Phoenix, Arizona is the 6th most populous city in the U.S. and the 10th largest city based on square miles. Expect to be in your car a lot when you live in or visit this city. It takes me about 20 minutes to go anywhere. So, my kids don't really have a choice when it comes to liking car rides. 

I remember when Elle and Levi were first born and they would scream bloody murder at every stoplight. My heart would start to race, I would start to sweat a bit and the anxiety would creep in. You can't really escape the screams when you're stuck on the freeway in traffic. You just have to breathe through it and try to stay calm sometimes.  Add a 4 year old constantly saying, "Mommy! Mommy! Snack!" and you have a recipe for a mommy meltdown. 

There are, however, some lessons I have learned and things I do now to prevent fits and screaming sessions. 

1. Make sure everyone has been fed, gone to the bathroom and/or has had their diaper changed. 
2. Make sure to pack snacks for the car, as well as water bottles. Who cares if your car gets a bit messy and you have to vacuum more often. Let your kids snack in the car. You'll thank me later.
3. Avoid getting in and out of the car as much as you can. Drive-thru's are the best invention since sliced bread.
4. Choose music that keeps you calm or that makes your kids happy. If classical keeps you calm then go for it. Personally, my kids like to jam and dance, so I always turn on the pop station.
5. Stow toys that are just for the car. Having special toys they can only play with in the car makes car trips so much more exciting and fun. I put them in my glove box.

Ultimately, planning ahead and having snacks and toys will always pay off. My CRV does smell like spilled milk right now and has crumbs all over it, but I always have happy kids in the car. Haha! Although, this past week, Lexus let me take their RX 350 for the week and experience what it was like to drive a luxury car. Won't lie...It was pretty awesome to have leather seats, keyless entry and built in shades for the kids. I would say the perks of luxury car will also make you and your kids happy too. We're not ready to buy a new car quite yet, but now that I have been spoiled with amazing technology and engineering, you better believe Lexus is at the top of my list. 

Photos by Rennai Hoefer