I am literally kissing the ground of my own home, with my own childproofing, and my own toys for Gabe, and my own gates, and my own television, and my own bed, and my own crib that is in a SEPARATE ROOM FROM WHERE I AM SLEEPING. Phew. I'm tired. It was a long and exhausting 10 days, that followed a long and exhausting preparation for the trip of 10 days. We had fun, despite the fact that it rained every single day we were in California. Every single day, except for yesterday morning, the day we left, when we woke up to sunny skies and 70 degree temperatures. Now of course, I'm back in Boston where it is snowy and freezing and I'm a little bitter about the fact that I didn't get even one 70 degree day to take my child to the park.
The week before we left, as you'll recall, I was having some trouble with the preparation part of the trip. I was overwhelmed and exhausted, and I assumed things wouldn't get any worse. Well.
How about a baby screaming and throwing up all. night. long. And when I say all night long, I mean ALL NIGHT LONG. From 12-4am, we had nonstop screaming with some vomiting intermingled. This wasn't just normal baby vomit either, this was grown-up adult, stinky, chunky, awful, had-to-be-scooped-off-of-the-mattress-and-the-baby, makes the mom gag, vomit. The night before you are supposed to leave on a trip to California.
During this nonstop screaming came the lowest point in my parenting thus far, when I became so angry at Gabe's behavior, what with the screaming and the throwing of objects and the demanding to be read to even though it was the middle of the night, that I had to place him in his crib and walk away, because I was THAT ANGRY. I sat him in his crib, screaming pile of goo, and then slammed the door to his bedroom before crawling into my bed and whimpering to Josh that I just couldn't take another minute of his screaming. I actually slammed the door to a 13 month old's bedroom, as if that would do anything to help, as if he even remotely understood what that meant. I sat in my room crying for 10 minutes, pulled myself together, and then went back to his bedroom to face more of the screaming once I was sure that I wasn't going to scream back. Unfortunately, Josh had already been up for hours with Gabe and I, but by 4am, we were looking at him having to go to work with less than 2 hours of sleep, so he couldn't just take over for me.
The screaming finally did stop, and I scheduled a doctor's appointment first thing in the morning, where the pediatrician confirmed that nothing was wrong with Gabe, except maybe for a random stomach virus. So we came home and packed some more. Gabe was beat from his night of no sleep and lots of screaming, so when he consented to taking his afternoon nap, I decided to avoid packing for just a little longer and take a hot, relaxing bath.
I've been using an all-natural bubble bath for Gabe that allegedly includes relaxing scents for less crankiness and whining and easier bedtimes. I figured, heck, I definitely need some of that crankiness correcting stuff, so I poured the bubble bath into the bathtub and settled in for some relaxation. After 20 minutes, I decided that I was ready to tackle the packing again. Shortly thereafter, I found myself feeling itchy. Then decidedly itchy. Then really tremendously itchy, including in places that you certainly don't want to be itchy. And then, because obviously this would happen to me, I realized that I am allergic to Gabe bubble bath and I was having an allergic reaction that including lots of itching in all kinds of unpleasant places. Because THAT is what you need when you are going to be flying across the country for 10 hours in just a few hours. Argh! I took some drugs, found some creams, and dealt with the itching as best I could.
I did do laundry, I did finish packing, I did get the dogs ready, I did get Gabe out the door. I did not clean the house, or get our nephew's package out the door, but Josh ended up begging me to please stop stressing about the house and leave it all for him, as all of you had recommended. So I made it to California, and I'd only forgotten a couple of useful things, like a thermometer, since Gabe ended up being totally sick in California.
He didn't throw up on the plane, thankfully, but he did throw up several times over the first few days we were in California. My parents had planned a trip to Monterey for all of us, and Gabe's sickness put a slight dent in our plans, but we powered on nonetheless. We went to the Monterey Bay Aquarium, where Gabe called every fish he saw there a "car" or more like "cahhhr ", such was his excitement at seeing these new creatures. We walked through Carmel, ate good food and played on the beach, even in the drizzle. We explored Monterey's Fisherman's Wharf, and visited the Monarch butterflies in Pacific Grove where they hibernate. We had fun, even with a runny nose and hacking cough.
We spent the rest of the week in Sacramento, where my parents live now, and relaxed at home while my mom worked, visited old friends, did some parentally funded shopping since I have no clothes that fit me, and spent quality time with the grandparents. Gabe got to really know my parents, got to give them tons of hugs and kisses, he even learned how to say "Nonna" and "Nonno", and if that doesn't make for a successful trip, then I don't know what does. It was a good trip, but I really am terribly relieved to be home. We missed Josh desperately, and I can't wait to settle back into the routine.
Now, on to the task of unpacking. Gabe wouldn't go to bed last night until 4am, he was just so excited to revisit all his toys and furniture, so we're pooped around here and hoping that tonight turns out to be an easier night for everyone. I'll keep you updated.