Pre-England 2015

We’re off on quite an adventure. We’ve taken our nine month old out of the country for the first time (less than a year old and already a world traveler! Woohoo! His daddy could NOT be more proud.) and we’re not going to be back home for a month.

A MONTH.

For a traveler like me, that’s so. freaking. cool. For a homebody like me, that’s so. freaking…either scary or annoying. I vacillate.

We went back and forth for a bit. We’d be planning on doing just this since we were here last time, a year ago. Me, eight months pregnant. Kyle, convinced we’d never do anything fun ever again. It was great. Then we had Mr. Nolan, and this kid…I’ve worked with a lot of kids, and this kid is just more. He’s more beguiling, he’s more adorable (although that may be my bias speaking), and he’s more work.

So I got scared. Tried to convince my husband to let us stay home.

It didn’t work. I decided to have a good attitude about it. Still scared, but choosing excitement too. We ordered Nolan’s passport, bought tickets, spoke extensively (to put it mildly) with the reservations manager at the hotel we’d be staying at, debated about baby gear till our brains were fried, and got on that jet plane.

The week leading up to our trip was an experience in and of itself. Eleven days pre-flight, Kyle got some sort of stomach bug and was home for two days. Ten days pre-flight, Nolan got three vaccines. Three. In his two tiny, squishy little legs. Fun few days, but it looked like things were headed up. I started packing, making list after list after list, doing laundry load after load after load, and seeing all my lovely friends for the last time for a while. My sister came over to run a quick errand for me (invaluable) and brought us these awesome travel mugs from the coffee shop she works at. We love them SO MUCH. I’m actually using one as I write this to caffeinate myself because it’s 5:30am at home.

Three days pre-flight, my boy woke up with a runny nose, little cough, and low-grade fever. Looks like he might be cutting a tooth…no big, right?

Right…

We didn’t sleep all weekend. Four hours at a time at most. Fever went up to 101.7. Awesome.

(Preface to this next line: My immune system is like steel. I worked with kids for a loooooong time and became immune to everything. EVERYTHING.)

I woke up two days pre-flight sick as a dog. I cannot remember the last time I was this sick. Stopped up in my head, terrible and uncontrollable cough, totally dehydrated in spite of my best efforts, and so horribly tired. Because that’s just what I needed.

Kyle, on the other hand (Mr. Sick-If-He-Looks-At-a-Kleenex-the-Wrong-Way) remains in perfect health. Which is awesome, because we needed a win.

He let me and Nolan sleep in till 10am, which was amazing. (He also wrote me a sweet letter and brought me a new glassybaby that afternoon…yay Valentine’s Day!) I cooked all day long, so we’d have things stocked up in our freezer when we get home. Jet lag at any point is not my number one idea of fun. Jet lag headed back to the States is one of the longest processes I’ve ever experienced, and I’ve done it a few times. It’s not something to not be prepared for! Thankfully Nolan finally took some good naps and I got a lot done while he wasn’t needing my constant full-attention. Which was anytime he wasn’t unconscious.

My grand Valentine’s Day dinner plans were smashed like a piñata at a seven-year-old’s birthday party. Mac and cheese was two hours late, dessert became nonexistent, and we didn’t even open the champagne I’d picked up on a Valentinesy whim at the store.

Sunday brought more prep, packing, and caring for a nearly inconsolable boy, and trying to keep my head out of the fog while Kyle helped by…painting the outside of our house? I won’t go into it, that was poor communication on our part, but better moves have been made. My parents had us over to their house for a little farewell dinner with them and my sister before they bid adieu to their obsession grandson for six weeks (they leave for a long-anticipated trip to Italy two days before we return from England. My mom just can’t even right now.), and it was glorious to not have to cook clean up dinner the night before we traveled.

Monday morning brought…whatever Monday morning brought. I’d planned it all out so that all we had to do Monday was shower, dress, pack toiletries, eat the last of our food, and toss everything else in the freezer. The best-laid plans…particularly when what one needs is a week in bed, not an international flight.

My mother is a godsend. She showed up at our house unannounced that morning anticipating that she could hang out with Matthew so that Kyle and I could run around and get last minute stuff done. Matthew had been up a good chunk of the night, so he slept till we nearly had to wake him, and my mom’s self-appointed “job” was already taken by the sleeping fairies. So she made the mistake of asking what she could do to help. “Clean my kitchen?” I sheepishly asked. She grabbed the bull by the horns and my kitchen now sparkles. And will sparkle for the next month, because nobody’s there to use it. Seriously, it’s never looked that good.

We exchanged hugs and maybe a couple tears on Mom’s end, loaded into the taxi, and drove off, leaving Mom to lock up. Except she cleaned out our fridge, took out our trashes, ran our dishwasher, and I’m not even sure what all else before actually locking up. She’s amazing and I don’t know what I’d do without her.

Okay, next post covers travel. I’m not editing these so that I’ll actually post them…

Conciseness is not my best quality. You’ve been warned.

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