Archive for November, 2008

November 25, 2008

I’m wondering whether some of my things really did get lost in the move when we relocated from Wales to Tavistock when I was six? I know I’m doing an awful lot of surreptitious culling here. 😉

November 25, 2008

is now about to embark on cleaning up after a furious arts and crafts session in the dining room.

November 25, 2008

Sam is asking for “ladies” “ladies mummy” “mummy ladies please?!” He’s being very earnest and insistent. Uhm? Any ideas?

November 25, 2008

Would like a day without the wrenching sound of crying children.

November 24, 2008

needing more (Kay alone) time to get everything done! Can we postpone Christmas ’til I’m ready for it?


November 14, 2008

It’s gone nine on a Friday night, way past Sam’s bedtime. I’m beavering away creating on the sewing machine in the other room and eavesdropping on the conversation between Sam and Daddy:

Bedtime Sam, ready for a bedtime story?
Noooo! Play train tracks!
What would you like to read? How about “A Very Busy Day”?
No manx!
I’m going to read it. It’s good. I’m going to go into your room and read a bedtime story.


November 14, 2008

I just went to pick Sam up from school. Bea was in the car seat bassinet and I set her down while I chatted to another mum and extracted Sam and his belongings. I turned back to Bea and there was a nasty mosquito perched slurping away on her forehead. Without thinking I swatted at it and clobbered poor sleeping Bea on the side of her head.

What’s spooky is that I had just looked up my entry for Sam’s two month doctor visit and read this:

“[…] I certainly didn’t feel as bad as I did when I got home.

I’d opened the car door so he wouldn’t boil as I left him in his seat while I unlocked the front door. When I returned I was horrified to spot a mosquito happily feeding on his leg. Without thinking my immediate reaction was to get rid of the nasty bug and stop it feasting on my son. I swatted it and in doing so slapped my little boy! Oh my gosh I felt like such a bad mother! Sam wasn’t too impressed but actually took it in his stride pretty well. I, on the other hand, can’t believe I hit him, although I did get that swine of a mozzie!”

Weird thing is I haven’t seen another mozzie for weeks now. Well, apart from the ones that swarmed me at a South Carolina rest area on the way up to Charlotte last weekend. Sam and Bill had been fine stretching their legs until I showed up with Bea and the mozzies descended to eat me. I’m a mozzie magnet.

Sam’s having another bath right now. He pooped his pants again as we arrived home. *sigh* I guess it’s nothing compared to what he did to Brandie’s house the other day though. He was playing with Linnea when he suddenly declared he needed the bathroom. Brandie was just calling for me to come help him when he projectile vomited in front of her and all over her floor. He then puked up all over me as I scooped him up and headed to the bathtub. He was a little upset but fun in the bath soon cheered him back up again. Afterwards he seemed as right as rain again so Brandie was happy for us to stay for lunch. All seemed well and I was enjoying watching him play with Linnea’s toys until I noticed that a brown gooey puddle was forming by his feet. He’d exploded a really nasty case of diarrhea and was scooped straight back up and dumped in the bathtub again quick. We hurriedly left soon after I had got him clean and smiling again. Sorry Brandie. Really really sorry.

Two months

November 14, 2008

Hey! I have matching babies! Today Bea and I went to the doctor for her two month check up.

weight 11.9 lbs (11lbs 15 oz) [77%]
length 23.2 inches [78%]
head 15.5 inches [67%]

I just got home and looked up Sam’s stats for the same age and am surprised to find they were identical, although he was in the 50th percentile on the boy charts. Not quite sure how that shakes out though as Sam never looked so porky and poor little Bea is so chubby that she is getting quite sore between the folds where the skin traps run away milky milky and doesn’t see the light of day. We have to make sure to clean in between all her folds and apply nappy cream to help soothe it. I’ve been bad at that this week and was upset to see the sores looking quite painful again at the doctor’s today.

Two months old

After Bea got poked and prodded, given her inoculations (she’s a very brave girl and had to have three jabs and a vaccine drink this morning) and a clean bill of health we popped in on the EAV playgroup. Once again I tried to give Bea some tummy time but she fell fast asleep and is still happily snoozing now.

We haven’t been putting her in her cot very much, that room has pretty much been given the heave ho for her since I noticed rat droppings around her closet, but when she does lie in her bed for nappy changes she has really started watching the animal mobile above her head. It’s nice to watch her choose an animal and follow it around, lose sight of it, then get excited when it reappears again, just like Sam used to.


Bea has also started speaking to us in beautiful enchanting coos. She’ll be sat in her swing and just start making lovely noises. Makes a wonderful change from shrieks and cries.

A Busy All Hallow’s Eve – Part 2

November 13, 2008

Our next big social engagement was Goblins in the Garden at the Atlanta Botanical Gardens. I’d already invited Granma and Granpa to join us to see all the children dressed up in costume and explore the scarecrow exhibits, three of which were created by Sam and his friends at school, and was pleasantly surprised when told that Uncle Donnie and his two children were going to come along too.

Actually, it was really discussing Sam’s hectic social schedule this week over the phone with my parents that got me really suspicious as to their plans for what would be half term week in England. They repeatedly asked me what our diary was like and I kept hoping that I wasn’t over reacting to little comments that pricked my ears and made me wonder whether they might be hiding an intended visit Stateside. I kept getting so excited and had a sinking feeling that I was going to be terribly terribly disappointed come Friday night if they didn’t appear at my door. I’m afraid I then had to fish somewhat more directly and was thrilled when they broke down and my intuition proved right. Felt bad that I had burst their surprise but oh so happy and excited that they would indeed be coming to visit. My mind had really been tormenting me with the wonder.

So, Nanna and Grandad Downes arrived in Atlanta on Friday evening and were able to accompany us to the Gardens too. Caloo Calay! I was so proud to dress Sam and Bea up in their Halloween outfits and for Nanna and Grandad to see my efforts and how adorable they looked.

It was a bizarrely hot and sunny afternoon at the Gardens so unfortunately Bea had to strip down out of her alien suit while we were there, but Sam had a wonderful time zooming around being a rocket ship. I stuck with Bea in her stroller most of the time and left Bill and super cousin Julia to play with the boy, but I’d catch glimpses of Sam as the sun struck his silver suit and sent blinding light flashing across the garden. We refused to join the long and bothersome queue for the train so Sam spent a good part of the afternoon happily chasing after it as it did laps of the Great Lawn.


It was great to see Granma, Granpa, Julia, Maxx and Donnie too. I hope they had a good afternoon. Here’s all the Allen folk admiring the Grant Park Co-operative School Sharecrows.


They are a mummy, daddy and child unit and instead of scaring the crows away they share with them. It’s been broken into by squirrels but one of the constructions has a bird seed filled heart that feeds the birds. Plastic tubes carry bird seed down to the Sharecrow’s hands.

Bye bye Atlanta. Hello Charlotte.

November 13, 2008

Recycling old crayons by breaking them into bits and melting them into little patties may seem like a good and thrifty idea, but don’t trip as you are taking them out of the oven and spill multi-coloured molten wax all over the kitchen floor.


As Brandie pointed out, that should sell the house in no time.

We met with an estate agent this evening with regards to selling our property in Atlanta. Bill has been offered, and accepted an exciting new position with a company in Charlotte, North Carolina and has handed in his notice at work. We took the kids across there last weekend to have a recce and decide whether to relocate or not. Everyone we speak to is very positive about the city and Bill is very keen and enthusiastic about the new job with BooneOakley. We decided that although it will be very tough financially and emotionally right now the move will be most beneficial to the family in the long term.

It’s all moving very quickly now as in the States it’s standard to only have to give a fortnight’s notice. Bill starts his new job on December 1st. Yikes! Come to think of it we have to give more notice to Sam’s preschool than Bill does his employer.

I am really sad to have to make Sam say goodbye to Grant Park Co-operative Preschool. I wrote to them today explaining our circumstances and then spoke personally to his teachers when I picked him up at lunchtime. Sam really gets on well there and it’s been so good to see him blossoming. I was parent helper again twice last week and got to see more of the class and the fun things they do at school. Sam really impressed me by being super attentive during the Spanish class and I was very proud when the Spanish teacher came up to me afterwards and complimented him. She said he pays good attention, listens well and is always ready to answer in Spanish when she calls on him. I would never have believed her if I hadn’t seen it for myself.

Since starting school Sam has certainly got much better at being attentive and taking direction. He’s also found many new interests and is excited to see his friends and teachers on school days. I was really enthused when Sam got a place at the school and feel bad that he has to leave again so soon. I got a little teary when I was telling Amy and Briana that we are moving out of State. Seeing the awesome Ladybugs’ official class photos this evening made me even more depressed. I’m glad we can at least let Sam finish off the term with his classmates, we’re intending to move the family to Charlotte once Sam breaks up for Christmas in mid December.

Okay, I was feeding Bea while writing this and she’s finished now so I’m back off to bed. She’s a right little terror at night time. Like clockwork she screams and screams just as it’s sleepytime for Bill and I. Hopefully this last feed has calmed her down again and sent her off to dream land for the night. Oh I hope so anyway. No doubt I’ll end up sleeping with her snuggled up against me again though as she stubbornly refuses to sleep in her own bed and prefers be cuddled all night instead. During the day she is an absolute darling and enjoys her own space, but come nightfall nothing but snuggles will do. It terrifies me that she will get caught up in bedding, or that I will roll over onto her. I end up sleeping very lightly and startle awake often to check on her. It’s amazing how different to Sam she is. He was not a cuddly baby and would wriggle kick and punch his objections to any attempts at snuggles. With him we had to give up on even sleeping in the same room together. He was in his own room, in his own cot and happily sleeping through the night by one month. Not so with Bea!