Friday 26 February 2016

On roles and responsibilities

Earlier this week, I had a flat tyre. I first noticed it when I was dropping Ellie and Jimmy at daycare. I was in a rush as I had a meeting to get to, so I didn't have time to fix it right then. My short term plan of attack was to drive it slowly to the nearest bus way, park so I could get to work and then let the problem belong to after-work Lisa. My longer plan solution was that I would call my roadside assist centre and have them help me change the tyre after work.

After leaving work, I decided that roadside assist would take far too long to arrive during peak hour, and so I called Mr Fork to come and help me change the tyre on the side of the road as I didn't feel safe driving to a service station to inflate it and getting it home to change it.
Anyway, while Mr Fork was changing the tyre by the side of the road, and I was entertaining the kids who were in the back seat of his car, a man walked by. I should preface this story by also mentioning that this man did not offer to help at all. Instead, he took in the situation, and then said, and I quote "you need to give him something nice to say thank you ". I looked at this man, walking his dog with nary an offer of assistance, and in my sweetest tones, I responded "what, more than the knowledge that his wife will arrive home safely?" That should have been it, but he clearly wanted to get his point across and waggled his eyebrows at me saying "yes, he deserves something nice  for helping you out". I was sweaty, hot, and rather short tempered from waiting on the roadside and having attempted to lift a spare tyre while wearing a pencil skirt and unsuitable blouse and heels. I glared at his back.

But it got me thinking. Is this a normal point of view in society?

I had a work conference recently where I had to be away from home for several nights. Mr Fork's mother had gladly offered to take both children on their non-childcare days, and happily cooked dinner for both them and Mr Fork while I was away. She even offered to have the kids overnight if he needed help. When he goes away for work, they just ask me how long he'll be away and mention they'll see us all when he gets back. I am just expected to cope. And I do. As did he while I was away (I'm also proud to report that he didn't take up the overnight babysitting offer).
He is a father, not a babysitter. Just as he is my husband, not a mechanic. He does things for our family, and for me, for the love of it, and because that is his role. Just as I do the same things. However, somehow when he does these things, it's seen as something extraordinary. When I do them, well, I'm just doing my job.

Does this happen to anyone else?

Friday 12 February 2016


    Brought to you by Nuffnang and Ocean Spray
It's February already. How did it get to be February already? I feel like the year just started. I feel like I'm still making resolutions and figuring out where I want this year to go. Already the holiday season is far behind us. We are in the middle of Chinese New Year celebrations, and Valentine's Day is just around the corner. In our house, those last two things mean lots of delicious food and plenty of sweet treats. Bring it, I say!

Of course, my metabolism isn't what it used to be. I used to be able to eat all the things with no consequences, but those days are gone. I do try to work in some incidental movement where I can but it's tough. Rushing to do day care drop off and pick ups mean I can't just get off the bus a few stops earlier at a whim. Having two boisterous children in tow means I can't dash off and do a quick few laps around the block... it's more likely to be a slow meandering stroll while stopping to look at every ant and flower! I sometimes try to use the playground play equipment as a free style gym but it's hard to exercise and make sure that I'm always keeping my eye on the kids. That's ok, they're worth it.

I've never been one to 'diet' or 'exercise' in the traditional sense... I'd rather eat all the yummy things and do something fun like cycling or touch football. My idea of yummy varies from quite a few people's though I'd say. I naturally gravitate toward brown rice instead of white. I'd choose my homemade sourdough over shop white bread any day. My home grown vegetables are superior to anything I can buy in the shops. If I'm going to have a treat I'd rather indulge in home baking full of good quality chocolate, good fats and whole ingredients rather than something with lots of chemicals, numbers and ingredients I can't even pronounce. In fact, given a choice between supermarket chocolate and some fruit, I'd probably choose the fruit (quality, rich, dark chocolate however is a whole 'nother story!). What I'm trying to say here, is that I try to do everything in moderation, and make food choices that are smart without sacrificing taste or satisfaction.
I've recently discovered the Low Sugar Cranberry Fruit Drink by Ocean Spray. It's become a bit of an everyday treat for me, and I'm trying to convince Mr Fork to give up his daily fizzy soft drink habits and swap over to cranberry juice. I'm even willing to mix it with soda water for him so it's fizzy.
At only 10 calories a serve, I think it's a great alternative to other 'unhealthy' beverage choices. I'm still feeding Jimmy, so I drink a daily minimum 3-4 litres, and I love that I can switch it up to something a bit different and know that I'm not adding unnecessary sugar into my diet. The cranberry Ocean Spray drink is sweetened with stevia, but it's not sickly like some drinks can be and it doesn't lose that great cranberry taste. I like to have it straight out of the bottle, or even mixed with a bit of soda water to make it fizz.
I'm trying to set a healthy example for my children, so I'm making it a point to swap in healthy foods and get rid of some of the unhealthier options. Ocean Spray low sugar cranberry drink ticks that box!

Wednesday 3 February 2016

Toddler art work

Ellie came home from day care and proudly pulled a wrinkled piece of paper from her bag to present to me.

I know I'm a nerd because my first thought was to admire the paper and fondly recall the days when reams of the stuff spooled from dot matrix printers everywhere... ahem.

Then I focused on her drawing and asked her to tell me about it.

E: Mama, I made you a picture! The blue one is you mummy. See, that's your legs and your hair and you're smiling mama! And that's a sun, see how it's shining. And daddy is a banana. And the green one {under the 'banana'} is baby Jimmy mama.
M: But Ellie, where are you?
E: I didn't feel like being in my drawing mama. It's for you! Put it on the fridge please.
Oh I love the whole thing, picture, conversation and interaction! And I was not about to argue with daddy being a banana because for once, I am the tall one in the family and just look at my gloriously long legs!


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