Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Maine-ly terrible

I'll just be honest, and say that our trip to Maine was not the best.  This was mostly because Emily was sick pretty much the whole time.  Not sick enough that we really realized she was sick, but sick enough that she was miserable, and therefore so were we. 

She had a runny nose when we set out, which we thought was due to teething issues since she was also irritable and drool-y.  On the first day of driving, she threw up all over herself in the car, and we had to pull over on the side of I-84 and scrape the barf off her and her carseat.  We chalked it up to carsickness, as she had done the same thing after eating in the car on the trip back from Ocean City.  We turned her carseat around in the hopes that riding facing forward would bother her tummy less (something I wasn't happy about but I saw it as the only option).  Our plan to drive until midnight the first day and then just carry her into the hotel while she remained dead asleep didn't pan out, as she woke up refreshed from her 4 hours of sleep in the car and ready to party.  Ugh, that night was tough.

The next couple days she was really clingy and her nose continued it's interminable flow, but Tylenol seemed to help so we again figured she was just teething.  Then on Wednesday she got a fever and threw up 3 times, once while we were in a bakery, once right after I had gotten her home, changed, bathed, and was giving her a little food again as a test, and once again in that damned carseat.  If you need to know how to take every single piece (including the straps and buckles) of a Britax carseat off, wash it, and put it back on, I have extensive experience.

So the barfing and fever made us finally realize that all the irritability, clingyness, unwillingness to EVER sit quietly and entertain herself etc. was because she was genuinely sick.  Of course we felt terrible :-(  And not just from the horrible lack of sleep.  Since we had to sleep in a squeaky bed in the same room as Emily (who herself is a very loud sleeper), no one got much rest.  Every time one of us rolled over, it would cause Emily to stir and it's difficult to fall back asleep when you're tensely listening to see if your baby is going to wake up.  You start to feel like you really need to roll over, go to the bathroom, do all sorts of loud things.  Emily also likes to shout in her sleep occasionally, I don't think I need to explain why that is disruptive to a good night's sleep.  Come 6:10AM every morning, Emily was awake and crying, except for Wednesday when she decided luxuriating in bed until the hour of 6 was pure decadence, and decided 5:30 was a much more reasonable time to get up.  Trying to wrangle a baby in a house full of sleeping people sucks, since even a happy baby is pretty loud, so I spent my mornings stumbling around Bar Harbor in the morning mist, wasting time until everyone else in the house woke up.  I admit that I did kind of enjoy walking around before it got busy during the day, and Emily and I had some fun throwing pennies in various town fountains, however there wasn't much else to do, as most places didn't open until 8 or later.  I did find some nice coffee shops, but I certainly couldn't find any healthy food at that hour to keep me going on my 1.5-2.5 hour daily trudge so my diet did suffer.  This also made me a bit sick of walking around Bar Harbor, so I didn't do it as much later when the stores were open.  I wish I'd gotten to do a bit more real shopping and less early morning window shopping, but I wish a lot of things about the trip.

Waking up at an ungodly-early hour ensured that we would be freakin' exhausted unless we went to bed at 9:30 when Emily turned in, so that meant we missed out on watching the Olympics with my family, staying up playing board games and drinking wine, going out to the bars etc.  Many of the things that make a vacation with the family fun.  Emily also flat-out refused to wear a helmet, and Will flat-out refused to allow her to ride in a baby seat or a trailer without one, so the bikes we paid to rent all week were used a grand total of twice by us, and the rest of the week my sisters and their boyfriends had fun riding them around.

Emily did allow us 2 nice days, one where we went hiking all day and had tea and popovers at Jordon Pond, and the following day when she hung out with Grammy and Grampy while Will and I dangled off a rock cliff hundreds of feet in the air.  We accidentally hiked a trail rated "Strenuous", much to Will's delight and my terror.  The only way I made it up was because I had heard that there was an alternative way down.  Yikes.  It was an experience though, and a fun day without the kiddo who had made the rest of the week so stressful.  That night I sneaked out, leaving Emily with Will and my sister's boyfriend Christian and went to see Mama Mia at this awesome theater where you can order gourmet pizza and wine (along with other more traditional movie fare) and eat it while watching the movie.  I realized I like quite a few of ABBA's songs, and I really liked the movie, especially the part where I got to drink wine while watching it.

I am glad we went, but I will certainly never be doing anything like this again anytime soon.  I'll stick to places that are closer by and more kid-friendly.  And I know it seems I am blaming Emily for everything, but I truly do feel sorry for her and I know it wasn't her fault.  

I spent a lot of the vacation feeling a little depressed about the responsibilities of parenthood.  It was hard not to, when I was experiencing the hardest part of being a parent of a young child (dealing with a sick kid) while in the other room my sisters and their boyfriends snoozed until 10 then got up to go shopping/biking/out for lunch.  I will admit I felt some jealousy, but then I realized that Will and I had those times too, and very recently (although it doesn't feel that way).  The evil side of me realized that on future vacations I will have fairly self-sufficient pre-teens when my sisters are struggling to eek out 8 hours of sleep and endlessly wiping runny noses and changing barfy clothing.  And as dorky as it sounds, a song from Mama Mia really hit me at the right time.   The song "Slipping Through my Fingers", which is about how kids grow up fast no matter how hard we try to remember each moment, set me bawling and reminded me that even though I was exhausted from holding and entertaining and shushing a sick Emily pretty much every waking minute of my vacation, there will come a time when I can't hold her anymore and she just retreats to her room and doesn't want me to comfort her when she's sick.

So from then on I tried to just enjoy being with her, and kept crying every time I thought of that song :-P  It's mostly because I was hormonal, but I certainly wasn't the only one crying, even though Krista claims that no tears escaped the confines of her eyes, and Kathleen blames her tears on an accidental elbow to the eye from her boyfriend Dylan which necessitated an eye rub with a hand that turned out to have jalapeno residue on it.

So we're back, we survived, and pictures will be up here in a day or so when I get around to uploading them.


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