First Lu here in her glow-in-the-dark skeleton Halloween jammies and bib trying to figure out when to eat, sleep and be awake. She never adjusted to the time change fully. Instead she'd go to sleep around 8pm, get up at 10 or 10:30pm, stay up until 4am, sleep until 10 or 11am, take a nap some time between 2pm and 4pm and then start all over again. Poor thing. Funny thing was that once we got back she had one day of sleeping a whole lot, and then she was right back on our USA time schedule again.
We did an early Christmas with the Anderson Clan. Here is Lu helping out with the present wrapping. She tried very hard to wrap herself and just about every toy she brought with her. Then when it came time to unwrap some presents, she didn't seem entirely sure that she wanted to. Kind of like she thought the paper was supposed to be there now.
Lu had some lovely play time with her cousin Laila, and with Laila's brother Joseph as well. Here you can see Laila and Lu doing a duet on their Nanna's electric piano. I did take some pictures of Joseph as well, but these didn't come out very well. Children can be difficult moving targets.
Laila, Joseph, Ruth and Matt all took us to a really wonderful place, the name of which I can not recall, but the had an owlery, or a falconry or something to that effect. I'm not sure what the official name is. But there were all kinds of different birds of prey, and they even brought out this lovely small owl for us to hold. Lu desperately wanted to hold it herself, but she was making such fervent grabbing and grasping motions that we were pretty sure she'd startle it and get bit in the bargain, so Stew and I held it with her nearby, looking on. Fantastic! The bird handler told us about the plight of owls since the release of the Harry Potter series, how all sorts of people have bought owls on the black market to have as pets, not realizing that they are predators and a bit on the dangerous side, especially if you have rowdy kids who might taunt them. The said several owls had been rescued from such owners. The two snowy owls were named Hagrid and Hedwig. Of course holding the owl pictured here absolutely made me want my own pet owl... But I won't go there.
Here were some bizarre chickens who took a lively interest in Lu and Stew. There were also a whole lot of hawks and falcons, one of which attacked Lu's white fuzzy mitten when she dropped it near him. I supposed it might have looked a bit like a giant white mouse.
On the Sunday before we left England both of Stew's sisters came over with their families and Lu got to meet all 7 of her cousins at once. Again I feel very silly that I took so few pictures of the day, and that the pictures I do have are so poor. But here is Lu with the paper crown from my Christmas Cracker on her head, happily eating her Jelly (that's Jello in American).
And here is a picture of the three of us just after Christmas pudding. Very full. And a bit tipsy.
Another noteworthy night when I forgot my camera: John Shuttleworth!!! Ruth and Matt took Stew and me out for the evening (Dave and Vicki babysat for us- Thanks!) to see John Shuttleworth at the Leeds City Variety Theater and we had a really wonderful time. What a one-man-show that man puts on. And for nearly 2 and a half hours! That's a long time to be on with no one else to play off of. The songs were great. Several new songs I'd never heard before. Like 'One Cup of Tea is Never Enough, but Two is One Too Many'. And of course he did a lot of old songs like 'Eggs and Gammon', 'Two Margarines on the Go', and my personal favorite, 'I Can't Go Back to Savory Now'. Before leaving the states Stew was emailing Joan Chitty about some purchases we made and mentioned that we were traveling all the way from Arizona to see John, and do we get a prize for coming the furthest. She told us to go to the stage door after the show to say Hi to John, so we waiting for him, feeling a bit foolish, a bit geeky, but got to have a nice little chat. Seeing Graham Fellows emerge after watching John all night was a bit of a shock. He looked young. Really young. Not much older than us, though a quick calculation of the fact that Jilted John was released in 1978 when Graham was probably between 18-20, made me realize that he must be close to 50. Of course as John Shuttleworth he looks to be in his late sixties. We mentioned to him that I covered Jilted John, making it instead Jilted Jen and he asked us to send him a copy. Need to remember to do that. What a lovely man. I adore John Shuttleworth. Everyone should get his cds. And his movies. Look him up!
And on that note it's time for bed. Stew and Lu have been asleep for a couple of hours now. We watched Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer to get us in the Christmas mood after seeing real life reindeer (and a whole lot of other deer) at the Deer Farm petting zoo outside of Flagstaff yesterday- yet again I forgot my camera. It was Stew's birthday and for his birthday he wanted to take Lu to the petting zoo. What a good Daddy. She had a blast. We'll definitely go back and I will bring my camera next time.