Here's what made this vacation with a 2 year old and a 5 month old work: the preparation and the prayer.
First, two weeks prior, I began collection supplies to create a busy box for Lee. I looked on pintrest for ideas that used everyday household items. The busy box contained ribbons, balls, balloons, cotton balls, the top half of an empty vinegar bottle, an empty coco box with a hole cut in the top, clothespins, knickknacks, straws, a plastic cup, wire basket, and an asian take out box. These were his inside toys. For outside I packed a bucket, sponge, toy boat, and paintbrush. I took a trip to the library for a bag of new books for the car. We also had three rather annoying children's CD's to listen to, if he became really cranky. As it turns out, I was overly prepared. The two-year-old was perfectly content to sip on his sippy cup and suck his fingers the entire way there. Sure, he also looked at the books I showed him.
As for the packing, the making of lists put my mind at great ease. I had a list of food items, a list for Lee, a list for Rose, and a list for me. Phil kept his list in his head and made it up as he went along. I think this is why his toothbrush ended up in the center console of the car.
The week before, I began packing bit by bit. Our low profile Merry Muscles jumper and Chicco Caddy Hook on Chair contained the children at meal times. Fisher-Price's Rock 'N Play Sleeper served as Rose's bed, and Lee slept in a Pack 'N Play.
I had a meal plan prepared for each of the two days we stayed there and a vague idea as to the order of events: swim, eat, take a nap, swim, eat, take a nap.
Rose tested out Lee and Finn Fincher's old Baby Float. She found the water so fascinating that she wanted to get it in her mouth and gag. So we held her most of the time while in the pool. She scowled at the splashing and occasional splatter across her face but she also learned to slap the water with her little fist. Another first for Rose this weekend was rolling over front to back.
As we were in the midst of potty training, we brought Lee's potty chair and marshmallows. I think the trip away from home helped Lee understand that pottying occurs in all places. Upon returning home, he volunteered to sit on his potty chair without prompting twice. We'll see if it sticks.