Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Time to get Excited!

Two postings in 1 day! Sorry about that but I just came down to check my e-mail and my friend JT had sent me a short movie about the Buckeyes and I just had to share it and then got even more excited about the team.

Quick synopsis for English family & friends - At The Ohio State University all of their sports teams are called "Buckeyes" because the state tree is the Buckeye. A Buckeye is a "conker". It's called a buckeye because they say the conker nut looks like a dear's (buck's) eye. Bloody hell this is getting complicated. Anyhoo..... Craig and I LOVE the Buckeye football team BUT...

For those of you that don't know, the OSU Stadium field (pitch) has gone synthetic (like Astroturf) so I've been in mourning for several months and it's been really hard to feel good about the Buckeyes because of it. These videos (thanks JT) have helped a lot to make me feel a bit excited about the new season and our new team.

The first video is a basement DIY project for someone who wanted to turn their basement into the "Shoe" (Ohio State college football stadium). The stadium is 3rd in the USA for size and seats 105,000 and it's hallowed turf, oh sorry, plastic.

You know, it's a mental thing that these people have done but something I see myself doing in about 10 years :-)



The second video is a summary of 2006 when we were number 1 and favourites to win the National Championship but got beaten BADLY by Florida. Awwww, I still hurt, it's painful. It's nice to see Teddy Ginn's touchdown again and Troy with the Heisman & this video has given me Buckeye fever but still WHY WHY WHY? Ohhh, I don't think I'll ever get over it.


GO BUCKS!

Kitchen is DONE!

It's taken us 5 months and lots of grafting but the kitchen is finally done - hurrah! The renovation includes a new laminate floor, granite countertops & backsplash, new granite sink & faucet, re-stained cabinets with new hardware and new ceramic tile walls.

At some point we need to add 2 ceiling fans with lights (I think I prefer those to recessed lighting as I always burn food and it's nice to have air movement) and we need to buy furniture so we can actually sit in there and eat.

Also, Craig would love a 20" flat-screen tv on one of the walls. So I guess we aren't really "done" after all. But then DIY projects are never done are they?

Here's the "before" and "after" shots. If any of you prefer the "before", please don't tell us!




Monday, June 25, 2007

Lovely Weekend

  • Friday night Dot & Harry bought us a gazebo for the garden (pictures later) and we ended up sat in it till about 1am. It was so nice to enjoy the garden & not to be eaten alive by mosquitoes!
  • Saturday we did some yard sales - I got a great kitchen set for Jack (no stereotyping with our boy) and Dot bought him his first small chair. Later on we went to Jack's friend Hannah's 2nd birthday party. At night we watched Ricky Hatton's boxing match and were estatic that he won. The hope is that he'll get to fight Mayweather. We might have to re-mortgage the house to get tickets for that one!
  • Sunday we headed up to Indian Lake to see Char & Jan....

Here's their cabin - set back on its own on Pony Island.

Char (R) & Jan (L)
Craig and his mum and dad fishing. Harry caught a sun fish. Craig's got away ;-)

Covering the stroller with a bug net was fruitless once Jack learned he could play peek-a-boo!

I saw my first swans in the USA last week and now the place in inundated with them! The lake is a wonderful wildlife reserve, with turtles, muskrats, beavers, herons, water snakes, red-wing blackbirds, kingfishers, hawks, vultures and ducks galore. Oh, and a lot of chipmunks and racoons that try their best to outsmart Char & Jan.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Jack's Getting Adventurous

I know everyone says it goes quick but it seems like Jack changes every day. Just this week he's come along leaps and bounds - saying new words like "Hiya" (English word for "hello"), "sit" and "bye-bye" He's also doing new things like climbing, doing pull-ups, and wanting to hold your hand & walk everywhere rather than crawl.

He's getting very adventurous and is constantly bumping his head and climbing on things and falling. My heart is in my mouth the whole time. While he will be clingy if there are strange people around, his goal in life right now is to explore and wriggle out of my arms to go & play.

So, with all this independence we are always made-up when he wants to interact with us - particularly if he wants to hug. He just started doing this last Saturday - leaning his head in towards you and reaching out his arms for a cuddle. It make my heart MELT so I just had to take a small video of him with his dad last night...

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Craig's First Fathers Day

This morning Jack gave Craig his Fathers Day card and said "dada" as he gave it to him - talk about a heart-melting moment! Next, we all piled into the car and went to Nelsonville to ride on the Hocking Hills Scenic Railway
Here's some pictures of our day out...

Three generations - Harry, Craig & Jack.

Harry & Dot at the Nelsonville train station. It is on the list of "National Historic Places". The railway used to go to the ports in Cleveland so the area was very prosperus in the 1800- early 1900's. It's a tourist train now, run by local volunteers.

It was SO hot today. I think close to 100 degrees F in Nelsonville. Also, the humidity was unbearable. Getting on the train was great - finally a little breeze!

We sat in one of the open carriages. If I go again I'd sit in the first one. We were in the second carriage and couldn't hear a thing from the tourist guide in the first. He was talking about local native American history and landmarks and all sorts. I wish we could have heard it.

If you look close enough you can see a swan in flight in the middle of the picture. The first swan I've seen in the USA!

Local historic houses - particularly the round house which is still lived in. Most of the communities we saw though were very poor. This area of Ohio always suprises me in that there are still people without electricity and water to their houses.

As part of the trip, the train stops at Robbins Crossing which is a pioneer village. There are people there that re-enact life in the 19th Century. There was also a guy from a local animal place that has this HUGE snake - an albino python. Jack actually knelt down and stroked it. I thought Craig was going to have a heart attack!

What a cool dude - wearing his dad's sunglasses! He didn't get to sleep all day but was such a little trooper and never fussed or cried, just enjoyed the day.

I want to say that Craig is a fabulous dad - he's so gentle with Jack but is also going to be the "fun" parent. He can make Jack belly-laugh and I love to see them walking around, Jack on his shoulders. For those of you that don't know too much about my wonderful husband here's a few titbits (American = tidbits):
  • He used to skydive and has done about 700 jumps. He was in a 4-way team that won bronze at a national championship in England and he was a cameraman both in England and Ohio. Oh, and he once jumped and BOTH his chutes didn't work. Now there's a story!
  • He scuba dives and also goes white-water rafting every year with his mates
  • He loves fishing, shooting, & boating. Mmm, deal was I got a baby & he got a boat but having the baby made us so skint we can't buy the boat..
  • He's a GREAT cook
  • He's the funniest and most intelligent person I know. I'm lucky and I love him.
Last but not least, our lad is on the verge of walking! I think he'll do it in the next week or so - right on target at 1 year old. Here's a little video of him stretching his lovely legs ...

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Who are the Crazy People in their Slippers?

At 9am on Monday, Dot & Harry took their cup of morning tea and Cody and sat in the garden then tried to get back in the house and realized they were locked out. They had no key, phone numbers, or food!

After a while Dot thought to walk over to the school next to the house but Cody kept following her. He had no collar on so she had to tie the cat tie-out around him and take him with her. I can just see the teacher's faces now - seeing a crazy lady coming into the school in her pink fluffy slippers with a dog on a string! They were kind enough to give her some water and a cake. Our mailman also offered to get them food which was kind of him.

They sat out there in the the hot sun for 8 hours till we got home. Poor Harry even had to "go" in the garden! It wasn't funny at the time but it is now. So, a big lesson learned here - give neighbours spare keys and our phone numbers!

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Visit from Nan & Grandad

Craig's mum, Dot, and dad, Harry, got here last night on a visit from England. Meeting them at the airport was emotional as they haven't seen Jack since he was 3 months old. We were worried he was going to cry but he didn't. We had been showing him their picture for a few weeks so he knew who they were. By today, he's more than comfortable and playing with them.

They bought him a ton of presents. Craig and I had a bet before they came. I said 12, Craig said 20 and nearest one won. Craig won! I'll post some pix later of some of the cool presents - including a set of English coins they had mounted from the year he was born. Fun stuff too - like swimming floaties, stacking rings and a xylophone. AND lots of clothes. He's currently asleep in his new Beatrix Potter PJs and they got him an official England strip - how cute!


Today was Harry's birthday. We took him for breakfast then on to Wally Mart for some portrait pictures with him, Craig and Jack. Guess how much $ it was for one 13x11, one 8x10, five 4x6, 10 keyring and 24 wallet shots????? $2.88 NOT kidding! We are still shocked about it and half expect the pictures to come back with all heads chopped off and blurry. Will keep you posted.


Tonight we went to Johnny Rockets American Diner, which is their favourite place to eat.

They are here for 4 weeks and already they've had a great time with Jack. They have already taught him to wave "bye bye" - just today - so he'll be a child genius by the time they go home. They teach him songs and nursery rhymes and play stuff - stuff I can't even remember! Today Dot did the "all around the garden, like a teddy bear, one step, two step, tickly under there". It might be an English thing? Anyway, I had better start learning them again!

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Jack goes Bananas!

As I said in a previous posting, Jack can now say "mama", "dada" and "banana" - not "nana" but actually "banana". It sounds like I'm exaggerating so just to prove it, I took a short film of him this morning and towards the end he says it clearly. Also, check out his 4 teeth!

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Countdown to First Birthday

Jack's 11 months old today! He's on the verge of walking, has 4 teeth, can say "mama", "dada" and "banana" (favorite food), and can clap his hands & do "high-5" with you. He helped us out today as you can see. Our friend Rhonda's mum was getting rid of bricks so she gave them to us. We loaded up 4 vehicles as there was a couple of hundered of them but it's great - we can now build a patio in the fall. We also got to spend some time with Debbie & Lynn who helped us - they are going on an Alaskan cruise this weekend, lucky devils. They are flying through Canada so worried as Lynn doesn't have her passport yet as the passport office is really behind. Since they brought the law in that says Americans need passports for Canada and Mexico, Lynn said 16 million Americans have ordered them. Yikes! We need to get Jack one asap for our trip to England!

As you can see, Jack still doesn't wear shoes. I probably should start making him wear them but it's so nice to be barefoot in summer! I'll get serious about it when he's walking.


On Friday we found a group of baby rabbits at work - here's one of the little rascals. Ed had nearly mowed over them but saw them just in time. I'm excited about working this summer as I'll be outside more and our good friend, Matt, just got a job running the research facility, so I'll hopefully get to see him & his wife Gina a lot more.

Well, just a few more days now till Craig's mum and dad get here. They are SOOOO excited about seeing Jack. I think they've had their bags packed for a month!

Friday, June 01, 2007

It's true - I have no idea!

Before I had Jack I talked to my sister Jen and friend Sue about raising a child and how on earth you know what to do and they said - "you don't! You make it up as you go". Well, I'm a very organised person that likes things done yesterday and sorted out, so not knowing how to fix things bothers me.

Up till now, I've had a dream ride with Jack - no morning sickness, great delivery, laid-back baby, no illnesses. I mean Jack is a superstar as far as babies go - no trouble at all. So, on Wednesday our friend Thomas was round for a visit and all of a sudden Jack started whining and crying for me. He climbed up on to me and clung on and just laid there - usually he pulls away from me and wants to go off on adventures. This went on for a couple of hours of him just wanting his mum and feeling sorry for himself. He also had a low grade temp - anywhere from 99-101. He was, however still eating okay. Since then he's been really upset - waking every couple of hours crying, not napping, and sometimes so lethargic that we got scared. Docs say the usual - check his temp and eating habits. We've both been flumoxed - he's unwell but okay, so what could it be?

Watching him more closely we've seen him pulling down on his jaw and he's drooling like a big slobbery dog - so it has to be teething! He's got 2 down and 2 above right now but more must be coming in. Poor little love must be in pain. We're rubbing his gums with Oragel and giving him a little Tylenol and giving him lots of things to do to keep his mind off it.

This is such a learning curve. We were so upset on Wednesday we very nearly took him to the ER. Imagine how stupid we'd have felt when they said he was just teething!

He's the Reason We Can't Have Nice Things

I say this line a lot to Craig - When the cats barf on the bed "We can never have nice things" When Ben poos on the basement car...