Sunday, November 11, 2007

"Look me; I pretty!"

We're not the only ones to have enjoyed going to our new health club and using the facilities. Lauren really enjoys going as there is so much there for her to do. We've started taking her to swimming lessons but as well as sports facilities there are also children's playgrounds, a very large sand pit and a big bouncy castle / trampoline area. It's fab!

On the first day we went as a family, Lauren played on the climbing frame and slides.

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She had a wonderful time, as this particular climbing frame has three slides and two turrets to explore.

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There are even two telescopes on the climbing frame; Lauren was quick to check them out.

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You can see how much fun she had!

Whilst we were at the club, we bumped into some of her little friends from nursery. After a leisurely lunch, they all played in the soft play area together.

They invented a little jumping game, which they thoroughly enjoyed.

Listen to all the giggling!

During this jumping game, Lauren was really quite chatty with her little friends. I was really tickled to hear her say to the little boy, "Look me, Tony; I pretty!"

I think this was because we'd put her in one of her new skirts and I had told her how pretty she looked in it. She was obviously really proud of her appearance that day.

My beautiful girl!

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Lauren and Bravia Bunny

Last weekend, the family went to the What Hi-Fi Show at the Hammersmith Novotel. Whilst Jase talks about the techy stuff, I thought I'd say a bit about what the girls and I did.

You've probably seen the adverts for the Sony TVs (the Bravia range) on television with the wonderful animated rabbits running through a city. If you haven't seen it, click on the box below.

One of the first stands we visited at the show was the Sony stand. Whilst Jase was drooling over the TVs, Lauren became besotted with the Bravia Bunny. Here, she sees one of the Bunnies for the first time.

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I think she wanted to take them home...

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Every time we walked away, she would drag us back to see the bunnies.

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Here, in this clip she gives the Bravia bunny a kiss! It was just so sweet!

As a day out, it was a huge success as the girls were both very well behaved and we all enjoyed it as a family. I was so glad that Lauren enojyed it as much as we did, especially as some of the exhibitors made a real effort to keep her entertained whilst we were looking around. At one stand (I think at the excellent Dali listening room) the demonstator from Dali even put on "Happy Feet" for Lauren (on their amazing home cinema system). What a nice man! Lauren was really happy and wanted to stay to watch the entire movie.

It's certainly building up our confidence at handling the two girls out and about.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Health drive

As life has been more settled with Jocelyn and we've got to grips with things, we've decided to try to get fit and improve our health. At a recent health check, Jase was again warned that he was overweight, and I am also eager to get trim after the birth. However, both of us are strongly against all forms of crash and yo-yo dieting.

We decided on two things. Firstly, changing the fundamentals of how we eat and trying a low-GI diet, and secondly doing more exercise.

We picked a low-GI diet because (to be fair) it's really about a healthier way of eating rather than a diet. I was surprised after reading the book that my initial thoughts on what was low-GI were slightly inaccurate. Obvious things like potatoes, rice and white bread are no good because they burn up quickly (so no jacket potatoes, unlike all too many people trying other diets), but also brown bread, pasta, parsnips, swedes and broad beans are also in this category. However, chocolate and sweet potatoes are low-GI!

We now eat many more vegetables, pulses and beans. This has also coincided with my recent passion for Indian food, after being inspired by our trip to Benares on Jase's birthday. This cannot be a bad thing. Already, Jase has lost half a stone.

We've also joined a local health club. We've been members of gyms before and it never lasted because we rapidly became demotivated (as many people do). However, we picked this club because it has excellent facilities for children, including a creche. We looked around the creche and it was excellent with lovely staff and fantastic facilities. They also run activities and clubs for older kids during their holidays. I can put Jocelyn in the creche once she reaches 12 weeks so that I can go to sessions in the gym or attend classes.

For Lauren, they have swimming and football sessions for now (which we are keen to try with her on days when she isn't at nursery). When she's older, she can try ballet, tennis and karate amongst other things. There were also wonderful play areas in the grounds for her.

Despite the expense (and yes, it was expensive) we are really pleased to have done this in order to get fit. I went to my first mother and baby yoga class today, which was great fun and allowed me to meet other mums. I was surprised at how much I enjoyed it and will definitely be going again (as well as trying some of their other classes).

Yes, going to the gym is boring but going to the classes (which I hadn't done before)is much more fun. We also each get a personal trainer included with our membership fee as well; this is definitely a bonus.

I also can't wait to try to heated outdoor pool.

The club has many social events as well; on Monday, we are going to the Fireworks night with the girls. They've promised us that it'll be spectacular and we can't wait.

Let's hope we remain this motivated a few months down the line!


Lauren has been at nursery one day less since I started my maternity leave, so is now at home 4 days a week. We did this because we wanted to save a bit of money and because we thought she would like to spend some time with us and getting to know her little sister.

This has meant that we've had to think up things to keep her entertained. At her age, she isn't able to sit doing anything for any length of time because her attention span is quite short.

We've been out to the park quite a lot; this stops us all from becoming couch potatoes and means that we all get fresh air.

Autumn has been in really glorious in London this year; we've had many mild days with sunshine. The trees have also put on a fantastic display of colour (apparently because of our wet summer).

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Here's one of Daddy and the girls in Ravenscourt Park. Lauren was taking a break to eat a biscuit after tearing around the playground.

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Mama also had her hands full with the girls!

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On a separate day, she had fun playing "monkey".

She also enjoyed kicking the leaves about with Mama.

Jocelyn has really grown. Last weekend, we estimated her weight at 10lb 4oz; however, our bathroom scales are not hugely accurate. I will get her weighed properly next week when she has her immunisations. She has also been much more alert and active; she often looks around, smiles and coos at us.

In the second clip, you can hear Lauren talking. She was desperate to have herself on camera!

So I took the next clip of Lauren. In this video, Lauren wanted to be the director for a change! She was desperate to see what I was filming.

Lauren has also learned to do a few magic tricks! Here is the little wizard in action. She's trying to put a cloth over my hand, blow on it and make something disappear (not sure what though, as she didn't put anything in my hand at the start!). She wasn't pleased when Daddy tried to interfere ("No! Leave it!"). We were trying very hard not to giggle.

There have also been many opportunities for cuddles with Jocelyn. Here are some pictures of the two girls together.

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Here are some photos of Daddy and Jocelyn today.

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I think she's getting more gorgeous every day!

Ghosts and Ghouls

On Halloween, we were inundated by Trick-or-Treaters. As Jase observed, times have changed since we were kids.

I had forgotten that we would have to supply treats so had to rustle up a few things from my store cupboards. This did mean that all the local kids who knocked on our doors got healthy snacks, as we don't have sweets or junk food in the house.

Although one little girl was clearly disappointed not to get a fistful of sweets, I think the others weren't too disappointed with their organic biscuits (sweetened with apple juice only), raisins, apples and low-GI muffins. Certainly, the accompanying parents seemed pleased!

Lauren took it all very seriously. They had had a Halloween party at nursery and I think she took it a bit too much to heart. Here she is looking a little worried.

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It turns out she was worried that the monsters would get in the house!

Of course, she got lots of hugs from Mama. My poor little girl!