Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Our Beautiful Baby

I had an ultrasound yesterday. Our newest family member is now 2.5 inches long, with all the right bits and pieces and a heartbeat of 158/minute. When I exclaimed "that's faster than Jack's rate was, it must be a girl!", the nurse looked at me with disdain so I sheepishly asked "is that an old wives tale?" and she sighed "yessssss".

I tried really hard to see if there was any sign of the sex yet but it's too early. I was so excited I blurted out "can we see if it's a girl or a boy yet?" and the nurse looked at me again with disdain and sighed "nooooo".

I think this ultrasound picture is very cool. I've sharpened it up in Photoshop and cropped it and spun it around, to make it look like our child is stood, facing the left.

Look at that lovely face! Craig says (s)he looks like Jack. What do you think?

Monday, July 28, 2008

6 Random Things, Copied from Mountainear

Mountainear tagged me to say 6 random things about myself. To put a new twist on it, I'm going to copy her 6 and write my own answers ...

1. Which member of the Royal Family would I be for an afternoon? I also would like to be The Queen, mainly so I could spend an afternoon hanging out in Buckinham Palace, waving at the plebs outside my gates. I'd have to send the corgis out of the house though - too much yapping would ruin the moment.

2. Tall or Short? I love being tall and wouldn't change it for the world. Even having the accompanying size 10 feet and lanky arms that most shirts aren't long enough for, is worth it.

3. Things that have stuck with you: Every single time I think of a bike, or see someone riding a bike, I sing a stupid jingle in my head "Buy a bike, buy a bike, get down to Charnock Richard Cycles, and buy a bike!" It's a jingle that's been around for 20 years in England and still haunts me. I'm singing it now, damn it.

4. The Aurora Borealis was supposedly visible from Ohio several years ago, so we (me, Craig, Char & Jan) set off one night to see it. We sat in the park, got hysterically drunk, peed in the bushes, saw nothing and went home.

5. I love the smell of fresh cut grass. I changed my mind as I realised that my favourite smell in the world was my son, Jack.

6. Tags? No more for me either. This is officially my last one. Thanks for asking me though.


As per the tagging rules, I'm sending this to 6 people to answer these same questions and post them on their blogs: Mountainear (kind of a cheat as she's already done it), Emily, Jen, Mommy Daisy, Oma, and Kelsey

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Captain Catcher!

Jack's had a great weekend of pool time and swimming and parks and sunshine. All those things you love as a kid.

His vocabluarly has gone bonkers lately too and he's saying new words every day. He's also singing and dancing and just being so engaging with everyone. That's a word I'd use to describe him at the moment - engaging. One of my favourite things he says to me is when he calls me darling sometimes, like I do him.

For months now he's been getting pretty good at throwing and kicking a ball around but today he learned to catch! So we played catch a lot - in the house, in the garden and at the local pool. Here's a little video of him practicing his new skill ...





Lastly, we had a great weekend - had friends over for a cook-out last night and we started working on the house again (we go through cycles of hardcore DIY and then hardcore couch potato-ness). It was sad to talk on the phone this weekend with Jan and Char, 2,000 miles away and homesick. And I didn't call my family in England (sorry, will catch up this week). My only excuse is that I got stuck into a good book and I can't put it down.
I'll blog more later, as Mountainear has tagged me....

Friday, July 25, 2008

Weird Names

I was reading on CNN this morning that a young girl just got a court order to have her name changed. Her parents named her (wait for it) .... Talula Does the Hula from Hawaii
Are they insane?

Now I've known girls called Gemma Haggerty-Woo and Strawberry Fields, and there was once a graduate student I took classes with who's second name was Dickshit. I particularly like it when their name is connected to what they do. At work, our HR lady's 2nd name was "Severence", which is just too much of a coincidence.

Not all funny names are universal though - one of my friends in England had a bank manager called Nicholas Tart, which in England translates into "non-panty wearing slut", but doesn't mean anything in America, which is probably why no one ever laughs when I tell them about it.

Well I took today off to get stuff done on the house, so I'd better get to it...

Thursday, July 24, 2008

One Year Ago, One from Now

My friend, Emily, has posted a fun thing on her blog, writing about what you did a year ago and what you hope for a year from now. Please add to it if you can.

Here was my offering:

A year ago, Jack had just started walking, my neice Gemma told me she was pregnant, I was 40 lbs heavier but having lots of fun (I miss Char & Jan). Next year, I'll have a 3-year old, a 6 month old, an old decrepit dog, a flourishing PhD project, a new house and if I get my way, two missing cats. Only kidding :-)

Bitey Bitey

I was at work in a meeting yesterday when my phone started vibrating and I peeked down at it to see the day care ringing me. I left the room thinking of course that something horrible had happened. I rang back and they didn't answer*, then neither did Craig, so just for a moment I was struck blind with panic, convinced something awful had happened to Jack and I couldn't find out what.

I did finally get through to Craig and found out that one of the other kids had bitten Jack on the arm. Nothing serious, no broken skin but it did leave a bright red circle of teeth marks on his forearm. His friend got jealous as Jack was playing with another boy so decided to put an end to any kind of developing new friendship and gave our Jack a warning "hey my friend, play with me!".

Day care spoke to the biter's parents and to the bitees parents (us) and even offered for us all to get together for a parent conference, which seems a bit extreme. I mean, they're TWO. Isn't biting pretty common? I'm also not wanting to make a big fuss based on the fact that it very easily could have been my son chomping down on some other kids arm. They aren't very, erm, civilized at this age if you know what I mean.

As for Jack, well he's the star of the moment and spent all last night holding up the wrong arm and saying "bitey bitey!"


*In future they'll leave me a voicemail, to avoid giving me a heart attack.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Fit f' Nowt

As they say in Lancashire, "I'm fit f' nowt at the minute". I'm tired all the time, I keep feeling nauseous and I just feel like crap. Those of you that know me know that it's driving me bonkers to be like this.

I'm an Aries you see - we forge ahead with the determination of an Antarctic explorer, regardless of illness or fatigue. In fact, I have very little patience for either. As my poor husband will testify, I am not exactly Florence Nightingale even when he is genuinely sick. Just this weekend he chopped the very end of his index finger off slicing potatoes and it took me a good hour to admit it was worthy of some fuss.

I also never nap, another thing I know my husband would love to do, given the opportunity. Even when I first had Jack and was on 3-hour feedings I didn't nap. I just can't. Yes, I know I'm supposed to nap and look after myself and rest but I just can't. So on Saturday I was so exhausted I took a 2 hour nap, right in the middle of the afternoon! And last night I went to bed at EIGHT O'CLOCK! Granted, I laid and watched Top Gear but still, I was in bed resting knowing that there was a ton of housework to do.

Craig came in the bedroom and I said "I hope I won't need bedrest - it will turn me into a nutjob", and he said "you already are". Smart arse.


Anyway, enough of my self-involved rubbish. Here's two great pix I took of Jack this weekend.

Firstly, helping me shell our homegrown peas, and then one of him hitting the water. I love to watch him play in his pool in the summer.

He won't be forming these memories yet, but I am.



Wednesday, July 16, 2008

It's a Girl!

I'm joking, I'm joking!

There's no way I'll find out for another 8 or 9 weeks at least. But I do feel different this time and:

* I crave fruit and sweets

* I seem to be putting weight on all around me, like the Michelin Man. I looked like I'd swallowed a basketball with Jack

* My boobs hurt. No, more than hurt - bloody kill me actually

* I'm dead tired

*I sleep with my head facing south (yes I know it sounds stupid but I didn't invent the Old Wives's tales. It also doesn't explain Jack.)

* I don't eat the bread crust (just where do they get these premonitions from?)

* I am a bit more sick (but not much)

By the way, we'll be overjoyed with this baby no matter what the gender is, but it is fun to try and guess.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Denenenenenenenene BATMAN!

I would love to be able to see the new Batman film "The Dark Knight" this Friday. We saw a trailer months ago and Heath Ledger's Joker character scared me to death. More scary than the clown from "IT", Hannibal Lector and the child catcher from "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang" all rolled into one.

Unfortunately, that's one thing you just can't do with a toddler - go to the pictures.

Of course I could get a babysitter and I do have a girl I work with, Emily, that I trust. But I always feel cheeky asking. I should get a nice local teenage girl who needs some extra money but I'm plagued by visions her hitting Jack or being mean to him. Even the thought of it makes me want to murder her and she's not even real. Ahhh, a mothers love can sometimes be a cross to bear!

So I'll have to wait until I pluck up the courage to ask Emily, or it comes out on dvd. Or maybe take a couple of hours of official vacation time and go one afternoon next week? Now there's an idea. Any local friends up for that?
*Edited to add that my lovely husband is going to take some vacation time too and we'll go on a date next week sometime AND Emily offered to babysit!.

Friday, July 11, 2008

The Irony

Irony's my subject today and I found this great picture to make the point. It's a shame Mr Vick wasn't in his t-shirt at the time.

Anyway, back to today's short story....

Our lad Jack got an award today: "Most Improved Student", which means he's done great in his personal skills and vocabulary and all those wonderful things teachers rate you on.

Just after he got his award he set all the fire alarms off at the day care centre.

Oops.

Tackle that Streaker!

At a Columbus Crew game recently a semi-streaker (well he still had his pants on) ran onto the pitch during the game and got tackled by my friend Brett.

The glorious moment is at 2 minutes and 40 seconds:

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Housing Conundrum

We live in a ranch house, which in England would be called a bungalow, except that this is America, so it's HUGE.

The 3 bedrooms are right next to each other and there have been times when we've had overnight guests & it's been an issue. Many a time I've had a few glasses of plonk before bedtime, got up in the middle of the night to go to the loo, then realised as I'm washing my hands that I'm naked and must perform the 3-yard dash back to my room praying that I won't slip on the wood floors, wake up guests and have to lie there naked with broken legs while the ambulance comes.

Anyway, Jack is 2 doors down from us, and the guests sleep in the middle right now, but that will be the new baby's room.

So where will our vistors sleep? Well, we can either (1) sell the house and buy a 4 bedroom (2) convert our finished basement into a cool little "granny flat".

Shopping for a 4-bedroom house sounds like fun but selling our current house sounds like hell. The market is awful right now and we went though all that stress just 3 years ago. UGH.

Decorating a granny flat sounds like fun but building it sounds like hell. Building walls, drywall dust, moving drains, running electric. UGH.

Of course I could just tell vistors to bugger off and get a motel. Or offer them the smelly basement couch that my 2 cats have ruined (damn their furry backsides). Or maybe pitch our tent in the back garden and tell them to pee in the bushes. Only kidding mum - we'd let you in to use the toilet.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Introducing ...

Jack's sibling, due 2009.

I have been a tad queezy this time, ravenously hungry (there goes the weight loss) and dead tired. But really so far a breeze.

Seeing the heartbeat this morning was the nicest thing in the world. Craig was squeezing my hand so tight I thought he might cripple me.

Monday, July 07, 2008

The Missing

A few months ago the TV remote went missing. At the time I had my suspicions that a certain little boy that lives here had squirreled it away somewhere. We have searched everywhere with no luck.

Last week I noticed that my new lovely Birkenstock sandals were quite singular in nature. In other words, one is missing. Maybe having met the same doomed fate as the remote.

I'm used to odd socks and missing puzzle pieces. I'm not surpised when I find blocks in the washing machine and water cups under the sofa, grapes in my knicker drawer and coins in his pockets.

But not knowing where the remote and my sandal is is driving me nuts.

I could try and ask him but that would be as fruitless as asking my dog why he eats cat poo.

One day in the distant future, when we're retired and loading up the RV to go cross-country touring with our 3 cats, I'll find them stuffed in a sleeping bag and I'll smile.

Weekend Best Wishes

  • Happy 24th Anniversary to my mum & Tom
  • Happy Birthday to my dad
  • Happy 4th Birthday to Noah
  • Congratulations to Delina on her wedding - have a blast in Vegas!

Wish I could have been in England for each celebration

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Happy Birthday Jack!

Our little boy turned two today. As I'm typing this he's crashed out in his bedroom exhausted, with a belly full of ice cream and a front room full of wrapping paper and cards from people that love him.

We took him to the zoo last night for a picnic with friends and to have pony rides - his most favourite thing in the world. Today, all his daycare friends made him cards and sung happy birthday to him and tonight we took him to an American Diner for a hamburger (his first) and ice cream.

We're off work tomorrow for the July 4th holiday and we've got lots of fireworks and parades to go to - so more on that later.

What a birthday he's had! I'm sure he's had fun and just been overwhelmed with all the excitement, which seems like it's more for our benefit than his!

Anyway, here's a few pictures & a short video from the last two days......














3 Month Catch-up

I can't believe I haven't posted for over 2 months! So much to say. Jack's a middle-schooler and after a week of belly aches a...