Friday, March 23, 2012

Advanced language lessons...

Advanced language lessons have become part of my every day dialogue. Here's some of the new words and phrases I have learned recently:

plaster - also known as a bandaid in Texanspeak. (When Keali was teaching me how to properly refer to her bandaid, I mean plaster, she tried to explain what plimsolls were compared to trainers. Suffice it to say, both are shoes but no one in this house understands why they are called what they're called. We only know which ones to grab when the dress code calls for one or the other.)

silencer - the muffler of a car

pants - panties or underwear, some nice Brits say knickers, but it seems to depend on the region they come from.

bollocks - technically meaning testicles, it is used to say something is nonsense. For example, if someone tells you something ludicrous, you may respond with "Bollocks!"

the dog's bollocks - quite the opposite of what you might think - and it means great. Used to perhaps refer to someone great at work or their job: "They're the dog's bollocks!"

rude health - if someone looks well and healthy, they are in "rude health". I'm still struggling to understand this one!

pissed - extremely drunk. I have seen many people at the pub totally pissed, but they weren't fighting as they would be in the States...

noughts and crosses - obviously it is very clear what that means. And if you have to ask, then you don't have google in front of you like I did to find out what it was... tic-tac-toe.

We continue to improve our English skills. We hope to hold on to our TexanSpeak though as well for our eventual return one day...

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Disappearing act

Squealing ensued tonight (an hour after bedtime) when Caden discovered that the wart on his toe (more attractively referred to as a verruca) finally fell off. It had been black for almost three weeks after a home treatment of freezing. One down, one to go.

The not-so-fun part happened when he realized that it was possibly in his bed. He was disappointed when I informed him it was over an hour past his bedtime and there would be no Emergency Verruca Finding Mission until tomorrow.

Let's hope numero dos verruca removes itself quickly. More importantly, let's hope that numero uno doesn't reappear in the sheets, or on the floor, or in a toy, or...

The joys of childhood....

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Sleep has been good for everyone

This is the kids' (and mine) favorite music lately for bed time. This album puts them to sleep within one or two songs. **Love!**

An early Mother's Day

Mother's Day in the UK is tomorrow. Caden simply couldn't wait to give me the Mother's Day gift he made for me at school. (Well, that and the cookie he donated to me for the special occasion.)

What a sweet little boy...

Friday, March 16, 2012

The thought for the day

What I hope the kids remember each and every day of their lives:

They are well on their way. Keali wears striped pants with a different striped shirt with pink socks and whatever the most obnoxious shoes she can find are at that moment, if not her rain boots ("Wellies" for the nice British people...). She hates to comb her hair, so she doesn't. She has a pink elephant (named Pink) that she carries around and sniffs its tail. We aren't sure why, but we tease her, and she smiles and sniffs the tail.

Caden hates football ("soccer"), so he simply refuses to play, seemingly unconcerned that his friends are all playing. He loves the maths, and hates writing. He doesn't care that his lovely is a pink blanket (also conveniently referred to as Pink). He seems unaware that he is a solid head shorter than his classmates who are 6 months younger than him. He is confident and outspoken and friendly and challenging and... him.

I hope they continue to be them and not someone they think they are supposed to be. And most importantly, I hope they are proud of who they are. They should be. They have seen more and experienced more in their 5 and 6 year lifespans than I did in my first 38 years. They are smart, funny, beautiful, healthy, and loving kids. I hope it continues.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Waiting, waiting, thinking...

So we are 10 days into Scott being gone. So far, so good. The kids and I had a great Sunday after a not great Saturday. Sunday included beautiful weather, a scooter trip into Kew, a trip to the bookstore for gifts for their friends, and cooking. The most fun part of the day though without question was Extreme Uno. It is by far the most fun kids' game I have ever played. I was literally begging the kids to play again and again. Uno has long been there favorite card game (insert **snoooooooze** here). But Extreme Uno has only one descriptor: FUN.

The last 10 days or so have included less work for me (back to a pseudo-normal 40-50 hour work week), more time with the kids, and lots of sleep.

The extra sleep has given me time for musings...

I've been so proud of the little kids recently. Caden is now reading like a champ, and while he hates doing homework, his levels have so drastically improved that it is amazing. His report card included phrases like "quite a character", "very talkative", "always contributing", and the all-telling "filled with mischievousness". They have him pegged. No lack of confidence with Caden. We don't have the normal conversation at home about not talking to strangers. With Caden, we have the conversation about which strangers are safer than others and what to watch out for. No sense in trying to change this leopard's spots.

Keali is also doing very well. She is in the equivalent of PK4 here and can already read. She's doing math and loves going to school where she is learning ballet. She is now in swimming class at school as well which serves as a close second for favorites, next only to ballet. For Easter break, the kids are out for 3.5 weeks. Caden's all boy school has a camp for four days of the break where they take the boys to "boy activities". Keali went to the camp over Christmas, and (after crying the first day at drop off since she was the only girl) she absolutely loved it. They are both excited about Easter camp week. We absolutely love the schools the kids are in. Regis School in Houston is the only other place we have seen that is as great as their current schools.

I also realized that I have been underestimating my recent adventures. The UK is a beautiful country. It has some fun (and somewhat odd) corners to it. Last week I was in Wales. All the public signs, road signs, parking, etc are written in English as well as in Welsh. It was like being back in Holland with the multiple consonants and too few vowels. The pronunciation is just as difficult too. The country is beautiful, even if the language is impossible. Thankfully, English is widely accepted and all Welsh speak English. Whew.

The kids and I may venture out into England and away from London next weekend to explore. We'll see what the need is for a pajama day by time Saturday rolls around! In the mean time, we'll be counting the days for trial in the US to be over. Opening statements are tomorrow, so we're on the downhill slide.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

The beginning of the month...

The day finally arrived. The kids and I took Scott to the airport yesterday for his month-plus long work trip to the States. He's been working towards this month for the last six years. All of us have. All the time and energy he and others have spent preparing for this trial hopefully will be proven to be well invested. So that there is no jinxing, I won't wish him luck.

The kids and I are on day 2 without him. In honesty, I feel the least worried about being alone on this trip than any other trial he went over for. The kids' behavior has been great, Mary Poppins has been great, and the house seems to be in a pretty good rhythm. I say all this now, but let's see what the sentiments are 3 weeks in...

Completely unrelated, this morning I listened to a presentation from a Ted Talks episode. While the discussion focuses on vulnerability as it relates to connecting with others, the presentation seemed so much bigger to me. It was a good reminder of the times where I (or we as a family) have succeeded or benefited the most was when we took a chance. My nature is to control as much as possible, but my very success at work has been reliant on learning as much as possible, researching as much as possible, and then taking a leap of faith that the outcome of the chance (with preparation) would work out. Of course there have been times when things didn't "work out" as I had hoped they would, but even those occasions have proven to be building blocks of me, of my future decisions, of my experience, of my thought processes. Recognizing the risk or vulnerability (or chance of failure) has been important in my connections with others of course. It has has also been the mechanism for success in relationships, professional goals, and even personal awareness. With the good of course comes the bad. The success from the bad comes from using the bad to make future good such as learning from mistakes, not giving up because the last risk didn't work out, etc. Probably most of the readers will have already figured this out long ago. For me this was a pretty enlightening morning!

After my little digression, I am hoping that the next month goes happily, easily, and with many successes for Scott and his client. And in a poor attempt to tie my rant into the current family situation, I completely admit my vulnerabilities in facing the next 4-5 weeks! (-;