I am relaxing on the couch, sipping a caffeine-free coke, watching the sunset over Wolf Bay at Orange Beach, and blogging – my favorite hobby. It’s completely quiet. Ali’s asleep, Chris and (his Aunt) Kitty are gone to the store, and Unka Leo is down in the basement working. Ahhh. . . it was all worth it.

OK – I have to admit – I have been not really looking forward to today, because every time we take a long trip in the car, I never know how Ali is going to do – especially regarding naps.

I am blessed with a child that naps very well (usually), but that also means that she needs her sleep. However, she naps very well with a caveat – in her bed, in the dark, with her noisemaker on. So, car trips are always a 50/50 shot at best.

At the beginning of the week, it was an AWESOME nap week. She was laying right down and going to sleep (no long pillow talk conversations with herself like usual), and she was sleeping over 5 hours in two naps. I actually almost blogged about it Tuesday night, but then decided not to because I didn’t want to jinx myself. Apparently, it IS the thought that counts, because I was definitely jinxed. She skipped one of her naps Wednesday AND Thursday – VERY odd for her. She is 98% consistent on taking two naps a day (and NO, Dad, I don’t know that stat for sure – just a guess. It’s not on my stats page). So, I REALLY wasn’t sure how today would go. Then, this morning, as I had suspected might happen, she didn’t fall asleep for her morning nap. Now keep in mind, Ali is nearly never awake for more than three hours at a time (I told you she liked her sleep). She woke up at 7:30, and we left for the beach at 12:15, completely napless so far. I figured maybe it wouldn’t take her long to fall asleep. However, Daddy mentioned that we would be stopping for “fries”, and her excitement about fries kept her hopping ’til we got to Arby’s. She had her fries, and then I settled her in for a nap. No luck. One hour, two hours, a poop. . .somewhere in there I got stressed. So after changing the diaper, I had an eye to eye with her, and told her that Mommy needed her to go night night. Soon after that, at 2:15, she FINALLY fell asleep. For 45 minutes. Oh well. At least she got some sleep.

When I finally admitted to myself that she wasn’t going to fall back asleep, I got out our “experiment” – the portable DVD player. Ali has never had any interest in TV – won’t really even look at it. This probably is more due to the fact that we rarely have it on while she’s awake than her lack of interest. But we thought, maybe, just maybe, if she was a captive audience stuck in a carseat, it might help make her journey more fun. Sure enough, she was mesmerized! We put in Veggie Tales first, and she LOVED it – she rocked back and forth to the music, clapped, laughed, sang, and screamed in glee! It was a HIT. We had just as much fun watching her love it! After that, I put in Baby Einstein (I had come to the conclusion that they were mind-meltingly-infantile because the one I had watched was horribly dull, but our small group told us we needed to try a different one – that some were really good. We have about 5 that we had never opened, so on their advice we gave it another try). She liked it, and was still intrigued for a while, but it wasn’t nearly as exciting to her as V.T. Could be that V.T. was first, and so it got the best of her attention, but it really seemed clear that she prefers dancing, singing vegetables to beng an Einstein.
All in all, the trip wasn’t bad. Ali didn’t cry at all (she’s really out of the crying phase – for now. I’ve heard that comes back around two years old. . . ), and she just whined a little, but nothing that animal crackers or Elmo couldn’t solve. If it weren’t for me getting stressed and worrying about her making it through dinner without having a breakdown (which she hasn’t had in ages – I don’t know why I still worry about that), it would have been a perfectly pleasant trip! But I got over it and we enjoyed the rest of our trip.

I don’t know why I worry so much. Ali really is a joy – she is in such a wonderful phase. She hardly fusses, is obedient and submissive, and is very, very happy. One day, hopefully, in my search to be more subjective, I will learn to chill out. See, now I’m worried that I’m going to jinx myself again, talking about what a joy Ali is. Chill…chill. :)

We’re planning on taking Ali to the beach tomorrow, so I’m sure I’ll have some fun pictures to post! And, stay tuned for updates on Baby Eli coming home!!!

2 thoughts on “5 Hours in the car with a 17 Month Old. . .

  1. we are taking a 5 hour car ride next week, I’m a little nervous about the baby, she’s 9 months.

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