Faced with two daunting (for me) options last week, I chose the path more traveled. I could either stay home with the little man while Jason was on business for five days, or pack up the baby gear and head to Chicago for some time with the grandparents–hardly a decision when I conceived of possible sleepless nights and a lack of adult interaction for nearly a week (no thank you!). So I juggled baby items and bags and countless diapers and wipes on Monday morning while Hank napped, then settled him into his car seat for the three+ hour trek, said multiple prayers and hit the road. If you know me, you know I loathe driving (especially long distances), and the idea of taking a trip with our four month old didn’t get me overly excited. Still, I wanted to know I was up to the challenge.
Aside from being the only set of hands available when I stopped for a bathroom break mid-drive, the trip was relatively uneventful. Henry dutifully obliged as I traipsed through Walgreens to find a non-gas station, non-McDonald’s lavatory option, then was changed, fed and back in his seat without a fuss not thirty minutes later. He slept like a champion, only causing me mild grief all schlumped over in the car seat for a majority of the long ride. Today he seems no worse for the wear.
We first made our way to the northern suburbs, arriving early afternoon at grandparent destination numero uno. With enough time to unpack necessities and eat before Grandpa Ed got home from work, we were feeling pretty good. From here, I knew there’d be no shortage of hands to help with the little guy in most cases. Car rides to and fro were mine to handle, but the stops in between? Grandparent city!
From Grandpa and Grandma H’s on Monday evening and Tuesday a.m., we visited Great Grandma Donna and then stayed the night at Grandma Teresa’s. After that? Grandma Susan’s house was our home away from home for the next two nights, with a second visit to see Grandma T and some time with Grandpa Richard, too. Hank was as agreeable as always, doling out smiles and laughs at the ready and enjoying all of the extra love only grandparents can give. With every set up and tear down of the Pack n’ Play, I gained confidence in my mommy abilities on the road. With every nap and overnight in a new place, Henry gained heaps of bonus points with his mama for being as sweet and adjustable as I could hope. I tried to maintain as much of his routine as possible, and in return, H tried his level best to be flexible for sure. Although only one night was blessed with solid sleep, I didn’t mind bringing the little bug into bed for extra cuddling; he is the best sleeper in the world when we’re cozied up together.
To say that our days out of town were relaxing and low key might be a bit of an understatement, but they were certainly enjoyable–watching grandmas and grandpas take delight in our little guy is definitely one of the sweet rewards of parenting!
The more days I have with Henry, the harder I fall for everything that he is and is becoming. He had my heart long before he was born, but goodness does he have it now! I’m constantly in awe of how attached I’ve grown to our time together, learning the intricacies of H’s personality, feelings, needs and interests while I discover myself as a mother more and more every day.
Before Henry and I headed “home” to Chicago last week, we spent a great night out at the beach as a family. I’m so thankful for our time together, capturing sweet moments like the ones below that (I think) say so much about who we are as a trio. I’m filled up with love every time I look at them:
better for the journey,