The Poor Maintenance Man

He’s been out again. It’s the same bloke every time – either he’s on his own, or he’s just getting very lucky. 
But he has fixed our bath!!!

It’s faster, smoother and generally wow. Oh such a relief. 
(Yes that’s gunk from the fixing, yes I’ve cleaned it)
Tiny Tyrant did harass the poor man a lot, then spent about half an hour standing in the bathroom mumbling and grumbling and pointing at the bath. Think she wants one!

Even had a small breakthrough with lunch today:

#1 Son ate everything except the banana (he’s gone off them for some reason) and TT ate some of most of it.  
They did so well I cracked open the Birthday Cake Yo-Yos (what #1 Son calls Oreos) and was told “Mommy these yo-yos are the softest, stickiest and yummiest of all!”
Safe to say he approves I think πŸ˜‚πŸ€£πŸ˜‚πŸ€£πŸ˜‚πŸ€£
And for you tea lovers out there, we have found a brand that doesn’t require two bags per cup to be decent!!!! πŸ™€πŸ™€πŸ™€πŸ™€
Amazingly it’s by Trader Joe’s and it’s Irish breakfast tea and it’s awesome.  
I’m fighting some kind of hideous neck-migraine so I’m going to relax in our new bath with a glass of wine and Netflix for a bit then catch up with Game of Thrones and knit. 

Weekend Shenanigans

It’s been a mixed bag of a weekend.

Saturday: Maintenance arrived while we were out.  They opened the drain.  They did not fix the ‘plug’.  So we have no bath in which to bathe two shower-averse children.  Well, it’s not like they are filthy or anything is it?

Oh.  Wait.  They are.

You see, on Saturday I actually had a little bitty bit of ‘me time’ and I GOT MY NAILS DONE!


In the daylight:

In unnatural light, but against a white background:

Aren’t they beautiful?  I’m in love.  I found this gorgeous salon (well the hus-creature actually gave me the details) in Cambridge.  It’s a spa type, which I admit was initially more than a tad intimidating when I first walked in, as I was in my standard SAHM getup of jeans and t-shirt.  But they were wonderfully friendly and accommodating, and actually made me a decent cup of tea (I will forgive them the UHT milk as that’s a sensible option for any business).


My new tech is called Lily.  She’s no Nat, but she’s equally thrilled at the idea of a new client who basically hands her full free reign and says ‘get the glitters/additives/chromes and go nuts‘  Sadly there wasn’t time for more than basic (if snazzy) polish and one glittery nail as we need to book extra time for ‘nail art’.  Which I have done for a fortnight’s time.

So that’s great, I have a new lovely lady I can build a rapport with right?

But, see, we’ve recently moved to a new town, in a new state, in a new goddamn country.  And one of my ‘things’ (alright, call it what it is, an issue) is terror of getting lost, which has apparently been exacerbated by the move.

Hus-creature to the rescue.

We had lunch in Cambridge, then he corralled the kidlet while I was salon-ing.

They went to Cambridge Common.  There was a playground.

TT also saw her first guggle. Sorry, we mean squirrel.

Cute right? But there was also sand.  And water.

Do I need to draw a diagram of where this went?  Yup, cue one Tiny Tyrant covered in sand.  #1 Son was equally filthy but it was at least dry filth.  He took immense (and smug) delight in informing me that he had stayed out of the sand whilst TT had not.

Well, not a problem, kids will be kids right?  Well remember that we have no bath?  And two shower-averse kidlets?

#1 Son took one for the team and had a good shower and hair wash last night.  TT absolutely refused.  And I wasn’t in the mood to wrestle a sackful of cats and octopi so we left it yesterday, I just tossed her overnight sleeping bag in the wash today.

Last night was our first date night since we got here.  Oh it was so nice to get out and just be Fliss and Jo for a few hours, rather than SAHM and Working Dad.

Happy people. We went to Legal Seafoods. Had glorious food (Tuna Sashimi, Swordfish  and pudding) A bottle of lovely wine was also shared. I originally ordered a bottle of Moscato off the “sweet but not dessert wine” list.
It arrived and was clearly a dessert wine, and so with a tiny hint from the hus-creature I sent it back and exchanged it.
I wasn’t British about it! And as such we had a gorgeous bottle of wine that went stunningly with our spicy tuna.
After the meal we decided that we were too full for cocktails and do we went for a lovely and romantic walk along the Charles river:

Please do not fret dear audience.  The children were safely in the care of a lovely sitter who I had telephone interviewed earlier in the week.  She was lovely and emptied the dishwasher and put everything away for us – wonderful woman!  Yes, I left her a 5* rating and glowing review on


She was sadly not graced by a visit from her catliness, but the kidlets were excellently behaved, so I believe all parties concerned would be amenable to repeating the transaction.  I do plan on having more than one person on speed dial so to speak for practical purposes, but this is a load off for now.


The cat clearly was miffed at us for abandoning her with a stranger and showed her displeasure by peeing on TT’s splash mat.  FFS.  I mean, if she’d deigned to emerge she’d have had all the fussing and cuddles she could have dreamed of.  Stupid animal.


As for today, we had planned to return to the scene of the breakfast crime on our first morning here – The Friendly Toast Diner – for lunch.  We did not book in advance.


Rookie Mistake


There was a wait of 45-60 minutes.  With two hungry kids this wasn’t good.  So we bit the bullet and decided to go to a BBQ place just across the square.  They didn’t appear to have a kids menu… we were concerned.

Fear not brave audience, for they did buttermilk chicken sticks.  Which both children nommed up.

I ordered brisket (which I remembered from our jaunt to Florida six years ago) and corn bread (always wanted to try real corn bread) and pit beans – which were more sharp and vinegary than I’d expected but tasty.

I thought it was glorious.  Problem? So did TT!!!  The little bugger nommed up half my corn bread (which was effectively cake) a good portion of my brisket, and the beans!!!  My lunch dammit.


I also tried three authentic BBQ sauces – Sweet (bleugh 🀒), Hot (woah that blew the roof of my mouth off 😑) and Gold (num num NUM 😻😻)


The hus-creature was gobsmacked I loved that one – it’s mustard based,  But honestly, that is one delicious sauce – and I don’t like BBQ.  He’s bought me one for home use!!!
TT needed a shower so I bit the bullet and hopped in with her. Holding a pissed off flaily toddler whilst trying to wash her hair was… fun. 
She’s also almost certainly ready to start potty training too – so this is a warning to my audience. Disgusting updates for non parents may be upcoming
But it won’t be til we move – hardwood flooring is a must for this after what we went through with #1 Son. 



A day of highs and lows

First. The bath is broken. With water in it. 
The design of these baths is a metal flip switch that seals or unseals the drain. It’s always been stiff, but last night it snapped off. I did at least have the bath first but now I have to worry about the Tiny Tyrant drowning herself all day as maintenance can’t get here before tomorrow. 
Tiny Tyrant has discovered she loves drawing as much as her brother 😩

The poor trees!!!!

She then discovered a new game.  It was called: Bring Mommy All The Hair Bows I Can Find

Then we all went up to the roof terrace so the kids could burn off some steam. TT met a little boy who was about 2 weeks older but she stood a head taller πŸ™„πŸ™„πŸ™„
However then #1 Son and I had some disagreements over tv viewing and dinner. 
I’ll hold my hands up here and say the dinner one was on me – I forgot one of the things he hated. It devolved from there and led to a full meltdown with histrionics and statements from him that broke me. 
However daddy came home and saved the day. Apologies were given and a peace offering of Cheerios was made (by me) and all was right with the world again. 
After TT went to bed he did some drawing and produced this:

His own “instructions” (in the style of a Lego manual) numbered correctly (if backwardly in three cases) and, most importantly, where he realised he forgot something: he inserted it using arrows and numbers 
He didn’t scribble it out. He didn’t tear it up. He didn’t lose his temper. 
This simple pen and paper doodle represents so much
And then, he asked me to teach him how to knit!!!!!!

I’ve never been so happy in my life!!!!

I’m really hoping that we can find a yarn store in our travels tomorrow so that he can choose his own yarn himself but if not he can pick from my laptop screen. 
I’m thinking circular needles with worsted/Aran weight yarn and single ply if I can get it. And no I won’t make him cast on or bind off πŸ˜‚πŸ€£πŸ˜‚πŸ€£

A new hurdle crossedΒ 

I took the kidlets to the park by myself. 

We crossed many busy roads (all right two). It was hot, the kids were cranky, but we did it

The Tiny Tyrant made a friend – a much older girl (I’d say around 10-12) who was totally captivated, and helped her on all the big slides:

We’ve had a mixed bag of a day with #1 Son who decided he did not wish to dress himself today and as such went into full oppositional defiance mode. Refused to talk or interact, except to inform me that “I will never be good again”
He was sent to the bathroom to be quiet and calm (no toys or other fun distraction) and after 30-60 minutes (I had washing in the machine so was able to keep an eye without appearing to) he was ready to talk and apologise and explain. 
I didn’t get anything out of him other than “I didn’t like changing my clothes today” but he was back to his usual self after. 
Autism is a strange beast.
This is how we ended the day, as he asked to snuggle with us in our bed after TT was down for the night. 

Moments like this make the hard ones worthwhile. He’s a good boy at heart, and I wouldn’t change him for worlds. 

And I didn’t lose my cool either – so I’m feeling quite proud of my day. 

Hus-creature also earned massive brownie points by sending me up to the sky deck 18:00-19:00 to attend the complex’ wine tasting party (which was 1 bottle of each colour but hey, free wine) and I actually socialised with the neighbours – including a nice lady from the same floor

Not much new occurred yesterday beyond father-children bonding over video games:

No TT isn’t actually playing, but she thought she was, which kept everyone sane. 
My beads haven’t arrived yet dammit. 

Week 3

Monday. A new week. It didn’t start auspiciously what with an accident in the bed overnight from #1 Son (a thankfully rare occurrence these days, and only an issue because there are no waterproof sheets on the beds here). 

He then needed a bath, which caused massive tantrums from the Tiny Tyrant because I wouldn’t let her share it too. 
So I lost my cool before 08:30. 

So the hus-creature insisted that I book a nail appointment for Saturday so I can have a little “me time”. I felt a bit guilty (sorry Natalie!) but now I’m looking forward to it. 

He’s also trying to arrange a sitter so that we can have a date night. 

He is a good egg πŸ’—πŸ’—πŸ’—πŸ’—πŸ’—πŸ’—

#1 Son has done maths today and colouring in made it fun. We aren’t getting remotely as much done as I’d planned and hoped, but I’ve decided to play the long game, and “Slow and Steady” will pay off, since kindergarten seems to be the same as Reception in terms of what the children learn, so just keeping his hand in should be enough. Starting a new school with the diagnosis should help too. Come on insurance as we really need to finish that up. 

TT has taken being like her brother to new levels and refuses to carry on eating once he’s done, so I’m balancing that one out now and it’s tricky. Still, she ate a reasonable amount today and he ate everything so I’m counting that as a win. 

Afternoon has, so far, gone well. Kids are playing nicely together and are now watching Cars. Which, while not my favourite film, is something that they apparently both enjoy. 

I have also discovered what happens when one of my beloved offspring manages to sneak a yellow wax crayon into the tumble dryer and I don’t notice. 

Yellow. Washing. 

And it was a large load. 

I have been doing my own washing for nearly 20 years and this is the worst I’ve ever managed. 

They are now back in the washer in the vain hope that a few extra hot cycles may shift it as they are washable crayons. 
Daddy came home a little early so that I could attempt to buy a pair of date night shoes. 
I unfortunately have very weird feet with dropped arches and one larger than the other and as a result I really struggle with shoes. And I can’t wear stilettos. 
TT had fun at least as she loves all things shoe, and appears to have decent taste:

I pray she doesn’t inherit my feet. 

I have wine and knitting. Both of these things are good. 
Addendum: The washing is now on its third re-wash and at least some of the yellow has already washed out…

Sunday Funday

Well. It was a day
The Tiny Tyrant is teething (as previously reported) but it’s two not one. Diagonally opposing molars the poor wee bugger. So I’m trying to cut her some slack as she’s clearly miserable and as it’s one from each “pair” I think the final two aren’t far behind 😭
So she’s been uber clingy which has left #1 Son more than a little sad but he’s a trooper a total trooper. 
We had a little break from school work related stuff today (it is Sunday after all) so he’s spent a lot of time doing Lego. 
May I present all his own work:

He has skillz. 

The Building BBQ

Was rained off!!!
Well not quite. The apartment complex is actually a twin building we are in West. And there is a joining sun terrace where it was supposed to be, but it was pelting with thick rain, so they decided to hold it in the social lounge of the other building. 
Was actually impressive – nicely grilled burgers (with veggie options) and hot dogs and drinks. Also fruit and cookies. Though I do question the wisdom of leaving cake and cookies within the grasp of toddlers and children!!!
We stayed about an hour, but the loud DJ in a very small enclosed space meant it was overwhelming for more than just #1 Son – who, to his credit, scoffed two hot dogs and a brownie – I’m calling that a win!

There were loads of small children and one amazingly well behaved doglet who was being enthusiastically petted and fussed by all small people in the vicinity – except ours as they both have dog-fear. 

Tiny Tyrant is (unfortunately) actively teething again. It’s #17 and a molar so the poor lass is suffering again. Fortunately we did pack the pink medicine in the suitcase. 

Evening fibre work projects are progressing. I love beads and I have more on the way. I’m willing to take colourway requests for shawls now roll up roll up! 


Today I actually managed to do some housework and the kids only marginally tried to kill themselves/each other whilst I was otherwise occupied. 
Turns out one sure fire way to distract TT from daddy leaving in the morning is to get her to “help” me at the key moment. Her favourites are laundry and dishwasher – yes god help me. But it does work. 

#1 Son and I have been using Twinklr resources to do school work this week and he’s doing brilliantly. Honestly I’m so proud of how well he’s been doing – we have had a few melt downs but that’s as much to do with me as him – we’re learning together.  One worksheet a day seems to be enough and it’s more about keeping his hand in until we know how different the USA education system is. 
Daddy was a bit late home today and so to make it up to me (bless him) he took the kidlets for a walk:

#1 Son has discovered the “fun” that is pushing a stroller. TT doesn’t necessarily approve, but we directly replaced the missing stroller (the cheap one is totally shocking) and as such they are both happy. 
While they were getting some fresh air, I happily sat with Friends and knitting. With beads. I love beads. Need an even smaller crochet hook though, and a local shop that sells Japanese (glass) seed beads. 

No, I’ve not turned arty – this is a secret swap shawl so colour must not show. 
Oh, and we’ve started the application for my work permit in earnest. I’m not convinced I’m a great SAHM. 

USA Healthcare

Is both the same, and different.

It would seem that appointments overrunning is still a thing –Β but it is because they actually talk and listen to you. Β They don’t tell you what is wrong with you, they ask and discuss. Β I’ve had some amazing GPs in the U.K. but I’ve also had some utterly dire ones. Β 15 years for a diagnosis because of years of hand wavy ‘no that’s aΒ normal level of pain’.

So itΒ did cost $75 because our insurance isn’t in place yet (but we have a high annual deductible anyway so…)


But they gave me my injection without arguing – it wasn’t a fun experience because the poor nurse practitioner had never seen my prescription before in her life, but we muddled through and she was amazing – and I gave her full props for handling it! Β I’m good now til early November, and hopefully I’ll have had my spay by then…


Many comments on my accent, and some reminiscing about summers spent at my former employer, and a request to buy a blood pressure cuff and monitor my BP for a while from the doctor – apparently it’s high enough that he’s wondering if my jab is affecting it – could be, but meh.


The kidlets were very well behaved too. Β We bought a Nintendo Switch last week, and took it with us to keep #1 Son entertained.

The Tiny Tyrant spent most of it running up and down the corridor charming other patients and chattering to a box she brought with her!

We also had our first experience of flash floods – there wasΒ weather yesterday. Β So. Much. Rain. Β The weird thing is that even when the heavens opened, it was stillΒ warm. Β And by the time we were out of the health centre, the roads were mostly dry again after an hour. Β So strange. Β Storms here are very impressive though – actual lightning and crashing thunder.

Went from that at 15:00 to almost completely dry roads by 17:30.

Impressive and a little disconcerting.


Week 2

Having survived Week 1, I feel a little more confident heading into the next one.
Well mostly. Tiny Tyrant has learned that daddy leaves every morning without her. This is, apparently, unacceptable.

So we’ve had one tantrum over that. We also didn’t approve of breakfast:


Breakfast is also it’s own level of ouch because #1 Son doesn’t want Cheerios but trying to find a new cereal he can eat and enjoy is tricky.  He’s decided he likes my Reese’s Peanut Butter puffs though so I’ve got a new packet of Froot Loops and we’ve swapped.


There have been a few developments.  We may have gotten the contract back from the house sale (as usual our conveyancers are not clear in the meaning of their emails)




And apparently from 01 September, not 01 August (which is, you know, today).  So that’s awesome, and a major weight off our our minds.   It does mean that we are in the temporary accommodation for another 4 weeks.  There might also be a knock-on effect with the sea crate, as the plane crate arrived yesterday, and the sea crate is apparently going to reach port on 08 August – which is earlier than anticipated, but we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it.


So the breakfast bar has now been converted into the Cybe CafΓ© as we felt it was unfair to evict #1 Son from his creative space on the only official desk.  That and there is not room for all of our technological rubbish on the small glass desk:


He’s in for a bit of a surprise, as access to our printer means I can actually get into the swing of a bit of practice work for school, so 100% holiday time is over now kiddles – I’m also working out what I can do with the Tiny Tyrant, as she’s getting bored too I think.


As for me, I’m knitting, crocheting and I bought some beads to play with too so watch this space for pics. 


Our weekend plans now include a BBQ up on the roof on Saturday as the building is apparently throwing their annual summer one.


I also have my first ever stateside doctor’s appointment tomorrow – the date for my hysterectomy did finally come through, but it’s August back in Oxford so I’ve had to drop off the list – can’t say I’m impressed, since it was supposed to be an 18-week waiting list, and I’ve been waiting since last December, but what can be done eh, the poor NHS is stretched to bursting.


As our insurance isn’t through yet we’ll have to pay out of pocket, so this is what they call a ‘sick visit’ but hopefully someone will stab me with my prescription needle and all will be good.  Stand by for my initial impressions of USA health care…