Saturday, January 3, 2009

Yummy Trees!

I am sorely behind on blog posts from the holidays – hope to catch up over the next week, so stay tuned - there is a lot to see from our past couple weeks. But I just had to share some of those special routine moments from a hum-drum day of normalcy, even if normal is more abnormal these days. It was a day that reminds you how raising a child is so unbelievable. And raising a child abroad – away from the constant blare of TV, with only the focus of togetherness – especially special. Today was our first full day back in Brussels since Dec 19. We have had a dizzying, exciting whirlwind of family and travel adventures. But today it was a “get up, eat breakfast, go to the park, lunch and nap” Saturday. The new milestone today was that I drove for the first time in Belgium. I drove to the toy store for the much-awaited play kitchen we promised Connor for Christmas (now bought but yet to be put together). I did ok with the GPS – driving here is definitely a 'horse of a different color' with no rules or rhyme or reason and impossible parallel parking – but we survived.
The touching parts of the day came as Connor readapted to life here with Mom and Dad. She gleefully played with all her toys, ‘remeeting’ each one after so much time apart. Also one of her new endearing requests is that before and all during meals she will reach out and grab my hand and Kirk’s and start saying “Amen, Amen, Amen!” wanting to recite the blessing for the millionth time. Our hearts melt and we recite it again for the millionth time. We have trouble finishing our food before it gets cold at this pace, but it is so cute. Tonight we had tacos and broccoli. But I accidentally bought ground pork instead of ground beef…oops, those French labels trick me every time! We pressed on anyway with our ground PORK tacos (with the taco sauce stowed in our suitcases from the USA - they don't sell spicy stuff here that we can find) and broccoli. I told Connor the broccoli was “Yummy Trees” and to my shock and surprise she ate them – all the while chanting “yummy trees, yummy trees, yummy trees”!

I love to watch Connor play independently. It is a time for Mommy to breathe and try to get something done (i.e. laundry, dishes, dinner, etc). But at times I just stop and watch our daughter in amazement. Her imagination has just taken off and she plays and interacts with her toys and animals so completely. Today she was feeding “Ro-Ros” (Cheerios) to a toy leopard with an intentness that I have yet to see. It is as if she has really jumped into a jungle with that leopard and she is mothering it – and we are nowhere around. Another touching moment -when we put her in her crib the past few times she takes all her “friends” (stuffed animals and dolls) that are in bed with her and lines them up squished and wedged between the top crib rail and the wall. With the “friends” all lined up and looking at her she stands and speaks or sings to all of them. What a site from our video monitor to be a fly on the wall in her world as she drifts off while speaking to each friend up on high in the crib. Connor also says on cue “zip, zip, zip” when we have to zip her coat and "button up, button up, button up" when we have buttons to master and her newest word is “ALright!” (all in a sing song voice).
Parenthood is absolutely exhausting and all consuming. But it is truly breathtaking how little moments like saying a prayer or eating broccoli trees become so captivating.
Now that Connor is in bed and singing to her “friends” all wedged in the crib slats, Kirk is babysitting tonight so I can go to see my first movie in Europe. So I am off to see “Australia” by myself. Should be an interesting new experience….never been to a movie solo. Luckily it is in English with French subtitles. Hooray! Happy 2009!

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