Thursday, 28 October 2010

The shame of a pushy mother.

Last week i saw the Next Baby Competition and thought 'Oooh why not lets put Tabitha in she is a cutie, no harm done' and if by chance she did well then £500 of Next vouchers is not to be sniffed at, a years modeling contract can't hurt either.. I popped onto the site and easily entered her by attaching one photo, only then did i read the part about the voting system. I have seen competitions like this before where the company do not judge the winners themselves they select or shortlist as in this case by top amount of votes gained. Of course no one just randomly browses and votes for the prettiest this is hard core pimping of your child to family and friends begging for votes.

My heart sank, i really didn't want to have entered Tabitha into this kind of competition.

As i already had clicked enter and the application wasted no time in posting this fact on my Facebook wall i pimped for some votes a few times, but the whole thing still bothered me.

I was pushed over the edge by a friend suggesting i look at the Facebook wall of the competition...Oh my god.

Women, 'Mothers' calling peoples children 'ugly' 'unworthy of winning' of 'cheating' by getting people to vote and the unfairness of their beautiful child with no big family to vote for them, it was turning into a bitch fest full of vileness and stinking of desperation.

This morning i removed Tabitha from the competition and wished Next well with their ongoing event, they will need it. Haters have formed 'Anti Next Baby Comp' groups on Facebook, I would probably suggest armed security at the photoshoot day.

What is really sad is that if anyone thinks that Next set this competition purely to find the next top baby model they are probably wrong. Next have gained thousands of emails from voters and can now use their data information in future marketing.

I'm not mad at Next, its just good business. I am however a little mad with myself for being sucked in.

Wednesday, 27 October 2010

My secret love.....

I cannot believe i haven't blogged about my high chair yet. Tabitha-Lo is spoilt we may as well admit it now, well actually we are all spoilt. Tabithas Uncle brought her this as a 'being born' present and it is a much loved part of our family.

Our flat is modern in style and has a central island in the kitchen area so the chair sits perfectly at the unit whilst i potter about the kitchen burning things and making a right mess.

When she was tiny the seat tipped back and cradled her meaning that she has always been a part of mealtimes from day one. She now sits up with the tray attached and throws food about the place. The Bloom design is fabulous meaning the child grows with the chair, the height can be changed with squeezy pistons on each side raising and lowering the seat, the tray comes off and a little step can be added to help a toddler climb in and out.

There are issues with it of course, the footprint is huge and i'm not sure it would be so fabulous at a table but at our flat where we eat at bar stool height around our island we think it is perfect. 

Most of all though, it is beautiful and i wish it was for me.

Welcome to the world!

Huge congratulations to my cousin Camilla and her husband Oliver Hughes on the safe arrival of Josephine Martha born 22nd October 2010 weighing a very impressive 9lb 13oz.

Welcome to the world princess, cannot wait to meet you.

Monday, 25 October 2010

Hooray for Mummy!

I haven't been boring you all with weekly weigh ins, mainly because i dread having to tell you all i've failed every week so decided to only blog when i reach a goal.

This morning i reached my first goal of losing 1/2 stone since i started at the gym! 


Sunday, 24 October 2010

Feeling it...

First things first, this is is not my arse.

It could have been once, not even that long ago but right now its a classic case of false advertising. My sessions at the gym are however going very well. I am upping the levels on the machines to push myself harder, adding an extra 500m and trying to beat my personal best times.  The other day i even found myself asking advice from one of the personal trainers about my stomach crunches and got a great new exercise to do along with them to tone my lower stomach which is where i really need to work on after my c-section.

The big news is my body is changing. My love handles (a stupid name i've always thought, i've never looked the massive blobs of fat stuck above my hips and thought of anything close to love...) had been cupping comfortably into the palms of my hand but now they are smoothing out and sloping down to my hips. Also when i am walking i can feel the beginnings of my thighs brushing past each other rather than the usual squided together meeting point. 

So....I have brought new jeans, hoorah! 

They are black skinny ones (a few sizes bigger than i would have liked) but i feel sexy in them like i want to wear heels and be a bit slutty. I can feel my old confidence creeping back a tiny bit, as if i can walk taller and look people in the eye more often. I am slowly coming back to life as a woman and it feels good.

Friday, 22 October 2010

Family Mumra visit London Zoo.

 Last week we were lucky enough to be given some tickets to visit London Zoo.
The weather held out for us and we set out on our 90 minute train journey to London. 

This was our first proper family outing and i wasn't sure who was more excited when we got there Tabitha or Mr Mumra as he ran through the planned route...

"penguins then monkeys, we need to go there ...and there ....oooh look they have..."

It was such an excellent experience though seeing Tabithas little face responding to so many new visions through out the day. Some other zoo visits i've felt cheated by staring into seemingly empty areas wondering 'is there anything in there' but i was treated to some brilliant views of the animals and they were so easy to spot and interact with that Tabitha was engaged by them too.

London Zoo is so beautiful, laid out to allow you to move around and see all the areas without feeling like your lost in amaze of attractions. There were so many great small touches around the place too; climbing frames, story tents, water play and secret gardens give the children an extra special adventure.

We stayed for five hours and could have stayed longer easily. The restaurant was great for lunch, clean and comfortable serving a good mix of food and the fabulous idea of having a self service microwave to heat babies food so no queuing with a bowl in hand while baby screams blue murder in the highchair.

I cannot recommend London Zoo more as a perfect place to take the children for a day out. When we move back to London we will be buying a yearly membership for sure. I'm already looking forward to spending summers picnicking and watching Tabitha grow with the Zoo using new apparatus and absorbing new knowledge with every visit.

The only dilemma we were faced with was at the end of the day when we visited the gift huge soft toy or three small ones. It was however our dilemma Tabitha was fast asleep by then.

Thursday, 21 October 2010

New things...

Art classes have begun for Tabitha-Lo, today we purchased crayons and paper. 

She mostly likes the pencil case, banging the crayons on the table, and watching them roll away. I am however expecting great works of art anytime soon. 

Oh, she likes to eat them too.

Watch this space....

Wednesday, 20 October 2010

The Gallery - Red.

This is what Red means to Mumra. 

My favourite lipstick i have worn since i was 18 and what woman or man would dare to disagree red nails are the best.

My best red heels.

Sadly at the moment red also means this monstrosity. My iphone has broken and while it is away being lovingly put back together by the people at Apple, O2 have given ( i actually had to pay a £25 deposit ) me this horror of a phone. 

If you ring me while i am out i will not answer and do not text me, replying makes me want to kill myself.

Get yourself over to Sticky Fingers and see what 'Red' means to everyone else.

Monday, 18 October 2010

I'm a mum don't you know?

I decided before i left for maternity leave that i would not return to my old job in London. The logistics would not have worked out and we wanted to spend a longer amount of time down south with our families so i have found myself a part time job down here.

I am working for a company who supplies jewellery for the major retailer stores. My first day was today and i was a little tired after the restless night of worries; 'Will everyone like me? Will i like everyone? My usual one, Will i fall over?'. Tabitha decided after sleeping for 3 nights she'd wake up at 2am just after i dozed off to have a half hour scream so that didn't help either.

Never the less i did it, i got up, i got dressed, i feed and dressed the child and was ready waiting for Granny to take over at 8.30am. This may never happen again i do realise.

It felt good walking into town dressed smart and with good hair and make up with the knowledge i was without a buggy and heading for a place where no one cares i'm a Mum.

I did however find myself through the morning doing some worrying things.

Several times i spoke about Tabitha and being a Mum in a really cringe worthy way saying things like; Thats why i love having a pushchair to put carry my shopping, The hours really suit me because of Tabitha, I usually have wet wipes because of the baby.

No-one cares do they? What was i thinking? 

I could hear the words coming out but not stop them in time. I do not want to be one of those mothers with nothing else to say other than 'what my child did' comments.

Thank god i'm back at work hopefully this is the backdraft of being at home for a year and once the crap comments are out of my system i'll return to talking about clothes, politics and slagging off men.

Until then i'm censoring myself, i'd rather have tourettes.

Wednesday, 13 October 2010

The Gallery - A favourite photo.

 A short and sweet entry this week for Tara at Sticky Fingers. 

The theme is 'a favourite photo' and i have been really indecisive about choosing one. I had a few options that for various reasons i didn't feel it was appropriate to use them.

I'll apologise now for this being yet another photo of the girl!

Tell me that is not the stupidest lopsided grin you have ever seen?
She doesn't even look like that.

Monday, 11 October 2010

I heart the gym.

I knew i was overweight but it had not really occurred to me that i was unhealthy. I have never given my cholesterol a second thought or wondered if i was likely to suffer from heart disease. Part of the membership at Nuffield Health Fitness and Wellbeing is a Health MOT where they check all these things out for you. My friend had described hers as 'shocking' but deep down i thought mine would be OK. I walk, I talk, I eat salad and vegetables, I must be pretty healthy.

Wellbeing advisor Nadine (about 6 months pregnant and looking 'all bump') took me into a side office to carry out my health check, it feels quite official like going to the doctors and i got a bit nervous. So what do they check? You get asked normal health and lifestyle history questions then there is a series of tests, blood glucose, blood pressure, blood sugar levels, cholesterol, aerobic capacity (VO2 Max) and your BMI is gaged by measuring your weight and height. All this is compiled into a report and the result gives you a figure out of 100. The average person should be 70 approx.

I was stunned, mine was 36.

My downfalls were these....I'm not a smoker anymore i gave up when i was pregnant and have not started again, in the few times i have been out since Tabitha was born though I've had a few sneaky ones. They count and i lose 20 points.

I dont' sleep enough, shocker, as a mum i get average 5 hrs per night this loses me lifestyle points. I don't drink my advised amount of water either i manage 3 glasses (if that) and i should have 8. I have too much caffeine a day, this kind of cross references with my lack of sleep issue i feel.

None of these results really surprised me when i thought about it, i know smoking is bad, i know i need more sleep, should drink more water etc...

The results that did shock me however were these ones. My hip/waist ratio puts me in a high risk group for heart disease and my cholesterol is higher than it should be. I was actually upset by these, i intend to be around for a longtime yet, i have a million school runs to complete and will no doubt be required to take part in parents races at sports day. I don't want to be keeling over with a heart attack.

Nadine and I came up with an action plan for myself to work towards over the next 3-6 months.

As a member on a 12 month contract you will qualify for 'Get healthy, get rewarded' if you achieve your goals at your next health check. Which should give you some added motivation to work your self as hard as you can. These rewards vary from a free months membership or 2 personal training sessions or £75 worth of free beauty treatments.

There will be another Health MOT in 3 months to see if i have improved. I won't ask for you to cross your fingers for me or wish me good luck, this one is all down to me working my arse off literally.

Friday, 8 October 2010

Tabitha meets Cath Kidston.

Don't mistake this for the cutest Cath Kidston advert you'll ever see, its just Tabitha having a nap and making sure no-one makes moves on her new bag.

Thursday, 7 October 2010

Buying or selling a pushchair?

 Time for a pushchair upgrade?
Clearing out the loft?

I have recently discovered an brilliant new site for buying and selling secondhand push chairs. is a site that covers all the aspects of selling your old push chairs and puts all the secondhand or new options in a easy to use format for you to find a replacement to suit your needs. You can search locally or nationally through the secondhand options and advertise your old one at the same time with ease.
The site has all the up to date information on new models available, reviews by real mums and specific details on each model to help you make sure your next purchase is the right one for you.
You know what its like you think, 'oh i'll sell that' then the details creep into your head...How do i package it? How much does it cost to advertise it? - six months later its still sat in the loft gathering dust and getting in the way. will take all those worries away with a simple hassle free packaging and delivery service for a flat fee of £14.99. There are no buyer or seller fees so straight away you know what your paying. 

Perfect, now where is that loft ladder ...?

Wednesday, 6 October 2010

The Gallery - Here come the girls!

The Gallery this week at Sticky Fingers is themed - Here comes the girls! 

I was going to use a photo of myself and my best friends but something else has come up and i'm sure they will understand.

Here comes the girl!

Check out the concentration involved in a few steps!

I had no idea you could feel this proud.

Tuesday, 5 October 2010

Facing my fears - The Gym Induction.

It is time to stop the talking and start the doing. I have to say i was very very nervous about my induction to the point that i could only describe it as over coming a phobia. My stomach was churning at the thought of the people i had to talk to there, the equipment collapsing on my head, and the obvious high risk of just falling over walking up the stairs. Mentally i had every angle covered in fear. 

So with my sports bag packed and frankly looking a sight, they just don't go with any outfit. I headed off to the gym. 

My personal trainer  Chris seemed to not notice my deep set fear and just talked to me like a normal person. Inside i was eyeing every piece of equipment trying to think how on earth i was going to make it through this next hour without killing myself. After 5 minutes warming up on the exercise bike so Chris could gage how fit/unfit i was, i was actually starting to feel a bit more relaxed. People were not staring at the freakish woman with no idea what she was doing and after the first set of weights equipment was undertaken i actually was breathing like a human again. My heart was not in my mouth and i was ...shock horror enjoying it.

As we went around Chris made a program up for me that i am to do each time i attend. Its a mixture of cardio and weights and do you know what, i love it.  I feel i have missed a vocation when i use the rowing machine, possibly the most fun you can have with your clothes on.

It was not all plain sailing, at the start i had explained to Chris my fear of the treadmill and he brushed it off and of course told me i'd be fine. I was terrified as he talked me through the controls and i flinched every time he waved his finger near a button convinced i would immediately fly off the back. Even after he had explained this actually can't happen, it really didn't help. I was rubbish and held on for dear life. 

Not to worry though as Chris explained i can replace the treadmill in my program with the cross trainer which i love nearly as much as the rowing machine. When i'm on the cross trainer i feel light and like i'm walking on the moon, although i have found too much 'walking on the moon' thoughts make it more likely you might fall off.

I finish off my program with abdominal crunches to remove all traces of the 'mummy tummy' and the good news all you c-section mums take note, i can't feel a thing. My stomach nerves are gone and even though the muscles are working i cannot feel the burn. 

That (along with a huge personal achievement) made my day.

Saturday, 2 October 2010

Manny or Nanny?

As the actress Keeley Hawes has hired a manny to look after her kids it has fired up discussion on men working in childcare again.

Does it matter if you nanny is male or female?

Would you have issue if your child had a male teacher at school or nursery?

After working in the childcare industry i will say now that any man that wanted to work in one of my nurseries i grabbed with both hands (not literally you can get done for that kind of thing!)
I have always been of the opinion that they add many things to the childs daycare experience and also the the work team balance. Many children are brought up in households with no strong male figure and i have always felt that is where a male figure in their education becomes really important.

At the same time i really do understand why so many men do not want to work in childcare. I have had several parents who have expressed balantent dislike for male staff members caring for their child, one who even removed their child on the days he worked simply because 'any man who works with kids is going to be weird'.

Sadly i think the biggest reason so few men work in childcare is because its such awful money, no man could be a main earner of a household on that money and at training stage they know this so from the start it is not considered an employment option. This is at great loss to our children.

The average day nursery worker gets paid less than a street cleaner or gardener. Fact.

Friday, 1 October 2010

The beginning of my journey...

There is an average amount of weight so 'they' say that most women put on during pregnancy. I took that figure and doubled it. I ate crap and used the whole 'its a big baby' and 'eating for two thing' way too far.

When Tabitha was born weighing in on the small side I knew I had some hard work to do to get back into my old jeans! I have managed since January to lose 2.5 stone through healthy diet and a few weeks on the Slim Fast Programme. I am not happy though I have the jeans on but I am still bigger than before. Pre Tabitha I was wearing a 10 on top and a 12 below, I never used to weigh myself I had no idea what I weighed. Happy with my size I could eat what i wanted and never gave it a second thought. Now I think about it all the time and could tell you from day to day what I weigh although I won't because I don't want anyone to know.

I am unhappy with my weight and I want so badly to be the way I was before I had Tabitha. Just to be able to stroll into high street stores and not have to go the back of the rail to find the bigger sizes, that look nothing like the size 8 at the front of the rail because it wasn't designed to be that big.

It frustrates me and makes me angry with myself for letting it happen, for getting so carried away in the excitement of having a baby I forgot myself and what else was important. You may be thinking 'silly girl' 'weight doesn't matter' but it does, it does to me.

I want to be slim, I want to be in those tight jeans, that is what makes me happy.

So enough is enough. I went and viewed my local gyms and chose the one I felt most comfortable at, I wrote  to their press office and sent a pitch. In exchange for membership I would journal my use of their facilities and my progress to all you other mums that want to be in 'those' jeans too.

I want to show that its worth the effort, worth getting off the sofa, putting down the cake and eventually strutting out for a meal with your man wearing those jeans and some massive heels.

My journey starts next week with three times weekly visits to Nuffield Heath Fitness and Wellbeing Gym.