Run Fail

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I’ve sitting down thinking hard about the run I just returned from.  

It was supposed to be 6km.  It was 4km.

It was supposed to be fast.  It was slow.

I imagined it to be moderate.  It absolutely nailed me.

I quit after 4km and walked home.

Run Fail.

But it’s not really is it?  4km is a damn sight better than 0km, reality just failed to live up to my expectations this morning.  And that’s life I suppose.  Goals are not always met on the first attempt and though I wasn’t running to further my distance or better a time this morning I was expecting to be able to hit 5km at least!

Running has been by far the most difficult activity I’ve ever engaged in.  More so than surfing even.  For me it’s a constant struggle of mind vs body, will vs won’t, love it hate it.  That’s what I never expected when I laced up my sneaks and started running a year ago.  I thought it would get easier, that I’d get to a certain point and it would be all onwards and upwards.  Instead, I feel like I begin every run not knowing whether I’ll be able to complete it or not.  What I do know is that without Dave’s help and motivation I would have packed it in a long time ago.  

SO, that’s the only advice I can give you if you’re thinking about starting to run – find someone to share the journey with.  I’m sure everyone has their off days and having someone to lean on a little when you really, really can’t be assed makes getting out of the door a teensy bit easier.

So, after a year, I’m still not ‘there’, wherever ‘there’ is.  I still don’t feel like I can call myself a runner, I sure as hell don’t feel or look like a runner and to be honest, those 5kgs I started running to lose haven’t budged one inch.

Shit.

Iced Tea Three Ways

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2016 has certainly blessed us with an abundance of sunshine hours thus far, and Summer (albeit an El Niño one!) means spending time with friends and family and getting creative in the kitchen as we share these lazy days together.

If you’re looking for something a little bit delicious to help you stay hydrated this Summer – or to wow your visitors – I’ve come up with three super easy ways to enjoy Healtheries Iced Tea, a refreshing alternative to sugary juices and soft drinks that’s caffeine free and 99% sugar free!  Kid friendly?  My boys can’t get enough, but aside from being my new fridge staple, Iced Teas can be dressed to impress and make the perfect anytime pick-me-up or a healthy alternative to wine-o’clock!

Now where are my paper umbrellas?

Apple & Blueberry Iced Tea Slushies

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Blog Fruit Tea Recipes

The boys both received Chill Factor Slushy Makers for Christmas so I was excited to try out a healthy, more adult-friendly version than the varieties we’d been experimenting with so far.  I brewed 1 cup of Apple & Blueberry Iced Tea using chilled water, squished up my slushy and served it with apple slices and giant, fresh blueberries.  Ah-maze-ing.  Forget about reaching for the Magnums this summer, your waistlines will thank me I promise!

Sparkling Iced Tea

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Blog Iced Tea Recipes

Bubbles make everything a little bit special right?  I love this combo of soda water made at home in my SodaStream plus Healtheries Lemon & Lime Iced Tea with lemon and kiwi fruit slices.  This just tastes like Summer and is the ultimate thirst quencher.  One thing I love about these iced tea varieties is that the flavours get better and better the longer you let them steep – as opposed to getting stronger and stronger and more tea-ish (sp?).  I’m not a fan of traditional tea at all, Iced, Fruit and Green teas are all I will drink so having some new tea options that I love makes me so happy!

Iced Tea en Masse!

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Blog Iced Tea Recipes

Because they are caffeine free and 99% sugar free, Healtheries Iced Teas are a perfect option for the entire family.  Nixon and Ethan both love all three varieties and even more so when I have them ready and waiting in the fridge!

This morning I made 2 cups of each flavour, spent 5 minutes chopping some fruit and popped our teas in the fridge so we were all prepared for our day with easy, healthy and freaking gorgeously-good drinks ready to enjoy when we needed them!  

Try this: I keep frozen mango cubes in the freezer for smoothies so added some chunks to the Peach and Mango variety along with some chopped peaches and crunchy apple slices.  I left the tea bags in the mason jars and the flavours were beautiful!  (If you’re looking for cute mason jar mugs, try your local dollar store, Kmart or the Warehouse).


I really struggle to drink enough water but the flavours of this new range are so, so good I feel like I’ve got a new lease on hydration this summer!  Try popping a tea bag in a drink bottle with some chilled water before you head out for the day or off to work – I guarantee you’ll be hitting your water goals in no time!

Healtheries Iced Teas come in three delicious flavours: Peach & Mango, Lemon & Lime and Apple & Blueberry. Available in supermarkets nationwide RRP$3.99.  Find out more information at  http://www.healtheries.co.nz

If you would like to win ALL 3 delicious Healtheries Iced Tea varieties, just leave a comment below!  Winner drawn 28/2/16.  NZ residents only.

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Set a Goal – 5 Reasons to Enter a Fitness Event……NOW!

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On Sunday I finished my first ever, road running event.

This was my second fitness event – I ran the Mud Run back in winter.  So a lifetime total of TWO events!  In one year!  

I actually can’t believe it!

The Skechers Women’s 6k was a game changer for me.  After a cracking summer of running and a great autumn, winter became the massive mental hurdle I had dreaded.  Entering my first road run 5 weeks out gave me the motivation to kick my ass back into gear and start taking my running seriously again.

The event itself was amazing.  The Cloud played host to thousands of women and their families so well.  There was ample room for everyone, a great warmup, plenty of accessible toilets and vendors providing drinks and food, JJ Harvey was a fantastic MC and the vibe was just SO good!  Women as far as the eye could see, endorphin pumped ladies ready to run, run/walk or just walk the flat 6km course that is perfect for any level of fitness.  I entered with three goals in mind and managed to smash 2 of them (I ran 6km in 32.32!!! My fastest pace ever!).  Other women I know entered simply to see if they could complete the 6km.  They did and they felt fabulous for doing so let me tell you!

Let’s talk about the course.  I’m sure it was gorgeous – I mean waterfront Auckland is hard to beat, but the truth is, I didn’t look at the water once.  Not.  One.  Peek.  So you’ll just have to enter next year and check it out for yourself lol.  The Skecher’s course is definitely a runners dream, wide pavement on one side plus an open lane on the road.  Makes for a fast course if that’s your jam.  Not entirely flat, there is an incline at about the 2 and 4 km marks which you can definitely feel when you’re running, it’s little but it nailed me!

The logistics of getting to The Cloud and ready to run by 8am were such a non-event.  I was thinking about bussing but decided to drive and I’m so glad I did.  For the first time in my life I got a park on the ground floor(!) of my fave Victoria St carpark and enjoyed a casual stroll though a very peaceful Auckland City on a Sunday at 7.15 am.  Another first!  Total parking cost $6.

So.  Do it friends!  Set a goal and make some positive changes.  Having an event on a particular date to work towards definitely helps keep you motivated and on track, it’s also a little bit addictive – I’m already thinking about entering another event plus I know I’ll be back next year to run the Skecher’s again!

5 Reasons to Enter a Fitness Event……NOW!

  1. Trying new things is fun and super important.  We are creatures of habit and I’m sure you’ve got a few habits that could use replacing just like I do right?  Switch them out for some new, healthful habits and start a chain-reaction of  positivity in your life.
  2. Giving yourself opportunities to make YOURSELF proud is a rare thing as an adult.  Completing a physical challenge or distance for the first time is a sure-fire way to get you feeling good about being you!
  3. Your fitness and physical health is a great reason in itself to enter an event!  It doesn’t matter who you are or what body you’re in, DOING MORE STUFF is always good for you!
  4. Find your tribe.  Committing to an event is a great way to find and meet likeminded people all working towards the same goal.  Friends are cool and working out together makes sweating and turning red and stinky a little more enjoyable!
  5. Goody bags!  If nothing else so far has you convinced, remember; there are always goody bags full of awesome products to take home and try (or scoff in the car after you have finished the run like me lol!)

Here’s a pretty version for pinning or sharing to Facebook!

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The Running Gear that Gets Me Moving

Top Mummy Blog new Zealand Top Fitness BloggerThe Skecher’s Women’s 6k is now only 4 days away!  I’ve upped my training over the past few weeks with Coach (hubby lol) and I’m feeling pretty good about it – excited even!  I rarely get to run such a straight, flat course so I can’t wait, my usual routes around our neighbourhood are short straights with twists and turns onto little road after little road.  It drives me crazy!

I’m such a routine based runner, that my gear, and the habitual use of it every time I run is really important to me.  My head still beats me on many days, I can be turned off going for a run by a flat battery in one of my gadgets, the slightest sprinkle of rain or legs that are a touch sore from the day before.  Terrible I know!

So, here’s a roundup of the gear I’m loving, and the gear that’s keeping me on track and accountable;

My No-Fail Running Kit

Skechers Go Run Ride 4

Top Mummy Blog new Zealand Top Fitness BloggerMy first pair of Skechers and I’m running a 6k in them!  The Ride 4’s are a much more low-profile shoe than the NB pronators I usually run in so I was a bit scared to be honest!  I needn’t have been as these are some good, great, really good runners.  They’re lightweight, snug around the heel and achilles, fitting through the arch but with lots of freedom in the toe area.  Did I mention they’re light?  Because they are really, really light.  And flexible, much more so than any other shoe I’ve ever worn.

A great choice for those who err towards minimalist shoes, there’s lots of tech here but it’s cleverly integrated into a feather-weight formula that’s lovely to run in.

I can’t find these on the Skechers NZ website, but was fitted in-store by Summer, store manager at Skechers Albany.  She was super helpful, listened to my preferences and brought me an awesome range of shoes to try on and work through.  I’d highly recommend taking the time to get fitted!

Triumph Triaction Sports Bras

Top Mummy Blog new Zealand Top Fitness BloggerI actually just want to rave about these bras, seriously.  I’ve been wearing Triaction wired bras to play touch in for the past 3 years after always wearing crops for sport.  There is NO comparison, especially if you are a C+ cup.  I will never, ever go back to wearing a crop style top.  I’ve mentioned before that I’m totally not a Boob Girl.  When I’m running or playing touch the thought of the girls wobbling around makes me want to stay in bed.  Things need to be locked up tight, I’ve got enough loose parts without feeling self-conscious and uncomfortable about my boobs.  

The two bras I’ve been training in are the Endurance and Performance.  I love them equally (with ALL the heart-eye emojis!).  You can cross the straps at the back for added support, but seriously, NO BOUNCE.  At all.  Please try one of these bras on, you will not look back!

Available at quite a few places but def try Rebel Sport, Bras ‘n Things and Farmers.

Lululemon Active Wear

Top Mummy Blog new Zealand Top Fitness BloggerTop Mummy Blog new Zealand Top Fitness BloggerAhhhh lord I love my active wear.  It’s a fact. And most of all, I love Lululemon active wear.  I’ve always loved running in compression tights, it’s just my thing.  When I wear shorts I find I’m forever fussing with them and pulling down the hem……plus, much like the bra situation above, compression fabric means no wobbles.  Win.

So, my training gear has included the Tight Stuff 7/8 Tights ($165) which are described as ‘moderate compression’.  I would rate these higher than that, they are freaking awesome!  Technically top level with tonnes of value adds, such as reflective detailing, stash pockets and the amaze sweat wicking Luxtreme fabric.  Described as high rise, I find they are not, or at least not on me.  Which is unfortunate as I feel like they are falling down the whole time I’m running.  They’re not of course, they are just sitting in a low-rise position, leaving mum-tum free to roam, groan.  That’s my only complaint, what’s not to love about tiny scalloped detailing on the hem?!

On the top half, it was love at first sight when I laid eyes on the Vent it Out Singlet ($79).  The fishtail detail on the open back is sublime and the Swift Ultra-Light fabric is nothing short of joyous to wear.  I’m not exaggerating I promise!  The fall is perfection and non clingy.  You cannot go past this tank in terms of looks and comfort.

Fitbit Surge™ Fitness Super Watch

Top Mummy Blog new Zealand Top Fitness BloggerI’m a total gadget geek.  I’m also a completely quantitative, competitive soul.  Needless to say, I need to know my pace and distance at all times throughout a run…….I’ll totally sprint the last km if it means I’ll make a timing goal.  I’ve been using a Garmin 220, and just switched camps to the Fitbit Surge ™ over the past week.  There really isn’t too much in common with these two, totally different creatures.  The Surge™ combines elements of a smart watch with the functionality of a pretty comprehensive sports tracker.  It relies a lot more on integration with the app on my Note 4 than the 220.  For example, I can’t seem to review prior activity on the tracker itself, I need to go into the app to do that.  The touch screen is kind of amazing, I love it and the UI is relatively simple to get your head around.  

It’s a big device.  I don’t mind that as I like chunky, heavy watches and jewellery, but the size may be too much for some women.  I feel like I’ve only scraped the surface of what this watch can do so I’m excited to find out more when I reconnect with the team from Fitbit this week.

I’m loving the social features the app provides!  Within hours of setting it up I had found my friends and been invited to participate in a Weekday Challenge to get my step-count up.  This makes working out fun!

Honorable Mentions

Top Mummy Blog new Zealand Top Fitness BloggerMy BFF’s, Plantronics Backbeat FIT wireless headphones have quite simply changed running for me, cable-free music is liberating!  These guys pair easily via bluetooth plus are sweat proof, flexible and super comfortable.  So good I bought a second pair for Dave. 

Spotify Premium – Dave and I are both addicted to this amaze service (neither of us can run without music) which allows you to make your playlists available offline, so you’re not slogging through your data whilst running.  An essential service IMO.

There you have it!  My running go-to-gears, all of which I’ll be sporting on Sunday at the Skechers Women’s 6k, entries don’t close until midnight on the 13th so there’s still time to get in on this awesome event.  Read more about my running journey here.  Hope to see you on Sunday!  

My Top 5 Tips for ‘Getting Your Groove Back’

Top Mummy Blog new Zealand Top Fitness BlogThe Sunday after the Rugby World Cup final my body hit a wall.  Two weekends with late nights + 4am starts had left me struggling come Monday and starting the week off feeling sub-par is SO not a habit I’m keen on continuing. Many things have contributed to the general feeling of ‘blah’ that has taken hold of my body lately;

  • Late nights writing/not writing, watching Netflix, leaving bedtime routines until 11.30 (!!)
  • A pervasive and circular habit of ‘business’ (it’s totally on-trend to hate that word right now isn’t it? But I’m stumped for how to avoid it)
  • A constant state of dehydration
  • Too much alcohol – fluid, but not the RIGHT kind lol
  • STRESS – and not managing it
  • All of the above contributing to poor food choices. 

Five days ago I said enough was enough and began putting some ‘Melissa Systems’ in place to change the way my body feels.  This is not about losing weight or getting ‘bikini ready’ (yawn), this was simply an exercise in wanting to wake up each morning feeling freaking awesome.  Who doesn’t want that?

How I’m Getting My Groove Back

1.  Start the day as you mean to continue

Not enough hours in the day?  Get out of bed an hour earlier and devote some quiet time to that which is lacking.  It could be exercise, writing, meditating, reading……..Whatever you do in this time try and maintain focus.  Put your phone away and make the most of this ‘extra’ hour you’re carving out, just for you!

2.  Implement a ‘Healthful’ new routine

You may have seen the image above on Instagram last week, but what a way to kick off your morning!  500ml of water with the juice of half a lemon, a kick-ass smoothie, a black coffee and a wicked Women’s Multi from Healtheries to make sure I stay charged throughout the day.  After taking daily multi’s religiously pre-kids, I’d honestly forgotten to include them in my daily self-care routine over the past few years.  5 days in and I’m feeling so much better for it.  Healtheries One-A-Day Multis contain high potency B Vitamins and Siberian Gingseng to support energy and vitality, NZ Marine Collagen to help maintain healthy looking skin and key immune supporting antioxidants such as Vitamin C, D3 and E, Betacarotene, Selenium, Iron and Zinc to support healthy immunity.  Heck yes!

3.  Kick those bad habits to the curb

Take a good, hard look at what could be holding you back from feeling 100%.  For me it was alcohol.  Daily indulging in a glass or two of wine was becoming far too habitual and wrecking havoc with my body.  I’ve decided Sun-Thurs will now be alcohol-free days, with moderation and good judgement in charge of Friday and Saturday lol!

4.  Proactively deal with Stress

My stress levels rise when I feel a lack of control.  I feel lacking in control when I have too much work/blogging to do.  I need to learn to say no and to block out portions of my day to dedicate to work, rather than phaffing about and writing a bit here and there.

5.  Realign your priorities and your purpose

Constantly riding the rollercoaster of ‘busy’ can result in your priorities getting totally out of whack.  My family comes first, blogging/work comes second.  Realigning those two allows me to focus on the purpose and motivation behind why I write, and my work improves as a result.  Don’t slack on this one!  Getting lost in your head or heading down the rabbit hole of social media is a massive distraction but all it does is negatively turn your focus outward, onto others.  Bring it all back to you and yours and expend your energy close to home xx

I’m super fortunate that Dave is my biggest champion and cheerleader and is always on board with trying to make positive changes in our life.  He’s my running coach and motivator but also a driving force in our family’s nutritional choices.  He has also been reaping the benefits of adding a Multi to his morning routine this week – the Healtheries Men’s Multi One-A-Day is specifically formulated for male nutritional needs and requirements. Containing high potency B vitamins and ginseng to support stamina and performance plus essential antioxidant minerals such as selenium and zinc and tribulus to support immunity and sexual health. 

Top Mummy Blog new Zealand Top Raw recipe Join me by tweaking a few key parts of your day to make for better seasons ahead, I’d love to hear some of your tips – leave me a comment below!  Find out more information at www.healtheries.co.nz 

10 Months of Running | Join Me for the Skechers Women’s 6k and win!

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I know not everyone has aspirations to be a runner, but I always, always have.  I was pretty good at a few sports growing up and fair to middling at the rest.  I gave everything a go and joined every sports team there was on offer at school.  But I was never a runner.  Cross country days hurt me, deep down in my young soul.  God I hated them.

So I cannot really explain what happened last December, 2 days before Christmas, when I put on some sneakers and decided to run.  It really was as simple as that.

I’ve written about it before (here) so I won’t elaborate too much, but over the past 10 months I’ve increased my distance, improved my pace and settled into running in a way I had never imagined I would.  I have gone from struggling to run 1km to where I’m at now, which is comfortably running 5km in under 30 minutes.

I’m proud of that.  It’s no Olympic time, but it’s an excellent Melissa time.

How I learned how to run 5km

So December 2014.  No running.  23rd December 2014, I power walked 4km and ran 1km at the end.

This was honestly the hardest kilometre I’ve ever completed in my life.  And I barely made it to be honest.  I wasn’t prepared for how uncomfortable, wobbly, jiggly and out of breath I would feel.  I was self-conscious and full of negative self-talk.

But I was secretly pretty stoked I did it.

I did this walk/run combo 3 0r 4 more times.  Then I increased the running distance to 1.5 km and followed the same pattern.  Repeating the increased increment 3 or 4 times before adding another half km onto the running distance, always working within the 5km parameter – I think this was a big mental milestone for me!

I took it slowly and after a couple of months, I made it to 5km.  

I COULD RUN 5 FREAKING KILOMETRES!!!!  Huge milestone for me.  To be honest, I haven’t progressed much further distance wise since.  I’ve hit 7km a couple of times when I was pushing hard, but I really love the short sharp burst that a good 5km gives me.

But.  Next month, on the 15th of November, I’m running the Skechers Women’s 6k in Auckland.  My friend Penny from Little Housewife and I had been discussing doing a run or race together and there were heaps of reasons why we decided to choose the Skechers event;

  • Top Mummy Blog new Zealand Top Halloween Decor6k is a great distance which suits all levels.  Trust me, this is a totally achievable distance for either walkers or runners – and you can do either, it doesn’t matter!
  • The course is flat.  Flat as a pancake.  Along the waterfront in Auckland in lush, pre-summer November, perfectly scheduled for all of our ‘get fit for summer’ resolutions!
  • Everyone gets a goody bag!
  • There are amazing prizes to be won on the day such as a trip to Hawaii for the best dressed trio and a brand new Mazda!

So, what do you think?  Ready to give it a go with us?  Online registrations close 13 November and Penny assures me this is such a fun event – she did it last year!

Plus, Skechers have an amazing prize pack to give away to one lucky reader!  Valued at over $250 it includes a pair of Skechers GOwalk 3 shoes, a Skechers Performance towel, sports-bag and drink bottle, a range of Sculpt product and a shaker, and tickets for you and a friend to attend Skechers 6k – the perfect pack to provide you with everything you need to get up and on your feet!

There are three ways to enter:

  1. Comment below and tell me who you would invite to the event
  2. Head over to The Best Nest on Facebook and follow the instructions on the competition image here
  3. Enter via this image on Instagram

Competition closes 30/10/15 @ 5pm.

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Oh yeah. Hirschsprung’s is for life damnit.

Friday, 12th June 10pm: I’m in my bed, eating the hell out of a packet of Lindor Balls.  I just got out of the shower.  A long shower into which I took my trés classy bourbon-in-a-can and sat on the floor.  I didn’t cry, but I could have.

This week broke my baby.

{If you’re a new reader, and not sure about Nixon’s Hirschsprung’s Disease, these posts will fill you in > Nixon and Hirschsprung’s Disease, Last Night’s Hospital Dinner}.

There were a couple of factors contributing to our slow admission that there was something seriously wrong with Nixie this week;

  1. He is teething hard out.  His two year molars are mucking around and I blamed his diarrhoea and general lethargy and grumpiness on this.
  2. Dave, Ethan and I were literally walloped with what we can only imagine was food poisoning on Monday night.  The.  Worst.  Thing.  Ever.  You don’t need details.  So, as you would, we assumed Nix had the same bug. 

Wrong on both counts.  

When he woke up in vomit on Wednesday morning and actually couldn’t do anything but lay on his side, barely able to even speak we rushed off to Starship, with my bags packed.  I knew we would be staying and I instantly knew that he had enterocolitis – a Hirschsprung’s Kid’s nemesis.  

After failing him for a week, I finally got something right.  Surgeons from his operation last year came down to assess him in the ER and he was admitted fairly quickly.  Not that we settled on the ward quickly.  It took a gargantuan EIGHT HOURS to achieve that feat.  We arrived at the ER at 8am, there was no-one else waiting and we were triaged and seen by the doctor very quickly.  Once it was established Nix was going to need IV antibiotics and fluids the shit hit the fan.

Nix has good veins but also a good layer of fat hiding his veins.  The doctor got a line in on first attempt after not too much hassle.  Nix didn’t like it but that was to be expected.  An hour or so into his fluid replacement a nurse arrived to administer his first dose of antibiotics.  She noticed the IV had tissued and Nixon’s arm was rapidly swelling like a balloon because it was filled with maintenance fluids.  Great.

Second attempt.  Same doctor pincushions him in three separate spots, puts line in, pulls line out.  Nix is being restrained by both Dave and I and two nurses while a play therapist tries to interest him in Thomas the Fucking Tank Engine while his eyes are rolling back in his head and he is screaming and thrashing like he’s possessed by the devil.  In the middle of this another doctor runs in and says “lets give him some nitrous and see how that helps calm him down”.

Slightly better result.  Nix isn’t speaking in tongues at least, same doctor gets line in and rapidly disappears.  Nurse goes to administer antibiotics and can’t.  Again.  Doctor no-where to be found, new doctor takes over.  End result achieved by rolling Nixon in a sheet and me pretty much lying on top of him crying my eyes out with Dave doing the same on his lower half and two nurses assisting.  Play therapist gone back to playing, because quite frankly, this has gone WAY past the point of iPad intervention.

Absolutely the worst experience of my entire life, and I’m sure Nixon’s.  Patients cannot go up to a ward without an IV in, and Nix needed those antibiotics mainlined quickly.  X-rays earlier in the day showed his bowel was badly swollen, confirming Hirschsprung enterocolitis – a life-threatening complication of Hirschsprung disease resulting in a grossly enlarged colon, often followed by sepsis and shock. 

This awful, awful series of events had rendered my sick, exhausted boy into a terrified little puddle, clinging to me for dear life.  Signs of his severe anxiety grew over the course of our 3 day stay, culminating in diaper changes becoming a two man job as Nixon’s severe, thrashing, physical protests made it impossible for ether Dave or I to complete this once simple task on our own.  When his bowel movements were as frequent as every 10 minutes you can imagine how emotionally and physically draining this was for all three of us.  

The four hourly obs by the nurses elicited the same response.  So does oral meds.  You actually can’t even imagine the state twice daily rectal washouts leaves Nix in.  Seeing my once bullet-proof-happy guy go through multiple hysteric episodes each day, is heartbreaking.  I don’t know how to fix it.

We returned home this afternoon, with a shattered little boy.  The visible distention in his belly is gone as well as other signs of untreated enter0colitis (which are too gross to bore you with!), so now it’s time to heal.  

My Mum and Dave, who were both ill themselves, were amazing last week, holding things together at home for Ethan (who was also unwell!) and keeping things as normal as possible for all of us.  I’m sure the dogs were very happy with their respite from Nixon, who loves them so much that he actually terrorizes them with the ferocity of his hugs, too bad suckers, he’s back.

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It’s now Saturday at lunchtime and the promise of being at home has been tarnished by a morning of yelling and bitching at each other, frustration, hysterics and terrible behaviour from Nixon (totally understandable, but so hard to deal with) and just trying to get back on an even keel when it feels like we’ve lost an entire week.  Nix slept all night – so did I, and is showing signs of improvement today.  The nurse on the surgical ward sent us home with exactly the right amount of supplies for today and Sunday, not a ml of saline to spare and the home help nurse said the supplies we need are out of stock so we won’t receive them until mid-week.  That’s the next battle.  Just keep swimming. just keep swimming………

Thank you for all of your love, it is so appreciated xx

 

How Mummy got to Relax

As John Kirwan says, I am an ‘active relaxer’.  What this means, is that I prefer, or have simply gotten into the habit of ‘doing’ something when I have a rare, precious moment of downtime.  Relaxing usually does not involve anything comfortable like a couch or a bed – most often it’s my computer stool, it only includes a book occasionally, it never includes yoga or meditation………..in fact, re-reading this, I’m not sure if I ever actually relax anymore!

That can’t be good for a person right?  To never actually allow yourself the freedom to do nothing, to forget the time, to not worry about the schedule, the kids, rushing from here to there, lunch, dinner, permission slips, washing………I feel even more worn out after typing that sentence!

Last week, for 90 blissful minutes, I did get to relax.  

I was invited to experience floating for the first time at Auckland’s only floatation centre, Float Culture.  Aside from seeing some social media discussion around the business when it first opened its doors, I had absolutely no preconceptions about what my experience would be like.  All I knew was that after reading online about floating as a form of relaxation I couldn’t wait to try it!

After meeting the super friendly staff I was shown to my appointment room, a sparkling clean, hi-end bathroom with the added feature of a rather large floatation tank! After a quick and easily processed orientation I stripped off and got ready to float.

Things you need to know;

  • You shower before and after floating.  Everything is provided, right down to the gorgeous Sukin skin and haircare products (I LOVE this brand!), makeup removing wipes and cotton pads + a hair dryer
  • A towel is provided
  • The door is locked so you can float naked
  • The shower is amazing, don’t get distracted, you’re there to float!

 

As soon as you enter the pod you’re aware of the massive amounts of beneficial Epsom Salts in the water – which is only 30cm deep by the way.  After I closed the lid and settled into the pod my legs floated to the surface and I began to appreciate the weightlessness that must be at least somewhat akin to what being in space feels like!  The absolute silence and total darkness within the pod combined with the inability to distinguish where the water ends and your body begins makes for perhaps the most total(?) de-stimultaion experience you could ever imagine.

And this is where the benefits begin.

Turning off and tuning out is so, so difficult for me.  My mind wandered for a wee bit whilst in the tank, I was told to expect this so I let it go and then I went with it.  I was out, or at the very least in such a deep state of relaxation that when I was gently brought back to full consciousness by some soft meditative music I thought it was the next day and I had been asleep for 8 hours!

Amazing.  Complete mental and physical relaxation in a super concentrated but easily accessible format.  Traditional meditation requires practice and training, something I’ve never had the patience for.  Blissfully zoning out in a flotation tank requires no overt effort at all and the benefits are incredible.  That night I slept the sleep of my children!

Love, love, loved it.