Posted November 4, 2010on:
CA trip was tiring for me, but great for May. Understandably, her sleep schedule was turned up side down, and she ended up sleeping about 2-4 hours less than she typically would at home. She also ate less, but that was also expected. What May gained was company, and she revelled in all the attentions paid to her. She was both bashful and social, typical of her age. She clung to me like velcro, but would do things while eyeing others, to see if they pay attention. And then give it a few more hours, she would become friends with everyone. Watching her sauntering around Helen’s kitchen on Sunday while we prepared for brunch just made it all worth while. May was so comfortable and confident. She was amused and stimulated, and the adults moved around her with ease and enjoyment. She fits in very well.
When we took off from SFO, I showed her the East Bay below and pointed to the Berkeley campus while telling May that’s where Nana is. May added, “di` Die^~m.” Yeah, she’s down there too.
So the trip went something like this:
Saturday woke up at 5am, got to airport at 7am (had to park then take shuttle), boarded by 8am and was in the air shortly afterward. May fell asleep but only for an hour or so. Then she was up the rest of the time, tired, restless, and bored. All in all, she was very good for not throwing a tantrum.
We arrived 11am at SFO, got luggage, headed to Koi Palace for dim sum with party of 12, seated by noon, out by 1:30pm at which time May passed out in the car. 50 minutes later we arrived at Shattuck Hotel, where I spent the next 2 hours trying to get May to nap. When she did nap, it was a looooooong one.
Dinner at Helen’s afterward, then home at 10pm, in bed by midnight.
Sunday morning May was up around 6am and it took me some 2 hours before she would doze off again, but just for a short while. Met up with ma. Ti’m, AK/KC for playdate at Habitots just right under the hotel. Went back to the hotel 4 hours later, gave May a nap that lasted nearly 4 hours, then went over to Jim and Helen’s for dinner. Came home at 10, in bed by 11pm
Monday morning May got up at 7am again, and I said what the heck, so we all went for a long walk to fetch some breakfast at Cheeseboard. Stopped by Andronico’s for milk, then came by Career Center to say hi. May hated the Career Center building and was in frantic tears immediately. I thought she was just tired, so I brought her home and gave her a nap (another long one). When she woke up 4 hours later, all smiles and sunshine, I took her back to the Career Center, where her good mood immediately disappeared. Oops. Took her out for some yogurt, and then Helen picked us up for Target. Dinner at Helen’s again, went home at 9pm, in bed by 11pm.
Tuesday morning up at 8am, long walk to cheeseboard, breakfast at Andronico’s, then lunch with former coworkers from Career Center at Anzu. Tearful May once again, this time it was clearly stranger anxiety. I think she was OK when it’s one or two Vietnamese speaking strangers at a time, but when it’s a bunch of non-vietnamese speaking strangers all coming up to her at once, she got scared and told me so (“so+., ddi ra, ddi, na(`m, bu’, o^m, bye bye” was her message). We sat ourselves in a corner, with me blocking May from everyone else, and that worked pretty well. She even warmed up to everyone towards the end, but she wasn’t all sunshine because her spare battery was running low by 1:20pm. Went back to the hotel, May napped until near 6pm. An (son’s sister) had met up with Son and went shopping for some of May’s stuffs by this time, and once May was up, we moved some of our belongings over to Helen and Jim’s house to make the check out process easier on Wednesday. Then we went to China Village for dinner. Afterward, An came up to hang out with May, and May was all giggles and words with An.
The first 2 nights at the hotel was so stressful for me, because May got a stuffy/runny nose at night which frustrated her at night when she tried to nurse to sleep. I was pretty sleep deprived and got bitten too many times, May was nursing much more than usual on Saturday, all of this added up to cranky baby and cranky mommy. And then May threw a fit in the middle of the night. both nights. I just lost it. I really got angry because I hate loud noises. I really do. I super duper hate loud noises, and May was loud and getting louder. I was also scared that the neighbors will call front desk to complain – it happened to Gabe and his kid before… That got me even more angry at May. Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr. I wanted to scream “SHUT THE #$%!$!%$! UP!!” I really did. Son did try to comfort May, but at night, only I could get May to calm down. I could easily soothe her, even when she was throwing a tantrum, but I was just royally pissed, so I just ignored her. Then she talked to me. That’s the thing about May – she’s always communicating, bless her heart. Between her hiccups, she said “o^m o^m” then “bu’ bu’.” Then all was well.
Sunday and Monday I told May throughout the day that 1) at night people need to sleep, and we should not make noise because that will wake them up (there’s a really funny video with Elmo and Ricky Gervais on youtube that May watches, and I use that as my talking point) and 2) when she wants something, she should talk and tell me what she wants, because crying doesn’t cut it (I have been purposely ignoring her when she cried for 2 months now; in calmer times, I usually say “talk to me, tell me what you want, I don’t know what you need if you just cry” and May always respond verbally). Before she went to sleep at night, I repeated my messages again and asked her to promise me she would do it. May promised. On Monday night, May sat up in the middle of the night, looked around, said “bu’!” and I sprung right up, held her in my arms and latched her on. The rest of the week was BEAUTIFUL. Some nights she just sat up and sweetly whispered “me.” (mom). This child psych shit really work!
Anyways. Wednesday we checked out and Son picked up the rental car and then we met up with Son’s former boss and coworker from the USDA for lunch at Fat Apples. That was a good location for May, since she did like their chicken soup and ate a decent lunch. After lunch, Son drove us slowly to Oakland China town because I wanted to buy some food there. May barely slept for 1 hour in the car, and then it was party time again for this tired babe. Son dropped us back to Berkeley at 4:30pm and then he headed to the sport bar to watch the World Series game with his buddies. At 5:30pm, I managed to convince May that she really wanted a late nap. May woke up at 7, refreshed and much happier. Dinner at 8pm. I got some chicken Pho for May from Chinatown, so she ate a decent dinner. Lots of bonding and playing with Nana afterward. Bed time at 11pm.
Thursday woke up at 8, breakfast for all of us until past 10. Went to Berkeley bowl to buy some snacks and had lunch there, then we packed May into the rented car and drove leisurely across the bridge. I went into Daiso to buy a bunch of stuffs while Son drove around the parking lot to keep May napping. Afterward, we drove on to San Jose. May managed a 2 hours nap and was all rainbow and sunshine to everyone. We wanted to take May to the giant koi garden in San Jose so she could feed the fish – she would have loved that – except when we got there, ALL OF THE FISHES WERE DEAD. ARGH!!
tangent: to pet owners who release their unwanted pets into public/private lands: I have entertained the thought of throwing my cats out of the house more than 10 times during the past 18 months. I KNOW HOW YOU FEEL about your unwanted pets. Yeah you used to love them, and then for some reason, you could no longer keep them. Or, in my case, I wanted to kill them sometimes. But you can’t get rid of them and you can’t bring yourself to killing them. You feel guilty. You think, oh, maybe if I release them secretly somewhere, where they can be safe, wouldn’t that be great? NO! There is no such thing. I saw tons of feral cats wreaking havoc in my life time. And god helps you if one of them get rabies and bite YOUR BABY in the ass someday some how. There is no happy solution, no easy way out, if you don’t manage to find another owner for them. Go to the vet and put them down. Abandon them at the shelter where they eventually get killed. That would be more merciful than sneakily releasing them somewhere thinking “tee hee hee, now we’re both happy.”
Short version of the Koi garden story: some of the 500 koi fishes in this San Jose garden were HUGE, and probably were worth $$$$$. They were beautiful healthy fishes lovingly tended by the Park rangers. Some people released their pet fishes into the koi pond, and their pet fishes carried a deadly disease. Now the pond is filled with green algae. I was more than miffed that May didn’t get her chance to feed the fishes. The thing is, people are still releasing their pets into that pond. The notices were posted at the park saying, “STOP RELEASING YOUR PET TURTLES INTO THE POND.” Grrrrr…
Anyways. Where was I?
After roaming around in that dead Koi garden, we came home to have dinner with Son’s uncle’s family. An came by after her shifted ended, and brought a pair of awesome training chopsticks for May. In bed by 11pm that night and everyone slept well.
Woke up at 9 on Friday, packed up, went to pho Ha Noi in San Jose for breakfast, then we said goodbye to co^ Tha?o and headed for Newark – such a busy afternoon that day. May was sleepy, but by the time we got to Dave’s house around 2pm, May was super giddy due to the fact that Dave’s house is filled with toys and play structures. I let her play until 3:30pm, then coaxed her into bed, thinking “now she will sleep well!” In less than 1 hour later, May woke up fussing and couldn’t go back to sleep for some reason. After 45 minutes of futile attempts, I gave up, and let May play some more downstairs. We left Dave’s house at 5:30, got stuck in traffic so instead of showing up at ma. Ti’m’s house in San Leandro at 6pm, we got there at 7. Son quickly dropped us off and ran over to Loy’s house to meet up with Wally. Around 8pm, Son came back. We had dinner at some point, and then by 10pm, we left San Leandro heading for Berkeley. We went to bed late that night.
Saturday morning was supposed to be a Halloween outing for May, but it rained, so Son dropped us off at Ma. Ti’m’s house again. May was all “di` Die^~m di` Die^~m” by this time – actually when she met ma. Ti’m the previous saturday at dim-sum, she already went to her and let ma. Ti’m pick her up and take her away from me, these two must have known each other in their past lives. Cu. also drove up from San Jose, so we had a great time just hanging out and playing with the kids. May paid close attention to KC and was copying what KC did. After lunch, Ma. Ti’m packed a big ass cooler for me to take back to York, and then she drove us back to Berkeley. May was still saying “di` Die^~m, nu+~a” (more) when I carried her up to Helen’s drive way…
After May napped, Jim made a simple dinner and we dinned in.
Sunday we woke up, had brunch, packed, and ran off to the airport. There was some sort of medical emergency when we pulled into the terminal, so Helen helped me check in our luggages while Son went over to help. The airport police soon pulled up and started talking in a very curt and unfriendly tone to Helen. Helen told him that she was dropping off Son, so she had to wait around to help me while Son helped the patient, and the guy completely acted as if that didn’t mean anything. What a jerk, really. It was a good thing that there were also 2 airport officers talking to Son, and one quickly came over to take Helen’s side, so the police guy moved on. What a cocky bastard. The airport security person stayed to apologize, and then stayed even longer with Helen after we went inside, that tells you how rude the police officer was to Helen – he made his co-worker feel that bad!
The flight from BWI to SFO took 6 hours, but the return leg lasted less than 4.5 hours. May went right to sleep during take off, and stay asleep for more than 2 hours. When she woke up, she was in a great mood and stay generally mellow for the rest of the flight. We got into BWI at 10pm, but due to our checked in luggages (and then the delayed luggage incidence mentioned in previous post) and the car being parked in the economy lot, we didn’t get back to York until past midnight. We were all starving. Ma. Ti’m’s pate chauds were life savers – because of them, May didn’t cry in the car even though she was very tired and hungry. She kept on saying “so+.” (scared), so I reached back to hold her hands and that seemed to have helped.
The cat was on his own for 8 days with an automatic cat feeder, automatic litterbox, and pools of water. It worked great! He didn’t trash our house, no mess to clean up, woohoo!
Tips for travelling moms this season:
stickers, stickers, sticky jelly, a hand mirror, gel pens, and, if you can draw funny comics to amuse your toddler, your time on the plane will pass more quickly