Sunday, August 3, 2014

Road Trip to Tennessee

Yesterday we completed our first road trip as a family of four!  Luke's family decided to do a family vacation down to Tennessee to visit his brother and sister-in-law, and all but his one sister and brother-in-law will be here at some point during the week.  And it's always a good time getting the whole family together!

how Jonah spent much of the trip

I had spent some time talking with my friends and on Google and Pinterest to get advice on traveling in the car with an infant and toddler.  The thought of traveling with our super fussy Jonah was stressing me out, and I wanted to do whatever I could to make the trip go as smoothly as possible.  I found a few fun activities I could put together for Noelle to do in the car, and we also invested in a DVD player and a season of Curious George.

One piece of advice we followed for the trip itself was to leave early in the morning so we could (in theory at least) get a large chunk of driving done while the kids were sleeping.  Door to door, the drive was going to take approximately 10 hours, and we figured if we could even get three hours done in the morning, that would be a good beginning.  We also estimated that with stopping for feedings, and giving the kids some time out of their carseats, it would take more like 14 hours.

reading with Noelle

So we left at 4 a.m., and me, being the crazy person I am, decided to go for a run before we left.  Jonah woke up for a feeding around 12:45, and I decided to just run after that, and then get myself ready to go. Once Luke and I were ready we made sure everything was packed in the car, and then got the kids ready and stuck them in their car seats.  Jonah gave us about 15 minutes of whimpering, but then fell asleep.  Noelle ended up being awake the ENTIRE day, aside from a 20ish minute nap in the early a.m. hours. (She ended up sleeping for over 11 hours last night.)

stopping to play
We met our goal of driving 3 hours, and then stopped to use the restrooms and I fed Jonah.  While I fed him, Luke and Noelle walked around the big parking lot we were parked in so that she could get some energy out.  Once we hit the road again, Jonah fussed for a little while, but then fell back asleep, and we were able to go close to another three hours before stopping again.  (I was starting to get worried that Jonah was going to sleep too much in the car and not give us any sleep last night, but he gave me a four hour stretch at one point, which is the best he's done in awhile!)

we made it!

That was pretty much the rest of our day- going for a few hours, pulling over to feed and play, and then hitting the road again.  I spent a lot of time sitting between the kids trying to keep Noelle occupied with the activities I brought.  We read lots of books, played with stickers, and had fun sticking pieces of pipe cleaner into the straw hole of a cup (Pinterest find!).

In the end, the trip ended up taking 13 hours, and went way more smoothly than we thought that it would.  I had spent a lot of time praying, asking the Lord to help us and give us a smooth trip, and those prayers were definitely answered!  We are thankful to be here, exploring Nashville and spending time with family, and of course, many extra hands to help with the littles!  

family selfie (and Jonah's true feelings)

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