ipod but they didn't really watch it. Alex played with his cars the whole time and Talia colored, played with her playmobils and played some ipod games. The key is to sit two and two, across the aisle. That way the kids don't fight over anything, the parents can switch or the kids can switch when someone needs a break and the parents can hand each other things across the aisle. The other key is have healthy meals and snacks plus a few special goodies. I think eating crap while traveling leads to a poor attitude in general. Also, a packing list really helps me stay sane and stress-free in the days leading up to a trip. It has everything my kids need from sunhats to snowsuits and I just print it out each trip and cross off what I don't need while gathering what I do. It helps when packing to go home too-- you won't forget your booklight under the bed if you see it on the list. And I'm not the most "list-y" person.
The weather wasn't as warm as we had hoped it would be but compared to Wisconsin and snow, it was just fine. Never warm enough to sit by a pool though, much less get into water. That's ok-- I'm not looking so great in my maternity bathing suit these days! We met up with my family (staying 75 minutes north in a resort while we stayed in my in-laws' condo) 4 times. Two of those days, unfortunately, were the colder, rainier days of the trip. We explored a little bit of the coast with them, went to Disneyland (my favorite part of the trip!) and hung out at the condo on one rainy day (played poker too and I won $40). My sister and her family came down to SD and we went to Seaworld. Without my extended family we went to Balboa Park and the Science museum and explored the cactus and rose gardens which was something we hadn't done before. We also went to the La Jolla farmer's market, which we love, and when my in-laws came at the end of our stay we went to the Wild Animal Park.
All in all, a lot of activities but I think that's another key to our trip's success. Make a plan and get out. We did all of our activities early and therefore were able to be home by 3 or 4 and give Alex a little bit of a nap. We ate many meals in the condo and packed lunches for each trip so we could eat healthy but save room for a treat. It just feels better that way. I actually lost a pound over the holidays despite being 34 weeks pregnant! Must have been all that walking. The kids actually slept together in a bed, in their own room, for the first time ever and it worked out great. I wish now that we had gotten the twin-over-full bunk bed so they could continue, if they wanted. Then again, they seem to be doing ok now that we're home so that's better. PUTTING them to bed together was nice but Alex is a kicker for sure. Ron and I were able to have our own room too, although sharing a queen is NOT the same as a king. Plus I need lots of room these days.
Now we're home, it's snowing again and it's time to settle in for our long winter's nap. 6 more weeks until the baby is due. It doesn't seem like a very long time. I have been on a spending frenzy, trying to control some anxiety through shopping for baby essentials. I bought ONE bottle and ONE pacifier and ONE box of diapers, a few outfits, a Moby Wrap carrier and one of those car seat cover things so your baby doesn't freeze when you take her outside (never needed one before). That may not sound like a spending frenzy but I also bought new bedding for the big kids (new beds = new bedding) and lots of other bigger ticket items that I can't seem to think of right now. I'm giving myself a break and signing up for the cloth diaper service for a few months-- I didn't use cloth for Alex when he was a newborn and he was never a pooper so I don't even know HOW to clean newborn poopy diapers. I'm excited about all the cute cloth diapers I've been seeing around.
I still don't know how I'll ever be able to take the kids to school in this weather with a new one but other people do it so I can do it too. Today Talia walked into school by herself for the second time (the first time a friend was walking in at the same time) and I was able to attach her snowsuit to her backpack so hopefully it worked out ok. I think I see a lot of that happening from now on. The parking lot is really small and messy and filled with snow. Often I can't even get to both sides of the car to open the doors. Enough procrastination for now-- I have a lot to do today!