Friday, November 30, 2012

I Survived Day One!

The day began rather earlier that I would have hoped for, as BB, who was off his food yesterday, apparently had his appetite return at 5 am. So up we bounded shortly after 5 am and began our day.

The first thing I had to do was take epsom salts, which is never a pleasant thing, but I have done it before and and I always feel better after. So I did this when we first got up and stayed away from food completely until around 10am, when BB and I both enjoyed a lovely snack of fresh peaches.

For lunch we both had fish and peas, but he got potatoes whereas I did not. I cooked myself an extra piece of fish to compensate. My fish had to be just fish and I steamed it. I haven't eaten fish like this for ages, I usually add a sauce of some description or eat it crumbed or battered when out. I was surprised by how much I enjoyed it just on it's own. I finished lunch feeling all positive and like this would be a breeze!

Mid afternoon I was hungry, and so was BB, so we snacked on fresh pineapple and I also sneaked in a few nuts when he wasn't looking! Then I made him his tea which included a piece of lovely buttered oatmeal toast. It smelled so good. At this point I was thinking "what have I done?"- it will be so long before I can enjoy toast and butter!

So I ate more nuts!

After BB was in bed I made myself a big bowl of salad for tea, which included avocado and olives and a few more nuts. I actually feel full which is great.

I have to say I am surprised by how many things I can eat. It is proper food, you can make meals - though I may be a bit bored of them after a week. I have never followed an elimination diet before, but my perception of them was that you just had to eat lettuce leaves for weeks. There are lettuce leaves - but there are lots of other things too.

As for how am feeling, actually not bad at all. Certainly no worse than yesterday, a slight headache, but I had that yesterday too and it could be caffeine withdrawal. I drink coffee every day, although only a half strength blend and a maximum of 2 cups, so I am hoping that the withdrawal symptoms wont last too long.

So, so far so good! We'll see what happens tomorrow.  I am not looking forward to breakfast. I think that is going to be the hardest meal of the day as everything you have for breakfast is on the banned list! The foods that most commonly cause problems are milk, bread, wheat, corn and eggs - so that rules out pretty much everything I usually eat. Hopefully I can manage to fill up on other things and feel satisfied. I am so grateful for the nuts - I think they will be my saviour!



Click here for other posts related to The Six Secrets of Successful Weight Loss Elimination Diet

If you are interested in buying the book it is available at AmazonWaterstones and The Book People. It maybe be worth checking them all as prices do change. Amazon also have a Kindle Version

Thursday, November 29, 2012

A Prelude to The Elimination Diet

Things didn't quite go to plan. I had to cancel my night out as BB is sick with a cough and cold (and is even off his food!) and with the headache I have right now, I am guessing I have it coming. As a result of that, lunch with my 97 year old Nana tomorrow has also been cancelled - we just can't risk her getting our germs.

So, I am thinking that as I have all the 'allowed' food items on board I may as well get into this elimination diet tomorrow, rather than waiting until Saturday. The headache I will get from caffeine withdrawal can hide behind the one from the cold!

I will explain more about the diet as I go along, but as a brief introduction, I found out about this when I responded to an ad on Bloggers Required. They were looking for people to review a new book Six Secrets of Successful Weightloss by Dr John Mansfield.  It sounded interesting to me because it was about personalising the diet to the individual. It talked of finding out about your own sensitivities. The brief info that I read made me think that was about about health and well being and not just weight loss. I was intrigued.

A couple of weeks ago I received a phone call about the assignment. Essentially what they want me to do is follow the elimination diet and blog about it. To be clear about my position here I am not being paid for this. The incentive they offered is they will promote my blog and that if necessary I could get a free consultation with Dr John himself. To be honest, although nice, neither of those were enough to persuade me. The main reason I am doing it is because if I have to blog about it I have to stick to it, so it will help me in that sense. Anyway, just to be absolutely clear, there is no incentive for me to say that this is good or bad - I will just be telling you truth about my experiences.

For those of you new to my blog, here's a bit about me. I am 41, mother of 1 and hoping to make that 2 in the very near future. I have always been a little overweight. To be precise I am 168cm and the upper limit of the recommended weight for my height is about 70.5kg. I generally sit around 72kg, but feel my best at about 69kg (though having said that I have little experience of weighing less than that, so who knows how good I could feel!).

Since having my son I have held on to pregnancy weight. I settled at about 81kg. Then in August I got pregnant again. Sadly I miscarried in October, I did however collect another 4 or so kilos in that pregnancy too. Tonight when I weighed I was 84.8kg.

I have been trying to pluck up the courage to take a photo, but I haven't done, and now there is no-one here to do it. There is this one though, which is horrible enough to give me some incentive. It was taken when my son was about six weeks old and I am sad to admit I am probably about the same weight now as I was then.



Lets do measurement too - just to keep it scientific

Chest 113cm
Waist 104 cm
Hips 112 cm
Bum 116 cm
Thigh 62 cm

What am I expecting?

I studied nutrition semi formally for a while, motivated by the fact that I was diagnosed with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome about 10 years ago. I seriously cut down on carbohydrates, pretty much eliminating refined carbs altogether, and being careful with other high GI carbs too. I apparently cured myself.

I also followed much of the advice in the Fertility Diet when I was preparing for my first pregnancy, this too suggests limiting sugars.  I do feel better without it in the long term, so I am expecting to find that sugar is an issue for me. Since having my son however I have seriously lapsed on this. Sometimes you just need energy.  I am aware that it is a vicious cycle and think that doing this diet will address that and break the cycle for me, getting me back on track.

On previous weight loss efforts I have also noticed that I have more success if I eat cereal for breakfast instead of toast, so perhaps there is something in bread that I am sensitive to. I have also found that I feel better if I don't eat cheese (the trouble is I love it!).

I am also expecting a massive headache from caffeine withdrawal.

The rest, well, we'll have to wait and see.

I plan to blog about this a few times a week, but only when I have stuff to say. I will tag all my posts and you can access them from the tab at the top.

Click here for other posts related to The Six Secrets of Successful Weight Loss Elimination Diet

If you are interested in buying the book it is available at AmazonWaterstones and The Book People. It maybe be worth checking them all as prices do change. Amazon also have a Kindle Version

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Taking Stock

It's been a while since I posted about how I'm doing - lots of stuff from the conference, some photos and recipes but not so much personal stuff about how I'm going and what I'm up to. I also feel that I am at a bit of a turning point, so it seemed like I should mark that somehow with a post.

Things are quite good.

Work is going well and I'm confident now that we are going to be ok financially, which is a huge relief actually - I don't think I had realised how much I was worried about it until I got to the point where I didn't have to worry anymore.

My arm is heaps better. I realised a couple of weeks ago that working from the laptop aggravated it. I begrudgingly spent some of my hard earned cash on a laptop stand, mouse and keyboard and it turns out it was money well spent. I still don't have full feeling in my fingers and my arm is weak, but I haven't had any pain at all since I made the investment, so I am feeling hopeful that it will all be good in a couple of months.

You might also remember me posting about how I had put myself forward to trial and review a new weight loss book. Well, I didn't hear anything for a while, and thought I hadn't been chosen, but a couple of weeks ago they contacted me and asked if I would still be interested. After some deliberation I have said yes.

I was hoping I might get paid for it, but sadly that's not the deal. What I would get is promotion of my blog, which might be a good thing, and if necessary a free consultation with the author. Neither of these things were what actually persuaded me. I do want to lose weight and feel better, I can see that there is value in determining what works for me. The theory is that being overweight is due to an individual's food sensitivities, so it is an elimination diet. I am still yet to receive the book, but I do have a list of the foods that I can eat for the first few days. They are limited ( I think there is 42) but they include fish, turkey and lentils and a variety of fruit and veg and some nuts, so it is nutritious and healthy. From what I understand so far, after this initial period, other foods are introduced at the rate of 2 per day, one in the morning and one in the afternoon,  and the effects observed. Apparently just a few hours after eating it, I would weigh heavier if I was sensitive to that food. There are also other sensitivities I might pick up on through doing it too.

As you know I have fasted a few times before, but I have never done anything like this. I am also rubbish at sticking to diets. What actually persuaded me to give it a go was the fact that I have far greater chances of sticking at it if I have to blog about. It makes me accountable to others not just to myself, so there is a much higher chance of success. What was putting me off most was the fact that it will mean delaying TTC for another month, but actually if we tried in December and did happen to succeed that would mean a September baby, which is not really good timing as DD is a teacher and would just be beginning a new school year - not good for him or his students. Also, I feel fat and sluggish and would like to sort it out before getting even fatter. If I do manage to get pregnant again, this might be the last window I have where my body is my own for another couple of years, so it seems good to take the opportunity that is presenting itself. I am starting on Saturday 1st Dec, (hopefully the book will have turned up by then!)  so the 6 weeks should be finished just in time to TTC in Jan.

Since agreeing to do this I seem to have made an unconscious decision to get real with the whole situation and actually see where I am really at, rather than trying to ignore it. I have cleared out my wardrobe, have over 40 items for sale on that well known auction site and have given two huge sacks to charity. I was holding on to clothes I had yeas ago that were size 12, and some more recent ones in 12-14 that also don't fit, and probably never will again as my shape has changed. I think it will likely stay changed even if I do lose weight. I have kept some of course, but lots of them were no longer "me" and so can go anyway.

I also decided that it's time to stop wearing maternity clothes. I have been living in a pair of maternity jeans but they do have a hole in and are shortly going in the bin. I have refused to buy new clothes because I have been expecting to fit into my old ones again so it seemed like a waste of time, but here I am 16 months later...

So as well as selling, I am also buying new clothes from the same auction site - just a few, that fit me now. Although I am not prepared to buy new, expensive, fat clothes, part of this process meant going into the store and trying things on to see what size I was, so that I can buy the right size online.  I was horrified - I expected 16, but not 18! So am selling size 12 trousers and buying size 18. That's very sad - but I'm only buying one pair.

I think it is possible that the diet could show up some sensitivities. I have noticed before that if I want to lose weight I need to have cereal for breakfast not toast. I have also felt much much healthier when I have avoided cheese, but I LOVE it. I really hope eggs are ok, for the sake of my three hens if nothing else.

I am hopeful that I will lose some weight too - I think it would be hard to get/be/stay fat on the foods on the list.

I am trying to pluck up the courage to take a before photo - but I haven't quite managed it yet! It's not pretty!

Oh, and before I start, tomorrow I am going out for what will be my first night out since Arthur was born, it's a curry night, so I shall enjoy every mouthful!

If you are interested in buying the book it is available at AmazonWaterstones and The Book People. It maybe be worth checking them all as prices do change. Amazon also have a Kindle Version




Nursery Photoshoot














Monday, November 26, 2012

Something Blissful

image of toddlers reading

toddlers reading

BB sharing a book with his best girl friend

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Reflections on writing from Mumsnet Blogfest 2012

I really enjoyed the panel discussions at Blogfest and got quite a lot from them. Although I have written up and posted my notes from all the other sessions, this one has been sitting in draft form for a couple of weeks now. Why? I guess the others were easier, I just had to write down what someone else said. This one involves a bit of thought. My reflections on what was said, and how that would impact on the way that I blog in the future.

Here are some of the things that stood out to me:

Being anonymous - pros and cons
I am sort of anonymous. I could be outed. Does it matter? I was amazed by Zoe Margolis. I had sort of heard of her and the whole thing before Blogfest, but didn't really know the story. It would be hideous to have your cover blown like that. She has handled it very well. I don't think I need worry about being exposed to that extent. I try to keep a little distance for BB's sake, but I am not sure if it is really necessary. For now though I will stay as I am.

Write to someone you know (and make sure its someone you want to talk to!).
This advice came from several people, but I remember it most from Zoe Williams. I think who I write to depends on what I am writing about. Lots of posts are written to other SMC's, several are to my friends, some are to parents in general, sometimes I write to people who don't know what I just found out (thinking they'll want to know about it too!). Does this mean I haven't yet really found my voice? Or that I have many voices? Do I need to fine tune?

Write for yourself
Yes I think I do that too. It helps me process and focus. It also offers me a great support network. Many people in my blogging community are now friends - even though I only met a couple of them in real life (so far!). I also write for BB, but not so much here as on a private blog that we share with family and friends.

Be yourself
Yep, I definitely do this. This is important to me, to write from the heart, what is real. I think my semi-anonymity enables me to do this more that perhaps I would otherwise.

Write at least 1 post a week of at least 500 words
I think I might be reaching this target at the moment - not always though - I have to have something to say. I guess when you get to the point where you can write something of interest to others when you don't have something specific to say you have become a writer! I'm not there yet!

Make contact with your inate authority
This was just one of the many inspiring pieces of advice from Rachel Cusk. She talked of using your own life to challenge the social construct. I guess in lots of ways that's what this blog has evolved out of. It was great to hear it from Rachel though, in a few sentences she validated the lives and opinions of everyone in the room. I would love to be in her class.

Am I a Mummy blogger?
This came up a few times - there are always debates and posts about it too. To be honest I don't care that much. I am a mummy, it's the thing in my life for which I am most grateful and most proud of so you can't take it out of me. I am a blogger too. So I guess I am mummy blogger. Am I just a mummy blogger? Well no, of course not! But I am not writing to people who think like that, as frankly, I wouldn't want to talk to them either!


old fashioned typewriter with a modern mouse

My other posts about Blogfest 2012 are:
SEO for Bloggers
Photography for Bloggers
Social Media with Paul Armstrong

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Cheat's Rice Pudding Recipe

I often find I make my best dishes when there is apparently nothing in the cupboard. This 'made in a hurry' rice pudding is one of my recent bests. I will definitely be making it again.

I did have proper pudding rice, and all the ingredients to make a proper bake in the oven rice pudding, but I didn't have 3 hours to spare. Instead I did all in a pan in less than 30 mins, and it tasted delicious.


Photograph of rice pudding with raisins in a bowl
Cheat's Rice Pudding


Ingredients

3/4 cup pudding rice
boiling water
1 cup milk
1 tsp butter
3/4 cup currants or raisins
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
generous splash of maple syrup


Method

Boil the kettle while measuring the rice
Pour boiling water onto the rice and cook for about 15 mins (until just cooked)
Drain all the water from the rice and return it to the pan
Add the milk and bring back to the boil then turn down the heat to a simmer
Add butter fruit and spices and maple syrup, mix well and heat through.
Serve when all liquid has absorbed (for me this was pretty much straight away!)

small child eating rice pudding from a plastic bowl - using fingers!

Quantities are approximate, and this served us for 2 meals with a little bit left, so I am guessing it would serve 4.


Hearth & Soul Hop

Monday, November 19, 2012

Something Blissful

One of our most fun moments in the last week was painting a picture making a birthday card, both for Auntie H.

Child looking at camera - painting a picture in blue and yellow using hands

Child now looking pleased with himself - paint on table too!

Child with a piece of blue card, ready to create birthday card

child putting stickers on card

his first masterpiece - blue yellow red and green splodges

Have your own Something Blissful to share?

Please do using the linky below

General rules (possibly yet to be refined) are that it should be
  • something that brought you joy and may to bring joy to others too
  • or simply something you are thankful for
  • can be an image, video, 'news' item or short story (each to be your own)
  • it can be from the last week, but doesn't have to be
  • if you quote someone, credit them
  • and make sure it's suitable for general readership (ie not x rated!)
Looking forward to your posts

If you want to know more, read The Story of Something Blissful




Sunday, November 18, 2012

A little update

I have had a great weekend as I haven't worked (well hardly), haven't had visitors, haven't been crippled by my arm. BB and I have been for a walk both days, and doe some craft both days, and eaten 100% home cooked scrummy food every meal time. My kitchen has also had a spring clean. I even watched a movie. It has been fabulous.


And what a difference ten days makes - or maybe it's the hormones. I can now declare that on CD14, TTC again seems like a fabulous idea! I haven't been temping or getting too caught up in the whole charting thing, but I have been using the monitor (on the days I remembered!). Seeing the ovulation symbol yesterday morning had a massive effect on me mentally. Suddenly it's all back on. I am detoxing, planning meals around the fertility diet, I bought 'conception' vitamins from the pharmacy today, deleted the bottle of wine from the shopping order, took extra vital greens. I am excited for 28 days time.

I am also tired. Perhaps partly because I finally paused in what has been a crazy time since I started the business, but perhaps too because of the little detox. So, I am not hanging around here any longer either. I'm going to relax on the sofa with the fertility book instead. I just thought I'd let you know where I'm at.





Silent Sunday

Painting - yellow, blue, red and green - hand painting by 16 month child

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Action for Happiness

I have mentioned Action for Happiness on here before. It is a movement for social change, to create a happier society for everyone.



To help spread the word www.actionforhappiness.org have created some postcards which they will send you for free if you let them know what you are going to do with them. I have just requested some to send out with the books I am selling from our online bookshop, I thought they would make excellent bookmarks as well as spreading the word. I am also going to take some along to a play group we attend.


If you think you might be able to help spread the word, why not get some postcards of your own to give out. And make sure you stick one on your fridge too!





Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Good Bye and Good Luck to your New Owner

This is odd I know, but I am having an emotional moment as I just sold this book online.

Image of Louise Solan's Book Knock yourself up


I know, why did I list it if it means so much?

Well, it did it's job for me.

I read it twice from cover to cover.

It changed my life.

If I didn't sell it, it would just sit on my shelf forever, taking up space.

I am happy that it might bring the joy of motherhood to someone else.

Thank you book, thank you Louise Sloan, good luck to your new owner.

Social Media with Paul Armstrong

My notes from the session on Social Media with Paul Armstrong at Mumsnet Blogfest 2012

This session with Paul was a bit like being on a high speed train. Paul took us on a super quick journey across the continents, past a few things that were familiar, and many that we had never seen before. Thankfully Paul shared his presentation online, so that we didn't need to remember it all.

Here are my notes anyway, they are dot points really - quick flashes of what I saw from my 'window'


  • There is more and more stuff out there. You can always do more, the trick is to know what tools to use, when and how, and to match that with the time you have.
  • Get your Bio set up on all the profiles you use
  • Think SEO
  • Use google adwords to find tags and key words and for help with bio
  • Think about these q's
    • what makes me unique
    • what value am I adding
    • what is my tone of voice
    • how am i perceived by others
    • who am i talking to
  • Logo/face/brand should be consistent
  • Check out phoster and animoto

What should I be on?

Facebook 
Advs: 32 million users in UK (955m WW), higher organic rate in news feed for small orgs, 
Disavds: Huge time suck, increasingly compromised by the need to make money, getting less for your money

Twitter
Advs: 10 million users in UK (500m WW), tweets, RT's etc = growth, good for mobile usage
Disadvs: Bitchy, lots to plough through

YouTube
Advs: 26 million users in UK (713m WW) Growing exponentially, excellent google integration
Disadvs: Time?

Google +
Advs: 5 million users in UK (250m WW) SEO, SEO, SEO, directly connects to google, growing exponentially, rich, get +1's
Disadvs: new (but growing fast)

Making it manageable

Social Bro and Buffer manage your tweets, apparently better than Hootsuite and Tweetdeck as they will schedule for when the right users are online (somehow!)

Google Alerts monitors the web for new content based on your keywords and alerts you by email

Nutshell Mail saves time money and effort by putting everything in one place

Rockmelt a browser that enables you to be logged into everything at once


Great Book


Mumsnet Blogfest 2012 artwork with the phrase Make the most of what you post


SEO for Bloggers

My notes from the session with Matt Bennet at Mumsnet Blogfest on Search Engine Optimisation are most definitely incomplete, but there are perhaps a few gems in here. Matt did promise he'd post the full presentation (as he only got through 1/3 of it due to all the questions), so if that happens I will add a link.

It happened - Cheers Matt - here is the link to Matt's Presentation

General tips

  • focus on building a brand
  • produce good reliable content
  • get your own domain
  • 85% of people use google - target their needs
  • social media now gives google insights - get on google+
  • goal is to be in top 3 on a google search - absolutely need to be on the first page
How to do this

Links - the more links into and out of your website the better. Build links to pages both internally and externally

Google searches text for text (doesn't know meaning). Use the Google Keyword Tool

Must have Google+


Images must always have alt tags and descriptive file names


Google searches take into account keywords, location, previous searches, and recommended content from friends. It crawls the entire web,via cross domain links. There are over 200 factors by which google rank content, but its not known how they interact. Video (hosted on YouTube and embedded) is good - make sure you use tags.


Matt's top 3 tips

1. Get own domain
2. Create quality content
3. Build your 'brand' with profile pages - esp Google+ 

My thoughts

I still have lots to learn here. I am on Google+ but I don't really use it - I post to it. Britmums has a Google+ Master Class, I really should get around to it!

I do have profiles on Twitter, Pinterest and Facebook , but maybe they need to be more consistent if I am building a brand!

Blissful Mama and Blissful Boy
I think perhaps this is my current brand image! Thoughts?


Its good to know that links are still important. This is how it was years ago when I did this sort of stuff for a living. Back then a trick we had was to put words that you knew people would be searching for in white text on a white background (e.g. people searched for lesson plans, but it was against 'policy' for me to use that term, so it's there in white text on a white background on every page, but only the search engine sees it - I wonder if that still works!)

My Final Thoughts

Thanks Matt  for sharing your presentation online!

Photography for Bloggers

My notes from the session with Carrie and Darren of Digital Bungalow at Mumsnet Blogfest 2012

I really enjoyed the photography session. I didn't learn much about general photography that I didn't already know, but it was good to be reminded of it. Often, the photos on my blog are just quick snaps. They could be massively improved if I did follow the rules and try to make each photo a good one instead of a quick one... I guess (shamefully) I thought it wasn't that important.

I will try harder!!!

I did learn lots about new apps, making your blog look more professional and tagging photos properly, so my notes in that section are a little more comprehensive

The general rules of photography
1. The rule of thirds (you can turn on the grid on many cameras, including iPhone)
2. Change your perspective
3. Add character to your shots

Stability - photographers tuck their elbows into their sides to improve this

Instagram - is not for bloggers

Good Apps
  • ProCamera gives iPhone a focus point and light setting
  • Snapseed is an editing app
  • Touch Retouch allows you to remove objects like telephone wires from your shot
Watermarking
Can be used if your are precious about your photos, but do in a way that does not ruin your picture. Photoscape can be downloaded for free and will do this for you.  Carrie and Darren actually recommend against using watermarks. If you want to see if your photo is being used elsewhere you can use Google Reverse Image Search. If you are really concerned about your photos being used by others, don't put them on the internet!

Uniform
Blogs look better when all pics are the same size.

Tagging Images
Make sure you tag all your images with something that means something. In blogger you do this in the Image Properties

Image showing how to add a title and alt text to your image in blogger







Sunday, November 11, 2012

Something Blissful

Mumsnet Blogfest has to be my Something Blissful for this week.

My day began with breastfeeding BB, then handing him over to his Dad while I applied makeup and put on a dress. I then headed off to the station with a remarkably light bag (what does one carry when you don't have a child?) and made my way to Millbank Tower on the bank of the Thames.

Somewhat embarrassingly, if I am honest, my expectations of the day were not so high. I thought I would learn a few things about social media and SEO, perhaps chat to a couple of nice mums, enjoy some prosecco, and leave.  Early on in the keynote panel session, I realised I had been seriously mistaken. This was an awesome collection of great writers and brilliant minds. Zoe Williams was a favourite of mine, and Jenny Lawson's comment that "The hand that rocks the cradle rocks the world" was one of my favourite quotes of the day.

Inspired and excited about what was to come, I went for coffee, with some fabulous mums (from love2declutter.com).

I then headed off to The Photography Session with Carrie and Darren of Digital Bungalow. I have to admit I didn't learn a great deal about photography, but I did learn the importance of using alt text for images on your blog photographs (great to know from many perspectives), and about Google Reverse Image Search to see if your photos are being used elsewhere. I also loved them. A great presentation, nicely delivered, and Digital Bungalow is now on my favourites list!

I then sat down for lunch and started chatting with another delegate who it turns out reads my blog. Now that was bizarre!  She was yet another interesting and intelligent woman, with connections in both the UK and Australia (and elsewhere) and a child just 2 weeks younger than BB.

After lunch I went to Matt Bennet's SEO presentation... So much to learn so little time, (I hope he posts the presentation as promised!) and then Paul Armstrong's Social Media session (even more to learn, at very high speed, and summarised here)

The How Much to Share on Line session gave me lots to think about, I loved Eliza Gray, was inspired by Zoe Margolis, and felt very sad for Liz Jones. Having read more about Liz since, she could have been an SMC candidate! (but thankfully not). I will always remember this session for perhaps the most graceful handling of an insult I have ever witnessed, when the panel Chair accused Zoe of being "the blogging equivalent of a flasher in the park"! Amidst the sharp intakes of breath from the audience, Zoe calmly replied that was the worst insult she ever had to her face, and carried on, kindly minimising the embarrassment for the chair - who surely couldn't have thought through what she was saying! Huge respect for Zoe.

The grand finale was came from Caitlin Moran who gave us a inspiring, funny and 'useful' closing keynote. I was so very excited when I went through my goody bag on the train and found (among many other fabulous things) this!

Cover image from Caitlin Moran's Moranthology Book


When I returned home, DD had not only survived and enjoyed the day, but had mopped floors, done washing, cooked dinner and baked cookies.

My final Blissful moments came at around 3.30 am, when BB woke and I got up and fed him. Just as I was about to put him back to bed he seemed to realise "you're the mummy, the booby lady, you came back" and he proceeded to snuggle and coo with me for the next 2 hours.

Mmm... life is good!


Have your own Something Blissful to share?

Please do using the linky below

General rules (possibly yet to be refined) are that it should be

  • something that brought you joy 
  • and may to bring joy to others too
  • or simply something you are thankful for
  • can be an image, video, 'news' item or short story (each to be your own)
  • it can be from the last week, but doesn't have to be
  • if you quote someone, credit them
  • and make sure it's suitable for general readership (ie not x rated!)
Looking forward to your posts

If you want to know more, read The Story of Something Blissful





Thursday, November 8, 2012

Moving on, to BB3?

After a bit of time wallowing in the wilderness, I am now starting to think about the possibility of BB3.

It's not as been as simple as I thought.

I've always known I wanted two children (well, originally it was 4, but I accept I am a bit too late for that now!). I was an only child for over ten years and really wanted a sibling all that time (then thankfully, I got two, in less that two years!). I want BB to have someone to play with and squabble with, to love and annoy. To care for. To be there for him when I am gone.

My initial plan, before I met DD, was to carry the first myself, and then adopt a second. Now that we have DD though that no longer feels like an option. How could I have one child with a Dad and one without? That wouldn't be fair, especially when DD and his family are such a big part of BB's life.

I was totally convinced to try for a second when we tried for BB2. There was no question in my mind as to whether it was the right thing or not. I wanted BB2. I wanted my children to be close (less than 2 years) in age. I wanted to get pregnant and have that baby ASAP.

Words of comfort offered when I lost BB2 often included the phrase 'you can try again'. I know. I can. Many people have many losses and carry on trying again and again, and go on to raise healthy happy children. I admire that strength to keep going, now more than ever. I reeled at the phrase though. In some ways it felt like they were dismissing the situation. That was my baby, not a knitting project or a new recipe, but my child, BB2. There could never be an again for BB2. This was it. A life which sadly ended before it really began. I know things didn't feel right with the pregnancy form the start, that everything happens for a reason, that it was meant to be. I have come to terms with it now I think, but still, do I try again?

My mind shifts all the time. Often I think that I don't want to go through all that again, that I am too old,  that I am lucky to have one gorgeous, happy, healthy child. We have a great life together. We go lots of places, and do lots of things. Things that would be harder, if not impossible, with two children. In some ways I can offer him a better life as only child.

My trapped nerve also made me think I am too old, that this is a sign. I could never have managed, even with only BB, without my mum. She is approaching her 70's. Is it fair on her to have another? I have recently heard of a couple of old friends my age that have had children with down's. It makes you think.

However, it is now CD4 of my first cycle since the miscarriage. My arm is getting better every day, and the latest prognosis is that I should regain full sensation in my hand with 4 months. I have found a good and reasonably priced massage therapist and have committed to regular treatment to keep my body in line and prevent this happening again. Whilst I have no intention of trying this cycle, (really not ready, physically or mentally) I am starting to think that it is time to reel myself in. I think its time to cleanse and purify my body once again, to get my self in order, to focus and prepare.

Image from http://masteringhealthandfitness.com/focus/
 And maybe TTC BB3 next month!


Monday, November 5, 2012

Something Blissful

We had a very Blissful day this week catching up with one of my old uni friends and her family on a trip to the beach.
Going for a stroll with mummy's friend

Heading out to the unknown

There's so much to see

And splashing to do

Things to collect

Whales to impersonate

Things to ponder

More to collect

Two huge spades to carry

How come Mummy is looking so windswept and BB looks like he just stepped out of the salon?

Have your own Something Blissful to share?

Please do using the linky below

General rules (possibly yet to be refined) are that it should be

  • something that brought you joy 
  • and may to bring joy to others too
  • or simply something you are thankful for
  • can be an image, video, 'news' item or short story (each to be your own)
  • it can be from the last week, but doesn't have to be
  • if you quote someone, credit them
  • and make sure it's suitable for general readership (ie not x rated!)
Looking forward to your posts

If you want to know more, read The Story of Something Blissful



Sunday, November 4, 2012

41!

I am 41!

We went out to lunch with my mum, dad, sisters and nan. Then home to the balloons bunting and birthday cake... and a little bit of champers!

BB and Nana

BB and Nana some more

Gramps

BB

Auntie H

Auntie K

Grandma

Lovely cake made by Auntie H



Me and BB