I’m finally starting to hit my stride again since returning to work a few weeks ago. The last few weeks of maternity leave were like a whirlwind, and though I’m only back 3 days a week at first, keeping up with life, house maintenance, and figuring out our new schedule has kept us all very busy. Not to mention the birth of our brand new nephew!
And of course, isn’t it almost predictable that I would get sick for the first time in almost a year right in the middle of it all? The body just knows when it’s a convenient time, yaknowwhatImean?
With all of that going on, it already seems like it was ages ago that I took our sweet little baby Z on her first trip to California. Daddy staid home since we planned the trip sort of last minute and he had to work. I hadn’t thought I would be ready to fly with Z so young, but when my company extended their parental leave policy right before I was originally supposed to return to work, it gave us another 7 weeks to hang out and travel. Flying with a 3 month old sounded a whole lot less terrifying than flying with a 2 month old. You know, that month of parenting experience makes a huge difference.
Our flight there was very smooth considering what my expectations were (picture screaming baby and angry passengers). Ziva didn’t cry a bit and spent her time attempting to woo the woman sitting behind me with big smiles, batting lashes, giggles, and coos.
I will say that changing her diaper in the microbathroom (with no changing table) was a challenge, as was keeping her in my 17 inches of personal space at my seat. I purchased a travel boppy nursing pillow off of the Ann Arbor mom2mom list for $20 at the last minute and it was SO worth the money. The pillow extended my lap area to give Z more space and helped keep my back from aching while holding her for hours on end. What makes it a Travel Boppy is that it folds in half and zips together, and has a strap so you can carry it like a bag (I stuffed it in my carry on when we weren’t on the plane). The other thing that helped was my Skip Hop Pronto Diaper Clutch (again, I bought used for cheaper). Those bathrooms are small enough without trying to manage a diaper bag as well as the baby!
We spent the first few days in CA at my Dad’s house. My dad is always ready for an adventure so the second day in town he and his girlfriend, my sister and her 1 year old daughter, and Ziva and I all decided to take the ferry boat from Jack London Square in Oakland to the Ferry Building in San Francisco. I was really skeptical about how we would fare being out for so many hours without a fast easy way to come home if Ziva couldn’t handle it. I severely underestimated my little one.
On Friday night my Dad hosted a delicious Mexican feast for shabbat dinner and invited many of our close friends and family to come and meet little Ziva. When we were thinking about whether or not I should take Z to California one of the main pros of going was that people in my world would actually get to meet her as a baby, rather than as an almost 1 year old when we go over the winter holidays. It was incredible getting to see people who have known me and held me since I was a little one, holding my own little girl. Pretty mind blowing.
On Sunday my sister and I headed to Alameda to hit up a sale at Tot Tank. We spent a few hours with our two little girls meandering on Park street, popping in and out of shops. I’ve always loved how Alameda feels so “small town” even though it’s right in the middle of the bay. We headed to the new In & Out on the island before heading to my moms. I try to get a double double protein style, animal style at least once a year or so. It’s worth the extra calories ;-). Unfortunately, the traffic heading across town and off the island was horrific that day (not sure why… maybe cause of the Warriors?), and with 2 under 1 in the car it was a sad ride. Ziva was ready to be held and nursed, not sit in the car seat.
My mother threw us a wonderful women’s gathering at her house (our family home) that evening with many of her long time friends and some I hadn’t met before. Again, it was amazing seeing people I’ve known my whole life with my baby girl. My mother has always fostered such a wonderful sense of community and I’m happy to know that we can be part of it when we are in town.
This is where our visit took a turn for the worse. During the party that evening I started to get what I thought were allergies and by morning I was full blown sick. Fever, body aches, mucus, the whole shebang. We ended up having to cancel all of our plans for the second half of the trip, which meant many of my friends didn’t get a chance to meet little Ziva. I was pretty sorely disappointed in our luck. Thank goodness I was at my moms though. I would have loved to be able to do more the second half of the trip, but it was such a blessing I was there where my mom could take care of me and Ziva while I was in the thick of it.
At first I felt like the second half of the trip was a wash since we had to cancel everything, but my mom pointed out that for her it was great since she got 3 straight days with Ziva, playing with her and bonding. Once she put it in that perspective I was really glad we were there. We live so far away I have often wondered how strong a bond Z will have with my family, so any chance we get to give them time together is a big plus in my book.
After the success of the first flight I was a bit less stressed about how Ziva would fare on the flight home. What I didn’t plan for was an extremely long time waiting on the runway before take off. I started nursing Z as we pulled away from the gate, but by the time it was our turn to take off she was already done and I couldn’t move quickly enough to grab a pacifier or something else for her to suck on as we took off. Word of advice- have your back up soothers on the ready or baby will absolutely cry. Being the chill baby she is, it was only about 172 miles of crying (according to the track your flight app on board the plane), but it felt like forever. Once she was settled down it was an easy flight.
Delta was able to move Ziva and me to an empty row of two seats so I was actually able to put her down in the boppy on the seat occasionally during the flight which was such a life saver. Definitely ask at the gate if you haven’t purchased a seat for your little one.
All in all, it was a successful trip. I always love going home to California, and it was so meaningful to create these memories with Ziva in my hometown and with my community. I can’t wait to take her back in December when she is bigger and more able to interact with her surroundings. Just imagining the way she and Stella (our niece) will interact then makes me smile! One thing is for sure though, I won’t be itching to travel alone with a little baby any time soon. Ziva was a champ when it came to every aspect of travel, which I’m so grateful for, but even with a “good” baby it was challenging and exhausting! I’d much rather bring along a second set of hands. Thank goodness her daddy will be joining us on the next trip!