The day dawned sunny and bright, promising to be a gorgeous, hot summer day. It was going to be a good day. I knew it. Just because of the simple fact that Jonathan had the day off. He did have to go 1.5 hours southwest to pick up his new air compressor, and then a couple hours back east to pick up the new header wagon for the new corn head which would soon be delivered. But that was ok. Because we were all going to pile in our extended cab pickup truck and take a family road trip. We were going to sing, and talk, and have a fun day. Together.
I packed a bag with our water bottles and the sack of dried fruit we like to snack on. I then packed the diaper bag. I remembered *everything* in it this time, and knew that we were adequately prepared for a long day out.
Jonathan loaded up booster seats, a car seat, and sunglasses for all. Little boys climbed on in with their favorite stuffed animals - Moose and George. How could we leave Moose or George behind on such a wonderful adventure!
Heidi was excited to be going, too! She loves riding in the truck (I'm teaching her well!) and was grinning from ear to ear, holding on to her blankie.
Forty minutes down the road we stopped to switch drivers. I really prefer to drive on road trips, and Jonathan would just as soon ride, so it works out well. Heidi started to get a little fussy, since it was her usual time for a nap. I said, "She'll probably go right to sleep if you give her the pacifier. It's in the diaper bag..."
The diaper bag. The diaper bag we had left on the kitchen counter. We'd grabbed EVERYTHING else off the counter. The water bottles, purse, phones, checkbook, I-pod, atlas, blankies, the box of tissues. But not the diaper bag.
That meant no pacifier. No diapers. No wipes. No baby food or spoons. No bibs or spit rags. No change of clothes for a little man who sometimes still needs them.
Another forty minutes later we stopped at a Target store that was along our route. We grabbed pacifiers, diapers, a small pack of wipes, and baby food. Usually I make baby food for Heidi, but I like to use Happy Baby or Plum Organics when we're on the go, because they are so easy. All I have to do is squeeze a bit onto a spoon. And I don't have to mess with jars that could break, etc.
We decided to get by with the one bib and spit rag Heidi started out with (mostly because there were no bibs that I actually thought were absorbent enough), and encouraged our little man that he could be a big man all day.
Back on the road I realized I had gotten the baby food, but no spoons. But Heidi was HUNGRY and letting us know it. Any of you that know Heidi, know she likes food. A lot. And when she wants to eat, you know so! So I opened the pouch and gave it to her, hoping her knowledge of how to use a straw would be useful. Sure enough, she downed it all, quick as a wink. And wanted more. I gave her a second one, and then gave her the milk I had remembered to bring in the insulated mug I had tossed in the sack of water bottles.
With a happy baby, we arrived at our first stop. I pulled Heidi out of her seat only to realize that I needed something else out of the diaper bag. I SHOULD have grabbed that outfit I saw on the clearance rack when we were at Target. Heidi NEVER leaks through her clothes. But the time I forget a change of clothes, of course she did! Her shirt was ok, so she wound up in just her little t-shirt and diaper for the duration of the trip. I always feel like a bad mother if my babies aren't all the way clothed when we're in public. But I swallowed my pride and carried her into the store.
Jonathan was finishing his transaction by this time. The lady gave us each a t-shirt with their company logo, and the boys each got a ball cap. After loading up the air compressor, it was on to Wendy's for a lunch off the dollar menu.
Back on the road. I was still driving so Jonathan could make some business calls. The boys were hushed so Heidi could go to sleep, and then we let them play with their farm toys they'd brought along. You can do a lot of work with a skid loader driving all over your lap hundreds of times! =P
Jonathan, Samuel, and Heidi snoozed half the way to Lancaster, so Kenneth and I chatted back and forth about the scenery. We had never been down that direction, so there were lots of things to observe.
While Jonathan was in the sales room getting all the paperwork squared away for the header cart, I cleaned up the truck. Sacked up the little bit of trash, changed Heidi's diaper, wished for a clean bib and spit rag - of which I'd packed plenty...in the diaper bag, gave the boys a snack of dried fruit, and looked at the map route to get home.
We remembered that we couldn't drive back north on route 33 since you can't take farm machinery on it, so we wound our way through Lancaster. It was a pretty town, and would have been fun to explore if we didn't have the big long cart behind us! Jonathan swung into a little gas station and amused the locals, since it was obviously NOT meant for vehicles with trailers. He managed quite well, and soon we were on our way home again.
The boys were asking for food again, and we were out of snacks. Because the second helping of snacks were....in the diaper bag. So we stopped at a Wendy's for a second time. And this time we ate 'fun' and got little Frosty's for their dessert. Jonathan and I got Frosty Floats. Super yum. Heidi got to drink the last of her milk, have a few nibbles of french fries, and down the last baby food pouch. While we sat there in the restaurant, an older gentleman kept looking over at our table. He came over to us as he was walking out and said, "You have such a beautiful family." I thanked him and told him God has sure given us some fun little blessings. He nodded, "He has at that."
And then, 8 hours after we left, we pulled back into our driveway. Heidi was very, very happy to see her bed, and the boys had no trouble sleeping that night. Jonathan and I did decide that an extended cab is just not enough room for that long of a trip. Maybe next year we can afford to buy a crew cab. And maybe on our next outing I'll actually remember to not only PACK the diaper bag, but TAKE it.