Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Sunday, 29 January 2012

From the Phone...

The Littles playing ball...

Celia before her first yoga class...

Mary Kate the baby whisperer...

Ploughman's lunch with Dallas friends...

Inspired by: Barefoot Contessa

George sat out the garnish and a piece of onk (his blanket which has fallen apart) for Santa's reindeer...

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Thursday, 26 January 2012

Worse: The Carpool Line

If you have sat in a carpool line, you may wonder how it could be worse?!?  Oh it is possible! 

The girl's school only has a drop-off line in the morning.  In the afternoon you have to park and walk up to collect them in the afternoon.  The girls look like little refugees standing in a holding pen searching the crowd for their mummy, daddy or nanny.  Back to the mornings...

When the weather is warmer, the girls arrive at least 15 minutes early so they may play outside.  This avoids the nonsense I am about to describe.  But now it is cold and I understand wanting to be just in time.  In the last two weeks I have witnessed mothers get out of their car then:  

Brush and fix hair - twice (how does this save time?)
Tidy their trunk
Sit down in the car, fumble around and get out again to hand money to another mother
Hand a phone to her daughter and waited patiently while the daughter chatted 
After the daughter walked away, opened the back door and walked a dog around the car to the front seat

And this is merely a sample!  Truly maddening.  The problem is there is no policing of the drop-off line.  In the US the principal would call you out in two seconds with a bull horn.  There is ample parking.  If a child is not ready to jump out as you slow down, park the car. 

Another factor is most parents have to get out of the car to open the door on the side were the traffic is moving.  Plus the cars are smaller the school bags may have to go in the trunk or other side of the car.  So parents have to get out to help.  I get out too but I kiss and dash.  We do not hurry but we do not jack around either. 

In their defense, there are not many drive-thrus in the area.  Perhaps this is their only encounter with this type of thing.  I find the lack of common courtesy incredibly rude.  How self absorbed is a person to leave a half dozen cars waiting as you braid your child's hair?  

What am I going to do to fix this problem?  Well, I asked my class rep to bring it up with the parent's association.  However, it is not an issue in which I feel strongly enough to try resolve personally or take a turn at working the line.  The girls will have to actually zip their coats, put on their gloves and tough it out on the playground to beat the rush.  But I could be swayed if they gave me a bull horn...

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Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Better, Worse, or About the Same

If you wear glasses, you have heard the eye doctor say this a bajillion times. In response to reader requests concerning differences between the US and UK, I am starting a new series. Little nuggets highlighting things between the two countries which I find better, worse or about the same.  There is also a 4th category: different - not better or worse.

PLEASE NOTE: these are my experiences. They may or may not be indicative of the whole of the UK or the US. I know I do not represent a cross section of American society or life in the UK.

Friday, 20 January 2012


It's that time of year...CPE time. I always wait until the last minute to cram all 40 hours in by January 31st. I do not help myself by being really good at procrastinating. I do the best organizing when I should be studying (or packing.  Which is odd because I actually like going on trips).  My inspiration for today's must do project: 

The result: 

(In my defense,  I was watching George play in the backyard while working on this task.) 

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Wednesday, 18 January 2012


Could this little darling have pulled the emergency alarm on the tube? Brent was guarding it. He turned for a moment to talk to Caroline and woop, woop! Thankfully the train did not stop, rather the engineer came on the speaker to make sure all is okay. Everybody was staring. It was mortifying. But I will never see those people again so oh well. The moral to this story (which I have suspected for three years) avoid the tube at all costs!

Monday, 16 January 2012

Achin' for Bacon

I LOVE bacon.  I love the bacon love going around the blog world lately.  The love inspired BLTs yesterday.  Here are two of my favorites bacon bits:

From Etsy shop:  Borrowed and Blue Handmade Paper Creations
This is bacon funny:

Enjoy some bacon today!
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Saturday, 14 January 2012

Friday, 13 January 2012

Day to Day

Lately, I feel most of my days are parenting fails - not disasters but not smooth either. I am constantly assessing the greatest need to determine what to do next. Diapers trump all. Then Celia eating usually comes next except when feeding the majority of the house is more beneficial for the greater good of the family. It is manageable but takes juggling and keeping expectations low.

Yesterday, I had good parenting day. I handled my refereeing duties with the girls calmly. Kept George engaged and out of trouble. Celia had tummy time 3 times - which is more than she has had total. She also had a bath - she's had about three of those in her life too.

Today was going okay. George and I are in the playroom. He wants me to leave to take care of his business so to speak. Good timing - I need to check on Celia who is napping. He has poked around in his diaper twice lately so I remind him to stay out of his diaper as I walk out. A few minutes later we go to change him. Things quickly fall apart - he did not stay out of his diaper. In short order I am relieved to have him showered and am on my way to the washing machine. But I begin to wonder...sure enough I find a trail of fingerprints on the wall up the stairs. Gross but not too bad. Now I do not have a good feeling. I look behind the playroom door to find poo smeared on the wall and curtain. I did take a picture to share the joy with Brent. I will spare you though.

Not a big deal in the overall scheme of life. But something I hope to not handle again!

How could I be bothered by the morning's events? My little buddy brought home "bubble flowers" for me from his walk...

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Thursday, 12 January 2012

No Smiling

No smiling at midnight little girl...

Saturday, 7 January 2012

Yes, I Love Technology

I do love technology except when it does not work easily. Then I HATE technology. This week I give two big {hearts} to technology!  (These are not new to the world...only new to me.)


We video chatted with my sister for her birthday. I have a love/hate relationship with Skype.  My laptop has never streamed great, so it not Skype's fault.  But with FaceTime on the iPad it was as simple as calling her phone. I took her on a house tour and she saw Celia in action. Love! (Did not get a screen shot as neither of us were looking our personal best.)


E-reader fever is going around and I caught it!  Newspapers are reporting high sales of the gadgets over Christmas. My official line is I prefer hard books. I like buying, borrowing, browsing, carrying and looking at books. Stacks and shelves of books are lovely sight. Brent told me the iPad works as an e-reader too. But taking a stand, I did not bother with it. However, I am easily influenced and finally caved to check it out. Be still my beating heart! With iBooks bajillions of books available with a touch and password. There is also free books for classics.

What will they think of next!?!

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Wednesday, 4 January 2012


Happy New Year!

And good-bye to 2011.  It was a good year.

Highlights by month:

January - Best birthday ever!

February - visit Rome and celebrate Brent's birthday.

March - 11 year anniversary and Celia is on her way!

April - Mary Kate turns 9!  Father-in-law visits. 

May - We buy a car! Aunt Allie visits. 

June -Babymoon in the Cotswolds. 

July - George turns 2!

August - spent the month in America.

September - move to the suburbs.  Family friend visits.  College roommate visits. 

October - 9 months pregnant - do not recall. 

November - Celia arrives.  Aunt Kim visits. 

December - Caroline turns 8!  My dad visits.  3 years in London!

A year ago, I would not have guessed I would be writing this from a London suburb and watching a new baby girl sleep.  I hoped she would be on her way but to be nearly two months old - never.  

2011 travel was rather light but still good:  Rome, girl's weekends in Brussels, countryside spa and Bath, Cotswolds Babymoon, Arkansas, Texas, Arizona, Florida and let us not forget the hospital mini-break for Celia's birth - ha, ha.    

The year did not hold much in the way of personal growth (unless the remaining 1.5 stone (you will have to google stone) counts as growth) or enrichment - gestating and lactating was all consuming for me.  The children all grew nicely - I can not buy clothes or shoes big enough or fast enough for them.  I am also having trouble cooking enough food - leftovers are rare. 

Overall the year was good.  Thankfully no bad lows - just regular life of highs and lows - the move, parenting challenges, fun and difficult child stages, minor ailments, saying good bye to friends as they move on to new adventures, traffic tickets, newborn sleep deprivation and visitors.  The best high of all:  welcoming a new baby.  

As I look forward to 2012, I am not making resolutions.  I am blocking the year off as the "year of the baby".  In some ways, I simply look to survive.  But I'd like to do it thoughtfully and intentionally by being the aunt/daughter/friend/sister I would like to have and the mother and wife my family needs.  

If 2011 was not a good year for you, I hope 2012 is better.  May 2012 is full of health and joy for you and yours!

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