Last week, my mom, H and I took a little trip over to visit Hubby's grandparents and to explore the beautiful bounty that is Ikea! Road trips used to be so much easier when he was younger, would sleep the entire time and I would have to wake him up to nurse every 2-3 hours. Nowadays road trips aren't quite as easy! As long as someone is sitting in the back reading or singing to him, he is totally fine, but the whole 'being-confined-to-a-rear-facing-car-seat' thing is definitely not his favorite. I'm hoping the more I bring him with me on road trips, the more he'll get used to and enjoy them.
Our first stop was the Pendleton Woolen Mills. In case no one had told you yet, shopping with a mobile toddler is a completely. different. ball game. I wanted to let him stretch his legs out after being in the car for over 3 hours - so stupid on my part! Not only were there a plethora of things folded nicely at his level, but there were aisles and bins galore, all of which are super fun to run around and attempt to climb into. Because I was running around after a tiny little brown haired hurricane and picking up what he left in his wake, I did very little looking and shopping (which was probably a good thing in retrospect considering how overboard I went at Ikea). I'm pretty sure the sales people were beyond happy to see us leave.
One good thing about road trips? He is usually so exhausted from fighting sleep all day that he crashes hard and sleeps awesomely!
After some breakfast with Hubby's grandparents, we ventured out to Ikea! H stayed true to his Swedish roots and devoured most of my meatballs and lingonberry sauce, however, was not as excited as we were to peruse each and every single aisle and piece of furniture. We ended up walking around for almost SIX hours. Six. Hours. 360 minutes. 21600 seconds. My knees are still hurting! After about 3 hours, I couldn't form complete sentences, and we ended up forgetting the only actual things we had made the trip for, so we ended up having to go back two days later to finish shopping.
This was taken after we took Hubby's grandparents out to dinner after Ikea - it cracks me up every time I look at it and is the quintessential explanation of toddler life. His shirt is soaking wet with water he insisted on drinking by himself (and consequently spilled), he's missing a shoe that he took off at dinner and threw at me and then proceeded to scream when I tried to put it on, and he has applesauce, pasta sauce and sherbet all over his face, shirt and shorts. At first, I tried to fight the crayon eating, water splashing, limp-noodling and then just decided to order a glass of wine and let him do his crazy little person thing.
Andplusalso, once again a crazy day lead to a hard nighttime crash!
Day 3 we ventured up to the coast and explored Cannon Beach. This was easily H's favorite day - it was his first time around the ocean and the kid could not get enough! It was so much fun to watch him stumble around and talk to every shell, wave and rock. After lunch, we found a bucket and shovel on the beach and once again H went crazy - he was scooping and shoveling and dumping and throwing sand every which way and loving every minute of it. I spent about half the time on the beach wearing him in the Lillebaby so he could nurse and catch his breath, and let him explore the other half. The kid was covered in sand and sea water, but he was in heaven. Dragging him off the beach was torture, but we had a Grannie and Great to get back to!
After trip #2 to Ikea on day 4, we said our 'Goodbyes' and headed home. I think the lack of naps and constant excitement caught up to H, because the drive home was rough. Our car was so packed full of Ikea goodness that there wasn't much room for me to sit in the back with him, plus we had gotten a late start and he was way overtired. We ended up pulling over at a rest stop to try to let him burn off a little energy and found these beautiful purple flowers that H went bananas over. He has now started 'sniffing' flowers by putting his mouth over them and blowing out two or three times from his nose and making an 'mmmmm' noise afterwards and its probably one of the cutest things I've ever witnessed.
The next morning was a little rough, as always, and it took a few days for our schedule to get back on track, but overall the trip was a great success! My mom and I have always done big road trips together and I hope as H gets older he will look forward to them as I did. Watching him be on the beach for the first time was enough to make me want to move out there - it was pure and true happiness, through and through.
Do you have a favorite road trip that you've been on?
Are you a 'drive straight through' or a 'stop and see the sights' kind of a road tripper?