Thursday, August 9, 2012

The Coffee Shop is Merely an Extension of Our Home

hello world!! It seems my posts are getting further and further apart. Hopefully this is not always the case. I have two children so you understand I'm sure. One is 34 (very attractive, mostly self sufficient;)) and the other, ohhhhh the other... She's a beautiful 18 month old (almost anyway, I'm not trying to rush things) and a handful bigger than one hand:). I feel like I have to reintroduce ourselves after such a long absence but I'm sure that's a slight overreaction. Though to be fair we are slightly different people than we were 6, 7 or 8 months ago... However long ago that was. Mostly the difference is that we're married!! Really he's not my child but rather my husband. Some may say its one and the same but I only tease. He's an amazing husband who pitches in and equally participates in our lives and the raising of our handful of beauty:) and I also tease about her being suuuuuch a handful... She can be but it's mostly fun:) with a smidge of anxiety but a large dash of ambition we take on the world with gusto on a daily basis. Minor set backs include mishaps such as hand, foot and mouth disease (yes, that's a real thing and no, that doesn't mean she belongs at the zoo) that put us out of the public eye for about a week. Apparently she was a textbook case. Of course. Annnnnd a stubbed toe, which happened yesterday. After the delayed reaction to SUCH a traumatic event Emerson was off the list of functioning children who can walk and decided to make herself immobile. We brought her anything she wanted as she reigned supreme from the center of the family room. Have I failed to mention how smart she is? Never underestimate an 18month old (almost). Ice cream? Check. Books of all kinds? Check. Her favorite stuffed animals? Check. She built an empire without having to budge an inch. Tell me that isn't smart. She slept hard through the night and woke up with a fresh, outgoing, toddler-like perspective on the world. Yay! The reset button was pushed in the quiet hours of the night and together we were ready to conquer the playground. Until I mistakenly tried to put a band aid on the skinned tip of her toe so the wood chips on the playground wouldn't irritate it. Stupid mom, stupid. The light bulb went off and she climbed back onto her throne. Not even the playground would break her of the funk of an 'oh-ee' on her toe (really, the way she says itwill melt your heart). So alas an hour later, a quick trip to the craft store and a melt down or two along the way a wagon ride to the Hartford Coffee shop and the clouds have cleared, the storm has 
lifted and the 'oh-ee' may be close to only a dim memory yet again.

 It may be a good idea to break now for an explanation of the Gold this coffee shop has become to us. There is a play center in the rear of it that hardly ever is too crowded but almost always has another child or two playing and achildren's menu containing the dietary staples of toddler aged children. It is amazing just how much peanut butter and jelly a household can go through, or rather an 18 month old (almost) can consume! To the average coffee shop attendee the little gem at the back of the shop doesn't appear to be the magic that it is.  But a few minutes hanging out while waiting on a caffeinated beverage to be 
brewed, it changed our lives. The kids just LOVE it. There are no extraordinary toys, no flashing 
lights or singing nursery rhymes. There is simply a table with a train track and few donated toys in a 
toy box. Albeit there is also a shelf of books that i hardly ever see touched. But whatever unseen magic it contains I am so grateful for it. And as such it has become an extension of our home. Some parents use a television as a sort of break, I use the coffee shop. Here she gets to interact with other children and adults and we get to play in a comfortable setting outside of home. And sometimes I get to write a blog and have a coffee and just watch her as she goes about her business playing trains and baking cupcakes. If anything it's an opportunity to reflect on just how blessed and grateful we are to be loving and growing together. 

Oh, I regress... I can't leave the 'oh-ee' without resolve. Leaving where I left off, we were walking up the steps to the coffee shop and in her excitement a misstep caused a re-skin!! You can imagine my disbelief. The skies opened and the tears rained down. After a few moments we settled enough to enter the coffee shop, order food and have a seat. To wrap it up, she maintained seated through lunch (unheard of unless she's in a high chair) and finally the draw of other children's interactions pulled her through the funk of her 'oh-ee' :)

So, I am sure some of you may be waiting on the torrent of thought and events that occurred up to, on and around our wedding day. I've decided to save that for a part two or continuation of this blog. For 
now suffice to say it was beautiful, we said yes and I couldn't be a happier wife, mother and woman 
in general. This is our life and I'm in love with it all:)

Also I will post some updated pictures very soon!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

A Year is Upon Us and among her many talents we now know she can fake eat out of an empty Reese's bag! :)

  In other words imitation is rearing its beautiful, comical and somewhat scary head. Scary because that means everything we do is up for scrutiny and possible replication by an 11 month old who appears to be going on 12yrs old.  But more importantly its beautiful, simply beautiful. She's growing and developing and processing actions and thoughts... she's becoming a person. She has teeth, many of them and expressions and laughter and loves, just LOVES to say "Yeah". Over and over. Her favorite word. Which holds a much more positive light than "No" so we'll take it :).  So the smallest of actions can be SO loud when she's issuing them. Like when I look over and she's holding an empty Reese's bag and she's reaching in and pulling out Reese's pieces (that aren't really there) and is putting a handful in her mouth and visibly chewing her imaginary candy. And while this is cute, its even cuter that she's completely unaware of the fact that Luke and I are witnessing it. Wow. Is she really only 11 months old??? No, actually she's almost 12 years old. At least in the sense that she knows what she wants, when she wants it and when she doesn't want to give it up. Ok, maybe that is an 11 month old :) That being said I suppose we had better get used to it... the future holds several more years of strong willed desires that will have to be tended to, regardless of fulfillment.
   So my friends (and family), a lot has changed since we last updated you. Given four months of an 11 month old life that shouldn't be surprising and I'll say it again, if you have children (or maybe even just a career) you know how hard it can be to separate an hour from a busy day to send out an update. Our spare time is spent on wedding planning.... YAY! :) (yes, that enthusiasm is somewhat sarcastic, somewhat serious ;)) Its fun, it really is. Especially the closer it gets but the personal touches are time consuming. Thats all ;) We really hope to see everyone there! Its going to be a lot of fun, that much has already been secured.
  Lets see.... starting from where we left off in the last blog, the most recent immediate family union, Zach and Ally Sehy!! Wow, talk about a wedding!! It was beautiful! If you were there, you already know this :) They held back nothing and had a beautiful and elegant wedding and the weather was more than accommodating for all parties. Especially for October! And most importantly, she said yes! :) And of course he did too and so now the wonderful Mr. and Mrs. Sehy begin what I imagine is a very exciting chapter in their lives. I'm personally rooting for the children part of that chapter! Little E needs a cousin on that side and soon so that they're close in age and become the best friends that I know they will be. So... ahem Zach and Ally please don't let it get to the point that I have to explain the birds and bees to you two...;)  
  After the wedding and before the holidays we managed to fill our schedules with nationwide and worldwide travel... no goal is too big for us! ;) Emerson accompanied us on our nationwide travels to La Jolla, California and two weeks later to Hickory, North Carolina. But wait, it gets more impressive. The trip to La Jolla was via airplane... her first flight! But since she was only 9 months old I feel its more important to point out that it was our first flight with her :) I was anxious as you can imagine. A four hour flight (or somewhere around that) later we were all still happy and smiling and loving each other. Of course a cancelled flight from LA to San Diego put a little damper on things as we had to rent a car (which took FOREVER) and drive to La Jolla (3 hr drive?). It was the last leg of the drive that Emerson finally decided to voice her exhaustion, but her and I were in unison so I had no room to complain about the noise she was making. MAN she was amazing, such a trooper! Slept when she could and otherwise just required a touch of entertainment, boda bing boda boom we were in La Jolla.... :) I fell even more in love with our daughter (just when I think I couldn't possibly love her more than I already do, a little more room makes its way into my heart and fills instantly... a crazy feeling this love thing:)). We survived our first family trip and then proceeded to enjoy ourselves tremendously. Ben and Lisa Ben and Lisa Ben and Lisa you're wedding was a blast! :) The rain didn't put even the slightest damper on things... the ceremony was cute and entertaining and the reception, well no one held back. That British bartender makes a lovely Long Island Tea by the way :)The day after the wedding Emerson enjoyed her first sand play on the beach while we watched Dad (Luke) take a surf lesson. Sounds like a movie right? We are just that happy I guess :)
   Two weeks later finds us driving about 11 hours across the country to the lovely state of North Carolina to visit my side of the family (my mom and some relatives) for Thanksgiving. Again, we were a bit anxious about the difficulty level as a flight is one thing, an 11 hour car ride completely another.  The trip there we took in two legs, splitting things up a bit. The trip back we made in one push. Again, we have a saint for a baby! She was just so, SO good! Its still hard to believe actually. We made good time, not once did we have to take an extended time out for her. Her patience sometimes super exceeds mine. And Thanksgiving was just a blast. My oldest brother and oldest sister  met with us at Moms and we all enjoyed time together for the first time in a few years. It was long overdue and much needed! My brother David and his wife have a set of very precious twins and I regretfully had not yet been able to spend time with until this trip. The interaction between the cousins was priceless... we continue to make memories:) Mom did a wonderful job hosting a delicious dinner!! Thanks Mom!
  As wonderful as Thanksgiving was Luke and I were more than ready for our trip to Central America... Beaches and Rainforests and SLEEP!! yes, the three things I was most looking forward to anyway :) We departed for Costa Rica the weekend after Thanksgiving weekend. Grammy Judy was kind enough to watch the little lady for us so we could play pretend young people for a couple of weeks. Of course some of you are wondering 'How could you leave your daughter for two weeks?' Others are mentally patting us on the back for still living life outside of parenthood. I think I was doing a little bit of both. The biggest comfort was knowing she was in good hands. We didn't leave her with just some 'sitter'. So mostly we just knew we were going to miss her.... a lot.  BUT we'd already booked the tickets so ya know, we HAD to go ;) I experienced two realizations while we were in paradise... One is that beauty takes on a different hue after having a child. Costa Rica was breathtaking, it really was. That being said, I never once lost my breath. I found this a bit confusing.... Gorgeous oceans, rainforests, wildlife even... it was all very humbling but I felt a little like I was missing something, like I was a touch immune to just how amazing it all was... I kind of 'sat' on that for a while when I realized why... it wasn't that I was immune to it but that I am surrounded by what I know to be the most beautiful, breathtaking sight every single day. I'm seriously not trying to cheese here but Emerson has most certainly changed the way I see things and experience things. She has topped the cake and makes even Costa Rica look a little less brighter than it might otherwise. The other realization was.... that it rains a lot on the Corn Islands!!  (It doesn't usually, we just caught a wet spell )  After a few days zip lining through the rainforests, surfing in the Pacific and soaking in the hot springs of the Arenal Volcano (rough, I know) I was looking forward to simply laying on the Caribbean beaches of the Nicaraguan Corn Islands.... snorkeling the reefs of the crystal clear waters.... eating delicious fresh seafood.... we both were, which is why we budgeted a good part of the trip for this destination. It was to be the epitome of relaxing. I even took stuff to knit. yup. on the beach. I was going to knit on the beach. A first I'm sure but I'm good at that:) The blue skys of Managua seemed to guarantee that our experience was going to be everything we'd planned. It was an hour flight from Managua to Corn. And it was not a clear sky we flew into. It was like the beginning of a bad horror flick, we were just missing a few key characters. Like the flighty teenagers. I take that back, they were on the flight. So yeah, we had all the ingredients. Including locals who swore it was just 'passing through'... the weather that is. But it wasn't just passing through. Though we didn't want to look up the weather, we just wanted to hope for the best. The second morning in, when it had cleared only long enough for us to travel the 3 mile island via golf cart for the afternoon (still overcast, still chilly) and we'd heard that it was a 16 day stretch of obnoxious rain, we decided to pull up the weather. And immediately after we decided to go home early. It was calling for monsoon weather for a far into the future as the forecast would allow. Fortunately we were able to actually fly off of the island that day (into the beautiful blue skys of Managua of course) and the following morning head home to St. Louis.  We ended the trip on a good note, a shorter one than planned but otherwise good. And we got to come home to our beautiful little girl that had us beside ourselves in her absence. The best part? She remembered us! :)
  The world travelers settle down at home in St. Louis only to put ourselves in high gear wedding planning mode. Its all been pretty laid back but with three months to go it is consuming the spare moments (and even those that aren't so spare). I don't mind it thought. Its all taking shape and I'm becoming more excited, less nervous. I wouldn't be surprised if those emotions reverse on me time and time again as we get closer. I just hope it lands in the current order on the day of!
  While we wedding plan, Emerson continues to grow :) She crawls faster than I can walk (awesome!;)) but continues to hold off walking herself. I don't think that will last too much longer. She is pulling up on furniture, feeding herself, drinking out of cups on her own (ones with lids though they're not traditional 'sippy' cups)... she gives kisses and hugs (I tend to get unlimited hugs where Luke gets unlimited kisses... I don't know why its this way but for me to get a kiss I have to beg. Its really quiet embarrassing  ;)) She has at least 8 teeth, I think some more are or have come in but I've put my finger in her mouth once and I won't be doing it again (therefore my count could be off). She plays patty-cake, tries to blow kisses (and is successful if they're coming from her ear :)), and is a pro at peek a boo....While I'd love to list her favorite foods I'm afraid I sound like I'm auctioning her off on a dating website so I'll leave you with whats already been said:)
   I do have to say for those of you reading this I don't want you to misinterpret my praises of our child... I realize she is not perfect... to you. But I do realize she is perfect to me... to us. That being said, there's nothing about her I don't find cute, adorable... and well, perfect:) I'm sure you understand :)
  We hope everyone had an amazing holiday!! I know ours are now a whole new experience:)

Oh, and if you were wondering the forecast for Corn Island today is, well you guessed it... rain  ;)