Flattery will get you nowhere

January 29, 2007

On Friday I went to the hairdressers. When I came home, Isabel spotted my lovely new straightened hairdo immediately.

Isabel: Mummy! You're back!
Me: Yes.
Isabel: You look ...different.
Me: (pleased) Yes, I've had my hair cut!
Isabel: (deadpan) It doesn't look very nice.
Me: Oh, thanks!


The following day we were on our way out of the house when we saw our next-door-neighbour.

Next-door-neighbour: I like your hair, it looks very nice.
Me: (pleased) Thank you!
Isabel: (brightly) At least somebody likes it Mummy!

Miaow! test

What's up?

January 23, 2007

I really never wanted my blog to become a "list of things I've done lately". Originally I intended it to be a 'funny little snippets' type blog, where I wrote about hilarious conversations I'd had, or things I'd seen. You know, like Maggie Mason, who does that sort of writing so brilliantly.

Well, I have come to the conclusion that I don't have many hilarious conversations, and the ones I do have usually get forgotten before they make it as far as my blog. I rarely see fascinating things, because I spend my entire life on a small loop between home-work-school-gym-supermarket.

Anyway, I've decided to do a "things I've done lately" post because I can't face explaining this over and over again. This way I can tell everyone at once.

Firstly, we are finally getting our Estrela puppy. One of our breeders has got a pregnant bitch, due in less than two weeks, and we are pretty much top of the waiting list. She has promised to ring me as soon as the puppies are born. It is not 100% certain yet, because I refuse to get too excited until the puppies are actually here and there is definitely one for us, but it's looking very promising. Assuming everything goes according to plan, we will be bringing our puppy home just before the Easter holidays.

Secondly, I have made the huge-est most decisive decision today and withdrawn from my Open University course. I had already started working on it but was finding it hard going and was getting severely panicky about how I was going to manage. I already have a part time job and am a stay-at-home-mum the rest of the time, plus a puppy on the way, plus we're planning to move house this year. I just couldn't find another sixteen hours a week, and I was terrified that I'd taken on too much and something was going to give. That something would probably have been my sanity, since I will never admit defeat.

I am greatly relieved. The refund from the OU will go some way towards the cost of the puppy. The week's holiday I save by not going to summer school will mean Isabel won't have to go to a playscheme in the summer. And the time I've freed up can be spent training the puppy. The only downside is that my degree is going to take ANOTHER year on the end of the five years its already taking.

Oh, and the fact that after two weeks of study, I wasn't much enjoying the psychology course. I was really hoping that it'd grab me, but it didn't, which leaves me back in the sea of what-the-hell-am-I-going-to-do? I'm hoping all will become clear, one day the mists will just roll back and the answer will be in front of my very eyes. Yeah right.

Our house is nearly ready to be put up for sale. We've just got to decorate the stairs/landing, recarpet the bedroom and Matt has got to tile the kitchen. Hopefully we'll have it on the market by the end of February. We're not moving far - probably only a couple of streets away - somewhere we can still walk to Isabel's school. It is going to be loads of hassle and upheaval, but the hope is that we'll end up with a three-bedroomed house with a bigger garden for the dog.

That's about all the news for now.

Snapshot in time

January 02, 2007

Tonight, I was playing on the internet while Izzy was getting ready for bed. She came in and said, "Come and read my books Mummy," like she always does. As usual, I was in the middle of something and said, "Hang on a minute.."

Isabel came round the side of my chair, stood on tiptoe and then said, "Come on you toad".

I nearly collapsed laughing. Where did she get that from?! I tried to tell her off for being rude (It wouldn't have been quite so funny if she'd said it to her teacher, or to Grandma!) but it was a bit half-hearted as I couldn't stop giggling. Five is such a lovely age.

New year, new resolutions

January 01, 2007

Last year I only had two resolutions: Lose 15lbs and get a dog.

I lost the 15 lbs. In fact I lost 22 lbs. It took me until September but I did it.

Unfortunately we didn't get the dog. We did everything we possibly could, but when you want a rare breed puppy, you get to the stage where you just have to wait. To my knowledge there are still no current pregnancies, so we will just have to be patient.

2006 was a fairly quiet year (by my standards) and 2007 is set to be utterly, heartbreakingly hectic. I'm still working part time and looking after Izzy part time. This year I'm doing 75 points of OU study, more than I have ever attempted in a single year before, and it's at level 2 so it is also harder than all the stuff I've done previously. We're planning to move house, which means we need to step up the DIY on our current house and also go through all the hassle of putting the house on the market, packing and moving. Oh, and we are hopefully getting that puppy as well, which is almost as much work as having another baby.

So, here's a few more goals:

1. Don't put all that weight back on or start smoking again. I really mean it this time. I want to get my suitcase down from the loft in June and be able to fit into all my summer clothes. I am so sick of losing weight, regaining it, losing it again, I AM NOT DOING IT AGAIN. As for smoking, I think I've really beaten it this time. Recently, I've had the odd one, and not been able to smoke more than a puff or two because it tastes so disgusting. When the smoking ban in pubs comes into force later this year, I think that'll make it even easier.

2. Get an Estrela Mountain Dog puppy.
This year I know the breed, I'm on the breeder's waiting lists and I've got a load of puppy equipment and toys already bought. This is the year. I know it.

3. Spend less money on food. This is a tricky one, because I love cooking and eating, but lately our food bills have been getting a bit stupid. I'm pretty sure that you can eat nice, healthy, interesting, varied meals without spending up to £100/week. There's only three of us, and one of us is a child! I want to get it down to say, £60 or £70. I just need to be more economical, plan more carefully and (maybe) buy less booze.

4. Eat more oily fish. When I did my nutrition courses earlier this year, I learned a lot of stuff about Omega-3, and basically it is really fucking important for young children. Without turning this into a science lecture, Omega-3 fatty acids can't be made by your body. Oily fish are the best source of essential fatty acids. Here is an article with more information if you're interested. We already eat oily fish at least once a week and buy milk enriched with Omega-3. I'm aiming to increase our consumption of oily fish to at least twice a week. It's a start.

5. Be more assertive.
This is quite funny because most people would say I'm a very assertive person, and I am - about some things. This year I've ended up doing a number of things which actually I didn't want to, mostly because I allowed myself to be talked into it. It upsets me later and I tie myself up in knots, not wanting to let anybody down and ending up sacrificing my own wellbeing. It is unhealthy and I'm going to stop doing it.

6. Be more decisive. Sometimes when I'm faced with a decision - even something relatively simple, like 'should I study or go to the gym instead?', I get into a sort of panicky dithering state where I just can't make a decision. Sometimes this goes on for so long that I end up doing neither. It is inefficient and it annoys the pants off Mattgreen. This year, I'm going to try to stop doing it. When I can't decide, I'm just going to make a snap decision either way and go with the flow. It's better than arsing around and getting more and more flustered and irresolute.

I think that'll do. That's enough to keep me busy.
To be honest, if I only manage to achieve the first one then I'd still be happy.

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