Bill, Please!

LagosDad and I took Vins out for an early dinner this evening.
Vins doesn’t usually speak to people he doesn’t know (or people he does know, for that matter). But today was amazing. Once we’d finished and ready to leave, I heard him mumble, “Bill please.” He repeated himself a couple of times but the waiter didn’t hear him.
I told Vins that he had to say “Excuse me” first and then to ask and to use his manners. And he did it! “Excuse me! Can we have the bill please?”
Unbelievable! I am so thrilled with him at the moment!

Leaps and Bounds

I know one of my last posts was about Vins and how he’s making so much progress socially – but this one is too. I’m just so proud of him.
Firstly, his teacher said he’s doing really well in school. He’s getting more involved and participating more in whole class activities – especially the singing and dancing ūüôā
We still have meltdowns at home. But they’re less frequent than before. And he’s become more independent.
He’s always been happier in smaller groups. But if he spent a whole day with a friend and then I turned up or if his friend’s parent turned up, he’d become quiet. I cannot begin to count the number of times a friend has spoken to him after school and has been ignored. Or the amount of times someone has said goodbye to him after school and Vins has pretended he can’t see him/her.
Yesterday was soooo different! Two school mums and myself took some of the kids out for lunch. There were six children in all. They had a ball. They ran around screaming and playing Hide and Seek. Luckily the restaurant was empty! They ran outside in the garden and they played with a bunch of Hot Wheels cars that Vin took with him.
I didn’t think Vins would join in as much as he did – and he was so happy! It was almost as though I wasn’t there!
The best part was when we were leaving. He put the car window down and started shouting, “Bye X! Bye! See you tomorrow!”
I’m so proud of him.

We’re Getting There

I’ve made no secret of the fact that Vins’ behaviour tends to frustrate me.

He’s always been clingy and getting him to go anywhere without me or his nanny has been a struggle. I’ve come to accept this. I mean… That’s just how he is. But it still does bother me a little from time to time.

Having said all that, he seems to be improving.

Last week a friend from school invited him (and a few others) over for a ‘movie night’. At first, Vins said he wasn’t going. Then I explained to him that he’d go at 5 pm and that they were going to play outside. Once they came in from the playground, all the children were going to eat and then change into pyjamas before watching the movie (Peter Pan). I told him his friend’s mum said that he should also take his duvet and pillow. I also told him that E (his nanny) would go with him. The excitement started building!

On the day of ‘movie night’, the traffic was disgusting. It was so bad I even told Vins he didn’t have to go if he didn’t want to. But when he said he wanted to go, I realised I couldn’t hold him back. He came home at 8.45 pm and he was SO happy. He’d had a really fun time, and I was so proud of him.

This week he had a half-day on Friday. This meant that he started school at 8 am (instead of 9.30 am) and finished at 11 am (instead of 2.30 pm). His friend’s mum asked if he would like to go home with them that day (in their car) and have lunch and play. Amazingly, Vins agreed. I say ‘amazingly’ because all of last (school) year another friend offered to take him home after school, and he always flat-out refused. He would only ever go to a friend’s house if I or E were to take him. So this Friday – we had a double victory. He went home with a friend in their car (with another friend of theirs) and he went without me or E.

Vins’ friend’s mum messaged me to say he was fine and that she’d never seen him so animated. Another friend rang me in the evening to ask where I was at pick-up, as she’d seen Vins with his friends. She said he was so happy and that she’d never heard him make so much noise before!

I know he’s better in smaller groups and that we still have a long way to go – but I think he’s turned a corner.

My baby really is growing up!

A Weighty Issue

As we all know, I have some concerns¬†about my body (it’s too round) and my weight (I’m too heavy). It’s affected my confidence and general… I don’t know the word I’m looking for. I’ve been trying to lose weight – but have found it difficult to stick to anything long-term.

And now, I’ve finally realised what my problem is. Choices.

See – I was fine doing the Clean 9, right? I got into it, I felt good, I exercised – the whole lot. My downfall is when I have choices… I mean we all like having options – but when it comes to food, choices don’t suit me. Days 1 & 2 were hard – but I could do it. Because there it all was in front of me:

Take X amount of ‘this’ in the morning. Take ‘this’ for a snack. Take X amount of ‘this’ at this time… Easy, no? I didn’t have to think about it.

Days 3 – 9 were a bit more difficult. When I’m told, have a healthy meal and make sure it’s only X amount of calories, I struggle. Maybe I’m just lazy? Thinking of something healthy, weighing the food out, etc. And it’s no secret that I’m a ‘can’t cook, won’t cook’ type of person! Yes, I think I’m just lazy. Also – if I’m out for dinner or something, I tend to eat everything I see. I’m not joking.

Anyway, so my plan was to do the Clean 9 again once I got back from London. But then what? I was even going to move onto FIT1¬†after that. But again – it’s too many choices of meals! James¬†told me it was really easy – instead of eating meals, I should just eat fruit. Could I do that, though?

But then…

Before I left, I heard about Cambridge Weight Plan¬†(CWP). I read about it. And then I read some more. And then re-read what I’d already read. And I couldn’t stop thinking about it. I could do this!

As far as I can tell, CWP came to Nigeria¬†in 2010 (I think?). I’m not going to go into the whole how it works and what you do – please click the links above. The first link is for the UK site and the second for the Nigeria site.

All the consultants are fully trained. And the products are only available through a CWP consultant.

The success stories are amazing! While I was desperate to do this – I had to find out about the cost – and I couldn’t find anything on the Nigeria site about how much it is. Let’s face it – I’m not paying for it myself. Poor LagosDad.

On Friday, I took the plunge. I found my nearest consultant and emailed her. She replied very quickly and efficiently. The office is open six days a week, so on Saturday morning I went there.

The ladies there went through the diet¬†with me. I filled out a form with all my details and any medical issues (none). They¬†measured my height and weight to figure out my BMI (I am officially overweight) and we decided on which plan I would need. I want to lose at least 15 kg, so I’m on 800 calories a day for at least the next two weeks. My measurements (arms, waist, hips, bust, thighs) were taken and recorded.

I paid N42,500. This included the consultation, meals for two weeks (soups, shakes and porridges – in a variety of flavours (I took extra soups and shakes instead of the porridge)) and a shaker thingy for the shakes. They have a summer promotion on at the moment, so the cost would normally be N52,500.

Although I’ve paid for two weeks already, I still have to go in every week – to be weighed and have my measurements taken. So if I start on Monday, I have to go in the following Monday and each Monday after that.

After two weeks, I then have to pay N14,500 per week for all my meals. It’s roughly the same price as in the UK.

It’s not cheap. LagosDad wasn’t thrilled – but he got over it.

So… I start tomorrow. Eeks!

Personal Stylist

Remember when I made that Personal Shopping appointment at House of Fraser last year? I was quite pleased with my purchases. Remember?

Well… It took a while for me to settle back down in Lagos – get the children sorted, etc. So it was a while until LagosDad and I were ready to start going out in the evenings. By this time, some of the clothes were too big and I just couldn’t wear some of the other stuff. What I mean is, I looked at them and thought, ‘What was I thinking?’ ‘People will laugh at me if I wear this, it’s so not me!’ and ‘Why on Earth did I buy this?’

I’ve worn most of it. At least once. Some more. But they really are hanging off me now. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve not exactly lost loads of weight, but those clothes are too big.

Over Easter I bought new jeans and cropped jeans/pants when I was in Dubai. They were great for a while – but they’re also big now. Again, I’ve not lost a whole lot of weight – but I have lost some since I did the Clean 9.

When I knew I was going to London, I decided to make an¬†appointment with a¬†personal shopper again. After a lot of internal debate (I’m just like that), I decided to go with Debenhams¬†rather than with House of Fraser. More because, like I said, the guy from House of Fraser didn’t ‘get’ me.

I checked when my sister would be free (God bless her) to look after Vins and then made my appointment online. I went for the two hour General Update appointment. I didn’t know if I’d need a whole two hours, but figured it would be best to book that type of appointment just in case.

I met Valentina¬†when I arrived and she showed me into a private dressing area. She asked if I’d ever ‘done this type of thing’ before and I told her about my experience the year before. She said that what she did was a little different. She didn’t just go and get a whole bunch of clothes in your size and make you try them on. She took shape, size, lifestyle, colours that suited, etc. into consideration.

She asked what I needed, what styles and colours I liked and disliked. She knew immediately what size I was wearing and then asked me what she could do for me. I told her that I needed help. And desperately! She said I was very well dressed (yay!), but that the style of top I was wearing wasn’t what really suited me. I told her that I wear that style to cover my stomach. However, she said I have a ‘wonderful hourglass figure’ and I had to show it. Oh. Ok then.

She left me for about twenty to thirty minutes to go and get a whole lot of clothes.

First – the jeans… I bought two pairs of jeans. Both amazing. And… Not expensive! I tried on a whole lot of tops and trousers and dresses. While I wasn’t thrilled with the sight of my stomach protruding in some of them, I knew that I’d be doing the Clean 9 again in a couple of weeks! And, I have to say, when I tried on a couple of the dresses, I actually said, ‘Wow!’ when I saw myself.

She told me not to look at all the sizes she’d picked up. But of course I couldn’t help myself. I had to ask her why some of the sizes were one or two sizes down from what I normally wear. As it turns out, she knows the store, the brands and the clothes really well. She knew instinctively what would fit and what wouldn’t.

Valentina helped me ‘wear’ the clothes properly. She told me how to put things together. What not to wear together and what kind of shoes to wear with each thing. And the best part was, she was friendly and chatty.

I was in heaven. And I was feeling good about myself. That’s always a bonus.

Once I tried everything on, I had to decide what I was going to take. I moved¬†all the ‘Nos’ onto another railing. I looked at the ‘Yes’ rail and told her it was too much. She said she’d ring it all up, see how much it came to and then I could decide. I agreed.

The total was too much. I removed several items and cut my total by £200.

And I felt better. So I bought everything else!

If you’re thinking of making an appointment with a personal shopper, I really recommend Valentina. She did mention that she wouldn’t be at Debenhams (Oxford Street) for much longer, and I don’t know where she’s going, but she will be freelancing. Call her – she knows her stuff.

*This is not a sponsored post.

 

 

Proud Mama

As you may already know, we started going to Mum and Baby playgroup last week.  And we’ve been six times so far.

I was so nervous about it, but the first day went well and I now actually look forward to going.  And so does Vinay.  He gets so excited when we arrive and he realises where we are!

He’s still a little unsure of himself and wants to be reassured that I’m by his side, but he’s getting more confident.

On Wednesday, after looking at books – he decided he wanted to mess around with the shape puzzles.  He was happy holding the pieces and banging them on the table (as usual).  I showed him what to do with them a couple of times and told him to try.  He tried a few times and when he (eventually) got it right, I praised him and clapped my hands.  The second time he got it right, I did the same.  The third and fourth times, he clapped for himself and started looking around at the other mums to see if any of them had noticed.  Unfortunately for him, they were all too busy with their own children!

He’s never been too keen on swings before.  Apparently he is a little ‘bizarre’, because one of the mums said *all* kids like swings.  (Let’s not go there (*slap slap*) stupid b*tch)  So we tried the swing on Wednesday.  He enjoyed it.  A lot.  But had enough after two minutes.  Today, he LOVED it.  Smiling at anyone who walked past, looking at people to see if they noticed him (again, no) and showing me his muscles (don’t ask).

He loves listening to Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes (and is trying to learn the actions), Twinkle Twinkle and The Wheels on the Bus.  We sing them a lot at home and he does his own version of the actions, but during singing time he usually sits in my lap listening and observing the other children and adults.  Today, however, we were on the swing when singing time started and he indicated to me that he wanted to go and join.  He stood and watched for a few minutes.  Then I plonked him in a little chair.  He stayed.  He flapped his arms danced and did a couple of actions!  

I’m so proud of him.  I’m so pleased that playgroup has really helped develop his confidence – even if it just a little each session.

I was just tweeting with SAHDandProud two days ago and saying I was looking forward to V growing up a little, toddling off and being able to play independently.

But it’s happening right in front of my eyes and a little too quickly!