We made it to Wisconsin! I write to you from my parents’ cozy living room while the baby naps and the fire whispers softly in the fireplace. It has been a crazy, crazy week since Christmas but we powered through and I couldn’t be happier to be at this point!
We had a lovely Christmas! We celebrated in Williamsburg at Zach’s parents’. My parents flew down, my brother and his girlfriend drove in from Blacksburg and we spent a great week together. My in-laws were amazing hosts and put up with a crowded house and lots of dishes, all the while serving up great food and atmosphere! It was very special to have everyone present for Josie’s first Christmas. She was quite taken with all the lights and Christmas decorations. She spent the week ALMOST crawling, but not yet! She can get from sitting to her knees but doesn’t know what to do from there yet. She can also go from her belly back to sitting! When she discovered how to do this one night about two weeks ago, it took her approximately three hours to fall asleep because she was just having a wild time exercising her newfound skillz. When she is trying to get somewhere she’ll fling herself forward and land in a belly flop but hey, it works for her. I can put her down on the floor and 10 minutes later she will be on the other side of the room just by rolling and flinging herself all over the place! Baby proofing is in our very near future.
We went to the 4:30pm service on Christmas Eve and Josie looked like a doll. She was so good. She was a little chatty but the people around us were friendly and there were tons of other babies and kids at that service so it was pretty noisy with chatter and random screams already! It’s so funny how at one time that probably would have annoyed me a little but now it’s the most welcome sound in the world. We’re all in this together, parents!
Something sweet I don’t want to forget: Joey loves singing. When we sang the Christmas hymns she sang softly along with me in her little singsong voice. She sings along when I sing her the ABC’s and also when I sing her bedtime song (Skidamarink). It just kills me.
Christmas morning was magical! We did most of Josie’s presents in the afternoon because of her naps being all over the place but it was great to have the morning last that much longer. She loved all the wrapping paper and boxes, of course. She got so many adorable outfits and fun toys – there was no shortage of things to occupy her on this trip! She has some separation anxiety when it comes to Zach and me, but being around everyone for a good week helped her get comfortable playing with the grandparents now and then.
In the days after Christmas we fought the post-Christmas blues by playing with hilarious presents, shopping the sales at the outlets and meandering around colonial Williamsburg. Zach was excited to take Josie around the William and Mary campus, and thanks to the unseasonably warm weather we had a great little stroll.
Prior to Christmas we had packed up our whole apartment and did a good bit of cleaning so that we would be ready to go right afterwards. Looking back, we were maybe a little crazy to do it the way we did, but we didn’t have a ton of options! We drove back to DC on the 28th, and spent the night on our mattresses on the floor. Then on the 29th, I took my parents to the airport and the movers came to get us loaded into the UHaul! Bada bing bada boom.
It was much more cost efficient to do a UHaul + movers combo than an actual moving company. Highly recommend! This was our third move in our 4 years of marriage and the first time that we splurged on mover help. NEVER GOING BACK. We were super happy with the movers that came out and they got us loaded and unloaded into the storage unit down the road in about 5.5 hours. Josie and I were in charge of things like delivering sandwiches! We finished the move and cleaned the empty apartment, turned in our keys and got on the road at about 5pm… We had hoped to be on the road by 1pm. Ha. It had been an exhausting day to say the least, so we made it to about Pittsburgh before we decided to stop at a hotel and call it a night.
We picked a Holiday Inn Express that was dog-friendly. I had heard lots of not nice things about pet-friendly hotels so I was kind of dreading the whole experience, but it was totally fine. It was clean and they had a portable crib for the baby, which we needed since we didn’t have room in the car for her pack n’ play. It was tough sleeping in the same room as Josie because her sleep was all messed up from traveling and she woke up a lot before I ultimately just brought her into bed with us so at least Zach could get some rest for the drive.
We got moving the next morning and enjoyed the free breakfast, and hit the road for a long day of driving. Duncan has had a rough couple weeks and has been very unsettled with all the packing up and stress. When we came back from getting breakfast (gone 20 minutes) he had thrown up all over the hotel room carpet. Poor guy. That set us back a bit but we eventually set off for Green Bay at about 9am.
Zach drove the entire 10 hours and I was on Josie duty in the back. She really did fantastic for being in the car seat all day long! We received a big girl (convertible) car seat for her for Christmas and I think it made a huge difference. So much more room for activities!!! She can also see out the window more easily which was great for seeing all the…. cornfields…. on the way to WI. The scenery wasn’t super exciting but I did love seeing the thousand snowy fields with the furry cows all huddled together. Very Americana.
We took 3 pit stops to eat, stretch and gas up. I had lots of different little toys in the back and rotated them throughout the day, and I also brought several travel sized board books to read to JoJo. Towards the end of the day when she was getting super antsy I busted out the Puffs and that carried us to home plate. We got in at about 7pm, just in time for dinner! We had a decent introduction between Duncan and my parents’ two dogs, and pretty much collapsed into bed at 8:30. Sweet, sweet relief after a crazy stressful 48 hours!
Now we’re just getting settled in our new temporary home before Zach has to fly back down to VA for his training. We are going to miss him so much but I am grateful to have this time with my family and the help with my baby and dog. We are looking forward to becoming authentic northerners!