Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Stratford-Upon-Avon, Revisited

   On Saturday, we took a day trip to Stratford-Upon-Avon; it was the second visit for Keila and me, but Yuki had never had the opportunity to go before. It's quickly becoming a favorite destination, seeing as it's only about a 40 minute drive away, is quite peaceful yet chock-full of activities, and this time we discovered the lovely Carluccio's restaurant. Great Italian food and baby-friendly; I can't ask for much more!
 We didn't really see any new sites, since we had to get back to Worcester for a company dinner in the evening (Italian yet again, but nothing nearly as good as lunch). Still, I did get a few pictures in better light than on the first visit, and while Yuki paid and went to the back of Holy Trinity church to view Shakespeare's grave, I happily wandered around the main floor and discovered some lesser-known graves that comprimsed the walkways. Felt kind of weird to realize we were trampling over graves as if they were irrelevant, and I wish that the markings hadn't been rubbed down so I could at least give some respect to who I was trodding upon. Not that they're around to care, but still....
  In other news, we're busy prepping for our upcoming trip to Italy! I may/may not have time to post again before we go, but in any case, expect lots of pictures after we return!

                                      The River Avon

                                                    Holy Trinity Church

                  You could make out most of this gravestone, but the rest were pretty well worn

                                  Keila enjoying some foccacia at Carluccio's

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Keila's 13 Month Update

     Here's what's been happing in little Billy Shatner's world since her first birthday:

1. We are still talking a TON, only some of it is now recognizable. Mama and Dada still of course, and she'll make a definite sound for 'no' while waving unwanted food away. I swear that the other day she said 'Ay-la' for Keila. Smart girl! We've been working on tapping our chests and saying 'Mama' and then 'Keila' for each respective person. So she now will tap her chest and say 'MAMA!' very proudly. Yeah, still working on that. However, when I say 'Where's Keila?' she will either point to herself or start playing peek-a-boo, so at least I'm pretty certain she knows her name!
2. We now have 12 teeth, 4 of which are molars. The 12th one is just peeking through, but it looks like we may have a break for a while before any more arrive. Hopefully!
3. Sleep. I would like some of it. Not much else to say there. Crib arrives next Monday, and let the sleep training begin!
4. On my birthday, Keila stood up unassisted for the first time! Go baby. Didn't do a whole lot else until yesterday, when she took her first assisted steps holding onto her big wheeled zebra. We'll see if she keeps that up; today there's been no interest whatsoever so I'm guessing she was just showing off for her friend who was visiting at the time.
5. Food. Ah, food. Seems like lately we've got 3 food groups in Keila's world:
      1. Food she doesn't like. 
       2. Food she likes but is allergic to (sesame, bananas, peanuts, and now pineapple as of yesterday) and 3. Pasta sauce and cream cheese.  Ok, so it's not as bad as all that, but I'm quite frustrated with the NHS at the moment, seeing as we have to wait until January for allergy testing. Pray that she doesn't react to anything else until then: yesterday's pineapple reaction involved projectile vomiting, swelling, and hives. Fun for all!
 6. I'm trying to think of new actions that Keila does, but none are coming to mind. She's gotten sooo mobile lately that it's hard to keep her sitting still long enough to learn new things. Oh, she will give me a kiss when I ask for one, however. Sweet baby!
 7. No idea what she weighs now, but she's heavy enough. So much so that my left foot is acting up from the combined baby weight/amount of daily walking. Definitely switching her over to the stroller full-time after we get back from vacation at the end of the month!


                                      Loving Our Pasta Sauce

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Worcester Victorian Christmas Fayre

    We went downtown yesterday with a friend to hit up the Worcester Victorian Christmas Fayre. I wish I could think of a good way to describe the experience....as another friend said 'It's worth going to see...once'. For those of you who've ever gone to a festival in suburban/small-town American or a local festival in Japan, you get the idea. Only I'd have to say that the festivals in Japan are a bit more fun than Western festivals, overall.
  What we saw was basically a lot of street stalls featuring various goods, along with a few random entertainers wandering around. To be fair (fayre, hah hah) there was probably a bit more going on this weekend as opposed to yesterday, but we really didn't want to bother with a large Saturday/Sunday crowd.
  The festival covered a smaller area than I'd been expecting, and there weren't nearly as many food stalls as at festivals in Japan. I saw some vendors selling churros, mince pies and mulled wine, fudge, and there was also the stand-out Caroline's Cakes stall, selling her lovely-looking cupcakes. I didn't get to taste one of these beauties but did end up buying one for a friend. I'm assuming they taste as good as they look! If you want to know more about her products, here's her web address: www.carolinescakesworcester.co.uk
  I did also find some nice woolly mittens for Keila, seeing as she does her best to lose every pair I put on her. For only 5 quid, they were a pretty good deal. Plus they have a security cord that she hopefully won't be able to tear off. Hopefully.
  Overall, it was nice to have a walk around and see the sights, but I don't know that we'll make a special trip downtown for it next year. I'm told that the Birmingham Fayre is much more fun, so if we get the chance we may visit that one later this month.

                                             This guy was playing a pipe and a drum at the same time. Which I didn't notice at first because I was too busy looking at his elf outfit.

                                           One of the festival streets

                                   Woolly mittens for 3 little kittens (Keila loves that nursery rhyme)

                                       Beautiful cupcakes sold by Caroline's Cakes

                                                     Men on stilts

                                   The 'Victorian' carousel...which pretty much seemed like a regular circus carousel to me