I canโ€™t not share this

I made a meal that both kids ate!!!!!

I am astounded and amazed and slightly scared to be honest.

It was another stew/soup thing made of the following:

  • Fingerling potatoes – white, russet, purple.
  • Sweet potato/yams.
  • Rainbow carrots – orange, yellow, white, purple.
  • Red onion.
  • Beef.
  • Roasted Acorn squash – roasted with olive oil and maple syrup.
  • Frozen peas (because it needed something green!)
  • Two cloves of garlic
  • My homemade vegetable stock from the last batch of soup, leftover store-bought chicken stock (yes, yes, I know it’s not normal but it’s what I had on hand)
  • A sachet of posh beef bullion to deal with the above.
  • A good dash of salt

And I don’t mind admitting it tasted bloody awesome! Heck, I had some for my lunch today.

I decided that since there was so many carbs in it, that I wasn’t going to add pasta to it. However, based on observation, I felt it best to blend it down and turn it into potage for them.

And wow am I glad I did!

Now admittedly #1 Son’s bowl is the one on the right, but look – it’s half empty!!!!

Okay, it took patience and cajoling and persuasion to get him to do that, but it’s homemade and nutritious and he ate it!!!

I’m not foolish enough to believe that it’s any kind of breakthrough, but it progress!!!!

Pass the whiskey

No. Really.

It’s 17:30, mom is starting her third beer, I am drinking my first (which is actually yesterday’s first – since my op I haven’t really drunk much in a go).

In the first instance mom kicked me out of the house, gently persuaded me, to take TT to the park.

She refused to wear her snow boots. Or indeed any boots. And there was snow.

Not vast amounts, as it is melting, but it was there. She got wet.

But there were moments of cuteness

She then found (and ignored) a stick

No. There was no stick song.

We stayed out for about 45 minutes, and she had a whale of a time. But she did end up soaking wet due to snow and falling down.

I had to bribe her with candy to get her back in the pram! She totally charmed the man behind the counter in the grocery store though ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿคฃ

Then came dinner. Sigh.

Yes, it went about as well as expected.

Take a guess, dear audience as to which bowl on the right hand side belonged to which child….

Go on…

I’ll wait…

She scoffed it. We are having the leftovers for lunch tomorrow. Honestly, even though I am tooting my own horn more than a little, it actually tastes really good!!!

#1 Son on the other hand? I basically begged him to eat three mouthfuls. Total bust.

I’ll keep trying…

Domestic Goddessing

No really. I have been.

Stop laughing at the back there!!!!

My wonderful momma is returning to Blighty a week tomorrow (๐Ÿ˜ฑ๐Ÿ˜ข๐Ÿ˜ฐ) 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.

Food decisions

Since mom has been staying we have been trying to expand the food repertoire of both children. On Monday we made home made pizza.

Yes on these pizzas were:

  • Tomato paste
  • Taco cheese
  • Ham
  • Pepperoni
  • Peas
  • And on TT’s only – mushrooms

He tried everything before putting it on the pizza. Everything got the thumbs up.

Then once cooked? Nope. Nothing. Nada. Outright refusal. We then had to persuade him to eat 3/4 of it based on the fact that he had made it himself.

Iโ€™ve reached the end of my tether with #1 Son now. Since before he turned two heโ€™s been beyond ridiculously picky about food. It’s been four years.

His sister (who is two) was, I thought, just as picky. But no. Sheโ€™s just been copying him. I cannot deal anymore.

So weโ€™ve decided that we cannot simply cater to the lowest common denominator anymore, as she is suffering for it.

Iโ€™ve had a rule in place for at least the last year, that if you just try the thing on your plate, and you cannot eat it, I will make toast to replace it BUT YOU HAVE TO TRY.

So last night he went to bed both early AND hungry, because he refused to try potage. It was basically just highly blended down slow cooked beef stew with pasta. We had made it into a sauce dammit.

He just had to TRY IT. And he refused. While his sister wolfed it down. Followed by a dessert of oven baked banana, with a topping of natural yoghurt and a shall amount of melted (Hershey) chocolate. No, he didn’t get any.

Iโ€™m at the end of my rope. Itโ€™s not purely sensory as he eats things of various consistencies.

I also feel guilt because heโ€™s been recently complaining that meals are โ€œboringโ€ but what am I supposed to do?

This morning we had a breakfast treat of chocolate cherry pie. He REFUSED. Then when finally argued into it claimed it made his tongue โ€œmintyโ€. It wasnโ€™t a sour cherry pie, heโ€™s eaten frosted cherry pop tarts and loved them.

He has particularly been grumping about breakfast being boring. But when I actually try and get him out of his rut? Meltdown.

He did have cereal first, so it’s not like he has gone to school hungry – that would be academic suicide – but lord.

I’m just exhausted from the daily battles. If it’s not food, it’s school, if it’s not school it’s some other perceived unfairness.

Can I have booze yet?

Insert Clever Title Here

So, I have been home 24 hours.

Momma is amazing and is (as I hoped knew) whipping my children into shape. She brooks no crapulence* and the Tiny Tyrant doesn’t seem to have realised what has hit her!!!

(I’m not loving it at all oh no ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿคฃ)

Things That Have Been Achieved:

  • She has sorted out my house – and I am so grateful. It’s hard to see the wood from the trees with small people underfoot. It wasn’t a mess when she arrived, but there is now significant organisation!
  • She has pushed the children’s respective bedtimes back by an hour – and they are not waking up earlier!!!!
  • TT’s tantrums and attempts at manipulating Mommy-Nanny (her name for my mom) are mostly met with a raised eyebrow or a laugh – and the affront is hilarious
  • #1 Son is eating new things! I cannot begin to describe the relief. Today as a “just got home from school” snack he ate three rounds of cheese spread and turkey ham sandwiches and then at dinner time ate: pasta (plain with some butter and grated cheese), cucumber, and chopped up frankfurters. Okay, he didn’t eat the carrot but we didn’t expect any so this is amazing!!! TT will eat regular food if she isn’t distracted, but this is such an amazing occurrence.

Basically, as my Mothership has seen it all before and hasn’t lived with them, (and therefore beyond the SEN concerns with #1 Son) doesn’t have my “tried it, it won’t work” fears, we are losing nothing by trying. And really its mostly TT – #1 Son is a good boy at heart and not a demon wearing human skin ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿคฃ

Today I have managed to get up and have a little wander four times. The remaining post-surgical wall has been breached** and I have only taken two doses of Motrin and one of Percocet (and if it continues this well, I have hopes of not finishing my Percocet prescription.)

I learned a lot from my laparoscopies, and the main thing was DON’T BLOODY OVERDO IT

So, as yet I have picked up nothing heavier than my phone, the 3DS or the Switch. I have attempted to knit/crochet through the power of my mind, but sadly my powers of telekinesis remain dormant.

I also have only napped in two 1-hour stretches as I want to sleep at night!

I received this beautiful bouquet from my in laws today:

Flowers

THANK YOU ๐Ÿ˜˜๐Ÿ˜˜๐Ÿ˜˜๐Ÿ˜˜๐Ÿ˜˜

And my knitting group have banded together to bring me meals every so often over the next week or so – home cooked at that! Tonight’s was vegetarian lasagne and this confirmed carnivore thought it was delicious ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿป

*My Daddy coined that term in a phone call earlier this week ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿคฃ

**This is my polite way of indicating I managed a #2

School dinners

Are very different here.

Admittedly, it’s really difficult to get out of #1 Son what he’s had of a school day – he tends to forget.

But yesterday when I asked, he was adamant it was cereal. I shrugged it off because it was a half day and maybe he was overexcited. But today he told me he had French toast with syrup.

๐Ÿคญ๐Ÿค”๐Ÿ˜ฏ๐Ÿ˜ฆ๐Ÿ˜ง

So I thought I would investigate.

10 January 2018:

Now, you know what? This isn’t too bad. I mean, there’s yoghurt and cheese. I’m shocked that he apparently ate Cinnamon Toast Crunch, but hey this is good.

Now for today,

11 January 2018:

This? This I am less impressed with. Again it’s a one off, and most days he has a blasted peanut butter and (grape) jelly sandwich, so as a treat fine.

But it has definitely reminded me that I am in the country where pizza is considered a vegetable. I’m not taking his choice away from him though. He’s eating so much better at school than he was. The agency of choice there is vital.

I’m just going to mumble and grumble about options.

Having a meal out

Is not easy. We’ve mostly taken to having the kid’s tablets with us wherever we go.

In the main, this means that we can eat out, as they keep the children occupied. But, as previously documented, TT managed to shatter the screen of hers (๐Ÿ™„)

Therefore we are back to one tablet between two children and, rather unsurprisingly, #1 Son is more than a tad miffed that he is having to share.

So, we took them out for their first trip to Wendy’s sans tablets.

I am very impressed with Wendy’s I admit. For all it’s being a fast food burger joint (and for its burgers to not be a patch on Wayback) it’s more tasty than Mc Donald’s or Burger King.

It has pretty good kids meal options – with no pickle on them ๐Ÿคข๐Ÿคฎ๐Ÿคข๐Ÿคฎ๐Ÿคข๐Ÿคฎ and, most importantly – you can replace fries with a baked potato.

I have occasional cravings for a good old jacket – especially as the hus-creature apparently does not like them ๐Ÿ™€๐Ÿ™€๐Ÿ™€


As well as:

  • Blueberries
  • Rice pudding
  • Fruit in pop tarts/toaster pastries generally
  • Hot Pots
  • Stews with dumplings

In fact, anything that could be termed “Boring British” in cuisine terms.

He will eat roast dinners but hates cooking them (a fair cop guv’nor) and loves Yorkshire puddings.


So it’s a treat for me to get one when we go out, especially if they replace fries.

So the kiddies both have cheeseburgers. #1 Son chose apple pieces instead of fries (and he actually ate them) and so did the hus-creature. TT ate some of her brother’s apple and some of her fries.

The lack of tablets caused a few issues I admit. Firstly, TT wanted to sit on a chair at a 2-person table and would not move. Then #1 Son could not be persuaded to sit still. And, perhaps more importantly when finally corralled into place, began pulling his t-shirt (long sleeved) over his head.

So, bearing everything in mind, we settled on the following:

  • Only walking around our table
  • Leaving his sister alone
  • Keeping his clothes in place

You would think that these were neither difficult nor unreasonable requests.

๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿคฃ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿคฃ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿคฃ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿคฃ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿคฃ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿคฃ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿคฃ๐Ÿ˜‚

๐Ÿ˜ซ๐Ÿ˜ซ๐Ÿ˜ซ๐Ÿ˜ซ๐Ÿ˜ซ๐Ÿ˜ซ๐Ÿ˜ซ๐Ÿ˜ซ๐Ÿ˜ซ๐Ÿ˜ซ๐Ÿ˜ซ๐Ÿ˜ซ๐Ÿ˜ซ๐Ÿ˜ซ๐Ÿ˜ข

Ah well. This is why we don’t go out often. #1 Son is hard to contain, TT then feeds off of his energy, and I’m meant to be watching my stress levels and my blood pressure.

Oh, and it is -13C out there right now.

Even the small furnace that is my son is starting to complain of the cold.


Not that he will wear a winter coat – the best we manage is a winter-suitable-for-the-UK one. It is at least fleece lined though.


Yep these were all taken today on the way for lunch. Welcome to New England.

It’s like Old England but on steroids.

But, you know what? For all my complaints and dread, the two of them are at least capable of some cute moments.

And there was the moment where TT demanded “Nanoo KISS”

Where I just about died of the adorable. Despite the fights (which get louder and more physical much quicker these days) these kids do adore each other.

I also let her play with crayons today. Both regular and bath type.

She completely covered several sheets of paper (both sides) and while in the bath declared that several independent and separate drawings were “dinosaurs”.

So I’m a proud mom tonight.

(There was also no poop ๐Ÿ˜‚)

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 ๐Ÿคฃ๐Ÿ˜‚) #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 purรฉed 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

Happy Veteransโ€™ 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 ๐Ÿ˜Š๐Ÿ˜Š๐Ÿ˜Š

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 ๐Ÿ˜Š

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…

When you have picky eaters

You will try anything to get them to eat.

But, itโ€™s Sunday evening. The migraine pixie has been attempting to visit (I am staving her off with sugar, salt and caffeine) and quite frankly I reached new heights (or is it depths?) of IDGAF-itude and so came up with this:

The little buggers angels have eaten some of everything.

Which means they have both eaten fruit and there is vegetable in the pasta.

I tell you, I donโ€™t know whether to laugh or cry.

Particularly as I just know that if I do it again they wonโ€™t bloody touch it.

Is it wine oโ€™clock yet?