Stroller shopping – we caved

The Tiny Tyrant’s cough was so bad last night that she was sick. In our bed. A lot. 
So I spent most of this morning trying to wash a duvet that ought to fit in the damn washing machine  but doesn’t. 
The cover is dry but the duvet itself is hanging over the shower to drip-dry. And Housekeeping came today so no fresh duvet cover for us darn it. But I have gotten it clean so it could be worse. 
By 2pm the kids had major cabin fever so we thought we’d brave another trip to the mall…

Within ten minutes we decided that we cannot work without a stroller anymore. 

Β£21 later and we have the world’s most awful yet functional stroller.  The Tiny Tyrant was, surprisingly, very, keen to use it – guess she’s fed up of walking everywhere!

 I finally got to spend a little time in Bath & Body Works (too easy to spend money in there!) and Teavana. 
I have officially joined the ranks of pretentious herbal infusion drinkers:

Amusingly however so has the Tiny Tyrant πŸ˜‚πŸ€£πŸ˜‚πŸ€£πŸ˜‚
She nommed up all the samples in the shop. Sadly #1 Son was not so keen, so can’t sneak extra fluids into him this way!
The PiΓ±a Colada flavour is not my scene, but the hus-creature likes it, so we will drink it first then try the others (2 out of the 4 were tried and liked in the shop so it’s not so bad). 
The Tiny Tyrant also does not approve of this flavour – she’s more of a Strawberry Daiquiri girl πŸ‘πŸ»

I got a picture with both kids!!! 


On the duck boatΒ 

It was a lot of fun. 

Got the Tiny Tyrant Duck Boat ready:

She then slept for most of it πŸ™„πŸ™„πŸ™„πŸ€£πŸ˜‚

I have a lovely drool stain on my leg πŸ™„πŸ€£πŸ˜‚

Tour was great, but thanks to the sleeping toddler I didn’t get many photos:

#1 Son stayed relatively engaged until he wasn’t selected to drive it in the water then we lost his attention sadly. 
Our duck boat either clipped or got clipped by a silver thing. Took 10 minutes to exchange details, but fortunately that was the only excitement. 
After the tour we headed to lunch. 

We got the kids cheesy pasta (#1 Son) and sliders (Tiny Tyrant) and her eyes lit up when she saw it:

As we were at The Cheesecake Factory we had to get pudding no?
Jo was full, so he ordered the healthy option of strawberries:
Whereas I went straight for the white chocolate macadamia nut cheesecake:


So. Good. 

We also had to do some boring life admin which did include confirming we can get the Tesla – without losing our place in the queue!!!!!
Cue ecstatic wiggly dancing from me. 
And lastly, #1 Son being so darn cute as Big Brother my heart just melted:

Today we duck boat

Our plan is now to make the most of daddy’s remaining time off before he starts his new job (in between life change related admin, which never ends – or at least that’s how it seems!)
So we are going to do the bus tour of Boston today which includes a duck boat – only Jo has been on one of those so it’s going to be interesting. 
The Tiny Tyrant is still croupy but we’re hoping that fresh air will help her feel better. 


In more mundane news I have worked out how to make the tea tolerable (doubling up the teabags works) and Jo has cooked his first ever meal stateside – we’ve been so exhausted it’s been takeaway all the way so far:

Might not look much but it was tasty. 

Lazy day

The Tiny Tyrant was a bit croupy last night, and a Comcast man is coming around noon to (hopefully) fix the damn wifi so we’ve decided to take it easy today. 
So I thought the curious amongst the audience might like to see our temporary housing. 

The master bedroom and ensuite (avec Tiny Tyrant):

The wonder that is a fully walk-in closet:

(It also contains the cat’s water fountain)
Our main room:

The view from the main room:
The kid’s room – yes #1 Son does indeed have his own double bed – he’s been thrilled with that:

The kitchen area:

There is also a bathroom.  American baths are low down. I think it will not be long before I am chasing a buck nekkid Tiny Tyrant around because she’s climbed out πŸ™„πŸ˜³
This post has been brought to you by the power of WIFI!!!
Oh Internet how I have missed thee.  

House hunting

Is not fun. At all. Even a little bit. 
I do not understand the Massachusetts way of doing property. Realtors are a strange concept, and you have to use them. Santa Clarita Diet it is not. 
The rental price also fluctuates dependent on time of year, and as this is peak season (thank you student city) we will be tied in to the raised rents until we decide to buy or leave the USA.  
We have seen a number of properties today. Several were okay (one would have been perfect but no garden – can’t do that again). 
Another was stunning but nothing included in the rent, which was top of our budget. 
One was, frankly, grotty. Which is a new word that we taught both our realtor and the Destination Services Consultant. Honestly it needed a handyman badly
There are two in contention. Both are, sadly three bed, but they have 1.5 bathrooms, which we have determined is the thing we can compromise on the least. 
The one I’ve fallen for has a balcony, a stunning kitchen, and the kids rooms are separated in a really cute way.  However the layout means that #1 Son will need to have the slightly smaller room, else he would have to walk through that of the Tiny Tyrant to get to bed – so the child who goes to bed sooner gets the bigger room. There are ways to make it fairer. 
So no, not ideal, but we were always planning on getting a good quality sofa bed or the kids can bunk up when we have guests.  
We also met the landlords who were lovely (offering to install new fences and put bars on relevant windows to protect the kids lovely) and the Tiny Tyrant totally charmed them. 
Actually she charmed everyone she met today. The realtor called her a princess (he thinks she has a very regal wave πŸ€£πŸ˜‚)
And the DSC told me #1 Son was a wonderful and unique young man and she was full of praises for both children (and us as parents actually) and it was lovely to hear. 
We were finished by 15:30 and as we were all cranky and exhausted we decided to stop for a treat. So, may I present:
The children’s first Dunkin’ Donuts
I had a blackberry-strawberry iced tea and it was lush. (The chocolate-strawberry croissant donut was gorgeous too)

The first day

We were all pretty darned jet lagged after the journey and as we had arrived so late and in all the worry over the cat, we hadn’t gotten food in. 
So we decided to go to a local diner for breakfast. 
As we’d all been up since 05:30 but nothing opened before 08:00, I was pretty ravenous. 

Ordered the kids a chocolate chip pancake each, Jo ordered huevos rancheros, but I couldn’t decide. 

So I thought “oh, I’ll have an omelette (cheddar, ham, mushroom) and a chocolate chip pancake. 
Guess who forgot what country she was in?!??

Yes, that was my breakfast. No, I didn’t finish it. Yes, I am a moron. 
Was bloody tasty though!
Then we decided to try and buy a few essentials that we hadn’t been able to bring with us. 

Also a baby monitor and Jo’s Nespresso machine, the cost of which means that in a month or so I will be able to get my longed-for Kitchen Aid mixer and thus get my bake on!
If anyone wishes to buy me presents this Christmas I have my eye on SEVERAL Craftsy classes in the baking spectrum now!!! 

Particularly those where custard is involved πŸ€£πŸ˜‚
We then went to a local supermarket  (Market Basket, not WholePaycheck) and tried to stock up on groceries. 
Guess whose card was declined, despite him telling his bank that he was emigrating? Such fun times. 
Got that little issue fixed, but invested in Amazon Prime because it’s just stupid not to. 
(The new cat tree should be here by Friday-ish πŸ˜‚πŸ‘πŸ») 
Got the kids into bed (#1 Son had a bowl of Frosties with marshmallows as the pizza three-cheese was too strong for him)
Jo then spent over an hour on the phone to Comcast to try and sort out our wifi issues, which ended with “meh, we dunno mate, buy a new modem”
Except we can’t because it’s a managed condo and the company have to deal with it so god alone knows when that might be fixed. 
Oh and I got the cat stoned on catnip. I was worried she wasn’t eating, and as she had been starved for 24 hours before the flight that was concerning. So I plonked nip on the wet food. 
I think I might have put too much on, as she was very vocal and jumping all over the furniture – which included the bathroom sink!!!!

The great adventure began

Getting to the airport was fine, not a hitch. 
Had a wonderful send off breakfast with my family – which was lovely and I look forward to putting my send off picture on the wall in our new home. 

Jo got randomly selected for an extra TSA check (apparently that gets printed on boarding passes these days) so I had to wrangle two over-excited children plus baggage onto the flight – which was… fun
The flight was relatively uneventful.  #1 Son basically binged on movies/tv/games. 
It was however delayed by 40 minutes due to Canada having problems with air traffic control. 
My tv unit was busted until about halfway through so I didn’t get to watch Logan – pretty gutted actually. 
The Tiny Tyrant was surprisingly undemonic. She slept through take off and had an additional nap about halfway through. 

Neither child ate much but that’s to be expected. 

Then we landed at Boston Logan International Airport. 

Which was nice. Until we got stuck in Immigration Control for over three hours because their computers were down. 

Except that we only heard this by eavesdropping -there was no official announcement of any kind.  They did hand out water eventually. 
So then we went to pick up bags. Which were all there. So we’re the car seats. However, no stroller. Somehow it may not have made it onto the flight. 

While we were at Heathrow we had pre checked it in. The Delta employees then also checked it in and in barcode confusion it may not have followed us. 
So the poor Tiny Tyrant is  having to walk everywhere at the moment. 
Then we went to pick up the rental car… where the computers were also down. So we were there for a further hour plus. 
By the time we picked the damn car up (nice red Mazda for the interested) it was half four. We had landed at 12:30
Thing was, our poor cat had been sent over on the flight immediately after ours. Which meant, factoring in the Canada delays (though they also affected her flight so that wasn’t as bad) but with the additional delays, the poor bugger was stuck at the condo waiting for us. 

But we picked her up, some of Jo’s work mates brought emergency supplies, we paid a handsome tip and she was in her new home. 

She seems to be settling in well though now. 

Last night in England

The house is packed up. The men were done by 2pm. 
The keys have been handed to the estate agents (with significant complaints about their recommended conveyancers – watch this space for updates on that little problem). 
We are bidding farewell to Banbury. 
It’s so strange to finally say that. This time tomorrow, all being well, we will be in Massachusetts (which I really have to learn how to spell!)
We’ve had a lovely last supper with Jo’s parents. The kids had a wonderful time, and we will be seeing them for Thanksgiving. 
My parents are seeing us off at the airport tomorrow (mad people they are, but I’m grateful). 
The kidlets are tucked up in bed:

And yes the Tiny Tyrant is sprawled across ours, she will be moved to her cot. 

We have to be up at 04:30 for the plane so I bid you all goodnight. 

The men are in the house

Boxing up our lives.  
They are fast, they are efficient and they are brutal. 

I can’t take any medication with me in the crates so all my prescriptions (and wow do I have a lot) have to be squeezed into the suitcases. 
By the time we left the house they were starting on the big items and some rooms were already cleared.  As much as this has not been good for my stress levels, I am genuinely impressed with these blokes. 
Hand luggage is also done:

One packed car ready for Saturday. 
The suitcases themselves are crazy and we will need to buy new clothes, but in the words of Elsa I have chosen to let it go.
We’ve also attempted to pre-book some viewings for potential 12-month rental properties.  
The kids have their last days at Reception and nursery respectively tomorrow….
It’s all suddenly very, very real.  

Clearing out the house

Is more trouble than I could have imagined. 
We are taking most of our belongings to Massachusetts but there are some things we can’t take – the sofa for instance (we broke it 😱🀣) Also bedding etc. 
So we rented a van. Which is fine. Except it’s a manual – so I can’t drive it. Jo hasn’t driven a manual in over two years. 
And it has opinions on gears. It flashes a display at you to tell you if it thinks you’re wrong. 
Which has led to several hilarious rants from the hus-creature so far on the merits of “vehicles that expect you to peel grapes for them. If it has opinions, it should just do it itself”
(Expletives redacted for our more sensitive readers πŸ€£πŸ˜‚) 
Also, you have to register a van to take to  Ardley in advance – but you need the licence plate for the permit. Which takes 2-3 working days to process. 
Now, I’ll say something in defence of our local council – when we phoned up to explain why we needed to go today they sorted it out over the phone, no fuss no muss (and not a single cuss 😝) but it made me understand just why fly tipping can happen.