Soon I'll be leaving my hubby alone for the first time ever in about 9 years of marriage. The kids and I are traveling by car to visit with my father, who recently had a quadruple bypass. I confess, I'm not looking forward to the trip. Of course I want to see my father (and my sisters and other family members in the area), but I'm dreading the actual traveling.
You see, we've never traveled more than 2 hours with our kids. After an hour and a half, my toddler starts getting antsy. Not having my husband there to back us up and keep us safe is also not my favorite thing.
So this week I'm spending a lot of time prepping for the trip. I want to keep my husband as comfortable as possible, so I'm shopping for him. (I considered giving him money to buy food while we're gone, but he said he'd just buy a bunch of Top Ramen and take the rest of the money to the tool store.) And I'm trying to think of ways to keep the kids occupied on the trip:
* I must bring my laptop with me because I have to work while I'm away, so in a pinch, I can whip it out and let my preschooler watch a DVD. I want to try to avoid that, though.
* I'm also bringing her CD player, with extra batteries, along with some new CDs she's never listened to before.
* I'm bringing my toddler's favorite books, plus a couple of new books on his favorite topic: trucks. I'm bringing a large picture book of stories for my preschooler, plus a new "read to me" book.
* I bought three new trucks for my toddler. I hope new toys will hold his interest longer. (And I wanted to buy a few for him to use exclusively outside, anyway.)
* The View Master is coming along, too, with two new sets of slides.
* I bought a travel sized Doodle Pro; my kids both love this toy and it will prevent crayons, markers, or colored pencils from rolling around and getting lost.
* My preschooler will also have her camera along.
* I'm also packing lots of snacks, including whole wheat Goldfish, Cheerios, breakfast bars, blueberries, and some Animal Crackers.
I plan to keep drinks to a minimum so there will be fewer potty breaks, but I figure I'll stop and let the kids wiggle every once and a while. The trip will take all day, though, so we can't spend too much time outside the car. Also, I'll carry lots of hand sanitizer, wipes, and diapers.
And, oh yes, I'll be praying a lot.
Any tips for me???
UPDATE 6/16/10: The trip away from home was terrific. During the 12 hours it took, my toddler fussed only for 1 hour. I was really pleased. The new toys were a huge hit, as was the travel-sized Doodle Pro. I was glad we had snacks, too. On the trip back home, my preschooler also did great...but my toddler cried almost all the way. Perhaps I should have reserved some new toys for the trip back home...but I honestly think he was just too tired to play. Playing music helped some...Anyway, we made it home safe and sound!