Wednesday, 17 June 2015

11 Months!

How Old:   11 Months!
Weight:  (No idea!)
Likes:  Walking (with a death grip on our fingers), climbing stairs (with a significantly less urgent grip on our fingers), swinging, eating and clapping to music!
Dislikes:  Being told what to do in any way, shape or form. 
Eating: Emma is happiest when eating.  She loves bananas more than life itself and she is very keen on meat (chicken, beef, pork).  We seem to have our FPIES under control as I am wary to try anything too out of ordinary.  She has a very good diet - meat, fruit and veg.  Plus quinoa for breakfast.  I wish I had a bit more to offer her during breakfast, but quinoa flour hasn't convinced me yet!
Sleeping:  As always, Emma is a rock star sleeper.  She has gone 7 pm - 6:30 am for a long time now.  She does seem to be waking up earlier (around 5 or so) but plays in her bed until we go and get her.  I think she dozes off to sleep in that time. I feel guilty leaving her in bed, but every time I do get her earlier, she tends to cry!
Routine:  Her routine hasn't changed much since we have been in America.  She has breakfast first thing in the morning - a nap at 8:30.  A mid morning bottle and then lunch at 12:30.  She has an afternoon bottle still, dinner at 5:30 and then bath at 6:30 followed by  bed!  I'm not sure how babies go about dropping feeds, but she seemed to do it by herself.  I think she is getting less interested in bottles, but then she guzzles the lot.  She'll let me know when she is through I guess!!
Sizes:  She is rocking 12 month clothes - onesies are a touch big and trousers seem about right.  In all fairness, she has been wearing only a onesie or dress these days as it is so hot.  I ordered her a little pair of size 4 moccasins but they are miles too big!  Size 3 shoes (but she prefers bare feet!).
Milestones:  I think she has about 5.2 teeth at the moment and those dribble bibs are going nowhere. She is chattering away and trying to form words ("duck" was nearly "duck" the other night!), she knows who people are and can do basic commands ("up" and "kisses" are her best ones).  She waves, high fives and claps.  She has just started clapping above her head to music thanks to Auntie Erin.  She dances and rocks and is THIS CLOSE to walking.  She can roll around and move in her crib or when you are trying to get her dressed, but she isn't interested in crawling the rest of the time!  (UPDATE - SHE CAN CRAWL!)
Mum's favorite moment:  After her bath I did the usual towel dry (singing "snug as a bug in a rug" - of course) and put Emma down on our bed to put her jim jams and nappy on.  She started rolling - left, right, up, down.  I couldn't get the nappy on her bottom. She started laughing, realizing I was struggling, which made me laugh.  If someone was watching, I must have looked like a right idiot, chasing a tumbling baby around the bed with a nappy, unable to pin her down, both of us laughing - all whilst trying to prevent her from rolling OFF of the bed. 
Dad's favorite moment:  Dad's favorite moment comes on the EVE of Emma's 11 month birthday!  During the post bath roll around the bed whilst trying to avoid the nappy, Baby Emma decided to CRAWL!  She crawled towards Daddy a few times - I stood behind her jumping up and down with glee!  She found it hilarious (as usual) - I couldn't believe she FINALLY decided to crawl!

Let's talk about our All American Summer.  Seriously. It's All American.  We are LOVING the sunshine - although I'm pretty sure both B and Emma are wilting in the heat.  Fortunately, we found a bucket and chucked Emma in with some of her plastic balls.  She cooled down but decided she wasn't interested in sitting in a bucket.  She wanted out after about two minutes, drippy swim suit and all.

Summer is all about being outside and eating corn on the cob.  Two things we are doing a LOT of.  I am constantly covering her English skin in suncream as it is HOT and bright.  We have a cooler day today with a touch of rain.  I don't mind it - I'm sure she is happy!


We have been so lucky to have Auntie Erin home - plenty of play sessions, outings and walks with someone OTHER than mummy!  Erin is so good at distracting Emma - especially when she is about to cry.  We thoroughly enjoy our Dinner and a Show each evening when Erin serenades us.

Although B has just started work, we had loads of time together to have fun outings.  We went to a Lake County Captains game and sat in the TriPoint Loge. We didn't see much of the game as Emma wanted to walk up and down the steps, but it was a fun outing none the less!   

We also traveled down to Hartville, where we wandered around Ohio's largest Hardware Store and Flea Market.  I found the Hardware Store brilliant - especially the model homes INSIDE the store. The Flea Market wasn't really my cup of tea, but it was *brilliant* for people watching.  Emma enjoyed her first ride on a John Deer Tractor - I had to stop B from buying one.  

The final thing we did as a family is relatively bitter-sweet.  We travelled to Chicago to help clear out my Aunt's home.  For those of you who don't know, my Aunt passed away after a long battle with cancer this past March.  It didn't really seem real until we got to her house; I found it quite difficult.  

We managed a trip into the city for a day just to clear our heads, but in all honestly, it was hard work with a baby.  Small, crowded restaurants with no change tables seemed to be the norm.   I enjoyed the outdoor sights, but found it less accessible than London - which is really odd.

Emma was wonderful while we were in Chicago. I wasn't able to help as much as I would have liked as I was looking after her while everyone else was packing or lifting, but she managed to give us all a little something to smile about whilst doing a pretty challenging job. My final memory of my Aunt's house will be Emma, lying on the floor in the living room, filling the empty space with laughter and play.  If you knew my Aunt Rosie, you would agree that she would have loved that image.  

It's been a whirlwind of a month - Emma has grown and changed so much.  She is so much fun at this age.  I can't believe next month will be the big ONE YEAR!  Where does the time go?


Sunday, 14 June 2015

Where have I been???

Dear Baby,

Things have been quiet here in cyberspace.  You wouldn't know anything about that though, as it's been mummy and Emma fun days nearly EVERY day.  For everyone else reading my posts, I've been right here - in Ohio - trying to figure out how to live life again.

I'm not going to lie, I've had my fair share of pangs of homesickness since returning to my original home.  Like now - I'm currently writing this post whilst having a glass of wine and listening to KLFM.  My mom asked why I'm feeling so nostalgic.  I can't quite put my finger on it.  Perhaps I miss the comfort of the life we had?  I know we will be settled soon, but I'm just guessing that may be the cause to my desire to shop at Tesco or eat at Middleton Steak House.  

It's been a bit of a culture shock (coming home).  I mean, this is the post I should have written weeks ago, but I couldn't bring myself to write anything down.  I was so set on returning home but at the same time I loved so many things about living in England.  After eight years I was coming back.  Was it a failure?  Mission accomplished?  I don't know.  

In truth, I had the experience of a lifetime living in England.  It was amazing.  It was hard work.  It was incredibly frustrating, downright hilarious and overwhelmingly busy.  I loved the experience - I just didn't love it every day.  

When I was preparing move to England I frequented a forum for present and new teachers moving with Bluewave Teacher Recruitment Agency. I met a woman who was returning to America after ten years of living in England. I asked her why she wanted to come home. She said she was ready. 

I never really understood that. Initially, anyways. To me, England was going to be a potentially permanent move. It was just so new, exciting and just so quentisential. 

I don't know what attracted me to the country; perhaps it was the accent or the literature. Maybe the scenery. The tea. London? Whatever it was, that choice led me to a whole new world which shaped me into a completely different person. 
Eight years. 

Eight different homes (72, 47, 125 Gaywood Road, Poppyfield, London Road, The Cottage, 212 Main Road and Watlington!)
Seven counties visited outside of Norfolk (Kent, Cornwall, Devon, Leicestershire, Cambridgeshire, Yorkshire, Sussex)
Six hilarious yet challenging years in the English department
Five musicals with the King's Lynn Players (Witches of Eastwick, 42nd Street, Guys and Dolls, Hot Mikado, The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas)
Four holidays abroad with B (USA, France, the Maldives and Mexico)
Three cars - ALL Manual Drive! (Renault Clio, Volkswagen Polo, Mini One)
Two job titles (Drama Teacher and English Teacher)
One wedding. 
One husband. 
One baby.  

Eight years.  I can’t believe I have closed that chapter of my life.  Some moments I catch myself thinking about England and missing the people or places.  I don’t think that will ever go away.  I haven’t had any pangs of doubt or worry; I still believe moving back here to America was the right choice for us as a family.

But that doesn’t mean that I don’t miss the place which held so much value in my life.  If it wasn’t for that outrageous moment where I declared that I was going to move to England, there would be no Daddy or you. What kind of life would that be?

You only lived there for a fraction of time - your first home and room and town was only yours for 9 months. But let me assure you, that place was full of wonderful people and places.  

The lessons I learnt there are immeasurable.  

Then again - the lessons we are learning here are pretty exciting too.  We have a new house, jobs and are making new friends.  There are so many exciting opportunities just waiting for us.  I can't tell you that I prefer one place over the other because I love different things about both.  Both are my home. Both hold my family.  Both have my heart.

You may ask me in years to come why we moved.  We did so because we believed it was the right place for us as a family. I missed my family. We moved for you.  I can't wait to see what you do in this exciting place.

Love always,
Me xxx

Sunday, 17 May 2015

Ten Months!

My Chalkboard is somewhere between here and King's Lynn!

How Old:   Ten months!
Weight:   21.8 pounds
Likes:   Walking (whilst pulling our fingers off), hitting things with her spatula, bouncing, chasing mummy, eating (especially peas), rocking out to music.
Dislikes:  Sitting - it's so overrated, being held too close, the hot Ohio weather last week, animals (it's like a new fear...I'm planning on exposing her to as many as I can!),  tomatoes, lime green hats (Uncle Chuck's managed to terrify her).
Eating:  We are slowly coming off of Nutramigen and replacing it with three meals, snacks and plenty of watered down squash. I can't get her to drink water, so I put a tiny squrit of Robinson's fruit squash in her bottle and she necks the lot.  As it's been so hot here, I am desperate for her to drink anything.  She has a new safe food - beef!  She loved the steak ground and mixed with veg, but was not keen on the mini meatballs. I'm trying stewed tomatoes today!  She's now starting to dislike us feeding her purees so we are leaning towards more finger foods.

Emma's first trip to Little Italy!
Sleeping:  Emma has been an absolute gem with settling into American time.  She didn't really sleep on the flight but went through the night the very first day we arrived.  She's still sleeping 7-6:30 with some hour long naps in the day.  
Routine:  Usually when Emma wakes up we give her breakfast right away.  She then has a play for an hour or so and it's back to bed for a nap.  After, we tend to get her out and about until bottle at 10:30 and lunch at 12:30.  She then has an afternoon bottle at 3:30 followed by dinner at 5:30 and bedtime milk at 7:00.  I'm not really sure how we got into this routine, but it seems to be working!
Sizes:  She's a solid 12 month USA sizes - I'm not entirely sure what she would be in UK sizes as most of our clothes are American.
Milestones:   Walking with help, feeding herself (finger foods), waves and clapping (plus the odd high five!).  She can do something if she is shown once - using her spoon as a drumstick, rocking, etc. She can wave, high five and give kisses (only if you're mummy) on demand.  She even has started to fake sneeze and say what sounds like "Ah-choo!"
Mum's favourite moment:  There have been some absolute gems of moments this months.  The clapping or the pure look of glee on Emma's face when we gave her the lawnmower to push.  She has so much personality at the moment and I'm loving it!
Dad's favourite moment:  While waiting on B's new Kia, Emma started to get bored in the waiting room.  B put her on his shoulders and started chasing me around the showroom.  She was shrieking with laughter - proper baby squeals and laughs.  We were in hysterics as she was so delighted by the whole scenario.  

She loooooooves the new Radio Flyer trike

Moving to America has been one HUGE endeavor.  I have a separate post in the making outlining the move and all of the joy surrounding that.  It is so nice to be with my family; I really appreciate the help with Emma on a daily basis.  It's also been wonderful to have my darling B back after his relentless shifts before the move.

I don't know who looks happier!

We are obviously missing England - our friends and family mostly - but we are slowly working our way through and establishing a life here.

So far we have:
1.  Bought a car
2.  Registered Emma at a Doctor
3.  Signed up for an Old Navy, Babies R Us, Starbucks and Dick's Sporting Goods store cards
4.  B got a fishing license
5.  Registered for a one year membership to Anytime Fitness - I love it!
6.  Eaten our weight in good food - Salads at Arabica are our favorite
7.  Bought a big girl car seat - Graco All in One
8.  Eaten Froyo (most important item on the list)

Emma is settling right in.  She loves her new room and the new toys which Nonna has borrowed/found for her.  She has played with her cousin James (probably the most adorable game of peek-a-boo ever). And she has made loads of new friends.  We have a  few more playdates scheduled or on the horizon, plus some great ideas for things to do in the area (thanks for the suggestions!).  I've just bought her a swim suit as I'm pretty sure we will be spending plenty of time in a paddling pool if the weather is anything like it was last week!

We are anxiously awaiting the arrival of our shipping (scheduled for arrival in Cleveland on the 25th May) as we are keen to have our high chair and other bits and bobs.  I don't even remember what we packed, come to think of it.  In order to make room for our lives I had to get rid of everything in my old room - funny how much stuff you have saved over the years!  I found everything - photos, old notebooks, essays, a time capsule, old report cards.  I even managed to find $100 in a card from when I got straight As - it pays to go through everything!

All in all, we are getting there.  It's been so very hard to leave the people we love, but distance means so little when people mean so much.  You're in our hearts.  I hope you all know that.

As for us, you know I'll keep blogging.  Emma is getting bigger and more and more clever - I don't want you to miss any of that!  So if you don't get to see me or talk to me every day to find out what is going on, I'll keep you updated here, on instagram or on Facebook.  Don't worry - we will be right here.  Thank you, cyberspace.  You managed to close that gap that is the Atlantic.


Friday, 17 April 2015

Nine Months!

How Old:   Nine months!  She's been out as long as she was in! 
Weight:   21 pounds?? Maybe??? 
Likes:   Standing (with help), bouncing, her mini jam jar, chewing on everything, eating. 

Dislikes:  Having her bum changed, the slow service mummy and daddy sometimes offer, her formula! 
Eating:  Emma has done so well with food this time around! I've just written a post about our experience with FPIES and it was actually featured on the FPIES UK website. We have quite a few safe foods and Emma seems to love everything! Her favourites seem to be quinoa, butternut squash, red pepper and lamb!
Sleeping:   She's such a rock star. She's consistently going 7:30 - 6:00. Don't talk to me about jet lag. I don't even want to think about it! 

Routine:  We have dropped a few bottles! Much to our dismay, Emma isn't interested in her milk. She has breakfast when she wakes up follows by a full bottle at 10:00 am. She then has lunch at 12:30, a full bottle at 3:30, dinner at 5:30 and then a night bottle at 7:00. I'm not sure what we should be doing, but she won't have the bottle with her food and we are determined to keep her protein levels up! 
Sizes:  She's now a size 4 nappy and 9 month onesies. The trouser situation is another story. 12 months? 18 months? She is LONG! 
Milestones:   High Fives! What a dude. Waving Hi/Bye (when she feels like it). Rotating and making a move to crawl - although No movement yet. Standing with help. She also had her first pair of shoes bought for her!  

Mum's favourite moment:   Feed time - every day!  Emma’s reactions are hilarious - she loves food and often stops and just waves at me or tries to kiss me.  I melt…and steer clear of her dinners with lamb.
Dad's favourite moment:  B has a few this month:  while packing boxes for the move, I asked B to pack everything he didn't want to take on the plane. Emma ended up in a box surrounded by clothes. He also likes the fact that Emma's babbling is more along he lines of dadadada and not mama mama. 

In other news, things are slowing progressing with the big move to the USA!  Moving when you have a baby (or are pregnant for that matter) really stinks.  Moving to a new country when you have a baby is downright rotten.

Let's look at my life:


There is SO much to think about when moving abroad.  Last time I did this, I literally packed up a few suitcases and jumped on a plane.  We didn't have accommodation and I didn't have more than clothes and a laptop.  After eight years I have gained a LOT of stuff including a husband and a baby.

So - where on earth do we begin?  We have sold and donated virtually everything we own.    The important stuff is all coming with us via barge and it takes roughly three weeks for everything to arrive in Cleveland.  We have had to pack our three suitcases because we need to know how much we CAN take on the flight and what has to go in the shipping.  I can only imagine what will happen in the last week when we discover we have things we should have shipped.  We will cross that bridge when we get to it though!

I think the reality of leaving is starting to set in. We have said our “See you soon”s to family and friends - each time it is getting more and more difficult. 

(Our Awesome Leaving cake - compliments of my wonderful Mother in Law!)

More on all of that later!  As for now, I’m going to attempt to continue packing! 

Friday, 10 April 2015

Embracing the Allergies

This week is Allergy Awareness Week and as a result, I thought I would write about our experience with FPIES.

 When Emma was quite new we thought we would try out some Cow and Gate formula.  Breastfeeding just wasn't quite working and we needed to get her weight up - so we figured a top up would be the best thing to do.  She vomited.  Not a little spit up - but a proper vomit.  I remember coming downstairs and I found B sleeping on the floor with her and she was wrapped in a towel.

We tried formula again a few months later (November), and this time, we nearly sent her to A and E.  After severe, projectile vomiting Emma went limp and unresponsive.   Little did we know that our little one was allergic to cow's milk protein.  

Being the stubborn person that I am, I declared that that was the final straw for formula. Why would I give my baby something which caused that reaction?  After quite a bit of arguing and kicking off with our GP, we ended up with Nutramigen, an amino acid based formula for babies with milk protein allergies.  I thought it was the end of our problems as she started to fill out and progress well with the formula.  

And then we began weaning.   Acting on advice, we started weaning her using the Gina Ford puree method.  What is the first thing you are meant to give babies?  Baby Rice.  She didn't like it.  Next?  Something easy.  Sweet Potato.  Carrot.  Things were ok for awhile, but as I increased the volume of puree, she suddenly started reacting in exactly the same to certain foods as she did the formula.  The projectile vomiting, the limp and unresponsive state.  

What's a mother to do?  Any time I went to the doctor I was told I just needed to try foods and see how she reacted.  I hated that idea - why force her to eat something if I know she can't handle it?  My instincts told me that Emma wasn't ready for solids just yet.  We could wait - she was getting everything she needed from the Nutramigen.   She LIKED food - she liked the taste and texture.  So we would give her food to play with - I just wasn't interested in forcing her to eat it.

This all went along fine until Nursery suggested that she needed cereal of some sort.  They suggested Baby Porridge - sure enough, five hours later, she vomited in her car seat and started choking.

Enough was enough.  I wanted an answer.  The Doctors, Dieticians and Health Visitors couldn't help me, so I had to find the answer myself - with the help of my dad and some other contacts we discovered FPIES.

FPIES - Food Protein-Induced Enterocolitis Syndrome.  Her reaction is textbook:

According the FPIES website:
"The classic pattern of an FPIES reaction is when a healthy infant or child develops symptoms shortly after eating a food. There is a characteristic delay of 2-3 hours before onset of severe and repetitive vomiting and eventually diarrhea.  The child may appear very ill and sleepy (lethargic), and may become pale or blue.  When evaluated by a doctor, he/she may be found to have low blood pressure, seem dehydrated, and have blood tests that mimic infection (sepsis); which in some cases can lead to sepsis-like shock."

And just like that - I felt better.  It's an answer. I found my way to the FPIES UK site and the support I got from them has been amazing.  The site has so much information on it.  The group have been my guardian angels over the past few weeks.  Any questions I have had - morning or night, someone would always take the time to offer advice or share ideas.  We are all parents who are afraid to feed out kids - we don't know what food is safe and the only way to find out is trying - and sometimes failing.  

They told me to get two lists:  Safe foods and trigger foods.  Try a teaspoon of a new food - see what happens.  Even a small reaction could become greater with a greater volume.  I've been using the Food Survey from other families to try and figure out what to try for our food trials.

There was a wealth of information available suddenly - not medical information - but information from PARENTS.  Parents who have have kids who suffer from FPIES and just want to help out other mums and dads.  For them, I am incredibly thankful.

Emma's lists
(and we are so lucky compared to some other little ones)

Melon, Pear, Pea, Courgette, Banana, Blueberries, Cauliflower, Broccoli, Apple, Butternut Squash, Prune, Cantaloupe, Green Bean, Chickpeas, Sweetcorn, Red Pepper, Quinoa, Kale, Cinnamon, Clove

Milk, Oats, Rice, Carrot, Sweet Potato, Potato, Parsnip, Cod, Cornflour

Is it scary?  Yes.  It's also frustrating, stressful and heartbreaking.  It's not fair.

But the good news is there is help.  I am so grateful for the FPIES community as they are helping me embrace food and feed my baby with confidence.  

The moral of this story:  Trust your instincts.  
I knew something wasn't right and I'm glad I fought it.

The FPIES Awareness video from last year circulated the support group the other day.  Please watch and listen.


Thursday, 26 March 2015

Dear (American) Baby,

Dear (American) Baby,

Tomorrow marks a very important day.  It is my last official day as a teacher at KES.  After eight years I am finally making good on my promise.  We are going home!  

I know in 10 years you are going to ask why we left England.  When I was younger, I would have loved to have lived somewhere a bit different.  You may not think much of Ohio, but I'll tell you what - that place gets under your skin.  I am so passionate about our great state - and not just because it is home.  It's a good place.  It really is.  There really is no place like home.

The word "home" has been playing on my mind recently.  What exactly is "home?"  If I asked my students they would tell me it is a place where you feel safe and loved.  It is where you have family.  You have two passports and you have a family who loves you on both sides of the Atlantic.  That's incredibly lucky.  Your situation is a little bit different - but I think that is part of what makes you as special as you are.  You are both English and American - plus you would have lived in both places.  So where is your home?

Home is where Daddy and I are.  We could make a cardboard box home.  Because really - it doesn't matter where we are living or what cars we are driving or who we are surrounded by.  We are going to be happy wherever we are together.  

I didn't realise that when I was younger.  Perhaps I knew your Daddy was out there an I just needed to find him.  Back in 2007 I promised Nonna I would only move to England for a year.  One year.  I was going to teach in this exotic place called King's Lynn.  The only thing I knew about it was that there was a Youtube video that showed someone driving around the one way system in the town.

I think it was luck that I ended up here because nearly everyone I meet always asks me "Why on earth would you move to King's Lynn?"  Fate?  Maybe.

One year turned into three so I could finish my Masters at Cambridge University.  Then, Daddy finally had the guts to ask me out.  Eventually, one year turned into eight years so he could finish Medical School and complete his US Medical exams.  

It was now or never.  I couldn't let Nonna down.  

Living in England has taught me a lot about life.  I learnt who I am as an individual - I did something pretty ridiculous when I picked up and moved across the Atlantic.  I discovered that I am actually a little bit brave.  I learnt that I can do what seems impossible.  I learnt my strengths and weaknesses.  As a teacher, I have learnt who I am in the classroom.  I found my voice and I know how to teach a subject which I love.  I am thankful for the chance to meet so many fascinating people - they really taught me to become the person who I am.

If I'm honest, I'm a little bit scared of moving back to America.  I've been gone for so long. So many of my friends have moved on - is it fair to come back and pick up where we left off?  I've gotten used to the English way of doing things - can I pick and choose which way to do things?  Am I going to remember to drive on the right side of the road?

There are so many things that I have loved about living here - the coast, the cups of tea, the castles, the random sheep hanging out in the road.  I think I'm going to miss a lot of things - but then I remember all of the things I miss about Ohio and I get confused.  I know that I can love both places and love different things about each place.  But I don't think we have to like one place better than the other. I don't think that is the point of having a history in a place like this.  I think we need to look back on our chapter entitled "King's Lynn" and smile at the memories.  We can look back and remember - there is nothing wrong with that - but we also need to look at the Present - the here and now and love and cherish everything we are DOING. 

Whilst the move back to America is daunting and overwhelming, I am enjoying it. I am enjoying going through our things and remembering. I'm OK with passing certain things on to someone else because I know they are going to create their own memories with something that meant a lot to me.  

This, Emma Rose, is a huge adventure.  You are only little and have no idea what is happening around you, but trust me - everything is changing.  This change is going to be happy and sad, scary and uncertain, exciting and stressful.  

My English baby - you are also an American baby.  Never forget where you come from - never forget where you are going.  After all, both places have made you (and me) into the person you are.

Love always,

Saturday, 21 March 2015

Eight Months!

How Old:   Eight months!  I can't actually believe that.
Weight:   Our last weigh in was 17 pounds 3 ounces....she is much bigger than that though!
Likes:   Being chased and tickled, bouncing in the jumperoo, playing with her tea cup or new sippy cup, splashing in the bath, watching other kids.
Dislikes:  Getting out of the bath, going in her carseat (hello, legs of steel), having her nose wiped (GEEZE that's a challenge!)
Eating:  YAY FOR SOLIDS!  We have success - finally!! We are trying small amounts at noon with the occasional breakfast and dinner.  So far she has had an likes peas, courgette, melon, avocado and banana!  We think there is a problem with root vegetables... More on that later.
Sleeping:  We went through a phase last week when she had bronchitis where she was waking up every two hours or so and crying her little heart out.  She's been a wheezy, coughing mess and hating every minute of it!  She seems to be back to normal now and is back to sleeping 7:30 - 5!
Routine:  Feeds every three-four hours but I think she needs a bit of a 
Sizes:  She is still rocking size 3 nappies (only just fitting into them) and now GROWING OUT of 9 month clothes.  We just bought her 12-18 month jeggings!!  What?!
Milestones:  She is rocking at those reduplicated monosyllables (Dadadadada) and her abs are seriously made of stronger things than metal.  She can stand up with help next to the sofa - especially if there is a phone or remote control nearby for her to grab and gnaw on.  She's also SWIMMING!  She had her first underwater swim and cried. She also had her first experience on a swing - that was a good laugh!
Mum's favourite moment:   We play this new game where we hold Emma over one of our shoulder and the other chases her around the house.  This is all done to the song of pacman.  We are all laughing hysterically by the time that is over.  (Close second this month - B sneezed whilst holding Emma and she sobbed.  I sneezed in front of her and she laughed so hard she started snorting and some of her milk came out of her nose.  I died.)
Dad's favourite moment:  Anything that involves making her smile with a wide open mouth and scrunched up nose!  It's actually hilarious when she gets so excited and pulls this face!

I am a few days late with this post as we have had some very sad news in our family.  My beloved Aunt and Godmother, Rosanna, has passed away in my family home after a long battle with cancer.  Our hearts are heavy - but I am so glad that she had the chance to hear our exciting news:

We are moving back to America.

I can't actually believe I am writing those words.  It doesn't feel real yet, but I can assure you - it is very real.  B has a job in Cleveland!
We are going home!

 Emma has clearly taking the news well and is enjoying play time with her Auntie Erin, Granddad and Nonna! They will soon be fed up with us I'm sure!

We have enjoyed our time together at weekends and evenings, but I can't WAIT to spend all day every day with Emma!  As of Friday, I am finished with work and will become a full time MUM!

We are going to have a few weeks in America as a family - it'll be nice considering how work heavy the first year or so will be for B!


But seriously - that face.  I can't get enough!  Our little English Emma Rose is soon to be an American Emma Rose!