Life is a series of countdowns. Anyone else feel that way? Currently we — okay, I — obsess over the days/weeks/months until we leave China. We’re at 262 days/32 weeks/8 months…and counting. Thank god we’re no longer measuring in years.
Since Baby K’s arrival, we often talk in milestones. She’s hit several lately: rolling over (and over and over), sitting up, making amphibian-like attempts at crawling, and eating solids. Who knew puréed sweet potatoes could taste so good?
Vacations have been another big measure while in China. This year is no exception. We’ve had six weeks in between Hawaii and our next sojourn. We leave for New Zealand’s South Island on Friday. We had to ditch the RV this time for the obvious, cutest reason of all: Baby K. Not a bad thing. Staying in AirBnBs, driving a normal car on twisty mountain roads, and not having to roll out of a vehicle to pee in the grass at 3:00am should be a more enjoyable experience for all involved.
Six weeks is a long time. You can get a lot done in six weeks. Here’s what I’ve been up to:
- Unpacking all the stuff we brought back from Hawaii, including toys and a wardrobe for a one year old (these are expensive in China!), several pounds of candy and chocolate, some food items of the healthy variety like steel cut oats. And coffee for the tired and weary parents we’ve become, which has also helped with bullet number 2…
- Getting over jet lag, which hit me hard after vacationing/traveling with a baby this time around.
- Retraining my previously decent sleeper of a baby how to sleep alone. Again. Turns out, moms make the best La-Z-Boy/hotel/24-7 diners for babies while on the road. After countless hours of travel from Hawaii to China with a layover in Japan, Baby K no longer remembered how to live without my constant contact.
- Trying not to go insane from already mentioned baby sleep issues, which also caused mom sleep/sanity issues. Dad suffered too.
- Preparing for New Zealand. I’ve always liked planning our trips, but it’s hard to squeeze in time when I’ve got a boss who at often unpredictable times turns into a tiny terror who wields her power over me. Unfortunately, it takes much more time to plan a big trip around a small person’s needs.
- Sneaking in the latest season of House of Cards. I mean, it’s all about priorities, and a little bit of down time is certainly one of them, right?
Did I say six weeks is a long time? It is. I know it is. But you still can’t get a lot done when your full-time job is taking care of a baby, even on his/her “good” days. Here’s what I haven’t been able to do:
- Workout. Unless baby carrying and lifting counts. Let’s say it does.
- Spend more than 15 minutes at a time thinking logically or coherently.
- Read much. I’ve successfully read two books in six weeks: Where’d You Go Bernadette and everyone’s favorite “fun” read Solve Your Child’s Sleep Problems.
- Remain adequately aware of worldly events, though I’m not sure I care about this one. Trump is still a contender in the US elections. Crazy incidents of gun violence keep happening back home. ISIS continues to reign terror in all parts of the globe, including Istanbul, which we visited during our first year in China.
- Write a blog post about our Hawaii trip and all the fun, leisurely, vaction-ey things we did. Or one on what it’s like to travel internationally with a baby. Or one that gives a preview of where we’ll go in New Zealand.
Bear with me for another six weeks. We’ll be back in Haiyang and hopefully fully recovered from our latest vacation.