Thursday, September 27, 2012

Elyse @ the Beach--How We Got There...& Back!

Well I think I finally have a few minutes to start our family vacation recaps, but with sleep training in progress there are never any guarantees...
Think we have everything???  Thankfully I don't think we forgot a single thing...except for Hubby's toothbrush!
I think the thing that worried me the most about driving 800 miles to Destin, FL with a 9 month old was the car ride there & back.  She has such a good schedule when we're here at home and I didn't know if we would be able to maintain that schedule on the road.  Would she sleep too much? Would she not sleep at all? What if she wouldn't nurse when we needed her to? What if she wouldn't sleep at night after being in the car?  I was definitely a little stressed.

Carseat check, pacifier check, snacks check...let's go momma!

We stopped for a picnic on our first day for lunch...this was a great idea even if the stop was a little longer than it probably needed to be!

Love these 2!

Playing with momma before we get back on the road!
However, as I should have guessed, all of these concerns were for nothing.  We had told ourselves before we even left that we would take long stops for meals, getting out and going into eat instead of just getting drive through and if needed, we would stop to give Elyse a break.  We scheduled our departure time & meal times to match up with Elyse's schedule as much as we could and if needed one of us rode in the backseat with her and played while she was awake.  This worked pretty fabulous until we were just a few minutes from our stopping point on Saturday night. We had plans to specifically stop at Jackson, MS which was a little over half way, so we could all take a break from the car.  She was definitely tired of the carseat & hungry & we didn't quite have her food ready for her...cue unhappy baby!  However, a little bit of food and she was ready to go.
My car had a little birthday somewhere in Mississippi I think...or maybe it was Alabama...
We drove the rest of the way on Sunday and arrived just after Elyse finished her afternoon nap.  If you were to drive it straight through, it would take approximately 12 1/2 hours to get to Destin from our home in Southwest Missouri...well with a 9 month old & several stops, it took us right at 16 hours total.  I'm definitely not going to complain about that.

More mirrors...this condo unit was perfect for Elyse!
When we came home, we had planned on making the entire trip in one day.  Cue another little stress out moment...however, again we made a plan and decided that we would simply give her a bottle of pumped milk for each of her feedings instead of taking time to stop and nurse her each time.  This worked like a dream.  Each time she woke up we simply pulled off long enough for one of us to hop in the backseat with her and give her her bottle.  This allowed us to get farther down the road much more quickly than taking time for nursing breaks.  Thankfully I was able to pump in the car to relieve myself and this plan seemed to work more easily for everyone.  We left Destin around 5:45 and made it home right about 8:00...we cut 2 hours off our trip and made it home in 14 hours...without any major meltdown from Elyse.

Soon I'll have some actual beach pictures...but all of this to say, you certainly can do long family road trips with babies!


Sara McCarty said...

I have been so curious to see how this went. Every year we drive from STL to Florida and I'm very curious as to how we're going to do it with a baby. Mac'll be about a year old when we go next time, so who know how he'll handle it. But it's great to hear that she was so good!

Mrs. Pancakes said...

Aww I love the picnic during your trip! Cute pictures!! Elyse is such a happy birthday!

Kate @ Daffodils said...

God bless yall for making it all that way in one day! We did 8 hours with the boys and I thought I was going to go crazy from turning around to try and entertain them. Hope your whole vacation was great though. I love the gulf shores!