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I am 27 years old and am blessed to have my husband Brady, as my partner and best friend. We have two children, Parker and Piper, our little yorkie. We are constantly amazed by the joy they bring into our lives and can't wait to see what tomorrow brings!
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Saturday, July 30, 2011

A week in pictures!

It has been a really long week of no internet.  Just in case you are curious...once you order broadband and cable, it takes two weeks before they come and install the cable and three before they activate your broadband.  It is crazy!  We have been buying internet from some sort of hotspot company for 5 pounds/day and decided we could do without it for a few days until yesterday.

Oh, and just in case you were curious about our cable guy, his boss told me he has been out of work for over a week with torn ligaments in his shoulder!!!  His supervisor came by to help with a cable issue and also took pictures of the stairs where "the incident" occurred.  I feel like people don't really sue here, so I'm not worried...much.

Here is a run down of the week...in pictures.  I know, pretty boring, but it is for the grandparents!

This is parker with my groceries in the wagon on Monday (he has recently decided that he hates to get his picture taken and is not willing to smile for the camera).  Apparently, no one in England has ever seen a wagon.  You would not believe how many comments I got!

Just in case you were worried that P is not getting enough to eat...:)

Tuesday, WE GOT FURNITURE!!!  This is a picture of our new couch!!  Until now, we have only had our dining room chairs to sit on, so I am so excited!!  I have A LOT to do in this room, but at least we are getting a good start!
This is the lime green chair we got to go with the couch.  Pay no attention to the mess behind it!  We have a desk coming in 10 days that will hopefully take care of the mess!

On Wednesday, Parker and I went on a late afternoon walk to the park (don't worry, we took the backpack:) and he insisted on rolling his pants up.  I'm pretty sure I would have been better off just leaving the pants off.

On the way to the park, a little boy yelled, "run fat boy" to Parker.  Seriously?!?! He isn't even 2!  He was with two other kids and I almost turned around and yelled at him, but I decided that getting into a fight with someone almost 20 years younger than me would not be a good example for Parker.

On Thursday, I took Parker to a puppet show.  It was the baby-friendly show  so it was kind of a rambunctious group, but it was so nice to be able to take Parker to something like that without worrying about him getting bored and making noise (he was entranced with the show for the full hour so I shouldn't have worried!) Oh, and the face he is making is because the flash on my phone took him by surprise!

On Friday, we did some shopping at the market and I got Parker an ice cream cone .  I'm not going to lie, this kind of made my day.  

He was so excited, and I (being the good mom that I am) had to make sure that it didn't drip by licking it periodically for him!

Well, that was our week in pictures!!  I hope you all had a great week!

Monday, July 25, 2011

We are those people...

Yes, we are those people.  You know who I'm talking about.  Those people who you used to pity before you had kids because they just embarrassed themselves in public; all while swearing that you will never be them (ok, so I know that I'm special and maybe it will never be you).  If you know me very well, you know that I am not immune to embarrassing myself in public, but for some reason, it is almost worse when you speak and you know people are going, "oh, they're American."

We started the weekend with a boat trip.  I was trying to new, fun things to do with fun things for Parker.  I definitely was that mom when, as we walked down the steps, I couldn't get the stroller folded and everything kept falling out while my son, who was on a leash, was trying to get in by himself.  This was one time when it was nice to be labeled "an American" because they thought I was just a tourist (that is until P pointed to and said, "our new house" when we passed our house on the tour, oops).

Parker was sooo excited while he waited for the boat!!

Here it is!  It was a fun ride, even if it was for only 20 minutes.

Parker was more excited by the water than anything he saw on the shore!

This is the Cow Tower.  It has been here since  around 1100 AD.
 When Brady got home from work, we decided to go try a Japanese restaurant nearby.  Brady was craving sushi and we figured that we could at least get some steamed vegetables and rice for Parker. We started the evening with a small breakdown.  Lately, Parker always wants his, "pants up."  For some reason, he hates wearing pants, and will only wear them if we roll them up.  Once we rolled them up, we arrived and had not made a reservation (most restaurants in Wichita don't even take reservations anymore).  I'm pretty sure no one ever brings kids to this restaurant either.  We were able to get a table (they gave us the only high chair they owned), and then proceeded to try to find something for Parker to eat.  Most of the veggies were fried, and he wouldn't eat the ones that weren't.  We let him try vegetable sushi, but that didn't go over well either (we ended up ordering him french fries...I can't believe I did that).  Finally, toward the end of our meal, he finally was eating some rice, when he started gagging.  Before we knew it, he had puked all over his shirt.  I was thinking, "poor baby," but I know everyone else was like, "I can't believe they brought a toddler here."  Don't worry, we continued our night of "best parents ever" by walking across the street and buying P some gelato.  

On our way to the restaurant..note P's "pants up"

Parker trying to use chopsticks.

Finally switching to a spoon:)

"I like it a lot" (after eating chocolate gelato)
The next day, we continued trying to do fun things for P so we decided to take him to the zoo.  He has been asking to go to the zoo since we got here so he was due.  It is about a 25 minute drive from our house, which is not bad at all, but we have gotten used to walking everywhere that it felt like a long trip.   Going to the zoo was kind of bitter sweet.  Parker and I went to the zoo in Wichita a lot and this was not quite as good (we are sooooo lucky in Wichita), but we had fun! No embarrassing moments to speak of here (that I am aware of...doesn't mean that people weren't laughing at us:).

Parker LOVED the seals!  He giggled every time they came up for air.

Seriously, who wouldn't love these guys!

This is hard to see...The little monkey really wanted Emmitt (the giraffe) and kept swinging over to the glass to try to get him.  Parker thought it was hilarious!

Parker showing the real giraffes Emmitt.

As we are getting ready to leave...Daddy did his hair:)

It was a great weekend, but it just confirmed the fact that Brady and I have no idea what we are doing.  We are just taking it day by day and hoping that we don't screw Parker up too badly!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

I saw it!

So...Parker started crying when he work up from his nap so I ran upstairs still eating a piece of candy in my hand (yes, it was too good to put down...:).  I run in, pick up Parker and he stops crying when he looks at me (sweet, right?)...apparently not...

Parker, "I want gum."
Me, "I don't have gum."
Parker, "I saw it!!!"


Today I fell down the escalator...

Today I fell down the escalator at TKMaxx; with Parker, wearing his backback, and the stroller (never let a toddler convince you to let him out of the stroller so that you can ride the escalator instead of the elevator).
Today I hung three rugs on the stroller at TKMaxx and caused the stroller to fall over backward and spilled my drink...twice.
Today I somehow felt even more blessed than I did yesterday for Parker and Brady...lucky, lucky, lucky.
Today I realized that stress and complexion are directly correlated (I feel like I'm in 10th grade again)
Today the cable man fell down our stairs; seriously, he had to go to the doctor, but on a better note...
Today we got cable and discovered that we get Murder She Wrote...:)!
Today Parker started repeating me when I said, "Mommy is losing her mind." Smart, smart mommy.
Today I spent one hour cleaning one row of tiles in the kitchen (just like I did yesterday and the day before...)
Today I discovered the type of tile that I do not want in our house when we move back!
Today (yesterday) I gave Parker his first lollipop...I couldn't resist!!!

Today (yesterday) I also discovered why you don't give little ones lollipops...(Parker drumming)

Love this kid!

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Reasons why Parker is the bomb...:)

Today we had to take P to the doctor--for the first time, in a foreign country. I am embarrassed and completely ashamed to tell you why, but I feel like I need to so that I can perhaps prevent another tragedy. I used a q-tip in Parker's ear. I know, I know, they tell you not to, however, I have an unreasonable fear of dirty ears and felt like I could make it work (this is not my first offense). So I used the q-tip and Parker started screaming, more like one scream and then alligator tears while holding his breath and holding open his mouth (you know it's bad when he doesn't make any noise for a while). I wasn't immediately worried until a couple of hours later when I noticed dried blood inside his ear. I burst his eardrum. I am a terrible mother. I then proceeded to google everything possible about the subject and of course found forums which cemented that fact that I am a terrible mother and also told me that I am probably going to cause him to be deaf in one ear or even perhaps lose his sense of balance. I felt terrible (seriously, tears, and brady was not quite sure what to do). I decided to take him to the doctor first thing in the morning. We saw a doctor right away and she said that his ear was just really raw for some reason and that it is not a bursted ear drum--hooray!!

I know that the title of this blog is "why Parker is the bomb" so let me tell you why...while he was not feeling well (he also had a fever through all of this), I got to see his true little personality. Here is why he rocks...
1. Even after I made him cry, I gave him his big truck and he still said, "thank you sooo much mommy" (this is actually what he says to anyone who does anything remotely nice for him)
2. While in the doctor's office, she checked his ear. He cried, dropped "ellie" the elephant and said "I'm sorry mommy"
3. As we were leaving with tears still in his eyes..."I excited to go to library" (truly after my own heart!)
4. While walking out of the mall (the dr was in the mall) he heard music in a store, stopped to dance and then proceeded to yell at anyone who would listen, "dance people!"
5. All of his little animals are "so cute" right now (the best part is that he uses a high, baby voice to say it)
6. He woke up in the morning and wanted to be "scuba steve." (I know this should have been reason 1)

7. He still gave me a fishy face for the camera even though he didn't feel very well.

8. He still manages to say, "I love you mommy" even when I am the cause of his pain. I just love this kid!!!

There are many, many more reasons, but these are the reasons today. Love you little man!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Settling in...

I wish I could name this post "settled in," however, after what seemed like thousands of boxes (actually the highest number I could find was in the two hundreds), we still don't have them all unpacked. I'm not even sure I want to unpack the rest of them because we can't take anything else out to the trash bin so I now have an ever-growing stack of flat boxes in our entry way. If you know me at all, you know that I don't do well in chaos. This is chaos. We are also still waiting on a couple of pieces of furniture so I can't unpack the boxes that I need those for first. One piece we are waiting on is actually here; I am repainting a wardrobe for P's room that our neighbors, Bryan and Cate were nice enough to give us before we moved. Unfortunately, because of all of the rain, painting a large piece of furniture takes time...lots of time...

The good news is that I found bedding to go with P's new wardrobe...I was going to go with something different, but the paint is leaning more toward royal blue instead of navy so I decided to go with this...

The hardest part about unpacking is trying to make sure that Parker is getting enough time to play and is having fun. I feel terrible when he spends too much time just playing by himself. So, to make up for it, I decided to take him to the pool today. It was raining, but I promised to take him to the pool. So, we went for a 1.5 mile jog and finally made it there only that we picked the one day that closed early. We got there 25 minutes before the pool closed, but I had promised Parker so I paid my 4.35 pounds and we changed and went swimming for 15 minutes. I did, however, keep my promise so I didn't feel too bad. I'm pretty sure it took us longer to shower and dress than it did to swim, but at least we got to swim.

I have to show you how Parker travelled today.
Yes, I promise that it is July in England too...we miss summer...

No, this is not a picture of P suffocating. Because it rains all the time, everyone uses these stroller covers. We call it Parker's "bubble." He rather likes his bubble and as you can tell by the sleeping baby, it definitely keeps the rain off of the bug.

Just had to throw in this final picture of the random swan and her babies. I love living by water (I know, I am so easy to please)!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Adios Holiday Inn

Oh my goodness...the day has finally arrived...the day we never thought would get here...permanent housing!!!! Hooray!! From May 16th until now (technically tomorrow), we have lived in the same room as Parker. For almost six weeks, we lived in my parents basement which was great, however, for the last two, we have lived in a one-room hotel room. Because the hotel does not have suites and we don't have refrigerators or any type of kitchen, we have been eating out...a lot. I feel like my waist has grown considerably and I can't wait to get back into a normal eating routine (especially because the best food here is either fried or pizza).

Tomorrow at 9 AM our furniture will arrive at 9 Quayside (Keyside). We celebrated our upcoming move by shopping for furniture and trying a few more restaurants around the city (only those within walking distance because P's carseat is in the shipment arriving tomorrow). I was complaining about the lack of home goods and furniture selection here, but I think we found exactly what we were looking for so I can't wait!!

We even happened upon a parade yesterday in the city centre. Apparently, it was the Mayor's celebration--don't ask me how we didn't figure this out sooner:)...
Not at the parade, but watching some dancers on our way to the parade...my men are so cool...:)

I had to take a picture of the tractor pulling the float because P gets excited anytime he sees a tractor..."Papa Marmin's Tractor!!!"

This isn't very accurate, but it at least gives you an idea of the huge crowds out to celebrate!! I wish I could have taken more pictures, but it took us a while to figure out what street the parade was on (I know, I know...we are idiots...) The parade lasted for over an hour and the crowds stretched for at least a mile or so. It was great!!

Anyway, with the upcoming move, comes at least 10 days without cable and internet so blogging might be few and far between for a while!! Cheers! (Yes, I think I have been here long enough to use this now:)

Thursday, July 7, 2011


Parker is transitioning like a champ. Before we moved, I tried to think of everything I could to make the transition easier: I let him keep the plug (pacifier); I was going to keep him in a crib longer to make our new home feel familiar; I brought all of his favorite books and toys in our luggage so it would be readily available; and on and on and on....

What I didn't count on was moving out of our house eight weeks before we moved into our new (with two temporary moves in between). This means that when his crib and bedding actually get here, he will have been without it long enough for it to not be familiar any more. We transitioned Parker into a big bed pretty abruptly and now I don't know whether or not I put him back in the crib--the stairs alone are tempting me to keep him trapped in the crib for a while--or to put him in his new queen size bed.

This might seem trivial, but I am constantly wondering whether this was the best thing for Parker. I loved that he was able to see his grandparents all the time and, while there is skype, it is just not the same. He has already asked to see all of his grandparents numerous since we arrived (tear). He also talks about his cousins, Kamden and Kyler at least every other day. Yesterday, he even told me that he wanted to "hold Pipa." It took everything I had to hold back tears. Believe me, it was hard to leave family, but it was especially hard to leave our puppy. Piper was like our first born and we wanted to take her, but after taking into consideration plane tickets ($3000 each way) and boarding costs (at least $1000/year), we just justify the expense. Luckily, Brady's mom was gracious enough to take her so at least we will be able to visit!

Anyway, back to the topic at hand...Parker has been adjusting well and while I have to hold back tears every once in a while, he is doing great. Here are just a few of my recent, favorite Parker moments...

I first have to introduce you to Parker's favorite toys. Depending on the day, he cannot live without a combination of the following...firetruck, big truck, "emmitt" the giraffe, "Ellie" the elephant, "Bessie" the cow, and tractor. Yesterday, P dropped Bessie and we had to retrace our steps to find her (she is the size of a quarter). Needless to say, now Bessie has to ride in his pocket on walks.
This is P playing with his farm. I love watching him get on his belly to make sure that all the animals are in their places.

This was my attempt to get P to go to sleep on the way back from a late lunch. It didn't work, but now I know why people kept giggling when they passed us!
This was P today...chasing pigeons, with his backpack on...as you can see from his face, he was very determined to catch them, but not enough to put his pasty (basically, a savory pastry) down, ha!

So, don't worry, Parker is doing awesome! Oh, and did I mention that today he said, "I wuv you Mommy" unprompted!! He always says it back after we say it, but today he said it all on his own out of the blue! Best. Day. Ever. I know I've said that before, but this completely blows the chocolate croissant day out of the water!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

highs and lows

We got our debit cards...HIGH!!!
They sent the pin numbers to the US so we can't use them...low...
I was able to get cash anyway...HIGH!!!
It was a onetime only, emergency withdrawal...low...
I got an iPhone...HIGH!!!
Because I am foreign, I had to use all of my cash I just withdrew for a "we want to make sure you're not fleeing the country with your free iphone" deposit...low...
I have to conserve cash, therefore I am not spending money on every sale that I see (there are a LOT of sales right now)...HIGH...

I just LOVE ending on a HIGH!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Today I....

Today I found a park with a slide...thank goodness...
Today I did laundry in a laundry mat and forgot the fabric softener...yes, it makes that big of a difference.
Today I discovered that moving abroad means finding new brands of everyday, household items to use...laundry detergent for instance (here's hoping we still have wearable clothes after trial and error)
Today Brady had a wheel lock on his tire when he tried to go to work this morning...he was not happy...
Today I found out that our stuff has officially made it to the UK (getting through customs and to our house is another thing...)
Today (or rather four days ago) I lost my wallet...a pedestrian found it on the street, saw my hotel card, and returned it within four hours of losing it!
Today I decided that I need new shoes...my flat as cardboard sandals are just not going to cut it if we are walking around 3+ miles every day.
Today I saw a man pretending to be a statue...he was actually pretty good...
Today I had a chocolate croissant...best. day. ever.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

King's Church

The last few months have been a lesson in moving to say the least. Closing accounts, selling our cars, shipping our things, renting out our house, setting up international banking and on and on and on. I just feel like we have been completely out of our element for at least 8 weeks now. Part of that has been missing out on church. We have a wonderful church at home that we love(honestly, I have gone there since I was born and it feels like home when we are there), however, because we have been out of town so often visiting family and friends, we haven't been able to go for the last 6 weeks or so. Something has definitely been missing. So, when we got here, one of the first things we wanted to do was to start looking for a church. We started at the Norwich Christian Resource Center. We told them that we were used to a more contemporary service, and they told us about King's Church. Brady and I were intrigued so we decided to try. Today was our first day. We. Loved. It. The minute we started singing the first song, I felt tears stinging my eyes. Our faith is so important to us and we want to make sure that we pass this on to Parker. Finding a church is a huge part of making this our home and I can't tell you how blessed we feel to have found something so soon. The people were so warm and friendly and they even have a "Mommy and Toddler" program. So...I could be on my way to making friends very soon--that is if you count Parker making them for me:)!

Anyway, here is a picture of the new church. I know, it doesn't look like a church at all. The funny thing is that it sets less than twenty feet from a beautiful, old church that now holds a taekwondo studio instead of a congregation...

They have a cafe when you first walk in...the banner is just a bible study they are offering.
Daddy and Parker walking home from church...love these boys...

Saturday, July 2, 2011


Hello Land of the Connected!!!! I'm coming to you from the land of the unconnected and it is so great to speak to you! Oh wait, silly me...I think this is technically speaking at you...shoot. I am on Day 6 of no phone....seriously. Before six days ago, I used to try to remember how we could have possibly survived without cell phones. Well, experience tells me that we did and it wasn't that bad. Don't get me wrong, I absolutely hate being unable to communicate with friends and family, but there is something kind of liberating about knowing that you are just on your own...literally. Don't worry, I have tried to get a phone, but HSBC sent our cards to the US (real smart) and now, after reporting them lost, we won't get new cards until late next week. Turns out that you cannot buy a phone unless you have a UK debit or credit card, even if you have all of your account information...shoot. Oh and when I get one, this won't even be the phone I can call back to the US on...that will take another 3 weeks or so...shoot!

On another note, we are adjusting well to our temporary hotel home (Parker now says, "Parker's house" when we get to the door:). Parker is sleeping from like 9:00 to 9:30!!!
Seriously, I do not know where this kid came from, but I am going to buy dark, heavy curtains for his room (I've decided that is what keeps him sleeping longer, but who knows). He has woken up for an hour here or there in the middle of the night, but I know he is just adjusting to the time change. He is also a big fan of the removeable shower head--here he is washing his feet.

Hopefully, we will only be in the hotel until next weekend. We did get the key to our house, and we have found out that our stuff should be entering the country probably Monday, hooray! I couldn't help, but include a picture of our house key.
I am not kidding. Not only is this the key to unlock the door from the outside, it is also the key to lock the door from the inside. Yes, we will be living in the "old" part of Norwich:).

Immediately after getting our key, we also got our air-shipment which had most of P's toys. We have been without our things for almost 8 weeks now, so I was so excited just to give him a piece of home. It was like Christmas morning watching him discover more and more of his toys as I unloaded the box.

We have also attempted our first load of laundry in our washer/dryer combo. I say attempted because we were not successful...that is right, our clothes are now stuck in the washer/dryer combo which for short I am going to call "that which takes a really long time" because that name takes at least four hours less to say than it takes to wash a load of laundry. Here, I have taken a picture of the controls...
We did find out that the times next listed are not correct, but it does take around four hours to wash, rinse, spin and dry. We were not planning on drying the clothes, but when we couldn't get the door open after the spin cycle we thought maybe it would help to let them dry. Yeah...that didn't work...shoot. Through all of this, I did realize that I am capable of buying a drying rack at the store and carrying it on the stroller a mile and a half (Brady drove there, but we don't have a car seat yet and he isn't comfortable making "detours" on his trips yet, ha, so I stopped at the store and bought the rack).
P was rocking (or is it rockin'...I don't think I'm cool enough to even try...) his shades, but I couldn't get him to stop looking at the water. Looking back, I probably could have gone to the other side...shoot.
The walk to our house from the hotel is pretty great so I had to take a picture. Luckily, our hotel is right by the gym we're going to join so we will get to walk this daily (so I say now).

The last significant event that I have to share is perhaps the most important of all...my first "fish and chips" meal. It was awesome...but I'm pretty sure my caloric intake doubled with the first bite...shoot. I did, however, get at least some veggies; who knew they served peas with fish and chips? Well, you do now...:)