Tuesday, April 22, 2008

A visit to the Ouma and Oupa

So sorry for the long blog world absence, but yes, we are back and lots of pictures to share!! Malone and I ventured out and traveled together for the first time this week. We went to Alabama to visit my parents and little sister and Malone's Ouma and Oupa and Tannie Christelly. *Ouma is Grandma in Afrikaans, Oupa is Grandpa and Tannie is Aunt. We had such a splendid time visiting with one another. But instead of me narrating to you about it, I'll explain the whole story in pictures.

I admittedly was a bit nervous traveling with a three month old. So, like any neurotic new mom I called the airline a few days ahead and asked a poor customer service agent a million and one questions. My friend Hillarie volunteered to take us to the airport in Lawton (the closest semi-large town about an hour away) early Tuesday morning. We headed out wondering if there really was an airport in such a small town and soon found out that there indeed was an airport although it was little more than a building, strip of pavement and 2 airplanes. Let no one say that I was not prepared for everything but a hurricane!Picture 1: Here we are on our layover in Dallas, stroller, car seat, and backpack filled with everything I could possibly need for a few weeks. Imagine trying to go through airport security where I had take Malone out, hold her, break everything down, take off my shoes, put everything through the x-ray machines, all while holding Malone with one arm, and then setting everything back up again. Needless to say, next time I think I'll take it a bit easier on the stuff.

Malone did great and slept on most of our flights...to the great delight of everyone on board who was visibly nervous about the lady with lots of stuff and a baby.
Picture 2: Here is Malone on her first flight ever. Apparently they are very serious about the fact that the baby HAS TO sit by the window. I found this out after the flight attendant repeatedly made an announcement on the plane PA system saying, "Ma'am, the baby has to be by the window." It took me a little while realizing she was talking to me :)

Finally, we arrived in Birmingham where we were met by my parents. It was love at first sight, Malone and the family. Everyone fighting over who would get to hold her, play with her and rock her to sleep....with the exception of changing diapers. My dad informed me that part of being an Oupa was that you no longer had to change diapers :) Tannie Christelly blew on Maloney's belly to make her laugh and had numerous photo sessions with her.Ouma rocked her to sleep, worked on her hand/eye coordination, held her, and played with her endlessly.Oupa would come first thing in the morning to make Malone smile and giggle with his stories and even had "tummy time" with her on the floor.Oh, and they did their part to make sure that she will be a bi-lingual baby, speaking only Afrikaans to her the whole week.

We also had a few visitors who came to meet Malone. Malone and I worked very hard on her first impressions, but alas, I think she missed the part where you are not supposed to scream a lot when there is new people. That and how farting in front of people was a bit of a faux pas. On Thursday afternoon, one of my best friends, Emily came to see Malone and visit with me. We had a great time catching up.

Then Friday night the Oom Johan and Tannie Karin, longtime South African family friends of ours arrived for a nice weekend visit. Saturday morning we woke up, drank some tea and ate beskuit (very South African) and later had a nice brunch outside while the sun was warming us up nicely. Malone just sat on Ouma's lap and looked at all the people, even joining in the conversation a bit. Later, Christelly and I had the best bike ride ever! All in all just a great weekend. Here's Malone fascinated by my mom's coffee cup.

Uncle JD sent Malone a beautiful pink blanket as well as a lovely letter written in Afrikaans. My mom is reading it to Malone.

By the way, in the midst of our trip Cameron and I finally officially became homeowners as we closed on our new house. Here's a picture of our house. I'll put up a few more pictures in a few days.

Sadly, our lovely time with the family had to come to an end. I packed up our stuff, which somehow had increased quite a bit since I had arrived, and we were off to the airport. We truly enjoyed the trip so much and I'm sure Malone will miss her Ouma, Oupa and Tannie Christelly very much.

Here some more pictures for you:

Malone trying to figure out what's going on as we're on the airplane.

Just for cuteness.

How cute is she when she wakes up?

Malone loved the swing at Ouma and Oupa's house. She tried to hard to play with her toys.

She was soooo tired when she would take a nap. It would take forever for her to fall asleep because she was just too interested in everything going on.

Auntie Christelle and Malone bonding a bit.

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