Friday, August 21, 2009

Last Weekend

This weekend marks the end of 'baby' time for J. He will be starting kindergarten on Monday! I can't believe it. I am not sure if I am any more nervous than he is. He seems so laid back and ready to for school.

Though there have been some bumps getting us there. The other day Scott and I were cuddling with our big kid and began explaining to him what school would be like. We told him he could eat in the cafeteria or bring his lunch from home. The would get to go to the playground to play. He would learn a lot of things!

Then we ask him if he had any questions or if he had any concerns about going. He said, "When do I get to watch my shows?" Oh poor baby! Your life of tv watching is over! I am a fan of television. Um, hello, yea I get paid for it! I allow him probably more tv than he should watch but not too much. I am excited that he loves Batman and questions what the real powers of Wolverine. But I am so much more excited about school.

Going to school offers children so much. It isn't 100% about the education. It is the getting along with others. Being nice even though you are having to work with someone you don't like. Rules of the playground. How to deal with mean kids. How to deal with mean teachers. How to be the man we want him to be when we aren't around. I know we can teach him a lot. I mean we have multiple BA's between us. We can't teach him what we don't know though. That is why I am excited to send him off for hours a day.

I can't wait to hear what he did that day. Who is choosing for friends. What special things he is doing in school.

And not to mention the fact that WE WILL BE SO INVOLVED! That is my goal and it is already coming true! Scott is going to be PTA PRESIDENT! Yea. Kind of cool! He is such a devoted dad! I love it.

Some people have commented that it is odd. He is a MAN (really?)! Then you get the people who are so excited because him stepping up might bring more dads to be involved in their child's life. I hope so! Every parent should want to do all they can to be involved in their kids lives!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

How to do prepare - Road Trip

What is the best thing to do when preparing for a long car tip? Make a LIST.

List what you think you need. List what you hope you need. List what you might-possibly-but-probably-won't need.

When you travel with children you think you need so much to keep them occupied. You don't. What I do is let them pick their own toys they want to take. I tell Jack he has his backpack that he can put whatever he wants in it. He has to carry it, so I tell him not to make it too heavy. Then while we are on vacation he knows what toys he has. He plays well with them.

S is a bit too young to pick her own toys so we packed many different kinds of toys to keep her happy. And like any good little sister, all she wanted was whatever Jack was playing with.

For the car the best invention in the last 10 years is the portable dvd player. We use it as a last resort. When we have been in the car for 10 hours and they are a little bored with their toys but can't quite fall asleep. Boom! Bust out the dvd player and it will either just keep their interest or put them to sleep.

Another quality toy, Leap Frog LMAX learning pad. It is basically a Nintendo DS for kids. What is wrong with wonderful educational games? Nothing. AND it has a place for headphone jack. So when So was asleep J could still play without waking her up! Greatness!

It is cliche, I know. But the best things for the kids when on a long car trip: toys, movies and FOOD. It is kind of like traveling with some sort of caged animal behind you. If they start to get loud or dangerously active, just throw some food back that way and happiness resumes.

Until Next time...

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Road Trip - 2009

So we have been planning a road trip since about April. The reason for our road trip was to see a shuttle launch. Unfortunetly due to circumstances beyond our control our launch got pushed back until the end of August. Well Scott couldn't change his vacation so we had to work with what we had. Our first plan was to go from Dallas to Savannah, Ga to Cape Canaveral, Fl. Well after the launch was delayed we decided to change up our plans.

I love doing things out of the ordinary, being different. One day I was looking at an old National Geographic Traveler, greatest drives of a lifetime. FLORIDA KEYS. So I was dead-set and determined to make that two three hour drive. So our plan was to leave *earlyyyyy* on Saturday, spend the night half-ish way then drive the rest of the way to Key West.

So I planned and planned. Looked at tripadvisor more than any crazy mother should. Picked a hotel, picked a different hotel, counted pennies, picked a third hotel, wondered if we really could live on hot dogs for a couple of weeks and then it all feel into place. We would still go to the Cape Canaveral area, more specially south to Melbourne Beach. We found the best family hotel Doubletree Hotel Melbourne Beach! (Seriously, it was perfect for our family of four).

So with that in mind I am going to post a series recap of our vacation. I will begin today detailing for anyone who thinks they can not travel with children (even TODDLERS!) for long distances. I am detailing to remind people that you can have an old fashioned family vacation. To shout from the rooftops that you can even do it on a semi shoe-string budget.

So hold on to your hats as I fish into my memory that longggggggg car ride, amazing views, fun snuggles with my baby, getting knocked down in the Atlantic with my boy and having a overall perfect vacation with my family.

p.s. we still like each other after this vacation!