Wednesday, March 30, 2011

4 months old!

We have a sick 4-month old in our house today! The poor thing has a runny nose and is stuffed up, making sleeping and eating rather difficult. Other than that, we're in pretty good spirits around here!

Stats (as of two weeks ago)
Weight: 13 lbs 12 oz
Height: 24.5 inches
Clothes: size 3-6
Diaper size: 3
Georgia and I in Colorado

This month was pretty crazy. We celebrated her 3-month birthday in the States, and have since come back to the UK. Dave went on a two-week business trip to South America and is back again. So, its been a busy month. Its amazing to see Georgia grow up so much. She is becoming much more like a little person and less like a baby.
During bath-time in Colorado

Development
Georgia is now rolling over pretty easily from tummy to back (see previous post for a video!). She has very good head strength when on her tummy. I've seen that she is trying to push up onto her knees, so crawling is approaching us fast! She is becoming much more coordinated with using her hands, grabbing items placed in front of her or on her lap and moving them towards her mouth. She is pretty interested in toys, especially the rattles and hard toys that feel good on her gums. One of her favorite things lately is to stand up. She loves being on her legs!
"spitting" on her fingers (or being "cheeky" if you're British)

Social
Georgia is still a very social baby. She gives smiles easily and seems happy to see new people. I've noticed she's a little less willing to be held by other people, but no tears yet! She goes through phases of finding her voice. One phase was spitting or blowing raspberries. We're now in the screaming/squealing phase. She has just recently learned how to laugh. We have to work hard to hear it, but it is so precious.
Another bath-time photo


Feeding/Sleeping
This is about the same as last month. I've been trying to keep track of her schedule to see if there is any pattern. A few insights: most days she takes 4 naps. Occasionally she'll get away with 3 longer ones. Her wake-up time is getting a bit earlier (probably the sun coming into the room!), usually around 7. She takes two morning naps, the second one is always at 11am. (which is terrible because church is during this time!) She's been going to bed around 6:30 or so every evening. She wakes up twice to eat, once usually at 9:30-10:30 and once around 4:45 (almost without fail!). This doesn't mean I get five or six hours of straight sleep - she does wake up once or twice in addition and needs a bit of settling - a pat, or her pacifier.
This past weekend, on a walk we took
4-month birthday photo!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

We have a roller!

Georgia has been rolling since the beginning of March (just past her 3-month birthday)- she did it first for my parents when I was out with my brother. And she did it a few times since then. But, just this week, almost every time she is on her tummy she rolls over! I caught it on tape:
Sorry the sound isn't great - I was talking to my mom on Skype at the time.

She has yet to roll from back to front, but I'm sure if she really wanted to, she could do this because she can roll pretty onto her side. See??
 Before we know it, we're going to have to start baby-proofing! This one is going to be a mover....

Friday, March 25, 2011

Friday Foods: Salsa

I don't post as much as I should, but I was thinking of creating a new feature on the blog called Friday Foods. I can post step-by-step directions for foods that I made that week. 

The first food that I've been making quite often is salsa. Dave and I have been looking for salsas that we like, but haven't found any yet. They sell the Doritos salsa and... that's about it! There's nothing fresh and exciting about that. So, I've been making my own salsa lately! It takes about 10 minutes and is yummy and healthy and pretty easy! I got the recipe from ThePioneerWoman. The only problem is she uses some ingredients that we can't get here. So, I've tweaked it a bit to make my own that is British-grocery-store-friendly! 


Into the food processor, throw some canned tomatoes. I use one can of chopped tomatoes. I'm sure the whole ones would be fine. Just make sure they don't have Italian spices.... that would mix things up! (and not in a good way!)

Into this, I added some applesauce (home-made! I had heard that some Mexican places add some... who knows?! Maybe..). I just had a little bit left, so I added all I had - maybe a large spoonful, or two?

The green bits are "green chillies" as they're known here. Really, I have no clue. They might be jalapenos, or they might be some other type of chili pepper. They sell peppers in the bag above. They are sold by color and heat. So, these are green chilies with medium heat. I think most of the time they're jalapenos, but sometimes they're shorter and pointier, so I'm not sure what they are. Anyways, I take one of these (or more!) Dice it, add a little to begin with and then I can add more if its not spicy enough for me. I've learned this the hard way.

I also have these. I add one or two of them to add some flavor. 

Add some garlic. Or lots. I tend to err on the side of a lot. Like 4-5 cloves.

Then some of this:
A handful of cilantro (or coriander, if you're British). I use a whole, small onion. You could put a half of a large one in (or if you like onions, use a whole one!).

I forgot to add some lemon juice (or lime juice, I'm sure would work!) Fresh-squeezed juice is the best!

Also a necessity is sugar and salt. I add little bits at a time... probably close to 1T of sugar and maybe about the same of salt. Blend well!

Overall, this is really easy, and tastes amazing. Its pretty healthy and disappears in a day or two. Its our little piece of Mexico in Britain.


Monday, March 21, 2011

Becoming like Europe... socialism

Lets face it. 
Most Americans today have an image in their minds of what Europe/Europeans is(are) like. 
Equality. Beauty. Education. Idealistic. History. Romance.
Really - a lot of Americans think that Europe is better than America in many regards. 

Why?


Is it because we go there on vacation? Because movies depict it as a wonderful place? Don't get me wrong. It is a great place! But yet there is a reason that America has been number one in the world.
That reason is:
God.
America was a country founded on Christian values and the freedom to worship God.
And I believe that God has blessed America because of that. 
The second reason that America is so great is because of its democracy.
Seriously.
In America, we have the freedom to buy what we want to buy, to say what we want to say, and do what we want to do.
We vote into office people who share our values (hopefully!)
We pick the doctor who we think is the best. And we go there when we need to! We can call our doctor any time of night or day with questions we have.
The government has minimal say over the products that go onto the market. If you want to buy a breakfast cereal that has more sugar than a bowl of cereal, you can!
Taxes are relatively low (compared to other countries). You can choose where you live and if you want to pay fewer taxes, you can move to a city with a lower tax rate. 
The role of the government is (or should be) to protect us.



Here's some things about Europe (well, namely England) that you may not know.
There are many, many regulations here. 
Sales tax is high - VAT (that everyone pays, regardless of where you live) is 20%. This makes shopping feel really expensive (okay, it doesn't just feel that way. It is). For example, Rimmel Nail Polish. At Boots, it is sold for £4.59 which is a little over $7. At Walgreens, you could buy the same bottle for $3.99 which is £2.50. For you men out there, ground beef at Vons costs $2.99 for a pound (this week - on sale!) and here, in the UK you can buy a little over a pound (500 grams - about 1.1 pounds) for the price of £4 normally, but on sale £3.33 (buy 3 for £10). That's about double the price.
The government tells you what you have to recycle. Some people can't even throw away any food particles (scraps of food, egg shells, bones, etc.). They have to buy a special trash can with "earth-friendly" bags for it and put all their food "junk" in it for recycling once a week.
Police left a note on our front door that we should close our windows so that no one would break into our house.
It is difficult to buy medicine. The chemist (pharmacist) limits how much you can buy. When going into the store, you can only buy one or two boxes at each time. They will actually tell you they can't sell it to you. When I went to buy some CalPol (tylenol) for Georgia, the chemist asked how old she was. This is when she was an infant, and I lied about her age in order to buy it. We didn't use it until she reached the recommended age, but it is amazing that there is such control over medicines.
In the US, they recommend that breastfed infants get Vitamin D. I asked the doctor here and he said it wasn't necessary. Not only do they believe its not necessary, they don't even sell it. There are no vitamins that you can buy in the stores for infants.
You need to pay for "free" TV. There is a yearly licensing fee (£145 or $235) per year.
Health care is government-owned/regulated.  Because of its inefficiencies, it can take a while to receive care. For example, one of my friends needed a mandatory surgery and has had to wait 5-6 months to receive it.
Inflation was set at 5% this past year. 



There is probably more... but this is just a start. A little insight into some of the differences that are based primarily on the differences in government.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

I really miss

My craft-i-ness.


I miss it a lot. Much more than I ever thought possible. 
I feel like I'm not able to be myself without it. 
Its such an amazing thing to conceive and design, spending time to plan and create.
When we lived in the US I had the space and time to do it. 
Now, I live in a 850 sq ft house with two bedrooms and barely any storage space. 
We rent and I really shouldn't put holes in the wall or paint anything. 
I have been putting my creative energy into taking care of a baby and cooking meals. 
Seriously. 
I now create by cooking dinner. 
And it is something. Indian, Mexican, researching and making things I've never done before. 
But, I still miss painting and sewing and fabrics and sandpaper.


I want a sewing machine. I want a craft room full of fabrics. I want to make pillows and pillow-case dresses. Seriously. How cute would Georgia be in this?


I want to make other dresses, like this and this.
(from kojodesigns)... seriously, how cute is this dress? and those leggings? ahhh!!! 

Here's my list so far. Those two dresses above. Three, including a pillow-case dress. 
I want to try making some hair accessories for the G-girl.
I could do this with felt and attach to a headband or hair clip. 
And these! They are adorable!! 

I could probably keep adding to this blog... gotta stop for now. 

And for the record, I did get to make one dress for G while I was in the US. I'll post the pictures from that soon! 
I also did buy some craft supplies - hair clips (alligator clips) and felt. I also purchased a hot glue gun, so I can try my hand at making some hair accessories. I'll let you know how that goes!

Friday, March 11, 2011

3 months

Please excuse my lack of posts. 
Dave, Georgia and I made our way back to the US, as Dave had a "work trip" and Georgia was able to visit grandparents and friends.  We are back on the correct side of the pond, catching up on life and laundry. 

I have some posts started, so hopefully over the next few days, I will be able to update this thing! 

Moving on....

We now have a 3-month old living in our house! Crazy!! Its amazing how quickly time flies. 


Weight: 13 lbs, 5 oz
Height: tall... growing out of clothes lengthwise.
Clothes: 3-6, some 6 month ones, as well
Diapers: size 3 (in the US, size 2)



Development:
Georgia can lift her head while on her tummy very well. She has great head support, and control over her head while we are holding her. She is able to grab things around her, her favorite being Aden and Anais blankets. They are soft and thin, and taste very good (I assume - they are always in her mouth)! She is just beginning to notice toys. She likes playing with Sophie the giraffe (its a teether that squeaks). Also, moms hands are one of the best toys ever created. Everything is beginning to go into her mouth.



Social
Georgia loves attention. I think she has the gift of WOO (winning other over) like her father, and is probably an extravert. She has trouble sleeping when we're out and about because she is so excited to see where we are and who is there. She loves smiling with her whole body, which is so much fun. She is quite a talker, and seems to have a lot to say.


Feeding/Sleeping
Because of our trip to the States, this is still unknown. With the jet lag, I'm not sure what is normal for her right now. She has been eating every 3 hours, night and day, so I am hoping that once we get into a more settled routine I can get more than 2-3 hours of sleep (at a time) at night. She has been sleeping extremely well. I've learned that she should only be awake for 45 minutes to an hour. (occasionally more). When she starts staring and slowing down, I swaddle her, turn on the sound machine, and into bed she goes. As long as I do this before she gets too tired, she goes to sleep without fussing at all! Its amazing! So, she takes 4- 5 short (45 minutes or so) naps a day. At night, she seems to need about 13 hours of sleep (minus getting up to eat). 

Activity
Georgia is a very active girl. While laying on her back, she enjoys kicking her legs in the air. She grabs anything thats within her reach. She loves to stand while we are holding her. She doesn't like being held in towards my body... but instead wants to be held facing outwards so that she can see the world. She loves to sit up on my lap. She seems to want to move, so I expect she will be frustrated until she can crawl or walk.