I had been preparing myself for the 10 hour drive to Peoria, which I knew would take longer with breaks for the kids for weeks. However, when we were only 1.5 hours into the drive and both kids started crying in unison, Steve and I looked at each other and wondered what the hell we got ourselves into with this decision. If it wasn't for our beloved dog, Spence, we probably would have flown. However we wanted the whole family to get away, so we elected to drive (not to mention we had to bring so much with us).
We put a lot of thought and planning into our drive....drop children off at Steve's parents for the morning so they could really tucker them out and we could pack up the car in peace, pick them up at the regular naptime so they would sleep for 3 hours in the car, then we would break for dinner before they would eventually fall asleep again and then wake up in Peoria. It sounds easy, right? Well, as you would expect....things didn't go as planned. Preston fell asleep right away (perfect!), but Bennett didn't want to nap, so she talked and talked for over an hour before FINALLY falling asleep an hour past her regular time. Shortly thereafter, Preston awoke from a dead sleep screaming. His shrieking woke up Bennett, who also started crying because she was still exhausted and had only slept for 30 minutes. This crying continued for what seemed like 2 hours, but was in all honesty 30-40 minutes.
I was driving (in the rain mind you), while Steve was trying to work on his computer in the front seat. When things didn't calm down, I called Spencer up from the back onto my lap, so Steve could take his place in between the kids and try to calm them down. We tried snacks, talking to them, coloring....anything, but all they both wanted was to be held. Since we were only 1.5 hours into the drive and we were determined to make it on the other side of Nashville before rush hour traffic, we kept going. Preston finally cried himself back to sleep, but Bennett never did go back down. However, we got her calm, and she seemed to be content.
After stopping briefly to gas up, Steve and I switched places, while Spence road shotgun. Preston continued to nap, while Bennett and I watched a movie. Things were finally going smoothly, and then we came to a complete halt because of an accident. Between the multiple rain storms in Alabama, the accident, and then road construction in southern Illinois....it seemed like we had been driving for days.
We elected to stop for dinner at McDonalds because they had a germ-infested playground. Of course with the luck we had, it was closed (although I must admit I was NOT disappointed with it, only Bennett was). We refueled with a greasy meal and headed back on the road. All the kids finally fell asleep and we were able to drive the last few hours in silence. We finally arrived at midnight....exhausted, but there safely.