I wanted to add a picture here of the boys with my parents, but for some reason it’s not working. Here is the link to the picture. Feel free to check it out. Well, I wanted to link the part where I said, “Here’s the link” to the actual picture. That’s not working either. Here is the copy and pasted link of my picture! http://www.flickr.com/photos/berberich/5624619442/in/photostream
Remember all that after you read this post. It might give you some idea of the type of day I’m having. 🙂
For Easter this year, we went to my parents’ house. They spent most of their winter down south, and Kael and Asa were both very anxious to visit them. They wanted to get their share of grandparent time in addition to checking out their toy stash for any new arrivals or old favorites.
Some time in the semi-distant past, I was in a place where I was able to visit my parents pretty frequently. I can’t remember how often we visited when we had only Kael, but I know that there were times during college when we visited at least every two months. Oh, how things change.
We started out for my parents’ house on Friday morning. Before we even drove six blocks, we had to stop. One of the older boys dropped a book. Not a problem, right? We can make a quick stop and keep going. Before we were out of town, we stopped again. This time it was something else that was a pretty easy fix. We kept going. Our third stop happened about 90 miles from town. We stopped for lunch. Luckily, after lunch everyone seemed pretty content, and we were able to get a decent chunk of driving in. After about 45 minutes Jason said he had to go to the bathroom. I said what every good
teacher mom says. “Are you sure? Is it an emergency?” I urged him (very strongly!) to wait. He gave me a look, but he did. We drove another hour and at that point when he started to pull into a gas station in a small town, I knew better than to argue with him.
As we got back on the road, we realized that we had forgotten baby food for Jonas. Luckily, there was a town with a large grocery store just 10 minutes down the road. Yep. Stop #5. I ran in with Kael. We got some baby food and gum and got back on the road. We had about 70 miles left. Sure enough, about 30 miles into the last leg of our trip, Jonas was tired of being in his seat. Jason moved into the back seat next to him, and I took over driving duties. We made it through the final 40 miles without a stop.
Total distance: 281 miles (We took a longer route than normal to avoid some flooding detours)
Time: 6 hours and 15 minutes
That’s an average of 47 miles in between stops and one stop every 63 minutes.
Of course we had a great time at my parents. We relaxed. We were very well fed. We saw family. We had very loving, caring, competent babysitters while we enjoyed a supper by ourselves. We slept. We watched the Food Network. It was great.
This morning, though, the time came to return home. I was hoping for a trip that was easy and stress free as the trip out had been. After dissecting the trip, it sounds a lot longer, choppier, and drawn out than it felt. I had a book to read on the way out, and most of our stops were quick and easy. So, even though we did stop 6 times, it wasn’t quite as bad as it sounds.
We packed all our stuff, and we got in the van. We were on the road at almost the same time as we had left home on Friday. Sure enough. Just as we were getting going, Kael said, “I’m super cold. I need something that can keep my arms warm.” So, we stopped and got him a sweatshirt (after I turned up the heat and let it go a few minutes). A few minutes later, the boys were fighting over books. Who had how many, who had which ones, etc., etc. Then, one of the books fell on the floor. So, we stopped to get it, and we got the grapes out at the same time (I think. I may be confusing stops though.) We drove for a while, and then we heard, “Dad, I have to go potty!” So, we stopped and used the convenient ditch potty available next to a flooded road. For those keeping track, that’s 3 stops in about 30 miles. We managed to make the next 40 miles without a stop, but then it was lunch time, so you guessed it. Stop #4. We ate lunch, and we got back in the van. After we ate, Jonas didn’t want to have any milk, and he wasn’t ready to go back to sleep. Not great.
He started to fuss. Jason reached into the backseat, and he gave Jonas a few new toys to play with. That didn’t seem to be what he needed. So, he popped Jonas’s pacifier in. That wasn’t it either. So, we stopped. Jason hopped into the backseat. I drove. As we drove, Jonas was getting more and more sad. At one point, I remembered that I had a bag of expressed milk in a cooler bag in the back of the van. After listening to my baby who never cries cry for so long, I stopped. I grabbed the milk, and I started warming it up on the dash of the van.
Now, normally I would not use direct sunlight to warm expressed milk, but trust me, this wasn’t a normal situation! It was getting a bit warmer, but as it slowly warmed up, Jonas was getting angrier and angrier. I grabbed my mug of coffee and took a drink. Then, I realized that both Jason and I had thermos mugs of warm/hot coffee. When we are at home, we use warm water to reheat breastmilk. I figured that in a pinch this coffee could be a substitute. So, Jason stuck the bag of milk into his thermos and warmed the milk. Apparently it did the trick. He was able to get the milk into the bottle and feed Jonas as we drove. Then, we drove. And we drove. And we drove. We drove somewhere around 150 or 160 miles without stopping!
As we were getting closer and closer to home, I started asking as we approached each town, “Everyone okay? Anyone need anything?” I knew that if we needed to make a bathroom stop, I wouldn’t be able to stretch it for just a few more minutes after the boys had waited over two hours. They kept answering the same, “No.” “I’m okay.” “Nope.” Until we were about 12 miles from home. As we were approaching our last chance bathroom stop, Jason asked if they needed to stop, and they both answered, “I do!” So, we made our final stop. 12 miles from home. We then arrived home to unload all our stuff in a quick rain shower.
Total distance: 281 miles
Time: 5 hours and 45 minutes
That’s an average of one stop every 40 miles and about every 49 minutes.
This, people, is why we don’t travel very far or very often. 🙂