Tuesday, November 30, 2010
As of tomorrow it's officially Christmas in my house. We are going to celebrate all month long, including watching Santa jump out of a helicopter tomorrow night. Then there's Santa to see, presents to buy, wrap and send, and Jack's Christmas play at school. And my MIL and FIL arrive in two weeks time to spend Christmas and New Year with us. In between all of this and January 1 I have my husband's birthday in two days time, my full-time job and a big work conference. And at some point this century I need to Skype my best friend Sue.
But back to the festivities. Want, might you ask, am I hoping for for Christmas? Haven't you noticed it yet? I want to be a part of THE wedding of course! I want tea-towels, pinnies, tea cosies and mugs. I want them all. Bring it on. I am thinking of hosting a wedding party on the big day too. Will you come?
Monday, November 29, 2010
2. He wears shorts every opportunity he gets, even in winter
3. I find odd things, like plastic eyeballs, in his pockets when I do his laundry
4. He asks passers-by if they'd like to pick a worm out of his gardening bucket
5. He jumps in leaves that were just raked up
6. He shouts hello to neighbors, the mailman and anybody else within earshot
7. He has hilarious conversations with himself when he plays pretend
8. He finds Christmas absolutely magical
9. He thinks we are the greatest thing since sliced bread
10. He makes us laugh every day. Today, he saw our dog Cody stood by a lamp post and said "Is Cody waiting for a bus?"
Sunday, November 28, 2010
Saturday, November 27, 2010
The big controversy of the day is the new block "O" gloves. When the Buckeyes did something great, they formed an "O", to the delight of the crowd. The referees were most disgruntled and gave us at least two penalties for over- celebration. Eh? What? If this is over celebration then I'm Barbara Bush. Complete tosh.
The Buckeyes also wore retro uniforms to honor the 1942 team. They were very cool indeed. This is not a picture of them, just a picture I took of our Mascot Brutus Buckeye, celebrating in the endzone. Now THAT's celebrating (gloves? Pah!)
As a treat for the poor boys who'd been cooped up in the basement all day (dad was watching the football at home), we took them to their favourite play place tonight and they played like maniacs for a hour. Our Danny has completely abandoned the toddler area and now goes into the big kids area, which is high-up and sometimes I don't see him for several minutes. It's not good for my blood pressure I can tell you.
Friday, November 26, 2010
Thursday, November 25, 2010
Wednesday, November 24, 2010
Tuesday, November 23, 2010
Monday, November 22, 2010
Sunday, November 21, 2010
Saturday, November 20, 2010
So I said to Craig. Erm, I've been thinking. I think I would like to have a baby. And he said Really? Now, Imagine that said in the context of "this car repair is going to cost five thousand dollars", and not "we are going to Disneyland!" And I said yes, really. And he said sigh - okay. Let's do it, if that's what you want. The first month we tried we were in Brooklyn NY, at a hotel next to Halsey Street Station. The second month we tried England football team were through to the semi-finals of the World Cup. So the kid's name could have been Halsey or Rooney. Thank God for fate, huh.
At the end of that 2nd month, I was so excited that I had bought a load of pregnancy testers and was doing one every day that I should have started to be pregnant. I peed on a stick on one of those weekends then took it down to the basement while I did laundry. I kept looking at the stick, and it took about 2 minutes of intensive staring but the line finally formed into a very faint pink.I raced, two at a time, up the stairs and announced "we're pregnant!" and Craig scooped me up and we celebrated.
Friday, November 19, 2010
Tonight at 10 pm, after we'd had special movie night in the basement watching Toy Story 3 (again) & eating popcorn, I took Jack to bed and he was absolutely exhausted. As per usual I stroked his hair and sang a song "You are my Sunshine" (his song). I thought he might need one more to be totally asleep so I sang-whispered "Twinkle twinkle", and then thought, he's going to be ZONKED if I sing-whisper "horsey horsey". And yes, he was dead asleep.
I thought to myself, you know what? My mum used to sing "Swing on a Star" to me and it meant a lot and I'd like Jack to have that memory, so I sang it and my heart filled with love.
And then Jack did a huge trump, woke himself up at the noise, and burst out laughing and I was a wreck, laughing so hard I fell over all dramatic, which made him and me laugh more. What a good laugh our lad is.
Thursday, November 18, 2010
Any ideas for me? Please?
Wednesday, November 17, 2010
Tuesday, November 16, 2010
Monday, November 15, 2010
Friday, November 12, 2010
Anyway, we met Mrs M. at Jack's school and we saw some of his work and discussed his progress. They commented on his good manners and friendly personality. She said she loved that he'll just come over to you and tell you a story. Tell lots of stories actually. And he concentrates at circle time and he's not aggressive with other kids and he's generally doing GREAT. I knew all of this already (I have lived with him for 4 years after all), but it's so NICE to hear someone else tell you how amazing your child is.
One thing I need to do is more numbers (1-20 by next summer is the goal) and name-writing and using scissors etc. But she gave me some wonderful ideas on how to make it fun, instead of making him sit down and just write it all out which he finds tedious (boring even for us, hey).
Here's some things she suggested:
- Give him M&Ms after dinner and let him separate out the colours and count them as he eats them. Trouble is, I hate M&Ms (hint to English friends - send Smarties! Please! On second thoughts - it's probably not allowed by Customs is it?)
- Show him numbers around the house - on the front door, on food packages etc.
- Teach him my phone number and how to ring it
- Have him cut out favourite pictures of toys from magazines & glue them in a book.
- Have him tell me a story and I'll write it down word-for-word in a book, so he'll get to recognise words he's actually spoken
- Play with his food - let him make shapes and count his food items on his plate
I'd love to hear more suggestions any of you might have because my idea box is empty. It's 35 years since I was at elementary school and all I can remember is that we played British bulldog a lot and tried to avoid eating the semolina that stuck to the bowl, even when you turned it upside down and shook it.
Thursday, November 11, 2010
We played outside a lot and then later this afternoon I met my friend Kristen at a local indoor play area so our kids could go nuts in the play-set and we could sit & chat. It's always good adult therapy and we got to eat pizza - bonus, as they say over here!
I captured a 30-second video in the garden today of Jack being a rodeo cowboy. And if you look in the left background you'll see Danny putting soil & small rocks in the air conditioning unit. Little terror. Sorry about the video quality. I don't know how to change the settings when I export for web through Quicktime...
Finally, Happy 60th Birthday to my step-mum Sheila and of course Thank You to veterans past and present.
Wednesday, November 10, 2010
And if you'd like to hear more modern versions, then here's two good ones ...
So to all those serving. THANKS.
Tuesday, November 09, 2010
I have not used Shutterfly before as I found another company several years ago and never thought to look anywhere else. BUT, now that I know about Shutterfly I'm going to give it a go. And so far, I'm impressed. They have a big selection of cards and designs. I really like Holiday Lights so far but I'll probably browse a bit more. They also do calendars, which are always a big hit with my family in England. Lastly, I noticed that they have a big selection of cards and stationary for Mothers Day, which is something I'm always looking for. I can never get myself organized enough to buy cards the previous year (Mothers Day in England is in March) so now I can get them online ahead of time. Fabulous!
If you are planning on making cards this year, this is a great deal. And make sure you send one to me please. This little part of Americana is something I like a lot.
Monday, November 08, 2010
Sunday, November 07, 2010
Friday, November 05, 2010
But oh, what a brain my boy has. He's unbelievably intelligent and strides ahead of where he should be in speaking and potty-training and athletic ability. He can dribble a soccer ball like a 10-year old and flick through word books like a pre-schooler. He's so tall and strong that people mistake him for a 3-year old. So two traits that define him right now I would say, are that he's headstrong and intelligent.
Like a typical boy, he loves cars and trains and balls. He loves to climb and eat dirt and play rough-house. He loves to splash like a lunatic in the bath but will dive out head-first if you so much as get a drop of water in his eyes mid-rinse. My favourite play-times with him are when he plays monster and chases me, growling argggh as he runs and when we play soccer together.
Since not all of his bottom teeth are in yet, he has a lisp and when he leans into me and says "kithes" for a kiss my heart turns into a big blob of mush. Much the same as it does when he twiddles my hair between his fingers or reaches up and gently pinches my nose when I change his diaper. He also shows his soft side with his blankie (a Backyardigans soft blanket), which he must have and must sleep with. I never had this with Jack, but Danny has a huge Linus-like attachment to his blanket and we have to wash it when he's asleep.
He's a happy boy and such a character that every day we all swap Danny stories of things he's done or said. Like last night he nearly dropped a toy and he said "close one!" I could watch him all day long I really could. He's that entertaining. But at night when he goes to bed with his blankie I stroke his hair and sing Danny Boy to him and he becomes my baby. Because for all that he looks and acts older, this little cherub is not even two yet and he's our beloved baby boy.
Thursday, November 04, 2010
And so first, my Jack. Jack the Lad, Jack Sparrow. Pud. Who are you at 4 years old?
You are thoughtful, kind, sweet, relentless, extremely imaginative, cheeky, rambunctious, shy, athletic, funny and loud.
You love to play pretend and spend most of every day either a pirate or a doctor or a policeman. Last night and this morning we spent time speaking to each other through walkie-talkies as you, Fireman Jack, rescued a family from a burning building. You don't care too much for cars and trains (like your brother does) but you will play for hours with the laundry basket. You enjoy crafts and puzzles and any other activity that you can play with someone, because you love people even though it takes a while for you to warm-up. Sometimes keeping you occupied all day exhausts me, but I wouldn't change it. Another passion for you right now is super heroes like Batman and Superman and Spiderman. Villains like The Joker scare you silly, but you love to play at fighting them and saving the world. Your imagination and caring attitude are two traits that really define you.
In four years you have never had a major flailing tantrum (unlike your brother!) or refused to eat certain foods, or been mean to another person. In fact your teachers told me this week how kind you were in the classroom. They called you a sweetheart. Now, you are not a little saint either young man! You can talk the hind leg off a donkey and you fight bedtime every single night. You can be stubborn sometimes, like refusing to wear long pants even in winter (just like dad!) but right now you are a joy to know. I sometimes worry that I don't do enough 'work" with you and that you don't show perhaps as much interest in writing and other academic skills as other kids, but you are four and I'm not going to force you. Plus, you're a boy! So more climbing and less writing!
Right now, I love spending time with you and I love that you like to help me. Just this week you were so excited to help me get your old potty from the basement and clean it for Danny! You call me Moma and I feel such a special bond with you, my Jack. Love is not a big enough word.
Photo by Jodi Miller
Wednesday, November 03, 2010
- My Boss came to see me and brought me a cookie and made me laugh. I have a great boss.
- Cody (my lovely dog) has a lump. The vet told me last year after a biopsy that it was fat but it's got bigger and it's hard. Back to the vet we go.
- Jack's teacher pulled me aside and told me how sweet & nurturing he was in class. Bless.
- WalMart's new phone service "Straight Talk" BLOWS and I have wasted hours of my time and money before I threw in the towel and went back to Verizon Wireless.
- Danny used the potty today at 21 months old! Genius I tell you.
- The political happenings of this week make me want to go and live in Canada. Although thinking about it that's far too close to Sarah Palin. Enough said.
- Craig and Danny have really terrible colds while Jack and I are skipping about with clear nasal passages and no need for tissues. But I have this niggling feeling ..
- I am watching, like a hawk after a squirrel, for Take That to come to the USA on tour. They formed 20 years ago in England and then they fell out. Just this year they made up. If they announce a USA tour I will pounce, ninja-style on Craig and make him buy us tickets. I am not ashamed to say I loved, and now again love this group. It seems at last that Robbie and Gary have made up, as you can see:
Stupid automatic faucets.
When they are actually in the restroom only half of them work and the other half require you to shake your hands like you are trying to fight off a swarm of bees.
And just yesterday morning a lady on the radio was complaining that she put her handbag in the sink next to her while she washed her hands and the faucet filled her handbag with water. So it's not just me that has had issues with these things then. That's good.
I appreciate that in the medical field they might be rather handy. But do we really need them in our public restrooms? Are we too lazy and too stupid to work out how to wash our hands on our own?
Tuesday, November 02, 2010
So I'm going to try and lose weight because I am two dress sizes larger than I was in the summer of 2008 and I feel like crap. My jeans are tight and I have to huff and puff to tie my shoes. And don't get me started on how difficult it is to get down on my knees and pick up toys on a daily basis. But no more! Today I am pledging to be better. I wish I had the willpower to do what Clippy Mat talks about, but in reality I'm going to attempt these little steps:
1. Use the stairs at work
2. Pack a healthy lunch
3. Walk more
4. Wine only on weekends
That's doable don't you think? I want to go home to England next summer feeling GOOD about myself. I do not want to go home and have all my friends nudging me and asking if I have shares in McDonalds. Watch this space!
Monday, November 01, 2010
Then last night Craig and I got the boys to bed, got down to the basement and watched "Paranormal Activity" on the big screen telly. It was a spooky film so we jumped a few times and yelled a couple of profanities! If you haven't seen it it's worth a look, though I thought the very end was a bit daft. We are also excited that a new tv series started called "Walking Dead". It's a zombie series and I do like a bit of zombie action if I say so myself.
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Yesterday was Easter but also an extension of my birthday weekend. We did the Easter basket thing with the boys but we didn't go to chur...