Challenge Accepted Day 46/Day 4

This picture is of my darling son as he came downstairs this morning after changing from his pyjamas. All he wanted to do was to grant Spider-Man wishes, ergo, the Spider-Man Fairy! It made me chuckle and that was nice today as it was a Bit of another somber day today. My friend’s funeral is today and I cannot be there. I cannot believe she is gone so soon. She had booked a holiday for the end of April with her husband, hoping to just not be in hospital, not thinking she would be gone already. No one was ready. Including her. 
I had double booked myself today, forgetting about my original plans, so I had to cancel one of them, then unfortunately the other one was cancelled as well, so dear son and I have hung out today, me trying not to think about where I should have been and Hunter wishing he was at school and begging me to go. With no car, there was little I could do. In fact this no car business is driving me crazy! I just need for my hubby to have some time to get this paperwork done. Unfortunately nothing seems to be easy in his world right now, and my needing a car for independence is at the bottom of the totem pole. No, not because I’m not one of his priorities, but because he is facing craziness right now and is trying to ensure the lives of his people are better taken care of in their working environment. I knew there was a mess that needed to be cleaned up and I knew somewhat what we were facing when he took this job, unfortunately it’s worse than we expected meaning my needs are not so important at this time. Today however, I just felt like getting out after my plans got cancelled. Instead, I spent over an hour untangling this mess: 
  
Yes, even though I had gone to Pinterest and tried to use the idea of the straws to ensure my necklaces didn’t get tangled on our cruise and subsequent trip over here, they did. Big time! Afterwards, I used big straws, sometimes doubling them, so there was no room for extra chains/possible tangles. 

  
I made ‘nice cream’ also –  http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/food-network-kitchens/neapolitan-banana-ice-cream.html – It turned out a little differently to what they have, but I also added a little bit of apple sauce and some honey to sweeten it up for the kiddos. I’m about to test it out on them….and……. it wasn’t much of a success. It certainly didn’t quite have the texture the one on the video had. It tasted good but definitely tasted like banana, so the only one who ate it and liked it was Hunter. 

  
The whole reason the idea started out was because I had lots of left over strawberries that weren’t going to be any good after today, I put them in the juicer, after discerning those still good enough to eat as is, and those my kiddos wouldn’t touch because they had started going soft. There was a large container leftover after I had made the nice cream and I thought to myself, I’ve got very little freezer space, I don’t do jams, I don’t have enough dried fruit to do my other experiment (an Aussie thing called a fruit stick) so, the only thing that came to mind was a margarita! Yum! Unfortunately, by this time, my early afternoon had passed and it was bus pick up time! So what does one do with a freshly made, spare of the moment margarita when one has to walk to the bus stop; take it in a to-go cup of course! Afterwards, the kiddos and I just hung out not doing too much until hubby got home and it was time for our recurrent dental appointments, this time for Maddy and I. 

So who would have thought it would be a neighbourhood catchup at the dentist? I’m telling you, my daughter Madison is like my mother, everywhere we go, she seems to know someone. Seriously, that joke about my Mum standing beside the pope would work just as well with my daughter; you know, where the pope is standing beside either my Mum or Madison and the crowd says, “who’s Lyn and Madison standing next to?” Everywhere we go, they know people! 

Back to the dentist we are, me still dealing with all the problems with my pits and fissures and cavities that have come in underneath them and Madison just beginning her journey dealing with the exact same problem! Obviously inherited directly from her mother! Poor girl, we got sealants on her teeth in Colorado and obviously there’s no guarantee because the X-ray showed a cavity and when he removed the sealant, the cavity was really large! She’s seven. Crappy teeth unfortunately. Neither hubby nor I have great teeth and we both clean them and take care of them and have looked after our kids’ teeth too but I guess sometimes, it just doesn’t matter. I also had to discuss Ally’s treatment as we’re not sure of the best options there either. Being a parent is so difficult sometimes! Trying to figure out what’s best for your kids and what’s best financially! Sometimes I just don’t want to adult, let alone parent! I’ll let you know how it all goes afterwards. All this after a mid-afternoon margarita! OMG! 
So, just as a side note, the cardio recovery workout today was awful! Here I was looking forward to stretching but that was way beyond normal stretching! My legs are hurting from all those squats and pulses and lunges and holding it there! Wow! Rodan + Fields has all gone well today though, I’ll do the AMP MD tonight once again too and it’s time for the second last ACUTE Care treatment too! Well that’s it from me for tonight. I hope you and yours are fairing well and life is good. 

Challenge Accepted Day 45/Day 3

What a funny, interesting, weird, challenging, yet satisfying day. It started off with dropping little man off at school and once again he was very excited. He wants to go all day every day. We are thinking on that one…. But the exuberance with which he runs into his classroom is wonderful. And his teacher absolutely adores him, this morning she actually came out of the school building to greet us at the front door and give Hunter a big hug! It was a relief to see. There is obviously a huge language barrier but one knows one’s children and when they are genuinely happy and the happiness I saw in both of them instantly reassured me we had made the right decision in sending him here. So I said goodbye and drove hubby to work. He had a few minutes to spare and after not getting home until 0200 this morning, I think he needed a tiny reprieve before going into the office this morning. By the way, I forgot to mention that I was awoken at 0530 this morning with, “Oh, Shit!” I asked what was wrong but could smell it before he had to tell me, our lovely puppy dog had obviously eaten something that didn’t agree with her yesterday and had gotten diarrhea during the night – somewhere between 0200 & 0530 more precisely- and had shat all over the bathroom floor, with the majority being on the bathmat! Hubby had then proceeded to step in it because he doesn’t turn the light on so he doesn’t disturb me. His exclamations certainly woke me up and he wasn’t very happy. Nor was I to be honest. The overwhelming stench permeating from our bathroom brought tears to my eyes and bile to my throat. Meanwhile Luna just looked at me like, ‘I couldn’t help it but I’m so sorry, especially after yesterday!’ Hubby cleaned up his foot and I told him to leave the rest to me. Yes, once again the champion wife! 😜 Really, the only way is up when your day starts like that!
  
Going back to the few minutes to spare, hubby showed me a few of the new things going up on the base and it was really cool to see where things are going to be, unfortunately, I don’t think we’ll be here for most of it, it will be amazing though once completed. I dropped him off at work and headed into the local ‘Ville’ to meet with the music teacher. Yes, I wanted my kids to get into music, Ally was taking guitar lessons in Colorado and has a guitar and I wanted Madison to start doing piano as she seems to have a knack with it, so I finally got there to see what the studio looked like. So here’s the deal in South Korea, most places will supply transport of some sort to the kids for extracurricular activities because they know we are limited to one car. I had seen the music bus parked and had talked with the teacher a couple of times about getting the girls in but I wasn’t sure on prices and wanted to check out the studio myself before allowing my kids to go there. Today I was very happily surprised. Madison will start piano and go 5 days per week for 1 hour and will be picked up from our little ville and returned afterwards, there are a number of students who already go so this will work out perfectly and she is so excited. All of this at a cost of ₩140,000 per month! That’s less than US$140.00! This is a group lesson, yes, so she will be sharing her hour with 4 other kids, but even so, that’s perfect for Madison right now as her attention would waiver if she was intently taught piano for 1 hour. They have a great setup too, with 7 grand pianos in there! Ally will go to guitar lessons 4 times per month, each lesson for one hour, but her lessons are one on one. They will also come and pick her up and return her. All of this for ₩120,000 p/month (less than US$120). We were paying $50 for 30 minute lessons before! All of this and now I have spoken to a number of people around here who all have their kids in lessons there and are very impressed at the caliber of the lessons. We are all excited to begin this new musical journey!
From there, I went and met with Judy, the most amazing real estate agent/realtor, I have ever come across (sorry Jodith but this is different). All agents here go above and beyond, they are your go-to when you pay bills, if you have any issues with your house, if you want something done in the neighbourhood, basically, for all your basic housing needs. Judy has gone well beyond that! Yesterday she came and helped me read through all the paperwork that I had gotten from the school, some of which Google translate lost in its translation. There were questionnaires to fill out, things that needed to be done and I just wasn’t getting a full description from my app. Judy filled out the answers in Korean, she went through everything with me and called the school directly to ask questions. She then spoke with Hunter’s teacher numerous times to figure out kindergarten pricing, the cost of milk (apparently food is provided but you have to pay for milk separately and all Koreans drink their milk at lunchtime so he would be a bit of an outcast if he didn’t, luckily he loves milk), whether or not I could go on this field trip on Friday, all sorts of stuff. She then called me to say I have to open a Korean bank account in order for them to take the money out for his tuition fee and milk as they are no longer accepting cash. So after the music school, I headed off to meet Judy at the bank. 
What an interesting process. It’s very similar to opening an account in most other countries (by the way, I have realized I now have bank accounts in England, Bahrain, USA, Australia and now South Korea, what a shame none of them have money in them). The teller at first really didn’t know what to do as normally a foreigner is a US/Korean national, I am neither. Then when I didn’t have an income here, she was a little taken aback too. Finally she understood that this was for schooling fees and after making me sign lots of international forms for taxation purposes, actually ripped them up because she realized I didn’t need to worry about any of them. I had to enter my pin what seemed like a ridiculous number of times and I asked Judy if I was even going to be able to use an ATM because if it was all in Korean, there would be lots of problems. Luckily, there’s a foreign language button on there, so I’m good to go. I must say though, I was very impressed at the uniforms of all the tellers, very flashy indeed with a built in necklace and all:

  
From there I decided to venture into the local city. I had wanted to see a dermatologist and Judy (the woman is a lifesaver) called her friend and found a great one for me, even the bank teller said they were the best (I guess lots of people visit the dermatologist here). Anyway, I have this weird little lump above my right eyebrow but in the center of my face. It has been there for years and it annoys the crap out of me. I don’t know how I got it, I don’t know why it’s there, all I know is given the dedication I have had over the past 44 days to my face, I have become very aware of it and I want it gone. I have been massaging it intensely with my R+F products and it has gone down a tiny bit but it’s still there, so I thought I would go and just get the opinion of a dermatologist. She called and set it up for me to go in for a free consult this afternoon, but OMG! What a kerfuffle! Do you think I could find that bloody place? No! I drove around and around and around. I couldn’t find anything and I spent forever on the GPS trying to find the dentist (because this place was sort of in proximity to the dentist) in the favorites list but couldn’t (hubby later told me its in a folder all its own and he’ll show me how to access it next time we’re in the car). Anyway, after doing my exploratory drive around town and heading down a road where there were no other cars and the streets were a bit weird looking and a different colour, I thought I had better call it a day and try again some other time. I tried to just drive down streets that looked familiar and had entered one thing on my waze app and another thing on the car GPS, so they were both yelling at me to go in different directions and I was ignoring both of them with a vengeance! I ended up driving down this country road and thinking, ok, now I’ve gone too far, when both of them started telling me to turn around, do a U-turn, anything, just stop going straight ahead! So I finally listened and headed back, it was only on my actual drive home that I realized I had been in the fields that run parallel to the main road for a little while. Oh well. The things you do when given car freedom and no little people to worry about in the back! 
The rest of the day was uneventful. I spoke to my sister for a long time on FaceTime after having spoken to the other one last night. The kids played with some friends who are leaving to go back to the States in a couple of days; one of the challenges of living this life, you are always saying goodbye to people. I finally realized at 1700 (5pm) that I hadn’t done Insanity yet today, so quickly got my butt into gear and started doing it. What a workout! It felt good though, yes even the walking push ups! My legs are burning as I sit here and write this though, so we shall see how everything feels tomorrow! Hubby actually came home at a decent hour finally, and was exhausted. Dinner was a hodgepodge for everyone, though I did cook up a chicken breast and have a gigantic balsamic chicken salad that I love. And now, I am laying in bed, finishing this blog with a fresh face after using my Redefine regimen and sleep beckoning. I have avoided Benadryl all week and have been living on 4-5hours a night myself and hopefully tonight will be a good, sleep-filled one. 
Thank you for all the feedback on your dogs and suggestions on what to use. I have seen the shock collar in action now and to be honest, I have always thought they were cruel devices that shouldn’t be used on animals, but seeing them, I don’t think they are. I will feel the shock collar myself before I put it on Luna to make sure I know exactly what happens when I press a button. But here’s the thing, she’s a smart dog, I haven’t given her the training she needed and now she is a little bit out of control and I need to get her in line with us. I need to make walking a fun, controlled thing, not something where she pulls me along. I want to be able to enjoy running with her and I can only do that after she has tired herself out a little. So, this is the solution I have come up with for now. My hubby was very surprised when I told him I had ordered one, given my strong opinion about them, but I’d never really seen one in person and had taken my opinion from the movies. I know there are people out there who disagree with them. I just need a good training device that will work with my dog and work fast. And my neighbour has been able to train a golden retriever puppy very quickly using hers. And she never looks like she is in pain, she just stops the bad behaviour immediately and wags her tail. I’m all about that!
Ok, well have a wonderful day and or night, wherever you are! Thanks for reading and please feel free to comment and to share my blog. Don’t forget to like my Facebook page: aussiemumsadventures and email me directly at aussiemumsadventures@gmail.com. And remember, you will never be younger than you are right now, so enjoy it! 

Challenge Accepted Day 44/Day 2

The shock collar is ordered! My heart is racing with both adrenalin and a little bit of anger thrown in. My bloody dog, that I love incredibly has finally pushed me beyond the limits. And other people’s dogs have instigated it. What am I talking about? So I leave the house this afternoon ready to go and pick Ally up from the bus with Luna as I no longer take her on my morning or afternoon walks with Maddy because too many people let their dogs off leash and I am not ok with it. Especially when your dog can be aggressive. There are too many kids and too much action. Your dog should always be on a leash unless it is completely non-aggressive and completely trained. My dog is completely non-aggressive but she’s not well trained. In fact, she’s a little shit. So, today, this lovely golden retriever that is obsessed with Luna as it is, is off his leash as we walk out of the house and his owner (before knowing we were coming around the corner) throws a ball in our direction (right down the middle of the street mind you). Well the dog isn’t interested in the ball anymore once he sees Luna and he comes pounding down to us and jumps all over Luna, well she jumps all over back at him because she is not trained and she loves everyone and she’s a little so and so, and next thing you know she has twisted off her collar and is running full pelt away from me with this other dog, I am running down the street getting crankier and crankier by the second because I know my dog isn’t going to listen and she completely surprised me by getting loose. Eventually, she came back, the street was full of people, I very loudly said every dog should be on a leash and walked back to the house. Luna is now grounded and I am furiously typing away because I am still cranky. I know we don’t have a park, I know that lady and her husband both walk their dog, and their dog doesn’t listen either, it is a busy street and dogs get hit by cars and my dog is one giant ball of craziness and now she is getting a shock collar. Done. The issues I’ve had with dogs since we’ve moved here is ridiculous! What happens to Americans when they move overseas with their dogs? Why would you feel the need to just let your dog run through the neighbourhood as a free for all? I guess I wouldn’t be so cranky had we not had, not one, but two, run-ins with the other lady and her dog. For some reason she just thinks her dog can run around free, her dog started growling at Luna and getting ready to attack whilst there were kids around. I’ve been attacked by a dog, I freak out at dogs growlIng and getting ready to fight. The only thing that saved my wrist was my metal watch that this dog who attacked me many years ago, broke when he tried to bite me. He still drew blood but he came away with my watch in his mouth rather than my wrist. I have a real fear of aggressive dogs. I just don’t like dogs running around free when there are kids the dog doesn’t know also running around. Dogs are animals, if a kid does something to a dog, the dog is going to bite them, as it should, because that’s the only instinct the dog has. And kids can be animals too. Owners should always be aware of their dogs and their dogs’ needs. Just as parents should always be aware of their kids and their kids’ needs. Sometimes we can’t do it, like today, but most of the time, we can. Right, rant over. And here I am doing something I never thought I would do, in fact, I was downright offended when a friend suggested to me I should get one for Luna, but she is right. I’ve done everything to try to train this dog and she is not listening and I will not have her doing that again, so shock collar it is.   
So that’s how my afternoon started, but my morning started with saying au revoir to my girls then coming back and starting on ‘Plyometric Cardio Circuit’ and seriously going OMG! I thought I was doing ok, I remember why I love T 25! That reason; because it’s 25 minutes plus a 3 minute cool down. This; holy wow! This is intense! I forgot how intense it was! I couldn’t even complete the third drill, I think that’s what he called it when you do the basket ball drills, the level one drill, the ski (?) drills and the up/down drills (where you’re down in plank and you bring your feet up together and have to jump up). Anyway, by the time round three came around, I was done! I managed to do the cool down exercises, but man, I was both shocked at how many exercises there were and shocked at how tired/exhausted I was! It was intense to say the least. Tomorrow, I have a big day again. I have to go and see the school, because today my Korean American realtor/real estate agent, came over and read through all the paperwork and is trying to get some questions answered on our behalf. We don’t think Hunter’s should go on the field trip on Friday. Just because the bus drivers here are well beyond crazy, in fact, they are the craziest! 2 hours on a bus to Seoul, by himself, with a crazy bus driver? No, it’s not going to work out. I know he’s not actually really by himself but he’s three and with lots of people who don’t speak the same language and it’s his first week of kindergarten, no, it’s just not going to work out at all. 
After all the drama of the dogs, I was finally able to take a few minutes and get my painting finished. Not sure if I want a tree in the right hand corner or if I like it as simplistic as it is. Either way, I like it. I’ve given you two different perspectives of it depending upon the light you view it under and honestly, neither of them really show the colors as I see them. Anyway, I would love to know what you think. Here’s the other version:

  
As far as Rodan and Fields, my skin is feeling great, I’ve just ordered the Reverse regimen to do as my next challenge. Unfortunately the MACRO E has sold out and is gone. As are all accessories right now, but they promise to bring more back (accessories of course), yes please. I’m looking forward to revealing to you all just how wonderful my skin looks and how great it feels. Right now though, hubby is at work, it’s nearly midnight, and I am off to catch some beauty sleep. For the last four days I’ve cut out the Benadryl (Kim you will be happy) and used either meditation or melatonin, both of which have meant about 4 hours of sleep per night. Of course hubby is out on this night and tonight’s the night it all catches up with me. So good night, may you find happiness in the smallest things no matter where you are! 

Challenge Accepted Day 42

Tonight I’m feeling very somber, I don’t want to get you down, so I’m just going to keep today’s blog short and simple. This has been a very sad last week. First a friend in a horrific motorcycle accident and possibly paralyzed, then a friend fighting a losing battle with cancer, now my friend’s father has passed away. To say this last week has been sad is to put it very lightly. 
We did very little today. Everyone was worn out from so many things going on, I wasn’t in the mood to explore or seek out new destinations, hubby was still recovering from his enormous week, the kids were starting to realize they were going back to school tomorrow and we had a house to sort out to enable our new IKEA purchases were going to fit in. The day, although seemingly nice, was extremely windy and quite cool. A good day to stay in. Hubby built all of my pieces and wow! I am so happy with everything. In fact, we have even decided to keep the island from Costco as a good little liquor cabinet thing. It just works. 

  
The kids and hubby watched another Harry Potter movie, and I painted. I am confirming my Insanity start tomorrow and I will take before pics for that new challenge. I also have less than 20 days on the Rodan and Fields challenge and my skin is feeling wonderful. I’m really sorry to my T25 supporters that I am unable to finish the challenge. Tomorrow will show if the has been any change in at least the alpha portion of the challenge and we’ll see where ‘Insanity’ gets me. 3.5 weeks before my birthday too!! 
Well, I’ll finish it off with a photo of my current painting. It’s nowhere near finished, but I’m happy with it so far.

  
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If you too are interested in taking the Rodan + Fields 60 day challenge: http://www.slongmorescott.myrandf.com

Challenge Accepted Day 41

Today has been a sad day. I found out this morning that my friend passed away yesterday, she had cancer. She thought she had beaten it. It came back in full force, terminal. Yesterday, cancer won! The world lost. One of the good ones, gone. I’ll, be back to touch on this more on another day, but for now, that’s all I want to, all I can share about it. 
I do have some other disappointing news I’m afraid, nothing compared to how I started this blog, but disappointing as far as this blog is concerned anyway. Given the circumstances surrounding my T25 beta selection, I’m going to have to end my T25 challenge early and start a new challenge; I’ve chosen Insanity! I’ve inspected the DVDs and all look good, though I think my pioneer DVD player that I bought in 2001, may be half the problem also. I’m looking for something to be able to clean it up – any suggestions would be appreciated. I don’t want to get rid of it because it’s dual voltage and worldwide region and I’m attached to it, but it surely needs a clean 15 years later…..
Well, what a day we had today. Our first experience at a South Korean IKEA! It was crazy! I thought Costco was bad but IKEA was a nightmare. I have never experienced anything quite like it. Koreans are a very kind people but they move like they drive, they will literally push you out of the way if they need to get somewhere. We find it rude, culturally, but to them, it’s just the way it is. I’m doing my best not to get offended and today was really good practice for that! Hunter did freak out a little bit because there were so many people but the good thing is we stand out, all of us with golden blonde hair and all, so there was never any danger of getting lost. But at times, it was standing room only in the biggest IKEA I’ve ever seen in my life. That place must trade in the millions (of Korean won of course) on a daily basis! We alone spent our fair share of money in there! It was great though. Crazy, but great. Anytime we needed anything, we just found a store worker who normally spoke enough English to put our Korean to shame. We bought a new, bigger and better kitchen island, so I now have the pleasure of returning the other one to Costco, because we just aren’t happy with it at all. Once again, I hope Costco is as understanding as they are in the States. We also bought some storage for the laundry as it’s driving me crazy in there. Nothing goes into the concrete walls and nothing sticks to them because of the humidity, we have very little storage in this house and the laundry has now had to become our pantry as well, because there wasn’t even a decent cupboard to hold food. When there’s five of you and a cat and a dog, you need to have somewhere to put all of your food. Hopefully, what I’ve bought will work and will clean it all up. I never feel like the house is clean because there’s clutter everywhere. I’ve gotten rid of so much since we arrived here yet still have too much junk! A planned yard sale at the end of April combined with more decluttering, should get me somewhere! 
Everything else we bought was small or insignificant. One thing we did buy and I’m excited to start using, was a summer duvet. We use duvets or doonas (pronounced Doo-na) in Australia and they are used throughout Europe also. They are either feather and down quilts or wool or man made materials inside of a quilt type fabric. The difference is they are plain and you buy interchangeable covers for them as necessary to make your bed coverings the way you like them. It also means you don’t wash your duvet regularly, you just wash your cover, not ruining it like one does a quilt type spread whenever it needs to get washed (which is on a regular basis). My friend Trine who is Norwegian, introduced me to the idea of having both a Summer and a Winter duvet. Well, last night, and this may seem like TMI (too much information) but both hubby and I awoke absolutely saturated and no, not from anything fun! It is so humid here that one sweats immensely. I am not a sweater, yet I was drenched. It was disgusting! We talked this morning when he said he had woken up the same way and realized that the winter duvet we have is just too heavy and we need to do something about it. I told him about Trine and James and how they use both a Summer and Winter duvet and suggested we do the same. He was all about it. We both like to have a covering over us at night but this was just too heavy now and we also like to use the feather and down comforters, which actually offer a nice breathability, as does wool. IKEA was the perfect place to buy one, so we did. We thought about getting another cover but honestly, I’m still loving my white cover, especially as it is coming into Summer and I have my lovely blue accents to go with it, so I’m just going to stick with it for now and look next time we go (yes, we shall go again) for some new sheets as well. 
We eventually finished up at IKEA with 400 won each, soft serve ice cream cones (well, the four members of my family did & they were terrific apparently, especially at the equivalent of less than 40c) and moved on to the outlets next door. These outlets are not really what we would consider outlets. Most of the items in there were overpriced as far as we were concerned, even the stuff that was 50% off. Hubby showed me a really nice light pink water resistant golfing jacket from Nike and it was on sale for Korean won 129,900, that’s about US $120.00. In the States at a Nike outlet store, I would have expected to pay about $80. The same went for most of the stores in this place. The only time we found a bargain was when we bought Ally a new pair of trainers (she has been complaining and looking for new trainers for the past 2-3months) finally, we found some. They’re a ladies size 6 mind you, the smallest size they had in the store, and they fit my 11 yo daughter who is one of the smallest (as far as height goes) in her grade. We always laugh because the running joke (pardon the pun) is that she needs to grow into her feet! Anyway, they fit her well when we put her inner soles in it (she has flat feet) and were 39,000 won, cheaper than all the shoes I was looking at online and she was able to try them on. Perfect. I’ve just bought new inserts for her too, so they’ll be great in her new shoes. That was literally the only thing in the 5 levels that worked out. Otherwise, I wouldn’t waste my time going there again. At the time of writing, this is the only IKEA in South Korea, (Gwangmyeong) so you’ll know where I’m talking about. Don’t bother with the outlets next door. It’s just not worth it. 
We returned to our car and made our way back to Osan Airforce Base as the family had decided Chilis was on the menu (this is an American chain restaurant that has somehow made its way over here to a US Airforce base). I haven’t been all that impressed with it so far, but they all love it for some reason and tonight I finally found something on the menu I actually liked. Normally I’m a chicken kind of person at a restaurant, but all the chicken in this Chilis seems to have a lemon base in the cooking method and I don’t like lemon and chicken together unless it’s in a marinade and even then, I’m not the biggest fan. So it took me forever to decide on something and I was about to give dinner a miss altogether when I spotted something called the steak fajita quesadilla (I think). It was really good. No lemon in sight. It was just a very good meal. Far too much food for me, but good nonetheless. The steak was cooked well and was actually not very fatty, I got a blend of cheese rather than ‘jack’ cheese and it all worked well together. I highly recommend it if you’re heading to Chilis, Osan for dinner. We had some highly energetic kids still so we wandered over to the exchange store to look for some ‘slippers’ for Hunter for school on Monday. In Korean schools, you have to take your shoes off before entering the classroom, so you need some slipper type things to be able to wear inside there. I’m not really sure if I got him the right shoes, but we ended up getting a pair of adidas ‘flip flops/sandals’ and are hoping that not only will he be fine because of the little massaging pointy bits, but also that these will work as ‘slippers’.

  
I’m a tad nervous for him going to school on Monday. We keep talking about it but I’m just not sure how he’s going to do. I guess we’ll find out soon enough! Anyway, we found Madison a pair of trainers/runners as well and hubby found a lovely pair of dress shoes to match his new suit. All in all, a successful shopping trip. By the time we got home it was very late and dear son was sound asleep and we still hadn’t gone to visit the cats! We raced over there to find things a little amiss. Carpets moved, or rolled up. Different lights on. Weird stuff. The girls and I were a tad freaked out so I immediately sent my friend a message asking if anyone had come by today, thank god she answered almost immediately confirming someone had and apologizing for not letting me know. Then my phone died. We hung out with them for quite a while and when we finally got home I was able to get the full message about her friend stopping by and all being ok. Once home I did my nightly Rodan and Fields regimen followed by my AMP MD roller before sitting down to write my blog. And here I am. It’s almost 12:30am – I’ve missed my blog deadline. The girls are sitting up with hubby watching Harry Potter, and I am having a glass of wine or three and toasting my friend. I hope that you and yours are safe and well and you give all of your loves an extra squeeze tonight. Thanks for sticking with me and as always, pleas email me at:

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Let me know too what else I can do to get more readers and to grab your attention. I was a little lifted today when I realized I’ve got over 400 people following my blog. Thanks for your support! It’s really appreciated! 

On a side note, I cannot take credit for the main image for this blog but I did find out as I was researching images for it, this is literally IKEA’s largest store in the world. Credit to ‘The National’ for their image. 

Challenge Accepted Day 40

Another day in beautiful South Korea. I’m not going to call it a good day or a bad day just another day. It was interesting. I had hoped to meet my girlfriend in a city called Daegu today. We travelled here (to South Korea) together and the story of our travel is pretty funny. Another day though. Anyway, we became fast friends during our respective journeys and I am so glad we did but we are just far enough away from each other that things keep popping in the way, yet close enough that we should be able to sort it out! I thought today might have been the day. Missed communication, combined with a planned dinner date tonight with hubby and his ‘work-wife’ and her husband (it’s an Army thing) – that didn’t even work out because she ended up having to go to Daegu (of all places!!!) and my hubby went to Seoul, meant it just didn’t happen. But it needs to. I feel like we need to ensure our friendship endures. We have both had some adjusting to do whilst here and neither of us are ‘loving’ it here yet, but we’re getting there and I know we’d do better if we each made a bigger effort! Also goes back to the one car thing. I have to be here in time to pick my hubby up if I want the car then there’s the school bus pick up when the kids are in school and it’s a 2 hour journey on a good day! So many variables get in the way of our social lives! I’m not sure how other Mums/Moms do it! For me, it was enough just trying to get to a farewell lunch for a lady today after our original plans didn’t really work out. Up and out of the house at 0430 to drop hubby off just so I could have the car, it almost wasn’t worth it to get up at that hour, then I remembered that today was the last day of Spring break so it was worth it to get out and do stuff. Though, nothing went as planned….
It’s a pot luck. I’m up at literally ‘sparrow-fart’, I start thinking about what I could make with what’s in the fridge/freezer. Stromboli. Yum! My one-coffee mind thinks yes, defrost it and get it happening, my one-coffee mind doesn’t take into account size of microwave versus size of glass container holding the frozen bread and that it won’t turn around in said microwave. I put it in there anyway. Low and behold, however many minutes later, one side of the bread has started to cook and is now ruined. Shit! What now? Spaghetti and pasta. Everyone loves spaghetti. Oh dear, no spaghetti sauce! I’m going to have to make it and double time it to get all the ingredients loving each other (as they should in spaghetti sauce). That’s what I do. It’s a little bit of crushed tomatoes, meets a little bit of tomato paste, meets a little bit of tomato sauce. Onions and garlic join forces, as do pepperoni (I know, I never thought I would be putting pepperoni in spaghetti but it’s a winner with kids) and ham. Mince (aka ground beef) with red wine and lots of seasonings including basil pesto, all top it off. For the next 2 hours, all of the above mentioned ingredients happily meet and intertwine to create a yummy, kid-friendly spaghetti sauce. 
There is no workout today! I know, disappointing. There is something going on with my T25 Beta selection and I’m not sure about what to do. They used to work, now they don’t. I may have to axe the T25 workout and move on to Insanity! After ensuring all DVDs are in good working order that is. I have done lots of running and walking and lifting and stretching, but none of it is in conjunction with any DVD. I haven’t figured all of this out just yet as it was all a bit of a surprise. I was going to give it more thought and further fiddling this afternoon but my afternoon disappeared in a flash. 
So we went to this luncheon/potluck/farewell. It was a bit weird because I didn’t know anyone and felt like a bit of an outsider, but all of the ladies were so friendly and inviting though not at first, even if any of them read this I have to share with you what happened when I first walked in; so we get there about 15 minutes late because I take a wrong turn. It’s all ok, I’m not too worried. We walk in the door and our host has to immediately go and deal with her two screaming children so I just stand there, crockpot in hand thinking “umm, ok…” No one turns to say hello, no says anything. I tend to my kids and put the crockpot in the kitchen and still no one acknowledges my arrival. It’s a small place. I’m thinking ok, I guess I need to take a leap out of my comfort zone and greet all of you, so I do. Finally, the 7 or 8 women who are there, start speaking to me. I don’t know about you, but for me, I was ready to haul my butt out of there very shortly after arriving! I don’t think any of them were purposefully being rude, most just didn’t know me and those couple who did were in conversation with their backs to the door and there were noisy kids everywhere. Anyway, not the most welcoming greeting I’ve been given but I did enjoy myself afterwards nonetheless. In fact, I really enjoyed myself and was able to connect with a couple of women and thought we could become firm friends. All good things must come to an end and I had to pick up some stuff at the grocery store and Mail off the package to my Mum (that I forgot to take with me on post). So 2.5 hours later, we finally left the party. 
Ally had decided to stay home, so Maddy, Hunter and I went to the commissary without a list, but using Mummy’s incredible baby-deranged memory. Yes, we forgot half the stuff! Oh well. Here’s the deal with the commissary, there are packers/baggers who pack/bag your groceries but only for tips. There are big signs in every commissary specifying this. As I explained to my daughter today, I think it’s a great service but A; I hate other people bagging my groceries. B; I hate being told to pay other people to bag my groceries. C; these people use more plastic than a small country would (the commissary has the worst plastic bags I’ve ever seen and, if given the chance, most of the baggers would triple bag your groceries) I have my own grocery bags that I use most of the time but sometimes I forget them and it drives me almost to the point of insanity with the number of bags these people think should be used for a couple of heavy items. On top of that, things are never put together or where I need them to be. I once watched as 2 baggers packed my groceries and used my frozen ‘freezer’ bags to put canned goods in because they were the sturdiest. Seriously, it really gets under my skin. I’m a pretty efficient bagger and I normally won’t do it unless I’ve got someone there to help me, like my 7yo old daughter today, but today really pissed me off. I was determined not to get stressed, I didn’t have very many items. I had brought in my own bags and had to tell them 3 times that I would bag it myself. Madison and Hunter unpacked it, I bagged it. We had one of those half trolleys/carts – that wasn’t even full. It wasn’t a long or difficult process yet, they started getting cranky because I was still bagging and the woman was asking me to pay. I paid then moved back to bagging the 7 or so items I had remaining. This man came over and started yelling at these women and I knew it was about me doing my own groceries. The cashier starts telling him (I think) that I wanted to do it myself and he is getting crankier and crankier. The door to the commissary decides at that point to close/open (hard to explain as I didn’t really see it) on my son’s head, so he starts screaming. I think to myself, I’m going to be very calm and I’m going to finish my groceries, my son isn’t bleeding, he’s not in tremendous danger or pain, he’s just gotten a fright) so I shall do what I’m doing then deal with him as we go to the car. Well, they all start freaking out (not about my son but the fact that now it is taking me too long to pack my groceries) and this man starts yelling some more and the ladies start pushing me out of the way. The whole thing turned into an ordeal. Yet there was only one person waiting in line and 3 checkouts open. I told them all they need to calm down and I calmly grabbed my son’s elbow as we walked out and asked him and Madison what exactly happened. This all took place in a matter of 30 – 60 seconds. It was weird and really pissed me off. Again, no one needs to dictate to me who packs my groceries, especially in a store the size of a 7-11. 
I got home a little cranky, grabbed the eldest child and the package and headed back to park almost exactly where I had been not 20 minutes before. We went to the post office, she grabbed me some butter (yes, I thought it best I not go back to the commissary today) and we came home. Our little garden was looking a tad worse for wear and we were starting to compete in the white trash competition, so I decided to clean it up with the help of the children. We cleaned, we prettied, we organized and all looked great. The girls then asked if they could go and ride their bikes and after all their hard work, it was a well-deserved reprieve. Hunter and I played in the new yard until Daddy called asking for us to come and get him. I grabbed Maddy, leaving Ally with her neighbourhood friends, and off we went. We came back to find Ally with a fresh bandage on her knee and a bloodied wound underneath. She did well though, she came home, grabbed her Girl Scout first aid kit, cleaned and wrapped the wound and was riding back to join her friends when we came along. We left Maddy with her and headed back to the house. Hubby was exhausted but ready for an ice cold beer, he and I sat out on our porch with Hunter discussing our days. Our neighbour’s came over to talk/meet, (their girls will be in Hunter’s class on Monday) and it was nice to finally meet the husband, but all of a sudden our dear, clumsy, crazy son, crashes behind me and I see Rebecca’s face and think “What has he done now?” Well, let’s just say he came damn close to doing permanent damage to his eye and the kid has a very fresh graze and scrape all the way down the left side of his face. He had already started to get a black eye when I picked him up off the ground! How, I don’t know. Only our Hunter could do it though. Our neighbours left when he started screaming and our eldest came back from bike riding crying and the entire house was filled with drama for the next 30 minutes. Luckily nothing is permanent. Ally and her sister had a fight and Madison embarrassed Ally in front of all the kids, and Hunter, well Hunter is truly a drama King and I’m sure he has a not-so-secret desire to do some permanent damage to his face! One day I’ll tell you about all the stuff our 3yo has done to his face! There was no emergency room trip today, but the sting is very real and he must have had a bit of a headache tonight as I gave him ibuprofen for his pain and he was out. No, he didn’t damage himself so badly he had a concussion, yes, sometimes it can just hurt like hell. Yes, I just went and checked on him after writing that to make sure he is ok! 

  
  

 
So, basically today was a failure as far as T25 was concerned, though I did do both my day and night regimen of the Rodan and Fields Redefine. No AMP MD though. It was a failure as far as Stromboli was concerned but a winner when we talk spaghetti. A failure when it comes to entrances but it evened out when it came to staying the course. Both hit and miss in the commissary. Definitely some parenting wins and fails as well. Hence the reason why today was neither good nor bad, we shall call today and equilibrium of days. A day where  everything met to give an average of ok. 
I hope though that for you, your day and or night is amazing! 
Email me with your suggestions at aussiemumsadventures@gmail.com

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Challenge Accepted Day 39

So my hubby finally got home at about 0100 this morning and was full of talk having gone beyond his normal bedtime, though after he was done telling me all about it, literally crashed in 5 seconds. Sometimes the man drives me insane! How can one go to sleep so quickly? For me, well I lay there and lay there, finally allowing my darling Jasmine to come in and sleep with me. It’s not too often this happens. Jasmine is the loudest purrer ever firstly, secondly, she feels like she needs to show me her love by being as close to my head as possible and by digging her claws into me. I woke up this morning with marks all over my chest from where she had ‘lovingly’ clawed me throughout the night. And throughout the night I had to take cover under my pillow so she didn’t lovingly claw my face. It sounds like she’s being mean, but she’s honestly not, it’s just the way she is. It also means I don’t let her sleep in our bed very often anymore. Madison and Ally do though, unless she’s mean to them throughout the night and I mean properly mean, not lovingly mean- Yes, there’s a difference. Anyway, she was so cute, how could I say no to that sweet little face? 

Onto today; Another day, another adventure. It was actually a fairly nondescript day today, although, my TV and I nearly came to blows this morning. T25 RIPT Circuit doesn’t work with about 15 mins 20 seconds to go! I fiddled with it, I fast forwarded, I stopped, I skipped and attempted to rewind but nothing. Not a damn thing would happen after that time. By the time I got done getting angry, I honestly wasn’t sure what to do! How am I going to incorporate RIPT Circuit when I don’t have over half of it available. Any suggestions would be most appreciated please. I am truly at a loss and not sure what the best thing to do is. I didn’t continue with anything else thereafter. I tell you. It would be so easy to give up right now if I wasn’t accountable to all of you who read my blog. 
I washed my face using the morning Redefine regimen, then folded laundry. It was all very exciting. In the meantime, Maddy’s friend came over for a play date so that was wonderful for her, given big sis had her friend here for a sleepover. Only problem was then little brother felt left out. Luckily he was in the mood for a movie so I put Big Hero 6 on for him and promised he would have one of his friends over for a play date today or tomorrow, sure enough at 3:30pm, his friend came knocking on the door, so he got to have his play date too and Mummy kept her promise. Today it was like my house was the kind of house you would see in ‘The Cosby Show’ or ‘Growing Pains’, it was the kind of house I always wanted to be in when I was a kid, but we lived on a farm too far away from anyone for anyone to just pop over. It was great though. Not that I would want it everyday and I know my hubby certainly wouldn’t but it’s nice to know the kids want to come here and play and that this will be a regular thing. It makes me happy to know we have a welcoming home. 
This afternoon was spent painting and I really got into it and came a long way on what I hope will be my best painting so far. We finished the project for Grandma and Grandpa and will get that off in the mail tomorrow afternoon, hopefully in time for Mother’s Day. Grandma has another present in there so this is just a bonus thing for them so I will share it with you on here and if she sees it, well, it’s ok. 

  

I’m honestly not even sure where they would hang it up and it will just be one more piece of junk they’ll have to find a home for (sounds harsh I know, but none of us are super sentimental like that, we adore this stuff, but then it gets put away somewhere for safe keeping.). I just really liked the idea when I saw something on Pinterest, so I wanted to make my version of it, forever safekeeping their footprints at their current size. Anyway, this was my first attempt at calligraphy style writing too, not bad. The present I did get my Mum though is practical for her current needs, so I think she’ll like it too. 
We had to go out to dinner again tonight with hubby’s VIPs and it was actually a good, fun night. Our kids were amazing! They sat at a table next to us but they were independent and did so well at it! I was so proud. It meant hubby and I had grown up conversations and people could swear and tell stories without worrying about kids being near by. It was great. I felt like an independent adult too, not just like ‘Mummy’! Sometimes, when we go to places, my kids occupy my entire night and I don’t get to talk/socialize/do anything but deal with them, sometimes it’s like people don’t want to approach me because I’m a Mummy and that’s all I appear to be able to do. Tonight, it was refreshing to not be shunned to a corner, to talk to adults about adult things, to not be harassed every five seconds, to just be Sheryn. I know I’ll miss them being little, but every now and then it feels great to bask in the glory of their growing independence too.
All in all, though not an exciting day for many, for me it was quite peaceful. I’m looking forward to painting again as soon as possible, but I now have to awaken at 0430 to drop my hubby off so I can have the vehicle tomorrow. Bah! Yuck. Not sure why the Army needs everything to happen so early. I’m also a tad concerned that I’ll be out before curfew. It’s ok for hubby, he’ll be in uniform, but not sure how it works for me. Guess we’ll find out. It’s not like I’ll have been out on the town or anything though is it? Oh well, I’ll let you know on the morrow! 

Tonight’s plan is to do my night regimen then assess whether or not I’m too tired to paint 😜 Have a great day and/or night no matter where in the world you are and hit me with your suggestions for the T25 Beta RIPT Circuit please. 

Challenge Accepted Day 38

Last night I had a dream and in it my Nana (grandmother) pulled up in a really flashy Jaguar, no idea which model but it was full of class and she had her hair in a scarf looking like Audrey Hepburn or Grace Kelley, but she was older, she was still my Nan. I can’t remember what she said to me or too much about the dream, all I can remember is her smile. It was bigger and brighter than I’d ever seen it before. I awoke feeling good. Feeling like she had left me with a happiness. I got up and made myself a coffee and sat down to look at my news feed on FB when it came up that I had memories from today, April 13th. Given its school holidays, I haven’t really been tracking the date; today would have been my Nan’s 113th birthday! How weird is that? I’m not what one would consider a religious person. I have my beliefs, including believing in God, I just don’t believe in religion as a concept, I’m also not too sure about the old heaven and hell concept, but what I do know is that I awoke with the feeling that my Nana is happy, she is content, she is in a good place. 
The other thing about today is that I had a baby due today. Not something I talk about or share very often. I’ve had two miscarriages, one at 8 weeks and one at 13 weeks. The latter happening right after I’d announced it to everyone! I guess because today’s my Nana’s birthday, I got really excited to have a baby due on it. I couldn’t even tell you what day I miscarried on. It seems like so long ago and such a nightmare that I really don’t think about it too often. I’m not even really sure my hubby has any idea about how it all went down and I don’t think I can describe it for you in a blog, but it just wasn’t very nice and not something I reflect on very much. Put it this way, when I think of April 13th, I think of my Nana, not of my miscarriage but at some point in time during the day, it comes to mind. It’s all a little bittersweet, but today was made a lot better by the visit from my Nana in my dream.
I worked out; Speed 2.0! Wow! It was tough but good. I was hoping for a break somewhere in there like the stretching in Speed 1.0, but no. And you know what, I was thankful there wasn’t one, by the end of it, I felt great! Even if physically I’m not all better just yet. So much better than yesterday. The kids and I cleaned the house and I showered, did my morning R+F regimen and felt great, I do have some sad news from the Rodan + Fields desk though; my favourite tool is being discontinued. Yes, the MACRO E is only going to be available for a short time. So very, very sad. This is, in my humble opinion, is the Clarisonic on crack. It’s wonderful. My skin feels amazing after I use it. It’s even dual voltage. I love it. This is a sad day for the world. On a side note, let me know if you want to order one before they discontinue it, you only have until April 26th unless stock runs out before then!

www.slongmorescott.myrandf.com

It’s under the Redefine regimen, MACRO Exfoliator.. A tool of awesomeness! 
Ok, back to our day, we went to the market once again today and got some amazing strawberries and tomatoes. Yum, my favourite so far here. Even the lettuce and onions were good today, thank god, because the onions at the commissary yesterday were rotten and disgusting and the pickings were slim.

We paid our electricity bill to our real estate agent (yes, you can do that here for no extra fee) and looked at the variety of items they had out for sale at the market just a few doors up. Each time I go it gets a little bit bigger, it’s wonderful. Well except for the bunnies in a box for sale, that was pretty awful. My kids begged and begged for a baby bunny but I had to say no (50,000 times mind you) a. Because we have a cat and a dog already, and b. Because if we continue to purchase animals from people like this, they will continue to breed them in who knows what conditions and judging by the 10 or so bunnies in that little box all quivering and shaking, the conditions aren’t so great. Every part of me wanted to rescue them all, but how can I encourage that? And it’s for us you know, the Americans, the foreigners, that’s who those bunnies were aimed at. I couldn’t take a photo, I couldn’t even look for very long as it made me sick to my stomach at the cruelty of it all! I knew I only had so much resolve and my kids just thought I was the worst Mummy ever, until we saw the puppies that is! Then the begging doubled. Again, two little puppies in a box. I saw someone carrying one around that was almost identical, so I’m gathering they started the day with more. I just can’t do it and I’m willing to look like the bad guy to my kids if it means one less person breeds animals to make a quick buck! 
We finished our day with a Family Readiness Group meeting and it was great. There was a great turnout, everyone was enthusiastic and the future looks bright. So glad that’s one thing my hubby doesn’t have to worry about, nor me for that matter. I am simply there to advise and he’s got way too much on his plate! It’s 11:30pm (2330) and he’s at work. Got there at 0600 this morning. Came home for about an hour for dinner and went back. I’m so glad we got to spend some quality time with him over Christmas and the beginning of this year as I knew this was going to be a long and arduous road ahead in his new job trying to right past wrongs and ensure it is functioning like a well-oiled machine. He’s got good people working with him, so it’s only a matter of time. But in the meantime, the younger kids don’t understand why Daddy’s not here anymore, when he was here so much before. The military life. You have to live it to appreciate all of it! 
We came home from the meeting to eat my amazing curry that I had made earlier and I have to say it was very good. It was a Thai curry but the entire family (+1 tonight as Ally has her friend over again) loves naan (Indian bread) so we incorporate that into every curry and yummo! I’d say we got a 5.5 out of 6 tonight. Ally’s friend wasn’t too keen on the rice but she did suck up all the curry juice, so I’ll take that as a win! 
To end the night on another bittersweet note, my friend’s hubby (who was in the motorcycle accident) awoke by himself from his induced coma today, that wasn’t supposed to happen for another 2-3 days, unfortunately he still has no feeling in his legs. They are being transferred to one of the big Army hospitals where they can better assess him and what’s going on. Please continue to keep them in your thoughts. 
For me, it is goodnight. I shall do my nighttime Rodan and Fields Redefine regimen and hope my hubby comes home soon.
Have a wonderful day and/or night wherever you are! 

Challenge Accepted Day 37

Well, I finally worked up the courage to do yesterday’s workout and I honestly nearly threw up a number of times. My body just isn’t feeling too good yet, so no double workout today unless something dramatically changes. I’m going to take each day as it comes with whatever this weird thing is that has hit me. I’ll definitely be working out everyday (aside from yesterday of course) so I’ll be a day behind and will need to catch up somewhere this week, but not today. Today is going to be a day about art. My kids are doing a project for their grandma and grandpa and I am going to continue to paint. I wish I had started painting in Hawaii, other than a wall mural for my daughter that is. It would have been nice to sit out on the beach and paint. Yesterday, had it not been windy, would have been so inspiring to paint. Like I said, water calms me down and takes me to a place of serenity like nothing. So I finished my workout and began to feel normal enough to eat so I made myself a yummy lunch: 

  

Dear son did come in and steal some of my haloumi though, the kids loves it as much as Mummy! I cleaned the entire kitchen and had to immediately make all children more food as there is some instinct inside of kids that says as soon as the kitchen is clean, they require snacks and/or food that will use as many plates as possible. As I looked around at the new mess, I thought, “Why not?” I had bought a number of ingredients to make what looked like an amazing (super rich, bad, fattening, omg, I’m going to have a heart attack) dessert a while back and before everything went bad, thought I should make it. So I did! And it was just as good in taste as I suspected it would be. Yum. If you are a cheesecake lover, then this is for you! We ate it still warm out of the oven, but I’m suspecting cold it would be just as nice! I don’t know what would be an equivalent in Australia to crescent roll pastry but you could experiment with both puff and pie pastry and see which one works best for your taste buds. The rich center is what makes this divine. I’ve shared the link to the recipe on my Facebook page: aussiemumsadventures – check it out! 

    

The kids and I started working on the project for Grandma and Grandpa and the dessert was Hunter’s reward for listening and doing what I say, yes I’m that Mummy, the one who bribes when necessary with all sorts of things including food! They all did exactly what they were told and Hunter didn’t scream or anything and he hates anything gooey, messy, yucky, on him, so this was definitely a win! Can’t tell you too much about the project until it has arrived at its destined home. 
It was whilst we were waiting for part of it to dry that I sat down and caught up on Facebook posts and was greeted only with bad news. It has started with my friend’s husband, my hubby’s former soldier, who has been in a terrible motorcycle accident and may have a severe spinal injury. They have been operating on him for hours and have just induced a coma as he had to have part of his lung removed and a rib and so many other things. They don’t know the extent of his spinal injury but he couldn’t feel his legs. I called my husband to tell him and neither of us knew what to say other than the usual claims of, “Oh my God!” We never expect tragedy to strike and when it does, we don’t know how to express every emotion we go through. My friend is located in Germany, a long way from her family and his family. They have two little boys, they’re lives are before them. It’s unfair. They are good people. How come crap like this doesn’t happen to child molesters and murderers, why doesn’t karma work in obvious ways? 
The second thing I read is that Cayleb Hough’s remains have been found. I have been following and sharing Cayleb’s parents’ websites and sharing their desperate pleas to find him for months. He was last seen alive at 7am on Sunday, December 20th, 2015 in Highett, Victoria, Australia. I didn’t know Cayleb or his family, but I am a mother, so the heartache of not knowing the whereabouts of my children would be my worst nightmare. And now, their worst nightmare has come true. Cayleb was 17. The same age as my nephew. 
Sometimes, life sucks! We must appreciate every single moment we have with our loved ones. Right now I have let my girls go out and ride their bikes in our little ‘ville’ but I always worry about them getting hit by a car. Even though there’s only three streets, sometimes people come in here way too fast. But what should I do? Let them sit inside on their Ipads all day? Wrap them up in cotton wool? I’d like to do that, but they have to gain some independence too. They have to know their own boundaries. They have to learn to do some things without Mummy watching their every move. Being a parent is tough. Finding that happy medium between ensuring they have the skills required to make the right decisions through being independent learners and your need to protect them, is a fine line. 
So, I lay down for a while this afternoon and snuggled with my kiddos (after they’d safely come back in from riding their bikes) and we watched an episode of my now favourite go-to show on Netflix: Doc Martin. Brilliant. My headache was back in full force and my vision started to blur so it was a good way to hang out and snuggle and use excuses not to do anything. 

Finally I realized I hadn’t yet been to see the kitties today so we all went and saw them and patted them, well one of them anyway, the other one doesn’t like little people and I’m pretty sure she doesn’t like me by extension. It was funny when I went by myself the other night, just how different she was, she came over to me, rubbed her head on my leg and let me pat her, today she just sat in her chair looking very regal (she’s part Siamese) and wondering why I bought those hellions back with me! Oh well, they love her even if she’s not a fan of them. 
It was refreshing to take a walk after almost vomiting when I completed my earlier exercise. I kid you not, I took a selfie but I look absolutely awful in it, not sure I should share a ‘trying not to be sick, after-workout selfie’ with you all! Oh, what the hell! 

  

Tonight though I started feeling almost normal. I made a 7 layered dip that was absolutely sensational, my friend who’s cats I’m looking after had some avos (Aussie for avocados) that needed to be used – she told me to grab them – so I made my own guacamole and my own salsa, they both worked so well in this dish as the salsa was really spicy and the guacamole had too much lime juice on it, making the whole thing come together like a star! Given it was taco Tuesday, it was only fair to incorporate it all with our dinner. Hubby was absolutely delighted, in fact I think the quote was “Best taco ever!” I skipped the tortilla but did have another small piece of heaven (the dessert I made earlier) so can’t really say I cut any calories today, may have added quite a few extra on though! Oh well, sometimes one also has to remember that life is short and we need to take advantage of every single day we have! 

Remember, you’ll never be younger than you are right now! Have an amazing day or night, wherever you are. And if you have time, maybe spare a thought or two for a family who tonight are coming to terms with the fact they shall never see their son again and another family who are hoping for a full recovery for their loved one. 

Challenge Accepted Day 36

Well what a lovely day! I awoke feeling like rubbish still, but it was time to put the big girl panties on and get out and about. And out and about we got. My girls are on Spring break this week and today was a great start to it (other than my rubbish cold that is)! Our neighbor and newfound friend, Rachel put out last week that she wanted to go and check out this place called Anmyeondo island. I love the beach, I love water, I love the peaceful feeling I get when I’m near it and I needed to feel some of that. So I jumped at the chance to join in and travel there. We cancelled our dentist appointments and changed some other stuff around just so we could go. That’s how important it was to me. 
  
This past year has felt like a very long winter. We moved from Hawaii to Colorado in July, 2013 and although Colorado was in Summer at the time, it doesn’t really ever get over 80F in the Springs and that doesn’t qualify as Summer for me, just like Hawaii never got over 80 nor did it ever really get under 70F. So the weather suited me just fine because it was always semi-warm, whereas when it gets cold, I need it to get hot, just to balance me out. My friend Trine (Norwegian) doesn’t think it gets really cold in Colorado and perhaps compared to Norway it doesn’t, but it got down to -32C once (That’s -25.6F) aka bloody cold, too bloody cold for my liking! No one told me hair can freeze when it gets that cold, my hair was damp when I left the house and it froze almost immediately and a giant chunk snapped off, literally snapped. Goodbye hair, it was nice knowing you. No, thank you very much. I like my hair and I like my warmth and though she is one of my dearest friends, we shall always agree to disagree when it comes to Winter. It just doesn’t work for me. Off point, I know. 2015 was a year that seemed to me like perpetual cold. No, it wasn’t the coldest winter on record in Colorado, in fact it was a fairly warm winter, but it was still winter, then we went to Australia in July, my first time home in 5 years, almost to the day, and it’s winter, again. Yay (sarcasm) It hadn’t even gotten up to 80 in Colorado yet! The Sunshine Coast was ok, though I still desperately missed Summer, but Melbourne was absolutely freezing. By the time I get back to Colorado at the end of August, they have pretty much had 5 weeks straight of 80+F temps that all came to an end the week we arrived back, no I’m not kidding! We booked a cruise in January to try and locate some warmth, but even that only gave us one day of nice, warm, laying in the sun, weather and that was on our second last day.
  
We get to South Korea and it’s bleak and miserable and cold and we arrive in Seoul to -30C weather where we have to go and take our dog to play every day, at least twice a day and where the son does nothing but cry as soon as we head outside. It was truly miserable. The one thing about Colorado’s winter is that it is truly beautiful, picturesque probably better describes it. It may be cold and snowing but at least the sun comes out a lot and there’s beautiful mountains and scenery to look at, even on the coldest days. Not South Korea. The trees seem to all be deciduous, so everything looks dead in Winter. It’s cold and bleak with high rises and buildings and junk everywhere. The Koreans are extremely technologically advanced but they still don’t care about litter. I drove back from the beach today and watched car after car roll down their windows and throw stuff out. The beach was covered in trash in parts, just like the streets here. I hate it. I want to stop people in the street and say “what are you doing?” There are also no public rubbish bins (garbage bins) so what are people supposed to do with their garbage? I had two bags of garbage just after our picnic today, the first I left in the restrooms inside the garbage bin in there because I didn’t want to leave a bag of garbage in my car, the second, I took with us. 
Back to today; I would have liked to crawl back into bed, but my need for beach and fresh air was more important, even with an almost 2 hour drive each way! I get out of bed and get cracking early enough to get an esky (cooler) packed as well as our picnic, but not early enough to work out. I do my Rodan and Fields regimen and lavish my face with Reverse #4 sunscreen (my fave sunscreen ever) then have to get breakfast for all children whilst also getting the youngest two ready. I take lots of vitamin C and some medicine that will stop my nose from running. Then it’s time to drop hubby off at work before feeding the cats we are looking after and picking up hubby’s colleague’s teenage daughter whom I have asked to join us, then meeting with Rachel at 9am (0900 in military speak). Crazy start to the day, yes. 
We are off. It was a fairly easy drive given the Korean driving skills, no great drama on the roads, a couple of weird GPS turns, but I expect nothing less, and all goes smoothly. Rachel is leading the minivan convoy and does a great job. I’m a terrible driver/leader, I don’t know why but I always sit there and think the person behind me wants me to go faster or something, and here, all I want to do is go faster but apparently, the Korean speeding ticket is an absolute fortune and there are speed cameras everywhere, so I don’t take any chances. I actually led on the way back and my phone and my car GPS were going crazy with camera locations so it was really a matter of using my cruise control, but I probably also braked a lot and poor Rachel was probably like, “What are you doing?” But I’m not sure how anal they are with speeding tickets and I don’t want to take a chance, so if I thought there was a speed camera, I slowed down to the exact speed limit if not less. And it helped that my GPS lady shuts up when I slow down too!
There are 9 of us hitting the beach including 2 adults, two teens, one tween, and 4 kids all under 8. In our car, we are excited. I can tell you that we all looked at the scenery as we were driving through these regions and finally saw ‘beautiful’ South Korea. It was wonderful to see only green for a change, or green intermingled with flowering cherry blossoms. I wish I could share a photo of it with you, but unfortunately as the driver, there were no good photos. It didn’t help that I didn’t take my camera either! We crossed a number of large bridges to get to the island and it was truly magnificent. I go excited the minute I saw water! We had no idea which beach we should have chosen though, so it was a matter of guess work and between us, we ended up at a bit of a rocky cove, but it meant we found amazing shells! I have never seen so many shells in my life! It was truly amazing. And we collected a lot. Thank goodness Rachel had a spare ziplock bag for us to throw some cool shells in. 
Leaving my eldest on the beach with her teenage friend (because neither of them really felt like going for a walk) the rest of us did a short hike over to the next beach where we discovered some cool shells, tide pools and a big rock stack. A gorgeous scenic viewing area claimed some space at the top of a fairly steep (for my 3 yo) staircase, there were also bunkers (we think) in between. That was my guess anyway, perhaps dating back to the Korean War where sentries kept an eye out for invasion? If anyone can enlighten me further, I would appreciate it.

  
It was a very easy hike even with young kids and well worth it for what awaited us at beach number 3, Sambong. A real life beach, with sand, and few rocks but lots of shells and tide pools. My phone decided a good time to die was right before I got a great photo of the entire beach! What I did get a photo of and what excited me the most was when Rachel’s kids found starfish! Starfish! They were beautiful and they were everywhere. It was so exciting, possibly even more so for me than for the kids, I love starfish! I grew up next to the wate but starfish were something I remember from a kid in New Guinea, I saw some in Tahiti, I think, and some in Malaysia or Thailand (or both) and a couple snorkeling in Hawaii, but that was it. This was literally hundreds of starfish hanging out on the beach in tide pools. We spent a long time just rescuing some who were looking like they had been beached, were starting to curl up, that sort of stuff. I have tried to do some research on starfish rescue (or ‘sea stars’ as they are now known – Ally kept saying this all afternoon but I didn’t give her credit and yet she was 100% correct) but no one seems to know too much about them. Apparently many are committing suicide on the west coast of the United States??? Seriously! Who knew? But no one knows why! Maybe real estate prices? Very strange though considering they have no brain according to scientists. Anyway, the kids and I thought it better safe than sorry given sometimes starfish just have to roll with the surf and have no control over where they end up, better to end up in small tidal pools with access to mussels than not, I say. So that’s what we did. Between us, we must have rescued 50 starfish. And yes, we are sticking with rescued! My kids are heroes! Even Hunter who hates anything stick or gooey on his hands, was very happy to pick these babies up and deliver them to the nearest tidal pool – Hero! 😊
  
These following two photos are credited to Rachel White:

   
 We eventually decided, given the next beach was 10km away, to end the hike there and return to our original location, find my eldest, and let the kids just play for a while before making our way back. On the way back, it seemed like what was an empty path became filled with Korean tourists from a bus tour, all on the steep steps. After many ‘hello’s’ though we go to the lookout to see the last group trying to take a photo. I asked if I could help by taking a photo for them and they were very happy. Having no idea, I mean none whatsoever, what Koreans use to say smile in a photo, I used the go-to for any English speaking person, “Cheese!” But this one dude in the back row cracked me up when his response was: “Kim Cheeeeeese!” Kimchee, or kimchi is a well known Korean dish and this seriously made me laugh, just because I guess I was expecting something like it, but I wasn’t. Brilliant! Next time, that shall be my go-to line, not Kimchee, but kimcheeeese! 
Back to the beach we go where the kids get to play for a while and the weather has warmed up enough for us to remove sweaters for a short while. It was fun. Needing to use the toilet wasn’t mind you, given the barnacle/rock extravaganza that awaited us, but it was fun nonetheless. I took the lead as I previously mentioned, to drive home when Rachel’s app didn’t want to cooperate, and it was all good except for my speeding up/slowing down maneuvers of course. We got home at a more decent hour than I expected and hubby was actually in between (meaning he came home to change before going out again) so it all worked out as the kids got to tell him all about their awesome, amazing, wonderful day at the beach. 
Unfortunately, the minute I got home, it was like all the congestion that spent most of the day leaving my body, came back in full force, perhaps the ocean air was a big contributor, anyway, rubbish was how I felt! It was time to check on the kitties again and I was supposed to start T25 beta round but at 7pm (the time we were back in the house) all this body wanted to do was relax, instead, I had to get my kids the extremely gourmet meal of ramen (2minute) noodles – thank you noodle Monday and for the fact that sometimes I don’t have to be elaborate! I had leftover pasta, got everyone in respective showers, including myself. Did the night regimen, no AMP MD tonight either, and sat down to write this. There may have been some trashy Korean TV in between, a first for our family as we searched for something suitable for the kids to watch with us, and it may have involved ‘little people’, a video of my dog intently watching the show ‘Little People, Big World’ and I may have also let my girls watch that crazy show ‘Toddlers and Tiaras’ just to give them an idea about how I am a very normal mummy! But otherwise, a relatively quiet night! 
I hope your day and or night are magnificent, no matter where you are. For me, I just want to wake up without a sore, runny nose in the morning and be able to do a double Tuesday workout, given I didn’t do this one today! 
Happy trails! 😊