Saturday, August 9, 2014

Vacationing with a toddler. UGH.

Once upon a time, vacations meant rest, relaxation and rejuvenation.  Then we had kids.
Vacations became tiring and stressful, and I was more exhausted when I got home from vacation than I was when I left.  Well, this year it's going to be different!  Please.  I hope.  I'm really gonna try!!!

Nick is 4 1/2 now and very good at entertaining himself.  Alec is 1 1/2 and not so good at entertaining himself, especially in the car.  Last year on our trip to Maine (while in deadlocked traffic for about 2 hours) he screamed and cried.  And cried and screamed.  And then did it some more.  It was excruciating.  He has gotten better in the car since then but still  has frequent meltdowns.  You know how they say to let them cry it out?  Yeah.  Well that doesn't work with Alec.  You'd think after an hour of screaming and crying the kid would fall asleep.  Nope.  He just keeps keep on going.

So here are my plans for this year's 4 hour trip to Maine:
1.  Snacks, and lots of them.  Juice, milk, cheerios, goldfish, animal crackers.  Sometimes food is the only thing that will keep them quiet!
2.  Electronic devices.  We don't have dvd players in our cars, but I'm thinking of getting some that mount on the headrest.  Then both kids can watch a movie or show and hopefully stay entertained.  I also plan on bringing the Leap pad, Kindle,  ipad and any other thing I can find that makes noise and has video.
3.  Toys.  Lots of websites will tell you to pack coloring books, crayons and crafting supplies.  Except my kids don't like crafting, and I can't really see how Alec is going to color a picture in his car seat.  BUT... I bet he could put together some MegaBlocks or large Legos if I put the box next to his seat.  I'm thinking maybe a large milkcrate in between the boys filled with toys for them to grab at their leisure.
4.  Books.  I'm thinking books where you lift up the flap to reveal a picture, or has pages with interesting textures you can touch.  Something with a little more to do than just look at the pictures.
5.  Leave right before nap time.  Although we usually like to get an early start, I am thinking it might be better to leave around 12-12:30 since Alec usually takes his nap around 1:00.  I'm hoping this strategy will get me a good 2 hours of peace and quiet in the car!

Here are my plans for the actual vacation:
1.  Beach time.  Hopefully we will have some nice weather while we are there and get to enjoy some (or a lot) of time at the beach.  For beach days, I plan on packing snacks (of course), a bucket and shovel, some toy trucks, and kites.  I also have a little kid's play tent I am considering bringing.  It's easy to set up and would provide the kids some shade if it's hot and sunny.
2.  Day trips/activities.  I already know I want to take the kids out on a lobstering tour and to the Maine Wildlife Park.  I need to do some research and make sure we have several other possible activities/day trips planned.  I also need to make sure I have some indoor places we can go in case in rains.
3.  New toys.  For our down time at the house, I think it would be good to have a couple new toys for the kids.  Something that will keep them interested and occupied.  I'm thinking some new Lego sets, maybe a new game for Nick's leap pad, maybe some new and different building blocks.  Probably some new puzzles too.

OK, so that's my list so far.  Any additional suggestions would be much appreciated!!  I would love for you to leave a suggestion in the comments!  :) 

Leaving you with some of my favorite photos of vacations past...

Linking up with Life of Faith blog for Mommy moments!

Nickolas - Cape Code 2012

More Cape Cod 2012

Ogunquit 2013- Alec's first trip to the Ocean
Enjoying some snacks in Freeport ME
Fun at Cabellas

Linking up with Meg for the Mingle Monday link up


  1. Such a sweet family!! I am a Mom of 2 boys but mine are grown now!! Thanks so much for your visit!!


  2. I've forgotten what it's like to have a "restful" vacation! Love the pictures!
    Thanks for stopping by the blog!

    Chels @ Red Velvet Rooster

  3. Vacationing with kids is not the restful, leisurely time that most people think of when they think of "vacation". My kids are older now, but it seems that each stage brings it's characteristics that continue to prevent vacation from being all I imagine! I hope your little guys are better in the car this year though and enjoy the beach time! :) #mommymoments

  4. Awe, so cute! We love York Beach, Maine & Rye, N.H and go, almost, every summer:) We live in DE and our beaches are nice and of course the Jersey Shore is where we go also. Didn't make it up North this year:( I remember how much stuff we used to need for the kids at the beach. My daughter is grown now, and I actually miss all that. They grow fast, so enjoy the ride:) Hugs and thanks for stopping by my blog!

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