Today it’s my birthday

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

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

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

Hearing TT actually say happy birthday is amazing and adorable.

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

That felt good

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

Gifts from #1 Son:

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

It’s darker at least.

And from TT:

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

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

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

I am blessed today.

School Science Fair

Well not really, but sort of.

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

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

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

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

And the Maths one I previously wrote about.

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

I think they had fun?

πŸ˜‚πŸ€£πŸ˜‚πŸ€£πŸ˜‚πŸ€£πŸ˜‚πŸ€£

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

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

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

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


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


May 25th 2018

Credit for this image goes to Maureen Aisling Duffy Boose and Geraldine Byrne with grateful thanks

Today is a day for massive potential change.

Ireland is voting to repeal the 8th Amendment. If repealed, this would grant the right for women to seek a termination should they need or want it. *

I am firmly pro-choice. Always have been. Always will be.

With my medical issues, pregnancy could have killed me either time. Had I been misfortunate enough to have an ectopic pregnancy I would have needed an abortion/termination of pregnancy in order to live.

You know what? I like being alive.

I am an autonomous, living, breathing human being and dammit I have rights.

Incidentally I was sick enough after delivering each baby that I could have died from post-pregnancy complications. The entire process is no cakewalk. We suffer for our offspring.

We do it willingly – but sometimes it isn’t possible. Or should not be.

My sisters in Ireland do not currently have that choice.

Please do not forget that pregnancy can kill us, the women who carry those precious bundles.

That there are reasons why any pregnancy might be unwelcome or unwanted.

Or, most tragic of all, those pregnancies which are deeply wanted, the child longed for, precious, and yet that child will stand no medical chance of living. Or will survive for a time but in great physical pain. With no quality of life.

There have been recent cases in the media that cover this point.

For all of these reasons, and many others women need to have the choice.

We are here, we matter.

We are worth more than the potential contents of our uterus.

I have fears connected with this too, as we now live in a country that is seeking, day by day, to strip American women of these same rights and I have a daughter. A daughter who is worth more than her potential as a brood mare.

I have children who I feel should be able to reach maturity and experience a loving relationship without fear of an unwanted or badly timed pregnancy – contraception is a GOOD thing y’all.

But it doesn’t always work.

I stand with Ireland today. I pray that this goes the same way as gay marriage did.

Ireland, do us proud.

Here ends my political ranting. Normal service will resume later.


* it is also the day that the GDPR comes into effect, but I have fewer strong feelings about this.

Shop Update

I’m still plugging away at Tiny Tyrant Yarns.

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

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

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


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


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

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

And I’ve created two hanks already using her.


And blimey has she already saved me time and effort!


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

What is it about this country

And weird and bizarre food?

I mean it can’t just be Massachusetts right?

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


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


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

Let’s break this down shall we?

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

Another week

Another attempt at feeding my offspring actual proper food.

It was… neutral.

I made a stew:

Which I turned into soup:


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


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

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


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


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

Today’s Meal:

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

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


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


I also made more stock:

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

Ah well, it’s still tasty and useful.

Happy Mother’s Day

Today is MD stateside.

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

I would have been sad but look what I got:

This is #1 Son’s handiwork πŸ’•

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

So gift or no gift, I am blessed today.

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

Since we last visited, they have acquired:

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

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


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


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

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

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


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


She can chase chickens…

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

TT attempts to feed the ducks

Here is the wonderful bundle that is Fearghas:

He sat on my head πŸ’•

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

No baby, it’s a swing

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

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

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


I love their ice cream sundaes


TT ate broccoli:

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

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

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


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

Self Care

I think we can all agree that it’s important.

We’ve had a bit of an… intense week here.

It started on Monday when we received a debt collection letter for less than Β£70 from a company. Addressed to the hus-creature.


Fret not dear audience, we paid it. It wasn’t worth hassling to that level over


For energy in our old property.

For the record this was down to the incompetence of Co-Operative Energy. Do not use them. Ever. They are worse than useless.

See, when we informed them that we were moving and paid off the balance they somehow decided that we were tenants. And so did not keep my details on file for the time between moving (July 15) and the house sale completion (October 13).

However instead of contacting us by name as, you know, the debt was in our names, and so having those letters forwarded, they decided in their infinite wisdom to address them to The Occupier. Which Royal Mail do not forward.

So the first we hear about it is the debt collection letter. Now, interestingly, the debt should have been in my name, as I paid all household bills out of my salary. But it was addressed to the hus-creature only. So we aren’t sure whose credit it might potentially have trashed.

But we paid it before making enquiries. Because, according to the hus-creature:

Co-operative will have sold this debt on to this collection company for pennies on the pound so I would rather they not get a penny of our money.

A sentiment I couldn’t really argue with and either way we did owe the money.

We’ve not taken it lying down though – a politely furious twitter campaign highlighting their incompetence has been ongoing and we have complained about the fact that my online account still showed a Β£0 balance owed when this letter arrived

In a move that shocks no-one the company “cannot explain this”

They’ve doubled down on the “oh but your wife told us that you were tenants” which is a total lie, but they have assured us that it won’t affect our credit ratings as it never reached legal proceedings stage.

I do not believe them. At all. And so we will be paying to check our credit and paying for more Royal Mail redirection.

I’m furious, but we didn’t exactly have options – we don’t live in the U.K. right now so we can’t deal with it in person. We might move back, so we cannot afford to have our (previously perfect) credit histories trashed. So if they have messed with it, I will rain down hellfire and brimstone.

So that was a fun Monday.

Then on Tuesday we received communication from the landlady that she suddenly had concerns about a swing set that she had previously agreed to and we had ordered

And to be brutally honest we only checked out of courtesy – there’s nothing in the lease that said we couldn’t, and there was already play equipment (but no swing set) out there and she had okayed it.

But there was suddenly concerns that:

  • The children might hurt themselves – well I wasn’t going to leave #1 Son out there by himself was I? Let alone TT
  • Children might walk in off the street and use it – Well first off if they did they are badly brought up, and secondly how’s about you install the blasted fence you promised when we moved in
  • We might sue them (the landlord) if the kids hurt themselves – see the first point.

We measured up before we bought it. We got permission. And it’s a 2018 swingset.

There are a minimum of four kids going to be out in the backyard in any one day once the weather warms up/the summer holidays start. We needed something that could accommodate that.

So that was an aggravation.

Oh and she suddenly wanted proof of Renters Insurance. We have it. We sent it. But it was another irritation.


Please don’t misunderstand me. I know we need it. Of course she wants to see it. But, in my opinion, that should have been made clear when we moved in. Not six months down the line.


Oh and the air conditioner needed it’s filter replacing. So I got a lecture on where to buy a ($3) filter and how often to change it, and not to use the wrong size (I am 35 not 13) and you know what? As we technically share the apartment with said landlady, it is not solely our responsibility. But whatever. It’s three bucks every 3-6 months. I’ll deal with it.

So that added to my levels of pissed off-ness.

Then TT decided that going back on hunger strike would be fun, because why not. And #1 Son is, as ever, a totally fussy swine.

However this week I officially met his harem. I’m not kidding. My not-quite-six-year-old Son has a group of 5th Grade girls (at least 5 of them) completely devoted to him. They are eleven. I am by turns both amused and terrified about what this implies for the next decade or so!

That cheered me up. Then we tried to get TT to actually say her brother’s name:

She has… views on this though πŸ˜‚πŸ€£

She does prefer her OWN version

But yeah it’s been a trying week. So when the lovely H said she was getting her nails done, and did I want to come along? I leapt at it, as I haven’t had them done since before my operation and I was feeling sad about the state of them.

Why yes, yes they are colour changing. I’m fascinated by them πŸ˜‚πŸ€£

We have a standing fortnightly appointment now πŸ‘πŸ»

Self care – it’s important y’all.

Summer Camp

For #1 Son.

Well, not exactly. But for the princely sum of $310 I have just enrolled him for five weeks in a summer reading skills class. It included the materials and honestly I think it’s worth the money. It seems geared towards children of his age appropriately: there’s going to be moving and fun with reading skills.

He needs this. He can read, but he doesn’t like reading. Loves books but doesn’t love reading.

Those of you who know me in real life know that I am a complete and total bookworm. The hus-creature not so much. He likes Terry Pratchett, he likes graphic novels but reading isn’t something he really does the recreation. I would therefore very much like my son to follow in my footsteps but we’ve been struggling with the practicalities and mechanics of reading.

This seems like a good balance and will help me to help him solidify the principles. I’ll check back in after the end of July and let you know how it all went.

We only received this leaflet yesterday, and one of the two age-appropriate sessions was already fully booked out!

I will sit in with him, so TT will get valuable daddy-daughter bonding time.

The last week of April

The week itself was pretty much same old same old. Some funny little bits and pieces but nothing worth breaking a whole post about.

However we had aΒ very busy weekend.

Saturday was the hus-creature’s “Bring Spouse and Children to Work” day, mainly to showcase the new office space and available features since the building move last year.

It was 09:00 – 12:00, but knowing our children as we do, we decided to aim to arrive for 11:00 – we figured that available food was likely to be breakfast/brunch food so the kidlets could feast on pastries at ‘snack time’.

Just call her Princess TT
So bloody proud of this kid
What is it they say? Never work with children or animals?
I don’t scrub up too badly do I?

So we arrived close to the end of the festivities, but the kids had fun.Β  #1 Son made a badge:

TT coloured with markersΒ and played with Lego:

Markers are a little nervewracking

And mad skillz with Lego for a two year old

And while I was occupied with TT, daddy was making badges with #1 Son:

He did that himself. He was so proud!

So that was a good morning. Afternoon? Not so good.

He had another birthday party. This one at a karate class.

It… did not go well.

He could not obey instructions, and did not like the class concept. And therefore spent most of the party like this:

However they toughed it out and there was pizza and cake.

And the best thing ever for the birthday boy:

I mean have you ever seen a level of happiness like that?

However it confirmed to us that #1 Son, at least at the moment, cannot be enrolled in formal classes of any kind. Dammit.