Friday, 21 August 2009

18 Months

Isabella is 18 months now - a milestone that always seemed so, so far away whenever I looked at her 18-month clothing stash (half of which she's still too small for now that she's reached it). In these posts I find myself holding back that tendency every parent has to make sentences beginning with "my baby can do this....and my baby can do that...and my baby is the bestest and smartest baby in the whole wide world because she can do whathaveyou..." But I have to tell you about this thing she started this week that just blows my mind! She can now PUT HER SHOES ON!!! Isn't that crazy? She can put her shoes on by herself, not just her slip on boots but her little loafers, and I'm still baffled by how she is able to do it because it isn't exactly easy. She can also put a skirt or overalls on, provided they are bottom loaded. Her new morning routine is to don shoes then come running to me in the kitchen verbally demanding and signing "Play, Play, PLAY!!!!" Which basically means, "Take me outside immediately!" If not obeyed, this routine is followed by a fit of apocalyptic proportions - and this is where the bragging stops. It's probably hard to imagine this cute, sweet little girl in the photos having such a meltdown, but believe me, it happens several times a day and it ain't pretty.

the daily strawberry forage

We are planning our next trip already. Pedro is going to Naples again in less than two weeks and we already have our tickets. I'm getting a little nervous because Jessi hasn't had her baby yet and I plan on being there (her little girl's due the 24th!!!). But, I'm looking forward to eating pizza every day in the place where it was fabulously invented.

the tomatoes she calls "nummy, nummy, nummy"

Shortly after this "work" trip, we are planning a long family vacation in the US and Puerto Rico. It's been a whole year since my mom and the rest of my family saw Isabella. If we can swing it, we'll be taking a short trip to New York to see some friends on the first couple days of the trip. My passport is chock-a-block full of stamps, but I've never actually set foot in Manhattan. These plans, in fact, are hinging on whether or not I can get more pages in my passport in time for my visa renewal. The British consulate won't renew it without a blank page, and much to my surprise, there isn't one.

the tomato thief - I wish I had caught the shot before that other tomato came off the vine

SO. In the meantime, I will be trying not to think too much on all of the flights that will take us where we want to go because after all this travel I've done, I have developed a very real fear of flying. My palms are sweating even now as I write this. I remember enjoying flying, but after a series of bad landings, terrible turbulence, and the bad news in the news (not to mention that horrible show Air Crash Investigation on Discovery), I have joined the ranks of my family who never visit because they're afraid of flying. Any advice or tips to help counter this irrational thinking are very much welcome.

In closing, I would like to share a laugh with you regarding the weird photo you see below. Isabella loves baby dolls - this one is a creepy-cool thrift store find that I hope to make clothes for at some point. Anyway. I found Isabella carrying the doll around the house yesterday and giving it some kind of crazy tongue-kiss that made me do a double take. Of course, she had fed it a raisin (as you see in the pic) then changed her mind a wanted it back. I guess tongue sucking it out was the best option - albeit unsuccessful.

Sunday, 9 August 2009

Who is Benjamin? And More of Summer...

this butterfly was persistent

Isabella has entered the world of triple syllables. She keeps talking about this Benjamin character we have yet to meet (in fact, the only Ben we know lives all the way in Tucson and Isabella has yet to make his acquaintance). She continues to babble, gesticulate and sign but still no clue as to who or what this Benjamin is.

another farmer's market weekend - berries for the voracious berry eater

In other news, Pedro is home from his trip to Italy. We decided to sit this one out because Pedro is expected to make another trip over there before the end of the year. After hearing about the hot weather in Naples I was a teeny bit sorry we didn't go with him.

dirt mustaches are how we roll around here - I have one too

This past weekend we had great weather again and celebrated our bit of summer with a dinner party with seven people. I made a full Italian meal with lots of appetizers, a huge salmon, farro salad, lasagna, and panna cotta with market berries for dessert. We had a blast and I'm resolved to do it more often.

Monday, 3 August 2009

17 months

the inseparable duo

While the rest of the world seems to be suffering under intense heat waves, we in England have been perfectly cool. Though, to be honest, I would love a good heat wave right now - in fact, this very moment I am fighting the urge to put on a sweater on the principle that it's not fall yet, even though it feels like we are already in the downward slope toward winter. The sun has been going down earlier and coming up later - in stark contrast to our extremely long days (sun down around 11pm) and very early mornings (up by 4am). The early sunrises won't be all that missed because Isabella tends to rise with the sun, and that's fun for no one.

so many stunning flowers out back

We had an absolutely wonderful weekend. The weather held out and we got to put in some much needed outdoor time, washing cars, going to the park, and going on a beautiful country hike. In fact, on Saturday, we had a power outage around dusk that lasted long into the night. There was no television, no computer, no noise for miles around. I took the dogs on an extra long walk and left Pedro reading by candlelight. When I got back, the sun was just setting on the horizon and we could see the beautiful colors from our back garden. We actually got to just sit and chat over some crisp, summery Pinot Grigio as it got darker and darker. Once the lights came back on around 11pm, we sighed then turned the t.v. on as if electricity had come back in to spoil the fun. Strange how we condition ourselves to modern life, huh?

yes, weeding on on today's agenda

Today I plan on spending lots of time outside once Isabella wakes from her nap because it looks like it's going to be another lovely day for playing with the dirt.