Zaggora Hot Pants

Thursday, September 26, 2013
As I mentioned the other day, I have put on about 25 lbs in the last year. Every year I have a flare up of my arthritis that keeps me from working out and every year I gain anywhere from 10 - 25 lbs (depending how long I'm out of commission). I am miserable when I'm over weight and have been working hard to get it off. I've tried various diets with no results.
When school started, I went back on Slimmimg World (the diet plan I lost my baby weight on - a whopping 50 lbs) and started physical therapy along with doing the '30 Day Shred' Program that I got into really good shape with last year.
A couple of weeks ago I heard from a company called, Zaggora who make a product called 'Hot Pants'. The ad said 'LOOK GOOD NAKED' and I thought, yes, please! The hot pants are supposed to make you sweat more and burn more calories. After reading more about it and going over some reviews, I decided to take their two week challenge.
 The two week challenge is simple. You wear the hot pants for 30 minutes a day while active. You measure yourself before and after the two weeks and report the results to them on their website. They claim that you can lose up to two jeans sizes in two weeks. I have just finished week one of the two week challenge and this is what I can tell you so far...
The hot pants are made of a wet suit type of material. When I opened them, they looked tiny and with a bum shoulder, I worried I'd have trouble getting them on, but they went on easily. I almost immediately felt the perspiration and even though I didn't feel like working out that day, it inspired me to do it anyway. They do make an awful lot of noise when you move which is a little off putting, but I'm not wearing them out of the house.  If I went to the gym to workout, I might have thought twice about it.
They were quite stiff during the first few workouts which bothered me because I'm stiff enough with my arthritis, but after a few days they started to give little by little. You do sweat a lot and I have to say when you take them off, you definitely notice. I haven't measured myself this week (I'm waiting until the end of the two weeks), but I did lose four pounds this week. Is it water weight from all the sweating? I don't know and to be honest, I don't care. Seeing the scale go down is giving me the drive to keep going.
I weigh in and measure myself next Thursday and I'll be sure to report the results.  In the meantime, you can check them out on Amazon...

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Fight Club for Five Year Olds - Part 2

Wednesday, September 25, 2013
The other mother and I went into the school to meet with the teacher and the assistant head.  We both let them know how upset we were that we were not informed that our children were sent to the office and how much we were against the children being allowed to play fighting games on the playground.  I told them I wouldn't allow it at home and I'm really unhappy that it's being allowed at school.  They admitted it was a problem and explained that they are planning to introduce a a scheme to teach the children to play in a safe way.  They will be calling it 'Super Hero Training'.  They plan to give out capes & masks out to children who behave well as rewards at playtime.  They will have assemblies where they will teach the children to play fighting games without making contact.  I find this to be absurd.  The problem has gone on to long and I doubt they will be able to teach little children to change their games when they have sixty other children to look after on the playground.  I let them know I didn't see it as a viable solution.
I also talked to them about the child who was being permitted to be the leader of these games. I said They should be taught to play together as equals.  Their response was that there will always be leaders in life and there was nothing that could be done to stop it.
I agreed and told them and said, 'Yes, there will always be leaders in life, but let that happen naturally outside of school.  It should not be tolerated on the playground.  This boy is persuading the other boys to break the rules so they could be included and if they don't, they are left out.  My son comes home upset because he's not being allowed to play with his friends. His friends are pressured to go along with what ever this boys says and it's just not right at such a young age.  At what point does this child go from being a 'leader' to just being a bully?  He is five years old and should not be permitted to have such power.'
The teacher turned to me and said,  'Your son is an emotional boy because he has an emotional mother.'
I shot her a look and it took every amount of self control I had to not tell her to screw off (and that's putting it mildly).
I took a deep breath and said, ' Listen, you've been doing this job a long time so let me try to remind you how hard it is as parents to hand our kids over to you every day and have them parented in a way that is totally different than we would at home.  You spend more time them than we do and for some of us, it's a hard pill to swallow.'
The assistant head turned to me and said, 'I appreciate that, but you have to learn to trust us to do right by your child.'
And that's when I cried because at the end of the day, I don't trust them.
By the end of the meeting, I realized I was being handled.  The assistant head is well trained to tell parents what they want to hear and get them out the door.  She handled me so well that by the time I left, I walked out saying, 'What just happened?'
After that, I decided to step back and see how it played out.  I talked to my son about playing rough and that I didn't want him to do things at school that he knew he wasn't allowed to do at home, but the very next day I was called into the office with my son to meet with the assistant head.  She told me he was in trouble again for rough play on the playground.  As punishment, I took his favorite toy away and told him he would get it back when I got a good report from his teacher.
I told his teacher what the arrangement was and told her that when she gave my son a sticker for making good choices all day, he would earn his toy back.  At pick-up time, I asked how he was.  She smiled and said he was good.  He came out with a grave look on his face and told me he didn't get a sticker.  She just looked at me and walked away with no explanation.  I wanted to smack her, but explained to my son that if he didn't get a sticker, there must have been a good reason for it and stuck to my guns.
The following day she said he was really good.
'Did you give him a sticker?'
She huffed, 'Okay, I'll give him a sticker.'
Again, I wanted to smack her.  It was like pulling teeth with this woman!
I laid low for the following week.  On Friday, I got a message from the school that  my son had hit his face, a cold compress was applied and he was okay.  When I went to pick him up, his cheek was clearly swollen.
'Wow, you really did hit your face,' I said
The teacher saw me touch his cheek.
'Oh no, he didn't hit it there it was his lip,' She said.
My son pulled his bottom lip down and showed me where he cut it.  As he did so, I noticed dried blood on his nose.
'You had a bloody nose as well?'
The teacher said, 'No his nose was fine.'
My son then walked out of the class toward the parking lot and I was forced to follow rather than continue the conversation.  When we got to the car, I got a good look at my son.  He had a swollen cheek & lip, dried blood on his nose and a big scratch on his chest.  I took him by the hand and walked him to the assistant head's office to show her.
'Look at him!'  I said.  'What is going on with the teachers that they didn't notice the state of him?  He looks like he's been in a fight!'
The assistant head apologized to me and asked my son what happened to him.  He told her his face got hurt when another boy hit him in with a bat on the playground, but he could not account for the scratch or bloody nose.  I just looked at her.  She told me we'd get to the bottom of it.
'You're damned right we'll get to the bottom of it,'  I told her 'but what the hell is going on that he's so used to being hurt that he can't tell us where he got the other injuries? This is absurd!'
She scrambled for answers questioning the teachers and assistants.  The head came out to talk me down, but there was no talking me down.  What answers could they give me?
Is this just part of sending your kids to school?  Do you relinquish control and just hope for the best??  or do you keep fighting?  I have become 'that mother'  the mother that is in the office three times in the first three weeks of school raising hell and I hate it.  I don't know what to do.  Is this my problem?  Am I just too much of a worrier?  Or is this whole thing as bad as I think it is?

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The Bevgo Bag

I recently got a chance to try out a new product.  It's called The Bevgo Bag which is a kids lunch bag which comes with a flexible plastic drink bag in it that can be refilled and dispensed out a spout on the side.  If you have a problem with your kids drink bottles leaking and ruining their lunch, this bag is for you!

I think the best part of this bag is the fact that it's insulated and keeps your drink cold for hours so if you have a day out at a beach or theme park, your child always has their drink of choice cold and on hand.  The bag comes in two designs for girls and two for boys (although I have been told more will be available in the future).   Click the links below to get more information or order one for yourself on

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A much needed ego boost

Yesterday after the school run, another mom and I decided to let the kids play for a while.  We were walking to their house together when a group of guys called out to us.  It was basically the English version of 'Yo Yo Baby you're looking fine!' don't ask me to repeat it because I can't even type an English accent (even after all of these years).  I was walking with a twenty-five year old girl so I assumed she was the target of their outburst and ignored them.  Then one called out, 'Hey there gorgeous! You in the grey - you are beautiful!'  I was so shocked that he was talking to me, I laughed out loud!  In hindsight the poor guy probably thought I was laughing at him.  The truth of the matter was that I could have run up and hugged him!
My confidence is at a low right now.  In the last year I have gained 25 lbs.  My arthritis has gotten much worse and I wasn't able to workout for months.  I ballooned.  Over the summer I hated putting on a bathing-suit and more times than not opted for a one piece rather than feel self conscious in a two piece. I am working hard to get back into shape, but the fact that I spend a great deal of time with other mothers who are nearly young enough to be my offspring doesn't help at all.  I feel fat, I see grey hairs come through all the time and for the first time I see lines forming on my face. There was a time I would have been offended by such obnoxious behavior, but today I was grateful.  It was a much needed ego boost because I really thought that the days of being yelled at on the street were well and truly over.  I know it's a bit sad, but it really made my day!

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Fight Club for Five Year Olds

Tuesday, September 24, 2013
My son has been back to school for three weeks and I have already had three meetings with the assistant head (vice principal).  He's five years old and has just started in year one (1st Grade in the US). Let me start from the beginning though.
Last year, I was the class mom.  I went in nearly every week to help.  I got to know the children and  both teachers (he had two that split the week).  I got along really well with one of the teachers, but clashed with the other from the beginning.  At the end of last year, we found out that my son was going to have the teacher I clashed with again this year (full time without the other teacher).  When my son found this out, he cried and said he wanted to switch schools.  I can't say I blamed him, but I talked to him and finally convinced him to give her another chance.  I never told my son I didn't like her (or that I had gone to see the Head teacher/Principal to complain about her), but he sensed it so at the end of the year, I went in to help on one of her days.
When I arrived, my son was not in the class, but within a few minutes he was brought in by the assistant head looking miserable.  She let him give me a hug and sent him to his seat.  I stepped outside with her and asked what happened.  She told me he was sent to her for fighting.  I was shocked.  I have never seen my son hit anyone.  She started by telling me that he told her her was defending himself and that his Mommy told him that he was allowed to defend himself if someone was hurting him (this is true!).  She told me me not to worry.  It was the end of July, we were in the middle of a heat wave and all the kids were hot and bothered.  She then added,
'If you weren't here when I brought him back, you never would have known it happened.'
Again, I was shocked.  I asked why I wouldn't have been informed and she told me that it was school policy to deal with things internally and to not involve the parents unless it was absolutely necessary.  I told her (very strongly) that I was his mother and I wanted to be informed.
A little while later, the children were sent outside to play with another class.  There were sixty children on the playground running wild while the teachers sat back and chatted.  Boys and girls were equally unruly and were playing quite rough.  I went to the teacher and asked if they were allowed to play so rough.  She told me no, but did nothing to stop them and continued her conversation. I ended up stepping in quite a few times, but there was no stopping them.  They were uncontrollable.
That night, I went home angry.  I told my husband that I was disgusted by what I had seen.  I hated the fact that at school, the rules were so different than they were at home.  I told him I didn't think I would be going in after the year was over because I just wasn't happy with how things were.  In the end, I told myself it was the end of the year and the teachers needed a break and the children were just blowing off steam.
On the first day back to school my son came home miserable.  He told me he wasn't allowed to play with his friends because one of the others boys wouldn't let him.  I asked him if he asked the boy nicely.  He told me the boy never let him play (even last year).  I had seen the boy (let's call him Danny) be mean before and at my son's birthday party, I had to talk to him about including my son in the games they boys were playing (it was his party after all), but as a rule I never stepped in.  I wanted to give my son the chance to work things out himself.
After the first day, I contacted some of the boy's moms and asked them to check with their kids to see if my son was really being left out (or if he was exaggerating).  They all came back with conformation that it was true.  Danny was the leader of the game and my son was not allowed to play with them.  The boys said it was' Danny's team' and they couldn't do anything about it.  I was heartbroken, but being the first week, I knew I'd have to wait before going to talk to the teacher.
On day four back to school, my son was the last one to be let out of the class.  He had to sit looking miserable until all the other children were let out one by one until the teacher let him leave.  She never said a word to me.  He told me the other children got stickers for making good choices, but he didn't get one.  Later that night I asked him what he had done wrong.  He sobbed and confessed he was sent to the office for fighting (along with two other boys).  He was inconsolable.  I asked for details, but didn't get much out of him. I was furious that the teacher didn't tell me what happened.
After I got him to sleep that night, I sent a text message to one of the other moms telling her they were sent in for fighting and asked if we could talk to the boys together the following day to find out what happened.  She called me immediately. She had no idea her son was sent to the office and was also angered by not being informed.  She told me that she asked her son about my son being left out at school and explained what her son had told her.  At playtime, the boys split up into teams and fight each other.  Apparently, the play fighting often escalate in to real fights and these games have been going on since early last year.  The penny dropped - I thought back to being on the playground and realized it was not children blowing off steam at the end of a long school year - it was just how they played while at school.  The other mom and I agreed to go into the office for a meeting together the following day.
Later that night, another mom called me to tell me that in the morning, she caught her son trying to sneak a toy into school.  She told him that he knew he wasn't allowed to take toys to school.  He told her he had to.  She asked, 'Why would you have to?'
'Because Danny says if I don't bring a toy in and give it to him, I can't be on his team!'

Fight club or five year olds? Yep.

I will continue this post next time as I hate when posts run too long (plus, I'm late for my workout)...

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This morning I woke up to yard looking like the set of a horror movie!  The entire yard was covered with spider webs.  They covered every surface and piece greenery there was.  They were in the garden furniture, between fence posts and in the bushes and trees!  I noticed it through the window and it took me ages to get the nerve to open the door to take some photos because I was afraid to see what might be on the other side!
I'm sorry if the photos aren't clear, but it was as close as I was willing to get!

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Our Summer in Photos

Friday, September 20, 2013

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Back from my summer break

Monday, September 16, 2013
I took the summer off from Blogging as in the UK, children only get six weeks off for the summer.  This year for unknown reasons, they only got five weeks off so we had a lot to cram into a very short summer.  We went on three family trips.  I'm using the word 'trip' because I've been out of the US long enough to not want to use the word 'vacation' and not in the UK long enough to want to use the word 'Holiday' so 'Trips' it is.
Our first trip was a two night trip to Legoland in Windsor.  The second was a three day trip to London where we spent two days at a Theme Park/Zoo called Chessington Wild Adventure and one day at a theme park called Thorpe Park.  The third trip was  a five day trip to Wales where I experienced my first British 'Caravan Holiday'.
There were also many day trips to more local places.  I don't think I have ever had such a busy summer (if you can call five weeks a summer).  I am still recovering.  My son went back to school on the 5th and life is going back to normal.
I don't have a lot of time now, but this week I hope to post some photos from our trips and maybe write about the troubles we have been having with my son returning to school.
Thanks for stopping by.  I'm back from my break so please stop back again soon :-)

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