Short On Miles

Thoughts on life, travel, and fatherhood

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Saturday October 19, 2019 // Evening Nap

I came across something the other day that’s stuck with me from one of those inspirational tweets or Instagram posts that magically appears in your feed without you asking for it. The exact quote escapes me but the gist of it was this:

Imagine your to-do list is blank. Literally nothing on it; like it never existed to begin with. Nothing from the past matters. Nothing you told yourself that you’d get done at some point matters. You can choose anything you’d like to work on. What is it?

This idea has been sitting with me, fermenting in the back of my brain over the past few days.

What would I work on if there was a blank canvas in front of me?

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Bitten Again // The Travel Bug

Thursday October 10, 2019 // Evening Nap

Ouch! What was that? I slapped my neck and see a smashed mosquito. Ugh, that’s going to itch for two days, isn’t it?

I step inside the house and unhook my dog from her leash. The steamy summer evening walks at sunset have turned into crisp autumn walks in the dark. Our summer trip to Asheville, North Carolina feels like a fading memory. Yeah, I never got around to finishing that blog post on it did I?

I head upstairs. Warm up my kid’s bottle and start the nighttime routine. The days are blurring together. Wake up, work, pick up kid from daycare, hang out with kid until he needs to nap, eat dinner with wife, wash dishes, do nighttime routine, go to sleep, repeat. Each day is wonderful. Each day I see my child grow and laugh and learn. Work treats me well. The Nats are winning baseball games. All is right. Until the itch sets in…

That was no mosquito that bit me. It was the Travel Bug. It’s two-inch fangs were dripping venom when it sank its teeth into my flesh.

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Memories from the First 14 Weeks of Fatherhood

Thursday September 26th, 2019 // After Bedtime

My kid turns 14 weeks in a few days. For those unaccustomed to counting in weeks instead of months like I was a short time ago, that’s a little north of 3 months old.

The days and weeks are whizzing by. I feel like I’m running alongside a highway and the cars and trucks passing me are time itself.

Before I blink and 14 weeks is 14 years, I want to jot down some memories from my time with my little guy up to this point so they don’t get lost on the side of my time road.

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First Day of Daycare

Monday September 23rd, 2019 // Mid-Afternoon

It’s been awhile since I’ve posted. The days leading up to our Asheville road trip were hectic. We had a successful trip which included numerous stops on highway exits in the middle of nowhere to change diapers. And once we made it back home it was like work and life wanted 110% of every waking second from me.

Today, weeks after our trip, is the first real breath of air I’ve been able to come up for. I took the day off from work. Might I suggest that more Mondays and just random workdays get taken off more often. I took today off because today was the first day of our little guy going to daycare.

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Playing Catch With My Son // A Father’s Dream

Monday August 26th, 2019 // Just After Bedtime

I just put my little guy down for the night. He’s laying in the pack ‘n play in our room. Tossing and turning every 30-60 seconds. He’ll eventually stop and fall asleep in the next ten minutes. At least that’s how it normally goes.

We’re over nine weeks into him being with us. It’s flown. The time goes by so damn fast.

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Future Travel Adventures With My Family

Friday August 23rd, 2019 // Past Bedtime

During my lunch break at work today I was feeling pretty down about the recent hamster wheel it’s felt like I’ve been on. It goes a little like this: 4:00 AM diaper change. 5:30 AM alarm clock. Hour drive to work. Eight hour day. Hour+ drive home. Then fun with my son for the next four or so hours. Pass out. Repeat the next day.

I needed to feel better and since we’re not too far off from our upcoming Asheville trip it got me thinking… What other travel adventures do I want to go on with my wife and kid?

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Non-Essential Life Projects & Being a Working Parent

Tuesday August 20th, 2019 // Late Afternoon Nap

Lately I’ve been feeling the grind of being a working parent. Our son has been with us for a bit more than eight weeks and I’ve been back at work for the past six weeks. And the day-to-day grind is beginning to wear on me.

That ever elusive “time” for stuff has always haunted me, even before becoming a parent. I’ve always been searching for time to blog more. Or time to run. Or time to learn Vietnamese. I’m probably no different than you.

All these “non-essential life projects” require time and there just never seems to be enough of it, especially as a working parent. Especially as a working parent who freelances on the side and wants to maintain a somewhat social life.

Time.

Between commuting, working, walking the pup, and trying to spend as much time as possible in the evening with my kiddo I’m flat out exhausted by the time he goes down around 9:00 PM. When am I supposed to [insert non-essential life project here]???!?

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Let’s Take a Trip to Asheville with a Baby — Part 2: Babyproofing the Itinerary

Monday August 12th, 2019 // Afternoon Nap

Current situation: trying to get into Nap Jail but I’m in Fussy Jail instead blaring white noise from my phone and getting stabbed by tiny sharp fingernails. 

A couple weeks ago my wife and I started planning a trip for us and our newborn. He’ll be a little more than two months old when we go. We’re nervous but know we have to rip the bandaid off some point because we want to continue our lifestyle of semi-frequent travel. 

Pre-baby we averaged one big trip a year that’s roughly 2-3 weeks and usually international. On top of that we general get two smaller trips in each year that are about a week long and are domestic. And we also have a couple long weekend trips mixed in when we can. Almost all of our vacation time is dedicated to traveling. 

Asheville is about a 7-8 hour drive from where we live in Virginia. We’ve never been and have heard great things. We’re not super outdoorsy people but there still should be plenty to do for a laid back quick trip with a baby. 

Traveling with a baby is unique. We’ve slowly been able to become minimalist travelers — we did France for two weeks last year (while pregnant) with one backpack a person. You can’t quite do that with a baby though. My wife wrote out his packing list and I swear it’s half our house. Good thing we’re driving. 

The first question when planning our trip we needed to answer was hotel or Airbnb? I documented my thought process in Part 1. We landed on an Airbnb. 

We wanted to stay somewhere we can walk to almost everything and Downtown Asheville near the South Slope Brewing District seemed to be the right spot. It just so happened there was a great looking Airbnb available for a decent price. We pulled the trigger and booked.

The things that sold us were:

  1. Close to a bunch of the good breweries
  2. Free parking
  3. Superhost on Airbnb
  4. Extra bedroom in case our friend tags along

Besides all the extra gear we need to lug down with us, the other challenge traveling with a baby presents is that we can really only do things in 2-3 hour chunks. He’ll either need to feed, mama will need to pump, we’ll want to get him down for a real nap, need to handle a blowout, yada yada yada. We don’t want to be far from our home base — not yet at least. We’re still new to this whole parenting thing and it’s just as much as a challenge for us as it will be for him.

This means we need lots of things close by. The Funkatorium, Wicked Weed, and Burial are all nearby. We can walk to one or two, head back when we need to, then walk back for dinner or shopping or exploring. Repeat the next day. Worst case scenario is we have a super fussy kid and have to grab to-go beer from Wicked Weed and takeout from somewhere and chill at the Airbnb. I could think of worse evenings. 

One day we will venture out to Sierra Nevada. It’s a drive but hopefully the large facility will lend us some privacy for a feeding and diaper change instead of some cramped stall in a downtown restaurant or coffeeshop. 

Btw made it to nap jail!!

City Bakery and Vortex Doughnuts seem to be close and should cover breakfast for us. We don’t want to do too much research to save room for spontaneity but we could still use some more baby-friendly restaurants recommendations from Asheville folks / past travelers. Leave us some suggestions below! 

Hmm I’m thinking Part 3 should be about the baby packing list. Have you subscribed to get emailed new posts yet?

– Josh // #havekidswilltravel

Sleep Evaluation of My 5-Week-Old

Wednesday July 31st, 2019 // After His Bedtime But Before Mine

It’s been a few days since I’ve written and I can feel that writing muscle atrophying. I guess I better break out the old Google Doc and do a little free writing session.

The little guy just went down to sleep. He’s learned this magical thing for the past several nights in a row called 6 hours of consecutive sleep. He was on a routine of feeding around 8:30 PM, then he’d wake up around 1:00 AM – 1:30 AM, then up again around 4:00 AM then up again around 6:30 AM.

Since last Friday or Saturday night (honestly the nights run together at this point…) we’ve put him down around 9:00 PM. Then he wakes up around 3:00 AM. Then around 6:00 AM. He’s cut out one of these overnight/early morning feedings. We aren’t strictly sticking to Babywise but we are following their guidelines loosely. Him being around that 5-6 week age mark is pretty much in line with what Babywise says will happen.

Side note: Our baby monitor is on the coffee table in front of me in my peripheral view. The dog just walked into frame and looked at the camera. You can’t really see her but her eyes look like a ghost or something because of the night vision mode on it. Kinda creepy.

The first night he did this we actually slept less than if he would have just woken up. It was quite comical looking back. He was stirring a bit so my wife woke up at 1:45 AM and then woke me up to ask if I fed him yet. I said no and went back to sleep. I don’t she knew what time it was because at 2:20 AM the same thing happened. He stirred and woke us both us. And she asked again if I had fed thinking that I had already and it was her turn. I said no but we were concerned because he hadn’t slept this long before.

Since he was stirring we figured he’d be waking up fully soon and I’d feed him. So I got his bottle ready and just sat at the end of the bed waiting. Ten minutes passed and he was back asleep. Sigh.

We decided we’d leave him because this is what we actually want and our pediatrician said we can go this long if he’ll let us. So I laid back down until 3:00 AM when he finally woke up. Usually it’s about a 30 minute process from the time he gets up until I’m able to feed, change, and put him back to sleep. This time between all the different wake ups and false alarms… yeah I was considerably more tired the next morning.

We’ll see what tonight holds. I know every night is a crapshoot with a newborn. It’s pretty crazy though that he’s sleeping so long already. Now if only I could force myself to go to sleep at 9:00 PM too then I think my own sleep would be much better off…

Speaking of which, I should probably cut myself off and hit the sack.

– Josh // should be asleep

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A 100% Father

Friday July 26th, 2019 // 11:30 PM

Kiddo is asleep. Mama is asleep. I should be too. He’ll be up anytime in the next 60-90 minutes for his middle of the night feeding. Then he’ll be down again until around 4:00 AM — give or take a half an hour.

We’re 5 weeks in. Man, time has flown. Feels like yesterday we were rushing to the hospital. Feels like last week we found out we were pregnant.

Little guy has already outgrown some of his newborn clothes. We didn’t even get him into all his newborn onesies! Everyone says it goes by fast. That you blink and they’re grown up. I believed them, truly. But living it is something else.

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