Monday, July 8, 2013
Back to America
It hasn't been the easiest transition back to America. The actual travel went quite smoothly. At just under 24 hours total, it was probably about as short as our trips have ever been. It was 9pm by the time we left Beijing, so Juliana actually fell asleep right away and slept for most of the next eight hours. Kevin and I both slept more than we expected. I was uncomfortable but I moved around a lot and the back pain wasn't as bad as I feared. While awake, Juliana was mostly content to watch Chinese cartoons. We didn't even have a long customs line at LAX, and our bags all arrived.
Since then, of course, we had to deal with lots of jetlag. Juliana was waking up for several hours during the night, or waking up excitedly at 4am, done for the night. Kevin has been sleeping in with Juliana since she was disturbed by sleeping in an unfamiliar room. He has been trying to put on videos for Juliana and get some more sleep, but he still hasn't gotten a decent night yet. I was waking up at 3 or 4am, not actually too different from before we left China, but it really wasn't cutting it.
I've had a cold for over three weeks and it was just starting to get better before we traveled, but since getting back I've felt worse and worse. I was pretty sure it had turned into a sinus infection, so I finally went to the urgent care and got some antibiotics which will hopefully help quickly.
While urgent care isn't exactly the height of American healthcare, I was pleasantly surprised with this facility. I was the only person waiting, the staff were all quite friendly and seemed competent. Still I was a little surprised to find myself missing China. I don't exactly relish going to the hospital in China, but I've gotten quite used to it. I paid $50 to see the doctor thinking, "In China it would be closer to a dollar!" and $30 for antibiotics which I could have bought from a Chinese pharmacy for $2-3. American prices can be a rude awakening.
Juliana has also had two days of throwing up this week. She has thrown up all over me and Kevin and her grandparents' new couches, which seemed to withstand the test pretty well. I'm not sure what was causing the throwing up - a virus or just difficulty adjusting to America, but she finally seems to have recovered. Of course, the days she spent sleeping and watching cartoons almost all day didn't help with jetlag. We've been back for a week, but last night she was still awake from 1am until amost 6am, which is really not okay.
Other than all the sickness and not sleeping, I suppose the transition is going okay, though. Aided by plenty of fun new toys and grandparent attention, Juliana seems pretty happy with America. She has even adjusted quite quickly to flushing toilet paper and gets upset if I even blow my nose and then put tissue in the trashcan. "NO! Not in the trash! In America tissue goes in the potty!!" If only the rest of potty training was transferring so easily. I feel like about 75% of the progress made was left in China.
In the past Juliana has always called me, "mama," which is also what Chinese children call their mothers. I was thinking that after hearing her American friends using "mommy" she might make the change, but I didn't expect her to change quite so quickly! About two days after we got here she started calling me "mommy" and now that's all she will use. It reminds me of the time my sisters decided we were too old to use "mommy" any more and we should all switch to "mom." From that day forward there was no going back. Fortunately we're not to that transition yet!
One week down and 7+ months to go. Hopefully America will be kinder to us from here on out! At least we'll only have two cross-country trips and 3 hour jetlags, plus a minor new-baby transition to deal with, so from here on out it should be pretty easy going, right?