This year’s turkey day adventures included a 12-hour drive to Philly.
Yes, 12-hours. With a 4.5-month old. I was pretty sure we were crazy for even attempting it.
(Our reasons for driving are numerous: 1. flights from our local airport are prohibitively expensive, 2. flights from our local airport require at least 1 stopover, which means at least 6 hours of travel anyways, 3. flights from larger airports might be more reasonably prices, but they require a 2 hour drive, which means at least 6 hours of travel, 4. we can bring the dogs if we drive, 5. I highly value being on my own schedule, 6. I strongly object to being groped or imaged by TSA)
We drove through the night, deciding it was the only way we could make the trip in a reasonable amount of time. During the day, Lil still likes to eat every 2 hours, and stopping that often would have resulted in my sanity going straight out the window. But at night? She’ll go 12 hours without eating.
The trip went well – pretty much as planned. Lilly woke a few times, but we were able to calm her back to sleep by singing the Itsy Bitsy Spider. Like 32,587 times. And while there are few things sweeter than listening to my husband sing his
off-key indie version of the song to our baby, it loses it’s charm after the forty-second time.
But! It worked, so we stuck with it. (And especially after finding out that the ABC’s, baa baa black sheep, 3 blind mice, and 50 Nifty United States did NOT calm her down.)
Probably the most memorable moment of the drive to Philly was when, somewhere in the middle of nowhere Ohio, I hopped out of the car to use the bathroom at a rest stop. When I got back to the car, I found Lilly half-naked on the passenger seat, Jason uber-annoyed pointing a water spray bottle at a whining Jezebel, and Barley, our 75-lb dog cowering IN A LAUNDRY BASKET FULL OF OUR CLEAN CLOTHES. I wish I had taken a picture, because I’m sure my words aren’t doing it justice. But just imagine a GIANT DOG trembling in fear in your laundry basket. Ridiculous.
So you know I was giggling, even though Jason wasn’t impressed. I was all, “bahahaha, isn’t that HILARIOUS! A DOG in a LAUNDRY BASKET!” and Jason was all, “not so much”, and I was all, “okay, but this will be funny at some point, right? when will it be funny?” and he declared that it wouldn’t be funny until we safely arrived in Philly. So it’s funny now, people. Laugh.
Our time in Philly went by quickly — too quickly, as it always goes. But we got lots of time in with family, and I’m certain that Lilly enjoyed watching her cousins as much as they enjoyed her. It’s going to be so fun watching the kids grow up together.
Jason and I became godparents to our sweet nephew Thomas. (BTW, he totally has the “say cheese and look at the camera” thing down.)
Lilly got in tons of Grammy and Poppy snuggles. (And I managed to work in some sewing time! Score!)
Thanksgiving was a wonderful meal, spent with Jason’s immediate family. In previous years, we had gathered with extended family, and that was always lovely, but this was so very nice. My MIL prepared a delish traditional Thanksgiving meal & once again, I was delighted that I’d be able to participate even without the butter. Soy butter is surprisingly similar in taste to dairy butter. (But I still prefer dairy butter. Big time.)
The kids got matching clothes for the event! And, after 300 photos, I have two in which all 5 children are looking at the camera. I think that’s what happens when you’ve got 5 under 4.
When I got my 300 photos loaded on the camera, I found the sweetest little interaction between Thomas and Lilly, the two littlest ones. Amidst the chaos of the older kids and the moms rushing in to fix hair or wipe snot or whatever, this happened:
Can you even handle the cuteness? Because I totally can’t.
Lilly met Santa for the first time when he made a special trip to her Grammy & Poppy’s house!
Unfortunately, it was almost nap time and she was a little hungry, so it probably wasn’t the best meeting ever, but we managed to get at least one straight-faced picture before she needed to be fed. And I’m pretty sure she passed Santa her hippie baby wish list, which includes swimming lessons with her dad, yoga lessons with her mom, books, and simple (i.e., quiet) toys. Or maybe that is just her mom’s crazy wishful thinking.
The trip was a huge success and has us contemplating a return in a few months. It also left us even more in love with our daughter than we were before (if that was possible). We’re just so amazed by how well she traveled, how happy she was to meet and play with her family, and just how easy she is.