Teen Anxiety and Blaming Parents

I recently read an article titled “10 Reasons Teens Have So Much Anxiety Today” and I was really quite shocked at just how much the author generalized and blamed parents in this article. A little too much blame methinks. As if parents don’t have enough stress on them too! How about the fact that in America it’s all about working rather than spending any quality time with your family? How about the fact that teachers aren’t given the respect and recognition they deserve? And yes, I do believe (highly unfairly) some parents expect teachers to raise and discipline their kids.

I think another factor is that society wants to give everyone a medal! God forbid we recognize that our child lost! – Our daughter had a soccer game the other day and it was awful! It was awful to watch. She played terribly. Her team was annihilated because none of them played well. She got into the car afterwards and told us how she played terribly. I said she had some moments that were good, but it definitely wasn’t fun to watch and she certainly wasn’t playing her best. She said she didn’t give it 100% – All we ask is that our kids do their best. Every time. If you are going to commit to something then you need to give it your best. I told her I appreciated her admitting that, but if she wants to play soccer then she needs to give it her best, every, single time. There is no talking it up at our house. We are by no means perfect parents but when our kid doesn’t commit and recognizes it themselves, I’m not going to disagree. I’m not going to praise the not-so-good. I am going to praise her great moments though. Our other daughter has just made a lacrosse team. It’s the B team. She started playing lacrosse at a free clinic last Summer. She did another clinic in Autumn. And another this Winter. She can’t expect miracles. She can’t expect to be the best immediately. It just doesn’t work that way. I’m proud of how she responded though when I told her this morning that she had made the B team. She said that if she wants to get better then she has to work hard. But she’s going to play hard nonetheless and actually said how thankful she was that we actually let her start playing the game now (14).

No one knows if they’re doing the parenting thing the ‘right’ way. Articles like these point out some great things to keep an eye on but they also blame parents in so many ways and that’s when it becomes unfair. We are trying to do our best. We are told what we can and can’t do as far as our parenting goes. We are told we are doing it wrong all the time. “Too many electronics!” “You have to have your kids skilled in electronics!” “They’re not exercising hard enough!” “You’re putting too much pressure on your kid by having them exercise hard throughout the week and playing competitive games on weekends!” There’s a happy medium somewhere there, but we can’t be blamed for everything! Society as a whole needs to intervene in a more productive way. Playtime at school has to happen. Yes to less screen time, but haven’t the so-called experts been saying that for years about TVs?

My son told me he was bored the other night, I told him to read a book or play legos or take his imagination on an adventure! We ended up playing a family card game of Uno. It was fun! Kids need to be bored and parents need to allow them time to develop coping skills, it’s also a time when parents can add some family fun into the mix.

I very much believe in the hierarchy point though. I have friends whose kids seem to dictate all that they do. I have friends who treat their kids as equals and share with them far too many facts about themselves or other adult friends. Your kid is your kid. Not your peer. Not your friend. When they are adult enough, become friends. But they need you as their parent, their guide, their guardian, right now.

This article points out things to keep an eye on within ourselves (as parents) and some modifications we can definitely make in our day-to-day lives as the parents of teens or even tweens, but blaming us for everything isn’t the answer either.

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Life – Not so Redundantly!

It’s been a while. It’s been crazy busy! It’s definitely been an adventure. I’ve been asked to categorize this blog but I can’t. I can’t because A: My interests are so varied they cannot be categorized into areas that would normally classify as categories and B: The crap life shoots at me and mine, cannot be classified either and you know what? I wouldn’t have it any other way! 😆
We have been busy living, we have been busy doing. Unfortunately not necessarily doing everything I have wanted to do, but doing stuff nonetheless! “Come to South Korea”, they said, “it’ll be fun!” they said, “you’ll love it”, they said, “You’ll get to do lots of traveling!” They said. Well, we are so busy socializing every weekend that there’s no time for anything else! Between our kids’ birthdays and birthday parties, between other kids’ birthday parties, between end of school parties, between the numerous social occasions we find ourselves part of because of hubby’s work, between all the crazy stuff that consistently happens on a daily basis, even we, are incredibly busy, there has been no more time for travel, there has been no time for writing, there has been no time! Let me see, aside from my Jeju writings, when was the last time I wrote about anything in my life? Yes, it’s been a while! 
We came back from Jeju and I spent Tuesday May 31st unpacking and washing, Wednesday I had my follow-up Dr appointment (that I previously blogged about) followed by a Family Readiness Group meeting where we all brought a Mexican themed potluck dish. In between both appointments, I had to begin making dear son’s birthday cake as his party was on Sunday 5th June. It’s best to make the cakes early enough and freeze them ensuring they are the correct shape, etcetera, with plenty of time to make adjustments if necessary. I got one cake made on the day and followed it up with another on the Friday. We had a function to go to on the Thursday night followed by another one on the Friday night (both for hubby’s work). Friday day though, my girlfriend came over and watched as I made the cake, then made my own marshmallow creme fondant (taken from this blog:  http://thefarmgirlrecipes.blogspot.kr/2011/04/marshmallow-creme-fondant.html?m=1), the fondant is delicious! The only problem is the high humidity here did cause it to start to ‘melt’ by the Sunday morning, meaning I had to do some rearranging by the time we got to the party. But the best part was that every single kid (and adult) ate that fondant, unlike the normal response I get to store-bought fondant. 
 The function on Friday night was then followed with something called an ‘at the gate’ sale. We literally set up shop at the gate and soldiers and spouses grilled hotdogs and hamburgers and sold them to people coming in. It was actually lots of fun, they had set up a dunk tank and a fairy floss machine (cotton candy machine) and had a great system going. Unfortunately we didn’t get there until 9pm as the previous function ran a lot longer than expected, but we got right into it upon arriving. Hubby had worn appropriate clothes to get dunked (and I had changed into comfortable clothes for the bbq event). He got dunked almost immediately (maybe with a little help from his wife) then we talked to other soldiers, family members, their kids and people passing by and had a great time. I had jokingly said to someone that I wouldn’t get in the dunk tank seat for less than $50 & unfortunately, that statement was heard by someone willing to pay it! He did keep missing however and I was hopeful I would walk away unscathed, but alas, the husband got his revenge dunking me into the ice-cold water (literally, water filled with ice!!)! It was definitely fun and something I never thought I would get to do, so no complaints from me and no, I didn’t have a white T-shirt on, get your mind out of the gutter! 😜
Saturday morning was cake decorating time, but only briefly as we were then meeting my lovely friend I had made on the plane on the way over here and watching her son play baseball. We followed that with a long, relaxing lunch, enjoying catching up after so long and reinforcing the knowledge that we were meant to meet on that fateful trip! Then it was home again to keep going with the cake! Spider-Man. 3D. It was a tad redundant but thank goodness I borrowed a pasta machine from my friend to help roll out the fondant. The cake came out pretty nicely and dear son was over the moon:

His party lasted until after 3pm and we got home, absolutely shattered. Monday was a Korean holiday but it was also a day I was able to get into (for a very last minute appointment) an ultrasound of my thyroid gland. Long story, but a couple of years ago, there were nodules on my gland and we have to check them every so often (& all is great right now). I asked the same friend who had hung out with me during cake prep on Friday if she wanted to join me in going to Seoul and she did. It was such a nice drive there, amazing how different it is when there’s no traffic. The appointment was smooth, I organized for someone to collect dear daughter in case I was delayed getting back and we even had a lovely lunch, eventually. This friend and I seem to have bad luck when it comes to eating at restaurants each of us recommend; they are never open! And that’s exactly what we found once again in Seoul. Dear son was with us which didn’t help matters when it came to lots of walking! Eventually though, we found quite a nice restaurant by accident and were very impressed by the food!

 The walk around the area was also entertaining, the Koreans love to have fun things about and the location of poop bags to clean up after your doggy’s mess, (though empty) cracks me up every time I look at the photo! Pardon the pun! 

Dear son also loved the giant gorilla in a store filled with all sorts of realistic animals, though I’m not sure where anyone would put them? Definitely an interesting feature! 

All-in-all, a lovely day out filled with good company and a great outcome! 
Should I stop here or keep going? It does get interesting, I promise! 😊 That entire week though was a tad insane! I ran around like a crazy person and got very mad at a number of parents as well when they didn’t even bother to RSVP to our daughter’s 8th birthday party on Friday June 10th (coincidentally my sister’s birthday). I had given the invitations out (through DD) 18 days prior. Things work differently here. Most kids who live off post go to school by bus. We hadn’t met many parents from her class, there just wasn’t the opportunity, in fact, I only had one parent’s phone number. But should I have to go chasing them? I’m thinking an entire blog will be devoted to this subject alone, given the story. Needless to say – Parents you need to step up! Of the 8 invited, we finally heard back (three on the night prior) from 4. 50% deemed it worthy of a response! 
I did get an opportunity to finally see a great craft store here though on the Wednesday prior, with loads of art supplies also. Some things were cheap, some were OTT (over the top) but it was three stories of lovely things and I do like lovely things! I’m not a scrapbooker or anything (though I wish I was) but the painting supplies and other craft supplies and model toy supplies were fabulous! I got my styrofoam ball and pot ready to make dear daughter’s birthday cake, all of which was a surprise to her. It was actually very easy, tedious, but easy and it came out splendidly. There were 42 cupcakes covering the ball though, something I wasn’t expecting but luckily I had enough supplies to make a second batch of cupcakes. I made homemade buttercream icing (using the Wilton recipe) and mixed it with a couple of store bought (I’ve noticed American kids like their store bought icing but it’s too runny so I like to mix it. It was basically a 4:1 ratio, 4 cups of homemade to 1 cup of store bought Betty Crocker. I got 5 bowls and mixed up 5 different colours and was very happy with the outcome. And so was my DD! She loved it! I think that cake got more pizzaz than the Spider-Man cake. It was amazing how something so simple had such a big impact. One of the parents actually thought it was a bunch of flowers until she smelt it! 

Maddy’s birthday party was a two part affair, a slumber party at our house followed by a trip to this amazing kids’ cafe here in South Korea, called La Cartata! Hubby had another work event that involved families so even though I missed out, it was a great night for him to take our other two along for this event and leave Maddy and her friends here to have Mummy’s undivided attention. Mummy even got her friend to come over and help chaperone and oh what fun we had. We did the girls’ makeup, they did ours. We did fingernails and toenails and they did ours. They loved it! Maddy even said that although she was worried because no one had RSVP’d in the beginning of the week, it ended up being the best birthday party ever! And I must agree. I set up an ice cream bar for the girls as well and they each grabbed a cone, a waffle bowl or a regular bowl and got a choice of so many toppings to put on their ice cream that even a fro yo place would have been a tad jealous! They all thought they had gone to Disney! It was seriously a huge success. Brilliant! Best of all, we two adults had fun (aside from the screaming) but when there’s 7 & 8 year old girls around, screaming is par for the course as my friend soon found out!

Saturday morning worked out a little differently than we had planned. Only one girl stayed the night, yes one girl out of the four actually stayed, though one girls’ mother did say she would be coming the next morning. It was just a bit odd. They are now all turning 8, I thought they would be old enough to stay the night, but I guess not, though only 2 out of the four actually mentioned this to me when they RSVP’d, leaving the other two Moms to mention they would be picking their child up that same night, when they dropped them off. But what did I expect? Given all that notice and everything? 😉 I understood the no overnight thing, but not the not coming to the party the next morning, I even offered to swing by and pick them up (like a true minivan owner) but no. One girl had sport, the other was ‘busy’. All very odd. 
So here we were, heading off to this amazing venue that I had already paid a deposit on, not sure if they were going to go ahead and charge us for the 10-12 children we said we would have, yet us turning up with our three (literally our own three kiddos) plus one, with the possibility of another coming. I reached out to our neighbours and suggested we take their two little girls with us also and I’m so glad we did because they all had an amazing time. Two hours in the best kids’ cafe I have ever been to; a race track, a bounce house, a ball playground, numerous rooms filled with toys and activities, food, cake, and most of all fun! What more could a kid want? They had a magnificent time. On top of that, the place is clean, the staff are amazing, you can see your kids almost anywhere they are, yet you can sit there and adult if you want to! Yay! Once again, brilliant! The two parents who’s girls did come, were amazed at how great this place was and our neighbour’s little girls have been begging to go back! 

On the Sunday, we had another birthday party to go to followed by a dinner on a rooftop. The day was fun yet filled with the interesting; let me just say this, it isn’t only us who have our share of adventures! They had hired a bounce house and a cotton candy (fairy floss) machine, in fact the same one we had hired just a week before. We all have transformers allowing 110V through our houses alongside of the 220V standard local power. Anything you rent from the post/base, will always be 110V and in this instance, it tore through the transformer. I kept walking past this one particular spot saying how much it smelt and everyone kept putting it down to the fairy floss machine, but I knew it wasn’t, I didn’t push it hard enough though as it took smoke coming out of the little storage room before anyone really questioned the smell. Their entire 110V was kaput for the day, yet the party wasn’t even half way through. We did all we could to help but hubby and I were both too exhausted to try to entertain even more children so we eventually called it quits, knowing we could go and adult on our friend’s rooftop. It was just that time. And relax and adult we did (for such a short time mind you, given everyone had school the next morning). But it was nice after such a huge weekend that was literally all about the kids. We actually got to see something called a hummingbird moth. This moth has the same peculiarities as the hummingbird. It doesn’t seem to stop moving and uses its long beak type thing (called a proboscis) to suckle from the nectar of flowers. It is captivating and beautiful, yet most definitely not a bird. Not something we expected to see and truly appreciate on a rooftop in South Korea. 

And that is where I think I need to call it for this particular blog. Life here is filled with entertainment on a daily basis. Sometimes it’s extremely funny, yet sometimes you have to search for the humour. I feel like the only way to get through all of the craziness is to search for the humour. And sometimes I have difficulty doing that. I don’t like writing when I feel pessimistic or when I cannot see the funny side to something. It just feels like the world has enough pessimism and those of us who write to share/entertain, should write when we are feeling good and able to share in a positive way. Especially when I am writing of my crazy adventures here in South Korea. I haven’t shared anything too personal for a while because yes, we have been stupendously busy, but I’ve also not had the inclination to want to share in the light I would like to share. Obviously I’m also pretty good at getting on my high horse about things (i.e. RSVP’s) but when it comes to this crazy life, I want to share with you in a serious yet satirical way, underlined with a little bit of sarcasm and an optimistic sense of humour. Stay with me if you enjoy my writing. I won’t stop. I cannot stop. I just may have to delay every now and again. And please, as always, talk to me, let me know your thoughts. If you like my blog, share it. If you want more, let me know what you want more of! Email me at Aussiemumsadventures@gmail.com. 

The Full Korean Experience – not necessarily the experience I wanted

I have been humming and ha-ing over this week’s blog and whether or not I wanted to share with the world everything that has happened. Backwards and forwards, my thoughts have gone, do I? Don’t I? Should I focus on something else, there’s been a lot you know! But at the end of the day, I think this may just help someone else out there and prevent them from going through the nightmare I went through on Monday. 
Where to start? I guess the beginning is a good place. So for those of you who aren’t familiar with my blog, I have been on a fitness/weight loss quest for approximately 80 Days. Last year, I returned from Australia to Colorado and pretty much stopped exercising for a time as I had house renovations to finish, a house to sell (then rent out when we couldn’t sell it in time), furniture to divide as we were moving to South Korea and could only take half our stuff if that, three kids to take care of, a husband who had to go away for a lot of the time, and the regular activities of life. Exercise sat on the back burner. Before long, it was the holiday season and our time to say goodbye. Event after event meant lots of eating and drinking were in the works, it didn’t help that it was winter and one could stay bundled up and cover all those spots that weren’t looking so great. Unfortunately once you hit the big 4 0, things slow down also, so you must stay on top if you wish to stay in shape.
We went on a cruise in early January looking for some sun before we moved, unfortunately, even that was sparse. South Korea was literally my worst winter nightmare when we arrived with the temperature in Seoul sitting at a balmy -28 to -32 Celsius for the 3 days we were there. We literally went outside in layer upon layer but the damp air combined with wind chill left us all miserable. Our poor puppy didn’t get much playtime outside in those 3 days. Again, exercise didn’t really happen. In fact, it didn’t really happen until our furniture arrived in late February when we finally got our treadmill. 
On March 7, I decided to write a blog about all of my adventures here in South Korea. I seriously have this sign on my head that says ‘if you are a weirdo, please approach’. There is another one somewhere else that says: ‘If you are looking for the most ridiculous, unimaginable situation to happen, then come stand by me and we can go through it together!’ It’s crazy, but true! My husband is always saying, “You should write a book!” I thought I’d start with a blog. Please feel free to go back and read the journey from the beginning. 
Anyway, I started exercising using BeachBody programs and here I am 80 Days later and the results are not yet what I would have expected but I’ve not really dieted or anything either. So, a few weeks ago, my neighbour took me to this dermatologist office where she is getting ‘fat’ shots. I researched what these shots were and they are actually Lypolysis shots. The experts are still undecided on benefit versus risk factor for these shots but they seemed for the most part, fairly good. I met one lady here who has been on them for 18 months and swears by them. She has lost over 60lbs doing nothing but these shots. Given the fact that I wasn’t really seeing any results at that time from working out daily, I thought I’d give them a try and share the story with my readers. What could it hurt? The number of women (both Korean and American) in that clinic, was amazing! Obviously, lots of people are doing this here. Here’s what I didn’t mention in the blog; they also give you a prescription and you pop over to the Korean pharmacist next door and get it filled. I tried to find out what this tablet was in every possible way I could. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find out anything. All I knew was that it suppressed your appetite. Well, I was at my wits end by this point and thought, “why am I not losing any weight, perhaps I need something like this to kickstart everything.” So, after asking others about the effects on them, I decided to try it. 
Last Monday, I awoke in the morning feeling like rubbish. We have all had this horrible thing from the yellow dust coming in from China. It is literally like a cold, cough, chest thing, with a runny nose that never goes away. Ally, our daughter, is suffering the most, followed by myself. I have even had to use my asthma puffer (I have a very mild form of asthma called exercise induced asthma and haven’t had to use ventolin for a very long time) on a daily basis. The exercising has been tough for me because I just seem to cough throughout it and have limited energy all the time and then end up having to take my inhaler because I can’t breathe. I don’t feel I am getting fitter at all, even though I am following the Insanity program very rigidly.
 I got everyone off in the morning except dear son, who had had a high fever since Saturday night. I had 2 coffees in the am and pottered around basically procrastinating because I didn’t feel I had the energy to work out. It was then I thought about the prescription and how everyone had said that it not only suppresses your appetite but it also gives you energy, so I took it. About 20 minutes later, my mouth started getting really dry. Like crazy dry. I drank a liter of water without even realizing I had done so. Then I started feeling energetic. I refilled my water bottle and went to begin Monday’s regimen, which was a fit test followed by the start to Level II of Insanity. Basically a 1.5 hour workout. I stopped and refilled my water bottle numerous times, I also had to stop and use my inhaler twice because I just couldn’t breathe, eventually I finished the workout. I came downstairs and dear son was engrossed in a movie and I started feeling really light headed. I was so sweaty and yucky that I literally thought that before I sit down, I’ll take my workout gear off and just put a loose Tshirt on so I can cool down then go have a shower (this seemingly unimportant tidbit will become relevant in the story later). “Crap, I forgot to eat!” Is what I said to myself. So I went and got Hunter and I some lasagne. On the way back from the kitchen, I almost fell over. I just couldn’t catch my breathe. It was all very, very strange. I could feel my heart pumping like crazy and yet I was dizzy and exhausted and finding it hard to breathe all at the same time. I kept thinking that I just needed to eat something as my body was feeling hypoglycemic after that crazy workout. I forced myself to eat some lasagne then lay back on the couch waiting for the food to hit me. It didn’t get better. I closed my eyes and kept calm, but I just wasn’t feeling good at all. My phone rang right then and I couldn’t even answer it, it was my husband. I sent him a couple of messages back:

I closed my eyes and the phone rang again and even though it was in my hand, my hands didn’t seem to want to work. I saw it was my realtor and I knew she had our upstairs dehumidifier to deliver but I just couldn’t talk or do very much at that point in time. Obviously, she was in the neighbourhood as next thing I know she’s knocking on the door. Hunter went to the window and looked out so she knew I was home, but I just really didn’t want to deal with her at that point in time. Eventually, I crawled to the door, because she kept calling out to me and I let her in. Then she saw me and started panicking. She then started trying to call my husband, yet he had gone into a meeting and not even taken his work phone in with him, his work phone he’s supposed to have on him at all times! Judy started really panicking then and asking who else she could call. My mouth then stopped working and it was getting very difficult to speak at all but I kept calm because Hunter was looking at me the entire time wondering what was going on. I could see my neighbour’s car wasn’t there anymore (the one I went to the dermatologist with) so I told Judy to call another friend as I knew she was home, we were supposed to do something together that afternoon, that was until Hunter got sick. It was all a bit of a calamity from there on. My friend got here and immediately called an ambulance, but they wouldn’t come off post and wanted to transfer her to the Korean ambulance, but she didn’t want that. She later told me she then called her husband who told her to drive me to the clinic here as they had ambulances here waiting and would take me to the Osan ER. Hahaha. Sorry. You’ll understand shortly. I kept trying to tell them that I only had a long Tshirt on, so my girlfriend grabbed me a pair of pants (pajama pants mind you but didn’t think to grab me a bra). 
We arrive at the clinic and I vaguely remember us entering through the back door, where the people in there just stood around for a time, not really knowing what to do. My friend told them about the Lipolysis shots but she didn’t know I had taken this medication earlier. They put me on a pulse oximeter (you know that little bandaid type thing that wraps around your finger and measures the amount of oxygen in your blood as well as your heart rate) and I guess my heart was in arrhythmia (which is where your heart beat is abnormal) and in my case, in tachycardia (meaning it was very high, at one point sitting at 150 or something). I sat there in this extremely awkward position because they couldn’t get the bed to lie down, very aware that I wasn’t wearing a bra and mortified that no one would put a sheet or something over me. There was a lot of talking and some of it I heard, some I didn’t. I remember looking up at one point and there was my husband. Obviously, my friend had gotten hold of him somehow. As it turned out, she had called her husband and he had gone to my hubby’s office and literally told them it was an emergency and he had to come immediately as his wife was in hospital. Talk about drama-filled!! Talk about embarrassed! That’s me right now!
Anyway, back to the story, OMG, it’s not even beginning to get interesting just yet! When they said my heart was in tachycardia I spoke up about the prescription from the Korean dermatologist and I tell you what, that Doctor immediately judged me. In his mind, I was the biggest idiot he’d ever met. Had I not been so sick, I would have said something, but to be honest, I didn’t care at the time. He immediately started lecturing about losing so much weight and I tried to tell him that I’d only lost 5 pounds and that was in most part, due to exercise, but my words were a bit slurred and I knew he didn’t really care what I had to say at that point, he was judge and jury and I was guilty of something. Well, it just got worse from there. Hubby had to go and collect the children and they told him I would be transported by ambulance to Dan Kook hospital. We just had to wait for a Korean ambulance. My friend would go with me in the ambulance and he would meet us there. Eventually, three Korean medics came in and stood around talking over me. They were arguing back and forth with the Korean/American nurse about something. Eventually I learned they wanted to take me to Good Morning hospital, but I guess that hospital is now off limits. After what seemed like an eternity to me, they left. I was told later by my girlfriend that there were three ambulances waiting right outside of where we were, yet for some reason they called this Korean ambulance (who then left) and ended up taking me in one of the ambulances that was waiting right outside upon our arrival there. It was the worst trip ever. I am talking the barest of bones ambulance one could ever see. I am not au fait with too many of them but surely they at least have shock absorbers, because this one definitely didn’t! Every hump, pothole, slightest anything, speed bump, you name it, I felt it. I did pass out for a little while and when I came to, I saw it was the American/Korean nurse sitting there beside me in the back of this god awful machine. He kept saying, “Stay with me!” And I kept thinking do I really have to, it was much better when I passed out because I couldn’t feel the pain of this god awful ride! Yes, even in our worst times, there is humour! 
After what seemed like a ride to hell (& in fact was) we finally got to this hospital that the American Doctor on base had been pushing. I don’t remember much about arriving there, just a lot of Koreans doing a lot more talking. I do remember my friend trying to say about my heartbeat and them being concerned it was asthma. Then the American/Korean nurse left and we were all alone. This is where it gets kind of gross, so don’t read on if you’re going to be offended by my over sharing, but this part is really for foreigners in South Korea particularly in this region. You do not want to go to this hospital. Ever. Period. Death’s door or not. Never. 
They put me in a room and started asking if I was pregnant and wanting me to pee. I kept assuring them I wasn’t. There was no chance, they didn’t believe me. It was ridiculous. Eventually I said that I had to go anyway as they had now pumped a whole heap of fluids into me also, but that I couldn’t get up, so they brought a bed pan in and this female nurse came in and put the bed pan under me and stood there pressing my belly trying to get me to go. To say that I was mortified, couldn’t clearly put across what I was feeling. My bladder obviously retracted into somewhere because there was no way I could go with her doing that. She eventually left when I told her no, never to be seen again. I eventually went and no one came along to take the bed pan. Can you believe it? Disgusting. I started coming to my senses then and looked around at the nightmare surrounding me. There was dried blood all over the curtain. Everything was dirty. My husband eventually moved the bed pan to the floor and put it just outside of our curtain but no one came and took it during the entire time we were there. The floor was filthy. I moved so my kids could sit on the bed as I didn’t want them touching anything anywhere. This man came in to take my blood (no one was in the room with me mind you at that point) and grabbed my wrist whilst I wasn’t looking and started to jab a needle in it (on the inside of it). He missed and the excruciating pain shot through me like a cannonball. I have been jabbed many times but none of them quite so painful as that! I literally screamed. He stopped. 

Hubby came back and I was in the middle of telling him about it when this same guy came back to do the other side. “No way!” He said he had to. I didn’t realize he had actually missed on my right side until he had done the left side and there was very little pain. Then I looked at him and saw he wasn’t wearing any gloves! Seriously. In the mean time, the husband looked at the pulse oximeter to see what was going on and why it sounded weird and realized it had never even been plugged in. Here we were at this hospital because my heart had gone into tachycardia yet no one was even monitoring my heart. Then someone came in and handed me a mask and told me to put it on. I did. But I said to hubby it was weird as it was making me feel sick yet I couldn’t feel anything coming out of it. He pulled the cord and low and behold it wasn’t plugged in to anything either. I kid you not. He called for a nurse and one came in and told him, “No, she has CO2. She needs CO2. For the hyperventilation.” 
“What are you talking about?” Was my reply. But she left. No answers, no anything. I thought ok, maybe they know something I don’t, let’s give them the benefit of the doubt, so I put that mask on hoping it would alleviate my hand spasms and tingling. Honestly, after about 15 minutes, the tingling was still there yet I now was feeling extremely nauseous. These people are definitely incompetent was the conclusion both hubby and I came to. In the mean time, my friend’s husband came and picked her up and I owe them both a debt of gratitude. I finally looked at my husband and said, “I just want to go home.” I started crying and was just done with this nightmare. Finally someone else came in and said “ok, I just want you to sleep for a while so we can monitor you, then maybe you can go home.” Monitor me with what? Was my first thought. Different so called medical personnel have come in here 4 times and accomplished nothing each and every time. You don’t even know that thing on my finger is not plugged into the oximeter machine! Rather than blurt all this out, I told her I was feeling much better and I wanted to go home. She said, “Oh, ok, if you’re ok, then you can go.” So we did. I leant on Ally to get to the car. I was feeling like death warmed up but there was no way in hell I was going back into that place, ever. 
We drove home and all I wanted to do was get clean but I just didn’t have the energy. I literally lay in bed until the next morning. Hubby had a thing to go to four hours away but wasn’t sure he should go, I told him I was fine and that all would be ok. Unfortunately, or fortunately, depending upon how one looks at it, both Hunter and Maddy were sick on the Tuesday, so we all stayed home and literally didn’t move. They sat on the couch sleeping and intermittently watching Netflix. I laid in bed sleeping and intermittently watching Netflix. I made sure everyone had lots of water and Gatorade and crackers and light snacks except me as the husband kept telling me to eat. I ate lasagne. 
As I write this, it is Thursday. I am taking it easy for now. Working out now takes about 10 minutes longer as I stop often to ensure my heartbeat doesn’t get too high, but I have a follow up appointment next week so here’s hoping we can get to the bottom of this. And no, I’m not going to stop working out. I’ve come too far. But I will be responsible about it. 
I just know my Mum is going to freak out when she reads this, but I couldn’t tell her about it when we spoke yesterday. It had to be emotionless. Funny how Mum’s always worry, no matter how old we get. 
Hopefully we can all take away something positive from this. For me, I’ll not be taking prescription anything when I don’t know what it is. I think the Lypolysis shots themselves were ok, though, who knows, but I think a combination of things transpired last Monday resulting in one of my worst nightmares. We as women set such high expectations on ourselves. I know that I’m still going to want to exercise and try to get my body into the shape it should be, but I also know that not all shortcuts are worthwhile.

Sick Child in my Bed Syndrome! 

Ahhh, Sick Child in my Bed Syndrome, You know, that moment when your baby gets sick with a high fever or something that you have to keep an eye on, but you no longer have baby monitors, ergo, said child sleeps with you in your bed! Why is this a syndrome you may wonder, particularly if you don’t have children? Read on my friend & you will very quickly understand. 

Here’s the thing, this little person, who on a good day comes up to your thighs, turns into an absolute beast during the night. You can have a king size bed and still, it will feel small when that little beast gets into it! At first they start out like an angel and you look at them with their halo glowing and think, “oh my precious little baby! I’m here for you, I just want you to feel better!” 
You worry immensely and toss and turn thinking about all the horrid things that could have made your baby sick. Slowly, you realise you won’t be any good to them without any sleep yourself, so you eventually start to nod off…….until, you get a very prominent kick in the head, back, neck, knee, groin, basically any body part that was innocently laying there minding its own business. You look over and there is your precious angel laying sideways somehow contorting their body so that both parents are receiving kicks at the very same time and both of you are desperately clinging to the mattress for dear life. If the mattress were to be compared to Saturn, you would be literally clinging to the outer ring, hoping to regain your position on the planet somehow, but knowing there was little hope as the alien being you had invited in because he was sick, has literally taken over and the price for regaining control is too high. 
You awaken, for the 15th time in less than 30 minutes and are about to very politely carry sick child back to bed because you cannot take the torture anymore, when he coughs, and you feel his head, and his fever has returned and you start to panic all over again thinking about all the things that could have done this to your baby. This is your night, yes your entire night. 
Your child, who may well be the most uncoordinated being on the planet during daylight hours, somehow finds the contorting, magical super powers at night especially when they are sick, to ensure you too are tortured to the maximum degree possible. And, in that moment, when sleep deprivation and the bruises all over your aching body, are about to overtake you, the halo once more appears and you forget all about the previous 30 minutes knowing in your heart of hearts, you’ll do it all again tomorrow night if you have to. 

Final daily blog – but it’s not over….

So I think today’s the day to end my daily blogs. It has been a very quiet day. My emotions are running a little askew given this crazy week. My faith in the system is faltering as is my faith in people (just a little). It also has given me food for thought as far as this blog goes and the direction I want it to take. I know I have the Insanity Challenge to finish, and don’t worry, I will. On top of that, I’ll keep you informed of my progress, just not on a daily basis. 
I want to be a professional writer. This blog is my start to doing that. I am still trying to find my way as far as the subjects of my writing. I love being able to give you my personal opinion and my take on everything, but I also love writing about the crazy stuff that happens, therefore, on what could be termed a ‘boring’ day, I believe it necessary to give the daily blog a miss. 
Please let me know your thoughts. This is important to me & I truly value any feedback you can give me. Have you enjoyed the blog thus far? I thoroughly enjoy sharing parenting moments, military spouse experiences, South Korea craziness, exercise hurdles (pardon the pun) and general everyday stuff, but only when it’s exciting, not when I’m forced to on a day-to-day basis and not when I’m trying to ‘dress-up’ daily activities in order to keep you entertained.  
I will tell you I did Plyometric Cardio Circuit this morning and it still about killed me! Waiting for the day it doesn’t! My Neighbour and I also headed over to get our Lipolysis shots, unfortunately it also meant we passed the location of all my misery for this week (aka the accident scene) and my friend and her daughter almost got hit by a motorcyclist on the same bloody road! 
Thank you for reading my blogs and staying supportive of me. Please continue to share my more exciting posts. This professional writing business doesn’t happen unless people are aware of you 😊 and please give me your opinions about anything and everything I write. 
I hope your day is amazing! 

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May 9 – Car accident

Day 21 of the Insanity Challenge

Always an adventure, right? Certainly was today and not a good one! I got into a car accident. I had three young children in my car! It was awful. No one was injured thank god but it was scary and awful and totally my fault. We had to stand there for over two hours whilst they found footage to show that it was my fault. No one spoke English. It was just awful. I didn’t think it was my fault to begin with and I’m still not 100% convinced. But, oh well, so be it. Of course the truck I hit is made of steel so does some pretty major damage to my car. Again, so thankful none of the kids were hurt. 
I am now curling up in bed feeling sorry for myself. I don’t want to play anymore. Pity party for one basically. I’m a little bit over South Korea with its tight streets and people who park anywhere and pedestrians who just walk in the middle of the street. My car is too big here. 
My activities for the day came to a complete halt. My pity party consumed me. Hubby called because he knew I was feeling angry and sorry at/for myself. It’s only a car. I should be just grateful that we are all ok & that I didn’t get cited. I did get breathalyzed however, and that was weird too. The breathalyzer was weird. It sort of looked like a square metal speaker with a hole in the middle of it. He told me to blow. I couldn’t figure out where I was supposed to blow as in Australia you have a straw type thing that you blow in, right? I haven’t been breathalyzed for years. Anyway, he didn’t get the Korean to do it, just me. Then he looked down at it and quickly put it in his pocket, “OK.” I’m assuming the OK meant all was good as I hadn’t had anything to drink (at 10:30am) nor had I any cough medicine (which I actually thought about having just before I left the house at 10am). 
Here’s what else I thought about, I think everything happens for a reason, I have to assume there was a reason. Perhaps had we gone in Rebecca’s car, we would have been killed or maimed? Perhaps something else horrible awaited us and this was the best case scenario? I don’t know, it’s only a car. I used to have a perfect driving record, I guess that’s why I’m so pissed off too. I made a couple of mistakes as a teenager but from then on I have been a great driver. I can’t say that anymore. It was my fault. It’s a tough pill to swallow. And there were so many people who flocked around. I was the morning entertainment for all the local Koreans on that street! 
I did over half of my Pure Cardio workout & was planning on doing the rest when I got home (I didn’t). I think tomorrow is going to be my better day. I’m not intending on driving anywhere, so that’s the first plus and secondly, I’m going to perhaps garden a little, maybe paint with my son, I shall do some interval exercises if it works out and I’m not wheezing away (as I was this morning when I had to stop and take a break). As the famous line from ‘Gone With the Wind’ goes, “After all, tomorrow is another day.” 
So, for now I’m going to get lost in some tv drama and forget about my crappy day. 
I hope yours has been so much better!
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Birthday/Mother’s Day Weekend – May 7&8

Day 19

The drive to our gala ball was long and filled with traffic delays. Some people who came from the Area 1 region were stuck in traffic for over 8 hours so I can’t really complain about our three hour drive! It just felt like forever. When you’re stuck in traffic, it was always does. 
We arrived and raced into the bathrooms to change because last year anyone who was late was apparently locked out until the official ceremony portion was finished, luckily for us, so many must have been delayed that they pushed back the formal portion for a bit and all was good. I have to say that I looked very nice. Yes, I just said that. But here’s the catch, firstly, I bought some blue contact lenses for about $10 here. I wanted light blue but couldn’t find any so a darker blue they were. Well yesterday morning I decided to put them on. It had always been the plan since I had decided on my blue dress, to wear the contacts. I bought a beautiful blue eyeliner as well. I had put them in before going to have my hair done, but hubby and I had crossed paths very quickly in the am whilst I raced out to get to my appointment thinking we were in a hurry. I got home from the hairdresser and as he was looking at my hair, my darling husband exclaimed, in a not so promising tone, “Oh, what happened?” I looked at him and he at me and his look was one of almost horror! I laughed because I knew what he was now referring to, the damn things were uncomfortable, so I was very aware of them at all times. “I don’t like them at all! In fact, they make you look soulless!” Wow! Ok, didn’t see that coming, but it was too late, my mind had been decided. I was wearing the dark blue contacts. I ended up having time to put my makeup on before we headed off for the mammoth journey and off we went. So firstly let me explain that these contacts are different to ones I had bought years ago, they didn’t quite cover my entire eye, so my eyes went from dark blue to green to black pupils. They also impeded my vision somewhat, making everything have a greyish hue. It wasn’t like I was blind, but reading anything small was even more difficult. And they were a bit uncomfortable. So we get into the social area and hubby knows a few people and is talking away to them and here’s the other thing going back to yes, I looked nice, but…. I am that girl, the one who looks like she’s all held together and I speak very properly, but I am an absolute spastic! I know it. My husband knows and still loves me for it. So he is introducing my to one of his colleagues (who happens to be a lawyer and he holds out his hand to shake mine and I go to shake his and my greyish hue isn’t helping matters, nor is the tiny part of my hem that seems to have come undone a tad, and as I step forward I miscalculate where the hem is and trip on it and my glass of wine is literally mid transition from right to left hand so I can shake his hand with my right and somehow I save my glass but a large quantity of wine jumps out, not getting anyone else mind you, just me, but lands all over this hand that is reaching for his. It was comical and I just saw that look on hubby’s face, the one that says, “I know you’re a spastic and I love you for it, but sometimes, I really wonder.” There was no hand shake. 😜 thank god, the east of the night was uneventful as far as calamitous events go. The great thing was that my friend Michelle that I met on our crazy journey here to South Korea, was actually there at the ball. It was so good to see her. On top of that, there were many people we knew from Hawaii and Colorado. The Army is a small place. I met some really good people. It was a bit of a strange ball, we were greeted by a man on stilts as we descended on the escalator, but it was nice nonetheless. Unfortunately, we couldn’t hear a lot of the speeches because of the echo in the back corner, but it was entertaining. I just wish we hadn’t had to drive so far to get there and back. I also wish we had known about the childcare option. Oh well, next time.

Saturday May 7 was a beautiful day in South Korea, a nice day to celebrate being 21 (x2) and definitely time for us to get out of the house. We decided to head out for lunch and I was in the mood for Mexican. So off we headed. We found what looked to be ok Mexican restaurant up on the second floor in the main Vill outside of Osan. The service was a bit shoddy but the food was actually really good and they did a frozen kiwi margarita, that was great. We even got the kiddos one virgin mango margarita to share and she put it evenly in three plastic margarita type glasses for them too. The first thing I ordered unfortunately was not to my liking at all, I guess South Korean mole and I don’t see eye to eye, though I’m sure I’ve had it (true Mexican style) a few times before and liked it, but this particular mole enchiladas was awful! My darling husband went and talked to them and got them to switch it over to the burrito that he was having that looked and tasted absolutely amazing! Thank you husband! That was the best move you, and I, could have made today. 

Then it was time to go to the movies. Captain America, Civil War! Epic. Now, I didn’t like the whole civil war part of it, but the movie, the action, the everything, was awesome! What is really interesting about seeing a movie at an overseas military base (& we had completely forgotten because it had been years) is that the national anthem is played and everyone must stand. This would have been fine if that’s the way it had gone yesterday, instead, they started playing the Korean national anthem with no introduction whatsoever. I hear this music come on as I am beginning to write my blog on my phone and look up and it is some Koreans scaling a very picturesque mountainside (an advertisement for Korea, is what I thought) I go back to writing until my daughter says, “Mum, stand up!” I stand up before I even know what I’m doing and look around and everyone is standing. It’s the Korean National Anthem, followed but the US national anthem. Please, a little more introduction wouldn’t go astray, we haven’t all been here for a long time, we also aren’t all familiar with the protocol, it might be nice for our new spouses (and not-so-new spouses) and new soldiers for that matter, to at least know what’s going on, especially if you never go to the movies. 
The movie is over, it has been long, but fantastic. We are all getting up to walk out of the movie theater when I look down at my seat as something feels odd and low and behold, there is chewing gum everywhere! Someone has thought that putting chewing gum all over a movie theater seat is a really good idea, and I am the victim to it. Thanks! Like I’m not uncoordinated enough as it is. And, I’m wearing my new gladiator high heels as well, with a really cute, short dress. Yes, you are a winner! You got me! Gum all over the back of my dress, right on my bottom. Thank you! From the bottom of my heart, thank you, you super immature idiot! You put a big dampener on my birthday! Oh and I still haven’t gotten it off my dress, plus the fact that you germ infested that gum! Eeew! Disgusting in so many ways! 

Hubby and Maddy went in and got a birthday cake from Baskin Robbins after the movie as I didn’t want to go anywhere given the gum situation. We then headed home and spent a very quiet evening playing family games, and just enjoying each other’s company. I was very spoilt with a beautiful gift of a Colombian emerald necklace. My wonderful husband had bought it when we went on our cruise back in the beginning of January! I had tried this necklace on at least five times and it was magnificent but I had also said no. We couldn’t afford it. It was a great deal, but it was something frivolous that I didn’t need. My husband had snuck back there on our last day and had bought that necklace and had made secret payments (I pay all the bills from our main account). He is such an incredible trickster and awesome present buyer! He was sure I knew, but I had no iota! None whatsoever. I’m sure I’ve said before what a crappy present buyer I am, and how amazing he is, this once again proves it! 
Today is Mother’s Day in Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Denmark, Netherlands, Finland, Germany, Italy, Japan, Belgium and the United States. We were able to sleep in a little bit, but duty called eventually. I had some beautiful cards from the entire family, but yesterday’s present was an all inclusive one, just as it should have been. Hubby was going to make breakfast but soon realized that given last week’s crazy schedule, we had very few groceries. Breakfast soon came off the table. The kids ate whatever we could muster and hubby and I drank some good coffee. Neither of us were feeling so great, this bloody horrible thing ripping through our bodies, is leaving us drained and full of yuckiness! The coughing is getting old. Today was probably the worst it has been for me so far, but then again, I’ve been taking mucinex (an old prescription from Colorado that is for this exact type situation and wasn’t out of date) but hubby can’t take anything prescription based unless it was currently prescribed to him. So he’s had to suffer without. He didn’t really want to go anywhere but was willing to if I wanted to. I knew we needed to get some supplies in order to function tomorrow, so it was off to the bigger commissary we went. I told them all they could choose a restaurant for lunch given our limited food, and of course, they all chose Chilis. Thank god it was amazing today! The woman who served us was truly incredible. Our food was as good as it gets at that Chilis, no complaints though. We then went to the Commissary and grocery shopped. All very exciting I know. From there we came home, unpacked, called my mother to wish her a happy Mother’s Day (I had called her numerous times already but this time she actually picked up) and popped over to our friends’ house with a bottle of Champers to celebrate both my birthday and his birthday. We had a lovely time with them, but alas, it was a school night and we had to call it early. We got home, tried to finish our family card game after putting little man to bed, when I realized my emerald bracelet was no longer on my wrist! Let me give you some background on this bracelet; The husband had bought this for me last year when I came back from Australia to celebrate our 12th wedding anniversary. He had to go away and wanted it to be something special. He had found this bracelet at an estate sale at a well-renowned jewelry shop. He had gotten it for a bargain (an expensive bargain but it was incredible) but we had had it appraised for a whole lot more. My Christmas present was a beautiful emerald ring he had made to match the bracelet. This pendant (my birthday present yesterday) had matched both. Now my beautiful bracelet was gone and we hadn’t even had it insured. I’m not sure why, I think we were waiting for the paintings or to figure out the whole mess with the paintings not being here and the fact that we had to insure our stuff back in the US even though we are here and we just have had so much other shit to deal with, we hadn’t gotten around to it. This was literally a one of a kind bracelet. I was heartbroken. Let me go back one further. When we lived in San Antonio, our house had been robbed, these bastards had literally waited until the husband and I took my Mum and Dad to the airport, then went in and robbed us of all they could. They went through every draw, every cupboard, every everything they could in our bedroom. They did however, leave our baby’s (Ally’s) room alone, but they stole everything else of value that we had. My husband and I had saved up all we could, he had gotten out of he Navy and had joined the Army. We had just bought our first house, literally using our savings to pay for 1/3 of it because no one would give us a loan unless we could. We had lived in the Middle East and hubby had my sister get this beautiful emerald pendant handmade (in Saudi Arabia) for me for my birthday/our wedding. It too, was one of a kind. The bastards stole that. I just happened to be wearing the matching earrings, so they never got those. They got our Video camera with all of Ally’s 1st year of footage on it. They took everything we had worked for. It was a complete violation of us and made me very bitter towards San Antonio, for no other reason than I needed to blame something and I didn’t have a person/s. To come home and find your door kicked in and your baby’s entire first year of memories gone because some bastard thought it was worthwhile taking the video camera and you hadn’t even given it any thought to transfer those videos because you had it in a safe place and the ‘tape’ still had 20 hours of footage to go on it! Gone! Forever! Our baby girl’s first adventures in Italy that we filmed will never be found and we can never show her because some arsehole broke into our home and stole them from us, not only did they do that, but they took every piece of jewelry both my husband and I had ever saved up for! Long story short, I am bitter and the minute something goes missing, I completely freak out. That’s what happened tonight. I freaked out. I literally lost it. I was out with my torch (flashlight) and my neighbour, Geoff happened to be out there and asked if I had lost something and I couldn’t even talk, I just mumbled, “emerald bracelet! I’ve lost my emerald bracelet.” He asked if he could help me look and I couldn’t even answer. I just kept saying I don’t know, I don’t know. 
I called my friends and had them searching on the rooftop, I searched up and down the road, the girls and hubby were pulling everything apart searching inside. Nothing. I couldn’t even feel anything. All I could think was not again, what did I do to deserve this? Every part of you that has done the most minute thing wrong starts to wonder exactly what it was that you did to cause this. I know it’s only a material possession and as I said to my girls later on; “I got this upset over something materialistic, but something precious to me because Daddy bought it and it was very special, imagine that at the end of the day, that means nothing and you guys are everything, imagine just how devastated I would be if something happened to you when a bracelet means this much, but means nothing! They both seemed to understand and nodded and promised they would always be careful. They promised they would always let me know where they were, they promised they wouldn’t do anything stupid. I used the bracelet analogy to even mention that I didn’t actually ‘lose’ the bracelet, it fell off, so sometimes we don’t even mean to do anything but it happens, and told them they just always need to make good decisions. Very deep, I know, it was all I could do to keep my shit together after freaking out over my bracelet then realizing the only thing that is truly important is my family. 
The bracelet was found! Thank god! Hubby found it in my handbag. Either on our way to our friends’ house or on our way back, it fell into my handbag. I wasn’t being punished, just tested. I didn’t pass well, but afterwards I was able to draw on it to send a point home to my girls to let them know how much they mean to me. Happy Mother’s Day. The only thing that matters is your people. That’s it. We get involved with the material things and they are lovely things but the people are the most important. My people, your people, our people. 
Well, that’s all for me, today, I look forward to your feed back and as always:
I hope you have a wonderful day and/or night, wherever you are!

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Challenge Accepted Day 59/Day 17

Wow! Only one more day until my Rodan + Fields 60 day Redefine challenge is over! How has it been 60 days already? I have a really busy day tomorrow, but I shall definitely find the time to post those ‘after’ photos before I put any make up on. I also have to find the time to work out super early, because tomorrow is already looking like it’s going to be a shambles! With the Korean holiday, Hunter will be home all day and Maddy doesn’t have a piano lesson! Thank goodness we have met good people here who have offered to help out until our babysitter can get here. Craziness! 

And today, well today has been all about the deep cleaning for me. The yellow dust has come in and even though I awoke feeling worse than yesterday, I just didn’t want to put anyone in the family in more jeopardy by not getting rid of all the dust in the house. Both air purifiers are on their max setting now and my house is, for just a short time, dust free. The bathrooms are clean, the washing is done, the floors are vacuumed and mopped and I am exhausted. 

I even made my own version of bulgogi for dinner. I had the meat marinating from this morning in a concoction of Asian pear, soy sauce, brown sugar, rice wine, and a couple of other things and I thought it was wonderful, so did Ally, unfortunately no one else in the family appreciated it. Yes the baby corn doesn’t go in traditional bulgogi, nor do the ramen noodles, but we I am all about compromise if the children will eat it and baby corn and noodles are some of their favourites! I even threw in cashews just for a little something extra and it was lovely. I’ve got my lunch tomorrow sorted out. 

I had to take Ally to her music lesson today as the bus wasn’t running but it was fun. Whilst waiting, Maddy was able to practice on one of the many pianos and her teacher (there were no classes today but her teacher was still there for some reason) even let her play on the grand piano! She thought it was wonderful. And I am amazed at how far she has come in two short weeks. She seems to be beginning to read music and has a natural talent when it comes to actually playing. Her teacher just kept praising her today saying how amazing she was. Then Ally was in there having her guitar lesson and her teacher was also impressed. I guess they have my Dad’s musical ability. 

We picked up hubby, tried to find a phone deal that would work with Ally (a phone seems somewhat necessary here as the kids are off doing their independent things) yet were shocked at how there is no basic option. Everything has to be fancy. Our daughter doesn’t need an iPhone or a Samsung Galaxy. She has a tablet and is very lucky to have that, there’s no need for anything else fancy, she just needs to be able to make and receive calls and text messages. Anyway, I haven’t had time to investigate it further, but there has to be a solution. We have an old iPhone 4 just sitting there but are not sure it is unlocked nor if the SIM cards here fit in it. Getting a working phone is just a lot of hassle and it shouldn’t be. 
Otherwise, I had cardio recovery this morning with the Insanity workout. That stretching is a killer! OMG! Those squats and lunges where the searing pain starts to blur your vision and its either stand up or fall arse over and never recover! I wanted to fall arse over, in fact, my body begged me to, but my mind didn’t want to play, so I stood up, relaxed for a few seconds and went back into it. Not fun! 
I’m am about to shower and do my second last Redefine regimen for this 60 day challenge. There is still a bit of all the products left over so I will use it in conjunction with the Reverse regimen until the products run out then continue just doing the Reverse Challenge for 60 days! I’m excited though. Just hoping this throat thing clears up for tomorrow night! Now hubby and the son seem to have it also. I can imagine us at the ball, that’s when my nose will decide to start running and my eyes will start watering and I’ll be coughing like someone with the Black Plague and my dress and hair will look wonderful but my makeup will have run because bodily fluids have enticed it to be anywhere but on my face! Hey, there’s a raccoon in a ball gown! Oh dear. This could literally be the worst night ever! Let’s keep the fingers crossed and hope that all my vitamin C and honey lemon tea, have worked their magic on me. Oh and hubby too. He’s the driver and there will be two of us in the car that have birthdays the next day! He’s already asked me to calm it down a notch on the way home. 😜 
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 58/ Day 16

Well, where do I start today? What a day it has been! Nothing at all like I was expecting when I awoke this morning! Better, so much better! So once again, sleep eluded me for a couple of hours this morning. Hubby had put the phone ‘off the hook’, so to speak, but the battery had obviously died during the night, so it then came out of the base of the silly thing! I really could have hurt the person on the other end of that line at 0320! I guess it’s a good thing they weren’t nearby. To make matters worse I got cranky at the hubby thinking he hadn’t taken it off the hook and as the saying goes, misery loves company, and I wanted some at that time this morning. He wasn’t playing! 😜

I got the kiddos ready for school and knew hubby needed to be at work earlier than usual so thought I would save my workout for after I had dropped he and Hunter off. Hunter had a big sports day at school and my neighbours were going to volunteer to help out at it, so had asked them to take some photos (he’s only three after all, how big could it be?) I had my first spouse’s luncheon plans. I had been invited once before and couldn’t get there because I didn’t have childcare but this time, my boy was in school so it would all work out perfectly. Then we had Ally’s honour roll ceremony/presentation afterwards. It was going to be an exciting day. My throat hurt and I could feel the gunk accumulating in it, but nothing major, so it was big girl panties time. A couple of Tylenol (Panadol) and I was good to go. I also drank so much water yesterday and today and had the little Korean vitamin C drinks, drank orange juice, took vitamin C, had my lemon and honey tea last night and this morning, so think I’ve battled it with all I’ve got! 
Off to school we go, “No, No. Hunter and Mummy stay.” Were the words I heard as I was kissing him goodbye. “What?” 

“Yes, Hunter and Mummy stay til one o’clock.” 

“Hunter can’t stay by himself?”

“No, Hunter needs Mummy to race.” 

Oh crap, I thought. What am I going to do. My neighbour’s husband said he would look after him if I really needed to go, but how could I? This is my little boy. This was obviously a big deal at this school. I said I had to go home and get running shoes and a couple of other things and I would be back. I called the lady who had invited me to attend the luncheon and told her what had happened and she was very understanding. Then it was a race to get home and get some stuff together then get back to try and find a park at the school. As it turned out, I got the absolute prime parking, rock star parking even, , and everything else just fell into place. 
It started out with a variety of Psy songs (the Korean singer best known for Gangnam Style) on these ginormous speaker, literally rocking the place to the ground! Had I not known better, I would have thought we were in a nightclub, we were literally yelling at some points to communicate! Then I realized there was actually a professional DJ! Whoa! Things quieted down when all the children went out onto the parade ground and stood listening to speeches. It was at this point in time a lady introduced herself to me as Hei-El’s Mum, Eun Mee. What a godsend she was! She spoke perfect English and was full of knowledge about everything we (my neighbours and I) wanted to know. I feel like I was supposed to stay at school not only to hang out with my son, but to meet her and understand Korean culture far more. It was such a wonderful experience today, made better by her explaining everything. Finally, I understood what was going on. 

The Republic of Korea (the official name of South Korea also known as ROK) pledge of allegiance to the flag was the first thing to happen and like Americans, the South Koreans put their hand to their hearts with most of them knowing it by heart. Then it was the ROK national anthem. I found this to be less important than the pledge, as I stood for the pledge out of respect for my host nation, but Eun Mee told me to sit down for the anthem. Weird. The various people including the female principal (very unusual in this male dominated society) gave their speeches then it was time to start. This was a big deal. There were hundreds of prizes. I thought they must have been for the kids but she then told me they would be raffling most of them off. What? Yes, on the program, there was a number and throughout the day they would be calling numbers out to claim prizes. How cool. That would never happen at an Australian or American sports day. There were two teams, the whites and the blues and through some selection process that I will never know, they selected my son and his two German/American friends to be on team blue. I’m not going to give you an event play by play as I wasn’t really sure what was happening sometimes, given the loud music and all the craziness, but I can tell you there was a race where the kids put on fake bottom pants and had to use a hockey stick to roll a football up one end of the field and back again in a relay format. There was also another event where they brought in two of the biggest bags of balloons I have ever seen in my life. The object of the game was to let them both out at the same time and whichever team popped their balloons the fastest, won. Then there was our event.
So I went up holding Hunter’s hand and we went two by two with the teacher in the lead holding our neighbour’s daughter, Anna. Her Dad and her sister, Ava, were directly behind me. Their Mum had to work briefly in the morning so was coming a little bit later. We get up there and Eun Mee is trying to tell us there is some sort of swing and we will have to go in twos and carry each child up and around a pole and back to the start, again using the relay method. Ok, then the teacher says that I can help Jeff (Anna and Ava’s Dad) and she leaves! Help him do what? Why are you making the non-Korean speakers go first? We go over to where the starting line is and are looking at this contraption and I am thinking wth? Then I see the other people starting to connect everything and show Jeff what we need to do. There is literally a little swing hanging between us. They put a helmet on Anna that is miles too big and we squat down so she can get in. Next thing you know it is time to start and we are running down that field carrying Anna and looping around with a slight lead on the other team. Then it’s Hunter’s turn and would you believe it, that kid decides he’s not going to get in! We all do our best to coax him and I promise him it will be fun, eventually he hops in, the helmet falls off immediately and we are running down that field like there’s no tomorrow. He did enjoy himself though even with that trepidatious start! We get back and Ava is waiting so she jumps straight in and Jeff and I are off back down the field, this time trying to make up for some lost time and doing it, but just not enough to account for Hunter’s delay. I am exhausted. It is the most hilarious thing I’ve done/seen at a sports day. 

On top of that, Eun Mee’s sister is there and I had asked her if she could take some photos of us, well for some reason she thought Anna was my daughter, so photos of us carrying Anna are the only photos I have of this event. Oh, well, it’s good that my neighbours have good photos. 

Then they start doing the first raffle and the prizes are so funny, we are talking about ziplock bags, laundry detergent, paper towel, toilet paper. It was really cool to see practical stuff that people could use rather than rubbish no one wants. And all of them were wrapped up so beautifully. This guy walks up to Jeff, Rebecca (who has just arrived) & myself and tells us to come over, they want us at the microphone.”They want all foreigners at the microphone” we’re his exact words. I’m not sure why so we three head over there and they give us prizes and tell us to draw a number then announce it in English. I think we were either the celebrity guests or the monkeys at the circus, I’m not sure which, but it was fun nonetheless. Then they give us each a prize for announcing. I got a beautiful package of ziplock bags. 

The events and raffle went on throughout the day and Eun Mee filled me in on so many things. I guess the public school system here is actually very hard to get into and this is a very small school that not many people are aware of. It is also a very good school with the teacher:student ratio at about 1:5! How amazing is that? People sign their kids up to go to a certain public school but there are only so many slots open; say there are 200 kids applying and they only have 40 slots. They do a lottery to decide who gets in. I asked Eun Mee what happens when you don’t get in and her response was they have to go to private school. My first thought on that was what about people who can’t afford private school, given that it’s about 1.6m ₩ (equivalent to US $1,600)! 

“They have to find a way to afford it, there is no other answer.” Was her reply. Wow! I asked about home schooling and this didn’t seem to be an option. So now I sit here and feel very lucky to have found not only this wonderful school where there are so few students, but to have even gotten Hunter into a school in the first place. This is something very few outsiders get to experience and we were welcomed today as part of the community. I had so many adults and children walk up to me and say “Hi!” Eun Mee said they wanted to talk so much more with me but couldn’t speak enough English to do so, my thoughts were I wish I could converse with them in Korean but I’m too old to learn another language fluently in the time we’ve got here! But Rebecca and I have a plan to at least do a basic Korean course. We will find out what we can next week about what is on offer through the military before looking privately. I shall at least be able to ‘get by’! 
The kids all did a race and Hunter came in 4th. Though I’m not sure what he was doing at the beginning of it, then it was time for a few more activities/raffles then lunch. They took the kindergarteners up to their room for lunch and Eun Mee and I chatted the entire time. Rebecca and Jeff then decided to leave as all of our kids’ events were done. I decided to stay and keep Eun Mee company as her car was parked smack bang in the middle of a whole lot of cars. And it was a good thing I did. They called out the last prize of the day and it just so happened to be my number! Yay. It was also a really nice first aid kit and I had just looked at buying one the other day, so it was perfect. They ended with a short ceremony and it truly capped off the entire day! I have never seen such a well-organized, high-end, music-filled sports day! They had rice cakes (nothing like what we call a rice cake in Australia) throughout the day (that were amazing mind you, filled with honey and just plain yummy) there was tea and coffee and water bottles supplied to all the parents. The kids got snacks and ice creams and yummy drinks as well. They also got a beautiful present from their teacher as their ‘Children’s Day’ gift. Children’s Day is a big celebration here, it is about honouring children and their need for love, care and respect. It is also a day to honour adults who have contributed to the greater good of the children. It is always celebrated on May 5th and is a Korean holiday. In fact, this next week is sort of like a Spring break for Hunter, as there are a few different holidays being celebrated. They are off on Friday in honour of Buddha’s birthday though his actual birthday is on May 14th. On May 8 it is Parent’s Day, another very important day to honour your family. Then on May 15 it is Teacher’s Day, and I am looking forward to giving Hunter’s teacher a lovely gift. Apparently it must be under ₩30,000 in order for them to accept it, which I find very interesting, but I already have some things in mind so I’m not too worried, just looking forward to seeing their happy faces. 

From the school, it was a mad dash home to get changed into something more acceptable to wear to an honour roll ceremony. Then off to pick the hubs up and off we went. Well, what an unorganized disaster that was! Firstly, they ran out of programs. Then the certificates were not there, then the certificates arrived and were not in any recognizable order, after about 20 minutes of us sitting there whilst the principal, the vice principal and the 3 members of student council tried to organize it, they gave up and just started calling names in any order with no semblance of rhyme or reason. They brought kids up who were on the honour roll, with kids on the Principal’s honour roll, there was one boy who just went up by himself and stood there with nothing further going on and this was smack bang in the middle of the ceremony. It was ridiculous. We were embarrassed for them! Especially after I had just been at a school that had so meticulously planned their entire sports day. It was truly unorganized chaos. Anyway, our daughter eventually got her certificate and from there it was a mad dash home because we were now running late and I didn’t want Madison to get home and be by herself! Luckily, we made it with minutes to spare! 
I somehow worked up the resolve to do today’s workout, Pure Cardio and Cardio Abs! OMG! I struggled. I think my body is fighting off this thing and I had such a big day, it was just plain hard. But, I did it. Not well, but I did it! I was finally able to have a shower tonight when I washed my face with the Rodan + Fields Redefine Daily Cleansing Mask, and oh, did it feel wonderful. I followed up with the Enhancements Micro-Dermabrasion paste and that too, felt amazing. The Pore-Minimizing toner and Overnight Restorative cream were only made better when I included some Redefine Multi-Function Eye Cream! Lovely. My hubby has once again returned to work for the evening, I am filled with a quiet household and this soon to be 21 x 2 lady is going to relax with a glass of vino for a minute. 

I hope you have a wonderful day and/or night, wherever you are!

Please like my page on Facebook: Aussiemumsadventures 
Email me at: aussiemumsadventures@gmail.com
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: aussiemumsadventures@gmail.com
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.