Monthly Archives: January 2014

More Amelia-isms…

1. Listening to a (bad) song in the car:
A – ‘mum I think the cd is scratched, or the songs have gone a bit dizzy.’

2. Amelia’s dad is currently boarding out the attic. Amelia thinks he is building a space rocket in the attic, and that the body suit he wears because of the dust is a space suit.

3. Also relating to the attic, Amelia told her dad that he has ‘broken the house’ when he made a new hatch hole.

4. Amelia came into our bedroom at about 1am. She went to her Dad and said ‘dad, tell mummy I love her’ and then went back to bed.

5. Amelia is currently obsessed with frozen a soundtrack after watching the film at the pictures – we downloaded the songs, and we play the, all of the time. Amelia gets into the character and sings the words, really loudly and always out of tune, while dancing around. I love watching her (and I actually love the soundtrack too!)

6. Amelia is very loving at the moment – she tells us she loves us lots of times each day. I never tire of it.

7. We baked today then she was washing up. I got a bit cross as I hadn’t actually added the hot water yet. Amelia got cross back and shouted ‘well I didn’t know, I’m just a kid.’ Made me laugh anyway.

Xxxx

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Feel Good Friday…

Before Christmas I was doing ‘grateful Friday.’ I stopped at Christmas, but I’ve decided to reintroduce it, as I love being able to look back on each week, and focus on the good things that have happened. Doing this on a Friday means that I can then look forward and have a good feeling going into the weekend.

So, to start off, these are my positives of the last week:

1. I’ve applied for a job promotion at work. Now, I’m not entirely sure If this is the best idea I’ve ever had – I return to work in March, and a promotion post came up which I found out about last week. I’m a social worker with older adults At the minute. The post is for a dementia manager, which focuses on supporting adults with dementia to remain at home for longer. It’s also about shaping policy, and taking on more responsibility for supervision etc. Anyway, long story short, I submitted my application form, and I’ve just been told that I am the only applicant and that my application form was good so will have an interview. This is good, but I’ve had butterflies ever since, and I know ill be so nervous until the interview is over with – I hate them. However, this is still positive as I think I will enioy the new job role if I get it.

2. I took Amelia and Rosie swimming again with Craig’s mum. I took Rosie for the first time last week. We went to ‘fun pool’ with a pirate ship, both girls loved it there. Rosie is a natural water baby, she was splashing and kicking her legs. She just loves the water. And Amelia has gained so much confidence since starting swimming lessons last summer. She loves the water too now, and she made a friend In the water (a little girl) and she went down the slide a few times. It was fun, and we went to the cafe afterwards and I treated Amelia to a cookie.

3. I also took the girls to soft play by myself for the first time since having Rosie. It was okay – Rosie was smiling and laughing at the other babies in the ball pool, and Amelia was absolutely fine going off by herself, and she just kept popping back to us every now and again. I will have to try to do this again next week!

4. Progress is being made on creating storage in the attic. This has been a longer project that I thought, as we had to move the hatch to our room, make it bigger, and clear, insulate and board out the attic. This is because we just don’t have space for everything. Since Rosie came along we have nowhere to put all of Craig’s stuff – he loves his computer stuff. But, the hatch is now almost finished, we are over half way there. A couple of weeks and it should be finished I reckon 🙂

5. My healthy eating and exercise has gone pretty well this week. Not perfect (is anything?!) but overall I’ve been healthy loads more than unhealthy, and my eating habits have been pretty good overall. I don’t expect a big loss tomorrow as I have slipped up a few times but if there’s a slight loss or no change ill be happy this week. And I’m at the gym tomorrow again,p. I love going to the gym!

These are my positives for this week.
Xxx

Healthy eating week four…

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A quick one this week. I’ve actually been doubting myself all week – my head has been telling me that I’m not doing well, that I’m going to fail, and that I could do better. I’ve tried to ignore it, and on the whole have managed to, but it made me feel that I wasn’t going to see much of a change this week.

I was wrong. I’ve just weighed in and lost another pound this week. I’m so pleased – it’s not a huge amount, but actually since January when I started porridge on tuesday I’ve lost weight every week. And on the whole it’s been really easy – I’ve had the occasional bad meal, but overall my meals are really good. And I love going to the gym, that’s my ‘me time’ and I like feeling like I’m pushing myself and getting healthier and fitter.

Here are my stats so far:
Starting weight: 10.13
Week one weigh in:10.9
Week two weigh in: 10.8
Week three weigh in:10.7
Today’s weigh in:10.6

At the top I’ve added an example ‘menu’ from one day. Here’s what they are:
Breakfast – frozen berries, natural yogurt, a handful of porridge oats. Mix together and put n fridge overnight – the berries defrost and it’s ready to eat in the morning. I have this 2/3 times a week, cornflakes the rest of the time.

Lunch – this day we had turkey wraps and salad. We added cheese which wasn’t in the photo, but I was careful not to have too much. We love lunches like this, although only once a week – usually it’s just sandwiches and fruit and soup!

Tea – baked jacket potato with tuna mixed with spring onion and cherry tomatoes. We eat loads of tuna – this is simple but really filling and tasty.

Xxxx

The ordinary moments

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My ordinary moment for this week is about the current obsession my 4 year old has. She’s discovered Netflix on my iPad, and she can’t get enough of it. I limit it a lot, but occasionally it’s great, as I can get on with sorting tea out or getting Rosie ready and she will watch Netflix. She loves strawberry, and a mermaid series on there, as well as barbie in the dream house.

I never showed her how to use it, she just figured it out herself one day. She’s taken to going to her hiding place (see photo!) to watch the programmes. Probably as in her mind if I can’t see her I won’t know she’s on it and tell her she’s had enough time on the iPad for the day 🙂

I must admit that I don’t like her to watch too much TV / Netflix. But this is just something she enjoys, and in moderation I don’t mind it. And I do think its cute when I come in and she’s laid behind the chair with a children’s film on. She still has loads of time playing and imagining, and doing things, but this, among so much else, is one of the things she likes.

I have linked this post up as always to mummydaddyme, recording our ordinary moments.

Xxxx

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Healthy for life.

Last week I blogged about healthy eating (post here!). I thought I’d do an update about porridge on Tuesday, and how I’m doing in my journey to have a healthier lifestyle.

I struggle to blog about my feeling on losing weight on my blog – I don’t know why, I don’t have problem talking about most things! I guess it’s because I don’t want anyone to think that I’m unhappy with myself. I’m not – I’ve always felt fine in my own skin, and I’ve never worried about what others think of me. I can only ever be myself.

However, I always feel best when I make time for exercise, and when I eat more healthily. For me, the two are linked. If I don’t exercise, I struggle to make consistent healthy options. Not meal wise, but more in terms of snacks and extras. It’s easy to have peanut butter on my toast every morning, crisps or a cake with dinner, a few cups of tea with sugar, and a couple of biscuits at night. Add this to ‘film night tea’ (pizza or hotdogs and microwave popcorn) and the occasional glass of wine, and it adds up. And I find that the more I eat the more I want to eat. And the less I want to exercise. It becomes a bit of a vicious circle.

Since new year though I’ve been signed up to porridge on Tuesday. I’ve tried really hard to think more about my meals, and having a way to track it all makes it easier. I have a long term goal, and it’s broken down into a graph to track progress. I really like it. I’ve not followed the plan exactly, but It has still helped me to make changes just by acting as a reminder of why I want to succeed. I want to change my eating habits, and my relationship with food. Not as a quick fix or a way to lose weight fast, but as a better way to maintain my eating and lifestyle habits over time.

This past week I’ve done well. I slipped for a couple of days, I went a bit off track, as the car went into the garage, I couldn’t get to the gym and as a result my eating habits slipped too. But once we had the car back I went to the gym, and got back on track again. Since then I’ve had one day which wasn’t so good, but that was planned – I meet with a work friend once every 5-6 weeks and we make cakes. But I had a lighter lunch than usual to compensate a bit, and went to the gym the following morning. Other than that I’ve been fine. I have cereals for breakfast, a sandwich and fruit for lunch (or something similar) and something including veg / salad for tea. Then other than one cup of tea in the evening nothing else. I’m not too hungry, I don’t feel tempted to cheat, and it works for me.

And exercise is going well. I go Sunday, Tuesday, and usually Thursday or Friday evenings to the gym. I work hard – I run for 15 mins, I bike for 20 mins, do a few weights and do 15-20 minutes swimming. It’s my ‘me time’ and I see it as a pleasure, not a chore. I feel better for going. I’m not sure what will happen come march when I return to work 2.5 days – it’s harder to find time for me then as i will want to be with my girls as much as I can, but I guess I’ll tackle that when it comes to it.

And it’s working. I’ve lost 7 pounds so far. For me it’s more about my shape than weight, but I’m heading in the right direction at least! I haven’t seen much of a body change yet, but I know that I will. It’s not super fast – the last two weeks I’ve lost a pound each week – I find that a bit frustrating considering how many changes I’ve made for the better, but I guess slow and steady is much much better than nothing at all. And if my weight is going down it means my shape is changing too – much more important to me!

How is everyone else’s January weight loss going? What tips or advice do you have to keep weight off long term? Xxx

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The ordinary moments

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Photographs are amazing. They capture a moment in time, that can never be seen again. They are a way of seeing our babies grow up, change and develop. They capture memories and moments.

But they can’t explain the feelings of a moment to another. These photos are not the best photos ever taken, because my children move too fast, and blur when I attempt to get a photo. They don’t pose, and sometimes a moment is over before I am able to ‘capture’ it properly. I wish I could capture every second, but I can’t.

Today my ordinary moment post is a simple one. Amelia got a small craft box for Christmas. In it are a few craft bits, such as Pom poms, lolly sticks, glue and glitter. In the photographs Amelia got her craft box out by herself to make Christmas decorations ‘for the Christmas tree.’ Never mind that its down now and Christmas is over. She glued, glittered and made her decorations.

In the meantime, Rosie decided that the craft box looked interesting and she wanted to play too. She made it her mission to get to it to see inside. She wriggled to it, looked inside it and then tipped everything out into the floor. Amelia got a bit cross. I moved Rosie onto my knee and we watched Amelia, while she carefully made her decorations. I may have made one too.

It was a lovely moment – Craig was off work and so at home with us. It was just us being a family. Amelia uses her craft box a lot – it’s the first time she’s set up craft to do herself – I watch and help a little, but it’s her choice about when to craft and what she wants to make. I like watching her work with such concentration, I like seeing how she is becoming more independent, growing up.

So my photographs aren’t the best. I wish they were better. But what’s important is that we had that moment together, and others similar to this moment but slightly different. This for me is an ordinary moment, but one which makes me smile, and one which I want to remember always.

If you would also like to join in please go to the link above. It’s a great linky, about capturing the everyday, ordinary moments which are really the most special times of all.

Xxx

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Losing weight the healthy way

With the new year, everyone seems to want to lose weight, get fitter and be generally healthier after the excesses of Christmas. I’m the same – something about a new year makes me more motivated, and helps me reflect on my goals and hopes for the year ahead. I don’t know exactly why I feel like this, but every January I feel the same way.

This year I’ve been much more determined to meet my goals. I’m not someone who obsesses too much over weight, and I really really hate fad diets – they are designed to fail in the long term. I prefer a good, healthy eating plan with loads of healthy but tasty meals. For me, if I get too hungry I will reach for sugar, and so for me what I think works is to make sure that my meals, are filling, healthy and satisfy me. I don’t tend to snack I between meals, as I like to feel hungry when I do eat, but that does mean that my meals have to keep me going for a good few hours.

This year I felt like I needed a bit of extra support. I sent a tweet asking for healthy eating links, and a couple of people replied recommending a website called porridge on Tuesday. I had a quick look and was really impressed by the website layout and the whole idea behind the site. You get a weekly meal plan, there are exercise videos of 30 minute sessions you can do, and you can clearly see your progress in a chart.

I’ve been signed up for a week now, and I wanted to give some of my first thoughts on the site.

These are the things I really like about the porridge on Tuesday:
– the website is great. Easy to use, not over complicated with some great features.
– it’s not encouraging a ‘diet’. Instead it’s a long term healthy eating plan, designed with your own goals in mind (it can be either a weight loss or maintenance plan depending what you want from it.)
– it’s an alternative to weight watchers or slimming world – to me, it’s a more sustainable version of those.
– I haven’t tried to exercise videos as I don’t like exercising at home (I go to the gym and swimming instead) but I like that they are available.
– the eating plan is clear, and you can change any meal for something different if the particular meal that comes up is not one you want that day.
– some of the recipe ideas are gorgeous – it really is tasty, filling food, and some of the recipes are ones that I think will become family favourites.

Things I’m not so sure about:
– I think I only have two concerns. The first is the cost of the meals. I’m on a tight budget these days, as I’m on maternity leave and so don’t have an income at the minute, I’m living on savings. However, the meal plan gives a different meal for every meal of every day. This makes things expensive – last week i spent more than usual on my food shopping bill. I can’t do that all the time. I would like it if I had the option to choose a different option. For example, although there are some lovely breakfast ideas, I’m happy to stick to cereals (non sugared cornflakes or Cheerios) or occasionally frozen fruit and yogurt. I’d like the option to just have a ‘standard’ breakfast rather than something different each day. I love that the meals are so varied, but budget wise I just can’t afford so much variety!
– my only other concern is how long I would use this plan for. I think it’s fantastic as an introduction to healthy living, especially for people who perhaps needs to learn how to make healthy meals and portions. But once you get used to this, it’s probably something I’d move away from and continue on my own.

Having said all that I’ve visited the site daily since my plan started – I have to be honest and say that I haven’t followed my plan exactly – as started above, I’ve changed my breakfasts back to my simple breakfasts on the whole, and some of the recipes I love, but have adapted slightly (but still healthily) to suit mine and my families preferences. But, it’s a reminder of my goals and targets, it is a safety net if I’m struggling, and there are so many ideas and recipes that what’s certain is that you’ll never be stuck for ideas!

I’m going to post again in the next couple of weeks with some photos of my typical days plan. Ill also include a recipe for one of the meals that I post photos of. And of course, some more thoughts about how it’s all going!

For now, this is my achievement so far:
– original (starting weight) was 10.13
– weight a couple of days ago was 10.8

Not bad ey 🙂

Xxx

disclaimer- I have been given a 3 month subscription to porridgeontuesday in order to review it. All thoughts and opinions are my own, and I am always honest about my views.

Siblings

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I’ve seen a few blog posts today, started by mummydaddyme . The Linky is about capturing a photograph of siblings together once a month, to capture their relationship over time. I looked through my photos, and realised that i actually have very few of my two girls together (mainly because of the difficulties in getting two children to stay still, and in trying to make sure Amelia doesn’t hug Rosie really hard, making her cry. So, I decided that this might be a perfect linky for me to try to make more effort to get pictures of them together on a more regular basis. Photos like this will be ones I can treasure always, as I watch the relationship between them develop and change.

My girls do have a wonderful relationship. Since the first time Amelia met Rosie, she has completely accepted her into our family, she tries very hard to make her happy by giving her toys / hugs and sharing her food when I let her. She loves her and has never once showed signs of jealousy. At times Amelia is a difficult child – she’s very demanding, stubborn, argumentative and grumpy with people. But, she’s never that way with Rosie, and she takes a lot of pride in her role as big sister.

Rosie also adores Amelia. I think that she is a little wary at times – Amelia can be loud and full on. But Rosie smiles a huge smile when Amelia comes in from nursery, and they play a lovely game of peekaboo – Amelia hides then jumps out and shouts boo, and this makes Rosie really really laugh. It’s obvious that she loves her big sister, although she’s too young to really know what this means.

So I’ve put a couple of pictures n to start. the picture at the top is from when Rosie was first born, taken the first time Amelia met and held Rosie, the day she came home. Then underneath I’ve added a couple of more recent pictures. One was taken at lunchtime today – Rosie had just finished her lunch, and Amelia perched on her walker next to her to hug and talk to her, and I managed to capture a few shots of them. I like the interaction between them, and the other photo of Amelia hugging Rosie.

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I don’t feel the breastfeeding bond…

This is kind of my guilty secret I guess. My baby is now 8 months old, and is exclusively breastfeed. She has been since being born, and has never had formula milk.

However, I don’t breastfeed because I feel the magical bond I’ve heard so many others talk about. If anything, I don’t like it very much. She pulls and tugs, I don’t like to feed her when others are around, if leaving her I have to plan around her feeds and..well, I just am not that keen on breastfeeding.

I’ll continue to a year now. I did search about how to wean to formula when she reached 6 months but couldn’t find any information (maybe I searched the wrong thing.) if I’d really wanted to, I’d have stopped. But guilt made me continue feeding her. And I’m glad I still feed her, even though I don’t like it much. Because its best for her, because she’s happy and healthy and wonderful.

I wish I felt the special feeling that others describe. When I look at her feeding I don’t feel much at all if i’m honest – it’s a task rather than a pleasure. Maybe this is because I had the most awful beginning – I felt like crying at every feed, not wanting to continue but forcing myself through the pain. Then there was poor attachment (this may have been imagined, but it never felt ‘right.’) I don’t know really.

I love my baby with everything I am. I love both my girls so so much, they mean the world to me and make me so happy, so fulfilled and I’m proud to be their mum. But breastfeeding for me is not special, or wonderful, or any of those other things. It’s something I did because I wanted the best for my baby, and because I had a (completely irrational) fear that giving her formula would somehow give her life long health problems.

I look forward to the day when I don’t have to breastfeed anymore. When my body is back to normal. Is this selfish? Probably. Will my feeling change? I doubt it. I’ve been waiting for special feelings for 8 months now. If they haven’t happened so far, I don’t think they will.

Xxx

What My 8 month old would love to say…

Dear Mummy and Daddy,

You are both so silly. How could you possibly have Imagined that I would be more interested in all these lovely baby toys that I got for Xmas? My baby phone? rubbish. My teething keys? Boring. No Mummy, what I am actually interested in is real stuff (like your real phone – I love to dribble all over and chew that.) and crumbs. Crumbs are good, I can spot one a mile away, and I make it my mission to get to it. I don’t mind that its right across the room, as I can commando crawl there now – it might take me a while but I can (and will) get to it. Stop watching me so closely, because you keep taking the fun things away right before I get to them. That is really naughty Mummy.

Mummy and Daddy, I don’t ask for much. I look at you trying really hard to interest me (yet again) in the ‘my first doll’ that you so lovingly picked out for me, and were so excited to give me thinking that I’d love it. I feel a bit bad so I do try to give it a bit of interest. But when you give me the choice, I will always choose the thing I’m not allowed. Like amelias tiny play mobil pieces, or puzzle pieces, or barbie dolls with long hair.) You see, you can’t fool me into thinking that these baby toys are really fun. They’re not as fun as these other things and we all know it.

So instead of continuing to give me these toys, I have a suggestion. I am happy to swap all of my toys with Amelia’s big girl toys. I promise that I’m old enough to use them, and they taste so much better than my own. And Amelia so obviously likes playing with my toys (especially my singing teapot and cups) so it is the perfect swap. Please mummy?

Love,
Rosie.