Traveling for 5 hours in a minivan with 3 young children and one dog sounds like a kicking good time, doesn’t it? Since my parents live a little over 5 hrs from us, we’ve gotten quite adjusted to the trip. And surprisingly, it isn’t that bad. We’ve had our bad trips (like the time my son got the stomach flu the morning we were heading back home and puked every 30 min the entire way home), but overall we’ve found the key to happiness is letting the kids entertain themselves.
On our last trip my kids amused themselves in a variety of ways.
Dancing! Crank up the radio and let everyone, dance, dance, dance!!!
I Spy (Preschool Version: someone says, I spy a bus or I spy a green sign and everyone else shouts when they find it).
Race Car Races: My son and my husband pretend to be driving race cars (complete with the sound effects)
FYI: my son won, b/c Daddy backed in (aka parking upside down) making my son closest to the front door.
More Pretend Play: Here’s my daughter wiping her baby doll’s bottom b/c her diaper was yucky.
When it gets dark, I give them light sticks (you can find them at the dollar store) They have a blast waving them in the air.
We have found that at this age our kids don’t sleep reliably well during car rides, so leaving at bedtime and driving through the night so the kids will sleep, doesn’t work for us. We tend to plan our treks so that we leave after they are well rested. Then we pack snacks, toys, fun music, and we engage with our kids in pretend play and the car rides are actually quite enjoyable. “Are we there yet” is not a phrase we here all that much on our car rides. It Works for Me! To find other boredom fighting tricks, check out Rocks in My Dryer this week.
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Are you familiar with facebook? I sure have gotten a chuckle out of it. I went to a girls night out last month and listened to my friends ask, “Are you my friend?” “How can I get more friends?” “Why aren’t you my friend?” I couldn’t help but laugh as it sounded so much like middle school.
But, I finally broke down yesterday and got a Facebook account. I’ve gotten those e-mails saying, “Your friend Jane has a facebook account, sign up too.” and I’ve ignored them for well over a year now. But within the past month I’ve had 4 different conversations with friends about how much fun it is on facebook and how I will just love it. I rebutted saying I wasn’t sure I wanted to share all that info with the world, to which they replied “Crystal, you tell us all what your making for dinner every week on your blog.” After hearing about how I can see pictures of old friends and their kids and learn about my how my old marching band buddy just had a baby,… seemed it was time for me to join the crowd.
So, during nap time, when I should have been unpacking from our weekend of camping, I left the pile of stuff from our van sitting in my entry way where we dropped it last night, and I signed up for a facebook account. Within minutes I was looking at faces of friends from youth group and college, people I haven’t seen or talk to in years. And I found myself begging them to please “be my friend again” Facebook suddenly says, “Hey, you know these people… you may know these and suddenly 2 hours have gone by and I am still searching for old friends (many of whom would remember those pictures and stories I write about on Thursdays in Me to You). As of this morning, I was up to 38 friends… talk about a boost in your self esteem!
When my husband got home, he found me on the couch with the laptop updating my profile, while my oldest two children were playing with (not eating) M&M’s on the kitchen table. (Yes, this would be my shining moment as home maker and stay at home mom)!
Because writing daily posts in my blog and commenting and reading other blogs, didn’t take up enough of my time, I am now keeping up with a face book account too. The odds of our laundry getting put away just got a little slimmer!