ah yes, i've digressed. i was writing about how fun it is to travel, so back to it.
people give me the strangest looks when they learn about what we're doing, where we've been, and that we're not afraid to go again. they have plenty of comments, too, but i try to just laugh about those. (no, i'm NOT crazy, thankyouverymuch.)
in fact, recently, our best family times have been in the car. maybe because those have been some of our only family times lately, but we'll take what we can get. people have asked how we manage so many hours in seatbelts, so i've put together a little list. my top ten
snacks - kids love snacks. so does mama. they pass the time really well, so i try to make them healthy and not care how many we eat. last trip, i'm pretty sure we skipped at least one mealtime because we'd had so much to eat on the road. we love dried fruit and fresh fruit (bc all that riding does bad things to digestive systems), cheese sticks, nuts, and little containers of cereal and/or crackers. an added bonus is that when i pack good snacks, we spend a lot less time and money at the gas stations.
$1 bin at target - every time i go to target (which is a LOT), i cruise thru the $1 section. some of our best entertainment comes from there. the items are usually small enough that i can stick them under other stuff in the cart unnoticed, which means we've got brand new stuff to check out in the car since it stays stashed away until travel time. our recent favorites have been elmo notebooks & stickers and animal flashcards, but they've got tons of fun stuff!
timing - we hate being on the road in the morning. we do it when we need to, but leaving around lunch is so much better. if everyone can wear off some energy during the morning, they're usually ready to nap or at least chill for a bit once the wheels start turning. evenings are ok too, and nighttime is even better - provided there's not toooo much excitement going on to prevent sleeping from happening in the backseat and provided the driver has lots of cofffffeeee.
favorite toys - a few of the most favored toys might disappear a few days before departure. they always magically reappear in the toy bags, tho, so don't worry. :) it's the phenomenon about absence making the heart grow fonder.
no selfish expectations - i always stick a magazine and a couple things to do in my bag, but i rarely touch them. if i don't expect to get to work on anything, it's just an extra perk if the opportunity actually arises. but, let's consider how often both kidlets sleep at the same time that i'm not driving.
comfy seats - we LOVE our britax car seats, and used the marathon version for both our kids. they're super comfy for sleeping, and have been at all ages. thing 1 is still technically able to ride in his, but no one in the front likes feet in the face. he's just too lanky to really fit well, and he's plenty old enough for a booster. just makes getting comfy a little more tricky, but we take pillows and his "special blanket."
sense of humor - this is a must. for the times when things are ugly. when there are bodily fluids outside of where they should be. laugh, don't cry. :) and, a little funny business can change the mood in the backseat pretty quickly when everyone's tired of riding. just ask the kids about the goofy songs that daddy can make up and choreograph. they just can't help themselves from laughing their lil selves silly. neither can i, actually.
dvd's - or not! - we always take a few cartoons just in case. in all the recent travelling we've done, we've actually only used videos for part of one drive. i tend to use them more if daddy's not with us on a long drive, but really we just keep this as our last resort. the kiddos love the cat in the hat and the fisher price little people, so when all else fails we can turn one of those on and have some happy faces.
songs - we often sing all together, and don't you wish you could hear! everyone takes turn picking what they want to sing, or we listen to a CD. or, we listen to daddy as i mentioned earlier...
books - i'm not so good at reading in the car, but daddy is. the munchkins almost never get tired of hearing stories, or just looking at books themselves - so, we keep quite a stash in the car. and, since novelty is often the key, a new book or 2 usually accompanies us. don't you get tired of reading the same ones over and over, too?
so, there ya have it. the road comes our way too, just in case you were wondering. ;) see ya soon!