Tuesday, 17 February 2009

Happy 1st Birthday, Isabella!

Today is Isabella's first birthday, and as I said before, a momentous occasion for me. I have been overwhelmed with nostalia about this last year and the labor that led up to it all. In honor of the day, I am posting a video. This video clearly demonstrates why Jess is my best friend. I hope you enjoy it as much a we did.

Monday, 16 February 2009

Isabella's Birthday Party

I made sock-it-to-me cake filled with vanilla pudding

Isabella's birthday party was yesterday, and we had a great time. Pedro arrived a little late with sleepy-eyed birthday girl

After all the planning and prep work we did, the party flew by in what felt like less than an hour! The birthday girl arrived almost an hour late because she refused to take a morning nap and we knew that she wouldn't be able to cope for the duration of the party if she didn't sleep for at least a couple of hours. We had a great turnout - about 25 people came, including kids.

We didn't get too many photos since we were so busy visiting everyone and playing with the kids, but I'm hoping to get more photos from our friends who had cameras there. I will be posting video soon, too.
singing her first 'happy birthday'

We rented out a local village hall so we would have lots of space for the kids to run around. I laid down foam playmats and dumped out bags of balls and blocks to supplement all the toys my friends brought to share. We had a buffet table with sherbet punch, beer, and pink champagne. There was also fingerfood like sandwiches with herbed goat cheese, hummus with pita, pasta salad, and crudites with other homemade dips.

Isabella loved the sandwiches, which are her new favorite food, because she can hold them in her hands and take bites - it's the cutest thing. Of course, I think the cake trumped the sandwich. On the tables I scattered blowouts (noisemakers?) and hershey's kisses between pink and yellow tulips from the farmer's market.

Tomorrow is Isabella's actual birthday. Pedro has to work, so I was thinking of taking her back to Fun Zone. She's teething again, with the second top inscisor breaking through, so the last couple of nights haven't been very fun for her (or us). I'll try to get more pics up soon!

Monday, 9 February 2009

Plans and Parties

It's been a busy couple of weeks. From last Thursday, we've been battling snow and ice. It got so bad that the country pretty much ran out of grit to cover even the main roads - forget about windy country roads like ours. It was pandemonium - people couldn't get to work, people got into accidents, Pedro got stranded. He even had to miss two days of work because he simply couldn't get there. It was crazy - and I come from northern Minnesota, the land of lots of snow, and lots of ice. Today, the ice began to melt and things started to feel a little normal. Now, as I type this, the snow is falling again in fast, wet gobs that threaten to derail everything again tomorrow. Some areas are predicted to get another 15cm. By Wednesday, at least, we are supposed to receive truckloads of grit brought in from Spain to replenish our stores.

Before all this went down, we managed to get a bit further with our house-hunting by narrowing our focus onto another house. We are waiting to hear back from the landlord when we can move in. After what happened with Italy, you won't catch me holding my breath for anything.

On Saturday, Isabella and I attended the 1st birthday party of little William. His mother, Anna, and I live just at opposite ends of the village. We were pregnant together and randomly were "set up" by our health visitor/midwife. We hit it off right away and spent the remainder of our pregnancies commiserating, going to baby groups, and walking up and down the village trying to move things along. She was due one week after me, so imagine my surprise when I walked past her house one evening as she was coming home from the hospital, post-partum. She held up her hands and shouted, "I've done it!" I was approaching my due date and was extremely envious that she had beaten me to the punch. But I guess babies come when they're ready, or your body is ready, and not a day sooner.

So now it's time for Isabella's first birthday. It's set for next Sunday and I have been excited about it for months now. To me, it's just such a big deal. A very first birthday for my very first child. And based on her reaction to Will's party, I think she'll have a blast.

Monday, 2 February 2009

Snow II

this little redhead needs her sunglasses

licking the snow


It is snowing in England. It started yesterday and we expected it to stop, or at least melt right away as it usually does, but it just keeps going! The whole country is practically shut down (well, at least London) and there is a tangible feeling of joy in the air. Of course, this isn't good for recession times but it does a lot for morale when you're used to looking out into bleak mid-winter skies day after day.

Isabella and I spent the day playing games and even ventured out in the fluffy white stuff for the sake of adding another event to the baby book: first snow. She absolutely loved it, especially since we went out to the cricket field with both dogs. It was great! I'll work on getting some photos of it up shortly.