The more things end

The more they stay the same.

Tonight was a hard night for me. Two of my favourite shows aired their season finales.

Star Butterfly Vs. The Forces of Evil

and Game of Thrones.

In. One. Day.

It’s just added to the list of shows that I love that are “done”.

  • Adventure Time
  • SvtFoE
  • GoT
  • Big Bang Theory

I find myself torn. On the one hand I don’t want to spoiler things for anyone. On the other hand, I want to say one thing.

I am unexpectedly happy with how both shows ended.

I know right? Complete and total shocker!

I don’t know what I’m going to do with my Sunday evenings for the moment though.

Anyway, a metric tonne has happened in the rest of 2019.

  1. Our Green Card applications are moving forward which is nice. It’s complex and complicated but is happening.
  2. #1 Son has almost finished First Grade and is doing amazingly well. And there’s a chance that he could keep his current teacher into Second Grade – which would be awesome for him. He has also been signed up for the Summer Learning Academy again and that should really help keep his progress going. He is starting to read automatically and independently – only small things right now (signs etc) but it’s becoming muscle memory. He’s a sassy bugger too which I love. He has also lost three teeth – which his sister is now convinced is happening to her on a daily basis πŸ™„
  3. And speaking of his sister… TT is… well, she’s a bloody handful is what she is. She’s a boundary-pushing stroppy ball of not-hormones. Honest to god it’s like looking into the future at times. But she can also be so sweet and so caring. Again the difference between the two is so utterly marked. She continues to idolise her brother and can’t wait to “go to school” long may that continue πŸ€£πŸ˜‚
  4. The hus-creature just returned from his second business trip to Seattle, and I didn’t commit infanticide, nor burn the house down; so I consider that a big tick in the plus column.

That’s it for now. I’m going to make a better effort from now on. I’ve missed the blog!

Self Care 2019 v. 1.0

I’ve done so many of these that at this point I feel that they should be numbered!

As mentioned, my anxiety is giving me issues. My PCP doesn’t appear receptive to the idea that I know it’s anxiety not depression. Yes, we are considering switching doctors.


But there is major snow with more on the way, the hus-creature is about to be in Seattle for a week, I have concerns about my ongoing prescriptions, and therefore it’s a total PITA to switch right now.


So, I’m trying good old-fashioned ways of dealing for now.

I’ve been going back to the nail salon every two weeks. It’s helping – my nails look pretty and I don’t feel the temptation to gnaw on them quite as much.


I still do – but only once they snag or break. Sadly, with current weather, this happens quite often.


And I got my hair did on Saturday.

This is involved, intricate, and takes roughly five hours.


Which is why it only happens once every four months!


So the “before” shot:

I hate pastels. So having had them attached to my head for the preceding month has been nothing short of torture. So I needed to see them die.

Now, this time my very talented stylist

Samantha Vallery – she works at Hair By Christine in Somerville

didn’t feel the need to bleach everything – and I bow to her expertise. She is the lady who cuts and colours hair professionally after all. If you aren’t going to listen to your damn stylist then why are you there?

Which left this very interesting “in progress” shot:

That dark line just below the pink? That is not a shadow oh no. What that bastarding thing is, is a tidemark of permanent brown dye. That has been on my head since just before I went back to work after having had TT. Let us think about this for a second. The Tiny Tyrant is now three. Three years old. (I know, I can’t believe it either!) So that tidemark is over two years old.

I would very much like it to bugger off now. As would my Sam – she was pulling worse faces than me while doing my new colour πŸ€£πŸ˜‚ she has declared it her mission to fix it. I do not mind this at all ☺️

We think that by September, what we can’t bleach out (and this colour has outlasted many attempts to shift it) can finally, finally, be cut out. Can’t cut it too soon else I lose a lot of length – and that… just won’t happen.

Else this couldn’t:

Yes, this is my hair for the next four months. I’m in love. It’s beautiful.

Once my roots start growing through again though it’ll make me sad πŸ€£πŸ˜‚ but with the ombrΓ© built in this time, it’s at least easier for me to upkeep it.

And… no blue! I’m really embracing the pink these days.

And the self care hasn’t been limited to purely physical.

In the last month (ie January) I’ve had two bad flare ups of pain – each lasting four days.


Yes yes, I know I need to see the doctor, but see above. I’m also trying to amass data on these new and annoying bouts of pain so that when I inevitably need to see a new doctor, I can at least attempt to bypass the tedious penis-waving (not literally) that will no doubt occur. I mean, what would I know about my body and medical conditions after all right?


And the hus-creature has been worried about me bless him for – as previously documented – he’s a bloody amazing man you know.

So he went foraging. To a shop in Brighton (an 80 minute round trip) and found so many things of joy, beauty and wonder.

Ok so, I loathe Angel Delight. But the rest? Everything is now in my cupboards. I can have hot Ribena – which is my true comfort drink when I’m unwell.

Self care – it’s important y’all.

MLK Day 2019

Well dear audience I’m back.

There’s been such a huge mental block for me with writing since October. It’s not that there weren’t things to write about, it’s that I just….

Couldn’t do it.

I just could not put pen to paper. Or words on a screen. Every time I tried I felt so anxious it was ridiculous.

And this is my escape from anxiety.

So, I’ve decided to just take the leap.

Today is Martin Luther King Day. So #1 Son is off school, and the hus-creature is off from work πŸ™€ so we decided to go into Boston and visit the New England Auto Show.

One teeny tiny issue? It’s -15/16C out there at the moment. And there’s a foot of frozen solid snow outside.

However, we have gone native. I merely shrugged it off and we all headed out. And it turns out that there was one more small issue. We had left TT’s stroller on the front porch. There’s been a major snow storm. Yep, it’s full of snow and frozen solid πŸ€­πŸ˜’πŸ˜€

So, may I present TT’s first official free range bus and T ride:

She loves her “bear hat” and it’s so damn cold out that I didn’t have to argue with her at least about bundling up.

#1 Son on the other hand? Well he made it the 10 feet to the bus stop before he was whimpering that his ears hurt from the cold. We had packed his hat because we knew this would happen. So yes, he wore that too.

So we got to the Conference Center and stripped off to ensure we wouldn’t freeze on the way out.

I think you can see that one child was enjoying life significantly more than the other bless them!

So, the Motor Show was… genuinely interesting. It was all about the new cars coming in 2019/2020 – and not all of them either. Kia for example did not have their next generation hybrid available. Which was most disappointing to the hus-creature, as we are looking into future replacements for our trusty Bolt, and Kia/Hyundai have some great options.

But because it was basically a “see what we’ve got coming up and buy buy buy” event, something magical became possible.

You could sit in the vehicles!!!!

Honestly, it was like we had taken TT to the best theme park ever.

Now, she was insisting on dividing her car choices by colour.  Or if they were a truck.  We were forced to sit in/stare at so many trucks.

THE BIGGER THE BETTER MOMMY!!!!

Honest to goodness, the sheer size differential was amazing – I’m still laughing!

Why yes, yes this is my daughter behind the wheel of an orange Camaro! I’ve never seen her so happy!

 

However, she was desperate to get her hands on “a purple one”. Except that there weren’t any.

Well, until we found the “super cars” section anyway:

Say it with me, “hubba hubba” why yes, yes I would very much like to sit in a purple Lamborghini thank you. Sadly both mine and TT’s hopes were cruelly dashed.

It’s sibling is retailing at over half a bar!!!!

But oh so pretty.

There were a few “classics” too:

And from a sheer interest perspective, a hydrogen fuel cell Honda:

Which is fascinating to both myself and the hus-creature, but sadly re-fuelling something like this in Massachusetts is… problematic.


All 38 refuelling Stations are only in California


At this point we had been wandering around for over two hours. #1 Son was bored out of his mind. TT on the other hand? If it wasn’t for the being exhausted due to no stroller? She would have happily kept going.

My girl is a complete petrol head!!!

Sadly, the journey home was not so easy. The Silver Line bus broke down in the tunnel so they had to send a shuttle bus.

However as they kept us waiting over 15 minutes and it was an over 15 minute bus trip to South Station? I lost my train fare. And I was pissed. It doesn’t matter that it’s “only” $2.75. That’s my $2.75 and they shouldn’t get to keep it.

Then we missed the connecting T. Then when we got back to Oak Grove we missed the next bus.

It was a cold wait. So when we got home it was hot chocolate for all – with a large dash of bourbon for the parents!

It was such a long day for TT that she did something she’s not done in over a year:

Passed out. On the T! Poor thing was exhausted. Hopefully she will sleep well tonight!

Stay tuned for the festivus look back. I’m hoping to get my mojo back.

Pumpkins, Mums and the PTO

Oh my!

There was a Pumpkin and Mums sale up at #1 Son’s school today.


Last year I was completely confused as to why they might potentially be auctioning off fellow mothers…

It turns out the hus-creature was also, as he checked – ‘mums = chrysanthemums

Which was a relief I have to admit πŸ€£πŸ˜‚


There was also hot apple cider sadly, (or perhaps not given my liver still seems to be crying after Friday), not alcoholic, and ring donuts and…. a petting zoo.

I’ve made a vow this year to actually do more of the after/outside of school activities and so I insisted we head up.

First came the petting zoo:

Sadly, #1 Son was not keen, but TT was enthralled. So I sent my boys off to forage for pumpkins – but sadly not mums as it turns out that they are highly toxic to cats and dogs, so no plant for me – while TT went in with the animals.

It wasn’t completely successful as she has actually listened to me about not petting strange animals it seems, and took a lot of convincing that it was ok to do so. There was a lot of “Mummy no, I not touch animals” but she had fun.

Then came… pumpkin decorating:

Both kids had so much fun. I had to intervene a little when #1 Son kept trying to attach stickers to his sister’s pumpkin (and believe me, she was not impressed by that!), and my role was “Chief re-attacher of pen lids”, but they both had so much fun.

Also TT was hilarious – she was most definitely choosing her own pen colours and would not be swayed.

Serious artist is serious

She would not relinquish that red marker.

Then it came time to leave. She would not be parted from her precious pumpkin. She had a full on level 10 meltdown when we left it in the boot of the car to, you know, dry and set.

Her precious:

Both children decorated a pumpkin of course:

And we had to let her have it on the way home from lunch, so she cradled it like a teddy bear:

Such pride many happy πŸ€£πŸ˜‚β€οΈπŸ’—

But then once we returned what were we to do? I had visions of her sleeping with the darned thing. However through some judicious use of lollipop based bribery, to prevent her from sitting outside all afternoon, both pumpkins now have pride of place on our front porch:

But this does mean that for once I have contributed to the Halloween decorations hurrah!

Self improvement

Starts here.

Actually, it started last week when both the hus-creature and I joined a gym!

Yes I know, I can hear you all laughing hysterically. But it’s true.

Through ruthless calorie counting, and as close to a daily walk around beautiful Melrose as I can, I have managed to shift just over 20lb.

And I’m really proud of that. But I need to keep the momentum going. And I’m getting very familiar with my town now, and I needed to step it up a gear. So gym it was. You have 24/7 access and, after the first 30 day’s, can access any branch globally as part of your membership πŸ™€

So, yesterday I went for my induction session.


I feel that it should be noted that I had attended the gym pretty much daily last week barring Wednesday. I had signed the “I promise I won’t sue you if I hurt myself” disclaimer, and I remembered how most of the main machines worked so while I was waiting for them to book me in, off I went.


With the lovely Erik. Well he was very friendly and very good at his job.

I told him I hated him at least twenty times during the course of that hour, to which he merely laughed – the evil man!

But I did recant at the end of the session.

They seem positive that if I regularly attend (and I will) I should be able to reach my initial goal weight within a reasonable time frame – which I want to have done by next summer.

I will wear a pretty bikini goddammit

However I seem to have mildly overdone it πŸ€£πŸ˜‚

I will also in part attribute this to going out on the town last night with my wonderful H πŸ’—πŸ’—πŸ’—πŸ’—

We danced, we laughed and we got very, very drunk πŸ˜‚πŸ€£ we were total dirty stop outs and didn’t get home til 1am!

Yes, I am rocking navy lipstick πŸ˜‰

It matched my dress. My TARDIS dress. No I won’t be wearing it as an everyday look, but I put full face on for the first time ever by myself

It all comes under the self care banner. I’ll never be a “girly girl” but I can enjoy the occasional benefit from it.

Oh and the hus-creature? He still needs to sort out his induction – but he threw his back out again this week. Hopefully he can sort it out next week.

Me, I won’t be going to the gym tomorrow. We have a stupidly full schedule and I can barely walk so…

It’s the differences that hurt

I started writing this post in late May this year. Mostly to quietly vent. I’m not sure if I ever intended to publish it. But I feel I should. It’s important to be honest, with myself as well as everyone else.


I’ve been ruminating on this post for a while, and I suspect that it will be a good few days in the writing before I hit the publish button to be honest.

We all know that I have my two kidlets:

And

And I love them both to death. I do. I would both die and kill for these two. I have been a mama lion for #1 Son over the last year or so, and will continue to be for as long as he needs or wants me to be. But, can I admit something?

I get so tired.

It’s so hard. So so hard. And half the time at least it’s just not his fault or anything to do with him as himself. He continues to be one of the kindest, funniest, sweetest boys that anyone would be lucky to know.

But it’s his condition. It’s his disability (and I bloody loathe that word).

He is not a standard child. And this world is set up for the standard. For the “normal”. And everyone else is left to sink or swim.

TT is growing up. Every day it seems she does something new.

And she is blowing right past him

I don’t mean like for like now, at almost six he still ahead of her, but at their comparative ages she’s miles ahead.

  • She plays with toys.
  • She has proper imaginative play.
  • She is capable of playing on her own.
  • She wants to play with her brother. She idolises him if truth be known.
  • Her language skills are amazing
  • She has concepts such as sharing down. Admittedly mostly when they benefit her but she’s got them.
  • Milestones such as crawling, walking etc she already blew past him with.

There are more, so many more, but these are the ones that stick in my head.

It’s almost daily that I will look at the hus-creature and say:

He was never like this.

Or

He never did this/that.

And I wonder if he has somehow been short changed by my just not knowing that he was non-standard.

How did I not know? Well for a premature child and a boy, he was hitting all the relevant milestones within the age-appropriate ranges.

We didn’t see a problem until he first started formal schooling.

I worry for him. I worry about him. If I, as his mother, can get upset and frustrated


And I do, believe me I do


Then how will the rest of the world cope? How will he cope with it?!?!?


And that is where I stopped. I couldn’t carry it on.

I think my pain, worry, fear is quite obvious no? But, I’m pleased to say, that things are once again on the upswing.

He’s had a few knocks since the start of the school year. For example he started leaving class again, particularly after we got back from England. However that was two weeks ago, and he’s getting better.

I still haven’t had to visit the new Principal (which is great) and he’s making great strides in his reading, writing and math.

I’m just so proud of this kid.

He’s a trooper. He’s my best boy. And I will continue to be the Mamasaurus that he needs me to be.

He got that star in his first week and we have also had another since.

Fall Yarn Projects – and a surprise πŸ˜†

Good evening (or day depending on where you are in this great world of ours) dear audience.

Let’s discuss something that is close to my heart – yarn!

“But wait!” I hear you cry (I have amazing speakers on my phone/computer you know!) that is far too broad a topic.

I agree my friends, so let’s narrow it down. The dreaded C word is fast approaching you know. Yes, Christmas.

Now, I know many of you who are crafters (like me, or at least I like to pretend that is so!) will probably have already started – if not completed – some of your intended gifts.

However, this is what normally happens for me:

The Festive Season Checklist:

  1. Realise Christmas is X number of months away.
  2. Realise “oh crud – gifts
  3. Think to myself “oh, of course, I could hand make gifts”
  4. Start lists of everyone who I think I could make something for.
  5. Remember that, actually, I am a slow knitter/crocheter and so in order to do this for everyone I should have started in January.
  6. Cry at list.
  7. Throw list away and start browsing Amazon.

However, there are people out there, normal sane people, who can do this and do this well.

And for those I have some wonderful news.

This is my first-ever sponsored/requested post!

Yes I’m actually doing something practical for a change.

(Stop gasping at the back there, you there in the back row – I see you!)

So, let’s talk seasonal knitting. Now did I mention I am a slow knitter? I’m better crocheter in terms of speed, but I find making anything beyond blankets in crochet a bit head scratchy.

So I really ought to have started things like sweaters or cowls or ponchos back in the spring let alone in the summer.

(I do have a seed stitch cowl that I’ve been working on but it’s very much at the bottom of the unfinished object pile)

However for those of you who can knock up a sweater in a week – and I know people like this exist, there are several in my weekly knitting group – there is still more than enough time for my exciting news to impact you.

LoveKnittingUSA are running an amazing giveaway via yours truly.

They are offering 10 free balls of yarn for one of my lucky readers.

That’s right dear audience 10 balls of gorgeous yarn from the Simply DK range

Why DK? Well it’s from my own personal preference – I find I underuse DK (when I work on projects for myself I tend to work in fingering/sock weight) and I therefore feel that this yarn could use some love.

Isn’t that amazing? Obviously there are T&Cs but they are remarkably simple. You will need to be prepared to provide your name and address by email (so that spam bots don’t pick it up from my blog or Facebook) to receive the prize.

It will be sent directly from LoveKnitting, (due to me knowing how crazy busy my life can suddenly get, and I would NOT want you missing out) and so you would also need to contact me once the prize arrives with a photo.

And, we would very much like a picture of the winning Finished Object.

Which leads me nicely on to the next part of this post.

So, how do you win this wonderful loot?

Well, send me a comment, either on the blog directly, or through the Facebook link, telling me:

  1. Your favourite part of Fall/Halloween heck even Christmas
  2. What you would most love to make from the prize.
  3. Who it is intended for – and don’t be shy, self care is important, so if it is for yourself that’s great too.
  4. The color palette you would use – all 10 could be the same shade for a sweater, or multiple for scarves, or heck brioche colorwork it’s up to you.

The deadline for comments/entries is two weeks from the publish date of this post.

So sharpen your pins, polish your hooks, heck get out those looms people.

And get thinking/posting/writing

If you need ideas, there is this wonderful Fall inspired post which includes ideas for cozy seasonal patterns.

Or, if you are more spookily inclined, (and I have to admit that since moving to Massachusetts, Halloween is fast becoming one of my all time favourite holidays) there is also this Halloween knitting projects post which LoveKnittingUSA have already published.


Why flog a dead horse? These are amazing resources dear audience so please use them


Where the heck

🎡🎢Is Carmen Sandiago. Carmen SanDiago. Where on earth can she be?🎢🎡

Now I cannot answer this eternal 90s conundrum dearest audience, but I can tell you where the bleeding hell I’ve been for the last month.

Well we made a very short (and fraught) journey back to the U.K. for the absolute best wedding ever.

And I was so focused on that, and travelling with two small children, flying over eight hours, jet lag, more jet lag and did I mention the jet lag? That everything else just flew by the wayside. Honestly it’s true, I have so many blog posts in training here that I can’t even sort out what’s going on there.

But you know, now we are back the wedding was amazing, life is settling back to normal and is normal service I hope will shortly resume.

Summer Days Out

So over the summer we had so many plans to have outings with the kids.

But the weather laughed at us! We’ve had glorious weeks and the weekends have been utterly shocking!


Very British in fact πŸ€£πŸ˜‚


So we decided to say sod it and the hus-creature took the day off work on Thursday (almost two weeks ago now, yes I know I know!) and we went up to the beach.

Which is a specific beach about 30 more minutes away that is spelt almost the same as #1 Son’s given name.

Oh it was amazing. We played, we built sandcastles, we splashed, we swam. TT proved to be a complete and total water baby. Yes, she was more than a little apprehensive on the first couple of tries but then she was racing into the waves shouting “more ocean” and I have never seen her grin more.

Actually it backfired on us spectacularly though! First when it came time to go get lunch. Cue a massive meltdown and I had to bodily drag her to the restaurant – as a result we were all leaking sand and sea water on the way there sigh.

The second time was when it came time to go home. She did not want to leave. At all.

Anyway, pictures:

TT playing on the beach. Please bear in mind the last time she was on the beach she was only just crawling πŸ’— also note #1 Son’s new “rock collection” (yes I still have it – it’s out on the balcony!)

Daddy-offspring bonding:

Gittish seagulls were everywhere – honest to god they had no fear. None. Attacking belongings and tourists alike. Gits.

#1 Son made a friend – one with similar issues to himself. He was a little older and showed him how to build tide pools and how to catch small Crustacea for it πŸ’—πŸ’—πŸ’—

Sadly there were no photos with me, the mother, because I didn’t take my phone into the ocean and the hus-creature doesn’t think to take them. Ever.

But it was an amazing day out. The kids had a blast and we will go back.

Then this last Saturday we went to a theme park just across the state line in New Hampshire.

I didn’t take many photos this time because we were focussed on having fun, but we took these:

TT went on her first rides. The Ferris wheel – which she liked a lot:

WHEEL!

And then she went on her first proper roller coaster. She loved it. There was much crying of “more ride more ride” but her brother was not impressed.

So we took them across to the newly-built water park bit – it was so newly built that only about a third of it was actually operational. Again, TT adored the water slides and was devastated she couldn’t go on the bigger ones.

#1 Son? Nope. He still can’t deal with water being splashed in his face. But they both had a blast. Prying TT away from the water was as bad as at the beach. Needed to bribe her with the promise of an ice cream πŸ€­πŸ˜¬πŸ™„


It worked though!


But honestly? Comparing the free (mostly) trip to the beach, and the over $100 tickets for the park? Not worth it. They are both still too young and short.

There are a few other options, including an indoor, climate controlled, water park so we will look into that.

Daddy and I both needed a stiff drink or two by the end of those days!

And, oddly enough? I didn’t need to go for a walk either day!

Letting Go (in a good way)

Bonjour mes amies. I was planning on writing a long post about yesterday’s journey to the seaside, and I will, but I felt this was worth chronicling first.

Warning, hippy dippy potentially New Age-y shite incoming.

(Also swearing)

As many of my readers know, my kids are remarkably picky eaters. To the extent that I often wonder why they aren’t more skinny. In fact, whilst I think they are fine they certainly aren’t underweight.

You know that I’ve tried everything to get them to eat. To eat more, eat healthy(er), to eat variety.

It has, quite frankly, killed me. Both mentally and physically. There has been such an attempt made to:

But it has more often resulted in:

We all know about healthy eating. We know about food groups, vitamins, minerals, “5 a Day” but what do you do when, despite your best efforts, they just won’t?!?!?

Well, if you are me dear audience, you fret, and stress, cry, feel like a failure, and let it beat you down until it becomes (yet another) reason to push you back in your depression spiral/box.

But, the hus-creature loves me, and his kids, and hates to see us like this.

And he read a study on it. A study that showed that forcing picky eaters to eat outside of their comfort zone actually causes way more harm than good.

There was more to it of course, but it’s what it boiled down to.

That it is better that they are given what they will eat, rather than not.

So, that’s what I have been doing.

Peanut butter and jam sandwiches are now a daily meal staple. I sometimes vary it like the above, sometimes not.

And this is the result of careful theorising. I’m always left with a small amount of boxed macaroni and cheese after I make it for them.


Probably because I add the peas!!!


But it’s never enough for an additional two meals on its own.

Voila! Side dish. And yes, one child has broccoli (TT) and one child has cucumber (#1 Son) because of preferences. But I am working on that too. Do you see the tiny amount of each on the other’s plate? It works.

And no, they won’t accept home made macaroni and cheese sauce. I tried.

So yes, their diets are limited, bland and (to me) frankly appalling. But they are happy. They are eating. Meal times aren’t a battle anymore. No more tears.

They have a set “routine” of meals now:

  • Boxed mac ‘n cheese with added peas. At least it’s the organic kind.
  • PB&J
  • Hot dogs
  • Chicken nuggets (hidden veg brand whoo) with shaped potato of some kind.
  • Tinned spaghetti with meatballs – but that is significantly less successful than the boxed type.
  • Cheese quesadilla (again hidden veg) and that is #1 Son more than TT.

There might be more, but I forget.
Thankfully they do also eat:

  • Bananas
  • Apples
  • Ham
  • Cheese
  • Grapes
  • Cucumber (more #1 Son)
  • Broccoli (TT)
  • Carrots (TT)

I’ve excluded the “junk food” they will have when we go out but even that is predetermined and a small list.

  • Cheese pizza (more #1 Son than TT)
  • Cheeseburgers
  • Chicken tenders

Rarely they will accede to a pasta dish.

But gummy multivitamins are aces, and now I’ve embraced my reality? I’m much calmer.

TT also likes to stand on the scales after we do once a week, so that allows me to keep track of her weight, and she’s fine. She even gained a little last week.

So to any haters out there I say, walk a mile in my shoes before you judge. And until then: