Monday, September 21, 2009

My happy day

I wanted to tell you all about my happy happy day because I had so much fun and don't want to forget it.

Yesterday was a beautiful sunshiny day and Mum, Dad and Mamgu took me to the beach to splash in the rock-pools, play with the sand and run around. The sand on this beach was very different to the sand in San Francisco and the stones in Gosport. It was all grainy and trickled through my fingers and tickled my toes:

After I'd had some lunch Mamgu took me to my first little rock-pool and I happily splashed around and watched my toes sinking into the softer sand. There were no fishies in that pool and luckily no crabs either:
Dad came along and dropped a couple of pebbles in there that made a lovely sploosh noise and I copied him a few times but then it was time to stretch my legs and show my Mamgu just how well I can run these days.

Mamgu and Mum took me down to a huge stretch of flat sand that had these tiny rivers of water running down them from the rock-pools to the sea. Because it was so flat I could run and run and run and only fell over a few times but I could also splash through the water without my Mum worrying that I was going to snort up a load of sea water and the sand was hard enough that I wasn't going to get it up my nose and in my eyes like I did at the playground last week.

I ran and ran and ran. I ran to my mum who threw me up in the air, I ran to my dad and then at the last minute before he could grab me I'd change direction and run to my mamgu. I thought all of this was very funny and giggled the whole time!

After I took my well earned nap that afternoon I had a smashing supper of fish and chips.  Well the chips were smashing, I wasn't so keen on the fish but then Mum kept taking bits of fish off my plate and replacing them with white fish-like stuff but it was covered in ketchup and tasted yummy so I ate lots of that.  Then everyone decided it was 'time for a walk'.  Boring I thought, but then I didn't realise that I could have as much fun running on grass as on the sand.  Mum, Dad, Mamgu and Grandpa Greg took me across to the common to watch the sunset and to run around on the common that's next to where my mamgu lives. It was great fun too. I had to put up with Mum and Dad bundling me up in fleeces and anoraks because the sun was going down and it was starting to get cold but once I was out and about it didn't matter. We crossed to common over to where the sun was going down and the waves were splashing against the rocks and I ran back and forth between the four of them and got thrown up into the sky loads of times. So much fun!

Grandpa Greg took some smashing photos of me:
He's going to put the rest on his website, I'll post the link when they're there.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

The things Leah hates....

  • Having her hair washed
  • Having her hair brushed
  • Clipping her hair out of her eyes
  • Having her hair in her eyes
  • Going anywhere near her hair
  • Hairdressers
  • Having her face washed
  • Having her nappy / diaper changed
  • Putting her clothes on
  • Taking her clothes off
  • Having her sleeves rolled up for her
  • Going to bed
  • Being removed from Early Learning Centre / Mothercare / any shop with a kids section
  • Being told not to touch / kiss the TV
  • Helping her drink from a cup
  • Helping to feed her if she's in the mood to feed herself
  • Taking absolutely anything off her
  • Sitting in her carseat
  • Being strapped into her stroller
  • Generally anything that restricts her in anyway

Ahhh very cathartic

Saturday, September 12, 2009

The trip so far....Part II: The Frenchies & Gosport

I realise this is going to have limited impact without photos but until I get to Wales and get a cable to upload from my camera words will have to do. So what have we been up to this week?

Paul's friend Chris kindly picked us up from the airport and took us to Weybridge where the lovely V met us with cups of tea and flapjacks. Despite the general lack of sleep everyone was fairly well behaved and managed to keep up a semi-coherent level of conversation. Little Julie was asleep upstairs but Leah wasted no time getting familiar with what she seemed to presume was her new home; toddling from the front room, to the dining room, to the kitchen, out the back door and into the garden only to turn around again and repeat the journey. She was delighted with V's loan of a mini pushchair that she insisted on dragging (not pushing) with her along her chosen route.

Missie J soon woke up and, despite an interloper making herself at home in her territory, adapted fairly quickly and the two girls were soon playing peek-a-boo in the garden shed and generally chasing each other back and forth giggling and shouting and watching their favourite TV program.
The man of the house came home in time for dinner and set about getting some food into both girls, one on each side and happily entertained them in the garden falling over and being climbed on by both while Paul, V and I drank champagne and beer and watched.
We put both girls in the bath and after a few tears of tiredness Leah managed to sleep until 5 in the morning which we were very pleased with, it also meant that she had to come in and snuggle up with me for a couple of hours to give the rest of the house some peace and quiet which I was very pleased with.

We spent the next couple of days hanging out in Weybridge and at the very lovely house in Surbiton that we've been lucky enough to swap our apartment for.
Then, after an amazingly brief but successful encounter with the US embassy where my visa renewal was approved we headed down to Gosport to visit Leah's Nannny, Grandad, 2 aunties and uncle. She seems to not totally hate the car seat we're using and happily fell asleep not far down the A3. She remained asleep when we arrived in Gosport leaving Nanny and Grandad to peer at her through the car window which must have been very difficult for them as no doubt they were itching to get a cuddle and a kiss.

Leah coped with all the attention very well and although she got off to a slow and shy start she was soon running around the house like she owned it (3 houses visited, all three thoroughly checked out and approved by our girl), running in and out of every single room to make sure she'd checked out every corner - not for the first time was I reminded how having a toddler is like having a dog :). She had a lovely garden to play in and was soon chatting away to her Grandad and telling him about all her trip so far. The highlight of the trip was the few hours we spent in Gosport town center on our last but one day. After some play time on the swings we walked into the town center for lunch and then over to watch the ferries coming in and out. Leah was fully warmed up to her Gosport family at this point and ran around laughing, pointing and shouting and really enjoyed walking along holding hands with one parent and one grandparent and then both grandparents. Apart from a slightly embarassing moment where she tried to adopt another grandad who was sat on a park bench it was a lovely afternoon - beautiful weather and great fun.
Our last morning by the seaside was a very grumpy one, Leah grizzled the whole time and was very put out when I attempted to paddle in the sea with her. As I held her she lifted her legs way up so that they wouldn't touch the sea and shouted very loud at me. Thinking all the time about how disappointed Mamgu would be by a grandaughter who wasn't going to paddle in the sea it finally twigged that that nasty molar that has been threatening to erupt for some time now was actually causing her a lot of pain. One dose of Motrin later she was a different girl shrieking with delight as I hid behind the sofa and jumped out at her - each time she'd squeal and cuddle into her Nanny which was lovely and very funny. We waited until we'd tired her out before packing everything, and Leah, into the car and heading back to Surbiton. Leah was asleep before we'd got on the A3 and she snored the whole way home. So fingers crossed, paddling in Porthcawl is still on the table.

The trip so far...Part 1: The Flight

I thought I'd fill you in on the trip so far whilst Leah conducts her nap strike upstairs (one of the lows). We left sunny SF on Thursday 3rd Sept after a long couple of weeks for me desperately trying to roll out phase 1 of my project before my holiday so that I could say I achieved something this year. As we pulled off the 101 I realised we'd forgotten the stroller giving Paul and me approx 90 seconds of 'do we turn around, do we manage without' discussion before we'd pass the terminal. We decided on a middle ground which was to check in and then send Paul back to Kylie's house to pick up their stroller since it would be 30 mins off the round trip.

After that hurdle we settled into life on the plane, after offering a very nice man our two seats for his one we got to sit in the much sought after bassinet position and by 8.30 Leah was cozied up in her bassinet and fast asleep.
We congratulated ourselves, ate dinner (me about 20 minutes before Paul - vegetarians always get their meals first but the 'wine with your meal' usually comes about 45 minutes later), and settled in to watch The Hangover. At 10pm Leah was awake, after a bit of grizzling, following by shouting, followed by screaming she resorted to the killer smile + 'hiya' which always signals the end of nap time. Since the little boy in the bassinet next to her was starting to stir we took her out and she immediately starting running laps around the plane. We played with her in the galley. We took her down to the toilets to show her the not very interesting view outside. We took her into the toilets to play with the paper cup dispenser. We ran many laps around our section of the plane with Leah practically high-fiving people as she passed. We then started operating in shifts so that each adult could get some rest while little miss Ever Ready just kept on running. Four hours later she gave in and went back to sleep. We spent the rest of the flight watching nervously as the seatbelt signs flashed on and off, worried that we'd have to get her out of her bassinet and hold she who cannot be restrained. She managed another 2 hours and then woke up again, this time going straight for the 'hiya' as Paul and I tried to hide underneath her table in a vain attempt to avoid eye contact. A few more laps of the plane and many many 'the wheels on the bus's later we had touched down in Blighty.

Total plane journey time: 9.5 hours
Leah's total sleep: 3.5 hours
Ruth's total sleep: 20 mins
Paul's total sleep: 10 mins