How to survive the summer holidays

So, firstly an apology because that title is misleading, I don’t actually know how to survive the summer holidays, I’ve never had to do it before! As this is Molly’s first summer break between finishing nursery (which, by the way, I was not emotionally prepared for!) and starting big school, I am approaching it both with excitement and trepidation. The fact that I’m still on maternity leave means that I get to spend the whole 6 weeks with the kids so yay to that but also, oh my lord WHAT am I going to do for those 6 weeks?! So, to add extra pressure on myself, I figured I could blog my way through the holidays with updates on where we’ve been, what we’ve done and what level of wanting to kill each other we’re at each day. Sound good? Ok great, so…

Day One:

Kids (apparently) slept in, however awoke the moment I tried to ever so quietly tiptoe past their doors (do I set off a sensor?!) and proceeded to cry until I plonked them at the breakfast table and proceeded to prance around the kitchen to candi Staton’s Young hearts run free. They were not impressed with my dance moves but they did at least stop crying long enough to stare disapprovingly at me so that was a win in my book.

Breakfast (and dancing) over we had to figure out what on earth we were going to do that day. It was, of course, raining so that ruled out most of the ideas on my list (oh yes, there is a list!) so we settled on a Museum; fun, educational, DRY! Great. We all set off complete with best buds (luckily mine, Molly’s and Denny’s best mates happen to be all part of the same family which makes hanging out really easy – I recommend trying to go for one family unit when selecting best friends, really so much easier! Excitement levels were high, SO high in fact that Dennis decided napping was not necessary and as a result was fairly cranky. Molly’s behavior was questionable (but that’s probably a whole separate blog post in the making) and as a result my stress levels were fairly high, but it was all made worth it when Molly later piped up “I’ve had such a nice day!”  and gushingly told Grandma aaaaaaall about the dinosaurs and the Mummies and and and….. totally worth it. It’s funny, I had no idea how much she’d enjoyed herself as I spent the entire trip round telling her to stop running, not to touch, to slow down.

So, day one down, we’re all knackered, none of us slept, but on the plus side now two of us are asleep and the other one is enjoying a takeaway. Happy days. What will day two bring and will we survive it?

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New addition

I sat down tonight with the intention of updating my blog as I was thinking to myself that it had been a while. It had been so long in fact, that I couldn’t even remember my password to log on-whoops! So apologies aside for my utter rubbishness, here come the excuses. Basically, this…

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This is Dennis. He’s Molly’s little brother and he was born in October 2016. Although I probably can’t blame him entirely for my laziness when it’s come to blogging, I’m going to give it a good try. I’m not a good pregnant person really, I’m like one of those pregnant women who buys pregnancy yoga DVD’s, promises herself that she’s going to join an aquanatal class and eat uber healthily and then spends the next 9 months pretty much using the pregnancy as a reasonable excuse to be lazy, eat everything in sight and then complain about how sick and uncomfortable she feels and how fat she’s getting. Fast forward 3 months to after bambino arrives and I’m regretting these decisions. So it’s back to the sugar free eating and discovering how to parent two children, AT THE SAME TIME!!! The big question is, do I change the blog to Molly & Dennis’s mummy?!?! Brace yourselves people….here we go on a new adventure!

Oh and here’s some more pictures, just because, y’know…cuuuuuuute!

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dennis-world

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Hello, my name is Emma and I’m an emotional self harmer

Hello, my name is Emma and I am an emotional self harmer. My life is not fullfilled because I will not allow it to be. I rarely allow myself to accept praise or congratulate myself on something done well and I am constantly looking for ways to better myself. I will never be fully happy unless I learn to relax my ideals and accept myself for what I am.

I emotionally self harm on a daily basis and I leave no stone unturned, I will metophorically beat myself up about most things, I’m not picky! These are all genuine thoughts that I have in an average week:

 

“I’ve been at work all day and missed out on my daughter and I now I’m rely on the TV to entertain us both while dinner cooks. I should be running around with her or playing with her or something but I can’t quite summon the energy. I’m a bad mum”

“I forgot to text my friend back until the next day, I’m a terrible friend, I don’t know why people bother with me”

“I just had my second handful of dried fruit and nut today, I’ve ruined my clean eating for the day now, Im probably going to gain loads of weight now”

“I’ve woken up too late to work out this morning, I’m probably going to gain loads of weight now”

“I haven’t spent any quality time with my husband in ages, I’m a terrible wife”

“The house is an absolute tip, I’m rubbish at looking after myself and my family”

“My childs development will slow down unless I stop being lazy and look up some more classes she can attend. Why is this not my priority? I’m a rubbish Mum”

“Why am I still thinking about sugar? I clearly haven’t weaned myself off it at all. I’m obviously still addicted and therefore can’t do anything right”

 

Some of those may ring true with you, some of them may sound ridicuous but they all seem like a massive weight on my shoulders to me and when combined together they can serve to make me feel pretty damn rubbish about myself.

 

So, why do I do it? It’s second nature to me. It’s not something that I’ve trained myself to do conciously to try and make myself a better person, although I’m sure somewhere deep down that is the purpose of it. I have tried to relax, be kinder to myself and it works, sometimes, for a while, but then I will (in my eyes), ‘fail’ at something else and it starts again and one thing leads to anoher, so if I feel that I am ‘failing’ in one part of my life, I will start to scrutinise other parts as well.

I hit rock bottom a few years when something (I can’t even remember what now it was THAT stupid!) went too far and I ended up a little bit troubled, extremely paranoid about various things and not finding any joy in anything. It was a daily struggle to stay out of my bed. I was diagnosed with depression, like so many people are, and was offered councilling. Through this I learned that I can’t always be in control of everything, like I felt I should be, and nor does anyone expect me to be. Now I realise that unless I relax and stop constantly trying to be better, better, better then I will miss out on life and all the lovely things that it has to offer me.

Now when I hear that inner criticism, I try to reason with it that it doesn’t matter if I’ve gained a few pounds, or I missed a work out, the house is a mess or I haven’t been able to summon the energy to play with the littlun after a full day at work, because lord knows I’m damn good Mum the rest of the time and she knows that. We’re all under a lot of pressure from various elements of our lives and we should all try to be a bit kinder to ourselves. Would we be that cruel or rude to a friend? Of course not, so why do we do it to ourselves? Because we feel responsible to keep ourselvs on track that’s why. But there’s on track and then there’s demented because you can’t achieve the un-achievable. Of course you can’t…that’s why it’s called un-achievable for goodness sake!

Post Christmas Detox: Day 12

Sometimes my days aren’t as clean as I would like them. I have two options here, I can beat myself up about it and obsess over eating better for the rest of the week, or I can accept that I didn’t eat as well as I might have done because I’m human and sometimes I fancy something dirty to eat. Eating badly occassionally is not a problem, I have essentially adjusted the way that I eat so that 90% of the time I am putting whole, nourishing, healthy fooods into my body so I don’t want to start viewing the odd burger or piece of chocolate cake as a “slip up” but more something that I’m mindfully deciding to eat occasionally because I can. The problem lies in comfort eating, when I don’t choose to eat something but feel compelled to because I’ve had a rubbish day or I feel under the weater. THIS is what I need to keep an eye on.

That being said I seem to have developed a nasty little dried fruit and nut habbit that I’d like to try and knock on the head!

This is what I ate today.

 

Breakfast…

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“Apple Pie Porridge” (made with porridge oats, oat milk, cinnamon, grated apple, chia seeds and topped with walnuts)

 

Snack…

Handful of dried fruit and nuts

 

Lunch…

2 carrots dipped in organic hummus, 2 seeded, wholewheat crackers topped with marmit, couple of strawberries, handful of almonds and a slice of home made banana bread topped with peanut butter

 

Snack…

Handful of dried fruit and nuts

 

 

Dinner…

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Gnocchi with homemade tomato sauce with chorizo and topped with cheese

Home made salted popcorn

Post Christmas Detox: Day 11

So this morning I thought we’d try something a little different for breakfast since I was getting a little bored of porridge (don’t get me wrong, I still love a bit of porridge but just, not every day!) so because me and the littlun were having a day off together we thought we’d do smoothies and banana bread (which was more like cake it turns out…cake for breakfast? Yessssss!) It was a pretty good start to the day it turns out!

 

This is what I ate today..

 

Breakfast…

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A slice of home made Sarah Wilson’s ‘not quite banana bread’ topped with peanut butter and a strawberry smoothie (containing full fat yogurt, strawberries, 1/2 avacado, cinnamon and oat milk)

Lunch…

Tomato and courgette soup, buttered vegetables (cauliflower, broccoli and peas), carrot sticks and hummus and a handful of beetroot crisps

Mug of buttermint tea

Dinner…

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Leftover pulled pork enchilada filling with brown rice spaghetti and topped with cheese

Home made raw vegan brownie (okay it’s probably not great to have this 3 days running but it’s all gone now and it will be a while before I make any more!) with whipped coconut milk and fresh raspberries

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Exercise…

I had a rest day today but I did a fair bit of walking with the littlun

Post Christmas Detox: Day 10

I was very excited yesterday to discover a Sarah Wilson book that I hadn’t seen before called “I quit sugar: simplicious” it’s all about living a low sugar lifestyle, using whole foods, and doing so cheaply; not wasting anything! It’s amazing and has some beautiful recipes (I’m baking the ‘not quite banana bread’ right now in fact! Recipe to follow…) I’ve felt a bit stuck in a food rut recently so I’m hoping this book will inspire me to try some new things.

This is what I ate today.

 

Breakfast…

Porridge made with oats, oatmilk, chia seeds, peanut butter, cinnamon and topped with raspberries

A glass of coconut water and a mug of hot water with apple cyder vinegar

 

Lunch…

Leftover pulled pork enchiladas with spicy cauliflower rice and mixed salad leaves

 

Mid-afternoon snack…

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Small handful of mixed dried fruit and nuts

Dinner…

Vegetable stirfry with udon noodles

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Home made raw vegan chocolate brownie with banana chocolate icecream (frozen banana, vanilla essence and cacao powder)

Exercise…

30 minutes of lower body work out on the Wii

 

Post Christmas Detox: Day 9

Back to work and my eating dynamics totally change. Because I’ve allowed myself to relax at the weekend, I always feel sort of obliged to make an extra special effort through the week, and particularly at the beginning of the week when I always have that ‘January feeling’ but on a smaller scale…do you know what I mean? I also have less time to think about food because I’m usually just too busy so I tend not to snack and I eat smaller and simpler meals through the day, think soups, salads etc…

This is what I ate today.

 

Breakfast…

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Porridge oats made with oat milk, raspberries, peanut butter, chia seeds and cinnamon and topped with pecan nuts

 

Lunch…

Home made lentil, parsnip and carrot soup, 2 brown rice crackers topped with marmite and a green apple

 

Mid-afternoon snack…

A small handful of mixed dried fruit and nuts

 

Dinner…

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Home made pulled pork enchiladas with betroot salad and spicy cauliflower rice

Small piece of home made raw vegan brownie (made with dates, maple syrup and nuts)

 

Exercise…

40 minutes of yoga

 

Post Christmas Detox: Day 7

Today was another day of running around and so we ate out for two of three daily meals, not great but I don’t like to let clean eating rule my life. We went swimming with the littlun and I managed a few laps of the pool, I also managed to squeeze in a work out in the morning before anyone got up so I didn’t feel too guilty about having a few treats. I tend to relax a little bit at the weekend anyway as it stops it feeling so much like I’m doing a diet. I know the topic of ‘cheat days’ have been discussed at great length amongst the experts and there are differing opinions as to whether they’re a good thing or not but to be honest, I don’t go wild and it works for me at the moment, so why not?!

On reflection today was a bit heavy on the mozzarella but I’ve only really just noticed that so…oh well!

Here’s what I ate today.

 

Breakfast…

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Porridge made with oats, oatmilk, peanut butter, chia seeds and cinnamon, topped with fresh raspberries and walnuts

A glass of coconut water and a mug of hot water with apple cyder vinegar

 

Lunch…

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Tuna and mozzarella toastie on wholemeal bread and a smoothie (made with strawberries, coconut milk, avocado and honey)

Dinner…

Vegetable antipasto which included mixed vegetables marinated in olive oil, mixed olives, salad and mozzarella

Chicken stuffed with basil, mozarella and wrapped in parma ham accompanied by cauliflower, carrots and broccoli in butter.

Exercise…

I managed 30 minutes of lower body work out on the Wii and 4 laps of the swimming pool

Post Christmas Detox: Day 6

Today I was all over the place, both literally and figuratively so I sort of had to grab food where and when I could. Eating clean in this way can be a challenge but I’m getting more and more used to what choices to make and have learned to check labels very carefully. For example, I popped into Marks & Spencers to grab a salad for lunch and with the exception of one (a garden side salad) all the pre-prepared salads had dressings which contained sugar. Maybe salad sometimes isn’t the healthiest option?!

Here’s what I ate today.

 

Breakfast…

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Pancakes topped with full fat yogurt, pecan nuts, raspberries and a drizzle of honey (my weekend treat!)

A glass of coconut water and a mug of hot water with apple cyder vinegar

 

Lunch…

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Two brown rice crackers topped with peanut butter and a raspberry smoothie (made with raspberries, oatmilk, blueberries, banana, chia seeds, oats and cinnamon)

Mid-afternoon snack…

Garden side salad, carrot sticks and hummus and a bag of mixed nuts

Dinner…

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Chorizo, Kale and lentil casserole with a slice of sourdough bread and butter

Exercise…

I managed 40 minutes of yoga with the littlun (she managed about 10 minutes!)

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Post Christmas Detox: Day 5

Today was all about eating what I fancied. I never EVER have toast with butter, but today I did and it tasted amazing! It snowed a lot today and I wanted warm, comforting food so that’s what I had.

 

This is what I ate today.

 

Breakfast…

2 slices of sourdough toast with butter and home made fig jam (I spotted the recipe in a cookery book I got for Christmas and amended it slightly so it used coconut sugar instead of cane sugar. Recipe to follow soon!)

Glass of coconut water an a mug of hot water with apple cyder vinegar

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Lunch…

Handful of mixed nuts and raisins

Wholegrain rice with pesto and nuts (this was not one of the better recipes I’ve tried and it ended up going in the bin I’m afraid…) and a handful of fresh raspberries

Dinner…

Chicken and kale pesto lasagne with sweet potato chips, mixed leaves and grated beetroot

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Exercise…

I managed 30 minutes of lower body work out on my Wii Fit this morning