Monday, November 30, 2009

Another Turkey and Kicking Off Christmas

Yesterday we bid farewell to November with our last Thanksgiving celebration, and welcomed December with our first Christmas party.

Right after church, we met up with some American friends I've made at playgroup, and their families, for a turkey lunch at a local church. It was great to meet their husbands and get to know them better. After the feast, we all sang songs (including "You are my sunshine") and danced the Virginia Reel. It was so much fun, and so American!

There were a lot of us...unfortunately I only have this picture of the back of everyone's head as they were watching the talented musician!

Everyone else was watching the musicians, but everytime I looked over I saw these two boys smiling at me. I'm not complaining at all!

Later that night we met Verlan and Katherine at another church in the city to watch their neighbor's perform in an Advent Carol Service. It was a great way to welcome the holidays!
(Two comments on the picture above. (1) I should have had V and K pose for the picture, but I'm glad they're documented either way. (2) Don't mind the baby mess on my skirt. Just another day as a Mommy!)

Talmage likes to sit in his own chair lately. He's SO Mr. Independent. He had his own program too...until he devoured it!

We loved the performance...and afterwards enjoyed a lovely dinner with the Lewises, courtesy of the incredible Chef Katherine!
I don't know about you, but I'm breaking out the Christmas music!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

A First for Two

Dr. Martland has never celebrated Thanksgiving before.
He decided he and Talmage should share their first together.
He cooked a turkey, I made the fixins, and we stuffed ourselves!
Dr. Martland with some of his star students (Max, Jim, Vivek and Alexander) and me!

Here's another one with Urvesh (he is such a nice guy and great with Talmage).

Dr. Martland enjoyed his first Thanksgiving.

And so did the little one!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Thanksgiving in Ely

Thanksgiving 2009.
Ely, England.
Hosted by the incredible, kind, generous, loving, warm, amazing Zimmerman family.
Great food. Great people. Great time.
In England, towns are not determined by geography or population. A town is a town if it houses a cathedral. And boy, does Ely have a cathedral! It is gorgeous and huge. It was built 900 years ago and took 100 years to complete. It was inspiring and beautiful to walk through this building and around the grounds.
Katherine's comment as she stood on a huge stone to take this picture, "Oh, so this is how it feels to be your height!"

Love the smiles outside...

...and love the smiles inside!

Here are the troups waiting to pray and feast. It was fun to have our American posse together for the holiday. I think there were about 30 people gathered at the Zimmerman's home--it felt like a big family party. I love these people!

Liz had this cute bib for Talmage. It was such a fun first Thanksgiving for him because he could actually enjoy the grub.

He ate SO much. Here he is chowing down on a delicious homemade roll.

And of course he had some turkey. Yum!
(On his face you can see the remnants of sweet potatoes, cranberry sauce and mashed potatoes and gravy. He loved them all.)

Justin carving that BIG bird!
The sister missionaries in our ward are awesome.
Sister Milner from Canada and Sister Garcia from Spain.
Verlan and Katherine. Such a great picture of them.
AJ saw me with the camera and kept saying, "Take a picture of me!" and then he would pose. He is such a cute kid.

Jim, Talmage and Dan Kim. Dan and Jim are in the same program at Cambridge.

Some of us had a little too much fun!
Don't worry, this is Ang with sparkling cider.

The always smily Mr. Mason.

The kids went CRAZY with the whip cream. They had mustaches, eyebrows, designs, etc. all over their face.

These boys are so cute! Eli is holding T and Maxwell.
Fat and happy :)

Do you see those cheeks? Someone ate well today.
Thank you Justin and Liz. We had such a great time!
Shout out to the USA:
Happy Thanksgiving to every member of our sweet family.
We missed you today and hope your Thanksgiving was full of warmth, love and seconds!
Today, and always, we are thankful for YOU.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Turkey Bowl

Daddy and Talmage decided to have a turkey bowl of their own tonight.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Sicky Eyes...Take 2

T is not the only one with sicky eyes in our family.
Meet the newest member to join the "sicky eyes" ranks.
Jim is really sick.
You want to know how I know?
In our married life, today is the first time he's ever gone to the doctor.
This is the first time he's stayed home from school.
This is the first time he's actually taken the medicine I give him.
This is the first time he's stayed in bed all day.
This is the first time he's even admitted to me that he doesn't feel good (he actually admitted that he thought his head was going to blow up, his neck would never move again and his body was sore and tired all over!)
Doctor says he has a sinus infection.
Poor husband!
Hope he gets better soon.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Market Square

Yesterday we took a walk to Market Square, an outdoor market in the center of Cambridge. We love this market and frequently walk through it, admiring all of the fun items we will buy someday! Yesterday we were lucky enough to run into the Robles, a family from our ward who recently moved here from Spain. They are incredible and we loved spending time with them and getting to know them better. Sister Robles found a little shop from Spain and pretty much bought everything they had including hard almond cake (almost like an almond brittle) and legit Spanish cheese for us. Yum!

Here we are! We were cracking up because both Talmage and Violet refused to look at the camera.

There was a grand opening of a toy store in the city center and a woman dressed as a Christmas tree was handing out free balloons. A little random, but we took advantage of it! We tied the balloon to Talmage's arm and he played with it the whole day. Score!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Pumpkin Therapy

Let me preface this post by saying I really love my son. Seriously. Talmage is definitely high on my list of favorite people in the world. When he's good, he's real good! He's really cute and has a lot of character. I love him a lot.

Now...on to my post.

I'm pretty sure I was nominated today for "The Worst Mother of the Year Award." Who nominated me, you may ask? My own Mr. Talmage. For some reason I can do no right in his book lately, and today he let the world know how awful I am. We went for a walk around Cambridge and he screamed, and I'm talking top-of-his-lunges-screamed. He was fed. He was changed. He had a binkie and toys. He had a blanket. I offered him a cookie. I gave him juice. I put on more layers of clothing. I took some off. I hugged him and reassured him. AND, he continued to scream. There were two responses from the many people we passed:
  1. A disgusted look in T's direction. I'm pretty sure they were thinking in their heads, "That is why I will never have children." (Say it in your best British accent!)
  2. A disgusted look in my direction, while I'm sure thinking in their heads, "Incompetent people like that should never have children. Can't she control him?"

We came home. It didn't help. It was tantrum after tantrum today.

SO...I made pumpkin cupcakes. Pumpkin is my new favorite food (we got a few free pumpkins from Jim's school and I made sure NONE of it went to waste). In the last few weeks we've enjoyed pumpkin garlic soup, curried pumpkin soup, pumpkin pancakes, ooey gooey pumpkin cake, chocolate chip iced pumpkin cookies and today, pumpkin cupcakes. It had been a hard day, and I decided that when Jim got home from school I wanted something positive to report...and let me tell you, those incredibly moist, pumpkiny, sweet cupcakes were just the positive thing I was looking for! I'll call it pumpkin therapy.

And as for that kid, I tried to be a nice Mom and give him a cupcake. I thought it would help us be friends. Not one smile. Not one laugh. He ate the whole thing, but obviously was not that impressed (or at least didn't want me to think otherwise).

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Sicky Eyes

Talmage is sick--can you see it in his eyes?
When we were young and ill, my mom would say, "Oh you poor thing, you have sicky eyes."
The past few days, my baby has had sicky eyes.
His eyes have not sparkled like they usually do.
There is no energy and excitement in those big brown beauties.
I don't blame him.
He has been running a high fever (102+). He has an ear infection.
He is coughing and sneezing and his nose is running.
He's exhausted but he can't get comfortable so he can't sleep.
He's hungry but he's shunning his solids, wanting to nurse for comfort.
We've spent our days cuddled on the couch (that's right, he's so sick he even lays his head on my chest...this is the first time it's ever happened) watching Baby Einstein and Bob the Builder.
Poor baby, I hope those sicky eyes go away soon.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

All American Meal

No, not another visit to McDonald's! This was WAY better than a Big Mac.

Today all the American student families in our ward were invited to the Curley's home for an incredible Sunday meal. We ate A TON and had such a fun time.

The Cambridge American LDS Student Association
(Back Left: Susan and Tim O'Conner, Jim and Me, Steve and Lisa Anderson, Sister and Brother Curley. Middle Left: Evangeline, Ryan and Angela Schill, Rob Ellis (we missed you Christa!) Front Left: Isabella, Tennyson and Noah Schill)
Sister Curley worked so hard and the meal was magnificent. This was the dessert spread. YUM!
Talmage, Evangeline and Mason had a ball playing on the floor.
Mr. Mason chewing away on my camera case.

What's not to love?

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Thank You to the Little Bird

A sister from the ward delivered all of this food to us tonight. She said she had food storage that would "go bad soon" and a little bird told her that we might enjoy it. That little bird also threw in some food items of her own, and a new toy for Talmage. I was SO thrilled, grateful and humbled to see all the pasta, cereal, beans, vegetable, rice and other delicious, nutritious food. I went through the bag and separated the food into categories, and then I sorted them by meals, and then I took pictures. I felt like a little kid organizing trick-or-treat candy on Halloween!

To that sister whose food interestingly enough isn't "going bad" until late next year, thank you!

And to that little angelic bird, thank you too.

T's Amigos

Talmage is a very popular little man these days. He flirts and smiles and coos at anyone and everyone who looks in his direction. He is becoming such a happy boy. The past few days we have seen a few of T's amigos and have had so much fun!

This cute little girl is Evangeline. She's 2 years old and a total doll. We played in Marks and Spencer the other day while her mommy shopped. She was trying on necklaces, hats, scarfs and shoes. What a little diva!

While we played dress up, I also entertained these little studs. This is Evangeline's little brother, Mason. He is one month younger than Talmage, almost to the day. I would carry one of them and push the other around in the stroller while keeping a close eye on Evangeline. It was crazy! They were all so good and we love all of our play dates with this family.

This is the infamous Dr. Martland!
Jim met him last summer and ever since then he has taken our family under his wing and treated us like his own. He has us over for dinner and tea, he invites Jim to conferences and introduces him to incredible contacts, and he loves little Mr. Talmage. Dr. Martland is so sweet with him and Talmage is amused by absolutely everything he does.

Talmage showing Dr. Martland his new clapping skills. (T has started mimicking us when we clap. We think it's adorable, but he gets shy whenever we try to show other people. Except for Dr. Martland. When we would clap, he'd look at his friend and clap away!)

Talmage smiling at Dr. Martland.

We have met some incredible people in Cambridge and we're so grateful for their friendships.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

8 Month Stats

Talmage is 8 months old today.
We had a doctors appointment. It went OK, but boy do I miss our pediatrician. Everyone sees a General Practitioner here. It's fine, just different.
For instance, I asked what I should/shouldn't be feeding the kid and she responded,
"Just follow your motherly instincts."
Really? Is that what you learned in med school? Thank you very much doctor.
And also, the stats below were not taken in the office--they don't measure kids here, and she weighed him in kilograms and didn't know how to convert it. Oh bother!
Height: 30 1/4 inches Weight: 21 lbs. 2 oz.
As always, I took a million pictures of our BIG BOY today.
This is at a park across the street from our doctor's office. I just love that hat on him!

Wednesday, of course, means library day! He is making the same face as the child on the cover of that book!
He's looking at all the options!

Everyone who spends time with Talmage tells me how aware he is of his surroundings. It really is true. He is always checking EVERYTHING out. (I don't blame him...I love to people watch!) He was obsessed with this girl and was staring at her for a good five minutes.
Can you believe he's already learned to tie his shoe?
Well, at least he knows how to untie it!

Waiting for Daddy at Pembroke.
I hope someday Talmage will think it's cool that he lived in Cambridge.

Me and T. I love that cheesy grin!

Daddy and Talmage. I love those boys!
Jim got him dressed yesterday. I was cracking up! Yes, he's in a laundry basket. Long story!