Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Torn between two places

Crosby & I are winding down our US trip here within the next few days. It has been a great visit although it has gone by WAY TOO FAST! We surely do miss Scott while we are here but it is so nice to be back home. Every time I am back home, I realize how much I really am a "home body." Scott knows it so he is good about encouraging me to come home and spend time with my family. I miss them terribly but I know my parents have given me good roots & wings, which is why they have been so supportive of our stint abroad for Scott's job. It is the right thing for his career at the moment, and has provided a foundation for our marriage that we never could have experienced with another path, but each time I am back home, I realize how nice it is to be here too, and I often think of what it would be like if I actually lived near my family (unfortunately not quite a reality for us anytime soon).

However there is a part of me that feels like England is also our home, and so I feel torn between the two places.

I know that if we were to be sent back "home" to the US anytime soon, I would miss England terribly. We have a life there now with established routines, friends, and great experiences every day. It has been a life changing experience for so many reasons.

Now with Crosby in our lives, it just seems more difficult to be away from our families, but at the same time when we are home in the US, it seems difficult to be away from Scott and from our daily routine / nuclear family in England. I wonder if it will ever get easier to leave "home"---- In whichever direction that is?

Scott says I always get sentimental when I am about to leave my parents and once I return back to our daily routine, I am fine. This may be the case (he knows me well) but I do think now that we have our own family, I feel more torn between the two places than I ever have been before.

I just know it's a weird spot to be in at the moment. I hate the thought of having to leave my parents and go back to England in a few days, but at the same time I hate the thought of one day having to move back to the US away from our life in England.....
Crosby luckily is happy on either side of the pond (although probably gets much more attention here in the US!) She has been happily adapting to life in the US with her morning dose of cheerios.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Shopping til she Drops!

Crosby has been happily riding in various shopping carts since we have been back in the US. I realized she has not been in a shopping cart in the front seat bit until now. We don't really go to the grocery store too often in the UK (since we do the online grocery ordering) and when I do nip into the store, I usually just take Crosby in her car seat and place it straight into the cart. Besides the grocery store, we don't really go shopping as often in England because A/ there are not nearly as many big box retailers in the UK as there are in the US and B/ if we go to the store, we usually just walk to our town's high street and so Crosby is typically just in her stroller.

Since we have been back in the US, Crosby has fallen in love with riding in shopping carts. Strange? Possibly but she seems to be a very social baby so she enjoys being in stores, sitting up high in the carts, and people watching until her heart's content. I really cannot get over how much attention she gets at every store we enter! She is one happy baby when she is riding in the shopping cart....
Riding in the shopping cart at Kohl's. She had so much fun watching the other shoppers and trying to reach out to touch all of the clothes, towels, etc. from her little shopping cart!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Back in America

Crosby & I are currently spending some quality time back in the US. Scott has been working long crazy hours lately and has had quite a bit of travel, so we decided it was a good opportunity to come home for a bit. It seems to be a win-win for both parties. I am getting some much need R&R, since I am home with my parents, Crosby is getting lots of good attention, Gram & Pa are glad to have us both home for a bit, and Scott is able to work long hours and travel without worrying about his two girls being on our own.
When Scott travels for work over the weekends, it gets really tough for me to be on my own all the time. It is at those times in particular that the distance of being so far away from my family really hits home. If we were back in the US, it would be easy just to catch a short flight or drive a few hours to go home for a few days for a break, but having to fly over 4,000 miles with an infant by myself is a scope of a different magnitude! So, in order to really make the cost of the trip and the distance of the trip worthwhile, it is best to come home for at least a few weeks so we can actually enjoy our time here without fighting jet lag the entire time.
Once we get through that VERY LONG and hairy day of travel, it is so nice to be home and to stay put for a while, without anything pressing to do, and to have extra eager helping hands around. We have had a few outings since we have been home, but overall we are really just trying to enjoy some R&R in the good old USA.
Entertaining a 7 month old on a 13 hour cumulative plane journey was not as easy as it was when she was only 3 months old....after the connection in Newark, Crosby was not as impressed with sitting in her car seat for yet another plane ride, but we did survive (other passengers might not have been pleased with us).
Luckily when we landed in STL, she was all smiles and no one ever would have known she spent the majority of the last flight screaming most of the way!
There was a parenting failure on the morning that we left the UK. Scott took Crosby's favorite stuffed animal "winky" out of her crib and I thought he brought it with her when he put her in the car seat to go the airport. Unfortunately he forgot the animal and did not realize the importance of this stuffed being. It is "the thing" Crosby snuggles with every time she goes to sleep....so it is a necessary travel companion. Luckily Scott is a good Dad and thought ahead to call my Mom in the US as soon as we left to notify her about the forgotten stuffed animal. Since Winky came from STL, my mom was able to go find another one and Crosby was SO excited and happy to be reunited with the animal upon our arrival in STL!
Since arriving in the US, Crosby has tried lots of new foods while sitting in my old high chair! She loves it and I love it too. I wish I could transport it back to the UK with us because it is sturdy, wooden and much nicer looking than our plastic high chair we bought in England (my irritation with high chairs is a subject for another day). At least she'll get to use it every time we come home. Crosby is enjoying the American foods, just as I am....she has tried Cheerios (which she loves - they do not sell plain Cheerios in the UK, they all have sugar coatings so I won't buy them for her), she has had USDA aged steak (ground up), and she has tried the little "puffs" sold for babies here. Her hand-eye coordination is really improving and she loves to feed herself.
We went to visit Pa / my Dad at his office one afternoon for our daily outing. Since he runs a family business, it is important that Crosby knows about it from an early age in case she ever wants to work there!
In the back garden of the office, my Dad has a vegetable garden growing. We picked a tomato and Crosby tried her first one from there. She seemed to like it!
Crosby also made another "well child" visit to one of my old pediatricians. She was given a great bill of health and is growing very well! She is at the 100% for her height and 96% for her weight. Interestingly enough, since our last visit to the US pediatrician (back in May), The American Academy of Pediatrics has changed its stance on the introduction of foods for babies. Now, much more in line with how the UK approach has been, babies after 6 months of age can eat almost everything and anything (except honey) - including fish, strawberries, nuts, etc. Apparently the guidelines change every so often when new research comes out and so now we are introducing more foods to Crosby right away as the academy suggests.
And of course since we are staying with my parents, Gram / my Mom has Crosby already working on her chores, manners, and good behavior! Although Crosby doesn't have any teeth just yet, my Mom is already teaching her that she needs to brush her teeth multiple times a day!

Saturday, September 10, 2011


At the end of August, Scott's mom and brother came to England to visit us on the front end of their two week European holiday. I think Grandma Cris & Uncle Matt enjoyed the one-on-one time with little Miss Crosby just as much as she did! Although we didn't do much sightseeing due to Crosby's nap schedule and early bedtime, we spent lots of quality time at home so Crosby was in her element, giggling, smiling and cooing away for her special visitors.
Grandma Cris & Crosby using the computer to skype with Grandpa Craig back in the US one morning. Crosby seems to know her way around the computer already - scary!!!At lunch at a local English pub - Uncle Matt and Grandma trying to keep Crosby entertained before our food arrived.Afternoon play time with Grandma Cris.Snuggles with Grandma Cris while Crosby was sporting her baby Uggs (a gift from some friends in Australia - straight from the source!) on a fall-ish day.All smiles with Uncle Matt!

Thursday, September 8, 2011


I am very behind in updating our travels from this summer. August seemed like a whirlwind! We first had a lovely week in Barbados, then Scott went to the US for nearly two weeks, and then Scott's mom and brother arrived a day after Scott returned for a week's visit. It was a busy time to say the least - going from single parent duties with a jet lagged child to preparing, hosting, cooking, etc. for visitors. By the time September arrived, I was ready for another week in Barbados! Luckily we had a great time in the sun while we were there, so we really enjoyed our trip and made the most of the rest and relaxation at the start of the month.

We went to Barbados to attend the wedding of our friends Beth & BJ who live in London. They had a destination wedding so we decided to make a week's vacation out of it. It was terrific. Not only was the resort lovely and beautiful, but the guests who were attending the wedding were all there for more than just the weekend, so we had a nice time meeting their friends - half of whom were from the UK and half of whom were from the US (and mainly Chicago). Scott & I commented that it felt like our two worlds - our UK life and our US life - were coming together in one place, so we really enjoyed it. Crosby probably loved it the most because she was the only baby who was in attendance for the vacation within the crowd of wedding attendees. To say she received a lot of attention, was an understatement! Luckily she was well behaved and relished in all of the cooing over her.
Our little beach baby! Hanging by the pool on our first afternoon on the island.
Our first full day in Barbados. Scott & Crosby on the balcony of our room at the resort.
Ahh, our lunch view every day....
And my favorite lunch sandwich I had a few times on the island - a flying fish sandwich. Apparently the flying fish is a local favorite and it was tasty!

How Crosby spent her days...on a beach chair, topless, with her stuffed animals. What a life!
The stretch of beach on which the resort was located is apparently one of the nicest on the island. Apparently Beyonce & Rihanna were walking on this very beach the second night we were there. Fancy, right?!?
Although Crosby liked the beach chairs, the ocean was clearly not her thing!
She was even a sport and hung out at the poolside bar with Mom & Dad during happy hour...
But clearly she partied too hard and was asleep by dinner time!
Another day of too much partying on the island for this little babe!
While Scott enjoyed some reading on the balcony of the room, Crosby snoozed in her stroller like a perfect baby.
Swimming in the pool was most definitely one of her favorite parts of this vacation. She loved her little inner tube floatation.
Even without the floatation, she loved the pool.
Such a pretty sight every day.
Relaxing just like Dad under the couch cabana chairs.
The new Mr & Mrs - BJ & Beth at their lovely wedding ceremony near the beach! Congratulations to the happy couple - we were so glad to be there to celebrate!