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