wir: memorial service, sippy cup, & more travel…

sunday, january 17, 2010:
we left the house at 10, headed toward del rio. we stopped a couple of times along the way. our favorite stop was at one of the fabulous rest stops texas has provided for those of us who travel by car. very nice. very kid friendly. sterling traveled well… we were totally amazed at his ability to stay seated for so long! we arrived in time to meet up with several family members before heading to dinner. since it was a large group we didn’t get to spend much time with jeffery or my parents alone. but that night we invited jeffery and his wife, jenna, over to our suite so we could catch up. it was nice to have some time just for conversation with jeffery and a nice time of getting to know his wife a little.

monday, january 18, 2010:
STERLING HAS BEEN IN OUR  CARE FOR 3 WONDERFUL MONTHS!  sterling woke early and we eventually made our way to ihop where he ate pancakes for the first time. we made it to the memorial service right on time, which made us feel very late. we sat in the2nd row behind my parents. as i witnessed my parent’s grief i was all too aware that there was nothing i could do… no way i could comfort them. so i did the only think i knew to do, i prayed. since we were gone for nearly 5 years i didn’t know my step-sister michelle well. but for my parents, the loss was severe, as they visited each other frequently. and as well all know, when the people you love hurt, you hurt too. i grieved for my parents. i grieved for my nephew. and i know that the grief for them is just beginning as there will be difficult days, weeks & months ahead. please continue to pray for them. pray GOD’s healing in their lives. soon after the service we left del rio, headed home. sterling did great coming home… but needed a few more stops. in order to miss rush hour traffic we stopped by ikea for dinner. it was a nice reprieve from the car seat and fast food. again, sterling enjoyed some meatballs and a few trips down the slide. we made it home just in time for bed.

tuesday, january 19, 2010:
i woke up feeling very sick. jarod was in class but as soon as he could get home he relinquished me from mommy duty and sent me to bed. good thing too ’cause i think i had already wrung out all my energy! sterling only took a 45 minute nap – argh! jarod did a great job caring for sterling and even enlisted extra help so that he could prepare for bible study… and so i could continue to get my rest. at night i went to jarod’s parents and they watched sterling while i slept. it’s so nice to have family nearby. at night i got a call from my mom. my uncle david was being admitted to the hospital under serious circumstances. naturally, i slept fitfully as i was often proded awake in order to pray for my family.

wednesday, january 20, 2010:
STERLING TURNED 16 MONTHS OLD!  today was a day of many setbacks. apparently our quick trip out of town has heightened sterling’s separation anxiety.  today he was in need of a lot of physical touch.  then at nap time he screamed bloody murder for 2 straight hours, even when i was in the same room with him, singing to him, putting my hand on his back.  it was a rough and painful experience to say the least.  eventually jarod talked me into leaving him to cry it out and so i could get a shower.  eventually he did fall asleep and a wave of relief washed over me!  he slept for 3 wonderful hours!  in the evening i was still not feeling well so i opted out of the study jarod’s facilitating at our home and chose instead to go to his parents while they watched sterling… which also allowed me to sleep off more of my nausea.

thursday, january 21, 2010:
per the previous day’s experience i decided to make a very concerted effort to not relive that trauma. so at 8:30 in the morning sterling and i were at walmart. we were out and about. we were enjoying the balmy weather and blue skies. we were making ourselves tired for the nap that was awaiting him. at walmart i picked up a couple of sippy cups for sterling and though it was still in the package, he took to one of them immediately… slobbering all over it through the store! we then made a visit to lao lao & lao ye’s home. we had a fun visit as sterling enjoyed crawling under and through their furniture all while partaking of ‘wheels’ (aka cheerios). he’s especially fond of all their animals. this was his first cat experience and i’m relieved to say it went without incident! we returned home in time for me to put him promptly in bed at his regular nap time.  in the afternoon we ran errands (got daddy’s birthday present)… which eventually landed us at nai nai’s home.  eventually it was time for daddy to come home and he called to say he was on his way.  i gave him 2 options: he could come home and watch sterling then i could cook or we could eat out.  he chose to eat out and had the brilliant idea of asking nai nai if she would watch him so we could have a date.  she agreed (not surprisingly!) and during daddy’s trip home i gathered sterling’s food supplies.  when daddy arrived to gather me it was like being whisked away to a special luxury dinner – just the two of us!  as much as we love, love, love our lil’ sprout it was great to have some “us” time!  after dinner we picked up sterling and headed home where we began the packing process for our weekend out of town.

friday, january 22 – sunday, jauary 24, 2010:
during this 3 day time span we traveled to and from fort worth.. totaling 11.5 hours in the car (not including our time in fort worth). truth is once there we had a wonderful time and were grateful to be there, meeting so many wonderful people. we spent a lot of time with one particular couple and were refreshed by their generosity and kindness. we also met another wonderful family with 5 children – all of whom became instant friends with sterling. seriously, he had quite a fan club going on there! it was also a special treat to watch him playing and hanging out with older children… they really gave him a desire to get up and go (ie. walk) quickly! on sunday i actually stayed with sterling for 3.5 very long hours in the nursery. he did great, but as i watched some of the other children (who fell completely apart the entire time) i couldn’t help but think that he did so well ’cause i was a constant presence, even if i wasn’t constantly engaging him. though the weekend was very busy and exhausting, it was a sweet time of being reminded of so many things we’ve learned over the past couple of years! we arrived home just in time for sterling’s bed time routine! and before long we were hitting the sack too! i’m sure my last thought as my head hit the pillow was wishing there was a way for unpacking/dirty clothes/life (in general) to take care of itself!

*  sterling is eating more and more from our plates and less and less from jars.  weird!
* sometime over the weekend sterling decided the sippy cup was bearable… but he still prefers his milk to be warmed.
* during the past week we’ve realized that we’ve got a serious battle of wills going on. sterling’s will vrs. our will. we’re baffled. not totally sure if it’s being brought on by being pushed (traveling) too hard for too long or if it really is a simple manifestation of him asserting his independence. either way, he seriously broke my heart this week as he tested/challenged/revolted against me on many different levels. we did notice however, that though i am always consistent (i take being consistent very seriously!) he doesn’t challenge his daddy in the same way/on the same points. i didn’t actually cry… but jarod said that i didn’t have to shed a tear to cry, for the sadness was all over my face. i’m sure he’s right for my heart certainly felt like it was crying from the inside out!  i guess only time will tell if he truly has become strong willed (’cause seriously up till now this behavior was unheard of)!

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