Monday, January 30, 2012

Welcome Ben!

After work today we took Cody to the dog pound to meet Ben. I know I said we were going to call him Luke because Jack named him after Luke Skywalker (and also his cousin is called Luke and he's all excited to see him this year), but there was a last-minute name change, so Ben it is.

Cody & Ben got on great but then Ben is so scared of everything and Cody is so passive that it would take a big plate of bacon and a smokin' hot poodle to get these two fighting.

Jack wants Ben to be his dog and so far is being a good friend. I got excited about that for about an hour but then Jack turned to his Nintendo DS and lost a bit of interest. Mmm.

Tonight has been great. After a small accident Ben seems to be house-trained and he's as loyal as can be, but just now, when I want to go to bed, he tried to chew the coffee table. I haven't seen those kind of shenanigans since my lads were teething. I have a feeling that this coffee table will be destroyed by March. Cody chewed all of my shoes the first 6 months he lived with us. Must be a dog thing.

Right then. Off to Bedfordshire and let's hope my living room furniture and cat are alive at 7am ....

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Danny's 3rd & a New Family Member!

Danny's 3rd birthday weekend went down a treat, even though I have the head cold from hell and sound like Barry White. He really did enjoy himself and loved his presents & Craig made another cake...

And we met some of his friends at a local play place ...

And they ate pizza and drank pink lemonade...

And he had loved his new SuperWhy t-shirt with cape that we got him...

Last night some more friends came over and we all partied and had fun. It was a non-stop day from 8am-10pm. I took a short video of us singing Happy Birthday to him but as you can see, it's like torture for him. Our boy does not like hoopla!

Today we took the boys swimming and then we went to our local dog pound. I've been thinking for about a week about getting another dog as a companion for Cody (he's about 11 now but has the heart of a puppy) and of course we would love another too. But it has to be the right dog for us and not a manic, jumping, escaping, child-hating, cat-chewing mailman-biter! I thought that I would never find a dog as perfect as Cody but we met this little guy today, who's one, and in person he's like Cody's double. The face, the eyes and the beard are all the same and he's about the same size. He also has sad eyes and looks like he has a gentle soul. There were a few dogs in there that you could tell were just waiting to rip your throat out. Anyway, his picture doesn't really look like him in person, but here he is ....

They took him in to see the resident cat at the pound, to see if he's ok with them, and he was frightened of it. It reminded me of when we got Cody ten years ago and there was a wild bird in the area and Cody was afraid of it - he turned into a puddle and tried to crawl into a corner! We spent some alone time with him and the kids loved him (he's a big kisser). In fact Jack wants him to be "his" dog and even picked a name out. Another person had him on hold until the place shut at 5pm so we did a 2nd hold and came home, not feeling too confident that we'd get him.
At 5pm I couldn't stand it any longer & rang and they said that the other person didn't show and that we can get him. So I'm going to take Cody to meet him tomorrow and if they like each other then we will have a new family member! And the name ? Luke, as in Luke Skywalker of course!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Countdown to Three

Today at pre-school they made a big fuss of Danny and sang him Happy Birthday. When I picked him up he was wearing his green paper crown and he's been wearing it all day. He's grasping the fact that it's his time to shine and he's starting to like it. Course he's still telling me that he's going to be five and all he wants is a Mario cake.

It's been a bugger of a week at work so we have nothing done yet. Tomorrow night we'll be making his cake and I found a great Lightning McQueen tent that we can set up in the front room for him on Saturday morning. No party this year but we'll make a bit fuss of him and he's got all kinds of things lined up for Saturday with his friends.

It's been a different scenario for me with Danny. I'm used to Jack, who wants to have fun and be social and get involved. I've had to ease Danny into all of this and hope that he doesn't go ballistic. This morning, when his teacher showed me the special birthday chair equipped with a balloon I thought "oh Lordy, he's going to bolt from that thing and go nuts if they make him sit back down". Turns out I was wrong and he loved it.
Good for you my love.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Losing Marbles at a Rapid Rate

A common remark when I state that I waited till I was older to have kids is that it must be much better than having them young, but I think I've stated before that it's got its equal share of issues, like not being able to crawl around on your knees to play horsey for one. Well another is that we completely lose our marbles after about 40.

For example, when I picked Danny up from pre-k yesterday he had wet pants and when I asked the teacher why she was quite taken-aback and said "he's used the potty twice so I don't know why" When I got him home I discovered that Craig had sent him to school in a swimming diaper.

And in the last 24 hours we've lost my cars keys and Jack's lunch bag

And I have started to get their names mixed up with the pet's names, though not the fish yet thankfully. That would be embarrassing wouldn't it, calling my firstborn the same name as his pet snail Gary. I'm really not too worried yet, especially because all my friends appear to be having the same stories to tell. Going nuts isn't too bad when you're in good company is it.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Playing Catch-up at 1020

I missed making a big deal about my 1,000th blog post, which I intended to do but forgot & now I'm at 1020. Aspirations of doing a review of my blog from the last 7 years went to that part of my brain that stores my would-like-to-do list, which includes house DIY projects, doctor's visits, an oil change and sorting though Danny's underwear drawer (there really is no need to keep baby socks in there anymore since he has feet marginally smaller than Craig's). There's just not enough hours in a day, especially when both boys want my undivided attention and willingness to play at the drop of a hat. I do wish they'd play together instead of always individually wanting me to play with them. Must work on that.

Job-wise it's been an interesting two weeks. First I had a fabulous time at a conference in Long Beach, California and felt really good, then I came back to Ohio with a thud. My job will be changing and taking on a whole host of new challenges that I found out about at the end of this week. I'm going to look at it as a challenge and try to remind myself that I have a job and there are thousands of people worse off than me. The median house price in Detroit is currently $7,500 for heaven's sake.

Anyway, trying to keep things a bit more cheery, Craig and the boys are doing great and we finally got some snow for the boys to play in...

And it's Danny's birthday week! He'll be 3 next weekend so I hope to make this a special week for him. It's hard to make it as super-duper as Jack's birthday when he has all the 4th of July stuff going on, including fireworks and 80 degree weather, but I have ordered Danny a much coveted SuperWhy tee-shirt with attachable cape that I know will go down a storm. We'll probably take him to an indoor play-place that he feels comfortable with, since he's not keen on new things. I asked him if he'd like to go to Disneyland & Mickey Mouse's house next year with me (I'll be in Daytona Beach for a conference) and he furrowed his little brow and said "no, I want to stay here". In contrast, Jack was jumping on his bed shouting yes yes yes!!!

So let the celebrations begin little man! This week it's all about you.

Sunday, January 08, 2012

Bucks & Dexter

It's a big week for our family this week. I will be going to California and leaving Craig and friends to rally and make sure all goes smooth with school and pre-k. I have the best neighbours in the world I have to say. Craig's in a cheery mood though. After 5 years of hunting he got his first deer yesterday with his muzzle-loader. A 9-point buck as well! He was in shock I think, then on an adrenaline rush and then he crashed when he got home. The deer is currently at the butcher being made into burgers, steaks and sausages for us. I am excited to see how much meat we get.

At some point we are going to go for a ramble again today. We've been trying to get the lads out each weekend for a hike or ramble through the countryside and it's been amazing that we could. Normally we'd have snow and ice cover by now but yesterday was 48 degrees F and sunny. I do hope I don't bump into Hayden again today though. Hayden is a kid (5 maybe) who we met yesterday. After he had hassled Jack and kicked Danny in the face at the park's play-set I finally told him off (I have a rule that I don't discipline other people's kids unless they hurt mine, then it's fair game I reckon) and the little s**t looked at me and said "You're not in charge of me". Thankfully his aunt heard him and sent him off for his fifth time-out of the afternoon. I had several dealings with that boy and by the end of it was ready to throttle both him and his family. He was a serial killer in the making. Be torturing animals before he's eight probably.

Talking of serial killers, we are both obsessed with Dexter. After several friends convinced us how great the series was we have plunged in and are trying to catch up on six series. We are up to Series 2, episode 7 right now and completely loving it. So if you love a well-written and enthralling telly program then give it a try. He's a serial killer but he only kills the bad ones so that's ok :-)

Thursday, January 05, 2012

Salad Rant

Being on a health frenzy (is it possible to lose 30 lbs before my conference next week?) I have been consuming a lot of salad lately. The veggie salad is my favourite because it has radish and carrots and cabbage in it as well as the usual lettuce. It also has snap peas in it though which I pull out with disgust. Which brings me onto my rant. At our work's Christmas party one person brought a salad with cooked, cold green beans in it. Thankfully I spied it before I put it in my mouth or I might just have barfed all over the white elephant gift I brought. Green beans for goodness sake!

Here's my list of things that do NOT belong in a salad:

Green beans (especially cooked, limp and cold)
Snap peas
Bacon (cold bacon? I'm a bacon-lover like anyone else but come on!)
Croutons (dry bits of toast?)
Sunflower seeds
Copious amounts of cheese (some Caesar salads have so much Parmesan cheese on I can't see the lettuce)
Lashings of dressings
Raw onions
Apples, pineapples, strawberries and any other fruit

I realise this makes me weird to some people but I'm English. A salad in England is lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers and a bit of sliced carrot if you're lucky. If you ask for a salad dressing they will bring you Heinz Salad Cream. If you ask for ranch they may just have it. If you ask for fat-free buttermilk ranch with poppy seeds they'll start laughing at you.
I don't think this makes me picky or a philistine in any way. I think the food, and especially the salads, have just got ridiculous. Just give me lettuce!

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Indifferent to Independent in a Day!

Potty training has been hit and miss to say the least. If I'm persistent I can eventually get him to go, under duress. It can be so draining that I have been a total defeatist and used diapers all over Christmas. Our babysitter makes him go hourly and is so organized about the whole thing that I felt guilty letting it slip over the holidays, but I also didn't want to have to watch lovely festive movies on a couch smelling of old man's underpants after he'd peed on it for the 4th time. Linda is also doubly motivated because lets be honest, changing somebody else's kid's undies, no matter how much you like that kid, is still gross. So anyway, seeing as I let it slide I have been surprised the last two days how well Linda has said that he's done. Then today he decided that he'd go from fighting me on potty training to being Mr. Independent. He came running into the front room while I was eating dinner and said 'I need to go potty!" and so I trudged off to the bathroom after him. When I got there he'd removed his pants, was sitting on the potty and said "Leave the room mama I need to pee!" WTF? Last week he was running around oblivious to everything going on down there and now he's ordering me from the room? Unbelievable! The boy that has never let me feed him is now going to ban me from potty training. I should feel glad I suppose but I feel a bit miffed and told him so. "No" I said "I will not leave - I'm your mum and I want to see you pee!" And yes I'm quite aware how stupid that reasoning sounds.

Tuesday, January 03, 2012


It's hard to turn my boy down when he looks at you and says pleath (please). Having a slight lisp is one of Daniel's most endearing qualities.

He was sat on his potty recently, pointed to his nipples and asked Craig earnestly, "Can you take these off please Dad?"

Every morning lately when he wakes up he yells excitedly "It's morning day!" which is his version of saying it's time to get up.

We've had a great time over Christmas with him but when I mentioned that he's back at pre-K this week he looked at me and said flatly "NO". Oh dear.

As my husband Craig said this evening, some people have crack and our Danny has "The Fresh Beat Band". He loves this kid's band and turns into a groupie whenever they come on the telly. I can't resist posting a short 20-sec video as there's nothing funnier than watching kids dance!

I've had such a great time this past 2 weeks that it's been hard to get back into work today. When I picked them up from the babysitter today and Danny told me he'd been having fun with play-doh I felt a little pang of sadness and wished I could have been with him. He's just such a jot to be around at the moment.

3 Month Catch-up

I can't believe I haven't posted for over 2 months! So much to say.