Friday, 18 April 2014

5 things I will be taking back to England with me

The past two weeks have just flown by.  I cannot actually believe that my time here in Ohio is over and I am going to be heading back to ol Blightly over the weekend.  It's even more difficult to believe that the next time I come back, I'll have Baby McBerry with me - in the flesh!

There are a few things I'll be  taking home with me in addition to my kick butt gifts for Baby.

1.  Raspberries and Strawberries are ALWAYS a good idea
I'm fairly certain I've eaten close to six pounds of each over the past two weeks.  (Think my belly has grown?  Nope, it's just fruit and Fritos)   I LOVE berries.  Baby LOVES berries.  Why on earth don't we buy berries in England?  

Berries are always a good idea.  PYO season will be here before we know it, so there's no excuse for us not to stock up on these delicious little gems.  In the meantime, Tesco may charge an arm and a leg for them....but it's totally worth it.

2.  Happy Little Trees

I can't actually believe you can still watch Bob Ross on WVIZ. I just stood watching him the other day in awe.  The Bob Ross philosophy has always made me smile - there are no mistakes, just happy accidents. Things that don't appear "right" can be turned into something great. Perspective is a beautiful thing. Thanks, Bob. I needed that reminder. 

3. Tradition 

We have so many family traditions. When you live about 4,000 miles away you tend to become slightly removed from tradition.  It could be convenience or lack of resources, it could be because some things just aren't done. For one reason or another, I've lost so many traditions.  

I haven't coloured Easter eggs or gone to a fish fry in seven years. Seven. I've taken to hiding B's Easter egg - merging the two ways of celebrating Easter. I'm not sure he likes searching for his chocolate in the house, but it's tradition. Baby McBerry will defiantly have an Easter basket.  Baby will defiantly be dressed up for Halloween.  Baby will send Valentines and wear green on Paddy's day. Tradition. It's important.

4.  The McDonalds Filet-O-Fish Song
Seriously.  What is that advertisement?  I can't get it out of my head.  I don't like filet-o-fish - let alone McDonalds.  I have visions of singing this four weeks down the line and no one will have a clue what I'm talking about.  I know.  And that's torture enough!

5.  Sometimes you just need to curl up on the sofa and watch Frozen
When I come back to Ohio, I like to spend my evenings with my family.  We've gone out together to get ice cream, we've popped out for drinks at the Winking Lizard, but my favourite times have been curling up in the living room and watching a film with the family.
B and I work so hard during the week.  It seems by the time we get home and eat I have a few hours worth of work to do and before you know it - it's bed time.  Is it worth it?  I don't think so.  Obviously things need to get done, but I think recharging in the evenings needs to be a new priority.  Besides - who could pass up on the opportunity to watch Frozen?

Five things that won't take up any room in my suitcase, but five things I'm more than happy to be taking back to London with me.  It's hard to believe that the next time I'm back here it could be for good.  
B reminded me today that we need to spend the next year relishing all that England has to offer.  He's got a point.  What I've always loved about living in England is the "quintessentially English" things. Stay tuned - I have a feeling the next year is going to be a year to remember.


Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Baby Shower: You are my Sunshine!

I am so SO excited to be writing a post about the Baby Shower my sister and mom threw for me on Sunday!  I didn't have a bridal shower as it's just not something that is done in England, but these two were not going to miss the chance to celebrate Baby McBerry's upcoming arrival with family and friends!

The Venue:  We opted for Hellriegel's Inn in Painesville to house the event, which is the same place we had our American wedding last year!  They are well known for their food (which is delicious), but they also have a large room with a old fashion, family feel to it.  We had about 35 guests, so we needed somewhere spacious, but not huge!  

The tables were arranged in a U shape, making it easy for everyone to see and chat and just enjoy themselves.  We are friends with the owners and I couldn't recommend a place in the Painesville area more!
When I visit, I tend to have such a rushed stay I can't see everyone I'd like to.  This was the perfect opportunity for me to visit with everyone at once.  I don't know if people realise how often I think of them and how much I miss them.
(Talk about a blast from the past - the three of us grew up together!)
The Menu:    Breakfast was on the offer for our midday shower!  Pancakes and syrup, eggs, bacon, sausage, hash browns, fresh fruit and pastries.  Tea and Coffee were also on offer, but I think everyone was more interested in the Mimosa bar!  

The Dessert table housed a gorgeous sunflower cupcake cake made by Cakes to You (the icing was out of this world), plus a massive tray of our Italian cookies.  

I can't give away too much, but we had family recipes and all sorts of amazing treats on there.  The cake pops were a labour of love Erin and I trialled this week.   They are really hard to make!  How do people get them so round and pristine?!

The Decorations:  Erin really outdid herself on the decorations.  There were sunflowers, ivy and a hyacinth type flowers in small vases, wrapped with twine and set around the tables. There were also pictures of elephants and sunshine drawn by a friend's students as place mats.

The Games:   We are not big fans on playing games at showers, but we thought it would be fun to have a few activities for people.  Firstly, we had onesie decorating in the corner.  Erin had tons of onesies in different sizes and she provided fabric, stencils, fabric glue and fabric pens.  We had some adorable onesies by the end - my friends and family are so talented. 

We didn't manage to get a shot with all of them on the line - but I thought the presentation was just spot on!  Clothes pegs!  Adorable!

The other big hit was the Frozen Baby game found on Pinterest.  Erin froze little plastic babies in medicine cups and then gave one to everyone to "look after" whilst enjoying their food.  You weren't allowed to touch the baby, but if your baby melted out of the ice first, you had to shout "My water broke!" to win a prize.  We had some serious strategies in place with salt and babies being placed over cups of coffee.  

The prizes were adorable flower pots with lemon soap, sunflower seeds, candles and hand cream.  My favourite winning moment was when one of our Italian ladies shouted "The baby's out!  The baby's out!" 

We also spent a bit of time trying to guess the gender of Baby McBerry based on Old Wives tales (still half and half) and gave people notecards to try and guess the Baby's Name.  There were some hilarious options making the most of a surname like Berry.  Terry Berry and Ellie Font Berry had to top the list.

On the tables Erin also left a sheet with "Wishes for Baby" (adapted from Pinterest) for people to fill in in their own time. Erin has since put them all in a binder with the place mats and baby name suggestions.  

The Gifts:  I'm totally blown away by the generosity of my family and friends. I'm touched by the kindess and thought people put into gifts for Baby McBerry.  

One of my favourite things that we did, was asking for books instead of cards.  Being an English teacher, a mini library is incredibly important to me.  We were gifted some gorgeous books - some for infants, some for when baby grows a bit older.  The notes people left were beautiful and I cannot wait to read these stories to baby - always thinking of the person who gave the book to us.

 (My Dress)

We did an Amazon Baby Wish List in order to help with the whole transportation of gifts back to the UK.  It was fabulous because people picked out gifts and they are shipped directly to us in England.  It's been a lovely treat to get things in the post and have no idea what they are or who they are from!  I took photos of some of the gifts and Erin displayed them behind the gift table with clothes pegs.

There are a few things I'll be taking back with me, but thankfully my suitcase is HUGE and fairly empty!  My dad and friend, Jen, took loads of photos, and I thought I'd post a few pictures of some of the wonderful gifts we received.

  My cousin got us a baby calendar - there are little stickers for "firsts" or other important events.  She is currently using one for Baby James and said it is a lot easier than filling in a baby book/diary.  I LOVE the look of it and can't wait to fill it in!

 Boy or girl - Baby McBerry loves the Indians.  

My friend Jen asked me for old T Shirts B and I no longer wear a few weeks ago.  This AMAZING quilt came from Maiden Jane - the quality is outstanding!  I can totally recommend it!

 Jeri (my cousin's mother in law) knitted a few gorgeous jumpers, but I love the elephant buttons on this one!  I'm wondering if she knits adult sized....

Luckily we had the adorable Baby James on hand to seek his seal of approval on a super cool car mirror.  I'm fairly sure I'm going to hang it up in the mini - baby or not!

And finally, my mom gave me a gift and said it was from my Grandma.  If you have been reading, you'll know about my wonderful grandma and how we lost her this past September (link here and here).  There was a poem in the box (similar here) about a handkerchief which has been fashioned into a bonnet.  It's meant to be the "something old" on a wedding day. Well, I nearly lost it.  But what an amazing idea.

And that, my friends, was the Baby McBerry Shower.  It was a truly amazing day and I am so thankful and blessed to be surrounded by such wonderful people.  Baby - I can't wait for you to meet these people.

Saturday, 12 April 2014

Twenty Seven Weeks and reporting live from Ohio!

Good Afternoon, from Painesville, Ohio!

(I love everything about this photo.  Firstly, my sister holding the chalkboard.  Secondly, the chalkboard is the one we used to play with when we played teachers - and I was always the teacher.  Thirdly, the stairs are the ONLY location in the house for taking posed photos.  And finally, my dad took the picture on my iPhone and did a burst photo - taking nine shots of the same.  I LOVE being home!)
How far along:  Twenty-seven Weeks!
Weight Gain:  16 Pounds and counting.  I cannot believe it's not more than that with the amount I've been eating....
Maternity Clothes:  Mom and I went shopping in Legacy Village the other day and stumbled upon a HUGE Maternity shop (seriously - it was like the size of a normal shop with ALL maternity clothes.  My mouth was permanently dropped in shock!).  They had a huge collection of clothes from the brand A Pea in the Pod - totally adorable (and a bit out of my budget).  I got these jeans on sale and I'm practically living in them!
Stretch Marks:  I'm horrified to admit it....I've spotted some lines creeping their way across my chest.  Panic set in until B said "You worked hard for those stripes! Be proud!"
Belly Button:  It's starting to poke out of my shirt ever so slightly.  I'm not sure how I feel about an outie - but at least I know it goes back to normal eventually!
Queasy or Sick:   Mostly, I'm ok.  I was worried about the time difference, but that hasn't seemed to make a difference at all.  I have little flashes of nausea, but I'm fairly quick to take some B6 and eat some crackers before it gets too bad.
Sleep:  Also not bad!  I'm waking up early, but I don't mind as it gives me time to write a post or have first dibs on breakfast (Eggo Waffles......)
 Best Moment of the Week:  Coming home has been the obvious best moment of the week.  What made it even better was when my dad left the other night to help my Aunt out and returned with my brother, Brian, who is living and working in Texas.  I was shocked!  My whole family is back under one roof and I couldn't be happier!
Worst Moment of the Week:   I thought being a pregnant woman traveling on her own people would offer to help when I was struggling to lift my bag into the overhead bin....Nope.  I was barged into more than once, ignored when I was trying to lift things and even sighed at once when I was walking too slow!  There was one woman in Cleveland who offered to carry my bag up a flight of stairs after we landed - but she was it!
 Miss Anything:  B!  I hate being here when he is back home.  Baby McBerry went crazy kicking the other day when we were on Skype - I think it misses hearing his voice (although perhaps not his pokes and prods!)
 Movement:   Baby has been quite quiet recently. I'm not sure if it's the time difference, but I haven't felt it moving about nearly as much.  B said it's probably because I'm busier than I was in England, which could be the case.  Erin and Mom managed to feel a kick the other day, so they were happy!
 Cravings:   I've managed to polish off a Sam's Club punnet of Raspberries AND Strawberries.  I'm not even sorry about it.  You would believe the SIZE - nor would you believe the PRICE.  ($3.98 for 2 pounds.....!!!!)
 Looking forward to: The Baby Shower tomorrow plus visits with Family and Friends this week before I have to head back home.  I'm having an amazing time and it's making me want to stay forever.  I'm sure Mom and Dad wouldn't mind if B and I just move in here and stay?

I have had such a blast being home.  I've been homesick for awhile now, so this was exactly what I needed to help get me out of my funk.  It's been FREEZING compared to England, but luckily my grandmother's pink coat (circa 1940?) fits around my growing belly!

Aside from seeing my awesome family, the one thing I really love about coming back is the fact that nothing has really changed here.  I realised I've been living in England for nearly a decade.  That's a REALLY long time!!

But everything seems familiar - almost as though old fashioned values die hard.  People still talk to you randomly in the shop - just striking up conversation because they overhear you say something or see you looking at something they are also interested in.  You can still pay in shops with cheques.  You go out to socialise with friends after dinner in a bar.  You just drop in on people for a visit, unannounced.  Geeze - I miss it here.

I've had some proper bonding time with everyone - which is exactly what I needed.  The girls headed out for nails and a "light" lunch at the Cheesecake Factory (Have you seen their menu?!). I forget that when you order a half salad/pizza combination it's pretty much the size of a regular portion in England.

 (At Jack Aarra's Spa in Concord)

 (Casear salad and Margherita Pizza)

I feel like everything I've done so far has revolved around food.  Mom, Erin and I went to Menchie's - a Frozen yogurt bar which B was obsessed with when he visited here.  You get to fill your own cup with frozen yogurt, toppings and then pay by weight when you are satisfied.  We were very satisfied.

Gartman's Model Bakery in Downtown Painesville is STILL running, STILL smells the same and STILL does the best doughnuts I've ever tasted (since 1898 - Now, that's History to us Americans).  It was like stepping into my childhood when we went in there for a cheeky treat the other day.
Speaking of Frozen, we had a family film night watching it.  I saw it on the plane and pretty much cried the whole time and was more than happy when my sister suggested watching it the other night.  I'm in love with it!  Why hadn't I seen it sooner?  Best Disney film ever?  I'm thinking it could be up there.... 

Priceless time spent at home....I couldn't have asked for a better Easter Holiday.  I defiantly can't wait for the Shower tomorrow!

Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Twenty-Five Weeks and Brighton Love!

How far along:  Twenty-five Weeks!
Weight Gain: 14 pounds!!  Eek! 
Maternity Clothes:  I'm loving leggings and my maternity t shirts from New Look.  They are cheap and comfortable - bonus in my opinion!  The jeans I bought ages ago from Top Shop just aren't cutting it - I think I need to get something over the bump to prevent jean falling down syndrome.
Stretch Marks:  Nada!  I feel like my stomach is just stretching and stretching....
Belly Button:  Vast!
Queasy or Sick:   Oh, the nausea is back.  I have had a few flickers of it, but it seems to be creeping back into my life at the moment.  I can't work out if it's the time change and my body is just annoyed with being up the hour earlier, or if it's the approach of the third trimester that makes it want to return to my life.  Regardless, I am not enjoying the sudden rushes for the loo.
Sleep:  Quite good following some odd waking up spells last week!
 Best Moment of the Week:  This weekend we went to Brighton to visit Jen from Two Itchy Feet.  More on that below - it was Legendary.
Worst Moment of the Week:    We had a lovely follow up visit from Ofsted Thursday and Friday last week.  If you know anything about Ofsted, you'll know that is dreadful news.  It's stressful.  I was one of the only English teachers seen, so at least I can be grateful that it was a great lesson.  We are making our way out of special measures...slowly.
 Miss Anything:  Wine. Again. One thing that got me through the last Ofsted was a nice glass of wine at the end of the day.  I had a cup of apple juice.  Not the same. 
 Movement:   Loads of movement.  Baby McBerry is definitely going to kick through my womb at some point.  Seriously.
 Cravings:    Ice cream.  I managed to polish off our collection of sorbet (do you blame me?) and now I'm dreaming of what lovely treats await me in my parent's refrigerator!  
 Looking forward to:  The Easter Holidays.  I cannot wait to be jetting off to America for two weeks with the family.  Not to mention the awesome baby shower my mum and sister are throwing!  Woo hoo!

So this weekend we headed down to Brighton to visit my favourite lady, Jen.  We used to meet up far more frequently when she was a bit closer to home, but the three hour trek turned into a great road trip/weekend away for B and myself.  

We stopped at IKEA for some baby room goodies.  I was dying to pick up this trolley for the nursery - it was on SALE and I cannot wait to fill it up with....well....I'll let you know when I decide what I want to fill it up with!

Onwards to Brighton!  We had beautiful weather so we enjoyed walks along the promenade, some fabulous food and shopping, plus plenty of chit chat and catching up.

We made a stop for ice cream at Marrocco's just outside of Hove.  The guys thought very seriously about their purchases.  I enjoyed a cookies and cream gelato and was not keen on sharing.  Good ice cream?  I think I could live on the coast!

Following that, we enjoyed lunch at Tortilla (a little sister to Chipotle and WOW was I in love.They seriously had the best Salsa Verde I've ever tried!) and then for dinner we feasted at Makara, a Turkish restaurant which didn't fail to impress!  They had an amazing meze menu for starters and then the vegetarian options were outstanding!

I'd recommend both...come to think of it, I'd recommend Brighton!  Lucky for us, every time we come to Brighton, we are shown the good eats!  I could get used to life on the south coast....perhaps an option for the future?


Tuesday, 18 March 2014

23 Weeks!

(1.  How about that pink wall?  2.  Wow - what is my hair doing?)

How far along:  Twenty-Three Weeks!
Weight Gain: 12 pounds.  I’m dreading that moment when I hit a stone heavier…it just feels wrong! 
Maternity Clothes:  Oh, yea.  Between the American treats and the New Look collection, I’m proper decked out in maternity garb.  I’m REALLY excited that the weather is getting nicer because that means I may get to get my legs out soon!  It may be bare arms in the photo, but I'm defiantly still in leggings and a cardigan!
Stretch Marks:  None!
Belly Button:  Large…but still an innie!
Queasy or Sick:   The chest infection I’ve had for the past three weeks has taken my mind off of nausea.  I’ve managed to pull muscles in my chest and side from my violent coughing – causing excruciating pain.  I’ve been using Deep Relief as I can’t take ibuprofen - I can’t say it makes much of a difference, but oh well!  I feel like the cough is starting to let up, so hopefully I’ll be back to normal soon.
Sleep:  My favourite thing to do.  I love sleep – especially in the new house. It’s peaceful!  Maybe thanks to the pink walls?
 Best Moment of the Week:  B’s parents (aka Grandma and Granddad UK) came to visit at the weekend and brought *loads* of treats for Baby McBerry compliments of themselves and Auntie Jill!  We also went on a shopping spree to Kiddiecare to top up our collection.  We had such a good weekend catching up; Baby should feel spoilt!
Worst Moment of the Week:    We have been without internet since the move, and it really got under my skin this weekend when I couldn’t talk to my parents.  I want to show them all of our baby gear, but there’s no chance for much of anything on our poor signal.  Hopefully Wednesday we will be fully online!
 Miss Anything:  Wine.  I am not an alcoholic, but I really miss having a nice glass of wine with dinner!  We had a lovely dinner party with Mum and Dad UK and Heidi and Toby – I was gutted I couldn’t join in any of the drinks!  Pink lemonade was lovely, but it didn’t really cut it!
 Movement:   Loads of movement!  The other morning I was driving into work and as soon as Sunny and 75 came on, I started to dance about (as you do whilst driving and your favourite tune comes on) and Baby went NUTS.  I couldn’t help but laughing – I swear Baby already knows and loves country.  (Sorry Dad!)
 Cravings:   Salty or cheesy snacks.  I can’t help it.  I just want salt.  Manchego cheese has been haunting me this week, so I forced a trip to Tesco to buy some!  I’m REALLY excited that they actually stock it now and it’s not too expensive!  Hooray for good cheese that I CAN eat!
 Looking forward to:  The Easter Holidays. I cannot wait for these three weeks to hurry up and get a move on as I’ll be spending the Easter Holidays STATESIDE.  I’m so excited to see everyone – family and friends!  It’s been far too long (I’ve got a baby second cousin I cannot wait to see!) – but I’m over the moon to be going back in my hometown to visit the people I love!  Baby McBerry is half American, after all!

In other news:
We are officially moved into our new house!  I'm going to do a post on the house later in the week - you know, once we clear away all of the boxes and rubbish littering the place!  It's already feeling like home and we are really happy with the area and house!  I'm not 100% convinced by the commute as it nearly triples the time I have to spend in the car.  Hopefully the house outweighs the distance though!

As I said above, we had a weekend of being spoilt.  I don't want to reveal too much, but some of our treats are just too adorable to not mention!

We went with the Oyster pushchair as it was the only one that would fit in my little Mini Boot!  Heidi lent me her bassinet and the pushchair is a nice, basic black (until we buy a colour pack!)
The car seat is a Britax Baby Safe which attaches to the Oyster base without any converters. We opted for the ISOFIX Base to allow for an easier removal from my little car!  I'm loving the red on the car seat - just right to match my car!
You can also spot my OiOi Change Bag - a little treat which I am totally in love with!

The cot is made up and ready to go too!  B's dad skilfully put it together - it's a lovely little bed from Mothercare which will suit us until Baby is ready for a big kid bed!  It's been made up since this photo was taken, but I'm going to leave it for the big reveal in a few months time!

In other exciting news, I had my Midwife appointment today and got to hear Baby's heartbeat!  It was so strong - I was just happy to hear that Baby is healthy and happy!  Seriously - 14 weeks to go and I cannot wait!

Sunday, 23 February 2014

Twenty weeks! Halfway there!!

I wanted to thank everyone for their kind words and support over the past few weeks. It's been amazing to receive so much feedback - online and in person from here and afar. I'm always shocked by the number of hits my posts get (especially as I think I'm just rattling off utter rubbish). I'm just glad people want to know how B and I getting on - it's just going to get funnier and funnier (as we have NO IDEA what we are doing).  
Stay tuned - you may get a chuckle or two!

(Photo update!)

How far along:  Twenty Weeks!
Weight Gain: 9 Pounds!  Wow! 
Maternity Clothes:  I ran out of excuses....and clothes.  See  below for the update!
Stretch Marks:  Nope!
Belly Button:  In but feeling rather vast. 
Queasy or Sick:   I'm feeling pretty good even though I've had a few vomity days. Every time I smugly remember I'm vomit free - boom - I'm hugging the toilet.
Sleep:  I'm sleeping really well.  My only problem is I need to get more and more of it. I'm not interested in staying up any later than 9 - this makes me a real social recluse. I don't care how anti-social I appear. Grumpy and pregnant just aren't a good mix. 
Best Moment of the Week:  It's been half term - every day is wonderful. But really it had to be the scan on Friday.  Baby was all arms and legs - which isn't a surprise if you've seen my arms and legs.  Baby also kept it's legs crossed, so we had no chance of finding out the gender!  Auntie Erin thought it was a good sign - conservative baby.
Worst Moment of the Week:    Having to pay out £90 to remove the buildup of winter grime on my tyres - at least it will save me from screeching every time I stop the car!
Miss Anything:  I've had a real hankering for Stilton and white wine. A proper wine and cheese tasting - but more than a taste. More a jumbo sized selection.... a lunchable to end all lunchables...I just have this really refined a pallet, ok?
Movement:   I've worked out what "flutters" feel like and I've had loads of them!  B can even feel them now!  Baby doesn't like me resting the iPad on the edge of my belly. That message has been received loud and clear. 
Cravings:   I'm not sure there's been any mad cravings. I'm just far more obsessed with certain foods and won't rest until I get to eat what I want. Soft pretzels, for instance. Where on earth am I going to get an Aunt Annie's Pretzel in King's Lynn?  Solution.  And Lemon Curd? I'm obsessed at the moment!  I've just had a very big fail trying to make buttermilk, moving back to America is really the only option here.
Looking forward to:  We have a really busy week this week, but most importantly we are having our couples massage on Thursday for our Monthly Anniversary gift!  I'm so glad I booked that.....a much needed treat!

Why hello, bump!

B and I have been debating names this past week. We are both dead set on our girl name, but our boy name has been spoken for - so it's back to the drawing board for Baby Boy McBerry. Being a teacher, names are a real problem.   There's a list about a metre long of names that could be quite lovely - could be - if it weren't for some child who ruined the integrity of that good old name and has haunted my memories.

Maternity Clothes! I finally had success!  After going into *every* shop in King's Lynn, I finally visited New Look - and geeze - talk about having to eat my words.  There wasn't a massive selection, but it was the best selection I had ever come into contact with.  Clothes were affordable and - gasp - stylish.  They actually are cut in a flattering way - I especially love this red top as I can wear it with leggings or trousers (when I find some) and B really likes the black dress (similar) (my chests looks huge...of course he loves it).  Mom and Erin also came to the rescue and are sending me some US maternity trousers....Frumpy is not ok - and I'm lucky I have my family to help me fight the limited maternity clothes selection!

In other news, I've started a youtube Pregnancy Yoga class, seeing as there are NO classes for much of anything maternity related in the West Norfolk Area.  At least it's something to keep me moving and stretching.  I tried a session the other night when I was feeling pretty lousy and the breathing and gentle stretches genuinely made me feel better!

B and I are also attending an Expectant Parent Night at Mothercare.  Now this is a good idea.  A friend recommend it and I'm really glad we have signed up - there's loads of freebies, plus teaching of first aid/CPR, advice on feeding and safety and other shopping/buying options.

For my emotional well being, I've joined Lauren Conrad's Book Club to keep me reading and engaged in a life beyond work.   "Where'd you go, Bernadette" is the book on the table at the moment - it was only £3 on Kindle, so I was more than happy to jump on board!  The only problem?  You have to read section 1 by 6 March.  I finished the whole thing in 24 hours.  Oops.  A good read though - I loved the style of the book with emails and faxes and articles.  It just helped to shape the characters!  I've now started Gina Ford's "The New Contented Little Baby Book" at the recommendation of a few friends.  I've learned a lot - it's terrifying!

As half term is coming to a close, I'm jumping with glee at the next break - in six weeks time I'll be in America with my fabulous family!  Baby needs to experience Ohio.  I've been so homesick recently, so I can't wait to see my US family and friends.   My sister sent me this picture the other night of my mom and I felt those pangs of homesickness creeping in again.  Luckily, Auntie Erin has it all sorted and we have a checklist of places to see (mostly food places) to settle my pregnancy cravings for Ohio!