I have so many thoughts about our trip, but also so much jet lag and work lag and really, every kind of lag there is to think about.
Re-entry has not been pretty.
But I will save some of that for a later post, and look back on some brighter moments this morning!
Top Takeaway Lessons from Our First Trip as a Family of Five:
1) Even if you pack light, babies still require a lot of ($&@#. Thank goodness Josh did most of the wrangling. Here’s what we brought, luggage-wise:
– One big suitcase with ALL of our clothes
– One shoe bag
– One toiletry bag
– Backpacks for each kid
– Diaper backpack (also had other on-the-go essentials like sunscreen + bug spray and was stuffed to the gills)
– “Other stuff” (cords, book which I didn’t get to even crack open, planner which did come in handy) bag for me
– “Other stuff backpack for Josh
Now, that looks pretty reasonable, right? Even great? 4 bags (3 of them fairly small) + 4 backpacks?
– Travel crib
– 2 carseats
– 1 baby car seat (with base + stroller attachment)
It is clear that once the car seat years are over traveling will be muuuuuch easier. But we’ve got a while.
2) Me time / couples time will be scarce unless you plan it in. And we didn’t. And I missed it. Next time.
3) It’s great to stay with friends who have kids!! Don’t get me wrong – we had a wonderful time staying with friends both with and without kids on the trip. But it’s so much more comfortable to let your kids run around an already kid-proofed house equipped with all kinds of baby essentials (high chair = important at G’s age).
4) I still love room service. A lazy family hotel breakfast is one of my favorite things. I can’t explain why, I just love it!
5) Restaurants with play areas are amazing. We went to two, a pizza place in Seattle (Frelard) and a brewery/pub in Portland (Hopworks). Please, someone bring this concept to MIA!
6) Humidity is important. We had temps as high as 99 in Portland and it still felt better than your average ~90 day here. Who knew? (I know this has nothing to do with traveling + kids, but whatever.)
7) Jet lag is real. Like, really real. Especially when you add a superlate bedtime to a 3 hour time difference in that direction (ie 10 pm bedtime in Seattle = 1 am bedtime here). We are all really struggling here. Especially G. I know it’s temporary. But I NEED her to get back to bedtime readiness before 9 pm. And school starts next week! Thank goodness we left at least this week as a gap.
8) Seeing good friends is always worth it. We saw so many dear friends on this trip – my college friends, Josh’s college friend, and K + Dr S from med school/residency fellowship (looooongtime readers of this blog may remember them!). I would have liked more one-on-one time (sans kids interrupting) with all of them. Josh and I had debated bringing our nanny and in the end decided not to, to keep things more family-focused. We did hire a babysitter for our last night out but I hadn’t brought a pump or bottles so we ended up taking G with us to dinner. Thankfully she did this the ENTIRE time after falling asleep on the way there:
9) Car seat for baby on the plane = worth it. Our biggest expenses on this trip were our flights + rental car, since we stayed with friends in both Portland and Whistler (so lucky to have friends in such lovely places, and we hope to pay it forward somehow!).
I’m really glad we went. I am a #*$&@ mess right now. But we made a lot of special memories and had some really nice family time. I’m also looking forward to an adults-only trip in the future (including next year with my college girlfriends, and a weekend getaway or two with just Josh once G weans).
10) Heroes of the trip:
– Baby puffs. (Useful for distraction during plane rides!)
– Ergo baby carrier. YESSS. We actually didn’t use the stroller base to carry G at all! This was much handier. I found I could wear it for ~8 hrs before having back pain.
– Those rental carts you find in airports
– Being outside. Helped everyone’s mood!