oh my gods, I'm back! I'm back! I have felt so out of the loop, so loopy, so utterly enlooped. And it is my sanity saving fun thing to come here and tryyyyyy to catch up.
Sherri--incredibly yummy coffee you sent! mmmmmm! I made a big pot right away and lemme tell ya, with vanilla milk mmmmmmm
RIGHT ON for the piano lessons! How very cool! Watching mom learn something new is so inspirational on so many levels.
So, the new car just rawwwwwks. It is absolutely, unequivocally perfect for San Miguel and I just bump along them cobblestones like nobody's business. We also have mega amounts of speed bumps, really the only way to control people's speed, and I used to bottom out in the camry. The camry is also so smooth, such a boatlike ride that it was torturous for me and it to ramble 'round these streets.
The ride home was 3 days, from Albuquerque and we did it like this (me and my dad):
8-12 am play, bath, play, walk, whatever.
12-3 drive during Amara's nap (which varied in length) and Sol played with stuff, read books
3-5.30 stop somewhere and play like in mcdonald's playplace
I survived the phx-abq leg by myself pretty darn well, thanks to Lisa. She had the ingenious idea of sending a box of different wrapped prezzies, each one to be opened as tempers became short or whatever--and they had things like a pkg of pipe cleaners, window paints, paper/scissors, molding clay, snacks, etc...she truly alleviated this little family's tedium on many occasions.
The whole thing of being in other people's houses, with a 3 and a 1 y.o., especially the 1 y.o., was really stressy although I have great friends. Still. One is not in one's space, no one sleeps as well as they should, and there is NO respite for mama, not one minute on top of a generally high level of stress all around. After I got to abq though that all changed, family was there to help out and BABYSIT. *phew*
Sol, too, has been completely unused to a car seat and really fought against the new rule. That was hard. Both girls were not used to a vehicular lifestyle such as one lives in large urban centers, and balked greatly. One time (actually, many many times) I sang to Amara to calm her, and Sol the next time in the car heard Amara crying and started singing to her, making up a song about how we all hate seatbelts, no one likes their seatbelt, la la la laaaa...I was crackin' up at that one...when Amara surrendered to the strange lullaby sol turned to me and said, "mama! I sang Amara to sleep!" and I just about melted of sweetness.
Much moola was spent at IKEA, my first time there. I had the meatballs based on, I think, renae's suggestion. MMMmmmm! Fun fun place for the kids.
The first night of the drive home we were somewhere around Carlsbad and it was midnight and we took a wrong turn, not noticing until waaaaay later (and seeing the signs to El Paso). WHOOPS. It was 1 am and we were way far away from our destination and on the wrong route. We started to turn around when we looked at the map and realized it'd actually be shorter to continue the way we were going to an interstate and then take it to the town we wanted to reach that night. This highway, it is not travelled. I mean that: we saw NO other cars, ever, and if you look at a map it's between nowhere and nowhere, with no population anywhere along it. There really is almost no reason for that road to exist (54, between Van Horn and the Guadalupe Mtns Natl Park). Looking at the gas gauge, we had 1/8 of a tank left, and 57 miles to Van Horn. We were hopeful, then fearful, then sweatin' it as the needle plummeted FAR below "E" and I saw a light about 5 miles off in the distance, and just kept thanking god for every single yard the car kept going, that we would not have to walk, to get some gas. I began to wonder how we could sleep in the car, thankful we had plenty of food and water, but realizing that it was unlikely that anyone would be by in the morning.
We made it to Van Horn. 'Nuff said. Then, Interstate to Fort Stockton, resisting the urge to fill up the tank at every single opportunity. Yay! Fort Stockton! We stop at the large-chain-hotel-whose-name-I-can't-remember, and it's full. Hm. So is the other one, and the other one, and it's 3 am. I start to quietly panic. I am NOT sleeping in this car after such a hairy night. Why the hell would Fort Stockton be so full? Simply, it's location, on an Interstate with NOTHING for miles in any direction. A great travel stop, just like for us. We finally got the LAST room at this seedy motel, their "Honeymoon Suite", a king bed with red sheets. Niiiice. The girls and I snuggle up and I am so grateful to have a bed.
The second night was the polar opposite: we arrived at 1.30 am, to a fantastic hotel in Saltillo (in Mexico) after a worrisome border crossing that actually went smooth as buttah. I was nervous because I basically am smuggling this car into Mexico, or rather, one is only allowed one car and I was trying to dupe them into not realizing I already have one down here by getting a new passport, and it worked like a charm. The hotel had a pool which was fun the next day and a fabulous breakfast buffet, and two beds, and all that for less expensive that Seedy Honeymoon Suite.
Arriving home, Viet has been like a man reborn, he had the house all cleaned and food cooked, balloons everywhere and roses for me. Might be par for the course for your partners, ladies, but it ain't for this boy. So like, wow. And he's been super lovey and supportive, so it's fun to be on this upswing of our little relationship cycle.
I have the bellydance festival coming up and I've been working my arse off for it, crazy crazy busy but excited. So time online is precious.
And I am so happy to be back with my maymamas!