Monday, November 30, 2009

Dreaming of Tropstiples

Jack woke up this morning and came into the kitchen rubbing his eyes, looking confused and whining "I want pRomsTipcAls".
What?
Big whine now, and some minor crying "prmospola"
WHAT?
More whining, more crying, slight hysteria "portugpos"
You want to go to Portugal?
"Noooooo! possiblels"
You're impossible?
"NOOOOO!" Major crying now "topsicals"
You want Tutzy-girl? (our cat)
I realise I'm not being helpful so I lift the little fella onto my lap and ask him to calm down and tell me in a non-whining voice what it is he actually wants. He sniffs and rubs his eyes.
"Prospticlps"
Okay love. I have no idea what you are saying. Can you show me?
Wriggles off my lap, crying again and really whines "Plobsticas in the fwidge"
Okay, now I'm getting somewhere. Show me where in the fridge.
He opens the freezer and points to a fluorescent green icy-pop. "Propsticals!"
Ahhhhh, popsicles. No, you can't have one till after your breakfast.
Total whiny, crying meltdown ensues till I serve him his breakfast.
Danny looks on, chewing bits of banana and wondering what all the malarkey is about.

Where on earth did all THAT come from? He must have dreamt of popsicles!

And now, after 30 posts ...



Now that it's over I'm going to hide for a few days. I'll be back after Craig's 40th birthday, when I'll have a hangover and he'll hopefully have a bambi.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Party with Yummy Pizza

Me & Jack went to his friend Sophia's 3rd birthday party today. All the kids were dressed up in party frocks and suits, which was just adorable. Jack & Sophia haven't seen each other in a month but they were glued together and even shared a seat at the table. I think Jack may have regretted that decision when she got hold of the cake knife.

I had a good old chin-wag with her mum Heather but she got really sick by the end of the party and thought she might have got slammed with a flu bug.

The restaurant was lovely and I ate the BEST pizza I have ever had. I'm going to try and describe it and it might sound a bit crazy for a pizza but it worked: thin pizza crust with a light tomato sauce on top, mozzarella cheese, all kinds of exotic mushroom pieces, little lumps of herb Feta and a sprinkle of salad greens. I never would have put salad greens on a pizza but it was yummy. The side salad was the same greens & feta with a balsamic vinegar dressing. 

Now that Thanksgiving is over I'm going to try & slim down before Christmas. Basically, I've got three weeks to lose the weight I gained from eating a turkey before I eat another one! And don't get me started on the English chocolate.


Saturday, November 28, 2009

My Last 3 Books

False Memory by Dean Koontz took me about 3 months to get through. It was my first Dean Koontz book and I found it a bit scary and unnerving at the beginning and I had to set it down for a couple of weeks and get away from it. I've never had to do that with a book before. The villain in the book hypnotized people and made them destroy themselves and their families, all for his sick pleasure. He was so evil and so lacking in humanity that it bothered me. Eventually I warmed to it and got it finished but I'm not sure I'd read any more of his books. 

Be Brave, Young & Handsome by Leif Enger was great. The main character had written a best selling book about the wild west but then gets writers block. He befriends an old cowboy with a past and they embark on an adventure that is reminiscent of the old times of frontiersmen and gunslingers. I am looking forward to reading his first novel "Peace like a River" next.

Right now I am 3/4 way through A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson. On the order recommendation of Clippy Mat, I got the book from the library last week and I have delved into it every chance I get. He is hiking his way through portions of the Appalachian Trail and having a grand old time doing it. Here is his advice on avoiding grizzly attacks ... "Make for a tall tree, since grizzles aren't much for climbing. If a tree is not available, then back off slowly, avoiding direct eye contact. All the books tell you that if the grizzly comes for you, on no account should you run. This is the sort of advice you get from someone who is sitting at a keyboard when he gives it. Take it from me, if you are in an open space with no weapons and a grizzly comes for you, run. You may as well. If nothing else, it will give you something to do with the last seven seconds of your life."  I'm loving the book and hoping I can hike some of the AT myself in the future. I'll also be checking out his other books, especially the one he wrote about England.

My son Jack is also mad on books. For a kid that spends 14 hours a day on manic overdrive, he surprisingly loves to sit with books and try to read and we read several book a day together. I'm so glad about that. Looks like he will be a reader like me. 

Friday, November 27, 2009

Thanksgiving Part 2

Happy Thanksgiving part 2. 

Craig made turkey tikka masala, brown rice, poppadoms and spinach pooris. It was marvelous!

All friends are gone and it's me, Craig, Char & Jan left and I know I have to post to keep up with my pledge but I'm not going to be a bad host and keep tapping away.

I promise a better post tomorrow  - when Danny will be 10 months old!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

We've had a lovely day so far. Though I have to start this post with a funny story. Craig and I watched The Wrestler last night and we were so knackered we both fell asleep in the living room. When we woke up, a porn film had come on HBO! Our neighbours can see our telly from their house - what a nightmare! Hopefully they were in bed otherwise they think we spend our weekends watching porn until 3am.
Okay, so back to today. I am so thankful for:

Chief cook, great dad and soul mate Craig. I don't know what I'd do without him.

Our lads
That Danny is healthy and happy

That we live in a wonderful place with a lovely dog, wonderful friends and we both have jobs (touch wood)

That Jack is healthy and happy and looked after, not just by us but by Linda too.

I am thankful that our families in England are all okay. 
I miss them terribly at times like this though. 

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! X

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Cover Woman (too old to be a girl)

I am most chuffed. This month I am gracing the cover of a national magazine that services the industry I work in. I've never been on a cover before so today I am puffing my chest out and showing everyone and his auntie my picture. Craig said he'll frame it for me and I'm going to ask for extra copies for my family (just humour me please).

I do wish I hadn't worn my grey pants. I was under the illusion that dark colours made you look slimmer but they obviously aren't dark enough and make me look like Lady Thunder Thighs. Damn Toblerones to hell.

Talking about food - it is Thanksgiving here tomorrow. We were very kindly invited by friends a few hours away to have dinner but we are going to stay home and do the family thing. Craig and Jack performed all kinds of surgical maneuvers on the turkey tonight - gutting, washing out with water, injecting, marinading, and stuffing. They even boiled up the offal for Cody, Frank & Tutz as a treat. I love this holiday. Four days with my loved ones. AHHHHH.

If the Finger Fits ....

Jack likes to stick his finger up his nose. A lot. Where a baby will have a pacifier or a toddler may suck on his thumb, our Jack shoves his finger up his nose like it's a thing of comfort. He'll sit on the couch, digit up the nostril, eyes glazed watching Spongebob Squarepants and I think "good lord I'm a terrible mother".

I have tried all kinds of tactics to stop it:

Polite reasoning: Take your finger out please, you'll spread germs
Pleading: PLEASE don't put your finger up your nose
Anger: Get the finger out NOW
Humour: Are you digging for gold?
Rage: FINGER. OUT. NOW
Threats: If you don't get your finger out, Spongebob's going off
Bargaining: If you stop doing it I'll give you cake
More humour: Your finger will fall off and then where will you be?
And so on

At the zoo this fall I whispered to him "take your finger out of your nose!" and the lady next to me said "but it fits so well!" Maybe that's my solution. I'll make him wear rubber gloves.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

An Awesome Woman

Stephanie Spielman died from breast cancer last Friday at the age of 42. She was an Ohio mum with 4 kids and a devoted husband and she was, as they say in America, "awesome".

I wasn't living in the states when her husband Chris played football for the Ohio State Buckeyes or even when he played for the NFL. When I came here in 1999 her husband had retired from professional football to become a broadcaster and she had just been diagnosed with breast cancer. When she was first diagnosed, her husband left his big money football career for a full year just to be with her. They were high school sweethearts and when she lost her hair to chemotherapy he shaved his head too.

Since 1999 she got cancer 5 times and that would have floored most people I think but she was such an amazing woman. She spearheaded an effort into breast cancer that raised nearly $7 million for research at Ohio State and she was always so graceful and giving and just an amazing mum.

Of course I didn't know her and I hope I don't sound like a lunatic by writing about her like this. I last saw her at the Navy game when I was shocked to see her in a wheel chair because I thought she had beaten it. Obviously she hadn't.

I wanted to honor her somehow and acknowledge her death. I've thought about her all day (it was her memorial today) and especially the family that she leaves behind. The paper said today that they were with her when she died, which just breaks my heart. 
I hope I could be half as courageous and positive and noble as her if I faced something like that.

Monday, November 23, 2009

The King of Spinning

I was sat at the park with Jack yesterday when we saw an older boy with a skateboard.

"Can I have a go on one of those mummy?" he said. "Maybe when you are a bit older" I said "When you - and here I got a bit lost for words - are a bit taller and can balance and won't fall off and hurt yourself". As a mother I offer up these rambling idiotic responses quite often. He says why can't I have coffee? and I say because it'll make you go bananas and he says I didn't ask for a banana, why can't I have coffee? I hope I am not the only one that turns to a blithering idiot when it comes to reasoning with toddlers.

So anyway, back to the skateboard. After I basically told my son that he was short, unbalanced and accident prone, he looked VERY offended and said "mummy, I can balance and I am fast and I can kick a ball and do the monkey bars AND I am really good at spinning around!" I can't argue with that one. He spins round so fast sometimes I catch my breath in my throat when he stops, half expecting him to lurch drunkenly sideways and crack his skull open on the nearest object. But he doesn't and he'll do it again and then run like a pro athlete to do something else.

It's so great how kids define their skills in life isn't it. Imagine going for your annual review with your boss. "So Pam, what did you accomplish in 2009?" "Well boss, I got a grant, taught a couple of classes, wrote a few articles and I'm really rather good at spinning round."

Sunday, November 22, 2009

The Last Soccer Game

It was the last soccer class today and I think overall the whole thing went well. Watching 3-year olds play soccer was somewhat haphazard but it was a good place to take him each week, the weather has really been good and we've made some new friends.

Unfortunately, when we first get there Jack makes me stand with him and clings on to my leg and doesn't really warm up until the class is virtually over. Then he really gets in to it and doesn't want to leave, so I really do wish the classes had been an hour long and not just 30 minutes.

What next? Well swimming I suppose, though I don't relish the thought of getting into a swimsuit right now and our pool is cold. Maybe more soccer as he said he wanted to do it again and it won't involve me getting undressed. 

I ended up becoming quite pally with the math professor, Ian,  from England and he brought his wife Nicola along today. She's from South Africa but lived in England so also speaks with a strong English accent. I was most impressed with Ian when he went in goal and did these really exaggerated slow-motion saves when the kids tried to score. He missed of course and we all cheered as each toddler put one in the net. We said we'll all try and sign up for the next class so the two Jacks can still play together and we can stand on the sidelines and talk about all things English.

It was a bit sad really, saying goodbye at the end and promising to keep it touch but knowing we probably won't. 

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Muck Fichigan 2009

It's the Ohio State - Michigan game today. The big game of the year. I, however will be going Christmas shopping and relying upon two forms of updates:  

1. I will gather with all the menfolk at the tellys in the shops
2. My husband will text me the big plays

The reason I'll be shopping and not glued to the telly is that I'm too nervous, even though the Buckeyes aren't relying on this game as they already got to the Rose Bowl. 

Why am I nervous? Well because Michigan are sneaky devils that will sneak up in the 4th quarter and snatch it away like a cunning fox with a degree in deviousness. It's far too painful to watch. 

I do love this picture that Char took. It captures him perfectly.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Chasing Chihuahuas

I spent 6 hours on the road today with my boss and it was great. We went to speak at a conference in Toledo and left at 6am. The stars were still out when I left my house which seemed so wrong!

My boss is such good fun on road trips. At one point as we were driving though a neighbourhood he stopped and made me get out of the car to chase a stray chihuahua that he was worried would get run over. He's a big soppy old fool when it comes to animals. Anyway, the dog kept running off and barking at me and I finally gave up after a man came out of his house and told me it belonged to his neighbour who let it run wild. As I got back in the car my boss was on the phone laughing and relaying my antics to the caller and he said "Did she get it? No, Pam's not fast enough to catch a chihuahua" which I thought was the funniest insult I've heard in a long time and something I might put on my gravestone.

On the way home he stopped at Dairy Queen as usual and got us both ridiculously big shakes. I had a  girl scout cookie tagalong peanut butter blizzard and he had a hot fudge sundae with extra hot fudge, whipped cream and a cherry on the top. When I told him about Kate Moss's "nothing tastes as good as skinny" comment, he licked the cherry off the top of his sundae and said "who's she?" Precisely.

We had such a good day and we talked for ages about work and planned things for the future. Even talked about possible PhD projects for me, so maybe now I'll get my bum in gear and get it started.

When I got home Craig said "don't put your fingers in Danny's mouth", which obviously means that he had and got bitten! Here's a picture of gnasher and his new pass-time, chewing my coffee table.
 


Thursday, November 19, 2009

Defending my Castle

It's been a strange day. 

Someone who has a key for our house got their bag stolen which spooked me out and resulted in us changing the locks to the house tonight. We have a feeling the person who stole the bag knows the victim and therefore knows us, so to be safe we got things changed out. It's really disturbing to think that someone out there had a key and could enter our house. It's pretty frightening actually. So our locks are swapped out and all the entry points secured and guns loaded (kidding). I don't mean to sound blase about this whole thing because it has really bothered me.

Maybe I'm getting old and frightened or maybe it's because I have kids but things like this happen to me and I get in family protection overdrive and get on a war path. 20 years ago something like this would have been like water off a ducks back but today I was like Mrs Rambo!

I think we'll be okay. Char and Jan are still here and we have our very vicious dog Cody to protect us. If someone does come in, they'll hopefully trip over Char and Jan's bags, then get licked to death by Cody, Frank will meow at them and that might wake me and Craig up so we can throw cushions at them. 

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Char & Jan Home

Char & Jan are here - wooo!  Arrived today from California and here for 10 days, visiting us and other friends and family.  My liver will get a thrashing. We'll talk about gardening and food and stupid stuff.
 
We are talking tonight about friends and how you know they are friends for life. You know how you don't talk to a friend for a few months and you can still pick up where you left off? Maybe not even month but years? No pressure. Good friends.

So anyway, we went for wings for tea (dinner) and here's our Wing Leader. Isn't he handsome?

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Words from Jack

Holding his play phone to his ear:
"Hi Mickey Mouse, yes okay, you can come over. See you soon! Love you. Bye"

Me: "Clean up your toys Jack"
Jack: "You clean them up too"
Me: "No, you made the mess, you clean it up"
Jack "Moma, TEAMWORK remember?"
Who can argue with that?

Walking through a store ...
Jack: "Why are you holding my hand?"
Me: "Because I want to. Can I?"
Jack: "Mmm okay, you can hold my hand if you really want to"
Why thank you Little Lord Fauntleroy

Jack lying in bed, in the dark, 30 minutes after I put him to bed ...
"Yes Spongebob I'd love a crabby patty!"

Monday, November 16, 2009

Yeahs & Boos

Doc said Danny doesn't have H1N1, he has croup & the worst is over - Yeah!
I have something big coming but am avoiding it with beer and staunch Britishness - Boo!
Danny got his first tooth, bottom left - Yeah!
People are buying Sarah Palin's book - Boo!
Jack came to work with me for an hour today and was brilliant - Yeah!
Jack came to work with me for an hour today and was a little devil - Boo!
I am back on my diet - Yeah!
Jack pushed my tummy tonight at story time and said "big tummy Moma!" - Boo!
Craig made awesome ribs for tea - Yea!
Weather was cold & grey - Boo!
We made a fabulous DVD on my computer that took about 3 days - Yeah!
Computer lost it - Boo! (actually, more than Boo. I wanted to take the stupid F* Mac and wipe the stupid F* look off its face. If you own a Mac you know what I mean. It's really cool until you ask it to do a simple task and then it is a NIGHTMARE that you want to kill stone DEAD)
I am happy - Yeah!
Craig has no bambi yet - Boo (for him, yeah for tree-huggers like me)
My kids are getting healthy - Yeah!
It's Michigan Week - Yeah!
The kid that refused to sing really made my day today. What a superstar! - Yeah

Okay, I think this post is getting cheesy and boring. I'm sat in the basement waiting for the 2nd DVD to burn. If it doesn't burn this time the computer is getting "it".

Cheerio

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Matchsticks Anyone?

I need a couple of matchsticks to prop my eyes open and I'd be in bed right now, at 8.30 pm, if Jack the Lad wasn't getting up to his normal bedtime shenanigans. 
Danny is sick & kept me up most of last night. The monitor was right next to my bed but I had it set as low as I could because he only has roll over and my eyes fly open like a ninja. Isn't that motherly instinct amazing? I am like a member of the elite armed forces when it comes to monitoring the kids. Craig on the other hand sleeps through it all. Anyway, at least three times we had a trip to the bathroom to sit in hot steam so he could breathe and there was lots of rocking and cuddling to get him back to sleep.
Today was no better. He's got a 101 temperature and it's been a battle to make him comfortable. I'm convincing myself that I should not have got the H1N1 vaccine for him because it seems like too much of a coincidence that he had the vaccine on Tuesday and got ill on Saturday. 
He was so fed up tonight that I finally got some medicine for him and fired the syringe down his throat. Bad bad mistake that ended up with me getting changed and him getting changed and us having to repeat the bedtime feed. So there you have it. I have the motherly instincts of a ninja but the common sense of a goat.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Good News & Bad News

OHHHHHHHHHHHHH that game was good! 
By the end of the fourth quarter I was peaking out from my fingers and thought I might keel over from a heart attack. By the start of extra time everyone in Ohio was on the verge of cardiac arrest I think. It went right to the wire but we won. I took this video as the fans rushed the field and everyone gathered in the south end to sing Carmen Ohio. I had goosebumps like I always do when they sing this song. What a fantastic last game for the seniors.





The bad news is that Danny is sick. I'm sat here with his monitor perched next to me and he's rasping and coughing as he tries to breathe. I have a humidifier going in his room, and his room fan is on and his mattress is elevated just a tad. There's not much else I can do, right? Did I do the right thing getting him the H1N1 vaccine this week? I keep thinking that he got just a little bit of the H1N1 virus in the vaccine and maybe his baby immune system just can't handle it. I hope to God he's okay but I have a feeling it's going to be a LONG night.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Watch out Bambi - I'm Coming!

Last night after a few fizzy ones I agreed that for Craig's 40th I will go hunting with him. The plan is to hunt for two days and sleep overnight in a log cabin with a hot tub. Somewhere in Appalachian Ohio. This would be his perfect birthday. I'm a little apprehensive and if he kills a deer I might just never recover but I'm going to do this for him.

Looking for a cabin we found this:

"The Cabin in the Woods" is one of the most scenic spots to stay on the property. It offers most primitive facilities. It is a one-room + loft structure, reconstructed from a pioneer cabin, and next to a fishing pond with a dock. Gas range and oven, big woodstove, lanterns. Limited running water for cooking. Serviced by an outhouse. No electricity. The boy scouts have said it sleeps ten, but we limit it to four for your comfort. Fire/barbecue pit. Two night minimum; $70 per night; $400 per week.

Craig wants to go. I said NO. I consider myself an outdoor person and will gladly camp and go without a shower for a few days. But I absolutely draw the line at 'outhouse' and "no electricity". Call me spoiled, but at the very least I want a loo that flushes and I want to see the damn thing to make sure there aren't any snakes down there ready to bite my bum!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Finally, time with my husband

I am sat having a few beers with my husband. We are chatting away, planning his 40th birthday, laughing together and enjoying each others company.  Usually we see to kids, clean house, do laundry and then have a little R&R time before bed. We spend the R&R time on the computer or reading, solitary times that don't bring us closer together but that we both need for sanity. To be honest it's not fun.

I'm loving tonight. It's me and Craig against the world again. We were married 10 years before we had kids and I'm sorry for being cheesy but we have everything in common and we've always been best friends. I just asked him to describe our marriage in one word. He said "me and you rock".  That's 4 isn't it?

Anyway, I agree. 

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Avoiding the Big Stuff

I've had a terrible parenting day today. So terrible I want at least a few days to roll it round in my head before I talk about it on here. I'm really hoping (1) all 3 1/2 year old boys are the same (2) I haven't caused all the problems we are having (3) it stops soon.

Big sigh and well-deserved gulp of Killians Irish Red.

And so onto other things.

Danny is waving now! He's at that magical age where he wants to babble at people and clap and wave and even the most grumpy old bugger can't help but smile back. Fantastic it really is.

Next, we have made three rather big house changes. One being to paint and re-do the basement (pictures to follow when I've made new curtains and cushion covers with the sowing machine I got last Christmas and that I have only used this year to sew two plastic shower curtains together to keep the cats off the pool table) , one to build a retaining wall in the garden, and one to swap the basement sofa with the living room sofa.

Anyway, the smaller sofa set has made a huge difference to the living room - made it look miles bigger and shows off the hardwood floor better. As I was rummaging around for old pictures of the living room I found this one from the day we moved in in 2005. I remember that green shag-pile carpet like it was yesterday.


Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Kids got H1N1 Vaccines

I took the boys to get their H1N1 vaccine tonight. Craig had to work late so I had to go alone and as usual I wasn't prepared. I stood in line at this huge conference center with hundreds of other people and shuffled through the lines of paperwork and screenings and questions and more screenings.  Poor Danny was hungry and I'd brought his food but forgotten his spoon. I did wonder if I could feed him with a pen but then thought better of it for fear that one of the other parents would publicly humiliate me. I found a little cafe and they had plastic forks so that had to do. 
Jack also had no water or food and was bored. He did all of these things to me and I have ranked them in the most annoying order:
  • Laid on the floor and refused to walk and did the rag doll act when I pulled him up by his arm. 
  • Pulled on the yellow boundary tape
  • Hid behind curtains and chairs
  • Shouted
  • Launched himself off the stroller
  • Rolled his jeans leg up, lifted his trainer-clad foot up and put it in Danny's face
Thankfully, there were dozens of other parents having the same drama and we looked at each other and smiled wearily. I did lots of hissing in Jack's ear too.

The actual vaccination was drama-free. Jack had the mist and did a big sniff like the nurse told him to. Danny cried a bit when he got the injection but just for a few seconds.

So that's it, my kids are vaccinated and it only took an hour and a half. I'm a bit apprehensive about them getting ill over the next couple of weeks but I feel better knowing they have a chance of fighting it off more readily if they get it.  I however feel terrible - tired out and weary. I hope it's just post-traumatic queue syndrome and not the flu!

Monday, November 09, 2009

A Bit of Lancashire Lingo

I called our Jack a daft apeth today and it made me laugh afterwards. As warped as it seems I like the idea of keeping the old Lancashire lingo alive here in the states. No doubt it'll cause some confusion for the boys at school but a rich vocabulary is something I think they should have. Plus, I don't want them visiting England and being stumped when someone is pulling their leg.  I did see that "Ee" ( a popular northern England exclamation) made it into the Oxford English Dictionary, so times are changing!

Here's our Jack, doing his best Ecky Thump impression. He's saying "Ee bah gum", which roughly translates into "well I never!" 
He got his flat cap from here at a posh shop, which is a million miles away from the flat caps of olden times!

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Relieved of My Pushing Duties

A word that would describe the weather this weekend would be glorious. It reached 70 today and there was a bright blue cloudless sky. 
We spent most of the weekend outside in the garden or at the park but I didn't want to venture too far as Jack's not well. Croup again I think, if the seal bark is anything to go by. He had a low-grade fever last night but seems okay during the day. Every time he hacks I cringe and wish I could make him better. I am down to my last bit of Calpol medicine from England so will need to do some investigation into which Tylenol one is best.

Anyway, the reason for my post is this - I have been made redundant of one of my mummy chores! Jack can now officially swing himself and won't let me anywhere near. "Don't push me momma!" he says indignantly as I creep up to see if I can help him out. I feel proud of him but sad for me and I think that's pretty much how I'm going to cope with his independence through life!

Here's a 30-second video of his latest accomplishment. Oh, and Danny trying to eat grass.

Saturday, November 07, 2009

Rave Review for Benjamin

Last night we watched The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, which is by far one of the best but saddest films I've seen in a while. I cried a lot towards the end and went to bed with a puffy face. How Brad Pitt looked so old and then so young during the film is a special effects marvel to me.

We used to watch a lot of films but don't seem to have time these days. Once the kids are in bed and actually asleep and we've done laundry, made milk and packed lunches it's 10 pm.  The film we watched was from Netflix as we signed up for a free month but I'm going to cancel it before they start charging the standard $8/month because we've only been able to watch two films in 4 weeks! How sad it that.

Friday, November 06, 2009

The Dicky Hand Saga

I was in the shower this morning contemplating my hospital appointment for my dicky hand and I thought "I have no idea how to dress!" Years ago when I went for a facial at a local spa shop they made me strip my whole top off and they massaged my neck and upper chest as well. I was mortified and haven't been back since. 

So I was worried they might make me strip naked at the hospital & decided to cover all bases. I am semi-justified in being paranoid because the phone message from the hospital told me the time and place and then cheerfully added "don't wear jewelry, earrings, and no lotion". Earrings? I only have a dicky hand I thought.

Hence, this morning I set about shaving underarms and legs to the point of red chicken skin, scrubbing feet and cutting all toe and finger nails. Finished by wearing clean underwear (best bra used in special occasions) and crisp clothes.

As it turned out I only had to pull my sleeves up while the doctor gave me little electric shocks and stuck acupuncture needles in my arms. Nothing to it really and not a stitch of clothing taken off.  It seems a shame to waste shaved legs in winter so I might wear capris tomorrow if it gets above 50.

By the way - I have carpel tunnel syndrome in my right hand but no surgery needed. I just have to wear my wrist brace in bed, which isn't as erotic as it sounds.


Thursday, November 05, 2009

Toddlers & Cats

Tonight I was trying to unwrap and eat a Starburst sweet and Jack would snatch it away from me, just as I was about to pop it in my mouth. He was laughing hysterically and sat straddling me on the couch when all of a sudden he did a little choke sound and I thought "he can't be choking, I can see the Starburst stuck to the back of his teeth". No sooner had I thought this than he threw up, all over me, several times. I sat stunned for a moment and he looked at me, equally shocked and waiting for my response, right on the verge of tears. I kept telling him it was okay and Craig scooped him up and got him to the bathroom. I sat there, still stunned and really wasn't quite sure what to do for a minute or two.  After we were all washed and clean and snuggled back in the front room. Jack looked at me and said "Can I have a Starburst mummy?"

It reminded me of Frank our cat. Many years ago he ate a wasp and his head swelled up the size of a balloon. We took him to the vet who shoved a thermometer up his bum and gave him a Benadryl injection. It was most traumatic for Frank as you can imagine. Less than a week passed and he did the same thing.

Toddlers and cats. They never learn. 

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Didn't Need my Teeth Anyway

I went shopping to Target tonight. For those in the UK - Target is a superstore that has really nice stuff at a nice price. Not general tat like you get at Wally-Mart. They do however have a $1 section at the front that I could rummage in for hours. 

I saw a couple of things in there this year that made me smile and might just end up in a few friend's Christmas stockings - you have been warned!


I wonder if it causes severe rot & all you teeth fall out, just like the pop?

Smurfs! They're back! Just as crap but just as cute. I wrote to "Jim'll Fix It" when I was a kid to see where they were made. I never made it on the show though. 

For dog lovers that already have a snuggie of their own. 
Now you can get a matching one for Rover.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Terms of Endearment

Tonight I ordered a beer with dinner and the waitress asked for my ID. I grinned at her and told her I hadn't been ID'd in a couple of years and she'd made my day.  A few minutes later the waiter came over with our food and addressed me as "ma'am".  That pissed on my chips didn't it.

I hate the term ma'am I really do. I find it insulting for some reason. Probably because the person saying it is telling you you're old. Otherwise they'd call you "miss" or nothing at all wouldn't they.

It's not that I object to being given a pet name by friends and even strangers, In fact in England I rarely had a conversation with anyone without some term of endearment tagged on to the end.  Such as:
Love
Lovey
Darlin'
Mate
Pet
Hen
Chuck
Flower
Missus
Me old mucker
and two particular favourites between me and my best friend Sue "Mrs Miggins" and "Betty Swollocks"

I much prefer these terms to the ones I hear here. Dude is ridiculous. Man is too manly. Guys is too cheesy. Jack keep calling me and Craig guys and I have to pull him up and remind him that we are "mummy" and "daddy".  The exception to the rule over here is my friend Lynn, who's from Louisiana.  She calls me "my darlin" in that southern way that makes you swoon.

Monday, November 02, 2009

Danny Boy Standing

Danny's had a busy two weeks. First he crawled and then tonight for the first time he stood up in his crib and jumped up & down. I remember the first time Jack did the same, we were so excited. This time around we were obviously excited but also entertaining a 3-year old and trying to get housework done. Sometimes I feel like poor Danny doesn't quite get the manic attention that his big brother got.
I get a bit nervous about posting videos or pictures of the kids, this being a public blog, but I also want my family and friends in England to see their progress. So here's just a little 30-second video of Danny boy, showing off his latest skills.

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Skating after 25 Years

I went roller skating this weekend with Jack.  I used to skate weekly as a kid, at the Southport YMCA with my mates Vickie & Mandy. It was a roller disco and we used to be so cool, speed skating and crossing our legs over on the bends. Our long skinny legs squeezed into skin-tight jeans and wearing our bat-wing t shirts. I never mastered backwards skating  and used to look longingly at the cool kids that could do it. It was the same with moon-walking - I never could do that either without looking like I was just shuffling backwards.

Anyway, as I put the skates on, probably for the first time in 25 years, I was just hoping I didn't fall too hard. I honestly didn't care if I made an idiot of myself as I've got to the point in life where I don't care too much about that. But all the way around I kept thinking "don't fall, it'll probably really hurt". I had visions of splintered knee caps or a bruised coxix. Thankfully all I got was burning shins and crikey they were burning! 

Here's a few seconds video proof I did it. My lad Jack is number 33.

3 Month Catch-up

I can't believe I haven't posted for over 2 months! So much to say. Jack's a middle-schooler and after a week of belly aches a...