Our trip to Southern Cali last week was short and sweet. There was quality time spent with family and friends, delicious food eaten, and lazy afternoons spent... lazing. And eating. And lazing some more.
The trip far exceeded my expectations, considering that Violet and I spent the eve of our departure at the Urgent Care clinic, where she was diagnosed with pneumonia, a double ear infection and a touch of pink eye. We almost didn't make the trip because of her sorry state, but the doctor assured me that as long as she took her antibiotics and stayed hydrated, she's be just fine. And she was. I realized on this trip that I've spent the last 3 years of my life as a mother earning Violet, and her happy-go-lucky, mellow, sunny disposition.* Karma, thy name is sweeeeeeet.
Hazel pulled some form of bedtime bullshit every single night, which led to her and her Papa enjoying some one-on-one time together, watching the men's Olympic speed skating finals. At 10:30 on a Tuesday night. She also visited the preschool where her Nane (my mom) is a teacher, and was awestruck by their... lawn. ("OOOoohhh, they got grass at Nane's school, Mama! It's so nice!") There was some talk about Dente, and how he's not coming back, but it was quickly forgotten when Uncle Kyle mentioned that the hunt is on for a new puppy. And as ever, Hazel basked in the warm glow of attention showered on her by her grandparents, great-grandparents and uncles, who are only too happy to tickle, cuddle and otherwise love her up.
Travelling alone with both girls, one on foot, the other in the sling, Hazel's booster seat, our huge, uncooperative suitcase (overpacked by yours truly) and a shoulder bag o'tricks was a bit of a challenge, but luckily I forgot the exact location of our car when the bus dropped us off in the long-term parking lot.
No matter how long we're gone, no matter where we are returning from, coming home to our tiny, cluttered house and our sweet Zoe-dog always feels so good.
*To be sure, Hazel is a wonderful, miraculous creature. She also is, was, and likely will always be a high-needs baby/toddler/preschooler/kid. Not that there's anything wrong with that... but my obviously, my experience with Girl #1 serves as a touchstone in my experience with Girl #2, and the two experiences, so far, have been like night and day. Is it a classic case of first baby/heir being difficult/scary, while the second baby/back-up kid is easier/whatever, or is it a prime example of the theory that one's personality and character is encoded from birth? You decide. I don't have time. I haven't even unpacked yet.
To see the week in pictures, go to the Flickr badge at left.