Thursday, June 17, 2010


Well, summer is definitely here! I don't remember the last time I was able to take the babies outside for their morning walk - it's already so hot and humid by the time morning naps are over that I just can't bear the thought of wearing my Moby wrap and lugging Anna while pushing Riah in the stroller! To compensate for walking, though, we've been swimming a lot recently; Mark's parents put a pool in in the fall, and it's definitely added to the reasons I'm glad we still live within 4 miles of their house! Anna LOVES the water, and I'm probably going to get her a little inflatable pool to put on our back patio so she can swim here too. Mark's schedule this month has been surprisingly nice, considering the fact that he's technically working nights. He works an overnight on Sunday, sleeps all day Monday, then works a 24 hour shift from Monday night till Tuesday night. Then he's home all day Wed/Thurs, and has clinic Friday mornings. We're loving having him around! We've gone swimming, taken Anna to the Aquarium using our family pass that Mark got her for Christmas (which she loves at least as much as swimming), grilled, watched lots of good World Cup football - this is made more awesome by the fact that Anna has a little England shirt! - had picnics together ... as Calvin and Hobbes would say, "The days are just packed!" :)

We're starting to look for tickets to England for the fall - very exciting (though somewhat pricier than when Mark and I routinely flew back and forth before getting married!), mainly because the reason for our trip is that Steph is getting married! We're super excited, both for Steph and Adam, and just to be back in England again :)

Anna seems to have had a 'developmental growth spurt' recently; all of a sudden she is very good at walking only holding ONE of our hands instead of clutching both for dear life, she talks pretty much all day and sounds just like us (with intonation, phrases of differing lengths, different 'words' that mean different things etc), she will happily play by herself in her play-yard for a good 25-30 minutes, and I think the amount that she understands is rapidly increasing. We often play "where's Anna.... there she is!", and have done that for months now, but all of a sudden when we substitute in other words for Anna she can find Mama, Dada, Sushi (her fish), her blankie, her tiger, her books.... and is good at following commands. It is crazy to me the rate at which her little mind is developing and expanding. I LOVE getting to watch that all day!

Well, I need to go shower my poolwater off so we can go out for sushi (uh ... actual sushi. This could become a problem!) when Mark gets back from doing manly man things at Lowes. As I said - the days are just packed :)

Friday, June 11, 2010

Home away from home

Most of the time, having now lived in the States for close to 5 years (!), I feel totally at home here. There are some seasons/events that slightly dilute that feeling - significant events taking place in the lives of my family members in England, struggles with the immigration process here, conversations in which Americans bash all things socialised or declare the American way of life far superior to anyone else's (particularly when said American has never left their country of birth to experience the cultures they are so willing to bash) ... and major international sporting competitions. In this case - the World Cup.

Now, before you start thinking I'm about to launch into an anti-American diatribe of some kind, let me just acknowledge that every country has its own biases and of course focuses in on its own little segment of international events. However, few countries that I have experienced indulge in this to the extent that the US does! I am not expecting to find other England fans roaming the streets of Tulsa wearing their home flags as capes, like I would in Wycombe. It just makes me sad that I live in probably the only country in the world whose population, for the most part, is totally oblivious to the fact that the first World Cup game kicked off an hour ago!

I miss England today. I miss walking down the street and seeing half a dozen pubs flying the national flag and touting their World Cup watch-parties and game-specific happy hours. I miss seeing pictures of various nations' WC squads plastered across every newspaper in the country, the double-spread bracket page that every kid in the country has blue-tacked up in their bedroom to fill out as the competition progresses, the way every TV and radio station incorporates the WC into their broadcasts and will stop regular broadcasting to announce game updates. I miss that low-level excitement that is the baseline pretty much anywhere you go in the country. The anticipation that maybe, just maybe, this will be the year that England brings it home again - but even if we don't, that there's an entire nation of people who are staunch, patriotically English, and drunk enough to proudly wear the three lions anyway! (Or to rip their shirts off and paint massive red St George's crosses on their beer bellies/chests and show THAT off instead!)

I'm so thankful that the Crouch family is so into football. I know it may seem trivial, but to me it's not. It is so comforting to me that while I may miss out on a lot of things I would love to be there for on the other side of the ocean, I will not be watching any World Cup games by myself!