Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Roadtripping Review

This is cross posted from Fleipaper:

So I've been more than a little home sick for the last couple weeks/months so I when I discovered two weeks ago that Adam had last Weds off of work for Caesar Chavez day I hatched a crazy plan to drive to Texas for Easter to see my family and because my sweet husband loves me he agreed to it. And his boss is my new favorite person for letting him have Thurs, Fri and Monday off at the last minute so we could pull off my crazy plan.

So we left Tues nite and drove straight through the night, I made it driving solo all the way to Kerrville and about 2 pm before I decided that I cannot in fact drive that entire distance by myself with no sleep, which is what I was afraid of. And so I was very grateful to have my sweet hubby along so he could take over and I could get some shut eye. Caleb didn't sleep as well in the car as I hoped he might. He did okay but the lights from the big trucks as we passed them kept waking him up. Making a blanket tent for him to block out the lights fixed that one but he still woke up and was less than happy every time we had to stop for gas.

And because I was pushing it trying to get to Houston as soon as humanly possible, he had a couple of melt downs. I've determined the trip is not possible solo in less than a couple days because while Caleb is capable of holding a sippy cup, he hasn't caught on to the fact he has to hold it UP while he's sitting to get the milk out. He does fine laying down, but sitting up in the car seat didn't go well. I think if I got the straw kinda sippies it could work b/c he's a good little straw sipper but the ones you suck like a bottle? He starts out holding them up, and then they fall down, and then he's sitting there trying to suck the milk out like a bottle, but its down in his lap, and the milk aint coming and he gets TICKED.

So you either wind up with the person in the passenger seat losing all feeling in their arm while they hold the bottle/sippy over the back of the chair for the kid (does not help things that his car seat is still rear facing until he's 1 year old), or you have to pull the car over, get him out of the car seat and hold him and the bottle while he eats. And since he's the world's pokiest little eater, either option takes a long frigging time. On the way there, since we were in a hurry we opted for the hold it over the seat option.

We did try drugging the kid with benedryl one time on the way there (don't worry we asked the doctor first) b/c he was having a melt down and we were in the middle of NOWHERE. Didn't do a lick of good. Made him slightly groggy for an hour. And since he'd gotten crap for sleep the night before b/c we were on the road and he wasn't cooperating about napping as we continued our trip he was just a smidgen on the whiney side. *ugh*

On the way home since we were in less of a hurry, we tried decided to try regular stops etc in an effort to have the child be less whiney. This initially worked rather well. Every 2-3.5 hours or so when we needed more gas, instead of just filling and going, we'd stop, get him out of the car and let him play, have a snack, bottle, whatever for 20-30 mins. That definitely seemed to help him be a happier child for the first chunk of the trip. But it added massively to the time the trip took. So instead of making it in about 18 hours or less, it took more like 23 hours. Which sucked, massively. And by the end of it, he wanted a break every 30 mins for 30 mins to be happy and that just wasn't happening b/c I wanted to get home some time this year. So added stops helped with happiness short term, but the cost of the time increase was long term not worth it in the toll it took on us and him.

So next time I make the trip I'm going to do the following:

1. The trip will take TWO days. We'll start at like 9 am after rush hour clears out, and stop in a hotel over night. And we'll plan to take short breaks every 3 hours or so with a longer break for lunch (the stop at the McDonalds with the big play place was GOLD).

Yeah I don't think he'll like two solid days in the car but I think he'll be happier if he at least gets a good nights sleep, and since I can't drive the whole thing solo in one go thats how its gonna have to work if I wanna do this trip alone. We'll get there sometime on day 2. If the kid is feeling cooperative it will be early, if not it will be later. Either way Mommy will have a good nights sleep and be less inclined to thwack people b/c she's sleep deprived and irritated.

2. We need a better sippy cup strap. Sippy Pal looks awesome but its not yet available in stores and I didn't have time to order one online, so I grabbed some generic piece of crap sippy strap from the store and yeah it was worthless. Too short and a pain in the butt to use.

3. Caleb needs to be big enough to be a in a forward facing car seat, which he will be in another month and a half. I think this will help with a lot of my issues. Also when he gets bigger I see a portable dvd player being a god send.

4. Caleb either needs to catch on to holding the sippy cup UP to drink from it, or we need to switch to the straw variety.

5. If at all possible, the length of time between the to and from trips will be MUCH longer. 4 days was not long enough of a break between LONG drives. In the future, 10-14 days sounds MUCH better.

In other news, the time in Houston was WONDERFUL. It was so good to see my family and get spoiled rotten for a few days. And it was so dang cute to watch Caleb play with my nieces. He and Leah are just 18 months apart and they both thought the other was the coolest thing ever so they played and jabbered at each other in baby talk. It was so cute. I loved it.

Having the time in Houston be so wonderful has not helped my homesickness one bit though. lol. Now I want to move more than ever. I think I'm going to start searching job listings in Texas. lol.

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