of stuff out there I can try, but I need to try harder to invest my time into narrowing those options down and picking something just right for me. I’d love to try something outdoors in a park type environment. I don’t always love being cooped up inside. I got close to joining a gym with my old school buddy who so kindly offered to go through it all with me, but the timing was a bit off (financially) and I admit I got cold feet and lost momentum. I must try harder!

Enjoy a girls’ night out.

It’s been forever! I have a little something planned for the weekend and I can’t wait!


I don’t have a set timeline on some of these things, but I want to make them a priority. Wish me luck!

What’s on your self care to-do list?

Kez Gets Physical: Week 8 Update

Well well well. I cannot believe it. The end of the school term is finally here! The Little Mister finishes tomorrow and it’s the  holidays! I don’t know who is more excited. OK, it’s me.

This also means that my super strict Kez Gets Physical mode relaxes a little until the school term begins again. You know, because life is short and Christmas is yummy and all that.

In saying that, I have learned a lot during this term of better habits.

I know that I don’t want to slack off and not exercise and eat carb heavy meals every day, even when I’ve told myself I don’t have to. I KNOW. I have come a looooong way. At the very least I’d like to maintain my current weight before term 1 of 2017 begins, but I would love to drop a bit more before then – even if it’s at a slower rate.

I feel like I’ve made good choices in deciding to be much more vigilant about my food and exercise during the school term. It was so much easier to fit new habits into a structured routine and the fact that there is more school term than holidays throughout the year should hold me in good stead. I definitely want to continue this, even when I do reach my goal weight.

I feel like I’ve learned a lot about how diet and exercise work together, as I’ve been able to track my body fat percentage during weigh ins. I notice the difference between the weeks when I’ve not exercised, versus those when I have.

So…how did I do in all of the 8 weeks?

Here’s where I’m at…

In total, I have lost 5.7kg – not bad! My BMI is almost back within the healthy range – not far to go at all!

I currently weigh less than I have in the time I’ve owned a fitbit (and could track it well) since October 2013. That feels good.

I’ve dropped a clothing size in my tops. I still need to tighten up some muffin top to feel entirely comfortable in my clothing but I will get there. Some of my dresses are starting to look too big or unflattering now, although I’m not convinced I could drop a size yet.

I worked out for an average of twice a week, throughout this challenge period. That’s nowhere near as much as I’d hoped to achieve, if I’m honest, but life has been pretty hectic and I think I did my best. I will look into finding ways to improve this.

In this past 8 weeks, I averaged 48,203 steps per week. Could definitely improve but I’m not too mad about it.

Where am I going?

Throughout the holidays, I will continue to try to exercise wherever possible. I will be having a few cheat meals or snacks. I will keep my diet predominantly low carb where possible.

I want to work on my mid section more. I’ve always had a fear around this (fertility related shit) but I have decided to get over myself and just work those abs and sides. Why not? I’m not pregnant. If any of my past problems were going to present themselves, they would whether I exercised hard or not. I should just fuckin’ live and stop holding back, damn it! These holidays are the perfect time.

I will have the Little Mister with me more so finding me-time to exercise will be more challenging. Also, Mr Unprepared will be working longer hours, which will be difficult. I will start to do some awesome YouTube work outs during the day – the Little Mister can join in if he wants and I’ll try to clock up my 30 active minutes minimum daily.

I have 2.8kg to lose before I reach my initial weight target. I would be so thrilled if I could reach this target before school goes back. I won’t beat myself up if I don’t but anything that gets me closer by then will make me very happy.

After this post, I don’t plan on continuing weekly updates (because boring!). I will be sure to check in occasionally, but for now I think I’ll give it a rest (you may find little updates with the hashtag #kezgetsphysical on social media). Thanks for those who have stuck it out with me for the last couple of months. This has really helped me to be accountable. I really appreciate your comments and encouragement.


I really needed to make these changes and I am so glad I did. It does take some sacrifice and hard decisions, when temptations (and enablers) are everywhere, but the hard work has been worth it. I feel so much better about myself and I don’t regret it for a second. Getting past those initially difficult weeks where you’re adjusting and suffering from withdrawals is hard, but when you come out the other side you feel so much better. I needed to do this for myself. With the extra weight, I was carrying stress and sadness about my secondary infertility situation. I needed to let it go and start again. I’m getting there.

Thank you for sharing in the (sorry…going to say that word) journey! I mean it. You guys are effing awesome.

giphy-20

source

5 ways to recharge (and stay sane) before Christmas.

Oh my goodness. The end of the school year has had me beat! The kids aren’t the only people who are exhausted! I have been so tired. I mean, I’m always a bit tired (because duh I’m a parent and also *ahem* a wife to a lovely but annoying man hahaha) but lately I’ve found it harder to keep bouncing back and to just push through!

I’ve decided to put together a little list of things that, based on past experience, might help me to survive this busy time of year. Things that will hopefully revitalise me a little so I’m not a worn out bitch by Christmas day! I want to enjoy this time of year because it’s my favourite time of year! I’m like Will Ferrell dressed in a fugly elf outfit, yelling out random things about loving Christmas at strangers. But not until December 1st, because I’m not crazy or anything. Geez.

I’m a bit special.

Anyway, where was I?

Right-o. List of things that help me to recharge when I’m bloody exhausted…

Make your bedroom feel like a glorious place to sleep. 

Better sleep makes you less tired! I know. What a revelation. Who knew? Last night, after a sleepless week and a whole bunch of quite frankly overly realistic and terrifying nightmares, I decided to do something about it. We declared it clean sheets day. I aired the room out and let a lot of light in. I lit a couple of gorgeous candles I’d forgotten about (and blew them out before bed time because of safety and shit).

Last night felt like heaven and I slept a lot better. The air/energy in the room felt so much lighter and not murky and stuffy. No nightmares! Yes!

I won’t go on about it because it’s all been said, but go to bed early when you’ve got nothing on. Rest up so you can enjoy other things later!

Let yourself get dumb in your rare down time. 

I used to get made fun of for always watching mindless trash TV or movies that didn’t exactly evoke deep thoughts or complex mind gymnastics. People like to say things like, “Why do you like that mindless junk? It will rot your brain!”

But to be honest, that’s the exact result I’m going for! I spend a lot of time overthinking things, reading about everything that’s going on in the world, dealing with the every day complexities of life. I consider myself to be pretty clever and a not so bad critical thinker. Sometimes I just need to switch off – something I’ve been crap at doing lately!

Ever since I explained that to my trash TV hating people, they have understood and left me to it. I’m always a heaps better person after spending a while being all like, OMG WHUT HAS KHLOE KARDASHIAN DONE TO GET THAT ARSE? HOW IS KYLIE JENNER HER OWN STEPKID’S AUNTY?

Basically, I don’t meditate (probably should) or do yoga (shut up Mum), but watching the shallower stuff really helps me to unwind!

You know, I need a break from being so damn clever all the time! ?

Drink more water and eat healthy things. 

I have been rattling on about this stuff in my Kez Gets Physical updates. I am really appreciating being fuelled by things that don’t make me feel sluggish and gross. You don’t have to do it for weight loss, just do it to feel energised and in a better mood! I love to have a green juice when I feel like total crap (I know I sound like a wanker but it really really works). I also think water is the bomb diggity. It wakes me up in the morning (I know you coffee lovers are looking at me like I’m a freak) and brings me back to life when I am feeling exhausted.

I can always feel the difference between me having a decent salad for lunch, versus the times I’ve indulged in less healthy options (they’re so tempting when we feel like crap and want something quick and we just want comfort food). Not falling into a food coma by 2pm really helps me get through the afternoon!

Acknowledge your exhaustion and communicate well.

I am the crabbiest cow when I’m exhausted. I’ll admit it! I get cranky and I find it sooooo exhausting to be bothered telling anyone how I feel. But it’s worth doing. Things always go better when I confide in my husband about how burnt out I’m feeling, what he could do to assist (martyr shit is pretty much banned in my house) and just give him the heads up so he’s not shocked by my lack of excitement about life or my slightly stabby moods. He can do the same with me. It’s better than both of us just throwing our weight around like angry bears. It’s not a perfect system (we’re only human and life gets crazy) but we try.

Also, I have never fallen into this trap myself, but I have a feeling some people get on the internet and let their crabby moods affect the comments they leave on social media. Dudes, realise it’s your tiredness and stress talking and nobody wants to be on the receiving end! The other person might be exhausted AF too! Don’t fight with people just because you’re tired. That in itself is a waste of energy! Ain’t nobody got time for that! Switch off that screen or walk away if you think you won’t be able to resist!

Be in touch with your feelings, y’all!

Get outside.

I love this time of year. So much sunshine (and Vitamin D). Fresh air is so revitalising. Even if you just stand outside for a few minutes or go for a short walk, you will feel a little better. Exercise is great for building stamina and getting those endorphins, but if you just don’t have it in you (understandably – trust me I’ve been feeling it), just get out for no other reason than to be in the outdoors. There doesn’t have to be a point to it or a task to complete. Just go outside and stand there or sit and have a drink or better still, lie in a hammock if you have one. I need to try this a whole lot more.


Nothing I’ve said is particularly revolutionary, but I hope it helps. This time of the year can be stressful and I think that if we can all practice a little bit of (realistic) self care and be kind to each other, we’ll see the year out in a really positive way (regardless of whether it was kind to us or not)!

What do you do to stay sane during the ‘silly’ season/end of the school year? 

The Happy List #39

Aah, the joys of parenthood. The Little Mister is home sick from kindy today. His fever from yesterday is still lingering (although he’s not as hot as yesterday thank goodness – he was almost in the danger zone) and he claims to have a ‘wobbly head’, which is actually the cutest thing for a sick kid to say. Poor little guy. Not that he isn’t milking the situation a little, but I think I’ll allow it! His symptoms definitely warrant a little bit of pampering.

While it sucks that he’s sick (I really hope that day care last year helped his immune system because I swear he spent most of winter 2015 out for the count) and I hope he feels better soon, I’ll take the positives too. He’s nice and quiet and he gives good cuddles (if you’re into being close to a germ filled child that feels like a hot water bottle on a 40 degree day)!

He has until Wednesday to feel better – fingers crossed!

Here’s my happy list for the past week or so…

Making a hair appointment

I had been hating on my hair for a while and I was starting to feel pretty blah about myself. I find that when my hair is flat, drab and there’s lots of breakage, that’s pretty much my mental state!

I am so happy because I have a voucher to get my hair done at a pretty swish place (thank you Mum!) and while I had been putting off making an appointment (citing ‘mummy’ type reasons excuses for not having the time/energy), I finally bit the bullet and just did it.

In just under two weeks, I look forward to a decent pampering! I have been saving Pinterest pics of hair styles I like and imagining the whole new life I’ll have once I have new hair haha.

Emerging from a hormonal fog

So lately it has felt like my whole life revolves around my god damn cycle. It’s always about the damn hormones and counting down to appointments and tests etc. UGH. It’s like if I don’t have my period, I’m waiting for it.

I love that feeling when it’s over for another month and I start to feel like a normal human being again. Even if just for a little while before the PMS monster kicks in again!

Booking flights to Sydney!

I couldn’t write about this earlier, because I wanted to surprise a friend who lives there, but now it’s blog official! I am going to Sydney next month for a super long weekend and I can’t wait! It’s kind of my birthday present to myself. I get to sleep on a fold out couch (hello – free accommodation) and spend quality time with my mum (and Dad when he’s not working) and family friends and no responsibilities. YES.

Oh and shopping. Maybe a tiny bit of shopping. Sephora – I have my eye on you!

Meal planning and saving money

We have made an effort to return to meal planning. It’s been really helpful in keeping us on track financially. Mr Unprepared has been really involved and that’s been great.

There’s less wastage and nobody can whinge about dinner suggestions, because it’s already written up on the planner haha.

That feeling of relief when you wake up from a stressful dream

This is a silly one but yesterday I had the most stressful dream. It involved day care schedule nightmares, people clashing with each other, people in hospital, family dramas and all kinds of crappy things like going to pick up your child but realising you don’t have their car seat in your car etc etc. It was just a clusterf*ck of very average problems that could happen very easily in our waking lives. Bit too realistic haha.

I eventually woke up and I swear there’s no better feeling than that first realisation that it was all just a dream and the day is yet to start!!!!

Other stuff that has made me happy…

  • Finding Full House (the original series) on Netflix in all its 8 seasons of glory.
  • Setting myself little goals to work towards – gives extra motivation and a sense of purpose at a time when I’ve really needed it.
  • Productive conversations.
  • Sleeping through Mr Unprepared leaving for work early in the morning – a rare and special achievement.
  • The Little Mister’s drawings of our family (including pets). He’s getting a lot better at it and there’s something so charming about stick figure people with arms and legs that come straight out of their huge heads.
  • When your gel nail polish starts to grow out, which means that for once, you didn’t wreck your manicure straight after you did it.
  • That time I lost a whole kilo overnight just because I didn’t indulge my usual potato crisps addiction. Really brought it home to me how much I did NOT need them haha.

What has been making you happy lately? 

The Happy List #38

It’s the Monday of a long weekend here in WA. That alone deserves a spot on the happy list! I love the feeling that we’re counting down to Easter and then the school holidays. Yay!

So, sometimes I really suck at the whole pre-amble thing. Let’s just get right to the good stuff.

Here are some of the things that have made me happy in the last week…

Having an extra long weekend

It’s been fantastic. We haven’t done much (funds are a little low and we’ve all been a bit tired), but Mr Unprepared took Friday off work and the Little Mister doesn’t have kindy again until mid week! I’ve been relishing in the fact that I have had a sweet, sweet break from school drop offs and pick ups.

It’s also been nice to slow down and finally beat some of the ridiculously persistent exhaustion that has been plaguing me for the past 6 weeks or so. By no means will this weekend be a miracle that will stop me from being tired forever, but it’s nice to refresh a little while I can!

I figure that by the time he does get back to kindy, I will be ready for a break, so it works out for all of us!

Ross Noble

I don’t know if you’ve heard of the UK comedian Ross Noble, but the guy is super funny (as comedians should be). His improv skills are just unreal. I was lucky enough to see him with a bunch of friends last week. It was a bit full on for a mid week night time outing and I was really tired (the day had been the most intense emotional roller coaster let me tell you), but I was so happy that I pushed through it and went for the therapeutic laughs. Laughter really is the best medicine.

A bonus of it all was that my fitbit even recorded an hour’s worth of my laughter as a legit fat burning work out!! Nice! I think I need to see more comedy haha.

Beach time

I am a beach person. I don’t get there as much as I’d like, but I am the kind of person who needs to feel the comfort of not being far from the ocean at all times. I need my fix of fresh, salty ocean air and cool blues and greens. The sound of the water.

I was glad to get much needed time at our local this weekend. I took a dog and ran/walked/struggled there, meeting Mr Unprepared, the Little Mister and our other dog (they went in the car). Here’s the proof haha…

IMG_8900

We made sandcastles (which the Little Mister took a lot of delight in smashing) and paddled in the white wash and laughed as our dog swam for a stick, learning the hard way how to surf her way in without getting dumped.

There was nothing like watching the ear to ear grin on the Little Mister’s face, the entire time we were there. He just exuded pure joy. I think he loves the beach as much (if not more) as I do!

Taking my time painting my nails

I am usually in a rush when I do my own nails. There’s usually an event I have to do them for, with limited time and I’m usually so bone weary I can’t enjoy the ritual. I usually just want to get straight to bed (but not before botching my left hand). This week, I was able to take my time and enjoy it.

I now have the fingernails of a 5 year old girl haha. Sure, I didn’t quite nail (pun unintended) the application of the nail wrap this time (a popular brand that shall remain nameless) and I always flood my cuticles, but it was fun to do anyway (and saves the moolah on expensive manicure appointments)!

IMG_8927

I always feel more polished (pun intended) when my nails are done.

Random compliments from the Little Mister

This morning, while sitting at the kitchen table, wearing my hair in a daggy ponytail, my muu muu nightie and (obviously) no make up, I got told, “Mummy. I think you are very beautiful.”

Now tell me that doesn’t feel good!

He then drew me a picture of a love heart because “You love me and I love you.”

Even though he screamed for me about 1000 times when I tried to go to the toilet alone earlier, I think I’ll keep him.

Other stuff that has made me happy:

  • When people tell me that they appreciate me ‘keeping it real’. I think that’s a big compliment.
  • Bonding with my big boof head dog while out running/walking/struggling.
  • Being able to wake up in the morning after a tough time and remember that life is good and people are good.
  • Wine. Bacardi. Cider. Not all at once haha. But it’s nice to enjoy a quiet drink. Especially when you’ve been so good.
  • Being able to watch movies past 8:30pm because old.
  • Drinking more water.
  • When timing is everything.
  • Cooler nights.
  • Feeling like autumn is coming – my favourite season.

So what has been making you happy lately? 

Kez Gets Physical: Coming back from an unplanned hiatus…oops.

Look, I’ll level with you. I swear I write about how to come back from a slump in fitness/exercise/good health efforts more than I write about the actual ‘doing’ of it all. I’d feel embarrassed about it, but in all honesty, I’m happy to keep it real. Because I reckon most people I know can relate. I also think that half the battle with looking after ourselves is how we get back on the wagon, when we slack off or let other life shit get in the way.

I am not going to lie. I have been exhausted. Lazy. Distracted. Unmotivated. Making excuses. And it’s starting to show.

I’ve had some valid reasons not to exercise – constant blood tests and medications (secondary infertility SUCKS) have been a big disruption to my routine. But at other times? Not so much.

I’ve maintained the weight loss I achieved in 2015 (as in I haven’t put anymore on), but I’ve watched my body fat percentage slowly increase. I’ve felt my legs getting heavier. I know I’m losing the tone I was so proud of a few months ago. I know I’m going to huff and puff and feel lousy before I feel better, when I get back on my treadmill.

And I’m not really cool with that.

It’s probably been at least a couple of months since I had a good exercise routine (or at least some semblance of an effort I was excited to make). I’ve been eating crap. I’ve been feeling crappy. I KNOW this is the first sign that I need to take better care of myself, but I often ignore it.

It’s taken me all this time to find that thing that makes me want to actually get out of this slump (instead of just thinking/talking about it). And that something is getting back to my Fitbit obsession. I was OK without a Fitbit for a while – when my last one was found to have a fatal hardware fault (RIP) I realised that I no longer needed to rely on it for motivation (that was obviously nice while it lasted). Now, I’m realising I need a visual reminder of what I can achieve. I need to see how many steps I’m doing (or more to the point not doing). I need to take part in challenges with my friends. Keep myself accountable. Enjoy the competitive side of my personality (in a healthy way haha).

I also need to remind myself of a few things if you don’t mind:

Using fatigue and anxiety as an excuse not to exercise/eat better is a silly argument. Thing is, it’s a cycle. I know that if I eat healthy food and exercise regularly I have more energy, better moods and my anxiety lessens. I have to suck it up and get over that initial hump. Of course I’ll be more tired at first. But when am I ever not tired? I can’t use that excuse, because I’m an adult with responsibilities. We’re all tired!!

Remember how good you feel in your active wear, Kez? Good active wear sucks everything in and has an air of aspiration about it! It’s comfy and stretchy and makes me feel more bouncy in my sneakers and ready to go. I need to get back into it. Literally.

Hello – exercise is justified me time! You know? That thing you have SO LITTLE of at the moment?? Just do it. It’s better than no me time at all, that’s for sure! Mr Unprepared gets his cycling time. I need mine too! Sure, it’s less than both of us would prefer, but geez – beggars can’t be choosers!

When I exercise well, I fuel myself better too. For some people, working on their food/nutrition first works. For me, it’s the fitness thing. When I’m exercising well, I am less likely to eat badly. I start to crave healthier things because I love the feeling of being fit and well. I eat less junk because I want to have the energy to exercise and junk food doesn’t give that feeling to me. I start to see progress in my body and it motivates me to make better choices.

Exercise is good for my self esteem. And no, I’m not just talking about looks. I feel more confident when I’m getting regular endorphin hits. My brain works better (which means I have marginally less awkward bumbling moments haha). I look in the mirror and I love what I see, even before the changes are noticeable. Because I feel empowered and I know I’m doing good things.

So. That’s it. I am coming back. I am kicking my arse back into a healthier lifestyle. It will be gradual progress but it will be progress. I don’t want to go backwards anymore! I want 2016 to be an awesome year for ‘Kez Gets Physical’.

I don’t believe in fads or quick fixes or temporary measures to reach goals. That’s what keeps me getting back on track when I falter. It’s never too late and health should be about every day choices I make for the rest of my life. I will never be perfect (emotional eater – hello), but I can live better.

Who is joining me? Have you had any stumbling blocks lately? How do you get around/through/over them?

The Happy List #34

Holy crap, it’s been a big week! I’m still trying to find my groove, now that the Little Mister has started kindy, but I am oddly excited about getting organised and starting a new routine. Oh, and time to myself will be great – however fleeting it will feel between work and school drop offs and pick ups!

I have had a lot on my mind lately and in some ways, all this school stuff has been a good distraction (as much as it has been nerve wracking)!

So here’s the stuff that has made me happy in the last week…

Surviving the first week of being a ‘school mum’

The Little Mister had staggered starts all week at kindy. Each day had different requirements and start times or finish times. It was chaotic inside my brain, to say the least! I was so worried I would forget something or that the Little Mister would buckle under the pressure! But…as each day passed and I didn’t forget anything and the Little Mister did OK, I thought – hey, maybe I can do this! In fact, maybe I can actually enjoy it! Sure, that might be the honeymoon phase talking, but I am optimistic, and a little enthusiastic, as only a new school mum can be haha.

The mums all seemed nice and friendly. The right advice always came at the right time. The school feels like a community. The Little Mister wasn’t upset about it. I only cried once – a tiny little bit – in the car after dropping him off for his first full day (and to be honest I blame at least 60% of that on PMS haha).

I even made a school lunch that consisted of healthy stuff, some of which I had PRE-MADE and frozen ahead of time. Like a real Pinterest school mum. OMG.

I am excited to start Week 2 of term, because that’s when a true routine kicks in. It will be nice to not be super nervous every day and to be able to really plan everything properly. I think the Little Mister will really respond to a steady routine – last week was a bit (understatement!) nerve wracking for both of us, I think.

Taking the Little Mister to the Lion King musical

He’d seen the movie and enjoyed the songs and read the book at bed time. He loves music, so I was really excited to take him to a live show! We went along with my parents (big fans – not even kidding) and made a day of it. While he did struggle a little to stay still (maybe another year older would have been the ‘perfect’ time), he did so well and I loved looking over to him when he was clapping earnestly after a big song or when he was so mesmerised with the performance. I also can’t say I minded too much when he wanted a cuddle during the ‘scary’ scenes. It was a long day for him (for all of us) and while it wasn’t the same relaxing experience we’d have if we didn’t take him, I wouldn’t have changed it for the world. Especially when he exclaimed to Mr Unprepared as we walked out, “That was fun!”

He then decided he wanted to live at the hotel there (at Crown Perth) “FOREVER!”, so he could watch the Lion King over and over. The rest of us just wanted to go home to bed haha.

Totally amazing and totally worth it. There’s nothing like the joy of knowing you’re making fantastic family memories.

He wanted to sing Hakuna Matata all the way home!!

Freshly painted nails

I’d given my nails a break when we got home from camping. My nails were breaking and my skin was dry. But I was in first-week-of-term survival mode. I had a chance to sit down on Friday night and treat myself to a manicure. I even had some Jamberry samples sent to me by a friend (I am usually allergic to party plan things so this was a big deal), so I chucked a couple of those on – gotta love a feature nail haha. I feel like my hands are so pretty right now!

Self care for the win. So good to include it when things are stressful.

Having darker hair

I’d been rocking a reddish, brassy blondish balayage monstrosity for months. I decided that if I was to take my career as a school mum seriously, I would need to maybe not look like an adult fail/hot mess. I bought a home colour kit in the darkest shade of brown, and went to town on my skull foliage. No more brassy ends on my hair! Yippee! It did wonders for my confidence – especially as I am well aware that it has been way too long since I actually got my hair done professionally.

It’s so funny, because whenever I dye my hair really dark (i.e. closer to my natural colour), I feel like it’s too dark and I look like a goth/emo/whatever the cool word for it is at the time. But then I remind myself that I’m actually Asian and no-one is that shocked by seeing an Asian person with dark hair. I think I literally forget I’m not white sometimes!

Again, it was important self care!

Falling asleep nice and early almost every night

That’s not to say that I didn’t wake up a lot or struggle at times in the wee hours, but I really enjoyed that feeling of knowing I was drifting off without much effort. I am in love with that really lazy, comfy, I’m giving into this, kind of feeling right before you fall asleep. I think this really helped me with getting up nice and early to begin a new before-school routine.

Other stuff that made me happy this week:

  • Mr Unprepared having my back when I really needed him to.
  • Clearing the air.
  • Getting back to work.
  • My new lightbox (from Kmart – I only went in for some plastic plates and bowls I swear).
  • My mum’s group. They give the BEST advice and reassurance and are honestly, the most loving and supportive people. If it wasn’t for their little pep talks and encouragement, I don’t think the past week would have felt quite so manageable x
  • Watching crappy ‘reality’ shows (but not MKR – ew). I am not even sorry, bros.
  • Unexpected sms conversations with an old friend.

What would be on your happy list this week? x

 

The Happy List #27

This past week has been a mixed bag. Some things have brought great joy and others…well, they can stay in last week, thank you very much! I am so glad that I write this list every week (and grateful to those who read it), because I really do think that it has helped me to think more positively. And not in an insincere, cheesy way either. I can be really picky about what goes on the list, because I don’t write about what I think I should have been happy about. I write about the things that genuinely made me feel happy. Sometimes those things are colossal, life changing things and sometimes the smallest (or most left of centre) things can bring the most joy.

Here goes…

Attending Christmas events with the Little Mister

I love taking him to do festive things. He really appreciates all of it in a way that only a child can and it makes me so happy to relive that wonder with him. We took him to the local Christmas pageant last week and he sat up on Mr Unprepared’s shoulders, watching the parade, squealing in delight at every new float or costume. He danced to the band who were playing Christmas songs and he got to see his first ever fireworks (along with his little friend who had seen them on Peppa Pig before but never in real life – so cute). He found the noise a little overwhelming but I think he felt very grown up. When we asked him what he thought of them afterwards, he said, “They were a bit loud but they were very pretty.”

I loved his mature response. I’ll keep him.

We also attended his day care’s Christmas gathering. I went solo (i.e. minus a husband) and I was a bit apprehensive – sometimes his excitement overwhelms him and he runs me ragged – but he behaved so well. He was actually a delight! I felt a bit guilty watching some friends struggle with juggling two little ones on their own, but then I realised that I’d love nothing more than to feel that struggle so perhaps having the perks of dealing with just one 4 year old are my pay off for now.

I have also discovered that there is nothing more adorable than seeing the Little Mister singing Christmas songs with his little friends. Nawwwww.

Giving myself permission to ignore social media sometimes

Now, I have in no way abstained – I am certainly not that disciplined or extreme. I just realised that I had been picking my phone up instantly for every single notification that popped up for Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or Snapchat (ha – addict much?) instead of just letting things be so I could chill out or just exist in whatever moment I was in. I didn’t reply to everything right away. I didn’t spend hours reading blogs (although I do miss doing that more) in my rare down time. I tried to rest my brain, instead. If I wanted to be a zombie, I let myself be a zombie. It was that simple.

I still posted a fair bit, but I felt like it was more on my terms. I wasn’t just constantly reacting or responding to everything that was sent my way. If I made time for it, it was because I was in the right space to do so.

I hope I can keep that balance. It’s liberating to remember to unplug – even if it’s just for a few hours.

 A couple of nights of good sleep

They’ve been few and far between, but a couple of nights I managed to make it to about 7 hours of sleep and it felt like a huge victory after the last few weeks of interrupted sleep I’ve been having. I don’t want to jinx it, but I am hoping that this is the start of me feeling more human again. Sometimes sleep really does fix a lot of things.

A little bit of exercise is better than nothing

I felt a bit disappointed that I didn’t feel up to running this past week, but I am glad I did something. I did a couple of little mini ab work outs and went for a walk with the fam to the shops and back, and had a laugh doing some hip hop cardio work outs (because dancing is so much fun and I like to pretend I’m good at it – I’m not – and it’s even funnier if I do it in front of Mr Unprepared because he thinks I’m weird and I don’t care). I am feeling my ab muscles this week, but I’m glad I’ve been doing something about them. They have been the missing component of my exercise routine, in terms of wanting my body to (eventually) resemble some kind of toned, fit shape. I always need to feel that smug, virtuous feeling that I’ve done something and that I haven’t totally given up. I am glad I did a little. A little is ALWAYS better than nothing.

Having a nice manicure

I did my own nails yesterday and I’m loving them sick. It’s nothing too special (just a bit of festive gold glitter here and there), but it’s perked me up and made me feel like a ‘finished’ person 🙂

You know what I mean?

My nails are getting long and even though that can irritate me sometimes, I am kind of loving the look of them. I may have mentioned on Twitter that it’s probably only a matter of time before I become a pissed off Wolverine who can’t get a grip on anything (my tolerance is admittedly much much lower than that of the long nailed Kardashians of the world), but it’s fun for now!

Other stuff that’s made me happy:

  • Watching The Interview (that movie with Seth Rogen and Dave Franco). In theory, I should hate it, but it made me really laugh out loud when I needed it. Yeah, I am not the high brow person you think I am. Oh, what? You never thought I was? Well, thanks – you’re right haha.
  • Deciding on a Christmas present to send to my brother (that bastard who moved to Melbourne this year).
  • Knowing that the Little Mister wanted to get me a present for Christmas and knew exactly what he wanted to get me and that he took his dad to get it for me and it’s all wrapped up under the Christmas tree already. So cute. And yes. I know what it is because he told me (4 year olds should not be trusted to keep surprises to themselves haha). He’s already told me what he wants to get his dad, so it will be fun to do that too 🙂
  • Time to write my happy list. Alone. In peace.
  • Work
  • When good stuff happens to people I care about.
  • Conversations with good friends, reminding me of the importance of self care.

What is on your happy list this week?