Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Home is Where the Heart is

It had been 1.5 years since I’d been back to Cincinnati. I’ve never been afraid to venture far from home, but I never like to be away for long. Even when I took my fellowship in India I lived there for only a year (er, almost a year, but that’s another story), and as I’ve settled in various other states or traveled to other countries, I’ve always come home – for Christmas, for weddings, for something. But not this time. This time, the last time I was home was January 2013, to celebrate my grandma’s 90th birthday. While that sounds like “only” last year, it’s actually been 18 months, and some of those months have been, well, really long ones.

So here we are, 143 NICU-nights, countless liters of oxygen, four mickey buttons, and one additional Lovelace later, back in the Queen City. J

The car ride was, not heinous but, not as smooth as one would have liked. Kraemer was flying out to his best friend’s bachelor party and meeting us in Cincinnati later, so my mom took one for the team and faced her ultimate flying fear to meet me in DC only to make the unpredictable drive back home. It took us 10 hours as opposed to the normal 7.5 to 8, with stops at two or three rest stops, a gas station or two and a quick standing (literally) lunch at Subway, where Calder was enthralled by the ice machine, which did nicely as a distraction from the sandwich I tried cramming into my mouth when he wasn’t looking.

Since we’ve been here the man has been a crawling fiend. We postulated that the carpet would give him the traction to get moving, literally, and it did. Furthermore, he cannot get enough of all his playmates, contentedly moving from one set of arms to the next. Even though we are out of quarantine for the summer, our pulmonologist cautioned us against letting anyone but family hold him, especially with the exposure to an all-new environment to begin with. (My mom had posted up the dog, had the carpets cleaned and generally scoured the house from top to bottom in preparation for his arrival – hopefully Calder has displayed the proper amount of appreciation for all this hard work!) But we have plenty of family to go around, and Calder has been constantly entertained. Or entertaining, I suppose.

places to go, people to see

that's right, ladies. hands on hips.
On our second day in town my mom, Ashleigh and I hosted a shower for Jen, so the house was a-tizzy all day Saturday and Sunday. But I have never had so much fun throwing a party! Calder made a quick appearance to say thank you for all those sweet, loyal blog followers who happened to be in attendance. Of course, we like to show him off, and sometimes it’s a little reminiscent of this. No pressure, Calder. (Honestly, when I first planned the party I wasn’t even thinking about how Calder would be in the same place and potentially exposed to lots of germs, and it did not even occur to me until probably days beforehand. Alas, we did our best to stow him away but cuteness cannot always be stopped.)

Yesterday was Kraemer’s birthday. He flew into town late Sunday night and his loving wife and MIL picked him up from the Dayton airport at midnight, promptly wishing him a happy birthday as he walked out of the terminal. His parents arrived in town yesterday afternoon, and we celebrated with enough City BBQ to feed an army.


dad, give me all your presents. or just the wrapping paper.
Did I mention Calder also got to meet his great grandma? J

Gosh, it’s been good to be home! For my sister to finally get to squeeze Calder after only seeing him a few days after his birth, only through the plastic of his isolette; Calder to get to meet his great-grandma; me to get to see some high school friends I hadn’t seen for years. Each year I seem to appreciate family and friends more than before, and this year was no different. 


  1. Thank you for the story of your visit and all the great photos! We loved having you home.
    Love, Jen

    1. Thanks, Jen! :) :) We loved being there and hanging out. Can't wait to come back!

  2. Yay! There's no place like home...so glad you go to go home again. :) And how awesome that Calder got to meet his great-gma! I bet there was a lot of mutual love going around...Hope you guys are recovered from your trip! (P.s. Move to Ohio! :) )

    1. That's the truth! (on all accounts) Just twist Kraemer's arm a little on the moving bit. :) Until then, we'll have to visit more!

  3. So great Aunt Verna got to meet him. She looks great. Calder seems to be doing so well.

    1. Dianne, us too! And Gram does look fabulous, doesn't she? :)