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.

Wow long time

No post.

Been a busy busy week and at so many points I found myself thinking “I must blog about today” and then it was late and I was tired and thought “I will do it tomorrow”

Well tomorrow never comes does it?

So, my last few days:

Friday:

We all accidentally got very tiddled. Which happens when you drink three bottled beers with a 9%ABV and add a glass of mead somewhere in the mix. Whoops. It was fun, and Momma and I chewed the fat, put the world to rights and ganged up on the hus-creature a little poor boy!

Saturday:

Momma and I were going to go to the pub for a drink, but both of us were feeling tired. (This is not a euphemism, amazingly I was not hungover!)

So instead, momma kindly volunteered to stay in with the (asleep) sproglets and we went to the cinema.

Where we had a (really not good*) meal at the bar-which-pretends-to-be-a-restaurant and saw BLACK PANTHER!!!

And if you have not yet been to see this masterpiece GO NOW. No, seriously, I’ll wait right here.

We didn’t get home til gone midnight, but mom had opted for an early night anyway so it was all good.

Apart from TT having a poop accident in her pants but one just isn’t worth fretting over.

*We sent back our nachos. It really was that bad πŸ™€

Sunday:

This was another quietish day, but #1 Son wanted a haircut.


Well, we felt that it was more than a little hard to tame, so for once we gentlyencouraged a cutting of hair


But there is only one barber in the whole of Melrose who is open on Sundays, so off we trotted.

And, rather unsurprisingly, it was very busy. We wanted to give the poor Mothership a break from her beloved grandchildren so we decided to take them both with us.

On the way out, #1 Son somehow caught a splinter in his finger 🀭 so daddy took him back upstairs to remove it whilst I stayed outside with TT – we had just gotten her strapped into the stroller and letting her out again was a nightmare I just did not want to deal with!

He was extremely brave – daddy managed to get half of it out with tweezers, but the bastarding thing snapped halfway out. So then enter the very experienced Nanny (the Mothership) with a sterile needle. And she got it out! And as he was so brave we decided that, regardless of cold, we would take him for an ice cream after the hair cut.

To try and limit the boredom factor for the kids, and to get more errands done, I sat with #1 Son in the barber’s whilst daddy took TT to the pharmacy to pick up my prescriptions


We actually had to pay a deductible this time – one whole quarter


Sadly we were nowhere near the chair by the time they were done. Fortunately we had the foresight to pack both tablets, so the kids were mostly contained, but it was still rather hair-raising*.

There was one cute moment though. There were a pair of brothers roughly of an age with #1 Son and TT, and, since there were only two barbers on shift, one decided to wait for his colleague to finish with his current client and not seat someone else in his chair so that both boys could be done together.

As a parent with two bored and fractious children this was slightly frustrating, but also wonderful to see from a customer service perspective.

Well we did eventually get to the chair, and for a kid with sensory issues he handled it like a total trooper 😍😊

It was a full scissor cut with a slight buzzing of the nape – and since he hates the clippers this was amazing.

It has been four days since the cut though, and it is already growing back enough to start spiking up at the back sigh. The perils of thick wavy hair I guess.

*Pun not intended πŸ˜‚πŸ€£

Monday:

Not much of note to report beyond being four weeks post op and doing reasonably well. As long as I don’t overdo it too much I’m pretty okay. I did ensure that I renewed my ibuprofen scrip because I could!I’ve been doing some regular driving practice and tonight we went via the mall. Ostensibly to give me some more lengthy practice on a different route, but we also planned to pop in to their pet store to get some cat food, as we are running low on her majesty’s dry feed.

Big Mistake. For, you see, not only was it a very small store designed only for dogs; but they were also selling dogs. Or puppies rather. Stored in large aquarium style tanks.

Not going to deny, as a Brit this shocked and appalled me. I mean, they seemed happy enough but still…

It made me sad. So I went and did a little shopping in Newbury Comics and had a happy again. Game of Thrones t-shirts? Check! Game of Thrones socks? Check!

Right this is already stupidly long so I shall continue it in another entry!

Two weeks post-op

Well, 15 days really.

I am 99% off the Percocet, and I have a few tablets left. I’m not being a hero, I’m still taking ibuprofen but only when it’s not “stinging/burning in the incision” pain – because let’s face it, pills won’t help with that, so why take them?

I’ve had some ups and downs but as long as I take frequent rest breaks I’m doing okay.

I am wearing clothes* – and it’s amazing how good that feels. Socks still cause me issues, but the hus-creature is helping me out there.

I even took my binder off yesterday to sleep, and I’ve not put it back on!!!!

Yes it stings a bit so I’m monitoring and assessing, but it had gone from “oh my goodness I love this and I am never taking it off” to scratchy and irritating so we are seeing how we go.

I even managed to make the kids some lunch yesterday!

Our weekend was lovely. From Friday to yesterday we had a visit from the lovely Diana who has been momma’s friend for years 😁

So on Saturday they both went into Boston to do the tourist thing and paint the town red.

Sadly the duck boat wasn’t an option because of frozen rivers – it’s still bloody cold here.

They didn’t get home til after 9 ok – dirty stop outs πŸ€£πŸ˜‚πŸ€£πŸ˜‚πŸ€£πŸ˜‚

I kid, I kid, I was actually thrilled mom got some decent time to enjoy herself free from my kids and in adult company.

We all had a lovely time, and I’m hoping she will visit again in the summer πŸ‘πŸ»πŸ˜

There was actual snow on Sunday – mom has been looking forward to big snow. It’s mostly almost melted again already.

Today they children have been playing nicely together.

This is #1 Son showing TT that his Halloween mask isn’t scary πŸ’•πŸ’•πŸ’•

He is on schoool holidays for the rest of the week – send gin!!!

No, he’s been amazing, and is actually doing some reading and writing practice.


We have discovered if we reward bribe him with chocolate/candy after a certain amount of work he is much more receptive – whatever works!!!!


TT is being stubborn about potty training, but we will get there!

*Nothing fancy – just leggings and a t-shirt but hey, it’s clothes

One week post surgery

It was oh so tempting to write post-partum there πŸ˜‚πŸ€£

I’m doing really well considering. If you had asked me last week if I’d be up and about daily (though in really short bursts) I would have tried to either smack or strangle you.

My pain levels are overall lower than they were – though by no means gone. As long as I wake up between 5-6am to take a pain pill I’m comfortable. I’m only on one Percocet at a time (plus the ibuprofen) so I think I’m doing really well.

Had a shower last night (first one since I got home, but I did have one in the hospital!) and it totally wiped me out.

I’m still crash-napping for an hour or so at a time, which is having a bit of an effect on my circadian rhythms, but honestly right now I think it’s the equivalent of “sleep when the baby sleeps”.

I’m eating proper food without issue, though my appetite is still greatly reduced (no bad thing) and prune juice is still very much my friend.

I’m walking much easier though sitting upright is still too uncomfortable after five minutes or so.

Physically getting up or lying down is the worst of it right now, that plus coughing or laughing.

Overall though, I’m recuperating rather well I feel.

Just wish I had the headspace to pick up my needles or hooks.

Burns Night

So on Saturday, the hus-creature and I went out for a pre-op last hurrah which co-incided with his office’s idea of going to a Burns Night bash.

So out we went.

You cannot say that The Haven didn’t make an effort.

Included in the meal was a nip of a very glorious whisky:

The Bruichladdich Octomore

Yes, that’s dollars a shot! It retails at over $150 a bottle. And it’s peated. But honestly, it was glorious.

This was my tipple for the evening:

It is a Sherlock Holmes:

Basically a posh Hot Toddy, but it was delicious. Normally when cocktails are an option I mix and match to switch it up, but this was so good I didn’t bother.

I got my nails done πŸ’—

<<<<< apparently I can keep for surgery (in six days πŸ™€πŸ™€πŸ™€)

It was a lovely evening. We didn’t get home til 01:30 though as we were apparently on the last train home so we were stuck waiting stationary for over half an hour for the last trains on other lines. Such fun!

Our sitter was amazing though bless her – kept her informed and paid her a “we are sorry the travel time sucked” bonus.

Then on Sunday I got my hair redone. This is the first time since we moved.

So a lot needed bleaching:

(Please note that the original blue still won’t die!!!)

The reaction of the kids was hilarious too. #1 Son loved it.

You are blonde like me mummy.

TT? Oh no. She hated it. Would not come near me at all. Ran into her room, glowered at me, shook her head, stayed with daddy. The lot really.

Even when it was finished she spurned me πŸ€£πŸ˜‚

However the following morning she came wandering in, looked at me and said:

Mommy beautiful head

And touched it, so I am now apparently forgiven. Interestingly, #1 Son is/was most annoyed that I didn’t keep the blonde. And did not accept the explanation that it didn’t suit me πŸ˜‚πŸ€£πŸ‘πŸ»

Lab work woes

So. I had a letter confirming my surgery, which told me I was to toddle up for a pre-operative assessment any time between 22/01/2018 and 03/02/2018.

Please note that: Any time between those dates. There was apparently no need to book an appointment.

I could even go up on a Saturday. Well, although that seemed more convenient, meaning the hus-creature wouldn’t have to work from home, we decided it was most sensible to go up on a weekday.

So, here I am. I was educating my Lyft driver on some fundamental differences in the health care systems between the UK and the USA. He pulled some WTF faces when I explained about waiting lists, but did concede that you know, not going bankrupt was a nice perk.

Also maternity leave. Honestly my heart breaks for the few pregnant women of my acquaintance out here.

So? Do we think it’s gone/going well?

Ahahahahahahahahahaha.

Surely, surely madam you jest?

Well, I got there at 08:10, not bad I thought, since on weekdays they open at 07:00.

First thing I had to remember is that for Americans the First Floor is what I, as a Brit, consider to be the Ground Floor. So I got a little flustered trying to find the First Floor lab. Still, the lovely receptionist sent me to the Registrar to do paperwork.

But hang on, I was told I didn’t need to make an appointment. That I just walked in.

Nope. And that wasn’t the first piece of misinformation.

So I’m sitting waiting and get called.


As I was, the lovely J called to let me know that #1 Son had had a full meltdown in the car over not being able to get out and play.

Well kiddo if you’re going to keep running into school at the wrong times, we have to adjust to fit.

I am expecting a bad day now 😰


First, they couldn’t find my surgery in the system!!!!

So that right there wasn’t good. However, once they checked the spelling of my surname, and got the correct date of the operation in, there it was!!!

And then there was nothing in the system about my pre-operative testing. The lovely registrar (thank you Mary, you were a saint!) was trying her best to find it.

So they try to ring my doctor. Well it was only 08:25 by this point, so they weren’t open.

With many apologies, they send me back to the waiting area.


It’s more than okay. I’m used to any kind of medical related appointment running at least 40+ minutes over. I had brought my knitting and snacks.


The poor staff were amazed that I wasn’t kicking off about this. But see, what does that achieve? You get a black mark against you, which will affect the level of service you receive, and you just make someone else’s life even fricking harder.

I also heard a more higher up person mutter that my particular doctor’s office is apparently known for screwing with the paperwork. They had tried entering a span of dates, including the ones on my letter, but they hadn’t worked.

It turns out that when the provisional hysterectomy was agreed back in December (the 12th for anyone who is interested) the paperwork was inputted into the system and dated for 20th December.

So no wonder they couldn’t find it!


By this point I highly feared for anyone attempting to take my blood pressure!


So off I toddled to the lab, armed with fresh paperwork, labels and renewed hope singing in my heart.

And actually, it wasn’t too bad. I was waiting less than 5 minutes. Then the two phlebotomists fought over who got to stick me because they loved my accent.

I warned them about my (notoriously) bad veins, but she stuck me and got two vials of the stuff first try!!!

So then off I trotted home to relieve the hus-creature (as he was distracting the Tiny Tyrant) and send him off to the office, with a sore arm, but I’m pleased it’s done.

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!!!!!

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˜˜

Of Therapists and friendly gestures

Today we had our initial booking assessment for counselling for #1 Son.

It’s to assist with his IEP – the psychologist referred us and I would be stupid to refuse the help. In my view anything that helps him handle the world and his place in it is a bonus.

Information will be shared between the counsellor, the school and his Primary Care Physician. Again, this just seems smart and sensible – it limits the risks of triangulation and keeps everyone on the same page.

The counsellor seems lovely, and I hope will be dubbed another Feelings Lady. We start fortnightly sessions on Tuesday from 02 January.

This is a very positive step.

Yesterday I had my nails done again

I’ve switched to a more local salon which is half the cost of the one based in Cambridge.

I’m learning the value of shopping around though, as the wonderful H (from downstairs) and her daughter were still shocked at the $30 price tag attached to these festive lovelies.

So, she has suggested that I go with her in the New Year and we get them done together. And I’m really happy to do that.

Last week I popped down with a pretty hamper of goodies to say thank you and merry Christmas, as I firmly believe in kind gestures (and we all know I really want to make friends here)!

She was shocked speechless but in a good way

Last night she came up with a beautiful plate of hand baked cookies on a “Giving Plate” which we are to in some way inscribe our names on and pass on.

I’ve already scoffed about half the cookies (yes I let the kids help), asked for the recipes and offered knitting lessons in return.

I’m so grateful for the offer of friendship. She seems so nice, we seem to get on well and heck she lives downstairs.

Long may this continue.

5 months and a Christmas Concert

So as of today we’ve been here five months.

I got all excited yesterday thinking it had been half a year, but I just can’t count πŸ˜‚πŸ€£

Yesterday #1 Son earned this:

Which is the first one this month. I suspect it’s because yesterday he had an amazing day compared to three very hard ones.

I am certain that the bar is lower for him than some of his classmates and that’s okay I’m happy that the school are being so amazing for him. It’s giving him the boost he so desperately needs.

We walked home and it was blasted cold. TT refused to wear gloves so I tried this:

She continued taking them off. Repeatedly. Whilst screaming for a “duddle”. So I put them back on and we kept walking for about half a mile. It was biting. Several people told me that “she really should be wearing gloves”

Really? Should she? HAVE YOU EVER MET A TODDLER?! After a while she began screaming in earnest. And within the shouting I could make out “owwwwww” so I stopped, put my (warm, they had been on my hands) gloves over hers.

Got a “ta mommy”. I won’t say she’s learned, but she kept them on until we got home.

We had Snickerdoodle hot cocoa when we got home though.

Cheered everyone up, because I was not stopping for ice cream!!!!

Today was the Third Annual Christmas Concert.

Some readers may remember that at his previous school’s Nativity #1 Son was meant to be a wise man but refused to actually participate until the 11th hour.

He did the same with the concert.

Given that it is a school-wide performance they split it by alphabet A-L then M-Z which made the difference between 08:30 and 10:30 performances.

However yesterday I received an email from the Guidance Counsellor telling me that they felt that since he had been struggling so much, they would prefer if we could attend the earlier performance and he could then not undertake the later one.

We were happy to oblige (the hus-creature had his big office move today, so the earlier he could get into the office the better) so we went up early.

He performed and reasonably well (though not happily). There are no photos because other people’s children.

At the end, they brought him round the front of the stage slowly, and I deduced (correctly) that they wanted him to see me and know we had been there. So I made my way to the front, gave him a huge cuddle and told him how proud I was of him, and that he didn’t have to do it again.

I watched his whole body relax bless him.

Which made it even more amazing that when the lovely J brought him home that she had a message for me from his teacher that he had performed the second time.

My heart could have burst with pride honestly.

It was a very good day.