Thursday, 20 February 2014

Half Term

It's Half Term aka school holidays this has been both fun and difficult. Monday was a pretty normal day as I work in the morning then we had our teenage babysitter over to spend the afternoon with Joss which was good since Jasper looked like this every time I tried to put him down


Teething and a cold are turning my normally chilled boy into a hot mess.

Tuesday I put my big girl knickers on and negotiated the train to London with two kids on my own as well as the Tube. It was a bit hairy on part of the Tube journey but all I can say is a huge thank you to all of the random strangers who helped me navigate stairs with the push chair and held doors and were just generally kind.

We met up with a close friend who is a nanny and another of her nanny friends to do the Natural History Museum. There were 3 adults and 6 children so still a 2:1 ratio but it is so nice to have some one keep one kid while you take the other to the toilet or feed.

Joss went on and on about seeing dinosaurs all the way to the museum and then was kind of like oh no big deal when we did see them.


She loved all the stuffed animals though


Philip works not far from the museum so we met him for coffee afterwards then he walked us to a bus that went straight to our train station. So much easier than changing Tube lines with grotty children getting close to rush hour.

The train journey home was not pleasant but could have been so much worse and the part I was dreading having to walk the long way around the station and under the train tracks as I couldn't use the stairs with the push chair was actually fine. I was worried Joss would be shattered and would whinge the whole way (it's a good ten minute walk up hill ) but she must have had a second wind as she skipped along recounting the day as we walked.

Wednesday in the morning we met up with some friends from our birth class so the little girl is just two weeks younger than Joss and they have a second 3 months younger than Jasper. 

The afternoon was unpleasant as Jasper had not napped properly and decided he was going to be grumpy but not take an afternoon nap.

By the time I picked Philip up from the train station I was only too happy to hand the kids over and head to work.

Today has been crazy busy but I put the effort in this morning to set us up well for the day. I hit the ground running and started split pea soup in the slow cooker, packed up lots of snacks for the day and made my lunch in advance. I also made sure everything was in place so Jasper could have a good morning nap which he did though I was sad to have to wake him to head to gymnastics even though he had done two hours.

We headed out to gymnastics which is now proving quite difficult as the parent viewing area is so small and cramped with people not to mention a few weeks ago they installed flip up seats like at a movie which equals lots of danger for little man.

This afternoon Joss had her first speech session. It was interesting there was lots of testing boundaries from Joss but the speech therapist seems good and I think it will work well. She sent us home with some "homework" which I am nervous about but I think it will be okay.

On the way home we dropped Joss off for an evening with Auntie Pauline and Uncle Richard which included Play Doh, art, making cupcakes, playing with Auntie Pauline's new Buzz Lightyear, stories with Uncle Richard as well as dinner.

It amazes me when it is just Jasper and I what a content little fellow he is. He is quite happy to play on his own and explore at his own pace. Joss always even at that age wanted interaction from others so it lovely to see Jasper's different personality shine through.

Tomorrow we have bowling with friends planned then a quiet afternoon and then back to "normal" on Monday. 

It's funny how I dread the lack of routine over the school holidays as there are more through out the year here (shorter summer holidays) but each time it goes smoother than expected and it is always fun to fit in big activities we don't normally have time for.



Saturday, 1 February 2014

Right Now

1. I finally got my hair cut after 8 months of never having the time. It feels so good to have my short hair again.

2. Joss is obsessed with when it will be her "Happy Birthday Day" she runs through a long list of family birthdays before hers on a regular basis many times a day

3. My parents are coming over in March and I am way beyond excited. Probably just as excited as Joss is for her "Happy Birthday Day"

4. Joss has started to refer to Jasper as Jaspy sot sure where this has come from as even though she has some speech problems she has always said Jasper pretty clear. It makes me think of the fact that Joss had so many nick names but really we only refer to Jasper as Little Man and Trouble. I have come to the conclusion there are worse things than Jaspy.

5. I have come to the stage where Jasper is not so reliant on me which makes me yurn for some me time but am finding implementing it hard. I really want to get back to being more active at the gym but as I only really enjoy classes finding the time when they are running is proving difficult.

6. Jasper is cutting more teeth. We have two more on the bottom and two on the top are close. Teething is evil right up there with potty training.

7. I still have 7lbs to loose from Jasper and it driving me mad that I can't seem to get in the mind set to loose it. I really want to enjoy my summer clothes this year and know I need to loose it to feel comfortable.

8. I felt we did really well focusing on the moment over the summer and into the Autumn and then when I went back to work it fell apart. I did lots of fun things with the kids and we did lots of outings. I know part of it is that the weather has been so crap for the last 6 weeks and part of it was moving into an area that just does not have much to offer but I need to push myself harder.

9. I really want to shake up my make up routine but in the past I have always relied on really knowledgable friends to help me and at the moment I am struggling. Think I am just going to have to do some trial and error.

10. I am really struggling to find a way of documenting our life that works for me. In the past I have been an avid scrapbooker but this is not something I can commit my time and energy to at the moment. I did make a 2013 photo book using Photobox but really want to find a happy medium that allows me to do more altering and journaling to document more. I got Photoshop for our anniversary in Sept and I think I need to find some tutorials and maybe look at digital scrapbooking. 

Sunday, 26 January 2014

Winter Day in the Life 2014

It is time again to join Laura over at Navigating the Mothership for a quarterly DITL post.  You can find Summer 2013 HERE and Autumn 2013 HERE

January 24th 2014

Joss is 3 years 6 months

Jasper is 8 1/2 months

Sometime shortly after 12am Philip comes up to find me asleep with my earphones in attached to my iPad.  He unplugs the earphone bit and moves the iPad over to the bedside table.



2.30ish Jasper is fussing I wake with earphones in my ears and pull them out.  Jasper has been unsettled all night and figure he will need feeding to resettle so move him in the bed with Philip and realize no one brought a bottle up so head downstairs to grab a bottle.  By the time I get back up they are both asleep taking up the majority of the bed so I throw my pillows to the bottom of the bed and decide to top and tail it.

Sometime after 3am Jasper is awake and this time he wants food.  I sit up and manage to nudge Philip over enough to sit and feed Jasper.  We both fall asleep in the process and I only wake when the empty bottle falls on my leg.  I nudge Philip over some more and lay Jasper in the bed with us.





3.58 Jasper is awake again not sure how I get him back to sleep as I am so tired but apparently I do.

6.50 Philip gets up and heads for the shower



7.04 Jasper is up and in crawl all over mama mode so I put him in his cot with a bunch of toys and txt yes you read that right txt Philip to come and grab Jasper when he finishes with his shower as he is on a late and has said he will let me sleep in this morning. At some point he collects Jasper.

7.30ish I hear Joss calling to Philip from the top of the stairs but he grabs her quick before she comes in to me.

Just before 8 Joss gets impatient with Philip who is feeding Jasper and comes upstairs to get dressed on her own.

8am decide I am really awake and should get up but want to avoid the circus downstairs for as long as possible so sit  in bed for 10 min sulking about a project at work that fell through yesterday after 3 long hard weeks of planning by me.

8.10 Stumble down stairs do the rounds of good mornings Philip is working on cleaning the kitchen, Jasper is working on killing himself (this is not a dig at Philip, Jasper actively tries to put his life in danger most of ever single day.  I don't really believe in playpens but this one is so mobile at 8 months hello crawling and climbing up on furniture and pushing stuff over to help him climb on stuff that is too high.  I don't make babies who sit and play with toys apparently) and Joss is watching some programs as she is completely ready for school.  I mention to Philip they screwed up my January pay as there was a problem with one of my time cards that was fixed but not until the cut off date so I may need to transfer money from his account this month.  I grab a bowl of shredded wheat then take Jasper upstairs to help me get dressed and sort some laundry.  I start a load of laundry and try to get Jasper to finish his bottle.  Philip talks to me about a job he is interested in and we discuss what it would mean for our long term goal of moving back to the US.

8.45 Philip get Joss finished and ready for Preschool I hear a melt down about shoes and jumpers he wins on shoes I tell him to wave the white flag on the jumper as she has long sleeves on and it is not that cold.  She gets her own coat on.


9.00 Philip is out the door with Joss and will be back for a ride to the train station.  I make some phone calls in regard to the project that fell through at work and call to check the amount of a final payment we are making this month.

9.20 Philip is back and I drive him to the train station I jibe him about enjoying his last day in his thirties as tomorrow is his birthday and this gets us reminiscing about the fact we met 13 years ago.

9.30 drop Philip off at train station and head to the grocery store to buy the last bits I need for his birthday cake.


10.15 Home again I leave the groceries in the car as Jasper is desperate for a nap so do the whole nap routine and he settles on his own in his cot.  I bring the groceries in and leave them on the counter while I weigh out and start the frosting for Philips cake on the stove as it will need to chill before I can finish it.  Once that is going on the stove I put the groceries away.  Decide I want to make egg salad sandwiches of lunch and have to go look up the timings for hard boiled eggs as it has been so long since I have made them and get those going.   Frosting has all melted and I set that to the side to cool and eggs are finished.  While that has been going on I have been checking some bits for work as I need to make some calls but can't remember who I need to call.




11.00 make some calls for work and catch up on some work e-mails.  Weigh out the ingredients for the cake as the butter needs to soften.  Make up the egg salad sandwiches but with Greek Yogurt instead of mayo and add some fresh dill.  Super Yummy!  Have a look at Facebook while I am eating lunch then I change over the laundry.

12.15 start making the cake wondering if I will make it through with out Jasper waking as it has been almost two hours which is super long for him.



12.40 cake is in the oven just as I close the door to the oven I hear Jasper stiring on the monitor

1.15 Jasper is fed and changed and cakes are out of the oven.  I answer and urgent email then shut down work stuff probably till kids are in bed. I chill out with Jasper for a few minutes until the cakes are cool enough to take out of the tins.



1.40 Cakes are out of their tins, swapped another load of laundry and put away a load of dry laundry.  Decide while Jasper is happy playing with some of his toys I will catch up on Instagram and blogs but as soon ans I sit down I realize that I haven't given Jasper any lunch as he was sleeping while I ate.  I put him in his high chair with some veggie sticks and some fruit wedges and let him enjoy while I chat online with another woman who has the same role as me but in a different area.  Good to know that she is facing the same issues as I am.

2.15 decide the weather is so nice that I will walk the school run so quickly get us organized and suited up.



2.30 leave house to pick up Joss

2.40 arrive at preschool and chat with mums while collecting all of Joss's bits



2.45 Joss is out of Preschool and is none to happy that I walked instead of drove as it has been a while since we have walked home from preschool (it has been raining since before Christmas, it rains in England instead of snow). The first 5 minutes of the walk home is solid whinging and then she is excited because she realizes she can carry Buzz Lightyear on her shoulders like daddy carries her.  The walk home is an endless stream of chatter about everything from tomorrow being a Daddy's Happy Birthday day to how many more sleeps till gymnastics.



3.10 Home again I set Joss up with a snack and settle Jasper for a nap.  I fold some laundry upstairs while I wait to make sure Jasper will settle on his own.

3.30 Decide to let Joss watch TV for a bit while I decide what to do for dinner, Jasper isn't settling so I go up to resettle him and realize he has had a blow out.  I change him and lay him back down in hopes he will nap.  I empty and reload the dishwasher.  I get Joss set up to colour Philip's birthday card which she does for all of about 15 seconds.  It is not going to be a good day for independent play today.  Joss plays her game of "Big Jump" where she jumps off the step stool then demands a high five.

4.00 I give up on Jasper settling for nap and go up and feed him then sing songs with Joss and Jasper which is one of Joss's favorite things to do.

4.30 We make the daily daddy call followed by more singing and me refereeing them while I try to make dinner.


5.00 Dinner followed by cleaning up all the toys. Joss has announced she wants some yogurt with a crushed up biscuit(cookie) for desert and I bribe her by saying all the toys have to be picked up first.



5.30 Joss is in the bath while I get Jasper changed for bed and this is the face I get every night when we change into PJs, since he is already so angry I decide to wipe off all the dried snot on his nose making him even angrier if that is possible.  I then help Joss get ready for bed and set her up with her episode of Max and Ruby so I can finish feeding Jasper and get him settled

6.00 Jasper is settled and while Joss finishes her program I run down stairs and finish off the frosting and start to frost and decorate the cake.

6.20 Joss keeps pushing buttons on the computer and so I turn it off and get her settled and lay down with her for a few minuted before saying good night.

I head down stairs and finish frosting and decorating the cake then upload the last photos to our 2013 photo book and add all the journaling that still needs to be done.



8.20 book is done I just want Philip to have a look before I order it so save it and head up for a bath

8.45-9.15 read some old blog post especially the DITL post and have a laugh at things I thought might never end and less than 6 months later we have moved on to bigger and better problems

9.15-9.45 work on blog post until my eyes start to go funny and decide it is time to head to bed

10.00 In bed catching up on social media

10.20 decide to head to bed but as I am drifting off remember that I left Joss's card to Philip out so run downstairs to grab it.

10.30 head to bed

11.45 Jasper decides he needs to be resettled

Sunday, 3 November 2013

Colchester Zoo and Romney, Hythe, Dymchurch Light Railway

The last two days have been a whirl wind of activity, on Friday I strapped on my big girl knicker and took both kids solo, well with another friend who has two young ones, to Colchester Zoo. On a whole I have left major outings till the weekend when I would have back up support from Daddy but the opportunity presented itself and I felt a little more adventurous knowing I would have our dear friend Fran's support even though she would have her own two to contend with.

I have to admit I am still finding it hard to have realistic expectations for Joss at three years old. She frankly does not care that it takes military precision to get two kids out the door with all the paraphernalia, around naps, and drive an hour to the zoo. Nor does she care that it cost £30 just to get in and not only should there be no whinging or melt downs but it should be pleasant and enjoyable for all and she should be having fun gosh darn it!


She did have fun there was just a lot of whinging and melt downs mixed in with it. I also just need to learn if she is required to walk more than 50 yards I had better bring the double push chair because no matter how slow I am prepared to walk if Jasper gets to ride in the pushchair then so should she.


Feeding the goats and seeing the pigs were probably the highlight of the Zoo trip. I missed the peak time for Jasper's nap driving home and spent over 30 minutes singing The Hokey Kokey with Joss on the drive home which oddly settled Jasper to sleep.


Today we set out for the Romney, Hyth and Dymchurch light railway in Kent about 90 minutes from where we live. Joss has been asking for weeks to ride on the train (we drop Philip off nearly every morning at the train station). It was a great call. We got on at Hyth and jumped off a few stops later at New Romney to visit the model railway museum. This turned out to be a huge hit with Joss she watched the trains go round the model tracks and got excited to push the buttons to start up different trains.



There was even a Postman Pat model train!



We then got back on the train to the end of the line at Dungenes which has amazing pebble beaches and Joss got her fill of throwing the pebbles back in the sea.


I have never seen star fish on the beach here and Joss had great fun picking them up and having a good look.

The day was tempered with it's fair share of whinging and melt downs but on a whole very enjoyable and definitely right up Joss's ally and Jasper sat in my arms mesmerised by the model trains reaching out to try and grab them each time they went past.

While the effort seems enormous to execute these days out seeing Joss's excitement and wonder at things really does make the effort seem worth while.





Thursday, 31 October 2013

Oh Help! Oh No. . .


It's a Gruffalo!

This was our first year Trick or Treating though I have dressed Joss up in years past. I wasn't sure how it would go down but spent the day talking about Halloween and Trick or Treating with Joss. I choose her costume in as much as I picked it up around Easter time on sale for dressing up but it has never really gotten used as she as of yet is not really interested in dressing up.

To be honest if we hadn't been meeting up with a friend pretty sure she wouldn't have put the costume on. It took some convincing that the only way she could go trick or treating was to have a costume on. 



Once she had done the first house with her friend who is 3 years older she was gung-ho and had a brilliant time. We just hit about 5 houses on the street that we know well and she was pretty happy with her haul of candy. 

Tuesday, 29 October 2013

While You Were Sleeping

I have started to organize photos for the year to make a yearly photo book and in the process of uploading the photos from my phone I realize I have an insane amount of Joss sleeping so here are some of my favorites

Last Night in her Cot Bed

Crashed out on the drive home from taking Grandma Traci to the Airport

Crashed out after about two hours of sleep while spending the weekend away

Same weekend away crashed out in the pushchair luckily we had the sling for Jasper

The I didn't need a nap today but as soon as you put me in the push chair I am gone crash out
Quick nap on a day out to London so we can keep partying later 

The hope you don't mind I hopped in your bed when you weren't looking

The oh year maybe it was too early to get up

Last Sleep as a two year old

First sleep as a three year old clutching the handbag that was a favorite present

Hard won nap #1

Hard won nap #2

Hard won nap #3

Hard won nap #4

Really I don't need a nap (she gave up naps about a month ago, she needs one but won't I gave up)

The you pushed my buttons so many times today I wasn't sure both of us or either of us would make it till bed time but seeing this almost makes it all right.


















Friday, 25 October 2013

10 Things Right Now - Jasper



1. You are so wiggly, no matter what we are doing you have to wiggle. You wiggle on the floor rolling all over kicking and flapping your arms. If someone stands you up you would think you have springs for legs you just bounce. Changing times have become interesting as you want to wiggle and flip all over. Getting you dressed is an extreme sport.

2. You have two bottom teeth but it feels like you top two teeth are making their way.

3. You love food so far you have had sugar snap peas, sweet potatoes, toast, pears, and we tried baby rice but you flicked the spoon at me and that was the end of spoon feeding, Baby Led Weaning all the way around here.

4. You have stopped sleeping through the night and it is killing me but you have settled into a dream feed around 10.30pm, another feed around 4.30am and then up between 7am and 8am.

5. You are such a chilled baby, you don't mind the vacuum and are happy to have it run right up to you and around you. You are happy to chat in the cot for a good length of time after you wake up and most naps I just put you in the cot and you chat away till you get tired and fall off to sleep.

6. You LOVE your sister anytime she is around you give the biggest smiles and you try to keep up with her by rolling and commando crawling after her.

7. You have started doing this thing where you pass toys between your hands and feet it kills me you look like a little monkey doing it.

8. You now give cuddles you will rest you head on my shoulder and borrow in, you have also started giving kisses, I think, you will open your mouth and plant it on my face.

9. You are very vocal and I always hear jibber jabber and squaks from you and you love the sound of your own voice you almost wind yourself up with it.

10. You have absolutely no use for learning to sit no matter how hard I try to work with you it is always a mission to get you to bend in the middle and even if I do once I have you in a tripod you think it is a great place to launch yourself from to try and crawl.