The visit home was quick and exhausting. I had a great time seeing everyone and getting to see Ramona's reaction to visiting so many new people, but I felt completely overwhelmed pretty much the whole trip.
The flight there went really well. Ramona slept when we were actually on the plane, and entertained herself by crawling around and working on her walking while we were waiting in the airports. People were incredibly nice and helpful when they saw me traveling with a baby. The trip definitely restored my faith that there is an inherent goodness in humanity. I think I've lost a lot of that since we've been living out in hermit-like conditions and most of my interaction with society is via the internet, where people seem to enjoy being huge jerks all the time.
Even though the flights there went well, I got very little sleep and felt like I never got quite caught back up during the entire trip. But, it's ok because I didn't have anything too responsible to do while we were there, so I was at least fairly relaxed while I was tired. Saturday was pretty much hanging out with my parents and I got to meet Erin's boyfriend. Sunday, my aunt and cousin and her daughter came to visit and we hung out, ate Marco's (Mony's first cheesy bread!) and went shopping. I also ate dinner with Ramona and Joe's parents and one of his brothers and there was a chocolate cake she got to enjoy which was quite the mess. Joe's mom said she left a chocolate ring around the tub from her post cake bath. Monday, my grandma and Sam came up to visit. She cross-stitched a really pretty blanket for Ramona with people in various traditional outfits from different countries. It was gorgeous and probably took a ton of work. We all went out to dinner and my sister Kathleen and her fiance Mitch went to dinner with us as well. After dinner we got to go see the house Mitch bought earlier this year which Kathleen had been telling me about forever and I got to meet Kathleen's dogs for the first time. Ramona got a real kick out of the dogs. She really enjoyed watching them run all over.
Tuesday I took Ramona to the park in Oak Harbor. We played on swings and checked out the new upgrades they'd made since the last time I was there. I realized I probably haven't been there in like eight years, which made me feel old. But it brought back some fun memories of sledding on the hill and playing on the equipment over the years. It's weird to see my kid play at the same park I played at as a kid. I think the fall always makes me feel nostalgic, but it was intensified by observing my own child living my childhood memories in front of me. Tuesday night we spent at Joe's parents, and Wednesday Mony spent the day playing with Joe's mom while I did my interview. It went really well and I'm supposed to know what's going on with that by the end of next week (which is going to make it one loooooong week.)
The flights home were really long and terrible. Ramona wouldn't sleep on the first one, but the flight was not full and we had two empty seats by us, so I don't think we bothered other people all that much. Luckily, she didn't want to walk around, but she was not especially amused by my tricks either, and spent a good chunk of time crying, so I couldn't wait for us to land. In typical frustrating child fashion, she fell asleep as the plane was landing. Then she woke up to play during the layover. She had so much fun walking and crawling around Dallas airport. And she is getting fast. I had quite a time catching her because she would walk over to a row of seats and then crawl under them and then get up and walk to the next ones. Needless to say, I was busy during that layover. She did alright on the second flight. She slept, but she kept waking up and fussing. I was very happy when we finally landed and got back to the car (and I even remembered where we parked!) I also managed to get to the hotel we were staying in without taking a wrong exit or making a single mistake, which is pretty miraculous for me. I have never been so happy to see a bed. I was exhausted when we got to the room. Ramona and I were both DONE and cranky. We got to sleep pretty quickly and were in much better spirits the next day- aka the big number one birthday.