Three for the road….

Traveling is a part of me and a part of my marriage. About a month after we were married we were in Egypt and Jordan and that was the first trip of many. We lived abroad and have traveled to like 18 countries as a couple. David and I always envisioned passing that on to our kids. I always really wanted my kids to feel like the world was accessible, that having a passport is like having a drivers license you just do it.
Now, we have no international trips on the docket just yet. So far we just have two road trips under our belts. The first one was easy and fun! A spontaneous trip up the coast. Driving the California coastline is one of my favorite things. Leia was like 3 months old and was sleeping so well, then like now, she loved the car. It was awesome! This trip Leia was amazingly happy. She only had one little crying incident on the trip home, but she loves the car and loves being out and meeting new people she was so happy. Still, it was tougher than the first trip. Leia is a totally different baby now! 3 months make a huge difference in babytime!
Here are the main challenges I have found so far in minor travels with an infant:

1. Hotel nights- you have been driving all day and you look forward to settling down in your room and hitting the hay. Well with a baby that rest isn’t guaranteed. Leia slept so well in the car she had no interest in sleeping at the hotels and now that she is 6 months she is so aware of everything having her not notice she is in a strange room in a pack n play instead of her crib at home is way too much too ask. She wasn’t too fussy, but she was not sleepy! She wanted to play hours after her normal bedtime! Plus, when she gets fussy I get nervous, I can’t handle it the way I usually would because I just want to keep her quiet so we don’t disturb others.

2. Gear. I have alluded to this in previous posts, but suddenly the amount of stuff you have to keep track of on the road is a lot of pressure. I am a pretty organized lady, and losing things is a pet peeve of mine, especially things my baby needs. I admit I lost a bottle, and who know how many baby socks will be lost during the infant years of my children! Babies really need an entourage keeping track of all their accessories! Plus, the last road trip I was exclusively breastfeeding, and as you probably know I now have to supplement. Bottles are much more of a mess to transport.

3. Poop. It must be a law of the universe. A Baby will have the worst poop explosion at the most inconvenient time possible. Man not to be gross, but that stuff can get everywhere! Before I had a baby I thought every bathroom had one of those changing places, now I realize that isn’t so! When we arrived at the grand canyon I think she had the worst poop incident so far, it actually made it to the carseat. (I realize if you don’t have a baby this seems so gross, think of it like the way doctors and nurses talk about blood and guts like it is nothing)

So it is a lot more tiring to travel with a baby (even a super good happy baby like Leia!), and I am not in a huge rush for our next road trip. But, we do have a trip home to Ohio in December, that will be our first time on a plane and I admit a little nervous to do that with her, but life goes on and she has to see grandma! Furthermore, it it is really important to me to have family trips. Maybe some people think a vacation is time to get away from kids but I really want to have a lot of memories of family trips. I know there are times David and I should probably get away alone in the future (though I admit I feel very far from being ready for that, Moms what age did you first spend a night away from your kid/kids?, also without grandparents around logistically it seems harder too) but we are a family and that just changes things.
Also, I try and remember travel isn’t easy. I mean a road trip to AZ would have been pretty easy of course, but thinking in more general terms about travel it was pretty rough a lot of the time. The more money you have the easier it gets I guess, but David and I did independent travel, just us a lonely planet guide and some really foreign crazy places. International travel that way is often exhausting and full of bumps in the road, but well worth it. I think making memories with Leia is worth it too, and besides the trip pictures are a lot better 🙂

Mommarazzi

Leia is almost 6 months old. I can’t believe how fast she is growing, you always hear people say that but you don’t really get it. I of course am ridiculous and can get teary eyed anytime I think about it or look at her too long!

Maybe this is why I am more obsessed with pictures that I ever have been. I have never been a picture person, never really liked being in them or taking them. I traveled the world and took pictures out of a sense of obligation because I knew I would want them later. I never really enjoyed it though and so don’t have nearly enough pictures from our crazy vagabond days. I think I just never liked having to push the pause button on life enough to take a photo. Plus, never felt like I was very good at it either! Now though I usually have a camera and a flip camera in my diaper bag and am always taking pics of her. It helps that I need to keep all are far away family and friends able to see her, but really I just have this insatiable need to document her and keep each little moment and stage. I just think she is so amazing! I want to push the pause button every time I look at her or hold her! Pyramids, the great wall, Petra, the louvre, Macchu Piccu, etc etc, all those things didn’t make me want to take photos (again really glad I have photos now!) but this little baby makes me do it all the time!

So as far as the sleep goes, it seems like it is all about the naps. She needs two or three naps to be happy and healthy I think. Everything goes better when she gets her naps. Past two or three weeks we have had a good run too. I just make her take the naps and she usually cries just a bit when I put her in the crib, but once I shut the door she often stops!  I guess she knows this Mom means business now. Of course sometimes she just plays in her bed for a while, talks to herself and what not and then 20 minutes later starts crying :/I have just come to the conclusion babies need sleep though, they need a lot of it, if I don’t help her get that sleep she is not happy and sleep is harder for her. There are still rocky days and nights of course, that’s life. Plus, it is just hard to always have her in her crib at the exact moment she needs to be when she needs 2-3 naps and goes to bed at 7 pm! Sometimes life does get in the way and that usually ushers in a rough night or two.  One thing that will be nice about our babies growing up will be that sleep routines don’t totally dominate my life anymore 🙂