Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Whirlwind

It's been a whirlwind of a few days. We got on the plane at 3:30 pm on Sunday from Heathrow for an 8 hour flight to Chicago. The kids were pretty good although neither Aidan nor Emmy slept at all. Aoife slept for the last 2 hours or so. When we landed it was 11:30 pm England time although it was 5:30 pm Central time and the sun was still up. The kids were doing great and we got our bags, went through customs, checked the bags again and went to the next gate. The plane was delayed about 45 minutes which wouldn't usually be a big deal but ended up just being a nightmare - Aoife spent the whole time screaming in the backpack and trying to arch her back and lie down because she was so tired. Emmy kept falling down and hurting herself - crying each time and Aidan fell asleep on the floor of the terminal sitting Indian style with his forehead on the ground. We managed to wrangle them and us onto the plane and they promptly fell asleep for the 1 1/2 hour flight to Nashville. We rented a car in Nashville and drove to the hotel at Ft. Campbell although it took us a little longer than normal because we couldn't find a gate that was open at midnight and there are no signs. We finally found it, found the hotel and dumped the kids into bed in their clothes. We fell into bed - it was almost 7 am our time - and slept until 7:30 am Central time.
On Monday we got up and went to breakfast at Cracker Barrel where we all ate our weight in food since we had missed 2 or 3 meals due to the time change and traveling. The kids were fantastic, despite being famished and we even got a compliment from our waitress on how well behaved they were. I tipped her extra and then wondered for the rest of the day if her compliment was just a ploy to get a bigger tip...
After lunch Brendan went to the housing office at Ft. Campbell to see if we could get a house on post. They basically laughed at him and told him that although we'd been on the waiting list since March, the wait was 330 days so we'd better do something about getting a house off post. After that we all piled into the car to go drive around the area where we were looking to buy. We ended up finding a bunch of houses that had just been built that were sitting wide open so we got to look around a bit. It was good to see the type of housing that was going to be available and to cross a few off our list.
This morning we met our real estate agent at her office and went over to the neighborhood that we'd looked at yesterday. We spent 3 hours in the HEAT (94F) looking at at least 20 new builds. We found one that we really liked that wasn't quite ready but they said they could have it ready for us in 2 weeks if we wanted it. We told the builder and our agent to go ahead on the contract. I was so excited - the house was great - beautiful layout, very open and bright, 4 bedrooms, nice yard etc.
We got back to the hotel and Brendan checked his email to find a message from Ft. Campbell housing saying that they had a house ready for us. AHHHHHHH Seriously? We just wasted our time and our agents time. There's no reason to buy if there is a house for us here. With Brendan leaving for Afghanistan so soon it's much better to be on post and have the kids going to school on post. Of course, the person who has the KEYS to the house is unavailable but we drove over anyway and took a look at the outside. It's nice - a 2000 square foot single family home (most housing is attached), it's on a quiet dead end street and the house backs up to woods. A portion of the yard is already fenced in. It has 4 bedrooms and a 2 car garage (also unusual for on post housing). Tomorrow we'll get to look inside our new house. I'm a little torn - I was excited to buy a new house but this will be easier on everyone.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

On our way

Hi everyone! Sorry for the lack of posts - we moved out of our house and our internet was disconnected. We've been living in a cottage for the past 3 days and we're now at a hotel at Heathrow. We fly tomorrow afternoon and by Sunday night we'll be in our new hometown! I have no idea when we'll have internet again but I'll post as soon as I can!

Friday, July 9, 2010

Emmy's new dress

Emmy's wardrobe has benefited from being here in England. There are so many cute little dresses and I just can't help myself; they are adorable and she LOVES wearing them! Emmy wore this one to her friend's birthday party this afternoon. So cute!!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Aoife's First Steps

Here are some pictures I took while Aoife was taking her first steps. She was so proud of herself! She hasn't been doing it as much today. I think she's pretty tired from working so hard. She woke up this morning at 7:30 and went down for a nap from 9:30 to 11:45 when I had to wake her from a deep sleep to go get Emmy at preschool. She took another nap in the afternoon and went to bed at 6:15!! Poor little thing!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Aoife is really walking!

Aoife started walking today!! She has taken a couple of single steps but today is the first time that she has taken more than one at a time. She is working hard and, as you can see from the videos, has improved in just a few hours!

Aoife's first steps:

video

Getting better at walking:
video

Hard work!

video

More Wicklesham Farm

We had so much fun the first time we went to Wicklesham Farm that we went back! More pictures of the same, really, but this time we had a chance to go and visit their hens. They have 40 egg laying hens of various rare breeds. I love chickens - it was so fun!!


The Purple Ball

On Saturday night Brendan's school hosted the Purple Ball - the end of year party for all of the students and friends of the academy. It was HUGE! I've never been to an event like this. There were at least 1500 people, two flyovers, skydivers, bands, DJs, an entire carnival complete with rides, ferris wheel, snow cones, cotton candy etc, tons and tons of food, open bars and they even served breakfast starting at 2 am. It was so much fun being out late with all our friends. We had a babysitter sleep over at the house so we wouldn't have to worry about the kids at all.
The crowd outside waiting for the flyovers:
WWII Spitfire flyover
Skydivers
Inside the forum
Dancers:
Carnival rides
Our neighbors and us before the ball
Me and Brendan before the ball - purple dress for the Purple Ball