Wednesday, May 13, 2009

People, Places & Things

We have had a very busy month. Our furniture arrived in the beginning of April, Isabelle went from crawling to walking with a push cart, we bought a car, we went to London for a wedding at the end of April, Isabelle caught her first bad bug, and I went to Missouri while Oma came to baby-sit. Lots to catch up on indeed!

{On the go!}

Here she is on April 4th, 8 months old - the day our furniture arrived from NYC - crawling up a storm!

April 19 - a good illustration of her crawling style. She cutely tucks one leg under with each crawl, cleverly making the transition to sitting position quite easy. One might say this is her "Dutch efficiency" shining through.

She's been pulling herself up to standing, holding onto furniture, since December but it has been since about the middle of April that she decided she preferred walking - firm grasp on anyone's finger who was willing to go in circles with her - to any other form of transportation. When we returned from the UK at the end of April, she received a lion push cart that she now loves to push and walk (and walk and walk) with all over. I can see she is delighted by her pseudo form of independence. I wonder who she gets that from?

She loves going up and down stairs. With quite a lot of strength for a 9 month old, she will guide whoever is holding her hands back to the stairs once she's made it up and down them. She wants to go up and down and up and down - she's a work out to say the least!

{Bon Vivant Isabelle}

The kid can eat, that is for sure. She has taken to most things I've made her with the exception of a recent chicken/yogurt situation that I experimented with. As suspected it's better to stick to the recipes.

I've pretty much followed this book to a tee and Isabelle has enjoyed all of the recipes. And, at 9 months, she enjoys fish (salmon and hamour), chicken & eggs, whole grains & the wide spectrum of fruit and veg. Here's to hoping she won't have Fruity Pebble cravings at 30 like her mother.

{London - April 24, Isabelle's 9 month birthday!}

All she wants to do is...

...and walk

...and walk

Photo booth at Toby & Kate's wedding

With Oma...who at 93 years old still rocks the dance floor. She danced and danced and danced and had a lovely time being the matriarch of the wedding.

It was on this night that baby Isabelle caught a rather mean virus, which was the first she's been really ill. The following 10 days were really unpleasant. She had a few days when she didn't want to eat or drink anything (which put an end to breastfeeding for us, which we were weaning down anyway. Maybe that's why she got sick? Who knows, but nothing is scarier than a baby who won't willingly drink anything.) We had plans to go back to Missouri as I was MOH in my friend's wedding. Over a series of emotional days, the swine flu broke, our baby girl was still unwell, and I had to make the difficult decision to cancel plans to go back to the states. However, things took a turn for the better a few days later; Isabelle was much improved, the swine flu was less of an uncertainty, and by divine intervention we were able to have Richard's mom come over to baby-sit for a few days. I was able to make it back to Missouri after all, and I'm grateful because it was really special to be a part of my friend's wedding.

So I'm going to tell you that door to door, the journey home was about 26 hours. I tell you this so that you feel sorry for me - the mother who had never been away from her baby more than 4 hours and had to endure a 14 hour flight, before a lay-over and another 4 hour flight and a 3 hour drive home thinking of and missing her baby girl. I continuously felt like I had forgotten something because the feeling of having only a purse in hand had become completely foreign to me (no diaper bag? no toys? no baby?). Now that you're feeling sorry for me, let me confess - while I teared up more times than I can remember, it is so easy to travel without a 9 month old. And I watched movies from start to end for the first time in, well approximately 9 months. Given this first opportunity to indulge in uninterrupted movie watching, I watched five movies on the 14 hour flight. I didn't sleep at all - not a wink. I watched Bride Wars, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Paul Blart the Mall Cop (don't ask me why - I wasn't thinking straight), Changeling and Marley & Me. Back to back.

So while I'm confessing, I have to also confess that I was a bit confused by my emotions while in Missouri. I really think there was a part of me that thought I would collapse, unable to handle being so far away from Isabelle while in Missouri, as weird as that sounds. But I surprised myself and took comfort in knowing she was in the good hands of daddy and Oma. I actually really enjoyed myself while home and felt a little bit "back to normal," for lack of a better term. Don't get me wrong, my return flight couldn't have come quick enough but I survived. I think it was great for Isabelle to have some time with daddy "at the top of the pecking order" as he puts it, great for Richard, great for Oma and good for me to have had this little trip.

And I came home to the best Mother's Day present EVER. Isabelle and Richard made something very special for me that I hope to be able to share with you if I can figure out how. But here is a part of it...

Who we're dancing to this week: Haley Bonar, Queen of Everything

Who I'm reading: Girls of Riyadh by Rajaa Alsanea
I don't normally put books that I'm reading up here, but I thought I'd mention this one for those of you who are interested in getting unique insight into the struggle going on between young, western educated Muslims and their conservative, traditional society - particularly as it relates to young women. I really enjoyed this novel and recommend it to anyone.

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