Needless to say, this year marked quite a few changes for us. The birth of Meg and our move to Iowa have complicated Christmas travels to a greater degree than they used to be. Way back when, we would go to Hannibal/Louisiana for Christmas Eve and then rush back to Columbia/Lohman for Christmas lunch with the Plochberger side of the family. As my grandmother passed away earlier this year, we will no longer be getting together for Christmas Day in the same way that we have in the past, likely doing something like a traditional “Family Reunion” once a year at some other time. Therefore, we won’t have to rush back so quickly Christmas Day. That part is a bit easier. It’s the rest of it where things get interesting.
This year presents other issues. Firstly, my buddy Andy S. got married earlier this year. We were unable to attend any of the festivities, largely because Brooke was quite pregnant, so I didn’t really want to be out of town for an extended period. He and his wife, Rachel, are hitting Columbia (and our mutual friend, Brett), but only for the week prior to Christmas Day. Therefore, here’s how this is going to work:
- Meg and I will drive down to Columbia on the 21st so we can see some folks prior to Christmas (~5 hr drive)
- Meg and I will drive to Hannibal on the 23rd; Brooke and Edie will meet us there (~2 hr drive)
- We spend Christmas Eve in Hannibal/Louisiana, get up Christmas morning, open presents at the Baumann house, and then head off to Columbia (~2 hr drive)
- We stay in Columbia through Monday and return to Iowa by way of Hannibal, picking up Brooke’s car (~5 hr drive)
So yeah, it’s gonna get kinda crazy…at least, crazier than it’s been in previous years. It’s a good thing that we have a larger vehicle now so we can carry stuff with us between locations, but it’ll be nice having two cars in Missouri so we can load them both up to get everything back up to Iowa.
This brings us to another issue: space. As in, we have very little. Meg, for all of the 17 lbs that she weighs, comes with metric tons of stuff. As in, multiple bags of clothes, blankets, a baby cage (read: “pack ‘n play”), and toys. And we still have Edie to take along, too. And presents for 3 people for the ride home (but presents for 9 people on the way there). We’re probably going to have to pick up a car-top carrier before we even consider going on vacation next summer.
Related to all of this, we probably won’t travel much in January/February, for a few reasons. One, we live in Iowa. Iowa is cold. Really, really cold. The 3″ of snow that fell today will probably still be here in March. So yeah, we’ll probably stay bundled up and keep as warm as possible, without going anywhere besides work. The other reason (the real reason…) is that Meg hasn’t been traveling well recently. It just seems like we go places and she gets off whatever sleeping schedule we finally settled her into, then it takes at least a week to get her back to something semi-normal. She also tends to get sick, in some fashion, shortly thereafter. I’m sure a lot of this is related to the teething (that she’s finally showing some progress in!), but the constant traveling can’t help. It just seems like we make some progress at getting her to a normal routine, and then it’s dashed within a weekend! We have gone to Columbia, Hannibal and St. Louis a few times over the last few months. She generally does fine in the car, and is great for most of the day, but overnight…eeeeeeesh…
So yeah, that’s this year’s plan. Weather/sickness depending, as usual. We’re just going to make a concerted effort to get through it all mostly unscathed, survive winter, and make it to Meg’s first birthday. Mark your calendars for March 5th!