Traveling with Children – Preparing

Traveling with Kids: The Preparation

Ready for Take Off!

We’ve traveled a fair amount with both of our children. At not even 4 years old, Lila has taken more cross country flights than many adults. Lucy was on her first flight at 3 weeks old. This isn’t to suggest we’re experts at flying with children. I will say, however, that we at least have an idea what to expect and are never surprised when asked to take our shoes off by TSA.

So what have I learned through all these experiences traveling with children? Number one thing is to never think you are prepared for everything. You will not be. You can bring your child’s favorite snack, favorite book, favorite stuffed animal and have 20 hours of Dora the Explorer downloaded and they will still have a meltdown at some point. No one likes traveling. Not adults, not kids and no, not babies. So how do we prepare for a trip with 2 kids these days?

– Packing. I try to reduce the duplication of work by packing straight out of the laundry, instead of putting away clean clothes and then taking them back out to pack. This weekend I just sat on the floor with the clean laundry for all of us and made piles of what to pack. Straight from laundry basket to suitcase – and this helps ensure what I packed are things the kids will wear, since they recently wore it.

– Lists. I make a list for everything. I use big index cards and have one for each type of packing needed – suitcases, carry ons – as well as things that need to be done at home before we leave. I check off as things get packed in their correct spot and then circle what is still needed (like last minute items such as toiletries, shoes, etc.) I also try to be as general as possible in this list. Unless I think there is really a specific outfit I need (or the kids need) I don’t write down “blue pants, pink top;” I keep it more general to “7 casual outfits,” “2 work outfits.” Oh and I always forget pjs. Don’t forget pjs.

– Involve the kids. Asking a 2 year old and a 4 year old to pack their own clothes will not end well. However, asking them each to pick 2 books, a stuffed animal and a snack to put in their own backpacks to bring on the plane will. It helps them feel ownership over the packing process, as well as what they have on the place. This is of course not all I bring because 2 books does not last 6 hours, and neither does one snack, but it helps.

– Chillax. So I’m no good at this step, but the fact is our family could be the only people on the flight and I could have endless applesauce and peanut butter bars and the kids will still be bored. Because no one likes flying for 6 hours. Do your best, be as prepared as you can be and there is no shame in a glass of wine on an 8am flight because it will help you breathe easier for the next 6 hours. I mean, we’re headed east and it will practically be lunchtime there.

Good luck with your travels – I’ll keep you posted as our trip progress as to how ours goes.

Working Smartly in the New Year

3596829214_93ddeb6cbf_z2015, amiright? The new year holds lots of possibilities, but also so many unknowns and things we want to do. We’re already planning for a busy year (at the moment mostly filled with preschooler birthday parties which seem to be the party of the season right now). With travel, potentially putting our house on the market, finding a new house, blogging, making sure Cal is fed three times a day, I need to find a way to say on task and focused this year.

Both in my volunteering work as well as at work I’ve been exposed to SMART goals, Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timely. I’ve also seen other bloggers use their blogs as way to stay true to their goals and see what goals they reach each month. And with that, I suppose I’ve reached my first goal of the year – check in and continue to develop goals monthly.

My thought is to come up with categories now and work throughout the year on goals within those categories.

Categories for Goals for 2015:

– Family

– Health

– Personal

– Blogging

– Work

And with that, here are my SMART goals for January:

– Family – have one unscheduled afternoon a weekend for the girls to hang out and do what they choose and compete the January Subtraction Project.

– Health – complete the 5 day clean eating challenge and work out in some manner 3x/week.

– Personal – read one book this month. (Yes, really just one. My goal is 12 this year, which would be a sixfold increase over 2014. Baby steps).

– Blogging – complete blogging calendar and post 3x/week.

– Work – network with new contacts at the conference the end of this month.
So that’s it for now. Keep me accountable this year, readers. What are your goals for the new year? How will you stay motivated to follow through on them?

 

Our Year.

And so here we are. Another year. Passed by way too quickly, with so many things left undone it seems. But it was a good year. Our kids are bigger, with bigger personalities and made the year super fun, as cliched or pedestrian as that sounds. I look back on the year wishing I had […]

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Practically Wordless Wednesday

  I took this picture after bath time last night. If you know Lila and Lucy, you know that this picture captures their personalities perfectly. Just perfectly them.

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Two over Two

Lucy. The Lucy Goose. Goose. Lulu. Lu. LuGu. Gu. You are a girl of many nicknames. You are, as another parent told me, a lot of personality in a little package. You are smart. You are funny. You are independent but you are such a momma’s girl. And today, you are two.   I remember […]

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Working Moms Wishlists

Check out my and other working mom’s holiday wish lists on Liberating Working Moms today!  I’d say we all have pretty good taste.  

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Secret Santa Joy

Breakfast with my little lady thanks to my Blogger Secret Santa!

Part of the fun of being a blogger is “meeting” people across the interwebs. This is part of the reason I was excited to participate in the Blogger’s Secret Santa Gift Exchange this year. Bright and early this morning my Secret Santa sent us a Starbucks gift card, which let’s be honest, what more does […]

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What are you getting for. . .

What Are You Getting For So and So: Gift Guide for All the Supporting Players in Your Life

Tis the season of frantic emails between friends to say “hey, what are you getting for. . . the babysitter, your grandmother, the dogwalker. . . ” As I’ve talked about in the past few posts, gift giving is hard, expected, and exhausting. So let’s pool our ideas and try to figure things out. Here’s […]

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Gift Cards: Evil or Evil Genius?

Are Gift Cards Impersonal or Just Right?

So the holidays are here. Ho ho ho. I love the holidays, I really do, though I do tend to get wrapped up in all the to dos and out a bit. After a late arriving birthday party invitation through our weekend schedule into disarray this week, I may have had a small anxiety attack […]

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How Do You Find the Time?

I’m pretty frustrated with my weight. I’m the heaviest I’ve been (non-pregnant) in the last 5 years. I know that I need to eat better. I’ve cut out some simple things like alcohol during the week and soy lattes. I’m working on the food part of things, though to be honest the holidays are a […]

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