Tuesday, December 30, 2008
Monday, December 29, 2008
Friday, December 26, 2008
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
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
- 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
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
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
Me: "Jack, do you know what mummy would like more than anything this Christmas?"
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
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
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.
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
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
First major snow event caused much excitement
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.
Friday, December 05, 2008
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
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....
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.
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.