Happy New Year!
Babykins and I leave for our Advent vacation in a few hours. We’re spending a week with one of my good friends from the seminary as she prepares for her second child’s arrival. The baby may or may not come while we’re there, but I figure I’ll either get to meet the new baby or we’ll just have a giant playdate all week if the baby stays put. It’s a win/win situation!
Additionally, the timing works well. When my friend first asked about us coming to visit in December, I was a bit hesitant. A week in December is a quarter of my Christmas preparation time. However, it turns out that my husband is swamped with sermon writing and a presentation next week, so I probably wouldn’t have gotten much work done beyond keeping our household at a functioning level. This trip allows my husband not to worry about the work/family balance.
The only downside of this trip (aside from the fact that Babykins and I will miss her daddy) is the 4.5 hour drive. I realize it’s not that far, but it’s the farthest I’ve driven without my husband since Babykins was born. Babykins isn’t the greatest car traveler and it’s difficult to drive with her without another adult. However, we had a bit of practice with our Thanksgiving travel and I learned some tips for keeping my 14-month-old somewhat calm in the car.
1. Have a stash of blankies and pacifiers in the front. Babykins loves her blankie and pacifier. Thankfully, we have multiples of both items. That means I can pass back a different blankie or pacifier when she inevitably drops one.
2. Be flexible with snacks. For our trip, I bought Babykins one of those fancy snack holders that helps keep the food from spilling (sort of). I also bought her some fancy baby puffs that quickly dissolve in your mouth. This way she can eat in the car without me worrying about her choking. Usually I would prefer her to eat something like fruit for snack, so the puffs will be her road trip treat (and I’m getting chocolate. Yay!).
3. Plan stops. I’ve looked at my maps and have plotted out several stopping points, including a McDonald’s for lunch (another road trip treat for Babykins). I’ve also planned for these stops to be 30-60 minutes so Babykins can properly stretch her legs. I’m hoping to only need 2 breaks–one for lunch and one before we go through a big city–but I’m also mentally prepared for more if Babykins is having a freak out.
4. Stock up on toys and music. I have a bag of toys and books in the front seat so I can something back if Babykins starts to get bored. I also grabbed all of our kid-friendly music that I can turn up if Babykins starts crying.
Hopefully my preparations make the driving portion of our trip go smoothly. Well, at least as smoothly as a trip can go when you have a toddler in tow.