Wednesday, July 13, 2011

On the Road

I promise that my posts wont be like this the whole trip recap but some said they wanted details on how to survive such a trip with young kids so I felt like I should tell details
So we packed up half the house and hit the road (a little after our goal time due to a turn around go back for the pack n play we forgot to get out of the closet! jeeze louise was putting it nicely) Our plan was to make it to Amarillo for the first night and then drive up to Colorado Springs the next day. It was a long first day in the car and we were all getting used to the idea. It wasn't that bad really, just a lot of work to keep the kids happy and a long day. We didn't pull in to the hotel till pretty late (and we were all exhausted! Because well, Alex you see, has this thing against sleeping in the car....he doesnt. He is like an animal. Its really crazy! And Ellie was a champ as sleeping but her naps where short because of noise or stopping in small town traffic lights (that you just curse and curse!) We turned her around because it just didn't seem fair to exclude her from the movies and the family fun. (She is now rear facing again just fyi)

first stop for lunch
drive baby drive!

sleeping beauty

I did get Alex a few things for the trip to keep him of which this color wonder travel set. See him using the marker like a rocket. Yeah, you can imagine how long he wanted to color.
but the case did make for a good lap table (something I would recommend for a car trip like this) later we decided to open it up so that there would be a lip preventing fall out. okay so my new big idea is a tray that attaches to the car seat- why don't they make these already?!?! like sell them with the car seat! Alex watched a ton of movies- the best one was Land Before Time (not the movie but the cartoon shows- he was glued!! and pretty sure it was like 5$ at Walmart) It was the best way to keep him happy and quiet.
That and shoving snacks in his face. I decided that the trip was not a time to worry about what he was eating and such. I let it all go! Anything was fair game! Brace yourself...even candy in the morning. I know. He is now a fan of starbursts and ring pops! who wouldn't be!? Good thing we went to the dentist right before we left. ;)

Only a few short hours in he kept saying he wanted to go home. nice. He wanted to play cars on our couch. really?!

Some other things that were in the bag 'o fun....
this quiet book- my dream was to make one but I realized that maybe this would have to do since I got as far as a stack of paper ideas for mine. someday though! because I know it would be soo great to have. he really liked it!

toy boats, toy cars, toy motorcycle with guy, new book (that lasted a millisecond!), rubber snake- this was a good idea actually! really fun), some manipulatives from the target dollar spot, construction site stickers/scene, and a mini farm set- Alex really liked this! One big hit with both of them was this set of finger puppets from IKEA! soo cute, cheap, and fun for the whole family!
I really didn't do a good job of preparing for this though and should have put more thought and time into it. Things went quickly and I even had to buy some of this stuff for the way home in Colorado! I know I know....he is ridiculous. We thought he might sleep at least a little! But now I have thought of things I even had that I wished I had taken- magnet scenes, magnet dress up doll (we have the boy one) books with "window" pop ups. I realized now that they even have a brain quest for kids his age! Next time I will be more prepared!

Notice I havent talked much about Ellie's entertainment. Well, thats because she didn't need much. And most of the stuff I just passed over to her after Alex was done with it. She did love her baby and books. She liked the new word book I got her that has pictures of real things in it. She watched some videos but not for long. I think her favorite was one of Alex's favorites at this age too- Sesame Street- its soooo good! I need a new copy actually cause we have worn ours out!

* One thing I loved having for her was a leash for the sippy cup and leash on her pacifier! Key!! and well worth the money!!

We did also just have good clean family fun...talking, playing word games, good ole simon says, looking at things out the window- enjoying the sites (yes west Texas does have a few things like trains and windmills, Colorado was great for this- more on that later), singing and listening to music. With an all out dance party with late night sillies. Ellie loves a good dance party. Good times, good times.

But now you see what I mean about work! With our new car there is no where for me to sit in the back so I did lots of interesting back bends and reaches. It was not pretty. and when Travis did switch with me for a little while we decided we would be best to stick to our predetermined rolls. :)

After 10 hours in the car, a completely trashed out car, lots of nothing out the window, brutal heat, lots of potty stops, two meals of wrestling cranky kids, a little bit of "redirection", we were ready to crash....that is after some good running and screaming down the halls of the hotel.

The next day was better- we really did learn a lot about traveling and how to be more organized and prepared. and it was only a few hours (7!!) to Colorado Springs and we could finally say to Alex that we made it to Colorado! We were excited to get out of the car and even more excited to see family!!

fyi- We learned for the ride home that the best use of time would be to stop at Kmart and play a little then eat meals in the car (since they aren't good at eating anyway!) Worked much better! but Alex did have a hard time letting go of this baseball helmet.

I guess what I want to say too, is that you can do it! It's hard but dooable...and I have lots of special memories now that I wouldn't trade for anything. I may even do it again some day. wow.


Shelby said...

Great post.. Love that "A" shirt.. haha

Brandy said...

I just bought two of those quiet books at a fair yesterday. I plan to use them on the 15+ hours we'll be flying in a week!
glad your car ride went well.

Sara said...

Great tips and ideas, thanks for sharing! I need to get some of those busy books!

Ashley said...

Love these car trip ideas. We survived 9 hrs to TX, and I was definitely screaming (silently!) at the stoplights on 281. We actually took I-35 intentionally to avoid small towns. I'm sure we have lots more lessons to learn.