1653 Reasons To Be Happy

Our trip up North lasted for a mere 199 hours and logged 1,653 miles in the car and I am so thankful because apparently we have two little road warriors in our family.

Both the trip up and the trip back down lasted approximately 15 hours each. On the way home we decided to forgo any petri dish biological experimental accommodations and just muscle through the entire trip, so we left earlier in the morning.

The trip was actually pretty uneventful. Grace would wake up to eat and whenever we were out of the car and sleep as soon as we got back in. Nolin sang songs and probably used up his monthly quota of iPad time.

I am not ashamed to admit that I used to judge parents who handed their kids a game player or portable DVD player. I thought, why wouldn’t you spend the time talking to your kids instead of letting them veg out. Well at 2.5 years old, Nolin doesn’t really have a 15 hour repertoire of material and insight to discuss with his parents, nor is he that interested in ours.

I didn’t love that he spent probably 6 hours on the iPad, but hey he did start teaching himself sign language with an app, so it wasn’t all Jake and the Neverland Pirates or Dora the Explorer. So thank you Apple, for helping to make our trip a little bit easier (I guess there truly is an app for that).

It also helped that on the way home we hit the playground circuit. Stopping at locations that had playgrounds so Nolin could run around and exhaust some of his excess energy. Jenn noted on the way home that there is no way that either of our children would be as calm as they were in the car if we were at home…so at least now we know they are probably up for whatever crazy travels we throw at them…which is awesome.

We spent Thanksgiving in the Outer Banks with my family and my brother’s girlfriend’s family which was a lot of fun. While this get together potentially had the makings for another Farley Brother’s classic, it was simply nice and relaxed.

Jenn and I did realize though that while technically this would be considered a vacation, as the parents of two kids under 3 it wasn’t exactly the vacations we used to take. Even with extra hands & eyes, there wasn’t a lot of down time, until both kids fell asleep which was usually quickly followed by the two of us.

Nolin was thrilled with all of the extra attention and I was thrilled to be able to introduce Grace to my family. Just like Jenn and I, I think they instantly fell in love too. It’s a funny dynamic with grandparents…while their kids could royally screw up (and often did), their grandchildren are forever perfect in their eyes.

Nolin had a few brief meltdowns while we were there, but for my parents, these weren’t the acts of a child misbehaving, but simply the cause of something beyond his control. As his parent, I am not sure I fully agree…my how the roles have changed.

Shortly before we left, my dad was feeding Grace and holding her (just like Nolin, she found a favorite spot on my dad’s chest). After a little bit, he said Patrick, I think Grace may have wet herself. I turned to look at the two of them, only to discover that in fact it was a little worse than that.

Apparently it is time for bigger diapers.

I find as a parent of a newborn you grow accustomed to baby vomit, dirty diapers and other messes and rarely think twice about them. But as an adult not around new kids all the time, getting pooped on could be a terrifying experience. My dad just laughed and kept going…yep I don’t think they can do any wrong in their grandparent’s eyes.

We got back early Sunday morning with Nolin and Grace providing a 7am wake call. It was so nice to have a day to get caught up…but for now it is back to the grind and the real world.

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