I shouldn't have bothered to worry about Kate's first airplane ride. She was perfect. Not fussy one bit. I nursed on ascent and descent on the trip there and nursed only on take-off on the way back since it was such a short flight. Both times she was a happy smiley baby, making friends with anyone who would look at her. I seriously wonder how long the perfectness will last. Does this mean she'll be super difficult as a toddler or teen? I think I'd rather have a difficult baby if that's the case.
I packed waaaaaay too much for her because I was expecting the weather to be much cooler than it is here. It was cooler at nights, but pretty warm during the day and so I ended up using none of the warmer clothes I brought for her. Better safe than sorry I suppose. She still fit in the infant travel bed we have so I didn't have to lug a pack 'n play for her to sleep in, thankfully.
This conference was much smaller than the (denominational) youth conferences that Superman and I have attended in the past - only 1000 or so total students. I agreed to lead a small group of girls from our church in a daily discussion time. This would have been immensely easier if I didn't also have to care for a squirmy 4-month old distraction at the same time! I hope the girls got something out of the time we spent together because I felt like the most scatterbrained woman on the planet. I was constantly forgetting what I was saying and what we were talking about. The first meeting Kate was gassy and spit up quite a bit. Talk about distracting! I was ready to give up and ask for my girls to be redistributed between the other small groups but then the next day decided to try again when it looked as though Kate might sleep through it. Kate slept right up until our small group time began, and then cooed and talked along with me as I opened with prayer. I guess it got easier as the week progressed but I still feel that the girls could have gotten so much more out of it if I didn't have the baby with me. I wasn't able to be there for them as much as I would have liked through out the week due to having to meet the needs of my baby. I couldn't hang out with them in the dorms or play games and talk until all hours of the night because Kate had to get to sleep and I couldn't just leave her alone in the dorm room.
Since I was camera-less you'll have to imagine these two images:
- an old yellow school bus with a very homemade (boxy, plywood) roof rack. I hope the students it transported didn't have a very long drive.
- a sign declaring "Do not prop open the doors. $100 fine" and the door to which the sign is taped is unapologetically propped wide open.
I wondered if anyone else was crazy enough to bring a baby to a high school youth conference. The second day I met another four-month old baby girl named Chloe who was born two days after Kate. It was fun comparing their milestones with her mom. Kate's feet and hands were much bigger than Chloe's but I think Chloe was taller. Kate loves to stand but Chloe isn't into standing up yet. Then I was astonished to meet 3-week-old Jaylyn and her surprisingly normal-looking mother. THREE WEEKS. Granted, both these moms were only a few hours away from home but still. I can't believe that Jaylyn's mom was up for trying to do the whole newborn baby thing away from home at THREE WEEKS OLD. Both girls were first-time moms, too. Astounding. I am officially a wimp.
One of the nights Superman participated in a skit in front of the whole group that involved dressing up in Shakespeare play type attire. That was amusing as it's probably the farthest thing from what he usually does. Our youth group cheered him on loudly once they recognized him.
On Thursday we sang the "If you're happy and you know it ________" song. After the traditional clap your hands, stomp your feet, say amen we also mooed like a cow, said 'that's cool' as well as shouted 'hello! My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die!' And then all 1000 of us did all six.
Superman took Kate swimming again and she loved it.
The Oregon State campus is spread out and so we did quite a bit of walking. I'm so glad I never had classes there; my college campus is designed much better!
One of the things we encouraged the students to do is to go on a "media fast" so that they could spend more time developing authentic relationships with those around them. The speaker emphasized that technology (texting, emailing, blogging, IMing, etc.) detracts from knowing someone face-to-face and that more time needs to be spent withe someone in person instead of texting them. He really came down hard on the use of technology to communicate, claiming that actual words make up so little of communication (body language and tone being the most important aspects) and part of me said, "hey! some of the deepest conversations I've had have been using AOL IM and I didn't have trouble discerning the appropriate tone or body language at all!" If it wasn't for all this technology I wouldn't be able to stay in touch with a lot of my friends. I see the point though and I do know that I need to do a better job cultivating the face-to-face relationships in my life. I tend to get too comfortable in my isolated little life.
So since I have to be a good example to the girls I have decided that for the month of August I am not going to be reading anyone else's blogs OR reading the comments on my blog (email filter; yay technology.) It'll be like blogging in the dark. Why am I still blogging you ask? Because if I didn't write, I'd explode and I simply do not have the time to write by hand. I began writing online because it was faster. I've always written and if you guys happen to be entertained by it then cool, but I don't write for you (usually.) I will say that not reading your blogs has been super difficult. Didn't realize how addicted I was (you've got the power!) until I swore I would stop for a while. I've had to minimize my RSS folder so that I can't see the new entries piling up next to your names and my fingers are itching to read just ONE but so far I've maintained self control.
I just talked with Superman and he is still an hour from home at 11 pm. After this, we're swearing off weekend jobs!
I will now attempt to install Open Office. Anyone have any input as to whether it's worth it or not? Never mind. I won't read your input until September. Feel free to call me! Or give me input in person!