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.
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).
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.