Saturday, September 11, 2010

I had been hankering to do some more "discovering" of Britain when a friend gave us a timely tip. It was English Heritage Open Day, and stately homes that would normally cost us £20+ ($30+) to get into were FREE this weekend. With one eye on the weather, we headed an hour's drive away to Belton House - a 17th century country home, made more familiar by BBC's filming of Pride and Prejudice.

Before long, the sun came out and we were surrounded by floral beauty.

Not-so-native, not-so-wild life.
Recently, De Sheng has been obsessed about whether or not various animals are going to eat him. He was keeping his distance from the fish - just in case.

Running through a maze.
My son went in circles a couple of times before figuring his way out.

We brought along a picnic lunch, but the most memorable moment was De Sheng experiencing his first wasp bite - poor kid. This might not bode well for reassuring him against animals eating people.

I don't have any pictures of the lavishly decorated interior of the house, but there was a games room that the children enjoyed.

Daddy, dressed as..... A Gentleman.
We always knew he was!

After admiring the beautifully restored house, we headed to another part of the grounds that was much more appealing to the children.

They have one of the best adventure playgrounds that we have seen in the country.
The kids had a blast.

All that fun and excitement gave us a quiet ride home again.

For the cost of a quarter tank of gas, a cup of coffee and a miniature-train ride, it was certainly a nigh-perfect adventure.

A beautiful, "summer's end" day with the family in Britain.

Here's a good trick I learned from another mom. She wanted her daughter to stay in her bed until 7:00 AM before she asked to get up. Since her daughter knew her numbers, but was too young to tell time, she gave her an analog alarm clock with the last two digits covered in black paper. The little girl only had one number to look at to know when she was allowed to call for mom.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Since he's started eating, I've had trouble serving tacos to my son because they were always coming unrolled for one reason or another. Every time he went to get a drink of water, his taco would need to be pieced back together. Today, however, I got inspired. After preparing his taco, I slipped on a rubber band to keep it together. It worked! Just keep moving the rubber band down as needed and much frustration is averted.

Now to keep working with him on not eating the taco like it's corn on the cob.