Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Stinky Moses Feet

An early start to the day with Small and I dropping off Smallest at his Summer Camp for the morning. We then carried on and did a Grocery shop. Small went and played in the gadget department while I shopped and then I collected him to help load the shopping. Back home, shopping away, Small made some chocolate brownies and went off to read while they baked. I harvested some courgettes and made a soup for dinner, plus a tomato one for the boys.

At midday I left Small eating his lunch and picked up Smallest. Today he had made a painting using a straw and had done a play about Moses. He played Moses and instead of taking off his sandals he took off his socks and threw them at someone else's nose - he thought that was funny. Geoffrey was there again which made him laugh. They also got to play some games outside as the weather was better. He wants to go tomorrow.

After lunch we cycled to swimming lessons. Small went in today as his eyes were much better. He managed twenty three laps of the pool in 13 mins. He is supposed to do them under 16 minutes so that's good. He finished with some diving. Smallest did lots of laps and perfected his strokes and finished with diving.

We cycled to Small's friends (Monkey) house up a big hill and collected him and he cycled back home with us. We also had a visit from Suffolk and her three kids. All the kids were on the trampoline together before all going in the pool. It wasn't the warmest today and they all came out shivering. Back on the trampoline, a quick brownie (which was very yummy) and then they had to go home. That left Small, Smallest and Monkey who played on the Wii, table football, table hockey and basketball.

When Huffle came home (very tired) we all got on our bikes and cycled to Monkeys house to take him home and then carried on to the library. New books were picked up for our holiday next week and we had to cycle home in the rain (where did that come from?).


Monday, 28 July 2014

Meatballs and Custard

We had a terrible storm last night and we were on Tornado watch. This isn't quite as scary as it sounds. It just means that the storm could be severe with high winds, lots of rain and the slight chance of a Tornado. The storm was mainly away from us until we went to bed and then it seemed to be directly over the top of us. The windows rattled and it rained hard for about 12 hours non-stop. We filled the basement with towels in case of flooding and there was actually some water that seemed to seep up through the floor but apart from that we were fine. Still, it was a restless night for most of us (except sleepy, snorey Smallest of course). It was also very humid but we had to close the windows because the windows were rattling the blinds and keeping us awake. Arrrgggghhhh.

When Huffle got up he did intend to go to work, but he was so tired he ended up working from home. Small got up far too early and was grumpy and tetchy for most of the day. His eyes were looking much better but we carried on putting the drops in.

Smallest decided to go to the Summer Camp this morning but was very apprehensive. It was a Church Group who run a Hamlet camp in one of their back gardens and are associated with the Church. Smallest has said, since we moved here, that he doesn't believe in God so I made sure to explain that he shouldn't say anything bad about God and just see how it was. If he didn't like it, he didn't have to go back. As I dropped him off his little face seemed to be saying 'don't leave me here!' In the meantime Small and I played two games of Disney Monopoly. We won one each. When I picked up Smallest, I was greeted with a thumbs up which is our universal signal for 'I'm fine, it's okay'. He had had a great time. He'd made a bead fish and lizard which were very impressive, played Pictionary, ate Muffins and made a story book. His one critism was that he had to pray but after we talked about it just being thankful for what we have and that he could pretend he was thanking me or Daddy or anyone else. He liked that. He wants to go back tomorrow and he especially wants to go horse riding with them on Friday. Phew, I'm glad it was okay and I am very proud of my little man for trying it and liking it. One funny thing that happened was that there was a boy there called Geoffrey. Here in this house, we call Small Geoffrey because he is full of facts and 'well actually I think you'll find.......' things to say. Another thing we always say to Small, when he is in 'Geoffrey' mode is "do you want a cup of tea Geoffrey?". Someone mentioned tea and the boy Geoffrey said "oh I like tea". Apparently this made Smallest giggle.

Back home it was a quick lunch with Huffle before the boys and I drove to swimming (it has been moved to an earlier time). Small couldn't swim because of his conjunctivitis but Smallest got on really well. He did some excellent swimming and some lovely diving. While we were there Small got bored and walked home by himself.

Back home again and we all (not Huffle he was still working) played Monopoly again! This time Smallest won. The boys did their writing and a chore and played on their DS'. I did some knitting, tidying and made dinner. Huffle went to the dentist today for a deep clean and all was well for another visit.

The boys helped me to make meatballs and custard (obviously not to eat together) and after dinner we all played football with just a small amount of injuries.

Smallest has been growing tomatoes for the first time this year and his first ever ripe one was picked today and he ate it with his meatballs. He said it was really sweet.



Sunday, 27 July 2014

Sticky Eyes and a Squashed Ear

Poor Smallest has been suffering with his eyes for ages now. We thought it was an allergy originally but now it seems to have turned into conjunctivitis. Huffle took him to the Walk-In Doctors this morning after breakfast. Smallest has in fact got conjunctivitis and got some antibiotic drops to take regularly everyday for five days. Huffle also got himself looked at as he has been having problems with his ear. It seems he has a swollen bone which could have been caused by lots of diving and his goggles squashing his ear (note to self: must get him some big eared goggles).

While they were gone, I completely cleaned and rearranged Small's bedroom (just in case it was an allergy conjunctivitis caused by dust as Huffle and I are also allergic to dust). This meant all his soft toys were hung on the line to air, new bedding, bedroom completely changed around in order to get under the bed and around other furniture. Smallest played on his DS in Small's bedroom with me to keep me company and occasionally help me move something. I even hoovered all his Lego (that was out and collecting dust). I think his room looks lovely, he wasn't so sure when he returned home, but it does look roomier.

Within five minutes of the boys being in the same room together they were fighting, and I mean properly fighting, until we had to separate them and put them in their rooms to calm down. What a pair!

It was another beautifully sunny, hot day (Huffle informed me that I slept right through the thunder last night but he has no idea if there was any lightning as he hid through it). After ointments and drops were administered by Doctor Hall, we played a game of Disney Monopoly. Huffle won this time and we celebrated with an ice cream on the porch and despite numerous warnings, Smallest's did in fact fall off his cone!! (Twice)

The rest of the day was spent in the pool after vacuuming and cleaning it. Whilst clearing up Huffle found Ferdi again and Smallest-Steve Backshall-Hall manhandled it. After it skipped up his arm and back, he ran to the front garden and deposited it in the homemade pond. Ferdi instantly jumped out and the boys played Swingball noisily.

Huffle and I made the most of the peace by the pool and it all went strangely quiet. We later found out that they had been playing with Ferdi again and 'helped' him into his pond (Smallest said "I just want a pet!" - he wants to build a pond and put a cage over it so he can't escape. We did talk about how cruel this would be!

There was much silliness again once the boys realised Huffle was in the pool by himself. The boys showered and we all had dinner (including Huffle's 10c corn!).

Super clouds

....and Huffle and I know where Ferdi is hiding but we shan't be telling smallest! Shhhhhhh


Saturday, 26 July 2014

Gummy Mouth and a Baggy Face

Up and out early this morning for this girl today, in order to get to my quilting class for 9:30am. Today we learnt how to make a Snail's Trail. Ummm seems complicated. Our class of four seems to have grown to seven now and one of the new women was introducing the others and when she saw Suffolk and me she said "well I don't know them......." A bit rude (rude No1). Afterwards, Suffolk and I went for a coffee and a catch up chat.

Back home the boys were playing Disney Monopoly and they abandoned it in favour of us all going out for a day at the harbour. After a quick turnaround of which restaurant we wanted to eat at, we decided on the Fish and Chip shop close by and then arrived on to the harbour. We were here last year and didn't expect too much but it seemed that it was the 25th year and they were celebrating. They had a massive turnout and there were lots of stalls and things to do.

Army tank, moustaches and the very big police boat

The first thing that caught our eye was some Army vehicles. Tanks, trucks and jeeps and a man who asked me where I came from. ENGLAND! "Yes I could tell from your accent, whereabouts?" LEICESTERSHIRE. "Oh yes, what surprised me when I was there that a black man in a pub spoke with your accent and not a Jamaican one or Indian one like here!" OOOOOOOHHHHH (Racist comment No1). Huffle was interested in the mahoosive Police Boat, complete with little boat, BBQ, big shiny bell and three police people who didn't want to talk to Huffle, let alone answer his interesting comment which was WHY DO YOU NEED SUCH A BIG POLICE BOAT ON THE LAKE? One policeman walked away, the second said "it allows them to stay on the water longer". Then looked away as if to say please don't ask any more questions. (Rude No2) The lady police person said after Huffle said, DO YOU GET A LOT OF TROUBLE THEN ON THE LAKE?, "I guess so" and also looked away. Well that's that then. Thanks for being so bloody helpful. We now think that they just go off for a jolly and a BBQ on the water. Nice work if you can get it!

Harbour, boats, ducks and a Go Station Bear leaning on Smallest. Was this bear rude No2a or could he just not hear with his bear furry ears?

Walking along the water along to the harbour where we spotted a photographer whose work on wood was great. He looked at Smallest and said in a Chesterfield accent "hey buddy do you want a lollipop?" Of course he did and while he got one for himself and one for Small we chatted to him. He had a brother who lives in Leicester Forest East. He was a chef but did photography as a hobby. He was very interesting. We saw a load of people rushing to put on life jackets and followed them and started putting jackets on. Then we realised they were joining a DragonBoat race and we had to fill in a waiver (well of course we do, we now live in a country where everyone can sue everyone elses BUTT). Off went our jackets and off to sign a waiver which was a farce as no-one checked before we got on the boat later that we were who we said we were!!! Our time slot for the race was in an hours time (except that in harbour time that actually means at least another hour on top of that (Rude No3).

The Real Dragon Boat Racers and the boys playing 007

007 is a bit like Rock Paper Scissors except they hurt each other!!!!

We bought some Belgian Chocolate fudge and sat and ate it whilst watching the boats and other people. The boys got to paint on a boat, just five stars each so other people had space to paint too! Face painting was next where Smallest asked if he could have a beard. "A what, what's a beeaard?" A BEARD, A HAIRY CHIN! Says I. Giggle giggle giggle went the little silly girls doing the painting. (Bit rude No4 and a bit racist No2 not understanding my beautiful English Accent!). Finally they understood a beard and Smallest changed his mind and decided on a moustache instead because that's what Small asked for. Moustaches done, we queued up (as only we English do) for the DragonBoat. People came and queued in front of us (as only Canadians do Bit Rude No5) and we stood there for about ten minutes until we were told to go and watch the water skiing as the Race had to wait for them to finish. We watched the water skiing (or showing off as Huffle called it). Actually in the end they were quite good, if the entertainment side was a little cheesey. One of them did a bit of a jet pack style before it broke and they gave up. One of the water skiers hurt himself and Smallest asked if he was dead because he lay still for so long! (He wasn't).

Painting stars.

The skiers (Huffle edit get a real job you bums)

Eventually we went off for the Boat Race. A quick line-up, jackets put on and oars chosen. A very quick demonstration on how to row forwards and then backwards and then we walked off to find our boat. Our boat was full of little people (that is not me being derogatory, we had Small, Smallest, a boy a bit older than Small and a couple of small girls on our boat). Huffle edit - when she says little people there were some Chinese on the boat (racist 3a) The other boat was full of strong healthy adults. Off we went in a straightish line, a very small rest and then we were off. Yes we lost and our oars were all over the place. It was really really hard work and we were desperate for water when we finished. Still, it was good and something we normally would not get to do.

Our Dragon Boat

Huffle through a port hole, Piggy backing Smallest and the others photo bombing, Huffle not pleased at the Big Police Boat and a Loon (that's the bird not Huffle).

We picked up tattoos, bracelets and info on how to volunteer for the PanAm games and then queued (again) for the shuttle boat to take us back to the car. Seeing as Canadians don't really do queuing we just stood near to the shuttle boat sign. A man came up to Huffle and asked if this was the line for the boat and were we at the end? Huffle said "it is but there 'ain't no queue!" The man looked a little confused with Huffle's words and accent but did in fact queue behind him. A woman came up to me and said "are you in the line for the shuttle". I said THERE IS NO LINE BUT YOU HAVE TO GET BEHIND ME. She laughed and went behind me and I said "not really you're fine". She laughed and walked in front of me and I said "no I meant you have to get behind me". She started to go behind me again and I laughed and said not really. She was European and did have a sense of humour (neither of was being rude or racist). There were in fact a couple at the front of the queue and anyone that came up to them asking where the line was said "behind us, we are at the front". (Bit rude No6) and some people did in fact stand behind them. However, when the boat turned up it seemed the queue was back to front and the rude couple at the front ended up in the middle with us at the end. None of us got on. That's funny. We walked because we wanted to get back. The others stayed and waited for the boat to come back. However, we didn't actually think about where the boat was going and was actually dropping people off at a point that would have caused our walk back to be doubled. Silly billies!

Obligatory cloudy shots

We stopped at the supermarket on the way home to stock up on ice creams as we didn't have one at the harbour because they were serving block ice cream dipped in chocolate and then dipped in nuts WHAT! By the time we got home though it was too late for ice cream so we will have to save it for tomorrow!

Huffle and the boys found me some pretend Vegetarian Turkey! NO! Despite the fact it is very very hard to be a vegetarian (or a pescatorian now I eat fish), I refuse to eat a pretend Turkey! Huffle edit - this stuff disgusts me along with their 'simulated chicken veggie burger' WHAT ?


Friday, 25 July 2014

Nipples on a dough ball

Another day at home today. Another scorching hot day. After breakfast, the boys and I finished our Monopoly game off from yesterday and the little stinkers thoroughly beat me. Huffle stayed and worked from home.

There was time in the pool once we had cleaned and vacuumed it, the greenery cut back and testing done. What a difference the water is from our first Summer here when all we had was green water! While we were clearing away we found a frog. We named him Ferdi and Smallest picked him up and put him in his own mini pond. Ferdi ran under the shade of a tree and then disappeared. We don't like to think he ran away though, just found a place to hide for a while.

Ferdi. Smallest - Steve Backshall - Hall

After lunch the boys and I cycled the o swimming lessons, where they started with a boat race. Small against Smallest and another boy. Small won. He had to paddle there and back across the pool ten times to pick up objects that would be needed for a boat journey. Smallest's arms were too short to paddle and their boat had no sense of direction.

When we cycled back, Small went off to Log's house for a few hours and Smallest and I had an ice cream on the porch. Our mower arrived back. It was a bit more expensive than we first thought but the man halved the labour costs and didn't charge us for a few things. We ended up with three punctures in the end. Whoops!

This is our mower arriving and landing.

Huffle and I mowed all the grass, pulled out the thistles from the side garden, raked the grass, cut the yew hedge and ended up cooling off in the pool. No peace for us as the boys jumped right on in with us. Of course, we had to have a whirlpool and once it got going we all floated around in a lazy river. We got to sit in the sunshine a bit before we all went in to make dinner. We had pizza and the boys made dough balls (Smallest's had nipples on!).

Dinner was in front of a film about snowmen. This weekend has bad weather reports with storms and rain (No snow though).

A couple of beautiful echinacea in our garden


Thursday, 24 July 2014

Too many pterodactyl teeth*

Bloomin' lovely

Huffle went off to work still feeling tired from the storm. The boys and I had breakfast and Smallest's friend came to play for the morning and until swimming lessons. The three boys played well together until Small shocked (they rub their hands together whilst on the trampoline and then shock each other!!) Smallest and Smallest retaliated by kicking him hard on the leg. Small was fine but Smallest hurt himself (I could say serves him right!). Small then went off to read by himself until the other boys found him and they all ended up playing with the Pokemon cards.

We all started a game of Disney Monopoly (which was interesting because Malcolm had never played before. How can you get to seven and not have played? Ahh maybe because he doesn't live in this Monopoly Mad house!. Anyway we played until lunchtime and then the boys sat in front of the TV and ate. They tried my Chocolate Orange Loaf and liked it and then played basketball and Swingball.

The view from our garden at the back (lovely).

I took Malcolm home on the way to swimming. Today MrsE instructed Smallest and another assistant tutored Small through many many lengths and then some safety and diving. Smallest swam a lot too. She said his endurance was good. Once home they both got in the pool until I brought them an ice cream and then we read for a while.

Small's Friend Log came over for an hour and they all played on the trampoline and then the wii (when supermum got the remotes working that is!).

Huffle and I did a bit of gardening, weeding, moving a few plants and watering after dinner.

*Huffle had a conversation today with a colleague about a man who owns a dinosaur museum. Apparently he had four pterodactyl teeth for sale. Huffle asked why they weren't just on display in the museum. His colleague informed him that the owner had too many!!!! REALLY?

Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Diving Board Bat and Ball

Last night we had storms. Very loud thunder, lightning and lots of rain. It went on for a couple of hours. It even woke up Small. Smallest, as usual, slept on.

This morning, the boys and I had breakfast in front of one of their trashy programmes, and then got ready and dropped Smallest off at his friend Malcolm's house. They played on the trampoline, basketball against the nanny and they won, football on the school field and had lunch which consisted of a hot dog and Kraft Dinner (this is Mac n cheese in a box and Smallest screwed his nose up when he told me). Small and I went food shopping. He played on a gadget in there while I shopped and then he helped me to empty my trolley and pack the car. When we got home we played Disney monopoly and he beat me. He then played on the IPad while I watched a bit of An Honourable Woman.

Small and I picked up Smallest and we went to swimming lessons. MrsE taught Small today and put him through his paces. Smallest was taught by her little assistant who started him off by rescuing Small. They ended the lesson by jumping off the diving board to catch or bat a ball. It was very funny.

We came home and Small went off to play at his friends Logs house for a couple of hours and Smallest played with his Lego and briefly went in the pool. I had a visit from an ExPat friend of mine and we had a good chat and a coffee.

Today the oven behaved itself and roasted our dinner beautifully. It should be the end of this week that our part arrives. Won't hold my breath! The belts for the mower arrived a few days ago and they told Huffle they are working on the mower now, so that should be delivered back tomorrow or Friday. Again, I won't hold my breath.