Domestic Goddessing

No really. I have been.

Stop laughing at the back there!!!!

My wonderful momma is returning to Blighty a week tomorrow (😱😒😰) so I’m having to actually make a concerted effort to pull my finger out and get back to normality.


Right here and now I cannot promise to maintain standards of ironing for anyone beyond #1 Son – he likes “smart” so let’s see how we go.

God help me!!!!


So today, _I_ have thrown together the dinner for the children.

It is a stew of my own invention (and therefore probably lacks seasoning)

Order thrown into pot:
  • Fingerling potatoes – three colours
  • One small turnip
  • One parsnip
  • Three carrots – one orange, one purple, one white
  • One acorn squash
  • One boneless pork chop
  • Three (peeled) apples
  • Remains of a bag of frozen green beans that #1 Son has been refusing to eat
  • A bunch of fresh sage (I have since been informed that I shouldn’t have used that much and only used the leaves – these have since been extracted)
  • A pint of ready made chicken stock (like lamb, pork stock does not apparently exist)
  • Pinch of salt

Chucked it all in the slow cooker on high, been in 2.5 hours at the moment.

I’ll blend it down for their dinner and call it potage. TT will eat it. #1 Son? Almost certainly not.

Sigh.

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!

Many things

It’s been a busy few days.

TT is (whisper it) 100% reliable during the day on the toilet when it comes to doing a wee!

We have also had two days in a row where she has successfully done a poo in the correct place*

We have had no accidents all week thus far.

Night training is not happening, as we are attempting to wean her away from her middle of the night bottle and it’s just cruel to do both at the same time…


That and the one night we tried it she screamed bloody murder, fully woke up, and then actively refused to go back to sleep without said bottle – she won that round!


But she’s doing amazingly – especially when you consider she’s only 26 months old!!

Okay so she doesn’t now need the “cooling” pull ups we bought, or the plastic pants. Bugger. Ah well, we live and learn. And if we hadn’t have bought them, we would have needed them.

Sadly we had a bit of a backslide with #1 Son on the behaviour at school front today. He ran out not once, not twice but five time today, and even ran back into school at pick up time whilst the Mothership was talking to his teacher about the previous five occurrences.

I received an email from her this afternoon confirming that he had had an “emotional” day (stating that no-one would play with him and that he felt that no one loved him 😰) outlining her strategies for helping him tomorrow and giving us a framework to talk to him.


One of the problems is his refusal to accept that other children might just want to play games of their own choosing too – we are working on this…


He has had two more party invites though (one of which is ice skating – but thankfully with options for non skaters) which ought to help a little.

The other is a bouncing party – your guess is as good as ours on that – but that should at least be fun for him.

The lovely H brought up some presents for the kidlets today and he completed one of them

Momma and I are hoping that H will be able to join us on a small night on the town on Saturday.

His reading has come on in leaps and bounds. He actually asked to read with mom when he got home from school!!!!

He still hates writing, so I think that will have to be the next point of focus, but it’s amazing to see how well he is doing.

Mom met up with his teacher on Tuesday afternoon to discuss his progress and ensure that we (mostly her) are not confusing him compared to how they are teaching him in class.

It meant she got to meet his support team, and see his little cubby that they’ve built for him to (effectively) escape into when he gets overwhelmed.

Yes, it is literally a cupboard – it works for him.

He will also be having weekly sessions with his therapist every Tuesday at 07:15 – this means he won’t be too late into school, thus not impacting on his daddy’s work day too much.

As for me? I’m slowly getting back behind the wheel. I’m not great, but at least when I screw up I’m following through and have not (for example) crashed into a roundabout, nor ran a red light, nor turned into oncoming traffic without signalling.


Which are all things I did back in England prior to passing my U.K. licence


So I consider that I am doing okay. I need practice, and I need to pass my theory test (yet again) but I am studying and having gotten through half of the USA equivalent to the Highway Code today.

I’m now exhausted and have an incipient migraine πŸ˜‚πŸ€£

I also had my second post-op checkup yesterday.

My doctor is very pleased with my progress. I am to increase my doing of things, though not to lift anything heavier than a gallon until I’m the full six weeks post-surgery.

He does however want me to break up with dairy πŸ™€πŸ™€πŸ™€

(I mentioned I wanted to lose weight)

At the moment dairy and I are merely agreeing to see other people πŸ˜‚πŸ€£

I can cope with losing chocolate but not my cheese. And I’m trying to work out what I could put in my tea instead of cow’s milk.

But I’m going to try.

He next wants to see me in six months, and this appointment is already booked 😱

Mom and I also went up to knitting group yesterday and had much fun πŸ‘πŸ»


*With many apologies to the non-parents in my audience, this sort of thing is big news when you are a stay at home parent!

Several important milestones

So yesterday wasn’t your average Sunday.

I was going to walk to the pub with mum but it was raining really heavily. So we all had a baguette meal at #1 Son’s request. Both children really enjoyed themselves and actually ate real food. TT also tried various adult foods such as horseradish cheese and Gorgonzola dip. No, she didn’t like them but at least it was funny when she tried.

TT has been trying bunches again:

I’m not sure she approves yet πŸ˜‚πŸ€£ whatever we do she yanks out within 10-30 minutes anyway sigh.

We decided that it was a good idea to actually get some exercise, so when we discovered we were almost out of cat food (I know right how did I let this happen?) We decided that I would go to Shaws with the sprogs and the hus-creature, and get some fresh air.

Well we managed it. Nobody ran off, broke anything and I didn’t collapse. Then something very amazing happened.

I drove the car home!!!!

Yes, me – who hasn’t been behind the wheel in over six months!!!

I was probably more than a little aggravating to the other drivers, but I made it home.

#1 Son even told me “you have done well Mommy, good job”

And trust me, I needed to hear that!!!

We went out tonight for a small spin around the immediate estate and to the train station and back – a bit of road position practice mainly. Again, nobody died and there was only one instance of my getting my side of the road screwed up – approaching a one-way gyratory on the left whilst turning left fired up my dormant muscle-memory neurons, but I moved over before there was an issue and didn’t even get beeped so all is good.

I need to be able to do the school run before Momma returns to good ole Blighty.

Tosay #1 Son voluntarily tidied TT’s room – it was done very well. What was amusing was TT checking all the cupboards in her little kitchen to see what he had put in there.

TT is now very upset to wake up to a wet nappy, and for the last two nights has insisted on “wee wee” within 10 min of her bedroom door closing.

So tonight we cut down her bedtime bottle amount and as of last night have cut out her 11pm bottle πŸ™€

We will be attempting to sit her on a potty at 11pm instead after getting #1 Son up for his middle of the night toilet break.

Both of them are growing up. TT is now almost 100% reliable on the #1 front, so now we are working on #2.

Night-dry may well be possible much sooner with her…

I’m also three weeks post-op now. Time flies when you’re “having fun” I guess.

A productive few days

TT has been dry in the day for three days on the trot!!!

This is amazing! And she has completely bypassed the potty and has gone straight to using the toilet.


So I could have saved the $20+ I invested in a mini toilet style potty but never mind eh?


We are struggling a little with #2 at the moment but we are getting there.


We have already thrown at least one pair of underpants out


She has also been a little unwell the last day or so. Wednesday night was awful. She woke screaming in pain at 22:00 and was clearly either constipated or very gassy. We tried a warm bath, Nanny/daddy walking her around, we even gave her an approved constipation tablet – nothing worked.

She was so bad she gave herself a fully hoarse throat the poor wee thing 😰

So we ended up co-sleeping because she just would not settle back in her bed alone.

And it reminded me most forcefully why we do not do the co-sleeping thing.

Poor Daddy ended up curled up on the foot of the bed under the duvet whilst I ended up very sore due to the squirming sleep-thief octopus.

So I spent a lot of yesterday resting because I was exhausted and in pain.

Much better today. However TT has had a slightly upset tummy, so the two events may have been linked. Her pjs were a bit of a state this morning 🀒

#1 Son has been doing reading and writing practice with Nanny. By reading phonetically with the Biff, Chip and Kipper books supplied by other Nanny he is now romping through, and is already on Level 2.

My pride knows no boundaries. We are more than a little concerned though that we are teaching him the British way and not the American way, but it’s working for him – so Momma has volunteered to chat to his teacher about it next week to see if either they can keep letting him learn this way or provide us with suggested resources to help him move on from phonics.

But he is enjoying reading. This is a bloody miracle.

TT decided yesterday that she wasn’t up to being outdone:

Reading practice with TT

I mean, logically it’s nowhere near as impressive, but it’s pretty cute.

Momma has also been trying to tame and tidy the unruly mop that is her hair:

It lasts about ten minutes but hey it’s progress!

We are planning on working on colours and shapes with her next week once #1 Son returns to school.

And as for writing with #1 Son? Well Momma is working on individual upper and lower case letter formation with him, and we are already up to K!!! The hope is that by Monday he will have done the entire alphabet through, but we shall see.

He has also had a full session with his new therapist and he doesn’t hate the musical therapy.

*collapses in relief*

I’m going for a walk at the weekend!!!

πŸ’•πŸ’•πŸ’•πŸ’•πŸ’•

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˜‚

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»

Career changes

I realised that yesterday was THE BIG DEADLINE for my former office.

Which made me blink in shock and reflect on the last few months. For the first time in a decade I was able to relax over the festive period.

I’m not working 12+ days and 40+ hours of overtime. I was able to visit (extended) family, spend time with my hus-creature and kidlets without feeling guilt.

It felt/feels amazing. My stress levels are much reduced, at least in one way. Yes, my blood pressure is still an issue, and I’ve had/have other stressors, but those are gradually reducing.

I’m happy. I’m missing work, but mostly in the “having my own money” arena and some occasional adult conversation.

I’m going to make a serious attempt at doing something with my yarn skills. I do have my knitting group for at least weekly human interaction, plus the lovely J and H when our schedules allow. I actually planned some colorways last night. I have a specific notebook and I’m writing things down. I also have the hus-creature asking me practical questions, which really helps, as I have a slight tendency to just think about the creative side πŸ˜‚πŸ€£

Six months!

(And two days πŸ˜‚πŸ€£ – 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.

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.