March 16, 2007

Getting Ready... Part Two

Wow, thanks for all the comments! I'll try to answer as many as I can here.

Yes, we are going to borrow a car-top carrier. Even still, with a minimum of 12 luggage bags and some sleeping bags, that will be full up. It will however take some of the strain off the cramped quarters inside the van. Just have the ice chest, bag of food,pillows, blankies, backpacks, and things to keep the kiddo's occupied* during the trip. * see below for more on that

Puke bucket! Great thing to remember to take along! Thanks! Though I'm thinking something with a lid would be prudent.....

Kimm, if you can sleep while your hubby drives and the kids are in various states of wakefulness, my hat is off to you! LOL! My wonderful guy will only be getting home from work 6 hours before we plan to leave. Did I mention he works a 12 hour shift, with an hour commute each direction? And, that he will just be coming off his "long" work week of 4 of those 12 hour shifts? Sorry, but I feel it is my duty to stay awake to be sure the driver stays awake. We talk, quietly, as we leave in the wee hours of the morning so that the kids spend at least SOME of the travel time asleep (put them to "bed" in their travel clothes, get them up at 3 am, to the potty and into the car with their pillow and blankie and hit the road!), listen to music (nothing to sleepy) munch on sunflower seeds (even okay for low carb - yeah!) and go as far as we can without making a stop. More on our travel without stopping method later. Sure to entertain! LOL!

Boaz's Ruth, necessity IS the mother of invention! LOL! Five carseats isn't too bad in a 15 passenger van, as long as you realize that some carseats only fit in a center type buckle and likewise some carseats HAVE to be used with shoulder straps. Right now we are running two that use centers and three that use shoulder straps. The law for carseats in our state is such that kids have to be in carseats until they graduate high school they are 6 years old AND 60 lbs. I don't know about the rest of you, but I don't know many kids who are 6 and 60 lbs. It's not that I don't think carseats are a good thing, just take up way more real estate in a car than just the child would. The "up" side is that the kids sitting next to carseats have a place to lean their heads while they sleep!

Okay, here is the part about entertaining the kids. First thing is that I am bringing those Crayola coloring books with the invisible markers, AKA Color Wonder, for the younger kids. I weighed my choices - still have cheap crayons and Rose Art Markers from the back to school sales last summer.... and I took advantage of the awesome deal Kim shared for white copy paper from Office Depot (I mean 100 sheets is only 3 cents, the kids could go wild!) so I have plenty of paper for them to use.... BUT, the thought of melting crayons, broken crayons, someone bored enough to color on a carseat, window, etc. , not to mention pen ink, washable or not, and what to do with all that used up paper? Sorry, not going there. Yes, it would be more frugal, but it wouldn't do much for my blood pressure. The Color Wonders have no color to them, the color is in the paper, which also is spiral bound, so not floating all over the car. The kids will each have a backpack of their travel things in the car, so they each get a book and a set of markers (and, as per Kim's great suggestion, I will bring a couple dead marker's caps in case we lose one along the way!). Some of the kids have Gameboys to entertain them. But, the granddaddy of them all is the DVD player we had installed last week in the van. Yes, is was expensive (got to love tax return time, well, when you are getting money back that is!) but oh my, it is pretty cool! It has a 17 inch screen! We were either going to have to go with two smaller screens (so people in the back part of the van had a screen they could see without binoculars!) or this one humdinger of a monster!

View from side doors with screen down. (click to enlarge pictures)

View from back seat of 15 passenger van.

View from side doors with screen put away.

I also have in mind to print up a few bingo or scavenger hunt type games for the older kids, with prizes to pique their interest. I found this website with lots of great info and games to print at home to take on our trip. Here is another good one.

Well, that is enough for now. Will post about our traveling with less stops method later. Included in that will be my plans for low carb eating for hubby and I while on the road.

Feel free to post more questions!


Anonymous said...

What a great post. I am absolutly interested in your road trip. ~ We are always on the road. We just came off of a small road trip this past week. We have three children three and under so our sanity road trips inclued (1) a cooler with snacks and drink boxes for sippie cups (2) a porta potty for those times that little ones can't hold it through major city traffic. We also have a DVD player but they are in each headrest and so we can play a video for everyone or the children can have earphones if they don't want to watch what the other one is watching! :)

Julie said...

Great post! I highly recommend the puke bucket with a lid! It definately helps keep the smell factor down, and in turn keeps the other kids from puking also! I seem to remember a fun trip out to OR for a family reunion with not one but three kids throwing up on the plane- non-stop! Certainly do not recommend flying with sick kiddos! Although the drive from OR to CA wasn't much better having to catch puke the entire way in the in-laws brand new van! lol! What memories were made during that trip!

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