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Is it really Christmas already?

Monday, December 19, 2011

Christmas Parade in Madison

With everything that’s been going on in the last few weeks, my Mom visiting, Paul’s trip back to London, thanksgiving and now Christmas is here already, I really have not been blogging… And I’ve felt so bad, it has made me realize how important these daily rants have become in my life!

 

So here’s a brief recap on the last few weeks, my Mom arrived, yay… I was late to the airport picking her up, I took a wrong turn and ended up on my way to New York, my poor Mom was standing with her luggage and a coffee looking lost when I arrived!

 

Thanksgiving came and went, it was a quiet day with food, food and more food… Followed by the Christmas parade in Madison on Black Friday and brand new Blue UGG boots for Mabel from Suburban shoes!

 

Paul went to London on the Sunday and we had a restful week… Well as restful as a week can be with 6 children a baby and absolutely no sleep!  Florence decided no more sleeping nicely in her own bed, she started waking all night so I decided it was time to put her into her crib and let her cry it out… Well after 3 weeks of listening to her cry I gave up… This little girl was not giving up and this very tired Mommy could take it no more, so back into her rocker and my bed she went… I know, it’s not good but I needed some sleep!  I am getting ready to try again as I can’t co-sleep again for 5 years, so we will see how it goes over Christmas!

 

Paul arrived home after a flying visit to England, my Mom and I lunched and coffee’d ( if that’s even a word) every day… We went to Homers, the Olive Garden, the Chatterbox and so on, on the Friday before she flew home we went into Rockaway Mall for some Christmas shopping for her to take back… Family and friend gifts! We shopped so much we had to pay for an extra case to fit it all into, still all of my presents are back now for everyone!

 

Saturday, the day my mom flew home we went into Madison for the soccer award presentation then we had a pizza party in Romanelli’s, it was then time to head to the airport for a very tearful farewell, oh how I hate that part of living over here so much!

 

Sunday we had friends over for dinner… I rushed around cleaning and tidying then headed into Newton for art stuff, I had promised Mabel, her and Morgan could paint all afternoon… All in all the afternoon/evening was calm and relaxing… Great company with great friends!

 

Paul had last week off from work, so he did some chores around the house and we tried to get some Christmas shopping done for our own children… We have ummmed and argh’d about buying Blu and Mabel iPads this year, but finally we decided with the new ones due out in march we did not want to spend the money, when we could get ipad 3 very soon… So with this in mind, Blu wanted xbox stuff and Mabel, surprise, surprise, she wanted clothes… This worked out well because Abercrombie started 40% off the whole store this week!  It gets harder as your children get older to know what to get them, Farrel had his new iPhone for his joint birthday and Christmas present, so he was done apart from some stocking stuffers, then it was/is what to get for three boys in their 20’s who are working and buy throughout the year for themselves… The obvious for Dom was a car, but really that isn’t happening… So what do you get them?

 

So that was the last month in a nutshell, as they say… Not the most exciting 4 weeks but definitely the most tiring weeks I’ve had for a while… Florence has definitely changed the dynamics of our family now, we all absolutely adore her, but I just wish she would sleep more independantly… Still as Paul says this time will be gone before we know it and we should make the most of each precious moment… She was 7 months old yesterday… Where has that time gone to?

 
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Thanksgiving… The Windle way!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Today is Thanksgiving, and I have lots of things to be thankful for, although after not a lot of sleep all week my brain is having trouble processing anything I am thankful for, so I am just going to say that I’m sure you all know the things I’m the most thankful for and leave it at that!

 

Back to the no sleep issue, Florrie turned 6 months old last week and with that has bought with it no sleep, for some unknown reason she has decided she does not like being put down even when she is in a very deep sleep, she knows she has been put into her own bed and then she wakes up and cries and cries and cries… Help, I am soooooo tired!  Also being 6 months old meant that it was time to introduce solid food, so last Sunday she had her first bowl of baby organic rice, she was not a huge fan, so after 3 days of the rice yesterday we switched to organic bananas, she seemed to not like this one either, but we’ll see how it goes in two more days time!

 

Monday was Mabel’s parent teacher conference day, after almost not making it to the school at all, as I had to drop Dom at the station 20 minutes away, I arrive 5 minutes late, but that’s ok because Mrs B is running 15 minutes late… After waiting around for 10 minutes I go into Mabel’s classroom and it is well worth the wait she is a star student, she has 95% and 98% in science and Math, she is a mature, conciencious member of her class well liked by both her teachers and friends… Yay, way to go Mabel D!

 

Basically the rest of my week has been spent preparing for thanksgiving, I spent tuesday in Trader Joes and Costco, both of them were not so busy, then after thinking I had everything and that Lewis was getting breakfast organized, I had to go to Stop and Shop yesterday as Lewis handed me the money to buy the breakfast items so he can then cook them… He is only doing half the job!

nibbles from Costco
Farrel’s apple crumble

 

What’s for Thanksgiving dinner in your house?

For breakfast we have :

Belgian waffles, whipped cream and fresh strawberries!

Eggs, sausages, bacon, beans, fresh bread and warm biscuits

Bagels, cream cheese and smoked salmon

Mabel is making her speciality milkshakes topped with whipped cream and chocolate shavings!

 

For dinner we have:

Turkey, apple smoked Ham, stuffing, mashed potatoes a selection of veggies and maybe Yorkshire puddings… Jamie Oliver style!

 

For desert Farrel is making an apple crumble or crisp if you are American, we had a vote as he wanted to make pumpkin pie, my personal favorite but it did not get many votes, so apple crumble it is! We also have a selection of mini deserts from Costco!

 

If we make it through all this food, I’ll be back for another blog soon… Wish us luck!

Happy Thanksgiving… Have a great Turkey Day!

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Flight Champions… once again!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

so the weekend is over and oh so fast it seemed…

 

What we did this weekend… It was our last weekend of Fall soccer, I always have very mixed feelings about the end of a soccer season, yay our weekends are ours again, and believe me we have a list of house chores to get done this winter, so more time at the weekend is a definite plus, but I always have a tinge of sadness as the soccer ends, these teams of boys and girls have formed a real bond maybe they have made some great friendships, the parents have a good excuse to socialize and win or lose the children learn a valuable life lesson about being in a team and  working together… So with that in mind, I had a very emotional time this weekend.

 

Saturday was yet another full day of soccer, we had to be in Madison for 10am, Mabel’s practice had been moved forward as they had a game in the evening… Once again we arrived late… Really who wants to be out so early on a Saturday… Anyway, try as hard as I can, but Blu and Mabel are just not very organized and they are always running round looking for something at the last minute.  This week was no different from any other, shirts, socks, under armor, you name it and they were trying to find it as we walked out the door!

 

Practice over we headed to Florham Park, me to Trader Joes… Gotta love Trader Joes, and Paul to Citibank, then all of us for lunch in Nonna’s before we headed eastward to Clifton for Paul’s final soccer game of the Fall!  What an exciting game it was too, both teams were very determined to win and be crowned flight champions, I took my camera but I was so hooked on watching the game I hardly took any photos… Not like me at all!  After being down 2 goals we came up to win the game 2-4 and be Flight 3 champions… Yay, way to go Madison Predators!

 

Paul then took Mabel to her 6pm game in Summit and I headed home to pick Dominic up from work and then get the dinner started… Jamie Oliver cheddar and Ale fondue!

 

Sunday started off more restful then ended up the same as every other game day… Rush, rush, rush to get to the field on time… This time all our rushing paid off we were one of the first to arrive from our team… Mabel and Paul ran down to the field whilst my mum, Florrie  and I took a quick trip to Starbucks… I’ve been trying to get into Starbucks for their BOGO On holiday drinks for the last couple of days with no success, today was the last day and I was going to get my free holiday drink, that was for sure!  Coffee in hand we watched a very exciting Madison Bullets game, very quickly we were 2-0 down… Noooooo, then magic Mabel scored two goals and it was a tie… Then in the second half we got two more goals… Yay Bullets… We won 4-2… A nice end to the fall season!  All this excitement was followed by an end of season pizza party for Mabel and her family were included… Paul was happy lots of beer and Mabel was very happy lots of pizza and cake!  A good time was had by all!

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My Mum is back… Yay!

Friday, November 18, 2011

So it’s Friday already and this weeks blogging has been a complete washout… Each time I have planned to sit down with my iPad and write, things have not gone to plan!  On Wednesday I had taken my iPad with me, thinking at the airport whilst I waited for my mum to come through I would sit and write… Oh no that did not happen, instead after lunching in Madison with a friend, I had left later than I had planned, but that was ok I was still on schedule to get their on time, then I took a wrong turn at the airport and ended up heading out of the airport and on my way into New York… Panic started to set in until I then remembered my GPS, so I pulled over right near the plane hangers and calmed down!  Once parked and actually in arrivals at terminal B, I found my poor mum waiting with her suitcases and a nice hot cup of

coffee… But of course that meant I was not going to be sitting waiting for her and writing this blog!

 

A very quick recap of my week if I can remember as my short term memory is so bad, well my long term memory is not that great either, but that’s another story!  Sunday was yet another soccer day, Paul was in Madison for Blu’s game… That did not go well they suffered their first defeat of the fall season, and with only one more game standing between them and being top of the flight Paul was not happy!  Mabel, Florrie and I were about an hours drive away in Washington, New Jersey… We had been to this field before for Farrel and Blu it was a nice area and I could stay in the car and watch the game whilst Florrie slept, so that worked out well, but unfortunately the game did not work out so well for the Madison Bullets, they lost and Mabel was not very happy!

 

Monday and Tuesday were very lazy days for me, I wanted to catch up with organizing and sharing my photos, I was so far behind with them, something I don’t like to be… My photos are a passion for me and I like them on my computer, organized, backed up and shared as I take them usually… But with Florence that is not always possible, so for two whole days I tried to catch up, any of you out there that take your camera everywhere as I do, will realize what a time consuming passion this can be, after two whole days of sorting them out I am still not finished!

 

Wednesday was the day my mum was coming back… Yay, but first I had a play date with a friend I hadn’t seen since Florrie was born… What a lovely morning/lunch date we had… We had so much to catch up on we just chatted away the hours whilst Florrie watched in bemusement I think!  Yesterday was another coffee morning with friends again that I had not seen since Florrie was born and today she is 6 months old so it’s been a while… Another lovely morning, it was so nice to catch up and chat… Florence acquired a few new things from my friends 3 year old daughter… A bag of Beautiful clothes and shoes, a baby walker, which she loves and much needed toys… Thank you so much Vicky for inviting us and then for all the goodies we took home with us!

 

On a last note… I am very excited my mum has bought me over the new Jamie Oliver cook book… I love it, so watch this space for some of his recipes on our dinner plates … I am a huge Jamie Oliver cookbook fan, so tonight I plan to do my first best of British meal… Yummy, I’m jumping for joy!

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Starbucks…

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Today marks the end of my trio of Birthdays… My close friend Lisa has her Birthday, I sent her an e card, and later in December my mum will take her present home to her… Happy Birthday Lisa!

 

It was another full day of soccer games and practices… We had to be in Madison for 11am, but Paul had things to do first, so we arrived in Florham Park, a neighboring town to Madison at 10, this gave us time to get to the bank, Paul needed Referee fees, I ran into Trader Joes for the cheese fondue for Fondue Saturday and then a quick McDonalds breakfast, before I dropped Paul to Bayley Ellard for his practice session and then the big game against Butler again, this time at home!  After dropping Paul I dropped Mabel across Madison on the Niles field for her practice then headed back to watch Paul and Blu’s game!  Once back and ready to watch the game I had to nurse Florence, and then at half time head back to pick Mabel up… Confused? I definitely was!

 

Paul and Blu were very happy with their 4-2 win, so we headed to Florham Park again to celebrate in Starbucks… Skinny Decaf Eggnog Latte… Delicious, Grande Awake Tea, Peppermint hot chocolate, croisants and lemon pound cake… Scrummy!

 

Jordan has decided that one day over the weekend should be a fondue day as we all enjoyed the cheese fondue last Saturday so much… So tonight is now Fondue Saturday… Yay, it was delicious with a capital D… Wine and cheese always a good combination I find!

 

What’s for dinner in your house tonight?

With our cheese fondue we served quartered mushrooms and sticks of celery (the children and by children I do mean Dom and Jord as well as Blu and Mabel) popcorn chicken, cheesy chickeny tiny taco shells, buffalo chicken bites, peppered toasty croutons, tortilla strips and bite size meatballs… Fondue Saturday to be repeated in the very near future!

 

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After 5 years in NJ, we have a snow blower

Friday, November 11, 2011

 

It’s Veterans Day here in the USA, Poppy/Remembrance Day back in the UK and my Brothers Birthday here in our family… So this is the 2nd day of my trio of Birthdays… Happy Birthday Kevin!

 

So as it is veterans day here, everyone has the day off… By everyone I mean the people who’s alarms affect me in the mornings, so Farrel, Blu, Mabel and Paul… I am loving this 4 day weekend!

 

After a very lazy morning in bed, coffee, warm Cinnabons, more coffee and my iPad, it’s time to get up… Costco is calling my name… Mistake, with a capital M, not only is it busy, busy, busy but we spend far more than the $100 or so that I had planned!  What is it about Costco, you go in for a couple of things, meat and school snacks and leave with a $700 snow blower and new leather UGG style boots plus the things you went in for!

 

After struggling to put the snow blower into the back of my minivan, then thinking… Oh no where is the stroller going to go now, we get home to think about dinner and finally enjoy what is left of my lazy afternoon I had planned!  Snow blower put into the garage, food taken out the car and put away, finally dinner is underway… It’s Taco night in our house without the shredded lettuce and chopped tomatoes, something I did forget in Costco, because we were so focused on the snowblower and then the brown leather boots… Of course they were much more important than any food I may have needed… Hey ho, it’s just lettuce and tomato at the end of the day, who will miss it anyway… Mabel that is who and she did not stop going on about the lack of lettuce in her Taco’s!

 

Paul made a good start on dinner, then half way through, he said he was bored and I finished it all off… Taco night is a great favorite in our house, so tonight everyone in the house decided to eat… Taco seasoned ground beef, rice, salsa, chopped red onion, grated cheese, tortilla chips and warmed taco shells!

 

I have not been having the best of nights sleep with Florence lately, so by 9pm I was feeling very tired and so was Florence, so we headed off to bed to nurse and watch some Television, well that was the plan, as I think I closed my eyes as the program started and opened them a couple of hours later, I was joined by Florrie, Mabel and Blu, I think all 4 of us were exhausted, Blu from his day of playing his new Xbox game, and Mabel from watching Malcolm in the middle all day!

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Time for a good old English Sausage Roll

Thursday, November 10, 2011

homemade sausage rolls

Happy Birthday to my friend back home, today starts a trio of birthday days for my brother and two very close friends!

 

No alarm this morning… Bliss!  As I said before Florrie slept until 7.40, so I even got a lay in… So why did I feel so horrible, too much sleep perhaps, my body is just not used to it!  Up and ready I decide to go to stop and shop, as the children are not at school today and tomorrow… Got to love teacher convention days… Mabel decides to come with me… Oh no I’ll end up buying all the things Mabel wants and I will not really have the stuff I need!  It turns out to be a good math lesson for Mabel!  We have self scan in our new stop and shop, so I told her we were going to spend $100 and she then scanned the food, and then deducted the amount I had spent and told me how much was left, she was a little bit worried about us going over, but I assured her that was fine!

 

Later in the day after making lunch… Homemade sausage rolls and putting away the shopping, Mabel, Florrie and I headed into Madison, Mabel had soccer practice and Florrie had a pediatrician appointment!  Florence is doing well, she weighs 15 lbs 15 ozs, and is 26″ long, she also had her Hib vaccine and rolled over from her front to her back… Way to go Florence!

 

A quick trip to Trader Joes… I just love Trader Joes, I was starving so I succumbed to milk chocolate covered butter biscuits… Mmmm, who needs English chocolate! I also bought a very yummy goats cheese log covered in cranberries, it was the sample of the day, I can’t wait to have that one night with crackers and warm bread!

I picked up Mabel from Coach Sam’s house and we headed home to a slow cooked chicken soup and Vampire Diaries on the TV all together with a nice glass of a Cabernet Sauvignon, obviously that would just be me for the wine… All followed by an early night!

 

What’s for lunch in your house today?

Ours was scrummy homemade sausage rolls, I made the pastry as described in previous blogs, let it chill whilst I put away my shopping then rolled it out and cut it into rectangles to fit the very English tasting sausages I have found in the freezers at stop and shop, Jones pork sausage links!  Once the sausages were wrapped I egg washed them and cooked them for 25 minutes on 375f… Next time though I need to remember I used  unsalted butter, and add some salt to the flour before pulsing in the food processor, other than that… Perfectly delicious!