Monday, September 24, 2012

Yosemite with the Youngin'

I remember a few months before Elin was born I polled some moms on The Bump for advice on traveling with a 3 month old in Europe. I wanted to see what they recommended in terms of strollers, sleeping arrangements and such. I remember one mom criticizing me for wanted to travel with a baby that young. I decided I shouldn't tell her that we were also planning a trip to California when she was 6 weeks old. And not just California, but Yosemite. Granted we did not camp in a tent but we stayed in a cabin with propane power and an outhouse in the middle of nowhere. So it's a little like camping. Quite a bit like camping actually. For all the fun details about Chateau a la Chance you can read about our visit last year here. It was a little different this year as we had a teeny little baby with us. 

This year we invited our good friends Steve & Diane to join use along with their daughter Hannah. They used to be our neighbors in Virginia and it was their first time meeting Elin! We all enjoyed getting to see each other again with nightly cookouts, hikes around the cabin and good old fashioned catching up by the campfire. No computers. No Iphones. No TV. Given the few modern conveniences the cabin offers, this wasn't difficult to do!

Of course we had to show them around the park so one of the days Steve and Colin tackled the 8 mile Perimeter Trail while Diane and I walked the kids around the valley. It was quite a first for Elin and Hannah as the temperature that day was 104 degrees. We took a very short "hike" straight to the Merced River and sat for a good hour to cool off. After deciding Elin had enough of that we camped out in an air conditioned cafe in Curry Village for the rest of the afternoon. The heat was enough to exhaust all of us and we enjoyed a lazy dinner by the firepit that evening (fortunately the cabin is at a much higher elevation and therefore it was a bit cooler!). 

The rest of the week was fairly uneventful. Colin's dad and stepmom joined us for a couple of days before we headed south to San Diego to spend the week with my family in San Diego. Elin got to meet everyone in the neighborhood and even got to spend an evening with her Grani Karen while Colin and I joined my dad for a Padre game. It was a great week and I am so glad we had the time to bring Elin home to meet everyone!

Glacier Point before Colin and Steve's big hike

Exhausted after an afternoon in Yosemite Valley.

A visit to Tuolomne Meadows

Hanging by the campfire. Ugh, I look enormous!

Cooling off in the river

 Steve & Colin marveling at their accomplishment

Diane, Steve & Hannah at Glacier Point!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Elin update & a hospital stay.

So I have decided my blogging just isn't that exciting these days. I used to blog about some fascinating adventures. Like swimming with jelly fish, scuba diving, visiting Angkor Wat and living on a remote, desert island (uhm, Guam) but these days my days are about as exciting as getting a good deal at the grocery store or getting Elin to take a two hour nap...which is a huge success by all measures for this baby.

However when I really think about it, having a baby IS a big adventure. I've just been too sleep deprived to realize it. It's funny how everyone tells you having a baby is going to be the best thing on the planet and by the end of the pregnancy you are absolutely convinced that is true, because nothing is worse in the middle of a June heatwave than waddling around with an extra 45 pounds on your body. HOWEVER, after giving birth to an cute little 8 pound baby and spending a week completely exhausted wondering how something that tiny could change absolutely everything in your life, you realize you want to kill every person who "oohed" and "awwwed" when they saw your growing baby bump. Then I realized after Elin passed the six week mark that they were right, babies are pretty much the best thing on the planet. We just had to work together to learn how to cohabitate, sleep through the night (NOT the day) and eat on a schedule that doesn't chain me to the couch all day. I can honestly say I absolutely love this little munchkin and now I understand why people have more than one child (I wasn't so sure 2 months ago), because watching them grow and change every day is just spectacular!

Our precious little Elin is smiling, cooing and well, pooping up a storm these days. I'm no longer terrified to take her to the store with me, found she loves bath time, we learned she loves to go on walks and car rides. We also learned she loves to swing. So much in fact it's the only place she'll sleep at night. We learned this during an unfortunate trip to the children's hospital in July. Elin came down with a 100.5 degree fever one night after several days of gas pains that left her screaming for an hour at a time. We decided to bring her into the ER just to be safe and we are sure glad we did.  After the triage nurse took her temperature (which shot up to 101.7) we were rushed to the back for a mind numbing series of tests. Already weary and sleep deprived we spent the wee morning hours watching our tiny daughter get poked, prodded and spinal tapped before being brought up to the oncology ward what would be a 2 1/2 day stay.

It took awhile for me to realize the reality of the situation. Fevers in newborns are taken very seriously by hospital staffs. We were in the oncology ward because they suspected sepsis and she needed an isolation room. She had a spinal tap to rule out meningitis. It took four nurses and ultimately, an IV specialist to get an IV started:


She ended up going on an intense two day round of antibiotics to clear her system of what the doctors felt was a bacterial infection. Colin had to be up at school for both days so I pretty much held Elin and all her wires and tubes for most of the stay. My mom was kind enough to tell me I looked "so old" in the picture we sent her. Thanks mom. 

On Elin's second night one of the nurses brought in a Fisher Price swing to help her calm down from one of her screaming fits. She ended up sleeping 7 hours. Which means I slept for 7 hours. It was amazing and I ordered that exact swing when I got home. Thank you Fisher Price! 

So all in all, Elin was a champ. She barreled through that fever like a freight train and ultimately, nothing serious came back on her cultures. We got to take her home on her 1 month birthday with a clean bill of health. She's been great ever since, something we are immensely grateful for. God is good!

They created a special "nest" for Elin since the hospital crib was too big for her. 

Hanging with dad during his quick visit from school in Williamsburg. Colin battled 2 hours of traffic each way to spend an hour with his munchkin so I could take a shower. Best husband ever!

Hospitals are exhausting, don't you think?

Home from the hospital. Happy and healthy!