4 weeks recap

Wow. Having just returned from the Western Caribbean/Florida and trying to write a recap, I come across this post sitting in my draft. It looks like I wrote down some notes, but never finished it, and I’m not sure if I ever will, so let’s expand on some memories and post it now.

The decision to visit during the summer, during peak travel period wasn’t on the table but we did have vague plans to visit sometime to meet my sister’s baby and for the rest of my family to meet ours. As it turned out, my aunt was getting remarried and invited everyone to their banquet reception and the timing worked, so we redeemed aeroplan points for one way, and bought tickets back after school started so the prices were much better[1]thankfully, we didn’t have to modify travel plans as some extended family members had.  At the wedding is where I get a 3-minute lesson from a cousin on whiskey-tasting 101: taking a sip straight up, then sucking in one breath of air after a sip, and finally with 1 drop of ice in the shot before taking a sip – each one delivering a different profile / depth.

We all managed to get through the plane rides without too many tears. Bean sat in a car seat, which I much preferred her to be in than in a seat with just a lap belt; the height also allowed her to look out the window. She was happy to watch TV in silence (but no naps), and on the way back, we survived without having a seat back entertainment system – it also seems that the flight from YXX-Abbotsford is shorter by an hour! The baby was sure different from when Bean was his age – I couldn’t nurse him to sleep and keep him asleep; j.w had to help / intervene.


She learned a new skill with a new friend, meanwhile picking up some phrases her friend used, and coming home wanting a haircut like her friend.

Warm sunny weather welcomed us at the start of our vacation, which made the trip to the Sea to Sky Summit very worthwhile, as it was warm and skies were clear so you could see the views without having to hike up the Chief (photo: that’s neither me nor Bean). We then visited (enriched and encouraged by) our friends in Woodinville, as we traditionally do every time we’re out there, and every time, we’re reluctant to leave.

Alas, the warm weather did not last, but held up enough so that when my dad’s car had a flat tire followed by a dead battery, I could take the baby out to the side of the road and wait  – though we discovered that more people stopped because they saw me and the baby than when it was just j.w alone. And we all got sick, to the point where Bean developed hives and passed it to her cousin, and where I coughed so much coughed so much that the whole campsite heard me moan (dying cow?) in my sleep. We chickened out on the first day we were to set up camp (as it was damp and soggy and wouldn’t have helped my cold), and ended up joining our friends for 2 nights instead of 3. As it happens, we don’t generally hang out with too many families with young kids especially not all at once, so it took some time to get used to every child calling “mama, mama” and not wonder if it was Bean.

Car camping in cold and damp weather is worth it when the warm sun finally comes out (or sets in this case).

Bean and her cousin had a blast together, despite some tears throughout. We ended up staying at their place for the duration of our trip, so that the cousins could spend extended time together, and because my mom didn’t want our sickly germs prior to their cruise trip two weeks later [2]to the point where I think I only saw her 3 times during our entire 3 weeks there – she … Continue reading. We visited the PNE – I don’t think I’ve been there since high school (the year I entered in some art contest, where my friend, Marie won!- and I took honourable mention). Since it poured, we stayed covered in the farm / agriculture area, where the kids get to go through stations and collect a treat at the end. I discovered that Bean was either afraid or didn’t like the (plastic) fish in her bucket as she would bury it at the bottom or not want to touch anything touching it. A momma pig looked happy nursing her many piglets, which made me think of the bond between breastfeeding mothers and babies and how it seemingly universal it is (though I wonder if they get latch problems too).

Whether coincidentally or not, it seems that every time we visit my “home” church, major leadership changes happen: a pastor resigns or a new pastor comes on board; this time, they introduced a Chinese pastor  and another English pastor announced his leave. In spite of the news, we both felt refreshed, as we were actually able to sit and listen to two sermons in a row, in its entirety without being interrupted by a baby (in the nursery) or a toddler (with her cousin and/or my sister in the toddler program). Furthermore, it was a series on marriage; a rare sermon topic at our church, likely because our demographics is mainly students. I don’t remember what it was about, except that we don’t pray as a married couple enough – but I’m guilty of not spending enough time with God one-on-one, so that would be a good place to start. 

During our visit, j.w started 3 months of parental leave; I was elated[3]While it would have been incredible had he chosen to taken all 37 weeks – after all, … Continue reading.  His parental leave began in the middle into our trip, and would end with another trip (sandwiching a road trip with friends midway).

Bebe turned 9 months while we were visiting:

  • this was the start of self-feeding / baby-led weaning; he pursed his lips and refused any pureed food; instead, he took to ribs and other chunky food
  • we found out that not all kiddie toilet seats are created equal, and had to order one from Amazon, where the curved seat prevented him from arching his back every time we put him on, which affected his bowel movements
  • bum shifting became a means for mobility

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