Thursday, 30 September 2010
Tuesday, 28 September 2010
Well those of you who know me know this is an awful prompt for me. I could use this gratuitously to show off images of amazing food and then I would start to drawl and remember how much I love food and head straight off to the cupboard. Considering I have been being good around food for the last few days this is not a good idea and I was not prepared to do this. I did consider not posting to the gallery this week but that would be a shame. The food or should I say my obsession, my addiction should not win, I should be able to be in control of my life and be able to do this.
So the pictures I have chosen to share with you are of my kids finishing off the cake we made for dh on his birthday about a month ago. It all looks innocent enough in the first pic....
and then little fingers can not resist any longer...
... and here they are, proud as punch! What a good job they did, with a little help from Mummy (and a nasty burn on Mummy's arm!)
Food holds an important place in our family and already my children have a good love of food and eat a wide variety of foods. These are both great things, what is not so good is that JJ already will tell you his favourite part of a day out was the food or that the highlight of a party was the food. This worries me a little, it could be early signs of the same problem I suffer with. but I can not get hung up on that as who knows what the future will bring.
All we can do as parents is to do our best to promote a healthy diet and a healthy body image. Have you ever thought about the fact that everything you do is watched and noted by your child? scary thought, isn't it? When you say you are on a diet they think that must be a good thing to do as Mummy does it and she is our idol! Or when you gorge on chocolate because you are feeling down, tired or stressed your child learns that is the way to deal with emotions. Do not show them, stifle them.
Have you ever read that verse by Dorothy Law Nolte 'Children Learn What They Live'? Here it is -
If children live with criticism, they learn to condemn.
If children live with hostility, they learn to fight.
If children live with fear, they learn to be apprehensive.
If children live with pity, they learn to feel sorry for themselves.
If children live with ridicule, they learn to feel shy.
If children live with jealousy, they learn to feel envy.
If children live with shame, they learn to feel guilty.
If children live with encouragement, they learn confidence.
If children live with tolerance, they learn patience.
If children live with praise, they learn appreciation.
If children live with acceptance, they learn to love.
If children live with approval, they learn to like themselves.
If children live with recognition, they learn it is good to have a goal.
If children live with sharing, they learn generosity.
If children live with honesty, they learn truthfulness.
If children live with fairness, they learn justice.
If children live with kindness and consideration, they learn respect.
If children live with security, they learn to have faith in themselves and in those about them.
If children live with friendliness, they learn the world is a nice place in which to live.
This is so true and yet again scares the life out of me. What a big role I have to play in my kids lives. But that is OK. I do not have to be worried or scared. As long as I do my very best that is all that is expected of me and it will be enough.
So here are a few of the strategies that are used at our house to try to ensure that the kids do not grow up with an eating disorder or body issues -
- I do not go on diets anymore anyway but if I did my kids would never know. Diets are banned, it is not a healthy thing to promote to a child. If I am eating healthy or abstaining from a certain food and my kids offer me chocolate for instance, I will just so no. If asked why I will just reply 'I do not fancy it right now'.
- Food is not given as treats. Food is just part of life and should not be a reward, that is when it becomes sought after or turned to for comfort.
- All foods are allowed, moderation is the key. Luxury foods are given at my discretion and not all the time. Children can never help themselves to any luxury foods (sweets, crisps, chocolate, cakes, biscuits, ice cream, desserts and anything like this).
- The kids do not have to finish everything on their plate to be allowed their pudding after but they do have to have tried everything and eaten an adequate portion.
- My children are always told they are beautiful, not just for the way they look though but for their character - such as being great fun, being kind, considerate etc. This way if they ever find themselves in a position in older life when they do not like the way they look they have something else to fall on to keep their self-esteem.
- We try to all eat together at the dining table at least once per day and we try to chat and have fun at the table. This is family time.
- We try to encourage the children to eat slowly and to savour each mouthful. We also always have water with our meals.
- We say grace before our meals to thank the Lord for the luxury of having a good meal every day and as a way remembering those who are not as fortunate.
So what are your thoughts? Have I given you some food for thought here? Any tips for me on how you promote healthy eating and body image in your family?
1. Do not get drawn into the politics or one upmanship that seems to be the norm at some schools. Just because Peter had a 6ft hand carved pirate ship cake does not mean your child needs one too. Be confident to do your own thing.
2. Just invite the children you want to invite, not the ones whose parents you want to please! At the end of the day your child will know who they play with and this should be the most important thing.
3. Set a limit on the number of children you will invite and stick to it, there will always be that ‘just one more person will not do any harm!’
4. Do not have the party at home. I have only done this once and it was supposed to be the most stress free year. It was not – kids did not want to play the games, they trashed my boy’s bedroom and I had to clear it all up afterwards!
5. On that note, use disposable table wear. Yes I know it costs more but the time you save in clear up is well worth it in my mind and the kids love the novelty table wear. Keep your eye on ebay or your local supermarkets for good deals – buy in advance. You can always put the paper in for recycling.
6. Also, watch out for value/ reduced party bag gifts throughout the year and buy when things are cheap. Or give bigger gifts instead that are on special offer. For my girl’s birthday this year I gave plasticine sets to the kids who came to their party, they were in the sale for £2.49 down from £10.00. A much longer lived gift than a party bag of tat! For JJ’s birthday next week the boys are getting a Ben 10 stationary set which I got for £1.49 in a supermarket clearance sale.
7. If you are providing the food, offer what you want to offer. I know a load of Mums that make up a really healthy buffet and the kids do not touch it. Yes, offer some carrot and cucumber sticks and some grapes and strawberries, things we know that kids like. But ultimately it is a party and just one day, the kids are there to enjoy themselves, so loosen up a little.
8. Alternatively make life even easier for yourself and order pizza online. Most kids love pizza and places like Domino’s offer wedges and chicken now too so you can get some variety. We will definitely be ordering pizza to arrive just after we get home from work on the actual day of JJ’s birthday. This is a treat for him and a lifeline for me, a busy working mum. Plus have you seen some of the good deals they do? You know me a sucker for a bargain!
9. JJ’s birthday party this year is a trip to the cinema with 6 little friends. We are going to a Sunday morning £1.00 showing. Ever thought of doing that? What great value for a 7 year olds birthday, then a walk across to McDonalds afterwards for lunch and a candle in his McFlurry and we are set! A small party does not need to cost the earth but your child will enjoy it. Last year we took JJ and his friends to soft play after school using a buy one get one half price entry voucher and afterwards a 50% off food meal voucher. There is always a deal out there you just have to find it.
10. Lastly, make sure you have enough adults with you so you can relax and enjoy. Watch the delight on your little ones face and savor that special time. There are plenty of other days in the year for you to get stressed out…
Here is the birthday boy JJ himself. To say he is getting excited already is an understatement. Roll on Sunday……
Sunday, 26 September 2010
That's right I am fat, I am very overweight.
Currently I am about 15 1/2 stone (I say about as I have no scales at the moment but the belt notch feels about that weight!). At one point I was what they classed as 'morbidly obese' but I am about 2 stone lighter than that now, so I am probably 'very obese'. One day with the grace of God I hope to be just purely overweight. I have no secret longing to be a size 10, I just want to be a healthy weight, a good role model to my kids and living a full life without a crazy obsession with food and weight.
You see that is what my problem is, I am an addict. I do have a very real addiction to food and also to the comfort and release that eating, stuffing my face and stifling my emotions gives. Every day I obsess on food - where my next meal will come from, what will it look like, will it fill me up, how many calories are in it, does it add to my 5 a day etc etc.
It really is not as simple as joining a weight loss club and just losing some weight. People like me who have lost stones and then regained them numerous times in their lives have a problem. A problem which keeps drawing us back to the food. Every time we move away from the day to day feeling of normal life, be it that we have a high or a low we want to celebrate or commiserate with food. So I vow now never to fool myself again and to start a diet, that I just will not keep to.
I expect some people may read this and laugh and wonder what I am on about. Food an addiction? Yes, in exactly the same way as drugs, alcohol, sex, self-harm, shopping, spending, love, soaps on the TV, trash mags or anything else can be. Most of us have some kind of prop in life - mine is food. Some would say it is far less harmful than drugs, at least I won't kill myself - but won't I? What about heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, to name but a few.
It really does take some time to admit to yourself and be ready to say 'Hi my name is Michelle and I am an addict, a compulsive overeater'. I was going to say it is not something I am proud of but actually the fact that I am being brave enough to face up and take this journey does make me proud. For the last 6 weeks or so I have lost the plot, I have rejected most things recommended by the program of addiction recovery that I am following. From this moment on I am back on track and I pray for God to help me, it is through Him that this will work. You do not have to be a Christian like me for this program to work for you, you just need to believe that you are out of control and that there is a stronger being/ higher power in the Universe. For me this is God, for you it might mother nature, Buddha, or your recovery fellowship.
I do get incredibly fed up with the stereotype of a fat lazy person and I want people to see the real me inside, that thin person struggling to get out. Rather than seeing the fat first and the person second. I suppose that is our culture today so much based on image and looks, how can I blame anyone for thinking that I have let myself go and that I am slowly killing myself by being too lazy to get up off my bum and do some exercise.
So here are a few truths which may set the record a bit straighter -
- I do at times eat too much, I have been known to binge but generally my eating is getting better.
- I adore food and just love new tastes and the excitement that comes with knowing I am going out for a nice meal. You see that is the addict in me, food = love and stability and happiness.
- I run around after three kiddies when I am not at work. I have ants in my pants and rarely sit down - always doing something - housework, ironing, gardening, out to shop etc
- I exercise a couple of times per week, I go to the gym or aqua or swim and I enjoy it (once I am there!)
Friday, 24 September 2010
I am sorry the NHS puts you under such a tight time line that you had to keep hurrying my husband along and not giving him enough time to talk and answer all the multiple questions you were bombarding him with.
I am sorry that no one saw fit to brief us that we should have been coming to you with at least 10 full exercise books of examples of JJ's behaviour showing why we want some help.
I am sorry (really sorry) that you thought it would be acceptable for JJ to be in the room when you asked my husband to tell you about how he makes friends and his lack of them. Do you really think that a loving Daddy would knock his son's self-esteem just so you can get your answers?
I am sorry that you seem to think we were there to waste your time and that you think my sons behaviour patterns are just down to naughtiness! If only it was that simple, our discipline tactics would have sorted things out long ago. We are not exactly slack parents!
Lastly I am sorry that you appeared to think that we wanted a statement for our son and that we were just after some funding. Would you like to hear what our aim was from this assessment? It was to help us get some answers. Why does JJ act the way he does? Why does he not have any friends? Why does he not understand that sometimes we have to sit still and listen? Why can he not make eye contact? Why does he burst into tears inconsolable when his routine changes? Why does he feel the need to control all situations? why, why, why? Strategies for us to help out little man were all we were after but it appears that you can not provide that....
So yes for the next 6 months until you see JJ again we will keep a log of his behaviour and it will be me coming to see you next time, so watch out as I will have answers for you and I will tell it as it is!
A cross Mummy!
I am really, really proud of you today. JJ wanted his Daddy to take him for the assessment and you rose to the challenge and took him. Some Daddies have no interest in their kids, you are ace! Do not feel bad that you could not answer all the questions and that you yourself sometimes find it hard to communicate especially when someone is pressing you. As I said earlier it is God's will that is done. So he knows better than us and this is obviously the right outcome for now.
Love you babe, Mich xxx
JJ, My Beautiful Little Man,
I love you so much my sweetheart and the realisation I have had today is that I need to be more patient with you. I truly believe that you do not willfully act naughty, it just appears that you have no idea what is OK and what is not so it is my job, as Mummy to help you to learn that and fear, aggression and anger will not teach you anything. So babe we will be having lots of praise, hugs and sweet talking from now onwards.
It is really easy, when you need a wee, you ask Mummy. Got it?
It would make my life so much easier. Thank you poppet.
Nothing burning that I need to say to you this week but it is that twin thing again, where I feel if I write to one I have to write to you both. So all I will say is thanks for being such fun. You make me chuckle and that rocks!
Tommy The Plaster!
You have done an amazing job, thank you so much.
A Happy Customer!
Thanks for sticking with me. Thanks so much for keeping me away from the food these last couple of days. It makes such a difference to my sanity. I am a much better Mummy when I am not 'in' the food.
As always thanks for being there and supporting me. It has been a fab week for chatting to people, making new friends and finding new blogs.
I got to 100 followers yesterday and then someone dropped me off their reading list, so I am back to 99 again! doh oh well it will get there in its own good time.
Have a great weekend.
Thursday, 23 September 2010
- I did not eat on my emotions today
- I did not eat as I was lonely today
- I did not eat as I was bored today
- I did not eat as I was angry today
- I did not eat for any reason other than the fact that I have to eat to live.
Sounds boring? It might be but it is completely necessary for me, a compulsive overeater. I have been out of control the last couple of months. I have known that I have been on a slippy slide into the food but I have not felt able to do anything about it. Boy, does it take a lot of mental effort to be good around food and to abstain from unhealthy behaviours towards food.
I actually feel as if I am starting from scratch again. My weight this morning was 16st 6lb, this is about a stone less than my heaviest weight but about a stone heavier than my lowest recent weight last year. I hope to see the scales go down, the waistbands loosen and the smile on my face expand over the next few months. I feel very positive and ready to give my willfullness up today. This is a big step in itself. I must remember not to get ahead of myself and to stay living in the day - For Today is one of the slogans from my ED meetings and it is very pertinent - I can do today things that might horrify me if I thought I would have to do them forever.
I really enjoyed taking time to read when I woke this morning, first my ED literature and then my Bible. This and chatting to God first thing this morning set me up for a good day. I must make time for this each day. It is a discipline I had got very good at but then in the last month or so even that had slipped away - it was just easier not to bother! But who said life had to be easy?
Oh and I forgot to mention it is FlogYourBlog Friday! This is a wonderful way to find new blogs and spread the blogger love.
Wednesday, 22 September 2010
I am a child of the 80's (well born in the 70's but my formative years were in the 80's) and this means that I look back very fondly on this time. Rubix cubes, Fame the series, Wham, Duran Duran, Relax, Rimmel pink shimmer lipstick, white must Body Shop Perfume, big perms a la Sharon from Eastenders, Chopper bikes, break dancing on pieces of lino at street corners etc etc
If any of these things mean anything to you then it probably means you are similar in age to me (I am 37 in case you are wondering!) and congratulations as I think this is a great age. I am really enjoying my 30's and despite the fact that 40 is getting closer and closer I am not worried. The kids certainly keep me young.
One of the things that dh and I love to look back at (and the kids are starting to enjoy too!) are all the old childrens programs on TV. Nick Jnr do a fab amount of re-runs of old childrens TV shows in the evening and then of course there is youtube where you can catch up to your hearts delight. I particularly always loved Mr Ben. Perhaps I wanted to secretly escape and turn up somewhere else in a new outfit! Dh likes Chorlton and the Wheelies and Camberwick Green himself!
Along the same lines I love to look at the old adverts as well. My absolute all time favourite is the little red alien robot - if I said 'For mash, get smash!' it might ring some bells. Coming a close second is the Honey Monster, he seemed to constantly be on the telly when I was a kid with some cool giveaway in his box of cereals - swap cards, little animal toys, magic paper etc etc
So here is a youtube clip to transport you right back, one of the original ones -
Me personal favourite - Honey Monster does Bond - 007!
and here we are bang up to date! the latest advert from the Honey Monster. Notice how different he looks form the original advert. Much better, I never realised he was so Hermon Monster when I was a kid!
So what about you, what is your favourite memory from the 80's? Did you like the adverts? or the cheese they showed on the TV?
Tuesday, 21 September 2010
I have woken up this morning and the sun is shining! Yay. It is one of those lovely early autumn days where it is crisp outside, the grass is glistening with dew and the sun is shining. The trees are starting to change colour and I am lucky enough to live in the leafy suburbs where the sight of orange, red and brown trees as I walk down the street is the norm. It will definitely be a trip to the park later….
It has felt like a short summer this year, there was not much sun in evidence but we still had a fab time. We managed to pack in a summer holiday to Dorset, a trip to Chessington, day trips to the beach, a trip to London Zoo, short breaks at the Grandparents and numerous trips out to the park. How we fit it all in I wonder, but we did!
Probably one of my best days during the summer was our trip to London Zoo for the girls 3rdbirthday. Courtesy of Tesco Deals Vouchers (I do love these, have you noticed?) we were able to visit the Zoo for no cost at all. We had an amazing time, we packed a picnic to keep the cost down and the kids loved seeing the animals, getting close to the monkey’s (and bugs! yuck), watching the penguin show and walking through the butterfly house. However, the big hit of the day was as we walked through the children’s farm area. We were approached by a couple of staff and asked if the kids wanted to be mini keepers. My first thought ‘oh no, a new way to sell expensive gifts!’ but no each day in the summer they let children join in and help to muck out/ clear up the farm area and hand feed some of the animals for free. My children had a ball and of course that meant dh and I had a ball. JJ announced that he wanted to be dropped at the zoo each day for the rest of the holiday! It really was a lovely day as the photos testify - the kids got given a certificate for being 'Min-Keepers'.
Then on the way home we stopped at our local Pizza Hut and enjoyed a family meal. We go to Pizza Hut fairly often as there always seems to be a deal to be had and that is right up my street. On this occasion the deal was that kids eat free with each adult meal purchased. I am pretty stoked to find out that this offer has now been extended until 9 January 2011, so we can safely say we will be visiting again at least a couple of times. The actual offer is that for every adult main course or adult lunchtime buffet purchased, an accompanying child can choose from either a FREE 2 course kids meal (includes a drink) or a FREE kids lunchtime buffet (includes pizza, pasta and salad). I have 3 kids as you know and I have to say that I only ever order two and an extra drink as my girls are just small and they like to share a spaghetti bolognese. Pizza Hut has always been fab about this and I appreciate a company who does not try to rip parents off.
Sunday, 19 September 2010
Saturday 29 July 2006. The day I lost my smile.
The first day of me learning a big lesson in humility. The first day of a few months of pain. The first day of realising just how vain I was. The first day of realising how strong my faith in Christ had become. The first day of the rest of my life... my life with a wonky smile!
Above taken 4 Aug 2006,
I started to feel a bit strange from the Monday before, a terrible headache and very low earache, then from Tuesday I had the weirdest taste in my mouth and some numbness. By Thursday the taste was so bad I had made a dental appointment assuming I had something very wrong in my mouth. Dh and I drove to my parents on the Friday night and I remember in the car telling dh that was eye felt fat and I was so tired, I could hardly keep my eye open. We both thought that a busy week at work had taken its toll. Upon arrival at my Mums we fall into bed and I sleep soundly, unaware of what is happening to my face while I sleep.
I get up earlier than dh and go downstairs where I chat to Mum and she is looking at me very weirdly, she then says I am slurring and my face is a bit droopy on one side. So off I go to look in the mirror and she is right, something weird is happening to my face but I am in no pain so I do not panic and wonder what is going on. I don't think it is stroke but it does look like it. I go and wake dh and tell him 'no hurry, but when he can would he take me to the emergency doctors please'. He wakes with a jolt and asks what is wrong and then looks at me and 'says we need to go now'. Off with go with our 2 year old and they leave me at the doctors while heading off to the park, no need for us all to sit around - I am sure I am fine.
The nurse does not look so sure that I am fine! In fact she is very, very concerned and wants to call an ambulance to take me to A & E now. No thanks, I say my hubbie will drive me there soon. Where has all this calmness come from? By this point I really do look like I have had a stroke, half my face has fallen and I can not close my right eye, I can not smile, I am slurring and I still have that awful taste.
Roll forward a few hours and we have been to A&E and they have given me some steroids and confirmed the diagnosis, I have Bells Palsy. This is temporary facial paralysis, normally on one side and normally people fully recover from this with very minimal problems. The recovery is often within a week. Yay, I knew there was reason to be calm. Thanks be to God.
We stay the weekend at my parents and I have to take it easy, my right eye will not close. The hospital recommend taping it closed and patching it for periods during the day, I also need to use artificial tears as any scratches on my eye would be very detrimental. I go to two wonderful services at my parents local Church and get prayed for by some lovely women. I shed my first tears since this has happened and am even more upset to see I can only cry out of my left eye.
Roll forward again, this time a week or so and nothing has changed there has been no improvement to my face. Why is this? I discover that the severity of the palsy (or paralysis) depends on the damage to the 7th cranial nerve. The more severe, the longer the recovery period. By this point I am in agony, here is part of my diary entry for Wednesday 5 August 2006 (Day 13).
"The pain is getting worse, I never expected this. For me I thought paralysis would be just that but no, my face on the poorly side feels like it has been beaten black and blue, just to touch it hurts."
The doctor diagnoses me with facial neuralgia the next day and gives me some drugs to take for it, these knock me out and stop me driving but the carbmazpine along with co-codamol and nurofen seem to do the trick and the pain starts to subside.
In the end I am off work for about 6 weeks with the facial pain and the tired and scratchy eye that still hurts. I think one of the worst things was not being able to eat or drink properly, as I could only use half my mouth everything would spill, so I had to use a straw to drink very small amounts. After about 6 weeks I am back at work as I can blink again, after about 4 months it is less noticeable and my face does seem to be making some recovery form the physio that I am having.
Roll forward another year and I still have a very wonky smile and in July 2007 when my girls were born there was a scare after their birth that the Bells Palsy might have been reoccurring. Luckily it did not but I am now always aware that when I get too tired or too stressed my face takes the strain and droops a little.
It is now 4 years later and the residual symptoms remains, I can not frown on one side, I can not blow bubbles or blow kisses, I can not blow up balloons, I only cry from one eye, my eyes water when I eat, I blink less often with my right lid and of course that wonky smile remains, although I have learnt all the tricks in the book to hide it. Take a look at my profile picture above - can you spot it?
Do you know why I 100% believe this happened to me? Because I was not listening to God and His will for me. I had made myself so busy and so stressed with tons of things. I needed a wake up call, one strong enough that it would get me to re-assess my life and give up some of the tasks and start to be a better wife, mother, employee, friend, daughter etc etc
It worked! I stood down from most of my roles, I took some steps in faith by applying for jobs I believed God wanted me to go for and by November 2006 I was pregnant with my wonderful twinnies. What a blessing they were. We had been trying to get pregnant since 2004 and nothing but then when I least expected it I feel I was rewarded for my faith in the Lord. I knew that all would be OK and I knew that losing my smile was not the most important thing in the world.
I still look at photos and hate my asymmetrical smile, but you know what this imperfect face is slowly teaching me - humility! I am very aware that I can be flawed with Pride at times. In the past my sense of self-importance has been out of control but nowadays I am pleased to say that I can recognise this character defect and do work to help keep it in check!
So there I am, laying myself bare again! A chance encounter with a viral illness changed my life and shaped my character and helped to make me the imperfect Christian I am today.
Saturday, 18 September 2010
Every so often I try and join up with Cass over at Casa Di Cass to re-post a blog entry from my past. One that people might have missed. Well this is easy for me as I only opened my blog up in January this year, there is a years material before that which no-one has ever read - not unless they are really diligent and have searched my back catalogue!
I see that Cass is actually out of town, so this weeks 2nd Look Saturday is actually at Nolie's Place. This is the first time I have visited Nolie's and I will be back.... go take a look!
So on 4 October 2009 I posted the below under the title: This Parenting Lark Isn't Too Easy!
I have been wanting to write this entry for ages. I have had the title in my head and even about 2 weeks ago I had some things I wanted to say! lol Today I feel a bit of a brain block but I am hoping that if I start typing, it will all come flowing out....
Being a parent is really tough, or should I say striving to be a semi-decent parent is really tough. The actual having sex, making a baby and even having that said baby was easy by comparison.
How do you influence these little people in a good way? Well the best thing would be to live a saintly life and never to show the many character defects that I have and to show them by example how to be a well-rounded adult with a good sense of fun and responsibility. One problem - I would have to be living that myself to be able to show them and I am very much an imperfect being. I get stressed, anxious, cross, irrational - I shout and sometimes I even lash out in anger. I am not at all proud of some of the ways I behave but I am sane enough to know that I am not the worst parent out there and nor am I the best. So I think the facts that I am very aware of the need to grow emotionally and spiritually to enhance my character, and also that I am working the 12 steps to try and be a better person will mean that I am doing the best I can for my small people. At the end of the day, the best I can do is all I can offer!
Well that is not the route I intended this post to take! lol My original plan for this blog entry was to talk about some of the things that are really testing me at the moment - like Miss M's defiance or Miss E's whinging or even JJ's lack of listening and learning skills. How many times can you take something away from a child or show them their actions have consequences without them learning at all! absolutely loads is the answer in our house. What I have remembered from this exercise is that we are supposed to praise the good and ignore the bad. So whilst I had been acting on the naughty stuff he had been getting attention that way, rather than praising him for the good stuff. So Thursday we started a reward chart again and yes his behaviour has been much better - bingo! Sometimes us parents just have to stop and pause or pray so that we have time to think and clear our heads to see what a good solution to the problem may be.
Also today, I had the stair gate open to the kitchen and Miss E was able to come in and help me unload the dishwasher = no whinging! I forget how much they love me, I am the center of their world and they just want to be with me all the time and to help me. I should be flattered and yet sometimes I am just short-tempered and trying to get on with chores whilst shouting shhhh!
I need to remember that my babes are the most important things in my life (along with dh) and that I should show them that. xxx
Thursday, 16 September 2010
WoodenDad being the super kind bloke he is felt that Jenny WoodenMum needed a bit of a break from the tolls of breastfeeding, sleepless nights and nappy changing and he sent Jenny on a trip by train to the Kew Botanical Gardens. Here are a couple of snaps of her enjoying her day out!
Wednesday, 15 September 2010
At first I had all the usual thoughts about weddings, anniversary's, engagements, births, birthdays etc etc and whilst they were all amazing and wonderful celebrations they are what you would expect me to post a picture of. So I wont! lol
With all the excitement of the MADs awards on Monday it got me looking at @wearebutlins on twitter and I found that Butlins are running a competition for the best photo of you at Butlins. Well, this was one for me. When JJ was small, Butlins was our regular out of school holidays jaunt. We first went in 2004, twice in 2005, three times in 2006, once in 2007, once in 2009 and once in 2010. We are already booked again to go next April for Spring Harvest.
So I had an enjoyable hour last night reminiscing and looking at family holiday snaps and I watched JJ grow up at Butlins. These photos held really wonderful memories for me.
The celebration that I am going to post a picture (or two) of is a holiday we had at Butlins, Bognor Regis in early September 2007. My twinnies were just 6 weeks old. To get on holiday with a 3 year old and 6 week old twins was cause for a celebration in itself.
This was the same holiday where Miss M slept her first 6 hour stretch and where Miss E started to put on weight as I discovered Aptimel baby milk and she was able to take this without it upsetting her reflux too much. I decided on this holiday to give up breastfeeding Miss M and put them both on formula and whilst I was somewhat sad to do this (as I had breastfed JJ for 6 months) I knew it was the right choice for my family. JJ had his Mummy back again, a Mum who was not sat with 2 babes on her boobs for 2 hours out of every 3!
This was also the holiday where I got to leave dh to look after both babes and I slept in my Mum and Dads apartment and had a full nights sleep. My excitement was untold! Then to cap it all, as my Mum and Dad were there too, dh and I were also able to go out for 2 nights on our own and remember that we loved each other as us and not just as parents.
These were massive celebrations for me.......
All 3 kids with their favourite 'Bobby The Builder' in July 2009.
Here's to making some more fab memories at Butlins, we will be back in April 2011, Skegness here we come.......
Tuesday, 14 September 2010
You are both such little cuties right now and I enjoy you so much. Just one request for each of you - Miss M stop making those evil eyes at me. When you do not like what I am telling you, just deal with it, I am the Mummy! Miss E, could you please stop having little cries in the night, what is wrong my babe? I know it only takes a few moments of a cuddle and to give you Alfie back but really, sometimes Daddy and I could just do with a full nights sleep with no disturbance at all.
Monday, 13 September 2010
Do you want to know which company I am pissed with?
Well it is esure, the insurers. We have our home insurance with them and have done for a few years now and we have made a couple of claims: root damage to drains, storm damage to roof and 1 lost diamond earring and they have always been fab. No problem at all, hence we renew with them each time.
Do you remember a few weeks back I said that some idiot has stolen my DH's bike, well we reported it to the police and reported to the insurers and they said we needed to provide the receipt. We could not find it, what a bummer! They asked for photo's of dh on the bike - err yeah right! So we sort of assumed we would not get a pay out. The claims handler said he would call back and advise what the loss adjusters said - he never did!
A couple of weeks later, I called for an update and was told I would have a call back - we never got one! That weekend there was a great deal in Halfords so dh bought himself a new bike - he needs it to get to work after all.
Then I happened to be tidying some things of mine and found the bike receipt, yay! So I called esure again to get a stroppy guy with no idea about customer service and he said we had to fax the receipt. I then called again today to explain that dh had already bought a bike and we had the new receipt etc and could they refund money instead.
I basically got told we had prejudiced the claim, it did not matter if esure never called us back, that was their prerogative (WTF!) and that if our house was ever burgled we would need to provide every receipt for every item before they would pay out. I asked what would happen if the burglar had turned the house upside down and all the receipts were ruined or such and got told it was their right to withhold the money without receipts. Anyone every heard of this before? To me this seems the world has gone crazy! Are there so many people out there now making bogus claims that those of us with good trusty claims histories and years of never claiming have to now be treated as criminals?
I will be writing to esure and making a complaint about the attitude and lack of helpfulness of the guys I encountered. There has obviously never been any training to give them decent customer service skills as neither one of them would say sorry or admit that it was not good enough that promised return calls were not made.
If esure felt they could not pay out on a bike claim as we had no receipt that is one thing and I would respect that is just the way it is but for their staff to not be able to be civil and to explain things properly is not at all acceptable.
I will be investigating other insurers and finding out if this keep every receipt thing is universal. I no longer want to be a customer of esure!
What about you? How are you finding customer service in the UK nowadays? I blogged a couple of weeks ago about how fab the service was at Chessington and recently I have had some fab service in John Lewis but then I also balance that with the promised return call that never came back to me from the local cinema and our dental surgery that now sends out reminders to some people. err how do you chose those people that are lucky enough to get a reminder??? Equality for all please.
Right rant over!
Please someone restore my faith and tell me about some great service you have recently received or rant if you like, as the title says it is good to vent and get it all out your system. Link up if you have a relevant post and want to join me on my quest for great customer service in the UK.
Saturday, 11 September 2010
Tuesday, 7 September 2010
Noways it just made me think of ironing - numerous white polo shirts all hung up ready each Monday morning. I am such a Mum!
As a kid my memory of going back to school was the excitement of getting together a new pencil case full of exciting bits, choosing my trendy uniform, shoes and bag and looking forward to seeing my mates again.
When I asked JJ is he was looking forward to going back to school, I got a 'No, I hate it'. I don't actually think this is true though but he can struggle at school. That difficult combination of being bright academically but very immature socially is hard for him. He has 2 assessments coming up in 2 weeks, one with the communications disorders clinic and one with speech therapy - we will see what they have to say about my little lad. He will always be my shining star whatever they say. He has been such a little dream today, getting his uniform ready for the morning, helping me clear the table and load the dishwasher and we enjoyed a game of Cluedo before he went to bed tonight.
Anyway, back to the Gallery. The pictures I have chosen are here -
This is JJ on his first day at school back in 2007. He looks so small to me but at the time he was the tallest in the class (and still is!). Then below we have the other 2 beauties that accompanies us on that first drop off at school, Miss M and Miss E are two months old there.
Then here are the three of them a year later in September 2008.
Monday, 6 September 2010
Sunday, 5 September 2010
Saturday, 4 September 2010
Friday, 3 September 2010
When you first have twins, all you hear from people in the street is 'double trouble' or 'you've got your hands full there' and I can remember groaning with other twin mummy friends saying 'can't people think of something original to say' and why do they have to stop me with 2 screaming babes, not one but two!! arrgghhh. You often get asked if your twins are identical and despite me assuring people that my girls are very different, I would still get the obligatory 'are you sure?'. Well, yes funny enough I birthed them and am their Mother!
Well, no one stops me now, as once the kids are not cooped up in a double buggy anymore, it is a lot harder to tell that they are twins, especially when one is a foot in front and the other is trailing a foot behind. So twin mummies, here is a note - enjoy the attention while you can, because once it is gone, you may just miss it! lol I did always feel incredibly special and lucky when people stopped me to tell me how beautiful my twins are or how well behaved and now that does not happen anymore - have they got more ugly or more naughty? no I sincerely hope not, just bigger and less obviously twins.
So here I am with two very different little ladies, let me introduce you to 'Chalk' first -
- Also known as Miss E, Poppet, Popsey, LouLou and about 4 other variations of her real name
- 97cm tall
- Long glossy straight golden brown hair which is the envy of my friends - she looks like she has natural golden highlights
- Slim body, chubby face. Age 3 clothes now
- Took an age to learn to sleep through, was a very difficult babe to look after in the first few months
- Could not take to breastfeeding and used to cry and scream and squeal and squirm. Until we found she had reflux and needed medication
- Walked at 16 months
- Goes to bed like a dream nowadays, needs her sleep
- Sits back and watches at first, a bit of a reflector
- Happy to be led and gives in easily against her siblings
- Eats most anything with minimal fuss
- Would prefer juice or squash
- Generally a good little girl and if you start to count, she will come on 1
- Mummy's girl
- Happy to be left at nursery or creche, no crying
- Can be very stubborn and determined in a quiet way
- Gets frustrated as she keeps things in
- Will sometimes try to push her luck and not listen
- If she thinks she will get told off she will fib and say it was not her!
- Keeps herself to herself, happy to play alone
- If she is singing and dancing and you noticeably spot her, she will go all shy and stop
- Miss M, also known as Pixie, Minx, May May, and about 3 derivatives of her real name
- 101cm tall
- firm, heavyset but slim body and slim elfin face, age 4-5 clothes
- Pale white blond fine hair, with a slight kink, which is always a glorious mess
- Slept through from about 8 weeks old, very easy baby to look after.
- From about 8 months became a nightmare at bedtime, too active and excited to sleep!
- Breastfed easily and then took to bottles well
- Walked at 12 months
- Wants to be in charge, bossing her twin and older brother
- Daredevil - will try most things once
- Tries her luck and will see how far she can push it. Have to be at 3 (last number) counting before she comes
- Fussy about what she eats (not classic kiddie stuff) She loves pulses, beans, croissants, liver and all sorts of adult foods!
- Would prefer water or milk
- Daddy's girl
- Cries when you leave her anywhere, as she wants me!
- Gets her own way with her siblings and never seems frustrated
- Will listen if she has been naughty, be honest and own up and takes it on board for next time
- Very friendly and will talk to anyone. Happy to initiate conversations
- Complete show off, dancing for you and then posing
- Opinionated and stands her ground
- Very nosey and a finger in every pie
So what about your kiddies? poles apart or like mine - the same but different?