04 November, 2015

Bees.

So, I've been convinced Dude was going to be weaned at least four times.  Once when he bit me so hard I looked down expecting to see a piece of my nipple missing.  Once when I went to Amsterdam for three days.  Once when he turned two.  Once when I went to Texas for five days.

Obviously, none of those times was "the time Dude was weaned".  The boy is, and always has been, a boob jockey.  You should see how happy his little face is when I get out of the shower.  He has been known to climb into my lap on the sofa, assume the position, tug at the neck of my shirt and demand "bees".  (Insert obligatory "bitty" joke here.)

Let me set the scene for the last couple of weeks in our house.  There has been the usual amount of coughing and spluttering, and just for fun we added in the obligatory flu immunisation.   This saw both kids spiking a fever on and off for a couple of days.  At one point, Dude walked past my lovely clean bra drying on the door handle into the kitchen, said "nose", and wiped a chunky green stripe onto the left cup.  Despite our offerings* to Atishoo, the god of colds and flus, the coughing and spluttering has only increased.  Madam spiked yet another fever last night, complaining of ear and neck pain, which of course saw us at the GP today.  And of course, they both have chest infections.

I haven't slept in... well, probably since Texas.  And due to various reasons (jet lag, tattoos, the usual...) that was the same amount of sleep, just in a different bed.  So despite my smug Thrive-popping assurances that I WILL NEVER GET SICK AGAIN... I got sick again.  Despite the fact that we are all sick, the fridge genie didn't get the memo that we were out of food, so we trundled along to Tesco.  We made it through fresh fruit and veg, got Himself's cream crackers and milk, and in my sneezing, sniffling, coughing stupor I found myself staring blankly at the wall of cold and flu meds.

I haven't spent any real time in this aisle in four years.  I've been either pregnant or breastfeeding since January of 2011, and unable to medicate myself with anything stronger than the occasional paracetamol.  That's when it hit me.  I don't think I've fed Dude this month.  This could be, this could finally be, "the time Dude was weaned".

So yes, I bought a packet of Beechams.  Yes, I swallowed one when we got home.  My nose has already stopped attempting to drown me.  I have a weird guilty feeling hovering somewhere above my head, though.  I've basically spent the last four years trying to do what was best for the bratlets, which usually meant ignoring what I needed, and this feels... selfish.  I know.  Believe me, I know.  He's over two, we've been really lucky that breastfeeding was so easy for me, and he got what he needed from me when he most needed it.  He's proven that when he's tired he will just lay down and go to sleep, no boobs required.

Guess it's just the end of an era.  Bring on the pharmaceuticals.



*Used kleenex, the moans and groans of the truly devout, and endless cups of tea.

23 September, 2015

Eight weeks.

So, yesterday marked the eight week milestone with my Thrive supplements.  I thought I'd update, as I've been pretty quiet about it since the first week or so.

Let's just start with the fact that I haven't lost any weight.  That said, it's not marketed as a weight loss product, that's just one of the side effects for some people.  Also, I've made really terrible food choices in the last couple of months.  *lol*  I'm still dealing with some depression and eating disorder issues, and those will take time to sort out.  Plus, I don't get regular unbroken sleep, which is one of the big things that people say matters with healthy weight loss.

I've seen major changes, though, in the following:

  • The skin on my stomach and the backs of my arms doesn't feel thin and crepey anymore.  I've noticed firmer, more elastic skin, and for me those are major problem areas, so I'm pretty happy about it.
  • My hair is growing noticeably faster, as are my nails, and they're both healthier and stronger.
  • I quit smoking, cold turkey, over a month and a half ago and haven't had any cravings.  If I'm honest, the cravings went when I used Thrive from day one, it just took a little longer to kick the habit part.
  • I don't crave caffeine, and have only had a handful of coffees in the last eight weeks.  If you know me at all, you know that's a bit of a change.  *grin*  If I have one now it's not because I need it, it's because I just really want one because coffee is DELICIOUS.
  • I feel awake even when I'm tired, and I don't have the constant brain fog I'd become accustomed to.
  • Last, but definitely not least as this is the biggest deal for me, my kids have gotten sick three times since I started Thrive.  My husband caught dregs each time.  I got nothing.  NOTHING.  It's like my immune system is coated with teflon.  Bring it, winter germs.
I'm looking forward to seeing where it goes in the next few months.  I'm hoping that as the kids get older, the quality of sleep will improve and we'll all get more of it.  I can't imagine how I'll feel when I've fully paid back my sleep debt.

I'm not a hard sell kind of person.  I'm not going to fill my Facebook feed with daily pictures and slogans.  In fact, I find that really obnoxious.  A few of my friends having asked me about "the sticker on my arm" have tried Thrive.  It's been a day one effect for a few and some didn't feel it during the trial.  The people who felt it on day one have ordered their own, same as I did.  It's hard to put your faith (and money) in a product that doesn't make you feel something the minute you take it.  What I would say is that Thrive suggest you try the eight week "experience" because with some people it takes longer than just a couple of days for the effects to kick in.  The MLM aspect puts people off as well, mostly because of the pressure some people put on their social circle to buy what they're selling.

For me, I'm happy when Thrive works for people.  I feel so much better than I have in years, so I love when what works for me works for those around me.  I'm happy to talk about it if people have questions, I'm happy to give samples for people who want to try it.  I'm just not going to hold your nose and pour it down your throat.  *grin*

25 August, 2015

Karma, you b*tch.

So, today's our eight year wedding anniversary.  We've had a hell of a ride, and the last four years have been over the top crazy and amazing what with Madam and Dude joining our little troupe, but that's not what I'm going to talk about right now.

No, what I want to talk about is karma.  The vindictive b*tch.

This morning, while stripping the bed during Dude's morning ablutions, I saw a spider.  Let me elaborate.  I saw a huge, nightmare inducing, size of a compact car spider, on the bedroom wall.  I think my heart stopped for a moment, but when I regained use of my fear-frozen limbs, I managed to order the spider not to move and ran to the bathroom for a what even I have to admit was a ridiculously huge wad of loo roll with which to dispatch said beast.

When I ran back in, he was still there.  Staring at me.  Daring me to approach him.

I dared.

Yes, I made awful faces while I dealt with him.  Yes, I shuddered uncontrollably before, during and after the process.  Yes, I stared at the bin for a good three minutes to ensure I'd actually terminated the monster before I went back to stripping the bed.

Of course, my brain being what it is, I started ruminating on the nature of the age-old spider vs. human relationship.  My ecologically minded self is actually aware that spiders are necessary for the ecosystem.  I know, in my head, that the spiders here aren't the crazy, venom-eats-a-hole-in-your-skin kind I grew up avoiding like the plague.  Unfortunately, my fear has been too long nurtured to overcome when presented with a menacing fist-sized beastie in my bedroom.

So then, I start thinking about how a really horrible way to die would be by spider attack.  I have a mental image of myself, covered in spiders, pouring in and out of my ears, nose, mouth... this is my head, people.  It ain't pretty, but it's mine.  And I wonder how many spiders I've killed in my life.  And I wonder, do they talk about me?  Like, have secret meetings when all the humans are sleeping or distracted, and have a top ten list like the FBI's Most Wanted.  That's when I felt a tickle on my left (bare) shoulder.  I glanced over to brush off what I assumed was a stray hair.

ASPIDEROHGODTHEY'VECOMEFORMEOHCRAPOHCRAPOHCRAP

I actually screamed out loud.  Like, hurt my throat, stupid blonde girl in a horror movie, probably made the neighbours think I was being murdered screamed.  I'm pretty sure I danced in place for a minute too.  And flapped my arms.

I dealt with that one too.  I couldn't risk that he'd hide somewhere and crawl into my ear in the night to lay eggs that would then hatch and pour out to devour my sleeping family.  I dealt, but I don't think my heart stopped racing for at least an hour.  And I keep looking at the ceilings.

You suck, karma.

22 July, 2015

Grody, Dude.

I had an NCT committee meeting on Sunday night, just a general catch up to go over recent and upcoming events, and while I was there I received a text from Himself.  Apparently, Dude had taken advantage of my absence and floated one in the bath.  Not even a small one.  A hefty, full size poo.  In the tub.  Which of course meant that Himself had to fish it out, drain the tub and shower the boy.  I, of course, found this highly amusing.

Until yesterday.

I really needed to wash my hair, and Dude had painted himself with the Nutella from his toast, so I thought to save time and take him in with me.  He likes to sit under the showerhead anyway, so I got on with washing my hair while he played with his dinosaur.  (This is not a euphemism.  He keeps a t-rex in the bathroom for this very purpose.)  I got out to throw on some clothes and planned to grab him once dressed.

That's when he started shouting.

Now, I figured the water had gone cold.  This has happened before.  Or, there was the time that he fooled with the taps and had the shower running at three million degrees.  So it could have been hot, rather than cold.  Unfortunately, this was not the issue.

His hands were covered in poo.  From the mountain of poo on the floor of the tub.

This might be the time to mention that he had already done a poo that morning.  Not even a small one, mind you.  I washed the poo away, soaped the boy, rinsed the boy, soaped the t-rex, rinsed the t-rex, and went back to the bedroom to re-attempt the clothing procedure.  Then he started to shout again.

Cold shower?  Unfortunately not.

I washed away the second mountain of poo, which at least this time he had not put his hands into, and went back to the bedroom.

I wish I could say that was the end of it.  We repeated the above procedure twice more.  FOUR POOS IN THE SHOWER IN THE SPACE OF FIVE MINUTES, and this is after the one he'd already done that morning.  Not a one of them was small.  There's not a nappy in this world that could have contained what came out of him yesterday morning.  Frankly, I was a little impressed.  A lot disgusted, but a little impressed.

Hashtag boys are gross.

19 July, 2015

Thrive life, y'all.

So, after the last post (sort of during it, really) I started to break out in hives.  Like, all over my body, red, raised, stinging hives.  Spreading, changing formation, travelling fun.  I ended up in A&E for a hefty dose of steroids and antihistamines and was told it was stress.  Go figure.  So, I had to stop the boot camp and the running, and have been trying to take it easier, get more sleep, drink more water, etc. to destress and get my body back to normal.  I was completely gutted, I thought that I was finally on my way to being more active, healthier, perhaps even thinner... meh.

Anyway, a friend in the states has been posting about this stuff she's been using for almost a month.  She's lost over a stone, has loads of energy and feels generally fabulous.  Honestly, I didn't put much credence to it, I'm pretty skeptical when it comes to "miracle pills".  Ketones, green coffee, whatever the heck else is out there, it all sounds too good to be true (which means it usually is).  That said, she's a friend not a random online review, so I asked her to send a sample in the next package from my sister.  In the meantime I hit the internet hard, looking for info about the system, looking for negative reviews, looking for scientific info debunking or supporting the claims made.  I took the ingredients list to my doctor to ask if it was safe to try while breastfeeding.  I was really surprised at what I found... negative reviews are difficult to find, everything's safe, green flag all the way.

The first morning of the three day trial, I woke up and took the pills on an empty stomach as instructed.  Half an hour later I drank the shake (not my thing, really, but it doesn't taste bad) and stuck on the nutrition patch.  Before I even made the shake I was feeling something, almost like I'd already had a coffee.  Afterwards... I could have run ten miles.  *lol*  I drank loads of water that day, again as instructed, and it seemed like every time I drank more water it re-upped the effects of the pills and patch.  I wasn't grumpy with my kids, I wasn't yawning my head off, dragging and craving coffee or cigarettes, I just felt good!

Day two was even better as I woke up with a monthly visitor that I hadn't had a single warning sign was coming... no pre-cramps, no grump, no bloat.  Unheard of, especially as they've been getting worse every month.  That night had been singularly awful as well, I'd been up with Dude from midnight to 4am, and after I'd followed the morning routine I felt totally fine.  Like, normal, fine.  Craziness.  Still no cramps, still no generically grumpy moods due to monthly visitor.  I worked in the garden and garage, roped Himself in to help move the trampoline to the newly cleared area earmarked for bouncing, played with the kids, it was great.

Here I am at day three, after another pretty bad night with Dude, and I'm still good.  Great, actually.  I'm finding that having something as a physical reminder of the changes I'm making (the DFT patch) reminds me to drink water, and thus far it's making me more mindful of what I'm putting in my face.  I'm still not exhausted from lack of sleep, I'm not bouncing off the walls like I was the first day, but I'd had a pretty full night's sleep before that.  I still don't have any cramps, and I've worked more in the garden, planting flowers and trimming the forsythia.  We took a walk with the kids this morning, and despite awful attitudes I haven't wanted to knock heads together.  It's amazing.  I've just come home from a committee meeting, it's at least an hour past my bedtime and I'm not crosseyed from fatigue.  *lol*

So, since I'm apparently going to be the crazy Thrive lady, I've signed up to "promote" it.  I'll have samples for anybody that wants a tester, and if you're stateside I can arrange to have samples make their way to you.  If you want to order, I have a link to use.  However, if you don't, that's even better, because that means I can take it all myself.  *grin*  Here's to a less grumpy Gabs.

12 June, 2015

Asshole.

So, it's been a weird month for me.  I had some childhood stuff rear its ugly head through a trigger I didn't even know existed.  It manifested in a few weeks of bulimia and smoking, a lot of feeling miserable, one long and involved unaired blog post, and a few very honest conversations with various family members.  I've kicked the bulimia (for now), haven't quite managed to give up the smokes, but have started some positive behaviours by attending a boot camp twice a week and running a couple of times a week with a friend or by myself (with Dude in the pushchair of course).

As part of my attempt at a fresh start, I attempted a conversation with another family member that has been estranged for a while.  Bad idea.  See, I'm an asshole.

So let me just put this out there.  I embrace the asshole-dom.  Pretty much every bad thing I had to live through in my life came from people not having the difficult conversations.  It wasn't "their business" to talk about it, or they didn't know about it in the first place because NOBODY TALKS ABOUT THE BAD STUFF.  So I talk about the bad stuff.  For instance, if you lie to me and then tell the whole family that you don't know why I'm mad at you, or in fact give them a totally fictitious version of what happened, I'm not going to take out an ad in the local paper trashing you to all and sundry, but if somebody asks I'm bloody well going to tell them the truth.  If that creates fallout for you, you shouldn't have lied in the first place.

I'm really regretting having attempted the conversation in the first place, as I honestly thought that having a frank exchange would start a positive upswing in this particular relationship.  Turns out she's one of the "we don't talk about that" crowd.  I got told that we don't have the kind of relationship where I can talk about the deep stuff with her.  Disappointing especially given how close we used to be.  And, of course, writing this is going to put the final nail in that coffin.  Again, I'm an asshole.

At this point in my life, I just don't have the energy or the interest to deal with people who aren't good for me.  If that means that there's a good portion of my family that's not really a part of my life, that's okay.  I have a pretty sweet life here, with family and friends around me that value me for who and what I am.  I have a three year old who tells me "it's not time for fashion" when I attempt to make her shop for clothes.  I have a 22mo weirdo son who runs around trashing the place and shouting "ta-daaaah!" when he's created chaos.  I have a husband who puts up with my dark times and doesn't say a word when I leave him home with the brats while I purge my demons through sweat.

It's not all good just yet, but it's damned well going to be.  Because I'm one determined asshole.

01 March, 2015

Ugly American (ombre).

So, I've never been super picky about my hair.  If I got a bad cut (and I've had a few) I figured I could either cut it short and start again or wait for it to grow out.  No big deal.

However, I never paid big bucks to get it done.  If I wanted the colour changed, I did it myself.  Sometimes Himself helped.  I went through just about every colour of the rainbow in my twenties, including blacklight sensitive shades, just ask The Mimi.  *grin*

Anyway, I decided that for my 35th birthday, I wanted to try the ombre thing.  Sister Two has had the blonde version for a while, and I like the way it looks, but I've never been one to do anything halfway.  Purple was the way to go.  I trawled Pinterest for a good picture to show the stylist and settled on the below.


Cute, right?  I know, I've not got fringe, a thin face, or a swanky hat, but I figured it was a good jumping off point for the shade of purple I liked.  You'll notice, the colour starts below her chin...

We were going to Texas for Christmas, and I thought that would be a good time to have it done.  I've been frequenting a certain Aveda salon in the Highlands since I was pregnant with Madam and the lady who cut my hair the last time we were stateside had mentioned she was good with colour, so I called and booked an appointment for the day after Christmas.

I showed her the picture above, we had a conversation in which she detailed that the colours she was going to use would blend together into a mix of purples and blues much like the picture, but that it would start out more vibrant and fade to the lavender in the picture so it would be less high maintenance for me.  Score, I thought, and we got started.

After almost five (five!) hours, we were done.  Now, it had occurred to me that she'd mentioned she had another appointment coming in at two, but it didn't occur to me that another person coming in would mean I'd be shorted on the work I'd paid for.  Turns out, that's exactly what it meant.  She didn't have time to dry my hair fully, which has never been an issue as I normally let my hair dry naturally anyway.  Of course, it didn't occur to me that I wouldn't see the true colours in my hair when it was still damp... the picture below is what I left with.


Go on, compare that to the picture I'd shown the stylist.  I'll wait.  Oh, you're back already because it didn't take two seconds to realise that my hair looks NOTHING LIKE THE PICTURE?  Yeah, I saw that too.

I decided to give it a couple of days, wash and dry it myself, see what it looked like.  Funnily enough, it still didn't look anything like what I'd wanted.  If you can see, the bottom edge and various other areas are still totally brown.  The colour starts way above where I'd wanted it to.  When I called in (totally uncomfortable about complaining, because as I'd mentioned before, I'd never cared enough to do so) and made another appointment to get it fixed, the stylist told me that it looked brown because the toner had cancelled out the bleach and that eventually it would have faded to blonde.  It didn't sound like a sensible explanation to me, but hey, I'm not a stylist, so I let her apply the purple again and leave it longer (her reasoning was that it hadn't been left on long enough to soak in).  Of course that didn't address the huge purple spot on the back of my head, or the navy spots to either side, nor did it help things that she spent the first five minutes of the second appointment pretending she didn't think it looked bad (maybe hoping I'd give up and go home?) before she realised I wasn't backing down and she was going to have to fix it.  I know, I know, believe me when I say I know better now.  However, this time when I left I looked like this.


Awesome, right?  Yeah, it's really dark, but it was meant to fade to the lighter purple and at least it's even.

Of course, then I flew home.  After several washings (which in my life only happen every six or seven days) it looked like this.


Yeah, that bottom edge is brown again.  Not to mention the totally separate patches of navy blue and purple.  At this point I hadn't worn my hair down in a while, I was so conscious of the uneven colour.

After several promptings from various sources (including a stylist here in London, who when she saw my hair down asked why I'd tried to colour it myself), I emailed the salon.  I won't go into much detail about how frustrating my interactions with them were, will just say that polite emails got ignored and firm to rude ones got responded to within hours.  After three weeks of condescending emails, pictures sent and delayed responses I was offered a refund.  With the funds back in my grasp, I made an appointment with a local salon here in London and went off to hopefully get it sorted out.

The result?

I went from this:



To this:



It's still not the shade I hope to end up with, but it's already fading to a pretty pastel purple.  It's still higher on my head than it's meant to be, but we couldn't fix that without dying my roots and that would totally undo the whole low-maintenance thing.  The next time I go in, she's going to lighten it a little more, which will make it possible to get the true pastel purple I was going for in the first place.

The moral of the story?  Just because someone says they've been doing their job for sixteen years doesn't make them good at it.  When it comes to spending a lot on something as subjective as colouring your hair, make sure the person doing the work not only understands what you're asking for (and apparently clear language and pictures shown don't cut it for some people) but is capable of providing it.  It's a real shame, the stylist in Texas had done such a great job with the cut both times, and I've been going to that salon exclusively for the last four years, and now I can't see myself walking through those doors again.

Of course, the main thing is that Madam is happy with it.  (She is.)

06 February, 2015

Fingers.

I'm used to little fingers in and around my mouth.  Most of the time they're forcibly inserted for the purposes of making me pretend to eat them, eliciting giggles from both bratlets.  Sometimes it's to make a grab for my barbell, which has thus far (thankfully) been unsuccessful.  Other times it's to share food.  It's a regular occurrence.

So when Dude sat in my lap earlier while I was attempting to check my email, I didn't think twice when he shoved his stubby little finger in my mouth.

That's when I felt something squish.

I can tell you, I looked up from my email sharpish.  I pulled his finger out and saw with mounting horror something looking suspiciously like poo.  I'm frantically casting my eyes over his body, and I won't lie, I'm gagging a little at the thought that he's dipped that stubby little finger into the back of his nappy, when I realise that he's scraped bird poo (the lovely green goosey kind) off my shoe on the floor and decided to feed it to me.

It was bird shit.

In.

My.

Mouth.

In my actual mouth.

I can now verify that washing ones mouth out with soap is an unpleasant task.

(But not as unpleasant as leaving the bird poo in there.)

23 January, 2015

Boobs are a touchy subject.

So, an old friend of mine (we'll go with OF for this one) in Texas had a baby right before Christmas.  As you can imagine, I was pretty excited to meet the sproglet and to catch up with those who so cleverly made her.  I proceeded to sort through some of Herself's small things, choosing a few of my favourites to pass on, and a few silly little gifty things, and made plans to pop by OF's parents' house to say hi.

Let me just lay this out for you.  I had the whole family in tow, which was understood before we were invited.  Perhaps, hindsight being what it is, I should have arranged for the first visit to be sans bratlets, but it didn't occur to me at the time.  So here we are, jet lagged after the HellFlight and spotty sleep, arriving to meet the fresh baby, and first thing I see is a huge well decorated tree with a pile of beautifully wrapped presents beneath it.  Now, as we discussed in the last post, that's Dude's version of catnip.  So I'm already attempting to stop him wrecking the place and opening everybody's gifts for them, and it turns out that their family has been decorating Christmas cookies.  When OF's dad asks if the kids might like one, I say I'm sure they'd love that.  It hadn't occurred to me that he'd bring a plate with about eight cookies on it and put it on the coffee table within short armed reach.  My two, of course, pick all the chocolate off the tops, making sure to touch every cookie so none are salvageable for outside consumption, and go back to attempting to wreck their surroundings.

I think you can probably tell I was a little distracted at this point.  *lol*  I handed over the bag of bits, and I remember now mentioning that the container of Cadbury's was only for the breastfeeding mama.  I remember when the baby started to fuss, I said "oh honey, mine aren't your flavour" and handed her to her mummy.  That's when OF proceeded to give the baby a bottle.

Now, I don't know what was in the bottle.  It could have been pumped breastmilk.  It could have been special formula to help that baby doll put back on some of the weight she lost after birth, to supplement breastfeeding.  OF may not have been able to breastfeed for whatever reason.  I honestly have no idea, because nothing was ever said.

We left shortly after that, removing our chaos from their well ordered abode.  I kicked myself all the way home for having put my breastfeeding foot so neatly into my mouth.  This was in addition to when I asked how the birth experience had gone and they said they'd induced the baby.  I asked what had happened that they needed to induce, and was told that the doctor figured the baby would be big enough, that it was more convenient with the family plans for December, so they went for it.  I was so confused, I'm sure I had a weird look on my face that was very likely taken for negative judgement about their choice to induce.  I mean, I went over with both kids because in the UK (where I've lived for the last eleven and a half years, in case you need the reminder) the whole "elective caesarian" thing is completely foreign.  Babies go to term and over, intervention is a last ditch effort.  I decided to contact OF in a couple of days to arrange for a childless meet up in the hopes that I could smooth the situation out and spend more time admiring her perfect offspring.

Of course, that was before I was asked by The Mimi (who had also heard my woeful tale of foot-in-mouth) whether I'd seen the link about breastfeeding that OF's sister had posted to her timeline on Facebook.  That would be this one here:

http://www.theonion.com/articles/new-study-finds-link-between-breastfeeding-always,36823/

It's titled "New Study Finds Link Between Breastfeeding, Always Knowing What's Right For Everyone".  In the interest of full disclosure, I have to admit I didn't read all the way through it.  I did notice OF's comment underneath it of "funny stuff".

I need to say this.  I have never intentionally set out to hurt someone's feelings about they way they're choosing to parent.  I'm particularly careful about the breastfeeding land mine, ironically, as one of my closest friends had trouble with her first child.  He was hospitalised at birth which saw her up the hospital pumping milk for him several times a day, he never took to the breast, she got a wicked case of mastitis... basically it just didn't work out for them.  She was gutted.  She felt that her body had let her down, that she wasn't fulfilling her son's needs the way she wanted to, it was awful.  I am actively grateful I didn't have problems feeding either of my kids, and that's mainly down to having seen the contrast with my friend.  Her experience brought home for me, before Madam was even an accidental glint in her daddy's eye, that parenting is a tricky business and not everything always goes to plan.

So yes, I'm a little crunchy.  We cloth nappy, we co-sleep, we baby wear.  We went the baby led weaning route, we wear amber, we use coconut oil.  Those are all choices Himself and I made mostly because they just work for us.  I think we straddle the crunchy divide a little, because on the other side we vaccinate, we don't avoid TV, we allow the occasional dirty McD's kids meal.  We have lots of toys, we use some chemicals in cleaning, and I'm not touching kombucha with a million foot pole.  *shudder*  We're very lucky to be surrounded by a circle of friends that are varied in their own approaches, yet nonjudgemental about the choices made by others.

I have no idea if that link was sent to OF because I'd managed to offend her on one of the myriad points I worried over as I left her parents' house.  It might have been because I'm not the first person to have assumed she'd be breastfeeding her baby.  Again with the hindsight, it might have helped for OF to mention to yours truly (the self avowed extended breastfeeding flag waver) that she wasn't going that route for whatever reason, it would have stopped me forcibly shoving my size eights into my face, but hey.  If anything, the whole situation has made me even more conscious of what words fall out of my mouth, and that can never be a bad thing.

09 January, 2015

Furious flights, familial festivities.

Since we've procreated, we made a deal with our respective families that we'll alternate Christmases.  One year here in the UK, one year in Texas.  This year was a Texas year.  Yee haw.

Himself, being the savvy consumer that he is, searched around for the flights.  He found the best deal for the time we wanted to spend in the States and booked it for what was, to me, a staggering £2600.  Just out of curiosity, he checked a few weeks later.  The same flights were up to £4000.  A week or two before Christmas he checked again.

£7000.

For.  The.  Same.  Flights.

Because apparently the Reason for the Season is for the airlines to squeeze as much out of people wanting to spend the holidays with their families as they possibly can.  Gross.

Anyway, we piled into the cab on the morning of the 22nd to head to the airport.  Little did we know that the ride to Heathrow would be the last moments of peace we had before we hit the tarmac in Dallas.  I can't even tell you how bad that flight was.  Here are the highlights.  If Dude wasn't eating, he was screaming.  He doesn't do captivity, and the three square inches between me and the seat in front of us just wasn't fulfilling his need for room in which to rampage.  Madam was Bored.  It warrants the capital letter, believe me.  There was one (ONE) kid's movie on the in flight entertainment.  The crowning glory of Her was when she dumped a ginger ale all over herself.  Like, ALL over herself.  I had grabbed a dress out of the clean laundry as a last minute "forgot to pack this" deal and stuffed it into my carry-on, and Dude had on tights under his trousers, thus a new outfit was cobbled together.  About three hours into the hellflight, I vowed we'd never fly again.  We may not try again until Dude is fifteen or so.

Of course, the moment we entered The Mimi's domicile, he made a beeline for her (frankly amazing) Christmas tree, which for the next two weeks he single-mindedly attempted to destroy from the bottom up.  We're talking ornaments that have been used every Christmas since my mother was a child.  See below for visual confirmation of the amazingness.


If he wasn't hellbent on tree destruction, he was opening cabinets and drawers.  I'd say every single door and drawer in that house was tried at some point or another.

Madam spent the two weeks eating candy.  And nothing else.  Well, I think she ate a little cucumber, but that was about it.  Apparently the food in Texas looks weird.  We're attempting to detox her now, she ate roughly fifteen kilos of sushi last night and the prognosis is good.

We went to (wait for it)... Pawnee Bill's Wild West Show.  No joke.  It was amazing, both kids were totally enthralled by the horses, whips, guns, cowboys, trick riders, and general Texan-ness of the whole thing.  They were also fascinated by the cattle drive that preceded the show, there's something about a cow with three foot horns on its head that draws the eye of the toddler.




The trip was pretty good on the whole.  There were dance parties and adorable donuts...



Basketball games and vegetable puns...



Purple hair and carousel rides...




Toddler tattoos and recovered Army fashion...



Expensive jewellery and Santa sightings...



And last but certainly not least, a veritable feast for the eyes.  Yes, those horns are real.  Yes, they do light up.  Yes, there is a doberman peeking out of the window.  His name is Warlock.  For reals.


Anyway, we made it back in one piece, mostly.  The flight back was pretty turbulent, so although the bratlets slept, it wasn't the most peaceful slumber they ever had.  Their little body clocks are so confused that our first night back home saw us downstairs watching movies and eating pretzel goldfish from around half eleven until five in the morning, when we finally collapsed into bed again and slept until almost noon.  *lol*

Thus another holiday season plays itself out.  Happy New Year, all, here's to making it a great one.