A Mothers Ramblings: October 2009

Saturday, 31 October 2009

Happy Halloween!

I love Halloween, giving myself a good scare and getting to dress up in silly costumes! It became a little bit of a joke at my work, because Daddy and I would prepare a Home made costume in secret from each other and in the past five years we have been, a Witch, a cat, a pilot, Miss Hoolie from Balamory, a little Devil, Greg Wiggle, Marge Simpson, Dora The Explorer, Boots the Monkey, a Firework display, a witch, Mickey Mouse, a Spider web, a spider (both Top Ender and Baby Boy!) and a Vampire!

This year we are all going to be cats, as it is an easy costume to make!

Normally Top Ender and I dress up as Witches during the day and at night change into our costumes. I found that it is easier to go to work dressed as a witch (black top, black skirt and my black cape) than some of my previous outfits, which would be noticed in the corporate world as sticking out a little too much!

As I am going to be busy today preparing the feast for my brood, decorating our house for the Trick or Treaters and making our costumes, I thought you wouldn't mind a sort of mainly wordless post with a selection of photos from the last five years.

You see we would normally be at my Mums, (a tradition that I started the Halloween after Top Ender was born), but with us having been ill and it being quite important that my Mum doesn't catch it (because of her condition) we thought it would be better not to go to hers this year and to stay at home.

So here are some shots from Halloween's past!

Halloween Pumpkins
Halloween Pumpkins
Halloween Pumpkins
Halloween PumpkinsA Witch crashed into the car window
Top Ender dressed as a witchTop Ender sitting with two skeletonsTop Ender and Mummy dressed as Witches

This year we will wait at home for Trick or Treaters (I've never done it in my own home before!) and if we feel up to it, we may walk to the Firework display in Bletchley Park later in the evening.... and I'll post about that later in the week!
Our feast this year, will be blood to start (tomato soup), followed by fingers in rolls, with finger nails and clotted blood (Hot dogs in rolls, with onions and ketchup!) and for pudding we will have dead fly cake (raisin cake) and quite possibly the booty from our visits to pre-arranged Houses!
I like to pre-arrange our Trick or Treat visits, so that the door will get answered and so that Top Ender and now Baby Boy will be safe. No knocking on the door of Strangers here!
I forgot to mention that we will be drinking poison, with frozen eye ball ice cubes (any drink, with frozen grapes!) so if you don't hear from me tomorrow you know why!

Friday, 30 October 2009

When is a Baby like a Cat?

Have you ever tried to get a cat to swallow a pill?

The easiest way would be to put it in food and let the cat unwittingly swallow the pill, but our cats seem to have a sixth sense about pills in food and tend eat round the tablet.

So instead we have to hold the cat, put the tablet in its mouth and then gently massage its throat until it has swallowed the pill and then give them some water to make sure everything is okay.

Tamiflu pills
Have you ever tried to get a baby to swallow a pill?

The easiest way would be to put crush it in to food and let the baby unwittingly eat the food with the hidden pill, but pills always seem to taste bitter and after the first spoon or two the baby won't eat any more food and you are stuck with a baby who has only had half a dose of its medication.

Or at least that is what happened with the first tamiflu tablet Baby Boy had in a yogurt. Yesterday morning I gave Baby Boy sweetened porridge with a hidden pill and was on tender hooks until he had eaten it all. Which he did, because of my great impression of a fighter plane.

I needed something more easy on my nerves.

Yesterday evening I sat Baby Boy on my knee, explained to him what I was going to do and then lay him back put the pill in his mouth and quickly shoved a fruit shoot into his mouth. With a quick squirt the juice forced him to swallow the pill and the job was done.

Wait a minute? Did that really work? Apparently it did.

We'll try that one again then.

Top Ender is much easier to get to take pills. You just give her the pill dissolved in a little apple juice and she is away.

I just wish they were a little like Me. I've been taking pills since I was three as in the "olden days" they didn't make the medicines I had to take in any other form so I just knock 'em back like they are tic-tacs!A PAcket of Mint Tic Tacs

Thursday, 29 October 2009

Baby Boy Giggles - He's getting too well known!

Baby Boy sitting in the pram
As predicted Baby Boy suddenly became a lot worse with a sudden rush of other symptoms appearing over an hour where we felt he needed the antivirals. I called our GP just to check that it would be okay, as he had been slightly ill for a couple of days and they agreed he needed them.

As Daddy and I could not go to get them we called upon Grandad and Nanna and asked if they could possibly go and get them for us. They agreed (Thank you!) and were soon round to collect Baby Boys ID and the other information required.

When they got to the Chemist they dutifully handed over the slip of paper I had given them which listed Baby Boys details along with his and their own ID. The Chemist turned out to be the same one that had issued both mine and Daddy's antivirals as she exclaimed;

"Oh No! Not Baby Boy too!"

Tuesday, 27 October 2009

Swine Flu

Close up of the H1N1 virus
We have it.

That's right all of us.

At the same time.

Well, actually Top Ender was hit first and then me and then Daddy. Somewhere in the middle of it Baby Boy got a very mild version and generally hasn't been effected as much as the rest of us. For which I am incredibly thankful but, before I count my chickens, he has slept longer today so we might be in for a rough time still.

We were at my Nans when Top Ender got ill, and at first we didn't want to attribute her illness to swine flu, mostly because my Nan fits the at risk categories and I didn't want to be the one bringing it in to her home! We knew that it was a possibility however as two of Top Enders friends from her school year had been diagnosed with it the week before Half Term and a further friends brother was hospitalised from complications (but as far as we know he is okay now).

When we took Top Ender's Temperature and it was 104°F (40°C) we decided that we probably were dealing with Swine flu and so Daddy called the helpline. After answering the questions they gave Daddy a reference number and together they worked out where the nearest chemist to us was. Seeing as my Nan lives in quite a rural area, we were surprised that there was one quite close.

Daddy jumped in our car and set off, it was only when he was in the Chemist that he ran into problems.

"Do you have any ID for yourself?" asked the Pharmacist
"Yes, will a debit card do?" asked Daddy
"Yes, that's fine. And do you have any ID for Top Ender?" queried the Pharmacist
"Erm, other than photos of her on my phone, No. I didn't know I needed any." said Daddy

Turns out that if you call the helpline they neglect to tell you this little detail. Daddy of course realised a second problem, we are actually on holiday and so we couldn't even pop back home for any ID for Top Ender without a 3 hour drive first.

The Pharmacist was luckily understanding to our plight and whilst attempting to call to check what to do in an case such as this decided that our need was greater than protocol and sent Daddy on his way with the medication and advice on how to help make Top Ender better.

When we left my Nan's on the Monday (when Top Ender was over the worst of the fever), I realised that I was feeling tired. I put it down to having had a stressful weekend and with the motion of the car I was soon asleep. About an hour after we got home that I asked if we could turn the heating on as I was freezing. Something made Daddy take my temperature and he saw that it was 102°F (39°C).
Temperature showing as 39°C
It was only then that I realised that I had a sore throat, a pounding headache, a runny nose, a horrid cough, aching muscles, I wasn't hungry (there's a first!), and I actually felt a little sick... two hours later and Daddy got the chills too, although his temperature was 101°F (38°C).

Right now I am feeling semi okay. I am still running a fever but have enough strength to watch the children and play games on the floor (well I sit on the floor holding various items passed to me!) and I have even managed to put a load of washing on!

Top Ender and Baby Boy are on the way to recovery and had omelette's for tea tonight (Yes I did gag whilst making it). Top Ender doesn't seem to understand how she is feeling better, but still can't do anything without suddenly needing a short nap afterwards! Baby Boy is just wandering around all snotty asking;

"Boob pleeeeeeease Mama?"

Daddy is currently sleeping which I am hoping means come tonight he will take care of Baby Boy and Top Ender, but I am not holding out any hope!

So please pass on to all you know that you need to take a form of identification for the person picking up the medication AND the patient who the medication is prescribed for!

Monday, 26 October 2009

Losing weight or losing my mind?

For the last couple of weeks I haven't been posting on a Monday, because I should be posting about my diet and the Yummy Mummy with No Tummy Challenge, but things are getting a little bad round here and I think I am going a little crazy!

You see I have been being as good as I can, and exercising and refusing to eat junk and I haven't lost any weight and I am starting to get very disappointed. It got so bad last week that I resorted to comfort eating, which is the reason I put on weight and this is why I started the challenge in the first place!

I have given myself a couple of weeks off, to eat as I want, exercise as I want and just recharge myself. This is the last week of that, as soon as Half term is over I will start being strict with myself again.

I think that it is actually important to do this, I feel that I will get a better result when I return to the diet with a new energy and I think that the cabin fever will of gone too by then!

So have fun this week everyone and I will see you next Monday!

Sunday, 25 October 2009

Time to come out of the closet? or Week Nine of the Holiday Grand Plan!

This week on the Holiday Grand plan it is all about the Pantry and the Closets. I keep on top of my closets because it is something that I can do without causing myself any distress. I am always too pleased to get rid of clothes that I don't like for one reason or another! Of course I also have to keep on top of it because I store Christmas and Birthday gifts in our closet and if I don't know what is in there, I am bound to buy more than one of something...

This week I am also going to help Top Ender to decorate our home for Halloween, we have most of our decorations for outside, but this year I am going to let her decorate the window with window pens and hang garlands inside.

As we don't have Thanksgiving, I will start to arrange our Bonfire Night or Guy Fawkes Party. We will have fireworks in our garden, and a small meal which needs to be arranged! It is my Mum, Sister and partner and Cousin and Baby Cousin that come, so it doesn't need to be anything fancy!
Fireworks exploding in the sky


This week I also need to carry on with the holiday prep which this week consists of:
*Make one batch of Holiday Goodies.
*Make one extra meal for freezer again labeled HOLIDAY MEAL.
*Buy two canned food items from menus
*Work at least 1 hour a day on homemade gifts.

Also this week I will;
*Continue with Top Ender writing her Christmas cards to the children in her year
*Start to write our family Christmas cards

And we will continue to;
*Look for Holiday Outfits for Me (as everyone else is sorted, but Daddy needs a new shirt!)
*Stock the Mummy Christmas Shop
*Watch one Christmas film as a family a week (although we may do two as it is half term!)

If you want to see how some others are preparing take a look at theses fellow Bloggers;
Candace at Diary of a FlyBaby
Diane at DianeDenmark

Saturday, 24 October 2009

Top Ender Giggles - Accident on purpose?

Cake Decorated to look like a carved pumpkin
The other day, my Mum had an accident and ended up having to go to hospital for stitches in her face. My Sister took her and described the gory details to me on the telephone the next day. That night as Top Ender and I were walking down to her Swimming lesson I was regaling her with the story.

"And the hole is so big, they can't put stitches in!" I said
"And is it still bleeding?" asked Top Ender
"Well, no they stopped the bleeding" I said
"Can you see the hole now?" she asked
"Yes... well I imagine they have put a special plaster bandage type thing on it now" I said

There was a pause as Top Ender processed what I had told her.

"Is that what she is going to wear for Halloween?" asked Top Ender
"What?" I asked thinking I had missed something
"Is she going to wear it for Halloween?!" repeated Top Ender impatiently
"Well it won't be healed by then, so I guess she will have it on" I said
"Cool costume then" stated Top Ender "Do you think she did it on purpose?!"
"I think that would be a bit extreme Top Ender" I answered, suddenly wondering if maybe she did do it to get the best costume award at our party

Friday, 23 October 2009

The Tale of Princess Top Ender and Baron Teenager Boy (and friends)

Once upon a time in a kingdom far away there lived a brave princess called Top Ender, who enjoyed playing on Arcade Games, such as The Fast and the Furious Super Bikes Racing Arcade Game. As a treat The King and Queen had taken the brave princess to the Kingdom of Brighton pier, where such a game existed.

Fast and the Furious Super Bikes Racing Arcade Game of which Top Ender is tops at!

Also in the kingdom, was Baron Teenager Boy. Baron Teenager Boy and his court also enjoyed playing The Fast and the Furious Super Bikes Racing Arcade Game and would often be found of an evening practising their skills, in order to impress the local Teenager Maidens.


And so it came to pass that both Princess Top Ender and Baron Teenager Boy were both going to race in the same race, as they has placed their coins into the machine at the same time. King Daddy stood next to Princess Top Ender, (Queen Mummy and Prince Baby Boy were posing for the court artist) as she navigated the course and Baron Teenager Boy's court stood with him.


As the race finished the court of Baron Teenager Boy congratulated the Baron on his triumphant 4th place victory. King Daddy looked at Princess Top Ender before clearing his throat loud enough for the Baron and his court to hear.


The Baron and the Court looked over to where Princess Top Ender was still sat on her motorbike and in front of the screen that showed a large "3rd".


The Baron Teenager Boy was then horrified that he had been beaten by a Princess, and not just any Princess but a five year old Princess. As the Baron left the Kingdom his Court could be heard calling out about how he had been beaten by such a young Princess and the Baron vowing that he would never play a Princess at the game again.

Princess Top Ender however took it all in her stride. After all, she was the best motorbike riding Princess around!


The End

Thursday, 22 October 2009

I love you, but I am not buying you a Christmas Gift

Over at Parent Dish there is an article by the lovely Joanne Mallon about not buying gifts at Christmas for the adults in the family. Joanne sent me a quick link to it on Twitter as she knows that Christmas is big business in our house and was wondering my thoughts on the matter.

Like most holidays Christmas is becoming more and more commercialised. We all know the joke about the overheard comment about a nativity scene in a Christmas Display shop window and how "They are bringing religion into everything these days!", but that is really what Christmas is all about and is the main feature of the season in our house.

It was because of this that last year Daddy and I decided that we wouldn't buy gifts for each other, but would spend £15 on making a gift for each other. Okay so I decided, and it was also to do with reducing our Christmas budget and something I had seen in an episode of "7th Heaven" once, but it sounds better if I say it was both of us right?

We did both want something more personal and something that meant more than just another pack of chocolate or a new shirt. Daddy got quite into it and made his in secret at work, he teased me about it constantly. Meanwhile I was bricking it (sorry) because I couldn't think of anything to do for him... and I'm the crafty one!

I got a game of "Piptionary", yup a home made version name after me. It was great, he thought of everything, and we played a couple of games after we went to bed. Totally the best Christmas gift ever! I made him some melted record bowls and a jar of slips of paper saying "I love you" in 100 different languages. I did also make him some fudge, but it kind of went wrong.... luckily he loved what he got!
Clocks with hands on seperate faces
This has also spread to our birthdays. The above are the clocks that Daddy made for me for my 30th!

It was also at this time that my Sister, Mum and I decided that we would do a Secret Santa for the adults on our side of the family. We decided that we needed to spend £20 on one gift instead of what we normally spent. It worked out great, because we all spent less overall, we all got a gift that was thought out and not a last minute panic buy.

My Mum didn't want to do it this year (although she didn't stick to the rules last year either!) and so my Sister and I decided to take the next step this year and not to buy for each other or each others partners, but the children are fair game! We again set a price limit (£20 per child) and we both suggested gifts for our own children and left it at that.

Our Mum, always tells us not to buy for her but we never pay any attention, she gave us life after all! I always try to get her something important or special, but this year I am getting her a home made hamper and a photo album with photos of her Grandchildren. She specifically asked for the photos, the Hamper is my idea (I have made hampers for people for ten years now!) and it is going to be filled with things that she will use and a few extra treats that she wouldn't normally buy other than on very special occasions.

Before we go any further however, we need to tell Daddy to stop reading. That's right Daddy we are about to talk about your Christmas gifts and I would like them to remain a surprise so can you go away now?

This year the stocking for Daddy will contain all the usual things that an adult stocking in our family seems to include; deodorant, tissues, mints, a bit of chocolate, a couple of pens and a few little stocking filler toys which we normally pass on to the children. His gift is so far in two parts.

The first gift is again split into two. One part is a square photo frame for his desk. It has four areas for photos and I am going to have it engraved with our names under each square and each of us will have a head shot Brady Bunch style (where we are looking at someone in another frame). The second part of this will be frames of each of us individually, again with us looking at the other photos or pulling faces.

Brady Bunch headshots

The second part is a secret hollow book. I am going to give it to him, with some sweets inside and a little love note or two. I just hope he realises what it is, and doesn't think it is just some book that he can't open the pages on!!!
You don't have to spend a fortune to have a good Christmas, some thought and a little effort go a long way. And kids always want to play with the box rather than the toys right?
I guess what I am trying to say is that even if you aren't religious Christmas isn't about money, or gifts its about family and love and goodwill to all men. So even though I love you, I am not buying you a Christmas gift... I might make you one though!

Wednesday, 21 October 2009

Wordless Wednesday - Percy our Gnome

Percy the Gnome
Percy the Gnome
This is Percy.
Percy lives in our front garden. He arrived one day whilst Daddy was at work, I was out with Baby Boy and Top Ender was at school.
Top Ender doesn't know it, but he is going to go on holiday soon...

Tuesday, 20 October 2009

Top Ender Giggles - Fractions

Top Ender looking sad about to go up the stairs
Last night Daddy was taking Baby Boy out on a secret Christmas errand (he went to Maplins, so I am guessing I have another Instructables Christmas gift) whilst Top Ender went to bed.

Top Ender has had three late nights in a row and as such was not impressed that Baby Boy was going out with her Daddy, as she felt she needed him in the house in order to go to sleep.

"It will now take me ages to fall asleep, an hour and a half! And you wont be back for an hour and two quarters!" she yelled stomping up the stairs

Daddy looked at me as we both did the math in our heads

"But they are the same!" Daddy called back
"Hmph" grunted Top Ender

Sunday, 18 October 2009

All I want for Christmas is... not to spend all day in the kitchen!

Top Ender taking her Christmas Sack upstairs on Christmas Eve Top Ender sitting on the stairs having givenup taking her Christmas Sack upstairs


To me Christmas means Kitchen work and normally a lot of it. In the past the Christmas meal in my home was cooked by my Father and his Mother. They would start preperations the night before (for the main meal) by preparing the vegetables ready for the next day and I know that Daddy has commented that his Mum spent all day in the Kitchen on Christmas Day when he was growing up.

I wonder how many hours have been unnecissarily wasted hiding in the Kitchen when we should be celebrating with friends and family and that is what I feel Christmas is about.

But, then good food for me is one of the best things about the whole season. I love to be able to feed my family home made treats, and I love being able to whip a batch of biscuits out of the freezer and into the oven if we have unexpected guests. And not having a feast on Christmas Day? Well I think I would have a mutiny on my hands!

So what to do? Well this is where the Holiday Grand Plan comes into its own for me, each week I have made snacks and Holiday goodies and a few Holiday meals and this week is where it all starts getting serious as this week is the Kitchen week.

I love to sort through my Kitchen and make sure that I have a clean and tidy Kitchen and that I have all the equipment I need on hand for Christmas Day. I work through each cupboard and even get to add things on to my Christmas list for things that I would like that I don't yet have or have broken in the past year.

This week I will have fun, but I have also other work to carry on with;This week I also need to carry on with the holiday prep which this week consists of:
*Make one batch of Holiday Goodies.
*Make one extra meal for freezer again labeled HOLIDAY MEAL.
*Buy two canned food items from menus
*Work at least 1 hour a day on homemade gifts.

Also this week I will;
*Continue with Top Ender writing her Christmas cards to the children in her year

And we will continue to;
*Look for Holiday Outfits for Me (as everyone else is sorted!)
*Stock the Mummy Christmas Shop
*Watch one Christmas film as a family a week

If you want to see how some others are preparing take a look at theses fellow Bloggers;
Krista at Typical Ramblings
Candace at Diary of a FlyBaby
Diane at DianeDenmark
Kelly at Life at the Quinn Home

Saturday, 17 October 2009

The Parents Evening Worry!

When I was Top Enders age, I remember parents evening as being something that my parents went to, then came home and pretended that the teachers had told them some horrid things about me, before actually confirming that I was on target for what was expected of me.

As I got older, parents evening became terrifying for me, not because I wasn't a good student, but because I hated feeling that I had let my parents down by not trying hard enough. I was not a "Straight A" student, although I always tried hard.

Parents evening now is just as terrifying, because I worry that I am letting Top Ender down by not helping her enough, or by helping her too much!

At our appointment on Wednesday we spent ten minutes looking at Top Enders books and the work she has done with Mrs Wise Owl (that's Top Enders teacher) so far this year. Both Daddy and I were impressed by Top Enders work and spotted confirmation of a couple of areas in her work that we knew that she needs help with.

Then it was time to speak with the teacher.

Mrs Wise Owl let us know that Top Ender is doing well and other than the couple of areas that we had already spotted, she was above average in her work. The only "concern" was that Top Ender constantly hums or sings under her breath! The bit that amuses Mrs Wise Owl is that Top Ender doesn't even seem to realise she is doing it... it is unfortunately a habit that needs to be curbed.

We came up with a plan to help Top Ender and were sent on our way. It was all over and done for another term and a little disappointing, because as it turns out I'm doing all I should and the little extras are showing that Top Ender is thriving on it!

Top Ender with her thumbs up

Friday, 16 October 2009

Top Ender Giggles - Real Food

Top Ender eating a McDonalds Happy Meal in the car
Last night to stop Top Ender and I moping around the house, Daddy took a surprise night off and took us on a long stopped tradition of walking round the local shopping Centre on a Thursday night. Top Ender was starting to feel hungry and so we ventured to the food hall of Marks and Spencers

"As a treat, I'll buy you a Marks and Spencers meal for dinner" I told Top Ender
"But I don't want a Marks and Spencers meal!" whinged Top Ender
"I'll let you choose any meal you want, I won't only give you a few options!" I tried brightly
"But I want real food... like McDonalds!" slandered Top Ender

Just a quick edit, for all those who have no idea what M&S is about, this was a Christmas ad from them in 2006...



Altogether now; This isn't just food this is M&S food.

Thursday, 15 October 2009

He was a terrific mouser

I had a horrid decision to make yesterday and subsequently last Night I had a strange dream that reminded me of the Film "The Three Lives of Thomasina" and in particular this scene;


Because today I am taking Dibbles, one of our cats, to the Vets to be put to sleep.

Dibbles is a very old cat, he must be 21 years old, and when my Mum had to move from the house I grew up in he came to live with us and our three cats. Although he was one of the family cats, he was my cat and he use to snuggle into me and my bed when I was only a few years older than Top Ender.

I have explained to Top Ender that Dibbles is going to go to sleep, and that it is whilst he is asleep that he will die. I couldn't come out with the whole truth, we have already too much loss this year.

We are Christians and as such, have taught Top Ender about life after Death. She knows that in Heaven we will see those who have gone before us and this includes pets. She came up with an idea this morning that pets that go to Heaven before their owners are looked after by relatives or special foster Angels until the owner can take over.

She has come up with a little first day in Heaven plan for Dibbles, where he will do all the things that he likes and will find a nice warm blanket to snuggle on before he goes and visits with his and our relatives. This little story actually makes me feel better about the choice I have had to make.

This evening we will bury Dibbles and say a few words, there won't be bagpipes, but Top Ender and I will have a good cry.

Sunday, 11 October 2009

The Smell of Christmas because I don't have a Guest room (Week Seven of The Holiday Grand Plan)

Top Ender leaning into the Christmas Tree looking at the gifts expectantly
Christmas always excites me. Not just because of the gifts and that it is a celebration of our Saviours Birth, but the whole season. The smell, the taste, the feeling and every week as I get my home ready I sense just a little bit of it coming into my home.

This week at Organized Christmas, the Holiday Grand Plan focuses on the Guest rooms and guest bathroom. As I don't have a guest room, or a guest bathroom traditionally this week I like to concentrate on finishing up all the areas we have gone over already. My list for this week is huge, and I am doing it in order of scale!

To start with I need to get the front garden sorted out again. I need to prune, fertilise and clear the area outside the front door that seems to attract mud and dust!

Then I need to move on to my entry and Hall. Daddy needs to paint a bit of skirting board, and touch up a wall but I think I might be waiting for sometime so I shall do it myself this week! It will be nice for Daddy not to have to worry about doing it in his very little time off.

After this I need to move on to the living room. This is a massive room for me as it has so many areas, but I don't consider them to be separate. I am working on it everyday and before the end of the week I should have it cleared and tidy again and ready for the Christmas decorations that will go up in seven or eight weeks.

I will then move on to my Bedroom and Top Enders. My room doesn't need a lot doing, it just needs some things moving into the loft, but Top Enders room is still as cluttered as the Living room! I let her know that we really have to let go of some of her toys because she doesn't have the space. Surprisingly she agreed and the time we spent in her room this week allowed two boxes of toys to be put into the loft (I know!) and a further unit to be passed to her brother.
I am taking it slowly as I don't want Top Ender to feel forced into parting with Toys, but it does need sorting so that she can tidy her room without feeling that I am constantly unhappy with the way she has done it.

This week I also need to carry on with the holiday prep which this week consists of:
*Make one batch of Holiday Goodies.
*Make one extra meal for freezer again labeled HOLIDAY MEAL.
*Buy two canned food items from menus
*Work at least 1 hour a day on homemade gifts.

Also this week I will;
*Continue with Top Ender writing her Christmas cards to the children in her year

And we will continue to;
*Look for Holiday Outfits for the family (Although I think Baby Boy is going to wear a little suit!)*Stock the Mummy Christmas Shop
*Watch one Christmas film as a family a week

My plan for Daddy's gift is coming along nicely and the other gifts that are being made are doing just as well, although I may have to start working on them for more than an hour a day if they are all to get completed in plenty of time!

If you want to see how some others are preparing take a look at theses fellow Bloggers;
Krista at Typical Ramblings
Candace at Diary of a FlyBaby
Diane at DianeDenmark
Kelly at Life at the Quinn Home

Saturday, 10 October 2009

Top Ender Giggles - They said what?

In the summer we went to an Open Air showing of the Film Grease and Top Ender loved it. The soundtrack has made its way into the car, so we can listen to it there and it was only when we started listening as a family that Daddy and I realised just how grown up this film is and began dreading the day Top Ender asked for clarification on the lyrics.

We were listening and singing along to the song "Greased Lightning", for those of you who don't know these are the lyrics;

Go, greased lightning, you're burning up the quarter mile.
Greased lightning, go greased lightning.
Go, greased lightning, you're coasting through the heat lap trials.
Greased lightning go greased lightning.
You are supreme, the chicks'll cream, for greased lightning.


Yeah, you read right.

What was that last bit" asked Top Ender as Daddy and I stared at each other wide eyed
"Jigsaw cream!" answered Daddy "You know cream that you put on Jigsaws" he added
"Oh!" said Top Ender whilst I tried to silently giggle, but made odd squeaking noises instead
"Jigsaw cream" said Daddy reassuringly to Top Ender and looking at me in a beseeching way.
A few seconds passed when we heard "Huh? Jigsaw cream?" from a whispering Top Ender.

Friday, 9 October 2009

Top Ender and Cousin Giggles - Anything of yours is mine and what is mine is my own!

Top Ender and Cousin
Granny was taking Top Ender, Cousin and Baby Boy to McDonald's for some tea. They were all sat in the back of the car and Top Ender and Cousin were talking excitedly about Christmas. Cousin (who is two and a half) was trying to explain that for Christmas she would like Barbie's pet Horse.

"I want a pony" Cousin said
"Do you mean 'My Little Pony' like I have?" asked Top Ender
"No, it will be My Pony not yours!" exclaimed Cousin

Thursday, 8 October 2009

Toddler Playgroup is hard!

I was a brave Mummy this past Tuesday. I took Baby Boy to a toddler playgroup.

I kind of cheated though as it is at Top Enders School, (in the school hall) so I would know people by sight if not by name and I might see Top Ender walk past on her way to the Library...

Baby Boy loved it, so I guess that I am going to have to go every week.

Darn it.

I am so shy normally, and would put things like this off forever if I could. I reasoned however that Baby Boy needs to socialise with other children other than his Sister and his cousins and the few minutes before and after school.

Luckily, including me, there were only five Mums there, and I think I can handle an hour and a half with four strangers every week!

Wednesday, 7 October 2009

Tuesday, 6 October 2009

Top Ender and Daddy Giggles - I only got two!

Daddy has been growing a beard. Something to do with turning 30 a couple of years back apparently. I blame Dave Gorman.

Today he was complaining about it to Top Ender and I, about how it is getting a little curly and long round his chin. Whilst he was doing this he was gently pulling at a loose straggly hair.

"Can I touch it" asked Top Ender
"Yes, you can even pull one out if you want" said Daddy thinking of shaving it off

Top Ender tried to pull one out.

"I can't do it" she said
"Use your fingernails" said Daddy

Top Ender tried again

"Aaaaaaah!" screamed Daddy "I meant only one not a whole bunch!" he squealed
"I only got two!" said Top Ender already walking them to the bin

I just sat on the sofa trying not to giggle

Monday, 5 October 2009

11 weeks to christmas, so I could lose 22lbs...

If I lose 2lbs a week for the next eleven weeks, I could be a stone and a half lighter just in time for Christmas. I know this will be tough, but I think that it is a good focus point for me, as it is close enough to not discourage me, but far enough away that I will work at it.

This will of course throw everything in to chaos as my Christmas outfit won't fit.. unless I buy something new that is a little too small. The problem then is that I wouldn't want to eat much over the run up to the Christmas period as I would be worried about putting on weight and my outfit not fitting... what is a girl to do?

I think that I will go with an outfit at the last minute that fits. That way if I do lose an extra lb or two then it won't matter as it will still look okay!

With my impacted wisdom tooth having been taken out last week I am not eating properly as the stitches are causing me worry (yucky!) and the bruising on my jaw is terrible! This has caused a beneficial side effect that I am sure wasn't in the recovery fact sheet.

I am eating less.

Not only am I eating less, but I am having to make sure that the nutrients that I need are in the foods that I can eat. I am using Meal Replacement drinks, which I used in the past and had good success with, and I feel that I am having success this time too. I am a walking milkshake at the moment!



Tin of SlimfastI am probably going to carry on my "enforced" diet for a little longer than strictly needed to get the most benefit of this. I was told the stitches would dissolve within two weeks, but I should be able to eat properly after a week. I will keep to the mostly liquid/soft foods diet for the two weeks of stitches and a further week after that to let my stomach shrink.

So with my weight this week standing at 19 stone my plans for this week are;

Meal Plan

Breakfast: Meal Replacement Drink (Slimfast to you and me!)
Lunch: Meal Replacement Drink
Monday: Cheesy Beans and Mash
Tuesday: Soup and Dipping Wholemeal Bread
Wednesday: Beef Casserole (it will be all tender so I won't need to chew much!)
Friday: Pizza (hopefully my jaw will be better, if not Pasta!)
Saturday: Soup and Dipping Wholemeal Bread
Sunday: Soup and Dipping Wholemeal Bread
Snacks this week will be yogurt or mashed fruits (my jaw really hurts!)
Exercise Plan
Monday through Saturday: 30 minute walk, ten minutes of weights, and 20 minutes following my online plan each day.
Sunday: Two hour walk, ten minutes of weights and plenty of family fun!

The Yummy Mummy Challenge - Week Seven

the Yummy Mummy with No Tummy Challenge
I've been reading a lot of research about weight and food as due to the wonder of the Internet everything is out there. I came across a study by The UT Southwestern Medical Centre in Dallas and found these quotes to be interesting;

"Normally, our body is primed to say when we have had enough, but that does not always happen when we are eating something good."

Now I take this to mean that if we are eating something that we should eat in moderation and are enjoying it that we over ride our sense of being full to continue eating. Interesting thought.

"Our findings suggest that when you eat something high in fat, your brain gets 'hit' with the fatty acids, and you become resistant to insulin and leptin. Since you are not being told by the brain to stop eating, you overeat."

Does that explain why I like to eat more than one cheeseburger, and not just because they are small compared to a Big Mac or similar? Or why if I have pizza on a Friday and snacks on Saturday come Monday I am starving? Apparently it does!


So the solution is to eat in moderation those fatty foods that we love but know we shouldn't eat!

But what if we have no will power?

Many Moons ago a co-worker (I call her Betty because she is a couple of inches shorter than America Ferrera and looks like her a little too) and I use to compare how much weight we had lost over the past week. Betty claimed to have no will power and had to force herself to resist temptations and plan ahead for things that were happening.

Betty did Weight Watchers and made sure that she kept enough points back to over indulge at the weekend (with alcohol!) and on Fat Friday.

Weight Watchers Logo
I started with being on the Slim-fast diet. Betty would often stand at my desk whilst I was drinking my shake and make comments, about how she could never do it, and did I really feel full after drinking just one shake? I would always smile and reply she could, and I was.

Slimfast Logo

The truth was I didn't always feel full. I would sip the drink for an hour after my lunch break was over, as during my lunch break I would go for a brisk walk to clear my head and to stop seeing everyone else eating, but I wanted to lose weight. It was a case of will power.

But what Betty didn't realise was she was also using willpower, just a different kind. She would make sure that she ate enough to sustain herself Sunday through Thursday so that she could have a blow out on Friday and Saturday. It was will power and I borrowed this technique of hers.

Fat Friday was the term used for lunch on Friday. A group of us would go for a meal at one of the many nearby buffet restaurants, or we would send someone to Subway to buy us all Meatball Marinara's or Subway Melts and it was here that my extensive diet knowledge came in handy. Okay so it wasn't my extensive knowledge but Judith Wills, but my co-workers weren't to know that.

Front cover of the Six Ways to Lose a stone in six weeks book

When ever I went with them I would serve small servings of dishes that had been mentioned in the book as being the better options, where as most of my co-workers would have a bit of every dish.

What I guess I am trying to say is that everyone has some will power and it is up to you how you use it. Stick a photo of you on the fridge, biscuit tin or the Internet. Only drink slim-fast, or save calories for a big blow out once a week.

What ever works best for you is the best way for you.

Sunday, 4 October 2009

Christmas is all about the kids... and the Turkey!

Christmas Dinner
I did something this week that I have never done before with Christmas prep. I asked Daddy to take care of a Christmas gift all on his own. Top ender is getting a Nintendo DSi for Christmas, we agreed this a couple of months back and so with this figured out I have tasked Daddy to buy it and to arrange for some suitable games for her to be purchased.

This is a really big thing for me...

So the Bathroom clean up and sort out went well. I have added new bathroom mats to my list of things to buy when I am at my Nan's in October Half-term as she has a really good cheap shop near her. They sell things that they can get cheap and sometimes seconds, and we always spend a fortune there!

Anyway this week in the Holiday Grand Plan we have moved on to the Kids Room and I am quite excited about this! Baby Boys room is quite tidy and sparse of belongings (partly because he is only 16 months old, partly because his room is so small!) so his room won't take too long. I keep a box in his room to put clothes that are too small, so most of this is already done! We keep the majority of Baby Boys toys downstairs, I just need to go through them to move the things that he has stopped playing with and the things that he has grown out of. It shouldn't take me more than a day if I do it when he has a nap!

Top Enders room is a different story. Top Ender is like me, a hoarder. She doesn't like to get rid of anything and her room shows this. I have started to get quite ruthless in my old age, ever since starting following Flylady, but none of this is rubbing off on Top Ender. I know that it isn't just me however, because Daddy tried tidying up her room with Top Ender a few weeks back and managed to get rid of two things... I have managed to persuade her however that clothes that are too small, get placed in a bag in her wardrobe so that cousin can have them. Thankfully she thinks this is a great idea!

The Christmas things to do this week that I will do are as follows;

*Make one batch of Holiday Goodies

*Make one extra meal for freezer labeled HOLIDAY MEAL

*Buy two canned food items from menus

*Work at least 1 hour a day on homemade gifts

*Make list of toys and books that children would enjoy and keep it handy for others

*Order Christmas Turkey, ham and Beef joint


Also this week I will;

*Continue with Top Ender writing her Christmas cards to the children in her year


And we will continue to;

*Look for Holiday Outfits for the family (Although I think Baby Boy is going to wear a little suit!)*Stock the Mummy Christmas Shop

*Watch one Christmas film as a family a week

I have also come up with my idea for Daddy's Christmas gift. We started a new tradition last year, where we will only spend £20 on each other and make a gift. Daddy's ones for me are always really well thought about and I always feel mine are lacking, but I know that this year I have a great gift planned! Now I just need to put it in action and I wish I could tell you about it but Daddy reads this blog!

If you want to see how some others are preparing take a look at theses fellow Bloggers;


Candace at Diary of a FlyBaby

Diane at DianeDenmark

Saturday, 3 October 2009

Top Ender Giggles - Sausage porn

Today Top Ender had been good enough to warrant a treat whilst we were doing our weekly shop.

"Can I have a Cumberland Sausage please?" asked Top Ender
"Of course you can, get a second one for Baby Boy too please" I answered

Top Ender queued dutifully and ordered the two cooked sausages from the hot deli counter.

"Can I carry them?" asked Top Ender
"It would probably be better if you put them in the trolley" I said
"They do get quite hot after a while" said Daddy.

We walked a few steps further down before Top Ender looked at the sausages in the bag, sitting in the trolley.

"They look like they are having SEX!" she said (but it seemed to echo all around)

"Top Ender you don't even know what that means, so don't say it!" I said feeling shocked
"It means they are in love" she said
"Where did you learn that?" questioned Daddy
"The Simpsons" answered Top Ender simply

"I knew it was The Simpsons. Even when it was the bears" I muttered wishing my previous ban on them had stayed in place, and realising that using a quote from The Simpsons to prove my point was probably proving a further point about watching The Simpsons...

"Guess we are banning those again then" said Daddy
"Just like when Marge bans 'Itchy and Scratchy'!" said Top Ender
"Yes, Top Ender" I said wearily wondering how long it would be this time

Friday, 2 October 2009

It's in my Genes!

Something has happened that has made me feel quite proud; Especially as I didn't set out to do it... I'm a cool and fun parent, and it isn't just me and my kids who think it!
Mummy looking smiley at a Works Christmas Dinner
Look me being cool at ten past Midnight!
I think there must be a cool/fun parent gene as my parents were cool and from tales I have been told I think both my parents, parents were "cool" too. There are two events which stand out as being the height of cool.

The first is the Christmas my parents cleared it with my friends parents, without my friends knowing, that they could have some eggnog as part of our little party. My friends were all about the alcohol, even at the tender age of ten. The second was a sleepover my sister had where they were allowed to watch a "horror" movie (I think it was The Lost Boys). At the time my parents were renovating and there was a 4 inch gap between the ceiling and a non supporting wall. My parents standing on chairs caused more screams that night from the group of girls than a group of girls at an East17 concert...

It all started because once a week (on a Friday) Top Ender, Baby Boy and I curl up on the sofa after a special dinner of Pizza and curly fries (well I eat the pizza, they eat both the pizza and fries) and watch a movie together.
Smiley Face Pizza

We call it Mummy-Daughter-Son Date Night.

This week we will be able to snuggle under our Slanket, thanks to my photo of me with Baby Boys PJ's on my head, but that is a story for another day. I will also have to rescue said Slanket from Top Enders bed. I haven't had a look in since she opened the parcel.

Anyway, back to the original story. One of Top Enders classmates (lets call him Ernie as he is an earnest little chap) has managed to wangle an invite to one of these nights in the near future after hearing Top Ender and I talk about it after school.

"You mean you eat chips and pizza and have sweets every week?" Ernie asked
"Yes" I said
"And you watch a film instead of your programmes?" Ernie asked
"Yes" I said
"And Top Ender gets to stay up late?" Ernie asked
"Yes" I said
"Can I come to one???" Ernie asked
"We can see if we can arrange something with Mummy" I said

His Mum (High Heels Mum) has already told me that she is often told "Top Enders Mum this...", and "Top Enders Mum that..." and that the Christmas gifts that Top Ender gave out last year (home made shaped chocolate and lolly pops) were talked about until about Easter, so it seems that hearing about our nights in was the icing on the cake for him.
Smiley Face cup cakes
You have to admit this is pretty good icing on a cake!
I know that I previously talked about things to do on a small budget here which are things that I think are cool and in the next few days you are going to be treated to the places to eat on a small budget post, which I know Top Ender thinks is cool, but I think that I am going to have to start seriously thinking of cool things for me and the family to do... I can't lose my status now can I!