Tuesday 25 February 2014

6 km & success when you least expect it

T2 was up in the middle of the night so I didn't get up to run this morning.  But I really wanted to do a run today so went out just before midday.  My goodness it was so hot!  I don't know how all the lunchtime warriors run through Summer.  Cudos to them!  I did 6km and am happy that tomorrow my legs will get a well-deserved rest.

After getting little sleep I wasn't surprised when the twins' teacher said they had a so-so day.  I was prepared for the boys to chill out and maybe play their electronics or have a swim this afternoon.  So I was astounded when T2 came downstairs with a plaster VW and set up his paints, got some water and sat down on his own and started painting it.  This may not seem like a big deal but kids on the spectrum often need to be taught functional leisure skills and often lack fine motor skills.  T2 has struggled with both and still does.  So this was the highlight of the day.  He also initiated doing some colouring in this morning for pleasure.  We had to  systematically train T2 to successfully colour.  Moments like these, especially when we least expect are so gratifying and motivate me that T2 can still make lots of progress.
T2 hard at work

Such a great job for T2 - who doesn't love a combi van?!

This evening my MIL and I went up to our local club for the February birthday draw.  I was sent discount vouchers for the Chinese restaurant, drinks, raffle tickets and the big birthday draw.  I had my phone all charged up to take photos but left it at home.  There were so many people there!  All hoping for a birthday win!  No meat trays, gift hampers or birthday cash for me but we had a great meal in the restaurant with drinks and hot chocolates at a really reasonable price.  Sorry there's no photos.

Monday 24 February 2014

A speed session & my first world problems

This morning I went out for a speed session.  These are the sessions I find it hard to get out of bed for, because frankly they hurt!  But I went down to the oval and did 1 minute hard running 1 minute walking x 8.  I think I'll reserve Mondays for speed work because Monday is bin day and I hate running past stinky bins and dodging rubbish trucks.  The fresh air and grass is worth the pain of the session.

We live with our mother-in-law who is a very clean and tidy person.  In fact anyone who comes to the house always comments on how we keep it so clean with 3 boys.  Its not me, that's for sure.  And every week I watch my mum -in-law do the weekly deep clean of our rather large house.  I feel the guilt, I leave the house.  And so I decided to hire a cleaner.

When I was pregnant with the twins I hired a cleaner of our much smaller house because I was so ill.  But they didn't do a great job and I once overheard them gossiping about their clients and kind of felt uncomfortable about it so made excuses and let them go.

When we moved to our current house I decided to get cleaners to assuage my guilt at watching my MIL clean.  All was going well, we had a nice couple doing it fortnightly and I was relieved of my guilt.  Until they disappeared.  Literally - well maybe figuratively.  I left messages, texts and finally after a month of them not returning my messages and pleading for them to return my key I gave up.  So, today I got a third cleaner to quote me and...drum roll... she quoted $150 (cash that is)!!  OMG! This does not include tidying or anything, just bathrooms, floors and dusting.  I'm not sure if its reasonable or not but that would cover speech therapy for T2.  So, I give up.  I vow NEVER to get a cleaner again.  I'm done.  I will now spend 2 hours of my life every week cleaning - but only if I get some positive reinforcement when I'm done.  I'm thinking lunch out with my MIL. Sigh.

No pictures today.  Maybe I should have taken a photo of our vacuum :(  ...and duster...and mop.

Do you have a cleaner?  How much is reasonable?

Does anyone know how to copy graphs from Garmin Connect?

Sunday 23 February 2014

A long run & a cook-a-thon

This morning I had to run for 70 minutes as part of my half-marathon training.  I started off so slow.  I felt sore and stiff.  But then I noticed that every km I was loosening up and running a little bit faster.  One of my running goals for this year is to run 10km non-stop and I'm just happy to tick that one off the list.

I googled my Garmin problem.  Apparently because my Garmin is new and far away from where it was born it takes longer for the satellite's to pick up its location.  Then it remembers the approximate location through its satellite cache.  Also, I read that it picks up the signal better if the watch is still.  So this morning I lay my watch down face-up while I put on my shoes on...and presto!...in about 20 seconds my Garmin was ready to rock n roll!

This morning the twins' year group had to sing at a church service.   I had attempted to take them to church once before (about 9 months ago).  Then, it was a disaster. T2 started making loud noises and they squirmed and fussed and I was so mortified.  Thankfully today they were fantastic.  The church was packed and it was quite noisy and T2 coped really well.  The difference in nine months is huge.  After church was a BBQ so that was very reinforcing for them!

This afternoon was a lunch box and treat cook-a-thon.  First up was choc-chip cookies, then peanut-free rocky road, followed by mini-quiches and cheese, bacon and vegie scrolls.  Then I tackled the mammoth school note and mail pile that I'd been neglecting.

cheese, bacon and vegie scrolls

my own not-so-secret recipe

I'm exhausted, but in a good way.  Maybe Downton Abbey and some choccies are in order.  After all, my Garmin told me I burnt 799 calories this morning!

Thursday 20 February 2014

5.7km & Who is this new me?

I've been burning the candle at both ends and I'm not the kind of girl who can get by on a few hours sleep and spring out of bed for my morning run.  But I did manage to squeeze in 5.7km before school pick-up.

Last night I went out to dinner at a Thai restaurant with a friend.  It was great company but the food was really disappointing.  We ordered pork belly as a main and it was chewy and I thought it was just me but noticed my friend wasn't eating any of it.  When I commented she completely agreed.  I'll never go back there because life's too short to give a restaurant a second chance, and there are lots of amazing Thai restaurants where I live.  I won't name and shame the restaurant.  I thought about it, but...no.  So my friend came back to my house and we talked (and ate chocolate) until late so no run this morning.

Today my car was scheduled for a service and I had an assignment I wanted to knock over before the weekend.  My mechanic is the same one I've been going to since I learnt to drive.  I told him today he is NEVER allowed to retire.  So I drove 45minutes to get there and walked down to the local McDonald's to finish my assignment and take advantage of their free Wi-Fi.  I was there for 3 hours and didn't eat a burger or fries or sundae or cone. Who is this person?  This is what I DID order - first hour - a skim hot choc (extra hot!) and then at lunchtime I ordered a grilled chicken salad and small diet coke.  I was apprehensive..but it was fine.  After 3 hours I picked up my car and headed home.
McDonald's Salad - it did the job.

Usually i would make excuses why I can't run - it will be too late, too hot etc.  But I REALLY wanted to run so as soon as I got home I threw on my running gear and some sunscreen and bolted out the door.

I'm loving my Garmin but I do have one gripe - it seems to take ages (almost 10 minutes) to pick up my location.  And I am NOT a patient person.  I'm going to Google this tonight and hopefully find a solution.

Yesterday I met up with my husband for lunch at Rhodes shops.  One of the bloggers I read recommended Lily's so I thought we'd give it a go.  We halved a quiche and some wagon wheel chocolate thingy. Delicious!
Lilly's at Rhodes

My half of the quiche

At the time I was supposed to be watching my eldest son play cricket all day but sneaked off after he batted.  I love watching him play, but selfishly I'm not too keen on watching everyone else's kids play...it takes forever.

I went to Ikea to check out desks for my eldest but I have a problem with Ikea.  I get claustrophobic in there.  Nowhere else...just Ikea.  My goal was to walk through the shop.  In the kitchen area I thought I was going around in circles and I had to take the shortcut once but overall I think I went ok.  But once I overcome the claustrophobia I'm going to have to face the assembly nightmare.

My nemesis

A corner desk...

or a flat desk...a white one, or a black one...?

cool chairs

Maybe one of these to hold eldest's 'stuff'?

How long does it take for your Garmin to pick up your the location?

Do you love or hate Ikea?

Wednesday 19 February 2014

5.7km; School Supervision & one of the worst things about twins ;-)

It was SO humid this morning!  Every day the air is so thick and wet.  Now that I have a Garmin I have realised what I thought was 6km is actually 5.7km :-(.

Today was a day for me to knuckle down and get some of my nursing studies done.  In a couple of weeks uni will start up and I'll be juggling a part-time uni course and a full-time TAFE course.  But I've promised myself that no matter how stressful and full-on things get, I'm going to prioritise my running.  In fact, I'd rather fail a subject than go backwards with my running.  Its kind of like the safety talk on an aeroplane...you've got to put that mask on yourself before you help your kids, otherwise you'll all be toast.  I think its particularly apt for parents of kids with special needs.

This is what I do all day when the kids are at school (well-what I'm supposed to do!)

Today T2's BCBA (Behavioural supervisor) went to observe T2 at school for the very first time.  She dropped in afterwards and went through her observations.  There are so many positives, but still quite a few things he needs to work on.  Unfortunately some of the behaviours are tricky ones to eliminate,like non-functional language, conversation skills and attending.  But overall he is doing SO well.  And T1 is practically indistinguishable from his peers which is amazing!  It will be interesting to see what interventions get put in place for his IEP (Individualised Education Plan).

Tonight was Kindy info evening, which went well.  Lots of info to take in but unfortunately books to cover in clear contact.  That stuff is sheer hell to work with.  It sticks together, you get bubbles and bits of contact stuck to you.  And yes, if you're lucky enough to have twins you get double the books to cover!  Woo hoo!  I got home and did it straight away because just looking at them was going to make me nauseous.  Anyway I'm pretty happy with my handiwork - not many bubbles!
I'm SURE your evening was more exciting than mine!

Tuesday 18 February 2014

Speed Session; High Tea at Radisson Blu & the roller coaster of autism parenting

I woke up this morning and it was 6.40am.  On my half-marathon plan for the day was a speed session - 1km, 2min rest, 1 km, 2min rest and another 2min. I spent 10 minutes in bed saying to myself will I or won't I head out for the pain fest.  I got my backside out the door and did it!  It was the first speed session since I've started running again.  It hurt...but afterwards I felt great. I used my Garmin Forerunner 10 but it started beeping at me every 30 seconds.  T2 had pushed all the buttons and set it to 30second repeats.  He is NEVER getting his hands on that watch again :-)

After I dropped the boys at school my mother-in-law and I caught the bus into the city.  I had a birthday voucher from Zara to spend.  The last time I went there it was lunchtime and it was chaos but this time it was early and I immediately spotted two items that I loved!  I've got to say that since I've stepped up the exercise and trying to eat better (well, except for a gigantic high tea!) its so much more fun clothes shopping.
I'm starting to love this store

my new jacket - love it!

my new shirt - buying this made me happy :-)

Then we headed down to the Radisson Blu for High Tea with French bubbly.  We may have got a little giggly!  Its a beautiful old building with the most comfy lounge chairs.  The food and service are consistently excellent at the Radisson Blu.  We wiled away the afternoon chatting and decided we would return for our Mother's Day gift, and maybe spend a night at the hotel, with eldest son.
Beautiful old building

Love the decor.  An art deco feel?

I can't chose a favourite item!

Added bonus - Sochi in the background!

The only negative - tea bags :-)

It had been a perfect day.  Great company, a shopping high and a lazy lunch.  The twins have been going great at school.  But today, unfortunately, T2 had a public 'behaviour' while we out in the late afternoon.  Often he saves his worst behaviour for public consumption (or is it just me being horrified?  I don't know).  Anyway, without going into detail, no harm was done, except to my pride.  And after a few tears in the car (mine!),  T2 realised what he had done wrong and how upset I was and later he said sorry.  At the time I think he knew that he was doing the wrong thing but didn't understand he was doing any harm.  Kids with autism often look like any other kid.  I felt like explaining that he had a disability.  But I know that it probably wouldn't do any good.  If people can't 'see' it they often don't 'get' it.

We all got home, calmed down and its nothing a nice bath and some good chocolate hasn't healed.  I know I'm lucky in so many ways, though sometimes it doesn't feel that way.

Saturday 15 February 2014

A Parkrun PB for my birthday!

This morning I woke to rain and kind of harboured a desire for in2cricket to be cancelled so I could do a Parkrun.  My wish came true!  The cancellation came through about 7.20am and I was in my running gear and off to my local Parkrun. And I ran a PB by 54 seconds and ran under 27 minutes.  I am so happy with that!  When I got home my eldest's cricket match was on so I headed down to the ground only for it to be called off just before it was his turn to bat.  He took it pretty well.

The rest of my day involved opening my pressies and relaxing at home.  I was thoroughly spoiled with lots of pressies.  Amongst the haul was my new secret speed weapon...a Garmin Forerunner 10 (pink of course!).  Now I'll know how far and how fast I'm running, which will be really important for my upcoming half marathon.  I plan on testing it out on my run tomorrow morning.
My new secret weapon..hopefully more PBs are on the way!

My family know that it takes 3 things to make me happy on a special day 1) a good book 2) good chocolate 3) something nice to put in a bath.  And I scored on all fronts!
Lush bubble bomb

So glad you can get Haigh's in Sydney these days

I LOVE stationary and my thoughtful eldest got me some cute notebooks and coloured pens.  He's a keeper. He borrowed the pens for his homework.  I think the stationary fetish might be genetic.

My eldest got me notebooks and pens - I LOVE this one in particular!

T2 wanted a freckle cake and my mother-in-law made this super moist and delicious chocolate cake with freckles.  It was scrumptious!  The freckles were also from Haighs

I was super spoilt this year!

I was determined I wasn't going to look at one nursing textbook or journal article today.  Instead, I schecked some of my favourite autism experts on Autism Live.  Dr Jonathon Tarbox and Shannon Penrod is one my favourite segments.
Tonight after the twins went to sleep my dad stayed at home while I went to our local Thai restaurant with my husband, eldest and mother-in-law.  Its VERY rare the four of us get to go out together and it was a special and relaxed evening.  I planned to top it off with an episode of my favourite show Sherlock but we were all too tired and will have to save it for tomorrow.

I'm really looking forward to this episode of Sherlock!

Friday 14 February 2014

6km & Celebrating my Dad's 70th at Cockatoo Island

This morning I woke up very grumpy, mainly because of the patches of sunburn.  Oh why didn't I reapply the sunscreen?  Why did I use thick, impossible to spread clear zinc?  Oh my poor lobster body!  I thought the best way to turn my mood around was go for a run and hopefully it would rain and cool down my lobster self.  It didn't rain but the run did the trick.  I felt much happier when I returned (and had a cold bath).

After I dropped the boys at school I went to Cockatoo Island for the day with my dad and mother-in-law.  My dad loves boats and history so it was the perfect venue.  It was very quiet and we had hot chocolates/coffee, wandered around looking at convict relics and the old shipyards and then had a lazy lunch while gazing straight out to the Sydney Harbour Bridge.  It was a great day.
Fast becoming one of my favourite destinations
I didn't notice the bloke on the roof at the time!

So eerie and quiet - you can feel the history in these buildings

Huge workshop they used to build ship turbines

A very large lathe

Superintendent's house - has a spectacular view!

The view from our lunch table - not too shabby!

When I picked up the boys I was told they had another great day at school.  Its been such a busy day that my husband and I have waited for twins to turn in before exchanging our Valentine's gifts.

I had my second cold bath for the day this evening.  And have been packing on the after sun cream.  I think my sunburn is starting to fade.  Phew.

Stop Press...I just entered the SMH Half-Marathon!  I have 12 weeks to prepare!!! I'm pumped and terrified and excited just thinking about it it!  

Help- any 12 week half-marathon programs to share?

Thursday 13 February 2014

Water running at the beach; 6km & another great day at big school!

Today my husband had a day off work so we dropped the boys at school and headed down to Freshwater Beach.  I wasn't going to run today as I've been sore lately.   But we checked out the ocean pool, which was filling up.  The water level was at about my hips and there were people walking so I decided to run some laps.  It was awesome!  Definitely not easy and the bottom of the pool was a little slippery.
Awesome ocean pool run today!

I ran out of time to blog my run yesterday but I did a slow and sore 6km.  Tonight I did a few light weights.  Overall my body is feeling abit better today than it has all week.

It was perfect beach weather.  Warm but not too warm, though my poor pale skin is looking a teensy bit red (yes I did put sunscreen on!).  Also the surf was relatively flat.  I'm not a fan of being pummelled by waves.
Flat and still - just the way I like it!

Such a glorious day - I love the Northern Beaches

 There's a fancy restaurant called Pilu right at the beach.  But there's also a kiosk attached to it where we always get pork panini sandwiches for lunch. They're officially called the 'suckling pig panini' but I try and forget the name because its a bit of a turn off.  But they taste great.  It was a great day out together.


Suckling pig panini (sorry any vegetarians out there!)

The boys have had a really good week at school this week.  Everyday I've been told 'they've been really good today'.  I'm loving it!  I really hope it lasts.  I'm so glad they are getting the support they deserve and that they've had such a great start.