20 April 2019

Residency


Back when Jon and I were dating—when we were in that super awkward I-know-you-well-enough-to-have-covered-all-the-basic-questions-but-OMGOSH-what-else-can-I-ask-you??? stage—I made him this little box of cards with thought-provoking questions to attempt to fill the void.  The card I remember best was “Will today be important in ten years?”

Over the last seven+ years, I’ve thought about that question a lot, but it has come to mind especially often over the month because so any of these days have been full of life-changing milestones. 

THE most important one is…. [drumroll]… WE OFFICIALLY HAVE PERMANENT RESIDENCY!!! What does that mean? It means we get to live in the UK for forever and work here without a visa. And it means, in a year, we can apply for dual citizenship. Jon applied first, and (the morning after receiving word) he walked into his company giving him a royal welcome—everyone was standing, applauding, and waving Union Jack flags. His co-worker took a video of it, which he put on Linkedin and it went viral (with over 150,000+views); it was all very exciting. 



My application was met with decidedly less fanfare, but it was still pretty thrilling. And it was the last hurdle to getting down to business when it came to Ezra’s citizenship. We went into London to get him all registered at the American embassy (they gave him an American flag sticker! Just like when you go the voting booth but bigger!). Now we are in the process of getting him his British passport as well as and (since he was born here) he gets to have dual citizenship since we are permanent residents. LUCKY BOY! First British citizen in this family for quite a few generations. 



To celebrate, our friend Aaron and Sara got us these amazing English rugby jerseys to celebrate, just in time for the Six Nations tournament. We had a very English curry night with our friends watching England v Scotland. To be honest I still have no idea what was happening, but my comprehension of sport in general is pretty much non-existent so usually just show up to these kinds of things for the food. Ezra and Jon, however, were very keen. 



In other news, SPRING HAS SPRUNG! We spent a day in Castle Combe, which gorgeous little village north of Bath. We went on possibly the worst day ever for pictures (mid-day blistering sun is never good when you are trying to take a south-facing photo), but it was so lovely soaking up all that Somerset sunshine. 



Here is our attempt at a family selfie… clearly still a work in progress. 



Ezra is a daddy’s boy through and through (although his first word was ‘mama’ I am very pleased to say). Whenever these two are together, Ezra has got his arm around his dad’s neck, just chillin’. If ever there were two photos to sum up the difference between dad and mum in this house, these would be it:



In other news, Ezra is very very mobile now. He climbs all over everything and mostly walks (with intermittent crawling). He hasn’t quite mastered going from crawling to standing without crawling up something, but he can stop, go, change direction and speed with his walking, which makes my life a lot easier. I do appreciate an independent baby, even if it has been exhausting getting him here. 



He is so active, I’ve had to start being really conscious about his food. He has started getting really skinny so we have to basically stuff him without food all day long. Most days we have a picnic in the park and have started playing in our postage stamp sized back garden. 



Something I’ve found that really works for us is giving each day a theme (like a colour or shape). When Ezra’s sleeping I lay theme objects on a tray and when he wakes up we talk about them as a sort of lesson for the day. Does Ezra get anything out of it? Probably not… I’m about 98% confident he has no idea what I’m saying. However, he does know that in those 15-20 minutes, he has 100% of my attention. He gets to hear more varied vocabulary and feel loved and I think those two things are probably what is important at this stage. And honestly, it’s mainly for me—it means my internal mum-guilt gets pushed off for another day. 



The other day we got to in to Jon’s work (I’ve finally caved with a hair appointment in the same complex to battle all my grey hair). Ezra loved it, naturally. He even met his first dog. It was mutual love at first sight. 



This past month we also got to spend time with some the kids from our church congregation and have a pizza-making party. These girls are some of my favourite humans. 



In other news, Jon and I had our seven anniversary. He took me to the only Michelin-starred restaurant in Bath for a seven-course dinner. It was insane. AND mine was vegetarian! I seriously can’t say enough about it; it was so yum and I’m so grateful Jon appreciates--and is willing to pay for--good food. In keeping with the seven-year theme (which is apparently copper—who comes up with these things?), I got Jon cufflinks made out of duits from the 1700s. Duits were the currency used by the East Indian Trading Company, which Jon was very jazzed about because they were the first company to offer shares (I really do love that he’s a nerd that way). 



But we all have our nerdy ways. My current geeky obsession is property investing. Been learning lots and enjoying the ride. Also been stocking up on little treasures like this £70 brand new basin sink I got for £5 (BAM!). I figure I’ll fill my garage with little beauties like this, so by the time I can actually afford to renovate a property I’ll have plenty to choose from. 



And there we go, that’s been the last month and a half. Love my boys and loving life :) I feel like good things are on the horizon! Happy Easter!

27 February 2019

February

These first three photos are for all of you that look at Ezra, then squint at Jon and I and say, "so, which one of you does he look like?"

That question honestly freaked me out so badly at the beginning. Being an IVF baby, there is always that weird one-in-a-million chance that the doctors got the egg or sperm or both mixed up before putting them back where they belong. What if Ezra isn't my biological baby? Honestly, not that big of a deal...until you think about the rights of the actual biological parents. And what if my biological baby was out there with someone else? THAT would kill me.

Luckily, as you can see by the photos, there is very little to worry about on that count.



On first glance, it appears that Ezra looks just like his mama. But, if you look a little longer you can see that, actually, he is about halfway between both of us. His nose shape and chin are a mix of us both. He may have my hairline, but his hair has gone blond like his daddy's did when he was a baby. Also, the spacing of his eyes and nose are exactly like Jon, as are his very vividly blue eyes. He is a beautiful, synergistic blend that is somehow both much cuter and cooler than either of his parents ever were as babies.



In other news, I've started taking a boxing class. It feels especially progressive heading off to go boxing with my girlfriends when our husbands are back at home with the babies.

So, I guess, point to women's lib...

That is until you wake up for the next three days feeling like you are dying. Then you start to wonder if maybe boxing is fundamentally incompatible with a mom bod. The jury is still out, but we have another class tonight so we'll see how it goes.



Ezra loves books (sometimes that just means he loves pushing them off onto the floor), so we spend a fair bit of time at the library these days. You can see how excited he is to be there. I feel you little man... every time I move someplace new and I have to get a new library card, it feels like the world is suddenly at my fingertips. It is thrilling to think of all the things he still gets to learn from books.



Now that the temperature is the warmest February it has ever been in recorded UK history, we are loving the park! We are lucky to have an amazing one right within walking distance of our house. Sometimes we can even wrangle Jon into coming with us.




Right now I spend every free moment during the day studying for my 'Life in the UK' test, which is a prerequisite for getting permanent residency. It is brutal. You can try a practice test for yourself here. Jon is applying for residency this week and (if we get accepted), I have about three weeks to pass the test and apply as well. Please pray (or send positive affirming vibes into the universe--whatever your jam is) for us! We've already been rejected once on a technicality, so we are hoping everything goes through this time without a hitch.



This photo probably belongs in the last post, but it is a good behind-the-scenes of what motherhood looks like for me, frequently with a camera up and making a funny face while a baby stares. I'm lucky that he is--generally--a very good natured little squish. He never puts up a fuss when I scramble to find my camera to capture whatever funny thing he is currently doing.

He is turning into a little boy very quickly though... much faster than I expected. I always told myself that I'd stop posting photos of him publicly online once he turned one year old because I think children deserve their privacy. I set the time at one year because I figured that, before that, they were just most little squidgy blobs without much going on. But Ezra already feels like a little boy with a robust personality and sense of humour. It is starting to feel like the time to go incognito is close at hand.

So, what does that mean? Do I just stop posting photos of Ezra on the blog? Or do I set it to private so only friends and family have access? Still thinking on it... but I'll keep you all updated. Until then, here is just one more of my favourite photos this week of Ezra and his cheeky little tongue that always seems to have a mind of its own.

20 February 2019

Wells Cathedral


Here is a quick photo dump of our Sunday afternoon trip to Wells, which is just a short trip down the road. It was beautiful and snowy and picturesque and I can't imagine a more quintessentially English view.