Sunday, May 6, 2012

Home again, home again

About a year ago, my Super Geek (aka hubby) got a new job that was in another state. We had a long discussion about it, but in the end, we decided that he should take it. It's a good job, great people to work with, and the pay is good. But we're still a state away from him.

However, we're also homeschooling, so we can be a bit more flexible until we have the house all fixed up and ready to try and rent it...or something. So every few weeks, I pack up the kids and the car and we head out to spend a week or two with Daddy.
It's about a 13-15 hour car trip, and our trip will be spent with the four of us in a one bedroom apartment with a couch bed. We love to have our family together, but it's still a bit stressful to be in crowded conditions like that for extended periods of time.

I prefer to get us out of the apartment. A lot. Thankfully, we have old friends there and lots of activities to do. This time around, we went to see a play that some of Princess' friends were in, went to homeschooling playgroup, had a sleepover and various playdates with friends, as well as attended a wedding. The local library there is pretty great, too, so we always head there a day or two after we arrive.  In the course of 9 days, I figure we fit in a lot.

However, when we come home, we always need a recovery period. That's what today is: recovery day. I sleep more, eat like a pig, and slog around the house as I recover from exposure to lots of sulfur dioxide (in car exhaust). The kids do about the same.

I tend to be very hungry the entire day of the drive, because I don't eat much. Being a person with allergies as well as a person who can react to both ingested and inhaled substances, being the sole person responsible for the safety of two children plus yourself is always somewhat nerve wracking during travel.

The last time I went on a long road trip with family, I took a chance and ate food I didn't pack from home. I was sick for weeks, and unable to drive for days. I was lucky, because there were other adults who were able to pick up the slack and help take care of the kids. But all on my own, just me and the kids, that's an unacceptable risk to the kids' safety. Excessive caution is the word of the day.

So I eat very little on the trip, only items that I know absolutely are safe and I have no reaction to OR that I won't react to until the next day. Heading OUT to visit Super Geek, I bring veggies and fruits of my own with me. But out where he is, we haven't found completely safe food - everyone seems to use pest control methods that introduce substances which make me sick, and I can't clean the produce enough to make it work.

By the time we get home, I want to eat, but I'm usually quite tired from the drive, and frequently dizzy and a bit sick as well. Thankfully, after doing this a few times, I'm aware that this is coming and we have a few meals frozen ahead of time to thaw and eat while we regain our health. The kids veg out on TV, crafts, and reading. And unpack a little. I veg out on sleeping, eating, and...doing all the things parents still have to do when we wish we could just veg out on TV, LOL.  Like...

Check the Garden for damage

Pick herbs and flowers - Palo Verde blossoms are in bloom now

and work on the part-time job, clean up the messes the cats made while we were gone, unpack, get homeschooling ideas for the week, update the finances, go through the mail, all that good stuff. It's amazing how many little things can build up when you're just gone a week!

Tomorrow, though, it's back to normal life, as it were. We'll likely be having more posts on our day to day activities, so Super Geek can be able to see how we're doing a bit better. :-)

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