Great Wolf Lodge – Part the First

So, after a lot of stress from various home quarters we are here. It’s… impressive.

I’ve never been to Butlins or Centre Parcs, but honestly? I cannot see how it could be better.

Check in was at 4pm, but from 1pm you can have access to the water parks! Also, as everything is indoor, it’s warm and non weather-dependent.

Cue two ecstatic small children.

We basically splashed, slid, swam, and played for two hours whilst our room was gotten ready.

#1 Son went down massive water slides – a major improvement on last summer; and TT is, basically, a fish.

So far we have only explored half of the area, but even in the small swimming area there’s several flumes, slides and a current area for rubber rings (provided) and swimming.

#1 Son went round that by himself. Obviously the hus-creature stayed in the general vicinity, but he didn’t need us, which is fantastic.


Basically we split into two teams – one parent with one child, and TT is basically my shadow whenever she is unsure of her surroundings


And, amazingly, TT wanted a go. So around and around we went, occasionally switching children, because my god is it tiring even with TT in a floatie.

As for the room itself? We are in the classification known as Wolf Den which is standard for a family of 4.

The kids have a little enclosed nook with a bunk bed,


Yes there was a power struggle for the top bunk, no we didn’t allow TT to win it!


And their own little tv – which we have tuned in to Cartoon Network and have declared it done. But honestly? I don’t anticipate us using it much. There’s just so much to do here.

We’ve paid for two premium packages:

    Wolf Pass – for #1 Son. It’s impressive and he gets a significant amount of extras thrown in:
  1. Unlimited rock climbing
  2. One game of mini golf
  3. One game of bowling
  4. One Harry Potteresque game that he and I will do together – he gets a wand and there’s loads of interactive stations all around the resort (I’ve already seen teenagers playing it 🙀)
    Pup Pass for TT – her only “extra” that her brother doesn’t get is one Build A Bear stuffed toy.

So what did she choose? Out of all of the options available to her?

Yup, not any of the bears, nor even the rainbow sloth? Nope. A shark. A bloody shark 🤣😂🤣😂

She even named it:

Yes, she’s a girl shark, called Misty. Yep, I have not one, but two Pokémon obsessed children 🤣😂

Some of the things that they both have access to include:

  1. A free 12oz candy cup – which we paid an extra $2 each to upgrade to a 16oz – #1 Son appears not to like jelly beans though 😖🙄
  2. A free scoop of ice cream, which we’ve yet to cash in on.
  3. 20 free “paw points” to spend in the arcade.
  4. A pair of GWL branded goggles each, which we will claim tomorrow.

And for anyone wondering why we upgraded the candy:

It’s been an amazing day, with 4 more to go!

Both kids are exhausted, and so are we to be honest 🤣😂


However, the room sharing has not gone as well as hoped, though no worse than feared, so the plan tomorrow is simply to wear them out as much as possible.


And I admit, both the hus-creature and myself are already in our pjs. For once we ate dinner at the same time as the kids, and we are settled in for the night. I will be astounded if we are both awake beyond 10pm.

We have paid to include food, breakfast is a separate deal, and booze is available.

Sadly our room is right next to the main play area – the rock climbing, mini golf etc so the noise level is high, but it’s closed by 22:30 and it does appear to be tailing off already.

And as a just because:

Father’s Day 2019

And other stories.

The hus-creature doesn’t tend to see the point of “Hallmark Holidays”, but after almost 2 decades together, understands that they are important to me.

He’s also impossible to surprise. No, honest to god, this has been a bone of contention in our marriage.

I, on the other hand, am oblivious enough that I failed to notice a Playstation 4, in plain sight for over two months.


I wish I were joking – alas, I am not 😳🙄😳🙄


So, how was I going to celebrate the upcoming Father’s Day? Well, for once? I WON!!!!

These arrived on Thursday:

Why yes, yes those would be bacon jerky roses. A dozen of them. Dipped in dark chocolate.

Yes, they lived in the fridge until this morning (and were in fact returned there) and he didn’t peek. The sealed silver Jiffy bag probably helped 🤣😂

He’s not opened them yet, as we head to Great Wolf Lodge tomorrow afternoon and there’s the usual “consume within 3 days” warning, so I shall try and remember to report back once they have been tried and assessed.

He had no idea. At all. He obviously knew it was something edible, but hadn’t even come close to speculating correctly.

The kids thought they were great – #1 Son found the concept of “edible flowers” hilarious, and he knows daddy loves bacon. And TT? She just wished daddy a happy birthday and handed over the gift card 🤣😂

Summer is here!

Annnnnd it’s raining. Because of course it is.

Fortunately yesterday was the last day of school and it was a half day.

We have graduated from First Grade. From this:

To this:

And honestly I could just burst with pride. He’s come along so well. I’ve read his end of year school reports and nearly sobbed. This has been the best thing we could have done for the kiddos.

So, anyway once #1 Son was safely deposited and lunch consumed, I decided to take them to the park – as a quick check of the weather app on my phone pre-informed me of the utterly shocking weather we were due to have today.

They had such fun. #1 Son was playing appropriately with other kiddos, and TT was mostly following around after;

“playing with the other one childrens”

While I knitted.

Yes, while they played, I worked on finishing a project I’ve had on the needles for almost two years. ADHD is such fun when you’re a crafter 🥺

Sadly it wasn’t all fun and games – when it came to going home for dinner, TT reminded me forcefully why going out is such a faff.


And that I should never, ever, forget (or choose not to use) the goddamn stroller 🙄🙄🙄🙄


I had to literally drag her home kicking and screaming – much to #1 Son’s chagrin. But it’s okay, we will work on that. After all, we go away for five days on Monday. I’m sure it will be absolutely fine….

Right? Right?

And, not to toot my own horn, but it’s Day 1 of the summer vacation and we’ve done all the “required reading”, ticked off four of the options for Summer Reading Bingo


Yes this is a thing, no I am not joking…


And made a start on the Math lessons – which are separate to the Summer Reading and Math logs…

I’ve got to wonder how long we will be able to keep that up…

Everyday Sexism

We all know it’s a thing. But I think we tend to assume that it is purely levelled at women.

But no, allow me to share a little anecdote from today’s little trip to the mall.

So, we had a very fury-inducing experience in TJ Max this afternoon.

I was trying on swimming costumes (we are going to Boston’s Great Wolf Lodge – a water park type thing in 8 days!) so the hus-creature was watching the kids – they were just puttering around together in the relevant aisles.

Apparently whilst I was pouting over ridiculousness in sizing labels;


Seriously how do three suits in the same size all fit so differently – two didn’t fit at all and one swamped me 🤷🏻‍♀️🤷🏻‍♀️🤷🏻‍♀️


A Mall Security Guard came over to him to apparently assess an “unmonitored children” situation.

May I remind you, dear audience, that their FATHER was with them – in close proximity.

We do NOT leave our children unattended in department stores.

I mean seriously? We would leave TT unattended?!?!? The bill we’d be handed would be hospital level large.

And indeed #1 Son just tends to find somewhere to sit/stand quietly nowadays until we are done. So it’s just TT who needs active chasing about these days.

Apparently when said security guard got close enough to realise that there was indeed a (penis owning) adult present he started stammering:

“Oh, I’m sorry. Are these YOUR children?”

“I was concerned… well not *concerned* but they seemed…”

And other equally backtracking and ridiculous phrases.

Initially, I thought that either he took it upon himself to worry because there were children *not being attended to by a female* OR someone reported it, because OBVIOUSLY they wouldn’t be with the MALE adult in their vicinity. He must be a random stranger. Couldn’t possibly be their DAD right?!?!?

The hus-creature filled in the blanks for me a bit later**: it was apparently a middle aged white lady (with the stereotypical “I want to speak to your manager” hair) who reported my kids being with their dad as requiring security intervention.

Allow me to repeat this: she flagged down mall security on a pair of kids who had their dad with them.

Apparently these women (usually known colloquially as Karen’s) don’t just want to insist you work somewhere when you don’t and then get you fired.

And afterwards? She merely dismissed the (somewhat befuddled I suspect) security guard and carried on browsing the shelves.

I am now even more fucking furious. And given I know some lovely Karen’s do not wish to refer to her by that moniker – therefore I dub her…. Ethel.

Fuck. You. Ethel.

I find myself outraged at this.

Why the FUCK would he not be their dad?

So yes, everyday sexism doesn’t just affect those of us who are female.

Oh and while I’m here:

Its not babysitting when you’re the dad – it’s parenting your own damn kids.

Also – put baby changing stations in male bathrooms in shops and restaurants.

Ok my semi political ranting is done. We will return to the usual family life posts imminently – I need to recount the birthday party.

As there are no photos today have a gif of some puppies as a palate cleanser:


**I suspect for everyone’s safety and sanity – I was angry enough at the time. God alone knows what I might have said if I’d known she was still there

And then he was 7

Yes today my pride and joy, the light of my life and my first born turned seven years old.

What a ride it has been.

The Birthday Boy with his (ice cream) cake ❤️

I couldn’t ever have predicted parenthood. Certainly not the journey we’ve had.

But, and I really feel the need to state this:

I would not change him for the world.

I’m so gosh-darned proud of my boy. He’s kind, funny, caring, intelligent and just all-around amazing.

Do I wish he didn’t have certain struggles? Yes, yes I do. But only because I worry about the world. He has such a beautiful soul, I don’t want anything to harm or mar it.

But, those struggles have helped me grow. Through him I’ve become a parent and he helps me become a better one. Day by day, week by week, month by month and year on year.

I know what is and isn’t important. It’s not about grades or accomplishments or academics. He will find his place in the world without those should that be necessary (though I don’t believe that it will).

I shall end with sharing the First Grade section of the school concert we went to last night. We stayed through Act 1, which was Grades K-2 and not only did he perform, he stayed through the whole thing.

Readers may remember last academic year’s Christmas concert, where they moved him into the first part of the performance because he just couldn’t handle it.

Not this year – he did it all. And if TT hadn’t been nearly an hour past her bedtime we might have stayed for the rest.

First Grade Concert – listen at your own peril 🤣😂

(For the relatives reading this, he’s in the second row from the front in a grey hoodie and camo pants)

I cried many happy tears last night.

I love you kiddo. Here’s to the next trip around the sun.

I am one very proud (and introspective 🤣😂) momma this evening.


I also turned 36 yesterday – but no one needed a blog post about that!!! 🤣😂🤣😂🤣


The more things end

The more they stay the same.

Tonight was a hard night for me. Two of my favourite shows aired their season finales.

Star Butterfly Vs. The Forces of Evil

and Game of Thrones.

In. One. Day.

It’s just added to the list of shows that I love that are “done”.

  • Adventure Time
  • SvtFoE
  • GoT
  • Big Bang Theory

I find myself torn. On the one hand I don’t want to spoiler things for anyone. On the other hand, I want to say one thing.

I am unexpectedly happy with how both shows ended.

I know right? Complete and total shocker!

I don’t know what I’m going to do with my Sunday evenings for the moment though.

Anyway, a metric tonne has happened in the rest of 2019.

  1. Our Green Card applications are moving forward which is nice. It’s complex and complicated but is happening.
  2. #1 Son has almost finished First Grade and is doing amazingly well. And there’s a chance that he could keep his current teacher into Second Grade – which would be awesome for him. He has also been signed up for the Summer Learning Academy again and that should really help keep his progress going. He is starting to read automatically and independently – only small things right now (signs etc) but it’s becoming muscle memory. He’s a sassy bugger too which I love. He has also lost three teeth – which his sister is now convinced is happening to her on a daily basis 🙄
  3. And speaking of his sister… TT is… well, she’s a bloody handful is what she is. She’s a boundary-pushing stroppy ball of not-hormones. Honest to god it’s like looking into the future at times. But she can also be so sweet and so caring. Again the difference between the two is so utterly marked. She continues to idolise her brother and can’t wait to “go to school” long may that continue 🤣😂
  4. The hus-creature just returned from his second business trip to Seattle, and I didn’t commit infanticide, nor burn the house down; so I consider that a big tick in the plus column.

That’s it for now. I’m going to make a better effort from now on. I’ve missed the blog!

Self Care 2019 v. 1.0

I’ve done so many of these that at this point I feel that they should be numbered!

As mentioned, my anxiety is giving me issues. My PCP doesn’t appear receptive to the idea that I know it’s anxiety not depression. Yes, we are considering switching doctors.


But there is major snow with more on the way, the hus-creature is about to be in Seattle for a week, I have concerns about my ongoing prescriptions, and therefore it’s a total PITA to switch right now.


So, I’m trying good old-fashioned ways of dealing for now.

I’ve been going back to the nail salon every two weeks. It’s helping – my nails look pretty and I don’t feel the temptation to gnaw on them quite as much.


I still do – but only once they snag or break. Sadly, with current weather, this happens quite often.


And I got my hair did on Saturday.

This is involved, intricate, and takes roughly five hours.


Which is why it only happens once every four months!


So the “before” shot:

I hate pastels. So having had them attached to my head for the preceding month has been nothing short of torture. So I needed to see them die.

Now, this time my very talented stylist

Samantha Vallery – she works at Hair By Christine in Somerville

didn’t feel the need to bleach everything – and I bow to her expertise. She is the lady who cuts and colours hair professionally after all. If you aren’t going to listen to your damn stylist then why are you there?

Which left this very interesting “in progress” shot:

That dark line just below the pink? That is not a shadow oh no. What that bastarding thing is, is a tidemark of permanent brown dye. That has been on my head since just before I went back to work after having had TT. Let us think about this for a second. The Tiny Tyrant is now three. Three years old. (I know, I can’t believe it either!) So that tidemark is over two years old.

I would very much like it to bugger off now. As would my Sam – she was pulling worse faces than me while doing my new colour 🤣😂 she has declared it her mission to fix it. I do not mind this at all ☺️

We think that by September, what we can’t bleach out (and this colour has outlasted many attempts to shift it) can finally, finally, be cut out. Can’t cut it too soon else I lose a lot of length – and that… just won’t happen.

Else this couldn’t:

Yes, this is my hair for the next four months. I’m in love. It’s beautiful.

Once my roots start growing through again though it’ll make me sad 🤣😂 but with the ombré built in this time, it’s at least easier for me to upkeep it.

And… no blue! I’m really embracing the pink these days.

And the self care hasn’t been limited to purely physical.

In the last month (ie January) I’ve had two bad flare ups of pain – each lasting four days.


Yes yes, I know I need to see the doctor, but see above. I’m also trying to amass data on these new and annoying bouts of pain so that when I inevitably need to see a new doctor, I can at least attempt to bypass the tedious penis-waving (not literally) that will no doubt occur. I mean, what would I know about my body and medical conditions after all right?


And the hus-creature has been worried about me bless him for – as previously documented – he’s a bloody amazing man you know.

So he went foraging. To a shop in Brighton (an 80 minute round trip) and found so many things of joy, beauty and wonder.

Ok so, I loathe Angel Delight. But the rest? Everything is now in my cupboards. I can have hot Ribena – which is my true comfort drink when I’m unwell.

Self care – it’s important y’all.

MLK Day 2019

Well dear audience I’m back.

There’s been such a huge mental block for me with writing since October. It’s not that there weren’t things to write about, it’s that I just….

Couldn’t do it.

I just could not put pen to paper. Or words on a screen. Every time I tried I felt so anxious it was ridiculous.

And this is my escape from anxiety.

So, I’ve decided to just take the leap.

Today is Martin Luther King Day. So #1 Son is off school, and the hus-creature is off from work 🙀 so we decided to go into Boston and visit the New England Auto Show.

One teeny tiny issue? It’s -15/16C out there at the moment. And there’s a foot of frozen solid snow outside.

However, we have gone native. I merely shrugged it off and we all headed out. And it turns out that there was one more small issue. We had left TT’s stroller on the front porch. There’s been a major snow storm. Yep, it’s full of snow and frozen solid 🤭😒😤

So, may I present TT’s first official free range bus and T ride:

She loves her “bear hat” and it’s so damn cold out that I didn’t have to argue with her at least about bundling up.

#1 Son on the other hand? Well he made it the 10 feet to the bus stop before he was whimpering that his ears hurt from the cold. We had packed his hat because we knew this would happen. So yes, he wore that too.

So we got to the Conference Center and stripped off to ensure we wouldn’t freeze on the way out.

I think you can see that one child was enjoying life significantly more than the other bless them!

So, the Motor Show was… genuinely interesting. It was all about the new cars coming in 2019/2020 – and not all of them either. Kia for example did not have their next generation hybrid available. Which was most disappointing to the hus-creature, as we are looking into future replacements for our trusty Bolt, and Kia/Hyundai have some great options.

But because it was basically a “see what we’ve got coming up and buy buy buy” event, something magical became possible.

You could sit in the vehicles!!!!

Honestly, it was like we had taken TT to the best theme park ever.

Now, she was insisting on dividing her car choices by colour.  Or if they were a truck.  We were forced to sit in/stare at so many trucks.

THE BIGGER THE BETTER MOMMY!!!!

Honest to goodness, the sheer size differential was amazing – I’m still laughing!

Why yes, yes this is my daughter behind the wheel of an orange Camaro! I’ve never seen her so happy!

 

However, she was desperate to get her hands on “a purple one”. Except that there weren’t any.

Well, until we found the “super cars” section anyway:

Say it with me, “hubba hubba” why yes, yes I would very much like to sit in a purple Lamborghini thank you. Sadly both mine and TT’s hopes were cruelly dashed.

It’s sibling is retailing at over half a bar!!!!

But oh so pretty.

There were a few “classics” too:

And from a sheer interest perspective, a hydrogen fuel cell Honda:

Which is fascinating to both myself and the hus-creature, but sadly re-fuelling something like this in Massachusetts is… problematic.


All 38 refuelling Stations are only in California


At this point we had been wandering around for over two hours. #1 Son was bored out of his mind. TT on the other hand? If it wasn’t for the being exhausted due to no stroller? She would have happily kept going.

My girl is a complete petrol head!!!

Sadly, the journey home was not so easy. The Silver Line bus broke down in the tunnel so they had to send a shuttle bus.

However as they kept us waiting over 15 minutes and it was an over 15 minute bus trip to South Station? I lost my train fare. And I was pissed. It doesn’t matter that it’s “only” $2.75. That’s my $2.75 and they shouldn’t get to keep it.

Then we missed the connecting T. Then when we got back to Oak Grove we missed the next bus.

It was a cold wait. So when we got home it was hot chocolate for all – with a large dash of bourbon for the parents!

It was such a long day for TT that she did something she’s not done in over a year:

Passed out. On the T! Poor thing was exhausted. Hopefully she will sleep well tonight!

Stay tuned for the festivus look back. I’m hoping to get my mojo back.

Pumpkins, Mums and the PTO

Oh my!

There was a Pumpkin and Mums sale up at #1 Son’s school today.


Last year I was completely confused as to why they might potentially be auctioning off fellow mothers…

It turns out the hus-creature was also, as he checked – ‘mums = chrysanthemums

Which was a relief I have to admit 🤣😂


There was also hot apple cider sadly, (or perhaps not given my liver still seems to be crying after Friday), not alcoholic, and ring donuts and…. a petting zoo.

I’ve made a vow this year to actually do more of the after/outside of school activities and so I insisted we head up.

First came the petting zoo:

Sadly, #1 Son was not keen, but TT was enthralled. So I sent my boys off to forage for pumpkins – but sadly not mums as it turns out that they are highly toxic to cats and dogs, so no plant for me – while TT went in with the animals.

It wasn’t completely successful as she has actually listened to me about not petting strange animals it seems, and took a lot of convincing that it was ok to do so. There was a lot of “Mummy no, I not touch animals” but she had fun.

Then came… pumpkin decorating:

Both kids had so much fun. I had to intervene a little when #1 Son kept trying to attach stickers to his sister’s pumpkin (and believe me, she was not impressed by that!), and my role was “Chief re-attacher of pen lids”, but they both had so much fun.

Also TT was hilarious – she was most definitely choosing her own pen colours and would not be swayed.

Serious artist is serious

She would not relinquish that red marker.

Then it came time to leave. She would not be parted from her precious pumpkin. She had a full on level 10 meltdown when we left it in the boot of the car to, you know, dry and set.

Her precious:

Both children decorated a pumpkin of course:

And we had to let her have it on the way home from lunch, so she cradled it like a teddy bear:

Such pride many happy 🤣😂❤️💗

But then once we returned what were we to do? I had visions of her sleeping with the darned thing. However through some judicious use of lollipop based bribery, to prevent her from sitting outside all afternoon, both pumpkins now have pride of place on our front porch:

But this does mean that for once I have contributed to the Halloween decorations hurrah!

Self improvement

Starts here.

Actually, it started last week when both the hus-creature and I joined a gym!

Yes I know, I can hear you all laughing hysterically. But it’s true.

Through ruthless calorie counting, and as close to a daily walk around beautiful Melrose as I can, I have managed to shift just over 20lb.

And I’m really proud of that. But I need to keep the momentum going. And I’m getting very familiar with my town now, and I needed to step it up a gear. So gym it was. You have 24/7 access and, after the first 30 day’s, can access any branch globally as part of your membership 🙀

So, yesterday I went for my induction session.


I feel that it should be noted that I had attended the gym pretty much daily last week barring Wednesday. I had signed the “I promise I won’t sue you if I hurt myself” disclaimer, and I remembered how most of the main machines worked so while I was waiting for them to book me in, off I went.


With the lovely Erik. Well he was very friendly and very good at his job.

I told him I hated him at least twenty times during the course of that hour, to which he merely laughed – the evil man!

But I did recant at the end of the session.

They seem positive that if I regularly attend (and I will) I should be able to reach my initial goal weight within a reasonable time frame – which I want to have done by next summer.

I will wear a pretty bikini goddammit

However I seem to have mildly overdone it 🤣😂

I will also in part attribute this to going out on the town last night with my wonderful H 💗💗💗💗

We danced, we laughed and we got very, very drunk 😂🤣 we were total dirty stop outs and didn’t get home til 1am!

Yes, I am rocking navy lipstick 😉

It matched my dress. My TARDIS dress. No I won’t be wearing it as an everyday look, but I put full face on for the first time ever by myself

It all comes under the self care banner. I’ll never be a “girly girl” but I can enjoy the occasional benefit from it.

Oh and the hus-creature? He still needs to sort out his induction – but he threw his back out again this week. Hopefully he can sort it out next week.

Me, I won’t be going to the gym tomorrow. We have a stupidly full schedule and I can barely walk so…