Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Hunter's First Vacation: Big Sky Country

read here for Part One

After our week was up in the house on the lake in Post Falls, Idaho, the group was off to Belgrade, Montana. My parents met and grew up in Montana, and I have so many fond memories of the great state. We would travel up there almost every year it felt like back then, and now that I think about it, we  probably only made the journey a handful of times. A few of those, though, we made the DRIVE from Texas allll the way to Montana. Yes, that wonderful 3 day road trip spent in the back of a Suburban with all three of your brothers, back when there were no TVs in the car, Game Boys ran on AA batteries, and time seemed to squeak by.... we made that trip a few times, and now is part of my fondest memories, even if I didn't think so back then!

Luckily, the trip from Post Falls to Belgrade (near Manhattan, close to Bozeman) is pretty much exactly six hours. With an 8 week old that hates the car seat, though, I was NOT looking forward to this road trip. On the way out of town we ate a wonderful breakfast at a restaurant called none other than.... Hunter's! They have these wonderful huge cinnamon rolls, and I ate one of the most delicious waffles I have ever encountered. Hunter pretty much cried the whole time. Great. I had him assume the position that he likes best, on my left shoulder so that he can look out in to the world. While I bounced, I also ate one handed. I have actually gotten pretty good at doing things one handed, haha! Isabella on the other hand, was fussy because she was tired so my dad took her to the car so that he could run up and get gas, and hopefully she would fall asleep. His plan worked, but as soon as Hunter was loaded into the car, he started screaming. This woke her up with a terrified start, and she was also bawling! Nice way to start the trip....

I finally came to the resolution that I would need to take him out of the car seat in the car. I know. I KNOW. Trust me, I KNOW. I didn't want to, but he was choking on his own gasps for air! It got to where I calmed him down, and swaddled him pretty well, and clipped him back in the carseat to sleep. About this time, Isabella would get excited and squeal her loudest. It's pretty cute, and I can't wait until Hunter can look at me, grin, and squeal with delight.... but for now, it just makes him wake up in a bad mood. For six hours, it went back and forth waking each other up. Not ideal, but it made us allll that more happy to get to our destination!
By the end of the trip, we were even getting some car seat smiles (not that I could capture it on camera!)
My parents, since they are amazing, rented an awesome cabin on some property. We had rented it a few years back, and since our family is so big, it made it the perfect place to stay.
This was the only picture I could find, it was NOT snowy when we went, haha!

Not long after we got the cars unpacked, family started trickling in to say hello and visit for awhile. Since I had actually planned on NOT coming, much of my family still didn't know. It was so fun to surprise my cousin and grandmother! My cousin is someone that I consider a long distance best friend. We hardly get to see each other, but when we do get to visit or even talk on the phone, it's like no time has passed and we pick up right where we left off. She had a baby 9 months ago, so we were both juggling a baby the whole time. She also is a stay at home mom to her kids, so we got to see a ton of each other. We also got to see a ton of my aunt, and she is always a blast to visit with. Her and my mom are really close, and so the four of us had a lot of time with each other. She was also such a great help with Hunter. I could do my make up and hair while she held and played with him, and I was so thankful for that!

I called Tim one day and told him that I felt like I have been on a training mission. You know how you send your dog away for two weeks and they come back trained? I felt like I had been working with Hunter on all of the things that have been kind of a struggle at home. Leaving the house to run errands/shop, being in the car seat, breastfeeding in public with a cover on, being around lots of other people, sleeping in different places, etc. The biggest ones were the car seat and running errands, and he greatly improved on those while we were away! Some days, my cousin would pick me up, and we would be gone four or five hours, and going to four or five stores in a day! He would be in the car and out of the car. He would take naps on the go. He would eat on the go. This was great practice for him and I because at home, I am the one driving and if he is crying I have to stay behind the wheel. This way, I could crawl back there, calm him down, and then get back up to the front seat!

We had an absolute blast, and the only thing that would have made it better would to have had Tim there. I love spending time with my family and this trip allowed for plenty of that! It was a nice change from the daily routine at home... spending the whole day going from nap to eating to fussy awake times. I knew that even if he had the same fussy attitude on vacation, I would have lots of people that could help out, people to sit with (I am usually at home alone), or a cooler outdoors to take him into. It was a nice break, and I am so thankful that Tim was willing to let us go even if he couldn't! Here are some pictures from the trip!
Our porch view

He got to wear fuzzy pajamas!

Bath time in the sink!

His great grandma!

The night he refused to sleep unless in my arms

My sister in law was a big help, too!

Our new hat for the fall

He is pretty much the most gorgeous baby ever
My cousin 

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