This trip wasn't a real vacation: in fact, now I feel as if I need a vacation from the vacation. It was pretty hectic, as we had multiple things to do every single day, and B had a lot of work to get through (plus 3 days of conference in Boston, quite a long flight from San Francisco). I feel like it was a social whirl, since we visited so many relatives and friends (basically someone new every day). I did enjoy myself though and it was really great to see so many of my beloved people. I especially appreciated the chance to spend so much time with my parents and sister (she took 3 days off work to hang out): they are such wonderful people and I love them so.
I did not accomplish all that I had hoped to (did not visit the DMV; did not get my new wardrobe), but did go shopping, visit a lot of people, get my hair and nails done and kept little R and B happy. I love my new fancy haircut: it looks great even when I don't blow dry or style it. And now I have jeans that fit! B got through most of his work too (finished his paper; made and practiced his presentation; emails; and of course conference attending).
I left little R many times with my parents, and it's interesting to think about how she took the separations. She is a really adaptable and mellow baby, so she adjusted well and enjoyed her time with the grandparents. (I think she recognized them from before, or from Skype, because she definitely had different behavior with them and with people she does not know.) But it was hard for her too, and by Day 8 she was a little tired of being without me, so I made sure to spend more time with her over the next few days. She's quite social, but at this point it seems that she depends on me to provide her with a certain emotional stability and confidence. I do notice that when I'm there she feels more secure about exploring, vocalizing, etc., and seems less emotionally labile (she gets upset less easily, for instance). It's sort of like I am her security blanket.
She is quite social and enjoys people, but at times she would start to get distressed or tired, and would give me this special look: intently looking at me with a worried, pleading face, which meant "Mom, save me, I need help!" It was sad but cute, and when I would go rescue her she'd wrap her little arms around me and cling like a monkey. The good news is that she was always happy/relieved to see me, yet was able to enjoy being with others, and is so far showing all the signs of secure attachment.
When we got back to Singapore, she seemed really happy and excited to be back home, and rolled all over her crib squeaking happily (usually she doesn't like being there unless she is sleeping). It was a good trip, but I know how you feel, little R!