Wednesday, June 7, 2017

2nd Annual #MamaBabiesRoadTrip

Caroline, Duncan and I left last Tuesday morning and over the next six days drove 2,053 miles through eight states. We visited family and friends in Birmingham, Senatobia, Searcy, Petit Jean State Park, Nashville and Murfressboro.


Overall, it was a blast! In full disclosure, I did spend the day after we got back basically in the bed from exhaustion and a knot in my back. But I blame the knot on the drive from Knoxville to Asheville which is gorgeous but nerve wrecking as it's straight through the Smokey Mountains. Plus it was raining which never helps!

Our first stop was to visit sweet Poppy who was in the hospital at Children's in Birmingham. C and D stayed with a sitter at Sis' house. We are all so thankful that she is better and is now at home recovering! We got back in the car and made it to Senatobia in time for supper. Elizabeth Magee was already there and Caroline was so happy to see "GeeGee." I was pretty happy to see her too!

Rhetta came to visit and stayed for supper. I've decided Duncan's cowlick comes from Net. Caroline was too busy running around Friday evening to pause for a picture! Becca, Martin and Olivia came to visit Wednesday morning - Martin has just finished Kindergarten too and he and EM had a big time. We walked to the library and then headed to Net's pool.




After naps we met Ryan's parents at the park for a visit.



And then headed over to Aunt Lucile's - I love this picture so much!


Thursday it was all about getting ready for the reunion! Caroline and EM rode in the car at the new Kroger in Hernando. That place is massive! We ran into Laura and Camille so that was fun!

At one point I was pushing the cart and Caroline dove out as it was moving. She landed with a thud, looked at me and said, "uh-oh." Then moved right on! That afternoon DeeDee, Jane, John and Charlie came to visit on their way to Memphis. Jane just ran right into my arms. She's the sweetest thing. We walked over to Thomas's to see his train. Duncan loved it until it was coming at him!





Uncle Mark, Josh, Jordan and June came that evening and spent the night. The unofficial start of the family reunion!

Friday I stopped in Searcy, Arkansas to visit Ashley and her crew. I loved seeing their house and Natalee was just a year old the last time I saw her! 


I'll do a whole separate post on the Anderson Family Reunion and Petit Jean soon. So a few tips I learned along the way:

1. Stay full and hydrated for everybody! I erred in the side of being full because a hungry baby is an angry baby. And since we hardly ever snack at home, Caroline was easily bribed back in her car seat with a handful of puffs or yogurt melts. I kept coffee in a travel mug and cold water in my Corkcircle at all times. 

2. Audiobooks for the win! I really didn't expect C and D to respond so positively to audiobooks but The Napping House was a great distraction. It had an immediately calmly effect and usually put them both to sleep! 

3. Cracker Barrel for bathroom breaks are so much cleaner and easier to get in and out of than a service station. Plus, they are usually next to interstate and gas station if needed. You can also order coffee or food to-go and rent an audiobook!


4. Invest in your car. I love my Volvo Wagon and it was packed to the brim with a space left for changing diapers on the go (so much cleaner than any gas station!). The Euro Car Specialists looked over it for me before I left and got it road ready. Every time we needed gas I made a point to throw out any trash, and I tried to wipe out the car seats at each overnight stop. It still needs a good scrubbing but doesn't smell too bad.

On our way home we spent the night in Nashville with Elise, Stan and Celia. Who is just as cute and darling in person as she is in all her pictures! Elise and I stayed up way too late talking but it was so good to catch up!



5. Make it fun and be flexible. When we got to Murfreesboro is was raining pretty hard so Eryn and I decided to take the kiddos to a paint your own pottery place after lunch. We had fun painting, and Caroline and Avery just needed this bucket to have fun!


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