because we've decided to voluntarily spend 10+ hours in the car with our two month old triplets to travel to Chicago for Christmas! That's where Michelle's family is and where many of our good friends from college live. Our plan is to leave Thursday afternoon after my last visit, so around 2:30pm and just keep driving. We are hoping that the car's magical sleep-inducing power is strong that day and that once we hit the highway they just sleep and sleep. We're prepared for the possibility that we might not make it all in one shot and will have to stop and get a hotel for Thursday night. If they do just sleep though, it's possible that we could get away with only feeding them once, which would make the drive so much faster. But it is more likely that we'll be facing two rest-stop feedings. We've alreafy been strategizing how we'll manage the rest stop diaper changes and feedings in the cold weather. (Have you started to sense the immense amount of planning going into this trip?!) So, our plan is to pull up as close as possible to the door and bring all the babies in, in their car seats. While one of us parks the other will prep bottles. One of us will breastfeed a baby while the other bottle feed babies two and three. Whoever finishes first starts changing diapers.
Michelle and I are experienced travelers and fairly minimal packers. Heck, we traveled around the world for two months with just a backpack. (Search "Where in the World are Mari & Michelle" if you want to read about those adventures). But this is our first trip with triplets so this is a whole new reality! I still think our minimalist selves wil bring less than many people would, but it's going to be a lot of stuff! Michelle downloaded a packing list app that let's us divide up the list by activity, so we listed everything we need for feeding, sleeping, diapering, etc. A lot of the things on the list we use all the time so will have to pack at the last minute but we've started collecting what we can on the guest room bed. Our bag of snacks for the drive is overflowing and way more than we'll need, but we figure we need to be prepared for eating to stay awake and sane and that involves treating ourselves with delicious snacks!
Michelle's mom looked into renting us a minivan for the drive so one of us could be in the back with the babies on pacifier replacement duty, but it was going to cost about $600!! We'd pretty much given up on the idea, as nice as it would be, because with me still working part time we can't afford that unnecessary expense. But then Michelle was chatting with one of her professors about it and she offered to switch cars with us and let us take her minivan to Chicago!! What an incredibly generous offer! So we're trading cars Wednesday and will be testing out the minivan concept this week. :) Having the minivan will mean that one of us can be in the back with the babies, soothing as needed. Probably also good because a highschool/college friend of Michelle's dropped off her triple stroller at Grandma and Grandpa Stephen's house for us and the minivan will make it easier to bring that home.
I looked at Michelle over dinner tonight and said "uh, tomorrow's Tuesday! And we're leaving Thursday! We better get our family ready for this trip!!!" So tomorrow we'll really get to work on the packing list and pack as much as we can. Oh and that'll have to happen between two appointments (one of which is a pediatrician weight check so look for that info tomorrow), writing up an eval for a meeting tomorrow evening, and a couple of EI visits for me! Yup, I think I can safely say we have lost our minds! This trip better be worth it! (Got that Chicago-land folks?!) :). Fingers crossed the weather cooperates both travel days!!