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)

A busy few days

I tend to not write posts when it’s much of the same old same old day to day stuff.

Plus it was Spring Break this week so I had both kidlets with me, so times to sit and blog were very few and far between.

I’ve made five sales in my store now! I’m just blown away that I’ve sold anything at all so fast! I just hope that it will continue. Sadly I missed the Easter sales, and alas I think Mother’s Day is closing too fast to take advantage there, but we shall see.

#1 Son has had the Sunday blues today bless him after a week off. So he has been cuddled and reassured. Hopefully tomorrow will not be as bad as any of us fear it could be.

Yesterday was a good, normal, family fun day.

TV whilst daddy had his lie in.

Followed by a lovely walk in the sunshine to have lunch at the local Mexican cantina:

We decided to skip dessert there as there was nothing that the kids (#1 Son especially) would recognise as pudding, so we went to Cloud 9 for ice cream.

TT had fun:

Do not be fooled by the implement she is grasping. She had given up using the spoon and had simply face planted her ice cream πŸ˜‚πŸ€£

An emergency bath was administered as soon as we got home:

πŸ’•πŸ’•πŸ’•πŸ’•

Butter wouldn’t melt I swear!

Today was much the same, but we had to return to the Mall in order to exchange a tshirt for #1 Son, as he is not an XS.

So we decided to have dinner there.

TT spent a lot of time transfixed by the ceiling:

She was saying “hello” to it a lot. Well it beats harassing other diners, which is her usual mode of entertaining herself when we forget their jab screens.

From next weekend there is another slew of birthday parties, so I have ordered double copies of the next few books in the Supertato series – #1 Son loves them, so he is happy, and his classmates are unlikely to have already read them.

We have also booked his birthday party, as it was recently Merry Taxmas and so some of the rebate has been used for that. Legoland Discovery Centre has impressively decent value packages, and TT is free for this year at least.

I. Have. To. Make. Party. Bags.

Oh gods.

I also need to send the invites out. That will be tomorrow’s job then.

School Events

There’s been a lot of things happening in the last couple of days with, for and to #1 Son.

So on Tuesday evening there was his second parent teacher conference. Now I’m pleased to say that I didn’t approach this one with as much trepidation as his initial one back in November.

I knew that there had been some improvements, and that was in both social and academic areas. Of course there were still issues, but what Kindergartener won’t have those?

I also took up his three exercise books that we’ve been working through to show his teacher that we’ve been trying to do improvement work at home on more than just reading.

He has 180 Days of Kindergarten in:

  • Math
  • Writing
  • Reading

The idea is that from the start of the academic year you do one page a day (I assume they mean workdays) and improve as the class and the year goes on. We only picked them up after the 100 days of school celebrations, but they are still worth doing.


I can’t say that he’s been totally thrilled with it but he does it with minimal fighting. Possibly because I mark it as we go along, and he likes to see how well he’s doing. He would do better if he just concentrated but neither me nor his father were particularly good at that either.

And when I say “do better” I mean the difference between getting 6 out of six and 5 out of six. He’s good at it really.

So our 20 minute conference time turned into nearly an hour but fortunately I was her last meeting of the day and apparently she is regularly in school until 6 PM as it is. The woman is a saint, have I mentioned this?

She talked me through his systems for taking breaks, how he concentrates (better than it has been, though there is obviously still room for improvement), and perhaps more interestingly the system she has devised for tracking his particular outbursts and what triggers them. Spoiler: there is no apparent pattern. Although the day when he has music as his “special” (Wednesday) seem to have more outbursts. This does make sense to me, as it’s a very noisy class and he gets overstimulated.

I also noted that he seems to work better in a classroom setting when he is buddied up with a female friend. And interestingly his teacher noted that he will play outside with his peers now and that when he does, it is normally with the boys! I think I don’t need to explain how absolutely ecstatic this information made me.

Don’t get me wrong, he does still have days when during recess he will just walk round and round in circles talking to himself. But that’s fewer and he’s playing with children his own age!

For the sake of brevity (and so that you, dear audience, do not die of boredom) I will skip over the academic stuff except to say that he is doing better and concentrating for longer. And I will now move to the most important part of the session where she told me something that made me literally dance around the classroom which was:

He is no longer the child causing her the most grief!!!

Okay so there is still the caveat of “for now” but let me have my moment in the sun here!!!!

They do want either myself or his dad to go with him to supervise in a couple of upcoming field trips, but I can’t really blame them on that.

All in all after the conversation I had with his therapist regarding playing with peers and her concern that he wasn’t, I left that meeting pretty much walking on air. One darn proud mama bear.

Then came Wednesday. Which was a pretty normal day. Except at about 11:30 I got a phone call from the school nurse. To tell me that my poor son had gotten into a fight with the playground. Not in the playground with another child oh no with the ground itself. And he lost. Except at about 1130 I got a phone call from the school nurse. To tell me that my poor son had gotten into a fight with the playground. Not in the playground with another child, oh no, with the ground itself. And he lost.

The top photos were taken just after he came home on Wednesday afternoon, and the bottom two were taken the next morning.

He still feeling very very sad and sorry for himself. I’m not surprised. It’s still sore and he still wants band aids on the grazes. I have no problem with this, as apart from anything else it helps prevent infection. He’s been talking about not wanting to play outside at recess and “keeping everybody safe”. Perhaps he will learn to look before he runs?

Honestly? I doubt it but it’s taught him a valuable lesson I think.

Today I went up to school for a Math Fun morning (!)

No really. The idea was that you would undertake different activities with your child and see what they have been learning.

He made me a chain link necklace – a rainbow necklace πŸ’—

He needed to take a 5 minute break in the middle of the work, and when there was only 5 minutes left of the session because he had run out of steam. So with the second I decided to leave a little early, as by the time he was done with his break it would be time for the parents to leave anyway.

He handled that fine. Also I ought to note that it was extremely noisy in the classroom, and he didn’t have one outburst. I was so proud of him πŸ’•

He also came home with this:

It is a “Rainbow Egg for keeping stuff in” πŸ’—

And finally, it seems that due to the late March snow, the Ida, Always author needed to cancel her previously scheduled visit. So, she will return at some as-yet-to-be-determined time, and his copies of the books will be signed!

Spring Break is now upon us, so stand by for stories of trips to the park, ice cream and lots of shenanigans…


IT MIGHT HAPPEN


Oh, and one other lovely thing. When he was dropped off by the lovely A this afternoon she left as normal, and then came back to ask if she could take him to the local ice cream parlour that we also frequent – because her youngest daughter (Grade 5, so aged 11 or thereabouts) and her friends wanted him to come with them.

Okay I know that the therapist wouldn’t have been as pleased as I was, but I was thrilled that he was able to socialise like that in a public place.

I’m one very proud mummy tonight.

Play Dates

A thing that is fraught with pitfalls. Especially for me – a non-standard parent of a very non-standard child.

It may be difficult to believe, but I dread public gatherings. I am not good at small talk. I have odd hobbies. I fear judgement. And I hardly ever open up to people now.

So, all that being said, yesterday I had a full 1:1 meeting with #1 Son’s therapist; and one of the things that came out of this meeting is that he struggles socially with his peers.


And oh dear lord did that sound familiar 😫😞


And I was gently, yet firmly, advised that I have to know “when to push, and when to pull”. Translation: Set up some goddamn play dates woman

But that isn’t easy, precisely because he is struggling with his peers.

We had set up an initial Skype date with his former friend from school for last Sunday, but at the last minute the poor thing got camera shy.

To give her credit, she both broke her leg and their family dog was put down over Easter, so she’s been through one heck of a lot for a 5/6 year old.

So I started to consider options. Which is tough when I barely know any of the kids in his class, and he’s not exactly the best at communicating about them as is.

But, while we were doing homework, he did this:

Now, as an aside, can I just say look at how well his writing is going!!!!

But he not only drew the “snow hills”, he also drew a specific class mate helping him up the hill.

Bazinga

He also went to her birthday party – it was the one at the drama house that, uh, did not go well for him. But never mind, as I result of that I knew I had her mom’s email address.

So I sent an email asking if, since Spring Break is next week, whether said friend would like to come for a play date.

She wanted to!!!!


Side note: I am currently waiting on my appointment for #1 Son’s Parent:Teacher Conference. You have to walk through After School Club to get there. I was stopped by a little girl asking me by name. She asked if she was coming to our house!!!! She seems happy to!!!

πŸŽ‰πŸŽŠπŸŽ‰πŸŽŠπŸŽ‰πŸŽŠπŸŽ‰πŸŽŠ


So, next Saturday I will be hosting my first ever school play date.

May God have mercy on my soul πŸ€£πŸ˜‚

I just hope that I myself don’t scare anyone off!!!

The therapist also said that he has a beautiful singing voice. Apparently he has perfect pitch! So that is something to consider.

She also stated very firmly that although home schooling “might be tempting” she very definitely believed he was not a candidate for it. He needs the structure and socialising of school.

Since I have no clue how one might go about it, and have no desire to undertake such a mammoth task of significance, school it is!!!

I will update regarding the Parent:Teacher conference soon.

Ice Skating

On Saturday #1 Son was invited to the local rink – Flynn Rink for those interested – for a birthday party.

The birthday boy’s mother was prepared for there to be non-skaters in the group, and had set up snacks and hot chocolate (with marshmallows and chocolate dragΓ©e candies) for those children to hang out away from the ice.

How Daddy thought it would go:

That he would outright refuse to try it.

How I thought it would go:

That we would persuade him to go out on the ice. After 30 seconds he would slip/fall/be unable to move and probably have a meltdown.

We got him into rented skates. Helmets are apparently not compulsory and as such were not rentable.

We gave him a milk crate for balance and stability, and watched him go out on the ice.

With, I admit, our hearts in our mouths.

And then this happened.

Also this – the kid has moves

Please remember this was the first time he had ever been out on the ice!!!

I’m not ashamed to admit, I cried. Full on blubbed and sobbed. I was overwhelmed with how proud I was. I couldn’t explain it.


In fact I find myself tearing up as I write this post and re-watch the videos


He enjoyed himself.

Yes, he fell down. Yes he blunderbussed his way into other children. Yes I spent an inordinate amount of time apologising to the world in general (as I had no idea which parents belonged to which child) but he had so much fun.

Sadly the rink is now closed, a month early, because they had received a $3 Million grant for refurbishing, but they will reopen at the end of August – so we will see if we can sign him up for lessons.

He showed an interest in learning, the rink is close by, and hockey is BIG in this town. I’m not necessarily thinking we will get him into hockey itself, not for a while, but learning to skate is a really good skill to have while we live here.

After the skating was pizza, juice and cake. Sadly the first few pizzas were more than a little carbonised on the bases and so he refused to eat them. So we said our goodbyes and left a little early, but overall I would consider that party a huge success!

As we grownups hadn’t eaten, and the cat needed food too, that we would go to Wegman’s very nice burger bar via PetCo.

Where there were beautiful Bettas (Siamese Fighting fish) – some of whom had made bubble nests yay!

Also gorgeous reptiles of various persuasions.

All in all, a very very good day.

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.

4 months in

Well. I (we) have now been living in the USA for a third of a year πŸ™€

Have I learned anything?

Nothing earth shattering. People are people everywhere. Some suck. Others do not. I still struggle making friends but maybe that’s just how it is.

I’ve invited H up to ours for a coffee on Friday as we will (hopefully) have a sofa arrive tomorrow so I will have somewhere for her to sit comfortably while we natter. And she really seems nice, so perhaps I can manage that? She seemed really happy to accept and has been so friendly.

———-

I’ve drawn a line under the possibility of friendship from the knitting class. I’m looking on it as purely educational with a hint of social, and that’s okay. I’ve done it before.

As the weather is changing and getting colder, I’m going to stick it out until the sock(s) are finished then explore other options towards the spring. I’ve got a (probably irrational) fear of being stuck in an unfamiliar town in the snow with no way to get home.

————

I wrote the above before going to my group tonight. I actually had fun. I am officially still confused as to what the hell is going on though.

It was the start of a new 10-week session tonight and there were a lot of people. Including one lady who hadn’t been there in a while due to being hit by a car. She was bubbly and fun and, when she realised I am British, basically grabbed on to me and asked me to talk to her all night.

I didn’t, but people chuckled and found it charming. I am not trying to work it out anymore.

I got a lift home with the lovely G (the lady who gave me her cell number) and she asked if, when I have my hysterectomy, if I want company for an hour or two for knitting and a cuppa she would be happy to.

She had the op at 31 and for the same reasons, so she “gets” it.

Surely you don’t make that sort of offer if you don’t like the person right? Perhaps I have made a friend?

Oh, and I’ve worked out how to share the Fun Run link:

Turkey Trot weblink: Here

The aftermath

So. I am home.

Before leaving TT and I made matching hair:

Which cheered me up.

The lady who rang me was really pleased to see me. I got a hug and a back rub, and told they were very happy I came.

I was confused.

She then helped me with my sock for over an hour.

I’m having issues with turning the heel and the pattern is written assuming use of Double Pointed Needles instead of Magic Loop on a circular needle so she asked if I would be coming on Wednesday to get more help.

And I want to.

Yet five hours ago I was sobbing and heartbroken.

My brain confuses me.

They gave me an out, in the sense that they asked if they should keep the cheque and I said yes.

It’s just, it’s local, some of the ladies seem nice. And it’s a good space to decompress and doesn’t involve large amounts of travel.

I don’t know.

I know I want to finish this sock. I was even taught how to knit and purl faster tonight.

I’m going to snuggle with the hus-creature, eat tacos, drink booze and watch The Walking Dead and not think for a bit.

Who I am

I am loud. I am boisterous. I am chatty. I am loving. I am neurotic. I am obsessive. I am weird. I am strange. I am brave. I am not as tough as I would like to be. If I love you I will go to the ends of the earth for you. I give people too much benefit of the doubt.

I am also too much for some people to handle.

In the nicest possible way I am being asked not to return to my Wednesday knitting group. No, honestly it was done very nicely. I have apparently been a bit too talkative and people want to just sit and knit and decompress.

They haven’t cashed my cheque from last week and have suggested I pay ad hoc for a few more sessions to see how it goes. They gave me suggestions on how I could fit in. I do believe that if I could manage them and be what they wanted that it could work.

But honestly? I won’t be able to change myself, I’ve tried before and it never sticks. Then I’ll either sit up there and not say anything but somehow make people uncomfortable with that, or I’ll forget and start chatting again and upset people.

So I have chatted to the hus-creature and my other bestest friend in the world and they have made me see that it’s not my fault, it’s just a bad fit.

So I’m going up tonight to finish the Magic Loop class I paid for (I do want to learn the technique) and then I think I shall collect my cheque, make noises about “holiday commitments” if asked and then not go back.

I am a square peg, and this class is a round hole. Its just not the correct place for me, and I should leave it to the round pegs who are settled and happy.

The hus-creature has already found a group called The Drunken Knitwits who meet in bars and knit and they meet on Monday’s. So I shall try that tomorrow (needs a Lyft) and report back.

I mean knitting and alcohol? What’s not to like?

I debated not writing this. I debated baring myself in this way. But nobody will be everyone’s cup of tea and that’s okay.

I am fish fingers and custard.

As long as being you doesn’t break laws, keep on being you.

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…