Sunday, May 5, 2013

Road Trip

Mark's grandparents, who's farm we visited in October, breed baby goats once every year or so.  Some of the babies were born a few weeks ago and we decided to plan a road trip up to Sacramento so Becker (and me of course) could snuggle those babies.  Baby goats are one of my favorite things!  The planning was more like looking at our crazy schedule and seeing two empty days in a row where Mark was not scheduled to work so we jumped at the chance.  I switched a work day and we decided to leave after work on Thursday afternoon.  Last time we visited the farm we flew, but last minute plane tickets are hefty so we took the plunge on our first family road trip.  Becker had never been in the car longer than 2 hours at the very most so we had no idea what to expect, but also had very little time to worry or prepare for it, which was probably for the best.

Road Trip!

 The trip was supposed to be 7 hours, but ended up being 9 hours due to the wonderful afternoon traffic from Orange County to Van Nuys.  Two full hours of stop-and-go, very slow driving.  Becker had not really napped that day and we had expected him to crash as soon as we got on the road.  No such luck.  Amazingly though, he was quite content to talk about every truck, tree and airplane we saw.  I sat in the back with him through the traffic so he had someone to talk to and play with.  We stopped for some dinner just barely out of Los Angeles and headed toward the Grapevine.  Becker doesn't usually get to eat in the car so having a huge 6 inch tuna and spinach Subway sandwich on his lap was quite the treat.  I'll pack our own food next time because I'd rather him not eat garbage, but it was the best we could do at the time.

He liked wrapping it back up after each bite.  Next, out not potty trained toddler decided he needed to got to the bathroom, so we found a fast food spot in Gorman so he could do his business, which he did.  Go Becker!  At this point it was his "normal" bedtime so we changed him into jammies and hoped he would drift off quickly.

Well the sunset was just too exciting and the cow smell after the Grapevine was just too stinky so he didn't fall asleep until after 8pm, but that wasn't so bad.  Once it was dark, he was quiet and we forged onward realizing we still had several hours to go.  I considered flying myself back home rather than making the drive again.  I think the long car trip was actually harder on me than Becker since he did some sleeping and seemed pretty darn comfortable in his car seat.  Being pregnant made me fairly uncomfortable no matter how I sat it seemed.  Along the way, we got a text letting us know four new baby goats had just been born which sparked our excitement and helped make the long night drive bearable.

Becker wakes up if the car stops, so he was up at 10pm for a quick gas fill up, windshield de-bugging and stretch before the final push north.  We exited the freeway around midnight and arrived at the farm shortly there after.  Becker was pretty worked up and excited when he saw Grandpa, but we hurried to get everything inside and all climb into bed before his second wind hit.  A distant train whistle was very concerning, but we all settled to sleep after 1am, hoping Becker would sleep in after his fragmented sleep.
The sun came up and the rooster crowed; signs it was time to start our day.  Becker was bright eyed and bushy tailed just before 7am so we made some coffee and headed out to see the baby goats who had been born the day before in our pjs.  I love watching Becker with animals.  He is so gentle, so loving and oftentimes very serious in his expressions.  He will sit and hold one as long as it will stay in his lap.  So content to just pet it, look at it and give it kisses.

Grandpa had given Becker the task of helping to name the goats.  He chose Harry for one of the brown ones, Princess for the girl twin in that litter and we thought Oreo was a good name for the black and white one.  The mother goats were all very accepting of our picking up and holding their newborns.  Can't say I'd be so open to strangers man-handling my newborns!  The mother goats kept and eye on us and came over to smell their baby, but never protested our presence.  Becker got to see the babies nurse and the mothers cleaning and snuggling their babies just like people do.

Chickens were next and Becker helped gather the morning eggs from the coop.  He is still not fond of Sarge, the rooster, but says, "Sarge, stay back!" After a few too many loud "cock-a-doodle-doos"we decided to head inside for breakfast.  Becker showed his eggs off to Granny and we had a wonderful breakfast of farm fresh quiche and melon.

Back out to the baby goats we went and Becker and Mark did a lot of running around chasing the kid goats and young sheep who were now skittish around people.  It was a hot day, reaching 93 and you could see it in Becker's pink cheeks.  The sheep aren't as friendly as the goats, so it takes a long time to catch one, but Mark finally did and Becker got to feel it's soft wool.  I scooped that exhausted sheep up and held it since I had the chance.

In the afternoon we went to a small local lake to go fishing.  Grandpa wanted Becker to catch a fish.  It did not take too long and Mark was helping Becker reel in a small one.  Becker had said he wanted to catch a "little fish" and that he did.  After some photos and inspection we tossed it back, hoping it swam free.

We had a delicious dinner al fresco of salmon, basil ravioli, garden fresh squash and salad.  Becker and I wolfed it down and then it was time for him to head to bed.
Sarge, the rooster crowed bright and early again and Becker was ready to visit the goats and chickens.  "It's wake up time!" he announced after a brief groggy period of waking followed by "No, I don't want to leave Granny's house!" when he saw us begin to pack our belongings back into our bags.  We spent some time holding the babies, checking out the chickens and eating some almost ripe cherries from the fruit trees before it was time to pack up and head to town for breakfast before our long drive home.  The fruit trees will be serving up quite the bounty this season!

soon-to-be peach 
soon-to-be pluot

Becker was pretty overtired from a big couple of days on less sleep than he is accustomed so we thought he would crash the moment we got on the freeway.  Luckily we had a good 7 hours ahead of us so it didn't really matter when he fell asleep, it was bound to happen along the way.  About 30 minutes into the drive Becker needed another gas station stop to use the potty.  He cracks me up because the car is the only time he ever decides to be potty trained, but it's a welcome step in the right direction.  Two hours of chatting, singing and playing with a blanket and he finally fell silent and was asleep.  He took a good 2 hour nap and was ready for a peanut butter sandwich when he woke up.  I hung out in the back with him for most of the last 2 hours; reading books and catching the imaginary baby penguins who were flying all over the car.  We made it home an how before bedtime so Becker could play and have some dinner before bed.  And boy did he sleep well!  Not a peep out of him till morning, this little buddy had a big couple of days.

A little bit of this
A little bit of that

And then there was that

We are so proud of Becker and how well he did on this road trip.  We had no idea what to expect from him being strapped into his car seat for so long and honestly expected the worst.  The trip went really well and I was surprised at how little "entertainment" Becker wanted or needed for the drive.  I had brought a few board books, a small jet plane and some snacks.  That was it.  He spent a lot of time making up songs, talking and playing around with a swaddle blanket.  Hoping for the same luck on our trip to Italy at the end of the month!