Gastronomy Wrongness (yes, again)

Today we needed to pop to Shaws to pick up some last minute missing items from the normal weekly shop.

Missing because #1 Son had another party yesterday – apparently March is a month of many birthdays in his class, and so the shopping trip needed to be cut short.

So away we went.

And our first stop was hummus.

What could possibly be done to make hummus wrong I hear you ask.

Well dear audience may I present:

Yes. Yes it is. Chocolate. Hummus.


Can I also point out the spelling as well?!?!?


So I picked out some regular hummus, and some nice cheese, and we then headed over to the Easter end cap where I could, I hoped, get some more Peeps.

I love Peeps

Well, guess what I found instead:

What. The. Fuck. Is. This. Abomination?!?!!?

Leave it alone America. Leave it alone.

I was most grumpy about this.

Then tonight I ventured over to the dark side as part of our dinner and I cooked grits.


Actually, to give them their dues, paired with the Salsa Verde pork that was our dinner, they were remarkably edible.

(I still felt like I was eating porridge with my pork though πŸ˜‚πŸ€£)

Experiments in Snow Dyeing – Parts 1 et al

As we are currently experiencing a second white out, I am planning my second set of snow dyes. Which reminded me that I had not finished this previous drafted post.

Cue the wibbly screen and spooky music as we go back in time

Overnight on Wednesday last week there was a massive snowstorm. It took its time though. Mom spent most of Wednesday complaining that she had been promised “big” snow

And she hasn’t had any dammit

I had also decided that I wanted to try snow dyeing yarn. A technique that produces truly one-of-a-kind skeins and is extremely time consuming but oh so fun.

As a result, I fully expected no more snow until next winter πŸ˜‚πŸ€£

But the heavens obliged and we received a few inches of snow.

So I obtained a bucket of snow (with thanks to the hus-creature and my Mothership) and set myself up to produce my first ever snow dyed skein.

It looked amazing. I was so happy. Then, when I tried to wrap it in cling film to steam it? The bloody thing fell into the dye runoff!!!


I was just so angry with myself. But, I picked myself up, dusted myself off, and with encouragement from the Mothership (who went to get me another bucket of snow) I started another one off:

So, they weren’t going to be ready to prep til the next day.

Due to the washing and rinsing, the skeins were very tangled so needed to be balled and re-skeined.

The Dye-saster Yarn:

And re-skeined up:

The colours though:

The redye:

Much darker in shade than I expected.

The two siblings together:

I felt much better after this and decided to carry on.

The last few days have seen me work on these:

These have yet to be fully re-skeined so there will be a further post.

Yes I’ve done a lot, some of those batches contain multiple skeins, but this process is very much weather dependent.

I am having so much fun.

I think the neighbours may truly think I’m crazy now πŸ˜‚πŸ€£

I need a shop name now….

Snow Days

So, we have had (another) blizzard. Which has included more school closures.

Which normally means that the children have to make up all the relevant days at the end of the school year (the week is already built into the calendar).

However this year the Melrose school district has decided to pilot a School Cancellation Project system to limit the number of additional days required. Which I personally think is great, as teachers need their summer vacation as well as the kids.

So the idea is that per snow day the children pick from a list of published and publicised activities to do an hour’s worth of work. This is both worksheet based and is recorded and signed off by an adult in charge.

Sadly under the current “rules” (as it is a pilot system) if there are two consecutive snow days, the second must be made up in the summer. Which I find ridiculous but I’m presuming that it has something to do with the fact that the teachers are the ones compiling the extra work and it was a system only put into place after the first snow day of the academic year.

Anyway, #1 Son did over two hours worth on his first day – which was mostly with Nanny as I was still in significant recuperation mode. I do hope he gets credit for it.

Day One:

  • Snow Science – where he was to ascertain water in its solid, liquid and gaseous states. Nanny got him to try two examples – which meant we had a plastic beaker full of snow on our mantelpiece and on the front porch. In snow. Much to the amusement of our neighbours πŸ˜‚πŸ€£
  • Snowman Craft – we did several of the listed options, which included a snowman face (which I managed to get a picture of)
  • Snow Book Report – the children were allowed to choose their own book for this, so he chose Robot Rumpus which is one of his cycle of favourite bedtime stories.

Day Two:

For this there was a different set of exercises, which was a crying shame, as I had prepped loads of ideas based upon Day One’s remaining options. However, all was not lost, and this time we completed:

  • Teen Number Practice – which was a maths based colouring worksheet.
  • Roll A Sight Word – the USA ones are different to those taught in the U.K., as phonics are not taught in schools as standard, so that is… fun. However I downloaded a dice app onto my phone and we completed two sets of these on separate sheets. As expected, #1 Son did not enjoy this activity as much.
  • Snow Book Report – yes again. He enjoys them, as he doesn’t have to do the reading himself (listening to someone else read is fine) and he loves the drawing part. So this time we read Kitchen Disco which is another firm favourite.

Sadly there was a consecutive snow day so holidays are affected, but hopefully the snow will soon be over.

Ice Skating

On Saturday #1 Son was invited to the local rink – Flynn Rink for those interested – for a birthday party.

The birthday boy’s mother was prepared for there to be non-skaters in the group, and had set up snacks and hot chocolate (with marshmallows and chocolate dragΓ©e candies) for those children to hang out away from the ice.

How Daddy thought it would go:

That he would outright refuse to try it.

How I thought it would go:

That we would persuade him to go out on the ice. After 30 seconds he would slip/fall/be unable to move and probably have a meltdown.

We got him into rented skates. Helmets are apparently not compulsory and as such were not rentable.

We gave him a milk crate for balance and stability, and watched him go out on the ice.

With, I admit, our hearts in our mouths.

And then this happened.

Also this – the kid has moves

Please remember this was the first time he had ever been out on the ice!!!

I’m not ashamed to admit, I cried. Full on blubbed and sobbed. I was overwhelmed with how proud I was. I couldn’t explain it.

In fact I find myself tearing up as I write this post and re-watch the videos

He enjoyed himself.

Yes, he fell down. Yes he blunderbussed his way into other children. Yes I spent an inordinate amount of time apologising to the world in general (as I had no idea which parents belonged to which child) but he had so much fun.

Sadly the rink is now closed, a month early, because they had received a $3 Million grant for refurbishing, but they will reopen at the end of August – so we will see if we can sign him up for lessons.

He showed an interest in learning, the rink is close by, and hockey is BIG in this town. I’m not necessarily thinking we will get him into hockey itself, not for a while, but learning to skate is a really good skill to have while we live here.

After the skating was pizza, juice and cake. Sadly the first few pizzas were more than a little carbonised on the bases and so he refused to eat them. So we said our goodbyes and left a little early, but overall I would consider that party a huge success!

As we grownups hadn’t eaten, and the cat needed food too, that we would go to Wegman’s very nice burger bar via PetCo.

Where there were beautiful Bettas (Siamese Fighting fish) – some of whom had made bubble nests yay!

Also gorgeous reptiles of various persuasions.

All in all, a very very good day.

Wow long time

No post.

Been a busy busy week and at so many points I found myself thinking “I must blog about today” and then it was late and I was tired and thought “I will do it tomorrow”

Well tomorrow never comes does it?

So, my last few days:


We all accidentally got very tiddled. Which happens when you drink three bottled beers with a 9%ABV and add a glass of mead somewhere in the mix. Whoops. It was fun, and Momma and I chewed the fat, put the world to rights and ganged up on the hus-creature a little poor boy!


Momma and I were going to go to the pub for a drink, but both of us were feeling tired. (This is not a euphemism, amazingly I was not hungover!)

So instead, momma kindly volunteered to stay in with the (asleep) sproglets and we went to the cinema.

Where we had a (really not good*) meal at the bar-which-pretends-to-be-a-restaurant and saw BLACK PANTHER!!!

And if you have not yet been to see this masterpiece GO NOW. No, seriously, I’ll wait right here.

We didn’t get home til gone midnight, but mom had opted for an early night anyway so it was all good.

Apart from TT having a poop accident in her pants but one just isn’t worth fretting over.

*We sent back our nachos. It really was that bad πŸ™€


This was another quietish day, but #1 Son wanted a haircut.

Well, we felt that it was more than a little hard to tame, so for once we gentlyencouraged a cutting of hair

But there is only one barber in the whole of Melrose who is open on Sundays, so off we trotted.

And, rather unsurprisingly, it was very busy. We wanted to give the poor Mothership a break from her beloved grandchildren so we decided to take them both with us.

On the way out, #1 Son somehow caught a splinter in his finger 🀭 so daddy took him back upstairs to remove it whilst I stayed outside with TT – we had just gotten her strapped into the stroller and letting her out again was a nightmare I just did not want to deal with!

He was extremely brave – daddy managed to get half of it out with tweezers, but the bastarding thing snapped halfway out. So then enter the very experienced Nanny (the Mothership) with a sterile needle. And she got it out! And as he was so brave we decided that, regardless of cold, we would take him for an ice cream after the hair cut.

To try and limit the boredom factor for the kids, and to get more errands done, I sat with #1 Son in the barber’s whilst daddy took TT to the pharmacy to pick up my prescriptions

We actually had to pay a deductible this time – one whole quarter

Sadly we were nowhere near the chair by the time they were done. Fortunately we had the foresight to pack both tablets, so the kids were mostly contained, but it was still rather hair-raising*.

There was one cute moment though. There were a pair of brothers roughly of an age with #1 Son and TT, and, since there were only two barbers on shift, one decided to wait for his colleague to finish with his current client and not seat someone else in his chair so that both boys could be done together.

As a parent with two bored and fractious children this was slightly frustrating, but also wonderful to see from a customer service perspective.

Well we did eventually get to the chair, and for a kid with sensory issues he handled it like a total trooper 😍😊

It was a full scissor cut with a slight buzzing of the nape – and since he hates the clippers this was amazing.

It has been four days since the cut though, and it is already growing back enough to start spiking up at the back sigh. The perils of thick wavy hair I guess.

*Pun not intended πŸ˜‚πŸ€£


Not much of note to report beyond being four weeks post op and doing reasonably well. As long as I don’t overdo it too much I’m pretty okay. I did ensure that I renewed my ibuprofen scrip because I could!I’ve been doing some regular driving practice and tonight we went via the mall. Ostensibly to give me some more lengthy practice on a different route, but we also planned to pop in to their pet store to get some cat food, as we are running low on her majesty’s dry feed.

Big Mistake. For, you see, not only was it a very small store designed only for dogs; but they were also selling dogs. Or puppies rather. Stored in large aquarium style tanks.

Not going to deny, as a Brit this shocked and appalled me. I mean, they seemed happy enough but still…

It made me sad. So I went and did a little shopping in Newbury Comics and had a happy again. Game of Thrones t-shirts? Check! Game of Thrones socks? Check!

Right this is already stupidly long so I shall continue it in another entry!

Many things

It’s been a busy few days.

TT is (whisper it) 100% reliable during the day on the toilet when it comes to doing a wee!

We have also had two days in a row where she has successfully done a poo in the correct place*

We have had no accidents all week thus far.

Night training is not happening, as we are attempting to wean her away from her middle of the night bottle and it’s just cruel to do both at the same time…

That and the one night we tried it she screamed bloody murder, fully woke up, and then actively refused to go back to sleep without said bottle – she won that round!

But she’s doing amazingly – especially when you consider she’s only 26 months old!!

Okay so she doesn’t now need the “cooling” pull ups we bought, or the plastic pants. Bugger. Ah well, we live and learn. And if we hadn’t have bought them, we would have needed them.

Sadly we had a bit of a backslide with #1 Son on the behaviour at school front today. He ran out not once, not twice but five time today, and even ran back into school at pick up time whilst the Mothership was talking to his teacher about the previous five occurrences.

I received an email from her this afternoon confirming that he had had an “emotional” day (stating that no-one would play with him and that he felt that no one loved him 😰) outlining her strategies for helping him tomorrow and giving us a framework to talk to him.

One of the problems is his refusal to accept that other children might just want to play games of their own choosing too – we are working on this…

He has had two more party invites though (one of which is ice skating – but thankfully with options for non skaters) which ought to help a little.

The other is a bouncing party – your guess is as good as ours on that – but that should at least be fun for him.

The lovely H brought up some presents for the kidlets today and he completed one of them

Momma and I are hoping that H will be able to join us on a small night on the town on Saturday.

His reading has come on in leaps and bounds. He actually asked to read with mom when he got home from school!!!!

He still hates writing, so I think that will have to be the next point of focus, but it’s amazing to see how well he is doing.

Mom met up with his teacher on Tuesday afternoon to discuss his progress and ensure that we (mostly her) are not confusing him compared to how they are teaching him in class.

It meant she got to meet his support team, and see his little cubby that they’ve built for him to (effectively) escape into when he gets overwhelmed.

Yes, it is literally a cupboard – it works for him.

He will also be having weekly sessions with his therapist every Tuesday at 07:15 – this means he won’t be too late into school, thus not impacting on his daddy’s work day too much.

As for me? I’m slowly getting back behind the wheel. I’m not great, but at least when I screw up I’m following through and have not (for example) crashed into a roundabout, nor ran a red light, nor turned into oncoming traffic without signalling.

Which are all things I did back in England prior to passing my U.K. licence

So I consider that I am doing okay. I need practice, and I need to pass my theory test (yet again) but I am studying and having gotten through half of the USA equivalent to the Highway Code today.

I’m now exhausted and have an incipient migraine πŸ˜‚πŸ€£

I also had my second post-op checkup yesterday.

My doctor is very pleased with my progress. I am to increase my doing of things, though not to lift anything heavier than a gallon until I’m the full six weeks post-surgery.

He does however want me to break up with dairy πŸ™€πŸ™€πŸ™€

(I mentioned I wanted to lose weight)

At the moment dairy and I are merely agreeing to see other people πŸ˜‚πŸ€£

I can cope with losing chocolate but not my cheese. And I’m trying to work out what I could put in my tea instead of cow’s milk.

But I’m going to try.

He next wants to see me in six months, and this appointment is already booked 😱

Mom and I also went up to knitting group yesterday and had much fun πŸ‘πŸ»

*With many apologies to the non-parents in my audience, this sort of thing is big news when you are a stay at home parent!

Several important milestones

So yesterday wasn’t your average Sunday.

I was going to walk to the pub with mum but it was raining really heavily. So we all had a baguette meal at #1 Son’s request. Both children really enjoyed themselves and actually ate real food. TT also tried various adult foods such as horseradish cheese and Gorgonzola dip. No, she didn’t like them but at least it was funny when she tried.

TT has been trying bunches again:

I’m not sure she approves yet πŸ˜‚πŸ€£ whatever we do she yanks out within 10-30 minutes anyway sigh.

We decided that it was a good idea to actually get some exercise, so when we discovered we were almost out of cat food (I know right how did I let this happen?) We decided that I would go to Shaws with the sprogs and the hus-creature, and get some fresh air.

Well we managed it. Nobody ran off, broke anything and I didn’t collapse. Then something very amazing happened.

I drove the car home!!!!

Yes, me – who hasn’t been behind the wheel in over six months!!!

I was probably more than a little aggravating to the other drivers, but I made it home.

#1 Son even told me “you have done well Mommy, good job”

And trust me, I needed to hear that!!!

We went out tonight for a small spin around the immediate estate and to the train station and back – a bit of road position practice mainly. Again, nobody died and there was only one instance of my getting my side of the road screwed up – approaching a one-way gyratory on the left whilst turning left fired up my dormant muscle-memory neurons, but I moved over before there was an issue and didn’t even get beeped so all is good.

I need to be able to do the school run before Momma returns to good ole Blighty.

Tosay #1 Son voluntarily tidied TT’s room – it was done very well. What was amusing was TT checking all the cupboards in her little kitchen to see what he had put in there.

TT is now very upset to wake up to a wet nappy, and for the last two nights has insisted on “wee wee” within 10 min of her bedroom door closing.

So tonight we cut down her bedtime bottle amount and as of last night have cut out her 11pm bottle πŸ™€

We will be attempting to sit her on a potty at 11pm instead after getting #1 Son up for his middle of the night toilet break.

Both of them are growing up. TT is now almost 100% reliable on the #1 front, so now we are working on #2.

Night-dry may well be possible much sooner with her…

I’m also three weeks post-op now. Time flies when you’re “having fun” I guess.

A productive few days

TT has been dry in the day for three days on the trot!!!

This is amazing! And she has completely bypassed the potty and has gone straight to using the toilet.

So I could have saved the $20+ I invested in a mini toilet style potty but never mind eh?

We are struggling a little with #2 at the moment but we are getting there.

We have already thrown at least one pair of underpants out

She has also been a little unwell the last day or so. Wednesday night was awful. She woke screaming in pain at 22:00 and was clearly either constipated or very gassy. We tried a warm bath, Nanny/daddy walking her around, we even gave her an approved constipation tablet – nothing worked.

She was so bad she gave herself a fully hoarse throat the poor wee thing 😰

So we ended up co-sleeping because she just would not settle back in her bed alone.

And it reminded me most forcefully why we do not do the co-sleeping thing.

Poor Daddy ended up curled up on the foot of the bed under the duvet whilst I ended up very sore due to the squirming sleep-thief octopus.

So I spent a lot of yesterday resting because I was exhausted and in pain.

Much better today. However TT has had a slightly upset tummy, so the two events may have been linked. Her pjs were a bit of a state this morning 🀒

#1 Son has been doing reading and writing practice with Nanny. By reading phonetically with the Biff, Chip and Kipper books supplied by other Nanny he is now romping through, and is already on Level 2.

My pride knows no boundaries. We are more than a little concerned though that we are teaching him the British way and not the American way, but it’s working for him – so Momma has volunteered to chat to his teacher about it next week to see if either they can keep letting him learn this way or provide us with suggested resources to help him move on from phonics.

But he is enjoying reading. This is a bloody miracle.

TT decided yesterday that she wasn’t up to being outdone:

Reading practice with TT

I mean, logically it’s nowhere near as impressive, but it’s pretty cute.

Momma has also been trying to tame and tidy the unruly mop that is her hair:

It lasts about ten minutes but hey it’s progress!

We are planning on working on colours and shapes with her next week once #1 Son returns to school.

And as for writing with #1 Son? Well Momma is working on individual upper and lower case letter formation with him, and we are already up to K!!! The hope is that by Monday he will have done the entire alphabet through, but we shall see.

He has also had a full session with his new therapist and he doesn’t hate the musical therapy.

*collapses in relief*

I’m going for a walk at the weekend!!!


Two weeks post-op

Well, 15 days really.

I am 99% off the Percocet, and I have a few tablets left. I’m not being a hero, I’m still taking ibuprofen but only when it’s not “stinging/burning in the incision” pain – because let’s face it, pills won’t help with that, so why take them?

I’ve had some ups and downs but as long as I take frequent rest breaks I’m doing okay.

I am wearing clothes* – and it’s amazing how good that feels. Socks still cause me issues, but the hus-creature is helping me out there.

I even took my binder off yesterday to sleep, and I’ve not put it back on!!!!

Yes it stings a bit so I’m monitoring and assessing, but it had gone from “oh my goodness I love this and I am never taking it off” to scratchy and irritating so we are seeing how we go.

I even managed to make the kids some lunch yesterday!

Our weekend was lovely. From Friday to yesterday we had a visit from the lovely Diana who has been momma’s friend for years 😁

So on Saturday they both went into Boston to do the tourist thing and paint the town red.

Sadly the duck boat wasn’t an option because of frozen rivers – it’s still bloody cold here.

They didn’t get home til after 9 ok – dirty stop outs πŸ€£πŸ˜‚πŸ€£πŸ˜‚πŸ€£πŸ˜‚

I kid, I kid, I was actually thrilled mom got some decent time to enjoy herself free from my kids and in adult company.

We all had a lovely time, and I’m hoping she will visit again in the summer πŸ‘πŸ»πŸ˜

There was actual snow on Sunday – mom has been looking forward to big snow. It’s mostly almost melted again already.

Today they children have been playing nicely together.

This is #1 Son showing TT that his Halloween mask isn’t scary πŸ’•πŸ’•πŸ’•

He is on schoool holidays for the rest of the week – send gin!!!

No, he’s been amazing, and is actually doing some reading and writing practice.

We have discovered if we reward bribe him with chocolate/candy after a certain amount of work he is much more receptive – whatever works!!!!

TT is being stubborn about potty training, but we will get there!

*Nothing fancy – just leggings and a t-shirt but hey, it’s clothes

A slight backslide today

Maybe I overdid it. Maybe this is normal. But I feel rotten. My stomach is sore and crampy, and my incision hurts a bit.

I have sent the hus-creature to make me a hot water bottle whilst I hide in bed. He is happy to do this. He has also made me a cup of tea and brushed my hair πŸ’—πŸ’•

He is a lovely man person 😘

Poor old TT has had a bit of a rotten day too. She is severely constipated right now 😰 So the Mothership and I are putting our heads together to find ways of sneaking more fibre into her. I am deeply sympathetic to the poor wee thing.

#1 Son came home with a Valentine he made for me:

I’m not crying – you’re crying.

He’s so proud of it too πŸ’•