Thursday, September 9, 2010

"Over the River and Through the Woods.......

….To Grandma’s house we go!”  Except to get to the grandmas house we have to drive 5 hours, across Texas without an a/c in our van, to a place filled with sand, sparse vegetation and high winds….yuck.

Calling his "GiGi" to let her know we are on our way

This post was written before our trip but I didn't get to post it : ) so now that we're it is.   

We will be leaving Friday at around 5:30am, the weather will be nice and cool then.  So this week is preparation for our trip.  Yes, it takes me that long to get everything organized.  We usually follow a set pattern when we are ready to go on an overnight trip and it usually follows these guidelines:

5 days in advance

We get the house ready by doing any monthly maintenance we need to do.  Nothing worse than coming back home late one night and having to fix something we should have already done.  In the summer this is simple, changing the a/c filter etc.  In winter if we miss wrapping pipes etc, we could have a problem on our hands when we get back.
This includes getting things set up for our animals.  We feed the reptiles weekly so we bulk them up good at this time and then feed them when we get back.  (we’re never gone more than 4-5 days) We set up auto-water systems for chickens and dogs as well, we don’t want them running out of water in the middle of the day.
 Then, we meet with the pet sitter.  At this house we have  kindly neighbors.  Where we used to live it was hard to get pet sitting companies to even drive in the neighborhood simply because of the color of the skin of most of the residents (rolling my eyes).  People can be so stupid. 
If they looked past the neighborhood demographics they wouldn’t step foot in our house.  “Don’t worry the 10 foot python is in a locked habitat”  “Y’all said you would care for “any animal”.  *sigh*

3-4 days in advance

I clean the house.  Now that I have implemented my new schedule the house stays pretty clean but I make sure all of the cleaning and laundry is caught up.  I also use this time to print out our packing check list, trip itenerary, any maps we need etc.  I put everything into a folder for easy access.  I also start using my freezer meals at this time.  Less cleanup at meal time and little brain power to put a meal together. : )

2 days in advance

I run any last minute errands.  I go to the bank, pick up last minute things to take on the trip.  Since we are a one car household, I clean out the van on this day since I have it all day after taking my husband to work.  I also try to go ahead and put things in the van that I know we’ll need like our ice chest etc.  I also refill our “emergency kit” for the kids.  This has a change of clothes, diapers, wipes, and an (empty) extra bottle and sippy cup.  My husband checks all of the fluids, tire pressures and makes sure the jumper cables and tools are still in there.  He also checks our “van kit” which has things like jumper cables, flashlight, fluids etc. 

Father and son checking the van...How cute!

The day before

I spend all day packing.  With only 2 children taking me all day I can only imagine if we have more! : )
And really it doesn’t have to take all day but I try to take my time and go through checklists ( I LOVE checklists) to make sure we don’t forget anything.  After packing everything we go ahead and load the van the night before our trip which saves hassle the next morning.  I set the coffee pot up and make breakfast-to-go like muffins or burritos.  We keep our toiletry bag in the bathroom so that in the morning, when we’re done brushing our teeth etc, we just toss everything in there and take it to the van. 

The boys share a suitcase on wheels for their clothing and then I have their drinks/snacks in a small cooler.  Jacob gets to pack 1 small backpack with books and toys. That's what we used to do.  This trip I implemented yet another "kit" in the way of a box between the boys seats that holds a permanent collection of colors, paper, books and other assorted toys.    Both grandmas keep a supply of toys on hand and if we’re going camping etc Jacob busy’s himself with his environment. 

My husband usually gets gas after work so we don’t have to start in the morning.

That leaves departure day stress free.  We get dressed, throw last minute toiletries into our bag and head out to the van. 

While traveling Jacob entertains himself with things in his back pack box or he takes a nap.  Lately he’s started talking to us and we have conversations about where we are going and what’s going by outside our windows.  Spotting different color cars is a favorite little boy past time.

Mikey sleeps mostly.  We stop as little as possible.  It seems harder to get them back in the van if we get them out.  And leaving so early they sleep a lot and we arrive before lunch. 

What do y’all do special to get ready for a trip?  How do you pack for or entertain he kids?
Believe me, it took us A LOT  of trips to get it down this smooth.
See y’all when we get back!

We had a lovely trip.  It couldn't have gone smoother.  We were sick the week before but were all well for the trip, the van held out, the pet sitter did a fabulous job, Jacob had a wonderful birthday and there were no knock-down drag-out fights between family members......who could ask for more! Praise God for his many blessings!

My baby boy turns 3 September 18th.  My, how time has flown.....

1 comment:

  1. Welcome back! We missed you while you were gone. I hope you've come back refreshed.