Family Unions Reuniting

This post might be long…in fact, I’m thinking I should break it up into two posts because as requested by my readers, I have pictures. And I mean lots of pictures.

Where to start?

It’s 6:30 am, I’m 28 weeks pregnant and my brain is in 28 different locations. Bear with me.

I think I’ll start with family…

On a rainy Sunday morning, I was able to leave work early and as I was getting ready to eagerly head home when I read an email from my mom.

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I knew my mom and Steve were in the U.S. (remember they live in Costa Rica) beginning their three week vacation and I knew we were a stop somewhere in between, but I was thrilled to read that they would be arriving early as in that very day early. And so that Sunday began 10 days of nothing but family time (and I mean my parents, my Michigan family, both sides of Rob’s family). In truth, it was like a family reunion of sorts. I was blissful, Lola was constantly entertained and Rob was…well, Rob was always busy doing something. You know you have a good man when he doesn’t conjure up reasons why he can’t be home when there is a house full of Michiganders and mostly just women Michiganders. And the baby? Well, the baby was happily fed because most of our time was spent sitting around our large, wooden dining room table. A table meant for lots of people. A family style table.

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The week started out with me working every day. I had specifically taken the latter part of the week off knowing my parents would be in town. Then they came early and I got sappy, upset and just downright pouty because I wanted to be home during their stay. Call it hormones, call it what you will, but I won’t be too proud to admit that I may have cried multiple once on my way to work. But Steve and Rob were able to get out and golf a few times while my mom was able to enjoy her valuable Lola time. I’d come home to hear about the day and Steve would always be in the kitchen whipping up some delicious meal. I won’t lie when I say that as a pregnant woman, I can easily be distracted by good food.

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And when we weren’t sitting at our table, you could sure find us at another’s…

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The rest of the week was spent taking Lola to school, working our excursions around therapy schedules, eating more food and just simply enjoying our time together. It had been almost two years since I’d spent time with both of my parents together. Usually one comes to visit while the other stays in Costa Rica to run the B & B. So it felt nice and a bit nostalgic to be together as a family once again. Lola was in grandparent heaven as one of them was always doting over her. She loves her Grandpa Steve’s loud noises and his scruffy face (I think he may have stopped shaving just to please her). She loved going on her daily walks with Grandma Rita and I think she knew that my mother was the one who would always sneak a sweet treat to her no matter what time of the day. She had the best of both worlds and really…so did they.

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Lola is blossoming in so many areas of her life so it was incredibly special that my parents were here to witness many of her inchstones. She is sounding out syllables, mimicking words (even mama as of a few days ago!), playing with toys appropriately, climbing up on couches and beds and coolest of all…Lola can now walk with hand assistance. This is beyond monumental in our world folks as Lola has always had a sensory issue in regards to touching her hands. She loves them to be touched before bed, but any other time they have been off limits. So it was quite a shocker when one day she simply began to hold our hands as she walked. And she’ll walk anywhere. One morning a few weeks ago, I thought to try and let Lola walk from the car to her preschool classroom. This entailed crossing a street, walking up the school stairs, through a large set of doors, she knew to turn right to go down the hall and eventually she merged left to enter her classroom. As we walked, I was ecstatic with joy and then the cheering began. Parents, teachers, students all alike began to cheer Lola on, many of whom I didn’t even know knew Lola. “Go Lola!“, “You’re doing great, Lola!” they all exclaimed. Of course, I sobbed tears of shear happiness and Lola must have known she was doing something spectacular and wondrous because her head was held so high. And now, every day that I drop her off at school…she walks.

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And she walks while going into restaurants.

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And she walks while leaving too.

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On Friday, other close friends and family members began to arrive so we could celebrate the preparation of bringing Baby Howell into the world…we had a baby shower, but more on that later. My best friend, Alexis brought her daughter, Kadyn and we soon realized that Lola would indeed like having a sibling around. Granted Kadyn is many years older than Lola, but you could see a bond forming…one that only young girlfriends could create.

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Lola loves to read these days.

Lola loves to read these days.

On Saturday, the house began to fill with women. And between the opening of presents, the chatter about hometown gossip, the discussing of pregnancy symptoms…you could see the estrogen seeping out of the cracks of the house. And for me, well for me I loved every minute of it. Every woman needs a net and even for just that one day, I had the physical presence of my net.

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On Sunday, a few left and a few arrived. This time we were able to see my father-in-law and his wife, Rene. We hadn’t seen them since Christmas, but Lola picked up right where she left off…having fun with her Grandpa Pop.

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All of the excitement from the week finally began to wear on my girl and she began to drift off to dreamland as I read her a story that night. She is a routine kind of girl, so to fall asleep in the living room with the lights on and with the commotion continuing to buzz around her…well sister must have been real tired.

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And by the end of it all…so was I.