Thursday, July 19, 2007

Riding in Cars with Quads

Oh, who am I's a minivan! This family doesn't fit in a car!

Anyway, the trip was surprisingly good, certainly nowhere near as bad as we feared it might be!
The trip from Knoxville to Memphis is a long one, for all you readers out there who have never made this trip. It's a little shorter now that my parents have moved to Arlington, which is east of Memphis, but still it's around 360 miles. Normally it would take us about 5 and a half hours.

We left the house around 10AM, a little later than we meant to, but it was okay. The kids were content to ride awhile awake. Praise the Lord for front-facing car seats and babies old enough and big enough to ride in them! The kids are so much happier now that they can really look around and watch the world go by!

After awhile, they fell asleep. Yea! They slept about an hour, I guess. When they woke up they were ready to no longer be in the car and started to get a little cranky. Luckily, we had borrowed a portable DVD player from Josh and Cris, so we put in a DVD and they were mesmerized! We have attempted to watch videos a few times at home, but never with much success, so Jim and I were VERY excited to have so much success this time! The DVD was 20 min long (it was actually a slideshow of pictures of them that I made for their birthday), but by the time we watched it twice, we were in Nashville!

As you can see, there are three kids in the back. This is another wonderful thing about the new carseats! We couldn't do this with the infant carriers. It allowed us to remove one of the middle row seats giving us a lot more room to get in and out of the back!

We stopped at the Opry Mills Mall, parked the van, loosened the carseat straps, and fed the kids lunch in the car. Then I changed all their diapers, and we loaded them into two shopping carts and hit the mall for awhile. This worked out great! They could stretch their legs and move around and be little free, but they were still confined. Plus they loved strolling through the Bass Pro Shops and the mall and seeing all the people and colors and stuff in general. When it started to get close to their afternoon naptime, we headed back to the van and loaded back up and hit the road again! (Note to Molly-the experiment was a success, sort of) The kids dropped off the sleep pretty quick after that and probably would have slept a good long time, if we hadn't had to stop for gas. When the car stopped moving they all woke up and never went back to sleep. They were content for a little bit, but then it became time for more DVDs! After listening to VeggieTales Silly Songs twice, Jim thought he would go crazy if he had to listen to anymore, so we turned it off, and I attempted to entertain them the rest of the way. Luckily it wasn't very long! We reached Memphis around 5PM I think (our time), so the trip took about 7 hours. Not bad at all!

What we learned from this trip...1-if you're going to drive during the day, plan your trip around the naptimes, 2-if you can help it, don't take a long trip until your kids can face forward, 3-somehow, someway, get a DVD player! 4-babies love the Bass Pro Shops!, and 5-get gas before the kids fall asleep, even if you don't really need it yet.

Other than that, really it was a piece of cake, although it hinged on the fact that there were two adults in the car, one to drive and one to run the DVD player! I can't imagine trying to do it alone! Someday. When the kids are old enough to run their own DVD player!


Doug & Stacy Fournier said...

wow, congrats on the successful road trip with the kiddos!! sounds like you planned well, and you made it with your sanity! i hope you had a great time!

Kristi said...

I am glad that your trip went well! I know that driving with little ones can be difficult, but it is always fun to get out and about.

Such cute kiddos!

Becky said...

oh yes, never ever stop the car unless it's an emeergency because babies will wake up every time! When we were driving recently and Lucas was asleep, we were like- no potty breaks, no nothing Ava and Nate, this van doesn't stop rolling! OK so we weren't THAT harsh...but almost.

Murray Crew said...

Thanks for all the tips - good to know for the future. I don't think I've commented b4, but it's great to know that there's other quad mom's out there to learn from.....We quad mamas have to stick together like glue! Question: When can you get the front facing carseats? We have the same problem with the 3 not fitting in the back. It's quite a chore to hoist them over the seats. Just curious...You can write me back at our blog if you get a chance.

Anonymous said...

Now that you know how to do it, we hope you will not wait a year to come back. We loved having all of you here & watching the kids explore.

Mom & Dad

TnMomTo3 said...

Congrats on your trip to Memphis. :) We made the same trip last weekend...granted, we only had Josh and the twins, but it makes for a long trip! A bathroom break still takes a good 20-30 minutes! :)

I agree - never stop the car if they're asleep!! It doesn't matter how BAD you have to go to the bathroom! :)