I didn't realize how consuming a baby would be. She's taken over my free time. Her toys dominate my living room. Her tiny clothes and blankets comprise the bulk of my laundry. She's even managed to take over the blog - well, in topic at least. I turned into that person.

But I'm ok with it.
It seemed to happen naturally - I write about what I experience.
Happy moments.
Terrifying moments.
Even moments containing mistakes of mammoth proportions.
Like last weekend.

It began back in May. Adam began a weightlifting program at his gym in preparation for a competition. We knew that it would be difficult for him to travel with his gym pals after welcoming sweet bae into our lives, but he trained anyway.

Somewhere between sleep depravation and sheer exhaustion, I encouraged him to register for the weight lifting competition in North Carolina

Now for some, this wouldn't be a problem. Babies often love to fall asleep in the car.
Not our girl. If you can count on something, it's that this will ensue when you strap her in:


We packed our bags and prepared for a 10 hour drive to North Carolina. Well, Adam and I packed our two small bags. And then I filled the rest of the space in the car with baby stuff. I think I carried a majority of her belongings... (now I understand minivans). We got up early and hit the road with our screaming child in the back seat. Much to our surprise, she fell asleep after only 10 minutes. AND, to top it off, she stayed asleep. Color me surprised because she giggled and slept off and on for the entire trip. We made the drive in 9 hours - seven hours driving, two hours feeding baby.

The weekend was grand. Adam's sister made the drive to us so that we could spend time together. We went out to eat, got to talk, and cheered Adam on during his lifts. Sweet baby girl was even awake and happy to see her daddy win second place in his weight class! It seemed like a magically perfect weekend, just prior to my return to work. Easy driving. Happy baby. Good memories.

Quality time with Aunt Jamie.

How we spent the majority of the day.

Sunday, the next day, we were slated to make the journey back home. Our day didn't start as early as I had hoped, but it was ok. We got the car packed, baby fed, and struck out. After a mere hour into our journey, we stopped. Baby was crying and mom needed coffee. Adam wheeled into a grocery store that housed a Starbucks and headed inside. Thirty minutes later, her returned with our coffee. Seriously.

Family selfie just before heading out. She wasn't impressed.

With a full baby and caffeinated parents, we headed back out.
Not many miles later, we found ourselves trapped in a car with a very unhappy child. She was not into today's trip. There's just something about my screaming baby that unnerves me. I cannot carry on a conversation. I cannot make rational decisions. I sometimes get short with Adam. LC's crying fits really bring out the worst in us. So as the baby is crying and I'm undoubtedly mouthing something mean to my poor husband about how we should have left earlier or dressed her differently, the speed limit changed. One little sign flew by our loud, tense car at 79 miles per hour. And right past that sign was a mean ole North Carolina State Trooper.

Yep. Mean ole man had no compassion for us, either.  Didn't even care that we looked completely sleep deprived with a bawling child in the back. With our very expensive piece of paper in hand, we pulled back onto the highway- at a very controlled speed, mind you. :) Since bae was still quite upset, we pulled off again. Pitstop number 3, counting our friendly po-po encounter. While I fed Lydia, Adam went and found us some food in a grocery store. We ate. Stretched. And marveled at how few miles we'd gotten behind us.

Soon, we pulled out again. Baby fell asleep. Things were looking up.
And then I made the biggest mistake of the whole trip.
"Hey, why don't we take a detour and stop at Clingman's Dome? We can hit the Blueridge Parkway. It doesn't look far."

It was gorgeous.
And baby was fast asleep.
But it was a big mistake for 2.5 weary travelers.

Scenic pull over, of course.

And then it went on forever. I thought we'd never get there! But we eventually did. Up the curvy road to the Dome. And then it began raining. And traffic got heavier because everyone in the world was apparently trying to see Clingman's Dome as well. When we finally found a place to park - half a mile away - Lydia woke up hungry. It started to rain. And we, of course, began fighting. It had been quite a day, and we were still a good 5 hours away from our house. With baby fed, we got out of the car and started walking. Baby was covered, but she got upset with it started raining more. With Clingman's Dome just around the corner, I presume, we turned around and headed back to the car. Crying infant in hand. Ugh.

The closest I've ever gotten to Clingman's - this after three failed attempts. 

So, back down the mountain we headed - along with a kajillion other people because who wants to be up there in there in the rain? Traffic was heavy. We were tired, hungry. And the car needed gas.

And then everyone slowed down. Of course I began complaining, but then we saw why. Probably the only redeeming point to our adventure.

For real bear just walking around!

The rest of the trip is a sad, sleepy blur. At one point, I do know that there were two gals crying in the backseat. Poor Adam.
Bless his heart, I mean.

But we made it home. We had fun. We made some bad decisions. But LC's first road-trip is one that we will never forget. For certain.

And finally... how baby slept the last night at the hotel: 

She didn't mind it at all!


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