The weekend at my parents' house went well. I left around 1030 on Saturday and then returned home about noon today (Tuesday), which was a day longer than planned due to rain yesterday. Even though it meant Mike being at home lonely an extra day, it was a good choice. It rained all day yesterday to some degree, whereas I encountered only a couple showers on the way back today and even needed my sunglasses the last half an hour or so. Also, I don't think its a bad thing necessarily for Mike to miss us every so often. He's gone off without me on a number of vacations and business trips (granted that I couldn't go because of my unyielding school vacations), so its kind of good that I leave and he see what it is like to be the one at home. Of course, I don't really think its me he is misses, but Natalie.
I am proud of myself that the both the drive to and from MA were so easy. This was not the case at all about six years ago when I came up here to Maine. At that point, I barely ever even drove on the high way, let alone two hours alone. I think that the GPS and MP3 player are great helpers though. Its nice to know that if I do get lost, I'm not really lost, and having a constant easy source of entertainment is a plus. At the same time, I think Natalie has helped, too. For reasons I don't fully understand, having Natalie in the care makes me feel like a more confident driver as far as long distances are concerned.
Most of the weekend was spent hanging out with Natalie on the floor playing. Even though she gradually warmed up to my parents more and more the longer we were there, she stuck as close to me as possible most of the time. There were highlights of course.
Saturday late afternoon and evening, my sister came to visit. She had to go shopping in the area, so she came by to see Natalie and have dinner. Its fun seeing her playing with Natalie. She also helped me with bed time since Mike wasn't there. She made sure that Natalie didn't fall in the bath, and then she read part of a book while Natalie nursed a little. (Overall, bed time that night didn't go as smoothly as I would have liked. She was still a little wound up when she was put down and looked up at me a cried as I walked out). After Natalie was asleep, my sister and I went over to the Burlington Mall area and got her shopping down. It was nice to get out of the house having only my person to worry about - nothing else to pack or carry. In fact, my mother laughed a little as I unpacked from my purse the diaper, wipes, baby snack, and toys I didn't need.
Sunday was the baby shower that we made the trip to attend. I feel a little stupid for not figuring out this plan before. Our friend lives in NH and that's a little more than 2 hours from here. When we've been invited in the past, we've always seen it as traveling the 4 hours round trip in one day. That's a lot of driving and too much for Natalie now that she less. But in an effort to reduce my driving, I came up with the idea of stopping at my parents'. Turns out their house is only 25 minutes from the sight of the baby shower and maybe 35 minutes from my friend's house. Why didn't we realize this like three years ago when she moved there?
Natalie and I left for the shower all dressed up a little early because Natalie needed a nap. Its a good thing we left early because my GPS gave me an odd direction causing me to technically get a little lost. But when I couldn't get the party hostess on the phone, I decided to stay on my present course, and low and behold what the GPS said was a left was really straight and I was back on track. Natalie woke up the second I got there. I'm pretty sure my voice calling out the car window asking where to park is what did it. Natalie was afraid of everyone at first, particularly the mom-to-be's brother and father (Natalie often is afraid of new men) and the mom-to-be-herself! My friend wanted to sit next to her, too! I told Natalie that she couldn't cry at her because it was her party! Anyway, after Natalie had some lunch and settled with some toys on the floor, she was fine. She ran me around the whole party, but didn't crawl too much because her dress slowed her down.
She particularly wanted to investigate the presents, of which there was a massive pile that took about an hour and a half to get through! Our gift was almost last to be looked at. I felt pretty impressed with the basket I put together, but it seemed a bit plain in comparison to all the store bought gift wrap. At the same time, with how long the gifts took to unwrap and given the contents of the basket, it really was for the best that I didn't wrap it.
I didn't get to talk to the mom-to-be-too much at the party, which was to be expected, but still a little sad. Even though she sat at the same table as me, I couldn't really hear the conversation once I moved to the floor with Natalie. I would have liked to talk to her about her pregnancy, and maybe even seen if I could feel the baby move, since that is by far the best thing about being pregnant. I got to talk to a couple other old friends, but again not as much as I would have liked due to Natalie stealing most of my attention. Natalie had a good time playing for a little bit with a 7 or 8 year old guest; Natalie let her pick her up and hold her by the hands. Natalie charmed pretty much everyone. She almost crawled across the room near the beginning of the present opening, but changed her mind. Natalie had some good snacks there, too, including some of her favorites (watermelon and cantaloupe) as well as Mommy's favorite party snack (cheese). Even though she pooped and had to have her diaper changed on the floor, she didn't make a peep about it. It might have been the chapel ceiling or the echo of her voice that distracted her. After a quick and unenthusiastic nursing in the car, she napped on the way home. That night, she enjoyed her pasta rings at dinner and went down for bed much more smoothly.
Monday (yesterday) we mostly just hung around the house like we would at home, but it is different when its not your house. My mother and I took Natalie out to Walmart around mid day because we needed more diapers and some extra food for her in case I decided to stay another day if the rain kept up. My mother was impressed at how quiet Natalie was in the store. We had her in the stroller instead of the carriage because I left the carriage cover at home. I like shopping with her in the carriage because I feel I pay more attention to her that way. Anyway, we of course looked at the baby clothes. My mother had bought Natalie some heavy socks for winter figuring Natalie would be wearing shoes all the time. I don't foresee it that way, so she got her different socks with the rubber details on the bottom for traction. (Upon getting home, I looked up in my new What to Expect the Toddler Years book about wearing shoes, and the brief reading I did said that no shoes is best and socks with traction or slippers should work in the house in winter). I wound up buying Natalie a pink shirt and skirt set with leopard print and a kitty on the shirt. I might return the pink skirt and blank pants I got her the other day at JC Penney, but I'm not sure its really worth it. I do think Natalie needs some blank tights now though, probably should add that to the wish list at Carter's. Anyway, the trip to Walmart was the big excitement of the day other than a Skype call to Mike just before dinner.
This morning, we left my parents' by 930 so she could nap in the car, so we spent pretty much the whole morning juggling who spent time getting ready and who was entertaining Natalie. As I said, the drive back was uneventful. Natalie was asleep by the time I pulled out of the gas station and even though she woke up with a little less than hour left in the trip, she just played happily the whole time. I wonder if she gets fussy other times because she can't see us without the mirror in Mike's car? Or maybe this was just a matter of timing this trip during a non-fussy period. As soon as we got home, I left her in the car so I could unpack it, then nursed her and brought her in to play in the living with Between the Lions on. She just went about her business staying in the living room for almost an hour letting me be on the computer and up off the floor, which was a nice change. Even after she had lunch, she was still in a mood to be independent until she started to get sleepy. And, she had TWO poops in like an hour!
As of right now, she's been napping for about an hour and half. I expected her to wake up a little while ago. Mike is actually due to walk in the door any minute. I anticipate that he will be home on the earlier side today rather than later. Speaking of Mike, he has a cold, which is another factor that motivated me to stay an extra day in MA. He left us a few cute post-it notes around the house. The first one I saw was an "I love you" on the coffeemaker I use to make tea. he probably figured I'd make tea when I got in, which I would have if it had been rainy, but it was sunny and almost 80 out. Next, I found one on the lap top, near the mouse, so I only saw it when I opened it. I thought that was it. But when I gave her lunch, there was another "smooch," this one obviously for Natalie, on her sweet potato puff canister. I went to put that in the baby book, and there is another "smooch" on the baby book. After that, I thought there might be more. I though, well, if I was going to make tea, I'd need a mug, so I opened the cabinet and found one more a mug. Few awesome to find little loves notes around the house. Made me very happy :)
On a different note. This weekend was when I was supposed to be ovulating as calculated by when I got my first post partum period. If my skin is any indication, that calculation is correct. I have horrible, sore, red bumps, worse than the ones I had a teen, but not as spread out. But I digress. We were originally planning on working on number 2 this weekend, but with me being away and him getting sick, we saw it as divine intervention that it isn't mean to be this month.
There she is waking up now.