Saturday, December 30, 2006

the in-laws

I'm at my in-laws. We've been here for a few days, which is why I haven't posted.
This is our first trip out of San Diego with Lucy. It was a Major Event. How major I sort of anticipted, but was, of course, compltely unprepared for.
Actually, it felt major for the first day and a half. Then it felt kind of less major. Turns out babies don't like change so much for the first day of travel. Who would have guessed? So her sleep was off, and she was overwhelmed by all of the smiling Caliri/Calire faces. (For those of you who don't know why my in-laws spell their name differently than us, ask me why sometime. Funny story. Very Calire/i of them.)
So of course when Lucy was off, I proceeded to have a nervous breakdown the first night. By the second night, however, I was an old hand at Being Out of Our House. Today I'm rather blase.
I wish I could do without the nervous breakdown.

One reason I was a stress case the first night was because my in-laws live in a very (very!) cold house. It is a former chicken coop. Literally. (Mostly. On the land plans at the county clerks, this house is listed as being a chicken coop. My in-laws have lived here for 30 years, and they have never kept chickens. I'm not sure if it's converted from a coop or on the grounds of what used to be a coop). The structure itself is very poorly built. We think it's basically stuccoed concrete bricks. With no insulation. The windows (those that are solid glass) have gaps around the panes. In the bedroom where we usually sleep, there are handy slat windows--slats of glass that you can open and close with a lever, sort of like blinds. Which means they never fully close.
It gets in the 40s at night in Ojai. There's not much keeping the cold from seeping into the house. Though there is a heater in the bedroom, it has never been turned on in the time I've been around (6 years), so's I can remember. Many things in the house don't work properly, so why would the heater? (We found out on the second day that it does actually work, but only has one setting--sweltering. With a baby, this would have been preferrable to Ice Cold).
Donna, my sweet mother-in-law, has really thick down comforters that are great for adults, but not so great for small babies. So we had Lucy in about six layers + hat, and her hands were still ice.
To make a long story short, we figured out a better solution, involving a space heater, for the second night. And tonight.
We leave tomorrow on the train. Much as I'm glad to make the trip so Lucy can see everyone (and meet her aunt and uncle and cousin for the first time) I will be glad to be back in our conventional, boring suburban duplex with functioning central heating. And insulation.

1 comment:

Melissa said...

But how would you appreciate blase without the nervous breakdown first?

Sounds like insulation IS all it's cracked up to be. (See that there? That was a chicken coop joke.)

Enjoy the train ride home. We'll see you soon. :)