My Mother Is Sitting Next To Me

So I can’t say certain things. Not really, but it made her go ‘humph’ in that Mummy way Mummies do when their children are being cheeky.

She’s quite good at it, having been a Mummy for 44 years this past April. Also Step-Mummy to 4 others and Grandma to 10. She has the Mummy ‘humph’ down very well.

She had a long and tiring journey (she just corrected a typo, BTW. Cheeky Mummy!!) but the only delay was between London and Belfast, so that’s not so bad.

She came bringing many gifts, including enough sweat pants to last Adam until he graduates University. Not quite, but close!

Also two boxes of Grape-Nuts, a box of Saltines and enough zip-lock bags to last another 10 months, which is when she comes back.

She also brought, from her trip to Africa, a gorgeous handmade Christmas Tree ornament, a hand carved Elephant for my collection (I don’t think I’ve written about my elephant collection…) and a hand carved giraffe spoon. We won’t talk about the Chinese bottle cover because it is, frankly, a bit disturbing. 🙂 (Yes, she’s still sitting right here!)

A little boy had about 1 hour of big eyed staring and then was all over Grandma, showing her toys, doing puzzles, running up and down the hall with hugs included and just being himself. Once a week Skyping is very good for letting little boys get to know their far flung Grandmothers and vice versa.

We have many and varied plans for the next 12 days including a day of just me and her and some shops, at least one day at the zoo, and as many trips to the park as a little boy can handle.

Simon will be off work for the 2nd week she’s here so he’ll get to join in the fun as well.

My step-dad, as previously noted, did not come with her. I imagine that the second he left her at the airport he headed for the supermarket and bought all the foods he’s not normally allowed to eat, including Ben and Jerry’s in a variety of flavours.

So I may not be blogging much the next 2 weeks or so.

I’ll be too busy having fun!

We Are Very Excited Here in TeeVille

in about 5 days my mother arrives for a nice long visit. We are planning lots of fun activities along with some organizing the house stuff that she will Adam wrangle during.

The original purpose of the timing of her visit was so she could Adam wrangle while I packed, thinking that we were moving the end of the month. As we have not found a place to live, that is not to be. But we are still doing a major clear out and I will get some of that done while she’s here. I mean, Adam’s 2, maybe it’s time to get ride of my maternity clothes?

Since her basic premise for coming was Adam wrangling, my step-dad decided to not come with her. So Pops is staying home, playing golf, probably reading a lot and eating things he’s not suppose to while Grandma comes to play. We’ll miss him, of course. But I think he will enjoy it. Especially the eating things he’s not suppose to part. Grandma is very strict! 🙂

This, BTW, is my mother: –
2010 february shelley

Isn’t she gorgeous? And, in case you’re wondering, she was 71 in March. This picture was taken last year when she was 70.

As I said at the time, did I get good genes or what?!?!


After a month of a sick child equalling very bad or very little sleep my memory and aphasia have, once again, taken a nose dive. When this happens I always start thinking about memory and memories in general.

I have very few childhood memories. I have no idea why this is but you’ll find my brother says the same thing. Makes me wonder, sometimes, what we’ve both blocked.

The memories I do have are (mostly) good ones.

I remember being in our condo in Manchester Connecticut and my dad bought a new stereo that could record tapes and my brother and I making a recording and getting called to dinner. I remember then wondering why all that time at dinner wasn’t a big empty space on the tape.

I remember my dad’s CB radio in our playroom of our first house in Westport.

I also remember having cousins or maybe friends over to stay and we were all sleeping down in that same playroom and there was a burning smell (I was asleep) and I woke up to a house full of firemen because we had placed a sofa cushion over a light and it had burned.

I remember sitting under the big tree in front of that same house crying as my divorcing parents fought in the living room. My brother was with me.

I remember the poem my step-dad wrote me when I got my stereo for my birthday. Not exactly what it said but that he went to the trouble. Something about ‘always trying to do what she aughta.’ He was lying. :O)

I remember packing my car to drive to Iowa to go to University.

And every time Adam climbs up on a piece of furniture I remember a picture. It is of me as quite a small baby, only a few months old, if that. My mom is holding me on a sun lounger in the backyard of our house in Holliston MA and my brother, who is only 22 months older than me,  is in the act of climbing up to join us. Adam climbs just like his uncle.

I do often wonder, though, what I’ve forgotten…

Morning Routine

Oh how I hate that word. Routine. Despise it. Always have. Always will. And yet they seem to create naturally in my life.

There is one part of our morning routine, on non-nursery mornings, that hasn’t changed since Adam was born and Simon went off Paternity Leave that I adore.

After he gets out of the shower, Simon calls to Adam to join him in our bedroom. Obviously when Adam was a baby, Simon would come get him! And that’s Daddy and Adam before work time. When Adam was a baby he would lie on our bed, securely in the middle, and Simon would play and talk to him. Now that he’s older they still play on the bed but there’s usually tickling and poking and rolling around going on.


That’s my time, that 20ish minutes. To drink a cup of coffee. To read the internet in peace. To gear up to being 100% responsible for Adam until Simon comes home from work.

I didn’t get that 20 minutes the last week or so since Adam’s been so ill again. And I didn’t realize how truly precious it was until yesterday when he felt well enough again to go play with Daddy on the bed.

That was the best cup of coffee I have ever had.

Hands down.

Today Our Family Welcomed A New Member

Simon’s sister had a baby girl just after 1330 London time by Caesarean Section. Once again she had a child who just didn’t want to vacate the premises as her due date was 10 days ago!

Everyone is fine and our new niece is gorgeous. I have already bought pink things. ::nods::

Some might be wondering how this is for me, as this baby’s older brother was born 3 weeks after Adam. It’s perfectly fine.

Simon and I are thrilled with our only child and are content that he will remain an only child. I’m 42. I have many and varied health problems and, as anyone who reads this knows, Adam was a bit of a miracle, after nearly 2 years of trying.

So Happy Birthday to my new niece. You are the best birthday present your Grandad has *ever* gotten.

Had A Lovely Weekend In Derry…

lovely party for in-law’s 40th anniversary. Lovely boys playing together.

Each of the boys received a new toy this past weekend, which we gave both of them to play with.  Of course what they fought over was the boxes!

At one point Adam pushed his cousin, Aidan, over.  I told Aidan to go ahead and smack Adam back and leave him, since Aidan can crawl and Adam can’t!  Yes, yes, mean mummy!!

Mostly they played next to each other rather than together.  I have video and stills.

I’ll try to have them up this week.

Just A Quick Post

been really busy doing things to get the company, the name of which is Designed To A Tee, in case you missed it, set up.  Meetings with solicitors, seminars on taxation.  All that fun stuff.

And this weekend we are heading up to Derry to celebrate my in-law’s 40th wedding anniversary.  SIL and family are coming in from London so both grandkids will be there!

We are hoping Adam watches his cousin and decides to try this crawling thing!

Did I mention?  He can sit up!!

I Need To Have A Good Whinge

First of all, let me once again note that my son is an awesome sleeper at night.  He goes down with minimal fuss and sleeps more or less through the night now, at nearly 10 months of age.

But naps. Oy!  You would think he is expecting a call from President Obama the way he fights napping.  Most days he eventually gets there, for 30 – 45 minutes in the morning and sometimes as long as 2 hours in the afternoon.  But getting him there can take, literally, hours.

And its during those hours that I get the most frustrated.  That I need a break the most.  That I wish I had family closer so I could ring them and say ‘He won’t nap.  Can you come look after him for 30 minutes so I can pee/shower/fold some laundry/have a full cup of coffee?’  I often IM my mum to tell her I’m putting stamps on his butt and sending him to her on days like that.

But oh, to actually have her near by!  I am envious of people who have family near by.

My mum is coming to visit the first two weeks of June, so she’ll be here for Adam’s first birthday.

And for at least one morning? I’m handing him over and walking out the door!

Its Been A Tough Week

Adam has not been sleeping well.  Staying up way past his bedtime and waking during the night.  I know it is jet lag and he will get passed it, but I am shattered.

Because I am so tired I’ve been having fibro flares.  So we’ve spent a few days playing inside when we probably would have normally taken a walk at least.

Today, for example, he spent about an hour playing on his pay mat. I put about 10 toys in there with him, including his Christmas ones, as the box I shipped from the States arrived today.  And what does he play with? The ribbon hanging off the arch that holds the toys! Babies!!

Another thing that I forgot to mention is that my sister found my baby blanket.  I remember giving it to her when her oldest daughter was born and saying ‘I’ll never want this back.’  I called her a few weeks before the trip and said ‘I want it back!’  She wasn’t sure where it was, but she found it and gave it to me when we were there.

My Nana, my dad’s mom, made me that blanket over 40 years ago now.  My mom remembers asking her to make it from cotton yarn, so she could wash it, but my Nana insisted on making it out of wool so it would last.  I had horrible eczema when I was a baby, so wool was bad, but the blanket looks as good as it did the day my Nana gave it to me.  Although Adam also has eczema, so he won’t really get to use it either.  Also, it has a huge girl on it!  At least its blue!  So it is living on the back of the rocking chair.  It may go on the bottom of his bed some day, but since it has a girl on it? Probably not!

I’m still happy to have it, though.

I’m dying to talk about what I am doing for my mom’s 70th birthday in March.  But she reads this.  So y’all will just have to wonder along with her.  I’m so mean…

The good news is Adam went down only about 45 minutes late tonight.  It has been getting closer and closer to his bedtime each night.  So hopefully he’ll go down on time tomorrow. And stay down.

Except tomorrow? We move him to his own room…

Highlights Of A Trip To California…

Maybe in chronological order.  Maybe not…

Walking out the front door of our building to see snow.  We had never looked out the window!

Finding out later that we basically got the last on time flight out of Belfast.  Storm of the decade and I missed it!

Adam meeting his cousin for the first time.


Going to the wrong terminal at Heathrow and having to haul everything onto the train to get to the right one.

Waiting in line for 2 hours to check in at United in London.  And then getting through security in less than 10 minutes.

Getting the bulkhead on the flight.

Adam sleeping and playing and eating on the plane with almost no fussing.

Dozing on the plane thinking to myself ‘Simon hasn’t met Aunt T, has he met S & C?  When would he have met S & C…you moron they were at your wedding!’

The look on the face of the Immigration officer at SFO when I told her, no, we weren’t returning from holiday, we were on holiday.  Apparently no American lives anywhere but America.

Adam being snatched from my arms by my mother, who actually forgot to  say hello to me!


The big hugs I got from my nieces.

The big hug I got from my sister in law.

My sister in law saying to my mom ‘Okay, I’ve been really patient…gimme that baby!’


My older niece holding Adam.  My younger niece being a bit wary.


Waking Simon at 330 am the first night, in tears, because Adam wouldn’t sleep for more than an hour at a time and I had hit my limit.  I was so grateful for our two adjoining rooms.

Shopping at Target with my mom.  Oh how I’ve missed Target!

Shopping at Target again with my SIL and, just like old times, talking so much it took 3 times as long as it should!

Adam’s first taste of apple sauce, which led to him coughing, it coming out his nose and him throwing up on my brother’s hardwood floor.  Better than on the carpet!

My nieces in the dresses Simon and I gave them for Christmas.

SDC10845 SDC10840

Adam opening a Christmas present.

Adam opening present

Oakland Zoo.


California Pizza Kitchen.  ‘Nough said.

Peets Coffee.  Also ‘nough said.

Gripping hands with my sister in law as we had our pedicures while the nail techs did the bottom of our feet with the scrubby brush. Tickled.So.Bad.

Wandering into Old Navy to see jeans on sale for $15.  Calling my husband, who was having a boys day with my brother, Adam and my step dad while we girls shopped, to find out what size jeans he was wearing.  Being told, in no uncertain terms, that he and my brother would not pop into the loo to check the label for me.

Bra shopping with my mom.  Just like when I was a teenager. 🙂

Macy’s.  Once again, ‘nough said.

Saying good bye to my girls while we all cried.

Checking into SFO 4 hours early.  No line at United, through Security in 10 minutes (even after the Christmas Day incident!).

Shopping at SFO and finding out that the amenities are actually better on the domestic side of the terminal.

Getting the bulkhead again.

Looking a Flight Attendant right in the eye and saying ‘Of course its an FAA approve car seat and says so on the side!’

Adam falling asleep 10 minutes before we took off from SFO and waking up an hour outside London.

Getting through Immigration at Heathrow before my British citizen husband and son, thanks to a new line for permanent Visa holders.

Getting to our flat and putting Adam in his bouncy chair so we could get sorted.  He was so happy to get home, be out of his car seat and in his chair he just bounced and giggled for about an hour.