[Warning: LONG POST]
It has been a busy week! Things worked out perfectly for us to travel and visit all THREE sets of grandparents in one week. We had a baby shower planned in Duluth, Jake had a work event in Nebraska, and then we decided to hit up Burlington and make a loop across Iowa. We did the Grandparents Tour 2016.
I was a little nervous about our car ride since we would have a dog and a newborn with us. I’m used to not stopping a lot and driving until we reach our destination. When my Dad drove me out to Portland, we drove about 20 hours straight before we finally decided we should maybe leave the last 5 hours for the morning. I’m sure though if it was daylight and not 3 AM, we would have drove the whole way.
With this trip, I had to plan for a few things: not knowing when to stop, not knowing how long our stops would be, not knowing how many stops we’d need, and having an extra bottle and clothes in case (which helped).
We also had to plan what all we would need for a newborn. How many clothes would I need? How many diapers and wipes to bring. Where would he sleep? Any toys? My breast pump and bottles. Blankets. Should we bring the stroller in case? We did bring stroller, but did not use. What about the baby carrier. Burp cloths. Pacifier (or 5 because what if we lose one?). I definitely think we overpacked. I didn’t use half of Wilder’s clothes I brought him.
Organization could have been better. We packed most of Wilder’s things in a big bag (think Thirtyone open bag) and half the time I didn’t know where anything was. Even with his diaper bag, there are so many pockets, I wasn’t sure where everything was.
I pretty much destroyed every house we went to. I had a car seat, rock and play, and tons of diapers and blankets everywhere. Maybe next time I’ll know how to pack better. We did run out of diapers and wipes. At 10 pm Wednesday, my Dad ran to Walgreens to get more. And we got more diapers at one of our showers, so that actually worked out perfectly.
What items helped the most (for you new traveling moms as well):
These are items that I have found and love (I’m not being paid/sponsered/endorsed by any of these products).
These are not just for traveling, I use these almost every day at home too. But on the road, were a huge help!
–Sollybaby Wrap – I used this around my Dad’s house for a bit and while we went to Kohl’s one day
–Snuggle Me Organic – this co-sleeper pillow is AMAZING – instead of carrying a huge pack and play, this just fits in-between Jake and myself in the bed and sits up higher so you won’t have to worry. He falls asleep almost instantly.
–Love to Dream Swaddle – When he was fussy from all the traveling or people holding him, I would put him in his swaddle and he would calm down. He loves to sleep in this so much, I had to get more!
-Window Shade – this just helped get the sun out of eyes
-poop bags – yes, like you have for the dog. I’m not sure how my parents felt about the diapers but we tried to put them in those bags and then in the trash.
– Thirty One Caddy – We used for diapers, burp rags, and changing pad to carry from room to room. That really helped. I even had it by the bed (and use it at home by bed too) for those late night changes.
-bath stuff – we were gone so long we’d knew he would most likely need a bath. And if not, it was good to have in case of a blow out.
-nail clippers – his nails were fierce and when he feeds he likes to move his hands a lot, but sometimes scratches me. My mom had buy some actually and we just left those at her house.
-Infant Gas Relief – you just never know when you need this. We used it a few times.
-Swing/Rocker – I am glad I had a sleeper rocker to just set him in quick to give Momma a break. My mom also had a swing at her house we used and he fell asleep quick in that too.
Our Duluth trip was only 2 hours so we could really see how he’d do in the car/carseat. The first two weeks, Wilder hated his car seat and I was nervous he’d scream the whole trip.
He did really well in the car to Duluth. He had his buddy Lincoln in the back seat with him protecting him and there were maybe a few fusses, but he did good. He didn’t sleep much, but enjoyed looking out the window.
Emily (sis in law and Wilder’s Godmother) and Leann planned a beautiful baby shower for Wilder and Mommy. It was at Emily’s new house and included a flower crown! She has way better pictures than me and I’ll post more on it later, but it was amaze. It was fun to have the shower after the baby so that everyone could hold him and see him.
I did pump to have a few bottles there, but did end up having to breastfeed after everyone left. I have found it hard to dress while nursing because I had to take my dress off and wrap up in a blanket, sit in Emily’s room, and feed him. It worked OK, but what would I have done in public?!
Jake’s grandparents (Fred and Judy) were also in town from Arkansas. We haven’t seen them since Jordan and Emily’s wedding in 2014. It was really nice catching up with them and spending time with them. We have four generations of Fahlsing men!
We also saw a lot of Jake’s family and his Grandma and Grandpa Swanstrom as well.
Wilder will be back up in Duluth in just 3 weeks while we go to NYC for Bridal Market…..trying not to cry….
Scott and Leann also offered to watch Lincoln while we were going to Nebraska and Iowa. It actually helped out a ton and we know he loves spending time with them and cousin frenchy Calley. Jake had to work while in Nebraska, so I would have been having to walk him/let him out and try to deal with baby in a new place.
Jake was asked to work an event in Grand Island, Nebraska called Husker Harvest. So, he asked me if I wanted to ride along and he would drop me off at my dads. I haven’t been out to my Dad and Jackie’s in quite a few years, so it was nice to get out there again. So instead of Jake flying, we decided to rent an SUV and drive. And, we didn’t get an SUV, we got a mini van. And while yes it is nice, we still do not want and will never get a mini van. It was only nice because a few times I had to crawl in the backseat to check on Wilder or feed him a bottle when he was fussy.
Both Dad and Jackie worked most days and it was nice to have cuddle time with my little nugget. I got to spend time with my niece Breanna, and nephews Bryce and Brody. Bryce is 18 already and a senior in high school. Crazy! We got some shopping done and I got hooked up with Husker gear. Wilder is a Husker, sorry not sorry folks! It was so good catching up with those kiddos.
Jackie and her friends organized a shower for us as well. Wednesday night we had our shower at Rob and Carol’s pond in Neola, Iowa. I haven’t been out there probably since my High School Grad party (2002 y’all). We saw lots of of friends and family. I even saw my girl Shannon too! We were inseparable when we were kids. It was fun seeing everyone. And eating all of the banana nut bars!
Since Jake was still 2 hours away, I had baby duty all night long. The first night he was up about every 2 hours. The next few nights were better. And Grandma and Grandpa Kipp got some extra snuggles too. It was great spending time with that side of my family. Poor Jackie, every time she tried to hold Wilder, he cried. I just think he was a little fussy and so tired from traveling with little sleep.
Another thing that happened was I received a phone call to appear on a national tv show. TD Jake’s is a new faith based talk show. They offered to fly me out to LA to appear. The only thing was they needed me to fly out there THAT DAY. Jake was still out of town working and I am still a new mom. I didn’t have enough breastmilk to store and couldn’t fly solo with a newborn (or at least didn’t want to try). So, they said we could do a Skype interview. We ended up staying in Omaha a little later on Friday, but Wilder and Mommy will be on national TV soon. All about the wake surfing. I’m hoping we can go on Ellen one of these days 🙂
I’ll let you know when that is airing!
And to top it off – what a great HUSKER WIN over Oregon.
On the way to Burlington, we even got to stop and see a few Kipps for a bit in Des Moines!
We finally made it to Burlington by 9 PM Friday night. It was a long drive. My mom had Mazzios Spinach Pizza – which is the best ever – waiting for me. Saturday we just chilled at the house and had some family and friends over. Jake and Jeff went to the Iowa Game. It was Jake’s first Big 10 game. He had fun, but was exhausted from all the driving. Iowa City is about an hour away – so he had to get up early and drive there.
While at my mom’s – we decided to find some of my baby pictures to see if Wilder might resemble me a little. I did find some (will post later). Maybe it is possible for him to look like me. I mean, it was my blood and body that helped create him.
Wilder got to see Great Aunt Pam, Lori, and Kris. And cousin Baliea and bestie Kristen. Wilder also got to meet a few of my moms friends too. Aunt Lori even babysat for a little bit so we could run into town and grab some dinner. He slept the whole time.
We are heading home today. We left my moms house at about 10:30 AM and are just now getting into Minneapolis (5:30 PM). He’s been pretty good this trip, but as we are getting closer, he’s getting antsy and a little fussy.
I’m glad we made the trek and that both Jake and I got to see our family in the same week!
xoxo Kolby and Wilder