hello again! (again)

sophia-70

so here we are again, again.

it’s been a long time since i’ve thought about blogging, but the combination of a serious candy crush addiction and a desire/need to share a little bit of myself with someone has brought me back again. i can’t promise it’ll be regular (like it ever was), but i will try my damnedest to write every once in awhile.

it’s been so long that i can’t even remember where we left off, so instead of recapping my life over the past six months (more? much more.) i’ll focus on the future. tomorrow my baby girl is TWO YEARS OLD! we are entirely in the throes of toddlerhood, where the terrible twos have well and truly begun rearing their ugly heads. in the bad moments, everything is ‘mine NOW’, epic floor-rolling tantrums, and kicking/smacking/thrashing anything within reach. in the good moments (which to be honest are much more common than the bad), it’s all ‘luv doooo mommyyyy’, cuddles, and crazy developmental strides. i’ll take it. maybe with a glass of wine.

work is the same as ever. mondays at starbucks give me a little bit of a ‘break’ from home. more importantly, they give p and s time together for adorable daddy/daughter dates. most of the time i wish i could be home with them, but there’s something to be said for walking into town without a buggy and worrying about no one but myself. i still don’t think i could handle full time work. i don’t know how working moms do it! (believe me, i still thinking being a mostly stay at home mom is tough too, in different ways.)

speaking of family time, we’re heading away on a ‘mini-break’ to paris next week (thanks bridget jones for the english terminology here!) and can’t be more excited. s is excited too, to take the ‘twain’ through the big ‘nunnel’ and to see the ‘gib ife towah’. and to eat cakeys. obviously. i promise an update after we get back! 

that’s all for now, but we have a mini toddler birthday party planned for this saturday, so i’ll let you know how that goes, too! much more low-key than last year, with more play, less prep, and just as much cake. in the meantime, to make up for my absence, i give you cute toddler photos. you’re welcome. (photo credits to the ever fabulous francesca db photography)

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back to blogging?

it’s been too long, and i’m sorry.

but i’m not sorry, too.

this summer has been a bit of a whirlwind for our little family of three, and it’s been refreshing to have spent most of my time IN the moment, rather than being there but not really there. we’ve been to America, Germany, London (more than once), and North Wales and have had some amazing adventures. i won’t post all the pictures, because there are a silly amount of pictures, but i will give you a little taste of what we got up to.

i’m not sure whether i’ll start blogging again regularly, but i wanted to make sure you knew where we had been. i’ve missed you all, too! so if you’re reading this, thanks for staying by me even when i dropped off the map.

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[i also want to apologize to the lovely sara, a fantastic reader and consultant for scentsy (click the link to check out her site) who approached me to review one of her products. she sent me this warmer and two scents to trial and review on my blog. so, very VERY belatedly, here it is! i LOVED the fragrances and found that i didn’t need to have the warmers turned on for very long at all before my whole house was transformed. it really is a brilliant, high quality product. this is what i was sent in the mail (there are TONS of varieties of warmers and scents to choose from, and even stuffed animals with warmable scent packets!):

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scentsy is very popular in the US, especially among families with young children who enjoy home fragrance but feel they would rather not have burning candles all over the place. it’s only just starting out in the UK, though, and sara is keen to get in touch with people who are interested in the product and company. if this sounds like anything any of you might be interested, check out her page and contact her there, or let me know and i’ll get you in touch with her. who can resist some online deals?! not me, that’s for darn sure.]

another family update (and more apologies)

i think sometimes i lose my writing mojo. or my precious baby decides to sleep 12 hours a night and reminds me what 8+ hours of consecutive sleep feel like and i capitalize on that shiz. one or the other. either way, sorry for the hiatus. i’m back now with a vengeance! and here’s a song for you.

that’s fort atlantic with their amazing ‘let your heart hold fast’ from my favorite episode of how i met your mother. yum.

so, what’s new in our lives?

p and i are now the proud owners of a TODDLER. and whoever coined the phrase ‘the terrible TWOS’ is a dirty, dirty liar. that crap starts as soon as your baby realizes that there is a world outside of the buggy. i swore to myself i would never be THAT MOM (ie. my mom …i wasn’t a very good baby) but this product is on the to-buy list at the moment. sometimes you just need a leash.

s is officially a social butterfly. over the past month and a bit we’ve had more than a few houseguests (p’s sister and her family, s’s godparents and their four kids, s’s other godmummy and my best friend, and my sister…not including the house full for her birthday party!) and s has had an amazing time dancing, playing, laughing, eating chocolate, blowing bubbles, dining out, and shopping.

and a few other things, in brief:

s is addicted to chocolate.

p and i saw the dalai lama.

s had not one, but TWO babysitters, and appeared to behave to some extent.

never go to the natural history museum (or any other free london attraction) during the school holidays. especially with a sick baby.

my baby rocks out to bruno mars, psy, and macklemore. i’m a bad mommy.

this summer is going to be epic. plane tickets booked to america, holiday in wales with s’s godparents paid in full, and s and i get to join p on the choir trip to germany AND on another weeklong program in london. i should probably talk to my boss.

‘no’ is the new ‘yeah’. and i do not like it.

i bought baby crocs and i don’t feel guilty.

some mummy friends and i started a book club and so far we’ve read one whole book! up next? this one! (thanks e for the inspiration!)

that’s all for now, but stay tuned for a post on the party of the year…it was a good one.

sophia loves cake

new year, new me!

ugh, i hate that phrase. you all know how i feel about new year’s resolutions (as evidenced here). but i wanted to let you all know that i’m sticking to my word and have rejoined weight watchers! the other day i was having a particularly crappy day and decided, instead of sitting around wondering why God blessed me with german genes, that i’d bite the bullet and sign up. so i cancelled our sky subscription service (shock!!!) and signed up for ww. don’t worry!!! i won’t bang on about my weight every day between now and the day i hit my goal (because i WILL, damn it!), but i wanted to hold myself accountable in a way by telling you all about it. as if paying to lose weight isn’t enough, right?

so wish me luck! i’m excited to see a lot less of myself soon. i’m sure you are, too. 😉

bam. accountability.

bam. accountability.

happy new year, and all that jazz…

peace out, 2012!

happy new year! we said goodbye to 2012 the rock and roll way, with a normal day for s, pizza, (one) beer and 11pm bedtime for p and me. oh my, how times have changed. it was actually quite refreshing spending the day with family and remembering how much our lives have changed over the past year instead of going out, partying, and forgetting much of the night.

but today, after the dust has settled, it all seems a bit blah. p says he hates new year because it’s so anticlimactic. midnight comes and all of a sudden everything is supposed to be DIFFERENT. sleeping through the ball drop (or countdown, as is the case in the UK…man, i miss dick clark and times square new year!) made it even more surreal for us this year.

BUT, i am bound and determined to make this year even better than last year. i’m going to get fit(ish), focus on being a great mom and wife, and figure out what i want to be when i grow up. i’ll let you know how i get on with all of these goals, especially the get fit goal. due to some healthy german genes and an even healthier appetite for starchy food, my battle with weight has been an ongoing struggle for some time now. i’ve successfully lost weight a few times with weight watchers, but life and cakes tend to get in the way from time to time. it’s taken nine months of post birth weight (non) loss and a kick up the bum from my mom, who’s documenting her own weight loss story on her blog, to start thinking seriously about how i feel about my body and how i want s to think about her own. i don’t want to dwell on the fact that i have X amount of pounds to lose, but that i want to become a happier and healthier mom for my daughter. i want her to grow up with a positive body image and think that the first step towards that goal is feeling good about myself and allowing her to see that. anyway, maybe writing it down will help it to be so!

wish me luck! and of course, the occasional iced mocha. and let me know how your own hopes and resolutions for the new year are getting on!

happy 2013!!!

how (not) to travel with an eight month old and other musings

hello, old friends! it’s been far too long. i’ve had a million and one things i’ve wanted to write about in the last few weeks, and approximately zero time to write about them. okay, that’s a lie. i’ve spent my fair share of time vegging on the sofa, but i decided i deserved it. it’s been a long month.

my grandfather passed away last month. he was pretty much the coolest man ever. it was so sad to say goodbye to him but so wonderful to celebrate his life. i was lucky enough to be his first (and possibly most spoiled) grandchild and to have countless memories with him over the past 27 years. in the end he was in pain so his death was a blessing for him. i know he’s looking down now and smiling, telling all his friends that he’s better than the weather.

ok, enough of that. my grandpa wouldn’t want any of us to mope around. so instead i’m going to whine. a lot.

if you get nothing else from this post, please remember the following:

DO NOT TRAVEL WITH AN EIGHT MONTH OLD BABY. EVER.

seriously. the four (yes, all four) flights we took on the way to and from the states last month were probably the worst combined experiences of my life. p couldn’t travel with us, so it was just me, s, and my poor, defenseless little sister (who has since vowed never to have children). why was it so horrible, do you ask? well, i’ll tell you. that baby screamed for a total of EIGHT(hundred?) hours while i held her against her will in my lap. virtually every passenger on all four airplanes gave me the stinkeye. a very well intentioned and well endowed flight attendant nearly smothered my baby while attempting to stifle her cries. half a dozen other flight attendants and random staffers stole her out of my arms to cuddle/play with/comfort/annoy the shit out of her. how i managed to get home without leaving my poor darling baby in a bathroom somewhere and/or punching someone and being arrested by air marshalls is beyond me.

therefore i solemnly swear not to fly with my lovely and slightly demonic little girl until she is old enough to sit in her own seat and to be spoonfed benadryl. seriously. i can’t handle it. also, p is on night duty for the foreseeable future. which is forever.

enough of the whining. for now. to lift the mood and make everyone feel better, here are the photos we ordered from the fantastic francesca db photography. merry, merry christmas to you.

next time: s’s christmas list! because i know you all love a little bit of baby tat.

restaurant review: wahaca and pinkberry (at bluewater shopping centre)

so even though pretty much every waking moment of my life is consumed by s (and i love it, i really do) i thought it might be a good idea to branch out a little bit in the blogging world. so let’s talk about food!

when p gets a rare day off, we like to venture out and explore something new. our days usually include eating, obviously, as well as shopping and mooching. today we went to bluewater shopping centre just outside of london. for those of you who haven’t been there, let’s just say it’s pretty much the mecca of the shopping world. it’s one of the top uk shopping centres, behind the westfield centres in london, metrocentre in newcastle, and the trafford centre in manchester. i’ve been to all of the top malls (apart from the new westfield centre near the olympic park) and they all live up to their reputations: full of tempting, posh stores and inappropriate romanesque statues. so we were excited to try this one out.

bluewater is situated just south of the thames estuary and looks like it was built in an old mining site. the hills around it have all been blasted out. it really looks so cool! the centre itself is a two floor triangle shaped building with hundreds of shops, restaurants, a cinema, and an event centre. the restaurants (the most important part, obviously) are varied and, for the most part, very posh. we decided to try out wahaca, an authentic style mexican street food restaurant, for lunch.

wahaca, complete with recycled bottle lighting!

i have to preface this review with the following: p and i consider ourselves mexican food connoisseurs. i’ve spent quite a bit of time in mexico (my parents go to isla mujeres, a tiny island off the coast of cancun, every year and have taken me and my sisters a handful of times) and p loves to cook mexican food at least once a week. we’ve had good mexican (chipotle), bad mexican (chiquito), and even great mexican (nanna mexico) outside of mexico itself. so we were equal parts excited and terrified to try wahaca (the phonetic spelling of the mexican city oaxaca).

we were not disappointed. the service was pretty good, even though we were seated next to probably the most negative family on the planet. p ordered the citrus fizz, a soft drink not unlike a mojito (minus the rum, of course), and loved it. i ordered a diet coke, which is a diet coke. 😉 i’m always a little angry inside at england for not serving free refills of soft drinks or for not even having fountain drink machines, but hey, this is europe. smaller is the norm. we decided to order a few street food options each and share. p ordered pork pibil tacos and the chorizo quesadilla, and i ordered steak tacos and chicken taquitos. all the food was EXCELLENT. both taco dishes came as three tiny, perfect corn tortillas topped with pulled pork/steak strips, pico de gallo, cheese, and sour cream drizzle. the tortillas might as well have been flown in from the dusty streets of isla mujeres, and tasted as if they’d been made that morning by the tiny ancient mayan women i’ve walked past dozens upon dozens of times before. the quesadilla was standard: tasty but nothing unique. the taquitos were yummy and deep fried and also topped with pico de gallo. the portions were small, but were designed to be that way, since customers are encouraged to try lots of different options, tapas-style. we debated ordering seconds (since s ate half of the tortilla from the quesadilla and some of the pico) but settled on fresh churros with hot chocolate sauce instead. yum! the bill came to £24 and we were not disappointed. p raved, ‘this is my new favorite restaurant!!!’ approximately two seconds after tasting the amazingly authentic tacos, and s screeched with happiness throughout. we’re definitely going back, and thinking about petitioning the company to set up shop in cambridge!

s and her cheeky face

before leaving to drive home (and sit in traffic at the dartford crossing…note to self, don’t drive on the london orbital during rush hour) we decided we needed something sweet. as i’m a fan of LC and the hills (i know, i know. i blame pregnancy and a bored me with cankles for getting me hooked on that one) i know all about the frozen yogurty goodness of pinkberry. there are only three in the uk (the other two are at westfield stratford city and selfridges on oxford street, london) so i really wanted to try it. us east coast girls don’t get much of a froyo experience, and in my hometown we only JUST welcomed a coldstone creamery. the staff were so friendly, i felt like i was back in the states. seriously, british customer service usually leaves something to be desired. not here. we sampled a few of the flavors, since we hadn’t been there before. i settled on a small (giant!) coconut with fresh raspberries, kiwi, pineapple, and blueberries on top. p got a small pomegranate with waffle cone flakes, strawberries, raspberries, and granola on top. we gave a lot of the fresh fruit to s, which she gobbled up quicker than you can say pinkberry. they didn’t have high chairs, so s sat on p’s lap and spilled red berry juice all over her white tights and her daddy, but no one minded. for around £7, we could complain about nothing other than the lack of child seating and some mediocre granola. win!

faster, dad, faster!

conclusion: six thumbs up for our bluewater dining experience! stay tuned for more food reviews soon. i hope to do some cambridge based ones soon, also including their varying degrees of baby-friendly-ness.