Enrolling an Australian Child in a French School

For anyone who has experienced French bureaucracy you will know the huge amount of paperwork and time it takes to get anything done. Those that haven’t experienced it let me tell you generally to do something simple it will involve 5 steps before you can do the actual thing you want to do. For example to enrol our daughter for lunch at her French school we had to call someone, to receive a code, so that we could then register, to get another code to actually register.

Enrolling our 3 year old Australian daughter into school was one of the easiest process we have ever encounter. We filled in the forms, then took them into the Hôtel de Ville, a lady there entered the information and voilà we were enrolled. The French are very proud, and rightly so, that they provide education to everyone. It is completely free for any child living in France to attend school.I know in Australia for a foreigner to even attend a public school it’s around $4,000.

 

Advertisements

Fitness

A few weeks ago I decided to really get back into my fitness. My eldest daughter was about to turn 4 and I realised that in reality I only have about 8 more years to really set a good example to her on how to live her life. In this world of eating disorders, plastic sugary, and bad body image, I want my girls to see their bodies as beautiful and strong.

So I started Kayla Itsines  Bikini Body Guide BBG, again. The BBG is 12 weeks worth of 28 minutes of exercises.  You do it three times a week and each day consists of two sets of exercises which you do twice for a maximum of 7 minutes.  It seems easy enough but it is actually a killer work out. I got this guide over a year ago and started and stopped quite a few times, each time because i’d hurt my back, but this time I’m determined. I am now at week 6. I did hurt my back in week 3 or 4 and then took a week off for Christmas. But instead of giving up I have been taking it slow and easy if I feel I need it. I’m only a few months off turning 35 and this really is the time to get the body I have always wanted. Whilst I would love to say I am only interested in being strong and setting a good example for my girls, but I also want to be fit and look good.

I got immediate results with being a good example for my girls straight away. As I started day 1 both my girls started copying me. As I started doing squats with my temporary weights in hands, my eldest daughter ran around looking for something she could use as weights. She grabbed a couple of her My Little Pony’s and started squatting. She then looked at me and said “we are so strong aren’t we Mama?”, I hadn’t even said anything! Now when I exercise they both usually join in for a bit.

IMG_2287

Because I didn’t want to buy any equipment the above photo shows my current workout equipment. A couch, side table, and for weights old milk bottles filled with water and a couple of (surprisingly heavy)  doorstops. Sometimes I have to adapt the exercises a little bit, but I’m really determined to keep going no matter what.

Postpartum Hair Loss and a French Haircut

IMG_1997

I never have never been one of those women for whom pregnancy is a beautiful, glowing experience, except when it comes to my hair, pregnancy hair for me is a dream. My hair becomes thicker, has more lustre and, the best of all, only needs to be washed every 4-5 days. postpartum hair on the other hand is a disaster. Breastfeeding has not been kind to my hair. Pre-babies I had fine, dark blonde, slightly wavy, prone to getting oily, hair. It was never thick, but I didn’t have any problems with it other than it would only grow a little past my shoulders. Once I started breastfeeding my hair just becomes weak, damaged and oily. It doesn’t help that after having both my babies i’ve immediately lightened my hair in an attempt to look less drab after long nights breastfeeding.
I’m not sure if I lost so much hair after having my first baby, however 6 months after having my second baby I noticed millions of tiny hairs sticking out all over my head. I had had a huge amount of hairloss. I had read  many articles about women talking about this hairless, but I wasn’t prepared for it. When I went to a hairdresser in Australia she took one look at me and asked if I was breastfeeding. My hairdresser assured me that the new hairs would actually grow back faster than other hair grows. I’m not sure if this is true but it certainly made me feel better.
The process of it all growing back is actually worse than the loss of the hair. At the moment if I put my hair up it looks like I have a mullet. My hair texture has also changed. The new hair is growing back ever so slightly curlier. I will be really happy if this means I will have more curl in my hair, however, a mass of curlier short hairs growing through my straighter, damaged hair, is not a good look.
I got my hair cut to just above my shoulders before we left Australia and planned on letting it grow until we returned, because I was too nervous about getting my haircut when my French is not so good. But it was looking so terrible out, and since putting it up gave me a bogan mullet, I decided to bite the bullet and get a haircut. Not many people in our city speak much English so I armed myself with all the words I thought I would need, along with a photo of a haircut I liked. It turned out that the hairdresser could speak English. The haircutting technique was different to Australia. He semi dried it and then cut it freestyle looking at the movement in my hair. I got it cut into a longish bob above my shoulders and I really like it.
I am genuinely surprised how much this postpartum hair loss has affected me and my confidence in myself. I didn’t think I would care as much as I do. And getting my hair cut then brings with it all those fears of having the dreaded “mum hair”. But now I understand why so many mothers have short hair. Also after writing this blog post I searched #postpartumhairloss and I realised that it can be much worse. To any of you mothers out there suffering postpartum hairless I feel your pain and you are not alone.