Saturday, May 22, 2010

So, It's been 2 months...

So, it's been 2 months since I've written any blog post.

What have we been up to?

March 20th-April 21st we went back to the States for a visit. We visited family and friends and even though we were there for a month we didn't get to see e
veryone we wanted to see. We decided that April is the BEST month to visit Texas because you get wonderful spring weather and get to avoid the dreary (aka cold and rainy) English weather for a whole month.

We visited Alnwick Castle (pronounced Annick) and thoroughly enjoyed the grounds and pleasant weather that day. The Duke and his family still live there. The gardens are absolutely beautiful.

Spring has finally arrived in Durham and all the trees now have green on them. The daffodils have bloomed and now the tulips are in bloom. Canola (here they call it Rapeseed oil) fields are in bloom and beautiful over the English countryside.

Graham is thrilled that he can wear his Crocs without socks. "I no not wear socks with my crocs, Mommy?" He was a little concerned about not having to wear socks.

Isaac has lost his first tooth.

Graham is now sleeping in a Big Boy Bed. Thankfully it has been a smooth transition--no Jack in the Boxing from him--yet. It's been a month now and he's been doing great! Next task is potty training. We're bracing ourselves for a more difficult transition. We'll start that in early June.

I'm 30 (almost 31 weeks) along in the pregnancy. The baby LOVES to kick around and do his alien baby moves every night from about 9:30-11:30. He is pretty active. Even though we are planning on this being our last baby--I'm ready for the pregnancy to be over. I know I'll miss all the baby kicks and it is easier to take care of a baby in my belly than on the outside but--all the extra effort of exercising so diligently, watching what I'm eating, checking my blood sugar is wearing on me. I'm trying not to worry about having another Graham sized baby but it is difficult not to. I won't be sad if the baby comes a few weeks early! I'm sure the next 9 weeks will go by quickly. Probably a little too quickly for Jon who is working on writing his Masters Thesis.

Jon is enjoying studying and working on his thesis. His goal is to finish before the baby comes. I hope that happens! The sooner he finishes the longer break he has before he starts working on his Doctorate thesis.

We've discovered our new favorite park (Riverside in Chester-le-Street--pronounced ChesterLEEStreet). We have to drive there--it only takes about 10 minutes but it is perfect for all 3 boys. It has sand to play in, lots of modern climbing equipment, swings, slides, fields for running, playing football or picnicking, and a river with swans to watch.

Ewan has started collecting Match Attaxx which is a British football (soccer) trading card phenomena. He is very excited about collecting and trading cards.

Ewan has switched from Year 1 to Year 2 in school. With the way British schools work, he should have started the school year in Year 2 (equivalent of 1st grade) but we asked if he could be in Year 1 instead since he didn't attend Kindergarten in the US. The school agreed to let him be in Year 1 with the intention of moving him to Year 2 at some point in the year. His teacher, the principal (or Head Teacher), and the Year 2 teacher all agreed that he was ready to transition after the Easter break. The transition has gone well and he enjoys being in Year 2. He is still not quite caught up but he works hard at school (at home is another issue) and is learning a lot. I'm amazed at some of the things they are learning already--like cursive! We've been doing a handwriting bootcamp of sorts at home to help him correct bad printing habits and will move on to a cursive bootcamp when he completes his printing one. Ewan enjoys math and science. Writing--not so much--but only because he struggles with writing. I'm hoping that the bootcamp will boost his confidence and ability to write down his (creative and wonderful) thoughts.

We've also discovered a farm that sells raw milk and the BEST ice cream in England. You can also purchase beef from their grass fed and very well taken care of cows. Why buy the crappy ice cream at the store that has VEGETABLE OIL in it when you can get homemade ice cream made from Jersey Cows? We've tried the chocolate (to die for), coconut, wild cherry, lemon sorbet, and wild strawberry. All wonderful--made with REAL ingredients. The farm has a parlour with an indoor preschool play area and a play area outside for running around. The name of the farm is Wheelbirks in case you are ever traveling in Northern England and want a cozy place to have some coffee and ice cream.

That's all for now.....Next stop London. We'll be taking a little vacay there soon. The boys are VERY excited about their first trip to Legoland. I'm excited about my first visit to London. I'm curious about the difference in the northern England culture and "The South" as it is referred to here.

One more is 9:38pm and still bright out. The sun starts shining around 3:30 (maybe earlier). How's that for a long day?