Thursday, 30 July 2015

The only way is up

Woke up feeling a very lucky chick. When you have baby blues and anxiety it is hard to drag yourself out of the fog. When you have feeding issues with your little one, it is very hard to feel good about yourself. Yesterday was massive in terms of work load, I got home at 7.45pm and wanted to just crash...but Reef and I had a bath and skin to skin time, he is SO cute and really enjoys the time with just mummy (no phone, no siblings, no pressure). He's been feeding so much at night because he can't/won't latch during the day. So I finished off the finances and fell asleep with my love, feeling grateful for the care I have found in friends and the same message spoken "it's ok Sares, you are enough, keep going". 
This morning I woke up with my three little bed bugs and just felt positive, as if something is starting to shift (not just my teeth!).
Starting this weekend I have so much to look forward to, a community inter box comp, family play dates throughout August, a girls trip to the land of Queens to try on my wedding dress (I am equal parts excited and terrified of leaving the toddlers...), and of course the beginning of warmer days. 
We are proactive about our finances, and new systems to help our CrossFit gym grow, we are actually able to THINK about our business flourishing rather than being so reactive all the time, and we are reaching out for new experiences and challenging ourselves all the time.

There is also the miracle that, despite the winter drop off and feeling hopeless that our business could ever grow, we are surviving.
Today, my fiancé got up and ran a class for our amazing community...there were PBs and smiles all around. And that keeps you going. 
So this is just my little message of gratitude and excitement in waking up with a smile for the first time in a long time.

Peace, homies x

Wednesday, 22 July 2015

Baby Reef's first bottle

Yesterday Reef basically refused to feed. Over the last few months he sometimes fights me so hard you'd think I was trying to feed him poison from a knife rather than offer him a breast and cuddle. Yesterday was probably the worst it has been and he was so cross with us for not understanding what he needed. I was so stressed and because I have been so stressed my milk supply is low ish...or lower than its ever been.
Quick re cap: I had a GIGANTIC supply after River's birth and ended up donating my milk through HM4HB to several babies in need, most went to little Max and that was amazing (he had a tongue and or lip tie). I fed River for seven months after Raine was born and only noticed a drop in my supply during pregnancy. We gently and firmly weaned him.
After Raines birth I donated milk to a few babes again, including one special client of my midwife, a little boy with Down's syndrome. Raine hurt me once at around 16months and flat out refused feeds for a week, I was devastated, but I think she just didn't want to hurt me and then carried on as normal. I noticed that my supply was less than with River after the first month.
Again during my pregnancy with Reef, my supply dropped and then with the tongue and lip tie issues, the stress of running a business, toddlers and also the emotional aspect of Reef being the last baby...I wouldn't be able to pump now if I tried. For about a week after my milk "came in" I was OVER being soaked with milk, my breasts hurt and not even Raine could handle the let I've actually had to use some help from lactation cookies and I am looking into some other herbs to help. 
The woman at the organic grocer told me to avoid citrus fruits (she also told me that we were hurting Reef's ears because he wasn't warm enough), but I didn't want or ask her opinion. Honestly I just felt like crying and giving up. I was even thinking in my head to put my own cry for help on HM4HB. Twice we tried to feed Reef some expressed milk and again he just wouldn't latch properly or for long, his little mouth was red and he was unsettled when awake. I can see why people give up breastfeeding. I can see how it might be easier to bottle feed. If I didn't know better I might think that my milk supply is too low to support a baby. But I waited and had brilliant support through it from E & Reef's God mumma. Sure enough, over night he fed well. His nappies were wet and he started to poo again. He has a runny nose but seems well otherwise. 
So Mummas, trust your bodies and trust your babies and find some great support, support that is gentle and kind. Block out the lady at the grocery store. Silence the feeling of failure. You got this.

Tuesday, 14 July 2015

Life for now

It's so different! On Monday we just realized I front squatted my body weight for a three rep max twice! The day before I hit two strict pull-ups and a few strict dips plus a clean & jerk complex at 45kgs. I had a baby 10weeks ago!
This makes me incredibly proud of the way I treat my body during what is actually a very difficult time for me and almost every other mum out there. One of the reasons I love CrossFit so much is that I literally have a whole community cheering for me, the same way I am elated whenever any single one of them achieves something. It is super encouraging and empowering.
There have been a few big changes going on in our business and personal life, we have added more yoga to our timetable and in doing this I have hired two teachers with the aim to hire a third. They are all lovely human beings that I feel lucky to have come across. The dreaded "winter drop off" and a stuff up by our debit company put us into a tail spin and sent us to some dark places, again wondering what the hell we are doing financially...why we are still working so damn hard for peanuts. I will admit it is HARD to stay positive about creating a successful business when you aren't a cnut (excuse my implied french...). No we won't rip people off or sell out, yes we will encourage health above any and all quick fixes. We recently saw an ex member fall into the god awful MLM's just so depressing. Eric said something rather profound; "the reason I can keep going is because I know that we will benefit every single person who comes into contact with us" we give them an opportunity to be their best self in an amazing community without judgement or fake promises. Sounds like a good reason to me ;)
Personally, I am getting braces next week...I can't really afford it, but I am quite insecure about my teeth, they have changed a lot due to overcrowding and while I used to love how my teeth were just a little bit interesting, I now don't like pictures of me/my teeth at all.
River is at a very interesting stage, often randomly displaying aggression like growling, and he's very possessive (that comes with the new baby and egocentric sister). I find him hard to relate to as he is such a little dude, loves superheroes and swords, but then I am fascinated by his imagination. Tonight before he fell asleep he said he wished that grass could turn into leaves in the wind so that we could throw grass into the air and then jump on the leaves. It's a cool age to be.
Raine tantrums all the time and is always SO loud. She can be the biggest shit stirrer ever but is the most hilarious little person I've ever seen. She is beautiful and so clever coming out with all kinds of conversation that you forget she's only just two years old. Toilet (un) training her has been challenging since Reef has come along.
More and more I have been finding myself "triggered" by the toddlers behaviour, they are both so loud and stubborn and at such intense ages that I feel frustrated, ignored and it often feels like they are so lovely to everyone else then can be really jerk-y to me and E. They don't listen which sometimes makes it hard to keep them safe, Raine will flat out refuse to go to the toilet and then wee in her pants just before I need to get everyone in the car, River will pull nasty faces at me or randomly scream out in the middle of us coaching, they will both demand for things all day and tantrum when they don't get their way. These are all perfectly normal and understandable toddler behaviours that to list seem inconsequential and minor...but it seems to trigger my anxiety, amplify my headache and stab an accusing finger at me to say I am failing. Because it is so hard to give your children all of your patience, then to also give your business the seeds of growth it needs, to attend to the learning that we must do daily to be fucking brilliant coaches, to keep the house clean, to see friends, to nurture your relationship, to plan a wedding, to aim higher still and start planning the direction of your life and chase larger goals and dreams. I feel so torn between my roles and wishing so desperately to succeed in them, that I neglect self care and compassion. Anxiety is truly crippling and often I feel trapped in my own search to be GREATER than I am, to get it together and just be happy in my achievements. To feel like I have achieved anything at all. Reef is so tiny still but growing just too fast and I wish I could stop time and keep him here, warm, milky, vulnerable and sweet, all mine. I am sad to think how much time has past since I held River the same way, I miss rubbing my swollen belly, full of life and purpose. This time in my life seems to move so fast that I often can't breathe.
So I am meditating more and finding small parts of myself again. I am more aware now of what it is that I need, even if it is still too hard to ask. I have been so scared of being selfish that I have neglected to look after myself and in doing so have put stress in our lives that we don't need. I am learning.

Saturday, 4 July 2015

End of the weeks musings

After a particularly hard time we have been able to better respond to the kids needs through this week. It was still challenging, exhausting and quite frankly I wish I could run away to Bali for a while. If we didn't run a business, I would!

This week I was gifted a jar of morning goodness (granola) and it was SO tasty, I attempted to make more. Not being a quantitative kind of person I was throwing ingredients in and had a few sticky fingers helping out. The result was a stunning breakfast that just had TOO much coconut oil!

Not rocket science:
Oats, shredded coconut, sunflower seeds, dates, almonds, walnuts, maple syrup, coconut oil, cinnamon, nutmeg & topped with strawbs. I will be asking my aunt to dehydrate some strawbs to add in to the toasted tastiness and then I can top with frozen blueberries & almond milk (though bonsoy also tastes amazing).

During the week I had a big set back with my writing and it was the first time I've had to address whether or not I am a good writer. In primary school I won awards, and in high school received commendation and encouragement from most teachers, I've written a journal since I was 8, and at university was often asked to be more scientific and less creative/argumentative in assignments. 
However, most of my blogging is anecdotal, personal and quite frivolous. I have written a few articles for small magazines/internet sites and they took a long time because I wanted to get my facts I researched gut microbia to write an article explaining why introducing formula/food too soon changes little babies bodies. I also enjoy the sport of screen shotting bad grammar and "inspirational" posts, sending them to a few like minded friends...
So I decided to try contributing to a wellness/sport blog. And my little article was shut down. It sucks, I felt like a failure and I started to beat myself up...funny how moments later I decided I was a fugly whale and needed to eat less sugar (don't worry, breastfeeding a toddler and newborn set my eating back on, in the next minute).
And then I read this:

Well, you can only imagine how I'm going to turn my "failure" around. Thank you all for reading 😘


Thursday, 2 July 2015

Winter Wellness

Here in Melbourne, it has already been winter weather for some time. With the cool days and colder nights we are over-exposed to air conditioning and ducted heating which can dry our skin, create dust in the air and bring more potential for illness. As a yogi, my research into Ayurveda suggests waking a little later than other times of the year and getting plenty of rest without over sleeping. While it might be nice to change our schedules to best support a healthy immune system through the colder months, most of us still must set our alarms or be woken by our little ones to start a similar routine year round. 

Our day starts at 5am, sometimes earlier. Eric is up to coach the first WOD at the "ice box” and at least one of our kids is awake at this time. The box is huge and unheated so these are our strategies to stay well through winter as an environmentally and health conscious family.

• We  try to keep warm with whole foods, lots of layered clothing  and activity rather than use the ducted heating, and when it is on we keep it to 16-17deg. This is a real pain when it comes to drying cloth nappies!
• When it isn't raining, outdoor activities help prevent cabin fever and mess, while giving us fresh air to breathe in and much needed vitamin D. 
• In winter we need to move from cold foods to those that are warmer, preventing dampness within our bodies as our digestion and energy output naturally slow. 
Each morning after we salute the (hidden) sun, we all drink lemon, apple cider vinegar and warm water. A bowl of oats with cinnamon and berries picked locally in season then frozen, with coconut milk or water. This breakfast ritual starts our digestion, warms us from the inside, balances our blood sugar and is of course delicious for the whole family.
In the evenings we eat hearty vegetable soups, curries and slow baked dishes adding anti-inflammatory turmeric, anti bacterial thyme and chili to spice and flavor local, organic root vegetables.
• For leaving the house pile on clothes, wearing long socks and oversized hoodies, and use yoga pants like thermal underwear.
• Training becomes slower and more strength based, warm ups take longer and interval training keeps our aerobic capacity in check.
• It is still important to nourish our largest organ through winter so after warm baths, coconut oil helps prevent dry and flaky skin. 
• We finish the day under blankets with warm tea, reading stories and cuddling before bed.

Winter doesn't have to be about hibernation, colds, flu and weight gain. There is the opportunity to be introspective and present without giving in to lethargy. It is a great time to set goals for the next half of the year, take stock of current achievements, and look super cute in a beanie.