Last month, Ponch was out of town on a work trip for two weeks. I’m fairly sure it has taken me all month to recover from this brief window in time as a single mom of two toddlers, but things are getting better. Although I have to admit, that I tend to impart the punishment upon myself. When the hubs goes out of town I get all these harebrained ideas that I am going to conquer every DIY and home improvement project that resides on the list in my head. While this behavior does not involve narcotics or frivolous shopping sprees, it does lean towards the unhealthy side. Why? Because I stay up well past midnight every night in order to complete my insanely unnecessary to do list while staying on top of the laundry after the kids are in bed. Sleep deprivation is not ok for this mama. Darn you Pinterest.

Let me back up a bit.

Because we are glutton for punishment, the weekend before Ponch left, we packed up all three kids and drove five and half hours into the Nevada dessert to a little place called Battle Mountain. My younger cousin was getting married and I was not about to let a little thing called the Teeth-Gnashing-Threes (TGT) keep us away from the celebration. If you’ve ever survived a head strong three year old, you know about TGT and how it can make you want to ball up in the corner with a bottle of wine at the end of the day. This excursion came exactly one month after we all traveled 3 hours to my other cousin’s wedding — I have a lot of cousins. Unfortunately, we didn’t do nearly enough preparation for the 3 hour trip. We left the girls’ car seats next to each other to let Logan sit by the door, we didn’t plan for enough toddler-car activities and we forgot the iPad. I know. HOW COULD YOUR FORGET THE iPAD? and HOW IN THE NAME OF ALL THAT IS GOOD DID FAMILIES TRAVEL BEFORE ELECTRONIC DEVICES WERE CABLE OF BABYSITTING THE CHILDREN? Needless to say, the girls beat on each other half of the time and screamed bloody murder the other half. No one napped. No one sat quietly and colored or read a book. It was LOADS of fun, I tell you. Ponch mentioned several times that we were ‘never taking our children anywhere, ever again.’ The absolute best part was knowing that after the drive down, we would have to turn around and do it again the next day when we came home.

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This is why we do it…no actual champagne was given to children

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Fast forward to the Battle Mountain road trip and there we were again. Same people, same truck and off to see the same cowboys, celebrating the way that only cowboys can. In an effort to avoid the “We are never going anywhere again” comments, I worked hard on the preparations for this trip. I separated the carseats and brainstormed every toddler appropriate car activity I could. I packed an entire utility tote full of coloring pads, Matching Alphabet Pole notebooks for doodling, etch-a-sketchesque contraptions, toy horses, DVD players and of course the iPad. Oh and don’t forget this Pinterst win from Test Yet Trying. It kept Kinley occupied for a full 20 minutes, which made it worth its weight in gold. There goes that darn Pinterest again, keeping me hooked until the next time I find myself drowning in sea of craft supplies.

The good news was, the trip to Battle Mountain completely redeemed our confidence in our ability to travel with small children. I’m keeping my confidence in check though, because there’s just no telling what challenges lie ahead for the next major excursion.

Unfortunately I returned home convinced that I could win at Pinterest and end world hunger.  At least I can rest peacefully knowing that I painted that old, empty Crown Royal bottle that has been patiently awaiting my attention in the laundry closet for two years.

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Helping mom paint the whiskey bottle. She even has my crazy eyes.

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The before of the kitchen shelf

The before of the kitchen shelf

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The after. With some rearranging still to do.

Now on to painting those lovely pine cabinets. Ha ha. Ha. Ha.

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