Is it just my baby that sounds like a Pterodactyl?

I remember the first time we properly made cub laugh. Not a smile, or a chuckle, but a proper belly laugh. He was teething, and so so so tired.  His cheeks were bright red and it was time for bed. He was 6 or 7 months old, I think.

For some reason, we thought dropping a plastic ball on his head was a good idea.  Don’t call social services, it was only a little one…. ahem. He erupted into the cutest fit of laughter, a slightly dirty and massively infectious chuckle, which we have captured on video forever and never ever get bored of watching back.

Now, something really bizarre has happened. The cute and slightly dirty laugh is now just plain dirty. Throaty, hoarse and staccatto, it sounds like a cross between a car engine backfiring, a machine gun, Catherine Tate’s Grandma, and some sort of dinosaur. Probably what I imagine a Pterodactyl might sound like.

It’s just weird. When he’s babbling and chatting away, he has the softest, gentlest baby voice. But when he laughs, it’s like he’s been possessed by a dirty old demon lady. Does this happen to other babies too? Will it go away? Please God, make it go away!

But in until he (please, please, please) grows out of it, we have found some amazing comedy use for the scary laugh. I was sitting on a bench in the local shopping centre sorting out my bags, and Cub was standing on the bench, holding onto the back, watching the people go by. And as people passed by, he was  laughing at them all, like a  fiendish dinosaur baby prince surveying his subjects. I have never seen so many people look so frightened, appalled and confused by someone so cute and small.

Old grannies approached him looking like they wanted to squeeze his cute little baby cheeks, and recoiled in horror at the machine gun chuckle. Grown men noticeably quickened their pace as they passed us by. I must admit, I might have been faffing about with the bags just a little longer than I needed to, because I was just too amused by the whole thing.

When life gives you lemons, make lemonade. And when your baby makes weird noises, go scare some people. Why the hell not?

Hurrah, I broke my plateau! Then ate some pies.

About a month ago now, I posted that I was struggling with a weight loss plateau, and that I was aiming to break through it in two weeks.

I’d like to report that I did it! In those two weeks, I lost 4lb! I didn’t really do anything special, just a real back to basics approach- tracking what I ate religiously, cutting out processed food, and making sure I got enough exercise in.

Just goes to show that a little bit of focus can really pay off!

But then, I went on holiday! And, my god, did I take my eye off the ball! I ate far too much cake, too many big meals out, just too much of everything. And since getting back at the weekend, I’ve struggled to get back on the wagon, big style. The 4lb has gone back on… though I’m not totally despairing because it’s also time of the month for me right now. I’m attributing the gain to excess water and ignoring the level of pie consumption…

What I need is a cunning plan.

In 5 weeks, me and the husband are off to Rome.  Alone! With no cub! I am so excited I could actually squeal. So that’s my next milestone. I’d like to be 5lb lighter than I was 10 days ago, before I started stuffing my face again.

That will mean that I only have 3lb of baby weight to shift, and take me to a loss of 2st 3lb since 1st Jan.

This is me taking a deep breath and reluctantly getting back on the lettuce wagon. Sensible food and lots of exercise for just one month. How hard can that be?

Goodbye cake…. for now… but in 5 weeks time, bring on the gelato, pizza, and pasta!

The One with the Window Cleaner and the Shame

So there I was, sitting on the sofa with a cup of tea.  Then the doorbell went. So, as any normal adult would do, I hid.

Yep, I hid. I didn’t want to speak to anyone, I was covered in cheese sauce from the cub’s tea, and I generally couldn’t be arsed. So I dived from the sofa and crouched in the bay window. As you do…

Then the door went again, this time a knock. I was still crouched there thinking “Bollocks, go away, fuck, fuck, bollocks”

I should just emphasise that I had no real reason to be hiding, other than that I looked like crap and couldn’t be arsed.

Knock went again. I continued with the hiding, and the under-the-breath-cursing.

Then I heard footsteps, going off the drive. “Hurrah!!! I’m free!”! I thought. I waited a bit more, just to be on the safe side. Then I nudged my nose up over the windowsill, ever so carefully, to have a look around.

And there he was, the window, cleaner, re-squeegeeing the window, six inches from my face, looking right at me. I was caught red handed. It had been raining since he had cleaned them, and he’d come round for the money. And now it was just obvious that I had been hiding. How utterly embarrassing.

Not my actual window cleaner. Credit: Telegraph.co.uk

“Alright?” he shouted, looking down at me like I’m some sort of weirdo, quite justifiably.  Mortified doesn’t even begin to describe how I felt.

I grabbed my purse and went to the door. “I was, er, just changing a nappy…” I said. I have no idea if he saw me on the sofa with the tea in the first place… but I’m pretty damn sure he knew I was fibbing.  “Right, so I just owe you for the front windows?” I said, because I forgot to leave the back gate open, and assumed he couldn’t get through to the do the back ones.

“Nope, I did the back as well.” He said. “You want to get that grass cut, love…”

I was horrified and confused. To get into our back garden, you need to go through the house, or climb over a wall that is probably 9 feet high.

“I used me ladders…”

Oh, well, that’s alright then. You obviously used your stupid ladders, because you are a sodding window cleaner and you obviously have a great big stupid bloody ladders. IT’S LOCKED FOR A REASON!!!!

The reason being that the back garden looks like an actual jungle-cum-landfill. The grass is knee level through sheer laziness, and we had recently cleaned out the garage so there is various crap on the grass waiting to be taken to the dump. And as if that isn’t bad enough, last night’s wind has taken the paper recycling and scattered it all over the garden. And it’s not all just ours, either. Pizza boxes galore.

The shame, oh the shame.

But really, that’s not OK to just climb into someone’s garden is it? Not if the door is locked? Is that really rude or really considerate? Am I liable if he falls off his ladders? Does he think I’m some sort of actual tramp now? And a lying tramp at that? Why do I even care what the window cleaner thinks? How dare he disturb my cup of tea to made me feel bad about my lack of lawnmowering?

I gave him his seven quid, cheeks burning, and made my excuses to return to an allegedly urgent baby related matter. (Baby was fast asleep. Lying again.)

Oh, the shame. The shame.

Oh my god, I have a 13 month old!

This is a post for the “Live in the now, Dude!” linky hosted over at Scribbling Mum’s blog.  The idea is to capture how life is, right now.  So, this is what it’s like right now for me and my little man!

It wasn't me!

Cub has just turned 13 months.  He is a tiny baby whirlwind, and  his main hobby at the moment is destruction.  In the past 24 hours, he has pulled a pile of DVD’s off a shelf, emptied a packet of baby wipes, thrown a tray full of food on the floor, terrorised a dog, and unravelled a toilet roll.

He is discovering cause and effect, and is massively into anything that makes a noise, anything with buttons that he can push, and anything that he can drop or throw (mainly food…) He likes to empty shapes out of a container, put them in again, and put the lid back on.

He has a little trumpet that he has just learned to blow, and looks so proud when he gets it to make a toot! And he loves to dance. That boy has got some serious moves! Every time he hears a beat, his little head bobbles about happily, as if it’s a reflex reaction to music. If he’s standing up, he’ll stamp his feet too! At the moment, he is particularly enjoying a bit of  Noah and the Whale!

He likes to play passing games. He offers you an object, saying “da!” then you take it and say “ta!,” then he takes it back, and offers it again with another “da!” He loves to play in his tent and his tunnel, though he uses the tent as a method of transport, pushing the walls to roll it over, like he’s zorbing!

He’s just started pointing at everything, and he loves to explore.  He is still very much in love with Boris, and he adores Spike, his Grandparent’s dog.  That poor old dog gets chased all over the house every weekend, when all he wants is a bit of peace. Yesterday he tried to grab the dog’s willy.  The poor dog looked horrified!! It would seem Cub has yet to develop a sense of social decency!

He’s a cheeky mimic, copying everything and everyone, trying to imitate speech, gestures and expressions. He chats constantly, and seems to pick up a new noise everyday, although the only real words he has as the moment are “da” (meaning “that”) “Mama” and “Da-doo” (He can’t make the “ee” noise yet, and sometimes, Da-doo becomes Doo-doo or Doo-Da!)

He is very affectionate and loves to give kisses, although sometimes there is just a tad too much tongue.  Daddy got 14 kisses in a row this weekend!

He’s  just on the verge of walking. Yesterday he took 5 unaided steps, but he’s still wobbly and lacking confidence. He is on his feet cruising a lot, but still loves to crawl, and is really speedy! He has started bear walking too, which is adorable.

Hopefully he will be walking in the next couple of weeks, although in a way I’m hoping he puts it off  a little longer. He’ll be so grown up then, and I’ll miss my little baby! But also, I fear this new era of walking could bring more destruction than ever!

Breaking through a weight loss plateau: Two week challenge!

Today is my weigh in day, and I’ve just logged my weight on Weightwatchers online.  I’ve been the same weight for three weeks running.  This is really, really annoying. I need to break through this weight loss plateau, and I want to do it in the next 14 days.  I have a little family break coming up and if I don’t manage to do it before then, it will be another month before I see any progress. It just can’t be another month! I’m too impatient!

I have only got 10lb to lose to get to my pre-baby weight, having lost almost 2 stone since 1st January, and I am definitely feeling much smaller. My clothes have started feeling much looser over the last month, and I can now fit into almost all of my old wardrobe! That’s a huge cause for celebration, and the non-scale victories are definitely boosting my motivation.

The only problem is that the needle on that damn scale just isn’t moving for me right now.

Getting to my pre-baby weight is a huge deal for me, because it means that I can move forward.  Losing weight that I gained in my pregnancy is like treading old ground, not making new progress.  At my pre-baby weight, I felt great, and I was the lightest I have ever been as an adult.  I still had work to do though- I was a size 14/16 and carrying an extra 30lb or so. Much better than the extra 130lb I was carrying to begin with, of course! (See my before and after photos here.)

I never quite reached that final goal, and that’s what I would love to do now. To get started, I need to get to where I was back in May 09.  I feel like I’m still crawling to the start line!

So here’s the plan. I need to fit in as much exercise as possible over the next 14 days. I think I would be happy with 8 sessions.  I will not exceed my Weightwatchers points for the next 14 days. I won’t use any treat points or exercise points. I’m going to be a focussed, determined, machine! And in two weeks, I will be writing that I have broken through this plateau!   I hope….

Boot camp? Really???

For the last two Sundays, two of the hottest days that Britain has ever seen (this may be a slight exaggeration…) I have spent the morning sweating ungracefully at a boot camp. Yes, that’s a BOOT CAMP.

We have managed to wangle some regular Sunday morning babysitting, and the lovely husband suggested I join him at his weekly boot camp.  I have seen the state he’s in after his Sunday morning beatings, and it’s not pretty. But I said yes anyway, because I’m not a wuss. (I am a wuss. But don’t tell anyone.)

I am  not a boot camp kind of girl.

I don’t like being shouted at. I don’t enjoy competition (unless I am really, really, really good at something, like Guitar Hero, or poker.) I hate burpees. Don’t know what a burpee is? Have a look at this video. It’s the most evil exercise of all. And even worse if you’re carrying a little weight. Ahem. At boot camp, they are very fond of burpees. They make us do the ‘expert’ version with the jump:

So, the first week, me, the lovely husband, and his little brother rocked up for our beating.  Me and the little brother were bloody terrified.  We stood around nervously chatting for a bit, and I had that horrible nervous-in-the-pit-of-your-stomach feeling that you get before an exam.  The trainer leading the session bounced up with a freakish and worrying amount of energy, and explained the warm up. Basically, a four mile run, in scorching heat. We all plodded off, muttering miserably, and I set up camp at the back of the pack.

I won’t lie, it was hard. Normally, a four mile run wouldn’t bother me, but I was comparing myself to all the other people in the class, and realizing just how much work I need to do to get up to a really decent level of fitness.  And I was sweating like crazy.

It was an out and back route, and once the fastest runner got to the furthest point, we all turned back, so as to keep the group together.   I made it back in fourth place because I never stopped running, when at least half the class wilted in the sun and ended up walking. Suddenly, I wasn’t feeling too bad at all.

The rest of the first class involved hill sprints and burpees and squats. In the midday sun. Evil, evil, evil. And yes, I was the slowest in the class, but I gritted my teeth and kept going when others melted and gave up once again. I ended up knackered, but feeling like I’d achieved something.

So, this week, I went back for more.

Today, we did a hilly running circuit of 1/2 mile, followed by a series of burpees. Followed by another lap of 1/2 mile. Then more burpees. Repeat ad nauseum, quite literally.

I managed 7 laps. I am still the slowest runner in the class, but completed an average number of laps, because I kept going, at my own pace, didn’t walk once, didn’t stop ever.  At the end, the instructor said that I was “amazing,”  “a warrior” and “an inspiration.” I was chuffed to bits.

Do you know what? I am a warrior. A sweaty, bloody minded, girly warrior, carrying a little baby weight, bringing up the rear of the class, and not letting it stop me.

Maybe I am a boot camp kind of girl after all.

I’m at the Five F’s!

Kate at the Five F’s hosts  ‘My Fitness Story,’ a series of guest posts where bloggers write about their fitness journeys.  This week it’s my turn! Read all about how me and my lovely other half lost a ton of weight, had a baby, got stressed out, gained a bit back, and are now on the straight and narrow again!

The post is here

Kate’s blog is fantastic, and definitely worth a read!