Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Tess A Million Stars!

Tess A Million Stars! That’s what Henry calls her…her actual name being Tess Amelia Starr. I love that he calls her that. I was going to say that it’s so fun watching them together but then I caught myself with the thought that really it’s only sometimes fun to watch them together. I’m just being honest. They do love each other and the sweet moments are getting sweeter and happen more often. But they also both like their personal space! Tess gets really annoyed when Henry is over demonstrative and hugs her like he’s wringing out a wet towel. Who can blame her? Even though I personally love those bone-crushing displays of affection.

But one Tuesday night, after Henry’s soccer practice, was special. I couldn’t figure out what sparked Henry’s sudden interest in playing with his little sister, but I didn’t care. It. Was. Adorable. When Luke came in to ask Tess if she was ready for bed, Henry said, “No. She wants to play some more.” When she did go to bed, he said, “We’ll play after soccer again, okay?” Tess was loving it, too. She has started getting super excited to see Henry after school, and is really lovey and kissy with him. So, yes, I do love watching all of that!

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Some Fabulous Photos of Our One Year Old

Wye Mountain

At Wye Mountain with the daffodils.

On the front porch with the pansies.

Love at first sight.

Tess with Gigi (aka Florence Starr, Flo Franklin, Nonnie Flo)

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

You're invited...

Hey everyone! Well we are home and slowly, very slowly, adjusting to the time difference. It is always worse coming back home. Anyway, we wanted to let everyone know that tomorrow, March 1st, Tess turns ONE! I know many of you have wanted to come by and see her (and maybe a few of you wish to see the rest of us as well). We want everyone to come by for some cake and Tess on Saturday anytime between 11 and 2. This is not a formal birthday party so please do not bring any gifts. Drop by anytime and call us if you have any questions. We are planning to add more stories about the trip as we find the time to write. Stay tuned and hope to see everyone on Saturday!

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Home Sweet Home

Oh, it's good to be home! We finally arrived back in Little Rock Monday afternoon. We were lucky to catch the only plane out of Chicago that day that wasn't cancelled. We were greeted at the airport by J.J., Nana, Bobo, Joe B., Kevin and Kevin's parents Reg and Glenda. I nearly cried I was so happy. We were also greeted by gorgeous weather here in Little Rock. And daffodils and blue sky. Heaven!

Everyone is still adjusting to the new time zone but we're in such good spirits that it hasn't seemed to bother us. Tess is trying to figure out this cat and dogs business. Kavanaugh so wants to lick her all day long and she so doesn't like it. We're also finally able to prepare her real food. In transit, we've been relying on the bottle a lot. But little girl is doing great.

Mom and I bought her an outfit today (size 6 months). I finished putting it on and she rolled over and her pants came off. Girlfriend is tiny! She also got to meet her great aunt today and her great, great grandmother. Tonight she'll meet Papa and Pam who just arrived back in town today after their own travel delays.

Tess's birthday is Thursday! We've only had her a week and she's already turning one! So we're planning a little party and you're all invited to drop by for cake and to see our new daughter. We'll keep you posted on time/date. We hope to see you!

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Stuck in the Windy City

Just a quick update--we're not home yet. We're stuck in Chicago. Our flight last night (Saturday) was cancelled. With luck, we got a hotel room although 2,000 people slept at the airport. We consider ourselves very lucky at this point. Our rescheduled flight for this morning was also cancelled. It's cold, snowy and windy here. It was the wind last night that caused the problems. It snowed today but it looks okay out.

So, hopefully, if things go as planned (ha!), we'll make our flight tomorrow (Monday) at 11:25 and be home a couple of hours later. We can't wait!! We hope to see you soon!!!!!!!!!

Friday, February 23, 2007

Last Call

This may be our final post before the trip home. It is 4 in the afternoon on Friday here in New Delhi, and after a little sight-seeing and time at the pool, we are about to embark on the adventure of PACKING!

Tess is an absolute delight. She is asleep after another bottle. We are going to fatten her up in a hurry, skinny little thing! Again for the 3 out of the 4 nights she slept for 8-10 hours without a peep. Although she does not like to be put down; when she is awake, she is being held. She loves to laugh and only cries when she needs to poop. I assume the stress of the last few days, the change of routine and diet may be contributing to it. But she will get on schedule very, very soon. Besides us, her thumbs are her best friends. I’m scared at times she may suck them off her hand. Or perhaps she will grow up with thumbs the size of coke bottles. Once we get home to all her toys, she will find other things to do with her hands. Ellen talked about her development stuff. She crawls great, can pick herself up and stand while holding onto something. She gets a thrill out of pulling herself up. She just laughs! Physically she is so tiny. I always joked how she will be in the land of giants and I ain’t kidding. In her eyes you see a sharp little booger. She knows exactly what is going on at every moment and you see her wanting to actively engage everything around her. And in her eyes you see a child that processes so much joy and happiness. Her face lights up when she is happy.

We wondered how she was going to adjust to her new life. The first 48 hours you could tell she had moments of confusion. She would look at us and stick out her lip and furrow her eyebrows. We felt so sorry for her. But the last 48 hours has seen nothing of the sort. She seems to expect us when she wakes up. She pleads for us to hug and kiss her. I wonder if once we get home she may go through a grieving process. For now she seems very happy.

There have been too many moments to begin to describe here. India, the little we experienced was like no other place on earth. The people have been so warm and inviting. I don’t know how many times we had to stop and pose for photos for complete strangers, but we were intrigued by them as much as they were us.

Did this trip exceed all expectations? Yes. Will we ever make this crossing again? You bet. We have promised so many people we would see them in ten years. We will be back. But first we are coming home. Home to our family and friends, co-workers and familiar faces. Each one of you got us here today. Each one of you are the reason we yearn to be back. I hope you enjoyed the trip with us. I hope we opened our hearts to you. All we need now is a US Pizza, cold Fat Tire, and a babysitter.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Almost Home

One big happy family!

Henry and Ellen at the most beautiful pool in the world

The left thumb this time

“Enough is enough,” to quote my mother on the blog. I couldn’t agree more. I’d really love to stay longer some other time but it will be really nice to be home. I will say that if we had the chance to go to Darjeeling tomorrow instead of coming home, I think I’d jump on it. Now that the “un-beautiful” day at the Embassy is over, we can relax. So many people suggest Darjeeling—it’s called the green something or other because of the gorgeous scenery – you can guess it’s famous for tea. We were also recommended Katmandu—I’ve always wanted to go to Nepal. I really could stay here and travel more—I want to see it all. But we also want to see our family and friends—and introduce Tess.

I’ve been making fun of Luke for being afraid of the traffic in New Delhi. They have actual lanes with dotted lines here—it’s not scary to me. Kolkata, yes. Here, no. This place is super nice. And the weather is absolutely gorgeous. However, Henry just wants to hang out in the hotel room and play. I’m trying really hard to get him to go to the Lodi Gardens and to the Crafts Museum (which is the closest thing to the Territorial Fair at Historic Arkansas—they have crafts demonstrators in the courtyard that also sell their creations). We’ll see.

We are not able, though, to come home early. No available seats.

Henry and Tess are both doing great. Another good night of sleeping. Henry woke up at 4:30 or 5:00, though. I guess we’re still a little out of sync with the time zone. Tess has three teeth (two bottom) and she is getting her fourth (to make two on top). Henry’s been writing all sorts of letters to his friends. Tess is so friendly and happy. Not shy at all but pretty quiet. By the way, she weighs slightly more than 13 pounds. I think she’s 25 ½ inches. The 6-9 month clothes swallow her up in girth but if they are footies, they are barely long enough.

Tips for those traveling soon: British Airways customer service is Horrendous! We won’t travel BA again! Travelocity was also a mess. But Expedia reservations worked out just fine. Also, the day of the Embassy trip, the doctors are open until 1:00 pm. So get to the Embassy early enough to get to the doctor by 1. The woman we went to was Dr. Shakuntala Dewesar and she was awesome! As Luke said, window 16/17 at the Embassy (you’ll understand what this means when you get there) is closed from 1-2 pm so after the doctor, you may just want to go get lunch before you go back to the Embassy.