Indra’s First Christmas

“Blessed is the season which engages the whole world in a conspiracy of love.” – Mabie

This little cherub face brought me so much joy over the holiday season. As I’ve gotten older sometimes I feel like I’ve lost some of my zest for life. That raw enthusiasm and unapologetic wonder and delight. But this year was different, I was reminded of how the world looks through new eyes, and to be quite honest, it seemed a little magical.

The first half of the month we saw some new little changes with Indra. She would see herself in the mirror and just go wild with excitement. She loves babies. She finally debuted her roll from belly-to-back and decided why do it just once, when you can now repeat it.

Two of my favorite things! The only things that can brighten my day after a long and mostly sleepless night.

I can’t help but to take a million pictures of Indra. I have gotten so far behind on these posts because of the sheer amount of pictures to go through. And, as you can see, I’m not very good at narrowing that number down. But it’s all these little firsts that I just cherish. For example, it felt like she hugged me for the first time. She was holding on so hard I probably could have let go. She rubs my stomach when she’s nursing, its the beginning of what feels like affection. I love her so much. I love her for the sake of loving her, it’s almost a surprise to feel like I might get some of that love back. I don’t need her to reciprocate, but it makes life so much happier.

We took her to the European Christmas market and happened across the best Santa and some cold nippy weather.She is becoming more interactive. It seems like she tries to give kisses and to use signs. When I ask if she wants milk she starts to move her hand. Her teeth are starting to bother her and we’ve been getting a lot of dirty diapers – she is not a fan. Chamomile tablets seem to help, or maybe its just wishful thinking.

Here Indra is helping me with laundry!

A girl and her cat!

I was having a bit of a hard time this month. Ezra was in Alexandria and because of weather or various other factors, Indra and I stayed home some weeks. I never used to mind being at home alone, but with a baby it made me nervous. It was just me, the sole caregiver during those times and I felt anxious. It was hard for me to relax. Perhaps it was lack of sleep, perhaps it was still hormones, I don’t know – but I had a couple nights of intense feelings. Ezra surprised me by making the two hour drive home. He had to leave early the next morning, but that surprise was one of the best in my life. And one I desperately needed.

Trimming the Christmas tree!Wanting to create some new family traditions we all boarded the Polar Express for a ride through the North Pole. We are a family that loves trains.

Trying to force this bunny on her (emotionally). It’s so easy to let the days pass quickly, thoughtlessly. These moments holding my daughter are the essence of what life is all about. Having her makes me slow down and be present. It makes me want to be better, and to breath that moment in before it disappears. We have snow!

Hearing that Macys was closing I wanted to go to the 8th floor one last time. It was something my mom always took us to do. We decided to take Indra to see Santa there. He was perhaps the most uninspired Santa I’ve ever met. I don’t think he even cracked a smile once. For parents who don’t plan to teach their child about Santa, we sure saw a lot of them this winter!

The Holidazzle. We arrived right before closing time, so we found the most important tent, a beer tent, and settled in for a bit.
I had a renewed desire for Indra to take a bottle. It never really happens.Five months!!
Bonding with great-grandma Sandy at Grandpa Dave’s retirement party. It’s Christmas in Iowa! Let the party begin! Lots of snuggles from Grandma. She couldn’t love her grandkids any more if she tried. This may be my favorite picture of all time. Snug in Grandma’s arms on a chilly winter morning. There is so much love captured here. Putting money in her Elephant Bank.Our little family celebrated on Christmas Eve morning. Forging some new traditions with Creme Brulee french toast and mimosas of some sort. Do you really need anything more than that?  Indra got a little Red Flyer wagon and we were all pretty happy. Off to Nana and Papa’s to celebrate on Christmas Eve. Indra and Ez stayed behind when we all went to church. Ezra talked about how special that time was. Holding Indra in the quiet house. I don’t quite grasp what made that time so special, but I understand how those moments happen. What a wonderful peaceful moment. Isn’t that truly the spirit of the season? Aunt Nene is silly.Christmas morning. My two sweeties. Presents, and more presents.Back at our apartment that night we did our other tradition. Fettuccine alfredo and I had to dress Diesel up. I knew this was probably his last Christmas and I just needed to see him in his hat and beard one more time. Cousins are the best! They really got a belly laugh going out of Indra.

By the end of the month we’re noticing how much more she notices. The ceiling, the lights, her hands. She is sitting upright better, more sturdy, it won’t be long until she sits on her own. She has started dropping her ball and book. Sometimes it seems like she forgets and then sometimes she reaches for them. She pulls at our clothes and reaches for our faces. She peed three drops in her toilet today and took a bath in the little tub without the insert. She played with her duck in the water and is crying more to express herself. Basically, she is growing up. 

I finally sold her bassinet. But not without one last nap and first documenting how big she’s gotten.

New Year’s Eve! May 2017 bring joy to us all!

holidays

“It’s not how much we give but how much love we put into giving.”                                    -Mother Teresa

The holiday season was upon us and of course with so much going on Ezra and I decided – why not move again. We claim to want a simple life, and have even made some great strides at this. But at times it seems like we just make things complicated. We had a return ticket to Jordan and originally thought we’d go volunteer a bit and get out of the cold winter months. But why not move to Europe instead. Ezra can travel to London every few weeks for work and we’ll live some place else. More on this later.

So here we go again, packing up our apartment. But first we had a fun sleepover with our nephews and spoiled them with ice cream and video games.

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We had our traditional Christmas Eve dinner of potato soup followed up with mass and opening a few gifts. Why not throw in some face painting as well. You mean this is not part of everyone’s holiday festivities?

cwvDm9asA_Lw9YsGTQNy8vW7Zxw-1 cwvDm9asA_Lw9YsGTQNy8vW7Zxw-2 A helpful gift-giving tip: When the Lego kit you want to give is sold-out all over the country. Just get a gigantic box of styrofoam peanuts instead. I promise this will be a hit.

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Christmas is extra fun with kids around. We got to see our niece and nephews at least for a bit and watch them tear thru the presents in no time flat.

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The last week of December my mom took all of us girls and Beckett to see the play The Grinch. We celebrated Dad’s birthday with a movie and his favorite Mongolian BBQ (I can now vouch that there does not appear to be such a thing in Mongolia). Then we saw more family and celebrated the holidays again – just for good measure.

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Finally it was the New Year. In the midst of looking for a temporary home for our cat Diesel, he got diagnosed with diabetes. This means insulin shots and a lot of extra vet appointments. A few very lovely people offered to care for him. In the end my in-laws said they would take him again. Seriously, they are angels. We were packed, said our goodbyes and away we go again.

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Arrivederci, ciao, adios!cwvDm9asA3Lw9btnAfl5esWDJoI-7