Wednesday, February 6, 2008

No rest for the weary

Yes, we are home. Back where we should be on East End Avenue in our lovely 1.5 bedroom apartment. The only problem is that Phoebe's body may be here, but her sleep schedule is still in Vietnam. She was such a good sleeper there. She took cat naps during the day and slept a good 7-8 hours at night. She made it easy on her poor new mom. Now she is wide away at 4am looking at me like I'm the crazy one. Last night we watched election returns from 22 States as I told her about what a unusual election this will be. For the first time ever, a woman, like her and a minority, like her will be the Democratic nominee for President of the United States. Phoebe doesn't know yet that the 22nd Amendment prohibits her from becoming president because she was not born here, but Secretary of State or Supreme Court Justice is not out of the question :)

The great new is, that some day, after she figures out to how to sleep when it's dark out, she can be whatever she wants to be, and that's pretty cool. And maybe someday, her Mom will get a good nights sleep again too.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Home at last!

So it's 3am. I'm not exactly sure what day. All I know is that I am home at East End Avenue with my baby and my man sleeping in the other room. I wish I could say the same for me, but since jet lag has gotten the better of me, I thought I'd fill in the last piece of my puzzle in traveling from Hanoi back home.

On my last day in Hanoi, I finally got the interview at the US embassy. They made me sweat it out to the last minute of business hours that day leaving me panicked that I would not get Phoebe's Visa stamped in time to fly out the next morning. When It finally came through, a wave of relief washed over me. I was done. Finally fucking done. Now all I needed to do was get this kid home. Somehow, I was going to have to fly for 24 hours with a 5 month old by myself from Hanoi to Hong Kong to JFK.

We made the 2 hour trip to Hong Kong without much problem. One flight down, one to go. I planned to meet my friend Punam in the airport in HK, only to find out at immigration that my 5 month old needed a Visa to enter Hong Kong. An hour later in the immigration office, they canceled my stamp and told me to just transit thru the airport. Bummer. I would really have liked to see Punam. She somehow managed to send a package to my boarding gate of a beautiful blanket for Phoebe. Thanks Punam!

My next misadventure was a bit more nerve wracking. I paid to use one of the lounges in the HK airport where you get food and use of the internet etc. The only problem was (bizarrely) they had no bathroom inside. So I asked some nice chinese guys to watch my stuff and ventured out down the hall with Phoebe in my arms. (yes, I have mastered going to the bathroom whilst holding the baby). When I got back, my black rolling case with nothing of value in it but ALL of Phoebe's documentation was gone. I went from 0-to-heart failure in 20 seconds flat. After asking everyone around in a ever widening panic, a nice Australian woman told me she thought she saw a little boy rolling a black case into the other room. There it was. Not stolen, just rolled away. I got Phoebe and our stuff together and headed out to our gate. Too freaked out to stop moving forward.

Believe it or not, the 15 hour flight from HK to JFK went fairly well. Thanks to Phoebe. When she was awake, she charmed everyone around us with her smile, then at about 2 hours past her regular bedtime, she went down into one of the bassinets provided by Cathay Pacific and was out for a good 8 hours. What a champ! We had a bit of turbulence- which scared the hell out of me- and an hour delay when we arrived on the runway in NYC. Another visit to Immigration with her paper work, another hour at baggage and then there were Jeff and my Dad waiting as we came through customs. What a vision they were!!! One more hour of traffic on the perpetually clogged Van Wyck Expressway (at midnight!) a stop up the block on East End to see Grandma who couldn't wait until the morning to kiss us both and we were home. How good it was to see my place- our place now- filled with notes and presents from friends and family. I can hardly believe I'm here as I write this. What a journey this has been.

The baby has no idea what time zone she's in- but that's to be expected. We're home, safe and happy and that's all that matters. Will write with more updates and post more pictures soon. Lots of Love to you all. xoxox nancy