The Oliver's Madhouse

When Life Isn't Complicated Enough

Back to Normality

After nearly 12 weeks of the hubby being at home recuperating after his recent hip surgery and Beth going back to school after half term this week the Oliver household is getting back to normal!.

Now don’t get me wrong I love each and every one of my family members however I am an anally retentive control freak who does not deal well with deviations from the ‘routine’!

I have been completely thrown with this 3 meals a day lark and someone else being here when Joshua has his afternoon nap (this is precious quite time that I use to make those pesky phone calls and attempt to tidy the devastation that was our home)

I have been so super organised this week that the house has been vacuumed everyday (as opposed to every 3rd day that it was getting) I have hundreds of lists (and have even started to tick things off) I have dismantled a wardrobe (as you do) done a tip run, fixed a plug, done the ironing, been to Zumba, sorted Joshua’s room, sorted the spare room, deep cleaned the pushchair and sorted the next lot of stuff to sell on e-bay! (it is only Wednesday!)

We have eaten healthy home cooked meals since Sunday and I don’t feel I have even broken a sweat yet!!

My maiden name was Jaime Summers – as some of you will know this is the name of the ‘bionic women’ maybe I am taking after my namesake? …. Maybe just maybe I am a bionic women after all? I know I certainly don’t take after my namesake now, Jaime Oliver I am not!

With a million and one things on my ‘to do lists’ I will be one busy bee for the rest of this week but I am certainly happy about that!

What more chaos can be unleashed in this madhouse?


The Worst Holiday Ever ……..

As some of you will know over the last 3 months as a family we have had a tougher time than normal. My husband had major hip surgery back in August (aged 31) this op is only to prolong the need for full hip replacements. So when the sun holiday tokens came out again and the last week before my hubby’s return to work was available we couldn’t wait, sea air, fish and chips and some quality Oliver Family time.  We even cracked it with the ‘Holiday Packing’ How wrong could we be?!

A Couple of days before we left the tumble drier packed up and then the following day the central heating packed up. After some cajoling I managed to get 3 out of the 9 working …. Was this a sign of things to come??

On Monday after a 2 ½ hour journey through thick fog I was already beginning to feel the apprehension building in the pit of my stomach. First destination was Bridlington ……. It was throwing it down! …. Ok we can deal with that however lunch was awful (the food was great) my daughter was not! Don’t get me wrong I love my daughter with all my heart however she is at the in-between age of 11 and her attitude of late is becoming very testing. Throughout lunch a permanent scowl had taken up position along with 1 grunt or 2 in place of answers.

Next stop …… the Reighton Sands Caravan.

Disappointment would be a very slight understatement. I swear that ‘Heinz’ was imprinted on the front! Just to clarify we have been on the ‘sun’ holidays before at haven sites and the caravans have all in the past been more than reasonable, this was dreadful. Ok I know we don’t own a cat however a small child does take more room!

In their wisdom it had been decided that we could manage a small 2 bedroom caravan with 2 adults, a hormonal pre-teen and a little tot. First drama … where to fit a travel cot?? Only one option would physically fit in the small double twin room with one bed moved to on top of the other. Now the only option as no bed space in the little room for Beth is to put Beth in the double ..…. Leaving me and the Hubby on living room seating!

Next came the realisation that the fog had not lifted and we have the worst view on the camp site! Image

The following few days passed by in a blur of pre-teen hormones, mud, rain, fog, foul moods and the cloying sense of claustrophobia that was felt with anytime spent in our ‘Heinz’ caravan.

Things not improving with the shocking lack of sleep we snatched while trying to get comfy on the dreadful living room seating.  (Not quite sure why we though it was clever with hubby’s recent hip operation and my on-going Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction  we both were in agony most of each day).

By Wednesday no one was talking to each other we were wet through, in agony (In mine and hubby’s case) fed up of only seeing the fog and as the mud was slowly covering just about every item of clothing we had packed along with covering the entire interior of the car ….. The Oliver’s had had enough! We packed up a day early and left for home first things Thursday morning.

This is by far the worst holiday we have ever had! We have now been home 2 days and the good news is all the Oliver’s are now speaking! The washing is still on-going … the heating is being looked at next week and the tumble dryer is being fixed Monday….. Roll on Monday for school and work to return and for some routine to enter this crazy madhouse!


Is Winter Here Already??

Is Winter Here Already??

Saw this, this morning and think maybe its time to find the gloves and scarf!


A Hockey Good Time 

As some of you know from my recent posts, I am suffering with extra poundage from baby weight and yo yo dieting in previous years. This January I weighed in at a disgraceful 18 stone and with on-going problems with Symphysis Pubic Dysfunction that I had in my 2nd pregnancy I really really needed to shift some flab!

After uncontrollable sobbing in the middle of Boots while stood next to the scales I vowed to make changes I would stick too …

First change portion sizes, out went the serving platters we called dinner plates and in came a basic set of white smaller dinner plate…. Ok so that was easy!

Next was out with the takeaways 3 times a week and in with the healthier home cooking. Now I am not talking ‘Jamie Oliver’ standard this Jaime Oliver is not the best cook (I am still learning) but I don’t burn beans and if I can chuck it in a casserole dish and fill with veg, then there was hope for me! The whole family have tagged along for the ride!  I am not making 4 different meals every time as let’s face it there aren’t enough hours in the day anyway!

Next was the dreaded physical activity!

Now to say my confidence was at rock bottom would be an understatement! So I broke myself in gently and used my walks with my little man to start getting this fat ass off the sofa and out the door …step one complete … so one with step 2 … this is where it got harder I hate going to the gym so started doing Aqua Aerobics instead, although my motivation dwindled and I dropped out after a weeks or so …

After a few weeks of feeling very sorry for myself and eating my body weight in Greggs sausage rolls, Imagechocolate and blaming the SPD  for doing nothing, I got up from the sofa and started a Zumba class.. For those of you have haven’t been ………WOW ……. Now don’t get me wrong for the first few classes I went left and the rest of the class went right! (You certainly need to be able to giggle at yourself!)

I even increased to 2 sessions a week!! (Check me out!) But even after the first 6 pack of flab was gone my weight loss began to dwindle and I knew I had to up the ante to get it shifting again!

Now all the way through school I was obsessed with hockey and played every day and weekends for years, I played for local teams, county and my school, this was until I met boys, fags and hangovers in my late teens!

I have always dreamt of returning so now with a few stone off was it time to go back?? For a weeks I was going to go and find a team but my confidence was faltering but all it took was not getting that dreaded outfit on (you know the one I mean, the one in the wardrobe you love but it doesn’t fit but even so you just can’t face getting rid! ) … so confidence renewed and determination by the bucketful I got in touch with a local team and headed to training!

Now let me tell you I was in total confidence melt down at the first training session, the first task warm up’s! Now as you know I am built more for comfort not speed so the warm up jog almost killed me! 2 laps round the pitch (You what??????) I made the first half a lap and wasn’t quite sure if I was going to pass out or puke! (It’s at these times in my life I vow to stop smoking!) I tried to run and play with the rest of the team but my lack for physical exercise and stamina over the last 15 years really shined through!

After the first training session I can honestly say I was a useless mummy for the next 4 days!, I hurt in so many places I genuinely thought I had died and gone to hell (although I probably would of welcomed it at that stage!) surely nothing that is supposed to be good for you hurts this much!

I am pleased to say I am now 7 weeks into training and I am no longer in agony for 4 days, I am now playing matches on Saturday’s as well as training on Wednesday’s  and doing Zumba on Mondays and the weight is starting to shift again. I am really loving being part of a team and my confidence is now improving. I year ago I would of called you a liar if you had told me I would be doing all this!!

I have not yet reached my target weight loss although I am taking it a day at a time with no extra pressures, I have lost nearly 3 stones since January and I would like to lose another 3 before I go on holiday next June, I may not have a bikini body by then but hell I will certainly have one I can feel proud of!


Exciting Week Ahead … Joshua’s Photo Shoot & Pushchair Trader ‘Living With’

After a roller coaster of first week blogging we are looking forward to a exceptionally exciting week in the Madhouse. Just over a week ago gave me a call to ask me to be a part of their fantastic ‘living with’ programme. I will be reviewing the Britax B Agile 3 for the next 6 months.Image

For anyone that has never heard of Pushchair Trader and they have small children i have found this site fantastic!, they review baby based paraphernalia (mainly pushchairs) they offer loads of competitions to win baby/child related items and you can even ask other parents baby item questions :-). For any Pramaholic out there it is really like pushchair porn!

I joined as a VIP member (£10 per year) and this has enabled me to be entered into all their competitions automatically and to fill in applications for pushchair when they need pushchair reviewers.

I am now awaiting the arrival of the Britax B Agile 3, and we are all hoping it arrives before our upcoming holiday. So This week will be like waiting for Christmas!!

We also had good news this week for a previous competition we entered Joshua into for on their Facebook page for a casting call! We entered him as you always think your baby is gorgeous dont you! we sent a couple of pictures in and on Thursday we got a call from the Joie Baby team confirming he had been selected! (wow Image

So we are off for a photo shoot next Saturday to Litchfield and we just cant wait!

A massively exciting week for us … nothing ever runs smoothly even with my ODC organisational skills!! so hold on to your hats for a whirl wind weekend for the mad Oliver’s!!


Dairy Milk Bubbly

Dairy Milk Bubbly

After a shocking week this week filled with colds, snot, tears, tantrums, intriguing phone calls and a massive heap of good faith that i can pull this blogging lark off. My husband has gone off to the local beer festival while my little man and i wait for my big girl to return from school and then shoot off to her dads for the weekend.

Ok… i have to confess and admit i raided the fridge earlier,Joshua and i have now devoured a whole bar of Cadburys Diary Milk Bubbly!! …… up to this point my weight loss this last few months has been going swimmingly!  Now i am sat in my fat pants feeling incredibly guilty! although still trying to justify that all will not be lost as i am off to play hockey tomorrow!

Over the last 11 years my weight has yo-yo ed along with my eating habits and over the last 10 months i have slowly regained control over my disgusting eating habits and lazyitis ! In January of this year i weighed in at my heaviest  (17 stones) and was thoroughly depressed with it … that was my turning point! Over the last 10 months the Oliver household has undergone a transformation we can maintain long term with small things like smaller dinner plates, more home cooked food, very regular exercise  and the intention that i no longer what to be the ‘fat mum’ in the playground by the time Joshua hits school!

I must be doing fairly ok with this lifestyle choice as  this time round as i am currently at 14 stone 6lbs and i don’t feel we are missing out ! this is why i am feeling guilty, for months i have not even bothered with chocolate now a whole blumming bar! (ok maybe not a full one – Joshua helped)

I have decided this slip will not fail me and i will have to run with the best of them tomorrow and work twice as hard!! …. but by god it was nice! 😉


Holiday Packing….

Right that time of year has come again the October half term is one week in the year we try to get away, normally on a

‘Sun £9.50’ holiday! Although lets be honest by the time you have paid all the extras is never just the £9.50!

This year we are really excited about the trip away as my poor hubby has spent the last 10-11 weeks recuperating after a major hip operation and after weeks and weeks of no routine in the house and us both falling over each other, fish and chips and fresh sea air is needed! …… The problem now lies with the thought of the holiday packing!

The problem actually starts before we even go away i have to clean the house top to bottom (just in case any burglar gets in and thinks we are scruffy!) and to get the ironing pile (that is now so large it winks at me when i pass by) finished in order to actually pack anything! ….my husband thinks i am mad !

Now packing is something i have always hated and this has developed into a full blown fear since having the kids … god forbid i forget anything! I always pack 10 days before we go (just in case i remember anything i had originally forgotten) and we always end up taking enough clothing to clothe the the entire county i am sure, however the actual packing really does give me palpitations!

This year i have decided to change things, one giant suitcase and if it doesn’t fit we don’t take it!. I am also packing for comfort this holiday as i always pack the whole family some ‘smart’ outfits ………….WHY?? we play on the beach, visit local sites, eat fish and chips and go swimming! ….. do we need half the clothes to be ‘smart’ clothes?? NO we don’t! so this time they aren’t coming,

Is it just a women thing to get stressed over packing for a holiday? i spend countless hours/days stressing …… aren’t holidays about having fun? why cant the build up to the holiday be fun too?


I’ve been tagged in a meme through the BritMums blogging network … so here goes:

I’ve been tagged in a meme through the BritMums blogging network. This is the first one i have been tagged in, so i hope i don’t look an idiot and get it right!

These are the rules I’ve been given:
– post 5 random facts about yourself
– choose 5 other deserving blogs with less than 200 subscribers to nominate and link their blogs in your post.

– tell your nominees you have chosen them for this award by leaving a comment on their blogs
– answer the 5 questions the tagger has asked you and ask your own 5 questions to the people you nominate

– no tag backs

5 random facts about me:

1. I smoke (yes, yes i know its bad but its my 5 mins of peace)

2. It my heaviest i weighed over 17st (and i am only 5 foot tall)

3. I still have a fear of the hand that grabs you from under the bed.

4. I absolutely love horror films!

5. I’m OCD on cleaning and hate mess!!

The Questions given to me from:

1. If you have a favorite author why does their writing appeal to you?
I  don’t really have a favorite author however i do read detective type books and i am currently reading books by James Patterson.
2. What’s your favorite activity to do as a family?
We love (when funds allow) to go to the coast and love the Whitby area, earlier this year we eloped and married in Whitby with just us and the kids!
3. Why did you start blogging?
I love reading blogs and love actual reviews for product that can be found on blogs as they are tested by real people! I love the fact it opens up a hole new world of possibilities and that i can document our lives 🙂
4. When blogging which do you think is more important: quantity or quality?
Honesty, i have read in the past some blogs that while reading you can tell that the person is not being true or honest and if it feels false i don’t continue to follow.
5. What’s your favorite part of the day?
I do love first thing in the mornings with smiles from Joshua and Beth waffling about pre-teen hormonal subjects. I do also love the end of the day when the kids are tucked up in bed all safe and warm and me and the hubby gets to chill (and watch soaps!)
I’ve chosen to tag:

The end is neigh! …. sorry scratch that I am a women with a cold not a man!

The end is neigh! .... sorry scratch that I am a women with a cold not a man!

That’s it i have gone down with the dreaded cold, however i think this actually may be flu as my head is throbbing and ache like you wouldn’t believe! I will remain in my fat pants for the remainder of the day in the hopes that my men folk will take pity on me and do the cooking/cleaning (or in Joshua’s case eat anything that moves and play with his little dyson!)


Batch Cooking … is it the way forward?

Batch Cooking ... is it the way forward?

Now this is the great debate! throughout my 2nd pregnancy many people advised on the greatness that is batch cooking, however call me lazy or just bone idle i never attempted this until last week ……… i have now find my niche in cooking (i hate cooking) cook on mass for a few days with different meals then no cooking for most of the following week!!

….. and the extra bonus is lots and lots of lovely home cooked healthy meals for Joshua and plenty more spare time as it doesn’t take as much time as you think! 🙂


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