Oct 24, 2014

A walk through Princes Street Gardens

Today around 4:00PM I experienced a minor episode of cabin fever.  Neal was busy working on term papers, I was busy working on job apps, Eleanor was busy working on gnawing her way through my backpack, and our flat was starting to feel stuffy and cramped.  I told Neal that no matter what we were up to at 4:30, we were leaving the house for a walk.  So we did.  We went to Princes Street Gardens, a beautiful park right on a busy street full of clothing stores and boutiques, just below the castle.  It was a bit chilly, but E was snug in her bundle bag (one of my top five most useful baby purchases) and we took our time.  Breaks are important.  It's just a matter of re-motivating yourself after the break is over ;)




















'Tis the season for lots and lots of pictures of trees :)


Oct 20, 2014

October, I love you

What a glorious month.  It's cliche' and everyone's favorite, but I think October is a young adult's Christmas.  Yesterday as we were relaxing after church with a light rain drizzling outside our window, pulled pork simmering in the crock pot, and E conked out in her crib, I felt absolutely giddy for no reason other than 'fall'!

Neal is reeeaally busy with school.  He has three papers due by the end of the month and has been lamenting about how hard it is to stay inside and study when there is so much to do out there.  But we are here for school, so instead of playing, we've been cooped up in our flat as he works on projects.  Neal's brother and his wife are coming to visit the first week of November so we know there will be plenty of time for fun while they're here.

I have been working on a job opportunity that will allow me to work from home.  I'm in the final stage of my application (it has several tests, hard ones!) and am crossing all my fingers and toes that it will work out.  Wish me luck!

Neal had a weekend retreat with his program at the Marriot on the edge of Edinburgh, and Eleanor and I were able to tag along.  She and I didn't do much aside from eat fancy food and watch two hours of the X Factor (we haven't had a TV our entire marriage! it was amazing.) but we had a wonderful time.  What is about staying in a hotel that is so exciting and makes you feel like you're on vacation even if you haven't left town? This one was pretty darn beautiful.  We explored the grounds just before sunset.








And now a bit about my baby girl.  This Saturday Eleanor will be eight months old.  Eight!!  When strangers ask her age, I often start to say 'four months,' because it seems like she was just there.  The first six months of her life we watched her age physically before our eyes; growing out of clothes every other week, the plumping up of her already chubby thighs and cheeks, and the grand appearance of eyebrows (a massive relief).  I never tired of the repetitive newborn wake-eat-sleep cycle, because it was so fun to watch her grow and to observe the world through her big blue eyes.

We've been in Scotland almost two months, and in the time that we've been here, this kid has gone from refusing baby food, sleeping through the night and sometimes-rolling-over to eating everything in sight, waking up every few hours, and gained an obsession with crawling and cruising.  It's like living with the Tasmanian Devil.

Eleanor never really liked processed baby food, and I really didn't like feeding it to her.  It smelled weird, was incredibly messy and every bite seemed to make her gag.  So I've started giving her pieces of almost whatever we're eating and she's taken to that so much better.  She prefers to feed herself with her determined pincer grasp. When I lift her into the high chair she gets soo excited and starts pounding on the tray until I give her some food. It's really cute, in a savage-y kind of way.

They say most babies go through a sleep regression around this age.  It's supposedly a "phase".  We really lucked out when E was a newborn because she slept 7-7 with one midnight feeding from just a few weeks old.  She always slept in her crib without a fight.  But recently the tables have turned.  She goes down fine, but wakes up every few hours, screaming at the top of her lungs.  We'll walk into her room to find her standing up, hands clenched on the crib rail, head back, wailing at the ceiling. As soon as she sees us she starts flapping her arms, the tears halt, and she squeals like a monkey.  So I'm pretty sure she wakes up, realizes we aren't with her, and freaks out.  We've definitely been dealing with separation anxiety during the day. She panics if I leave the room for two seconds.  She gets so frustrated if I'm doing laundry and walk from room to room while she's trying to crawl after me but can't keep up.  If I'm in the kitchen cooking or doing dishes, she's wrapped around my leg 80% of the time.  If I head to the bathroom, it's about 20 seconds before Eleanor zooms around the corner and barges in on me.  In a way, it makes me feel great that my kid likes me so much, but it's also difficult to function!  By the second or third time she wakes at night I just bring her into bed with us and and am woken in the morning by my wide-eyed daughter squeezing my face.  She insists on sleeping on top of me instead of between us, so I have to sleep on my back, which I hate.  I never wanted to co-sleep.  Our bed is supposed to be our bed.  But it's getting to the point that neither Neal or I even remember getting up in the night at all.  When we wake up we try to figure out which one of us brought her in and seldom can.  I mean, it's hard to correct a bad habit if you're doing it subconsciously.  So I'm hoping she grows out of this soon.  And I know I'm making it worse by letting her sleep with us.  Anybody have advice for our dilemma?

The more interactive Eleanor becomes, the more I enjoy being a parent.  She loves being read to; it's the only time she completely relaxes in my lap. I try to read to her between every nap and she's finally started paying attention to the pictures instead of trying to eat the book the whole time. We only packed eight or so board books from the dozens we had at home, so I have them all memorized and am honestly sick of them.  Eleanor has no idea of course, so I can't justify buying new books.  Kate suggested I find a library and I really need to, it would be a good way to get out of the house and spice up our reading material.

She also melts when we sing to her.  Part of her bedtime routine is "You Are My Sunshine" and she turns to jello, raises her arms above her head as I rock her, and starts 'singing' along.  She gets a sleepy smile and looks like she's in complete bliss.  Adorable enough that I strongly consider keeping her up with us for another hour.

Now for a photo dump:

The Blosser women sent us a package with some cold weather essentials! Looking out for E <3
Two seconds before she tried to eat the whole thing
We're proud of these thighs.






I think I'm done rambling.  Off to ponder crucially important things, like whether Eleanor should be a strawberry or a duck for Halloween.

Oct 1, 2014

Portobello Beach

Yesterday we spent the afternoon at Portobello beach, which runs along the coast of the Firth of Forth. It was 65 degrees outside with just a little breeze, and we thought we should take advantage of the sun before it hides for the winter.




Who gave you a lick of ice cream? tsktsk.

This guy took a swim. Said it was absolutely freezing. This girl is happy she stayed on shore.



You're A-OK, Portobello beach.