Tuesday, August 25, 2009

On the Road Again

We packed Gillian up this past Saturday morning and headed to Pensacola to celebrate my and my father's birthdays. Although this was not our first visit to Pensacola with Gillian, this was to be our first overnight trip with her. Packing for various trips, whether short or extended, has always given me fits. I tend to over-pack in an attempt to anticipate every possible wardrobe scenario. Most of the time I return home with clothes wrinkled from my bag instead of from wear.

I figured that packing for an infant wouldn't be nearly as time consuming---after all, they don't require much, right? No doubt my absurd thinking has made many of you smile, as you know better. Infants need SO MUCH! Bad habits die hard and I found myself unable to just grab three or four outfits for Gillian and instead took close to ten (remember we were only going overnight). We had to take her Moses basket so she'd be comfortable when napping and for overnight, despite my parents' investment in a Pack n' Play that is kept for this specific reason and is already in Pensacola. We had to take all the feeding paraphernalia---the pump and its tubes and gadgets, bottles, nipples for the bottles, ice packs for the already pumped milk, bottle warmer since the milk would be cold, formula, bibs, burp cloths---you get the idea. We packed up her bath gear---shampoos, lotions, towels. Then there was her stroller. Thank goodness we have a large SUV! The back was packed to the max, which is par for the course when we travel. We even found ourselves discussing the pros of Suburban ownership as we traveled down the road. We were so loaded down with stuff that Bret joked that we only needed something strapped to the roof to look like the Clampetts. If there is a bright side to packing for an infant, it's that I finally came to my senses and only packed the absolute necessities for myself. I'm still nowhere as efficient as Bret, the one bag wonder, but I have a feeling that as our traveling increases, the amount I pack for myself will continue to decrease!

Mom and Dad have tried to make it as easy on us as possible by purchasing many of the items we packed for this trip and keeping them at home for our future visits. Mom even purchased us a new bathtub for Gillian and one for us to take home (Yeah, I know, we're totally spoiled!). It's well known that Gillian loves her baths. Well thanks to Gammie, Gillian now bathes in style.

Mom and Dad watched Gillian Saturday afternoon, enabling Bret and me to run a few errands sans baby. And, as though Gammie doesn't do enough for us already, she willingly gave up a full night's sleep and kept Gillian in her bedroom Saturday night allowing us the luxury of sleeping through the night. This was quite a treat and was the first time I'd slept through the night in months. Gillian did well with Gammie, only waking twice for feedings.

Thanks, Gammie and Grandad for a great weekend. I told Bret that our visit home was a like a vacation. He corrected me and said, "Shannon, this IS a vacation!" Enjoying the extra help and company so much, we put off returning home until after dinner and Gillian's bath Sunday night. Mom waved goodbye as she and Dad reminded us that we're welcome anytime. Let's just say we'll definitely put their invitation to the test as we have plans to return home as soon and often as possible!