Monday, July 7, 2008

Road Trip...the way of the future.

"The only flying that I ever did as a kid was in the family station wagon. It wasn't to France. We used to have to go over to Aunt Laura and Uncle Arthur's house."
Name that movie.

The cost of gas is bad, but the cost of flying is worse. Especially now that we have 3 crazies. And judging by the trunk full of suitcases, diapers, a stroller, a playpen, pillows, swimming gear, baby food, snacks, etc, etc, etc, our luggage would have cost a pretty penny, too. So we strapped the fam into our gas-guzzling SUV and headed on the road to Utah. Road trips seem to have come full circle and are once again the way to travel with your family. The hotels were packed with traveling families. I remember traveling by plane semi-frequently when Parker was young. Before his second birthday he had already been on five plane trips. Reid has not flown quite so much. And Gray has yet to experience flight.

Between moving and then traveling for nearly two weeks, I've seriously neglected the blogging world. I miss you guys. I scheduled a few reruns before I left town. But it's been a week since I even posted one of those. I planned to do a little blogging from my in-laws, but their computer was too stinkin' slow. And besides, with a house full of people, someone was always using it first. I have so much to catch up on...birthdays, Flashback Fridays, and travel, travel, travel. You can expect a lot of posts coming your way this week. (Providing I have time...yes, my mom is coming in less than a week...I have a lot of blogging, cleaning, and unpacking both boxes and suitcases to do before then. Not to mention Parker's birthday celebration.)

So my first post back in town...the road trip itself. I came up with some genius ways to entertain the kids. I've had good ideas in the past, but this time...everything I packed was a hit. And it needed to be. The drive was supposedly nineteen and a half hours...translated to 23 hours with three crazies in tote. Both on the way there and on the way home we went 13 hours the first day and 10 the second. The kids were surprisingly fantastic travelers in the car. I probably had more melt-downs than any of them. And Spencer and I were the ones who needed to stop to use the bathroom more than the kiddos. They really did great.

For anyone who wants to know...Oklahoma has the nicest rest stops, but Colorado has the cleanest.

Activity: Pipe Cleaners
Cost: $0.97
(for a whole multi-colored pack)

These entertained the boys until they found out what mom could do with them. Then I was stuck making them all kinds of things. The hardest request? A rat. There's a picture included, but it was my worst. I've also discovered a new talent as a hand model.

Activity: Fake Teeth
Cost: $0.88
(for a four pack)

Once again...a HUGE hit, especially with Parker. Who knew?

***While on the subject of teeth...Gray started the trip with 1 and 1/2 and ended the trip with FIVE teeth.

Activity: Suction-Cup Balls
Cost: $0.88
(for a two pack)

The crazies had a great time sticking these to car windows.

Activity: Visors
Cost: $3.50
(visors...$0.97 each, pack of foam stickers...$1.56)

It was funny watching how different my kids are while making these...Parker wanted all the same color fish stickers (blue to match his visor). Reid wanted all the same type of fish regardless of color (all clown fish like Nemo). And Gray just chewed on the stickers.

Activity: Hand-held fans with foam blades
Cost: $0.99
(batteries included)

Fans were especially nice while sitting in a hot car at a gas station.

Activity: Cheese Whiz and Crackers
Cost: I know the crackers were $1.00 plus the cost of cheese spray...I don't remember. (I bought it with snacks, not activities. But it was very entertaining.)

The S is for case you were wondering.

Activity: Masks
Cost: $2.60
($0.52 per mask, $1.56 per pack of foam stickers)

I know it's similar to the visors, but they were such a hit on the way there, I needed something similar for the ride home. Anything for them to wear is guaranteed to go over well with my kids.

Gray didn't require so many long as I constantly kept food in his hands, he was good to go.

Although he was regularly craned to watch his brothers. Who can blame him...they're entertaining.

And I was pretty proud of myself for this...I attached his toys to his seat belt with those little toy rings after too many tears from loosing toys on the ground.

With all this going on, there wasn't nearly enough of this:

My kids are not good car sleepers...especially Gray. He slept a total of one hour in the car the whole trip there. We showed up to Utah with one very tired baby. But despite the lack of sleep, I was pleasantly surprised with how few tantrums we experienced.

There is way more to come with regards to the trip. We had a great time. Between a family reunion, Spencer's on-line summer semester which kept him busy for many, many, many hours while we were there, and so many people we wanted to see, we didn't get to visit everyone we wanted to...not even everyone we normally see. I apologize. We missed you.


Amanda B. said...

good to see you back! :) I am glad you had a great trip. What an awesome idea with the pipe cleaners! I will have to store that one away in the memory banks for later! I look forward to reading more and seeing you around mine again- you have been missed! :) Love ya!

Lauri said...

YAY! A NEW POST! You are so creative with car travelers. I don't think I ever came up with anything better than new tapes to listen to and red licorice. Kudos to you!

Autumn said...

Katie!!! A post! Can I just tell you how thrilled I am? I am thrilled! But I have to say I can't write a real response now. Just a teaser. So glad to see a post-will write when I can actually look and read everything!!!

Pedersens said...

There you are! I was wondering what happened to you. Sounds like you have been keeping busy. Cant wait to see more photos of your trip. Love how creative you are with the car activities! Way to go.

Genn said...

A new post! I was beginning to think you weren't the blogger I thought you were. =) Glad you made it home safe and sound! 23 hrs in the car! I don't know if I could do it! Great car activities though! So creative.

And the quote you wrote- Isn't it the Dad speaking in Home Alone???

My family and I play name that movie all the time, but it's been a while!

Traci Elizabeth said...

Welcome Back! cute pics and great ideas!!

jeanine said...

You are so creative with your boys! I'm going to have to keep those ideas in mind for next summer on our roadtrip!

and YEA for Oklahoma's nice rest stops!

Autumn said...

Wow, you are impressive. I think I could come up with some creative stuff for kids older than 6-but your yungins-very impressive! Truly-awesome. And so cheap! I can't believe Gray only slept ONE HOUR in the car?! Unreal. Love your pipe cleaner creations. And such lovely hands to model them-very nice.

Erin said...

hey, what creative car ideas. I have been behind with all our antics-planning on some major blogging thursday. Sounds like you guys had some fun in nthe car!

kori said...

Katie you are soooo super creative. I am stealing those ideas. I know how you feel we typically turn the 10 hour car trip to CA into a 2 day because I can't handle the kids. My kids refuse to sleep in the car. Glad you had a good trip.

Kelly said...

I am so happy you have returned safe and sound- and now you will be busy again!! Fun summer, huh?! Can't wait to read about your fun trip and see more great pics!! I love all the ideas- I am not the inventive mom when it comes to traveling- I can barely turn around in my front seat without losing it all- even with drugs, I cannot not get sick!! I love the DVD player, my new best friend for traveling, and this year, Grandma is coming with us- so that will be how the children remain entertained!
Thanks for the ideas, too!!

trentnjeanmorello said...

I always love reading your posts and seeing pictures of the kids! Car trips vs. airplanes-I don't like to travel so I do not know which one I would choose, but definitely a car trip with all those awesome activities that the kids were doing.

Crystal said...

I'll have to keep those activities in mind if we ever get to make our trip to Cali this year. What fun ideas!! I do agree with you though, you should definitely be a hand model. You have beautiful hands!!! It was so good seeing you. Sorry that we both had tired kids. Maybe in another six years, we can actually talk. ;) I love you!!

Abbey said...

You are so fun, Thanks for all the tips, I will be needing them come Sept. We are so excited to see you guys!! Glad you are back in the blogging world.

Kelly said...

I am IMPRESSED! I would never in a million years have been able to come up with such good car activities! I'm stealing all your ideas, not just for road trips, but for everyday car riding. Derek HATES being in the car! You've got some well behaved boys! Good job mamma!

Kris said...

Great trip, great post, great fun!!!
Amusing as always! Glad to have you back!

Lisha said...

Oh, Man! If we had known you were coming to Utah we would've camped out across the street from your in-laws and at least toilet papered your car! But I understand how it goes. Sometimes there is just too much to do and too many people to visit and just not enough time. It looks like you had a lot of fun and I can't wait to start reading your posts again.
P.S. please write a book of ways to entertain your kids. I would so totally buy it! You are so creative and organized!

The Cochran Family said...

Wow, I mean WOW! I brought Legos and over-acheiver! :) I hear you on the sleep thing! Ryan never slept and Ethan, like 1/2 hour a day. I love all the crafts, maybe for my way home? Have you moved into the new house, how's that going? Glad you had a good time with all the crazi's :)

Betheny & Jacob said...

LOVE the car traveling ideas. My creativity involves turning on the DVD player in the back. Luckily, they are old enough to be entertained by that for quite a while now. I can't believe you were so close to me and I didn't even see you!! I realize you were busy (I can't see half the people I want to when I go to Cali!) but that would have been so fun. I live about 25 min North of SLC and you past me on your way to the Dinosaur Museum. I'm glad you and the boys had so much fun. Where does Mike live in Utah??