Tuesday, October 31, 2006

The Voice Inside My Head

I'll take a break from "Mommy Blogging" today and comment on something else. Friday night Conrad and I were watching the Hamilton ATF live on God TV (which I realized that must have been why Shanygne G was taking her husband to the airport on Thursday, since Hamilton has always been Kevin's baby!) And as I listened to Ron talking I realized that THAT was the voice in my head. I guess 17 years of going on TM Missions trips and working with TM...and Ron is the voice in my head. I know that may sound strange to you outside of TM world, but I think those of you inside understand what I'm talking about!

Although that is funny, Ron and Katie really have deposited so many good things into my life. And my heart for the world and any leadership qualities I may possess are a credit to them and a direct result of thier passion for God (Oh ya, and thanks to my mom and dad too:). But I guess today, I am really grateful that I have had the opportunity to be a part of Teen Mania. So, thanks Ron and Katie...wherever you are today!!

Monday, October 30, 2006

Empty Arms

Today is my first day back at work. Conrad and I took Isabelle to daycare this morning and left her in capable arms. A friend, and actually the person who was going to watch her in her home, but took a position running the daycare (our 2nd childcare option), met us in her room and actually took Isabelle this morning. I was sad on our way to work and my arms feel very empty this morning.

When I got back to work, a bunch of people had quit or moved on and I got a new boss, who starts today too. It's kind of weird to be back! But it was REALLY good to see my good friend Natalie, who I have missed our regular chats with. I told Natalie that seeing her today was the highlight of my first monday back! Thanks Nat!!

Friday, October 27, 2006

Our Last Days Together

Today is my last day of maternity leave. Monday I start back to work. On some level's I feel like I'm ready to jump back into it, but I am absolutely dreading leaving Isabelle at daycare on monday. Yesterday we went and visited daycare and the moment we walked in, four or five toddlers gathered around her saying, "ooooohhhhh baby." and touching her. Her eyes were wide open and she was smiling in wonder of all these new little people. That made me feel somewhat better about Monday.

Our daycare is at our old church, Grace. I was even on the daycare board when we were at Grace. I know the staff pretty well and I am especially excited that Miss Sally (my friend and ex-pastor's mom) substitute teaches in the infant room. She loves Isabelle and will give her some extra love, I'm sure :)

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

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More Pictures from India...

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Isn't family great?

Our trip to India for the last couple of weeks was sooo great! I can't describe to you how wonderful it was to see Conrad's family again (the ones I met last year when they came for the wedding) and the ones I had only heard about or talked to on the phone. It was really like coming home. I know some of my friends were asking me if it would be wierd to visit India the first time without Conrad, but it really wasn't (although I missed him much seeing his old stomping grounds!). I love his family like my own and it was pure joy to introduce our little Isabelle to everyone and to just spend time together for a while, however brief our visit.

During our visit, we had two big "parties." Now, clear your mind of any American concept of party, a few friends over for a bbq type of thing...or even a big family holiday gathering. The first party was for Isabelle. They did invite just 30 or 40 people over to meet her and I, and they brought her gifts, mostly gold jewerly(of which, she now, officially has more than her mother!). USUALLY they invite 150 - 200 people over, but we decided to do the "real" party next time we visit, when Conrad can make it. The second party was held in honor of Conrad's Aunt Agnes, who we named Isabelle Agnes after. She died just about a year ago and in the Indian Catholic tradition, they have a year celebration after the death of the person and hold a mass in rememberance and have worship and lots and lots of food. Now, Agnes' husband and sons live in a flat, and they set up big tents outside the house for the 150 -200 guests that showed up. Defnately something the tenents association would frown on around most complexe's in the states.

We met tons and tons of family members. And my one funny story involves being introduced to all of these extended family members. In Conrad's family, all female older relatives are called "Mommy" such as, my nephews would call me Danielle Mommy and also thier Grandma, Mary Mommy. Well, every aunt, older cousin, was introduced to me as Such and Such Mommy....and EVERYONE else was introduced to me as Mommy's brother, or Mommy's brothers cousin's sister and so on. I caught on after a while that when they were refering to "Mommy", it wasn't always the same Mommy, but all of the aunts, it could be anyone!) And to add confusion, Conrad's mother has one brother. You call your mother's brother, Mama, and his wife is called Mami(pronoucned Mommy). Conrad finally clarified when I got home that there is a VAST difference in Mami and Mommy....although they sound exactly the same to me.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Dubai @ Ramadan

I guess I forgot to add some important details about our trip to India. We just happened to have two significant layovers. The first was at JFK, where my Aunt Becky, from San Diego, just happen to be flying out of New York at the same time we were flying in. She had not seen the baby yet and was really excited to meet Isabelle. Her company had taken a bunch of the ladies on a 2 day extravaganza to NYC. Now that's a nice perk! (A big hello to all of Aunt Becky's Co-workers, who I found out read our blog)

We then had a layover in Dubai, UAE. My brother-in-law, Alfred, lives there and we stopped over and got a whirlwind tour of Dubai, which is a pretty cool city, I might add. And I made a long list of things to do NEXT time we visit Dubai, and hopefully for a longer time. I hear they have a Shopping Festival....seriously, we'll have to plan our next visit around THAT! But it was good to introduce Isabelle to Alfred for the first time too!

Monday, October 23, 2006

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Hello Sweet Sweet Cyberspace

We are finally home from India. Isabelle, my mom, and I had a GREAT trip! Besides missing my husband, I can honestly say I missed my computer the most, and I have been happily passing jetlag time (as you might notice from my posting time) catching up on friends blogs. And can I just say that I have such a witty group of friends I have been laughing out loud! I guess I am also up because Isabelle caught her first cold...and I feel bad about calling the doctor at 0'dark thirty to get a medicine recommendation. So the little congested thing just fell back asleep in her swing. Of course, her being up may also have something to do with the fact that she slept for 8 hours straight this afternoon!! I think thats the longest she's ever slept! We wore her out on the trip home. The final leg of the trip from JFK to Coloumbus was delayed 3.5 hours...you know what hell that is when you've already been traveling for 30 hours!? We were delerious with lack of sleep!

By the way, I guess I will spend the next few posts giving you trip highlights. So for now, I'll start with an overview:

Isabelle is a natural traveler! She is easy going and flexible and smiles at everyone, so makes fast friends with strangers. And I am sooooo glad that my mom went with us because it would have been very difficult without her. I can just imagine asking the stranger next to me on the plane if he would kindly hold my baby why I went to the bathroom.

We arrived in India to the welcoming experience of what I like to call Indian buracracy. Our bag arrived before us, so was claimed by customs. The experience went something like this: Oh, it's here. Can I get it? Wait for 30 minutes. Let's go and look at it through a locked glass door. Is that it? Yep. Can I get it? No let's go back to the waiting area (with overly sleepy grandmother holding hungry and poopy baby). Wait for 20 minutes. Let's go look at the bag again. That it? Yep, Can I get it? Hold on, fill out two papers. Wait for 10 minutes. Can I get it. No, let's go look at your OTHER luggage just to confirm (confirm what? I dunno). Walk back to waiting family. Check out baggage. Go back to little glass room. Okay NOW you can get your luggage, go through security gate and meet axiously awaiting family members.

But when we went through those doors, we had almost 20 people waiting to see us, with flowers and cold water and smiling faces(all of which fit into one SUV and 2 motorcycles...it makes me rethink the saying, "how many people can you fit on a Guatemalan bus?"). It was soooo good to see all of Conrads family and to meet those I've only heard about or talked to on the phone. And they were very excited to meet Isabelle. My mother in law said, "Now that I have Isabelle here, I don't miss Conrad so much." I was wired with seeing and talking to everyone and was awake the rest of the day! Good for jetlag. But my mom went right to sleep as soon as we got home. So I will post some pictures, but let me prefence them with this: The first thing my Indian family told me was "Danielle, it's so good to see you, you've gotten very plumpy!" (Indians obviously don't have the same hang ups or filters for these things as americans do!) I know, I know, I just had a baby, cut me some slack. So I won't be posting many pictures of myself. I am going to need a few months back at the gym and some quality therapy, but I think I'll recover!! :)

Friday, October 06, 2006

Goodbye for now...

We are off to India tommorrow so I will probably be disconnected for a couple of weeks. Pray for us as we travel. I know lots of my mom friends are probably old pro's at international travel with children, but this will be my first trip! We are excited and, as you all know, and many share my passion, I do love to travel, but there can be so many variables with a small child.

My friend Rachel shared some wisdom from her wycliff friends who said don't fret as much when traveling to places like Asia because the asians on the flight have much more grace for a crying baby than americans, since they are probably used to living in more community settings, it doesn't seem to frazzle them as much. This helped alot!

Off for now!

Monday, October 02, 2006

Journey to India

This weekend we will be leaving for India! We are excited to see Conrad's family and introduce them to the newest addition to the family. My mom will be going with us to help out, since Conrad can't go this visit. The more I think about it the more I am glad I won't be going alone. Can you imagine trying to go to the bathroom in an airplane bathroom with an infant?? Hmmmm.... Anyway, I'm also excited because we will be stopping over in Dubai, United Arab Emerites to see Conrad's brother, Alfred. We will only be there about 8 hours and it will be at night, but things will be hopping because it's Ramadan and the city will be alive with people getting thier days worth of eating in! I asked him to take us for some good arabic food. It will be my frist visit to the middle east!