So today it began. I will admit to more than a little apprehension. 

#1 Son got himself dressed and we headed out at 07:45. School normally runs 08:05 – 14:22 (which is oddly specific ) but as it was the very first day, the littles started 08:30. 

Means that tomorrow we will have to leave even earlier, 😭😭😭😭 but it’s only for one day, and when he starts up again next Tuesday we will be in Melrose and will be walking. 

My boys πŸ’—πŸ’—πŸ’—πŸ’—πŸ’—

So daddy stayed outside with TT and I walked him into his classroom. To say that the setup is totally different would be something of an understatement.  

They have individual stated places with names and numbers (but that ought to help him what with his issues) and tables. But on those tables was… LEGO

So he had a great morning. We did have a few issues but his new teacher (Ms. Ferrari) is confident that it can be improved. I like her already!

She has asked for more information so we need to finish the diagnosis process asap, which we will do as soon as we are moved and settled. 

We were then sent to the “all purpose room” for a new parents breakfast. It has been previously known as the “boo hoo breakfast” but we were all good and there was no sobbing. 
I was amused to see this:

And I amused a few parents by commenting that it was a taste of home and a tad unexpected.  
We didn’t have official first day homework, but he did decorate his school/home folder:

And I’m impressed at the neatness. I must tell him that tomorrow.  

Not to be outdone, TT has developed a new skill:

Part of her daily routine is “playing blocks with daddy”.  However, she usually simply destroys everything daddy builds. 

Today however she sat with him and played with his constructions without bashing/otherwise maiming them 😍😻
The last few teeth are almost through. I see the light at the end of this particular tunnel. 
We have only a few more days left here, but we picked up the keys to our new apartment today.  Couldn’t pop in to see as it’s being decorated and re-painted due to lead. 
I cannot wait to have my own bed again – and our new mattress and posh pillows. And my bath sheets. I really miss my bath sheets. 
 It may throw the kids routines off again though…

Stuff for me

For once I have spent time on myself. 
I bought a Craftsy class on colour theory for knitters. It’s a practical class. I’ve been actually knitting. 

I have taught myself how to stripe. Learned to look at and beyond the colour wheel, and have done my first ever stranded pattern. 
I’m in love. But man is it a yarn eater!  And this was only the homework from Lesson One. 
I have whiskey and hopefully GoT and more knitting. 
Life is satisfying today.  

Shopping with children

Needs banning. Or needs experience points and levelling up options to make it bearable. 
And honestly? #1 Son was an angel comparatively and Tiny Tyrant wasn’t a total monster type creature. 
He is now kitted out for school for a while. Multiple long sleeved tops, a few new trousers and a new pair of trainers. With. Laces. 
That isn’t going to be a massive problem or anything. 

He saw these and fell in love. Me, not being a total bloody idiot, tried to persuade him to have the black/purple/rainbow ones in non-Adidas. 
It turns out the poor boy has inherited my wide feet.  
They were agonising to him. Another mom told me Adidas were the only ones that helped her wide-footed offspring. 
I couldn’t say no could I? So again, not having come down in the last shower, I asked the sales woman for tips to keep them from being immediately destroyed. 
She sold me some protective spray (and two coats have already been applied) and some cleaning fluid. Who knows how long it will last? But at least I know I made an effort. 
TT missed her usual nap (between 10-11 go down time) and cat-napped for about 20 minutes in the buggy. This was a first. 
Unfortunately it backfired on us spectacularly and she refused an afternoon nap. 
Which meant a completely irrational and inconsolable toddler from roughly 16:30 until bedtime. 

Ended up giving her an emergency calm down bath at 18:15 to chill her the heck out. 

And it’s been over a fortnight since she went on hunger strike. She won’t eat anything that’s not a breakfast waffle or soggy Froot Loops.  Her solid nappies are not. And are green. So I got desperate. 
Normally at weekends I leave the evening meal to daddy. But tonight I took over and created the only goddamned thing that she will eat. 
Which led to the following musing. 
Before I became a parent, I *swore* my children would eat healthy. That junk food would be an *occasional* treat. 

That we would cook for them. 


So I managed to make their baby food. That was it. 
With one child neophobic (thanks autism) and one child on full out hunger strike (thanks teeth) I am making Kraft (box) mac and cheese with added cream cheese and full fat milk. And I’m doing a massive dance that BOTH children ate half a portion each. 

I’m inwardly cringing at how bland and cardboardy it tastes but it’s food.

And my back has given out again. Imma gonna eat dinner, watch Game of Thrones and knit test swatches. 


I apologise to my loyal fans – we have had a stress-filled week, coupled with massive colds hitting the Tiny Tyrant and myself.

We spent much of the last few days like this:

Add this to the fact that our beloved TT is cutting her last three molars simultaneously (no seriously, I can see the spikes poking under the gums in all cases poor wee bugger) it’s been goddamned tough.


Anyone who comes to visit us from the U.K. – bring Calpol.  Also teabags. And Aquafresh. But mainly Calpol.  I ventured to CVS yesterday and bought four bottles of Tylenol (two baby and two child) Grape for both, Cherry for TT and Strawberry for #1 Son (Calpol is strawberry flavoured but #1 Son was unconvinced and wants the grape too)   Interestingly, I was able to buy all four bottles, and they have a higher concentration of active ingredient in them, with no issues.  In the U.K. that would not have been allowed!


So.  School for #1 Son.


After all the paperwork palava, we found out on Wednesday afternoon that he had not been accepted into our first choice school dammit.  

It’s a mile and a half away, there’s no school buses and no public transport. He needs to be there by 08:10 on a standard day. The school website actually states “children are expected to either walk or be driven by caregivers”

In the words of the hus-creature ‘we will make it work’

I then decided to check that he could start on Wednesday August 30 along with all the other Kindergartners.  He can, she also mentioned in passing that there might be a meet and greet on Thursday and the Principal would confirm.


Welp, he didn’t.  So at 09:00 I rang the school to ask.  Yes, there was, at 10:00 at a school over thirty minutes away.  Cue frantic bundling into the car and off we went.


The first hour and half was pure meet and greet.  Which was great actually.  I met several parents and staff, and one member of the PTO has given me her email address as she had emigrated from Western Canada for her husband’s job and was in exactly the same situation as me down to same visa type!

#1 Son had a marvellous time at said Meet and Greet – running around like a mad thing, kicking balls, blowing bubbles, attempting tree climbing and actually interacting with other children – at least vaguely.


Then came the school tour.  TT did not want to go, so daddy stayed with her, and I walked #1 Son around.  That… was not as successful.  First, the school itself was so bloody different.  I am not ashamed to admit that it gave me a sinking feeling, but I bigged it up as much as I could.  They have an excellent music room, I think I caught a glimpse of the art room.

But he wasn’t convinced.  He found the whole tour ‘not fun’ and as a result went into uber grump mode which is a problem.  It didn’t help that quite a large proportion of the school (including one of the Kindy classrooms) was under construction – summer revamps are a thing.


We also didn’t get to meet his class teacher, as he’d literally just been added to the list, which didn’t help.  Kindergarten is also in the damn basement.  Deep joy.

Interestingly, although allergies are a huge deal (no edible items can be brought into any Melrose school for birthdays – though they have provided a list of acceptable alternatives) peanut butter and jelly sandwiches are a daily staple on the lunch menu.

Ah lunch, again something totally different to Dashwood.  The children all have pre-pay cards, from which they pay for lunch in the mornings via the teacher.  Apparently, only the high schools have kitchens, so they send down the lunch orders to the High and they send them up.

So we need to teach him a totally different thing.  Fortunately, the menu contains several acceptable items.  Do I wish there was more fresh food like there was at Dashwood? Yes.  But Winthrop won’t make him a daily cheese baguette so he needs to buy food he’ll eat.  And it’s posted online so we can talk to him about it the night before and simply remind him in the morning.  And he loves PB&J so if nothing else, he can have that.


So we return to daddy, whose first comment to me is “now, while I hesitate to call your daughter a mal-co-ordinated disaster area…” and steps aside to reveal the Tiny Tyrant with a pretty huge graze down her shoulder to elbow.  Apparently they had been walking to the car and back, and she somehow tripped over whilst messing about (she does this a lot) and scraped herself good and proper.  Daddy had cleaned it up as best he could with baby wipes, and once we got home I slathered it in Sudocrem.


Now, #1 Son absolutely loathes any kind of cream/ointment/lotion so I was expecting a real fight.  Nope.  It’s three days later, and she still holds her arm out and says ‘see-oh’ and wants cream on!  Trust me, it doesn’t need it.  It’s healed.  I was a little worried on Thursday night, as the area was pink and slightly warm to the touch – though it was a proper boo-boo, but it was fine by Friday morning.  However it keeps her calm, so therefore we cream it.


Yesterday I also managed a feat of mothering engineering and not only got both kids out of the house, we went to the mall, did shopping, I also managed to buy them dinner, they actually ate it (TT is on hunger strike because teeth) and then we went to the park.  Where they both had a whale of a time, played with each other, with other children, and I actively socialised with other parents… those who know me well will understand why this is a massive deal!


We are off out again today as schools here have no uniforms, and #1 Son has only a limited wardrobe currently, so while I have nails done, daddy will take him shopping for clothes and shoes.  I’m so looking forward to name labelling every single item in his closet, oh yes.

Also all his supplies, as here schools supply a grand total of diddly squat, so I have folders, books, markers, pencils, wipes etc to label up too.  I bought spares of absolutely everything so when they inevitably ‘go missing’ I have time to replace them.  Well, in theory.  I’m actually gobsmacked at the amount needed, guess LEA funding is way more than we think.

Ah well, it’s not thousands, and after the initial expenditure it’s not a lot.  And I went with all the stated brands rather than shopping around until we’re more used to the differences in the systems.

School issuesΒ 

I had a phone call from the superintendent’s office today. There was an issue with the paperwork. 
Apparently the person we spoke to last week was merely covering for the actual superintendent and had not explained things correctly. 

Or perhaps the confused Brits didn’t understand – after all I spent most of the meeting chasing the Tiny Tyrant around πŸ™„πŸ™„πŸ™„πŸ™„
So we needed the notarised address form as soon as possible, as that is what gives us the 30 days to produce the utility bill/other formal proof of residency. 
Oh and we had to choose three schools. The problem is that every thing apart from Lincoln Elementary is over a mile away and I can’t drive here yet. 
(We’ve been focussing on getting the hus-creature’s sorted first as he’s the one on all the car paperwork)   
So when they called me I was more than a little British and affronted.  So, hus-creature booked an appointment with the nearest notary at 14:00 today and dropped the form in the post – yes he paid for uber speedy service at over $10 πŸ™€πŸ™€πŸ™€!!!!
I also emailed all three choices, which included our reasonings for number one, and received confirmation that they have sent emails and letters to schools so, fingers crossed, we will know which school has   accepted him by Thursday. 
So that made me grumpy, so I cross-cleaned. Which was made harder by demands of “mummee bow”

And the following sentence
drink with ice in it” 
from my beloved daughter!!!
I’m both gobsmacked and proud. She used all five words. Okay so it’s garbled but it’s clear and obvious. And it’s a right pain in the proverbial too – trust her πŸ˜‚πŸ€£πŸ’œπŸ˜‚πŸ€£ 
Once again I have been forced to evict the fluff-beast from the cot, but she found a box and so I was forgiven. 

Oh, and we received our health insurance cards today. Therefore tomorrow I will endeavour to book my operation.  
An unexpected windfall means we can pay the insurance excess immediately, thus meaning we can get this done
I have promised that I will not ignore medical advice on other possible treatments, but if the suggestion is “let’s carry on with the very strong cancer medication” welp how about noooooooo Scott. 
Watch this space.  


Work permit application was popped in the hus-creature’s internal post today. 

Kidlets were remarkably good also. #1 Son ate brilliantly. Tiny Tyrant ate breakfast and dinner and didn’t draw on the walls. 
She also played by herself with both her stacking rings and her Duplo. 

Her talking is coming on in leaps and bounds too. Today we had “more ice yeah” holding out her beaker. Which now cannot have a lid.  Which makes me cry. A lot. The carpets here are hydro phobic so…

We didn’t go see the eclipse today – I knew I’d end up with blind children! 😱

Phone interviewed two further potential babysitters for Saturday. I don’t know how to choose between them πŸ™€πŸ˜³

Freedom of speech

I’ve gathered that it’s a big thing here and all. 
But this was apparently the weekend where you could be out and proud as a Nazi and it was all good. 
They were protesting on Boston Common. About 15-250 in total.  These buggers destroyed the Holocaust Memorial statue last week 😑😑😑😑
I am pleased to report that it will be repaired and re-erected. Yah boo sucks to you assholes. 
There was a police presence of 500. 
The anti protestors (not Nazis and proud of it) numbered in thousands. 
Boston I’m proud of you
We decided that it would be most politic to not go anywhere in Central Boston for an excursion this weekend. 

We had originally planned on going on a jolly to Cape Cod, but Mister Weatherman told us that there would be thunderstorms and torrential rain – so we nixed that plan. 

Looks at the sunny, if a little overcast sky and grumbles

So, we thought we might go to the zoo. Except that is in central Boston so nope. Thought about the Legoland Discovery Centre, but that was apparently in Boston. 
This morning the hus-creature double checked and it is apparently in Somerville. So once TT got up from her nap (my beloved second born has recently decided that 05:00 is an excellent time to arise for the day 😩😭 which means nap time is currently 10:30) we would head out. 
Well she slept til 13:15! 

Seriously child, sleep at night. Or at least til 06:00/07:00 – we aren’t asking much here!
So we got in the car and headed out. Of course both kids were (apparently) ravenous and TT was demanding a burk-uh (burger) so we pulled into a local burger place.  

They did margaritas:

I had one. 
#1 Son was well behaved. 


Tiny Tyrant less so. 

However we all ate good food. They gave the kids free meals because the Red Sox were playing. Our lovely server Wanda also comped my steak because I ordered it medium rare and the chef cooked it medium. 
I also had my first taste of American corn on the cob (nice but totally different taste and texture) and biscuits with honey glaze. Also tasty and I’m going to learn how to bake them. 
We then went to Legoland Discovery Center MA – I thought #1 Son would have an aneurism from joy, shock and surprise πŸ˜‚πŸ€£
We also found the Duplo Land. Cue one ecstatic Tiny Tyrant:

Seriously. Happiest. Toddler. Ever
#1 Son had a great time just playing with blocks and building vehicles to race:

TT also found all the Lego fascinating:

“Look mommy she’s my size”

Some of the constructs were amazing. 
#1 Son also had a whale of a time with the giant Lego in the soft play bit:

It’s a raft. 
All in all we had a lovely day. I wish these children would eat more, but what can you do eh?
**drink margaritas

Rain rain go away

So I finally managed to drag #1 Son away from his nest of Lego/Minecraft/drawing/Netflix/random running and spinning and take the kidlets to the park. 

We are there less than fifteen minutes when the heavens open and it starts to rain. 

Cue one furious TT and one despondent small boy (who, incidentally, had spent the whole walk there mumbling and grumbling about the unfairness of life and the universe in general, and of his mother in particular)
Amazon sent new diapers and wipes in a ginormous box – #1 Son, Tiny Tyrant and the cat are all fighting for it πŸ˜‚πŸ€£
The following arrived in this order

It is a loom set for #1 Son. He is very excited, and hat yarn of suitably selected colouration is winging its way. Wish I had some spare so that I could practice, but YouTube tutorials appear vaguely helpful at least. 
When he went to bed tonight he asked me to tuck him in (this is normally daddy’s job) so I peeked in at TT, only to discover the cat curled up at the foot of the cot. 
I mean yes, totally adorable and all that but sheesh cat – you do like taking risks! She was gently, but firmly, evicted. 

Admin Things

So, yesterday we had the meeting at the Superintendent’s office to sort out schooling for #1 Son. 
Although we took all the paperwork we could, we still need one further proof of residency, but we have 30 days to provide that, so hurrah. 
However we did discover that not only are towns the same name across multiple states, we have same road names, and same road numbers across the road. So putting in an address in Google maps took us to the same number on the road but to a residential house in a different town because long ass road πŸ™„πŸ™„πŸ™„πŸ™„
Still, we made our meeting and it’s all good. We should find out by Tuesday which school he has been placed in, and we got to make a set of selections. 
Fingers crossed for Lincoln Elementary, Melrose please good audience.  All schools have before and after school programmes (for a fee) so that’s a useful thing to know for as and when I go back to work. 
On the work permit front, I need a new passport photo. So today (at 16:30) I took us all out to the local USPS.  However they only take photos (no booths here) between 09:00-15:00 Monday – Friday. So we will be going back tomorrow morning. 
However we did a little window shopping on the way back. #1 Son chose a gift for daddy:

He was so proud of his surprise πŸ’™πŸ’™πŸ’™πŸ’™
And today the kids actually played together nicely for a while:

Then TT threw a tennis ball down the toilet πŸ™„

She also insisted I hold her seated on said toilet today for over 10 minutes. 
And we got a lovely surprise in the mail today:

I may not need to buy a hat, but a new dress will most certainly be required πŸ‘πŸ»πŸŽ‰πŸ‘πŸ»πŸ˜„πŸ˜„πŸ˜„

A month here

Seems like only a couple of days, but my calendar informs me it has been a month. 
In the household admin column I have today ticked off: Contact Melrose School’s Superintendent for #1 Son. 
We have an appointment tomorrow. 
When I listed all the paperwork I had gathered and asked if there was anything else we needed, I was told I had been very thorough. 
*pats self on back*
Today the building threw a Sangria and Tapas party (for an hour) which I was dispatched to for R&R. 
I took my current knitting project, intending to use it to strike up conversation. It worked – but only with young children πŸ˜‚πŸ€£
TT has drawn on the walks again but it is no longer coming off πŸ™„πŸ˜©
I have finally reached new episodes of GoT and I have a crochet hook blister (whhhhhhhhhhhhy?!?!?) so I am going to bed.