Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween!

Halloween is becoming a bit more popular in England these days. We spent the day making halloween cookies and cupcakes and tonight for the first time I took the boys trick or treating with a gang of friends from school. We went out at about 4 (these are 4 and 5 year old kids...) and didn't have much luck at first...

Oz was very enthusiastic. When people did open their doors he tended to walk in - I had to keep grabbing him back!

He got quite a haul...
Toby of course travelled in style...
Oz liked the lollipops best - that's him with his friend Rosa the pink kitty!Toby was superboy - and he was quite super - Oz on the other hand experienced sugar meltdown and was very tearful for most of the evening!

I'll definitely go out again next year. By the time we got home (only about 7pm) I was ready with a huge bowl of candy for our visitors - and NO ONE has knocked on our door! So much for more popular! I saw lots of kids out as we were driving home but they must have already tried our door when we were out. Rob, needless to say, is overjoyed at the amount of sweeties he can now scoff while watching Little Britain (which I find so unfunny....).

Happy Halloween to all - BOO!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

A shitty 24 hours - literally

Ok if the title wasn't enough to convince you, here's a warning - if you aren't a parent or are squeamish about children's bodily functions STEP AWAY FROM THE SCREEN now......

Last night Oz, bless him, had an accident - I can count on one hand the number of accidents he's had since potty training last year but this was a doozy. There's a tummy bug doing the rounds and lets say Oscar had an explosive incident on his way to the toilet. He didn't make it. The bathmat collected most of it. Grim. He was very upset. I was slightly nauseated but we cleaned it all up and it was done.

Toby has been filling his nappy about 5 times a day in the last few days - god knows with what as he has hardly been eating! He's also impossible to change at the moment - unless I'm at home where I have a change mat with over shoulder and waist restraints. He will not lie still. And at playgroup this morning changing shitty nappy No 2 of the day he wriggled so much that I obviously didn't put the nappy on securely enough. Oscar had thrown the mother of all tantrums (for a change - usually it's Toby) in the playgroup and I was stressed and frazzled. But it was a stupid thing to do as I later found out.

I usually love Tuesday afternoons - it's when I chuck them both in the creche at the Leisure Centre and sit in the library or the cafe and have an hour and a half of ME time. Just as I'd got my coffee and was walking to my table clutching Star Magazine, the creche lady came out. Now she NEVER disturbs me- my kids love the creche and the staff are amazing.....but it seems Toby was covered in poo. And they couldn't work out how. He'd managed to cover the whole creche in it much so that they were having to close it down for an hour to disinfect it.

I left my lovely steaming cappucino to go and deal with a steaming pile of something else. Toby had managed to dislodge his nappy (which was clean) and shit down his trouser leg. He was covered, his shoes were covered. It was horrid. I didn't have a change of clothes so I had to carry him out to the car in just a coat and a nappy. Oz was furious at having to leave. Toby also hadn't slept all day at this point so he was screamy and whiny.

Got home and thank god for my mother (again). She came over and babysat, giving me the escape route - I went to Sainsburys to buy nappies since I'm going through them at a rate of knots,(they're a third off at the moment - bargain). I also had a coffee there.

I feel grubby. I think my house stinks. I spent ages trying to get poo off fake suede shoes - Toby only has one pair so until I get them clean and dry we ain't going anywhere. I'm going to have a hot bubble bath and wash my kids out of my hair - probably literally.

Tomorrow Toby has his first settling in at nursery. I can't wait.....

Monday, October 27, 2008

Still autumnal

Yes I'm blogging! The reason is....Oz is at sport camp today - He loves it and it's the first day of half term and I need to keep him amused....Toby is watching Baby Da Vinci (he hasn't watched half as much Baby Einstein as Oz - it taught Oscar his colours and shapes so I'm "educating" Toby now while I blog!). I know I'm a bad mummy but hey - it's giving me a chance to catch up here and YOU'RE reading it!!

So what's happening here then...

We're making the most of the mild weather - though it's turning colder and wetter now - and hanging out at the park a lot. This is Crystal Palace park where I used to play as a child - I climbed on this stone gorilla a lot and my two little monkeys love it too.
Walking with my boy...
Oz playing peekaboo in the buggy (he was being exceptionally lazy!)
Rob and Toby enjoying the dinosaurs
Oz thinks he IS a lion....
Things are ok at home - Toby starts nursery this week - HOORAH! I know, I'm an evil mummy - but I think it will be the best thing for all of us - some time for me and Oz, some time for Toby to socialise and do loads of stuff at the same nursery Oz went to, and some time for ME to....blimey, well I don't know exactly what I'll do. The first few mornings I'll probably come home and sleep. And do laundry. And be able to hang it up without Toby scattering it all over the kitchen. And have peaceful lunches where I can focus on my big boy who eats up his lunch brilliantly instead of fighting with the littlest one who throws food and won't eat.

A cute new morning tradition is happening in the house- Oz has a clock in his room now and knows not to come into our room unless it's 7am. However if his baby bruv wakes up before then, he goes into Toby's room and plays with him and reads him Dear Zoo. Toby squeals with joy so Rob and I are obviously not asleep through this - but it's nice to lie in my warm bed for 10 minutes listening to them together.

They are really developing your classic sibling love-hate relationship. Sometimes they play and laugh and have a brilliant time together. Then one will want what the other one has. I'm trying to teach Toby that he has to share but when he does, Oz invariably torments him with whatever item Toby has reluctantly been forced to give him. Which causes massive tantrums. Toby is also hitting Oz a lot more, but then again, Oz is still hitting Toby so I keep trying to explain that Toby will copy him and if he gets bashed, it's kind of his fault....while still trying to teach Toby that it's very naughty to hit....It's much harder with 2! At this age, if Oz hit I had time to explain to him, or time him out...Toby is much harder - his speech is getting so much better but no where near as good as his brother was at this age. I'm sure he's understanding a lot and he also gets frustrated when I don't understand him....oh I don't know. I'm trying to be consistent and fair as much as I can be - not always successfully but I'm doing my best.

Kirsti has booked her flight for Christmas and I can't wait. I've booked tickets to go and see the panto - at the same theatre in Greenwich where we went last year - it's a proper traditional panto with no soap stars or tv in jokes - just great fun. We're going on boxing day.

I'm still waiting to hear when we'll get our money out of Iceland - don't know if I mentioned on here but all our Christmas money was in there. Luckily my parents will cover us if we don't get it back before Christmas but it's still a pain in the arse and a horrible feeling - not being able to get MY money out of the bank. Credit crunch is starting to seriously scare me. But I don't want to go on about it......I'm still looking forward to my favourite time of year - Christmas.

This week on Halloween I'm taking the boys trick or treating for the first time. Can't wait. I've set it up with some friends - we're going to start at my house, go to their houses with a few random stops on the way (at least with the friends' houses we're guaranteed SOME chocolate!) and then have a little party at my friend Hannah's house. Oz, Toby and I will make some Halloween biscuits and cakes later in the week and I'll try and put them on here or on my other blog - The Kitchen Mirror. Not sure if I've pointed to it before but it's a cookery blog I'm a member of with my stonecutter pals - I'm the only Brit so try and bring some UK flavours to an American kitchen! Go have a look here...I just posted my sunday dinner yesterday.

Ok - will go and lavish attention on junior now (actually change his bum for the 4th time today - what is that boy eating!). Will try and blog more now I will have a bit more time on my hands....

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Indian Summer

I can't get my head around the weather! It's amazing - sunshine and warmth - warmer today than most of August I think. Lovely. We've been in the park a lot - and today I took this little movie...

Which reminded me of this time last year....

How bonkers - time flies....

Toby is being difficult at the moment. I (stupidly) booked a pixiphoto session on Friday afternoon in Mothercare and both boys were horrendous - wouldn't sit still, kept running off, wouldn't do anything we asked them to. I was embarrassed by their behaviour.

Toby isn't eating very well and is having tantrums over food - won't sit down, won't eat. I'm feeling bad as I'm neglecting Oz a lot a mealtimes as I fight to ignore his screaming throwing spitting brother.....

Nights are also bad - both boys are waking us up (well, ME up as Rob mostly snores through). Oz keeps coming in to the bedroom claiming a nightmare but he's totally calm and not at all frightened. It's starting to DO MY HEAD IN. And Toby is waking at 5am again and not always going back down.

Tough times. I've been socialising a lot though to compensate though I'm also feeling like crawling under a duvet and hiding from everyone. Knackered....

One social event I can't wait for though - Moxie is here tomorrow with Rox, Casanova and Captain Fantastic....I've never met either of her kids and she's only met Oz so it's going to be fantastic....I'll post about it I promise.

Here are the boys this afternoon in Manor Park - swinging away....

Friday, October 03, 2008

Holiday! Catching up and making "tibbits"

Hello - long time no blog as per here's a potted recap of the last few weeks. We went on holiday to Hastings - Combe Haven holiday park which was very cheap (and quite chav I'm afraid). It was a pre-school special and very busy. The accomodation was great - we were in a chalet rather than a caravan and it was spacious and well equipped - only problem was, when we came home after a day out it stank like wet towels.

We had lovely days out on the beach - including an afternoon at Camber Sands where BOTH boys stripped off and ran cackling round the beach - glowing in their white and ginger glory! It was hysterical. Thank God a lovely lady gave us a towel as we hadn't come prepared for paddling as it was bloody cold!
Had a fantastic day at Drusilla's Park - where Oz fell in love with an enormous giraffe statue and kept calling it his girlfriend! And they have a Thomas train to ride on which we all enjoyed....really great little zoo.

Also went to the Blue Reef Aquarium in Hastings which was brilliant

And a soft play place called Clambers - (I don't have a picture of that!) highly recommend it if you're in the area and it's raining!

It was a really good week. But it was lovely to get home to a soft bed, no stinks (apart from Toby) and a big bath - I'm becoming a bubble bath addict!

So where else are we. Toby is still difficult - tantrums are the norm - especially when he's just woken up - he'll rage for at least 20 minutes for no apparent reason then it'll just stop....argh! His speech is coming along but he's still behind most of his little peers - he babbles a lot but some words are coming through. He's obsessed with small plastic animals

Oz is actually being generally angelic which is wonderful. He spent the afternoon with Mum and was lovely. Pre-school are saying how well he's behaving. He's starting to write his name and talk about letters a lot more, having not really been interested for ages. I was worried about the fact that a lot of his friends went to "big" school in September and left him but he's actually thriving without them. I'm hoping when he joins the school in January he'll be in a separate class because I think he learns better and behaves better. And he can still play with them at playtime and group sessions.

Rob still isn't smoking which I'm so proud of. Over a month now. He's a star and because of the money he saved us, we managed to have lots of treats on our holiday. And we'll have a great Christmas because he got a good pay rise in this month's pay packet which was back-dated from April so a lump sum has gone in our savings account and Christmas is covered. Which, in times like this when money is so tight, is such a relief. I have actually bought Rob's present for Christmas already! I'm not that organised, it's just it was on sale and he'll be so excited. I had to have it delivered to my Mum's to stop me giving it to him now - can't wait to see his face! I'll tell you what it is on Christmas Day (or whenever I blog about Christmas which will probably be February the way I'm going).

This afternoon I made biscuits with them - or Tibbits as Toby calls them - here's the result! Note on the right is a biscuit snail - Oscar's request and hand cut by me. (I'm quite proud of that) The rest of them were done mainly by Oz as Toby was having a tantrum. It's the first time we've done biscuits - usually we make cupcakes or jam tarts and I was very happy with them!

As were Oscar and Toby!

What other news....a lot of my friends who have children the same age as Oz are pregnant again for the third time. I wish them all the best and am glad Rob's appointment for his vasectomy consultation is next weekend - NO more children for us. It's great that I can coo over every one else's newborns but look forward to January when Oz will be at school and Toby at nursery for a few mornings a week and I can get some life back and possibly earn some money.

I'm loving the autumnal weather - sunny and crisp - though am terrified I'm going to have to put the heating on soon and it's so bloody expensive! I do love this time of year though - bonfire night and Halloween.....I remember the time I was in Detroit for autumn and the colours there - one day I swear I'll take both boys over for a proper American Halloween.

I've started a new gym routine this week with a trainer - I got my doctor to refer me so I get discounted sessions and a free trainer - he had me on the bouncy big ball doing sit ups and pelvic push ups and my caesarian scar is aching and I'm knackered. All good for me though since I've fallen off the Weight Watcher's wagon - I can't be ARSED at the moment! I'm still eating pretty healthily with the odd treat but don't want the weight to creep back on - hence the gym. We'll see. I can always join WW after Christmas when they have all the special offers on - at the moment it's not a priority. I need a vice and it's chocolate!

Right - can't think of anything else.......!