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Wednesday, April 1, 2015

10 Months!

Dreamer is ten months old!

I haven't actually done one of these "how many months old she is" posts in a while.

She's crawling and zooming around in her walker. She'll even walk with me when I hold her hands, though she'd typically rather either be carried or let go of me and crawl by herself. Well, sort of by herself. Often she likes when I pace with her while she crawls.

One destination she loves to crawl to is wherever the cats are! Princess will run away from her, which is probably pretty smart of her. Vex, however, will let himself be caught. Dreamer is very enthusiastic about petting him... and crawling over him, sitting on his head and trying to bite his tail. I am trying to teach her "gentle" but have only been somewhat effective. However, Vex is exceedingly patient and loves to play with her. The other day I was feeling really bad for him and scooped him up when she was refusing to stop standing up and stepping on him (while holding on to the sides of her pack n play) so I rescued him, setting him on the couch. She started to cry and I was turning to her to tell her she needed to be nice to the kitty... when Vex jumped back in! He was perfectly content to let her stomp and grab and beat on him, he was having fun playing with his friend!


She's our little chatterbug and makes lots of enthusiastic vocalizations, but no words yet. We had thought she had a first word a couple weeks ago, she seemed to be saying 'no"... then she stopped doing it. But she's still shaking her head "no" sometimes! She's communicating with us more and more with body language like that. And she's very responsive to things we say, she obviously understands things like "Want me to pick you up?" and "No!"

She tends to try to charm her way out of correction. She'll flutter her eyelashes and tip her head to one side and grin like someone trying to flirt their way out of a traffic ticket. It's hilarious! Of course we only tell her no when it's something she really shouldn't be doing, so it doesn't work. Things like trying to stick her finger in a socket, yank on my hair, or eat a flip-flop.

She's eating a lot of solids now, though thankfully not flip-flops. She likes finger foods she can feed herself best, like bits of toast. She likes applesauce, but gets impatient being fed things like that. Hmm, what else has she had recently? Sweet potatoes, bananas, peas, peanut butter, cheese, chicken, and even oatmeal cookies. There's still a lot we want to introduce to her to, like yogurt. And some things I need to make more often, like spinach. But she's increasing her diet.

We're still going really strong with breastfeeding too though, which is good. She's additionally drinking water as well, as you're supposed to with solids but is even more important now because.. it's really hot!

Summer has arrived here in Gurgaon. Certainly not peaked, but most days by 11am I have melted into a pile of wax on the floor. Ha! We're supposed to get our air conditioner installed soon, but right now we're just using ceiling fans. And actually the past few days haven't been so bad. ?And it's nothing compared to how hot it soon will be, so I'm trying to get us outside more, since it'll be miserable later.

This past week we went to a playgroup thing by auto. This is our fun picture going...



I intended to take pictures there, but was distracted. Sadly, there were not other babies there, only children. But Dreamer liked it nonetheless and after 20 minutes was okay not being in my arms (sitting next to me, one arm on my leg) and after 45 minutes was crawling around the room... which might not sound like a big deal but that's huge for my little shy girl! She usually refuses to leave my arms for hours of being out of our house, she's just so shy and uncomfortable in strange situations. She was even crawling up to people she'd never met and offering them her hand! I was very happy about that. Aside from her grandparents, Ryan and I she has generally been very reticent to approach people unless being held by me or one of them (and generally only I will do) so this was definite progress!

Monday, March 16, 2015

Together

I'd barely slept in days.

I'd been too excited. In America I'd taken a bus from my parent's home in South Carolina to New
from our first "together" photos
Jersey, then a train from the bus station to my grandparents house. I had a brief "layover" there then my aunt drove me to the airport where I flew into London. I had a four hour layover there where I connected with a Nepalese girl. Then I boarded my flight from London to India.

It was my first time out of my country of birth. Here I was, descending into a country as amazing and honestly, foreign to me, as India. This was no vacation. I was moving!

A little over two years earlier I'd met a wonderful man online. We'd talked on the phone for 7 hours a day the first several months! I'd recently asked him when he'd known he was going to marry me and he'd said probably after only two months. Which was probably around the time I was sure as well.

However, it had taken more than two years to get here, circling Delhi from the air.

I'd purposefully watched the movies I had on my little in seat screen that I could which were about Indian culture. They'd been The Grand Marigold Hotel and another one I'm blanking on. Of course I'd also been in the air for 16 hours so I'd also seen other movies like Brave. I was watching the Avengers and nearly at the end when they cut off the movies because we were starting our descent.

Next to me was a nice middle aged Indian woman. We'd not really talked much but we began talking as the flight's slow circles had us looking out the window.

"What's that?" I asked, pointing at something very unusual looking.

"The Lotus Temple" she said, eyeing me. "Have you seen it?"

I explained I had not, that this was my first trip to India and I was moving here. Her eyebrows raised.

I stared at the apartments and businesses below us. I wondered if I was seeing into Gurgaon or Delhi... obviously the Lotus temple was Delhi, but our plane was circling so I wasn't really sure of whether we were looking north or south.

Finally the plane landed. I gathered my carry-on and waited. I could feel the pulse in my ear.

I got off and walked and walked until we reached a set of stairs descending into a room with lovely Indian art covering the walls. I slowly descended, awe at my reality taking me.

I got into a line for customs. I was so nervous. Not because I was cheating on my customs or anything but because this was my first time abroad so I definitely could have made a mistake and this was my last barrier between Ryan and I. I was so scared I'd come this far and they'd turn me back.

Of course, they didn't. I went to baggage check and found both my suitcases without issue. I put them on a cart and began heading to the doors.

My eyes flitted back and forth, trying to find him. Was that him waving? No?

I walked out... and there he was!

He was standing to the left. The emotion on both our faces was so raw. I mouthed or gestured in some way, trying without words to express what I felt as I closed the distance.

I know, he mouthed. We gathered ourselves into a hug.

I'd tried to imagine this moment so many times. It wasn't exactly what I'd pictured, but it was just as wonderful! We were finally together.

I cherish this memory. Those emotions, the visual memory of Ryan standing there, waiting for me.


We've now been married for two years. At times when he and I have been fighting, I will go back there mentally and remind myself of this amazing moment. A moment so full of hope and optimism and excitement but most of all, love.

When we went to pick up my friend Lydia for her first visit a year ago, he and I both were reliving this moment. I remember our eyes meeting and smiling, both knowing just what the other was thinking about.

I'm so grateful for this moment and of course, for Ryan. I'm so glad we're finally together, and shall remain together until death do us part.

This has been a promotional post for housing.com for their campaign about #together.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Photo Challenge: Capturing Joy

That's a happy baby!

Source of Hope

Dreamer "looking up" at the camera
I've been dwelling a lot lately on getting out of the negative mindset. I don't even try to get into it, but it's just sometimes the default especially in certain situations. However everything can be so different when we simply learn to look at things with a positive light.

I think the key to an optimistic outlook is having gratitude to God and faith that He's good. When I look around my life with a feeling of thankfulness it's very easy to feel positive. I'm grateful for my adorable daughter, my furry pets, my homey apartment, my washing machine, my lunch. I'm grateful for my hardworking husband and the technology that allows me to keep in touch with my wonderful parents, siblings and friends overseas. I'm grateful for my friends here and the amazing experiences I'm having. I think the key to the "glass is half full or half empty" metaphor is to be grateful you have the water at all, and maybe even gratitude that it's only half filled because someone got to drink the other half?

And of course I'm primarily grateful because I can look up, I can belief in God who gave us water and our families and this planet we call home. I'm grateful for the relationship I have in Him and that I know since He's the source and I can trust in Him I don't ever need to despair. There's always a source of hope. 
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