Why it's painful to even sit on the toilet today

It made me laugh yesterday.

Since starting to work my way down those 10 kg I've accumulated to aide with breastfeeding (three down, six-seven to go, yay) I've started attending a circuit class.

What's circuit class? It's a group sports class where the instructor sets up an array of exercises and people then rotate around, so there'll be a minute of weightlifting, then a minute of bashing a medicine ball into the floor, then a minute of walking up a wall or whatever - not that different from a high school PE class, really, just a lot more intense. Fun, basically!

The instructor knows that I'm a newby and that I have a tendency to black out since I have low blood pressure (always have had) and I haven't really exercised since... Four years ago? Since having kids, basically.

And so as she moved through the room cheering people on, "Come on, you can do it!", "Go as hard as you can, as hard as you can!", "No stopping, people, no stopping! Keep on going,  just ten seconds more!" she then walked towards me, saw me bracing myself in a abs-workout pose (eyes probably bulging out :P, doing intense exercise after a long time off is such a graceful experience, really...) she laughed and with all the support said to me:

"Oh but you can do whatever you want today, honey."


I'm THAT good, basically ;)

A stroll in the sunshine

One of the beautiful things about where I live at the moment is that house backs onto farmland.

And there, between house and farmland, is a sheltered path local families frequent.

Another beautiful thing is the fact that after having a lovely stroll in this beautiful 20+ degrees weather (I think the last such day until next summer!) my kids and my husband are now all in bed - meaning, I have quiet time to sketch my school assignments. Yuss!

(Oh, yeah, and I also have 10 minutes to upload this ;).)

Talking of schoolwork: oh jolly how happy I am that whoever made the assignment asked me to sketch window joinery to a 1:5 scale.


As in, weatherboards that in real life are 16 mm thick, I need to sketch them to be 3 mm. And I need to be able to put on the sketch things such as building paper, tape, flashing, airseals... Everything, basically.

I don't know if it's a done deal to upload school assignments on internet like that, but I hope no-one is going to take my head off for showing you an example of what I've been working on this morning. Just look at the scale of the damn thing in relation to my pencil.

And to do that whole thing by hand, several angles, several sketches.



6.2 near Kaikoura

A loooooooong, wide-waved earthquake rolls our house and I look at the book case swinging back and forth, back and forth, and I think, "Oh no, somebody's having a big one."

6.2 near Kaikoura.

It's that... long wave of it that makes me so unsettled. When an earthquake comes, tadum!-tadum!-tadum!, then although dishes rattle and it is generally much louder in the house, I also know that what is happening is quite nearby, and so it is probably not a big deal.

But when it comes like a big swinging ship, whoooompa-whoooooompa-whoooompa, and I see our book case swinging back and forth (anchoring it to the wall has been on the to-do list for two months!) but dishes hardly rattle at all, I know that it is coming from afar - and whoever is there, "afar", is probably not having such a whale of a time..

It went on for about half a minute. 

Half a minute is a heck of a long time when it's an earthquake...

On being the first one

A few days ago I had a conversation with a friend who said that when something's wrong, the first one to complain will be the one who gets a slap in the face and a personal attack along the lines of "It's your own problem, no one else complains, deal with it," and only after the first person has had a go, others will join. It takes someone to stand up first, raise their voice, and only after the initial backlash is over others will join in confirmation.

Today I was, I think, the first one to stand up and raise my voice. Gently and genuinely I tried to make it known that I am not wanting to be a troublemaker, or a b*tch, and that I am genuinely concerned and looking forward to change.

I don't know if those people will ever get back to me on that, but whilst I feel the anxiety of having raised my voice, I will also tell myself what that very wise friend said to me.

The first one to stand up and raise their voice will be the one to get slapped, but once it's done, others will follow.

Do good work.
Do it with pride.
Tell the truth. There's no shame in being honest.
Do what you do with pride, and care.
But most of all, do it with pride.

Dear, did we used to have a tree in the back yard?

The answer to that question is, no, not until yesterday, honey - but we sure do now!

It's a little windy in Christchurch today.

Bring on lactic acid!

Given the circumstances, I am doing exceptionally good this morning! Because here's the thing: with The Girlie relying less and less on my breastmilk for nourishment, I've started to slowly work my way down those +10 kg I've accumulated since giving birth to her, as with so little breastfeeding going on at the moment, I no longer need them.

But here's the catch: without knowing what a "circuit training" is, I attended a circuit class yesterday night and... and...

I know this is going to sound offensive to many of you, but I figure - chances are that if you're still reading my blog you are already accustomed to profanities and you either don't care or you like reading what I write more than you dislike profanities, so... Here goes: the two most repetitive expletives I had going through my head yesterday evening as I was trying very hard to 1) not pass out and 2) not to vomit in front of about fifteen other people were:

a) oh my jesus f*ckin' christ, and
b) f*ck me sideways this hard

Not kidding.

Because turns out, circuit training is really fun and exactly what I like!, except, I am in no form whatsoever to tackle even half the stuff those guys are doing, let alone all of it.

I came home last night, landed on a sofa and then waited for Universe to give me energy to get my butt off the sofa again, and nothing happened. Eventually I dragged my tired (hah, well that's an understatement...) a$$ off the sofa and into the shower, and eventually to bed, and that's what I mean by, given the circumstances I am doing exceptionally well at the moment because: I've managed to get up from bed this morning, unassisted!, and I've managed to sit down and stand up several times, unassisted!, and my muscles haven't (yet) been entirely broken down into soggy mush by the build-up of lactic acid, and... and...

Basically, I am so frickin' out of shape but, hell, this was so fun and worth it! See you next week!

Providing I am able to get out bed tomorrow morning.

A quiet evening and Elizabeth Gilbert again

An interview to the tune of which to sketch roofs: Elizabeth Gilbert interviewing Rayya Elias in Sydney Opera House on March 8, 2015.

"Owning a creative mind is like having 
a border  collie for a pet - you got to give it 
something to do or it's going to find a job to do, 
and you won't like the job it finds."

The little explorer

Thanks, son

The Kid is getting dirty behind the garage.

I think it's a great game! Looks like loads of fun and afterwards he'll just get chucked in the shower, and it'll all be clean again.

Except: he's gone 'round our car and done the same to her also.

Uhm... okay, yeah - so with this bit mommy's not that impressed son, sorry.

Oh to be a three-year-old again.

Edited to add: I am looking out the window and he's doing the same to The Dog now, piling dirt and leaves on her.

Good times!

You're dreaming, mate, if you think you're getting in the house like that


I was sketching a detail of a roof, and on the background an episode of Emergency Room: Life and Death at Vancouver General was playing.

And it occurred to me that, being a person who routinely "visited" emergency rooms when I was a teenager - to a point where I once remember stepping in there after yet another fall or something and the admitting doctor going, "Oh, it's you again! Good afternoon. So what brings you here today?" - I am now less scared of my own children having injuries that need to take them to emergency rooms, because... I am now familiar with the procedure.

Sure, when The Kid got his toe stuck in the back wheel of a bicycle a few weeks ago and lifted his toenail right off the nailbed, every adult in this household had a little shiver down the spine because personally we have never lifted toenails and so it looked kind of... gross to us, so we're not immune to blood and goo and vomit.

But what I mean is: the look of the emergency room itself doesn't freak me out, even if the injury itself does.

It's the same with our experience with a New Zealand court: a few months ago when we had to attend a court meeting to sort out the problems between ourselves and our landlord, just sitting in the waiting room there was enough to kind of go, "Geesh!" But now that I've experienced it and I know what it looks like, from the inside, it's not that scary any more.

It's... familiarity. The fact that I've gone through an experience itself means that I now have a heightened capacity to face adversity in the future.

PS. A bit of an off-topic: we've started to wonder if The Kid is red-green color blind. He's starting to get the hang of colours and it's wonderful to see, except: red and green are the two colours he is consistently getting mixed up somehow.

Yesterday the pointed to his bicycle, "Red!" (Or, to be precise, in is language it sounds more like, "Iieeeed!") 

"Yes, red! Good boy," I replied, "And what color is this?" I pointed towards his green swing.

"Red!" he claimed excitedly.

"No, that's green," I argued. "See? This [the swing] is green, and this [the bicycle] is red."

"No, no, no, no," he shouted back at me, "Red!" He pointed to his bicycle, "Red!" and then he pointed towards his swing, "Red!" And then he looked up at me with that wide, wide yes-I-am-a-superhero smile to which I could only go, "Well alright then. I think it's time that we go have a sandwich in the kitchen =)"

But even sitting here and writing about it I just kind of think, well, yeah, so we'll just add that to the things we talk about at our next therapy session. Big deal.


Lots of evening babble

After servicing our bikes to a condition where they were yet again... rideable - meaning, my bike's chain wasn't covered in rust and The Man's tires weren't dead flat any more - we took an afternoon to take our kids riding and wow do I have emotions and opinions about this thing.

One: for the first kilometre or so I was convinced that I was riding on a flat (as in, a flat tyre) but turns out, I am just really, really out of practice. It's been a year and a half since I've ridden my bike (!), and though the reasons are kind of valid - being pregnant for the second time riding a bike quickly became exceptionally uncomfortable, and it wasn't until my mom told me how to get rust off a chain that I even considered being able to ride my bike without having to first pay a lot of money for servicing the damn thing - it is still both sad and amusing that I've been away from a bike long enough for the chain to rust up.

And secondly: wow do I appreciate the fact that we have 1) a Thule bike rack to put all of our bikes on the back of a car, and 2) a Thule Chariot bike trailer to stick our kids into, and 3) a separate bike seat for the baby so that I don't have to listen to them sit in the trailer and complain about each other. The Girlie being a baby she's in that stage where she likes to grab everything - including The Kid's face - and The Kid being a preschooler he's at a stage where he knows he doesn't like being grabbed by his face, but he doesn't know what else to do about it other than scream for help and maybe slap his sister, which then makes her cry and... yeah.

So let me tell you a secret: if one child is 10 months old and another one is 3 years old, do you think they can do long bike journeys whilst sharing a single bike trailer and being squeezed tightly together?

I'll let you answer that ;)

And though there's more, I am also f*ckin' knackered, so I am going to turn off the computer, go to bed and sleep, sleep, sleep.

They say that at first there's the stage where a person has time and health, but not money (university years, yehaa!), then it's money and health, but not time (work, work, work) and then it's money and time, but not health (retirement).

At the moment I haven't really got time nor money, (why is that? Oh, yeah: because I study quantity surveying whilst taking care of two preschoolers whilst trying to save for a f*ckin' house deposit in a country where I haven't got family and real estate is outrageously priced and... oh, sorry, got carried away. Back to the topic!) so I am hoping that universe will compensate me for it at some point by giving me time and money and health.

Oh, I don't even think I can imagine what it'd feel like, to have time and money and health.*

(* she writes whilst nursing her shoulder which she busted by lifting a bike onto a bike rack, and will now go pop an Ibuprofen to try and ease the pain.)

Life is kind of awesome and overwhelming at the same time at the moment.