Tuesday, 28 April 2015

Around Here

1. I am in some serious denial that my baby turns two in just over a week. Like I refuse to acknowledge it because then it won't happen right?

2. Joss informed me that if you need money you just go to the shops and buy something and then you get money back. I wish kid! But seriously seeing her try to make sense of the world and complex ideas like time and money is AMAZING. Please remind me of that the next time she has already asked what time it is or how long till x time 10 billion times before 8 am.

3. I have started to make myself go to bed at a decent time like between 9-9:30 every night in the hopes that I don't want to kill all of humanity when I wake up. We are only about a week and a half in but it's going well. I wake around 5:45 feeling amazing and filled with a love of life and for my fellow inhabitants of Earth. However I would rather that it was say 6:15 but I guess beggars can't be choosers and all that.

4. Oddly enough both of my children have decided to start sleeping through the night and till a decent time of the morning (and by decent time I mean any moment past 6am). The irony is not lost on me that I have finally found love for my fellow mankind at 5:45am and my children have finally learned to sleep past 6am. I have come to the conclusion 2 years old is when my children decide they have caused their mother as much sleep deprivation as is humanly possible and give up.

5. After a life changing trip to Paris colliding with the extra sleep and the now almost 2 year old and the glimpses of freedom that gives I have set myself the goal of doing my hair and makeup every morning before I leave the house. By make up I mean Moisturiser, Primer, Foundation, Powder, Brows, and Mascara. It's been a long time coming but it all clicked recently that Joss is going to demand my attention no matter what, there is never a moment where she says "oh hey look you just spent x amount of time really focused on me and my needs so guess what I feel whole and  going to self entertain while you spend 15 minutes looking after your needs". So the best I can do right now is set boundaries and say "right now mummy is doing her hair and make up so you are going to need to wait". It kills me on SO many levels and plays right into my insecurities that I am doing enough for her or am selfish but at the same time I know that setting clear boundaries that sometimes parents need to do things for themselves is good. It's also making me really look at how many of her demands are genuinely needs and how many are just demand for my attention.  On a side note 99% of the time Jasper only needs to know I am near so it does not seem to impact him. I don't know if it's because he is a boy, second child, just different, or it's an age thing. I have to say walking out the door for the school run put together feels really good.

6. Plans are swirling in my mind for a  small potted herb garden and a couple of tomatillo plants. You can't get Salsa Verde in England, not even crap stuff and witnessing a fellow American expat's success last year I am jumping on the bandwagon.

So what's going on around yours?

Saturday, 9 August 2014

Currently I'm. . .

Reading. . .  It Starts With Food

Playing. . .  A whole lot of "Frozen" with Joss where one person is Elsa and one person is Anna and we recreate the "Do you want to build a snowman" song. I also like to unwind now and again with some Bejeweled Blitz on my phone.

Watching. . .  Extant and Under The Dome on Amazon Prime.  I am finished with the first season of Under the Dome it is ok but not earth shattering.  Extant is released one episode a week and I find it good but also a bit slow I would have thought by the fifth episode we would be further along but I feel there is a TON of character development and it just seems to weigh to whole thing down.  Both are good for a bit of relaxing before bed.

Trying. . . Not to loose all my marbles over the summer holidays!

Cooking. . .  a big miss I have fallen out of love with my cooking and baking and kitchen creating.  I think part of it is having a picky 4 year old who will 99.9% of the time turn her noise up at what I cook turning me into what feels like a short order cook making 2-3 different meals for dinner to accommodate her and part of it is I have lost touch with food hence my reading selection above.

Eating. . .  Crap Crap and more Crap hence the reading selection above.

Drinking. . .  Pepsi Max oh my one true love!  I have also found recently a can of Gin and Tonic with Pink Grapefruit Juice at one of the supermarkets and I am in LOVE with it when it comes to a grown up drink.

Calling. . .  Daddy (Philip) every day around 3pm for Joss to say hi and again before bedtime for Joss to grill him on what he has eaten over the day and put in her order for breakfast. She also tells him all the "bad" things she has done that day (her idea not mine she just starts telling him about every tantrum she has thrown and why?!?!)

Skype Messaging. . . My 8 year old niece makes me feel old guess that "how they roll" these days

Pinning. . . Whole lotta Christmas craft ideas

Crafting. . . Mostly knitting but have also gotten into loom bands with my nieces and found this tutorial on how to do it with two pencils which makes it easy enough for Joss to do it.

Doing. . . 2 gym work outs a week with the kids in the creche.  I tend to do a class as I like that I can't wimp out as easy if I was working out on my own.

Going. . . To the park ALL THE TIME pretty much 3-5 times a week we have found that 8am is a brilliant time for the park because no one else it there and Jasper can run around with out getting into trouble with bigger kids and I can spend some time focusing on Joss and helping her with stuff like learning to swing on her own.

Loving. . . Knitting it is my sanity and I love the knitting groups I go to on a Wednesday and Saturday. There is something powerful about women of all ages and back grounds coming together over craft.  There is always a good amount of knatter and laughing.

Hating. . . The lack of routine over summer, I have tried to build as much routine in as possible with certain activities on certain days but there is still LOTS of time to fill and our day is broken up by Jasper's nap.

Thinking. . .about new school routines and how best to set up our time

Feeling. . . Nervous and Frustrated.  On the cusp of so many things but just have to give it all time.  Time that I know will fly by but the moments seem so long.

Hoping. . . For a smooth transition into school for Joss and all the new routines and changes it will bring.

Listening to. . . Frozen it is pretty much all we listen to in the car if Joss is with us and she pretty much always is, I also find myself getting to work realizing I have missed the opportunity for grown up radio as I have just let Frozen play the whole time.  I have also really enjoyed listening to podcasts before bed as I wind down some of my favourites right now are Answer Me This, No Such Thing as a Fish, and The Infinite Monkey Cage

Celebrating. . . Oh so many birthdays. That's what happens when you take a birth class with your first and stay close with all the parents 7 birthdays including Joss's from 28th of June to the 2nd of August!

Considering. . . a job change

Finishing. . . Knitting projects I have a jumper for Jasper I have been knitting for a while but have put down and picked up a number of times between different projects and need to finish it so he can enjoy it for the autumn.

Starting. . . Christmas craft projects

Monday, 28 April 2014

Spring Day in the Life 2014

Joining up with Navigating the Mothership and her quarterly Day in the Life post, this quarter it is being hosted by Mama Tully over at Adventures in Tullyland.

Tuesday 15th April 2104

Joss 3 years 9 months
Jasper 11 months

Sometime after 3am and before 5am Jasper wakes and Philip deals with him

5.49am Philip gets up and heads to the shower

6.03 I chill out in my bed and check social media on my phone, amazed that both my children are still asleep

6.15 head downstairs grab a drink and chat with Philip with out kids, a rarity

6.30 Head up stairs to get dressed, hear Joss and extract her before she wakes Jasper (they share a room now)

Philip asks her if she slept well, she says she didn't Jasper kept her awake all night (he didn't), he gets her started on breakfast and then finishes getting ready for work.

6.45 Joss "waves dadda to the door" as she calls it.  We now have to wait for him to get to the end of our road and turn the corner before we close the door and this particular morning it it a bit frosty and I wish I could just close the door. I get her back at the table eating breakfast.

I start my breakfast of eggs, beans, and toast

 I try to flip my eggs for over easy but some one has been using metal utensils on the non stick pans and I have a small melt down and decide the best option is to flip them out sunnyside up (or down as it may be in the photo)

I hear Jasper on the monitor so I throw some toast in the toaster for him and run upstairs and am greeted by this

How can you not love that?

7.04 we are all downstairs and at the table for breakfast

7.10 Joss decides she is done with breakfast I tell her to go upstairs and get dressed, she walks out of the room and straight back in and says "but mama I don't know where my clothes are"  I tell her they are in the same place they have been for the last year since we moved in and she proceeds to go upstairs while Jasper and I finish our breakfast. 

This is what happens when you let a three year old get dressed on her own she comes down with her pants on backwards and inside out.  A 10 minute negotiation that make Middle East peace talks look like a walk in the park happens and finally she agrees to let me help her put her pants on the correct way.

Jasper in happy snacking away in his high chair so I do a quick blitz of the kitchen wash my face and straighten my hair.

7.35 get Jasper out of the high chair and we head upstairs to do teeth brushing, face washing, and get Jasper dressed.  Grab a load of laundry and throw that in the machine.  Have the daily hair fight with Joss but finally get it done.  

8.15 we are in the car to do a quick shop before Jasper's morning nap, usually I wouldn't bother trying to push this in the morning but we have a crazy afternoon and are running out of some basics.

 First of the British strawberries have hit the shops which means we HAVE to buy them.  Joss would eat a punnet a day if I allowed her and she is so excited that we are buying strawberries that she burst out into a monologue in the grocery story that goes something like this.  " I LOVE strawberries, my daddy LOVES strawberries, you LOVE strawberries, Grandmas LOVES strawberries, daddy eats strawberries to grow big and strong if I eat strawberries I will grow big and strong like my daddy"
Joss has brought a book in with her to the shops and is standing in the cart "reading" it like it is the latest Dan Brown bestseller.  Jasper is just not amused by the whole pushing a shopping trip before nap time.

 Having an OMG moment as I buy our first batch of Whole Milk to start weaning Jasper on to cows milk.  Insert some Fiddler on the Roof here

Hit up the crisp aisle to pick some Quavers for a picnic the next day and Joss see some Hula Hoops (a type of crisp not the toy)  and shouts at the top of her lungs.  MAMA WOO HOOS I LOVE WOO HOOS CAN I PLEASE WOO HOOS THEY ARE MY FAVOURITE.  I buy her the Hula Hoops just to get her to stop shouting WOO HOO in the middle of a store filled with mainly over 65s.  On a side note they are also baked and low in salt so not like I am getting the kid a king size pack of Doritos or anything.

9.00 We are home and I put Jasper down for his nap, put the groceries away, make a quick call for work, txt a mum we are meeting later for a play date, get Joss a snack, hang out laundry and put another load in (I keep thing one day I will do a DITL when I am not doing laundry then I laugh at myself and realise only if I am still doing DITL when I am living in a retirement home), and pack the changing bag for our lunch play date.
 9.45 Resist the urge to let Joss watch TV so I can veg while Jasper naps and decide to pretend I am a good mum and grab her speech work and our pack of UNO cards.  Joss does really good at her speech work but is not in a good mood to play UNO so after one game I give up.  She plays with some toys while I dig through the toy box for Duplo blocks that have been put in there instead of the Duplo box and have a general clear out of all the toys that should be with their sets instead of in the toy box. 

Joss is obsessed with birthdays and birthday cakes so she makes me a birthday cake out of stacking cups and has to sing me happy birthday while I blow out the candles a few times.

10.15 Joss is bored of playing with her toys so I go a head and let her watch some TV so I can have a few minutes peace and veg out.  I tell myself its okay because she will be playing all afternoon with her friends.

11.00 Hang another load of laundry on the line and pack the last few bits for us to take to the lunch play date and txt the mum we are going to be late as Jasper is still sleeping.

Wake Jasper do the whole change and feed him thing.

11.50 out the door for our lunch/play date.

12.15-1.30 lunch date at Oasis with Susie and Jobe, I stupidly don't order anything for Jasper and not only does he eat all the snacks I brought for him but half my baked potato, really have to realise I need to start ordering him food as well.

1.30-3.15 back to Susie's for some fun in the back yard, on the walk back to Susie's Joss is "reading" her book again and we have to have a discussion about the fact that she can read it when walking but when we come to a road she has to look up and hold my hand while crossing the road.   All three kids play really hard and have a fun time with the cars, side walk chalk and bubbles.  Jasper is absolutely filthy from crawling around,  but they are all really happy.

3.30 Home from Susie's and I put Jasper down for a nap. Joss has a snack while I wash and get bottles in the sanitiser and boil the kettle to cool.

3.45 Joss and I play some Uno again but she isn't in the mood and after one game is finished.

4-5pm Joss runs between the house and garden as I chill out and do some bit and bobs around the house.  I wake Jasper from his nap and he is a bit cranky and wants lots of cuddles.  Joss is very concerned that he is not happy so grabs him a toy and gives it to him.  This makes him smile and she spends the rest of the night telling me what a big help she is and that she made Jasper happy by getting him a toy.

5.30 we sit down to dinner both kids are pretty worn out and not really in the mood for dinner so we head straight for bath.  I am amazed at how much easier bath with the both of them is getting especially now that Jasper is able to sit on his own in the bath with out support.  Jasper screams like I am ripping him limb for limb when I get him out of the bath and get him in his pjs.  He is rubbing his eyes like crazy so I figure that even though he had a late nap I am going to give him a bottle and get him settled.  Joss gets her pjs on while I am feed Jasper and heads downstairs as I get him settled in bed.

6.15 Jasper is out like a light bulb and I let Joss watch some programs on my iPad while I clean up the kitchen, bring the laundry in and do a massive laundry fold and organised so I can put it all away the next morning

7.00 Joss and I have a cuddle on the couch before I take her up to bed, Jasper wakes while I am in the room but do the whole make no eye contact trick and he settles again with out a problem I can hear both of them chatting for a few minutes but both are out by 7.15pm.

I decide to have a Homeland marathon and finish watching season two only to realise that season three is not available yet.

I have a quick bath and shut down the house for the night and realize it is going on 10.30 so head to bed for the night.

Sometime after 11pm Philip gets home from work I hear him come in and my brain completely switches off and I am out.

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.