Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Happy Halloween!

Char & Jan gave us this cute outfit for Jack - a "Cody" outfit, so Jack matches our dog!
All set up for trick or treat and TWO children came by!!
Jack eyes the candy. Devil Dog Cody tries to be nonchalant but he's slobbering with candy lust

Our neighbour Dave, looking like the street serial killer

Turns out the street down from us is "THE" place to go to trick or treat so we took Jack there instead. Look at this house - how funny is that!

Monday, October 29, 2007

1st Day, Last Day, Crazy Day

It was Jack's 1st day at Tsegga's and it went well. I got there the same time as someone else so I took him in the house. I was relieved about that as I was afraid she was going to make me hand him over at the door and he'd scream again. I put him in front of her toys and I made a quick exit. He saw me and started running to me but she scooped him up and as I left (crying) he wasn't upset. At 9.30am I caved and rang her. She said he was playing really well with the other kids but hadn't eaten his breakfast. So then I worried all day till Craig rang after he'd picked him up. Anyway, seems like Jack had a good day - playing and singing, ate his lunch okay, shared his toys with the other kids (he's a good egg), and seems to have taken to Tsegga. But my stomach is still in knots.

It was Craig's last day at work! He now has a couple of days to unwind, buy some new work clothes and get ready for his big, new, fab job on Thursday. Have I said how great this job is? How proud I am? How excited he is? Okay sorry.


My day was mad (hence the picture). I had a road trip this morning after my upsetting ordeal at Tsegga's. On the way to my destination I called by Micky-Ds for a coffee and I saw 2 bizarre sites - (1) A big machine that rented out DVDs overnight for $1. "Not so bizarre" you're thinking as they are in all the supermarkets now. But this one was in the drive-through lane at McDonalds (2) an Amish guy buying a McGriddle meal. Shouldn't he be eating farm-raised, pesticide-free turnips or something?

I got back to my office mid-afternoon, still carrying the knot in my stomach about Jack and I found a parcel sent from a lady I met at a conference in Canada last month. She sent me a small book she had told me about that signified the love a parent has for their child. It's only thin and took me about 1 minute to read but I had to shut my office door and I cried for a few minutes. The timing of this book could not have been more poignant.

So, I went to my night-class looking like a demented, runny-nosed, red-eyed lunatic.

Now I'm finally home & I tried to complete my homework but it's too hard and I can't do it. I think I have the soil gas diffusivity problem worked out but darn if the O2 conc. with depth isn't just being a little ba****d.

That's it till Thursday when I begin "NaBloPoMo" - one post every day in November!

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Ramblings from Pammy on a Saturday

This post is going to be a jumble of things I've wanted to get on here for the last few days but not been able to have the time till today, so here goes...

Here's Tsegga - Jack's new caregiver. Went today to drop off pack-n-play etc. and all my fears were settled again. It all starts Monday!

Imagine being so light you can use a balloon as a chair! Mine would have to be made from commercial-grade rubber


Emily tagged me for a meme on "6 habits I have", so:

  1. I have no sense of direction and get lost all the time. Craig says he's amazed I make it home each night.
  2. I can't cook, and I have no desire to learn. I am not fussy about what I eat but I'm unbelievably fussy about table manners. I cannot abide people sharing food (especially sloppy food), chewing food with their mouth open , or burping at the table. I am anal about this (inherited from my mum).
  3. I LOVE gardening & reading.
  4. Craig said I have an uncanny knack of knowing how to make Jack laugh
  5. I can't tie my shoelaces properly and even though I'm right-handed, I eat left-handed (inherited from my dad)
  6. I am horribly impatient and I have a quick temper - two things I don't want Jack to inherit

Emily - the line stops here mate. All my friends are Facebookers, not bloggers. Please tag me again sometime though!


Yesterday I went to see Barack Obama. I can't vote and this won't be a personal political rambling but I would like to say that he was extremely charismatic (and handsome) and I liked his views. My friend told me about the Minnesota Public Radio quiz that you can take and it tells you which 2008 presidential candidate most fits your views. I thought it was an interesting thing so I did it. Click HERE for the link to it. Oh, and my quiz candidate wasn't Obama, but a rather sharp blonde woman.


Finally, Jack's talking up a storm. A six-pack to the first person who tells me what he says in this video...

Thanks for reading such a lengthy blog, and GO BUCKS!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

First Impressions of New Child Care

Yesterday I took Jack to meet his new child care woman, Tsegga, just for an hour. His current lady is having a baby in 4 weeks so we're moving, which Jack will be sad about as he loves the other kids and has a great time there.

It went okay at Tsegga's but not great. I had to move my car when I got there so she held Jack while I scampered down her driveway and I could hear Jack screaming and crying for me. When I got back to her door he had tears dripping off his chin and he grabbed me like I was going to leave him forever. UGH, heartbreaking. We met 3 of the other kids, Ian (3), Zach (same age as Jack), and Sophie (13 months). Another kid (18 months) was off sick.

First impressions? Good I think. She seems really nice with the kids and none of them were hiding from her or looking terrified. Jack warmed up after a few minutes and started playing but kept close to me the whole time. He starts full-time with her on Monday and I know he'll be upset a bit the first day but hopefully he'll adjust quickly.

I had got my knickers in a twist about Jack getting bullied because the other kids have been with Tsegga since they were 2 months old and they all know each other but my fears were put to rest on that front too. Ian was too busy showing me with great pride the Lego tower he'd made. Zach (who by the way is HUGE and weighs 40 lbs to Jack's 24) just sat looking at me and I kept thinking "I'm going to nickname him "Thor" and Sophie was trying so hard to stand up she couldn't break her concentration by paying us any mind.

So, still a nervous wreck about it and I know he's really going to miss his current place but I've just got to get on with it, because unless I win the lottery, I can't stay at home. Not that I'm sure I would anyway as I love my job. Phew, that would be a tough call.

I'll post a picture of Jack with Tsegga when he starts, so you can all see who's looking after our little love.

OH, the picture at the top - FINALLY I have a dining room table & chairs! This means I no longer have to stand in front of Jack's high chair feeding him, with him communicating to my belly. Of course it also means it's one more thing he can climb on and he's already taken a flying squirrel leap off one of the chairs.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Another Gem from CraigsList

I took a last-minute vacation day today to try and get some yard work done. I did get a lot accomplished but spent some time sat at my computer trying to cool down - would you believe it's still stinky HOT here. I did my usual reccy of kids stuff on CraigsList and look what I found. A battery-powered JEEP! For a FIVER!

I couldn't wait for Jack to get home and I was dancing like a schoolgirl with excitement when I showed it to him. He yelped and ran over to clamber in it, and then...

Something tells me Jack likes it

Ooooo, buttons and switches and pedals


Doors open, windscreen wipers work, this car is awesome!

What a phone face!

PLEASE don't think he's going to be spoiled. It cost a fiver and it doesn't even run (battery is wrong size). Anyway, he loves it and I'm sure he'll have it a few years.

Hey - it's a mum's prerogative to buy her child fun stuff!

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Parent Speak

Here's three lines we've used this weekend that fellow parents will appreciate:

"Pam, he's got an eyeball in his mouth!"

"He's upset because everytime he pushes his stroller it gets stuck on his monkey"

"Jack, please don't eat chalk"

Friday, October 19, 2007

Everyone is doing it

My mate Emily just told me that November is designated NaBloPoMo (National Blog Posting Month), which means you post a blog EVERY DAY for the month of November. She's going to do it and so is her friend, Kelsey. So, I'm going to do it too. And I'll try to make it short, sweet and interesting.

Message to England: LEE & SUE - PLEASE do it too. You haven't posted for 4 months - that's not a blog! Captain Scott left behind more correspondence from his ice mound in Antarctica after starving & freezing to death over the same period of time. Come on peeps, I need pictures of Noah!

This shouldn't be too hard I hope. I'm trying to navigate Facebook and that's a daily thing.

If I get stuck for topics I can always start on toilet humour. And I'll post lots of pictures of the little fella in the house.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

5 Things About Jack the Lad

Five things we want to remember about Jack this week:

1. In the bath, he puts a rubber duck or any bath toy in his mouth and I try and take it from him. If I get it, I spit it back out into the bath with a big splash and he bursts out laughing

2. He gives kisses voluntarily and says "bye" when we drop him at child care

3. We say "O-H" and he says "AH_DO" (should be "I-O" but we'll beat it into him eventually - JOKING!)

4. He can now sit on the couch with us and look at books for a few minutes before charging off to conquer the world again. His favourite books right now are Thomas, Elmo, and Ten Wiggly Caterpillars.

5. He's getting used to his new bedtime routine slowly and we're trying to make it better without backing down and going back to the "bottle in bed" routine. Tonight instead of taking his empty sippy cup off him and laying him down in his crib, which incites raptuous crying, I let him keep it for a minute while I talked softly to him and then I took it and walked out slowly. He still mooched for about 10 minutes but it's better than having him cry. The sound of your child crying has to be the most stressful noise in the world.

This girl is on my LIST!

I'm taking a physics class right now and it's REALLY hard. I'm one of the oldest in a class full of bright young things and I'm trying to keep up without asking too many questions that will draw attention to the fact that years of alcohol abuse have killed off my brain cells.

So tonight we are learning about gas diffusivity in soil and the instructor is telling us how to measure it. I'm just about hanging on by a thread and don't want to appear stupid but I'll probably have do this for my research so I need to know the answer. It went something like this...

Me: "Ahhem, excuse me Dr. Ed, can you tell me what "REV" stands for please?"

Instructor: "Representative elementary volume, which is..."

RUDE know-it-all little prick of a student: "Dr. Ed, I do believe you covered that in a previous lecture"

Me (in my head): "WTF"????????

The rest of the lecture I should have spent hanging on his every word like I normally do, but all I could do was stare at the back of her head and fantasize about poking her in both eyes with forks and hoping I meet her one night in a dark alley.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Bonkers for Conkers

Yesterday was a great day for our sports teams. Firstly, England beat France in the Rugby World Cup semi-final, which means we will now play South Africa next Saturday in the final. If England win, they will be the first team ever to defend their title. Next, the England soccer team beat Estonia in a Euro 2008 qualifying round. They will now play Russia on Wednesday. And, if those two games were not wonderful enough, The Buckeyes won yesterday and LSU and California lost so the Bucks are ranked number 1 in the country today! Unbelievable.
I also saw that England beat France in the World Conker Championships this weekend. He he he, bloody marvelous!

As a sidenote, Craig found this optical illusion last night on "StumbleUpon" - a personal search engine we both love. He printed off a picture of a dragon and made it into a little paper model. This dragon WATCHES YOU wherever you go. Don't believe me? Watch the video. If you are as easily impressed as me & Craig and would like to make your own, click HERE. We loved it so much we made two!

Friday, October 12, 2007

Jack's Infectious laugh

It's been a long knackering week and we've got loads of stuff lined up for the weekend - more on that later. Also, our friends are going through some heartbreaking times that just makes me sad to the bones. So I'm posting something cheerful - something that makes me laugh no matter how sad I am - our Jack's infectious belly laugh!

Monday, October 08, 2007

15 Month Update from the Doc

Here's Jack's 15 month statistics:

Weight = 23 lb 12 oz (only 6 oz heavier than his 12 month appointment), putting him in the 40th percentile

Height = 32.25 inches which puts him in the 80% percentile

So, that means he's a lanky lad.

Instructions to me & Craig from the Doc includes feeding him what we eat (oh dear) and stopping the bottle (oh crap). He also said Jack's a tad too skinny, possibly because he drinks too much water which makes him full and burn loads of calories. So only 4-8 ounces of water a day and 8-12 oz milk.

Tonight we tried for the first time to put him down without his bottle and he was upset for an hour. I was sat doing work at my desk and he was crying "mamaaaaa!" it was gut-wrenching. Even now (10.50pm) he keeps waking. We just can't do this cold turkey. We'll take away one at a time (bed, morning, day) with the bedtime one obviously first. I think we're in for a long week...

Sunday, October 07, 2007

New Gnashers

This is not the most flattering picture of Jack. I took this today while Craig was in a shop. For some reason, Jack hates sitting in his car seat if the car is stopped. It drives him mad and I can only keep him amused for about a minute before he melts down. This picture was taken after several attempts at "This little piggy.." had failed.

The reason I'm sharing this is that it shows his new gnashers! He now has 6 teeth, bless him. His teeth have been a bit slow to come in, which is not a bad thing when I'm trying to rub pain gel on his gums and he chomps down on my finger.

His 15-month docs appointment is tomorrow so I'll post more updates on his development then.

Halloween House

It's official - I have joined the brigade of crazy women that decorate their houses for Halloween & Christmas.
I'll admit here that I've always secretly wanted to do this stuff but thought it was cheesy and I would (quite rightly) be ridiculed by my friends. For example, yesterday when Gina called me I was in "Big Lots" looking at polystyrene headstones. Having Jack gives me a great excuse to fullfill my secret desire to be tacky!

So, from now on expect pictures of my house decorations. As you can see in the picture, the sign on my door says "warning - low flying witches" and I have a plastic skeleton hanging off my house number.

I promise promise promise that I will NOT start wearing holiday jumpers or cardies!

Finally, I'm still deciding on Jack's costume for this year. Last year he was an astronaut. I want to make something again but after last year I know it has to be something without a hat, so that rules out a lot. Ideas please!

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Something to REALLY Smile About

We have BIG news today - Craig just got a new job! He is now "Systems Manager" at the University.

This is a huge promotion for him, including a pay raise and all kinds of job benefits. If he was to have his dream job this would be it, so he's been grinning like this all day.

Official start date is in a few weeks and he can't wait. Neither can I.

My husband has worked really hard all of his life for a job like this and now it's here. And he deserves it. When I met him in 95 he worked for Royal Mail (Post Office) and had a laugh with his mates but hated the job. When we came to the States he got a job working for a small company that installed phones and he's moved up from there. For the last eight years he's done hard physical work and gradually got better and better jobs & certification in cabling and computer networking. So right now he's reached his career goal and he's happy!

I'm so proud of him and so happy for him too.