Home again, home again

So, I have been discharged and am safely snuggled in my own bed.

I can’t say I’m 100% comfortable but I have 19/20 Percocet pills left (which I am only taking before attempting a stretch of sleep) and Motrin, which appears to simply be extra strong ibuprofen, so we have that too.

The kids were thrilled to see me 😊 well #1 Son has been asking what he can do to help me 💕💕 (I’ve told him that helping Nanny is best).

The beam I got from TT was worth it, though she soon stopped speaking to me when she realised I can’t pick her up.

Unimpressed toddler is unimpressed.

Today (Wednesday) marked 100 days at school for the year for #1 Son, which is apparently a thing to celebrate over here, so they were to go into school looking 100.

The facial expression seems apt, even though it was based on “not wanting to go to school because he wanted mommy”


Oh, and that TT had dared to start eating breakfast before him…


He wanted to visit today, but it was snowing heavily, an early release from school day, and I was being discharged anyway, so daddy distracted him with The Lego Batman Movie and brought me home.

Tackling those stairs was not fun, so I will not be booking my follow up early. (I need to see Dr. Witkowski on Tuesday or Wednesday of next week).

The cat has been the one to jump on my belly, and appears most affronted that she got almost flung across the room for that cuddle attempt.

I’m going to go to sleep now, adieu dear audience.

Six months!

(And two days 😂🤣 – but I was busy with MLK stuff on Monday!).

I can’t believe we’ve been on this crazy adventure for half a year!!!

Well it’s not quite as crazy anymore – unless you count the weather!

We’re settling down into something like a routine I think. It’s been a blast, but something resembling normalcy cannot be sneezed at.

So, the hus-creature is pretty settled in his job. He actively prefers being in an office, even with a sucky commute (certainly compared to what it was whilst we lived in Cambridge). He’s happy and stuff gets done, and he has a great work-home life balance, which means I don’t have to get the thumbscrews out.


I mean, if he chooses to work on a sudden brainstorm after I’ve gone to bed? No skin off my nose!


TT is happy. She’s got her toys, access to her favourite films, her brother after 3pm and me. And I come quite high up the list it seems actually – and not just in a “I am bored of this film parental unit, change it”

And it’s been amazing to watch her grow and change.


I do wish she would stop throwing her meal plates and bowls in the kitchen bin though. I know she believes she is helping, but I swear we have lost at least a few that way now!


It’s harder to quantify with #1 Son. He still has moments when he talks about missing England, his old house, his old school, his friends. But he’s getting there. He’s a special boy who needs extra support and he’s getting it. We still have bad school days, but the bad moments at home at least are much less. And the levels of bad at school are overall reduced. We have to remember to adjust our own expectations of him at times, yet the moments when he surpasses or blows right past them make it worthwhile. His therapy will help him, the school are supporting him, and we have documented proof that he’s bright.


I’ll turn cartwheels when he has his first birthday party or play date though.


The cat? She also seems happier overall. She’s eating more, has more places to hide and nest in, and still has human company as and when she desires it. I think this has been as good for her as it has for the children – unexpected bonus.

Me? Again hard to quantify. I’m doing well, I think. I’ve got my operation soon (eeeeep), the Mothership is coming to visit and look after me and the monkeys (love you Momma!). I’ve applied for my SSN, and got my work permit.

My knitting is coming along amazingly, and I have projects planned for recovery and convalescence.

I’m firmly heading down the path to setting up my own dyeing side business. The hus-creature is helping with the practical questions, as I’m still stuck on “what should I call it”. But I can’t put us in the hole to do this!

I’ve got time to sort it. I know I won’t be doing Advent Calendar boxes for 2018 at least.

I’m still going to knitting group – it’s going okay. They are helpful and lovely ladies. One of them bought me a box of Girl Scout Thin Mints cookies as (obviously) I have never had them before! And apparently I should expect casseroles etc to be left on my front porch post-surgery which is amazing.

I do still have bad days. I am still really bad at this domestic goddess malarkey, but I’m getting there. It’s becoming the new normal.

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 😂🤣

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.

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 💕💕💕

The Big Man listens you know 😂🤣

🎅🏻🎅🏻🎅🏻🎅🏻🎅🏻🎅🏻🎅🏻🎅🏻🎅🏻🎅🏻

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? 😂🤣)

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.

Deep sleepers

Come with their own share of issues.

Tonight our living room contains a small invader.

#1 Son beat us to the punch tonight, and as such is “camping”.

It was discovered by daddy getting a very wet t-shirt as he carried him to the bathroom.

And contrary to what said hus-creature thinks, I did not laugh at his misfortune.

I was too busy quietly cursing. This is an issue given he has a high sleeper.

We will change his bed in the morning. If we did it tonight it runs the very real risk of waking TT, as it involves bringing the ladder (a clanking metal one) from the basement through her room and into his.

So choices were:

  1. Spend 15 minutes making up the sofa bed and letting him camp down there. But risk him not going back to sleep.
  2. Make up his bed. Which takes upwards of 30 minutes, runs the real risk of waking TT, and also risks him not going back to sleep by keeping him up longer still.

We went with 1.

He seems pleased and is already asleep again.

The cat is also thrilled to have her former hidey hole back. Hope she leaves him alone.

Pyjama Party

It was noisy and crowded but I think the kidlets had fun

We met the School mascot, Willy the Winthrop Wildcat:

He was attempting to be mascot-y but a number of the older children were pulling his tail and attempting to knock his head off

😡😡😡😡

TT was by turns enthralled and enchanted:

She kept sidling up close to him, laughing uproariously and declaring “cat” but was sadly too shy to give him a cuddle, which quite frankly I think he would have appreciated too.

She did keep wandering out to the front where he had been sitting to try and find him though after the stories.

He and the Principal read all the children a bedtime story. It was very sweet. And he (the principal) is a man who clearly loves his job. I truly think he is awesome.

All in all it was a nice way to spend a little time.

We are also now the proud owners of a sofa bed!!!

We do not talk about the hassle it took to install it oh no.

We do not speak of

  • The rain.
  • The hoisting it over the (second level) balcony one way and it not going over.
  • The re-lowering to the ground.
  • The re-positioning and re-hoisting.
  • The having to take not one but two doors out of the frames. Yes they were put back!
  • The holding of the breath whilst it was manhandled through the kitchen and subsequent archway.

But it is safely installed.

Trying to keep TT out of the way of the workmen was… fun. I mean the cat was easy, we just shut the door to the walk-in when she darted in there to get away from said strange workmen. Who were very perplexed at both my effusive gratitude and my insistence on offering tea/coffee.

I am British – when men are undertaking work for me, particularly hard, strenuous or complex work, I must offer hot beverages. It is a cultural thing. My mammy trained me well.

But the toddler? Oh no. She had to flirt, and hand them shoes and be interested in wide open door frames 🙄🙄🙄

All members of the Shields’ clan approve.

Oh and so far #1 Son has raised $100 for his Turkey Trot next week.

Thank you!!!! Donations are both gratefully acknowledged and would still be gratefully received.

Happy Veterans’ Day

Or otherwise entitled happy enforced bring your children into work day.

At least as far as the hus-creature’s colleagues are concerned.

For you see, there is no school today. And actually there was no school on Tuesday either as it was an election day. Don’t ask me why, no idea, couldn’t vote anyway but the kids had a day off school.

We declared it a pyjama day today as it’s suddenly really cold, and the electrician is in the middle of digging a trench to run cables to allow us to plug in the car – and it has to be done quick before this cold snap turns more permanent.

And also because neither child wanted to get dressed and I couldn’t be bothered to have an argument when we didn’t need to – it’s not like we had to go anywhere.

Today’s attempt at feeding children part the first:

TT ate barely anything, but #1 Son ate everything apart from the banana (and he at least bit that).

This was dinner:

#1 Son has decided this is evil, but TT cleared her plate.

I give up.

So #1 Son has only had a three day week. Surprisingly he has handled it far better than I expected. I choose to infer nothing from this as it could mean absolutely anything. So yesterday we had to walk home from school as our lovely J had another appointment. So we went and got our usual ice creams.

The irony of buying ice cream when the temperature has dropped significantly is not lost on me but a mile and a half walk is tiring for him and it’s a nice little treat and it’s something that both children eat and enjoy.

Actually as we were walking to school we walked past our usual ice cream shop and the Tiny Tyrant pointed at it and said “Hello ice cream yay bye-bye” as I had told her we were getting ice cream after picking up #1 Son.

Her comprehension and vocabulary appear to be expanding by the day. I’m doomed!!!!

On Wednesday (yes I know I’m jumping around a bit) I had my (now becoming usual) “Sit ‘N Knit” class and as this one is from 7 to 9 PM I miss children bedtime so I make sure that I say goodnight to them before I leave. When I said goodbye to TT she said “no mummy no out not yet. Cuddle”

Which is a bloody good sentence, shows incredible comprehension and is manipulative as all get out.

Yep doomed.

So I sat and knitted my sock I have managed to start on the heel! Huzzah! Yes yes I am very well aware that a sock needs a friend but let’s just go one at a time shall we?

And the long-memoried in the audience may recall that last week I was obsessing over a certain skein of yarn…

Well the precious is mine:

Wonder. Woman. Socks.

I think it might have been the final skein from the current batch. I had to rummage to find it.

I will knit them. I will stroke them. I will love them. I will wear them.

I so rarely make things for me.

Oh and I got my first knitting friend cell number 😊😊😊

Yesterday I popped downstairs to give H another bag of outgrown TT clothes (thankfully she seems happy to have them – I always worry in case it’s seen negatively somehow) and we finally managed to exchange numbers.

I also met her twin grandsons – very sweet boys 😊

It also seems she’s as keen on Christmas as she is on Halloween – so I’ve happily handed over outside decorating to her.

I can handle a tree (and finally a real tree – the cat will be a bastard with whatever we get, and after all, she is a forest cat) and maybe some indoor decorations, but I’m not ready to tackle outside yet…

Finally settling perhaps?

I realised yesterday that we’ve been in “our house” for two months.

That means we’ve been here longer than the temporary accommodation in Cambridge.

I can’t say the hus-creature is enjoying this commute as much as the previous one, particularly with a busted foot, but life is becoming predictable and routine for us, which is a blessing.

We’ve had teething troubles, I admit:

  • Sofa isn’t here – we couldn’t get it into the property so that’s a more lengthy story for another day.
  • We haven’t unpacked fully yet – the last few boxes need a final bookshelf constructed, which needs an available landlord’s partner to safely affix it to wall.
  • Car charger not yet installed – that’s going to be expensive and require digging a trench.

But I’m determined to stay here long term.

  • We have a lovely landlady who is friendly and approachable but who is happy to let us be.
  • Brilliant downstairs neighbours who are open and warm and also understand having special needs kids.
  • I’m starting to make friends through knitting group and the school run.
  • Do I wish the school was closer? Yes, yes I do but I will sort out driving again and then I will do the run and it will be fine.

I’m getting my own medical stuff sorted, and I think it’s going to be okay, just might take some time.

I’m really looking forward to thanksgiving – said lovely landlady is going to pop in to feed (and probably fuss) the cat so I don’t have to worry about that.

Things are starting to fall into place a little.

Physicals

Are not fun.

At least my beloved childer-beasts do not think so.

The appointments began at 09:30. We were not home until 11:22!!!

Both children had:

  • Flu shot
  • Chicken Pox shot (#1 Son had a booster)
  • Hepatitis A shot
  • Hepatitis B shot
  • Blood drawn (finger stick) for iron levels etc.
  • Wellness check which was gender specific
  • Height and weight

#1 Son is on the 74th centile. TT is 91st. The doctor said she had a “cushion” so despite the frustrating faddy eating, beyond a multivitamin daily to not worry so much.

They will start the referrals for #1 Son. They commented he was bright, on target, and were generally positive.

He however did not handle the sticks and jabs brilliantly. Don’t get me wrong, he was very brave honestly, but oh my the histrionics after were by turns heart wrenching and hilarious.

“Why does this happen whenever I come here?” – this was his first visit

“I don’t want to be healthy” – he rejects our explanation of why it had to happen

“I am never going to be healthy ever ever

He’s either going to be an actor or the teenage years will be… FUN

As it happened to be a half day yesterday, wherein school finished at 12:22 I opted to keep him at home with me and we had a “duvet day” – only with Minecraft in lieu of an actual duvet.

It just seemed prudent.

 

TT was well overdue for a nap by the time we were done so she threw a tantrum the likes of which I had never seen. Blimey. Screaming, sobbing, sweating, clinging, hitting everything and everyone… the sucker pop calmed her down though.

This counted as her Two Year Review, so barring illness or emergency they don’t need to see her again for 12 months.

They do want to see #1 Son within 6 months to keep an eye on him given the recommendations.

Sadly, the waiting lists are long so it’ll take time, but the doctor wants to see all school reports to talk us through them so I feel much better.

My Sit ‘N Knit class was great – stay tuned for Wonder Woman socks if there’s a skein of that yarn left in the shop next week…

It will have been there, unsought, unloved, for three weeks – it will deserve to be mine!!!!

I also bought a clothing pattern. I’m coming out of my comfort zone.

I also put down the kitten deposit. Missy Kitty Pants will probably be grumpy for a while but meh. She is being a madam at the moment – hiding etc.