Friday, January 09, 2009


We're back! It was a nice long journey around the western half of the United States, a good balance of time with family, sightseeing, and just plain chilling out/alone time. 7,100 miles of driving, 90% of which was driven by my husband. Our timing could not have been more perfect as we dodged every snow storm, flood, and avalanche. Our only weather event was constant rain on the drive down I-5, from Seattle to San Francisco, and some nighttime fog, but at least we got out of Seattle before they closed down I-5 (and 67 other highways altogether). We would still be there if not for Julian being admitted to the hospital, forcing us to leave early. And we flew through Flagstaff twice (both ways!) immediately after the snow had been plowed off the roads. I figured we'd surely hit a Wintry Mix as soon as we headed north to Kansas City, but it was sunny, dry and 40 degrees the whole way. We arrived home 1 hour before our daughter had to be back at work (she had been admonishing us for 4 days to "hurry up," claiming that she would be fired (from her $3.30/hr job) if she didn't show up for work on Thursday at 5:30...each time she admonished us, we slowed down and told her to relax, we'd get her home on time...we left no room in our schedule for weather delays, but she did get to work on time :-). Now it's time for an oil change.

We learned on this trip that Julian is a champion traveler. While it's true he got sick after receiving 1,000 kisses from all his "new" relatives (actually, his own mother was the one to get sick first), he is much better today. I think the long naps sleeping upright in the warm carseat did him some good. That, and the nebulizer (thank goodness for car power plug-in devices!). I also think that because he got sick while we were not with him (he and our daughter were staying with her other family for about a week), it helped her act more like a mother (as soon as we picked them up though, she quickly reverted to being the child again, which was very frustrating).

It was fun to watch his expressions change as he warmed up to each new person he met. A month ago, he did not know a stranger, but now that he recognizes faces and voices, he leans back and looks down his nose skeptically at each new person he meets, sizing them up first before smiling at them. Now he insists that they sing first. Any Christmas song will do.

While I thought we were crazy for traveling with an infant, now I can see that it was a good thing. There is no doubt that Julian was in charge the whole way. One night, on our way home, the three adults in the car were bickering mightily over something and he started crying persistently. Big tears! We were in Texas and pit stops were few and far between. My husband became more inconsolable than's "funny" how the most stressful thing about a baby crying is the pain it inflicts on others. Finally, we arrived at a Super Mega Pit Stop, the nicest rest area I've ever seen, with every amenity needed. We pulled in, got out the diaper bag full of pharmaceuticals, and went inside to determine the cause of Julian's crying (which, of course, had now been replaced with giggles and smiles). The three of us got to the business of changing diapers, taking temperatures, administering drops, creams and ointments (it was actually my idea, the "paranoid" one, to let him wear the new onesie he got for Christmas, without washing it's true what they say about that, by the way) , and ultimately focussed all of our attention on the Little One who secretly knew he had already done his job of settling our dispute, whatever it was.

And no post would be complete without a picture or two, although it seems the cameras were packed away for most of the trip.

Our Last Sunset on the Coast

Watching Timothy and Blossom

Sunset Somewhere Over Arizona

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At 12:35 PM, January 09, 2009, Blogger Lynellen said...

Glad you're all back home safe and sound!

At 1:17 PM, January 09, 2009, Blogger Janie said...

What a good trip! Glad Spartacus and Little Mom are feeling better.

Welcome home!

At 12:03 AM, January 10, 2009, Blogger Library girl said...

Glad the trip was good, the babe is better and all disputes settled :)!

At 7:55 AM, January 10, 2009, Blogger Sisiggy said...

When you think of it, it's kind of a blessing to have a baby along to remind you to get out and circulate your blood a little. When the kids were little, we'd stop every hour or so just to "walk them around" -- throw a ball or a Frisbee around. Yeah, it took longer, but we felt a whole lot better physically. Now we drive through to "make time" and end up achy and cranky when we're done.

Of course we're also considerably older...

At 8:30 AM, January 10, 2009, Blogger beth said...

Glad you're home safe and sound - I'm hoping that the brief jaunt into worried motherhood sparked something deep in your daughter that will help her start picking up the threads of primary caregiver for your sakes, Julian's sake and her own. Lots of hugs and prayers from here.

At 7:21 PM, January 11, 2009, Blogger Gwynne said...

Sisiggy, that's very true. But I don't think I've ever eaten so much Dairy Queen in my life (as opposed to walking about, we were usually stopping to find a place to sit and feed the baby)!

Beth, it did seem to have that effect. I'm just hoping it "sticks."

At 8:24 AM, January 14, 2009, Blogger Bob-kat said...

That last sunset picture is glorious! Glad to hear that you are home safely adn that you had such a good trip on the whole. Quite an adventure!


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