Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Celery, Celery, Celery

Life is starting to "come alive" now. After several valuable leads from a fellow Atlanta expat who has since returned to the USA we are now signed up for a weekly music class among other valuable resources and connections on "all things toddler" - thank you Shannon! And just in the nick of time too for our budding songstress. Connor makes me smile from ear to ear during breakfast every morning. I turn on my iTunes on our computer and Connor immediately starts singing along (literally!) with the songs and then claps her hands and says 'YAY, YAY!' a the end of the song. Her 'la, la, las' are literally the sweetest I have heard and it brightens my morning daily! Look out Barbara Streisand!

I am trying to put my ALL into finding good learning activities for Connor as a stay-at-home-mom amidst the chaos of learning and functioning in a new European city. Yesterday the activity was walking/running/skipping atop a piece of bubble wrap and hearing and feeling the pop pops. We had fun! I could make a lot more "pops" than Connor when skampering across as weight is key to this game. Also yesterday I gave Connor a piece of celery (leftover from turkey making last week). She immediately started chanting "celery, celery, celery" - always 3 times back to back and very fast - and she loves gnawing on either end. She talks about "celery, celery, celery" nonstop now. Go figure!

Kirk came home early, which was a wonderful surprise. His training finished up in the afternoon. We jumped in the car and traveled to the Atomium to play. It was too cold to stay outdoors for long so we went to the top of the massive atom-like structure built for the Expo '58, the Brussels World Fair. We walked around and saw the sun set over our new city and enjoyed a hot chocolate at the cafe on top. When we were back in the car driving home, Kirk looked at me and just said to me, "You know, we have a lot of fun together, don't we?" I couldn't have summed it up any better. It was a perfect spontaneous afternoon of fun.

Then tonight - another priceless memory. If only I had had a video camera. The three of us had to report to the police station tonight to complete our official "registration" to live in Brussels. Guess this is part of the fun of it all - the police need to know who you are and where you live. We were waiting in line (of course) for our appointment with the inspector. Out of nowhere Connor just busts out laughing while sitting in her stroller. I don't mean a giggle, but a deep belly laugh - waves upon waves of it until she was crying from the laughter. Peels upon peels of gleeful, innocent, toddler shrieks. Who knows what is was that she was thinking that tickled her so, but it was so intense that no one could ignore it! A bunch of stoic adults waiting blase at the police station and then Connor's laughter piercing the formality. There was not a straight face in the crowd by the time the laughter passed.

Then when we made it back for our "appointment" with the police inspector we were concentrating on saying and answering everything correctly despite the language barrier to be legal. All of a sudden Connor starts pointing and saying loudly "Stars! Stars!" - she was pointing at the policeman's chest where he was displaying his police badge that did indeed have stars on it. We all looked at her and I said "etoiles" (french for stars) and we all smiled then got on with business. But indeed Connor knows the word for stars and in context, no doubt. Thank you Connor for these irreplaceable moments!

Click here for Atomium photos and playing around the apartment (full album)

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