Thursday, June 30, 2011

Life has suddenly become slightly crazy this week - whereas I thought I had over a month to prepare and plan for our trip to the UK (ordering extra insulin supplies, learning how to manage the time difference on my pump, stocking up with snacks and drinks for Daniel, washing & ironing...etc), I was suddenly faced with less than a week to get everything ready!

It is now Thursday evening (only TWO more sleeps to go!) and I think we're there. The house is clean, the snacks are bought, I have copious amounts of diabetes apparatus AND our clothes are clean and ironed (only those that REALLY needed it!). The only challenge now is how to fit it all into 4 bags! Yikes!

Tomorrow I have booked a babysitter for the afternoon and I am going to get my hair cut... I am taking my book and can't tell you how much I am looking forward to SITTING DOWN for a bit!

This week 'Belter' (short for Belteshazzar - Daniel's (the bible one!) Babylonian name and our son's main nickname) has done some pretty cute things (even cuter than normal!)...

1) He is now happy to hold onto one hand and walk onto the balcony - something that he thinks is exceptionally exciting, not least since he might catch a glimpse of Max - the 5 year old boy who lives next door and who Daniel thinks is super cool. Anyway, yesterday we were out there and Daniel bent down to put his fingers in some mud. I said 'No Daniel, that's dirty'. He looked up and, with exactly the intonation I had used, said 'Dirty' - clear as day! Then fell into fits of uncontrollable giggles - he was SO pleased with himself! The next 20 minutes were spent with us repeating 'dirty' at each other - each time followed by uncontrollable giggles on both our parts! Bliss! Should I be concerned that this is his first really clear word?!!!

2) Today all went silent as Ed and I sat down for our de-brief on the day. We looked round and saw that Daniel had managed to pull down the cloth that I had used to wipe his face after his dinner. He had an enormous grin on his face and was avidly wiping down the table legs, chairs and floor with great enthusiasm! A hopeful sign that 'dirty' might also enjoy 'clean'!

We are SO excited that all our UK readers will get to meet the little man in person SOON! It has been TOO long!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Oh When the Saints Go Marching In

Brig. David M. Stileman, OBE (9/4/24 - 24/6/11) died at 7.10am GMT on Friday morning. He was my grandfather and my hero. He was the archetypal patriarch of the family it was my privilege to be born into.

He taught me to drive (both behind the wheel and on the golf course). When I was a boy, his finger used to fly from 'airport' to 'airport' (mole to mole) over my arms and legs. He would get me marching round the big table in his room to military music. He would hand out smarties after each race at Wadhurst OCU holiday camps. He would come and watch me play sport. He got me signed up onto the MCC waiting list for my 18th Birthday (I'm still waiting!).

There is so much he did to make life full and fun, (not least: paying for my schooling!), but his greatest work and the thing for which I will be forever grateful, has been his faithful prayers for me and the whole family every day of our lives.

I am gutted I was over 6,000 miles away when he was 'promoted'. I am gutted my son never got to meet him. I can't begin to describe how greatly he will be missed.

However, just last week I had the opportunity to give a talk to the foster kids youth group I volunteer at in Inglewood and I spoke on the living hope that is ours, thanks to the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. For my grandfather, that hope has now been realised. I am comforted to think that, although he didn't meet Daniel, he is now getting to know his firstborn great-grandson, Joshua and has been re-united with his daughter, my mum. But his greatest delight will be to look upon the face of his saviour, Jesus Christ, in whom he had put his trust and with whom he had walked all his life.

We are travelling back a little earlier than planned now for our long summer trip back to the UK, so as to be able to be there for his funeral on July 8th. While I miss my Dunmar already, I'm looking forward to seeing my grandmother, Barbie, and the rest of the family and introducing Daniel to them all. We touch down at Heathrow next Sunday morning.

Monday, June 20, 2011

What a treat to eat my lunch just now while watching Andy Murray breeze through the 1st round of Wimbledon... although I hate to gloat, it does seem that I have the best of both worlds - Wimbledon on TV & SUNSHINE outside!!! There would be no need for that roof in California!!!

Apologies for the 2 week blog silence. May was a busy month. Ed has had short trips to Montreal, Boston & Redwood Shores for work, we've enjoyed the pleasure of a week with Mr Bruce aka 'The Colonel' (I hope you all enjoyed the Baywatch video - we're up to over 200 views on UTube - it's still not too late for us to become an Internet sensation - although my suspicion is that over 100 of those views has been Stevie... come on, be honest!).

I also had Caitlin (my good friend from the Bay area) down to stay while Ed was away last week - such fun to have some girly time together.

Caitlin took Daniel and I for our first 'Diddy Riece' ice cream-cookie-sandwich (! Oh my! Not a recommended part of a diabetic diet, but SO delicious!

AND we've squeezed in those trips to Kings Canyon and San Diego! Phew!

In amongst all the fun, my husband found the time to glance at his profile shape in the mirror. Rather than the chiseled specimen he thought he'd see reflected, instead he saw a 30 something man with a definite belly protrusion... and decided he needed to take control! For the first time in our married life, Ed is counting calories with discipline and I frequently wake up to find the bed vacated (pre-7am!) and Ed out on a early morning run! All very impressive.

Daniel is still not walking independently. He is taking his time, enjoying walking his little wagon up and down the apartment and I am enjoying the last few days/weeks before life gets truly exhausting! He has learnt how to open cupboards and delights in emptying the contents item-by-item, carefully inspecting and 'tasting' each object before discarding it on the floor around him. Sadly, he has not yet got the hang of putting things away! He has also learnt how to flush the loo and we now have the pleasure of hearing the loo flushing at frequent intervals throughout the day! Not very 'green', but highly entertaining! And he can now get up the climbing frame at our local park and go down the slide (with Mummy)! Such fun!

I skipped church yesterday and had some time with the Lord on my own in an empty, quiet, child-free apartment while the boys went to church! Bliss. I also had my first long soaky bath of 2011, painted my nails and shaved my legs (not for the first time in 2011!). I even put cucumber slices on my eyes! It was a much needed oasis of time... I love being a full-time Mum, but sometimes a little break is necessary! Throughout July Ed is taking Daniel for swimming lessons on a Saturday morning, so I am looking forward to a little bit of 'me' time each week while they're out!

I hear a little man stirring from his nap, so i'll have to sign off... if I get a moment, i'll try to add some photos later...

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Hi there!

We have just had a lovely long weekend away together in San Diego! We swam in the sea (well, the boys did!), went to the San Diego zoo and the aquarium AND managed to squeeze in a shopping trip too! Phew!

Daniel was absolutely in his element with Daddy around full-time. His 2 favorite things at the moment are:

1) squeezing himself into/through the smallest spaces he can find

2) standing up or kneeling and pushing things around the house

He is babbling away all the time and gives the impression that he feels he is making perfect sense! This parenting thing just keeps on getting more and more fun!