Wednesday, 21 April 2010

In or Out?

So, the sunshine and the spring have finally made a very welcome appearance! How much of a difference do they make to your life and your mood?

I find the sunshine puts a few extra smiles in the world and that can only be a good thing!

My gym membership ended last month and so I have been experiencing the joys of outdoor exercise again for the first time since I was training for the marathon last year (and even then I only did a handful of outdoor runs if I am honest!).

As I was running along the river to Hampton Court yesterday, I compiled a list of pros and cons to my new outdoor cadio v my old friend, the gym….

Outdoor pros

  • Sunshine
  • Fresh Air
  • Lung work out
  • Seeing life
  • Enjoying the views
  • More interesting
  • Opportunity to try different routes
  • A chance to explore the area
  • Inspiration for new places to take the kids
  • It’s free
  • Endless variety
  • Start working out the minute I leave the house, no need for travel
  • No smelly people on the treadmill next to me spraying their sweat across
  • No need to always have £1 for lockers

Outdoor cons

  • The little bug things that keep flying in my mouth/up my nose
  • No trashy TV to watch or BBC news to catch up on or radio to listen to
  • Having to take and carry as much water as I’ll need
  • Being slightly scared of the woods/river path even though I always go safe routes my imagination does override my common sense on occasions
  • It’s not right next to Sainsbury so I can’t link gym/shopping, bike ride home (although this should go under pros too as Sainsbury shopping after a run was dangerous as I would be so hungry, I’d buy way too much!)
  • No little digital information provider telling me how far/long/fast I’ve been running
  • If I run too far, I’ve still got to get myself home
  • Weather dependant

13 v 8

In conclusion, I have found that my new al fresco style exercise is better all round!

Enjoy the sunshine and smiles x

Monday, 8 March 2010

Young love

Today we had the pleasure of having an adorable little girl from my son’s pre school class over to play. Three and a half hours flew by without hitch and she left my son and daughter totally exhausted and me feeling fine – my ideal house guest!

Her favourite game was to pretend that I was poorly and I had to lie on the sofa (good so far) and I wasn’t allowed to move (even better) whilst she told my obedient off spring to fetch me (pretend) drinks, cuddle me and give me lots of injections. She ate happily, played happily and brought out the best side of my son. He looked at her with puppy dog eyes, following her every command even though she is too young to realise the full advantage of her power. She looked like she had stepped out of a picture book, all long plaits, pink dress and rosy cheeks yet she got stuck in with his bob the builder games, ran around at speed and initiated a game in which they built an excellent den.

My son asked her why she doesn’t play with him all the time at school to which she replied simply that she plays with the girls at school but he could be her boyfriend outside of school. They are four.

My daughter took a few minutes to get used to having a female friend of her brother in the home as they have all been male to date apart from old friends who she has known forever. She soon recognised the benefit of having a fellow female to squeal with and demonstrated this seal of approval by bestowing upon her a pair of beloved pink, sparkling fairy wings.

I am very proud of my son for befriending such a sweet natured, charming and polite little girl and I do hope his taste in women remains so exactly to my taste also. To have the approval of the family instantly is quite remarkable. Long may it continue!

Sunday, 7 March 2010

Looking to the future

My son has been thinking a lot about the future. He has often suggested that we get married and is quite sure that we’ll be together forever. He has also been making some interesting observations and suggestions in regards to the family.

‘Mummy, when I grow up, I’m going to be a doctor. And so will you so you can still be with me all of the day, every day’ He soon added his Papa and sister too as ‘we should all be together all of the time. For work and then lunch and then all come home together’

‘I’m also going to be a fireman. With my sister next to me in the baby seat’

He has been considering who will look after his sister’s babies when she grows up and ‘has real babies – what will happen to her baby? Who will push her around the house in the buggy?’

He is at the age where his Daddy is a giant in his mind. 'As big as Papa?’ being the ultimate in huge. He is determined to be that big and displays his enthusiasm as he finishes every last mouthful. ‘Can you see my legs growing?'

Wednesday, 3 March 2010

Birthday Boy

My little boy turned 4 today. He took it all in remarkably calmly and just seemed to cruise through and enjoy the day.

He woke up and happily opened presents before getting ready for pre school where he wore the ‘birthday badge’, got sung to and gave out treats at the end. Then he came home to the house I had prepared for his party and waited for his little group of friends to arrive. They played, ate, played and ate some more and then left, rosy cheeked and goodie bags* in hand. My son crashed out with his little sister and watched his birthday film ‘UP’, just popping into the playroom every so often to check out his new toys. He got ready for bed and jumped in easily to listen to lots of new birthday book stories. Falling asleep with a gentle smile still playing on his mouth, his mummy staring at him with a nostaligic and proud mummy tear falling unashamedly.

Thank you for the most wonderful and the most perfect four years of my life so far, my little superhero xxxxx

*Goodie bags from and highly recommended by MummyCoach!

Monday, 1 March 2010

Everything comes in threes

So, Part Three. 1. Tonsillitis 2. Swine flu 3. See below

I had my appendix out on Friday night. I knew there was something wrong but it took a while to figure out what it was. I’ve always known that I have a high pain threshold and, on this occasion, it worked to my disadvantage. After two visits to the GP, it had been put down to gastro something and then a kidney infection. Luckily, I had been told that if the super strength antibiotics didn’t work then I was to return and when I did, the tests showed that I was getting worse and not better. A few more tests and I was straight to hospital and operated on that night.

10 things that I have learnt

1) A good friend at a time in need turns her from a valued friend into a guardian angel

2) Managing to see your husband, albeit briefly, just before heading to theatre makes it all OK

3) Timing is essential. On the weekend. That mum was due to visit. Good planning Mrs. Appendix

4) Home and kids and husband are all the best medicines (without doing the hard work of course!)

5) If it hurts, there is probably something wrong and you should keep trying to fix it until it doesn’t hurt anymore

6) It is perfectly acceptable to attempt a quick clean of the house before heading to hospital if you have a minute as it makes drifting off into oblivion so much easier

7) Hospital food lives up to the reputation it has so rightfully been given

8) You have to ask the questions if you want to get the answers

9) Losing a few hours of your life and waking up to your body complete with marks, scars and things attached to you that you have no memory of receiving is very disconcerting

10) Drugs do work

p.s Allegedly when I was coming round in the recovery room, I could hear some of the team talking about a doctor who had been naughty. I was very insistent to pass on my wisdom to them in all things disciplinary and suggested they put him on the simmer down chair until he can say sorry.

Thursday, 25 February 2010

Playtime with playdough!

My son is given a different literacy or numeracy learning pack each week from pre school which are designed to promote weekend activities with the family. They normally come with a book, an exercise or game, a felt board with characters, musical instruments or other props. The pack comes complete with a laminated sheet with ideas and suggestions as to how to use the learning pack.

I love them as they are full of ideas and the one just before half term included the idea of making non-cook playdough, rolling it into little balls and then pushing the balls through some skewers and leaving to dry overnight. Then you can paint them and leave to dry again before threading them through some string to make a beautiful necklace!

I normally make playdough on the cooker but this was a non-cook recipe and it was brilliant. The kids loved the progression of making through to the necklace and it took all of half term to complete it due to the drying times required but this added to its charm. It was an activity that went the distance.

We developed this idea as we all loved it. The next time we made playdough, we rolled it out and used our letter cutters to make our names and other letters that we liked. My son was having a great time finding the letters to make up his name and trying to help his sister and then using the letters to make words once they were dry.

This was a cheap, fun and messy activity that we will be doing again soon!

Playdough recipe

1 cup of salt

2 cups of flour

2 tablespoons cream of tartar

2 tablespoons of oil

2 cups of boiling water

Mix up all of the dry ingredients, add the oil and then slowly stir in the boiling water.

Tuesday, 23 February 2010

Making sense of the world

I was brought up as a Christian with varying degrees of dedication. For a long time my family were really quite religious and so we would attend church every Sunday, go to Sunday school and my sisters and I all started our education in a Church of England school. We would say grace before a meal, we had copies of the bible around although bible reading wasn’t forced upon us. I envied my sisters as they were old enough to go to ‘Supersaints’, the church group designed for teenagers in the evenings.

My parents separated when I was nine years old and, as I remember, this is when our family and religion in the traditional sense also parted ways. The faith remained however our church attendance was limited to Christmas Eve Mass and other special occasions and there was no more Sunday school and, perhaps most upsettingly for me at the time, my name would never appear on the guest list for 'Supersaints’.

My family each have their own relationships with faith, spirituality and belief and I have mine. I have been thinking of this a lot recently as my son asks so many questions such as ‘Who made our house?’ ‘Who made that car?’ ‘Who made water?’ ‘Who made me?’ ‘Who made you?’ ‘Who made Grannie?’ ‘Who made this toothpaste?’ ‘Who made the trees?’

My answers are normally are one of the following:

1) A factory

2) Their Mummy and Daddy

3) A clever man/lady

4) Bob the Builder

5) God

Then I had ‘Who made God?’ ‘Where is God?’ ‘Why is God everywhere?’ ‘Why is there only one God?’

OK, I had to decide fairly quickly how much to discuss, feeling rather under qualified to explain such important theological ideas and what I was to fill his head with. More questions it turned out, of course.

My husband was brought up in a relaxed Catholic family and attended a school run by nuns for some time. He has no strong religious views now but is a spiritual and open - minded person across the board. We both want to allow our children to decide what they believe and I think the best we can do is offer answers based on what we know or believe and also make sure the kids know that there are lots of beliefs, all of which are equally valid.

I give full credit to my parents as my guides in what I should and shouldn’t do and I recognise that they brought me up to be a ‘good person’ however, I can’t help but think that I also owe a lot to starting life with such a solid religious education. I was never scared by religion or made to feel intimidated, simply the fact that there was the possibility that something like God existed and would see me and judge me was enough of a deterrent.

My son is now making sense of the world around this ‘God’ I have introduced to his world and he talks about him often.

According to my son, the following is an accurate description of God:

He has two googly eyes

A shiny, round nose

A big, big tummy

2 goobly hairs

He is short with feet as big as my (Duplo) castle

He paints and glues and reads Thomas the Tank Engine books

He gives Karma

He eats potatoes (lots of them) and so that he’ll grow into a big polar bear

He eats, pasta, spaghetti, meat and chicken

He doesn’t go to school as he’s too small

I am slightly concerned that I am confusing him but until I can think of better answers to life’s big questions, this will have to do.