Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Road Trip With A One Year Old

I'll admit that the comments on my pro/con list about whether to go visit my sister after her baby was born kind of bothered me. (Not to mention all the twitter comments.)

None of them were mean and I completely understand where everyone was coming from.

But it made me feel really defensive. I had good reasons not to go, but I felt like everyone was saying they were just silly or selfish reasons. Why wasn't it a major factor that we were going to be spending a lot more money than we had? Why wasn't strapping a screaming baby into a car seat against his will something I should take into consideration?

The plan was never to go to see the baby right away. My sister wasn't expecting us. We would be seeing him in December either way. Me not going wouldn't have been some major insult. The idea of going was a last minute crazy idea I had.

I just found myself so defensive....when in reality I was about 99% sure I was going so I was in agreement with them.

At the time I wrote that post, I already had reservations and an open suitcase that was half full.

But after reading the comments, I was defending the "con" list more and more in my head and I almost convinced myself we shouldn't go.

Adam read the pro/con list and started e-mailing me from work that we were not going. He was serious. Seeing it listed like that made him realize how big of a sacrafice going there would be.

I responded with, "But, did you see everyone's comments? We apparently HAVE TO GO! or we are the worst people ever." He pointed out that people don't know how precarious our financial situation is until we get our adoption tax credit...or how much Jayden really hates even short car rides.

I kept packing as Adam and I went back and forth about whether we should go. It was kind of one of those things that we knew wasn't a great idea, but we also knew deep down that we were going. By the time he got home from work, the suitcase was almost packed.

We left after work the next day.

It was definitely smart to leave in the evening. Adam drove and I sat in the back with Jayden. The first two hours were rough, but then once Jayden's bedtime hit, he fell asleep. He woke up a few times, realized he was strapped into his car seat, and screamed for a bit. Nothing huge, but I did feel awful wiping tears off his face. Poor little thing didn't understand what we were doing to him.

We got to the hotel about 12:30 AM. We checked into our room and saw there was no crib or pack-n-play like we had requested. I sent Adam back to the front desk and the man told him that it was in our paperwork, but nobody set it up and there wasn't anything they could do now because it was too late. I was so mad. They were well aware that we were arriving late and that we needed a crib.

Adam was exhausted and fell asleep pretty quick.

Meanwhile, Jayden, who had been sleeping for hours in the car, was WIDE AWAKE. It was like having a wild animal in our hotel room. Curtains were moving, lamps were shaking, snacks were all over the floor...and this little being was running all around yelling. Jayden and I hung out in the room until about 3 AM when I finally got him to settle down enough to get into bed with me. The bed was smaller than our bed at home so it was not a comfortable fit with all three of us in one bed. I was imagining all the things I was going to say to the front desk in the morning. (None of them were actually said.)

Morning comes and we get a call from my mom saying my dad is sick. Ugh.

Then she tells us that my sister is worried about the germs and she doesn't want us to see my parents at all before coming to see the baby. (We had breakfast plans with them.) It was a really bad start to the trip. At this point I was overtired, crying, and just wanted to go home.

But things got better once we went to my sister's apartment and Jayden got to meet his little cousin.

Although he was much more impressed with their cat!

He seemed to notice all his old baby stuff. And decided he could still use the bouncy seat.

"Mom, I wasn't done with this, why did you give it to the new baby?"

Me with both babies.

Adam with both babies.

It was really hard to believe that Jayden was ever that little. The only way I could believe it was because Ben was wearing Jayden's old clothes and they fit exactly how they used to fit Jayden.

I am thankful we were able to go and see Ben while he was so little, although my sister was still recovering from giving birth and getting the hang of breast feeding so it felt like we barely got to visit with her while we were there.

Adam, my Mom, Jayden, and I had a chance to get out of the apartment for a while to visit a zoo, which was fun.

Ahhhh...this is much more comfortable.

We had a lot of fun in the hotel pool, but I think Jayden's favorite part of the hotel was the other baby in the room.

The trip definitely had it's ups and downs and it wasn't exactly the smart choice financially, but I am glad we went.

One thing I learned was that road trips go much faster if you listen to a book on tape. I highly recommend Bossypants by Tina Fey!


  1. My oldest was such a pill in the car that we took very few trips for his first year (including anything that might be an hour+). Congrats for making it in one piece! ;-)

  2. I'm so impressed you made the trip! Sounds exhausting though - you getting a vacation from your vacation? Love the pics of Jayden in the mirror...

  3. So glad you had a good trip and that you are able to build early memories with the newest member of your family.

    As for feeling defensive, it is sometimes par for the course when you put things out there. Perhaps the list was more for your own benefit than the solicitation of others views on it.

  4. I feel bad if my comment hurt your feelings in any way! :(

    Jayden did look awfully cute in all of your photos. I think it's kind of hilarious that he was going for the kitties. Then again, he KNOWS kitties, doesn't he? :)

  5. For the record, I would have let the front desk have it and would have demanded a free upgrade! You have much more patience than me!

    And aw, what an adorable little baby. It almost makes me miss having a newborn.

  6. I'm a little late to the postings, but I definitely would not have said you had to go or were expected to go. I think things like that are just silly. You go if you can, and it was obviously hard for you to go, but kudos to you for doing it anyway. My SIL just had a baby and the thought of driving 7 hours with Miss A and getting a hotel to go visit the new baby makes my head sick. So we haven't seen him yet. Does that make us bad people? No. Would it be wonderful if it was easy for us to go? Of course. Will we see the baby at Christmas and is that okay with everyone involved? Yes. So boo on all the people judging your decisions!