Friday, February 22, 2013

Screw Housework

School are closed today so I stayed home with my boys.

I need to vacuum and clean, wash clothes and empty bins. But I let them watch telly while they ate waffles then I took them to a play cafe, out for lunch and to the library.

When I told Craig that I wouldn't get any housework done today he said "Screw housework. Have fun". Couldn't agree more.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

New Car for 2013!

I need a new car. The minivan's gear box (transmission) is on it's way out so I'd rather trade it in now than wait till it goes. I know it's going because it keeps revving like mad but not changing up gears. I remember the day I bought it and it has served me well. But I'm ready to move on and I owe nothing on it.

I bought it in 2010 thinking my VW Golf TDI wouldn't be kid friendly. UGH!! Why did I sell my Golf?  That was not just a great car but a car that I loved. It made me smile every morning.  I don't have many regrets in life but that is one. Should have kept that car!!

So what am I going to buy now?

Well I'd like this:

1966 Mustang. Love. 
But that's not quite practical with 2 kids and 2 dogs is it.

So something semi-small, good mpg, cool. Definitely not a Euro box or other generic looking car. Something that makes me smile when I drive it but it's okay if it gets filled with food and rubbish and kicked with muddy soccer shoes.

I love shopping for anything, but cars are particularly exciting. Wish me happy shopping & good luck! :)

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

A Discount Mary Poppins?

Today I worked a full day, then took Jack to Tang Soo Do, then went to a PTA meeting, then spent a couple of hours updating stuff on the PTA facebook page and other sites.

 I used to come on here and tell funny stories and talk about people watching. I haven't done any of that in ages. Haven't been to a supermarket or even a walk in the park this week. I do miss watching and writing about the crazies.

 I have come to the conclusion that the only way to deal with all this is to get a cleaner and a secretary. I can afford to pay 50p an hour and they have to put up with two neurotic dogs, two rambunctious boys, two weary adults, and our house ghost Gene. Let me know if you hear of anyone.


Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Return to Regular Programming

Jack & Josephine
I can't believe I haven't said anything on here since last Friday! Let's see, we had friends over for dinner, then went to meet another friend's new baby and were completely smitten at first glance. Then I walked/ran 4.2 miles and nearly killed myself, followed by a kid's birthday party that just about finished me off.

This week so far I have put on a seminar for 70 people that finished tonight and I am on my chin-strap, as they say. Soldiers say that don't they? Somebody does anyway.

The kids are doing great. Jack is still enjoying Tang soo do and Daniel had a little treat when his cousin Nat sent him a gift certificate for Amazon and he got to pick his own toys. He was eagerly awaiting the post, which came today, and he bounced up and down with joy when he got to open the parcel. Nice one Nat. :)

Our tax rebate came - yay! Which means I can now start planning our summer vacation and paying off some bills and joining a local pool again. Can't wait to get back to the pool. GO AWAY SNOW!

I've been dealing with some issues at Jack's school. Nothing to be too alarmed at but it resulted in me having to get his teacher and Principal involved. Let's just say there's a little ruffian that thinks it's fun to hurt my kid (and other kids). His parents were apparently at the school twice already last week before I even called about our issue. Makes you wonder what kind of parents he has if he's doing this at age SIX. I think it's resolved now but it's been a tough week for us. Let's also hope Jack's martial arts helps his confidence a bit. Master K says he could be a black belt in 3 years so no doubt Jack is daydreaming about the time when he gets picked on and he can stop it dead in it's tracks.  I know I am. In the meantime I'll be watching this other kid like a hawk and I know that the Principal has it all on her radar. She's had a lot to deal with in the last week as one of the Kindergarten kids died and she went to her funeral. I didn't know that when I contacted her by the way, and it's so sad to even consider how her parents must be feeling.

Tomorrow life goes back to semi-normal. There's no big events lined up or major deadlines at work. It's going to be SO NICE to get caught up on stuff and not feel so stressed. And I'm going to try and walk-run a few times a week because I felt so good about myself when I did it at the weekend. Even though I couldn't walk afterwards!

Friday, February 15, 2013

Romance, Babies & Bricks

I meant to post yesterday, on Valentine's Day, to say what a great day we had but I was just too done-in last night. We went to see Silver Linings Playbook at our local cinema that sells pizza and beer. It was a great film. It was one of my favourite love stories of all time and the chemistry between Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper was perfect. I was rather hoping they got together in real life but he's about 20 years older than her and he had made some comment about being old enough to be her dad. Fair play to him. Craig bought me a lovely Celtic necklace and I got him a Walking Dead t-shirt. So a successful day. The boys of course both came home from school loaded with cards, tattoos, candy, and pencils. I'm waiting for them to lose interest then I can chuck it all out.

Today we had some fabulous news. Our friends Matt & Gina had a baby girl, Josephine, this morning. Mum & baby are doing great and we are going to see them tomorrow so I'll snap a picture then.

Tonight Jack went to his Tang soo do class. He's doing so well! Craig took a little video of him sparring with an older boy. You have to admire his courage, doing this in front of about 40 other kids...

This weekend we have plans to see friends, go to a birthday party, jog (yes really), and go dig up and collect bricks from a path 3ft x 29ft. Not looking forward to that task but we will end up with hundreds of free bricks for our courtyard garden project!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Pancakes & a Proud Moment

Happy Pancake Day! Yes we did the whole pancake thing with the kids and made them eat English pancakes. Actually, I know from past experience that they will not do the traditional lemon juice and sugar thing, so I put maple syrup and strawberries on them instead. Think of them as Anglo-American pancakes. As I gave them to the boys Craig muttered "sacrilege" under his breath and walked away shaking his head.

Tonight was Jack's teacher conference at school. I have been worried about it because he's been reading & writing below grade level, he's one of the youngest in the class, and I had worked myself up to asking if he should repeat first grade (Jack does NOT want to do that but I don't want him to struggle).  After the last conference I came out feeling like a complete failure and I was a bit irritated too, feeling like he wasn't getting what he should be getting at school. Since then, he has had a reading & writing helper (Mrs G) and has just come along great guns.

So tonight his teacher said he's reading at grade level, doing fantastic at maths (bloody hell, he doesn't get that from me) and he is just doing great all-round. She said he absolutely can and should progress to second grade and looked shocked that I had even suggested that he repeat first. Then she told me and Craig that we had done a wonderful job of raising a nice kid and I had to fight back a big lump in my throat. I know my quivering chin gave me away though. On the way out I saw Mrs G and told her how much we appreciated her and how wonderful she is. She really did make all the difference to our lad's reading and writing. I wish the people that make decisions about teacher's salaries could meet people like her. It makes me so mad that teachers are not appreciated more in this country.

But anyway, what a great night. Our lad Jack is doing ok and I can sit back tonight and think that maybe I'm not such a bad parent. That should last until the morning at least, when I'll want to throttle them both again. 

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Getting Outside

I love this picture that Craig took today. It was finally nice enough to take the dogs out to the park for a big walk and for the kids to play outside for an hour without getting frostbite.

I made them leave the house after Jack played for 4 hours this morning on his video games (yes I am a terrible parent).

Now we are all zonked out in the front room exhausted. Hopefully we can get the boys to bed at a decent hour so we can watch The Walking Dead. I'm so excited that it's back on. I have become quite the telly addict recently, getting into shows like ...
Game of Thrones
Breaking Bad
Shameless (USA version)
Downton Abbey
Call the Midwife
When the spring and summer rolls around we have some major gardening projects planned though, so I'm getting my telly fix in now while I can.

Friday, February 08, 2013

Danny's 4 Yr Well & Tang Soo Do

The Young One is Ready
Lots of goings-on in this house the last 24 hrs.

We did the first "Play" with the boys last night. We put on "Goldie locks and the 3 Bears" for our living room audience (Craig). The boys loved it and are already planning more plays this weekend. I did that kind of stuff all the time as a kid and even charged people to watch. I particularly remember me and my cousin Julie putting on a singing show and charging everyone 50p to get into my Nana's garden to watch.

 This afternoon was Danny's 4-year well visit. He's doing so great and of course is a tall boy (44 lbs so 95th for weight, and 44.5 inches tall, so 99th for height). He was a bit hyper during the visit and tried a few Karate moves on his doctor which she found funny. She seemed very happy with him and she put some of my concerns to bed. A good visit all round then.

 Talking of Karate, Jack started his Tang Soo Do classes tonight and loved it. It's a long term commitment which means me and Craig have to be willing to pony up the $ and be his chauffeur for the next few years but I think it will do wonders for our Jack's confidence.  Look how focused he is, bless him.

Tonight Craig made fish, chips and mushy peas and when the kids are in bed we are going to watch Skyfall. A good old English evening lined up if I can stay awake that long......

Tuesday, February 05, 2013

A New Mantra

Today was somewhat of a roller-coaster day.

My dear friend lost her cat Sanders which was a heartbreaking bit of news. She had had him for 16 years, through all kinds of life's ups and downs. So I feel bad for my friend but of course it also made me think of the grief I felt when we lost Frank. Our cat Tutz was loved too, but Frank was my boy.  Losing a pet is like losing a family member.

To cheer me up we got an unexpected check in the post from our old mortgage company that was quite big. I was able to pay my car off, so that feels good. No more car payments! Almost immediately my car started playing up and I think the transmission is on it's way out. Murphy's Law at it's best.

I took Jack to a martial arts class to try it out. He wants the outfit and the nunchucks. I can talk all day about him learning about discipline and stamina and fitness but let's be honest. It's Jack-the-lad here. He wants the outfit and the nunchucks. The place I took him to is run by a friend and its awesome but it's too far away, so now I'm going to have to search for something closer. Hopefully an instructor that's as good as the one we went to tonight.

It's still snowing. Lots of snow on the ground and I'm fed-up with it. Go away snow. Had enough now thank you very much.

Craig and I are on a healthy living quest. No more wine or crappy food. No more slouching in front of the telly at night. This is driven by emails I got from my family telling me they were worried about me. I am not going to argue about the fact that I have not been taking care of myself because I really haven't. I barely get time to shave my legs and I'm in desperate need of new underwear. And I've had no sleep or exercise in weeks. So a new mantra - I must take care of me.

Sunday, February 03, 2013

Bonkers - Just Bonkers

What a bonkers day. I meant to call my dad, my sister and Skype with my best friend Sue and it all went tits-up. From the moment I awoke until tonight it's been just a mad day. I looked at my poor husband tonight, with his bloodshot eyes and tired face and I promised him that I am going to stop scheduling so much on weekends. Bless his heart.

Craig worked on house projects mostly today - electrical stuff which required him to climb in to the attic on several occasions. ughhhhh.

Blue Power Ranger!
I, on the other hand, took Danny to his first ever birthday party where he was invited on his own. He loved it. I had at least 6 moms come up and say "Is this Daniel - he's Asher's best friend, right?"and they made such a fuss of him. Daniel has never talked about Asher to me but when I took him shopping for Asher's present he was adamant that he wanted to buy him a superhero bath towel and that was the gift that Asher loved. A Batman bath towel. It's great how these little people just "get" each other isn't it. I got on so well with the parents and the kids had a great time. Danny jumped in the bounce house until his face was a bright cherry red.

At 1pm we got home and had lunch and then a family came in their minivan to get Jack's old toddler bed that I had sold on Craigslist. But that's just the nice end to a nightmare story. The couple that bought it were the first to enquire yesterday so we made arrangements for them to come today at 2pm. When I checked my email this morning I had six e mails from a  person that got steadily more unsettling with each email. Her last email said that her house had burnt down and that her and her son had nothing and she needed the bed. I am not sucked in by scam artists so I ignored her. Was she real? How do I know? Just before 2pm she emailed me again and asked me please not to sell the bed, that she needed it. I replied that the people who asked first were due at 2 and if they didn't show up that I would let her know straight away. So at 2.25pm I emailed her and told her that I was sorry but the bed was sold and I wished her good luck and that was the end of it right? NO. Not the end. Not by any means. She sent me a long rambling email, full of hate, that ended up with her calling me an asshole for not giving her the bed for free. I know she's crazy. I know I shouldn't even think about her but I am. She's really bothered me. I will never, ever sell anything on Craigslist ever again.

At 2.30pm our friends from Jack's pre-school (at Learn and Play) came to visit. I have not seen them in 6 months and have missed them. We talked, sledded, played, drank hot chocolate and will see each other soon. My friend's boyfriend runs a martial arts class that Jack will start at this Tuesday.

At 5.30pm we did this: laundry, dish washing, cleaning, shopping, see to dogs/kids, sweep snow off steps, cook, pack lunches, and clean up tools from DIY stuff.

So sorry to our family and friends we didn't get to connect with today. I love you and let's do it next weekend? x

Friday, February 01, 2013

Give me Peace

I'm so tired. Each morning this week I would have given my right arm to stay in bed. The crappy 6 degree weather doesn't help of course. And it's not fun getting two child-monkeys up, dressed, fed and to school while the dogs drive me mad and get under my feet. I swear Ben can't be more than 2 inches away from my legs when I walk. It's a miracle that I've not fallen over him. So between the dogs craving for attention and the kids demanding stuff and me teaching a big class again I feel just worn out.

And I swear, I am not exaggerating, that I can't even go to the restroom in peace. Every single time I use the loo, without fail, there'll be a child at the door yelling "I need to go peeeeee!", or a dog sniffing under the door. Seriously. I can't even have a wee in peace.  I might start using the downstairs loo and not telling anyone where I'm going. It reminds me of that scene in a Christmas story when Ralphie says "Mom hasn't sat down to a hot meal in 15 years". Well I haven't sat down on the toilet for more than 30 seconds in the last 6 years. Is nothing sacred.