At the end of week 31, we took Gloria south of the border to get her second passport stamp. Kenny’s Aunt Barbara and Uncle Barry had generously offered to share their timeshare in Puerto Vallarta and they were dying to meet their grand niece. Eager for some sunshine and relaxation, we took them up on their offer. Our experience on the flight to PV was a stark reminder of how much Gloria has changed since our Thailand trip, as Kenny outlined in last week’s highlights post.
Gloria was great in PV, however. We decided to keep her on PST rather than adjusting her by two hours, and that was a great decision – it meant she slept in every morning and was able to stay up until 9 PM each night – perfect for a lazy vacation. However, we quickly learned that Gloria can no longer nap just anywhere, like she could during her newborn days, and our fantasy of poolside naps was quickly dashed. We ended up spending quite a bit of time in the hotel room each day while the munchkin got her beauty rest, but we were able to get her out and about between naps and in the late afternoon and early evening. Her later schedule also meant that we got to take her out for dinner almost every night. She also seems to be transitioning from three down to two naps, which made her nap schedule fairly unpredictable some days, as we were never certain whether to plan around a third nap or not.
By day two or so of our PV stay, we noticed that something seemed a bit off with Gloria. For one thing, our enthusiastic eater abruptly lost interest in solid foods. We initially suspected teething, but by Wednesday the verdict was clear: she had caught my cold. The poor kiddo had a few very rough nights, waking several times with a very stuffed up nose that clearly made her extremely uncomfortable. Fortunately we had remembered to travel with a bulb syringe this time around, and Gloria was very agreeable about letting us use it – I think she was pretty quick to catch onto the idea that it would provide some relief (note to self: bring the NoseFrida next time).
In spite of her cold, Gloria was an agreeable munchkin for most of the trip, and she really enjoyed the company of her great aunt and uncle. In particular, she would light up whenever Barbara walked into the room, and always had huge smiles for her. The fact that Barbara has a high-pitched voice and loves to sing may have had something to do with it. Barbara also discovered a few of Gloria’s ticklish spots, and Gloria rewarded her with uncontrollable giggling. Gloria took her first couple of dips in a swimming pool, an experience she was skeptical about at first, but she warmed up to it quickly (I took note of this and signed her up for swim lessons in Seattle). I even took her on a few waterslides, the latter of which seemed to be a rather harrowing experience for her and probably one I will not live down for some time.
The flight home on Friday was an unhappy experience for everyone. The flight timing worked out such that Gloria’s afternoon nap didn’t happen, and she was unable to get any real rest on the plane. This resulted in one unhappy baby, and we found ourselves resorting to all kinds of techniques to distract her from her fatigue, like singing, bouncing, nursing, singing again, walking the aisle, more nursing, and bouncing her until we felt like our arms would fall off. Eventually, she was so overtired and unhappy that we took to pacing the aisle for the final hour of the flight, taking shifts as our strength gave out (she has gotten very, very heavy). Other passengers on the flight gave us sympathetic looks, and a few made comments like, “hang in there, we’ve all been there before.” One positive thing I can say about the ordeal is that it’s finally over.
We were so harried and out of sorts by the time we got to SeaTac and picked up our bags, that we were on the road home before we realized that we had forgotten Gloria’s car seat (an extra one, not the one she was strapped into!) back at customs. So we had to turn around and head back to the airport. It was an unfortunate end to an already demoralizing day, and poor Kenny was stuck in the car trying to comfort a crying baby while I waited impatiently in a long line of passengers with various travel issues to get an Alaska Airlines supervisor to help me track down the missing car seat. Fortunately the detour only cost us about 30 minutes, but it was already past poor Gloria’s bedtime. She passed out immediately when we arrived at home.
The Mexico trip was a blast, but it’s also quite nice to be settling back in at home. We had a quiet weekend, and Gloria snapped back onto her normal schedule pretty easily. This morning, while Gloria and I were playing in her nursery, Gloria demonstrated a new skill for the first time: sitting unassisted! She’s a bit wobbly and can’t sit for long periods yet, but she can definitely hold herself up for short stints. I even caught a short video.
Back in Seattle, showing off her new skill: sitting!