Thursday, 28 July 2011

Look!

Two posts in the same week! Aren't you lucky!

I just had to share a few more cute things that Liara is doing lately, things I forgot to mention last post.

- Any time a helicopter flies overhead (which is often... we're right on the direct path of the choppers picking up/dropping off guys to and from the rigs in the North Sea for their shift changes) Liara points to the sky (or the windows if we're inside) and says "OOH Copter!" She then waves like a mad woman until she can't hear or see it anymore. It's adorable, even when she wakes up from a nap to do it (yes, she's done that several times...).

-One of her favorite games/hobbies is running. She will shout that she's "running!" and then run from one end of the house to the other. Then shout "running!" again and run back. Over and over again.

-She's very self-sustaining. When she wants a snack, she'll go get one (most likely cereal or a pretzel from the tub on the table, which means she gets to climb onto one of the chairs) or if she's thirsty, she'll get a bottle of water from the cupboard and bring it to you to open. Oh, she's making my life so much easier!

-She still LOVES to dance. Anytime there's music on (and there aren't strangers around), she's dancing to it. She then looks around the room and points at you until you're dancing with her. Everyone has to dance.

- Did I say she loves to read... because I really meant it. Today we have read 84 books so far (it's 3:45)... I decided to keep track, just to see. It's no wonder she gets bored with our books and loves when we go to the library! I love that she's a bookworm and can just see her absorbing all those glorious words!

-She is very aware when the phone rings and will shout "phone" and get it and bring it to you if it is nearby. If not, she continues to shout "oh no! Phone!" until you get it.

-She's a great helper. If you are doing laundry she will empty the washing machine for you, put the dirty clothes in, and then wait for you to add the soap. When you're done, she'll push the start button and then clap. What really gets me is that she loves to smell the clothes to see if they're clean and will let you know the results (either "YUCK" or "mmmm"). Lol. She also helps to pick up her toys and will fetch anything you ask for (as long as she can carry/reach it).

-She always wakes up happy. She gives the best morning hugs and kisses, and will always wave at you. My favorite part though, is if Daddy's still sleeping, she'll imitate him (making a snoring sound) and then giggle. :) Too funny.

-She loves to tickle people. Although it's more of her saying "tickle tickle" and almost scratching you... it's still cute.

-She loves baths. She doesn't ever want to get out (but will if you say it's time) and just plays and plays and plays in there. Her favorite bath time toy is her tea set, and she'll pour you a mean cup of bath water tea.

-She gives love pats when she hugs. I love this!

-She used to make this face (we never caught it on camera and she hasn't made it in over a week now... bummer) that cracked us up. She would tilt her head down and look out of the top of her eyes (like she was rolling her eyes at you...) and keep a super serious face, then she'd look up and laugh. Oh, it was cute. I'm hoping it'll come back and I can catch it. She just never wanted to do it on film.

-She gets on the scale every morning before breakfast... I'm pretty sure she's seen me do it to check my weight gain for this pregnancy. Perhaps not the best habit for a child, but it's still pretty cute.

Ok... my little girl is tired of "running" now, so I'll go.

Tuesday, 26 July 2011

All My Children

Ok, so I figured I'd start with the baby. We had our 20 week ultrasound on Monday (our third and final ultrasound, that we know of). The baby looked beautiful and was perfectly formed as it should be. We got to fully inspect the heart ventricles and cavities, brain, spine, legs, kidneys, arms... etc. Pretty much everything except the genitalia. If you missed it when we were pregnant with Liara, they don't tell you the sex of the baby here. If you ask, they tend to get really grumpy about it and point out the numerous signs on the wall saying that they don't determine the sex of the baby and they'd prefer if you didn't ask about it (we found this out when we asked WHERE we could go to find out the sex if we so desired with Liara. We didn't even ask her specifically if she would tell us, just where we could go to find out). There are private clinics here that you can go to, they normally charge around 60 pounds (100 dollars) for a 2D sexing scan, or around 120 pounds for a 3D one. We decided not to with Liara since it didn't really matter and we aren't sure whether we'll find out with this one either. Again, it doesn't really matter what sex the baby is (and we have a feeling it's a girl anyway) and we'll find out in 20 weeks anyway! The tech this time was pretty nice and gave us 6 pictures to take home (usually it's 3-4) including these two which were my favorites. I have all of them on facebook if you're interested in seeing the others.

This one is our sweet baby waving it's hand at us. We told Liara that the baby was waving at her and she seemed to like that. She didn't really understand what was going on while we were there (and was a little more impatient this time than the other two, but they were shorter than this one was so I guess that was expected). I love how you can see each little finger so well... such a nice little hand print to keep :)
This one (pardon the huge spaces... Nic scanned the pictures in at work and I haven't taken the time to crop off the extra space around the edges) is our baby's face. The baby kept sucking it's thumb and then for this picture pulled it out and yelled a little. I think it was tired of the tech trying to get it to move around so that she could see all the valves in the heart. I like how it looks like it's smiling though... even if it isn't.

Ok. Onto our first sweet baby, or toddler that is. I can't believe she's already 18 months! She's growing like a weed and it seems like every day she's saying more and more (because she is... she's learning about 10 new words a day I swear) and doing more and more (again... she is). She's such a joy and I can't even express in words how much I love that girl! We loved her name because it meant "my light" in Hebrew and to be honest, I think it's perfect for her. She definitely lights up my life and I'm not sure how I faced the world without her. She has made me so unbelievably happy. Anyway, enough about how she makes me feel... on to the good stuff: what's been going on for her.

Height: 31.5"

Weight: According to our scale (which is probably wrong) 23 lbs

Likes: Playing with Mommy, building towers with blocks, climbing on any chairs or object that will get her higher than she's supposed to be, playing with playdoh, doing puzzles, re-organizing our movie drawers, reading (Li LOVES to read), bath time, playing with her sand table, playing with the kitties across the street, visiting the ponies/horses, helping Mommy with laundry, swinging, playing with her friends, jumping on the couch/trampoline/floor... dancing, singing and painting.

Dislikes: Being away from Mommy...

Favorite Foods: Shepard's pie, carrots, peas, potatoes, candy, cookies, pizza, cheese, milk, water (this girl LOVES water... especially if it's flavored), blueberries, strawberries, plums, nectarines. She likes pretty much anything though.

Foods she doesn't care for: Raspberries

Animal Sounds: Cow (moo), Cat (meow), Dog (woof and aoooo for howling), Donkey (hee-haw), Owl (who who), Sheep (baa), Goat (maa), Horse (she whinnies, SO cute), Goose (honk), Bee (bzz), Snake (ssss), Duck (quack)

Words she says (this isn't a complete list, as I can't remember them all... but I figure ~150 will give you a general idea): Mommy/Mama, Daddy, Book, More, Oh no, Uh oh, Bike, Shoes, Cheese, Banana, Belly Button, Nose, Black, Red, Green, Purple, Go, Sock, Out, Shirt, Dink (pacifier), Teeth, Booby, Milk, Bob (Godfather), Grandpa, Mick (Mickey Mouse), Yeah, Cat, Tea, Bye, No, Good, Girl, Hello, Hi, Ball, Wow, Drink, Juice, Broke, Cow, Pringle, Please, Rock, Up, Weee!, Awww!, Man, Back (both for the back of the body and coming back from somewhere), Toes, Come, Night, Pee, Phone, Cookie, Help, At, Paint, Work, Bath, One, Two, Three, Four, Five, Six, Seven, Eight, Nine, Ten, Snack, Duck, House, Kite, Dog, Nap, Big, Sorry, Hot, Pretty, Ring, In, Minnie, Water, Mat, Bug, Birdie, Bum, Car, Money, Home, Horse, Manny, Plum, Candy, Poky, Puppy, Giggle, Tickle, Best, Sister, Friend, Bottle, Walk, Carry, Ella (her friend), Brush, Bite, Bus, Bee, Shower, Potty, What's That, Clothes, Bed, Morning, Trash, TV, Chair, Cold, Lotion, Airplane, Pizza, Dinner, Eye, Ear, Mouth, Read, Honey, Movie, Wet, Baby, Sleeping, Windy, Heavy, Booger, Mess, Dressed, Running, Bag, Play, Swing, Slide, Park, Ride, Moon, Tay Tay (her cousin), Dax (her cousin), Cup, Tower, Swim, Hair, Boots, Puzzle, Glasses, Build, Ta (Scottish way of saying thank you), Toys... you get the idea.

She can combine those words in strings... usually up to three words (like "mommy build tower", or "daddy at work?" "more pringles please" etc...). I'm certainly proud of her and am so pleased that we're communicating enough now to actually really understand each other. It's so nice!


She's growing so fast and becoming such a big girl. She's polite and helpful and wonderful in every way. Yes, she throws a mean fit every now and then, but it's very few and far between them, so that's understandable. Most of the time it's when she's overly hungry or tired anyway...

She's more beautiful than I ever imagined. I think she looks so much like her Daddy, but every now and then I see myself in her (or more often, my father... which makes me happy). She's very funny too, I'm glad she has a sense of humor! Oh, I am so in love with this girl it hurts sometimes.

Anyway, here are a few pictures for you. This first one is one of my favorites, despite the bit of cereal still on her face from breakfast :)

She's very inquisitive... here, she's looking for the cats at the neighbor's house. She knows they live in that barn and was checking to see if they were home (yep!).
Here's Li playing in one of the ball pits/bouncy castles at Fugro's family bbq from the 3rd of July. She had a lot of fun.
I think that about wraps it up... I can't think of anything else (but that's not to say there isn't more!). I'm off to bed now! Goodnight :)

Raincheck...

I DO have a post for you guys about my sweet 18 month old and all of her accomplishments. I even have a word list going of all the things she can say (it's quite long and I know I'm still missing tons!). I also have an update on baby dos, since we had an ultrasound yesterday.

However... my house is a mess and Liara is a busy girl making it even more of a disaster zone. For some reason she's quite clumsy today as well (perhaps because she's tripping over some of her toys every two seconds because I haven't had a second to pick them all up...) so I'm trying to watch her like a hawk.

I WILL get to it, I promise... just maybe not until bedtime. :) I haven't forgotten though, and I can't wait to share just how proud I am of my children (yep... both of them!).

Sunday, 10 July 2011

Things that make me smile :)

Yep, you get two posts today... one not so happy, and then this one! To be honest, I prefer the smiling faces of my sweet girl and amazing husband. This is the way life should be, always.

Here's Nic and my adorable kitty cat, Liara. Yes, the lady did a pretty awful job and Liara cried while she painted it on (and while she tried to rub it off completely)... but we got a few smiles in the middle.
Here's Liara and I going down a massive slide at one of the nearby parks.
My girl L.O.V.E.S. to swing. She's just like I was as a kid (who am I kidding... I'm still a massive swing lover). I love how happy she is as soon as she's in one :)
This next picture was taken at a friend's wedding... and it makes my heart burst every time I see it. How in the world can anyone love someone more than I love these two people? Oh, they make me happy.
And, lastly... my sweet smiling girl. Overwhelming, I tell you. Love, love, love.

Conflicted

I know it's been a while since I've last posted... it isn't because there isn't anything going on or that there is an especially large amount to write about either. We've just been living life as it comes and trying to prepare ourselves for the massive change ahead. I'll be 18 weeks along in this pregnancy on Monday (it's late Saturday night) and our precious little girl is going to be 18 months on the 23rd. I can't even begin to tell you how overjoyed/sad that makes me. I don't know how I should be feeling really. My baby girl is growing up so very fast. On one hand I am unbelievably proud and happy with her, on the other, I wonder about the baby in my belly, and if I'll feel this way about them as well. I know I'll love them unconditionally and that I'll be proud of him/her in the same way... but will I have the time to really appreciate all that I do now? Or will I be so frantic trying to keep up with the both of them that their childhoods simply pass me by? I feel like if I blink for too long that I'll miss something with Liara... something I would have liked to have seen and treasured. So far, I've caught every momentous occasion (first step, first word, first hug, first kiss, first time to stack blocks into a tower, first pretty much everything). Will I be so blessed with our second child? Who knew that you could be so completely happy and yet so fearful at the same time?

I've been watching Mildred Pierce on TV (although I'm not sure exactly why... I end up feeling a little depressed after every part, I only have two left and I'm pretty glad about it). In the second episode/part (spoiler if you haven't seen it...) her youngest daughter dies and she deals with it by crawling into bed with her oldest. A friend of mine was recently discussing what she would do if she lost one of her children and how she'd be grateful that she at least still had one and could still be considered a Mom. Both of these instances (Mildred climbing into bed and my friends' discussion) have left me a little heartbroken. I am pretty certain that if I lost either child, I'd fall apart. Yes, I'd try to hold myself together so that I could still be there to support the other child... but I'm not sure how successful I'd be. I certainly wouldn't feel like one was enough of a replacement for another. I can't even begin to explain the love I have for Liara and I don't think anyone could ever take her place or fill a void should she somehow be gone (God forbid, I'd lose it). Yet, at the same time... I would never ever consider this second child to be a "back up" either and I can't even imagine losing him/her, despite not ever really meeting them yet.

I'm not sure where all the morbid thoughts are coming from, but they scare me. Maybe because I'm a little scared about having two children. Not the actual act of raising them or labor even, but the part about where you are supposed to treat them equally. I've always felt that my sister was my mother's favorite. It bothered me a little as a kid, but I felt like my sister needed that love a little more than I did, so it was ok. I played more of a supporting role in the family (in more ways than one) and to be honest, it's helped me turn out into who I am today. I'm perfectly fine with that. However... I don't want my children to feel that way. I want them to both feel like they are the center of my universe and that I just absolutely adore them (as I hope Liara feels now). I'm just not sure how to go about doing that. I guess it will probably just happen naturally when the time comes. Or, at least, that's what I'm hoping.

I tend to get very introspective when Nic is away... he's on a business trip at the moment so I guess you get to hear my ramblings instead of him (perhaps that's why I don't blog often, because he's my sounding board). Poor you. Haha. I'm a little jealous of him this time. He's flying to Houston for a meeting on Monday, then flying back on Tuesday afternoon. We have already booked our flights for our family vacation in August (we'll be in Houston for about 3 weeks!) and I'm super excited about it. I can't wait to be back on American soil. I'm jealous that he gets to go now, even if it is a stressful time for him professionally (he's trying to win an important contract) and it is a super short turn around time. I am just so unbelievably homesick. I feel like we are stuck over here. When we moved over here I thought it was going to be this grand adventure, and that we would travel all of Europe and do exciting things... and then after that, we'd go back home. I figured we'd be here for about two years, just long enough.
We'll have lived here four years in October, and yet we've only seen the UK. Well, Nic has been to Paris and Norway and a few other places on business... but I didn't get to tag along for various reasons. And four is definitely more than two. I didn't picture us having two kids while living across the ocean from all our family and close friends. I didn't know just how much I loved my own country (I did, but didn't fully appreciate it). I didn't know just how much of an outsider I would feel like over here. Yes, we have friends over here, and they are wonderful. However, I can't help but feel like I'm missing out at home. I can't help but feel like we've put our lives on hold a little while we are over here. I can't help but want, no scratch that, NEED to go home. I will have to deal with just looking forward to our visit in August and then the baby coming in December. After that, it will be Liara's 2nd birthday, and then I'll have to come up with something else to look forward to, I'm sure I'll think of something.

Anyway, I'm off to bed to start a new book (I might actually have time to read since there aren't as many people to cook/clean for or clothes to iron, etc.). Hopefully Nic will call to say he's arrived safely and then I'll get a good nights sleep alone in my big ol' bed. I think one of Liara's books has a recording of someone snoring... maybe I'll have to pull that out just so I can trick myself into thinking Nic is there. Pathetic I know. Goodnight!