Travel Progeny

By 2g1c2 girls 1 cup

10 February
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Bobbleheads in transit

We’re dri­ving to NOLA tomor­row– it’s 10 hours in the car.  The kids always have a note­book and crayons to keep them busy. But, besides the old stan­dards, the kids get a some­thing new for the trip– it makes all the difference.

Some­times they get to buy some­thing.  About a week before depar­ture we all head to the store and they get to spend around five bucks on some­thing that can fit into their back­pack. They know they won’t see it again until we are on the plane or in the car.  ES always picks a Lit­tlest Pet­shop Pet. We call them Bob­ble­heads.  I’m not a fan of those trashy Bratz that are sup­pose to be thir own­ers– they are not now nor will they ever be wel­come in my home. These pets of theirs though I have come to love. They are travel size, can go to the pool or beach or tub and are per­fectly happy in what­ever imag­i­nary world ES can think up.  Even G likes them– although he gen­er­ally chooses cars.  If I can remem­ber to plan far enough ahead the old Bob­ble­heads or select favorite cars dis­ap­pear so that they get to be redis­cov­ered on the trip.

bobbleheads

Other times we’ll make an activ­ity book together. ES gets a lot more out of this on the road than G does, but the assem­bly at home is half the fun any­way.  Both G and ES like to sort through all of the print­able pos­si­bil­i­ties on the inter­net.  The kids have small back­packs so stan­dard size paper is too big. Instead of print­ing our finds I save the images, then reduce and arrange them so that I can posi­tion 2 on each side of a page.  I started with a small 3 ring binder but that takes up too much space in their back­pack so instead they just have a clip­board.  The pages need to be together in some way– loose sheets are ask­ing for a mess. Now we either cut the pages in half and sta­ple them together or fold the pages in half, punch a cou­ple of holes in the spine and weave some rib­bon or string though those holes.

Get­ting some­thing at the air­port just has not worked as well. Not only do they think that buy­ing stuff at the air­port is part of trav­el­ing, they also just seem to get bored of it sooner, totally defeat­ing the pur­pose of schleping it in the first place.  Ulti­mately, for my chil­dren, what it is isn’t so impor­tant as the antic­i­pa­tion, the pride of cre­ation or the joy of a favorite found.

Bob­ble­heads and bags are packed– just hop­ing for an ice free 55.

28 January
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Sleeping on books

My chil­dren are ter­ri­ble sleep­ers.  They are now and they always have been.  As my sister’s chil­dren pass out on their own for long after­noon naps and again at a rea­son­able night­time hour my chil­dren linger on. Rou­tines, hours out­side hard at play, nap removal– noth­ing has helped.  I’m stick­ing with the rou­tine and hop­ing they catch on.  I don’t know what else to do. Right now G sits in his bed read­ing, fid­get­ing, and wait­ing for any­thing but sleep to happen.

Sleeping at last

Sleep­ing at last

ES has night ter­rors.  Not so long ago she would wake up in the mid­dle of the night, eyes open, scream­ing, talk­ing or cry­ing about some­thing that made no sense.  Some­times she would be walk­ing around.  It was so con­fus­ing until we fig­ured out that she was still asleep.  Then it all made sense.  I have those crazy dreams and I have as far back as I can remem­ber.  They are vivid, in color and I remem­ber them when I wake up.  They seem more tem­pered now but maybe it’s because I bet­ter under­stand what they are. Maybe it’s just because I’ve sorted out a way to cope. When I was lit­tle my mother told me that hav­ing dreams was just like watch­ing TV– that if you didn’t like what was on all you had to do was turn the chan­nel.  You turn the chan­nel flip­ping over your pil­low.  I know I did it and it com­forted me so I told ES. She’s a believer.  I heard her telling G that he didn’t need to be wor­ried about bad dreams because all he had to do was turn over his pil­low and the scary things would go away.

Last week I thought ES has fallen asleep read­ing and passed out on the open book rest­ing on her pil­low.  I go to remove it but she pops up and starts fran­ticly telling me that she needs it so that she won’t have bad dreams.  Appar­ently, if she sleeps with her head on a book she only has good dreams.  Okay.  Cleaver.  Who told her?  She says: “No one told me. One night I fell asleep on a book by acci­dent and that night I had good dreams.“  So, tonight, ES is asleep in her room on The Greedy Bee.

Maybe they are more phys­i­cally or men­tally exhausted when we travel but some­how the kids sleep bet­ter on the road.  Although my kids never had a favorite stuffed thing they car­ried every­where, I always pack a blan­ket of some sort in their back­pack.   I think it com­forts them to have their own smelly thing to cud­dle up to as the drift off to sleep. Plus it’s nice to have on a cold, ques­tion­able clean, air­plane, or train.  I guess now though I will also have to make sure we have a book.  I hope size doesn’t mat­ter.  I won­der if a mag­a­zine will work?  As always… what­ever it takes.

Sweet dreams everyone.

27 January
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Our Rolling Bugs

G and his Rolling Bug

Decem­ber 2008 I took the kids up to NYC for a week.  Until this trip I had always packed a large rolling duf­fel for the whole fam­ily. Now, though,  Amer­i­can had begun charg­ing for checked bags and I felt like the kids were both big enough to han­dle their own bags.  G was only 2.5 then, just about 3′ tall so I knew I would have to choose wisely.    I always head to the store with a pretty defined idea of what I’m look­ing for.  In this case: 4 wheels, about 20″, durable, good pock­ets, adjustable han­dle, fun.  I couldn’t find what I was look­ing for, so I made it.  Okay, so I bought some­thing close and embell­ished it.  It turned out to be a really good project for my niece, A, and I who was then 10.

What we did:

The Sup­plies:

  1. I Bought 2 Sam­sonite Sahora, 20″ Suit­cases.  One Red, One Blue.  Any­thing in a solid color could work as long as it has pock­ets and attach­ments that you could work into a design.
  2. The biggest googlie eyes I could find, I think 1.5″ or 2″
  3. Felt squares. Stay away from col­ors that would show dirt.
  4. Cord­ing, or rib­bon.  about 3′ or 4′  You’re going to use this to cre­ate a pull that is attached to the side han­dle of your bag.
  5. Hot glue sticks for Fab­ric and Hot Glue Gun.  You can also use fab­ric glue  Note:  Some bags are made of nylon or other syn­thet­ics that melt.  If that is your bag plan accordingly.
  6. Sharp Scis­sors

The Steps:

Alexis and I decided that we would make the red one into a lady­bug for Ella Sophia and the blue one into a bee­tle for Grif­fin so we found pic­tures on the inter­net to work from.

Next, using our pic­tures and our imag­i­na­tion we cut felt out into the appro­pri­ate shapes and placed them onto the bags.  Once you’re happy with the place­ment glue the felt to the bag. Pay spe­cial atten­tion to the edges.  If there are any loose edges they might get caught on stuff.  The long, thin lines on the bee­tle have come loose and have had to be reglued.  The dots on the lady­bug have had no prob­lems.  Also, be care­ful when glu­ing on the googlie eyes if you use hot glue.  They are plas­tic and can melt fus­ing the google to the eye.

Finally, Iat­tach the cord­ing or rib­bon to the side han­dle.  I attached it to the metal rings that were vis­i­ble when the han­dle was extended so that the loop would not spin around. Also, make sure that the loop you cre­ate does not extend past the bot­tom of the bag when it is not being used.

The Rolling Bugs

Once the bag was done I made lug­gage tags with their pic­tures and my mobile num­ber and attached those as well.   I never put my children’s names on the out­side of any­thing where strangers could use that infor­ma­tion to pre­tend to be friends.

That’s it!  The kids love them because they are proud to pull their own bag and because of all of atten­tion it gets them at the air­port.  I love them because the kids man­age their own stuff.  I love them because they are gen­uinely easy enough to push or pull, even when fully packed, through the air­port or down the street.