Thursday, July 09, 2009

I'm Back!!! (With Arkansas Pics)

Pepaw and Hideo

Emiko gets a kick out of her cousins Andrew and Aaron.

I have been on maternity leave since December, which for me meant leave from my blog, too, apparently. But now my leave is over and I have no excuse for not getting back into my blogging. So I promise to blog at least once a week. Todd says you have to blog twice a week for people to think it's worth their while to read your blog, so I will aim for twice a week.

To get started, I'll tell you about our big trip to Arkansas in April. Todd and I loaded up the kids in the Rav4 and headed down south. We drove to St. Louis and spent the night there. Around midnight, we heard a thump, and Emiko fell out of the bed. She screamed bloody murder and her nose started bleeding like crazy.

Emiko gets nosebleeds, so this wasn't a huge surprise, but it was way more blood than usual. So I called my dad to see what he thought. He suggested we take her to the ER just to make sure she was ok. I called the front desk to get directions and Todd took Emiko to the ER.

Hideo slept through all of this, but I was too nervous to sleep. Luckily I had my Southern Vampire books by Charlaine Harris, so I read til Todd and Emiko got back. Thank God we were in St. Louis and not Chicago, because they were only gone for a couple of hours. And Emiko was fine.

Next day we were up early (despite our late night) and continued our drive south. Got to Arkansas and the fun really started! Actually, it was a fun trip. My family tends to stress me out (I have a stepmother who makes me crazy), but we all got along well. I have found that having children has upped my credibility with my family exponentially (even more than getting married).

We ate fried catfish and hushpuppies. And cheese dip. Those were my major food objectives. And we spent a day at Terra Studios , one of my favorite places on the planet. It's basically a hippy enclave where they make the world famous bluebird of happiness. We gave bluebirds to our out of town guests at our wedding -- since they represent Arkansas and I love Terra so much.

Emiko and the famous bluebirds.

Emiko makes a new friend at Terra.

Emiko in a big chair at Terra.

In addition to the bluebirds, they make tons of pottery, and the grounds of the studio have been decorated with pottery sculpture galore. Emiko loved playing with all the fairies, gnomes, and various woodland creatures. If you are ever in Northwest Arkansas, you have to see it for yourself.

Emiko joins the tea party at Terra.

Graves Kids.

And my brother came to my dad's house one day during our visit, and it was the most fun I've had with my brother ever. Seriously. He was cracking me up. We took some great family pics, which resulted in lots of "healthy Graves girls" jokes. It's ok -- it was worth it. I'm glad he and I are finally enjoying each other in our old age. I never really thought that was possible.

Graves Family (Hideo was asleep.)

Alannah with Emiko and Hideo.

Hideo was a hit -- he travels quite well. It was fun showing him off to everyone. My sister had a get together at her house on afternoon so any friends of mine who wanted to drop by could meet him and see Emiko. My friends Alannah and Martha were able to swing by. It was great to see them. Martha is pregnant (actually, she was due July 6th, so maybe she's had that baby and no one has told me yet). I was glad to give her a bunch of baby stuff that I no longer need.

Hideo and Alannah.

All in all it was a good trip home. I just got back from another trip to Arkansas on Monday. I took Hideo, but Daddy and Emiko had to stay home. Now that Emiko has to pay full price for airfare, I couldn't justify the expense of taking her. But I wanted to make another trip home before I go back to work. More about that one later.

Just to prove that Todd was there!

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