Living with a ‘tweenage’ girl – belle fille intelligente

Note: This was originally written in 2016, updated April 2nd, 2019.

Today I have been reflecting on being a female in this world. There have been so many books, blogs, articles, you name it, written about young girls and how to give them the strength to face society as the best women they can be, but it is tough as a parent, to watch your child struggle with social situations in her ‘tweenage’ years.
My eldest daughter is 11 going on 12 this year (2016). She is incredibly smart, in fact, one of her teachers (a professor) just told me that he thinks she is incredibly gifted and wishes there was a formal gifted program at their school. Instead, he has started a high-level reading program with 5 students (our daughter included) that meets once a week during their lunch break to read and discuss whatever current book they have selected. It works well for our DD as reading is her strongpoint. It was always mine too. Forget Mathematics, give me a book any day, although she is mathematically minded as well.

Although eldest DD is very gifted when it comes to reading, she is lacking in some social skills and I’m not sure how to help her. She desperately wants to be popular but for some reason, isn’t well liked. Neither of us encourage her to seek popularity, rather to make a couple of well-trusted friends, but she just wants to be liked anyway. We try to understand what it is about her that other kids her age don’t take to, but we just don’t know. She is highly liked by adults/teachers and her own siblings adore her, particularly little sister. But what is it that she does, or how is she behaving when we are not in view, that is making her peers not take to her? She brought home a note last Friday that really upset me. It was from another student saying how much everyone dislikes her because she has a smart mouth. We tried to find out more about what this meant, but I truly don’t think she herself knows or is aware of, what she is doing. How does one rectify this? How can I help my daughter better socialize at school? She is always very polite and sweet. She can be bossy, yes, but swears she isn’t at school. She used to be a leader but now she is more of a follower because she so desperately wants others to like her that she has given up on the things she wants to do/play at school, doing seemingly, only what others want. I really worry. All this on top of being a girl in a society that is slowly improving, but still judges girls by their looks, their weight, their smile.

She hates her smile too. She needs braces and now with the whole dentist fiasco (was supposed to get them in Korea but didn’t because it wasn’t a very good deal) will have to wait some more. How can I instill in my beautiful girl all the wonderful things about her when she is already judging herself so harshly? Wondering what she does wrong that makes people dislike her? Hating her smile? The great thing about her though, she is full of confidence on so many other levels. How can I put this so you can understand? She believes in her sporting prowess and believes she is good at so many sports (some are hit and miss, but you know, who am I to judge). Though I do prefer she hear some truths from me rather than teammates.

Photo Credit: Positive Energy

Then there’s her height. Most girls her age are taller than her. She is starting to feel it too, with kids teasing her at school about how she’s not growing. Sometimes I just want to punch all of these unthinking, inconsiderate, little so and so’s! We talk about teasing all the time in our family and our motto is: ‘Only give what you can take; Nothing mean, all in good fun’. But these kids are definitely not practicing that. Some of the stuff they say is just plain mean. DD tries not to let it get to her, but it does. She keeps asking me how she can grow taller. I’m always going to use that sort of a question as a chance to motivate more fruit and vegetables being eaten, but I don’t have the growth secret. Now, I’ve just started saying to her that it will happen in good time and when it’s meant to. Everyone grows and matures at different rates and she may well change at a later stage than most of her peers. My Mum keeps asking me too if she’s grown, knowing how big her other granddaughter is. I’ve finally told her not to ask anymore. I know she doesn’t mean it in a bad way, but DD is getting a big enough complex about it as it is, so all talk about her hitting her growth spurt has been banned at this point in time.

Screenshot 2019-04-02 12.21.48

Girls. They have it tough. We have it tough. Then she talks to me about perhaps going on a diet. What? No, I don’t think so. Her body is slowly changing as she becomes a woman and that means certain areas are expanding (and no, I dont necessarily mean breasts) and she isn’t comfortable with it yet, but that’s what happens to most girls (and some boys). The only thing I say to my children about dieting is “Every thing in moderation.” You can eat anything you like as long as you eat it in a balanced way, is my point of view. That means limit the stuff you know is bad for you, ensure you get lots of good, hearty fruits and vegetables on a daily basis and don’t keep eating just for the sake of eating (exactly what we did on the cruise and over Christmas which is what started me needing to go on an exercise regimen in the first place). Also make sure you get plenty of exercise on a daily basis. My girls ride their bikes almost daily. They walk to and from the bus stop. They walk our dog. We try to be a fairly active family. I’m not concerned about the exercise part, but my dear daughter does like her junk food and won’t eat any fruit except apples, so she may have to start doing something else on top of our regular stuff. I suggested swimming but she told us that some of the girls who don’t like her are on the swim team. Back to that again.

I think my husband is just now starting to see all of the obstacles facing girls. Other girls are mean to girls, boys are mean to girls. Girls are expected to be both beautiful and smart, yet the minute we make a mistake it’s ‘because we’re a girl’ or because we’re not smart.

Photo Credit: Momma Unfiltered

It’s time we changed this kind of thinking for once and all. No more putting crap on other girls. It is our duty as mothers (aka females) to ensure our girls are not mean to other girls. It is ok to be competitive, but when you start putting someone else down to lift yourself up, something has gone wrong. We should be greeting each other daily with a pat on the back and a compliment. That’s something else I’ve learnt from my other daughter (from the moment she started talking until this day); give compliments. Try to find something, anything, about someone you are talking to and compliment them on it. “Your hair looks amazing today!” “I like your scarf.” “Those are beautiful (insert anything here, earrings, sandals, etc).” It doesn’t have to be super personal, but it does have to be sincere. This gossiping crap has to stop too.

There’s an old saying we are all familiar with, ‘If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all.’ It’s true. Just don’t speak. Obviously there’s also some grey here, if something has been done to wrong you, then tell your story, but don’t put that other person down in the telling, otherwise you’re stooping to the same level, meaning you are no better than them. Even when eldest DD talks to me about someone at school, she never puts them down, she will say something very simply like, “…… was really mean to me today. She called me short and said I was a B word.” (She’s not allowed to say it but will let me know if someone has said it to her by stating the term ‘B’ word). Now this was but an example, but I like the fact that in the real life scenarios there isn’t any name calling coming from my own daughter. My girls rarely put other people down. It makes me very proud! I encourage you to ensure your daughters don’t either (and sons for that matter).

We must pick each other up rather than put each other down. We must encourage healthy eating rather than junk (which we are doing, but we still have a long way to go), we must encourage the realistic body not the photoshopped image, (again, we are doing just that) but we must also encourage the realistic body that is doing regular exercise rather than the overweight body that is doing none.

Our daughters need to hear from us every single day just how beautiful they are, just how smart they are. Unfortunately certain web sites, some famous people, authors and journalists and bloggers and whomever else, that talk about the unimportance of beauty have got it wrong. Yes, I said beauty is not unimportant. But before you get on your high horse and start accusing me of being shallow and all sorts of other things, please hear me out:

We are made (human nature) to admire beautiful things (whether that be in nature, or in another human being). There is such a thing as inner beauty, yes, but there is also such a thing as outer beauty and it will always be recognized. Our daughters should be recognizing their own beauty both inside and out. I read an article the other day about how you shouldn’t be encouraging your daughters to care about the way they look and I have to say, I completely disagree. You should take pride in your appearance, you should encourage your children to take pride in their appearance. You should love yourself both inside and out. We all look in the mirror and we all see flaws no one else sees, but we have to be able to see beauty there too. There will always be someone more beautiful, smarter, with a better body. We need to be aware that that will always be the case, but it’s ok, because we are confident in our own selves and our abilities and our beauty, both inner and outer. We know that a smile is truly beautiful (yes, even the smile thought to be a flaw by the owner), we know that happy girls are confident girls and vice versa and confident girls are beautiful girls. Our daughters are always going to see people being recognized for their beauty. It does exist and it is very real and there are truly beautiful people surrounding us. It’s part of life. We need to focus more on the confidence part. We need to focus on all the positive things in our girls. We need to help them to help both themselves and to help others. We need to make sure they are lifting others up.

How do we do this? Well this is where we as women must lift each other up too. I challenge you to give everyone you meet tomorrow a compliment. I challenge you to find things that will inspire your daughters to be the most beautiful people they can be by bringing others up. Lead by example. Don’t gossip, don’t bitch and moan, always talk positively about your friends and their strengths and always remind your daughters to be the best “insert name here” they can be. I also went into my daughter’s room whilst she was at school today and put inspirational quotes, and reassurances everywhere. Including some I thought pertinent to just her at this time. And there are quite a few for when she’s laying in bed looking at her ceiling:

Just in case she needs reminding when no one is about. 😊

Boys will not judge my daughter and place her into a category and girls will not bring her down. She shall know each and every day just how special and amazing she is. And how beautiful she is on the inside and out. She will know how talented she is when it comes to singing and playing her guitar and she shall know that she has very special strengths and is truly gifted when it comes to reading and comprehension. We will be realistic with her when she asks our advice but we will never shame her choices. I challenge you to make sure your daughter knows those same things; as relevant to her and her own strengths. Your sons too.

*Update: 3 years later.

My eldest daughter is now incredibly confident and not invloved in any drama with any girls. She knows her own strengths, she works hard and she is surrounded by a great group of friends. She has started playing lacrosse (absolutely loves it) and is still an avid reader. She has truly come a long way from this moment in time. I hear her talking to her friends sometimes and I never hear her putting anyone else down, which makes me incredibly proud. In fact, knowing all of this has given me the strength to get through it with my now 10 going on 11-year-old daughter who seems to be going through an almost identical situation on a daily basis. A friend of mine asked me for advice the other day because she too is experiencing something similar. I told her to reassure her daughter. Tell her she’s there for her. Listen, but try not to let her see how angry you are at those other kids, that ‘mama bear’ doesn’t necessarily help in these moments. Don’t get involved directly with the drama either, that just prolongs it (trust me, I’ve learned from experience). But most of all, remember the 3 R’s: Reassure, Remind, Renew. Reassure her daily of all her strengths, all that she has both inside and out. Remind her to help others up rather than put them down. Renew her confidence in herself and love, love with all your heart.

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A Little Kindness Goes a Long Way

Imagine this: you’re sitting al fresco style at a lovely restaurant eating brunch with your husband and your 12 year old son. Everything is great, you’re eating your food and this family outing is extremely pleasant; all of a sudden your son’s face goes extremely red. You wonder if he’s choking but he’s not making any noises or gesturing in any way that indicates that such a thing is occurring. He stands up and you can see a wet patch on his bottom. He’s had a minor accident you think, but then the smell hits you quite violently and you realize this is no minor accident!

Now imagine your son is special needs. Imagine if you were that parent. Imagine if everyone around you (and the restaurant, even al fresco, was absolutely packed) just sat and stared!

So I tried to imagine this and I honestly couldn’t, not in a real, oh my god, this is really happening, kind of way. This is what did actually happen to my sister and not one restaurant patron helped her in any way at all. She didn’t have any wipes on her (isn’t that always the way when you desperately need them) and her husband ran to to get as many paper napkins as he could whilst she desperately tried to clean their son up.

“What could another patron have done?” You might be asking. Well, anything but nothing! Here are some suggestions if you ever find yourself witnessing such an awful situation: Alert the staff, suggest they get some disinfectant and lots of paper towel. A bucket of hot water, a mop, you know, those things you need to take care of a situation like this, offer to help get paper towels from the public toilets, if you have young children (and there were other families with very young children there) offer your baby wipes! Try not to stare. the worst thing these people did was nothing. This was an awful situation for my sister and her family. She was embarrassed, stressed, mortified and by the end of this now-turned-horrific brunch, a little angry! And I can’t say I blame her.

We all talk about how kind we can be on social media, but it’s time to own that kindness in real life. Stop being so ghastly! Help out your fellow people when they need you! No, it wouldn’t have been pleasant, but no one was expecting you to do the actual clean up! My sister didn’t even expect the restaurant staff to do that! She cleaned it up as much as she could with the limited resources she had, but their disappointment in their fellow patrons and the lack of kindness shown to them, is something that has to be shared so that no one ever has to go through that again!

It’s time to start actually doing the right thing and thinking about people other than yourself. To the patrons at that restaurant: shame on you!

If you have a child with special needs and would like more information on where you can get support, please check out the links below:

USA (this is a link to a blog that lists 10 organizations within the USA that can help you with support):

Where to find support in USA

In Australia:

Support in Australia


Support for parents in UK


Support for special needs in NZ

If you enjoy reading my crazy, varied blogs, please subscribe here on WordPress. Sharing is caring, so feel free to share with your friends. I’m on Facebook: Aussie Mum’s Adventures. Come like my page and share it with your friends! You can find me on Twitter: @ozmumsadventures, on Instagram: Ozmumsadventures, on Pinterest: Aussiemumsadventures And please subscribe to my YouTube channel: Aussie Mum’s Adventures (I’m still working on it, so please have patience with me!).

May the fourteenth be with you! Ok, we’ll take the force! 

It’s been a few days now since I last wrote a blog and things have been a little all over the place. The local police called me to ensure there were no injuries in my car as this guy is obviously still insisting that he is injured, even though it was such a minor accident for his truck anyway, having no damage whatsoever, not so minor for my car that hit the corner of his truck bed, that was literally made of steel, yet we have no injuries and he is saying he was injured. I don’t think so! I am just hoping he was caught on camera unloading somewhat heavy items from the back of his truck after the accident. If there is one thing I don’t like it is people who try to to take advantage of the system and of situations. I had three children all under the age of 5 in my car, all in the back where the impact was, and they are all just fine. Seriously, just fine and this dude wants to try to sue me? Again, I don’t think so. 
Ok, let’s not focus on the negative, there were some positives from this week, the dentist was amazing and has said that he will continue with Ally’s treatment free of charge! Yes, free! Would any dentist in Australia or USA do that? No is the definitive answer. Very happy with that. Also, I finished the first 4 weeks of Insanity. Here are my photos so far (now the first one in the blue actually goes back to the beginning of the whole thing when I started T25, the second one is from 4 weeks ago when I began Insanity and the third is from tonight):

I can see some results. Not as many as I would have liked given how hard and how long I’ve been working out but also given that I haven’t been on a diet as such, I think it definitely shows that working out is helping me get toned. Oh and I’ve lost somewhere between 6-7.5lbs depending upon the time of day I weigh myself and the day of the week of course 😜 (who knew scales could be so bloody temperamental??). 
It has been a somewhat subdued week, I guess. Hunter went back to school on Thursday and Friday, but Thursday I ran around and did errands, we did get a new (old) car finally. It’s something from 2002. It was cheap. It runs well & has AC and heated seats and a heater of course. All the basics and it means some independence for me, although given how shitty last Monday went, I’m not too keen on driving just yet. It’s weird, I have always been a reasonably confident driver yet this accident has thrown me for a six. 
Friday was spent doing odds and ends at home, Maddy had a half day for some reason, so I couldn’t go get the Lipolysis shots either as I didn’t want to traumatize her, but she helped me so much around the house and got to play and hang out with her friends so it was a really nice day for the most part. We did happen to go to the grocery store and witness a man collapse and gash his head quite severely on his way down. The whole thing was all a little overwhelming with the ambulance getting called and this man literally out cold. It was obviously quite traumatic for her as she didn’t want to go back to the commissary on Saturday (I forgot to get milk) until I reassured her he was ok and that it wasn’t going to happen again whilst we were there. How do I know he’s ok? Well, we had some friends come over for dinner and drinks on Friday night and one of them happened to work with this guy, so when I started telling the story, she chimed in with how she had been the first person they called from the hospital because she was the last to speak with him on his phone. It really is a small community over here and I’m finding this out more and more on a daily basis. 
Saturday morning, we decided to purchase the entire collection of Star Wars movies with copious amounts of junk food (ok, maybe not copious but certainly more than we would normally ever consume in a week, let alone a weekend) and stay in for the weekend and have a Star Wars marathon. I had already worked out Saturday morning so I wasn’t feeling guilty about not doing too much for the rest of the day and the kids seemed to be onboard (until their friends came door knocking wanting to play with them outside). It ended up being hubby and I who really watched the movies with children grazing on junk food and watching bits and pieces then wanting all the blanks filled in because they were somewhat lost. We did make the ‘best parents ever’ stigma for a short time, given there were no set meals over the weekend and food consisted of very few ‘healthy’ things! Honestly, you may think I’m the worst, but every now and again one just has to go with the flow and let your kids just eat crap. They stayed up late interspersing their time throughout Saturday and Sunday with playing outside on their bikes and watching the movies with us. On Sunday afternoon we all went for another family bike ride and it was so enjoyable. This time Hunter didn’t complain at all and his little legs kept pedaling the entire time. It was truly fun, even when it started to rain, there was no complaining from anyone. The rain gave us a good excuse to watch one more Star Wars movie (yes, we made it through the first 5 in order, throughout the weekend). It was just a nice, low-key weekend, with no need to be anywhere at a particular time and no one demanding our attention outside of our family. 

Monday (today) has already been successful. I am now on the recovery week of Insanity, which means doing Core Cardio and Balance every day, starting today. And it felt good. I am still trying to kick this nasal, sinus, chest thingy I’ve got going on but I’m now guessing it’s from the yellow dust coming in from China. From what everyone has told me, it sticks with you for a while until you get used to it. Shit! If I wanted to deal with crap coming into my lungs killing me, I would have kept smoking. This is ridiculous. And poor Ally just cannot get rid of her cough! I’m thinking I will definitely have to take her to make sure she is not asthmatic or suffering from bronchitis or who knows what! This place is not agreeing with her lungs either. She is the worst of us all. One of her teachers actually made me so angry last week. Ally is always coughing, always blowing her nose, it is literally like she is allergic to this place, she gets into coughing fits and almost throws up at times. I have her doing a nasal rinse daily and we make sure she spits out all of the yucky stuff when she’s home, but the poor kid just doesn’t seem to be getting better. Back to this teacher. Ally came into her class and started coughing, the teacher stopped talking until Ally was done (as she apparently does when anyone makes any noise in her classroom that she hasn’t approved of). Then Ally’s nose started running and she had to use the roll of toilet paper this teacher had in her classroom for just such occasions. I can’t remember exactly what she said but she basically singled Ally out and ridiculed her then got mad at her for using too much of this roll of toilet paper. On top of that, Ally’s voice was a tad croaky last week because she has had this thing going on for so long, this teacher then made fun of her because she couldn’t reach the notes she had to reach in the class (it was choir class). Ally came home devastated. I was furious! I thought and thought about the best way to react to this. Ally didn’t want me to make a big scene and she didn’t want this teacher to pick on her further, and I completely understood where she was coming from. I know sometimes teachers will take it out further on the children if the parent intervenes, especially those teachers who don’t offer a nurturing environment to their pupils. That was the last thing our daughter needed in her life right now. So, I didn’t do anything until after I had calmed down immensely. When hubby got home, I asked Ally to tell him about it so I could gauge his reaction to the whole thing and was surprised at how angry it made him too. I told him my idea and as always he suggested I wait until I was calm to do it. Now a part of me would have liked to storm in there and grab this woman and shake her a bit until she came to her senses and stopped being such a bitch, but the more practical, sensible side of me knew that wasn’t anyway to show my child how to resolve conflict, instead I wrote her a letter and gave her a new roll of toilet paper. And yes, the toilet paper was my cheap shot, but at least this way, Ally can use it as much as she likes and this woman can never make her feel bad about it. 

She never gave Ally a reaction, but she hasn’t picked on her again, so I’ll take it as a win for my little (big) girl who needs all the wins she can get right now given her health and her friendship situation. More on that another day. 
Back to today, I went with my friend Rebecca back to see our favourite dermatologist spouse (again, hoping she’s actually a nurse) and to get our Lipolysis shots. This time, I actually took a photo of her sticking a shot into my belly. So weird. She and her husband only realized today that I’m actually Australian, even though I told them the first time I met them. Anyway, they were both excited today because their sons (yes, there are 2 of them) both live and study in Adelaide, Australia, and they have both been there. This was followed with, “it’s pretty, but it’s too hot and too dry.” I felt like saying in return that I could completely understand their distaste as this place is too cold and too wet, as well as too hot and too humid, (and yes, I do mean wet & humid independently of each other) for my liking. On top of that there’s the yellow dust and the monsoon season. Um, hello! Give me Australia’s weather any day! 

 Right, I think I’ve caught you up on all our exciting happenings. The days are definitely getting warmer here in South Korea, we are supposed to hit 33C on Saturday, That’s about my perfect temperature right there, although I think that’s hotter than it ever got whilst we were in Colorado Springs! A sprinkler may be in order though, just in case. 
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I hope you have a wonderful day or night, wherever you are in the world. This Aussie Mum plans on doing so! 😊

Challenge Accepted Day 57/ Day 15

Today has been a bit of a rubbish day. The weather has been crappy, I had very little sleep as our Vonage phone rang five different times between midnight and 0350! It was terrible! On top of that, my throat started hurting around 2am and has gotten progressively worse. So this blog shall be short and sweet so I can get to bed sooner rather than later. 

It’s a strange place, South Korea, there are so many wonderful things here but when you arrive in the dead of Winter and the place is both freezing cold and extremely barren and you find yourself and your family getting sick over and over again because of the polluted air, it makes it hard to fall in love with. I feel like we have all been sick here more times than anywhere else in our lives! Ally has this perpetual cough that will not leave her, hubby also has it, but not quite as bad, and I am constantly getting sick. Madison and Hunter are both doing fairly well since we brought in the air purifiers but even they complain of headaches and a variety of other ailments on a weekly basis. 
Anyway, enough of that, the day has been rush, rush, rush. Children off to school, including the small boy, followed by a super quick trip to get the Lipolysis shots -in teeming rain, where I had to run about a kilometer from where I had parked to get to the place, all after having done half of my workout. Then it was off to the bake sale, where we did really well, over US$500 raised!! But it was after that the medication started to wear off and I went downhill rapidly. I went and paid the rent, in the pouring rain once again and realized when I got home that I hadn’t eaten all day. I came home to a messy house with stuff everywhere. So the only thing to do was clean, wash, vacuum, you name it, then it was time to ensure Maddy had an event free ride on the bus and this young lady knew she should never bully her or anyone for that matter, again. All good there I think. I guess it didn’t happen on the music bus but on the actual school bus, so I spoke to the bus monitor about it and she is going to watch for anything further and report it if something else happens. 

I spoke to my other sis and caught up on all of her happenings and her drama, picked Hunter up and came back to continue cleaning/folding laundry (best job ever, said no one). We met with Ally and Maddy and had them do their regular chores and homework, shower etc. then I finally did the other half of my workout, with a quick warm up again. It was Plyometric Cardio. It was after that, I again realized that I hadn’t eaten today, so I whipped up some spaghetti, went and picked hubby up from work and we ate and now I am about to go to bed after having a shower and cleaning my face. I may take the phone off the hook tonight and try to rest peacefully after having a honey, lemon tea I bought at the local supermarket. It is amazing tasting stuff! 
I hope you have a wonderful day and/or night, wherever you are!
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And if you are interested in Taking your own Rodan + Fields 60 day challenge, then let me know. At the above mentioned email and we’ll get you sorted out with the right regimen for you. 

Challenge Accepted Day 56/Day 14

The morning started out rough! I had all weekend to catch up on sleep, yet my body chooses Monday morning to fight with me about staying in bed! I only ‘snoozed’ once, but I’ve felt the pain all day. And today’s the day I had a food handler’s course and a variety of other things I had to get done. 

Then it was off to the bus stop to take Maddy to school and I hadn’t seen any dogs there for a while so thought I would take Luna. Big mistake! Of course today’s the day that this woman, with whom I’ve had bad doggy interactions with before, is there with one of her pups. That was all good, the puppy came over to say hi, Luna (who gets so excited at seeing any dogs, especially one smaller than her) jumps at her to say hi, the puppy backs away and I said “Luna, you can’t jump like that, she doesn’t know you’re playing!” She walked away to greet a friend, all was fine. Then her husband, who obviously was unaware of the previous incidents between the other dog and Luna, brought that dog out to the bus stop & straight over to Luna. The dog immediately started growling at her, then the wife pipes in saying, “come away, she doesn’t like Luna playing with other dogs!” Now before I even knew what I was doing, out of my mouth came the words “no, I don’t mind her playing with other dogs, it’s just your dog. She doesn’t like Luna. She wants to attack her.” I went on to talk about how I’ve been attacked by a dog and their dog scares me and, as I’m right in the middle of saying all of this, their dog growls then tries to bite Luna’s face! It was like the timing of my words couldn’t have been more coordinated with that dog’s temperament toward Luna. Luckily the husband had a hold of the leash, but I was pissed off. I said my goodbyes and walked away before I said anything further. It was only the beginning of my shitty day! 
I worked out – fit test today but I couldn’t find my previous results so just had to write it down and compare it to my results from 2 weeks ago:

Switch Kicks Day 1: 83 Day 14: 93

Power Jacks Day 1: 33 Day 14: 41

Power Knees Day 1: 61 Day 14: 75

Power Jumps Day 1: 33 Day 14: 39

Globe Jumps Day 1: 8 Day 14: 9

Suicide Jumps Day 1: 13 Day 14: 15

Push-up Jacks Day 1: 10 Day 14: 19

Oblique Push-ups Day 33 Day 14: 40
A big improvement in only two weeks! Yay me! Something went really well, so I shouldn’t call it a shitty day. I am only now just comparing my results to those of last week. Some light at the end of the tunnel 🙃

 From there it was time to drop the boy off and head off to help hubby with something he didn’t need help with at all! He had been told he would need extra hands to help him collect gas masks for all of us (his family). Yes, we all need to have gas masks when we live in South Korea, I guess because of that somewhat crazy guy who’s up to the north. Anyway, I had never been to CIF (the distribution place where they get all their kit) so it was an interesting experience nonetheless, but the information about needing help to carry the gas masks was most definitely false. So we stood in there, me feeling a tad out of place, hubby thinking there was going to be some full on suit for all of us, and these 2 small cases come out with 2 slightly larger cases. Nothing my husband couldn’t have handled by himself, yet three different people had told him he would need help. Anyway, it was an interesting experience. I now understand his frustration when he talks about getting his gear though, definitely an interesting setup. And I’m not really sure what the hell I’ll do if we actually do have to put the gas masks on. These are amazingly complicated! 

From there I dropped him off and went on my way to a Food Handler’s Course. We are having an FRG (Family Readiness Group) bake sale tomorrow and we have another big event coming up on May 21, so I wanted to be able to help out at both and decided to take this course so I could. Basically, it’s about food sanitation and general food hygiene. Most of it is common sense, but there are some good pieces of information as well, so I was very glad I took the refresher course, it had been a while. I was also very glad the class went for an hour and 15 minutes rather than the original four hours, I had thought it was going to go for. From there I picked up a new charger and some new foundation (had to choose from Revlon, Maybelline and Covergirl) and ended up with this one from Revlon, here’s hoping it’s nice.

The day got a tad boring with mundane stuff (although I did manage to put together a yummy, healthy lunch) until I was about to go and pick up Hunter and my phone rings. It’s a number I’m not familiar with but its local. Low and behold, it’s Madison. Trying to tell me something about how this girl on her piano bus has sprained her arm. I wasn’t really understanding, eventually I got the message that this girl had grabbed Madison and had hurt her, but she was ok. I say to her I will see her after her lesson and we can talk some more then and she can give me the whole story. I go to pick up Hunter, who has had another amazing day at school. And get another call, this time through Facebook, from a neighbour. All I can think is Luna has gotten out or been hurt or something. So I answer the phone and this Mummy tells me she’s at piano and Madison’s arm has been hurt by someone and Madison’s friend is very worried about her. WTH! So I tell her I’ll be there as quickly as I can. You can imagine everything going through my mind on the way over there! 

I walk in the door and the first person I see is Madison’s friend who was very concerned and I asked her to tell me very calmly, exactly what happened. She then proceeds to tell me how they were getting on the bus and this other girl was getting on and she wasn’t very talkative or anything, so Madison had asked her if she was ok, she didn’t answer I guess, so Madison again asked her if she was ok, apparently she then grabbed Madison’s wrist and twisted it and told her to shut up! To say I was furious, is to put it mildly. Madison then came out and I asked her to tell me the whole story independently from her friend. Her story was identical to her friend’s. I asked her if she was ok now and she said yes, it hurt a lot at the time but had stopped hurting now. Then I asked where this girl was and they showed me her practicing in one of the rooms. I went to the piano teacher, who doesn’t understand enough English to understand the entire story but who did tell me how amazing Madison is doing at piano. She is a natural. She then wanted to show me a piece she has learnt to play and I was very willing to listen whilst I calmed down a tad. She played very well and I couldn’t believe it. I am so happy we have her doing these lessons! I had calmed down when I knocked on the practice room door where this 5th grade girl (who looks like she could be in grade 8) was sitting at the piano. I very bluntly asked her if she had twisted Madison’s arm and told her to shut up. She was scared, I could see that. But I didn’t raise my voice, I just stared at her. Finally she nodded. I then told her if she ever touches my little girl again, not only will I go straight to her parents, I will also call the police. Then I walked away. Too much? Not enough? Hubby wanted to go and find her parents tonight and talk to them. I just thought we should give her a second chance. But now I’m sitting here thinking we should have found out where she lived and gone to see them. I will be there tomorrow when the bus comes. I want to see exactly what happens. I will also talk to the bus driver and ask him to keep an eye on the situation. This bullying bullshit is not ok. Which goes back to my blog on “The Unknown War in South Africa”. Parents can not stand by and do nothing when their children are hurt. Nor should they. Especially when the situations are so clear cut. We don’t have the racial tension here in South Korea that exists in both South Africa and the US, but bullying still happens and it is never ok. 
I came home and had to make lots of muffins for the bake sale tomorrow, then pick up hubby and drop him off at home, in time to get to the dentist once again. Madison and I went where I spent about 30 minutes in agony because they had asked if I could tolerate it without pain medication and I had said yes, trying to save on time, big mistake. Holy crap it hurt! But all bad things come to an end as well and eventually that torture did too. I said to Madaion that we had to run over to the dermatologist as well as I had made an appointment for Friday to get my lump lasered. So we ran in the pouring rain (neither of us with umbrellas or raincoats) a good three blocks, and told them I had to change my appointment to another day. Well she looks in her appointment book and low and behold, there is no appointment for me. Great. I said I would come back on another day and make an appointment as I just couldn’t deal with it all then and our conversation was all being transcribed either through Google translate or through another patient. I really need to learn some Korean! 
Finally, it was time to come home and bake some more, put kiddos to bed and write my blog. This week hasn’t started out so great. Here’s hoping tomorrow is much more positive with great interactions at the bake sale. Not sure I can take any more negativity. I have a lot of little things that I need to figure in order to make this week work and I’m just not sure how I’m going to do it, so that is also frustrating me some. I’ll worry about it tomorrow. For now, my skin is clean. My Rodan + Fields Reverse Regimen just arrived in the mail, so that’s exciting. Yes, that will be my next challenge. But for now, I shall finish this one and show the results to you on Friday. A very appropriate day given I am going to the ball that night and it’s the night before my big 21st (x2)! 😉
I hope you have a wonderful day and/or night, wherever you are!
Please like my page on Facebook: Aussiemumsadventures 
Email me at:
And if you are interested in Taking your own Rodan + Fields 60 day challenge, then let me know at the above mentioned email and we’ll get you sorted out with the right regimen for you. 

Challenge Accepted Day 20

Well, another day in paradise……. Ok, we’re still waiting for it to turn into paradise, but another day in beautiful South Korea! 😊 Last night was interesting at the Hail and Farewell, it was a long night, much longer than either of us expected it to be, that’s for sure. It was ok though. It’s always weird in the military world because you meet people (spouses in particular) and think are you going to be one of those people who’s all about the rank or are you just going to be a really nice, down to earth kind of person or are you just going to be someone so very different from me that we don’t have anything in common? It’s weird. It’s like a little world unto itself being a military spouse. For the most part, military spouses are awesome. They are some of the most incredible, strong, resilient people you will ever meet. They are Jills of all trades and masters of many too! They are educated (maybe not all of them in terms of University degrees – but a lot are) but they have pulled through situations most people can only begin to imagine. And most of the time, they are pretty down to earth people! We know we are moving constantly, we know we have no idea where we’ll be in five years. We know that most of us don’t give a damn about the rank of someone else’s husband/wife, it’s not about that, it’s about connecting with people who know what sort of life you lead. It’s about connecting with people who understand the challenges we all go through. And even when we meet a young spouse who is just starting off this crazy journey, you want to connect with them because you want to help them deal with the craziness ahead and give them the tools and resilience to make it, in this world of its own. 
When I first met my husband, I had no idea what this world was all about. In fact, my sister and I were throwing a party at our house in Bahrain (a small island just off the coast of Saudi Arabia for those of you who aren’t familiar) and we invited a number of American Navy guys we had met (having no idea of their ranks or what that meant). A number of them arrived and left shortly after, explaining to us they couldn’t stay because they were Officers and their immediate subordinates (enlisted) were at the party and it was unacceptable for them to stay. The Navy was very strict when it came to fraternization (socializing with an enlisted soldier that falls under your command). My hubby was enlisted and wasn’t concerned about any of that, he was an E3 at the time, meaning he was pretty low on the totem pole. Anyway, my sis and I were upset they left but had a great night nonetheless. It was only years later after living in Sicily with hubby, I began to understand just how serious fraternization was; the girls who organized my baby shower both worked at a bank together and were great friends. They both came to my shower (which was a ‘hubby’s invited’ party) but one of them couldn’t have her husband there because every other person there was enlisted and he was an Officer!  How crazy is that? 
Years later, my hubby is now an Officer and I have a love/hate relationship with it. I love it because he worked hard to get here, we both did actually. He gave up the Navy, got out. Went to a Fire Academy in San Antonio and became a firefighter only to be told there wouldn’t be a job for at least 2 years. He then put himself through University whilst supporting his Aussie wife (who couldn’t work legally to begin with then couldn’t find a job that covered the cost of childcare making it worthwhile to leave her baby) and his daughter. He joined an ROTC program and became an Officer in the Army. I am still so proud of all he accomplished! Yet I hate it because I am immediately judged as being an Officer’s wife. Like I give a damn about that crap! If you’re awesome, then I like you, I don’t really give a crap where your hubby falls on the totem pole. I’ve been there. If you’re not so awesome, again, don’t care what rank your hubby is, it truly doesn’t matter! The only other thing that really bothers me is we can’t hang out as a couple with other couples who fall under my husband. I’ve met some amazing people that I really liked, both wife and hubby, but one of them has been one of hubby’s soldiers meaning it was a no-go as far as couple friendship goes. 😕 Boo. But, here we are in South Korea, just getting to know people, so I’m hopeful the people I meet aren’t going to judge, are just going to be themselves, and so far, so good. I actually even made a mistake. Yes me. Sometimes we have to admit when we are wrong and I am admitting I was wrong right now. Last Friday, I went to the local market with a couple of new acquaintances (hopefully on their way to being friends) and I said I was concerned these women wanted to have lunch with me just because of my husband’s rank. I was wrong. Actually, it was in very poor character for me to say that. So I formally take it back. They weren’t out to do that. I know this because I couldn’t go and I saw them the next day talking to every new spouse who had arrived and they all went out to lunch. Yay for them and boo to me. I am really glad I was wrong and I shall never make such poor assumptions again! 
So back to last night. I actually knew a couple of people! I’m not a super social person. My Mum is. She’s the most sociable person I know. My Dad has this saying that goes something like this: “The pope stands up at St Peter’s Cathedral in the Vatican and he looks out at the crowded mass of people with my Mum standing beside him and the people say, G’day Lyn, how are you?” Something like that anyway. We can be anywhere and my Mum will find someone she knows, it’s crazy. She is just this amazing person when it comes to interacting with other people! I am more like my Dad. I pretend to be social but I’m a bit of an introvert. I’m not good in big groups. I get uncomfortable and awkward. I wish I didn’t and I try to go against it when I can, in fact my husband was fooled for a couple of years after we married that I was and extrovert. Don’t get me wrong, I love having big groups of people over to my house (he doesn’t), we throw amazing Halloween parties, I just don’t talk to a big group of people all at once, I’m more of a one-on-one kind of person, one-on-two at most. Unless I know you all well. Then it’s a different story. So I really pushed myself out of my comfort level last night and went and said hello to a girl we knew in Hawaii. Hubby was like, “well do you know her that well?” I said, “she came to our house, I know her well enough to go and say hi!” Anyway, she immediately gave me a hug and was so welcoming, knew exactly who I was. Yay. The next one was a bit of a failure. I recognized this woman from Hawaii, I used to sit in meetings with her at least once a month. I walked up to her and said hi, she put her arms out to hug me, so I immediately thought she recognized me, I hugged her back, she said welcome to Korea it’s very nice to meet you, I thought, oh crap, she doesn’t remember me (I’m not a stranger hugger) and I said how are you, it’s been so long since we’ve seen each other in Hawaii, she said, “oh, you were in Hawaii?” I felt mortified inside and said, “yes!” And named a few names of mutual friends and what not. Then she calls her husband over and tells him we were in Hawaii and he’s like yes, I know, not helping his wife at all! Then I felt embarrassed for both of us, so made small talk and said good bye! Talk about being in a terrible level of uncomfortableness! Other than that social mishap, there were some nice, seemingly genuine people there and although a long night, where my children were very much done by the end of it (halfway through to be honest), it was ok.
Today we attended the ‘Eggstravaganza’ on the base (or Post if you’re a true Army person) and it was ok. There was only one food tent, not acceptable in my books and an opportunity missed by many, but I don’t know the reason behind it so I shall not judge too much until I know more reasons behind why there wasn’t more diversity and why FRGs weren’t there fundraising by selling food. Anyway, other than lack of food choices, it was good. Kids had a blast. We even ran into people we knew. We only stayed for an hour or so because we were all starving. 

I really screwed up all our plans for this weekend too! I wanted to visit a friend I made on our way over here to South Korea (that’s a story unto itself that I shall share on here another day)! She lives in an area that has blossoms blooming now and I said we would come. Problem is we have a curfew. Then I read the cherry blossom thing happened on this Sunday (a school night), so I thought no, it’s Easter Sunday, that won’t work. Then she and I messaged each other back and she said it was at night and I thought that definitely wouldn’t work, being a Sunday night and all. Then we messaged each other again and she said no it’s Saturday that this festival is on and I said we had plans, at least I thought we did. Hubby did have a meeting this morning, but at first there was supposed to be an egg hunt in my little neighbourhood (at 0630 this morning, I realised that wasn’t going to happen) then I thought we were having dinner with a couple tonight; hard to explain, we are looking after their cats whilst they go away, again a neighbourhood thing, we went to meet her and she seemed like a really awesome person and my kids and I really liked her from the minute we met, and we are having dinner together so we can meet her hubby, she can meet mine. She also lived in Australia for a number of years and just seems like my cup of tea! Anyway, I got the dates wrong and it’s next weekend we’re doing that! Silly me. So then I message my friend and say I screwed up, maybe we can come now, but she’s got all sorts of things going on there and it’s a no-go! So, we end up at the little festival, where there’s no food, followed by lunch in the food court, followed by wondering around the Ville that is outside of the post. It was suggested by another acquaintance (on her way also to being friend) that we travel to a place called Asan, but by the time we finished eating, hubby was done and wanted to wonder around close by rather than drive anywhere. 
We had fun in the Ville, he ordered a tailor-made suit, (I know right) and we enjoyed ourselves as a family. There were a couple of stores that made us laugh including the local ‘Hooters’. We came home and watched ‘Hotel Transylvania 2’ and now it’s card night in our house, so I am being called as I write this!

I did T25 TBC. It was hard but I am certainly doing much better. I was even able to fast forward before the DVD froze so that worked out as well. My back is a tad sore though as I write this so I may have done one of the exercises not quite right. I weighed myself this morning and I was down over 2 lbs or about 1kg! Yay! Unfortunately, I haven’t eaten as well as I could have today. But I’m really happy it’s at least showing on the scales finally! I did my Redefine regimen also this morning, using the Microdermabrasion paste whilst I was in the shower and it felt great! I really wish I was using Reverse too, it makes a huge difference for sun damage from what I’ve seen. I’m thinking that will be my follow-up challenge. By the way, there are going to be some modifications in this challenge as I’ve realised the Rodan + Fields is a 60 day challenge and T25 is a 70 day challenge. It may just be a continuous thing with the Reverse regimen continuing on from where the Redefine left. I’ll keep you posted. 
So I’m being called again and must say adieu! I did start the day with a homemade cappuccino too (as per the photo) & realised I didn’t miss coffee as much as I thought I did. Also, note to self, in a humid environment, keep your turmeric latte mix in the refrigerator otherwise it will get mouldy! Yuck! Well, the Easter Bunny should make an appearance tonight so here’s hoping he, or she comes to your neck of the woods! 

Happy Easter!

Challenge Accepted Day 10 – round 2

Ok, so I just wrote my entire blog, and it’s all gone! Gone! Hubby just proofread it and it was all good to go but for some reason, the pics weren’t uploading so I chose to delete media and that in turn deleted my entire blog! To say it has been that sort of day, I think sums it up. 

So, now it shall definitely be short and sweet! We’ve not had much news from my brother-in-law, awaiting for the time to hit a decent hour so we can call him and hope that all is well.

My workout this morning was the absolute worst, I was tired, due to no sleep once again and do not even think about buying this rubbish:

It doesn’t work in the slightest, well it didn’t for me, I should say. On top of being tired, I drank some bottled white wine last night that obviously went straight to my head and I ate chocolate, lots of chocolate! Naughty me! It was even the good kind of chocolate; dark with pumpkin seeds, but still my body betrayed me this morning during Speed 1.0! It was awful. I truly struggled. I did however force myself to slow jog a mile afterwards so we shall call that a little victory!

Another victory for us today as a family was for our daughter’s parent teacher conference, not only is she doing so well on a social level, in the words of her teacher, “She is the sweetest, most polite student, and a joy to have in my class.” She picks up on new math concepts and strategies , is on grade par with her writing, reading and comprehension and is just a well-rounded kid! Such a huge leap from where we were just a few years ago and especially given she has just gone through her first change of schools and to top it all off, it was a mid-year move! This kid has been through hospital stays, physical challenges, years of pain and crippling (at times) illness, yet here she is, almost at 100% good health and such a beautiful soul! We couldn’t be prouder! 

Hunter and I had a great brunch, he had the fruit, I had the chicken/avocado/spinach salad, we cleansed the house of much useless paperwork, the girls actually got to play out side for almost 2 hours!!! All in all, though my challenges felt at times overwhelming, the day was a success, now all we can do is hope that my brother-in-law had a similar night. May your day or night, be filled with only good challenges and may you stay safe and dry!

 On a side note: My skin is feeling amazing, I have just done my nightly regimen and am feeling like my skin is growing younger daily. Seriously! You will see 😊 Au revoir for now, tomorrow shall be a new day! 

The Unknown War in South African Schools.

Imagine living in a world where your kids cannot safely go to school. It is far from most people’s minds yet it is a reality for so many throughout the world. We in most parts of Australia, the United States and the United Kingdom, don’t have to worry about that but for some in South Africa, it is a sad reality.Let me first give some background on where this story started from:

A few months back, an article came across my news feed called ‘Chase’s Teacher’. It was part of a blog by a woman named Glennon Doyle Melton in her blog titled ‘Momastery’. Here’s the problem though, I clicked on it, read it and shared it and afterwards it looked like I had written it. What I mean is, I paid no heed when sharing it; it wasn’t credited to anyone when it came on my news feed, anyway when I shared it and was notified someone else had shared it, it had my name written at the top of it. I mentioned it to my husband at the time but honestly gave it no further thought, thinking it wouldn’t go far and people would know it wasn’t my writing because on the most obvious level, I don’t have a son called Chase, I also didn’t expect it to go viral in South Africa.


 Last week, I started getting a number of friend requests from people in South Africa; I couldn’t for the life of me, work out why. I looked at these people as they friend requested me and realized they were all honest-to-goodness real people, not some sort of scam. I googled my name but nothing came up, I upped my privacy buttons on Facebook friend requests and left it at that, until I received a private message from a lady begging me for help. Her message read:


“Morning from cape town. I just came across your post about “chase’s teacher” and I would like to share it please. This is my son, (the name and photo of her son, I have kept private). He is six and gets bullied for being kind. After many fruitless trips to the school and him receiving death threats, I would love to start an online platform where we share experiences and support and your post is one of the few with practical solutions. Please consider my request. Kind regards”


I am a mother, this message broke my heart. I also realized that this must in some way be linked to the friend requests I had been getting from South Africa. I responded to her message by saying I think she has me confused with someone else and that I would love to help her but I don’t know what article she’s talking about. The dialogue went back and forth until I finally realized it was this woman named Glennon whose article she was referring to. What a terrible person I was taking credit for her hard work, even if quite by accident. I have since shared her name with my new South African friend and I hope she will be in touch with her, but I too have vowed to assist in any way I can, starting with this blog.


Bullying. It is something that has come to light over the last few years and something that is quite possibly shoved in our faces for anything and everything, particularly in the USA. It is an excuse for everything, unfortunately though, when it is really happening, it is not taken as seriously as it should be. I think the media in the States has overused the word bullying. It is a serious word. And this situation is so serious, it can be deadly.

I am talking about a woman who purchased a house in a nice area because of the school district, a woman who knows that in most schools in South Africa, there are major problems, but a mother who wanted to give her children the best she possibly could so she stretched everything to be able to move there yet found the problems were no better even in the ‘wealthier’ school districts. This blog is about this huge problem in South African schools that no one is doing enough about. About a girl who was 6 years old and told to cover up because there were 8 known sexual predators in mental interventions in her class. About children having their earrings ripped out of their ears; children being bitten, shaken and pushed. About an eight year old boy who was thrown off a balcony in November of last year by a fellow eight year old pupil. The boy, Faidh Jacobs, suffered a cracked skull with internal bleeding, yet I can find no further articles on the punishment of the pupil who did this to him! How can that be? About a father who was banned from entering his daughter’s school by the High Court in Pretoria without prior arrangement because he protested outside of the school after she had been the subject of victimization and bullying to such great extremes that she no longer wanted to go to school. The father said the school wasn’t serious about investigating and stopping the bullying happening to many students and his only action was to protest with banners and pamphlets outside of the school. The school of course denies this, but to me, the fact that a father had to resort to such extreme measures to be taken seriously, speaks volumes about the bigger issues going on.


The South African Schools Act of 1996 states that all schools must adopt a Code of Conduct to which all learners must comply. Included in this Code of Conduct should be the school’s policy on bullying yet it seems that so many parents have complained to teachers and to school principals with no further action being done because they are either too scared themselves or don’t want to believe there is a real problem. So much is being pushed under the rug in South Africa and until someone starts standing up for these kids, nothing is going to change.

There is some hope however; a young girl named Kelly Gibson was bullied after she wouldn’t take part in an initiation ritual which included running across a beach naked. She went from being a popular, sporty student, to a girl who was consistently victimised. Like my South African friend also mentioned as being a regular occurrence, her belongings were stolen, they even set up a Facebook group against her. Kelly’s Mum eventually moved her to a different school as the abuse got so bad, but Kelly is now speaking up against bullying and has started her own website at:

To my South African friend I say this; the article Ms Melton wrote is incredible. Chase’s teacher is incredible. What a wonderful way to ensure no one is being mistreated, to engage every student, and to ensure bullying is not happening in your classroom. This is a far more proactive way to stop bullying in the classroom, it needs to start from an early age and it needs to be practical. What a great way to monitor the health and well-being of your students and what another great burden to throw on our poorly-paid teachers. This is where it needs to be a societal effort. This mother in Cape Town is suffering because her little boy is suffering and if she doesn’t do something soon, the kindness he is being bullied for, will leave; we can all only tolerate so much. I don’t have the answers, all I can do is make some suggestions, judging by the number of people who tried to friend request me and the number of published stories in South African newspapers, you are not alone with your son’s plight. And you are doing the right thing by wanting to band together with other Mums, bringing a complete halt to this abhorrent behavior.


If you have any ideas or real life examples that have worked in similar situations, please share them here so we can ensure bullying is not just an overused word but is realized as a real-life problem that needs to be eradicated! 


For the original article titled ‘Chase’s Teacher’, please visit:


For help in South Africa

Call Childline 0800 055 555 or visit

Also, there is a great article on the subject of bullying in South Africa at which has a link to download anti-bullying guidelines.

One more thing, Ms Glennon Doyle Melton, please accept my sincerest apologies- I had no intent to claim your incredible article as my own.