Fitness Friday

I’ve been on a blog holiday over Christmas. I just love how Christmas is a valid excuse for everything – ‘I’m having a lie in, because it’s Christmas’, ‘I’ve left the ironing, because it’s Christmas’, or ‘I can justify buying all this unnecessary stuff with my nonexistent money, because it’s Christmas!’ I’ve used all these, but I think like just about everyone else I’ve committed the 2 most obvious ones of all: ‘I can skip the gym in favour of sitting on my bum all day’ and ‘I can eat whatever I want with no discipline whatsoever!’

Consequently, I’ve started to wobble, even when I just breathe, and yesterday, I got out of breath running up 14 flights of stairs! I’m so unfit and blubbery it’s disgusting, so when I stumbled across the lovely Beckickle’s post encouraging as many of us who are starting healthkicks tomorrow to join in together with Fitness Friday, I decided to end my blogging holiday a day early too and join in.

Here’s how it works (or rather, here’s my understanding of how it works, you should check out Beckickle’s post or Monkeying Around for the official ‘how it works!’):

You copy this questionnaire into your own post and fill it in, then link it up to the Monkeying Around page. There is also a forum on Beckickle’s site which you can join.

So why am I joining up:

Name: Michelle (@itsamumsworld)
Blog: itsamumsworld.wordpress.com
Twitter: @itsamumsworld
Starting Weight: 11 stone 4lbs
Target Weight: 9 stone
Amount Lost: N/A
Amount to Lose: 2 stone 4lbs
Dress Size: 12/14
Target Dress Size: 10
My Favourite Baddies: Chocolate, ice cream, pizza, cheese
My Favourite Goodies: Fruit and veg, water
Foods I’m Cutting (Cold Turkey): Carbs and nice things
Foods I’m Adding: More veg and healthy stuff!
Why I want to lose weight:
After I had my son, I tipped the scales at over 14 stone. I was so disciplined and lost over 4 stone through Slimming World, but never managed to shed those last few pounds. I think it’s because I am veggie and relied on lots of carbs on this diet, so I’ve chosen a plan that a close friend of mine was very successful with, which cuts out carbs for 6 weeks, then reintroduces them slowly, so you don’t suddenly put on all the weight again. Apparently the first 3 days are hell until your body adjusts, but then it becomes easier and you have more energy and feel good in yourself. This is my first goal, the second is to be able to get my size 10 skinny jeans on again, and breathe in them when the button is done up!
My Fitness Plan:
I have gym membership, but stopped going a while ago because my headphones broke (yes, I know, I deserve to be overweight if I use that as an excuse!) but I’m going to start going back a couple of times a week when my kids can do the free classes. I’m also going to dust off my cross trainer and restore it to its original purpose of being an exercise machine not a coat stand. What I’d really like to do is run, but I’m going to start small and build up!
I’m doing Sunday Weigh In on Twitter using the hashtag #1BabyElephant and keeping up to speed with the #FitnessFriday hashtag and the natter on the BECKICKLESIE Forum.
Top Tips to Keep on Track with Fitness Friday:
Follow the #1BabyElephant and #FitnessFriday Twitter Hashtag/s. Follow the Monkeying Around Blog. Join the BECKICKLESIE Forum to ensure you’re up to date with Fitness Friday news. Add the Fitness Friday Badge to your blog for easy access to the link up, you can get the code and instructions from theBECKICKLESIE Forum. There’s also a Group on British Mummy Bloggers to join – check it out here.
Good luck, I wonder how many stones we can lose between us in the first week?!
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“It’s a Fine Life!”

For those of you not so familiar with Lionel Bart’s ‘Oliver!’ the title of my post is named after one of the songs. It’s one of those feel good ‘always look on the bright side’ kind of numbers. Why? Well it’s getting near that point in the school term where I turn into Jack Black’s character in School of Rock and prepare to eject myself from the school building faster than the speed of light at midday tomorrow.

If you know anything about me, you know how passionate I am about my job, but as a music teacher, the run up to Christmas is the busiest time of year, with Carol services and school productions to organise in addition to the normal tasks a teacher has to do, such as writing reports, marking, chasing coursework,  and, oh yes, teaching lessons (although to be fair, in the last week of term, this usually involves me connecting up my old PS2 to have Singstar competitions, only for the first half of the lesson to be taken up by the students marvelling at my beloved console as if it was an ancient relic found on the ark)! Unless you’ve actually organised these things, I don’t think it’s possible to understand quite how much work they are to put together, but I’m so proud of the students I teach at my school. They just get on with things, they don’t complain (honestly, they really don’t) when we make them rehearse things over and over, sometimes for 3 hours after school or on a Sunday. This meant that the three performances of our musical this week were just superb, a real showcase of hard work and achievement, and as a teacher I don’t think you can really ask for more. I’d love to put up some pics, but I’m sure you understand why I’m not allowed to. I will be waiting until they’re on the school website though and then posting a link.

So why will I be legging it out of school so quickly tomorrow? Well, while I have seriously enjoyed every minute of it (apart from the Sunday I spent at school with a sickness bug, that was messy!), I’ve hardly seen my own children. Last week’s Carol service was the first time that I hadn’t put my 20 month son to bed, and this week I have only put them to bed once. I know this isn’t that bad, but it’s just not how I normally am so I’ve really missed them. Yesterday, I arrived at school at 7:30am and I didn’t get home until nearly midnight, and the day before was similar. So I am really excited about being able to spend time with the children, and of course my husband – we’ve been like ships in the night too!

I’m excited that this will be the first Christmas that my son understands, and my daughter is totally obsessed with Santa this year too, but most of all it’ll be nice to have a rest, good quality play time with the children, and no thought of organising a school show, not until the next one in February anyway!

So this time tomorrow, if I don’t already have a large glass of vino in my hand I’ll be very surprised – the end is in sight!

You know you’re a three year old when…

I had some lovely feedback about my post yesterday (yay, thank you!) and having had a relatively good night’s sleep I was in far brighter spirits and a lot more receptive to some of those times when you just wish you could be a three year old again. Don’t they just live in this perfect world?! It’s no secret that we all love watching Peppa Pig in our house, but my daughter honestly thinks that this is the way the world works! Over the last couple of days, I’ve seen quite a bit of evidence of this. From the evidence I have, I can conclude that you know you’re a three year old when…

You can feel better by simply giving someone else your germs. Having been sick during the night, Evie was still feeling poorly. She’d been off her food and I caught her drinking her brother’s drink. When I asked her why she wasn’t drinking her own drink, her response? “Well I’ve decided I don’t like being poorly any more, so Harry can have my germs instead!” How kind, almost as generous as the time she gave him chickenpox for his first birthday…

Everything has a simple explanation. On the way to pre school this morning, Evie asked if she could sit in the front of the car. I explained that she wasn’t quite big enough. She replied with: “Well I sat in the front when I was in your tummy and I was much smaller then!” How do you react to that?!

It’s just a funny coincidence that the chicken you eat and the chicken you feed at Grandma’s house are called the same word. As a vegetarian this stirs certain uncomfortable feelings, but I’ve never brought the children up vegetarian as I feel it’s a choice that I made, and if they’d like to be vegetarian when they are older, I want them to have made this choice. I do find the fact that she finds this coincidence of words though quite amusing. It just doesn’t occur to her that she could be eating little Hetty’s distant cousin! She also thinks that eggs come from Sainsbury’s not chickens!

Your biggest career aspiration is to become a tooth fairy. I witnessed a little gem of a conversation a while back between Evie and her friend. This was no flippant comment, they went through all the different ideas. Apparently being a teacher could be fun because of all the bouncing on the trampoline (which is what we do all day clearly), something they got to do when we took them in for a couple of hours on GCSE results day back in August, but they rejected it, as they did becoming a receptionist and working in a coffee shop, in favour of being a tooth fairy, because this way they get to stay up all night. I’ve been looking to see if Hogwarts have any vacancies for next September but I’m yet to hear back!

Chocolate money is more valuable than actual money. I guess this needs no further explanation, if you have a child of any age, I’m sure this will ring true. I just wish that it were true, wouldn’t it be amazing?!

I could go on all day, totting up the hilarious anecdotes my daughter has managed to rack up, but I’ll stop here. Feel free to add your own to the bottom in a comment though, we can always do with a giggle and I’m sure I’m not just speaking for myself when I say it’s usually it’s the things our three year olds say that make us laugh most! Thanks for reading, I’ll enjoy reading yours!

You know you’re a mummy when…

I love my life, but today has definitely been one of those ‘testing’ days in terms of motherhood! I blogged a while ago on my old site about whether I was finally a ‘grown up’ when I found myself considering asking for a kitchen item for Christmas, but concluded that I was okay seeing as I still had to stifle sniggers if a student in my class passed wind in an audible fashion! You can read that post here.

Today has reminded me a little bit of that Professor Layton game I played on my Nintendo DS a while back, in the sense that just as you think you’re getting somewhere, this puzzle gets in the way. The end is in sight, but it’s certainly not going to be plain sailing.

So today, I’ve had several of those ‘moments.’ Here goes…

You know you’re a mummy when…

You’re ordered out of your bed in the middle of the night and you just go. It doesn’t cross your mind to ignore it, like it would have before. This morning it was 3am and I was greeted with ‘Mummy I’ve done sick!’ Never before motherhood would I have calmly run the bath at this unearthly hour, washed hair, changed bedclothes, and kissed and cuddled a poorly anyone until they went back to sleep. (Don’t worry, I’m putting down what I was thinking during this whole episode as the bit that makes me human!)

You can’t even wee without something going wrong. In this case it was my son, who managed to completely wedge himself inside the back of a chair in those 30 seconds. Luckily he found the ordeal quite funny, giving me the chance to grab a quick snap!

You decide to quickly make some biscuits and instead of taking you 10 minutes, it becomes a 2 hour ordeal…

You go to the dentist and are prepared to pay for the stickers if they don’t have them ready and waiting for your petrified three year old! Despite having had ‘Dr. Elephant the Dentist’ on a loop for most of the morning I was unable to allay my daughter’s fears of seeing the dentist for the first time today. Luckily, all it took was a promise of a sticker of the seven dwarves and she turned into a little angel!

You haven’t eaten lunch, but dolly has. I was about to do myself some toast, when I was told in no uncertain terms that ‘Lola-Mads’ was starving must therefore be my priority. Once my toast had gone hard I somehow didn’t want it any more.

Despite having consumed nothing but 3 mince pies and some white mice today, I’m blogging rather than eating. Just in the mere hope that somebody somewhere will be able to let me know that I’m not going crazy and this is just in fact an average day, doing the best job anyone could ever have the priviledge to be able to do, because let’s face it, if this turns out to be groundhog day, I know I’m going to have two gorgeous gigglers and millions of hugs and kisses which make it all worth while ahead of me tomorrow – lucky me!

Call Me Old Fashioned…

Having children just makes Christmas such a magical time. I grew up in a very small family. No siblings, not even any cousins and the only child in my family. This meant that although I looked forward to Christmas, and tried my hardest to be good to ensure that Santa made an annual stop at my house, there weren’t really that many things that made Christmas different to a normal day, apart from perhaps a posh tablecloth at lunchtime! I had no problem with this and still don’t, but being from a very small family, I did often dream about lively, big family celebrations at Christmas.

I am, however, running the risk of deviating here, as the point of my post is what makes us ‘feel’ festive. There’s certain, fairly superficial things that give me that little excited flutter, such as seeing the Coca Cola advert, or lusting after the gorgeous party dresses that come out at this time of year, but there’s really only one thing that makes Christmas ‘real’ to me, and that’s Christmas Carols. Everything else starts too early now in my opinion, with people putting their Christmas decorations up as soon as Halloween is over, but generally Carols are only heard when Christmas is relatively close.

Being musical as a child, I always took part in school concerts, and it was the final rehearsals in the school hall that always got me feeling festive. Now I’m the teacher, and it makes me so sad that Christmas Carols aren’t part of the build up to the ‘Winter’ holidays, not Christmas holidays. Unless a school is a Christian denomination school, it’s no longer part of a child’s curriculum. I was doing a lesson with a Year 8 class a couple of weeks ago about how musical composers can create different effects when they write music. I decided to play them a variety of different songs which were written for Christmas and their task was to identify how the composer had successfully made it obvious that the pieces were written for Christmas each time. One of the pieces I played them was ‘Silent Night.’ I was astounded when some of the class burst out laughing at the absurdity of their teacher playing them this. It was almost like ‘what has this got to do with Santa?!’

However, tonight is the night of our school Carol Service. It’s held in the biggest church in our town centre. I wonder why the students have such a resistance to it? I have a choir of about 40 students, and around the same from our partner primary school, so with readers etc. there will be about 100 students involved, and although they’re focussed, and looking forward to it, this was definitely not their default setting! For me there’s nothing more festive than hearing the children all singing together. I’ve got the primary school doing a rendition of ‘Little Donkey’ Our choir doing a version of ‘Silent Night’ and some soloists doing ‘Mary’s Boy Child’ along with all the classic carols. As long as I don’t bum all the accompaniments or trip over a lead or something, I’ll be buzzing with ‘festiveness’ tonight and I know the students will too.

For me, you can’t beat a bit of ‘Away in a Manger’ or ‘Hark the Herald Angels Sing.’ That for me is the most Christmassy thing of all, and I will convince the youth of today that it’s a very special time too!

Whiter than White…

I promise I’d never do a blog post on the same topic two days in a row normally, but I haven’t had the chance to express my glee over this much snow for – oh yeah – ever before, so I’m going to make the most of this. I’ll probably be a grandmother before the next opportunity, unless we ever do take the plunge and move up north!

We’ve had two snow days now, and have had the most fun as a family that we’ve ever had. Evie seems to think that we’re the only people who have had snow, and that in fact, it fell exclusively into our garden. This is despite the fact that we braved a 2 mile drive to the local common, where everyone was out doing what you do when you see snow – reverting back to childish innocence and having pure, unspoilt fun!

Like I said in yesterday’s post, I’m really sorry for the upset and problems that the snow has caused some people, and all my rants on here are in jest, but we just don’t get snow very often, so it’s amazing for us. Here’s why:

  1. We had to cuddle up together to keep warm…
  2. We had rubbish photos from dodging snowballs…
  3. We sledged first the girls…
  4. And then the boys…
  5. And then together…
  6. Then we built a snowman…
  7. Took shelter…
  8. And finally decided it was perfect weather to have a quick bounce before snuggling up in bed!

So we’ve frozen, the house looks like a mud bath every 5 minutes, I’ve probably put on a stone in weight from excessive hot chocolate consumption, my Lovefilm viewing has been stalled due to problems with the postal service and, most crucially, I may have to do my own supermarket shop this week, rather than have Mrs. Waitrose do it for me and deliver it to my door (shock horror!), but I’ve spent the last 48 hours acting like a big kid, and my children have had fresh air, family time and nonstop smiles and laughter, so who cares?!

The grass is always greener. Or is it whiter?

Well it appears that all I have to do is schedule a blog post to make my wishes happen! I started writing yesterday about how a little bit of snow would be just fab, having not seen it properly since I was 16… Here’s what I wrote:

“There’s ‘snow’ doubt about it (see what I did there?!), you always want what you haven’t got, and I want snow! I only ever seen proper, full on snow once, in 1996, when I was 16. The choir I sang with got through to the final of the Sainsbury’s Choir of the Year competition, which was held in Buxton.

A very youthful/geeky me (in the middle) in the days before digital photography!

Apart from my wedding and the births of my children, this was the best weekend I’ve ever had. We were staying in a youth hostel, there was no hot water and I had to shower given that I was about to be on TV, and I was 16 and expected to be up and out of bed by 6am, but it was fab because we had snow (and we won the competition)!

I keep seeing the pictures people are posting on Twitter and get such pangs of jealousy. I’m genuinely sorry that it’s causing some people real problems. I know some people are separated from their families because they can’t get into or out of homes, and it’s really bad for some people financially etc. I sincerely hope things get better for you soon, I wouldn’t wish those things on anyone, but a couple of snow days down south would be just fantastic.

We’re real wusses down here. This is the most snow my daughter has ever seen, and it caused my school (and most of the others in Dorset) to be closed for two days last winter, yes really, 2 days, and you can still see green grass!

I know I’m just a big kid at heart, but I can’t help it, I’d just love to be able to have a snowball fight and make a full size snowman. This is the biggest snowman I’ve ever made. You may think it’s not that feeble but it was less than a long ruler tall, and you can even see the bottom of the French windows!

So if anyone in, oh yeah, anywhere in the country apart from the South West would like to send snowy vibes our way, please feel free!”

Fast forward a few hours, and look what we woke up to this morning!:

So just to warn you, in tomorrow’s post I will mostly be ranting about why my numbers haven’t come up on the lottery yet! Happy sledging!

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