What a difference a week can make to your life. It feels as though so much has happened in the last seven days and it shows no sign of slowing down anytime soon; well I guess when I finally get a day to rest I will undoubtedly sleep like an obese badger on its back!
Millie had her school observation this week which is something new that her school has introduced; the teachers followed Millie around watching how she interacted with others, approached problems and responded in lessons and then documented it to report back to the parents. Like a parents evening but instead of it being about the work the children produce, it’s more about how the children interact and progress. So I was a little nervous that I’d be served with a whole list of naughty behaviour or goals for improvement as most days when I ask Millie what she learned at school she says “Nothing really Mum”, which I’m sure after six hours isn’t true, but it’s obviously because she’s too cool for school at the age of five.
So when Millie’s teacher opened up her file on the school desk and I perched on the edge of the miniature children’s chair, palms moist with nerves and anticipation, I was absolutely astounded to hear how well Millie has been doing. She is excelling in phonics, reading and writing and is incredibly helpful around school. She has managed to finish her work and then set herself new tasks to do, as well as helping to explain to and teach the other children in class. And she has been sent to the head teacher on many occasions for achieving so much. I sat on my little plastic chair and grinned at Millie’s teacher, my heart fluttering and filled with sheer pride. She has always been my little star and is such a polite and helpful little girl, but since starting school she’s developed a sense of coolness and doesn’t mention as many things about her day anymore despite my prying. But it obviously means that she’s still being her usual helpful and wonderful self at school, she’s just too cool to tell her Mummy about it!
In the week I visited the Florence Nightengale Hospice at Stoke Mandeville Hospital to meet with the fundraising staff with the aim to create an awareness video for them. At Christmas Luca and I took part in a charity carol concert in the town centre to raise funds for the hospice as part of us wanting to give something back to the local community and hep others, and as I know my way around a computer a little I also offered to donate my time to create a video to help them to raise funds and awareness for the hospice and I’m pleased that they took me up on my offer.
I have no experience with hospice’s so I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect when I walked through the door to meet the team. I had visions of elderly people in sterile rooms wired to machines and a sickening silence aside from the droning beep of the life support machines; but it couldn’t have been more further from the truth. Everybody was so happy and full of spirit it touched my heart and I can’t even begin to explain the love that I felt for complete strangers. Patients were baking in the kitchen and it smelt amazing, others chitter chattering over sandwiches in the conservatory and playing cards, the garden looked well loved and cheerful with a rockery and flower beds and arbour despite it being winter, and the family room felt as though I was walking into my grandparents home; soft furnishings, a homely welcoming sofa and the same style clock that my mum used to have in her kitchen! I had to stop myself from pulling up a chair and settling down for a spot of lunch and gossip about Alan Titchmarsh.
And as the staff showed me around the rooms I realised how much they do for so many, how strong and selfless they all are and just how much work they have to do to keep the doors open before they even support their patients and make their stay as special as they do. It wasn’t sad and scary at all, it was beautiful and happy, exactly how life should be and it meant so much to me to see what they had done for others. So over the coming month I will be filming around the hospice and talking to the staff and patients, in the hope that I might capture just one ounce of the magic that I felt on my visit; to inform the public of the amazing work that the staff do and how heavily they rely on fundraising to provide the amenities to their patients. I hope that you will follow my efforts and help me to raise awareness for Florence Nightengale by sharing my blog with your friends and family. We all have the ability to help so many, it just takes a little of your time and the ability to give.
I am literally so excited for this week, I’m in danger of exploding or clapping my arms off like an over-wound wind-up toy monkey. Today I am having my eye-surgery consultation with Optimax in Milton Keynes to establish if I am suitable for laser eye surgery and if all goes well then I will be going under the laser this Friday! And tomorrow I am having my eyebrows tattoo’d which is such a lovely treat, even though it involves needles and blood, I can’t wait! You can keep up with my progress on my beautifying in the Product Reviews section on the home page as I will be blogging my progress and posting videos of before, during and after all of my treatments. It’s so exciting and lovely to have a bit of a pamper finally because I’ve neglected my girliness since having children and need a bit of a sparkle once more.
Today is the start of week three of the eight week Insanity Workout that I’m on and it is definitely a challenge. I do forty-five minutes of cardio six days a week and it’s enough to destroy me so my poor exercise bike has been made into a clothes horse until I complete the sixty day course. I was feeling drained last night and nodded off on the sofa whilst watching a film with Luca and told him a good catchup on sleep would sort me right out, and his response was matter-of-factly “It’s obviously your period sapping you, you’re due on this week.” He said what!? My jaw literally slammed to the floor and I goggle-eyed him over, since when do men track their partners periods? Even I don’t know when my period is due, but that’s part of the beauty of having a five year contraceptive coil and a hormone imbalance. But somehow he was absolutely right, my period does drain me and make me weak and pathetic on the build up to and during that week, and I felt a little embarrassed and exposed that he identified Mother Nature’s impending visit before I did!
So I pulled a leg muscle this week when I was working out and it absolutely killed; but I’m no longer feeling sick when I workout and I’m managing to go all the way through the routines without stopping which is a major improvement, even though my sweat makes me smell like a musty onion. If you want to see my daily progress check it out in the Shaun T blog in the Weightloss section on my home page.
And I was greeted with a two pound loss this week which I suspect may have been due to the fact that I ate a loaf of bread, chinese takeout, three curries and a load of cream eggs the previous week and have tried to eat a bit more healthily since. So I’m feeling trimmed and toned, muscular and powerful and in the best shape of my life. After my sixty day regime finishes I doubt I’ll workout as often as it is a very involved and intense routine and I think three or four days exercise per week is possibly more humane, after all I don’t want to be a body builder, just regain my muscle tone after having babies.
Following a lovely Sunday with the family it’s time to reflect on Gabriele’s weekly sleep routine, and just seeing the number of dots on his chart makes me want to cry.
He is still a little night time yo-yo waking constantly for a suckle on his bottle and then going back to sleep. I’ve looked like a zombie for the past year and a half now and it shows no signs of getting better. We’re considering moving him out of our room and leaving him to self soothe at night but the thought of letting him cry himself to sleep all alone absolutely breaks my heart. I’ve held out for so long now to try and coax him to sleep all night but I’ve exhausted every avenue and there’s no other choice. We’ll just have to see how sleep-deprived and desperate I get to determine how long he has left in our room! Poor Mummy and Daddy and cheeky baby G!