We survived last night. Late driving, starving baby (apparently she loves to pound 2 bottles at 10 at night rather than half a bottle), tiny town – all of this makes for interesting ‘experiences’.
Dave learned how important swaddling is. I asked him to take the early feeding, and he said no problem. Then Tess squirmed and whined for 4 hours. 4 hours! The poor people in the hotel. I kept waking up to ask if I could help, and Dave just wanted me to sleep so he’d say no. Turned out he was fooled by the oldest baby trick in the book: the “I hate being swaddled” routine. He finally asked for help, and I had her asleep in 2 minutes. I’d love to claim some extraordinary baby genius, but I swaddled her. That’s all she needed. A swaddle lesson this morning with the same result gave us an extra hour of sleep. Daddy’s now a believer.
We also did something new this morning – an unplanned moment of normalcy. Up until now, Tess has been under the direct watch of one or the other. We tucked her in after a clean diaper this morning, and while I was in the shower Dave was brushing his teeth. Suddenly it occurred to me that Tess was alone in the other room – safe! But alone – for the first time. And we weren’t freaking out! Sure enough, he walked out a few minutes later and she was happily staring at the ceiling. Baby steps.
We hit the road at 9:30. Yes, that’s late.We went to bed at 4:30. I’m sure you understand! The countryside is green, green, green. No more desert! Dave is loving the big sky and the windmills, and I’m loving the broken-down barns. Tess is, bless her, absolutely asleep. This kid loves the car and carseat, to the point that Dave is worried about having to drive her around when she can’t sleep at home!
I think yesterday was the hardest day of this trip. We were tired, the final stretch was in pitch black, the landscape was fairly monotonous and we just wished we’d gotten a bit closer to home.
Today is sunshine and optimism. We’ll be sleeping in our own house tonight!!!
We got to within an hour of Milwaukee and Tess demanded food. She’s the boss of us to an extent, so we pulled over for her last meal and stretch on the road. We’re so close to home it’s making us lightheaded. Our family and friends, our home, our lives just an hour a way. This whole journey has been mind-bending and life-changing to such a degree that we’re feeling a little overwhelmed by how close we are to slipping into our comfortable little routine. Will it be simple or complicated? Will we pick up where we left off or will everything feel different? I’m looking forward to summertime hibernation to a degree – reaquainting myself with our house and hood, sorting out work, finding a nanny for the fall, and just hanging out with Tess and everyone we missed! On a limited basis of course, but a few more people will be able to meet our daughter. And let me tell you, saying ‘daughter’ never gets old!
It’s official: I’m writing this from our living room with Tess snuggling on my lap. The changes mom made are incredible. The house looks the way I alway dreamed it would, and here is this beautiful baby in my arms! My parents and friends Max and Patty came by to welcome us back, and just casually seeing people and experiencing home have been delightful. We are so cashed from the trip – all 3 of us! – that I think we’re headed for an early night. In our room. In our house. Tess in her bassinet. All is right with the world. 🙂