How do you rate YOUR self confidence?

So, time for a soul-bearing post.  I’ve just had a visit from a rep for a parent support charity, I was referred to them through my Doctor, then Health Visitor after seeing them about my mood/depression that I’ve been struggling with for mostly the last year.  The main point of the visit was to see what sort of support I might benefit from the most and there was a list of boxes she had to tick, things to talk to me about, etc.  One of the questions was how is my level of confidence.  I had to stop and think about it.  The fact that I couldn’t even answer straight away sortof even shocked me a little.  “Back home” if someone had asked me that question a few years ago i would have said my confidence was quite high.  I had a few little issues but mostly was quite confident and found talking to new people to be very easy.  Over here, it’s a totally different story.  Why?  It shouldn’t be that different really, after all I am the same person, am I not?  England and the U.S. aren’t really THAT different.  So what’s my problem?  Why do I get anxiety about meeting new people here?  Why am I suddenly thrown back to being the geeky kid at a middle school dance, standing in the corner wondering if people will like me?  I’m sure it’s partly because I have not forced myself to get out and involved in the community since I have lived here and it’s one of those things where the longer you leave it the harder it is to do.  Also, there are the worries and wonders if people will be positive or negative about me being American.  That’s a totally stupid thing to worry about, in reality being the foreigner usually is a great conversation starter … so why would I worry that being from a different Country mean we have nothing to talk about or nothing in common, or that they would not like me?  Silly, I know.  So anyway I will be going to the family group that they run each week at the local Children’s Centre and hopefully meet some parents & kids who live very near us and help broaden my world a little.  It will be good for me and Elliot, but since this group seems to be more focused on the parents and the kids just come along to play, I think it’s just what I need right now.

Flying!

Time!  That’s what’s flying!  This pregnancy seems to be going so quickly, which I am OK with!  At first I thought it was really going to drag along, compared to last time when it was already half way over by the time I found out, and being our first we were then instantly consumed with preparing for him.  None of that this time as we really only need a few things and to re-do the back bedroom.  There is not the mad rush to get EVERYTHING.  I’m sure having Elliot to chase around all day is helping the time go by more quickly, I still just can hardly believe I am going to be 22 weeks along tomorrow, so in about 4 months time we will have another baby!  Still no word on what new baby Walters will be, I am having another ultrasound on Monday so I hope that we have a more cooperative baby that is not so shy!

And speaking of time flying, Monday is also our second anniversary!  2 years married, slightly less of actually living together, we have a 9 month old and over half way through the second pregnancy!  I sat back and thought about things a couple weeks ago… In the span of roughly 2.5 years time, I will have quit my job, gotten married, moved to another country and had 2 babies.  No flippin’ wonder I feel a little stressed out and overwhelmed sometimes.

Here’s hoping that 2012 will be uneventful aside from the birth of baby!

We Did It.

Elliot and I went to our first baby play group today.  It’s a group for birth -1yr babies and their Moms/Dads/Grandparents/Carers.  I felt so silly about feeling so nervous but I was so nervous about going!  I really don’t know why but sometimes I still feel very out of my element and even though I have lived here over a year I still feel like a foreigner.  It is so silly to feel that way really, almost everyone I have met here has been very nice and easy to talk to.  It’s just a strange little insecurity I can’t seem to shake.  I am sure time and getting out to do more things with Elliot will help get rid of it.

We decided to go to the group in Denmead (the village John’s Mom lives in) after a couple of recommendations to go there.  I am so glad we did.  We felt so welcomed, the staff and the other Moms that were there were so nice and I felt comfortable right away.  I think Elliot really enjoyed himself.  He loves watching other babies and people and I think it will be really good for him if we try to go every week!

They still exist!

The Milk Man.  Someone I had thought went the way of the history books until I moved here and saw the little white van holding up traffic one day.  I Knew they still had milk deliveries here but I never looked into it until recently.  I saw the “Milk and More” commercial and went to check out their website and liked what I saw!  They deliver lots of every day stuff – but it seemed  a little redundant as I normally order my weekly shop from Tesco online anyway and have it delivered – why not just get milk there too?  Well… This is the coolest thing!  My Milk Jug!

It is a reusable plastic jug that I keep in the fridge and buy refill bags that I just drop in and snap the corner of the bag under the lid then the cap pierces it open.  75% less packaging makes me feel warm and fuzzy – and the bags are still recyclable!  And the cost is not much different from I was paying, and its good milk!  Win!

Growing!

Yes, Elliot is still growing like crazy – right about 17 pounds now!  There is some other growing going on right now though that has really caught me by surprise… in the garden!  I still have a really difficult time getting used to thinking about garden work during the winter months (mainly Jan and Feb).  I just go into ‘winter shutdown’ and don’t think about the Garden at all!  I went out to the garage the other night to get something out of the freezer and I noticed my Butterfly Bushes and other shrubs are budding!!  I have not done any work toward trimming the garden back from last Fall.  I just didn’t feel like it when I was 8-9 months pregnant and then after Elliot came… well, you know we just didn’t have the time or energy!  The problem now is the shrubs, pampas grass and perennials need to be hacked back and cleared but it is so wet out there and everything is going to just keep growing!  I must get to it!!  I did make a little progress today, got the Butterfly Bush cut back to just a stump and cleaned the seed heads & dead stems from some of the perennials.  I just need it to not rain for a couple of days so the limbs will dry out enough to run through the shredder!  And, the grass needs to be cut, as it never really stops growing here – just slows down.  I have a lot to do over the next couple weeks but I really want my garden to look nice this year so I will just keep doing a little bit each day!

It is still a challenge to get my brain to realize things start growing here in January.  My daffodils are already over two inches out of the ground and I am sure clearing that Butterfly Bush out of the way will only make them grow faster!  So while my family & friends in Michigan & Illinois are digging out from Blizzard 2011 – I am complaining that the early days of spring have started to sneak up on me.  Sorry guys, your spring will come soon too!!!)

Reality

For the first time in the 6 months I have been here I am facing not being able to get home for an important event.  My sister graduates from nursing school on Saturday and I will not be able to be there to share her joy and accomplishment.  I know people miss important family events every day and I knew very well when I choose to move that I would have to sacrifice things.  It just feels so horrible.  The separation is something that I thought I would cope with much better than I am.  I suppose I was much closer to my family than I would admit to myself.  Most days I feel just fine about everything, we chat a lot thanks to technologies like Skype and Facebook, but it’s really not the same as a big hug and being able to talk face to face.  Anyways – enough sulking. 

For Kelly: I am so proud of you.  You set out to become a nurse and you have made it.  I hope the world knows what they are gaining.  Your strength, determination and compassion have taken you this far and will continue to inspire those around you and comfort your patients.  I am sorry I cannot be there to see you graduate, but there’s someone who wanted you to become a nurse more than I think anyone knew, who will be looking down on you and crying a tear of joy.  Her nurse has finally made it.  I think that about sums up how we all feel.

Now get a job so you can come to England 🙂

Did that just happen?

Amazing. Insane. Unbelievable. My first Portsmouth game, first Football (soccer for those needing the translation) game, and it was at Wembley. Perhaps some would say I can’t fully appreciate the experience of seeing my team at Wembley, not having lovingly followed them for years, supporting them through thick and thin, waiting and dreaming about getting to Wembley for a game as immense as a FA semifinal. That may be partially true, but that doesn’t mean I didn’t have one HELL OF A GOOD TIME! Even sweeter with the season Pompey has had this year and considering who we were playing! It was a great game and a great time. I’m really thankful I was able to go and experience it!