Thursday, 24 January 2013

Sebastians Birthday

Oh no, it been a full week since I last posted......  Prepare yourselves for the essay.....

So my plans that I mentioned at the end of my last post went completely awry due to rain.  It rained pretty much non stop monday to thursday.  By thursday the driving conditions were treacherous.  The ground was saturated, and the water was running in little rivers down to the storm drains.  these work a treat over here, good planning for extreme circumstances....

When the weather is as bad as it has been there is only one thing for it, shopping.  I took Isaac and Seb to Toys r Us, and got most things.  Did my Walmart trip, and also did Target for last minute bits and pieces.

Needless to say Seb got a bit spoilt on Saturday.  After Christmas, where he was so overwhelmed by the presents, and the boys over enthusiasm resulting in him not wanting to open anything, it was a relief to see him joyously ripping off paper, and enjoying his gifts.  Oliver and Isaac were awesome, they sat back and let him get on with it, only when most were open did they come and investigate.

Typical Oliver
We made a quick exit, and headed to Columbia for the zoo.  As we have membership of Greenville Zoo, we were able to get in half price, so just over $20.  It is a good zoo, much bigger than Greenville.  They had some animals we had not seen in zoos before like grizzly bears and a king Cobra.  the boys were most taken with the aquarium.  Usually they hate these places, but Isaac really wanted to see a shark.  He was not disappointed!  The giraffe feeding area is good too, similar to what they have at La Palmyre Zoo in France (we go there every time we are in France, know it like the back of my hand!!!). We even had lunch in the zoo, reasonable food, not too expensive.   Oliver was a bit of a pain going round.  He doesn't like zoos, and doesn't like it when other people (except Isaac) are  the centre of attention.  We were thoroughly annoyed with him by the time we left.  We went for a drive round Columbia after, Isaac was asleep before we left the car park.  It is a nice town, but not much going on.  It is a university town, the University of South Carolina are based there, and we ended up driving through a bit of the campus, almost like being back in Oxford, except the buildings aren't as old.  We spotted the Gamecocks Stadium whilst driving, so we had to go and have a little nose.  It is very impressive.  After this we headed home.  Seb had his birthday cake.  note to self:  do not put green icing on a cake again until Seb is out of nappies, not pleasant......
Seb's birthday cake

Sunday we pottered around the house.  It was warm enough to move the boys water table outside, and for them to play in it.  Isaac and Seb loved it.  Our landlord came to inspect the property, he is happy with the condition, they even chortled over Oliver's handy work in the boys bedroom, and gave us the paint can so we can sort it out. It would appear they are moving to Phoenix.  This wont affect us in any way, it just means they wont be able to come and fix any problems.  We can still call them, and they can arrange to have any problems sorted.

Monday was Martin Luther King Jr Day, and President Obamas inauguration.  We watched a bit, then toddled off to Costco.  It would appear to be the cheapest place I have found (so far) to buy meat.  And seeing as I am experimenting a bit at the moment (see here), thought I better get the best value.  Be prepared for lots more recipes coming soon!!!!

Yesterday we trundled off to the zoo in the morning, only Greenville this time, to meet up with some more friends.  Today we went for a nice walk in the park, again near the zoo, with a friend.  The kids have been really good on the last two days.  Isaac is still being fab at school.  When I pulled up today there was a teacher bent down near Isaac.  My instant thought was 'what has he done?'.  Turns out the girl sitting next to him was hitting him, the teacher saw and came to talk to her about it.  Isaac did not retaliate, he waited for the teacher.  Never nice to hear of your kid getting hit, but I am so glad he is learning to deal with it in a non aggressive way.

Also had Oliver's school report, again it is very good.  A few things he need to work at in PE, and he needs to get better at asking for help in religious education, bit other than that he is doing really well.  I just wish his teacher wouldn't let him choose his own books, he keeps coming home with the most basic books.  A note is going in his homework book tonight....

Monday, 14 January 2013

Surviving Twilight


Well, we are surviving with no Paul.  The lucky bugger is in Chicago tonight, staying downtown as well, it looked awesome when we did facetime earlier.  The temperature is even a balmy -3!!!!  A lot warmer than where he was.  I might try and persuade him to hijack a blog post when he gets home, sounds like an awesome trip.

This week has been quite nice, getting the boys into the routine of school again.  Tuesday, we chilled out around the house in between school runs.  Wednesday, Paul went in to work late, so I could see the dietician, Cindy.  She was very pleasant,  I was in there about an hour and a half.  I kinda knew all the things she was telling me, and by 45 minutes in we were just chatting.  She had loads of helpful advice, and I look forward to implementing what we discussed.  That afternoon, Isaac, Seb and I went to another new store, Big Lots (insert necessary pun here........).  It is another Target/Walmart type store, a bit like Wilkinson back home.  We got some seeds for the garden (Isaac's request), and I have spied some garden furniture at very reasonable prices. We also checked out the furniture shop next door, as our first visitor (Tony, Paul's brother) is due in 2 months, and we need another bed.

thursday, Paul left for the airport.  I did the school run as usual, came home and started getting ready to go to my friend Liene's house.  As I was putting stuff in the car, I noticed Mr Forgetful, I mean Oliver, had left his homework on the kitchen table, so I had to run it to him on the way.  Seb and I had a lovely morning, the boys played really well, and we ate cake and brownies.  I even managed to keep Seb awake until I had collected Isaac, which meant he went for a later sleep, and I got to spend some time with just Isaac. All he wanted to do was play Xbox!!!!  There were some new tracks on their favorite game, and it would appear he wanted to do 'time trials' so he could learn the tracks before Oliver got home, and he raced him.  Clever boy.....  We left to get Oliver, Isaac was asleep in no time.  This was no issue, as we had arranged to meet friends at the park after school.  This was a park I had not been too, set in the middle of a soccer complex (I can't help it, you start to pick up the lingo after a while....).  no joke, at least 20 pitches, 2 good parks and no shade..... not a good one in the summer.

The temperature has been steadily creeping up here, but it still chucked it down all day on friday.  I had my diabetic appointment with the nurse in the morning, I will say it again, she is awesome!!!  My numbers are definitely  heading in the right direction, but we have decided to alter a vital part.  Instead of giving my long acting insulin (Levemir) in one big dose at night, we have decided to split it into 2 doses, every 12 ish hours.  I think it will take time for my body to adjust, and for me to get my short acting insulin (novolog they call it here, novorapid in the UK) right, but I shall persevere.  We were meant to be going to the park with friends in the afternoon, but given the weather they came here.  It was lovely to chat, and for the kids to play.  After we picked Oliver up we headed to Dunkin' Donuts.  Isaac has had another good week at school, he has a reward chart, every time he has a good day he puts a tick on the chart, then he chooses a reward for the end of the week.  The donuts were good, all the boys enjoyed them.  He seems to have settled back into school really well (touch wood!), might be because he is not the new boys any more, or might be because he has realised that he is there for a while.  Either way, we are pleased, his teachers are pleased, and he seems a lot happier.  Every day he has told me different people he has played with, and I think he is having a lot of fun.  I started reading the Twilight book set that Paul got me for Christmas on friday night, the first book was done by saturday evening.  I have forgotten how nice it is to read for pleasure (thanks OU).

This weekend we have done very little.  We have been out once to get a drive thru McDonalds.  But thats it.  We played in the garden this afternoon with one of Isaacs Christmas presents.  It is a stand to hit a baseball off, with a plastic bat.  Little Tikes product, awesome, even Seb and I had a few shots.  Isaac can hit with both hands, and Oli just thinks its like cricket.  I was also able to check out my veggie patch.  It has a few ants nests around the outside, but no nasties, it needs a bit of work but I have time.  Don't want to go sorting it soon, or the cat will think it is one big litter tray....  I have been a particularly bad mum.  the boys have watched loads of TV, but played too.  they have had their computer time, and I have sat on the sofa reading the Twilight books.....

I must say, I feel like I have made some good friends here already.  I have not got as big a circle of people who I see on a regular basis (good ol' car pool), but the friends I do meet up with are lovely.  They have been particularly good over this week end.  Although we have not seen anyone, I have had lots of texts and facebook messages.  i know they are there if I need them, and that is a really good feeling to have.

This week......

we are heading over to a place between Greenville and Spartanburg to meet up with a lady I met at a meet up.  We are planning on the first picnic of the year, I just hope the weather holds...

Paul is back on tuesday, hurrah!!!!!!  not sure what time he will be back yet....

I still have done nothing about Sebastians birthday!!!! I was planning a trip to Toys r us on tuesday morning to get his presents from us and from my parents.  Then  wednesday a trip to Walmart to get the extra things I need for his cake.  I have an idea in my head, just need to figure it out realistically.  I also want to check out their toys/books and see if there is anything else he would like.  It's best I take him with me birthday shopping, as I have no idea what to get him!!!

Miss South Carolina 2013
Next Saturday we are heading to Columbia to the zoo for his birthday treat.  I hope to explore the city a bit too, it is the capital of South Carolina after all...

Must also say, a big well done to Miss South Carolina, who came in as runner up in Miss America 2013.  only saw the end of it, she was beaten by Miss New York ( these 2 look stupidly the same, says a lot really.....)

Thats it, for now.......

Monday, 7 January 2013

The festive bubble

So sorry I have not updated in so long, I have been busy doing this, and well, nothing and everything.  Time just seems to slip away......

Ok....  So we had our friends round on the friday after Christmas.  Paul went and shot a gun with his friends that morning, but I have asked for no details, as I am not interested to know.  It was nice to have people over, there were lots of kids who all played really well together.

It is the christmas season so we have been getting very merry and staying up to late.  I had become quite accustomed to my afternoon kip on the sofa....

On the sunday we became members of Greenville Zoo.  This is obviously our local zoo.  It is not too big, perfect for small kiddies, and for a bargain $57 we get free entry all year and free/discounted entry to other zoo's across the country.  If you are coming to visit us, expect to be taken here.

New years eve we went out for a meal for lunch (see the link above), and got very drunk in the evening.

We were supposed to meet up with the same friends on New Years day for a walk, but I think most were feeling a little worse for wear, and it was raining all day.  Hope that is not an omen for how the weather will be for the rest of the year.

Paul and Isaac went back to work and school on wednesday, bummer.  We have decided to try and get a little bit fit and stop drinking so much this year.  Last year was such an intense busy year, it will be nice to take it a bit easier this year, especially as we are kinda into a routine that seem to work (touch wood.....)

Oliver went back to school on thursday.  He really did not want to go.  Think this may have rubbed off on Isaac, as when he got to preschool he burst in to tears, and refused to get out of the car.  I had to get out, get him out, and hand him to his teacher.  He went in crying, I felt awful.  We had been invited for a walk on this afternoon, but given Isaacs behavior and the fact it was raining, I cancelled.  Typically, I picked him up, and he is happy as Larry, yabbering away about what he has been up to. We spent a lovely afternoon playing lego.

Friday, I went out for a meal with the girls.  It had been a hard week for some, and the rest wanted to help, and enjoy some fine food.  And it was fine, (again see the link above).

Yesterday we went to Chuck E Cheese, then to Target for some storage boxes for the Christmas decorations among other things.  I love that store,  I could honestly spend a fortune every time I go in there.

So the Christmas decorations came down today.  A bit sad to see them go, but at least we have part of the living room back.  Our first Christmas here has been really good, nice and relaxing.  It has been grand to spend time as a family, yet still be able to be in touch with family back home.  Yes, we have missed you, but we have 3 monkey who keep us up to our eyeballs in toys, demand, computer and tv...

Coming up.... Paul is off to Duluth in Minnesota for winter testing.  The highest temperature there today was 25F.  Thats about -3 in Celsius. And thats their high!!!!!!  Neglected to mention another reason for the trip to Target was to get some thermals, he's sure going to need them!!!!  So it is just me and the boys thursday through to sunday.  It will be nice to spend some time with them, but I will defiantly need a glass of wine once they have gone to bed....

I also have 2 diabetic appointments this week, one with the dietician on wednesday and one with my nurse on thursday.  Looking forward to seeing the dietitian, intrigued to see how they do things out here compared to home (last time I saw a dietitian back home  was 3 years ago).  Also looking forward to seeing my nurse.  My numbers have improved a lot in the month since I last saw her, they are definably  heading in the right direction.

We also booked a log cabin for my birthday up in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee.  Isaac has the week of my birthday off school as winter break, so we head up on the 7th, come back on the 10th.  More on that nearer the time.

It is Sebastians birthday on the 19th, and I have done sweet f a about getting him anything.  Think I will take him to Toys-r-us the week after next, and see what catches his eye.

Sorry this has been a bit like a diary entry, I will start posting more regularly again soon xxx