Saturday, 10 October 2015

Hey there, October!

While I was living in England, I used to have serious Autumn withdrawal symptoms.  It's seriously a thing.  I making the most of our return to America and buying into the festivities, full force. I'm talking pumpkins, trick-or-treating, pumpkins, hay rides, pumpkins, and ponchos.


Yes, I'm having withdrawal from England, but I making the most of our first autumn here and I'm trying to forget about crisp walks at National Trust estates and instead enjoying Pattersons or Holden or even walks around the mall!

Let's talk about this little lady:

Five things she's done this week to make me smile
Emma's Best Bits

1.  She's saying "dada," "mummy" and "juice" (does "mm-hmm" count if she means "yes"?) - I can't even comprehend this.

2.  She has a new obsession with her stacking cups and can stack them one inside the other. She's busy for ages figuring it out, but she can do it and it's fascinating to watch.

3. She now wraps her arms around you. Your leg, your neck, stomach (as she body slams into you).

4. I suggested we go outside and she disappeared and returned with a pair of my shoes. Really impressive - mostly because they matched my outfit. Daddy couldn't do that.

5.  She copies everything I do. If I'm drinking water, she wants it. She tries to talk on my phone. She wants a cup at Starbucks. I shook out a carpet outside as it was a bit dusty and she watched me rather intently.  It was a matter of seconds before she picked up the same carpet and proceeded to shake it around the kitchen.

She is at an age that is - in my opinion - the most fun yet.  

So now that monthly updates are pretty much over, I've decided to try and give you weekly "Emma's Best Bits." If you aren't following me on Instagram, you can find some of my favorite photos here.

I'm also going to try to give you a monthly breakdown of what we are "Currently" up to. In an attempt to apologize for my lack of posts, I've give you BOTH here - RIGHT NOW.

This calls for a Wahoo!

Listening: We have been rocking out to Country music on XM radio these days.  My new car has free XM streaming at the moment, so I'm lapping up the advert free tunes.  Emma doesn't seem to care what I listen to in the car as long as she isn't stuck in it for any more than 9.5 minutes.  In the house or at my desk, I'm rocking out to KLFM.  No radio station here rivals KLFM. None.  

Eating:  I've found a recipe for cookie/muffins that she LOVES. I was not keen, but she can't get enough.  I've mixed quinoa flour, quinoa Flakes, applesauce, banana, cinnamon, apple cider and chia seeds (soaked in water) and baked -- I don't know how, but it works.  Finally. Something different!   If you find any recipes with alternative ingredients, please send them my way.  I'm struggling!!

Drinking:  It's pumpkin everything here!  Emma is obsessed with Apple juice and we love being so close to Pattersons that we can get it in the shops!  I'm also trying every autumnal flavor of everything - just because I CAN.  

Wearing:  Emma's slowly outgrowing all of those 12-month clothes and I'm bracing myself for a big Autumn/Winter shop of 18-24-month clothes. I think she's even in a few 2T shirts and PJs.  JimJams seem to be the one thing we never have enough of and she always needs bigger sizes.  And socks.  Geeze.   As for me -- I'm wearing anything cozy as my classroom has gone from feeling like the fires of hades to ice box all in the span of a week.  LAYERS!  Speaking of - have you heard of Stitch Fix?  Do it.  It's awesome. Better yet - do it but say I referred you.  

Feeling:  American.  There's something about this time of year - preparing for Halloween and Thanksgiving and CHRISTMAS that makes me feel so at home and positively American.  I'm going to really miss Christmas in England, but I'm so excited to see what it's going to be like here after so many years.

Wanting:  A lie in.  I'm tired.  School starts at 7:30 so I am here by 7.  Emma is waking up at 6:15 midweek and weekends.  6:15 is ok -- the 5:30 wake up so I can get ready before she is up?  Not so fun. 

Needing:  This virus to go away. Emma and I both have a cough/cold.  Runny noses and sore throats.  I've not had a voice for three days - but it's been hilarious trying to teach.  Imagine that scene from Matilda when the kids are reading the message on the chalkboard all in unison?  That's been my life.  Poor Emma though!  I hope she stays relatively healthy this winter!

Thinking:  School School School.  I'm always thinking about school.  Things are so much different here than they are in England and I think I'm doing what I should be doing, but I'm not 100% convinced.  I'm working hard - very hard - but not because I have things I have to do, because I've set myself targets and things to complete.  I'm working on becoming a better teacher - it's reflective and really time-consuming.

Enjoying:  We have had a fantastic visit from the Berrys!  I am so glad they were able to come and stay with us for a whole month. We have done so much and Emma has really enjoyed having two more people in the house to play with.  They have done so much for us while they have been for -- any chance they will consider buying a summer home down the street??


Until next time!

Sunday, 13 September 2015

Long overdue: Goodbye Summer, Hello Working Mama!

I wrote this post ages ago and never clicked publish.  This is pretty out of date, but I thought I would share it with you anyways!  I promise to work on another, more current post tonight for you!  Today is Rosie's birthday and I know she would have loved to read a blog post today. So - Stay tuned!

Written August 17!

You didn't think I'd stop writing all together, did you?  Today is actually Emma's 13 month birthday!   She is so grown up - I can't believe how far she has come in such a short time.  

She's walking, she's chatting, she's leaving a wake of chaos.

That's life with a one year old, am I right?!

I've worked out a new way to keep you posted on our happenings each month - and there's been plenty happening in the Berry house these days.


Listening: Why is it that KLFM still rules the airwaves in this house.  Emma's favorite songs at the moment are "Ghost" by Ella Henderson and "Uptown Funk" by Bruno Mars.  We have taught her to dance with her fingers - just like mummy - and it's hilarious.

Eating: Let's talk about menu planning.  I've actually planned out my weekly menu, done the shopping in accordance and we are not only saving money but actually USING what I have in the house.  Clever, eh?  Emma has failed on a retrial of Sweet Potato and Carrot - although we have noticed her FPIES reactions are now more GI as opposed to vomiting.  It's a shame, but we are not out of the woods yet.  I have FINALLY mastered pancakes using quinoa flour and applesauce. 

Drinking:  Flavored coffeeeeeeeeee!  Ryders does a amazing selection of flavored coffee beans and we couldn't pass on S'mores and Pumpkin Brûlée coffee.  We grind it and use a cafetierie here at home - it's like Starbucks in our own home!  Emma isn't drinking much other than milk and water - that's a good thing!

Wearing:  It is still so hot here in Ohio - dare I say I'm craving Autumn and the crisp, cool air?  I'm cashing in my shorts and flip flops for heels and skirts.  Back to work means a lot of new things - not just a new wardrobe.  Emma is rocking out sweet little ensembles at her childminders and as she is on the move, I need to look into some new moccasins! 

Feeling:  Happy!  We are finally getting settled into our new house.  I can't wait until we are fully in order and can share photos.  It is starting to look more and more like home.  It gives me that warm, fuzzy feeling!  Emma is fiery as ever - she is truly an "Emma" by nature.  She knows what she wants and lets everyone know it.

Wanting:  Blinds.  I've been tripping over boxes of blinds for a week now.  I can't wait to have them up and off of my floor!  We ordered them through Lowes and it is taking ages to get them installed.  Emma wants everything.  In her mouth.  All of the time.  

Needing:   A good night of sleep.  I've not worked since April in England - I haven't needed to go anywhere by any time and I've not had to worry about dropping Emma off in the morning before rushing off to work since the good old KES days.  I need my mornings to go smoothly - especially as every minute is accounted for.  Emma has decided to sleep in (?!) as of a few days ago.  She was waking up at like 5:30 and now she's asleep at 6:30!  

Thinking:  I'm thinking an awful lot about my Aunt Rosie.  All of the furniture in the house, the car, clothes - everything is hers and should be hers.  I'm finding myself frustrated.  As grateful as I am for the generous gift she gave us, I wish she was still here.  

Enjoying:  At the minute, we are just enjoying our evenings.  B works such long hours that we need a bit of time in the evening to just do nothing.  Once bottles are done and lunches are packed we curl up with Downton Abbey.  Amazon Prime is our ticket to the series and we are seriously loving it.  We are currently on Season 2.  As for Emma, her greatest enjoyment is reading!  I drop everything when she hands me a book to read.  She loves board books and flip books.  I love her a little bit more for loving books!

How's that for a new twist on a monthly update?

Until next time?

Sunday, 26 July 2015


Ok, ok.  This post is about a week late.  But hear me out:  this is the last monthly post.  I know.  It's a bit devastating. For me as my baby is growing up, but for you as your monthly Emma bites are done!  Fear not!  I'm going to write more (I promise!!) about what we are up to as a family.  B is rocking and rolling at work, I'm getting ready to start work (after a year long maternity leave....) and Emma is turning into a cheeky, fantastic little toddler.   Stay tuned - the best is yet to come. 

How Old:   ONE YEAR!!!!!
Weight:  23pounds 12 ounces (and off the chart for height! 2 ft. 8 in!)
Likes:  Walking, dogs, splashing in the bath, corn on the cob and reading books.
Dislikes: Being unable to explore, strawberries and blueberries, having her diaper changed and getting dressed!
Eating:   I feel as though we eat the same things day in and day out - but she LIKES what we give that a bad thing?  Breakfast is always quinoa with cooked apples and cinnamon or mushed banana.  Sometimes we throw some watermelon in there too!  Lunch and Dinner are usually exactly the same:  Meat (beef, lamb or chicken), sweetcorn, peas, green beans, broccoli - usually discarded on the side are beans and cauliflower.  We are trialling root vegetables and carrot did not go down well.  Sweet potato is currently under way and I feel a bit more positive about it!
Sleeping:  We are still going strong from 7 pm - 6:30 am!  I'm so pleased by this.  Hopefully she keeps up the good work when we move into our new house!
Routine:  I think she is starting to drop that morning nap.  I can't actually figure out what she wants as far as naps are concerned.  She has breakfast first thing in the morning - a nap at some point?  Recently she has skipped the morning nap but been grumpy!  I feel like it's cruel to leave her in the crib while she rolls around, but I am always wary of taking her out prematurely!  She has a mid morning bottle and then lunch at 12:30.  She has an afternoon bottle still, dinner at 5:30 and then bath at 6:30 followed by bed!
Sizes:  We are still in  9/12 month onesies.  As it has been so hot, she has been living in onesies and sandals.  She is in size 12 trousers and going on size 18.  The PJs for 18 months are really tight around her poor head - so I'm not sure what size she would wear for sleeping in!
Milestones: Emma has 7 teeth now! She is babbling away (plenty of reduplicated monosyllables) and can crawl after everything and anything.  She has an amazing pincer grip - she is especially good at getting those baby proofing socket protectors out of the electrical sockets.  She pulls up and cruises on furniture.  She tries to say "yes", "dog" and "duck", can find mummy's nose, sneezes (or rather - blows raspberries) when you say "bless you" and can even point to her own toes!  High fives and waving are given when she feels like it - and if you are REALLY lucky you may get a kiss. 
Mum's favorite moment:  I can't peg any single moment this month, but there is a new attachment Emma has to reading and it melts my heart.  She loves flip books - especially "Where's Kitty" but I got her an adorable fine art inspired book about King Henry's treasures.  She loves a cuddle while reading - probably on the the reasons why I love reading to her!
Dad's favorite moment:  Saturday morning breakfast!  I have been granted a lie in on Saturday mornings while B gets up with Emma and goes out for breakfast.  He gets her a fruit bowl and something full of meat and egg for himself and Skypes Grandma and Grandad UK!  It's the best thing in the world for all three of us!

I cannot actually believe it's been one year.

Emma has grown and changed so much.  We, as parents, have grown and changed even more.  One year ago if you would have asked me if I was cut out to be a mum I would have told you no. I'm no mother.  Well, I think the proof is in the pudding.  I am blessed with one pretty fantastic little girl.  She's healthy.  She's happy.  I think we have done ok.

It's been a year of highs and lows.  There are a few things I would have done differently, but on the whole, I think we made the best choices for Emma throughout her one year with us.  

I have to talk for a minute about the photos as they are amazing.  If you are in the Cleveland area (sorry, UK friends and family!), Brittany Gidley Photography is a miracle worker behind a lens.  She was wonderful with Emma and the photos are just stunning.  She told us that we needed more wall space - I can't help but agree.  

Like I said earlier, things are manic at the moment.  We have a lot going on and I promise to write about it as soon as things settle down a little bit!  I have so much to share and I can't wait to share everything with you!

Thank you so much for reading.  Thank you for a year of support, kind words, friendly smiles and faithful reading.  I'm so honored that so many people read this blog and have watched Emma grow up this year.
Bring on life with a ONE YEAR OLD!


Friday, 17 July 2015

Dear Baby - it's your Birthday Eve!

Dear Baby,

Tonight when I put you down for bed, you awoke five minutes later and cried.  You never wake up and cry.  I went back into your room and gave you the last of your milk.   You then reached up and rested your head on my shoulder.  You haven't rested your head on my shoulder since you were a tiny baby.  I held you and we rocked.  Your room was quiet and cool. You were warm.  I could feel your heart beating as you stroked the back of my arm.  After a few minutes, I lay you back down to bed and said goodnight.

This - on the eve of your first birthday.

One year is an awful long time.  Why is it then, that this first year of your life felt like a minute?  I remember certain hours would drag by - some of them were terribly difficult.  Others seem to last mere seconds.  Exactly this time, 365 days ago, I was desperate to meet you.  Not because of the pain or the pressure - but because it had been me and you for nine months.  Nine whole months.  I wanted it to be me and you - the real you.

You were suddenly there and everything in this world suddenly changed.  You were so tiny and now you are so, so big.  You were strong willed and resilient then and you still are today.  Sometimes I wonder what life was like before you - was it easier?  More relaxing?  Maybe.  But it was incomplete.   I wouldn't want my life to be any different than how it is today.

When you go to bed each night I miss you terribly.  I often watch the monitor, studying the outline of your feet or watch for your chest to rise and fall.  You are perfect - and I didn't think it was possible for a human being to be perfect.  Your heart, soul and very being are just perfect.  I wouldn't change a hair on your head - nothing would make you any more beautiful or more fantastic. Never forget that.

I wish I wrote more letters to you, but I am spending most of time being with you rather than thinking about you.  I am lucky as I have had the chance to spend nearly all of this first year with you.  It really has been me and you - day in and day out.  I wouldn't want it any other way.

I know sometimes it looks like I have no idea what I'm doing.  I'm sure I frustrate you because I'm not getting things right - but I promise - I am trying.  I want more than anything to be a good mama.  Trust me - when I put my mind to something, I end up putting my whole self into it.  Being your mother is my greatest role in life.  I hope I manage to make half the impact on you as you have made on me.

One year ago I became a different person.  I have you to thank for that.  Thank you for the lessons on how to live and how to love.  Thank you for the kisses and the trust you put in me.  Thank you for the laughter and tears.  But most importantly, thank you for the love - I see it every time you smile at me.

I love you, Emma Rose Berry.  More than you will ever know.

Happy Birthday, my sweet.

Me xxx

Wednesday, 17 June 2015

11 Months!

How Old:   11 Months!
Weight:  (No idea!)
Likes:  Walking (with a death grip on our fingers), climbing stairs (with a significantly less urgent grip on our fingers), swinging, eating and clapping to music!
Dislikes:  Being told what to do in any way, shape or form. 
Eating: Emma is happiest when eating.  She loves bananas more than life itself and she is very keen on meat (chicken, beef, pork).  We seem to have our FPIES under control as I am wary to try anything too out of ordinary.  She has a very good diet - meat, fruit and veg.  Plus quinoa for breakfast.  I wish I had a bit more to offer her during breakfast, but quinoa flour hasn't convinced me yet!
Sleeping:  As always, Emma is a rock star sleeper.  She has gone 7 pm - 6:30 am for a long time now.  She does seem to be waking up earlier (around 5 or so) but plays in her bed until we go and get her.  I think she dozes off to sleep in that time. I feel guilty leaving her in bed, but every time I do get her earlier, she tends to cry!
Routine:  Her routine hasn't changed much since we have been in America.  She has breakfast first thing in the morning - a nap at 8:30.  A mid morning bottle and then lunch at 12:30.  She has an afternoon bottle still, dinner at 5:30 and then bath at 6:30 followed by  bed!  I'm not sure how babies go about dropping feeds, but she seemed to do it by herself.  I think she is getting less interested in bottles, but then she guzzles the lot.  She'll let me know when she is through I guess!!
Sizes:  She is rocking 12 month clothes - onesies are a touch big and trousers seem about right.  In all fairness, she has been wearing only a onesie or dress these days as it is so hot.  I ordered her a little pair of size 4 moccasins but they are miles too big!  Size 3 shoes (but she prefers bare feet!).
Milestones:  I think she has about 5.2 teeth at the moment and those dribble bibs are going nowhere. She is chattering away and trying to form words ("duck" was nearly "duck" the other night!), she knows who people are and can do basic commands ("up" and "kisses" are her best ones).  She waves, high fives and claps.  She has just started clapping above her head to music thanks to Auntie Erin.  She dances and rocks and is THIS CLOSE to walking.  She can roll around and move in her crib or when you are trying to get her dressed, but she isn't interested in crawling the rest of the time!  (UPDATE - SHE CAN CRAWL!)
Mum's favorite moment:  After her bath I did the usual towel dry (singing "snug as a bug in a rug" - of course) and put Emma down on our bed to put her jim jams and nappy on.  She started rolling - left, right, up, down.  I couldn't get the nappy on her bottom. She started laughing, realizing I was struggling, which made me laugh.  If someone was watching, I must have looked like a right idiot, chasing a tumbling baby around the bed with a nappy, unable to pin her down, both of us laughing - all whilst trying to prevent her from rolling OFF of the bed. 
Dad's favorite moment:  Dad's favorite moment comes on the EVE of Emma's 11 month birthday!  During the post bath roll around the bed whilst trying to avoid the nappy, Baby Emma decided to CRAWL!  She crawled towards Daddy a few times - I stood behind her jumping up and down with glee!  She found it hilarious (as usual) - I couldn't believe she FINALLY decided to crawl!

Let's talk about our All American Summer.  Seriously. It's All American.  We are LOVING the sunshine - although I'm pretty sure both B and Emma are wilting in the heat.  Fortunately, we found a bucket and chucked Emma in with some of her plastic balls.  She cooled down but decided she wasn't interested in sitting in a bucket.  She wanted out after about two minutes, drippy swim suit and all.

Summer is all about being outside and eating corn on the cob.  Two things we are doing a LOT of.  I am constantly covering her English skin in suncream as it is HOT and bright.  We have a cooler day today with a touch of rain.  I don't mind it - I'm sure she is happy!


We have been so lucky to have Auntie Erin home - plenty of play sessions, outings and walks with someone OTHER than mummy!  Erin is so good at distracting Emma - especially when she is about to cry.  We thoroughly enjoy our Dinner and a Show each evening when Erin serenades us.

Although B has just started work, we had loads of time together to have fun outings.  We went to a Lake County Captains game and sat in the TriPoint Loge. We didn't see much of the game as Emma wanted to walk up and down the steps, but it was a fun outing none the less!   

We also traveled down to Hartville, where we wandered around Ohio's largest Hardware Store and Flea Market.  I found the Hardware Store brilliant - especially the model homes INSIDE the store. The Flea Market wasn't really my cup of tea, but it was *brilliant* for people watching.  Emma enjoyed her first ride on a John Deer Tractor - I had to stop B from buying one.  

The final thing we did as a family is relatively bitter-sweet.  We travelled to Chicago to help clear out my Aunt's home.  For those of you who don't know, my Aunt passed away after a long battle with cancer this past March.  It didn't really seem real until we got to her house; I found it quite difficult.  

We managed a trip into the city for a day just to clear our heads, but in all honestly, it was hard work with a baby.  Small, crowded restaurants with no change tables seemed to be the norm.   I enjoyed the outdoor sights, but found it less accessible than London - which is really odd.

Emma was wonderful while we were in Chicago. I wasn't able to help as much as I would have liked as I was looking after her while everyone else was packing or lifting, but she managed to give us all a little something to smile about whilst doing a pretty challenging job. My final memory of my Aunt's house will be Emma, lying on the floor in the living room, filling the empty space with laughter and play.  If you knew my Aunt Rosie, you would agree that she would have loved that image.  

It's been a whirlwind of a month - Emma has grown and changed so much.  She is so much fun at this age.  I can't believe next month will be the big ONE YEAR!  Where does the time go?


Sunday, 14 June 2015

Where have I been???

Dear Baby,

Things have been quiet here in cyberspace.  You wouldn't know anything about that though, as it's been mummy and Emma fun days nearly EVERY day.  For everyone else reading my posts, I've been right here - in Ohio - trying to figure out how to live life again.

I'm not going to lie, I've had my fair share of pangs of homesickness since returning to my original home.  Like now - I'm currently writing this post whilst having a glass of wine and listening to KLFM.  My mom asked why I'm feeling so nostalgic.  I can't quite put my finger on it.  Perhaps I miss the comfort of the life we had?  I know we will be settled soon, but I'm just guessing that may be the cause to my desire to shop at Tesco or eat at Middleton Steak House.  

It's been a bit of a culture shock (coming home).  I mean, this is the post I should have written weeks ago, but I couldn't bring myself to write anything down.  I was so set on returning home but at the same time I loved so many things about living in England.  After eight years I was coming back.  Was it a failure?  Mission accomplished?  I don't know.  

In truth, I had the experience of a lifetime living in England.  It was amazing.  It was hard work.  It was incredibly frustrating, downright hilarious and overwhelmingly busy.  I loved the experience - I just didn't love it every day.  

When I was preparing move to England I frequented a forum for present and new teachers moving with Bluewave Teacher Recruitment Agency. I met a woman who was returning to America after ten years of living in England. I asked her why she wanted to come home. She said she was ready. 

I never really understood that. Initially, anyways. To me, England was going to be a potentially permanent move. It was just so new, exciting and just so quentisential. 

I don't know what attracted me to the country; perhaps it was the accent or the literature. Maybe the scenery. The tea. London? Whatever it was, that choice led me to a whole new world which shaped me into a completely different person. 
Eight years. 

Eight different homes (72, 47, 125 Gaywood Road, Poppyfield, London Road, The Cottage, 212 Main Road and Watlington!)
Seven counties visited outside of Norfolk (Kent, Cornwall, Devon, Leicestershire, Cambridgeshire, Yorkshire, Sussex)
Six hilarious yet challenging years in the English department
Five musicals with the King's Lynn Players (Witches of Eastwick, 42nd Street, Guys and Dolls, Hot Mikado, The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas)
Four holidays abroad with B (USA, France, the Maldives and Mexico)
Three cars - ALL Manual Drive! (Renault Clio, Volkswagen Polo, Mini One)
Two job titles (Drama Teacher and English Teacher)
One wedding. 
One husband. 
One baby.  

Eight years.  I can’t believe I have closed that chapter of my life.  Some moments I catch myself thinking about England and missing the people or places.  I don’t think that will ever go away.  I haven’t had any pangs of doubt or worry; I still believe moving back here to America was the right choice for us as a family.

But that doesn’t mean that I don’t miss the place which held so much value in my life.  If it wasn’t for that outrageous moment where I declared that I was going to move to England, there would be no Daddy or you. What kind of life would that be?

You only lived there for a fraction of time - your first home and room and town was only yours for 9 months. But let me assure you, that place was full of wonderful people and places.  

The lessons I learnt there are immeasurable.  

Then again - the lessons we are learning here are pretty exciting too.  We have a new house, jobs and are making new friends.  There are so many exciting opportunities just waiting for us.  I can't tell you that I prefer one place over the other because I love different things about both.  Both are my home. Both hold my family.  Both have my heart.

You may ask me in years to come why we moved.  We did so because we believed it was the right place for us as a family. I missed my family. We moved for you.  I can't wait to see what you do in this exciting place.

Love always,
Me xxx

Sunday, 17 May 2015

Ten Months!

My Chalkboard is somewhere between here and King's Lynn!

How Old:   Ten months!
Weight:   21.8 pounds
Likes:   Walking (whilst pulling our fingers off), hitting things with her spatula, bouncing, chasing mummy, eating (especially peas), rocking out to music.
Dislikes:  Sitting - it's so overrated, being held too close, the hot Ohio weather last week, animals (it's like a new fear...I'm planning on exposing her to as many as I can!),  tomatoes, lime green hats (Uncle Chuck's managed to terrify her).
Eating:  We are slowly coming off of Nutramigen and replacing it with three meals, snacks and plenty of watered down squash. I can't get her to drink water, so I put a tiny squrit of Robinson's fruit squash in her bottle and she necks the lot.  As it's been so hot here, I am desperate for her to drink anything.  She has a new safe food - beef!  She loved the steak ground and mixed with veg, but was not keen on the mini meatballs. I'm trying stewed tomatoes today!  She's now starting to dislike us feeding her purees so we are leaning towards more finger foods.

Emma's first trip to Little Italy!
Sleeping:  Emma has been an absolute gem with settling into American time.  She didn't really sleep on the flight but went through the night the very first day we arrived.  She's still sleeping 7-6:30 with some hour long naps in the day.  
Routine:  Usually when Emma wakes up we give her breakfast right away.  She then has a play for an hour or so and it's back to bed for a nap.  After, we tend to get her out and about until bottle at 10:30 and lunch at 12:30.  She then has an afternoon bottle at 3:30 followed by dinner at 5:30 and bedtime milk at 7:00.  I'm not really sure how we got into this routine, but it seems to be working!
Sizes:  She's a solid 12 month USA sizes - I'm not entirely sure what she would be in UK sizes as most of our clothes are American.
Milestones:   Walking with help, feeding herself (finger foods), waves and clapping (plus the odd high five!).  She can do something if she is shown once - using her spoon as a drumstick, rocking, etc. She can wave, high five and give kisses (only if you're mummy) on demand.  She even has started to fake sneeze and say what sounds like "Ah-choo!"
Mum's favourite moment:  There have been some absolute gems of moments this months.  The clapping or the pure look of glee on Emma's face when we gave her the lawnmower to push.  She has so much personality at the moment and I'm loving it!
Dad's favourite moment:  While waiting on B's new Kia, Emma started to get bored in the waiting room.  B put her on his shoulders and started chasing me around the showroom.  She was shrieking with laughter - proper baby squeals and laughs.  We were in hysterics as she was so delighted by the whole scenario.  

She loooooooves the new Radio Flyer trike

Moving to America has been one HUGE endeavor.  I have a separate post in the making outlining the move and all of the joy surrounding that.  It is so nice to be with my family; I really appreciate the help with Emma on a daily basis.  It's also been wonderful to have my darling B back after his relentless shifts before the move.

I don't know who looks happier!

We are obviously missing England - our friends and family mostly - but we are slowly working our way through and establishing a life here.

So far we have:
1.  Bought a car
2.  Registered Emma at a Doctor
3.  Signed up for an Old Navy, Babies R Us, Starbucks and Dick's Sporting Goods store cards
4.  B got a fishing license
5.  Registered for a one year membership to Anytime Fitness - I love it!
6.  Eaten our weight in good food - Salads at Arabica are our favorite
7.  Bought a big girl car seat - Graco All in One
8.  Eaten Froyo (most important item on the list)

Emma is settling right in.  She loves her new room and the new toys which Nonna has borrowed/found for her.  She has played with her cousin James (probably the most adorable game of peek-a-boo ever). And she has made loads of new friends.  We have a  few more playdates scheduled or on the horizon, plus some great ideas for things to do in the area (thanks for the suggestions!).  I've just bought her a swim suit as I'm pretty sure we will be spending plenty of time in a paddling pool if the weather is anything like it was last week!

We are anxiously awaiting the arrival of our shipping (scheduled for arrival in Cleveland on the 25th May) as we are keen to have our high chair and other bits and bobs.  I don't even remember what we packed, come to think of it.  In order to make room for our lives I had to get rid of everything in my old room - funny how much stuff you have saved over the years!  I found everything - photos, old notebooks, essays, a time capsule, old report cards.  I even managed to find $100 in a card from when I got straight As - it pays to go through everything!

All in all, we are getting there.  It's been so very hard to leave the people we love, but distance means so little when people mean so much.  You're in our hearts.  I hope you all know that.

As for us, you know I'll keep blogging.  Emma is getting bigger and more and more clever - I don't want you to miss any of that!  So if you don't get to see me or talk to me every day to find out what is going on, I'll keep you updated here, on instagram or on Facebook.  Don't worry - we will be right here.  Thank you, cyberspace.  You managed to close that gap that is the Atlantic.


Friday, 17 April 2015

Nine Months!

How Old:   Nine months!  She's been out as long as she was in! 
Weight:   21 pounds?? Maybe??? 
Likes:   Standing (with help), bouncing, her mini jam jar, chewing on everything, eating. 

Dislikes:  Having her bum changed, the slow service mummy and daddy sometimes offer, her formula! 
Eating:  Emma has done so well with food this time around! I've just written a post about our experience with FPIES and it was actually featured on the FPIES UK website. We have quite a few safe foods and Emma seems to love everything! Her favourites seem to be quinoa, butternut squash, red pepper and lamb!
Sleeping:   She's such a rock star. She's consistently going 7:30 - 6:00. Don't talk to me about jet lag. I don't even want to think about it! 

Routine:  We have dropped a few bottles! Much to our dismay, Emma isn't interested in her milk. She has breakfast when she wakes up follows by a full bottle at 10:00 am. She then has lunch at 12:30, a full bottle at 3:30, dinner at 5:30 and then a night bottle at 7:00. I'm not sure what we should be doing, but she won't have the bottle with her food and we are determined to keep her protein levels up! 
Sizes:  She's now a size 4 nappy and 9 month onesies. The trouser situation is another story. 12 months? 18 months? She is LONG! 
Milestones:   High Fives! What a dude. Waving Hi/Bye (when she feels like it). Rotating and making a move to crawl - although No movement yet. Standing with help. She also had her first pair of shoes bought for her!  

Mum's favourite moment:   Feed time - every day!  Emma’s reactions are hilarious - she loves food and often stops and just waves at me or tries to kiss me.  I melt…and steer clear of her dinners with lamb.
Dad's favourite moment:  B has a few this month:  while packing boxes for the move, I asked B to pack everything he didn't want to take on the plane. Emma ended up in a box surrounded by clothes. He also likes the fact that Emma's babbling is more along he lines of dadadada and not mama mama. 

In other news, things are slowing progressing with the big move to the USA!  Moving when you have a baby (or are pregnant for that matter) really stinks.  Moving to a new country when you have a baby is downright rotten.

Let's look at my life:


There is SO much to think about when moving abroad.  Last time I did this, I literally packed up a few suitcases and jumped on a plane.  We didn't have accommodation and I didn't have more than clothes and a laptop.  After eight years I have gained a LOT of stuff including a husband and a baby.

So - where on earth do we begin?  We have sold and donated virtually everything we own.    The important stuff is all coming with us via barge and it takes roughly three weeks for everything to arrive in Cleveland.  We have had to pack our three suitcases because we need to know how much we CAN take on the flight and what has to go in the shipping.  I can only imagine what will happen in the last week when we discover we have things we should have shipped.  We will cross that bridge when we get to it though!

I think the reality of leaving is starting to set in. We have said our “See you soon”s to family and friends - each time it is getting more and more difficult. 

(Our Awesome Leaving cake - compliments of my wonderful Mother in Law!)

More on all of that later!  As for now, I’m going to attempt to continue packing!