Thursday, 31 October 2013

A foggy day in London town...

Actually it wasn't foggy at all, it was rainy but that's not how the song goes. Anyway....

Last Tuesday it was my birthday. I never really look forward to birthdays that much like I did in days of old but they always end up being amazing. Since being married, Seth has made my Birthdays absolutely amazing. We have gone to see Ludovico Einaudi in concert and for my 30th Birthday Seth surprised me with a trip to Paris. Last year wasn't the best Birthday ever as Seth was at work and I was at home with a 12 week old baby who cried pretty much non-stop due to colic. When I say I was at home with him, it was my first day in our new home, we were surrounded by boxes and nothing was unpacked. We celebrated it a couple of weeks later though and went to see Les Miserables. I was really looking forward to this Birthday though. Seth told me that he had taken the day off work for it and I couldn't wait to spend the day with the boys.

On my birthday morning, I woke up to Caleb and Seth coming in to the room, wishing me a happy birthday and handing me a large Costa hot chocolate with a shot of hazelnut in. They had gone out before I had woken up to get it, bless them! When we had all got ready, we headed into London. I think I've mentioned once or twice that I absolutely love London but even though we only live 20 minutes train journey away, I don't really get to go in that much. It's not really that practical to go on my own with Caleb, especially when it comes to going up and down the stairs at underground stations! So it was lovely to head to the big smoke again!

Even though it was raining for quite a lot of the day, it didn't ruin our time there at all. Caleb was wide-eyed and taking everything in. He, much like me, loves the hustle and bustle of London! We headed to my favourite place first, Covent Garden of course! No trip to London is complete without going to Covent Garden! They have some great shops there and I always love listening to the musicians who perform there.

They performed Pachelbel's Canon, which I love! I walked down the aisle to it so whenever I hear it, it brings back happy memories. We then went to do a little bit of shopping and I bought some sunglasses. Yes, I know it's October and yes, I appreciate the irony in that it was raining when I bought them but I have been lusting after them since March and couldn't really justify buying them beforehand! What better excuse than having a Birthday to finally buy them?!

We walked from Covent Garden to Leicester Square. It was buzzing with people who were there ready for the Thor 2 premiere that evening. I really want to go and see that film by the way, it looks so good!

We would have stuck around there to see the stars arrive, but instead we went to the Shard. For Seth's birthday I had bought him tickets to a View from the Shard and he hadn't used them yet so we kind of combined both of our Birthdays and did it that evening. Even though it was Seth's present, I was really excited about it. I love heights, I have been to the top of the Empire State Building, The Hancock Tower in Boston and the CN Tower in Toronto and I have loved them all, so I was equally as excited about being at the top of the Shard. It is a newly built 87 storey building in London and it's the tallest building in Europe. Fair enough, it may not be that tall compared to buildings in other countries but for us, it's pretty cool.

Before we went up, Caleb was doing his usual and charming everyone in the lobby. The staff there were wonderful with him, they were really interacting and playing with him, which he loved.

We went at around 5.00pm which gave us the opportunity to see the view over London at daytime, sunset and night. It was amazing being up there and being able to look out over the city. I could probably post a million pictures here as I took quite a lot but I will exercise some restraint and just post a few!

The view overlooking St. Paul's Cathedral (to the left of the building with the sun bouncing off it)

Tower Bridge and the HMS Belfast with Canary Wharf in the background.

Tower Bridge at night

I think you're only meant to stay up there for around half an hour. We ended up being there for just over two hours! We had so much fun seeing the wonderful city that is London from such a height, it was the perfect end to a perfect day.

Friday, 25 October 2013

baby weight

So you know how people say that it takes 9 months to grow a baby and then 9 months to lose all the weight and get your figure back? I've seen some pictures on friend's blogs of their amazing figures just months after they've had their babies (you know who you are!!) but this really wasn't the case for me! I know that breastfeeding is meant to help with the weight coming off but Caleb only breastfed for 2 months (I had a fun old experience with that that you can read about here) so I don't think it did a huge amount in the weight loss thing. I didn't really bother exercising a whole lot in the first few months, firstly because I was recovering from the pain of it all (forceps delivery, lots of stitches, fun stuff like that!) and dealing with a house move too. Straight after I'd had Caleb and I was laying down, my stomach felt really flat and I thought to myself, "great, I've shrunk right back down!" Then I stood up and watched in dismay as my saggy stomach fell to my knees. Okay, it wasn't that bad, it just fell to my thighs! I knew I would need to do something at some point to shift the weight but it really wasn't an essential thing for me just then.

Before I had Caleb I was a UK size 8-10 and I didn't overly mind my figure. I didn't love it either, I would love to have the perfect bikini body despite not being a bikini wearer, but I have never been a crazy one for exercising. My sister Laura loves exercising and she does it every day. She is so disciplined with it and she looks incredible but sadly, this has never really rubbed off on me! When Laura and I used to run together, when I couldn't go any further, she would hold my hand and keep running so I had no choice but to carry on! We also used to play tennis together. I was never great at it but I always had a good time anyway, then when Seth and I got married and we lived in Lancaster, I went running 3-4 times a week for almost two years. I didn't love it at all, I was just trying to keep fit and healthy!

I had Caleb in the July and I think it probably wasn't until maybe after Christmas that I started to exercise. I walked quite a bit anyway but I started to do a workout DVD in the morning (Jillian Michaels). I would get Caleb ready for the day and then he would sit in his activity centre in the living room with me and watch me work out. Sometimes he would laugh, I would like to say that this was in encouragement rather than mockery but I can't say for certain! The weight started to come off pretty quickly, which I was pleased about but still not quite enough, there were those few pounds that wouldn't shift! When we decorated our home, as soon as Caleb was in bed at night at around 7.30, I was stripping wallpaper and fun stuff like that until around midnight. I didn't really think of it as exercising at all but a couple more pounds came off. Then I switched to a different exercise DVD. This one was a bit longer. To be fair, had I done all of the Jillian Michaels one that would have been okay too but I only ever did 2 or 3 circuits at a time. The new DVDs varied from 35 minutes at the easiest to just over an hour for the hardest one. I did manage to do the hardest one but then reverted back to the intermediate one after a couple of weeks off.

I weighed myself a couple of mornings ago and I am now back to my pre-pregnancy weight! I've been able to wear all my clothes again for a while now but they are a little but looser now. It's funny though because I think I managed to dupe myself into thinking that I had an amazing figure pre-baby and when I look in the mirror, I still haven't got the hot mama figure that I am hoping to see! My stomach is still wobbly no matter what I do and I still have the faded marks of stretch marks but I guess that comes with the territory! I still can't say I love exercise and I'm having a couple of weeks off at the moment (I've been ill and I'm also recovering from steroid injections in my wrists again!) but I'm quite pleased with myself for sticking at it and almost getting to where I want to be. And no, I'm not posting a before and after picture!

Thursday, 17 October 2013

Ego boost

Anyone who knows me or who has read this knows that I adore my son, Caleb. I think he's pretty amazing and I feel like the luckiest Mum in the world to have him. I wouldn't change anything about him, except for maybe one thing. He doesn't like cuddles. When you try to cuddle him, he squirms and tries to get away or he cries. It's horrible when he's really upset about something and he is sobbing because the natural reaction is for me to pick him up and cuddle him to comfort him. But he hates that so I can't even do that, instead I just have to sit next to him and talk to him or play with him until he stops crying. I feel like an awful Mum for not comforting him in the way that I would see fit, even though it's not the way he wants to be comforted.

A few weeks ago I was feeling a bit down. I don't even know what about really and I can't even pinpoint what it was, I was just feeling sad. I think I was also feeling down because it just didn't feel like Caleb really loved me. It sounds stupid I know, but every time I went to play with him, he wasn't bothered that I was there, he didn't acknowledge me, he just kept on doing his thing.

One day, Caleb and I were out and about. He was in his stroller and we had stopped to look at something. When I looked down at him, he was already looking at me and when we made eye contact, he smiled at me. It was the kind of smile that told me that he loved me and the way he looked at me made me feel like I was the most important person in his world. When I go into his room in the mornings, he jumps up and down in his cot and he is so happy to see me. The other morning he was watching children's TV as he was playing and something came on that scared him (for anyone that knows, it was the momo's world song on "Show me, Show me", it freaks him out!). As he was crying he came crawling towards me at top speed and wanted me to pick him up and hold him. He quickly recovered and was fine afterwards. Those little things reminded me that it doesn't matter if Caleb doesn't like cuddles, he still loves me and thinks I'm pretty great! The feeling is reciprocated, I think I'll keep him around.

Don't be fooled by this, he was biting my shoulder but I'll take what I can get! :)

Thursday, 10 October 2013

eyebrows...or the lack thereof - my threading story

I should have really blogged about this a while ago rather than now as it happened a few months ago but I thought I would talk about it now anyway!

For ages I had wanted to have my eyebrows threaded. I just really like the clean look of it and the fact that the hairs take longer to grow back than when you pluck them. I was pregnant with Caleb when I first decided that I wanted to get it done but I'd heard that your skin is more sensitive when you are pregnant. Being as though getting them threaded is meant to hurt quite a bit, I decided that maybe I should wait until post-baby!

Naturally, I guess you could say that I have pretty big eyebrows. I am half South American (my Dad was from Guyana but his family are all Indian when you go further back) and I think I inherited my eyebrow size from him! They've never been particularly dense eyebrows, just big! I started plucking my eyebrows when I was a teenager and I am always so grateful that I never got into the trend of plucking your eyebrows until they were practically one strand thick, a trend that seemed to be pretty popular in the 90s! I've never done a bad job of plucking them, I think they've looked okay but a couple of months ago I decided to bite the bullet and get them threaded.

Problem 1: I kind of did it on a whim. Even though I'd wanted to get my eyebrows threaded for ages, I was out in a shopping mall one day, walked past a place where they were handing out leaflets and so I just went and got it done! I should have been wary when the girl who sat down to thread my eyebrows had the aforementioned 90s brow.

Problem 2: In order to get the exact kind of brow shape I want would involve my eyebrows to grow back to their full thickness and to pretty much start again. Even though I had tried to grow them back, they were pretty patchy and so I should have known that this would be slightly problematic in getting my ideal eyebrow shape!

Problem 3: It hurts! Although that's not really a problem because I didn't actually think that the pain was all that bad, contrary to what a lot of people say.

Problem 3: When I hear the words "I've raised the height of them to get a straighter line". Um, what? When I looked in the mirror, I looked permanently startled. It was not the best look in the world. I don't think anyone can rock that look.

Problem 4: I like big eyebrows. I know it's the fashion lately and while I like to look nice, I don't think I'm really a slave to trends, but I just think they look good. I love Lily Collins' eyebrows.

So why oh why, when I like big eyebrows, would I even choose to get them threaded in the first place?!

It was a fun experience getting my eyebrows removed threaded. I liked the cleanness of the look and I kind of liked the shape, if only there were more there! Since that horrible threading experience I grew them back a bit more (which took a while - one of the blessings and curses of threading!) and went and got them threaded again. I went to a different place the second time and they did a good job, I was fairly pleased with how they looked. I've stopped getting them threaded now, or at least for now. On me, you could see too much exposed skin underneath the eyebrow and I just don't like that look, it doesn't suit me. I won't get back my natural shape because I don't think they'll grow back to that extent, but I've decided that it's going to be me and my trusty tweezermans from now on!