Friday, October 28, 2011


We have totally been rocking the half-term break!

Dylan has been of school all this week, and it's actually been really nice to have him home.  For one thing, I haven't had to push us all out the door by 8:45am.  Since the kids are up at 6am, you'd think that would be an easy task.  Not so much.  I think I am the only one in our little family with a desire for punctuality and a sense of urgency.

Anyway, we've gone to the cinema twice, helped a friend pack for her move, gone to the 20/21 gallery, spent the day in Lincoln, and NOT done baths every night.  We're all calm and relaxed.  I'm not reluctant to send Dylan back to school on Monday morning, but neither am I desperate to get him there.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

I peeked...

I finally had a look at what the surgeon did to my foot on Tuesday, and no wonder it hurts!  He didn't just slice it open and root around for the glass--he removed a chunk of my foot about the size of the tip of my pinkie.  There's a hole in my foot that's probably half an inch deep.


The good news is that I am pain medication free and planning on taking the kids out today.  We've been a bit bored for the past 8 days and since I'm drug free now I can drive.  Probably.

I've also got talk and a lesson to give in church tomorrow.  No rest for the wicked, right?

Dylan learned about Diwali at school last week, and they had a party to celebrate Diwali and breaking up for half-term yesterday.  The kids were asked to bring sweet snacks to share with their classmates, so Dylan and Edith helped me make Snickerdoodles.  They did the adding and mixing, I did the measuring and the baking once they were in bed.  They love helping me bake.  Edith loves all cooking, and she is becoming a very good kitchen helper.

Edith also slept with no pull-up on last night.  Dry at night--she is officially completely potty trained.

Where is their childhood going?

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

It's official...

I am now a legal permanent resident of the United Kingdom!

We got the paperwork on Monday.

Martin has already started harassing me about getting a job.

NOT a rant...

Martin totally expected me to lambast the NHS after the past few days, but I'm not going to.

Monday was difficult.  I was fasting to have surgery.  My last food had been just shortly before midnight on Sunday night.  My very simple surgery kept being postponed.  I was told it had been cancelled at 9:30pm.  I hadn't even been allowed a drink of water since 6am.  I found it very difficult to be civil to the nursing staff on the Trauma Ward.  Martin took me home, and I had to be back in at 7:00 the next morning.

Tuesday was better.  I still had to wait until about 4pm, but actually got in to have the surgery.  They ended up just doing a local instead of general or spinal, and gave me IV morphine.  Oh my, I LOVE that stuff.  The OR team thought I was HILARIOUS after they gave me the drugs.  They had to hold me on the table while the surgeon removed the glass from my foot.

It took about seven minutes.

I was amazed by how small the piece of glass actually was.  It was just in a really bad place for walking--right on my heel where I place my foot when I'm walking.

Anyway, I slept off the pain killers and was discharged at 7:30pm.  My ride home got there about 9pm.  Home for 10pm, and a good night's sleep.  I'm still in pain because they really sliced me to get the glass out, but the wound feels better than the glass did.  I should be as good as new in a few days.  Just can't walk very well right now, and can't drive at all.  I think I'll spend the next two days slightly drugged and holding the sofa down.

So Monday was pants, but yesterday went very well.  I was frustrated with the NHS, but understood that my surgery was not critical and others needed to go first.  It's just hard to be pleasant when you've been stuck in the hospital with nothing to eat or drink for over 20 hours and then you get bumped.  Nobody's fault--just one of those incredibly irritating things...

I DID get to meet a very fun and feisty lady at the hospital.  She was 74 years old, a widow of five years with a new boyfriend.  She is so in love with him, and her face would light up every time she talked about him.  She broke her knee in two places, then mowed the lawn, cleaned the windows, did the ironing, got a bath, and was forced to the hospital by her boyfriend.  What a trooper!

Monday, October 17, 2011


It was the Primary presentation in Sacrament meeting yesterday.  I didn't actually get to watch it as I was roped in to playing the piano (kind of gutted, since it was Dylan's first one), but it was actually adorable.  The kids all sang beautifully and did really well with their talks and all their lines.  Dylan made me proud with his speaking parts.  Obviously, I couldn't tell if he sang or not.  Edith made me proud, too.  She sat on the stand until the presentation started, like a little angel.  Then she sat with Noelle and was extremely good during the program.  Martin had to sit with his Primary class on the stand.

The highlights of the program (for me):

Not messing up the piano on "Scripture Power"
When the youngest kids, Dylan included, did "Head, shoulders, knees and toes" to demonstrate wearing modest clothing
When Dylan then lifted his shirt up to his armpits and held it there for a good 30 seconds
The way Dylan was playing with his teacher's necklace and sparkly top and it looked like he was fondling her rather large bosoms for most of the presentation.

Oh yeah, my 4 year old kid basically looked like a big perv.

I love my son!

I spent the weekend very comfortably taking strong pain medication every 6 hours.  My pain has subsided quite a bit and I am currently pain pill free, but I am also fasting in preparation for surgery.  My heel doesn't hurt very much any more, but I still have to walk carefully and it DOES hurt if I catch it wrong.  Martin has encouraged me just to go in for the glass removal so I don't have to walk gingerly for the foreseeable future and won't have to be super careful about shoe shopping to make sure my glass heel doesn't get pushed on wrong.  He's right--I should just get it done while we're in England and it's free.  I just don't like that they will need to do either general anesthetic or a spinal block.  I'm plumping for spinal, because for some reason I think that would be less risky and seem less invasive.  And I've already had two successful surgeries with a spinal block, so I know they work very well for me!  Just waiting for the hospital to call me in.

All this drama just because of a small piece of glass on the piano room floor.  Oh well, at least this wasn't caused by my own rampant stupidity--it is purely an accident.  It wasn't even one of us who broke the glass in there--a shelf with glass items on it fell down.  Although Martin is the one who put the shelf up...

Friday, October 14, 2011


This morning at 8:05am, I stepped on a bit of glass.  Not only did I step on it, I pretty much ground my heel onto it.  One wasted trip to my GP's surgery and a fairly long trip to Accident & Emergency later, I STILL have a shard of glass stuck in my foot.  The ENP couldn't get the glass out, even with the aid of local anesthetic and a scalpel!

I'm going to be seeing someone in the orthopedics department, but not until Monday.  They think that the glass might work itself out before then, but if it doesn't I will have to go in for a little minor surgery to remove it.  In the mean time, I have to walk around with a bit of glass in my foot.  Well, not so much walk as hobble.  It's incredibly painful.

I'm pretty much stoned right now on the co-codamol they gave me after my c-section.  It just about makes the pain bearable.  Instead of sharp stabbing, it is more like a dull and constant ache.

Thank goodness for the NHS.  Flawed, but awesome all the same.  Because my trip to A&E cost me petrol money, and that's it.  No ER doctor charge, no charge for the anesthetic, no charge for the x-ray, no charge for the wound dressing, and no charge for the penicillin I was prescribed.  Plus, should I require minor surgery there will be no charge for that, either.

I learned today that U.S. residents who come over DO pay a small fee for NHS services--£72, whether it's x-rays on a broken leg or emergency surgery.  Pretty amazing though, huh?  I know plenty of people who'd love to only pay roughly $100 in total for a hospital visit.

I'm feeling very blessed today.  My wonderful husband took time off work to get me to the hospital, and he came home to help me get the kids into bed tonight.  My gorgeous kids quite happily watched a movie and ate popcorn this evening while I kept my feet up.  And I'm loving the drugs.  I don't take pain relief very often, but I'm glad it's available when I need it.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Losing my religion...

About two weeks ago, Dylan informed me that they say a prayer in school every day at Assembly.  I was furious!

I was never opposed to all prayer in schools.  A lot of us would say prayers together before drill team competitions, volleyball games, plays and the like.  But I AM against the entire school coming together and praying.

It's not like I am against prayer.  We have taught both our children to pray.  I'm just worried that he's learning the "wrong" kind of prayers.

I was actually that parent who spoke to his teacher about it at parents' night--demanding to know all the details and asking why I wasn't informed they were doing it.    After all, it's a State school, not a Church of England school.  She actually offered to take him out of the room during the prayer if I felt it necessary.

Isn't that funny?  We probably go to church more in one week than most of the people at his school go to in a year, and I'm the one who pitched a (mini) fit about prayers in Assembly...

Maybe I'm too American in this regard.  I was raised to believe in a separation of Church and State, and anything other than that just seems wrong.

At any rate, I am not making Dylan leave Assembly for prayers.  I am just informed now, so I can do religious damage control at home if needs be.  I want him praying the way I teach him, not the way his school Head teaches him.

I can't wait to get Dylan in an American school.  NOT because they are superior to English schools, mind you.  Just because I am more familiar with what goes on over there than I am over here.  It's all so, well, foreign!

Saturday, October 08, 2011

Dylan, you must be from the Caribbean...

...'cause Jamaican me crazy!

Seriously, I love my son.  He's cute, gorgeous, and too smart for his own good.  But the kid is bugging the crap out of me right now.  He's going through this really whiny phase at the minute, and he is EXCEPTIONALLY needy when Martin is at home.  He's also becoming quite pedantic, which is bad news for his sister.  Poor Edith gets shouted at when she says anything wrong, and she's only 2 years old.  It makes for a pretty long Saturday.

I'm struggling to get through the evenings at the minute.  Don't know why, but I have been very short tempered of late.  I'd blame it on PMS, but thanks to my Mirena, I have no menstrual cycle to speak of.  Which leads me to believe that it's not me, it's them.

I wish I could be a loving and besotted parent all the time, but the truth is that while I always love my kids, I spend quite a lot of time not liking them very much.  Some days are a success if I manage to not shout at them.

Today was not a success.

Also, I take a sick pleasure in tormenting Dylan with things he is irrationally afraid of.  Like refusing to turn off "Mr. Maker" when the shapes come on and turning on the vacuum before he has a chance to get to the sofa.  Does that make me a sadist, a bad parent, or both?

Please don't call social services on me.  I'll be nicer to them tomorrow.


Wednesday, October 05, 2011


The Head at Dylan's school wouldn't authorize his absence to go to London and see his American grandparents. Dilemma?  Not really.  We spent Sunday and Monday in London with Mom, Dad, and Uncle Jace.

It was so nice to see my parents and little brother.  We drove down as soon as the kids woke up on Sunday morning and arrived about 4 hours later, at 11am.  We went into the city on the tube (the kids loved it!), got some lunch in China Town, went to the British Museum, saw the (closed) Hyde Park church building, chilled in Hyde park, headed back to the hotel, took the kids swimming, ate pizza in our room, and then attempted to go to bed.

Basically, we paid the Sheraton for the privilege of NOT sleeping in their rooms.  Monster kids were up about every 30 minutes all night long.

We got up bright and early the next morning and had breakfast with the family.  Then we said our goodbyes and Martin took them to the airport.  They had a 10am flight to catch.

It was hard to say goodbye again after such a short visit, but I was so tired that I didn't get emotional.  Autopilot doesn't have a "tears" mode.

The kids had a really good time with their American family.  They were especially taken with their uncle Jace, and demanded that he hold their hands almost the whole time.  He was really good with them.  They were happy to see their grandparents, as well.  The highlight for mom seemed to be when Edith fell asleep in her arms and she carried/held her for the next 30 minutes.

The whole visit was so brief that it still feels almost like it never happened.  But it was so lovely to see them, and it made me homesick all over again.

When Martin got back from the airport we drove to Cockfosters, which is the northernmost stop on the Picadilly line of the London Underground, and only about 3 miles from the M25 junction with the A1(M), our main road home.  It took about 40 minutes.  Then we got back on the tube and took the kids in to the city again to do a bit more sightseeing.  This time we took them to Hamley's, a gigantic toy store with really cool stuff.  They each got one small toy there.  Then, about 2 hours later, we took them to the science museum.  The first floor we went to was a bust, but then we went up to the top floor and had a great time.  There were giant periscopes, a bubble wall, experiments with viscous fluids, dry ice, sound waves, infrared cameras, Archimedes screws, arches, centrifugal force, etc.  It was all hands on and very brilliant.  We looked at our watches and it was already 4:30pm, so we made a mad dash to the underground and made it out of London just in time to beat the rush hour commute.  Straight out the gate at Cockfosters and onto the motorway, we went home without any drama or delay.  Well, other than a small tail-back near Welwyn.  We made it home at 9:15pm, and the kids happily settled into their own beds.  They had slept most of the drive home, but still slept until 6am the next morning.

And now we are back into our routine.  Well, I am behind on the house work.  But everything else is back to normal now.

We should totally do this every year, mom and dad!