I can’t let him go

Despite all my whinging about not having a life , LO keeping me from doing anything , me adding a ton of weight , my feet expanding and then decreasing, it turns out, I do like being a mum :-). Who would have thought hey!

Mum mum is visiting for three weeks and she offered to take my son away for a while. With my husband being away she felt it might ease up the stress so I can just relax and go to work. At first I was excited at the FREEDOOOOOOMMMMMM, however when I took a look at the calendar, I realised LO will be away for 3 weeks if I let her take him. 3 WHOLE WEEKS. 

She said he will be potty trained, standing in line, speaking properly and probably reciting the alphabet in Latin and Greek in that time. I know she is right but I just can’t let him go for 3 weeks when he has never been away even for a night. I thought it will be an easy thing to do (letting him go). I was quite surprise that I couldn’t do it. Anyway, I need to lose weight and he definitely keeps me fit with all the running around after him.

Besides I am an angel, I don’t want to lose my wings

Yep! I am an angel

Yep! I am an angel

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Changes

I have been so busy, I haven’t had time to write. I miss it so much, but I haven’t done anything exciting that I feel is worth sharing (I might have but I am too lazy to share it, lol) I did have a few ideas for posts, I started a few but didn’t get to finish them off.

Last month was indeed a busy month

  • I moved house
  • Changed minder – Very scary my LO has been with his previous minder since he was 8 weeks old and we absolutely adore her. She is such a blessing.
  • My daddy came to visit – Yes, I am a total daddy’s girl
Grandpa, LO & I

Grandpa, LO & I (shelovestorant)

  • My manager went on what seems like an endless holiday so I am saddling 3 accounts at the same time. Phew!
  • My hubby moved to Scotland – Seems like we hardly ever live together. While he was in London I put on a lot of weight. I guess with him around I was eating properly. We shared pick up and drop off so I didn’t have to wake up so early. In general, I was more relaxed and as a result piled on the pounds. With him gone for a while I guess the manic schedule returns, I will definitely be too tired to eat so hurray! at least I will lose some weight (silver lining :-))
  • I also discovered from my husband when he went to set up his account that Lloyds TSB had changed its name to Lloyds Bank. Lloyds Bank and TSB will now have their own branches on the high street. I was worried about my internet banking cause I really didn’t have the time to go into the bank and request new logins and things. My internet comes on today at the new place and thankfully my previous login still works. But I guess a time is definitely coming when everything will go separate .

I like their quirky video on the new TSB

Thankfully my mum is visiting for 3 weeks. So I still have some rest time on my hands. That why I can write this post. She is absolutely brilliant with LO.  I am always moaning about how I don’t have family in the UK ,so its brilliant that she is here. She has gotten my son back on a schedule and she has started potty training him. Hurray for Grandma

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Help! I Am Losing Weight

Anyone who knows me will have heard me at some point ranting about how I need to lose weight.  So I forgive you for thinking I should be overjoyed that I am finally losing some weight.  Well I am, to an extent. I am happy to be losing the weight on my body but its the weight or swelling on my feet I am not so happy about. When I got pregnant my feet went half a size up from a 7 to 7.5 (40 -41) and stayed that way even after birth. I ranted and raved about it but since I didn’t know of any exercise to trim down your feet I shut up and accepted it.

When LO turned one I finally accepted that I was now a size 7.5 gave up my old shoes and proceeded to restock after all who won’t snap up an opportunity to shop, right? Now a year and 9 months later the weight or swelling has dropped off my feet and I am back to a size 7 aaarrrrrgggghhhhhh!  I have tried shoe pads, stuffing, nothing is working, the shoes just keep slipping off my feet.

leopard skin 6 inch heel

shelovestorant in 6 inch heels

According to the March issue of the American Journal of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, Doctors believe the arch of the foot flattens out, and in turn, the foot length increased between 2 and 10 millimeters (about 0.1 to 0.4 inches) possibly due to the extra weight and increased looseness of the joints associated with pregnancy . This loss of arch height is most likely permanent. The article also claims that this could lead to arthritis later in life so I should be happy that my feet has gone back to a 7.

I used to be the queen of 6 inch heels, I even wore them when I was pregnant till the very end (the week I gave birth) however, after giving birth I  gradually started to feel pain in heels. I am not even sure when this started.  It might be because I have a toddler or maybe I finally have to accept that I am getting old. I find myself putting my shoes on Ebay after one wear.  I can’t believe I am saying this but I can’t wait for winter maybe tights would help. Don’t know what else to do. I need help!
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The One With the Flash Cards

I bought some alphabet flash cards to teach my son words. The first two weeks went great. Every time I showed him a card and called out the word he would dutifully repeat it after me despite the cards having some questionable words for an 18 month old like elephant and xylophone, he still did a good job of sounding these words. He even started to recognise two of the pictures (apple and bee) and would call them without prompting. After each word, I would give him some praise by saying good boy.

Free alphabet flash cards

alphabet flash cards

Unfortunately, things have started to go downhill. Now when I show him a card instead of repeating the word after me. He goes straight to praising himself by saying good boy. No matter which card I show him, the only thing he says is good boy. Now, I am not sure if he thinks all the cards are good boys or he seriously thinks he is doing a good job by not pronouncing the words or he has a massive ego and thinks he is the goodest boy ever (excuse my english – if Beyoncé can create a new word so can I) or is just trying to cut the chase by saying good boy and getting it over with. Whichever it is I am not sure what to do at this point.

He still goes round the house shouting bee bee so at least he remembers some of the words and when he uses the flash cards on my phone he pronounces the words accordingly. Good boy? Yes/No the verdict is still out at this point.

PS: you can print free flash cards here 

Why I Still Shop Cheap

Ethical Tshirt

image@weheartit

In the wake of the April 24th Bangladesh factory collapse, I have read so many articles questioning the morals of people who still shop cheap. I have to admit I do shop cheap, especially when it comes to children’s clothes and here is why.

I saw an article on the guardian “Top 10 ethical places to shop for children’s clothes”. A visit to one of the shop uncovers one baby bodysuit for £10 (you can get a set of 5 for £3 in most of the cheap shops). My son usually needs two sets of clothes everyday. One to wear to  his minders place and another in his bag just in case he needs a change. Bibs on one of the ethical sites is going for £7.99 while a simple T-shirt is sold for a whopping £21. To cloth my son for a day from one of these shop would cost me a whopping £144 (bodysuit, socks, t-shirt, trouser, bib and spare clothes in bag). His weekly attire would cost £432; minus shoes. According to a UK survey, on average, babies wear an item just 12 times. Baby clothes are also designed to be worn over a three months span hence the size labelling 3-6 months, 6-9 months etc.  In this current economic climate to ask a parent to spend £432 on clothes every 3 months is not practical.

I totally agree that we need to hold the CEO’s of these companies accountable. Many of the directors of these companies know that there is a lot of corruption in developing countries. Sometimes brought on by poverty and most times by greed. They need to ensure that when dealing with contractors and such they don’t just accept a piece of paper. Go with your own engineers. Make sure that you care about your foreign workers in the same manner you would care about the workers in your country. Stop looking only at the bottom line.

Some of the comments on these articles are that – we should stop buying clothes that are manufactured in these developing countries. For one thing, the price/label of a piece of clothing is not at all indicative of the working conditions of its manufacturer. In Prato, Italy, Chinese immigrants were found to be working in garment factories for as little as €2 an hour. Also, killing the manufacturing trade in developing countries is not going to help. These workers need the money to survive. Most developing countries do not have a benefit or government aid system. If they don’t work they don’t eat simple. Taking people on an ethical guilt trip doesn’t help. We would all love to by that ethical t-shirt for £21 but sadly not everyone can. My desire to spend my money wisely is definitely not the problem. Greed is.

Summer Worries – Hot Pants or Wedding

Summer worries@shelovestorant

When planning my summer holiday, I thought my greatest worry would be which hot pants to wear or which sandals would be stable enough to push a buggy in. I didn’t anticipate that my great summer worry would be if I was married or not.

Yep I can see you doing the maths, She blogged about being married – I thought she was married. Well so did I. And here comes the long story. I got married in a church back home. Bach home churches can apply for a license to conduct marriages and issue a certificate in the way the Church of England would do. After the ceremony you are issued two certificates. One for you and the second to submit at your local government registry for their own record. Which we did and have pictures of swearing the oath at the registry.

In other to plan this summer holiday we need to get a visa and the embassy in questions requires our marriage certificate to be authenticated by the our High Commission. Turns out the High Commission have a policy not to authenticate certificates from churches as there is literally a church on every street in Africa. I do sympathize with them, however it is the same government that is giving these churches authority to conduct ceremonies and issuing them personalised marriage certificates and to make matters worse the local registry can’t find their record. Yep they still haven’t heard of computers every thing is written down somewhere in a great book (which we filled out and signed 3 years ago) which they are still trying to locate.

So we are battling a classic third world problem – government departments with several conflicting policy, missing records and no one that can be held to account except the invisible “oga at the top”. Everyone keeps saying blame the system,  it is the system,  as if the system isn’t being run by someone  – it’s an invisible hand of power wielding it out on us all.

I am now left wondering am I married or not. Funny enough my marriage certificate is recognised by the UK government. I have been trying to get this sorted for over two weeks and It’s just so annoying.

Anyway as the saying goes “every disappointment is a blessing” at least now I am single in some countries, I can upgrade on the husband front 🙂.  I can plan another wedding.  This would probably be the wedding of my dreams since the first one was almost totally out of my control. #SummerWedding who is in?

Image credit for the amazing J’Aton Coutu dress

Multitasking Challenge

working mum
As a working mum, my weekends are down to a precision art. With a list of chores that would make any domestic goddess green with envy. I have to multi task to get everything done in time or else I wouldn’t get any rest. Here is a snap shot of my list

Sort out 4 loads of washing (whites, coloured, blacks and wools) the key to this is starting the whites and coloured early so that by the time the wools are washed (they take the longest to dry and we don’t own a drier and we live in a flat so no hanging space) the whites and coloured are dried making way for the wools to dry all weekend.

Organise the meals for the week. I am not really a fan of cooking. I do love food but the process of getting it ready and out there isn’t my favourite chore. Truth be told I prefer cleaning to cooking. My approach to cooking is fast and convenient (cooking things that are easy from scratch). If you know anything about cooking African food, you would know this is almost an impossible mission. Every meal has two have 2 types of meat, vegetables washed and chopped to precision size. Different types of fish – dried, fresh, blended etc. There is also LO’s food and fruit pots to be prepared & labelled for the week. Over the weekend I cook in bulk so I don’t need to prepare anything from scratch during the week as most days I get home by 7.10pm.

– House cleaning. Weekend is the time to give every room a complete wipe down. DH also chips in buy drying the washing, taking out the bins, cleaning the bathroom and generally keeping LO busy while I get on with it.

So when I was sent this multitasking test by open education I was so sure I was the ideal candidate for it . However, my score was below average :-(. I am not sure if it’s because I was playing it during my break at work and I gave it all but 2 minutes (diminished attention span). I would try again during a less stressful period and update the post. Do have a play and let me know how it goes.

I have also included some articles below which show that multi tasking isn’t such a good idea so maybe there is a silver lining behind my low score *winks*

PS. I tried to embed the game on my blog don’t know why it didn’t work. While trying to find out what was wrong I accidentally published the post before it was ready as well. Apologies to everyone who got the unfinished version.

Spring Cleaning

scattered wardrope

my messed up wardrobe

In the last couple of years, I have worked my way through a few sizes. Going from a size 4 when I came to this country (yep I was seriously under weight) cue in McDonalds, KFC and chinese coupled with the life of a student I shot to a 6 then to an 8 after marriage, 10 after child-birth and now back to an 8 with folds. A real yoyo experience. It took me a while to accept that I would never get back to a 6 so I have decided to sort out my wardrobe. Out with the old and in with the new. I would like to create a capsule wardrobe consisting of only clothes I actually wear. Like most girls I have over 10 pairs of jeans but I only ever wear 2. This spring I aim to get rid of the remaining 8+ and all the other clothes in my wardrobe I can’t actually fit in to. I am also one of those people whose feet never recovered from child-birth so I have a box of shoes some where that I still can’t wear except someone invents foot reduction surgery.

I hope this spring clean is successful because in the past I have tried to do it but ended up getting too sentimental about my heap. Amongst the stuff I feel so sad parting with are my choir uniforms. Most of them are a size 6 and even though I could still squeeze into them when I was a slim 8 now I am a big 8 (tummy not yet completely flat) the clothes feel a bit tight. The thought of having to start getting them all over again is so discouraging; black suit, grey suit, brown suits, white suit not to mention the shirts the list is endless.

This time around I have decided to sell the lot may be the money incentive would motivate me to actually do it. My usual hunts where eBay and preloved I sold some of my sons old stuff there. I have just discovered that music magpie sell clothes. I didn’t know you could actually sell clothes on their site I used to think they just sold old CD’s (apparently this is a new feature). They give you an instant quote and you can decide if you want to sell or not, cutting out all the hassle of bidding. You know what you are getting from the start. I am off to hunt for some treasure and give it a try. New clothes I can smell you already. Would let you know how it goes.

I Told You So

There are four words everyone hates to be told by their spouse – I told you so. However it’s so hard not to say those words when they ring so true. During our pre-marriage counselling we were warned about the pit falls of pointing fingers, keeping scores and the need to always be right. I think DH was asleep during this particular session as he never admits to being wrong so on a rear occasion when he does, it deserves to be documented for the sake of posterity (nope I am not keeping scores *winks* I am better than that).

You know how when its one season you totally forget what the other seasons feel like. When its winter you forget warmth and sunshine. That is what happened when we went duvet shopping last winter. DH proclaimed that nothing else would do but a 30 tog duvet. I tried to convince him to get a dual duvet made for both seasons or buy a lesser tog and dress warm to bed so when it summer or spring we would not need to get another duvet. He said he would rather buy two duvet one for summer and one for winter. While this may seem like a brilliant plan squashing a 30 tog duvet into the wardrobe isn’t an easy task. So out went the plan. Besides it was winter at the time so we didn’t really dwell on it.

John Lewis Isla Throw, TealJohn Lewis Roma Throws , Catkin

Now a little sunshine is upon us the 30 tog duvet is way too hot. Despite opening the window through the night I still wake up drenched in sweat. DH has finally admitted defeat. We need a spring/summer duvet. I am now scouting the internet looking for a suitable duvet. However,when a shopaholic goes online she loses focus. Why not get bedspreads, throws and other accessories give the bedroom a spring make over. You know how much I love matching stuff. You see darling being wrong is going to cost you. So whats the moral of this story you might ask? Never admit to being wrong :-).

PS. DH totally hates throws. He says they have no practical use than to sit at the foot of a bed. Who cares I am getting one any way.