The times, they have changed.
Anyway. Last week started with Gracie enduring another growth spurt. There was a lot of nursing, a lot of fussing, no napping, and one morning she woke up and her clothes didn't fit anymore. Her onesie straight up wouldn't snap. She jumped a size overnight. It's true, I'm telling you! I jumped a size overnight too, but that's from the cookies I ate in order to cope with the 'spurt.
As soon as we got through that, I found out that my grandma's cancer is back, and it looks really bad. We don't know all the details yet, but suffice it to say, Gracie and I will be flying to California (more on that in a bit!) soon so my grandma can meet her and I can see her one last time. Prayers are very much appreciated. That news has put a lot into perspective for me lately.
There's also this bird. I don't know what it is or where it is, but it has been keeping me up for days now. It chirps all night long. Never during the day! But all night long. You know that scene in Failure to Launch where Zooey Deschanel has a nervous breakdown while buying a gun to kill a bird that won't shut up? That's where I am right now. Last night we had a fan on in our room and I turned my white noise app to the loudest setting and I COULD STILL HEAR THE BIRD. I laid in bed and seethed with rage for longer than I care to admit.
I'm having a severe case of stroller lust lately. My mother-in-law bought us a Graco travel system right after we told her I was pregnant. It's not what I would've picked, but it worked great for the first few months. Anyway, now that I like to go on long walks, Gracie's almost out of her infant seat, and we are out and about much more, I'm seeing the flaws. Poor Gracie must feel like she's in a vibrating chair strapped to a bucking bronco whenever I'm pushing her on a surface that isn't 100% smooth. I spent all weekend researching strollers and have several all-terrain strollers picked out that I love more than anything, but with a price tag somewhere between heart attack and stroke, I'm not sure I can justify it. But it's a good investment, right? We'll use it constantly for years, and then for even more years if there's another baby (LOL). I am continually talking myself in and out of it. Strollers consume my thoughts. I've even dreamed about them the past two nights.
News about my grandma has given me a lot of nervous energy, and I've poured into stroller research. I am a woman possessed.
Back to our trip to California. Please allow me to unload on you all as I've already sent my mom 15 emails and annoyed all my mom friends. FELLOW MOMS, HELP ME. I NEED HELP. Even if you don't have kids, I'll take any advice you may or may not have. I've done and am doing tons of research, but I am stockpiling tips. Listen, I consider myself a somewhat expert traveller. I've been flying my whole life. I have systems down pat. I have favorite booths in coffee shops across the nation. I've flown internationally by myself. I've slept on the floor of a Jamaican airport when the workers went on strike and we were stuck there for days. I have run through an airport with my head in a barf bag in order to make a connecting flight. I've done it all. But flying with a baby? I feel like I'm back to square one. I am spazzing. Thankfully, my mom will be with us to help, but I need your advice. We will be staying with family, but there will not be any baby gear on the other end for us to borrow, so we have no choice but to bring a carseat, pack 'n play, and stroller.
I know. Lord help us.
I know we can gate-check the stroller (please don't get broken!), but the carseat is where I have issues. We haven't decided if we should buy her a ticket so we can have the carseat on the plane with us, or if we'll check it and have her sit on my lap. I know a carseat can be damaged if checked which could be the equivalent of it being in an accident and therefore rendered unsafe. Obviously I don't want that, and I don't want it to get gross, but is it worth buying an extra ticket? She'll probably be in my lap most of the time anyway to keep her happy. We're renting a car, and I know we can rent a carseat, but that makes me nervous about the condition it will be in. And the pack-n-play? Can it be checked/gate-checked? I DON'T KNOW. I think a lot depends on the mood of the ticket and gate agents that day. At least that's my past experience. I've heard of some airlines checking baby things for free. But it could also be damaged. We all know the airlines toss luggage around like a woman scorned hurtling things at her ex.
My biggest concern is a 3 hour time change. I finally have her on a bit of a schedule and I could die at the thought of ruining it. Do I dare even mention my sordid past of delayed flights and missed connections? And the fact that I can't fly without drugging myself with Dramamine (this is necessary if I don't want to puke on the person next to me)? And then I have to care for a baby when I most likely won't be able to spell my own name? Every trip in the last 5 years (there have been many) have been riddled with horror stories. The last time I flew back from California our first plane was delayed, which caused a missed flight, which caused us to literally fly all over the US from 11am to 8am the next morning. My parents flew there a few months ago, and their plane caught on fire and made an emergency landing. And what if I'm the person with the screaming baby? And some planes don't have changing tables?! What if her ears don't pop during take off and landing?? I know nursing can help with that, but I'm just looking for things to worry about at this point.
What am I saying is, will you please travel with us and help me out? I'll need all the extra hands I can get. Mostly for holding coffee, which I will need gallons of.
I am dreading the actual travel and taking Gracie away from James for awhile, but I am so excited to introduce her to my family and my homeland. I can't wait to stick her toes in the sand take pictures of her in the same places my mom took pictures of me at her age. It will be good and it will be worth it.
Maybe a new stroller will help me feel better.