Self Care

I think we can all agree that it’s important.

We’ve had a bit of an… intense week here.

It started on Monday when we received a debt collection letter for less than Β£70 from a company. Addressed to the hus-creature.


Fret not dear audience, we paid it. It wasn’t worth hassling to that level over


For energy in our old property.

For the record this was down to the incompetence of Co-Operative Energy. Do not use them. Ever. They are worse than useless.

See, when we informed them that we were moving and paid off the balance they somehow decided that we were tenants. And so did not keep my details on file for the time between moving (July 15) and the house sale completion (October 13).

However instead of contacting us by name as, you know, the debt was in our names, and so having those letters forwarded, they decided in their infinite wisdom to address them to The Occupier. Which Royal Mail do not forward.

So the first we hear about it is the debt collection letter. Now, interestingly, the debt should have been in my name, as I paid all household bills out of my salary. But it was addressed to the hus-creature only. So we aren’t sure whose credit it might potentially have trashed.

But we paid it before making enquiries. Because, according to the hus-creature:

Co-operative will have sold this debt on to this collection company for pennies on the pound so I would rather they not get a penny of our money.

A sentiment I couldn’t really argue with and either way we did owe the money.

We’ve not taken it lying down though – a politely furious twitter campaign highlighting their incompetence has been ongoing and we have complained about the fact that my online account still showed a Β£0 balance owed when this letter arrived

In a move that shocks no-one the company “cannot explain this”

They’ve doubled down on the “oh but your wife told us that you were tenants” which is a total lie, but they have assured us that it won’t affect our credit ratings as it never reached legal proceedings stage.

I do not believe them. At all. And so we will be paying to check our credit and paying for more Royal Mail redirection.

I’m furious, but we didn’t exactly have options – we don’t live in the U.K. right now so we can’t deal with it in person. We might move back, so we cannot afford to have our (previously perfect) credit histories trashed. So if they have messed with it, I will rain down hellfire and brimstone.

So that was a fun Monday.

Then on Tuesday we received communication from the landlady that she suddenly had concerns about a swing set that she had previously agreed to and we had ordered

And to be brutally honest we only checked out of courtesy – there’s nothing in the lease that said we couldn’t, and there was already play equipment (but no swing set) out there and she had okayed it.

But there was suddenly concerns that:

  • The children might hurt themselves – well I wasn’t going to leave #1 Son out there by himself was I? Let alone TT
  • Children might walk in off the street and use it – Well first off if they did they are badly brought up, and secondly how’s about you install the blasted fence you promised when we moved in
  • We might sue them (the landlord) if the kids hurt themselves – see the first point.

We measured up before we bought it. We got permission. And it’s a 2018 swingset.

There are a minimum of four kids going to be out in the backyard in any one day once the weather warms up/the summer holidays start. We needed something that could accommodate that.

So that was an aggravation.

Oh and she suddenly wanted proof of Renters Insurance. We have it. We sent it. But it was another irritation.


Please don’t misunderstand me. I know we need it. Of course she wants to see it. But, in my opinion, that should have been made clear when we moved in. Not six months down the line.


Oh and the air conditioner needed it’s filter replacing. So I got a lecture on where to buy a ($3) filter and how often to change it, and not to use the wrong size (I am 35 not 13) and you know what? As we technically share the apartment with said landlady, it is not solely our responsibility. But whatever. It’s three bucks every 3-6 months. I’ll deal with it.

So that added to my levels of pissed off-ness.

Then TT decided that going back on hunger strike would be fun, because why not. And #1 Son is, as ever, a totally fussy swine.

However this week I officially met his harem. I’m not kidding. My not-quite-six-year-old Son has a group of 5th Grade girls (at least 5 of them) completely devoted to him. They are eleven. I am by turns both amused and terrified about what this implies for the next decade or so!

That cheered me up. Then we tried to get TT to actually say her brother’s name:

She has… views on this though πŸ˜‚πŸ€£

She does prefer her OWN version

But yeah it’s been a trying week. So when the lovely H said she was getting her nails done, and did I want to come along? I leapt at it, as I haven’t had them done since before my operation and I was feeling sad about the state of them.

Why yes, yes they are colour changing. I’m fascinated by them πŸ˜‚πŸ€£

We have a standing fortnightly appointment now πŸ‘πŸ»

Self care – it’s important y’all.

A slight backslide today

Maybe I overdid it. Maybe this is normal. But I feel rotten. My stomach is sore and crampy, and my incision hurts a bit.

I have sent the hus-creature to make me a hot water bottle whilst I hide in bed. He is happy to do this. He has also made me a cup of tea and brushed my hair πŸ’—πŸ’•

He is a lovely man person 😘

Poor old TT has had a bit of a rotten day too. She is severely constipated right now 😰 So the Mothership and I are putting our heads together to find ways of sneaking more fibre into her. I am deeply sympathetic to the poor wee thing.

#1 Son came home with a Valentine he made for me:

I’m not crying – you’re crying.

He’s so proud of it too πŸ’•

Day Two?

Or is it three? My counting might be off. This is certainly Day 3 in hospital. And I might just be going home today.

I’m a little apprehensive about that – but only because I’ve been liking having a motorised bed.

So, yesterday was spent in a fug of dozing, sipping liquids, attempting food, and having meds.

I’ve (at the nurse’s suggestion) cut back my Oxycodone to one 5mg tablet every four hours, which coupled with Tylenol every six is keeping me tolerably comfortable. And it means my prescription of Oxy will last a bit longer, giving me more time to heal.

As previously stated, this is not pain free. But it’s working. And I get to keep my support band thing thank the gods.

By my reckoning I am coming up to the 36 hours past where the belly tap should have worn off so this is a good sign.

The nurses here are amazing. No, really they are. I’m on the Mother and Baby ward and so I’m a little bit of an oddity and I’m being looked after so well.

Yesterday there was a really sweet High School student doing work shadowing, and she was so happy and bubbly. She was telling me all about how much she loves kids and the M&B ward. And we bonded over how we both swallow tablets


Sip of water, tablet in mouth, snap head back to swallow


Which apparently everyone in her family consider weird – so I’ve told her to say it’s the British way πŸ˜‚πŸ€£

So I think I was a bit of interest in her day. Overall I haven’t heard many babies, I think twice we’ve had “I am a new person and I am angry” levels of noise, and some of what sounded like hyped up older children visiting, but I’m in my own side room so I don’t disturb them and vice versa.

Food still isn’t interesting me much. I had a good breakfast yesterday:

I ate it all. I plan on re-ordering it today and hoping there’s tinned peaches today rather than the banana.

Lunch I think I was too optimistic – I ate my corn, half my chicken breast and my chocolate ice cream. Ignored my baked potato.

So for dinner I just went with chicken noodle soup and the ice cream. I’m keeping well hydrated with ice water and apple juice and nibbling on graham crackers so I’m not worried.

And it’s not like I couldn’t afford to lose a few pounds πŸ˜‚πŸ€£

TMI ALERT


I still haven’t pooped though. But considering how little I’m eating overall I’m not too worried yet.


I went for a short walk yesterday which is great progress. Getting up and down still hurts like anything, but moving around is beginning to become easier.

Okay, time to order food, as I actually feel hungry πŸ™€

Christmas Eve (Eve)

Busy busy busy here.

The hus-creature braved the wilds of Wegmans to forage for our weekly shop.

Thanks to a very kind invitation, we are heading up to Connecticut tomorrow afternoon to spend a day or two with family and as such don’t have to plan a full dinner for the big day.

However it does mean that wrapping needs to be finished. Which has been complex.

I would really like to know something.

WHY IS IT SO DIFFICULT TO GET BIRTHDAY WRAPPING PAPER AT THIS TIME OF YEAR?!?!?!?

Apparently the gift wrapping fairies appear to believe that no one (apart from Jesus) is born in December!

Also, well, at least two different sets of Christmas wrapping paper are called for.

It’s a bit of a logistical nightmare.

So I have this to console me:

I don’t mind if I do 😝

In addition, some personalised merchandise came home from school yesterday:

<<<< that is artwork created by #1 Son πŸ’•πŸ’•

And to cap it all off, TT is apparently feeling under the weather today.

Death. Stare.

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.

Medical update

So, yesterday I toddled up to see my Primary Care Physician. Basically my new GP.

He is a lovely man.

He wanted to follow up on my blood pressure.

Which, after a week of medication clocked in at an acceptable 120/82

So yes, the losing weight thing will have to happen, but my headaches are now a thing of the past and I feel so much better overall.

And this was what greeted me on the way:

So that wasn’t as pretty as I’d hoped but then this:

Real icicles. Everywhere. They are just beautiful.

I’m really loving winter here so far.

I have no doubt that by the time spring comes around again I’ll be desperate for it, but I’m enjoying this at the moment.

And, in the most exciting news

My hysterectomy has been provisionally booked!!!!!

Yes ladies and gents, Monday 5th Feb is D-Day and I. Cannot. Wait.

Tomorrow I should have it confirmed. Please let it not be cancelled.

The (apparent) aftermath

I am unwell today.

I’ve had killer headaches off and on for over a month – a lot of that can most likely be attributed to my untreated hypertension (started my new medication yesterday – I am now on three pills a day πŸ‘πŸ»πŸ˜‚)

But at 3am this morning I was dragged awake with a screaming head – to the extent I actually woke the poor hus-creature by sobbing.

And I remained awake for at least an hour.

This beautiful creature kept me company though:

I’ve often said we have a dog-cat πŸ˜‚πŸ€£

Sadly kitty-snuggles were not sufficient and at 4am I was calling God on the porcelain telephone.


Note: American toilets are not comfy for doing this if you are used to British plumbing.


Oddly I felt better enough to then snuggle down with my furry companion and my cuddly hot water bottle (that would be the hus-creature) and basically pass out until the alarms went off.

I’ve pretty much been a zombie for the rest of the day though. Just mainlining stodge, carbs, sugar and caffeine to get through.

No it’s not healthy but lord has it helped.

My head is still pounding, and #1 Son has a half day today, but he’s being lovely and TT is also being reasonable.

A little Christmas present from me to me arrived today:

Which has helped.

I am so tired of feeling sick and tired. Endometriosis is a bastard, and all the other conditions can get in the sea as well.

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˜˜

December Madness

Begins.

I’m still working on the Thanksgiving update so stay tuned for that dear audience.

So. Yesterday was December 1st. Therefore Advent Calendars are back in this household.

However this year no edible ones.

Mainly because we think TT is still a bit young for daily chocolate, and she’s old enough to be totally annoyed if her big brother has one when she doesn’t. So we went with fancy toy ones.

But, there are very few options for two year olds.

#1 Son has a Lego one. TT? Well we scoured everywhere and finally found a Paw Patrol one with no tiny pieces. TT still insists on sticking non food items in her mouth!

As for me, normally I have a Hotel Chocolat sharing one, but I didn’t think about it in time and I don’t know if they ship here.

So instead, I treated myself to a Sparkle Yarn advent box from Tinky Dye Yarns. The lovely Maria has been still shipping my clubs to me so this was a lovely addition.

The glorious box:

Dec 01:

It also comes with a bespoke pattern which will soon be on sale on Ravelry from the lovely Julie-Ann Amos and I am happily working my way through it.

I have not yet opened today’s window.

We also went to the Melrose Christmas Lights switch on last night:

There was live music

The children wanted some of the light up plastic tat that they sell. #1 Son got a light sabre, TT a snowflake magic wand.

That wand lasted less than 30 minutes before she whacked it against the stroller hard enough to shatter the snowflake πŸ™„

It’s not like they were $10 apiece or anything….

But the piΓ©ce de resistance of the evening was seeing SANTA.

Yes those are the Melrose High School cheerleaders.

The best bit though?

The kids. Both were so thrilled to see Santa.

I teared up with the happiness. I didn’t expect the sheer delight for both of them.

Mall visits will happen soon.

Today or tomorrow we will buy a tree and new decorations.

Oh, I’m also trying a new nail salon tomorrow as my last set didn’t last two days 😑😑😑

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