Tuesday, December 30, 2008

I'm Fit to Burst

The pregnancy honeymoon period is OVER folks and I'm on the homestretch. Today, in no particular order, I would like to spend a few minutes having a good old-fashioned moan about the following:

I have only 1 pair of pants left that fit me
I'm leaking
My hair is lank
I have cankles
His foot is lodged under my left rib
When I brush my teeth my gums bleed
I wee every 15 minutes
I'm getting 3 hours sleep a night, so the bags under my eyes and tired face make me look like a blood-hound
My boobs are like bowling balls, only not as light & soft
I cannot cut my toe nails or pumice my feet so I feel like a yeti
I have started to waddle
My belly is so big and stretched so taught that it hurts
I have constant heartburn
Strangers are touching my belly/making comments/blatantly staring at my monstrous bulk
I'm getting a bit scared because I have forgotten everything from last time

So that's my world. How's your day been?

Monday, December 29, 2008

My 500th Blog: Fairytale in New York

In 2000 when we were young and childless we thought it would be an amazing experience to go to New York City for the Millennium Celebration. We drove there with no hiccups but because we left it so late deciding to go we ended up at the Days Inn Hotel in New Jersey - about a 40 minute subway trip outside of the city.  
Here is our Millennium story:
We got into Time Square about 2pm New Years Eve, found a good Irish bar and got to it. We were having a great time and really got into the moment, especially when we met up with a rambunctious Scotsman. Craig, Scotsman and I decided to pass on the lite beers and get on to Caffreys. By about 6pm we were rather tipsy to say the least and as we pushed our way through thick crowds in Time Square, heading towards our next bar,  Craig and I had a tiff.  I have no idea what the tiff was about but it was something stupid and certainly not worth what happened next.  I turned my back in a huff, walked about 5 yards, turned back around and saw a mass of people, none of whom looked like my husband.  We had no cell phones, no way of contacting one another other than by trying to search each other out on the streets. After an hour I was frantic and started to cry - what a nightmare! In New York City on my own with no phone and little hope of reuniting with Craig. I stumbled my way to the nearest subway station, surrendering to the fact that the best thing I could do in this situation was to get back to the hotel and hopefully meet back up with my husband. It took me five hours to get there and involved taxis, subways and plenty of walking. I remember being in the subway car and thinking "I am on a New York subway on my own at 10 o'clock at night and I'm going to get murdered". I think the potential murderer standing next to me was thinking "I'm steering clear of the crazy lady crying so hard she's got hiccups". 

It was such a relief to get back to the hotel at 11pm that I didn't even acknowledge the midnight celebration, but got ready for bed and waited for Craig to get back.  I was indignant and ready for a full-scale argument about ruined memories and leaving me alone in such a dangerous situation, even though it was me that had stomped off in a huff.  It took over eight hours for Craig to get back and involved taxis, subways, walking, and a desperate monorail trip via Newark Airport. At the airport he ran into Michigan football supporters and got a bit of frustration off his chest by being rude about their football team and telling them English people were brought up to hate Michigan football, which they believed. He finally walked into the room about 2am and we greeted each other with an icy silence, each one of us determined we were in the right. We awoke the next morning and both of us had flu. And we had a 10-hour drive back to Ohio. And we didn't say one word to each other the whole 10 hours.

We walked into our house in Ohio, exhausted, hung over and flu-ridden to find our answer machine flashing like mad and dozens of friends excited and dying to hear about our monumental trip to New York City. I never called anyone back and it was days before we talked. Months before we started to laugh about it. Nine years before I could blog about it!

So, here's what I learned:  never drink with a Scotsman, always carry a phone, and zip-tie yourself to your husband if very large groups of people and drinking are involved. 

Would I do things differently? Well yes obviously, but the story if a good one, one I'll always remember and it beats telling people we thought the world would end at midnight on the Millennium so decided to hide in the basement with bottled water, cans of carrots and a CB radio.


Friday, December 26, 2008

Our Day was Fabulous - hope yours was too.

On Christmas Eve Jack spent a good deal of time looking out of the window trying to see Santa in the sky, then he left out a glass of milk, sprinkled a few carrots on the lawn & eventually went to bed, trying every excuse in the book to stay up. I drank the milk and Craig went outside in the freezing rain to retrieve carrots, even though I tried to persuade him that the squirrels would eat them. I know bugger all about squirrels but it seems plausible doesn't it?

Christmas morning we told Jack that Santa had been and he ran from his bedroom in his pyjamas, wide-eyed and with a crazy bed-head. He noticed the milk had gone and then saw his bike and said "ohhhhhhh!" like it was the best thing in the world. His first words were: "get Santa more milk?", which doesn't surprise me as our boy is a little sweetheart. Then he ripped the wrapping paper off, jumped on, immediately fell off & clambered back on again.

Here's a 40-second video of his first venture out:

As for me and Craig - we're exhausted, which comes from amusing a toddler for two whole days indoors due to bad weather. To keep sane, Craig's been looking at cross-bows on Craigslist with the view that bow season is much longer than shooting season, so gives him more chances to snag a deer. He's also been playing a bit of "Grand Theft Auto IV, my gift to him.

I've read two really great books over the holidays, both by Mark Haddon: A Spot of Bother and The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time. The latter, while a great read, has educated me about autism more than I thought possible and it's made me very sad because I can't fathom having a child that would not let me hug them, or kiss them or joke with them. If I ever do come into contact with a person with autism I feel a bit more prepared now though, unless of course Mark Haddon made it all up and now I have an idiotic view on the whole subject.

We've also watched two new films - one was fabulous and typical Clint Eastwood (Grand Turino), and the other one was an absolute stinker from hell (Will Smith in Seven Pounds).

All in all a great Christmas then, with lots of traits of Old Blighty (crackers with hats at dinner, Christmas puds, queens' speech and English chocolate), some Americana (egg-nogg, cranberry sauce with the turkey, watching "A Christmas Story") and lots of amusing behaviour from our toddler, including hysterics at the dinner table when his dad got a whoopie cushion in his cracker and then tried to blame the noises it made on me.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Mr Fidget's Christmas Video

Here's a 30-second clip of Jack's Christmas party at school on Monday. Mr Fidget Pants didn't sing one word but spent the whole time fiddling, with his hands in pockets and grinning. And that's why we love him:

Have a lovely Christmas Day everyone. Best wishes to you all in Blog land - there are some of you that I feel like I'm friends with even though we've never met. And love in abundance to our families and friends in England. We'll call you tomorrow!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Christmas Spiced Tea Recipe

As promised, here is the Christmas Spiced Tea recipe from my Louisiana friend, Lynn:


  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • Equal parts apple juice and cranberry juice
  • 3 slices lemon
  • 3 sticks Cinnamon
  • Tsp. of cloves

Heat it up in a saucepan, drain & drink. It's that simple!

If you Google this subject you'll see there's all kinds of variations, including instant tea and Tang. It can also be made as a dry mix & put in a jar as a Christmas gift. I have only tried Lynn's fabulous version so can't comment on any of that.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Santa & Snowballs

Happy Winter Solstice and cor blimey it's cold! I just ran out to the local supermarket and had to put a gloved hand over my face so I could breathe - in the car! The local weather pundits are saying minus 17F (-27C) with the wind factor. I swear this is the coldest I think I've ever felt in Ohio.

On to cheerier things - we've had a great weekend. Last night friends & neighbours came over to see Char & Jan who flew in from California. I bought naff buffet food cooked, Craig drank, Jack entertained the masses. If truth be known I would much prefer to do items 2 and 3.

Today we took Jack to see Santa. I thought he might be okay as we had built him up to the moment and he was excited but the grotto was so dark & scary that even Craig and I were freaked out. By the time we actually saw the old man himself, Jack was digging his fingers into my leg and hiding behind me with eyes like saucers. I could only get him to sit with Santa by sitting next to him and then cropping myself out of the picture:

He politely asked Santa for his bike and then ruined my proud moment by also asking him for a selection of the stuffed animals in the grotto. But all-in-all a successful trip - better than the screaming fit last year, & the beard pulling incident two years ago.

After Santa we had a horse-drawn carriage ride with our friends, Emily, Brian & Katy then the kiddos had a play-date where they destroyed my house in 15 minutes flat. I had a vision of my two boys in the future - rambunctious, loud, screaming boys wrestling each other and breaking things and being cheeky. It may just be the thing I need to make myself relax in life. Or it could be the final straw that puts me in a mental institution.

Tonight another party with friends, this one short being that we all have work in the morning. I love this group of people - they are so genuine, so loving and caring and fun. My son is instantly at ease with them, running from room to room, being chased by adults pretending to be monsters and trying to bite his feet. I feel really lucky that we have these people in our life.

Righty-ho, I'm off to the kitchen now to make food for Jack's Christmas party at school tomorrow and to sit with Craig while he enjoys his acoholic egg-nogg. After nine years of fruitless searching for Warninks Advocaat we found out that good old egg-nogg is exactly the same thing, which means we can have "snowballs" again at Christmas! God bless America.

Friday, December 19, 2008

He Knows me so Well

I really want Jack to call me "mummy" and not "mommy". I'm not sure why it's so important to me but it just is. I was trying to tell him this morning that as a Christmas present I would love it if he called me mummy. It went something like this:

Me: "Jack, do you know what mummy would like more than anything this Christmas?"

Jack: "Chocolate?"

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Where do you Hide Fishing Rods?

Tonight was Jack's last swimming class till the new year. It was an absolute joy to watch him in the water because he doesn't appear to have inherited my fear. It was a "double whammy" as they say: watching him being confident in the water and watching him play with his dad. Every time I see them together having fun I get choked up, but then I'm a sentimental fool sometimes.

The swimming instructor came over at the end and said he needn't repeat the Tiny Tots class but could sign up for "Little Nemo" next, which sounds far more advanced and mature doesn't it. You'd have thought she told me he'd just beaten Michael Phelps 50 metre record the way my heart swelled up.

If I'm absolutely honest I was just a tiny bit scared, especially when Craig took him down a humongous windy water slide. Then on the way home he said "I'm going to keep taking him because I want him to be able to pull himself out of a river if he falls in next summer when we go fishing" and I thought "note to self: hide his fishing rods and refuse to go camping for the next five years".

Monday, December 15, 2008

A Bit of Merry Old England

Christmas parcels have started arriving from England, which include chocolate that must be eaten immediately. Come on folks, you can't send me Flakes & Kendal Mint Cake and expect me to wait another ten days before eating them. And really, I'm pregnant and you keep sending me chocolate liqueurs - my absolute favourite. How on earth am I supposed to be a good girl and avoid alcohol when it's wrapped in chocolate for heavens sake! This does not mean I want these parcels to stop - far from it. I can keep the liqueurs till after the baby's born. Craig will end up with a fork in his eye if he so much as touches the cellophane wrapper. I also found a couple of Christmas puds in a parcel from my dad, so dropping big hints on this blog paid off. Crikey I'm devious.

Jack got some traditional thermals from his nana that even have cute little Union Jack labels that say "Made in England". That kind of thing makes me homesick but it's not something you see too much these days is it? It's more likely to say "Made in China" or The Philippines, like those Nick Jr. cartoon underpants I got him that scratched his bottom to shreds and led to the MRSA infection (I'm still hopping mad about that as you can see).

This weekend we took Jack to a Dickensian Christmas event at Ohio Village. He got to meet St. Nick, though he called him Santa Claus the whole time and St. Nick was a bit miffed but life is complicated enough without trying to explain to a toddler the intricacies of all this. A man in a red suit is a man in a red suit. He also got to meet Charles Dickens, who in this case was an Englishman called Roger who'd lived in Ohio 18 years, liked Jameson's and was mad as a hatter. We chatted for a while about England and what we missed. He talked about Wayne Rooney a lot as he loved football. All the while dressed like Dickens - very surreal.

At the event I bought a kit to make a traditional orange pomander with Jack. It's a throw-back to my Girl Guide days before I got kicked out for drinking & smoking (only half kidding). I have fond memories of sitting with my group, making homemade Christmas decorations like the pomander - basically an orange with cloves pushed in and then dried. The smell it gives off is fabulous and very Christmassy. I did however forget how painful it was to push hundreds of cloves into an orange so my poor fingers were killing me but it was worth it. It's now drying on top of the water heater in the basement, unless one of my cats has knocked it off and my dog's eaten it, which wouldn't surprise me. Should make for an interesting walk in the park tonight.

Look at My Lovely Baubles!

There are several American traditions that I have picked up and run with since I got here. I embrace the following with tremendous gusto: Halloween, Thanksgiving, July 4th, observing flag-raising and marching bands at football games, and "showers" in all their abundance - wedding, bridal, baby. When I first got to Ohio, all this would have been considered too glitzy for me, given that Brits are somewhat reserved in nature. But over the years I have gone from testing the water, to a bit of paddling and finally just said "sod it", jumped in with both feet and joined in. There are still a couple of things I'll never do: I promise I'll never clap at the end of a movie or shout "yeahhh!" at the end of a fairground ride. For one, Craig would leave me. Second, most Americans I know don't do this either and are equally mortified by such behaviour.

Anyway, one of my favourite American traditions is decorating the Christmas tree with personal and historic ornaments. Unless things have changed (and maybe they have) this isn't something we did in England. Our ornaments were made up of baubles and tinsel and a star, but we didn't really have ornaments that were family heirlooms. There are friends here who've got ornaments on their tree from when they were first born, which I think is such a lovely thing to do that I have started doing it myself. The picture on the left is a little collage of my personal ornaments so far - given by family and friends and lovingly packed away each new year and brought out each Christmas. This year I'm also going to take Jack to Hallmark and let him pick one out for himself and Danny. Am I being twee? Sorry, but as they say "when in Rome ..."

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Getting Big, Really Big ...

When I looked in the mirror this morning I actually thought "okay, not too huge yet" and happily trotted off to work, safe in the knowledge that while I looked pregnant I didn't actually look like I'd swallowed a cow quite yet:

But tonight when Craig took this picture I can see that front views are horribly deceiving because I do indeed look like I've swallowed a cow. A whole herd in fact:

When I look at this I understand why I struggled for 5 minutes this morning to put my socks on, making noises like this "ugh, argh, get on yer bugger".

That's the bitch about being pregnant in winter - I have to wear socks. It's not a big price to pay though when I think that my last pregnancy in the summer meant I had to shave my legs a lot and my ankles swelled up so much Craig called me Shrek.

Monday, December 08, 2008

Stranger than Fiction: FLDS

I am about 3/4 of the way through "Escape" by Carolyn Jessop and I am hooked on this book. I can't put it down and I even dreamt about it last night.

Carolyn was married to a prominent member of the FLDS church and she had 8 children in 15 years before she escaped in 2003. All together her husband, Merrill Jessop, had 7 wives and over 50 kids. He was an abusive psycho & his wives were no better. Carolyn's story is far more outrageous than any fiction book I've ever read and I have to keep reading portions out to Craig, to try and make sense of it. 

I read a little and then have to put the book down so I can heave a big sigh to make myself calm, or I have to put it down because I'm infuriated, or I have to gather my thoughts because I'm so upset by how much abuse the kids are subjected to.  When I read about the 400 kids being taken away this summer because of Warren Jeff's arrest, I felt a bit sorry for the parents but no more. Absolutely no more. Not as long as the women and children in these families are treated as badly as they are.

This last month,  I believe Merrill Jessop was arrested for performing a marriage ceremony for a 12 year old girl. He had taken over the ranch in AZ after Jeff's arrest. I hope someone bumps him off in Jail or at least gives him a taste of his own medicine. How can I be so callous? Well, I just read the part in the book where his 2-year old son is diagnosed with cancer and he needs life-saving surgery but he tells Carolyn the surgery isn't necessary, that the illness is her fault, for not being an obedient wife. 

Here's Carolyn now:

This book is also being made into a film. Catherine Heigl is going to play Carolyn but I'm not sure when it's coming out. This is a must read - harrowing but absolutely enthralling at the same time.

Tis the Season to be Jolly

I've got a big work event on this week so am doing a lazy blog with plenty of pictures but few words. I wanted to share some of our weekend Christmas preparations with family & friends in the UK and my new-found bloggy friends from around the world 

First major snow event caused much excitement

Quick banana, stuff oneself into a padded snow suit and ..

Walk the dog

Trip to Lowes for the tree. Bought one in ample time this year as we usually end up with one the week before Christmas that's dog-eared and looks like its been in a forest fire.

Tree is up and only 4 ornaments broken!

Tried to get a nice picture of Jack rubbing my belly but he wriggled and squirmed and acted like the proverbial two year old.

Friday, December 05, 2008

Mr. Orangutan in the Woods

Here is Jack's school picture for this year - how cute! He's right at the end on the second row with his teacher Serkarlem. She's got her arm around him and makes no bones about him being her favorite. This is good in one way as I know he's loved, but not good sometimes as she lets him get away with murder. I have made copies for family in England and will hopefully get Christmas parcels posted tomorrow, depending upon how organised I am tonight.

All plans could be changed for my weekend though depending on whether Craig shoots a deer today as he's venturing off into the woods to have a go. I'm scared to death some redneck yahoo is going to shoot him by accident so made him wear so much orange he looked like an orangutan. I hope my mum is right - when I spoke to her about it she said "don't worry, Craig's too nice to shoot a deer, he'll pretend he never saw one!".

I had an ultrasound this week and got to see Danny again. He's BIG: 5.6 lbs already and off the charts for height and I have some way to go yet. He looks the spitting image of Jack too so I'll have two boys that look alike & are both very tall with big hands, head and feet. The head size is a problem - every single time I take one of Jack's jumpers or t-shirts off, the neck part gets stuck on his ears and he howls. The trick is to get it off before he goes ballistic without tearing his ears and nose off. You also have to remove one item at a time because if you try and remove two layers at the same time, he becomes so stuck he starts yelling things like "moma stop!" while you try and suppress laughter and resist the urge to tickle him under his armpits.

Lastly, if you would like to read a short story to warm your cockles today, take a look at the kid's nativity story on Strawberry Jam Anne's blog.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Happy Birthday My Love

It's Craig's 39th birthday today so we had some friends over for garlic bread pizza and beer. I'm not going to harp on about how fabulous my husband is as he hates a fuss and wouldn't even open his cards tonight in front of everyone. When I suggested it he looked like a rabbit caught in headlights and mouthed "nooooo!", so we waited until everyone had gone.

It's always hard to buy Craig presents as he won't give any hints, he insists on buying his own clothes and he's quite the picky bugger really. I did get it right with his present from Jack, even though I never imagined in a million years I'd be buying him pottery for his birthday!

Talking of Jack, when I announced in the summer of 2005 that I had indeed succumbed to the ticking clock and wanted a baby after 10 years of marriage and promising I would never darken our doorstep with kids, the only way I could get him to agree was to promise he could buy a boat.
Three and a half years later, with a second baby on the way, the poor man still spends his summers very much on Terra Firma. Today I have started to rectify that by launching the New Boat Fund....
How long will it take to save up? I guess that's up to Craig. If he wants a skinny canoe, probably not long at all, but if it even looks like it might flip over I'm not going near it. Those waist-hugging canoes that you have to squeeze yourself into look every bit like natural selection to me.
Hopefully he'll buy a boat he can fish in but is more than two metal seats and a bit of outdoor carpet. Something that we can tow easily & get in and out of the water without making complete fools of ourselves. And it'll ideally be safe for the boys and have a non-slip table for my wine glass.

My Dog Barf Story

The night that I blogged about being exhausted, my dog Cody woke me up at 2.30am barfing on the cream rug in the living room. Without my contact lenses in I couldn't really see what I was doing but it looked a bit orange and there were some objects in there I couldn't place. Anyway, I did my best to clean it up, once again mumbling obscenities about my animals, then trundled off to bed.

Two hours later he did the same thing, only this time on the bedroom floor. Craig threw the poor thing out in the garden to nibble on frosty grass and then wiped it up. Not very well I might add as I stuck my big toe in some on the way back from the bathroom and was thankful this time I didn't have my contacts in or might have started barfing myself.

It wasn't until the following day that I worked out what caused all this. There were two big clues: (1) the sick was bright orange (2) the sick contained very small oval stickers.

When I told Craig that Cody had been eating clementines, he said "how on earth has Cody been getting them from the fruit bowl?" Bless my husband's heart - he has a never-ending belief that our two year old is as innocent as the day is long. I, on the other hand, know full well that the little bugger has been feeding our dog whole oranges and that our dog is daft enough to keep eating them.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

My Little Sunshine Just Went Away

Today is the last day of NaBloPoMo, which means I'm no longer obliged to blog every day. Not that I was obliged anyway as it's purely voluntary but I do like to try & do it. I'm glad of a couple of days rest from it at least but with Craig's birthday and an ultrasound set for this week no doubt I'll be on here again very soon.

Right now, I'm exhausted. Yesterday & today have been particularly hard for some reason - I'm having Braxton Hicks contractions and feel like my stomach is so tight it's going to explode. I can't tie my shoe laces or even bend down without saying "UHHH" very loudly when I get up. I feel dog tired too and want to relax, just for a minute, pleeease.

Relaxation is of course impossible with a toddler and to top it all, Jack has been a nightmare. He wants everything and nothing, he wants me to engage him constantly, he wants picking up & putting down, he wants his teddy, he doesn't want his teddy. I'm about ready to strangle him. We ran out to a shop this afternoon and he played holy hell the whole time we were there and I'm looking at other toddlers, sat in their carts or on their dad's shoulders or walking with their mum, holding hands quietly. And then I look at my son, with his bottom lip stuck out screaming "I want a balloon!" and refusing to walk and I think that we're either doing a really bad job at parenting or he's the devil himself.

People say things like "well, they don't call it the terrible two's for nothing!" and laugh but it's just awful. It should be called "the period where you deserve a medal if you don't sell your child to the circus".

To end NaBloPoMo on a brighter note - tonight Craig and I sat down with Jack and we penned his letter to Santa. He told us to tell Santa that he's been a good boy all year and that he would really like a red bike and a hat for Christmas. Something tells me that I'll remember times like that for the rest of my life, and that the terrible two period will gradually slip from my memory.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Kids & Guns = Bad Idea

Craig did his hunter's education course today then got his license tonight. That means he can go out into the woods and shoot a deer this week. He's wanted to go hunting for a few years but I've begged him not to as I can't imagine shooting an animal. It's not really my choice though and since I've lived here I have relaxed my opinions somewhat on deer hunting. 

Deer are everywhere in Ohio* and they cause a lot of carnage on the roads. At dusk they run out onto the road and run head-long into your car. If you have a Hummer of big SUV you are probably going to be okay but in a small car like mine it would probably come crashing through the windscreen and kill me.  A friend of mine hit one a few years ago and he drove a Jeep but the deer came through the windscreen and he was lucky to walk away. Anyway, regardless of your opinions on deer hunting, it is legal in Ohio during certain times and this coming week (Craig's birthday) is the time. 

Craig has talked to me a lot about it and I think he understands what's in store if he shoots one, he's also good with guns and very safety conscious. I imagined that you shot it, dragged it to your truck and drove it on over to a trusty butcher to process the meat. I imagined that the worst possible thing about the whole task of killing a deer would be pulling the trigger. I didn't know that hunters have to "field dress" the deer before they get it to their truck, which involves removing all of the organs of the animal.

When he got back from his class tonight I was badgering him with questions about it and I was surprised by his stories.  A lot of his classmates were kids, some just 12 years old. Some had parents with them that were allowed to help them with the test as they were too young to comprehend the questions. One of the kids asked the instructor if it was okay to shoot a deer with an air rifle. This worries me a lot because these are the people that will be wandering around in the woods armed at the same time as my husband. I told him he better wear orange from the tip of his head to his number 13 boots, and if he hears that Dick Cheney is in town, he's to come home immediately.

*ODNR state that there are more deer in Ohio now than when Christopher Columbus landed in the new world. I guess someone ran straight over here and counted them!

Friday, November 28, 2008

My First Black Friday

For the first time in 9 years, I got up at 4.45am this morning and ventured out to get the door buster deals of Black Friday. 

The stores in my neighbourhood were thankfully not as nuts as other states, where a Wal-Mart employee got trampled to death, two people got shot dead at Toys R'Us and a pregnant woman got thrown to the ground. I did go to a local Wal-Mart but people were surprisingly cordial & self-contained. No pushing, shoving, running and grabbing of merchandise that you read about, which is good because I'm a bit too rotund now to stick up for myself and if someone had pushed me to the ground there's a very good chance I would have been weeble-like until a kind soul helped me back up. 

I got to my first shop early enough that I could have got one of the 42" plasma flat-screen TVs for just $499. We had talked about it yesterday and decided to stick with our old telly until next year, save the cash and get one then. Still, when I saw it sat there (the last one) and I knew what a tremendous bargain it was I was tempted to ring Craig and make the case for getting it. As I thought about it, I patted my pocket and realised I'd left my phone in the car, which felt like fate, so I turned my back on the lovely plasma and went to look at kitchen knife sets. Far more handy don't you think?

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Thanksgiving at Debbie & Lynn's

We just got back from Debbie & Lynn's house where we had a lovely day. Lynn is from Louisiana and the best cook I ever met. She made the most gorgeous spiced tea which I drank all day to take my mind off the whisky egg-nogg, wine and cocktails. I snaffled the recipe from her and will post it later. We had a turkey dinner with cranberry salad, corn-bread stuffing, sweet potatoes, garlic mash, broccoli & cauliflower cheese, green beans and gravy. All this followed by homemade almond apple pie, pecan pie and ice cream.
Craig's upstairs right now groaning & rubbing his belly and Jack is flat out asleep. Cody's exhausted having run about 18 miles today with their dog Gracie.

Their house is lovely and located in the countryside . The house has a central vacuum system (please God let me win the lottery and get one) and they are currently turning their basement into the coolest bar and party room I have ever seen, complete with mural of New Orleans.

Debbie & Gracie get ready for our after-dinner walk. Gracie is a Louisiana Catahoula dog

Lynn gives one of her bird boxes a big kiss. On her 50th birthday, we made her 50 bird boxes that sit on the fence at her house. This one was was made by our friend Eric and he won the coveted "best box" award. To this day he swears he has no fingerprints left as the glue gun burnt them off, but that's what happens when you mix a glue gun & Maker's Mark.

Cody & Gracie played for HOURS, till his tongue was hanging out and he looked about ready to die. He still thinks he's a puppy but he's at least 8, maybe 9.

Jack gets to ride on the tractor (and play soccer, run about with the dogs, play with Debbie & Lynn, and watch The Wiggles that has thankfully taken favor over Barney). He had a packed day and loved being out there. This kind of thing makes you want to move out into the country.

I hope you all had a good day too, whether it was Thanksgiving, or just a regular Thursday ..

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

We just got back from a night out with good friends and we're looking forward to Thanksgiving dinner tomorrow with Debbie & Lynn. We can take Cody too, as they have five acres and an eager young pup ready to play with him. All in all, it's going to be a relaxing four days.
As much as I miss my family and English friends at times like this, I have so much to be thankful for in my life: 
* My wonderful husband & partner in crime, Craig. 
* My son Jack and the fact that my pregnancy with Danny is going so well
* Our friends in America
* The fact that we both have jobs. This is something I have taken for granted for many years but I realise how fortunate we are

All in all,  we are doing okay. Great actually, and I'm very thankful for that.

Two Mid-Morning Rants

We both took a day off to catch up on house stuff. Craig's gone shopping and I'm drinking coffee & blogging as you can see. 

I have two mid-morning rants I really want to get off my chest:

1. We took Jack to his swimming class last night. This involves getting home from work at Superman speed, feeding & de-pooing the animals, feeding Jack, finding swim wear and getting to the pool in less than 1 hour. As we piled out of our house, arms laden with bags and towels, we realized neither of us had car or house keys. Mother of all F***s! Pardon the language. Ran to the neighbour, got the spare key. Thanked God neighbours hadn't set off on their holidays yet (they were just about to) and drove like a manic to the pool.  With just 3 minutes to spare, we sprinted to the pool only to be met by a sign that said 'Classes cancelled Thanksgiving week". GREAT. Nobody thought to mention that at last week's lesson did they. I now have a two-year old who hasn't stopped crying "I want swim with daddy!" for the last 18 hours. Next week the instructor is getting his speedos pulled way up his forgetful arse.

2. I just read an article by a pregnancy "expert" telling me NOT to eat for two. That it is in fact a myth and pregnant women should eat healthily for the sake of the baby.  Listen honeypie,  first of all, you are MALE, which gives you no opinions whatsoever when it comes to writing about pregnancy. Second, pregnant women go through: cramps, piles, varicose veins, engorged breasts,  swelled ankles, high blood pressure, gestational diabetes, aching hips, back ache, limp hair, lack of eyesight, morning sickness, the pain of childbirth or c-section surgery, the loss of bowel and bladder control, chewed nipples, and NO ALCOHOL for 10 months. 
Don't tell me I can't eat for two. I might just hunt you down and shoot you.

I feel much better now, so I'm going to get another cup of coffee and get cracking.  Yes, I'm having two cups of coffee this morning, caffeinated too! Got a problem with that Mr. Expert?

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Three Book Reviews

1. The Oxford Project
Photographs were taken of every day people in Oxford, Iowa 20 years ago and then again recently. The author has captured the inhabitants of the town and their stories. For example, this little girl was 3 years old when her mum, travelling with the carnival, dropped her at the church with her dog and a sign around her neck saying she needed taking care of.
I got the book out from the library as it's a new hardback, big & expensive, but well worth a look ...

2. A Lesson Before Dying by Ernest J. Gaines
I bought this at a thrift shop and was influenced by the big "Oprah's Book Club" sticker on the front. I have to admit I have yet to read a stinker that's been endorsed by her. This is about a young man in the 40's in Louisiana on death row. His aunt wants him to be educated so that he doesn't die as ignorant as a hog. His character is amazing because he is indeed uneducated but he has the whole world sussed out and knows his place in it. I cried at the end, but then I cry over dropped hats. If you are too lazy to read the book, you can always rent the film ....

3. Birds without Wings by Louis De Bernieres
Recommended by Mountainear. This book is set in a little town in Eskibah├že, in the waning days of the Ottoman Empire during World War 1. I got to really like some of the characters and I also learnt so much about the Great War. I admit I knew nothing about this area of the world and it's history and now I feel like I have a better understanding of it, but the book also made me despair at the atrocities of mankind in the war and since. It's a big book and not a light read at all but I loved it. My only slight niggle is that the author dragged it on about 10 pages too long, couldn't seem to bring himself to finish it.

So that's it, my latest three reads. I just started "Their eyes were watching God" by Zora Neale Hurston.

Monday, November 24, 2008

My Favourite Christmas Present

Tonight Jack told us that he wants Santa to bring him a bike and a hat for Christmas. He's been obsessed with bikes for a while but not sure where the hat request came from.

It got me thinking about what my favourite present was as a kid, so I got my old pictures out when I got home and found this. It was taken in 1979 (I was 10) and I got a Merlin for Christmas! It was the absolute best present I ever got and I played with it for hours and hours. I can still remember the feeling of excitement when I opened the wrapping paper because I had wanted a Merlin for ages and probably pestered my mum to death about it. Craig said he really wanted one too but they were too expensive. That makes me feel a bit guilty because we didn't have any money growing up either, so my mum must have scrimped to get it.

The Merlin was one of the first computer toys and it had 6 games on it, including a music memory game and blackjack. I actually found an old commercial for it on YouTube tonight that made me smile and brought back some great memories of my childhood.

Do you remember what your favourite present was?

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Jack's First Haircut

We finally bit the bullet and got Jack a haircut today. His hair had evolved from cute, to messy, to downright ferrel.
We took him to a kid's place (thanks for the coupon Emily) to avoid the possibility of utter meltdown. It was fab - he got to sit in an aeroplane and watch Curious George DVDs and he was dead quiet - shocked almost. He wouldn't make eye contact with anyone, not even me, and he looked like a trapped rat the whole time. When she got the electric clippers out his eyes filled with tears but he didn't cry. She was really good with him ..

Look how messy that noggin is! I can't believe I've let him walk around like that for the last few weeks. People must have been whispering.

What a handsome young man! The lady gave him a lolly and he cheekily asked for a balloon as well. You've got to hand it to the lad - he knows how to get what he wants from the ladies.

Did I get upset? A bit I must admit. At the beginning she looked at me and said "ready mom?" and I got a lump in my throat but didn't cry. I did however collect several blonde curls as they tumbled off his head. She asked me if I wanted a bag for them. I told her I already had one ready in my back pocket and Craig looked at me and said "you brought a bag?" Before I could stick up for myself, the lady looked at him and said "of course she brought a bag, she's his mom!"

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Five Reasons to be Cheerful

1. The Buckeyes won. Now we find out December 7th who we play  in a bowl game (repeat after me: "not Florida, not Florida, not Florida")

2. Our friend Char, who moved to California, called to say she passed the bar exam. This is fabulous news

3. I just saw diesel for $2.99/gallon

4. Our new gas log fire is fabulous in this biting cold weather. I thought our log-burning fireplace was cute until I realized you had to clean the bloody thing and scrape out all the ash and be smoked out like a badger every time it got lit. And you have to buy stupid logs and lug them home from the supermarket. Did I mention our gas fire was remote control? Ahhhhh

 5. We have a 3-day work week coming up as it's Thanksgiving 

Friday, November 21, 2008

A Face to Make you Feel Guilty

He's a good boy; faithful, loving, good natured, barks when someone comes to the door, keeps me warm on the bed in winter and is always ready to give me kisses. He doesn't ask for much in return - a chance to run and chase squirrels, three walks a day, and maybe some peanut butter in his kong.  
Before Jack was born I didn't think that it was possible to love anything or anybody as much as I loved Cody. Now his name is "Cody move!"  and I swear at him sometimes.  
This picture I took today on our winter walk captures his good nature perfectly and makes me feel unbelievably guilty for not giving him as much attention as I should.   Okay, I'm off to crawl under the kitchen table right now, retrieve his kong and find the peanut butter ...

Getting into the Mood ...

The game tomorrow is not as exciting as it could have been, given both of our disappointing season's, but still. It's the OSU:Michigan Game. College football's greatest rivalry, maybe sports greatest rivalry? A friend sent me this little taster video today that makes all the hairs on my arms stand up and swells up my chest with Buckeye pride* ....

*Footnote: I really don't need any more chest swelling at the moment as pregnancy has caused a Dolly Parton effect that I hate. The funny thing is that I could have boobs like humongous beach balls and Craig would still pay for enhancement.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Mother Nature is a Witch

I'm at that stage in my pregnancy now where I can't sleep. I have to get up 2-3 times a night for the loo because my bladder is reduced to the size of a walnut and Danny's using it as a trampoline.  He likes to give me a swift kick in the ribs for good measure too.  
Once I'm awake my brain starts to wander and before I know it, I'm making lists for work, planning my weekend and deciding what to buy people for Christmas, then I tell myself to try and clear my mind so I can go back to sleep. Of course once you tell your mind that then it ramps up even faster doesn't it .. like it's working against you. I finally drift off about 15 minutes before the alarm goes off, Jack wakes up and Frank starts meowing. Big Sigh. You would think that Mother Nature would let you get plenty of rest before the new baby comes, but she's a bit of a sadistic maniac if you ask me.

Once I'm up and showered it's not too bad, as long as Jack just gives me a bit of space. He comes into the bedroom now, lies in my bed watching telly while I get ready and chats to me the whole time. This week he's taken to "dressing up" when we eat breakfast which is very endearing and cheers me up no end. One morning it was his Bob the Builder hat & PJs, then green frog wellies & PJs,  then this morning his Batman outfit.  I can't wait to see what fashion statement he's got in store for me in the morning ...

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

LOVE the Bucks but ...

It's Beat Michigan Week, which means that The Ohio State University Buckeyes and Michigan University Wolverines football teams play their big rivalry game this Saturday. For the first time in 9 years, I'm not going to the game when I could.  Buckeye fans are now wishing they could grab their car keys and drive over to my house to kick me up the arse for being so stupid as to not go to this game, because even though the stadium seats 105,000 people the tickets are like gold dust.

What on earth could stop me? I'm a huge fan, love the Buckeyes and will be glued to the telly during the game. I might even have to lock Jack in the coat cupboard so he doesn't disturb me and ask for food during a crucial play.  Well mainly, it's because I'm heavily pregnant, in fact a bit too "heavily" pregnant given that I've eaten without a shred of guilt for the last few months. As I'm typing this I'm licking cherry pie and Bird's custard off my lips. Ahhh. Where was I? Oh yes, the Buckeye game....

I'm pregnant and it's cold as hell and that's all there is to it.  I'm going to sit in my pink fluffy slippers and swear profusely at the telly for 4 hours. Bliss.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Yellow Curtains be Damned

I've asked Craig to get me a sewing machine for Christmas, which will make some friends laugh out loud, seeing as I'm as domesticated as a yeti.  I was forced to sew at school and seem to remember getting about half-way through a navy blue pleated skirt before the blessed end of the class.  I've mended a few things too (most recently a quilt of Jack's) but it ends up looking like someone with really big hands and no thumbs attempted it.

When I met Craig I tried to make some yellow curtains for our caravan but all I had was blue cotton and I couldn't get the machine off  zig-zag so the hems were not only uneven but very funky looking. For years now, whenever I bring up the fact that I'd like to be able to sew, Craig looks at me with  raised eyebrows and says "yellow curtains".

It's vitally important that he buy me a simple machine because I seem to remember it took about an hour to thread the cotton around a maze of wires and loops and spools, only to break at the very end, or get jammed as it came through the hole and I'd have to start the whole sorry process again. That kind of thing might put me off, being as impatient as I am.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Post Office Nonsense

We had a dusting of snow this morning and biting cold wind. The sight depressed me to no end because it means we've got another 5 months of ice, snow and treacherous driving that makes up a typical Ohio winter. The driving thing is the worst because all the fools that drive badly on dry roads don't know how to drive on ice and invariably end up either mounted up a pole, skidded into a ditch or trying to kill me.   My drive to day care each morning is like running the gauntlet of idiots.  I love my little car in good weather but at this time of year I always wish I had a Hummer so I could cheerfully barge my way through it all. 

Tonight it has turned into more than a "dusting" as you can see ...

Hopefully it won't stick but I'm already a tad worried about tomorrow's drive. Once the first few snow drives are out of the way it's not too bad but those first few times are terrible. 
Wish me luck ...

A little tag-on story that happened today on the way home from work - I stopped by the Post Office to pick up a Christmas parcel from my mum that needed to be signed for. I gave the attendant the pink bit of paper that had been dropped in the mailbox and my ID. She looked at me and said "The parcel is not for you, it's for Jack".  I smiled at her and replied "Yes, sorry, but I'm his mum. He's two". She said "Well, it's addressed to him and it needs signing by him".  What? I replied, as nicely as I could but with an edge in my voice I couldn't help, "He's TWO and can't drive here, or sign for it". She calmly looked at me, knowing full well that she was the one in the right and the one with the procedures to back her up, and she gave me a very loud & triumphant lecture on how things should be done in the future.  It took a cup of tea and a good hour of making up scenarios about getting her fired for me to calm down. 

Sunday, November 16, 2008

6 Things About Poo

I got tagged today by Strawberry Jam Anne to post 6 interesting things about me on this blog, so here goes:

1. During my teenage years, I worked as a Saturday girl at a beetroot packing factory. My uniform consisted of pink overalls, hat, and wellies. I can still remember the overpowering smell of vinegar and to this day I cannot eat a beetroot.

2. My older sister and I have called each other "Poo" as a nickname since we were kids and even now we never use each others real name. 

3. I do not have an engagement ring and my wedding band is plain silver and cost $10. 

4. I have done 50 skydives, 8 bungee jumps and been aerobatic flying but now I'm too scared to do any of those things.

5. I'm terrified of deep water, even though I can swim.

6. To get through college, I worked as a barmaid at several pubs. Owning/managing a pub would have been my second choice career.

According to the rules, I now tag 6 people to do this on their blog.  I totally understand if the following people don't want to do it, and in no particular order, I'm tagging:  Emily, Rachel, Mommy Daisy, Oma, Jen, and ExpatMum

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Loved the New Bond Movie

We've seen two good films this week:

We got "Run, Fat Boy Run"  on DVD which was funny and definitely a feel-good film that we both liked. I wanted to rent Atonement but I knew Craig would rather watch paint dry. Anyway, this film was great, very entertaining.

Last night we got tickets to the opening night of "Quantum of Solace", the new Bond movie. I love Daniel Craig as Bond and think he's probably the best one so far. If you are in the "Sean" camp, please don't give me abuse! Anyway, I don't think it was quite as good as Casino Royale but we both enjoyed it.  The cinema was sold out so we got there early and ate cinema food for dinner.  In other words, we paid a million quid for a greasy pizza and a bag of M&Ms. We had to get there early though - I've left it too late in the past and ended up on the front row, which knocked me sick and made us both as cross-eyed as Marty Feldman for a week.  

One little story worth a mention - about 10 minutes before the film started, a young couple came in. She was a mega-confident blonde, he was trailing behind her. She came up the stairs to the back of the cinema and saw two spaces behind me and Craig. She said to her boyfriend - "let's sit there!"  He said "I think they're probably being held" and they were because there was a big group of high-school kids behind us. She said "if the seats aren't occupied right now, then we are sitting there. Now sit down"  Me and Craig looked at each other and winced.  She marched over to the seats, only to be told quite sternly by the group that the occupiers were out at the restroom and the seats were indeed taken. The boyfriend went back down the stairs and sat at the front. She followed him, gave him a stern telling off and walked out of the cinema (no doubt to get her money back) & the poor guy trudged after her.  If she's such a psycho now, I wonder what she'll treat him like when they get married?

Friday, November 14, 2008

Pudsy is "THE ONE"

It's Children in Need night tonight in England. It's been going since 1927 and the aim is to raise money for kids charities. Since the 50's they've been having this one night on telly where they have music and all kinds of entertainment by British movie & pop stars. People ring into the "telethon" and pledge money. Last year alone they raised over $70 million. I suppose "American Idol Gives back" would be a good USA comparison.

The reason I'm blogging about this is that Jack's grandma and grandad from England sent him a little Pudsy last week. Pudsy is the Children in Need Mascot. I have often wished that Jack had an affinity for a blanket or teddy bear but he never has. We gave him Craig's teddy bear that he had as a baby, lovingly kept by Craig's mum so it obviously has huge sentimental value - he throws it under his bed. I try to make him bond with the monkey I bought him the day I found out I was having a boy - he chucks it on the floor. He never cared for a dummy/pacifier. Never sucked his thumb, never wants a "blankey". I was beginning to think he wasn't going to get fixed onto anything like that. Until Pudsy. Pudsy has to go with him to school, in the car, and to bed. I snook into Jack's bedroom earlier this week and took pudsy off him to put on a shelf. As soon as I left the room he wailed "I want Pudsyyyyy".

I wonder if it's because Pudsy has a bandage around his head? Jack looks at him with genuine concern and says to me "he has a sore eye!" and then he hugs him. It's great to see him like that because I hear a lot from school about how thoughtful he is to other kids but it's nice to see it first hand.

Who knows how a toddler's mind works though. Next week I might be blogging to say that I found Pudsy down the toilet with his head cut off.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Cat Abuse & The Perfect Bike

This morning didn't start well. At 5am Craig's work pager went off, which woke Jack up, which prompted our soon to be dead cat Frank to start his dawn choir. After damage control (pager OFF, Jack back to sleep) Frank still howled and howled and howled. For another hour. Finally I got up to look for him, to give him a sound telling off and maybe a swift broom up the bum. I looked for the little bugger everywhere and finally found him locked underneath the sink. I have no idea how he got there because both myself and Craig swear we didn't let him in, so maybe it was our guest Gene. More on him later.

Anyway, even though I've been awake since 5, today went on to be pretty good. Most importantly, I got Jack's Christmas present, which he will LOVE. A "Retro Red" Radio Flyer bike. It's a proper bike, heavy and shiny, with a hint of nostalgia that conjures up images of kids peddling through tree-lined streets in the summer, without a care in the world. It's just right for a little boy who is craving his first bike.   Craig's going to buy a new bell for it tomorrow and get it all cleaned up and shiny for Christmas morning. We're both dying to see his little face light up.  I don't think I've been this excited about Christmas since I was a kid myself.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Living with Loonies

About 4am this morning I was sleeping soundly, which is a feat these days as Danny dances on my bladder and kicks me in the ribs if I move. I was woken up by someone tickling my cheek affectionately. It was my husband. I whispered "Craig, what on earth are you doing?" and he woke up and replied "Oh, sorry. I was dreaming that Jack gave me a piece of his orange"

Later, I was sat with Jack at the breakfast table, we talked about his friends at daycare. He said "Can I see Dylan and Avery and Chicken today?" so I said "Dylan, Avery and Christian" He said "Yeah, Dylan, Avery and Chicken". So I slowly pronounced "Christian" for him. He looked at me, like I was daft, and replied slowly "yes moma, Chicken". You know, when you say it, it is a hard name to pronouce isn't it? I do hope his mum isn't offended when she hears Jack call him chicken though.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Staph Infection: Part 2

TWO posts today - an update on Jack's staph infection and one on plants & puddings. How random I am today.

The pediatrician confirmed on Monday that is was a staph infection that Jack had and that it was indeed MRSA. He must have seen the blind panic on my face because he spent the next 5 minutes telling me not to worry, that's it's all okay, that Jack will heal. After his soothing comments and my friend Lee's blog comment about it I'm trying not to worry but I'll be forever on alert now for abrasions and pimples and anything that could even remotely let this bacteria back into his skin. Maybe I should make him live like Bubble Boy? It would ease my mind and I would save a lot on shoes. I wouldn't have to buy him that bike for Christmas either.

Plants & Puddings

We both had today off work so we dropped Jack at day care & got stuck into the garden. I felt a tad guilty taking him to day care instead of the zoo or something but it was so nice to really get into a job and spend some quality time getting a lot accomplished.

We spent about 5 hours dead-heading, mowing (last one of the season hopefully), raking, edging borders and moving plants around. I now have all my Hydrangeas in the south-facing shady wet border where they seem to thrive. My back is aching like buggery and I bent over far too much for a pregnant woman but it was worth it to see the tidy results. I'm also hoping that all this Autumn work will pay off next spring when I'll be far too preoccupied with Jack & Danny to worry about those pesky thistles in my east border. Damn them to hell, they won't go away.

My next garden dilemma is where to put my dwarf purple beech tree. The term "tree" is a bit of an exaggeration seeing as its no bigger than 18 inches tall. It cost a lot of money and I've moved it twice already to no avail. I would hate to lose it but can't seem to find the right spot - it gets so cold here in the winter and so hot in the summer that some plants just can't hack it. I had the same dilemma with my Stewartia tree last year, moved it and it died. It took me until May to finally admit that it wasn't going to form new buds and come bursting back to life. There's a good reason you don't see a lot of these kinds of trees in Ohio I guess. Now, if I lose my golden chain tree (Laburnum) then I'll be really upset. I've kept that bloody thing hanging by a thread for the last 3 years and I'm counting on it finding it's niche and really flourishing in 2009. I was messing with it today and even talking to it, willing it to hang on and endure another Ohio winter with me. The neighbours hopefully didn't hear me.

I'll try and post some pictures of my garden before it gets covered in snow.

Finally, why the picture of a Christmas pudding? We swung by a special grocery store today to pick up some English crumpets and saw that they had some puds in boxes in their seasonal display. I picked one up and they were asking $30 for it. Thirty dollars! I am willing to cough-up five bucks for McVities chocolate Hobnobs and even six bucks for British tea-bags but 15 quid for a Christmas pudding? I'm not paying $30 for something I'll set fire to, make myself sick eating and that will inevitably make me fat. I can do that with a $5 cherry pie.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Veteran's Day - Two Little Boys

Tomorrow is Veteran's Day in the USA (Remembrance Day in England), held on the anniversary of the World War 1 ceasefire at 11am on 11th November 1918. In England, people wear poppies on their lapels as a sign of remembrance. In the USA there will be parades and services for American veteran's of all wars.

This past week I read a short piece on the BBC website about some of the last soldiers to die in the Great War, including Henry Gunther from Baltimore, who died at 10.59am, just one minute short of the ceasefire. Even though everyone knew the end was just moments away, they fought to the end. It's so very very sad.

I also saw today that Rolf Harris is going to re-record "Two Little Boys" to mark the 90th anniversary of the ceasefire. This is the only song in existence that makes me cry. There's plenty of books and films that do, but not songs, bar this one. So I'm going to post it on my blog for you all to sit down and enjoy for a moment.
It was a number 1 hit in England 40 years ago and much loved in Australia & Europe. Was it loved in the USA? I have no idea and will have to ask an American friend ....

Sunday, November 09, 2008

How to Give your Husband a Heart Attack

When your husband is driving in the dark & rain and making a left turn into oncoming traffic at a busy intersection, shout as loud as you can "watch out - here comes the spiderman!" in the hope of making your toddler son laugh.

It will have the desired effect on your toddler, but will make your husband swear like a sailor and look at you in disbelief.

Oops, sorry honey.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Avoiding the Dreaded Basement

Our basement has become the dumping ground of my old office and stuff to put away. We 're also in the middle of painting the fireplace down there and Craig had a ton of plumbing work in the downstairs loo, so it looks like a bomb site. A bomb site infested with pesky cats. Those two little buggers have added to my troubles by covering every fabric surface in hair and plucking the carpet. It is a crying shame that our basement has become so trashy because we love it. It's a huge walk-out room with a big picture window and we've got a big screen TV down there ideal for winter night films and football. SO, the plan is to clean it, fix the loo, finish painting and kill the cats. Only kidding.

While Craig got cracking this morning, I took the little fella to an indoor play area for a couple of hours. I know I got the better deal here! Being 6 months pregnant certainly has it's advantages when you want to avoid hard work.

Jack builds a fort! 10 seconds later, an older child comes along, knocks it down and one piece hits Jack in the face. Her mum says nothing to her, so I give her the most evil & scary face I can muster up. I think it flew right by her, not surprisingly.

Jack has started to develop such a great sense of humour. As well as being kind and friendly and caring about other people, he now makes us laugh every day. Yes, Yes, I know I'm gushing too much about my boy but he makes me proud every day. He's a good egg.