England, England!

Tuesday, November 28, 2006 No comments
We are back from our whirlwind tour of England (or "England, England!" as Chloe says it). We left on Wednesday morning and returned Tuesday evening. We also managed a flight to Glasgow, Scotland on Friday to see Matt's Grandad and to squeeze in side trips to Cambridge, Oxford, Henley-on-Thames, London and most importantly the Tesco's down from Matt's mother's house for some good old English grub you just can't get stateside.

The trip was a nice diversion from the everyday although it did begin with some drama. Apparently, Lizzie, our English Setter got kennel cough, even though she has been vaccinated, from the kennel where we boarded her when we went to Boston. The kennel wouldn't reboard her since she could spread kennel cough to the other dogs. This is rather funny since they let someone else's sick dog board and infect our dog. But, after some worrying and searching someone/somewhere to board Lizzie, our new vet stepped in and boarded Lizzie for us. I had gotten myself all worked up about this, but it was a stressful situation having a sick dog hacking all over the house and the prospect of one of us staying behind to take care of her. It just proved how nice it was to have family so nearby when we lived in Texas. But, luckily it all worked out and we are happy to report that Lizzie is back with us and doing much better (her cough is gone).

Everyone has asked how Chloe handled the time change. She did rather well. Sleep wasn't the issue with Chloe on this trip. Chloe has developed an independent streak and has now refused to ride in her stroller, instead acting like she is being beaten and tortured when you place her in it. Having Chloe walk through the small, crowded High Streets in England wasn't going to cut it so she had to go in the stroller with some coaxing (a.k.a. bribery). Chloe has a new fetish for pockets and loves anything with pockets in it. So, if she rode in her stroller and didn't scream we bought her a sweatshirt at the end of the day. Chloe made away with 3 sweatshirts and one baseball cap. She got sweatshirts from Cambridge & Oxford Universities and Harrod's.

Even though our trip was short in length, we enjoyed our vacation and visiting with Matt's mum and his grandfather. England holds many memories and connections for Matt but it also holds many happy times for us as a couple as we lived there for nearly 4 months. Sharing our favorite places with our daughter was great (even if she was asleep or screaming).

We are going to have to save our money for Chloe to attend Cambridge as she keeps demanding that she wear her Cambridge sweatshirt. When we ask her if she prefers Cambridge or Oxford, she replies, "Cambridge!", much to our dislike (we would prefer Oxford). It must be the independent streak. It is true in fact that she did scream the entire time we were at Oxford and was quite happy at Cambridge. We took some photos at King's College, Cambridge and after we were leaving Chloe yelled, "I want to run!!!" and ran around the interior courtyard. Now, for those of you who have watched Chariots of Fire you probably get why we would be amused by this. For those of you who don't get it, you need to rent the movie.


IMG_1068, originally uploaded by pookie2shoes.

Matt and Chloe pose in front of the River Cam where a punt (boat) is going by. We were pre-enrolling Chloe for classes at Cambridge.


IMG_1070, originally uploaded by pookie2shoes.

Matt and Chloe pose by the river in one of our favorite towns, Henley-on-Thames. Matt worked in this town when we lived in England in 1997-98. It is a great town and holds lots of good memories for us. Of course Chloe is sporting a England baseball cap and an Oxford sweatshirt she scored during the days trip.


IMG_1074, originally uploaded by pookie2shoes.

This is us, the family, at Trafalgar Square.


IMG_1076, originally uploaded by pookie2shoes.

Since Chloe slept through most of the day in London we thought we would have a little photo fun with her in the phone booth.


IMG_1084, originally uploaded by pookie2shoes.

Chloe feeding Matt with her chopsticks at Wong Kei. We have visited Wong Kei every time we have come to London. It is a favorite restaurant in London's Chinatown.

Wong Kei

IMG_1085, originally uploaded by pookie2shoes.

Chloe enjoying her noodles with a spoon.

Big Ben

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The family at Big Ben.


IMG_1094, originally uploaded by pookie2shoes.

Chloe, awake, and sitting with a large teddy bear in Harrod's as we searched for a sweatshirt with the Union Jack on it.

Happy Thanksgiving

Tuesday, November 21, 2006 No comments

We had our Thanksgiving meal on Sunday and I cooked. I thought I might post some photos since it is rather unbelievable. It was like a Thanksgiving in Dallas...the Cowboys were playing (and they won!).

What Doin'?

Wednesday, November 15, 2006 No comments
I've been meeting with different alarm companies lately about our house. Each time I have asked them about alarming Chloe's room, they laugh. I'm not kidding though! This child needs constant monitoring and now that she is in a big girl bed she needs even more monitoring! I'm thinking motion detectors, a trip wire around her bed and on her door. Hey, it wouldn't be 24/7, only during her naptime (a.k.a. "mommy's sanity check time").

Chloe loves her big girl bed, but she has just discovered that she can get out of the big girl bed and open her door and get out! What fun! Yesterday, she escaped once and then on her 2nd attempt couldn't get the door open because it sticks. That led to screams of "Mommy, open this door!". So, we ran errands and a very tired Chloe slept in the car, where she was firmly strapped into her car seat and could not escape.

Today, our dog, Lizzie, has had a cough and we had to take her to the vet. Chloe was very excited to take Lizzie in the car to see "Lizzie's doctor". Chloe was even doing an impression of Lizzie's cough for our veterinarian. It was a high pitched-squeal of a cough. It sounded absolutely nothing like the raspy, hack that Lizzie has been wandering around our house doing for the past day. But, it was cute. From the moment we walked into the vet, Chloe demanded a cookie. After I repeatedly told her that I had no cookies, she settled on demanding a lolli-pop, which I didn't have either. So, most of the time in the examination room Chloe was saying, "Mommy, Mommy, I want a lollipop!" and me saying, "Mommy doesn't have a lollipop. You'll have to wait until we get home." It went on like this during the entire examination. The only change in Chloe's dialogue was to tell the doctor that Lizzie's name is "Banjo" (where this came from I will never know) and she has a fish named "Bingo" and, of course, her impersonation of Lizzie's cough.

After the diagnosis that Lizzie has a mild case of kennel cough and learning that the vaccination for kennel cough doesn't prevent it entirely, the car ride home was about getting a lollipop. When we finally arrived home Chloe got her much anticipated lollipop. The quiet lasted just long enough for me to give Lizzie her medicine before Chloe threw her lollipop at me and told me she wanted "gung" (gum) which I had made the mistake of putting in my mouth. I spit my gum out in the trash and told her I didn't have any more. She then threw a tantrum and decided she wanted her lollipop back which was stuck to my laptop. I then began to prepare lunch. Chloe took two bites, held up a potato and asked what it was and then threw it to the floor. She then picked up another bit of potato to squish it in her hands and then began drawing circles with it on her tray and smashing peas into the circle. Lunch time was over when Chloe put her entire fist in her bowl and yelled, "Chloe make a mess, NO! NO!". Chloe and I read a few stories before I laid her in her big girl bed for a nap. All was quiet for an hour until...I heard what sounded like the moving of furniture upstairs. I went up the stairs to find Chloe's bedroom light on and Chloe trying to move her rocking chair to get closer to the bookshelf. When I opened her bedroom door, I was greeted with, "Mommy! I made a mess with books!". Yes you did Chloe. To commemorate this moment, I ran downstairs to get the camera and met Chloe coming down the stairs. I snapped a photo of her room and was greeted again by Chloe who managed to open a drawer in the kitchen and find 2 fortune cookies. Chloe informed me she brought me a cookie and she wanted a cookie too. She sat on the stairs attempting to open the cookie. I opened the fortune cookie and she ate it. After finishing her cookie she told me she wanted to eat Mommy's fortune cookie now. Afterwards, Chloe came down to the basement with me so I could finish folding laundry. This inspired her to strip off her pull-up and put on Mommy's panties. It was quite a sight. As I type this, she is making her best effort to keep my underwear on and demanding more cookies and to type. So, I must sign off and go play with playdough. I will attempt to post some photos soon.
Friday, November 10, 2006 No comments

Chloe and her new big girl bed. Posted by Picasa

Could my mother have a shopping problem too? Chloe hit the jackpot when BeBe sent her 4 new outfits and a new ladybug blanket. Posted by Picasa

Smiling in a new outfit from BeBe. Posted by Picasa


Monday, November 06, 2006 No comments
Matt, Chloe and I took a weekend away and went to Boston to see Matt's brother, Rob, who was in Boston on business. Rob's wife and our sister-in-law, Ashley, also came up for the weekend.

It was good to get away and see some family. The weather wasn't the best, but it was an enjoyable weekend. Boston is a great town and the history is fabulous. Chloe didn't think much of the Freedom Trail walking tour as she slept through most of it. Chloe's favorite event of the weekend was getting her present from Uncle Rob & Aunt Ashley. She received a dress-up ensemble of a leotard, tights, tutu skirt, crown and ballet slippers. She also received a CD of the alphabet. She loves all the presents.

I posted some photos of the weekend below.

Matt reading and watching Chloe while the rest of us enjoy the Freedom Trail in Boston. Posted by Picasa

Chloe adding a few extra accessories (the socks) to her dress-up outfit given to her by Aunt Ashley & Uncle Rob. Posted by Picasa

Shannon & a sleeping Chloe at the site of the Boston Massacre in Boston. Posted by Picasa

Chloe meets a lobster at Legal Seafoods. Posted by Picasa

Sleeping beauty. Posted by Picasa

The day after...

Wednesday, November 01, 2006 No comments
I couldn't wait for this Halloween. I thought what fun it would be! Last year, Chloe was just beginning to walk and we had to hunch over and hold her fingers to help her balance as she walked. I don't think I could stand up straight for 3 days after Halloween.

This year, Chloe knew she had a Kangaroo Halloween costume and she rehearsed knocking on the doors saying, "Trick or Treat!" and "Happy Halloween!". She kept looking out the door for Daddy all afternoon. I couldn't wait for the festivities to begin.

Here's the rundown of our Halloween:

8:30 a.m. the wood-floor refinishers arrive to finish our upstairs wood floors. Chloe throws a massive tantrum because she wants to "Go upstairs and see what doin'."

9 a.m. Coax Chloe away from the bottom of the stairs and into her Kangaroo costume. Load the car with Halloween cupcakes, juice boxes, treat bags, plates and napkins as I am designated mom to bring goodies for pre-school Halloween party.

9:25 a.m. Finally find parking space at Chloe's pre-school after driving around the building & several blocks searching for a parking space for 15 minutes. (The older pre-schoolers were having a Halloween parade and the parents came to watch).

9:26 a.m. Wait to enter the building as all the parents file out of the building into the cars as the Halloween parade is over.

9:28 a.m. Watch as the other parents of Chloe's pre-school class get front row parking now that the lot has cleared and Chloe and I have trekked two blocks carrying goodies.

9:30-11 a.m. Mommy & Me pre-school party. I become panic-stricken as I am told that houses in our village average 100+ trick or treaters and the festivities begin at 4 p.m. and go until 10 p.m.! Begin to hope that the 80 trick or treat goody bags will suffice (Don't want to be the house that runs out of candy.).

11:15 a.m. Arrive back home for another Chloe tantrum as the men are still working on our floors and Chloe wants to inspect.

11:30-1:45 a.m. Chloe goes to the playroom where she tells me she is "tired" and crashes on the sofa for a 2+ hour nap.

1:45 a.m. Eat

2 p.m. Another Chloe tantrum as she stands at the bottom of the stairs yelling, "I wanna see!"

2:15 p.m. Chloe finds the digital camera, drops it and breaks the lens. It's dead.

2:45 p.m. After attempting to fix the camera for 30 minutes, I rule it a gonner. Call Matt who tells me to get another camera to take Halloween pics. In a panic I get on the Best Buy site and order a new digital camera for immediate pick-up.

3:30 p.m. Door-bell rings...panic. It's my neighbor who has "ghosted" us with a treat bag.

3:45 p.m. Wood floor refinishers pack up as they have completed the job.

3:50 p.m. Rush to Best Buy to pick up camera.

4:05 p.m. Arrive back home to find children out already trick or treating.

4:10 p.m. Put batteries in new camera just as doorbell rings...panic. Go to door to find it is the dry cleaners here pick up our dry cleaning.

4:15 p.m. Door bell rings. Our first trick or treaters! It is a quick snatch and run as the parents look quizzically into our furniture-riddled downstairs (have they not managed to move in in 6 months? No, our upstairs floors are being refinished and our bedroom furniture is in the living room) and Chloe throws another tantrum because she a) wants to go with "baby" (that would be the 6 year old out trick or treating and b) thinks I am giving her candy away

4:30 p.m. Take Chloe outside for some photos in the front of the house. Put lights in the pumpkin people.

4:45 p.m. Another tantrum by Chloe who is upset I am giving her candy away to random "babies"

5:00 p.m. Make desperate call to Matt to see if he is almost home. After Chloe has two tantrums and the dog is running around the house barking and howling I thought I might lose my sanity.

5:30 p.m. Matt arrives home much to Chloe's excitement. She puts on her kangaroo outfit and we head out the door to trick or treat.

6:00 p.m. After a few houses Chloe meets up with her fellow pal Nate and we have kisses and cuddles.

6:30 p.m. Arrive home for dinner. Chloe informs us that she wants candy to eat. She manages a few bites of dinner before telling us that she wants "Kittles" (aka Skittles).

6:45 p.m. Chloe declares, "I love candy!".

7:00 p.m. Trick or treaters arrive in one large group.

7:15 p.m. Another trick or treater arrives. Chloe snatches the treat bag we gave the trick or treater out of their pumpkin to declare "my candy!".

7:16 p.m. "Open this candy!" demands Chloe, but much to her disappointment and tantrum, she does not get more candy.

7:18 p.m. Try to take Chloe's mind off the candy by playing with a Halloween toy.

7:20 p.m. Another tantrum as our ploy to divert attention away from candy fails.

7:25 p.m. Dress Chloe for bed and brush her teeth.

7:30 p.m. Another trick or treater arrives.

7:45 p.m. Tuck Chloe in bed on the air mattress in our basement as our bedrooms are not back in order because of our wood floors being refinished.

7:45 - 9:45 p.m. Watch tv with no trick or treater activity.

9:45 p.m. A boy, way to old to be dressed in costume, is our last trick or treater.

11:30 p.m. Head to bed, disgusted that I made 80 treat bags and only had 22 trick or treaters. Does candy save for a year?

11:32 p.m. Arrive in the basement to find Chloe has moved herself from the air mattress to the couch. She curls up with Daddy for the night.

4:46 a.m. Awaken to Chloe in my face saying, "You all done Mommy? Chloe all done. All done sleep! Read to you?! Get up Mommy!" I did attempt to get her back to sleep, but she wasn't having it. Apparently Chloe has a delayed sugar rush as she was wired all morning. She nearly wore out her gymnastics instructor prompting her to ask, "What's got into her? Too much candy last night?".

10:12 a.m. It was crash and burn for Chloe who came to an abrupt and screeching halt the last 10 minutes of gymnastics. As soon as we got into the car, she was out and not to be awoken until 12:45 p.m.