Wednesday, 3 January 2018

New Year, new you?

I posted previously about going to a women's physio to deal with my stomach gap after pregnancy. We had some moderate success in closing my diastasis recti, in fact we got my navel gap down to about 3 fingers and moderately deep. She gave me exercises every visit and I am still continuing with them, plus I started on the Mutu system which is when we really saw a difference in my passive measurement vs my active measurement.

But, as usual, life was busy and exercises became less of a priority. This year, I'm making them a priority. This year, I will be able to go to the beach in a bikini.

So, to keep track of my exercises, here goes: a weekly chart to mark them off.

Jan 1-6 M Tu W Th F Sa Su
Physio exercises (x2pd) XX XX XXXXXXXXXX
Mutu Core 2 (x2pd) XX XX XXXXXXX
Mutu Intensive (x4) X

I will post my 'before' photo too... taken at the start of Mutu a few months ago. I'm up to week 4 now (although I really think they should be called stages. I cannot progress beyond week 4 until I have my gap down to 2 fingers).

Got a shock on Friday morning when I logged in and found the programs had changed. New videos and different exercises. Frequency has changed too - you no longer need to do the Core exercises twice, just once. So that is easier to fit in while working. And the weeks have been renamed to modules, which makes more sense.

Managed to take some new photos at the end of week 1 also. As well as front and side views, I've got a view of the 'gully' - the gap between the muscles in my belly. You can see my measurement at the navel of 2 1/2 fingers.

Jan 7-13MTuWThFSaSu
Physio exercises (x2pd)XXXXXXXXXXXXXX
Mutu Core 2 XXXXXXX
Mutu Intensive (x4)X

Jan 14-20MTuWThFSaSu
Physio exercises (x2pd)XXXXXXXXXXXXXX
Mutu Core 2 XXXXXXX
Mutu Intensive (x4)X

Jan 21-27MTuWThFSaSu
Physio exercises (x2pd)XXXXXXXXXXXXXX
Mutu Core 2 XXXXXXX
Mutu Intensive (x4)X

Jan 28-31MTuWThFSaSu
Physio exercises (x2pd)XXXXXX

Mutu Core 2 XXX

Mutu Intensive (x4)X

I made it! 31 days straight of Mutu, and I didn't miss a single day. Sure, some of the core rounds were done very sleepily after midnight, but they got done all the same.

Quick evaluation: overall I feel stronger. My shoulders and arms are starting to show a little definition, my legs and butt are soo much stronger. A flight of stairs that used to take a bit of effort to climb is now easy (which is good as I walk up and down an unbelievable amount of times returning child-moved items to their original place). No noticed change in my belly yet.

Now, the photos. I will just note that the side view from January was actually my right side and I've flipped it to match this month, hence the difference in my flared rib that you can see in January and not in Feb. Will try to keep my photos the same from now on!

Saturday, 23 December 2017

Muffin Break Black Forest Velvet muffins

Last year, when I was still pregnant with my little girl, I took the boys grocery shopping and decided to give my feet a rest, sit down for a bit and eat a muffin. The boys aren't always that fond of baked goods, but I can usually get a few minutes of peace while they decide they don't like the food.

We stopped at Muffin Break for a coffee and they had a new limited edition muffin, Black Forest Velvet. Now, I like red velvet and I love black forest so this seemed like a winning combo. It sure was. I gave the boys a taste and that was it - little mouths were open clamouring for the next piece, one after the other, and I had to quickly pop the final third into my mouth so I could actually taste it myself!

So I was delighted when Muffin Break released a calendar this year which has the recipe. Black Forest Velvet all year round!

Black Forest Velvet Muffins

40 mins
Makes 12 Texas size or 20 regular muffins


1/2 cup (115 g) butter, softened
1 cup caster sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons red food colouring
1 cup sour cream
2 1/2 cups plain flour
1/3 cup cocoa
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups frozen cherries, chopped
3/4 cup chocolate chips

120g cream cheese, softened
60g butter, softened
1 tsp vanilla essence
2 cups icing sugar mixture
3/4 cup chocolate chips
1 tablespoon canola oil
1/4 cup frozen cherries
icing sugar, extra

Rated /5
based on customer reviews


  • Preheat oven to 180/160 fan forced. Place 12 muffin cases in muffin tray.
  • Cream together butter and sugar in mixing bowl until fluffy.
  • Add eggs, vanilla and food colouring and mix well, then fold in sour cream.
  • In a large bowl, combine flour, cocoa, baking powder, bicarb soda and salt, then fold through butter mixture until fully combined. Add chopped cherries and chocolate chips and mix well to combine.
  • Place red velvet mix evenly in muffin cases and bake for 25 minutes or until muffins have risen and a skewer comes out clean. Remove and cool on a wire rack.
  • Place cream cheese, butter and vanilla into the bowl of a stand mixer, or use a handheld mixer, and beat until pale. Gradually add icing sugar mixture and beat until combined.
  • Over a low heat, stir together the chocolate chips and canola oil in a double boiler until melted.
  • Ice cooled muffins with a swirl of cream cheese icing. Drizzle chocolate mixture over tops of muffins. Place one of the cherries on top of each muffin and dust with icing sugar.

  • Calories per serving: 575 cal
    Fat per serving: 28g

    Nutrition Facts
    Serving Size170.7 g
    Amount Per Serving
    Calories 575
    % Daily Value
    Total Fat 28g43 %
       Saturated Fat 16g80 %
    Cholesterol 88mg29 %
    Sodium 197mg9 %
    Total Carbohydrate 76g25 %
       Dietary Fiber 3.5g14 %
       Sugar 51g
    Protein 6.8g14 %
    Vitamin A17 %Vitamin C1 %
    Calcium6 %Iron15 %
    Daily values are based on 2000 calorie diet.

    Saturday, 15 July 2017

    Toilet training - regression

    Ah, nothing like the fun of thinking your toddler is now out of nappies for good (daytime anyway) ... until the regression hits.

    We're now in it. He's gone from taking himself to the toilet, and saying yes or no when you ask if he needs to go (if he hasn't been for a while, not being pushy), to leaving huge puddles on the floor. Sometimes several minutes after I've asked him if he needs to go and him saying No.

    I'm so sick of washing dirty items today. We had a dirty night nappy this morning (really unusual), which took about 5 rinses in the machine before I would put the rest of the wet stuff in. Bub had a nappy blowout which went all through her clothes and on her bouncer so I had to wash the cover. Then G jumped into her bouncer while DH was watching him, while I was changing bub and before I'd taken the cover off, so his fresh clothes that he'd had on 5 minutes after the last accident had to be changed again and put in the machine. And no sooner had the wash finished, E had one of his episodes of encopresis so there was another pair of undies to clean. G flooded 2 sets of clothes and one set of PJs today (we leave him in undies until bed so this was right after his shower - we get him to go to the toilet before shower too), so more washing. It's almost like he's doing it for attention. His behaviour has been really bad this week. Took me 90 minutes to get him to sleep tonight. DH was asleep on the sofa before any of the kids and after having dealt with numerous fights and tantrums during the day I'm over it by the time he's climbed up on the bunks to turn the light on for the third time and really could do with the co-parenting help.

    And I really need to mop the floors again and clean the toilets but I'm too tired to handle bleach safely.

    Am hoping there's an improvement in his behaviour, particularly his 'listening and obeying' skills, and reluctance to go to sleep, once he turns 3.

    Tuesday, 4 July 2017

    Toilet training - week 4

    We're now into the part of toilet training that is the longest, but easier than the first few weeks - where the child practices their new found skill. We have some days with no accidents and some with several (particularly in the afternoon and if he's refused to nap that day). We've had a #2 accident, but many more successes. The most important skill he's learnt - he's pretty much taking himself to the toilet now when he needs to go rather than me needing to ask.

    So I probably won't update now for a few months. By then, accidents should be fairly unusual and hopefully he'll be learning to wipe successfully. From experience though that can take years.

    Sunday, 25 June 2017

    Toilet training - week 3

    Day 1, he was overdue for a #2. He had a wee accident in the afternoon and I took him to the toilet, asking him to see if there was any more to do while I cleaned up. There was a tiny #2 in the bowl so he got praise and chocolate and I made a big fuss about how poo in toilet got 2 chocolates. After I put the boys to bed I was downstairs feeding the baby and he called out from upstairs, "Mummy! Poo!" so I assumed he'd done it in his nappy and took my time going up. Unlatched bub, took G from his room telling him to go to his mat and reminding him that poo in nappy was yuck and it belonged in the toilet, to which he agreed. Well, I got shown!

    Nappy was clean, so I asked him to sit on the toilet. No wee, he exclaimed after 2 seconds and got off so I put him back on and asked him to try a bit longer for a poo. Gave him a book to read... and success! Bub and I were sitting on the rug just out of sight so he wasn't pressured with an audience but could still see my legs. So he got 2 chocolates and brushed his teeth again and we tried to Skype my parents but they were out. Hubby was out as usual. Think G thought it was pretty good being up regardless and took several 'cuggles' with me and bub to get him lying down in bed again! E slept through the entire thing, he's such a good sleeper now.

    So pretty impressed that he knew to tell me he had to go, and waited that long for me to get him on the loo :) Think he's well on the way to learning.

    Nearly the end of the week now and we've had more #2s on the toilet, and he takes himself about half the time. The other half he can stop once he's realised and we can get him to the toilet to finish. We're on about 1-2 accidents a day, more if he's drunk more that day. So I can't yet venture far from home with him and bub on my own. However I'm feeling hopeful as I can see his progress. Another month or so, and I think he'll have the accidents down to 1 or 2 a week.

    I'm also leaving him in undies for his nap. Had one accident and six dry naps so pretty good. He's not had a dry nappy overnight at all this week though. I've put him in cloth overnight as he's not wetting that heavily, and a double stuffed cloth is holding it.

    My aim is to help him be reliably day trained by September when they'll start back at daycare one day a week, ready to get all the bugs out of their systems before I head back to work in November.

    Friday, 16 June 2017

    Toilet training week 2

    We've had a better week this week. I did timing for most of the week, that is taking him on waking and before sleep, plus 3 hours after the last visit. We had no successes with #2 but very few accidents with #1.

    On Thursday I stopped taking him at the 3 hour mark; instead I just asked if he needed to go. Also asked if he was showing any signs of needing to. He did very well with this and is reliably saying yes when he does need to go.

    Strangely enough he's had a wet nappy overnight more often than last week. Has stayed dry during his nap.

    Steps learned - he can hold his urine, during the day and sometimes during sleep.
        - he can hold until he can get to the toilet (just the time required for a short run to the toilet and taking clothes off)
        - he is learning when he needs to go for #1 (he calls 'Ow! Hurt" and I ask if he needs to go, he replies with yes. He doesn't yet just take himself there each time)

    Next steps to reach - he needs to learn when he needs to go, for both #1 and #2s
        - he needs to learn to take himself without help (may take a bit longer with the upstairs setup as the step is not as high)

    Sunday, 11 June 2017

    Birth story - baby #3

    I had never been pregnant for this long before. I’d always gone past 40 weeks, but never 41 and yet there it was staring me in the face. I had made my next appointment with my midwife for 40+6, laughing as I told her I didn’t expect to still be pregnant at that point… but there I was. My previous pregnancies had had warning signs of the impending labour several days before, but I had had no signs yet of anything happening. On the morning I reached 41 weeks, I messaged my midwife and birth photographer to let them know nothing was happening yet. It will come, my midwife messaged back reassuringly, unconcerned.

    She was right. That night after I went to bed, there was a sudden sharp pain, I rolled over and realised my waters had broken.

    I was not having any contractions so texted my midwife to let her know and tried to sleep. My last labour (first VBAC) had gone for nearly a full day so I wanted to get as much rest as possible. After an hour, I started getting discomfort across my stomach. Nothing like contractions with my first two. I felt sick too and hoped I wasn’t getting food poisoning. Up and down to the toilet over the next hour until l realised the stomach pains were becoming regular. Then I twigged that this was what labour was going to be like this time around. Quite painful unlike previous, and I had to use all my concentration and hypnobirthing training to get through each one. I timed a few - 4 mins apart. Based on the last two labours I thought I had hours to go, but better get the birth pool filled now so it could help with the pain. 

    Shook my husband awake (took a while!) but once he realised what was going on he was alert and started inflating the pool. Unfortunately the noise of the pump woke my youngest and DH lost precious minutes going up to settle him several times. We should have started filling it with water immediately. 

    While this was going on I was stuck in the toilet upstairs trying to stand up before the next contraction hit. Called my midwife to tell her I was getting pushy and to come over. She was only a few suburbs away so I knew she’d be there quickly. I waited for the end of a contraction, got downstairs and called my birth photographer, who had a long drive ahead of her - by this point I hoped rather than expected her to arrive before baby. The sofa got covered with a waterproof sheet and DH went outside to get the hose to fill the pool. I was pushing involuntarily at the end of each contraction. My midwife arrived, took a look at me and told DH to stop with the pool and go wake the boys as the baby was coming now! She checked bub’s heart rate with the doppler as he ran upstairs.

    He came downstairs with two very excited boys and my camera, took a few photos and then my midwife took over photo duties and told DH to get ready to catch. She talked me through breathing through the last few pushes as the stretching feeling became intense, and then there she was… we were surprised and delighted to find we had a healthy baby girl!

    Baby and I were settled onto the sofa and vitals checked, a few minutes later then were car lights visible from the front of the house as my birth photographer arrived, followed shortly after by the backup midwife. The timestamp on my camera showed 6 minutes from the first photo to baby being born. I still couldn’t believe how quickly the labour and birth had gone. I had birthing snacks, hydrating drinks, snacks for my birth team ready, plans to tidy the lounge room where I birthed… our girl wasn’t waiting for any of that! From day 0 she has been very definite (and vocal) about what she wants or doesn’t like… I think we’ve welcomed quite a personality to our family and it will be a lot of fun watching our determined little girl grow up.