Friday, October 30, 2009

Big D and Me

Trick or treat went well last night, according to the huge orange bucket of candy sat in my kitchen this morning. Jack didn't quite grasp the notion of thanking people for his sweets though. One woman said "have a great evening' and he replied "you're welcome!" He tried, bless him.
Jack followed one boy around who was dressed in an American Football outfit and it was like idol worship. Every time we saw this boy Jack would swoon "I want a football helmet and a big t-shirt just like him". When I told him he could only ask Santa for ONE present - football helmet and big t-shirt or roller skates, he looked much perplexed. I think he'll work on that conundrum for a while.

Danny hated his Tiger hood and refused to wear it. And blew raspberries at everyone. He had his 9-month docs appointment today and here are his stats:
Weight = 25.8 lbs
Height = 30.5"
So still in the 97th percentile for both height and weight. Both kids got their regular flu vaccine but they are out of H1N1 for now.

I have a couple of things going on with me...

First, I have to go to a doctor because I'm having issues with my right hand. It won't stop going into the orange bucket! Only kidding. I am having real trouble though. Really really painful trouble that's waking me up at 3am and scaring the life out of me. I was terrified of aneurysms or thinking I was about to have a stroke but I'm thinking now that it might be carpel tunnel. Blimey it's painful. So painful I can't put my contact lenses in or even brush my teeth when I first get up. More on that front after I see the doc I suppose.

Second - NaBloPoMo starts on Sunday! Every year in November I do a blog posting every day of the month. 30 blogs in 30 days. Please stay with me and read them. Even better, please comment. I feel very unloved when no one comments. I'll try not to harp on about my dicky hand I promise.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

A Soppy Moment

At 6.45am this morning, as Craig was leaving the bathroom after a shower, Jack jumped out of his bedroom, clad in his pyjamas, clutching his Halloween candy bucket and yelled "trick or treat!", which could have put my poor husband in the hospital but thankfully just made him laugh.
Next up, Craig came into Danny's room to say goodbye as I was feeding him. Danny reached up his hand to try and touch his dad's face and gazed lovingly at him. It warmed my cockles.

These two boys of ours are the best thing on the planet. Anyone reading this and wondering whether to have kids - have them. For every time they make you feel like running away to a desert Island, there are 400 more that make you burst with love & happiness.

Blimey, aren't I being soppy today.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Woooooo it's Halloween Week

I wish I'd thought of this I really do. Maybe next year I'll copy it.

I'm excited. My house is decorated, complete with a big hairy spider attacking any visitor that comes to the front door.

Danny is going to be Tigger, Jack hasn't quite made up his mind but at the last check wanted to be Spiderman. It's officially "trick or treat" night on Friday* so I better get his costume ready.

The older I get the more I like this kind of stuff.

Am I turning into a mad old cat lady? Will I start wearing Christmas jumpers that light up and adorning seasonal earrings? Hopefully not. Anyway, Craig would bonk me on the head with a large pumpkin if I did.

* Should be Saturday 31st obviously but I knew our district did it earlier and I thought it was Friday. No. It's Thursday. Kids aren't allowed on the streets on weekends apparently. What a load of tosh.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Pumpkins & Camels

We went to Circleville Pumpkin Festival yesterday, which was great. It's a huge event with all kinds of pumpkin fare - pumpkin chili, pumpkin fudge, jelly, hot sauce, burgers, cake, donuts and even pizza. Not sure I could eat pumpkin pizza without barfing.

Here's our Jack with the humongous pumpkins. I just realized all my pictures are of Jack but Danny spent all day wrapped up in a cocoon in fleeces and blankets, with just his head popping out like a glow worm. It was cold.


One of the highlights of the day was the camel ride! Who'd have thought you could ride a camel in central Ohio in October. He was very sweet and Craig spent some time cuddling up with him. Now he's told me he wants a pet camel for his 40th birthday.  


Also this weekend I took Jack roller skating for the first time. It was 80's night so he got to skate and I got to reminisce about hideous clothes, even more hideous hairstyles but really funky music. We both had a great time. This short (22 sec) video is hilarious. If the object of the exercise is to roller skate without actually moving then our Jack's a pro.


Thursday, October 22, 2009

Life with the Dustbin Lids

I recently discovered that Danny isn't allergic to peanuts when I found him chewing on the dog's toy kong that's packed full of peanut butter, cat hair and dog spit.

One of the things I ask myself daily - why do they say not to give a baby water when you make their formula with water?

Jack is having MAJOR tantrums. So spectacular I can only stand back in awe, with my mouth open and a look of shock on my face. Who is this monster that's demanding Spongebob Squarepants?


Danny clapped! and crawled! and laughed! and said "dada!" Everything he does amazes me. Having a baby in the house is just ace.


I could watch Jack dance all day, I really could.



Saturday, October 17, 2009

My Marathon Saturday

It's Saturday night 11pm and I'm finally sat down after a LONG day. Glass of white wine, "I am Legend" on the goggle box. Husband snuggled in. Ahhh.

Danny was up at 6.45am as usual. I can't remember the last time I had a lie-in till 9am. Probably won't now till I'm 60 either. This is one of those times I think being a 17-year old mum is far easier than being a 40-year old mum.

Jack was hard work. Wonderful beyond belief but hard work. Whoever coined the phase "terrible twos" didn't know about 3-year olds. Stinkers. Absolute stinkers. Make you laugh one minute, scream the next. This is obviously the age where I am not my best as a mum, since I spent most of my day saying "no", "don't you dare", "timeout", and "stop whining". Don't great mums get by singing and doing crafts and smiling? Or are they just NUTTERS?

At noon a couple came to test-drive my car I'm selling, which means I had to leg it to the car wash, hoover it out and make it look sparkly in about 30 minutes. If anyone has any suggestions how you clean the hollow bit under the seat between the middle consul and the seat (and get a year-old french fry out), please let me know.

1 pm: Drive to day-care center to pick up our stuff (crib etc.). Our lads last day was yesterday but I chickened and couldn't do the pickup at 5pm. Craig said Danny's teacher, Fatima, handed him over, burst into tears and went into the bathroom so last night me and Jack made a card for her and a present and I left it there for her to pick up Monday (they don't close till Friday). I'm sad but thankful I have Linda to come and look after them. I trust her and that means everything.

1.30-4pm: The Buckeye game, but less said the better. Jack crying "I want Sponge bob!" the whole time. Danny refusing to nap. If I was Mother Mary Poppins I would have abandoned the Buckeyes and done puzzles or collected leaves and stuck them on paper with glue. But it's the Buckeyes and I love them and my kids are going to have to understand that.

4-5pm: A long walk & Jack bike riding to the park a few blocks away. Fresh air does wonders for stress.

5pm: Our friends Matt & Gina come to help us do some major furniture moving so that our situation is more kid-friendly for Linda and the lads. We now owe a "move favor" to them - always a good one to have up your sleeve.

7pm: Danny in bed but he cried for 30 minutes, which is not like him, and he keeps waking up - I'm in for a bad night? Oh, please don't be ill Danny

8-9: Craig takes Jack to Kroger while I actually do something in the house - clean the kitchen, make up bottles, do laundry, mop floors (Mop & Glo is fabulous - thank you housekeeping fairy), and feed Cody. Oh how that boy has fallen from Glory.

9pm: Jack in bed, sort of. Regardless of a 7.30pm or 9pm bedtime the ritual is as long and dragged out. If staying up 1 minute longer was an Olympic game, my son would be gold. But how can I be mad when he hugs me tight and tells me he loves me? No better feeling in the world.

9.30-11pm: Me upstairs, rearranging the room after the furniture move, Craig in the basement doing the same. We did watch the last 5 minutes of Slumdog Millionaire together, a film we love.

11pm: We reunite in the basement which is now FABULOUS and watch our big screen telly. Glass of wine, give Cody a scratch behind the ear and apologise for 3 years of neglect. Talking of which, where are the cats and have I fed them today?

11.30pm: Craig tells me of Ochocinco's last stunt and it makes me laugh. I love this guy. He's an NFL player for the Cincinnati Bengals football team. A superstar in his own head, a character that loves his craft. I know there are people out there that hate his arrogance, but he's good, and he has character and he's funny and he LOVES his sport. He makes me love the Bengals. His name is Chad Johnson and his number is 85 so he changed his name by deed-poll to the Spanish for 8-5. Today he was part of a group that bought up 2,000 tickets to tomorrow's Bengals game so that it would be televised locally and he gave them away free to fans.

12.30am: Watching "Juno". What time will we go to bed? Probably too late. Isn't 40 the new 20?

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

A Husband's Chores are Never Done

Our garage is a tip again. How is it that we clear it out and promise we'll keep it clean and then before you know it, it's piled to the rafters with junk?

I asked Craig to clean it out because we need to park the truck in there so I can park my car on the drive and not on the road anymore. Loading up two kids in the morning constitutes frantic buckling in of Danny while shouting at Jack not to run across the road. School buses, though they are big and yellow and American and fun to see, don't help my plight. This is made even more difficult because Danny's wearing bulky winter coats and child car seats don't have very friendly parts that you can move. Trying to loosen a seat belt takes more mastery than even the best girl guide could muster up.

This past week I have been pleasantly surprised at how willing Craig has been to go to the garage. Each night and at the weekend he tootled off downstairs with a cheery "going to clean the garage" with a little skip and a whistle.

I finally got a tad suspicious so went to investigate. Oh, the garage is cleaned out all right. But there's no truck in there.


Monday, October 12, 2009

CraigsList Morons

I posted a queen bed & mattress for $30. Both in good/great shape and selling only as a set.

It's a bargain beyond unimaginable bargains. Ridiculously stupidly cheap but I need the space in my house. I knew I'd get tons of e-mails so I sat back and braced for the onslaught of requests to come & get them.

Email 1: Can I get it Thursday?
Email 2: Just got custody of my daughter and need a bed - can I get it tomorrow?
Email 3: Does it have a pillow-top and a box spring?
Email 4: How old? Make?
Email 5: My wife wants to know what you originally paid for it and what make it is
Email 6: I just want the bed, not the mattress
Email 7: I just want the mattress, not the bed
Email 8: Can you take more pictures and email them to me?

Reply: Okay folks, It's a queen bed and mattress FOR THIRTY DOLLARS. I would rather drag it out into my yard and set fire to the bloody thing than deal with you. And tell your wife to pistol-whip someone else.

Thank you.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Our Own Mary Poppins

It's been a roller coaster week for us. Our beloved day-care that we've been going to for 18 months is closing. It's family run and we've got to know all the teachers and parents and kids so well that it really does feel like a family is breaking up. When they told me last week it was closing I cried and I'll not be able to do the last pick-up this week because I'll be a blubbering wreck. Our Jack talks about his friends non stop but I know he'll move on to new pastures without too much looking back. It's me that's getting upset!

On Friday our Danny's teacher looked devastated, not just because she's lost her job but because she's leaving her babies. She's been with Danny most of his life and taken hundreds of phone pictures of him and told me excitedly every time he's done something different. 

The only good thing to come out of this is that Jack's pre-K teacher Linda, has offered to nanny for us. Fancy us having a nanny! We're not posh by any means, in fact as they would say in Lancashire it's a case of  "fur coat and no knickers",  but it's actually going to be something we can afford to do. 

Child care is the hardest thing for us to work out over here. Finding a place or person that we trust and can afford has been a challenge and given me endless sleepless nights. We had success with a friend Michelle and our current day-care but there have been some pretty unbelievable encounters. Here are a few of my particular favourites:

  • The woman with 25 dogs and a house that stunk of ammonia so much it made your eyes water
  • The woman who accidentally locked a 3-year old out of her house while we were interviewing her. The poor girl had to knock to get back in.
  • The woman who obviously hated children, glared at Jack when he grabbed her knee, prised his fingers off and said icily "can I put him in a play-pen while we talk?"
  • The woman who took care of Jack for a few months but wouldn't let us in her house (alarm bells galore!)
I have a good feeling about our new venture. I'm grateful we have Linda and looking forward to getting on with it. I'm just dreading the goodbyes this week. I'm really not good at goodbyes.

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Do Re Me When I Need It

About 3 months ago I bought "The Sound of Music Original Cast" cd from a yard sale for me to play in the car each morning on the way to child care. I have a great selection of nursery rhyme and musical CDS for me & the boys to sing along to and I love it - it's a time to sing our lungs out and be silly.

Me & Craig are having to work something out for the boys right now that's bothering us and tonight when he went to bed I sat like a wet lettuce and thought - "I'll bring up You tube and see what comedy is new"

Nothing.

So I typed in "Do re mi" because it's my favourite song from the Sound of Music, and up popped a corking video!

This cheered me up no end ...

Monday, October 05, 2009

A Strange Coincidence

At our Jack's soccer class on Sunday there was an Englishman there with a son also called Jack. I asked him where he was from in England and he said "You won't have heard of it. I was born in Ormskirk".  I said "me too!"  Turns out we were born in the same hospital, went to the same high school and hung out at the same places. He is about 3 years older than me but his sister was in my year at school. He asked if I knew her and I didn't - maybe because she was in a cleverer class than me or maybe because I've drunk a lot of wine since 1985 and killed off lots of brain cells. 

I was amazed how much history we had in common and was thinking maybe we met for a reason - are he and his family meant to be our new buddies?  Then I asked him what he did for a living and he told me he was a renowned maths professor.  Ahhh. Not so much in common then, since I can barely turn a calculator on.  

So a bizarre coincidence but I'm not sure it has any meaning. He'll be there each week so no doubt we'll be chatting about Old Blighty and I'll try not to make a complete ass of myself.

Friday, October 02, 2009

I WILL NOT Hover

At a car dealership in Columbus this month you get a free gun when you buy a truck. I'm serious. Seeing as hunting season has just started and the boys in Ohio love their guns, that is some smart marketing right there. I wish we had similar incentives for women - "Buy a Toyota, get a tummy-tuck!" Not likely though is it.

So Craig's going hunting tomorrow. Spending his day sat up a tree with a big bow. Going to try and shoot a deer I think, though I forgot to ask what the object of his desire was. It seems a bit of a waste of a Saturday sitting up a tree all day for a turkey so it must be a deer. I hope for him that he gets one (sorry PETA and my friend Sue) but if he does I hope he takes it straight to a butcher as I only want to see it when it looks like steak, all wrapped up nice like I buy at Krogers. I don't want to see big sad brown eyes and a fluffy white tail or I'll be in bits.

After that, our other plans for the weekend include dressing up the house for Halloween, which must include a witch. Jack has been relentlessly asking for "a witch and you press a button and its spooky" because our local supermarket has a big scary witch that talks to you when you go near her and she scares the crap out of him but he keeps going back to look at her.

AND Jack starts football (soccer) on Sunday! I'm definitely more excited than him and already have his long white socks ready and my camera charged. I have to keep telling myself - DO NOT be one of those horrendous mothers that hovers over her child with camera, barging everyone out the way and shouting "that's my boy!" whenever he does anything remotely interesting. Mantra: I.Will.Not.Be.Hovering.Mother

Other weekend festivities? Well, ringing all family that I haven't spoke to for ages (yea!) and housework (booo) and wine (yea!)

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...