what's behind the road trip with twins, two toddlers, and an infant.

happy new year 2017, folks!
cheers for the new beginning, really hope that this year will bring many goodness and blessings for all of us :)

from end of 2016 till the beginning of 2017, we went on roadtrip! woohoo! that was our family's first roadtrip ever, with our fellow friends. with not so ambitious destinations, we did it quite well.. although i was super exhausted (and i believe, the others felt the same).

it was a big challenge (for me, at least): to be in a same car with so many kids for hours. their ages are varies, therefore it was tricky for us (as parents) to accommodate their needs;

- the oldest ones (the twins, ditra and nandra) are quite easy to be pleased and easy to communicate with, they're fives so we can talk to them what we're going to do and what they need to do. they know that whenever the car is moving, they need to be seated and buckled. they would speak up when they need food and water, or when they need to go to the bathroom, etc.
obviously, like other kids would do, they complained when they got bored, but then their dad/mom told them what they can do (i.e.: eat chips or do something with the activity book or ask them to take naps), then all would be ok. the only argument was whether or not nandra eat more chips :))

- the older toddler (hanan) is 2.5 years old, he is talking and able to deliver his needs to others, so it's handled with some minor crankiness. his affection on cars and trucks are fulfilled by looking out of the windows, boys will be boys after all! :D
he was calm and buckled on his car seat during the car movement, and he was even sit in front with his dad and om anto (the one who drove all along the whole trip, bravo!). but the seating arrangement sometimes made the kids "got into argument", because in some boring times, ditra and nandra wanted to sit in front while hanan also wanted the same. thankfully in the end, some win-win solutions were offered by parents and all kids were back to happy faces! :D 

- the younger toddler (iola) is 14 months old, she is walking and blabbing, but still not able to express her needs well. it makes her the loudest one during the trip - and i (plus yos) am the one with the most headaches during the trip.
she can't be seated and buckled on her car seat, she cried loudly when we tried to put her on the car seat, therefore she needed to be seated on my lap or yos' lap. it was dangerous, i know, but we had no choice except to let her do it.
she wasn't on her best stamina (she got runny nose and fever during the trip) and it made the situation worse. all she wanted to do was to roam around the car (well, the car was big enough to allow people to walk around in its aisle) when she got bored. it was difficult for us to tell her what we are doing on the car for that long, because she still couldn't understand the essence of traveling by car.
usually, i can stuff her with food, videos, and books, to occupy her during the boring hours. but again, by being unwell made it *almost* impossible to entertain her as per usual.

- the youngest (arga) is 3.5 months old, his only needs are milk and sleep. his needs are practically easy to be fulfilled by his mom. no major issue caused by him :D

from the beginning, we realized that a perfect road trip is an absolute utopia. therefore, we set our less ambitious and super duper flexible schedule, knowing that we have five little creatures with different ages and needs. we left in the morning once everyone is ready, we omit the less favorite destinations if we had no time, and we prioritized to fulfill our needs rather than catching up with schedule. we knew that happy kids would make the trip more enjoyable than fulfilling our adults' ego.

i felt my patience were being tested during the car's movement - especially during the trip from snowdonia to london, by being a mother of super cranky toddler (at that moment) means i was the nearest person to her. i felt that i am the most responsible one to the situation, when she made noises - i felt like i was being judged. although if i think it twice, it's not 100% true, especially because i was in a car with other parents - who are - more or less - experiencing the same situation at least once in their parenting life.
i have no tips and tricks, because my 'tips and tricks' that once being used during the long haul flight didn't work this time. i gave up at some points and prayed that it soon be over, i was praying hard that we would reach the destination in a minute, but it didn't happen easily. i still needed to calm iola down, still needed to find another 101 ways to make her entertained, still needed to breastfeed left and right and left again and right again until she finally asleep. i was literally having a mental breakdown and extremely exhausted soul inside that huge ugly car (lol!). once it was finally ended (and we reached london - pandu&cindy's house), i felt like i need to dance although it was almost midnight and we didn't have our dinner yet.

well, that was the risk that needed to be taken, unfortunately. it was fair and square, no complains though. at least, we knew the worst situation because we were there. next time (will there be a next time???), when we do another road trip, we will be more prepared. at least, we will try the best we can to stay healthy, so that it won't make it worse.

aside from the exhausting moments, we had the best views and moments. surprisingly, the kids were all enjoying the land-experiences. whenever we let them off the car, they enjoyed it. they loved the outdoors, the grass, the sunset, the water (river and sea), the sands, and the smells of wales (mostly). cindy said it's worth it to do the trip. i'll take it seriously, because we really saw beautiful things and it would be one hell of experience in our life: visited the kids' fun places (remember what i said - happy kids, happy trip), stayed in a remote farm with pretty mountainous view all around, did an "easy" hiking to see a waterfall (it was the first waterfall for the kids), drove to llanberis pass with extremely beautiful views (rock mountain and river), visited the extraordinary conwy castle, experienced the fire alarm in the middle of the night and we needed to go outside the hotel in a cold temperature (thankfully it was a false alarm!), spent new year's eve eating indomie and even passing 12 o'clock without yos (oh, well.....), and went to seven sister's on a rainy and windy day. it was indeed not perfect *wink*, but we have tons of stories to tell.

bravo to the one who drove the ugly car (the twins called it: dump truck), bravo to the breastfeeding mamas, bravo to the pregnant mom who made it all the way to waterfall, bravo to the dads who helped to take care of the children, and bravo to the kids! thank you for the #circusroadtrip2016, let's plan another one! :)


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