Archive for October, 2007

Toddler Halloween Party

October 31, 2007

Halloween Party for our playgroup 2007
Originally uploaded by b_corn23.

Happy Halloween!

Sam the King of the Wild Things had a super morning at Tricia’s toddler Halloween party this morning. His costume is perfect for him as he indeed created mischief of one kind and another as he tore around. He’s very independant, adventurous and curious, I just hope he didn’t get up anyone’s nose too much though.

The little purple hippo costume that Jen made for Isabella was absolutely fantastic, really impressive, and it was such a shame that it got too hot in the room and she barely got to wear it. Same goes for Linnea’s adorable dragon outfit. I didn’t even get a chance to snap a photo of the toddlers myself before some of them had to cool off a little.

Lucas was a doctor, complete with soft toy medic’s bag and tools, and was probably the most comfortable of the gang. Oh, except for Elvis (Jacob) who was just too cool for words.

Sisters Feliz and Lula were perfect little matching bumble bees and we had little boy lions shaking their manes around the room.

We did a pot (un)lucky lunch and managed to rustle up a really impressive spread between us. My contribution was banana pudding, which Bill will be very glad to hear didn’t get totally eaten so I have some in the fridge waiting for him, lucky hubby.

I declare the gift exchange a success too. We ended up sitting in a circle (well the mums anyway, there was no hope for the toddlers) and passing our offerings to the right. Sam got a freaky little rat that makes spooky noises, scuttles around and has red flashing eyes…eeek!

We’re supposed to be going out to EAV this evening for more Halloween and Trick or Treating fun, but Sam got his costume dirty and I had to give it a wash. I hope it survives a tumble in the machine and gets dry in time! *worried*

Green card

October 26, 2007


I just checked my bank account and the cheque to USCIS has finally cashed. No receipt for my application to remove conditions yet but this is a great sign that I should hopefully get that in the post soon. Maybe I will be making it over to England for December and Christmas afterall! Keep moving Texas Service Centre!


Two sad days for England.

October 26, 2007

Sunday saw the final between England and South Africa in the Rugby Word Cup.

Yes, I do say Sunday and not Saturday because over this side of the pond the big match wasn’t broadcast on cable until over a day later (unless of course you didn’t mind splashing out $30 + tax and fees for pay per view!). I suppose that is slightly better than the rest of the World Cup games though, the ones that were broadcast at all were infuriatingly shown at least a week after the matches had been played.

So as the match played out on Saturday afternoon Bill and I went to the Little Five Points Halloween Parade with a little Tigger in tow and I shut myself off from all sporting announcements on the television and internet, and most importantly from Daddy on Yahoo! IM for 24 hours.

Somehow this worked, mainly because the US of A couldn’t give a stuff about the rugby anyway so there really wasn’t too much chance of a spoiler, and on Sunday at five, without knowing the final score, I happily settled down to watch England blow their title defense a second time.

Rugby World Cup
Originally uploaded by pinkaboo_uk.

As usual Sam had other ideas though and Mummy just wasn’t allowed to have her two hours of peace. This is pretty much my view of the pitch throughout the match. Little beastie.

Still, good game, though frustrating to see the final come down to a bunch of penalties. Was so excited and then gutted when England scored that clear try. Silly video ref.

Hmm, in retrospect, it just occurred to me that maybe Sam was trying to tell me something here? Is he trying to be patriotic and support his fellow countrymen by covering up his green (*spit*) shirt with the red and white of the lions?!

House on Hold

October 11, 2007

We didn’t make it to the board of commissioners meeting on Tuesday morning at 9am, but I did manage to catch the coverage regarding the moratorium and proposed text amendment on channel 23. It was repeated on the television just now so amazingly I managed to time it and turn over just as our segment of interest was starting so Bill could also watch what happened.
Again, there was no one standing in favour of the proposed text amendment.
One gentleman stood up in opposition, but he was a terrible speaker. He was very meandering, didn’t really have anything solid to say and although his message that he hoped the commissioners would take a sensitive approach was one that Bill had been pushing, he didn’t come across too well at all. It wasn’t helped that he told the commissioners that they should tread carefully or face getting into big trouble. He rather came across as akin to a soothsayer expressing a bad omen.
Jeff Radar then expressed that he wanted to defer the item for a month and extend the moratorium. This was then amended to January as that was the earliest date they could feasibly get public opinion, then return the proposal to the Planning Commission and Board of Commissioners.

The vote was then unanimous that the moratorium is to be extended until January.
So we are still stuck in limbo, still waiting for some definitive decision and still here in our little cottage under the trees. Trees which incidentally also don’t seem to like us very much as the other night one of them despatched a huge log down onto Sam’s nursery roof. On first inspection we didn’t think it had caused damage but Bill took another look at the weekend and apparently we do have a nice hole to patch up there now. *sigh*
I guess that at least Bill and I now know we did make the right decision not to go ahead and stretch ourselves with the Tampa house, there’s no way we could have continued two mortgages with our house not sold into January and possibly beyond. Guess we could have lost a whole lot more than we have so far. Also, with this looking to stretch out even further I’m glad we did take the house off the market, for the moment at least. Seems silly to go through the stress of being on the market when this red tape is going to put off any potential buyers.


Today Sam ate crumpets for lunch, loved them. But then, what is there not to like? Yummy!

We also went to the zoo this morning and had a grand time. Jen and Isabella (and Nonna!) were there, freshly back from their summer adventures in Connecticut. We’ve missed them a lot and it was so good to catch up. At least, as much as you can when you have a bunch of wayward toddlers running in different directions and needing attention all the time!

October 10, 2007

As with everything else, Sam takes his art very seriously. Here he is enjoying himself (he’s having a grand time honest, it just doesn’t always show on his face!) painting Daddy a picture. This was just before the spider interrupted play yesterday. We think it’s a landscape, a Sam rendition of the house across the road, you can see him checking the scale with his thumb!

Today I gave Sam some Marmite on toast, and he loved it. He’s a good Brit!

Drama! – Sam makes his first bad friend.

October 8, 2007

I seem to have an awful lot to write about today. I’m glad this next post didn’t turn out to be as scary and worrying as I first thought it would. At about half six this evening I was really thinking Samuel was going to be in big trouble.

We were outside on the front porch waiting for Daddy to get home. I’d got out the new construction paper and crayons, and Sam was sat at his picnic table having a great time with the fingerpaints. He’s not too interested in smearing the paint around with his fingers, but loves to squeeze the paint out of the tubes. He was also excitedly matching the crayons to the paint by colour and I was having a great time watching him.

Then he got up and started giving a plastic foot pump a great deal of attention. I didn’t think much of that at first and just went to put it out of the way. That changed when I bent down to take it from Sam and a little shiny black spider had me transfixed. It was flexing its long delicate legs and had a tight round body. Sam was very engrossed and kept reaching for it.

Before I could even blink I grabbed Sam and charged him through the house and into the nursery. He was screaming bloody murder, howling and shrieking and I had no idea if he’d actually been bitten, was scared by his mum yanking him away and banishing him to his room, or that maybe I’d hurt him a little as I’d grabbed him so frantically.

I left him crying in the nursery and ran back to investigate the spider because I had a terrible inkling that it was a black widow. My suspicions were confirmed when I gingerly examined the arachnid that was beginning to unfreeze and scuttle off into a corner. Flipping it over revealed those ominous red markings. Spider then scurried away back beneath the foot pump and as I jumped and pushed the pump away from me I think I accidentally (but unashamedly thankfully) killed it. I placed an empty jam jar over what I hoped was a carcass, just in case, and it’s still there now.

Running back to Sam, I found him calmed down greatly but acting a little wobbly. He was doing his usual reaching for his books but wasn’t being his usual assertive self and was tripping over his feet a lot. Examining him for a bite was hard as he was covered in paint and I didn’t want to waste time bathing him as I didn’t know what the symptoms might be, or if I ought to be acting quickly. At this point I was rather worried.

Reaching for the internet I tried to Google for poison control and black widow bite symptoms and couldn’t pull a page up. I wasn’t sure if I ought to be panicking and dialing 911 but as Sam was wandering around fairly happy I decided to try Bill for advice first. He confirmed that poison control was the place to call and of course their number then decided to pop up in my browser. I hung up on Bill and called them.

A very nice man calmly answered and as soon as I mentioned the spider, immediately dissipated my fretting. He said it was very unlikely that Sam had been nibbled as the bite is incredibly painful and he would certainly have let me know. This eased my fears but I was still concerned because of Sam’s intense reaction when I had grabbed him…had he got to the spider at the same time?

He then explained that even if the spider had bitten my little guy, apparently the only people at real risk following a black widow bite are infants (younger than six months), the very elderly, and people with high blood pressure. At seventeen months Sam is small, but considered low risk. He told me that the neurotoxin causes incredibly painful muscle cramps and abdominal pain that last several days but it doesn’t necessarily require hospital treatment. Visiting an ER would just monitor, help to lessen the pain and try to make the patient comfortable. Not quite the painful death sentence the myth of the black widow had cast in my mind, and that had come bubbling out this evening. Thank goodness!

I was advised to watch him for the next two hours. If he had been bitten the first symptoms would occur between 30 mins to two hours after the bite, and he would soon tell me about it. The toxin is not a stealthy variety that damages silently but starts with intense stomach cramps that then spread to the muscles. Sounds awful, but Mr Poison Control assured me that’s a good thing…it’s good to have warning signs.

I checked that if he was to exhibit symptoms that it would be okay to just bundle him into the car and drive to the ER rather than divert 911 resources and was assured that would actually be the best action to take. Calling 911 wouldn’t be any more helpful.

With that all said and me breathing again, he then had obviously picked up on my accent along the way as he made a comment about Georgia being an ex British penal colony and chuckled at my reaction to the black widow, me being a British transplant and unused to such poisonous eight legged lurkers. The guy was great, professional with his advice, coupled with snippets of relaxed chit chat which eased the tension.

Obviously Sam has had plenty of hugs this evening but is just fine. No cramps – yay!

I’m going to be much more careful about checking the front porch before we go out there to play now, and the number for poison control is going on my fridge as soon as I post this entry. Which is now

Table Manners

October 8, 2007

After our trip to the park I popped into Target to get some artist supplies for Sam. I just wanted some paper and crayons. Of course, I came out with a whole lot more, including Sam’s very first set of proper cutlery. Sam chose them himself, I would’ve gone for the red and blue utensils, but he insisted on the lime green and aqua. I also bought him a trio of proper plastic plates, until now we’ve been using bowls or shallow divided trays.


At teatime I dished out his pasta onto his new tableware and Sam was delighted. He seemed to get a big kick out of wielding the knife and fork and eating off the big boy plate. He really tried hard to actually use the cutlery and once I had shown him he could spear his pasta with the fork (don’t worry Nanna, we’ll work on him eating like a Brit next! 😉 ) he had a great time fishing for food and popping it into his mouth. After quickly finishing off one helping he demanded more.

Fork in mouth

On his second round of pasta he did run out of steam and interest in his utensils and resorted instead to taking dining tips from the dogs.

I give up


October 8, 2007

Candler Park was bustling with toddlers, young children and parents enjoying the morning when I took Sam out to play with his friends. After a burst of being amply satisfied with the toddler sized jungle gym Sam eyed up the bigger apparatus and soon discovered the big curly whirly slide. Soon after that he was highly entertained scaring me half to death by scurrying up the stairs, lingering over the open platform to the high drop before walking out onto the slide and dropping down onto his bottom at the last moment. I spent that portion of our park experience hovering around trying to keep close to his side, ready for prompt action should he decide to dive off into the woodchips.

Finally, he had enough of that little game and wanderlust took over. Trusty stick in hand he intently explored his boundaries.

I first pulled the ball out of my bag as a lure to entice a wayward Sam back to the safety of the park before he determinedly disappeared up over a hill and out of sight. Hearing his name called he uncertainly turned around with a hesitant look on his face as if he was curious but didn’t want to respond because he knew it was an unwanted interruption to his goal of escape. His face shone with delight though when he eyed the football being held aloft and enticingly thrown in his direction. That was all it took for grand ideas of solo adventure to be banished, albeit momentarily, and with a cackle, a throwing back of the head in glee and a little bounce Sam came charging full pelt back down the hill as fast as his toddling legs could carry him to give the waiting ball a good boot.

Of course, a boy and his ball cannot play alone at the park for a football is like a honey pot to a Pooh Bear. Soon Lucas and Sean had also spied the ball and had their interest piqued. Over they came and the ball was quickly pilfered, creating an instant gut wrenching, end of the world, throw yourself on the floor tantrum from my little boy.

Mums coaxing small boys to share and play together nicely eventually turned tears to suspicious happiness as first Lucas, then Sean, was enticed to drop the ball and kick it to Sam, who would eagerly grab the ball, hold it tight to his chest and make off into the distance like a rugby player on his way to score a try.

Chasing after his little legs would result in anguished sobs and much persuasion was needed for him to return his possession to play. Yet, when he did allow the ball to be kicked to and fro between toddlers he would cackle and grin in delight, until the next time he decided the ball needed to be his alone.

Sam and Lucas ended up kicking the football around the park for while this morning. I can’t really say “happily kicked” as you can see that wouldn’t be quite accurate. Playing a simple game of footy involves Sam in a complex array of intense emotions that seem so absolute and raw but are each quite transient and fleeting and leave me feeling quite drained as an umpire, but utter delight and wonder as a mum.

Jen’s son, Jacob, who isn’t toddling yet, could only watch and beseechingly hold out his arms in the direction of the action with jealousy, angst and interest flashing across his face.

Insight into my day.

October 5, 2007

Originally uploaded by pinkaboo_uk.

Sam was supposed to be in his nursery having a nap. I was in the office working. I heard a chuckling coming from the front room and when I popped my head around the door frame this is what I saw!


The laundry basket is full of a pile of books that Aunty Mary gave Sam when we went to visit her on Tuesday. I’d put the tearable ones up out of the way until he gets a bit older but the lure was too much for him and he just climbed up onto the table to get them. Didn’t I tell you Sam loves books?!

Why should you not own a dog?

So you never have to go into the kitchen, go to get a saucepan lid from a drawer and upon reaching in find that said blasted mutt has somehow peed in there, copiously.

My bet is on Genghis, definitely not Sam, pretty sure it wasn’t Quincy, Bill? Doubtful.