veterans day.

i wanted to write a post about veterans day and the special meaning it has in my life, but it’s hard for me to find the words. i have pretty funny political views about the military and their presence in our world, but i have so much respect for the men and women who fought for us in world war ii. my 90 year old grandpa ray is a wwii vet and one of the most important people in my life. we’ve always had a special bond and have had some pretty cool conversations about his time in the pacific, particularly at iwo jima and the surrounding islands. 

luckily for my fumbling fingers, my fabulous mother has started her own blog (which is just as fabulous as she is!) and posted about my relationship with my grandpa ray. check it out here and give her a follow. i’m sure she’ll appreciate it!

happy veterans day, grandpa!

squirrels on the hill: veterans day

 

naked babies, days (and nights!) out, and milestones.

i’m finding it harder and harder to take time to write posts, but it’s so important that i get it down…partly because it seems like this whole baby brain thing never goes away, and partly because i know you all want to creep on my life more often. don’t lie, i do it too. 😉

so this week we had another normal stay at home mommy and baby week (but this is going to come to an end soon…stay tuned for updates on mommy solo life!). most days we like to get out of the house, and to be honest, s is a much happier baby when we’re going and doing and buying and eating out. which is great for my sanity, and not so great for the wallet. again, i need to become a crafty momma so i can stay at home and still make some money!!! (realistic) suggestions appreciated.

on saturday we took s to her first proper photo shoot! i’ve been kicking myself for not having the adorable newborn baby in a basket photos taken (sorry rachel, they are just so damned cute!) and so we decided christmas was the perfect time for s to make her debut. we went with the fabulous francesca db photography and didn’t regret it. s was a natural hambone and LOVED francesca. if you’re ever in the mood for some babysitting, s would love it! 😉 just kidding, she already has her hands full with two gorgeous twin girls and another baby on the way. the session was lovely and short (30 minutes, which was perfect for s) and consisted of solo shots of s as well as a few family pics (p was like, i don’t want to be in more than one picture that we buy…this is about s! talk about stage daddy.). s enjoyed the attention and ate her way through the plastic wrapping on a candy cane. i see a future as a model, perhaps?! here’s a sneak peek at one of the proofs from the session…we can’t wait to see the rest soon!

last night was guy fawkes night (as you brits will know) and i really really wanted to take s out. i’ve heard that fireworks can be a great sensory experience for babies and was keen for her to see it. cambridge has a fantastic FREE display and bonfire on midsummer common every year, and nearly 25,000 people turn out every year. it’s right over the river from us, so there was really no excuse not to go. i was a bit nervous about how s would react, but i bit the bullet and decided to go. i woke her up after bedtime (which she loved…not), snuggled her up in her teddy bear snowsuit, and popped her in the ergo. she’s at the age now where she doesn’t hate being in it, so it was actually really nice. we stayed across the road, out of the crowd, and watched comfortably from a distance. s LOVED the fireworks and stayed awake for the whole thing. it was freaking cold, though, so we headed home straight afterwards. i highly recommend taking your baby to a fireworks display, if you can get over the noise and the idea that they may or may not freak out. here’s a few shots of the night:

my little ewok…i mean teddy bear.

enjoying the fireworks!

at the moment i’m loving (almost) every moment at home with s. she’s so big now (8 months next week! stay tuned for the 8 month update post) and is finally a ‘proper’ baby. she’s so close to crawling…i’m pretty sure she can go backwards a little bit. we really need to get some gates going and properly babyproof this house. she can also clap, say dada (to both of us), wave, and sit up confidently by herself. i love my little girl! (someone please remind me of this post when i’m complaining about something or other in a few weeks’ time.)

guest post: baby led weaning wednesday at awayathomemom

one of my friends from uni in the states, away at home mom, blogs about her adventures with raising a baby in an alternative setting. she, her husband, their daughter, and their bernese mountain dog live in an RV and plan to travel the states instead of living the regular static american lifestyle. check out her blog for her weekly baby led weaning posts, among other things. this week i guest posted about our BLW adventures (specifically throwing food, yum). enjoy!

life gets in the way

i’m so sorry for being gone for so long. inexcusable, really, but things have just been a little crazy over the past few weeks. i’ve wanted to blog a million times, but somehow experiencing life seemed more important than writing about it, for awhile at least.

some of you know that we ventured out on our first transatlantic journey with s last month. let me just say this: not doing it again before this child can walk. The trip itself wasn’t actually HORRIBLE. s was a genius baby, as always, sucking her dummy during takeoff and landing on both flights (i had every intention of nursing at these points but it quickly became apparent that a quiet baby was more important than a screaming hot mess of a child…who knew people’s looks could cut you so deep?!) and generally being an awesome baby. the trip back was not quite as awesome. it involved lots of s crying, strangers telling me my baby needed to swallow, and me almost getting kicked off the plane for beating the crap out of said stranger (just kidding, but seriously? do you think i don’t know that my baby’s ears need to pop?). we were very very very happy to get home and back to normal, but it was fantastic being away and seeing my family.

all smiles…before the trip started.

some highlights from the past month:

meeting and visiting with parents, sisters, grandparents, great grandparents, aunts, great aunts, great great aunts and uncles, great cousins, and everyone under the sun in my hometown! s loved being the center of attention, chattering away to everyone, waving (i know! genius baby!), flirting, and kissing at every opportunity.

my parents…gram and poppa…with s. adorable!

sisters!

s and gram, who finally got her cuddles!

starting to become mobile…rolling across the room in one direction, arching her back and flipping over, lifting up her knees and bum and pushing off our legs and hands. it won’t be long til we have a crawler, and until i have a big problem. i’m tired just thinking about it.

where did my tiny baby go?

TEETH! well, one officially, but the second one is pretty much cut, too. i can’t believe my baby isn’t toothless anymore! this definitely means it’s almost time to start weaning (in the british sense of the word…). we’re going to try baby led weaning rather than purees and rice cereal, which means just giving hunks of baby sized food and letting her play with it and work on eating it. we have to wait until she can sit up on her own, but she’s almost there and we’re shopping tomorrow for a high chair! i have a feeling this blog will take a turn and follow this pretty closely, so if you’re ready for lots of pictures of messy, happy baby and messy, messy house then you’re in luck!

ok so you can’t really see teeth, but i can’t get her to open her mouth long enough!

FIVE YEARS of marriage. i can’t believe it’s been five years since we got married, and our wonderful adventure over here began! it’s flown by, and remembering it all has made me feel so old, but i wouldn’t change any of it for the world. we had every intention of having a date night on our actual anniversary, but s is a diva (my baby?! no way. ;)) and wouldn’t take a bottle for my mom. we settled for ice cream from coldstone instead. and wine. lots of wine.

p and s…my loves!

it was all over too quickly.

for those of you who came back to read this, thank you. sorry for the silence. i promise not to do it again! for your patience, i give you cuteness.

sign of a good vacation!

sicky baby.

s had her 16 week immunizations this wednesday and is battling a little bit of a fever. one of the first real crazy mom moments happens when your baby is sick and you can’t make her feel better! lots of cool things happening this week and next, too, so when all is better i’ll write about some of them! in the meantime, check out my friend awayathome’s new brave and awesome blog post here. (maybe i’ll be brave enough to post pictures like that some day!)

talk to you soon! ❤

the summer according to pinterest.

i’d been thinking about writing up a sort of summer to-do list, or a bucket list, but hadn’t got the motivation to do it until the fabulous e tells tales suggested a blog link up. now i’m not nearly creative (or energetic, these days) enough to come up with lots of ideas off the cuff, so for this bucket list i will defer to the other lover in my life. yes, i mean pinterest. my sweet evening affairs with this website leave me feeling encouraged, excited and jealous of other people’s lives. but i have actually DIYed my way through a few of the things on my pinboards over the last few months, including making an adorable hand and footprint salt dough keepsake for p for father’s day (like this one here).

now onto this summer:

1. get my hair did.

a few years ago i went crazy and had my hair highlighted completely. i think it was an accident. but i LOVE the full head of highlights look, and want my hair this short again. if i was a millionaire i’d get a brazilian blow dry so it would be kind of straight right after blow drying, but for now i will have to dream. plus, then i’d miss my curls. also, i will allow someone to babysit s so this can happen…i got my hair cut when she was three weeks old, but it consisted of literally handing off the baby to p after he returned from his own appointment, running to the hairdressers, and getting a few inches chopped off. i want an afternoon of styling. maybe with a mani/pedi.

2. organize my life.

this site has about 139847165 ideas for baby/home organization. none of which i accomplished before s was born. now our house isn’t exactly a hoarder’s home, but it could be cleaner. and more organized. so i will do at least one of these things on this list.

3. fly to the states!

Source: youtube.com via Kaitlin on Pinterest

the tips and tricks from mama natural‘s video blog are going to come in handy when p, s and i all hop on a plane in august to see my family. i’m only freaking out about the trip a little, and most moms who’ve traveled with babies and toddlers say that the earlier you fly (in terms of baby’s age), the easier the trip will be. i just know i’m going to have to kill some bitches with kindness, though, as they give me the black look of death for bringing an infant on board an airplane. it’s ok, i will leave nappy bags full of s’s stinkiest poop underneath their seats.

4. (re)learn to knit.

can you get any more adorable than this? i’m sure it’s super easy and would take about five seconds to do. plus, if you know me, you know that flip flops/sandals/any kind of shoe that doesn’t require socks is the best kind of footwear. s isn’t going to be small enough for this to be cute for that long! my grandmother, who’s in her mid 80s and only has partial vision, is the most amazing artist when it comes to knitting and crochet. she’s tried to teach me how to knit half a dozen times (bless her), so one day i’d like to make her proud by actually learning something.

5. get my craft on.

this super cute shag rug will be perfect for the kitchen. it will also solve my problem of having far too many items of clothes. every time we get a charity bag through the letterbox, i fill it up and return it with tons of my junk. it seems to regenerate almost immediately, and makes me a little sad. now is the time to simplify my life ever so slightly and focus on what’s really important rather than getting sucked into the material things of life. (if you’re super duper brave, you could be like my friend awayathomemom and live out of an RV with your family. so cool!) there are approximately a million more craft ideas i have yet to try out on my pinterest boards…check them out.

6. go swimming with s!

luckily this one involves shopping for bathing suits. also, i mostly want to do this because of the photography session. p gets in the bath with s at the moment (TMI? sorry) and keeps saying, can i dunk her? can i dunk her? and so far i’ve said no because i’m scared she’ll drown and we’ll be the idiots that tried to make their own baby swim. so i’m going to let the professionals help! s loves bath time now and i think she will enjoy the pool, too. plus, i need to get back in the water!

7. bake some sexy cakes.

those of you who have already perused my pinterest boards probably have gathered that my bff and i have half-joked about starting up a cupcake business. no, not like two broke girls, i hate that show. more like ace of cakes meets starbucks flavors meets english charm. it’s mostly a pipe dream, but if i ever win the lottery i will quit whatever semi-fulfilling job i have and open a cupcake shop. so to prepare myself i must get back in the kitchen and start baking. plus, p once told me that my gift for having our first child would be a kitchenaid mixer. i’m still waiting! (i’m sure it’s in the post. not.)

8. get picnicking.

after the disaster that was our last picnic-style outing (yes, i am a wussy mama) i am afraid i may instill the same neuroses in my daughter. so you heard it here first, everyone…i vow to spend more time outdoors with my family. i will lather up my baby with bug spray and sun screen (after six months, i think…before then i will keep her under a mosquito net and hide her from every ray of sun possible) and eat smores with my family. this i solemnly swear.

9. have a date night with p (and without s…sorry baby!)

my parents came to visit when s was five weeks old (they live across the ocean in the states) and tried to get us to go out to see the hunger games. i wasn’t ready to leave the baby and hadn’t tried pumping yet, and figured the logistics of organizing feeds around movie times would be too difficult…ok i was terrified of leaving s for more than five minutes. my mom told me that i’d be ready soon. a few weeks after she left, i sent her a text saying, you were right! i want a babysitter now! so p and i are already talking about date night ideas for our trip to the states. three weeks with my parents, grandparents, sisters, and aunt nearby = lots and lots and lots of babysitters! sorry, guys! s is lovely, i promise! and hopefully she’ll go the *&$@ to sleep for you.

10. lose the baby flab.

ok, so i know this photo doesn’t really coincide with the step. but having a positive body image and feeling good about myself includes losing my baby flab. i know that i’m beautiful, but i also want to feel healthy and sexy instead of lazy and glued to the sofa. even though i love me some big bang theory. so this summer i plan to find an evening zumba class, or vow to get up three times a week at six and walk/run (ok so i can’t run…yet. positive thinking!!!) to feel better about myself and to be a positive role model for s.

so that’s the list, for the most part! i’m sure our summer will consist of much more than this (and you’ll all hear about the lot, of course) but i’ll update you as these items get checked off! happy summer! ❤