Saturday, 31 January 2015

I foam rolled and I liked it!; The Century

Running/ Cross Training
Friday I thought I'd do some cross training at the gym...take it easy....wrong.  I got my butt kicked.  I'm still sore 2 days later.  First up I got on the elliptical trainer for 15 minutes of hell, then the stationary bike.
My old enemy the Cybex

Then I saw two foam rollers propped in the corner.  I've never seen them at the gym before so I tentatively tried to roll out my legs.  I didn't know what I was doing really.  A couple of times the roller rolled away and I'd scramble after it on all fours.  A nice look in public!  I liked it though and I think I'll get one for home when my personal masseuse (aka my husband) is unavailable.
My first foam roller experience

Then it was time for my Bodypump class which was very tough and then I realised it was a double class and if we wanted to stay we had to get resistance bands.  So then it was another half an hour of hell - resistance bands and abdominals.  I was wrecked afterwards.  So much for an easy day of cross training!
More Torture

Saturday my mind was willing but I was too sore - day off

This morning was a 'hard' 5 km run which involved at least 2 hills.  One felt like Mount Everest and the sun was belting down.  After I finished I looked like a tomato and collapsed into my pool.  The most disheartening thing was it took me 29 minutes!:(

Well it was back to cricket for T1 and my eldest.  Both were happy with their performance.  Its when I see T1 play sport I realise two things - firstly how far he has come and secondly, how important sport is in making friends.  His ability in sport has helped him make many friends.  Maybe its just Australia - where males (and some females) seem to live for sport.  I wish T2 could get to the same level.

The Century - Pyrmont
Friday night I went to my favourite Chinese restaurant with two of my favourite people.  My mother-in-law and 'sister' (its a long story, I'll save it for another time).  I got kind of bossy and demanded we have Peking Duck and Steamed Barramundi.
Duck Pancakes

San Choi Bow

Steamed Barramundi - they bring it to you flapping in a bag before cooking!

Yum, yum, yum

We also got 4 green vegetable stir fry and some fruit and biscuits for dessert.  Washed down with litres of Chinese tea and some Sav Blanc we had a great night.

San Churro Glebe
Then it was off to trendy Glebe to eat some Spanish donuts at San Churro.  We had hot chocolate with ice cream in it.  To be honest, it was just too rich for me.  The churros were quite good, but I think it was just because I was dipping them in melted chocolate.  I've decided I like my donuts round (and hot, and dipped in cinnamon sugar)
Chocolate overload

Wednesday, 28 January 2015

A gym workout; recovery run; and my baby goes to High School!


Yesterday was so wet and because my schedule involved doing a speed workout, I decided to go to the gym.  First up I hit the treadmill.  Since I'm still pretty unfit my run involved 1min at 11.5 km/hr, 1 min jog x8.  Then I hit the elliptical trainer for 15 minutes.  It was hell....and I noticed it was called the Cybex - sounds like a scary sci-fi character doesn't it?

The Cybex

After that, I thought I'd better hit some weights.  I was in for a rude shock.  I can't believe how weak I am.  I need to do more weights if I'm going to keep running and stay injury free.

This morning I was still sore so after my early shift I ran a very easy 25 minutes and did some stretching.
Beautiful conditions

The twins went into Year 1 today and settled in really well.  The lovely special ed teacher even messaged me to give me an update.  I'm so lucky to have found such a wonderful school for the boys.  When they get home I'm letting them do what they want for the first week ie ipads, Wii systems, DS games.  But watch out kiddos, screen limits are coming

So I worked 4 hours, did my run and then thought 'what now?'  I'm not used to having no kids around.  After lunch my Mother-in-Law and I decided to catch up on The Knick (life's too short for chores).  This is an awesome historical/medical drama.  The big boys in my house don't like it (too gory!). 

Eldest starts high school
I can't believe it.  My darling boy (neurotypical) has started school.  And, as expected he has taken to it like a duck to water.   It is lovely to have at least one uncomplicated, healthy, stress-free kid.  I love them ALL to bits (well maybe not when one of the twins is having a public meltdown ;-).
My eldest does have one medical condition - a peanut allergy and yesterday I was excited to hear an update  on medical trials held in Melbourne.  I hope my son will be able to benefit.  Its interesting that probiotics are involved in this treatment.

Monday, 26 January 2015

Happy Australia Day; A long, cool run

                                            Have you seen this clip?  I love it!!  I hope everyone has a Happy Australia Day.  Or should I say Straya Day!

I have some confessions.  I have been very unAustralian today.  I have...

*Worked on a public holiday

* Haven't drunk any alcohol

* Haven't eaten any red meat or vegemite

* Didn't BBQ anything today

* Only watched 5 minutes of the cricket before deciding to go for a run
(a slow one hour  run along the river).  I wish I hadn't drunk 3 cups of
tea before setting out as it was slushing around in my stomach.   But
can't complain about the gorgeous, cool conditions

Not because I don't love doing any of the above (I love it all!).  I'm just feeling too lazy and tired today.

Saturday, 24 January 2015

A hard 5km, a chocolate walking tour and The Imitation Game


As I was due in the city for a Chocolate walking tour at 10am so I decided to do my own Parkrun substitute - a hard, hot and hilly 5km.  It was very hot and there was one major hill at about 3.5km when I just wanted to quit, but thankfully I didn't.  I then collapsed in my pool and then held an ice pack on my face for 15 minutes. Here are the stats.
Hot, hard work.  I've got a long way to go to reach my goals

Foodi Chocolate Tour
My mum treated me to a Foodi Chocolate walking tour in Sydney's CBD.  I thought I knew all the best chocolate haunts in the city but today I discovered that I didn't know quite a few.  We met at the Archbold Fountain in Hyde Park and proceeded to the Rocks area stopping at Adora chocolates and then Chocolarts.  We were given samples and talks about the history of chocolate, the cacao plant, free trade chocolate and chocolate of origin.  But really, we were there to eat as much chocolate as we could get.

Almost too beautiful to eat....almost

After Chocolarts we headed to the Guylian Chocolate cafe where we sat down to a hot drink.  I chose the coconut hot chocolate, which was very generous.

The upstairs area at the cafe was lovely

My Coconut hot chocolate

...included a jug of hot chocolate

 It consisted of coconut in the bottom of our cups with a jug of hot chocolate to pour over the top.  I had never been to the Guylian cafe before, but it won't be the last time.

Our next stop was the George St Lindt Cafe.  Going to the Lindt Cafe felt strange and sad at first (even though it was a different venue to the siege) but it was a beautiful and spacious store.
This image is so sad.

So many varieties of Lindt blocks and Lindt balls

varieties include champagne, lemon, Spring, sea salt.....

I chose lemon
 Our final stop was Josephan's chocolate, originally from Leura.  These chocolates are very high class.
High Class chocolate at Josophan's

My only complaint about the tour is that it didn't include Haig's chocolate, so after the tour finished I went to my beloved Haigs to stock up on choccies for the family.

The Imitation Game

Last night my mother-in-law and I went to see The Imitation Game, the movie about British mathematician Alan Turing who cracked the Enigma Code during World War 2 and enabled the Allies to intercept German communications which helped win the war.  It was interesting how Alan Turing was protrayed during the movie.  The way he was portrayed - significant social deficits, difficulty interpreting language and perspective - would have placed him firmly on the autism spectrum.  However, I wonder how accurate this film was.  It almost felt like he was made into a caricature.  It was, however, a sad and enjoyable movie.  I love Benedict Cumberbatch and Keira Knightley and any British historical drama is right up my alley.  I will definitely try to read the biography of Alan Turing as a result of seeing this movie.

Sunday, 18 January 2015

Oakvale Farm & Water World, Salt Ash; consistency

I'm still trying to get some consistency in my running.  I did a slow one hour run yesterday afternoon and then a 20 minute jog in the beautiful cooler weather today. No speed, but that's ok - for now.

We went to visit my dad, who lives quite close to Salt Ash, near Nelson Bay.  We went to the temporary Waterworld set up there on Friday and then to Oakvale Farm on Saturday.  We all had a fantastic time, despite the extreme heat (great for Waterworld).
So much fun for the kids!

Water World - Salt Ash
Ok if you plan to go here, a few tips.  Bring a pen!  We had to line up and fill out a waiver form and there was a line up for the 3 pens provided.  Those who could fill out their form went straight to the front of the line.  Also, you aren't supposed to bring in outside food but we usually do bring a small snack as all my kids have serious allergies.

Plenty of areas for smaller kids (ignore my finger :))

Once T2 got the hang of the steering he absolutely loved the boat area

There are plenty of slides
The boys all had a blast.  We have our own pool so they are all confident in the water.  Adults aren't allowed on the slides but are allowed to wade in the pools at the bottom of the slides.  I would have melted if I didn't get in the water.  Also most people (including myself) had purchased a voucher (can't remember if it was Groupon, Scoopon, whatever...)
The biggest slide for the very brave

I was so proud of T2.  He was great, even during the long line up to get the elusive pen.  After an hour and a quarter he had had enough so he played with my phone while my other two continued on.

Oakvale Farm - Salt Ash

This place if fantastic!  We went a few years ago when the twins were quite out of control and hadn't started ABA therapy.  Thankfully, this time they were fantastic, despite the searing heat.  It costs $20 for adults and $12 for kids.  Many animals are roaming around and you can buy bags of feed and hand feed lambs, goats, chickens, kangaroos etc.
I love how the kids can interact with the animals

There are many kangaroos hopping about

The barn yard area

The boys got to milk a cow, go on a tractor ride (T2 insisted on another go on the tractor).  There was plenty of opportunity to pat many of the animals.
Tractor - and ducks

The tractor ride goes all around the farm

A new, huge koala enclosure opened last year and there is a BBQ area, and even a fantastic playground.  It's a great day and I highly recommend it for adults and kids.
This new koala enclosure opened last year

And there is even a playground (with aeroplane!) for the kids to play in

Monday, 5 January 2015

Another Day another run on Grass & my child on the Spectrum slept in!

Another 20 minute slow jog on grass and some strengthening exercises afterwards.  My legs, feet and hips felt fine.  Now that I've just finished an 11 hour shift my feet aren't feeling very happy at all :(.

Slow and steady

Finally, at 7 years old T2 slept for 12 hours!  I started to worry when it was 8 o'clock and he still hadn't woken.  Finally T2 woke up at 8.23am (so he informed me!).  He keeps a pretty sharp eye on the clocks around the place.  This might not be a big deal to those who don't have a child on the spectrum with sleep problems.  Many, many kids with ASD just don't sleep.  Think having to live on the sleep you get with a baby - but no end in sight - for years and years.  That's what it was like until we discovered melatonin (slow release is fantastic but the straight melatonin is great too).  While making sure T2 has a good sleep routine and trying to keep him fairly active means that we all feel human these days.  And today, he finally slept in.  Hallelujah!

When I got home T1 and my eldest (neurotypical - in fact pretty all round typical 12 year old boy) had been playing nicely together all day.  They looked so cute in their matching Packers jerseys.

Two peas in a pod

Saturday, 3 January 2015

Bound for Botany Bay


I can't resist a mini break and purchased a voucher for Brighton Beach Novotel.  My eldest, MIL and I headed there Friday afternoon.  I woke up really early yesterday and decided to run a slow hour along Botany Bay.  It was very pleasant watching the planes come in and looking at the heads and imagining Captain Cook sailing through them all those years ago.   Thankfully my legs, feet and hip feel good today so hopefully I can really get back into running.  I forgot to put my swimmers on so went for a swim in my running gear  - why not!

Ha!ha! One way traffic on the walking track

One and half hours later and there wasn't a cloud in the sky!

After that a buffet breakfast awaited, the clouds disappeared and it got pretty hot.  Time to hit the pool and beach.  We had a great morning swimming, reading and relaxing.  We had a late check out of 1pm.  Its amazing how one night away can really recharge the batteries.  Then it was back home.  It was great to spend some time with my eldest.
Kid-friendly pool area
I have one more voucher left for Novotel Brighton and I'm going to bring the twins - what could go wrong?!! Well - off the top of my head - you can't lock the balcony door  - one flick and T2 is out on the balcony or out the hotel door.  Dining in a restaurant has its own dangers - But you know what I think he's ready.  T1 will be absolutely fine - I pretty much think of him as recovered.  Phew - $300, 000 was worth it ;).

Tea, chocolate, a good view and company and a book - perfect!

Ok it wouldn't be my blog without some food pics - oh how I love to eat!.....