Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Sexy Legs & Bruises

One of the tablets I take every morning is 75mg of aspirin. Before leaving hospital the cardio nurse told me the side effects of this could be heavier periods and bruising very easily. I've not really noticed much difference each month but she was certainly right about bruising.

How about this for a photo of my sexy legs covered in bruises from goodness knows where. 
I have the same amount on the inside of my leg and my other leg has about 3 or 4 bruises as well. Thomas accidentally trod on my foot on holiday and I have a whacking one there as well. 

My arms are also pretty bad, although I can put this down to never being able to get through a doorway without bouncing off the sides. Mark says I'm like a pinball machine. I have to ricochet off both sides of the door frames before I actually get through.

I caught my finger on the corner of a cupboard last night.  It is naught but a tiny scratch. Can you even see it? But it took half an hour to get it to stop bleeding and this morning while making a cup of tea it opened up again. 
I'm not even going down the 'What If' scenarios of future kitchen knife accidents etc. 

We optimistically planned to go to Heaton Park today for a picnic but the weather put paid to this.  Instead we bobbed out to another park which was a bit nearer. We all got some fresh air, Thomas had a bike ride and Sparky had a walk. We didn't manage to miss the showers though and came home wet through.

All part of the Summer Holidays.


Tuesday, 30 July 2013

First Hat Made for the M.H.T.P

I made the first hat for the the 'Mad Hatter's Tea Party' today. I was tidying the shelves at weekend and found an old deck of cards. Thomas loves a game of cards so I thought a hat made out of them would be appropriate and in keeping with the theme.

I cut a cereal box up and stapled them on. He liked the hat but complained the staples were scratching him, so I glued a piece of old towel on the inside to protect his delicate skin! 

I'm not sure if it will survive until the party. It's become his warrior king crown and he's been wearing it all day fighting imaginary enemies with his sword and shield.
It cost me nothing to make and took about 30 minutes max.  Not a bad start to the event.

I ordered this from e-bay just before we went on holiday as part of the baby shower gift. It cost £3.49 and I could have any logo or photo printed in any colour I wanted. I'm sure it will bring a smile to my niece's face. Having been there and done it though, it reminds me of the saying 'many a true word spoken in jest'!


Monday, 29 July 2013

A distant memory

Do you know that feeling, when you've been away then come home and within a day or two you feel like you've never been away? Well, I'm there.

We've had some cracking thunderstorms and torrential rain showers today - I love a good thunderstorm. Thankfully I managed to do all the washing on Saturday and get it dried while the weather was still good. But of course that meant today was ironing day. I did it in 3 x 45 minute stints and I'm glad to see the back of it.                      
                 This was actually a lightening strike in the centre of Manchester last week

I've been to Lidl for the weekly shop. We didn't bother going the week before the holiday so needed to stock up. Total cost this week was £75.48.

Then I went to the charity shop with 2 bags of clothes and 3 bags of toys, books and games that Amy & Thomas didn't want. I made sure I pointed these out. I'd hate for them to sit in the back until they get round to sorting them. It's a local charity shop and they will all be priced very low so hopefully some children can enjoy them over the holidays. 

Sparky went to the 'hairdressers' this afternoon. We don't do poncy poodles at Number 38. He gets a short back and sides and I get my moneys worth - all £35's worth. He wouldn't win any competitions but we still love him!
Mark's Dad has bought a new car which is being delivered on Wednesday, so he's been on and off the phone most of the day asking Mark to sort things out for him.

The guinea pig cage has needed a new roof for a while, but seems to have got worse while we've been away. As Mark's DIY skills are non existent I'll have to ask Matthew if he can spare me half an hour.
I forgot to do my Monday weigh in this morning. I usually weigh first thing before eating and getting dressed (every bit helps), but we're all friends, so this is my weigh in with me dressed, after a day's worth of food and a week in Italy.
I've spoken to my Mum, texted my niece and arranged to go for coffee with the headteacher and a couple of members of staff on Thursday.

Last job of the day will be to plonk Thomas in the bath. I can't decide if he's suntanned or mucky. I think it's the latter from the state of his feet. While he's in there I'll have a sneaky lie down on the bed for 20 minutes with my book.

I'm shattered now! On the bright side there are no packed lunches to make before I go to bed. 

I'm hoping tomorrow will be a bit more relaxed.


Sunday, 28 July 2013

I Did It!

Some of you will know I was a little nervous about this holiday. But I'm pleased to say I DID IT! I survived the hustle & bustle of the airports, the 3 hour flights, temperatures that hit 30 degrees plus and yes, even Mark on all-inclusive G&T's every night. 

And all on only 2 sprays of the old 'angina bottle', which for some strange reason I needed 2 days into the holiday whilst sat down in the restaurant being served delicious pasta. Probably the excitement of realising that I really didn't have to lift a finger all week!

We had the most lovely week doing not very much apart from taking it easy. Days were spent by the pool and evenings were spent slowly meandering around the streets of Sorrento.  We moved only to eat the most delicious food accompanied by equally delicious wine. Quite tame by some of our previous holiday standards, but just perfect for us all this year. 

As much as we would have liked to, we didn't venture out on any trips. Capri, Vesuvius and Pompeii would have been top of my list. But having seen some of the more fit and healthy holiday makers return from their days out in a near state of collapse, we decided not to risk it.

What we have agreed though is that we will definitely return in years to come when it's just the two of us and we will choose a slightly cooler time of year so that we can do more sightseeing.

I've posted a few photos for you to have a look at. Hope you enjoy them. 

Our days started with breakfast in the restaurant
Followed by a spot of sunbathing

And a cooling dip in the pool

We ate Italian ice-cream

And when we needed shade we retired to the patio restaurant for freshly made pizza and barbequed meat and fish (we were a bit early, they'd not started cooking)

There was plenty of fresh salad to choose from
Followed by yummy cakes, fruit and ice cream

Some mornings we took the courtesy bus into Sorrento which is full of narrow little streets, all with restaurants ...

...and shops selling leather goods, lace and their famous limoncello liqueur and lemon soaps.

We had a pre-dinner drink in the bar
And a post-dinner drink on the veranda
We headed to the top floor of the hotel for a view of Vesuvius, just about visible through the haze
Then into Sorrento to soak up the atmosphere at night
We became tourists, taking the horse and carriage ride courtesy of Roberto,(the horse)
And Thomas shook the invisible man's hand
Before we headed back to our hotel
To fall asleep
All in all, we had a great time in Sorrento


Thursday, 18 July 2013

Summer Fun Day

I was invited to school today for their Summer Fun Day. It was lovely to catch up everybody again. The teachers had set up various funfair type stalls and the PTFA had hired 2 bouncy castles which were going down a storm.

It was very hot though and sensibly the children were taken back into their classes every 30-45 minutes to have a drink and a cool down before resuming their outdoor fun.

I stayed until 12 noon and had a great time. I scored 2 rounders (I had a little runner), knocked a few tin cans down, had a go at hook a duck and choose balloons for my face/arm painting design.
I could have stayed for their picnic lunch but had to get back home to sort myself out for the holiday tomorrow.

I spent the afternoon ironing last minute bits and packing for me and Mark. We have an early afternoon flight, so thankfully we don't have to get up at the crack of dawn and can take our time in the morning which suits me much better these days.

To get us in the holiday mood we've ordered a takeaway pizza and we're having a nice cold lager shandy with it.
Only the one for me though as I have a date with a razor and a nail polish bottle later on.
Mark is researching the possibility of Etna, Vesuvius or Stromboli erupting. He's obviously short of a bit of excitement in his life.
Thomas is a little worry wart and keeps asking about the volcanos, sharks, jellyfish and bees. 
Amy is oblivious to everything that's going on around her but every so often pops her head round the door and squeals 

                              "ITALY TOMORROW"!
I'll try to stop by during the week to say hello. Hope the weather stays good for everybody staying at home.

Amici Addio x
Goodbye Friends x


Wednesday, 17 July 2013

Summer Holiday Activities

Thomas brought a letter home last night about a free play scheme at his school during the summer holidays. It's being run every afternoon for 2 weeks. Supervised places are allocated on a first come first served basis but after these have gone your child can still join in the fun if you're willing to stay with them.

These play schemes are held at several schools throughout the whole of the 6 weeks and children can turn up to any of them. They don't have to be a pupil of the school that's hosting them. I've seen a couple in action and the children have a great time.

He also brought home a booklet packed with various activities for children to do throughout Rochdale borough.

I've had a good look through and I'm really impressed. There's everything a child could want. Arts & crafts sessions, lots of sports and swimming activities, drama classes, cycling courses, golf & tennis taster days and water sports on Hollingworth lake. 

There are some free activities on offer but most have to be paid for. Generally the cost seems to be under £5 for a good 2-3 hours of fun, (sometimes longer), and you're not obliged to stay with your child.
Typically, Thomas has asked if he can do 2 of the more expensive things; snorkelling at our leisure centre and kayaking at Hollingworth Lake. I'm happy to pay for these as I know he'll enjoy them.
As brilliant as all this is, it's probably not much help to working parents. What's on offer is fantastic, your child could do something every day if they were that way inclined. The problem is you need to be able to get your child to and from the activities, which isn't always possible when you're at work.

However, if you're doing some childminding over the holidays and looking for something to keep the kids entertained, it would be perfect.

Of course, it won't all be activity here at Number 38.

We have our fair share of lazy days lounging around the house and garden. Although I'm happy to provide some entertainment I'm not a Red Coat so I won't be providing unlimited activities. The kids are expected to entertain themselves a certain amount of the time, (it's character building), and the basics such as playing out, reading, watching a film, baking, den making and mooching around complaining of boredom are all part of the hols.
But we also do some, as the kids say, 'proper stuff'. They love a picnic in the park, a walk by the canal, indoor camping, swimming, and a trip to see the naughty monkeys at Knowsley is an annual event. 
They both finish on 19th July and don't return until 4th September. I've worked out that's 6 weeks and 4 days off school.              

Is it me or do these holidays seem to be getting longer?                       

Tuesday, 16 July 2013

Minor Medical Matters

Today I went to collect my prescription from the chemist.
I bought plasters and insect bite cream for the holiday.
Optrex for Mark's eyes because they're red and stinging.
And rennies for his indigestion because he doesn't like the taste of my Gaviscon.
Thomas was sent home from school just after lunch feeling sick but made a miraculous recovery an hour later.
Mark is also taking painkillers for a bad back.
And Amy has gone to Blackpool with her feet covered in plasters because her converse rub her toes.

What a bunch of crocks we are at Number 38.  

As my dear old Nanna would have said, "we all need rubbing out and drawing again".

Oh, and I've got squeaky flip flops, but the chemist couldn't help out with that problem!


Monday, 15 July 2013

Fact: I've become a heffer!

When I met Mark back in 1992 I weighed 8 stones, was a size 8/10 and wore size 34B bras. I'm 5'6" and according to the BMI calculator I would have been classed as borderline underweight. 


Within a couple of years I weighed in at what I felt was a more healthy 91/2 stones which give or take a couple of pounds I managed to maintain for years. 

Then of course I became pregnant and it's been many years since I saw 9 stones anything. After Amy, I never got my weight below 10st 2lbs and six years later Thomas left me weighing in at a hefty 11st 4lbs. 

Fast forward to 2013 and I now weigh 11st 13lb. I'm a size 12/14 on the bottom (depends if elastic is involved) and a size 16/18 on top. My bras now measure 44DD!  No droopy boobies for me after the children came along. They grew during both pregnancies and have remained with me ever since.

Of course, I have many reasons why all this weight gain has been beyond my control and here are but a few:

1.  Obviously one of the tablets I take has a weight gain side effect which nobody has told me about.

2. I'm an inverted anoerexic. Truthfully, I look in the mirror and see thin and beautiful.

3.I eat healthily but my portion sizes are probably (obviously) too big.

4. I absolutely hate, hate, hate exercising.

5. I have fairly thin arms and legs and I tend to focus on these positive attributes rather than my big fat tummy. Humpty Dumpty could be my twin.

It's never really bothered me before to be honest. Middle aged spread is natural after all! 

But I'm thinking from a health point of view it's probably about time I made a concerted effort to trim down a bit and up the old exercise routine. I have a treadmill and I'm going to have to use it for its purpose rather than ornamental value.

So, I've decided I'm going to do a weekly weigh in, here on my blog. I'll be weighing in every Monday morning so feel free to log in and have a laugh at how weak willed and undisciplined I really am!

I'm going for the gentle approach. If I lose 1lb every week when I come back from Italy, by Christmas I should be 22lbs lighter. That means I should weigh in at 10 stones 5lbs which would be brilliant. 

And if it doesn't go quite to plan I can always make weight loss my New Year's Resolution.