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Showing posts from November, 2009

Our First Thanksgiving

We had our first Thanksgiving as a family in America today. Dan, who works with Ben, invited us to his parents house for Thanksgiving dinner. Z has been going on about wanting to eat Pumpkin pie as he has been learning all about Thanksgiving at school and decided that he liked the sound of Pumpkin Pie. We were told not to take anything but said we couldn't arrive empty handed so we brought a bottle of wine along with us. Dans sister was there with her husband and their daughter who is a little bit younger than K. Z and K played very nicely with her. The watched a dvd, played on the piano and played with some toys together.

The kids tried a bit of everything and had a choice of desserts. There was pumpkin pie, apple pie, chocolate pie and pumpkin cake. Z tried a bit of all the pies and K just had a bit of pumpkin pie. We even got a 'care package' to bring home of some left overs, including pudding! We ate a lot but not too much that we were stuffed and feeling uncomfortabl…

Indiana State Library

We went to the Children's Museum of Indianapolis the other weekend and had lots of fun. We have become members of the museum so we can now go as much as we want for the next 12 months. Santa is due to arrive the next Friday after Thanksgiving and in early December a Barbie exhibit is due to open so we will most likely go back for that. We decided to give the Indiana State Museum a try today. All in all I think I prefer the Children's Museum. Does that make me a child?

We also were given the option of joining the State Museum but decided that the kids were probably a but young for it and we were more likely to go back to the other one. They are very close to each other geographically but the State Museum seems a bit more grown up and has lots of stuff to read. If you are only 4 and 6 years old then that is not a fun day out!

They did enjoy, however, the sandwich from Jimmy Johns and the ice cream for dessert at the South Bend Chocolate Company Shop. Although K did want to eat h…

Carmel Christmas Lights Switch On

The Carmel Christmas Lights were switched on today so we went along to have a look at them. We didn't line up to see Santa as we would still be waiting now, but did get some balloon animals. K wanted a reindeer hat and Z wanted a candy cane. We took some pictures of the lights but somehow managed to forget to take a picture of the big tree! We will go back and get one. Watching it all get turned on made me realise that we don't have any Christmas decorations and we will need to go and get some after Thanksgiving.

After we watched the lights and wandered around the stalls that were there, we went home to get ready for a party at David and Sian's house. (They are the expats who have been so lovely and helpful to Ben and I since we arrived) We met loads of people whose names I am sorry to say I forgot almost as soon as I was told them! Their house is gorgeous and K and Z had fun playing on the Wii and generally staying up late! I agreed to drive home so Ben could drink. First…

Kids Treat

The kids have been good most of the week and I had been promising them they could decorate cookies at some point. So once Z had done his homework I set the frosting and sprinkles on the table and let them loose. I will admit I did a few myself and some have been left undecorated as Ben is not particularly keen on frosting. The kids enjoyed it and I just home the fact that I let them taste 1 each will not mean they will be on a sugar rush for the rest of the evening!

                 I think I may need to limit them to 1 a day! I also think I may need to buy a vacuum as there may be some sprinkles on the carpet! I really am my own worst enemy at times!

I could make my own frosting and it would probably not be as sweet, but I really couldn't be bothered and the ready made stuff is so much easier. Plus I left my cake recipe book back in the UK and that had all my frosting recipes in it.                        


Z does not like having vaccinations. In fact I would go as far as saying he hates having vaccinations! He threw a hissy fit both times I took him to get a dose of the Hep B vaccination he needed for going to school in America. He hears the word vaccination and seems to automatically think about needles. Understandable I guess. Each time he has had a vaccination I have been with him. However he was scheduled to have a dose of the H1N1 swine flu vaccine at school today. No parents were allowed to be in school with their child when they got it done. All Elementary students were getting them done this week and the High School kids have had their postponed for a little while until they have enough doses in. The vaccine that Z would get would either be a jab in the arm or a nasal spray. I would have no idea what he would get until he came home at the end of the school day. If I am truthful I was expecting a call from the school saying he had gotten hysterical and they couldn't give him …

2nd Times A Charm

Last time I ventured out in the car I got lost. Twice. Today I went out with specific tasks in mind and I knew I needed to get them done as Ben will have the car Thursday and Friday as the guy who he car pools with is off work on those days.

My mission today was to get to Chase to open some kind of bank account and then to Walmart so I could get some Christmas cards to mail to the UK and get some more dinner plates, bowls etc as we only have a 4 piece setting and if we have guests then we will have fun at dinner time. (We are due a guest next weekend so wanted to get the plates before then as I would be likely to forget!)

So off I set with K in the back of the car. I didn't even bother with the Sat Nav this time. I left it in the glove box. I had spent a good 10 minutes or so on Google maps before we left looking at where we were going and at what point I had to turn and tried to remember landmarks or store names near these points. What do you know, 4 minutes later I was pulling in…

Driving In the Car

Today Ben left the car keys with me so I could 'go for a drive round the block and the car park' so I could get used to driving the car. Once Ben was off to work and Z was at school I put K in the car and decided I would try to get to Chase so I could open a bank account. Notice I say 'try'! I put on the Sat Nav and start driving down the road. I had a vague idea where I wanted to go to but thought the Sat Nav would help. Of course it can only help me if I have programmed it properly! I quickly notice that although the map is showing me where I am and what direction I am going, I am not hearing the annoying woman;s voice telling me when to turn etc. By this point I can't sort it out as I am driving and there is no where I can pull over. So I keep driving. Eventually I find somewhere to turn around and we head back in the opposite direction. I pull into the car park at Target and decide to go in to get some bags of potato chips for the party we are going to at the w…

What A Weekend!

This was the first weekend that we were all able to get out and about as a family without having to walk everywhere. The kids were very pleased about that!

Saturday started with me joining a local Weight Watchers club. The meeting starts at 8.30am so I don't miss out on any of the weekend and first thing in the morning has to be the best time of day to be weighed! Once I was done with fat club I wandered over to Barnes & Noble book stores. It was great. So many books to look at and I could quite happily have wandered around there for ages! I picked up a few books for the kids, some bits to help Z at school, a magazine for each of the kids and a magazine for me. I am waiting for my B&N membership card. I can save upto 40% on some things with it!

Once I was done buying stuff there, Ben and the kids came to pick me up and we went to Meijer to get some groceries and things we needed for the apartment. Once we had everything in the cart and I worked out what coupons we could use,…

School Differences

I have learnt that there are some differences between Z's school in the UK and his new school here in the US and not just the accent!

Then: Leave for school 0845 and walk to school for school to start 0850.
Now: Leave for school 0740 on bus for school to start at 0810.

Then: Homework once a week. Usually one of following examples, draw a picture, write a few sentences, add a few numbers and similar.
Now: Homework every day until Thursday with a spelling and math test on Friday.

Then: Basic reading, writing and maths (so it appeared) with PE twice a week.
Now: Monday reading, writing and math. Also PE & Music.
         Tuesday reading, writing and math. Also Spanish & Library.
         Wednesday reading, writing and math. Also Art.
         Thursday reading, writing and math. Also PE
         Friday reading, writing and math. Also Spanish.

Then: School finish 1530 and walk home.
Now: School finish 1435 and get bus home.

Then: Weekly general school newsletter from school in bookbag.

Cars and Buses

Last night Ben picked up our new car. We are now the owners of a gold colored 2002 Kia Sedona minivan. We need to get it insured and get new plates for it but at least we don't have to worry about crossing 60 lanes of traffic to get to the nearest store and making the kids walk for almost an hour!

This morning Zackery got the school bus for the first time to go to school. He got on the bus at 7.40am and got back from school at 2.40pm. Today he had his school photos taken for the school year book ($36) and we paid for his book rental fees ($98.12).

Weekend Again

Ben decided on a car and was scheduled to get it today but the guy who was helping him came round and said it needs to be tomorrow now. There goes my plan for getting some shopping done in the morning! We are getting a Kia Sedona mini van. We have been told that it is illegal to buy/sell cars on a Sunday in the US so we are not entirely sure what is going to happen tomorrow. Fingers crossed it goes fine and the guy takes the check and simply cashes it on Monday.

As we couldn't go shopping or anywhere any great distance away we went for a little 'adventure' as K calls it. We walked along this pathway, that wasn't quite finished looking for a park the kids could play in. Quite soon we were in this very expensive looking neighborhood and I felt like I was going to get pounced on by security at any point. It wasn't a gated community but it may as well have been. After a while Z decided that his legs were tired and he wanted to go back. So, I turn around with Z and head…

First Day at School

Z went to school today. He had to be there at 7.50am so we could see the teacher before the other students got there. Ben's work colleague Dan gave us all a ride down to the school so we got there on time. We first went to the school office so I could hand in a form for Z to get the H1N1 vaccine and hand in my form and joining fee of $10 for the PTO. I also give them a copy of Z's birth certificate and passport. We then go down to the classroom with his new teacher. She goes through the morning routine with him and shows him where he will sit and where to put his coat etc. She then gives me a folder about the class and requirements etc. I have already been given a folder from the office telling me all about what goes on at the school and how we can do certain things, like credit his account so he can buy lunch if he wants. I wasn't expecting them to give me anything and I am starting to wonder how I am going to manage to carry it all and walk home with K, who has decided t…


Today was an important day. Today we re-joined the 21st century. Today we got cable tv, internet and a home phone installed. I am back in the land of Facebook and Twitter. I can email. I can Skype. Fabulous. It transpires that he cable guy likes British television and is a big fan of Top Gear. He says there is a couple that go to his church and they are British and they talk about British shows. Personally I don't like Top Gear and I can't stand Jeremy Clarkson.

Not a lot happened today but we got cable! Today was a good day.

School Registration

It is time I registered Z to go to the local Elementary school. I downloaded all of the forms before we left the UK and I took him to the doctor to get the vaccinations he needed and to have a medical assessment. When I asked at the doctors office about getting the vaccinations I was told he would need 3 doses and they would be £11 each and that the medical exam would be £75! The vaccinations he needed to get was Hep B and he would not be able to go to school without it. He needed to have 2 doses a month apart and the final one 5 months later. I checked with Carmel Elementary and they said it would be fine if he only had 2 doses and got the final one once he is in the US. We scheduled the medical assessment and I left the form that needed to be completed at the doctors office so that the doctor would know what was required. The whole thing took about 15 minutes and was all the basic height, weight, BP, eyes, ears, chest etc. The last Hep B vaccine does that Z had was the day before we…

Need A Car.

I know this walking lark is good for you but I am not sure how much more of it I can take! Ben has luckily made contact with a guy that may be able to help. He has seen a couple cars that are in our budget but one of them is a station wagon type thing and I am not entirely sure how I will manage the switch from driving a manual Corsa to an automatic station wagon! He has another viewing tonight after he gets back from work so hopefully he will find something suitable.

I am compiling a list of stuff I need and want to get from the stores. I know there is a difference between need and want so I will be strict with myself. I promise. I need to sort out getting a Indiana State Drivers licence and open a bank account. However to do that I need to get to the BMV and the bank. I have looked on google maps and I am not sure it would be a good idea to walk there! I need to either be taken in a car or rive myself in a car.

Fancy A Walk

Even after yesterdays extremely long walk and the fact we were all exhausted after it all, we go for another long walk today. This time we go in the opposite direction and head towards what will be Z's new school. Carmel Elementary School. It takes about 20 minutes or so walk there there and it is, thankfully, a route that is on pavement so we do not have to walk on the road to get there. When Z does go to school he will probably go by school bus there and back home again.

We get to the school and look around. It is a lot bigger than his previous school in the UK and has a large play area outside. It is also next door to a very new looking and very expensive looking public library. I must make a point of going in there and joining up. We had to leave loads of books behind in the UK and that included most of the kids books. (I managed to bring about half a dozen books including books by Cally Taylor, Lucy Diamond, Freya North, Lola Jaye) I love my books and I am sad I had to leave t…

2nd Day in Indiana. 1st Proper Day as Family Again.

Today it was the 4 of us together for a whole day. First time in ages we spent a whole day together. As we don't yet have a car we have to walk everywhere. Ben had gone on a few trips round the area to get his bearings and get to the shops before we arrived so he can show us around. We decide that we need to go to the store as I need a hair dryer. My hair does not look good after it dries naturally. It sticks out all over the place. Not a good look. I also need shampoo as kids shampoo is not proving that effective on my hair either. I look like I have been dragged through a hedge, backwards, several times!

So off we go. We decide to go to Walmart. Now Ben has been there before but he went a route that is not really child friendly. Actually it is not even people friendly as he crossed about 12 lanes of traffic to get there! Not my idea of a pleasant walk with kids even if it is the quicker route. I would rather take longer getting there that risk life and limb! Part of the route to …