Thursday, June 29, 2006

On the Road Again

Isaiah and I just got back from South Dakota for a week long visit to my parents. It was wonderful. Isaiah had such a good time visiting my family, and why shouldn't he have? He was the star of the show everywhere he went. Everyone loves him no matter what, but there's absolutely nothing to compare to two sets of grandparents fawning over you.

Michael's parents drove Isaiah and I out to Rapid City, which if you think about it, is an incredibly charitable and brave thing to do. Not many people would volunteer their time and gas money to spend 9 hours in a car with a baby. Michael had to stay in Minneapolis to work, and it was the first trip for both Isaiah and I without him. Isaiah was an absolute angel in the car, partly because he's a naturally sweet and mellow kid, and partially because I had been pumping milk for days in anticipation of this drive. We stopped twice for gas and food, and only one extra time for a diaper change. Honestly, I didn't even know babies came this good.

Isaiah really impressed my mom, the physical therapist, with all of his physical prowess. He rolled over a few times and pushed up into "prone prop" and almost balanced while sitting and used his strong, chunky legs to stand all the time, so I guess she was right to be impressed. It was so wonderful to see my parents interact with Isaiah and vice versa. My mom plays with him in the same ways and uses the same high-pitched voice that I do, and Isaiah gets very excited and alert with her. My dad, on the other hand, is very serene and mild with him and just carries him around and explains their surroundings in a soothing voice, so Isaiah is relaxed and calm with him. Andy is, well, sweet and pretty doting, but he's never really been around a baby at all, so he's still a little nervous, and it shows. Each time he holds Isaiah though, they have a better time together. I know that if we got to see one another more often, the two of them would bond like glue. It's beautiful to see the delight they each take in him in their own ways.

In truth, this was one of my favorite visits back home. I've always loved seeing my family and I miss them so much when I'm gone, but it was so wonderful to bring Isaiah home to my parents and Andy. They were all so reassuring in my parenting skills, that I was able to really relax and enjoy the whole time with them and not have to worry that I'm taking care of Isaiah in ways they might not approve of. I am so blessed with my family - and Michael's family too. I hear horror stories all the time of mothers who have to deal with interfering grandparents, who criticize and undermine and do all sorts of awful things. I have parents and in-laws who support me and love me and truly want to help me and give Isaiah their best, and I can feel how it makes me a better mom. I am so glad Isaiah will grow up in such an incredible family.

If it weren't for the fact that I really missed Michael, I would have wanted the vacation to go on for at least another week. I never feel like my visits are long enough, and, in truth, they aren't. Now that I had Isaiah with me, though, I could have stayed for sooo long. Although, his sleeping and eating schedule got way off because he partied too hard.

On the way back home, Isaiah still did wonderfully. He didn't really fuss at all until we were almost all the way back to our place. Then, during the last five or ten minutes of the drive, he screamed and cried. Poor baby. I couldn't get him into his carseat for two days after that because he had absolutely had enough travel. So, we stayed home and relaxed. Truthfully, I wasn't really relishing the thought of going anywhere anyway. A baby is a great excuse to stay home, if that's what you're into.

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