On Travel

Tuesday afternoon, Nolan and I will be heading ‘down South’ to visit my family for just under a week. It will be my first time making the four-hour drive alone, without Matt beside me. Matt usually drives, so needless to say I’ve been a little bit apprehensive about the whole thing. I know that someday, I’m going to have to make the drive with Nolan by myself so why not Tuesday? The last time we were down for a visit wasn’t that long ago at all, but I still felt as if I didn’t spend nearly enough time with my family. I didn’t get to see a lot of people I wanted to see. We went down on Friday and came home on Sunday, it was a little bit of a tease.

Nevertheless, I’ve been worrying about silly little things…like our halfway point stop at McDonald’s. How in holy water am I supposed to pee with Nolan in my arms? Usually I go into the bathroom, change Nolan, and then bring him out so Matt can hold him while I do my business. Then we have a little snack and away we go. But without Matt to hold Nolan, what am I supposed to do? Set him on the floor? Nolan is walking, and touching everything especially things I don’t want him to touch {which is anything in a public bathroom!}. I can just imagine the sort of trouble my little monster will get into while I attempt to have a quick pee. Any suggestions? I was thinking the stroller, but it’s huge and clunky and doesn’t fit into a lot of the small bathroom spaces. It’s a pain. Even buying a cheap 15 dollar stroller from Walmart isn’t an option because it’s not included in my budget {and it would come out of the gas budget…sigh}.

Anyways, so I’ve been worrying about silly little things like that. I will be borrowing my step MIL’s car, so driving that distance won’t really be an issue {HELLO CRUISE CONTROL!}, it’s just the silly little things that are stressing me. I’m usually there to entertain Nolan when he wakes up and is super cranky, you know? He’ll nap for the first half, but the second half he will be awake and pissed off that he’s still in the car seat. Then the squealing/screaming/yelling will start. Sigh.

But alas, it is something that I need to do at some point and there is no time like the future, right? I desperately want to see everyone down there so this is something I’m just going to have to deal with in order to get down there!

That wee part of me that is still a big ass suck was thinking of taking the easy way out and calling up my Dad, begging him to find a solution for me {road trips with toddlers are SCARY THOUGHTS people!} but I’m a big girl, I’ve got to put on my big girl panties and stop running to the [other] adults in my life for help when I find something too scary or difficult.

Anyways, there is a lot to be done before my trip down South. I want to clean the entire house because I can’t stand the thought of leaving it messy. I need to pack and get organized for our trip. I’ll have to borrow a cooler and get ice. I’ll need to make sure JDC’s car is topped up in gas and that the tires and oil are all good {and by ‘I’, I mean ‘Matt’}.

I also want to pay the deposit on our flowers, to get that off my to-do list. That way I don’t have to worry about the flower shop waiting on my deposit to order our flowers! Plus I wanted to make a few minor changes to my order {perhaps switching up my maid of honors ‘bouquet’ for a single flower that is different from my other bridesmaids} to try to lower costs a bit. I know, I’m cheap. In my opinion, it doesn’t really matter how many flowers/what flowers Shannon carries down the aisle; she’ll look beautiful. So will my other girls!

I have a lot of fun activities planned for this weekend. I’m trying to get in some time with everybody, but it’s proving to be a little difficult. 6 days isn’t really a lot of time! Sure, it’s a hell of a lot longer than 2 but…well, it’s still not ‘enough’. Being far away from my family is hard, I’m dealing with it relatively well though, thanks to Facebook. Facebook makes everyone seem closer, you know? That’s the great thing about social networking.

Anyways, Tuesday night and {most of} Wednesday I will be hanging out with my MIL, Kimmers. Wednesday I will be heading down to Kate’s {one of my sisters’} house to spend the night and Thursday we will probably go to the beach or some other super fun summer-like activity. Kate didn’t really get to see Nolan last time we were down, she had to work during my shower and when she was finally off work Nolan was super cranky and over exhausted, so he wasn’t much fun. I’m pretty sure I’ll be spending the remainder of my time at my mom’s house, chilling with her and hoping that my sisters can make it over for a sleepover.

I’ll also want to fit in seeing my dad, and seeing a few of my close friends {that are still local, I might add, before JD gets sad! You know I would see you in a heartbeat love, if I had the extra cash & a GPS system…}.

I’ll be heading home Sunday afternoon, because JDC needs her car Monday morning.

Travelling with Nolan will be best to do right after lunchtime, when he is tired and will fall asleep in the car. Matt and I made the mistake of taking him to visit Matt’s grandparents this morning, we drove nearly 2 hours right after breakfast and arrived at Matt’s grandparents house around 11:30. Nolan was cranky from being stuck in the car seat all morning, when usually he is running around playing, and he didn’t nap at all in the car like we hoped he would. I kind of had a sneaking suspicion that he wouldn’t, so I made Matt pack the play pen, but I still hoped the car would lull him to sleep. No such luck! So, we had a cranky toddler on hand. We tried to put him down for a nap after lunch but he was not having it: he was certainly tired, but I forgot to pack his giraffe. He won’t go to sleep without it, and wouldn’t, so we had to leave earlier than I expected.

Sigh.

Next time: I’ll know to bring the giraffe no matter how short our visit may seem.

And this time: I know {by experience!} that travelling after lunch is the best option for us. And so we will leave after lunch on Tuesday to go down and after lunch on Sunday to come home.

I’m still nervous. I wish I wasn’t nervous, but I am. I keep taking deep breaths and telling myself it’s all going to be okay: because it will be okay. I’m not a bad driver; I’m actually a really good driver. I can do this.

The way down will be the hardest; because it will be my ‘first time’. Coming home will be slightly easier, because I will have driven the distance to come down, right?

I hope I don’t get lost. I really wish we had a GPS system or something!

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20 Comments

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20 responses to “On Travel

  1. Dani (dansbury)

    Ok, the public bathroom thing grosses me out! I try hard as I can to not do it with Jax, but, when you gotta go… (and you know, since I’m like a single mom most of the time)… I usually just hold him on my lap (it’s gross, but the only thing I trust, those places are nasty). I put him in my left hand (I’m right handed) and hold on for dear life. this may sound disgusting, but I just don’t wash that hand because I don’t take it off jax the entire time I’m in there. I do everything with my right hand (please, don’t everyone hate me for this, gotta do what you gotta do). (really, my left hand does not touch anything besides my son…)

    as for the half way wake up (Jax does the same thing I’d say about 2/3 of the way) I like to go to dollarama beforehand and pick up like 2 or 3 things that he’s never seen before, that’ll keep him way more entertained than all the same old toys he sees all the time. you could try household things he’s never had (or hasn’t had in a very long time) if you don’t want to spend the money (Tupperware? plastic cups? a crappy cd you don’t want anymore? you’re a mom, you get the idea) the key for us is novelty. I also place his diaper bag within reach (but take the wipes out, he loves to pull them all out!), he can empty it out and play with everything in it for a few seconds. I also pack things like crackers that, depending on the car, you can pass to him from the drivers seat without taking your eyes off the road (although Jax is older than Nolan, I can’t remember if I did that when he was younger, he needs to be able to take them out of your hand when you’re not watching where your hand is).

    But it sounds like you’ve thought this through. Planning it during nap time is super smart! I know a 4 hour drive with a toddler is scary! As you know, my love is 4 hours away, and the drive used to freak me RIGHT OUT. now it’s just nerve wracking lol. Remember, worst comes to worst, you pull off at a service centre and let him run it off, or have cuddles (haha! if your little man’s like mine, that’s not likely) or whatever he needs, you have a cell, you can tell the people waiting on you it will take a bit longer!

    I know that was really really long. I hope it was even a little helpful!

    ~D

    Oh! and prehaps for the drive home, or another trip, this depends on how you feel about night driving, if you hate it, then forget it, but I way prefer doing these drives a little after bedtime now. Jax sleeps the ENTIRE WAY and there’s way less traffic. Just a thought!

    • Dani (dansbury)

      I feel the need to point out, the despite the fact that you said you didn’t want to be a category whore on the new spiffy site, you posted this one in no less than 27 categories! (this is not a criticism! I love that we have the Jess we know and love he like we did over at sarcastica!)

    • Holding Nolan in my left arm might work…if he doesn’t wiggle too much LMAO!

      I think we could totally do a run it off cuddle session at the service center! I’m planning on packing a cooler with apple sauce, yogurt, cheese & crackers so we don’t have to eat yucky McDs food. I hope the weather is good for that!

      And as for night driving, well that would probably not be an issue except for the fact of up North? There is TONS of moose and deer that love to cross the road at night and frankly, I don’t want to see one!!

  2. Some McD’s with playlands have “family” bathrooms. They also have a little chair that is attached to the wall – you can set your child in the seat – put on the safety belt and do your thing… Not the best option – but it might work. I wouldn’t put him on the floor – he could crawl away from you – not to mention the ick factor.

    Good luck on your trip – you will do fine!

    • Dani (dansbury)

      I have only once ever seen a bathroom with the seat attached to the wall and I thought it was one of the best things I had ever seen (mind you, of course it was when I was on my own, not when I needed it). If you can find a mcdonalds with one of those, go for it!

    • The McD’s enroute where we would be stopping doesn’t have a playland or a family bathroom 😦 but I think that EVERY bathroom should have that seat! That sounds like it would save me {and most likely: other moms} tons of stress!! That’s why I’m afraid to put him on the floor…they are so ICKY!

      And thanks!

  3. I know it’s gross, but if you go in the handicap stall there’s room for him to walk around in while you pee, then you can disinfect him after

  4. i was going to suggest the same thing as amanda- but mention leaving him in the stroller. it may be big and clunky but you’ll be able to fit in the stall and not have to worry about nolan touching the gross everything.

    good luck mama! i’m sure you and the boy will be just fine 🙂

  5. miss.words

    your drive will go great. i haven’t driven much with Tristan alone. mostly just around town getting stuff done during the day. but one of these days i will take a trip to my moms. i completely understand where you are coming from. does he have any toys on his car seat. that would keep him entertained. not by a lot but it will help.

    • 1st off: LOVE THE NAME TRISTAN! every time you write it and I read it I fall more in love lmfao. He’s so freakin’ cute too!! PLEASE say you’re planning on visiting Ontario sometime in the next year?!? I want to meet that gorgeous prince!

      Nolan doesn’t have any car seat toys, but we always make sure he has toys on hand. Which he’ll throw out of reach. That’s where my job usually comes into place; I fetch the toys he throws out of reach and enterain him with them while Matt drives.

      SIGH.

      Oh well, we’ll be alright!

  6. Tie the toys to the car seat straps, I have dummy clip I use for Logan’s stuff I tie the end meant for the dummy onto the toy and clip the other end onto the strap. If you don’t have dummy clips ribbons can work just as well if you tie them really tight. Ask in Macdonalds if they have a baby changing area, usually there is a toilet in there, or at least a table in the ladies you can strap him into for long enough to pee. If not try the disabled toilet and take the pushchair in with you. Check your mobile phone and see if it has a built in GPS most of them do, some networks charge you for using it but it would just be applied to your bill so it wouldn’t have to come out of your fuel money. Try a small basket or cardboard box, even the changing bag might work on the seat next to him, fill it with toys and junk he can play with that are safe, they seem to like rummaging through for something to do. Apart from that good luck you will do great. We don’t have a car everything is public transport it’s always fun (insert sarcasm lol) to travel with 2 boys in a confined space when there’s lots of other people around lol.

    • That could just work!

      I know that McDs has a baby changing area, but the one we go to has it in the handicapped bathroom and it’s still very crowded. Plus Nolan definitely wouldn’t sit still if I strapped him down…he has a way of getting out of those kind of restraints lol!

      Oh no! I feel bad for complaining lmfao. Public transportation with kids must be hell!

  7. I say your instincts are right, strap him in that enormous stroller and shove it into the bathroom. Also, FYI handicapped bathrooms tend to be bigger and can accommodate strollers.

    • Heh, ACTUALLY I bought the 18 dollar stroller from Walmart…it came out of Matt’s drinking fund, he doesn’t mind. We’ve been needing it for a while anyway. It’s super tiny and lightweight, it will go ANYWHERE and the best part is I still have room for other things!

  8. RubyTuesday

    this is bathroom problem is why all public restrooms should be designed like Ikea. There they have little seats for babies on the back of the doors (where you would usually hang your purse. Its kinda creepy for non-moms like me b/c you’re trying to pee and there is this empty babyseat staring you in the face and you start thinking about things like: when was your last period? why would anyone bring their baby to the madhouse known as Ikea?

    But thats besides the point. Good luck, chica! Remember this is all just a part of being a momma! Pop in a Raffi CD or whatever kids are listening to these days (crazy kids) 🙂

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