That and when I walked in the door last Thursday night I immediately announced that the living room needed to be rearranged because it was hideous. I've rearranged this room SIX times in the last 3 months. I hate this room, I really do. It's tiny and rectangular and some genius (sarcasm) installed the cable right under the windows so I either have to have a giant T.V. blocking the windows or cords running here, there and everywhere. At the moment I'm living with the cords. Next week I may change my mind. First world problems, I know.
So where was I? Well, first I was in New York for the Reeves Family Reunion. Reevesapalooza, to those in the know. Baby P did wonderfully on the planes. There was a dicey moment where we had to run through the Atlanta airport to make it from one flight to another, but other than that it was smooth sailing. The one thing I forgot is how much I hate flying. I get terrible motion sickness. So Peyton was happy but I was completely miserable. It didn't help that we had like 2 square feet of space to work with on both flights. Is it just me or are planes getting smaller? I was thankful for my travel Boppy because it made it so much easier to handle Baby P and I think she was much more comfortable too.
The biggest issue was the our last flight didn't get in until midnight. Peyton skipped her second nap in all the excitement and cried for the last 5 minutes of the flight. She proceeded to fall asleep just as we touched down. Perfect timing, kid. People were very concerned and asked if I needed help leaving the plane. I had 2 complete strangers strap my various bags onto me like a mother sherpa and slowly made my way out to baggage claim.
After all that hard work, Peyton of course woke up. We went to the ladies room for a diaper change and there was a very happy mom to a newborn who slept ll the way through her own diaper change while her mommy sang the opening song to Beauty and the Beast. Very cheery family.
When we returned to the baggage area I came upon a very cranky woman toting off my suitcases to lost luggage claim. She acted affronted when I said Oh, sorry, those are mine. She wanted me to know that I can't just leave my bags sitting on the turnstiles. We exchanged some words about the difference between abandoning luggage and going to the bathroom for 5 minutes. After that lovely encounter, I managed to pull two suitcases, a stroller and our carry-ons out to the curb all by myself while wearing Peyton. Thank baby Jesus for my woven wrap!
The rest of the weekend was pretty rocky. This was the first time Baby P had been away from home and she did not like it. Not one bit. She also did not enjoy meeting all her relatives, except the baby ones. That first night we stayed at my cousin's house. Peyton went to sleep easily enough but woke up twenty minutes later sobbing and screaming. It was her "scared" cry.
Now, a rational person would assume she was frightened to wake up in a new place. But I am not always rational. My brain chose that moment to remember my cousin's Facebook statuses about how they sometimes hear voices over the baby monitor and are pretty sure the house is haunted. So I'm thinking "There's a ghost in the room. There's a ghost in the room! There's obviously a ghost and we are going to die." Peyton was sobbing and saying MA MA MA MA MAMA over and over and I was crying (I was a little tired...) and saying MA MA MA MA MAMA right back as I rocked her back to sleep. She fell back to sleep with a sorrowful hiccup and I curled into a ball around her and squeezed my eyes shut.
The first morning Peyton wouldn't let me put her down in the shower without crying and then when I held her she cried anyway. Between that and the fact that anytime I tried to walk more than two feet away Peyton melted into a puddle of tears, if my cousin was under the impression that I was exaggerating the High Needs-ness, she is now convinced.
The rest of the weekend went similarly. I felt terrible that no one else could hold her without her screaming in their faces. The only person she let hold her was my little sister. By some miracle and/or the shiny dogtags Shannon was wearing (Peyton might be part magpie) if I walked away and Baby P started crying for me, Shannon could pick her up and do a bouncy walk with her and the crying would cease. At least until I came back into the room.
Despite all the crying (and there was A LOT of it) I would call the weekend a success. Maybe next year she'll be too busy chasing her cousins around to even care where I am. I don't really mind Peyton's attachment to me, but being able to go to the bathroom by myself would be nice. Speaking of the bathroom, we had a spectacular pooptastrophe while staying at my grandma's house. I was in the shower and Baby P was sitting in it with me. I was showing her how to "help" the water down the drain (this seemed to quell the crying). Suddenly her face turned red and a couple grunts later we had poop. In the shower.
Of course I did what any grown woman does in this situation and I called my mommy in to help me. You see, Peyton was quite "done" yet. So I ended up naked holding a naked baby over the toilet so she could finish while my mom cleaned up the shower floor. You know, normal mom-daughter-granddaughter activities. It occurs to me that this whole me minus clothes holding a crying baby in the bathroom thing is becoming quite a pattern when visiting with my mom.
Our flight from New York to North Carolina went pretty smoothly. We didn't have to switch planes and our flight was pretty empty so me and Baby P had a row to ourselves. So my lap baby got her own seat.
Our vacation at home was a bit strange. We stayed in my mother-in-law's beautiful new house and had a great time catching up with family and friends. But still, something felt...off. I drove around all the old ways I grew up getting around town, but now there were new roads and new buildings and it all felt a little surreal. I hope it's normal to feel a little betrayed when your hometown keeps chugging along just fine after you leave. I think it might be something everyone can relate to at some point in their life.
Catching up with lifelong friends was amazing. But seeing my freinds in their new post-college and even still in college lives punctuated just how far ahead of my generation I seem to have leaped. Here I am considering sippy cup brands while my childhood friends are starting careers and moving forward with their own grown up lives. Sometimes, especially when I'm surrounded by adults with careers, I wonder what my life would have been like if Josh and I weren't on the military fast track.
Having Peyton and watching her grow has been the most exhausting job I've ever done. But it's also the most rewarding. Would I push this all back a few years given the chance to "make something" of myself? No. I don't even hesitate to say it. Maybe one day I'll jump into the workforce. But right now my passion is helping Baby P grow and learn and just watching her discover the world.
We had the opportunity to meet one of the many wonderful, supportive women in my support group for High Needs babies. I was so relieving to be around another mom who knew exactly what I was going through. I could really relax knowing if Baby P had a complete meltdown my friend wouldn't be horrified. We had a great time and I wish we had had time to hang out more than just once.
While we were in North Carolina I found myself referring to Kansas as home. I guess home for me is no longer where it used to be. Now it's wherever I spend countless hours rearranging furniture, chasing after a baby who has made off with my mascara and writing about all the little and big moments here. Mainly, it's wherever my husband and child are. Strange to have my home be people instead of a concrete place.
Our 18 hour trek back home was thankfully uneventful. I didn't get pooped on and no keys were trapped in any trunks. Our car was piled pretty high with the ridiculous amount of stuff I bought. And we had Peyton's birthday party while we were in NC so we had a lot of presents to bring back as well. Thank mashed potatoes for spacebags and lovely grandparents who will ship large boxes. Otherwise I might've had to ride home on the roof. We did have one bad road trip experience: we learned that Baby P has exorcist-style motion sickness. Every once in awhile she would just spew everywhere. I ended up cleaning as much as I could with clean clothes from our luggage. So much for having no laundry when we got home. Luckily my mom had discovered this wonderful essential oil blend for motion sickness that made my own nausea 99% nonexistent. So I started dabbing it behind Peyton's ears too and it seemed to help her too. It's nice to finally know why Peyton has a tendency to start screaming after 15 minutes in the car. She's sick like her mama. Poor kid. I literally know how she feels.
By the time we finally got home we were all ready to just collapse into bed. Even Baby P only took five minutes to rock to sleep, which is kind of a bedtime routine record. My car was in terrible dissarray and hubby forgot to remove all the leftover fast food and drinks so getting in the car a couple days later was like sitting in a McDonald's fryer. Not great.