Friday, January 31, 2014

10 Months Old

We finally have our internet and computer setup!  Whew.  Back to blogging.  ;)

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Maggie has officially been outside my belly longer than she was in.  ;(  It's really hard to believe that she will be a one year old in less than two months.  Guess I need to start planning for the party!  These last couple of weeks have been a tad bit cray cray.  Maggie didn't sleep through the night for almost 3 weeks (until we got into our new place), we both got sick (still getting over it) and she cut her upper front right tooth and working on the left.  Sheesh.  I need a vacation.  She really has done remarkably well for living in three different places since the middle of December.  Luckily, things are starting to get settled around here finally.  

This girl is on the move.  I swear everyday she is coming up with a new sound, face or movement.  She is quite the entertainer.  Yet, she still will come and cuddle with me.  Praying that will never go away!  She is still pretty attached to us, so we can't go very far without hearing about it.  But she is starting to self entertain as long as we are near.

She is drinking less and less milk.  Sometimes she will only have 3 bottles a day and not even finish them all.  This always makes me nervous that she's not getting enough nutrients, but I know she is fine.   She's eating quite a bit of solid food these days.  What have been your experiences with milk bottles and weening them?  So far she's been the one weening herself.  Do you just cut them off right at a year?

She is also still taking two naps which I hope lasts for awhile!  Her first nap is around 10am and last about an hour, and the second is around 2pm & is anywhere from an hour to an hour and a half.  I hope her naps get a little longer one of these days!

She's still just standing for a few seconds here and there on her own.  I'm in no rush for her to just take of walking!  Who knows what she will be able to do by the end of the month.  They change so dang fast!

These pictures are a little different now that we are in a new place.

I had to use lots of distractions this month so she would not pull off her sticker and eat it.

Blowing raspberries

The bunny was getting tossed every few seconds so most of these pictures are blurry.  I guess she needed her space.  Ha!

Pictures from before we left for England.
Mags and her bff, Greta.

Lovin' on her Great Grandma.

Maggie, Great Grandma and Grandpa

Maggie is obsessed with other little kids, and she especially loves her cousin Kaylee.

Saying goodbye to friends.

Future hubby, Caden and Mags

Great Aunt Darla, Great Aunt Cindy, Mags and Great Uncle John

I plan to post pictures of Maggie's new nursery and the rest of the house as it comes together.  We are renting so I can't do a lot with it.  But the house and the grounds around it are pretty neat.  Stay tuned!


Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Maggie Goes to England!

Sorry for the delayed post!  We arrived in England this past Saturday and have not stopped to take a breath since.  These last few days have been such a range of emotions from excitement, homesickness, fear, ready for anything and exhausted.  But we are here and everyday we are becoming more familiar with our surroundings and feeling ourselves relax.  (Sigh.)

Thank the good Lord above (and everyone who sent up prayers for us!) our trip to England was probably the smoothest trip I can remember, if you can believe that!  We had to fly to San Francisco first because of all the bad weather on the east coast which made our flying time quite a bit longer (making me nervous).  The flight to San Fran was about 4 hours and Maggie only slept about 40 minutes of it but did pretty well being entertained by all the people on the flight and the tray table helped.  I'm really glad we did an over night flight to England as that was a 10 hour flight. and Maggie pretty much slept the whole time.  She was just awake at the very beginning and then a little bit before we landed.  The plane provided a pretty good white noise which really helped.  We even got to watch a whole movie while she slept!  Everybody on the plane kept complimenting us on how well our child did.  I bet they were grateful.  Ha! The only thing I wish we did differently was not bring so much luggage (checked & carryon).  We didn't have much of a choice on this flight but from now on I'm packing light!  Once we managed to get our 6  (50-70 lbs) checked bags, a stroller (bagged), pack & play, carseat and 6 carryon luggage into the largest van we could rent, the nerves kicked in as Ryan tried to navigate driving on the left hand side of the road in the dark, while it was raining and not knowing where to go!!  Luckily, we made it to our teeny, tiny flat (so British!) with no issues.  Maggie even slept pretty well that night because she was so exhausted.

Speaking of sleeping… It's a 6 hour time difference, and luckily, Ryan & I got over the jet lag pretty quick.  Not so lucky, Maggie did not.  Like I said she did pretty well the first night, but the second night she was up from 10 pm until 2:30 am when we finally just put her in bed with us which meant we slept on 1/4 of the bed while she slept on 3/4.  The third night I was determined not to bring her out into the living room when she woke up around 10 something but she cried every time we laid her back down so I ended up sleeping in a twin bed with her in her room.  Last night, she cried every time we laid her down again, and we made the mistake of bringing her out into the living room around 9:30 so she was up until 12:30 when we brought her into bed with us again.  I'm praying that she will sleep better tonight because mommy & daddy are tired, and Ryan goes into the office tomorrow for the first time.  I've heard it can take a day to adjust for every hour of time difference.  Hoping she gets back to her rockstar sleep soon!!

So what we've been up to the last few days.  First, I just have to laugh that on Saturday our first meal in England was Domino's Pizza.  (If you know my husband, you know how hilarious this is!)  Sunday we had our very first visitors come in from Lincoln, England.  Ryan's fraternity brother, Josh, and his wife, Cait, are living in England for the next 3 years, and have been here since May.  They were so sweet to come welcome us, help us get settled and answer our millions of questions.  They really helped us feel so much more comfortable here.  We plan to see them as often as possible.  So thankful for them!
First cup of English tea!

Josh & Cait with Maggie

On Monday we had our things delivered from the states that were airlifted which made our teeny, tiny apartment that much teenier!!  Most of the stuff we just left in boxes because we didn't know where to put it.  Then we went off to explore a little bit but mainly grab some food and supplies for the flat.  They don't have that many fast food restaurants much to Ryan's disappointment.  Ha!  Tuesday & Wednesday were spent looking for our "permanent" residence while we are here.  Our consultant took us all over Warwick and Royal Leamington Spa.  It was so nice having someone showing us around and explaining everything.  We had a lot of fun looking at all the quirky homes and trying out some new restaurants.  Fingers crossed, I think we've found a place!  I'm hoping that everything works out and we can moved in quickly.  I can't wait to show you guys pictures of the place.  It is so English!! :)

Located some Mt. Dew & DP!  Too bad it was Mt. Dew Energy.  So not the same...

Just a little snap shot of part of the town of Warwick.  I haven't been the best at taking pictures yet but I have to get pictures of the rest of the town and the castle soon!

So I think that about wraps up the last few days.  I think I could sleep for days.  We need our family to come visit ASAP to watch Maggie so we can crash!  It's definitely been a little bit challenging doing all this with a baby but really Maggie has been a complete angel this whole time.  She has put up with so much!  

Here's to starting this adventure!

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Blog & England Updates

It's been awhile since I've updated you all on the craziness we call our lives.  The last couple of months have definitely been a whirlwind.  I had no idea all the things that go into becoming an expat.  Our house is rented out and both of our vehicles are sold.  We've finally come to the end of all the preparing and are now ready to start the adventure in England.  We are scheduled to fly out tomorrow (Jan. 3rd) after our flights got canceled for today due to bad weather in New York.  That stressed me out at first but I quickly realized that I needed an extra day to finish things up here.  I'm thankful it worked out that way as we were pushing it.  Now I feel like I am truly ready to make the long journey ahead of us.  It will be a looooong flight, and I am so nervous to fly with my squirmy, very mobile 9 month old.  I just hope I can live to tell the tale.  :)  We will be landing in London on Saturday 2:00 pm their time and 8:00 am our time (CST).  Praying that we all can recover from our jet lag quickly.

So the update on England.  We will be living in a temporary living flat (apartment) until we can go house hunting and sign a lease on either another flat or house.  I'm guessing we will be in temporary for about a month.  It's a pretty nice place as it has all the amenities and even house cleaning!  It is also in the city center of Warwick, the town where my husband will be working.  We are debating about living there vs a neighboring town called Royal Leamington Spa (funny name!).  Warwick has a population of about 30,000 and Royal Leamington Spa has about 55,000.  It's a little larger with a few more amenities.  It should be interesting!  I'm definitely anxious to explore and see where we end up.  I'll be keeping you posted!  Ready to not be living out of a suitcase.  We have been living with my mom in Kansas City for the last several weeks as our renter moved in to our house mid-December.  So thankful for my mom opening her home to us and letting us overtake it will all our junk!


Now for the blog update.  If you made it here you now know it has a different web address and name.  After this debacle and being forced to pick a new name, I decided I wanted it to reflect our family a little more.  Something joyful and a little play on our name.  :)  I have to give the credit to my very creative MIL, Susan.  She came up with Oh So Bright, and I picked the tag line.  I definitely like to try to look at the bright side of everything, so I think the name is very fitting.  I believe that every hardship in our lives can lead to something positive.  It's all in the way you look at your circumstances.  There is so much power in positive thinking.

So there you have it!  I will try and post again once we've recovered a bit and can connect to the internet.  See you guys on the flip side!

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9 Months Old

(A little late!)

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This child just keeps getting more and more fun every month.  However, this last month she became a full fledge daddy's girl, and mommy became chopped liver!  If he is in the room she only wants to be in his arms.  It's pretty cute but also makes me a bit jealous.  I only carried her for 9 months and birthed her.  Ha!  I really do love the fact that she already is a daddy's girl.  It was inevitable.  :)

She is also really working on trying to stand alone.  She hasn't gotten past just a few seconds but every day she's getting a little more daring.  She pulls up on everything, then walks around the object (couch or ottoman) and will even transfer to another piece of furniture.  All her new skills have also brought with it a pretty awful sleep regression.  She has been waking up several times a night again, though there will be an 8 hour stretch of sleep in there too.  Her naps are pretty bad as well.  She only takes two naps a day and they only last about 45 minutes.  We are lucky if they get to an hour or hour and a half.  I just don't think she will ever be a "good" napper.  But she definitely still needs them and gets super cranky without them.

Her personality is definitely developing more and more.  I love her ornery side as well as all the giggles and smiles.  She LOVES other babies or small children.  All she wants to do is be around them and "talk" to them.  It is too funny to watch her.  I need to get this on video soon.  I will say watching her interact with other children has given me my first pang of wanting another child (no time soon though!).

Every month is gets harder and harder to capture this little one in one spot!

All she wants to do now is take a nose dive off her chair, and when I won't let her I get this face.

Yay… the bunny shot didn't happen this month...

Best shot.

We did a little better when I brought reinforcements in (i.e. daddy).

I could just kiss this face all. day. long.

Just some random photos from this past month.

Packin' up the house for the big move!

Almost empty and can crawl where ever she wants!

Christmas party with her bestie, Greta.

Can you tell there was a baby bomb amongst our friends?

Rare mother/daughter photo.

First experience with Santa was a success!  We went in the middle of the week so there was no crowd. She is wearing a dress of mine from when I was her age.

Nane & Maggie

We got in a few visits with Maggie's Great Grandma this past month.

Took a trip to Ryan's hometown to visit family for Christmas and visited another Santa.  That didn't go as well as the first time.

Maggie hanging out in daddy's old baby Oshkosh overalls and hat.

I'm going to try and post another blog with updates on our move soon.  It's been pretty crazy and having problems with my blog haven't helped!