Monday, September 29, 2008

Paying if Forward

The lovely lady at Mountainear gave me a "I love Your Blog" award, proudly displayed left. I'm supposed to pass this along to my favourite 7 blogs to add to their front pages. My staple diet of blogs that I constantly read and leave comments on are listed to the left, all 12 of them. They are all great people that make me smile, cringe, cry, laugh and sometimes balk on a weekly basis. They all deserve this award - so add the picture to your blog folks!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

At the Airport

I went to pick mum & Auntie Edna up from the airport and ended up having to wait an hour and a half. It was late & all the shops were shut so I couldn't read, or drink coffee, or mooch about the Bath & Body Works trying on the testers.

I went & sat at the gate as I love to watch people coming through and reuniting with loved ones. There's always lots of tears and hugs and kids yelping with joy to see their dad coming home or long distance grandma.

As I was sitting there I noticed a woman in front of me, stood leaning against a post. She was really attractive & very put together which always makes me a bit self conscious, and bitchy if I'm honest. I'm looking at her thinking "her calfs are so toned she looks like a thoroughbred horse. Her tan is too dark, she looks silly. Her hair is too poofy" and so on. These are thoughts that popped into my head purely because I looked like a 39 year old mother covered in yoghurt and soil, with no make-up on and a weeks worth of leg stubble. Anyway, her man came through the gate and she ran to him, leaning up on tip-toes to throw her arms around him and kiss him. It was obvious that she loved this man wholeheartedly. She wiped away a tear as she back away to look at him before hugging him again. The whole time she did this he was looking at his open cell phone and was even looking at the screen as she kissed him. As she hugged him tight he leaned over her shoulder and still looked at it, like he was texting or something.
She linked her arm through his and they walked away, her happy and smiling at him, him finally closing his cell phone but looking around him for anything of interest, other than her. I was so mad for her, felt so protective of her. I felt like running up to her and telling her how gorgeous she is, how much more worthy than him she is. Instead I put on my best feminist face and scowled at him.

Then I turned around and saw them - two white-haired ladies, clutching handbags and waving like crazy at me. After hugs and tears and kisses they both said in unison "we'd murder a cup of tea!"

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Red Card for Frank

My cat Frank is a thoughtful feline. Having seen his pregnant mum get home from a stressful trip abroad, face a hurricane, live without power for a week and then get a stomach bug from hell, he decided the day before visitors come to urinate all over the basement.
Not just on the concrete floor where the laundry stuff resides. No, that would be too easy to clean. He decides to go on fabrics and in baby car seats and on anything (1) touching the floor (2) slightly absorbent in nature (3) not detectable for several weeks until it pongs to high heaven.
I don't want to hear about bladder infections and stressed cats knowing a new baby is coming. Right now I have no sympathy with the little b****rd and would gladly turn him into a hearth rug if only I weren't so intent on cleaning the house before my mum and auntie Edna arrive tomorrow.
He had better clean up his act sharpish or I'm going to be looking for a taxidermist. You've been warned pussy cat.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Boys Names: Sound too Alcoholic?

I'm thinking about names for the new baby:

I want a short name, or a long name with a nice nickname
I like old and traditional names
It has to sound good next to "Jack"
Nothing macho or redneck or weird
Not Geoffrey. I don't know why but I don't like it. They (mum & dad) would have named me Geoffrey had I been a boy. Close shave there huh

I like Samuel (Sam) and Daniel (Danny) so far. I'm worried it'll sound stupid if I have two sons called Jack & Daniel. Does it make me sound like a raging alcoholic? Because even if I am one it's not too good to spread the word around is it.

Life without Electric: Day 5

It's really not been that bad. There's people far worse off than us after Ike. We have water and the weather is currently perfect, so there's no need for heat or AC. But in the interest of writing and just mentioning some of the pain-in-the-arse things I've previously taken for granted in my electric-powered past, here's my list of annoyances:

1. Holding a torch between my teeth while I attempt to take out/put in my contact lenses without leaning in so far that I bang the torch against the mirror and bash my teeth in. I do it every bloody time.

2. Feeling guilty every time I open the fridge door because warm air will immediately get sucked in there and destroy all the food and we'll all get food poisoning and die. Or so I've been told.

3. Leaving the house each morning with wet hair that then turns into a frizzy mess. I always feel bad that I don't preen my hair as it is, without turning up to work looking like a man.

4. Waking up at night and not knowing what time it is. I don't know if it's 1am (ah, lots of sleepy time left) or 6am (bugger, only 1 more hour till I have to get up). This really unnerves me.

5. Not having any music or TV. I suppose we could spend our evenings "going at it like rabbits" but the job's already done so that's a bit redundant. It's no wonder our ancestors had so many kids is it.

The good news is that I just started a great book (The Life of Pi) and Jack seems to be enjoying himself regardless (see picture above of camp light story time). I do hope the electric comes back on soon though. It's getting REAL OLD, as they say here.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Jack's Sibling is a ...

Yesterday we found out the sex of our new baby. I'm not going to announce it in words, other than to say that I've made a minor change to my blog.

Handwashing Underpants

My work trip to the UK was a whirlwind, so sorry to those of you I didn't get to see. One day I clocked in for 16 hours, which was a feat considering I was jet-lagged and pregnant. When I wasn't working I did get to do some very important things, including .....
Attending my best friend's wedding. Sue & Lee got married at a little arts center in a gorgeous park last Friday. Here they are with their boy Noah. It was fab to see old friends but a real bugger not being able to drink. I made up for the loss by consuming large amount of wedding buffet.

What a gorgeous pair of girls! Sue and our friend Lauren. I haven't seen Lauren for 9 years and she hasn't changed a bit. Isn't it lovely when that happens with friends?

Then it was time to scoot back home to Ohio, to my family. Jack was ill and actually threw up at the airport just I walked through customs. I had dreamed of the moment I would come through the barrier and he would run into my arms shouting "mummy". In reality, he'd just barfed all over the airport carpet, so we made a quick exit.

What a difference a week makes!!! His vocabulary has doubled and (for all intents and purposes) he's potty trained! My little boy is now in underpants and only wears nappys for bed. Amazing, just amazing.



On Sunday hurricane Ike hit us, hard. This is a picture take in my neighbourhood. There's trees down everywhere and we have no electric. We didn't fare too bady but we did lose our garden gazebo. They are saying our power will be out for a week. A week!!! I haven't gone without electric for longer than a day before in my life. It's very humbling I can tell you. And very boring. Last night we sat in the dark silent living room and I said, "shall we go to bed"? It was 8.45pm.

Okay, I'm off home to hand-wash Jack's underpants. More later...

Monday, September 08, 2008

Flight, Arrival, Week so Far ...

On the way here I sat next to Rita, a rather friendly woman from Leeds who'd been to visit her son in Nashville. She was a lovely woman and I enjoyed her company but it sure would have been nice to sleep on the plane between 7pm and 7am. When we landed in Manchester my nerves were frayed and I was thinking murderous thoughts about the poor woman.

I got off the plane to RAIN. Buckets and buckets that splashed over my flip-flops (it was 90 and sunny when I left home) and soaked me wet-through in 5 minutes. Typical!
And I had a full day's work ahead of me, knowing I hadn't slept for 2 days (thanks Rita).

The drive from Manchester to my destination was scary to say the least. A manual transmission, different side of the road, lashing with rain and I had to navigate the M56, M6 and M55. By the time I got there my knuckles were white and I was breathing like a sex maniac.

So far it's been expensive but great. In between working I'm seeing all my loved ones. I got to have lunch with my mum, see my new great-nephew, and mooch about shops that have English things that I've missed. I also got to see the Red Devils at an airshow and I've already eaten enough English food to sink a ship. How I've dreamed of pork & pickle pies!

I miss Craig and Jack badly. Thank God for my mobile phone so we can ring each other. Hearing Jack say "hello mummy" every day is enough to keep me sane. Craig seems to be coping so far but did say he's having some issues "getting things done". I assume this tranlsates into "the house will be a pig sty on your return"....

Thursday, September 04, 2008

A Mothers Love

I'm not going to see my child for a little while and it breaks my heart. For weeks now I've dreamt of death and heartache and unimaginable horrible things, leading up to the moment when I said goodbye to him this morning.
I feel sick, I have a dull pain in my breast and a lump in my throat that won't need any encouragement at all to develop into full blown crying.
As much as I love and adore my husband and my parents and my friends, I've never felt like this about being away from someone before. A mothers love can be both magical and unbelievably painful can't it.

Monday, September 01, 2008

Camping Labor Day Weekend

After the Buckeye football game on Saturday we loaded up the car and went camping for the first time this year. Where did the time go? When we bought our new tent in the sales this spring we were so excited to go camping every hour mother nature would allow and all of a sudden I turn around and it's the end of the summer!

Prior to departure, Jack helped me make his favourite breakfast - pancakes. This was until he ate sausages this weekend, and now his favourite breakfast is sausages. Oh how fickle they are! Hearing him say "sausages" is much more fun than "pancakes" though.


We love this campsite. It sits on a picturesque river that is great for fly fishing, so Craig made the most of it and ended up catching close to 20 fish all in all! This gave me and Jack time to mooch about the campsite and wash pots - boring to me and you but a treat for a toddler.

There was a buckeye (conker) tree on the site too - so we brought down the nuts and cracked the shells and got ourselves a stash of shiny new buckeyes for the football season.

At night it's so dark at the campsite that all of the stars are really bright. We saw a shooting star and the Milky Way too.

Last time we camped we took the pack n play but we gambled and bought him a sleeping bag this time. The second I unwrapped it he was in like a rat up a drainpipe, saying "mine mine" until his own voice got thin. A roaring success then I'd say!


The campsite pond looks lovely doesn't it? Take it from me - it's muddy, slushy, dirty and full of big bitey fish. Okay they didn't bite, but only because the water was so dirty they couldn't see my bum. Every time I walked out a big cloud of brown stuff came up from the bottom. UGH. The things I do for my child...

Lastly,

For those of you considering camping with an infant or toddler, please take my advice as we've been taking Jack since he was 6 weeks old and had some avoidable bad times. This time around it was so much better because:

* Forget the bedtime routine. It is impossible to put a toddler to bed before it is pitch black outside and they are so exhausted they can't speak. Fighting with them about it just makes everybody miserable.

* Pack LOTS of warm clothes and blankets. They seem to get cold much easier than we do

* If using a sleeping bag for the first time, be prepared to wake up a dozen times during the night, pull them back in/onto the bag and tuck in a blanket, because toddlers do some kind of overnight gymnastics only they are privvy to.

* Even though they don't sleep until LATE, as soon as it's light they're UP UP UP and away. The only way I can deal with this is to go to bed at the same time and hope for some sleep. This is easy for me right now because I'm pregnant. In the pre-preggers days I'd be up all night with Craig, star gazing, drinking wine and putting the world to rights.

* Waterproof the tent. There's nothing worse than your child & all their bedding getting damp overnight from condensation

* Take your own water for bottles and find some way to warm milk if that's something they are used to. We took our electric kettle so we could sit his milk cup in a tub of hot water for a few minutes. You may think "Pah! they are supposed to be roughing it when they go camping, not living in luxury!" but as a parent, I do everything possible to make mine and Craig's life a bit easier. And a whining child makes every parent want to jump off the nearest bridge.

A Wonderful Moment

This is the moment that my son caught his first fish with his dad.

It's a small rainbow trout that got instantly released back into the river. The look on Jack's face and his pride at helping daddy reel it in will stay with me forever. It warms my heart just thinking about it.

I Got an an Award!

Today I got a blogging award from Strawberry Jam Anne, which I think is a lovely way of telling blogging friends you read & like their blog site.This is my 4th year blogging and 424th post & I still love it. My only wish is that more friends and family would do it (come on - leave Facebook/Myspace folks. Blogging is much more fun!).

So anyway, the rules accompanying this award are:
1. Put the logo on your blog
2. Add a link to the person who has awarded you
3. Nominate at least 7 other blogs
4. Add links to those blogs on yours and
5. Leave a message for your nominees on their blogs.

Here are my 7 nominations:
  1. Emily at Live with David & Katy
  2. Jen at Three's Company
  3. Kelsey at Midwest Mom
  4. Swearing Mother
  5. Expat Mum
  6. Mountainear
  7. Oma

He's the Reason We Can't Have Nice Things

I say this line a lot to Craig - When the cats barf on the bed "We can never have nice things" When Ben poos on the basement car...