Saturday, September 29, 2012

22 months!

Well, having an almost-2-year-old just keeps getting better and better! Georgia is so much fun, and we just love having her around. This month she has started using the potty (she has gone 3 times the last couple days!) and she is talking up a storm. Its so fun to be able to communicate with her, and she is very able to tell me what she's thinking about.



Weight: 29.2 pounds
Height: 36.5 inches
Still waiting on the 2-year molars
Size 7 shoes

Sleep: We had an up and down month. The first part of the month, she slept great! Sleeping through the night, we had a growth spurt that included 4-hour long naps. Life was great! The last half of the month, she's had a lingering cough that was waking her up at night. Poor thing, coughing fits that would go on and on and I just imagine her throat was pretty sore. Anyways, she was waking up twice (or more) at night. Its only been the last two days or so that her cough has gone away, and her sleeping habits are slowly improving.

Eating: We've figured out that the more she eats, the better she sleeps. She is all-in-all a fairly good eater, but we've been trying to get her nice and full at night. So, after Dave and I are done eating, we sit at the table and read books to her and shovel more food in her mouth. She still absolutely loves corn and asparagus.


Nursing: Still going strong. She now clarifies that she wants "mama's milk".  I think that we will probably end this period of our lives after our move next month. Not sure how that really is going to happen because she doesn't seem to want to quit.

Activity: We started baby ballet again this fall (we did it for a month in the spring). Its amazing to see how much better she is at following directions and being able to do all the moves - walking on tip toes, jumping, twirling around, etc.


Memory/Understanding: We have started telling her that we are going to move back to the US. I really don't know how much she can understand, but she tells me at least twice a day (while pointing up to the sky), "plane! Nana, Baba, Fry!" I have to tell you the emphasis is on French Fry. She will say this whenever she sees a plane in the sky, or if I mention Nana or Baba.

Talking: Her word explosion continues! She talks about her friends, what she did that day, tells me what she wants to do, what she wants to eat, and so on. She still mostly talks in one and two word "sentences" but occasionally she'll put more words together. One phrase she says a lot: "Georgia do it!" She knows colors (but mixes up blue and purple), numbers - and can actually read them (if she sees a 5 will say, "five"), and most of her shapes. She doesn't know how to count in order yet - she still often says, "five, eight, nine".

TV/Ipad - she has too much screen time. Right now, in this time in our lives, I have rationalized it because of the difficulty of playing with her due to moving and cleaning. The weather is cold and rainy much of the time now, and it is difficult to send her outside to play. She absolutely loves Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, and most of the time I live with the "hot dog" song stuck in my head. The other show she likes is Shaun the Sheep - a little kid version of Wallace & Gromit.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Big day!

The last couple days have been just a lot of fun. The days that its easy to be a mom. Georgia is happy (although not sleeping great), she is talking up a storm. She is getting to the age where she is learning so many new words that sometimes I don't even know what she is saying! Her personality just is shining through, and she is so goofy and curious and stubborn all at the same time.

Right before her nap, Dave and Georgia and I were all upstairs, and I was about to change her diaper and put her in bed. She started yelling, "badaba out-ide!, badaba, badaba!" Dave and I were just giving each other inquisitive looks, trying to figure out what she was saying. "Do you want to go outside?" "No." And all of a sudden she just leaves the room and goes downstairs, yelling, "badaba!" and then I remember. Spiders. She usually calls spiders "spadaba". When she comes back upstairs we ask her, "are there spiders outside?" "Yes!" She has inherited her moms hatred of those 8-legged creatures.

I have been preparing her for our move back to California. Pretty much all I've told her is that we're going to go on a plane in a couple weeks and live nearby Grandma, Grandpa and French Fry. I didn't really think she caught on until the last couple of days. She will see an airplane and will immediately shout out, "Fry! Nana! Baba! Plane!" And I reassure her that yes, we will see French Fry in a couple weeks ;)

This morning she was running around naked. She actually does this quite a bit. (don't all kids like to be naked?) I had gone upstairs to change and she was calling me and I went back downstairs to find that she had peed (just a little) on the couch, and now was sitting on her little potty. I reminded her gently that next time she needs to pee in the potty, and I went back upstairs. Well, two minutes later I hear her yelling, "poop!" and I come running downstairs. She is in the kitchen. No poop. Thankfully. She then tells me, "potty!" and I go with her to her potty. And its full! She had actually peed in her potty. This is the first time its happened, although we've had lots of naked time the last month or so. She seems to have the worlds biggest bladder (no joke - will only pee once a day, during her nap). Ok... now that you know way more about her bladder than you need to, isn't it just fun? A little girl that is learning to pee on the potty. We got to call (and wake up) her Aunt Kate to share the good news. I'm sure Kate was thrilled with her 1am wakeup call.

Lastly, a video from last night. In order to get her to eat a little more (short attention span and doesn't want to sit at the table for more than 10 minutes), we read books to her after Dave and I are done eating. She can read her numbers, and knows all her animal names. And her colors. I know I'm her mom, but isn't she just cute?

Monday, September 17, 2012

Answers

A while ago, I posted that we were trying to figure out what comes next after our stint here, in London. Dave had originally signed a 2-year contract. We have honestly been thinking about our options since probably January. We have talked about them. We have turned down opportunities. And we finally know what we are doing next. We still don't know all the details - like where we'll be living a month from now... haha!

We do know that Dave is taking a job at Pomona College in Claremont, overseeing their endowment. He accepted their offer last week and turned in his resignation at World Vision. Please continue to pray for us as this month is going to be absolutely crazy! We have some last minute shenanigans planned with our friends (going to Wales for 4 days), Dave has a week-long trip to the Caribbean (and yes, I am extremely jealous, but one of us has to stay here and do some actual work!), then we have a week to pack/clean and we leave! We have movers coming the second week of October and will fly home to the US sometime around the 14th or 15th of October. Dave will start his new job the following week.

Please pray for us as we begin this new transition - selling and packing items in the UK, saying goodbye to friends, finding a house, figuring out how to furnish the house, waiting for our shipment from the UK (probably won't get all our things until the beginning of December), figuring out cars, staying in hotels and short-term housing until we find a place to live, flights, dealing with jet lag once again and on and on. Now... to take picture and list the items we need to sell!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Adventures of travling with a toddler

Georgia has now been on 8 trans-Atlantic flights (the shortest of which is 8 hours long). She has been on 21 flights altogether (I hope I'm counting right) and has visited 4 countries. She is also an expert train/bus/tube traveler as we live in London and don't have a car.

Honestly, she does pretty good. She does. The hardest thing about traveling with her is the jet lag. When we finally get to where we're going - 17 hours door to door when we fly from London to Los Angeles - then we have an 8 hour time difference, meaning that our little angel wakes up at 3 in the morning for the first few mornings we're in our new time zone. And on the way home, we have just the opposite - a tired toddler who refuses to sleep until 3am.

Some things that make airline flights more do-able:
1) have a seat for Georgia. She is not yet 2, meaning that she does not need her own seat on the plane. We have not yet bought her a seat. Although - when flying internationally, we have to pay taxes for her. It ends up costing about 10% of an adult ticket. We have gotten very lucky when flying though, and often ask when we check in and when we get to the gate if there is an extra seat on the plane and try to rearrange our seats so that we can have three seats for the three of us. This works for us more than half of the time. Other times, the plane is full, so we just have to live with having Georgia on our laps.

2) we take the car seat with us. Part of this is because we will need it when we arrive in our destination. But, it is also nice to have on the plane. Poor Dave lugs it through the airport (it probably weighs 30 pounds), and we can set it up on the plane if we have an extra seat. We bought a car seat that was very narrow so that it fits on the plane seats. We can use it when we need to just have a break. Put her in the carseat, give her a book or the ipod and she is ready to go!

3) We fly economy plus. More legroom is a bonus

4) We try to strategically plan which seats we have. When flying from Chicago to Los Angeles, our flight was supposed to be at 7pm. It left late - around 9 or 10, meaning we didn't get into LA until close to midnight. I was really worried about how that was going to be with Georgia, but it ended up being one of the best flights we've taken with her! The reason for that was we were in the very front of the plane. No one was in front of us. We had a good 3 feet between our seats and the wall. Georgia fell asleep in my arms and I was able to make a bed for her using the pillows and blankets and she slept on the floor for over an hour of the flight.

5) Lots of toys/books/electronics. When flying I bring the biggest bag possible. I have to admit its a pain. But, it makes the flight much easier. I brought little tubs of playdough. Coloring books, crayons, magic markers (the ones that only work on the specific paper), sticker books, books, ipod, ipad, and Georgia's baby doll. And lots of food. Because Georgia doesn't have a seat, they don't give her food. And on an 8+ hour flight, that is a long time to go without eating! So I pack yogurts, cereal, fruit, a cup for milk (flight attendants will give you milk before take off if you ask them!), and lots of snack type things. Pretty much, the more things I have with me, the better! It is sure a hassle to try to take things in and out of the bag, and keep it organized, but having lots of things to play with makes for a happier toddler.

6) Walking the aisles. When all else fails, Dave and I take turns walking up and down the aisles with her. I doubt the other passengers like this - Georgia is so social that she loves tapping on everyone's legs and saying "Hi!" to them, even when they're sleeping. But, you have to admit that people would prefer to have a happy child on the plane with them, rather than one that is crying.

7) Dealing with jet lag: Pretty much nothing I can do about it! It just sucks. There are those miracle children who sleep whenever and wherever. I don't have one of them! Georgia has a very good body clock and it wakes her up at 8am, British time. That means that even if it is 3am in California, and she only slept 6 hours that night and is exhausted from traveling the day before.... well.... she's up anyways! Honestly I don't know how to deal with jet lag other than realizing that it will not last forever. We try to put her down for naps when she is tired, and we try to encourage sleep by keeping the room dark and quiet. We've even tried to drug her (benedryl) which I honestly couldn't tell if it worked or not. The other tip is to sleep when your child is sleeping! When we landed in Chicago and I put Georgia to bed at 6pm, I also went straight to bed because I assumed she would be up bright and early. Well, I was correct, and we all woke up at 4am. The only way I survived those first few days was by going to bed right around the time that Georgia fell asleep.

8) certain ages are easier to deal with than others. When your child is an infant 0-5 months, travel is relatively easy. The child sleeps relatively easily, just drinks milk, and doesn't need any entertaining. We found the most difficult trip with Georgia when she was 11 months old. She was just starting to walk, hated to be confined, and her attention span didn't last more than 1 or 2 minutes. She didn't quite understand TV or ipads yet, so had a lot of trouble entertaining her. This last trip, at 18 months was the easiest one we've had yet. Georgia was easily entertained by the ipad and the TV on the flight. She also understands that she is tired and doesn't fight sleep quite as much. Honestly, I cannot wait until she is 5 or 6! I will be so excited to just sit back and relax while she reads a book or watches a movie on her own. Now that will be the life!