I am determined to never go this long without writing again. In my defense, it's been a pretty wild couple of weeks with work and all of the travel surrounding the holidays.
Nick and I are really close to both of our families, and, they unfortunately live 8 hours apart, so for us, we spend a lot of time in the car around Christmas. Luckily, Daisy falls asleep the second the car starts moving, our dogs love snuggling, our car has a decent-sized trunk, Nick can magically fit a houseful of things in our little old Honda CR-V and we love listening to podcasts and Pandora.
We started our holidays with Christmas Eve in Baltimore, MD with the Sullivans. It was a cozy, delicious Christmas celebration filled with laughs and good conversation. The Sullivans have converted one of the bedrooms on their lower level into a guest room for us and they decorated it from top to bottom - when we snuggled into bed with Daisy it felt like we were closing our eyes on the North Pole. Twinkling lights, Christmas garland everywhere, warm flannel blankets with Christmas greetings and nutcrackers lining the walls... It was the perfect first Christmas Eve for our sweet little one. Daisy was like a moth to a flame when it came to presents - she tore that wrapping paper like a professional and made her parents proud.
From Baltimore we headed home to Philly for a quick regroup then headed off to Longmeadow, Massachusetts to celebrate Christmas with my Dad's side of the family. Daisy is one of FIVE Copeman kiddos under the age of five so it was a spirited day filled with squealing, crawling, running, drooling, diapers, bottles and very funny comments from children. Daisy's second cousin James had everyone doubled over when he told his dad "I need some 'me' time" :)
From there we were off to the South End in Boston to stay overnight with my Dad. Daisy's Pops prides himself as being a real-life Santa of sorts and this year was no exception. Daisy had her own stocking which was filled with fun goodies and new learning toys and piles of boxes under the tree containing the most beautiful baby clothes I'd ever seen. Who knew Newbury Street had so many childrens' boutiques?!
After our celebration with Dad, we headed to the South Shore for an extended visit with my mom at her home on Nantasket Beach. Daisy was spoiled again with beautiful clothes, toys, books and a gorgeous handmade stocking (by Mom - AKA "Mamie") stuffed to the brim with treats. My mom's gift to all of us is a week in Puerto Rico at the end of February which will be, without a doubt, the highlight of our winter. Later that day, some of our nearest and dearest family friends came to visit and Daisy sparkled in the spotlight, happily being passed from old neighbors to my old babysitting charges to my mom's best friends from her first job out of college. Being home for a few days, seeing so many dear family friends and introducing them to Daisy was a magnificent treat. I continue to be awestruck by our good fortune in knowing such marvelous people. Daisy is so loved.
Now that I am a mom, I find myself missing home much more than I did when Nick and I first moved to Philadelphia. Every day with Daisy seems like The Most Important Milestone Ever and it's hard to be away from my family when I want to share those moments, so, it was really nice to be home with my new little family. There is also nothing quite like being at my mom's condo - the design is dazzling, you can hear the waves crashing on the beach below, the sunsets are stunning and we are treated like royalty. It is always so hard to leave...
We returned home to Philadelphia weary and bleary but happy and full and ready to ring in the new year. 2016 was an adventure to be sure - the most painful and frightening of my life but also the most rewarding and filled with love. I have waited my whole life for this time and I am so thankful that Daisy is here. 2017 will be spectacular because it will be my first full year as a mother and I can't think of a better way to start a new year than to be able to say I entered it as a mom. What a gift.
Daisy is growing and advancing at a rapid pace now. She is incredibly active and keeping me on my toes - I can't turn away for a second! She is wriggling and wiggling and twisting and shimmying and flipping from her belly to her back then back again and doing just about everything except crawling. She has displayed a real love for music in the past month and seems to dance in her own way whenever we play music.
She absolutely ADORES bathtime. We've done away with the clunky mini-tub-that-goes-inside-the-real-tub and have resorted to jumping in the bathtub in swimsuits with her so we can help her float and swim and play. She loves splashing around and has no fear of going underwater or getting water in her eyes. We've started swimming lessons at the YMCA to see if her love of bathtime translates into an interest in swimming. So far, her disdain for the instructor has prevented progress but we're sticking with it and staying hopeful.
Hope 2017 is off to a fantastic start for all those we love - thank you for reading and being the best cheerleaders we could ever ask for!