Sunday, November 30, 2008
Right now, I'm exhausted. Yesterday & today have been particularly hard for some reason - I'm having Braxton Hicks contractions and feel like my stomach is so tight it's going to explode. I can't tie my shoe laces or even bend down without saying "UHHH" very loudly when I get up. I feel dog tired too and want to relax, just for a minute, pleeease.
Relaxation is of course impossible with a toddler and to top it all, Jack has been a nightmare. He wants everything and nothing, he wants me to engage him constantly, he wants picking up & putting down, he wants his teddy, he doesn't want his teddy. I'm about ready to strangle him. We ran out to a shop this afternoon and he played holy hell the whole time we were there and I'm looking at other toddlers, sat in their carts or on their dad's shoulders or walking with their mum, holding hands quietly. And then I look at my son, with his bottom lip stuck out screaming "I want a balloon!" and refusing to walk and I think that we're either doing a really bad job at parenting or he's the devil himself.
People say things like "well, they don't call it the terrible two's for nothing!" and laugh but it's just awful. It should be called "the period where you deserve a medal if you don't sell your child to the circus".
To end NaBloPoMo on a brighter note - tonight Craig and I sat down with Jack and we penned his letter to Santa. He told us to tell Santa that he's been a good boy all year and that he would really like a red bike and a hat for Christmas. Something tells me that I'll remember times like that for the rest of my life, and that the terrible two period will gradually slip from my memory.
Saturday, November 29, 2008
Friday, November 28, 2008
Thursday, November 27, 2008
Craig's upstairs right now groaning & rubbing his belly and Jack is flat out asleep. Cody's exhausted having run about 18 miles today with their dog Gracie.
I hope you all had a good day too, whether it was Thanksgiving, or just a regular Thursday ..
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
Photographs were taken of every day people in Oxford, Iowa 20 years ago and then again recently. The author has captured the inhabitants of the town and their stories. For example, this little girl was 3 years old when her mum, travelling with the carnival, dropped her at the church with her dog and a sign around her neck saying she needed taking care of.
I got the book out from the library as it's a new hardback, big & expensive, but well worth a look ...
2. A Lesson Before Dying by Ernest J. Gaines
I bought this at a thrift shop and was influenced by the big "Oprah's Book Club" sticker on the front. I have to admit I have yet to read a stinker that's been endorsed by her. This is about a young man in the 40's in Louisiana on death row. His aunt wants him to be educated so that he doesn't die as ignorant as a hog. His character is amazing because he is indeed uneducated but he has the whole world sussed out and knows his place in it. I cried at the end, but then I cry over dropped hats. If you are too lazy to read the book, you can always rent the film ....
3. Birds without Wings by Louis De Bernieres
Recommended by Mountainear. This book is set in a little town in Eskibahçe, in the waning days of the Ottoman Empire during World War 1. I got to really like some of the characters and I also learnt so much about the Great War. I admit I knew nothing about this area of the world and it's history and now I feel like I have a better understanding of it, but the book also made me despair at the atrocities of mankind in the war and since. It's a big book and not a light read at all but I loved it. My only slight niggle is that the author dragged it on about 10 pages too long, couldn't seem to bring himself to finish it.
So that's it, my latest three reads. I just started "Their eyes were watching God" by Zora Neale Hurston.
Monday, November 24, 2008
It got me thinking about what my favourite present was as a kid, so I got my old pictures out when I got home and found this. It was taken in 1979 (I was 10) and I got a Merlin for Christmas! It was the absolute best present I ever got and I played with it for hours and hours. I can still remember the feeling of excitement when I opened the wrapping paper because I had wanted a Merlin for ages and probably pestered my mum to death about it. Craig said he really wanted one too but they were too expensive. That makes me feel a bit guilty because we didn't have any money growing up either, so my mum must have scrimped to get it.
The Merlin was one of the first computer toys and it had 6 games on it, including a music memory game and blackjack. I actually found an old commercial for it on YouTube tonight that made me smile and brought back some great memories of my childhood.
Do you remember what your favourite present was?
Sunday, November 23, 2008
We took him to a kid's place (thanks for the coupon Emily) to avoid the possibility of utter meltdown. It was fab - he got to sit in an aeroplane and watch Curious George DVDs and he was dead quiet - shocked almost. He wouldn't make eye contact with anyone, not even me, and he looked like a trapped rat the whole time. When she got the electric clippers out his eyes filled with tears but he didn't cry. She was really good with him ..
Did I get upset? A bit I must admit. At the beginning she looked at me and said "ready mom?" and I got a lump in my throat but didn't cry. I did however collect several blonde curls as they tumbled off his head. She asked me if I wanted a bag for them. I told her I already had one ready in my back pocket and Craig looked at me and said "you brought a bag?" Before I could stick up for myself, the lady looked at him and said "of course she brought a bag, she's his mom!"
Saturday, November 22, 2008
Friday, November 21, 2008
*Footnote: I really don't need any more chest swelling at the moment as pregnancy has caused a Dolly Parton effect that I hate. The funny thing is that I could have boobs like humongous beach balls and Craig would still pay for enhancement.
Thursday, November 20, 2008
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Monday, November 17, 2008
Hopefully it won't stick but I'm already a tad worried about tomorrow's drive. Once the first few snow drives are out of the way it's not too bad but those first few times are terrible.
Sunday, November 16, 2008
Saturday, November 15, 2008
Friday, November 14, 2008
The reason I'm blogging about this is that Jack's grandma and grandad from England sent him a little Pudsy last week. Pudsy is the Children in Need Mascot. I have often wished that Jack had an affinity for a blanket or teddy bear but he never has. We gave him Craig's teddy bear that he had as a baby, lovingly kept by Craig's mum so it obviously has huge sentimental value - he throws it under his bed. I try to make him bond with the monkey I bought him the day I found out I was having a boy - he chucks it on the floor. He never cared for a dummy/pacifier. Never sucked his thumb, never wants a "blankey". I was beginning to think he wasn't going to get fixed onto anything like that. Until Pudsy. Pudsy has to go with him to school, in the car, and to bed. I snook into Jack's bedroom earlier this week and took pudsy off him to put on a shelf. As soon as I left the room he wailed "I want Pudsyyyyy".
I wonder if it's because Pudsy has a bandage around his head? Jack looks at him with genuine concern and says to me "he has a sore eye!" and then he hugs him. It's great to see him like that because I hear a lot from school about how thoughtful he is to other kids but it's nice to see it first hand.
Who knows how a toddler's mind works though. Next week I might be blogging to say that I found Pudsy down the toilet with his head cut off.
Thursday, November 13, 2008
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
Later, I was sat with Jack at the breakfast table, we talked about his friends at daycare. He said "Can I see Dylan and Avery and Chicken today?" so I said "Dylan, Avery and Christian" He said "Yeah, Dylan, Avery and Chicken". So I slowly pronounced "Christian" for him. He looked at me, like I was daft, and replied slowly "yes moma, Chicken". You know, when you say it, it is a hard name to pronouce isn't it? I do hope his mum isn't offended when she hears Jack call him chicken though.
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
The pediatrician confirmed on Monday that is was a staph infection that Jack had and that it was indeed MRSA. He must have seen the blind panic on my face because he spent the next 5 minutes telling me not to worry, that's it's all okay, that Jack will heal. After his soothing comments and my friend Lee's blog comment about it I'm trying not to worry but I'll be forever on alert now for abrasions and pimples and anything that could even remotely let this bacteria back into his skin. Maybe I should make him live like Bubble Boy? It would ease my mind and I would save a lot on shoes. I wouldn't have to buy him that bike for Christmas either.
We spent about 5 hours dead-heading, mowing (last one of the season hopefully), raking, edging borders and moving plants around. I now have all my Hydrangeas in the south-facing shady wet border where they seem to thrive. My back is aching like buggery and I bent over far too much for a pregnant woman but it was worth it to see the tidy results. I'm also hoping that all this Autumn work will pay off next spring when I'll be far too preoccupied with Jack & Danny to worry about those pesky thistles in my east border. Damn them to hell, they won't go away.
My next garden dilemma is where to put my dwarf purple beech tree. The term "tree" is a bit of an exaggeration seeing as its no bigger than 18 inches tall. It cost a lot of money and I've moved it twice already to no avail. I would hate to lose it but can't seem to find the right spot - it gets so cold here in the winter and so hot in the summer that some plants just can't hack it. I had the same dilemma with my Stewartia tree last year, moved it and it died. It took me until May to finally admit that it wasn't going to form new buds and come bursting back to life. There's a good reason you don't see a lot of these kinds of trees in Ohio I guess. Now, if I lose my golden chain tree (Laburnum) then I'll be really upset. I've kept that bloody thing hanging by a thread for the last 3 years and I'm counting on it finding it's niche and really flourishing in 2009. I was messing with it today and even talking to it, willing it to hang on and endure another Ohio winter with me. The neighbours hopefully didn't hear me.
I'll try and post some pictures of my garden before it gets covered in snow.
Finally, why the picture of a Christmas pudding? We swung by a special grocery store today to pick up some English crumpets and saw that they had some puds in boxes in their seasonal display. I picked one up and they were asking $30 for it. Thirty dollars! I am willing to cough-up five bucks for McVities chocolate Hobnobs and even six bucks for British tea-bags but 15 quid for a Christmas pudding? I'm not paying $30 for something I'll set fire to, make myself sick eating and that will inevitably make me fat. I can do that with a $5 cherry pie.
Monday, November 10, 2008
This past week I read a short piece on the BBC website about some of the last soldiers to die in the Great War, including Henry Gunther from Baltimore, who died at 10.59am, just one minute short of the ceasefire. Even though everyone knew the end was just moments away, they fought to the end. It's so very very sad.
I also saw today that Rolf Harris is going to re-record "Two Little Boys" to mark the 90th anniversary of the ceasefire. This is the only song in existence that makes me cry. There's plenty of books and films that do, but not songs, bar this one. So I'm going to post it on my blog for you all to sit down and enjoy for a moment.
It was a number 1 hit in England 40 years ago and much loved in Australia & Europe. Was it loved in the USA? I have no idea and will have to ask an American friend ....
Sunday, November 09, 2008
It will have the desired effect on your toddler, but will make your husband swear like a sailor and look at you in disbelief.
Oops, sorry honey.
Saturday, November 08, 2008
While Craig got cracking this morning, I took the little fella to an indoor play area for a couple of hours. I know I got the better deal here! Being 6 months pregnant certainly has it's advantages when you want to avoid hard work.
Jack has started to develop such a great sense of humour. As well as being kind and friendly and caring about other people, he now makes us laugh every day. Yes, Yes, I know I'm gushing too much about my boy but he makes me proud every day. He's a good egg.
Friday, November 07, 2008
After his nap this afteroon, he came through to the kitchen where I was painting something. He had rosy-red cheeks and a sleepy face and mad hair like Ken Dodd and he asked expectantly "are you making cake?" So Craig grabbed the ingredients and they made rock cakes together.
You might ask why I didn't grab the ingredients? Well, because I can burn a salad. We have a deal in our house: Craig cooks, I clean, and everyone's happy (and not food-poisoned).
Thursday, November 06, 2008
This last couple of days I've noticed a red lump on his bum and it was so sore he couldn't sit down, so today I took him to the docs. My poor boy had to lay on his belly with his head on my arm while the doctor lanced and drained the red area and took samples from it. He screamed bloody murder and cried his heart out. It was horrible to watch. The doctor said he has a staph infection and he's sent the samples away for testing to see which staph it is. I'm obviously scared to death that it's MRSA and hoping it's any one of the other types of staph. He's now on antibiotics and cream and bath treatments and the doctor's keeping in touch.
If any mum reads this blog, take note & please don't buy undies with paint or dyes or anything that might irritate tender skin. Stick to plain cotton and wash it before you use it.
WHO in their right mind thought it was a good idea to put harmful chemicals on kids underwear???? I know the undies didn't cause the staph - but they caused a skin abrasion that got infected with staph. I don't know where the staph came from but we're now paranoid about washing hands and towels.
Sorry to bore you with this, but it's worrying me to death ...
Wednesday, November 05, 2008
We stayed up to watch McCain's speech - wow, the old McCain came back! Where has he been for the last 12 months? I shed a small tear for him and felt really good about what he said. He was gracious and eloquent. It then spanned to Palin and I thought (and sorry, but I'm going to be honest) - "please go and crawl back under your rock".
Then we stayed up to watch Obama's speech and I cried through the whole thing. It was so moving and inspirational and everyone was so desperate to hear something about hope. Seeing all those people in Chicago and New York & DC celebrating and waving American flags was great. Craig turned to me and said - "we should take down the Buckeye flag tomorrow and put our America flag back up". Phew! What an emotional & historical event it was.
Today I feel happy & refreshed and excited about the future. A lot of other people must too because I had to go to 3 shops before I could find a USA Today newspaper. I also saw something rather funny this morning - "The Onion" newspaper ran the headline "Black Man given Nation's Worst Job"
Tuesday, November 04, 2008
Without sounding too warm & fuzzy, it definitely seems like there's excitement in the air today, like we're on the verge of something new and the rest of the world will hopefully fall in love with America all over again.
Tonight, Craig and I will be sat cuddled up on the sofa, watching the results come in. I might even drink a small glass of champers. Let me re-phrase that as I don't want to jinx anything. I HOPE I'll be drinking a small glass of champers.
Monday, November 03, 2008
Here's the thing. I absolutely detest Barney and all his friends. Especially the little yellow one that has a gravelly voice that sounds like he smokes 40 Marlboro a day. And the green one with a big flat head brings out something close to rage in me. I mean, I could quite easily drive over the lot of them if I ever saw them on a sidewalk.
I happened to get onto this subject with another mum at work and she confessed she felt the same. Turns out there's a whole society out there that can't stand them either. There's even websites dedicated to hating them.
What is it about Barney that brings out my dark side I wonder?
Sunday, November 02, 2008
As usual, Ohio plays a major role in the election and on Tuesday night we'll watch the results pour in but will probably be in bed before the announcement comes, sometime after midnight. Here's the conundrum - shall I turn the bedroom TV on to see the results, say at 1am, and run the risk of hearing something terrible and never sleeping again, or should I wait until Wednesday morning to find out?
I don't normally use my blog for polical ramblings, but like I said, momentous occasion and all that. SO, if I could vote, who would I vote for? Well I'd vote for Obama because I'm a liberal Democrat. I always have been and I'm proud of it. Most importantly though, I think he has what it takes to get us out of this mess. And what a moment in history it could be, to have a young, dynamic African-American President in office.
The next 48 hours are going to be excruciatingly long ...
Saturday, November 01, 2008
Last year I posted 37 times. I'll be lucky if I do 30 this year as I don't seem to have the energy these days to get everything done. As I'm sitting here, my annual plants are outside, black and squishy from the frost, my Hostas are yellow, & there's leaves on my lawn.
I'll just have a cup of tea and then I'll shape myself.
I can't believe I haven't posted for over 2 months! So much to say.
Today was Jack's kindergarten graduation. This morning as he was sat on the loo he said "Mum, I've waited for this day all week...
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...