Monday, December 29, 2008

Life's a beach - Christmas #1

Beth had her very first Christmas, with a truly impressive present haul, most of which makes loud noise and is trying to teach her the alphabet. She seemed to like it a lot, while the real big hit was of course the cellophane wrap.

I still win the Christmas 2008 smackdown because I got this. Sooooooooooooo pretty, and rather fast even despite my wobbly jelly calves. I am planning to commute to work 2/3 of the time this year when I go up to three days in a probably vain effort to get some regular exercise and regain my former cut legs, oo er. So far I have only managed the Fernleigh track and Memorial Drive though (steep!). I must point out that this present is also evidence that I won the best husband award as well as Christmas 2008, as he not only managed to get this spunky 2008 model instead of the truly hidjus bamboo print 2009 model but also got a handsome discount to boot. And all of this in exchange for a couple of CDs. I love you, Grant! sorry your Christmas present sucked!

We have been hanging out in Newcastle and Beth has had lots of time with her grandparents, and with the cousins and aunties and uncles. She's really enjoyed having so much kid time, so New Year's Resolution #34534 (after buy Grant better presents) is to get her into a playgroup in our new neck of the woods.

Now that Summer has sort of finally hit, we are doing a lot more water stuff. Grant has been taking Beth to the Olympic Park pool, and she had a swim in the Manning River at Wingham, and a paddle at Horshoe Beach on Saturday (in the rain, no less) and yesterday had her first proper beach swim at Bar Beach. We put her down on the sand at the water's edge in her rashy with a naked butt, and she played with the wet sand for a while, then got hit with a wave, looked surprised, and promptly started crawling towards the water for more. There may have been some gleeful squeals, too. She was "swimming" (with our assistance of course) between both of us and really getting the kicking going. In short, she had a lovely time, and so did we. And afterwards we waited by the kiosk for fish and chips for several hours but they were good when they finally showed up. While we waited, Beth had another play in the sand with Susan, and apparently good times were had there too.

If you are after a family restaurant of the sort that provides free balloons and replaces same without being asked when your baby chews them until they pop (question - if she didn't then react to the noise, is this a sign she is a psychopath?), may I recommend the formerly oo er but now meals-come-with-crayons Blue Water Pizza on Queens Wharf in Newcastle? You're welcome!

Holidays with family have been lovely but we are not getting quite as much "nuclear family" time as we are used to, which feels a bit odd. We are heading back to Sydney tomorrow, so I guess then we will go back to the usual routine of cooked breakfasts and daytime naps!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Milestones

Today Beth and I managed to get organised enough to go and get Beth's very first PHOTO WITH SANTA! She seemed utterly unfazed by the experience. I however was kind of freaked out by the thought that we would be going through this for years. I am not entirely sure on the lying to offspring about source of gifts thing, not least because really, I am not entirely sure on the whole gifts thing itself. Why can't we just give gifts when we would like to, and more importantly, when we come across something that would be perfect for a person, rather than what I am currently experiencing, aka Christmas 2008: Revenge of Christmas, what with quite a lot of shopping at gunpoint at the last minute.

If I didn't know what to buy you, you are getting a tin of biscuits. You're welcome.

Anyway, the Christmas pix turned out rather well, especially if you ignore the fact that Beth has a tiny bit of apple on her bottom lip in them. I feel that it adds authenticity. Really I am just impressed that with transport to and from the shops and a trip to IKEA as well as Santa and the bookshop, Beth sat on her butt contentedly snacking for 2+ hours without getting narky at all. Well, she did insist I buy her another rattle when I stupidly showed her the one I was getting for Wendy's baby (AWESOME RATTLE, might I add, so I don't really blame her).

On which topic: to date I have been rather smug about the modest amount of toys Beth has. I have only just realised that this is because she has neither had her first Christmas nor her first birthday, and she is about to have one immediately after the other. I suspect this is going to mean HELLO, PLASTIC CRAP! But since she has a marked fondness for plastic crap I will probably get over it in time and let go of my irrational prejudices against petrochemicals and other endocrine disruptors.

Other than the obtaining of biscuits to put in tins and of course the interminable wrapping process, I think I might now be just about finished with Christmas. Since I hadn't even started until Wednesday, the relief is immense.

I have had a reasonable week before Christmas. We haven't had the usual pre-Christmas rush at work at all, which is terrifying, but we're still partying away as if the GFC did not loom rack and ruin over our shoulders. I had a very swank client lunch on Wednesday, which Jan very kindly came down to mind Beth so I could attend. They apparently had a very nice time, but while Beth enjoys a tuna and cream cheese sandwich as much as the next gal, I think my lunch was probably better.

In other news, Beth has spent this week working on proper crawling and on cruising. She's now very solid at standing now. She still holds on to things for support, but doesn't need to lean on them, and can do it with only one hand. She's very pleased with herself and we're very impressed! Her proper crawling is quite slow and wobbly compared to her speedy commando crawl, but she is becoming more proficient and I am making sure to put her on as many uncomfortable surfaces as possible to demonstrate the wisdom of getting one's belly and elbows off the ground.

We're back in Newcastle for ground zero of the festive season and then back in Sydney for some well-earned relaxation time.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Proof of Life

When Loz went back to work, I started taking photos of Beth with my phone to keep her in the loop throughout the day. Flicking through the photos, there are some quite cute ones in there. Not the best quality, but ok...

Here are some of my favourites...

UPDATE: for some reason, the right side of the photos have been cropped by Blogger, but you get the idea.

Beth at the top of the jungle jim in the park across the road, chuffed with herself for making it up the "climbing wall":


Trying to break out, or trying to break in?:

Peekaboo! (still one of her favourite games):




Beth falling asleep on the way back from the pool:
Crawling UP ON HER HANDS!:
Just looking so goddamn cute:
Admiring her awesome food platter:




Her first taste of Hungry Jacks ("not food"):
"Well, no, I am not actually asleep!":
"I'm coming to get you...":
Climbing Daddy jungle jim:
Beth tries to share her food...:

At the Donnelly family Christmas party, Beth received this plane from Richard and Carol. I wasn't sure if she would like the noises it makes (she's scared of the barking noises her Lamaze dog makes). Turns out I needn't have worried, she loves it!:



The full gallery can be found here.

You'll note that the severe majority of photos are of food or her eating. This is because it's the only time she is still and secure. The second most common theme is Beth coming to get the camera...

Oh, and there is this little beauty:

Loz had mentioned she had a nice lunch at the cafe, so I had to show her the laksa I got for my lunch...

Anyway, I'm still working through the "proper" photos, sorting and uploading, so hopefully I'll post about those soon.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

11 months


That's a smile, I swear

Beth is eleven months old. The astute will realise that that is 12 months - 1. In other words, HOLY CRAP. So many people told me in Beth's early weeks (aka nurse-a-thon 2008) that it went by so quickly. I thought they were just trying to say This Too Shall Pass but as it turns out they were just telling the truth. It seems like just yesterday that she smiled for the first time, that she was born (so happy and such a sad time for all of us, stuck in that hospital), that I was pregnant, that we were in England, that we were swanning about bits of Europe with her just a tiny passenger, not even a bump.

And at the same time, it feels like she has been with us forever. We are so proud of her. I should get her birth certificate framed or something because I am WAY more smug about that than the four testamurs now gracing the dining room.

Let's see, recent developments:
  • Beth babbles "dada" specifically, to Grant. He may have lorded it over me about this for a while, but...
  • Last weekend, she started babbling "mummum" and almost immediately started doing it specifically, to me. Now I will admit she doesn't do it as often as "dada" and really only does it when she wants something, but since she only previously made the "mum" noise while screaming, I'll take it.
  • She can now pull up very quickly on just about any object, and has started to lean less. She's also started to cruise along things like her cot, but not very quickly.
  • She has two new teeth (top outer middle).
  • We have travelled every weekend for the past 3, and she still hates portacots, probably exacerbated by the teeth.
  • She is always very excited to see her grandparents, and has now started leaning towards them from me for cuddles.
  • She is getting way more interested in toys. She gave her Lamaze chime garden a real workout this afternoon, and monkey puppet continues to be a favourite, and she has been looking at her books in her bedroom periodically all day.
  • Contemporaneously with the above, she is getting much better at entertaining herself, albeit not so much today as the teeth are making her a bit of a sooky pants.
  • She's hovering around the 10kg mark, which since she was 9kg at 6 months isn't particularly impressive, but she is a freakishly tall 77cm or so.
  • She has an array of smiles, from winsome to the above, which shows off all six chompers and is usually accompanied by a growl. Don't mess with Beth, peoples; she may bite (OK, she DOES bite, I have a mark still healing).
Off to Newcastle-Wingham-Newcastle this weekend. The Wingham Country Club is being temporarily renamed Wingham House of Donnellys for the occasion. Should be fun!

How have you been?

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

7 things

Apparently I have been tagged for a meme, and while I am unfamiliar with the etiquette, I am informed that this means that I have to write 7 weird/random things about myself. Ahem:
  1. Approximately 10% of people seem to think that I am from the US, the UK or Canada when they first meet me, including a woman in London who, when I said I was from Newcastle (forgetfully), exclaimed: "Oh, I thought you sounded Northern!" Northern?
  2. I have two first class Honours degrees (= three testamurs), a Master of Laws with Distinction (highest UK rank) and the Evatt Medal for the best graduating student from my law school. I missed out on a University Medal in Arts by .4 of a GPA. Oh, and I technically have a Graduate Diploma of Legal Practice too, with a bare credit average, but I never bothered picking it up from College of Law, although I might do if we ever run out of toilet paper.
  3. An hour of my professional time will cost you $450 (excluding GST of course), but I'm worth it.
  4. Despite the above, I'm currently proudest of the fact that I can pump 230ml of milk in one pumping session of half an hour (enough to feed my daughter all day). On one view that means Beth's milk costs my wurkplace about a grand a litre, but as I can often bill while pumping it probably evens out.
  5. I've moved five times in two years, twice intercontinentally, twice while heavily pregnant and twice with a young baby. And because of this...
  6. I don't know where my practising certificate is, although I am obliged by law to display it in my office. I also don't know where 90% of our other stuff is, including the Best Coat of All Time and the Best Cookbook of All Time but no doubt they will show up eventually. Did I mention I hate moving, and even though the current place has (huge) defects and is (hugely) expensive I am strongly tempted to stay here forever just to avoid ever packing again?
  7. We currently live across the road from the first house we rented in Sydney. Fortunately it was detonated and replaced with a McMansion, or I might accidentally walk into the wrong house.
Bonus #8 - I am rarely, if ever, the mother I want to be, but fortunately Beth seems to like me anyway.

What the hell is a Meme?

Apparently we have been memed. I believe Karen cheated by tagging both Lauren and I, but here's mine anyway. I suspect this will mostly be a revelation of my OCD traits...

Rules: Link the person that tagged you and post the rules on your blog. Share 7 random and/or weird facts about yourself. Tag 7 random people at the end of your post and include links. Let each person know that they've been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.

  1. I don't believe there are ANY convicts in my family history.
  2. I like to chew my food evenly on both sides of my mouth - you know, 7 chews left side, 7 chews right side, whatever. This has actually become less of an obsession lately.
  3. My front teeth are as sharp as razor blades. They are half-caps. They broke off after being embedded in my parents' (ancient) stereo when I was about 12. Long story, suffice to say my brother was getting revenge. The original teeth were re-attached by a very excited emergency dentist. They were subsequently replaced by caps in 2 different incidents - one involving a eucalyptus lolly, and the other a forward somersault. It is these fake caps that have worn down to razor sharp incisors.
  4. I almost always have a pair of baby socks in my pocket. You never know when Beth's feet will be cold.
  5. I own 5 bikes, including a very sophisticated folding bike and a VERY high end dual suspension mountain bike, and yet the only one I have riden in the last 3 months is the steel single speed.
  6. Beth assures me that my monkey impersonation is both impeccable, and hilarious.
  7. My wife earns more money than me, I work part time and look after our daughter the rest of the week, and there is a chance I will become a full time stay at home dad - and I am more than ok with all of that :)

And now I shall terminate this chain-letter type thing here. Partly on the principle of the thing, but mostly because I don't actually know 7 bloggers...



Not going to win any updating awards, are we?


Maybe we were eating mulberries. I confess nothing!

Hi all

Clearly I am the world's least organised person, but in lieu of more regular updates:
  1. wurk has been strangely quiet this week. Too quiet. Clearly they are plotting something.
  2. my Blackberry continues to rule my life, however, even if it is just relaying information on the kind of muffins available in my wurkplace today (not that I ever buy the muffins, but it is important to stay abreast of these kinds of things).
  3. I am probably going to be moving up to 3 days a week in the near future, which might make things at the wurk end a little easier to manage in terms of workflow, I think.
  4. Grant has been riding to work every day since we moved back to Sydney, and has dropped something like 7kg in two months, which is a pretty good effort as well as partially justifying his extensive bike expenditure over the years. Go Grant!
  5. Beth has been very busy in the last month or so, including:
  • mastering hands and knees. Not crawling properly yet, but probably doesn't feel the need to bother as she goes like the blazes commando-style (of course, commando crawling is pretty harsh on the clothes, but eh)
  • kneeling unsupported.
  • pulling up to standing on every available object, which means I get pantsed several times a day. Note so self: no elastic waistbands!
  • actually allowing us to feed her with a spoon reasonably often, and feeding herself with a spoon pretty well, although she hasn't quite go the hang of which way the spoon needs to face for this to work so wears quite a bit of it.
  • being a bit more interested in solid foods and a bit less interested in the Mummy Milkbar. In fact, she ate a whole nectarine herself the other day. Put anything in a wrap and she will eat it.
  • getting more independent! Grant warned me about this from his two days with her this week, but I didn't quite believe him until we went across the road to the park and she promptly crawled away from me like a shot rather than attacking me and nagging to be picked up per usual. She then proceeded to pull up on the fence around the play equipment, then to play in the dirt making "dirt angels" with her arms and generally (a) having fun and (b) getting incredibly dirty. Because there is no (a) without (b) as we all know.
  • being generally more interested in toys. I bought her a monkey hand puppet last weekend, as she loves it when Grant makes monkey noises at her. Not only does she adore the puppet, and laugh hysterically when Grant gives her "monky kisses" with it, but she took it off Grant and held it up in front of the mirror, faced it at herself, then at Grant, then at the mirror, and looked at its face in the mirror, so clearly she's a genius, or at least a budding puppeteer.
  • sharing. She keeps offering us pieces of her food. Sometimes she is quite forceful, like when naughty daddy declined to eat her banana in the backyard and therefore had it jammed into his mouth. Possibly a commentary on our slightly less patient moments of feeding her solids, too.
  • really getting into her books. Grant reads to her every night, and she loves it, especially everyone's favourite daddy-knows-best book "Papa's Song," which I recommend, and her DK "peekaboo" books, ditto.
And now I believe I may need a nap!

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Stuff

I fear that inertia will destroy this here blog if I don't post about something, so I am going to post about:

(a) Wurk

Wurk has been good lately. I am a month into return-to-office territory for 2 days a week, and while at first I didn't really have enough to do, or when I did get enough to do was getting it too late in the two days to get it done without risking an aneurysm, I have managed to bill 6+ hours a day for the last four days in the office. Which makes me feel well chuffed. Of course, the only reason I am billing that is because I am doing additional work from home while Beth sleeps, but eh, given that my job used to be a 10 hour day and now I'm only working 9-5, it's fair enough.

Wurk gets extra points for being in the silly season, with parties and free lunches right left and centre (so long as they are on Monday or Tuesday, of course).

(b) Beth (who else?)

Beth has been giving her daddy a run for his money this week, as she seems to have decided bottle = evil. While I seem to make about 250ml during the day, based on what I pump at lunch at work, she's currently only taking about 150ml on her days with Grant. This makes her hungry and because she's my daughter, YOU DO NOT WANT TO SEE HER HUNGRY.

However, I am hopeful it is just a passing thing, as she has been doing some heavy developmental work this week, including:
  • pushing up to hands and knees
  • mastering the gentle art of pushing up to kneeling
  • trying to pull up to standing
  • going from kneeling/sitting and from sitting/crawling
  • feeding herself with a spoon from a bowl (CUTEST THING EVER, she sort of stirs the bowl to get food on the spoon) although I confess to helping with the spoon loading process. I am very glad of this as while she could feed herself with a spoon at 6 months, she lost interest shortly thereafter which made us have to get far too creative with finger food, as she is still a BETH DO IT SELF kind of girl.
I have had a lovely day at home with her so far, although we have done very little other than hang out in the backyard. One of the nicest things about being back at work, apart from the cold hard cash, is how much I enjoy spending time with Beth these days. It doesn't feel like a job anymore!

(c) Grant

I happen to be married to this very sweet (but manly!) man, who changes nappies without a peep (if one disregards the retching noises we have both been prone to since Beth starting hitting the MEAT), will reliably get up at the crack of dawn with Beth if she wakes up early, invents hilarious baby games such as "couch jungle gym" and "face sucker," does the bath and book shift every night - and in addition to it all is a deeply romantic gentleman who never fails to pay nice compliments, even while I am, objectively speaking, a saggy, greasy-haired and mildly chewed up wreck. This life would not be half so fun without him and this parenting caper might be downright scary. HI HONEY!

By the way, Grant has been riding to work every freaking day since he started back 3 days in the office, including when it was 15 and when it was 36. But I might still win, because I once rode home from the city in 42ish temps. Grant has not however been doing any Wii Fit, and FOR SHAME. How am I going to get addicted again if he doesn't first?

(d) Travel

We got brave and took Beth to Brisvegas for Grant's brother's wedding, which was lovely. Travelling with a baby not so lovely, but she did sleep quite well in the Pram of Sleeping +8, just not in the Portacot of Doom.

How have you all been?

Friday, October 17, 2008

YOU!

Beth has three new tricks this week - getting onto her hands and knees, pulling up to kneeling, and POINTING LIKE THE EVIL MONKEY FROM "THE FAMILY GUY":


Beth shows off new skillz; Monsieur le Frog observes upside-down

I defy you not to explode at the cuteness.

Oh wait, there is actually a fourth developmental leap that has been around for a bit, as the "hamming it up for the camera" gene has now been activated: see above.

I had my first two-day week at work this week. It was a little easier actually to get work done, I must say, although I think we have a ways to go before I am as useful to my generous employer as I want to be. Beth was less angelic for Grant this week, though, and both evenings after work and for the days I have been with her, she has been frequently declaring her PASSIONATE LOVE FOR THE BOOB. Sometimes this kind of looks like when almost-weaned puppies ram their mother and cause her to fall over so they can feed. Still makes me feel all special, though :)

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Back to wurk


Beth likes eggs, and lurves Daddy

So last week I returned to economically productive capacity in the formal sense, ie went into the office. And it was grand. There was cake. There was secretarial support of the first order. There were interesting matters and intellectual stimulation and grown-up conversation that did not centre around the feeding and care of Beth. AND I got to leave at 5pm, which I have never ever done before, and no-one questioned this. IT WAS AWESOME!

Beth stayed home with Grant and I have it on good authority, supported by Tara, that she had a lovely time. Adventures were had, I believe:


Grant, unlike me, can take Beth out of the house without packing for arctic expedition

Certainly she seemed very cheerful when I got home, before she saw me and started whingeing to nurse, then affixed herself for the next 2 hours or so. I must say that my return to work was about as stress-free as it could possibly have been - no childcare run or preparation of Beth required; all I had to do was get up, feed her, and leave. And of course after several weeks of silly buggers sleep habits, she slept beautifully for him (or slept "like someone else's baby" as he put it), between being sunny and cheerful and adventurous and fun. Grant said I couldn't have planned a better first day of full-time parenthood for him. He is now addicted and I may yet persuade him to stay home full-time while I go out and slay savage beasts to feed the family. Or actually, both of us working part-time will I think be wonderful, not to mention nice for sanity.

Grant sent me the following two pictures as "proof of life" while I was in the office. I defy anyone not to become all squooshy:



Oh yeah, I'm cute

Mum visited last week to knock the garden into shape, and it is now looking almost neat in some parts. She was visiting on Weds/Thurs, so Friday was my first day home alone with Beth last week, and until I locked us out of the house in the evening, we had a lovely time hanging out in the backyard. She only ate a healthy modicum of dirt, too.

Plus, I like the money.

The only downside of work was lactation-related. Our pumping facilities are a bit abysmal. As in, give that our offices are glass-fronted and therefore unsuitable for the modesty of a good corporate lawyer, I was offered two options for pumping, but #1 which used to be the "family room" for sick kids is now someone's office and also the kitchen for the whole floor, #2 is the sick room with a hidden power point and no desk space to work on while playing cow, and both are, of course, unlockable. This would have been OK if a "do not disturb" sign was efficacious, but I got walked in on in #1 despite do not disturb sign. On the other hand, I used to be shy about pumping despite not minding breastfeeding in public (of course, Beth DOES mind breastfeeding in public), but as I have now had to tell about a million people that I was pumping and have a million others either see me do it or see me dealing with the output, I am pretty well over that. Also, I can now pump while working, which is handy as I would otherwise have difficulty justifying 40 mins out of a shortened workday. But I might try to get a bigger table for the sick room.

In short: I am back. Not bigger and better than before, since I'm now effectively only working a weekend, but it's lovely just the same.

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Crawling revisited

Also, Beth totally has the commando crawl down pat now. Proof:

video

The new place has a lot more space for her to crawl around in, so we expect to see the development of very buff crawling muscles indeed shortly.

Full circle

Househunt 2008 #2 is finished at last, and we finally have a new pad. We have christened it Narnia, not because it is magical or accessed via a wardrobe, but because of this:


Why yes, that is a lamp-post in the back yard, and no, we don't know why.

Less artistic lamp-post shot:


Jungle baby is coming to get you.

It happens to be across the road from our first Sydney house (or rather the McMansion that now stands where the Fifties Dreamhouse once stood). Which makes it quite cute when our lovely new neighbours welcome us to the 'hood. It also means we have come full circle through some of the world's great places - Concord West (Fifties Dreamhouse), Homebush (All Mod Cons Dreamhouse on Highway to Hell), Notting Hill (Pixieflat), Newcastle (Versatile Solutions for Modern Living Soulless Townhouse), and back to Concord West. We are pleased as punch to be back in the old stomping ground. There's a park across the road, and Bicentennial Park is 15 minutes' walk away. We can walk to Rhodes shopping centre in 30 mins or the Bakehouse Quarter in 15, the local shops (takeaways x 2, cafes x 3 and a decent corner shop), our chiro and the station are only two blocks away, Grant can ride to work in under 40 minutes, and I can train it in in about 35 from door to door barring Unforseen Public Transport Incidents. The location, in other words, is wonderful.

The new house - well, not quite wonderful. It has wooden floors for Beth to wee upon without fear of carpet damage, a yard for her to play in without getting third degree knee grazing unlike the previous courtyard (and she LOVES the backyard - see jungle baby shots above), a HILLS HOIST TO DRY NAPPIES ON IN TRUE AUSTRALIAN STYLE WOOHOO! (ETA: unfortunately not as good as I'd hoped, as it has a tree rammed through it so won't turn), a nonfunctional spa bath for ?, three bedrooms, and two bathrooms. And it has bars on the windows, what with Concord West being a hotbed of crime. You have to watch out for those latte-sipping Concord teenagers with their polite manners, I tell you.

It does not have:
-a dishwasher (NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!)
-a remotely logical layout
-a reasonable rent, even after we haggled $20/week off, but that's Sydney for you, I guess
-any proximity whatsoever to my Novocastrian mother's group, alas.

It also clearly did not have previous tenants with any concept of house or garden maintenance, as the yard is overrun with weeds and the cupboards HAD MOUSE POO IN THEM, and the floors were v. grimy, but Jan and Paul, Industrial Cleaners par excellence as well as being very nice parents-in-law to have, came the other day and beat the place into shape. And now I find myself kind of getting to like the place. But not its lack of dishwasher, which is inexcusable. Good shower though.

The room that will be Robert's is still full of boxes, but don't tell him, OK?

Beth really wants to stress that she likes the yard:


Jungle baby is getting closer by the second...

We're missing things Novocastrian but really getting into the swing of the neighbourhood. Today we had yum cha with Vron and Fi at Rhodes, and Beth ate a fair few dumpling fragments. Then we went for a stroll around the strangely named Lake Belvedere in Bicentennial Park, and Beth looked at the duckies:


Beth points out that there is no birdy cuter than the teenaged duckling

And I am back in the office on Tuesday, without a single dry-cleaned suit, thanks to the ^%#! public holiday when I least expected it.

Now to get organised with this whole living-and-returning-to-work caper. Wish us luck. Separate post to follow with our farewell to Newcastle shots!

Friday, September 05, 2008

Where's the cheese?

Where's the cheese? (credit: PRC). Here's the cheese:


And after this, the cheese was all over the floor.

As you can see, Beth is mastering the pincer grasp quite nicely, and can "chew" in so far as anyone can chew with two teeth (actually, quite well - she can somehow bite off pieces of toast and apple - impressively sharp gums). However, still not really keen on solid foods except as objects to play with. Leaves, on the other hand, are quite tasty:

We keep trying, because we are stupid that way.

The important thing is that she is SUPER CUTE.

As you know, nothing pleases me so much as a pornographic trade mark dispute, and I got to play with a really neato case of same at work this week, and for a fancy client, to boot. Very entertaining from a legal perspective although quite freaky from any other perspective including basic aesthetics. Grant has been doing a lot more of the heavy lifting baby-wise preparatory to looking after Beth alone two days a week, so I've actually managed to do more than six hours of work this week without sacrificing Beth's every naptime to the cause, which is wonderful. There was a day where I only changed one nappy, even!

Grant engaged in heavy lifting, baby-wise; Beth engaged in daddy tom-tom drums

We're still househunting in Sydney - or rather, I have delegated the househunting in Sydney to those who are occasionally in Sydney - and it has been a bit depressing. Not much around, and all quite expensive. Still, something will show up in the nick of time like always, I should imagine. In the worst case scenario I can ramp up the hours working from home in the short term and potentially slightly delay returning to the office. Not for long though!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

On your marks...

Well, so much for the regular updates, but we have lots of excuses!

Beth has had a busy couple of weeks with a full itinerary of screeching and so on. She has been trying to figure out the crawling caper, which has made her quite cross and unwiling to be left to play on the floor by herself as she used to. We have been drilling her in mad crawling skillz and as you can see from this, our mutual efforts have finally borne fruit:


This is day 1 of commando crawling. Day 4 is a bit more stylish. No pix yet.

This last week, she has also learned to blow raspberries on herself, us, and various other objects, which I can't find as a milestone in any parenting book but which is nevertheless of course TOTALLY AWESOME.

In another one for the Beth Do It Self books, mashed banana is unacceptable but DIY nana is something she can get on board with:


She also likes DIY celery. And baths:

Oh, and as you can see (if not blinded by the explosive cuteness) Beth has grown more hair. I think she's aiming for a flat top.

The last few weeks have also included her first ever illness (daddy's nasty head cold, and no mummy didn't kill daddy for infecting her, but she did think dark and deadly thoughts), which made her miserable, and a really horrific bout of teething which has also made her miserable, in addition to the learning-to-crawl misery. It has been a fun time where all food has been refused and sleep has returned to its previous very scatty state. But whatever doesn't kill us only makes us really ticked off!

I am back at work which has been quite stimulating and fun, although has slightly detracted from the staring-at-the-wall time available to me. Just as well I am now earning the dough again though, as Queenie the wunderdog is reaching her expensive years and has racked up some decent vet bills of late, poor bear.

In conclusion: we're still here. How have you been?

Monday, July 28, 2008

BETH DO IT SELF!

I believe I may have mentioned Beth's recent mastery of the sippy cup, and my impending FREEDOM BABY YEAH! This was clearly a jinx, as yesterday Beth couldn't figure it out at all and this morning she still wasn't drinking much, a slight problem as (a) I wanted my freedom and (b) she seems to need a few tablespoons of water a day to balance out the digestive perils of her rice cereal breakfast. Aside: why is rice, known to cause constipation in grown ups, a recommended first baby food? Are we as a species on crack or what?

In any case, this morning I figured what the hey, and got out one of her bottles from a previous attempt at my freedom which failed, because she never really took to the bottle. Rather than buggering around, she promptly grabbed it from me and fed herself a refreshing drink of water. GO TEAM US.



Photographic proof that (a) Beth can feed herself, (b) we do read to her and (c) our house is a crapheap, per usual.

Provided that she can do it herself, she's up for most feeding methods, or so it seems.

She is not however up for her afternoon nap so I must be off.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Experimental blogging

What a fascinating modern age we live in...


Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Wii Fit week 10. *ahem*

So, I thought last week would be my worst week ever, but I underestimated myself. No Wii Fit AT ALL, and I missed my long run on Sunday... but it's not all bad news.

I did a weigh in today (at least it's only 7 days since the last one):
BMI: 35.02 (down 0.57)
Weight: 119.7kg (down 1.8kg)
Weight loss to date: 7kg

It doesn't seem right, but I guess the jogging is having an effect...

Chalking up the achievements

This week has been a big one for Beth, if you are her parents!
  1. new tooth. Grant and I were betting on which it would be, and both bet spectacularly wrongly as instead of an exotic upper tooth she got the same old, same old other bottom middle tooth. Two in a row! Twice the cuteness! Twice the incredibly painful biting power!
  2. new smile, complete with exaggerated squinty eyes. Grant thinks she's trying to smile like me. How's that for a backhanded compliment? She seems to reserve this particular smile for special occasions, so it may be the start of her developing into a prize showpony like her mummy.
  3. first swimming lesson. I was worried that she's be freaked out by it all, but clearly the healthful chlorine vapours of our local pool did the trick because she seemed to have a lovely time swimming with her daddy, and didn't even seem to mind when the teacher was grabbing her now and then to show us how to teach her. She really liked hanging onto the edge of the pool and splashing, and sitting on the edge to jump in. If there is anything more adorable than a little baby butt peeping out of a swim nappy, I don't know what it could be.
  4. and (drumroll) the moment I have been waiting for these many months - putting her feet in her mouth! I could not be prouder.
Solids-wise she's now eating pears, sweet potato, apple, pumpkin, potato and rice cereal. She lets us feed her now and isn't quite as determined to use her own spoon (although does still have one clenched in her fist while eating, and shoves it in her mouth fairly regularly). I thought there could be nothing worse than potato mashed with nothing but water, but actually it's quite tasty. We have had to whoa way back on the rice cereal as it was causing backups in the pipes but everything else seems to be going down well. She hasn't rejected anything yet, but then we're not up to the exciting stuff I suppose!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Wii Fit week 9 - worst week EVA!

I did so little Wii during this week it barley even warrants a mention. I think it was like 30min on Monday and Tuesday... and that's it! I also missed a couple of jogs. Very bad week. I think I will cut back a bit on the Wii as my jogging is (theoretically) increasing coming in to the City 2 Surf.

The good news is I have since gotten the jogging back on track.

Anyway, I failed to do a weigh in on Sunday, but I'll use the results from Tuesday (didn't do a work out, just a body test!)

BMI: 35.59 (down 0.73)
Weight: 111.5kg (down 1kg)
Weight loss to date: 5.2kg

So, even though I have done very little exercise, and we had some fantastic food at Alex and Michelle's wedding, I still lost weight! Gotta be happy with that...

My task now is to stay focused on the jogging, and aim for 3 days of Wii per week. I'll modify the routines and make it more of a mixed bag.

Striking while iron is hot

In my haste to recount the exciting part of the wedding last weekend (sleep!) I forgot to mention the other parts. Most importantly, Grant has long desired to dance with his daughter at a wedding. I should stress *a* wedding and not *her* wedding. Although I'm sure he wants to do that too. In any case, Beth was getting towards bedtime when the speeches were still in full swing last night, and then the bridal couple had their first waltz while Grant was in the back of the hall, putting Beth to sleep in her pram, or so I thought. But instead Beth and her daddy were doing this far far more fun thing:


Milestone #21374213, dancing at wedding using correct hand on shoulder posture: check

Nothing like starting out teary for a bridal waltz and then getting a dose of my two favourite humans being even more adorable than usual.

As you can see, Beth was having a lovely time, and in such circumstances we are finally learning to say to hell with the rigid bed clock and hello life is for living! Grant went on to make everyone in the room vote him Best Father of All Time by taking it out on the dance floor. The song following the bridal waltz was "A Little Ray of Sunshine," so I think the DJ was getting a bit misty-eyed too. Although possibly not, as Beth's awesome outfit contained no pink so everyone assumed she was a boy.

Jan got the above shot, and also forwarded us this very rare apple, namely the SHOT OF GRANT, LOZ AND BETH TOGETHER PROVING NONE ARE FIGMENTS OF THE OTHER'S IMAGINATION!


The shot also proves the following:
(a) Lee's awesome green jumper still fits Beth;
(b) Grant still looks sharp in a red tie;
(c) I was dressing for the wedding solely with regard to how easy it would be to breastfeed in the outfit rather than visual appeal. One has to have priorities, as you can see from Beth's chubby cheeks;
(d) Beth has my eyebrows;
(e) Yes, Grant still has dimples.

It was a wonderful night.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Stroller of Sleeping +8

Ooh, lucky 101st post! Who would have believed we could waste quite so much time :)


Stroller of Sleeping +8

So at the weekend we went to Grant's cousin Anthony's ("oh wait, I mean Alex" - celebrant) wedding in Sydney, which was an exciting occasion but involved a two-hour car trip each way, a late night wedding reception, an overnight stay at a hotel, and a long yum cha the next day, all of which would have been frankly inconceivable adventures with Beth a month ago. So I was slightly anxious about the whole shebang.

But I needn't have worried. Post-babywrangler Beth is a whole different baby. She slept half of the trip down and all of the trip back, waking up only when we drove in the driveway; she slept through the wedding itself in her stroller and more amazingly still slept for almost three hours in a really, really noisy reception, waking only after the dessert course to say hello to the family members present and be a bit weirded out by the noise volume of the Brazilian dancers. It was lovely. All of the people who are usually giving us veiled advice about baby sleeping were instead admiring the Most Awesome Sleeping Baby Ever. I was kind of smug about this because Beth was outsleeping the crap out of the other baby present, who was a Strict Routine child. EAT THAT STRICT ROUTINES! Anyway, this epic snooze was also in her stroller. She then went on to sleep in it for two hours the next day during yum cha, waking at the end of proceedings just in time to smile endearingly at all present.

Clearly the stroller has magical powers, so I am thinking of either buying three more strollers of the same kind (see above for actual real stroller of sleeping) just in case or possibly having this one bronzed in memory of the occasion. I am so so glad Grant's sister encouraged me to give the stroller sleep a whirl weeks ago, because it is FREEDOM, BABY, YEAH!

The only glitch in the whole thing really was the hotel sleep. Beth was reluctant to sleep in the portacot and made this clear. It probably would have been fine within a few minutes, but we didn't want to wake anyone so caved and let her sleep in our bed. Fortunately our bed was HUUUUUUUUGE and she was pretty happy once she got her mummy and daddy cuddles.

She really was an absolute champ all weekend. She couldn't have done much better if she had set out to help my recovery from the Horrific Sydney Trip of March 2008, which included unexplained screaming, nappy blowouts, puking on a train and a few emotional breakdowns at my end, and put me off travelling any further than Charlestown for months. In fact I was so impressed with her terrific attitude all weekend that I felt the need to buy every toy in IKEA for her. She now has sufficient toys to require a box for same. And some of them aren't even improving wooden toys. Some of them are PLASTIC.

In short: awesome weekend. We saw family, we saw friends, and Beth made all and sundry fall in love with her. As they should. No photos - we were too busy having a great time!

Monday, July 07, 2008

A retrospective: 6 months of Beth (Plan B)

Grant has been hassling me to do a proper blog entry, and I'm having quite the galloping writer's block, having written nothing other than shopping lists and legal advice since September last year. But our daughter, she is fabulous, and deserving of written acknowledgement on the momentous occasion of her six-month-aversary. So.

1. The advent of Beth


Beth didn't have quite the introduction to the world outside that we had hoped. Instead of being born in a nice birth centre and being caught by her daddy with Auntie Sue helping, followed by a lovely long snooze at home in bed with us to get to know each other, we spent most of a pretty gruelling 30 hour labour in a hospital ward with me chained to a bed with drips and foetal monitors, and when she was finally born she was whisked away to the NICU for 2.5 days. Not much fun for anyone, particularly as Grant and I had been awake for the aforementioned 30 hours and then got no more than 1.5 hours' sleep at a stretch so that I could do three hourly (and then two hourly, yuk!) feeds in the NICU.

So our "getting to know each other" stage had rather more cables, monitors, and doctors and nurses in attendance than anticipated, as well as a lot more being forced to leave Beth behind in a ward with strangers, and everyone was fairly shell-shocked for weeks afterwards. I think we both found it quite hard to put her down for a while there, and even after she was out of the NICU but in the maternity ward with us, we used to steal "secret cuddles" with her when she was supposed to be in her light bed for jaundice.


Beth was born tall but desperately skinny, likely because of the tummy bug from hell that landed me in hospital at 34 weeks. She didn't actually have a butt, just kind of a flat sheet of skin with a little starfish in the middle; I wish we had documentary evidence of this, because it was freaky, and if people could see it they would understand why watching Beth grow a butt still stands out as one of the greatest achievements of the first week or so of her life and one of which I am immensely proud, since *I* provided the butt fuel, after all.

2. Monkey stage

I remember really clearly Grant worrying when we had been home at Mum's for a couple of days that Beth was "all floppy." It took her that long to relax, I suppose, and I can't really blame her, because I think it took me longer!

Somewhat ironically given the NICU's paranoia about blood sugar and reasonably constant attempts to make us put her on formula, Beth lost all of 23gm of her 3068gm birthweight in the first 4 days of life and by the end of her first week had put on 300gm. For the uninitiated, 10% weight loss in the first week is normal; Beth gained that much, purely through the power of the boob. Normal weight gain is 140-250gm/wk; until she was 12 weeks old, Beth never gained less than 300gm/wk. She went from the 25th percentile for weight at birth to the top by 12 weeks, and now is hovering at the top of the charts for weight, height, and giant skull! So she grew that butt pretty quickly.


Beth spent a lot of her newborn "monkey stage" snoozing on chests (preferably daddy's chest) or in slings while we resumed our busy cafe lifestyle.


And lots and lots of time nursing and cuddling, and not a great deal of time alone in bed - well, she had done plenty of that in the NICU. I barely remember most of this stage to be honest. I was too busy clutching Beth, nursing all the live long day, and being a hormonal wreck. Looking back over the photos, she was a whole different creature. It was really quite a challenge getting to know someone who doesn't do much other than tell you when you're not acting up to spec, and since we were falling over ourselves to satisfy her every need and since (shockingly) she is a pretty easy going kiddo, she was barely even crying.

And then she started smiling and it was a whole new ball game, otherwise known as mummy and daddy three-ring-circus of "oh go on, SMILE!" (later repeated to this day to make her laugh, because we are suckers for her laugh).


3. Oh God, real baby time

While I was a wreck, the newborn monkey stage wasn't really that difficult. She used to only wake up once a night, and at 9 weeks old I scoffed at a speaker at my mother's group talking about sleep deprivation, because *I* used to sleep from 11 to 8 or so with only one waking, and clearly all these sleep deprived people were just incompetent parents. HAH.

The next day, I caught the train to Sydney with her for the second time. The first time had been a breeze really; the second time she puked all over me, blew out a nappy on a crowded train so I had to change her ON THE SEAT, cried and cried and refused to feed, and then when we arrived at Vron's, screamed her head off for half an hour until Grant put her in the sling to knock her out. And then the dreaded breast refusal stage started. She went from feeding for an hour at a time, thus consuming my entire day, to refusing to feed other than in short snatches and LYING DOWN IN THE BEDROOM, thus consuming my entire day and breaking my spirit into itty bitty pieces, for SIX WEEKS. This also meant that she went from waking once a night to waking every 2 hours to catch up on missed feeds, thus turning me into Zombie Mummy. It was rather hard to get any medical professionals to pay attention, though, as despite plummeting weight gains she was still cruising at the top of the weight charts.

Did I mention we also moved house at this time? Yeah, we did. Because we are just that kind of crazy.

But in between all of these shenanigans she was a smiling, lovely baby; it's just that for everything from 9 weeks to about 5 months I was too sleep-deprived and worried about her feeding to appreciate too much of it. You may notice there aren't so many photos of this particular stage.

Her favourite toy from about 8 weeks to 4 months was the Ladybird Nightmare floormat/playgym.


It took her a while to coordinate the grabbing and bashing thereof, but she pretty soon got the hang of it and by 3 months Mr Froggy was being beaten up at regular intervals. At 3.5 months Beth repeatedly rolled from her front to her back, but after doing three sets of rolls on two separate occasions, apparently she forgot how for another month or so, or maybe just didn't see the need, because she is very much a tummy baby and why on earth would one want to roll onto one's back when the REAL action is in rolling to one's tummy?

The harder, ab-requiring back to tummy roll was accomplished at 4.5 months. I credit our chiro for this, as until we started going to her when Beth was about four months old, Beth really didn't move her legs much at all - she was apparently pretty locked up in the lumbar spine, probably as a result of her not-so-easy entrance into the world. It's a funny thing to see a chiro adjusting a baby, as most of it involves what looks like modified cuddles and swings. Until very recently, Beth loved this, but lately there has been Neck Work which she has not been too fond of. In any case, since she managed this feat, Beth has happily stayed on her belly in a yogaesque cobra pose for ages and ages at a time, and how it isn't destroying her neck I do not know, because mine gets sort of achy just watching her.


At 5 months she remembered how to roll tummy-to-back and now she does it kind of like a synchronised swimmer, putting her arm back and over quite gracefully. She likes rolling forward and back, but only does it in opposite directions, so rolls on the spot. LUCKY FOR MUMMY AND DADDY, because if she works out how to string two rolls together and cross the floor, the game is up, as we are very much not yet childproofed in these parts. She's also very cleverly worked out how to use a front and back roll to spin around on the spot. Now she has modified her technique to a less wasteful roll-only-to-side approach, and has started walking her hands around a bit. It's amazing how much she can figure out even in only a few days

New favourite toys are her books (esp. "That's Not My Teddy" - mmm, furry, and hilarious, especially when Grant reads it as "That's Not My Daddy - HIS EARS ARE NOT FURRY ENOUGH!"), her Selecta wooden rattle and teething ring, and the best toy of all, her Chime Garden, which I bought on a whim at the DJs sale and which has since amused not only Beth 24/7 but also a friend's five year old! And according to said friend, it plays Schumann, so it's educational, too!

4. In which Mummy finally cracks and some sleep is had

The fact is, though, that sleepwise we had a pretty hard slog from when Beth was about 3 months old on. She rarely napped for longer than 45 minutes, required me to feed her to sleep or one of us to carry her in a sling to sleep, and would often not sleep for much longer than it took to get her to sleep to begin with. She was waking at least 3 times a night for feeds, usually didn't go longer than two hours between feeds, and Grant had to take her in the mornings so that I could sleep in just to survive.

We finally admitted that WE NEEDED HELP and hired the local sleep guru, sleepandsettle.com.au. I was sure this would lead to nonstop screaming and even less sleep, but in fact within a few hours of Natalie's visit, and without much pain at all, Beth was self-settling, sleeping for minimum three-four hour stretches at night (and often 6 or 7 hours, woohoo!), wakes twice a night on a BAD night, and would let Grant put her down to bed. Considering that before this it had routinely taken 40mins-2 hours to get Beth to sleep, this was freaking incredible, and made all the better by the fact that I had had such low expectations to start with.

Now we have a lot more energy to play with Beth, and she has a lot more fun, and seems to be rocketing through her milestones much faster than when she spent most of her time tired or with me trying to put her to sleep. While she was always a pretty cheerful chicken, she's now a lot calmer, to the point where we went from blaming everything on teething a month ago to not actually noticing when she cut her first tooth, even though in hindsight that did explain two mysterious short screaming fits and some rather unusual (for now - used to be standard) short night sleeps. I really enjoy her so much more now, and I think she's sort of reflecting that.

I also get to do really exciting things like GO RIDING ON MY BIKE! I haven't been riding since April last year, but it turns out that riding a bike is like riding a bike.

So I can say as Beth reaches her mighty milestone of six months: this parenthood caper is all kinds of cool. Our daughter is glorious, and every day more and more her own person, but more importantly, she cracks me up.

5. Summary

Amelie-style, things Beth likes: daddy jungle gym; mummy jungle gym; boob if on her terms; Chime Garden; watching the trees in the wind; rolling around, particularly now we have some end-of-roll lino for her to skid around on (super high quality, apparently); sit-ups; nappy-off time (aka "vejayjay time"); bathtime; daddy's silly songs; chewing things, esp if wooden or a spoon; attacking catalogues.

Things Beth isn't so sure about, but thinks she could grow to like: pureed sweet potato.

Dislikes: not so keen on ointment applied to the face, the five minutes before bed, or people other than mummy or daddy cuddling her, although usually prepared to relax about it after a while. Other than that, she's good with just about everything.

We adore, adore, adore our baby girl. It seems impossible that it has only been six months, and equally impossible that she has not always been here.

So that's where we're at. How have you guys been?

Milestones

Two milestones to log today!

Beth had a go at solids today. Sure, it made her throw up a little, but she does like playing with the spoon!

So since we hired the baby wrangler and have been a) getting sleep and b) having fun awake times, we haven't been quite so prone to saying "maybe it's teething" and such. In hindsight though, during the last couple of days Beth has had some grumpy moments...

We bought a roll of vinyl for her to practice commando crawling on and she has spent most of this afternoon having fun sliding around:
And I noticed that she was rubbing her gums with both hands - which she hadn't done for a while. I went to put some Bonjela on, and noticed a vicious little spike on the lower gum. That explains a lot!

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Our baby girl!

It is probably about time someone posts something about Plan B (is she still plan B? Surely Plan B has been executed already?)... Well, here she is:


She is doing super!

I will now spend the next 2 days harassing Loz into doing a 6-months-old post.

Wii Fit Week 7 and Week 8

*sigh*

What can I say... not a great couple of weeks. I will start with the good news though.


June was awesome. I am very happy with the volume of training I did during June - only missing 1 day when I should have done Wii Fit. If I can maintain this kind of consistency I will be very happy.

The results of the last 2 weeks, however, were not so great. During week 7, I went out and had a "few" beers with Benski. See the result:
23/6 33 min
24/6 44 min
25/6 -
26/6 36 min
27/6 34 min
28/6 35 min
29/6 32 min

BMI: 36.32 (up .9)
Weight: 113.8kg (up .6kg)
Weight loss to date: 2.9kg

30/6 33 min
1/7 10 min
2/7 -
3/7 -
4/7 37 min
5/7 37 min
6/7 33 min

BMI: 36.32 (down .42)
Weight: 112.5kg (down 1.3kg)
Weight loss to date: 4.2kg

Week 7 also had the most variance is weight - generally it is a slow trend down, but it was spiking all over the place. During week 8 I slacked off a bit. I was kind of feeling a bit run down, and may have been over doing the jogging during week 7. I rode the new cargo bike (blog entry of its own to come!) from Mum and Dad's place into Cooks Hill on the Sunday, which was a bit of a strain, and then did an hour long easy jog on Monday. After this my hamstring was fairly sore, and caused most of the right side of my body to be "out". I have mostly recovered from this, and the 60min jog on Sunday was not too bad at all. I think I am going to have to step up the massages and chiro appointments. Damn jogging. I'll be glad when this bloody event is over.

Apart from this small setback, the jogging has been going fairly well. 5 weeks to go until the Ciy 2 Surf... While I have always been confident of making it to the end (hell, I could walk it in about 2 hours), I would like to jog as much as possible, and maybe make it in under 90 minutes. I have not been doing any hills yet, so that might be a bit of a shock to the system. The next couple of weeks will be a challenge, as we have some events to attend in Sydney on the weekends.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Wii Fit week 6

Wow, what a week.
16/6 50 min
17/6 44 min
18/6 -
19/6 -
20/6 44 min
21/6 37 min
22/6 44 min (winter solstice - yay! days getting longer!)

So, Thursday night things were a bit crazy when I got home from work. Beth had been a terror for 2 days, Loz was hanging by a thread! I took her out for a walk in the sling for about an hour to give Loz some breathing space, and to get Beth a little sleep at least.

However, even though I missed a day on the Wii, I am still happy with the results:

BMI: 36.13 (down .45)
Weight: 113.2kg (down 1.4kg)
Weight loss to date: 3.5kg

3.5kg in 6 weeks... eh, not bad, but I am happy with how my body is holding up to the Wii, and the simple fact that I am actually sticking with it.

All this "fitness" is going to my head, and I may have done something silly... I signed up for the City2Surf. Their website has a 10 week training programme. Unfortunately, I had the brilliant idea in the middle of week 3. I did my first decent real world jog on Wednesday night in Sydney - 30 minutes around Bicentennial Park, maybe 4km. It hurt. But not as much as the day after! Thursday morning I had every intention of following it up with an "easy" jog in LCNP, but was feeling a little under the weather, so only managed about 10min. Friday morning I took Beth out in the jogging stroller for 30 minutes (who'd a thought one-handed jogging was difficult?!?!) Sunday is the day for the long jog though - I went out to the end of the breakwater and back home. ~55min (including 2 bubbler stops), ~7.5km...

So, there is hope that I will make the 14km in under 2 hours. If I manage to jog (if you can call what I do "jogging") all the way, I will be very happy. This coming week I will add some hills in the mix, just 'cause it doesn't hurt enough already!

Monday, June 16, 2008

5 weeks down

Interesting week this one...

09/6 53 min
10/6 67 min
11/6 - (Sydney)
12/6 43 min
13/6 43 min
14/6 44 min
15/6 65 min

BMI: 36.58 (up 0.1)
Weight: 114.6kg (up 0.3kg)
Weight loss to date: 2.1kg

I didn't go out on Wednesday, so no excessive eating or drinking... and yet I put on a little bit of weight. To give a sneak peak of week 6, it is saying I have dropped over a kilo today, so it could just be a time of day thing... I haven't been particularly strict about when I have been using the Wii - more dependent on Beth's schedule than anything else. I think I will have to do my Sunday weigh-in at the same time each week to make this a bit more valid. It will be interesting to see what the results are this week. It's funny - the weight is coming off slowly (which I am told is a good thing), but it is enough to give me the positive feedback I need to continue being motivated. My belt buckle does up a bit tighter, I'm feeling better, and allegedly my body shape has been changing slightly. I still have not made major modifications to my diet (lets not talk about the chocolate brownies I just made!), so there is definitely room for improvement there.

I'm looking at changing my aerobic component a bit - and doing some more jogging in the Real World. Looking out the window right now, this may be a flawed plan - it has been raining off and on for days with a cutting wind. The Wii has really come into it's own :) Even when it is miserable outside, it doesn't give you an excuse not to use the Wii...

Loz has been a bit more regular using Wii Fit as well - her goal is to do at least 20min each day, and I think she is managing 30min most days. She is also kicking my arse at pretty much everything (except pushups - I ownz the 10 reps pushups!). Apparently her balance is way better than mine, not to mention her timing on the Step game. I've actually threatened to delete her Mii character if she continues to knock me off the score board - there's only so many times you can tolerate your "Best Score" not actually appearing at all.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Wii Fit week 4...

Just a short, quick entry, or I'll never get it done!

Here's how the week went:
2/6 54 min
3/6 65 min
4/6 Sydney...
5/6 51 min
6/6 58 min
7/6 53 min
8/6 67 min

And the numbers:
BMI: 36.48 (down .32)
Weight: 114.3kg (down 1kg)
Weight loss to date: 2.4kg


I'm very happy with how much I was able to do this week - particularly getting a session in on Thursday night when I got back from Sydney. I may not be able to do it every week, but I'll aim to do something at least. Also, doing a workout on the Friday definitely gave me more energy.

I guess I am losing weight steadily, but I think I would like it to be a bit faster. That will take a commitment to changing my diet, and I'm not about to kid myself that it will be easy. I really like my food! I've improved my snacking habits, and am eating more fruit, so that is a start... (cutting back on the sourdough may be a challenge.)

Anyway, 4 weeks on an exercise programme is the best I've done, each week I am seeing progress, and I am definitely feeling better for doing the exercise. Besides the Wii, I am taking Beth for a 40min+ walk when I am home, trying to get a ride or two in each week, and we do pretty much all of our local trips on foot, which all helps.

Friday, June 06, 2008

Recording a Milestone...

Just as a reference point, Beth rolled over on Tuesday (3rd June). I was on a conference call at the time (working from home) so it was added to the minutes...

We have a backlog of photos to upload, and I have a couple of short video clips I am hoping to put somewhere too. I'll upload them soon, I swear!

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Week 3 report

*sigh*

Once again this week I was slightly over-indulgent while in Sydney. It's funny - I don't have heaps of time to catch up with friends (ok, fair enough - more than Lauren...), so each week in Sydney I am trying to catch up with different people, and that inevidibly means going out to dinner somewhere. This week it was going to dinner with Spoonboy and Robert. It was a very nice dinner - a newish woodfire pizza place in North Strathfield. Apparently the owner is quite the wine fanatic, and the selection shows it (like I'd know...) In any case, a few pizzas and a bottle of wine later, I was feeling pretty happy! (apart from fearing what the Wii would say - it gets quite sassy at times!)

Here's the breakdown:
26/5 49 min
27/5 30 min
28/5 - Sydney
29/5 - Sydney
30/5 - lazy!
31/5 60 min
01/6 78 min


As you can see, Friday was not great. I was feeling pretty wasted after work (I think it is the drive more than anything), Beth has not been sleeping great, and the chiro appointment took out the morning. Yes, these are just excuses, and I should have worked out on the Wii, I guilted myself into doing extra on the Saturday and Sunday.

The result:
BMI: 36.80 (+.4 over last week)
Weight: 115.3kg (-.2kg over last week)
Weight loss to date: 1.4kg

This week I was trying out something different. Previously, I have been trying to get up ~30 min of mainly aerobic exercise - with a focus on fat loss. I wanted to diversify a bit more, so started playing around with the strength and yoga routines. On Saturday and Sunday I basically went through all routines available, and have now worked out a modified programme. I am still taking Beth for a ~1hr walk each morning (when I am home), so that actually caters a fair bit for the aerobic activity. I am now going to focus the Wii on strength and yoga exercises, and if I need to cut back at all, it will come out of the aerobic stuff. For aerobic, I have a fairly well established set of Boxing, Step, Hula Hoop, and Jogging - which gives me a nice 30 minutes.

I had expected that the Internet would provide me with some detailed exercise routines, but alas it was not to be. Despite the number of blogs proclaiming WiiFit as the new messiah, nobody is detailing their routines. After going through all of the Strength and Yoga exercises (and matching up the recommended pairs) I categorised each by the primary body part they focus on:

Arms
YogaStrength
Downward facing dogPress up
Shoulder standArm + leg lift
Palm treeTricep extension
Legs
Sun SalutationSideways leg lift
WarriorLunge
ChairRowing Squat
Standing KneeSingle leg extension
King of the dance (?!)
Half moonSingle leg twist
Trunk/abs
TreeSingle arm stand
BridgeJackknife
Crocodile twist
CobraParallel Stretch
TriangleTorso & waist twist




So, my aim is to do Arms + Legs one day, trunk/abs the next. I'll pad out with Aerobic exercises on the trunk/abs day if required. I feel the balance routines are more like games (and I do enjoy playing them!) so I'll just pad with them if and when required, or use them for R&R!

I'll start with the trunk/abs tomorrow...

Monday, May 19, 2008

Week 2 report...

Shut up! I know this is late!!! The important thing is that I actually DID exercise - not that I was really late in writing about it! Anyway, here's what happened...

Bit of a funny week this one - I spent 3 days instead of 2 in Sydney, so that threw the schedule out a bit. I had every intention of going for a walk/jog in Bicentennial park on the Wednesday evening, but instead it hailed and we had a shitload of rain. I was really bummed about it. I also had a *big* night out with some work friends, and followed up with a *bigger* lunch (albeit minus the alkymahol) on the Friday.

19/5 43 min
20/5 31 min
21/5 - Sydney
22/5 - Sydney
23/5 - Sydney
24/5 55 min
25/5 41 min

And the moment of shame:
BMI: 36.74 (-.06 over last week)
Weight: 115.5kg (+0.5 over last week)
Weight loss to date: 1.2kg

So, not great, but knowing how much I ate and drank in Sydney, I'm not surprised. Even though I am not going to go nuts about altering my diet, just monitoring my weight weekly helps to stay aware of the influence of my daily food intake. I know I think more about what I am eating now - I might not be going for a salad, but I am certainly not upsizing! Lets see how it goes next week... (you wont have to wait long, I'm about to type it up aswell!)

It's ALIVE!!!

Ok, so maybe its been a while since we last did some blogging, but we've got a good excuse! Moving country, finding work, finding a home, having a baby... these things take up a lot of time. I am willing to admit 6 months is a LONG time though ;)

Anyway, my reason for starting up this blogging again is largely selfish - I just need a place to write some stuff down. Specifically, to keep a log of exercise. I turned 32 last Monday (12th) and Loz and Beth gave me a Wii and Wii Fit (not sure exactly how much Beth contributed there, but I am grateful none the less!)

So, to commence the Blog of Shame, here are my vital stats as of 12/5/2008:
BMI: 34.1
Weight: 116.7kg

There are other stats in there, but they appear largely useless...

Here's how it will work... I only set up the Wii late on the Monday, so started training on the Tuesday. At the end of each week I'll have a weigh in, and see how it goes!

Now, here are the weeks stats:
12/5 4 min
13/5 62 min
14/5 - (Sydney)
15/5 - (Sydney)
16/5 37 min
17/5 52 min
18/5 64 min

And now the vital stats:
BMI: 36.80
Weight: 115.3kg
Weight loss to date: 1.4kg

The Wii also allows you to log other exercises (walking, cycling, - even things like cooking! I guess anything that has you on your feet and active...) I will be logging walking and cycling activities in there, but wont bother posting them here.


Hopefully I will be able to keep this up (both the exercise, and the Blog!!!)

I also still have a bunch of photos to upload, so I'll see if I can get that sorted this week too.

'Till next time...