Looking back over 2011 and forward to 2012

January 17, 2012

The spouse at Grill'd, Eagle St Pier, some time in late 2011
The spouse at the burger joint Grill’d in Brisbane City. They do good burgers.
Rocket to the Moon necklace by Rare Indeed
The awesome Rocket to the Moon necklace by Rare Indeed given to me by my good friend Lucy. It should go nicely with my Black Milk purple galaxy leggings and my Black Milk Moonwalker swimsuit (not to mention my Atlantis jacket).
Black Milk Purple Galaxy legging at Brisbane Botanical GardensBlack Milk Moonwalker swimsuit
The playground was closed
I often meet up with friends with kids and sometimes we go to South Bank. One day the playground was closed off for refurbishment. I love this pic of my kid on the left and my friend’s kid on the right, watching the playground (and workmen) through the fence. Read the rest of this entry »

Another post about exercising, studying and my toddler (I am interested in other things, honest)

August 2, 2011

This morning as I sat in the waiting room at the dentist I read an interview with personal trainer Michelle Bridges from the latest (Australian) Women’s Weekly. One of her training tips was to create an exercise habit, as motivation will come and go, and you’ll always be able to come up with excuses for not exercising. I thought about how I’ve lost my exercise habit that I’d worked really hard on creating (started when the toddler was five months old and lost somewhere around 15 months – which was about three months ago). I know that “I’m really too tired to get up early and go running because my weeks of broken sleep from a frequently breastfeeding toddler is exhausting me” is not a bad excuse as excuses go but she’s sleeping much better lately (I’m attempting to night ween at the moment, and as most of her feeding is at night anyway, I’ve realised that it’s probably going to mean weening completely) so I should really start to work on creating that exercise habit again. So, this afternoon I went for a big run – trying to cover one of my routes I used to run regularly back when I was running three times a week. I was pretty happy with my performance. I used to covere the seven and a half kilometres in 50 minutes but today, even with a lot of walking breaks, I did it in 57 minutes.

The other habit I need to get back into is uni work – after finishing the full-time semester I’m having trouble getting motivated again. I just need to start doing it regularly and then hopefully the motivation will return. I’m a bit worried I don’t have enough to show my supervisor this Friday when I go to meet her. I checked my uni emails yesterday for the first time in a week or two and there was an email from her from a week ago – yikes – and many emails telling me about overdue library books. So many overdue library books in fact that I couldn’t renew any of them. Tomorrow, I have to take 23 books back to the library! Mental note: check your uni email a couple of times a week!

The toddler has just learnt to say her name, often followed by “That’s me” which is very cute. She also loves to look at me and say “Mummy” or look at her daddy and say “Daddy”. I love replying with “Yes, I’m your mummy.” And we hug and she beams at me and I feel such bliss. She’s been able to say Mama/Mummy for a while but it’s amazing how now she’s realising I’m a person, and she’s a person, and Daddy is a person, and there are other people. She’s saying a lot more these days (and a LOT that we don’t understand) and has just learnt to say NO which is cute but sometimes frustrating. I love how she is replying with an emphatic no to a lot of requests/questions these days even though she often doesn’t mean it. For example, at dinner tonight:
Me: Do you want some eggs for dinner?
Toddler: No!
I scramble some eggs and give them to her and she happily eats them.
Me: Do you want some cheese?
Toddler: No!
I hand her cheese. She takes it and eats it.

She does often say no and mean it though! Trying to change her nappy this morning and dress her for childcare was not easy. But we got there in the end.

Parks and the beach

July 24, 2011

Wow, I’m only managing to blog once a month at the moment. Well, it’s a start I guess. Also, I’m only managing to run once a week at the moment. Gotta increase that if I want to actually improve. The Gold Coast half-marathon was on the first week of July and I was a bit sad to have missed it (completing it had been a goal for this year) but all my illness in the months leading up to it and being busy with full-time study really got in the way. There are a couple of 10km runs coming up in Brisbane in the next month or so and I think I should aim for one of them. I did do ok with my semester results which got me thinking that maybe, just maybe, if I manage to do a kick-arse thesis, I could be capable of getting first-class honours. But that does mean I should probably be reading Foucault’s History of Sexuality, Part One: An Introduction, right now instead of blogging! Maybe I could have one of those careers in academia after all.
Playing in a dragon egg at New Farm Park, Brisbane
My spouse and toddler playing in a dragon egg at New Farm Park. Read the rest of this entry »

A visit to the park

June 20, 2011

Now that I have a toddler who loves to walk around exploring the world, I have to make an effort to get out more. I used to in my old hood but since moving in January I have turned into a real homebody, having lots of days where we don’t leave the house! Anyway, I’ve started making an effort to go to one of the nearby parks on days when we don’t have any other plans. This morning the toddler had a great time picking up bark chips, going on a swing, going down a slide, watching a man pruning a tree, watching a man rinse paint out of a paintbrush, circling around a tree (a few times), and looking at colourful tiles in a concrete path!
St Lucia Playground

We spent some time crawling along the path while the toddler pointed at tiles and I said the colour they were. “That one’s blue. That one’s yellow. That one’s black. That one’s orange. That’s a white tile. That one has a picture of a butterfly on it. That’s a blue tile. et cetera… ” The park is so fun.

St Lucia Playground

Semester is nearly over.

June 16, 2011

The semester is nearly over – only one piece of assessment left – and it’s been incredibly hard (studying fulltime with a toddler! Who knew?). I keep telling myself that at least I’ve got a year to write the thesis now (unlike all the full-time people who have four months!). I’ve loved sinking my teeth into various academic theories, particularly feminist scholarship on pornography (it’s so gloriously contentious), and I’ve even decided to start up feminist blogging again so I can write about my thesis and other stuff.

Unfortunately my running has really fallen by the wayside these last 2-3 months as I, my partner and the toddler have all been sick on-and-off, and that, combined with the late nights trying to finish assessment, has meant I wasn’t getting up early to go running. All that preparation I had been doing for the Gold Coast Half-marathon came to a halt and I’m pretty much going to have to start up my running from the beginning again once the semester is over. At least now I know that with hard work and persistence I CAN run 10km, and I’m sure I could make it to 21.1km (the distance of a half marathon!).

Sickness, walking, study, etc

April 2, 2011

Ok, things aren’t  really as bad as I made out in my last post! I think I let my stress get in the way. Last Sunday I caught up with my friend Mon and her friend Esther, and we were all without our babies which was a wonderful break. and I recently went out on a Friday night to catch up with a friend who was in town – my first night out since the bubba was born. And on Friday just gone I saw a fellow mum and her bub in the morning and another one in the afternoon. So two playdates for my bubba and two grown-up dates for me. I also had an hour-long massage too which was lovely. This week has been quite full-on: Paul had probably the worst gastro bug I’ve ever encountered (he vomited and diarrhead all Sunday night and then again Monday for a second night) so he was pretty wiped out (he lost 5 kilos in 2 days). I had two presentations to give at uni which probably went better than I had expected. I have quite a bit of assessment coming up so I really need to be organised to get it done. Actually, if I get it all done, in only nine weeks I will have completed a semester of fulltime study (with a baby). I can totally do this, right? Also, the bubba’s been a little sick and not sleeping great, and feeding a lot at night, so the sleep-deprivation combined with my own staying up late to finish assessment means no running happened all week! I haven’t been for a run since last Sunday and it’s now Saturday night. I’m not even sure if I’ll go tomorrow either because I have a sore throat and am probably coming down with something. So last Sunday I ran for 1 hour 20 minutes and tomorrow I’m supposed to run for 1 hour 40 minutes. If I do go, it’s not going to be that long.

Exciting news is that the bubba is walking, so maybe I should be calling her the toddler now. It was a long slow process for her (she’s fourteen months now). She was a pretty good climber and crawler so I don’t think there was a huge incentive for her to walk. She started taking steps ages ago and the number she took at a time has slowly increased and last week she was probably walking 8/10/12 steps at a time before falling over and now this week she seems to be walking full time (most of the time, anyway). It’s so very cute. She’s talking heaps too. She’s been saying Mum, Dad, boob and up for months now and she’ll occasionally repeat a word, never to say it again (banana, water, umbrella, dress) but lately she’s copying words and sounds a lot more and she’s babbling heaps which we just love. She wakes up and starts talking in the mornings, she talks away when she’s sitting in the carseat (much nicer than when she used to just scream in the carseat), she babbles when she’s playing, when she’s having meals. I think we’re going to have quite the little talker (just like both her parents!).

Even though Paul and I have often missed living in London, I have so many friends here with babies, it was definitely the right thing to do to come back here to have ours! And I have a few friends about to have more babies. One of them sent me the link to this article: Four Lies Sleep Trainers Tell You (and one Truth they don’t). I think it’s a really good article. People can be really judgemental about having your baby in your bed with you and about why you won’t just let them cry themselves to sleep to stop them waking for night feeds, etc.

I’d better be off to bed soon but I wanted to mention a couple of albums I would really like. I’m not a big follower of music and I can listen to the same music over and over again for ages but I really want Talk About Body by Men, and Patrick Wolf’s latest album Lupercalia (and the one before that too).

Check out The City by Patrick Wolf, and Credit Card Babie$, Who Am I To Feel So Free and  Off Our Backs by Men. We saw Men play in London (after dancing to a DJ set by JD Samson). It. Was. Awesome!

All I’m doing is studying and running (oh, and looking after the baby)

March 28, 2011

I’ve had four weeks of classes and I’m feeling stressed/worried/out of my depth with the workload (especially as the bubba has missed quite a bit of childcare from being ill). I discovered on Friday that a number of other people in my classes (who incidentally don’t have a baby) are also crazily stressed with the workload. I’m loving being a Cultural Studies Honours student but really am not getting as much reading done as I would like, especially on my thesis (I have so much reading for the coursework). For my thesis I do get to look at stuff like this and this, but I should be spending more time on stuff like this.  I have to give two presentations this week, which I’m a bit worried about, and as soon as they’re done, I have essays to start. I knew this semester would be tough. I just have to find a way to get the work done.

So on top of the study I’m also training for the Gold Coast Half Marathon in July. And what a time commitment that is. Last weekend I did my first race, the Twilight Running Festival 10km run. It was pretty awesome. I wanted to do it in 1 hour 10 minutes. I did it in 1 hour 2 minutes 23 seconds. I was really chuffed. Paul wanted to go in it too but he’d had a head cold and a sore ankle so he was pretty bummed to miss it. It was quite a change to be surrounded by 1500 runners when I normally run by myself. It certainly helped me run much faster than normal. Paul and I joined a gym a couple of months ago and I have hardly been going but I’ve finally done the two free personal training sessions we got when we joined so I’ll now have a program that’s been made especially for me – I said I wanted to work on my strength and I want it to help my running. I think it will be good. I’d much rather be out pounding the pavement than in a gym doing weights but I think this program will be good, even though I only plan to do it once a week.

Running, reading, classes about to start

February 27, 2011

I had quite a chilled weekend. We didn’t do too much. Today Paul swam laps at Centenary Pool, while I waded in the baby pool with the bubba. She seemed to enjoy it. We spent some time this afternoon with the inlaws as it was Paul’s mum’s birthday. When we go there the bubba has Nanna, Grandad and Auntie all fussing over her which is lovely (and it’s a nice break for me). She also gets to look at their little dog which she likes.

Classes start tomorrow which I’m excited about (but slightly nervous as I’m sure I haven’t done enough reading over the summer in preparation). The bubba has an infection on her tummy so she may not be able to go to childcare this week which is annoying but luckily my mother-in-law is able to help out.

I ran 8.14 km this morning which I’m quite proud of. I am totally on track for the ten kilometre race I’m doing in three weeks. Last week my training ramped up from four sessions per week to five and I really felt the difference! So this week I only did three of the five sessions (I wish I’d done four!) but I still ran 22.3km and I’m going to try to do all five this week and see how I go. If I’m finding I’m too sore, I’ll miss out one of the sessions for a couple of weeks. I really like running and it really helps my physical AND mental health (especially with the sleep deprivation I have from my breastfeeding baby!).

I haven’t been reading a lot recently, but what I have been reading has been for my Honours course (books like Jane Sexes It Up: True Confessions of Feminist Desire, edited by Merri Lisa Johnson, and The Porn Report by Alan McKee, Katherine Albury and Catharine Lumby and also more academic stuff). I know I’m going to find it hard to read for pleasure while I’m studying and having to get through a mountain of reading for my course. I’m thinking of making Saturday a day off from uni where I get to read other stuff for pleasure. Non-study-related books/magazines I’d like to read are Tim Ferris’ the Four Hour Body, Lawrence J Cohen’s Playful Parenting and Runner’s World and Bitch magazines.

What a day

February 15, 2011

My run this morning was the first time in about a month I’d been running while pushing the bubba in the pram – boy, it really slowed my pace. My iMapMyRun App (which usually works really well for me) lost my GPS position halfway through my run so only recorded half my run. When I got home my key wouldn’t work in the front door and I realised I couldn’t find my phone! So I retraced my steps and luckily found the phone lying in the grass, quite a few blocks from home. Thankfully my sister-in-law came and picked us up, drove us to get Paul’s set of keys, which also did not work, and she hung around while we waited an hour and a half for the locksmith to show up and then the next hour while he worked on removing the lock! The poor bubba didn’t have her morning sleep, her morning tea or lunch (luckily there’s still plenty of breastmilk for her). She did, however, have a great time getting dirty, playing outside our apartment block on the stairs and out in the rain, until she was so tired and hungry, she fed to sleep on my lap, on the stairs, with the locksmith’s power drill going at the lock! What a day – and the lock replacement was quite expensive (locksmith said the previous lock hadn’t been installed properly).

Bubba starts childcare next week (as I’m returning to study). We went in to the centre yesterday and she had a play and had a great time. We were supposed to go in today but that didn’t happen. We’ll go tomorrow for a bit. I think she’ll be fine. I’ve got her booked in for three days a week but I think we might actually change it to two days. I am studying fulltime though, so I’m going to need quite a bit of time to spend on it (maybe not the best time to take up blogging again?).

As my previous blog post is from a year and a half ago, maybe some fill-in is needed? After we left London, we stayed in Hong Kong with Sam for a few nights which was really great. She showed us around Hong Kong which was awesome. A total bummer that her partner was away for work so we didn’t get to see him. And Sam recently had a little boy, which is pretty cool. After we got back to Brisbane, we lived with Paul’s parents for four months while we got ourselves sorted. We were living there when we got married. Paul got a job and we moved to a really nice (rented) flat in New Farm and in early 2010 our bubba was born. She has recently turned 1 and is close to walking and saying a few words and is just gorgeous. I started running when bubba was 5 months old and I’ve kept it up and am signed up to do a 10km run at the end of March. We recently bought a place so have moved out of New Farm (I’ll miss you!) and I’m gearing up for a busy year – study (doing Honours in Cultural Studies for Arts degree I finished years ago) and I’m also really wanting to do the Gold Coast Half Marathon in July (that will require a huge commitment of time for the training but I really want to do it). So, yeah, I think I might try to get back into this blogging thing.

Farewell London, eating in the dark, what I am reading…

July 31, 2009

Last weekend Paul and I had our farewell party at a local pub. Heaps of people came and we were there from 3pm until 10pm! I drank a LOT of juice. Unfortunately most of Paul’s photos are dark and blurry.
North star
Above, heaps of the peops at our farewell do. Below, with some friends (Cheryl, Charlotte, Kara) at the nightclub Cargo last Friday night. We saw a very cool band, Yacht, but as the music was blaring and the base was vibrating our bodies, I wondered: ‘Is my baby being totally vibrated right now?’
Last night Paul and Cheryl and I went to the restaurant Dans Le Noir? and ate food in pitch blackness. It was quite a strange experience. I did enjoy it but was not very impressed with the food (and the two courses cost £32).

Our boxes of stuff were picked up yesterday to be shipped back to Australia. Now we have lots of cleaning to do and lots of stuff to get rid of. I can’t believe we are leaving in three days. It doesn’t seem real. I would like to go to the White Cube galleries on the weekend to see the current Gilbert and George exhibition and maybe the Hayward to see the Walking in My Mind exhibition.

I also think I’d like to do some wandering around central London to say goodbye. I have really loved London. I am however very excited about seeing my friend Sam and spending three days with her looking around Hong Kong (she informed me yesterday that rain is forecast for next week!) and I am starting to get very excited about being back in Brisbane and seeing family and friends. I am really excited about discovering Brisbane again. People often bag it out for being small (and very spread out) but I always felt there was a lot of stuff going on when I lived there and I really like it. I’m planning on going to the Gallery of Modern Art on my second day back (there is an exhibition of photography by young people from Palm Island that ends that day).

It’s been a while since I did a rundown of the books I’ve been reading, but that might be because I haven’t read many books this year.

Bad Science by Dr Ben Goldacre
I have wanted to read this book for a while. It is really very good! I have seen/heard Ben Goldacre talk a few times and he is really intelligent, informative and funny. You’ll learn a lot about the scientific method and how science works, and how science is abused and also about bad journalism when it comes to science. A very informative book. He is an NHS (National Health Service) doctor and a regular columnist in the Guardian. You can read his columns and other stuff at his website.

59 Seconds by Professor Richard Wiseman
A popular psychology book by a professor of psychology, this is an interesting book and the difference between it and other self-help books is that it is actually based on psychological research. It does have a tendency to simplify things and be contradictory sometimes but I am enjoying it. Richard Wiseman has a blog too.

Quicksilver by Neal Stephenson
This book of three novels is the first of three books in Stephenson’s Baroque Cycle. I have finished the first novel, Quicksilver and I enjoyed it a lot although I had to do a lot of looking up European history. The book is set around the end of the 17th and beginning of the 18th century in England and focuses on lots of historical figures (philosophers, scientists, politicians and other people). I plan to finish the other two novels in book one one day.

The Life of Pi by Yann Martel
I’m a third of the way in and so far, am not impressed. Some of my friends really love this book but I really don’t understand how. It’s quite annoying and has such a tone of ‘isn’t religion so amazing and wonderful and mysterious’ so I’ve spent most of my time reading it thinking, ‘actually no, I don’t think so.’ I wonder if I’ll finish it.