Tuesday, February 17, 2009

The case for and against travel

I didn't have to work last Thursday and Friday, so I decided to take advantage of the additional free time to go visit my college friends in Oregon. Torey was my roommate at UofO and lives in Eugene again and Yuko is my first and oldest (longest, not age-wise) friend in the States. We met at Warner Pacific College, a small Christian college in Portland where we both felt completely out of place.

With work and having family in the Portland area, we almost never have time to make it any further down I-5 to the Corvallis or Eugene area. So on Thursday I packed up the car early and after dropping Jacob off to work at Peet's, Joris and I first drove down to Lake Oswego where we had lunch with my mom (a.k.a. Moma). I was afraid that it was going to be a loooooong trek when Joris started saying "All done. Out auto" at Peets - 10 minutes from our house. But, he was pretty good for the three hours it took us to drive to the Applebees just off the freeway. I had a small mountain of toys and books on the passenger seat and presented him with something else to hold whenever he got fussy. He did a good job just kind of spacing out at times, too.

Lunch was mediocre at best and possibly gave me intestinal problems at worst, but the company was good and we followed up with a scenic walk around the various buildings' parking lots. As planned, Joris fell asleep on the drive to Eugene and woke up in a good mood, happy to finally get out of the car.

Joris took about 10 minutes to warm up to Torey (she easily won him over by playing ball and showing him her very cool lizards) and his new vocabulary includes:

Tody (Torey)
Wahcoe (Rosco - Torey's cat)
Ha-dis (hagedis / lizard)
Mini-Koos (Rosco's stuffed animal kitten, named after our very own big Koos).

On Friday we visited Villard Hall, the Theatre department's building at UO. They recently (finally!) received updated facilities, after years and years of waiting on funding. It looks very nice, albeit a bit sterile in places. Luckily, parts of the building are still exactly the same as when Jacob, Torey and I were there, which was oddly comforting to see.

We were talking about how it will be nine years ago this spring that we graduated, then we looked at each other and realized we have known each other for 12 years! That and the high school age looking students that are passing as college students these days made me feel rather old.

Late Friday afternoon we bid our farewells to Torey and Eugene and drove to Philomath, where Yuko lives. Yuko and her husband Matt have two daughters; Madeline (5) and Sierra (4 months) - the latter of which I met for the first time. It also was the first time seeing their new house, which they had built on a piece of property. It was well designed and surprisingly small (I often think of new construction on acreage to be upward of 3000 sq. ft). Madeline played very sweetly with Joris (with some small balls and princess wands - Joris was visibly thrilled that such a big girl would play with him) and Yuko had cooked a lovely meal (which Joris ate!). I seriously don't understand how she can find time to cook with a kindergartner and an infant around and being a full time veterinary student! It was really nice to catch up and hang out and I wish we could have stayed longer than we did, but we had to drive back up to Damascus.

We left a little after 7:00pm and Joris fell asleep, without a fuss, in the car around 9:00pm, just half an hour before arriving at my parents' place.

Which brings me to the con of traveling and the bane of my existence: sleep. Or rather, the lack of sleep.

At Torey's house, Joris took a good while to fall asleep, then woke up at 11:15-ish and I was unable to get him back down until, after 12:30 or so, I asked him if he wanted to sleep in bed with me, which he said he did. This was the very first instance of co-sleeping we have ever done. He of course has slept in my arms as an infant and on flights or something, but never, ever in my bed at night. For good reason, 'cause the kid is a restless sleeper. About every 20 minutes or so he will violently flip his entire body around while waving and kicking and, the first few times, saying "mama!?". So even though he slept through the night until 6:30 the next morning, I unfortunately did not.

He woke up at my parents' place when I tried to lay him down in the bed and was unable to get back to sleep until 11:30pm that night.

The following night when Jacob, who took the train down to come join us, tried to put him down for the night it took 2 hours and involved him laying next to Joris on the bed until he was asleep, which of course is utterly ridiculous.

On Sunday, my parents were going to babysit Joris while Jacob and I were going out for a belated Valentines date. Unfortunately, just as we were discussing the asinine movie trivia, they called to let us know Joris had been crying for half an hour and they were unable to calm him down. So, back we went. Unable to face another epic battle of trying to get the boy to sleep in a place other than his own bed, we decided to drive home to Seattle that night instead of the next morning.

My parents were disappointed and I felt like a failure for being unable to have my toddler stay with anyone besides myself, his dad or auntie Chris and for disappointing the 'rents.

So, I don't know if I'll decide to travel with Joris anytime soon. Either people will have to come see us, or I'll leave him with his dad or something. :)
It's sad because except for the sleep issues, Joris always has a great time seeing new things, meeting new people and he adjusts quickly and happily to new situations.

In the meantime, I need another decent night sleep and a cup of coffee before I'm caught up.


Sarah B said...

I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the picture of Joris flying through the air. How did you do that?

Carine said...

It took a few practice shots, but basically I knelt down and tried to focus on the patch of sky that Jacob was aiming for. He throws Joris pretty high, but so far has always caught him. :)