Thursday, 28 March 2013


Feel like I should post something today, as I may not be able to tomorrow

We will have been here for 6 months tomorrow.  Six months.... I can't quite believe it, it has gone so fast.  We are still absolutely loving it.  It is so different to home, yet with the bonus of everyone speaking the same language and being able to understand us (as long as we speak slowly enough, of course).

I read through my blog about a month or two ago.  It is pretty amazing what we have done in the last 6-9 months.  It can be hard sometimes, Facebook can really be your worst enemy!!!!  For example, I missed a friends birthday today.  I had grand intentions to send her a card with a little something in it, but I forgot and had to make do with a little message on Facebook.  I will get my butt in gear, and sort these things.

We did not get up to much at the weekend.  Oliver's baseball practice was cancelled on the saturday due to the horrible rain.  I could have been sitting on the south coast when I looked out the window here.  We decided to head to an outlet mall in Commerce, Georgia.  Paul had stopped there on the way to take his brother to the airport and bought me some clothes.  They didn't fit, so we decided to return them.  Of course, that meant more shopping.  But with what we were returning, I only ended up spending $10.  Paul spent a bit more, but he needed new jeans.  I also got 2 tops and a pair of trousers for Seb from Osh Gosh for under $8.
Sunday Isaac had a birthday party to attend, his good friend from school.  There was a magician, and lots of playing, so Isaac was happy.  Again, another rubbish day weather wise.

Monday we met up in Greenville with a good friend and her two boys.  We let the boys run around by the Reedy River down town, before deciding it was far too cold to be outside, and dived into the nearest coffee shop for some liquid warmth.  The boys were pretty well behaved, as 4 boys under 4 goes.  At one point three of them were huddled round my iphone watching lego star wars.  The joys of modern technology....

Oliver had baseball practice again last night.  There is only 2 weeks till their first game, eeekkkk!!! Some of the team are really good, and obviously practice/play quite a lot.  But there are 3 or 4 new boys, like Oliver.  It is a good mixed ability team.  The coach seems quite fair, but we will see how this continues once the games start.  I have got talking to some of the other mums though, which is nice.  There is another English mum with a boy on Oliver's team.  She has been in the states about 22 years though.  I still picked up on her accent straight away.  I think the English are hunting me out......

Usual weekly zoo trip today, but with a difference.  The other ladies I usually go with were unavailable, so it was just me, Seb and Isaac.  We had a really nice time.  I think it helped that Isaac slept on the way there.  He didn't run of, did good walking, was chatting away to me about things that made sense.   Even Seb was trying to tell me everything he saw. Although I missed my girlies, it was nice to send some 'quality' time with my kids.  Made me very aware that I probably don't do it often enough.....

My mum arrives tomorrow.  I am so excited.  Not sure if it is for the 2 hours peace I get in the car while driving u to get her (joking mum), or the boys faces when they see her.  Probably my face too, I would love a mirror, and I must make sure my mascara is water proof.

Friday, 22 March 2013

First breathing house guest.....

Tony finding 'the American way'
Well Tony arrived last wednesday.  Paul picked him up from Atlanta airport and they headed into the city itself to watch the Lakers vs Hawks basketball game.  The said it was an interesting experience, as most of the fans were Lakers, and were booing the home team.  I had booked them into a grotty down town hotel for the night, so they headed to a bar, where they continued drinking.  A few Grey Goose later, and they wandered back to the hotel.  You don't even want to know how much those drinks cost......

Thursday they drove back here.  They arrived just after I had got Isaac from school.  We had a quick hello, and discussed afternoon/dinner plans.  I was already planning on going to Greenville to look for the mice on main street.  Isaac thoroughly enjoyed this, thanks to the wonderful clues from Liene.  We headed for a civilized adult coffee (yeah right, with 4 kids between us), then on for an ice cream.  A few of my friends have mentioned Marble Slab to me before, but I had never experienced it.  My golly it was good.  Nice price too....  The boys had hoped they would make it in to Greenville to meet us, but they had said they would pick up Oliver, so they didn't make it.  I headed home, rejoicing in the fact I did not have to do a school run.  Both Seb and Isaac fell asleep in the car on the way home.  Normally this would have been a huge hinderance to bedtime, but seeing as we had already decided we were going out for dinner it was actually a good thing.  The boys were so pleased to see Tony.  They all played beautifully together before we headed out for dinner at Tavern 24.  I had plans that evening to go to the cinema with a friend, so after dinner Paul and I swapped cars.  This was the first time I had driven his car ( a 3 series convertible).  It felt so low to the ground and really bumpy.....  My friend and I went to see Oz: The Great and Powerful.  Quite a good film, well worth seeing in 3D.  By the time I arrived home, Tony was already in bed.

Friday morning was spent doing the usual school runs for me.  We decide we would go out for lunch, then on to Walmart to get a BBQ, and the rest of the garden furniture.  Obviously we took 2 cars.  Good job too.  It ended up with all the garden furniture in the back of the X5, with the boot tied closed, the BBQ in the passenger seat.  I had to drive Paul's car, again, with the boys in the back, and the rest of the shopping in the boot.  The temperature was creeping up, and I couldn't even put the roof down.  We got home and Paul and Tony started building the furniture, while I went and got Oli in Paul's car, with the roof down.  He hated it!  The boys had some dinner, while the men started on the beer.  After the boys had gone to bed, we cracked open the blackcurrant moonshine we had purchased up in the mountains.  That really did not last long.  I flaked about 11.30, and took myself off to bed (so proud of myself for this, if I had kept drinking I would have been seriously unwell....)

Carolina Ale House
Instead, I awoke saturday morning with a monster hangover.  It was a lovely bright warm morning.  Oliver had baseball practice at 10am, so we all trundled off to watch this.  After a slight confusion in the pitch arrangements (not helped by my thumping head) we eventually arrived at the right place.  Oliver is really enjoying the baseball.  The men took the other 2 off to the park while I got chatting to another English mum. I swear, they are finding me!!!!  We headed to the supermarket, and picked up the supplies for a BBQ.  This was good fun.  I made up a berry sangria type drink, and Paul cooked.

Sunday, the heads were not thumping too much (I had cheated and taken some paracetamol the night before).  We headed into Greenville to see if there was ant St Patricks day celebrations going on.  The town was very festive and full of cheer.  We went to the Carolina Ale House for some lunch, beginning with cocktails of course.  I had the Carolina Hurricane, it was lush.....  We took Tony down to Falls Park, and across the Reedy River,  and showed him a bit of the town.  The boys continued drinking in the evening.
The fountains at Falls Park had been turned
green for St Patricks Day

It was Paul's birthday on Monday.  I had got him loads of clothes, and some Lego Architecture.  Tony got him a Lakers top.  We were exceptionally bad this day, as we ate out twice.  We took Tony to show him the mall, and had lunch in the food court.  We then went to Longhorn Steakhouse for dinner.  The drive home was not fun.  There was a massive thunder storm going on, some very loud thunder an bright lightning very close.  The ran was more than torrential.  Horrendous driving conditions. A few more drinks were had when we got home.

Tuesday Paul and Tony went to play golf in the morning.  I say play golf, they went to the driving range.  By now we were all feeling the excesses of drinking too much, and staying up to late.  Thats what you do when you are on holiday.  They stopped at a sports store on the way home, as Tony wanted some bits.  Paul got a baseball mitt for Isaac (he's a lefty, so can't really use Oliver's) and a bat so he can have hitting practice.  The adults spent the afternoon hitting in the garden.  I have quite a good swing, it went over the fence quite a few times... We had another BBQ, an early one as Oliver had baseball practice.

Tony and  Seb playing
Wednesday was a sad day.  I took the boys to school as usual.  Both Paul and Tony slept in.  They kicked around the house in the morning, till just before I had to get Isaac.  Then they headed out to Get some more purchases for people back home, and met us in one of the many McDonalds in Greenville.  We then went up to the zoo for our usual wednesday afternoon walk around.  The men headed to get Oliver (hurrah no school run for me), while I took the other 2 home.  It was very hard to say good bye to Tony, especially for the boys.  Isaac in particular really does not like good byes, and will refuse to give kisses and cuddles.  He timed it quite well, as he left just as they started computer time, so they had a distraction.

They made it to Atlanta airport at 7.37pm, an hour before Tony had to be there.  They even managed to stop at at outlet mall on the way.  Tony's flight wasn't till 11.30pm.  He must have been so bored!  Paul got back here about 10.30, absolutely shattered.

It has been an absolute joy having Tony as a house guest.  I am quite glad he was the first one.  There was a really nice chilled relaxed atmosphere in the house.  Too much sport in the telly, perhaps, but thats about my only complaint.  It was also nice for Paul, as he took the week off work and was able to feel like he was on holiday too, despite doing morning school runs with me for the first few days.

See, too much beer......

So on to the next...... My mum arrives next week.  In fact this time next week, she will be here.

This time next week, we will have been living here for 6 months


Tuesday, 12 March 2013



Sorry these are becoming so infrequent.  I have a re-sit exam coming up next month, and what with the visitors about to descend on us, we have been quite busy.

So what have we been up to????  Well I survived Oliver's Spring break, with a lot of help from meeting up with friends.  We did the zoo, which he actually really enjoyed, had our neighbors over, again another success, and met up with friends in the park on another couple of days.

The park..... It wasn't just one park.  On the monday we went to Simpsonville City Park.  This is about 5 minutes drive from our house.  It has a wonderfully fenced in play park (important when there is a Seb roaming around), and also a baseball diamond, fitness route and basketball court.
Cleveland Park is by the zoo, we nearly always go there after the zoo, cos the kids just aren't tired enough already....  This has 2 separate play areas, both under cover, yet they both have some play equipment in full sun ( thats gonna be fun in July).  The only major problem with this park is the complete lack of fences.
We did Gary Pittman Park on thursday.  This has another play area, with good equipment, a walking trail, and many many football pitches.  Good for the kids to blow off some steam.
First Ice cream of the season
Friday we did Heritage Park.  This one is also in Simpsonville, and is huge.  It has a good set of play equipment, all fenced into an area inside a minature train track.  This is opening to the public again soon.  It also has a walking trail, and is the home to Simpsonville Little League.  The amphitheater is just at the other end of the park.  We are going to see the Black Keys play there in July.  I am so excited!!!!

The best thing about all the parks I have come across here???  They all have toilets conveniently located to the play parks.  No more wee-ing in bushes!!!!!  It is so nice.  The amount of times i have been caught short, particularly by Isaac, I am most grateful to have good, clean, safe facilities at all the parks we have attended so far.

These are just the parks we went to last week.  The first 2 we do quite regularly.  The other 2 not so often.  As we progress further into Spring/Summer, we will be going to more and more, particularly the ones with water parks.  I cant wait.  It has been really nice over here for the last few days.  After we did Heritage Park, we went for an ice cream, and sat outside to eat it.  The ice cream station in Simpsonville is always busy, and at their prices, I am not surprised.

Isaac doing his Ronnie O'Sullivan pose
Over the weekend we went shopping, ate out, purchased some garden furniture.  I dug over the veggie patch, which is currently getting a good soaking, as it is chucking it down tonight.  We had some friends over for lunch yesterday, which turned into the whole afternoon, which was lovely.

Got a call from Oliver's Little League coach last night.  He has his first practice on tuesday.  He is really looking forward to it.  He has mastered putting the glove on, and his catching with it is improving.  He wants to do the Reedy River Run next year, I have said I will do it with him.  So far I have managed to put off going running with him, but it is only a matter of time.  It would probably do me some good anyway, prove to me how old and achey my joints are really becoming....

Tony arrives this week!!!!  We are all looking forward to our first visitor, and showing him this wonderful little life we have here.

Almost forgot to mention Paris Mountain State Park.  We took a drive up there last sunday.  It is $2 per adult to get in, and it is amazing.  We ended up walking along the Sulphur Springs Trail to an amazing waterfall and reservoir.  So pretty.  You can swim in one of the lakes there in the summer.  We didn't even go near the play park, we just let the boys roam free.  They loved it, and brought back loads of 'gold' to clean.  We will be back here a lot