The life and words of Ashley, Erin, and Michelle

Pregnant and Traveling … with a Toddler March 24, 2010

Tuesday, 7:30 pm – We pull out an hour behind schedule (the imaginary one in my head). Proceed uneventfully to the Fairfield Inn and Suites near Chicago’s Midway airport. Cai kept up a constant stream of jabber that we assume was his commentary on crazy Chicago drivers, weird highway smells, and the drab scenery.

In the car on the way to Chicago

9pm (now Central time) – Josh brings back cold, unsalted french fries and CRISPY chicken instead of grilled from McDonalds, bringing down a hungry pregnant woman’s wrath on his poor almost-bald-now head. Cai tries to see how many times he can almost fall off the bed before mommy has a heart attack and screams I’M HUNGRY SO YOU BETTER WATCH HIM at daddy.

10pm – Cai’s not impressed with the hotel playpen, and knows that since he can see mommy and daddy, they can see him, too, and surely they won’t leave him in there?! Mommy remembers why Cai has his own bedroom at home. Everyone finally falls asleep and he only wakes up a couple times.

Wednesday (barely) 3:28 am – The hotel phone rings, letting us know that breakfast is served from 6:30-9:30. Still haven’t figured out why they needed to tell us at 3:28 am, especially since we won’t even be here for breakfast. Mommy’s bladder is now awake.

3:30 am – Josh’s alarm goes off and the day begins. We somehow manage to leave not one, but both phone chargers and our car charger at the hotel.

5:30 am – After waiting in the cold for 20 minutes or so to check our bags and carseat, we make it through security, redress and gather our stuff, and hike to the furthest possible gate. Once I’m settled, Josh takes Cai and re-hikes back to the food court at the  other end, giving momma a chance to alternately stare vacantly into space and get annoyed with her phone’s Facebook temper tantrum.

Sleepy boys waiting to board

6:30 am – We enjoy special boarding privileges as parents of a young child. A very exhausted Cai seems to enjoy looking out the still-mostly-dark window and handles takeoff like a pro, then falls asleep for the first 45 minutes of the 2 hour, 45 minute flight. Although tired and fussy, he does pretty well the rest of the flight as well, switching between mommy and daddy and emptying the seat pockets as fast as we can refill them.

Naptime comes early when you're up at 3:30 am!

9:30 am – After deplaning in Houston, we walk briskly to, again, the furthest gate, sit for 5 minutes, and board our connecting flight to San Antonio. No potty break. Cai sleeps the entire flight this time, and doesn’t awake until I walk off the plane. Poor kid!

10:45 am – Mommy’s long-suffering bladder finds the nearest bathroom.

11:00 am – We snag our luggage with no difficulty, meet up with my Dad, and maneuver out of the confusing, construction-laden tangle of airport traffic. After a delicious lunch at Tiago’s, a cabo grill, during which we speculated on the meaning of “cabo,” Dad deposited us at his room in the Residence Inn and returned to work. We returned to bed.

4:15 pm – I rouse from my exhausted collapse to take a warm bath. Ahh! Time to tackle final planning for the next few days! House hunting, job interviews for Josh, zoo visit, and waterpark are all on the agenda.

Stay tuned for more!


Road Trips and Camping and Baby, Oh My! June 24, 2009

Filed under: Life in General — michellehuegel @ 5:07 pm
Tags: , , , , , ,

It’s official, I’m crazy. Cart-me-off-to-the-psych-ward crazy, according to my friends with children. Tomorrow we leave for an 8-hour roadtrip (not counting restroom breaks, nursing stops, and emergency i-gotta-pee-NOW stops, so more like 11 hours), and by “we” I mean me, my husband, my 13-year-old brother, and my 5-month-old son. The Motley Crew Travels to Iowa, Volume I.

What’s the destination? Not a comfy hotel in some nice metropolitan city with museums, zoos, and indoor pools. No, we’re camping. In a tent. On a lake in the middle of Nowhere, Iowa. Did I mention the tent part? Sadly, I’ve been told that tents do not come with built-in AC. Or built-in bathrooms. But I bought a 12-inch oscillating fan from Wal-mart, which I’m confident will protect the four of us from the 95-degree heat and humidity in a small nylon-enclosed space. (Stop laughing, it’s rude. Let me keep my delusions as long as possible, please.)

But before we can embark on this thrilling voyage of bonding, discovery, and excitement, I have to pack. I hope you noticed the pronoun usage in that sentence, starting with “we” and ending with “I”. Because I’m pretty sure my husband believes that a magic genie lives in the suitcase and coughs up shirts, underwear, swim trunks, and deodorant on demand. Although really, what else can I expect from a man who still swears that he has no idea which side of the closet is mine or what drawer to put whose pants in (there’s only one for each of us, and it’s been the same drawer for the entire time we’ve been married), so he can’t possibly put the clothes away. I am 100% serious. Apparently finding clothes to wear and putting them away are two entirely separate and completely unrelated skills.

Rant over. Back to the packing, which I’ve been working on for the last two days and still have not finished. I never dreamed how much stuff babies require for a 4-day trip. And I’m paranoid about forgetting something crucial, like my cell phone charger or diapers. I have a list (actually multiple lists) on my phone, which I refer to obsessively every 5 minutes because my brain is about as reliable as our older-than-me van with 200,000 miles on it. I’ve gathered almost everything into our living room, so if Josh wants to watch TV tonight he’ll have to perch on top of the pool floaty, towels, diapers, paper plates, and various clothing items. The main issue now is fitting everything into our Pontiac Sunfire (with freshly repaired AC – YAY!!), while leaving 10-inch-wide spots for our behinds. I hope Tim (my brother) is okay with holding a cooler on his lap…

Wonder why I’m attempting this? My mom’s side of the family has a big family-reunion shindig every year and this is the 5th anniversary with t-shirts and everything, so we’re the Michigan family branch ambassadors. Doesn’t really answer the question of why we couldn’t reunite at a nice Marriott hotel in Florida in, like, February instead of a blazing-hot Iowa campground in June, but that’s my family for ya.

So there’s the when, where, why, and how of our weekend excursion. Pray that we all return in one piece, don’t leave the baby or my brother, and remember everything important. I’ll try to update while we’re there, or maybe even in the car if I get bored.

I truly hope to talk to you all again, but if I disappear permanently, call the Iowa National Guard and tell them I’m lost in a cow pasture somewhere on Highway 80…