30 October 2009

seriously? again?

i was lying in bed, enjoying the fact that my babe was sleeping like a champ when i heard a knock at the window. as you all know, i am anxiously awaiting the arrival of my passport. so i quickly jumped up and tried to grab clothes and run to the door.

a second knock.

i knew the postman wouldnt wait long. and what if it was my passport? i was missing it!! i couldnt grab clothes quick enough. a blanket seemed a good option. so i grabbed my huge quilt off the bed, ran to the door, threw it open and was met with a very surprised face from the postman. to be fair, i am sure i was quite the sight. hair down, disheveled and still wet with a giant blanket over my shoulders, wrapped around my body.

and it was a royal mail special delivery package. in the ever so coveted silver packaging. it could very well be my passport i excitedly thought.

and then he asked for my signature.

how was i going to do that? i was holding the blanket around me, on the inside with both my hands. but i had to sign. i HAD to get the package.

so i delicately tried to balance holding the blanket whilst slowly snaking one arm out of the top. but i failed. pretty badly because the blanket fell down to my waist. revealing to the postman, again, my bra. sweet. i can only image what he must think of me now that i have essentially answered the door not once, but twice in just my bra. but at that point i was too excited to really care. i had to get inside and open the package. would it finally be my passport?


woo hoo! passport! i am now an official UK resident, expiry date: NEVER. my status lasts indefinitely. sweet. and i have also made an appointment for eleri at the American Consulate to get her 'registered' so the american government will finally know that she exists. and get her a passport.(side note: its quite a challenge to get a 3 month old to hold still long enough to get passport pictures)

and this also means that we are for sure coming to america in 3 weeks!! woo hoo for america!

so i suppose all in all, not a bad deal. for me or the postman :)

also, we are road tripin' to wales tomorrow and wont be back until wednesday. so i cant foresee any blogging between now and then. see you when we get back!!

26 October 2009

102 days

my baby is exactly 102 days old. i cant believe it. i cant believe that its been 3 months already. 3 months exactly last saturday.

she has gone from this

to this

i sound like my mother saying this, but i cant believe how much she has grown up. she is a proper little person and is doing all kinds of new things. the little chicklet can roll onto her side, she can sit up as long as she is propped against something (but she balances all by herself). she laughs ALL THE TIME and she smiles like there is no tomorrow. I havent managed to capture it on film a lot because she gets this confused look on her face whenever the camera comes out. but man, i love her smile. she has super strong legs and likes to 'stand' on them. she loves baby enstien and recognizes the tune already. and most wonderfully, she sleeps like a champ. an average of 10 hours a night.

when she was about 10 weeks, rhys and i had the conversation of 'crying it out' would we do that? would we just wait for her? what was the best method?.... so many people had their opinions. our parents offered their advice, the books all had an opinion and all the blogs i read about other peoples babies... I didnt want to get up two times a night to feed her, even if it was only for 10 or 15 minutes. i wanted my sleep. nay, at that point, i needed my sleep to function as a sane person. it was a big discussion in our household. WHAT SHOULD WE DO. and, being the natuarally laid back person that i am, i freaked out about it. so one night, we decided to let her cry. she cried for an hour and half. and i cried. and then i picked her up and fed her anyway. smooth. way to go with the 'crying it out'

and the next night she didnt wake up. or the next. or the next. seriously? i was so shocked. she gets a bath about 7.15, then eats her last meal and we put her down for the night. she stirs about 4am, i re-wrap her and she goes back to sleep until about 6.30am. its fantastic! i couldnt ask for a better 3 month gift! and all my stress was really for nothing.

if 3 months of a baby has taught me anything, its that every baby is different. no book, person or blog can tell me exactly what i should do with my baby. i know my baby and we need to do what works for us as a family. i was really freaking out about sleeping and what eleri should or shouldnt be doing. and i didnt need to be. the sleeping episode has taught me that i just need to be patient and work with my baby on my terms. by what my baby tells me. because she will do things in her own time.

i have had such a tremendously fantastic 102 days with my little chicklet. we have laughed, cried, danced, slept, giggled, rolled, and made more 'goo' noises than i can count. i wouldnt trade a second of the time i get to spend with her. i am so blessed to have had this time and i pray i have many, many more days ahead.

happy 3 month birthday little one. you are my world.

21 October 2009

dont worry folks, i'm just fat

thats right.im just fat. i say just because there was a question of whether it was fattness or if my hips had actually spread during the joyous experience called child birth. and i really thought it was the later. and i am so glad that im just fat.

SO glad.

before i got pregnant i was in the best shape of my life. and thats not a kristina exageration; its the truth. i dont talk about weight in specific numbers because everyone is different; body type and height matter. so i will just say that i was in great shape. i weighed less and had more tone than ever before. even better than high school! and i was determined to stay that nice, fit weight forever. so about a week before i found out i was growing little e, i cleaned out my wardrobe. i got rid of all my clothes that were not in my great fit size.

and that was a mistake because then crazy big pregnant body happened. and then the birth.

roughly 2 weeks after i gave birth i could fit into 1 pair of my pre pregnancy jeans. i thought i was on my way back to my pre pregnancy weight at record speed. but 13 weeks on, i still cant fit back into my 'normal' clothes. and a few days ago i was really starting to get down about it. they say that hips can spread during pregnancy and child birth and NEVER GO BACK. thats right NEVER GO BACK! while that may not seem like a big deal, to me it was practically the end of the world! ok, that was a kristina exageration. but it was really disappointing to me to think that my hips had spread and would never go back.

but a few days ago my mind was eased. i am just fat.

i could pull my jeans up over my hips and while i cant quite button them, they at least pull up. and in about 2 inches, they will button. and that is the best news i have had all week.

in other news, i keep wanting to have a post full of eleri's photo shoot that saskia over at sakis's spot shot. but my stupid computer wont let me upload more than this one. so enjoy this for the moment and when my computer stops being stupid, i will add some more.

20 October 2009

suzie homemaker or betty back to work

lately i have been 'evaluting my life' if you will. rhys and i are trying to figure out what the next step is for us. we have some ideas, but nothing is set in stone yet. the only thing we know for sure is that the next step is not london. as most of you know, i have sent a plea out to practically all of my american friends asking them to help us move to the states. rhys is looking to his buddies about other jobs in england or wales. so far nothing fantastic has really jumped out. its been discussed that perhaps rhys will go back to school and get his mba. or maybe try to get a job with an international charity. or we could win the euro millions this friday and be 50 million pounds better off.

all the uncertainity has caused me to really think about what it is that i want. kitchen table and back yard aside, what is it that i really want? i am thinking i better make a list. i have always made lists. my freshman year of college i made a list of things i wanted to do before i was 25. Get a graduate degree, check. Go to europe with my friends, check. travel around the world, check (for the most part). get married, check. more specifically marry someone with an accent, check. (yes, the accent was was honestly on my list.) live overseas, check. once i got married i said that i wanted to have a real job in the corporate world, commute to work and then have a child. i did those things, pretty much in that order too. gotta say though, communting to work was not nearly as cool as i thought it would be. that aside, i have pretty much accomplished everything on all of my lists that i have set out to.

except now.

now i feel slightly stuck. i always said when it came down to it, i wanted to be a mom. a mom of the stay at home variety. i wanted to keep a house, take care of my husband, my children. and i feel that i cant do those things based soley on the fact that i live in the second most expensive city in the world. i must detour here for a moment and add a slight disclaimer. this is not a giant "rant about london" post. i am just processing out loud. so, back to the post. since rhys and i currently reside in the second most expensive city, i feel that the current things that are starring me down on my list keep slipping further and further away from me. it seems like i will never be able to cross them off.

if i want to be suzie homemaker i like always said, then we will never be able to afford anything bigger than our current residence of 380 square feet. however, our flat at the moment does not lend itself to family living. there is constantly laundry hanging in the living room because that is the only room large enough to hold our drying rack. the only time laundry is not up is when rhys' family comes to visit and we try and make our flat look presentable. because our kitchen is not big enough to hold more than 2 people in it at a time, rhys and i never cook together. we dont have a dishwasher which makes it hard to keep the kitchen clean. basically because of the space situation, cleaning is dificult. again, i am not complaining. (sounds like it though, doesnt it?!) there are things i love about the flat. but i dont love that the situation at hand makes it next to impossible to fulfill my dream of suzie homemaker.

it werid, i have to think about things that never would have entered my mind before living here. for example, i really want to be able to have eleri on the floor so she can roll around and explore. however, because we have no ac or ceiling fans for circulation, we have to open the windows. because we live in london, big red double decker buses and taxi cabs galore are constantly driving up and down our street. the amount of smog and soot that enters our home daily through the windows is insane. curtains turn black in a matter of months. so to have eleri anywhere on the floor, even on a playmat or blanket, would require a thorough clean and dust and vacaum every single day. thats a lot of time. perhaps that is what normal people do and i am strange for thinking that i dont want to dust, sweep, mop and vacum every single day. is that werid? other moms? werid? the point is, this city makes living the life i imagined difficult. does that make me materialistic? the jury is still out on that one.

i could have a different home, a different space. but that would require me to be betty back to work. because london is so expensive to have anything different that what our current situation is, i would have to go back to work. and not a nice, part time job that would let me hang out with the babe. a real, big full time job. becoming betty 'full time' back to work was not on my list of things to do. i want to raise my daughter myself. i want to teach her things, not have her in day care where someone else gets to do all the fun day to day things.

but being here does have HUGE advantages. the biggest one being that europe is on my doorstep. literally. and its not just europe, its the entire world really. it is dirt cheap to go to say, egypt. or morroco. or russia. or china. plus, there are amazing all inclusive travel deals over here. unlike anything i have seen in america. i would love for my family to be able to travel the way that living in the uk would allow us to. at heart i will always be somewhat of a wanderer. no matter how much it sounds like i want the picket fence and apple pie baking the oven; the backpack living will always hold a big part of my soul. and i want to share that with my children. but then living in the uk wouldnt really allow us to have more than one child.

so its all give and take really.

so where does that leave us? i feel another list is probably in order. but until i can muster up the energy to make a list that could possibly determine the next few years of my life, i still have some questions. like do i become betty back to work or stay suzie homemaker? and even though asking this next question is opening up another can of worms entierly, would i ever really be content living in america long term? moving to arkansas so rhys can go back to school is an option. could i handle arkansas? or woud i be longing for the european lifestyle?

see? i said i was stuck. i am stuck between not wanting to be in london anymore, but not really knowing where that means we should be. i want to give eleri the very best. i want her to have the best education, the best homelife, the best opportunties, the best, well the best of everything. i dont think she can get the best of everything here. but she cant get the best of everything in america either. i know, i know, no place is perfect. so for the meantime, here i shall stay.

16 October 2009

gotta love the nhs

today big e is 12 weeks old. (12 weeks! ahh! 12 weeks!!) so off we went to the doctor to get her 3 month immunizations. its a fairly routine procedure so no problems, right? you would think. but with the NHS apparently everything is an issue. here is what happened...if you can even believe it.

after a 20 minute wait at the reception desk, i finally get up there and say "i am here for my daughters 3 month shots" i tell her the name and she corrects me about the pronunciation of my daughters name. MY daughter. i am told that you dont say it a-lar-y. that is incorrect. if i want to say it that way then i need to spell it a different way. seriously? is the receptionist telling me how to say my daughters name? once we get over the 5 minute argument about pronunciation, i go back to the nurses room to wait for her shots.

the nurse comes in and tells me what shots they are giving the baby. they are the wrong shots. i tell the nurse she has already had those shots; she got them when she was 2 months old. now she needs her 3 months shots. "no she has not had any shots before. its not in the computer" ok. well i dont really care what the computer says, i was there. i heard my baby scream. she cried. i cried. i KNOW she had shots at 2 months. "well i cant find record of that here..." so i pull out the RED BOOK. oh, the book. the red book is something they give you at the hospital right after you give birth. esentaially it is a tiny book of medical records from birth to 6. you are suppose to carry it with you everywhere. thats right, i have the only definitive health record of my daughter, in my purse, all the time. (i find that a bit strange) the nhs does not have a general computer system so if, for example, you have to go to the hospital, the red book has record of what the nhs has done previously. and doctors have pretty poor records, so the red book has an accurate account of everything. so i pull out the red book, hand it to the nurse who says "oh, well she has already had her 2 month shots. I will give her the 3 months set" really...isnt that what i just said? so out comes the needle and into my baby's cute chubby leg. oh, the scream.

the nurse pulls the needle away and offers to cotton ball or band aid, nothing. she is bleeding but the nurse just pulls out another needle and tells me to turn the baby around. i ask for a band aid so she doesnt bleed everywhere and after a "humph" and an eye roll, the nurse puts down the open needle on the counter and hands me a band aid. then she picks up the open needle off the counter and tries to put it in the baby! WHAT!!! no way is that needle going into my child's leg! "umm, that needle was on the counter. its not sterile anymore" isnt that obvious? "oh, its fine" she says. Um NO. its NOT fine. so after i make her open another needle (more eye rolling and humrph noises) she again offers no cotton ball, no band aid and instead sits down to write in the red book. "can i please have a band aid before you sit down to write?" i was so annoyed. after yet another eye roll, she got me a band aid and put it on eleri's leg. with the sticky bit right over where she got the shot. give me the damn band aid and i will put it on properly if you aren't even going to watch what you are doing. ok, so i didnt say that last bit, but i wanted to.

finally it was over. i was trying to dress a half naked, screaming baby in my lap and big e decided to throw up. all over. i asked the nurse if there were paper towels anywhere. "yeah, over there by the wall" nurse who is doing nothing and has nothing in her hands and me who has a half naked screaming baby. sweet, i will just juggle the baby and walk across the room and do it myself. thanks for all your help, you devil woman.

on my way out whilst trying to set up an appointment for next months shots, i again had to argue with the receptionist about my daughters name. are you kidding me? man, you gotta love the nhs. (read: despise with a hatred that burns brighter than the sun)

13 October 2009

miss it, love it

i miss....

the leaves changing

the pumpkin patch. i really want to take little eleri to get a pumpkin

pumpkin pie

getting ready for thanksgiving

apple cider

j. crew fall collection

pumpkin spice latte from starbucks

but i love....

random fall sunshine that is gracing us here in the UK

big red double decker buses driving down my street

christmas lights out already

eleri's dalmation costume for halloween

ted baker fall collection

butternut squash soup

the start of autumn internationals in a few weeks (rugby seasons people!)

disneyland paris (its my goal to go this year)

7 October 2009

me and the postman

as everyone is well aware, i am anxiously awaiting the arrival of my passport from the British government so i can go to america in november. they will be sent back by special devliery so everytime i hear the postman my heart races a little bit. every day i wait for him to knock on my window and let me know there is a package for me. every day i wait and every day he doesnt come.

and then today....today i heard the postman come, and then i heard a knock.

i was so excited i put the baby in her chair, hurried to unlock the door and ran out into the communal hallway to meet the postman. i signed for my package, collected the rest of my mail from him and went back to my flat. i sat down on the couch to find out if it was my passport and thats when i realised it. i did not have a shirt on. thats right folks. i was so excited about the possibility that the postman might be delievering my passport that i ran outside in only my bra. sweet. i had a good laugh about it becasue at that point, what could i do? i am surprised that the postman managed to keep a straight face. perhaps its more common than i think? do people reguarly come to the door half naked? i sure hope i never do it again.

and it wasnt even my passport.

3 October 2009

its not like riding a bicycle

you can forget how to run. who would have thought!? its been exactly 356 days since i have run. i know this because i ran a half marathon when i was about 4 weeks pregnant on the 12th of october 2008. i know i ran on the 13th because i always have a cool down day the day after a run. and today is the 3rd of october 2009.

almost en entire year of NO running!

if you dont like to run, this may not seem like a big deal to you. but to me, running was a HUGE part of my life. my running shoes were more than a means of exercise to me. they were a way to process the day, ponder the future and gain both physical and mental strength. i really looked forward to my run every day. and i looked forward to training, to the next big run. I was planning on running the London marathon this spring.

and then i got pregnant. and didnt stop throwing up for about 20 weeks. the doctor advised that i not run until after the birth. and then i had another stupid operation. and then had to wait the recovery period. which brings me to now. and the fact that its been 356 days since my last run.

and its not like riding a bicycle. you can forget. i did. i forgot to strech before i started, i wore a loose sports bra, i wore a long sleeve shirt and nearly over heated, i tied my shoe laces to tighly, i tripped over my own feet countless times and i barely made it a mile before i came panting home. it was a pathetic attempt at a run (if i can even call it that) rhys says i am being to hard on myself; it has been nearly a year after all. but its hard to go from 7 or 8 miles a day to barely 1. but hey ho, never too late to pick it up again. i have a 10k booked for january and another half marathon in the spring.

and now the running shoes beckon. off i go again.