Monthly Archives: January 2008

Packin’ it up

This weekend we ran into the age old debate – how far in advance do you begin packing for a HUGE trip? My husband prefers to take it easy and pack at the last minute or just not be rushed. I know where he gets that from so I assume it is learned behavior mainly because I know where I get my tendencies and they all have family roots. For a huge, greater than 10-day international vacation, I firmly believe you have to be start packing or at least start throwing stuff into a central area two weeks before the trip date. Then, 4-5 days prior to the trip, all items should be roughly packed in and of course, you weigh the bags to make sure you are within your allowance. That is my idea of packin’ it up. Then, in the final days, I can relax and just worry about last-minute items and things that have to wait ’til the last minute.

Anyway, I write this because when I talked with a girlfriend of mine about the debate between my husband and I, she pointed out an important difference between most men and most women. Women tend to plan ahead of time (generally), plan the entire trip, get books from the lirarby to plan the trip, pack her bags and the kids’ and then have time left over to miraculously pay all the bills, put the mail on hold, the newspaper on vacation hold, book the transportation to and from the airport and talk to neighbors about watering the plants and what to do in case of emergency. She even has time to talk with her co-workers about watering her plants at work. Meanwhile, the man strolls in about 20 minutes before departure for the airport, throws some stuff into the bag designated for him and asks if there is anything else he can do. I am not angry – I am just amazed repeatedly at women in all we do including packin’ it up 🙂

Don’t get my wrong, my husband is a great big help in everything in life but when I am stressed, I tend to be vocal and talk about everything including … “what happens if an ant jumps onto the plane and crawls over to and bites our daughter… what type of antiseptics should we pack in our carryon? Wait… does that go into the carry-on? Will the TSA allow it? Will it smell on the plane?” See what I mean… this is how I talk when I am stressed out – I need to talk and just be heard and told, “it’ll be okay.” What does the guy hear? “I am an emotional crazy woman and I need you to fix the situation now!” So he tries to fix it by “helping” – the woman perceives this is not helping at all but rather hindering the “operation” so another battle of the sexes emerges. Anyway, I write this blog only to make the point that women and men are truly different … even when it comes down to packing and planning for a family vacation. We are not emotional or freaks when we are planning a trip for you and the family…. we are resourceful, thoughtful, and above all, organized! So, ladies, pack your bags, expect to pack your kids’ bags too, take a deep breath, and when you need to vent, call your girlfriends- they will understand and listen to you without judging or freaking out themselves. Pack it up and have a safe trip!

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A Different World

Before we had our daughter, I never would have thought my life would change so much. When I was pregnant, I thought my life would change a little but never imagined this. I thought the baby would sleep a lot and that things would remain, well, about the same. Among my friends, I am the first to have a child so I had no idea what I was in for. Life completely revolves around my daughter’s schedule and I use the term “schedule” loosely because the concept is a foreign one to her and any attempt to put her on one has failed miserably, repeatedly. She wakes up in the middle of the night and she is hungry, so boom, she gets to nurse. I was used to sleeping 9-12 hours at night…. Yeah, those days are O-V-E-R. Sometimes she is too hot, has soiled her diaper, or just needs to be held. Our working day routine is about the same – she has to be changed before she goes to her home care provider. Then, her bag needs to be packed, only to be followed by another changing because she may have an accident. On weekends, we all wake up when she is up because if baby ain’t sleeping, no one is sleeping :_) the same routine follows — feedings, changing, naps, bath time… did I mention feedings?

All in all though, it has been a wonderful change in my life. I love spending time with her, holding her, nursing her, and playing with her. She is growing up pretty fast too. As I scrapbook her birth and the days when we first brought her home to the pictures we took at her 3-month birthday, I realize just how much she has changed. She is starting to mimic us more and is learning from the world around her. After spending four days with her dad while I worked, she began to imitate him by sticking her tongue out at him and me. Of course, I was not pleased with this recent developmental milestone but could not help but laugh as I scolded her not to stick her tongue out. My husband thinks she completely understands everything that is going on. I have to say, as I look into those playful eyes of her and see that sly smile on her face, I would have to agree.

It has been an amazing journey thus far – motherhood and parenting. I look at the entire world differently. The guy next door is not just the guy next door. He could be a threat to my child. The home care provider is not just a temporary care provider, they could have skeletons in their closet – what don’t I know about them? I look at everything and everyone with suspicion but I also look at the beauty in life … the miracle of life. I look at the parent who has the special needs child or child with disabilities in a different light. I pray for them and pray that God continues to work miracles for others as he has for me. Despite the lack of sleep and the sheer exhaustion, I count my blessings daily, even hourly. I look at my husband differently and have sweet dreams about our family. I look at him in even more awe than I did before we had her because I am amazed at how much he loves her and takes care of her. Did I already mention, I count my blessings?

Yes, we are embarking on a new journey and every day is a new adventure with our new life. Here’s praying it contunues to be a beautiful one ….

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