Wednesday, December 31, 2008

New Years Resolutions

It appears that I inadvertently participated in The Spin Cycle which is hosted by the one and only Sprites Keeper. Maybe I will resolve to keep participating!

I don't usually make resolutions on New Years, but this year I have noticed somethings I really need to improve upon. Some of these things are just minor adjustments that need to be made, others are long term goals that I would like to achieve. All of them are fairly important.

1. When disciplining the girls, yell less, timeout more. Yes, I am a yeller, but I have found that it does me not a lick of good. I could yell till I am blue in the face, but they don't hear me. Timeout actually gets their attention and works when I apply it properly.
2. Work more actively to potty train KiKi and have her potty trained in 6 months. She is 2 and a half now, time to really get to work.
3. Loose 20 or so pounds. Between the move and daily life I have let myself go. I need to focus more on what I am eating and exercise more.
4. Start my work around the house earlier in the day. For some reason around here it takes a lot longer to get the same housework done. Laundry takes twice the time.
5. Be more frugal and cost conscious. In these tough economic times I am going to have to make my buck/pounds stretch further than before. This means, cutting off lights we aren't using, making menus for the weeks meals to avoid wasting money at the commissary, and making tougher decisions between wants and needs.

Well folks, this is my list of resolutions. Nothing groundbreaking, just little things that I feel will make life here at the bungalow run a little more smoothly. What kinds of resolutions did you make for 2009?

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

A Fart is Funny in Any Language

So ummm I don't know how to put this tactfully, so I guess I will just go with it and see where we end up*. I have gas. Not like, run of the mill everyday mild one fart type of gas. No I am talking heavy duty clear a room I am afraid to go to bed for fear of fumigating my husband in the middle of the night gas. Now add onto this the fact that I have been having stomach issues today. See, I have IBS (that is Irritable Bowel Syndrome for you non-sufferers) and it isn't the version where you get stopped up...oh no it is the version where you couldn't stop it if you tried...if ya get my drift. So needless to say every fart has been an adventure.

Ok, I am actually telling you guys all this for a reason. You see, KiKi has figured out that farts are funny. Since they are funny, she feels the need to announce all her farts. Does she stop at only announcing them when we are in the room? Nope, she will fart in the living room and then walk into whatever room my husband and I are in to announce it to us (my little princess makes me so proud!). She has also taken to announcing everyone elses farts. This put me in a bit of a situation today.

I was watching Domino's kids for the day because they are out of school on holiday and Domino has to work at the barber shop. Well, I got my gas about an hour after I ate lunch, so that was at around 3pm. I had already been running to the bathroom every five min since I had woke up at 6 (thanks sam kitty for that lovely waking up incident..did I mention that I didn't have on any shoes when I was chasing him?) Well the gas kicked in, and KiKi was sitting right next to me.

KiKi- "Mommy! Fart!"
Me- "You farted?"
KiKi- "No, Mommy fart!"

Domino's kids and LaLa look at me and start laughing. Thanks KiKi. There is nothing like being louded out by a toddler. And yes, I really am afraid to go to bed cause I fear that I might kill my husband in his sleep with my stankness. I might just go sleep with LaLa.



* I actually IM'd Captain Dumbass to see if he thought posting about this would be funny or not.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Thankless Cat!

Y'all have met the cat, Sam. I love this little ball of fluff despite his curmudgeonly attitude. He on the other hand gives me nothing but grief. In either March or April (I forget cause it is super duper early and I have not had the proper amount of caffeine yet), he got out of the house and was gone for 2 weeks. I was sick with worry because he does not have front claws, and he has never spent a night outside in his life. We were also living in Missouri at the time and there were tons of other cats and raccoons and such to make his stay outside quite unpleasant. He finally wandered home after his two week safari into the wild covered with ticks and extremely underweight. Since then we have been really vigilant to not let him out of the house and to catch him if he does try to make a run for freedom.

This morning, about 6-ish I got a lovely wake up call. "Kat, Sam got out and I can't find him!" Greeeeat. Thank goodness I went to sleep with track pants on last night... I stumbled out of the bed, got my coat and grabbed the mag-lite from "The Man". Now, this may seem crazy, but we live on a quiet cul-de-sac, but once you get off the cul-de-sac towards the front of my house, there is a busy road. To the back of my house, there is another REALLY busy road, oh and my husband could throw a (American) football and hit the flightline of the Air Force Base we live near (which is a whole other post). Needless to say, it is kind of a priority to find the cat before he gets to far away so he doesn't get squished.

I finally found him after I had checked under all the cars in the cul-de-sac. He had run into the backyard and was stalking around in one of the flowerbeds. I grabbed him and took him inside, while I was also giving him a lecture about the dangers of going outside. Ya know, cause he can so understand me.

I tried to go back to sleep, but that didn't work. So here I am, writing a blog and watching Tom and Jerry. Man, I love that cat.

Friday, December 26, 2008

1st Christmas in England

Our first Christmas in England was a smashing success! The girls had a great time and we started fostering our own traditions along the way. We have only spent one Christmas away from my family and that was when I had just given birth to LaLa. She was born a grand total of 3 days before Christmas. This year we started using an Advent calendar for LaLa to count down the days until Christmas. It was a lot of fun for her to see 1)Christmas getting closer and B) her birthday getting closer. "Hey mom, my birthday is two-two!"




Doing a Hulk-a-maniac pose on her birthday!

We also made the girls take about a million pictures in front of the Christmas tree. The biggest challenge in this is getting LaLa and KiKi to actually look at the camera at the same time.


Christmas Eve before Church

We went to church on Christmas Eve at the base chapel. It was an ok service, kinda generic. The girls enjoyed the gospel choir and the more contemporary songs. I totally missed the entire sermon because KiKi by that point had lost patience and was flipping through hymnals and crawling under my legs to find more books to look at. At one point we got the girls to remain still for a whole 10 min by slipping them each a candycane, but those suckers don't last long.

After the service we came home and got the girls into their pjs. Then we got them to help me set out cookies and milk for Santa. LaLa was insistant that she must help me pour the milk.


Cookies and Milk safely on the hearth!
(but Elizabeast got them before Santa got here...thankfully the girls were already asleep)

Christmas morning, KiKi went and woke LaLa up and they found that Santa had left half his sleigh at our address! This was the first Christmas that KiKi actually understood the whole Santa left me presents thing. She was so excited and ripped the presents open like a seasoned pro.


Look Mom a Dancing June Little Einstein!!

LaLa being the more cautious of the two took a more slow, calculated and measured approach to her present upwrapping.

She actually really liked it when she got clothes. These are two sweaters that my mom got her. Aren't they cute!


My Little Pony!!!


Really cool baby doll that names all it's body parts!


Look Mom, I'm a princess!!!

After presents we sat around the house for a couple of hours and let the kids play with some of their toys (and they harassed us to take the rest of them out of the packaging). I then made a green bean casserole and we headed over to Domino's house to exchange presents and have Christmas dinner. Everything was wonderful. By the time we got back to the house we were all Christmased out. Everyone was in bed by 9:30 and we woke up the next morning and got to work uppacking the rest of our household goods.


Even Elizabeast was all Christmased out!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas to everyone! May your day be blessed with good food, good friends and great family. I hope you get everything you wished for and more.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Joy to the World!

It's Christmas Eve! My stockings are hung, my presents are wrapped and plans have been made on how to spend our first Christmas in England. Tonight we are going to attend church on base with the girls. It is a candle light service, which is what we usually attend when we are back home in South Carolina. The base church seems to be really nice and when "the Man" and LaLa went to check out what time the services would be starting one of the lady's from the church invited him and LaLa in for lunch and dessert. I think we will probably start attending church on base because I am not sure what other churches are in the area.

Anyways, after church, we are going to come home and let the girls open one present. This is something that my family has always done. After church we always just open a single present, then it is off to bed so that Santa can come.

On Christmas morning we will open all of Santa's presents and the rest of the presents from the family. This might take a while judging by the stack of gifts under my tree. Seriously, it looks like Christmas came into my house and threw up underneath my tree. I am totally not complaining. It is just kinda funny cause I have this little 5 foot tree and it is being overwhelmed by the presents.

After presents, we will pack up the girls and go to Domino's house for Christmas dinner. OK, I am from the south. Dinner to me is anywhere from noon-2pm (supper is at 6 pm when all the northerners are having "dinner")(sorry about the tangent there). Anyhoo, we are going to be keeping it fairly simple this year for Christmas dinner. Ham, green bean casserole, mashed potatoes, scalloped potatoes, corn, rolls, pie.....yeah ok, so it is still gonna be a lot of food. I guess after we finish dinner we will waddle into Domnio's living room and exchange the gifts that we got for each other. By this time it should also be late enough that I can call my family and not wake them up. Of course the idea of calling them at 9am my time also makes me giggle to myself. Can you imagine being on the receiving end of that.

Mom-*phone ringing looking at the clock which says 4am, picks up the phone* *groggy* Hello?
Me- MERRY CHRISTMAS!!! HAHAHAHAHAHAH! Kids sing Jinggle Bells for MiMi!
Kids- *singing* Jingle Bells Jingle Bells!
Me-Aren't they great mom?
Mom- I am so going to take you out.

I would be living in fear until I saw her in July. It would sooooo be worth it.

So that is what I am going to be doing this Christmas. What are your plans?

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

You Think ya Know Someone...

So "The Man" and I were sharing a rather uneventful boring Friday night when he did the unimaginable. Now, I know about his love of 80's soft rock, but he really out did himself this time. He broke out into "All Out of Love" by Air Supply. He wasn't prompted. There was no gun to his head. I was flabbergasted. Now, I have been known to sing along to Hall and Oats, get down with Huey Louis and the News, even cut a rug to some Billy Joel, but Air Supply? Air Supply, maybe the cheesiest most sappy 80's band of all time. I draw the line at Air Supply.

I mean ya think ya know someone and then they do something that makes you wonder "Who the hell are you and what have you done to my relatively sane husband?"

Him- *Belting out Air Supply at the top of his lungs*
Me- "Are you kidding me?"
Him- "Oh come on! Everyone loves Air Supply!"
Me- "Are you kidding me?"
Him- "This is some classic music right here!"
Me- "If you say so...." *turn my head and roll my eyes*

Now if you actually like Air Supply. I'm sorry. No really, I'm sorry. You are entitled to your crappy music taste as much as "The Man" is, just leave me out of it.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Happy Birthday LaLa!

Dear LaLa,
It has been 5 years since your birth. I still can't believe the nice nurses at the hospital let me leave at age 22 with a baby in my arms. I remember fondly your dad and I walking into our tiny apartment, sheepishly looking at each other and then laughing hysterically saying "dude, we're parents now". That night (Christmas Eve) you stayed up til 5am screaming your little head off and I sat on your bedroom floor crying and hoping that I didn't get a defective one. I now know you aren't defective, you just have a penchant for the over dramatics.

Since that day you have made everyday of your little life dramatic. When you are happy, you make the sun itself shine. When you are upset you make the darkest rain cloud seem just a little more depressive. When you love, you love with every fiber of your being. You are stubborn, you are silly, you are sweet, you are cantankerous. Most of all you are, LaLa. You are my precious first born daughter. I love you baby.

Forever your Mom (whether you like it or not),
Mommy

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Sayings at My House..

Ok here are a few sayings you might here around my house and generally they would probably get you a lot of strange looks in public. At my house however, they are commonplace.

1. "Your in some serious Kimchi". This one was brought home courtesy of "The Man". Yes we both know that Kimchi is a Korean food. However around our place it means you are about to be in some serious shit. Example of how this would be used is. "LaLa, you better get in bed or you are gonna be in some serious Kimchi."

2. "Shit the bed" This means something broke. When my washing machine broke. Yeah it shit the bed.

3. "Sneriously" Not a proper word ("The Man" stole it from a work buddy)...it is a substitute for seriously, but it sounds cooler. Generally means "what the hell!!!".

4. "I hate your face!" Not to be taken literally, this usually is a joke or a substitute for "Sneriously" or "dammit", or a thousand different things. Ex....the remote broke, and "The Man" was holding the remote and pulled it close to his face and said "I hate your face!". If anyone has seen "Grandma's Boy" you will understand.

5. "Leaning forward" In Air Force terms, this means thinking ahead. Just don't lean to far forward or you might fall on your face.

6. "I'm out of beer" This will happen on occasion when my hubby wasn't "leaning forward" (refer to number 5). Just kidding mom...I never run out.....hahahahahahahaha. ( "The Man" added that last part mom... dont' kick my butt).

7. "FAIL" If you do something wrong, you FAIL. "The Man" brought this home from work because he had to evaluate other guys doing their job, and if they screwed up they FAIL. Generally done with a karate chop movement toward the failee.

8. "Off base Commander". This is me. Don't confuse your rank for my authority.

9. "Wifed" When the off base commander (see number 8) says that "The Man" can't do something. Ex. "So you want to go to the bar?"...says a buddy. "Naw...I got wifed...can't go"

10. "Do you want a waffle?" Code for "want to get naked?" Ok now this started when we were living with my mom. We were talking about going out to Waffle House, my mom walked in the room right when "The Man" asked me if I wanted a waffle and my mom said "Ewww don't talk about sex with me around!!" Well we weren't talking about it then..but we are now....

11. "Hey Baby" Usually said with the voice of "Butt-head", see number 10.

12. "For F*&@'s Sake"...new term that has sprang up from being in England. Ex. It is Tuesday and the cable won't be installed until NEXT Wed. "For F*&@'s Sake!!"

13. "So There I Was"...usually comes at a point where the conversation is about to turn boring or when there is a lull in the conversation. "The Man" also named our family blog that.

14. "Party pooper" Enough said.

15. "BOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!" I usually get boo'd when I am #14. "The Man's" best friend Mike...yeah he boooo's me all the time.

16. "Turrets" Not the disease or the word per se but sometimes you will hear a cluster of nonrealted explicative thrown together. Usually when "The Man" is assembling a piece of furniture or putting up blinds. Not something for kids ears. "The Man" says to the kids..."put on your earmuffs". Damn Walmart furniture...it is always crappy instructions or it is missing a part! (sure it is "The Man", sure it is...)

17. "Be Quiet, here comes The Undertaker"...always happens during "Friday Night Smackdown." "The Man" turns up the volume to a very high level on the TV to listen to "Taker's" entrance theme. I groan and leave the room. (I just told him he CAN NOT embed a flippin undertaker youtube video clip). (He is slighly pouting).(OK he wins!)

18. "If it was a snake it would have bit you"...what "The Man" says to me daily when I can't find something that was right in front of me.

19. "Suck it up and be a bulldog" This was stolen from "The Man's" dad from The Citadel Bulldog Football team. Ex. You cut your finger off..."Suck it up and be a Bulldog" He once chose to say this to me during a fight and I didn't talk to him for 3 days.

20. "I've already got one foot in the grave"...."The Man" says this during times when he feels old. Stolen from his dad, it is pessimistic in nature but funny as hell sometimes. Well "The Man" thinks it is funny.......

21. "Is Scrubs on yet?" We love that show...JD and Turk are "The Man's" heroes...right below "Al Bundy" from "Married With Children" (Actually I think "The Man" is actually the real life JD...just wait til Tuesdays post about what happened Friday night...yeah you will so get it then..two words "Air Supply").

(Written together with "The Man" for "poops and giggles")

Friday, December 19, 2008

The Man's Thoughts Vol.I

So there I was....sorry I was practicing for the new family blog (which I named "so there I was in England" by the way...clever I know)...anywoo. So there I was thinking, all of my wife's fellow bloggers have never heard from "The Man", so it is time for what I will call "The Man's Thoughts." Don't everyone cheer at once....I know you guys couldn't wait. I think that I will post every week or so, letting all of you into the mind of "The Man"....funny I never get called that around the house....Anyways on with the show.....I was thinking tonight as I listened to a little "Master of Puppets" by Metallica that I really should have mailed myself my guitar and associated equipment. I just picked up my new hobby last year and I figured that a couple of weeks without my mistress would be alright. Little did I know that it takes many moons to get TV and internet hooked up in England once you move in!! So I am TV-less for the most part(we only have free air channels right now) and internetless, well I guess I'm not internetless now but I have to share time with Kat, and I can't read my book anymore cause if I do then I will fall asleep at 6 pm because, well it gets dark at 4pm, and I have been busy running around since 5 am. That won't do. Hindsight being 20/20 I had a epitame. If only I had mailed my guitar to myself I could be rocking out in my Man Room (which I will probably put a keg-a-raitor in eventaully with Strongbow...its delicious). But, alas I cannot rock out. I could even being rocking out on Rock Band, but my XBox is with the rest of my household goods which isn't coming till January. There will be a light at the end of this tunnel though....cause I work with a guy that has played guitar for 15-16 years and we will rock out (damnit!)....hopefully I can learn a thing or two for him. So in the meantime I guess my super bad ass air guitaring will have to work. Well that is it for tonight folks....Kat will probably not like it when my guitar gets here but she will understand....hopefully...or I will be sleeping in my man room....till next week's volume of "The Man's Thoughts".....till then ROCK ON!!!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Happy Birthday Daddy!!

Happy Birthday Dad! Here is a list of a few things my dad taught me.
1. You can stand up for yourself. Even if you make someone mad, even if you ruffle a few feathers, don't let people walk all over you.
2. The route that seems the shortest on a map isn't always the quickest.
3. It is ok to be different.
4. Have a sense of humor. Things might not work out the way you like, but if you can laugh about it later, then laugh about it now.
5. 12 year old girls are pains in the ass. They like to gossip, talk about boys and are generally not interested in softball practice.
6. How to drive a manual transmission car. Ok well maybe he didn't so much teach me, but he didn't kick my butt when I threw it into neutral, got out and told him "If you can do it so well, then you do it!"
7. Going to a movie by yourself is better than sitting on your butt at home and doing nothing. Even if the movie sucks, at least you got out of the house.
8. Argue til your blue in the face, then argue some more.
9. Even the biggest men are gigantic babies when they are sick.
10. Star Trek is awesome.
11. Star Wars is awesome!
12. Just try everything on your plate, you never know what you might actually like.
13. Miracle Whip is nasty (even though he likes it).
14. If you are in a fight, make sure you get the last lick in.
15. Don't fight someone unless you know you will win.
16. When you hit an animal in the road, make sure you check your tires when you get home to make sure there isn't guts on them.
17. Always root for the Redskins or anyone who is playing against the Cowboys.
18. Soccer is a communist sport because you can't use your hands.
19. Sometimes it is just better to hire someone who knows what they are doing than do it yourself.
20. Palmetto trees need to be planted further away from the driveway than you think they need to be planted (one needs to see my parents driveway to truly understand the enormity of this).

For all these life lessons, Dad, thank you. Oh and "The Man" still says that I follow too closely when I drive and slam on breaks at the last possible second. I totally think he is full of crap. I mean, you taught me how to drive so surely there is no way that I drive like a bat out of hell.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

English Food-1 Kat-0

Last night for Domino's birthday we all went out to a local pub for dinner. It was a very cute place, extremely kid friendly (the bar part was on the opposite side from where we were eating), and the service was really good*. I had bangers and mash (sausages and mashed potatoes covered in a brown onion gravy) and it was really good. Well I thought it was really good. It tasted lovely and it wasn't until I tried to go to sleep that I realized I had made a fatal mistake. You see, we don't have any kind of antacid type medicine in the house...and well the bangers and mash, yeah they gave me indigestion and heartburn that felt like the fires of hell were creeping up my esophogus. Of course me being a night owl, I don't figure how bad this whole indigestion and heartburn situation is until midnight-ish.

The next 3 hours I spent tossing and turning, praying for sleep, considering the possibility of murdering my snoring husband and trying to talk myself out of attempting to sleep on the Motel 6 quality living room furniture. Needless to say I got very little sleep lastnight. Caffiene is my friend.

On a side note(s)- Domino literally pulled in my driveway as I was about to go get her birthday present yesterday. I told her "Damnit I was on my way to get your birthday present" and she threatened death upon me if I get her anything. Well I don't listen very well...so I am going to get her a present today. I am thinking either a cute handbag or one of these cute necklaces I saw at the BX on Saturday. So if she kills me, at least she will have a cute handbag or a nice necklace to show for it.

Also, our car has reached England. It is waiting at the ports to clear customs. The Man is heading up to the ports to give them some paperwork today and then we should be able to get it on Friday. You guys remember my car right? The lovely Jeep Compass that I only got to spend 6 days with before I had to put it on a boat to England. The Jeep we were not planning to buy but had to at the last minute because our Jeep Grand Cherokee was leaking like sive and they wouldn't ship it in that condition. Well it is finally here, ahead of schedule, and I am going to get to drive it soon. Now...I just have to figure out how to drive an American car (with the steering wheel on the left hand side of the car) on an English road (very narrow..oh and did I mention they drive on the opposite side of the road). Should be fun right?

*Good considering you have to order your food at the bar because they don't have waitresses. Good considering that you have to get your own drink refills by going to the bar. But the bartenders and one host were really really nice and were prompt with bringing the food to the table.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Why Kat Sucks at Buying Birthday Presents

Today is my best friend's birthday. Have I got her a present yet? No. Card? Nope. Baked a cake? ummm no. Yeah I suck ass. BUT I have a PLAN. Well I sorta have a plan. I do know what NOT to get her. Nigel, the guy who works with Domino got her perfume and I know not to get that. "The Man" gets home from work at 3. That is my plan. Uhhhh yeah. See I have a plan. That is a plan right? Go shopping after hubby gets home, don't get perfume. Oh and get card. I got this totally covered.

In my defense, it isn't like I haven't THOUGHT about what to get her for her birthday. I have been texting back and forth to Nigel for the past week with us both pondering what to get her. My problem is everytime I go shopping, Domino is with me. It isn't like I can pick something up, put it in my basket and try to hide it from her like I would if she was one of my kids. She is a grown adult, smart as a whip, and I am pretty sure she would catch on. Plus I am just not that sneeky.

So when The Man gets home from work, I am leaving the monsters with him and heading down to Mildenhall to get her the best birthday present ever. Or at least the best birthday present I can find on her birthday and not make it look like I forgot her birthday by getting it to her before 10pm. Yeah. I. Suck.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Huzzah!!!

I have the Internet back!!!! Now it is time to catch up on what you guys have been doing in the past week*. I have been moving into my new house, paying my TV tax, getting my Sky (satellite) installed, waiting on my internet, trying to figure out the cheapest way to call the USA, and Christmas and house set up shopping like it is nobody's business. Oh and did I mention that there are only 10 more days til Christmas? Where did the time go? Didn't Thanksgiving just happen like a week ago?

I guess I should show you guys around the new bungalow. It is a vast improvement on the TLF that we were staying in. I still have hotel like furniture that we are borrowing from the Air Force until our furniture arrives, but it it at least is starting to feel like a real house (even though it is filthy right now because of moving in and such). The new place is a 4 bedroom bungalow (but we will pretend that it is only 3 because bedroom #4 is now going to be the office) and it has a detached finished garage that was used as a rec room by the owner (our landlords), we are going to use that as the "man room". In otherwords when "The Man" decides that it is time to play his guitar at rediculous decible levels, he can go to the "man room" to do so. Right now it is empty and I don't have a picture but once it has something in it and is fully manly I will show you guys!

The kitchen. (Oh HAI! Elizabeast!)The Living Room (lounge). Notice the lovely Motel 6 quality furniture. Don't notice the pile of laundry, sippy cup, or 2 large boxes of moving trash that are in the background.


The poweder room. Nothing too spectacular here other than the fact that this toilet has an American flusher thingy!
Part of my boudouir. See that suck-tas-tic blue stripy comforter...yeah it has been replaced with a 4 inch thick douvet. Did I tell you guys that it gets cold here at night?

This is the shower in the girls bathroom and frankly the only shower in the house that has any water pressure. I hate showers with no water pressure. I think that is actually one of my biggest pet peeves. When I take a shower, I want the water to feel like it is going to knock me into the back of the shower. I have only actually found one shower that is absolutely perfect and it is the shower on the 2nd level of my mom's house. It feels like a pressure washer and it is fabulous! The other shower in the house is in the "en suite" bathroom (master bathroom) and it has just enough water coming out of the shower head to piss you off.

The now empty office. Notice the hideous carpet. This is why it is the office and not KiKi's bedroom.

OK this is my favorite part of the house. My fireplace. Of course I think it needs to be swept by a chimey sweep before I even chance trying to light a fire in it. I could just see it now, me trying to light a nice ambient fire only to be choked out by plumes of smoke filling the room because the chimney flue isn't open or the chimney is clogged with debris. Face it guys, that would be my luck. Also when I think of having a chimney sweep in my house I think about the movie Mary Poppins...is that weird??

*and make dinner, so this might take a while...

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Awardi-fied

Cameron over at Get the Stink Off, kinda gave me an award, if you count telling people to grab it if you didn't have it as giving it to me. Cameron has an awesome blog and I read it everyday, even when he hasn't updated, because I am one of those people who just checks all their normal blogs everyday even if it isn't updated int their reader. Yes I have issues. Anyways, go over there for a good laugh.

Here is the pretty award, isn't it fab! Look at that sassy hat and cute little purse dog!
This award apparently comes with strings attached. I have to tell all you fab people about 5 things that I think are awesome.

5 Awesome Things
1. Bath & Body Coconut Lime lotion and body butter. I smell so good I want to eat myself.
2. My fake Burberry purse. This thing is as big as a suitcase, ya'll. I think I could fit a small child in it if I wanted to.
3. English bacon. Extra super duper yummy. It is wider than American bacon (like three inches wide, whereas American bacon is like an inch wide), and a little thicker sliced, and has a ton less fatty areas on it.
4. Calling a backyard a garden. It sounds so much nicer than yard.
5. Saying Oy! It is kinda like an American saying "Hey" to get someones attention. Example "Oy! Knock it off"

Because I am feeling as generous as Cameron, I am going to pass this on to everyone who reads my blog. Because frankly if you can put up with my drivel you deserve it ;)

Monday, December 8, 2008

I Got MeMe'd

OhCaptain over there at The Life and Thoughts of a Midwest Geek tagged everyone who read his blog with a meme. Thank God! I was looking for SOMETHING to post while I am going to be net-less. See the way you get internet here, you have to have a landline phone for two days, then you have to call and schedule for Cable and Internet. Well I got my phone service on Friday, that means Today* I have to call Sky to get my cable and Internet or Sky for cable and BT for Internet, depending on who is cheapest. Don't ask me, I haven't got that far yet.

Anyways here is the meme. I am also tagging...Captain Dumbass, Heinous, Badass Geek and Cameron. Daddy bloggers need a manly meme to do.

I'm a Chevrolet Corvette!



You're a classic - powerful, athletic, and competitive. You're all about winning the race and getting the job done. While you have a practical everyday side, you get wild when anyone pushes your pedal. You hate to lose, but you hardly ever do.


Take the Which Sports Car Are You? quiz.

On your mark, get set, GO!

*I technically wrote this on Thursday, but lets pretend ok?

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Moving Day!

Today we are moving into our new house. No more hotel for me I tell ya. Now I just got to get my crap packed and get over to the new place before 8am. Ok, gotta wake up the husband, ya know, since he is so keen about waking up at 6:30 am on his "day off".

Just so everyone is aware, I don't know how long it is going to take before I get Internet at the new place, but I posted a couple of things that will post on Monday and Tuesday. Hopefully it doesn't take much longer than that before I am back up and running. Take care everyone!

All the Little Pieces

I am feeling much relieved today. Things are have finally started swinging in my families favor. We have a lease signed and keys to our new house. We don't have furniture yet, but that is coming on Friday. Sam the cat has also been rescued liberated picked up from kitty prison quarantine. I now have all my family on British soil legally. Huzzah!

It was no small feat if you remember correctly. I had the NW agent from hell. This lady was no picnic and it almost took an act of God to actually get my animals into the country. When I called the kennel to see if my animals had made it over to the UK I was actually shocked that they had arrived. Today was finally the day that I could go pick up Sam. I was supposed to do it yesterday, but in order to get everything accomplished to move into the house by Friday, we had to postpone. I felt like such a bad mother calling yesterday and asking Steve, the man who owns the kennel if he would mind keeping my Sammy for another night. He of course said it would be fine and actually suggested it would be better in the long run because they were expecting nasty rain the whole day at the kennel.

Today turned into a lovely drive through the countryside. The kids slept most of the way up to the kennel and we had borrowed a GPS navigation system from a guy who is going to be working in the same shop as my husband, so we had no real worries about getting lost. I got to take a few pictures of the landscape on the way up there, which I figure should keep my mother from pestering me for pictures for about a week. I kid I kid, actually she will be asking for more pictures in about three days.

This is a typical house in the area we are living in. Most of the houses around here are made from either stone or brick. They have clay shingles on them and a lot of the shingles are covered with moss. Notice that most of the shrubs are still green. You don't get that much in the states during the winter. Also notice the blue skies, you don't get that much in England during the winter.
This is one of the many churches that I saw on the way up to the kennel. I love old chruches. I think it has to do with growing up in Charleston, SC. They don't call it the "Holy City" for no reason. There are churches all over the place in Charleston, but they don't have any this old I am betting.This is a pub that is located up the road in Lakenheath Village. It is called the Half Moon. Cute little pub. There are pubs everywhere here in England. My friend, D, was actually telling me about a place where she saw a sign that said "Pub located behind Church". Now THAT would NEVER happen in the states, EVER. Good Lord I could just see the riots taking place if that sign was posted anywhere in the Bible Belt.

I have seen a few funny Inn and Pub names here as well. There was the "Farmers Boy Inn", which just kinda sounds a little dirty. Then there was "The Cock" Pub. Now that one made my husbands inner 14 year old come out. He laughed his ass off for a good 2 min after we passed that pub. Then he decided the was gonna call his pub, "The Man's Head", another play on a dirty mind here*. All I do is shake my head, cause what I am I gonna do, I married this guy.
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I have had a lot of questions asking how the girls are taking the move, well LaLa is doing alright. She misses a routine most of all I suspect. She, like the rest of us just needs her own space, her own (borrowed) bed, and a place to call her own. KiKi, well, she could care less as long as she has had a nap and has a full belly.

Everyday they fight about who gets to hit the elevator button to go downstairs.

Everyday they fight about who gets to play with what toy. And then sometimes LaLa does something strange like this:That is a roll of paper towels and stacked on top is: a pad of post it notes, a jar of peanut butter and one of KiKi's sippy cups. Just another one of the many things that I just shake my head at and accept. She totally gets it from her father.

*A lot of pubs are called things like "The Lords Head" or the "Lady's Head", don't ask me why, when I found out I will tell you. Oh and when you buy a pub, you can't change the name. They are passed down traditionally.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Craptastic Craptasticness

So get this crap, when we were on the way to sign the lease for the house at the estate agents office, we got a call from the estate agent calling to schedule us to come sign the lease at 3 pm the next day. So basically, we got NOTHING accomplished off of our list of crap to do yesterday except getting the check cut for the kennels so that we don't have to pay the VAT. The measurements that we need to take for the appliances, still not done. The lease, not done. No keys. No closer to a house. Oh and this little one day delay, yeah it means we will probably be paying out of pocket for this hotel for about a week. See the furniture office, they need the measurements for the appliances and the numbers of the amount of furniture we need by 4pm. If they don't get it by 4, we don't get our furniture til Monday. Assuming we sign the lease at 2 pm, that leaves me an hour to go to a base that is 25 min away and get back to leave with D to go get my cat from quarantine. I don't see that happening. D has said that we can move in with her, but I hate having to impose on people. Plus I always swore I would never live with any friend, because it puts a strain on the relationship.

I was so angry when we got back to the hotel from our drive to the estate agents office that wasn't, that I called a friend of mine who lives in Sheffield (which is about 3 hours drive from here) and proceeded to bitch about the lack of concern about a schedule that these agents had. Thankfully, I have known this girl for about 4 years and she is well informed about my tendency to overreact. She did have be laughing my ass off telling me about her pitfalls in buying a house. Apparently, my problems with estate agents are not unique. We both had a good laugh about the "it'll do attitude" that I have noticed in England. Oh and the fact that most (older) public toilets have two spouts of water in the sinks, one for hot the other for cold, so you can't get warm water. You burn then freeze you hands while you wash them. My four year old, she isn't liking that approach for washing her hands. Go figure. More adjustments to be made to suit myself for English life. Don't worry guys, I'll get the hang of it.

Oh Tismee, I drew a diagram of what I think you were talking about in your American driving situation. In this case, car A (the blue one), would have the right of way should they meet at the intersection at the same time. This is because the road car A is on is considered the "main road" in the car park (parking lot).

A note to my Brit readers, I was in no way complaining about England, but we sincerely had a really terrible day today. When you think you are finally going to get the keys to the house and find out on the way to the to the appointment that you are not, it is extremely frustrating. I just want to be in my own house, in my own (borrowed) bed, and not having to deal with the maids every day and their lack of leaving toilet paper (for which I have had to hunt them down in the middle of the day for).

Monday, December 1, 2008

Ummmm...

Have you ever had one of those days where you sit in front of the computer and nothing will appear onto the screen no matter how much you have to say. I am having one of those days. I have a lot of things on my mind but none of them are forming coherent paragraphs. For one, I am signing the lease on the house today and getting the keys. We can't exactly move in today because we have no furniture however. Tomorrow, Sam, my cat gets released from kitty prison quarantine. I am trying to decide if I should take him to D's house, where there are two other cats who would freak him out but he wouldn't be alone, or put him in the new house with a litter box and food, where at least he wouldn't have to deal with other cats but would be alone for a couple days until we can get some furniture over there. I can't bring him to the hotel because of the rules. Decisions, decisions. I also have to go to the VAT office here on base in order to avoid the 17% VAT tax that would be charged on the quarantine bill for him and Elizabeth.

Oh on Wed. I have my "driving class" which is a 3 hour class that explains British road rules. Then I get an endorsement on my license that allows me to drive in England legally. I have been driving here on my regular license because we are allowed to do so for 30 days until we can get into the class. Oh and roundabouts don't scare me much anymore. Once you do them a few times, they are less confusing. The Man's driving however, still scares the crap out of me. I don't know how many times I have said "curb curb curb" to him while we are headed down the road. Of course he says my driving scares the crap out of him too. Maybe it is just something about being a passenger in an English car, cause the cabbies driving on Thanksgiving scared me too and he was a native.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Soggy Sunday Morning

Warning the post contains random things that are floating around in this mixed up mind of mine. There is no rhyme or reason to this post. So please excuse the discombobulation.

It is a nice chilly and quite soggy sunday morning here in England. I think it is somewhere near 40 degrees outside and very cloudy. I think it must have rained earlier, but I wasn't awake to see that event. In any case I think most of my day is going to be spent indoors, not at the hotel hopefully, but indoors in any case. Yesterday we spent all day inside the hotel, well when we weren't hunting for the blue folder that has been lost in the mix of shuffling between here and D's house. There was nothing EXTREMELY important in the folder, it is just annoying to lose something and my husband got his OCD on and was hunting for it all day long.

Anyhoo, last night we were completely bored and not at all tired after the girls went to sleep. I suggested watching a movie, he wasn't feeling it. Next thing I know this game was on the computer screen. Flight of the Hamsters? Yes. I was in stitches laughing at this game. Concept of the game is to get the cute little goggle wearing hamster to fly as far as possible, using the rockets, hamster balls, and springs to your favor. I am serious folks.

Speaking of hamsters. I am not really a fan. I used to work in a pet store when I was in college and those little bastards are mean. When I used to place the food dish in the cage of the little Siberian Dwarf Hamsters, those little wolves would cirlcle my hand like it was a Christmas ham. I took to wearing a gardening glove when I would feed the hamsters in order to prevent their little rat razor teeth from biting me. I used to try to get people to buy gerbils instead of hamsters because I thought that the hamsters were so vile.

Couple of Things About England that I am Befuddled by:
-OK, I understand that their is a law that you can not have any type of drink while you are driving in England, but seriously, no cup holders? Last night I went to get dinner for my husband and I (the kids had had chicken nuggets) and I had 2 drinks to get home. I ended up carrying one drink between my legs and holding the other one on top of the emergency break while driving and hoping that I didn't A) spill either drink in my lap and in the rental car and B) wreck the rental car on the way back to the hotel. I made it back to the hotel with both car and cups intact but I couldn't help to think that this would have been a whole lot easier if there had been at least one cup holder.

-The toilets here have a button on the back of them to flush not a little handle on the side. I keep reaching for the side of the toilet to flush. Oh and some of the buttons are split in half. Push one half to do a little flush, push both to do a big flush. I guess 1 for #1 and 2 for #2.

I got an award from Mama Dawg over at Two Dogs Running. Thanks MD! This award apparently comes with rules. You know how I feel about rules, but since Mama asked nicely I will comply.



The qualifications to receive the award are:

A. Display a cheerful attitude. (Umm if you say so..)

B. Love one another. (I guess I can try..)

C. Make mistakes. (All the damn time)

D. Learn from others. (Why do you think I read so many blogs?)

E. Be a positive contributor to the blog world. (I am a contributor, not all of it is positive, but I contribute none the less)

F. Love life. (yes please!)

G. Love kids. (Mine yes, but sometimes only because the law says I have to)

The Rules:

1. Must link it back to the creator.
2. Post the rules.
3. Choose 5 people to give it to.
4. Recipients must fill the characteristics above.
5. Create a post to share this.
6. You must thank the winner.

The five people I give this to are, Tismee2 from Squared Off, Jenni from Oscarelli, Miss Grace from Miss Grace's Disgrace, Cameron over at Get The Stink Off and Cape Cod Gal from Diamond in the Rough.

Is this enough Sunday morning radomness for you guys. Good, I'm exhausted. Time for a nap.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Thanksgiving in England

I had a fabulous time celebrating Thanksgiving. The only thing that could have made it any better would have been if I was back home in Charleston, SC with the rest of my family or in Chattanooga with my Dad's side of the family. My friend D, prepared a feast. She had turkey, ham, green bean casserole, potato casserole, mashed potatoes, 2 types of stuffing (one English version with sausage and the other with oysters for her husband), candied yams, and of course I brought the pies (which nobody ate cause we were all too full of food).

There were 15 people in attendance. D and her husband M, their 2 kids, Alistair and his wife Melanie*, their 2 kids, N and L who work with D at the barbershop, The Man and I, KiKi and LaLa, and T (who's husband is in Texas right now for some Air Force school). Alistair, Melanie, N, and L are all English and this was their first Thanksgiving celebration.

Dinner started around 6pm in order for our English friends to get off of work in order to come over for dinner. Since this is an American holiday, of course they don't have the day off from work like all the Americans around here. There was a lot of good conversation, a few pints had by all (or wine), and of course the oohing and ahhing over the shere amount of food that was available. The kids had a great time playing together and when D broke out the ginormous bag of leftover Halloween sweets I thought all hell was going to break loose. Alistairs youngest girl is almost as hyperactive as LaLa and doesn't have an off switch. We added candy into this mix. Then we warned Alistair. His response was classic "Thanks for that" as he lifted his pint.

The celebration broke up around 9:30 and we caught a cab back to the hotel around 10:00pm. Thankfully the cabbie seemed very knowledgable of the base and took us directly to the hotel. We lugged all of our car seats, bags and children back to the room and then watched some American football on the Armed Forces Network. My husband and I caught most of the Dallas game and then a little bit of the Phillidelphia game. We ended up finally passing out around 2am.

I think this Thanksgiving proves one thing. It doesn't matter where you are in the world, as long as you have good food, good friends, and good conversation you can have a fabulous time. Also if you add a pint or two into the mix, it is always a good idea to catch a cab, no matter what country you are in. Happy Post Thanksgiving to Everyone! I hope you are all as blessed this holiday season as I have been. Cheers.

*Names have been changed to protect the innocent, or not so innocent depending on who you speak to.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

101 Things about Me for my 101st post...

yeah I know I was "supposed" to do this yesterday for my 100th post, but I was a little busy. Cut me a break. Hey plus I am gonna give you an extra random fact.
1. Birthdate Feb 24
2. That makes me 27 years old.
3. My natural hair color is brown.
4. My hair color now is red. (sorry mom)
5. I have 2 kids. LaLa is 4. KiKi is 2.
6. I have a cat, Sam, he is orange and white.
7. I have a dog, Elizabeth, she is a blond cocker spaniel.
8. My favorite color is pink.
9. I am not one of those people who will only wear their favorite color, or decorates their house in their favorite color.
10. I think those people are kinds weird and may need help. Sorry if you are one of those people.
11. My husband is in the Air Force. I don't let my husbands job define me like some Air Force Wives though.
12. I just finished my degree in Technical Management with an emphasis in Human Resources.
13. I left traditional college when I was 21 years old and only had about 36 hours of courses left.
14. My original degree was going to be International Business with a minor in Russian Studies.
15. I thought my mom was going to kill me when I left school.
16. I moved to Texas to be with my husband..that is why I left school.
17. I had every intention to go back to school when we moved to Missouri, but then I found out I was pregnant.
18. 2 kids later and I finally went back to school.
19. Now that we are in England I am going to have to get a "real" job and not be a stay at home mom anymore.
20. I feel guilty that I am going to have to put KiKi in daycare.
21. But I am excited that I am going to be able to have conversations with adults during the day.
22. I love my children, but I have little patience with other people kids...well except for my friends kids, usually.
23. I think this is because I used to work in a daycare.
24. I also have worked at an accounting office for a senile old man.
25. He fired me on my birthday because he needed someone full time in the office and I could only work part time because of school.
26. My best friend is, D.
27. She is the yin to my yang. When I freak out, she talks me back off the ledge.
28. My husband is also my best friend. He is a little OCD and apparently moving brings out the OCD in him. He lost 62 cents the other day, and he is still looking for it. "What if I lost it on the flight line and it got sucked up into the engine of a plane" This is what I am dealing with folks! LOL!
29. My favorite soda in the entire world is Cherry Coke Zero. They don't have that here in England.
30. I am totally bummed out that they don't have Cherry Coke Zero here...not even at the commissary.
31. I have switched to Diet Dr. Pepper, but it just isn't the same.
32. Man, I sound like a drug addict.
33. I get weirded out by people who start crying in front of me.
34. I am really not good with emotions.
35. I also am not a hugger.
36. I only hug my family and really good friends unless there is a circumstance where I am forced to hug someone or look like a complete jerk.
37. I talk to my mom and my granny almost every single day. They get worried if I don't call at least every other day.
38. If I don't call them, I get worried messages left on my voicemail saying things like "Kat, it's your granny, I haven't heard from you in a couple of days, call me back." or "Kat, it's your mom. Where are you?" Or I check my cell phone and I have 9 missed calls from my mom in the span of 4 hours.
39. My mom and granny both read this blog. They will probably deny #38. It is true though.
40. My favorite moment of the day is catching one of my kids in bed and getting to wake them up gently and cuddle with them. LaLa is especially good at this. Of course then she will whisper "Tickle Me" when we are cuddling and it makes me laugh every time.
41. I miss my friends back in Missouri and my friends back in Charleston.
42. I am grateful for the friends who stay in touch.
43. I believe that a new hair cut, a new pair of shoes or a new purse can fix almost any problem.
44. I am really glad I got a hair cut yesterday. It came at the perfect time.
45. I am not good at worrying about money BTW.
46. I don't think my daughter should get gypped out of a really special birthday just because her birthday is 3 days before Christmas.
47. Christmas is my favorite holiday.
48. I think gifts are secondary to being with family or friends that you love.
49. This is only going to be the 2nd Christmas that I will not be in Charleston for. It sucks big time.
50. I am also praying that I have my own furniture before Christmas. Actually that in itself just might be a Christmas miracle.
51. My favorite Christmas song is "Sweet Little Jesus Boy"
52. My favorite Christmas song used to be "Oh Holy Night" until this girl at church kept butchering it every year for like 5 years. My mom and I would sit in the pew and try not to laugh every year. My granny would shoot us evil eye. Hey, you guys have your Christmas/Holiday traditions, I have mine.
53. I kinda like being 5 hours ahead of the Eastern time zone now, because it lets me write my blog posts in more time. I can post by 3 pm GMT and still have by post up by 7am eastern time. Booyah!
54. I am really needing that time today because this 101 facts is really time consuming.
55. The last book I read was "The Christmas Sweater" by Glenn Beck. I think everyone should read it. It had me crying on the plane on the way over here. It isn't just a tired old story about Christmas.
56. It is really hard to cry quietly on a plane and not be noticed. I really didn't want to look like a nut job. I apologize to any fellow passengers on the plane who I may have offended or scared.
57. I love riding on planes. I hate the safety briefing though. I mean really, do they think that I am actually going to use that seat cushion as a floatation device.
58. When I see someone pass me on the highway at double the speed limit I feel angry at them and bad for them. I have actually said "When they wreck they better hope they die, because they won't want to live after wrecking at that speed."
59. I try not to go more than 5 mph over the speed limit.
60. I think that is because I have kids now and I am more careful with everything I do now.
61. Before I had kids, I was a speed demon.
62. I no longer feel the need for an adrenaline rush. I value my life a lot more now.
63. I do get angry at people who don't at least DO the speed limit though.
64. I always seem to get stuck behind this person, when I am running late no less.
65. Sometimes my husband is THAT person. He blames it on having to drive 15 MPH on the flight line.
66. My favorite material possession is my engagement ring.
67. I use my parents and my grandparents as my moral compasses. I often think about what they would think before I do things. I still dyed my hair red. Sorry Mom.
68. My eyes are green.
69. I feel compelled to write something naughty right here, but I won't. That would be so cliche'.
70. My dream vacation destinations are Greece and Russia.
71. I think I will get to Greece one day. I am no so sure about Russia.
72. My favorite saying I heard on Oprah. It is "Trying is failing with honor. Never try, just do it."
73. I hate watching Oprah.
74. Have I ever mentioned that I am a conservative?
75. I didn't vote this year.
76. I feel guilty about not voting. I don't think my vote would have made a difference. I feel guilty about the apathy I had towards voting this year. I really didn't like either candidate very much.
77. Have I ever mentioned that I am glad that I will be living in England for the next 4 years.
78. I am not pissed off that Barak Obama won. I just hope he does the best job he can. I think partisanship has torn the US apart.
79. I am not a fan of Housing Offices on Air Force Bases. They always prove to be a pain in the ass. It doesn't matter what base you are on.
80. Arbitrary rules piss me off.
81. Sometimes I need a time out.
82. I think I am a better driver than my husband. He begs to differ.
83. I can drive stick shift. Sorta. If I have to.
84. I think it is a good skill to have, just in case.
85. I know how to do a lot of things in theory, but have never actually done them.
86. For example. I know how to mow grass. I just have never done it. That is what dads, little brothers and husbands, and good friends are for.
87. I know how to change a tire, in theory. See #86 for the reason I have never done it and add friendly bystanders as another reason.
89. My dad is hillarious and befuddles me with his logic sometimes. Hi Dad.
90. I like to visit my parents at their offices. It is fun to meet their co-workers or talk to the ones I already know. Hi Sandy.
91. My favorite movies are Labrynth, the Princess Bride, Shawn of the Dead, Grandma's Boy, and Army of Darkness.
92. I hate the movie Baseketball with a passion.
93. I will walk out of the room if my husband is watching it.
94. I will also remind him that he will never get that 2 hours of his life back.
95. I do not think pajama pants are acceptable attire for grocery shopping. Ever.
96. I prefer to wear my hair down and straight, but sometimes my hair has other ideas and that is when I throw it up into a ponytail.
97. My hair is naturally curly.
98. My eating habits are questionable. Sometimes I skip meals and then other times I eat everything in sight that isn't nailed down all day.
99. I love my kids more than myself. You guys probably already knew that.
100. I can usually write a blog post in 20 min, though they usually aren't very good when I write that fast.
101. I hate when I try to be witty or funny and end up just looking stupid. It happens. A lot.

Ok I feel I have satisfied my obligation as a blogger to spill my 100 facts about me now. Feel free to comment or discuss amongst yourselves.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Quick Funny Story

On our arrival to the UK we had to take a bus from Heathrow Airport to the RAF base that we are stationed at. The bus driver who drove us to the base was English and had a fairly heavy accent. Our friends had met us at the airport and they took the bus back with us. When we got on the bus LaLa did not understand what the driver was saying because she was not accustomed to hearing a British accent. She looked at our buddy, M, and asked him in a most serious tone "Is the driver speaking Spanish?"

Monday, November 24, 2008

Driving in England a.k.a. Roundabouts and Give Ways

I should really preface this entire story by saying, my husband does not deal with change well. He is very set in his ways, gets frustrated easily, and has high expectations of himself. In other words, God forbid something not go according to plan. I am very go with the flow, I like a challenge, and I see most everything as a learning experience and it takes a lot for me to lose my temper. I am not saying that my way is better than his way of learning, but at least I don't punch inanimate objects when I get frustrated. Just sayin'.

We had been here about 5 days when we decided that not having a car was just not an option anymore. Sure we could walk around the base, but in order to get to D's house we had to call her or her husband to come pick us up and frankly it was getting exhausting for all parties involved. I hate having to depend on others, she was getting behind in her everyday activities, and we couldn't fit all members of both families into one car.

Finally on Thursday my husband, the kids and I walked our behinds down the the local base car rental office and paid entirely too much money to rent a shoe on wheels, I mean car. We rented a VW Polo, with an automatic transmission and UK specs. In other words it has its steering wheel on the right hand side of the car.

Now at this point I have been riding with D all over the area for days. I am pretty used to what it feels like in a UK spec'd car. The Man, well he had been at work for most of the week and then on Wed. he was struck down by the 24 hour stomach virus from hell. He was still not up to snuff on Thursday when we went to go rent the car, and had not had much time in a UK spec'd car or riding around learning the rules of the road. So what possessed me to let him be the first one to drive the car is still beyond me. I am not saying it was the worst decision ever made in the history of the earth, but it might be right up there on the list.

So there we are sitting in the parking lot of the rental company, armed with a map of the surrounding area outside of base, a map of the base, and a vague idea of where the base hotel is. We just need to get to the base hotel. Not hard, right? Yeah, that is what I thought. So wrong, so so very wrong. The Man inches out onto the road, left hand side. Good. We head down the road at a turtles pace and I am telling him the directions to get back to the hotel. Everything seems to be going fine.
Me- "Now we need to take the 2nd exit on the roundabout to get onto this road to head back to the hotel"
Him- *confused* "What? Do we need to go left, right or straight?"
By this time we are entering the roundabout and he takes the first exit to the left and we are heading off of the base into the English countryside. Wonderful. Just wonderful.
Him- "Damnit Kat, you didn't tell me which way to go!"
Me- "Ummm yeah I did, you just didn't listen buddy."
Him- "Oh great, now what do we do?"
Me- "Dude, just turn around."
Now we are heading down the road towards one of the towns near base, but I couldn't tell you which one, because the map of the local area...yeah it sucks. I get him to pull over onto a little road so that we can turn around. Then I realize that I have left my ID to get back on base in my purse which is in the trunk of the car...ya know, cause going off base wasn't exactly in the plan. He pulls to the side of the road, I hop out like we are doing a chinese fire drill and grab my purse out of the trunk.
Me-"Ok now go. Remember, pull out onto the LEFT hand side of the road."
Him- "I know that much."
Me- "Alright. I was just reminding you. I mean it isn't like you have had so much experience driving or riding around."
Him- "It doesn't help that the roads are only 3 feet wide."
Me-"They aren't 3 feet wide, it just feels like it."
We head back down the road, me clenching the door handle so tight my knuckles are turning white and praying we don't hit the little curbs on the side of the road and flip the car. Lucky to be alive, we make it back to the base.
Me- "Ok now when we get to the roundabout, just take the first exit. That should take us back towards the room."
On the way back we hit a four way stop intersection*. Now that is something my husband can deal with. This whole looking for cars coming at you, paying attention to turn signals and guessing where the car you are merging in front of is going thing. My husband, I don't know if he is gonna catch onto it really quickly. He has already tried to kill me roughly 4 times since he has been driving.
To quote my husband when we got back to the room a couple days later after yet another near miss at a roundabout where he tried to kill us all. "I love the feeling of almost dying everyday. It really makes you feel alive."
For the record the first time I drove here. It was dark, a Friday night, and I made it there without one near death experience and the kids were screaming and talking the whole way. I am not saying I am a better driver than him, but ya know, I didn't almost kill anyone.

*These are the only stop signs on base. Anywhere you would think there would be stop signs are roundabouts or give ways. Also, give way does not mean stop. It is basically a yield sign.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

In England!



Oh man... how do I squeeze a weeks worth of activity into one post? Well I guess I am just going to have to go in broad terms and then talk about specific events later on in the week. I got to England last Saturday at around ten in the morning. I then forced myself and the family to stay awake until around 10pm. So I had roughly NO sleep in 40 hours. I would have slept on the plane except for the fact that my seat reclined roughly a quarter of an inch and everytime I closed my eyes the air waitresses would start another beverage service. I mean really, how many apple cranberry juices can one person drink during an 8 hour flight? The kids slept pretty well during the flight with KiKi leaning her head on my arm and stretching one way across the seats and LaLa laying against her dad and stretching across the seats in the opposite direction. Heathrow Airport? Oy! That place is a mess. Apparently, in the UK, trash bins are totally optional outside. I have never seen so much litter on the side of the road. My friend, D*, tells me that they have some sort of clean up crew that comes by every so often to pick up the sides of the road, but when people finish a drink or something, they just throw it out of their car windows. This is completely foreign to me because in the States, this would be a huge fine if you got caught by a police officer.


For the record I did not help myself in my no sleep department by consuming a couple of pints of cider that night around a bonfire in my my friend's backyard. Cider is however some yummy stuff. I like the brand Strongbow the best (I had 3 different types to sample from that night thanks to my new English friend, N**.)


By this point I was sick of hotels so we decided to stay the night at my friends house. The next morning we started getting settled into our new hotel room. This room isn't nearly as bad as the room we had at the last base. This hotel room has 2 bedrooms, one with a queen sized bed and the other has two twin beds in it. It also has a fairly large kitchen and living area. It also has a washer and dryer (English sized...that is another post there!) and a dishwasher. The only problem we have had here so far is that the water temp was lukewarm for about 3 days until we got the maintenance men up here to fix it. Now we are getting to shower with hot water again.New room

Thankfully we won't have to stay here for very long because we have already found a house that we want to rent. We are just waiting for the OK from the landlord to have pets. It is a cute little detached house (to Americans that is a single family house), with 4 bedrooms, 1 1/2 bathrooms, and a detached garage that had been turned into a play room by the previous family. The Man is going to use the garage for his "Man Cave", in other words a place for him to go play guitar and be a man. Why do I all of a sudden hear that Home Improvement guy Tim Allen?

My new love is also Cadbury Dairy Milk chocolate bars. Someone will have to try to pry on of these suckers out of my cold dead PMSing hands. Hershey ain't got nothing on Cadbury chocolate. Whitmans, kiss my hiney. Mars...pfft. Cadbury is where it is at. Maybe I should have a contest for a chocolate bar...I need to think about this one.

This week was also marked by the 24 hour stomach virus from hell. First KiKi got a little diarhea and the next thing we know, The Man is laid up in bed for the next day and a half going at both ends, KiKi starts puking her guts up and then D's family all get it. Thankfully Me, LaLa and D were all spared from the virus. D felt a little queasy on Friday, but never actually got sick and I felt a little queasy this morning. When The Man and KiKi were sick I was feverishly Lysoling the bathroom and kitchen repeating the mantra "I will not get sick, I will not get sick, I will not get sick" I think it worked. Mind over matter, right people?

Umm..WTF the steering wheel is on the wrong side.

Anyhoo other than the stomach virus, I think we had a pretty good first week. We found a house, we met some really nice people, went to a birthday party***, got a lot of our inprocessing done, learned to drive a car on a different side of the road****, and got lost in the middle of the countryside with D while we went to pick Elizabeth up from quarantine. Did I mention that we also got a dusting of snow this morning?

*Need to think of a nickname for best friend D
** Don't know enough about new English friend,N, to make a nickname for him yet.
*** For another post
**** see above.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Words of Wisdom from OhCaptain

When I was looking for a guest poster I definitely could not overlook the Midwest Geek, also known as OhCaptain. He is a great father, husband, and a terrific blogger. He also let me in on the genius aspect of the new version of iTunes, which has made my life complete. Please make him feel welcome here at 3 Bedroom Bunglaow!

Howdy! My name is OhCaptain (no it's not, but this is the Internet). Kat asked me to guest post for her while she takes her family across the pond. Wow! What on honor. Thanks for the opportunity!

When I agreed to do this, she gave me a topic and asked if it was OK. What's the topic? (it's in the title...geez)

Travel.

Seemed like a pretty broad topic with lots of room to wiggle. Just my style. As a very experienced know it all husband and father of two, I got to experience the absolute hell joy of traveling by air on a one week vacation this past summer.

I have gone in spurts at work when it comes to traveling. There have been times when I didn't want to unpack because the next trip was right around the corner. Now, I'm on a stretch when I never seem to leave the office.

Here are some helpful hints that I discovered that made our trip a success.

Practice Makes Perfect

I can remember my first business trip by air after 9/11. These new checkpoint rules were confusing and some just seemed really weird.

When we started getting ready for this trip, this experience made me think. What are the kids going to do when we get to the checkpoints? How will they react when we are told to remove our shoes. I'm a grown up and that seemed really weird to me.

With that in mind, me and the Mrs talked about what was going to happen with the kids and even practiced a little bit about going through security. We used a doorway as a metal detector and took off our shoes to walk through.

This really helped, when we got there, we had no surprises and the kids just did everything like we practiced.

Some little things to consider when getting the kids ready for the checkpoints:

  • Have the kids wear slip on shoes. You may not have time for a beginner to tie their shoes.
  • Pack all electronics in one bag and make sure you can unpack and repack them quickly.
  • We packed those Kool-ade to go packets that you add to water bottles. Sure, $3 for water is ridiculous, but what you gonna do. You can't bring through security.
Study Your Itinerary Carefully

I'm a planner. I like to plan for spontaneity. Being prepared when you travel is critical for smooth sailing.

I'm not rich, so traveling direct is not always an option. Layovers happen and it's best to know what to expect.

For our trip, we changed planes both ways. We figured an hour or two might be fun with the kids. We could go exploring some airport and do things we've never done before. As it turns out, that wasn't in the cards for us. In fact, on the trip home from vacation, we had 35 minutes to cross 5 terminals at ATL in Atlanta.

Yikes. Knowing this ahead of time gave us chance to make some plans. We packed extra light carry-ons for the trip home. Nothing extra. In a pinch, Dad (me) could carry almost everything, including the 5 year old, and high tail it across the airport.

You Can't Pack Too Many Crayons

Traveling cross country by air takes time. Granted, in our case, it was much faster then the 3 day drive it would be if we hopped into the minivan, but it still 4 hours of being good sitting in one spot.

In the kids carry-on's we packed:

  • Lots of crayons
  • Coloring books
  • Mp3 Players
  • Leapster/Nintendo DS
  • Extra batteries
  • Books for reading
  • Blankies
  • Something to hug
  • Snacks
  • Notebook
  • Pencils

I was so proud of our kids. It seemed to be the right mix. We did take out a little insurance policy. We bough each one a new game. We gave it to them just before we left and neither knew they were getting it.

***

So, how did our trip go? We had a blast. The kids loved traveling by air and we the parents found it a very relaxing way to go.

I know, not everything is going to always go as planned. Flights can be canceled, luggage can be lost, but if you plan ahead and don't put too much pressure on yourself, you can have some fun.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Tofurkey, Anyone?

Hey everyone! Lets give a warm welcome to the Sassy Mama Lola from Sassy Mama Says...This chick is one of my first readers and a top notch blogger. I give her crap because she is a liberal, she gives it right back to me for being a conservative. It is all fun and games between friends and we can agree to disagree. Isn't that what this world is all about anyway? Having differences and learning to appreciate them and get past them to form friendships? I think that is what is great about this country. Ok off my soapbox! Everyone show Lola some love.

It's that time of year again, and the Great Turkey Debate is in full
swing. My mother volunteered to do Thanksgiving this year, since
we're going to Florida right before the holiday, and I REALLY wanted
to take her up on her generous offer, but...

It will be stressful for me to do it, but I have to. I'm not about to
let my 73-year old mother take on the huge task of cooking and baking
for 12 people. It's way too much work, and she's paid her
Thanksgiving dues already. My sister and brother don't seem to mind
who does it, as long as it's not them, so it will be my job once
again. The aforementioned brother and sister also refuse to go out
for Thanksgiving dinner again, which my mother and I have both
suggested, and they can't seem to contribute anything other than
store-bought pies. I'm not bitter; I'm just used to it.

This has been going on for years, and I end up doing it, along with
every other holiday and special occasion. Since I love to cook and
throw parties, I actually enjoy being the hostess; that is, except for
Thanksgiving day. It used to be one of my favorite days of the year
when I lived at home. I loved to help my mother peel the squash and
apples for the pies and set the table and spend the day with family.
Once we moved into our house, I couldn't wait to host our first turkey
day. I was so excited. I did all the shopping, had the table set and
all the fixins ready to go. I just had to get the turkey in the
oven.

This is when I discovered my hatred of turkey or at least uncooked
turkey. I love me some fully-cooked turkey as long as someone else is
doing the cooking, but that Thanksgiving day when I was pulling the
fresh turkey's internal organs out of its butt, touching the bumps
where the feathers once were and seeing a couple stragglers that they
didn't pluck while I washed its slimy, whitish-pink skin, I was
gagging. I had no idea what my mother had endured all those years. I
was so disgusted that I screamed for my husband to finish the job.

Being such a great guy, he finished cleaning it and got it in the pan
and then the oven. I thought I was safe, but the smell of the flesh
cooking made me sick all day long. When that baby came out of the
oven all brown and pretty, just the way I like it, I couldn't eat a
bite. Since that Thursday in 1994, almost every turkey day has made
me ill. I can't eat it if I clean it or smell it cooking. We went
out to eat one year, deep fried one outside another year, had my
mother cook it at her house, but it was not close to done when she
brought it down. Nothing seems to make it easier.

So, this year, I'm going to change it up. It might be an Italian
Thanksgiving or we might have chicken breasts on the grill or maybe
even tofurkey. I'd rather enjoy the day with my family than stress
over cooking a 20-pound bird and keeping everything else warm. It's
time for some new traditions for this family, and I've just got to
decide what they will be. If my siblings don't like it, they can do
it next year.

I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving, especially you and
yours, Kat! Good luck across the pond, my friend.