Ok wow - I realized when I was posting the last post on play dates that I never got around to posting about our trip to Houston and I keep going back to reference Vanessa's fabulous post. So really, if you have read her post that she was very timely with, you probably don't need to read this one, as you are already well informed of the trip. However, I need to do a post of my own for my own blog records. Because at some point (yes, at some point), I would like to make this blog into a yearly book and this was for sure one of the exciting things we did!!!
And here we go.
December 26...the day after Christmas we are at home, our little family of 3, working to take down all the Christmas decorations and packing for our first road trip over 6 hours as a family. We made the 6 hour trip to Iowa earlier in December and Charlie did pretty good. So we decided we were going to brave the approximately 12 hour drive to Houston, TX to spend a few days and some quality time with our friends the Calcara's!! Hallmark closes down the week between Christmas and New Year's, so Jimmy and I both already were off work and the Calcara's had headed back to Texas after being in Kansas for Christmas just the day before, so it was perfect timing. We decided (after some advice from them on the trip up here with Arden) to leave at Charlie's bedtime on the eveining of the 26th. So we packed all day and got ready and after much back and forth texting with Vanessa because of the weather, we decided to leave at 7PM. My cousin was staying at our house to watch our dogs while we were gone and once he arrived, we hit the road.
By the time we got to Wichita, Charlie was already awake and crying. But we stayed strong and knew he was just tired and moving around, so I kept him in his car seat, Jimmy stopped for some caffiene and then we were back on the road and Charlie was back to sleep. And he slept. We drove through Oklahoma and made it to the Texas stateline. Then Dallas. At some point, Jimmy almost fell asleep so I started driving. Then I kind of got us lost...we turned around...realized I was right before and turned back around. I lasted driving for like an hour and a half and then had to stop and get some gum and sunflower seeds at a gas station. I haven't had any caffeine (I'm crazy, right??) since Charlie was born, so I was trying my best to keep myself awake naturally. But then Jimmy took over again. Until 6:15AM. Yep, Charlie slept that whole time and it was amazing. Amazing I tell you. We stopped at McDonald's, I fed Charlie, Jimmy got breakfast and a red box to watch in the car for me and we only had about an hour and a half until we were in Katy!! Holy moly, best road trip ever with a 5 month old. He was perfect.
And when we got there - it was just so exciting!!! Walking in the door to their house this time not pregnant (because last time I visited Vanessa, we were BOTH pregnant but were so early we were both keeping it a secret. But guess what? Big fail because I didn't blog about that fun trip, but it did get a mention in this post) and with my little boy to hang out with my bff and her little girl - yep, it was going to be a good trip.
What did we do the whole time? Whatever we wanted to...but per the usual these days, our lives and timing revolved around the kiddos. The four of us hung out, ate, watched Arden and Charlie interact, comment on how cute and fun they are, hung out, ate, drank, and repeat. With feedings and naps worked in of course.
|Lots of sharing toys! And Charlie hitting Arden. Is he being a bully or a flirt?|
|There was lots of staring into each others eyes|
|Lots of dad drinking. Um...beer belly anyone?! Haha!|
|There was lots of loving on Hazel - she's just the cutest and sweetest!|
|There was more staring and toe eating and pictures!|
|And of course posed pictures - they are just too cute!!|
|The boys posing with the delicious dinner they made us one night!|
|Charlie LOVED Arden's exersaucer Christmas present|
We did make it out to dinner one time all 6 of us to a delicious Mexican restaurant. It's crazy to think that just 2 months ago these babies didn't sit up or anything, so we they were stuck in their car seats or in our laps during dinner - now they are both sitting up and rocking car seats at restaurants. Shows you just how fast things change!!
|Arden was not happy because her bow went in her eyes - poor thing!!|
|Just flirting after dinner (dinner was at like 5PM!)|
Seriously - it was the best trip ever. I have been in desperate need of just some time to hang out with Vanessa and talk and laugh and do nothing. It was like we were back in our townhouse in college senior year (minus Emily and add 2 husbands and 2 babies...). Perfect. And it was so hard to leave because I literally wanted to move in right next door and both stay at home with our babies and hang out all the time and go to the super awesome new Kroger together during the day. In a perfect world, that is exactly what would happen. (Just so you know, when I get really stressed out and think...man...I would love my life to be X...the "X" is just that + be a millionaire, right? one can dream....)
But then New Year's Eve rolled around and Vanessa wasn't feeling well at all. That's not fun in general, but even less fun with a baby and EVEN less fun with houseguests, so when she decided the party they were hosting was off because she didn't want to infect anyone...we decided to hit the road. So at 9AM, on 12/31...we set off back to Kansas. Charlie did good...we stopped at Chipotle 2 hours in for lunch and that might have been the beginning of the disaster.
Literally, we got back in the car and he wouldn't nurse. At all. So I got frustrated and put him back in the car seat and just pumped in a bottle. And that's what happened every time the whole way home. After trying to nurse. Not fun. Oh and then he screamed and cried. Like for 4 hours straight. No clue what was wrong with him. He wouldn't nap, he wasn't dirty and he would't eat. Silly kid!! Well, on top of that fun drive home, the weather was getting really bad. We had decided to make a pit stop in Oklahoma City to visit our awesome friends Courtney and Brian. They were SO sweet and made us some delicious dinner and got to hang out with Charlie. Well - Charlie was not the best sport, but we finally got him to sleep in the nap nanny in their guest room while we ate and were trying to decide if we should stay with them for the night or brave the weather.
Ultimately, we just wanted to get home so bad and after looking at all the national weather channel info, we decided the turnpikes looked like they were ok. Still not sure if that was the best plan of action as Jimmy said it was the worst driving conditions of his life and he had white and sore knuckles from concentrating on driving so hard. But FINALLY - Charlie went to sleep. We made a final stop in Wichita on the turnpike for gas and to change Charlie's diaper. Good thing he slept the rest of the way home because I literally used the LAST diaper and the LAST wipe. Talk about packing precisely!!
We rang in the new year driving in the middle of the night on icy roads. So glamourous. We need to do something fun next year to make up for this. Finally, at 2AM on 1/1/13...17 hours later...we pulled into our driveway. My cousin was staying at our house watching our dogs and he was so sweet to stay up and help us unload everything while I put Charlie to bed in his crib.
|Charlie was NOT happy. It was freezing too.|
And that was that. We had made it home. We survived a road trip to Houston with a 5 month old. People said we were crazy, but it was so fun and so perfect. We loved getting to spend time with the Calcara's and especially getting to give some love to sweet little Arden. It's so fun how much Charlie and Arden grow and change in just a short amount of time. I'm so thankful for social media because even though we are away from them, we still get to see her grow through pictures. Just cannot wait to get to hold that sweet little baby again soon!!
Vanessa and Chris - we wish you lived closer, but we had SUCH a blast and cannot wait for next time. And next time it won't take me 2 months to blog about it. And I will take more pictures. Like at LEAST one of me and Vanessa and one of us and our kids. #momfail
One thing that we did do - was put Charlie in one of Arden's headbands. And we decided he would make a good looking baby girl too. We are horrible. And even worse, we documented it. I'm sorry 10 year old Charlie - but you are just too cute! And the weird thing that happened? When I putting you down to nap one time you looked up at me...and all I saw was myself as a baby. It was crazy. So I had my mom send me a baby picture and check it out. I think we look alike. Love it. So glad we have these babes now to keep us entertained!!!