Dieting

Yep. The dreaded D-word.

I got fat. Stupidly so. There’s no denying it.

See, I now live in a country where comparatively? I’m not that fat.


Well, unless I lived in LA or San Francisco, or similar, but I digress.


And I let that lull me into a false sense of security.

But I’m unhealthy at the weight I’m at.

No, I will not be disclosing what that actually is. That is my own personal shame.

But after two weeks of strictly monitoring what I eat when, I’ve shifted almost half a stone. Which is a positive thing.

I’m not sure I’ll be where I want to be come September when we return to the UK briefly, but I’m positive I won’t be 200+lb.

It’s tough, and some days I quite frankly want to claw someone’s face off, but calories in being less than calories out is the only sure fire way to lose.

And I can still occasionally have a beer and a pizza (or half of one at least) so it’s not that bad.

Except for last Sunday, when I wasted 300 calories on two cans of Pepsi* – I was bloody livid.

*The gits are in the process of rebranding. They are turning full-sugar Pepsi from blue to white.

Except their diet versions are bloody silver:

So I nabbed two white cans out of the drinks bin at the baby shower and knocked them back thinking “yay diet”.

Nope. The hus-creature pointed it out to me mid-way through the second and, quite frankly, I could have cried.

Ah well, you live and learn. I won’t be doing that again.

His first field trip

Well, overall it went much better than expected.

Daddy went with him on chaperone duty.

It wasn’t quite a full day, but there was a tour of a working dairy, a scavenger hunt and a scoop of ice cream.

He loved the scavenger hunt. Particularly as daddy had the brilliant idea to get him to take pictures of the things that he found.


We bought him a FujiFilm instant camera for his birthday – he’s been having loads of fun with it


So that kept him engaged.

He wasn’t quite as enamoured of the dairy. According to the hus-creature he did not wish to learn and was exceedingly sulky.

However he wasn’t the only child with a parental chaperone, and a number of parents decided to come along anyway so there was a ratio of roughly 4 children to one adult.

Oh, and I now have definitely confirmation that #1 Son isn’t the worst behaved in his class. According to the hus-creature:

Ok <child> is worse. They just screamed and spat at another kid

And attacked another kid’s food

Yeah ok #1 Son is not worst

Which is slightly comforting. I would like it though if he did not need chaperoning in order to participate in a field trip.

To end:

Here is my belovΓ©d catbeast refusing to let me sleep

The previous week (and not just in pictures)

Bonjour dear audience.

It’s been a few days hasn’t it?

Actually this time it’s been more that I haven’t had time to sit down and write a full blog post, rather than nothing happening and same old same old.

The weather had been improving a little (it’s gone back to being shite 😞) so on Tuesday last week we all went outside to play for a bit. Actually, what happened is the lovely H rang me on my mobile and asked if we were all free at roughly 5:30 PM and we got invited to play outside; which was lovely. The kids had a whale of a time – all of them together 😊

You see, #1 Son and H’s twin grandsons are close in age (the twins are roughly a year older) but they haven’t really had a chance yet to spend much time together. The twins are sweet kids, and I love them to bits, however they are also autistic and on the more severe end of the spectrum.

And as my own son is, well let’s just say he takes after his mum in having the subtlety of a sledgehammer and the tact of a tank; and as such I was a little concerned about how he would react and be around them once he noticed that they were different to him.

Apparently I needn’t have worried. Honestly it was great. They bonded over ice pops – in that one of the twins decided to half inch my sons one because he had it and he didn’t. (You get points if you worked out who was who there!)

They drew with sidewalk chalks together, they blew bubbles together, they tormented TT together (actually she gave as good as she got πŸ˜‚πŸ€£) they hunted for insects together and played on the pre-existing outdoor play equipment together.

We really need to get our new swing-set wood stained and built ASAP, however it requires five days of good sunshine that also involves a weekend. And that has been tricky.

Drawing drawing drawing πŸ’•πŸ’•

TT also decided that she would help her Aunty H with her gardening and I… don’t really have words for what happened next… so I will let the following videos explain it.

Part the first

Part the second

So I didn’t manage to corral all my children back into the house until way past TT’s bedtime. And as you can see from the videos it wasn’t as if I could just put them straight to bed either as soon as we got in!!! Yep a full bath was required.

Which is fine if you have children that like the bath and, more importantly, hair washing which my children don’t. And the bath? It was black afterward. I mean really, it was black with pine needles and leaves and sycamore seeds and all sorts of other fun stuff πŸ˜‚πŸ€£. That was okay though – was a mark of fun – especially as I suspect that this is going to be my future from now until approximately November πŸ˜‚πŸ€£

The only downside to this little excursion is that TT is currently obsessing over “ants”. Both over their existence, and the catching of them.

Then there was the previously documented birthday joy 😁

We decided that given my birthday was midweek, that we would wait to celebrate until the weekend.

H and I went to get our nails done before said celebrations! I went back to chrome:

πŸ’•πŸ’•πŸ’•πŸ’•

And I managed to persuade H to try one silver chrome nail on each hand! (Much to the delight of her nail tech lady who had been doing her nails for over twenty years but had never been able to persuade her to do this)

I am clearly magical and a wonderful influence πŸ˜‚πŸ€£

So on Saturday we went out for belated birthday shenanigans which included a wonderful meal at Fuji restaurant I do love Japanese and I didn’t have loads of sushi. Which is quite surprising for me.

A flight of proper sake and Japanese Whisky (that is the correct spelling – the sommelier told us so!) was also enjoyed:

Utterly gorgeous. If you like whisky/whiskey try Japanese – utterly stunning.

After this, we went to the cinema to see Deadpool 2. I laughed. I cried. I gasped. I sniffled.

GO. SEE. THIS. FILM.

I am still planning on seeing the next Jurassic Park movie on the Big Screen though. And we will be hiring the same sitter again.

My goodness she bought #1 son and myself a birthday gift, read him stories, and did some (unasked for) light housework. The woman is a gem, my son adores her so we are definitely using her again – and yes she got a tip and a bloody good review.

Then came Sunday. There was a baby shower for H’s eldest daughter – she’s having a little boy πŸ’™πŸ’™πŸ’™πŸ’™

And I turned my sewing skills to use and saved the day by sewing in not one, not two, but three buttons on the top H wished to wear:

That has to level up my domestic goddess-ery somehow right?

So TT got all dressed up for “the par-tee”

Why yes, yes that is a party dress with snow boots. My kid is the epitome of fashion and style πŸ˜‚πŸ€£

It was a lovely party with gorgeous food, presents and… a piano

Listen… if you dare πŸ˜‚πŸ€£

There were a number of other children there. TT played so well with other toddlers, and #1 Son was polite and well behaved – according to H several members of her extended family and friends were singing my children’s praises πŸ™€πŸ™€πŸ™€

I’m not taking credit for that beyond being grateful!

So that has been our week.

I’ve gotten #1 Son signed up to a five-week Monday-Thursday Summer Learning Academy, which is free and four hours long where they focus on core skills at an age appropriate level. H told me about it as her grandsons take part (they are a grade above him) and he was able to snag a waiting list place. She will take him and pick him up and next summer it will swap to being at the school just around the corner from us!

He has a Field Trip tomorrow and the school asked for one of us to chaperone him, so daddy gets that honour.

And, to finish off, My son you know the only just six-year-old? Well tonight, when he came home from school, he asked if his friend GG who is the youngest daughter of the lovely lady who drops him off on a weekday, could stay for a sleepover.

I would like to remind the audience that this girl is 11. Yep that would be five years older than him!!!

I’m so going to have trouble with this kid when he’s a teenager aren’t I?

And then he was SIX

Yes, today is #1 Son’s birthday!

Can I get a small round of applause for keeping a small human alive, healthy, and reasonably well-adjusted for six whole years?

No?

Ah well, worth a shot πŸ˜‚πŸ€£

Today was a slightly hard one for him, as he had to go to school on his birthday. Something that, if we had stayed in the UK, (barring royal jubilees) he wouldn’t have had to deal with.

However we dealt with it by opening a few presents this morning:

We then had a pretty amazing day at school. When A dropped him home she apologised for being late as he had been mobbed with birthday wishes.

She commented that she often feels like she is a bodyguard for a film star, like she needs to smuggle him out under her coat πŸ˜‚πŸ€£

He got a Happy Birthday card from his SENCO.

We then opened just one present (the biggest πŸ€£πŸ˜‚) while waiting for daddy to get home with cake.


Birthday cakes here tend to be sold “fresh”. Boxed cake is something very different.


We did candles

And why yes that is a chocolate cake, with vanilla buttercream frosting, surrounded with kitkats and covered in M&Ms!!!!

Don’t think he was too sad that mummy didn’t bake for him πŸ˜‚πŸ€£

We opened more presents – my boy has been thoroughly spoiled πŸ’• and we watched about 2/3 of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.


Or as he knows it: Harry Potter 2


Which we will finish tomorrow.

He was sad when he went to bed tonight as it was “the end of his birthday” but the reminder that his party is next weekend had cheered him up muchly.

God I adore thiskid πŸ’—

Today it’s my birthday

So today I turn 35 – the last year where I don’t have to remember that I’m closer to 40 than 30 πŸ˜‚πŸ€£

That doesn’t matter though. It’s 07:05 (at time of composition) and I’ve already been spoiled rotten πŸ’—

These two have given me awesome presents, hand drawn cards, and love.

Hearing TT actually say happy birthday is amazing and adorable.

And after we unwrapped gifts together, #1 Son wandered out to his daddy to say, perfectly spontaneously:

That felt good

I’m not crying. Not. It’s just someone cutting onions in my bedroom. Yes. That’s it.

Gifts from #1 Son:

He picked the film itself as Daddy told him it was my favourite – he’s asked to watch it with me, but I think it’s too scary yet – we watched the first Harry Potter yesterday and he got a little scared by that in places, and I think this one is scarier.

It’s darker at least.

And from TT:

Incidentally, it’s an owl on the card you know πŸ’•πŸ’•πŸ’•

I have various other presents sent by kind friends and relatives which I am grateful for and proper thanks will be given once I have sorted them out – I needed to wait until #1 Son had left for therapy and school before opening boxes as, you know, his birthday is tomorrow!!!!!

My present from the hus-creature will be assembled tonight πŸ’—

I am blessed today.

School Science Fair

Well not really, but sort of.

On Thursday #1 Son had his Kids Enquiry Conference. It was 18:30-19:30 and attendance was strongly encouraged.

I can’t say that I was particularly happy about it as it was after TT’s bedtime and ran past his own for a school night. Still, since it was the school making him go, I figured that they could just suck up any residual issues potentially caused by him being late to bed.

As it turned out, it was more of a “kids showing parents what they had been up to during science” in the same manner as the writing wherein we learned all about dolphins

(Please to be remembering that it is, in fact, about dolphins):

And the Maths one I previously wrote about.

So daddy took him up as someone needed to stay behind with TT and I had seen the others. I felt it would be good for #1 Son to spend some time with daddy.

I think they had fun?

πŸ˜‚πŸ€£πŸ˜‚πŸ€£πŸ˜‚πŸ€£πŸ˜‚πŸ€£

It was all pretty standard. The class had been doing group projects building bridges out of cardboard, egg cartons etc.

We also had the school reading and maths lists for the summer sent home.

Big stuff to do sigh. I just hope we can get most of it done.

We are now all signed up with the Melrose Public Library now at least.


And I am also endeavouring to ascertain whether all the reading he does must be off of the prescribed reading list. I’m hoping not.


Shop Update

I’m still plugging away at Tiny Tyrant Yarns.

As my own and #1 Son’s birthday falls in Memorial Day week I’m running a sale until June 01.

I can’t believe my firstborn is six in six days!

I’ve sold 12 items now, and my first pins have been shared today! Pins I created!


I still don’t really understand Pinterest, but I’m stupidly pleased about this ☺️


I’m building up a small collection of new hanks to put up in the shop once the sale ends.

I’ve purchased an electric ice crusher to try and simulate snow as I prefer the look of the fine ice to chunks.

And I’ve created two hanks already using her.


And blimey has she already saved me time and effort!


Overall, for a totally brand new business, I think I’m doing okay.

What is it about this country

And weird and bizarre food?

I mean it can’t just be Massachusetts right?

The hus-creature did the weekly shop, and one of the items on the list was “baguette fixings” as this is one of the few ways of getting both children to decently fill up for at least one meal.


I think it’s the independence and choice aspect personally.


And whilst trying to hunt for spreadables he sent me these contenders:

Let’s break this down shall we?

  1. Old world chopped chicken liver with onions and eggs – on what planet does this sound like a good idea?!?! Okay I’m the first to admit I like pΓ’tΓ© but this? No, this is an abomination.
  2. Vanilla, walnut and raisin cream cheese – okay on the surface it is almost acceptable. Take away the vanilla and maybe we will talk. But all together? No. Just… no.
  3. Crumbled goats cheese with apricot and thyme – you know what? I would have been willing to at least try that. But apparently according to the hus-creature this would make me a perverted deviant (πŸ˜‚πŸ€£) so he did not buy this.
  4. Snickerdoodle hummus – look I’m all in favour of new experiences, but dessert hummus?! God no! And for those of the audience unfamiliar with American flavours, snickerdoodle is cinnamon not nuts.
  5. Brownie batter hummus – this would actually be a secret shame. I’m pretty certain that, had the hus-creature bought this, I would have tried it. And I would probably have loved it. Fortunately this has not come to pass, and so I can retain my dignity.

Another week

Another attempt at feeding my offspring actual proper food.

It was… neutral.

I made a stew:

Which I turned into soup:


I really could do with a stick blender. I would be more than happy to review one should some kind reader belong to a blender company and be willing to send me one – worth a try right?


Which I managed to persuade each child to eat roughly half of. TT was half enough after I bribed her with the prospect of apple juice.

#1 Son? We fought, prevaricated, and in the end I fed him a large portion of it myself.


These issues were not much improved by TT shouting “choo choo” and “train” whilst I was trying to do this 🀨


However by doing this we did settle on half of the bowl.

Today’s Meal:

  • Fingerling Potatoes (rainbow)
  • Beef
  • Squash – it was from Mexico and looked similar to an acorn squash but roughly double the size and squatter. I roasted it with maple syrup again.
  • Leek.
  • A 500g bag of frozen “Italian blend” vegetables: including courgette, carrot, cauliflower, green beans, Lima beans
  • Vegetable stock – which I made the last time of soup making.
  • Left over store bought chicken stock with a sprinkle of good quality beef bouillon.
  • Salt.

I made way too much, so I ran a litre or so down to H – who apparently loved it ☺️


So did the hus-creature, and soup isn’t a thing of his – so yay me!


I also made more stock:

But unfortunately in an attempt to condense it down to concentrate the flavour I boiled off a bit too much water, so I only have 3 cups/ 3/4 of a litre of it this time.

Ah well, it’s still tasty and useful.

Happy Mother’s Day

Today is MD stateside.

The hus-creature is a little bummed out because the gift he ordered for me (last weekend, and paid for 2-day expedited shipping on) hasn’t arrived.

I would have been sad but look what I got:

This is #1 Son’s handiwork πŸ’•

And this was from TT. She asked Nanoo to help her and he kept his artwork in line with hers πŸ’—πŸ’—

So gift or no gift, I am blessed today.

We also had an invite to go see Libida, Faux, and 1st, 2nd and 3rd so off we toddled to New Hampshire.

Since we last visited, they have acquired:

  • A new tiny Westie puppy named Fearghas.
  • A new baby boy goat named Starlord
  • A new baby boy Alpaca named Cable – he already lives with Knit and Purl

So I got to play with two out of the three.


And oh my gosh Fearghas is just the cutest little bundle of floppy eared fluff ever


TT adored the animals. So much so that she spent the entire visit more or less outside and didn’t ask for her tablet once.

Sadly I wasn’t as lucky with #1 Son, as 1st and 2nd also play Minecraft on XBox so they spent much of the visit playing that together. But although his visit wasn’t screen free, he was playing with other children in his general age bracket. So I count that as a success.

We tried to pet a chicken. She wasn’t keen


And even now I’m not certain whether I mean TT or the chicken πŸ˜‚πŸ€£


She can chase chickens…

We showed her the ducks and their sprinkler. The ducks love the sprinkler πŸ’•

TT attempts to feed the ducks

Here is the wonderful bundle that is Fearghas:

He sat on my head πŸ’•

And I finally got to properly play and cuddle the wonderful mutt that is his big brother Connor:

He is a very smiley pupper but I didn’t manage to catch his grin.

#1 Son did go outside briefly when he spotted that the Faux-lets had a battery powered ride on tractor thing:

They even let him drive it which was really nice of them. TT had a little go too (it helped us get her in the car!)

We stayed long enough that it became mucking out and feeding time.

I got to bottle feed Starlord πŸ’•πŸ’•πŸ’•πŸ’•πŸ’•

Oh it was awesome and he’s just so cute – and very chatty bless him. Yes I am ecstatic over bottle feeding a goat!!!

We also had a little play on the Faux-let’s play set:

No baby, it’s a swing

Then as it was 17:00 we decided we should leave – it meant the kids would have a late bedtime but they had had so much fun it was more than worth it 😍

We had two abortive attempts at dinner – apparently eateries etc are only signposted before the relevant highway/interstate exit. After that? You’re on your own kids!

So we got almost all the way back to Melrose and stopped at Friendlys.


I love their ice cream sundaes


TT ate broccoli:

And #1 Son has double cheese sliders and a diy sundae:

TT was too exhausted to eat more than a few bites of her ice cream poor wee* thing.

So the small people’s are abed and the hus-creature and I rounded off the evening with the Beta Co-op of StarDew Valley. I love that game πŸ’•


* slight segue but the poor lass has “not my toilet” fear so we managed to persuade her to do wee wees at Aunty Libida’s after four hours and she held her poop until after put down for bedtime (20:30)