Paranoia and Gore

This week is mostly being brought to you by the word ‘paranoia’. Meh!

The past 2 weekends we’ve been camping in East Lothian and having a wonderful time. However, because I write in a paper diary when I’m away from home and blog about outdoor exploits elsewhere, I don’t repeat it all here. However, I’ve been moaning far and wide about the ticks we picked up on a short one-hour walk in some properly enchanting woodland.

embedded tickLike any ex-Lyme disease sufferer, I hate the little buggers. The Boss and I carry out tick checks on us all and carry nifty little tick hooks. We’ve been teaching the minxes about tick safety without going overboard. Well, on 15th June we found this one in the nape of Maxi’s neck. I suspect (hope) the pink marks around it are from initial flicks in case it was a piece of dirt. I took the photo while The Boss fetched the hook, and it was really to document it just in case Maxi gets ill – I can prove she had a tick-bite. Tick removed, I reassured my hysterical little 8 yo that she had the smallest, tiniest, don’t-even-waste-time-thinking-about-it chance of getting ill, but that we’d check for rashes anyway for a few weeks.

Well, she’s not had a rash, but the past 2 days has been complaining of a constant low-grade headache, stomach-ache, and generally feeling a bit ill. Her neck lymph nodes are swollen. She mentioned it this morning and throughout the day. It’s easy to get paranoid, but I need to remember that it’s the end of term, kids are tired, there are lots of viruses doing the rounds (chicken pox is rife right not). If she gets joint aches, a stronger headache, or more flu-y symptoms, then yes, I’ll be thinking that it’s Lyme. But for now, I’ll just fret for a few days until she’s better or she’s seen the GP.

sharkThink that tick was gruesome? Try Midi’s mouth! That second little incisor finally wobbled out on 23rd June. The Tooth Fairy left her 2 very shiny 50p pieces with cool backs that she promptly spent on a sherbet fountain. Tsk…

More paranoia: I get a bit nervous when The Boss is late home from work. The roads he drives certainly have their fair share of people who (think they are) immortal, can see round blind corners, can drive waaaaaaaay past the speed limit ‘safely’, can drive within an inch or so of the bumper of those of us who are merely mortal and drive accordingly… ach, you get the picture. Anyway, the day before yesterday I noticed he was a bit late. Right then, the phone went. The Bat-Fone. The landline that only ever rings for official things. I thought, well, it can’t be too bad or it would be a knock on the front-door from 2 hat-less polis. And yes, The Boss had had an accident.

Don’t panic: no-one was hurt. He’d been tootling along the back road home when a van decided to cross *right* in front of him without looking. The Boss threw out the anchors and figuratively braced for impact (his fingers never left the steering wheel – I think he left indents). Luckily, his little car can barely hit 50mph going downhill and with a tailwind, so he stopped very quickly. Even so, he hit the front of the van, knocking the van’s bumper and numberplate about 10-15m. The airbags didn’t go off, so it wasn’t high-speed at all. When he stopped shaking enough to get out, he found his driver door barely opened.

The van driver’s first words were: “You were coming at some speed!” The Boss charitably thinks he was perhaps attempting sarcastic humour; I cynically suspect him of being in this situation before to have such a practiced and ready line… After exchanging details and retrieving bits of car and failing to get any witnesses (the old man behind the van who saw everything absolutely refused to “get involved” and drove off), The Boss limped home. Shaky. Thankful it hadn’t been any worse. And possibly thinking what confessions he could get out the way that night using his joker card on his very-glad-he’s-still-alive wife 😉

After that, it’s not been a problem, really. The van driver talked to his insurance company and admitted full liability. Yes, it was kinda obvious that it was, but I’m still grateful that we didn’t have any arguments or awkwardness. The Boss decided that rather than deal directly with the other man’s insurance company that he’d talk to his own insurance company (Direct Line). Good move – they’ve been brilliant. Today a nice man in a tow truck arrived to pick up the car and take it away to be fixed. A lovely lady from Enterprise came to drop-off a hire car. Honestly, if felt like she was awarding us a prize or something, it was such a pleasant and trouble-free handover. We’ve no limit on mileage or time, and she’ll come pick it up when we have the car repaired and returned. Fantastic!

In the meantime, I can tease The Boss mercilessly on him having broken more cars than me. And feel very, very thankful that he’s here, fully intact, to be teased and tormented.

Well, actually, he’s not ‘here’: right now he’s off mountain-biking in the Back of Beyond, making sure the stresses of work and the week in general are pedalled away. He always tells me roughly where he’s going (in the hall we have a brilliant OS map centred on the house that our friends gifted us) and we always agree a time that if I’ve not heard from him, I’ll phone for help. Sometimes I’ll follow along with Endomondo, but that usually just increases my paranoia that he’s lying injured by the side of the road, because it frequently ‘sticks’ or loses signal. Meh! Better just to remain un-stalked, I think.

Shortbread and Dresses

The kids are on fine comedy form at the moment.

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The other day I picked up Mini Minx from nursery. She came barreling out waving 2 round pieces of paper. “Ohhh”, I cooed, “You’ve been drawing! What are they?”

“That’s your face, Mummy. See? This time I drew you with a smiley mouth”, Mini explained.

“Riiiiiiight”, I said, remembering Wooden Spoon-gate.

“And that one is your big, fat tummy!” she beamed.

“Oh”, I said wittily, to a playground of sniggers. “That’s lovely!”

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Today I was trying to persuade Mini to wear one of the dresses I made for her.

“But it fits you, and it’s pretty, and it’s ironed, and it’s clean. All those other dresses you want need ironed. I’m too tired. Don’t you like it?”

“Yes, I DO love the dress you sewed me, Mummy; I only hate it a tiny, little bit”, she reassured me.

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Right, enough of the humour; back to moaning. Midi has been pressing my buttons All.Day.Long. I think today was a backlash from her broken sleep the night before last. She sneaked into my bed and kicked and shoved and smothered me all night. In the morning, she didn’t even attempt to pretend she’d had a nightmare. When she said she’d just fancied a Mummy-Cuddle because she was cold, I explained (again) that if I didn’t get more sleep that I’d die. She just shrugged.

So this morning she lay about on the living room carpet, refusing to put on any socks, and rejecting any I shoved on her big duck-feet. “They’re Maxi’s!!” she wailed: “Ewwwwww!!” Which is a cheek, because *she’s* the one who’s just had 2 verrucas finally fall off.

She refused to eat breakfast. She dawdled to school. She refused to kiss Mini goodbye.

At lunchtime, she decided to run into the wall in the hall, big heavy shoe first, bringing down all 4 canvasses and bending the hanging frames at the back, and leaving a dent and a big scuff-print. Her rationale for the damage was “I was bored”.

Give me strength!!

She fell asleep quickly tonight, so with luck she’ll wake up her happy self tomorrow and be at less risk of being strangled. And she suddenly has a new back tooth, as well as an extra front lower incisor. Shark Mouth. I remember she was a terribly grizzly teether as a baby, so perhaps all these things are related?

Talking of dresses, Mini’s Challenge to me of not wearing jeans for a month is going well. I unearthed all my “Big Girl” clothes now that I’m a couple of dress sizes fluffier (ahem…) than this time last year. Last time most of them were worn was after Maxi was born (yep, 8 years ago) and some of the big swooshy dresses haven’t seen the light of day for 20 years. Today I waddled on the 4 school runs in a swishy 50s style circle skirted effort with a ruched top that Mini calls my Bra-Dress. It looks like a bridesmaid’s dress. I don’t give 2 hoots 🙂

At nursery Mini made shortbread with one of the other wee girls for their morning snack. I think the kids do baking once a week, and everyone takes turns to help bake. Mini explained how to make it:

“You need this much buttuh”, she said, holding her arms very wide apart. “And you need to mix, mix, mix in soogah. Not too much”.

“How much?” I asked, taking notes.

“Just not too much. And then you need to squeeeeeeeeeeze in de flowah. Lots n lots. An then you roll it an cut out starfish, an bake an bake an bake. In de oven. Then you eat it aaaaall up. It’s very yummy”, she monologued.

Quarter of a 500g tub of Total Greek yogurt (full fat - none of this namby-pamby low fat nonsense); sliced strawberries; hazelnuts; pumpkin seeds; drizzle of maple syrup. Hoover up.

Quarter of a 500g tub of Total Greek yogurt (full fat – none of this namby-pamby low fat nonsense); sliced strawberries; hazelnuts; pumpkin seeds; drizzle of maple syrup. Hoover up.

So what’s a greedy Mummy to do? We made our own. God, it was delicious! I meant to take a photo of it, but I scoffed all the leftovers. Oops. Never mind, I’ll leave you with a photo of yesterday’s healthy breakfast instead. And the recipe for the shortbread: cream 100g butter with 50g caster sugar. Combine with 200g flour by hand. Roll. Stamp out. Prick with fork. Bake at 170degC for 30 mins.

One last thing:

The Boss got Honduras in the office World Cup sweepstakes. “Are they any good?” he asked nervously. (No, dear).