Traveling with a Newborn: Woodstock, NY

This was our longest drive yet with Weston.  He was eight weeks old and every day has been different.  The past couple of weeks have been a little rough at times, as far as Weston’s sleeping and our sleep.  He had his best night of sleep yet, six hours straight and then three and a half hours straight.  Then the following night, the night before we drove up to Woodstock, he had a night of sporadic sleep; which translated into a really rough night of sleep for Kait. I did ok, but not great.  

IMG_1002That night, Weston didn’t want to go down.  We finally got him to sleep around 8:30pm, he will typically go down anywhere from 7-8:30p.  He was ready on the earlier side that night, but was fighting it.  He then awoke around 12a, not long enough.  He was hungry.  He had been non-stop hungry that entire week.  He, then, was restless for the next five hours.  He would sleep a little, then have gas, then make some gurgling fluid-y sounds, and other signs of discomfort.  It was not great.

I had a client at 6:30am and had to pack the car before, so my alarm went off at 5:20a.  I had just fallen back asleep around 4:30am-ish. But I felt ok.  I packed the car with what I could so Kait didn’t have to, as she would be getting Avett and Weston in the car and picking me up when I finished with clients.  She had the harder job, but I would switch with her in a second.  I would rather be home with them than not, no matter how challenging. 

Kait had planned on driving so I could do some writing in the car.  After I left in the morning, she was able to get a couple more hours of good sleep, so she did end up driving.  I sat in the back with Weston.  Avett, well he was between the front seat, my lap, and trying to get onto Kait’s lap while she was driving.  I wrapped his leash around the headrest, so he was stuck in the front seat and wouldn’t cause an accident.  No worries on that front!  

The drive to Woodstock, NY from Philadelphia is about three and a half hours, but we stopped in North Jersey at Kait’s Grandma’s apartment where Weston would meet her, some aunts and cousins for the first time!  We don’t get to see them too often, so it was really great to see all of them and have them meet Weston.  Kait’s Grandma had a ridiculous spread of food for lunch including:  cavatelli with broccoli rabe, bagels, cold cuts, egg salad, tuna salad, cream cheese, donuts/pastries, a cake, and a pie.  And honestly, I am probably forgetting something.  This was for like 8 people, for lunch.  Insanely generous and very tasty, much appreciated!

Weston received some great gifts, which are greatly appreciated but certainly not necessary by any means!  I am here to say, people should never feel obligated to buy gifts for a baby or their parents.  We appreciate the kindness, always.

Avett went into her apartment like a wrecking ball of energy.  Running and jumping on everyone.  He was full of pure joy and excitement.  Weston, was sleeping when we got there.  He didn’t do too great in the car, but not too bad either.  He was in and out of sleep, happiness, and crankiness.  We started putting on youtube videos of ocean sounds for him when he is cranky.  The sound seems to sooth him and calm him down.  It definitely helped, but he was definitely beyond tired to the point that he didn’t quite know what to do.  He did fall asleep but for a short while.  I was able to calm him down each time the crank-ball wanted to show up.

I soothed him with the ocean sounds, softly and repetitively touching his head and face, by sending positive calming vibes, and with the help of his pacifier.  We didn’t have to pull over once, though it was discussed.  His crying didn’t last more than a few minutes each time.  I count that as a solid ride for two hours.

When we got there, I fed him with a bottle.  We try to do that at least once a week to make sure he is used to that, though he is primarily breast feeding. He did pretty well being passed around the family but also freaked out a bit with Grandma at one point.  I took him in the other room while Kait spent time with her family, and I was able to soothe him though it took a good amount of time.  He fell asleep, then awoke, and so forth.  Typical newborn stuff.

When we left, we had about an hour and half drive on to Woodstock.  Kait opted to drive again and I sat in the back with Weston. I put the ocean on, pacifier in, my hand over him and he slowly (very slowly) lulled to sleep.  It took about 30 minutes, for him to finally keep his eyes shut, but he was calm the whole time.  Kait and I chatted about a lot. 

From that point on, Weston was fantastic.  He got a little cranky Friday night, but was soothed by Kait and a swing.  He slept for two hours, Kait did a “dream feed” and then he slept for another 5 hours.  It was great. He did well the rest of the night too.  He didn’t get to be with his aunt, uncle, and cousins too much because of it, but it was good for him.   My in-laws have an old travel crib from our niece and nephew, so one less thing we have to bring when we visit.  

He awoke a very happy baby and spent time with Grandma and Grandpa before we left for breakfast.  He also met his Aunt Brandi for the first time, she lives in Colorado.  He then slept when we went to breakfast at Oriole 9 in Woodstock and to the Woodstock Flea Market.  It was a cool rainy day in Woodstock, a sleepy kind of day.   Though Aunt Bri was not pleased with the her amount of time she got with Weston because of his great sleep, Weston ate and snoozed the day away.  Napping right on schedule and eating a ton.  Just living life, happy baby.

Side Note:  The food at Oriole 9 was pretty good, except I did find my side of hash lacking some seasoning.  The service, however, was whack!  The people serving our table were kind of aloof and it was extremely slow.  I felt a strange vibe in there.

Kait and I enjoyed our time on the screened in porch in the woods, listening to the rain and enjoying the cozy weather.  Straight up sweater weather.  I do love that weather.  We talked about our future plans and how we plan to do what we are trying to do.  I’ll go deeper into that in the coming weeks/months, because we are making some big changes!

By this point, Weston was getting sleepy.  It had been about an hour since his last nap, however we had hoped he’d make another half hour so we could leave for an early dinner with Kait’s parents.  He fell asleep.  About thirty minutes later, he awoke when I transferred him into his carseat.  I guess I wasn’t slick enough.  While Kait drove, I spent the ten minute car ride to Woodstock Town Center working to keep him calm.  As soon as we parked, Kait fed him a little, while her parents waited in the restaurant.

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The rest of the evening was spent trying to keep him calm.  Waking him up from the nap and then him not falling back asleep complicated things a bit, but it didn’t stop us from doing what we were doing and enjoying ourselves.  Kait ended up holding him during our dinner.  It was a super casual place, simply called Pub.  We enjoyed conversation and the food was ok, in my opinion.

During dinner, a family of three (all adults) sat at a table that placed them behind Kait, Weston and her Mom.  I noticed the woman acknowledge that we had Weston.  Then I noticed a server go over and ask if they wanted to move to the table a little further away, not sure if it had anything to do with Weston.  After a few minutes of looking at the menu, the family decided to leave.  When leaving, the woman who I assume to be the Mother in the fam, looked at us and said, “It’s not because of the baby”, smiled and left.

I thought that was so interesting.  In no way did I, or any of us, assume they left because of Weston.  I certainly didn’t think he was being loud or annoying.  Strange how people tend to assume we may think they make a decision based on us because we have a baby.  If someone decides to move or leave because of a baby, well, I see that as their problem that they are taking care of.  If they think some kind of negative way about us, then so be it, it’s simply a reflection of them.

Before the bill came, Weston started to get more fussy.  We bounced out and walked down Tinker Street to get ice cream.  Kait has been following a dairy free diet and Nancy’s of Woodstock has vegan options.   We switched carrying Weston as we ate.  When we returned back to our car, Weston did his freak out thing when putting him into the car seat.  Kait tried nursing, but he wouldn’t take it.  We had to calm him best we could.  C.R.I.E.S. and positive vibes did the trick, kind of.  I was able to get him in his seat and we got him back to my in-laws peacefully.

We did our bedtime routine, which took some time, but he went down.  The night wasn’t great for sleep.  He woke up a lot, and Kait took the brunt of that.  I really started to feel the affects of not getting a solid night of sleep for the past eight weeks.  I can get decent hours, but it’s always broken up.  This weekend, I just felt exhausted at night, and honestly I felt pretty tired all day on Sunday.  Kait too, but she’s been feeling the affects of it for a while.  She’s been better at taking naps than me.  I feel like I have too much to do and I can’t get any of those things done when I’m working with clients.

Weston was being fussy around 5am, so I had him sleep on me until about 7am.  I was tired and wanted to sleep, but I used the time to meditate.  It was quite lovely, actually.  I am used to waking up around 5am for client work, but that day, I would have slept straight through till 7am given the opportunity.  That may still seem early to some, but I typically wake up by 6-6:30am regardless.  And I was asleep by 10pm.

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Sunday morning was nice.  Kait’s parents made us breakfast.  My father-in-law took Avett for a walk.  And, Brandi, being a skilled photographer, took photos of Weston.  We headed back to Philadelphia.  I was driving with Kait, Weston, and Avett resting in the back seat.  They all slept for a bit, Weston almost the whole time.  He awoke about 25 minutes outside of Philadelphia and was not too pleased.  Kait did wonderfully at comforting him best she could in the car seat and he calmed down again for the last 15 minutes.  Great drive, no traffic.  We only have street parking on our block in Phila, so it’s always a shot in the dark if we’ll get parking close to our house.  Luckily, we did, about half a block away.  Kait fed Weston while I unpacked, and then I moved the car to the spot right in front of our house when it opened up.

All around great trip to Woodstock this weekend.  We continue to find that there is no need to worry or be stressed about time.  We do the best we can and are extremely mindful about it.  We do know that when we really do align things up with eating, awake time, and sleep time that we can do whatever we want.  This trip helped us understand that even more.  So, next weekend, when we drive double the distance to Cape Cod, we will have loose guidelines on how to make the drive as smooth as possible.  Of course, Weston always likes to throw some wrinkles in there, but we won’t let it deter us.

Avett was amazing on this trip.  He loved it.  He loves being around people and being in nature.  I was able to have him out in the yard with me without a leash, the first time we felt comfortable doing that.  He’s so used to a leash being a city dog, that we didn’t know how he would do.  He was fantastic, listened wonderfully and stuck with me. He was great in the car on the drive back too.  He slept all day on Sunday when we got back, that’s when we always know he had a great time! He won’t be making the trip to the Cape with us this time.  He’ll be staying with my parents, which he also loves.

A lot to look forward to with this trip to the Cape.  We can determine a lot for our family.  I’ll fill you in on what that means soon….

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