First of all, our trip to Oregon was wonderful! I love my family, everyone single person in it, and it was so nice to have everyone all together again for the first time in several years. My grandparents have been married now for 60 years. They have 5 children (including my mom), 12 grandchildren, and 13 great grandchildren with 2 more on the way. It was a long week, but I am so glad we went! Natali was a perfect angel on the plane both ways and made it through several long car rides without a problem. There were some sick people around, and I think she caught a bit of that. It wasn't anything serious, she just seemed a bit congested for a couple of days and was slightly more fussy than usual. It really didn't affect her much though. I think the high elevation and dry air affected her the most. The poor baby had terribly dry skin. We kept putting lotion on her to make it better. I think we will stay closer to sea level for a while now, with the exception of being in airplanes. :-) Our next big adventure is going to be a trip to Disneyland in October, with a possible trip to Sacramento thrown in at the end of September. I am going to take full advantage of my maternity leave. We saved Natali's first plane tickets, and my mom bought her a baby flight logbook. The goal is to record all of her trips. I often wonder how many miles Darren and I have flown together. He could look it up, but it would take a while to calculate. I think it will be interesting for her to have such a record she can look back on when she is older.
We got back from our trip on Monday night at 10pm. Darren left for his temporary assignment in New York on Tuesday morning at 4:30am. He is going to be flying out of New York through the 15th. He can come home on his days off, but for most of the next couple of weeks I am essentially a single mother. Yesterday was the first day Natali and I have been by ourselves. She is an excellent baby, but it was still difficult to manage everything by myself. I had a doctor's appointment in the morning and Natali had one as well. We made it through just fine, but it would have been so much easier with help. It has made me realize 2 things. First, Darren is a wonderful father and I am so thankful to have him. We are essentially 50/50 when it comes to splitting the parenting duties and it makes things go very smoothly most of the time. Second, for all the single parents out there, you rock! I can't imagine doing this all by myself day after day, especially if I were to have a more high maintenance baby. Millions of people do it every day though, and they seem to manage just fine. Every single parent deserves some recognition for all they do. It is an extremely tough job. I was supposed to go grocery shopping yesterday after the appointments, but I just couldn't do it. I have put it on the agenda for today instead. We are taking baby steps this week. I have a ton of stuff to do, but I am setting little goals each day and doing one thing at a time. Luckily I have nothing else to focus on right now. If I had to work and be this single parent with all the other stuff as well I think I would lose my mind. I REALLY miss Darren right now!
A quick note about Natali's doctor visit. She is doing wonderfully! The doctor says she looks great and she is up to 8 pounds, 9 ounces now. She was also measured at 21 inches, which is 2 inches longer than her measurement at birth. I asked the doctor how she grew 2 inches in just under 3 weeks, and he said she probably didn't. It's all a matter of who did the measuring since it's hard to get an accurate measurement on a baby until they can stand. We should be able to get a better idea of her growth now since the same person will be doing the measuring from now on. I'm just glad she seems a bit longer than we thought. Perhaps she will grow into those long feet she got from her daddy. Being a short girl with big feet may be a bit tough. :-)