Santa Cruz Boardwalk

Sorry it’s been about a week since my last blog post…it’s been quite hectic!

I safely got to San Francisco, and picked up Ellie and Ravi on August 30th, along with the largest car I’ve ever driven (a GMC Acadia…7 passenger SUV) as our rental (so as to fit all the luggage).  The SUV was so big, in fact, that I found myself parking as far from other cars as I possibly could to minimize the odds of someone parking near me (meaning I would have to manuver around them as I parked/reversed from parking).  It was also the car that drove my dinner choice that evening–I picked a restaurant I KNEW had valet, so that I wouldn’t have to park the damn thing myself.   I will admit that over the 3 days and one morning I drove it, I did come to enjoy that I didn’t have to bend over to buckle Ellie into her car seat (the seats were high up enough that I could just do it from a standing position) and that I was also high up enough that I could more easily see traffic patterns than I could from our normal boring family car (an Honda Accord).  However, I can say with full certitude that I never want to own one of those monstrosities.  The only time I’ve been THAT on edge while driving was when I rented a u-haul to do my own move (something else I plan to never do again, for the record-I’m too old for that sh*t).

Unfortunately Ravi has been under the weather since his arrival in San Francisco.  We had to dial back our plans dramatically, and he has largely been convalescing in bed.

Luckily, my health has improved since I’ve been back in the US.  My explanation is the difference in climate.  I’m fairly sensitive to heat to begin with, and Singapore isn’t exactly known for being temperate.  Staying somewhere where the MAX temperature I’ve run into is 82/83 F (28C–aka a terrifying winter low in Singapore) and enjoying temperatures in the high 60’s (think 18C) has been positively refreshing.  Which meant that I could step up and take the parenting slack as needed (mostly).  Yes, I’m still getting sick and taking meds, but comparatively, throwing up only 5 times in 10 days is a huge victory and I’ll take it.

As much as I loved Seattle and our side trip to Portland (Oregon), I need to share that my favorite moment on the trip so far was the day Ellie and I spent in Santa Cruz at the boardwalk.

I had a high school pen pal who lived in Santa Cruz, so I’d wanted to see it for years before I finally did in 2009, when Ellie was a wee 8 month old.

August 2009

September 2011

In 2009, no surprise, baby Ellie was very uncertain as to what her parents were smoking when they put her on a ride for the super small kids…and she wasn’t sure if she liked it or not.


This time there was unabashed joy at the rides she was big enough to ride on, and no small amount of pleading to go on rides she isn’t yet big enough for (and that I couldn’t go on due to pregnancy anyway, but can’t wait to take her on once I’m not and she’s bigger).

She rode this 3 times, ringing that bell all along

4 times, each in a different car, and constantly switching sides (Singaporean or American driver–she’s not sure yet)

We built sand piles (she wanted sand castles, but refused to accept the utility of water when trying to make plain sand into a structured castle), dashed into the surf,  ate unhealthy food, she rode rides, she tried a couple of kiddy (everyone wins) games,  and then she got her face painted with the design of her choosing.  I glanced at my phone maybe 4 times, mostly to do time checks (okay, and a facebook update, but who doesn’t love a good 2 year old stubborness story?).  All told, about 4 hours at the boardwalk and just over an hour each way in transit.

I have often said to Ravi that I feel like I’m surviving, not living since the hyperemesis began (If you missed that post–I puke, a LOT, and have lost 8kg, or about 17.5 lbs since the pregnancy began with zero gain).  That I feel like I’m not really parenting Elanor as a 30 minute trip to a local water play area at the mall then exhausts me to the point where I lay down for hours after.  Where our version of “quality time” has turned into E crawling into my bed and us watching a dvd together (or rather, she watches Mickey Mouse Clubhouse and I try not to watch it).  In short, that I haven’t felt like much of a mom (yes, I know it’s fine and I know it’s the best I can do, but it sucks).

For all that I missed Ravi during our day at Santa Cruz and would have loved to share the experience with him…it was the first time in a VERY long time that I felt like Elanor’s mom…and I felt like I was living my life instead of surviving it.

I think Ellie would agree–best day on vacation so far…

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7 Responses to Santa Cruz Boardwalk

  1. Dawn says:

    Heat is well-known not to agree with pregnant women; one of the things that exacerbates MS is dehydration, and it’s easy to get dehydrated when it’s hot. I think that’s why traditionally animals are born in the spring (so they’re not pregnant in the summer). :p I’m glad you’re doing better while here – hope the pregnancy continues to improve – and we’re looking forward to seeing you soon. We were sorry to miss you at our party!

    • Crystal says:

      Yeah, the heat seems to be a huge factor, although I’ve spent the last two mornings dry heaving, sadly. But at least I’m keeping the calories down.

      • Dawn says:

        I had dry heaves for the whole first trimester during both pregnancies. I also had dry heaves precipitated by intense coughing when I had pneumonia this time during the beginning of the third trimester. It’s not fun but I did notice that it happened more (first trimester at least) if my heart rate went up and I had burpy-gas. Like, it was more likely to happen if I was up & running around than if I was sitting quietly and trying to stay calm. Once it started it was also very hard to stop. I could somewhat control it during the first trimester if I didn’t need to go anywhere and could sit quietly until my stomach calmed down; sipping club soda to make me burp (club soda because the sugar in regular soda exacerbated the problem) also helped. Avoiding dairy foods and taking my phenergan every night also helped. (I’m off the phenergan now; I had to stop it to take my Z-Pak to cure the pneumonia and never went back on it regularly; I’m finally, as of a couple of weeks ago, getting genuinely hungry, not being nauseous so much, and being able to eat a LOT – I gained 6 lb in the first 2 weeks I felt better.)

      • Crystal says:

        I’m hoping to go back to SG at least several pounds heavier. So far, so good…I’m inhaling my favorite BBQ chips on a regular basis 🙂

  2. gosh 8 kg while pregnant is a lot to lose. Oh dear, the throwing up sounds torturous too. I am in total awe that you still manage to do all the things you do while I would be in bed and not moving an inch.

    I would totally welcome the weather you’ve having there…the heat here is my biggest gripe. I would say if you could change Singapore’s weather, I could go without total freedom of speech. (hope I don’t regret this)

    Love that you took photos of E at the same spot. She’s love this blog when she grows up. So full of memories.

    • Crystal says:

      I’ve been in bed for most of the pregnancy, honestly, which is why it’s been so exciting to feel more “normal” even if there’s been dry heaving and some vomiting since we got back.

      I’d kill for Singapore to be 10 degrees cooler and 1/2 as humid…I could totally live with that, even though I love a nice crispy fall/spring day.

      The posing her in the same place makes me super nostalgic too!

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