Teenage Woes to Totsy Toes

The last few weeks have been particularly tough on me. I seem to have run into a wall of exhaustion, no doubt brought on by the emotional and physical demands of looking after four children and in particular, one with problems.

Having four whole children is not easy. I don’t have four hands to deal with four problems at the same time. (Any plastic surgeons reading this, I could perhaps be persuaded into the experimental ‘extra arms for fraught adventurous mothers’ program). I don’t have the ability to switch between four conversations. At least, not effectively. Try as I may. And I only have two sides meaning only two children can cling to me at any one time. Although, apparently, four want to.

My son has problems and needs a lot of attention. He needs to be driven back and forth to doctors. Medicated. Observed for impulsive behaviour. He must be constantly encouraged to achieve every little goal from dressing himself (imagine prompting required to put on/off every single article of clothing) to being sat with for the entirety of his homework.

My four-year-old is four and needs a lot of attention. She requires the milk to be poured into her cereal. Her teeth to be brushed. The scissors from that high shelf. The peel to be peeled from her orange. An audience to watch her puppet show. Although she has recently learned to tie her own shoelaces. Phew.

My thirteen-year-old is a fresh teenager and that means she needs a lot of attention. Her hormones literally bounce out of her, yelling, “What about my period? Do I really need to go to bed? Get out of my room!! Sob, sob.Wail, bawl. Giggle, giggle. Guffaw, convulse. Give me food! And lots of it! Preferably chocolate.”
She also has dyslexia which necessitates extra support when revising for tests and exams. Which we she luckily has every week.

My sixteen-year-old is, gulp, sixteen which means she needs a lot of attention. Imprisoning Protecting her from those male predators young boys demands, it must be said, most of my concentration. And she doesn’t appreciate my efforts. No. Instead she woos them with her genuine smile and her real blond hair. Then has the cheek to brag to me about it and furthermore quiz me over safe sex, spot creams and the highs and lows of alcohol consumption.

Now I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking, that poor woman, no wonder she’s exhausted. Knackered. Worn out. Overfatigued. Sucked dry. Just generally pooped.

Or perhaps you’re gloating gleefully, “You should have kept your legs together!”

Either way… My weariness, once I finally found the time and energy to think for a few minutes, has forced me into decision-making mode.

And these are the decisions I have made:

  • From now on in, I’m only going to do a once monthly 101 challenges update.
  • I’m stopping going to the gym, I don’t have time. Each time I go, I lose a whole morning. And they say I need to go twice a week at least! Eek!! Unlike in British schools, afternoon school here is not standard, meaning afternoons are filled with children and thus with homework and studying, shopping, cooking, doctors appointments, therapy, taxiing, orthodontists… The list goes on. And on!  Therefore, I have to do all my ‘stuff’ and other necessities in the mornings. I’ve realised that includes time to think and to rest. So the gym is out – relaxing is in.
    That means I will be removing two of my challenges: Go to gym 101 times and Try 3 different classes at the gym. Sob.
  • But I still need to keep fit or even get fit so I will have to think up another, less time-consuming activity. Something that’s nearer to home. And doesn’t encroach on my mornings. (The gym is open all day, but because there’s no childcare afternoon/evenings I couldn’t workout then). So, I need to find two more tasks. Preferably two fit-keeping ones.
  • It’s the right decision. But it was hard for me to make. Commiserating chocolate/cake or even chocolate cake donations will be received with extreme levels of gratitude.
  • I’ve also decided to add a ‘Related articles’ section to my updates. So other 101ers who have recently written updates can highlight their posts on my blog. If you have an article you would like to be included please contact me with a link (either personally or through Twitter). I do read your blogs but unfortunately, time is not my friend, so I am sadly unable to read every post.

Despite my frazzled state I have managed to continue with some of the tasks on my list.

I’ve relaxed with a few films :-): Bridesmaids (hilarious), Rio (funny, nice for the kids), Horrible Bosses (Brilliant, really funny), Green Lantern (rubbish) and Ödipussi (not a porno, but another visit to my husbands German childhood. Review: Hmm… Well I did laugh at some of the slapstick scenes. I never need to watch it again though).

I’ve been experimenting on the family repeatedly with new recipes: focaccia, sesame rolls and roasted pumpkin seeds. We managed to eat the breads, but I won’t be winning any baking talent contests in the near future, let’s just say that.

And the seeds were really a lot of work and to be honest, it wasn’t worth it.

However, what was worth its weight in Euros was our Murder Mystery Dinner. I loved it. And I will write about it. It deserves its own post. As I was there, stuffing my face with Italian food, I had a sudden realisation: It’s a two for oner, Mystery Dinner and trying a new restaurant.

I’m good.

Or perhaps not. According to the murder mystery, I am actually quite bad. 😉

We have some more new challengers joining us, please show them your support:

Just Another Housewife

The Mccaskie Clan

The Wonders and Scary Thoughts of a Crazy Mummy!!

Mum Of One

Inspiration to Dream

Related Articles:

101 Things I Love (Part of the Day Zero Project)

I – Freak, You – ?

I have decided. I am a freak. I went back to the gym this morning (after a weeks break, real life keeps getting in the way) and rode and pulled and pushed and stretched.

And I am in pain.

And I like it.

Now, what sort of person does that make me? Enjoying pain?

To add to my growing interest in the gym, we now have our shiny membership cards. They are scanned as we enter and I found myself asking my husband what they do with the information. He couldn’t tell me and so my wild imagination started fantasizing on the drive home.

Firstly, I thought up a reward scheme. You know, a bit like a sticker chart. Whereby after so many visits, little prizes could be awarded.

They could start off with very small gifts and build up, say, to the gym’s t-shirt, which hangs proudly at reception.

I, for one, would go more often.

I felt quite excited by the prospect. Though, I have decided not to ask Michael, our industrious trainer. Because my husband already looked somewhat alarmed at my idea of asking if the fresh fruit in a bowl on the counter is for free. He convinced me after pointing out that it is, in fact, in a cafe area. I had to argue back that at another gym, which my friend attends, there is in fact always water and fresh fruit freely available.

Then I thought of completely the opposite scenario. It could be that if we don’t visit the gym often enough, that they torture/bully/threaten/poke us with cocktail sticks/take us to one side and have a little word about our ‘commitment’. 😮

Or it could just be that they need to know who is present in case of a fire.

It’s all gymslips and muscle men – Part 2

So, I have taken my 75 year old body (It’s all gymslips and muscle men – Part 1) off to the gym again this morning.

I’m sure it’s just something to do with our timing, but there seems to be a huge majority of old people at our gym. Of course, that makes me fit right in ;-).

Firstly, we do around half an hour of endurance training and then go on to the resistance training machines.

Luckily my trainer has allocated me weights of the least resistance. Phew!

I have had a bit of a debate going on with my toy boy husband, who expressed his opinion that I should be doing each set of exercises twice. That is, twice times thirty on each of the resistance machines.


He pointed out to me that is written in black and white on my training program. But I assured him that he’s mistaken. That I have to work towards double exercising.

Though actually, I couldn’t quite work out why the second column of the plan showed even more scary numbers. But I’d just figured those were future goals.

After our first proper training session last week we went for a dip in the thermal pool and I can tell you that surprisingly, the next day I felt really fine.

To reassure Reini, that I was in fact, in the right yet again, I marched over to the trainer this morning, plan in hand and asked him directly.

He looked at me with a look that one gives to, let’s see, a comic genius? And explained as clearly as he could, that I should be doing double exercises.

He admitted I might not be able to complete the full thirty on each machine, but if I could I should the next time increase the weights as shown in the second column of the plan.

After picking my chin up off the floor and squeezing out my handkerchief, I returned to the torture chamber machines and stretched and pulled and pushed and breathed – wrongly and tugged and heaved and almost vomited and struggled out between twenty and thirty exercises on each contraption.

I staggered with my two jellied legs into the changing room.

Still, at least I wasn’t suffering from breathlessness this week because I couldn’t figure out how to program the endurance trainers and was therefore forced to use the most basic setting.

It’s all gymslips and muscle men

Yesterday I went to the gym. Now normally the only real exercise I do is running to the sweetie cupboard. Tearing into the packet. And frequently lifting chocolate blocks into my mouth.

Admittedly I do sometimes stretch my face muscles with a technique known as cramming.

But now hubby has been having back problems and we’ve decided that there is no better way to while away the mornings than with a sweat-a-thon at the local gym. Well, at least somebody decided. It may have been a doctor.

Yesterday was check-in day. We had the chance to do a test drive and also be tested.

Michael, our trainer is nice. He has, what can only be described as a really good sense of humour. Throwing fitness figures about and comparing me to a 75-year-old woman. Joking with me about how to sit on a bike. Hysterical.

Then he teased my husband that with a bit of work, he could soon have the body of a 25-year-old.

I daydreamed for a moment, then thought:

Fuck! What have a 25-year-old and a 75-year-old got in common?