Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween

This was Jack's first real Halloween where he understood what was going on and was very excited to be Batman. As I said before, he wanted to be a penguin but the costumes were sown together at the ankles and would have been impossible for a 2-year old to walk in, and I left it too late to make one. Anyway, he loved being Batman and could even sing the song, but his version sounded more like "Ratman".

At day care they had a parade. How cute are these toddlers ...

Then tonight we went out. This was his first time trick-or-treating in the neighbourhood and it was really nice to actually meet some people that we live with! The house decorations were great as you can see ...

Jack did really well tonight, saying "hello" to everyone and "thank you" after he got his treat. We were very proud of him. He's now conked out in bed exhausted, Craig's upstairs waiting on me so we can watch "The Strangers" and I'm blogging & pigging out on candy. I'm sure Jack won't miss some.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Our Darling Danny

Instead of the usual grainy ultrasound pictures that need an explanation and a visual demonstration to be deciphered, I'm posting the 3D pictures that were taken today by my doctor. What fabulous medical service you get these days!

For those of you that still need the explanation: He's facing the camera, his right arm is tucked around the back of his neck. His left arm is up, across his forehead.

He has my nose. Hello Danny, my little love.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Our Little American Scouser

My son is going to have the most weird accent.

This last couple of months, he's starting to say words in a very proper queen's English, but then he says things American, like "wader", instead of "water". I can live with him flip-flopping between English & American as long as he calls me mummy and not mommy.

But then this week he's started saying "work" like a scouser: "wirk". Oh dear.

Underwear Man is on my Hitlist

Jacks potty training is going great again. He seems to have regained his enthusiasm for using the toilet and is only wearing diapers for bed.
To help him along I bought him some really cute Diego underpants that he picked out at the shop and he loves. I put a pair on him this weekend and when I came to take them off for bed he had the most horrendous rash on his bum. Not just mild redness, but whopping big lumps and pimples that looked sore as hell.
I found out today that new underwear, even for babies and kids, is soaked in formaldehyde to keep the fabric preserved during shipping & storage. Its true, I Googled it. I'd like to meet the bright spark that decided that this was a good idea and give him a Glasgow kiss.
I guess I should have washed his underwear before letting him wear it, but when did that habit become the "norm"?

Friday, October 24, 2008

It's Been a Weird week

I'm sat in the new "nursery", which is in fact my office and full of baby stuff piled on the spare bed. I had intended to come in here , get my computer loaded up onto a hard drive and move my office to the basement, so I could start getting Danny's room ready. As you can tell, I'm blogging instead.

It's been a weird week.
I went to Bowling Green, Kentucky for work. Driving for 12 hours was supposed to be my thinking time, to get my head sorted out on work stuff and such but it ended up being a typical road-trip of stops for coffee and snacks and flicking through the radio to find old songs like Bohemian Rhapsody that I could sing along to. I love Kentucky. Home of the Corvette Museum, bourbon, horse racing, Mammoth Caves and Dinosaur World. The hospitality is great. So great that even the restrooms have complimentary toiletries like ladies "sanitary items" and mouthwash, AND paper hand towels. Now I know paper hand towels are not eco-friendly but it's lovely to wipe your hands rather than hold them under a knackered old hot air contraption that doesn't remove any moisture. When I got back from my whirlwind trip I was supposed to babysit for Brian & Emily but completely forgot (sorry guys) so I'm also feeling a bit useless and uncoordinated this week.

Yesterday I got cornered by a woman in a shop that I thought was friendly but turned out to be as racist as Hitler and really upset me. I've felt sick since the whole episode and am still struggling with the realization that there's people in this world that hate immigrants and think the notion of white supremacy is acceptable. I'm so affected by it that I can't even write down what she said.

I had a good day today though, thankfully. Firstly, my doctor rang to tell me that I do NOT have gestational diabetes this time. Yea! So I don't have to check my blood several times a day by pricking my finger. And I can eat carbs. In celebration I had mashed spuds for dinner.

Then another good thing happened today: Five Iraqi refugee boys started at Jack's daycare this week. They are obviously out of sorts, they can't speak English and they are upset at the change in their lives. One of the toddler boys got very upset and didn't want to sit at the lunch table today with all the other kids, so he went into a corner and cried. My son went to him and patted him on the arm, repeating over and over "Hassan, it's okay, it's okay, it's okay" until the little boy calmed down and went and sat with them. My son is only two but he made me feel like the most proud parent on the planet. I must remember his act of kindness next time I want to strangle him.

Right, I'm going to get cracking on this room. This weekend is already packed full of activities (including the big game tomorrow) and I'm dying to start sorting out those baby clothes. There's something so nice about folding newborn clothes and pairing up those tiny socks ....

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Halloween Costumes: Child Cruelty

I was looking for some homemade Halloween costume inspiration tonight & came across this. I can't begin to imagine what the parents are like (stoned maybe?)
Let's hope the kids got tons of treats at least.

Monday, October 20, 2008

My Weekend Ramblings

Saturday: Woke up believing I'd get back to healthy eating as weight is creeping up like a wily old fox. Went on to gorge the whole day on crap food but feel wholly justified because my company for the day at Jan's cabin drank beer all day and I couldn't (bloody ba humbug)

Had a smashing day at the cabin but didn't sleep over. Went home and had hoped to see the Penn State:Michigan game but didn't, and well really in the whole scheme of things, would like it if both teams could have lost. I know it's good for us for PSU to win so we can hopefully beat them this Saturday but I still can't bring myself to cheer for either side. This probably makes no sense at all. Even Craig thinks I'm bonkers. Talking of which ...

Sunday: Poor Craig gets to do plumbing all day while I give him some space & take the little fella to the zoo. I had to buy the mandatory horse ride for him but the cost has gone up 400%. I blame John McCain.

95% of all the kids there had Halloween costumes on, except for my boy because I didn't think ahead. I haven't even got him an outfit yet. Actually I want to make one for him but am coming up blank on ideas.

Talking of Halloween, I have made my house a bit spooky (pictures later), including a big hairy spider over our letterbox to scare the postman, bit I haven't done anything this funny:

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Taking Time to Smell the Roses

Mornings are a nightmare. I'm always late getting up and I have a speed-shower chanting "please don't wake up, please don't wake up" because if Jack wakes up he comes to his door and wails "mamaaaaaaa!" until I open it.

Once that door opens it's BOOM - full-on toddler. A barrage of questions and demands and whining and more questions and more demands. I'm trying to dry my hair or make up his packed lunch while half-heartedly replying "uh huh" and "yes love" and "no you can't have another". All of this is done at breakneck speed and I don't calm down and actually breath till we're in the car and on the way to daycare.

So now I've set the scene for my usual morning I'll tell you what happened this morning. We're sat at the table, eating cereal. Well, I'm eating and he's jabbering on and I keep saying "come on, eat your breakfast", using my own spoon to shovel Cheerios in his mouth. I finished before him and told him "mummy's finished" to try and hurry him up. He looked into my empty bowl, looked up at me with total love on his little face and said "mummy share mine?" and tried to feed me with his spoon.

It felt like a big arrow went right through my heart, and hopefully a big thud on the head to say "wake up woman, your son is only this age today!"
So, I promise I'm going to be a better mum in the morning and take time to enjoy our little bit of time together, instead of running around like a lunatic, telling animals to bugger off from under my feet and being impatient with everyone.

This will no doubt change next year when Danny arrives. I'm already getting my knickers in a twist about the stress of getting two kids out the door.

Picture: Jack helping me wash my fat and stupid-looking carrots.

Monday, October 13, 2008

No More Fannying About

Okay, no more fannying about. I have made two executive decisions this weekend:

1. Our new baby's first & middle name is ....... Daniel (Danny) Lewis. So from now on, when I refer to "Danny" I mean the ever-growing bump just above my trousers.

2. Other than cherry tomatoes I'm giving up on veggie gardening. My carrots are fat and stupid-looking. My corn, beetroots, and beans went rotten because I couldn't be bothered harvesting them. My peas grew like gangbusters and took a load of effort to harvest and I got about half a can of peas off them so I'd rather just pay 25 cents for a can from Aldis. I want to be a modern woman of the earth but the truth is I'm just too lazy.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Bump Watch: 24 weeks

I've put on about 16 lbs during this pregnancy so far.

Really nice friends say things like "you're eating for two!" and "you're pregnant - of course you'll put weight on!" But really, when you look at the numbers, this baby currently weighs about 1.2 lbs, which means the rest is milkshakes, licorice, and tequitos.

I know I should stop, especially since I have the gestational diabetes test next week and I'm hoping I don't get it again. I justify it to myself by saying that I can't drink wine and well - if Craig's going to sit and have a glass of Chablis then I'm damn well having apple pie and ice cream.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Three Book Reviews: Soon to be Movies!

1) On the way to England last month I picked up "How Starbucks Saved my Life" at the airport and read it. It's about a yuppie executive that finds himself down-and-out in NY. An eye-opener for him but a look at normalcy for us. I enjoyed it but felt all the way through that he was still thinking he was in the wrong place, like he was doing the rest of us plebs a favour by living in our world. I''m interested to see if I like the character (Tom Hanks I believe) in the movie.

2) On the way back from England I read "The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas" on a recommendation from my mum. It's about the holocaust, so needless to say it made me cry on the plane - how embarrassing. The woman next to me did all she could to avoid eye contact. Anyway, I finished it about half-way over the Atlantic, so then twiddled my thumbs for 4 hours. It's a short read, not too taxing and somewhat predictable but it's a story that's stayed with me. Can't wait to drag Gina to the movies with me and have a girly night out: popcorn and a good cry!

3) This week I just finished "The Life of Pi" and I'm still in the post-book mood. I can't stop thinking about it and even read the end again yesterday, something I think I lot of people would do with this book. All I'll say is this - if you read the back cover you'll think the book sounds so stupid & far-fetched you won't read it, but please do. It's not what you think it is, trust me. I can't wait for this movie and will probably try and drag Craig kicking & screaming. Hopefully they'll run it at Studio 35 - our local cinema that serves beer. That usually works.

Next, I want to read "The Oxford Project" but it costs $30. But hey, Christmas is coming and someone who reads this blog and sleeps in my bed might buy it for me (not you, dog).

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Babysitters from Hell

Having no family in the USA means we have to rely upon friends to babysit Jack, which in over two years has amounted to less than 10 times. So much for those Cosmpolitan articles that tell you to make time for each other once a week - fat chance!

We have put the feelers out there to see about hiring a stranger, because we love our son but let's be honest, watching a 2-year old is bloody hard work and can lose you friends quick if you keep asking.

Sadly, we've not had much luck with strangers yet though.

We've met a woman who had 25 dogs and whose house stunk so bad my eyes watered. Then I had a classified answered by a woman who said her dog loved kids so much it watched them while she did other things. There was the woman that liked us so much she talked to us like we were her friends and told us all about her online cloth diaper business and as I'm thinking "she spends all her time online and not watching the kids", my child was headed towards her balcony, unnoticed.

I know that Mary Poppins doesn't exist but for heavens sake. Aren't there mums and normal people out there looking to make a few bucks that won't make me feel like I've left my child with Naomi Campbell?

Monday, October 06, 2008

A Song Revelation: Not about the plague

I'm feeling much better now thank you very much. I think I was run-down after the trip to England, hurricane Ike and visit from mum & Auntie Edna.

This weekend we had plenty of R&R, including a visit to Ikea for a new bed for Jack. I love Ikea. I know a lot of it is cheap Swedish crap and the store is brimming full of manic people, but it's worth it to get a good deal and something a bit different. If I didn't at least try and get something from Ikea my house would look like a display in Target.

We also got to see some friends at a Buckeye game party Saturday night. Thank God they won as I was getting a tad worried and even pretending to read the Ikea catalogue in the last 5 minutes as it was too painful to watch but then - yea! - Terrelle Pryor pulled it out and we won. Phew.

Sunday we took Jack to his first of 10 weekly gymnastics classes. The teacher wasn't there so we got lumped with a student helper that had no clue what she was doing but hopefully next week it'll be better. One good thing was that Jack got to see his friend Katy. NOW, I was totally flummoxed at one of the songs she had us sing. The song was "Ring around the Roses" which I have been brought up to believe was a nursery rhyme originating from the great plague in England, hence the words:
Ring a-ring o' roses, a pocketful of posies. a-tishoo, a-tishoo! We all fall down.
But she (and everyone else) sang:
Ring around the rosy, a pocketful of posies. ashes, ashes! We all fall down.
So I looked all this up on Wikipedia and turns out there's loads of versions. Including rather odd ones from India & Canada and one from Louisiana which requires you to run up and down stairs too, as if it wasn't energetic enough. So there you have it. You learn something every day don't you.

And finally:
  • Jack's done a 180 on potty training and has gone from being totally potty-trained to wanting nothing to do with it. Strange? He also misses my mum and every day asks "where's nana?, where's auntie?". He loves the tea set we got him from Ikea and has spent all weekend making us have tea parties with him.
  • The debate last week was everything I thought it would be. Biden = Informed & Presidential. Palin = Regurgitated everything she'd been primed to say, didn't answer direct questions and kept winking at the camera. How annoying. Let's hope tomorrow's debate is a bit more meaty.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

I'm Just a Little Ray of Sunshine Today

I took my mum & auntie Edna to the airport today. Even though we said we wouldn't cry, we did. Even though we both said at the gate "DON"T turn around", we did. I always feel better when I know she's home, which will be about 10am tomorrow morning, but right now I'm sad. I'm not even sure she's coming back when the new baby comes now either, since its so exensive to fly. So all the time I'm saying goodbye I'm wondering when I'll see her again. **Big sigh**

Now I'm off home for the big debate. What worries about this debate is that our expectations of Palin are so LOW at this point that all she'll have to do is come across slightly intelligent and the world will gasp "oh! she's so great!". And it pisses me off that she's waving a string of Buckeyes around. She probably has no idea what they are and dons a big yellow "M" when she goes north. Big Faker.

As you can clearly see folks - missing my mum, being pregnant and having to suffer fools isn't exactly making me a little ray of sunshine today....

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Niagara & Cash

Here's my mum (r) and auntie Edna at Niagara. I've really enjoyed spending time with them but it was a bit worrying. I mean, if they are an indication of things to come, I have a future of tremendous forgetfulness (now where's my purse?), talking loudly and often, and crazy behaviour. But they do have a wonderful sense of humour, bless them.

My boy in front of the American Falls. Anyone who tells you they are better than the Canadian Falls are lying, or they are one of those people that likes to be different. Like someone who grows up in Ohio but supports Michigan.
By the way, I'm not beating Jack - he fell at day care.

A trip to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame to see Johnny Cash's tour bus.
My mum said she felt Johnny's spirit in the bus (see "crazy behaviour" above).

What a bloody cheek! If he hadn't popped his clogs I'd have reported him to Scotland Yard