Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Packing for a Party of Nine

Getting ready for a road trip with seven kids can be a little overwhelming. It is amazing how much STUFF you need to take for five three-year-olds, not to mention the rest of us! Although it feels like I drive a bus, our 12-passenger van really doesn’t hold a lot, once you get all the people in. So, we are forced to get creative to fill every ounce of available space. Here’s how it went down…by the numbers:

5 pack-n-plays
1 duffel bag
1 travel bag
1 camera bag
1 purse
1 netbook computer
5 car seats
1 booster seat
2 DVD player screens
1 portable DVD player
2 iPods
9 sets of headphones
1 box of diapers
5 Puddle Jumper life vests
5 blankets
5 nuggies
4 pillows
1 stroller (would be more but I left a couple in Arizona that my mom is bringing)
1 large cooler
4 packages of baby wipes
8 16 qt storage containers with quint clothes
1 shoebox-size storage container with kids hair supplies
2 backpacks
1 bag with “rewards” for not fighting in the car (for Riley and Kaiya)
2 cell phones
84 Children’s DVD’s (Don’t ask me why I brought so many since the only ones the quints wanted to watch were Dora!)
1 large box containing snack food
50 plastic cups for holding snacks
1 roll of paper towels
10 grocery bags to use for trash
2 adults
7 children

Plastic Storage Bins for the Quints clothes. My mom used to pack the kids clothes this way when we went on road trips growing up. It works out great---not only can these containers fit in small spaces, there is no need to unpack when we get to our destination---the containers act as "drawers" for the quints stuff.

Front seat of the van---every inch of under bench storage was utilized. Fortunately, the quints still have really short legs, so we could put things underneath their feet also.

Middle Row--we also had two suitcases on the floor in front of the bench (you can see one suitcase, but the other one isn't there yet)

Back Row---this one is a little tricky---it doesn't have as large of a storage area so I stuffed diapers and wipes in the smaller openings.

The Back (this was the night before, so it is still missing a suitcase, life-vests and the smaller bags)

We also have a small cargo carrier that attaches to the trailer hitch on the back. It was great for sticking pack-n-plays and strollers.

Kyndall, Rustin, Kaydence, Ryder and Kassidy---After a short (ha, ha) 15.5 hour drive, we made it to Grandma's House! The quints were quick to find the porch swing the next morning.

Strike a pose--Grandma and Grandpa gave the quints their birthday presents---the girls got princess "tippy toes" skirts and ruffle bottom shirts, matching scarfs and purses.

Kaydence, Kassidy and Kyndall

The boys got Batman capes and shirts and a Batman car.

From behind

Ryder and Rustin



Stephanie said...

This is a handy checklist to make sure I didn't forget anything on mine! Can't wait to see you guys!

Beth said...

I am planning for a 12 hour van trip with my five (singleton + quads) and I loved this post! Had to show it to my husband. Great tip putting the kids' clothes in totes. I'm already starting my packing lists and this will definitely help!

Queen B said...

Those outfits are adorable! Great gifts Sylvia! The kids look like they love them.

Kelly said...

You are so organized!

Allie said...

are the batman shirts tie dye?

Rachelle said...

Allie--Yep, my mother-in-law tie-dyed all the shirts for the kids.

MommyLydia said...

Your kids are not climbing out of the pack and plays yet (especially Rustin, who is so much like my son!)? My son started climbing out last September (25 months old) so last Christmas, when we went to Arizona, we just took a sleeping bag. And that works beautifully! (And takes up MUCH less space) Something to think about before your next trip!

MommyLydia said...

So--were the only entertainment for the quints DVDs?

I'm packing for a trip to Washington (by plane) for ONE mommy and ONE 3-year old tomorrow... and my toy bag is an old diaper bag. Then of course, we have the new "Diaper bag" (He's potty trained, but we are using pull ups for the plane and extra clothes in case of accidents in all the hurry and excitement). And snacks. And a book or two for mommy to read (hah)

MommyLydia said...

(OH I forgot to mention the suitcase of toys to play with on the other end)

Cristy said...

Do you make that 15.5 hour drive in one shot? Or do you stop at a hotel for a night? We just made an 11-hour trip from TX to AR and made it in one shot. Previously we would break it up amongst two days. Much easier doing it in one though. Very curious though having 7 kiddos and such a long trip.

Rachelle said...

My Boaz's Ruth---My kids do try to climb out of their pack n plays, but we invented some sleep sacks which can keep them contained (except Kyndall who is a regular Houdini)---they don't like the sacks, so usually if we threaten to use them, or use them for one night, then they do pretty well staying in their beds.

Christy--We drive it all in one shot---stopping at a hotel is too much work with all these kids! Plus we would have to get two rooms and that gets expensive! At the end of the trip, we drove back from Spokane, Washington and we did two 16ish hour days, staying overnight at my in-laws in Denver. Before we had so many kids, we would break up the drive, but now we find it is so much easier just to keep going. We only stop to go to the bathroom and get gas :-)