New Years Eve was our anniversary. We woke up to this gift from our suddenly snot-nosed daughter:
I was in the other room dressing for work and I hear, "AAAAWWWWW!!!!" followed by laughter and, "Babe, I'll change her but you have to get a picture of this before we (read: you) clean it up!" He likened it to Picasso. I was just reminded of that time when she threw up every single morning for months. She had neuro and ophtho exams along with an abdominal ultrasound. Later, we saw that our pedi had published a case study of a baby with the same throwing-up problem as Ada. That baby had leukemia. I don't take vomiting with a grain of salt so much any more.
When I got home from work later that night I could smell that the pork and sauerkraut I cook every single year without fail (we even served it at our wedding reception) had cooked too long. What? 14 hours in the crock pot was too much? 'Spose so. Regardless, we loaded it up in the basket of the stroller. Ada hadn't vomited the rest of the day and while she was still snotty we thought it might be OK to take her to the Taylors for some time with friends we don't see nearly enough of anymore.
It was going OK minus me running around trying to keep her natural toddler curiosity from destroying another couple's home and keeping her hands away from touching all of the crackers and all of the carrots. When the time came to put her to bed I rolled through our routine of bottle, story, and snuggle. I got up to lay her down and gave a little cough. Shit. Then another. Shit. SHIT! and then it came - I directed the first vomit to the P n' P. The next one went to the wood floor where there was no carpet and no furniture. All subsequent vomits landed squarely on me. So there I was with vomit on my sweater, jeans, and socks while I stood in the middle of a giant splotch of baby vomit with a red-faced, frightened, sick toddler who kept planting her face into my vomit-covered sweater looking for some comfort.
We got it cleaned up and I borrowed a shirt from Andrew. I lay down on the couch in the spare room with her on my chest. She settled easily, all worn out from puking her guts out. I started to doze off so I got up, laid the sleeping baby down and left the room. My eyes adjusted to the light and my mind struggled to wake up and join the party again. The Taylors announced they will welcome their own little addition in June!! Shouting and clapping followed - Hurrah! - and I felt less bad about vomit-a-palooza. There will be lots more of that in the house soon enough! Ada woke up from all the excitement so off to the dark room I went again. I lay on the couch again with her for what felt like a long time. I actually fell asleep! Tim came in to check on us and I woke up. Again to rejoin the party. We had a lovely time, toasted the new year, basked in the first moments of a new year with people we care about and when it came time to head home we were so happy that we were OK with walking up the massive hill that is 17th.
We slept that night with all three of us in the bed. It's been a long while since we did that. I was propped up in the bed with my toddler heavy on my chest, snorting in her sleep, and restlessly turning her head. I hardly slept at all so it didn't much matter when at 5:30 am she was up and ready to go. I emailed to Kathi that I had to cancel our playdate. We also cancelled plans with the Lucas family so that we could stay home and nurse our sick girl back to her happy, healthy typical self.
Later that first morning of the year she was refusing to nap and I was reaching the end of my rope. This is no way to start the new year! The whole family was growing increasingly more frustrated with each raindrop that fell outside and each toddler-tear that fell inside. So we decided to stop what we were doing and change directions altogether: we loaded up the car and drove along the coast to Bodega Bay.
That girl was passed out by the time we crossed the Golden Gate bridge. It gave Tim and I some time to talk about the new year. I love these talks though it is harder and harder to have an uninterrupted conversation these days. We have a lot to talk about just now as the next 1-2 years will be full of change for us. We want to direct those changes rather than react to moment-to-moment demands and crises, which is more representative of our recent modus operandi. Seventy miles of sleeping and quiet conversation later, we got to one of my favorite spots in the state of California: Bodega Bay.
I adore nature in all of it's forms, particularly when they are extreme: mountains that reach hastily toward the sky, gently rolling hills, vast plains, dense forests, calm bay waters, and the raucous afternoon summer storms of Florida. What I really, really love though is a moody, angry winter ocean. God, I love this rocky coast and feel moved tremendously every single time I am humbled by it's power.
It makes me happy to see her love this place.
After a nap and some time snuggled warmly to her Daddy's back the wee sickly one was in much better spirits. We stopped for a late lunch/early dinner - you can't not eat oysters when you are near Tomales Bay. It just isn't done.
We sat and watched the view (above) and drew pictures of Elmo (below) to keep Ada occupied.
We made it home after dark. We were tired but happy. So happy. We took what threatened to be a frustrating day and we turned it around. I found not one, but two lucky pennies on NYE and I'm choosing to believe that this means the next year will be doubly as good. In fact, I am counting on it.
Happy New Year to everyone and may 2011 bring you the very best that the universe has ever offered.