Friday, July 13th, 2012
I wrote about our bad vacation decision the other day. So I figured I should add the good parts, as the barf-badness was the only hiccup in an otherwise flawless getaway. You can’t even grasp from the picture how giant these trees are in Sequoia State Park. Unreal. But real, actually.
Even the pinecones are giant!
A freshwater swimming hole. Too cold to get in, so we picnicked on a rock.
This is the ghost town (Silver City) that led to the bad road, which led to the barf.
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Fia Friday, Have Baby, Will Travel
Monday, July 2nd, 2012
Damn, three weeks in a row and I’m still writing about my own milestones. I hope this means I’m vastly improving myself. Either that or I’m getting dumber and need more fixing.
Sometimes I really think we suck as parents. We decided to take a last minute mini-vacation. Saturday we started looking for hotels and cool places within a 6-hour drive from Los Angeles. We’re hotel snobs and all the places we wanted to stay were sold out. After exhausting the morning, we gave up. Then Phil had an idea.
“How about Sequoia National Forest?” he shouted from the office.
“How far?” I shouted back.
“Looks like only 3 hours. I found a cabin with a private pool.”
Done. We threw ourselves into a packing frenzy and headed out the door.
As soon as we were on the road, our old-life, (pre-kids) started knocking. We have always loved going off the beaten path. We’ve trashed many a rental car by finding dirt roads and rural routes to ding up the paint and ruin the shocks. Once in Hawaii we went off-roading so badly that we nearly rolled our rental jeep. With kids, we don’t take dangerous driving risks. But taking a scenic route with what looks like a 2-hour detour to see an old ghost town? Totally within the realm of reason.
A few weeks ago, we went to Palm Desert. On the way home we took “the scenic route” through Joshua tree. A 2.5 hour drive turned into a 7-hour one, with temperatures hitting 102-degrees. Poor Fia and Emmett were troopers, but by the time we got home, we were hot, exhausted, and dirty. Whatever “rested vacation feeling” we had was left behind on a cactus. You’d think we would have learned our lesson.
We take off on our detour towards Silver City. Turns out it’s a ghost town made up of relics from other ghost towns. In short, a tourist site. Having said that, it was still pretty cool to see all these old buildings and let Fia run around obsessing over spider webs from the 1800s.
Pre-Barf Ghost Town
I looked at the map and told Phil that the shortest route appeared to be through the mountains. You can’t tell on the iPhone how twisty the roads are. But you can guess where this is going. Two hours later, with each turn getting sharper, I start to feel sick. No sooner did I say to Phil, “I’m feeling queasy” did the projectile barf of Fia go splatting all over the back of my seat.
We had a half-pack of baby wipes and one small bottle of water and about a gallon of barf. There wasn’t a house, a store, or a gas station within an hour of us. Yup. We definitely got our wish. We were in the middle of nowhere.
We pulled out Fia, getting covered in barf ourselves, reassuring her through her tears that it was okay. We tried to wipe the barf off the car seat bedding, the safety straps (where vomit was stuck in all the grooves), and of course Fia, all the while cursing that we should always have paper towels in the car. Or at least napkins. Or maybe a better f–king plan where our own selfishness doesn’t dictate. We used all the baby wipes but 3. We saved those for Emmett. (Oh right, nearly forgot about him. He slept through it all. God, he’s good.)
We got Fia as clean as we could, promising her the pool in a mere 90 minutes. That’s like 90 years to a kid. Nothing we could do but forge on at about 5 mph with Phil practically walking the car at each turn. The windy road ended 3 miles (30 minutes) later.
At the cabin we all jumped in the pool, letting the residue of barf and guilt wash away. The water was heaven and all the playing made up for our stupidity. But seriously, no more of this ridiculous decision making. We have to remind ourselves that with babies it’s not about YOU. I think after this trip we finally acknowledge that.
Image: Windy Road via Shutterstock
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Fearless Feisty Mama, Milestone Monday
Tuesday, December 6th, 2011
My nanny wants to drive Fia places. Playgrounds, the zoo, playspaces–in other words, do things that Fia loves. This is fantastic news, right? Except that the worry will put me in the looney bin.
In Brooklyn, driving was never an option. No one has cars, plus you walked to everything. Rain, sleet or shine. Didn’t matter. It’s one of the things that kicked my mom ass…the constant schleping.
Now we live in Los Angeles, which is the equivalent of living in the suburbs. There isn’t anything in walking distance. You drive to places.
After a frustrating search, I found this amazing nanny to watch Fia part time. She’ll be full time once the new baby comes. With no family in the area, it takes a village, even if that means hiring the village. So that’s what I’m doing.
I’ll call her M.C. She raised 5 kids on her own, she’s here legally, she’s going to speak Spanish to Fia, and all the moms who have used her said that she drove their kids everywhere. She has a perfect driving record. I have her license and am running a check myself.
But man, putting your baby in someone else’s hands to drive is a whole new thing for me. As my one friend said, “It’s like putting your most prized possession in a death trap.” I drive with Fia everyday. But only I. Or Phil. No one else has driven with her before.
I guess this is where a leap of faith comes in. Another friend of mine once said, “At some point, you have to learn to trust.” Maybe this is one of those times.
I printed out a list of activities in the area that I thought they could go to. None of them requires the interstate and it’s all within a 5 mile radius. Still, I’m torn. It’s not fair to either of them to force them to stay at the house all the time. And to shuttle them around myself seems counterproductive to having help in the first place.
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Fearless Feisty Mama, Have Baby, Will Travel, Moving to Los Angeles