We’ve stayed pretty close to home these last few months – I was telling La Verne last week that I can’t remember the last time we weren’t home for Juliette’s two naps and bedtime.  That means we haven’t left the house for more than 4-5 hours since…Christmas in Portland?  Is that possible?  We were due for a getaway.  So when my aunt told us she’d be visiting Portland from Baltimore for a few days, we took that as our cue to get out of town for the weekend and catch up with family.  We headed out on Friday morning, fingers crossed that Jules would take a solid nap on the road, spend the afternoon at Mitch’s charming the family with her babbling and smiles, and sleep like a rock during her first night in a hotel.  The best-laid plans…

The ride down went alright, save for the last thirty minutes, at which point Jules had decided she was done being in the car.  We tried singing songs, giving her snacks, stopping for a breather, cranking up the radio, turning down the radio, playing peek-a-boo, and praying, but ultimately just had to push through.  We made it to Edgefield for lunch, a little worse for the wear, but with sanity mostly in-tact.  And it was so good to see Grandma!

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We spent the afternoon at Mitch’s house, laying low.  Jules woke up from her nap feeling a little warm.  Not good.  And then two gooey streams of snot shot out of her nose when she sneezed.  Really not good.  She came down with a cold last time Mitch and his family visited and spent much of the weekend fussing.  Could her timing really be this bad?  Hang with us, baby!  We gave her some ibuprofen and hoped for the best.  She perked up a little at dinner and seemed to enjoy hanging out with Morgan, who read her books and offered her toys and sang her six rounds of The Itsy Bitsy Spider.

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The Jarrell Inn was full for the night, so we headed out after dinner to check into our room at a nearby hotel.  We did bathtime, pajamas, and Pack N Play setup in record time and had Jules tucked in just past her regular bedtime.  Whew!  Shane and I tucked ourselves into bed with the iPad to watch an episode of The Americans, tired but pretty satisfied with how well we’d fared for the day.  And then, at 8:30, Juliette started to fuss.  I opened the door to the living room (we were in a suite) and rubbed her back until she settled down, figuring she was probably confused by this strange crib in this strange room.  She quickly went back to sleep and I hopped back into bed.  Crisis averted!  And then, at 8:45, she really started wailing.  Not just a whimper, but an all out plea to Come get me, NOW!  I nursed her until she dropped back off to sleep, hoping we’d seen the last of each other for the night.  But she woke again at 9:15.  And 9:45.  And 10:00.  I could hear her cold getting worse, as she snorted through her stuffy nose.  I finally just pulled her into bed with us and tried propping her up with a pillow so she could breathe easier.  But she was squirmy.  And hot.  I took her sleep sack off.  I put it back on.  I laid her on my chest, Shane tried nuzzling her in the crook of his arm, I nursed her, Shane sang to her, but she just wouldn’t settle.  I pulled the Pack N Play next to our bed and put her in it, my arm draped awkwardly over the side of the bed so that I could rub her back while she drifted off to sleep.  Time was all a blur at this point, but I think this lasted about an hour, and then she somehow ended up back in the bed, and then she was back in the Pack N Play in the living room for a couple of hours while I hopped up every 20 minutes to soothe her.  Shane headed out at 6 am to pick up some baby Tylenol, and after we gave her a dose she slept for two whole hours.  I haven’t been so thrilled by two hours of sleep since she was four days old!

We were up and at ’em around 8:30, bleary-eyed and a little bit cranky.  This might be one of the most deceptive photos of all time – I pulled out the camera just to memorialize Juliette’s first night in a hotel, figuring I’d catch her fussing, but she flashed Shane a pretty great grin as I leaned over to snap a picture.  I’ll take it.  We’ll call it her We survived! smile.

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In the morning so she looked so small in that king-sized bed.  In the middle of the night, she felt like a a 900-pound restless gorilla.

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We went to Mitch and Kathryn’s for breakfast, thinking we’d ride the wave of Juliette’s morning dose of Tylenol until naptime, at which point we’d head home.  We ate and then walked over to the girls’ favorite park for swings and slides and basketball.  The fresh air did us all good.

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Cousins! (That’s the neighbor girl on the right, honorary Jarrell for the day.)

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Juliette seems to be getting more comfortable with being the center of attention!

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The ride home was, well…

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But we made it back to Seattle with only two stops and Juliette started to rebound that evening – she’s on the mend now, fever-free and sleeping much, much better.  Although the weekend didn’t quite live up to my idealized visions (they never do!), we’re still glad we made the trip, glad my Aunt Ruthie got to meet Juliette, if only for a few hours.  And maybe it’s good to regress every once in awhile, so that we can appreciate how far we’ve come in these last nine months.  Yeah, I’ll go with that…


  1. La Verne Chen says:

    oh man, your night in the hotel was very similar to our night in the hotel… all i could think at 3 am was, “omg, so glad we didn’t end up squishing into a two bedroom house with the schnells, cuz this baby still wants to party!”

  2. kellyschnell says:

    Oh no! We had the same thought – we were glad Jules wasn’t keeping you guys up. Turns out we could have all partied together in the wee hours of the morning!

  3. Brieanne Marshall says:

    This must be a pretty universal thing because oh my gosh this sounds far too familiar. I found E did much better at hotels with actual cribs (she was always HORRIBLE in the pack ‘n play) but yeah. I feel your pain!