Thursday, 26 November 2015

Ready for new Beginnings

Running Update

Well my toe is finally better and touch wood I can get back to running injury-free.  I'l be taking it very gradually and mixing in quite a few Gym sessions.  Fingers crossed!

Life Update

The last 6 weeks (or more!) having been very intense.  I had university exams for my nursing degree a month ago, I drove straight from my last exam down the South coast to do my one month acute hospital placement.  Thank goodness my husband took long service leave and the family were able to visit as much as possible.  Placement and my exams were really successful and I have just had two interviews at some local hospitals for a nursing assistant job and I've been offered one new job in a prestigious hospital starting February (hopefully leading to an RN job one day)!  I'm very excited but right now very exhausted....

On a 40C day I was very happy to spend the day reading and swimming - first day off in a LONG time.


When the boys got home from school they were straight in the pool.  It was so great to see them playing together.  Once upon a time I dreamed of the twins playing "typically" with my eldest and its only very recently that T2 would join in  - they were playing pool American football :)

Now that I have a moment to breathe I am going to develop a couple of goals for the boys to work on, especially T2. My passion for ABA is still strong - I love the science of behaviour.  I love seeing the boys learn and achieve things I didn't think possible.  I'll keep you updated.

NFL in the pool

In typical Aussie fashion no matter how hot is is cricket training was still on.  Thankfully a cool change kicked in late this afternoon.  Hopefully next year T2 will be ready to play cricket too.

T1's cricket training

Do your kids with ASD play team sports?  
I've heard more than once that kids with autism can't play team sports = myth!! My boys play soccer in Winter and in Summer T2 plays cricket and hopefully T1 will join him.

What are your current goals for your kids with autism?  
I'm thinking about this today

Monday, 21 September 2015

The Universe Plotting....

against me getting fit.  We're on holiday and I set my alarm to go for a beautiful coastal run.  BUT instead I kicked my toe and badly broke my pinky.  6 weeks until it's healed so I'm going to continue to really focus on my nutrition.

My poor husband is such a trooper and took me to the hospital and now has the kids at the beach while I lie on the couch.

My toe was angled very badly the wrong way.  I may have screamed the following...
' get up!!'
' I've broken it!!!!'
' get some ice!!'
' the one that's at right angles to my foot!'
' we need to get to the hospital!'
' what colour is it?  They might have to cut it off!..aaahhhhh'

I hate the generalisation that kids with asd lack empathy.  T1 wrote me a sweet get well note and T2 wanted to stay home from the beach ' to look after mummy!'

My eldest ( neuro typical) was the kind hearted 12 year old he always is (well most of the time:)).

That's it for now.  I have a high tea with my mil booked in this arvo.  Until then I'll lie on the couch.

Have you broken your toe?

How long until you could run?

Saturday, 19 September 2015

Michelle Bridges 12 Week Body Transformation & back to Parkrun


I've decided to resurrect my blog as I really miss it.  It helps me reflect and clarify my goals and values and to appreciate all the good things in my life.

Over the last few months (at least 6) I've completely lost my mojo.  I've put on weight, had several injuries, been stressed out with uni work and paid work and feel like I've lost perspective on what is really important to me.  So I'm making an effort to pull myself together. 


I signed up for the Michelle Bridge's 12 Week Body Transformation (with the support of my MIL who also wants to loose a few kilos and is a whizz in the kitchen).  I'm on day 6 and its been great but very tough.  I'm on a 1200 calorie plan and exercise 6 days a week.  Sometimes we eat the recipes in the plan and sometimes I eat whatever as long as I track the calorie content.  Here's a sample of this weeks meals and snacks.

Cauliflower and chickpea patties with salad

Stir fry beef and greens
     Chicken, mushroom and salad toasted wrap
            Ryvita, ricotta cheese, honey and chopped almond             


Today I did my first parkrun in a LONG time.  5km of hell.  Now my hip is just letting me know its there and I'm a bit scared about that.

But I've been sticking to 1200 calories (though I do have a high tea treat coming up :)).  I have to eat 3 meals plus 3 snacks a day so its really forcing me to chose super healthy and light foods.  I can't believe I haven't had chocolate in 6 days!!!  Honestly, it was becoming a problem.  I was eating a BLOCK of chocolate a day plus other sweet treats.


Well I'm very ashamed that I've put the boys' goals on the back burner while I unsuccessfully try and keep work and study going.  I need to change this for their sake.  They are beautiful boys who deserve a maximum chance of living successful and independent lives in the future.  Tomorrow we are going on a much needed break and I just want to have FUN with them.  Then we are going to get back to progress.  Meanwhile bring on a much-needed break

Its good to be back!

Tuesday, 23 June 2015

A Pump Class & Saying Goodbye

Cross Training

I've decided I can't run every day otherwise I'm going to keep getting injured.  So yesterday I went to the gym and did the new release pump class.   As you can imagine I'm quite stiff today but thankfully my hip seems completely healed (at last!).

My new best friends are my theraband and my foam roller.  I wish my physio could see how well-behaved I'm being :)

Saying Goodbye

Two of the twins' therapists are both returning to their home countries this week.  It will be a huge loss for Australia as good ABA (Applied Behaviour Analysis) therapists and especially BCBAs (Board Certified Behaviour Analysts) are in very short supply here.  One of the reasons I think the twins did so well is they had fantastic, experienced and qualified therapists.  And today it is paying off :).  We will miss them.

They came over for afternoon tea to say goodbye and my mother-in-law cooked up a storm….quiches, chicken sandwiches, scones and caramel slices - yummo.

She set the table with her great Aunt's hand embroidered table cloth and special tea cups and saucers.  It was a wonderful afternoon.

Monday, 22 June 2015

Never Never Never Give Up!


A few months ago I tore my gluteus medius.  Unfortunately I resisted physio for a couple of months before getting help.  But finally, I'm injury free, but I'm right back at the beginning of my marathon journey….Couch to 5 k Week 1, Run 1.  It was a beautiful start to a beautiful day.

A beautiful but cold morning for a run

Kleames Barber Shop - Chatswood 

  • 4/76A Archer St
  • Chatswood, New South Wales, Australia 2067

My eldest son is a die-hard Liverpool fan.  A couple of weeks ago I was at Chatswood and stumbled upon this amazing Liverpool-themed barber shop.  I kept the secret for 2 weeks and dragged my unsuspecting son to Chatswood for a haircut.  When he saw the place he was speechless!  He absolutely loved it.  My Mother-in-Law and I watched on in amusement while the barber and my son talked Liverpool.

How cool is this

Everything has the Liverpool insignia

My eldest taking snaps 

Then it was off for some quality time bowling with my son.  You know your kids are growing up when they start to bowl properly :)

After that the three of us ate pizza and spaghetti in Chatswood's piazza followed by…

Sssh…don't tell anyone - this is the BEST gelato I've ever tasted.

Gelateria Gondola - Chatswood

The owners are from Venice and the gelato is out of this world.  I had the hazelnut in a cone.  And we sat outside opposite the Liverpool barbershop and chilled (it was quite chilly :))

Archer St Chatswood- you won't regret it

So pretty...

…and so yummy

Thursday, 16 April 2015

Still Injured - Holidays - The Big Banana Coff's Harbour

Long time no blog.  About a month ago I did a fun run and injured my hip.  A couple of weeks ago I went out for a 15 minutes shuffle and my hip ached afterwards.  Usually, the best thing for my injuries is rest (also very cost effective!).

Meanwhile, we're on a family holiday and having an absolute blast in Coffs Harbour...

The Big Banana

There's lots for the kids to do at the Big Banana - toboggan, ice skating, water slides, laser tag, eat bananas :)
A chocolate coated banana  - too be honest it was a bit rich.  Maybe a banana split next time..
Its been a very long time between trips and well worth an extended visit.  We checked out the toboggan rides and the water slides and all 3 of my boys had a blast.  We went to an afternoon session and the water park was pretty empty.  Its funny because T3 is not a fan of going into the water at the beach, yet he'll hurtle down the biggest slides head first.  Go figure!  In between fun times here at Coffs I've been trying to get some of my nursing assignments done

My kids love water slides and all 3 had a ball!

The park was pretty empty - kids with ASD aren't known for their waiting skills

Tuesday, 24 March 2015

One Perfect Day - Surfers Healing Australia

Surfers Healing Australia - Autism Awareness Australia

It took 3 burly surfers to get T2 out there - but he did it!

 Yesterday the twins had an amazing experience of going surfing at Manly.  I signed up months ago thinking we might not get a spot, but we did!  The boys had a half hour slot where the wonderful Surfers Healing took the boys out and actually got them standing up on long boards.  Amazing!  The kindness and patience of these people is incredible.  It was such a beautiful thing to be a part of.  There was the full spectrum there - young people severely effected by autism as well as those who appeared indistinguishable from their peers.  It was wonderful to see the respect and inclusiveness of the whole event.  

T1 has no fear!
T1 loved every minute.  He isn't scared of the waves.  The surfer who took him out was full of praise and I felt so proud and just happy that he was enjoying the experience.  T2 was much more apprehensive.  He loves swimming but is scared of the waves.  There were a few tears from T2 but the surfers were so kind and they carried kids past the waves.  Some of the surfers were surfing with a little kid propped up on their shoulder!  They really are amazing people.

Plus each kid who participated received an awesome trophy.  They are really well- made and inpressive trophies that the kids loved. 

The boys loved their trophies!

 Next Summer I am definitely working on T2's fear of the waves.

T2 coming in

 No running for me - I've injured my hip - again

Saturday, 28 February 2015

Put down that fork and pick up those joggers!

Sorry for being a slack blogger.  It seems like forever ago but the only exercise I've done this week is 5km on Monday and a pump class on Tuesday.  This morning I managed to get my butt out of bed for a slow 90 minutes before the heat set in.   I've put on a couple of kilos in the last couple of weeks and I can really feel them!

T2 officially finished early intervention ABA sessions last week.  His supervisor went to school to watch and he is doing pretty well with NO support in the classroom.  He was daydreaming alot but his attending has improved greatly and he hardly ever has behavioural problems any more.  In fact I've been observing many of his peers lately and frequently the twins are far better behaved than 80% of them.  Its been a long road and it definitely isn't over.  But here's to progress and a bright future ahead!

The twins were invited to 3 parties in 3 days!  I remember a time when I was scared that the twins would never be invited to a party.  I'm not sure if you've read this article, but it really broke my heart.  I can't believe a whole class of parents could be so heartless and cruel.  Shame on them.

Look at that stance!
Thankfully, We've had the opposite experience at the twins' school.  The boys are completely included and have some really good friends.  I was worried about the putt putt golf and bowling parties.  These involve metal sticks and hard balls and we've had stressful experiences in the past.  This weekend I was able to talk to other parents while keeping a half an eye on the boys.   They behaved really well and had a great time.

What a great weekend!

Saturday, 21 February 2015

Magenta Shores, The Entrance; Beach Running & The Lolly Barn


While we were on our mini-holiday to Magenta Shores I ran along the beach each morning.  The first morning was tough as the sun was out and running on sand is just hard.  The next morning was cloudy and the sand was much harder from overnight rain.  I did about 8 km each morning but it felt like much more.

After my morning run my husband would meet me at the lagoon pool for a pre-breakfast swim.  We had the pool to ourselves one morning and I found a skimmer ball in the filter box.  We were like a couple of kids skimming it down the long pool.   I love how we're still best friends and true loves after more than 15 years together :)

We ate in Barrett's restaurant each day, swam and read.  I even got drawn into watching the cricket, as the NZ vs England match was so exciting. 

The view from our balcony - people really zip about in the golf buggies

No holiday is complete without chocolate and a good book

The hotel gym was good.  I only used the weights as I ran along the beach each morning.

Barramundi and Risotto
Can't remember the name but this chocolate tart was delicious

One of many breakfast courses - fruit, yoghurt, nuts and pancakes :)

After a couple of days it was time to head home.  We never go home from a kid-free break empty handed.  We stopped in at the Lolly Barn and I was keen to get some American treats for the boys (Hershey's has no peanuts!!).  My MIL's weakness are Turkish Delight and gummy bears.

Just as well The Lolly Barn is a 90 minute drive from me :)
When I saw the range I got pretty excited.  

Monday, 16 February 2015

You can take the (old) girl out of the beaches......


Sunday was my 40th Birthday!  And I'm crazy enough that I woke up at 5am, ran 90 minutes up and down Manly beach to Queenscliff then back to Bower beach a few times. The sun was rising and the crowds quickly built up.  I was happy that the flags were up before 7.30am and there were many swimmers in so I went in for a lovely dip.  I am kind of freaked out about sharks at the moment.  Manly has had 3 shark alarms in one week!

Running at dawn - a great way to start the day
It was all wonderful.  I ran really slowly just wanting to drink in the view, my life so far and what I want to achieve in the years ahead.  I also thought of how blessed I am and also thought about the very tough times I've survived.  It was a SUPER way to start the day.

I love Sydney's Northern Beaches

My shark plan was to ensure many people were swimming in front of me :)

Too beautiful

My other workouts this week and a half
Today: 15 minutes on the bike, Bodypump class
Monday: 25 minutes treadmill 8-12km/hr, 15 minute elliptical, 15 minutes bike (Spin class was full :(
Sunday:90 minute easy
Saturday: Day off
Friday: 21/2 hour intense gym session 20 minutes running, 15 minute on the bikes, 15 minute on the elliptical, bodypump class and a half hour Cxworks class
Weds, Thurs off
Tues:  Hills 1 minute running hard up a hill and 1.5 minutes jog down repeat times 5 (short but hellish!)
Monday: 80 minute run


 After that I met my mum for breakfast at the Novotel.

I got home and have spent today playing with my toys (I know, I won't ever grow up) and now am chilling after a family lunch.  I caught up with my best friend on Friday night so today is a relaxed day.

I'm a lucky lady - and my husband is taking me on a holiday for a couple of days too!

Amongst my pressies I got a beautiful new handbag and wallet.  Therefore I've been cleaning out my old wallet and have discovered this amazing app that means I can store all my reward cards in my phone by scanning the barcodes.  I just hope it works when I go to use the app.  Its called Stocard.

A good book before uni starts and my novel ban begins

My son wants to watch Seinfeld's Junior Mint episode while eating Junior Mints - sounds like a plan!
My Mother-in-law made me  a cake to order.  It had to be chocolate with Haig's sparkles on it  (I'm kind of bossy when it comes to my food).  Her cakes beat any cake shop hands down.

The Century - Pyrmont

Its not great having a birthday around Chinese New Year.  The restaurant was busy and we were 10 minutes late so they tried to tell us we were too late for our booking.  It was very awkward, especially since once we got in there seemed to be free tables.  I had to ring my Chinese sister who brings 10s of thousands of $$ to the restaurant for business.  She had given me dinner here as my birthday present and booked the special table.  The call was made.  Suddenly a table was free, the manager came to apologise and we were given a Chinese dessert after our meal.  If I wasn't addicted to the Peking Duck I might not return.  But I am addicted!  Once we were in my husband and I had a fantastic meal and a lovely walk afterwards.

The tanks

The apology dessert

This is a wall decorated with thousands of chopsticks!
Part of the reason I keep coming back!

Happy Year of the Sheep!