Having young kids means it is a ton of work to get ready to go on a vacation. Before I had kids I had to just pack my bag and plan meals, now that is the easy part that takes me minutes.  My Dad rented a cabin up on the Cross Lake chain in MN for a family vacation so the kids and I are going up there for the week. I will be bringing everything I can possibly need with me, the pack and play, a bed rail, a blow up bathtub, a fan, the sound machine, baby monitors, blankets, waterproof bedding, towels, pool toys, sand toys, bikes, stroller, paper goods toilet paper, garbage bags, and I haven’t even gotten to the clothes and food. I have to go grocery shopping the day before and pack a cooler, with everything we may possibly want to eat for 7 days because the nearest grocery store is 30 miles away.   I have one bag packed of stuff that I need like outlet covers, door knob locks, gate, edge guards, dark sheets and clips to cover windows, organic sunscreen, organic laundry soap, shampoo, conditioner, toothpaste, brushes, soap, lotion, bug spray, nail cutter, tweezers, hair accessories, hats, bathing suits, diapers, night time diapers, all possible medications, band aids, life jackets, I will have a big box of toys and books,  then I have to pack things for the car ride like snacks, milk, movies, toys, blankets and a restocked diaper bag.  I need to remember my computer, books, magazines, radio, ipod, cell phone, charger.  Thank goodness we have a big truck with a topper. Then I have to plan my route for the 4 hour drive, find a park on the way to stop and get out energy, and print maps.I need to research all activities possible and print maps to those.  I have to plan the trip around nap time so they hopefully sleep a bit in the car. Before I can leave I have to do all of the laundry, I also have to make sure the pool, hot tub, garden, flowers, yard and dog, are maintained before I leave and pick up the house so I don’t come home to a mess.

Just writing this list is exhausting, I keep reminding myself I am doing this for my kids because they will have a great time.  It will be a ton of work for me but they will get to spend a week swimming in the sandy lake, eating ice cream cones and having a summer vacation with my family.    Now all I have to do is make it there!