So last summer, as we paid two mortgages and daydreamed about better days, we decided that this summer we'd go to California, visit family and friends, and then leave Zuzu with said family for a couple of nights (assuming that we all felt comfortable with that arrangement) and head up to Napa to celebrate our anniversary.
And then a little thing called Rerun happened.
This change of plans meant that our travel plans were on hiatus because (1) no way was I missing a weekly nonstress test; (2) there's this four-week class I'm teaching now to make up for not teaching this fall; (3) OMG do you know what it costs to have two kids in daycare? More than it costs to fly three people to California!
Then David's school had a zillion snow days and ended up having to go until June 6th (the poor teachers are as burned out as the students). He has a 12-month contract anyway, but he's supposed to be able to take his generous helping of vacation days in the summer. Except he can't take vacation days on training days, workshop days, summer school days, orientation days... So there's basically like a week in July that he can take off.
I'm really not COMPLAINING about this--there's actually tons of fun (and free) stuff to do in St. Louis in the summer time, especially with kids. (Check out this local blogger's St. Louis Events Calendar and then come visit us!). But I knew that if we were actually going to get away, it wasn't going to be on a big vacation. But we could probably spend a few days at my mom and dad's. Except David couldn't because work, blah.
So Zuzu and I loaded up yesterday and headed back to my hometown to visit Grammy and Bop for the annual Bushwhacker Days Celebration.
We've been here less than 24 hours, in a town with one Wal-Mart, but it's been eventful. Here's a breakdown of what's been going on:
* Number of squirrels sacrificed to highway safety: 1
I felt terrible, but there was nothing I can do. With a car in the lane beside me, another car behind me, and the road wet from rain, it's not like I could slam on my breaks or veer onto the shoulder. So I ran over a poor little squirrel and then called David crying to his voicemail: "I'm okay *sniffle* Everyone's okay *snuffle* but I just killed a squirrel and I'm feeling really about it *sob* so please call me when you have a minute."
* Number of bathroom breaks during the 4 1/2 hour drive: 1
I have the pregnant lady bladder of steel! Actually, as long as I stay in one position (sitting and driving), it's much easier to not pee constantly. Of course, I wasn't chugging my water, either, because I knew I'd have to drag Zuzu into the bathroom with me and I wanted her to get a decent nap in. We finally stopped near Lake of the Ozarks (a little past the half-way-point) and I said, "Okay, we're going to go inside her so Mama can go pee-pee on the potty and then we'll keep going to Grammy and Bop's house."
(We talk a LOT about pee-pee on the potty these days, but one of us is all talk and no action.)
So we walk into the gas station where two women are working behind the counter and a handful of dudes are paying for gas or filling up huge cups of pop. I'm waddling for the bathroom at record speed because as soon as I stood up I felt like I was about to pee my pants and Zuzu starts chirping, "Mama pee-pee! Mama pee-pee!" as we head for the bathroom. Yes, thank you for announcing that to everyone.
* Number of dry diapers at morning wake up: 1
I couldn't believe it when Zuzu woke up this morning and had a dry diaper. I was so excited to get her to pee on the potty. So we sat. And we looked at pictures on my phone. And then I realized that I had to get Little Mac out to the vet for her grooming appointment, so I called my dad up to keep Zuzu on the toilet until she peed and I headed out to the vet with Mac.
* Number of pee-pees in the potty: 0
Zuzu sat for a while, convinced my dad to hold her up on the big potty for a while, and then insisted she was "all done" only to pee in her diaper the minute he put it on her. Sigh. She's tricky with her "all done!" because she sounds very convincing.
* Number of trips to the vet for grooming appointments actually scheduled for the following day: 1
So my mom scheduled Mac for a grooming appointment on Thursday and then somehow we all thought it was on Wednesday. So now Mac and I get to make a second trip tomorrow. If Zuzu wakes up with another dry diaper, Bop is going to have to be more insistent about sitting on the potty until the pee-pee comes out!
* Number of minutes it took to get Zuzu down for a nap this afternoon: 105
Zuzu naps regularly at home and at school. At Grammy's house, all bets are off. (This includes bedtime, which started out as 8:30pm last night and ended up as 10:30pm after such shenanigans as wailing, fussing, and finally climbing out of crib and walking downstairs like "Hey, what's up guys?").
Today I really wanted her to nap because last night was a late night, this morning she didn't sleep in much, and tonight we have a big night ahead of us--we're meeting up with friends, going to an ice cream social, and checking out the kiddie carnival downtown. We also might watch the Bushwhacker royalty coronation. (It's too bad I forgot to bring my tiara and sash because I think I would look awesome walking around downtown wearing them.)
So this morning we played at the park, did a little shopping on the square, took lunch to Grammy at summer school, and then came home to nap.
She climbed out of the bed, out of the crib, and basically jacked around for AN HOUR AND FORTY-FIVE MINUTES. Under normal circumstances, I think I would have given up. But I just felt like it was a contest of wills. Who is more stubborn, Zuzu or Mama?
So I sat in the rocking chair blocking the door and ignored her, straining my eyes to read a book in the dim light, and periodically offering to rub her back and sing "Rock a bye" if she wanted to lie down. (There was no putting her in the crib and leaving since she obviously can climb out and open the door.) I was thisclose to giving up, but I could tell she was exhausted. And finally she climbed up on my lap and fell asleep (she hasn't fallen asleep in my arms in almost a year--it was actually sweet, in spite of all the frustration). I lay her down on the bed, turned on the monitor, and headed out to the front porch where I sit typing this and sipping
* Number of squeaky shoes purchased at local boutique: 2 (one for each foot)
These "Wee Squeak" shoes were half off today at a cute little children's clothing boutique downtown and I couldn't resist them. I've seen them on Zulily before, but when Zuzu actually tried them out and was delighted by the noise her feet made, it cracked me up and I decided we needed to take them home. An added benefit is that I'd always know where she is, which seemed a good idea after some of the incidents we had earlier this morning...
* Number of minutes it took me to have second thoughts about squeaky shoe purchase: 6
We headed next door to a sandwich shop and Zuzu basically ran laps. Thankfully, we were early for the lunch rush and the place was pretty empty, but I imagine the woman who was talking on her cell phone while eating her sandwich really appreciated the not-exactly-melodious squeak of toddler sandals. In fact, as I paid for our sandwiches and waited for the take-out boxes to the tune of what basically sounds like a dog squeaky toy on overdrive, I started to wonder if I'd made a mistake. Zuzu, however, was delighted with her "skeeky soos!".
She bounced around the office at my mom's school, and I reminded myself that the squeakers are removable. When she went running down the hallway at my mom's school to accompany my mom in taking a note to a classroom and a lady picking up a student said, "Are those her shoes making that noise?"
I nodded and she said, "Wow. That must be annoying."
Which, yes, they are. But also really amusing. Funny thing--all the elementary-school kids loved her squeaky shoes and commented on them. Zuzu seemed to enjoy the attention.
* Number of baby dolls stuck in toilet-brush holders: 1
This morning my parents were both gone when I was getting in the shower, so I made Zuzu come in the bathroom with me (it has a sticky door knob so she can't open it). She brought her doll and her stuffed seahorse and seemed to be occupied with making Baby Keya pee-pee on the little potty. I thought I was keeping an eye on her through the frosted glass shower door. But when I got out of the shower, I discovered the seahorse was in the (unsoiled) little potty. Meanwhile, Zuzu was sweeping the floor with the toilet-bowl-brush and Baby Keya was hanging out in the toilet-bowl-brush holder. Gag gag gag. The phrase "fecal bacteria" keeps going through my head.
* Number of Hershey kisses chewed up with foil still on: 2
After the Fecal Bacteria Playdate, I set Zuzu free of the bathroom while I hurriedly got dressed. By the time I'd thrown on a shirt and shorts, she had already made her way downstairs. By the time I caught up with her, she was standing on a dining room chair with this grin on her face that she gets when she knows she's being naughty.
A quick survey of the situation indicated that she remembered my mom had put the bowl of Hershey kisses up on the dining room table when she'd taken them away from Zuzu the night before. There had been four dark-chocolate kisses in the bowl. There were now 0. Two were melting in her hot little fist, and she was chewing up two of them, with the foil still on.
I dug them out of her mouth and thankfully she didn't bite me, although I do think she swallowed most of one of the kisses and its foil.
* Number of days left to solo-parent without being able to have a glass of wine: 3. Plus Sunday's drive back to St. Louis. At least my nap-time victory today has me feeling confident. Now if I can just keep her away from the toilet bowl brush. And the chocolate...