The first stop on our US "tour" was St. Louis. I spent some extra time there with Crosby while Scott was back in Europe traveling around for work. It was nice that I was able to be home with my parents for a bit instead of being at home by myself with Crosby in England while Scott was away. I have never seen Grandparents so excited to change diapers, bathe the baby, or even do her laundry than my parents were when we arrived. While Crosby liked the attention and change of scene, I think I enjoyed the rest and break more, most especially since I had my parents taking care of me too! (although I am going to say Scott really enjoyed sending me back home because he was able to get quite a few nights of un-interrupted sleep and was off diaper duty while we were away!!) We enjoyed the time at home and I ate all of my favorite St. Louis foods and treats, and I also enjoyed multiple trips to Target while there!
Crosby practiced time on her tummy while we were home. Pa sure loved playing with her every night when he got home from work!
Gram started Crosby on her "good manner" program with her first visit home. She is to wear a bib at all meals and is learning how to sit properly at the dinner table like a lady. Scott and my mom often joke that we will send Crosby to my mom's for "manner camp" but I am not sure there is really any joking involved. The lessons have already begun!
The first weekend I was home, my Mom hosted a luncheon for Crosby to meet "the ladies." Many of these women have known me since I was Crosby's age, so it was very special for me to have them see and meet Crosby while we were there. As always, Crosby was a gem of a baby and she was passed from one lady to the next without any fussing at all.
We visited my Dad's office where Crosby decided to get to work at a very early age. The family business may just be her cup of tea someday!
One of the main reasons we decided to go home in May was because my Dad celebrated a special birthday. While he does not like surprises, he did enjoy the (few) we helped orchestrate for his birthday.
First, on his actual birthday, my sister Carrie arrived from Denver for a surprise visit. She got to meet Crosby for the first time too!
We all celebrated my Dad's birthday that evening with dinner and cake at home. Crosby couldn't eat the cake but I suspect it won't be long until the doberge torte from one of our favorite St. Louis bakeries becomes one of her favorites too.
Carrie, Crosby and me with my Dad on his birthday. Happy Birthday Dad!
Auntie Carrie had lots of fun playing with Crosby. Crosby resembles Carrie a LOT as a baby so I have to wonder if people who saw them with one another thought they belonged together?
We also had a play date with two of my friends from high school who were both in town with their kids. It was great fun to catch up with them and to be able to meet their kids while we were all home!
The weekend Scott arrived in St. Louis was a weekend planned with a bit of another small surprise for my Dad's special birthday. Some very dear family friends of ours came to St. Louis from Milkwaukee, Chicago, and Kansas City to celebrate with all of us. This family might as well be our real extended family since we have grown up with their two girls, have spent family vacations and holidays together, and they are all still our dearest family friends and girlfriends!
Em snuggling with little Crosby.
Emily's daughter Ella became Scott's buddy right away. We often skype with Em & Ella so it was fun to see them in "real life" too.
Amy with little Crosby.
Ella made a special birthday hat for my Dad and gave it to him!
The four girls - Amy, Carrie, Cassie & Emily - all back together again! I think it's been 6 years since we were all together as we were this time. Now there are two more little girls to add to the mix - Ella & Crosby!
While being back home was great, it also made me a little sad that we are so far away from our families now that we have Crosby. I have always missed my family since we have moved away, but not as much as I do now that we have a baby. Skype makes it easier to see everyone on a daily basis but it sure would be nice to not have to travel across a large ocean and multiple time zones to get home for a bit. I know we are very fortunate for this opportunity to live abroad so I am not complaining, but I do think that I will look forward to going "home" for different reasons now with Crosby than I did before she arrived. In the meantime, we will treasure our visits we have with our families, which are probably in longer stretches compared to if we were living close by and would see them more often, but for less amounts of time.