The last four months | A life update | Part one

The last four months | A life update | Part one

A life update is in need my lovelies so I am going to break this update into two parts. The blog has become somewhat unloved. I won’t bore you with the details but not having access to my beloved Apple Mac {she finally arrived in the US last week after four months in storage} hasn’t helped the situation. So shall we get on with part one of this life update.

Not doing things by half

If you follow me on Instagram you will probably be getting fed up with my story posts about our time in the US. We have been out here for the last couple of months, getting used to American life and generally finding our feet.

Those of you that know me well, will know I am a bit of a control freak. I love to have set plans and don’t like it when things get changed. W and I are rather sad and have a 6 month, 1 year, 2 year and 5 year plan. The 6 month plan was pretty set in stone in March 2018. A move to America wasn’t always in our 6 month plan but it certainly was something that we had listed on the 5 year plan albeit W’s lawyer habits appeared as it was square bracketed!

I now, however, find myself realising that we have quite a lot coming up in the next six months. I am getting used to being a stay at home mum, W is getting used to a new job, we have moved halfway across the world and are establishing a new life. Well, my lovelies, if that was not enough we now have another huge change planned for the next six months……

Yes that is right I am pregnant. We are so very excited. Trying for baby number two was on our 1 year plan so it was a lovely surprise when baby number 2, our little American baby, decided it would move itself to the six month plan! I am going to do a couple of posts on how I have found pregnancy so far and I also will do a post on having a baby in America as an ex-pat. It is different but familiar at the same time, you can read my last pregnancy journal here and birth story here if you would like to refresh your memory!

Right now everything is going really well. We are knocking on the 31 week door- the time is flying by this pregnancy- and I am feeling really good. Morning sickness was roughly the same this time around but that passed months ago.

Being a big boy and able to explore playgrounds. October 2018.

Bump is being as good as gold. Clearly he doesn’t know what is going on {he will have a huge shock I think} but it does help that he is just being his usual happy self. I am tired all the time. I am a tired person. But this time I seem to be more tired. I think it is a combination of a lot happening in our lives coupled with being pregnant. My skin has been truly awful. So clearly my hormones are raging.

I will do a proper pregnancy update in a couple of posts time. Suffice to say I am very excited if not a little daunted at the thought of having a baby so far from my family and friends.

NorCal Life

First things first, California is a bloody long way from the UK. The flight {which we have now done four times in the last eight weeks and have another planned in a couple of weeks!} is tiring. Bump has reached the beautiful stage where he wants to walk all the time as well as play and touch things. Sadly this brilliant stage in his development arrived just before our first flight out here. An 11 hour flight to most people normally means lots of movies and sleep. For W and I it meant constant walks up and down the aisle of the plane followed by lots of “Please don’t hit the chair in front” and constant apologies to the crew as he yet again found the cabin call button!

But boy is the long flight worth it. WOW!

Loving life
Bump looking down on SF and the Bay from Twin Peaks. December 2018.

We are living in Northern California. People think that all of California is like LA and pretty hot all year round. It isn’t. In fact, at the moment, the daytime temperature is fluctuating between 10-15 degrees, which I will admit is not bad for January but it isn’t 25 degrees like all the Brits imagine.

The other thing is the wind and the fog. The Bay Area, where we live, is foggy and windy. The fog has it’s own name, Karl the Fog, and even, unsurprisingly, a Twitter account! Here is Karl pictured from our home!

Karl the Fog slowly disappearing under the Bay Bridge. November 2018.

The fog and wind means no flip flops, no shorts and no maxi skirts {in fact seeing someone in shorts or a maxi skirt is an easy way to spot the Brits abroad!!}. I am not complaining, by any stretch, it is lovely getting up and the weather just being spot on. We went eight weeks without any rain and miserable grey days became a distant memory before Christmas.

The other thing that I find amazing out here is just how at the heart of everything tech this place is. Within five minutes walk of our home, I will have walked past the HQ of Pinterest, AirBnB, Uber and Dropbox. Go the other direction and I will have gone past the LinkedIn HQ, Instagrams old HQ and the Firefox HQ. Regular driverless cars are as common as Ford Fiestas back home {well not quite but I see at least a couple a day}. This area oozes tech and the place is so buzzy because of it. It is great!

American Everyday

There are so many great things about being out here. Everyone is so friendly. I know Americans are all “have a nice day” but I have been amazed by how many random strangers have stopped us in the street to ask “how old is your son” or “what’s your son’s name”. And shopping in the supermarket is fantastic. When was the last time the checkout lady in Tesco gave your child a free healthy snack? Or, better still, allowed your son to press the checkout help light button? Everyone we have come into contact has been so welcoming.

Talking of supermarkets, wow the amount of fresh seasonal produce here is great. Sure food is not cheap, in fact nothing here is cheap, but everything is so healthy.

Seasonal and local produce making cooking a dream.

Having a swimming pool we can use daily has also been fantastic. Bump has such a lovely time and its been great to see him grow in confidence with the pool.

It has also been lovely seeing the look on his face as we explore the city. Back in the UK we lived in Berkshire. It is quiet. Here in San Francisco it is loud and noisy {although Americans say it’s a quiet city}. Bump eyes light up as another loud fire engine or a bus drive past us. He starts pointing and his little legs move back and forth in excitement. It is so cute.

There have been lots of things we need to get used to. Meeting new people is tough. Baby groups like in the UK don’t seem to really exist here. The local library runs a couple of short classes but they are over subscribed and people don’t tend to socialise. The other mother and toddler groups I have found ask for an upfront annual membership fee. At the moment I am reluctant to try them out given I don’t want to fork out for the fee if they aren’t any good. If any one has any family or friends in Northern California who can recommend any classes please do let me know in the comments below.

We have discovered some of SF’s fantastic museums and play parks though and have been enjoying them. Our current favourite is the park at Yubena Buena Gardens. It is a ten minute walk from our home and is great.

Searching
Even flower beds are great for exploring. November 2018.

The Californian Academy of Sciences is another favourite. It is a mix between the science museum, a living rainforest and the natural history museum. They even have an albino alligator! I can see that I will be spending a lot of time there especially when friends and family are over from the UK. In fact, Bump loved it so much that we got an annual pass.

In part two I will speak about how Bump has adjusted to life in the US and all the change that we have put him through. I will also start doing some posts on some of the amazing places we have visited in California so far. Don’t forget that you can get Birth of a Mummy directly into your inbox by subscribing here. My Instagram channel is also where I post daily stories about what Bump and I are up to. Do come and say hi over on Insta.

Until next time my lovelies…

Penny xx

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