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Monday, 31 December 2012

Let the tracking commence...

31st December 2012

The big secret in life is there is no big secret. Whatever your goal, you can get there - as long as you're willing to work. Oprah Winfrey

Okay you want to make some New Year resolutions, who am I to stop you. Just remember to keep them realistic and break them down into doable chunks. I did this yesterday, no pressure to achieve the unachievable, instead some sensible tasks on a list. So instead of saying to myself "in the new year I'm going to lost a stone and a half", I've decided to either lose a pound a week or stay the same, as long as the scales don't go up I’ll be pleased.
To help me achieve this, I've broken it down into lifestyle choices –
1.    Eat as healthy as is possible as often as possible.
2.    Make the wisest food choice when eating out.
3.    Plan meals.
4.    Track every day regardless of what I consume. This will help me learn more about my eating behaviour.
5.    Make a shopping list every week.
6.    Walk dog once or twice a day.
7.    Have at least two alcohol free days a week.

If I don't manage to achieve each of these every week, I won't berate myself. I shall praise myself for doing my best at that time. I don’t respond to criticism as well as I do to encouragement, so I won’t be beating myself up any time soon.

I'm far from perfect and motivating myself to get back on track is not going to be easy, but the one thing I am in persistent and I will keep trying until it clicks again and in the meantime I will eat as healthy as I can. If I don't buy anymore of the goodies and tempting food, I can't eat it - then I will have no choice but to make wiser food choices!  And at this moment in time, I don’t care if I never see another piece of cheese again, nope cheese is so 2012!

In the words of Jean Nidetch, "it's choice not chance that determines our destiny"

Here's to patiently waiting for my motivation to arrive and changing my environment in the meantime to assist my  weight loss – you with me?

So yesterday to help with these plans, I sorted my cupboards (anything I’d had a few months has gone in the food bank collection) and freezer, then made a meal idea list using the contents of my cupboards, I now have lots of ProPointed ideas and a few Filling & Healthy days too. There's no junk left other than cheese and I've found out I can freeze the Stilton, oh and the Christmas cake that is absolutely delicious can also be frozen. All the other Christmas food has now gone! Don't forget if you have any food you'd like removing out of your grasp, I'm still collecting for the food bank, just bring it to your meeting next week or any time before the end of January.

We'll be looking at more ideas for sorting your kitchen and using up the Christmas leftovers in the meetings this week, so make sure you come and get back on track.

It’s also that time of year where some will look for a quick fix miracle, any plan that offers ridiculously fast weight loss is not only unhealthy but also unrealistic!  For permanent, long term weight loss success we need to start seeing it as a “Lifestyle Change” not a “Diet”, because as soon as you go back to your old eating habits – your old weight will be waiting for you!  I’ve proved that this week with my 5.5lb weight gain!  Doing it for one week whilst on holiday is one thing, but continue for months and …….

It’s about picking up new “Lifestyle Skills” little by little, and then seeing them as your new normal.   Weight Watchers is all about Healthy eating, making wise choices and as an added bonus you lose weight too.

Eat Well – Feel Well, Eat Rubbish – Feel Rubbish.
Now is the time to eat “Gorgeous” and just watch the results unfold!
Can’t wait – can you ;-)

Sunday, 30 December 2012

Tis nearly over! 2012 that is.

30th December 2012
Walls are what make a house but it’s the people inside it that make it a home.
Mmm do I blog about the end of the year and how much I’ve achieved, done etc or do I look at the future and the idea of resolutions.  NAH!  Everyone’s doing that and if you buy any magazine or newspaper this weekend, it will be full of ideas on how to ‘become the person you’ve always wanted to be’, or ‘how to lose the holiday weight’ blah blah blah!
Nope I don’t wait for January 1st to do things or improve myself; I try to do that on a daily basis.  The same way as I don’t wait all year for a holiday to enjoy myself and relax, I make time to do that as often as possible. 
One thing I did realise on holiday last week was learning to appreciate the normal, everyday things; it’s about making those things enjoyable; that’s what can make an ordinary life perfect.   It’s not about the holidays and the meals out or the trips to the theatre (although they are very nice), it’s not about striving for more, it’s about the cups of tea and giggles over the kitchen table (oh how I wish my house was big enough for a kitchen table), it’s about curling up together on the settee after a long day.  It’s forgiving and forgetting and making allowances, it’s about tolerating each other because your house is full of love.  Trust, truth and honesty in a safe place you call home whoever you share that space with.  That for me is what life’s all about, I’ve lost the desire to go places and do things, don’t get me wrong when I do them, I enjoy but I don’t feel that I have to be doing, I’m happy just to be.  As long as I’m in the company of those I love it really doesn’t matter where we are.
So what are some of the normal every day things we have to do whether we want to or not?  Eating – no problems there ;-)
Shopping – some people hate it, I love it, I spent a good hour wandering round Sainsbury’s yesterday after a week of abstinence!  As I walk round I think up meal ideas and use that time to plan my week.
Washing – mmm you can’t beat a nice bubble bath can you?
And of course cooking is something really that should be done daily, so why not make it something you enjoy and something that’s going to give you good health rather than make you feel sluggish and yuk?  I’m not the best cook in the world but I know the flavours I like, over the years using Weight Watcher guidelines and cookbooks I’ve learned to not just cook but to adapt other recipes to suit my food plan.  For example yesterday I was looking for recipes containing cheese because I have a copious amount left; I found a recipe for Tartiflette!  No I’d never heard of it either, apparently it’s a French dish from the Haute Savoie region of France. It is made with potatoes, reblochon cheese, lardons and onions.  Of course I haven’t got reblochon cheese but I have got brie so that’ll do, I also haven’t got lardons but I have ham or a little bit of chorizo left, I looked at a few different recipes to get the gist and I’ll experiment today, replacing double cream for maybe a low fat soft cheese mixed with skimmed milk sauces.  Should work I reckon.
So yeah, other than going back to eating well, I’ll not be making New Year Resolutions, I may be setting myself weekly goals though, so last week was to finally finish reading a book I started in October, I’ve done it and enjoyed it so much I will be reading more from now one.  My goal this week is to go look through my cupboards and make a meal plan ready to use up all the contents, I’ve been and bought some fruit and vegetables but I don’t want to be buying anything else till I have to.  Also restart tracking, the holidays over!
The quote at the beginning of this blog made me also realise “My meetings may be made by Weight Watchers, but the success is made by you!”  Let’s all agree to be as successful as we can be whilst enjoying the everydayness of it all, don’t wait till you get to your goal to do things, if you want a nice new hair cut or a fancy dress, have it now!  If you’ve always fancied visiting that one particular place book it, you’re weight shouldn’t be taken into consideration when it comes to enjoying your life.  By all means focus on healthy eating and losing weight to be healthier and happier but don’t wait until you lose your weight to be happy.
And lastly, don’t beat yourself up for overindulging this past week or so, it’s what most people do, it makes you human, try some positive self talk and self love, because beating yourself up SUCKS!
Here’s to a productive Sunday for me, there’s not much walking going to be done though if it doesn’t stop raining!

Saturday, 29 December 2012

So good to be back home again...

29th December 2012
Wine is proof God loves us and wants us to be happy.  Benjamin Franklin
 Sounds like me and Mr Franklin would have hit it off! 
When we arrived home yesterday both mom and I said together “Home sweet home” and agreed with the quote, “There’s no place like home.”   After our wonderful break in Wales, we both now also believe with the quote, “Home is any four walls that enclose the right people.” because this Christmas in that cottage with the Wyatt family has felt very much like one big family affair, and to throw in one more quote, “Home is where the heart is” for sure!
We really did have a fabulous week, I cannot believe we all get on so well, that’s our second holiday together, the one in May was hot and sunny so everyone was out and about, this one was wet and windy so we were all together 24/7 which you’d think wouldn’t be so easy to handle, but really it’s been a breeze.  The only annoyance being a little Shih Tzu named Alfie who doesn’t know when to stop ;-) but even he wasn’t that bad.  We’re already looking into next years holidays anyway, can’t wait.
Back to normality now though with a bang!  None of our programmes had taped on our Sky box, our visitors whilst we were away had left the light on in the alley, and the shower on in the bathroom – moms like a dog with a bone over stuff like that!  Hopefully she’ll have forgot this morning though.  But we did get back to a lovely new carpeted stairs and landing and freshly painted house, plus bless her my sister-in-law had tidied up as best she could, it’s impossible isn’t it when you don’t know where to put things.  Hell I don’t know where to put things – what chance has she got.
I’m sitting in my office listening to my itunes library, anything but One Direction and Now That’s What I call music 83 can be played today!  I love my music but if I’d have heard ‘Gangnam Style’ one more time I think I could have smashed the cd, I can honestly say I’ve managed to avoid that tune up until our holiday and now I never want to hear it again in my life!   I just cannot believe it’s so popular; apparently it has been viewed 1 billion times on YouTube!  What on earth is wrong with folk, it’s as bad as Mr Blobby back in the day!
Anyway I never have to listen to it again in my life, yeah The Script are playing now, that’s better, real music is good, it’s the noise that should fill a house, we need to work on the children in anticipation of the next holiday, educate their ears.
Drum roll please…..
Got on the scales and from my official weigh in on Thursday 20th December till I got back last night, I have gained 5.5lb, one of those has already gone this morning.  I’ll take that, I’m actually surprised it’s not more as I feel heavier round my middle than I remember in a very long time.  Lynne gained exactly the same, she eats more sweet food than me but I eat much larger meals than here and we both shared a bottle of baileys and a bottle of Thorntons chocolate liqueur, we also have eaten more cheese than I ever care to consume again in my life -  so really we haven’t done badly.
A few weeks of being good and we can rid ourselves of it, I reckon end of January, especially as my birthday is in-between.  It’s not like I don’t do it every Christmas, as long as I get straight back to eating well, it’ll go and to be honest I can’t wait to get back to eating properly, I devoured a bit of greenery last night with my cheese and crackers.  I’m going to look for a couple of recipes to use up the cheese and see if there’s something that will freeze to, because I really have had enough cheese and biscuits to last me till next Christmas, I think I prefer cheese cooked these days.
Well we’ve bought the rain home with us, I shall wake up slowly, slept 11 hours I have, then I’m going to nip to the shops for fruit and veg and a few essential, also want a carpet runner for the hallway in an attempt to keep our new stair carpet clean.
Going to have a relaxing day today I think, get productive tomorrow.  Whatever you’re doing, enjoy it. x

Friday, 28 December 2012

The dogs about to lose his nuts! & we're going home ;(

28th December 2012
Being happy doesn’t mean that everything is perfect. It means that you’ve decided to look beyond the imperfections.
(I've had all the symptoms of this all week!)
5.30am and just having a cuppa and blogging before we start clearing up and loading the car.  This place looked like a palace when we arrived – it doesn’t anymore, Stig of the dump arrived along with a whole other family of Stiggies and we’ve massacred the place.  We’ve had fun doing it though I have to admit, and I’ve even managed to read the rest of the book I started in October, well I still have 20 pages left but that’s for later when I’m home.
Is it just me or have you also noticed that the longer you’re on holiday the faster the days start to pass by, yesterday just flew by – it was late afternoon before we knew it.  I had a lovely snooze early evening though, which was most welcome and then just read my book till it was officially a reasonable time to go to bed.
It has been an educational holiday also, many a time I’d walk in a room to find Lynne standing up, leaning over a work counter in the kitchen with her book or precariously stood somewhere else with her book, and of course I’d ask, “What you doing in here?”  Apparently though it’s a tactic, her reply was always, “its safe in here, they think I’m doing something!”  It was one of the few ways she got to have a few minutes to herself, yes I’ve realised that moms DON’T get any peace if there are people in the house, there is no escape from the kids, no matter what room you go to, you can’t even pee in peace!
She was right though, you can learn to block it all out, when we arrived there was no way I was reading, I couldn’t concentrate, by yesterday though I’d got it sussed, I was reading and blocking them all out – result.
Well it’s Alfies birthday in January and I’ve decided to get him the gift of being neutered, probably not the thing he’d ask for if he had the choice but seriously after careful consideration, I’m afraid it’s time!  Especially as we do plan to go on holiday with Lynne’s family again and they have a bitch who really doesn’t need to constant hassle from Alfie!  He did make me smile last night in bed though, he heard something out the front and like he would at home tried to get on the window sill, the only difference was at home the sills are over a foot wide, here they’re about 2 inches so obviously he fell off, luckily onto the bed!
Mom’s fed the birds here as she does at home and watching her sit looking out of the window at the table, making sure only certain birds get to partake in the picnic is quite amusing, especially when she shouts, “bang on the window, they ay eating my nuts!” every time a crow goes anywhere near the bird table.
Watching the kids talk to mom is great, William is so intelligent and Jen is just plain sassy.  I can’t remember what Jen actually said yesterday but the sentence, “Yeah she’s been here before” was said about her, followed by someone adding, “Mmm unfortunately she’s come back again!” ;-)  Bless her, we didn’t mean it of course, they are both awesome.  There is however nothing I don’t know about scooters (actually there is because it’s gone in one ear and out the other) it is funny though that Will has told us at least 50 times that the allen key that came with his new scooter is a limited edition, it’s green and there were only 200 made, they’re usually blue you know!  He’s then spent quite a bit of time dropping the front wheel on the floor whilst saying, “can you hear that?” in a proud way that’s telling us that’s a wicked noise because it’s the best scooter you can buy.  BORING! LOL!  But then again no different than it would be if I was trying to explain how and why the red wine I drink is delicious I suppose, the only difference is I’d know not to bother because he wouldn’t be interested!
Well we sussed out the magic mirror in the bedroom, we think it’s the magic box we bought Will for Christmas and he seems to have gone round and shrunk my jeans as well as my pants!  It didn’t stop us having egg and chips for dinner yesterday though.  We didn’t do too bad with our guestimation of how much shopping we would actually need, there’s not much to take home, just a few tins of beans and quite a bit of cheese (most of which were gifts) and eggs because I think we accidently ordered too many!
I will weigh when I get home out of curiosity and also in the morning, then I won’t weigh again until Thursday at the meeting which is my day for getting weighed.  The other reason I’m doing this is to show you all that getting weighed the second you get back from holiday isn’t a good move, sometimes the weight you’ve gained isn’t real weight gain, it’s fluid and mainly that if you’ve just had an amazing holiday the last thing you want to do is bring your mood down by standing on a set of scales!   If you haven’t been away and you would like to get weighed today or tomorrow, there are meetings in the area, just go look online, I know Emma has one today at St Giles church hall, Walsall Street, Willenhall at 9.30am and 6pm, there will be others all over the country, go show your support to those leaders who’ve broken up their break to offer a service (remember they only get paid if you get weighed) heck if your monthly pass and you’re not fussed about being weighed, just go in and sign her sheet if you’re passing and get yourself the new mag or a box of bars to see you over the new year.
Well that’s me this morning; I better start packing and have another cuppa.  WOW just realised its Friday, so if you’ve had to work then hopefully it’s your day off tomorrow.
Have a fabulous day, I’ve got my tracker at the ready, might start it today just out of curiosity to see how many ProPoints I’m consuming, before I actually get a grip and get back to reality!

Thursday, 27 December 2012

My pants have shrunk!

27th December 2012
I haven't trusted polls since I read that 62% of women had affairs during their lunch hour. I've never met a woman in my life who would give up lunch for sex.  Erma Bombeck

Alfie being a good boy!

Alfie after being a bad boy!

It doesn’t matter what the weathers doing at 8am every morning Alfie comes and plops himself down in front of me and gives me that, “we need to go for a walk” look, if I ignore him, he jumps up and places his front paws on my leg and gives me the “please” look!  So I was just about to write my blog, but instead I’m off for a walk in the pouring down rain.  So I’ll be back in a bit.....
Right I’m back, well today’s our last full day of holiday; it’s gone very quickly and has been fabulous fun and squeaky toys, NOW 83, clanking radiator pipes and One Direction are the only things I won’t miss about this holiday!
Only at Christmas can you respectfully eat as randomly as we have, yesterday I made a second roast dinner with the leftovers and had it for my breakfast, Christmas eve we had Indian buffet food for brekkie and today we’re having oriental party food because it’s use by date is today – that was our excuse for the Indian brekkie too ;-)
I can honestly say since I left my house on Friday morning I haven’t thought about work or ProPoints or my weight at all and it’s been a nice break from reality.  However I woke up this morning, came down and made mom a drink, went back up to get dressed and I think someone has played a practical joke on me, they’ve put a fat mirror in my bedroom and shrunk my knickers! 
It’ll all have to wait till January, I’m not even thinking about ProPoints until January 1st, I will eat as I want today and tomorrow, then get to the shops when I get home and buy lots of salad because I do love my salad and start eating sensible from then, I have a food journal to start and I’ll start to get the excess pounds off. 
It’s nothing new, I’ve gained weight every Christmas for  as long as I can remember and to be honest, it’s a big part of who I am, the only difference is I don’t stress or get upset by it all anymore, worst case scenario, I’ll buy a bigger pair of pants for a few weeks!
It’s so important to remember life gets in the way, sometimes for good reasons, sometimes for bad ones.  There will be times when eating sensibly comes easily to you, and other times when it’s really difficult because temptation is too great. Or at Christmas when personally I didn’t want be careful and think about what I ate, and to be honest I haven’t been ridiculously bad, I have drunk alcohol I wouldn’t dream of having on a regular basis such as baileys, Irish coffee or Thorntons chocolate liqueur but hey who cares, I stopped when I was full or when I fell asleep and whatever the scales say on weigh day I’ll smile and resume normality.  There are more of us living an up/down life on the scales than a life of permanent weight loss, the sooner we all accept that’s reality, the better, it takes away the guilt of indulging.  As long as most of the time we eat healthily and treat our bodies with respect, then I believe it’s ok to go over the top occasionally.
Yesterday was a lovely day, we ate too much, drank just enough, read our books and just kicked back and chilled out.  I do like the sitting round the kitchen table I have to say, I wish our kitchen at home was larger. 
A couple of things that made me smile yesterday, we were drinking a can of lager and I burped, little Jen looked around at everyone and said, “that means Bev’s full”, out of the mouth of babes!
The other was when we were looking at the photos I’ve taken so far this holiday on the laptop and Jen (aged 8) looked at one with her one and said, “I look like a complete turd!”  Oops she’s spent too much time with Aunty Bev I think!
Just had a quick recap of my facebook page yesterday!  We had crackers piled high with cheese, a sausage sarnie where the butter was sliced not spread.  There’s a photo of the turkey tray placed on top of the fridge, because that’s where Lynne had put it apparently because there was no room on the work surface the day before and we’d forgotten so that wasn’t eatable after a night up there in a hot kitchen!
Ian came in at lunchtime and asked where the port was, my response "We drunk all the port", Ian said "what's all this we pale face?"  I didn’t drink it all on my own I can assure you all.  We did have a wine tasting morning though, I educated Lynne in fine reds, I think I may live to regret that though because she seems to like it!
Have you noticed now matter how full you are, it someone puts something delicious in front of you – you find room for it!  That’s been more noticeable this week for me than it has for a very long time.  Luckily for us that is what the new Weight Watcher approach is all about, acknowledging it, identifying situations and times that it happens then finding our own solutions.  I’m looking forward to investigating this more next year to help me progress even more with my eating habits, because I’ve already come a long way but I still eat for eating sakes at times. 
On that note, I’ve just finished eating spring rolls and other Chinese nibbles for brekkie, I asked Lynne if she wanted anymore and she said, “no thanks I’m full”, I then heard crunching and look up, she’s scoffing maltesers!  “I thought you were full”, Lynne, “I am but you’ve got to have pudding!”  Mmm yes I’m going to go put the fat mirror in her room later ;’-)
Enjoy your day xxx

Wednesday, 26 December 2012

It's a long one, but I don't want to forget any of it...

26th December 2012
The family. We were a strange little band of characters trudging through life sharing diseases and toothpaste, coveting one another's desserts, hiding shampoo, borrowing money, locking each other out of our rooms, inflicting pain and kissing to heal it in the same instant, loving, laughing, defending, and trying to figure out the common thread that bound us all together. ~Erma Bombeck
So Christmas it’s all done and dusted, this is my account of our day and what a fabulous one it was, hope yours was as good.  We all received lovely presents and over-indulged, although we didn’t really eat much after we’d had our main Christmas dinner.
Jen managed to play with every single present she’d received even if it was only for a few minutes each time, just leaving the last one where it was and moving one to the next, a trail of toys in her wake. 
Will scooted round the large kitchen on his new scooter and I can now confirm this new super dooper one hurts your shins just as much (if not more) as the last one when you trip over it in the middle of the night!
Ian still only has two positions on this holiday – lying horizontal with his eyes shut or sat upright with a book in his hands.  He is the only person here who has no problem concentrating on a book and has already finished his first; I really struggle when there’s noise going on all the time.  Ian’s only job has been to empty the bins, he has his two servants to do everything else, I’m officially the Wyatt family au pair this year apparently ;-)
Lynne has developed a whole new image, normally obsessed about her hair she seems to have forgotten it’s even there and isn’t fussed that it’s a mess, although she did finally change out of her pyjamas yesterday into her jeans to try and curb her food intake – that didn’t work though she just undid the button!
Mom is still working her way through the thousand clue crossword and enjoying being waited on, and you know what after raising five of her own children and suffering a 30 year marriage to my dad, she deserves to be waited on hand and foot forever more.
As for me, well I did what I do every Christmas (actually I probably do it at least once a month) I burnt myself cooking the dinner, last year it was a baking tray burn across my chest, this year it was my hand, I picked up a very hot saucepan forgetting the handle was metal not heat proof plastic like mine at home!  To say it hurt is an understatement, so I stood with it under a cold tap whilst Lynne put the dinner out; apparently the Wyatt’s eat food castles!  And it was a very delicious food castle might I add, looked just like one you’d built in a Toby carvery when the plates aren’t big enough for all you want to put on them, so you proceed to make a mash potato wall to hold everything on, the stuffing ball goes inside the Yorkshire pudding then your peas are poured in the spaces left. Everything is piled on top of the meat to save valuable space and it means you have to eat everything else to get to the best bit, and then finally the gravy is poured inside the moat of mash and roasters.
So cooking Christmas dinner was a proper giggle, unlike most ladies out there we didn’t worry about whether it would turn out well because we believe if you throw gravy over it all no one notices any mistakes.   The turkey went in about 9am, we’d already had two bottles of Babycham each, so we only half read the instructions, we thought if we put it on low, covered in bacon then it’d be cooked by the time we’d done everything else. 
What happened next probably wasn’t the best idea, I found the Christmas Day bottle of Sherry, and said “oh we haven’t had our Christmas Sherry yet” so that’s what we did, then we decided to see what it would taste like mixed with Babycham and drank the rest whilst we did the rest of the dinner.  The final outcome was delicious I have to say before you look at our photo of the turkey which looks uncannily like a sea creature!  It did mean the dogs got a leg each too.  As we were cutting it up we found a plastic bag of giblets!  We thought we’d removed everything but no, we’d only took half of the innards out – oops.   We also forgot to use the goose fat on our roasters that had cost £2,89 from their local butchers.

Anyway dancing round the kitchen with mom, Jen and Lynne was far more important than what ended up on our plate, but luckily it really was delicious, the cranberry sauce was amazing, (thank you Sharon for making it for us) and there were lots of empty plates at the end so it must have been good.
Whilst we were dancing and me and mom were singing, Lynne started mocking my dulcet tones and I said "I can sing really well, I'll have you know" her response "Well do it then!" Way too sharp for her own good that woman! ;-)

With Christmas hats from crackers pulled firmly on our heads Christmas dinner was complete, it had been a lovely day so far, the only thing missing was batteries! They'd been bought but we couldn't find them (we did eventually) but even that didn't cause any tantrums thankfully.

It's the first Christmas Day I haven't watched any television at all, I'm praying Dr Who has taped on my Sky box at home although I'm sure I can get it in my iPlayer.

Back to the festivities, Lynne and I walked the dogs on the afternoon, an hour of fresh air, both of us laughing and smiling, happy to be alive unlike some of the grumpy ones we walked passed. Ooo I forgot to mention the two young girls I'd seen on my morning walk riding their Christmas bikes in their pyjamas, lovely sight especially as the bikes still had giant gift tags hanging from them.

I saved my main gift for the kids till the afternoon, they thought they'd had everything so weren't expecting any more. Their little faces when they opened the tablets were previous, Will who isn't really demonstrative at all actually gave me a hug (just about - he almost proved it’s possible to hug someone without making physical contact!) and he said I'm so happy I think I might cry! Then he posted this on his Facebook page. And that my friends, is why giving will always be a far better experience for me than receiving. To see that look on anyone's face, especially a child's is a wonderful, especially as just lately he's more Kevin the teenager than cute kid.

Lynne and I finished our day with a couple of glasses of Thorntons chocolate liqueur (very nice) and being told off by my mom for giggling like a pair of morons, she makes us feel like naughty teenagers again – it’s great!  Then I went to my bed at the same time as the kids, and passed out immediately, I was shattered - I had been awake since 4am don't forget.

Alfie's been a little restless the last two days, it turns out he's finally found out what his todger does other than weeing! Yep that was his Christmas present to himself!!!!!!! And a proper mess he did make!

Anyway moving swiftly on..... He wakes up in the night whenever anyone goes to the bathroom but settles back down after stomping round the wooden floor a few times. At 5am this morning though he starts whining and crying, I wasn't sure if it was anything to do with the fact Roxie is a girl and was downstairs or maybe he just needed the toilet so I took him to go up the garden. I had to go with him as he escaped the garden and ran off the day before. So it's 5am and absolutely pouring down and I'm standing up the garden in my pyjamas getting soaked whilst Alfie has a poo! You couldn't make this stuff up could you!

I'm now wide awake so settle on the settee with my duvet and my book, a dog either side of me and after about half hour I drop off only to be woken up at six by a beeping noise, I eventually track it down to a digital alarm clock you build yourself - one of Wills gifts! I give in trying to sleep and go to make a cup of tea thinking to myself yay peace and quiet, turned round and there stood Will ;). Happy days!

So I'm now walking along the coastal path, it's a beautiful part of the world Pembrokeshire and at this time of day, it's also very peaceful.   It also involves more DOG POO!  Roxie has just done hers and when I got there, I find about four piles and as I didn’t know which one was hers and it was on someone’s front garden, I’ve had to get them all up, so I’m now officially the poo collector too! 

What fun will today bring.....

Enjoy yours, I will xxxx


Tuesday, 25 December 2012

So here it is Merry Christmas everybody's having fun....

Christmas Day 2012
Love is all you need... The Beatles
Glimpses of our fabulous holiday!
Well the suspense nearly killed us all!  I’ve hardly slept a wink all night, combination of a creaky house, a dog that doesn’t relax and fidgets at every noise and every time someone goes to the toilet, a cracking storm and a little bit of anticipation for Christmas morning and hoping the kids get everything they want and that they are happy.
But first let’s go back to the holiday so far and the few things that have made me smile, let’s start with Sunday night, Lynne and I decided to have cheese and crackers and a hot baguette, we asked mom if she fancied some and she said no, she’s got no appetite these days.  So off we trotted into the kitchen and 15 minutes later when we sat down at the kitchen table, mom sat down too, Lynne put the tray of cheese down, the crackers and the plate with the baguette chopped up and mom reached over and put the baguette in front of her and chomped away as we sat there with our empty plates, staring at each other in disbelief at this woman who has no appetite who was demolishing a 12 inch baguette that had been cut in six and lathered in butter!  After eating four pieces mom announces, “I just can’t eat anymore, I wasn’t really that hungry!”  Meanwhile we’re sat there like begging, starving homeless people grateful for the gift of food.  We didn’t like to say anything because we were just happy to see her eating something and enjoying them.  Crazy, funny old lady!
Yesterday morning, mom’s sat there telling us how there are lights coming up through her floorboards, we deduce that it’s the kitchen fitted ceiling lights shining upwards.  She looks at me and Lynne like we’re idiots and decides she wants a professional opinion which apparently has to be from a man!  When poor Ian finally wakes up and comes down she greets him with, “Ian I want you to come in my bed room”, he looked terrified until we explained why ;-).
Yesterday afternoon we had a treasure hunt, I’d like to add at this point it took me hours to think up, put together the clues and wrap all the presents – it took them 20 minutes from beginning to end for them to complete!  So it starts that they have to help Santa to find his reindeers because they’ve all been partying the night before , then they have to help Santa find all the presents that are strewn around the house using the clues provided.  Half way through Jen says, “How can Santa remember where he put all the presents to write the clues but he can’t find them himself?”  Kids logic, couldn’t you just lock em in a cupboard for a few days!
The clock in the kitchen of our cottage is wrong and we can’t be bothered to change the battery, but yesterday the kids were getting so confused, constantly asking how many hours till Christmas day, what time was it, Jen at one point said, “In the kitchen it’s tomorrow!”  We weren’t convinced and she didn’t get to move time.
We watched the Grinch last night and Jen came out with this beautiful explanation when one character proposed to another with the offer of a big flash ring and a new car, she said, “You don’t marry someone for money, you marry them for their attitude and personality”.  Now that’s what it should be about, shame it isn’t always isn’t it?
We did giggle last night and we were actually sober, Lynne and I were sat there in our pj’s watching tele and talking rubbish, Jen took our photo and Lynne remarked how we will have to reign in our eating come new year as we look a bit heavier and commented how she was thin last summer, I replied “I was thin in 1922 in my last life!”  I looked at the photo and said we don’t look no different, her response, “Yeah we just stopped breathing in.”
We then watched some animal programme about biggest pets and they were saying how a snake can crush you and break your ribs, we were all trying to decide how many ribs a human had, someone said 16, Lynne replied, “You’ve got nowhere near 16 ribs, you’ve only got 8 on each side.”  And this is her sober, just imagine a few lagers later!
Listening to mom and Lynne do the Christmas crossword as I type, there’s a thousand clues, they’ve been at it for days on and off, they’re singing the answers to each other, making answers up, anything they realise is wrong is Ian’s fault!  There’s Christmas tunes on in the background, a turkey in the oven and a bowl of Christmas crackers on the table, the dinner will get as much effort put into it as any other roast dinner, make a good gravy and they always taste great, plus if we have a few beforehand we’ll eat anything, and the kids leave most of everything anyway.
So it’s Christmas day and we’ve been up four and a half hours, and everything has been opened and played with already.  I’m sat drinking babycham, it’ll help me survive the day, purely medicinal of course.   So the rule was no one could get up before six and we all had to come down together, well I woke up at 12, then again at 2 and finally 4 before I just couldn’t go back to sleep, I went to the toilet and noticed mom was awake so we sat and chatted for a couple of hours cursing the kids for behaving and staying asleep!
Eventually they woke and we all went down to see a huge pile of gifts from Santa, wonderful watching them open their presents and even better watching them play with them now, they’re unfortunately NOT keeping them quiet! 
I’ve had a fabulous gift off Lynne, ‘Bev’s special selection box”, she knows I’m not a huge chocolate fan so she’s put me together a box of miniature liquers nom nom, can’t wait to indulge in those, she’s also got me a memo pad with an insult a day in case I get sick of calling her a knob ;-)
I did escape the madness for an hour for a lovely walk down to the beach and along the coastal path, blew away the cobwebs. 
Now for the rest of the days, a nice meal, a few games and a lot of laughs.  Xxx
Thank you to everyone who’s bought me a gift, always appreciated even though there’s nothing a yearn for these days really, I’ve got everything.  I’ve got some amazing friends, I’ve met some new super sparkly sharp friends this year and know so many wonderful Weight Watcher people, and I’m a very lucky lady. 
Happy Christmas everyone, enjoy the rest of the day. xx

Monday, 24 December 2012

Aaah can you hear that - no, fab that's called quiet!

24th December 2012
Forgiveness is the key to action and freedom.  Hannah Arendt
If you're struggling to stay on track and you wanted to, remind yourself weight loss is for life not just for Christmas, it's not what you do between Christmas and New Year that determines your success, it's what you do from New Years day till the following Christmas.  Just do your best, and forgive yourself for the rest.  Don't forget you're already gorgeous, any weight loss is a bonus to your health not your beauty xx
Well I’m not sure about these video recorders on the iphone!  My mates getting some right material from me to blackmail me with in the new year, I’m now learning the words to One Direction with Jen, we’re getting quite good – NOT!  Little Jen is sharp as a knife, she stole my chair so I sat on her, her mom asked if she was alright, I said something like, “what do you reckon, she’s got eleven stone sat on her!”, Jen’s response, “12”, cheeky little thing ;-) but very, very quick witted for an 8 year old.
I reckon she gets it from her dad maybe because when Lynne asked him to take our photo in our Christmas aprons, he said “has this phone got a wide angle lens”, good job we’re not delicate, sensitive souls isn’t it.
I have a feeling today is going to be emotional, the kids are already wound up beyond belief with Christmas excitement, so this morning they’re being taken swimming to try and wear them out a little, and that’ll give me time to put the treasure hunt in place to give them something to keep them occupied later.  I’ll also get food stuff ready for tomorrow, oh and go fetch potatoes because we’ve run out.
Of course we’re over-indulging, it’s to be expected, we’re on our holiday and it’s Christmas however I don’t think we’re going crazy, we had cheese and crackers last night, but made it our meal rather than an add on to our dinner.  We also only bought so much junk, i.e. crisps, Pringles, nuts etc so once they’re gone, they’re gone, I only like the plain Pringles and they’ve gone now so that’s ok, I did go a little OTT on the salted peanuts so asked Ian to hide or finish the bowl for me, he must have done because I haven’t seen it since.
We had sausage, mash and peas yesterday, nom nom, with the gravy left over from our lamb dinner the day before, how many ProPoints, who knows but possibly my days allowance in a meal.  I’ve just realised I haven’t actually had a pudding since arriving, unless an Irish Coffee can be counted as pudding!
The bath here is amazing, it’s huge and the taps are in the middle, I spent a good hour in there yesterday, then Lynne and little Jen had their turn, apparently Jen was telling me there’s a phone on the bath and they were talking to Santa, and he played a trick on them by squirting water down the phone ;-) (it’s the shower head on the taps just in case you hadn’t realised!)
I did have two fabulous walks yesterday, the first one with everyone on the morning, then a second on my own with the dogs, if it stays dry today I may walk the coastal path the other way, we shall see. Forecast says 90% chance of rain, going down to 30% on Thursday – boo!  The photo book will most definitely be called, “A SqWelshy Christmas”.
It’s 5.55am and it’s so quiet, that’s the first time since we arrived that I’ve sat early in morning on my own, the two dogs are lying asleep by me and it’s blissful.  Having said that, I’m really enjoying the craziness of it all, the kids are great, excitable but funny and fun.  Mom and me had a Val Doonican singing session yesterday!  Yes really, we did, we’d seen a You Tube video about Lola the pug that can’t run and the tune was from a Doonican song, so we You Tubed them and me and mom reminisced and had a good old sing song, yes that made me feel old I have to say, Lynne’s only 2 years younger than me and had no idea who I was on about, we’re like, “you know Delaney's Donkey, and , O'Rafferty's Motor Car”, she hadn’t a club and maybe you don’t either but in our house there was 9 people with totally different tastes in music from pop to punk to reggae to country, so I ended up with a real eclectic taste in music.
Exciting or what, I’m just gonna take the turkey out the freezer cos its Christmas Eve!  Have a fabulous day, remember it’s not about the money and how much you spend it’s about the love and time and being together.   
Happy Christmas xx

Sunday, 23 December 2012

We're off for a walk - Alfies begging now!

23rd December 2012
You pile up enough tomorrows, and you'll find you've collected a lot of empty yesterdays. Harrold Hill
I’m owed a cuddle!  Had a bet with Will, aged 10 and he lost and now he’s run off!  That’s what Christmas is all about – having enough time to give people your attention because that’s what we all are – time poor!   So for the next week the people I love get more of my attention even if sometimes they may be a little annoying, for example yesterday we went for a walk and within minutes, Will was, “I’m bored, I wanna go home, it’s raining, I’ve never been this wet in my entire lifetime”.   Mmm dramatic child – no I won’t have it said. 
We’ve been up just over an hour and already, we’ve been mugged by two kid wearing balaclava, had magic tricks shown to us, played cuponk, watched you tube funny videos, done magic tricks and listen to Rihanna about 75 times which makes a change from One Direction who I repeated had to endure yesterday because Jen’s learning the words to ‘ROCK ME’, trust me there aren’t many.  Yes children do a lot in a short space of time, and now we’ve got an Indian Party Selection in the oven for breakfast because it’s sell by date is today and we all voted for a YAY!  It Christmas we can do anything we like.
So yes most of the year we may be time poor but the next week we have 24 hours each day to do whatever we want with and the first of those days yesterday were great.   We had a walk in the rain, and yes he was right, it was really heavy rain, not the wettest I ever been in my life but not far off.   Loving the fact anything goes at Christmas because we’re on a holiday so when we got back we had an Irish coffee when we got home which helped to numb the fact that kids can do so much and they never stop and you just can’t keep up with them even if you want to.
I love spending time with kids but I never wanted any of my own, and spending time with them makes you realise how difficult it is to be a parent.  Jen threw a wobbly last night and cried for ages but Lynne knew exactly how to handle it, which proves the theory you can’t be taught how to be a parent, you learn as you do it.  I’m really fortunate that if I want time to be on my own I can always find it, I love my own company but as a mother you don’t have that opportunity, it must be a nightmare and as Lynne said if it wasn’t for sending them to school then she’d have gone insane long ago!  No wonder women work lol.
Joking aside though they are lots of fun apart from the ‘give me your money’ thing, they never stop; resorting to wearing a black balaclava this morning is possibly the final step and we’re are now officially skint, don’t think they realise they’ve already emptied our bank balance thanks to Christmas and this holiday.
It’s taken me over an hour to write this because you just can’t concentrate, that’s ok though because I’m not time poor this week and I’m enjoying the distractions.
I’m giving up though, I can’t concentrate, it’s futile putting up a fight lol.  We’re gonna go walk the dogs and try to wear the kids out a little – good luck with that ay!

Saturday, 22 December 2012

I likes to blog - I can't stay away ;-)

22nd December 2012
How others see you is not important, how you see yourself means everything!
Good morning from Wonderful Wales, well I wasn’t going to blog whilst away, but in all honestly I enjoy it, it’s a bit like keeping a diary and it helps me process the randomness of my mind.  Plus there’s never anyone up at 5am so what else is there to do when it’s pitch black outside, although I will be reading more this week.
The drive down was smooth, no traffic at all, that’s the beauty of Pembrokeshire, you don’t have to go anywhere near the M6!  We spent two hours of the journey listening to Micky Flanagan ‘the out out’ tour, very, very funny, a gift from a fabulously sparkly new friend I’ve made this year.  It was wonderful to hear mom laughing so loud for so long, absolutely wonderful.
The cottage (well house) is beautiful, they’ve put up a huge real Christmas tree for us, we arrived first and hid all the presents before they arrived with the kids, and I did laugh because one of the first things Jen said was, “I’ve found a secret cupboard”, I’m like, “erm no you haven’t, we’re not allowed to go under the stairs, it’s where the owner keeps all their things so it’s private, plus there’s only the hoover and empty boxes under there”.  Kids ay, they miss nothing do they. 
There’s no phone signal at all even if I go for a walk, so a week without a phone will do me the world of good, we have got wi-fi but that doesn’t always seem to work.  I’m going to enjoy reading and spending time with real people rather than virtual ones.
Mom bagged herself the best room as soon as we arrived, and we all agreed it’s not worth tackling her because as old and frail as she may be, she’d tackle any of us to the floor in a scrum ;-)
Our Tesco delivery came about half eight last night and we struggled to get it all in the fridge, we’ve got the veggies in the cold porch!  So I’m thinking bring the Sunday dinner forward to Saturday and that’ll make some room, it’s our holiday we can do what we like.  We didn’t get our order completely correct, I suppose that’s what happens when you put Lynne in charge of the laptop and hand her a pint of Guinness!  We somehow ended up with one onion rather than a bag of them, and two massive punnets of tomatoes – not quite sure what meal she’s intending to use them with ;-)  But one thing I know for sure, we won’t starve – there is so much to go at, plus there’s only a Chinese takeaway at the top of the road, about a 5-10 minute walk max = result!  Although having said that I’ve never had a descent Chinese in Wales ever, we really are spoilt in the midlands for takeaways, we have some of the best in the country I reckon.
This time of year can be really emotional for so many, driving down yesterday we were listening to Radio 2 (I know, it’s sad, I’ve reached that age where Radio 1 annoys me!) and they were reading out message for loved ones to the troops in Afghanistan – it was very moving, they also had some talk to each other, you could hear the love.   I’m very lucky I’m getting to spend Christmas with those I hold dear and for that I am very grateful.  To those of you that have lost loved ones, a few of you have contacted me, don’t dwell and live in the past it’ll lead to depression, don’t worry and fret about the future it’ll cause anxiety – focus on the now and LIVE, it’s good to have wonderful memories but don’t let them stop you making new ones.
Have a fabulous weekend, make new memories xxx