Our Little Prince

Lilypie Kids Birthday tickers

Our Little Princess

Lilypie Fifth Birthday tickers

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Ricciardo in London

So apparently the kids and I missed meeting Daniel Ricciardo.  An honest to goodness current Formula 1 driver!  Not by much... We saw a crew setting up for a film shoot this morning at the house around the corner.  This is a pretty awesome house.  We pass it going to and from school as it sits just across from Clapham Common.  Ricciardo races for Red Bull Racing (which also explains why the crew were driving Infiti Q50s!

This afternoon on our way home, we could tell the crew was packing up.  We watched 8 spare Pirelli tires get loaded onto the truck.  Atticus and Wren were peppering one of the Red Bull guys with questions.  Where is the race car?  How will it get onto the truck?  Was there really really a real race car driver here?  Where'd he go?  Why can't I meet him?  How do you work the lever to get the car onto the truck?  Can I watch? You get the picture.  It was freaking freezing outside with crazy wind -- but the crew were really great answering all the questions.  And, they told us to hold on for a few more minutes and we could watch the F1 car get loaded onto the truck.  Pretty cool.  The car was actually a bit of a hybrid between the 2013 and 2014 models.  I'm not quite savvy enough to recognize all the nuances -- but it was really cool to see the car.

Did I mention that the pre-season testing began today?!  I hope I impressed the crew by knowing that little tid bit of knowledge!  I mean, come on... were they expecting a random American ex pat to know THAT?  :-)

If I can figure out how to get photos back onto the blog, I'll get those posted.  I know - I say that a lot.  It's just that I take photos on the phone and then have to move them to iPhoto and then sync them to Picasa and then upload them from there into the blog.  It's a bit of a pain.  I'm sure there must be a better way...

Monday, January 26, 2015

Get Thee To The GYM

I told myself while I was traveling that upon my return to London, I was going to join the gym.  Good news - I actually joined the gym.  Depending upon how you look at it, the gym is 1.3 miles away by foot.  I think this is generally seen as positive?  More exercise, right?  So, even if I only walk there and back - I've already logged 2.6 miles.  Not bad.

Shockingly, I've actually been going.  It's taking a while to ease back into the swing of things, but it does feel good to be back.  I've even taken a couple of Zumba classes.  I think I may have mentioned those already... it's like Club Med crazy signs on speed.  Dip, salsa, spin, jump, gyrate.... Good fun.

Alas... the working out thing is making me starving!  So, now that I'm actually working out again, I need to tailor my grocery shopping to match.  Fingers crossed I can start doing that soon.  But, for now, I'm just happy I'm working out again.  I know my heart and muscles will thank me later.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Friends Make Everything OK

Atticus had a friend over yesterday for a play date.  The boys did really well romping around.  They played with LEGO, they dressed up and played knights, and race car drivers and firefighters.  They ran around and had a grand ole time.

Today, we went over to our neighbor's house for a play and dinner.  One of my closest friends here in London has a son in Wren's class and a daughter in Atticus's class and we live backyard to backyard.  It's awesome.  Alas... they're being transferred to Los Angeles in about 6 weeks and I'm freaking out.  It's going to be hard on everyone -- the kids will definitely miss having their friends around the corner and I'll miss having a friend as well.  I know moving doesn't mean you lose touch - but it does make the day to day a bit more blah when you don't have someone to chat with!!  They're going to love living in CA though... and, now it's one more person to visit when we head out west!

It's tough making friends as an adult, and after having one other good one move at the end of last year, I'm feeling a bit selfish in not wanting them to go yet...

But, today was a good day.  Lots of good kid fun, lots of good conversation, plenty of wine and laughs... a day to remember!

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Parent Teacher Conferences

Well... that was the plan for this morning, but let's back up a bit...

The plan was to let Atticus do Running Club this morning with the big kids from 7:50am till 8:30am.  We would drop Wren at school with one of the of the nursery teachers for 15 minutes while Greg and I chatted with Atticus's main teacher.

Oh, if only life were so simple...

Atticus and I did make it to Running on time.  Only minor drama because Greg and I aren't letting him wear his brand new trainers (tennis shoes) for running in the muddy common.  I know they'll get dirty eventually, I just really had hoped he could wear them a time or two before tromping through the mud.  I may cave by next Tuesday, we'll see... Instead of trainers, he was in his football boots (soccer cleats).  From all accounts, this worked just fine.

Greg was walking with Wren and apparently Wren was feeling uber chatty and not in any kind of rush to get to school.  I went ahead and went into the meeting alone.  Now, the teacher and I have been chatting more regularly lately since we've returned from the Christmas holidays, so I knew what to expect.  Essentially - since we've returned, Atticus hasn't quite been himself.  He's just been "off" and we've heard that from a few of his teachers including the head of sports!  Huh?  He wasn't concentrating in sports?  Red flag.

So - a bit of jet lag.  A possible growth spurt (you should see how much he's eating at the moment), the hum drum dreariness of London winter when you can't get outside as much and the realization that he's at his half way mark.  Historically, Atticus tends to act up more at his half years - starting way back at 1.5 years old.  There is a book series that was recommended to me by my cousin written by Louise Bates Ames.  Here are some of her BOOKS.  I actually haven't read the recent ones, but I may have to order the Six Year Old book.  In his early years, Atticus was textbook!  But, who knows.  In the meantime, I'm going to track the days that he wakes up of his own accord and the days that I wake him for school.  I honestly think there's a correlation to how he acts in school on the days that I have to wake him in the mornings....

And - my neighbor is coming over later tonight so Greg and I can have a dinner date out.  Yay.  One of the many reasons I'm enjoying London.  Our babysitter lives next door and we can have regular date nights.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Biscuits... I mean Cookies

Oh the vocabulary...

Did you know that if you want a cookie in England, you order a biscuit?  Odd.  But if you're looking for something that is served with cheese and/or a dip -- those are called crackers.  Sometimes.  Other times they're called "biscuits for cheese".  Oy the confusion.


There's a really pretty cookie shop that just opened on our high street called Biscuiteers.  They make really fancy iced cookies.  Really fancy.  They're also about £3 per cookie or close to $5 each.  Ouch.  But they're sooooo pretty.  They have icing classes at the store.  Right now, they're offering buy one get one free icing classes.  So, I bought a voucher.  I'm not sure yet who's going to go with me or if I'll just do two classes?  I suppose this is a late birthday gift to myself?  I don't know - it just sounded like a good idea and so I went for it.

HERE is one of my favorite tins that they do called the Vintage Traveler.

Next time I post pictures of my cookies, they're going to look amazing!  At least, that's the plan....

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Grocery Delivery

Seriously people in America.  You don't know what you're missing.  Remember waaaaay back when -- there was a company called WebVan that tried to get started doing grocery deliveries.  You people should have listened.  This is honestly the best invention EVER, especially if you have children, or live in a city where you either don't have a car or don't feel like looking for parking if you choose to move your car.  There's an app for my phone.  So - I'm waiting in the queue to pick up the kids at school and suddenly remember that I need pasta for the playdate later in the week.  Open the app, add it to the cart.  Boom.  Oh look, I have $40 in my cart - I'll schedule a delivery for tomorrow morning after I get back from dropping the kids at school.  Boom.  Next morning - a really nice man (sometimes woman) knocks on my door, carts everything into my kitchen for me, hands me a receipt, picks up my empty shopping bags from last time for recycling and away they go.  Think of something you forgot -- just open the website and add it to the trolley for the next delivery.  It's brilliant.  Far less impulse purchases.  Far less.  That means less crap hanging around the house.  Goooood idea!

Ok. That's it.  Just wanted to share how much I love Ocado and their brilliant delivery service and their amazing customer service.

Still No TV - September 6, 2007

Hmmm, since I last wrote we've been busy little bees. There was our first law school happy hour at Little Woodrow's. That was interesting. Mostly 2L and 3L students rehashing their summers. We left there and walked past MoMo's and I was quite excited to see Matt Powell up on the billboard. We rounded the corner, went up the stairs, and paid our $5 apiece. The door guy asked us then who we were there to see and we replied Matt. Well, turns out he cancelled last minute. D'oh! So, we asked for our $ back and went home to bed. In my younger days, I would have stayed to check out who WAS on the bill...but alas it was late, and still a school night so we headed home.

Saturday was our big day - the first UT home game. We had a late lunch over at Kerbey Lane (our weekly haunt) and then drove to a parking garage just north of campus to leave the car. I love Kerbey. Yum. We wandered campus. We went into the alumni center since I am an active Texas Ex. This was a bonus, because the alumni center is air conditioned. :-) And... they gave us fans on a stick to use at the game - BONUS! The UT cheerleaders game into the center and led a few cheers and tried to rile up the old folks. Then, we walked around the stadium to the student section. Why is it that the alumni always get the shaded seats and the students are left to melt in the sun? I'm ready for the shady seats! The game was good - our seats are pretty cool, right in the end zone in section 26. But it was HOT and I forgot how tiring it is to stand on the bleachers for 4 hours of football! Let's hope fall starts arriving soon.

Monday was our first anniversary. If you're feeling nostalgic, go check out our wedding photos. I'm hoping to get the domain name from our photographer once his year subscription is up. If that happens... I may eventually move the blog to that site. Of course, that means that I have to brush up on my HTML and other computer geeky skills. We debated where to go for our dinner and while the highly rated Wink was an almost, we chose to go to Melting Pot. I love fondue. So freaking good! It's hard to believe that an entire year has gone by. We're looking forward to many many more.

The rest of the week has been quiet, the only thing out of the ordinary is that we've been going to the gym in the mornings! Yeah us! It feels good to be back at the gym even if my arms are killing me. :-) This weekend is another crazy one. My friends Carla and Aron are coming down from Ft. Worth for the UT v. TCU game and I'm looking foward to seeing them. It'll be good times!