Traveling Lessons Learned

I like a good adventure from time to time. It really throws the schedule for a spinning nose-dive, which is so fun sometimes. *slight sarcasm*

Actually, experiencing the over-tired CRASH has been kind-of enjoyable. hehe Twice now, Peter has moaned and groaned for virtually the whole car ride and then fallen asleep five minutes from our destination. Fortunately, he has transferred to his sleeping location, whether tent or carpeted floor, seamlessly. Sleep deprived kids really are easier. LOL *joking* Maybe in the short term. =)

So, since Tim has been pedaling a two-wheeled device all day (and wanted to sleep alone last night), I've been flying solo for about 24 hours and learning all sorts of important lessons.

First, if you are lucky enough to find a campsite with a shower, towels are helpful. Paper towels do work, but are easier to retrieve when clothed rather than not.

Mommy porta-potties in the car would be helpful, both on the side of the road AND in the middle of the night when the bathroom is too far away to leave both children unattended in order to PEE. Night-time diapers are also very helpful for those afor-mentioned sleep-deprived children who probably won't be waking up in the middle of the night to walk to afor-mentioned far-away toilet. Laundromats are helpful in the event that you forget the nighttime diaper (in the quick transfer from car to tent). Quarters are even more helpful when you find said laundromat. Lessons learned.

A cooler full of milk, strawberries, grapes, watermelon, yogurt, cheese sticks is super duper helpful. And in the event that you forget to bring spoons (along with your towels), it's pretty easy to swipe a couple at a McDonalds or deli market in a grocery story. Been there, done that. Both places.

Back to the topic of pee, the best thing yet this trip was finding a mall (open at 8am!) with a family restroom. Toys for the kids, little toilet for the early pottier, big toilet for mommy without the need to corral the Water-Seeking Walker or entertain the Enthusiastic Potty-Flusher. All to ourselves. Beautiful.

Want another pee story? Twice Peter cried wolf. "Mommy I have to go PEEEEE." Hurry across the bridge to KFC. Pull over with emergency flashers and get lined up by the weeds. Nothing. He just wanted to get out of the car. We had a little chat.

The beach was super fun. I took some Spectacular photos, or so I think. Haven't uploaded yet. A good idea would have been taking wipes to get that wet sand off the hands before these little fists move up to rub the eyes. Sad boy with sand in eyes. Something I DID do right, but hadn't really thought about it, was dressing Peter in a bright striped shirt. Not only does it make fun pictures, it was a lifesaver when my boy decided to take off toward to water while I had my attention on Ezra. Scanned the beach quickly (a bit frantically) and there was his blue striped shirt, about 50 feet away.

Ezra adjusted to sleeping in the tent fairly well (in his pack n'play). It only took about an hour for him to wind down and fall asleep. Too bad he woke up an hour or so after midnight, inconsolable. Probably waking up a few close neighbors in RVs. Thankfully not waking up sleep-deprived brother. I learned that switching tents helps and probably should have been done sooner. He cuddled up beside me, taking more than half of my thermarest, and promptly went back to sleep. Glad I woke up at one point during the night in enough time to re-circulate my left arm which had completely fallen asleep, due to my unnatural sleep position. Thank you Ezra. Sleep records: Peter - 8 hours, Ezra - 7.5 hours, Mommy - 4 hours (why does it take so crazy long to fall asleep in an unfamiliar location with tons of traffic noise and artificial light?)

I'm still looking for suggestions for how to make car riding more tolerable for the boys. We pretend play with cars and action figures. We tried travel Bingo, with a fun printable from Teach Mama. We "picture read" (newly learnt today and very funny to listen to Peter's creativity). We looked for the letters of the alphabet on signs. We sang songs. Then Peter pulls on Ezra's arm, until Ezra cries, then lets go. Then Ezra falls asleep and Peter pinches him. Or Peter wakes him up by yelling NOOOO really loud (which we discussed later and he confessed that he says that when he is on the verge of falling asleep and doesn't want to). I finally set up a pillow divider between their car seats which worked for awhile, until Peter wanted it to lean on and then got so frustrated by his half-mast eyelids that he threw it on top of Ezra. How about soundproof car-seats? Kinda like a drum-set cage.

Isn't it ironic how mom has to use all sorts of Staying Awake Devices while driving and trying to get sleepy kids to fall asleep. Singing lullaby songs decidedly into the BACK seat of the car. 

Printing out detailed turn-by-turn directions to all the places on our road trip was very helpful. Definitely need to remember to do that again.

What fun. Pictures to come. =)