Then once my family cleared out, we had another wave. Will's family was next, so we went to the family room for a third time to open presents and have more food. After that we went to Will's aunt's house for the big Randall family party. Emily was an angel, and didn't break a single thing in Aunt Dee Dee's museum-like house, but she ran her parents into the ground with her boundless energy, despite only having a 15 minute nap for the day.
Emily seemed to know something was going on, and she definitely enjoyed seeing everyone and getting all the attention, but I think it'll still be next year before she fully comprehends the holiday, if not longer. It's sad, your kids have 7 years or so (if you're lucky) of believing in Santa, but for the first 2-3 they don't even know what's going on! That only leaves 4ish years when Christmas is that perfect, magical time that leaves such an impression on you for the rest of your life. Hard to believe, looking back. It seems like I had more than that, but I guess not.
Anyway, the day after Christmas (thank goodness she waited) Emily came down with a bad cold (who's surprised?). On New Year's Eve I started to feel poorly, and 2 days later Will had the same thing. It was a particularly strange cold, in that the main symptom was complete exhaustion. There was a bit of stuffiness of the sinuses, but it was mostly just 6 days of being bone tired. Usually when I have a cold, I can still carry on with my day, although the sneezing and stuffiness makes me miserable while I do it. This was the reverse, I just sat in a chair and watched the house fall apart around me and felt guilty because I didn't actually seem sick, just tired. I was released from my guilt when the cold knocked Will out though, because he didn't see the inside of the gym for days and anyone who knows him knows what it takes to keep him from sticking to his exercise regimen.
Will's cold took us straight through to the day we left for San Diego, so once we had mostly recovered, it was time to deal with packing, a 6 hour flight and a 3 hour time change. San Diego was fun, but I would suggest renting a car if you go. Since we were only there for 3 days and 2 of those days Will was in conferences I just decided to explore on foot and while it is a nice city, most of the fun stuff to do is outside of the immediate downtown area. There were a LOT of homeless people (says the girl from DC) and most of them seemed not quite right in the head, just like in San Francisco. I can't blame them though...if I had to live outside, there are much worse places to do it than San Diego. The TRAINS drove me nuts though, every time I tried to walk anywhere a deafening bell would go off and a railroad crossing arm would come down to block my way. And every time I tried to sleep I'd hear train horns and the clanging at the crossings. San Francisco and New Orleans have trolleys that are on street level, but they're pretty much restricted to one straight shot in one small part of the city. In San Diego it's basically a subway system without the benefit of being underground. I wonder why they did it that way?
Anyway, 2 full days was just about the perfect amount of time to spend there, Will and I had our "date night in a new city" that is basically the reason why I abandon my child and brave the friendly skies to go on these trips, and we made it home at 4:30AM on Sunday morning. It's totally understandable, we had 2 gate changes and 6 delays (from 9PM to 9:45, then 10:10, then 10:25, then 11:00, then 11:30, then our departure time on the board just went to "TBA") at O'Hare, even though our plane was AT the airport and they just had to bring it from the international terminal to our gate. O'Hare is big, but I seriously could have walked over there and pulled the plane back myself with time to spare before they actually managed to get it over to us using conventional means.
I'm also getting more and more sensitive to flying...I'm no Will yet mind you, but I seem to be really sensitive to the oxygen level, and I do get queasy whenever the plane swoops which all of them did A LOT this time around. I also spend a long time before the trips being depressed about leaving Emily, but a mom in our row with a 1-year old "lap child" who screamed the whole way to San Diego was a useful reminder that taking her along is not really an option. I think the trips are good for Will and I, and good for Emily too in the long run, as she gets a chance to party at Grammy's with all her aunts and uncles-to-be for 3 days 3 times a year and she learns that mommy and daddy always comes back.
There's talk of holding Will's June meeting in Baltimore or Philadelphia instead of Charleston this year though, and I can't say I would mind not having to fly!
So now, finally, we're back to a normal week, free of holidays, illnesses (hopefully) and travel. Now I have no excuse for being unproductive!