January 5, 2012

Hello. I Am Alive. Barely.

Y'all, I don't even know where to begin. I guess I could start by saying that 2012 so far has been, in a word, exhausting

I have been sick one time since we moved here almost three years ago and, besides a runny nose on our last Tennessee trip, Wilder has never been sick but he and I have both had colds for the last week. When you're not used to feeling bad, it hits you even harder when you do. Although, except for a runny nose and a yucky cough, Wilder really hasn't let his cold slow him down much, therefore, as all you moms know, I haven't been able to slow down either. I'm hoping we're both on the tail end of it now. It's been pretty miserable. 

Then there was what will go down in history as "The Most Horrendous Travel Day Ever." On Tuesday we left my mom's house and headed for Nashville at 9 AM. At 8:35 AM we actually considered moving our flight to Wednesday because we hadn't gotten any sleep the night before and Wilder and I were both feeling cruddy but we couldn't justify spending $500 to push the flight back one day. Looking back now, I'd say what we went through justified it but that's hindsight and we had no way of knowing. Things actually started out OK. Wilder slept the whole way to Nashville and then got to play at the airport's indoor play area before our flight so we had high hopes for a breezy day of travel.
We couldn't have been more wrong. We thought after burning off some energy at the airport Wilder might nap on the flight. We scored the front row and settled in, but Wilder had other ideas. He did not want to go to sleep. He did not want to sit in our laps. He did not want to be on the floor. He did not want to sit in my seat while I sat on the floor. Obviously that didn't leave us with many options. He was sooo tired and didn't feel good -- we could see it in his eyes. But you know sometimes you get too tired to sleep? Yeah, unfortunately, that was him. So we did our best to entertain him and not upset him for the two hour flight. 

That flight's kind of a blur actually. All I remember is sitting on the floor with him while he unloaded each toy from the toy bag and put it under Paul's seat and then put each one back in the toy bag over and over and over. Also, I may or may not have let him eat Cheerios off the floor. I mean, they were his Cheerios that he had spilled but I'm still a little traumatized by it. I just didn't want to make him fuss any more than he had to. Paul and I were in survival mode at that point, people. And the guy next to us was too as evidenced by the multiple whiskey drinks he ordered. Finally we actually got Wilder to sleep and then immediately, of course, we began our descent into Houston. 

We had about an hour layover in Houston during which we tried to decompress and help Wilder burn off some more energy by doing this...
And then we boarded the flight from hell. When we got on the plane we chose an open row and put Wilder in the middle seat in an attempt to make people think we had bought a seat for him. But, alas, the flight was completely full so we got stuck sitting next to some total creeper. He kept trying to give us baby advice and said he was in the military. He kept talking about how his wife (who he was apparently in the process of divorcing) went to Brazil with her Brazilian boyfriend for Christmas. He mentioned this way too many times for me to believe it was true. Also, he listened in on everything we said and when Paul would make a joke to me the guy would laugh or throw in his two cents even when we didn't think he could possibly hear us. It was totally creepy. 

Also, Wilder was a nightmare to put it kindly. He was deliriously sleepy and fussy. He wasn't entertained by anything and was so tired of sitting in our laps that he got downright mad. Paul was a saint and actually held him most of the time, and by "held" I don't mean "cradled" I mean "restrained". Finally when Paul's patience was wearing thin I got up and walked Wilder up and down the aisle of the plane several times. Except he tried to grab every person's head that we passed so that didn't last long. 

Finally we looked at the clock and we had less than an hour until we were supposed to land. We were in the home stretch! We could see a light at the end of the tunnel! But wait, no, apparently that light was the brake system light coming on in the cockpit. The pilot got on the intercom and told us that something was going on with the brakes and San Diego's runway was too short for us to safely land on so they were diverting us to Las Vegas. It would take us an hour and a half to get there after which we would have to unload, reload onto another plane, and fly another hour to San Diego. At that point, it was all Paul and I could do to not simultaneously throw up. Neither of us would let the other go to the bathroom though because we knew whoever went wasn't coming back until we landed. I honestly don't know how we survived that last 90 minutes. I have blocked it from my memory. But somehow we did and we finally landed in Las Vegas. 

The deboarding and reboarding of planes went smoothly and took less than 15 minutes. (And, discreetly or not, we didn't care, we chose seats away from the creeper guy.) Then we sat there and watched while ONE guy loaded ALL of the luggage onto the new plane, which as you can imagine did not take less than 15 minutes. Then the pilot comes back on the intercom and informs us that we have too much fuel and now have to unfuel some of it, which is not even a word but we had to do it nonetheless. This also did not take less than 15 minutes. 

Luckily Wilder loves watching people working so he was thoroughly entertained by the bag loader and the unfuel-er guys. He even sat there waving at the guys unfueling and they waved back, which is one of the cutest things I've ever seen so that was one tiny bright spot on the day. So, we finally got unfueled enough to take off but then the door to the plane wouldn't close! AAARRRGGHHHH!!! At this point we were all so tired the lady next to us started laughing deliriously, which didn't help the situation. Finally over an hour after we landed in Las Vegas we took off on our last leg of the day and thankfully Wilder slept the whole way. The creeper guy from the previous flight sat across the aisle and back one row from us and we could hear him telling the person next to him that he studied Architecture, which is obviously what Paul had told him he did. Can we say sociopath
Anyway, after almost 14 hours of traveling we finally made it to San Diego, wrangled up our four suitcases, stroller, and carseat and took a taxi home, with Wilder still sleeping and halfway afraid the creeper guy was following us. I have never been so glad to get home from a trip in all my life. Let me just say, I still love Southwest. But it's kind of like when you go on vacation with your best friend. You spend so much time together that, by the end of the week, you're sick of each other and bickering. So yeah, all that's to say that we won't be flying again until it's on a one-way flight back to Tennessee after Paul graduates this summer. You're all welcome to come see us in the meantime though! :)

We've spent the last few days recuperating except for a massive, necessary trip to Target because we had no food in the house. Wilder has been enjoying using his newly honed walking skills to, well, walk all over the house and get into more mischief than usual. A toilet lid lock has since been put in place. We've unpacked two out of four suitcases and we picked up the dogs from the boarding facility, where they thoroughly enjoyed their Christmas vacation...
We finally had enough energy and felt well enough to take Wilder to the park today. The fresh air and 80 degree weather felt so good! Now that Wilder is walking all over the place the playground is so much more fun. He climbed up the stairs and went down the slide all by himself (with me right behind him, of course, ready to assist if needed). 
(Please excuse the car alarm in the background...)
We've been trying to savor every minute with Paul before he starts back to school and gets super busy. We put Wilder's helmet on him that we got him for Christmas and took him out to sit on the "voom-voom" this afternoon. He thought that was totally awesome. 
Wilder had his first bubble bath the other night. I don't know how it's possible that he's gone 13 months without having a bubble bath but that's neither here nor there. He loved it and kept staring at his bubbly hands like they were foreign objects. Unfortunately he's in a phase where he likes to drink the bath water from the cups in the tub so that might have to be his last bubble bath for a while. I don't need him burping up bubbles, thank you.
He's also been waving and saying "Bye bye" so clearly for the last week or two. It is so freaking cute! I just love his little voice and can't wait for him to start talking more and more. Even though he'll always be my little California boy, he just can't escape having a Southern accent. :)
Also, I totally left out the last few days of our Tennessee trip but don't have the energy to recap them so here are some pictures and that will have to suffice...
Playing Cranium with the fam
on New Year's Eve. SO fun!
 We went to Covington for my 
grandmother's 80th birthday party
 Wilder with some of his cousins
 Wilder and Grana
Us with the birthday girl. (Paul has
recently been accused of looking
unhappy -- don't ask -- and this picture
doesn't really do much to disprove that
so I feel the need to point out that 
we were indeed all happy to be there.
We were just super tired.)
 Wilder with cousin Katie
 We also went to a birthday dinner
for Paul's grandfather
 And we helped Uncle William
work on the jeep some more, which
he finally got started the day before
we left! That was so exciting... and 
I may have cried a little. I know my
dad was "whoo-hoo"ing in heaven
when he heard that engine purr. :)
 We also took Wilder to see our good friends,
Russell and Rachel, who he hadn't met yet. 
He loved exploring their house and 
finding all their breakable items.
So. Overall, we had a great trip to Tennessee and the nightmarish trip back was totally worth all the good memories we made there. Hopefully I can get back into the blogging routine and start posting more regularly soon. 

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