Thursday, May 23, 2013

T - 6 days

Time just flew by especially in the last 38 days ever since baby E was born. From the initial sleepless 3 nights watching her suffer under the phototheraphy lights in the hospital, to the adjustment back home, and to now, 38 days old. This busy period has led me to almost forget about time ticking away and my time in the USA is coming to an end.

I had many brief chats on fb with friends asking if I am ready to go home. I told them in all honesty that I haven't even stopped to think about it. So since I have my 5am with my girl and is now awake, I shall list down the things I will miss when I am home.

- Being "baby-less" / being able to be spontaneous.
There is 2 part to this. I love my baby to bits and would not do things any differently but the spontaneous-let's-go-now! is an impossible dream for the next decade at least. While it is not US exclusive thing that I will miss, the ability to be spontaneous has led us to places and seen things on the fly. E.g. last summer we declared it was too hot for us and ran off to Canada for 3 weeks. Having said that, it seems baby or not, being back home also mean it is not possible to just do the let's-go-now! anyway, with work commitments and all. So being back home and having work = less chance to be spontaneous, and having a baby just makes it even more impossible. :/

- The drives
I wish there was a way (without taking too much effort) to calculate the mileage we clocked throughout the 17 months here on the road. Well, it has to be A LOT. The variation of the scenery, the journey there as oppose to a means to an end, and of course, the reward at the end of each drive leaves some wonderful memories. From the first short drive to Panama City, all excited over being here for the first time and buying SO MUCH at the outlet mall, to the breathtaking scenic drives we experienced from LA to Yosemite, the LA loop through Vegas and Utah region, the Rocky Mountains backdrop in Alberta, the indescribable awe inspiring Alaska and the 3000+ miles road trip with the family through Florida, Georgia and up north. Being back in home driving in the crazy city traffic is really something I am not looking forward to.

- The trips
A broader point from the above. The freedom of both of us not working allowed us to make this almost as our gap year (and a half) taking all the wonderful trips we did. We know how privilleged we are - so many citizens we spoke to haven't been to half the places we have been within such a short period of time.

- The apartment
I have to say we live in suitably one of the most boring cities, but our apartment is just so great! We have an excellent view of the swimming pool, which is literally 50 steps away. The house is a comfortable size for a 1 bedroom 870 sqft - it is like 80 sqm, which is just freaking 10sqm smaller than my flat in TPY. Love the walk in wardrobe, the HUGE bathroom and the kitchen we made many amazing meals in.

- The community
Being away from home means being away from friends and family. I am so glad we have a tiny little community that gives us the feeling of being surrounded by people we love. The village dinners, the trips taken together, the sharing of travel tips.

- The people
Maybe being back home where we already have all our friends and family to busy ourselves with made sure we had little time to experience making new friends, but even just strangers and people on streets are so much friendlier and nicer. It may be exclusive to Florida and the surroundings (and the other non city-ish places we have been), but it is just nice to have people stop for you when you cross the road and smiles and greetings and small talks everywhere.

- The weather
Florida weather rocks! Except in summer, which is fine because we are away most of the time! Argh to 100% humidity and frizzy hair back home!

- The shopping!
Even though this is basically me talking to myself, I don't want to be judged by putting it higher up in my priority :p. But yes, I will soooo miss the shopping. I am glad we went through the various phases - the crazy just reach here wide eye phase, then the going to an outlet mall with each trips we made just so we don't miss out on good deals phase, the our family is here and they are in the wide eye phase phase, the baby crazy phase, and the online shopping phase. Then there is the grocery shopping coupon crazy phase - getting things on the cheap or almost free. Of course, there is costco, which we love so much!

What I look forward to at home :

- Friends and family
It's just not the same doing skype vs hanging out. It is a bigger bummer to miss out milestones like weddings and babies. So hurrah to hanging out, especially now with many of our friends in the same plight as us (stuck with a baby or two!), the lack of spontaneity is mitigated seeing everyone is in the same shoes.

- Food
Cooking is fun. But I just miss having to not cook every meal. And clean up. Both which I am so grateful for my mum and dad being here to help us out for the past 2 months. And I just don't have to list out all the local food that is so awesome. Although TBH I hardly miss it here, since we have learn to remake many of them.

- New phase of life
Our flat that we bought and own since 2008 and have not lived in for the past 5 years. Finally a place to call home, that we can spend time to decorate and let it be "us". Of course with the baby too, plus we have the friends and families to hang out with.

So there, I have verbalise my thoughts - to help with a bit of a closure to the chapter. :)

Thursday, May 02, 2013

Milestone checks

Something to remind us of silly milestones we have achieved as a family.

Pooped on while changing diaper
Peed on while changing diaper
Peed on while trying to soothe her (while airing her bum)

Happy 16th day

Time flies when you are happy. 10 days have passed since my 5am post. 10 more lack of sleep, but happy days with my baby girl. Watching her grow everyday is just one of life's little pleasure that I need to remember not to take for granted.

Since then, she has been told she is not gaining as much weight as she should, leading to us putting her on a feeding frenzy for the past week. On her 2nd week weigh in, she shot up double of the weight she was supposed to put on (but it is not a bad thing!), so we could relax on waking her up every 2 hours and almost force feeding her. Also, to give us some time to build up the breastfeeding regime which has taken a backseat, as we wanted to make sure she is growing as she needs to.

Then 2 days ago she caught a cold, and it is heart wrenching to see her laborious breathing and having mucus  stuck in her nose and not know how to get it out. Her dad has to use the nasal bulb to get some out, but we are so scared of hurting her delicate nostril.

But so far, it has been somewhat a breeze. With dad and mum around to help us out, and the husband not working and at home all the time, my sanity is in check. Sure there were moments of tears from feeling helpless and useless for not producing enough to feed her, and self blaming for allowing someone who is not feeling well get near her. But this beautiful girl is such a gem - she does not cry for no reason except when she is hungry or lonely or when daddy changes her diaper when she has diaper rash. Even now with her cold, she has adapted and no longer as irritable as she was when she first caught the cold. I still have no idea why I am so blessed to have such a wonderful daughter, and wonders once in a while still, whether she is mine.