Just my thoughts

How to travel with kids

IMG_3662We got a few questions recently asking us how we travel with kids in the car for 11  hours?

First off I have to say some kids just travel better than others.  For example little Maveric was happy as can be the whole ride, we stopped every few hours to change his diaper, feed him and snuggle him then put him back in his seat.  He really was perfect on the way there….on the way home he was a little more fussy, but still a very good little boy! What a blessing he is!

Here are a few things we do to help the kids enjoy the trip

  • Bring Grandma and Grandpa along for the ride, they help entertain the kids plus the trip is “special” because they came along.
  • Bring along fun new toys for the kids to keep them entertained.  Like coloring books, play dough, stickers, etc.
  • Give them a pad of paper and teach them to draw things they see, then let them practice drawing.
  • We watch cartoons in the car like Tom and Jerry, all ages enjoy them. (I think my Dad was just as excited as the kids to watch them)
  • Bring little treats and when you see or hear the kids being kind or good,  reward them.
  • Sing songs, play “eye spy with my little eye” game
  • Let them ride with a small blanket and pillow so they can get comfortable
  • Place an older child next to a younger one so they can help them
  • Every time you stop take ALL of them to the bathroom, or after you start driving again you will here “I need to go potty”
  • bring zip lock bags to put little snacks in, easier to pass out, less mess and the kids like to have their “own bag”
  • Baby wipes are always great for easy clean up

Driving in the car can be a real nightmare if the kids are crabby, but I guess we have just been lucky and normally really enjoy the trip. I am no expert, and I am sure these will not work for everyone but this is what works for us.

What do you do on long road trips to keep the kids happy?

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to go box

Growing up we did not go out to eat very often.  We ate  fast food maybe once a month, and always ordered off the dollar menu.  As for a  family restaurant, we went maybe once  year.  Every year at Christmas my Grandma would give our family $100 to got out to eat.  My Mom and Dad would let us vote if we wanted to use the money to  eat, or if we wanted to split it up and each get a little spending money. Normally we picked to go out to eat.  Being that we only did this once a year it was a big event, we planned it weeks ahead of time.  Mom had us put on our nicest clothes, and really made it a special day.

We always went to a restaurant called North Chuck Wagon, it was an all you could eat buffet.   Mom always told us to use our manners, don’t talk with food in your mouth, don’t cut in line, etc. She let us fill our plate as many times as we wanted BUT we had to eat everything on our plate before we could get more.  We were not allowed to waste food just because we were eating out…which was not a problem we were happy to gobble it all up.

So you can image how awkward it was for me the first time a boy took me  to a nice sit down restaurant with a “real menu”, and I had no idea how to even order my food.  Of course I ordered water and the cheapest thing I could find on the menu…and I ate every last bite.  My date  however, only ate about a 1/3 off his food. When the waiter asked if he wanted a to go box he said, No.  I think my jaw must have hit the floor.  I could not figure out why he would pay $15 for a meal only to toss most of it in the trash.  He had been raised much different that me, and his family went out to eat often.  He told me he hated left overs, so why bring it home if he knew he would not eat it.

So now I am the Mom, trying to teach my family the value of a dollar and what it can buy.  The other night we went out to eat, and yes we got a to go  box for our left over nachos.   The next day I heated them up, added a little fresh cheese, sour cream and the Girls and I enjoyed them for lunch.  Feeling good that I was still doing what my own Mom taught me, not to waste my food!

My question for all of you, when you go out to eat do you get a to go box?  And if you do, do you really eat it?  Or am I just weird?

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