Monday, 28 January 2013

Monday Weigh In

Hello campers. -1lb. That's okay. I only worked out twice as had little cold from Wednesday onwards. My two new sports bras arrived last week and I tried them on yesterday. I was bursting out and thought crikey luv you've really let yourself go. Turns out I had ordered the wrong size - phew. The bras will be winging their way back to Debenhams and a new set are currently winging their way as I type.

I'm just watching this dispatches programme on the big money marketing operation that is Weight Watchers. I'm pleased to see someone actually criticising Weight Watchers.  In this programme the journalist studied their results and over 75% of slimmers put the weight back on during a 5 year period. She interviewed two ladies and worked out, financially, that for every 1lb of weight she had lost it had cost her £100!

In other news, today I worked out to The Biggest Loser whilst the little fella was at pre-school.  Tomorrow more of the same. I am out Thursday night for an Indian meal with the school mums. 

Until next time...

Sunday, 27 January 2013

Hassle Free Kids Parties

Is there such a thing really? Really?  I was thinking about this whilst washing-up - where all my greatest inspirational thoughts take place I have you know. It is party season for me in this house - well January and February that, in my over exaggerated way, means party season. My friend would probably say are you frigging kidding me? She has 4 children who's birthdays are end of November, beginning of December (enter her birthday on Christmas Eve), middle of January and end of January.  I think its fair to say she could probably claim party season more than I ever could. I digress.

Now, back in the day when your first born had a birthday, it was a momentous occasion with much thought and planning going on. Then cue more children and you've been there done that and the birthday planning becomes a bit of a chore.

There are parents mums that love to do the whole DIY party scene. I have friends that practically wet themselves at the thought of doing a crafty or themed type party. I have done them but I don't enjoy them. I've had craft fun with my daughter's friends at home and for my son's 5th party I invited practically the whole class and some non-school friends. Why I didn't invite them all I will never know - in fact I do know I let him choose. Looking back that was just stupid. I hired a hall, we carted all the stuff over, pinata, food, party boxes, party bags (I'm exhausted just writing this), balloons, sack race, medals, disco lights, fancy dress, party games that I did. I hate doing party games. Hate.It. Not one but two cakes as he was into Ben 10 so I did the watch thing and another cake alongside with characters. To top it all I made the husband wear an adult Spiderman costume. He was pretty reluctant to do this as any self respecting 6ft alpha male would be. Given that the costume was a bit snug in the...erm..nether regions also didn't do anything to help my cause.  Having said all this, once he put on the suit and entered the room with the cake he did become Spiderman. 

Not the actual picture of my husband but you get the picture! Pic ebay

He shook all the children's hands, in particular, the boys who were dressed in Spiderman costumes. My son was opened mouth and the parents found it all rather amusing. The husband even cocked his leg up on the way out in a vein attempt to climb it before merrily departing the room waving to all his admiring fans.

Never again I vowed. For 3 years running my son has had a stay at home cinema party - that in all honesty is about as stress free as you can get for a kids party.  Make the room dark, give them popcorn and stick on a DVD. Okay I did order cinema ticket type invitations, had a VIP banner on the door and something Oscar related but all in all it was stress free. 

So without further ado the hassle free parties what are they? Well they're the ones that say "let us take the stress out of you party" normally a minimum number of children is required like 100 - okay I exaggerate again but the minimum is set so you pay somewhere in the region of £80-£100. That's the price of stress free.

But is it really? I decided on 'stress free' this year as my son didn't fancy a cinema party. I'd had a good innings with this one but alas it came to an end. So laser quest it was. On their website there was no minimum - oh the joy, the joy! Given that he only likes 2 boys in his class this was easy. Turns out, yup, the minimum was 6 = £100. Still its stress free.

He invites 2 boys not in his class. Two boys I don't even know what they look like. One by all accounts, who's very nice, but his parents can't be arsed to let you know if he's going to attend. No he will just turn up. One of the school mum's gave me the heads up on this. A friend of mine had the same problem but the person didn't turn up and she made the mum explain her reasons why and I quote "I had her in the playground you know, I fucking had her (we don't all star in Eastenders by the way) I went right up and said oh X was disappointed X couldn't come and we had a party bag." Cue bumbling answers and cold looks all round.

So if you reading this and think oh yeah I don't do that then you is one LAZY THOUGHTLESS FUCKER. Okay. How difficult is it to text and say "yes" "no, can't". Not very I'd hazard. I'm assuming you teach your child manners? Well don't bother if you can't do this simple thing. No one is that important or busy. So you have that aspect of 'hassle free' parties - guessing who's going to turn up. By the way, this child was vegetarian. As I'd had the heads up and my son had collared him in the playground I'd pre-ordered his food. 

Then the snow comes. It hasn't snowed on my son's birthday since he was born.  So I have to re-arrange to the following Saturday. By the way, the thoughtless one phones on the Friday to check about the snow and when I say "oh, thanks for coming back to me" they laugh nervously with embarrassment.

I've spent 3 days making him a cake. Now I have to arrange something so it gets eaten. So I collect 3 of the friends in the snow to play at our house. I don't know why I suggested collecting his friends - I trudge out with all 3 children in tow thinking why, why, why! This birthday party has dragged on forever - it finally finished on Saturday with a shop bought cake (oh the shame of it, the shame). So two cakes and two 'stress free' parties for well over £100. Thank you very much.

Talking about the shop bought cake - it was a chocolate affair from Sainsbury's and very tasty it was too. It felt strangly liberating just bunging the box over to the staff and sitting down.  One mum had made a cake covered in snakes and my word it nearly did 7 laps of honor. She was having her picture taken with it, she was all puffed up proud as a peacock (I don't do this I promise) and my friend said (who isn't at all ranty or gossipy like me) "she seems very pleased about her cake doesn't she?!" cue giggles.  I didn't even feel annoyed the Skylander one wasn't there to upstage it - see, you get to an age where you just don't give a hoot about kids parties. I am at that age. I have arrived.

So, tonight I've been organising my daughters bowling party. Of course its 'stress free' and only for a hassle free amount of £75!

Monday, 21 January 2013

Monday Weigh In

Zero. Not good. Worked out 3 x plus one - I've counted yesterday as a workout what with the snow and sledge pulling.  So ordinarily would be a loss, however, I didn't keep my food diary from Thursday on wards as I was making my son's birthday cake (see previous post for finished results). I cancelled his birthday party and moved it to the Saturday. The school closed early on Friday and the snow was coming down fast so I took the view that the roads would be a nightmare on Saturday. As it turns out the snow stopped and the roads weren't too bad. Typical. I always dwell on a decision I've made and I must have said at least four times on Saturday "he could have had his party, couldn't he?"

In any event, he had a great time with friends in the garden and gets to prolong his birthday even more. Now I have to buy a cake (oh the shame, the shame of it!) for his party on Saturday.  We enjoyed a Indian take-away (lamb danshak, rice, nann) on Saturday and birthday cake. So no surprises no weight loss.

Yesterday we were out in the snow and I posted some pics on facebook. I asked my friend to give me her honest appraisal and she confirmed that I look a chubby whatsit and my muffin top has increased.  I'd much rather someone say that to me than "you look fine" "you don't need to lose any." She confirmed what I already knew.

So what to do, what to do.  Today the mums were talking of a Zumba class 5 minutes up the road from me that begins at 8pm on a Monday and Wednesday. I have resisted going to an evening class because 1) I prefer working out in the day 2) cost.  Its not a lot of money (£5 per class) and it does give someone an income, however, I wanted to do this my way.  I know that you work out harder in a class - my Wii dance wouldn't come close to it - the Biggest Loser, cycling and Your Shape would be a bit nearer.  Also its such a cliche - January join a gym/class. So I have decided to have a think and if I don't lose weight next week then I will consider joining. This gives me a bigger incentive to eat better and work out this week.

On the reading front, one of my new years resolutions, I have started my 2nd book and have also finished this one. Okay its not exactly high brow and a quick read. Whilst watching the making of The Snowman and the Snowdog this book was mentioned. The book charts Raymond Briggs parents lives together. I am happy to say it is a charming, sad, amusing little book. It gives  a snapshot of our social history and also has beautiful drawings. On the arty front (I like a gallery so I do) LS Lowry's works are coming to Tate Britain in the summer so we will be paying a visit along with the kids. Now that's high brow.

LS Lowry  - I find these charming 

Until next time...

The Finished Portal..

......Tah Dah

I even made the skylander 'Crusher' - as I cancelled his party until this coming Saturday I now have to buy another cake! Oh the shame of it, the shame...

Thursday, 17 January 2013

Portal of Power..

...this is what is taking up my time this week. This picture is what I refer to as 'the shit stage' - that is you've done the donkey work but there is still at least another 2/3 hours to make it resemble the Skylanders portal of power.  I also am attempting to make the Skylander character to go on the top which is highly ambitious given that I don't do fiddly. I did get an 'A' in art but that was in 1986 so you see my problem.
Actually this could be at its finest hour stage!

See above for the reasons why I haven't blogged much at all this week.  In other news, I am tired of my children's school already and its only 2 weeks in. Sigh.  My son's birthday is tomorrow - he'll be 9. I asked him how he felt and he replied "I'm one step closer to death!" Lovely.  My husband is working on a new business model which I shall share with you all once its up and running.  I have been given the prestigious title of Marketing Manager.  Whilst I was pondering my new position I realised that I have not worked for 9 years. During my time as Stay At Home 'daytime telly' Mum I've written a children's book entitled "It's Great being 2" there would have been a mass of follow up books had any publishers snapped it up. I wrote to about 30 and got as many rejection letters.  I did sell novelty cakes (see above) for a little while until someone questioned me on whether they would get food poisoning if it had been decorated 3 days prior to a party. I also realised that my hourly rate was so nominal that unless you are making loads there's no real money in it and then there's the PTA. I've arranged events, sold tickets, walked into shops and businesses and asked for free stuff and got it! and much more.  Pretty good skills I would say and now I can add 'Marketing Manager' to a start up company.

Until next time....

Monday, 14 January 2013

Monday Weigh In

-2lbs. Good. Good. Good. Sorry its late - I had a busy day - school run, pre-school run, housework, collected husbands truck (it broke down again so a nice big bill to start the new year!!), collect kids etc etc and then I had a PTA meeting.

I did a great workout today - Wii Zumba for 45 minutes. I worked out 3 x last week not the 5 I wanted but I always say that if you aim for 5 then you'll probably manage at least 3 which is still okay.

This week I have to make my son's birthday cake in the evening. I have a few blog posts I want to write, in particular, comments that were made on a blog post concerning child benefit. Some were quite vile and depressing, in my view, in any event. I'll let you all decide. 

Anyway, ta ta for now.

Until next time.....

Saturday, 12 January 2013

Anyone for cotton wool?

To wrap your kids up in? Big bulk issue as standard these days. Now this tale could have been worse until I got my facts right but it did get me thinking about parents imposing their neurotic hang ups on their kids. So what you banging on about now then missus I hear you all say.

Okay. It started with a discussion on facebook about aliens if you please.  Now primary schools ain't what they used to be. No sorry. Not like they were in the 70's/80s - they're actually good fun.  The latest thing that is going around is the notion that aliens have landed at your school.  We had it at our school. It was great fun. We arrived in the morning and were handed out 'alien's have landed' leaflets by a proper police community support office and everything! The picnic area had been police tapped off, there were alien eggs, a machine making humming noise under wraps - the crashed spaceship, the head teacher and his deputy in forensic outfits and various signs saying "why us?" The children loved it. They were fascinated with it all and their reactions were comical. My daughter announced she could speak alien language and proceeded to do so.  It started a week of creative writing and brightened up a normally dull January.  My children did look out the window that night and said "I wonder if they'll be more aliens?" I didn't tell them it had all be a hoax and we played along with it. Funnily enough they didn't question it at all - it was just accepted and they moved on to the next thing.  A bit like Father Christmas.

Anyway, my friend asked what had gone on at her school as her daughter had been off sick. It seems that the aliens had landed but in a different way.  A large bang on the roof and talk of aliens being in the school cupboard.  One mother was commenting about how her child could not sleep that night until 2am and someone said their child still wouldn't sleep in their own room.  I did think and I suspect others (judging by the likes on "it was good fun"comments ) did too, oh for goodness sake get a grip. Granted the school probably could have staged it a bit better but I'm sure their intentions and that of the company that arrange this wasn't to scare the living daylights out of the children.  I'm sure they presented themselves in a calm manner and the notion of aliens in the cupboard was sold as fun rather than terrifying. Equally as a parent you could also dismiss it as scary and brush it off as a bit of fun - can't you?

But these days parents don't do that.  Instead of waiting to see if a child is worried or scared of something they pre-empt it by putting the fear in the childs head in the first place. Isn't this their own insecurities and hang ups merely being played out on their child? For instance, I don't like fairground rides. I can never see the point of paying money to go on something that makes you sick and fear for your life.  My son has no such fear. He went on his first wooden roller coaster when he was just 4 (just about passed the height). Prior to going on I was like "are you really really sure?" "Its going to be fast and have big dips and will be scary and dark."  Crikey talk about put the fear of god into him! Luckily my husband is far more relaxed about these things and was like "it'll be fine." Had I continued to say this about every ride as he grew up I'm pretty sure he wouldn't like rides too. What I was really doing was telling him what I thought of the roller coaster and naturally there was no way I was going on it. My husband endured it instead. He loved every minute of it. My son that is definitely not my husband!

I think parents give too much gravitas to children's anxieties and instead of alleviating them they have the complete opposite effect - they just heightened their fears. A fear that could have lasted a few minutes.  Now someone may say that's very  judgemental of you which is a bit rich as these parents are constantly judging parents who, like me, say don't be so daft explain why its daft and move on. They would judge that as being dismissive. In the same way I wouldn't allow my child not to sleep in their own bed because of 'aliens'. I wouldn't pander to a fear, that could be resolved quickly, by allowing them to sleep in with us. Who is in charge? Who is the parent? Sometimes I think its easy just to pander to children rather than have a bit of hassle. The parent that was sympathetic to the alien fear would think me harsh. I think they are making the problem bigger than it is.

So there you have it. I really don't care how other people deal with their children. But I do get irratated when we're all supposed to be sympathetic and agree that, in this case, the school was foolish and should have thought about the impact of children not sleeping. No. The school was being creative and these children are going to find adulthood difficult if they are continued to be wrapped in cotton wool by their parents.

In other news, I have been brilliant on the diet this week if I do say so myself. I have worked out twice. Which means I have to do 3 workouts over the weekend. I have a busy week ahead as its my son's birthday on 18th. I will be making a Skylanders portal of power cake with Giant Skylander - nothing like an easy cake then! I will post it on here later on in the week.

Have a great weekend!

Monday, 7 January 2013

Weigh In..

....and it ain't pretty my friends ain't pretty at all.  I'm 13 stone 7 lbs. Crikey. Hopefully the Xmas bit will come off fairly quickly.  I had gone over 13 just before Xmas so believe the damage was probably 5lb.  Still I got on the scales and faced it head on.

I am up and running. I completed my food log/exercise log today. I will fit in 5 x workouts this week. I have read my The John Lennon Letters book (excellent read), have booked my hair cut - see look how easy it is to achieve your New Year's resolutions when you make them simple. 

That is all for now as last night I got NO sleep as my husband was coughing and snoring - a winning combination.

Be back soon...

Friday, 4 January 2013

Westminster Wankers

Asides from the relentless propaganda regarding benefit claimants by this government - I mean there isn't a week that doesn't go by where there's some article banging on about everyone claiming benefits and living the life of Riley. This is exactly what they want - the ordinary phlebs people pointing the finger at each other so that all these savage cuts are in some way our their fault.  Whilst we're all doing this they're merrily dipping into our back pockets and sitting back watching the peasants squabble amongst themselves whilst they do exactly what they like. No rules for them. They can have as many holidays, children, be fat bastards, smoke, gamble and live the high life but you lot certainly can't. 

I know people in work and people on benefits and I can tell you now they're not living the high life on their sink estate with a flat screen telly comfortable in the knowledge that there isn't a cat in hells chance that they're escaping their existence.  Nor are the people who are working all the hours just to pay the bills and not much else. And so what if they have an x-box or a telly? Does it really matter in the grand scheme of things?  The money they receive actually goes back into the economy not like the high earners who avoid paying tax entirely and ship the money out.

To me, these are the people that should be attacked but for some reason no one cares too much about the millions/billions of tax avoided but are outraged at the person who receives funding even though that money will never leave the country.  Besides it suits the government that the unemployed are sitting at home being entertained with gadgets as if they weren't they might actually question the unfairness of it all and rise up and start a revolution.

So what of the Westminster Wankers - the latest brain child is that the council are looking at cutting the benefits for its fat claimants.  Now if you can't see what's unfair about that then you need to take a good hard look at yourself.  The council wants to punish people who are fat. I suspect the people making these decision aren't of a normal weight. I'd like to visit Westminster council and ask them to step on the scales if you please. They are meant to be public servants shouldn't we, as the public, say that if you're a fat councillor then you can't possibly do your job properly and therefore you will be docked expenses for every 1lb you are overweight? Whilst we're at it should we dock pensioners fuel payments and bus passes if they continue to smoke, enjoy a glass of sherry and like to put a bet on the horses?  Recently there was talk of insurance companies banning the youngsters driving at night (when I say youngsters I mean those just passed etc). Can you imagine your 17 year old self being told you weren't aloud to drive your car at nightime? Where does it stop? How many kids you can have, how much you should weigh, don't smoke, don't gamble (oh no you can gamble alright because that gives the government lots of money) and so it goes on. 

Don't get me wrong I could tar all politicians with the same brush but this lot are in a different wanker league to their previous counterparts.  Say bye bye to any ounce of freedom you ever thought you had.

In other news Cadbury Creme eggs are on sale.  And that's all I have to say about that one.

In other, other news we had a lovely day out today - free entry to a zoo/children's park by way of tesco vouchers I had kicking around.  I have family coming around tomorrow and whilst hunger and normalish eating has resummed my full onslaught back on the 1970s Diet will recommence on Monday 8th when the kids are back. I can't wait!

Be back soon....