Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Christmas & the snow











We had a great day Christmas Day with some of the Aussie's here in Virginia Beach and Jason and Julie an American couple that are great friends. So much food, and a few very nice bottles of wine!! Unfortunately for me, Katie and Julie we were limited on how much nice wine we could have due to the joys of pregnancy and breast feeding :) Christmas afternoon here it started snowing (apparently the entire east coast of America got snow). Our friends Katie, JT and their bub Jayden were staying over the night but all the others went home early enough to not get caught in heavy snow. Christmas evening and all day boxing day the snow continued......(we got about 10 inches)so Katie & JT made the decision to stay over again as the roads were not the safest, and who knows what crazy drivers were out there.
About 4pm the boys were outside playing with Charlotte when we first smelt some fire then heard a massive bang. A branch in between our front yard and the neighbours place had fallen under the weight of the snow, onto the power lines!!! So the entire street was now without power and the temperature was under 0C. Thankfully the fantastic owners of our house have a generator in the garage, so we could get some things going again, like the fridge and a few lights, we also have a gas fireplace in the lounge room......it kept us kinda warm, well compared to outside!! The wire that was down out the front was live so the electricity company came out pretty quickly to fix it (2am that night if u call that quickly) but better than not at all :) It all made for a very interesting Xmas.
So as you can imagine with 10 inches of snow we got some great pictures, and as the snow is melting (very slowly, the temp today got to about 2C) the icicles hanging off the house are amazing. Charlotte has made 2 snow men so far, one here in the backyard and another up at the park. We have also had a bit of fun in the yard with the toboggan, we built a ramp, but there are too many trees in the way :( Our outdoor table became the best beer holder too!!
I have also attached some pics of Victoria and her boyfriend, Jayden.....we can't wait until next Xmas when they will be 15 and 16 months old, it's going to be a blast!!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

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Sunday, December 19, 2010

Lights & Dancing :)


Check out our Santa!!! And a few videos of the girls dancing, and no Victoria didn't vomit after this :)

video video

More with the Toboggan













































After the big snow fall this week, (well big for Virginia Beach) we took the toboggan out again. This time everybody had to have a go!! We found a few small hills in the backyard and pushed Charlotte down them on the toboggan. It was pretty fun!! Then it was my turn to run around the front yard and pull her along!! Afterwards I had to run a few errands and came back to find everyone asleep after a big morning out on the snow!!! Look closely at Charlotte asleep.........I think she was just pretending :)

Saturday night we went to a place called Busch Gardens in Williamsburg. During the warmer months it's a theme park, but over winter they transform it into "Christmas Town". It was amazingly pretty, the entire park was done up with Christmas lights and there were huge Christmas trees and a Santa u could visit and so much more!!! The fact that we walked around in 32F for about 3 hours meant we were freezing, but all had a great time. It even snowed again while we were there. Someone silly (not Ted, Charlotte or Victoria) forgot to take the camera so I can't show u any pics.....Sorry :(

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Snow again!!
















Well it's been a week or so since our last blog and so much has happened..........

To start Victoria is now a dual citizen, that's right, we can call her an Aussie now, but she still holds onto the American bit!! We have been madly trying to get her passports organised for our trip home in Feb, I can't believe a child so small requires 2 passports to go to Australia :) This meant another trip to Washington DC for the Australian Passport interview, on our wedding anniversary. Funny story actually, I made a booking online at a hotel in a Suite, assuming that like all other suites there was a separate bedroom. We stayed somewhere different this time as the only place we needed to go was the Embassy. When we got there I was told I was guest of the day!!!! How exciting :) Anyway the room was not a real suite and there was no separate bedroom so we put the girls to bed and then I had a bath while Ted sat in the bathroom drinking red wine, trying to be quite and not wake the kids!!! Great way to spend your 5th anniversary :) To top it off the hotel gave us a prize for being guest of the day......no not a discount on the room or a free bottle of wine, we got 2 apples an orange and some grapes!!!! Yep that's it :) Oh did I mention we used the wine cooler to keep Charlotte's milk cold overnight?? How romantic :)
Anyway, Monday it snowed again, but this time it actually stayed on the ground for a while. I was so excited so I took heaps of photos thinking this may never happen again. Then today it snowed again, but lots!! So I took more photos. This afternoon though the temperature went up a bit causing it to rain, and now there is ice everywhere and the roads are a mess!! We were told it hardly ever snows here and it's true, nothing is set up to deal with snow. The top temp most days this week has been 32F or 0C, so very cold, when I took Charlotte to the Dr's the other morning it was -7C!!!
All of us have been a bit sick this week, but seem to be getting better today, hopefully we are good before Xmas as we are hosting most of the Aussies here. Victoria is doing well, she has managed to not get too sick!! She has discovered her hand this week, it's amazing how long it can keep her entertained!! Charlotte is looking forward to seeing Santa for a photo this week, she told me she has asked for a fairy castle and wand!! Fingers crossed for her!! She discovered that Santa has a naughty list this week watching Dora's Xmas episode and she is doing her best to be on it at the moment!! She is crying and screaming out "I'm crying!! I need a cuddle!!" in an attempt to get out of going to bed :) We shouldn't laugh, but it is so funny :)
Uncle Mike, check out the photo with the train, the girls (and Ted) love it!! And for everyone there are 2 videos of Charlotte Tobogganing, Pt1 and Pt2, watch them in order as they are one video, I just couldn't put them on as one, it was too big!! Listen out for Charlotte screaming :)

video video

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Ted's Birthday




After our big night out last night to farewell the Corkills (our Aussie friends), we spent Ted's birthday relaxing around the house, well as much as you can relax with 2 very tired children :) Ted worked on the Xmas decorations for the front yard standby for the photos, when it's finished it's going to look great!! I spent most of the day trying to keep Victoria happy while cooking a very yummy birthday cake!!
Attached are the photos, Charlotte was very happy to sing Happy Birthday and help blow out the candles :)
I have also attached a photo of Charlotte in the shower the other night, she told me she had a funny hat like mummy's and a beautiful dress!!


Snow!!


Guess what?? It snowed here last night......we were out at a party and I took this photo :) It didn't stick for long but still it snowed!!!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Our Real Christmas Tree!!


































Today we went and got a REAL Christmas Tree :) We didn't bring our tree from Australia, so we figured we would spend the time over here enjoying a real tree!! Charlotte had a ball :) First Charlotte, Victoria and I went to Target (we love target) and got all the decorations, Charlotte picked everything, so it's very colourful. After that we met Ted at the Navy Base where we got the tree and tied it to the roof of the 4WD, thank goodness for big cars in America!! Once home, Ted managed to get it off the roof and into the house, it made a huge mess. Then it was all about decorating!! Have attached some pics for u to see, it's a pretty big tree, we actually had to cut some off the top to fit the star on :) Tomorrows job is the outside lights.........

Monday, November 29, 2010

Thanksgiving
















Last Thursday we celebrated our first Thanksgiving in Virginia Beach. We stayed home and cooked enough food to feed an entire Army!! Our friend Sunday (for those of u that don't know Sunday, she is an American married to an Aussie living in Canberra) gave us all of her recipes for a great Thanksgiving dinner, turkey, creamed corn, stuffing, gravy, green beans, mash potato, cranberry sauce and of course pumpkin pie!! It was yum!! We all had a great day and went to bed very full :) I did however change the pumpkin pie a little, I found a recipe for pumpkin, hazelnut, frangelico and mascapone cheese, it was fantastic!! Even Ted liked it and he isn't a sweets man!!
Saturday we spent the afternoon with all the other Aussie families here to have an Aussie Thanksgiving. The boys decided that it would be fun to do a "Turkey Fry"..........yes they put the entire turkey into a deep fryer!!! Did u know that 15 families in America every year burn their house down trying to fry a turkey on Thanksgiving!!!! Crazy!! It sounds bad, but tastes very yummy, and takes a 1/4 of the time to cook :) We had all the usual things to eat as well as a very yummy sweet potato dish, it is basically mashed sweet potato with nuts, corn flakes and marshmallows on top and baked in the oven, again sounds interesting but was great. How do they come up with these things?? I made another yummy pie, a twist on pecan pie, adding chocolate and kahlua, again Ted was a fan :)
Friday was a big day too, it's called Black Friday and all the shops have sales, kind of like Boxing day sales in Oz. Ted and I got most of our Christmas presents as well as his birthday and Charlotte's birthday presents on sale, Bargain!!! Today was back to work and household duties:(
Both the girls are doing well, Charlotte is very much looking forward to coming back to Australia in February and Victoria is getting more active every minute. We can't wait till in a few months Victoria and her little boyfriend Jayden will be able to play together, at the moment it's limited to smiles at each other and they held hands on Saturday, so cute :)

Saturday, November 13, 2010

A Hot Man!!

Just a quickie.......(thought you might get a giggle)
We were talking to Charlotte this morning about what she would like for Christmas, the conversation went a little like this.........
Jenn -"Charlotte what do you want for Christmas this year?"
Charlotte - "A Hot Man!"
(I was laughing too hard to say anything at this point)
Ted - "No Charlotte, that's what you get for your 21st birthday!!"
I have absolutely no idea where she would have heard anyone talking about "A Hot Man", Mum and I would never have spoken about such things while she was here!! (by the way Mum, who did we decide was hotter again, McSteamy or McDreamy??)

Friday, November 12, 2010

Another busy week :)





































This week was again busy, we had Julieanne arrive late last Friday (a week ago today) and she leaves very early tomorrow morning. We spent 2 nights in Washington DC, as we love the place and thought Julieanne would be interested. So once again we got on the bus and did the tour. There is so much to see that I managed to see a few new things, my favourite was the Air and Space Museum. They have so many cool aircraft on display, including the first ever powered aircraft to fly, it was made and flown by the Wright Brothers in 1901, amazing!! They have lots of fun things for kids to play with as well, even a Cessna 152 hanging from the ceiling for the kids to get into and fly (or at least pretend to). Charlotte had a great time.
The rest of the week we have been just been doing things around the house, nothing much exciting!! Everyone here is getting ready for Thanksgiving, I guess we need to figure out how to cook a Turkey, and Pumpkin Pie, Yum!!! Sunday has kindly given us all her recipes (thank you Sunday :) ) hopefully I am as good a cook as her!!
Victoria is doing well, growing, I weighed her today and she is about 10lbs 8oz now, so at 6 weeks she has reached Harry's birth weight plus 2 oz!! Once again Shell I don't know how you did it :) She now gives smiles all the time, but mostly when she is on her change table looking up at the Noah's Ark Aunty Mel gave us when Charlotte was born. Her hands are constantly trying to touch things like the toys on her play gym, it's amazing how quickly they change from doing nothing. I can't believe it's been 6 weeks already!!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Halloween in New York!!



































































I Love New York!!!! We had a ball :)
Ted arrived in NYC on Saturday night from Sydney, and when we spoke to him I was a little concerned as he said the apartment we had rented was "interesting"!! About 1/2 hr later he called back and said we were only about 2 blocks from Times Square and he thought it was great!! I was feeling much better :)
Mum and I packed up half the house and headed off on Sunday morning. Charlotte was very excited to be going on a plane again (I think like me she was having withdrawals), and Victoria had no idea that this would be the first of many flights for her. Both girls were great on the plane, Charlotte sat in her 'own' seat and was very excited about going 'very fast' when we took off, so cute!!
Ted was at the airport as we has a few bags between us and thought it might be easier to negotiate NYC for the first time with his help. It took a while to get to the apartment (the traffic is really bad, just like what they say!!) I soon understood what Ted meant by interesting, the apartment was Tiny and the interior decorator has a lot to answer for :) But it was so close to everything. We took a short walk to Times Square and were amazed, so many people around and so much to see. Being that it was Halloween kids were out trick or treating, the shops!! The place never gets dark as there are so many big screen's around. And so many shops to look at I didn't know where to start.
Monday and Tuesday we took the "Hop-on, Hop-off" bus as we thought it would be the easiest way to see some of the many things to see in NYC. To give you an idea, in Washington DC the other week, there was one bus trip you could do, in NYC there are 4 or 5 different routes you can choose!! We saw the Empire State Building and went to the Observation Deck at the 86th floor, the view was amazing, you could see so far, but it was so cold (Monday temps were between 2-9C!!, Ted only had a polo shirt and light jacket on, we were a little surprised by how cold it actually was!!) Next we saw 'Ground Zero', the site of the World Trade Center that is now just a building site, they are building new buildings to replace the old, plus a memorial to remember those that were lost. We didn't go into the visitor center as we wanted to keep moving. Next up was the 'Statue of Liberty'. We caught the boat accross to Liberty Island, she is massive, I knew she was big but WOW!! The trip back on the boat was interesting, Victoria had her first meal at Sea, while Ted and Mum tried to keep it kind of hidden while occupying Charlotte. One thing Americans don't do well is Baby Change/Feeding facilities, if you are planning to travel here with a breast fed baby be prepared to get your gear out in public places, you have no other options!! After this we headed back to our tiny apartment on the bus, we saw lots of other things from the bus as it drove all around the 'Downtown' area of NYC. Once home Ted and I headed out for dinner while Mum baby sat the 2 girls :) It was nice to be able to have an adult conversation with my Husband without being interrupted by a 2yr old, I even treated myself to an expensive glass of Champagne, actually Ted paid so he treated me :)
Tuesday we got back on the bus but the one heading 'Uptown'. We came a little better prepared for the weather, again it was under 10C. Our first stop was the Museum of Natural History, and once again so much to see, we only spent a few hours here and didn't see a 1/4 of what there was to see. Charlotte loved the animals, it would be great to be able to spend just a day here. Next up was the Cathedral of St. John the Devine (at Mum's request for those of you wondering). It was a very interesting building as it is yet to be finished!! It's taking a while.....they started in 1892 and it is still a work in progress. The other interesting thing we found there was the resting place of many famous poets, including one of John Stroud's favourites, Robert Frost (some of the younger generation may remember Frost from year 12 English). Mum and I think it may be bigger than the National Cathedral we saw in DC, but still a baby compared to many Mum saw in Europe. Last stop was Central Park where Charlotte had a play on one of the many play area's. We wanted to take a ride in the one of the horse and carts, but Victoria was due to feed again and I thought it might be a little too public (and cold)!! So we found a nice little coffee shop just down from Tiffany's and Prada and had a coffee there (milk for Victoria).
Mum and I had tickets to see 'West Side Story' for Tuesday night so it was Ted's turn to look after the girls :) The show was great, ended too quickly but it was fantastic to see 'West Side Story' on Broadway in NYC, who would have thought that Lynne and I would get to do that!! After the show we had a quick burger at Planet Hollywood and a bit of a walk around Times Square still amazed at all of it.
Wednesday morning Mum did a bit of souvenir shopping and we had a look at the m & m store before heading back to the airport. After checking in, we had lunch with Mum and then left her to catch the air train to her terminal for her flight back to Oz (and yes there were tears!!). We were very sad to see her go as she was a great help while she was here :) Thanks Mum!! Hopefully she is almost back in Albury safe and sound. But the visitors continue here, tomorrow night Julieanne arrives for a week.
Today ted was back to work and the girls and I had a relaxing day at home (if you call doing a hundred loads of washing relaxing!!!). Charlotte and I also did some toe nail painting (it was her first time, she is growing up so quickly!!) Check out the photo, her toes are so cute!!