Finally back home today. And while I loved being in Texas with my family, it is nice to be back in our own space.
So much to write about the past two weeks, but I think I’ll just confine myself to a brief summary or I’ll exhaust myself trying to say too much and get through only half the story and leave the end hanging.
My brothers were both delighted to meet their niece for the first time. They were both pretty busy, Stephen with work and social life, Tim with his art projects. (For the second year in a row he was doing some commissioned pieces for First Night; thus we didn’t see him till after the New Year.) My parents we, of course, delighted to see their grand-daughter again and you’d never have guessed my sister was just here at Thanksgiving except that Bella did seem more at ease with her than with any of the new faces.
Bella had a few hard nights right at first, so thrown off by the several days before our trip, visiting Dom’s family for Christmas and staying at a hotel at the airport the night before we flew out (we had a 6:30 am flight). But she soon settled into a routine that approximated her usual. It never quite worked out perfectly. I think mostly because she was sharing a room with us and we were more sensitive about her crying, less willing to wait out a wail. I think also the unfamiliar surroundings left her just a bit off balance. However, that said, she’s a very easy baby, remarkably even tempered and incredibly charming to everyone. Though she did have a bit harder time warming up to my dad, by the end of our stay she was smiling at him and playing stick out my tongue games.
In the two weeks we were in Texas Bella’s mobility improved by leaps and bounds. Maybe she was inspired by the new spaces to explore or perhaps by the new audience. She’s now quite proficient at rolling from her tummy to a sitting position. She’s also getting very fast at scooching on her belly using her strong arms mostly and a bit of leg. She’s spending more time on hands and knees rocking back and forth, trying to get the whole crawling motion going. It won’t be long now…
She also blew me away by pulling herself up to a standing position on the side of the bath tub.
She loves to stand so much. I’m thinking if there were more things at her level she could pull herself up on, she’d be doing it much more often.
She got lots of new toys from my family, balls and stacking cups and finger puppets and books and a cute wooden bear made in Germany (from my sister the German major, of course).
But she was also very glad to be home tonight. She kept looking around, too distracted to really nurse. And all those old toys she was bored with before we left have a sudden gleam of newness again.
Our visit was pretty uneventful. We had lots of yummy Tex-Mex (starting with lunch at our favorite local place, Arrondas, the day we got in.) and some good BBQ. Not to mention lots of mom’s good home cooking. We played dominoes and read books, took walks, and played with the baby. We saw some friends, met my sister’s boyfriend, and had a short visit with my aunt and uncle who live in Dallas and were passing through town.
One highlight was an evening out with my sister. Some of her friends had pooled their resources to buy her a birthday gift: a sushi dinner at Austin’s best sushi place (sadly, I can’t recall the name) with yours truly. Wow! What a gift. The sushi was excellent, the best I’ve ever had, and the time spent with my sister, my best friend, was priceless. Big thanks to Dom for staying with Bella and letting me go out and to Debbie and all Tree’s friends who chipped in for a great b-day present.
Lot’s of pictures were taken, of course. (Some with our new digital camera, an epiphany gift from mom and dad!) And I hope to post them soon. Though Dom does have a huge backlog of work to get through and I have unpacking and house straightening and laundry to do.
But now it’s getting late and I’m tired. Been a long day traveling. Think it’s time to curl up in bed and read a bit more of my new book. And then sleep, glorious sleep…
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