Parent break

Today myself and hubby had a rare chance to be together because it was raining. He couldnt work and the children were booked in with my Mum while I was supposed to be helping him with the job. They were still desperate to spend the day with Granny even though our plans had changed so myself and hubby found ourselves in the luxurious position of something to enjoy together without the children (and not the obvious….and slightly naughty option).

We went swimming.

I havent swam since July. Hubby hasnt swam since…..well he couldnt remember.

I used to be able to crack out 40-50 lengths without stopping, now I need to take a much needed breather after 4. Likewise with my hubby who has shifted from being a tree climber to an office worker so is less active. It is depressing how quickly fitness diminishes.

After 20 lengths we called time out and went for a well earned coffee and resisted the cakes. We enjoyed talking without interruptions about fixing toys, preparing food snacks and loo breaks. We also had a very civilised quite time flicking through the papers. Then we grabbed a baguette still warm from the oven in a local shop and set off for a walk with the two dogs without two little voices complaining of tired legs 5 minutes into the journey.

The same goes for the children too. My Mum gave them chocolate no questions asked and didnt balk if they asked for more. She role played with them til their heart’s content without forgetting seconds later and falling out of character or getting distracted my a mobile phone or an email. They also got plenty of ‘bosom time’ – lots of cuddles with my well endowed mother who did not pass those particular genes down to me. My baby son said to her once ‘I love your barbies’.

Kids need a break from parents too.

This blog is for Unicef.

Thanks for reading.

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Yes woman

Unlike Jim Carrey’s character in the film ‘yes man’, I have the opposite problem – I find it hard to say no.

I am a change junkie, I love change. If my husband said tomorrow that the whole family were leaving for Australia, within minutes I would be researching flights without a backward glance. I was once told I have a higher than average sense of mortality (which is a bizarre observation when you think about it), I am not one of those people who say ‘it wouldn’t happen to me’, more like ‘what if it happened to me?’ So I believe in living for the here and now (you might have guessed by now that I am not a huge fan of saving, but surprised to hear that I have been paying into a pension since my early twenties……i am also an optimist).

The trouble with being a yes woman is that pretty quickly your life can fill up. Just in responding to adverts publicised in my locality since giving up my job because of childcare costs, I have said yes to: a job working from home for the council, an interview to be a cycling instructor and become a member of a netball team). This is aside from two children, helping my husband with his business and helping look after horses 3 times per week. Oh…..and I did sign up to bootcamp on the village green every Wednesday from September.

Thinking about it, the only time I say ‘no’ is normally in response to my husband asking me if I can do something……because I am too busy doing everything else. I am also (on the whole) successfully saying ‘no’ to sugar (although ate an eton mess for pudding earlier…..whoops).

This blog is for Unicef.

Thanks for reading. 

 

Private Baby Benjamin

Now I am nearly a stay at home mum, i am thinking of what i can do to increase exercise with baby boy tagging along.

I have already tried interval running, which involves me pushing baby boy in the buggy (not one of those expensive jogging buggies, just my bog standard mclaren). I run and push for 1 minute, then walk for 2, although baby boy makes a good personal trainer, nagging me as soon as his buggy slows down.

I have been powerhooping once a week, with baby boy sat in the buggy in the corner of our village hall passing quiet judgement on us ladies spinning around. He even joins in for the stretching bit.

So with a bit more spare time, i am going to embark on ‘boot camp’. This concept has been popular for some time but i have yet to give it a go. Like most people, i will do more if pushed so figure it will be a good, if slightly painful experience. The boot camp lady will also let you bring your child, but quite what they do while you are being put through your paces is a mystery. I did notice at the school summer fair that the pre-schoolers of boot camp mums did do particularly well in the under fives race. So watch this space…..

This blog is for Unicef.

Thanks or reading.

 

The rutting season

I could barely walk this morning. Yesterday i powerhooped, jogged, rode and jumped my way through the day and paid for it today – i was all out of high-kicks.

I swam during my lunch-break, which felt good although i do find it frustrating. Swimming is one of the few sports where the more effort you put in, the less progress you make, hence the frustration. It is not about effort, but technique. I have a friend who seems to effortlessly glide and tumble turn through her lengths, while i am gasping for breath at each end. If i attempt a tumble-turn, i always end up in a different direction of travel. So i do what i do in most situations, i try harder, which only serves to slow me down more aarrgh!

My husband’s career is a bit like swimming. He has tried to work harder to get better qualifications but so far he isnt even getting job interviews, let alone jobs. He is trying to switch jobs, albeit in the same industry but having worked as a tree surgeon for 20 years, employers cant see him as anything but a tree surgeon.

For me, in my existing career, i have all the qualifications and experience i need o progress, but having a family and taking a couple of years off for children has stalled my earning potential. I have had at least 2 potential employers turn me down simply because my current salary doesnt look good, despite my skills and experience. They find it difficult to take me seriously, hence the dead-endedness of my job.

As for ambitions to be a social worker…still waiting for that 1 year magic conversion course o materialise. Until then i will carry on ploughing this furrow (albeit not a bad one as furrows go).

With the boot on the other foot, we had a few job application forms to sift through for my colleague’s maternity cover. For some reason i honed in on the birth-date and my boss questioned short-listing someone in their early 60s arguing that they would not have enough knowledge of social media. On paper this particular person seemed o be the most experienced of the lot of them, so i am interviewing her. This remark comes from the same boss who asked me in my interview if i was going to have more children…..

This blog is for Unicef. Thanks for reading.

 

Fading photos….but not faded enough

I made a nasty discovery in my mum’s old photo collection today…….me when I was fat.

I recall listening to Sara Cox on the radio one day when she remarked how old and inferior she felt when watching 19 year old girls walk by with amazing figures and not terribly much on. She described them as 100% prime beef with men all queuing up at a meat market.

This was not me at 19. Before university student life I had an OK figure, then I started drinking cider and eating at greasy spoons and trying to keep up with my boyfriend’s daily calorific intake. When I look back I recall it not being the healthiest episode of my life and that I may have crept up to a size 14, but the picture is shocking. I literally look like someone pumped me full of gas. Even my facial features have been lost to the landmass that is my bloatedness. Thankfully I can look back on it now and feel relieved that the wind didn’t change and that I didn’t stay that way. It is a shame though that I bhdidn’t look my best when my skin was still in its ‘youth’.

Now in my thirties I have finally grasped the concept of ‘my body is a temple’, yet i have lots of grey hairs, wrinkles  and a few saggy bits where things haven’t ‘sprung’ back to shape. Its all a little bit too late. But as you get older, concerns about your appearance hive way to preserving your health, which is why i am fitter and slimmer now than when i was in my teens……back then i did whatever i wanted and thought about the consequences later.

So to prevent me from ever ballooning like i did when i was 19, that photo is stuck to my fridge as a reminder whenever i get tempted away from an evening’s exercise or tempted towards sugary treats.

I decided not to put the pictures of my semi-naked mother (she seemed to like going topless on all of our family holidays) and my father with george best hair and a podgy tummy on the fridge. Some photos are best left in albums, or better still in our memories…..to fade with time.

I am blogging for Unicef. Thanks for reading.

 

An inevitable tide

I am about to embark on the Sport Relief challenge but something even more challenging has come my way……potty training.

Not me, I hasten to add, I have been ‘dry’ for about 32 years now, except in I999 when I shouldn’t have touched the bottle of Metaxa….. I am referring to the potty training process of my 2 year old son.

It started with the purchase of Mickey mouse pants (I love encouraging him to repeat that phrase as he has a lisp). Once home I wasted no time getting him on his new pants and saying bye-bye to nappies after over 2 years. Then the ticking time bomb commenced. When would he need to do his first wee? I encouraged him to sit on the potty and then remain on it, reading half of his book collection in an effort to key him on the throne. But to no avail. After a play in the garden, I saw he started to walk like John Wayne and he announced to me that he was ‘wet’. So with minimum fuss I changed him into another version of his Mickey mouse pants and then commenced the frequent reminders of ‘potty’.

After he woke up from his afternoon nap I thought he might need a wizz but 5 books later the well of the potty was still dry. The focus on toilet routines had the opposite effect on me, I wanted to go to the loo even more frequently than normal. So, I decided to lead by example ably assisted by a baby Bjorn trainer seat. He seemed to be happier perched on this but even so all the children’s literature in the world could not encourage the waterworks, not even with the taps running.

So I know he has control, he just needs to learn how to release that control. I fear that will happen in his sleep tonight but I am confident that by this time next week we will be nappy free.

I have just enjoyed watching the Sport Relief programmes on the BBC, including the reports from Africa, which were incredibly difficult to watch but reinforce why Sport Relief is so important. You just get the feeling that much more could be done if our world operated slightly differently (I am referring to programmes, such as last night’s channel Four programme on the customers of Rolls Royce). How many malaria vaccines could be bought with the equivalent capital to buy one person seven Rolls Royce.

But until re-distribution of wealth is sorted, causes like Sport Relief do their best to make do on the generosity of people wanting things to change, if only they could change for good rather than stem the tide of poverty that seems to be inevitable across the world.

I am blogging every day for Unicef. For this weekend please support Sport Relief. The rest of the year please support Unicef when you can.

Thanks for reading.

 

 

gap between developing and developed countries, rich and poor

Project bottom reduction commences

I had the misfortune today of catching site of my bottom in the bedroom mirror. Has Christmas had this effect or has it always been this way? It looked bloody awful. Last year I managed to reduce my overall size significantly but one area that has proved particularly stubborn is my derriere. So, I am adding to my project list another attempt to reduce its size. The source of my problem rests with my hips. To my horror, I can actually grab the flesh on my hips and lift it like a skirt, which has the much pleasing effect of lifting my whole butt into a much more streamlined shape. The minute I let ‘the hip skirt’ go the ‘old saddlebags’ return…gahhhh!!!

I thought about running but I just can’t keep it up. Swimming keeps cellulite at bay but has no impact on butt size. Spinning is apparently a good exercise for that area but I don’t want to have to pay for a gym class on top of my Zumba and power hoop expenditure. So, I am thinking of researching some dance dvds with the idea that Beyoncee is defying her genetic make-up by having a tight ass so booty shaking to a beat may be a step in the right direction.

So, after a slap-up meal tonight at Jami’s Italian, my butt reduction campaign (or BR) commences tomorrow.

My butt is 89 Cm in width – I will add updates to my measurements throughout this blog to see if my efforts are working in a effort to keep me motivated (I hope). If I succeed then I will have identified the successful formula to help fellow ladies with ‘does my bum look big in this?’ issues feel a whole lot better.

My friend’s butt is so tight she can squeeze into a child’s car seat – I am not intending to reduce it by that much but I will give it a damn good try.

This blog is all about raising money for Unicef every day. If you can contribute please visit my page on the Unicef site.

Thanks for reading.