Well … we’ve safely arrived back in MN. To welcome us home, we’re being ‘blessed’ with a winter storm today complete with ice, sleet, and more snow. Oh well … we all got the break from the cold that we needed, and we can see the ‘Spring’ and the end of this ‘Winter’.
I mentioned before that we decided to DRIVE … 2700 miles round trip … From Minneapolis to Destin, FL … with an almost 2 year old, an almost 4 year old, a 30+ weeks pregnant lady (me), and a large dog for part of the way … in a Honda Accord.
Sound like a recipe for disaster?!? I was definitely a little concerned prior to our departure. I’m happy to report, however, that I’d do it again. In a heartbeat! Well, maybe in a couple weeks or so. Don’t get me wrong … there were times along the way that I wanted to join in on the crying from the backseat, but those were few and pretty far between. The boys actually did a lot better than I thought!
Here’s a little recap of the whole process …
>> CHALLENGE ONE <<
Fit all of this in the car (plus two car seats, 4 people, and space of the floor in the backseat for Molly (our Vizsla) to lie down). Also not pictured … our BOB stroller and Owen’s ‘motorcycle’. (a.k.a balance bike). These were two key things I really wanted to fit (but was prepared to leave behind if it just wasn’t going to happen).
Well, challenge 1 … was a success!! It was a bit tight, especially until Iowa where we dropped off Molly, but it all fit and we were all relatively comfortable (as comfortable as a pregnant lady in her third trimester in a car for many, many hours can be). Matt tells me that he’d like to highlight his supurb trunk packing skills. I tell him it is my superb packing skills.
>> CHALLENGE TWO <<
Keep the boys entertained!
The ultimate goal here was minimize whininess and crying (by all parties). For this … we tried a couple things:
- Snacks. Food always seems to keep them happy for a bit. We tried hard to find ‘healthier’ snacks so this strategy wouldn’t backfire a couple hours down the road when we had two boys crying because of tummy aches. Cashews, Epic and Lara Bars, Apples (yes, I brought along a knife to cut them up in the car), bananas (though I don’t necessarily recommend them for car trips … think brown mushiness by the end of the day) made up the ‘healthier’ options. Some fruit snacks, gummy bears, and cheese puffs also were thrown in every once in awhile if I really needed something to cheer them up.
- Movies on the iPad. Yes … it’s true, we don’t have a minivan or SUV or station wagon that might have a built in DVD player to entertain kids on the go. We have a Honda Accord. One advantage of this car? The front seats are close enough together to wedge the iPad in between just perfectly!
- Coloring … with markers (we usually only use crayons at home, so it was a bit of a treat):
- And, of course … napping. Here’s the excitement from the back seat when we crossed into FL finally!!
>> ‘CHALLENGE’ THREE <<
And the ocean …
More playing in the sand …
Charlie had something really, really important that he was telling me (though, I have no idea what):
The next day, we broke out the stroller and ‘motorcycle’ and went for a long walk. You have no idea how nice it felt to be walking OUTSIDE for a change. Without coats, hats, mittens, scarves, boots, etc …
Then, back to the beach for more fun:
It proved to be very difficult to get Charlie out of the ocean. His whole body was shaking he was so cold, but would. not. leave!!
(Oh, and a word of advice to pregnant ladies going to the beach … don’t buy a neon horizontal striped suit. All black would have been a much better choice)
I did manage to prop the camera up on a garbage can and get one full ‘family’ shot …
And before we knew it, it was time to head back home. I’ll miss our breakfasts on the patio, long walks in shorts, and most of all … the beautiful beach and ocean! At least it’s mid-March already, so soon enough we’ll be enjoying all of that here in MN (with the exception of white sandy beaches and ocean …).
Now we’re refreshed and motivated to finish up some projects around the house before family member #5 makes an appearance in two months!! Hope you’re all having a great week! Stop back tomorrow for more of our home tour!