Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Sunday Fun-Day

We typically have very lazy weekends these days. With Asher waking up several times a night, Crockett and I were too tired to do much of anything, so hanging out at home and catching naps whenever possible has been the plan for most weekends the last four months. Fortunately, the sandman has finally found our house, and we're slowly coming back to life.

Somewhat amazingly, the day after I wrote a post about Asher waking up all night, he suddenly slept a full 8 hour stretch. Granted, that first night, it started at 4 PM, but it was a start. The next night he stayed up a little later and slept 6 hours, and that trend has continued. Our trip to Alabama disrupted things slightly, but now that we're settled back at home and his ear infection has resolved, he has developed a relatively predictable sleep schedule, which includes a 6-7 hour stretch of continuous sleep starting around 8 PM. He seems to feel better now that he is more well-rested, and Crockett and I feel like new people.

This past weekend was the first time we've been able to have some well-rested fun (I was on call our first weekend back), and on Sunday we got a chance to visit with some of our favorite people.

Sunday morning, we met our good friends the DeCourceys at the aquarium. It was the first time Asher got a chance to meet our "Chinese godsons" Tyler and Alex, who are 13 months older. We met at the Splash Zone, where Asher got a chance to look at bubbles and bounce on a waterbed-like platform.

Soon thereafter, Tyler came to check him out, and both boys played with their dads.

After a while, Alex decided to join in, and the body-slamming began.

Obviously, it's going to be a while before Asher is big enough to play along, but I have a feeling that in a few years, he's going to be teaching those boys new ways to get into trouble.

After a messy lunch outside at the Cannery Row Brewing Company, it was past everyone's nap time, so we all headed to our respective homes, where we were expecting another treat: a visit from Mama Katie and Daddy Brad, who have a conference to attend in San Francisco this week. They arrived in the area on Sunday evening, and we had a great time relaxing at our house that night. It was fun to let them get to play with Asher in his normal environment.

Monday was more of the same. I had to work, but I got to meet Asher, Katie, Brad, Crockett, and Nanny Annie for lunch. That night my parents joined us at our house for dinner, so lucky Asher got to hang out with FOUR doting grandparents all at once.

Now it's back to business as usual, and in an hour we're headed to the doctor for Asher's 4-month checkup. I'm excited to see how much he's grown. Not so excited to deal with the post-vaccination fussiness!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Sweet Home Alabama

Once we arrived in Alabama, it was quite a whirlwind trip. We had a ton to squeeze into our 6-day stay.

We stayed in Birmingham our first night and had a casual get-together with friends' families. It was great to catch up with old friends and especially to meet some babies who had been born since our last visit, kids we hope will be Asher's life-long friends.

The following day, we had a nice lunch with our friends Mia and Greg so that Asher could get to know his future wife, Alexandra Callie Umphrey.
OK, I realize the arranged marriage thing is probably not too cool, but how awesome would it be if my college roommate's daughter ended up being my daughter-in-law?! And plus, see how cute she is!

From there, we drove to Lake Martin to meet up with Mama Katie, Daddy Brad, and Great-Uncle Joe Vaulx. The family's regular lake house is being rebuilt this summer (awesome Aunt Rebecca is the architect!), so we stayed in a great rented house that could accommodate quite a group. Later that night, Uncle Clay, Aunt Rebecca, and cousins Tirza and Aldo joined us, and the following day, Great-Aunt Nancy, Great-Uncle Charlie, and Mimi (great-grandmother) joined us. We owe Charlie a big favor; we realized upon arriving at the lake that we had left Asher's suitcase at the house in Birmingham, so he stopped by and picked it up for us before heading to Montgomery to pick up Mimi. After more than 24 hours in the same outfit, Asher was terribly stinky and sticky, but we were very happy to find that his diapers and formula were packed in a box that had made it into the car! Of course, getting to spend time with Mimi was the real treat (no offense to the rest of you). It is really special to have so many generations together, and it was a privilege to introduce Mimi to her third great-grandchild, whom she clearly adores.

Our plan was to spend two nights at the lake and then head back to Birmingham to attend a surprise birthday party for Greg. Unfortunately, Asher managed to come down with his first cold in the interim, which he subsequently passed on to the rest of us. The drive back to Birmingham was an unpleasant experience that Crockett and I would love to erase from our memories, and because Asher had a very runny nose and generally seemed not to feel well, we decided to skip the party, lest we pass his germs onto the lovely Alex. The one big disappointment of the trip is that we didn't get to spend more time with Alex and her parents.

Of course, Asher's cold had us extremely concerned about the return flight: how would his ears hold up? I spent all of Labor Day debating internally whether or not to take him to urgent care to get his ears examined. I decided against it and was glad for that because he did even better on our return flight on the 6th than he had on the first flight.

As it turns out, Asher did inherit his parents' ears. His little cold became an ear infection shortly after we landed, so he has already completed his first course of the pink stuff. But all in all, we feel that the trip was very successful. Go Team Awesome!

Da Plane!

It's been forever since I've had time to post. Work has gotten crazy again (I think my patients finally realized I was back), and Asher is a busy, busy boy the rest of the time. A lot has happened since my last post, but the most notable is that Asher has become a frequent flier. Literally--he has his own United Mileage Plus number!

On September 1, a week after his 3-month birthday, we took a trip to Alabama to visit Crockett's side of the family. Over the years, Crockett and I have found the easiest way to get back there is to take a 6 AM flight out of the Monterey airport to Denver and then connect to a flight direct from Denver to Birmingham. We have the airport routine with Buttercup down to a science, but it was a bit daunting incorporating a 3-month-old into the plan. We managed to get out of the house within 15 minutes of our planned departure time, so we were quite proud of ourselves.

Check-in at the airport was easy, as it always is in Monterey (for those of you who live around here but never use that airport, it's time to start; we love it!), even if we did look a bit like the Griswalds...if the Griswalds had a baby and a dog.

Getting through security was a bit more challenging. Fortunately, one of my patients' husbands was the TSA guy checking ID's. He recognized me and gave us VIP treatment, including leaving his post to help us organize and get all of our stuff through the x-ray and all our mammals through the metal detector. Sometimes it pays to be a (minor) local celebrity--ha ha!

The biggest obstacle was actually ourselves and our stuff on the first flight. Expecting to be given the chance to pre-board, we were surprised to find that "travelers with young children" were not asked to board in advance. Unfortunately for the rest of the passengers, this meant that we bashed them with our bags and car seat as we tried to squeeze through the aisle of the plane. I guess it serves them right for boxing us out of the boarding line (why are people in such a hurry to sit on a hot plane anyway?).

From there, it was a smooth ride. Asher alternately played with toys and slept the whole way.

And he enjoyed people-watching in Denver.

And just 8 hours later, we were in a new state and time zone, ready for the biggest adventure of Asher's life!