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Sorry about the long gap between postings.  What with Christmas, my birthday, New Year, and buying another property, it’s been flat out.

Just the new property by itself has been hectic.  We managed to negotiate possession prior to settlement, so we’ve been putting in the hard yards after work and on weekends.  Needless to say it’s been tiring but rewarding.  For example, the backyard was a complete hovel – lots of cr@p left behind by the flakey previous owner, a rotting pergola, and a sad little paved area surrounded by dust.  From the skeletal remains of reticulation (irrigation) we dug up, it was apparent that at some stage the dust was meant to be a garden.

We spent hours taking the cr@p to the tip, digging up the pavers, dead plant corpses and reticulation, and getting rid of the excess sand.  Today the pavers came and started laying our beautiful new charcoal pavers (with a natural coloured border, of course) and we will also be getting a new patio installed.  I can’t wait.  If nothing else, having the entire back area paved means no more dust in the house!

So yes we have been pretty busy.  It’s been good though, especially now the most back breaking part is finished 😉  There’s still lots to be done, but we’re getting there.

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I’m feeling a bit all over the place this weekend.  It’s been a good week in a few different ways; I’ve started to really clean out the house.  I’ve donated a car-full of stuff to the local Good Sammie’s, and I’ve also gone through one shelf in the pantry and got together a box of stuff which I donated to the local Christmas food drive.  I cooked dinner last night, and I’ll cook again tonight.  I’ve finished my usual cleaning, and I’ve been to three zumba classes this week.  I had a really lovely chat with my little brother this morning, who rang me of his own accord and was full of news.  My weight is 75.6kgs, which for me is a BMI of 24.97 – for the first time in years, I’m in the ‘normal’ BMI range.

On the other hand, I’m feeling a bit – flat.  Not crap, just – flat.  I’ve felt like this for a little while now, maybe a week, and I’m not really sure what to do about it.  Do I increase my meds?  Do I wait and see how I go?  Do I learn some relaxation techniques?  Who knows.  At this stage I’m tempted to up the meds a bit, just to see if they make a difference.  I’ve had a couple of bad days in the last few weeks as well; so bad I was a mess.  One of them I managed to get to work, the other I just stayed home and cried and slept all day.

The more I think about it, the more I think I will increase my meds.  I don’t like feeling like this – the best medical description would be ‘flat affect’ – and I’ve felt like this for a little while now.  It’s not improving depending on how much sleep I get, how well I’m eating, or how much exercise I’m doing; I think it may be time to bring in the big guns.

Generally though life is going okay.  C is on leave now for two weeks (I go on leave from Thursday) and he’s celebrating by spending about twenty hours a day in front of the computer.  This doesn’t particularly worry me, as he needs a bit of time to de-stress after the last few weeks.  Work has been ridiculous and he needed a break.

It’s hard to believe it’s Sunday evening already.  And mid-December, no less.   WTF has happened to the year?

I’ve had a pretty good week and weekend.  Work was satisfying this week – for one of the few times this year I actually felt like I was working on something important.  I had to write up a document for the Premier’s chief of staff, in a very short time frame and with little direction, and it went through without any amendments.  This made me happy 😀

The diet and exercise etc is still going well.  I’ve now lost 4.6kgs, which means I’m about half-way to being a size 12.  I’m starting to get a lot of comments about it too, mostly from various people at work.  I just have to stick with it, I guess.  Zumba is having a two-week break over Christmas, so I’ll have to see what I do about that.  In theory I’ll go running instead.  In reality, I loathe running with a passion, so we will have to see.  Maybe I’ll just limit my eating to 1000 calories a day, who knows.

Also, we’ve bought another property!!  This was the truly exciting news of the week.  It’s a 3×1 villa, and we got it for $322K.  This is a BARGAIN, and it has really made my month.  It needs a bit of work in the outside areas (new paving, and a garden needs to be established) but inside it’s relatively okay.  The really exciting thing is we’ve also negotiated access to the property after finance approval, but before settlement.  This means we can start doing stuff to it, before we have to pay the mortgage on it.  First time we’ve managed to negotiate this so I’m really stoked!

I saw my mum today, who was in good form.  We spent two hours together gasbagging, and it went really well.  I don’t always get along fantastically with my mother, so today was really nice for a change.  I even got my act together and bought a secret santa gift for this coming Friday’s work Christmas party – a calendar with smartarse sayings.  The recipient will love it, she’s got a similar sense of humour to me, so that was a win.

I’m in the process of cooking a lamb roast for dinner.  It’s got to the point where the lamb-roast odours are wafting around the house, and driving me nuts.  I’m so hungry, I’ve only had 900 calories today – I thought I’d save up and splash out for dinner 😀  Plus, I may even have a chocolate mousse for dessert.  I’ve found these great Aero chocolate mousses which are only 69 calories, with pretty much no fat, so they’re an allowable indulgence.

Had my second weigh-in today.  Only lost 0.4kg, but hey it’s better than nothing I guess.  I’ve already checked out my eating plan and have worked out where I can reduce my breakfast a bit to cut back, so that’s a good thing.  If I tend to overeat at any meal it’s breakfast – I wake up STARVING and so I eat as much as I can stuff into my little mouth.  However I’m working out that if I cut back on my muesli/no fat milk/yoghurt combo a bit, it reduces the calorie intake and still leaves me feeling full.  Anyhow, we’ll see what the coming seven days brings.

I’m hoping to get to four zumba classes again this week.  I just feel so good when I’m in a class (and afterwards as well of course).  I was telling C yesterday that I’ve started deliberately upping my energy level in the class – I’ve always been a high energy participant, but I’m trying to deliberately remember to lift my knees higher, etc.  Again, mindfulness is a key part of this.

We went to Mum & J’s last night for dinner.  Poor C, he spent just about the entire four hours we were there sorting out their laptops.  I finally had to put my foot down at 10pm and drag him home – he was too polite to say he’d had enough.  However the dinner was lovely and Mum was in good form, so that was nice.

We spent a good two hours this afternoon weeding the back paving area.  The cat hung around the entire time, ‘supervising’ as C says.  She just really likes hanging out with us when we’re outside.  I think she enjoys the company.  Every so often she’d walk over to one of us for a pat, then walk back to her spot to lie down again.  So cute.

Five years ago today, C and I got married.  I didn’t know it at the time but I was about to be diagnosed with clinical depression, which would follow my life for at least the next half-decade.  That said, I can honestly say that the day we got married was definitely one of the best days of my life.

We don’t do anything special for our wedding anniversaries; all we’ll do tonight is kick back and have some takeaway squid with salad for dinner.  Then we’ll probably cuddle on the couch and watch some episodes of True Blood.  Simple, but perfect 🙂

I’m nearly at the end of week two of my new exercise/eating plan regime.  It’s been pretty easy, to be honest.  I love my zumba classes and never need to motivate myself to go to them, so that aspect is so simple.  The food part is a bit harder, and takes a bit more effort, just in terms of recording it all, and being mindful of what I eat.  I’m also premenstrual so have had some significant sugar cravings for the last day or so.  I’ve bought some diet desserts (creme caramel and chocolate mousse) so that if I do break down, there’s something ‘permissible’ but still naughty that I can indulge in.  So far I’m holding out though, which is good.

I had a meeting with my old boss yesterday.  Basically she wants to lure me to work with her.   The description of the job sounds fantastic, and she’s the best boss I’ve ever had, so I told her that if she could arrange it, I’d love to work with her.  Plus it would effectively get me out of my substantive role, which I’m well and truly looking to do.

Not a huge amount going on to report here.  Still keeping up with the zumba classes, still doing the usual – work, sleep, properties, etc.

I’m going to visit my mum this morning.  She and J got back from their European trip last weekend but we couldn’t organise a time to meet before now, so today it is.  She managed to hurt her ankle – not quite sure what she’s done to it at this stage, but 1) it isn’t broken, and 2) it seems worse than a sprain.  She has to have a CT scan on it, her physio thinks she may have pulled some tendon away from the bone.  YOUCH.

I caught up with a girlfriend from my previous workplace last week, and I’m doing the same with a couple more in the next two weeks.  I used to try to get them all to the same lunch but found it didn’t really work – we all like talking, but an hour with three other people isn’t really quality time, so I’ve started organising to see them all separately.  I loved seeing A and I know seeing T and G will be just as good.

Wow.  Busy few days.

I went to a zumba class on Wednesday night, and again yesterday morning (Saturday).  After the first twenty minutes on Wednesday, I thought I was going to die.  Talk about unfit.  However it’s already getting easier – after yesterday’s class I didn’t feel so bad.  Tired, yes, but ready to peg it, no.  There’s another class on Monday night but there’s stuff I have to do for one of the properties, so I don’t think I’ll make it this week.

Interview on Friday went okay.  Not amazing, but okay.  I should find out in about six weeks whether I’ve been appointed or not.  Until then I just need to not think about it.

It’s been a social week, too.  We had my brother and sister in law over on Thursday for pizza, and we had my in-laws over last night for roast lamb.  I now feel like I’d be perfectly happy not to interact for a couple of weeks with anybody other than C.  However, I’ve been a good sister/daughter in law, the house got cleaned so it was decent, and I’ve covered off on my family obligations for a little while, so it’s all good.

I got a head start on the cleaning on Friday night – I did both bathrooms and toilets.  Then I got up early and did laundry and food shopping before my 10am zumba class.  I don’t know if I can keep this up, but I do like the precedent it set.  I kept on with the good work this morning, by ironing three of C’s work shirts.  In theory I need to get to the apartment today to continue work on the bathroom, but I don’t know if I can be bothered, to be honest.  I’m worn out from all the housework, entertaining and exercise!!

Really the title should be ‘day off paid work’, but I’m not quibbling – any day off is a good day!  I realised yesterday at work that I had some flexi hours up my sleeve, and that I was on top of my workload, so I asked the boss if I could have today off as a day in lieu, and he said yes 🙂

I spent most of the morning sleeping (how sad is that?!) then did some food shopping and had lunch.  After that I went to the property we’re working on and did some more sealing and patching work in the bathroom/laundry.  I’m really hopeful this is going to sort it out, the bits I patched today I’d sealed the other night, and they looked really good, and gave a great surface to put the polyfilla on.  Hoping for the best!

I even have some plans in the pipeline for exercise.  I randomly did a google search the other day for zumba classes in my suburb, and a few popped up.  One is on tonight at the local hall, from 7pm and the best part (apart from being just down the road) – it’s only $12 per class!  At that rate I can happily justify going twice a week.  Whether I do or not is another story, but location and price wise it’s ideal.  I’ve only done zumba before on the wii, but I love high-energy aerobic based stuff, so I’m sure to love it.

I spoke to my brother last night, who informed me that he’s leaving on Sunday to go to the UK for work for ten weeks.  I was a bit sad as I haven’t seen him for ages, so he and his wife will be coming over tomorrow night for pizza for dinner.  I even thought ahead enough to buy some garlic bread today when I was shopping that we can have with the pizza.

Finally, I have an interview for a permanent position on Friday.  I keep forgetting about it.  That’s probably not a good sign, is it?  I’ll have to make sure my brother and sister in law don’t stay too late on Thursday night.  The good thing about my brother is that we do have that relationship where I can kick him out at 10pm and he’ll understand perfectly. 🙂

Yet another busy weekend.  We had one lot of tenants move out yesterday, and new ones move in today.  Even though the place was left very clean, it still takes a fair bit of work to do a turnover.  However the new tenants are in and appear to have settled in well, so that’s a relief 🙂

Apart from the property turnover, today was Fathers’ Day.  My dad is dead, and my stepdad J is overseas with mum at the moment, but C’s dad is still around so we had him and C’s stepmum over for a cooked breakfast.  I did bacon, eggs, mushrooms and toast, followed by buttermilk pancakes with strawberry coulis and maple syrup.  It turned out well and was very much appreciated, which is always nice.  I was smart this time and had breakfast before they arrived – I can’t eat savoury stuff in the mornings and I knew I was doing all the cooking, so I was prepared!  (I’ve done this before but not eaten first, and just about passed out from low blood sugar by the time I do eat something.)

I was particularly happy with the buttermilk pancakes – I’ve made them before, but not with gluten-free flour (C’s dad is a coeliac) and they turned out beautifully, which was great.  So many things don’t taste ‘right’ with gluten-free flour, but these were lovely and tasted ‘normal’ so to speak.  The only thing was the mix went flat pretty quickly.  Still tasted fine, but just very flat, more like pikelets than pancakes.   It was also the first time I’d made strawberry coulis and that also worked out well.  Very easy – a small punnet of strawberries, three dessertspoons of castor sugar, and juice of half a lemon, whizzed up in the blender.  It made HEAPS, easily double of what we used, so I’ll also have to remember that in future.

Another good day.  I managed to get all the washing done and hung on the line, and most of it dry.  This doesn’t sound like much but it puts me in a really good mood.  I also cleaned both bathrooms and toilets, changed the bedsheets, and started sorting out the room we call the ironing room.  As you may have guessed, this is where we keep clean clothes before they’re ironed, together with the ironing board and iron.  I should add it’s my least favourite room in the house, particularly as it often looks like a bomb has gone off in there.

The cat has spent most of today sleeping in her box on our barbeque, outside the kitchen window.  She’s a determined napper – she even managed to sleep through C vacuuming.  I read somewhere that cats sleep about 16 hours a day.  This sounds about right, from what I’ve seen with the cat.

It’s kind of hard to believe that tomorrow is Monday (and work) already…. the weekend has gone so quickly, and I don’t feel like I’ve really had any time to relax.  Still, I’ve done heaps, and that’s always good.