Friday, July 2, 2010

Gypsy no more

We are home after our whirlwind trip to Montana. The vacation itself was an exercise in letting go. The original plan for our trip was much bigger then the reality. The glitches started with Scott's work schedule, we left several days later then the original plan as he was finishing a big job and it would have looked really bad for him to walk away before it was done. After that initial compromise it was a cascade of adjustments. We had originally planned to take our time on the way there and camp, eventually hitting Grand Teton National Park. Needless to say, we got nowhere near Wyoming or very far off the beaten path for that matter.

We did manage to divide the drive each way into two day stints which helped immensely. On the way to Montana we took a route that was new to us, overnighting in Walla Walla, Washington which was a great little town. It was enjoyable to rest up, take Cora for her first swim and see some different country. The Columbia river into Walla Walla is a gorgeous stretch and the rolling hills between Walla Walla and Lolo Pass were beautiful. It's been nice to slow down and enjoy ourselves a bit more then normal, Cora is a great reminder to do that.
On the banks of the Snake River

Overall the exercise of letting go of the grand plan was a good one. I still hope to make that trip but for now we had a great vacation without it. We altered our itinerary and spent as much time with my parents as possible. They live a few hours north of Missoula and we were able to take two trips up there. It's so nice to relax and hand Cora over to a trusted grandma or grandpa. Scott & I both got lots of rest and Cora got her fill of grandparent time...actually I think it's impossible to fill up on it but she got a healthy dose.

It was amazing watching my parents with her. No one told me how much it would melt my heart to see my parents as grandparents. It was such a beautiful thing to watch them full of emotion and energy, taking in this little person. Cora had a non-stop smile on her face and loved every minute. I left with my heart full and the wish that we didn't have to travel so far to see each other.

So now we are home for a week before we head to Chicago to see our other loved ones. It was a hard transition for me to come home. I love to travel and my love of road trips in particular has only deepened with Cora's arrival. As I mentioned, her presence encourages me to slow down and enjoy wherever we happen to be. This is a great practice on a road trip and everything and everywhere we went seemed very special. I could have kept going and going, not looking back. I kept saying "wherever the three of us are, is home". Obviously I have some gypsy blood somewhere:)

Cora sleeping great wherever we bunked down:

I spend all day kissing her cheeks

Cora has finally "uncurled" from her baby posture and likes to stretch out like a starfish

Her first visit to Multnomah Falls

It was a rough reentry, back to the world of medical bills, loan payments, lawn mowing, business managing, neighbor negotiating. We arrived home to a grievous error from our insurance company and were immediately locked into problem solving mode, and I mean immediately. We set the bags down, opened the mail and started making phone calls. We still haven't resolved the issue and it is so terrifying when you face the reality of not being insured with a baby. Hopefully our hard work will pay off today and the problems will be solved. Fingers crossed. I have now learned not to open the mail immediately upon arrival from a long vacation. Next time I will enjoy a beer on the deck and leave the mail for my morning coffee.

Once I made the painful adjustment to being home I was able to sink into the things I love about it. Cooking in my own kitchen again with the tools and spices I am comfortable with. Greeting my garden and seeing how much it has grown and what areas need a little help. I would say I am happy to see the chickens but we are having a hell of a time with them right now. They have decided to eat their own eggs and it is a mighty problem. Much of the literature I've read says that this problem is rampant and the only cure is to kill the flock and start over. Scott & I have been trying to design some sort of egg box where the egg would roll away from the chicken and drop into a safe contained area as soon as the egg is laid. Perhaps we will get around to that soon, the idea of killing our chickens that we raised from tiny peeps is too much to bear.

So here we are, hunkered down until the next adventure to Chicago. Cora has made more huge leaps in development and I see the infant fading every day, replaced by a chubby, happy and active baby. She is sitting up with some assistance, grabbing everything put in front of her, rolling over and working very hard to cut her two first teeth. Every day the routine changes and I adjust to a new developmental mark. This is such an exciting time and I continue to try to absorb all of it while I know it is passing too quickly.

Cora with me right before walking the aisle in Ben & Amy's wedding