Road Trippin' with Toddlers

If you read yesterday's post, you know my family is on a short family getaway to Denver.  Today, we start the trek back, so, please, pray for us.  Our trip out here was pretty meltdown-free so here's to another eight hours on the road with rare moments of crying, lots of sleeping, and a few chances for Kevin and I to chat.

This week I am sharing items that made traveling with toddlers a little easier and sunnier.  It's not rocket science or anything new or trendy, it's literally what made this week better.  I value honesty, people.

First up, this bag.  Everyone needs a good backpack diaper bag, but on vacation, it's like the Chick-fil-A roadside sign you spot that says you can indeed get out at the next exit and regain your sanity.  This bag is beautiful and sturdy and has pockets and I can wear it to a nice dinner or to the park. Kevin ordered it for me for Mother's Day from Fawn Design and I love him for it.

Board books.  This is totally, utterly, obvious.  But, I say board books because hard cover books or regular paper back books always get torn by (ahem) Miss Lily.  Board books are sturdy and can stand being thrown or tossed to the side when Lily the kids are done with them.  They might be a little more bulky than paper backs, but it's worth the extra space to not discover an entire book's contents ripped out and scattered across the back seat.  The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by BabyLit is one of our new favorites and Lily adores it.  

We are not big on technology or screen time in our house.  It's just what works for us.  However, on road trips...rules don't apply and we indulge in the luxury of technology.  Luke used these headphones for many hours of the trip watching Veggie Tales and Thomas the Train movies downloaded from Netflix.  The headphones are invaluable because I don't have to have the Veggie Tales theme song in my head for the next seventeen days.  

P.S. This is most definitely the most important thing I will say in this post: DO NOT let your child watch a movie while driving through the mountains.  It very well could result in cleaning out your car and all the contents of your car on your last day of vacation.  That is all.     

Okay, moving on.  I'm sure many of you mommas out there hand-make many of your kiddos' snacks and lunches.  I promise I did that once.  But really, I wish I could be on top of it and pack super healthy whole food lunches and snacks. That is a dream of mine.  In the meantime, Veggie Straws are where it's at.  A bag of these will keep Lily content/pacified/happy for 15-20 minutes and that is absolutely worth the guilt I feel for not giving her homemade fruit leathers I made from berries I grew in my backyard.  #dreambig

This last one isn't pictured, but patience and prayer and paper towels are essential to traveling with toddlers.  Patience when your toddler is asking you when you will be to the mountains and you tell him two hours and he says why and you tell him that it's 120 more miles and he asks why again and you tell him that's how far it is and he asks why for like the 30th time in the last twenty minutes.  Patience for everyone in your car is priceless.  

Prayer always helps me on road trips as well.  I ask God to give me the specific, magical words that will get my sweet, intuitive, curious three year old to stop asking why, like right now.  

And, paper towels.  You never realize how valuable paper towels are until you don't have them when you need them.  They would have been really handy when my child who was watching a movie through the mountains lost the contents of his stomach in the car.  They would have been really handy.

This road trip was glorious and humbling and messy and just right.  On this Sunny Saturday we are driving back to the Trail and I can't wait to sleep in my own bed tonight and wake up to church and farm chores in the morning.

Hope you all have a Sunny Saturday!

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