Thursday, December 30, 2010

Terrible Terrible Twos

I have spent all day (well from 7am till now - 9pm) shouting at and threatening and just about near throttling my kids. I have no patience, I have not nurtured today and I have been the least responsible person in the house. If I could have run away to join a band of gypsies I would have happily gathered up my belongings in a gingham table cloth and jumped onto the first passing caravan.

Here's why being an older parents sucks sometimes (and not just because getting toys from under the telly hurts my knees). I'm more responsible yes, but I'm more selfish. I've had 10 years of doing exactly what I wanted with my time. I've had 10 years of quiet and order and a clean house. Now it's like a bomb has gone off. Not just in my house but in my head. Today I had a long car ride with Danny kicking the back of my chair and screaming and it was a nightmare. Each visit to a cafe or museum or in fact anywhere today resulted in me taking him out and sitting in the car in the parking lot until the rest of the family joined me. It's 9 pm and he is still running around the bedroom like the Tasmanian Devil.

I have definitely been spoiled with my oldest, Jack. He's always been spirited too but not crazy like my youngest. Danny is hyperactive and I'm not using that term lightly. He's up at 6.30-7am every day, regardless of what time he went to bed. He rarely naps and he refuses to sleep until he drops down exhausted. He runs and climbs and gets into so much mischief I have to watch him like a hawk. How on earth we haven't been in the emergency room 10 times already I don't know. Is he loving and sweet? Yes. Is he nuts? Yes.

Reading hasn't helped me. Google tells me to feed him protein foods, give him a strict daily schedule and always use positive discipline (eh?). Very helpful advice I know but not too apt in the moment. When he's thrashing on his bed doing crocodile rolls and screaming that he doesn't want to stay in bed I resort to all the worst parenting tactics for lack of knowing how to handle him. Then I read a woman's blog tonight who has a hyper child. She talked about embracing it and how fun & exciting it made her life. Really? Fun? I think it's about as fun as being forced to sit in a room full of small, noisy, flying things that bite your face.

You know, I really don't want two demure kids, devoid of spirit and adventure. After all, I want my boys to have confidence and be happy. But dear God I need some helpful advice right now on how to stop my youngest from driving me into the nut-house. Each day I go to bed feeling like a terrible failure of a parent. I also feel sorry for Jack, since so much of my energy gets eaten up.

Could this possibly be an amplified "terrible twos" that will pass with time?

Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmas Eve Pictures

It's Christmas Eve and I'm feeling good. The presents are wrapped, the parcels have been posted to England and the turkey is defrosting nicely. Since Dot & Harry got here we've been busy so I'll just post some pictures of our week ...

Char & Jan came in from California last night and stopped by before they set off for their family gathering. We decorated their truck with reindeer antlers, a sign that reads "Santa's little helpers" on the windshield, and a big sign on the back that says "Honk if you like Santa!"

Danny is becoming such a bright and smiley boy. I can't wait to see his face in the morning when he opens his toy trains. He loves trains.

Talking of trains, they have a huge train display at the library and we took the boys.

We did a drive-through light display at Alum Creek State Park which was really nice, so that is definitely going to be something we do each year. Think Blackpool lights without the drunken stag-night people throwing themselves in front of your car.

Our neighbour's tree continues to fascinate me. That I can see this each night from my kitchen window makes me a lucky lady indeed. They showed me letters and electric bill donations they get each year from appreciative people in the community.

View from my side kitchen window: more snow is forecast today and tomorrow so hopefully we can take the boys sledding tomorrow afternoon.

Snow angel!
He did this while we were at the Dickens Christmas event at the Ohio Historical Society last weekend. There is a recreated Dickensian village with actors in character, St. Nick is there and there's bonfires with roasted chestnuts and all other kinds of interesting things to do.

So there we are - just a few snaps as I don't feel like I've posted too much this week.
Merry Christmas everyone. I hope you have a lovely weekend! X

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Reading This, Watched That

I'm reading "In America" right now by Stephen Fry. The TV series ran in England but not here. I love Stephen Fry and his fantastic way with words. His book is cracking me up on every page as he captures America. He's travelling through each state but I'm so disappointed that he didn't come into Ohio. He has his picture taken on the state line and passes us right by. What a missed opportunity!! How can you not come to the state that was the original wild west, that has Neil Armstrong, John Glenn, The US Air Force Museum, The Wright Brothers, The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and one of the largest and most historical football stadiums in the country? Oh well, it's a great book nevertheless. Here's a short trailer for the series:

We just watched the movie Winter's Bone and it was great. Can't say enough good things about it. A word of caution though - if the idea of watching a squirrel being skinned and gutted makes you want to throw up, you may want to have a cushion handy.

I'm not a big telly watcher. Now that Walking Dead has finished I am back to just putting cartoons on for the kids. Craig likes the new Wild Justice series though and much to my chagrin watches Sarah Palin. He watches it to see what stupid stuff she'll do, especially when she goes hunting. I can't watch her anymore that I could watch Glenn Beck or Nick Griffin. They are each far too vile for words.

If any of you have suggestions for good movies that I could get over Christmas please let me know. Next on our Netlifx list is Grown Ups ...

Friday, December 17, 2010

This Week's Shiny Baubles & Turkeys

Let's start with a lovely shiny bauble - I got a Facebook friend request from my eighty year old Auntie Jean in England. How marvelous is that.

And now a turkey - my cat Tutz took a dump behind the Christmas tree. Why oh why do they do that kind of thing? It drives me insane.

Onto a shiny note - There's been a plethora of wildlife at our house lately. Birds in my garden include cardinals, blue jays, robins (big American ones, not rotund cuties like in England), woodpeckers and this little guy that I can't identify. A creeper maybe?

Deer are everywhere, except my husbands 12-gauge scope! It's not hard to see why they are so difficult to see in the woods when you see this picture -

Here they are outside my kitchen window. Ironically, when I took this picture my husband was in Perry County Forest hunting for the same thing.

A small turkey - It's time to stop saying unrepeatable things in front of Jack. This morning as I was removing a toy from a room I muttered under my breath "this thing has just been a bloody nuisance since we got it", to which Jack exclaimed "Mum, it is not a bloody nuisance!" Oops.

Shiny baubles galore - It is fantastic to have Craig's mum and dad sharing Christmas with us. The kids are in heaven & it's nice to have some help with them. It also feels more like a proper Christmas with family in town. Before we had kids Craig and I would rattle around the house and it was fun but not festive, if you know what I mean.

I could say the weather is a turkey - it's frigid cold and snowing most days. But it looks so pretty I just can't bring myself to complain about it.

This weekend we are going to venture out and look at lights so I'll try and take some good pictures. They never come out like I'd like them to but I'll give it my best shot.
Happy weekend everyone!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

English Booty & Feeling Festive

On Monday, Craig's mum & dad (Dot & Harry) got here from England and brought this:

So I will need much larger pants by January.

On Wednesday it was Jack's Christmas show at school and he did great. We sat in the packed church pews and watched as the little ones, all dressed up for their Christmas party, came down the aisle. Our Jack looked terrified and at one point I saw him do a big gulp and thought oh no! he's going to be sick!, so I waved until he spotted us and he gave us a big grin & relaxed. He sang his little heart out and did all the motions. I was so proud of him and was on the verge of tears the whole time. Dot cried too - it was just so festive and the kids were so cute that you couldn't help yourself.

Can you spot him? (top right, surrounded by girls)

After his show there was a party in his room and Santa came. Jack asked me if it was the real Santa (I've told him the big guy has many helpers, since you see them everywhere) and I said I wasn't sure. As we were leaving, Jack went up to Santa and squished his belly! Santa said "are you checking to make sure I'm the real Santa young man?" and Jack said yes. That's my boy.

Talking of cheeky monkeys, the room situation has not got any better. It's an effing nightmare actually. I can only make Danny sleep if he has no nap during the day, the room is pitch black and he's on his own. Even then it's taking him 40 minutes to fall asleep. Poor Jack has to stay out of the room till we know the little bugger is asleep. Sigh.

It's great having Dot & Harry here though. It really feels like Christmas and the boys are excited. And it's snowing and there's pretty lights everywhere. I couldn't feel more festive if I tried. Tra la la la la la la la la ......

Saturday, December 11, 2010


Craig's mum & dad arrive Monday. Usually, we set them up in our bedroom and we sleep in the basement, which is very open and light and actually not like a basement at all, but it is cold down there this time of year and I'm not keen on sleeping down there all over Christmas. I also didn't want Danny, who's bedroom is next to ours, kicking the walls at 6.30am shouting "Mama! Baba!" like he does each morning. I'm sure even the most doting of grandparents would find that annoying after a few days.

SO, we moved the boys in together. And good grief. What the hell were we thinking. It has so far resulted in them staying up till 11pm and waking up at 7am. Daniel also refused to nap today and there has been much rambunctious behaviour. Danny had a bloody nose last night and the room is constantly a disaster zone. My blood pressure is at boiling point with it all. Surely it will get better?

Sunday, December 05, 2010

The Real Deal Santa

We took the boys to see Santa today at our local garden center. It's the same place we've been to since Jack was a baby and I'm so pleased because there's a new Santa and he looks real! Even got a real beard and big belly and the staff were telling me that he's in character all the time. This is a major improvement from the man we've seen in the past that wore a big fake beard & made it seem like a chore.
I was very proud of the boys. They were both polite and friendly, though Danny was a bit shell-shocked by the whole thing as you can see!

It's great to look back on this blog and see each Santa visit, and I've linked to each of them, more for my benefit than anyone else's.

Jack at 6 months old in 2006
Jack at 18 months old in 2007
Jack at 2.5 years in 2008
Jack at 3.5 years and Danny at 11 months in 2009

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Happy Birthday Craig!

My better half turned 41 today and he's celebrating in a most manly way.

We got him a nice gun cleaning kit in a wooden box and all kinds of good stuff, like Superman undies. Jack was jealous and made me promise that he can get Superman undies for his birthday too. I also bought Craig a Zip-it on the advice of our friend Brian. At $2.95 it's becoming this years hot gift for men that like to get nasty stuff out of plug-holes!

Tonight he had smokey bar-b-q ribs for tea and now he's watching "The Expendables, which is a crazy shoot-em-up film with Stallone, Stratham, Willis, Lundgren, Rourke and a few other muscle men that are 65 but look 50. Arnie even has a cameo. In the opening scene Dolph Lundgren shoots a man with a grenade launcher and splat! You can imagine the type of film it is so Craig's in heaven.

Gun season started this past week, so he's taking a day off work tomorrow and headed into the woods with his 12 gauge. If I'm honest I don't like gun season too much. I much prefer him to go into the woods during bow season. There are far too many yahoos with guns for my liking (think Dick Cheney). Anyway, he's going to be dressed in bright orange from head to toe and he'll text me when he can. He should have just got his bow out on Tuesday morning when we had an 8-point buck and a doe eating berries in our garden. Jack was so excited and told me they were Santa's reindeer, bless.

So Happy Birthday Craig from me & the boys. And stay safe in them there woods. X

Coldplay's New Song for Christmas

I like it - do you?