Wednesday, 30 September 2009

I started work yesterday. At the moment I’m training - there’s a lot to learn and it’s a bit scary. I’ve had two days there and still haven’t started learning about the main part of the job. But, I am enjoying it. The other staff are great, easy to chat to, friendly. I think I’m going to like it there.

I have 4 more training sessions over the next 10 days and after that I’m not sure.

Last night I couldn’t sleep with all the info going round in my head and a bit too much coffee(!!) I got 2 hours sleep down to that and being up and down to the boys most of the night (including making choc spread sandwiches at 3am).

I haven’t been to the gym for two days and I am missing it. I will definitely be back in tomorrow morning!

Saturday, 26 September 2009

Not a lot to report at the moment. I wish I had the sort of life that gave me things to write more often but I don’t. I’m still going to the gym lots. I signed up for something called “Bodyfirst” where you get three sessions with a personal trainer for £35 along with three books to help you get in shape and fit. If you attend your three sessions and go to the gym a further 8 times within a month of registering for it you get your money back. I had my last PT session yesterday and really enjoyed it so I’ve decided to sign up for a block booking of 10 sessions with him. I’m determined I’m going to reach my first target!! At the moment I’m really motivated but I know there will be days when I can’t be bothered and this will keep me going. Yesterday I was so tired that I ended up going to bed for a sleep for an hour before I went to the gym. If I hadn’t had that appointment I wouldn’t have gone. He pushes me further than I would push myself which I hate at the time but afterwards I am glad about it.

The two youngest boys both have coughs and colds at the moment. The rest of the children are all well though. They all seem to have settled back into school really well although Jack is scared of the toilets for some reason and won’t use them, choosing to wet himself instead. We’re not sure what it is about them, he says he doesn’t like the noise because it hurts his ears. I’m wondering if they have an automatic flush in the boys toilets and it’s scared him. I’ll have to ask on Monday and if it is see if he could use the girls instead.

We now have pear wine on the go along with the elderberry (did I already say that?). It smells very strong already. I had a taste of it the other day when we siphoned it into a new demijohn to get rid of some of the sediment at the bottom and it tastes pretty strong as well. We have a box of apples soaking in sugar and water at the moment too. I think we’ll be putting that into a demijohn tomorrow.

Hope you’re having a good weekend, whatever you’re up to.

Ps. I've decided to give up on trying to think up titles to my posts.

Wednesday, 16 September 2009

For a long time I have wanted to get myself back into shape and fit again. About 8 years ago I joined a gym back in Trowbridge and really got into it. By the time I stopped going (when I was pregnant with Sophie) I was in there 4 or 5 days a week and doing a class or two and then a session in the gym each time. I loved it. I loved being slim and fit and I enjoyed the social aspect of it as I made several friends there - often after we’d finished at the gym we’d go downstairs to the Wetherspoon’s for a coffee or two.

I’ve always wanted to get back into going to a gym again and desperately want to get rid of the weight I put on while pregnant with Amos (and if I’m honest, since then too). Two years ago I was in size 8 jeans, now, well, let’s just say, they’re rather larger.

So, I’ve joined the gym. I joined a few years ago but was very depressed at the time and only went for about 3 weeks which turned out to be a very expensive 3 weeks as I had signed up for a 12 month contract. I’ve been a bit wary about it since just in case I did the same thing but I have bitten the bullet and signed up yesterday. I’m so determined I am going to stick with it this time that I had my first session last night with a personal trainer and am seeing him again tomorrow for session two and he’ll give me my programme.

My initial goal is to lose 2 stone by Christmas which is do-able as it’s 14 weeks away. Long term is to lose however much weight I need to to get back into those size 8’s. And, I have committed myself to another longer term goal - to enter race for life next year, not to walk it, but to run it. All the way. This is a big one for me, I have no stamina, even at my fittest 8 years ago I couldn’t have run 5k (I think it’s 5k anyway), so from January I will be working on that one. I don’t know when the Race for Life is on here next year, they haven’t put next year on the website yet (or not that I could see anyway) so I don’t know how long I will have to get ready for it.

To lose weight successfully I think you need that switch in your head to go on otherwise the motivation only lasts a short while and you get fed up with it. I am certain that it’s switched on for me now, I hate the way I look, I looked awful last night in my gym gear, and was quite embarrassed about it, but it’s motivation for me now rather than making me want to hide away. I am soooo determined to do it. Sooo determined to get back into that frame of mind where I loved being at the gym beyond this initial novelty of it.

I did take a photo last night of myself which I am not going to share with you right now. I’m going to take a photo every month between now and those size 8 jeans and when I reach my target I’ll put them on here.

A bit motivator for me is an online friend, Hannah. She has lost an amazing 7 stone since January and has got the gym buzz going on. She looks absolutely fantastic and is a real inspiration for me. I want some of what she has but it’s not going to turn up on my doorstep. I’ve got to get out there and work for it. So, off I go. I can’t wait!!!

Today is my birthday. I’m 36. 36!!! I don’t feel that old, I still feel like I’m in my early 20s. I’m always being told that I look a lot younger than I am, and too young to have 8 children which is lovely.

I think that’s about all that’s happening here. Life has gone back to the usual term time routine which is nice. I’ve finally been catching up with friends that I didn’t see over the summer which is also nice. While I love being at home with the children I do like the weekly routine we have as well. Toddler groups etc.

Since the children have been back at school I’ve got myself into the habit of going to bed earlier (most nights I manage to get to bed early - I was going to bed anytime after midnight so anything before 11 is early but my goal is 10pm. I try and go to bed for 9.30 and read for half an hour then sleep. I’ve managed to be up at 7.30am by doing this. Now, you’re probably reading this thinking “well, I get up earlier than that, what’s the big deal??” but I have always had a problem getting up in the mornings, and never manage to be up in time to actually be ready to go out on the school run. If I got up then it would be in time to do the girls hair before they went out.

I had been soo tired for a long time, and had no energy to do anything, often needing to go to bed in the afternoon which was worrying me especially as it turned out there was nothing wrong with my thyroid. However, this change in bedtimes and getting up and out early has made a massive difference. I’ve got my energy back and I feel so much better. I think the less you do and sometimes the more sleep you get the more lethargic you feel. I slept in one day at the weekend and was so tired for the rest of the day that I didn’t have enough energy to do anything. You can get too much sleep!!

So, it’s been another change for me and one I like. Hopefully I can keep it up. Sometimes it’s hard to get to bed on time, but I have to be strict with myself and remind myself of the benefits.

Right, I’ve waffled on enough for now. Hope you’re having a good week and aren’t too cold (I was very tempted to put the heating on tonight but we’re going to try and hold off until next month).

Saturday, 12 September 2009

Arrggghhhh!!!!! Everytime I add photos I either end up with the text down the side of the photo or else massive gaps between the two. Does anyone have any tips for getting the photos in the text with nice spaces between????
Every year we say we’re going to grow veg and every year we just don’t get round to it. This is partly because we’re too lazy to do the work and partly because this is what will happen….

Sadly, the culprit had run off before I could get a photo of her in the pot digging through it but here is one of the destructive foursome…..

They refuse to stay in their pen, they just fly over the fence and wander round the garden so they would just decimate a veg patch. Maybe when they’ve gone off to the big hen house in the sky we’ll do the veg patch thing.

One thing we have been doing this week is this:

Elderberry wine. Most of the berries were collected from the local country park but we didn’t have quite enough so the rest came from our own tree. It’s our first attempt at wine so we have no idea how it will turn out.

We’re hoping to bring in some of the pears this week, they seem to be virtually ready now. There’s still a lot of apples on the tree but all too high to reach. I think we’re going to have to get a ladder for them. The plums are pretty much finished now.

It’s been lovely getting our own fruit in. It’s the first year we have but won’t be the last. Sadly the cooking apples at the front of the house are a bit horrible looking, they seem to have been pecked by the birds and are full of holes and just generally dodgy looking so we won’t be picking those.

We’re thinking of getting some blackberry brambles to create a hedge at the back of the garden but are wondering if it’s such a good idea - would they grow too rapidly? Can you even buy them??

The children have now been back at school for over a week. In some ways it’s nice to be back into toddler groups etc and seeing friends again, but I was a bit sad that the holidays are over.

I’m pretty sure I said the same thing last year but I love September. Not just for the obvious reason (my birthday) but also because the days are becoming autumnal. I have noticed this year that the September smell hasn’t started yet - am I the only person who has noticed that smell in the air in September?? I can’t describe it, but I always notice it (and no, it’s not a man-made thing, it’s a natural aroma!!) a bit like that smell you get after it’s rained.

I love those slightly chilly mornings, that crispness, the leaves starting to turn, and the promise of days cold enough to light the fire (mind you, we’ve had a few of those over the summer). Autumn is definitely my favourite month of the year.

Wednesday, 9 September 2009

For the past 6 or so years I have subscribed to an amazing magazine called The Mother They really need new subscribers in order to keep on publishing, please consider it.

Tuesday, 8 September 2009

Yesterday I had another induction day at the college. We met out tutor (the really lovely lady I met when I went in last week for the open day), met the other students in our tutor groups, had a tour, got lots more info and got our timetables.

Today we all had to go in for a maths and English test to see if we need any help with either. Except I went to see the course co-ordinator instead and told her I’m pulling out (surprise surprise!!!) Since Friday I have been constantly thinking about the course and whether I should do it or not. When I was there yesterday that voice in my head was going “I don’t want to be here”. So, I’m not going this year.

Alfie starts school next year so this is the last year I will have with him at home, and I feel so bad that we’re going to miss out on that. He’s such a lovely little boy to be with and I enjoy taking him out to places. Amos is still only 7 months and at a really lovely stage, rolling, getting his first teeth (two days ago!!!), just being lovely.

I will never ever get this time with my babies back, I can go to college any time I like in the future. So, I’m going to do the course when Amos starts school. Yes, it’s 4 years away but it’s only a short time in the grand scheme of things. I would rather regret not doing the course than regret missing these next few years.

Sunday, 6 September 2009

On Friday I had my enrollment day at college. I was really nervous about going, but reminded myself that everyone else there would be feeling exactly the same. The morning was spent listening to different people talking about their roles in the college and how they could help us if we needed it, then we filled in the enrollments forms.

Before lunch we had to choose two taster sessions of lessons we might want to choose - I went to Sociology and English Lit, both options I’m going for as well as History. Because I have grades C and above in Maths and English I don’t have to do those modules as part of the Access course.

I’m one of very few of the 200 or so people who were there who has to pay for the course because I did a BTEC First Diploma nearly 20 years ago. If I hadn’t declared it and kept quiet about it I’d have got the course free, sometimes honesty doesn’t pay (unfortunately I’m one of those people who is too honest and can’t lie about anything). They did tell me I could pay in instalments which was fine, until they said that the first instalment is due next week and the second one on the 2nd October. Eeek! I thought they meant instalments over the course of the next 10 months.

The afternoon was spent queuing up to enrol. A voice in my head kept telling me it wasn’t too late, I could turn round and walk out but I did sign up and I’m now officially a student.

Do you get the feeling I’m not quite as excited by it as I should be?? Part of me is saying don’t do it this year, wait until Alfie is at school and Amos is that little bit older. Alfie starts next September. This new school year is the last one I will have with him at home. By next year Amos will be 18 months old.

But, it’s only 15 hours a week for the next 9 months. It’s not huge amount of time. I don’t get the timetable until tomorrow so I don’t know what days and times I will be expected to be in. And I’ll be doing the homework after they’ve gone to bed at night. Oh hell, what do I do??

I’ve always been at home for my other children, I’ve always thought it’s important, so I feel guilty that I won’t be there for the youngest two.

I suspect you’ll be reading a post from me in a few days saying that I pulled out of the course and I’ll be doing it next September instead. Or maybe never. If I do carry on this year I won’t be starting my degree next year, I’m going to defer that for a year or two.

No other news really. We (ok, Craig and Robbie) picked loads of the apples and plums yesterday. The pears still aren’t quite ready but I think they will be in a week or so. Hopefully we’ll get out to go blackberry picking today - if there’ any left, we’ve left it a bit late this year. We need to pick some of the bramleys at the front as well.

Thursday, 3 September 2009

After a couple of days frantically doing those last minute end of holiday jobs the children are back at school. We got shoes in three stages - B and R got theirs from the Next Catalogue which was nice and easy, M, S and E got theirs from one trip to town and J and A got theirs sorted on another trip - J didn’t need new shoes, the ones he got at Easter are still fine so that was good.

E and R went back yesterday much to their disgust (I think I have managed to convince them that they will get another day off later in the year when the rest of their siblings will be at school). E seemed to enjoy it, she came out smiling anyway and couldn’t wait to tell us all about it. As a treat we gave her money to buy her lunch from the canteen - she’d been desperate to do this and we thought it would take her mind off any worries she had. What lovely healthy lunch did she buy?? Two cakes, garlic bread and a drink. Ah well, it’s a one off.

The rest went back today but we had such a busy day that we didn’t really notice the peace and quiet. After I dropped them off I went on to the Drs to get my blood test results. My thyroid is absolutely fine and I’m not anaemic. In fact I’m the opposite, I have too much blood, too much iron and too many red blood cells or something along those lines. I have to go back in a month or so to get it rechecked to make sure the levels aren’t rising as that could indicate a problem. I wasn’t too worried as the Dr didn’t seem bothered. Until I googled it. It could be a sign of congenital heart disease (I’m quite sure it’s not) or it could simply be that I make too much blood and iron and I will need to have blood taken regularly to counter it (I think I’ll just put up with it). I have stopped taking the kelp and iron supplements I started after I had the blood test done in case it’s making things worse.

C went to the hospital about his back and to cut a long story short he’s got to go in for an op to have the cyst removed, probably in a couple of months time.

After all that I then went to the open day at the local college to see if they had any places left on the access to higher education course - I went in a few weeks ago and they thought it might be full but advised me to go today to find out. Well, to cut another story short, they do have places and I start the three day induction tomorrow!!!

I am really excited but scared at the same time. Is it too soon after having Amos? It’s only 15 hours a week so I wont be away too long and it will be good for me to finally do something else. Having a third child start secondary education makes me realise how old I am getting (mind you, I was asked a couple of times if I was over 25 today and they expressed surprise when I said yes so that was nice).

I’ve always told the children that they can go out and be whatever they want to, there is nothing stopping them from achieving their ambitions, yet I’ve always told myself that I couldn’t possibly do the things I’ve thought “I’d love to do that”. I finally stopped and asked myself why. Why can’t I do whatever it is I want to do? What is stopping me from going to university? Surely all I need to do is what I tell the children - find out what subjects I need, go for it and work hard. So that is what I’m doing.

Teresa - if you’re reading this, please can you email me about the stocking. I have tried emailing you but I don’t know if I still have the right email address for you.

Cybele - yes please to the pear recipe. It sounds gorgeous and our pears are rock hard and not ripening.