Monday, April 30, 2012

'Burgher Thoughts

  • Lauren has slept through the night the last two nights. A blessing from the Lord! (As Jonah, the Veggie Tales Asparagus would say...)
  • Ian had a baseball game yesterday and the team we were playing was really good. They made a play at 2nd base and got Ian out. I think it was his first time being tagged out and he didn't take it well. It's hard being a baseball mom when stuff like that happens. I couldn't do anything but talk him through it and continue to encourage him. I think it is an excellent lesson for him though... you don't always win in life. You just have to pick yourself up, wipe off your tears and try again! There is a really sweet boy on Ian's team named Jonathan who, at the tender age of 5 (or 6? he seems really mature...) was talking to Ian & encouraging him, too. "It's okay, Ian, I get out sometimes too. Now we get to go out in the field and tag them out. C'mon Ian, put on your glove! We need you out there!" What a sweetheart! If anyone is interested in coming to one of Ian's games, let me know and I'll send you the schedule.
  • Only two weeks until my niece Jessica and her fiance Steele's wedding! I don't have my dress back from alterations and I'm not sure why. It was supposed to be done last week. I guess I'll be calling them? Lauren's dress is all ready, we're just waiting on her hair bow to arrive from Etsy and I'm still searching for a pair of frilly little girl socks in off-white color. Anybody know of a good "frilly sock" store? I had a pair of off-white, dressy socks for Lauren when she was an infant, but I think they were a gift. I have no idea what store they came from! 
  • We were really thankful that both of our cars passed inspection this year with little work that needed done. Roger's 11 year old Camry, with 160something thousand miles on it, doesn't have functioning air conditioning anymore. Kinda stinks to learn that only when it is hot enough outside to need air conditioning. I feel bad for his summer parkway commutes...maybe we should start thinking about trading it in and getting something a little newer? It's been such a good car for us!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Traveling with Tots (Who don't really like riding in the car)

I was more worried about the actual car ride than anything else about the whole vacation to the Great Smoky Mountains. Really. Ian and Aaron are decent car riders now, but when they were babies neither liked riding in the car. Lauren, on the other hand, has hated the car since day one and continues to despise the car. She screams 60-80% of the time she spends in the car. We have no idea why. We've tried literally everything we can think to try to make her experience better, but not much has made any difference.

The first thing we did before this trip was prayed. A lot.

The second thing we did was prepare, prepare, prepare. We packed every variety of snack we thought the kids might be interested in eating. We bought new little toys, activities, and DVDs, which I wrapped in wrapping paper to extend the fun a little bit. We rearranged the car seats so that an adult could sit in the middle row and attend to the children better. We also had all the "usual" things like layered clothing, blankies, lovies, pillows, milk cups, water bottles, etc. I spent months getting all the stuff together for the trip. As soon as we got over Christmas, I started gathering the things we were going to take on the trip with us.

The third thing we did was completely load the car (and finish any housework we were planning on doing) the night before we were leaving. In the morning, we got up really early (5 AM), took showers and packed the last minute things like phone chargers and toiletries, and then loaded the drowsy kids into the van. We left the driveway at 6am. We drove in the dark for an hour and I really think this helped with the overall outcome of the trip. By the time we were all ready for our first stop (hungry for breakfast and ready to use the bathroom), we were well on our way! Lauren was tired from being up so early that she took a morning nap and an afternoon nap. We did this both on the way to and from our destination. We also tried to stop every hour and a half to two hours. That's about the maximum for preschooler bladder comfort and also really helped to break up the monotony of riding for hours. We watched for a playplace the entire way to Tennessee so we could let the children play, but we never found one when we were able to stop, but we did let them run in the grassy fields at rest stops. On the way home we did happen to find a McDonald's with a playground so they could play. Just 15 or 20 minutes in a playplace is enough to restart the boring-o-meter on a car trip.

In the end, it was a successful trip. Aside from meals and gas, we only spent a couple dollars in gas stations (Ian really wanted a gatorade toward the end of the ride home and we were desperate to keep the peace! Plus, how could Roger and I both get a pop to drink without allowing Ian to have a drink too?).

Am I anxious to do a road trip like that again? Nope, but I'm so very thankful it went as well as it did. I fully believe that our meticulous preparations made all the difference. So if you're wishing that you could take a vacation with a child who doesn't like riding in the car, I say, give it a shot...but make sure you put in the time in your preparations for the trip. Leave nothing to chance! We even had a barf bucket in the car! Don't forget the baby tylenol and something to block the sunshine from coming in the windows!

Best wishes!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Happy No. 5

Happy fifth birthday to my beloved firstborn!

Ian is such a fabulous young man.

We are so blessed to be his parents.

I know this is terribly short, but my days have become busier than I'd like and I just wanted to get it up here that we're celebrating Ian's big number five today! (And yesterday when he had his "kid party.") I should say, he didn't have any kind of family or adult party beyond just having his young boy cousins at his birthday party yesterday, so I shouldn't call it a kid party. But that's what it was... fourteen adorable, active friends of Ian joined him at My Little Outback for a grand old time! We're off to get tacos in a few minutes, which was Ian's choice for dinner, and then to his first baseball game.

I hope you're all having a lovely day too!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Great Smoky Mountains 2012

We just got back from a fabulous family vacation to the Great Smoky Mountains. I'll have to wait for my sister to upload some of her pictures from her camera because she's the one who got a lot of the good group shots during our hikes.

Oh the hiking...

In no comparison to my sister and her family (who hiked like 50 miles of trails last week with their 3 year old and 7 year old in tow), the Vandervorts hiked just about 7 miles total in the Great Smoky Moutains National Park. We hiked the Laurel Falls trail, the Clingmans Dome trail, the Baskins Creek Trail, and several other little jaunts in and around the park.

We also went mini-golfing, window shopping, egg-hunting, turtle spying, dogwood admiring, four-leaf-clover-picking, etc.

There will be several more posts about our trip...including a post dedicated to surviving 10 hour car trips with 3 kids under age 5 (just barely...Ian's turning 5 in a couple of days!) who don't really like riding in the car. Maybe there will even be a post with tips on renting a gigantic cabin and staying there for a week with a lot of your extended family... oh the fun! (and drama, but mostly fun...)

I hope yinz guyz all had a great Easter!