I’ve taken to attempting to run once a week around this particular neighbourhood, and the first time I did it, this was so beautiful it was a great excuse to stop. It was so unexpected and just one of those things, like a comma, where you have to pause and take a moment before you continue. For me, nature in its unembellished, stunning beauty is one of the few things that leave me without a doubt – there is a God.
I’ve always been a real stickler for washing my face twice a day with a facial cleanser, morning and night, having discovered from personal experience that skipping a night wash often resulted in spots or even a rare pimple the very next day.
When I did LASIK recently, however, one of the post-op care instructions was to be very careful about not getting soap into my eyes within the first 24 hours, so with some trepidation, I skipped the cleanser and simply wiped my face with warm water on a cotton pad.
The effect was visible almost immediately – my skin looked better!
I have very dry skin, except for my T-zone, and I should probably have gotten one of those expensive, luxurious moisturisers, but I’d accidentally discovered an even better (and cheaper!) trick: Don’t use a cleanser in the morning.
Note: Not to be confused with do not wash your face at all.
It’s definitely not a tip for everyone, but it’s certainly been good for my skin. The point is: Try different things to find out what works for you. Conventional advice is always helpful, but rely also on what you see and how you feel.
So I’ve been eating salads for lunch a few days a week, having decided I need more vegetables in my life.
Pre-washed greens (because I’m lazy that way), thrown into a bowl with lots of healthy dressing (I’ve been doing copious amounts of French dressing), canned tuna (tomato & onion, tomato & capsicum, spicy chili… whatever rocks your boat), and random fresh fruit.
Quick, easy and yummy. Also, I was surprised to discover, satisfying. Was not expecting that. I’ve never been a green salad person, but this is definitely something I’ve gotten used to.
Kaylin’s been really good about going to the toilet by herself when she’s at home for over three months now, so I thought it was time to try taking her out without a diaper. I even added an incentive: We were going to buy her a pair of rainboots.
She did a wee before we left the house, and I kept asking her every 15 minutes whether she needed to go to the toilet. Every time, she said no.
Then, while we were at Target looking at rainboots – she quickly fixated on a Tinkerbell pair – she did a wee! Right there in the store! On the floor! After I had asked her whether she needed to go to the toilet a dozen times!
Luckily, most of the wee ended up on her clothes (Tip #1: Dress your child in panties and long pants so that most of his/her wee gets absorbed by his/her clothes) so I calmly and very quickly cleaned up what little there was on the floor, and we made our exit. No rainboots, I told her. We are going home right now because your clothes are soaked in pee.
The next day, we tried again. Remember, I said, if you wee in your clothes, we’ll have to go home and you won’t be able to get the rainboots.
Again, she was so excited by the prospect of getting rainboots that she insisted on going to Target straightaway and said she didn’t need to wee. No, I told her, we’re going to swing by the toilet and try anyway.
So we did. And while we were waiting for our turn, she did a wee! Right there in the parents’ room! On the floor! Even though she’d told me 30 seconds earlier that she didn’t need to!
Again, I quickly cleaned up (Tip #2: Do not freak out. It only draws attention to yourself and to what your kid has done) and we made our exit. No rainboots, I told her. Can we try again tomorrow? she asked. To her credit, she was being quite optimistic about her chances of success, if a little too nonchalant about her two failed attempts.
There was my test. Do I give up for convenience’s sake, or do I let her try again like she’s asking to?
As it turned out, our next trip to Target was with a cousin who was in town visiting, and I didn’t want to last all of 15 minutes before we had to head home again. So I put a pull-up diaper on Kaylin and told her to pretend it was panties. Tell me when you need to wee, I said.
She didn’t, of course. She knows the difference and is perfectly content to wee in her diaper when she’s wearing one. But we ended up going to Target and she got her rainboots anyway.
Should I not have? It doesn’t matter; I think we’ll give it another go this week. Fingers crossed, with a spare towel in the car. (Tip #3: Always have a spare towel in the car. A pee-soaked child is a lot easier to clean up than a pee-soaked car seat)
Keeping in the spirit of my ‘get moving’ phase, here’s the awesome Evolution of Mom Dancing by Jimmy Fallon and Michelle Obama. Just for the record, I love Fallon. And the FLOTUS.
I’m going on a bit of a health kick, or trying to. Now that I’m officially in my 30s, I figure I should start really taking care of myself. More fruits and vegetables, more exercise, more supplements, more eye cream, more exercise…
Also, I had a routine blood test a month or so back and it turns out I have high cholesterol. That’s not entirely surprising because every blood test I’ve ever had has come back with the same result, what’s surprising is how many of my friends said they too have high cholesterol when I told them.
It’s probably a combination of eating out too much, a sedentary lifestyle, and unfortunate genetics. Or in other words, the result of being (for many of us) the first really pampered generation in our families.
I don’t like fried foods and I’m not overweight, so I figure my high cholesterol must partly have something to do with family genetics, but that doesn’t mean I shouldn’t do something about it.
So this morning, I spent 45 minutes in front of the TV following a Pilates workout programme. Tomorrow morning, it’s Yoga. Then Pilates again, then Yoga again. If I wake up in time to do them.
I didn’t even break a sweat but stretching and toning is better than not doing anything at all. If nothing else, maybe I’ll eventually be able to touch my toes. Yep, can’t do that.
If the weather holds, I may wander out with Kaylin for a walk to the park later. I push her on this cute little tricycle with a long handle at the back that a friend gave us, and I keep forgetting to buy her a helmet for it. (Does she need one?) If I walk fast enough uphill, that should get my heart pumping.
I should also definitely start watching TV standing up and doing simple exercises, and the next time Kaylin asks me to jump around and play ‘tennis’ with her, I need to be a good mummy and take her up on the offer.
So here we go. Hopefully, by putting this out there I’ll have to keep my word and hold myself accountable. Unfortunately, this is not one of those situations where thought counts very much at all, so wish me luck.
Kaylin turned three a few weeks ago. Here she is, enjoying a birthday treat. My baby is three! My baby is no longer a baby!
I’m happy to say her Terrible Twos weren’t/aren’t as bad as I feared they would be. Touch wood.
I’m happier to say I’ve introduced her to ‘The Sound of Music’, and teaching her to sing ‘Do Re Mi’ and ‘Favourite Things’ has got to be one of my biggest mummy accomplishments to date. (Now for Disney cartoons and ‘Mary Poppins’.)
She’s suddenly developed this liking for Disney princesses, in particular, Princess Aurora. More proof that girliness is not hereditary. I don’t recall ever going through the princess stage, and I’m gently nudging her towards Belle, because I’ll watch ‘Beauty and the Beast’ over ‘Sleeping Beauty’ any day.
In the meantime, I guess I’ll have to put up with requests for Aurora books, boots, slippers, pajamas…
My second biggest mummy accomplishment is introducing her to tennis. She’s so obsessed with Novak Djokovic, she learned to spell his name before her own because she kept wanting to type it into YouTube.
It may have something to do with the fact that I brought her along to watch him play Tomas Berdych in the Aussie Open. Her first live tennis outing and it’s a Grand Slam quarterfinal match featuring the world no. 1? Gosh, she’s
Happy birthday, sweetie! You can stop growing up so fast now.
I’m breaking up with American Idol. As much as I adore Keith Urban, not even his presence is enough to compel me to turn on the telly twice a week. It’s not bitter or angry, our relationship has simply run its course. Maybe I’ll watch a little bit from time to time if it happens to be on, but things will never be the same again.
That said, it has been brought to my attention that one of the contestants, a certain Zoanette Johnson, performed ‘Circle of Life’ from ‘The Lion King’, which is one of my absolute favourites. So I had to watch it.
The first thing that came to mind was, wow she even looks like she’s performing the song in character. And then, can you imagine what the backup singers were like when they found out? “OMG, we get to sing ‘Circle of Life’!”
If you’d told me a month ago that I wouldn’t need to wear glasses anymore, I wouldn’t have been able to imagine it. But here I am. Yesterday, I went for my one-week post-op checkup, and I have perfect vision.
This is what everyone will tell you about LASIK laser eye surgery – it’s expensive, it’s pain-free, and it’s the best thing ever. They are all true.
I didn’t really plan on doing it. I’d toyed with the idea for a couple of years, but couldn’t get over the fact that someone was going to slice my cornea… with a blade… while I was fully conscious.
Then my sister-in-law went in for her pre-op checkup, and I thought, maybe I’ll just find out more about the procedure and see if I’m a suitable candidate.
I did, and I was, and because I didn’t have to pay a deposit, I scheduled my pre-op and op appointments for two weeks later. If in the next fortnight I chicken out, I warned the guy, I’ll call to cancel.
Here’s the thing: once you take that first, crucial step of scheduling the op, the chances of you backing out greatly diminish.
Friends encouraged me to do it, my sister-in-law did hers and was totally fine, and most importantly, I discovered that they no longer use a blade to slice your cornea. (They haven’t for a while; I’m just terribly outdated.)
Now this is what nobody tells you about LASIK laser eye surgery: -
1. Even though you do not feel any pain, the contraptions and what-not used to open up and hold your eye in place can feel a little weird, especially if you had no idea it was coming.
People usually ask how the surgery itself works. Nobody asks about the peripherals, and nobody talks about them. I suppose it’s not that important pre-op, and once it’s done, patients are usually so happy they don’t care anymore.
2. It’s a real surgery. You know how dental surgeries are called that, but you’re still sitting in the same chair you would for a regular cleaning, and the dentist looks the same as he always does? LASIK laser eye surgery is not like that.
There’s face- and hand-washing beforehand, surgical scrubs to put on, and an actual operating theatre. The scrubs really did it for me – I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t at all nervous in there.
(In one corner of the operating theatre is a big teddy bear. My sister, who chauffeured me to and from all my appointments and watched the entire episode, asked a nurse what the bear was for. The nurse said some patients ask to hold it throughout the procedure. My sister asked what the minimum age to get the surgery was. The nurse said, 18.)
3. Post-op care is serious business. Within 20 minutes after the surgery, my eyes were so tired I couldn’t keep them open. I went home and got straight into bed. I slept for almost three hours, and spent the next three hours feeling as if I had a super-dry contact lens stuck in my right eye… and I couldn’t do anything about it.
I diligently applied eye drops every half hour for the first day, and then every hour for a whole week. Nobody tells you that pre-op either; I saw my sister-in-law do it, so I knew it was coming, but I was surprised that it wasn’t as much of a hassle as one would imagine. By the end of day one, I was the sensei of putting eye drops.
Laser eye surgery isn’t exactly groundbreaking news, but I still find it really amazing that vision can be corrected just like that, in less than 20 minutes, with instantaneous results.
Immediately after I was done, the doctor led me out of the operating theatre, pointed out a wall clock and asked me what time it was. I said, 10.50. Be a little more specific, he told me. I said, 10.51. Good, he answered.
Now, a week later, there are still times when I suddenly remember I’m not wearing contact lenses, yet everything is in sharp focus. I have to say, those moments are pretty cool.
- Writer and mummy. Excited about entertainment, sports and telling other people's stories. Occasionally nerdy. I wish there were 30 hours in a day.
- Natural beauty
- Random beauty tip: Give the cleanser a miss
- Current lunch staple: Tuna salad
- The potty training chronicles
- Have you seen this awesome Evolution of Mom Dancing?
- Gotta get moving
- And baby turns three
- For real, someone sang ‘Circle of Life’ on ‘American Idol’
- The day R. Kelly sang ‘I Look to You’
- Going under the laser