Monday, June 28, 2010

A little this. A little that.

We've been back from England for sometime and were able to enjoy July and August in Iowa. Okay, okay, that sounds ridiculous. Who really enjoys the Midwest in the dead of summer? Despite the sticky heat we had a fabulous summer filled with parties, parades and da pool. We also managed to have another ER/hospital visit during our annual July trip to visit the grandparents. Yep, 2nd year in a row but this year was Lily's turn. Poor thing got a ton of mosquito bites on her ankle and somehow an infection set up shop and was only evicted following a 2 day hospital stay with serious antibiotics. She was AMAZING and through the IV, multiple lab draws, foot x-rays, removal of IV she did better than most adults. Lily also recounts her hospital stay as the time she got pretty spoiled. Our dear family visited and brought cuddly presents to make her smile and worked.

Harrison turned 3 last week. Since he was 3 before school started we planned to enroll him in Lily's Montessori Preschool but this was contingent on him potty training since they don't accept diapers. We tried a few times over the past few months, nothing serious, and he amused us with peeing a few times and even pooping in the potty once. We reluctantly gave up his spot at Montessori. A week before he turned 3 he was home from daycare with pink eye (we've had our fair share of ear infections and tonsillitis, heck we've even had hand, foot and mouth so WHY NOT pink eye?) and was watching Elmo's Potty Time video when he DECLARED OUT LOUD that he didn't want to wear diapers anymore. What did I do? I RAN and got him big boy underpants and never looked back. He tried to look back once or twice and even requested a diaper when he needed to do some serious business. I rejected his request all the while questioning if I was a really horrible mom or really smart. Apparently, I'm really smart. :)

Potty training Lily was very easy since I knew exactly what steps to take and how to position oneself, etc. Potty training a boy, when I'm not a boy, well that is rather difficult. There are so many positions one could use but which is really the best? Stand up...but he's not tall enough. Sitting...can lead to pee all over. Sitting pretty well but requires removal of big boy underpants and shorts. Stand on potty...not ideal. Clearly we've tried them all and he still likes to mix it up daily but whatever position he decides it's WORKING! And seamlessly I might add.

My blog goal is to produce some additional posts to wrap up our England trip and highlight my baby turning 3 so stay tuned (and if you've learned your lesson previously you'll check back in approximately 6 weeks). CIAO!

Friday, June 11, 2010

Tea Party!

Lily's first REAL tea party was a few days ago. It was complete with real tea cups, hot chocolate and biscuits (and aero bubbles which are delicious!). I surprised her with the first tea party when Harrison was napping (she napped earlier) and she LOVED it. She loved the tea party but I think she also loved the time alone with me. She requested another girl tea party but Randy and I talked her into letting Harrison join us. For some reason, this tea party turned into a very improper tea (imagine burping and toasting to a "Fantastic Pee Party") party but we had many laughs about how improper it was.:) Today's tea party will make our 4th consecutive tea party.

Toolin' around Ivinghoe, England

The village we "live" by is a small village called Ivinghoe. It has a few pubs, library, tea room, a great park and a gorgeous church. The last picture is of the post office. Pretty cool looking post office, I think.

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

The Dairy Cottage

Currently we're staying at The Dairy in Town Farm in Ivinghoe in Bedforshire. Can you understand why it takes me a while to read a map? The cottage is a barn conversion in the middle of a farmyard. It's located at the foot of the Chiltern Hills and has sheep and chickens. Apparently there is a pick your own fruit and vegetable area that we plan to explore today. Since it's June there won't be too much ready but hopefully some strawberries at least. We're also going to buy some free range eggs from the farm chickens. Fun. :)

We didn't plan to stay in 3 different locations for our 3 weeks here but it's working out rather well. Since our current cottage is on a farm we can't walk to anything beyond the farm. The town of Ivinghoe is pretty close, about a 2 minute car ride but the path isn't ideal for 2 little ones and I envision carrying both of them while juggling an umbrella (been raining intermittently a lot this week). Since the forecast called for rain all day yesterday we dropped Randy off at work and played at an indoor playground. We went here last Sunday and the kids loved it then and loved it now. They had the usual huge play structure but also had a race car track, carousel, kid's kitchen, vet pretend center, lego area and outdoors they had arm paddle boats and big sandbox. Yesterday, the kids got their faces painted.

I'm assuming this was once the main house but now it's separated living quarters. Still gorgeous. I took this picture from the tennis court. Prior to playing tag with the kids and Lily scraping her knee and hand. Ouch!

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

More Pics from London Trip


London street performers. These were CRAZY! They would be soooo still and once you put money in their cup they moved. The gray lady gave fortunes, another angel (not pictured) gave the kids fairy dust and the others just posed with the kids. We probably spent more money here than anywhere else in London but the kids loved it. :)

My favorite part of London is the Tower of London. We didn't go inside but ate lunch on the steps outside. Nice view for a picnic. :) Harrison had just woken up from his nap (which lasted the entire boat cruise tour, he would have loved that!) so that is why he has the confused look. :) At least he let Lily console him, which she was more than happy to do.

Monday, June 07, 2010

Our digs

The first place we stayed was in downtown Milton Keynes. We stayed in a "serviced apartment." It was definitely more geared toward young single adults and not so much for families with young kids as evidenced by open windows with no screens (we on the 5th floor!!) and glass tabletops. But it was a very clean and nice place to stay. The apartment was located in the Hub, which is the central part of town. We were surrounded by nice resturants, COFFEE!, a supermarket and water fountains. In case you can't guess which perk the kids loved...

The apartment had 2 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms and all the necessary items to live in. Hotels seem silly after this place. It was even cheaper than a hotel!

Since we ARE in England we wanted to experience England so we moved to the countryside. Randy has to drive 30 minutes to work so we'll only be here for a week and move to a different cottage with a shorter drive for Randall. But it's lovely and I'm excited to spend our days here.

Here is a video of our cottage in the countryside.

Our amenties remain the same with 2 bedrooms, washer dryer, etc. but we are no longer surrounded by supermarkets, coffee :(, and resturants. Instead we have chickens, sheep and a trampoline. In case you can't guess which perk the kids loved...


On Saturday we took the train to London. It was about a 35 minute train ride. Both Lily and Harrison enjoyed initially before requesting to play iphone games. Oh kids.

Kids in a English phone booth and Lily in front of the London Eye (large ferris wheel).

A family picture with an uncooperative 2 year old boy. At least Big Ben is in the background.

Friday, June 04, 2010

Windmill, British accent and London!

Tonight at dinner (which was at a windmill, don't get to say that much) Lily said something in a British accent! Too funny. I can't remember what she said but it was quite noticeable!

Off to London tomorrow. Thinking double decker bus tour. Mostly because they look cool but also we won't have to walk about London holding kids.

Greetings from England!

We're on a bit of a holiday. Well, myself and the kids anyway. Randy is working and that is why we are here in the first place. My company agreed to reduced hours which means I get to hang with the kids all day and work in the evenings once Randy is home. Currently "home" means a serviced apartment in the middle of the city which is quite lovely. We'll be here for 3 weeks so we plan to stay at another location or 2 to explore our surroundings. Plus, staying at cottage in an old barn sounds rather fun. :)