Sunday, 30 October 2011

More yoghurt m'duck!

Baby Badger has been astounding me for some time over just how much she understands. She has just started communicating clearly back to us, obviously for in the areas that she considers to be the most important, one of those areas being food (she is her father's daughter...).

I say "Are you hungry? Would you like something to eat?". She signs for food  (a hand tapping the corner of her mouth) and legs it into the kitchen! She finishes her plateful and a very definite "MORE" is uttered. This weekend's huge achievement revolves around our fall back food: plain Greek yoghurt. It's been a staple of her diet for a while, having been introduced by me after seeing just how much sugar was in the baby yoghurts and fromage frais. She loves it, and has always been excited at the mere mention. On Friday evening she signed for it: she made the Y sign. Yes, I know that's only the first half of the sign, but give her a break, she's only 16 months old...!

We've been doing animal sounds for a while: "clip clop" for horse, "moo" (cow), "baa" (interchangeable for sheep and goat). Father Badger swears blind that she can also do "sss" for a snake but I've not heard it yet. The most amusing one is "duck", but with a distinct northern accent. The jury is out as to which side of the Pennines the accent spring from as there is a grandparent from both (and I've got a distinct southern accent). Other words include "ball" and "door". It's all great fun!

Image: Master isolated images /

Thursday, 20 October 2011

Life Circle Week Three - Goal Setting

It's time for week three of Life Circle. If you don't know what it is, head over to The Five Fs Blog.

This week's task is to set myself goals, as many as I think I need, and not to worry about fine-tuning them. Part two is to decide how I feel about the list (too big/small, too easy/difficult) and how committed I feel about achieving them.

Here goes with the list...

  1. Lose at least half a pound in weight every week until I am a healthy weight.
  2. Do some exercise every day, whether it is running or walking around the block at lunchtime.
  3. Complete the Couch to 5k program.
  4. Medium term: slim down enough to fit my pre-pregnancy clothes.
  5. Long term: slim down further to get down to a size 14.
  6. Finish painting Baby Badger's cupboards.
  7. Clear the remaining boxes from the conservatory.
  8. Sort out the boxes in the study.
  9. Sort out the boxes in the spare room.
  10. Get stuff into the loft.
  11. Sort out all the paperwork that needs filing.
  12. Sort out Baby Badger's savings.
  13. Make sure I see my local friends every month.
  14. Make an effort to catch up with distant friends.
  15. Try to get a "date night" with Father Badger at least every other month.

There's a fair amount there revolving around sorting out, filing and de-cluttering, but that's not surprising. The list itself isn't that scary, but I know just how many boxes there are and I have to admit that it's a bit of a daunting task.

With regards the health and fitness goals, I do seem to have my head in the sand at the moment. It's a motivation thing, especially given the last few weeks where life in general hasn't been going well. I know exactly what I need to do, and have great intentions, but I do eat when emotional, and sometimes I look at the biscuit and say "Sod it, I'm having it anyway", and that's not great on a daily basis.

I do feel committed to the list, as I know all of these things, if achieved, will make me very happy, but will definitely need support to achieve it.

Life Circle

Saturday, 15 October 2011

It's time for some good luck

It's been a rough few weeks. I'm no longer wallowing in self pity like I was last week, but things have definitely been better.

As mentioned before, my employer is going through a redundancy exercise, and two weeks later and we're still none the wiser over who is at risk (and unlikely to find out for another couple of weeks). The uncertainty is hard to deal with and I've not been sleeping well because of it. I've also been sharing the various colds that Baby Badger has brought back from nursery.

Father Badger is going through some stressful times at work (not redundancy). He's also having a spell of bad luck health-wise: over the last three weeks he's had mumps, a series of nasty colds and has now hurt his achilles tendon, so he's not his usual cheerful self.

Add into the mix the daily trips we've been taking to the county hospital to see my grandmother - she had a fall and my parents are abroad, but thankfully she returned home to her sheltered accommodation yesterday - and you can see that it's been a pretty exhausting few weeks.

This wasn't, however, meant to be a whinge, particularly as I'm aware that even with all of this added together I'm still very lucky to be in the life I am in. What it has highlighted to me is just how much Father Badger and I support each other when we're going through a bad patch. It's been highlighted as we're unfortunate both to be a bit blue and we've been struggling to be that rock of stability for each other - I honestly think it's taken its toll in terms of our mood & outlook on life, and maybe even slowed down our recovery rate from the various sniffles.

It's time that luck turned around for us. We are going to beat the colds. Work will pick up for both of us, and I'm not going to worry about the redundancy unless it happens (although I may well be uploading my CV to a couple of sites, best to be prepared and all that). Positive thinking all the way.

Image: Cecelia /

Thursday, 13 October 2011

Life Circle Week Two - Life Plan

It's time for week two of Life Circle. If you don't know what it is, head over to The Five Fs Blog.

This week's task involves desribing my ideal life in five years' time, then  considering what I should be aiming for at various points along the way in order to achieve my ideal life. It's a tough one.

My ideal life in five years...

Father Badger and I will still be in our current home, but it will be in a much better state. The insurance company will have dealt with the subsidence and our kitchen will be crack-free. The rest of downstairs will be redecorated, eliminating the hideous colour scheme (including salmon pink coving) from the previous owners. Our conservatory will be box-free, as will the study and spare room upstairs. My home will be de-cluttered.

Baby Badger will be happy & healthy, most likely with a little brother or sister. (For some reason, whenever I think about this I visualise twins, but that's in no way an aspiration, and hopefully not a prophecy!)

Father Badger and I will also be happy and healthy. I will be a sensible weight and happily jogging two laps of the village (which is three miles) three times per week. We will also both be in jobs that we enjoy, earning enough to be comfortable yet not high pressured enough to impact on a work-life balance.

Where should I be in two year's time to achieve this?

I'm guessing I should be on maternity leave! A good portion of sorting out the house (decluttering of boxes and stored items) needs to be done, but the decorating is less important - I'm happy separate the cosmetic aspects for a later date. I need to be employed by a company with a good maternity policy - I don't believe I should bring a second child into a life where we cannot afford to support it; also I want to be able to take my full year to give it the best supported start in life possible.

And one year...?

Much the same as two years from now except pregnant rather than on leave. It sounds as though I'm obsessing about baby making but I'm not: if Baby badger is destined to be an only child then so be it; I am and I don't feel as though I suffered. I am, however, aware that I'm well into my thirties and that having a child is such a life-changing event that it really does need to be planned.

What about six months from now?

I need to be fit and healthy. I need to at least be down to pre-pregnancy weight, but ideally well below 12 stone. It's achievable if only I had some perseverance with regards eating and exercise.

I should make a start with the decluttering. We've been chipping away at it for years but barely a dent has been made and it's time to stop giving excuses.

Life Circle

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Falling apart

I feel as though my world is falling apart.

Last week my employer announced a restructure. If you have worked in the corporate world you'll recognise that word for what it is: redundancies. Various figures were given: X percent of July's headcount, not including employees in unit Y. What it boils down to is that probably one in five of us in the UK are going to lose our jobs. To make it worse, because of the overall number of people likely to be affected, the company legally have to follow a consultation process that means it could be several weeks (and in the extreme case, up to three months) before we find out who is at risk.

The common sense part of me looks at what they are doing and actually approves. They are a good solid company, been around for decades, and have used similar restructures a couple of times in the past in order to stay functional and profitable in uncertain financial times. I honestly think from a business point of view that they are doing the right thing (although obviously that will be no consolation if it turns out to be me).

The career-minded part of me is irritated but not overly worried. At the risk of sounding egotistical, I am good at what I do and I know I will find a new job (also, I am not proud and would take whatever work I could find). I'm irritated because I enjoy what I do and where I do it, and it's hugely convenient in terms of location (six miles from home) and childcare arrangements.

The emotional part of me (the part that seemed to appear at the birth of my daughter) is absolutely distraught. I cannot bear the thought of going back to the long hours and commuting of my previous job. I can't imagine arriving home just before (or worse, just after) her bedtime; becoming a stranger during the week; missing out on her childhood. I don't want to be too tired to be mum. Every time I think about it I want to cry, and I've been very close to tears at work (very uncharacteristic).

I find myself hoping that the consultation period passes quickly; that those involved come to a conclusion quickly so that we can all be put out of our misery. The waiting is killing me.

Image: worradmu /

Sunday, 2 October 2011

Where did Autumn go?

It's glorious weather, isn't it? An Indian summer! We should all take advantage of it while we can!

I hate this weather. I don't tan. I burn, come out in a rash and eventually get blisters. If I go out in this kind of weather I either have to cover up from head to toe (hot) or lather myself in sunblock (icky). Yes I am being grumpy, so there.

Weekends are precious free time and I'm wasting that time because I'm hot and lethargic, and I don't want to go out. Because it's late in the year, by the time it's a sensible temperature outside it'll be getting dark. Yes, I am moaning.

Don't tell me I'll miss it when the clouds and rain arrive. I'll stick on my waterproofs and go frolic in the cool fresh air.

Am I the only one that feels this way?!

Image: tungphoto /
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