AWLE: The End

Celebrating Little E's 1st birthday a couple weeks ago!
Celebrating Little E’s 1st birthday a couple weeks ago!

Well, my adventures with Little E are coming to an end. Today is my last day nannying her. It has been a great joy spending 3 days of each week with this precious little girl. Over the last 6.5 months I have loved watching her learn how to sit, then scoot, then stand, then crawl (yes, in that order), then walk! Loved reading books together, dancing, climbing the stairs, going on adventures in the car, playing in the living room, and holding her while we looked out the front door at all the fun things outside. On sunny days I loved going on walks to the park, or down to the FroYo place when it was warm. I loved rocking with her before naps, and seeing her smile when I walked into her room after she woke up. I loved watching her personality start to become evident in the past couple months, especially her opinions on what she wants to wear, play with and eat! I loved taking her places, because she put a smile on everyone’s face who saw her. Babies are instant happiness makers, I am convinced.

Part of me is sad that I will no longer be a part of her life, and I know she will not remember me after a few months. But I keep reminding myself that Little E has a family who loves her abundantly. She is safe, cared for, and precious to so, so many people. I am leaving because there are children in Nepal who don’t have a family to love them. Children who are not safe, who are left on their own, discarded and unwanted. That is something I cannot understand, not wanting a precious child. Yet the reality of how many children find that to be true in their life cannot be ignored. So I leave knowing the Little E is in great hands. As much as I love her, my heart belongs to a group of children in this tiny country who I will be meeting soon.

Playing at the park!
Playing at the park!
Sweet baby face! Love her!
Sweet baby face! Love her!

3 Weeks

This is like mine, only mine was blue.
If suitcases could talk…

For my 15th birthday I asked for a set of luggage. Some may find that strange, but I knew even then that I was born for travel and adventure. Maybe being born in Japan and flying on planes since I was 3 months old has something to do with it, who knows? Anyway, I loved my brand new, shiny, Navy-blue Jeep brand luggage, that held the hope and promise of thrilling adventures to far off places. It only took a few years for me to wear out that set and need new suitcases yet again, but if my suitcases could talk, oh the stories they would tell of fantastic and fun times traveling to spots around the world and back again.

Some of those places I visited for a quick 40 hours (thank you, RyanAir, for 5 euro tickets from Berlin to Shannon, Ireland), others for a few weeks, and some still for a couple years. Every time I went, I experienced a new culture, often a new language, a new way of seeing the world and living life. And still now, every time I go, I want to see more, to taste more, to stay longer, to learn more, to know people and discover all there is to see.

But my above-all-else favorite part of traveling is seeing God in the midst of “different”, seeing how the gospel truly is for every person in every culture, and learning how He can use my little, insignificant life to show His love to others and bring Him glory. I bring nothing to the table that I have not already been given, and I humbly give it back to the Lord to be used however He sees fit. For a few years those gifts were used here in the US, but now, it is time to go again and take His love to a lost and hurting world.

There are only 3 weeks left before I fly halfway around the world and see about this new life in Nepal. I’m mostly excited, although at the same time I’m working to manage my expectations as I walk into completely unknown territory. I desire to be a learner, an explorer, a listener, open to others and to what the Lord has to tell me. A year and a half ago I saw a video that started a dream to serve orphans in Nepal, and now it is becoming a reality. Through every step He has been faithful, for He cannot be anything else, and I am thankful that He is the one in charge of this expedition, no matter what happens.

On an almost unrelated note, today Little E and I are celebrating her first birthday. She turned 1 year old yesterday, so when she wakes up from her nap we are going to The Cheesecake Factory for a special birthday lunch. Maybe I’ll post a picture on here later. It is amazing that 6 months have already gone by since I started nannying her, and hard to believe that I must soon say goodbye to this precious little girl. Next week will be my last week with her, and although I know she won’t remember me after a few months go by, I am going to miss her.

AWLE: An Update

The speed at which babies grow and change just fascinates me. You get one routine down, and then they are ready for the next big thing. Little E and Mr A are starting to get to a more fun stage now – crawling!! One month ago, Mr A could barely sit up on his own, and Little E wouldn’t stay on her tummy for more than a nano-second (I’m not even joking – she would start to flip over to her back as you were laying her down). But now, as November dawns and they are finishing up month number 7 of their first year in this crazy world, Mr A is scooting forward and beginning to get up on his knees and rock back and forth. And Little E rolls to her tummy on her own and is beginning to grasp the idea of moving somewhere.

It makes me laugh, sometimes, at how very different these two babies are. 5 days apart in age, and yet different in most everything. With Little E, I can put her down on the floor and know that she will be right where I left her when I walk back in the room. Mr A, however, could be rolled to the other side of the blanket half-way under the couch. Same with sleeping. Little E barely moves – even her hands stay right next to her head. Mr A? I lay him down in the crib, and when he wakes up he is flipped to the other end, turned over with his face pressed into the side hollering at me. Mr A has a walker, and he loves to zoom around the kitchen while I am getting their bottles ready, or cleaning, or just playing with them. Little E’s feet barely reach the floor, and she can only go backwards.

They are similar in some ways, though. Both of them love to sing, and eat, and talk, and be outside. They are both content babies who enjoy playing and are good at entertaining themselves. The love being in their stroller, and riding in the car. Within the past week they have started to become more interactive with each other, talking, playing, laughing and crying together quite often. They are starting to become aware of the world around them, and are beginning to respond when talked to or told something.

Even though it will be more tiring, in some ways, when they become fully mobile, I am looking forward to it at the same time. This is such a fun age and time in their lives, when everything is new and little things are big adventures, and I am enjoying being a part of it as we spend our days together!

AWLE: Success & A Surprise

Finally! 2.5 weeks in, and we found a playground. Success! Not only that, we found two playgrounds, AND a lovely walking path! Oh, yes we did. Little E tried out the swing on her own for the first time and loved it! We will definitely be going back there a lot, especially as she and Mr A get bigger and can do more! And next time, we will park in the subdivision right near the playground, and not in the gravel parking lot across the major road. You live and you learn…that’s why they are called ‘adventures’. Haha. We were very happy yesterday. Here are some pictures from our foray into the great unknown!

Little E enjoying the swing! Look at how cute she is! Who could resist that face??
The beautiful path we got to meander down
The playground. I had to take a faraway shot because there were people there I don’t know. Didn’t want to be a creeper, you know.
















Aaaannnddddd we found out today that Mr. A is going to be joining us full-time on Monday. Surprise! Yes, this Monday. Not in three months, or one month. 4 days. And no more Fridays off or half days on Wednesday. 50 hours a week of straight babies. Eek! So, starting next week, it will be me and the 6 month olds out to conquer the world.  Well, almost 7 month olds. Good thing they are cute, and not too mobile as of yet. Their awesome moms are scurrying to get a double stroller bought this weekend so I can take them both out at the same time next week, and we are going to have a trial and error session to find out what works best for naps. Oooo it’s going to be a fun week.

AWLE: It’s Official…

…Little E is one of the cutest babies in the world, and I’m not the only one who thinks so. Everywhere we go people just ooo and aaahh and tell me how cute and adorable and happy and smiley and chunky she is. And it’s true. All of it.

Yesterday we went to Barnes and Noble for children’s story time and she loved it. She did so great sitting in my lap and listening to the story, and she also loved all the other kids. I’m pretty sure Little E is an extrovert. She LOVES people, and does NOT love being by herself. She is happy and content to just sit in her stroller and stare at everyone around her, although she also loves to talk to them sometimes, making them smile with her gibberish and drool as she chews on Sophie, her squeaky giraffe. Mr. A and his mommy also joined us for story time yesterday, which was a fun surprise! Little E and Mr A get along quite well, which is good since they will be spending all day together every day in the near future.

Her favorite game at the moment is to lay on her back and pull anything around her over her face. Blankets, teddy bears, dolls, burp cloths, her clothes…whatever is near her is bound to end up covering her face. The funniest part about it is that she gets mad when you pull it off. She loves to just leave it on her face, and she kicks and giggles and thinks it is the best thing ever.

Since she loves adventures and going out so much, I am on the hunt for more fun things for us to do, especially as the weather cools down. Lunch at Whole Foods is on the list, as well as some other fun children’s activities at the nearby Towne Center. Hooray for adventures!