Two Texas Weekends


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I don't know if any of you longtime blog readers have caught on to this, but I really don't like writing posts that are a collection of things. Blame it on my editor brain that I just can't seem to turn off, but I prefer each post to be About Something. It is for this reason that I find weekend recap posts to be for the most part very dull. Sorry if that offends anyone, but I'm just being honest. The other reason I don't like random posts is because I never know what to title them! And any good editor will tell you that titles are half the battle of getting anyone to actually read something (the first half of the battle being, of course, actual good writing).

Anyway, all that to say, I had already titled this post "April Showers" in my head and was proud of myself for my cleverness since I wanted to write about the last two weekends where I've traveled to Texas with the kids to attend a bridal shower for my cousin and a baby shower for my sister-in-law. But then I realized that it is March and, well, March Showers just sounded dumb, so here we are with Two Texas Weekends. Clearly much better. It's a miracle anyone is reading this at all, really.

ANYWAY. I do want to share a few stories and pictures from the past two weekends. I can't remember the last time I drove down to Texas two weekends in a row, and I've for sure never done it with the kids, but I am nothing if not dedicated to family time and free food.

Two weekends ago I attended a bridal shower for my cousin. I didn't host it, but my aunt asked me to bring my camera and take pictures, so I ended up being the official shower photographer. I drove to Texas by myself with both kids, and it was Top 5 worst drives ever, and that's worst drives ever, not just worst drives with the kids if that tells you anything. 

What is usually a 3-hour trip almost on the dot took FIVE AND A HALF HOURS on Friday night due to accidents (not involving me thankfully), construction (who doesn't love when a major highway goes down to one lane?), spring break traffic (definitely passed a truck full of homeboys having what sounded like a really good time), and bathroom stops for the little people. R is potty trained, but we put her in a pullup for long car trips just to be on the safe side. Still, I keep a potty seat in my trunk for emergencies because she is good about telling us when she has to go to the bathroom and I don't want to wake J up to bring him inside and try to wrangle both kids in a dirty convenience store bathroom and risk being human trafficked.

We stopped at Chick-Fil-A to eat dinner after we'd been on the road for 4.5 hours and were still an hour out. I felt like chicken was necessary for survival at this point. I feel confident taking both kids by myself to the store and the park, but this was my first time taking them by myself inside a restaurant to sit and eat. I was feeling pretty proud of myself until I saw a mom by herself with four kids, so never mind about that. I was never so excited to be out of the car and at my parents' house when we finally arrived.

Saturday we all just hung out, and my mom watched the kids while I ran 8 miles! I mentioned in a previous post that I'd hurt my back a few weeks ago, and I ended up not being able to run for almost 2 weeks. The previous weekend I had gotten super bummed out because when I opened Instagram it felt like everyone on my whole feed had posted about their run that day. I have been feeling nervous about my half marathon coming up in just over a month, so that combined with my back had me moping around most of the previous weekend depressed about the state of my exercising. It felt so good to get out and run that far!
My cousin's bridal shower was Sunday afternoon, and then I left for home right after that. The drive home (which, again, usually takes 3 hours) took over four hours. Not quite as terrible but still not my favorite. Both kids did fine for the most part until we had about forty-five minutes left. R started telling me she had to "go pee pee," and J started losing it. But I had turned off the highway and was on a toll road and there was nowhere to stop. I mean nowhere. 

I tried to go as fast as I could while assuring R that we were "almost" there (we weren't) and feeding J yogurt melts one by one. From the front seat I could stretch my hand around the side of his car seat so he could grab them. This is probably (definitely) not a recommended or even condoned feeding method, but it was my best option. The funny thing is that the only reason I even had yogurt melts to offer J was because I'd bought them for this sponsored post, so blogging in this case kind of saved my life, or at least my sanity.

With twenty minutes left in our drive, even the snacks weren't keeping J happy, and R was most definitely yelling at me about needing to use a bathroom every two minutes. I called a friend who lived about five minutes from where we were and asked if we could make an impromptu and VERY NECESSARY pit stop. We pulled into their driveway, and R, J, and I ran inside. J needed a diaper change, R had pooped in her pullup, and I had to go also. We got everyone clean and emptied (ha), and we stayed for half hour while I nursed J and R played with my friend's two kids. Note: we were fifteen minutes from home. What a weird night.

Last weekend we went to Texas again, but this time Jordan was with me and the drive there and back went much smoother if you don't count the fight we got into within the first ten minutes of our drive about taking pictures of sunsets. Because that's not something completely ridiculous to argue about AT ALL. It's fine.

I think I've mentioned before that my sister-in-law is pregnant and due with a baby girl in June. June! J's birth month. I am so excited because this is my first time being an aunt! I didn't host her baby shower, but again I ended up taking the pictures at it. I really should start charging for my services ;) I took J with me to the shower, and he was adorable and sweet, as usual. My mom found a babysitter to watch R, and that's the first time (other than at daycare) she's ever stayed with someone who wasn't family or a close friend!
I wore my purple pants! I love them. They are the star of this picture obviously.

While I was at the shower (with my mom and other SIL), Jordan was with my dad and brothers at a diaper dump. Have you heard of this? It's going to be all the rage soon if it isn't already. It's basically a dude party where they bring diapers as gifts.

My mom is so sweet and put together some Easter eggs for R to hunt down. It's hilarious because she's currently the only grandchild (who cares about egg hunting, as J does not), so nine adults stand around watching R run around the yard. She had a blast and was so cute with her little basket and pigtails! I die.
We drove home on Sunday afternoon and thankfully did not need to call my friend to stop at her house. When we were halfway home, R started getting a little grouchy so I opened the CD I'd bought special for her: the official Moana soundtrack. She loves the Moana songs, and I thought she'd be so happy. 

Total fail. As soon as she heard the opening notes, she burst into tears and shouted, "I no want that song." She proceeded to sob through the entire CD as we tried each song to see if she liked it. Nope.

There's thirteen dollars I'll never see again. I have no explanation except that toddlers just straight up make no sense sometimes.

This upcoming weekend is Easter, and when we were down in Texas my siblings were all like, "What are you doing for Easter?" and I was like NOT COMING DOWN HERE. I have laundry I haven't folded in weeks and bags to unpack and I'll be starting a GoFundMe for gas very soon. And honestly I just want to stay home and go to bed before 9:00 on a Friday night like all the cool kids are doing.

Amen and Happy Easter. I do sincerely hope you enjoyed this post about nothing. March showers and all that jazz.

p.s. Would it interest anyone for me to do a post about shortish road trips with toddlers/babies? Tips for the drive and/or our favorite car toys/games for keeping them occupied for at least 3 hours (or, you know, five and a half hours) *eye roll* If there is some interest, I can put one together! Let me know.
Rachel said...

Aww, the showers sound so special and fun! That's one thing I really miss when living overseas--getting to be a part of all of the family parties like that! I just can't resist a party. Cyrus had his first roadtrip last week...we'll have to see how they go as he gets bigger!

Shoe Girl said...

I have a one year old daughter and I would definitely be interested in a road trip survival post

Sarah said...

i'd love a road trip post!! and i just have to say, i went to goodwill on sunday and found a pair of gap purple ankle jeans. i'm psyched about them, especially because i can kinda sorta pass them off as "work pants." :)

Kaity B. said...

I’m with you on weekend recap posts- not my thing. It’s so awesome that you’re relatively close to your family that you can take two weekends in a row to visit (however painful the drive may be 😬).

My unpopular opinion about traveling with kid posts is that they’re overdone and I don’t find them all that useful because every kid is different so what works for your kids, probably wouldn’t work for mine. You know? Like I said, unpopular opinion!!

Audrey Louise said...

I'd drive three hours to Texas for that food! The shower decor is so cute and pretty, too! Sorry the drives were so crazy!! Thank goodness for friends who live nearby, lol. R is SO cute with pigtails and I love J's chunky little legs!! Haha!

AnneMarie said...

Oh man, I imagined that the traffic going down to Texas for spring break would be bad, but that sounds so much more awful than I had thought! I'd love to visit Texas more, but my husband cannot stand driving there (and I don't have a huge desire to try), so who knows when we'll do a big-to-us road trip? :P Good job making it through the drives! Those visits sound pretty fun, and it's awesome you got to spend time with your family.

Be proud of yourself for doing a restaurant with two kids! The lady with 4 kids is probably used to it and it's her "normal," so you can't really compare the experiences. That being said, I did have a similar experience when I was at the library recently-I was proud of myself for managing to supervise my toddler and keep him well behaved and have an actual conversation with another mom...but another mom (the one I was talking to) was successfully watching her kids AND her friend's kids, so she was keeping tabs on 6 kids about 6 years old and younger. Oh, and she was/is blind. I stopped patting myself on the back pretty quickly haha.

Amie said...

LOVE those purple pants, so cute!! It's so sweet of you to take the photos for your family, you definitely are very talented in that area. I cringe at the thought of taking Bowen on a car ride longer than a hour so big props to you for making that trip solo.

Jen said...

Ugh there is nothing worse than when a drive turns out to be longer than it should be. I love the photos you took though!

Unknown said...

You are a champ. Oh my gosh. And that 3 hours to you is a short car trip totally shows I'm a newbie, haha! I am so glad you got to be there for all of it, though. Definitely worth the memories- but gosh that first drive sounds miserable!!

Sarah @ Sweet Miles said...

I'd love to see a short-ish road trip post! I did one a while back about long road trips because we used to regularly make 5-7 hour trips home! I still can't believe we took A to the beach when she was 10 months old, and endured a 9.5 hour drive. Makes me cringe just thinking about it! And your purple pants are TOTALLY the star of the show, and were 100% worth it! Stich Fix for the WIN!

Rach said...

Oh Amanda, you are so kind for following my blog all these years with my many, many, many weekend recap and Lately posts. Ha! Posts like that are actually some of my favorites because I love hearing what people are up to. I started writing them personally when I realized that I wanted to remember pieces of each thing, but didn't want to write daily posts. So catch-all posts began. Anyway, I'm not offended at all! It makes me realize what a good friend you are, though, that you have still followed along all these years. :)

Anyway, moving on the actual meat of your post...

That first weekend... oh my. The drive there and back both sound so rough. You are a champ! Especially for going again the next weekend after that experience, ha!

R's pigtails are probably my favorite thing about this whole post. Ah! All the heart eyes!

Yes! I'd love to read a post on short trips with kiddos!

Jenny Evans said...

We have done all that and more on road trips trying to keep our kids from losing it. You do what you need to do. That was a beautiful baby shower.

Julie @ Just the Joy's said...

What beautiful baby showers! And purple pants! And your babies of course! ;) All great pics! Any trip in the vehicle with a toddler that needs to potty deserves an award. I couldn't tell you how many times R has went pee outside because public restrooms... no thank you! I do have a fold up potty seat in the diaper bag that comes in handy too and I just balance her on it outside. Lol! Anyways, you're a hero for the traveling you do with your babies! Also, the Moana CD... I laughed. ;)

Laura Morgan said...

So much sympathy, friend! We’ve recently started enjoying (or tolerating for some of us...) audio books. I’m pretty excited about that. Moreso once we graduate into more advanced literature.

You can take potty/sanity stops at my house any time too! I’ll have the kids jump on the trampoline while you pee in peace. Or hide and cry for five minutes. Whatever.