Aya's first lengthy road trip to eastern Cambodia went pretty well. She adapted well to car seat entertainment and sleeping in a different location most nights. Aya was a pleasure at every stop to local people, most of whom had never seen a white baby (only on TV some said).
It's been pretty fun introducing Aya to all of our favourite things. Like hiking and cycling and adventuring. We're lucky we've got a little girl who (thus far anyway) is captivated by new experiences and likes being active (even though it's mostly flailing arms and legs at this stage!) There were a few meltdowns and a few stressful moments with an overtired baby, but overall, our first major trip in Cambodia was a great success.
It's been a pretty hectic two months. We're trying to balance this new full time job while also striving to claim some of the good old life back.
We've coined the term 'baby brain' to try and explain a recent category of events that didn't seem to be a problem before Aya's birth. It mostly has to do with forgetfulness but also spacing out for long periods during the day and sort of living each day in a daze.
There's little things like forgetting to bring a packed lunch or losing keys. But then there was the time that Amie let the water boil so dry that the she cooked a hole in the bottom of a pot. Another time I showed up at a bachelor party exactly 24 hours to early - I was asking around 'where are the guys'?
We received Aya's passport and now it's time to return to Phnom Penh. The last 2 weeks since her birth has been one of challenges, learning and sleepless nights. Just like they warned us!!! Being holed up in a little room in Bangkok with nothing else to do but learn how to parent has been great. I'm not sure how else we could have done it. But we're still not sure if we'll ever have real lives again. Certainly it's not possible to ever find time to work again, is it?
We were worried that she would never come. But of course, she arrived [May 10, 2011, 17:40]. And in the most fast and furious of manners. It was an intense labour experience (6 hours from start to finish, complete with a Hollywood-style water break all over the floor in our apartment!)
And now that she is here, it kind of feels like she's always belonged. Welcome to the world - to our family - Aya Kalyan [Full of Color, the Highest Quality].
She's exactly one week old today. The time has flown by already and we're sinking into what it means to be parents. (Yikes! It's crazy to even call ourselves that - and we're only just beginning to unpack what that means).
One week on, here are a few life changes we've noticed already...
-Sleep is now a prized commodity. Every parent we know warned us about this. But let's be honest, we didn't really believe them. You never really understand until you're up in the middle of the night (for hours) burping a baby for what feels like forever.
-Laundry. Lots of it. We do a load every day of diapers and are so glad that we invested in a washing machine in our house in PP before coming to Bangkok. We are going to use it very well.
-Life has shrunk down to a continual cycle of feeding, gas management (lots and lots of burping), and changing diapers. We're both glad there's two of us to share the load.
-Going across the street is a major, huge event. It needs to be timed - right now we're only really comfortable going out with her when she's asleep. And it takes that much more preparation - baby survival kit, carrying device, etc. In Bangkok, with throngs of people everywhere, it's a bit stressful, so we've mostly stayed indoors and taken turns to go out and get the essentials.
-It's the little things. Like her facial expressions. And the constant changes we see in her every day. The coos. The hiccups. We have found ourselves laughing every day at the things she does.