Posted by: mummystuff | November 1, 2012

Happy Hallowe’en!

Yesterday was Hallowe’en and we always like to do something that fits the day nicely. We tend to find a party for Luke to go to, carve pumpkins and trick or treat and this year was no exception.

We started our day with pumpkin carving. We had three. One monster pumpkin and two smaller pumpkins.

Luke drew a basic face on one of the small ones and I carved it out and added a little spookiness to it because he wanted it to be ‘scary’. He was really pleased with the result.

I then carved the other small one with a pretty basic image before starting on my main pumpkin. Every year I try to do something a little more complex than the previous year and so, when I thought about the new Twilight film coming out in a couple of weeks time, I decided to see if anyone had carved any Twilight themed pumpkins. I was amazed to see quite so many and therefore decided I was going to give it a try.

I found an ‘Edward’ template and printed it. It already looked difficult but when I tried to trace it on to the pumpkin, it was just impossible so I drew the majority of it freehand and just copied (which in itself was hard enough!)

It took quite some time to draw, gut and carve all three but we really enjoyed it.

We later went to Tesco as they were holding a Hallowe’en event there. Luke took part in the fancy dress competition with his cousins and won. This is his third year in a row!

We attended a Spooky Supper at Dobbie’s Garden Centre which had been pre-booked. The cost was £7.95 and included dancing, games (guess the goo), cupcake decorating, a fancy dress competition and of course, a spooky supper (sausage and chips in Luke’s case). It was really good fun for all the kids.

We ended the day trick or treating in the rain around my sisters’ area and were pleased to see so many people making the effort for Hallowe’en. The best house was a lady that had set up a smoke machine by her side door so when the kids rang, the smoke billowed out and there were some spooky noises. They loved it.

We put a very tired, cold and wet* boy to bed rather late, but very happy.

*he wasn’t wet by the time he went to bed.

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Posted by: mummystuff | July 20, 2012

Goodbye My Little Pre-Schooler…

Today marked the day that Luke stopped being a ‘pre-schooler’. He’s now on his way to being in full time education. In six weeks time he will no longer be by my side all afternoon. Instead he will be with all of his friends in school.

We dropped him off this morning for his leavers party with cards, homemade cupcakes and little photo holders for his ‘ladies’ as he has so fondly called them for a long time. He had hot dogs and ice cream, played musical chairs and generally had a great time with his friends and teachers.

When we picked him up, three hours later, he hugged and kissed all five of the ladies in his room and said goodbye. These wonderful people have spent since 4th October 2010 with Luke and have been a part of his life five days a week for quite some time now. They’ve watched and helped him grow. We didn’t realise quite how much until recently when we were handed his Record Of Achievement to keep. It took ages to get through everything in there but it was fantastic to see exactly what he had been up to for 21 months.

Leaving there today was emotional to say the least. The teachers were crying, other parents were crying, I was crying. It was actually difficult to stop sobbing even after I’d dropped Matt back at home afterwards. I’d promised myself I wouldn’t and didn’t feel all that emotional until I was standing in the queue waiting for Luke to come out. Then it just hit me. That’s it. He’s got six weeks and then he goes off to ‘big’ school.

Where did my baby go….?

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Posted by: mummystuff | April 24, 2012

Race For Life

Back in 2007, just as I found out that I was pregnant, I took part in the Race For Life. I raised quite a lot of money and completed it in 45 minutes.

Now, here I am, doing it again in July.

Cancer is something that I’ve seen a lot of, unfortunately. My Grandad died from Prostate cancer in 1996, my Nan died from Mesothelioma in 2010 and my Dad also suffered from Prostate Cancer in 2002, but I’m really pleased to say that he was one of the lucky ones and although he had to endure invasive surgery, he is still alive and kicking today 🙂

I would just like to ask you to find it in your heart to donate a small amount for a good cause? If so, simply hit the button below. Thank you 🙂

JustGiving - Sponsor me now!

Posted by: mummystuff | March 28, 2012

Random Facts About Me

I thought this might be a fun thing to do. Us Twitter folk chat all day and all night (ok, perhaps not THAT much, but some of us can talk a lot!)

Anyway, I’m going to tell you some random (perhaps boring) facts about me that you may not yet know.

Here we go…

I’m 36 this year. I don’t look it or feel it.

I have a fear of people walking behind me.

I prefer autumn and winter over spring and summer. I don’t enjoy the heat that summer brings.

I’m terrified of wasps and bees. I made the council remove a bush at the bam o my house a couple of years ago because it was always full of wasps and I screamed every time I got out of the car and headed for the gate.

I’m half Scottish. My Mum was from Glasgow. I have a slight accent (it’s become more faint over time but to my dismay) – words like blouse, eight, no all have a ‘twang’. I was called ‘Jock’ and ‘Och aye the noo’ at school.

I grew up not wanting kids, mostly because the thought of giving birth scared the bejesus out of me.

I was a Brosette. I still love Matt and Luke.

My son is not called Luke after Luke Goss. I happened to meet a ‘Matt’ through pure co-incidence and we both liked the name Luke for a boy.

I hate slugs and snails. I can barely look at them. They literally repulse me.

I’m Team Edward 😉

I love snow. I want to visit Lapland one day.

I lost my Mum when I was just 20. She was 42.

I have a lump in my stomach which is apparently a muscle. I spent months in 2006 worrying myself sick that I had cancer.

I don’t know how to use a PC now. I’ve spent 12 years using Apple Macs and find Windows pretty alien.

I’ve been with Matt almost 12 years. We aren’t married. Yet.

I love blogging, but nobody ever reads them. (Lol)

My favourite band was Wet Wet Wet. I went to many of their concerts but since having Luke, my interest has waned.

I love reading. The latest books I read were The Hunger Games trilogy.

I’ve travelled to Spain, Greece, USA, France as Canada, but whilst I enjoy holidays, I prefer to stay closer to home these days.

I like to go to the cinema as much as possible. If I really love a movie I will go more than once to see it.

My family are my life. I love my fiancé, son, sister (and her family) and Dad more than anything in the world.

I couldn’t sleep with any hint of a light or sound in the bedroom until Luke came along. Now I need some form of noise and don’t mind lights so much.

I don’t have a favourite colour.

I saw Take That last year at Wembley (twice). The first night was literally one of the best nights of my life.

I don’t have a favourite food but I love mixed salt and sweet popcorn.

I watched ‘Eclipse’ and ‘Breaking Dawn’ 8 times each at the cinema.

I’d love to train to be a florist but my fear of bees as wasps means I never would.

I want to die old. Really old, but not so old I’m insane.

Posted by: mummystuff | March 28, 2012

Yummies

I love baking. I really love it, but I don’t get a lot of time for it, nor can I eat most of what I would bake seeing as I am on Slimming World and can’t justify the calories in a cupcake covered in buttercream icing.

However, when the opportunity arises, I grasp it with both hands and dive in.

Tomorrow is an open day at Luke’s pre-school. We were asked to fill a paper plate with cakes (home-made or bought) an bring them in for a cake stall. Being Secretary on the committee, I decided to do a little more and baked a dozen cupcakes and a giant doughnut cake.

I’m really pleased with how they turned out. The doughnut cake is my third in a few weeks and I used different icing for the top this time as the last one was quite thin and I was unhappy with it. I also made pink and white icing for the buttercream filling (which I also used for some of the cupcakes too) and I’m really delighted with how they look.

I’m not a professional, far from it, and I’m more than open to suggestions as to how I can improve and make them even more pretty.

My baking supplies drawers are increasing and it helps to make better looking cakes. I’ve also been buying the new magazine that’s out weekly and is a really good source for learning new techniques and for new ideas.

Anyway, here are a few of the cakes I have made over the past three years. Some were thrown together really quickly, I’m sure you can tell which!

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Posted by: mummystuff | March 22, 2012

It Just Can’t Be True. Can It?

I’m sitting looking through the latest Matalan brochure that came in the post this morning whilst I was out.

I’m happily browsing the ladieswear, menswear and kids wear, when to my horror, there’s a page dedicated to school uniforms.

Why the horror I hear you ask. It just clothing.

Yes, but it’s clothing that MY little boy will be wearing come September. That’s only 5 and a half months away.

The sadness in my heart and the dread that this fills me with is just too much. Didn’t I just stop changing nappies and breastfeeding him? Was that really more than a year or two ago? Where has all of that precious time gone?

It’s not as though I haven’t treasured my time with him. Even more so since he started pre-school a whole 18 months ago, but I’m not yet ready for this massive step.

Swallow hard Debbie. It’s going to happen, whether you like it or not.

Needless to say, I didn’t make it to the homeware section.

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Posted by: mummystuff | March 22, 2012

30 Day Shred

OK, so as per this post, I started the Jillian Michaels’ ’30 Day Shred’ on Monday. As all of the information is in the other post, I’m going to use this one to update on progress and how I am finding it.

Day 1: Monday 19th March, 2012

Today was hard. I really struggled to keep up with the exercises. The pace is fast and as it’s been a while since I last exercised due to my foot injury, I wasn’t quite prepared for how intense this was going to be. By the time I got to bed, I was in real agony. My muscles felt like they were being ripped apart. That’s good though – it means I was doing it correctly. Felt sick and shaky after the 20 minute session. I’ve somehow developed a cold out of nowhere too though. Feeling quite rough.

Day 2: Tuesday 20th March, 2012

Felt as rough as anything this morning. Hadn’t had a very good night’s sleep due to the cold. Managed to complete the session but found it incredibly hard as my legs and stomach hurt so much. The head cold I have didn’t help but I did it. Again, didn’t manage to keep to keep up entirely with the exercises but 90% is better than nothing. Felt really sick and shaky afterwards again. Sitting down is proving difficult today. The pain is immense.

Day 3: Wednesday 21st March, 2012

Ouch. Legs are really sore. Didn’t do great today. Felt like I didn’t give enough. Will focus more tomorrow and get on with it. Need to battle through that pain barrier. I CAN DO THIS! Bloody head cold needs to go though. Not making things any easier.

Day 4: Thursday 22nd March, 2012

Much better today. Found things easier, although it’s still tough. (I won’t lie). Arms are burning so much with weights, but that’s the whole point!

Took it upon myself today to enter into the Race For Life in July. That gives me 4 months to get myself in a position where I feel strong and fit. Bring it on!

Day 5: Friday 23rd March, 2012

Got a horrible chesty cough today. Was awake most of the night listening to Luke coughing and up and down attending to his needs whilst coughing a lung up myself. Not much fun and not much sleep so feeling tired.

Managed most of the exercises. Struggling a little with the cardio. It’s definitely getting easier though. My endurance has most certainly improved.

 

Just a quick update on this. I gave up. The only reason I gave up is simply because it was wrecking my knees and I couldn’t continue. I wasn’t happy but after injuring myself last year through exercising, I wasn’t going to let it happen again, so the decision was made to stop. 

On to Zumba!

Posted by: mummystuff | March 19, 2012

30 Days Of Hell?

Today marks the day where the end of my life begins.

Dramatic enough? Ok, ok, I kid.

Ok, well, the truth is that today, I delved into the depths of Jillian Michaels’ 30 Day Shred

You may have heard of Jillian Michaels before. She’s a fitness trainer who took on the job of getting a load of people on ‘The Biggest Loser’ into shape. As far as I can tell, she did ok.

Her DVD isn’t new. It’s been around since 2008. The DVD is split into 3 levels and you train on each level for 10 days, with each level intensifying.

I’ve started Level 1 today and I have to say, I felt like I was going to die. Jillian is harsh. She doesn’t allow for a sip of water or a quick break to catch your breath. Her attitude is that if you’re after a toned body and a good level of fitness in a short space of time, then you’re going to have to work for it.

And work for it you do.

Level 1 starts with a warm up. Simple windmills and stretches to loosen up your muscles because, as she points out many, many times, we do NOT want any injuries. The rest of the session alternates between cardio work (jumping jacks, butt kicks, jump rope (done without a rope), and strength training which includes working with hand weights. The exercises include lunges, crunches, squats, punches and more.

The session finishes with a cool down. This was the best bit! It meant I had completed day 1 and was still alive.

As I said, it’s a harsh session, even on Level 1. I’m not new to exercise but it’s been a while. I managed to overdo it last year and ended up with a bad case of tendonitis which left me barely able to walk some days (for months) until I saw a private podiatrist who was able to help me (hallelujah). I had been convinced my foot was broken and even begged the doctor to send me for an X-Ray (which turned out to be clear).

So to sum up, if you’re after a breezy little workout that won’t make you swear, won’t make you swear perhaps just a little, and won’t leave your legs feeling like jelly, then perhaps a workout led by Josie Jump would better suit you.

If you’re after some proper exercise where there is no giving up, then give this a go. I’m going to post a few more updates as I go along over the next 30 days and let you know how I’m getting on. (Assuming it doesn’t kill me before I reach Level 2) 😉

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Posted by: mummystuff | March 19, 2012

Roar

We have a Zoo called Hamerton Zoo Park which is very close by (15-20 minutes from my house).

It’s a breeding zoo and is brilliant if you’re after something interesting to do for a couple of hours. The prices are reasonable, but what’s even better, is that you can purchase a season ticket, which is valid for one full year from the date of purchase for just £28.50 for an adult. This means you could go every single day (except Xmas day) for a year if you wanted to. Excellent value.

We went yesterday afternoon and although it’s not the first time we have been (probably around the 50th!) it’s been a few months and do things had changed quite considerably. New additions include the Giant Anteater, along with an aviary full of Amazonian birds (which were VERY loud), the porcupine (which I’ve never seen yet as its always been hiding) and soon there will be some Zebra.

Favourites include the Lemurs and Lar Gibbons. One of which has a leg missing but manages perfectly well, the Cheetah’s, the very big and beautiful Poitou Donkey’s, and by far, my absolute personal favourites are Blizzard and Lady Belle, the Begal Tigers which were brought to the Zoo around 10 and 11 years ago. They’re beautiful. Lady Belle is a traditional orange tiger, whereas Blizzard, yes, you’ve guessed it, is a gorgeous white tiger. He’s endangered and one of only around 40 white tigers in the UK. They’ve been hoping that the two would mate but after all these years, I’m not sure it’s going to happen now. We can live in hope.

All of the animals are in good health, well looked after and have plenty of space.

If you’re ever in the neighbourhood, I’d definitely recommend a visit.

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Posted by: mummystuff | March 16, 2012

My Boy is Four

Tuesday saw Luke’s birthday come and go. It seemed to have flown by quite quickly, just like the past 4 years.

We wanted to celebrate in style, so we hired a local hall and booked a children’s entertainer called Mr Fuzzy. Originally, we had planned to keep it simple this year after catering for his past three birthdays myself and losing part of his special day to cooking and stressing. However, due to his actual birthday falling on a Tuesday and it being a work and school day, we opted to celebrate on the Sunday before. This meant that cooking and organising wouldn’t affect any time that had to spend with him on his special day.

We arrived at the hall an our before the party. We put up balloons and banners, set out the party food (there was a lot) and put the table up for the kids to eat at.

People arrived from 12.45 onwards and at first, Luke was a bit overwhelmed and shy. He soon came out of his shell once his cousins arrived and Mr Fuzzy started his show.

Mr Fuzzy was brilliant. His show lasted around 50 minutes and consisted of him doing silly things such as trying to put his clown shoes on over the top of his ‘normal’ shoes, flying across the room on the top of a box which he had ‘fallen’ on top of, getting someone to hold a balloon and stretching it and letting go so it pinged against his fingers. He somehow managed to keep all the kids in line and even when they got a bit too loud or silly, he managed to get them sitting back down again and watching.

He tried to get Luke involved but he doesn’t really like to be the centre of attention, so used other kids to help him out instead. At the end Luke did get up and accepted a present from Mr Fuzzy which was a massive Octopus made from balloons. He also did a ‘magic photo’ trick which saw a blank frame magically have a photograph of Luke (supplied by us prior to the party) appear inside. Impressive.

Once he had finished, he led all the kids to the table to sit down whilst the food was unwrapped. Then parents came along and helped the kids choose their food.

After they’d all eaten, we lit Luke’s very special ‘Sonic The Hedgehog’ cake that had been beautifully crafted by Debbie Jane’s Cakes (she has been making cakes for us now since 2006) and everyone sang ‘Happy Birthday’.

Then it was time for games. We played musical bumps, musical statues and pass the parcel. All the kids won sweets which always makes them happy!

That concluded the party. I handed out party bags and thanked everyone for coming. I think I managed to count 24 kids in the end which I was really pleased with. It was so nice to see so many people turning up to celebrate his birthday with him. We had friends travel from Dunstable and Coventry too which is always lovely and my Great Auntie also attended which always makes it special. He came home with a massive bag of presents (spoilt boy!) which he opened the next morning as it was too late after we finally arrived back home at 7pm.

Luke’s actual birthday was much quieter. We took him and his cousin (whose birthday had been the day before – she was 3), to breakfast and then on to Big Sky soft play where we all had fun playing on the bouncy castle (the same one I had injured myself on 2 weeks prior to this visit) and had some lunch.

Later that evening, we met up with all of his cousins and we went to Pizza Hut where the kids had dinner and then all headed back to our house where his Auntie and Uncle and Grandad presented him with their presents. I think he thoroughly enjoyed his birthday. He was a very lucky little boy and now has many new toys to play with, some money to spend and a couple of vouchers for Next and Toys R Us.

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