August 12, 2008

Road Trip

We took the brave step that all first time parents have to take at one point and headed out on a road trip this past weekend to Fredericksburg, TX. We have a 6 month old so naturally I was REAL nervous about this trip. The mapquest said the distance was 281.83 miles from Dallas or the scarier number for me was the 4 hrs and 46 minutes estimated travel time. This number jumped out in bold and stared at me as if it was trying to taunt me or something. I was terrified just thinking about it. All I could think was "this is a really long trip to take with a 6 month old". That number and thought continued to haunt me throughout the week. I was seriously a nervous wreck.

As we progressed through the week, my panic of the 4 hr and 46 minute drive increased greatly. So much so that on Thursday evening at about 6:45 p.m. I started to go into panic mode and began calling all the boutiques in town that may carry the Orbit toddler car seat. I'm not sure how much Lola weighs right now (We find out tomorrow at her 6 month appt...yea!!! So excited.) but I know it's a lot. As you can tell from pictures, she's a big girl. She basically protrudes out of her infant carrier which should last her until she is at least 1 year old. Not in our case!!! I think it's about time to go ahead and switch on over to the "big girl" car seat. I had always heard that you can switch when the baby is 22 lbs or 1 year old...whichever comes first. As my road trip concerns increased last week, I did some additional research on this and found that the orbit toddler car seat is good from 15 lbs to 35 lbs. Woohoo!!! Thank goodness. Problem with this is I wasn't able to find a store that was still open to go purchase the dang thing....I waited to late....bummer! So, on Friday morning, we set off with Lo in her infant carrier.

Luckily, it wasn't as bad as I expected (on the way down that is). Mornings are Lo's best time so I knew the earlier we left the better. We stopped several times on the way down to Fredericksburg and she did really well. Only a couple of small crying spurts that really were very manageable and could be taken care of with a bottle, toy or a kiss on the nose. Of course, it took us about 6 hours to get there (wowsers!) but we made it in one piece. That was a huge win in my opinion. Now, on Sunday, as we set out to take the much dreaded road trip home, it was a different story. How can I summarize was HORRIBLE!!! Needless to say, there was some crying. Not spurts of crying but hard core crying. Of course, I don't want to put any blame on Lola as I feel this was ALL parent error. I mean there is only so much you can expect out of a 6 month old.

First off, we didn't leave until around 11:00. Baby 101...don't drive with a baby in the middle of the day when there is no scheduled nap within the near future. Lo usually takes a nap in the morning and then for the most part doesn't take another nap until about 4:00 or 5:00 p.m. (mind you...this is when we were scheduled to arrive home). So, it wasn't the smartest move to take off on a 4 hour and 46 minute drive when we knew a nap was at least 5 hours away. Especially when she is squished in an infant carrier.

Baby 101....don't feed a baby cereal before taking off on a 4 hour and 46 minute drive. Oh my goodness....what in the world was I thinking? Actually, I know what I was thinking. I was thinking that maybe if we crammed enough food and cereal down her that she would sleep like a baby the whole ride home. Well, that really back fired (excuse the pun). We had two huge explosions on the way back home. Poor baby girl.

Ok, so with that said, the trip home was a little overwhelming for me and I'm sure everyone else in the car. Here's the worst part of it....I've found that when Lola cries, my nerves get shot real quick and I literally feel like I may be going insane. My tolerance for the cry is very low...sad right??? I try to practice my yoga and take deep breaths but that doesn't always seem to work. I've also started taking fish oil hoping this will help. I'm very fortunate that Lo is not a fussy baby and rarely cries b/c it literally makes me a nervous wreck. I know...this is bad...I'm a mother and should be able to deal!!! Over the past day or two, I've been contemplating this point. I wonder does this make me a bad mother? This thought really eats me up. Then I think, what if baby #2 is a crier....will I be able to handle it? Luckily, Clay is very good with the cries. I think he begins to see my eyes get big and panic face start to kick in and he always sweeps in and takes over. Then I'm able to breath a sigh of relief. This is something that I'll continue to struggle with...I only hope it gets better with time.

Overall, Lola did a great job and I am very proud of her. Now we're all set to take another road trip next week to Austin and another in September. Like all first time parents, we've learned the hard way and we should be experts before long.

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