Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Aidan's Harvest Festival

By popular demand, here are two clips of Aidan's Fall Festival. The British accents are hysterical! Aidan is in the 2nd row about a third of the way from the right side - I zoom in later and you can see him better. Enjoy!

video video

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

It's Autumn!

Although you wouldn't know it by the weather here, it is becoming more and more like Fall. The leaves are starting to change color on the chestnut trees and every bush seems to have some bright orange or red berries! It's still warm during the day but getting colder at night. Aidan has his school play tomorrow - I am so excited! It's going to be absolutely adorable! Nothing better than little kids on stage!! Here are a couple of pictures from a hike we took yesterday in an attempt to find ducks to feed. The ducks were on the other side of the barbed wire fence - we have to find another way to get there!!

Monday, September 28, 2009

5 months


Aoife is 5 months old! She is 16 pounds and in the 75th percentile for weight. They don't measure length here so I'm not sure how long she is! She is sleeping well - 12 - 13 hours at night. Amazing really! She takes two short naps. 1 hour in the morning and 2 hours after lunch. She is trying very hard to sit on her own although she slowly leans forward and ends up face down on the floor. She enjoys playing on her tummy and trying to reach for things. She babbles a lot and makes faces at you. She will also reach for your face when you pick her up and try to touch your eyes and mouth. She is enjoying Aidan and Emmy's attention and they like having her around as well. She has been a trooper on all of our outings so far!

House Pictures

Here are some pictures of the house. I think that I will never have the entire house clean at once because of the two tornados that seem to follow me around the house. I took a few pictures when a few rooms were at least tidy if not all the way put together!

We are on the right, obviously. 15 Ironside Drive, Watchfield
Living room from the dining room:
Dining room from the kitchen
Dining room from the living roomAidan's room

Aidan's room from the hall
Emmy's room - it's tiny!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Bath

We went to Bath today and saw the Roman Baths. It was gorgeous and made even better by a beautiful day. They have done a great job with the museum associated with the actual baths and it is very interesting to walk through and see all the excavation. Even the kids thought it was fun! The kids' favorite part was exploring the bath area and touching the water - even though you are not supposed to because it is so dirty. We made sure to wash their hands right away! The water was HOT - uncomfortably so - it was very surprising! Hopefully we will get to go back. There is so much to see in the city and we only did a tiny part!
Aidan, Emmy and Juliana touching the dirty water:
Emmy and Juliana watching the fire jugglers - Emmy loves Juliana and will now wear hair bows because Juliana wears them - too cute!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Just another Tuesday

I woke up this morning and it was cloudy and cool - not the sun that was predicted. Crazy morning getting the kids ready for school. It's worse when we have too much time! Both of then start at 9 am - which is a little difficult since I have yet to master the art of being in two places at once. We pack up Aoife and Emmy in the stroller and follow Aidan on his bike to Watchfield Primary School. It's not far - 300 yards or so. We are the closest house to the school! At 9:00 the bell rings and the kids line up for school. After they go in and Emmy, Aoife and I start the walk to Emmy's school. It only takes 5 minutes or so to get there but we don't end up there until 9:10 or so. Emmy had been fine all morning talking about going back to school and seeing Miss Kimberly, her teacher. She was absent all last week with whatever bug she had. Once we start walking to her school Emmy decided that it would be a much better idea to go back home and started crying a little. We talked about all the fun things that she was going to do at school today - playing outside, building with blocks, coloring etc. She stopped crying and said that she thought it would be fun. We got to school and the other kids were all settled in and already playing. Emmy started getting upset but was very brave. Even through the tears she said goodbye, gave me a hug and a kiss, took Miss Kimberly's hand and walked over to the story rug. When I came back to pick her up they said she had a lot of fun - she actually told them she was having fun! She didn't cry or seem overly happy to see me - which is good! During the walk home she told me details of her day: they had grapes and water for snack, read a book about teddy bears, played outside (and she played in the big car), painted on paper, and played in the play kitchen. That is WAY more detail than I get from Aidan who is at school for 6 hours and can only remember one thing, maybe, from his day. Hysterical! So it turned out to be a good Tuesday - and even better - Brendan came home at 6:30 instead of 9:30 like he was supposed to!

Monday, September 21, 2009

I've been published!

Before we left for England I was contacted by the magazine for my sorority, Chi Omega. A friend, Kate Wolin, had recommended me to them since the next issue was going to be about food. They asked me to write an article on the importance of food in relationships. The issue has been published and here is a link - click here - to the article. If you are having trouble seeing it, let me know. I'm not sure if you have to log in to the site.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Chocolate Chip Cookies

The kids are feeling much better and today while Brendan and Aidan went on a bike ride Emmy and I made cookies. She was so cute and very helpful. She paid attention and wanted to help. She stayed engaged in the whole process from measuring and mixing to putting the dough on the cookie sheets and baking them. When I did this with Aidan I would lose him before the dry ingredients made it into the bowl! We had a lot of fun and when the cookies started coming out of the oven she was carrying them around on her princess tray. She kept saying "take a picture, Mommy". So we set the cookies up together and she took the picture of the cookies - with a little help. She was very proud of the whole thing and seemed to enjoy herself - plus she loved eating the cookies and sharing them with Aidan and Brendan.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Baking Bread

Had to bake bread today - can't really run to the store with the kids like this! It is oatmeal bread and it is delicious!

Bumbo

Aoife loves the Bumbo and has been able to sit up in it for longer and longer. She's up to about 5 minutes before she is ready to lay down and rest!

Jumperoo

The good old Jumperoo is back! Aoife loves it and has figured out how to bounce herself a little. Mostly she enjoys being upright and off of the ground. She can interact better with Aidan and Emmy and loves that too!

Movie Star

Emmy loves these glasses. Our friends' daughter, Julianna, gave them to her. This is also her new favorite shirt - sparkles, stars AND a fairy - can't get much better!

Aoife's first shoes

Aoife's first shoes. I love pedipeds - they are just adorable!!

Sick Kiddos

Well - Emmy got it too. Not surprising really! She doesn't have it as badly as Aidan did, maybe because she got the Tamiflu more quickly - within 2 hours of getting a fever. The only thing worse than being sick is being sick AND bored. I tried to spice things up a little by bringing their sleeping bags and pillows downstairs so they could watch movies on the ground. This is the only time I wish we had a pull out couch.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Swine (?) Flu

Aidan probably has swine flu. He was fine Sunday, woke up with a cough on Monday morning and by 4 pm he had a temp of 102, could barely talk, and was laying on the floor. I called the UK Swine Flu line (because you can't go to a doctor's office if you even suspect swine flu) and they did a survey over the phone and prescribed Tamiflu - which I picked up this morning. It is supposed to reduce the symptoms, shorten the course by 1 day and lessen the chance for severe complications - like pneumonia. Let's hope he is better soon! We are in a quarantine of sorts here - no school for either of them until next week at least.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Millets Farm

We went to Millets Farm near Oxford yesterday with some friends. We went to pick apples but they had lots of other fruit to pick as well! Strawberries were in season - weirdly enough! They grow them off of the ground so they hang down. The berries are clean and free of bugs!! We also picked blackberries - Emmy helped herself to the lion's share!
Picking strawberries:
Apple picking:
Apple picking with Julianna:

Emmy's idea of apple picking - more like apple sampling!Emmy picking blackberries - her hands and face were a disaster by the end!

Whole Wheat Flax ’n’ Apple Muffins



Ingredients:

¼ cup milled flax seed
¾ cup whole wheat flour
¾ cup white flour
½ cup sugar
½ tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp allspice
pinch nutmeg
2 tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
1 egg, beaten
3 Tablespoons vegetable oil
½ cup milk
1 cup finely chopped apples
½ cup chopped dried dates
½ cup chopped nuts - optional

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Sift dry ingredients into a bowl.
In a separate bowl combine egg, oil, and milk.
Add dry ingredients to wet and stir until just blended.
Fold in apples, dates and nuts.
Fill well greased muffin cups 2/3 full.
Bake at 400 degrees for 18-20 minutes or until top springs back when touched.

Yield: 12 muffins

Don't have flax seed? Substitute flour!

Blenheim Palace

Last weekend we went to Blenheim Palace which is just outside Oxford. Winston Churchill was born here! It was beautiful and the interior is just amazing - we couldn't take pictures :( We brought a picnic and ate in the gardens in the back - it was such a great day!
The back of the palace:Emmy and her statue clone:

Inside the chapel:
Aidan and Julianna in coordinating red:

Aoife waking up

Aoife is getting to the wonderful stage where she is so happy when you come in to get her from a nap. She usually gives me a big smile and is so happy to be picked up. She isn't smiling as much in these pictures but she's still cute!