18 May 2010

i must be wearing a sign

there must a sign. a really bright, flashing neon sign hanging around me neck...that is of course invisible to me. but clearly visible to everyone else. and the sign must say, "offer me parenting advice or skip the advice and just tell me i am a bad mom". negative, yet quite vocal, people seem to be drawn to me for some reason. and it is not as awesome as you might think.

today i gave ele a peanut butter and honey sandwich. i wanted to give her peanut butter and jelly but i didnt have any jelly. i know, i know, honey is full of sugar. but i buy only by 100% natural, straight from the bee type honey, so it was all natural sugar. and i only gave her a little. she gobbled down the entire sandwich in record time.

and then i discovered thanks to a near by parent that children under 1 are not suppose to have honey due to the bacteria that occurs. and said bacteria occurs more often in the all natural honey. awesome, i have poisoned my child. and i continued on to discover that you should only give kids the smooth peanut butter.

the peanut butter was crunchy. full of nuts.

that could make me a bad mom.

i also like to let eleri explore. she pretty much has free reign of everything. i do not want to dampen her curiosity. plus i dont think it is realistic to remove everything that could potentially be dangerous from her reach. she has to live in the real world and the real world is not baby proof. so i leave a few "dangerous" things out so she can leave the meaning of the world no. and so she can also learn to obey. also so she can learn how to behave when we are out of our own home and in the homes of others. homes that are not baby proof. so she mostly has free reign. and i think it adorable to watch he scoot/crawl/walk to whatever thing has caught her eye. lately, its been grass. e loves the grass. i take her socks and shoes off and let her go all over the place. she giggles and smiles and i usually stop her when she tries to eat the grass. but hey, a little grass never hurt anyone right?

and then someone was kind enough to point out that her toes were cut/raw. why you ask?

because i let her crawl around barefoot. all the time.

that could also make me a bad mom.

but i prefer to use the term laid back. or relaxed.

a stranger, who was apparently watching me and e interact at the park, came up and told me that i was "rather non-chalant" with my child. i took that as a nice way of saying laid back. whether that was what she meant or not! aside from deadly sandwiches and bleeding toes, there is no real harm in being relaxed.

when i first had e, i would not let anyone touch her. seriously, anyone. it was a struggle to give her over to my mom and then it was only because i was so physically tired i needed the break. but outside of family, no one (and i mean NO ONE) was allowed to touch the baby. i remember one time when eleri was about 3 months old we went to a friends house and her mother was there. she came over to admire e and before i knew what had happened she had picked e out of my arms and was holding her. a stranger was holding my baby. i started hyperventaliating. seriuosly. it was a major panic attack. so much so that after about 2 minutes rhys had to make up some excuse and get the baby back. no one was allowed to touch my baby.

which also meant that i didnt let anyone help me. i felt alone, scared, isolated and very overwhelemed. i was so up tight about anyone else being around eleri that i stressed myself out so unnecessarily. after the nearly fatal incident at our frineds, i slowly began to realise i was crazy. so very crazy. and i needed to relax.

and relax i have. perhaps a bit to the other extreme, but i would much rather that. ele makes friends wherever she goes because i allow her to interact with other children and adults. she is learning great social skills and learning by exploring. i never want to reign in her curiosity. so if that makes me a bad mom, then so be it.

little e thinks i am great! :)

13 May 2010

nine and 3/4ths...

that right, little e is 9 and 3/4 months old. i know, i know, i am 3/4ths of a month behind on the picture and the post. but things come up and i like to be flexible. if there is one attribute that i could have 100% percent of the time it would be..., well, it would probably be patience. but flexibility is a close second. as a wife, as a mother, as anything really i feel it is crucial to be flexible. i make a plan for sanity's sake, but also accept that my ideas are not set in stone. anything can change my day and the more flexible i am with my plan, the smoother the day runs.

hence the 9 and 3/4 post instead of just 9 months. we are just being flexible.

ele is AWESOME. as her mother, i realise that i will probably always have that opinion, but its true. she is awesome. it is strange how much a tiny little person can fill up your life, and your day. i seriously can not imagine a day with a little hand pulling at my leg, or a little giggle filling the house, or a little pouty mouth letting me know that that is not what she wanted to do. such personality.

this is a fun stage.

and she is probably the cutest baby ever.

as for milestones, i feel like she has just fine tuned what she learned last month. e claps and waves on command. which is great. also comforting to know that she has an understanding of what those things are. i like to see that she is learning. she is still walking around furniture, pulling up on everything and walking comfortably as long as she has hands to hold on to. nothing on her own yet, but we are getting close. she will stand alone (yea!!) and walk with just one hand, but i think she is a bit afraid to branch out on her own. but its ok, i can tell that she is growing stronger by the day. it wont be long now!

i often read other blogs and speak with other moms about babies and development. a common sentiment among them seems to be that they dont want their babies to grow up. they love the tiny stage and want it to last forever. i dont. dont get me wrong, i love every stage of eleri. i loved when she was so tiny she couldn't even lift her head and i love that she is so strong she can stand up. but i LOVE seeing her grow. i dont miss the stage we are leaving, i look forward to the stage we are entering. every day my little e becomes more and more of a person. i am so blessed that i get to be a part of her daily development. i wouldnt trade our time together for anything. seriously, anything.

she eats real food now; pretty much whatever rhys and i are having. unless its pizza or fish and chips. only healthy stuff for the babe.

she LOVES bubbles and puppets.

we practice counting and our alaphabets every day. we go through numbers in welsh (for rhys) japanese (for my mom) spanish (cause its a good language) and english. alphabets the same, minus the japanese because i only know my nubmers.

e loves to sing and dance as well. any music plays she is moving...and making noises right along with it.

e is awesome.

oh, and she has 5 teeth.

11 May 2010

15 down, eleven billion to go.

i have packed 15 boxes. who knows how many more are left, but my estimate of eleven billion is probably pretty close. moving is a big task. moving overseas is an enormous task. it is not just the packing, but the detailed custom forms, tax documentation, insurance and that doesnt come close to the total cost of shipping across an ocean. oh, how i wish i could just rent a U-Haul. I would love to haul it all myself. as i am not a ship captain, i dont see that happening.

it has been interesting to say the least to try and pack with a mobile 9 month old. as i put things in the boxes, she find it is great fun to take things out of the boxes. e has even managed to tape herself inside one of the boxes. i think that has been the highlight of my packing experience so far. well, that and the awesome box forts. and the pirate ship.

aside from packing, it will be a busy next few months. the plan is to be out of our flat within about 4 weeks. then the 3 of us will spend a few more weeks staying with friends. then its off to Wales for a few months and finally land in arkansas sometime in september. typing out september makes it seem like quite a long to go. it also seems like quite a long time to be living out of suitcases. but i say i like travelling, so maybe i can convince myself that since i am living out of a suitcase, i am travelling?.... worth a try.

We will actually be travelling quite a bit before we go. we are trying to take in as many european destinations as weekend trips before we move and our weekend trips become places like Dallas and Eureka Springs. I am not saying there is anything wrong with those places, we have friends in those places (Hi Mel!) but if i had the option, i would always choose spain over texas. between now and september we have Denmark, Spain, France, and several varied excursions within the UK planned. as i said before, aside from packing, we have a lot going on.

and even though the packing does make it seem more real, especially when i go to get something and realise "oh yeah, i have already packed that" but i still cant believe that we are moving. some days i cant wait to leave and sometimes i wish rhys' visa wouldnt come through so we would have to stay. some days i feel both of those things. i suppose it will be like that until we are settled in our new home. but its so hard. take for example last week. i received a great email from an old friend back home. (hi megan!) it made me so excited to move back to arkansas. but then last friday i had a fantastic late birthday celebration with my girls here. nothing says happy birthday like a revolving dance floor. and it made me not want to move. sigh, guess i am going to have to get used to the roller coaster rides that are my emotions.

and i suppose i will also have to get used to my house looking like this

but everything will get done that needs to get done. we will enjoy our time with friends and our travels. we will have good family time in Wales and soon enough both rhys and i will adjust to our new home. but in the meantime...if any of you local readers want to come help me pack, you are more than welcome! come on over!

4 May 2010

a busy week ahead

the boxes come today. packing really makes everything start to sink in. we are trying to box up and ship everything out to america within a couple weeks. its a big move. i am anticipating a very busy week.

and everyone, thank you for your messages. be it on facebook, email or the comment section, i really appreciated everything you all had to say. it made me feel a lot better about the moving situation. plus i was reminded of what good friends i have in the area. so thanks.

and on a very exciting note, rhys and i just registered for the 2011 london marathon. heres hoping we get a place!!