Closet Confession

Today I let my sister cull my hanging clothes. If she had been able to have her own way the donate pile would have been the same size as the keep pile. As it was it was about one third donate, two thirds keep, which I think is an alright ratio.

My hang in clothes still don’t all fit in one cupboard though, and we didn’t even look at my coats. 

But I do feel I have accomplished something anyway.

My sister is the best person to help me get rid of stuff I don’t need. I can tell just by looking at her face whether or not she thinks I should be keeping an item or not. She scrunched up her nose in distaste. Her mantra today was that if she could remember me wearing it during high school (a decade ago now) I wasn’t allowed to keep it. There were only two exceptions – my year 12 formal dress and a really cute Ben Sherman dress that I have had forever.

The worst part is she was right about everything she made me get rid of. I can’t even remember what we put in he donate bag so clearly they weren’t really cherished objects.

I still have twelve drawers and two cupboards worth of shoes to go through too.

The Salvo’s are going to be very happy.
Coming up on my next blog: Road trip.

So you wanna be a champion?

 
So I owned games night during the month of June.

It’s because I am pretty awesome at tokaido as I am the only one who seems to remember it’s all about how many points you have at the end. We also came up with our own variation where we journey to Kyoto from Tokyo and then back again. It really shows you who has the best budgeting skills.

We also cracked out Attica this month, which we hadn’t played in years. It’s much better as a three person game. I might review it tomorrow.

Right now I just want to bask in the glory of winning.
Coming up on my next blog: Just two more days of June posts left.

Stuff it

Today I stumbled across a great documentary on SBS On Demand.

(I always find something I want to watch when I browse through their catalogue. I miss so much TV as it happens that catch up TV is the best. Often I find things that I didn’t even know we’re on and it’s like discovery the world is round. It’s just sad that it can’t be up there all the time, but I understand it’s like copyright and whatnot.)

It was called My Stuff and followed a Finnish man for a year as he took back his possessions one by one. Basically he was having an existential crisis and thought that less stuff might make him happy. So he put everything he owned in a storage unit and was only allowed to take out one thing per day.

He is so dedicated to the cause that he starts out naked, and we are introduced to him as he madly dashes to his storage unit for his first item – a coat. Personally I would have chosen the doona first as you can sleep in it and then wear it like a toga the next day. I think his second item was shoes, which I totally agree with.

I really like at he end how he lists the 365 things he took out of storage. 

He comes to the conclusion that he only really needs 200 things to live happily. And it really makes me wonder if I could only live with two hundred things. So far I have struggled to throw away that many. There is just so much stuff left over in he storage unit. It seems liberating.

It’s really got me enthused again for my own declutter mission for June. So much so that I am having my sister come over on Monday to help me ow things away. She is an excellent declutterer. And having another person help means I won’t hold on to things just for sentimentality’s sake.

Coming up on my next blog: I return to my ancestral home, also known as IKEA.

Fill the room with happiness and light

So after my horrific experiences, or rather during them, I went to the doctor and was diagnosed with post natal depression. 

As a result I was put on medication and went to see a counsellor. Both have helped me to deal with my changing situation and I feel, changed the way I deal with stress and the ups and downs of life.

My doctor explained the medication in this way – after going through the whole emotional and physical upheaval that is pregnancy and childbirth the chemicals in my brain were out of balance and the medication just rights the scales. 

There is no shame in struggling with motherhood. You should do what makes you and your baby feel best. For me, that was stopping breastfeeding and seeking help. No one wants to talk about the struggles it seems because you are supposed to be so happy when you’ve had that baby. But let me tell you those first six weeks suck. And even then, I didn’t really start enjoying myself until my son was three months old. 

I was lucky though. I had (and still have) the most  amazing support network of family and friends around me. These people would just ‘pop by’ with meals and time for a cuppa. As if it were no big thing. As if they didn’t have their own lives to lead, their own babies to take care of. For the entire first month I was never alone, because my family knew I wasn’t handling things they all took time off work to just sit with me. I needed that. I still do.

Today’s blog title is an example of the best tip that my counsellor gave me. She suggested that when stressed, or faced with a screaming baby, or any situation in which you feel like you are losing your grip, you need to fill the room with happiness and light and then breathe that in. 

It really works for me. I like to visualise it as a yellow light, golden and translucent. It is warm and nurturing and as I breathe it in I calm myself down. The screaming becomes less stressful, I can give myself time to think and react.

And that’s what I really need. To slow down and realise that nothing is truly as bad as it seems. 
Coming up on my next blog: Four days of every day blogging left!

Cyst and desist 

So I don’t actually like to talk about myself all that much. I don’t mind frivolous natter about shopping and eating or the odd rant that runs out of steam by the time I reach the end of the post, but I don’t often say things that give real personal insight into myself. I suppose this is because no one really likes to expose themselves to the world, even if it is somewhat anonymously on the Internet. 

Today my son is five months old.

I was not sure that we would both make it to today. Not because he was premature or because there were medical issues but because nobody really tells you how hard caring for a newborn is and how much your life changes. 

Honestly, I struggled.

A lot.

To the point where I didn’t want to have any part of my new life. 

I absolutely hated breast feeding, and didn’t want to feed my baby. Turns out you don’t need to breastfeed. And you don’t need to listen to the people telling you to do it. Everyone around me was pushing me to keep trying, that it was the best thing for the baby. No one seems to care very much what the best thing for the mum is once the baby is around. I was in a lot of pain. All the time. And because everyone said that I would get the hang of breastfeeding eventually I thought that was normal.

Pain is not normal.

About three weeks in I went to the doctor because I had painful lumps in my breast. After an ultrasound I was told that they were galactoceles. If I breastfed frequently and took some antibiotics they would go away. And they did, sort of. They got smaller and the pain lessened. But by the time my son was five weeks old and being treated for a tongue tie my lumps were back and more painful than ever. What really gets me is that lots of medical professionals saw me during that time and didn’t say anything about it. It was only when I wen to back to my GP that things started to fall into place. But by then it was too late. 

One Sunday I ended up in Emergency because one of the lumps burst. I was in hospital for five days and had surgery.

The whole breast thing has been an ongoing saga. I’ve had four attempts at aspirations, two were successful, one surgical procedure to remove abscesses and two biopsies, first with the little needle then with the giant one to figure out just what is going on. Apparently I am riddled with cysts and if I’d never had a baby perhaps I would never have known that. 

Everyone keeps saying, 

That is so unusual.

I don’t really care if it’s unusual. I’d just like it fixed.

Please.
Coming up on my next blog: Happiness and light.

Anchors Away

Today has not been a good day.

For a while I have been the weight anchoring my household. There has been lots of turmoil and upheaval and I feel like I have been the one holding everything together. 

Today there was nothing for me to catch on the ocean floor. No rock or seaweed to ground myself in, nothing to anchor the anchor. So I had a bit of a cry.

Kind of like this:

 
The pun tickled me really so now I’m smiling.
Coming up on my next blog: Too much information. 

Brain Training

i almost forgot to post today and had I not turned on my ipad to sync my fitness tracker it is likely there would have been no blog. However, turning it on did remind me and so here we are.

As well as working on my physical fitness, I am also keen to sharpen my mind. My brain has been slowly turning to mush and I would like to rectify that. To do so I’ve started doing many more puzzles to get thinking and keep my mind active. Sudoku is my current favourite.

 
I like to do these before bed because they help settle my mind. It’s hard to worry about life when you’re trying to figure out where that pesky nine goes.

  

Sometimes I get them right, sometimes I get them wrong, and sometimes they hurt my brain so much I don’t finish them.

I’ve also discovered a new apps for brain training:

 
It lets you choose what area of mental agility you would like to exercise and tracks your progress in those areas. You get one workout per day.  

I like it because it compares you to the typical person your age. It helps me to k ow how much smarter I have to get.  

Coming up on my next blog: Maybe I’ll end up writing about what I have previously promised to. 

Stir the Pot

thisafternoon I have spent a lot of my time cooking. I am not much of a cook, I just make what is necessary to feed my family and keep them alive. Sometimes , thought enjoy making the odd sweet dish. And usually when I find a good one I keep making it over and over again.

Today I made soup for someone else. Having been the recipient of meals when my son was born I know how wonderful it is not to have to worry about what’s for dinner when everything else in your life is chaos. So now whenever someone needs a dinner because they can’t cook for themself my go to dish is soup. It’s so easy to reheat and you don’t need to add anything to it, no side dishes are necessary. Plus it’s really easy to freeze and then defrost.

Vegetable and barley soup

In a large pot heat up some oil and sauté one diced onion. Add diced carrots, celery, potato, turnip, swede and zucchini to the pot. Sauté. Add one cup of pearl barley to the pot and one litre of ready made stock (vegetable or chicken is best). Put on the lid and bring to the boil. Turn down the heat and simmer for about forty minutes or until the pearl barley is soft. Put into containers and freeze.

 
Last week I lost a sweet potato. Don’t ask me how, one minute it was on the bench and then when I went to cook it it was gone. I must have thrown it away. So this morning I bought another sweet potato because this is the first food my son is starting to eat. He’s had formula since he was five weeks old and has had so,e of the rice cereal over the past two weeks and now we are moving on to vegies. Al I do is boil cut up sweet potato and mash it. When it comes time for him to eat it I add a little water to make it an easier consistency for him to swallow.

  

Tomorrow I am going to lunch at a friend’s house.  And while she has said that I don’t need to bring anything, I don’t like to turn up empty handed and my new fail safe dish for this occasion is Rice Krispie treats. They are so easy to make but look really awesome and taste amazing. The only mistake I made today was using inferior marshmallows. You’ve got to use the expensive ones or they don’t melt properly. Today I also added white chocolate to the mix. 

I’ve never made it from a recipe, I just melt some butter and marshmallows together and pour the liquid mixture over some rice bubbles. Then you press it into a tin lined with baking paper and put it in the fridge to set. Super simple.
 
The final thing I have made today, beside the dinner I will make after I post this , are Poh’s apple turnovers. I love making and eating them. They are my new favourite dessert.

  

Though they look much better after they’ve been in the oven.
Coming up on my next blog: Food I didn’t cook.