Friday, 30 November 2012

Big Bird. Week 18. Footsore

“Sweat is fat crying!”

Sure is but what if you are just regular crying?  Say with a cramp or a sick tummy? A little present from one of your kids.  Ok, so I wasn’t crying.  But I felt like it.  The best part of having a tummy bug is the very strong possibility that a couple of pounds, if you are lucky, will be dropped. But is it worth it?  Who really wants all of that messy discomfort to shed what is realistically just water, which will be regained the following week.

My kids had a tummy bug last week.  I had previously mentally threatened to have Smallest Boy out of his nappies by summer next.  He will be two and three months old then.  For the last two weeks I was changing him up to 5 times a day. 

Enough already!   Here it is in writing:  he is going to be thrashed out of them.  Never will I be as glad to see the back of something.  His older brother holds the current record in our house for potty training himself at just two and a half.  No pressure, Brendan but we are getting off that nappy conveyor belt.

As for me.  The tummy bug hasn’t come to fruition yet.  It is still rumbling away there in the background and if it flares up on Saturday, I will lie down and cry. 


I have been looking forward to this night out for ages now and it would be just my luck to have to cancel it. 

Tomorrow evening I will be dining with up to 12 other people for our Christmas Mammy Dinner; the first one of my Two Nights Out.

I treated myself to a nice dress and am pleased enough with it.  And typically, in the same way when you are waiting for a bus, three will appear.  I now have three dresses to choose from.  Three!  That’s a whole lotta dresses.  Particularly for someone who has lived in jeans for the last seven years.

We got out of the house last Sunday for a few hours and low and behold, the shopping centre we visited had a great sale on and very unusually for me, I managed to find two dresses on a sale rail that actually fit.  And what’s more, don’t look too bad.

So three dresses now.  Decisions, decisions.  That is a problem I can get on board with.  However, never for one second did I imagine my feet would be the problem.  I have been wearing flat shoes and boots for so long now; my feet do something funny when a pair of heels show up. 

They take one look at the nice shoes and swell up a little bit.  My normally size 5 feet suddenly find water from somewhere and they refuse to slip into the shoes.  A bit like Cinderella’s mean sisters trying on the glass slipper. 

If I force them on, there follows unbelievable pain with the removal of skin and feet bent into claws. I suddenly know how ballerinas must feel with their broken toes, no toe nails and deformed feet.  How. Do. They. Do. It?     

I refuse to.  I have come a long way and shoes have to be more than nice looking.  They have to fit. 

Is there the foot equivalent of skinny knickers out there, I wonder?

This week was not good in terms of exercise.  I didn’t get out for a run and I am really missing it at the moment.  I managed two and a half Davina workouts.  I say two and a half because the half one was interrupted when Smallest Boy woke up.  I tried to finish it but swinging weights around when there is a small boy under your feet trying to catch them is a disaster waiting to happen.  I gave it up and jumped in the shower.        

The weather was fantastic.  Fantastically cold but give me that over wet rain any day.  I was very envious when I saw a man out running one morning.  The ground was silver, the car needed to be thawed out and our breath was pure white in the cold air.

The runner had on shorts.

I was freezing just looking at him but at the same time, wanted to get out there too.  It is my intention to get in two runs over the weekend.    

I must be doing an awful lot of talking about getting a new pair of runners.  This morning Eldest Boy commented on the Christmas raffle ticket stubs that were on the counter.  I explained they were for his school and wouldn’t it be lovely if we managed to win first prize of €500?

His response?  “You’d probably waste it all on a dress and new runners.”

How’s that for being kicked into touch?

August  2012 -  eleven stone three and a half pounds   
October 26th – ten stone eleven pounds lost 6.5 pounds
November 2nd – ten stone eleven and three quarters of a pound 
November 9th – ten stone nine and a half pounds
November 16th- ten stone nine and three qtrs
November 23rd – ten stone eight and a half pounds 
November 30th –  ten stone seven and a half pounds (down a pound)

To date I have lost 10 pounds! 

Monday, 26 November 2012

Stuff Before and After Childer

The weekend BC (Before Childers)

Friday:  Finish “work” at 5.30pm. (Who knew “work” could be so easy?  And that you’d get paid for it?)  It’s Friday so a bus ride home is in order. Sit on the bus and relax, look out the window and think about what’s for dinner.  Decide on a take-out ordered from the convenience of home.  Another Friday treat.   

Get off bus.  Stop off in local convenience store for a bottle of red. Get into apartment.  Open the wine to let it breathe.  Change out of work clothes.  Hang them up.  Throw on a pair of jeans and a really, really nice top. No need to check if arse looks big in this.  It doesn’t.  Looks fine.  Check anyway. 

Plug in the GHD and whilst that is warming up, touch up the day’s make-up and check that fake tan is not streaked.    Go back to GHD and straighten already perfectly, frizz free straight hair.  Faff about until doorbell rings. Cousin is here.  With another bottle of red. Let her in.  Have a look at the take out menu and call in order. 

Pour the wine.  Bitch and moan with cousin about the crap week just gone and how tiring things are.  Have long and lengthy chat about how long it takes to make cous cous.  Discover were making it wrong and also that risotto does not work with ordinary rice.  Lessons learned. 

Takeout arrives at same time as Mister Husband.  Both are just in time for Buffy the Vampire Slayer.  Start on second bottle of wine.  Buffy over in no time.  Decide to go to pub.  Only up the road.  Just as well as bit shaky after wine.  Also got red wine moustache and red teeth but don’t care.  Still think look gorgeous.

Call the troops and make arrangements to meet in half an hour.  Get there first.  Order more wine.   

Lots of shite to talk about so stay there until closing. Suddenly bouncer is ushering us out the door none too gently.  Pizza or taxi?  Fek it, decide on both and suddenly it is 3am. 

No idea how got home afterwards. Don’t care.  Fall face first down onto bed.  Stay there until early morning.  No choice.  Can’t move. 

Saturday:   Nnnnnnggggghhhhhh!  What time is it?  Early afternoon?  Crap! Look at Mister Husband for confirmation.  Yes, way too early to be awake.  Face stuck to pillow due to last night’s makeup which has melted.

Stumble to bathroom and get glass of water on the way back.  Remove last night’s clothes, crawl back under the duvet and sleep some more. 

Woken later by raging thirst and ravenous hunger.  Eat remaining slice of last night’s pizza.  Put on immersion for shower.  Head still tender so decide on cinema for quiet night in. 

Get bus into town.  Don’t really care what’s on so just pick something and sit in the dark for 90 odd minutes.  Feel surprisingly better afterwards and decide to go for a nightcap in pub down the road from apartment.  Sit up at the bar and order drinks.

Something odd happens; must be time warp.  Or alcohol.  It is time to go home and feel very, very drunk.  Curry chips on the way home.  First proper meal all day and really very nice.

After third attempt, manage to get key into lock on apartment door.  Fall face down onto bed.  Stay there until early morning.  No choice.  Can’t move.

Sunday:    Nnnnnnggggghhhhhh!  What time is it?  Crap!  Didn’t do weekly shop.  Didn’t do laundry.  Didn’t clean apartment.  It’s Sunday, will think about that tomorrow.  Day is almost gone anyway. 

Hungry, need food.  Get up, throw on clothes, throw some water at face, hope for the best, grab keys and leave apartment to go for some pub grub somewhere.  Decide hair of the dog might not be a bad idea.  Start off slowly but soon find our pace.

Hey! Have a great idea!  Why not ring in sick in the morning?  Never do it so will be piece of cake.  Yeah, let’s do it. Sunday night drinks are lovely, may as well enjoy them.  So we do.   

Ring in sick the next morning and the following morning too.
The weekend With Childers: 
Friday:  Forced out of bed at 5am by a wide awake child looking for breakfast.  Feel strong need to oblige as ensuing shouts and roars of said child will waken the others.
Feed child whilst propped up against pillows and half fall back asleep until a small finger is poked up right nostril.

Small child is left to fend for himself as clothes are found and donned from the laundry basket.  Didn’t get round to third wash yesterday.  Scoop up baby and head to kitchen. 

Put on one of the three washes.  Tidy away stuff on sink from the night before.  Start on school lunches. Leave out uniforms.  Get vegetables ready for dinner.  Pack up school bags.  Take out bowls and cereals for breakfast.  A quick nappy change.  On the way, pick up clothes trail and random toys from the floor. 

Change nappy and back to kitchen.  Other children wake one by one and appear demanding that the telly is put on.  Too tired to argue so just do it.  Plus excellent opportunity to keep them quiet for a half an hour while hot press gets emptied.  If there are 6 minutes left, might slap on some tinted moisturiser and take a quick swig of coffee.

Shouting and roaring begins as all of a sudden it is 8am and teeth need to be cleaned before school. 

Only 12 hours to bedtime.

Even if wanted to go to pub, would be too tired. 

Saturday and Sunday.  Same shit different days.

Going to the shop for some milk.  Alone.

Get into the car.  Drive to shop.  Pick up milk. Hand over 75c or €1.20 depending on where I have to go.  Get back into car and drive home.  Door to door approximately 15 minutes.

Going to the shop for some milk with kids.

Hunt them down.  Spend several minutes forcing coats onto them.  Spend another several minutes getting them out of the house, away from the telly, and into the car.  Smallest Boy will not travel without his tights so have to go back inside to find them.  Remember to lock up dog. 

Go back out to car.  Two of them have escaped and are chucking stones into the puddles.  A third is out of his seat in the car.  Lots of shouting and roaring and issuing of empty threats follow.

Finally, drive car in the direction of the shop.  Get there.   Pick up milk. Hand over €2.20 or the best part of €3 depending on where I have to go.  Life will not be worth living if I go back to the car without four Freddo bars.    Get back into car and drive home.  Door to door approximately 45 minutes.

Having a shower BC

Lovely warm, fluffy towel hanging on the rail.  A long and leisurely five minutes shampooing hair with shampoo that promises to entice butterflies and other pretty insects to come and live in it. 

Smooth on a conditioner that matches the shampoo.  Leave it on for ten minutes whilst lathering up the loofah with an exotic smelling concoction. 

Take time to get in between each toe individually.  Rinse out hair and wrap carefully in towel.  Wrap body in aforementioned warm, fluffy towel.  Take time to pat body dry and apply moisturiser.  Dab on face cream. 

Brush out hair and squirt on this’ll-make-your-hair-so-shiny-it’ll-take-the-eyes-out-of-your-head absolutely amazing anti-tangling, anti-frizz, anti-heat damaging serum.  Line up the hair dryer and GHD. 

Having a shower with kids.  No, I mean, with kids.
Hard, cold, rough towel with suspect dried snot on the corner hanging on the rail. Shove child hogging the shower hose out of the way and allow approximately a cup of water to wet hair. 

Slap on some shampoo or other from a bottle and scrub like mad.  Rinse out most of the suds.  Apply conditioner whilst using foot to prevent another child from getting in under the water. 

Toddler decides he wants to play Catch the Boobies.  Use elbow to flick him away.  Use conditioner to wash face and body.  Decide job is done, three minutes is long enough. Get out of shower and leave the troops to play. 

Get half dried in a towel that could double up as sandpaper and notice that de-fuzzing should have happened at least two months ago.  Pull on clothes over still wet body and remember to slap on some face cream.  Using what is left on hands to rub over body.   

When I look back on those weekends spent in the pub, I don’t regret them for a second.  Even if I was drinking a week’s grocery bill. 

All the television I watched.  Hours and hours wasted doing nothing.  I cannot remember most of those shows; the ones I thought were so important.  And who needs a shower that lasts longer than 5 minutes?  Sometimes I like the company.  *whispers* But the odd solitary one would be nice.

Friday, 23 November 2012

Big Bird. Week 17. Panel Beater

 “The difference between “Try” and ”Triumph” is just a little umph!”  Marvin Phillips

So there are lots of little ways to cheat when it comes to hiding the excesses.  As a child, I remember a contraption called a roll-on.  Not an anti – perspirant with a little ball on the top of the bottle, but a garment that a lady would be squez into.  And I mean squez!  (Is there such a word as squez?) 

As a child, it looked a bit torturous to me and I always wondered what awful thing the lady had done that warranted such a terrible fate.  Now I know.

She went and had kids. 


I think roll-ons are called something different today.  Spanx would be one name. Bandeaux control slips would be another. I prefer the term panel beater. 

*I bought one*

I found a leaflet the other day.  Smallest Boy was raiding my underwear drawer again and he unearthed it.  It was a leaflet I was given from the hospital over three years ago on stomach exercises post C-section.  It did help me in the early days but it’s not early days any more.

*I bought one*

By all accounts when you have a baby, there is a garment that can be of great benefit to you afterwards.  It helps to pull everything back in place.  I’m not (just) talking about loose flesh, it also aids the abdominal muscles that have separated to accommodate the growing baby.  Those muscles will come together in time but for some women, it’s not quite so simple. 

*I bought one*

When I was being fitted for a nursing bra some years ago, the lady in the shop told me about it.  I had never heard of this contraption before.  She said the African ladies were very informed about its benefits and were her best customers.

I didn’t buy one. 

That day.

I have a Special Night coming up.  In fact I have two Special Nights coming up. 

One of them is Date Night.  It will be one whole year, count them, 12 months, since Mister Husband and I went out together. 

In honour of both occasions I went out and bought a dress.  A lovely, in keeping with the festive season, purple dress. 


When I say it really quick like that, it doesn’t seem so bad.  What?  You can’t read it?

Ok.  Have a look at this first. 

That is my dress.  I have come a long way in 18 months but I still need a little back-up to wear it.  So I bought a bandeaux control slip.  As back up.

My roll on.  My Spanx.  My panel beater.

I am not even hanging my head in old aged shame.  There comes a time in ones life when one needs one.  Wise words from my younger sister.  Who has something similar.  Who doesn’t have kids.  Who is more than a decade younger than me.

If she wears one, there’s no hope for yours truly.

This week I realised I had to take myself in hand.  For the first time in ages, since the summer, I let a week pass without getting out for a run.  Smallest Boy has a different routine now and doesn’t sleep until later in the morning, if at all, which means I can’t even run the garden.  In desperation, Tuesday night, I dug out the DVD I had been given last Christmas, strapped on the shock absorber and a leggings, and spent three quarters of an hour working out my frustration with my old pal Davina.

It was mega!!!  Mega mega!

Her last DVD has 8 different sections on it so I picked the one I thought would suit my mood the most: Brilliant Boot camp.  It was mega!  Mega mega!  Loads and loads of weights in it.  My favourite thing.   I came back into the kitchen afterwards, flung my arms wide and announced “Mammy’s back lads.  And she’s cured!”  A smart arse in the corner muttered “Thank Christ!” but I ignored him. 

And the good stuff just kept on happening.  I got a text from my sister in law bright and early on Wednesday morning, offering her baby sitting services if I wanted to get out for a run!  Did I what????  As she put it herself, it worked both ways; I got my run in and her kids were entertained by mine for an hour.  (Not that I was running for an hour!) 

It was fantastic.  Sometimes a run after a little break can be amazing.  I wasn’t tired.  I paced myself from the get go, didn’t increase it and as a result my run was smooth and thoroughly enjoyable.  It was also lovely to see the gorgeous German Shepherd in the field at the top of the road hadn’t forgotten me.  I gave a quick whistle as I came round the corner and the barking started.  I could see him running along the fence and then tearing back to me when I got round the bend.  He keeps me company as I run past the fence, wagging his tail and barking.  His new friend stood there watching with interest but didn’t join in.  I wonder will there be little German Shepherd puppies in the New Year.

This reminds me people, I said I would do this Fat Bird thing until Friday 7th December.  That is just two weeks away.

I think I am going to miss this.  I think I am going to miss the incentive to keep going.

August  2012 -  eleven stone three and a half pounds   
October 26th – ten stone eleven pounds lost 6.5 pounds
November 2nd – ten stone eleven and three quarters of a pound. 
November 9th – ten stone nine and a half pounds
November 16th- ten stone nine and three qtrs. (Reached half stone goal – lost 7 and 3 qtrs pounds)
November 23rd – ten stone eight and a half pounds (down pound and a quarter) 

To date I have lost 9 pounds!

Monday, 19 November 2012

Monday with Pictures. Frazzled Mother

There have been days when I wake up, haul myself out of the bed but forget to take my mind with me.  Sometimes when Screecher Creature No. 2 is donning his school uniform in the morning, he forgets that he still has on his day before underpants, and double bags himself.  I let him on because I know exactly how he feels. (Two underpants in this freezing weather will keep him nice and toasty).  

As Miss Bangle Lead Singer said, “these are the days when you wish your bed was already made.”

Oh wait.  That’s right.  I don’t do that bed making thing.

 Anything I could use by the Boomtown Rats?  Let’s just leave it at I don’t like Monday’s.  I don’t need anyone to tell me why; it’s the one day of the week when the kids are still buried in their snuggly nests. I leave them there in the hope that they will get up of their own accord or a screaming bladder will rouse them by 7.30am.

It’s nice to have a little bit of time to get dressed without an audience in the morning.   It’s just a pity they don’t have their late sleep on Sunday’s instead.

Yeah, Monday’s are not good.

Does anyone remember an ad that was on the radio not too long ago ridiculing people who wear wash off fake tan to festivals?  It also lambasted fella’s who forget girlfriends’ names, and scorns those who put metal into the micro wave.  The ad blatantly called these people thick.  All they were selling was bread!  

A bit much, lads. A bit much.  Because on Mondays, I am that person.  

Did I mention they also take the Michael out of unfortunates who put petrol into diesel cars.

Well, I take great umbrage to this one in particular because once upon a time post-partum I was that dipso who filled a diesel car with petrol. Like I said, I had just given birth, approximately seven weeks earlier and it was my first time back in the (empty) car due to having had a crash section.
I was very, very nervous at being behind the wheel after almost two months.  I was practically a learner driver all over again, so it wasn’t my fault.  


I can tell you now that had a little man appeared and started jumping up and down when I twisted off that cap and started roaring at me, “Diesel, you gom! Diesel! Not petrol.” I still would have gone right ahead and wasted 70 euros of fuel regardless. My head just was not there. 

Another time I mistakenly put hair removal cream instead of toothpaste on the kids’ toothbrushes.  It was a long time until they stopped delicately test licking them before they trusted I wasn’t trying to forever alter their taste buds.

I go through periods when I think I am shrinking their clothes.   It turns out, always, without fail, that I’ve put the three year olds clothes onto the almost five year old.  He was walking around rocking a belly top and trousers that was doing its corduroy damnedest to look like a pair of shorts.  Frazzled mama strikes again!

But the one that took the biscuit was the day I drove into the school to collect Screecher Creature No. 1 as usual. The car park was full thanks to the heavy rain.  I kept driving round, intending to park in the adjacent car park. 


For some unfathomable reason, I kept going.  Straight out the gates and turned in the direction of home. 

When my mistake was loudly pointed out (thanks, Iarla) I turned round and remembered to park in the other car park.  Except this time I drove in the wrong gate and straight towards oncoming traffic.  

When I finally got to the school gates, I had a moment of blind panic.  Sweet Jesus.  Which one am I collecting?

I have actually (just the one time!) walked out of a shop without the buggy.  I thought Mister Husband had it.  

I wasn’t even embarrassed when the panicked sales assistant squeaked “is that your buggy?” at me.

Getting your Batiste dry shampoo confused with your anti-perspirant is annoying but for luck it was the Batiste I sprayed first.  I would rather white pits than Cameron “There’s something about Mary” Diaz hair. 

It is on days like this that the Screecher Creatures get this on bread for their tea.  

They love me for it!  I rack up several brownie points then.

Mondays?  Who’d have ‘em?