Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Not expecting anything

For the third time since I started having children, I was asked the other day if I was pregnant. I'm not. The first time that I was asked, I was actually expecting, but it was early days and I hadn't told everyone yet, the second time it was (mostly, I hope) due to a misunderstanding, rather than my size, but the other day it was entirely because of my stomach. Or to put it another way, it was down to my food baby.

Not expecting anything
Food baby a few months ago

Food baby has been with me a while now, after having Kai, I wasn't too worried, I was planning on having another baby shortly.  Food baby went away again after Mahe, for a while at least.  The stress of moving to the other side of the world with two small children meant that the weight fell off.  It came back a little after Lena, and then again after Anja.  Two and a bit years on though, and food baby is getting quite big.

Food baby
Bad angle but there's food baby

I know that food baby is really my fault, if I didn't keep feeding it, it wouldn't keep growing. I can't give up chocolate though......  I should do a bit more exercise, I tried to tell myself that chasing a very active toddler around was enough to trim down, but it's not, it's really not.  So, I'm sorry food baby, but enough is enough, you've got to go.

when food baby was smaller
When food baby wasn't so big

I know that I'm never going to be as slim as I once was, not only have I had four children since then, and like it or not my caesarian scar is always going to be there, but I could be a little trimmer and have a little less belly. So, it's down in black and white now, food baby is going to go.  I'm going to cut back a little bit, control the portion sizes and cut down on tow many biscuits and the like at night.  I'm also fairly sure that processed food is never a good thing, and while I do try to eat too much of it, I'm going to really make an effort to avoid it from here on in.  Most of all though, I'm going to try and do some regular exercise.  A bit more swimming, (actual swimming, not just standing around holding small children) a bit more walking and a bit of yoga.  My plan is that by the time Christmas dos come up, I'll feel a bit better about myself and at the very least food baby will be a bit smaller. Wish me luck....

Time to get rid of the food baby

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Eating together

The other day, actually it was a few weeks ago now, I heard a piece on the radio about how most families no longer sit down and eat together as a family.  I was a bit surprised, obviously I realised that there would be some families that didn't have a family meal together, but as it's something that we have always done I just assumed that everyone else did too.

Eating together

The more I thought about it though, the more sense it made.  There are heaps of people who are that busy doing things, that all being ready to eat, at the same time, is just out of the question.  I have friends who are either so late home from work themselves, or their partners are, that they couldn't expect the children to wait that long to eat.  As children get older, they often have all kinds of activities that mean eating together as a family, just isn't going to happen.

Crazy family tea time

The thing about eating together though, is that it's great for your family.  It's a chance to sit down together and catch up with what's been going on, find out what is happening.  It's also a great way to show your kids how to sit down and enjoy food, rather than bolting through a meal in a few seconds, just enjoying a meal as a social occasion. For younger kids, watching you eat is a great way to teach table manners, and to encourage eating different foods.  Now I'm not saying my kids are perfect in either of these respects, but they're not bad, and it all helps.

Eating together; part of family life

I remember when I was a child myself, we didn't always manage to sit down together for every meal, but even as I got older and things came up that kept us out of the house at the normal meal times, we always sat down all together on a Sunday for Sunday dinner.  I don't always do a Sunday roast now, but I try to do one as often as I can, and I hope that even as we all get busier and life gets more hectic, we can still sit down together to eat at least one day a week.

Do your family eat together?

Monday, 15 September 2014

Are you going to vote?

This isn't a blog about who I think you should vote for, in fact I'm not going to even mention the political parties, or who I am going to vote for. (Although if you know me well, you could probably make a pretty good guess.)  This blog is about actually voting, are you going to vote? I should perhaps also say that this is really directed at the coming New Zealand election, but really it applies to any election, any where in the World, and the New Zealand election isn't the only major political event on the World stage in which people are voting this week.  I'm not going to talk about Scotland either though, or Fiji for that matter.

The voter turn out in the last New Zealand election was 74.2%, which sounds like quite a few people, compared to the UK for example it's quite good, in their last election only 65.1% of voters turned out.  But, it still means that over a quarter of the people who are able to vote, didn't.  There are all kinds of reasons why people don't vote, but really everyone should vote.  It's easy to say that politics doesn't interest you, or that it doesn't matter who you vote for, they're all as bad as one another, but really that's not the point.

Are you going to vote, politics has an impact on every aspect of life.

It's really easy to fall into the trap of giving up on politics, especially with all that's currently going on, 'dirty politics' and the like.  It's all too easy to think that it's all corrupt and nothing to do with you.  But actually politics is all to do with everyone.  If you live in a country, drive on the roads, got to the doctors, shop in the shops, send your children to the schools, then all of those things mean that you are dealing with 'politics' every day of your life. There's no getting away from it, and although it's easy to think that it doesn't effect you, it really does, and placing your vote, whoever it is for, even if you go and spoil your paper rather than actually vote for a party, it's really important to actually use that vote.

People haven't always all been able to vote, people often remember that it was denied to Women, but it's easy to forget that at one time it was only the men of power who were able to have a say.  These days, we can all cast that vote, make our mark and try and influence the way that we are governed.  Don't waste that chance, you live in a place that allows you to do that, and many many people around the world, even today, don't have that luxury. Don't throw away your chance, use your vote, have your say.