The Trip Home

Ok so I'm starting at the end, but that's what's freshest in my memory. Prior to Thursday, the most eventful road trip I've ever been on was the trip home from Dallas where Amanda G. and I saw Rent. It was longer than it should have been, frustrating, but, all in all really funny in hindsight (I still remember the crazy gas station worker with 3 teeth - all of which were black - picking up the most ancient black telephone we'd ever seen, yelling something uninteligible and slamming it down as we paid for our gas at 2 am). Last night's trip takes the cake though. It had it's funny moments, but it was mainly tiring and stressful.

We left Ohio at 6:22 pm EST, and our handy-dandy Garmin informed us that we'd be arriving home at 6:21 CST. We used to make the trip in 12.5 hours. Since Natalie's arrival, it takes us around 13 hours if we leave at her bedtime and drive straight through. Well, it seems like each child adds on an additional hour because now it apparently takes 14+, no matter how hard you try to be efficient. So Natalie had no nap on Sunday and was completely and utterly exhausted. Mollie had just finished up a bottle, so both girls were basically asleep as we left the Buckeye State. Mollie was really good on both drives, mainly just sleeping and eating. So our trip was totally uneventful for a long time. We (and when I say "we," I really mean "Brad" since he does 98% of the driving) used to drive straight through when we made an Ohio trip. Thursday we had to stop at 10:30 pm just past St. Louis, and we were so glad that we did. We left at 1 pm, and we would have been getting in at 4 am, dead tired, but the girls probably would have been awake and that could have been quite disatrous. But on the way back home yesterday, we thought surely we could do it like we used to, leave close to bedtime, drive straight through, and after a decent night's sleep for me in the car, I could finish up the last hour or two if Brad needed to rest. No biggie, right? Ha ha. Well, it took me a long time to get to sleep in the car and then Mollie woke up at 1 am. So I had to make her a bottle and get into the back seat to feed her. She apparently wasn't really hungry, only ate a bit, then later decided she was starving, so she finished that bottle and I had to make another one - pronto! Around 2 am (CST now), Natalie woke up. She had been asleep literally the entire drive up until then - about 8 hours at that point. She was wearing a diaper just in case we couldn't stop when she needed to go (exits are few & far between in some parts of the drive and she doesn't give us much notice) or in case she went in her sleep. Unfortunately, it was the ONLY diaper we had left for her. Long story but we didn't have more due to some extenuating circumstances and she only wears one at night, so it should have been fine. So she was ok for a few minutes, but we had stopped for Brad to use the rest room, and Natalie started telling me, "Nanny wan owwwwwt." in this sad voice. As soon as Brad got back to the car, he got her out and took her on a little adventure to use the potty. Her diaper was wet (noooo!), so it had to be tossed and she was without one for the rest of the drive! She was still excited to be out of the car, so Brad let her pick out a snack and she got to carry it to the car herself, which was a HUGE deal to her at that point. She was soooo excited to show me her snack and happily munched on some little cookies for the next half hour. She started singing the Elmo song and her ABCs and was quite entertaining, but I was sooooo tired and I just needed to sleep. Every time she thought I was falling asleep, she started saying, "Mommy! Mommy? Mommy!!" Ugh! I finally told her that Mommy was soooo tired and HAD to go Night Night. I don't know if I was too tired to stay awake any longer or if she gave up trying to keep me awake, but I got a little sleep at that point. I woke up about an hour later because Brad had to stop for another potty break for himself, plus he was getting tired. That's when I started to get really stressed. We had AT LEAST 3 hours of driving left, and there was no way that I could stay up that long, only having gotten about 3 hours here & there - coupled with 3 really bad nights of sleep prior to this one. The obvious answer was to get a hotel, right? Well, I thought with Natalie having 9 hours of sleep under her belt and Mollie nearly the same, we were going to end up at a hotel in the wee hours of the morning, both Brad and I DEAD TIRED and both the girls WIDE AWAKE. Fun stuff. It wasn't like I could keep the girls quiet for Brad to sleep in one hotel room - or take them somewhere to occupy them at 3 am either. I could not figure out a solution, and I could NOT get back to sleep. Brad was more awake after his little break, so he kept driving and I kept stressing and NOT SLEEPING. So I finally convinced Brad that I could drive (I was WIDE AWAKE), and we switched places. That worked ok for about an hour and a half, but I was getting really tired about an hour and a half from home, and Brad kept waking up to have restroom breaks because of all the Diet Cokes he drank trying to wake himself up earlier. He had slept for about an hour and felt like he could get us the rest of the way home, so we made one more potty break at a very nasty gas station (there aren't too many choices on I-44 in OK in the wee hours of the morning, especially when you're in a hurry), and Natalie woke up again. She was in a good mood, and was excited to see "Mommy AWAIT! (awake)" I managed to sleep around another hour while Brad drove and talked to Natalie. We were just getting into OKC (still 35 min from home though) when I woke up to Natalie saying, "Potty, Daddy, potty!" Like I said, Natalie doesn't give you much notice and we were at least 5 minutes if not more from a gas station. So we kept urging her to hang on, fearing the wet pants and carseat that appeared to be imminent. Then after about 2 minutes, she said, "Uh oh." We just looked at each other. I was considering just staying on the road because it's not like we could actually clean her car seat and we were THISCLOSE to being HOME. But we were right at a gas station, so we stopped, and lo and behold, Natalie was DRY! Brad ran her to the restroom while I finished pumping gas. I got back in the car only to witness Mollie grunting and pooping. *sigh* So I was giving her a minute to get it all out, so to speak, and I get a text from Brad: "She is pooping." I was texting back: "So is SHE," when Brad and Natalie returned. We waited for Mollie to be completely done, got everything out to change her, and the power went out at the gas station! So I was changing her dirty diaper almost in the dark in the car! Fun stuff, Mommyhood. ;) We finally were back on the road with no more stops to be made until "MY HOME! HOO HOO!" I had a tiny bit of foresight to start warming a bottle for Mollie when I heard the first grunt, so I fed her that once we were back on the road.

The rest, I suppose, is history. Maybe it isn't as entertaining of a story as I thought it would be, and I'm sure I left out lots of things I meant to mention, but this is all I've got at this point. I'm spent! I'd love to go take a nap, but I just don't see that happening. At least both girls are asleep again. Hoo hoo!

OK I just remembered a couple more things!

1 - I got stuck behind a huge charter bus going THIRTY mph (speed limit was 75) because they were afraid to PASS the sweeper followed by a police car in the right lane. Hel-looooo! I'm sure 45 would be sufficiently slow and yet still fast enough to get by them. Are you planning on driving BESIDE the sweeper ALL night?

2 - Just when Brad fell asleep, it started to sprinkle/mist. On our filthy bug-spattered windshield. With our we-just-figured-out-we-need-to-replace-them wiper blades. Fun. :-/ *sigh*

1 comment:

  1. That reminds me of my Kansas City trip last month with the boys! I ended up getting 2 hours of sleep (Aaron cried most of the night and wanted to stay awake), and then after my PKD walk I ended up driving home on those 2 hours... And people tell me that KC trip should only be 5 hours.. it was 8 there 7 back.. and that was with only stopping a total of maybe 45 minutes worth! I just got to the point where I threw bottles at them and kept driving... gotta love road trips!