Monday, August 15, 2011

These busy days

The air feels a lot cooler, and fortunately the emotions of last week in London have cooled as well.  We've been busy just keeping up with the normal activities of life: work, nursery, the occasional bit of sleep that never feels enough! In fact, we've had a few "late" mornings recently - Noah not waking til about 6:20 and Blake sleeping til around 7:00...oh, how fast those teenage years are going to come around, where they'll want to sleep all day! 

Yesterday we went down to Ben's christening - hard to believe how big William (our Godson) is now!  Ben is such a cutie and it's funny for me to see how two brothers can start off seeming so similar but then gradually begin to become their own personalities and become distinct little boys (funny in that I see it clearly when looking at those two, and probably felt and saw it with Blake and Noah as well, even when many people still say they think Noah is a mini-Blake, which I don't quite see).

Jamie and Diane are the quintessential hosts and put on a lovely day for us all, as they always do!  It was strange to think back on the last time we'd seen Diane's parents (William's christening, back in the fall of 2009, when I was just announcing that the-child-eventually-to-be-known-as-Noah was on the way), and before that, their wedding in France in 2007.  Time, it do fly quick...

I took lots of cute pics and should post more of them, but for now I'll just put one of B on, although I opened my lens too much so it's blurry when it shouldn't be.  Cameras: I love them and I hate them!




Summer lovin', lovin' summer!

I wrote this some time ago; it's in reference to Wednesday nearly two weeks ago!

If there's anything that should prove that Seasonal Affective Disorder does exist (in the negative sense), it's how true it is that good weather makes life so much better!  Wednesday was a scorcher, with temps hitting 30 (86F), and I thought to myself that I got so lucky with the timing of my day off.

We headed off in the morning to the water and sand area at Brockwell Park, and although it was pretty crowded, the boys still got to do exactly what they wanted to.   Blake reminded me a bit of the wimpy kid from the Charles Atlas ads, all pale-skinned and ribs showing, but after a slow start, he eventually warmed to running into the fountains and splashing in the water.  Noah was more interested in playing with some bark in a flower bed - can't see him lining up to be an Olympic swimmer or professional scuba diver at this rate.

Blake started whining that he was hungry so we headed over to the Lido Cafe.  One of the last times I had been here had been back in the winter, and the scenes could not have been more different - when I was last there it happened to start snowing, and being in the warm, steamy cafe felt so cozy and nice.  Today, the doors were spread open to the noise of the jam-packed outdoor swimming pool, which was radiant turquoise and full of people of all ages.  There was a line about 50 deep to get in, so I was glad there was no discussion to be had about whether we could go (me trying to manage Blake and Noah in a pool on my own...can't even bear to consider it!).  Noah had a timely snooze while we waited for our food, but woke up just in time to mooch off Blake's pasta.  Blake and I had each ordered milkshakes (I was feeling decadent - the sun was shining!), and well, I'll admit that they each then had a juice ice pop afterwards (it's just frozen juice, right?!).  One thing to be said for Noah is that he is certainly persistent in his ice-cream eating efforts - he almost always always finishes a pop or an ice cream cone right down to the last bite.  Blake often gets bored and gives me his when he's only had about half, but Noah just kept going with this enormous fruit pop until it was all gone. 

Back at home, we did a few things in the garden and then headed over to Sainsbury's to get some groceries.  Matt got home at a pretty decent hour and we had dinner al fresco - I have been really happy that I finally acquired that garden furniture!

All in all, a really good day, though with that feeling in the evening of just wanting to collapse.  There were some moments of non-compliance from Blake, but I decided to not get heated up about them and basically just out-waited him until he got bored and did whatever it was he should have been doing (example: when we went to the car this morning, he jumped from his seat in the back to the driver's seat, and refused to get in his seat.  I just sat on the wall outside our house and told him that we couldn't go until he was strapped in.  I probably had to wait 5 minutes, but finally he hopped in the back and we were able to go.  The thought did cross my mind that I would be going ape-sh*t if we actually had to be anywhere, at a certain time.  But fortunately, we didn't, so my tactic worked.)

One of the things I've got to figure out immediately is how I can keep better track of some of the funny things Blake is saying.  They seem so unforgettable at the time but then a few hours later all memories have escaped me.  On the way to nursery yesterday he said to me, "Mom, you look like a baby".  I thought to myself, "What in the world could that mean?" and he went on to elaborate that my legs looked very small like a baby's (I was, admittedly, wearing a skirt that was probably not the ideal length, hitting just above the calf).  Kind of observant of him, in a preview to the "I can't believe you're wearing that.  I don't want to be seen with you" years.

On Thursday the weather turned and it rained - hard and cold - for much of the day.  One of the things I've been more observant of, this year, is that even after some really rotten daytime weather, there have been some beautiful evening skies - as if the world is sort of saying, "Yeah, sorry that was bad, I know, but look, here's a hint that tomorrow could be a beautiful day!"  At least, I like thinking about it that way.

Blake finally takes on the water...

Stand-off at the dam; brothers unite.
Noah enjoys this....sort of...
He likes sleeping better...while Blake lines up sugar packets...
Ideally I would photoshop out the ketchup on Noah's face...oh well, it captures the moment!


Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Cheerios and Shiraz

It's not been a good few days in England.  What started off on Saturday night as a peaceful protest over a questionable use of firearms by police has turned into something completely different: rioting and looting by completely mad people - primarily youths - who seem to have no awareness of the impact of their lawlessness, and the fact that what they are doing is completely criminal.  The question is, will they be brought to justice?  

We woke on Monday to news that following riots in Tottenham (north London) there had been looting in Brixon, where I had just one week before enjoyed my lovely day out.  The reports were of people ransacking electronics and jewellery shops, smashing shop windows, openly breaking the law and stealing.  Unfortunately from there, this behavior spread, but randomly, to completely disparate pockets in and around the city.  Last night was the worst, with not just looting but simply destruction - in Croydon, about a 25-minute drive from where we live, a furniture store that had been in one family's ownership for 5 generations, was this morning a smoldering pile of ash.

There are too many angles of the past few days for me to try to write about: what insanity grips people as they decide it's ok to loot and steal?  What should the government be doing to stop the rot?  Are they responsible for it to begin with, with their cuts to social services and the aim of a "Big Society" which has a smaller pool of funds from the government to work with?  What have the parents of these children been doing while their kids have been out stealing tvs?  What is going to happen to London's image in the world, especially as the 2012 Olympics loom on the horizon?  Why, again, do we live here?! 

Of course, as often happens, the bad things are often accompanied by positive stories, and that's been the case with campaigns of volunteers that cropped up today, organized on Twitter and which apparently garnered support in the form of 70,000 followers as of this evening.  But, you have to ask, how much was social media responsible for this form of organization, and is it a good thing that so many people can be incited and organized by 140 characters?

It's been a sad few days, and I, like most Londoners, hope that order is restored soon, and that those who are responsible are brought to justice.  Tackling the wider issue of why certain parts of London, and now other parts of the UK, descended into chaos will be another matter.  At the moment I'd just like to be able to go out and buy a bottle of wine at 5:00pm, something that was impossible today as I didn't want to be out any more than I had to, and the local wine shop was boarded up in precaution anyway.  That's all from here; keep us in your thoughts.
p.s. post title is based on what I had for dinner, a bowl of Cheerios and a glass of Shiraz!

Sunday, August 07, 2011

General miscellany

Now that I've made it through the timeline of what we've been doing, I feel I should add a bit more detail to what's been going on when there hasn't been anything going on, if you see what I mean.

For one, Noah and Blake are hard to manage when they're in the same place and there is only one adult present!  They just go at each other constantly: Noah messing up whatever project Blake is working on, Blake freaking out and seeking retribution.  Often I walk into a room to find Noah's fist (or teeth) latched on to some body part of Blake and Noah being dragged around the room as Blake attempts to free himself from this grip.  Noah then starts wailing if his grip/bite is forcibly removed (by me, the United Nations peacekeeper), and he will then likely do something like arch his back to express his unhappiness and then conk his head on the floor, creating more wailing.  Blake, meanwhile, will be licking his wounds with a "cold hot chocolate"-coated tongue as he attempts to break the record for consecutive episodes of Charlie and Lola watched in one sitting.  It's all very tiring!

Noah's very funny these days, and is ever so slowly getting that little bit more verbal.  His first word, I think I mentioned, was "Uh-oh," and he still says that one quite a bit.  He also says, "Hiya", "apple", "shoes" and "juice", but "Dada" is one of his favorites.  On Tuesday, my birthday, his present to me was saying "Mama" for one of the first times, but then I couldn't get him to say it again for the camera!  I think he now recognises and is starting to state his wish to have a "baba" - "bottle" and has also said "cars" - we think - once, but that's about his current range.  At least now I know not to worry - he'll be telling me how stupid I am before I know it, so for now it's nice that his vocabulary is kind of limited! 

He finally has had some more teeth arrive on the scene - the next-to-the-end molars on each side popped through on the 26th, his birthday present to me perhaps?  I think the bottom side two are on their way.  To say he is lively is a bit of an understatement - someone at church today said to me (I think in a kind of complimentary way, although I'm not sure!) that he appeared to be "full of beans" and I think that was a fair observation.  The other day I watched him try to wrestle something out of Blake's hands - Blake wasn't letting go and Noah then just decided that the best way to get Blake to release the object would be to bite his hands.  I probably don't have to tell you that it worked; Blake let go so quickly and Noah got what he was after.  Dive-bombing chompers coming at you, I'd  let go too!

The boys' sleep has a pattern, which not ideal, is at least somewhat predictable.  Noah is usually in bed by 7:30/7:45, and seems to either wake up around 4:15 (Bad Parenting Revelation #1: a bottle will usually put him back to sleep til a decent hour) or can sometimes go through til around 6:15.  Blake goes to bed by about 8:30, unless (Bad Parenting Revelation #2) he falls asleep on the couch as we're trying to get Noah to sleep, and then we just usually carry him to his bed if he doesn't wake up when we try to rouse him for a bath and teeth-brushing.  That said, it's about 10:30pm and Noah just woke up crying; I think it's teeth pain, so I gave him some Calpol (and a bottle with water in it, see Bad Parenting Revelation #1 above). 

We went to West Norwood Feast today, although we missed the face painting and Blake threw me a curveball in the form of wanting a cupcake instead of an ice cream (this could be a problem, if he's had enough of ice cream...what in the world will I give them in the afternoon after I pick them up from nursery?!).  He only took a few bites before deciding that he actually wanted his dinner, so I bought him a chorizo wrap which I hoped to share with him.  Silly me...it took him about an hour, but he ate the whole thing!

As we were about to leave, it started pouring, so we all got soaked, but about 5 minutes later the sun was out and we came home and pulled up weeds in our front garden.  Family fun fest - I know! 

I have discovered the tv series Modern Family, based on recommendations from the May weekend with the girls.  I got the first season on dvd and we watched two episodes last night  - I laughed so hard I cried!  I am looking forward to more.

That's about it from me for now.  Hope you have a good start to the week.

Cupcake replaces ubiquitous summer ice cream...



He got his hands on some of the cupcake...


This just makes me laugh, B in the background and N scuttling off in search of trouble...

Weird and surely untrue stat

On Saturday morning, Matt and I were standing in the kitchen.  It was probably about 8:00, and I have to admit to still feeling somewhat jarred to the core at the fact that I am up by 7:00 most Saturdays.  For me, the early wake-ups remain a really un-fun part of the whole parenting thing. 

Anyway, the radio was on, and we heard a strange "news story", which was that apparently, August 6th was to be the day of the year on which people will feel the happiest, at 7:00 pm to be precise.  Something about its being a Saturday in August and 7:00 pm being the pinnacle of happiness time...umm, I definitely have to disagree with that last part.  At 7:00 pm in our house, chaos is usually the reigning state of the moment, trumping only exhaustion on everyone's part as we try to wind down a day that has usually been long and tiring.  It's a time of day when there is a lot of whining, a lot of screeching, a lot of Charlie and Lola theme music, and if hair pulling creates a noise - if even very quiet - add that in too (mine at least, and probably sometimes Noah pulling Blake's).  

I think the events of the past couple of days made that story seem even more farcical to me: destructive riots in London; what seems to me to be a larger than usual number of deaths in the media - by nearly every imaginable and horrible way possible (and sometimes even unimaginable - polar bears!), to people who were far too young to be taken; the global economy tanking...UGH.  If you're reading DwL before checking out the news, my advice is to not go look - it's all very very depressing. 

I've always loved numbers - not like math or anything - but the evenness of round numbers, the order of even numbers, the occasional odd number if it has a place in a larger scheme of things.  In that respect, I'm looking forward to tomorrow: 8/8.  I've always liked the number eight and maybe, just maybe, some good news will come from the world.   Otherwise I think I'll have to take an internet break...and make that a radio break too. 

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Treating myself like a Queen

I've never understood why, but the Queen seems to have two birthdays: one her actual birthday, and the other the day that her subjects celebrate.  I took a leaf out of her book on Monday, and decided to belatedly celebrate my birthday by taking the day off and just doing whatever I wanted to.  It was so nice on Sunday night not to be thinking about getting pumped for a Monday at work, and instead I just imagined what I was going to do with my day.

It not being quite as responsibility-free as I might dream of, I woke up and got the boys off to nursery.  I kept thinking all day Sunday that one of them was going to wake up sick and rain on my day-off parade, but miraculously they were both well and ready to go to nursery!  I headed over to get a latte and a pain au chocolate at the Dulwich Bakery; I had intended to go to La Gastronomia but apparently my alarm went off a lot earlier than theirs - they weren't yet open when I turned up ready to sip my latte in their peaceful back garden.  The Dulwich Bakery has undergone a sort of makeover and was actually very nice.

Now, here's something interesting: some people feel caffeine affects their ability to sleep, but I personally have always had my doubts about this theory.  Monday being truly a day to do whatever I wanted, I headed back home and at 9:00 am, just 10 minutes after my latte, I got back into bed and slept til 11:30.  It was BLISS of the highest level.  See what I mean about this caffeine theory?  It just doesn't hold up against the evidence.

At noon I headed off to get the bus to Brixton, for lunch at a place I've been meaning to get to for, oh, a year and a half now: Franco Manca in the Market Row parade.  I had a wonderful wood-fired Napoletana pizza and an organic lager while people-watching and checking the England v. India cricket score on my phone.  It was a very tasty lunch.

Afterwards I went to discover the Brixton Village market, which looked interesting apart from a lot of the shops being shut because of its being Monday.  Still, it looks like there is a lot to discover there.  One of my first memories of London was after I'd been here only about a month and I was on the hunt for a place to live, since I was being housed in my company apartment for only 3 months.  A young colleague said she lived in Brixton and that she loved it, so she told me to go have a look and see what I thought.  The tube wasn't working that day so I headed off on some replacement bus service, to be dumped at the top of Electric Avenue as the market was closing for the day.  All of a sudden, I heard lots of screaming and there were people running - I was petrified!  Turns out the screams were from a group of about half a dozen young girls who were egging on a group of similarly-aged boys (they were probably 10, or 12 maybe?).  A poor dazed rat was making its way rather raggedly down Electric Avenue and the boys were chasing it to the squeals from the girls.  Let me say, it was not exactly a great first impression, and needless to say, I didn't live in Brixton.  In fact, it took me 10 whole years to live south of the river, in fact (unless you count my year in Southfields as being south of the river, which I hardly do). 

Brixton has changed quite a bit since then, it seems, with its vintage shops and eclectic boutique foodie places with organic coffees and an entire shop dedicated to wheat and gluten-free foods.  Still, the market is still there, with its mix of fish on ice, meat hanging from hooks behind counters stacked with parts of the animal that I couldn't even begin to identify, fruit and vegetable that looks pretty incredible compared to what you get in the grocery store (like corn in husks, as opposed to already peeled and nicely cut into cobs, which is all I can get at Sainsburys).

I then checked out the Brixton Library, before having a drink at the outdoor tables of the Ritzy Cinema.  A busker played an electric guitar and I enjoyed watching a new mother having lunch with a friend - those days of the newborn seem so far ago to me!  Finally I hopped on to a bus and met Matt to go have a look at a kitchen design, which we're hoping to pick fairly soon so we can get on with our work.

By this point in the day, it had turned into a real scorcher!  I got the boys and told them that I had a special treat lined up, an ice cream cone from Kahvah on Norwood Road, whose Movenpick ice cream is the best I've tasted all year.  Blake had chocolate, I was feeling generous so Noah got his own cone of Panna Cotta, and I had double cream and meringue - awesome!  

I finished up my birthday (observed) by heading over to the Odeon in Streatham and watching Bridesmaids, which I've been wanting to see.  It was very funny, but oh-so-painful to watch at times.  The dress-fitting scene was particularly cringe-worthy, but I loved Annie's antics to get the cop's attention when Lillian was "missing".  The character of Meghan was also a trip; her line about Fight Club as a shower theme was just genius.  It had the "I laughed, I cried" effect of a girly movie, but with also the "I couldn't look away as if at a car crash" effect of a boys' film.  It was the perfect end to a fantastic day.  Now, to figure out how to do something like that more often...

I nearly ate the whole thing...


Brixton Village, serene on a Monday...
More traditional market shop...


Outside the Ritzy Cinema...look at that blue sky!

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

A true summer weekend

Saturday and Sunday could not have been a more perfect summer weekend, weather-wise, and you know what, it's about time!  June and the beginning of July were pretty awful so we deserve some sunshine!  We had quickly arranged a visit to see Bishy's friend Elizabeth on Saturday at her house in Oxfordshire, and the boys had a nice time in her garden, and at the village playground and village shop where they got treated to an ice cream.  It was so serene in her little village, and as we walked past the village church with fields off to our right and the afternoon sun bearing down, I could have been fooled into thinking it was the south of France.  All it needed was an old man wearing a beret to totter past and it would have been perfect!  Noah was so mucky from playing in Elizabeth's garden, and I loved dunking both the boys in the bath at the end of the day and then having them come out, if not smelling sweet, well then at least free of dirty knees and feet, and with slightly cleaner fingernails.

On Sunday we headed over to the Big Dip at Clapham Common, on a tip-off from my neighbor who has a very good blog about events for kids in London, mamaloveslondon.blogspot.com.  For £6, we had 4 hours at a very well-designed urban beach type thing, with two pools and a sand area for volleyball, digging, etc.  Blake really loved the time in the pool, whereas Noah really didn't want anything to do with it and I therefore spent most of my pool time hanging out with him as he ran up and down the ramp leading to the disabled toilet.  He's such a little rascal.

Blake was once again in luck with the face painting, and Sunday's creation is going to be hard to top!  Matt and I ended up telling him he was a "fire sprite" - perhaps fearing that "devil" sounded too scary (even though it was called devil in the book).  The girl doing the face painting was so nice and really went the extra mile with the glitter; I will have a hard time cleaning up the car seat from where he fell asleep on the way home and smeared face paint all over the headrest. 

Anyway, this Big Dip thing was so cool and really such a good deal - on a day like that, with the sun shining brightly on the four of us in our swimsuits, I could close my eyes and feel like we had been transported to the Med or to the NC coast.  Alas, it was just south London, but on a good summer's day, there wasn't any place I'd rather have been.

This shot cracks me up: the tongue out, eyes closed...he did in fact hit the ball though!



In the pool as part of a "lesson"...ha ha, the tongue is still out - clearly concentrating!


Oh sweet blissful summer face...
Noah enjoys himself too, once we were away from the water and back on dry land...


Our "fire sprite"...the best face painting of the summer so far...

The challenge of time

I've spent the last couple of evenings lining up some posts to get ready to send into the blogosphere, although I wasn't quite ready to post them because of not having the accompanying photos downloaded on to the computer from the various cameras that I have.  After all, a picture not only speaks 1000 words, but is also primarily the reason that Grannies come here to see what their grandchildren look like since I am pretty horrible about actually having pictures printed out, let alone mailed.
The past 10 minutes pretty much sum up the state of my life, which could be described as "full", "chaotic", and "exhausting".  I'll take you through it...
I got a post all lined up to add some photos to, but first I needed to find my camera.  It was in my purse from where I'd taken it out yesterday and, as a pleasant surprise, its battery wasn't dead!  Good start.  I next went to download the photos, only to first discover that I haven't actually done this since May, and second to be informed by my computer that there is no more room on our hard drive.  Fun and games, fun and games.  In the meantime I decided I was hungry so I went to the kitchen to make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.  There were two minor problems with that plan, the first being that there were only the vague remnants of peanut butter in the jar, and the second being that I couldn't find a clean knife to scrape said remnants out of the jar.  Logic would predict that I would stop what I was doing on the computer and take a break to do the dishes, but I don't know if I've ever claimed to embrace that sort of logic.

Lo and behold I'm back at the computer writing a completely different post, but one that at least feels timely, something I haven't been very good at lately!  I've managed to trick my computer into finding some space for a few photos, and then I'll be wrapping up my posts for the night.  Will I be going to do the dishes?  Nah, I'm tired, and we're out of peanut butter anyway so at least I won't need a knife for that. 

Summer colds are a drag!

Two Thursdays ago I started to come down with a summer cold, surely one of the most depressing things that can appear in the heart of summer.  I was out with some old colleagues and I just started to feel really shaky, and like I was going to be sick - and I'd only had one glass of wine!  I had to make it an early evening, but then by Saturday I was going hoarse and then by Monday was feeling really congested and miserable.  Blake also had a really bad cough that has made me feel terrible.  I took him to the doctor on Monday, though, and she said it was likely just a summer virus.  Wonderful...
On Saturday we went to a bbq hosted by Blake's friend Mia and her parents Tricia and Mike.  We'd been in the morning to a little local fair at a nearby children's centre, and Blake was nearly first in the queue for...you guessed it - face painting!  The two little boys in front of him both chose to be green monsters, so I thought that's what he'd picked - but instead, he wanted to be a pirate.  I'm really sad that I didn't get a picture of this one given that I have a shot from all his other painted faces this summer.  Oh well...it was a really good one - a nice thin moustache and a painted eye patch, along with a skull and crossbones on his cheek. 

The weather on Sunday was glorious, and we had a few folks over to do a mini early birthday celebration.  We grilled burgers and sausages, boiled corn on the cob, and had a tub full of beer and wine - it was a nice day but I was exhausted by the end of it!  I had a really hectic week at work trying to pull together a company-wide presentation for Thursday night, but it went well and it's over now so I feel a huge weight has been lifted from my shoulders and I'm looking forward to getting back to my normal work again.

I can't remember if I reported or not, but I ran my 5k race back on the 7th in a really good time for me: 34:58 (and it was actually 5.6km).  Since then I have only run once and I feel so unfit already, so as soon as I beat my cough it will be back to pounding the pavement again!  I was amazed at how spurred on I was by the crowd and the other runners - there was no question about just stopping and having a little break (something I do rather often when I am running on my own!) and toward the end I knew I was going faster than normal but I felt like I couldn't slow down.  It was really fun and I'm debating registering for something later in the year to help focus my training.

Then, just like that, another weekend was gone...why is it they seem to go sooo quickly?!

Here is some breaking news: Matt does know how to operate a camera, when under instruction!  The downside is that this makes me realize that I really need to go get my roots done...be careful what you wish for...

July events and happenings!

July is, of course, one of my favorite months.  I guess it's the idea of its being mid-summer, and then having my birthday, but this July was extra special for a few reasons.  On the 10th, Cindy and John welcomed a daughter, Annabelle, into the world - she looks gorgeous from the photo I've seen and we hope all is going well!

My dear Dartmouth friend Katie celebrated our milestone birthday on the 11th and then Di followed a few weeks later - I meant to do shout-outs on the days, girls, but I just didn't get the time!  I hope you had great birthdays!

On Tuesday I celebrated "halfway to 70", although the highlight of the day was hearing that Katie and Tom welcomed Rosemary Bridget, a little sister for Clara, on my birthday!  I am not sure I know of anyone else born on my 7/26, apart from Mick Jagger, so I was super excited to hear that I get to share this special date with her.  I only realized it yesterday, but Matt and I failed to remember that it was 9 years ago that we met...what a different world that was from the one we're in now!  For my actual birthday, I just went into work and we had a fairly normal evening, but Elizabeth came to visit on Wednesday and brought me some little cupcakes, so at least I got to eat some cake.  My waistline needed cake like I need a hole in my head, but they were tasty! I am taking tomorrow off to be a lady of leisure and am telling myself that that will be my birthday treat to myself.  Blake was very sweet and kept saying he wanted to make me a card, although I'm not sure he ever got around to it.

And so, tomorrow is the first day of August and July will soon be a memory.  Til the next one rolls around at least....

Back in blog

I know that in the grand scheme of the blogging world, I have a long way to go.  I'm still on my original template from back in 2005, and things in the world of blog design have come on quite a way since then!  I don't have a counter on my blog to let me know how many people are viewing this, nor do I have sponsors or ads, or a Twitter feed.  One day, I might have these things, but for now, it's just the basic DwL that hopefully you know and love. 
Despite my being somewhat stuck in terms of blog technology, I do know one rule of blogging that I've broken recently, and that is that you need to post often!  The hard part about an-over-two-week hiatus is that when I come back to write, I struggle with where to start...Given that my posts are just about the sometimes funny, nearly always exhausting events of our fairly mundane life, is it worth trying to remember what went on two weeks ago and try to write about it?!  I think with the way my brain works, the answer might be, "Yes!", as I can't figure out where else I would start, and it is pretty much just my journal.

So here we go - what you've been missing while I haven't been writing...

After Blake's horrible tantrum (the post that's been popping up front and center every time you've been coming back here!), we had a relatively calmer couple of days.  Brockwell Park was the scene of an event called the Lambeth Country Show, and there were games, rides, stalls, booths, food vendors, and music, along with some farm animals.  The weather that weekened was a bit volatile, so when we headed off at around 2:00 pm on the Saturday I had on wellies, thinking that the grass was likely to be a muddy mess after some heavy morning showers.  Turns out when we got there that the sun changed his mind and did want to come out, and we enjoyed some really nice sunshine (my feet were baking in my rubber boots!).  Blake went on a little car ride before getting a nice long stint on a huge inflatable slide; I was actually amazed at how fearless he was going up the stairs of this thing - it was enormous!  He then also sought out a face painting stall with almost frightening radar-like tendencies...having his face painted has definitely become his "thing"!  On this day he chose to have a serene rainbow and star painted on his forehead by a nice guy named Steve at the Lambeth Fairtrade Campaign tent.  It made a contrast from the recent Spiderman, and what he chose at the Elm Wood School fete the week before:  "a naughty robot" that looked a lot like Charlie Chaplin.  I don't think the lady had ever had that request before, and who even knows what would make a robot "naughty"!?

On Sunday Blake and I headed out to Ikea to hunt for some garden furniture - 18 months in the house, and I finally decided to take full advantage of having some outdoor space by buying something to sit at and eat on!  Somehow anytime I go to Ikea, no matter how little or much I'm intending to buy, it always takes me about 2 hours to get through the place.  Blake was a pretty good sport though, which was a welcome change.  And then it was Monday again, and the whole thing (our week, that is), started again!  Surprisingly, with all the rain and the sun, the only rainbow I saw all weekend was on Blake's forehead.  But fortunately, we didn't have any major storm clouds from him!