When you're having fun!
The last week or two that my mom and sister were in Shenyang seemed to just speed by on fast forward. Every moment just slipped through my fingers way too fast. We were able to do a lot in the last few days, and just spending time with them was great. I was very sad to say goodbye to them and wished that they could stay longer. This is the first day that I have been by myself since Willow was born. When I was still pregnant, I knew that this was going to be the case, and I was a little hesitant about the cons of being a constant guest or having guests for three months. That's a long time! But, now that it's over, I am so glad that this is what happened. It was great having my mom and sister over for seven weeks of company. They kept me entertained and sane and helped so much with house work, meals, shopping...We experimented with new recipes, redid some old favorites, and definitely ate lots of yummy food! Thanks mom and Emma for all the help! I was super glad that they were able to spend more time with Willow as well. She really loves them and they were able to experience a lot of firsts in her life. It was also great to show them around our community, our city, and even Beijing! They were able to meet our friends, fellowship, and school. I was extremely thankful to have my mom's constant presence to help with Willow's jetlag and midnight crying fits. She gave me so much advice and was a great model of what a mother ought to be. She was also still MY mother. She took care of me through a couple bouts of mastitis (nasty painful!) and was so willing to take care of everyone. She is so sacrificial of her time and energy! I don't think I can ever top her patience.
Emma made friends here, which was another fun aspect of their stay. She was able to go on the fall camp with the middle school students, run three times a week with her friends, and play on the volleyball team. She had sleep overs, play dates, and even a surprise going away party. Emma also picked up a good deal of Mandarin without being taught directly. That was very impressive! She was getting to the point of being able to bargain at markets! Emma is a confident and sweet sister--I was so impressed with her willingness to come here and experience all the foreign aspects of living here. She braved a lot of interesting situations and was always so calm about it. She is an awesome playmate for Willow too--I know Willow is going to grow up absolutely loving her Aunt Emma! She can make Willow laugh so easily, it's enough to make me feel a little jealous! :)
It was fun for me to see my mom and sister learning how to get around and feel almost "comfortable" here. It was refreshing to see this place through their eyes.
Now, I'm on my own with Willow and I've told Adam many times that I need his help more than ever now. He and I were spoiled by all the help, support, and love we've received over the course of the summer and fall. Now, it's time to start grocery shopping, cooking, and cleaning again. In the meantime, we have this cute baby girl to keep us occupied nonstop.
I miss you guys, mom and Emma! It's hard to not to get all choked up writing this (not that this is an emotional post) just because it's hard to believe that you were here just the other day, and now you are half way across the world. I'm so glad that you were able to come! Thank you for taking care of me, loving Willow, and letting me drag you all over the place. I hope you enjoyed the trip and will have lots of stories to tell others for years to come! I'm also so glad that your trip went well and that you're safe at home again. Enjoy your Chicago Fall---it's the best!