Saturday, May 3, 2014

Home sweet home

In a pee-in-your-pants kind of surprise, I was offered a Buddy Pass (I'll explain later) and GOT TO TAKE NAOMI TO ALABAMA!! The husband man was already going to be gone for at least ten days due to Coast Guard training and I was dread dread dreading being home alone that long with the wee one and the dog.

Firstly, the dog. Edel. I love her. And as I type and look at her sleeping on my feet, I know what a good, sweet dog she is. Her world has been turned upside down by Naomi and Edel has still welcomed our baby into her box of loyalty. The other day, a strange man pulled up in a brown truck, and, in his brown uniform, carried several boxes up to my door. Obviously, he was there to kill us. Edel has never appreciated the UPS people, but she has never responded so viciously as she did to this one. And never will I tell another UPS man that, "She's very friendly!" She scared ME. Anyway... she still wears me out. Because, you see, every morning is Christmas morning. She's all, "Oh boy! We're getting out of bed! Now we're going downstairs! Oh oh oh OOOOHHH!!! FOOD!! I 'm so glad that I have FOOD!! And now let's go play ball!! No? Okay... I'll just follow you around until you decide to go outside and play ball! Why else would you get out of bed? Oh oh oh... what are you doing? You're walking towards a door that goes to the great outdoors? That must mean we're going to play BALL!! Hey look! The kid is asleep! Let's go play ball! Like, A LOT!!"

It's funny and annoying and lovable and exhausting. And one big guilt trip when I haven't done anything with her at the end of the day (and vacuuming up the endless amount of black dog fur doesn't count as quality time in her book). And newborn baby + snow storm after snow storm  = not a whole lot of exercise for Edel. Jim's arrival home from work was a transfer of the guilt. She would now follow HIM around, running excitedly over when HE approached an outside door, and then look mournfully up at HIM when HE didn't throw the ball. And no, that is not the only reason I looked forward to his homecoming AND dread him being gone. But somedays, I feel like I can handle it all (laundry, supper, vacuuming, feeding, entertaining, nap times and more!) EXCEPT the dog.
So, ten days of just me and the poop machine and the furminator was rather frightening.

So. Where was I?

Oh yeah. Alabama. So, the offer was made and I took it like a fat kid taking candy. Now... to prepare for flying with Naomi.
Fortunately, my mom borrowed a baby bed and carseat and said she would buy diapers and wipes. I would just need enough to get down here.  I packed carefully. Tediously carefully. I was the only one on this trip capable of carrying anything. The other person can't even hold on to her pacifier. Heck... the other person can't even carry herself. Babypack, check!

Another story... and it is regarding poop. You have no idea the freedom I feel getting to talk about poop all the time. A baby is such a great excuse for such a topic.

The kiddo, sleeping peacefully as I packed until midnight the night before our flight, had not pooped in about 36 hours. Adults, thought possibly getting a little worried, are usually okay with this. Babies poop multiple (MULTIPLE!!) times a day. I was terrified. As my last post shows, she is capable of blowing the foul stuff two-thirds up her back. Planes don't exactly have changing stations, bathtubs, or high pressure hoses. I was praying for poop before we left. Praying. My mother and mother-in-law, understanding the fear, prayed as well. She had one in her diaper when I got her up that morning... but I knew there was more to come. We headed out, as planes don't wait for empty bowels. She slept most of the drive there and I pulled into the parking lot, got out and reached in to pull her out. My hands came back wet and brown. THANK YOU GOD!! Seriously. I pulled the suitcases out of the back of the car and a bus stopped to pick me up. I walked over, he opened the door and I said, "Thanks... but I've got one major poopy diaper to clean up!" He laughed and rolled on. See? The word poop, because a baby is involved, is sociably acceptable! I climbed into the cargo area, spread a disposable paper pad, and went to work. Twenty wipes later, I bagged the salvageable clothes and stuffed them in my luggage. The basic white onesie that took the worst hit was getting tossed. Though a little worried about time, I was singing praises to God the whole time.

I was scheduled for a 10:55 flight out of New England. Okay, really quickly. A buddy pass puts you on standby. The person (an employee of Southwest) who gives you the Buddy Pass lists you on a flight, and as soon as you get there you let them know that you would like to be added to the standby list. If there are enough seats available, you get one. If not, you wait until the next flight. Praise God I made it on every first flight! And because there were more than enough seats, I was allowed to board with the other families with children (between zones A and B).
I was now a receiver of the stares (oh, I'll just say it... glares) of people waiting to board the plane with me. I lined up, little one strapped to my chest, with the rest of the baby toters. Business men and women, hoping for peace to work, counted all of the chillun' repeatedly, wanting the number to decrease magically every time they counted. Older, retired couples, hoping for peace to sleep, would do the same thing, raise their eyebrows, look away and sigh. Young people, hoping for peace to listen to their music/movie, would stared sullenly in our direction. Read it and weep, people. Read it and weep.

I marched myself straight to the back and took the middle seat of the very last row. If she was going to cry, let it be in the back where she would disturb fewer people. Also, more privacy for me as I was going to attempt to feed her. The flight attendant, on hearing my plight, actually stood in front of my row and as seats started filling fast, actually directed people to start taking middle seats. I was a little horrified. I practically tugged his sleeve a couple of times. "It's okay if someone sits here!... I can move over and just have the middle seat empty! Oh my goodness, let someone sit here, I don't want everyone to hate me!" He finally turned to me and said, "If you say one more word, I'm going to call security. Now let me handle this. You should get a whole row." He was awesome. And I got the whole dang row to myself! Not only on that flight, but on my second one (AND on the two flights going home!). But, thankfully, she slept the majority of our time on the plane. At the end of our second flight, the row of teenage boys turned around and said, "Whoa! We didn't even know there was a baby behind us!"

It was wonderful to be home. Home and warm. The first day or two was a little overwhelming for the baby (Saturday night's table count: 13). But c'mon. New sights, lots of new sounds and lots of new smells. And new temperatures. Little girl got to hang out in her diaper for a couple of days. It was like, 74 degrees and she couldn't handle the heat. Get use to it, baby. One day, Lord willing, we'll be back here. I definitely overpacked.

Uncle Jeff was pretty busy working, but I managed to get one photo of him. I think she bonded with Uncle Asa pretty well. And Aunt Eleanor. And Uncle Ryan? Well... she's going to have to get just a smidgen older before she can handle the man's energy. And Aunt Alisa and Aunt Anna were old pros with her.
It was such a pleasure to get to see her held by three great-grandmothers. We are so very blessed to still have them with us.

Uncle Rob was a little scary.

Cousin Dex's hair was hard to figure out.

And she decided to be a Jedi Knight.

Pa said she was going to need to pin her ear down, it was sticking out so far. And of course, Grandmama said that her ear was beautiful. 
It does stick out a bit. She's got this little gnomish knob on her right ear, and it catches on everything and folds down. And folds down. And folds down. And now it just kind of sticks out there.

She was starving for attention the whole trip.
What a rough life.

This is her signature face. Just can't take in enough detail. If anyone walked past our seat on the plane, this would be her face. Priceless.

This one reminds me of the dramatic squirrel.