We made it back to Wisconsin fine. The worst part was right at the beginning. There was a huge wind storm moving through Paris and they started boarding the passengers through a terminal where we had to walk about 100 meters across the tarmac. As usualm they asked me to leave the stroller at the desk- totally baffled when I said I needed assistance since I wouldn't be able to manage to carry a backpack, a purse, a car seat and a baby, through the hurricane winds and rain and up a steep staircase. After 10 minutes of my stubborn refusal to budge, they FINALLY found someone from the 8 employees standing on the side chatting who was willing to help. Then once we got ont the plane and settled, they announced that they had stopped boarding since the high winds made it unsafe for people to walk outside. And yet 30 seconds earlier, it was totally unreasonable of me to suggest that I shouldn't maybe carry a baby in one hand and 20 kilos of luggage in the other hand up a wet flight of stairs. After this many flights with Ella, I hardly even notice this sort of stupidity anymore.
Naturally we took off late- 2 hours late to be precise so I knew I would miss my connection (another thing that has become a standard part of our travel...) and called home to let them know. The plane ride was relatively painless, the only glitch being that I forgot to pick up my stroller at customs. I have to start calling around to see where it might be now, but honestly, dealing with the airlines is such a pain in the ass, I am tempted to just write it off and ask Santa to bring a new one- one without Ella's blood all over the seat from that day at the florist's when she mysteriously cut her finger. But because I didn't have my stroller, I had to carry the carseat and make Ella walk all the way through O'Hare airport to our connecting flight. What a little trooper. Remember that at this point, it was 1 am for her. I have to admit, she is such a good traveller it is amazing. Finally, the connecting flight was conveniently running 2 hours late as well so atleast we didn't have to spend the night at a hotel in Chicago.
We are dealing with our jetlag ok, as long as I remain zen about the fact that I spend more time on my feet between the hours of 2 and 5 than I do actually laying down in bed. Of course, you can get tons done when you are up hours before dawn. Yesterday, I made muffins and read three back issues of Living magazine. On the other hand, I was so spacey from lack of sleep that I forgot to take a shower. Efficient and filthy would sum up my first weekend home.
Went to my nephew's birthday party yesterday which was lovely. The thing I miss most, living in France, is being able to go to these little family dinners. I busted my ass all day Saturday to make this. I glued and I cut and I sewed on dozens of tiny jingle bells. Finished it just on time and then I forgot to take a picture of it. In theory I am going to make another one for Ella but, to be honest, I may have used up all my craftiness for 2006. I may have to go and visit my sister just so that I can take a photo and have photographic evidence that I actually made it. Its like that conundrum, "If a tree falls in the woods and no one is there to hear it, did it make an noise?"