Friday, June 27, 2014

Last Day Before Vacation and my Sanity is Mostly Intact (SQT - Stuff I'm Loving for Our Road Trip)

We don't travel much.  Actually, we don't travel ever.  That's why packing for a vacation is a big enough deal to warrant it's own blog post.  I like being at home.  And I like routine.  So you can imagine my state of mind during these past few days that we've been preparing to leave home... packing, for me, at least, means chaos.  My mind is in a roller coaster state of torment, excitement, anxiety, anticipation, fear, and just all around freaking out-ittutude.  The house reflects this.  There is stuff everywhere.  Some of it we're bringing.  Some of it we're leaving.  And some of it I have no idea where it came from, so I have no idea where it belongs, so I can't put it away.  Basically our living room and kitchen look like a refugee camp - some flip flops here, an unopened jar of salsa there, tie-died shirts hanging off of the fire place mantel, a plastic hamburger in a suitcase, and an unknown child climbing through the rubbish heaps.  

We're only going to be gone for a week.  To be honest, I'm more worried about the car trip than the week at the rental cottage. Google maps tells us the drive to the town where we're staying on Cape Cod takes 8 hours.  (That's 36 hours in large-family hours.)  We have taken only two road trips since having children.  Both of them happened when we had just three children which translates to "lots of unoccupied space in the mini-van." Now when we travel, we might as well put a sign like this on the bumper:

There is no room in the inn.  There is no elbow room.  There is no wiggle room.  There is no room to breath (because the sibling next to you might hear it and start complaining of the noise...)  This could be a scary trip.  Or not.  I really don't know because we've never done this before.

The only thing I can do is be prepared.  And that's what I am.  I think.  I don't actually know if I'm prepared because I have no idea what to prepare for.  You can see my predicament.   

I've stocked up on things that I think count as "preparing" for a long car trip.  I'm going to hit you with the Things I'm Loving for the Road Trip (Seven Quick Takes - Style) and when we get back in a week, I can let you know if they turned out to be as great as I'm hoping or if there really is no way to pleasantly travel in a seven person van with seven people.

Triple Goodness Road Trip Trail Mix
"Triple" because it has three nuts, three fruits, and three chocolates
(with a carb count!!)

(I want to commit to including carb counts for the food and recipes I post here as often as possible.  It makes sense since I need it for Aaron anyway and I'd love for it to be available to any other type 1 diabetes families out there.)

Combine 1 cup of each of the following:
(or 1/2 cup of each if you don't need a ton of trail mix)

dried sweetened cranberries
dried sweetened blueberries
milk chocolate chips
white chocolate chips
butterscotch chips

The carb count for this tasty trail mix is 53 carbs per 1/2 cup.  Enjoy!

and some Dover Little Activity Books

I got a new coloring book (or two) for each of the kiddos : Trucks (Aaron), Castles of the World and The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (Dominic), The Tale of Peter Rabbit (Ruth) and Owls (Clare)  

And a few of their $1.35 activity books: Robots, Abraham Lincoln, Alphabet Dot-to-Dot, and Animal Number Dot-to-Dot (sorry, no energy to link...)

These DOLLAR $ TREE finds!!
National Geographic Kids "Weird But True Fact Packs"

Aaron will be able to read these to us and we'll all be that much smarter at the end of the trip :)


What a find this was for me!!  We are huge fans of illustrator-crafter Clare Beaton.  I was thrilled when I found these alphabet cards from Mudpuppy featuring her artwork.  
These are for our own Clare :)

the Clare Beaton section of our board book library :)


Getting these alphabet cards for Clare reminded me that we have these beautiful 1-10 Number Wall Cards from Ee-Boo. 

 I haven't had them displayed for a while, but I really love them.  
I copied them at 60% using our printer (onto card stock), laminated them, and put them on a ring.  So now Clare has a some "homemade" number cards for the trip as well!


Here's what we have lined up for this trip:

The Horse and His Boy (C. S. Lewis)

Pollyanna (Eleanor Porter)

Black Beauty (Anna Sewell)

And from Jim Weiss:

Actual books
I used the trip as an excuse to pick up a few new books I've had my eye on, and to borrow a some others from friends.

For Aaron:

Who's There? (Knock Knock Jokes from Highlights)
Guess Again! (Riddles from Highlights)

For Dominic:

For Ruth:

For Clare:

A Car Counting Activity and Bar Graph Practice
(free printable!)

Aaron and Dominic have been obsessed with car companies lately.  Russ has taught them the symbols for all the major car companies and most of the minor ones as well.  They can identify makes of cars that I've only remotely heard of.  They greet the neighbors with things like, "I see you have a Subaru.  They are the only car company that puts four-wheel drive on all of their vehicles.  How come you didn't opt for a long-lasting Toyota for easy city driving?"   I'm serious.  They are obsessed.  

The past few months they've been keeping tally sheets of the cars that pass by our house. 
For the road trip, Russ created a new tally sheet with the intention that we'll also use it as a math lesson in disguise.  At the end of the trip we'll turn their information into a bar graph.  On the off change that there are other car obsessed boys out there and moms who want to practice bar graphing... here's a free printable for you :)  (It's just the tally sheet with the company logos.  You're on your own for making a bar graph.  I had wanted to get a bar graph document up here but I've run out of time.  Sorry.)

Road Trip Car Logo Tally Sheet 

*   *   *   *   *   *

So, do you think we have enough entertainment for the car trip??

*   *   *   *   *   *

After I wrote this, my wonderful, generous mother, who knows what it's like to travel in cars with kids, brought us these other great treats for the kids as well!!

Four different Mudpuppy magnet travel fun sets - robots, dinosaurs, mixed up houses, and planes!  Something for everyone and fun for all!

This trip has to go well!

(linking up with Jen!)


  1. You have plenty of entertainment, seriously you won't make your way through it all. Good for rainy days at the cottage though too. some tips here may help
    and 2 of my tips from our road trip. How long have I got before you go?;)
    have a bucket/box at the door for shoes and jumpers.
    and take a plastic cereal container, line with plastic bag and pass around for rubbish.
    actually another thing I've done is made hanging sleeves for the back of our car seats to hold the books, pencils, drink bottles etc, still use them to this day.
    really should do a blog post shouldn't I to show you.

  2. I'm telling you, just keep throwing pretzels at them. You definitely have more than enough :) Have a wonderful time!!!


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