[***edited Tuesday afternoon: I added video at the end of this post of Bella playing on her new activity table - one of the many many many toys that Aunt Becca brought from all of her fabulous and generous babysitting peeps! You can see some of the loads of stuff in the background of the video - so awesome!]
Our adventure to Knoxville this weekend was just that - an adventure. Our travels have failed to be boring since Emerson was born! They were calling for snow in Charlotte starting Friday night, but since we haven't had any in the city yet, we figured we wouldn't really get any. But as I left work at 5:30, the roads were covered even though it hadn't been snowing at all when I had started with my 4:30 patient at the end of my day. But we packed up, got Emerson all snuggly and decided to hit the road, figuring it wouldn't be a big deal since we were driving out of the snow since the storm was coming from the south, oddly enough. WRONG. Three hours later, we were finally hitting Hickory which is only 56 miles away and I was feeling like the most inadequate mother around, so we decided to stop at the lovely Fairfield in for the night. It wasn't that the roads were horrible, though they were bad - but people were driving as if we were getting the feet of snow that DC got, and with the detour on I-40 because of the rockslide, we had HOURS to go. So we tucked into the hotel with 200+ highschoolers whose ski trip got put on hold half way to their destination also. What a blast for those chaperones I'm sure! Em slept in an arm chair scooted up beside our bed - she was the perfect length for it, and she slept like a rock. [sidenote: do you see this precious onesie (actually called a hoodsie) that she has on with her baby legs? terry got it for her when i was pregnant - it has a bear wearing wings, asking a bee for honey - we love it.] When we got up in the morning, the roads were looking good, so we hit the road again and 5 hours later, we made it to see Bella! Oh yeah, and Molly!
When you talk to Bella, if you say "ooohhh Bella" to her, she will try to say it back and it is the cutest. We were packed floor to ceiling in our car with things for her, and when we got there and unloaded it was like Christmas morning! Sweet Molly's house has been overflowing with gifts of love like this for Bella and her, and we went through it all finding some great clothes, toys and books, along with some stuffed animals that scared Bella to death and went straight to the Goodwill pile. We tried our best to help sort through some stuff to make room for all of the new baby things in the house, and after doing loads of laundry, cram more clothes into her already full closet. This girl has got more fantastic clothes than she will every be able to wear before she outgrows! After a rough night of belly pains from tapeworms...yes, tapeworms - I'm not allowed to discuss it here because Terry can't handle it. But people. YUCK. - Bella came and tucked into bed with Terry, Em & me while Molls got some sleep. She could not be cuter. She loved Terry and snuggled right up with him to drink her bottle and play with Em before we headed out to the kitchen for more playtime and a second breakfast.
I can't wait for another road trip to go back and see this girlie and love on her more! It is amazing to see how far she has come in just a few short weeks from being unable to pick her head up because she was so weak to now having a full belly, a mama who loves her with a community fully supporting her, standing up and cruising around playing with all of these new toys, and defining what people mean when they say 'it takes a village.' Bella, you got yourself one FANTASTIC village girl. God sure has been lookin' out for you!