Baby’s First Road Trip

Baby's first Road trip
Festival of the Grape

The title might be a little bit of a lie… Our first road trip was up to Oliver to visit my Dad & his family at the beginning of October. The only thing I remember about that trip was we went to the Festival of the Grape, which was awesome. My lack of a memory is not from the wine, as it may seem, but probably from fatigue. I’m sure I’ve subconsciously blocked out this trip. So the trip I’m actually going to tell you about, is our trip the following month up to the Shuswap, but just pretend with me that it was baby’s first road trip, okay?

Tyler managed to get some hunting in that fall, and we decided that Callahan and I would join him on the return trip to pick up the meat he’d had butchered and made in to sausage and pepperoni. We would also meet up with Tyler’s cousins for a night, so the 4 of us could commiserate in new parenthood (which are a week apart).

baby's first road trip
the only picture I took that weekend

The trip was good but the drive took FOREVER. Callahan wasn’t on bottles yet, so we were breastfeeding full time, and he hated the car. I’m not entirely sure what we were thinking. When you are breastfeeding you have to pull over to feed the baby. We tried leaving him in his seat and me leaning over him like a momma cow, but the milk just poured out too fast and he’d start choking and crying even more. He also shits fairly regularly, especially if he is all tucked in nice and snug back there.

I only have random memories of this drive; me leaning over him trying to feed him, recognizing it wasn’t working. Me telling Tyler to pull over so I could take him out and feed him properly. Tyler and I changing shitty diapers like a NASCAR Pit crew on the center console. Being stuck in construction and using it as an opportunity to sneak a quick feed or diaper change in. And SO. MUCH. CRYING. Our usual 4.5hr drive was more like 6.5 hrs. I tend to get carsick if I have to sit in the backseat, but I had no choice as Callahan wouldn’t chill out on his own.

Eventually I burned through my data and battery when we discovered that YouTube videos of The Price is Right would keep him quiet. I felt guilty letting my baby watch it in the dark, thinking things like, “this can’t be good for his eyes, or his ears… or his brain” but reconciling it with, “but he’s not crying”. It was hilarious to see, as soon as a clip would start he would stop crying instantly. Eyes wide, mouth hanging open, soother tossed aside, toys untouched. He was mesmerized. We watched it every weekday morning while I ate breakfast, but this was the first time it had ever made life better. When I found an entire episode we were golden. Bells ringing, lights flashing, models, music, everything a baby could desire…. plus peace and quiet.

baby's first road trip
a pit stop on the 1st actual road trip

We had a great visit and got some delicious pepperoni, but then we had to drive home…. I have almost no recollection of this either. The only thing I remember was Tyler saying Callahan and I weren’t coming on any future trips…

What are some of the crazy things you’ve done to survive an unpleasant road trip?

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Mom’s First Weekend Away

Mom's first weekend away
Quail’s Gate Estate Winery. We did a 45 minute chocolate and wine pairing. It was heaven.

In August I went on a girl’s weekend into wine country, or Mom’s first weekend away. The “girls’ included my sisters and a couple of our friends. We had a pretty sweet weekend lined up of wine tasting, beaching, and eating. All the things anyone really wants in life/summer. I happened to be the only mom on the trip. This was totally fine, except I couldn’t turn my “mom” off. And not the kind of “mom” who makes you breakfast and makes sure everyone is alive- I mean the “mom” that is a result of being tired.

Mom's First Weekend AwayI participated more than willingly and fully in the wine tastings, buying too much, drinking just enough. It was great, and then the group wanted to go out that night, which was not part of the original plan; but who cares right? Except I had exactly NO energy to do it. I wanted nothing but to go to bed, to conserve my energy for a full beach day and club night the following day. My sister’s were ruthless with their “you’ve changed”, “don’t be lame”, “you have to come”. And suggested a drinking game (they knew I’d lose) to help me  get jacked back up. I lost, not surprisingly, given my complete lack of understanding of the game, and now I was just super full and still tired.

I put my foot down, as I had nothing to prove and said I wasn’t going to go out that night; reminded them of all the activities we had going on the next day so they didn’t ruin it with brutal hangovers (lame mom move). They headed out, I tidied up and then went to bed. I slept in a windowless room, for peak darkness, and managed to sleep in until 8am, which was an improvement from the 6am the day before. I started breakfast and the coffee, and they slowly started waking up and prepping for the day.

mom's first weekend away
not attractive but definitely content

We spent the day on the beach, me literally on the beach the whole day. Exactly how I wanted it, minus the sunburn I got on my ass. The girls chirped me from the water, but I was unfazed; I had prime people watching, a perfect mix of sun and shade, and an alcoholic beverage I could drink without sitting up. Why would I move from there? I didn’t miss Callahan in a disruptive way (except for a few minutes when a naked baby about his age was running on the beach). When I did, I just demanded some snaps of Callahan from Mum.

The biggest thing I took away from this weekend was “OMG I’ve gotten Mom's first weekend awayold.”. I was so disappointed that I seemingly couldn’t keep up with everyone. I was just so tired and lethargic and had no motivation to push myself to be more fun. Let’s be clear, I wasn’t a wet blanket, I just wasn’t willing to go clubbing two nights in a row. Is that unreasonable? Maybe… I had trouble eating, I was so bloated I looked 6 months pregnant. Anyone else have the fear of waking up hungover? Ya, that was a buzzkill for sure. I knew I wasn’t pregnant, so I chalked it up to being old, and then as the day went on, I was like, “Fuck this, I’m not old” and looked at the facts. So I present to you,

The facts on why I was not as fucking awesome as normal:
  1. General Fatigue- working, awake early every day, always cleaning/cooking and thinking about the next thing on the list. Add in Commuting/working and regular day to day stress.
  2. Deathly afraid of hangovers as tiny terrorists don’t care if you feel shitty. This is now ingrained in me I think. Even though I didn’t have to parent hungover, I can’t turn off the fear.
  3. I don’t know how to sleep in anymore.
  4. End of summer fatigue- we hadn’t had a relaxed day all summer.
  5. I had the flu a week earlier- could explain the digestive issues/uncomfortable bloating- which is a major buzzkill.

I think probably most parents can relate to this, so if you’re not feeling as “young and hip” as you thought you were, don’t panic. You are still sorta young, and sorta hip. Everyone has an “off’ performance now and again. Just remember to take a day of rest before and after a weekend of resting… ha good luck with that!

Mom's first weekend away

It was a great weekend, and I’m proud of the fact that Callahan and I were both okay being apart for a weekend. I didn’t let missing him ruin my days. To be honest, I didn’t really ‘miss’ him; I knew he was having a good time with Grandma and PoopPoop. What I was disappointed with, was the fact I was physically uncomfortable enough to order a fucking salad when we went out for dinner… WTF?

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Our First Night Away from Baby

Many parents talk about the stress and guilt of leaving their baby for the first time overnight. This was not us. Granted he was 10 months old by the time we finally did it, so, I guess you can say we were ready. Prior to this, we hadn’t really been able to. Because we had lived in such small quarters, it had taken a really long time to get him sleep-trained. I think this made it easier to say, “nah we’ll just come home”, rather than inflict that upon anyone. We had spent evenings away from him, individually and as a couple. And those poor souls that tried to get him to sleep when we were both out, suddenly never questioned our frustration or tactics again. I’m pretty sure a few of them experience sudden reproductive organ strikes.

But like I was saying… his age most certainly made things easier. We had big plans for dual stag nights in Vancouver and we had booked a hotel downtown. We requested a baby crib, and made plans for my Mum and her boyfriend Jonathan, to watch him for happy hour until after dinner.

When I met them at the hotel, Mum took one look at the cage of a crib and its closeness to the bed and asked if I’d prefer for her to take him home and spend the night with him, so he could sleep in his own bed. Of course I hesitated, like all first time parents would, but I didn’t scoff at the idea. I looked at the crib, and thought about all the delicious foods and drinks I could enjoy, of Tyler coming into the room like a drunken bear and waking Callahan, and immediately said “Are you sure?”

In all honesty, that crib did not look inviting. I had previewed the menu for happy hour, I had previewed the menu for dinner, and I had just previewed me saying “oh gotta go now, baby you know” for the 15 millionth time in 10 months, and when Mum said, “Ya of course” she knew she had outplayed me. Dressed in my moderately best, she knew it was now or never, she knew I was just tempted enough, that I was just ready to party enough. So away they went, all his gear in hand, (except the formula, because I forgot it AGAIN) and Callahan happily kicking away in his stroller, hanging out with his Gram-Gram and Poop-Poop.

I let Tyler know we were childless to which he responded “Woah! We get to sleep in!”. I was asked a few times throughout the night if I missed him, or even the next day if I had missed him. And honestly I hadn’t, it sounds bad, but I think it was just perfect timing. A couple friends came by the hotel that night and were rushing to leave because “they finally have a night to themselves” wink wink. Jokes on them, we passed out cold barely saying a word to each other.

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