Family affair

Well I haven’t had any time to catch up on our life from vacation because my folks decided they were heading out to Colorado to finally meet the wee one. Days before he turns 9 months. I think I have said before that I really don’t have a great relationship with my folks. My huzz hasn’t seen my Pops since we got married 12 years ago… enough said. But they packed up their bags and came to Colorado for a long weekend. I don’t know when you get over the dysfunction of your birth family… I do think it’s a good thing that they won’t be key players in the wee one’s life.

Anywho. We had to turn and burn from the foothills to the high country. Kind’ve odd to have visitors when you are living out of a bag at your inlaws ( and no my folks are the “pick me up at the airport and wouldn’t even consider staying anywhere but with you” kind’ve burden…) Then there’s the fact that my youngest brother is in Colorado. That means he’s coming up and bringing his GF. Did I mention that our place is more like a construction zone and not really ready for guests? Whatever. The GF isn’t my favorite person. She can’t look me in the eye when we talk. Walks away if I come to sit by and start a conversation AND then will beeline over if I am talking one-on-one with my brother. Not that she’s going to join the conversation. Behavior a little more like a concerned pet than GF and I am really trying to not be unkind.

My folks made a big deal about coming to see me with tons of apologies about “not being able to bring” gifts for the wee because of the small suitcases. This is where I really don’t want to know but “mom” brought mugs and other “small” gifts for my brother. “Not that this visit is about” my brother (she’s said several times) but I think when you get right to the heart of things when my folks make a big deal about something,enough to mention it a time or two I know that they aren’t being truthful and it’s the same old creepy factor… Don’t bring it up and I won’t wonder why your walk doesn’t match your talk. I’d rather nothing be said and everyone do what they want. But I am over loading dishes and feeding people. This visit is just one more thing on a list that I feel we need to get through to go back to everyday life. Sad. Did I mention that this visit isn’t about me or my feelings? I am grateful that my brother has a good relationship with these people. He’s mentioned a time or two that he can take them to the airport. Guessing there’s a plan that they don’t want to tell me about. It’d be so much easier if they were honest and carved out time together. It’s all good with me.

The best preparations always go awry!

Traveling with the wee was a challenge! I did feel really prepared but there were a few places where I felt I fell down. I did not feel prepared for more teeth arriving. I did not bring nipple cream! I felt like a chew toy the whole trip. I didn’t even consider that after a two-day car ride not only would he be grumpy but the wee might need more quiet time and space to chill before a group of new faces descend and crowd around him. Wee’s stress lead him straight to the breasts… I tried to see if we could introduce more stress before and gage how he’d do. We had been taking a few longer car rides in order to test the new carseat. We even met with a few friends both out and about and at their place. Had our first few shopping trips from the inside of the cart… lots of new but I still felt like I could’ve given him more peace and slowed the pace down. This reflection is more hindsight than anything.

I also tried to streamline the clothing that I was packing knowing I was still going to need summer and warmer clothing. Never know with boats and water or shade and islands. I tried to limit his take to 5 summer sets, 3 warmer pants with tops, one really warm head-to-toe onesie, 2 pj sets and a Patagonia puff jacket that packs like a napkin with two hats on with ears and one cotton cap. Well we crapped our way through all of the 5 summer sets and extra pjs that I brought within the first 24 hours. Seriously. Had to move onto the heavier sets and those only lasted through the next day. I always have an emergency set of clothes in the car and thank goodness. But so not the way to try to simplify the things for the trip. Next time double both bottoms and tops with at least 4 extra blankets AND mittens or handcovers. Socks don’t cut it.

I also forgot to bring a thermometer which in any other setting would not have been a big deal but on this island there was no 24hr place to grab one. We had never dealt with a fever or illness but know that it’s coming at some point. At home we’ve got it dialed in. Just managed to space this one (oh did I feel bad). The wee had what I can only call a projectile vomiting episode early one night. He was sleeping after nursing and rolled away flat on his back. Fountained everything in his stomach up. It took less than 2 seconds and terrified me. I was grateful to be right next to him! Otherwise I may not have completely understood what happened if just looking at the wet debris. Still can’t tell if it was something that he ate. Too much Jolly Jumping or what. He did not “feel” like he had a fever but this was the oh shit moment where I realized I did not bring a thermometer or any type of fever reducer (what was I thinking?!). Everything else under the sun but…. epic mom fail. New travel list in the works.

San Juan Island Vacation 2015

Not sure really where to start with our vacation to San Juan Island. First I’d say that if anyone was looking for a spot to go on vacation with a little one, esp one that is not walking yet, this is the place! We wanted to get out and stretch our legs so walking out and about was priority one. After Colorado trails I don’t think you can really call it “hiking” on the island but every trail was a good 3ft across and way accessible! We hiked the forest above the Lime Kiln lighthouse and there was only one spot where we felt more comfortable lifting the Thule stroller verse popping it up on the back wheels to go up. Really every trail was able to accommodate our stroller easily. We only used the backpack once or twice and then wondered why. (I suppose if you had someone with mobility issues this would be a nice spot too just depending on how they like to get around). We were tucked away on the west side of the island in a little home on 5 secluded acres. The dog had a field day! I was really glad that we brought the car and pretty much everything else that we needed. We did eat out a night or two but for the most part it was a mellow hang-out and see the sights.

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The drive out was a little rough as was the family visit at the in-laws. Too much to even go into. Everyone has an opinion on what I should or shouldn’t be doing with the wee. I get tired of listening. Also my sister-in-law is getting a divorce from the creep she’s been with for the last 20 years. 5 years ago he “cheated” and the family had to deal with the fallout. Now it seems as if he’s had a side piece for the last year and half… it’s so Jerry Springer I have no words. I feel for everyone but it’s not my drama and I’d like to just bob and weave my way around this one. He’s a douche, he has always been a douche, she married the douche, had kids with the douche and wonders where she went wrong. 5 years ago I got judged hard by my in-laws for sharing my honest opinion when asked for it. I told my SIL to not make any decisions in anger. To really spend some time and consider what SHE wants. I talked privately to the douche and just said he should consider showing up like the person he wants to be even if he has to fake it to make it. I don’t see this dude naked. I do not care how he behaves. Not my husband. But the SIL is crushed and the kiddos are taking it all very hard. They know that daddy has a GF and now they are taking the state mandated divorce class. Go Oregon! (And before you think the douche is the entire problem SIL is terrified of being alone and is already contacting ex’s and meeting up with them – crazy to me). My point here is this cloud followed us into the vacation and the SIL and niece/nephew came out for the first part of our vacation  Which was both good and bad. Good that we got to see them and bad because they only want to do what they want to do. We wanted to hike they wanted to find water to swim. It was crazy. We aren’t in Hawaii or SoCal. The water is 55-60 degrees with TREES and flotsam. Not swimming water. But they would not be deterred. No family on the next vacation. Enough said.

The wee did well on both the drives and new places but there was a lot of fussy and tears. We had two front teeth arrive during this two week period! Much to the pain of my nipples. The wee can nurse with teeth but there’s this weird rub at times. Then there’s the no doubt he’s fallen asleep while nursing when the chomp comes down. I didn’t think to bring nipple cream. The wee was also extra needy at night so he did not spend as much time in the travel crib as I would’ve liked. He was more clingy during the day to. Lots of turning away from people smiling and talking to him. I tried to just wear him facing in more but the IL’s kept trying to get in his space to see him. FIL kept trying to do the “boo” thing… I had to ask the huzz to ask him to give the wee some time to adjust before the boo’s start… he means well. 4 teeth before 9 months. I guess they were going to arrive anyway why not on vacation?!

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Whats little but big and covered in neon green and black?

The wee covered in Kiwi. (and I didn’t even think to grab a pic until I had gotten most of it off of him – the pic makes it seem mild and not in need of a hose)

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We’re back from vacation and trying to get into the swing of everyday but it’s hard when you are houseless and sleep deprived. One thing that the wee has in spades, just like his dad, is what we call “Albatross” reach. Really long arms that reach much further than you ever thought possible. Combine this reach with the velcro nature of the wee’s little fingers and it’s a recipe for trouble. I managed to get a quick trip into trader joes for some basics and ended up setting a bag next to the wee in the back seat. We still have him loaded up in the middle as there’s been no time to change anything since the drive back. He was giggling and being awfully quiet. I couldn’t see exactly what he had but knew it couldn’t be good. Shade soxs make the baby cave dark – had to pull over to see. The wee got his hands on a bag of Kiwi’s and demolished them. Used to have 6 Kiwi’s in it but now they were pulverized and covering him from head to toe. The wee was grinning ear to ear and in great spirits evidently mashing Kiwi’s is great fun. If the bag hadn’t been plastic I might’ve just let him keep going. After all the mess was already made. But seriously, he was strapped in tight. The bag wasn’t butted up on or in his car seat. I watch him sneak his arm back over and DAMN if those little arms can’t go-go-gadget beyond what I thought was possible. He grabbed the plantain chip bag and just smiled at me.

Car tripping

I think we are ready for the 1300 mile trek to the Pacific Northwest. If anything we have learned from our Cali trips and bought the Clek Fllo carseat. Two recline settings and a rebound bar! Updated the kid view mirror with one that flash lights and sings in case a fast distraction is needed. Shade soxs complete the rear seat comfort for the wee. On one of our trips the window shade did not cover past 8 inches and we found it distracting for him at certain times of day and direction. Whats cool about these guys is you can roll the window down and still have sun protection and no bugs! Very pleased. The first thing the huzz asked me about them was “what do you do if it rains…” I just assume you take them off the window if not needed.

Still trying to figure out exactly what we are going to need on the trip. I feel like I am bringing too much but we won’t be able to do laundry easily the first week. Then there’s the question of “How many toys are too many toys”? Not big toys but there’s the teeters and small things and what not (and and and) Also picked up a bunch of paper books to leave at grandma’s house. They don’t take up too much room and I am sure will get used when we visit. We tried nursing with a cover and I have no idea how women do it. Maybe they started the whole thing with it?! The wee one just wants to see the world and ends up making a huge production out of it. Much better to discreetly nurse without the cover…

We’ll see how it all goes tomorrow because best laid plans often just go awry.

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August what?

Having the wee means the days simply fly by. We are hours away from leaving on our first “official” vacation with kid in tow. I’d like to say that I have been up to amazing and new things but there really isn’t anything that exciting happening here. I attempted to get some tiling done while the wee one napped but in 4 days I only managed to get the tile in under where the washer/dryer went because they were delivered on Thursday and I was out of time. Even with headphones a tile saw wakes up a sleeping kiddo. I don’t want to say that everything was easier without having a wee one but construction projects sure were faster and safer without him around. (Wouldn’t change it for the world but for those that know how painful it is too find both affordable and good help up in the high country I just couldn’t bring myself to pay $3500.00 to have tile only installed – less than 100 sq/ft and for $35 a sq/ft…well that just better be some high quality tile and accents not just labor… Hence the DIY while nap time is hopefully happening). Here is the 4 day progress without even grout. Will need to focus on wrapping this up before the end of summer. Things to look forward to.

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But I did manage to get a few longer hikes in. They were great and we narrowed down the child carriers to one and one only – the Deuter Kid Comfort III. The wee naps every time. I am in no shape to be out and about humping a 30 pound pack and my body is letting me know but it could also be the uphills under weight. Calves are aching. It’s so good to be home.

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