My last week around home has been non stop and in between our appointments, I started packing early for our road trip that starts on June 30th. I have twelve piles of clothing. One for each of us. Diapers, wet wipes and formula. A wheelchair, one cooler, cameras, one computer (so I can journal "blog" along our way) books, and one special toy each, bottles, a play pen, a medicine kit plus all the little hygiene items needed. I have twelve seats available in our van that is taken. I have a spot for our wheelchair, and one little space left.....the rest will be packed under and around the seats. We thought about a van carrier for luggage but I seem to enjoy struggling somewhat! Speaking of struggling, I'm also delivering a 230 pound dirt bike to my one son that lives up north. It will be hitched on the back of my van. Plus other items of his that he's requested. My check list involves "crazy" - yes - that's been definitely checked off! Plus I'm working on a more relaxed vacation for myself when I return, possibly in the wilderness hiking to find my sanity! lol For now, this road trip I plan on making a eliminated point system that our children can visualize while I'm driving. All their names will be on it, and every time someone is misbehaving, I will put a check mark next to their name. My idea is to keep our children calm, and keeping their hands to themselves while we're traveling. Being the only adult with eleven children, and most with special needs is going to be a definite adventure, and a test on my patience. Once our children meet their maximum check, they're done for the day. My idea (not perfect) but I think it will work, and it will allow rewards for my children that are behaving. It will hopefully teach "seeing the cause then seeing the effect" Another idea I thought while the non behavioural are swimming or having fun, essay writing. Explaining "what happened" to get myself to writing an essay while my siblings are having fun? On a more positive note, I am purchasing all our children their own summer journals. While I'm journaling, they will have the opportunity to journal about their day too! A great way to keep schooling within our summer adventures! I also plan on making laminated bingo cards with different pictures on it. When our children are looking out the window, they can check off spotting a "cow" for example. It's homemade travel bingo! We will see....I might be writing up a bunch of smoke right now, and I might find out that my ideas aren't great at all! If you have any ideas, please comment. I'm always up for different suggestions to keep us happy, healthy and safe. I do have two children that these ideas won't work for. Our littlest son (age two) and our littlest daughter with CP. I just need to keep them intrigued and interested and hopefully I won't have too many meltdowns! What's worse....our littlest daughters favourite item (an ipad) is broken. It was going to be one of my main survival items. Oh well....life needs to challenge me and including in my challenges, my tennis elbow has returned, and I will have to wear my arm brace. That's my week....I'm starting to prepare myself physically and mentally for traveling with eleven of my children! During our travels we are visiting birth family, previous foster families and family. The dynamics will be forever changing on a daily basis! Honestly, I'm over the top crazy - but this will be a road trip we will never forget!
Toilet paper - for on the road emergencies! Check!
Echinacea tablets - for quick stress release! Check!
Road trip games - for entertainment! Check!
Squishing stress balls - for squeezing! Check!
White boards - for on your lap coloring! Check!
Treat bags - for great behaviors! Check!
Gifts for birth family! Check!
Gifts for nieces and nephews! Check!
Great music for mood changing! Check!
Crazy mother! Check!