Fun with Flowers

Day 51.

Oh yeah, the sun had his hat on again today…and I suddenly noticed that our garden has erupted into a sea of stunning colours, seemingly overnight.  I guess all that rain was good for something!  As I stood basking in the warmth and playing frisbee with Evie, my eye was caught by all those gorgeous emerald greens, deepest fuchsias, delicate lilacs and the brightest of blue hues…so I thought I’d grab my new toy camera and have a bit of a play:


There has been many a day lately when I have bemoaned the size of our yard, the amount of work involved to keep it looking “nice”, and our lack of time or ability to come even close to doing so.  But this afternoon, I must admit, I did start to wonder if I would miss it too much if we decided to up sticks and satisfy my itching feet.  At this time of year, the life of a country bumpkin really does come into its own!  

Oh, and on other news….after weeks of seemingly futile searching, we finally hired a lovely new nanny today.  Hurrah!  #100HappyDays


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Day 50.

Wow, I’m halfway there.  #100HappyDays.

Oh, sorry, is that a cop-out? I can’t have my happy moment of the day be that I’m now halfway through this little exercise?

Fine.  Okay.  Wha’ eva.

So, it’s still raining.  Quelle surprise.  But, okay, I found a happy moment in there today that really made me laugh.  And yes, I’m sorry, it involves a Pepperling.  What can I say?  You’re reading a mommy blog – it’s not going to be all hard hitting headlines and local tourist info, I’m hoping you’ve figured that out by now.

Aaaaand, moving swiftly on.

Evie had her usual speech therapy session this afternoon.  Because her appointment times coincide with Henry’s nap time, usually the nanny puts Henry to bed before she leaves, and if he wakes up before they return, I just play with him for the 20 minutes or so until they do. The not-so-hidden benefit of working from home – my flexibility means that the kids’ schedules don’t need to be messed with too much….and I get bonus cuddles and dribbly smooches throughout the day.  Win-win!

Anyway, this afternoon, I had my lunch late, then went up to my office to carry on with boring old work stuff.  After a while, I realised I could hear faint music.  So strange, I was sure I hadn’t left the TV or radio on, but went to check anyway.  Nope.  Silence downstairs.  Back up I went, and hovered outside the Hank-monster’s door, listening… his giggles.   On opening the door, this is the face I was greeted with:


Yep, that boy even wakes up chirpy.  If you could tap his joie de vivre, package it in little sugar-coated capsules and market it to the masses….I can’t even imagine how rich we’d be.  But let’s just say, Bill Gates‘s palms would be sweating right now, and we could stop worrying about funding the Pepperlings’ education!.

Henry had woken up, I have no idea how long ago, switched on his music box and started dancing in his crib, still wearing his sleep sack.  When he saw me walk through the door, he didn’t reach for me, didn’t ask to escape his little prision, didn’t even beg for miiiiilllllkkk.  He simply said “Dance mummy.  Your turn!  Dance!”.   So, of course, I did.  My little man and I pirouetted and twirled away to tinny Mozart, with the occasional “peek-a-boo” thrown in for good measure.

It may be the greyest of grey days out there.  I might be totally floored by third trimester exhaustion, with deadlines coming out of my ears and the constant niggling fear in the back of my mind over what’s to come in just ten short weeks…but my son’s ability to find unbridled delight in every single moment?  That is infectious, and it is incredible. I’m a lucky lady, that’s for sure.  #100HappyDays.

His sister, on the other hand?  Well, she’s just a great big meanie!  This evening, as I changed into my workout clothes, ready for Fit4Baby class, my daughter glanced up at me at an inopportune moment.  Her eyes widened, a look of horror came across her pretty face, and she declared “Ewwwwwwwwww, mommy!!  Your boobies!  Ugh, it’s NOT NICE to see you naked!!”.

Thanks darling girl.  I love you too.

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Playing Catch Up

I’m playing catch up today.  Apparently, the best thing about #100HappyDays is that you can make up the rules as you go along.  That’s right, right?


Day 46

On Friday afternoon, all that glorious sunshine came to an end, the heavens opened and the temperature dropped 30 degrees.  Just like that.  Bah!!!  

And then this dude, my office-mate, seemed to sense my rapidly darkening mood, and climbed into my lap to offer up some of his unique Ragdoll therapy:


Call me the Crazy Cat Lady, if you will, but as I sat there, stroking a fluffy white cat, while swiveling absent-mindedly in my black office chair, suddenly I felt like Blofeld.  Screw the rain, sod all the nanny woes, and bugger the third trimester exhaustion….I am unbreakable!  Or, at least, my beloved Monty thinks so, anyway.  Goodbye, Mr. Bond


Day 47

Well, this one is easy.  



On soggy Saturday, I managed to steal two glorious hours all to myself to get this unruly mop sorted out at my favourite salon, in an effort to clutch at any kind of yummy mummy status.   I may well be deluding myself on that one, but there is something quite special about walking through the door when you get home, and having your Disney-obsessed little girl say “Wow, Mummy’s hair is all golden!”.  Not yellow.  Not lightened.  Not even bland ole blonde.  Golden!  From now on, I will mostly be answering to “Princess”, as I flick my lustrous locks your way.  Mmm-hmmmm….Princess Pepper, that’s me.


Day 48

I won’t lie, Sunday was another spectacularly gloomy day, BUT there were still several fabulously happy moments to be found in amongst all that rain.  

Not only did I manage to drag this big old belly of mine out onto the river trail at 8.30 in the morning, but Daisy and I managed to run 3.4 miles at a 10:25 average pace, whilst still managing to hold a conversation with my lovely running buddy the entire way.  Nearly 30 weeks pregnant, and in the pouring rain.  I don’t mean to be overly smug, but I think that right there deserved a doughnut.   And so…yes, okay, a 12 oz latte and accompanying maple ring was my oh-so-happy reward.  

It was then time to try to wear out the Pepperlings, so that Henry would burn off all those doughnuts enough energy to get a decent nap, and we could have a peaceful-ish afternoon.   Of course, no rainy Sunday afternoon walk would be complete without a pink Hello Kitty handbag:


Particularly when that handbag is full of dirty grey rocks.  

And finally….we interviewed a potential nanny.  She seems nice, and Evie was bashfully smitten, judging by the way she kept scooting past as we all chatted, staring and grinning like a little lunatic, then declaring “I’m going to really miss you!!!” as our interviewee departed.  All that remains to be decided is whether we can bring ourselves to welcome someone into our home and our family who goes by the name of Britney.    😉


Day 49 

The following conversation with my daughter:

E: Mummy, I love you so so so much, I love you more than you love me!

M: Oh no, that’s not possible, Evie.  I love you more than it’s possible to love anyone, so you can’t love me more.  I love you more than jelly tots!

E: Well, I love you MORE than more than jelly tots.

M:  OK, well then, I love you more than *chocolate*!!  (thinking I’m onto a sure winner here!)

E: No, I love YOU more than you love chocolate.

M: Hmm…..well, I love YOU more than donuts, Miss Genevieve!

E:  Well, I love…..oh, I love donuts!!

Fair play, Evie.  Fair play.


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Sunshine and bluebells

Day 45.

Well, hell YEAH, I’m still going on (and on) about all this sunshine.  But then, so is the rest of Seattle (as we wilt away in total disbelief – what is this bright, round thing in the sky?  What does this mean?), so I’m definitely not the only weather-obsessed loser in town!

But look!  It’s all just so much prettier, basking in the glow of that magnificent orb:



Today was the hottest May 1st in Seattle in 16 years, and it definitely felt it, as temperatures climbed up to 85F.  I’m starting to wonder what being 9 months pregnant in July is going to feel like….my bet is on “sweaty”.   But in the meantime, we are all making the most of this glorious blip, and everyone is suddenly tanned and smiling.  Personally, I am loving seeing chubby little Pepper legs come out of hiding – there is nothing more adorable than a 2 year old in shorts, or seeing your tomboy daughter suddenly embrace all the pretty, flowery dresses in her wardrobe!  The kids both went swimming at the lake this morning, and this afternoon I was lucky enough to get to take them to the park after work for an hour or so, to meet up with friends and play in the volleyball court (aka “giant sandpit”).

Everything seems so much better when you’re not getting rained on, doesn’t it?   So, of course, I am burying my head in the sand, refusing to acknowledge the gloomy weather forecast, and assuming that this is it – summer is quite clearly here, and long may she stay!!  #100HappyDays


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A Very Happy Birthday

Day 44. 

Well, I suppose I shouldn’t be at all surprised that Little Mr Sunshine managed to get a full day of wall to wall glorious sunshine on his birthday.  It was warm and sunny on the day he was born, it was a beautiful day for his 1st birthday party last year, and it turns out that his second anniversary of birth was no exception.  Eighty-six degrees today.  30 Centigrade.  Blue skies abounding for my blue-eyed boy!



Henry had a great day today.  He woke up as happy as always, received a big birthday cuddle from his sister, and then came downstairs to a breakfast of milk and banana bread, and a table full of gifts, just for him.  Well, as long as he would let Evie unwrap them all and open his cards, of course. 



Oh, and allow her to play doctor on him with his own new Doctor Kit, obviously:


I think this day was as much about Evie as it was about her little brother, but that was absolutely fine by Henry.  She was very attentive to him, and kept informing him that “You can do whatever you like today, Henry.  It’s your birthday.  You can do WHATEVER you like!!!”.   She showed a keen interest in all his new toys, enjoyed scooter races around the kitchen, thrilled as she was that he now has one just like hers (only blue, obviously), and she even declined to take part in lunch bunch at pre-school, because she wanted to have a birthday lunch with her brother.   In fact, when our nanny went to collect Evie from school, apparently Miss Bossyboots was stopping everyone she saw and saying “Did you say happy birthday to my brother?  It’s his birthday.  Say happy birthday to Henry!!!”.   

To all of Henry’s future girlfriends…..I’m sorry.   For whatever hoops she has made you jump through, tests she has made you pass, or evil eyes she may have thrown your way.  I’m sorry.  She just loves him “too much”, in her own words. 


But my little guy had a great day, complete with three separate park visits, story time at the library, lunch al fresco in the garden, ice cream treats from the nanny and Pinkabella cupcakes for tea….not to mention all the kisses and cuddles from his favourite Aussie chick, Miss Ely:

Thank you for all the birthday well wishes for my handsome Henry, for all the gifts and cards that came his way, and for all the love over the past two years, which has undoubtedly contributed to my own sanity, and to my son’s oh-so-happy demeanor.   We are a lucky old lot, that’s for sure!  #100HappyDays



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Day 43.

It’s not that I’ve been too busy to be happy, I’ve just been too totally snowed under to find time to write about it.

But more on that another time, because right now I’m sitting here in disbelief over the fact that my darling, dear Henry is TWO tomorrow.  Two years. 24 months.  730 days.  Where on earth did that time go?



How strange to think that in the blink of an eye, I”ll be saying much the same thing about “Daisy”.

Words can’t describe how much I love my sweet Henry monster.  He brings joy to every single day – I honestly have never met a happier little soul anywhere.  You just can’t help but smile when you’re around Hank the Yank, it’s totally infectious!  I can only live in hope that his tiny brother or sister has even half the joie de vivre – can we be that lucky again?    I wonder if there’s something in a name, after all.  Henry Alexander Pepper.  H.A.P.  HAP, hap, HAPPY!!!  Seriously, this child wakes up smiling, and doesn’t stop showing his pearly whites until you dare to suggest it might be time for bed.  How can he possibly be expected to spend any time alone in a dark room, when there’s just so much FUN still to be had?

Of course, I’m his mum, so it’s my job to worry.  Right now, I worry again about how he will react to the interloper that will arrive in the summer.  He is such a mummy’s boy, he just adores his cuddles and kisses….and he hates to share the love.  How will be cope when I’m breastfeeding the baby, and have to hold my rambunctious boy at bay?  How will he react to all the “Oh, watch out, Henry”, “Be CAREFUL Henry” and “Nooooo, Henry!”s, when all he wants to do is climb on my lap and get involved in whatever fascinating activity is going on?

I’m sure it will be fine.  I hope it will be fine.  Because I can’t bear to think of anything that might wipe that cheeky grin from his jolly visage!

ImageFor now though, we are just going to celebrate my fabulously chipper wee chap’s big day, and remember to enjoy just how very bloody lucky we are.  And, of course, he’s not doing so badly himself::

ImageAll prepped and ready for the birthday boy’s breakfast – bring on the fun and games!  #100HappyDays.


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Work it, baby!

Day 42.

After a long week of coughing, spluttering and generally feeling very sorry for myself, I finally made it back to the gym for this evening’s Fit4Baby class.   



After an hour of squats, planks and cardio (to name but a few), I feel so much yummier!  Here’s hoping the Pepperlings don’t bring home yet another new bug to share with me next week, so we can get this rapidly expanding booty back on track.  #100HappyDays

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Bloomin’ Marvelous!

Day 41.

I know I do a lot of whinging on about the rain, but even I have to admit….we do actually live in a pretty darned gorgeous part of the world!



Yep, we finally made it up to the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival today.  #100HappyDays

(apologies for the brevity of today’s post – I will elaborate further tomorrow, but chasing two crazed Pepperlings around a muddy field full of beautiful blooms has left me more than a little cream crackered.  So I’m off to bed.)

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Egg hunters

Day 40.

Today was our annual neighborhood Easter egg hunt.   So, of course, it rained, monsoon-like, all day long.  Well, except for the little Easter miracle that made the clouds part and the sun come out between 3 and 4pm, which just happened to be the time that the festivities were held.   Praise be!



It was yet another grey, gloomy day which made me wonder why on earth Bill Gates didn’t decide to set up his illustrious camp in Southern California, or even Florida (damn you, Bill!!), but hey, the kids were still pretty pleased with their haul, and as far as Henry is concerned, puddles are the BEST.  THING.   EVER.     So, I guess we’re here to stay…..

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No more holes

Day 39.

Today was Evie’s 4 year “Well Child” check up with her pediatrician.  I had been absolutely dreading it, knowing that she was due at least 4 of her booster vaccinations.  The last time Evie was anywhere near an hypodermic, it took me and two male nurses to pin her down in order to take a blood sample (a Green Card requirement, poor lamb).  I’d had a sinking feeling ever since I received the appointment letter, given that every time I had mentioned needing to go to the doctor, her immediate reply was always the same.  “I don’t like holes, I don’t want to see the doctor.  No more holes!”. 

Ugh.  I think I’ve now worked myself up into more of a state about this check-up than my dear daughter, but finally bit the bullet and booked us in.  I spent the morning wondering how on earth we were going to approach this, and what I would tell her to even get her to walk into the office.   In the end though, it was actually surprisingly simple!  We left Henry at home with the nanny, and I told her we were going on a little adventure.  We just had to run an errand first, then we could do something fun together.  She seemed happy enough with this, and spent the journey over there chattering away about her best friend, Peter Pan, and informing me that Peter Pan Pepper was a fabulous name for her new brother or sister.  Mmm-hmmm, I’ll add it to the list, Evie. 


She was actually so happy showing off in the waiting room, lapping up the compliments on her daffodil crown, and playing hopscotch on the orange and white tiled floor, she never even thought to ask me what we were doing there, bless her naive little soul.  We had a little hiccup when the Medical Assistant called us through, and Evie spotted the room where she’d had her last shot – she suddenly wailed “I DON’T WANT HOLES” and started backing away, but a quick reassurance that we just wanted to weigh her and have a little chat (lies, all lies, I’m so sorry sweet girl!) soon calmed her down again.  And she was an absolute angel, I was so very proud of her.  She answered all the questions asked of her, stood on one leg, endured her blood pressure being taken, and chatted confidently to two different MAs and the pediatrician.  When our lovely doctor asked Evie if there was anything that was concerning her that she wanted to talk about, she replied “Well, sometimes, at the end of the day when I go to bed, my legs hurt a little bit.  It’s just a little bit, but they hurt right here” (pointing at her shins and ankles).    Heart.  Melting.   

Then came the scary bit.  Shudder.  And of course, my daughter is nobody’s fool, she spotted that tell-tale tray being brought into the room, and was immediately thrown into meltdown mode.  Until it was explained to her that having the vaccines would keep her healthy, and help to keep Mummy and her new baby brother or sister healthy, and that it would be over really really fast, and then we could go to Target and pick up any toy at all that she wanted for being so brave…..then she calmed down stopped wailing.   Honestly, for someone that I knew was so absolutely white-knuckle terrified of what was coming, she was incredible.  I hugged her to me, her legs wrapped around my waist and arms around my neck, and held her super tight, while we talked about Elsa and Anna, and the MA went about her sad business.  Yes, she screamed and writhed away with each “hole”, but that was it.  One scream, and yet another “I don’t LIKE holes!”, and that was it.  As soon as it was over, and she had her Frozen sticker in her hands, she was absolutely fine.  So fine, in fact, that she was declaring her love for me (when I had been scared she would be furious with me for lying to her about our special adventure!).  As we strolled out of there together, hand in hand, I thought my heart would burst when she patted me on the back and said “I love you Mummy, you’re my best friend.  You’re my little sweetheart!”.  

And that was that.  We popped down to Target, as promised, and what did Evie choose as her reward, having been told she could choose any toy she liked?  A blimmin’ ten dollar Doc McStuffins doctor’s bag.  I kid you not !!!

ImageI do love that funny little girl.  Oh, and did I mention that the sun was shining today, too?   Hallelujah!!  #100HappyDays


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