the truth about traveling with a baby.

Two duffel bags. One diaper bag. One bag of diapers. One Moby wrap. One Ergo. One car seat. One stroller. Eight burp cloths. One Boppy. Apparently, this is what it takes for a family of three to go away for one night. We looked like a total circus when we showed up at the Bodega Bay Lodge for our "romantic" anniversary getaway.

Friends, I'm about to get real. Traveling with an infant is no joke. It's serious business. And, well, had I known how serious it was prior to booking our trip, I probably would have made different plans. Don't get me wrong---we had a nice time, but, it wasn't the same as our typical anniversary getaways. Duh Ashlee, you have a baby now! Well, yes, I know, but part of me thought it would still be a sweet, semi-romantic, semi-relaxing trip. Aaaaaannnnd, that didn't exactly turn out to be the case. I mean, how relaxed can you be when your baby wakes up at 5:00am and refuses to go back to sleep, causing you to leave the hotel immediately to avoid making your neighbors angry, and then, as it turns out, the entire town of Bodega Bay doesn't open until 8:00am so you're stuck driving around aimlessly while your baby finally decides to fall asleep again in the backseat? Not very relaxed I tell you. Not. Very. Relaxed.

We returned from our mini-vacation totally exhausted, and, well, in need of another vacation. The moral of the story (and my advice to all you future parents and new parents) is this: don't try to plan romantic weekend getaways with your almost three-month-old baby. The luggage, the long car trip, and the lack of sleep in a cozy hotel bed (torture!) is really not worth it. Send the baby to Grandma's house, get a couples massage, and enjoy a really nice dinner. It would be a much better use of your time and money.

*steps down from soap box*

All in all, the weekend wasn't a total bust. We watched the Olympics and took Everett on his first hike and first trip to the beach. We also made valuable use of our car time (while Ev was sleeping) and talked about our hopes and dreams for the next five years. While it wasn't the most romantic weekend in the history of Brett and Ashlee anniversary trips, it was our first little trip as a family of three and I'm happy to report that we survived. But next year? Everett's going to Grandma's house. For sure.

Mommas - have you mastered the art of traveling with an infant? We are taking Everett to Hawaii this November and I need all the tips I can get. Help!

p.s. I hate that this post about our anniversary contained so much whining, but I'm too lazy to write something different, so, here are a few mushy posts in case you're in the mood for something mushy:

an open letter to my husband on our five year anniversary heartache how I know Brett will be a good dad when I first understood the meaning of love

oh, the places you'll go - everett's nursery tour.

Welcome to Everett's nursery! As soon as we found out Everett was a boy, I knew I wanted to do a travel theme with airplanes and maps in his room. In the six years Brett and I have lived in this house, we have never put so much effort into one of our bedrooms. I vividly remember sitting on the floor in that room, big and pregnant, painting a globe and cutting map triangles while Brett hung up the paper lanterns. The nursery became my sweet escape while I was pregnant; whether I was shopping for airplanes or painting globes or folding teeny tiny onesies to put away in his dresser, all of it made me feel closer to Everett. I loved scouring the web and local thrift stores for unique treasures and watching the room come together week after week. And now he's here, 12 weeks old today, and his room is still my favorite room in the whole house. I can't wait for him to get a little older so he can really enjoy it.

Here's where we bought everything...

Crib & rocker: Buy Buy Baby Dresser & bookshelf: Craigslist Chalkboard globe, paper cloud mobile, map fans, map lampshade, map bunt banner: DIY Map clock: Pottery Barn Kids My Roots Lie Here Print: Children Inspire Aviator teddy bear: Amazon Airplane blueprint crib quilt: made by Everett's Great Grandmother from this fabric ordered from Spoonflower Paper lanterns: Paper Lantern Store Burlap hanging lampshade: Cost Plus Map pillow: IKEA Vintage airplane music box: 57th Antique Row

Over-the-crib collage; Square vintage airplane photos: Charlene Precious "Learn To Fly" tin sign: Street vendor in NYC "Travel the World" print: Jennifer Pugh Studios Personalized Ashlee & Brett Greece map print: Define Design 11 Aviation Calendar: Vintage, circa 1962 (from Brett's grandfather) "Oh the places you'll go" print and "E" map sign: DIY Paper airplane embroidery: homemade gift from my best friend Lauren

lesson #1.

Lesson #1 - Don't knock it till you try it (I'm lookin at you, pacifier).

For whatever bogus reason, I had my mind set on the no-pacifier strategy. I partly blame my hospital, who proudly displayed no pacifier signs on every wall. Granted, they claim immediate pacifier use can be a hindrance to successful breastfeeding, but it somewhat brainwashed me nonetheless. I mean, what kind of mother would I be if I wasn't capable of soothing my baby by myself?

One that wasn't able to take showers, apparently.

This thinking worked for exactly three weeks, at which point Everett decided he wanted to be held all the live long day. Fed? Check. Burped? Check. Clean diaper? Check. And alas, the fussiness continued. Ev's not really a fussy baby, so this half-ass crying gig was new to me.

Brett, on the other hand, was on the pacifier train all along.

"Let's give him a pacifier!"

"Let's buy him a swing!"

"Let's put him in the carseat and take him for a drive!"

Whooooa, daddio. Simmer down. Five minutes of fussiness isn't exactly an emergency situation. Let's save the panic mode for when he has a full blown meltdown, shall we?

Enter: yesterday morning. I had just stepped out of the shower when I heard Everett wailing on the bed. He had been fed, burped, and changed ten minutes earlier, so by process of elimination I knew he probably just wanted some attention. I picked him up and we danced around the bedroom as I smothered him with kisses. He was happy as a clam. My hair was dripping water all over the carpet and I needed to get dressed before meeting a friend for lunch. I gently placed him back on the bed and walked into the bathroom to finish getting ready. Cue: inconsolable screaming. I looked at his red little face and looked at the clock before making an executive decision to code this as a full blown meltdown. I ran into his bedroom to grab a pacifier, crossing my fingers he would take it. Thirty seconds later, peace and quiet filled my house. It was magical. His eyes looked at me in confusion. Mom! Where have you been hiding this thing?!

I called Brett and told him what had happened, slightly embarrassed that I was unable to calm our son and had taken to such drastic measures. He, of course, laughed at me, but thankfully refrained from saying, "I told you so."

That being said, ALL HAIL THE MIGHTY PACIFIER. If the genius behind The Happiest Baby on the Block says it's okay, I'm going to go ahead and let my son partake in such controversial activities.

**this blog post enabled by the mighty pacifier.

ten days in.

Everett is ten days old today. I love him so much I can hardly stand it. I love being a mom, and perhaps even more than that, I love watching Brett be a dad. He changed his very first diaper at the hospital last week and has changed about 57 diapers since then. I'm fairly positive we have laughed harder and more often in the past ten days than the past six months. It hurts my incision when I laugh but I don't even care. Giggling over Everett's little antics is worth a sore scar.

Our days have changed drastically. This is the second time I have opened my computer in ten days. I am perfectly content lying on the couch for hours at a time just staring at this beautiful life next to me. I love watching his sleepy smiles and listening to his little baby sighs. A few days ago, I pulled him out of his bassinet during a nap so I could hold him instead. I told Brett I missed him. He said, "Go get him. You're his mom. It's okay."

I'm his mom. He's my baby.

Ten days in, I don't have very much figured out, but I do know one thing for certain---God created me to be a mother. Let the adventures begin.