Any progress?

While I was dreading spending over 40 hours stuck in a car with 2 wee kids, I was secretly looking forward to getting some crocheting done in the passenger seat. Most of the trip ended up being spent with a map on my lap instead, though (especially when my dear husband started throwing in obscure detours on the return trip...). I did make some progress: I added about a foot to the blanket that I'm making for my son.
And some evening crocheting sessions added about half a foot to my rhubarb scarf .
So... if I continue at the current rapid rate of crocheting, I predict that I should have both finished by 2015. If we take some really long car trips. And avoid the back streets of Idaho.
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I told you I was slow.
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Meanwhile, the top shown in the poorly lit photo above is still a work in progress, as we've all been ill since our return (nb. I only got a couple of hours sleep last night, so I'm sorry if this is incoherent). I finally ventured out to buy some buttons for the top yesterday. By the way, why is it that a town of 3000 people in Wyoming has a far nicer fabric shop with a much better selection than any of the ones I've found here in Southern California? I only had 5 minutes to explore it, unfortunately.
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In other news, I also turned another year older while sat in the passenger seat. My husband surprised me by not forgetting - he even had the card and gift card to hand (he's managed to forget Christmas before, so I keep my expectations low).
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Translation of the day:
UK English: stroppy = irritable, ill-tempered, unreasonable, grumpy.
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As in, 'Mum is likely to be stroppy today as she only had a couple of hours sleep, so maybe we should stay out of mischief'. Unfortunately, it doesn't appear that my lovely children have had this conversation...

Toto, I don't think we're in LA County anymore

I'm sorry. I meant to pop in and say goodbye before we left, but my son came down with some rare infection, so our last few days at home were spent wondering if the antibiotics and steroids would work so that we would get the doc's all-clear to go (there's nothing like the mention of possible surgery to strike fear into a mother's heart). The good news is it was caught early and off we went. The bad news is that you had to look at my pancake for over a week...
Thanks for the well-wishes and ideas. The kids did great on the car rides, even the day we spent over 13 hours on the road. I think that it helped that I only made a minimal effort to entertain them, so they mainly entertained themselves, rather than looking to me for something new to distract them every 5 minutes. That's the big advantage car rides have over aeroplane rides: you don't feel like you have to keep the kids completely silent.
The magna-doodles were the most successful. Usually I take the small 4 by 6 inch ones we have on trips, but this time I took the larger ones and they kept the kids occupied for far longer. They also enjoyed the 'new' toys, such as their felt boards: One piece of stiff felt (instead of the usual sandpaper board), plus a bunch of shapes cut out of felt - random shapes for my son and more specific shapes for my younger daughter - to make pictures with. The metal boards and magnets (that I had made out of magazine pictures and those sticky-backed magnet sheets) were preferred to sheets of stickers. And for the moments when bribery for peace was needed, snacks and a couple of small surprise gifts did the trick... Phew.
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nb. We didn't get a dvd player. Not because I have anything against the idea of them, but because every single one seemed to have at least one customer review saying that it had broken down on the first use. I didn't have much confidence in our luck with electronics...
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I had better go and do some laundry. Take care all.

Ideas wanted

I always feel a little guilty when I have nothing to show you. I'm finally making a summer top for my daughter, but I had to wait until this morning to get her to try it on, so there's still some finishing touches left. Especially as I just caught her hiding in a corner, carefully removing all the pins from it... grr.
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I'm also trying to improve the organisation of the belongings in our house, but with my two kids it often feels like I'm taking two steps back for every step forward. If I'm in one room organising a cupboard, I can guarantee they are in the next room doing their level best to make things disorganised. I feel outnumbered.
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My main concern right now, though, is that we're off on a long drive soon (oh, to be back in England, where just 6 hours would be considered a long drive). I did consider buying a portable dvd player to help entertain the kids, but they all seem to have such poor reviews in terms of durability, plus it doesn't seem like something that we'd get much use out of. We don't really own many kid's dvds. Hmm, how much is our sanity worth in monetary terms?
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Anyway, so far my list of in-car entertainment ideas is:
Books (lots of)
Cds (both story and music)
Activity books (eg. you rub with a coin and a picture appears)
Chalk boards
Magnet boards
Bubble wrap to pop
Finger puppets
Toy cars and animals
Threading cards (wide holed plastic canvas and laces etc)
Felt pictures (board with felt shapes to make pictures from)
Magnifying glass
Stickers
Drawing boards (the magnet ones that wipe clean)
Flash cards
Strait jackets and gags...
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Any other ideas are very welcome. Especially ones that won't create a mess or involve markers, no matter how washable they claim to be... I know some of these ideas seem to overlap, but I'm hoping that the novelty of a new medium might buy us some peace time.
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I'm feeling stressed - I need sugar. Mmmmm, golden syrup...

Translation of the day:
UK English: doolally = insane / mad in US English (originally from Deolali Tap)
eg. Spending 3 days in the car with her two kids had driven mum doolally...