Home sweet home, 24 hours of traveling later . . .
We successfully cleaned up, packed up, and traveled from Switzerland to Denver this past week. The travel was very long but Owen and Heidi (our Golden Retriever) did very well. The trip consisted of 6 hours in the car from our Swiss mountain town to the Frankfurt, Germany airport. When we went to check in our dog (we've done the same route many times in the past) the Dog Nazi (as I liked to call him) said we didn't have a reservation for our dog (which is funny because it was a round trip ticket and she was booked on the way over). Anyway we got past that hurdle just for the same ticket counter man to flip through his manual and tell us the dog's head doesn't quite clear the proper height for the kennel. Again we've flown the same air carrier many times with the same dog and kennel (pretty sure the dog could've grown horizontally but not vertically... she's 6). Anyway he had to call the on-site veterinarian to check us out. This man's decision was our breaking point home or not. He said all was fine and I thanked my lucky stars once again.
Once we checked bags, cleared customs, I adorned my oh so lovely heavy duty compression tights and gave myself an anti-clotting shot, got on board and settled in. About a half hour later, there was an announcement that we would have to exit the plane and wait for another one to become available. Apparently there was an actual mouse on the plane which may or may not've chewed through electrical wires? Is this not the most bizarre thing you've ever heard? Anyway better to know that fact on the ground than in the air! We then waited around for 3.5 more hours for another plane to become available. I got pretty worried about the welfare of my dog but hoped that she was doing ok. Owen got to release some pent up energy running around the airport for those hours so in the end perhaps a blessing in disguise because it wore him out a bit. We were finally off and 10 hours later we'd be landing on home soil! The flight was soooooo much easier having my husband's help. Of course it was really cramped and I didn't appreciate reclining my seat only to have the teenage girl behind me kick it back forward but I gave her a good glare and another push of the button and reclined I went! Owen ran around the plane a bit but of course my husband took on daddy duty.
So now we're home sweet home trying to settle in and battle 8 hour jet lag. It feels really good to be in our own home. But I've also felt quite overwhelmed and also a bit culture shocked! It's crazy when you spend so long in another country that when you come back to your own country it takes adjusting to. After living in a small, slow-paced town where you can walk anywhere you need to go it's quite over-stimulating to be back in the car and hitting the highways and everything. I never thought Denver could feel so gigantic! I almost got in an accident earlier in the week; I just feel so mooshy-brained at this point in time.
We're working on getting our basement back as useable living space. Last year we had water damage while we were away so it was basically gutted and in shambles. My husband's been working hard to get it all in order so we can have guests stay there when they come to visit baby. The painters are coming tomorrow morning to paint the basement and baby girl's room! You would never believe how many pale pinks there are to choose from: romantic pink, peony pink, blush pink, 50's pink... and the list goes on and on! Quite overwhelming to say the least but we had fun trying to whittle in down to one color. I am so ready to put her room together and have it all organized!
I'm trying to give myself credit for going through so much physically and mentally demanding experiences over the past week but in the end I find myself on an emotional roller coaster. My emotions have somewhat paralleled Denver spring weather. One minute everything is happy and sunny, the next the skies are dark/stormy, the winds pick up and the snow is falling. One minute I'll feel like I'm totally in control of everything and feeling good and the next I'm uncontrollably sobbing. It doesn't help when my husband tells me I'm just an emotional person whether I'm pregnant or not (which I know is partly true) but I really feel like some major hormones are kicking in. I'm really starting to get nervous about how I'm going to cope with the energy of a toddler and the demands of a newborn baby. I'm soon going to be responsible for two little lives! I hope I can muster through these times with strength and patience. I know there are going to be fabulous moments and some really tough days ahead. So many people have more than one child and seem to handle it. I'm filled with mixed emotions: completely blissful and a nervous wreck all rolled into one waddling hormonal bundle.
The other thing I've become completely stressed about since I've arrived home is the realization that if baby comes early we won't have anyone to watch Owen and I'll be at the hospital birthing by myself. This is an aspect of living away from a family support system which pretty much just... stinks! I've been trying to brainstorm people who I can contact in case this happens so I can be at a little more ease. My parents fly into town from Alaska two days before her due date and plan to stay for 10 days. Oh I hope she decides to show up within that time frame! Please, please!
Forgot to mention I also have been experiencing the most horrible of muscles cramps ever known to woman! I've been waking up in the middle of the night howling in pain because my calves are seized in spasm and won't release. I'm hoping I don't have any sort of blood clotting from the traveling. I took my anti-clotting drugs, wore my compression hose, and tried to do a lot of calf raises and walking when I could. I've been also trying to re-hydrate but geez-Louise! I actually went to see my massage therapist (she has hands from heaven!) and I felt much better after that. Here's hoping those tone down a bit!
Okay so I've rambled your ears off and your eyeballs are probably about to pop out of your head. Thanks for listening to my many successes and woes of the week.