Fourth of July weekend is always a big weekend. We typically drive back home to see family. My husband's birthday is the end of June and there are a few other birthdays in July. His family makes a big deal of birthdays, but I like it. Its fun to celebrate with everyone and let the kids be around extended family. But the four to six hour drive can be a challenge - especially with no DVD player and a car sick prone kiddo.
First if all, we were without wifi for four days. Horrific, I know. Actually not really - there are much worse things. You know what I mean though, you get the text that says you have met 75% if your data. And then 90%. At this point, we have two days left of the trip and 12 days left until the data rolls over. It was a lost cause. But I did my part and didn't post the content I had written on the drive, (Go me!) so we will leave that for another day. ;)
The drive non stop is four hours. It usually takes us anywhere between five and six hours, depending on how many potty breaks we need and how long the meal stop takes. This time, the drive there wasn't too bad, but the baby had a rough time the last half of the drive home. Even though she is typically a decent sleeper in the car seat, she was done. Maybe this is where the DVD in the minivan would be handy, but we just didn't want it. And now I'm glad we didn't. I think it would make the car sick kiddo worse. I should know, most of any trip was seen from laying down in the back, usually asleep so not really seeing anything.
The actual visit with all our our family went well though. The kids had a lot of fun swimming and even got in a tractor ride. That might have been one of their favorite parts of the trip.
I had a good time too, but it is difficult to relax when we are off our routine, not sleeping in our own bed and getting less sleep than usual. I am better, I promise. Although it is still difficult.
We are sleepers. I could almost say we are crazy about sleep. Mostly because it is a big deal when we don't get it. I say "we" because all five of us are affected by lack of sleep, like most people, but a few of us require a little more than normal. It's a struggle to find the balance between letting go of routine and getting enough sleep to avoid all out meltdowns. From the kids, not me. ;)
We stay with my in-laws and they are the best hostess! This was the first time to stay there without the Little Man in a pack and play. He did great though on the couch while big sister slept on a pallet in the floor. He only rolled off twice. (Good thing I put some pillows below him on the floor.) The baby is still in a pack and play in a dark, cool room. She would probably sleep until noon if we let her.
Food is another obstacle when traveling. Food allergies and trying to not take in too much junk food, or at least add in some vegetables and fruit WITH the junk food is acceptable. I'm all about eating healthy, but one has to appreciate the awesomeness of great BBQ and a perfectly cooked burger and fries! The ribs at Dexter BBQ are a must try. Even the baby can go through a few - and lick them clean! My husband's fave is Dexter Queen's, Lotta Pig Basket extra hot. I prefer the burger though and those amazing crinkle cut fries. Yummo!
Its not healthy food. I know this, but we will enjoy it while we are there. I typically pack a vegetable, at least for the baby, and the kids always ask for fruit after the meal. They know I try to have something packed away in my bag. This time it was oranges and apples. Had to ask for a real knife to cut the apple, but they were very accommodating.
This was probably the most organized I have ever packed. I might have actually found a system. It's tricky with three small ones. Diapers, sound machines, CD players, baby monitors, clothes, shoes, extra clothes, and more extra clothes. Plus all the toiletries and accessories. And now the baby's glasses....also another post for later. Oh my!
Despite the the obstacles and sometimes hassle, it's always worth it to make the trip. The kids absolutely love seeing their family. They get tired of riding, but they enjoy the adventure of the drive. I made this trip last month alone with all three of them. It was challenging but very doable. I hope we can make more trips so they can continue building relationships with extended family and cousins.
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Scripture/Quote of the Week:
For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.
2 Timothy 1:7
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Hi! I am Pam. I am so glad you stopped by to take a look at my blog. I am a Christian, wife, stay at home PCOS mom and homeschool mom to three amazing kiddos. I'm all about all natural living and real whole food - in real life.
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