This summer my husband and I drove six of our children, including the newborn, from California to Utah to visit family. Several friends questioned my sanity upon hearing this plan and I do have to say it sounded a lot more feasible in November than in early July as I was working out the statistics.
You see, baby girl eats at least every two hours and nurses for an hour each time. Yup, that would mean stopping every two hours for an hour. It's roughly a 12 hour trip depending on stops. You do the math, it hurts my head. That's a long trip...
We also have two six year olds, one a very active boy, a 14 year old boy who has sprouted up so tall he can't sit in the back back of the van any more. There's the 17 year old girl (with the laptop that I think has fused to her lap) and the 11 year old girl who "does not want to sit with the six year olds in the back because they are so annoying."
So the night before I'm trying to organize everything to take. You never really understand how much stuff a baby needs until you try to shove it in the back of a van. Thankfully my aunt has a washer and dryer so I didn't have to empty her drawers.
I'm sleep-deprived on my best day. This just happened to fall on two consecutive nights that baby girl slept only a combined 5 hours...which gives me about 4. Sandwiches needed to be made, a run to the store for a cooler (ours mysteriously disappeared) backpacks full of clothes checked. (Six year olds will forget things like underwear and instead bring five pair of pjs) Diapers had to be counted, blankets, toys, bottles, formula (I was never so thankful for supplemental feedings but more on that later) The lap top packed safely--I'd planned to work while on vacation...more on that later too--as well as video and still cameras... my head was buzzing trying to remember everything and reminding myself that we weren't going to Egypt, but to a place that had Targets and Wincos... But, and this is a big but, there is hours of desert between here and there. I added two gallons of water just in case.
We packed snacks for the trip. I nixed the candy and cookies and donuts my husband was leaning toward and instead got fruit snacks and graham crackers. It's hard enough to be stuck in a house with sugar-high kids let alone a van.
My husband wanted to leave at 6 am. The baby usually wakes up around then to eat so I was encouraging him to plan on 6:30 at the earliest.
It was after 1 when I finally crawled into bed.
To be continued (sorry baby is awake and hungry) : )