February 27, 2012

Wet. Wet. Wet.

The London Wetlands Center - easily of my favorite places in London. The space, the calm, the cleanliness, the  fun kids stuff. 

Dipping for critters.

Returning from the bat enclosure (too scary).

Feeding over-fed, uninterested ducks.

In the hide, watching actual birds do actual bird-like things.

I'm trying to get into more pictures. In case you've forgotten what I look like.

February 23, 2012


So my previous post about moving to Denver was somewhat stunted. The For Sale sign outside my house was too much of a shock to generate much more, but I'm here now to elaborate.

First of all, this move has been in the works for a while. It was a little under a year ago Donal approached his company about the possibility of transferring. While we are very lucky and grateful they agreed, the formal Let's Do This letter didn't arrive until last month. So... it was a lot of waiting time. (A special thanks to my buddies who bore all those ups and downs with me. I know those conversations were hideously boring.)

So much waiting time, in fact, I didn't even tell my Mom that we were moving until last month. Everybody knew but her. My friends knew, my sister and brother knew, and even my Dad knew. Dad actually found out (thanks to Loose Lips Smyth) over the summer. His reaction? "That's great. But don't tell Karen." Because once you tell Mom something, you can't untell her. And you have to be prepared to talk about it. A lot. But, much to Dad's relief, I finally told her. She was pleased.

As you know, we put our house on the market a couple weeks ago. We've had some viewings and some positive feedback, but no second viewings or offers. I'm not overly concerned, but it would be great if someone loves my green kitchen as much as I do.

Next on the agenda is to head out to Denver to search for our dream home.

Recognise this place? Hint: 80's TV drama that was not Dallas.
My Mom - in all her careless fervor at getting us on the right side of the Atlantic - gallantly volunteered to watch the boys so Donal and I can house hunt in peace. I don't think she believed I would actually take her up on it. I did. She'll be fine. My kids are angels.

The last major step in the process is getting Donal's Green Card. This should be clear-cut, but immigration bureaucracy makes me itchy. Probably due to my own deportation threat (albeit a huge mistake), only a few years ago.

So that's where we are. More to come, certainly, as I'll need to grapple with packing, moving international finances, and getting certificates to prove my kid has had chickenpox.

February 22, 2012

Southend Revisited.

I started blogging a year ago. My first post was straight outta Southend, so it's only fitting that I revisit it a whole year later and a whole year wiser.

This time we got ice cream before the beach.

And this time we didn't wear hats, letting the wind freeze our brains and get rid of all the winter cobwebs.

Even so, if it weren't for my children's mammoth growth spurts and my husbands facial hair preferences, it would be pretty difficult to tell one wet, windy February day from another.

February 8, 2012

House for sale.

We've been working on this for a while.
We've applied for the visa; signed the Terms of Employment; and, as of today, our house is on the market.

We're moving to Denver.

February 1, 2012

360 Feedback.

I left the working world after Noah came along. It's not something I ever thought I would do, but at the time it seemed like the right decision. And, while I don't miss my old job, I do miss working. I miss figuring things out. I miss projects, I miss deadlines, I miss collaborating with others, I miss learning new things, the challenges and the friendships. It aggravates and embarrasses me when someone questions what I do with my time because, at the heart of it, I really don't think I'm doing enough. I don't like referring to myself as a Stay at Home Mom and the term Homemaker makes me cringe. I will never be a Domestic Goddess. If it comes up, I just prefer to say that I'm not working.

One of the more surprising things I miss from working is the feedback. Even in mealy-mouthed England, you pretty much know where you stand in your job. So when I came across this list, I was excited yet hesitant in giving it to the boys. Although we kept Question Time light, I was very interested to hear what the boys thought of their boss...

What is something Mommy always says to you?
Elliot: I love you so much.
Noah: Go to sleep.

What makes Mommy happy?
Elliot: Cuddles and kisses.
Noah: Kisses.

What makes Mommy sad?
Elliot: Shouting.
Noah: Ummm... shouting (taking a cue from his older brother).

What was Mommy like as a child?
Elliot: Um. I can't do that answer.
Noah: Um. A boy.

How old is Mommy?
Elliot: Ten hundred.
Noah: Um. I don't know.

How tall is Mommy?
Elliot: A hundred-eleven feet long.
Noah: Um. I don't know.

What is Mommy's favorite thing to do?
Elliot: Cooking.
Noah: Tooking (hard-consonant sounds are tough).

How does Mommy make you laugh?
Elliot: Tickling us.
Noah: Laugh! Laugh! Laugh!

What does Mommy do when you're not around?
Elliot: Uh. I don't know. Actually, I think you cook.
Noah: Play.

If Mommy becomes famous, what will it be for?
Elliot: Getting coins.
Noah: I don't know.

What is Mommy really good at?
Elliot: Cooking.
Noah: Cooking.

Even Thanksgiving dinner isn't complete without ketchup...
What is Mommy not very good at?
Elliot: I don't know. [Unsatisfied, he looks around the room...] Um. reaching that smoke alarm.
Noah: I don't know. (Noah's beginning to lose interest.)

What does Mommy do for her job?
Elliot: Working
Noah: I don't know.

What is Mommy's favorite food?
Elliot: Chicken.
Noah: Salad.

What makes you proud of Mommy?
Elliot: Doing chores.
Noah: (Noah has now left the room in total disinterest.)

How are you and Mommy the same?
Elliot: We have black faces. (He gets black and white mixed up a lot.)
Noah: (He's left the room again.)

How are you and Mommy different?
Elliot: We don't both have watches on.

If Mommy were a cartoon character, who would she be?
Elliot: The Fairy Godmother.

What do you and Mommy do together?
Elliot: Play football.
Noah: Play fire engines (he's back, but not thrilled that I'm still questioning them).

How do you know Mommy loves you?
Elliot: Because you say it lots when we go to bed.

Not too shabby. But I need to get to work on my Fairy Godmother application.