Wait... where are you going?
I was going to have a step-by-step guide to our vacation, but I figured it'd be better to just give you some distilled nuggets of knowledge gained along the way.
1. Driving until you're exhausted... which happens to coincide with 15 minutes after the baby has fallen asleep in her carseat... is never a good idea. If you choose this option anyway, when you do get everyone unloaded and into your third floor outside walk-up "hotel" room in six degree weather, do not be surprised if your teen and your toddler have crawling contests to help them unwind. Hope there is no one in the room below you. Further, do not expect said toddler to fall asleep for at least 90 minutes after everyone's in bed, because she could not be more awake right now.2. Giving a baby a teething biscuit while going through the hillier areas of Missouri is only good as long as someone is in the back seat with her to know that she's choking on it. Thank you, Corey... you saved your sister's life, even if you felt helpless at the time.
3. Watching your husband introduce your daughter to snow is beautiful.
4. Those puffy kids jackets that you hate because they get staticky and also because they make it hard to fit your daughter into her carseat? They are great as something to hide behind in a photo.5. No matter how grateful you are that your son helped keep your daughter from choking to death, you will be extremely upset and embarrassed when you walk in a room to find him rifling through your in-laws belongs. Quadruple those feelings when you discover what he's pocketed. Feeling lost and unsure of where to go from here comes when, a few days later, you realize that he just ripped a bunch of nude photos out of an art book at Borders, where you've all gone to spend some Christmas gift cards. Relief and frustration, on the other hand, come when the store manager accepts payment for the book, but you know she would have just let you leave without anything worse than, "Thank you for letting us know."
***Note: I don't have a problem, per se, with the nude photos. He might have been able to purchase the book whole if he'd asked.
6. You're never too young to learn about cards.
7. There's nothing like a full belly and Daddy's lap to relax a girl. There's also nothing like putting your daughter to sleep to make Daddy proud.8. Sometimes it's hard to remember the difference between knitted and crocheted... but with enough time in Wisconsin, you'll figure it out.9. Traveling is not fun when you're sick. It's worse when your baby is so sick, you're in frequent contact with your pediatric nurse mother-in-law to make sure you're doing everything you can. It's cruel and unusual punishment if your husband is also ill.
10. Changing pads are required for diaper changes, especially when traveling. If you choose not to use one, know that you will:
- realize that she just peed all over the bedding in yet another motel;
- watch, fascinated, as your daughter craps all over the bed, the diaper you were about to put under her and... yes, your hand because you were too shocked to move; and
- know that you are cursed as she pees all over you during an in-car diaper change somewhere in Denver on your way home... and thanks to the stomach bug she has, these are your last clothes that have not been peed, pooped or vomited on, so expect to spend the next 1300 miles or so in your pajamas.