Saturday, 13 September 2014

What Do You Do ALL Day?

This is going to be the title of my brand new blog. Naturally, I will keep this one but the new one will hopefully save me the time and bother to having to explain what I do all day now that my youngest child has started school full-time. And yes, I mean full-time there was no staggering - on the 3rd September he went in at 8.55 and was released with good behavior at 3.10pm.

Now, before I list a few examples, which will be on the blog and who knows it could be an internet sensation (if I could afford a cameraman to follow my movements I would put that on youtube) I will tell you what I've done all day for the past 10 years.  I haven't watched daytime telly, I have had countless sleepless nights (sometimes 3 hours and not in one go), I have clocked watched to do school drop offs, pre-school drop offs, not had a piss without interruptions, oh the interruptions!! I have walked 10,000 steps before lunch time, I have tried to cram in an hour of exercise and failing many times, had 4 sick days I repeat only 4 days off sick in 10 years, cooked, cleaned, weekly shop, homework, baths, reading, parents evening, inset days, doctors, dentists and the list goes on. So if  I wanted to sit and watch daytime telly or find an hour of exercise in my allocated 6 hours that they are at school then I bloody well will.

Only thing is I don't have the time!! I desperately want to live up to the perception that SAHM's have too much time on their hands but I can't. Even now. Whilst people think you have All day they don't really include the fact you've got up at 7 am and don't knock off till 8pm everyday - longer in the school holidays. So up yours!!  Full-time working ones just have to do all the things that I get done in the day in the evening or at the weekends. I have 6 hours in the day they have to find the time outside their day job. 

Here's an example of a typical day:-

6.45 am - 9.00 am - get up, dressed, 3 x kids organise, put washing in, breakfasts, lunch boxes (already prepared in the evening but still need packing), washing up, drying up, myself dressed, guinea pig routine, book bags reading records, walk to school drop off back home.

9.15 - (yes had 15 mins to check emails how very decadent of me) - 11.00 am weekly shop, unpack, banking (3 banks), post office drop off parcel.

11-1.30 pm unpack shopping, put out re-cycling, clean toilet shower downstairs, wash floors, hang washing out, ironing, lunch (20 mins - how long is your lunch break?).

1.30 - 2.30pm  cycled to friends house (look time to myself what a wanker I am!) for a coffee and chat.

2.30 - 3.00pm - final tidy up and emails and time to do the school run. Did you see any daytime telly and sitting around. No you didn't.Granted I had a bit of social interaction with another human being for less than an hour. String me up.

3. - 3.40pm - school run complete - my youngest finishes at 3.10 and the others 3.25 pm.

3.40 - 4pm - clean out lunch boxes, book bags.

4pm - 4.15pm - I have to be honest I don't really know where these lost 15 minutes go to - but hardly significant enough for some serious faffing.

4.15 - 5pm  start dinner preparations might fit in a bit of chit chat with the kids.

5pm - 5.45pm - dinner ready and consumed and washed up and dried up.

5.45- 6.00pm - brownie run - pick up daugher's friend and take them to brownies.

6.00 - 6.45pm  talk to husband a bit of  TV and the news, coffees and a bit of paper reading, washing in and prepare 4 x sandwiches/lunch boxes.

6.45pm -7.45pm - bathtimes, hairwash, daughter arrives back, bedtime stories, homework. 

7.45pm - 8pm - final tidy ready to sit down.

That is a typical Tuesday and that, my friends is what I did ALL  day!

So, what do you think worthy of a new blog?  I think so.  I will make time for an hour's exercise. One of the dad's is a personal trainer and I am going to attend his boot camp session on a Friday morning because I'm worth it!

Be back very shortly with Saturday Chit Chat and a very exciting new guest blog regular feature.

Sunday, 7 September 2014

Back to School. Back to Cycling.

Not really a natural fit is it? When would you consider the two in the same sentence? Where is your child's bike now? Do they have one? When is it used? Fleetingly in the summer or is it gathering cobwebs and turning into a rust bucket in the shed?

I like to cycle. I'm not a hard core cyclist in that I don't have a camera on top my helmet, I don't have a stash of lycra or a fancy pants £1,000 bike. I just like to keep fit and have found cycling most enjoyable and its free!

As a family we have watched The Tour de France from about 2005 (a bit late for those in the know) and absolute love it! My eldest son (age 10), in particular, knows his cyclists like a keen football fan knows the players.  As an added bonus he also loves to cycle. Only thing is we live in South London home to London Buses, plenty of traffic and all the other dangers related to letting your child out of sight for 5 minutes. We don't live in a nice cul-de-sac. We live on a main road.

The only time my son can go for a proper bike ride (daughter and youngest son also - is if I go along too).  I suspect I am not alone in this scenario.  So it got me thinking where could my children cycle and I mean properly cycle not proficiency (which lets face it who is going to let their child ride in the cycle lanes in London) in safety without me?

I googled cycling clubs in our area and there were NONE for children. Adults yes. Children no. So, if there were no clubs for children I thought the next best thing was to bring a club to the children. I decided to go about setting up an after school cycling club at my children's school. Problem solved!

If you also feel that children can't roam free and enjoy the ultimate freedom that cycling brings then why don't you set up an after school cycling club also? Its very easy.

Our bikes propped up by the beach on holiday this year. Sadly, many of us don't have this environment to cycle in
Firstly, I spoke with the Head Teacher who was very supportive of the idea. To be honest, every school should be - this fits in with their healthy lifestyle ethos, promotes well being and encourages the family to cycle to school and leave the car. Quite frankly I cannot see why any school would not want a cycling club!

Once I got the go ahead to make further investigations. I simply went onto the British Cycling Website. On this site you will find a link under the 'Go Ride' drop down menu to Go Ride for schools it will then give you details of courses and email addresses for your local British Cycling Co-ordinator. I emailed ours and he came back with a wealth of information and courses that the teacher (or parent) could go on together with cycle routes around the school and local cycling tracks to support the children's learning.  This isn't about proficiency this about children cycling for exercise for an hour, learning about the peleton, time trials, descending down hills and much more.  How exciting!

My eldest son with a Halfords bike and SKY top ready for a bike ride. Funny how cycling is now more of an adult persuit when once it was predominately for children. You can change this and set up a cycling club at your school!
The teacher went on the course (paid for by the PTA) and promptly set up an after school cycling club.  The club was immediately oversubscribed. The British Cycling co-ordinator came down on regular occasions (free of charge) to participate in the club and give the teacher guidance.  Children would come to school with their bike and leave it in the bike shed. The children would finish their club red faced and with a renewed enthusiasm for bike riding - so much so that some families starting going out at the weekend and two pupils are now competing in BMX competitions following a visit to the local BMX track.

If you really want to get hard core you could also set up many clubs in the local area, get a local bike shop to sponsor your club(s), get the local press involved and have lots of competitions.

If you feel that some children may not have a bike then I would suggest the PTA look to purchase some bikes -  so that all children from all backgrounds can participate.

So what are you waiting for? Who knows your school could hold the next Sir Bradley Wiggins, Chris Froome or Mark Cavendish and wouldn't you just feel great knowing that you had a little part to play in the next generation of fabulous British Cyclists!

I was asked to write this blog post by mini micro scooters to feature on their website. I was not paid for this post - I am just very enthusastic about getting our children cycling 




Wednesday, 3 September 2014

Bonjour!

Allo, Allo!  have returned from our annual jolly to France - 2 weeks in Southern Brittany. Thankfully everything went well as prior to our departure lots of things were conspiring against us - the car going mental and having to be put in the garage, my finger being 'broken' okay maybe it wasn't but its still sore now and I can't get my ring over the knuckle, little fella was sick 2 days before we went but thankfully was just a morning thing, discovering the day before that the car could do with an oil top up and other little niggles that I can't quite remember now.

In any event, everything went smoothly - I didn't lose the passports, the car didn't break down and no one had to pay a visit to the hospital. If none of these things happen whilst you're on holiday you've had a good one in my book!  Although its only 2 weeks away you just never know. It wouldn't be a holiday without my annual trip to a French chemist - my fingers keep going scabby with water type blisters I'm definitely allergic to something but what?! So I got some cream for that. The house we stayed in was wonderful and only a short stroll to the many beaches dotted along the coastline. I cycled with my son during the second half of the week to the local boulangier along the coastal route which was just beautiful. The following week I was driving in Tooting, South London - quite a contrast!! Speaking of which Buddy's tongue tie has FINALLY been cut hooray!!

I will post pictures and what not later on in the week.  I ate well (kept 95% off the crisps - reckon I had 2 packets in total) in that I ate a lot of bread, ham, salad, prawns, lardy type cake (instant heart burn but so worth it), bbq meat and oven pizza. I have not put on any weight!! Can't really believe it given that we had real butter on everything. I didn't eat many croissants (2 I think) and had a yogurt and nectarine for my breakfast.

So, I'm back. Back with my fitbit (20,000 steps today just sorting the house out), back with my fitness pal. Rachel from The Ordinary Lovely quite rightly points out that September is like a fresh start probably more so than January and I'm inclined to agree. I've given myself 3 months before I march down to the doctors with print outs of my food intake etc demanding a thyroid test!

I will post bikini pics etc later on in the week. I have a blog post to do about setting up a school cycling club so stay tuned if that floats your boat.

Sorry for the banal chit chat - its been a while!

Until next time...

Saturday, 9 August 2014

Saturday Chit Chat

Miniature railway 30p a person, park, bbq, cycling, park, cleaning, ironing, weekly shop, fun day - a free event for kids including go-karts, bouncy castles, pet animals, fire engine etc, McDonald's, Sainsbury's, Doctors, Library, Dry Cleaning, Butchers, Visiting Cath & Co, cycling competition, bowling party, McDonalds, beauty appointment (the best one even if it was bikini line, eyebrows and facial - I was lying down in peace and quiet) and car garage is what I've been up to this week.  I hope you're suitably exhausted reading this and doing it with 3 children in tow (one of which needed a poo in the shampoo aisle at Sainsbury - cue running with trolley to the toilet before re-commencing list) doesn't leave much time for anything else. I'm very much looking forward to 'popping' somewhere in September which has been a rare event in these nearly 11 years.

Still, I'm not complaining as jobs go its not so bad. Yes, I am harassed continuously and if that's not happening I'm stepping in to mediate the "he said/she said" arguments. And, as my friend points out (and I quote) "our basic human right to go to the toilet without interruption" is regularly being abused. I'm not sure anyone currently residing in the Bangkok Hilton, reliving Midnight Express or a prisoner in Guantanamo Bay will agree with this sentiment but hey, who am I to argue?! She has a point!

Having said all this, the holidays are wonderful! The sun has been shining, the kids have enjoyed their excursions and activities and I think there has been a fair distribution for each one as to their particular likes etc. I find this is getting harder as when they're all younger they all like the park but now my son is 10 he likes specific activities. So whilst its been good fun its been fairly non-stop and I'm looking forward to an extra pair of hands and our holiday next week.

Its been most enjoyable even if I may have had a screaming banshee moment when I couldn't find the cyclocross course. I was struggling to get the bike back in the car with the kids having wandered around aimlessly whilst the clock was counting down to the start time. I'd parked too far away from the course.

That is the beauty or should I say deceptive nature of facebook isn't it? You see a nice sunny picture of my son standing proudly with his mountain bike complete with new Omega Pharma Quickstep top.  What I didn't upload was a video of me trying desperately to get the darn bike in the car and then forgetting to give him his asthma inhaler so he had to abandon the race!  He was doing so much better this time around too - he was halfway in the main pack before it all went tits up.

How cool this kids jersey - I got it from this great site that sells all the professional cycling jersey's for children http://www.bobshop.com
Whilst driving to the Bowling party yesterday the car decided to keep beeping to tell me my seat belt wasn't in when it was. It kept doing this (with me regularly pulling over asking everyone to check their seat belts) until it was doing it is so loudly and quickly you'd think the car was about to blow up.  It did this for about 4 miles and did one final beep before all the lights on the dashboard went out. Wonderful. So on the way back I had to go to the garage (which is still under warranty) to book it in for Monday. Thankfully I'll get a courtesy car but just urgh and with the risk of sounding like a prepubescent teenager FML!

I still haven't touched a crisp - heading into my 5th week now, nor a cookie. The cake and chocolate are still proving problematic let me try again next week.  I was doing exceptionally well until the 2 x McDonalds visits this week whilst out and about so am feeling a little bloated! I don't feel that flabby as being out and about and doing all the walking etc has helped.

So that's all my news folk. Be back soon....







Friday, 1 August 2014

School's Out For Summer!

Which means this blog has taken a bit of a back seat so apologies for this.  I will, of course, resume normal service in the Autumn. Now if my sister would pull her finger out and write a guest post that would be one post done!

We've been to the Dentist (another filing for me WTF!) and am pleased to say none of my kids have filings. I'm hoping to get them to 16 without any - they don't have sweets very often and have no fizzy drinks so fingers crossed. We had a new stripey stair carpet fitted to go with our hall and landing make-over. Although the stripes didn't match at the top so they're doing it again. I didn't even notice!

The kids went to crazy golf with granny and grandad, crazy splash with me (which made me want to sleep from 3pm onwards), track cycling club, park, more crazy golf, cinema (The Nut Job - okay film but wait for it to come out on DVD) and cyclo-cross.

Cyclo- Cross Bike - pic Google Pics 

My son took part in his first competitive cycling race. If you go onto the British Cycling website it details all 'Go Ride' competitions which are meant to be a taster into competitive riding which anyone can turn up for. Its a great idea and one so happened to be near us.  He doesn't have a cyclo-cross bike which is essentially a road bike with sturdy tyres so he took his mountain bike. He didn't come last but nearly! He was in gear 4/5 for the best part of the course. I think the excitement and what not of it all made him forget that he does actually know how to ride his mountain bike and to change the gears depending on terrain. This course was huge and they had to do 2 laps - the more experienced youth riders did 3.

It was very hilly and I reckon 4 miles in total. He was exhausted by the end but I was so pleased he didn't give up and to my surprise he wants to repeat the "brutal" course again next week at a different location.  I'd imagine a cyclo-cross bike is far easier to ride but they are in excess of £300 so he'll have to wait a bit if he wants to take it up properly.

He's back into his cycling in a big way and I may find myself ferrying him to the local track every weekend soon. I don't mind this though - its good for children to have a passion for a sport/interest of some kind.  I want to give him every opportunity to progress as far as he wants to. It may last less than a year or may be something he continues to do. I don't want him to be an adult and think if only my parents had bothered to take me to this then I could have be involved in competitive sport.  A little bit of effort goes a long way.

One of the many activities during the summer holidays. I am partial to bit of crazy golf it has to be said!

So school is out for summer. It's always a bit mental leading up to break up - sports day, parties, pre-school break up, teacher gifts, end of year production - this year it was Mary Poppins and so on.  There was also a lovely achievement assembly for the end of term with medals, trophies, certificates, singing etc and it just (like I need to!) made me realise that mum did good in swiftly removing my children from their old school into this new one.  Feel the fear and do it anyway - isn't that the saying? Well it all worked out. My little fella starts full-time (no staggering) on 3rd September with the other two. That will be a strange day indeed but its a little easier to swallow knowing what sort of school he'll be going to.

The final step does not line up with the stripes! 
So what of the exercise? Nada. Nowt. Nothing. I have been active taking them here, there and everywhere which leaves little time for fitting in exercise. I have, however, been fairly contained on the food front so no weight gain for me.  I will be entering week 4 of not touching crisps next week, week 2 of not touching cookies and have yet to conquer no cake or chocolate which incidently I have started again today.  I am determined though as the facebook group I set up for motivating all things healthy and weight loss is a wash with success stories. In particular, one member has lost 4 stone with Slimming World, another has lost 25lbs not eating cake, chocolate or crisps and another has lost about 2 stone and is looking very fit.  I would like to add myself to the mix shortly.

5 years married and the hubster trumps me on the present front - yet again! 
Since my last blog post, we were finally seen by another surgeon about Buddy's tongue tie and would you believe it he wasn't going to cut it. He was merrily spouting off about how a child at even 10 years old can have speech problems, spitting, drooling etc can be unrelated blah blah blah. I couldn't believe it and was glad I took the Hubster who has a poker face at the best of times for moral support.  The surgeon slipped up though as he said "well I can do it.." and was about to say but to which I said "good, I'd like his tongue tie cut please". What really angers me about all of this is the amount of time and money wasted in telling me to go away when it could have so easily been done when he was a newborn.  It clearly is about money and not about the patients need. I am pretty sure (this chap runs a private practice) that had I been seeing him privately he would have told me all the reasons why I should get Buddy's tongue tie cut along with an invoice for approx £2,000. And that is where the NHS will be in 5 years you'll be told that it can't be done but can be done privately at a cost. Unless its life threatening you won't stand a chance. The problem with the NHS (asides from the fact that the government have more or less no control over it anymore - its been outsourced to private companies and the final nail will be when the muppets of this country vote to the Tories again) isn't immigration, the amount of people etc its the shockingly piss poor administration of it.

For example, we were asked to arrived at 11.00 for an 11.15 am appointment - we were seen at 12pm and it lasted 5 minutes max. What are they doing between appointments - all the computer info was done whilst we were there?

There is no sense of urgency - people meander about without a care in the world. I reckon you could save millions just by making the NHS staff walk faster! Enough of this as its quite depressing as I'm pretty sure when I'm an old woman I will be saying "in my day you got free health care by paying a little every month and we didn't need costly private insurance".

Tempestuous at times - very true!
Finally, it was our 5th wedding anniversary last week.  As ever, the hubster trumped me on the gift front. It was wood and I purchased what is now referred to as the 'Blackpool Tower'. This was a sentimental nod to our 3 day Honeymoon in Paris (please have children before you get married if possible as it can limit your Honeymoon options regarding childcare depending on your support network).  I received a lovely cube with various references to our relationship (no it didn't have 'jaded' or 'shit' - not yet anyhow!).  How does he do it?!! Bastard.

One year, one year I'll get him on the present front.

Until next time.....

Monday, 21 July 2014

The Letter C Diet

Ah ha ha ha. That's all I can remember of Count Dracula from Sesame Street I'm afraid. Not too sure of his intro but anyhow this leads me nicely into my thoughts for a revolutionary new diet. I should ditch The 1970s Diet and call it The Letter C Diet. Millions will rush out and snap up my simple, no nonsense and rapid weight loss words of advice in paperback or hardback. I might even see if I can get a picture of Count Dracula on the cover. What do you reckon?

Count Dracula from Sesame Street - picture google pics 

Actually what am I talking about? See, this is what happens when you write a blog post at 10.00pm. It was Cookie Monster who did the letter of the day on Sesame Street. He is perfect for this post of which I will explain below.

C is for Cookie Monster and most things that make you fat! 
I wrote, what seems like ages ago and most probably was, giving up the three 'c's. If I can recollect it was crisps, chocolate and cake? Well, I revisited this on Monday last week. Yes, my friends a whole 7 days. I have not touched a crisp and I have had no desire to eat them.  They were sneaking back into my lunch alongside my ryvitas and popping into my mouth without any consideration whilst dishing them up to Buddy at lunch time.  In fact, I think I consumed 3 x child frazzle type packs in one day which equated to just under 300 calories. Now, its all well and good logging it and saying its part of your allowance but ultimately I think I have a crisp addiction. I am a crisp addict. I've said it. I decided I need to go cold turkey with the intention of giving them up until it was my holiday but now I'm just like actually I'm just going to give them up.

Then I started thinking about all the things that begin with C that I like and are actually not condusive to losing weight in a hurry. Here goes...

CRISPS

CHOCOLATE

CADBURY (SEE ABOVE!)

CAKE

COOKIES

COLESLAW

CHORIZO SAUSAGE (possibly the world's most tastiest sausage - matron!)

COKE

CREAM (whipped, poured or clotted)

CHINESE TAKE-AWAYS (very rare these days but see what I mean!)

CURRY (see above)

CROISSANTS (all butter) 

CHEESE

CAULIFLOWER CHEESE (its lovely but still cheese) 

CARBS (I'm okay with carbs but some people see them as the enemy) 

I'm sure there's lots more - feel free to add any C's to my list.  What do you get if you eat lots of C's in your diet. CHUBBY! Another C. Now this may sound basic but I reckon if you cut out the letter 'C' from your diet then you will lose weight instantly!

Now, I don't drink Coke anymore, the chinese/curry aren't really an issue. I'd like to say I eat lots of cauliflower cheese but my roast dinners are piss poor and I can't see anyone making me this fab dish for me anytime soon.  I've cut out crisps and also cookies as from today. I don't eat lots of them but I always manage to find a way of eating one at the weekend when the husband buys those giant ones for the kids. Chocolate mmmmm not a massive problem, having said that I did have a 99 flake Corneto at the weekend! Oh dear, I do have problems don't I. I have been known to accept a slice of homemade cake (especially on my Wednesday lunch date with Em) so that's another one on the list that needs to be cut out. Come to think of it do I eat anything that doesn't start with the letter C?

Mostly I'm feeling good that I've just said no more on the crisp front. I'm excited to add cake and chocolate also. Cream - I should go cold turkey also. I've been having a dash and I mean a dash on my strawberries at lunch time. These are all Calories that just add up - I'd say at least 300 a day.

Well that's my ground breaking decision pre holiday. My stomach has gone down a bit already and I will take a bikini shot this year also and you can tell me what you think. I haven't weighed myself for ages but I reckon a couple of 1lbs off. I managed two workouts last week the swimming and the kettlebells which I think I told you about.

More news later this week on kids, the NHS and more!

Monday, 14 July 2014

Happy Bastille Day!

Picture my own! Yay I own this object!
Bonsoir, Bonsoir and all that jazz. No more football - alas the Argies didn't win (I had them in the family sweep stake and was set to 'win' £50) which, on balance, was probably a fair result. The German's were awesome in the tournament. How things have changed though - I used to hate Argentina. In fact, I can barely talk about that ill fated football match where Beckham was sent off and we were down to 10 men. It was a great match and I don't believe an England side since that game have really had the same amount of passion. Many a fan cried that night including myself. Its still raw, still raw!  Anyhow, they're not a dirty tackling side anymore are they? I quite liked them and Messi seems quite sweet cue some sordid tabliod story. The last time I said "oh he seems like a nice family man" was about Ryan Giggs....

So, I can now fully concentrate on the Tour De France and I feel also I've got back to concentrating on my health and fitness. I set the alarm this morning for 6 am and did my kettle bell workout, although, I'm not sure how effective this is as I am still half asleep and don't push myself as much if I'm more awake. Still, I suppose its better than laying in bed. I re-charged my fitbit and have done over 20,000 steps today - that is going to be the aim. I also filled in my food diary and (get this) I have given up CRISPS. Oh my, I realise I have a bit of an addiction thang going on so have decided to go cold prawn cocktail and cut them out altogether.

Tomorrow, we're off to hospital to tie up the consultant and make him do Buddy's tongue tie. I shall return then with an update.

Ta ta for now or should I say Au revoir ...