Thursday, June 07, 2012

A British Spring

So Spring in the United Kingdom is really just another term for "winter".  Aside from a week long heat wave of 60 F (which was probably the entire British "summer"), it has been in the 40's and 50's this entire spring and I still wear my winter hat most mornings and even some afternoons.  The wind is chilly and we still have the heat on at home most nights.  It's better than unbearable heat, but a bit depressing I must admit.

Aside from feeling constantly chilled to the bone, the spring has been good for us.  Much less hectic than the transition we faced moving here in the Fall.  We are used to long walks, grocery hauls, hanging clothes on a line (inside and out) everyday, and being isolated from most friends.  Fortunately, 2 families we are close to have moved much closer and we have already seen much more of them.  We are ourselves moving in September, just a block away, but a much cheaper and nicer place within a few houses of Claire's best friend Elisabeth.

We recently took a family trip to Perth and visited Scone Palace (said "skoone") which has free roaming Peacocks throughout the garden as well as a star shaped hedge maze.  Claire had her face painted like a pink rabbit at a local arts festival and we enjoyed a family indoor waterpark there, too. 
The Queen's Diamond Jubilee- a celebration of 60 years on the throne- was an interesting cultural experience for us.  We watched a great deal of the London festivities on the TV, had our own Jubilee Tea Party with Claire's friends, and enjoyed having a non-paritsan, 90 year old, frumpy but full of intergrity, Queen as a ruler for a change;) I really do love seeing a woman with so much power (at the head of govt and church!), yet so much humilty, wisdom, and poise all in one.

 Claire will have summer break June 29-Aug 16 or so- a good 6 weeks.  I've got her signed up for gymnastics one week, but otherwise I think she'll be playing outside with friends or helping me chase Autumn around the house.  She loves school, loves her friends (especially little Aimee), and has done well with a number of substitute teachers these past 2 months.  Her amazing teacher, Miss Halkett, has basically disappeared, and it was a last minute notification. 

Autumn is now a toddler. Roams about the house and yard all day and is quite loud- and I am comparing her to other kids her age.  She is beaming with confidence for some reason and loves getting right up into people's faces and babbling at them with excitement.  She is vibrant and maybe even a bit bossy for a 1 year old.  She now signs milk, eat, bath, all done, hi, bye, up and can say mama, dada, tickle-tickle, and I think dog.  Let's just say if she was the toddler in "Honey, I blew up the Kids", St. Andrews would be in for a host of trouble!

Keith is finishing up his first and stress filled year of PhD, but he has survived and has more character and, hopefully, knowledge for it.  He has a lot of German under his belt and soon to be starting French. 

I have finished coaching until Fall, but am on level 3 of some coaching education courses.  I'll probably stop at this level for a bit and look forward to having some new skills and strategies come Fall.  For now, I am actually playing a bit of football (UK that is) with some men's teams at the University.  Talk about a stress reliever after being a stay at home mom all day!  My team, "The Whip Inn" boys are a nice group of lads (mostly PhDers) that have done well holding back any sexism they might feel and letting me join their "six a side". 

Funny things Claire has said lately?
-When wrestling with Keith "Ow, Daddy, you hurt my nuts!".  Apparently something she heard from the infamous Callum at school who also taught her to call it a "willy" and "I'm sexy and I know it"

- Oy oy oy!  (all day long was saying it so much we had to scold her to stop"

-When I was praying with her at bed time, I explained we were going to take a moment to be quiet and listen to what God is saying to us.  She says a few seconds later: "Uh, Mommy?  My brain won't stop speaking"

-At the breakfast table the other morning, she was singing and making up her own lyrics which went something like this "I loooveee you,  I say I dooo, but I reallllly don't....And there are peoppple  rotting in the streets...".  She then preceded to sob when Keith told her he wasn't sure he liked her song. 

-At dinner, "I think Aimee is so cool, she always has stylish clothes"  along with "I love this tatoo I got from Audrey's's so girlie... you know, so Barbie-ish..."  YIKES, did my daughter just say that?  I hate Matel!

And, apparently, Claire was kissed at school by a certain boy who was dared by a certain other boy to kiss her twice on the lips and try to pull her trousers down while in line.  Mommy and Daddy gave her permission to yell AND push if that ever happens again.  I am currently babysitting her pet slug, Mickey Mouse, who is trying to survive in a glass jar with 3 whispy peices of grass.  She insists on keeping him and sobs if we mention releasing him back to the garden. 

Hope you enjoyed the mini update, not much to report as we haven't traveled much or had any visitors.  We are just taking life day by day often fighting exhaustion and cold.  We miss you, KY summer, more than I ever expected I would!