Monday, June 4, 2018

Austin Family Reunion + Baby Road Trip Tips

Greetings faithful blog readers,

Brendan and I are having quite the eventful week, and after weeks of staying home and not leaving the house much, I was definitely ready for a change of scenery. It was a crazy challenge finishing up our grades for the online interim courses, preparing a new house/cat sitter, packing for three, and taking a road trip with a baby, but I'm happy to report we made it (though it took much longer than usual!) The occasion was a family reunion of sorts: a big gathering at my aunt Elaine's that included almost all my aunts, uncles, and cousins.

Sometimes in life, you get fortunate, and one of my greatest fortunes is certainly the family I have. It was so wonderful to see everyone and introduce people to the newest member of the family. Here's a big group picture:

 This is my dad's side of the family. For those of you that remember reading about Mimi, our much missed matriarch, this is just a piece of her legacy.

We did photos by generation. Here is my dad's generation:

My Mimi's children spanned over a decade, and the cousins (their children) span over two. Here we are (minus Julian and Elena) with our significant others. 

I'm pretty sure my generations' children will span three decades by the time it's all said and done. Missing Skylar here. 

Highlights of the day included Graham and Erynn meeting Willa for the first time: 

Willa getting to meet so many people and staying in a great mood all day (we were there for over eight hours!) 

My aunt Elaine's quilt she made for Willa. 

and the Red Sox beating the Astros (Note: that was probably Brendan's true highlight!) 

And now for our baby road trip tips: 

  • Leave immediately after feeding the baby. Willa slept for the first half of the trip without waking. 
  • Buy a car adapter for your pump, and make sure it can extend to the backseat. I thought pumping while Brendan gave a bottle of pumped milk would be a "big time saver," but the joke was on me...if baby doesn't eat first, pumping takes twice as long so...
  • I'm glad I also had my favorite breastfeeding pillow for stop #2.
  • If traveling with bottles of pumped milk, bring a cooler with ice. You can also add any milk you pump on the go into this cooler. If traveling with freezer bags, you probably want dry ice. 
  • Get on Amazon right now and order the 8 inch rainmaker. This will mesmerize your baby and turn a fussy baby into a sleeping one. We rush ordered this thanks to tips from my friends Lauren and Cher, and it was so worth it. We plan to leave it in the car so it doesn't lose the magic. 
  • Make sure your diaper bag has a changing pad. You can't depend on gas stations to have changing tables, but fast food restaurants with playgrounds are generally safe bets. 
  • Keep on hand in the backseat: pacifiers, toys, diapers and wipes. 
  • Be patient: you aren't living life in the fast lane anymore. 
But, at least you have the cutest road buddy: 

We hope everyone's week is off to a great start. Brendan and I are kicking off our official start to summer with a "secret date" tonight planned by Brendan. I've never been on a secret date, so I'll report back! 


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