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Showing posts from January, 2009

Primping For Yoga

I recently started taking a yoga class again -- hello body. Remember me?
My reluctance in the past was tied to having to travel anywhere -- time I felt cut severely into my already compressed work day. But then my neighbor introduced me to a studio down the street - an 8 minute walk each way. I can handle that.

But here's the main time problem -- the 30 minutes before class I spend primping. No, I am not trying to spruce up for the teacher (a woman) nor the few people "ommm"-ing with me. What happens is more like this:

1. Find yoga pants. Put them on.
2. Become aware that I haven't shaved legs since last week's class.
3. Shave.
4. Nick myself.
5. Try to staunch bleeding without leaving little red bumps on legs.
6. Fail.
7. Notice red nail polish chipped on toes.
8. Remove polish.
9. See stains on toes left.
10. Try to re-polish quickly.
11. Fail.
12. Sigh and try to ignore.
13. Spot hideous callous on heels.
14. Try, unsuccessfully, to scrub said callouses in 30 seconds away.

Leaving On a Jet Plane

As YLM begins her departure to the land of heat and sand, I can only fantasize about taking off for warmer parts.

Frankly, I am cold. And while I am normally thrilled by the advent of winter, this time around I am not enjoying that frosty chill quite as much. My hands are dry. My feet are dry. Nose, hair, skin - dry. And yes, I am well acquainted with that product called moisturizer.

Worst? The weather has parched my good nature from me in the last few days. I truly wanted to start this year off amid a bevy of good humor and positivity. But I'm finding great quantities of caffeine necessary to scaffold that plan. (And yes, aware that caffeine is ALSO a dehydrator!)

So what's a mama to do? Mama's hanging tight. I bought some flowering branches, potted some bulbs, bought some pink fluffy socks, and painted the nails red. I'm meeting these winter blues head on. What are you all doing to dust the snow from your soul?

A less frosty frame of mind

A better day today, mainly brought on my mentally sorting out my wardrobe for what to pack for Dubai (leaving NEXT week - aggghhh).

The realisation struck me that I'll be able to wear sandals EVERY DAY - no more horrid socks or saggy-crotched tights to wrestle my winter-white flaky-skinned legs into every morning (while hopping about to try to get my circulation going since our flat lets in Siberian gusts through all external windows and doors). The latter deserves a resounding cheer in it's own right.

I can also put all my winter coats into storage. In fact, anything more hefty than a lightweight summer blazer won't get an airing until I venture back to Blighty on holiday. Hurray!

Scarves, hats, gloves, boots, vests and thermal underwear - all gone. Double hurray!

OK. I think I'm starting to get into this crazy Dubai idea.

Dubai doubts

I've had a while to think about going to Dubai - well, a month - and I'm not entirely sure what I feel about it. Half of me is excited about the potential opportunity and all the benefits (see below) while the other half feels like a wallflower at a school dance, decidedly out of my depth and worried about fitting in.

Here's the good stuff:
Daily sunshine and swimming A live-in maid (Alpha's trump card when I initially baulked at the idea)School fees paid for by Alpha's new employer (something we could never afford to pay for on our own)The chance to learn a new language The chance to meet lots of new people (hopefully nice ones)The opportunity to take my career in a new direction (I'll be setting up a branch of my PR company over there - if all goes to plan)Lots of new material for the blog!!And the iffy stuff:The heat and humidity during the summer months is unbearableDubai is a bit of a weird place, imagine Disneyland mixed with Milton Keynes...What if we don…

And here's to sunshine every day...

Here's my big news.

Alpha, rugrats and I are upping sticks and heading off to Dubai on 29th January. Yes, that's right, the 29th January. Less than two weeks away. And just in case you're jumping to any conclusions, it's not a holiday - we're going for a full three years.

We've known since before Christmas but I couldn't put it out there until now as there were so many offline people who had to be told first. After all, it wouldn't have been kind for non-virtual friends/ clients/ etc to hear about such a big life change on the blog (some of them claim to read Mothers), would it? I gave you all a wee clue, though, with my New Year's Resolutions, in my plan to learn Arabic.

So Yummy London Mummy and clan are about to undergo a new incarnation. Watch this space.

Smile Where It Counts

As every mama knows, it's tough out there right now. It takes no work to fold open the newspaper, turn on the TV news, or even surf to a site to see the deluge of trouble — and be fed more stories that frankly have turned my coffee cold day after day.

As a journalist, I would never suggest burying your head in the sand. Understanding the reality of what's going on around us, with the economy, and world strife, is imperative so that we can honestly affect change to make things better.

But just as important? Remembering why things can be good. And what brings a smile to our faces. As mamas, we all have miniature packages of joy right in front of us each day. (Yes, even when they're screaming at you for pulling their hair JUST so you can tie it up and keep it lice free -- but, uh, I'm meandering here...)

So this week I invited a number of mamas to a movie night. And I'm going to invite another mama who told me how things are getting a little tough right now. I understand…

Kill Them With Kindness

Okay here's my thought:

I know I'm supposed to kill my detractors with kindness. Not a bad plan. And for months I've been doing just that in my little village. Smiling at the, well yes, any and all (s)mothers who maybe had a little jab here and a bit of a snark there.

Somehow I remembered my high school days, tilted up my chin and beamed a smile at every one of their heads. And it works. Give a smile. Get a smile.

But you know what? It's frankly exhausting. Sometimes, Mama just wants to pull a baseball cap over her head and furrow her way through the day. Sometimes, I don't want to beam butterflies and posies. Sometimes I just want to beam: "Mama hasn't had enough caffeine today. So stand back. The smiling factory is closed."

The things I do that are rubbish

1. Organising things into careful piles with the intention of filing/ putting them away. Then stumbling across the same piles two months later.

2. Never taking my mascara off before I go to bed.

3. Eating chocolate for breakfast.

4. Believing the kids when they say they tell me they don't have any homework. Even though you can bet on them announcing as we leave for school the next morning that they've 'just remembered' the really important homework due in that day, or worse, the test they should have prepared for. Cue tears and general hysteria (adults and children).

5. Lazily neglecting the removal of body hair during the winter months. Then feeling offended when Alpha addresses me as 'Brian'.

6. Obsessing about my wrinkles but doing nothing to combat the ravages of time (i.e. stopping smoking, wearing SPF at all times, taking a trip to Harley Street, stuffing myself with antioxidants).

7. Forgetting important birthdays because I'm a half-wit and don't know…

COBRA Costs More Than Benefits

This is hardly news for those of us who have faced unemployment while trying to maintain health insurance at times of our lives, but the recent report from Families USA shows just how widespread this problem is.

Nationwide, a COBRA policy eats up on average 84 percent of unemployment benefits in the United States. In nine states it costs more. In Florida for example, the average monthly unemployment benefit is $1,013 — while the average monthly COBRA premium for a family is $1,037.

COBRA, the federal act that requires employers to allow workers to maintain their health insurance policy at a group rate for a family, is not to blame here. But a serious overhaul of the insurance industry has long been needed. What to remember here is that these are group rates — which are usually at a substantial discount to what an individual can negotiate on her own.

News like this is sobering during our economic turmoil. And particularly worrisome as families will most assuredly not be able to keep up th…

useless mummy

We're a week into 2009 and I've broken most of my new year resolutions already.

The only step in the right direction has been the purchase of a book to help me learn Arabic (but surprise, I haven't even opened it yet).

I need a wife to sort me out. Any takers?

While The Prince is away....

The Mama will:

1. Re-organize the front closet.
2. Put away Christmas presents and wrapping and cards and....
3. Go to sleep at a proper hour. (Which is not 1 am after staying up to watch "Resident Evil:Extinction" Yes, quite aware that "Resident Evil" does not quite count as a "film.")
4. Pull paint chips to finally paint the livingroom. Four years after we moved.
5. Get started on new script. (I'd be doomed with my writing coach and his crack the whip deadlines....)
6. Pitch. A lot.
7. Book an eyebrow appointment. And keep it.
8. Not eat dinner at 9:30 pm. (But do carrots and hummus at 6:30 count?)
9. Did I mention getting some sleep?
10. And

There are also 15 other things on the list (resolutions and goals for the New Year which I firmly believe one can tweak and create all through January, writing in The Rabbit's baby book which has a fine layer of dust since I last cracked it, trying to organize the storage locker....) but with…

Metrotwin Giveaway

Some of you may know that Yummy London Mummy and I contribute regularly (okay, fairly regularly!) to Metrotwin, British Airways' cool site where you can find secret shopping nooks, awesome restaurant suggestions, ideas on where to take the little ones -- all inside New York and London. We love the site. Honestly? It's pretty fun to write for them, and to read the other reviews.

And now, Metrotwin let us know that for the next 9 days, if you sign up for their FREE site, you have a shot at winning a three day trip to New York (with a stay in the Plaza, which frankly I'd like a shot at winning.)

Details are just here. And no, we get nothing from this. Just thought it might not be a bad way to start off the New Year.

If you register at before 15 January you could win a pair of return economy flights to New York and three nights in The Plaza New York. Conditions apply.

Some Silence for 2009

When was the last time you sat in complete silence? I mean the kind of silence where there's no one talking around you. When the television and radio are off. When the phone ringer is turned off. When you're not even sipping your coffee (hey, some of us do this a little loudly...okay??) When you aren't even clicking the mouse on the computer to get to the next Web site you surf.

I just sat in complete and blissful silence for the last 15 minutes, and I had forgotten how utterly soothing and calming and healing it is. No, Mama hasn't entered some sort of ashram in the last few days. But I will say that while I craft my list of New Year's resolutions (yes, a little late) I'm going to add silence to mine. A chunk of silence for me everyday. It may just lessen that chocolate addiction that unfortunately started right around Christmas.

Happiest New Year everyone!