20 August 2010

some shameless bragging

it has been an incredibly busy and extremely overwhelming last 3 months. between moving out of the flat, relocating to a different country (wales is a different country to england), dealing with immigration paperwork for rhys and citizenship paperwork for me, eleri's birthdya, family holiday, rhys starting a new job, trying to adjust to life with the in-law's plus normal everyday life, well its been a lot.

i would like to say that i have handled it well. but i have not. i have had more than my fair share of breakdowns, and rhys has spent quite a few evenings listening to me as i cried for no apparent reason at all. I mentioned a few posts back about finally being settled again, and to an extent that is true. however, the move from europe to america weighs on my mind constantly. there is a never ending struggle in my mind about where i want to live and what will actually be best for our family. no matter how many lists i make, no matter how much i journal about it, talk about or think about, i am still left in the exact same spot. utter turmoil.

i have one friend who can relate to this conundrum. she too moved a family across an ocean, from a completely different culture, to middle america. and whenever i really start to go crazy, i think of her. their family has seemingly adjusted nicely. so it can be done. and that offers some comfort. (thanks sarah!)

i think what really keeps me from going completely insane at the constant changing and uncertainty that is my life right now is eleri. she is such a solid, stable, content and happy little baby. nothing seems to phase my little one. constantly moving, staying with different friends and family, new environments, lots of noise, eating on the go, lots of travelling....she takes everything in her stride and smiles through it all. i could learn a lot about life from little one. she has such a soft and sweet spirit; its unbelievable really. especially as she is not even 13 months old.

it is hard to imagine that over a year ago she was born. it's very cliche, but time really does fly. this past year has gone by so quickly. granted it has been overwhelming and stressful sometimes trying to figure out how to take care of a baby, but it has also been so incredible and such a blessing. i would not want to 'do' life any other way. as i have yet to do a 12 month post, let me now brag shamelessly about how awesome my child is. because believe me, she is awesome.

-walking and climbing. she is ALL OVER THE PLACE!
-she cant point to her (and yours) eyes, ears, mouth, nose, tongue, head, and toes
-she can tell she is one by holding up her pointer finger when you ask how old she is
-eats fairly well with a spoon and drinks from regular cups
-responds to requests, such as 'arms up' when we are dressing/undressing her. or 'bring _______(insert whatever) to mommy/daddy' without the motion of our hand out. -my favourite though is she likes to put things away. we give her a shirt or sock or something and ask her to put it in daddy/mommy's drawer. she goes to the dresser, opens the drawer, puts it in and then shuts the drawer. granted the entire shirt doesnt always make it in, but the effort she puts in is incredible. and then she smiles and claps for herself. she will also put her toys/books/whatever away. when she finsihes playing with something, she picks it up and walks it back over to where she got it from. apparently e is very tidy. she did not inherit that trait from her mother.
-she also imitates everything. from brushing hair to using a screwdriver. if mommy or daddy is doing it, little ele wants to do it too. for example, e watched rhys put up a baby gate. when finished, rhys put the screwdriver in the drawer and walked away. eleri went straight to the drawer, opened it, pulled the screwdriver out and started tapping on the gate at the exact same place rhys was just working. after a few minutes she replaced the screwdriver in the drawer, shut the drawer and then clapped for herself. we were so impressed. she is a very clever baby. (side note: its been about 2 weeks since rhys put the gate up. e still loves going to the drawer and taping the gate.)
-e knows some of her colours and will point them out if you ask her. for example, we take stacking cups of solid colours and put them in front of her. if you ask for the red one, she will give it to you. same for blue, yellow, and green. she is a bit rusty on the other colours.
-the little one is desperately trying to talk. you can see it on her face, she wants to speak so badly. she does say a few words though: dog, ball, daddy, mommy, papa, bye, hi, no, yeah, and comes pretty close to grandpa.
-she still sleeps like a champ. 2 hour nap in the morning, 1 hour nap in the afternoon and then about 7.30 to 7.30/8 the next morning.
-she loves to hold hands wherever we go. she always wants to walk, but never walks without reaching out for a hand. downfall to this, is it oculd be a strangers hand. she doesnt really care whose hand she is holding. she is not shy at all.
-peppers, blueberries, pasta, curry, yogurt and hummus are still her favourite foods oh, and she weighs 21.12lbs and is 28.5in tall.

i know that all parents think their child is brilliant, but mine in. and whilst some people dont feel ok talking about what their baby is or isnt doing, i have no problem shamelessly bragging about her on my blog. its an excellent way for me to keep records, not to mention i am VERY proud of my little one. she has been blessed tremendously.

speaking of blessing, looking back now i can really see the benefits of the tiny flat. we didnt have a lot of toys, so now she can find other, household things to play with. we didnt have a lot of space, so now she is fine to be/play in smaller areas, even when they are crowded. we didnt have doors, or any way to sound proof our crazy neighbours, so now she can sleep through anything. and fall asleep anywhere. we went to the local pub, rugby matches, friends houses, baby classes and now she is comfortable in different settings and with different people. because of the amount of stairs, without any lifts, she is quite an advanced climber. she is very social, very adaptable and easy going. all and all, a very well adjusted baby.

side note: i would like to take this opportunity to say 'in your face' to all the nay-sayers out there who told me when i found out i was pregnant that i was being foolish. that there was no way i could properly raise a child in such small quarters without a lot of money. well HA! showed you! ok, immature moment over. back to the shameless bragging.

whilst i am pointing out all of eleri's achievements and highlighting her happiness, our lives are not without their hard moments. there are days and nights where she cries for no reason, wont eat, wont sleep, doesnt want anyone to touch her but me or rhys and in general, is just a fuss pot. however, those days are few and far between. and again, due to our circumstances, i do see it as a blessing. a more difficult or less content and self satisfying baby would have made life in a tiny one bed flat near impossible. so i am grateful for the blessing that is my easy baby. but she is wonderful. and as mentioned in detail above, very clever.Mensa here we come!

so there it is. my update of little e. she really is my saving grace. whenever life gets really crazy, all i need to do it look at her little smiling face and everything just falls into place.


Susanna said...

I love your updates of little E and yourself. She sounds so brilliant! Its great to hear your thoughts of decisions, choices and their impact. You're not alone in those. Praying for you friend.

Sohailah said...

L.O.V.E> it. She sounds absolutely delightful, and I love your honesty about everything. Very refreshing, and very Kristina, and I've ALWAYS loved that about you.
p.s. CUTE video of little laughing girl.

ally said...

it can be done, and if you all want to do it, i bet you'll do it great! we're here for you too! :o)
little e {as silas did for us} will be a huge balancing gift in the midst of a huge transition like you all have ahead -- they trim away all the unimportant. :o)love you.

sarah said...

i love hearing about little e! kids really are a constant in the midst of chaos...even if they add to the chaos a lot. haha. i'm glad that we seem nicely adjusted. some days we are, some not as much, but it really can be done. we'll just have to have monthly support group meetings when you finally get here! :-)

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