Posts Tagged ‘road trip’

Surviving the toddler road trip with Stickers.

Tuesday, October 25th, 2011

Spencer has logged quite a few miles for a tot not yet 3 years old, almost 10 thousand traveling miles, and that is excluding daily driving and local trips. He is a relatively easy car rider, but does get the car seat blues. We choose to make our car trips pretty low-fi; I don’t want to share my phone and I don’t have a safety case for the iPad. I worry he would toss it around a bit too hard in the car. Also, he uses you tube a lot and it isn’t 3G. I can only imagine that you tube not working would make the iPad more trouble than benefit. So, how on earth does a tech savvy toddler endure a road trip? The same way they did 10 years ago, the liberal application of books, toys and stickers. Lots and lots of stickers.

Cookie has some stickers on his bum.

I can’t stress the stickers enough. That is really what saved us the last few trips. Stickers are just so versatile, for just a few dollars or less, multiple sheet packs can be purchased at Target, Michael’s, Walmart or the dollar store. I particularly like the animal packs that Target carries in the party supply section.  Variety is key.

There are a bunch of different ways Spencer uses stickers in the car. Well, mostly sticking them on things, but DIFFERENT things: stuffed animals, books, faces, hair. My personal favorite is the desperation sticker attack. Toddler being fussy or just plain loud? Stick a sticker on him somewhere hard to get to, shoulder blade, back of the neck, upper arm behind the elbow and the toddler becomes magically quiet while trying to get the sticker. Also fun is just letting the toddler stick stickers on your hand or whatever.

You know when else stickers work great? Restaurants. Stick them to the table. Peel them off the table. Lather. Rinse. Repeat. After about the 3rd restaurant meal in a row, crayons and a paper menu don’t hold very much interest. Bonus: stickers are light. It is really easy to keep a sheet or two in my bag. And much better than crayons at a restaurant with tablecloths.

An easy way to build up a stash of stickers is to ask for them every time you are at a place that hands them out. Target gives them out, so does Trader Joes and sometimes other grocery stores. I found out that my Payless has them. TJs is the best because they normally give a strip with about 6 or 8 stickers, I rip it in half and give some to Spencer and stash the rest in my purse for an emergency.

Even if your child is difficult in the car, stickers are worth a shot. It might just buy you 5 minutes of peace. And sometimes, when driving in tricky traffic, a few minutes of quiet is a sanity saver.

 

Brushing Off the Road Dust

Saturday, May 28th, 2011

If my blog has been a little sporadic and I have been neglecting reading and commenting on my usual blogging rounds, I have a very good reason. For the last few weeks, we have been on a family road trip. Why yes, I did say weeks. Did I mention we are also a little bit crazy? So my view since May 9th has looked like this:

Or like this:

We left May 9th and got home on May 27th and traveled through 12 states. I have some fun posts planned.

We were snowed on, hailed on, poured on and had some beautiful days.

We went from California to Missouri to Iowa to Minnesota back to Iowa and through a bunch of states in between.

Happy to be home, safe and sound. I have almost as many photos as we traveled miles.

Project 365 Days 139-146

Saturday, May 28th, 2011

Welcome to my project365 weekly wrap up post. To keep things interesting, I have a no faces rule for these pictures. Also, I have a brand-spanking new DSLR and no idea how to use it. And I may have finally given up on my tumblr…

May 19th – May 26th

139

140

141

142

143

144

145

146

 

Somehow I got off a few days. Hope to get it sorted out and have these running Friday-Thursday again soon.

The $35 was not the point

Tuesday, August 24th, 2010

I went to San Francisco last weekend and stayed at the Westin St Francis. Overall, it was a nice hotel; we had a big, clean room with lots of space for Spencer to play. I shared a room with my sister and Spencer and my sister and I have difference of opinions on housekeeping in hotels. I would just reuse the towels and pull up the duvet, but she likes having them come in. I feel a little bad about the toys thrown everywhere and general baby messiness. I also hate people touching my stuff. It is why I could never have a cleaning person in my house something about it squicks me out.

On Sunday of our long weekend, Spencer kept unpacking and repacking my suitcase during morning playtime, which was getting old, so I pulled a brown grocery sack out of the closet and he was packing and unpacking his toys in the bag. Anything to pass the time was fine with me, he’d been such a trooper for 3 days so far in the hotel. Then we left for the morning, walked down to the Embarcadero and the Ferry Building, shared an organic, vegan, delicious doughnut with Spencer; my sister and I got brunch cocktails and we walked back to the hotel. The housekeeper was still in the room when we returned and she wouldn’t let us in the room until she did the bathroom because it was “so dirty.” It wasn’t really. All she did was empty the trash (which admittedly had some rank diapers in it) and change out the towels. We waited on chairs in the hall and finally went in.

I didn’t notice anything until hours later, which kills me now because she was still there with the cart when we got back. That evening, I noticed that the grocery sack was missing. Then I noticed that Spencer’s little yellow car was missing. Oh no! Housekeeping thought the bag was trash and threw it out with out looking in it. And the car was small. I was annoyed, but not mad. That happened later. I was packing up because we were checking out the next morning and realized that one of the stuffed blocks from his block set was missing. Crap. It also happens that both of these toys have sentimental value. The block set was the first baby gift we ever received, from my sister, when I was about 5 months pregnant. The car, while from a cheerios box, was the first car he consistently called car. And they were just gone. Forever.

I’ve managed, in 13 months, to only lose one baby item, a teether Spencer threw out of his stroller when we were at the mall. From that experience, I learned to pay better attention and use toys that attach to the stroller. He threw a pacifier out of his stroller when we were at the big fountain by the Ferry Building, but I found it. I know that losing things is a part of having a kid and I will have to get over it, but this was preventable. And I feel slightly violated; someone evaluated my belongings and decided some of them were garbage.

I spoke to front desk about it at check out and he offered to deduct the cost of the toys from the room. Which is a nice gesture. It doesn’t make me less angry, but it is nice nonetheless. I can tell you one thing: hotel housekeeping will not be in my room again. Ever. And I am not sure that I will stay at a Westin again either.

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