Epsilon

One Year

While pregnant, I kept a private journal and wrote letters to ε, in that spirit, this is a love letter to my daughter the night before her first birthday:

Dear Jana:

As I put you to bed tonight, I had a moment, a flash.  I was putting a little girl to bed and thought, “how much you have changed in the 364 days since you’ve arrived.”  A year ago today, this eve, you were still inside me where you were nourished and protected. As you nursed, another moment, and I saw that 8lb newborn in your face and felt how small you were in my arms.  I hope you understand just how grateful I am that we have YOU.

Since you have come in to my life, time has played tricks on me.  The minutes and hours of the day pass so slowly, yet, I am sat here in disbelief that a year has gone by.  Or rather, it seems this journey to your first birthday started at the beginning of last year, almost two years you have been with me.

In nursing for a year now, I am still nourishing you.  I never thought I would love nursing so much and am not sure when we will stop.  It is a special time we have together, little games and songs, your smiling eyes and gaping grins on my skin.  And that laugh!  Oh, how you have that special laugh when you want or are about to have milk!  It is different from your giggles and squeals of delight.  It is your milk laugh!

Deb and JanaI have spent a year with you in my arms, your soft breath in my ear.  Where others complain their little ones no longer want to cuddle, I have relished every second that you and I have snuggled.  You have been in my arms for just about every single one of your naps (with exception of the naps you have spent in your father’s arms).  I was sad when you grew to be too big for the co-sleeper bassinet, I missed looking over and having you at arm’s reach.  Now, I have no regrets that you sleep in our bed every night, even though you do take up much of the bed.

There are not sufficient words to describe my joy, my delight, my gratitude, for your mere existence.  You surprise me everyday with what you can do and learn and communicate to me.  I can not imagine life without you.  And I never thought that I would love being a mom so much.

Tonight I put you to bed, your last night as our baby, for tomorrow is your birthday and you will be our toddler.

Goodnight my little Bunny, sweet dreams!  Love,  Ma-ma.

Epsilon
Jana
Jana Family

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2009 Year in Review

(better late than never, belated posting)

What a year we have had! Most of which dominated by one event. At the beginning of January, we decided to “pull the pin on that grenade” and go ahead and have a baby. In what seemed to be the longest pregnancy ever, starting with the twenty two weeks of nausea and vomiting, I eventually really enjoyed being pregnant. Epsilon got to be a very well traveled fetus, starting in Barcelona and making three trips to France, not too mention the day to day mundanity of flitting about England. Jana arrived two weeks late in December, a fantastic way to end the year.

I participated in making a video for an exhibit in the new Darwin Center. Capping off my tour of duty at the NHM before going on maternity leave by meeting Prince William and participating in the opening of the Darwin Center.

Jana’s arrival completely overshadowed our three year anniversary of moving to England (December 1st). This will be our fourth winter here. It still feels like we’ve only just arrived. That first walk down the footpath behind our house is so fresh in my mind. But that may be because I/we walk on it so much.

Jana is the best souvenir we could be bringing home from our time spent living here.

Epsilon
Expat Observations
Jana
Moving Abroad
Musings & adventures
My life with bugs
Travel

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Two Weeks Old!

Jana is two weeks old today and she got to experience her first real snow! This is only the sixth day of snow we have seen in England in the four winters we have lived here. Jana is bundled up warm in the blanket Mammam (her great grandmother) knit for her and the hat I knit for her from the same bamboo yarn:

Mom and Jana, two weeks old and first snow

Epsilon
Jana

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International Visitors

Jana has had her first international visitors, her grandparents Z, my parents, are visiting from the U.S. just to see her! We have had a lovely visit and Jana has enjoyed many snuggles (10 days old):

Jana and Grandparents Z

Epsilon
Jana
Jana Family
Simple pleasures

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Introducing Jana Elise!

Jana, day 2

Epsilon
Jana

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Thursday, December 3.

T plus 13 days. Alright Epsilon, we either load up our packs and make the ascent on our own in the next couple of hours or we are left to take the ski lift.

Epsilon

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Wednesday, December 2.

T plus 12 days. nope. No baby yet. Still holed up at base camp. The grandparents to be have arrived. Their original travel plans would have had them returning home today!

Epsilon

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Tuesday, December 1.

T plus 11 days. There you go Epsilon, it’s after midnight, you are going to be a December baby. A Decemberist?

Epsilon

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Monday, November 30.

T plus 10 days. After another sherpa visit, we were inching up the mountain, but progress has stalled. Will try setting a baited trap of pierogies to coerce her out.

Log addendum: It’s still November, Epsilon, we still have time to have our chance of planting our flag at the peak this month. I know base camp is cozy, but let’s go already!

Epsilon

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Saturday, November 28.

T plus 8 days. Alright Epsilon, our sherpa tells us we’ve made a little bit of progress up to the mountain peak, but you still don’t seem to want to leave the confines of the comfy accomodations at base camp. I’m starting to get a bit of cabin fever myself.

Epsilon

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Friday, November 27.

T plus 7 days. We’ve been climbing this mountain for 41 weeks, Epsilon, and stuck in at the summit base camp for several of them. Our sherpa was helping another climber yesterday, so we wait for her arrival this morning. Hopefully with news that conditions are ripe for the final ascent!

Epsilon

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Thursday, November 26.

T plus 6 days. It’s Thanksgiving. Would be nice to have Epsilon join us today. Have a meeting with the Sherpa later today. Will probably talk ascent strategy for the coming week. Baked and already partook of some pumpkin pie last night.

Epsilon

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Sunday, November 22.

T plus 2 days. Watching favorite movie last night didn’t inspire Epsilon, was hoping the “Flight of the Valkyries” scene of Apocalypse Now would have got her moving. Nope, she’s still as snug as a bug in a rug at base camp.

Epsilon

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Saturday, November 21.

T plus 1 day. It’s after midnight. I’m officially overdue despite my efforts to convince Epsilon otherwise.

Epsilon

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D-Day.

T = 0 days. Here we are, Epsilon and I are still hunkered down. Starting to lose track of days, it’s grey and dark again. Armed with fresh supplies, we may just camp out on the ball or take another nap.

log addendum: at least the sun made an appearance today.

Epsilon

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Thursday, November 19th.

T minus 1 day. Another grey day at base camp. Attacked in the night by a ravenous white ermine. Caught in the glow of my flashlight while pirating cheese. The Sherpa should arrive by noon. Hopefully we’ll make some progress on the ascent.

log addendum: Laying in supplies at base camp. Sherpa feels we may still be here a while. Conditions not favorable for ascent yet.

Epsilon

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Wednesday, November 18th.

T minus 2 days. Grey and windy day. Epsilon and I are still sat at base camp. Dreamt last night that Mark told me she arrived while I was sleeping. The Sherpa visits tomorrow, will the ascent be made possible?

Epsilon

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Tuesday, November 17th.

T minus 3 days. Still pregnant. Raspberry leaf tea supplies running low. Hope to reach summit by weeks end.

Epsilon

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39 Weeks!

Epsilon @ 39 weeks!Okay Epsilon! We’re starting to get really impatient waiting for you to make your debut, which will be any day now right?

Epsilon
Musings & adventures

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Full On Waddle Mode

It took me an hour to waddle to the post office and hardware store and back, normally it’s a 20 minute walk round trip. Looking forward to having my body back.

Epsilon

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The Lotus is a Family Car, Right?

It figures on the weekend where both cars are off the road, I need to make a trip to hospital. The Lotus was the easier of the two for Mark to fix. We captured the hilarity of a near full term pregnant woman entering an Elise.

Epsilon

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Status Update

Sometimes, a Facebook status update should really be turned into a blog post. Mark’s from tonight after we made multiple attempts to attend a friend’s Bonfire Night party for Guy Fawkes day:

“Our cars obviously wanted to stay home. In the pouring rain, our Smart developed a miss (when you only have 3cyl and 600cc to start with, it’s significant.) So we limped back home. Deb, a gamer, wanted to go. So she eased her way into the Lotus. I put the roof on… only to find that clutch pedal had gone all mushy. Roof back off. Hoist Deb out, and we’re in for the night.”

It is pretty comical for me to get into and out of the Lotus right now, think “shoe horned.” The only way I could get into and out of the car involved getting me in first, then putting the top on, then removing it again for the extraction process. I certainly was not up for trying our remaining mode of transport, the Super Blackbird motorcycle. But it would have been truly Denovichin’ showing up to a party, 38 weeks pregnant, in the Lotus and bottle of gin in hand.

Perfect timing, yes, for both of our cars to be off the road right now. Epsilon, don’t get any ideas and just stay put for a minute!

Epsilon
Musings & adventures

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Epsilon in Action

Epsilon looking like she’s going to burst forth Aliens-style from my belly. She takes my breath away at times when she’s this active.

Epsilon

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35 weeks 2 days

35 weeks 2 days

Due date is a month away now! I’m glad I went on maternity leave when I did. My sleep has been completely disrupted over the past six weeks or so and seemingly getting worse. I’m grateful for being able to just sleep in and take naps. I’ve been taking antenatal yoga and aquanatal classes, which are wonderful, particularly in the pool where the weightlessness gives my back a much needed break. I’ve been meeting up with the women from my NCT course and going to the NCT meetups (aka “Bumps and Babes”) which has been so helpful in meeting people and learning about all the local resources available to me. It won’t be so isolating when there is something going on everyday of the week where I can get out with her and see familiar faces.

We’re ready for you Epsilon!

Epsilon

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Maternity Leave

British Natural History Museum during half termToday was my official last day of work before I start maternity leave. Although I will be returning on the 14th and 15th of this month to take part in opening events for the new Darwin Center. I’ve made an exception to be a part of the VIP and public openings and it should be a lot of fun. Just you wait to see the posts I make from that week! Hopefully soon the website will go live that also features the preparation video I star in that will be an exhibit in the Darwin Center for years to come. A fantastic way to show friends and family who will probably never make to the museum in person to see it and a sampling of the odd job I have.

I chose to start my maternity leave at the earliest date allowable, eleven weeks before my due week. High on the deciding factor: the three and a half hours of commuting a day. It’s already uncomfortable for me. But other factors contributed too.

It was a bittersweet day as I was tying up loose ends and cleaning up my work space. It really has been an amazing experience to be a part of this museum and this department. I’ve learned so much, met some truly remarkable people and hopefully have left a positive contribution in my wake. Even though today I knew it wasn’t going to be the last time I would be there, I was sad as I walked away from the building today. I hope to return, even for a brief stint, before we return to the US sometime next year.

This has been a big part of an exciting chapter in my life. But soon, the next chapter will begin and the plot is taking a wildly unexpected turn.

Epsilon
Moving Abroad
My life with bugs

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