I am brother to Nomads, and Guncle to #thegreatscoutdoors. I recently endured an entire week with these Looney Tunes in their Wheel Home. These are my stories. ₰DUH-DUH₰

Life in a first-world USA cannot happen without internet. It just can’t, especially for a couple of hard working hipsters living life on the road like a couple of Nomads. When most people pack their high-rise apartment into a 5th wheel, hook it to the back of a pick-up, and sleep in a KOA in rural Canada they call it camping. Camping is not what the Nomads think they are doing with their life. These fools call it living. Labels! Why torture a cute baby cow in a cage when you can indulge in veal? I digress.

Riddle me this Bat Woman: How many Melissa McCarthy DVD’s does it take to download Zach Effron’s Bay Watch on Apple TV over KOA Wi-Fi? Three. It takes the time of 3 Melissa flicks to download 1 Zach flick. Now, add two adults putting in a day working remotely and tack on a few hours in an online grad class in the evening. Finally, add one guest on his third week in a row away from his office. Solve.

The answer? It’s ROUGH, and challenging for anyone to get anything done. In our own ways we had all been stressing about the internet situation over the course of my visit. My last day with the Nomads was a Monday, and vacation doesn’t exist on Monday. So we did what we had to do and ventured into the big city on an internet safari. Urban Legend has it for every one crappy KOA Wi-Fi signal, there are precisely 525,600 quaint coffee shops offering up all the Wi-Fi in the world. Lucky for us, Toronto is sprawling with them, and in no time we mounted our monitors.

So there we all were, in a great little coffee shop in Toronto, keying away at our Surface Mac Pro’s, catching up on calls, and playing hot potato with a freshly napped #TheGreatScoutdoors who was radiating laughs, smiles and cuddles. I loved that day.

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I am brother to Nomads, and Guncle to Scoutdoors. I recently endured an entire week with these Looney Tunes in their Wheel Home. These are my stories. ₰DUH-DUH₰

Every wheel home I have ever had the pleasure of relieving myself in outside of the Great Outdoors has been equipped with the finest plastic commodes I could never imagine. Too short, cheap plastic, and weird flush mechanisms that are so close to the pool I’ve seen little girls place their Barbie’s life jackets on them just in case the lever falls in with the stew. And then there are the wash sinks. They are tiny, plastic, and the water temperature is about as easy to control as the temperature in a hot cocoa machine at a gas station. Wheel home facilities are strange, very strange. Like, Stranger Things strange. Stranger things have happened, though. So, naturally, just when I thought stranger facilities couldn’t possibly exist, I found one, and it’s in the Newborn Nomad’s wheel home. It is almost exactly like your brick and mortar home commode… a shiny porcelain bowl, a comfy form fitting seat and water; EXCEPT, you get to flush it with a pedal on the floor. How cool is THAT?! But wait! There’s MORE! By way of poor design, the damn thing is HEATED. Yes folks, a heated toilet that you get to flush with a pedal on the floor. Every Snowbird’s dream, every germaphobes phantasy. The Nomads are lucky. But that isn’t even the best of it. You won’t believe how it is heated. Good old fashioned, American Blue Collar ingenuity, that’s how! SOMEONE had their hard-thinker-engineer cap on when they made this thing. Do you know where the heater vent is for the entire bathroom? UNDER THE TOILET. Yep, that’s right. The toilet is heated by the same vent that heats the ENTIRE bathroom. Super-cool, super-smart, super-efficient, right? Well, no. Not really. The idea is great until you actually have to get up at 2am on a chili, Canadian night to take a number dookie and you experience it first cheek. I won’t share much, but I’ll tell you this much… this commode in the Nomad’s wheel home redefines what at ‘Hot Shit’ really is. One screaming Guncle, one ice pack, a tube of burn cream and a dip in Niagara later and the back of my thighs have almost regained their sensitivity. Despite the flawed design, the wheel home commode is quite nice about an hour after the heat goes off. You can catch a glimpse of this safety hazard in our Facebook Live video. Speaking of which… Did you catch our Facebook Live video? If you didn’t, you are missing out, and you should stop reading right now and watch it this very moment. Now, usually, I am not one to spoil my fellow socialite’s cinematic adventures, but I will tell you there is a spicy scene with a 6’ 4” Milk Maid in the shower… and there is NO CURTAIN. So, get over to the video part of this Nomad Family’s blog and get yourself some cinemaction!

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I am brother to Nomads, and Guncle to Scoutdoors. I recently endured an entire week with these Looney Tunes in their Wheel Home. These are my stories. ₰DUH-DUH₰

Prior to my visit with the Great Scoutdoors and her Nomad units I was selected by a renowned panel of international stranger people to participate in a prestigious celebration of worldly arts and culture. The prodigious celebration took place in the sacred Desierto de la Roca Negra in Mexico’s Ancient High Desert. By the end of my adventure I found myself with what was the worst sore throat I have ever had in my life. Seriously. It was worse than the time I was a virgin and had Mono. Sister was made aware of my ill situation prior to my arrival and advised the help to stock the wheel home accordingly.

For Millennia the Milk Maid and I have bonded over our love of Throat Coat Tea paired with a hearty tablespoon or two of Bragg’s Apple Cider Vinegar. It is a holistic ritual that continually strengthens our sisterhood, and our immune systems. Upon my arrival at the Nomad’s wheel home, sister and I used my sore throat as reason enough to indulge in a couple of mugs of the good stuff. It was going to be great! We’d boil, we’d brew, we’d wrap our dainty hands around our own hot mugs because we are big girls now and don’t have to share anything, and then we’d curl up on the heated-massaging recliners and live it up. It was going to be the BEST! ….. dreams. They are important, because you learn from them. Do you know what RV kitchens have? Clever storage space. Do you know what RV kitchens DON’T have? Enough of the clever storage space. But who am I to pass the buck and blame the wheel home builders for the hell that ensued? No one, that’s who, so I will give my dollar to someone else. I’m not one to throw my FamBam under the bus, but I will tell you a younger sister who shall not be named made a poor judgment call on moving day. Out of the house went all the mugs, and into the RV went one. ONE. SINGLE. MUG. And we had to share the mug. The ONE single mug. It sucked. It was weird. I didn’t like it. I don’t ever want to do it again. We aren’t the kind of family that does those sorts of things, and it wasn’t right. So readers, please follow the link below and donate to the Mug Fund I set up for our Nomads.

Only YOU can prevent mugcest! -Smokey

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I am brother to Nomads, and Guncle to #TheGreatScoutdoors. I recently endured an entire week with these Looney Tunes in their Wheel Home. These are my stories. ₰DUH-DUH₰
This blog post is an interactive one, folks. So I hope you have some time, because YOU get to control this Dear Journal. Have you ever played 20 questions? I haven’t, but I think it goes something like this….
Sister had her placenta dehydrated and packed into little frozen horse pills and delivered in an unmarked mason jar. Answer the questions and make your own story!
1. Guess what didn’t make it into the Nomad’s wheel home on moving day?
2. Guess who asked someone to bring it along?
3. Guess who was asked?
4. Guess who said yes?
5. Guess who ACTAULLY packed it?
6. Guess who was flying?
7. Guess who didn’t ‘think about it’ when they agreed to travel across the country with their sister’s Uterus parts?
8. Guess who ‘thought about it’ while packing the night before their flight?
9. Guess who had a small panic attack?
10. Guess who scoured their medicine cabinet for a prescription bottle?
11. Guess who doesn’t get sick, EVER?
12. Guess who showed up at the airport with placenta pills?
13. Guess who didn’t check their luggage?
14. Guess who went through security with a bottle of dehydrated Uterus parts?
15. Guess who’s carryon was in the X-Ray scanner the longest?
16. Guess who’s carryon was pulled off the side of the security conveyor no passenger ever wants their carryon to be pulled from?
17. Guess who’s carryon was searched?
18. Guess what the security guards found?
19. Guess what the security guards asked?
20. Guess what someone said to them?

Stay tuned for more of my dear diary moments from this placenta filled adventure!

XOXO

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It should be noted I am risking my marriage by posting this, but here it goes. I bring very little to our household. I sincerely hope Husband does not read this post, he may realize how little I actually bring to our marriage and that he can do far better. Husband takes care of all the grocery shopping, cooking, laundry, diapers, hooking up our rig, the list goes on. I do take care of chores, but less high-profile tasks like cleaning, sarcasm and making the humans. To be fair I do make all the food for one member of our family completely from scratch, but I’m not bragging. I am aware of how incredibly lucky I am, but as you will soon find out it’s really in everyone’s best interest that I do not cook.
This week Husband and Tiny Human were sick so I decide it’s high time to step up and do basic good partner tasks. A sick husband and baby are a pain no matter your lifestyle, it’s magnified when you live on the road. I tuck in my sick babies and tell them I will take care of dinner. Husband, clearly panicking, tells me to just get a pizza. Phew, pressure is off, anyone can warm a pizza. With no take out options and minimal resources near our rural campsite I decide to journey into the nearest town to The Walmart to get some supplies. I pick up a preassembled pizza, salad and hot dogs (as backup) and journey back.

I turn the oven on and get my pizza out of it’s cellophane wrapping. High on the pride I have from my masterful meal I open the oven only to realize it is not on…. turns out you have to light it. Alright, minor setback, I still got this. With the oven now really on I assemble the bagged salad to kill time. The smell of new oven stench fills the fifth wheel and I know it’s time to pop dinner in the oven. Crushing it! I set my phone timer for 17 minutes as advised by the artisan pizza packaging. Just as I begin to wonder why I don’t bless my family with more of my culinary skills I smell burning. I open the oven to find our lovely dinner completely burnt to a crisp. Oops! Well, this is why I bought backup hot dogs. You know in case I screw up my take and bake pizza. Husband quickly points out that pizza is most people’s “backup” dinner plan. Eh, I’m not most people. I chalk it off to the new oven.

I whip my backup hotdogs out of the fridge throw them in the pan and get to cookin’. This is real cooking now. I have to actually roll the pan around to evenly heat our hotdogs. Look at these beauties, perfectly toasted on all four sides. I get buns out and plop our dogs on in. I give Husband his meal, prepared with love, and watch as he enjoys. Two bites in he starts cracking up. His coal miner cough really laying it on thick. I ask him what’s so funny. He kindly points out that it is impressive that I can screw up TWO prepared meals. TWO!! WHAT?! I can make a damn hotdog kind sir. I take a bite and realize, I in fact cannot. Unless of course you like your hotdogs toasted on the outside, ice cold on the inside. Husband, filled up on cold/warm hotdog and cough syrup, goes to bed and I eat my feelings in the form of an ice cream sandwich.

Husband, if you read this, never leave me! I will die from starvation or food poisoning.

While our mobile unit was in the shop getting some much needed TLC we decide to fly home for a few days to recover from our first adventure out. Is it a bad sign that a couple weeks on the road requires a week at home to recover? Seeing as our house was at Camping World 2,000 miles away we were dependent on the kindness of family to take us in. Fortunately we have the ultimate bargaining chip, the first grandchild. In a complete failure to plan, #thegreatscoutdoors and I have conflicting schedules which means she and Husband had stay in Reno for a few days while I flew to Indianapolis, then rally in Minneapolis. See Husband’s guest post about his experience flying solo with the little monster.

I arrived in Indianapolis early in the morning. After a short snooze on the flight I realize I don’t really remember packing and I should see what I actually brought in my suitcase when we get to the airport. I open my bag to find a pair of long johns, 4 pairs of socks, 1 sweater and a long plaid shirt. Excellent, I can make exactly zero suitable work outfits with this selection. The great news is I have a leisurely 45 minutes to get across town to my hotel, shower and get ready before dinner. No problemo! You may be asking how something like this happens; it’s called procrastination people! The combination of caring for the baby, graduate school and my work combined with having very few possessions left in Reno splashed with my complete numbness to traveling means I did not bother to pack until I was leaving for the airport (I’m sure this is a run on sentence, just deal with it). Seriously, we sold all our possessions and live on the road full time, so any expectation of solid decision-making should be done away with.

This is the part of the story where an unlikely hero arrives. I hop in a taxi and explain my predicament to the driver. We, collectively, decide to run to Target to grab a quick outfit suitable for a professional lady like myself. We chit chat along the way and when we pull into Target I let my new BFF know I will boogie right back out. Of course the pressure of finding an outfit on time crunch causes me to grab items I do not need. Like a Van Halen t-shirt and another damn plaid shirt. Come on, get it together! This is the logic that got me into trouble in the first place. (Horn sound: dun dunna daaaaah!) Miss Candace, I found a few outfits for you. Here comes my driver, whipping around the corner, arms full of options for me. How long have I been in here? In the time I found crap I didn’t need my driver parked, bought some gum and found outfit options for me. It’s moments like these I question how I have been trusted to care for another person.

Alright, lets see what we’ve got here. Turns out my taxi driver has taste and can pin down a size. It’s not an outfit I would pick out for myself, but that’s not saying much since I apparently only wear leggings and plaid. I try on the outfit my personal shopper has selected and DAYUM, I look good. Maybe I should really outsource my shopping to my drivers more often. I leave the dressing rooms to find my stylist ready to assist me with selecting shoes. He carries my goods on the way to checkout and I can only imagine that I have adopted a new aristocratic stride. Feeling so posh with my personal shopper. We check out and I am soooo tempted to yell out “Big mistake, huge” as we walk out with my target bag. Just like in Pretty Woman, my driver drops me off at the Holiday Inn Express. I do a quick PTA rinse and put on my glam new threads and make it to dinner right on time.

Guess what? My wife has decided that I get to write this next blog post because I need to let you know about the challenges of a solo parent flying with an infant! (just let that soak in for a second)…

#TheGreatScoutdoors is a challenge with both of us flying! When it was my turn to fly, on my own, on a plane, with an infant-to be honest, I was feeling overwhelmed. I mean, what could go wrong? A single dad on a plane with a baby at 5am, honestly, I was nervous-I mean I’ve heard stories about how bad it can be…

Even though this will annoy my wife, IT WAS SUPER EASY! (Disclaimer-I am not a professional writer by any means so please forgive my lack of writerly skills, there will probably be some mis-spellings even though I have read all of the Grammar Girl’s books I still do not understand where and when to properly use an ellipse and or semi-colon; here?)

I took #TheGreatScoutdoors (from here on known as TGS) on a two-legged flight which we had not done before, which mean she would have to be awake for most or part of the flight. Hence my nerves. We started off our day at 4:00am to get to the airport with enough time to check in and make our flight. My sister-in-law was awesome and offered to take us to the airport and was helpful getting us on our way. TGS was semi-awake as we tackled the local TSA. Pre-#TheGreatScoutdoors, TSA was a snap-we have pre-check and my wife & I would race to try and beat our record of 114 seconds (Note-I hold that record-not the wife) from the door of the airport through TSA. With a small child, it gets complicated. Things to know-breast milk has to be packed in a very specific manner, you have to remove the (hopefully) sleeping baby from the car seat so TSA can turn the car seat upside down to check for security issues. You and the child go through the checkpoint-repack everything, put them back into the car seat, all in hopes they remain asleep! TGS DID sleep through all of this-so I was stoked!

We found our gate, TGS was still asleep (score) and we prepared to board. It was odd because as a guy I find I often am helping others to lift heavy luggage overhead, get seated, etc. But when boarding with a baby, I found I was the one requiring assistance! But people were great to me & I will never look at another person travelling with a child the same way again. No one has ever asked to “help me” but on this flight I had two people to offer help and yes, they were both women. I was so thankful for their assistance. We settled in and amazingly, TGS slept for the duration of flight #1. After a layover, we boarded flight #2. Flight #2 was a different story as The Great Scoutdoors was WIDE awake and proceeded to cry on and off for 2 ½ hours as we made our way from Phoenix to Minneapolis. Luckily I was sat next to an off duty flight attendant who was a whiz with a crying baby, so once again, the kindness of strangers was not lost upon me! I discovered that walking up and down the row of the plane and rocking Scout helped her to stop crying and to fall asleep. When I attempted to place her back in her car seat-she would wake up and cry once again. We repeated this process 10-12 times to no avail. Finally the amazing flight crew just had me stand in the back galley and rock her for the rest of the flight. And I had great conversation with this American Airlines crew as they offered not only baby flying tips but also the latest on airline business information as well (they were very knowledgeable!).

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Mom was waiting for us at the gate and I was more than happy to hand off a now hungry TGS to her mom (as we ran out of breast milk during flight #2).

img_3934.jpgThings I learned:

People will always help a single Dad. I hope they help the single Moms as well.

I’ve often seen single Moms receive the stink eye from fellow travellers if their child or children create any commotion. I wish Moms would receive the same luxury I received on travel day.

All in all, an entire day of travelling with TGS went pretty easy. I was relieved and believe I am ready for the next trip. I’m looking forward to the Wife’s stories when she travels alone with TGS to see if her experience matches-up with mine.

This post is all about breastfeeding, if that’s not relevant to you or makes you uncomfortable probably best to skip this one. I promise, I won’t be offended.

I have been asked a lot recently about how I travel solo while nursing. The only thing more stressful than flying with your small human, is being a nursing mom flying without your primary customer. Breastfeeding is a fun topic; opinions are ironically like nipples, everyone has them but right now mine (and other moms) are a little more relevant. Most people are vocal and even critical about expecting moms to breastfeed, but in general people don’t want to actually see you feeding your child. We prefer our boobs in their resting state, hoisted up in a lace brassiere. I get it a little, breastfeeding boobs are no treat to the eyes, but if my kid’s gotta eat, she’s gotta eat. And as a nursing mom you forget that your kid’s food actually comes from your boobs. They’re simply your child’s food source. You get absurdly comfortable whipping em out no matter where you are and occasionally forget to put them away when lunch time is over. Of course this is coming from someone who is fairly comfortable with nudity.

This exhibitionism gets slightly more complicated when the kitchen is preppin’ food for someone who isn’t there. Out comes the archaic pump that makes you feel like a cow getting milked on the farm. Classy, I know, but I’m all about portraying this experience honestly so bare (breast) with me. I have had to pump mid-flight, in a bathroom stall, in an Uber and even at a well site. It really isn’t all that bad, but I feel like this needs to be shared to humanize the experience. If you see (or hear through the bathroom stall) a woman pumping know that she is doing her best. It’s hard to find places to be discreet. It’s already a vulnerable experience. You feel oh so sexy with your engorged boobs on display, without your baby and feel like a pariah hiding away doing something that really isn’t shameful but feels that way when others are judging. Treat this woman like a human, a little non-creepy eye contact and a hello will make her day, trust me.

For those moms who are breastfeeding and traveling without little ones, I have included my tips and tricks for an utterly enjoyable pumping experience at the end of this blog post. One of the best things I have found is the Mother’s Milk Bank. They are all over the country and will gladly accept any milk you would like to donate to babies in NICUs all over the country. Because a lot of my travels are to Dallas I registered with the Mother’s Milk Bank of North Texas. It’s a process, you have to get blood work done and make sure you’re in good health before donating, but it’s totally worth it. This milk is going to babies in need who will benefit greatly from the antibodies only breast milk can provide. Once approved donating is easy. I plan my travels so I can drop off all the milk I have pumped as I head home from my trip sans baby. If you are traveling somewhere other than where you normally donate they will ship a box to you so you can send your donated milk.
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My travel days start early so I sneak in a dream feed right before I head out to the airport. Depending on flight time I may try to pump right before the flight. I travel quite a bit so I have access to most lounges. I know this isn’t an option for everyone, but if it is for you I highly recommend it. It’s nice to set your things down in a cubby and find a little area to pump in comfort. Occasionally I pump mid-flight. If that is what I have to do I try to get a row that isn’t full. Again, I don’t mind this, but I’m sure others may not be comfortable. If this is your only option just make light of it, I offer White Russians to those around me.

When you get to your destination make sure you have a refrigerator in your room, if not ask for a medical fridge. If they don’t have any available (I have only experienced this once) ask the hotel to keep your freezer bag in the kitchen fridge. On departure day I pump before leaving, drop off my donation (in the mail or in person) and head to the airport. Once again I attempt to pump before my flight and then head home to my little calf.
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If this is your first time or it’s just one of those days just do what I do. Pretend like you totally have it under control and crack a couple jokes. Works like a charm, even if you’re the only one laughing.

Here are the items in my baby-free travel kit!

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Pump backpack – This is not an actual pump bag; those bad boys are outrageously overpriced. This bag is great, opens nice and big and fits all the supplies I have listed along with my pump.

4 empty sandwich bags. Simply fill with ice at any beverage vendor once you’re past security and double bag. Voila!

Pump bags – I love these bags and they come with an attachment so the bags can hang where the bottles would be. This means you don’t have to carry any bottles with you and make the risky pour into a bag.

Pump battery – Perfect for emergency pumping.

Pump Car Charger – Too often I am stuck in a car all day, this is incredibly handy.

Nursing pads – duh

Freezer bag – This bag fits about 24 hours worth of milk for me (equivalent to one Big Gulp).

Microwavable sterilizing bags – Super easy to use. It’s always important to sterilize your pump parts, but even more so while donating.

Pump Cleaning – These wipes are easy to use on the go.

Something to nipple on, I mean nibble on.

Happy Pumping!

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Air travel is stressful for most people. Between TSA, changing/made-up guidelines and the threat of being beaten and pulled off a plane it can be a bit much. Throw in a newborn and even the most frequent flyers pee their pants a little. Husband and I fly a lot. While I was pregnant with #TheGreatScoutdoors I flew more than 60,000 miles, and that was on a restricted travel schedule. Since our little world traveler is now a Platinum flyer of the Mile-High Womb Airlines we can only hope she will be a great traveler.IMG_4890

So far our carry-on has been on 6 flights so we are obviously experts. This post is merely for entertainment; we aren’t actually smug enough to think we are experts after 6 whole flights. There is a panic that fills new parents from the moment the flight is booked to the moment the plane has landed. If you’re lucky and you’re really quiet you can hear the universal sigh of relief when wheels hit the tarmac. No matter how the flight went, you are just happy it’s over. With an intense travel schedule ahead we have been holding our breath for weeks! When you go from being a frequent flyer to flying with a child everything changes. In a weird turn of events, every suitcase you have is now dedicated to the smallest person in your party. If you’re like Husband and I you NEVER check bags. EVER! We have traveled for weeks in Europe with one, yes one, shared carry-on size suitcase. There’s an arrogance amongst us frequent flyers, we cannot be seen with a luggage tag, no matter the circumstances. The problem is, babies have a ton of crap! For somebody that was naked and living off my body mere months ago she can’t seem to live without her collapsible play mat, 500 binky’s, 4 outfits a day with matching headbands, the entire Little Remedy’s kit that we’ve never once needed, diapers, burp rags and apparently sign language flash cards to study in her free time. My god! It’s outrageous. To think, Husband and I have backpacked with a can of tuna and a change of undies, and we’re gonna let this kid bring us down? I think not.

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We have been lucky that so far we have been able to avoid checked baggage, code browns and midflight meltdowns (all parties included). Of course we aren’t cocky enough to think this will be true for every flight. We have a healthy fear of our 12lb sack of potatoes. It’s no secret that babies are ticking time bombs (just realized I’m typing the word bomb while I’m on a plane, oops). While they may be sleeping like an angel, that could and will likely change at any moment. Now imagine doing this as a solo parent. Nope, not me. The Husband has decided he is parent enough for the both of us and can totally handle the “Solo Dad Life” on cross country flight. Good looking dad, adorable baby, I think they’ll be just fine. (Check back for his post).

Because of our life on the road, we did get #TheGreatScoutdoors Global Entry, which comes with TSA precheck. You don’t have to get your child precheck. If you have it, you can bring your child through precheck with you. However, if you travel as much as we do I think it’s a great idea to get your little one registered as a known traveler. When booking your travel you now have three known travelers, which increases your chances that you’ll have precheck (I don’t know any of this for fact, but I fly a lot and can say I get “randomly” selected less when I’m booked with other known travelers). The BEST part of all of this is that our 4 month old has a Homeland Security interview. As if flying isn’t enough, now I have to worry about what this little, irrational creature is going to do in an interview. I’m guessing she will refuse to answer their questions. I haven’t known her for all that long, so I really can’t vouch for her whereabouts. Don’t worry, we’ll be sure to share if she is detained or deported.

This is likely a surprise to everyone, with the exception of my husband, but I actually write quite a bit. I journal for my daughter and have since I found out we were expecting her, mostly just stories about her conception and our lack of parenting skills in hopes to horrify her one day. I’m in graduate school and of course I have a grown-up job where I have to sound intelligent and paint pictures with the written word. Yes, you would think I would have better writing skills but c’est la vie. Normally I try to say something witty or philosophical to open an entry, however, this week we are wrecked so let’s dive right in, shall we?

We left off with our journey through Sturgis during Sturgis. Oooofff, rookie move. We made it and now we know that we should’ve listened to my gramps when he told us to research our routes beforehand. Clearly we enjoy learning things the hard way. Now off through Dakota. Yes, I know they are two states, I’m sure I learned why in US history at some point, but really there are about two cities total and they’re on opposite ends of the states. The distance between civilization and flat landscape makes the drive tough for this mountain girl. Fun fact, the drive from Rapid City to Fargo was actually longer than my entire pregnancy. This is all magnified when you have the first child in human history who hates car rides. Clearly, a karmic joke or Murphy’s law, whatever it would fall under. “Let’s live on the road with our small child who HATES being in the car”.IMG_3349I realize these days may not sound all that fun, but they are quite enjoyable and we know we are making memories. We find humor in this ridiculousness.  What could be a mundane drive is magically transformed by the BIGGEST code brown to ever happen! Of course our child would explode in the middle of South Dakota on the side of the road, while we were on a business call. Here we are, at a rural South Dakota rest stop, our phones on mute, peeling our child out of her clothes. I can only imagine what the truckers driving through must have thought as we are holding our naked baby out in a field, hosing her off with water bottles. This is what this adventure is about, not poop obviously, but seeing new places, making memories and truly experiencing every single day.

While we make this journey across the country our evenings are spent figuring out our new home. Turns out a home on wheels is not entirely like a house. While we have all the comforts of home (including a fire place), there are some things to adapt to. The walls move, you flush the toilet with your foot and everything you own is velcroed down. All of these nuances make you appreciate how simple our lives truly are. For instance, we have not had hot water since we started this journey. Every single night has been spent tearing through manuals and youtubing “how to turn on valves”… and “what is a valve”? My sweet husband has acquired the mouth of a sailor this week and I’m afraid there is no turning back. This new obstacle is some sort of retribution for blowing off my parents every time they told me about the hardships of growing up in their day. Turns out hot water is, in fact, important. Our cushy, “never had a hard days work” bodies do not enjoy freezing showers. Basic hygiene has taken a big hit this week. Going several days without a shower is a true marriage test, I do not recommend it.

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Only a few days on the open road and our list of repairs now requires a legal size piece of paper. We have taped up the side of our house with glow in the dark tape; you know, to really accentuate all the damage we’ve caused. We pull in to Minnesota in our jalopy and find the nearest Camping World. We wonder what we will see first, all 50 States or all Camping World locations. As our home is being repaired we are taking a far less civilized mode of transportation. Because the joys of traveling with a baby can only be magnified by the glamour that is air travel.IMG_3532