50 Things I Learned in 25 days and 3000 miles with 4 kids

I am Single Mom Driving, and I am currently in bed, surrounded by sleeping children.  We are in a hotel - our last hotel of this crazy journey. I have loved and appreciated all of the kind words and thoughts sent out to my kids and I over the last 25 days.
I have been horrible at keeping baby books, or even printing pictures over the years, but these adventures -- these are my memories that I want to hold on to forever.

 

Over the past 25 days and 3000 miles of traveling with my four babies, I have learned:

  1. My kids are amazing. I seriously think they are the absolute coolest human beings on this planet.
  2. Traveling does us all well. We were happier more moments out of every day than we are on typical days at home.
  3. My kids can also get annoying. They make fart noises, tell absurdly unfunny jokes, and like to attach themselves like Velcro to me at the worst times.
  4. My two-year-old LOVES the zoo – like high pitch squealed his way through it.
  5. Mifi is amazing BUT EXPENSIVE. This will be rethought on the next trip.
  6. I ditched the cloth diapers the night before we left and bought organic disposables and had ZERO guilt.
  7. Cracker Barrel seems like a great idea, until you spend $30 in the gift shop and your food takes 75 minutes to be served… and none of your children grasp how to play checkers.   trip
  8. Shoes are always optional.
  9. Dirty feet don’t matter until they get near white hotel sheets.
  10. I could have packed ¼ of the clothing and still had plenty.
  11. Hotel beds are the best for jumping.    trip5
  12. People are either honking at me because they think I am nuts or think I’m awesome; I will assume it’s the latter of the two.
  13. 4 babies do not fit into one bed with me.
  14. I miss my husband, but he would yell at me for letting kids pee on the side of the highwaytrip10
  15. Look at the weather a few days in advance. How did I not know there was a HURRICANE hitting the exact time we were driving through South Florida?
  16. People wanted their picture taken with us and the van everywhere! I mean, we are basically celebrities now – although, most of the people just said they needed a picture to prove to their partner that road trips with kids are possible.
  17. Sand sticks to everything, and is found even after two rounds of vacuuming out the car.
  18. Crayons and chocolate both melt in the car.
  19. Baby wipes can be used in any situation.
  20. My proportioned, single serving road snacks are my best idea everFile May 21, 1 50 14 PM
  21. Sunglasses can be replaced, so always buy cheap ones.
  22. My kids are drawn to tourist traps like moths to a flame.
  23. Gift shops exist because of children.
  24. I spent more money in gift shops than I did for admittance into the actual places. trip11
  25. Always book a hotel that serves wine to your room.
  26. Babywearing saves your sanity, but so does a stroller -- and a double stroller is even better.
  27. Bathroom hand dryers can boost the morale of everyone – seriously, let your kid play with one for 2 minutes.
  28. No two children will need to use the bathroom during the same road-side stop, but one will always need to poop within 10 minutes of getting back on the road.
  29. Milkshakes count as dinner if you are driving.     trip13
  30. Visiting my friends filled my heart with happiness!     trip14
  31. Visiting my children’s friends from everywhere we have ever lived was just as much fun for me as it was for them!       trip15
  32. Map everything out in advance. EVERYTHING. It is so hard to plan something at the last minute with kids climbing on you and everyone stressed out.
  33. Have a plan B and plan C for everything! A back-up plan for bad weather, bad attitudes, late starts, and unexpected free time.
  34. Road trips are more fun with mermaid hair.
  35. Mermaid hair is the best when your 7-year-old helps dye it.
  36. The best part of mermaid hair is MATCHING mermaid hair with the above mentioned 7-year-old.         trip8
  37. Finding little moments in each day to bond with each child is what this is all about!
  38. Frustrations will happen, but there is wine and happiness just 3 minutes away.
  39. I can still accomplish work, homeschooling, and parenting from the road.   trip12
  40. NO ONE MISSED ANY TANGIBLE PLASTIC CRAP THING FROM HOME. NOTHING. I am so serious.
  41. Bedtime is easy when your children have run nonstop from sun up to sun down.
  42. My sensory child (SPD) has come so far, but our days were still molded around his needs, and avoiding possible meltdowns.
  43. Pulling over on the side of the highway to pee is actually a bad idea.
  44. Update the AAA membership.
  45. Always know where bathrooms are located. (Ask my 7-year-old who had to pee so bad while in line at Disney.)
  46. Working out is still possible while traveling – it’s just a different type of workout.
  47. Amazon will deliver wherever you are.
  48. Stopping for days at a time with family has its ups and downs. The extra help was much appreciated (and a break was needed), but this was the ONLY time that my boys had meltdowns.
  49. I need to learn to say ‘no’ without feeling guilty. There just was not enough time to see everyone we wanted to see along this journey.
  50. There will be a HUGE detox taking place over the next few weeks in our home.
trip7
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