Friday, May 30, 2008

Bum Sore

Jack has nappy rash and is in pain.

It makes me wince every time I have to change him. He grabs me round the neck and wails NOOOOOOO! like I'm going to throw him to the lions.

Then as soon as he's on the changing table it's like something out of WWF. I'm actually secretly impressed that a 2 year old can put up so much of a fight but of course I don't show him my underlying admiration, instead I wrestle with his legs and say things like, "this won't hurt", knowing full well it's going to hurt like hell.

Nappy rash is just bloody awful - I mean it's blood red and weeping and would bring even the most hardy adult to his knees. The last two days I've tried powder, creams, baths, bum soaks in the sink (please try not to remember that if you ever come to dine with us), and lots of "nappy free" time which always results in a wet floor (or leg, as I found out tonight).

After the dreaded nappy change, the poor little lad gets down from the table and waddles off, doing his best John Wayne impression and saying "bum sore" over and over, in case I seem to have missed the point.

I'm trying Jack love, I really am.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Big Weekend Lined Up

Our friends from Arizona flew in for the weekend so we met for dinner tonight.
Jack was a little star and sat for 2.5 hours at the restaurant table without having a FIT. Thankfully we had enough songs, tickles, cell phones, purses, dances, stories, table-wear and cameras to keep him amused! He's becoming such a personable boy and always says hello to people and interacts. He's very boisterous, very confident and I like that but phew he can be a handful. When we left he was exhausted and wrapped his little arms around my neck. It makes me melt every single time.

He's such a handsome devil. His eyes look green here (like mine) instead of the normal blue like his dad. Maybe they are changing? Maybe I'm fooling myself and it's just the green shirt making them look green. Funny how clothes can do that.

This is just the beginning of a big 3-day weekend of friends and fun. No housework, which I DETEST (would have a cleaner in a heartbeat if I won the lottery) , no DIY, no mowing, no gardening, no watching TV. Just a fab weekend planned. AND the weather is going to be glorious. I am so happy right now.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Race for the Cure

Gina and I did "Race for the Cure" this morning. It's a 5K run in aid of breast cancer research and I think there were about 40,000 participants this year. I say "Race" in the loosest of terms, since Gina ran but I walked. Well, speed walked actually once I could get passed all the annoying people in my way. Isn't that awful? I do something for charity and there's all these kind people doing the same and I'm thinking, "do you really have to take up the whole sidewalk you selfish git" I'm going to hell aren't I.

Gina made good time, bless her. It took me an hour to walk the 5k - about 3.1 miles. I haven't walked 3.1 miles in a couple of years so I'll be stiff tomorrow and probably have bowed legs that couldn't stop a pig in a ginnel. It was so nice to get to the finish line and see Craig and Jack there, and Jack's little face lit up when he saw me. Next year we're going to do it as a family.

As I was walking with all these people you can read message cards they have stuck on their backs. Sometimes it's a celebration card, announcing that a loved one has survived breast cancer. Many times it's a memorial card, announcing the death of a loved one. I teared-up quite a few times, particularly when you see young kids with cards on their back that say "For My Mom". I promised myself at least 50 times during the race that I'd check myself every month and I will. Craig said he'd help too, he's so thoughtful!

After the race we had two birthday parties today - Jack's friend Katy (above) turned two and Grace turned four. So we had lots of fun at an outdoor park and then a swimming pool. For the first time since I joined Weight Watchers I saw myself in a mirror in my swimming stuff and didn't feel like tying lead weights to my legs and jumping in the deep end. Still a way to go but it's getting better.

So that's it. A busy Saturday. I'm hoping it's dry tomorrow so I can plant my veggie garden. My onions are currently sat on the kitchen table, sprouting already. I put them there to egg me on and get me motivated. They've been there since March and getting a bit smelly .....

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Bon Voyage Old Friends

Char & Jan are our close friends here. We've known them for oh, eight years I think. My beffudledness on the actual time we met them is due to the fact that when we get together we party.
Jan came over tonight and of course she's leaving soon for California so we had a few drinkies.

I'm going to miss these two tremendously. There are not too many friends in our life here that connect like we do - we're all liberal, open minded, love people, love to party, love to read and travel and garden and spend time with friends.

Every time we visit each others house we walk the garden and talk about plants, making suggestions or asking advice or praising each others green thumbs. We have the same political views and we wept together in 2000 and 2004.
On September 11th, 2001 we were together - we watched Air Force 1 fly over Columbus on it's criss-cross course of the country in the name of President safety. We sat that night (and many others therefafter) and cried watching the aftermath of the terrrorist attack.
They got married recently (been together 22 years this August). They just bought a house in CA. They are selling their house here. Jan's gone through the most horrendous of family tragedies this last 10 months. Too much to say and too much for me to post as I'd feel like I was overstepping a boundary.

Tomorrow, Jan goes to CA to close on their new house. Char finds out if she passed the CA Bar exam on the same day. They are in negotiations on their house here in Ohio right now. So much to do!

I understand what they're going through as we did it 9 years ago. And I wish them luck, but God I'll miss them. I mean really, how often do you come across friends that exactley FIT?

Lastly - one plus is that Jan said we can use their lake cabin on weekends. I am excited but also aware that it feeds the fire that Craig has to buy a boat. There'll be no stopping him now.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Mooching in Charity Shops

One of my Mothers Day treats yesterday was to go out on my own for an hour to shop, without an impatient husband and a screaming toddler in tow. I went to our local charity shop, which I love. I could spend several days in there, just picking through and people-watching.

This place isn't like your local small Oxfam shop - it's the size of a small aircraft carrier and all the clothes are sorted into sizes on racks. They even have sections for good stuff, like Gap & Banana Republic.

Alas, my hour went by too soon and Craig rang me, telling me lunch was ready. I gazed longingly at the racks as I checked out, wishing for just another hour to mooch around a bit more. I got several things for me & Jack for a grand total of $14.78.

I'd rather shop there than anywhere else in the world. I love my charity shop like most women love Dolce & Gabanna - maybe I'm a closet redneck?

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Mothers Day Wishes

It's Mothers Day tomorrow. Last year I took a day off work, but then I also did on my birthday and Jack's. In fact I milked "motherhood" for all it was worth last year!

I love being a mum, which is surprising because I (we) really didn't want children and we were married for 10 years before Jack came along. But anyway, tomorrow is my big day so I'm going to reflect on what I hope for Jack right now:

1. That he's polite and humble and nice. It would be so easy for him to be rude and spoiled and ungrateful because he's living the dream right now. The grounding for Jack is that me and his dad are northern working class people that grew up in hand-me-downs, maybe 1 great toy for Christmas (not 50 like today!), and being told "children are seen and not heard". I'm not 100 % on that "not heard" thing but I think it's obnoxious when kids interupt adults and don't get pulled up for it.

2. That he progresses okay. I worry far too much that he doesn't know many colours or numbers yet. Yes, I know boys progress differently and each child is different. I'm still on 24hr watch for every imaginable problem though - it's a mothers perogative.

3. That he laughs often in life. He has had a fabulous laugh ever since he was a baby.

4. That he doesn't pick up my swear words. I swear very frequently, especially in the morning when I'm late for work, the cats pestering, Cody's getting under my feet and Jack won't get dressed. Ozzy's kids turned out okay in the end, didn't they?

5. That he gets a sibling

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Limerick of the day

In the essence of "Limerick of a Lifetime" on Swearing Mothers blog a few weeks ago, I have a little ditty from today:

It started with stress in the bedroom*
and continued with Jack being anci**
At work Craig was tested***
But my weight was bested****
So now I'm sat drinking Chianti!

*See yesterdays post
**I'm ironing my pants, he's pouring dogfood into the cat litter
***Want to rant, can't (Grrrr)
****33 pounds today!

I think 4 footnotes might be a record.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Get a Grip Woman!

I am stressed at the moment. It's a word I actually don't like but hear it every day, not just from my mouth but from friends and colleagues and my husband.

It's a word I'd never use when talking to my mum, or anyone else from her generation actually. It would be a bit like telling someone who'd climbed Everest that you had trouble getting your ass up a step-ladder.

At the moment the most stressful place is at home, which is ridiculous because it's my favourite place to be. I know it's at home because I took this scientific test.

Why am I stressed at home? Here's a moment that escalated into me wanting to get on a boat to China today:

About 2am this morning Jack cried out just once, but I woke up as usual because the second his mouth opens my eyelids fly open like a ninja. He went immediately back to sleep but I couldn't, so I trotted off to the loo, so then Cody comes clip-clopping through the house. His nails making huge noise on the wood floors that threaten to re-awaken Jack. Then he stands outside Jack's door and has a good shake, I mean really gets a good rattle going with his collar jingling and tinkling for good measure. At this point I'm lying in bed thinking "I'm going to build a dog house in the garden and relegate that flea-bitten hound to outdoor living". Then, as usual, and for a reason only known to this cat, Frank starts his night howling. Every single night, since Jack was born, he howls near Jack's bedroom door. The howl is a low, scary, loud howl and there's no reason for it, other than to make me feel murderous. By now I am muttering profanitities and calling the cat names that would make a sailor blush. In summary, Cody's now asleep on my legs, Craig's snoring, Jack's murmuring (will he wake up?), Frank's howling and I've got pains in my chest with stress. Fat chance of sleeping.

I know this is ridiculous and I need to get a grip as there's a lot more going on in the world than noisy animals. It's probably because I've got so much other stuff going on, or maybe my age, or maybe I'm just not adept at dealing with multi-tasking like I used to be? "Multi-tasking" - there's another new, silly word that my mum would have a better description for. She'd probably call it "life".

Sunday, May 04, 2008

It was a Grand Weekend

As we say in Lancashire, it was a "grand weekend". Today the weather was picture perfect - blue skies and around 65-70 degrees. We had a mish-mash weekend of boxing (De La Hoya won), great telly (The Tudors, which I just got in to and I love. I thought Henry VIII was a big fat pig? Not in this mini series!), gardening, grilling (Yea, Craig fixed the old grill), football - Everton lost (bummer) Man U won (woo hoo), and fun times with Jack as always.

We have entered into a new era with Jack - the NO SHOPPING era. No longer does he sit contentedly in the shopping cart, saying "Hi" to everyone. Now he screams bloody murder and wants to walk, grab stuff and scream until we leave the shop. He's a nightmare, but then who can blame him? I wouldn't want to sit in a wirey metal seat for an hour either. Yesterday in Target he was howling and a young couple (about 23) came around the corner and she looked at me in disgust, as if to say "take that obnoxious child out of this shop you terrible mother!" It really bothered me and I spent a good chunk of the afternoon coming up with biting and feverishly funny put-downs I wish I'd said.
The conclusion is that we'll probably take it in turns now running out to get stuff, as it's far too stressful to take him along.

Jack's feet today. Covered in purple paint, glittery nailpolish and mud.

Our favourite tree, a Twisted Lavender - Cercis canadensis "Covey". Isn't it lovely.

Lastly, please picture this - yesterday I was in my kitchen with Jack, dancing and singing as loud as my lungs would let me to "Hey Louise" by Neil Diamond. Know why??? Because we're going to see him!!! Craig got us tickets and I'm excited as one can possibly be. Neil Diamond!

Two Great Songs to Sing with your Kids

Friday, May 02, 2008

News from old Blighty

I'm going through a homesick phase again - silly really, seeing that "home" is in Ohio. So anyway, I found a group of local Brits today that meet frequently in town. The next meeting is coming up in a couple of weeks - a picnic I believe. More on that after the picnic I guess.

Big shocker in English politics tonight - the Tories are winning! Even trusty London Labour Mayor Ken Livingstone got out-voted by Boris Johnson (below). A Tory Mayor in London! It must be really bad in England for people to vote for the Tories again folks.

Is Boris okay? My only thoughts of him are of anger after his dumb comments about Liverpool years ago. Seems like he says a lot of dumb stuff. Is he really dumb or just crafty? Mmmm, the verdict's still out for me.

Tomorrow marks the 1 year anniversary that Madeleine went missing. I think about her a lot and hope they find her. If I had 3 genie wishes, finding her would be one of them

Thursday, May 01, 2008

5 Things about Ohio

Before we lived here we had no knowledge of Ohio. We'd vaguely heard of Cincinnati - maybe from songs? Anyway, we love Ohio very much and we're very proud to live here.

So I'm going to post about it, just now and again...

1. There's quite a big Amish population in the NE of the state. I'll never, ever get bored of seeing them.

2. Famous Ohioans include John Glenn, Neil Armstrong, the Wright Brothers, Annie Oakley, Steven Spielberg, and Doris Day!

3. Getting together with your friends and making the name OHIO is a must for any self-respecting native.

4. Ohio borders a state called "Michigan". Michigan has a large population of hermits - people who live in caves and grow their hair and fingernails really long.

5. The college marching band in Columbus is pretty good:

Birthmark Buddies

Jack and I have an usual secret bond. We both have tiny, strawberry birthmarks in exactly the same place. Not just close, but exactly. I'm not sure what this means really, other than the fact that right now we point at them and go "oooo" together.
I like that we have these matching marks. He does too at the moment but I'm sure he'll get more and more mortified as he gets older. Hopefully I won't try and get them out in public as a party trick at his wedding.

Wish I could, but I can't