Oh it's been another very long time since I wrote. For lots of reasons, starting with my ex-company changing their mind about supporting my move to the UK to my having to find a new job and then getting ridiculously busy with getting ready for the move and then dealing with the aftermath on the other side I just haven't felt much like doing this. But then I heard that Nonna was demanding an update so here it is.
We've been back nearly 2 months now, and aside from the fact that we're STILL camping out in our own house while customs take their sweet time picking through our container we're pretty much settled back to life in the UK. We're getting towards the end of Autumn and when the sun is shining we're reminded of what a beautiful country we live in, lots of green and trees turning red, yellow & gold. I'm back to driving a little car with gears and finding how much I love driving again as I zip around town and through the English countryside listening to Radio 2 (I'm officially middle-aged according to The Telegraph) and thoroughly enjoying life. The stress of corporate America has been lifted - no more politics and the nasty corporate games that management play with their staff and no whispering about who will be next on the chopping block. I've landed a consulting job with a great bunch of intelligent, kind and considerate people that allows me so far to mainly work from home save the odd swanning into Richmond or pootle up to Marlow - well OK the swanning to Richmond involves a 2 minute train change at Clapham Junction, Europe's busiest train station as it so proudly boasts, but once you're in Richmond it's lovely.
Of course what you want to know is how's Leah doing? After a rocky start to nursery (not daycare anymore) where she cried nearly every day when we dropped her off she's got a lot better, she still hesitates when we drop her off there but she soon settles down and is busy all day. Without fail she's delighted to see us and always shouts 'I had a good day at school' within 2 seconds of our seeing her - so much so we've started to wonder if her teachers prime her for it at 5.15 every day. We've seen some interesting side-effects to joining nursery, sometimes it's the toys she snatches away from us, the way she shouts 'No!' and 'Go Away!' when she just wants to be left to do her own thing uninterrupted. She's also gone through a fear of giants that had us checking kitchen cupboards every night, as well as some interesting philosophical conversations 'Mummy, spiders aren't scary are they?'. What's been particularly entertaining the last few days is the absolute nonsense she thinks she can get away with telling us. Tonight I got 'Mummy, I ate a frog today at school' and 'there was a giant at school today, he sleeps in the net in the corner'. We also heard about Archie who told Leah off yesterday for not sleeping, and today it was poor Linda's turn as Leah told us 'I don't like Linda Mummy'. After a few questions it turns out Linda is one of the teachers who had told Leah not to climb up on the table.
Leah's also become fascinated by the weather (she is British after all), in particular whether there's going to be a storm with thunder and lightning and each day swings from 'I don't like storms' to 'I like storms' although she'll also say 'I've never seen a storm' so who knows. I'm betting anything that the minute we do have some thunder she's going to announce that she doesn't like it although I really hope that I'm wrong. The early evening darkness is also confusing her and she seems to think that darkness = time to watch telly mama although again, I'm pretty sure that if I followed that logic with = time for bedtime it wouldn't go down too well.
We've had a great time catching up with old friends and it's been lovely to just hang out with them as every time we'd seen them over the last 4 years that dreadful feeling of 'this is it for another year so make the most of it' would be hanging over our heads, so the simple things like taking our kids to the park, an impromptu brunch or a meet up at the local swimming pool has been very sweet for having not done it for so long. One of the biggest pleasures has been seeing Leah with my best friends daughter, last time they met (and actually the first time they met) was over a year ago, Leah was just 1 and Julie was nearly 2 and they were worlds apart, now the 9 months difference isn't such a big gap and from Julie's first visit where Leah rushed her upstairs to show off her room which was shortly followed by intermittent loud bangs on the ceiling as Julie taught her to jump off the bed, they've been great pals. We took them swimming together, both in their armbands, both turning blue because we were stuck in the cold adult pool, but then both wrapped up in their towels eating bananas afterwards and holding hands while finally dressed (of course both mothers still shivering in towels).
We're enjoying fish and chips, pub lunches, watching Leah splash in puddles by the river, wrapping up warm but eating ice cream, feeding the ducks (and the aggressive swans) BBC Breakfast, Chris Hollins (Ruth), Kate Humble (Paul) and we've replaced the insane Tea Party with the loony Tories (although more frighteningly this lot are running the country). But we're grateful for iTunes so that we can watch Glee & Parenthood and of course for FB so that we can keep up with our greatly missed US, and US-based, friends.
I won't promise to post another update soon, you wouldn't believe me anyway.....
P.S I know I haven't really mentioned him, but Paul's doing well too!