30 April 2009

it smells like...fireworks.

i am old. today i turn 27. technically not until 10.30 tonight, so i am still 26. i love birthdays and they have never been a big deal to me before. so why do i suddenly feel old? realistically 27 is not old at all. maybe its my life stage. i am married and with child. does that make me old? everyone around me in jolly ole' england seems to be talking about summer holidays and going traveling...not giving birth and breastfeeding. or it could be that i am still exhausted from our two weeks in America. being tired makes me even more emotional and irrational than i already am. and adding pregnant and tired on to that...well, you can all imagine just how emotional and irrational i am being.

however it does seem that i am not the only irrational one around. today i had my 28 week scan at the hospital. everything is fine. baby is healthy. and i got my results back from the mole i had removed several weeks ago. stage 2 malignant melanoma. awesome. so because of that, they decided that i should go see a 'consultant' Why they don’t just call them doctors, i dont know. so off I went to see a doctor. who determined that everything with baby was fine, but we should do some additional blood work. I have extremely small veins so it took several tries in each arm and eventually a butterfly IV in my hand to get blood. again, awesome. so did blood work, set up another appointment to see another doctor about the skin thing. and then...during the course of general conversation i managed to mention that i had been in Texas recently. yup, really smart of me. so since there has been no outbreak of swine flu in watford yet, i had to get tested for the swine flu as well. so, finally after many hours of appointments, scans and blood being drawn, i walked out of the hospital. and it smelled like fireworks.

fireworks have that really distinctive smell. a mix of rusty barbeque charcoal, burning paper, campfire and the glorious smell of summer. and that is what is smelled like. I decided that i needed to follow the smell. once i got close enough i discovered that hot asphalt also smells like fireworks. i however am choosing to believe that it was a special display of fireworks just for my birthday. (fireworks minus the pretty colours) asphalt or fireworks, it still put a smile on my face as i thought about the summer, the changes coming, the baby. and it reminded me that today is my birthday. and thats great. i love birthdays, especially mine. so i took myself shopping, bought a few new articles of clothing, watched One Tree Hill and Gilmore Girl re-runs on t.v. and cleaned up my room. at the moment i am anxiously awaiting the return of my husband so we can go to dinner. probably Fridays, because that is where we tend to end up for all special occasions. and it will be great.

because today i am 27.

and it smells like fireworks.

28 April 2009

i NEED yellow pillows

i have been thinking about my wedding a lot lately. people keep telling me that nothing can top the feeling of holding your child for the first time. but what about your wedding day? without my wedding day it wouldn’t have been possible to even have a child to hold. and lets face it, my wedding was perfect. no really, it was. everything went so perfectly. I loved my dress, i loved the music, i loved the vows, i loved kissing my husband for the first time, i loved walking out of the church, with my hand on his arm, knowing that for the rest of our days we would walk together as husband and wife. I loved that we had Polaroid pictures of all the guest instead of a guest book. i loved my insanely overpriced orchid tree at the reception, i loved that so many JBU people came. i loved that we have all the tasty deserts driven in from Rick's in Fayetteville, i loved that people cried when Rhys D gave the best man speech, i loved that my dad dedicated a special song to me, i love that rhys and i had an amazing first dance, i loved that we had an open bar and people took advantage. i loved everything. and i wouldn’t change a thing. it was an amazing day and i cant imagine anything ever coming close to competing with that day. without my wedding day none of the other amazing things in my life would have happened. i wouldn’t be living in London, i wouldn’t have the amazing friends that i have now, i wouldn’t be getting more than my fill of rugby and football (thats soccer to you americans) and most importantly, i wouldn’t be pregnant.

being a bride was an amazing feeling. one that cannot be accurately put into words, one that cannot be replicated. i wouldn’t trade my day for anything. i loved the extravagance and the elegance. i loved my day.

and because of that day, because i married mr. williams and now live in London, I need yellow pillows. ok, let me explain. I am apparently 'nesting' I have been told that this happens at some stage in your pregnancy. (pregnant and mom friends, is this true? is this normal?) the pregnant woman suddenly feels the need to put together nursery furniture, paint, wash all the little baby clothes and put them away etc... etc... since i have no nursery to speak of, my nesting period is going by without doing any actual 'nesting'. hence the need for yellow pillows. My current duvet set is blue. my grandmother bought it for me as a wedding present and I love it. But i have decided that it needs some yellow. so my baby nesting has now taken the form of normal house nesting. and i need some yellow pillows. i was thinking ikea...they have fun patterns and designs.

and i have decided to end this post with some of my favourite wedding pictures. so here you go.

the church...i love my church

my mom helping me with my dress. this is one of my favourites

woo hoo team bridesmaids!

crazy groomsman

me and my dress. i loved my dress

the best man, clearly on his best behavior

after the ceremony, enjoying being married

on our way to the reception

how we came into the reception. i love piggy back rides!

our first dance

27 April 2009

i'm back...and its not fun

we landed back in good ole' London yesterday. and i am not happy about it. Somewhere in the mix of family, friends, niece, nephew, doctors appointments, baby shopping, regular shopping, staying up late every night and 3 different states, i got sick. and i am not happy about that either. I am glad the sickness managed to stay away while I was livin' it up in America, because let me tell you. it was a fantastic time. i love my family and all my friends and the food and the stores...and it was just perfect. a wonderful 17 days in my hometown.

and now? well now I am back 'home' this has to be my home becasue this is where i live. but i am not feeling very 'homey' at the moment. the flat is convered in suitcases half unpacked, clothes scattered everywhere, dirty laundry already piling up and the water leak that happened sometime when we were gone. nothing was damaged, except the celiing which is now an ugly brown colour and the wall which has some lovely brown water stripes/spots to match. so thats fun. welcome home kristina, welcome home.

but i am sure that once i actually manage to catch up on my sleep and get rid of this crap cold/flu like thing that is plaguing me, home wont seem so bad. i am hoping that the two days of throwing up is sickness related and not my morning sickenss returing to all day. i was really liking only throwing up in the mornings and think i would cry if my all day sickness was coming back. lets pray its just crap flu-like thing. on a really positive note though, baby eleri is kicking like mad. and i couldnt possibly love it more. I cherish the feeling of knowing that she is in there, alive and well. even though its a bit werid to constantly get kicked...i wouldnt trade the feeling for anything. growing a human in a very strange yet magically wonderful experience.

18 April 2009

eli to eleri

a months ago the doctor was almost 90% sure that i was having a little boy. now he is almost 100% sure that I am having a girl. talk about a shock! I went from being really excited to little blue outfits with dinosuars to....well...not being sure what to think. we had a name. Eli Gryffydd (middle name is welsh. pronounced Griffith) we talked to our son everyday. we read to him, and sung to him, and bought him little boy clothes. and then we were told he wasnt there. and it was a shock.

I would like to say that i responded well. but i cried. a lot. it was hard to let go of an idea that i had spent 10 weeks bonding with. but at the end of the day, thats all it was. an idea, not a reality. little eli was not little eli but in fact little eleri. and it was really hard for me to get used to. I know it sounds pathetic. my child is healthy, growing normally and lets face it, there are hundreds of women out there who would love to be pregnant regardless of the sex. but still, i cried. i went and looked at little girl clothes in a store, burst into tears and spent 30 minutes sobbing in the bathroom. that was tuesday.

and now? now i couldnt be more excited. its werid what our emotions do to us. especially pregnant emotions. now we talk to little eleri. we read to her, and sing to her, and have bought her adorable little girl clothes. and i am thrilled. i am really excited that we are having a little girl first. i know she will make a great big sister whenever little eli does come along. mostly i am just excited that we have a baby. i cant wait the few short months until we can welcome our beautiful little girl into this world. i just know she will be perfect.

and on another note...the tiny guns and roses onesie that i ordered came in the mail today. i have already found a little bow that matches the guns and roses logo. our little girl is cool!

13 April 2009

welcome home

in my 3 days....

ice tea
sweet ice tea
cherry limeade
tator tots
Ruffles and Pace salsa
real lemonade
little league baseball
big cars
even more big hair
lots of fake tan
Coach bags
country music
cowboy boots
more grass than side walk
no double decker buses
taco bueno
people actually wearing matching outfits
american accents...

welcome home.

8 April 2009


because today is my last day at work before my 3 week hiatus to America, I got up early to make sure I was at work at a reasonable time. My goal was 8.30. I got up just after 7 with the intention of throwing on some clothes and driving straight to work. At 8.45 I was still at home, in a t-shirt, having a melt down about what to wear. and not just any melt down, a MAJOR, hyperventilating type of break down complete with tears, messy hair, no make-up and clothes strewn about everywhere. Finally I decided on a skirt, green shirt and grey cardigan. Finally I left the house…only to call Rhys 30 seconds later in tears and make a circle around my block to come back home and change. Luckily Rhys talked me out of actually getting out of the car and changing because I was late enough as it was. Didn’t I need to leave early to pick Trevor up from the airport? Shouldn’t I just go to work? No, I am not fat...just pregnant he reminded me. so i went to work, in the outfit i didn’t like. and just for the record, i am still not please. but at least i am not crying about an outfit anymore. seriously? what is my problem?

Once at work the day didn’t necessarily pick up. The door rang so I got up to answer it. Unbenounced to me, my skirt was stuck in my underwear. awesome. a colleague was nice enough to shout across the office "kristina I can see your ass" fantastic. just what i wanted. i knew i should have changed!!! seriously?! did that really happen?

About half an hour later that same colleague came over to my desk to discuss a meeting. He had to wake me up because i had FALLEN ASLEEP IN MY CHAIR. nice. not only do i wear funny outfits and tuck my skirt in my underwear, but i also sleep at my desk. in an office full of people. seriously? did i really do that?!

and just about when i thought all the things that could go wrong had gone wrong…. something else went wrong. I went out to lunch with an office friend who is moving to Australia. (i am very jealous of said office friend) we went to this great little Japanese cafe and as we were waiting outside for a table i managed to find the one sewage grate that stuck up out of the ground, trip over it and fall into a woman carrying a huge bag of take away food. again, awesome. food spilled, arms flailed about, yells could be heard. all in all a nice experience for all parties involved. not to mention the entire cafe as the front is all glass windows!! Just for the record, I felt really cool.

So...as a recap of my fantastically organised and really cool day: I took an hour and 45 minutes to get dressed, only to cry and want to change after leaving the house. walked around my office with my maternity underwear and butt clearly on display, fell asleep at my desk and knocked over a woman carrying loads of food. If i haven’t said it before, I AM AWESOME!

a great note is that in less than 20 hours I will be aboard a plane heading for the sunshine in the great state of Oklahoma! woo hoo, everyone be excited!! and expect slightly sporadic, if at all existent, blogging until I return :) Happy Easter to everyone!

7 April 2009

thanks katie!

ok, ok two posts in one day...i know. but i was given a blog award a while back and just now figured out how to post it so....

Lemonade Award: for someone who is good at making lemonade out of the lemons in life.

I have been given this blog award by katie. Her explination was: me, a crazy american, learning about the joys and ups and downs of pregnancy in this far away land of england. (i added the crazy bit) it meant a lot that she thought of me. thanks katie. I really appreciate it.

as the 'rules' go, I am suppose to pass this on to some designated amount of people. I will pass it on to two because those are the two who I feel really deserve it the most.

1. Jenae. Mostly because she is great (and amazing photographer) and well...she is learning and growing a lot. trying to figure out to accomplish all that she wants whilst being the most effective that she can be. i enjoy hearing her stories and her thoughts. so there you go jenae.

2. Susanna. my dear, dear friend Susanna. she has recently moved to the Ukraine, is trying to learn Russian, meet people, adjust to an entire new culture, fit into a team of people and really make an new life for herself in the former Soviet Union. and i love her for it.

as way of an update

I have been getting quite a few questions lately. or i should say the same few questions from quite a few people. So i have decided to answer them all right here...

1. Stitches. rest assured people, it was nothing major and traumatic as some have suggested. I had a tiny mole on my leg that had begun to shift in colour. Being from a sunny climate originally, and knowing about 15 people who have had moles removed, I thought nothing of it but decided to go to the doctor. Talk about a freak out in the UK. I have never known the NHS to move so quickly! Had an appointment at 9am Friday morning and by 1.30 that afternoon had been booked into the theatre (operating room) and was sitting on the table waiting for them to remove the "obviously cancerous" speck on my leg. The doctor was really nice and kept saying things like 'dont worry hun, its probably nothing that cant be fixed. no need to worry, we can remove the cancer' Even with her really comforting (ha!) words, I was not worried because, well it was just something that was familiar to me. people who refuse to wear sunscreen to ensure the best tan possible will eventually end up with some kind of sun spot that needs to be removed. that and old, leathery skin by the age of 35.

I did however begin to get nervous when I was informed that because I was pregnant they would not be giving me atheistic. what?! seriously?! the doctor corrected herself. I would have a minor amount of local atheistic. about an eighth of what they normally give. hmmm...now I am starting to get nervous. Well once she starting cutting into my skin, she discovered that the tissue around and below the mole was in fact infected and she needed to removed quite a bit more than originally planned. Awesome. in case you have even wondered what it feels like to have a mini scalpel cut into your flesh and dig out pieces of tissue, i will tell you its not fun. So what was supposed to be 2 or 3 stitches and a tiny cut ended up being an inch and half cut with 3 layers of stitches. and i felt each and every one of those 11 stitches going in. again, awesome.

as a side note. the doctor did say, as a means of comfort, "dont worry this is not as bad as labour. i mean, i have never had kids, but i am assuming that labour will be a lot worse than THIS!" thanks for those encouraging words doctor. i cant wait for things to come! and that my friends, is the stitches story.

2. Pregnant Pictures. i have not put up any pictures of me being pregnant. The reason for this is threefold. One, for the first 20 weeks i did not look pregnant. There was no point to put up pictures of me from a side view when I looked exactly the same as before. you could have just looked at a normal picture, i could have said i was pregnant and everyone is happy. Two, since November my camera battery has been dead. i have lost my charger. therefore I am unable to take pictures of my pregnant belly even though at this stage I actually have quite a large one. as husband has taken to calling me BPB, big pregnant belly. nice. and finally, three. This is really the most significant reason. my mom is far away. she doesn’t get to experience any of the 'firsts' with me in person. i.e. first kick, first scan etc... so i am waiting until my mom can see me in person before the world wide web gets pictures. since i see my mom on Thursday, i envision pictures will be up by this weekend.

3. Our home. Why this is still an issue, i don’t know. I wrote about this same issue a while back; about people being quick to judge me based on the fact that Rhys and I only have a one room flat. Well, i will say it again. screw you. i will be a great mom without all the toys, clothes, and nursery furniture that some of you all so desperately think i need. I am not saying i don’t want those things. If we had the space I would love for little Eli to have a nursery all decked out, but since that is not the case, we will make due with what we have. and anyone who thinks we are being bad parents and 'depriving' our son...well I think its about time you kept your opinions to yourself!

4. I am using cloth diapers. some you are excited. some of you are not. but no matter what you say, i will not change my mind. similar to the above response, if you cannot be positive, why do you say things? Every one can make their own choice. We are really excited about our cloth diapering. please be excited with us.

5. Jenae, yes there are some areas in London that police are hesitate to go. I think its a combo of fear of upsetting someone or being perceived as being politically incorrect or targeting certain groups as well as knowing that in certain areas they themselves will be targeted. The UK is strange in that way. Police and fireman are regularly attacked on their way to call outs. There are numerous cases of the fire brigade being called out to a 'fire' only to arrive at the scene and discover that they have been set up. Instead of a fire they are met with thugs waiting to assault them with rocks, sticks, a knife or fist. Same goes often times for ambulance personnel. its weird. so yeah, there are certain areas of London that the police are not jumping up and down to go to go. partly because the muslim influence and partly because of the other things mentioned. sad that our society has come to that.

6. We leave for America on Thursday. Yes Rhys is going to. We will be in the states of 18 days. Yes we are coming to Arkansas. Yes I will call all of you who have asked me to. and yes, I am VERY excited to see each and everyone of you. This will be the last time I can fly before I have the baby. and as an interesting side note, this is the last time that i will ever, EVER go to America without a child. crazy eh?

So there it is folks. all the answers to all the questions/comments that i have been recieving. :)

6 April 2009

a bit blah...

its just one of those days. I am grumpy. and for no reason really. can i blame the pregnancy? I feel really moody, really tired, and i have been crying all day for no reason. Perhaps its the stiches in my leg that I got friday. 11 stiches. no anthestic. crazy NHS. wouldnt give me anything becasue of the pregnancy. it hurt. its still sore. maybe thats it. or maybe its the fact that my boss just made me cry. yeah, im super cool like that. crying in the office.

but exciting news is that it is 24 days until my birthday and 3 days until we leave for America! woo hoo!

2 April 2009

little battles....

I knew a girl a while back who had immigrated to America. Her entire family had moved to the states and they were spread across it. Mothers, sisters, brothers, cousins, the entire extended family had immigrated. except her dad. Her dad had chosen to stay in his home town. He sent his family thousands of miles away and he chose to stay. why? because he felt it was his duty.

see, the family was from Bogotá, Columbia. safe to say the drug capital of the world. as sad, and stereotypical, as it is, Columbia is now synonymous with drugs. they kind of go hang in hand. well, that and kidnapping. and this particular family? well, their dad was a judge. an honest judge. a judge who worked hard to remove drug dealers and drug users from the streets. a judge who gives out harsh sentences, a judge who could not be bribed. a judge who felt it his duty to serve the country he loved so much. a country that he remember much differently from what it has now become. and he was determined to do whatever he could to try to bring Columbia back to its former glory; to take the country back from the drug dealers and criminals.

But since the dad in said family was an honest judge, and determined to stay honest, his family was not safe. Criminals don’t take too kindly when their livelihood is threatened. Assassination attempts, countless break-ins, car bombs, attempting kidnappings, and unbelievable security for any family member any time they wanted to leave the house. even for school. These kids had 3 bodyguards each when the went to school. body guards that never left their side. Finally it reached a point where enough was enough. The family, the entire family, was shipped off to America under the cover of night, using decoys. Names were changed when they reached America and special arrangements were made with the US government to ensure protection. and the dad stayed behind. Why? because Columbia is his country and he wasn’t about to let anyone run him off. He would stay and fight, sometimes completely on his own, for as long as it took.

His life is threatened daily. His home has been destroyed. Cars run off the road, offices bombed. He has been shot at, stabbed and people have tried to kidnap him more times than he can count. Yet he stays and he fights. 'Little battles' he says, they are just 'little battles'. they dont seem so little to me. Take for example the family home. The home that my friend and her family grew up in, the home so full of memories, of pictures, of belongings. When the honourable judge returned home from work one day he found the home open, completely ransacked and smelling of gasoline. Police and his bodyguards quickly realised it was a deadly trap and instructed him to turn around, walk out the door, dont look back and never return. The house soon exploded. completely destroyed. that seems like a pretty big battle to me.

and he stays on still. Last i knew, he was still alive. still fighting. still trying to defend his country and his people against those who want to destroy it. still an honest judge. and what does he say? "little battles make you stronger and prepare you to fight the real war" He is a strong man. he is an admirable man. i only wish i had a tenth of his strength to fight for the things that I truly believe in.

1 April 2009

6 months gone and 29 days left

I am 4 months away from Indefinite Leave to Remain (UK Residency), 1 year and 4 months away from citizenship, 29 days away from my birthday (yes, the count down has begun already), 1 day away from going to Wales, 1 week and 3 days away from going to America for holiday.....and I am officially 6 months pregnant. to the day, exactly, i am 6 months pregnant. crazy.

I feel like lately I have been measuring my days in terms of counting down. How much longer until Eli comes, how many days until America, how long i have before i have to renew my visa etc. Recently I have added maternity pictures from Katie to the list. I am really excited about that. especially since for the past several months my camera has been either lost or broken, I feel like I dont have a lot of pictures of my pregnancy. i am glad katie will be around to take some pictures of it for me :)

Usually April is the time that I begin my birthday countdown. Those that have known me for longer than a year can vouch for this. Rarely does a day go by in April that everyone I know is not made aware that my birthday is coming up. Not because I am expecting presents, but because I just generally really like my birthday. and i like everyone else to know about it. Last year Rhys and I both took off and went into the city for the day, mostly in the hope of getting a new tattoo. That was my birthday present last year. And my birthday present this year? (yes, i already know what it is) AC/DC concert tickets!! woo hoo!!! They are playing London in June and I cant wait! knowing me I will probably start a countdown to that as well. 2 months and 26 days until AC/DC.

So whilst I am quite excited that I only have 29 days until my birthday, I am even more excited that i am already 6 months pregnant. At the moment though? i am the most excited that I only have 10 minutes until I am leaving work. woo hoo, I am going home!!