Monday, August 20, 2012

Guest Post: Lindsey from A Dollop of My Life

I'm excited to have Lindsey here today, sharing a guest post with you all! Linds is one of my in real life friends that I met through blogging. We both have boys named Brayden and our kids are the same age. She is such a great friend to me and I know you'll love her!

And be sure to check out her blog today by clicking here! I'm guest posting over there today!

Hi Yall! I’m Lindsey (aka Linds) and I’m the blogger behind . I blog about my life as a wife to Drew, and a momma to two boys: Brayden (3.5 yrs) and Connor (21 months). My blog is mostly about our life, but I sometimes sprinkle in recipes and DIY stuff to showcase what I’m working on. Jenna and I met through bloging and are now “real life” friends. It’s always a circus when we’re together, since our boys are the same ages. I’ve loved getting to know Jenna over the past year and a half, and am so excited to be guest posting for her today!

About 4.5 years ago, my family moved away from Arkansas. I was devastated. We are pretty close knit as far as families go, and them moving back down to Baton Rouge meant that when we eventually had children, it wasn’t going to be an easy 3 hour trip to Little Rock to see Gigi and Poppa D. In fact, the trip from Northwest Arkansas to Baton Rouge is a LOOONG 9 hours without kids. With kids it takes about 12 hours. And most of it is through the Delta farmlands. Which means there aren’t many rest stops, and your scenery consists of cotton fields. Ahhhh, yes, it’s as brutal as it sounds. Which is why I proudly hang a gold medal around my neck when I consider the fact that I’ve driven it, not once, but twice, by myself with my children. In case there are others out there in the same boat as us in regards to traveling with kids, I thought I’d share what's made our road trips a little easier with kids.

DVD player. Honestly, I'm not sure how our parents survived traveling without this modern contraption. The DVD player is the cure-all for whining in our house. Which means on the road, it's imperative that we have one. For my sanity's sake, I try to bring enough DVD's so that we're not having to repeat shows. Momma can only take hearing Elmo sing "Elmo's World" so much.

Favorite toys. This one is tricky, because if I ask Brayden to pick out his favorite toy, he'll most likely either pick out (a) some sort of weapon or (b) the largest toy in our playroom. Considering I'd rather not get gunned down by a Nerf gun while driving the two lane highways of the Mississippi Delta, and the fact that our CRV can barely hold all four of us and the exorbitant amount of paraphernalia that preschoolers require to travel, I tend to offer him two suggestions of a favorite toy, and let him "choose" his favorite. Narrowing down choices lessens the possibility of melt downs before our trip even happens. Our car toy bag typically includes a hot wheels, a GI Joe, and some sort of dinosaur figure. Softer toys are better. Being hit by a hotwheel while driving is not fun. Not that I would know anything about that.

Books. We pack at least 3 of their favorite books (per child, so 6 total). I love the little board books that come in sets at Barnes and Noble. These are small and compact, which means they take up the least amount of room. The boys love them!

Magna Doodle. Walmart sells a little travel sized magna doodle for about $3. I will tell you that it's the best $3 I have ever spent. I've also recently seen a travel aquadoodle, which I am sure would be a hit, since our boys LOVE their aquadoodle mat at home!

Snacks. This one is a tricky one because food, cars and kids mixed together can become quite the f5 tornado for our car. I try to pack snacks that aren't really messy. Pretzels, animal crackers, fruit snacks (I usually wait until I know that we're on the verge of imploding to give the fruit snacks)... most of those are relatively mess free. They also each have a cupholder for a sippy cup filled with water.

Ear plugs. If the saying "diamonds are a girls best friend" is really true, then ear plugs are to parents what diamonds are to girls. And I say that out of true love for my children. But let's face it. 12 hours in strapped in a car seat in the Delta means that there's going to be at least several minutes (and we've experienced hours before... that was a LOAD of fun!) of screaming. Sometimes stopping just isn't an option, so these are your best friend. You can still hear your kids, but it takes just enough of the shrill away that you don't feel like losing your mind. Brayden's even asked for them before when Connor just had had enough of traveling- ha! We like the little orange foam kind that you can get in the hunting section of Walmart. I may or may not keep these in the car with me when I'm out and about running errands. If you honk and I don't hear, now you know. I jest I jest... kind of.
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