Saturday, January 06, 2007

Catching up on the Holidays

Dateline: December 27th 2006

In the East Bay

We stayed at Chez Hampel last night, cozy in the Princess Bed and then had a lovely plan to go to Lynn and Lou’s for breakfast and then get our nails and toes done, just like in the before times. But when we went outside, someone had pretty much ripped off the entire bumper of my crappy rental car (a silver Pontiac G-6). I was totally legally parked, the car was in the street, with the clunky bumper thing hanging from a thread. I started placing the calls to the rental place. There was literally minimal to no food in Brenda’s home, she had been away since before Thanksgiving. Hence the plan to get breakfast then shop for her return tomorrow night.

I called a friend of ours, Jessica Lee, “Nola’s Mom” who rescued Sofie, took the girls to lunch (Sofie had been given several crackers, some peanut butter and my profound apologies) and took the kids to Compadres for Mexican food. Jesi is one of those folks that I feel connected too, even after long periods of separation. The girls were the same. When I finally arrived (the replacement car logistics took three hours), the girls were finishing up. I had a little soup and I noticed that Ms. Sofie seemed to be drinking a darker drink than her usual Sprite. Jesi said that when asked what she wanted, she ordered a Diet Coke, clear as a bell, as if she always had that. She knows she is not allowed to have more than a sip of mine until she is a teenager. Sneaky girl. But her post-nausea experience with Coke obviously took over and now she is hooked.

We ended up going to the Oakland Zoo for rides, then as it got chillier, went to Jesi and Jon’s home, where we had wine (just the adults) and the girls played together as if they did it every week. Then Jon came home, we had pizza and then finally, we left for the night. It is so lovely to see people and just hang out.

Dateline: December 25th 2006

Holidaze and gifts

Sofie was surrounded by presents this am, from the great personalized stationery that my sister created for her, to the tons of books and Leap Pad stuff from my brother and his family. Santa was very, very good to her this year. You may not know this, but special arrangements were made for Santa to visit Jamie’s condo earlier in the week before we left for CA to drop off some presents there, including her very first (but surely not last) video game. Sofie gets the Hanukkah/Christmas thing. Oh yeah. Next year: cut back some on the scope of gifts. And give stuff away. Something she does not yet do well.

Dateline: December 23rd 2006

A very momentous occassion

Last night, our second night here, Sofie and I were invited to Naomi’s house for dinner, then off to Teacher Lydia’s (her former music teacher in the toddler years) for an evening of caroling. Neither Sofie nor Naomi showed much interest in eating and the food (fish and veggies) was delicious as always at Chez Churchill, so we ate and let them essentially eat bread. Sofie had at least four or five pieces. We had been kind of grazing all day, and I figured her body was possibly still on East Coast time.

So off we went to the party. Lydia and Gordon’s daughter, Anjy, was a baby in a baby carrier last time I saw her, now she is a lovely little girl, with long flowing hair. The girls played, ate cookies without much supervision (guilty!) and then we came back to Joanna’s where they said they were starving. So a late night bowl of the mac and cheese (the kind with the bright orange glow) and then we packed up and headed to Palo Alto, late. Sofie complained that her stomach hurt just as we were leaving, but she often says that at the end of a day, to prolong the going to bed stuff. I promised a tums when we got to Grandma’s.

So, long story short, we got there, she got into PJ’s and she drank a part of a glass of milk at which point, she projectile vomited all over the dining room table and a little on my shoes.

Poor kid, in the entire time we have been together, she has never vomited! Not on my watch and not any other time that I have heard about. So it was pretty scary for her and she cried and cried. I cleaned her up, took her to bed and within the hour she was up again, barfing. And so it went, three more times that night. The next day, she refused all food and water, fearful that she would vomit again. I finally bribed her with Coca Cola and that turned the table, she drank three small cups and ate crackers.

While I was laying in bed next to her (by the way, all barfing subsequent to the “big barf” was done in the bathroom!) I calculated that it had been four years, eight months and three days since Sofie had arrived in our home in CA. That has to be some kind of record for a child not throwing up, right? I meant to check to see if this was some sort of document-worthy record, but I never got around to it.

Dateline: December 21st 2006

How to over-pack and travel across country without lifting more than ten pounds

So earlier this week, on Monday, I had gallbladder surgery, it was uneventful. The one question I had asked the doctor at the pre-op visit was if it were contraindicated to travel on a plane the third day post surgery. He looked a bit startled, we discussed prevention of embolism, and then he said “but you probably won’t be very comfortable”. Never one to let that stand in my way, we departed to the airport with Jamie driving and let the porters at curbside check do their thing. So what if it were $2.00 a bag, it was well worth it.

Upon sitting on our plane to Dallas, I realized something shocking: my cell phone (which I was looking for to turn off for the flight) was not in my bag. I remembered immediately the course of events that am: Sofie answered it while I was in the shower. I had placed it on the dining room table to pop in my bag but I never realized it was not there. No cell phone!!! Shades of pre-1998. But I would have to deal with that, later.

In San Francisco, another story. No porters. Non visible and the flight was over an hour late from Dallas too. I finally got someone at American Airlines to take pity on my disabled self and get me a nice porter (who I tipped very generously) and he put all the bags on the wheeled cart, and pushed it to the Air Bart or whatever they now have at SFO to get you to the car rental place. Sofie was a big girl and was responsible for her backpack and wheeled case.

Then, rationalizing that it was not truly lifting if I was just pushing, I pushed the cart off the elevator when we arrived, to Budget. My car was all pre-arranged, I just explained to the (very) harried Budget folks that I would need help with getting all the bags into the car. A nice woman from Avis overheard me and simply stepped up, offered to help and took it over. Bless her. I feel badly that I did not get her name, she deserves a formal note to her bosses. Nice to know that there are still wonderful folks out there.

We headed directly to the Wexler household, as I had invited us for Hanukkah dinner. It was lovely, Tamar (age 8) and Sofie played well together, the big kids (Naomi, a stunning almost 17 and Nathan, 13.5) are great and it is always a joy to spend time with Becky and Wex. It was pouring out, they are in Brisbane, so they graciously offered to let us crash for the night, which was great, since I was tired.

The next day, we headed to Palo Alto.

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