Wednesday, August 27, 2008
Well, it is another Works For Me Wednesday!! We recently made a 15 and a half hour drive from Raleigh, NC to Mobile, AL, where we will be living for the next 10 months or so while my husband's company is here building a huge something or other. Yes, I said something or other.
Anyways, that drive was one to be remembered, as we had the van FULL of everything from our house we thought we would need for a 10 month stay in an apartment. Frankly, we couldn't see out any of the windows. The trip really brought new importance to the word "co-pilot". But I digress.
For Works For Me advice, I am sharing how we kept from going crazy on the drive for THAT LONG with an almost 2 year old and a 9 week old.
*We had this for Little Dude. He was able to draw, play with toys, and eat tons of snacks, all with a nice flat place to work.
*We had a cooler FULL of drinks and snacks. Our snacks consisted of mostly cracker type items-anything that could be vacuumed up later very easily and NOTHING even remotely sticky. For drinks, I just kept filling up Little Dude's sippy cup with whatever bottled things we had.
*We had different CDs made with various music and I had a CD full of lively dance music that Little Dude just loves
*We played "look at that" games with him. He is a little too young for "I spy" so every few minutes Bill and I tried to find something different or cool to notice. When we got desperate we started pointing out other cars or things in the car.
*We had a bag of small toys ready at my reach to pass off, as well as those color wonder markers and paper to keep him buys and our seats marker free.
*We named animals and their sounds. Little Dude loved making cow and monkey sounds over and over...it was better than crying, even if we did hear moo a lot.
*I had a couple of changes of clothes and TONS of diapers for both kids readily accessible so car stops could be as quick as possible. We did pretty good since the drive was supposed to be about 12.5 and including time to stop and nurse JR we only added on 3.
*For one of JR's feedings I gave him a bottle in the car. Yes, I know nursing is best, and I do really enjoy nursing, but for the sake of saving time, he did get one formula feeding. And on a side note, in my opinion, whatever makes baby feeding the least stressful and most pleasant for Mommy and baby is what is right, be it nursing or formula.
*We left as early as possible in the morning so all our driving was finished about the time the sun set. That made stops easier, and since we couldn't see well out of the car, it made driving easier. I suggest though, if you're able, to do as much driving while the kids are sleeping when you can.
*I had about a 1000 pacifiers on hand for JR. Again, all easy to get.
*My husband and I actually TALKED. Amazing how quickly the time goes by when you are talking. Though I admit we did talk about his work some, as you can tell from my description of what he is down here building (something that will make steel..I do know that much...hahah), you can tell I learned a lot. But it was still interesting and fun to talk about.
*We included Little Dude a lot in our conversations about scenery, where we were driving, how he was doing, what we should eat out of the cooler, etc, I think he really enjoyed adding his two cents, "Mommy, I poot!!!" (why does mommy always get told where there is poop?) And it was a nice way to keep the time flowing.
*We prayed to the Gods to keep the kids from crying and us from going bonkers. Luckily, they were with us, and the trip was a very nice and smooth one.
*We don't have a car DVD player, and honestly I think there is enough tv in our lives without bringing it into our car, but I could see how for a trip this long it would be a nice distraction.
*We stopped at places where we could get gas and some hot food all at once-like those combo gas station McD's kind of stops.
*My husband and I took turns making bathroom trips so we didnt have to juggle the kids in bathrooms. I got first go every time-Bill is so awesome and I have a crazy small bladder; this he knows.
*Whenever we stopped for the bathroom we let Little Dude out to run around-we would park far away from other cars, hold his hand and luckily ended up near some grassy areas too, so he could get in the grass and we could be next to the car the whole time. We let JR our too, but he didn't really seem to care as much as Little Dude, JR was just happy that someone was holding him, be it the car seat or one of us.
Well, that is what we did, and it worked well for us. On our next drive back up to NC, I will let you guys know if the same tricks work again....
Head on over to Rocks in My Dryer for more tips!