The first party

Yes, today #1 Son went to his first party stateside.

Overall experience? Meh *Gallic shrug*

If he were a standard child it probably would have been fine, but as he’s not? Not as well as I hoped, but better than I feared.

Nanny volunteered to take him, whilst daddy stayed with TT.


I don’t think either volunteer got an easy job there to be fair πŸ˜‚πŸ€£


He chose his own outfit:

So smart πŸ’•πŸ’•πŸ’•

Now it was one of these activity based ones – all the children taken into a room to rehearse to put on a play at the end for the grown ups.

Would anyone like to guess how this turned out?!?!

Anyone?

Suffice it to say, they left half an hour before the advertised end time, and Momma has had a G&T and a beer or two to calm her nerves!

Now he did have some measure of fun, but missed the cake (which he’s sore about) and didn’t eat the pizza they were serving. My own thinking is that he was over-stimulated (it was very loud) and felt out of control so he seized on one thing he could control – whether or not he ate.

But it’s ok. I sent a thank you email to the birthday girl’s mother, making it clear he had had fun (maybe I took a little creative licence) because I’m grateful he had the chance to have a normal experience.

Slow and steady. That’s how we roll.

And for cuteness, here is a montage of daddy and childer-beasts taken today

My cup runneth over tonight.

Angry mama bear is angry

I just had a call from the counselling centre where #1 Son is registered. His therapist quit. Effective immediately. With zero communication to clients.

I’m furious.

It explains so. much.

  • Why she cancelled last week’s appointment with less than two hour’s notice 😑🀬
  • Why she failed to reschedule it at all.
  • Why she never answered my email when I copied her in to one sent to his school guidance counsellor.
  • Why, despite promising me for over three weeks that she would do so, she has never followed up with the school.

I’m just speechless and furious.

I give major props to the counselling centre though. They stayed 100% professional. Although when I commented that “it made sense” a bit more came out when I read between the lines (see the above list).

They’ve gotten him in with a new therapist. Who specialises in kids with sensory and emotional issues, and is a music therapist.

I’m a bit anxious though, as it isn’t a proven to work with him technique. And he does have an issue with loud noise. But he needs to see someone, so we will give it a go.

It also throws a spanner in the works of the diagnosis procedure.

Argh.

In slightly lighter news, TT ate half an adult portion of yesterday’s vegetable lasagne – including picking out the courgettes and mushrooms to eat.

BREAKING NEWS:

Whilst writing this post, TT has done….

*drum roll please*

A wee wee on the toilet. Unprompted!!!

Much praise, dancing (though not by me) and chocolate have been administered.

I am tired now πŸ€£πŸ˜‚

Insert Clever Title Here

So, I have been home 24 hours.

Momma is amazing and is (as I hoped knew) whipping my children into shape. She brooks no crapulence* and the Tiny Tyrant doesn’t seem to have realised what has hit her!!!

(I’m not loving it at all oh no πŸ˜‚πŸ€£)

Things That Have Been Achieved:

  • She has sorted out my house – and I am so grateful. It’s hard to see the wood from the trees with small people underfoot. It wasn’t a mess when she arrived, but there is now significant organisation!
  • She has pushed the children’s respective bedtimes back by an hour – and they are not waking up earlier!!!!
  • TT’s tantrums and attempts at manipulating Mommy-Nanny (her name for my mom) are mostly met with a raised eyebrow or a laugh – and the affront is hilarious
  • #1 Son is eating new things! I cannot begin to describe the relief. Today as a “just got home from school” snack he ate three rounds of cheese spread and turkey ham sandwiches and then at dinner time ate: pasta (plain with some butter and grated cheese), cucumber, and chopped up frankfurters. Okay, he didn’t eat the carrot but we didn’t expect any so this is amazing!!! TT will eat regular food if she isn’t distracted, but this is such an amazing occurrence.

Basically, as my Mothership has seen it all before and hasn’t lived with them, (and therefore beyond the SEN concerns with #1 Son) doesn’t have my “tried it, it won’t work” fears, we are losing nothing by trying. And really its mostly TT – #1 Son is a good boy at heart and not a demon wearing human skin πŸ˜‚πŸ€£

Today I have managed to get up and have a little wander four times. The remaining post-surgical wall has been breached** and I have only taken two doses of Motrin and one of Percocet (and if it continues this well, I have hopes of not finishing my Percocet prescription.)

I learned a lot from my laparoscopies, and the main thing was DON’T BLOODY OVERDO IT

So, as yet I have picked up nothing heavier than my phone, the 3DS or the Switch. I have attempted to knit/crochet through the power of my mind, but sadly my powers of telekinesis remain dormant.

I also have only napped in two 1-hour stretches as I want to sleep at night!

I received this beautiful bouquet from my in laws today:

Flowers

THANK YOU 😘😘😘😘😘

And my knitting group have banded together to bring me meals every so often over the next week or so – home cooked at that! Tonight’s was vegetarian lasagne and this confirmed carnivore thought it was delicious πŸ‘πŸ»

*My Daddy coined that term in a phone call earlier this week πŸ˜‚πŸ€£

**This is my polite way of indicating I managed a #2

Midweek Madness

Well not so much but things have been happening.

In a week my Momma will be here πŸ’•πŸ’•πŸ’•

I can’t wait.

She’s coming out to help me recover from the operation, which is about a week and a half away 😱😱

As she has been reading the blog you can’t say she doesn’t know what she’s letting herself in for.


There is a pink metallic marker somewhere in this house minus its lid. TT knows where it is. I do not. Many wall cleanings. Much frustration.


Yesterday I had the fun of handling her and #1 Son from 08:00 – 17:00 without being able to use running water. We had previously been given 24 hours notice of sewer pipe work.

Actually they did finish an hour early, but next time that happens I’m filling my dye pots with clean water as well as my kettle.

It is not pleasant washing your hands with baby wipes all day!

I am laying down the groundwork for my main convalescence project.

Yes, it is a 24-Skein project!!! I’m sure there will be others, but this is a simple crochet pattern that will keep my hands busy without overtaxing my brain too much.

Don’t worry Mothership – we will knit socks etc together.

I had already touched on the upcoming surgery with #1 Son, but as it’s getting closer, I had another talk with him.

Do you know what he said?

Don’t worry mommy. I will look after you. And if you need food or drinks I will bring them to you.

Is someone cutting onions in here? I swear my tiny Grinch heart just grew three sizes. My boy is the sweetest kid ever.

Yes, he discovered Snapchat today – J sent me this.

What else has been happening? Not much new really.

Well, except I now have a SSN card!!!!

I am a legitimate proper (alien) person! Roll on everything. I need to start writing stuff down for my Etsy shop now!

Our weekend

It’s been another up and down-er.

Saturday, well a few good things happened.

The lady lady sent her handyman fiancΓ© down to fix our various issues.


Let us just gloss over the fact that we were given six minutes notice, and that I was still in my pyjamas.


So he fixed Nathan’s door handle straight away (though borrowing our tools to do it) but needed to return later to affix the new toilet seat and deal with the bathroom lock*

Which he did, at 17:00 with ten minutes notice this time.

The new toilet seat was equipped, and a hook and eye lock installed – almost out of my reach, so no worries about the children in the main.

He also noted that they were getting in a plasterer to fix H’s bathroom ceiling next month** so if we had any similar issues to report them and they would get them seen to at the same time.

Considering I will be recuperating from major abdominal surgery, how about no to random people in my house doing random crap? Plus H sent her son up two weeks ago and he dealt with the holes in our walls.

We then had Date Night. We saw Star Wars: The Last Jedi.

I liked it. I mean yes there was some sad stuff, and some stuff that could have been better. I wonder what they will do about the next film given Carrie Fisher is no longer with us. But there were some adorable moments.

I want a Porg. And a Crystal Critter. And I used my scary spooky abilities and spotted the actress who played Dr. Ellie Stadler in Jurassic Park.

Which, leads me nearly on to some of the trailers I watched.

Films Which I Now NEED To See:

  • A Quiet Place
  • Avengers: Infinity War
  • A Wrinkle In Time
  • Panther
  • JURASSIC WORLD: FALLEN KINGDOM***

There were a few others, but given you cannot have your phone in the cinema, I’ve forgotten some.

So that was lovely. Film was good. Food at the cinema in-house bar wasn’t great but they do good cocktails. We had 45min to spare before the film, so we went to the arcade and played a Jurassic Park shooter – and I didn’t totally suck!!! So that was fun.

Behold the awesome that is reclining cinema seats though!!!

Didn’t get home til half midnight, but the sitter had cable and snacks and the kids hadn’t been evil, so she’s happy to come back next week for our Burns Night shenanigans.

Then came Sunday.

We had a visit from the lovely Libidia, and First and Third. Sadly Second was poorly-sick five minutes from our place, so his daddy took him home and vowed to return to collect his lady and remaining offspring anon.

TT adores Third. However she constantly refers to them as “baby”, which, as they are actually older than her we all find hilarious.

#1 Son gets on amazingly with both First and Second, so he was sad at the diminution of expected guests but they had fun.

However. I learned that I cannot trust him to play in his room at the moment.

During the course of the visit, we noticed three separate small marker pen drawings on the hallway wall. They were too well formed to be TT or Third. And Libidia knows her offspring well enough to know their “lying face”


I wish I did!!!!


#1 Son however not only denied it vociferously but blamed his sister. Now, one of these smaller drawings was a traced handprint. And he had the offending marker on his hand and palm. Yet continued to deny and deflect blame.

So we left that for a bit, until at the end of the visit we went to find them. To be greeted with this:

Now, he was not alone in this. First did assist. Libidia offered to help pay for cost of supplies to repaint.

Fortunately this was not required. Though it did take more than two tubs of wipes to clean off:

And it ruined my poor nails:

So, as you can imagine, neither myself nor the hus-creature were enamoured of our eldest yesterday.

And do not worry dear audience, he did not escape unpunished:

  • No allowance for last week.
  • Costs of materials needed to repaint were to be taken out of his savings.
  • No screens for the rest of the day.
  • I confiscated all colouring materials.
  • I made him tidy his room unaided whilst I scrubbed his walls.

He was not impressed. But he couldn’t, or wouldn’t, tell me why he had done it.

So I shot off a quick email to his therapist, enclosing those photos and asked her to talk to him about it – if she deemed it appropriate.

So that was not a good end to the day.

However, look what I finished:

Yes – IT IS THE SOCKS.

The socks of wonder and joy.

My photo shoot got photobombed!

Despite all the trials and tribulations, I love this kid so darn much πŸ’•πŸ’•πŸ’•


*There was much blathering about the existing one being a Mortise Lock and worry about the kids getting the key and similar.

Look, at this point I don’t frigging care – just get us a damn door lock!!!!

**Uh huh – we all believe that.

***No, really I NEED to. I regress to being an over-excited 10-year-old whenever there’s a Jurassic Park film involved (well except Lost World, but that was due to my disappointment with the book) this is one of my all-time favourite franchises and I cannot wait!!!!!

A day of good and bad

So today has been a bit of a mixed bag, so I will divide it straight down the middle.

The Good:

  • SSN successfully applied for
  • #1 Son did all his homework without a battle
  • TT had a nap 🀭😱
  • TT’s insistence on using cloth diapers means she’s now actually telling me (occasionally) when she’s done a wee
  • My beleaguered sock is back on (new) needles, of which I have three pairs so dammit I will finish this bugger.
  • The snow is currently gone.
  • My kettle dyeing mojo has returned and I have 5 more skeins for the next ripple blanket I’m planning.

The Bad:

  • The hus-creature became trapped in #1 Son’s room when the door handle came off in his hand! Which is something I have had concerns about for months. Fortunately it is repaired for now, and will be reported to the landlady*
  • TT is very unsettled tonight and is still not asleep. I may have to concede no naps 😫😞😒😰
  • Snowstorms are predicted. Bye bye clear ground. Hello snow day. Probably.
  • Neither child will accept the toothpaste we have so are both using age 0-2 Aquafresh Milk Teeth until our next weekly shop.
  • The Amethyst dye is not. It is raspberry at best. I am not amused.

*along with reminders about the broken toilet seat and lack of lock on the bathroom door. I will need to ensure that the crayon is off of the walls (again)


The Amusing:

  • TT has learned to apply talc during nappy changes. That got… messy…
  • After #1 Son blamed TT for the (pink) toothpaste in the main toilet, she came toddling through to me, not once but twice to tell me “Nanoo running“. So she is equally capable of dropping him right in it πŸ˜‚πŸ€£

The Yarns:

So from left to right:

  1. Delphinium Blue
  2. Frozen
  3. Amethyst
  4. Berry Crush
  5. Aubergine

On what planet is that Amethyst?!?!? I’ll concede Carnelian (maybe) or even Red Amethyst (yes, that’s a thing) but traditionally, amethysts are purple. To cheer me up, here is a cat with Yoshi riding her:In Soviet Russia, Yoshi ride you.

Martin Luther King Day

I’m not sure whether to wish people a happy one or not.

It’s an important day of cultural significance and I felt it should be marked.

So we had a lovely family day today. We:

  • Went out for lunch.
  • Baked cookie-brownies.
  • #1 Son played with daddy on his computer games.

We think I might have been too enthusiastic with my Kitchen Aid and overbeaten the brownie mix. I’ll learn! The kids enjoyed them anyway, and that’s all that matters. *

#1 Son also had his second full counselling session today. He seemed to enjoy it. He did lots of drawing, and his counsellor was impressed with him.

We do not push or pry with him. Both the hus-creature and myself firmly believe that it’s vital he feels and believes that it is a safe space for him, and that we will only be told what we need to be told, or, what he chooses to tell us.

She will send me notes, hopefully tomorrow, and will send a letter to the school with how she is forming a diagnosis by the end of the week.

She did mention that he was able to accurately depict six separate emotions on faces – I could have burst with pride/relief at that.

If he is still proved to be “on the spectrum” I will deal with it, but if he’s not? Life will be infinitely easier for him. So I cannot apologise for wanting that for him. **

TT continues to alternate between “cute as a button” and “truly demonic“. And it’s impossible to guess where she will fall.

New phrases include:

  • I want it <thing>
  • I get it <thing>

The standard “no”, “my do it” are constant and it’s draining.

She pushes boundaries and rules so much more than #1 Son ever did. She’s bright, stubborn and goddamned exhausting.

And she can count up to eight, and can manipulate jigsaw puzzles on her tablet, and is coming up with names for things.

And has discovered a love of Coraline. Of which I approve.


*I will keep telling myself that darn it.


**But please know I will never love him any less, or be any less proud of him – it’s a complicated set of emotions.

To the elderly lady at the mall

Who tutted and shook her head at us while we were having lunch.

What I want to say is unrepeatable and certainly unprintable.

I will therefore settle for this:

  • I have a special needs child, probably ADHD. He was sitting quietly with his tablet. Do you have any idea what a goddamned miracle that is?!?!?!?
  • Yes, my toddler was running around. In a circle. Around our table. That again is contained.
  • Yes, she was disobeying me and lying on the floor under her chair. Yes, I could have dragged her bodily out and forced her to sit on said chair. But do you know what? That just might have caused Armageddon in terms of shrieking and other loud-decibel sounds. So I stuck to our normal parenting methods and persuaded her out verbally.
  • Yes, I was *shock, horror* using my smartphone at the table. I can do this if I wish. My children were not being loud (unduly anyway, see point 1). They were supervised and I’m a goddamn adult. These are my children and they were ignoring you. At worst, TT was interacting with the slightly older little girl at the table behind us, who kept coming over to play/chat/stare at other children.
  • I am so sorry that things might not be as they were “in your day” but I’m guessing they didn’t have overstimulating, loud strip malls in your day.

So, with the greatest of respect*

Go and sit on a cactus

And breathe. I feel so much better now.

Overall the trip out goes in the plus column. #1 Son behaved relatively well. The only sticky moment came when he wanted to use allowance money to buy another vinyl figurine like the CyberMan one he bought last time.

Which he has since lost. So we have said that if he can tidy his room to a reasonable state (he’s still only 5 after all) and (ideally) find said CyberMan then he may buy something else.

I went to the mall to track down hair dye, as one of the lovely H’s equally lovely daughters has offered to do my hair. They are both professional stylists so I’m thrilled.

Yes, I will be paying them πŸ˜‚πŸ€£

So this is my current collection:

She will do me full Galaxy/Unicorn 😁😁😁😁

I also went into Hot Topic and came out with these:

And Yankee Candle we’re having a 3 for $10 (plus tax) sale and I have these:

Yes, there are three the same – I love their festive scents so much!

So far a good-ish day. If you ignore the old fart that precipitated this post.


*Not really

A trying week

It hasn’t been great this week. It’s one of those tales that if I’d read on say “Hurrah for gin” I’d chuckle and think, thank goodness it’s not me.

But yeah.

I can’t pinpoint all of it but it has consisted of:

Wall Art:

TT has drawn on the walls almost every day this week. Yesterday, I took #1 Son downstairs to J for her to take him to school. Daddy upstairs on the sofa with TT.

I come back up. SHE HAS DRAWN ON THE WALL. Daddy didn’t see her do it. He was sat in the room! This made me feel so much better as I’ve been feeling like I’ve been going blind or mad not seeing it.


ΒΏΒΏΒΏPorque no los dos???


So, used over half a tub of wipes scrubbing that off.

Then, we had to pick #1 son up from school because our lovely J had an appointment. Ten minutes before we were due to leave, I actually caught her mid-scribble on the same bit of wall.

Incandescent did not cover it. I shouted, raged and made her watch me throw the crayon in the bin.

I then cleared away all of the remaining crayons I could find. Or so I thought…

You know what’s coming right?

This morning I caught her standing up in her bed, with a piece of crayon – and she had drawn all over the two walls.

This time rage didn’t cover it. I have made her stand there watching me whilst I snapped and binned an entire pack of the bloody crayons.

Expensive? Probably (but Santa got some good Amazon deals) Cathartic? Most definitely. Done any actual measurable good? Meh, who knows?

I’ve told the hus-creature that he needs to get something more heavy duty than what I’ve been using. My hands are shot, my nails this close to wrecked, and I’ve used over an entire tub of wipes.

She just came into the room and asked for kee-ons (crayons)

Rooms:

I had gotten all the new Christmas stuff packed away and sorted on Monday. Their rooms were amazing.

By the end of the day? Oh gods.

Then on Wednesday the following:

#1 Son had a half day. When he came home, he was sporting more marker pen on his face. About two hours after he came home, I noticed his palms were blue. I asked why. I got a shrug.

I later caught him trying to turn the sofa into its bed form. I sent him to his room for that one. He knows to leave that alone for safety. After a couple of minutes, I went in to check on him. To be greeted with:

That would be a refill from a Crayola Marker Maker set.

Again, incandescent with fury. Not because it happened – I can accept it happened. But because he had had at least two opportunities to tell me about it and he didn’t.

There’s only so much I will let him get away with – this is not one of those things.

Thankfully, Crayola do not lie when they say “washable”. Ten minutes scrubbing with floor wipes and it is gone. Thank god for wooden flooring.

The snow:

It can bugger off back to Hades now thank you very much. As previously mentioned, I had to go pick up #1 Son from school yesterday. That’s fine think I, the sidewalks have been shovelled, it’s warming up a bit.

Oh no. Puddles. Sidewalk lakes. TT thought it was great. Up until I got the pram (stroller) stuck in a narrow corridor of snow.

More. Than. Once.

Honestly if you are shovelling – make it wide enough for a goddamn stroller. Oh and let’s not talk about whoever shovelled off a crossroads and blocked off the sidewalk. So I had to walk in the road for half a block til we could mount the kerb again.


And everyone who beeped me? May the fleas of 1,000 camels infest your underwear drawer.


My feet were sodden. TT was grumpy, but we got to school on time.

Only to be told he has spent a good part of the afternoon in the principal’s office

πŸ™„πŸ€­πŸ˜’πŸ™„πŸ€­πŸ˜’πŸ™„πŸ€­πŸ˜’πŸ™„πŸ€­πŸ˜’

I’m waiting for an email as to why. But I didn’t get called in, so whatever it was, it could have been worse I suppose…

I have made enquiries as to how we go about registering him in the after school club – it will come in handy for days like yesterday, and give him vital socialising opportunities. Apparently you can pre-register and then, in some manner, drop off on the day. That’s handy.

But it has not been all bad: Today he came home with this:

I’m bloody proud.

And I needed it today. Today (thanks to Timehop) I’m really homesick. I don’t like it, and I need it to feck orf.

Yarn therapy is the order of the day/evening.

Back to normality

Well mostly. Tomorrow is a half day for #1 Son. I don’t know why. Just because I think.

He also gets Monday off next week because it’s Martin Luther King Day.

But the school system here has much shorter holidays and no “half terms” so I don’t begrudge the random days. It’s part of the reason I’m not rushing the work stuff.

While I still doubt my domestic goddessing skills, it is pleasant being home with the kids. I’m actually watching TT grow, and know I can take credit for her development rather than feeling guilt.

I do miss working, but I’m makes tentative steps to earn some pennies at home – but I’m still blocked by not having an SSN, which I can’t apply for until my permit is actually in my hands. We did however have confirmation today that this is actually in the post now!!!

W00t w00t!!!!

Yesterday #1 Son came home with this:

REACH Star? Wahey πŸ˜ƒπŸ˜ƒπŸ˜ƒπŸ˜ƒ

“Pirate mask”? 😫😫😫😫😫😫

He did not appreciate the bath and face (and chest) scrubbing he received in a vain attempt to remove them. He believed he was face painting. And apparently we cannot convince him that scented colouring markers are not the same as face paints πŸ™„πŸ™„πŸ™„

Today wasn’t as good. Apparently he refused to leave school (I know right? πŸ™€πŸ™„) so our lovely J went in to get him.

His teacher believes that it is because he loves to play in the snow, but refuses to wear his boots, therefore his socks get wet. We are to provide either snow boots or spare socks.


He is convinced there are “bugs” in his current Wellington boots, and we cannot convince him otherwise.


 

I have been known to complain about the speed of USPS in comparison to good old Royal Mail. This was underlined today, when my Christmas present from my lovely sister in law (you may pick a blog nickname if you like lovely πŸ˜‚πŸ€£) finally arrived.

Worth. The. Wait.

A wonderful alpaca yarn sock knitting kit. With pattern, and new (wooden) needles and pettable, snuggleable alpaca yarn.

I was actually able to sit on the sofa and knit tonight. I am braving the hedgehog that is knitting in the round with double pointed needles to do this.

I think someone was jealous of my pettable yarn – she doesn’t normally sit on my lap like that πŸ€£πŸ˜‚

It knits up so fast too πŸ’•πŸ’•πŸ’•

My other pair of socks has had to be shelved for now until I can replace the circular needle I was using – an unknown child snapped one of the needles πŸ™„


This pair of bloody socks is cursed I swear!


So at least I have a non-shawl project for tomorrow’s knitting class.

And TT? Well she has re-discovered crayons. And walls. Green crayon comes off of painted walls much easier than red or yellow.

Ask me how I know.

Bright side? Yellow is much harder to see at least 😒

Oh, and she found her pretty cloth nappies, which I hadn’t used since we moved, as they arrived by sea crate and I presumed she had outgrown them but couldn’t bear to part with them…

Well, she filled her bed with them, then waved one at me and insisted I put it on her.

Cue much running around the house shouting “Nappy. Yay”

So we will try them again during the day at least – she pees far too much at night!

After all, what else can you do with a sock and trouser refusing toddler?

Dresses and ruffled nappies!

I need a new diaper pail though.