Tuesday, June 12, 2012

I have not written in quite a long time!  That was by design really.  At any rate...I'm back!  Just  a quick post for the moment as there is much to do today around the house!  LitlBit is signed up for a contest!  Please vote for her picture!

Saturday, December 31, 2011

5...4...3..2...1...Happy New Year!

2011 has but a mere 2 1/2 hours left to be had. This has been a year to say the least. It has been a year filled with good and bad. I will be happy to see 2012 make it's way in a short while!

My LittleBit is not going to make it to midnight it appears. She is on my bed watching a movie while I type. I say within the next twenty minutes, if that, she will be out! She has had a good end to the year. We had lunch at a local Italian restaurant (her favorite). After that, we went to the zoo. For almost a year we have been trying to feed the giraffe. It never failed. We got to them too late. But, on a stroke of luck we walked by and just in time. Literally, they were ending in five minutes! She was able to feed them much to her delight! We then visited her favorite animals. Of course the lion cubs were among those visited. When we walked up the lioness was awake watching the cubs. The male lion was snoozing. LitlBit was quite curious. She said, " He needs to wake up. The daddy is supposed to be awake and protecting his family!" I had to laugh! She has been full of interesting sidebars the last couple of days. This was but one. Another, that was not a funny but more of a "good grief here we go". My half-sister had her baby. LitlBit heard me talking to my hubs about that. At dinner she, out of the blue as it was not the topic of conversation, asked, "Mommy, do you have a sister and brother?" For lack of a more eloquent southernism...well crap! Why oh why do I have to deal with this? Still? Now with her? At any rate, the answer was yes. Then she asked how they had a different mommy. That you were not supposed to "change your marry". I tried to explain it to her at her level. But, seeing that I don't understand really how am I supposed to explain it to anyone? Especially a six year old? So, let's get this straight. Yes, honey. Mommy does have one of each. No, honey we don't talk and you may or may not meet them? Well, she has met my half-brother. So, at minimum there is a point of reference for him. She understands what a soldier is and that he is one. So, that is a little bit less confusing I suppose. At any rate, it is all sorts of confusing. She periodically will ask who my father is, still. Then shake her head and say, "Oh, yeah, PaPaw." Yep. That is a positive relationship there . Geez. Not sure how to explain the whole sister/brother thing. I refuse not to. If I knew exactly what the deal was I could better. I do not want to shut a door with her that may re-open. But, in turn, I do not want to keep the door ajar if it needs to close. It seems like nothing will change in so far as the confusion though. In turn, I still am not quite sure how exactly to answer these questions from her. I get so frustrated at times like these. When I have questions to answer but no answers to give. The people that started this have no questions to answer it seems. If it is asked, one person shrugs it off while another says I did my best. Great. Now I am the one stuck with hurt feelings, a confused child, and not enough answers to my own questions much less others'! I could care less anymore about people not being there in the past. It is what it is. More importantly, it is in the past. Tired of any conversation including the concept of how it must have been. I am over that. Yes, it was painful, confusing, and filled with a great deal of complicated days. But, that is the past. Over and done. Now we are in the present. That is my focus. Fixing the present. I wish for once I did not get all of the questions! As an aside, I sent my half-sister a congratulations message. I feel better that I did that. It was the right thing to do. This is a very special event in her life. I cannot see not saying something! I would do that for a stranger! How can I not for someone that shares the same DNA?! Not sure if she got it. More importantly, not sure if she read it or not. But, hopefully she did and realized I am sincerely happy for her. I would love to be able to call her up just like I would any friend and be excited to tell her! Would love that. But, life does not work that way. Still. I had to say something. I feel bad enough that I did not send her anything or call her. I could not possible ignore the day completely. That would be uncaring in my opinion. I hope she understands. Maybe one day she will tell me if she does. Until then I have to rely on the fact that I tried to reach out on a very special day. Like I told her when we met. I was not able to be there for the past birthdays etc. But, I am able to now. I would like to think that is a good thing. I would love to be able to talk to her about LitlBit and bebe #2. The difference in age is about the same as with she and my brother. I would love to get her opinion on this. On what I can do to help LitlBit adjust, etc. Would love to talk about this as she was LitlBit years ago! Again, oh well! Does not look like that is going to happen so I am not holding my breath.
On a completely different topic. All is going well with bebe number two! We find out in a week if it is a boy or girl! So excited! LitlBit is excited too. I think this whole sibling thing may actually work out perfect! She is so positive about it all! According to hubs we just need to continue with keeping her involved. Ordered a doppler and it should be here Wednesday. Can't wait for her to hear the heartbeat with it! She is going to be so excited to hear it!
Overall, 2012 has to be a better year for everyone! For the sister, she has a new precious little boy. For my brother, he is home from being overseas at war. For me, I have another precious angel coming! Yes, 2012 cannot help but to be better for lots of people. Maybe, if it continues to go well, lots of fences will be mended and extended as well.

Monday, December 12, 2011

The year is ending with lots of changes! This whole year has been filled with lots of memories overall. Some great (London with my LitlBit) and some drama (isn't family always dramatic though). So, why would I think it would end on anything less that a note of change?! My first change is with my job. I am now in Administration! It is official as of last week when I moved into my new little space in the world! Prime real estate on "Capitol Hill" on campus! I cannot wait until spring when the crepe myrtles bloom outside of my window! At first I was sad to leave my old space and area. I had been there for six years. I liked the people I worked with. "Capitol Hill" as I refer to my current building is not known for its frivolity to say the least! However, I am learning to love it. Also, learning that it is by God's grace I am here. He knew I needed this particular change. In a way he answered a prayer I did not know I had a the time! I am now in a higher position and can get more achieved. To make matters even better, the idea of a JD is not so far off now! I learned that a case could be made that it benefits my job! I am seriously going to look into that and take the LSAT this summer. So yes, God's grace has put me exactly where I am and I am so very thankful! My next source of change is.......LitlBit is going to be a big sister in June! June 11, 2012 to be exact! LitlBit is beyond excited about having a little brother or little sister! We always had said we would wait until she was in kindergarten before deciding on a second. Here we are! Right now I am 14 weeks along and life is good. Hardly any morning sickness at all the 1st trimester. As I told a friend...I thought about the toilet a lot but never met it! That is a major accomplishment compared to when I was pregnant with LitlBit! Headaches and morning sickness plagued the first 12 weeks! This one not so much. I am now officially in trimester 2 and coasting right along! LItlBit is so sweet too. She makes sure that mommy is drinking plenty of water (she knows I hate water)! We find out the week I leave for London if it is a girl or a boy. I have my guesses, as does everyone else, but we shall see then! Overall, life is going pretty well. Have not heard from the half-sister. I suppose her pregnancy is going well. Kind of sad that the kids will be so close in age but will probably never know each other. Really sad actually. Most people that I talk to about it say the same thing. They tell me that it is obviously not my loss as I have attempted to do the right thing and simply be nice. The cycle most certainly will not end. The kids will one day find out the other exists and the cycle repeats instead of beginning a new and positive future. I can't say I am shocked though. No. Not at all. On another note, Christmas is here! LitlBit is excited! Not sure if Santa has a clue as to what to bring. I can say with certainty her list is not one Santa is looking at right now! So far it consists of three things...a horse, cat, and dog. Seeing that we have a cat and two dogs those are knocked off. I am thinking home owner's will have an issue with a horse in the backyard so strike out that one too! She simply will not give more ideas! Trying hard to come up with ideas! Overall life is busy, busy, busy! Between job, baby, LitlBit, Christmas...sometimes I wonder how it all fits! But it does. It does because it is as it is supposed to be!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Quotable Quotes

If you have known me for a long time you know that I have always loved quotations. This love for thought provoking sayings started years ago. I was always the teenager that bought the CD and immediately took it home to read the lyrics! To some the beat and rhythm meant something but to me the words meant more. One of my close friends in high school was the same. I vividly remember buying the Tori Amos Crucify CD, taking it back to her house and pouring over the lyrics. They were not meant to simply listen to or sing. They were meant to understand. Years later I am still the same. I still put emphasis on words. What you say and how you say it. Hubs thinks I simply over analyze but not to me. To me I understand. Many people do not take enough time to understand virtually anything. Words are trivial. The concept of say what you mean and mean what you say is lost on them. Then there are the other people that are scared to speak. They are scared because they know that their words mean nothing. Words are more powerful than anything in this world. Words can elate or they can damage. For some, they can do both at the same time. Far too few people understand the power of their words (or lack there of). They do not quite understand that their own words may create a fire or may calm one in an instant. In elementary school I began memorizing quotes and poems. At the time I could not understand why. I was just ill that I had to! In high school (my freshman year in particular) one of my professors (at JC they were just that!) wrote quotes on the board every day. For every one you could quote on your test you earned bonus points. Once again I was memorizing quotes. Lucky for me I liked it! Quotations are beneficial. Few words with such meaning. Far too few people read and understand. As a matter of fact, there are a few in my world that it seems do not understand simple words much less a meaningful quote! At any rate, tonight I have been reading some quotes online. I came across quite a few that are more true than some may ever realize!

* You know my name...not my story.

* Love me or hate me...either way...I am on your mind! (Reminds me of some!)

* Never hate those who are jealous of you but respect their jealousy because they are the ones who think you are better than them.

* You only talk about me because you are not worthy to talk to me.

* I never lie because I don't fear anyone. You only lie when you are afraid. ~ John Gotti

* We tell lies when we are afraid... afraid of what we don't know, afraid of what others will think, afraid of what will be found out about us. But every time we tell a lie, the thing that we fear grows stronger. ~Tad Williams

* Much of your pain is self chosen
~Kahlil Gibran

* Life is thickly sown with thorns, and I know no other remedy than to pass quickly through
them. The longer we dwell on our misfortunes, the greater is their power to harm us.

* "Well," said Pooh, "what I like best," and then he had to stop and think. Because although
Eating Honey was a very good thing to do, there was a moment just before you began to eat it
which was better than when you were, but he didn't know what it was called. ~A.A. Milne

* Indeed, man wishes to be happy even when he so lives as to make happiness impossible. ~St.

*My crown is called content, a crown that seldom kings enjoy. ~William Shakespeare

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Family Secrets

Have you ever wondered how and why some families are Ozzy and Harriet and some are more like The Modern Family? I used to. Have not for years though. I figured out that the Ozzy and Harriet families were either in denial or lying about the reality of their own life. If you will remember, Mr. Brady (Brady Bunch for you young ones) died of AIDS. How is that for normal? I dare say that a "normal" family is beyond us at this juncture in life. Kids that I grew up with had their own family drama. You had the person that was adopted, the one that had to be perfect because of a sibling that was the drama, the working single mom, the one who got into everything and then some (THE person not to be around), the one whose mom left her at your house for hours on end and ended up coming at midnight (was "working"...ummm...sure), the family that should have split up years before because it was constant fighting at home...yes there was a regular Breakfast Club in my class. Everyone had their own melodrama. Most, outwardly did not discuss their melodramatic lives. They lived in their own public world. Just to go home to the private one they ignored for 12 hours out of the day. No, we were not at all different on the inside. Perhaps a different drama but really no different in the end. Families are like that. They are not perfect. Normal is quite relative in these times. What is normal to some is not to others. Apparently, life is not any different for LitlBit and her world of acquaintances. Recently I spoke to a parent who has an adorable child that is friends with LitlBit. In our conversation I felt like I was that child long ago! The dad is absent from their life. By choice, by force, by whatever, he is not there. The child is beginning to question. At age 5 it seems the questions start. Where is he? Why don't I have someone there at a Father's Day deal? Yes. The questions. They begin now and likely will never stop. The questions will always come--just a different type of question as the child grows up. The parent and I talked about this. About what to say, how to say it, what I wish had been done. Wow. Talk about an in depth retrospect! What do I wish had been done...what would have helped? I wish everyone had been honest and real at minimum. That way, now, I would not be picking up the pieces to a puzzle that is missing a few! The sad thing is that no matter what the mom does...the dad is not there. There will always be a void that will not be filled. How do I tell this mom (who is trying so hard) to keep in mind that there will always be questions and never enough answers? I look into the eyes of the child and think about what they may wonder over the years. How it will go in stages but will always be there. How it is not something you get over no matter how well you explain it. In the end they will have this hurt. The child apparently has siblings from the father's family as well. I tried my best to explain to the mom that was another issue that needed to be brought up now. Handling it all later is not good by any stretch of the imagination. I can say with certainty that lies of omission are just as bad as any other. Sometimes they are the worst kind of lie there is in this world. With this child I only hope that there are none. However, even if there are, someone knows. You never really know who is privy and who is being told the secrets that you think you have hidden. A person is not a secret nor can a person be hid. This innocent child will grow up. No matter if the father is absent or not they will grow up. If you are willing to accept the fall-out years from now, feel free to lie. Otherwise, everyone should be an adult now. They should not be on the outside looking in so to speak. Not gutsy enough to speak out but yet cowardice enough to try to find ways to look in. It is amazing that once upon a time I was that child I was trying to help. I was the quiet child wondering why. Now, I am the adult that is nowhere near shy. The adults that once made the decisions are no longer in charge. The omissions have come out. The child of 5 is an adult and not a quiet one! According to the husband, I am NOT shy, not one to hide, and definitely not one to allow wrongs to occur if in my presence. Agreed. But, in turn, I am also a person who will confront those misgivings. If my daughter learns anything from this experience I hope that it is not to lie. Too many people have...granted they may have thought it was best...but in the end lies are not. They simply create another layer of problems. This is not just true of an issue itself but of people too. If you have an issue with something or someone you should voice it. Likewise, if you want to know something you should ask it. You should not hide around corners hoping to catch a glimpse into their lives. Hiding behind corners makes you no better than the person openly lying. It makes you a coward. Family secrets are a source of contention. I am lucky in one sense. I am old enough to laugh. Old enough to realize that everyone has their own agenda so to speak. Everyone that I have talked to (strangers and friends) hear the tales and laugh too. For the true person comes out at some point. Just watch, wait, listen...you can always count on it. Lies and secrets are like an infection that spreads. The wound gets worse with every lie. The scar that remains will always be a reminder of it. For LitlBit's friend I hope that their journey through life is one that shields them from the questions and hurt that I went through (and still do in some ways). I know that the mother is trying their best to shield them from all the fall out. That is nowhere near easy to do either. I do that right now with LitlBit. She has an emotional investment in all of this as well. As a mother she is the most precious thing in the world to me. Although, she has come at this from a far different angle than I, it is still a precarious situation for her. I want her life to be filled with joy. All mothers should want this. This is not easy given the situation. However, the funny thing in the end is that no matter what happens, what people say/want/desire/think...the present is as it is. You cannot change that. You cannot change who you are or the facts of life. No matter how you try to monkey with it. Nothing can be changed. Words do not change it. I am among the lucky. I grew up without my father in my life BUT with a loving mother, wonderful grandparents, and an excellent education. I grew up and married my high school sweetheart. I married my best friend. We have a beautiful and smart angel, my job sends me around the world (as well as LitlBit). I have a beautiful life. My husband tells me often how my life would not have been this way with the alternative. I would not be as headstrong, not as steadfast, not where I am. Is that true? Perhaps. I grew up to be a strong individual. I took lemons and made lemonade! I did not play the martyr card that some play 24/7. I decided early on that what other people did does not define me. I am still a firm believer in that. No one determines my fate but me. I determine everything about my existence. This includes the notification of such. I am sure that some wish that I never picked up the phone. But, once again, I determine my fate. Others' lies have no control over my truths. The quiet child I am no longer! The friend's child, I feel certain will also take lemons and make lemonade! Unlike some that may whine because the lemons are too sour! No, it may not be as we wanted. But, it was as it was intended. God had a plan for both of us when we were born. For me, today, He still has a plan. I am trying. Trying to forgive, understand, listen...trying to figure out the future with someone who was supposed to be there years ago. Trying to allow my past to stay there and begin a future. This may not be a fairytale but it does not mean we can't all live happily ever after 'ya know!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

London...In Reverse...Departure through Day 2

We are successfully back from London! I had meant to blog everyday but that was simply not happening! So, I wrote and noted on my Iphone things we did and more importantly things LitlBit said. There were some funny ones! I am attempting to make a book with photos etc. for LitlBit to keep (and mommy). That is going extremely slow! Until then here are a few highlights!

May 19th- Thursday
D-Day! The day of departure. Our flight left Birmingham at 4:30 in the afternoon with a transfer in Atlanta. I finished packing us up the night before at around midnight. THAT was a major accomplishment! We ended up using my standard suitcase, a carry on that had our extra change of clothes/ blanket for the flight/ neck pillows, and each of us had a bookbag. Of course mine had all of the electronics. Computer/iPad/camera(s)/DVD player for LitlBit/cords/meds...needless to say it was packed! Hers had the flight necessities for a 5 year old...TOYS! We ended up getting to the airport with 45 minutes to spare. Well, I thought that. When we were checking in the lady at the counter reprimanded me for being late and KEPT saying our luggage may or may not get on the plane! She stated that the luggage hold is closed thirty minutes prior to departure. Funny thing was that I had 45 minutes until departure. So, she and I were not getting along (putting it nicely). When she finally completed our check-in she was then demanding that we go ahead and go through security (still had 30 minutes at this point prior to take-off) without saying goodbye to the hubs. Ummmm...not happening! LitlBit was not happy and started crying because she thought that would happen. She wanted to hug Daddy! Needless to say Mommy won. We said our goodbyes and then went to board. As we are going to board I saw a huge line of people waiting to get on the plane. Why? They were not able to get on because of luggage. Nobody's carry-on suitcase was able to go on the plane at all. Apparently the belly of the plane was full. So, bye-bye extra change of clothes in case the big one is lost! I was to get it at Heathrow with my other. Really? So, at this point we are not sure where ANY of our luggage will end up! Great start! If it were just me...I would not have been half as irritated. But, the idea of landing in London and not finding any of our luggage was not one that I relished! Oh well! Chalk it up! Being an international travel I knew that was always a possibility. On to Atlanta! Anna gets on the plane and is SO very excited! I took tons of photos and a couple of videos of her as the plane took off! She was giggles and then a bit nervous then back to giggles. She watched the land get further and further away while saying bye to her family. It was really cute to see!

Anna officially had her first flight on an airplane! She did wonderful. Atlanta was like home away from home. Something about when I land there. It is like mentally I know I am almost overseas! My outlook changes a bit (usually for the better!!) We had a little over 4 hours for a layover. I know this seems to be more than necessary but it worked out great with her. We took our time. Calmed ourselves down and had dinner at TGI Friday's. That is my standard dinner before a flight overseas. We sat down to a nice dinner and a large glass of wine. If ever I needed to relax it was then! We then called each of the family members. Anna said hey/bye see you on the other side of the pond to everyone. Time to line up again!

The Atlanta - Heathrow flight was not bad at all. I actually like that flight. Sleepy time for me! This time was a bit different. Once again, wine please! Anna played her games/colored/talked. And then...finally...lights out...sleep...we don't speak again until we are over Europe.

May 20th- Friday
We are here! We wake up around 10:00 a.m. London time. As normal, we wake up to the flight attendants bringing brunch (not much to look forward to here!) We begin packing up our little area. The flight lands and let the fun begin! First things first...luggage. Joy joy joy! We find both pieces plus the stroller...Score! Next we get the pleasure of waiting in a really long line to talk to border control. This is my least favorite part simply because you are just so very tired! After a brief session of 21 questions (why are you here, where are you staying, how long, you have been here before--why, how old are you, ok...now you are done) we were sent on our way. Next topic is a taxi. Now, some of you may wonder why a taxi when the tube goes to Heathrow. I will explain by saying...you obviously don't know me! Tube vs taxi with luggage and tired? Taxi all the way! When we got in the black cab LitlBit was ecstatic! "Mommy, mommy, mommy we are in a real taxi!" "MOMMMMMY! We are in LONDON!" "Mommy, where are the princesses?" "Mommy, they have trees here too!" She was full of questions and excitement! We decided to make a couple of calls from the taxi to report our where-a-bouts. Following that we were on our way to the house!

Upon arrival to the house (about 30 minutes later) we got settled into the house and our new digs. The new room was great. It was HUGE! We had a private shower/toilet that we could close off from the rest of the world. Outside of the separating door was the t.v. room (LitlBit watched cartoons when she woke up a couple of mornings) and the kitchen. So, pretty convenient. LitlBit met the latest hire for the house. She is from London. So, LitlBit was intrigued by her accent. After we got settled we took a walk to the bank. Great. The bank. Sidenote...banks there are not like here. You don't just walk up and get the teller to give you cash on your account. You are asked why, given long time frames for cashing checks, and wait. Don't get me wrong. All is done very politely but just not a fun adventure when you are running on about 5 hours sleep (and you know that you will be awake for about 30 hours or more on only this sleep). At any rate, we survived that. We then went to a patisserie. Oh, Heaven on Earth in London! We took our house friend back and then caught up on happenings at the house. At about 7:30 p.m. we trekked out for dinner. Not wanting to venture far that first day we just went to Cafe Forum. LitlBit wanted to eat outside and watch everyone. I happily obliged. Following dinner we stopped by the grocery (Waitrose) before it was back home to call family. I love Waitrose! Such yummy things to buy there! When we got home we talked and played. After a shower we were ready to settle in at close to midnight (yes you read that right). So, we leave Birmingham at 4:30 on Thursday, we go to bed 26 hours later...so all in all we have been awake about 21 hours or more. For me...that is nothing. For munchkin...that is a whole heck of a lot! She did good though...she is my little traveler!

May 21st- Saturday
It is our first official day in London! There were about a million things I had planned in my head. But, decided Saturday we would spend as much time as possible outside so that we would get on the right time zone! After we woke up and had breakfast I let LitlBit watch cartoons while I got ready. Nothing like some British cartoons! Then we were off. To the tube we go! LitlBit rode her first tube! We took it to Victoria. Not far..but enough so she was curious as to what we were on! First on my list was the Royal Mews. Unfortunately, when we got there it was closed. We can thank our president for that. He made a trip to London during our first week. As such, they closed things off for security checks (I suppose). After promising that we would come back later in the week (when they reopened) we headed on foot to Buckingham Palace. Litlbit got her first taste of London...the walking part of London! She was not the happiest little one for having to walk so much. I thought it was best to get her used to that early though. Yes, we could have gotten on a bus or back on the tube. But no. We were breaking in early with the walking! We get there...LitlBit was still a bit zoned out but enjoyed seeing where the prince and princess kissed (we woke up at 3:00 a.m. to watch the royal wedding of Kate and William). We watched the infamous Changing of the Guard. Following that we took some pictures and then saw the guard go down Queen's Walk. This is a traditional march. LitlBit was excited to see the horses up close! We then walked through St. James' Park on our way to Kensington Park. If you are not familiar with the park it is so pretty! At the side closest to High Street is the Round Pond. So many ducks there! It is beautiful! The walk to it is fabulous too. LitlBit walked, ran, skipped, tried to catch squirrels and pigeons...it was lots of fun. At the very back of the park is the Princess Diana Memorial Playground. This playground is AWESOME! I just wish we had something like it here! First, it is huge. Second it is fenced and gated. Only so many parents/kids are allowed in at one time. They count as people enter and exit. So, there was a queue when we arrived. Outside of the playground is a very nice concession area. There is a part of it that is inside the playground. So, you can order food/snacks/a lolly either in or out of the playground area. We waited in queue for about 7 minutes. Once in we explored. One part of it is in the theme of Peter Pan. There is a ship (A massive ship) on top of a sand area for the kids to play in. Play in the sand, climb the ship, play all sorts of things. There is a water area on the other side. Throughout the park are little paths with hidden things to do (swings, slides, musical instruments, tons of stuff). We stayed until dinner time and played. Litlbit Loved it! Dinner was at Wagamama's. Oh Wagamama...how I have missed you! As expected, munchkin LOVED it. Since we were still on High Street we walked back to Kensington Park afterwards to see the ducks at the Round Pond. We stayed there until sunset (literally, it was setting). We headed back home at about 9:00 p.m. and it was still as if it were 7:30 p.m. in Birmingham. A bit hard to get used to! LitlBit took her first bus home (of many). Bus 49 was our friend. She seemed to enjoy the bus more than the tube since you could see out of it. Note. With children in London. Memorize the bus system. They will love you for it! Once again, get home, get settled, eat a snack while waiting on daddy to get home. We call daddy on video call at about 11:00 p.m. our time. We are exhausted! Talk to daddy and hit the hay a little after midnight. Happy, we made it! Our first day in London...we made it! We are both like kids in a candy store at this point!!

Now playing: The Clash - London Calling
via FoxyTunes

Monday, May 16, 2011

London Calling!

today is monday. litlbit and i leave for london in three days! it is so very hard to believe that! the funny thing is that even though i have lost count on how many times i go i still get anxious about right now. add to this the fact that litlbit is going too is making me double anxious and triple the amount of procrastination for packing! i am so a need to know person. i have to know what to expect at all times. seeing that litlbit has not been with me to london this whole need to know bit is just about to drive me crazy! i keep running scenarios in my head on the long flight...getting all of our luggage...maneuvering london with a five year old...these things are old hat to me now...but adding an additional mini-me is causing my brain to hurt! packing too...oh packing. how to pack best so that i am not about to break my back but yet can get to everything and also where litlbit has all of her stuff readily available. i will be crazy by june 1st! so far i have decided that we will go to the following;

  1. hampton court
  2. windsor castle
  3. tower of london
  4. kensington palace
  5. the royal mews
  6. the science center
  7. natural history museum
  8. mass at the brompton oratory (have to take her to a beautiful catholic gothic church)
  9. high tea at either the grovesor or kensington palace at the orangery
  10. london zoo
  11. boat ride on the thames
  12. a play just for kids- complete with an activity to make a book afterwards
  13. a longer and more real play- looking into shrek the musical
  14. a movie - they have pound days akin to our dollar days- british theatres are a bit different as you have assigned seating etc. will be neat to see a kids' movie with an accent!
  15. legoland- this is a maybe
  16. hamley's- perhaps the biggest and best toy store in the world!
  17. london eye- again a maybe, i really think that it is pretty boring but she may like it

whew! i am tired just thinking about all of the above! i figure we can pick one item a day to do. it does not get dark until late in the summer (a bit later than at home). so, by the time we leave the house (after working in the office then lunch) we should have the afternoon to ourselves for the most part. i have highly considered taking the train to edinburgh as well. we have some free rail passes so i may just have to do this! spend the night in scotland! i keep telling myself that litlbit may not remember much of this whole journey. however, there will be parts. so, i am going to have to diary it for her! so, the goal is to diary in the atlanta airport, on the plane, and then at the house every night. hopefully, i will have some good photos to add to the diary. i plan on getting a photo book made with it all in it! while we are there i have bought photo mats for her to paint. i am hoping to get someone to take a picture of us to put in it and give to everyone. would love one in front of big ben. now ask me if i am going to ask a stranger to take that photo with my baby of a camera? yep, nope, can't do it. may take the little point-and-shoot and ask with that one! looking forward to taking her to the royal mews! for those that don't know what that is you can catch a gander. as much as she likes horses she will love this. plus she will love to see the carriage that princess catherine rode in a few weeks ago!

litlbit has already had an exciting weekend. this weekend was her recital! last year her recital was at the alabama theatre. this year bjcc concert hall. we have changed where she takes from last year as well. this group is great! watching some of the older ones was great! they start competition in 1st grade (i think i am remembering right!). i have to say it was a much longer recital than last year! this year mommy actually had to work running back and forth from stage. i like it though! litlbit was so excited to see everyone there. after her first dance i brought her back to the audience with us so she could watch some of the dances (from number 15 or so until 35). much to my shock she went straight to her papaw's (my father's) lap and stayed! she bypassed everyone (including daddy) to get to him and she was quite content with staying with him! they were actually a bit cute. her in her little outfit. she talked and giggled...watched intently and "danced" in his lap (hand movements the girls on stage were doing). such a sweet angel! she has taken to my dad quite well. too bad that others in this world are not as caring. not sure why. how can you not be to a child? oh well. not sure of a lot when it comes to why people do what they do! she was happy so i am happy. the rest simply does not matter! she did great at her recital! she and her little friends were beyond adorable! i cannot wait until next year! i am looking at gymnastics and cheer for her too. looks like i am going to be one busy mommy if all of that occurs! she loves dance and gymnastics...although it has been ages since she took...she really wants to again. i think she would be great.

we visited her school last week too! 5 k here we come! i keep telling the hubs if i do not like it she will be in catholic school in 1st grade! this whole public school thing is foreign to me. after all, i was in private school from her age through high school. granted you may not be doing as much in terms of outside stuff...but...private beats public any day, honestly. but, i agreed. try then decide. i doubt i will dislike where we are zoned for. it is considered one of the best in shelby. i have tried to find out bad stuff! just can't. since i am on the board of directors for the foundation i am getting my name out there early too. being involved is a high priority for me.

litlbit is full of excitement from the past days and the future ones! she is so funny too! she keeps counting down the days! she has asked me to call the queen so "we can come over". then today i was talking to her in a british accent, she told me that the accent hurts her head but not her ears. i so understand that comment! i love the accent but after a week of listening hard to understand...my brain hurts too! yes we both speak english but one a bit more refined than the other! she is so excited! we are both going to miss daddy! will be sad to leave him for both of us. although i am glad to have her with me, i hate leaving him alone. we are one of those rare families now a days...we enjoy being together! litlbit was so happy to spend the day all together as a family yesterday. we all went to lunch and then to a movie together (rio, it was a cute movie). afterwards she immediately asked what we were doing as a family next (but it had to be all three together). for the record, we went grocery shopping! i love my litlbit! she is my angel! no matter what, those little blue eyes are gleaming and keep my heart smiling!