Thursday, August 28, 2008

Belly Pictures

I feel SO much bigger this time around, but according to these pictures I'm not.

I have come to the conclusion though that dropping some weight prior to this pregnancy and having a tan certainly helps to make me look healthier.
And just what was I thinking when I bought a pink maternity jumper? Shudder.

Jack the Lad : Update

What a tremendous capacity to learn these toddlers have! Every day he knows new words and music and moves. Here's some little snippets about our lad this month:

His favourite song right now is "You are my sunshine" and I sing it to him every morning on the way to day care.

He loves ice pops and cheese and walking Cody. He asks for these three things the second we get home every night. No exceptions.

He is really getting the hang of potty training and once he's "gone" in there will dance like a maniac around the room singing "I poo-pood in the potty - yeah!" Rightly or wrongly we allow him to flush it down the loo and wave it bye-bye. I have a feeling this might come back to haunt us later.

He says hello to everyone, everywhere we go. He's such a personable child

He can do forward rolls and handstands. He rolls over, stands up, looks at us with great delight and exclaims "roly poly!"

This week alone he has fallen over running 4 times and fell off a swing twice. Tonight he fell head-first (he was hanging upside down at the time), got a face full of mulch, cried for 10 seconds and then immediately did the same thing again. AND, rather than climb out of bed normally he insists on climbing over the end rails and he has started jumping on the beds. If I wasn't pregnant I'd be chugging back a glass of wine right now to calm my nerves.

Lastly, as you can see, we still haven't got his hair cut. Emily gave me a coupon for Cookie Cutters and we will do it. But it's just so cute at the minute that we can't take the plunge.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

To Neil, To Jack, To Casey:

Neil Diamond has apologised to us today for sounding all croaky the other night. He's got acute laryngitis. Neil - if there's even the slightest chance you read my blog (I can dream) please hear this: We love you. You were fabulous. Please come back and see us sometime & try to ignore the sourpusses that want refunds

Tonight I got a cell phone message from day care. My son left me a voice mail saying "Hi mum, I love you".
I hope I can save it forever. Jack: I love you too

Casey Anthony: Please put your parents out of their misery and tell them where their grandchild is buried. You are cold & selfish and I have no doubt in my mind you feel no remorse for killing your child, but PLEASE tell your mum were she is, and then we can all rest easy.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

One for the Memory Bank

The applause dies down and there's a split second of silence and anticipation. What will he sing next?
He takes off his signature black jacket, gives it a flick of the wrist and swirls it across the stage. Underneath he's wearing a shiny silver shirt and we all immediately think of Elvis, and know that we are witnessing another legend, which brings cheers and wolf whistles from the crowd.
Then the familiar rythm begins and the audience grows wild. In unison, fifteen thousand people leap to their feet. Looking to my right, I see my husband, my best friend, grinning wildly. 'Happy Anniversary!" he shouts and plants a big kiss on my cheek.
And then the first verse is over and we know the chorus is coming. Hands are in the air ready. Here it comes, here it comes.....

SWEET CAROLINE!
Do do do
GOOD TIMES NEVER SEEMED SO GOOD!
so good so good so good..




Monday, August 18, 2008

The Delightful Dozen

Craig and I celebrated our 12th wedding anniversary this past weekend. That's a dozen years. The "silk" celebration apparently. I was a tad disappointed when I read that. Silk? I'd have much preferred something shiny or enduring or even remotely sexy. Silk conjures up old ladies big knickers.

Anyway, we had a lovely night. We loaded up the car with the toddler, food and drink (alcoholic for him, fizzy and tame for me) and we went to a drive-in movie. It really doesn't get more Americana than that does it? This is really cheesy but every time I go to the drive-in I feel like I'm an extra in Grease! Is that just me?

We really wanted to see the Batman film but it had finished its run. So we watched Pineapple Express, which was stupid but most entertaining. If you look at the truck back left of Craig you'll see what a lot of poeple did - they take pillows and airbeds and lie in back of their truck beds. The three of us squeezing into the back of my VW Golf wouldn't have been quite as comfy I fear. I also seriously doubt that I could have got back out afterwards.

My other date for the evening. He was such a little trooper and didn't make a fuss when he got tired. He finally conked out just at the end of the film, with a face covered in licorice and a belly full of popcorn.

Kidron: Worth a Visit

Last week, while at a work meeting, a colleague suggested I take a detour on the way home & visit Kidron, where each Thursday the Amish people gather at the local auction house to trade their wares. It was such a great place to visit that I had to post a few pictures.
My absolute favourite is people-watching. There was a little blonde boy about Jack's age, in his straw hat and cloth trousers and barefoot. I couldn't stop staring at him, wondering how his life is and how much it differed from Jack's.

The Amish buggies, all lined up at the auction house.

Inside the auction house. I find the auctioneers fascinating and have no idea what they are saying, although every now and again I heard the word 'cow", I think.


Although these kids are all shoed-up, most of the Amish kids we saw were barefoot and it took me back to my childhood. At every given moment in the summer, I'd be racing around with bare feet, all dusty and dirty. Even now, when I garden I don't wear shoes and I love the feel of cool grass under my feet.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Book Winner Announced

The winner of my book contest this week is Strawberry Jam Anne

I decided to use my two-year old as the random number generator and it took a while but was fun to watch. Since Wife in the North so graciously said she'd send a signed copy to the winner I get to keep my copy & read it again later (it really is a good read).
Thanks to those that took part in my first contest!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

A Bit More, But Not Much

Some of you may remember that one of my New Years Eve resolutions was to recycle and it is going swimmingly.

The main trash culprit though, and the one thing that bugs me, is disposable diapers. We go through about 150/month plus TONS of wipes. I'd love to do something like gDiapers for the new baby but they are 3 times as expensive as plastic ones. So come on nappy manufacturers!!! Please develop a biodegradable nappy that doesn't cost a bloody fortune please.

I also read recently about the brave person going without new plastic for a month. Their blog is fascinating and I thought, "you know what? I might try it!" But then you really see just how much plastic you use during the day and you think "Erm, maybe not". Going without cheese slices is one thing but going without my toothbrush is quite another thank you very much.

We really have got a long way to go before we even start being earth friendly haven't we? Especially here in America, where landfill space isn't really at a critical point yet and as we know, people don't tend to address a problem until it becomes a crisis. As many Ohioans will recount, they didn't do anything about the pollution in the Cuyahoga River till it set on fire.

The bottom line is, I'd just like to do a bit more, without breaking the bank (or washing cloth diapers!) - I just need to decide what that "more" is..

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Great Book Contest!

One of my favorite blogs is Wife in the North, which follows the life of a city woman dragged kicking and screaming to live in the countryside with her husband and 3 small children. It's hilarious, heartfelt and just plain great.

She also recently published a book, based on her life story so far. My friend Sue sent it to me this week and I've finished it.

Here's the deal - I would like to do a little contest & pass the book along to a winner/fellow blogger so that they can absolutely enjoy it as much as I did.

To enter the contest, all you have to do is leave a comment on this post, answering the question: If you wrote a book, what would be the title?

If you've never left a comment here before, it's easy! Click the little link at the bottom of the post that says, "comments". You can select the anonymous option if you don't have a Google account, but sign your first name so I know who you are. Leave your comment by noon on Friday, 15th August.

I'll use a random number generator to pick the winner and mail/post out the book. You won't have to post your personal details on here to get the book, so don't worry about that.

It would be great if the winner read it and then passed it along to another blogger. It would be like "Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants", only with a book.

Good luck!

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Out of Control Scoffing

I can't stop eating. I'm like a human panda, eating the equivalent of my own body weight every day.
Tonight for example, after my dinner, I ate my way through 3 fudge bars, a strawberry milkshake and half a pound of bing cherries. You would think that I feel sick but I'm actually wondering if my gurgling belly might feel better if I had something to eat. The poor baby, trapped in there with more sugar than Nestles, must be doing back flips.
My friend Jan thinks that I'm eating like this because my body is craving all of the sugar it usually gets from copious amounts of wine. I think it's just because I'm pregnant. Craig doesn't offer an opinion, just buys me more chocolate and smiles sweetly (clever man).
I'm more or less in my second trimester now, let's hope I can stop before paramedics have to remove the side of the house & take me out of my bedroom on a wooden pallet.

Monday, August 04, 2008

3 Feet of Trouble

Our Jack had his 2-year Docs appointment today. Here are his statistics:

Weight: 29 lbs (50-75 %ile)
Height: 36 inches (90th %ile)
Head size: 49 cm (95th %ile)

So folks, same as last time - a very tall and skinny bugger with a big head.

I did a quick (and very unscientific) height prediction and it said Jack would be 6 ft. 1" at age 21. Great! Now I have someone to clean my windows.

He's doing really well. Progressing fantastically with his verbal skills and potty training and health. The whole time we were there he kept asking the doctor "what's that?" reply "my watch", "what's that?", "my stethoscope", and so on. He wants to know who everyone is and what everything is at the minute.

One thing that did worry me was that they pricked his finger and did a lead test on him. Apparently we live in a zip code renowned for high lead levels in the soil. Oh just fabulous. So my veggie garden that I'm growing organically is possibly pumping my child with lead. And all the gardening we do together, with me trying so hard to make him love my favourite pastime, might be causing him neurological damage. I'll post more on this when I get the results*.

So here he is, the sunshine of our lives, being tickled by his dad and having raspberries blown on his belly. . . .



video

* Result was "2" and normal range is "below 10". So, he's got a bit of lead in him but not too bad. That's alright then.

Sunday, August 03, 2008

State fair

Today we did our annual pilgrimage to the State Fair. Reasons for going are of course the animals, fairground rides, food, and people-watching.

Jack loved the animals and got to ride a pony again. We finally saw a lot of the show cows and horses that we hadn't seen before after we we ran into Todd, Kelli & Hannah and they showed us where they were. Some of the horses were Shire Horses, which always remind me of my home in Lancashire. This has probably more to do with the fact that many of the photographs of Lancashire have them in, as I can't recall seeing too many of them when I was growing up. One thing I did find amusing today was watching the bull show. The people that show them have this long pole that they use to make the bull stand a certain way and they also use it to "stroke" the bull underneath, to keep it perked up and listening to commands I suppose. It sounds like one of those jobs you really wouldn't tell someone about the first time you met them.


My favourite today - the bald eagle at the bird sanctuary. What an amazing bird!

I also like to people-watch but was most disappointed this year as everone looked normal, or am I blending in?

Best food stall I saw - "Deep fried garlic mashed potatoes on a stick". If you don't believe me I can post picture evidence.

Lastly, when we take pictures now & say 'Jack, say cheese!" or "Jack smile!", he now GURNS. Only two people from northern England could have a child that suddenely decides to gurn, all of his own accord. Little scoundrel.


Sick as a Dog

I was horribly sick yesterday. Not sure what caused it - tummy bug or something I had eaten, but it was just awful. I spent from 7am till 6pm in bed. I could have slept right through and not got up at all until this morning but my guilt got the better of me and I thought I should at least get up and show my husband and child that I still had some gumption.

There were several low points between 7am and 6pm, most notably it was about noon when I was lying on the bathroom floor with my forehead on the cold tile, praying I didn't pass out because I had locked the bathroom door and Craig wouldn't have been able to help me. Other low times included sitting on the loo and being sick in the bathroom bin at the same time, wishing the world to end. And I felt so awful and guilt ridden lying in bed listening to Craig running around like a maniac looking after the animals and Jack. I wished I could get up and help with lunch or nap-time or walking the dog but there was no way I could get out of bed. Craig was a trooper and didn't complain. At one point I know I called for him at least three times to ask for water and I thought he might come in and ask me if I wanted a bell attaching to my finger.

So anyway, I got up at 6pm, ate a little mushroom soup, drank some Robinson's barley water (lovingly bought by Craig that afternoon) and went back to bed at 9pm. Today I feel tip-top and neither Craig nor Jack seem to have got it, so that's a relief. I hope the baby didn't feel any of it?

Friday, August 01, 2008

A Big Day for Jack: Potty Time!

After his bath tonight, while we were putting his pyjamas on, Jack looked at me and said "potty potty!", so I scooped him up and sat him on his little practice potty in his room and carried on with what I was doing. I didn't really pay much attention as he sits on it a lot and he's never actually done anything in there.

So imagine my surprise when he jumped off, said "mummy!", pointed inside it and showed me, with great pride, his first "deposit".

Craig and I made a big deal about it, cheering and dancing and telling him what a little genius he was and then we emptied it down the loo, waved "bye bye" to it and let him flush the toilet. Then we danced and cheered a bit more! He was so pleased with himself and continued to sing about it long after we'd tried to put him down to sleep.

What a momentous occasion for him! Our little boy is starting to be potty trained. One less thing I'll be able to do for for our independent little boy.

I did find it hilarious all the singing and dancing we did about poo. Having toilet humour ourselves, I think me and Craig relish the thought of being able to make songs up about poo for the next 6 months. I may even get into the habit of waving it goodbye, which is a bit too strange.