Yesterday was one of them. Stuff people say has a way of sticking with you even when you don’t believe it. There are people whose words are important, who you should listen to whether you agree or not.

There are other people though, people who are less important to you as an individual. Listening is still important, but you have to be able to put some of it aside. You can’t carry all the stuff people throw at you or you’ll get bogged down. And if putting it aside is too hard then you might need to take a break from listening for a while.

This is all very wise, but easier said than done eh? It’s a real art, taking control of your thoughts, directing them to positive things, being constructive and productive…

Try not to think about an elephant. Try not to think about sex.

Try telling a toddler not to do something.

Tell you what works better: think about blowing bubbles in your milk. Think about how it feels to take off a pair of ice skates.

Ask a toddler, “Where’s your ball?” or “Where’s your train?”

Replacement, that’s the key. Distraction is good, and replacing a negative with a positive is even better.

I had some nasty voices in my head yesterday, but I talked it over with friends, with family, and was encouraged. I still have echoes of the other voices in my head, but they’re getting crowded out by positive ones.

And then today, a big win! In the middle of chaos (shutters being fixed in our apartment, the owner painting the rust spots on the railings, and my brother bidding us farewell – heading back to NZ today) this morning at home, Elena and I ducked out to a doctor’s appointment. I needed to renew a prescription. Elena got weighed and measured… and was found fabulous.

Starting at 4kgs and 50cm just four weeks ago, my darling girl is doing brilliantly at 4.7kg and 53cm. No wonder she’s tired. That’s hard work, all that growing.

The doctor also offered the scales (different scales) to me. Another win: by some strange unexplained phenomenon – I still eat pastry and bread and pasta on a regular basis – I am down 5kgs from the weight I was at six weeks pregnant. All that walking to the market, to playgroups, and playgrounds, has paid off.

Taking a walk with our new double buggy.

Kept me healthy while pregnant and I’m sure has aided in my recovery. I feel like I’ve bounced back much faster than I did after Louis’ birth. Fitness is bound to be part of the reason. I’ve never been successful at keeping up an exercise regime but France is forcing me into a healthy lifestyle. So, vive la France!