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Showing posts from November, 2009

The Xmas Factor 2009

As I mentioned in my Let There be Lights post I did something silly at the turning on of the Towns Christmas lights. On the spur of the moment I entered The Xmas Factor, which was a little fun that was being had and included mostly children singing Christmas songs such as Jingle Bells and We Wish you a Merry Christmas.
I did say that if I could get the video I would post it for you all to watch/listen to and so I am posting this as quickly as I have been able to get it so that I don't lose my bottle and hide it away. I have tagged myself in it on Facebook, so if you are reading this as a note on Facebook, you can go hunt it down too.
And if you think I look distracted remember that I hadn't sung solo in public since 1998 and I keep waving to Baby Boy who is the baby you can hear crying. Oh, and Top Ender is the little girl you can hear at the start who comments

"My Mum is definitely going to win the adults!"

She must be psychic!

The Yummy Mummy with no tummy Challenge - Week Fifteen

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This week on the Yummy Mummy with No Tummy Challenge, I have done well... despite eating a lot of junk food this past week as Daddy hasn't been around.

My weight has dropped by a further 1lb, but it isn't enough in my opinion and so I'm being silly this coming week and following a diet that if it were a Twitter user would probably be one of those Britney Bots providing lavish attention to the auparishtaka she is performing. Low IQ and plenty of hot air.

I am on the Cabbage Soup diet, but my healthier version of it! I am hoping that if I follow it for a week (I followed it in the 90's once or twice) that it will help me lose a bit more weight before Christmas. Yes I know that it will probably be just water, but it is the increased confidence in myself that the weight loss will bring that I am really after.

I hope that this week will see me losing around 7-10lbs and with the exercise plan staying the same (an hours walk everyday, 30 minutes following my online plan, the…

Let there be lights! Or Week Fourteen is Holiday Decor

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This week is my favourite week in the Holiday Grand Plan because it is Holiday Decor Week! Normally I would of been putting up decorations today, but Daddy isn't around and so we will wait until he can be part of the fun before we put them up... hopefully it will be Tuesday! We will put up the trees in Top Ender and Baby Boys rooms and Top Ender will have some fairy lights hung too and we will make our Christmas cake later today.

What I will do this week however is make a few more treats and finish off the last few bits I need to do such as;

*Decorate the cake we are making today
*Work at least 2 hour a day on homemade gifts.
*Look for a Holiday Outfit for Me
*Watch one Christmas film as a family a week and one a day on my own!
*Enjoy the booked/scheduled family events

Talking of scheduled events yesterday saw the lights being turned on in our local High Street. As is now Tradition Top Ender, Baby Boy and I walked into Town to see this. We bumped into a friend of Top Enders who h…

When Parents and Teachers disagree

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In general I trust teachers. I don't go in and question every little choice that they make (even though sometimes I wonder!) and I tend not to take up their time unless I feel it is really needed (I won't stand bullying) or a parents evening has been scheduled.

In the parents evenings I take notes on what is said, ask questions about Top Enders progress, what can be done to help her at home and generally show an interest in her and her school life.

I felt that the teachers and I were a team.

Then a few weeks ago I was summoned to a classroom along with around twenty other parents where a teacher explained that our children were being put on to a special course to boost confidence and was just the same as the other children were doing, but they would get some really simple homework each week and did we have any objections to this if so speak now or forever hold your peace.

I didn't speak up then because I knew that Top Ender does suffer from confidence in her school work. …

A Wiggly Tooth

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"My tooth is wiggly Mummy!" said Top Ender
"A really wiggly tooth or just a little wiggly tooth?" I asked thinking that it probably wasn't wiggly at all
"Quite wiggly!"
"I shall have to check when we get home then" I said

The next thing we were home and were talking to Daddy on the web cam.

"I have a wiggly tooth Daddy!" shouted Top Ender
"Really? Which one?" asked Daddy
"This one" Top Ender said whilst sticking her finger in her mouth
"Let me have a feel then Top Ender" I said

I gave the tooth a little wiggle and was surprised to see it really was quite wiggly. I suddenly felt a little teary, a little older and a little sad.

"Oooh it is wiggly!" I managed brightly and added "The Tooth Fairy is going to visit us soon I bet"
"Quick Mummy take some photos before it falls out!" said Daddy

I know that Top Ender is growing up, I have been noticing little things that she says o…

Top Ender Giggles - You will obey

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Whilst walking round Tescos Top Ender spotted some shaped bubble baths.

"Mummy!" she exclaimed
"Oh yes!" I said "Disney Fairies Bubble Bath!" as I know when I am supposed to be excited
"No! Look at this!" she giggled as she disappeared round the other side of the stand

Whilst I tried to manoeuvre the trolley round the freestanding unit Top Ender got into place bending down behind a Dalek shaped bubble bath. As soon as I appeared she said in a quite good Dalek voice;



"I am a Dalek Bubble bath and I will exterminate dirt across the Universe"

We left the store thirty minutes later still giggling!

Wordless Wednesday - Having Fun taking the photo for the Christmas card

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The Yummy Mummy with no tummy Challenge - Week Fourteen

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I cheated and last night I stood on the scales... a whole eight hours ahead of when I should of. I was deflated when I saw that I weighed 1lb more than last week. I then thought well I need to pee and I guess my dinner could still be being digested... and so I thought I would wait until this morning to check my weight. Turns out I was right to question my early weigh in, as I had actually lost 1lb... they do the weigh in at the same time every week on The Biggest Loser for a reason you know!

This week I am eating fairly normally again, although I am trying to keep the calories to between 800 and 1000 calories a day. My exercise plan is going to be taken back up to an hours walk everyday, 30 minutes following my online plan, the wii game work out for 20 minutes everyday, 10 minutes of weights and a lot of heavy lifting with the garage continuing to be sorted out!

Stir it up Sunday - Week Thirteen of the Holiday Grand Plan

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Its Week Thirteen in the Holiday Grand Plan and whilst our American friends are stressing about Thanksgiving over here in the UK we aren't.... although saying that I have promised Top Ender a proper American Thanksgiving meal this week, (with marshmallows in Sweet potato mash and everything!) and I am making a few little table decorations including a tissue paper turkey... maybe I will stress a little.

This week in the Grand Plan it is the week for attention to be placed in the Dining room. I don't have a dining room, but I do have a dining area. At the moment the dining table is is covered in things that shouldn't be there so my number one task for this week is to get that moved. I am also going to need to move a toy chest so that we have area to put up our tree...

Tomorrow night we are taking a photo of Top Ender and Baby Boy to go with our Christmas cards. There has been a slight amendment to our plan of taking at the shopping centres display and we are going to take i…

Eating out with Kids... cheaply!

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Top Ender and Baby Boy love to go out to eat. It doesn't matter if it is a Sandwich in the park, a picnic at the lake, dinner in a restaurant or a snack in a cafe. Anywhere that isn't home makes the food taste magically better and I know it isn't because of my cooking skills or my lack of culinary art!

It is because of their love of eating out that I have a list of places that we can go to where we can grab something to eat, not break the bank and not have to resort to McDonalds... although plenty of that is eaten at times! Here is the low down on where you will find me and family when we can't be bothered to cook!

Costco's restaurant is a marvellous thing. Pizza, Jacket Potato's, Salads, etc are sold at a fraction of the cost that you could get them at other restaurants and the portion sizes are bigger too. This does mean that a slice of pizza and a bit of Mummy and Daddy's Jacket potato or salad will feed both Top Ender and Baby Boy!

You can refill your fi…

Top Ender Giggles - Its a bloke wearing a Dress!

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Last week Top Ender was sitting in the back of the car as we drove past a local Adult Nightclub (Its the local Lesbian, Gay & Transgender Venue, don't you know). Normally when we go past this club the car park is empty and I have only once seen something (well someone) in the car park that made me double check what I had just seen as it was gone Midnight and I wasn't sure if I should believe my own tired eyes!

As we drove past I noticed in the car park a gentleman standing next to his car. The gentleman wasn't wearing the usual type of clothing that a gentleman would. He was however wearing a very nice black and purple Lycra dress and patent black high heels.

There were some giggles from the back of the car as Top Ender spotted him.

"Whats funny Top Ender?" asked Daddy
"There was a man wearing a purple and black dress!" giggled Top Ender
"How do you know it was a man?" asked Daddy
"It was very obviously a man!" I snorted
"H…

Top Ender Giggles - Age is something that doesn't matter, unless you are a cheese!

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Whilst we were in the car, Top Ender was keeping us entertained with a constant stream of chatter about various topics including the near future.

"Mum? One day when my friends come round they will bring their boyfriend" she said
"Yeah?" I answered whilst wondering if it was one boyfriend per two girls these days
"Yes and then they will kiss their boyfriend!" she giggled
"You're only five!" said Daddy (a quick glance saw he was taking this seriously!)
"So are our Boyfriends Daddy!" she answered

Wordless Wednesday - My very own Cindy Lou Who

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If you want to see how we made this Cindy Lou Who look take a look at our quick Tutorial.

Where is Top Ender?

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Last week Daddy took Top Ender to school one morning as they were having a good discussion and wanted to carry it on.

During the day I spoke with Daddy on Instant Messenger several times. More than likely about silly stuff like a shower curtain he had seen, or maybe how much thin mucus your nose produces every day (4 pints I am told, yeah I know that is disgusting!).

I'm not really sure though because we waffle a lot and the days all merge into one long waffled conversation, rather like the ones we have when he comes home at Midnight and I am asleep and don't realise until an hour later that he is in bed and I say something like;

"Oh its you!"

Well who else would be in my bed? Jeffrey Dean Morgan or Javier Bardem? (A girl can wish can't she?!) On a side note, don't they look similar? I also see a little of Nick Knowles about them, who my Mum and Sister met in a pub once, but I am digressing...

So Top Enders Teacher comes to the cloakroom door and the class st…

The Yummy Mummy with no tummy Challenge - Week Thirteen

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I have stood on the scales three times this morning. Each time I got a different weight. The first two times either meant I had lost 15 stone in a week (I know I haven't) or put on a stone (knowing my luck that could be true!). It was after the second time I decided to change the batteries.

The third time I stood on the scales they showed a 3lb weight loss (Hooray!) and so I can lose weight, my body doesn't hate me, it is just that it needed reminding that food is an energy source!

This week is going to see me eating 1000 calories a day again with a menu plan that is not yet decided on for me but will include plenty of vegetables and fish and slim fast for breakfast. My exercise this week is going to be a walk everyday, ten minutes of weights every other day, my wii game three times this week for 30 minutes and as I am trying to clean out the garage a lot of heavy lifting!

My plan is that I will lose 3lbs again this week, but who knows?!

Getting the house ready for Christmas - Week Twelve of the Holiday Grand Plan

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This week is Week Twelve in The Holiday Grand Plan, which means it is time to attack the attic. Unfortunately I am not allowed to do this one as Daddy doesn't like the thought of me falling down the loft ladder. So this week I will try to do the Garage again as last week the weather was against me.

I did spend a fair amount of time working on craft projects this week and have managed to do a lot more than I expected, even finding time to sew up some toys with holes and missing ears and the like!

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 2 hour a day on homemade gifts.

And we will continue to;

*Look for Holiday Outfits for Me and tights for Top Ender
*Stock the Mummy Christmas Shop
*Watch one Christmas film as a family a week
*Continue with Top Ender writing her Christmas cards to the childr…

Frugal Christmas Food

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Food at Christmas is a huge thing, it is all part of the celebration that we feel we need to have nuts and other snacks as well as the traditional Turkey and trimmings and that is just on Christmas day! On top of Christmas Day and New Years Eve there are the snacks at parties, during special seasonal events, when friends or relatives drop round and if you are like Daddy and me in the run up to Christmas too!

One way that I like to try to keep the cost down is by making most of my treats. Over the last few weeks I have been making biscuit and cookie dough and freezing them uncooked either in sausage shapes or in special cut shapes. All I need to do is to defrost the sausage shaped ones in the fridge over night and cut and cook the next day. The cut shapes I just cook from frozen!

I also like to make my own mince pies, you can keep them in the freezer until needed and either defrost them in the oven or microwave as you are about to eat them or again freeze them uncooked. The added bene…

Baby Boy Giggles - Early Morning Needs

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Baby Boy was in the bed with Daddy, whilst Top Ender and I had escaped downstairs for Breakfast and a bit of homework. When Baby Boy woke up he rolled over and looked at Daddy.

"Dada?" said Baby Boy questioningly
"Yes, Baby Boy?" Answered a sleepy Daddy
"Boob pease" he said expectantly
"Sorry, Baby Boy I can't... I'm not Mummy! said a still sleepy Daddy
"Oh!" said a disappointed Baby Boy

There was a pause before Baby Boy yelled

"Mum-mum?!"

Frugal Christmas Entertainment

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I don't know about you but when I was younger I always felt a little out of my friends conversations around Christmas time. It seemed to me that my friends parents spent hundreds of pounds more on my friends Christmas entertainment than my parents did on mine, they went to Pantos, to Lapland and other things that must of cost a fortune.

I often felt that my friends were being short changed however, because even though they had the most desirable places to go to I was always given what I wanted or needed I was given my parents time. I will have to ask my Mum, because looking back everything is slightly rose tinted and I know that it wasn't all Sunshine Lollipops and Rainbows, but it certainly felt that way!

We did a lot of things over the Christmas period that cost next to nothing and to me is part of a frugal Christmas. So if you are time rich and money poor, I hope some of my ideas and traditions for Frugal Christmas Entertainment may become yours!

When I was little we use to…

Wordless Wednesday - Spot the Robin Red Breast

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I wish I could take credit for this, but this was taken by Top Ender!

Top Ender Does Panto... "Oh yes she does!"

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This is a special post by Top Ender, (Oh No it isn't! Mummy stop adding things and Oh Yes it is!) Mummy has typed what I have told her to say, but she has added pictures and stuff. Mummy also wants to talk at the end.


Last week we finished up our bottle of Blackcurrant that we had been given by Nanny B. On the label it said that I could Put on a Panto. I know all about Panto's as Mummy has told me about them as we are going to go and see Cinderella at the Milton Keynes Theatre as part of the Have A Lovely Time series "The Great British Panto, 2009".


So I got Mummy to take me to the website that is here and followed all the steps to get my own panto of Snow White. I thought that as I was going to see Cinderella that I should do another one, and I like Snow White.


I asked Mummy if she would be the Beautiful Evil Queen as I would be Snow White and I was going to phone up Daddy at work and ask if he would be in my panto too, but Mummy pointed out that even with us all p…

Daddy Giggles - Banned from Tesco

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Daddy took Baby Boy to Tesco's last night and decided to use the self service check out.


It seemed that the till that Daddy had picked was playing up as when Daddy scanned the first item it flashed up that there was an unexpected item in the bagging area. The supervisor came up and used her key to cancel this and went back to her stand. As she went back and Daddy scanned the next item, it again flashed up that there was an unexpected item in the bagging area, which the supervisor again came and canceled using her key and returned to her stand.

As he scanned the third item and it flashed up that there was an unexpected item in the bagging area, Daddy kicked the till.The supervisor at this point came rushing up to Daddy and Baby Boy

"Hey you!" she shouted as Daddy felt himself turn bright red from being caught out
"Yes?" answered Daddy"
"Where did you get those Brazil nuts? I have been looking everywhere for them!" she gushed
Daddy felt very reliev…

The Yummy Mummy with no tummy Challenge - Week Twelve

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This week sees me start my minimum calorie intake (as opposed to a normal amount for losing around 1lb a week) which should, if everything was okay in my body see me losing around 2-3lbs a week. Seeing as I have not lost any weight this week this will be the tell tale sign if things are wrong or right with the way my body has been re-programmed!

The meal plan for this week has yet to be fully sorted out, but I will be eating around 800 calories a day. This has been agreed with the Doctor as something that I am allowed to do, but he has warned me that it might have the opposite effect after I go back to eating a "normal" amount after the first two weeks.



My exercise plan is going to remain the same for this period, but again I have been warned that this might not be do-able after the first couple of days!

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 …

Remembrance Sunday

Today is Remembrance Sunday.

I never really understood Remembrance Sunday as a child, I knew what it was about and why we had it, but I didn't get it on an emotional level. It was always kind of odd for me because my parents got married on Remembrance Day (the Eleventh of the Eleventh at Eleven O'clock to be exact) and so I always thought of it as being a happy day and so couldn't understand the deeper meaning.

It was last year when we watched the parade going to the Church that I really got it.

I stood at the side of the road with my family and cried for all those who had gone before me, for all those who had gone to war for me, for all those who couldn't today stand with family and I was thankful to them and I said a prayer for us all that one day we will all know peace.

The song that came to mind was one I learnt at Primary School, "Last Night I had the Strangest Dream", here sung by Steve Cottrell.

This post is dedicated to everyone in 9 troop royal engineers

Making Space for the new Christmas toys (Week Eleven of the Holiday Grand Plan)

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This week is the Garage and Storage week in The Holiday Grand Plan. My garage is one of those rooms where it will get cleaned up and tidied and then it will stay great for a few weeks, months even and then one thing will be moved and another and another and before we know it the Garage is in a shambles again.

I will sort out as much as I can without 'Daddy' helping, but with it raining this week it might be a little hard. I also need someone much more handy than me to drill in the Garage wall as I have brought a rack for our bikes, which should save some space for Top Enders and Baby Boys!

This week though I need to spend more time on Christmas Crafts and my general Christmas prep as I realised that I have used up some of my Holiday Meals and my Holiday cookies!

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 men…

Its not only Christmas that is Big Business!

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Its not only Christmas that is Big Business in this house, but Birthdays too.

You see, my Birthday is the day after my Mum's and so we celebrated them together. It was great fun as I grew up, especially as my sisters birthday is three days after our Dad's and again we would love celebrating both the birthdays together. In fact the first Birthday that Daddy spent with my family was the joint celebration of my Dad and Sisters Birthday (and he didn't nearly get us thrown out of the Chinese Restaurant we were in with his Chinese accented version of Happy Birthday, that is just a rumour...) of which we even have documented proof!



It wasn't intentional that Top Enders Birthday was exactly two weeks before Daddy's, she was due before Christmas but managed to hold on until early in the New Year... and I was kind of forgotten by the Midwife team; But I will admit to some crafty planning with Baby Boy and he ended up being born 13 days after my birthday! I'm not sure what …