Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Thoughts a month in

This is not going to be a normal blog, Paul is going to help.  I will do a catch up one in a few days time.  This is going to be a post on what we have noticed so far.....

Travel - EVERYONE has a car, you need a car, but there are some sorry excuses for cars on the road.....  Loads of people use mobiles while driving, but there is a big advertising push to try and stop this.  You can turn right on red lights at most junctions.  We are yet to take our South Carolina driving tests, we still have 2 months in which we can drive on our UK driving licences.  Some of the roads are a state.  Overtaking on the inside is allowed.  The interstates when they are busy are BUSY.  General driving standards are very poor, lots of running reds, you have to look when you come out of a junction on green.  Big rigs, are BIG.

T.V - too many adverts, same with the radio.  I have found a few good tv channels, abc, NBC.  There are only 4 kids tv channels with our provider (Charter).  No Cbeebies, although some programmes are available on Nickalodeon and Disney.  Lots of on demand programmes and films, so the boys can watch many of their favourites often.  They have Lego cartoons, which the boys love.  They are being influenced by adverts though......  Different networks have different political agendas.  Watching football in the morning is different, we get at least one Premier League game on a Saturday.  Haven't found the cooking channels yet, but haven't really looked.  In the adverts, they would rather show the bad points of their competitors than show their own products.  It is best to watch on playback, so you can skip the adverts.

Food - we are eating out at least once a week, was more frequent to begin, but have reigned it in.  Paul regularly eats out for lunch.  Cooking is interesting, trying to find ingredients that were everyday back home are very hard to find.  We have found a few places that sell products from home, so we have Yorkshire tea and Bisto gravy.  Everything tasted so sweet, because they add sugar to pretty much everything.  I must get more baking utensils, so I can start making cookies and cakes again.  I wouldn't mind a bread maker, as their loaves are much smaller. Loving the coffee machine though.....but missing squash.  We have found a beer, Pabst Blue Ribbon, which is fairly nice.  Imported beer is expensive, as you can imagine.

Weather - so far so good!!!  Just starting to get cold, having a cold snap at the moment, temperatures are meant to improve next week.  Previously it had been in the low 20's in the day still.  Not much rain, but when it comes down it really rains....

Shopping - probably deserves a post of its own!!!!  After the mammoth task of stocking our house, we are done with most of the big things, mainly thanks to ikea.  Most rooms are sorted, we are just picking up bits and pieces when we see them.  Food shopping is interesting, I have tried Walmart, Publix and Bi-Lo so far.  Bi-Lo is very local, and probably a bit like Sainsburys.  Publix is a more upmarket version of Tesco, and Walmart is Asda.  Only really do Walmart if I need extras, not just food.  Going to try and do big shops at Publix, it seems a tiny bit cheaper the Bi-Lo.  The boys like Bi-Lo as it has the car trolleys, so they are always well behaved when we go shopping there.  The mall is interesting, some of the shops are quite expensive, but some are very good.  I need to go there with just me and Seb, so I can take it all in a bit better.  I have a trip there planned for next week, spotted some good Christmas presents on JCPenneys at the weekend.  Best Buy is a big electrical store, we have spent far too much money in there.  Toys r us is just like at home.  World Market is fab, if a little pricey.  They sell lots of home ware and 'world' food.  K-Mart is ok, a bit like a department store, as is Target. Costco is a big wholesale merchant. We have paid for membership, they have many bargains, especially on toys. Am going tomorrow to stock up on many different things

Medical - having a bit of a hate/hate relationship with this.  They love to keep you waiting.  The receptionists at our doctors are just as useless as at Westcourtt.  The boys are registered, and their immunisation records have already gone to school.  When I registered they did my blood sugars, and they were high, so I need to see the endocrinologist, and have a physical and lots of tests done.  This is going to take at least an hour.  Luckily the doctor is available till 8pm, so that is my fun in a few weeks time.  I am preparing myself for a lecture.

General - everyone has massive drinks cups with them, most drink refills are free. Our road seems really nice, even if no one knows where it is. Wearer loving our house, but there is still lots of reverb, the boys are sending is deaf.... I am up and out of the house within an hour, not loving the getting up at 6.30am. Loving my car and its sat-nav, and the rice of is happy, Kees getting shut in kitchen cupboards. Skype is great, though the time difference is not. Loving the tumble dryer....enjoying meeting lots of people from lots of different back grounds.

As time goes on, we will have more of these, so we will try and do an observations post every couple of months.

Hope all is ok with everyone reading x

Thursday, 25 October 2012

Playing out and checking out....

Hi all

It has been a pretty normal week for us.  Boys in school, Seb and I in the morning.  Tuesday we went to another meetup at Legacy Park.  This was with international mums, met some really nice people.  The weather at the moment is very warm, it was 26 degrees yesterday, can't believe it is going to be November next week.  It is supposed to start getting colder after the weekend, but only down to about 18 degrees.

The boys were called on yesterday afternoon by the local kids, Titi (think thats how you spell it!!!)  and Matthew (from next door), so they went out and played for half hour or so till Matthew had to go to Tai-Kwon-do.  Think they enjoyed themselves, it was nice for them to get the opportunity.

I went for an open morning at Oliver's school this morning.  It would appear everyone loves Oliver.  I was talking with one of the admissions assistants, whose daughter also goes to the school.  Her class are book buddies with Oliver's class.  The just love his accent, particularly the girls.....  His classmates are all really nice, very outgoing.  We arrived at snack time, and they were all chatting to me and Sebastian.    Got to meet Oliver's new friends, Carson and William, and his teacher says he is doing really well.  Had a look at his school work books, they are fabulous.  Also had his mid-semester report card yesterday, was very generic.  Detailed what the class have done so far, and what they will be doing for the rest of the term.  No grades or anything like that yet.  This afternoon, Isaac, seb and myself are going to our South African neighbor's next door, so the boys can play, and i can drink coffee.

Our tenancy is up on Timberleys, had our check out yesterday.  Not good.  As the cleaner had been in a month ago, the place was dusty and grubby.  We had asked someone to go in and clear our house.  He cleared thing he shouldn't have, and left stuff that was meant to be cleared.  We were pretty pi##ed off yesterday, but have calmed down a bit now.  Its just one of those things.  We are going to get charged for various bits and pieces, and for another cleaner to go in..... We hope to at least get some of our deposit back.

I did say I was going to talk about shops....  Think I will save that for tonight.....  Supposed to be going to Zumba, but I am not sure I can be bothered......

Monday, 22 October 2012

Mountains and eggs

Evening all

Well life is pretty good here in Simpsonville.  The weather has been lovely, the kids are settling in to school, and we are loving the house.

Seb on a dinosaur at Simpsonville City Park
Wednesday, was pretty normal, take the boys to school and preschool, then Seb and I trooped of to Walmart, we needed some extra things as well as normal shopping.  Had to buy a mop and bucket to do the hard floors, and Paul wanted a thermos cup for coffee in the mornings.  You very rarely see anyone without a huge drinks cup of some description.  We need to get used to taking bottles of water for the boys with us everywhere we go.  In the summer they will be a necessity.  Came back, Seb had a sleep, I cleaned the floors, then went and got Isaac.  We had lunch, then while the boys watched TV, I cleaned the bathrooms.  It is working cleaning little bits of the house on monday, wednesday and friday.  I try not to do any cleaning on tuesday and thursday, but I am quite relieved I don't have any Uni work to fit in at the moment.  Once I had finished, we headed to Simpsonville City Park.  It is 5 minute drive away, and is next to the police and fire station.  The fire engines are so cool out here, lots of red and glistening chrome.  Haven't checked out the calibre of the actual firemen yet...  From here we went and got Oliver.  Isaac has developed a habit of falling asleep on this journey.  We tend to leave the house at 2.40, gets us to school for just after 3, and we are home by 3.30, as long as we don't hit any traffic, or Oliver remembers his car pool number....
Oliver in his 'Cavs' t-shirt, it is the schools football team.

He didn't on thursday, so I had to get him from the 'wait zone'. It is nice to know that if carpool fails, and a child is a little forgetful sometimes, that there is a backup plan.  Oliver is enjoying school.  He tends to get 2 homework sheets a night and is expected to read for 15 minutes each night, monday to thursday.  On friday he wears a different t-shirt, all the pupils do.  He came out on friday to say Alexander had the same t-shirt as him, and that he was playing with him and Carson at lunch, so I think he is making friends.

Isaac seems to have settled well too.  He deals with carpool really well, and his teachers seem lovely.  He has planted some carrots, spent time in the outdoors classroom looking for bugs, and learning about 'Fall'.

I tried another Zumba class on thursday.  This one is at a local baptists church in their sports hall.  This church is huge, it has buildings on either side of a cross roads, massive!!!  The session began with a bible reading, and the instructor asking if everyone was ok, and if there was anyone we needed to pray for.  This was followed by a prayer.....  Not your usual class.  It was good though, a cross between the 2 classes I have been doing in the UK, and lots of tracks I recognized, with different moves of course.  There is no charge for this class, you just have to make a donation.  It is held twice a week, tuesday and thursday, so I think I may have found my class...

Friday I took Isaac and Seb to get more shopping before getting Oliver, they just love the big car trolleys, and they are really good in them.  Almost makes food shopping pleasurable.  Paul came home early from work, and we Skyped with the Goslings.  It was Keith's birthday, so by the time we did it, at 4.30 our time, it was 9.30 their time, and they were well on their way.... Hope there weren't too many sore heads the next day.  Was nice to see all the Goslings.

Yesterday we met up with the Barton family at Legacy Park.  What a beautiful park.  They brought doughnuts too, yummy, thanks guys!  Isaac had a fall off the play equipment, and had 3 eggs come up on his head, one right in the middle of his forehead, and 2 smaller ones on the left hand side of his face.   He was running around playing football within 5 minutes, so he is ok.  Was just quite a shock, might have to get some of the portable cooling packs.  My children are quite accident prone, so would probably be a good investment.  After we left them, we headed to a eatery called Tavern 24, I had the most delicious burger, Isaac even ate chicken as well as his chips, and Oliver finished all of his.  The waiter was really nice, and for once you didn't feel hurried out.  There was a big local football game on, and this place had TV screens everywhere.  Think we will defiantly be back there again soon.  From there we went to Costco, what a place, was nice to find nappies and wipes at a reasonable price, they are quite expensive over here.  They seem to sell loads of different things.  I am planning on going back in a few weeks, just before Isaacs birthday, as they have loads of cheaper toys. Might even get some for Christmas (I have already started....)

Oliver at the vantage point
Today we decided to take a drive. Paul had been told by his work colleagues that this was the weekend to head to Asheville, NC, as it is the pinnacle Fall weekend, when all the trees were changing colour, but had not lost their leaves yet.  They weren't wrong.  Took us a good hour and a half to get there, Isaac and Seb both slept on the way up.  The scenery was amazing....  So beautiful.  Once we got there, we headed along the BLue Ridge Parkway, further up in to the mountains, I can't even try and describe how beautiful it was.  We stopped at a vantage point near the top, it was an absolutely amazing view.  The boys didn't really dig it, but it was sooooooo pretty.  We came back into town down Town Mountain Road.  So beautiful, with quite a few houses built into the side of the mountain, amazing.  We stopped at a McDonalds on the way back home, so at least that perked the boys up.  They had a play area inside, so they got to run off some energy...  Got back here for about 3.  Quite a drive, but well worth it.  I look forward to doing it again, maybe in the spring.

In other news...... Paul built the second desk for the office room, looks really cool.  He also fixed the Mac's cracked screen (thanks cat), and got a new keyboard, so it is working perfectly again.  I have heard from my parent person at Oliver's school, such a nice idea.  Oliver has had a message from his best friend at Georgian Gardens, thanks Alfie, you made his day.  Have been to a few second hand/thrift/antiques shops, so am getting little additional extras for the house.  We also bought some pumpkins and basketballs last weekend, which the boys (and Paul) have been loving.  Isaac has been invited to a birthday party at the beginning of November.
Three monkeys at the new computer desk, this has our computer from home, which the boys can use in their computer time.

Think that is all, sorry for the essay.  Was thinking of doing a post midweek this week to discuss what it slowly becoming something I seem to be spending a lot of time doing.......Shopping

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Another presidential debate........

Not long till the election over here, cue another televised debate. It is sort of interesting to me, but its politics, and it gets on my nerves a bit. So here I am!

Things are still going well. Friday after I got Oliver, I got paul. He had the joyous news that his car will be ready on Monday. So we celebrated by buying a lawnmower. We went to dinner at Ruby Tuesdays, which was yummy, despite the fact the boys were nightmares. Had a few beers after the boys had gone to bed....

Paul was wonderful and let me have a lie in on Saturday morning, as he wanted to watch the Formula 1 qualifying. I needed that lie in..... Paul then proceeded to play with his new toys, and cut the lawn, took a good 45 minutes, it was quite long.... The rest of the day was just spent pottering around the house. Seb and I were the only ones who left the house, and that was to go to the supermarket. We fed the boys early, and we had some yummy ribs for dinner.

Sunday we all awoke early. Typically during the week when we have to get up at 6am we have to wake the boys, yet at the weekend they will quite happily wake up naturally at 6am. Chris came round on Sunday morning, unfortunately Kathy was unwell (hope you are better now x). Was nice to meet him, and chat about life out here. They came out a month before we did. Sunday afternoon we went to one of the many parks in Simpsonville. It is another good one, with a large park, basket ball courts, a water park, a bmx track and lots of football pitches, which were really busy! Sunday league football is alive and well in the Deep South. We then headed to Walmart to get some shopping and other bits and pieces. I did my first roast, a yummy chicken. The chickens out here seem really small....

Monday we awoke to take paul to work for the last time. I then drove on to Oliver's school. He went in straight from the car in carpool. He had a bit of a wobble, but he went in ok. Isaac went in fine, he seems to be really enjoying it. He was telling me about their chickens today..... Seb and I headed home, got him down for a sleep, and I began revising for my afternoon exam. Paul got home about 12.30, we had some lunch, and I set off. Took me a while to find the right building on campus. Greenville tech college is huge.... Exam was in the dental department. I got there with 15 minutes to spare, logged in on a computer outside the room, then headed in to a cubicle room, to show my i.d. And I was handed my paper and shown in. I went to a table at the back, and made a start. I think the first part of the exam went ok, but the second half I could only answer one of the 3 questions really well. The other 2 I tried, but I am really not sure about them. I left the 3 hour exam after 2 hours 10 minutes. I just didn't have anything else to write. I foresee an April resit coming my way..... I headed home feeling a little disheartened..... Luckily paul had done an ace job with the boys, so I didn't have to worry too much about them. So we fed them, and sent them to bed. We relaxed had yummy pizza, and quite a few beers. I felt drained, but was able to relax in front of Dancing with the Stars', loving that program!!!!!!!

Today was the first day I have taken Oliver straight from home to school. We left here at 7.37am, and got to school for 7.55am, perfect. Straight from there to take Isaac, and was home by 8.25am. Not bad..... I headed into greenville to go to a meetup at Falls Park, with some people I met online. It was nice to meet some people, and chat to adults. I don't really get that with school or preschool, although I am sure the schools have social things at the beginning of each term. Have missed this one, but I hope there will be more in the new year.

Oliver's proper uniform arrived today. I am going to try and get different photos on here, as he has different jumper/ tshirts etc.....

Went for my first American Zumba class tonight. I was late, it was in the YMCA gym. I walked in, asked for the Zumba class, and they sent me straight upstairs. It was quite good, a real good work out. At the end, I went to the instructor to pay her. Turns out, you are supposed to be a member or a guest.... Whoops..... No one questioned me, so I got out of there as quick as possible. So my Zumba class was free this evening....

So that's it for now.... I have no Uni work till at least April, thank goodness. Am looking forward to settling in, exploring and generally having a good time. I need to meet more people. I always used to use Netmums, but I have not found an equivalent out here yet. Think I may have to start frequenting more parks or something... Suggestions quite welcome...

The Presidential debate is quite interesting. Paul made a point that Romney seems to have an agenda, whereas Obama just wants to make his country better.... Lets see what the commentators say in the morning......

Friday, 12 October 2012

First week down (nearly.....)

Ok, so we have been in the house nearly a week, and loving it. Seems strange, but good to have so much space. Wish we had brought more toys from the UK, but space was limited. We will get round to buying them more, especially as we have birthdays and Christmas coming up.

Monday the boys and I spent the day around the house. We went to target to get some more stuff, I can't even remember what we bought!

Tuesday we had to take Isaac into preschool to meet his teacher, Miss Melissa. He was supposed to spent half an hour being assessed. It took 15 minutes.... She tested him on his numbers, colours and shapes, all of which he knows really well. They said they would call me later in the afternoon and let me know when he could start. From here we had to go and deal with paperwork at the relocation company. Then to Sears to get some uniform ( his uniform with the school logo is still in transit) and school shoes for oliver, he wears plain black Converse, so cool....Then we had to take the hire car back........ So we are now down to one car..... In the mean time paul had a phone call from preschool to say that Isaac could start on Wednesday, the next day. Suddenly I was losing both boys on the same day, with only one car between us....

Wednesday was a very early start. We awoke at 6am, had a pot of coffee waiting for us. We got the boys up, breakfasted and dressed, and we were out the door by 6.40am. Dropped paul at work, in the dark, then headed down I-85 towards Oliver's school. Got there 20 minutes early, which gave me plenty of time to go in, meet the admissions lady, take Oliver to his class, meet his teacher. He seemed to settle really quick, his teacher reminds me of his year 2 teacher at Georgian Gardens, Mrs Woods, so I think they will get on well. I then had to go and wait at the office for one of the administrators so I could get my car pool number. This made me slightly late to get Isaac to school. We got out as quick as possible, and headed to Isaacs school. We were only 5 minutes late in the end, but I had to take him in. One of the office ladies (I swear one day soon I will find out all these people's names), walked us down to his classroom, his teacher showed him where to put his stuff, and off he went. He didn't even say goodbye, I had to go to him! As much as I love my boys, it felt wonderful to be down to just Seb for the morning, so we headed to Anna's for coffee and adult chat. Was nice to meet some people, and have some chats. I hadn't socialised yet, and it was lovely, I look forward to the next time we get together. I might even be brave enough to take 2 children, lol. I don't know when I became worried about taking all my kids out on my own... Probably because I have not got my bearings here yet. Give me a month and the troops will be going everywhere, hopefully (watch us never be invited anywhere again, lol). Popped home briefly, before having to get Isaac. This was my first experience of carpool, they have a circular bit out the front of school, i waited there, the teachers make the effort to know which parents are which. Even on isaacs first day, his teaching assistant recognised me and was able to bring him straight to the car and strap him in. He had a good time, got to play in the park, and I think he liked it a lot. We went home had some lunch, then he had some iPod time. During this, I managed to Skype with my mum, which was great. I did this through the tv, it is great. We then went and got Oliver. This was my first experience of car pool at Olivers school. I LOVE IT!!!!!!! Basically, you drive up in 2 lines, one of the staff comes up, you show your number, they tell you what bay to go to, then radio back to school your number, so they know which children to send out, you then drive forward, merge into one line, and drive round to the front of school to collect your child from the numbered bay (it's just a post with a number, and an older pupil helping your child). But for someone like me with 2 other kids, it is convenience itself.....from here we went home briefly before we had to go and pick paul Up. The evening was spent revising and watching tv. I am loving the abc channel so far.... They have dancing with the stars (American equivalent of Strictly Come Dancing) and other quite good program's. now we have our tv sorted its great. Similar to Sky HD with recording capabilities, like a sky box, but the steps aren't quite as clean, iykwim.....

This morning was similar, oliver had a bit of a wobble going into school, i took him in, and a member of staff had to take hom to his classroom. when i dropped isaac at school, he wanted me to park up and take him in, but by the time he had told me this, i was 2 cars away from dropping him at car pool. luckily his teacher came to the car, and he went in happily with her. seb and i went to Walmart to get more stuff for the house, functioning with just 6 of all the plates, cutlery etc was just impossible. It's quite nice to be able to see what we need, rather than having to rely on what we have. After I got Isaac, who had a wobble just before pick up as he had lined up in the wrong line, we had lunch and headed to Kmart. I had gotten Oliver the wrong size socks for school (too small, perfect for seb). While waiting to pay I noticed that seb had lost both his shoes... Cue a mad dash around the shop to try and find them. I found one by the checkout, but could not find the other. So I had to get him new shoes, as we were heading to a park afterwards. All they had was trainers, whereas he had lost his sandals. So I got him a cheap, but nice pair, and some cool trainer socks. We headed to a park near Oliver's school. It was a good park. Another kid turned up while we were there. He had blond curly hair, and Isaac presumed it was Alex, my friend Vicki's little boy. Isaac started playing with him straight away, and the boy played with Isaac. Was very cute, I was going to tell Isaac that it wasn't Alex, but he seemed so happy, and they played really nicely together. I didn't really get talking to the mother, as she had her other half with her, but Isaac was happy, and very bossy to the other boy, despite the fact he was at least 5! We then went and got Oliver, then paul.

This evening I have tried to revise, but I am very tired. 6am starts and me don't really get on. I am hoping and praying paul gets his car soon, as it is hard on the kids, and me to get up so early.....

Tomorrow I am planning on coming straight home after taking Isaac, making a big pot of coffee, and cleaning some of my house. I have already done upstairs and the bathrooms this week, so just downstairs to do tomorrow. I am trying to do it in small chunks every couple of days. So far it is working.

This weekend paul is planning on buying a lawnmower and cutting the grass. We still have some furniture to build. There is a festival on in Greenville that we are thinking of going to on Saturday. On Sunday the Millards ( paul worked with them at Rolls) are coming round for coffee,will be nice to meet them.

This has been an epic update, I really must do it more regularly. Once my exam is out of the way, I plan on going to some local meetups, doing at least one Zumba class a week and relaxing a bit!

Sunday, 7 October 2012

We're in.....

As the title suggests, we are in the new house.  So much has gone on since I last posted, I don't even know where to begin.....

The house.....its great!!!  We have most major furnishings.  The office room has the same unit we had previously, only bigger.  We are going to attach a second desk for the boys, they will have the UK computer, as long as we can find enough adapters....  We have a mac.  We initially tried to buy this from the Apple store, but because we have temporary bank cards, they would not accept them, so back to Best Buy we went.  This is my first time using the mac, will take a bit of getting used to....
The boys play room has a storage unit, a tv plus unit, and a star wars xbox, its well cool, makes c3po noises when you turn it off/on.  It has a kinect, so they are having fun getting to grips with it.  It also has a lego table and some lego storage boxes.
The living area has a big smart tv.  We have been Skype-ing with the Goslings this morning, well cool....if anyone has a Skype address send me a message either by email or Facebook, and we can have a chat!  The sofa is well comfy, not the best quality, but very cool.  The dining room table is gorgeous, really rustic looking.  The boys have a bench, and we have 4 chairs.  The kitchen has so many cupboards, i think it will take all our time here to fill them....  We have a coffee machine, love it.  The new washer and tumble dryer are awesome.  How did I ever get by without a tumble dryer before????
We still have one room downstairs which is empty....not sure what we are going to do with it yet.
Upstairs, our bedroom is great, we only have a bed so far, but it is really comfy.  We have unpacked all our clothes into our walk in wardrobe, spend a fortune on hangers....
Olivers room has a bed, bedside table and a storage unit.  We didn't bring many toys from the UK, and it will take quite a few birthdays/christmases to fill all the storage we have.
Isaac and Sebastians room has a bed, a bedside table and a cot.  It also has a Cars 2 storage unit.  Both the boys have closets, with ample hanging space.  There is another bedroom, which is empty, the closet has all the empty suitcase etc in it.  We are keeping this room locked, as we have no use for it at the moment.  The house feels a bit like it is sponsored by Ikea, but that is cos we needed furniture quickly.  As time goes on we will add more, but we are seeing what we need at the moment and getting it as and when required.  We are going to try and do a 'Cribs' style video soon, so that should be entertaining.

The cat is fine, we have not let her out yet.  Unfortunately Seb discovered her food on the floor yesterday, so we have had to move that on to the side.  We are going to let her out in the next few days, once we get a tag for her.

Oliver is due to start school on Wednesday.  His uniform has not arrived yet though, and will not arrive till at least the end of the week.  I need to call them tomorrow to see if he can go into school in un-logo uniform.

Isaac is due to go into school on tuesday to meet his teacher, while I meet with the Head.  I think Isaac is going to thrive, I just hope his behaviour is going to be ok.  He is very strong willed at the moment, and is not afraid to use his fists/feet, especially against Oliver and unfortunately Seb...

Seb is fitting in ok, think he sometimes feels a bit lost in the house.  He is having major tantrums when he does not get what he wants, which is quite a lot.....  He is still sleeping in the mornings, thank goodness, but come 6pm, he is knackered.

Paul went in to work on Friday.  He really likes his team, there is good banter already.  We are both very tired from trying to get things sorted.  We will get there, it is just going to take time.  Once the boys are in school, I can start getting out and about a bit more, especially once Paul starts work.  I have joined a local meet up group online (thanks Faye), they seem to meet almost daily, so I will give that a whirl, see how it goes.

Think we are going to Walmart today to do a big shop.  I have done a meal plan for the week, not sure I will cook every night, but we will see how it goes....  My car is awesome, I love it!  The Sat Nav is great, will be very much required to start with...

Thursday, 4 October 2012

2 days in 1.....

Yesterday, Seb woke us all at 5.30, so we were able to go down for breakfast together before Paul had to go to his meeting.  I took the boys back to the room where they watched Disney channel and played iPods for most of the morning.  Paul was late getting back as he couldnt find the car place, but he arrived back with my new car.  It is lovely. Will post photos when I get access to a proper computer.

We headed to Best Buy, where paul placed his order for the telly, and Oliver played Star Wars on the kinect.  From there we went on to World Market where we picked up the table and got some other bits to the house.  I drove the Flex, fully loaded with the table, while Paul took the BMW fully loaded with boys.  We headed to the house where paul continued making beds and then the table.  Again it is beautiful.  A little different, but very nice (pictures to follow).  By now it was quite late, so we took the boys for a McDonald's for dinner. We still had to do Walmart, so off we plodded.  Took 2 trolleys, and filled them with stuff for the house.  By the time we got through the check out it was 9.10pm, so we headed back to the hotel, knowing we had to be up at 6am the next morning.

Seb made sure we were up in time.  He awoke at 5.50 this morning.  Such a kind boy....  We got the boys up and were on the road to the house at 6.35am.  We got there by 6.55am, and let the cat out.  We decided to bring her with us, as we are hoping to be in by Friday.  She seems quite happy.  Hope she realises she won't be going anywhere for a while.   We all sat down to breakfast, round our lovely big table.  Finished breakfast and the boys got down to playing, which was lovely.  They were on iPods by 9am though!  Our airfreight turned up at 10.20am, seb by now was getting very tired, so I put him up for a sleep.  Paul took it upon himself to head to ikea in the Flex, in the hope of getting everything we needed in. So that left me with the boys.  They were playing nicely, so I got on with unpacking boxes.  I got 6 out of 8 boxes done before lunch. Luckily for me Seb slept till 1.30,  after that we played a bit, and waited for more deliveries.  The washer and dryer arrived at 3.15, the delivery guys set it up and put it on a test wash.  The sofa arrived at 4.30, it is lush.... Again photos to finish.

In the meantime, paul was having a mare at ikea.  He had got everything we needed and more, but could not get the mattress in the car.  He enquirer about delivery, to be told next Wednesday for $160!  He decided to strap it to the top of the car.  After driving about 3 miles, he called me to tell me it could not be done, it was taking off.....  He managed, with some brute force to fold the mattress is half and get it in the back of the car.  He arrived home, very worn out and sweaty at about 6pm.  We had a quick cup of tea ( that will be Yorkshire Gold tea, purchased from World Market), unloaded all the boxes from the car, and left the house to get some dinner and head back to the hotel.  We have left the cat there, hope she is ok and is not destroying our sofa.    We stopped at Taco Bell on the way home, yummy!!! Think we will be back there again.  All the boys are knackered, the joys of early morning wake ups.

Tomorrow we have to go to the visa office in Greer.  It would appear that when we crossed the border, Sebastian and isaac's passports got stamped with a valid till January 2012 stamp instead of a January 2014 (when Paul's passport expires) stamp.  Then we are off to buy a Mac, paul is very excited about this.  Then off to get a Hoover, yay, and some storage units.  Now we are spending more time at the house, we are able to see what we need.  We will head to the house for lunch, paul is really looking forward to his afternoon of putting together furniture....

Will try and update tomorrow, if anything interesting happens.  We are hoping to be at the house on friday night,and do not have internet till Saturday at the earliest.

Oh, and I even managed to do some reading for my exam today.....

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Manic monday

The day started with Seb sleeping till 6.30am, huuuurrrrrraaaahhhhhh.  Oli woke about 7, and we had to wake Isaac about 8, because as usual we had loads to do.  We went down to breakfast, got back to the room.  Paul loaded the car with all the crib bits, and we set out.

We stopped at Walmart on the way.  This was our first experience of a Walmart, and paul needed some tools, and we needed some bits for the house.  My god the place was massive.  Puts the French hypermarkets to shame.  I reckon you could get 4 Littlehampton Tescos into the building.  We picked up the bits we needed, we could have got a lot more, but we were in a hurry as we had to meet our realtor at the house at 10.30.  We tried to drive there without using the satnav.  We almost did it....

Arrived at the house about 10.20.  Davrie the realtor turned up, we had a good chat, she gave us loads more info and paperwork and set off on her way.  Paul went about making Seb's cot and one of the boys beds, while I loaded the dishwasher with loads of the stuff we got in Ikea.  We had our first meal in the house, lunch, sandwiches and crackers with fruit and crisps.  Time was tight, as paul had to be at work for 1pm, and had realised he had left loads of paperwork stuff at the hotel, including the details we needed to pay his cheque in at the bank.  So we set of for BMW

I dropped paul of then headed back towards Greenvile.  On the way paul text to tell me he had the door key for the house.  I was heading to Target, a big store in the hope of picking up some more bits for the house.  I got there, and realised I had forgotten the hotel keys.  So I couldn't get in to the hotel or the house.  Just as I was getting the boys out of the car, paul texted me asking him to call.  Called him back he needed picking up.  Turns out there had been a calendar malfunction.  While he thought the appointment with HR was 1pm, it was 1pm UK time, and 8am USA time, so he had missed it by 5 hours.  He was able to reschedule most for tomorrow, and some for the 1st November, so it wasn't all bad.  Plus he got his cheque.  We headed back to the house to pick up the bank details, and I drove is to the bank.

Grace at Bank of America was her usual charming self, paul was able to deposit the cheque and get a temporary bank card.  I in the meantime had waited outside in the car.  Seb was asleep and the other 2 were on iPods.  It was lovely and quiet, and I fell asleep.  Paul had to wake me as I had to go in to sign for my bank card.  Unfortunately we have to wait for tomorrow for the funds to be clear.

Nevertheless, we headed to Rooms to Go to check out the sofa we had seen in August.  We ended up buying it and an ottoman for a very cheap price.  The boys were an absolute nightmare, they really don't dig furniture shopping....  We have managed to get delivery arranged for Wednesday, only downside of this is it will be anytime between 7am and 10pm.....feeling buoyed we headed to Target, in the thought of getting some electrical goods.  Half way round, we decided to put this off  till at least tomorrow when we have more idea what else we need/want.  We then headed to World Market in The hope of ordering the table we had seen on Saturday.  Paul went in on his own (the boys had had more than enough of shopping by now), and came out to say they had everything we needed in stock!  We can pick it up tomorrow morning!!

We went to J Peters, 50 metres from our hotel for dinner.  Yummy 14oz rib eye steak for me and paul, and the boys pretty much finished their chicken tenders.  We came back to the hotel, and the boys had a relatively normal bedtime.  Paul has been doing paperwork bits ready for tomorrow, an I have been sorting the suitcases for things we can take to the house.  Think we have 2 big ones and 1 little, all ready to go.

Tomorrow paul is headin to work for 8.30 in the morning.  I am going to take my time with the boys, take them to breakfast and let them doss around the hotel for a bit till paul comes home.  We are supposed to be getting our first car tomorrow, so hopefully that will be available in the morning.  Would be easier to transport the dining room table using 2 cars.  We are also hoping to order the tv, and possibly get the mac, blue ray player and other wonderful electrical goods.....  We also have to make a big order to ikea for delivery.  We are going to get our bed and all the bits for the office on there.  We would never get everything we want in the car!!  Think we are planning on spending most of the afternoon at the house, making the furniture, and trying to settle in a bit more. As I said earlier at least one of us has to be there all day Wednesday. Not only is our sofa coming, but our airfreight is arriving!

Forgot to mention, they have found me somewhere local to do my exam on 16th October! I am calling the exams office tomorrow, just to be sure, as I thought I had a deferral....think that's an exam I am going to fail.....

Will try and update tomorrow, am pretty knackered tonight, and I might have an exam to revise for.....

Monday, 1 October 2012

Ikea and keys

Yet again this morning Sebastian decided that 3.50am was a good time to get up.  Again the telly went on for the boys at 5am.  Sebastian managed to go back to sleep at 6am though!  By now the boys were up and watching tv in the main room of our hotel room.paul and I managed to get back to sleep till 8 which was bliss.  We had to wake Seb up at about 8.40 as we had things we wanted to do today.  We went and had some breakfast, the boys ate loads.

We were on the road by 9.40, heading up to Charlotte.  All the boys were asleep within 20 minutes into the hour and a half drive.  We got to ikea by 11.10, 10 minutes after they opened, so it was quite quiet.  The boys had a snack and we went in.  It is just like ikea in the UK.  We are contemplating getting our bed from there, it is relatively cheap.  I went a bit mad in the children's section, then we headed to the market place.  By now we already had one big bag full.  By the time we left the market place to pick up the boys beds, we had 3.  We found the boys beds and mattresses and headed to the check out.  Ouch!  We spent a fair bit, but we have scratched the surface on what we need for the house.  At least the boys all have beds and bedding, and there is a fair bit of kitchen stuff in place.  We headed back in for a quick snack before carrying on to our next place to spend money.

We arrived in Gaffney outlet mall an hour later.  It was nice to have a look at designer shops.  We even spent some money.  Paul got some trousers and a hoodie from the timberland shop, he needs trousers for going into work as he can't wear jeans.  He put all his trousers in shipping.... I got some nice tops from Tommy Hillfiger, Banana Republic and Gap.  Don't think I have ever bought anything for my self from these shops, it was a nice feeling.  I stopped my self from getting to much, as I can't actually remember what I have throw away and what I have kept!  The boys were being monkeys again, so we left quite quickly after that.

We headed to the house.  We had arranged to meet the landlord there at 5pm, so he could give us a walk through.  Paul did most of this while I stayed in the car and gave them yet another snack.  I let them out after a while, as the owners son was on the lawn, and the boys were itching to play with him.  Cue chaos of 6 children running around an empty house.....  But as there was no furniture, they were able to.  In fact, they all played really nicely.  We were with the owner and his family for an hour before they handed over the key and headed back to Charlotte.

We were in!!!!!!!  We did a little jig in the house.  We are in!!!!!  We dropped off all the stuff we bought at ikea and are currently trying to decide what else we need.....

We left the house quite late, and had KFC on the way home.  Oliver and Sebastian loved it, Isaac not so keen.  He is overtired again.  Running theme here....

We got back to the hotel and put the boys to bed a bit later than usual.  I ordered Oliver's school uniform, again ouch.....  And are currently sitting here just chilling and trying not to think of all the things we need to do to get us into out house.  We want to be in by Friday at the very latest.  At least the boys have beds.  Going to order the tv and electrical goods and the dining room table tomorrow.  Most of the white goods are in, but the washer and the dryer are due to be delivered on Wednesday.  We still have to decide on a bed for us......

Tomorrow paul has to go for a meeting at work.  I am going to drop him off and pick him up.  Not sure what I will do with the boys, probably go to target and move some stuff to the new house.

Sooooooooooo exciting........

Saturday shenanigans

Being awoken at 3.50am after a day of travelling is not nice, but Seb thought it was a good idea.  He was shouting constantly and nothing would settle him.  We tried bringing him in with us, but by 4.15am, his brothers were up and raring to go.  By now paul and I were both awake, with so much going through our minds.  We put the tv on for the boys at 5am.  We tried to doze back to sleep but it was impossible.  I got up at 6am, had a shower, unpacked some clothes for the boys.  We put them in the bath about 7am, and headed town for breakfast at 7.30, the earliest we could....

We had to take our Charlotte hire car back to Thrifty in Grenville to change it (condition of the relocation company) This was done in the rain, as it rained most of the morning. From here we drove to Haywood Mall.  I wants to see if they stocked Oliver's uniform in Sears, they didn't.  Had a little nose in the Apple shop, Paul bought some new trainers, his first pair of Nikes in years.  From here we drove the short drive to Toys r Us.  I wanted to look for a cot for Seb.  They didn't have much of a display.  The boys by now had turned into monsters, so all they got was a Lego mini figure each.  We did see some good storage units though, which I think we will be going back for at some point.

On the recommendation of  one of Paul's colleagues who has recently moved out here, we went to Jeff Lynch, another big furniture store.  Here we saw some nice sofas and a very nice dining room table.  Again the boys were a nightmare, so we didn't stay long.  None of them had had a sleep yet, it was nearly half 12 so we decided to take them to McDonald's.  Normally fine, but boys were too tired and being really silly, emotional and generally overtired.  We left a lot of food and headed back to the hotel.  We put Seb down for a sleep as soon as we got there.  The boys sat down and watched about an hour of Lego cartoons(so cool, they have ninjago ones, and Lego star wars ones, the boys love them).  Paul had a sleep on the sofa, and I went back to bed.  We both awoke feeling more refreshed, and we made a plan on what to do once Seb woke up.

Seb awoke, we gave them snacks and headed to buybuybaby.  We bought a cot for Seb, which changes to a toddler bed, then a 'full' bed (our equivalent is a double).  Also picked up a mattress and a booster high chair seat.  Finally, after mulling around all day we had made a big purchase.  It was quite a relief.  We then went and looked around World Market, which is a furniture/nicknak shop.  It is great!!! We found loads of decoration and odds and sods which will look great in the house.  We didn't buy anything, but fund yet another dining room table, which was much cheaper, and more rustic.  We spoke to a supervisor who said they didn't have any in stock, but we could order it to arrive in 1-2 weeks.  We said we would be back.

From there we drove the very short distance to Best Buy to check out their TVs.  They don't have the particular tv that paul wants in stock, but they can order it for the weekend.  Won't be cheap though.  Oliver got to have a go on star wars on the Xbox kinect.  He absolutely loved it!!!!  I think we are going to be in there on Monday afternoon to order the tv, blue ray player, Xbox and mac.....  That will be an expensive trip, but well worth it.  I wanted to check out the Sears outlet, but they only tended to stock the bigger white goods, stuff we don't need.

We went for dinner ad TGI Fridays.  It was busier than usual, but the food was as good as ever.  Plus their Stella tastes as good as at home.  Isaac was really struggling by now, so we headed home, and all boys were in bed by 7.30pm.  We sat up and discussed out plans for the next day, but were still in bed by 11pm, praying the boys would not get up too early the next morning....