17 different women, 36 crazy children, 0 babies in utero
Adventures, Advice and Questions from a group of Mormon women who met in Queens, NY and have now scattered all over the place.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Going on an Adventure

I am making the trek to Utah everybody. Yes, let's face it, when you are born and raised in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, and you marry someone like you, there is a GInormous chance you have family in Utah. I have my parents-in-law, my paternal Grandparents (both sets of them...don't ask), and LOTS of friends.

I am taking a "vacation" that lasts 1 full week. This is virtually unheard of for me, at the most I am gone 6 days. It is a LONG trip from NYC to SLC, not to mention a time zone change and for me a pretty jarring geographic and culture shock.

It seems this time of year there are a lot of articles in all the parenting magazines about traveling with your kids. I have paid more attention this year as traveling alone with 2 kids becomes increasingly more difficult. There are a few websites that I have taken note of that look inspirational when planning that long plane or car ride.

I have no experience with this site, but it looks like a great idea, and I have taken note of it for the next time I find myself on an exotic resort with my family (hey, you never know). It is Jet Set Babies, and they claim to ship all your baby essentials right to your travel destination. I probably would have used this for my recent Disneyland Vacation, if I had known about it.

I just found this website that I find a little pricey, but inspirational enough for me to come up with my own travel toys. Madallie has a collection of busy crafts, randomness, books and backpacks. I swear, I don't work for this company...it's just a fun website.

As for my past successes on a plane ride...2 really cheap things that have always worked for Pukey (Poopy is a hopeless, lost soul on a plane....the last trip I ended up handing her off to a very nice woman who actually got her to sleep for me). Playdoh Partypack has the perfect size playdoh for traveling, and who cares if it gets messed up? And Animal Planet has a line of animals in a tube. They are inexpensive and smallish, and perfect for playing with on a tray table. Again, if you lose one, it's not a tragedy.

I am also a fan of packing post-it notes, think of how many you can dissasemble and stick to whatever you want...and a new snack or a new pen. The last trip I got Pukey this pen and it was just about the coolest thing she had ever seen.

Growing up, on long car trips, my mom packed surprises for my sister, and every hour or so we would ask to open a new one. It was usually a pad that used that special invisible ink marker...I can't remember what it was....or madlibs, or a new small toy. We loved the anticipation and then getting the small gift.

Any other great ideas? Cough em up.


  • Paper dolls, and color wonder finger paint. They were my saving grace on the flight from San Francisco to Orlando. (girls 3 1/2 and almost 2)

    Also a laptop, movie and some head phones if you've got them can buy you some peace. We forgot about that on the way out. (lame!)
    posted by Blogger Abby at 6/15/2006 08:24:00 PM  

  • We making the 12 hour trek to Idaho Falls in just a couple of weeks. We have the portable DVD player so that should buy us at least an hour or so of quiet. For the other 10.5 hours I've been buying little one dollar toys. I'll get a couple every time I go to target, and I've been stockpiling all month. I figure since she's only 20 months I'll probably need one for every half hour or so, her attention span just isn't that long.

    I'm also planning on taking "new" snacks. Like things she doesn't get a lot. Fruit snacks, beef jerky, granola bars with chocolate in them, or whatever else I can find and bribe her with.

    Also for driving, not so much for flying, they make a tray that hooks around the bottom of the kids carseat that I think will be helpful in keeping the crayons, and snacks, within reach. It's called a Fisher-Price Soft Travel Tray. They sell them at Babies 'R' Us, and probably elsewhere too.
    posted by Blogger Trivial Mom at 6/15/2006 08:48:00 PM  

  • Colorforms are great, too. (Those reuseable sticker things with a sticky mat.) I'd bet those little magnet sets are great, too.

    When I took my 1 year old daughter to Brazil, we did the lots of little toys to open every so often, and the "new snacks" thing, and both were helpful. Also it's great to find friendly co-flyers who want to play with your kid for a bit. My daughter spent all of takeoff on one leg of the trip with some folks across the aisle who just loved her. The favorite toy of the trip was a little doll that rode in a backpack. Worked great, too, b/c she could carry it all over.

    One more thing--dollar stores around here (UT) frequently have those tubes of animals, so then you care even less if you lose one. I don't know if you have dollar stores in NYC, though.

    Good luck!
    posted by Blogger mindy at 6/15/2006 09:01:00 PM  

  • For long car rides with just me and the kids I like to use long bbq tongs to pass back snacks, toys, and even movies.

    Magna Doodles are my favorite trip toy.

    A good variety of snacks are the best way to keep my kids happy for trips. Have Fun!
    posted by Blogger trimama at 6/15/2006 10:00:00 PM  

  • I love the tongs idea. One of our moms here, Shaleen, just carries a TON of extra snacks in the front, so that she can just hurl the snacks back to her 6-kid-posse and hope that the majority of them catch one, if they don't, she tries to have better aim the second (or third) try.

    And yes we have what they call 99cent stores here. They are not like the dollar stores I knew of growing up in the midwest. At THOSE dollar stores truly EVERY single item was a dollar. Here it is 5.99, 3.99, 2.99, 1.99, 1.59, .99 (if you're lucky), .79 and .59. I have given up on them, I never know what it's really gonna cost...but that is TOTALLY off the subject here. sorry.
    posted by Blogger Kage at 6/16/2006 03:58:00 AM  

  • I am not really sure how I go from coast to coast as often as I do with two babies and two dogs... The only thing that has worked for me is the red eye. My babies sleep. It is a very uncomfortable flight for me, cuz I can't move or I will wake up the baby on my lap, but as long as my kids are asleep and happy, then that is all that matters. Also, I have gone out of my way and paid more money just to fly Jet Blue. I am a big fan! The non stop flights and tv's are the best. Not to mention I am a huge fan and supporter of customer service and they are so GREAT! Other than that the DVD player has saved me in the past. I have two trips coming up with the kids by myself and I will stick to what works for me. Jet Blue red eye... let us not forget drugs if needed!!!
    posted by Blogger Zinone at 6/16/2006 07:11:00 AM  

  • I'm with zinone on this one. Jet blue rules with their customer service. They are so helpful when you are flying alone with children from the moment you get out of your car at the curb until the moment you claim your bags at the other end. My kids also do great on the red-eye flights and when Princess was younger (age 9m-2 1/2) she definitely got a dose of Benedryl to take the edge off. It really worked wonders for her but beware: it can have the opposite effect on some children and make them bounce off the walls.

    I have witnessed Shaleen and her treat hucking while driving and I was totally impressed at her ingenuity. At the pit stops, she just goes back and collects everything that never made into the hands of a kid and puts it back up front in the treat bag.

    And picturing a mom handing things out with BBQ tongs is so funny! I love it!
    posted by Blogger TftCarrie at 6/16/2006 08:05:00 AM  

  • Ok, LOVE LOVE LOVE the BBQ tongs idea! Never thought of that! I am usually a "treat thrower," but I only have 4 kids, so I don't have as much practice as Shaleen! I am not as good at aiming! But when you've got all these kids in a long ol' suburban, those BBQ tongs will certainly come in handy! And I second the color wonder finger paints, DVD player, etc. We do license plate games while driving too. As far as flying goes, each of our kids carry a backpack with all of their snacks, activities, etc. in them. Makes it easier on me. Just be careful not to load them too heavy or you'll be carrying them!!!
    posted by Blogger BJHBHB at 6/16/2006 11:49:00 AM  

  • A bottle a Triaminic Night Time Cold medicine.

    Eric turns into the Spawn of Satan as soon as we even enter the airport. By the time we are walking down the skyway to the plane, he is flinging himself backward out of my arms, kicking, biting and screaming. And we fly to Calfornia and back twice a year. Just me and the kids. DH stays home. Smart man.

    We're going again in August, and this time it will be with the boys and the baby- three kids, one mama- I may need a horse tranquilizer when we land in the Bay Area! It's not funny. I may go weep now.
    posted by Blogger Tracy M at 6/16/2006 03:19:00 PM  

  • I third Z and Tftcarrie - Jet Blue ROCKS. It's worth the extra money to get a non-stop flight, comfy seats and tvs.

    We travel a fair amount with our two kids and I have found Playdoh is a hit, a fresh small book of stickers (you can always find these at Joann's or Michaels craft stores in bins up at the front near the cash registers), Color Wonder markers and paper (all the fun of coloring with no risk of them crayoning on airline seats), fresh snacks that you otherwise wouldn't give them (Oreos and Rice Krispie treats work well for my posse).

    On our recent trip from San Fran to SLC by car (11 hours and it felt like 4 - they do great on these car trips) I picked up those little balloons attached to long sticks that you find in flower arrangements - those were a big hit. And I use the portable DVD player LIBERALLY. I ususally pick up or borrow a fresh DVD they haven't seen yet.
    posted by Blogger chloe at 6/17/2006 12:36:00 AM  

  • Yeah, I love jetblue too *wink wink*. I've flown with 2 kids and pregnant and also with 3 kids--both late late night or redeye and no DH. Somehow we do it. Luckily they have good dispositions on the planes. JetBlue's TV's just lull them to sleep. I second the new cheap toys/snacks option. All really good ideas. Do you have a travel tape deck with headphones--maybe music or books on tape would be fun. New little paperback books too. My kids are now totally into their 1 roll of smarties--maybe you ought to pack some of those. They've been quiet for 20 minutes! Have fun--we will miss you. :)

    Have you thanked the snark for that cute picture of you? ha ha
    posted by Blogger Katie at 6/18/2006 12:00:00 PM  

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