Monday, October 26, 2009

Sweet Potatoes

Aoife had her first taste of the hard stuff today! I went with sweet potatoes - I roasted one up for her this afternoon and she ate with us at the dinner table. As you can see, she liked it - a lot! She's been showing interest in our food for a little while now and I was trying to wait until we got back from our trip back to Massachusetts in 2 weeks. I just didn't want to have to deal with baby food and traveling. But she's been waking up in the night for 3 nights now and it's hard to tell if her tooth was waking her up or if she was hungry. So I figured that since she was almost 6 months it was OK to start her on solids. I guess we'll see if it helps - not that she really got much of it down - I think the majority went on her face and hands!!

351st post

I just realized that my last posting was my 350th blog post. I started this 2 years ago and it's been so much fun keeping track of our days. I hope that you have enjoyed it as much as I have!

Aidan and Florence

We all know that Aidan has a thing for blond older women. Lucky for him, Florence lives down the street and thinks Aidan is just the best - or maybe she is just using him for his Jeep!

Rowes Farm

It was a beautiful day today so we went back to Rowe's Farm with some friends. The kids have the week off from school so we have to get out and do SOMETHING! There is a bouncy castle and 3 dimensional hay bail maze that Aidan LOVES!! There is also a great soft play area, little tractors, outside play area and animals to visit. We fed the donkeys - they love carrots!

Sunday, October 25, 2009


Aoife is almost 6 months old! She is really starting to become her own person. It's so neat to watch her grow and develop - she changes daily! She recognizes us now and smiles and laughs when she sees us. She reaches for things and puts them right into her mouth. She is trying to move along the floor but isn't quite strong enough so she just ends up pivoting in a circle - it's OK though - she seems to enjoy the changing view! She cut her second tooth today so now she has a matched set on the bottom. Here she is - all snuggled up in the blanket that my mom knit for her.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Aidan is sick again!

Aidan has strep throat - or so the doctor thinks. They don't actually test for it here - takes 4 days to grow the culture??? Anyway - Aidan got penicillin last night and promptly had a crazy reaction. He was INSANE - I have never seen a child so hyper in my entire life. He was literally running around the house in circles, screaming at the top of his lungs, throwing things and trying to climb up the door frames. Brendan and I looked at each other, I said - "well, I guess this is what a penicillin reaction looks like!" I called the doctor and he put in another prescription. I went down to get it and gave it to Aidan. About 2 hours after the initial dose of penicillin, Aidan passed out from exhaustion. He slept from 7 pm to 8 am this morning and woke up a new kid. He actually went to school this morning, which is good because today is the last day before half term break (fall vacation). So I guess he won't be having penicillin again!!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

My first clients

I had my first client session!! Thanks to Summer and Kwenton for being great models! Little Hudson is just a delight - and what gorgeous eyes!! Here are a couple of preview shots!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Aoife's first tooth!

Aoife cut her first tooth on Thursday! It is very exciting and a little sad - my baby isn't quite as much of a baby as she was! She seems to be very proud of the tooth and has no problems showing it off. Click on the picture to make it bigger - her tooth is on the bottom middle:

Friday, October 16, 2009

New Dress

It's only been recently that Emmy has expressed an interest in what she wears. I think she's a little behind in this - seems like other little girls her age are throwing fits and refusing to wear certain clothes. We aren't quite there yet - thank goodness! We ordered her this dress - it was so adorable I couldn't resist! She loves it - especially the hood. She wanted to take a few pictures this morning after we brought Aidan to school so we hauled our pumpkins across the street to the field. Once we got there she didn't want to take pictures anymore - I think she was a little cold.
OK - Emmy's done:

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Conker Hunting

Today we went conker hunting after school. Conkers are Horse Chestnuts and Aidan's school is having a competition for the largest conker. We didn't find too many - the leaves have fallen and covered most of them. We still had fun running around in the leaves and finding a few conkers here and there. Emmy was in charge of carrying the bag and she took her duties very seriously.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Blenheim Playground

On Saturday we woke up to an unexpectedly beautiful morning. We hadn't made any plans because we were anticipating rain and we didn't want to waste the day. We went back up to Blenheim Palace because we hadn't made it over to the playground and butterfly house. It was lots of fun for the kids. Giant chess sets, swings, a hedge maze and several playgrounds all made for a very happy 2 and 4 year old.

Aidan on the monkey bars - he made it all the way across!
Emmy moving the chess pieces around randomly:
Aoife and I skipped the hedge maze and hung out together on the grass:Brendan and Emmy in the butterfly house - Emmy has developed a fear of all insects that now also applies to butterflies:

Standing at a good distance watching the butterflies and fish in the pond:

Friday, October 9, 2009

Pumpkin Muffins

The commissary finally had canned pumpkin today!! I bought a whole bunch for us and some of the other Americans here - you can't buy it in British supermarkets. They think we're really weird that we eat pumpkin from a can! Emmy and I made pumpkin muffins for snack this afternoon. They are delicious - I can't wait to eat them with clotted cream!!
Pumpkin Muffins


1 stick butter
¾ cup brown sugar
1/3 cup molasses
1 cup canned pumpkin
1 egg
1 ¾ cups flour (1 cup white and ¾ cup whole wheat)
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 ½ teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
¾ cup dates or prunes


1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
2. Line muffin tins with paper baking cups.
3. Cream the butter, brown sugar, and molasses until creamy.
4. Add the pumpkin and the egg and mix well.
5. Sift together the flour, salt, baking soda, cinnamon and nutmeg.
6. Add the dry ingredients and the dates or prunes to the mixture.
7. Beat just until the batter is smooth.
8. Spoon into muffin pans and top with raw sugar.
9. Bake for 18 – 20 minutes or until a tester inserted in the center comes out clean.
10. Remove from the oven and serve warm.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Aoife is sitting - sort of!

Aoife can sit for a little while before she falls forward! She has been wanting to sit for a month or so and keeps trying to sit up in her carseat and all of her baby bouncy seats. She was really happy about being upright and I couldn't believe that she could do it long enough to get a picture!

Emmy's New Hat

Emmy got a new hat today because I couldn't resist it. She loves hats and thinks that this hat is awesome. It is adorable. There is a matching jacket which would be really cute but would get really dirty really quickly so we probably won't get it.

Crazy Bird

We had this crazy bird in our backyard yesterday. It was digging in the grass and presumably eating bugs that it was digging up. I googled it and it seems to be a green woodpecker. It was pretty big - bigger than a robin! They are pretty reclusive and shy so I guess I was pretty lucky to see it!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Feeding the Ducks

Brendan was on a trip for school from last Tuesday through last Thursday night. We were getting a little bit bored having dinner without Daddy so on Thursday afternoon we took advantage of the end of the warm weather. I packed up a picnic dinner and we walked - Aidan rode his bike - over to a pond to feed the ducks and have something to eat. It turned out to be a little bit farther than I thought it was - almost 3 miles round trip - but it was nice to get outside and do something fun. Since Aidan started school, I feel like we haven't gone on as many outings as I would like. By the time we get home from school, change clothes and have a snack it's time to start thinking about dinner!
Here's Aidan with our local British phone booth:

Here are some of the kids feeding the ducks. When we first got there, there were some people with their dogs but as soon as the dogs left, the ducks came out of the water and surrounded us. The kids thought it was great - I thought it was a little strange!

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Aidan's School

On Thursday I went to Aidan's school to bake bread with some of the kids in his class. It was a lot of fun to be there and see how everything goes. With almost 50 kids in the classroom, 5 teachers and 2 teaching assistants I was curious to see if it was totally chaotic. It was surprisingly calm. The kids were very self directed. There were lots of activities set up and the kids rotated between them on their own and even went outside into the (gated) playground to play.
Here's Aidan, Violet and Millie playing with building straws:
Aidan playing a triangle outside:
Aidan and some of his classmates playing instruments:Mrs. Andrews and all the kids during story time: