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Firstly Does anyone still have a paid account? I want to subscribe to http://slice-of-slim.blogspot.co.uk/feeds/posts/default on here but only paid users can add new feeds to the syndicarion list.

If anyone feels like helping me out the place to do it is the bottom of this page http://slice-of-slim.blogspot.co.uk/feeds/posts/default.

As of last wednesday I am back on the weight watchers wagon. First week has gone in the right direction and i have lost 1lb. So much for the mega weight loss in the first couple of weeks that tails off to a sensible/safe amount later on. But that is fine 1lb a week is the max I should be doing while breastfeeding anyway, otherwise it won't just be me who is hungry. I had guessed a few things this week while at my parents, so I think I might need to re-evaluate how many points those things are next time I go.

It hasn't been as hard as I thought to get back into it, but I can see straight away that the challenge is going to be simultaneously sticking to my points budget AND our financial buget. Breastfeeding is making me very hungry and I'm trying to use this to encourage myself to snack on sensible/nutritional things rather than just eating empty calories. When I did weight watchers last time that meant having snacks of lots of fruit and salady bits, but because I'm trying to budget ££££ I don't want to be buying strawberries and things all the time (or even tomatos and cucumbers at this time of year. I am therefore experimenting with lots of variations on the theme of "some grated carrot and chopped apple = salad". Good thing I like them both really!

Of course today Richard has the day off and we are going to have a pub lunch which is a truly sensible way to celebrate loosing a lb ;) Weight watchers is quite flexible though - you get an amount of points each day (calculated on your weight/age and a few other bits including for me an extra 14 because of feeding a hungry boy!) - I get 40, plus everyone gets an extra 49 to use as they wish. So you can use 7 extra each day or save them for the weekend if you know you will be in the vacnity of chips and wine ;). And different foods are worth a different number of points, so most fruit and veg is free, but you could easily use up 20 in one meal if you were havy on the carbs and fat.

So side salad/seasonal veg to fill myself up a bit extra, new potatoes instead of chips and some fruit from the market as pudding will be the order of the day I feel.

Nanoblomo day 11 - do memes count?

It has gone wrong again. I started writing this one on Wednesday morning, and kep comin back to it but never finishing. The last few days have been rather busy! There is a meme doing the rounds, where you comment, I give you a letter and you have to write about 10 things to do with that letter and what they mean to you. I was given an L. Some of these may deserve expension in future days (especially if I am stumped!)

Ladybirds - when I was a teenager i had lots of penpals (this was before the internet, shock horror!) One of them gave me the nickname ladybird for some reason, I forget why. I have very strong memories of watcing and re-watching a David Attenborogh about ladybirds when I was a child, and I used to spend hours looking for them in the garden, so it was a nickname I wan't adverse to! When I did start using the internet I couldn't think of anything else to use as a usename so ladybird kind of stuck. and then I ended up being ladybirdintheuk because ladybird was gone. (naughty people nicking my name). Now it is a safe bet if I sign up anywhere new and I lack imagination!

ladybirds (ladybirdsukgoths) also was the yahoo club (later yahoo group, the ez board, then message board hosted by chris) I set up while bored and lonely during my first term at uni before I quit. It turned out to be one of the best thing I ever did and I made some life long friends :) Like all of these things, it has completely been overtaken by facebook now, but it was nice while it lasted :)

lemon juice - (also see lemoncello, lemon tea, lemon squah and lemonade... basically anything lemony!) food of the gods. Lemon juice is added to a large proportion of my meals, both sweet and savoury.

luxury - when I wrote this list out I think I was thinking of spa days and champagne, and how I don't get enough of them. Today I'm in a much more world-voew kind of mood and I know that compared to a lot of people I live in luxury. I have heating and more than enough food, and I am sitting on a comfy sofa watching tv with my 2 (only 2, I have the luxury of planning these things :) ) children and typing on the laptop. Things aren't that bad all things considered!

laughter - Very important stuff :)

leftover pizza (is that cheating?) - food of the gods. Of course this requires ordering enough pizza for there to be some left!

lie-ins - Now, if I had more of these I would be even more inclined to think I lived in luxury. and one day 8am won't count as a lie in any more. That would be nice too!

lucre - anyne want to lend me any? I think i had something to say when I added it to the list, but not idea what it was now. Maybe about swagbucks and how it is really helping to pay for christmas. This is the website I linked to a while back where you can do searches and surveys and things and you earn points you can spend on Amaon vouchers. Great way to do christmas presents for "free". The time you spend it doesn't end up being minimum wage, but if you are doing in dead time anyway it is certainly worth a poke.

lactation (and lactivism) - The first is something I'm going quite a lot these days. Before I had kids I always knew I would. Because that is what my boobs are for and it never occured to me not to. Until I had Izzy I wasn't aware of how rare this atitude is in this country, or how controversial the subject is for some people. If you talk/write about breastfeeding and the benefits of doing so then it often comes over (even if not intended that way) as a criticism of people who chose not to.

I'm a firm believer that it would be good if more people chose to breastfeed - baby is less likely to get poorly as a baby (breastmilk contains anibodies from mums milk, so because I'm imune to chickenpox Stuart is unlikely to catch it either for the time being - this doesn't protect him forever, but does give his system a boost when teeny). and in the longer term breast fed babies are more likely to be healthy adults. These are only likelihoods and percentages, and i'm not sure how much of it is that if you breastfeed you are also more likely to educate your kids in how to be/stay healthy long term. If the studies are uk only this would be the case, but internationally this is certainly not the case - formula is bloomin expensive! Plus for mum it (allegedly) helps you to loose weight quicker (I suspect this can only be the case for people who don't own a biscuit tin ;) ), and also hugely reduces the chances of breast cancer and osteoperosis in later life. So huge benefits to individual mums and babies but also to the nhs etc in not having to treat all those people.

Adding in the expense and the faffing around time for washing/sterilising bottles and making up formula and the fact that anyone would choose to bittle feed seems a bit of mystery on first glance. Of course there are lots of circumstances where bottle feeding might be necessary (mum going back to work/the very small percentage of women who are unable to feed/etc) but doing it out of choice seems a bit odd. Except that then we start thinking about cultural norms - in this country it just isn't seen as normal to breastfeed. and if kids grow up seeing babies in their family being bottle fed then their first assumptions about how you feed a baby are going to be the polar oposite of mine. And because relatively few women breastfeed, you see relatively few women breastfeeding , so it remains not particularly normal. And of course all of those births on the soaps (born of course on christmas day, in the back of a taxi, without mum taking her pants off... and they come out everso clean looking and without squished "just been born" heads ;) ) never included skin to skin contact, and the first feed. And whenever you see a baby being fed on a soap it is with a bottle. The occasional positive portrayal breastfed baby on eastenders would make a huge difference I'm sure. That and not having your Mum/Mother in law saying "you had a bottle and it never did you any harm" - having support from your immeduate family and friends is at least as important as the advice and support from medical professionals.

I should point out I don't much care about the method of feeding used by any particular mum - everyone has to do what they feel best for their families and what is done is done. But it would be nice if the cultural norms were shifted sufficiently that in future what women feel is best for their families is (as far as possible) based on health considerations rather than other things. Educating people about the health benefits is clearly not enough to combat the various social influences.

Of course the above is a completely UK centric view - in the wider world you also have the issue of women being encouraged to use formula when they live in conditions incompstible with preparing formula safely (or where they can't read the label to understand the need to sterilise bottles, use cooled boiled water etc.). Even in the west babies die from being given ill-prepared formula. Not very common here, but far more so in the developing world sadly :(

lego - We are very much looking forward to the advent of lego here. Izzy is just about almost ready for it (almost) here, but lego is not really compatible with a small baby who will quite soon start putting things in his mouth, so we are putting lego off for another year or two I think. Other than lego minis. We have a large lego mini collection in the display cupboard :)

lazy - That is me! I try not to be, and don't really have time to be, but really given the choice I'd rather be sleeping!

Nanoblomo day 5 - sleep again

Right... you lot are going to have to give me some inspiration. What should I write about? Otherwise you are going to spend the next month reading about how nackered I am and which room I am going to tidy today!

Last night was the first night of the two children forming a tag-team to keep mummy up all night. Ok, so it wasn't quite all night, but it sure feels like it. Even Izzy is saying "maybe I will have a nap today".

Todays list
- clean the kitchen
- wrap christmas presents with Izzy
- cook something with the butternut squash which has been waiting patiently on the side for a few days
- try not to get cross because of being tired!

But first - park (it is a lovely day outside and Izzy wants to bring the camera and take photos... I think I might have an idea for her birthday present!), post office, tesco (including trip to the cafe for a cake if everyone has been good!)

I think todays list is FAR more realistic.
Worrying about things run in the family. I'm sure it runs in that big extended family called "being human", but it definitely runs in our faimily more than most. My Mum is a real worrier. She worries about anything and everything. If there is nothing major going on for her to worry about (which, to be fair there is at the moment :( ) she finds something insignificant to worry about instead. Now I know as a logical human being that even if her worries seem insignificant to me, her worries are still valid and should be respected. But that doesn't stop it being annoying when you are asked the 18th (no exaggeration, I was counting!) detailed question about how you want your cup of tea. I try and be glad that she has nothing else to worry about and can devote the worrying to tea/whatever.

But now as I'm getting older I'm finding that *gasp* I'm turning into my mum. To be fair I do have a lot of fairly major/understandable things to worry about at the moment in my opinion, but I don't know if they would seem it to everyone else!

Most imediate worry as I'm tryping this is that the washing machine is making very odd noises.
Other things I am worrying about are all kind of intertwined and to do with uncertainty:

  • the house move and related concerns - there houses out there that might be suitable, but all have their different flaws (and this is before viewing them)... but there is no point weighing them up and working out which is the best option until we have a buyer, as they might have been sold to someone else by then. Also we need to tidy all the things for viewings, and sort out the clutter in the garage/under the bed/whatever and make sure we aren't taking things with us that are going to stay in a box for 10 years until I get round to throwing it away!
  • school applications for Izzy need to be in by 15th Janaury. I don't know which schools to apply for because we don't know where we will be living by then. Hopefuly we will find a buyer quick and be able to start looking at places, but what if we don't?!!!
  • I have discovered that if I am paying for nursery for Stuart, and breakfast and after school club for Izzy AND petrol to work then there is no point going to work on nursery days as it will be costing me money. Which is kind of nice as it means I have justification for not going back full time (I will go back on the days we can get grandparenty childcare, so somewhere between 2 and 4 days depending on what my mum can manage by then) beyond "it being better for the kids" (which should be the priority over money anyway IMO, provided we have enough to eat/cover nececities, but it turns out not everyone else around here agrees completely with this point.) But also a shame as we are really happy with nursery and see how much Izzy gets out of it. But again, until we know what school Izzy is working at and where I will be working I don't know for definite.
  • I need/want to look for another job closer to home. But what hours I will be able to do will depend on all of the above. Part time work (or at least part time work that pays well enough) is hard to come by, so I will go back to my current job if I've not found anything. Which isn't the end of the world as I quite like my job really.

So yes, mostly it is just uncertaintly that is driving me mad. I am not the kind of person who sweeps things under the carpet and pretends problems are not there, I am much more into takling problems head on and getting on with fixing them, but (other than clearing out the garage etc) none of the above can be actioned just yet, and I feel like everything is out of my control :(

This is why I'm kind of looking forward to starting back on weight watchers soon (I'm going to try and follow the rules by myself to start with rather than paying for the priveledge of someone else weighing me once a week!). 1lb a week is my goal. I have about 2 stone to loose, so I figure I should be able to reach (or be near at least!) my goal by my birthday next year, which is 30 weeks away. At least that is something I can have some control over. I'm not sure that is a very healthy thing to be thinking though. This is where eating disorders begin. So that is another thing to worry about ;) (Someone slap me if they think I'm getting carried away with the weight loss please!)

(don't ask about the housework list, I don't want to talk about it :p)

day 4???

yes yes... IOU 1 blogpost. But it is late (for me) and I'm going to bed). See yesterdays post. I shall return tomorrow!
I touched on sleep yesterday. Sleep is a funny thing. I used to always need at least 8 hours or I would feel terrible. And still afternoon naps on the weekend were the norm. Luxury! Of course I could get by on less as a one off. If I had something more exciting than sleep to do. But I knew about it when I did.

Now ... well, I still NEED 8 hours or so sleep to function at an optimal level, but I do know what I can get away with. At the moment I'm managing 6 hours of (broken) sleep most nights, which is enough for me to get by on. I get a nap when I can, but that doesn't happen on the days I have both kids on my own. I have 2 days in the week where Izzy is at nursery and I can sleep when Stuart does and I try and fit a sleep in over the weekend where I can in between whatever else we are doing. But it still isn't enough to make up for not quite enough sleep on a consistent basis. Not little enough to be proper sleep deprivation (you really lean what that means in the first week or so - with izzy the third night in a row of no sleep to say I was in floods doesn't give you the half of it.), but definitely enough to stop me from functioning properly. Grumpiness and lack of paticence as you would expect. But also it stops me from being able to think clearly or consistently talk coherently - remembering the right word for things is a bit of a struggle at times! When I went back to work last time I used to really notice this. A large part of my job involves explaining complicated things to people, and being able to talk coherently is really quite essential. Very frustrating when you know you aren't doing as well as you should be. (also quite often I am explaining them to stupid people, and the "being more irritible than normal" makes being professional quite trick at times too ;) ).

But yes - sleep is good for you. And even if you think you are getting by, going to bed a bit earlier might not be a bad plan. If you have the option of course ~glares at small people~.

In case anyone is interested, didn't manage most of my list yesterday (did the making sure everyone was fed and watered but I think that was about it!)... Took Izzy for a drive to get her to nap and got lost (I tend to pootle out on the countr roads and seee where we end up. It didn't quite go to plan yesterday though, and I had to get the sat nav out. Feel free to point and laugh. But by the time we got home I had a hungry boy who wouldn't be put down. But never mind. today is another day!


2nd Nov, 2012

Hmm, seeing as I managed to post yesterday I could try doing NaBloPoMo — National Blog Post Month. I'm sure this will last till tomorrow before I get distracted/run out of inspiration. There are only so many variations on the theme of I have had X hours sleep and really need to hoover that anyone wants to read even if I could be bothered to type it out! Although saying that a good quantity of my friends share their to-do lists on here, so maybe not :p

But for now, a day in the life of the Tyson family. It is half term this week, so all our normal groups aren't on, but we have been mega busy with loads of other things instead. It is a lovely sunny day outside today, which we have sensibly been spending ... sat inside watching cbeebies and playing (Izzy), tidying up (me!) and gurgling (Stuart)! This state of affairs cannot continue.

So we are off to the supermarket shortly (of course!), then off for a play-date at my Mums house with one of Izzys friends. I'm hoping we can make the most of the weather and all go for a trip to the park. Rock and roll!

To do list for this afternoon when we get home:

clear dry washing, hang out wet washing
put our room back together after cleaning the carpet yesterday
change sheets on our bed/stuart's crib and put the dirty ones in the wash
wash up
make sure everyone eats some tea
tidy the living room a bit

possible other things:
wrap christmas presents with Izzy
finishing touches Stuart's blanket (finally!)
take pictures of maternity clothes to sell and list them


update of sorts

Now I've posted my long overdue holiday update, here is a proper update. I have been reading LJ (and commenting when I have something to add, as those of you who are still posting will have noticed!), but completely out of the habit of posting. Most of you see my updates on facebook anyway, so will know about anything exciting from there. But not quite everyone, and anyway it is nice to have a waffle for a bit. I should do it more often ;)

Most important update - I am no longer pregnant - Stuart was born on 26th September weighing a massive 9lb 14oz! (picture here)

birth story, cut for the sqeemishCollapse )

Because he was so big we had to stay in for 24 hours so they could make sure his blood sugar didn't drop. Actually got some sleep in hospital though (not much, but some!) and came home the following lunchtime. Everything surprisingly easy once at home - it makes a lot of difference getting a bit more sleep and even more difference not having lost 3 pints of blood!

Izzy is loving being a big sister. Hardly any jelousy (a few wobbly moments, but they are few and far between!) and she is very affectionate. If anything we have a problem with too much affection, the poor boy doesn't get a break and is getting mauled and pawed at all day long - good thing he was a biggun and not a dainty little 6lb baby really! She is showing him off to everyone and very proud of him, bless her :)

The other big bit of news is that we have decided to put our flat on the market now. We were going to wait until I go back to work, but have decided for various reasons to do it now. It seems mad to be trying to keep the house tidy for visits with a toddler AND 5 weeks post partum, but there is method in my madness I promise! Firstly, although it is hard to do now (and the actual move when we get that far will be horrendous!), it will be even harder when I'm back at work. And secondly, we need to apply for a school place for Izzy very soon (madness!) and it would really help if we knew where we are going to be living. Hopefuly we will manage to find a buyer and put an offer in somewhere by the time I have to apply. Cross your fingers for me!


I just clicked on the button to create a new post and found the following draft, which I wrote in June. No idea why I didn't post it properly then, but you might as well have it now!

Hello Livejournal. Is anyone still there?!

Just back from a lovely holiday (why is it now raining when I need to do ALL THE WASHING?!!!!!) We went to the Isle of Wight, staying here. Before we went the weather forecast was hideous, but we had nice weather until Thursday, which meant we could do beaches (yay!) and all got a little bit sun burnt (boo!).

We have discovered that Izzy doesn't like the feel of sand on her feet, even though she loves making sand castles. We discovered that the paddling pool at ventnor is the best thing ever. Also ice-cream. Lots of ice-cream. The weather turned on Thursday, so we had a few days of wandering round farm shops and trying out a few pubs and whatnot.

All in all we enoyed it so much we have booked ourselves a 3 night break in April - our first holiday as a family of 4. Eep!


bump number 2!

So, looks like you can only upload pictures to lj if you're paying for the damn thing. So my exciting news in-case-you're not on fb will be less image heavy then planned.

But yes, yesterday we went to the hospital to go take a peek at bump number two. There are pictures here http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10150590515536574.379218.563301573&type=3&l=9f58762cc5 (with any luck the link will let you see them even without facebook but if not then shout and I will exert the required effort to put them somewhere else!). Small wriggly miini-baby is around 6 cm long, and looks to have all the required number of organs and appendiges. The awkward sod is making me quite sick at the moment, and already affecting my ability to walk. So getting to actually take a peek with the scanner was generally a good thing :)

(Insert rant here about hospital parking!)

Izzy seems to be happy about the idea. We didn't tell her till we had scan pictures to show her. Not really sure how much she understands, but we will see.


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