December 20, 2007

Travel Woes

Talk about a whirlwind drive! We hammered out 1000 miles on Sunday making it to Lincoln, Nebraska; then pushed 700 miles on Monday to make it to our destination in Michigan. It actually went much better than we had anticipated. KT did fairly well in the car (all things considered) and the dogs were better than 2 years ago when we made the drive.

The bad part of the trip is that KT is sick (bronchitis, bronchiolitis and an ear infection). She literally started coughing less than 12 hours before we had to get on the road. And it progressively got worse the more miles we tacked on the odometer. Which was part of our push to get to Michigan so quickly -- to get her out of the car seat and into a doctor. Considering how sick she was she rode really well.

Her being sick is bad for numerous reasons. First of all, having to take her to a different doctor (and probably one that is out of network); second, her being sick away from home and her own crib; and lastly, how it affects our schedule of visits with others. Yesterday and/or today I was planning on visiting two great friends and their new babies. But there is no way I'm going to take Katie around any other kids until she's better (or unless it's unavoidable) and since there's a good chance I will come down with something I'm afraid that even if I visit alone, I'm carrying nasty germs. This also affects who we might visit with next week. I'm super bummed about this as I haven't seen these friends since KT and I were in Michigan in February. Being a responsible parent (and friend) means the health of our kiddos comes first.

And now...on to the rant portion of this post.

Why is it that gas stations/restaurants/rest areas do NOT have changing tables in the restrooms? There's no way I'm setting my child on the floor to change her diaper. And it even somewhat grosses me out to lay a changing pad down and then put her down. When it's in the single digits though, it's impossible to change her in the car without getting a nice chilly draft on her bare cheeks. Seriously though. Nebraska was the worst.

After driving along at a 75mph posted speed limit on I-80 through Wyoming, Nebraska and Iowa it feels like you've moving in slow motion when you hit the Illinois border and the speed limit drops to 65mph. It took almost two hours to get used to driving slower.

And C and I have come to the conclusion that I have become a homebody. Which is sad in itself as I love traveling. But I've learned that I miss the comforts and familiarity of my own home. There's just something about my own bed, my own pillow, my own shower, getting ready when all of your stuff is in the bathroom (versus digging through a bag for it), my own coffee get the drift.

But despite the things that have bugged me, it has been great seeing KT interact with her grandparents. She's developed so much since the last time they saw her. I think that will be the best part of this holiday -- watching her interact with the people that love her almost as much as I do.

As this might be my last post until after we uproot and take up residence with my family...


December 14, 2007

Change in Plans

I'm so incredibly frustrated today that I can barely see straight.

See that ticker above this post? We're leaving on Sunday for our holiday "vacation". (It says 1 day until insanity but it should really say 2.) Due to numerous circumstances we made the choice to make our cross-country trek this year via our own vehicle. Two adults, two obnoxious dogs and a 13 month old crammed into my SUV for 1800 miles. Yeah. We're nuts. But we didn't go to Michigan last Christmas because KT was only 6 weeks old and we felt it was important to spend the holiday with family.

I've been stressed for weeks getting ready for this trip. Making lists of things that need to be done; putting together listings for pet friendly hotel accommodations along I-80; fretting over Christmas gifts and where to send them when ordering online; continuously adding and crossing things off of packing lists. I think I've mentioned before that I have OCD. Trips like this are very hard for me to prepare for. I don't ever relax until I'm back home and everything is unpacked.

Yesterday I had a meltdown. I'm not sure what triggered it but I sat here at the kitchen table and cried for almost an hour. I've been so busy with work, KT and everything else that all the sudden I realized this trip starts this weekend. I probably would have sat here crying for longer had it not been for an infuriating email I received from work.

Many of you know that a good part of my salary is paid for by a grant. For this grant we are required to turn in yearly reports that detail our progress. It's due at the end of December. You don't have to be a genius to figure out what's coming next. Yesterday around noon, email reminders went out to the main investigators listed on the grant that this report is due in a little over two weeks. So people are immediately concerned about the deadline and ensuring this report gets completed on time.

I'll tell you how it's going to get done on time. I'll work my butt off today and tomorrow to get as much done as possible. When we pull out of our driveway on Sunday, my laptop will be packed in the vehicle. Upon arriving in Michigan, my plans will be shifted around to make sure this stupid report gets done in time to allow people to review it before it needs to be submitted. It will need to be finished before Christmas, to give the reviewers a couple of days after Christmas to look at it. I'm unavailable to work from the 29th on, so I'll have to submit it the 28th. On my mom's horribly ssssllllloooooooooooooowwww dial-up connection.

So much for a vacation.

**This also means that I might have to adjust some plans I've made with some of you -- especially those I was trying to see next week. I'll keep you updated and we'll just have to play it by ear. Sorry.**

December 12, 2007

Possible Change in Address

I've been toying with the idea of moving this blog to another host. Something still free, but with more features than what I have available now.

Anyone want to offer up their experiences on other hosts? The good, the bad and the ugly would be appreciated.

December 11, 2007

Automobilist Grievances

In no particular order:

- blue hairs that can barely see over the steering wheel who inevitably pull out directly in front of you, causing you to slam on your brakes, then proceed to weave within their lane and drive 10 mph under the speed limit

- vehicles that drive 15 mph on icy/snowy roads that warrant 35 mph and have a posted speed limit of 55 and the sporadic enough oncoming traffic that prevents you from passing

- gawkers who are oblivious to signs that designate a lane as a turn only lane and then have the audacity to get pissed at you when their lane no longer exists and they can't merge into traffic

- those who think turning on their blinker automatically creates free space in the adjacent lane and merge without checking to see if the lane is occupied

- impatient drivers who see parents removing children from carseats and sit, waiting not so patiently and even going so far as honking, for the parent to shut the door so they can pull into the empty space when there are free spaces on the other side of the vehicle

- tourists/visitors who are unsure of where they need to go, continuously slowing, braking, signaling and weaving in and out of turn lanes

- dimwits who forget that by law they are required to use signals

- car jockeys with vision abilities that make void the need to use headlights in foggy/snowy/dawn/dusk conditions

- he/she slowing down succeeding traffic by not realizing that far right lane is designated a turn lane so they may slow/brake in their own space without disrupting the flow

- cretins with blatant disregard for traffic laws but the consideration for flipping other drivers the bird when they are themselves at fault

December 6, 2007

Internet Relationships

It leaves little to be said in that I spend a fair share of my day on the internet. My email for work is constantly receiving new messages; my personal email receives its fair share; and I'm involved with a handful of internet groups.

These internet groups have brought many incredible people into my life. People that I'm very grateful for and that have seen me through some of the best and some of the worst times of my life. Some of the people I talk to the most on a daily basis are those that I've never spent time with face to face. That doesn't affect our relationships at all.

But internet friendships/relationships can have many dangers as well. It's obvious on this blog that I'm somewhat careful to maintain some anonymity. You can't google my name (or my husband's or daughter's) and have it link to this site. It's more for personal protection than anything else. There are some weird people on the internet and I've had acquaintances have really bad things happen to them because of information they had online. I don't want some weird person to figure out who I am and then show up at my doorstep. It's possible that if someone dug hard enough and long enough they might figure out who/where I am.

I've tried my hardest to express my sincerity towards others I've met online. I want people I make contact with to know that I'm genuine and that I'm not trying to cause drama in their lives. My sole reason for being involved in these internet groups is to find women who understand the different facets of my life. I want girls to talk to that understand what I'm going through and what I'm dealing with.

Unfortunately there have been cases lately where people are withdrawing. I want to maintain friendships with these people but I understand their skepticism. I don't want to appear pushy or desperate (perhaps this post itself is polar opposite of that); I just want to maintain friendships.

I'm finding though that maintaining friendships through a computer screen and modem appears to be much more difficult than just typing words and sending them. Although technology provides so many great aspects to our lives, it obviously has as many disadvantages.