One month til O-Day

And O in this case refers to operation.

Stop snickering at the back there.

This time next month I will, hopefully, be in recovery after having had the organs that have repeatedly try to kill me since I turned 15 removed.

Unfortunately, they won’t let me watch them burn. This saddens me.

Ah well. Que sera sera.

I’m optimistic about the prognosis. Don’t mistake me, I’m under no illusions that it’s a miracle cure, but it will get rid of a lot of my pain, the root cause of said pain, and eliminate any chance of:

  • Ovarian cancer
  • Cervical cancer (which I am apparently at risk for)
  • Endometrial cancer (also at risk for)

Which are all big ticks in the plus column.

It will also (obviously) remove even the slightest chance of another pregnancy, which though I am a little sad about, at least in the abstract, as I am stupidly high risk for ectopic it would be nuts to even think about that again.


Not to mention the hospital bills – which I am currently endeavouring not to think about, since my colposcopy alone was circa $450


Also my own mommy is coming to look after me πŸ’— and by the time she gets here I won’t have seen her in over six months so that’s wonderful.

PS – Mothership, make sure you get your ESTA sorted πŸ’•

Oh look, she has a blog name now πŸ˜‚πŸ€£πŸ˜˜

Battling the Hordes

Well, two children anyway.

TT isn’t bad when she’s away from her brother – she will eat pretty much anything I have. And usually off of my plate at that.

(Well admittedly she discovered yesterday that as yet she doesn’t like Camembert πŸ€£πŸ˜‚) #sorrynotsorry

But when she’s with #1 Son? Oh lord she’s as bad as he is.

And he is bad. I’ve resorted to something my smug, pre-parent, child-free self (and lord do I want to go back in time and smack her around the head with a clue-by-four) swore that she would never do that is: hidden vegetable food.

There’s a brand of kids-only ready meals here that so far include:

  • Cheese pasta
  • Cheesy quesadillas
  • Chicken sticks

And they all contain hidden vegetables! The two cheese based ones contain purΓ©ed carrots and the chicken sticks contain cauliflower and onions!!!

And tonight #1 Son cleared his plate!!!

TT only ate half of her portion (each child had 5 chicken sticks and 5 potato smiley faces) but she came toddling through announcing “mmmmmmmmm nummy chikkin” so I count it as a win.


Yes both children do take a daily gummy multi vitamin (as do we actually) but it’s not the same.


However other things are currently more of a trial with TT at the moment.

Teeth Brushing:

For example, did you know that fluoridated toothpaste is not a standard thing over here?

Or mint flavoured toothpaste?

Well for children at least – adults apparently have to lump it.


But this leads me to ponder – the transition from sweet/fruity flavoured toothpaste to harsh mint flavoured ones must totally shock the system. I know it did for me, and it’s why, whilst in the UK, I never bought the children the fruity flavoured ones – I didn’t want to deal with that.


However, we’ve now run out of appropriate-aged mint toothpastes for them.

As it turned out, when the hus-creature realised this, the only open supermarket was Whole Paycheck* and so the only fluoridated (because organic hippies) toothpaste was a $12 WildBerry thing.

Which #1 Son loves but has wasted a fair amount of. It’s also way too fluoridated for TT to use.

So last week he picked up a basic BubbleFruit one from Colgate for her.

And yes it is what it sounds like – bubblegum plus artificial fruit flavour

And it would seem that TT concurs with me, as every night this week we have had screams of “no teeth, no teeth” and sobbing, flailing tantrums.

We will be trying something else this week coming, because I cannot deal with it, and am terrified that she will get a complex.

Nap time:

She had been trying to drop naps before we got rid of the baby jail. Now she can get out at will?

Which would be fine, if she wasn’t awake by 7am (and I’m being generous there) and therefore total demon-spawn-hell-beast by 3pm if she does not nap.

So I am trying a very mature approach.

Bribery and corruption.

I’m putting her in her room, in her bed, with a bottle of milk… and a tablet! She dozes off reasonably quickly and stays asleep for about an hour.

However, my evil genius membership forms are yet to be sent off, because her tablet has been.

Sent back to Amazon I mean. Because she shattered the screen.

So she’s borrowing #1 Son’s at the moment.

World War has yet to break out…

Watch this space.


*Ahem, sorry Whole Foods

Is it Autism or is it ADHD?

And overall does it matter?

This is of course in reference to #1 Son.

The answer is not straightforward. I want to say no, of course it doesn’t.

But you see, it does.

It affects the services he has access to, the support provided, and of course, his future.

So it matters.

As his mom, I don’t care – he’s my amazing boy and I’m proud of him and I love him and I don’t want to change him.

But as a human? As a parent? I know he is struggling and he needs help.

I can’t see him struggle day by day. Which is why he now has fortnightly counselling sessions. Of which we had the first one this week.

And it was interesting.

His assigned counsellor is expert in both fields, and after only one full session, she is querying if he is autistic.

We’ve been wondering ourselves for a while, as he just isn’t ticking all the boxes and the ones he does it’s either inconsistently or not in the right way.

The initial things she has raised are:

  • Eye contact – yes he prefers not to, but he can be directed back and made to keep focus.
  • Conversations – he talks emotively and well.
  • Affection – he shows emotions appropriately.

She also pointed out that he’s young and a boy, and that ADHD in young children, especially boys, is often mis-diagnosed as Aspergers/high functioning autism.

Fortunately this therapist is medication averse, so even if it is ADHD, she won’t immediately throw him into Adderall.

Which is good. He’s too young. The hus-creature has stayed Switzerland through this whole thing, as he feels it’s not his remit. He also (like me) is reluctant to medicate a young child. However he has much more experience within his working field of adults with ADHD and within his own circle Adderall has been touted as a miracle. Some quotes given have included

It lifts the fog from my brain

And

If it’s a choice between eating this month and affording the co-pay for my pills, I am not eating this month.

Side note: hurrah American health care where that is a bloody choice you have to make.

So if it comes down to it, I am reassured that medication could help. But the optimum word there is could. I (we) will not be throwing pills at our boy any time soon.

But if you gave me the choice between the disorders? In my heart of hearts I would prefer it to be ADHD – because it would be easier for him to fit into a “normal” mould.

But it is whatever it is, and whatever that is, we will deal with it.

Because this kid? He’s bloody awesome.

New Year, New Blog

Well, not as such, but I have revamped it a little. We have our own Facebook page (which I am attempting to rename to match the new name for the blog)

Firstly, Happy New Year from blizzard-struck Massachusetts.

We are safe and warm. The hus-creature is working from home for now, and the schools are closed, so #1 Son is enjoying additional freedom and TT is running around shouting “daddy here, Nanoo here YAY” so it’s good.

When we did a quick run to the shops for non-perishable supplies yesterday it seems other people had similar ideas:

The snow didn’t really start until around 10 am. And it wasn’t quite what I thought a blizzard would be.

It’s puffs and gusts of thin snow that is just constant. It’s gone from slight powder to cannot see where the roads are.

I stepped out onto our balcony to take these. Then went back indoors quickly as it’s freaking freezing.

School is cancelled again tomorrow, which means #1 Son will have no homework again.

I’m sure he will be devastated!!!

I will probably make him spend some time on ABCMouse to make up for it.

The hus-creature is currently outside in our car whilst the landlady’s partner uses the snow-blower on the driveway. He is cold and grumpy.

I am dealing with a hyped up #1 Son, which given our experiences at his first counselling session this week makes sense, but I think I will cover that in its own post.

And then she was two

Two years ago, after a hellish induction, I was staring in wonderment at the most beautiful baby girl in the world.

No, really, no other baby girl was ever this pretty. (The most beautiful baby boy in the world ever had been born three years prior you see).

And now? She’s two.

She’s a stroppy, opinionated, smart, strong bundle of amazingness, and I am the luckiest mama bear ever.

She had her new big girl bed as her main present from us:

With bedding from nanny and granddad and Lola-dog.

(Happy gotcha day Lola-dog)

We then added Aunty Harri’s canopy:

Whereupon she began practicing for the teenage years early.

She bloody loves the bed.

She did refuse to nap though, which ended in her passing out on me at around 15:30:

We then had cake when she woke up – well, when I woke her – she was not impressed. Aunty H came to join us for cake and TT ended up covered. So we had a bath.

With new toys. And bath markers.

Which she ruined by pooping in the bath πŸ™„πŸ™„πŸ™„

Then we put her to bed. For the first time. And, well, it was not as successful as it was for #1 Son.

TT on the other hand, was up and out before daddy finished reading her bedtime story!!!

She was then up and rattling the door handle after daddy left the room. I resettled her then.

When #1 Son went to bed she was still awake!!!! BUT was under the covers and stayed there while I went to get another bottle (that she requested).

We checked on her at 21:00 and she was asleep, still in bed, and mostly under the blanket. She had unilaterally decided no more sleeping bags dammit. We shall see how this goes – it’s bitterly cold right now, and duvets are not a thing for toddlers here it seems.

When we checked on her whilst getting #1 son up for his middle of the night wee, she was fast asleep, with that second bottle untouched which was great.

I can hear her occasionally drinking from her second official bottle through the monitor.

All in all, not as good as I hoped, but as well as I expected. Well, apart from the poop πŸ™„

Also, after we washed her hair, through judicious application of tablet, I was able to completely blow dry her hair, which left her rocking the Smokey Quartz (rather than Amethyst) look:

And the curls are dropping out at last!

Christmas Aftermath

Well the children have been thoroughly spoiled and I am so so grateful.

Firstly, it seems Santa got a tad confused and left presents in two places:

The kids were gobsmacked, and TT loved her “pin-gin” paper πŸ’•πŸ’•πŸ’•

The Big Man listens you know πŸ˜‚πŸ€£

πŸŽ…πŸ»πŸŽ…πŸ»πŸŽ…πŸ»πŸŽ…πŸ»πŸŽ…πŸ»πŸŽ…πŸ»πŸŽ…πŸ»πŸŽ…πŸ»πŸŽ…πŸ»πŸŽ…πŸ»

But why all this play food and sets you wonder? Because someone dropped a line to him on what her “main” present was going to be:

(Can I admit that I’m more than slightly jealous? πŸ˜‚πŸ€£)

She has spent all day playing with it, with various play foods. I have extracted her lunch pizza from a pot on the hob, and most play foods have ended up in the freezer compartment!

Not to be outdone, #1 Son has completed construction of his main Lego set:

Even without the stickers he appears as pleased as Punch.

Tomorrow TT turns two. Tonight is therefore the last night for her in her cot.

Tomorrow she gets her first “Big Girl” bed.

Part of me is really sad about this. But she’s growing up. She’s not a baby anymore.

Tears and Tribulations

So, USA annual leave is not the most generous ever. So the hus-creature has to work.

And I am full of a rotten cold and as such am barely holding down the fort. For eg none of the new toys are put away. I’ve barely managed throwing away the paper. The rest of my (meagre) energy has been expended keeping the smalls from fratricide.

So #1 Son has not (yet) been able to build his main Lego set present – a giant Star Wars ship thing.

We told him we would help him this evening. Not good enough. He fixated on that bloody thing.

To the extent he decided to do it himself. Which would have been fine. Except he didn’t ask for help clearing a space and somehow set it up in a puddle – we assume he knocked his own cup of water over.

So all of the decoration stickers are drenched and therefore no longer adhesive in nature. So have been binned. Cue one devastated boy.

He also decided to get into one of his “adult supervision” Santa gifts – a make your own bouncy ball kit.

Which I discovered by finding a suspicious pile of red sand/grit in the kitchen.

After blaming TT (I apologised profusely) I noticed #1 Son shuffling in with something under his top. Which turned out to be a ripped open red and pink pack of the ball mix.

Which he had decided just to rip into and play with.

This child refuses to read.

So how he expected to be able to do this is beyond me.

So. One emergency shower for a shower-phobic small boy and the red and pink packets in the bin because they weren’t salvageable.

He’s distraught. We are stressed and within an hour he will have forgotten any useful lesson from it.

I’m tired. Daddy is building with him now, and I’m snuggling down with a nap-refusing TT and watching Zootopia. I fully expect she will have said nap now.

Christmas Day (2017)

Oh what a wonderful day we’ve had.

Santa visited:

#1 Son loves his Lego’s. Not so much his crayons and similar. Ah well.

TT was really happy with her hair bows and dinosaurs and other similar items.

We then had breakfast. TT ended up trying my scrambled eggs with smoked salmon, and she bloody loved it!!!

πŸ™„πŸ™„πŸ™„πŸ™„πŸ˜‚πŸ€£πŸ˜‚πŸ€£πŸ˜‚πŸ€£πŸ˜‚

She cleared that plate! We also watched squirrels for a bit.

After breakfast we opened presents.

As previously mentioned, we left a lot of presents behind, but as a result the kids really enjoyed what they opened.

Lunch was awesome:

  • Pork with cranberry sauce and stuffing – yum! (Too much turkey previously consumed)
  • Macaroni cheese
  • Sliced potatoes – with herbs and other yummies
  • Crab cakes

TT stole a crab cake and scoffed it before we even noticed πŸ˜‚πŸ€£ and these were tasty cakes (wasabi mayo etc). Guess she’s taking after us more than her brother.

Then came dessert:

  • Chocolate peanut pie
  • Key lime pie

So. Good.

I don’t really like British traditional puddings of Christmas time – mince pies, Christmas pud & Christmas cake etc, so this was amazing for me.

TT stuck her hand in pie πŸ™„

We shouted.

The dog barked and barked a lot. She was defending TT against us πŸ˜‚πŸ€£

So she got cuddles and we were forgiven by her loyal Guard of Honour!

TT also had a whale of a time just generally:

Yep, that’s a stocking on each foot πŸ˜‚πŸ€£

Aunts Domi and Uncle Gary kindly took the kids out for a brief walk with Fluffy (the dog) and they had a really lovely time. The wagon was involved.

We just had a little rest as wow it’s tiring:

I have read a few chapters of one of my presents:

Which is bloody brilliant and hilarious and everyone should read it. Certainly every parent who worries that they aren’t “doing it right”

Because we are – it’s hard and we are doing okay 😘

We are now watching Ozark for an hour or so’s downtime then bed.

MERRY CHRISTMAS ONE AND ALL

πŸŽ…πŸ»πŸ’•πŸŽ…πŸ»πŸ’•πŸŽ…πŸ»πŸ’•πŸŽ…πŸ»πŸ’•πŸŽ…πŸ»πŸ’•πŸŽ…πŸ»πŸ’•πŸŽ…πŸ»πŸ’•πŸŽ…πŸ»πŸ’•

It’s Christmas (Eve)

And we are safely in Connecticut.

We left without incident at around 11:30.

Stopped for lunch at Mac Donald’s at around 13:00.

When given the choice of burger or chicken, TT declared “chicken burger” so this happened:

20 McNuggets was a mere 11c more than a 10 pack 🧐

I begin to see why there might be an obesity epidemic!

However as both children decided that didn’t want burgers – #1 Son because he saw the onion in the relish when I was removing Satan’s hell snack, the pickle, and TT because burger meant nuggets and chicken meant chips apparently! So those nuggets got demolished.

TT also decided that she wanted to sit in a high chair πŸ™€ she hasn’t used one in months. But she dragged it over to a booth and demanded “‘my chair” and was most happy:

#Stillmybaby

We safely arrived at around 15:30.

Got a phone call from the landlady shortly after arriving worried because she thought she could see smoke coming from our balcony.

It was her own vents! Crisis averted and I had mulled wine πŸ˜‚πŸ€£πŸ‘πŸ»

TT has declared every adult in the house not me or the hus-creature “cake people” because Domi gave her brioche.

She then made friends with the dog by accidentally feeding her said brioche. She was sitting on the floor with her hand out, and the last piece of brioche dangling from it, and the dog snaffled it πŸ˜‚πŸ€£

Kids are now safely in bed, with stockings hanging up in the guest house.

#1 Son didn’t really eat much for dinner – no surprise there, but TT ate risotto. It was seafood and mushroom risotto at that. We let her think it was pasta!

She ate scallops! And then went for mine!!!!!

Kept a whole one in her cheek like a little hamster for about 15 min πŸ˜‚πŸ€£πŸ˜‚

Relaxing now for a few hours before bed. We need to all be asleep so Santa can come

πŸŽ…πŸ»πŸŽ…πŸ»πŸŽ…πŸ»πŸŽ…πŸ»πŸŽ…πŸ»πŸŽ…πŸ»πŸŽ…πŸ»πŸŽ…πŸ»πŸŽ…πŸ»πŸŽ…πŸ»πŸŽ…πŸ»πŸŽ…πŸ»πŸŽ…πŸ»πŸŽ…πŸ»πŸŽ…πŸ»

A gift decision

Has been reached.

  • We have a small car.
  • Amazon have not delivered all presents yet.
  • We have a small car.
  • Parity of gifts important when away from home.
  • We have a small car.
  • We have very generous friends and family.
  • We have a small car.
  • Our kids can get “present fatigue” very easily.
  • We have a small car.
  • We are going to someone else’s house for Christmas.
  • We have a small car.
  • We will need to bring back presents we take plus Santa’s gifts.
  • We have a small car.

So, with this in mind, this is what we are taking with us:

This is what has been left behind:

Did I mention the wonderfully generous friends and family? Yes they are in my walk-in.