New Chapters for Little People

sports dayWell what a week it has been at Vic HQ. This week has been about little Gabriella. I’d never forget Lexi, who had a good week herself: school trips and glowing school report. *Beaming proud parents*  Her school trip was part of her R.E subject, so they visited a local church then finished off at the library to listen to a storyteller. Admittedly, I would have loved to have joined her. Although I write chick-lit/women’s fiction, I love children’s stories. Anyway, I couldn’t attend the school trip as it was Gabriella’s sports morning. So cute: little 3 & 4 year olds racing across the field, little smiles as we all clapped and cheered. But then the morning got even better. As parents we had the opportunity to buy raffle tickets. We had 10 tickets, and nearly every ticket came out. I had to keep telling the teacher to give someone else a chance. After Gabriella had picked a lovely little set; a fairies craft set, which will come in very handy in the summer, our tickets just kept coming out. Now, the bottle of red was waving at me, it obviously really wanted to come home with me! So after we were all laughing and joking, the red wine was given to us (and gratefully accepted) when it became embarrassing that our numbers kept coming out: you’d think we’d fixed it! Now because of this lucky streak, we stopped at the shop and put the lottery on, plus I picked up a scratch card. We didn’t win on the scratch card, however, there were 2 x £100,000 and 2 x £100. Now if this isn’t a sign that we are on a winning streak, then I don’t know what is. But it wasn’t the lottery, as we didn’t win on the Euro Millions. However, I’m a positive person so I’ll keep you posted on our lucky streak.

However, as I started saying this week has been about Gabriella. My little girl starts full-time school in September. I know there are many parents out there in the same boat as me, that’s why I felt the urge to write this blog. You see part of me, can’t wait … I mean that in the nicest possible way. I plan my working (writing, wedding website and marketing) around my girls. So my two hours on a morning and working late into the night, sometimes isn’t enough, so I keep thinking I’ll have more time to really get my teeth into my work, which does excite me. However, Tuesday evening was an introduction to FS2 (foundation stage 2), which was fine, Lexi had the FS2 teacher, who is lovely, so all is good there. Wednesday was trying out school dinners. We were allowed to go with them, parents were allowed to eat, which I didn’t (I’m still on with my Green Glowing Smoothie – if you haven’t read that blog, you really must) but Gabriella had a plate of pasta and cake, which she just thought was great. But as I watched all these little people carrying trays which were half the size of them, my heart swelled. Gabriella is one of the taller children, but still she looked like a little dot. I wanted to tell them she couldn’t move up just yet. Could we not just wait another year? I didn’t think I’d feel like this. Lexi was so ready to go to full-time school, and the only wobble I had with Lexi was when we changed her schools in her first week joining full-time school (because we moved house). That was horrendous, I came home and cried, and then rang her new school to make sure she was okay! But she was fine. She hasn’t looked back. And I know Gabriella will be the same. I keep joking about celebrating when they are both in full-time school, but I’m actually feeling quite sad about this new little chapter in our lives. I thought I’d be skipping out the school (and I may just do that, as we have 6 weeks off before then!) but at the moment, I can’t believe I’ll have two big girls, who have their own little lives. I won’t know what has happened in their lives every minute of every day, and Gabriella may forget everything that has happened, as Lexi does, but as long as their happy I suppose I have to be too.

Many of you may know that in some countries such as Sweden, Denmark and Finland, school doesn’t begin until the age of seven! And their results are better than ours! Visit http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/7234578.stm to find out a little bit more. Although I’ve known this information I’ve always somewhat disagreed, being a Stay at Home Working Mum (SAHWM) I’ve been desperate to have my working hours during the day rather working until late into the night. But suddenly, this week feeling a little nostalgic and sad I’m starting to wonder if four is too young to start full-time school. I mean don’t get me wrong, I’m not going to start campagning or anything as drastic, but it may not be the champagne I’m getting out, but the wine to drown my sorrows!

Anyway, I have a week left (as do many of you) to do 11.30am pick-up. A week left of just me and Gabriella on an afternoon. So I’ll just have to find something special to do. And then do something with Lexi so she doesn’t feel left out! So to all mums out there who have a little one starting full-time school I’ll be thinking of you when we either come home and sob, or get the Champagne out. I thought I’d be the latter, but I think this week has just proved that may not be the case. However, I’ll keep you updated in September, if I’m not rocking in my chair after the school holidays 🙂

PHOTO CREDIT: earlydaysnursery.org.uk

An alternative to caffeine

Diet and exerciseI’ve found a new alternative to caffeine, and I had to share it with you.

If you’ve read some of my other blog posts, you’ll see a few weeks ago I had a tooth removed. Now I thought it would be like having a filling. How silly of me. The amount of people who said to me beforehand, ‘I’ve had a tooth out, it was fine,’ waving their hand dismissively. Well, either these people have a higher pain threshold than me (which could easily be the case – although, I do like to state I did give birth to two children with just gas and air, yes, I was extremely proud of myself! Admittedly, Gabriella was induced, I kept missing the gas and air and felt EVERYTHING! If she’d been the first there would have been no more!)

Anyway, so after having my tooth removed, I was not good for a week or so. I think this was a combination of things. On top of the amount of painkillers I was taking, I didn’t feel like eating, but I think one of the main things that made me feel so rubbish was cutting out diet drinks and energy drinks. Although I needed a boost I couldn’t bear the fizzy taste around my tooth. Now, I live off this stuff. I know it’s not good for my body etc. I’m lectured endlessly. However, I work late, I’m up early and the day has to keep going in between. So I’ve always relied on these types of drinks to keep me going. I don’t like tea or coffee, so have always (like the majority us) needed caffeine to function. But when I say I’ve relied on these drinks, I’m mean for the last 20 years or so. Having at least four cans a day (in fact, sometimes litres of the stuff in ONE day). This is quite hard to admit, it’s embarrassing really, but when you read further I want you understand if I can cut these drinks out, anyone can!

Now, the other thing that affects me, is I still have my baby-weight (don’t laugh – I realise my girls are 6 and 4 years old). ‘It takes 9 months to put it on and 9 months to take it off’ as the theory goes. I listened to that theory 9 months after, then just put it to the back of my head. B.C (before children) I was one of those women that most of us hate: good metoblism, size 10, ate what I wanted, hardly ever exercised, and stupidly took it for granted. Then I had babies … if you have children, you’ll know the story from here. So now I’m a size 14, weighing a stone and half more than I did B.C, I’ve battled with losing those extra pounds like many women. I do fad diets: I lose a bit, then I put it all back on.

So with the weight thing in mind, as well as wanting to have more energy, I started searching for alternatives, I was already going through the withdrawal: pounding headaches, feeling lethargic and sluggish, so I needed to make some major changes. I don’t want to diet (who does!) but I want to change the way I think about eating. I want to feel healthier and have natural energy.

So after searching I found Kimberly Snyder  a celebrity nutritionist and best-selling author. I looked through Kimberly’s site, and was entranced. She gave so many reasons as too why certain foods work, don’t work and she gave alternatives. You must read Kimberly’s blog. Her Green Glowing Smoothie is a must. Undeniably, it doesn’t look that nice, and I did think as I was making it, ‘Nope, this isn’t going to work. I need to like it, and this doesn’t look that appetising.’ But I was very surprised: it’s so lovely and very refreshing. I’m loving it. She’s also advises on different seeds to include in your diet. So I’ve incorporated mung beans  into my diet. 88g is 85 calories, so I measure this out on a morning, and pick throughout the day. In fact, as I type this I have a glass of Green Glowing Smoothie and Mung Beans on my desk. This is only my fourth day and I can’t tell you how different I feel. I feel better than as if I was drinking lots of caffeine drinks. I think it helps because I do like to eat, chew or generally have something to nibble at (all the time), so both the smoothie and the mung beans are there readily available to just munch on.

Apparently, it takes 21 days to change a habit, so although I’m further along with not having fizzy drinks, I’m looking forward to reaching 21 days and incorporating the Green Glowing Smoothie in my diet for ever.

If you want to lose weight and have more energy, I would definitely recommend you sign up to Kimberly Synder’s blog today. I can’t believe the change in my body, skin and energy is such a short space of time. So it can only get better from here.

Here’s to a happier healthier lifestyle, good luck x

Monday Mornings

frazzled-momI like to think of myself as an organised Mum. But why is it when Monday mornings arrive I’m rushing around, dishellved and completely running behind time. This morning I was determined to be majorly organised. It’s active week at my girls school, so they have to wear their P.E kit all week. Everything was sorted, until we’re about to leave and I realise I haven’t given them any money: £2.50 voluntary contribution. (Although, this is a voluntary contribution, I’d feel very bad not giving anything). Low and behold, I have nothing except a few 2 pence pieces in my purse. So out comes the copper jar, that luckily hubby puts 10 and 20 pence pieces in. So after we’d counted out the correct money (because first time round I only put £1.50 in the little green paper bag) we headed out the door. And yes, we just made it, as the teacher blew the whistle!

The thing is, I’m the Mum that always arrives late into the playground, (actually, it’s most morning, not just Mondays) as the queues of children march miltary style (that is so not true … coats hang down backs, bags are dragged along the floor and children chat as if they have all the time in the world).

I have two places to be at the school, Gabriella is dropped off at the front, most other parents seem to find this a doddle – even those with two or more children. Not me, I’m always 10 minutes behind everyone else. So, as Lexi waits outside the nursery doors, I help little Gabriella take off her coat, (and cardigan, if she had a choice her shoes and socks would come off too!) I take out the little book where the teacher writes down their day’s events, we put away her bag, pick out her name, hang up her water bottle, before I can kiss her goodbye for three hours. I leave Gabriella smiling happily and ready to get filthy in water, paint and snot. Lexi and I then run top speed (okay, power-walk) round the back of the school, in hope the queue hasn’t actually gone in. Generally she makes it to the end of the queue, another happy child, mainly because she isn’t officially late! This morning however, Lexi had to go in first we were that late! Now I think the main reason why I get so wound up about this is because I hate lateness. I’m stickler for being on time. If you’ve read How My Life Became Chaos you’ll know where Kat’s dislike for lateness comes from. B.C (before children) I was always on time, if not early.

I read ‘Dont Sweat the Small Stuff’ by Richard Carlson, brilliant book – a must-read. I followed his tips on leaving the house on time. But still sometimes one child needs the toilet, or like this morning, I totally forgot something, but if I’d followed Richard Carlson’s tips I wouldn’t have been ‘sweating the small stuff’. But anyway, on top of Richard Carlson’s advice, I also decided this morning that I know what happens … the magic of the universe makes the time go faster. It can be the only explanation as to why I get out of bed at 6.30am and try to leave the house by 8.25am, but always seem to be 10 minutes behind. No matter how well I plan the morning, I’m fighting against the minutes that definitely double up. Because it couldn’t possibly be my fault; I hate lateness. So it’s official, and I think many of you will agree that the time definitely goes faster on a morning. So tomorrow morning, because I’ve figured this out, I’m going to watch the clock and I’m going to beat it. If all else fails, I’m going to re-read Richard Carlson’s,  Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff. It’s a must-read!

photos: katieneumann.wordpress.com  

 

Kids and Nightmares

kid drawing sleepingNow, we’ve had a few episodes where I’ve woken to my girls tears in the middle of the night. I do wonder what can actually cause such vivid frightening dreams, especially at such a young age. There have been times when my girls have not wanted to go back to sleep, and it must be awful to feel so frightened and not understand it’s not real.

But then, I’ve always been a believer that dreams do actually mean something. Studying Psychology at ‘A’ Level, which I loved, it became pretty obvious that whatever occurs in our day manifests into our dreams. Have you ever watched a TV programme and then dreamt that a similar situation happened to you? Well, I’m also a believer that some dreams are actually a warning or a gift for the future. Please don’t stop reading, I’m not that loony … well, maybe a little.

But anyway, if this thought is true, what could possibly have been on Gabriella’s mind at 3.30am when she came to me shaking, crying, very frightened and her little pink doggy, that she sleeps with every night, cuddled tight into her, as she explained she didn’t want to move out!

As nicely as I could at the ungodly hour, I told my 4-year-old she wasn’t going anywhere. ‘But you said I have to move my bed to Grandma’s, on my own,’ she sobbed. Although, obviously I said no such thing, I suddenly felt very guilty. What had I possibly said during the day that would instil such a dream? I don’t want my girls to move out, ever! Have their own little lives, yes, but actually ‘move out’ mmm … I’d rather not think that far ahead.

I tried to think of the television programmes she watched, and I’m sure ‘Jake and the Neverland Pirates’ has been designed to inspire children, not make them feel they have to move out, not just move out, but take their bed with them. Anyway, after a little cuddle, we soon fell asleep after I convinced her it was a dream and I’d say no such thing!

The only promising thing about the whole night was my dream about spiders webs! Granted, I work up feeling a little unnerved, but after looking on www.dreammoods.com
they tell me “
To see a spider spinning a web in your dream signifies that you will be rewarded for your hard work. You will be promoted in your job or recognized for your achievement in a difficult task. Spiders are also a symbol of creativity due to the intricate webs they spin.” 

So, I was quite pleased with my dream and I’m hoping it’s true, and it’s not the fact that I actually just need to clean my house!!!

IMAGE CREDIT: http://s45.photobucket.com/user/marranita/profile/

50% of profits go towards Hope for Holly

Hope for Holly

On May 27th 2012 Lucy and Andy Gowland’s world was turned upside down when they were given the devastating news that their 3 year old daughter Holly had Leukaemia.

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Having two gorgeous little ones myself, I couldn’t begin to imagine what Lucy and Andy must have been through and continue to go through as they support their little girl through endless treatments. As I know many parents will be thinking it’s unimaginable. A fear none of us want to live through, but unfortuantely their are many parents who have to.  This is why I decided to give 50% of the profits for my first novel to this deserving charity.

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If you’d like to buy a copy and contribute to this amazing charity, please download How my life became chaos here. Your purchase is appreciated by us all.