Sweeeeden!

Jippihoo! We will be in Sweden 27th June to 24th July this Summer, can’t wait to catch up with friends and family! :))

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Back again

Hello again! It’s been ages I know.. I decided to take a break from blogging among other things during the school holidays and instead spend valuable time with my kids. We were really lucky to have my best friend and her family from Sweden staying with us over Christmas and New Years. The weather was good but not too hot, the kids played amazingly well and we had many lazy days by the pool just hanging out. It was really sad to see them leave but it won’t be too long until we catch up again.
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Mike went back to work beginning of January and me and the kids were busy pretty much every day catching up with people that we had not seen for ages. Megan, Cayla’s physio therapist from TCCP organised a two days a week boot camp over three weeks which was lots of fun! I hope they will do more of that during the holidays since we won’t be at the centre very often now when Cayla is at school full-time.
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Other than the boot camp we didn’t have to many appointments booked in which was really nice. Only a post Botox meeting at PMH to review the effects of her last injections and set a new date for the next one. The post-botox meeting went well too and Cayla is booked in for her next Botox in April sometime. She will probably need some serial casting afterwards but that’s ok, we knew that already. It’s difficult to keep up with stretches etc when they grow so quickly at this age and serial casting is a very cheap and effective way of stretching muscles. Cayla is not bothered so neither are we anymore. We have also had an appointment with a paediatric ophthalmologist. The health nurse at school checked Cayla’s vision twice last year and she failed both times so we decided to take her to a specialist to make sure nothing was wrong. We have already had her vision tested at PMH about a year and a half ago and everything was fine so hopefully this test would be too. $285 and 40 minutes later we came out and everything was fine.
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The holidays went by way too quickly and suddenly it was time for the kids to go back to school and their after school activities. Nathan is starting year 3 and Cayla pre-primary! Both of them are doing swimming lessons and Nathan also has scouts once a week. Cayla was so excited on her first day and couldn’t wait to get there. I was fine until we were about to leave.. The teacher asked Cayla what she got for Christmas and Cayla answered something that the teacher couldn’t understand… I heard what she said and wanted to go to her and help out (as I always do)….. Even though I know she is in good hands at this school it broke my heart and made me cry. Cayla was absolutely fine and had a fabulous first day.
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So it has already been two weeks and things are still going well for both Nathan and Cayla. I am also getting used to having a lot more time on my hands with both kids at school every day :) I’m training a lot and spending about four days a week at the gym on top of my usual running. I have started a 12-week weight lifting program hoping it will make me lean and strong so I can run more efficient and avoid injuries. I have never done much training in the gym except fitness classes so feeling slightly uncomfortable but slowly getting there! Next race will be Darlington Half Marathon on the 16th March.

About two weeks ago Cayla fell on our wooden floorboards when jumping on top of a bean bag at home and hurt her front tooth… Can’t believe it has happened again as we only had one of her front teeth taken out at the same time as the Botox in October last year..! It did not look great and we straight away knew that it would have to be removed.. and after a visit to the dentist that was confirmed. The root of the tooth has been damaged and we will once again have a tooth removed with Cayla’s next lot of Botox in April. Front teeth are so overrated!
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So there we go, finally a bit of an update on what we have been doing the last few months. Will write more about Cayla and her new school soon. It’s such a great school and we are so so happy that she has got this opportunity! 

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Trip down South

It’s the day before Christmas eve and we are gearing up to celebrate Swedish Christmas with my Swedish friends tomorrow! This year we are hosting Christmas at our house and expecting 26 people..! 14 kids and 12 adults……. wish us luck! Celebrating Swedish Christmas is a massive highlight of the year and I’m so happy to have my gorgeous friend Michaela with her family here in Perth at the moment. The kids are playing non stop every day and spending hours in our pool which must be our best investment as yet! We are having a great time just hanging, drinking wine and eating cheese.. and our trip down south was awesome! First we spent one night at Preston Beach and then three nights at Yallingup Forrest Resort before heading back to Perth. The weather was perfect and we spent most of our time chilling out at different beaches in the area. After two days of rest I went for my first run after 6inch, only a short easy 3km loop on a beautiful forest trail near our resort.
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It’s great to go for a run and finally do a proper stretch… something that I didn’t really do after the race. I went for an easy 9.5 km with my usual running group yesterday and my legs are feeling really good! Very happy to have recovered so fast as after the Perth Marathon I couldn’t/wanted to run for a good few weeks afterwards. I haven’t decided what races I’m doing next year but will have a proper think over the Christmas break.
I’m just about to make a veeeery yummy ginger thins cheesecake for tomorrow’s celebrations. I make this every year and have posted a photo with the recipe below but unless you’re Swedish you may find it a bit difficult to understand!

Merry Christmas!

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6 Inch Trail Ultra Marathon Finisher!

Four days ago I completed my first trail ultra marathon; a 47.3km hilly race from North Dandalup to Dwellingup south of Perth! It was a very hot race (about 38degrees) and I’m absolutely stoked to have finished it! This year we have raised more than $4000 for
Cayla and other kids with Cerebral palsy through The Centre for Cerebral Palsy (TCCP). A huge thanks to our friends and family who have supported us and donated to Cayla’s Challenge, we love you!
I have my best friend and her family from Sweden here at the moment and we are chilling out in Yallingup about 3 hrs south of Perth as I’m writing this. I’m recovering really well from the race and I’m looking forward taking it easy over the next few weeks. Here are some pics from Sunday morning, love looking at these photos, so many great memories!

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Last day of Kindy

Yesterday Mike and I went to school for Cayla’s class Christmas concert and end of year party. They were so cute and did a fantastic job with their singing and presentation. Cayla thanked everyone for coming to the concert without using her talker and we are so very proud of her! Cayla’s last day was yesterday and she has now finished off her first year at school! It’s gone super fast and I still remember that first day of kindy, or maybe more the day before… how nervous I was.. and worried about pretty much everything. But it’s been such a great year, her teacher and aides have been awesome and Cayla has come so far. She is now counting up to about 20, writing her name and know pretty much all the sounds and a lot of the letters as well. She has made many friends in the class and hopefully we will stay in contact even though she will be going to another school next year.
Nathan still has a couple of more days at school before he finishing for the year and last night he attended a Halloween disco that the school arranged. It was very well organised as usual and he had an awesome time!

Gotta go now, we have a very busy weekend ahead! My best friend from Sweden is here with her family and it’s AWESOME to hang out with her! They are loving the warm weather and swimming in the pool most of the day. Can’t wait to have a proper drink with her but that will have to wait until tomorrow after I have finished my 47km trail marathon!! Woohooooo! It’s going to be about 39 degrees but hopefully we will have finished the race before it gets too hot! Four months of training and I’m feeling pumped!! Wish me luck and if you haven’t already donated to Cayla’s challenge please follow this link to make fast secure online donation :D
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Last playgroup and hydro

It’s the end of the year and the ‘silly season’ is about to kick off or possibly already has! I don’t really mind as our Christmas tree and decorations are up and all gifts are wrapped and hidden in our walk-in-robe! We have bought some more outdoor Christmas lights and it looks awesome and the kids loves it! Things you have to do when there is no snow outside and both Mike and I get pretty excited about it…! Though I wish the inside of my house looked like the picture below, it looks amazing! Just need an open fire and a dog..
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Both Nathan and Cayla are going well but I think we can all agree that it will be nice with a long Summer holiday soon. It’s been a great year so far and Cayla has come so far in many areas which we are so happy about. Her speech is not amazing but she is definitely improving! I feel so much better after we found out that she got a place at the Fremantle Language Development Centre (LDC). Not sure if she understand but we have told her that she is starting a new school next year and bought her a dress (uniform) which she loves. It’s a little bit sad that the kids are not going to be at the same school but at the same time I know that for Cayla this is an amazing opportunity and we are all still jumping out of joy that she got a place! Today we went to TCCP for her last playgroup and hydro pool session and met up with Cayla’s little friend Sienna. It’s a bit sad that we won’t go to TCCP for playgroup and hydro anymore and it’s crazy that she is starting full-time school next year.. I reckon I will feel really lost for a few weeks, or days at least ;)
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Well, it’s crazy how time flies but I have finished my big training load in preparation for the 6inch trail marathon (47km) on the 15th December! It’s been full on the last four months but I have really tried to take every day and week as it comes and put in my absolute best. I was doing fine until a couple of weeks ago when I did about 90km of running in one week, after that I started to get a little niggle in my calf. Went for a sports massage (or three..) but it wasn’t until I saw the physio for some needling and ultrasound that my leg started to feel better. I have also bought a pair of new shoes which has helped a lot. I really enjoy trail running and find it quite boring to run long on the road now. The first time I went down to North Dandalup where the start for the 6inch Trail Marathon is I really had no trail running experience at all. A friend picked me up at 4.30 in the morning for a 5.30 start. We did 17km out and back without getting too  much lost… and no snake sightings at all! It was a very hot day with 37 degrees so it took us over 4.5 hours but that was including stopping to ‘eat’ 5 carb gels, 3 x wee stops (weird since I never wee on a run.. must have been nervous!) plus getting a bit lost on the way back.
A few weeks ago we headed down to North Dandalup again we decided to do an A-to-B run instead of out-and-back as we wanted to see more of the actual race course. We took two cars and left my car at the 28km mark and drove my friend’s car back to the start and off we went. This race start with a tough climb of 300m over 1.5km.. and we were walking most of it but I’m sure the elite runners will just blast up that hill on the actual race day! We were running along fine until we got to the 17km mark.. that’s when I realised that I had forgotten my car keys in my friend’s car…..!!!!!!!! WTF!!! Very annoying, but luckily we were only 3kms away from the main road that would lead us back to the start. I’m so glad we didn’t run the whole 28kms to my car and then realised this horrible mistake…! I can add that there is absolutely no reception in this area… my friend was not too impressed. So we ran to the main road and then followed it 11kms back to the start. We had run about 31km at this point but our plan was to run 37-38km. My friend had a sore ankle and had enough but I felt really good so decided to do a few more k’s and finished of at 36km. Job done but I am never ever going to forget my keys in someone’s car again..! Lesson learned the hard way..
Last Saturday we did our last long run, it was a run that I was a bit worried about for some reason. We had to do 40km and decided to stay in the city and do this run on a flat road instead of the trails. I had been battling negative thoughts, crappy runs and a sore leg all week so it felt awesome to SMASH out my Peak Long Run of 40km feeling that great! Still can’t quite believe that I just ran 40kms in a training run.. crazy..! It’s amazing how you little by little can condition your body and mind to run long distances. Though there is no doubt that there has been a lot of hard work involved to get where I am today but that just makes this whole experience more satisfying.
Bring on the 6inch! :D
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Funky Monkey to Red Devil

Another week (or two..) has passed and lots of things has happened! The busy Christmas season has not even started and my calendar is full of things pretty much every day of the week. If I’m not out running or taking Cayla to appointments I’m out photographing a wedding, attending a birthday party, doing paper work, cleaning the house and so on.. but hey, I’m not complaining it’s all good :)

Last Sunday was Tough Mudder and believe it or not I had a GREAT time! It was muddy, wet and crazy but so much fun and I managed to complete all obstacles without too much trouble. Even the “Funky Monkey” (see photo below, I’m to the right in the picture) which was about 20 or so monkey bars to swing across. Plus I didn’t really get electrocuted at all, not sure why but I only got a small zap on my butt when crawling through one of the obstacles and did not get zapped at all in the last crazy 10000v obstacle! It was a very well organised event, great team experience, lots of fun and we will be coming back next year! But next year we’ll bring Gatorade as one of our team members got major cramp the last 5km but he still finished the race!
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The kids had their yearly Sport’s Carnival last week and it was such a hot day, sunny and 35 degrees..! It was Cayla’s first sport’s day and she did so well in her 50m race, yes, she did come last but not by too much. She was so hot and tired afterwards and didn’t really want to join in the obstacles with her friends. I don’t think she was feeling 100% and was actually home with a runny nose the next day poor thing.
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It’s not long until the 6inch trail ultra marathon and I’m training most days of the week. My midweek long run is up to 17km and because Mike is out cycling that morning I have to do this run on the treadmill….. yes people.. 17 kilometres on a treadmill!! It’s beyond boring…….. but sometimes you just have to get the job done..
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My upper back and calves were pretty sore after Tough Mudder, not used to all those obstacles!
I have recently started a 30day cleanse and detox program with only natural products in the form of shakes and supplements. I’m using these products as add-ons to my usual diet as I’m not trying to lose weight and burning a lot of calories from running. I’m only on day 5 but hoping that it will give me some extra energy which will be great in the weeks leading up to the trail marathon in December. At the moment I’m feeling a bit so and so to be honest but probably because my body is getting rid of horrible toxins. Hopefully it will change for the better in due course! I did 31km on Sunday morning and felt pretty good. This weekend I’m doing 35km on the trails with a friend. She’s picking me up at 4.30am as it will probably take us about 4-4.5 hours and it’s going to be a very hot day on Sunday. Hopefully we won’t get lost… or step on a snake….! There has been quite a few snake sightings lately….. maybe I should stick to road marathons instead..!austrailia_kill_you

Today we’ve been to TCCP as Cayla had an appointment with Dana and Michael at The Lower Limb and Foot Clinic. We see them about once or twice a year to review Cayla’s gait (walk pattern) and talk about serial casting and so on to improve things. I was expecting 3-4 weeks of serial casting as we always do this after Botox and was just hoping they didn’t want Cayla to have serial casting on both feet…. But you know what! Her range of movement is pretty good and they didn’t think she needed any serial casting done at all this time…!!! Yeah! Yeah! Yeah! Woooohoooooooooooo!!! I’m so happy I could fly to heaven! We just have to continue to aim for overall symmetry and do exercises where she will put more weight on her left foot by riding on her scooter and so on. Cayla’s physio Megan will see her for a few physio therapy sessions and give us a new home program to work on for the next few months. First a place at the Fremantle Language Development school and now no serial casting – happy days!

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She’s got a place!!!!

Sorry for the bombarding of posts today….. but I just opened our mail and found out that Cayla has been offered a place at the Fremantle Language Development Centre for Pre-Primary next year!!! I did NOT expect that at all so feeling both surprised and happy…! We have been so pleased with Jandakot Primary School this year and would happily seen Cayla continue on there. She has an amazing teacher and great EA in Kindy but at the same time, a school such as the Fremantle LDC is going to be fantastic for Cayla! It offers an alternative way of learning for kids with severe speech and language delay/difficulty from Kindy up to Year 3. After that they will go back to mainstream schools.
I had a meeting with Cayla’s speech pathologist Avril at TCCP yesterday and we were discussing how to incorporate a specific program to teach Cayla how to read and write by using her ‘talker’ (Vantage Lite) along with the normal school curriculum. Avril has spent a considerate amount of time and effort to find resources that can help us with this which I am ever so grateful for. I said to her that if I win the lottery I would hire a speech pathologist to work with Cayla on a full-time basis to really help her with her speech and language… and today I receive the letter from the Fremantle LDC in the post…. I pinch my arm… I cannot believe that she has got a place at this school wow….!

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It’s getting warmer!

Finally some warmer weather! It’s been a very wet Spring so far and as much as I don’t mind running in the rain it’s awesome to see the blue sky! It’s now light when I get up for my interval sessions at 5am and it doesn’t feel like you are the only one awake and out running. My training for the 6inch IMG_5665trail marathon is going well and the last two weeks have been huge! Last week I did 90km which is more than I did at the top of the training for Perth Marathon six months ago. Most of my running is done on the road but a couple of weeks ago I did half of the 6inch race course with some lovely people. We did about 24km on the trails north of Dwellingup and it’s was great running in the forest especially on the single man trails. Can’t wait to go back!
Mike and I train on alternative days pretty much and it’s working really well and it’s great to have our hobbies in common. I love that Mike is ordering carb gels and other stuff online for our training. He is doing so well with his cycling and is planning to do a huge race next year. It’s called 5 dams and is something like 250km long…..! I’m not sure what races I’m doing next year, my focus is on the 6inch in December this year. The race is just the motivator, it’s the training that I enjoy the most. Early morning runs are just amazing and it sets you up for the day in such a great way! I do two interval sessions a week and my mid-week run is about 15-17km. Today I did 15km on the Zamia Trail in Bold Park which is such a beautiful place near the ocean. It’s green, lush and hilly which is perfect training for the 6inch. It’s been quite warm today (around 30 degrees) and even though it was a nice run my legs felt tired and heavy. Lucky I have two days of rest now! I’m doing a wedding on Saturday, starting at 9am so it will be a long day for sure. On Sunday my wedding photography team is doing Tough Mudder!!! I’ve been ignoring this crazy obstacle race for many months but now it’s here and I’m feeling pretty pumped! and scared….!! I have no expectations but hoping the warrior in me will come out and hopefully I will be flying over those vertical walls, monkey bars, ice baths, tunnels, mud, electricity….! :D
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Duathlon, Botox & Tooth extraction

We’re in the middle of the Spring school holidays here in Perth and it’s great to chill out with no stress in the mornings and no after school activities. Mike had a day off last week and we took the kids to The Royal Show. It was a glorious sunny day and we spent over six hours there and had a great time! Kids came home very tired but happy with a show-bag each.

I have done my first wedding with Fine-Line Photography for the season and I’m looking forward to many more in the next few months. Unfortunately it started to rain during the outdoor ceremony but the sun came out just in time for the formal photo shoot afterwards. The light was so pretty as the sun came out from behind the clouds shining on the bride and her sparkling white dress in the middle of the green lush vineyard! Magic….

On Sunday morning at 6.15am we all jumped into our car and drove to Champion Lakes in Armadale for Nathan’s first Duathlon! He had to run 500m, cycle 2km and finish off with a 250m sprint to the finishing line where he received his medal! He did so well and we are so proud of him for completing the race and also raising money for Cayla and other kids with Cerebral Palsy! Nathan thought the bike ride was quite nice but that the running was hard work – hahaha! Very funny and I was happy that my bike riding husband heard him say it too. ;) My training is still going well and it’s finally light when I drive to the interval sessions at 5.40am in the morning. I’m currently running about 70km/week including the 30km long slow run on Sunday morning. This will increase in the next couple of months as I start building towards the 6inch trail marathon (46km) in December. Just a tad nervous but have read somewhere that a challenge is not a proper one unless it scares you so there we go..!

Yesterday we took Cayla to Princess Margaret Hospital (PMH) for her 6- monthly Botox injections. This was the first time she had it done at PMH and it has only taken us about 2,5 years to get to the top of the waiting list. As some of you may remember Cayla fell into our coffee table about 18 months ago and knocked one of her front teeth… In the beginning of the year the dentist explained that the tooth had died and needed to be removed :( Not great but nothing we could do so it was decided to take it out at the same time as her botox at PMH so that is what happened yesterday. Botox in her left leg and tooth extraction. All went well and very fast, the staff at PMH are so nice and very experienced. Cayla woke up fine and had some toast and apple juice before we were good to go home. When we came home Cayla vomited all over the floor, had a shower, some panodil, soft pasta for dinner and then bed. The tooth fairy came for a visit and left a $2 coin under Cayla’s pillow. I though that she would look really weird without her tooth but she looks fine and still very cute!

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