Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Have Baby, Will Travel

Juliana, already an expert with chopsticks, is all ready for China.
Though it's still a week away, I have already begun packing for our trip back to China.  The floor is strewn with suitcases.  One suitcase is almost completely full of baby clothes, de-aired and compressed in Ziplock bags.  I believe I have mentioned before that we have a LOT of baby clothes.  Which is probably good, because some days she does go through the outfits.  Chinese people would undoubtedly be appalled by how much stuff we're bringing.   They were already amazed by the three baby things we had before we left, and now we have about three hundred baby things.  Three hundred baby things that somehow have to make their way across the world.  Thus, the packing.

The other day we calculated that the total trip will take about 37 hours.  37 hours!  Assuming there are no delays.  I'm used to long trips, but that's a really long trip.  With an infant.  And three hundred baby things.  How many diapers does one need for 37 hours?  How many changes of clothes - for baby and for you, after she spits up and/or poops on you three hours into the trip?  I am not looking forward to this.  I am really glad my mom is going to be there too.  I can't imagine trying to do it by myself.  Yikes.

Hopefully Juliana will be a good traveler.  If she's not, the next...oh...rest of her life...are not going to be fun.  Actually, this might be the easiest trip we take with her for a long time, while she is still unable to get around on her own.  She does like lots of noise and movement, so hopefully she will be lulled by airplane.  And the jetlag might not be as bad for either of us, since she still hasn't quite figured out night and day.  Besides, we will be so dead exhausted that time itself will probably have very little meaning.

Kevin has already been back in China for a week and a half or so.  I know he misses Juliana.  He has gotten to talk with her several times on video Skype.  When she hears her daddy's disembodied voice, she turns and looks perplexedly toward the camera, and then amuses him by going through her series of funny expressions.  The wide-eyed shocked face. The yawn.  The concentrated stare.  The sleepy-grin.  And my favorite: the shiny eyed, open mouthed, delighted-to-see-you smile.

Juliana continues to get cuter every day.  You wouldn't think it possible, yet somehow it happens.  She has started having longer periods of being awake (some of them even during the day...), and most of the time she is quite happy.  She still loves to be held about 22 hours a day, but she has also been spending some happy time lying on a blanket on the floor, looking around and wiggling her legs and watching me pack.  When she wakes up at night, she loves to stare at the patterns on the ceiling made by beside lamp.  During the day, she especially likes to rock on the front porch swing (like a true Southern girl), look at the books in the library (a good sign for her literary future), and snuggle up with anyone willing to hold her.  And with the progression of visitors - first her Nana and Gramps and great-grandfather from California and then all her aunts - there have been plenty of people eager for a turn.
All the sisters

Tomorrow Juliana goes to the doctor for her one month checkup.  She is already one month old!  And still smaller than a lot of babies are when they are born.  She has grown, though, and is fitting much better into her newborn clothes.  She is already changing too - eating better, becoming more sociable, sometimes sleeping longer (4 hours a couple of times!  Incredible!), getting more expressive, and yes, even cuter.

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