Friday, 28 December 2007

Maya goes to Texas (and TN) !! And her 1st Christmas!

Sorry for the delay, we have been quite busy. On 5th of November we flew to Houston with Maya for her 1st of many transatlantic trips. She was a wonderful passenger and charmed all the air hostesses and hosts. Once we landed it was non-stop visiting. First and foremost was Mimi, my grandmother, who was responsible for our visit, she wanted to meet her first great grandchild. As you can see from the joy on her face, it was a memorable moment. Maya slept in a few different rooms and woke up to a few different houses. But, she took it all in stride like the little trooper she is. Tio and Tia (Matt and Jennifer) threw us a bbq in Autin along with fellow honoree- MIKE LEE. Maya was not too sure what to make of her 1st texas bbq, standing around outside in a carport next to a bbq pit and many coolers of beer, but she went to bed early and her Mom and Dad got to enjoy it all. Then, she got to meet all her aunts and uncles over Thanksgiving at Madison and Charles's pad in Nashville. She seemed to survive all the attention and I think Madison will have us back. Maya also got to meet some cousins and some great Aunts too! All in all - it was a wonderful visit, but as always, too short and we could not meet everyone. We promise to try to see everyone else when we come back!

As for Paul and I- it was a blessing to watch everyone else fall in love with her. We are obviously head over heels with her, but to see my family and friends fall in love with her too- was special, to say the least. It was also nice for us to have some time to ourselves and leave Maya with my mom. For some reason she seemed to keep reminding of us of things we said we needed to do!

On returning to Britain, we discovered to horror that is jet lag in a 6 month old baby. It was rather difficult to say the least. The icing on the cake was - being the depths of winter- there was noooo sunlight to help Maya know what time it actualy was. We finally got her down to bed before 11 pm after the 2nd week and then she starting cutting her first tooth! Needless to say, the month of December was a write off due to all the sleepless nights. But x-mas has now come and gone and we have come back to some sense of normalacy in the Mill House.

It is cold and dreary - but we get out for walks(the picture of us on our Boxing day walk) Maya loves to be outside. Texas was really good for that.

Paul is back to work and 2008 poses to be a very good year for his business. I will start teaching again in mid - january. So all is pretty much back on schedule.
We miss you all terribly. And hope that you can come and visit.

All our love- Kat, Paul and Maya

Sunday, 21 October 2007

Gurus, Great food, and visitations

Sorry - it has been sooooo long since we have updated. The entire month of September and October so far has seen visitors come from Australia, Germany, India, London and Texas. One of my best friends, Michele and her new partner, came all the way from Australia, via Germany to see Maya and let us meet her new man Chris, who is such a wonderful person. We all headed down to Devon to see Anna and her new man, Graham. Looks like all the girls from Troncones finally have some good love in their life. We spent the weekend walking in the gorgeous Devon countryside and preparing majorly amazing meals. It was so nice to see Maya in a different environment and with so many new faces. She loved it, and slept like a dream while in Anna's house!

The next week saw Sri Ramaswami visiting us with Debbie. Ramaswami was here in the UK teaching two weekends in Scotland and London. He stayed with us for the week in-between and was completely captivated by Maya. She wakes up with a smile for everyone in the house. He also was witness to her first taste of solid food. In India, the first bite is a very important ceremony- with the whole family present. So, for him it was very special to witness. Mom also got some very good and private yoga lessons with him. By the way, little miss is very fond of apples with rice cereal and some sweet potatoe on the side. Not too fond of zucchini/courgettes but carrots are slipping in there. She had absolutely no problem eating the whole bowl. Looks like we timed it well! Although, she has not dropped a breastfeeding session during the day at all. So, hence the fact she is wearing 6-9 month clothing at 4.5 months. Little miss piggy.

Next - we had the lovely Alice come up from london - bringing her own blend of sunshine. Maya was really smily and loved having chats with her. I am sure there will be some future chats between those two. After Alice, Aunt Jane and Uncle Wes from TX (uncle wes really isnt from texas, but he claims to be all the time) made a brief visit after attending a wedding in Denmark. I did not change a nappy/diaper the whole time. They did not have much time, but I suspect they will return. They too, think she is a little special.

And now, we have Beej (my former neighbor from zihuatanjeo who is in boarding school up the road from us). He seems quite taken with her.

Maya eyes have turned a very deep blue. As you can see from the photo...she has become so interactive and responsive. We fall in love with her more and more each day.

I have returned to teaching and it was very very good to get back to some sort of life. Paul has finished the biggest job of his career and is now at home more, which is nice. Catching up on some much needed admin.

We are headed to Texas in two weeks time to see just about everyone. We have to fly internationally with a 4.5 month old, but luckily she is still breastfeeding. Paul and I are so ready to have a vacation- but most of all we are so ready for Maya to meet the US contingency. We cant wait to see all of you and for you to meet her...she is so good and so smily. Hopefully, she (and her parents) will survive her 1st of many flights to the USA.

All our love, Kat, Paul and Maya

Wednesday, 22 August 2007

Maya gets her head wet!

There is a tradition in Britain to invite friends and family over to meet the new baby and raise your glass to the little one. It is something like a 'sip and see' that they have in the South. So we had one for Maya, finally. (yes-we are a bit slow on getting it together!) We wetted her head with champagne and our local brew, Butcombe Gold. We had lots of babies come and friends, and here are just a few photos from the party....

All in all Maya is rather perfect. She is sleeping alot, and thru the night! She does eat quite a bit, as you can see from her photos, she is not starving. She loves to lay on her playmat and is starting to reach for her toys and kick so much she looks like she is really pissed off, yet she is giggling the whole time.

We took our first family trip to the beach in Wales and it was rather fitting that Maya see the waters of her father's home country- ( a little history lesson- the Welsh are not a part of the England and Wales is its own country!) She slept in her moses basket and was very very good. Huw - our friend we stayed with, was mightily impressed. Her first glimpse of the sea was off the coast of Wales into the Bristol Channel, beautiful and cold! But I braved the waters and went for a swim, but Maya would have turned blue- I am sure.

The next few months will be busy - Dad is working hard and is away often. We also have lots of visitors turning up in the next few weeks- Captain Robert from Mexico, Gert and Sandra from Belgium, Michele from Australia and Great Jane and Great Uncle Wes from Texas...and we will be making the journey to Texas real soon, we just need to sort out Maya's passport- it is not easy being an American living abroad these days. Hopefully, things will be easier in the future, but somehow I doubt it.

We hope you are all well and happy....and we truly hope to see you soon!!! All our love, kat, paul and maya

Sunday, 29 July 2007

Maya at 7 weeks!!

We are amazed at the change in Maya, She is really coming into her own....sleeping thru the night! Her temper only flares up when she is sleepy, hungry or has dirty pants....pretty simple, but still can be a bit of a conundrum at times. She is pretty big - over 12 lbs. As they say, she is thriving. But we still can't say who she looks like????

Debbie (my friend from Houston who uses our home as her base while traveling the world) has been here this week and has been a tremendous help. Paul was away working and having her has been a blessing! With her help- we have gotten Maya sleeping from about 10 -6 am! Lets hope it lasts!

I know all of you without kids are wondering why we keep going on about sleep, but it is very hard to function without is like gold to us. But Maya is truly a very very good baby and this makes me wonder how hard her teenage years will be!!!

Paul was overwhelmed with the change in her in just a short week.....she just keeps growing and morphing into her own little person.

All is well with me. The first six weeks passed and I must admit I am starting to feel myself again....thank goodness. There is a light at the end of the tunnel.

I hope all of you are well and happy...we send you loads of love, Kat

Tuesday, 17 July 2007

Maya at four and half weeks

Well, we are still here....all is progressing. Maya has her first cold and she sounds like a true wart hog....poor thing. She also has decided that sleeping in her own cot/crib is not for her. How do grandmothers get the babies down? I do not know. But she refuses for us....we have only had two nights with her in her own bed since my mom left. And one of those was Paul's mum spending the night here so we could get some sleep and her putting Maya down for the night. But, as all parents have said, it gets better. At least she will sleep for a full 6 is just when????

She is weighing in at a hefty 10 lbs 11oz. Eating approx every 3 hours and would do every hour on the hour if I would let her.

I must admit that i am not feeling very creative today in I was up all night with her and her wart hog like sounds - she was a little trooper though.

Both Paul and I are exhausted, but her smiles make it all worthwhile.

I promise more later, but for now, will let the pictures speak for themselves.

Love to all, katherine
ps, thank you again to Roy for the have a wonderful eye and we are so happy that you are the family photographer!!!

Saturday, 30 June 2007

Maya is 3 weeks old!

Maya turned 3 weeks old yesterday and it is hard to believe that she has only been out of the womb for that short of time. She is growing and growing and LOVES milk...mother's milk that is. She is a breastfeeding champion and now weighs in at 9lbs 11oz!! A whole pound in one week..impressive! She is having some tummy issues in the late evenings and her sleeping is still fractured ( although she slept 7.5 hours last night!) She is unbelievable.

Good news is that I can self express some of my milk into a bottle and she will take, that means, daddy can help in the night. And Mommy can leave the house without worrying that I might starve her to death. For those of you who have not yet experienced this wondrous joy, being cooped up in the house on the front sofa with your boobs out every hour is not beneficial to one's sanity! Thank god for breast pumps! I never thought I would actually write those words.

And this one is for Aunt Madison...( and alison) it looks like she might just be red-head!!!

We are still happy to have BIG MOMMA in the house. She did this four times (although I love my brothers and sisters to death, I cannot imagine her doing this four times!) She is a huge help and Maya will go to sleep for her. Which is a blessing for us, considering her poor little tummy has been hurting her for a few days. I have sworn off anything spicy or that could cause her no more mexican beans for us!

Daddy is back to work in full force and has not had too much time with his girl, so his evenings are all he has. So, it will be nice when his business partner comes back from his wedding/honeymoon and Paul can enjoy more time with his little girl. Wow, this parenthood thing is hard - how have all of you parents out there balanced the working and kid thing...any hints will be helpful, cause paul is finding it a bit hard, at the moment.

Speaking of Daddys- Big Daddy(my father) arrives in the morning....and Maya will meet the person who gave her the big hands and feet she is now sporting around....I am sure my father will fall instantly in love, as she is soooo adorable and lovable.

More to to all, katherine
ps. thank you to my lovely friend Roy Francis, amateur photographer, for the photos!

Thursday, 21 June 2007

Almost two weeks old & ahh thank heaven for grandmothers!

Little baby Maya is no longer little, she has gained one whole pound, and continues to feed as if she was a shark and the water has just been chummed! Our house is one big feeding frenzy at the moment, as she sucks me dry of mothers milk, I have to keep myself hydrated and fed....i do feel a bit like a production line. Maya seems to enjoying wetting herself twice or three times a day....we do not have enough little 'onesies' to keep her changed. ( Many did not fit her from the beginning becasue she is so long and skinny) And well, the poo has regulated itself into a steady source of merriment.

But all kidding aside, she is so beautiful and starting to keep her eyes open more and more. Her hair sometimes looks blonde and sometimes looks red, so still hard to tell what it will be. She is sooooo healthy and a really a good baby.

I do want to take some time her to commend Paul's mum - Nana....if it was not for her, my breastfeeding coach, I doubt I would have made it thru the 'milk coming in'. As a trained mid-wife, she knew exactly how to keep me going and how to make sure all would be all right and that Maya and I both learned how to feed properly. Nana also took care of me those very fragile first few days. My mother, aka, Big Momma, arrived last Sunday, and she was most welcome. In fact, the minute she walked in, she has barely let go of her first grandchild. Which is fantastic for me, because, all Maya wants from me is Boobs and will not calm down for me at all. She just seems rut like a little piglet. Big Momma quickly learned how to work the british washing machine and work her way round our rather archaic kitchen...she has settled right in.

i do seem to remember my friend Sarah saying that when her parents left after Luca was born - she wept. I will to - i suspect.

It has been a journey and a learning experience for Paul and myself...and well, Maya is obviously in control.

More to to all, kat

Nana Cooper and the little baby maya!

Big Momma's armchair!!

Thursday, 14 June 2007

Almost one week old

Maya has been with us for nearly a week now and life is already unrecognisable from its pre-Maya incarnation. The days and nights have all melded into one continuous everlasting day. We are living every moment in the moment - our daily meditative practice is brought on by our little baby girl who has cast a magical spell on her parents,she is about to work her magic on her big momma too. Katy arrives on Sunday so expect a surge of grandparent picture cataloguing.

Thank you to everybody who has sent their kind words,thoughts and prayers to us via this blog, we feel truly blessed.

love Kat,Paul & Maya

Everything's growing!!

Here's a selection of the plants on our porch, apologies if it is a little off subject, but I cant help but see the absolute beauty and radiance in every living life form at the moment.......

A selection of snapshots plus some foliage

Tuesday, 12 June 2007

Mothers milk has finally arrived!

in my defence......

I'd like to thank Kat for sharing her mirth and merriment as a result of my first tentative steps into the world of baby changing. Like they say ,its not just one birth when a baby is born, its the parents that undergo a birth of sorts, too. I'm sure I'll get the hang of it shortly, if i could just get these sausage fingers of mine, to respond to the dextrous demands that are being placed on them, apologies to maya from your fumbling father.....

Monday, 11 June 2007

Uncle Chris

Auntie Sharon and cousins Rhiannon and Sophie

Dad in training!

finally - a word from katherine

Well, I am starting to feel as if I might return to the land of the has certainly been a journey. Physically - I would say for 22 hrs in the trenches, I am recovering nicely. Maya is so good, we are really lucky. She is a sleeper, all be it, during the day, she does sleep. She is ready to suck on some real milk as well. So we are both waiting for the ominous approach of the the waterfall of leche that is on its way.

Meanwhile....thank you all for your beautiful words and e-mails. It is so hard to be away from my friends and this blog is a godsend to be able to somewhat share this experience with all of you.

Parenthood does have it moments and last night - I must share a funny one.....Maya gave us 5.5 hours of uninterrupted sleep, then she awoke...and nothing except constant sucking, walking, rocking and cooing would cajole her into a state of grace...however, being the idiots that we are...we forgot one big rule...the Diaper!!!!!

Since my milk as yet to make its way, she has yet to really give us the full force of her bowels, so her diapers have really not been a true focus - yet. But we remembered - after an hour or so of trying everything else to calm her that perhaps she needed changing....ahh, we were, seeing as how I had walked her and let her suck me dry of colostrum for an hour or so, Paul stepped up to the plate and carried her to the changing table.

I sat in bed watching him and talking him thru his first unassisted 'nappy' change. Well....let me just say, that for a man whose job, career and talent is ropes, knots, quick escapes, karibiners, and climbing tall things...the small ubiquitous diaper was posing a problem. As her screams became more insistent and longer, his facial expression became more and more befuddled...his hands became like paralysed sausages and I just began to laugh! And for those of you out there who have given birth, you know that laughing deeply and gutterly at this stage of the game is quiet well as the fact that I was wetting my pants at the same time. It was soooooo hilarious....I know I should not laugh as my daughter screams - but his face and hands were a picture....and Paul Cooper, mountain climber, rope expert, able to scale tall buildings in a single bound, was humbled. And he deserved it!!!

Needless to say , I made my way slowly over, with wet pants of my own, and showed him, slowly and methodically how to get her changed....with patience in my voice and pee running down my own leg....Ahhhhhh, parenthood!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

It is truly been a journey....more to to you all, kat