Come Up For Air….

It’s been a while since I put my heart on the line and disclosed feelings and thoughts that seldomly go through my head, but it’s been one of those months. You know those months where you feel like your drowning in the pressures of life. The ones where everything in your life has steered off track and it takes all your strength not to have a nervous breakdown…but I’m here to say I lived it, I survived it as I’ve finally come up for air!

February..where do I start?!?

February is always the busiest month of the year for us. It’s the beginning of a new school year which encompasses settling the kids in with a new teacher and class mates and this year in particular was bigger than ever as we established new routines. Thankfully Sienna, who has taken months to settle for the past couple of years, started grade 2 so bravely that she hasn’t caused me a worry in the world…this time it’s been Bailey and Mia.

20150308-200344.jpg If you are a regular follower of my blog, you would know that my son was diagnosed with severe anxiety and a motor and vocal tic late last year. This hasn’t caused any problems for him at school until this year. He still manages to keep his anxiety under control at school, but his tics have become so obvious now that they are evident at school. This lead to an early appointment back to our paediatrician who is now referring Bay to a neurologist to rule out any neurological issues.

Meetings back and forth at the school with Bay’s teacher and the Deputy has now seen him settle in quite well. I’ve started him on magnesium as research has proven it to have a positive affect on people with Tourettes. Magnesium helps to decrease the severity in tics and so far I’m noticing some improvement. I also read an article this weekend where folinic acid and vitamin B12 helps reduce anxiety…I’m willing to give anything a try to help Bailey overcome his anxiety.

Then there’s Mia. Oh Mimsy where will you end up I constantly ask myself?!? Starting preschool for this little cherub has absolutely rocked her world. I thought Sienna’s separation anxiety was bad…Mia has taken it to a whole new level!!! It’s been so bad that she won’t sleep or leave my side when she’s with me. It’s taken 6 weeks, but the last two weeks has seen some positive feedback land in my lap! Although she still cries and frets each day she has to go, she is starting to settle better, interact with her peers and show her teachers what she is capable of. This is a far cry from crying all day, refusing to talk to her teacher and pining over me.

Amongst all of this there was some lovely moments spent when we tripped to the coast to spend time with my beautiful parents on their Palm Beach holiday. It was a shame though that I had to take my work laptop and work on reports that had a strict deadline – a teachers job is an endless job!!! But the reports got done and we always have a ball at our annual getaway with mum and dad!

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20150308-200719.jpg Then of course each February brings about my eldest and youngest’s birthdays. This year I made life a bit easier for myself and had a joint celebration with family. Each child had a cake of their choice and for their actual birthday they took cupcakes to school to share with their friends. I feel like I didn’t put the effort in I normally do for my children’s birthdays, but they were super happy and that’s the main thing.

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20150308-200849.jpg Add to this mix the demands my job plays at this time of year, a change in year levels after the first few weeks of school and a lot of things that played out at work that really made me question…why do I bother?!? Oh and did I mention I hit a car in all of this? And amongst all of this the kids sport started up as well as weekly visits to Bay’s therapist…oh and Kane is working massive hours to boot! One thing after the other was becoming a recipe for a meltdown….

I was spooked. I couldn’t shake the overwhelming feeling of a brick that sat on my head and every time I tried to come up for air, every time I tried to see the light and every time I tried to get the wheels back on my track it felt like another brick was being placed on my head! I kept telling myself “you’ll be right”…”just get through this month and then you’ll be able to breathe again.” I really surprised myself as I hadn’t felt like this for a very long time. I’ve always prided myself on leading a well-balanced life with my running being my therapy. Not once have I missed a kilometre planned out in all of this but I still had an uneasy feeling and I wasn’t feeling my happy self at all…what the hell was wrong with me?!?!

As I counciled myself, spoke to many friends and my dear mother…(although I didn’t bog mum down too much with my problems as she’s suffering a terrible knee problem at the moment) I realised what my problem really was….I’m mentally exhausted. Physically I can keep going and going and going, but with everything that’s going on, particularly with Bailey, I’m utterly mentally exhausted. Where things wouldn’t bother me, they did. Where my patience would be good they weren’t. I literally felt like I was having PMT for a whole month!!!!!!

All of this on the back-end of our overseas trip. I loved our holiday. But 3 massive weeks overseas with three kids under 8 after a huge year that was and since we’ve returned we’ve hit the ground running. We haven’t had that time to recoup and recharge like we normally do at the end of every year. But we knew this would be the case when we decided to go to the States. And I guess having an overseas holiday is like planning a wedding. You spend so long planning it, but the event is over in the blink of an eye. You are on the highest of highs and once it’s over you come crashing down.

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20150308-201056.jpg I’m happy to say now that February is over, the major crashing waves that kept rolling one on top of the other has returned to a semi-calmness or should I say the normal amount of busy and craziness that goes on day in and day out at this house. I have really disliked the way I’ve felt this past month and hope I don’t feel like this again. It’s taken a lot of mental strength and self-regulation to overcome the uneasy feeling that sat in the pit of my stomach for weeks, but I’m feeling back to my happy self again.

I’ve had to really dig deep this past month and tell myself that “I can do this!” on numerous occasions. I’ve drawn on the strength of the people who constantly surround me and make my life an awesome one and I’ve reminded myself constantly how lucky I am. I never gave up on myself. I rode the big wave and waited until it came back to a flat. I like flat…flat is good! I’m finally feeling grounded again and back to being the best I can be in all areas of my life!

I’m so use to dealing with one thing after another but for the first time in a while it was all becoming too much. I was fragile but I’ve built myself back together and after running 17k yesterday (my longest run to date) I’m ready to face the rest of the year!

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I’m Back!!!

It’s been weeks since I put my fingers to keys and typed a blog. I have wanted to on so many occasions but the truth is, aside from being super busy all of the time, I’d lost my way with it a bit. I love my blog and what it represents, but writing is one of those things if you don’t have it, you don’t got it. And I truly felt I’d lost it.

As I opened up My Party of 5’s web page tonight, I started reading all the mail in my inbox – lots of positive feedback. I then browsed over my blog’s stats and although I haven’t published a post in a while, there is never a day that goes by without people reading my blog…I’m now over 22,000 views – I’m very humbled by that.

This was the first step in getting me back to what I love to do – write and share ideas in the hope that I help just one person!

A quick rundown on life as it stands…

We’ve had a massive year so far with loads of birthdays, which means I’ve done a lot of baking!! The kids are settled into school and doing really well. Mia is growing and learning more and more each day. At the end of next month they would have all celebrated their birthdays and will be 8, 6 and 3! Life as we knew it with a baby is all but gone. It’s a sad thought, but we have so much to look forward to.

Between my two days of teaching being very busy and full on and Kane working 12 hour days, the working week is a juggling act between school functions, homework, play group and sport. Bailey is playing footy again this year and is having a great year. Sienna has started a netball program that is skills based and is loving it. Mia is our little fish and loves her swimming teacher Josh! I’m still keeping fit and healthy by exercising 6 days a week and maintaining a healthy diet and getting as much sleep as I can. And my husband is in his glory as it’s the footy season!!!

We still ride the rollercoaster of life with many highs and lows but nothing major to complain about. You get knocked down and you dust yourself off and start again…and again lol!

Now I’ve started, my aim is to write weekly posts and In the coming weeks I will be blogging about some of the projects I’ve been working on, how my fitness stands at the moment, dealing with anxiety, fashion findings and how the pain of losing my nana is as raw as it’s ever been.

Thank you to the people who read my blog…I really do hope it helps someone!

Nat:)

 

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Knowing When to Stop!

Almost another year is about to be behind us. 52 weeks of life, living, working, socialising, creating new memories. 365 days of experiencing the highs and lows of what is thrown our way. I don’t know about you, but I’m really feeling it this year. I’m tired, fatigued, drained and so ready for a holiday!

One of the highs for me this year has been my running! I’ve set so many goals and achieved most of them, but I’ve come to the realisation, that with all the kilometres my feet have pounded the pavement and with no real break to my routine at all, my body is starting to scream at me to stop! So after I sweat out all the junk that I consume on Christmas Day on Boxing Day lol, I am going to have a weeks break! A week may not sound like much, but I know it will be enough to start fresh again in the new year! I would have 2 weeks off, but we are holidaying at the coast and I love nothing more than running at the beach!

I can honestly say I never felt like this a year ago, but upon reflection I realised that twice last year I was sick and sidelined for two weeks at two different times throughout the year. This year I’ve been lucky enough to only battle with a minor virus here and there but nothing extreme to warrant a big break! It’s hard to break a routine that has been going so well for so long, but I believe my decision is a sensible one. I believe that our bodies are precious and should be treated like gold. We are in control of ourselves and we only have one chance at life, so we need to do the best we can…it’s so important to LiSTEN to our bodies!!!!

Life has been one crazy ride this year. It’s felt like an uphill battle at times. So many ups and downs, but one common denominator, that I believe has been my therapy, has been my running! Through my running I’ve been able to plan and reflect on things that have been happening. I’ve been able to let my frustrations out without being inappropriate. It’s kept me sane when I’ve felt I was close to insanity lol, but most importantly it’s provided me with my health and fitness!

Some of my highlights this year have been; running 10k in 48.52mins, 5k in 23.25mins and running my original running distance of 4k in under 19mins twice!!! Running a PB always leaves you feeling so pumped. In that moment, you are the only one who knows how you are feeling. It leaves you feeling invigorated and on top of the world…I love that feeling, which is why I love running!

But as much as I love my running, I know it’s time to stop! My joints are screaming, my legs are hating on me. Once I finish my 10k run this Thursday, that will be the last 10k I run for 2 weeks. During my time off, I will continue to walk each day for half an hour and I will continue my normal balanced eating regime. I will create a new set of goals to work on in the new year, but one thing is for certain, I will not lose sight!

2013 has been a successful running year…I look forward to sharing any of my excitement with my running in 2014!!!

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I’m looking forward to a break:)…10 more sleeps and then sun, sand, surf and lots of laughter with my beautiful Party of 5!

Tug of War…

I’ve…hit…a…brick wall…my brain is in a state of ‘tug of war’!!! We are ALL tired…the kids are a weeping mess. It feels like we’re running a marathon on empty. We can see the finish line, yet it’s still so far away. This year has been a massive one to say the least and with a husband who has had two weeks holidays in two years…let’s just say – we need a holiday!!!!

I don’t know about you, but at this time of year I always fall into a trap where I’m torn between wanting the year to hurry up and end so we can be on holidays and enjoy the fun of the festive and holiday season. But then I don’t want it to go to fast as I want to enjoy it and if it goes fast that means my babies will be turning another year older….sigh!!

I find once the calendar turns over to November and between the end of year jobs as a teacher, the end of year things to organise as a parent and everything that Christmas brings, before we know it we’ll be shouting out “happy new year!!!!” But for me this year is different. This year has seen so many highs and some of the lowest of lows emotionally. It’s the year my first born baby girl started prep…and it’s the year we’ve lost one of the most precious people in our lives…nana;( Yes a new year will bring a new start for everyone, but it means letting go as well…tug of war!

I’ve absolutely enjoyed the school year as a mum…having a child in prep is awesome! This year has been even more special as Sienna has had far more hurdles to overcome than Bailey ever did when he started prep. I’ve had the privilege of watching my insecure and shy girl grow and evolve into an outgoing and happy 5 year old, who is nothing like the girl who walked through those prep doors at the beginning of the year. I’m so grateful that by only working two days a week, I’ve had three days where I’ve been able to share in puzzles and games with my little preppie and now being able to help with literacy groups once a week has been a real treat for both sienna and I!

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Sienna has come so far thanks to her amazing prep teacher!

At the end of this week, there will only be 5 weeks left to enjoy being a prep mum. The light at the end of this tunnel is that I get to do it all over again in 2 years time. I’m also at peace with knowing that my little girl is ready to tackle the challenges of grade one. Ask me that 6 months ago and I wouldn’t have been able to give a confident answer, but I’m super confident now…I just want to hold on to the next 5 weeks for as long as I can though;( because once your child finishes prep, they’ll be in grade 3 before you know it…which is my son!!!

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How did I come to have an almost grade 1 and grade 3 child…they were only born yesterday weren’t they?;(?;(

The precious time I’ve had with Mia this year has been so special, as it’s the first time in 5 years I’ve been able to spend quality time with only one of my children, rather than bits here and there. A new year for Mia means making the decision to start her in kindy…tug of war or maybe that one is having to clip the apron strings;(

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Feels like Mimi has gone from a baby to a little lady over night!

I often get into a slump where time (and the lack of it) defeats my thinking. I start to feel sad and down about how fast my children are growing up and how the weeks keep rolling into months and I somehow get myself into a state of panic where I feel suffocated…weird I know, but that’s the control freak coming out in me!!! The past week I’ve felt so suffocated by everything and on the weekend I felt defeated. But then realty knocked on the door and made me realise that I’m in control of whether I’m defeated and that I will NEVER be!

It’s at times like this that I have to put my big girl pants on, take a big deep breath and just take each day as it comes. Knowing that every weekend is busy for the rest of the year is not going to defeat me, rather it will excite me at the possibilities of fun that is ahead of us. The fact that almost everyday for the rest of the year has something on is not going to bog me down, rather I’m going to feel grateful that my life is full of wonderful people and events to create new memories at! The fact that my children are going to get more tired and more irritable as the school year gets closer to finishing is not going to make me lose dignity as a mother, rather I will try and stay as calm as I can…and that goes for keeping as calm as I can with my husband to lol!

I have faith that together we will cross the finish line at the end of the year….there may be a few bumps along the way, but we will stay united until the end! Most importantly if there is ever a time in the year to appreciate the amazing things in life, it’s now. As we venture into a time of craziness, I will remember to stop and enjoy the small things in life. I will try and be the best wife and mother I can be. I will be organised and efficient and do the most important things that need to be done in a day. When I’m feeling stressed and overwhelmed I will stop, sit, take some deep breaths and remember the most important things in life are…to love, to laugh and to live like there’s no tomorrow!

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Sometimes they drive me up the wall, but mostly they always make me laugh!

Don’t Forget…..

We are getting to the crazy time of year where our to do lists are as long as our arms and we start to feel overwhelmed that things are just not going to get done! For the first time, as a wife and mother, I feel the most relaxed and organised I’ve ever been at this time of year! We’ve finally finished spring cleaning the house, just in time to spend the next couple of weekends turning our house into the land of ‘Christmas’!!! We are super excited, the kids are super excited and we can’t wait to live, breathe and eat everything Christmas!

But one thing that can happen at this time of year is forgetting the most important things in life! Yes we are all super busy and yes we are all super busy with stuff that is mostly unavoidable, but we can’t forget how to enjoy ourselves and relax (where we can) with the ones we love! Christmas only comes once a year and is over in the blink of an eye and if we spend the whole time highly strung and stressed over things that really aren’t worth the extra grey hairs, we’ll all look back and regret that we didn’t just simple embrace the festive season for what it is!

Today I got up and had my list of things I wanted to do, but thought why? Why should I fold the washing today when I can read a book to my children? Why put a load of washing on right now when my three children are cuddling on my lap? Why should I tidy up my laundry when my daughter is asking me to play tennis? So my today’s list didn’t quite get finished, but I don’t care, because my children are more important than any list I’ll ever write!

So this is how I will get through the crazy busy time of Christmas….if I want to I will, if it’s not important enough I won’t! I will still do what I HAVE to do, but I will do it and then treat myself to something that makes me happy – my children, my husband, running, crafting, baking, decorating! I will make sure I enjoy spending time with my friends and family and when I do have some time to myself I will use it wisely! I will stop when I’m tired and I will go like a crazy lady when I’m full of energy….but most importantly I will not forget why we celebrate this time of year in the first place!

Life is busy. Life is a rollercoaster. But if we let the business of life take over then we will forget how to live, how to love, how to enjoy! So don’t forget this festive season….stop, breathe, look around, and enjoy life for what it is!

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Spring Holiday Highlights!

My goodness this year has flown, a week has already passed since the school holidays and before we know it we will be time to farewell another school year!

The September school holidays are usually my favourite for the year. The weather is normally pleasant which leaves plenty of opportunity to do a variety of activities. These holidays proved to be a little more challenging as I spent most of the time on my own as my husband either worked really long hours or was away! But we managed to do lots of fun things and create beautiful memories that we’ll cherish forever!

This is what we got up to:

A play at Chipmunks

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Drawing

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A trip to town on the train

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Goma & Museum

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Southbank

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Reading

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Bike riding to the park

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Baking

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Playing it cool

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Riverheart

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Swimming lessons

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Beach

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Swim at Nanny and Poppy’s

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As you can see we had lots of fun! This mumma was sure buggered by the end of it, but considering we were so busy, I was the most rested I’d felt in a log time and when I returned back to work this week I was actually ready to go back….now that is definitely a first lol!