You know how I love beauty treatments in the comfort of my own home? My favourite thing is getting a massage. My body never recovered from my second pregnancy (and pelvic girdle pain) and I seem to constantly have aches and pains. So today, while my children were at school, a lovely lady named Nicki from Urban Massage came to my house and gave me the best deep tissue massage ever.
A few months ago I was desperate for a massage, and as my regular beauty therapist was on holiday, I quickly booked something online. When the masseuse arrived the next day, she didn't bring a massage table (I obviously missed the small print) so I had to have my massage on my bed (and of course my bedroom was a mess). The whole experience left a lot to be desired. So I was intrigued when Urban Massage got in touch last month to ask me to try out their services.
Dubz has been having problems with his hearing for about a year and a half. We had been seeing audiologists on the NHS every few months and patiently waiting for a referral to ENT. Husband has had private insurance through his work for the past few years but we had never used it before. But in December we were feeling frustrated and anxious. Husband has glue ear that he never outgrew. Moozles started showing signs of glue ear at age four. And after two years of audiology and ENT she finally had an operation resulting in grommets and getting her adenoids removed. So there is obviously a family history of glue ear.
I can't believe it is already August. When I began my healthy living regime in March of this year, it felt like I had ages until my birthday. But here we are, just two weeks away from 40. July has not gone to plan (which was why there was no update). After Dubz had to go to the hospital for an asthma attack, I was at the mercy of hospital food for a couple of days. Then I had a week of stress-eating as I waited for him to get back to his old self. Then we went on our camping trip. Not surprisingly, I did not lose any weight. Luckily, I did not put on a pound, despite all that.
But I will not dwell. June left me with a 22-pound weight loss. Although my original goal is 42 pounds, I will not give up. No, I won't be able to lose the remaining 20-pounds in the next two weeks. But I will lose the weight (though the new plan might need to be 'Fit By Christmas').
I am back to healthy eating. And back to the gym. I have really enjoyed my workout sessions (though I am not able to go three times a week in the summer holidays). But it turns out I love sweating. One item that I've been enjoying using after my gym sessions is the Mio Gym Kit.
I do not like showering at the gym. So I have been using the Clean Slate workout wipes, which keeps me from feeling gross and sweaty. It's like a baby wipe but stronger. And it has the loveliest smell. Like all Mio products. I just wipe, and then throw it away. And I can run errands smelling nice, then go home and have a shower. The gym kit also contains a muscle recovery gel in case your workout session has left you achy but you still need to do grocery shopping and pick up the kids.
I'll be doing another update in a few weeks. Hopefully I'll be fitter by 40. 🙂
I was sent the Mio gym kit from John Lewis Kingston for the purpose of this review. All opinions expressed are entirely my own.
My diet continues. Or rather, my healthy living regime. Diet always sounds like I should be eating celery sticks and air for dinner. Anyway, I began my new healthy lifestyle on the 2nd March, determined to lose three stone of baby weight in time for my 40th birthday in August.
The food aspect of my new lifestyle has been the most important part of losing weight so far. I have always had a sweet tooth. Couple that with Husband's love of sugar, and we were eating chocolate bars and lovely puddings every night after a filling dinner. But I have cut out the sugar, and dairy, and gluten. I eat eggs every day. I eat a lot of fruit and vegetables. I don't eat chocolate.
And I drink several cups of green tea. I have given up my usual, and much beloved, English breakfast tea with milk. I thought it would be difficult to give up as I was used to having four or five cups of tea a day. But it has been fine. I think drinking tea was making me crave biscuits and cakes. Maybe it's the dairy. Whatever it is, I am happy drinking green tea and not eating biscuits.
A typical day looks like this:
Breakfast: Cup of Earl Grey and Banana
Mid-morning Snack: Three eggs of some variety - scrambled or hard-boiled are my favourite.
Lunch : Salad or leftover from the previous night's dinner.
Afternoon snack: Fruit or nuts, or both.
Dinner: Meat and vegetables. Once a week I have gluten-free noodles or rice.
After dinner snack: Peppermint tea. Sometimes another banana if I'm desperate for a sugar fix.
I used to skip breakfast on school days, or wait until 10am/11am, but that is not good for one's metabolism. Having the banana helps keep me going until after the school run(s), and I can enjoy a leisurely mid-morning meal. And as I am eating quite often, I am never starving and having to resort to pastries or cake when I'm out running errands.
Once a week I let myself indulge in wheat and/or sugar for a couple of meals. I had some chocolate over Easter but I did not enjoy it like I used to. I feel like my taste buds have changed a bit. Plus my appetite has decreased. I was quite hungry the first couple of weeks, but then my body got used to a normal amount of calories. I reckon that I must have been consuming close to 2,500 calories a day.
If you read my March update, you will have noted that I had lost seven pounds in my first 2 1/2 weeks. I put that down to a sudden calorie-drop an expected it to slow down. One and a half months on and I am quite pleased with the results so far. I have lost one stone (have gone from exactly 15 stone to 14 stone). I have seen a difference in the way my clothes are fitting, which is nice. But better than that, I am sleeping better. And I am not bloated all the time. So I cannot let myself get complacent. I have four months to go and two stone left to lose.
My regular readers will know that Dubz was in the hospital recently for a severe asthma attack. And his eczema is playing up again too. Asthma and eczema apparently go hand in hand. Normally eczema flare-ups are gone in our house from April til September, but I currently need to moisturise Dubz about four or five times a day. As I have been dealing with eczema with years, I have many tips on handling it.
Luckily, Dubz loves having his Aveeno cream rubbed onto his back and arms. At almost three, he understands that it makes him feel better and less itchy. But 43% of mums find that their children don't understand why they need cream every day. That is why Aveeno have released e-books to help kids. They have just released the second book in The Dry-ventures of Ellie & Eddie. Even on holidays or when we're going on adventures, we still need to keep using cream to keep eczema at bay. Moozles and Dubz really enjoyed reading Happy Skin Holidays, especially the catchy song. Dubz keeps singing 'put on some cream', and so I do.
Head on over to Aveeno to download the newest e-book (and the first one if you don't already have it), and you can also request a free sample of Aveeno.
We were sent a copy of 'Happy Skin Holidays' and some Aveeno products for the purpose of this review. All opinions expressed are entirely my own.
For those of you who follow me on Instagram or Twitter, you will know that our Easter holiday did not begin well. Dubz woke up at 11pm last Friday, coughing. He barely slept that night. He kept choking on phlegm and was quite uncomfortable and listless. On Saturday morning we took him to the emergency doctor at the hospital. The emergency doctor sent us straight to the children's A&E. The nurses and the doctor saw us immediately.
Dubz had very low oxygen levels and was having difficulty breathing. After a few rounds of oxygen and nebulisers, Dubz was feeling a bit better but his oxygen levels, though improved, were still quite low. They doctor put in an iv and they sent him for a chest x-ray. He was admitted to the hospital and we spent the next two nights in the children's ward.
Dubz quite enjoyed his hospital stay, once the iv came out and he was unplugged from the oxygen machine. He loved the playroom, being able to go on the iPad lots and getting to sleep on/in a bed next to his mummy. But I was so happy when we were discharged, and I could finally take my boy home. On a side note, I learned that mums should probably have a little bag packed for a hospital stay as husbands have the tendency to pack you clothes that have holes and completely forget to pack you knickers and socks.
The doctors diagnosed Dubz with an Upper-Respiratory Wheeze. Later, the head consultant said it was likely to be 'the first' asthma attack. As it was such a serious episode, they have put him on a preventative puffer that he needs to use twice a day to hopefully prevent a future attack. Husband had asthma when he was a boy, so we thought Dubz might have it too (Dubz has also inherited his father's glue ear - damn that Husband). Fingers crossed that my boy stays out of the hospital in the forseeable future.
It's a tale as old as time. Brown girl falls in love with pasty white boy. Moves from sunny California to cloudy England. They have lots of holidays. Then they have children and a mortgage. So they have holidays in the UK and the brown lady (no longer a girl) doesn't get her winter sun. The brown lady becomes tired, and tired, and then more tired.
After a couple of months of blood tests and an x-ray, my doctor has informed me that I have a Vitamin D deficiency and Osteomalacia (soft bones). I had assumed I was tired because I have two children and they keep me busy. And I had assumed that the back and hip aches were just throwbacks from carrying my son, who was a very long baby. Plus I had suffered with Pelvic Girdle Pain during that pregnancy (PPGP or SPD). Add the weight gain, and a few other symptoms, and I just assumed it was my age. Let's face it, I am no spring chicken.
It seems that I need more sunshine. I have two young children, I don't have time to sunbathe in the garden on hot summer days. But if I am not having a sunny holiday, then this is what I must do. Because I really don't have time to be tired and achy. I need time for me. The housework can wait. The sunlight in the UK doesn't have enough ultraviolet B from November to March, so your body cannot make Vitamin D then. This is why it is important to get plenty of sunshine in the summer months.
The funny thing is, I give my children Vitamin D supplements in the winter. They're mixed race, so I know about the dangers of their young bones not getting enough Vitamin D. And in the summer, I don't put sunscreen on them everyday as I know that they need the sunshine. But I guess it is another case of putting our children above ourselves. As mums, we need to remember that it is difficult taking care of our family when we have not properly taken care of ourselves.
Last year I fell down the stairs and broke and sprained a couple of toes on my left foot. They haven't properly healed yet. The podiatrist gave me exercises to do, but they really hurt. Now it all makes sense. Why it has taken so long to heal. Why my bones are always aching. Apparently my aches will begin to go away after a few months. Once I have a healthy amount of Vitamin D.
This is my plan to get some more Vitamin D and become a healthier me (for me and my family).
1. No sunscreen - I hear your audible gasps. Yes, too much sun isn't great for ageing skin. But I live in London and I promise the sun here is nothing like it is in The Seychelles. I will be wearing a moisuriser without SPF, unless I am in the summer sun for more than an hour. And I'll be wearing anti-ageing night cream while I sleep.
2. Supplements - I am on a large dose of Vitamin D3 tablets for the next few months.
3. Diet - I will be doing my best to eat more oily fish, eggs, mushrooms, and fortified cereals (Kellogg's add Vitamin D to all their cereals) .
Hopefully I should start feeling better in a couple of months. If you have any tips on dealing with a Vitamin D deficiency, I would love to hear from you. And it's not just brown people who get Vitamin D deficiencies, more and more people are getting it as we are all keeping out of the sun.
No need to wait for the future. The future is here. Braun have developed a thermometer that can take a temperature without touching your skin. Whoa. What? That's right. Your little one has a fever, and you can sneak in their room and hold the thermometer near his/her forehead while he/she sleeps. Like a ninja! Although maybe in the future, you will be able to say your child's name into a computer and it will tell you their temperature (I might give up blogging and become a thermometer designer).
Last Thursday I attended a launch of the two newest Braun thermometers: the NTF3000 (above) and the ThermoScan 7. The latter is an ear thermometer that can be adjusted according to the child's age. Did you know that a definition of a fever is dependent on a child's age? Considering I have two children, I probably should have known that a fever in a three-month old is not necessarily a fever in a three-year old. This is useful when you have children of differing ages that need their temperature taken.
Luckily, Dr Ranj (presenter of Get Well Soon on CBeebies), was on hand to offer information on how to deal with a fever as well as to answer questions. He's a paediatrician, and experienced with handling children and worried parents. The launch wasn't just fever talk. We also had yummy, and cute, food. And I may have made Dr Ranj take a photo with me. And I may have made him record a video for my kids. Basically, I bothered Dr Ranj while everyone else was polite (and British).
I was really impressed with the new range of Braun thermometers. We have an older version of the ear thermometer, so I know what a good name that Braun have in the world of thermometers. I was quite pleased to be able to take home one of the Braun No-Touch thermometers. The thermometer has a super sensitive sensor, which can be used in two ways: touching the forehead and placed up to 5cm away from the forehead. As it does not need much cleaning, I can take my entire family's temperatures in a matter of seconds. NinjaMum!
The lovely people at Braun are giving one of my readers a chance to win a No-Touch NTF3000 Thermometer (retails for £52.99 at Argos). If you want the chance to take a temperature like a ninja, enter via Rafflecopter.
I was invited to the Braun launch and given a thermometer for the purpose of a review. All opinions expressed are entirely my own.
*Photo credit: first two photos - Braun Therms website, photo w/ Dr Ranj - Rachel King
I normally don't make New Year's resolutions. I feel like if you have things you want to sort out in your lives, just do it. But this year, I have one. Losing. Weight. I started on a diet and exercise regime at the end of July 2013, but on the 1st August I fell down the stairs and broke my toe. It has taken months for that damn toe to feel 75% better. Then on the 2nd December 2013, I had a laparoscopy. Cue more recuperation. Meaning cue more eating and less activity and gaining more weight.
But I'm finally feeling better, and coincidentally it is the 1st of January 2014. So I have booked a weekly Pilates equipment class beginning the Sunday after next. And I'm thinking about booking another Pilates course so that I will be attending twice a week.
Tomorrow I will be doing a very healthy food shop. And I will be reducing my carbs, increasing the vegetables and cutting out the sugar beginning this Saturday. I find that carbs aggravate my endometriosis. But I could eat toast, pasta and rice all day. I have decided that I will only have carbs once a day. And I eat chocolate or biscuits everyday, which is not necessary for my well-being. So those are going. My unhealthy diet and the almost non-existent exercise are adding to my lack of sleep. I go to bed at around 12.30am most nights, which isn't great considering I am up at 7am most mornings. If I was eating healthier, then I wouldn't be so buzzed on sugar at night and could get to bed at a reasonable time.
I have two stone of baby weight and half a stone of 'extra' weight that need to be eradicated. I will keep you up to date. It's more than a resolution. I am really ready for this. A new year, and an old me.