Betcha thought I would be MIA for another lengthy period of time, eh? Well, I showed you. :p

The visit was pretty fun and low key. My allergies and sinus congestion kicked my ass and by Saturday night, I couldn’t move my head without it feeling as if a sledgehammer were slamming into the base of my skull. I broke down and took allergy meds and tylenol sinus. Poor DH. He basically took care of both kids from Thursday through Monday. 

My nephew (DN) is Super CUTE. His head is SO. ROUND. And he has no neck. Lol. The kiddos really enjoyed watching him take a bath. But other than that, he was a blobby 3 month old. They don’t do much other than eat, pee, poop, and sleep. It was really good to see him and hold him in the flesh. The next time I see him, he’ll be 11 months old and most likely walking already. No longer a blobby thing but a REAL PERSON. So exciting! But so sad to watch him grow up from afar.

Understandably, DH was really frustrated for the majority of the trip because when I’m out of commission, he’s stuck with the kids. That would be fine normally, but if I’m home, the kids want ME even though they can’t have me. So half of his time is telling them, “No, Mommy is sleeping.” They did have several fun walks to the park, pet store (cheapest, free-est zoo ever!), and frozen yogurt shop. He was constantly saying that we were never traveling again and that once we have three kids, we are never leaving the house or taking a plane. Car seats are a real pain in the ass to schlep.

It was also good for my brother and SIL to see DD in her full personality vs a sad, sicko with a UTI during Christmas. She was definitely feisty. And DS was homesick and the first night, already wanted to go home. He kept asking for his big, white car. He did NOT like the small, white car we rented. They both did well on the airplane (no screaming tantrums) and they’ve mostly switched back from East Coast time. They were little pills on Tuesday, but that’s not TOO unusual. 

Plus, we also squeezed in a visit with a friend from UCLA. That was awesome. 🙂 And then, due to the powers of Facebook, an acquaintance happened to post about his church festival in MD and we went there, too. Random and fun for DS. (DD was asleep in the car.) Added bonus: free hot dogs. DH was happy about that. 🙂

Ok. We’re back and there are no more trips planned in the near future. I’m in my 6th month of pregnancy after all. (Although, we were thinking of taking a trip to the Sequoias or Redwoods.) See you soon!

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Yay! We’re off on our trip to DC to visit my brother and his new son today. It should be interesting and gives me a preview of what taking care of a 3 month old infant and two toddlers will be like. Wish us luck!! I am so excited. 🙂

I am especially curious to see how DD will handle no longer being the baby of the family. heehee. That should be enlightening for all of us.

Welp, the actual plane trip went much better than I could have hoped. They were both on mostly excellent behavior until the very end of the first 12.5 hour flight. After only 4.5 hours of sleep on the plane though, who can blame them? Thanks to my mom’s awesome friend who is a travel agent, she got us bulkhead seats and I was even able to put DD in a bassinet for a few hours. We had like 3 feet of leg room. Seriously awesome.

Thankfully, at the airport in Taipei, they had a nice sized indoor playground. They also had one huge train to look at but I didn’t know about it until later. DS and DD had a great time. On the 45 minute flight to Kaohsiung, they both passed out from sheer exhaustion the last 15 minutes or so. Of course, that was enough to wire them for the next 7 hours.

We went first to my First Aunt’s (my mom’s oldest sister) house with my cousins and waited there for another cousin to arrive. Then we went to my grandparents’ house. Craziness. The outside of the house had two big tents full of funeral flowers and wreaths. Inside the first floor of the house was an altar and my grandmother’s picture up next to Buddha. We had to bow and worship (my brother and I didn’t use incense so we were just showing respect) to my grandmother’s image. Then we went upstairs to see my grandfather.

They didn’t allow the babies in the house. The family because it was custom and wanted to protect my babies from death and evil spirits. My mom because the family worships ancestors and Buddha which are false idols. So they hire nuns and monks to continually read from Buddhist scriptures to hopefully help send my grandmother on to heaven and protect her from evil spirits. Terribly confusing and I had to have my mother explain everything to me.

My brother and I have never seen so many relatives from my mom’s house. My grandmother was eldest of five and my grandfather was eldest of six. It was a briefly disconcerting moment when I met a woman who looked just like my grandmother and they told me it was her younger sister. Paid our brief respects to my grandfather who had to be told who we were. He thanked us for coming. He was sweet but had a cold. (Apparently, he caught a cold, gave it to my grandmother, it worsened into pneumonia, and she passed away peacefully in her sleep at the hospital. It was unexpected.) He was unshaven and in his pajamas. My mom told me that was a way to symbolize grief in their custom.

My grandparents were a love match. They had fallen in love on first sight (very different for those times!) My grandmother was very outgoing and talkative and was working because she had to care for her siblings. My grandfather was more on the quiet side but he also worked to care for his siblings and family. Together, they built our family’s steel factory and have given money to take care of all their siblings, their siblings’ children, and their siblings’ grandchildren. For some of their siblings, they feel as if my grandparents didn’t give them enough. I find that astounding.

They collapsed around 330pm and I let them sleep a long time against my better judgment. I tried to wake DS up, but he was pretty much unconscious and I changed him and let him sleep. DD woke up so I fed her, my mom gave her a bath, and then I nursed her back to sleep.

My mom went to her room to sleep because they have to be up at 530 for the funeral service, then a 4 hour round trip bus ride to my grandmother’s hometown temple in the mountains for a super long service. The kids and I aren’t going because they don’t allow or advise bringing children. I am not complaining!

I did get to nap for about 2 hours then I woke up because I thought we were going to dinner. My mom and I debated for awhile and then she went out to get food. Of course, I didn’t get a chance to sleep until 11pm and then DS woke up all bright-eyed and bushytailed at 1am local time. That’s because it was 8am in California! Then he woke up DD.

I fed him, gave him a bath, and he played with trains. Twice he woke up DD right when she was about to fall asleep. Finally, I broke down and had him watch Thomas the train videos on YouTube. I am currently trying to get him back to bed because he is yawning and still short a good 6 hours of sleep. Wish me luck!

I won’t kid myself. It’s not going to be a vacation.

Ok, I will stop complaining. We are heading out to Honolulu to visit DH’s extended family for a week. His grandmother broke her hip a month ago and his mom is flying in from LA to help out for three weeks. We will be visiting because his grandmother hasn’t met the kiddos yet (and they think she is going a bit senile). So, off to HI we go.

Thankfully, my mother has a timeshare and we were able to get a nice place for very reasonable. I think $230 for the whole 8 days and 7 nights. Of course, the plane tickets, car rental, and a slew of other costs will be super high, so I don’t know how people go on vacations! It’s hurting my brain to think of how much this whole trip will cost. YIPES!

It should be good to see DH’s extended family again. We haven’t seen them since summer of 2005 before the wedding and the babies. I looked up a bunch of places that are kid friendly and we may or may not go to all/any of them. The only thing I’m going to make time to see is the Dole Plantation because they have a 20 minute train ride that DS will go bonkers for. We may also visit the Hawaiian Railway, but that’s a 90 minute ride and quite frankly, once you’re ON the train, it’s pretty boring. But DS might enjoy looking at the rest of the trains so we still might go.

DH is excited to introduce DS to the beach. Since I hate the sun, water, and sand, I may not enjoy it as much, but I do want the kids to like it. So I will suck it up! Besides, the water is very pretty and warm, so it will be fun. Yes, I am psyching myself up for it! We might even put DD in the water, too! She’s pretty bold so she may just enjoy it!

I’m totally stressed out about packing for two babies. I mean, going to LA/SD is a pain, but at least I can just cram everything I think I could possibly need into the minivan. Going to HI, however, at $20 per checked bag – that’s an entirely different story! If only I could go back to the travel light days of two carryon bags only! That would be really difficult to do with kiddos. But at least we’re going to a warm climate. When we head out to DC for Christmas, that will suck more because cold weather clothes take a lot more room. (But I’m not gonna start stressing about that yet.)

This is all just a very long preamble to say that I most likely will not be posting for the next week and a half. Until then, have a great 4th of July!

I must say, I will no longer call my trips to LA vacation. In fact, we’ll just call them family trips, because it was a trip and it was with family to visit family. The only relaxing part was when we showed up at my friend, CB’s place in San Diego. That was awesome. I didn’t have to think about what to feed my family for four days. CB took care of everything. She held DD; her boys entertained DS. She planned fun and engaging activities. It was awesome.

In LA, we mostly just saw DH’s family and some old friends. It was fun, but really stressful since the kids were getting used to sleeping in the same room. Plus, DD really didn’t get good naps in until maybe the third day. Poor thing was exhausted. DS was too excited to sleep on the way down and he kept asking to go home. (In between asking for Gran Gran.)

The drive home was rough. From SD to LA was fantastic. DD was asleep before we pulled away from CB’s house. DS fell asleep shortly after. Then when we got to LA, the last 2 miles to DH’s mom’s house was brutal traffic. I hate LA. (I never thought I would say those words.)

Of course, because DH’s mom is not normal and is a hoarder, we couldn’t stop at her house. Both kids weren’t having the car anymore and DD pooped. We tried to go to a park but there was no parking and they were filming something so we ended up in a Ralph’s parking lot. DS just ran up and down the aisles.

Of course, my MIL was no help. DH was so pissed at her because she would just stand as DS disappeared. DH was on the phone trying to take care of a tax thing for her and I was carrying DD. It was madness. We had to go to the bathroom at the grocery store because her house was too fucking disgusting.

We dropped her back home because seriously, what was there to do? The last thing any of us wanted was to force the kids to sit still again in a restaurant. DD was crying again so we stopped at a parking lot to feed. DS just ran around and screamed.

Then we started off. As soon as we put DD back in her seat, she started to cry. This would become a pattern. She finally fell asleep but then DS had to poo.

We stopped, changed DS and grab some fast food. We head off and DD was pissed. She was so happy to be out. Ten minutes later, DS had to poo again. We took a break and fed DD and DS stared at my phone because I had to bribe him to get back into his seat. DD was weeping as soon as I put her down. I started to cry.

This is where it gets awesome. Fifteen minutes later, DS demands to get out of his seat. Of course we can’t so I give him the iPad telling him there are no videos/YouTube on there. Desperately playing with the iPad hoping for videos, DS finally pushes it away.

He starts to cry and demand to get out. I didn’t want him to wake up DD so I give him my phone for half an hour. After that, he gives it back and begins to beg to get out. It is 830. We have another 3.5 hrs to go.

Then he says he pooped. By now, he has pooped twice and I think he will say anything to get out. DD was asleep and I didn’t want to stop the car, have her wake up and cry again.

DS proceeds to scream for the next hour as if I am killing him. “Open! No more bye bye! Up! Mommy!” DD also screams hoarsely, for about half an hour. She finally falls back asleep and DS screams on. He finally falls asleep.

Around 1030, with about an hour to go, DH goes over a bumpy stretch of road and DS wakes up screaming for another half hour or so. DD of course wakes up, too.

Finally they fall asleep again about 15 minutes from the house and we make it home. Thank God.

Of course, DS’s diaper was full of orange poo. I forgot he drank so much good juice after a week of bad food that the kid had been sitting in poop for three hours. No wonder he was pissed. Poor guy.

He refused to sleep in his room so DH slept with him and he’s out around 1am. DD is out, too. Promptly at 7am, DS pops up and is up for the day. Of course he wakes DD.

I am still traumatized. We are never leaving the house again. (Except, of course, when we leave for Hawaii at the end of June. I am completely dreading this.)

So, in a nutshell: LA OK. SD Awesome. Driving SUCKED.

Every time my brother goes home after a visit, I feel so bereft and sad. He is such a great guy (and it’s not just because he is one of my dedicated blog readers). It makes me so sad that he lives across the country and that we see him so little. DS ADORES him and loves to play and scream and tire my brother out. It is such a blessing to have such good family.

He just left and I miss him already. 😦

Our dear friends from Sacramento trekked out to see DD today and have their two boys play with DS. They are so sweet and it is always lovely to spend time in their presence. Their love for us and our babies always overflows and makes us feel super special. We are lucky to have such good friends.

Sorry for such a short post today. I’m pretty tired and my brain is mush. 🙂