Ok . . .ok . . .I know I kind of dumped the big news on you without a lot of context or explantation. I just got so excited when the OPKs came in the mail!
Let’s back up, and I’ll tell you about the last week. It’s been a doozy.
We left Saturday evening for Olympia (by way of Seattle), because L was doing a show at a local theater, and was in performances until 4pm. It was a youth theater show, so A and I came to the final performance, after spending all day cleaning the house (to be suitable for the dog sitter) and packing. [Side note: There are a few lessons from this trip, and the first is: Both of us need to be involved in packing together because otherwise we make REALLY bad decisions. ] So, we picked her up and headed to the airport.
In order to make this trip work financially, L flew on her mom’s companion pass (MIL is a flight attendant for Southw.est, so L can fly frequently ‘non rev’; buddy passes are harder to come by, so I only get them occasionally) and we bought a pri.celine flight for me. Unfortunately, thanks to pri.celine’s way of doing things, the flight we originally booked ended up getting me back too late in the day on Tuesday (I would miss rehearsal) so we ended up buying another one way flight through pricel.ine as well. DUMB. Also a bad decision. Also made in part under pressure.
But, we end up arriving within minutes of one another, meet at baggage claim, and take the shuttle to pick up our car (also booked through pri.celine. NEVER AGAIN.) There, the woman at the counter is super checked out and mostly wants to talk about Ansel and how cute he is which, you know, he is but also it’s fucking 11pm and he really needs to go to bed and you know what would help accomplish that? If you’d get things together so we could get in a car and drive to our hotel. When she finally got the invoice together, it was more expensive than originally listed and they wanted to give us a fucking PICK UP TRUCK. AYFKM? Luckily, we were able to talk the very nice lady at the actual car area into subbing that for a sub compact.
We hopped into our car (after a more difficult than usual car seat installation because, why not?) and drove the 50 minutes south to Olympia. We got out of the hotel, and the air smelled like the most beautiful wet wood and I got tingles and thought, ‘yeah. I could live here.’
The next morning, we got up and headed to the tiniest, cutest downtown, where we found the worker owned brunch place, and ate delicious egg snadwiches and ‘panda-cakes’.” In the teeny tiny cafe, there were at least 6 other queers (going by visual cues) – meaning we might have actually been the majority.
We thought we might take a walk to the waterfront, but it became apparent that we were woefully unprepared for winter in the Pacific NW, let alone a WALK in the rainy weather. So, off to Target we went to procure rain jackets (to be fair, it wasn’t that we failed to pack rain gear, it’s that we don’t own rain gear because it doesn’t rain where we are from.) While en route, a friend who lives in Portland, who I’d told about the job, happened to send a message mentioning she and her partner and kid were in Olympia eating lunch on their way home from the Olympic penninsula!
So, off we went to meet up with them. And it was SO needed! These friends are a little bit older than us, and in many ways, are kind of mentors for L and I. They kind of ‘up and moved’ to Salem a few years back, and so were able to give us really thoughtful perspectives on the pros and cons. Plus, A LOVED their son, O! He spent the better part of the time laughing at three year old antics. It was lovely.
After this visit, we decided to drive out towards the coast, both to give A a chance to nap (choices were sit in a hotel while he naps or drive in the beautiful rain while he naps, so . . .) and we got to have a nice conversation about the possible logistics of a move – selling our house, trying to find a place to rent with three dogs, her job opportunities. It was during this drive that we decided – well, why NOT try to get pregnant? Our donor, BFF, is in Colorado and we might not be for much longer. We’ll start the ‘old fashioned’ way (ICI at home, turkey baster style, just like we originally started with me) and see what happens. I was a little taken aback, because L has wanted to wait and, seeing how its her body and everything, I have been happy to contain my excitement. But, she is game. So, we are doing it.
Monday morning, we hung around the hotel to get things packed up, press my interview clothes, let Ansel get a good nap in . . .then we grabbed some lunch, and L dropped me at my interview while she took A to the Children’s musuem. Overall, my interview was okay. I felt pretty confident about the more traditional interview portion, but I also had to give a 10 minute chunk of training, and that was less than stellar. It wasn’t much time, and one of the interview team was joining remotely, which made it complicated to plan something that would be good for both in person and distance attendees. So, it was mediocre. They did seem to want someone to start REALLY soon, and I just don’t know if that will happen for me . . .they said they’d be contacting folks early next week. So, I wait.
We left the interview and hit the road to Seattle, where we were staying with friends. They invited some additional friends, who have a baby just 3 days younger than Ansel, and so we got to watch A interact with Olive! It was so, so lovely and just totally affirmed that this is a place we could live. Although Olympia is about an hour from Seattle, and we don’t have friends who are actually IN Olympia, this feels like a good start to having some community close by, including folks who are similar to us in parenting and kids ages, something we don’t really have here.
L got up at 4am to catch a flight on Tuesday so she could get back in time to teach (see above re: flights) but Ansel and I were able to get up at our usual time and start getting ready to head out, as our flight was supposed to leave at 10:55am. When I went to check the flight status, it was delayed an hour. Awesome, I thought, I can stop and get some coffee. By the time I’d bought the coffee, the flight was another hour delayed. So we hung out at the coffee shop for a bit. By the time we got to the airport, it was three hours delayed. All of a sudden, I was thinking that spending that extra money to get back in time for rehearsal might not matter. But, I chose to think positive thoughts.
Returning the rental car was a PITA. No one helped me get the car seat out, so I was trying to unlatch everything with A strapped to my chest in the ergo, crying his head off from being in an awkward position. By the time anyone noticed, I’d gotten in out and zipped into the bag. I hauled our bags, the car seat, and both of us up to the shuttle and got to the check in desk, where they assured me the plane would NOT be any further delayed, as it was in the air and on its way to us. Ok, cool.
Security took over an hour to get through, thanks to lanes being opened, closed, redirected, etc. But, we had time. NBD. I let a few folks with tighter connections cut in front of us, and tried to keep A entertained. I was gracious about waiting, even though it was obnoxious and the TSA agents were, in a few cases, being real dicks to other travelers.
We get to the gate, and get some lunch, wait a bit, and then there’s our plane! We board, sit down, A starts to nurse and falls promptly to sleep. Awesome. We oull away from the gate. The pilot tells us we have to have a brief maintenance inspection that will take 20 minutes. The plane erupts in groans and sighs. We wait. It actually DOES take 20 minutes. The plane takes off. It makes horrible, horrible, terrifying noises while taking off and is kind of weirdly swerving around. After we reach good altitude, the pilot comes on and tells us we have to return to Seattle because a bird hit one of the engines, and its out of commission.
We land, de-plane, and are put into a line at the desk. No one knows what’s happening. The gate agent has 0 information, but will start issuing refunds. After all, at this point, we are more than 4 hours past our original departure time. Connections are being missed, people are mad. It isn’t clear what the options are, but they do tell us that they will NOT be paying for hotel vouchers or flights on other airlines. I happen to be in the very front of the line, and so I am able to re-book us on the 7pm flight. But I know most of the people behind me will not be that lucky.
They gave me a $10 dinner voucher, so we went to get food, and found a children’s play area for Ansel to crawl around in. [Side note: I set him down in the play area and said, “well, you’ll probably be sick in 2 days, but I don’t know what else we are going to do for three hours.] We board the flight, take off, and A falls asleep nursing. And then he wakes up because some dudes keep yell-laughing. So I nurse him back to sleep, and he wakes up to dudes, and over, over over again. I am hella touched out, so exhausted, and was really looking forward to my baby sleeping for a few hours because he only got a half hour nap during the take off/landing fiasco and otherwise hasn’t slept all day. But A is not sleeping, he is crying. His magical unicorn baby magic is wearing very, very thin. I start crying too. The little boy in our row sees us crying, and catches Ansel’s eye. “Peek a boo!” He hides his face and, deliriously tired, Ansel laughs. The little boy, Rowan, spends the rest of the flight – an hour or more – playing peek a boo and making faces and telling me about his little sister Brynlee, his uncle who just got a really big deal new job in the army, and his mom having another baby. That little boy saved my night. I am forever grateful for him.
We landed and it was close to midnight. We made our way to the baggage carousel and waited. And waited. and waited. No bags. Of course, no bags. Even though I had specifically asked about our bags, offered to make the transfer myself, triple checked that they would get on the flight . . .no bags. I go into the baggage office, and the woman acts like I am stupid for expecting my bags to be on this flight. “They are coming in on your ORIGINAL flight, at 3am. YOU chose to come early, this is not our fault.”
Y’all. I spent ALL DAY being gracious and calm, rolling with the punches despite it kind of sucking. I spent all day negotiating travel with an 11 month old, keeping him all but permanently attached to my boob because that’s what makes him happy. I spent all day smiling and nodding, even though no one of the ‘customer service’ folks I came into contact with said they were sorry, or expressed any kind of thoughtfulness about my situation or the situation of the other people. I KNOW it was not the fault of the gate agent, or the pilot, or the baggage clerk. But I also know customer service (I do it too, it’s just in a very different field) and sometimes you say sorry even when it isn’t your fault.
So I lost it. I started sobbing and yelling and generally not being the best version of myself. And I guess my yelling and sobbing freaked this person out, so she called the cops. THE COPS. Luckily, L also showed up at this point and was able to talk more calmly to both the baggage clerk and the police officer, ensuring I did not get taken to jail, and that our baggage fee was refunded and the bags would be delivered to us the following day. She also took Ansel so I could go outside and bum a cigarette from some snowboarder dudes who had been on the original flight. The cigarette was so gross but it was so what I needed.
I missed rehearsal, by the way.
I also took Wednesday off to pull my shit together, and because it was after 1am when we got home and I have like 6 weeks of PTO saved up and why not?
On Thursday, I got up and started getting A ready only to realize he was, as predicted, sick. I couldn’t in good conscious send him to the baby sitter and have him get her kid sick, so I called my boss in tears and told her I needed to take Thursday off too. She is super understanding and said, “Ok. No problem.” A slept a lot of the day, nursed a lot of the day, and played a little. He’s in shockingly good spirits. I guess it was inevitable that he’d eventually get sick, and impressive that we made it almost a year before it happened. He actually slept better than usual last night, despite being SO congested.
So. That was the week. Gone in the blink of an eye, and mostly kind of crappy. But, there’s good to be found. I’m hoping I’ll have job news on Monday or Tuesday at the latest. And then the decisions will have to come. . .