Thursday, 31 March 2011

What I've learned so far . . .

-John Lewis department stores far surpass any other department store I've been to. They have seven floors of shops and restaurants. We purchased our couch there. (It should be arriving on Tuesday! Woo hoo!)

-I have no idea how to work my washing machine. Not a clue. It is currently full of clothes and detergent but I can't get it to work. It lights up, but won't turn on. Blergh.

-Ikea is just the same in the UK as it is in the US except they offer donuts instead of cinnamon rolls. Oh, and they deliver!

-Coffee makers are a bit hard to find here. There were about four or five at John Lewis. If you are looking for an electric kettle, however, you will have no problem finding the perfect one. There were well over twenty different options.

-There are lots of kids and babies in our neighborhood.

-To touch on the previous observation, I will also note that if your child is screaming on your afternoon walk (despite having recently eaten and having recently had a diaper change), and there is no obvious place to sit and nurse her (without going into a cafe) it appears to be okay to nurse her in your local Sainsburys.

-I can't find the battery charger for the camera and the camera is dead. :(

-Alba Pizza is some of the best pizza I've ever had.

-I have no idea how to regulate the temperature in my shower. I think it is just going to be easier to stick to baths (good thing I'm bath person!).

-If you lock the door to our flat from the outside, there is no way to open it from the inside unless you have a key. This could be a problem if someone is ringing your doorbell (to deliver your new iPhones) and you can't find a set of keys!

-Last, but not least, I've learned that Charlotte's playmat allows me to get a shower AND breakfast! I have even had time to do a little organizing, emailing and blogging. :)

Tuesday, 29 March 2011


We made it to London safe and sound! Charlotte did a great job on the flight and we were all able to get a little sleep (although they had such a great selection of "on demand" movies to watch, it was tempting to just stay awake!) We got to our flat and all napped for an hour or two before heading out on the town. We didn't get as many errands done as we had hoped, but we did pick up some pots and pans and ordered our sofa-bed! We also got to know our neighborhood a little bit better. It is really a cute/fun area! We're looking forward to exploring a bit more. Now we are back in our flat and are going to pick up a pizza from down the street for dinner. Looks like a cute place.

One big lesson we learned today is that the tube isn't as convenient to take a baby on as is the DC metro. Many of the stations don't have elevators so we one of us would carry the stroller while the other carried Charlotte in her carrier. It was a hassle with two people but it would be too much to handle with just one. Next time we take the tube with Charlotte it will probably be in a baby carrier!

We won't get our internet hooked up until next week, but we've decided to pay to join a local network until we get our own service. We also don't have phones yet, but the plan is to get some iPhones within the next couple of days. In fact, we tried to get them tonight, but they were all out! Jason reserved some online tonight and we should get them tomorrow (along with an American number for all y'all to call us on!).

Time to go pick up our pizza! Here's the description. Sounds yummy: mushrooms, mozzarella, olives, olive oil, garlic and herbs with tomato sauce.

Monday, 28 March 2011

Here we go . . .

In the last few days, Jason and I have sold our house, our car, much of our furniture and many of our worldly belongings. We have also put our cats in the care of the lovely couple who purchased our house. At this point in our new adventure there is the potential for things to feel all wrong. Especially when saying goodbye to our friends. (That, by far, has been the most difficult part of moving overseas.) Yet, things still feel right and good. This is something Jason and I have always wanted to do and we are finally making it happen.

We won't have internet for a few days after we arrive but there is an internet cafe just up the street that we will use until it is set up. We also won't have phones right away, but we will contact family with our UK numbers ASAP. We will have a great international phone plan with American phone numbers that will ring to our UK phones so family and friends can call us without worrying about making international phone calls. We also plan on skyping quite a bit so get your accounts set up now: We'll plan on always having Skype open on the computer so you can call us anytime and it will ring our computer like a phone.

Our flight leaves at 6:00 today from Dulles International Airport outside of DC. Jason is going into work to fill out some paperwork this morning and Charlotte and I are going to try to finish packing. We'll probably leave here around 2:00 in order to get there with plenty of time to spare. We are so excited to start this new adventure together and we'll be back with an update soon!

Monday, 21 March 2011

Milton and Cowboy

Jason and I have spent the last six months preparing our cats to immigrate to the UK. There were lots of vet visits and loads of paperwork involved. At one of their more recent vet visits however, we learned that Cowboy's heart murmur had gotten worse. The vet suggested that with his weak heart, the plane flight could cause a problem for him. He didn't say not to travel with them, but it started us talking about what would be in their best interest. We came to the realization that they would probably be happier not having to go through the stress of being in cages for 12+ hours and enduring a long plane flight. We were heartbroken at the thought of leaving them and we would both end up in tears whenever we would try to talk about it.

We had some friends offer to help find them homes, but no one came forward offering to give them permanent homes. We decided we would just take them with us if it came down to it, but we were still holding out hope that we could find a good solution. I mentioned our predicament to the couple that bought our house and they said that they might *might* be able to take them. The thought of them being able to stay in their own home, with their own yard to run around in made us happy beyond belief. It would be the absolute perfect solution! I wrote up this little presentation to help woo them:

Meet Milton:

Milton loves to lounge:

And cuddle:

And roll around being cute:

He also enjoys a good cup of coffee:

Meet Cowboy:

Cowsy loves being outside:

He enjoys long, cute snoozes:

He LOVES playing under the sheets when it's time to make the bed:

He had a thing for martinis early on, but now mostly sticks to water.

If you choose to keep Milton and Cowboy, they will provide the following:

Lots of cuddles for you and for each other:

In fact, they'll cuddle you even when you're not looking your best:

They'll make you laugh:

And they'll be unbearably cute:

Just, FYI. ;)

Amazingly, they agreed to take the cats and seem to be looking forward to getting to know them. In fact, when they were over the other day the woman said to Milton, "I'm going to be your new mommy!". It breaks my heart to think that I will no longer be their mommy, but I know that they will be in excellent hands. The couple that purchased our house is really wonderful and I know that they will provide a happy, loving home for our sweet boys. We hope that they will send us updates now and then. We will miss them so much.

Saturday, 19 March 2011

An Update (and gratuitous baby photos)

Life is pretty crazy these days. We are still in our house, but most of the furniture is gone. The amazing new owners of the house purchased quite a few items and are even taking our car and cats (more on that later). We are planning on staying in the house until we sell the bed and then we'll be staying at friend's houses until the big day: March 28.

Jason will be working up until the day we leave and I have been busy with rehearsals and performances. Last night I sang Bach's St. Matthew Passion at the National Cathedral and we have a second performance tonight. Our local classical station, WETA, is going to re-broadcast the concert. The concert I have next week is also at the National Cathedral and will also be broadcast on WETA. I will be sure to post that once I have more info.

Though we had a huge garage sale a few weeks ago, we still have way more stuff than we know what to do with. We are planning another garage sale tomorrow afternoon and will let everyone know that everything will be free after 2:00. We hate the thought of throwing away items that people could use and don't have room in our car to take it all to Goodwill. Hopefully we'll make a few bucks we can use on decorating our new place. Can you believe we made close to $1000 at our last garage sale?! We won't make nearly that much with this one, but we'll have a lot we need to replace once we arrive, so every little bit helps!

Charlotte has been very cheerful and adorable these days. She has been spending a lot of time with Jason while I'm at rehearsals/performances. They go on lots of walks together and spend a lot of time in mutual admiration. It is very sweet.

Charlotte has also spent quite a few days with the nanny of some friends of ours, Conchi. Conchi doesn't speak any English, but we are able to communicate with her in our broken Spanish. I not so secretly wish that Conchi were our nanny. She is super sweet with Charlotte and she is always happy, relaxed and well-fed when I come to pick her up (Charlotte, not Conchi).

Though there is a lot going on these days, Charlotte doesn't seem to mind. She is happy to spend so much time with her mom and dad and other people that love her. (She recently had a nice visit with her Aunt Tara and Uncle Jared, but more on that later.) She is a happy, fun baby and we still get lots of time to enjoy her even during this busy time.

Tuesday, 15 March 2011

Blimp Baby

. . . and a good view of our house before the movers came!

Wednesday, 9 March 2011

Our London Flat!

Jason has been in London securing us a flat to live in. We found this one online located in a great neighborhood called Clapham (pronounced "clapum"). With the exception of a dishwasher, this flat had everything on our list:

-close to a tube stop
-short commute for Jason
-safe neighborhood with other young families
-garden flat with a private garden
-two bedrooms
-washing machine
-new kitchen (with a gas range!)
-wood floors
-big, bright living room
-unfurnished (most flats come furnished)

Apparently renting a flat in London is like renting a flat in NYC: if you view a place you like, rent it on the spot or someone else will get it! After seeing this flat in person, Jason liked it well enough to put a deposit down. He gets the keys tomorrow!

Living room (reception room):

Looking through the kitchen window into the living room:


Master bedroom:

Charlotte's room:

Back yard (I have plans of turning this into a flower/veggie garden with a tiny patch of grass for Charlotte to play on):

The outside of the building isn't much to look at (especially compared to the beautiful Victorian era houses across the street!) but we don't mind.

The flat will be especially convenient for us as it has a ground floor entrance from the street. This will make traveling about with Charlotte nice and easy! No big staircase to pull the stroller up!

There are lots of restaurants and shops right outside our door! The most important of which will be our local pub located right across the street:

Guests will have to sleep in the living room, but we promise to have a comfy sofa bed. There is also a toilet on the ground floor (the unit is two stories with bedrooms and a full bath on the top floor). We are only two blocks from the Clapham North tube stop, so it will be nice and convenient for sight seeing. Please come visit!

Tuesday, 8 March 2011

Les Mis

Charlotte and I had a fun time watching Les Miserable on PBS the other night. It is one of my favorite musicals and I still have the entire score memorized from when I was in high school! I was singing along and Charlotte loved it! She was laughing and cooing and had a great time. I captured some of the action with my iPhone:

Monday, 7 March 2011


Charlotte has playtime a number of times per day. It is usually on her changing table (she loves it there!) or in her crib. She kicks her legs, swings her arms and makes some noise. Here is a glimpse into this (adorable) daily ritual:

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