An announcement

It’s been months of planning, building stock, blood, sweat, tears and self doubt; but as of this evening, I am thrilled to announce:

Tiny Tyrant Yarns is open for business

Yes, I’ve done it. I’ve officially put myself, and my creations, out there for all the world to see and (hopefully) admire. It’s thrilling, terrifying and wonderful. And the best thing?

I’ve had two orders already!!!

Please note that those prices do include postage!

But it’s a great start.

Thank you to my customers

Eeeeeeeeeeeeee I have customers!!!!!

I can’t not share this

I made a meal that both kids ate!!!!!

I am astounded and amazed and slightly scared to be honest.

It was another stew/soup thing made of the following:

  • Fingerling potatoes – white, russet, purple.
  • Sweet potato/yams.
  • Rainbow carrots – orange, yellow, white, purple.
  • Red onion.
  • Beef.
  • Roasted Acorn squash – roasted with olive oil and maple syrup.
  • Frozen peas (because it needed something green!)
  • Two cloves of garlic
  • My homemade vegetable stock from the last batch of soup, leftover store-bought chicken stock (yes, yes, I know it’s not normal but it’s what I had on hand)
  • A sachet of posh beef bullion to deal with the above.
  • A good dash of salt

And I don’t mind admitting it tasted bloody awesome! Heck, I had some for my lunch today.

I decided that since there was so many carbs in it, that I wasn’t going to add pasta to it. However, based on observation, I felt it best to blend it down and turn it into potage for them.

And wow am I glad I did!

Now admittedly #1 Son’s bowl is the one on the right, but look – it’s half empty!!!!

Okay, it took patience and cajoling and persuasion to get him to do that, but it’s homemade and nutritious and he ate it!!!

I’m not foolish enough to believe that it’s any kind of breakthrough, but it progress!!!!

Nine Months!

Been here 3/4 of a year!!!

That’s a whole pregnancy!

(The comparison amuses me πŸ˜‚πŸ€£)

Our visas are 1 year and 3 days old!

Honestly? I think it’s starting to come together. It’s been a total rollercoaster of a ride but I’m finding my feet.

The kids are settling – though TT is finding it easier than her brother, but we’ve been here over a quarter of her entire life so that makes sense!

I’m within a stone’s throw of setting up my yarn business! Logo is purchased, shop is almost set up. I’ve bought the packaging materials to ship sold items.

I need to take photos of my snow dyed items then I’m ready to go!

It’s terrifying but exhilarating. Let’s just hope something sells!

Now onto some updates.

Yesterday #1 Son effectively had not just one but two play dates!!!

We managed about 10 minutes on a Skype call with his school friend from England! And it was lovely to watch the two of them interacting together.

She asked if her was top of his class in America bless her πŸ€£πŸ˜‚

They shared war stories – her with her broken leg, and him with his battered face lord love them both!

Then about an hour later the first official Melrose play date happened.

I love his little friend – she’s bold and polite and just great for him to have as a friend.

I have more trepidation about the transition to First Grade now. As here, you do not stay in the same class as you move through the school. Each year the classes get switched around! Now, admittedly I can actually see the logic in this, but as a mother of a special needs child who hates change with every fibre of his being, this concerns me greatly. And let’s not forget that the concept is totally alien to me.

Apparently the teachers do construct the class lists in advance, and the Principal has full right of veto.

I have already requested of his class teacher that he be placed with at least a few of whom ever in his class he is both working well with and playing well with outside – apparently these are different groupings.

Hopefully his new friend will be in his class. Her mum is very epic too – a civil lawyer who made partner in January! Her dad is a high flyer too (though I forget exactly what he does – something in Risk Management I think).

Might come in handy if you know, we ever need to sue a company…*

It was lovely to chat with a fellow mum. And she also confirmed #1 son’s improvement in recent weeks – she sometimes volunteers up at the school. Apparently her daughter is very vocal about kids who are mean to the class teacher or who don’t follow the rule and my son:

“he’s cool, he’s okay”

I honestly can’t tell you how much my heart swelled to hear that quote from a peer!!!

Sadly we had to cut it shorter than I’d hoped, as he got overwhelmed, but I’m learning too, so next time I’ll plan it a bit better.

They both go to the same nail salon as me too. I cannot wait until I can take TT there too πŸ˜πŸ’—

As for today? Well we went to the mall to get some new clothes for the kids – and thanks to the lovely sales lady running my purchases through on two orders instead of one, I got $240 worth of clothes for $120 – and TT is now completely kitted our for the warmer weather – so pretty much until October/November given the seasons here.

TT had a massive strop so we left in a bit of a hurry, but it was overall a success.


Until she did a massive poo on the living room floor, but hey let’s just gloss over that one…


#1 Son also spent some of his allowance today on this:

So he and his daddy are having fun building this tonight. They were so engrossed we lost track of time so we had a cereal dinner!

All in all it’s been a decent weekend. Spring Break is all of next week so I get to spend quality time with both of them. Which will be both fun, and probably have me crawling into the whiskey bottle by the end of the week!

Hey, at least I know myself right?


*Yes I do have a company in mind here….

School Events

There’s been a lot of things happening in the last couple of days with, for and to #1 Son.

So on Tuesday evening there was his second parent teacher conference. Now I’m pleased to say that I didn’t approach this one with as much trepidation as his initial one back in November.

I knew that there had been some improvements, and that was in both social and academic areas. Of course there were still issues, but what Kindergartener won’t have those?

I also took up his three exercise books that we’ve been working through to show his teacher that we’ve been trying to do improvement work at home on more than just reading.

He has 180 Days of Kindergarten in:

  • Math
  • Writing
  • Reading

The idea is that from the start of the academic year you do one page a day (I assume they mean workdays) and improve as the class and the year goes on. We only picked them up after the 100 days of school celebrations, but they are still worth doing.


I can’t say that he’s been totally thrilled with it but he does it with minimal fighting. Possibly because I mark it as we go along, and he likes to see how well he’s doing. He would do better if he just concentrated but neither me nor his father were particularly good at that either.

And when I say “do better” I mean the difference between getting 6 out of six and 5 out of six. He’s good at it really.

So our 20 minute conference time turned into nearly an hour but fortunately I was her last meeting of the day and apparently she is regularly in school until 6 PM as it is. The woman is a saint, have I mentioned this?

She talked me through his systems for taking breaks, how he concentrates (better than it has been, though there is obviously still room for improvement), and perhaps more interestingly the system she has devised for tracking his particular outbursts and what triggers them. Spoiler: there is no apparent pattern. Although the day when he has music as his “special” (Wednesday) seem to have more outbursts. This does make sense to me, as it’s a very noisy class and he gets overstimulated.

I also noted that he seems to work better in a classroom setting when he is buddied up with a female friend. And interestingly his teacher noted that he will play outside with his peers now and that when he does, it is normally with the boys! I think I don’t need to explain how absolutely ecstatic this information made me.

Don’t get me wrong, he does still have days when during recess he will just walk round and round in circles talking to himself. But that’s fewer and he’s playing with children his own age!

For the sake of brevity (and so that you, dear audience, do not die of boredom) I will skip over the academic stuff except to say that he is doing better and concentrating for longer. And I will now move to the most important part of the session where she told me something that made me literally dance around the classroom which was:

He is no longer the child causing her the most grief!!!

Okay so there is still the caveat of “for now” but let me have my moment in the sun here!!!!

They do want either myself or his dad to go with him to supervise in a couple of upcoming field trips, but I can’t really blame them on that.

All in all after the conversation I had with his therapist regarding playing with peers and her concern that he wasn’t, I left that meeting pretty much walking on air. One darn proud mama bear.

Then came Wednesday. Which was a pretty normal day. Except at about 11:30 I got a phone call from the school nurse. To tell me that my poor son had gotten into a fight with the playground. Not in the playground with another child oh no with the ground itself. And he lost. Except at about 1130 I got a phone call from the school nurse. To tell me that my poor son had gotten into a fight with the playground. Not in the playground with another child, oh no, with the ground itself. And he lost.

The top photos were taken just after he came home on Wednesday afternoon, and the bottom two were taken the next morning.

He still feeling very very sad and sorry for himself. I’m not surprised. It’s still sore and he still wants band aids on the grazes. I have no problem with this, as apart from anything else it helps prevent infection. He’s been talking about not wanting to play outside at recess and “keeping everybody safe”. Perhaps he will learn to look before he runs?

Honestly? I doubt it but it’s taught him a valuable lesson I think.

Today I went up to school for a Math Fun morning (!)

No really. The idea was that you would undertake different activities with your child and see what they have been learning.

He made me a chain link necklace – a rainbow necklace πŸ’—

He needed to take a 5 minute break in the middle of the work, and when there was only 5 minutes left of the session because he had run out of steam. So with the second I decided to leave a little early, as by the time he was done with his break it would be time for the parents to leave anyway.

He handled that fine. Also I ought to note that it was extremely noisy in the classroom, and he didn’t have one outburst. I was so proud of him πŸ’•

He also came home with this:

It is a “Rainbow Egg for keeping stuff in” πŸ’—

And finally, it seems that due to the late March snow, the Ida, Always author needed to cancel her previously scheduled visit. So, she will return at some as-yet-to-be-determined time, and his copies of the books will be signed!

Spring Break is now upon us, so stand by for stories of trips to the park, ice cream and lots of shenanigans…


IT MIGHT HAPPEN


Oh, and one other lovely thing. When he was dropped off by the lovely A this afternoon she left as normal, and then came back to ask if she could take him to the local ice cream parlour that we also frequent – because her youngest daughter (Grade 5, so aged 11 or thereabouts) and her friends wanted him to come with them.

Okay I know that the therapist wouldn’t have been as pleased as I was, but I was thrilled that he was able to socialise like that in a public place.

I’m one very proud mummy tonight.

Play Dates

A thing that is fraught with pitfalls. Especially for me – a non-standard parent of a very non-standard child.

It may be difficult to believe, but I dread public gatherings. I am not good at small talk. I have odd hobbies. I fear judgement. And I hardly ever open up to people now.

So, all that being said, yesterday I had a full 1:1 meeting with #1 Son’s therapist; and one of the things that came out of this meeting is that he struggles socially with his peers.


And oh dear lord did that sound familiar 😫😞


And I was gently, yet firmly, advised that I have to know “when to push, and when to pull”. Translation: Set up some goddamn play dates woman

But that isn’t easy, precisely because he is struggling with his peers.

We had set up an initial Skype date with his former friend from school for last Sunday, but at the last minute the poor thing got camera shy.

To give her credit, she both broke her leg and their family dog was put down over Easter, so she’s been through one heck of a lot for a 5/6 year old.

So I started to consider options. Which is tough when I barely know any of the kids in his class, and he’s not exactly the best at communicating about them as is.

But, while we were doing homework, he did this:

Now, as an aside, can I just say look at how well his writing is going!!!!

But he not only drew the “snow hills”, he also drew a specific class mate helping him up the hill.

Bazinga

He also went to her birthday party – it was the one at the drama house that, uh, did not go well for him. But never mind, as I result of that I knew I had her mom’s email address.

So I sent an email asking if, since Spring Break is next week, whether said friend would like to come for a play date.

She wanted to!!!!


Side note: I am currently waiting on my appointment for #1 Son’s Parent:Teacher Conference. You have to walk through After School Club to get there. I was stopped by a little girl asking me by name. She asked if she was coming to our house!!!! She seems happy to!!!

πŸŽ‰πŸŽŠπŸŽ‰πŸŽŠπŸŽ‰πŸŽŠπŸŽ‰πŸŽŠ


So, next Saturday I will be hosting my first ever school play date.

May God have mercy on my soul πŸ€£πŸ˜‚

I just hope that I myself don’t scare anyone off!!!

The therapist also said that he has a beautiful singing voice. Apparently he has perfect pitch! So that is something to consider.

She also stated very firmly that although home schooling “might be tempting” she very definitely believed he was not a candidate for it. He needs the structure and socialising of school.

Since I have no clue how one might go about it, and have no desire to undertake such a mammoth task of significance, school it is!!!

I will update regarding the Parent:Teacher conference soon.

Belated Easter

I never talked about Easter as it kind of vanished in a blur of chaos and family life.

But the Easter Bunny came, via the lovely H – and as I was not expecting it, I immediately ran downstairs with a pack of Peeps. However her generosity could not be repaid with one measly pack of marshmallow bunnies!


I just thank the Flying Spaghetti Monster that my own personal Peeps addiction meant that there at least was a pack of holding candy!


So, I placed an international order with my beloved Hotel Chocolat (oh how do I miss thee, let me counteth the ways)

And hey, since it was Β£20 postage whatever I ordered, I decided to make the most of it. I ordered:

  • 4 packs of chocolate farm animals – 2 for H’s wonderful twin boys, and 1 each for my own monsters.
  • 1 large box of egglets – egg shaped chocolates of various fillings – for H and her lovely husband type person to share. Although I have a sneaking suspicion that she might not have shared them πŸ˜‚πŸ€£
  • 1 marzipan based (marzipan is not a thing here and the poor boy is so sad about it) Easter egg for the hus-creature.
  • 1 Rocky Road to Caramel egg for me. NOM.
  • 1 “holiday surprise selection” box which has turned out to be mostly egglet selection packs. Meh, they look pretty darn tasty, so I’m happy.

Now, everything I bought was on half price so it wasn’t ludicrously expensive. It’s made H (and I presume the boys) very happy, and I have a chocolate stash again. So, win:win overall I think.

Back to Easter. We had another visit from the wonderful Diana, and her awesome children (who, as they are both over 20 I struggle to refer to as such but hey!) so I have finally met them in person, and they are both aces.

S ended up co-opted by TT as he was more than happy to play “pieces*” with her. God love him! He is studying to be in the same industry as my beloved baby brother and has similar “issues” to #1 Son. And my goodness, if my son turns out like S? Well I would have nothing to worry about πŸ’•πŸ’•πŸ’•

A, his twin sister, is an insanely talented fashion design student. She. Knits.

And makes clothes.

And designs the patterns for both!!!

I tell you, if she wasn’t also as wonderfully likeable as her brother (and mother) I would have to hate her. But she is also aces**.

Diana made some gorgeous Easter baskets for the kidlets. They are amazing. Thank you!!!

Please note the bloody cat πŸ˜‚πŸ€£πŸ˜‘πŸ€£πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‘πŸ™„πŸ™„

Cat Bastard


*A giant floor jigsaw puzzle

** And way too hard on herself – A, if you read this, you are epic, and one to watch, and if you ever want custom hand-dyed hanks of yarn – let me know 😘

Domestic Goddessery

I truly feel that in this last week I have levelled up!

Those of you who follow the Facebook page as well as subscribe to the blog will have already seen these so I apologise to you happy few!

However, on Tuesday I once again ventured into the land of “making fresh soup from scratch for my beloved offspring”.

Ho ho ho *hysterical laughter commences*

So a slightly different selection of vegetables, including shallots for, you know, actual seasoning!


I did mention I didn’t know how to cook right?!?!?!


Which ended as this:

And yes, the significantly less chunky one was for #1 Son.

No, he didn’t eat it. But he did try it at least.


I have instituted a new rule of three separate mouthfuls before I call time. If he manages that (and we are only talking about three individual pieces of pasta – and please note the shape of them) then the bowl of pre-prepared plain pasta (yes I weep internally at this) that I also prepare is produced. I also offer grated cheese. If no try? No extra pasta. Cruel perhaps? But I’m officially at the end of my rope.


TT was marginally more impressed, but generally speaking, once her big brother gives up on something, so does she.

So I was left with a fairly voluminous pot of soup, with no idea what to do about it. But then with a sudden brain wave I decided I would blend the lot down and freeze it.

Behold the wonder and joy of ice baths and ziplock bags! There is a large bag that will serve as an emergency meal for us, and two smaller portions that the hus-creature can take to work alongside some microwaveable portions of ready to eat rice.

Behold the awesomeness of my wifely skill and care!!!!


STOP SNIGGERING AT THE BACK THERE


And that is not all dear audience, oh by no means.

I also did this:

Why yes, that would be a pan of homemade vegetable stock using the leftovers.

Now, I will freely admit that it seems that I apparently made the grievous error of including eggplant aubergine peelings in it – because they are bitter they shouldn’t be used. But there was a whopping amount of butternut squash unused from the soup:

And so I think it balanced out, as it didn’t taste bitter at all. And so now I have about 1.3 litres of homemade stock to use in my next attempt and providing the beasts with actual nutrition.

I’m actually itching to get my hands on a chicken carcass or lamb bones now πŸ˜‚πŸ€£

And this, this is not all. Today, I did this:

I actually ironed and sorted all of my son’s t-shirts.

Look, I appreciate that this does not sound impressive. And that I probably should not be as proud of this as I actually am, but as ironing could definitely be consider as my own personal Goliath/Achilles Heel/insert Greek metaphor of choice here I’m bloody pleased with myself!

All in all, I feel confident in stating that this week I have definitely levelled up in overall domestic goddessery.

The first day of β€œnormality”

Well, today was the first true day I have flown solo in over 9 weeks!

Thanks to the ever wonderful J, #1 Son was deposited at school with a decent snack – I managed that yay!

TT spent the day alternately beaming smiles or stropping fit to rival any teenager.

When #1 Son returned from his academic travails, he was bearing this:

His teacher isn’t the only one who is proud!


I’m not crying you’re crying


He earned a lollipop for this.

He then also completed worksheets in his Math, Reading and Writing books – with only token protests.

TT managed a whole day dry, did a #2 in the toilet (we’ve been having a string of accidents over the last few days there) and not a single “revenge pee”.


Yes, this is a thing, and my daughter has mastered it – aren’t I the lucky one?

😫😫😫


I have made significant strides towards my Etsy shop.

I have:

  • Registered my business within the state of Massachusetts.
  • Registered my shop name.
  • Prepped all of my initial stock*.
  • Purchased a proper light box and props for said stock.
  • Purchased postage and packing materials.
  • Set up electronic and paper filing systems for the business.
  • Replaced my old ball winder (no, not the hus-creature πŸ˜‚πŸ€£) as my old one just could not cope with the pressure.
  • Contacted and organised someone which much more design skill than me to do my logo and banner.
  • Set up (via the wonderful hus-creature) my business email inbox.
  • Set up my business PayPal stuff.
  • Worked on my FAQs – they are getting there.

Things that I have not yet done:

  • Taken the actual stock photos yet.
  • Made my shop live – see point one of this list.
  • Written my key words list.
  • Finalised postage costs.
  • Social media for the shop.

Neither list is exhaustive, and I am open to suggestions. However, it’s late, I have (another) cold, and so I am off to bed.


*There is “the last snow of winter 17/18” predicted between tonight and next Wednesday. After the pathetic attempts of last week, I am reserving judgement whilst leaning far more towards “I will believe it when I see it”.

Momma has departed

I had 9 weeks with my wonderful momma.

But the best things in life must come to an end and she had to return to the homeland.

There was much packing and re-packing:

I’m sad, but have been promised that she and dad will return in the summer for at least a fortnight, maybe even three weeks.

We will have barbecues and the kiddies will play outside…


Well, if we get the fence we were promised before we moved in


And we will do the tourist thing and it will be lots of fun.

Well, it’s only three months away.


Well, that and Momma accidentally pinched my fleece – so she has to come back to return it πŸ˜‚πŸ€£


For now, I will snuggle with the hus-creature on the sofa, and continue watching Wonder Woman.

Hus-creature’s birthday

And other shenanigans.

So, March 31 is the birth date of my wonderful, gorgeous man-thing whom I affectionately refer to on here as the hus-creature.

He received lots of lovely presents.

But perhaps most importantly were the spontaneous “cards” the children made for him:

#1 Son also wanted to create “birthday decorations” for the house for his daddy:

He has recently discovered Ghostbusters. Can you tell?

πŸ’—πŸ’—πŸ’—πŸ’—πŸ’—

He also received another present from his sister and brother in law but I didn’t manage to add it to the pile before the children “helped daddy open his presents”

(I had a vision of my next birthday heh)

Mom, very sensibly, kept hers separate to give to him once the initial madness subsided.

He didn’t get a particularly relaxing day, as #1 Son had a party to get to.


As I forgot to write about the party a fortnight ago, please enjoy this montage of photos taken by the hus-creature

And there were slides too!!!

Then it was Daddy’s turn…


I think we are going to need to think about one of these places for his party end of May.

But after this, we went on a date night, courtesy of my momma.

Dinner at a wonderful Mexican restaurant that also specialised in tequila.

We started with cocktails to warm us up:

The moved on to a “Flight” of shots to share.

$24 got us a light, medium and dark shot of tequila to try. And they were gorgeous.


I now understand why tequila makes people happy πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚


We had some delicious foods:

There was dessert too, but we were in a rush to get to the cinema, and I forgot to photo it!

We went to see “A Wrinkle in Time”

It was very good.


It was improved exponentially by the addition of a Caribbean Cooler (hus-creature), and a frozen Strawberry Margarita (me)!


It wasn’t epic cinema, and it did feel a little rushed in a few places, but it’s worth a watch.

Easter Sunday today, but we’ve been so busy we forgot to do the egg thing. Easter Monday it is then!