My Professional Background - Once upon a time, I wanted to be a motivational speaker. Actually, I was a professional motivational speaker for about 5 years.:

I bet if neurologists did even the most cursory study of my brain functionality—specifically my long- and short-term memory—they would find that I’m only slightly better off than Ozzy Osbourne.

Though, probably for different reasons.

I blame my dad’s genes for my awful memory. But I’m not so sure that Ozzy even remembers who or what he should blame for his.

Sadly, most of my childhood memories are lost to me now. They’re piled behind stupid movie quotes, annoying children’s songs and completely random facts that I never wanted to remember. Like the hierarchy of biological classification:  kingdom, phylum, class, order, family, genus, species. Y’all, I didn’t even have to Google that. It pushed it’s way right up to the front of my memory. In that prime real-estate where my grocery list and social security number should be.

I’m more likely to remember random biology terms than the names of my own family members. Which is pretty remarkable when I consider how much time I spent in the hallway for being disruptive during biology class.

Dr. Gorlin. Now there’s a name I’ll never forget. He appreciated my sense of humor almost as much as I appreciated his biology class. Which is why both of us were much happier with my semi-permanent seat in the hallway.

Funny. I can’t remember why I sat down at the computer three hours ago, but I can remember Dr. Gorlin’s class.

At least what I could hear of it through the door.

Anyhow, as I sat here thinking about our weekend trip to Crawfordsville, Indiana, I tried to remember what it was like to take road trips as a kid. We frequently drove from Conyers, Georgia to South Bend, Indiana, to visit my mom’s family. And I recall vividly that our little, blue minivan smelled like a locker room before we even made it two hours to the Tennessee border.

“Mooooooooom! Tell Drew to put his shoes back on before I pass out! And crack the windows because he farted again! Moooooooooooom! I’M ABOUT TO THROW UP!”

I can still hear my brother laughing from the back seat.

Can someone please explain to me why the male species is so enamored with and entertained by their own foul smells?

It’s no wonder I was first attracted to Brian by the scent of his deodorant.

That’s love, y’all.

I got off on a tangent and forgot where I was going with this…Oh! That’s right. Road trips.

I look back on those loooooong road trips with my mom, my dad and the stink bait known as my big brother, and I’m astonished that my parents lived through it.


No Internet.

No iPhones.

No Pinterest.

No Facebook.

No helpful apps.

No DVD players.

We might as well have been in a covered wagon warding off dysentery.

What did we do to entertain ourselves? How did my parents stay (relatively) sane? I couldn’t tell you.

But, I did learn a thing or two on our 8-11 hour road trip from Kansas to Indiana this past weekend. I say 8-11 because it took us 8 to get there and 11 to get home—if you count all 12 stops, a massive thunder storm and getting stopped by the police for speeding.

That. Happened.

I’m not saying I told him so, but…


(If you’re counting this is the second time in less than a year I’ve had to write about Brian getting pulled over by the police.)

So, in the spirit of road trips and other reasons I’m medicated, I wanted to give you a list of items that made our journey just a bit more bearable.

Just a bit.

(And to be clear, this is NOT a sponsored post. However, some of the links below are affiliate links. I love and used every one of these items on our road trip this past weekend. That is why they’re on this list.)

1)  Munchie Mug

Necessity is the mother of invention. And mothers were tired of cleaning Goldfish out of tiny crevices in their minivans. Enter:  Munchie Mug.


The top is a soft fabric that keeps kids from flinging food everywhere when they reach in and out for a snack.


I KNOW, right? This thing is ingenious.

2)  Summer Infant Deluxe Piddle Pad


This was actually our first time to use this waterproof pad, and I’m not sure why we didn’t use it sooner. We put it in Averi’s seat, and it saved us a big mess and the hassle of removing her car seat cover when she had an unspeakable blowout. I plan to buy a second piddle pad for JJ’s seat.

3)  BooginHead SippiGrip


Because nothing pleases Averi more than launching her sippy cup across the car and then screaming that she can’t reach it. And nothing causes a meltdown faster than when JJ drops his cup where we can’t reach it. Or when Averi throws JJ’s cup. At his head.

This simple Velcro and ribbon invention prevents lots of meltdowns.

4)  MOBI Tykelight GloMate

I already told you (back in September) all about how much we love the GloMate.

Giveaway Friday, GlowMate

But this was the first time we ever used it in the car. Averi spent at least an hour clicking through the different light settings, and JJ was happy to have the light source on the dark, country roads. He normally asks to turn on the interior car lights, but he was satisfied with his “glow man” instead.

5)  iMap Weather Radio app

Shortly after midnight on our trip home, I realized that we were headed straight into the eye of a pretty ugly thunderstorm. I remembered that my Weather Radio app (recommended my by best friend who is a meteorologist) had a great radar on it that could help us navigate our way around it. Only, I somehow managed to navigate us straight into it.


This situation was certainly operator error, so please don’t judge the value of the app based on my poor navigational skills. However, it sure was nice to know how much further we had to go before the hail and lightning would stop.

I’m not even kidding.

Go ahead and add “fearless storm chaser” to my resume. Right after “can touch her nose with her tongue.”

I’m so marketable.

6)  Pinterest app


When the kids were screaming for milk, but we were out of milk, and we were in the middle of Nowheresville, I told Brian I was going to my Happy Place. Pinterest is my Happy Place. A land flowing with junk food and grumpy cats.

It’s halfway between Nowheresville and Looney Town.

If you follow me on Pinterest, you may have noticed that my activity increased tenfold over the weekend. You could say I took an extended weekend in my Happy Place.

So, there you have it. Approximately 1/1,000,000 of the gear we packed for a 4 day trip.

Aaaaaaaand now that it’s time to wrap up this post, I can’t seem to remember why I started talking about my memory in the first place.

Or Dr. Gorlin.

Or Ozzy Osbourne.

[So, how does she expect us to follow this nonsense?]

If you made it this far without gouging out your eyeballs, I’d love to know what items you MUST have on a road trip.


Comments to "A Road Trip with Toddlers and Other Reasons Why I’m Medicated"

  1. maschroeder

    May 30, 2013

    I can’t remember anything about road trips with my kids except Barney and my oldest peeing in her seat EVERY SINGLE TRIP.  I do remember Kingdom, Phyllum, Class, Order, Family, Genus, Species! I almost fell out of my chair when you described my 6th grade Biology experience. Loved this post!

    • katyinacorner

      May 30, 2013

      maschroeder I think Barney on a road trip is barely on *this* side of torture. I’m pretty sure Barney is a regular at Gitmo.
      And I’m so glad someone else spent their school days in the hallway. It’s way more fun out there. 🙂

  2. Judi Lynn Sutton-Miller

    May 30, 2013

    I’ve got some catching up to do~ i’m behind in my KinC readings:)

  3. Robyn

    May 30, 2013

    My must-have is Sirius radio! No commercials, lots of variety, and no crackling noises while I’m trying to find a radio station in the middle of no-where-Illinois. What DID we do as kids when we took long road trips? We mostly played a lot of games — board games, cards and tracked license plates. Remember we did not have to wear seat belts so we could roam all over the car and fought over who got to lay down in the back of the station wagon on top of all the luggage. We had AM radio only, which made my father crazy, just ask him about the trip when the radio station played “Kung Foo Fighting” at the top of every hour. Oh the memories go on and on!!

    • katyinacorner

      May 30, 2013

      @Robyn I’m a little concerned our kids’ only memories of road trips will be Sid the Science Kid and Little Einsteins. But not enough to remove the TV from the minivan.

  4. Frammitz

    May 30, 2013

    You have me so wanting a GloMate, but now they’re on back order!

    • Frammitz

      May 30, 2013

      Ooo wait, found it on Amazon!

      • katyinacorner

        May 30, 2013

        @Frammitz You’ll LOVE it! We have three of them.

  5. CheriBurnett

    May 30, 2013

    Duct tape, and earplugs…
    Lol,. Just kidding!
    (Or so you think!) 😉
    I like to have all our electronic gadgets fully charged and ready to go. Kindles, laptop, iphones, DS, PSP,  and anything else we can scrounge up that we have bought the kids (3-18) over the years. 
     My biggest pain in the car is my husband, he is an electronic delinquent and if he is not sleeping he is pesky, to everyone, even the driver. Every trip, after he is awake for over 15 minutes, I ask myself, “Why didn’t I leave him at home?” The answer is usually his wallet has more money than mine.
    My car trips as a kid, make me wonder how we ever survive now. My mother and two or three or her sister would load us all up in a Cadillac.  They each had a couple kids or more, so there were at least one or two kids in the back glass. Because let’s face it no one wanted the biter on their lap! Thanks for bringing all those memories screaming back to me, time to call up my cousins.

    • katyinacorner

      May 30, 2013

      CheriBurnett We would probably save a fortune if I left Brian at home. But how would the rural towns between here and Indiana survive without our generous contributions to their police departments?

      • CheriBurnett

        May 30, 2013

        katyinacorner CheriBurnett 
        While James is often stopped, I( have a funny story about him trying to get his driving record.) He often times talks his way out of a ticket.  Meanwhile we sit sweltering in the summer heat of the car! We made summer trips to pick up his son who live in Wichita from southeast MO. Then we had three kids, now we have five. And we don’t make to many car trips together…

        • CheriBurnett

          May 30, 2013

          katyinacorner I forgot to add, that when he “talks” his way out of a ticket, he sits in the cruiser and chats up the officer for over an HOUR!

        • katyinacorner

          May 30, 2013

          CheriBurnett What could he POSSIBLY have to talk about in a police cruiser for an hour? Besides his driving record. 🙂

        • CheriBurnett

          May 30, 2013

          katyinacorner CheriBurnett 
          The car motor… yes I could delve in deeper to that conversation, but I would hate to see your eyes glaze over and your tongue flop out of your head.
          It is something I have never understood about men and the intricate workings of what makes a car go. I press the pedal it goes, that’s all I need to know. Thanks.

        • katyinacorner

          May 30, 2013

          CheriBurnett We press the pedal, it goes. Our husbands press the pedal, our savings accounts go. Funny how that happens.

  6. Kerry

    June 2, 2013

    That glowlight is such a cool idea to stop them hassling to have the lights on in the car.
    I don’t know either how my parents ever survived road trips with us. My mother sometimes had to sit in the back seat between my brothers to stop them killing each other in the confined space.

    • katyinacorner

      June 3, 2013

      @Kerry So help me if I spent my childhood with TWO brothers! Oh, the smells…

  7. Pingback: Blue Light Special | (Nobody Puts) Katy in a Corner


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox

Join other followers: