Tuesday, 14 October 2008

The dreary summer of 2008- but a still happy Maya!

Well - I cannot believe that summer just came and went. It was awful, and we now believe- wholeheartedly -in global warming, as we felt the effect of it this summer, cold, dreary, rainy and grey. A bit like winter really but not as cold. God, I sound so British, I just go on and on about the weather. Sorry, I still hold Texas in my heart for many reasons other than sun.

I really have no excuse for not posting other than the fact that Maya learned to walk, well, run really.(July 21st, she just up and went) And that has changed the whole picture. Maya has had so much fun despite the lack of sun. She started the summer traveling over to the other side of the country, about 5 hours in the car, and she was a real trooper. We also went to the Harbour festival in Bristol and Maya spent the night on Nanna and Papa's boat!!!!! She has been to a manor house party - tht is the picture above of her in the car with all the boys. She loves to play in cars and it is not pretty when you take her out. She also is OBSESSED with motorcycles, just like her father. We spend alot of time in her new silver cowboy boots - thanks Aunt Jane & Grace. She walks in them every morning, and boots and shoes are her two favorite words to say. Maya contiues to amaze us with a new word everyday and a new little discovery. Her newest and one of which I am most proud, is 'I pooped.' For those of you who are not aware, Paul and I chose to take the 'save the world' approach to parenting and wash her diapers/nappies. Yes that is right, we wash them, instead of disposing of them in the garbage. Needless to say, we have begrudged our decision many times as Maya is very, very good at expelling her bowels. We have perservered, but, her showing the signs of knowing and realizing she is actually befowling her nether-regions deem well for potty training. I am not one to rush things or push her to anything, but let's just say she has her own little potty next to ours.

Christian came over from Mexico with his beautiful lady, esperanza, and we had a wonderful time. Maya really took to them both and I think had a small crush on Chris, but then he has always had a way with the ladies.

My mom and dad finally got to come and spend some time with her and I think they fell in love a little more. She loves her 'big momma' and 'big daddy' and I am still de-programming her from thinking she is the center of the universe. Although, she really is.

She still loves to go for walks and now demands to get down from the back pack or out of the stroller/buggy for some exercise of her own. I find it does tire her out! Autumn has allowed us some good weekend weather so we have gone out and seen some cows and sheep and horses. Luckily, we live in a beautiful part of the UK and Maya gets to walk everyday to the farm shop and see lots of animals. She is a fan of sheep at the moment.

Paul is as busy as ever, and we did not see him too much this summer. But he tries his best to be home for bath and story time with Maya & she get really confused when I do it instead.

The good news is we are headed to texas/mexico for the x-mas/january for a much needed vacation for Paul. Like I say, he has been very very busy and will need to chill out eating in Texas and soaking up some rays in Mexico.

As for me, I am still teaching in the evening and loving yoga still. I am going to a retreat in November and hosting another one myself. Now - if Maya would only go to the nursery at the gym so I could get back to swimming, all would be well. We cross our bridges as they come.

We miss you all so much and cannot wait for you to meet 'toddler Maya'. As I mentioned before, we are headed back and hope to see all of you.....love and light, katherine

Thursday, 12 June 2008

Maya turns 1!

On June 8th our baby turned one year old. I remember someone saying to me that I would cry....and I thought at the time, no way. But I did. Alot. Time has gone so quickly and I can't imagine where it all went. I also remember someone telling me 'you cannot imagine the intensity of love you will feel for you child, it is like nothing else on this earth.' And, well, it is true. Everyday we fall more and more in love with her- even when she is not the pure joy of light you see above. And believe me- she has her moments, well, days, really.

I thought I would just comment on the above photos, seeing as how I cannot seem to work out how to give them captions.

First- is well, Maya eating, a sight to behold. She eats everything. With gusto and since turning one, has decided she can feed herself Oh, the joy.

Second- We rented a house in Gower, Wales for Maya's first and here she is peeking around the corner, reaching out for the camera; she loves the camera.

Third- The big day. We decided to make her a big breakfast and then go to the beach, but since a picture with the cake is the ubiquitous one to have, Paul made her a Welsh cake with Strawberries and Cream on top. We have since found out she is allergic to all things cow, so it was her last cream for a while. Anyone know of a non dairy whipped cream in the UK??? I can't stand the thought of strawberries and cream without the cream for her!

Fourth- Maya loves flowers and tries to eat them all. We are trying to teach her to not eat things that grow outside; but, it is hard, seeing as how we are growing tomatoes, squash, green beans, cucumber and zucchini all on our porch. Child rearing seems to be one big dichotomy.

Fifth- Paul was being artistic and this one turned out to show a perfect smile from her. She just loves to laugh and has adopted a sort of 'woody woodpecker' one. In fact, we went to the pub in Wales and she had a whole table of Welsh builders laughing with her for about 10 minutes. Scary preview of things to come.

Sixth- We took tons of walks in Wales and it was such a beautiful place. Maya still loves being carried like the queen of the Nile. We have deemed ourselves 'minion 1' & 'minion 2'. Paul is minion 1.

Seventh- Another walk in Gower, Wales-notice the castle on the hill? They are everywhere in Wales.

Eighth- Maya on the beach on her b-day. It was too cold for swimming but we had a good picnic and she kept her hat on the whole time.

Ninth- As I said, she is not too fond of wearing hats, but with her fair skin, it is a must. This one was taken on the beach at 3 Cliffs Bay, an awesome spot.

So - just a few, as you can imagine....we have thousands of shots of her.

As for us, well, we are good. Tired, but good. Summer is a good one and the garden looks gorgeous. Maya wants to eat the lavender and the herbs- so at least she knows to stay away from the other flowers. We hope. My classes are going well and Paul is going to his new office everyday. Well, not Thursdays, though, he has attempted to take Maya to work with him. He won't being trying that again.

We are looking forward to a visit very soon from my sister, AnnaKate. And hopefully, Carla. My parents say they are coming, but one never knows with Katy and James. Anyone else interested? We would love to see you. Love and light, Katherine

Monday, 21 April 2008

It's spring! Thank the Lord!

Well it has been along time since our last post...and I must admit March was not a good month here in the Mill House, but the ides of March has passed and we are much happier here in the month of April.

We lost a dear friend the 9th of March- Paul's' best friend from childhood took his own life suddenly and without any warning. We were left shocked and saddened by it all. And then Maya and I both fell ill with some terribly resistant cough/cold flu bug. Our house was one of sadness and sickness for a month. About the only good news to report is the fact the Wales Rugby won the 6 Nations (and for your non-brits, that is something akin to the Texas/OU or Texas/Texas A&M rival)! But then April came and trust me, it was welcomed with open arms.

The 1st day of April brought the birth of Maya's new cousin, Charles Matthew Agee. My sister Madison was a star and little Charlie is thriving on mother's milk and enjoying keeping his parents up at night. I am set to go over to Tennessee to meet my little nephew in two weeks time and Maya will have a long weekend with Daddy! She does love her Thursdays with Daddy, so a few more days should be just fine.

We also had a visitor, my cousin Jane came to see us and luckily, as you can see from the photos above, the 1st week she was here- the weather was perfect. The tulips are out and the sun was shining; however, the last weekend she was here it turned dull,cold, grey and rainy. Maya acted as if Jane was an old friend, and it was so nice to have another hand on deck to help with Maya.

Maya is growing and growing. She is 100%+ on height after her 9 month check up- and 75% on weight. She is already in 12-18 month clothes and it seems with the amount of blueberries, apricots, bananas, lentils, potatoes, black beans, rice, eggs, veggie sausages, and yogurt she eats, the growing will not subside anytime soon. (those are just a few of her favorites.) She is turning into a perfect little actress and comedienne. She can walk with the aid of her little walker, and it has prompted us to buy her her 1st pair of shoes. Very cute. I would wager a bet that by the time I get back from Tennessee she will be walking...it is such a scary thing to watch the taking their first few steps. She just needs some confidence and then we are away. And to be honest...I am a little scared. I have a feeling she will be into everything.

Paul is doing well and has opened a new office for his company. So he no longer works from home! It is a very good thing for all involved and the space is perfect for their work. Spring/summer is looking to be as busy as every and Maya is getting used to not having him around as much. But like I said, Thursdays are Daddy days and she loves it!!!!

As for me, I am working on Thursdays teaching yoga and it is all going very well. I am just ready for the weather to warm up so Maya and I can start cycling everywhere. I must admit, that as much as i want to go meet my nephew and help Madison and Charles, I am dreading leaving Maya for so long. It will be a tough one for me, I doubt she will even notice. But I am so in love with her, she just breaks my heart every day with her smile.

So, if you fancy a trip over the pond, or want a weekend in the country, we'd love to see you. We miss you all and send you all of our love.

Wednesday, 13 February 2008

Maya goes to Egypt!!!

So after a VERY cold, grey and wet December and January, we were all ready for some sun. Any of you who have lived in the the Northern latitudes know of what I speak. So, my christmas present from my lovely husband was a week in the sun in Egypt. Last Sunday we flew from Bristol to Sharm El Sheik at the southern most tip of the Sinai pennisula with Paul's mum in tow. She too was desperate for some winter sun and wanted to warm her bones. She asked very politely on Christams Day if she could join us, and of course we could not say no! It was so nice having an extra pair of hands to watch Maya - but I must admit that Maya keeps proving to be a wonderful traveler. She takes it all in stride and truly loves to meet new people. The Egyptians love babies, so Maya opened many many doors for us.

Sharm El Shiek is pretty much Ixtapa or Miami, miles of hotels and restaurants...developed by the Israelis in the 80's, it is pretty touristy. But, luckily, one of our friends here is an avid diver and owns a house in a Bedoiun village at the base of the mountains a couple of miles behind the resort town...it was magical. (thank you amanda!) We got to meet some lovely people and one night went round to their house for a proper Bedoin meal...and it was delicious. Salma, the woman in the photos above, was very very taken with Maya and it was so nice to see. Each day, before we left for the beach, Salma would make us fresh egyptian bread and then we would drive to beach. The people we met were all so caring and nice, making me realize, once again, that we are all the same at heart. This is the main reason we love to travel, not only to see new places, but to remind ourselves that we are no different than anyone else out there. We hope that we can pass that on to Maya.

About the beaches, for those of you who are not familiar with the Red Sea and the Sinai penisula, it is some of the best diving/shorkeling in the world. The first day we went to a public beach and it was nice...but then we discovered we could drive a National Park and go to some of the best dives in the world from a short swim from shore...then name of the park was Ros Mohammad and it is amazing. As you can see from the pics..no one was around and the beaches were so beautiful.

Some of you hve met my friend Anna, who I met down in Mexico. Well, Anna and her partner Graham came to visit us too, taking time off from the mad adventures around the world. It was great to see her, as I have missed her since she left Bristol. Anna and I got to do one of our mega swims together at ros mohammed and it was something I will never forget. Paul and I too, spent alot of time in the water together, while Maya napped away on the beach under the ever watchful eyes of Nanna! All in all, it was a dream vacation. And we will go back. Let us know if you want to come along!

On a sad note...my grandmother passed away the Thursday before we were supposed to leave. I am very sad, but happy at the same time. Because now I know she is not in pain, and traveling herself. I did have a moment when I looked out over to the mountains behind the sea and thought of her. Then I realized that she was there with us...laughing at the improbability of every understanding Arabic and loving the food. I saw her smiling, laughing eyes right there on my daughter's face, taking it all in. We will miss you Mimi and we are so glad to have said good bye to you.

All of our love, Kat Paul and Maya