Sunday, July 10, 2011

Planes, Trains and Automobiles

Its good to be back in Minnesota!

We traveled a lot of miles in the past couple of weeks. We had 7 flights, several train, shuttle, and car rides and walked a lot of miles. We were in numerous cities - Minneapolis/St. Paul, Denver, LA, Beijing, Nanning, Hepu, Guangzhou, Hong Kong, Chicago and back home. Our luggage managed to get to even more cities than we did.

Our baggage (again) wasn't on our plane. This time neither checked luggage made it on the plane on the way home. Fortunately we have it now. But, really, United Airlines. We had two flights with you (albeit with connecting flights). We checked two bags with you two times. We only got one bag when and where we needed it. That's 25% competency.

But now, we are home. Finally and truly home.

When we arrived to our house we were greeted by grandparents and four irrepressibly giddy children. They were all shouting, "Veronica's Home! Can we see her? Yeah!". She was the rock star and I was the roadie hauling all her stuff. Eventually they acknowledged that Ben and I were back, too. Then went back to admiring their new sister.

It was absolutely joyful.

I wasn't sure how Veronica would react to having bigger kids around, but she is taking it all in stride. I have to remind the other kids that sometimes she needs space and that they don't have to follow her around, wave their hands two inches from her face, and repeat, "Hi Veronica!" for hours. Veronica seems to love everyone at the house except for the cats. She is pretty afraid of the cats.

The biggest hurdle we have to face right now is jet lag. I've had jet lag before, but never with an additional jet lagged child and four children who are most definitely NOT jet lagged. Getting enough sleep has been a struggle for both Ben and I and Veronica.

Our daughter had been sleeping quite well in China. But, now her schedule is all off and she has been waking up in the middle of the night and staying awake for hours. Of course she doesn't want to be awake alone, so I am exhausted by the time the other kids need to get up and Veronica has fallen back to sleep.

I had heard that the first couple of months home are similar sleep-wise to having a newborn. I would politely disagree. Yes, with my newborns, I had to get up several times a night. But I knew what to expect. I would change them, nurse them, and within 20-30 minutes be back in my bed.

With Veronica, I don't know how long each night time waking will last now. She might be back asleep in 10 minutes, or she could need me for more than two hours. I am finding the unpredictability is more difficult.

But in the bleary-eyed times when our whole family is awake, family life is nothing short of wonderful.


Jennifer said...

So happy to hear that you made it and life is good.

Alyson and Ford said...

Congratulations on your home coming! Yes, sleep deprivation is tough; I had my Mom stay with us for two full weeks after we returned home so that the household stayed together, was fed, laundry done and she played with Alyzabeth when I needed some much needed sleep. I never had an infant, so I was one who did describe it like being a new parent; we were still exhausted for six months (then I found out I was very anemic, that's another story). Take care of yourself and get some sleep, you may have to let the siblings watch her for awhile so you can sleep. Sounds like your family is doing wonderful otherwise!

Alyzabeth's Mommy