Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Monday, February 26, 2007

We hosted Bingo night

Blarrrney, I'm sick. Being sick sucks, a lot. I haven't been sick in so long, I don't even remember what it's like being sick, but it sucks. My throat is so sore I can't even touch my neck. I'll be going to the doc tomorrow if it's still as bad, I may have strep. Blaaaaahhhhh.

I shall now brag about my husband again...he is amazing and knows just what I need and can take over the "Mummy" role like a pro when I need him to and he's just the biz. He got home from work yesterday, ordered me into bed so I could rest, cooked dinner, played with Elijah, got him all ready for bed, tidied up, and was always there to see if I needed anything. Seriously, he's the best, and I love Mr. Mah-in. :-)

The wedding planning is going well. Not too much has been done over th past week, we're kind of in the waiting phase right now. I've definitely decided to make my own wedding cake. They're around £350 here - $700!!! Is that normal??? Holy cow - can you believe it's $700 for a large mound of butter and sugar? No way, I shall beat the system and make my own for like $50. Bring it. We've secured St. John's for the ceremony, and we'll even be having an organist! Ha - sweet. I posted a new picture of the inside of the church in the "Pictures" section. So now I'm just waiting for the supplies for the invitations (cause I'm making those too). That'll keep me busy for a while.

Elijah is doing well - he's fighting off another cough, but it doesn't seem to slow him down. He LOVES playschool - he looks forward to it every day. He goes from 9-12:30 every Monday, Tuesday and Thursday. It's good for him - the teachers noticed he's very much into adults rather than other children, so they're working with him to get him to interact a little more with the other kids. It'll be good prep for when he goes to school in the fall! Just a quick note for those that have read my other journal posts, I have found a whopping TWO American kids shows that have been kept fully American here - Curious George and Elmo's World. How exciting!

We had some friends over Sunday night and ended up playing Bingo and this game on Playstation called "Buzz". Bingo was so fantastically boring - it was hilarious, we kept commenting on the fact that we're a bunch of 20- and 30-something's playing Bingo on a Sunday night! Haha! Buzz is a music trivia game, and I'd usually whoop at that type of game, but it was British, and I didn't know probably 3/4 of the answers. I gotta get Trivial Pursuit Pop Culture over here and kick everyone's arses!

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Some videos...

I took a couple cute videos of Elijah yesterday.

Peanut Butter Jelly Jig
(notice the way he's saying "Paul"...)

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Weddin' plannin' is fun!

I just finished a nice bowl of butternut squash with red pepper soup. That stuff is gooooood. Elijah went to playschool for a few hours today, and will start his first whole session tomorrow. It runs from 9am-12:30pm and he'll be going Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday. He LOVES it at playschool - I think he's ready to have some organized learning and interaction with other kids. He's pretty excited about the whole ordeal. I've come to find out that he will be starting school in the fall. Can you believe that? This little man who was just in my belly will be in school, donning his cute little English uniform and all. Goodness, how time flies.

The wedding planning is in full gear - the list of things to do seems to get longer and longer. Find a dress, pick a cake, reserve tuxes, pick flowergirls, lose some pounds, do gift registries, figure out decorations, favors, candles, transportation, dinner menus, music, etc. etc. etc., plus figure out accommodation for everyone coming from the States. What a process. I gotta say though, it sure is fun! The best part is my girl Molly is getting married 4 months after me, so we can plan together from across the pond! Weehee! It would be nice to have everyone around to plan with me, but at least we have the internet - thank God. I found out yesterday that St. John's Church in Folkestone (I put pictures up on the site) is definitely available to use, and it's FREE, and I can use whoever I want to do the ceremony! Ahem...Brian... Things are coming together, for now.

Not much else to speak of lately. Paul and I spend almost every night going over things we need to do for the house. We just stand in the garage and look around at the disaster and cry. Haha. We're luckin' out with a bunch of stuff though - a some of his friends work in trades and can get us a lot of materials we need. Sweet!! The first step is getting the city council in here to tell us what we can and cannot do. I'll keep ya posted.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

What's with the dubs?

My intention is not to offend the English here, or those running the TV stations, but I must gripe about a peeeeeeve of mine. In America, shows that are English stay English. I'm talking about kid's shows specifically because that's what my TV-life consists of, but shows like Teletubbies, Charlie & Lola, Brum, etc. - we keep them all the way they came, with English accents and all. But here, American shows like Clifford, The Backyardigans, Todd World, etc. - they dub over the voices with English accents. What the hey? What's wrong with keeping the shows fully American? Elijah got all excited this morning cause the Backyardigans were coming on for the first time since we've been here, but instead of being The Backyardigans, they're The Back-yahhd-igans. I'm sure he couldn't give a care. I'm not getting at anything, I just wonder why that is...

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Jousting & Wenches

It's Friday, yay. No, not really. Paul is working both days this weekend again. Hopefully this'll be the last weekend for a while. I guess the money will be nice - we have a wedding to pay for and this house needs thousands of pounds of work! We're tossing around the idea of eventually turning the attic into a loft with a spiral staircase. Heck yeah - I've always wanted a spiral staircase! That'll be the very last thing we do, but it's fun to dream. Sometime next week I'm gonna go around the house and take pictures of everything, and post them on the website. I'll let everyone know what we plan on doing. I should start a separate area of the website for our house progress. Hmm...yes, perhaps I shall!

So this week we went to visit Dover Castle as an option for our wedding. There's some pictures of it on the website. It's beautiful and massive and full o' history. It was built around 1280, that's INSANE! Driving up to it is the best part - it's on a huge hill in Dover, and you look up and it just looms over the city. It's really an amazing place. Now, for weddings, not so much. For a medieval-themed wedding where the bride and groom are nerdily obsessed with wearing poofy formalwear with big sleeves and eating whole chickens with their bare hands and things, then this castle is perfect.

Imagine having these peeps for your evening DJs! Ha! That would rule. But, I don't think we're into the whole knights and wenches and jousting as entertainment, so we'll continue our search for a wedding venue. I think we're down to 2 options, The Hythe Imperial, or Lympne Castle. The Hythe Imperial is a really nice hotel on the sea, and Lympne Castle is an old castle, I think it's someone's home now, but it's GORGEOUS (www.lympnecastle.com), and quite pricey. I refuse to be sucked into having wedding-lust-syndrome, so I'm thinking we'll go with The Hythe Imperial, which is more than fine with me. I actually want it at this place called The Grand, it's super affordable and old and full of character. But for some reason, everyone here seems to think it's super ghetto and there will be worms in our dinner, so that got the elbow. Anyways, we're visiting both The Imperial and Lympne on Monday, so I'll update ya then. So let me brag about my husband a little bit. He's the biz. The alarm went off at 6:30am Valentine's Day morning, just like usual. He got outta bed and everything was quiet, so I assumed, like normal, he went to work. At about 7am, he crawled back into bed, and told me he had taken the day off. Hehe, yay, that was a nice surprise. We woke up and went into the dining room, and there was a gorgeous display of roses, chocolate covered strawberries, and gifts. What a man, seriously. Then he told me he'd made an appointment to see Dover Castle, which I'd been wanting to do for a long time. He made me a delectable 4 course dinner after wee man went to bed. Loganberry yogurt with chocolate shavings as an appetizer, tomato and basil chicken pasta salad for a starter, salmon with parsley sauce, asparagus, and potatoes with spring onions for a main course, and fresh fruit cocktail for dessert. Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm...it was scrumptious, and I love Mr. Martin. Speaking of love, MOLLY GOT ENGAGED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I still haven't actually talked to her - damn living in England n' whateva - but I guess it happened Valentine's Day morning. Yeeheeeee! I'm so excited for them. Elijah has been doing so so well here in England. I think he's just really happy to have a family thing goin' on. Potty training has been a breeze this past week (knock on wood). He hasn't had any accidents, and hasn't done #2 in his pants for more than a week. Today there was another major breakthrough! He's been wearing a diaper at night cause he still pees at night, or first thing in the morning, but today, he called me into his room and told me he had to go pee, and his diaper was totally dry! YEAH! Ahhh, it'll be so nice to not have to worry about it anymore. Last night he painted a teacup and bowl that he got for Christmas, he had a great time doing that. He loves arts and crafts type-o-stuff, but I guess all kids do! As a potty training reward, my dad sent him this huge remote control Dalek robot thing. Elijah figured out that the Dalek and his RC space shuttle run on the same frequency, so he can make them both move with one remote. He thinks that's just brilliant. I just said "brilliant". Ha. That's all for now - have a lovely day!

Saturday, February 10, 2007

The little Englishman video

Not much to speak of today - it's raining again, Paul's been working all weekend. I've spent my free time designing a logo for my company (though a lot of that time has been spent cursing at my computer 'cause my Illustrator isn't working they way it should dammit!), and researching business start-ups in the UK. My only real purpose for writing today is to post the link to the video of Elijah eating like an Englishman. Here ya go!

I also posted a few more pictures up on the site.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Don't pet the dogs

It's freezing here again today. It snowed last night, and now it's pissin' and windy. I dare not go outside. I went for a jog last night through the lovely streets of Capel and almost died twice: once cause it was so damn cold and I thought my lungs had completely frozen through, and once cause I thought a big white rabid dog was coming after me. I was jogging down a side-road, and spotted a house with an open front door. Sitting in said door was a large white dog. As I jogged closer, he started BOOKIN' it out the door with a not so happy bark, so as you might expect, I followed his lead and BOOKED it the hell outta there. Damn dog scarin' me n' whateva.

Speaking of dogs, in England, you can't just pet someone's dog. Yes, I realize you may not really be interested in dog-petting etiquette, but hey, I must warn anyone who's planning on visiting. You know, if you're walking down the street in America, and someone's dog seems nice and friendly, it's perfectly fine to give the pup a lil' somethin' s
omethin' scratchy scratchy. In England, ya just don't do it. At first I just thought people were rude, but then Paul enlightened me, or maybe he's just pulling my leg...

And lemme tell you about this town I live in. It's beautiful, I've never been anywhere like it. I'll never get sick of the natural beauty, the view of the sea, the lights of France across the water, and the endless farmland behind our house. And
when you walk down the road in England, old men will seriously say "Ello, luv" when you walk by. How great is that? I gotta say though, I'm having a bit of trouble adjusting to small town life. Or should I say teensy itty bitty town life. Get this - the other day at the Village Hall (which is in no way, shape, or form like the Village Hall you're picturing in your head. It's like a small brick building with a 12-car parking lot). Oh sweet - I found a picture of it online, check it out.

Anyways, as I was saying, the other day I went to the playground with Elijah (which is right next to the Village Hall). He had to go potty, so we headed inside, but it was locked. There's a small open entry, and in this entry is a large rack of books for sale. On the rack is a little box that says "Honour Box". Meaning, put your money in here and buy a book. There were plenty of one and two pound coins in there, as well as some small change. Mind you, this money is in a flimsy plastic see-through container. I'm amazed that the honor system is still in use, and it obviously works, and no one swipes the money! Wow. As we left the building and walked through the small parking lot, I glanced into a parked car and saw a baby in the backseat, ALONE, happy as can be. No one was around. Holy crap - you can leave your kid in the car here????? I don't understand.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Too much dough for us plain folk

It's freezing here today. 35 or something. After Elijah's nap we'll be walking to the primary school to get info on play groups for him. Then we'll stop at the park if our toes still have some warmth. Today is Paul's dad's birthday so we're going to the Tavernetta for dinner tonigh. It's a really fancy shmancy Italian restaurant in Folkestone. Yay! Italian food!

We went to Eastwell Manor yesterday. It was amazing, but we knew from the moment we pulled up the drive and saw the 2 Bentleys parked out front that it would be way too much money for us plain folk. There were old men sitting in front of huge fireplaces, in their smoking jackets, saying "Myes" over and over, looking way too proper. The wedding dinners start at £50 per person - that's like $100 per person!!! Just for dinner, not including the venue rental, drinks, or anything else! That's total insanity. So, we're now down to 2 options or so. We're checking out Dover Castle sometime this week. We're hoping to settle on a place by the weekend.

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Eastwell Manor & Canterbury

I'm sitting at my dining room table, watching Elijah eat with a knife and fork, listening to him say, "Look Mama, I'm eating like an Englishman!" I'll be uploading a video of him eating with his knife and fork, 'cause I know you're all so interested in his eating habits.

We're going to drive up to Ashford today to check out Eastwell Manor for our wedding. It's goorrrrgeous. Check out the pic - isn't it ridiculously picturesque and oh-so-English? Don't know if it's realistic, but we're gonna look anyways. No wonder there's such thing as Wedding Planners - weddings are insane. It ends up being all about making other people happy - isn't it just silly. Eh, it'll be a killah party - I'm excited. It'll be nice having some Americans in da house too. Weeheee!

We went to Canterbury yesterday to shop a bit for Paul's dad's birthday. In America, we go to the mall to shop, in southeast England, they go to the streets of Canterbury. The immense and beautiful Canterbury Cathedral looms over the shopping district as we stroll along the cobblestone streets, and we keep our eyes open for armored men with swords and shields, and Beowulf on a dressed horse. Haha. Seriously. No, not really. But it feels like we should be able to spot Beowulf. It's really beautiful, I hope I never take it for granted.