I have to admit that as this trip approached I was dreading it. I have a newborn that takes half an hour to nurse, and nurses every 2.5 to 3 hours. The drive was a total of 15 hours (not including stops) to get there. Plus, we found out that our part of the house (the apartment over the garage with plenty of beds) turned out to be a studio apartment, and I was worried it would be hard for the other kids to sleep through Judah's middle of the night feedings. Turns out, as usual, I had nothing to worry about.
For starters, the kids and baby were excellent in the car. At one point, my dad called and said that he couldn't believe it was so quiet with 5 kids in the car. I couldn't believe it either, especially since they barely watched any movies (to be explained later) and Brian had Rush Limbaugh 24/7 playing most of the time. We also took our time getting there. We stopped to see our good friends that recently moved to Virginia, about 3.5 hours away. We stayed overnight and then drove about 8 hours the next day, plus stops. We left around 10am, and got to the hotel around 11pm (Central Time.) The last day we drove about 5 hours, plus stops.
The second driving day did hold a few challenges and a lot of changes of clothes. We started the day with breakfast in the hotel where Genna poured a cup of syrup in her lap. :) That's my girl! There was no salvaging that dress, so she got to change clothes. Then about 30 minutes into the trip Drew got carsick while watching his new Curious George movie. Yes, that's why I didn't let them watch many movies because I didn't want Drew to get sick again. I wasn't quite quick enough with his puke bucket (he gets carsick so often that we always keep one handy) so we had to stop and change clothes. Luckily, we just had someone give us a water-proof car seat cover. This was a God-send because you could wipe it down with wipes and *most* of the smell went with it. Otherwise we would have all been puking from the nasty smell the whole trip.
Next, came a baby diaper blowout and another change of clothes. Then Drew peed out of his diaper and all over his clothes. Oops, I did forget to change his diaper with all the other stuff going on. Normally, I don't think it would have been a problem, but he was very thirsty from throwing up and he must have drank a lot. We did stop at Sonic and get everyone Cherry Limeades. Brian swore he would never do that again when it led to at least three unscheduled stops for the kids to pee, each about 30 minutes from the last.
By this time we have a million little baggies of disgusting clothes, everyone fell asleep around regular bedtime because there was no light to read by, and we decide to push through just one more hour to the next big city. We pull up to the hotel and Brian went in to check-in, when Drew vomits yet again, in his sleep. And again I was not quick enough to catch it. This is when I mentally plan to go to the store when we get to the beach and buy rubber bibs that hopefully would catch most of the puke if I am not quick on the draw. This time he gets it in his hair. Guess what that means? A midnight bath for Drew.
By time we got everyone in the room and settled, I bathed Drew, nursed the baby, and got in bed, take a guess what time it was? 2:30am! Judah was nice enough to wake up at 5:30am too. So I didn't get much sleep. I did sleep on and off in the car the next day though.
The last day of driving there was uneventful compared to the day before. Now for actual beach trip details...
|Aunt Leah and Hannah building sand castles|
We had a great time on the beach and I decided even though I was most worried about the baby infringing on my beach fun, he was actually the easiest. This is not to say that the other kids were a problem, but you have to watch them closer. Judah nursed and slept in the covered pack-n-play tent that we have. It has a tarp bottom and is perfect for the beach. It is especially good for babies under 6 months since they can't have sunscreen and it shades them. I would lay him on his back for his wake time and when it was time for his nap, I turned him to his tummy and gave him his pacifier. I had to do this because it was too hot to swaddle him outside and he can't sleep on his back or side without being swaddled for more than about 20 minutes. I even swaddle him in the car seat when he's napping on the go.
|Our super awesome baby tent|
|Judah hanging out in the super awesome baby tent|
The girls got in an inner-tube one day with Brian in the waves. He was standing with my dad and brother-in-law while they played some more. I was just about to yell that they were getting too far away when we all noticed the girls struggling. Brian ran to the rescue. Longest minute of my life. Turns out just Genna was having trouble and Hannah was trying to help her and had abandoned the inner-tube. The waves were just crashing over her head too fast.
|Isaac getting buried|
|Genna surprised me by playing by herself a lot on the beach. She's a people person to say the least, and usually prefers to be right with someone, usually Hannah.|
|My sister and mom walking with my nephew|
|Drew being cute in a hole dug by one of his sisters|
|Can't get enough of this cute guy!|