Monday, June 22, 2009

Safe and Sound and Sore

This was originally meant to be just a quick update that we made it safely over the river and through the woods to Grandma and Grandpa's house. Surprisingly, 18 HOURS in a car with a 13-month old was just fine, and so I had to tell you all about it. I'm pretty sure it went so well only because there was a Jelly involved. There were definitely some ups and downs, and my right knee is stiff and achy from doing all that driving myself, but it's nice to be here and see Jellybean with her excited grandparents. And to have my car and all my stuff (as opposed to when I fly).

Top 10 Trip Highlights

1. The DVD player. Man, this is the best thing ever. EVER, I tell you! If you are trying to get pregnant, start a little penny jar or something so you can get one of these things. Also, train your baby from a young age to enjoy television. I don't know how I would have made it through some rough spots in the mountains, or in the traffic in pouring rain, with trying to tend to a screaming child. Instead, I was able to pop in a movie and Jelly was a happy gal.

2. The wrapped toy trick. Interestingly I didn't really need to pull this out except for once, and it was because Jelly had been sitting in poo and had a cracked bleeding butt and was in horrible pain and was overtired and hungry. Poor boo boo. The tissue paper distracted her for 15 minutes easy, and the toy made her laugh again. Yay!

3. Pouring rain. This is the part with the sarcasm. Saturday morning we left the hotel in a drizzle, and the rain didn't stop. ALL DAY. Sometimes it was light and terrifyingly foggy and I was sure I was going to hit something, sometimes it was thunderous and copious and it was all I could do to keep the car in the right lane. It was awful. But better than snow or ice, so, well, there's that.

4. DUDES. Seriously. How do you keep a baby in a dry diaper without stopping every 11 seconds?! The worst part was when she poo'd, and I stopped and changed her, but she hadn't gone very much, so I waited and waited and finally she went some more and I changed her again and got her and the stroller and everything back in the car, and back on the road. And then she poo'd again, 15 minutes later. So I stopped again, and changed her again, and then as I was strapping her back in to her car seat SHE POO'D AGAIN. ARRGHHHHHHH. When I do a trip like this by myself, keep in mind I only stop when I'm out of gas, and that's when I get food and use the restroom. I never stop otherwise. It was tortuous watching my estimated arrival time on the GPS inch upwards constantly.

5. The Garmin. OMG I love that thing. I was totally wrong about GPS, it doesn't make people less adventurous, it makes them MORE adventurous! I was willing to try different routes and stuff that I wouldn't normally have done because I had that safety. Need a GPS of my own.

6. Jellybean working the Duty-Free women. She was all smiles and waves and cuteness, and everyone fell all over themselves to adore her and give her free stuff. Seriously! They were like, 'I think we have some little teddy bears in the stock room, can we give her one?'. I was like, 'Sure, if it comes with a bottle of vodka for mommy' (no, of course not, I was like, 'yes, thank you, that's very nice of you'). So Jenny scored this cute little bear wearing aviation goggles or something, that comes in this little backpack. Must be nice to be a cute baby.

7. The video diary. At some point in my stir-crazy state I decided to keep a video diary of the trip. Yes, while driving. And I had ketchup smeared on my face for some of it. I can't wait to get home and post it, you'll love it.

8. The hotel. It was nice, new and shiny and very clean and extremely convenient (and best of all, paid for with Marriott points). HOWEVER... we arrived around 10pm, and of course the crib wasn't in the room, so it was 11 by the time that was brought up. And then Jelly was like, 'Are you f'ing kidding me?! You think I'm going to sleep in this strange bed when you're lying right there, 3 feet away, and you haven't held me ALL DAY LONG?!!!'. And I figured the people on our floor were not thrilled about listening to her scream bloody murder at 11pm, so I pulled her into bed with me. Bad idea. Jelly was then like, 'OMG this is freaking awesome, PLAY TIME! Climb over mama! Beep her nose! Grab for the clock! Try to dive off the bed!'. So it took her almost 45 minutes to calm down, and then I had to wait to make sure she was asleep before I could sleep, so, well, you get the idea. And can imagine how restless she was all night and how that worked out for me.

9. Lessons learned. I learned that, while leaving late afternoon so that baby can sleep for part of the trip was a good idea in theory, it meant that I had the hotel problem above. And, more importantly, that I was then Trapped In the Car. Think about it - it's 9pm-ish, baby is sleeping soundly, you're chugging Pepsi and Red Bull to fight the lull of the road and dark sky and snoring child and soft lullaby CD when, all of a sudden, you have to pee. What do you do?! I ran through all the scenarios (locking the car at a rest stop and paying a stranger to watch her, trying to get her into the stroller without waking her, grabbing one of her diapers and hoping it worked for me). Luckily, I didn't actually have to pee, but I came to the conclusion that I would have pulled off somewhere remote and scary and filled with killers in the shrubbery and peed on the side of the road. Which was not appealing. So, no more late-afternoon-departures for us.

10. Jellybean. Really, is there a better baby in this whole world?! She was totally awesome. Never once, in all the in-and-out, even when sobbing from diaper rash, did she ever fight going back in the car seat. There were only 1-2 times during the trip where she got a little aggravated and strained against the straps, but settled herself back down and found something to play with just fine. She was good in traffic, and for the tough part through the mountains, and despite the rain and the fact she couldn't nap the second day. She was behaved during stops for meals and all 846,000 diaper changes, even the ones where I had to change her on the front seat of the car IN THE RAIN. She was tolerant of my music selections and my singing, and cheerfully ate her snacks without too much mess as I handed them back to her. And I had company for the trip! I was so busy worrying about what she was doing and driving safely and planning the next stop or event that the drive went that much faster. Once again I am finding myself incredibly grateful for my good-natured, roll-with-the-punches Jenny.

Pictures to follow when I'm back home with all my cables.


The Ta said...

That made me have to pee

Chris said...

Sounds like the Jelly and the trip were wonderful! So glad you were able to get away and have such wonderful company.

Totally agree with your last post .. driving is the only time I don't beat myself up for not doing something productive, maximize my time, etc. What's wrong with us?

Jellybean Mama said...

@Chris - It must be because we're Type-A's, plain and simple. We're driven to always be doing, doing, doing!