Battling the Hordes

Well, two children anyway.

TT isn’t bad when she’s away from her brother – she will eat pretty much anything I have. And usually off of my plate at that.

(Well admittedly she discovered yesterday that as yet she doesn’t like Camembert πŸ€£πŸ˜‚) #sorrynotsorry

But when she’s with #1 Son? Oh lord she’s as bad as he is.

And he is bad. I’ve resorted to something my smug, pre-parent, child-free self (and lord do I want to go back in time and smack her around the head with a clue-by-four) swore that she would never do that is: hidden vegetable food.

There’s a brand of kids-only ready meals here that so far include:

  • Cheese pasta
  • Cheesy quesadillas
  • Chicken sticks

And they all contain hidden vegetables! The two cheese based ones contain purΓ©ed carrots and the chicken sticks contain cauliflower and onions!!!

And tonight #1 Son cleared his plate!!!

TT only ate half of her portion (each child had 5 chicken sticks and 5 potato smiley faces) but she came toddling through announcing “mmmmmmmmm nummy chikkin” so I count it as a win.

Yes both children do take a daily gummy multi vitamin (as do we actually) but it’s not the same.

However other things are currently more of a trial with TT at the moment.

Teeth Brushing:

For example, did you know that fluoridated toothpaste is not a standard thing over here?

Or mint flavoured toothpaste?

Well for children at least – adults apparently have to lump it.

But this leads me to ponder – the transition from sweet/fruity flavoured toothpaste to harsh mint flavoured ones must totally shock the system. I know it did for me, and it’s why, whilst in the UK, I never bought the children the fruity flavoured ones – I didn’t want to deal with that.

However, we’ve now run out of appropriate-aged mint toothpastes for them.

As it turned out, when the hus-creature realised this, the only open supermarket was Whole Paycheck* and so the only fluoridated (because organic hippies) toothpaste was a $12 WildBerry thing.

Which #1 Son loves but has wasted a fair amount of. It’s also way too fluoridated for TT to use.

So last week he picked up a basic BubbleFruit one from Colgate for her.

And yes it is what it sounds like – bubblegum plus artificial fruit flavour

And it would seem that TT concurs with me, as every night this week we have had screams of “no teeth, no teeth” and sobbing, flailing tantrums.

We will be trying something else this week coming, because I cannot deal with it, and am terrified that she will get a complex.

Nap time:

She had been trying to drop naps before we got rid of the baby jail. Now she can get out at will?

Which would be fine, if she wasn’t awake by 7am (and I’m being generous there) and therefore total demon-spawn-hell-beast by 3pm if she does not nap.

So I am trying a very mature approach.

Bribery and corruption.

I’m putting her in her room, in her bed, with a bottle of milk… and a tablet! She dozes off reasonably quickly and stays asleep for about an hour.

However, my evil genius membership forms are yet to be sent off, because her tablet has been.

Sent back to Amazon I mean. Because she shattered the screen.

So she’s borrowing #1 Son’s at the moment.

World War has yet to break out…

Watch this space.

*Ahem, sorry Whole Foods

And then she was two

Two years ago, after a hellish induction, I was staring in wonderment at the most beautiful baby girl in the world.

No, really, no other baby girl was ever this pretty. (The most beautiful baby boy in the world ever had been born three years prior you see).

And now? She’s two.

She’s a stroppy, opinionated, smart, strong bundle of amazingness, and I am the luckiest mama bear ever.

She had her new big girl bed as her main present from us:

With bedding from nanny and granddad and Lola-dog.

(Happy gotcha day Lola-dog)

We then added Aunty Harri’s canopy:

Whereupon she began practicing for the teenage years early.

She bloody loves the bed.

She did refuse to nap though, which ended in her passing out on me at around 15:30:

We then had cake when she woke up – well, when I woke her – she was not impressed. Aunty H came to join us for cake and TT ended up covered. So we had a bath.

With new toys. And bath markers.

Which she ruined by pooping in the bath πŸ™„πŸ™„πŸ™„

Then we put her to bed. For the first time. And, well, it was not as successful as it was for #1 Son.

TT on the other hand, was up and out before daddy finished reading her bedtime story!!!

She was then up and rattling the door handle after daddy left the room. I resettled her then.

When #1 Son went to bed she was still awake!!!! BUT was under the covers and stayed there while I went to get another bottle (that she requested).

We checked on her at 21:00 and she was asleep, still in bed, and mostly under the blanket. She had unilaterally decided no more sleeping bags dammit. We shall see how this goes – it’s bitterly cold right now, and duvets are not a thing for toddlers here it seems.

When we checked on her whilst getting #1 son up for his middle of the night wee, she was fast asleep, with that second bottle untouched which was great.

I can hear her occasionally drinking from her second official bottle through the monitor.

All in all, not as good as I hoped, but as well as I expected. Well, apart from the poop πŸ™„

Also, after we washed her hair, through judicious application of tablet, I was able to completely blow dry her hair, which left her rocking the Smokey Quartz (rather than Amethyst) look:

And the curls are dropping out at last!

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 πŸ’•πŸ’•πŸ’•

The Big Man listens you know πŸ˜‚πŸ€£


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? πŸ˜‚πŸ€£)

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.

Christmas Day (2017)

Oh what a wonderful day we’ve had.

Santa visited:

#1 Son loves his Lego’s. Not so much his crayons and similar. Ah well.

TT was really happy with her hair bows and dinosaurs and other similar items.

We then had breakfast. TT ended up trying my scrambled eggs with smoked salmon, and she bloody loved it!!!


She cleared that plate! We also watched squirrels for a bit.

After breakfast we opened presents.

As previously mentioned, we left a lot of presents behind, but as a result the kids really enjoyed what they opened.

Lunch was awesome:

  • Pork with cranberry sauce and stuffing – yum! (Too much turkey previously consumed)
  • Macaroni cheese
  • Sliced potatoes – with herbs and other yummies
  • Crab cakes

TT stole a crab cake and scoffed it before we even noticed πŸ˜‚πŸ€£ and these were tasty cakes (wasabi mayo etc). Guess she’s taking after us more than her brother.

Then came dessert:

  • Chocolate peanut pie
  • Key lime pie

So. Good.

I don’t really like British traditional puddings of Christmas time – mince pies, Christmas pud & Christmas cake etc, so this was amazing for me.

TT stuck her hand in pie πŸ™„

We shouted.

The dog barked and barked a lot. She was defending TT against us πŸ˜‚πŸ€£

So she got cuddles and we were forgiven by her loyal Guard of Honour!

TT also had a whale of a time just generally:

Yep, that’s a stocking on each foot πŸ˜‚πŸ€£

Aunts Domi and Uncle Gary kindly took the kids out for a brief walk with Fluffy (the dog) and they had a really lovely time. The wagon was involved.

We just had a little rest as wow it’s tiring:

I have read a few chapters of one of my presents:

Which is bloody brilliant and hilarious and everyone should read it. Certainly every parent who worries that they aren’t “doing it right”

Because we are – it’s hard and we are doing okay 😘

We are now watching Ozark for an hour or so’s downtime then bed.



It’s Christmas (Eve)

And we are safely in Connecticut.

We left without incident at around 11:30.

Stopped for lunch at Mac Donald’s at around 13:00.

When given the choice of burger or chicken, TT declared “chicken burger” so this happened:

20 McNuggets was a mere 11c more than a 10 pack 🧐

I begin to see why there might be an obesity epidemic!

However as both children decided that didn’t want burgers – #1 Son because he saw the onion in the relish when I was removing Satan’s hell snack, the pickle, and TT because burger meant nuggets and chicken meant chips apparently! So those nuggets got demolished.

TT also decided that she wanted to sit in a high chair πŸ™€ she hasn’t used one in months. But she dragged it over to a booth and demanded “‘my chair” and was most happy:


We safely arrived at around 15:30.

Got a phone call from the landlady shortly after arriving worried because she thought she could see smoke coming from our balcony.

It was her own vents! Crisis averted and I had mulled wine πŸ˜‚πŸ€£πŸ‘πŸ»

TT has declared every adult in the house not me or the hus-creature “cake people” because Domi gave her brioche.

She then made friends with the dog by accidentally feeding her said brioche. She was sitting on the floor with her hand out, and the last piece of brioche dangling from it, and the dog snaffled it πŸ˜‚πŸ€£

Kids are now safely in bed, with stockings hanging up in the guest house.

#1 Son didn’t really eat much for dinner – no surprise there, but TT ate risotto. It was seafood and mushroom risotto at that. We let her think it was pasta!

She ate scallops! And then went for mine!!!!!

Kept a whole one in her cheek like a little hamster for about 15 min πŸ˜‚πŸ€£πŸ˜‚

Relaxing now for a few hours before bed. We need to all be asleep so Santa can come


As children grow

It leaves you joyful but saddened.

The Tiny Tyrant is our last baby. I’m due to be spayed in less than 2 months.

It was always the plan. I’m happy with my children. My family is complete. I cannot hack being pregnant – I’m basically ill and stressed out for 40 weeks. TT nearly killed me by the end of pregnancy with her.

And with my medical issues I’m bloody lucky to have one child, let alone my perfect pigeon pair.

But she’s two in a week.

And she’s growing so fast.

Things she is now doing:

  • She’s now consistently switching from mummy to mum and from daddy to dad.
  • She’s saying “fank” instead of “ta”
  • “Duddle” is being replaced with “hug”
  • The question “what do we say?” is most often met with “peeeees”
  • Talking in proper sentences – “I hurt it my finger”
  • Attempting to count to 10 – she’s mostly reliable up to 5 already.
  • Opinions – oh the opinions 😬😬😬😬
  • Her birthday present is a bed.
  • When daddy said night night to her just now, she immediately began fake snoring πŸ˜‚πŸ€£πŸ˜‚πŸ€£πŸ˜‚πŸ€£πŸ˜‚πŸ€£

Whilst I am so so proud of her, and of my boy too, I’m sad.

I won’t ever know another baby. I won’t see the firsts again.

I know I am incredibly lucky I am blessed, and believe me I don’t take it for granted. I’m just nostalgic tonight.

So – here are my babies as babies πŸ’•πŸ’•πŸ’•

The Thanksgiving Break

It’s taken me a little while to write this as I am missing everyone like crazy so it’s been tough to get things written down.

It was wonderful.

We stayed for three days in the company of family (on the hus-creature’s side) in their stunning guest apartment.

I got to know a number of my lovely in-laws a lot better, which was really something special.

We had the turkey. And the hus-creature and I most generously offered to save everyone from the dreaded dark meat.

Honestly we truly prefer it.

Let me see if I can list the culinary delights:

  • Turkey – of course
  • Mac and cheese (delicious)
  • JalapeΓ±o cheddar corn bread (I need the recipe for this wonder)
  • Sweet potato bourbon maple mash (oh so good)
  • Green beans
  • Gravy
  • Cranberry sauce

Then there was pie. Oh so much pie.

  • Chocolate peanut butter
  • Apple
  • Pumpkin
  • There were two more but I forgot.

Apart from the apple briefly going missing, it was all delicious.

The kids were remarkably well behaved.

TT ate actual food:

#1 Son… did not. But I didn’t really expect that he would.

They had loads of fun outside in the gorgeous grounds of the main house.

TT made daddy take her for a ride in the cart:

There was much happy shouting of “wheee” and “MORE” πŸ’•πŸ’—πŸ’•πŸ’—

#1 Son just ran about a LOT.

There was a brief moment of panic. Do you see the large body of water? There was a moment when Daddy could not find him. He had wandered in to tell me about his “club house” and wandered off again. He meant the guest apartment, which is where he had gone.

Without telling us that he was going there!!!

So no, he had not drowned himself, but we all panicked. He was most confused as to why.

On Friday, almost everyone else took the train to visit New York and do the tour of Lady Liberty.

We opted not to attempt to drag the offspring up 200+ steps. Granddad also decided not to go. So there was brief discussion on how to entertain said childer-beasts, and we decided to go to the nearby aquarium, and leave granddad to rest.

However he decided that he would like to join, which was lovely. However there wasn’t room for five people in our car, lovely though it is.

Therefore, rather than take a Lyft on a very busy day, I selflessly (honestly, see the halo πŸ˜‡πŸ˜‡πŸ˜‡) opted to stay behind in the guesthouse with my knitting, tea and leftover turkey.

Totally generous of me wasn’t it? πŸ˜‚πŸ€£

They had a lot of fun:

Right until they found a soft play area. Whereupon #1 Son had a full on meltdown, including trying to escape from granddad, because other children wanted to play with the things he was building an invention out of.

How very dare they πŸ™„πŸ˜πŸ™„πŸ˜

And so the trip was cut short and they all came home.

All in all it was a lovely visit with family with many moments of happy.

The drive home was much less eventful than the trek up, we managed it on a full ‘tank’.

However upon our return we discovered that when, in his haste, the hus-creature had dropped the car charger to the ground before we embarked, it had gone kaput.

Which, in my humble opinion, makes it entirely unfit for purpose. Sadly it is still busted over a week later but the company are working on it. Stand by for that update.

So yes, that was our Thanksgiving Break. Many thanks are extended to Domi et al for putting us up and for inviting us up for Christmas.

We are very much looking forward to it πŸ‘πŸ»πŸ˜˜