Thursday, April 30, 2009

Don't Talk to me about Swine Flu

That probably isn't a good idea at the moment! Someone emailed me this picture today & it lightened the mood.

Yesterday at the local playground I was chatting with one of the dads who stays at home and he was saying how transfixed he was by the whole swine-flu thing. Even going on the interactive maps on the Internet to see where it was spreading and he glued himself to the news channel all day. While he was telling me this his wife kept looking at me and rolling her eyes but I can see how you'd get like that. I'm scared too, mostly because I have two tiny human beings in the house, one of whom has no immune system.

Because I'm scared this time, I am doing my best to completely ignore telly, paper and radio coverage, even though we have cases in Central Ohio. I don't want to know because I can't do anything about it, other than not organise a trip to Mexico anytime soon and make sure we all wash our hands. While it doesn't sound like much of a cunning plan it's working for me right now. I wouldn't call it denial, I'd call it "being selective with my information intake"

For example, someone told me today that 36,000 people die each year from the regular seasonal flu and that the 23 month old boy that died in Texas had other medical problems. So I'm choosing to believe that, even though it's probably complete nonsense.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Fun with My Boys in the Sunshine

Today it is in the mid-80's with clear blue skies. I dragged the whale-shaped swimming pool out of the garage, flicked the skeletonized spiders off it and blew it up for our Jack. I couldn't find the air pump anywhere so had to do it myself. Jack was stood over me saying "blow mama!" as I puffed away, my face bright red and thinking "Oh God, I'm going to hyperventilate and pass out". I'm not kidding - it took me about 20 minutes to blow the thing up. I'm finding that air pump tonight and keeping it in a safe place (mmm, that might be what I did last time, which is why I can't find it now....)

Anyway, Craig had to work today, so me and the boys had fun in the back garden. Hopefully winter has buggered off for good because this sunshine feels Ohhhh, so good! .

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Toddlers and Green Food

Once again we packed Jack's lunch bag and I stood back and thought "bloody Nora, all orange again!" I seem to have a penchant for giving him red & orange food: segments of orange, cheese, cherry tomatoes, crackers, and carrots. His daycare workers must think I've got some kind of obsessive compulsive disorder about only eating orange things. If I add protein like chicken, turkey or smoked sausage it really doesn't help the cause.

I know I need to give him GREEN things, but for the life of me I can't think of cold food a toddler will eat that's green. Except jelly.

I met a woman at the park last week who was sat cross-legged on the play equipment with her toddler son sharing a fresh avocado, eating it with spoons like a yogurt. I thought "that's so cool! Me and Jack will do that and look equally hip". That night I bought one and he took one look, wrinkled up his nose and flatly refused to even try it. When I begged him he put his face down in the carpet as far as he could without giving himself friction burns and yelled "no mama!" I have to say after trying it myself I don't blame him. It tasted like butter and had the texture of a gone-off banana.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Back to the Madhouse

My days spent cuddling and hanging out with my baby boy are over as I'm going back to work in the morning. I feel sad and excited all at the same time. I'm also a bit scared as I have loads of work stuff to do, but you know, it would be very strange (and probably impossible to justify my job) if I was going back after 12 weeks and didn't have loads to do.

I had a good day today. My footy team, Everton, beat Manchester United so they are in the FA Cup final with Chelsea at the end of May. Craig and Jack are Man U fans. Me and Danny are Blues. Of course both boys will probably end up supporting Arsenal and I'll have to ask them to move out.

Righty-ho then. I'm off to bed so that I am bright eyed and bushy tailed for work in the morning. It probably wouldn't look good if I turned up late, covered in baby barf.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Music to put a Smile on your Face

I watched two videos today that got me going (steady on there, I meant in a musical sense)

First, it was the unlikely and lovable Susan Boyle on Britain's Got Talent. I wanted to embed the video on here but YouTube wouldn't let me . It's well worth the watch! Hairs up on arms, lump in throat, all that good stuff. Click HERE to watch it.

Second, Ted Velvet (fellow blogger, linked to the left) and his band The Butcher Boys have taken on the great "music for a found harmonium". Turn the volume way up and I defy you not to tap your foot, or in my case, do some fanatical Irish dancing while washing up.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Easing into Day Care

Danny started day-care this week, just a few hours a day so that he (I) can adjust to it and not get separated from each other cold-turkey next week. Where has 12 weeks gone? My maternity leave has flown by so fast it feels unreal. In Europe they are off for months which sounds glorious to me because as much as I could definitely not be a stay-at-home mum, 12 weeks does seem a bit too harsh. I met a woman in the nursing room at the zoo last weekend and we chatted about being home with babies. She assumed I had to go back to work due to finances and I didn't correct her and tell her it would still be my choice, even if we did have the money. I absolutely love my job, my career, and can't imagine ever walking away from it.

Also, Jack has thrived in day-care doing all kinds of fun stuff and making lots of friends. I'm convinced the day-care environment has made him as confident and smart and generous as he is. A bit too confident actually. Phew. He is 110% from sunrise to the moment he finally conks out after using up all his excuses to stay awake (I need more stories/a poo/wee/water/hug/kiss from daddy/kiss from mummy/kiss from Cody/kiss from Frankie/poo/wee/water/cow torch/light on/light/off/kiss from mummy/mum to stroke my hair/kiss from daddy/wee/water).

So back to day care - I feel good about sharing Danny, so far. I really like and trust his care givers and I know Craig and I can go anytime we want to check on him. I did feel a bit jealous today though when they told me he was giggling and laughing with them and tonight I made him stare at my face for a long time, so he doesn't forget who his mummy is.

Jack loves it now that Danny is at school with him and spent all day yesterday in the nursery, even sleeping next to him. That's why I love this day-care, they treat each kid how he needs to be treated at that moment in time. This morning though we had to jimmy him out of the nursery, back into the toddler room with his friends. All the kids love "baby Danny" and rush to see him, so he's not going to be short on cuddles.

Being in the house today without either of my kids is weird in so many ways: I still rush rush rush to do something in case one of them wants something, I keep thinking I can hear them both on the baby monitor, I still tip-toe around so as not to wake them from naps. Reading this back now I think it's obvious I'm going a bit bonkers.

Lastly, & totally unrelated - I know this is going to get very boring for you all but continues to fascinate me. Here's the two boys at the same age again. I keep thinking that maybe they don't look alike, until I do this ...

Fun with Tape

I was reading a magazine last night and it listed some of the best kid-friendly festivals across the USA. I wish we lived closer to California because they have a pirate festival and Jack loves pirates at the minute (he's mad about Peter Pan).
Of the several listed festivals in the mag, I was pleased to see that Ohio made the list. What might you ask did they make the list for? Well apparently here in Ohio we have the Duct Tape Festival! Looks like fun to me and reminded me of a picture that I just had to post on here. Many years ago, my friend Wayne and I had a rather fun evening with a roll of sellotape.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Our Man "G"

The day we got the keys to this house we were so excited that we grabbed the blow-up airbed and a couple of sleeping bags from the old house and slept in the basement. Our basement isn't a dark & dingy serial-killer dungeon, it's a nice big room with a 12-foot window. Anyway, in the early hours of the morning I woke up and laid there, feeling excited to get moved in and feeling happy about life and then I swear I saw the figure of a man stood at the end of the room. I can't be specific about his features because I just saw a manly shadow. Since then we've had several experiences: strange noises, things being moved, cupboard drawers opened and Cody once freaked out and wouldn't come in the house. Now if Jack ever says "Mummy, there's a scary man in my wardrobe" then we are moving to Australia ( after I've washed my underwear)

We know who this man is because he lived here for 50 years and raised his family. I'm going to call him "G". Neighbours tell me he was a lovely man that adored his family, served his country then went on to be one of the most beloved and respected teachers in Ohio, writing a book about teaching. He loved his wife so much that after her death he fell absolutely and utterly apart and never left the house until he died two years later. He hunkered down in here and smoked himself to death which is very sad but this seems common, where a spouse will give up and want to go too, once the love of their life has departed. Even though he had no interest, neighbours mowed the grass, pruned shrubs, baked pies and kept him going the best they could until he joined his beloved wife.

When we closed on the house we had to sit at the table with the attorneys and the previous owner, which was G's daughter. She tried to make it a happy experience for us but she cried a lot because she had loved this house. We do too. And G obviously does not want to leave.

If truth be told, I'm 97% convinced ghosts don't exist. Craig just told me he's 100% ghost do exist. He's scared of ghosts but like most women I know, I'm scared of real-life nutcase men. The good thing about G's presence is that he seems to be a friendly ghost so this house has a great aura. Having a ghost in the house also gives us (Craig) the perfect excuse for every occasion:

Did you lose my keys? "G must have moved them"
That fart stinks! "It was G"

etc etc etc ...

Saturday, April 04, 2009

Fabulous Friends & Lucky the Squirrel

I am still celebrating my 40th and loving it. I've had several people ask me this week if I'm depressed and no, I'm not. As my sister Jenny said "life begins at 40". Here's some pictures from more celebrations this weekend ...

Out for dinner with Matt & G. They got me some great wine as you can see and a gift certificate for Barnes and Noble, my favourite book shop. Matt had a deep-fried snickers bar and ice cream for pudding but I wasn't too envious because I'd had a NY strip steak, cooked medium, blackened and covered in blue cheese crumbles. Yum. After dinner we drank far too much but I did have several marveous belly laughs during the course of the evening. The kind where your belly hurts and you cry.
Next, my mates Lynn, Debbie & Carol did a surprise pedicure for me, having read how upset I was by my feet. Craig held the fort while we tootled off to a pedicure place.


I was going to say "guess which feet are mine?" but then I realised that the feet below the camera would obviously be mine! What a muppet I am sometimes. It's a combination of blondness, age, stress and alcohol abuse I'm afraid . This was a fabulous trip - we did a grown up version of a blood brother swear (we hugged) and promised to do this every year. It was absolutely great to get together and get pampered.

Jack insisted on me painting his nails when I got back to the house. Today I took it off and told him that it wasn't allowed at school (day care). He was a bit upset and I obviously lied but I don't want him getting picked on.

And Finally ....

I have to introduce our resident squirrel "Lucky". Craig nicknamed him Lucky because he's lucky Craig can't use his guns in city limits. About 3 months ago I was raking leaves in the garden near the bird feeder and found a squirrel tail. I thought our local red-tailed hawk had got himself a feast and left the tail behind. This weekend we noticed this little guy on our bird feeder. I wonder what happened? Did our cat or dog get him and he got away? Was it the hawk? I'll never know but I hope he sticks around.

Friday, April 03, 2009

He's all Boy

My son is turning into such a cheeky little fella that certainly brings out the best and worst in me.

  • He's climbing everything, even if the fall could potentially kill him. I admire his bravery but will no doubt be having a heart-attack soon because of it
  • When I asked him to help me feed the dog this week, he looked up from the pool table and said "I'm playing with my balls" and I thought "mmmm, you're definitely your fathers boy".
  • He blames his windy bottom noises on the dog, and most recently, on the baby.
  • He puts rocks and tree seeds in his pockets which will knacker up my washing machine at some point.
  • He comes home from day care so dirty I can only assume they have a coal shed that he plays in
  • He's obsessed with yellow school buses and tells me every time he sees one, which gets annoying (we live next to a school)
I hope you enjoy his short rendition of "Happy Birthday". The little bugger broke his coat zip.