Monday, December 12, 2016

Fly the Friendly Skies

After doing a whirlwind trip to California I came back with a couple of insights while flying with small children.  I don't really have an issue on the plane with my kids (the airport on the other hand, oy vey! Sometimes Roman just doesn't want to walk).  They have both been flying since a young age so they know the drill.  I usually have a car seat for Roman and as soon as we take off he usually knocks right out.  Course now that he is getting bigger he likes sitting in the regular seat too like a big person.  Dominic does best when he can get down after he wakes up.  He likes to stand and walk a bit in between our seats.  Gives him a little freedom and keeps him from getting antsy from sitting all those hours.  I like flying non stop because I don't have to worry about lugging the kids around an airport but when there is a layover its nice too because it breaks up a long flight and everyone can stretch their legs. Unless you have a short connection time and by the time you do a potty break you barely make it to your next flight which is in completely different terminal (true story, had ten minutes to spare before take off). I carry snacks and the kids tablets and now that they have wi-fi on planes I can play a movie for them on the airplane's entertainment page.  Finding Nemo was a big hit on the way to California.

What I did want to mention is if you are flying and see a parent struggling don't be afraid to ask if they need help.  This lady sitting two rows in front of me, her poor kid was cry/screaming for the whole first hour and a half of the flight.  I mean loud!  He woke Dominic up.  No one offered to help her or asked if she needed anything.  The lady right in front of me was all annoyed.  I got up and sat with her for a bit, asked if she needed anything and just talked to her for a few minutes.  I couldn't actually hold her son since I had Dominic but in those few moments, her son calmed down and at least she knew she wasn't alone.  Since I was traveling alone with the kids this time it was hard for me to walk on the plane carrying Dominic and a car seat.  The first flight, one of the flight attendants helped me, the second one, I struggled halfway down the plane before a nice gentleman got up and carried the seat the rest of the way for me and my last flight when we were in line to board a guy behind me carried the seat all the way on the plane for me.  That really helped me a lot.  I know, people with no kids wonder why people with kids have to be in the same space with them.  But try to put yourself in their shoes.  They don't want their kid screaming on the plane, they are probably embarrassed and tired and just wish they were in their final destination already.  Even if you can't help a kind word and a smile go a long way.  That's my little tip during this busy travel season.  Safe travels everyone!

Monday, August 29, 2016

Traveling with Kids

Hi, sorry I've been gone for a bit.  I've been busy (go figure) and I haven't had any ideas for the blog as of late.  As you  know, this is just my area where I give the odd update on the kids or talk about some random going ons in my life.  I'm woefully behind on updating the blog seeing as its almost September and the last update was in April/May?  I don't even know. So if you are a loyal follower thanks for sticking around or if your new here, Welcome!

I've had several ideas for blog posts floating in my head, how the kids are doing, the cute way Roman pronounces words wrong, he still calls water, wa-wee, sausage is saucy, hot dog is hogog (I could go on).  The day he pronounces them right I'll probably cry.  Or how he repeats me and when I tell him wait, he says wait and puts both hands up.  How he loves to march to some songs.  Or how Dominic gets on his little car and glides across the floor like a pro. Or whenever you tell him bye or he's leaving the room he'll wave to you and walk away.  Cute little things that they do that I'll forget when they get older.  Darn you bad memory.  See how I got sidetracked there...What I wanted to talk about today was traveling with kids, specifically small children.

So when we travel we tend to go all out.  Going to New York?  Great!  Lets do a road trip and stay in a different place every other night.  Going to California to see family?  Awesome sauce.  Lets do 2 days in LA, 2 days with family and fly over to Reno and drive to Lake Tahoe for funsies.   Yah, we do crazy things like that with an almost 3 year old and just turned 1 year old.  So how do we do it you ask?  Well, even if you didn't ask I'm going to tell you.  Determination.  Ha!  No, but seriously it involves planning.  If you have ever traveled with me you know I like to have my itinerary.  I plan each day out, where we are staying, sites of interest, optional travel routes if necessary.  But with kids its also important to be flexible.  Sometimes you get to your location and both kids are sound asleep in car seats.  Well, that's nap time then.  Or if you have been driving around for a bit and you see an awesome park, pull over and let the kids play.  The best moment from our recent trip to Malibu, stopping at Bluffs Park in  Malibu.  It wasn't scheduled, I just saw it while driving and since what we wanted to do was closed decided to take the boys there.  They loved it.  It had a great play ground and a really nice walking trail right on the coast overlooking the ocean.  And Roman only tried to walk over the side one time so its all good.

So besides my itinerary, with small ones, its important to have lots of snacks on hand.  Sometimes you can't stop for lunch or dinner is going to be late.  Well you can't tell them to just wait, especially a 1 year old.  I always have fruit pouches, crackers, lots of water, granola bar or nutri grain bars on hand to hold them over.  Now while flying, I can't bring a ton of these on the plane and suitcase, so I like to stop at a grocery store at some point during the trip and pick up some extra.  However, I don't like packing just a few diapers and having to buy some when we get to our destination.  I always pack diapers and wipes for the whole trip.  Some people like to buy those when they get where they are going but I don't like doing that.

Lastly, sleeping arrangements.  Roman is easy since he just sleeps in our bed.  Since Dominic is still little, we travel with his pack and play and he sleeps in there.  It really helps out even though its a pain to bring along.  Its a familiar place for him and it keeps a sense of consistency even though we are in a new place.  So those are my little travel tidbits for traveling with kids.  1) Have a plan but be flexible 2) lots of snacks and water 3) keep some sense of familiarity for the small ones.

As always, here's some photos from our most recent trip to California (August 2016).  Till next time!

This is how you get around the airport with two kids.

Roman looks so grown I almost cried.

Ready for takeoff!

Layover in Nashville.  Dominic checking out the planes.

Dominic always making friends.

Made it to Hollywood and the famous TCL Chinese Theater.

Hanging out on the pier.

That Roman is such a ham.

Fun at the playground.

Unexpected car problems, means shiny new playthings for baby.

Much needed break at winery for parents and children.

Breakfast with the grandparents.

Roman seriously was in love with this icecream cone.

He also loved the ocean.

Walking a million miles to the observatory.  Its in the far right hand corner of the photo.

Sometimes, kids get sick when you travel.  Be prepared with thermometer, home pediatrician's phone number and children's tylenol (which I always forget to pack).

Love our pack n' play.  Take a nap child!

Riding the gondola up the mountain

I was a nervous wreck in this picture, terrified Roman was going to throw himself out of Mike's arms over the side.  But had to play it cool and pretend I was totally chill.
Emerald Bay at Lake Tahoe.

Super fun slide at playground in North Lake Tahoe.

Playground in North Lake Tahoe

Aren't I adorable?

Just the two of us acting like we are traveling alone.

Super fun time at the arcade in the hotel

Someone is glad to be home.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

The end of a chapter

Its crazy to think that Roman is 2 1/2 years old and that Dominic will be 10 months next week.  Roman seems to have slowed down a bit in growing, even though he did just recently jump from 2T to 3T in clothing size, like overnight.  I put a dress shirt on him the other day and the sleeves stopped way above his wrist and he looked like he was wearing a crop top.  Our little guy is getting bigger all the time too.  I don't realize it until I see him next to a younger baby and I'm like, oh yah, you are bigger than a newborn. He's into size 9month/12month pants and 9 month onsies.  He's not as porky as Roman was at that age but he's very long or I should say tall.  But the point I'm getting to is we are quickly outgrowing our baby phase.  Dominic crawls all over the place, he pulls up to stand and he'll take a few steps holding our hands.  He is lazy though, he'll tend to sit down after a few steps and crawl away.  Like dude, this is too much work just let me crawl.  He's eating all kinds of things even though he only has two teeth.  He doesn't let that stop him.  Even though Roman was/is a big eater I think Dominic is the one who will eat us out of house and home.  He is not picky in the slightest and eats everything. 

Another change, a couple of weeks ago I had to admit that my breastfeeding days are almost done.  I had the 24 hour flu about a month ago, I think.  And it was a doozy, I could not keep anything down.  To just function I took some Theraflu so I could at least try to attend to the kids.  The combination of being extremely dehydrated and taking the Theraflu greatly decreased my milk supply.  Thankfully Dominic has no problems taking a bottle (unlike Roman who refused all bottles and would just wait till I got home from work).  He's always taken bottles while I'm at work, either pumped milk or formula.  After having the flu, though I couldn't pump anything and I wasn't producing enough to keep him satisfied when I was home.  I came to the realization that this is it.  No gradual tapering off at 12/13 months like Roman.  Just done.  I still can feed Dom before bedtime but that's it.  The rest of the time he is on formula.  I know my days are numbered for the bedtime feeding too, I'm just trying to make it till he's 10 months (only 9 more days).  I know some people are like, well at least now you can do whatever without worrying about feeding him or that I'm being silly about it.  But it never bothered me, I always enjoyed our little time together.  I still hold him while he drinks his bottle but its just not the same for me.  I know there are ways to try and increase your milk supply but why prolong the inevitable.  A couple weeks ago, I was nursing him forever and he just kept crying because he was hungry and I had nothing so I had to give him a bottle.  Oh he was so happy and content finally.  I've never had a problem giving him formula.  As long as he likes it, its fine with me.  I read your body goes through this crazy hormonal thing when you stop breastfeeding so it could be my hormones talking and making me emotional.  I didn't experience this when I stopped breastfeeding Roman but he was a little older and I was pregnant with Dominic at the time. 

I realize my little baby is growing up and moving on to the next stage, toddler and I'm just not ready.  And that my toddler is actually a pre-schooler (that's what he's called in my babycenter emails) and I'm like excuse me?  Didn't I just have babies a second ago.  Oh well, such is life.  They can't stay babies forever.  I am just doing my best to try and enjoy each and every stage.  Even though I could really do without Roman's running away from me when we are outside stage or laying on the ground and refusing to move so we have to drag him.  Can we skip that please? 

So to all those breastfeeding mama's out there, enjoy it while you can because before you know it you'll blink and you'll be done.

My little sweet pea

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Potty Training Days

So we knew eventually one day the diapers would have to end.  Roman wasn't going to be graduating high school in them you know? lol  I've tried a couple times in the past several months to initiate potty training but he just wasn't ready.  He would cry and scream putting him on the toilet or potty.  So I decided to wait till a later date.  I really needed support from the other adults in the house too because me doing it by myself was exhausting.  Not only with Roman but trying to keep up with a demanding baby.  So when my mom told me a month ago, "I'm working on potty training Roman today." (this was on a Monday on the day she watches him) I was like, ok cool.  So just like that we ditched diapers.

The first three days were the worst.  He wasn't letting us know when he had to go or he would tell us after he went.  We didn't do the bare butt method because he would just pee where ever and go on playing.  So we had him in underwear only in the house.  Finally on the fourth day we had the breakthrough.  He peed his underwear and instead of changing him right away I made him stand there wet for 5 minutes while I cleaned up the mess on the floor.  He hated it!  He did it again a little later and I did the same thing.  No lie since then he lets us know when he has to pee.  Now I'm not saying he hasn't had accidents since then but the majority of the time he tells us.  In the past week he's only had a couple accidents.  He's holding it all night and during naps.  So its safe to say we have number one down pat.  When we go out I put him in pull ups just in case but the rest of the time its underwear.

Now if we can only have success on number 2. Ugh.  That my friends is a post for another day.

Monday, February 1, 2016

One month down

We are already in February.  Seriously, where did January go?  Boo.  So I've been meaning to post something but I can't think of anything to write.  I don't want to bore my loyal readers with our day to day life.  For me it may be exciting but I'm not sure everyone shares my excitement.  Its just the same old thing going on over here.  Maybe I'm in a writing funk.  I read other blogs and they have funny quips and silly stories.  Or perhaps useful advice.  Sometimes I do think of useful things I could tell others but I forget to write them down.  Having mommy brain doesn't help either :p   Sounding like Debbie Downer over here.

With that being said, I'll get you up to speed on our going ons.  Roman is saying more words and sometimes a sentence or two.  Cutest thing are he calls the moon, "moop" and boat "bop".  And if you ask how old he is, he says "TWO!!" and holds up one finger.  Can't get that other finger up.  Dominic is crawling all over the place now.  Just like Roman he is fascinated by the dog's water bowl.  Never seen a kid crawl so fast to splash in some water for a few seconds before we take it away.  Poor dogs and cat, they are so thirsty all day. Trying to get Roman to be nice to his brother.  Sometimes he's gentle with him and gives him a kiss and then other times he runs over him with his dump truck.  Seriously kid?  He definitely is showing some jealousy because Dominic does take a lot of my attention.  So I'm trying to make sure I spend time with Roman and get down and play with him as well.  Dominic is eating solids now.  He eats alot!  Even though Roman was way chunkier as a baby, I don't remember him being so hungry all the time.  Roman's favorite cartoons are still Toy Story, Mickey Mouse Clubhouse and Masha and the Bear.  He likes other cartoons as well but those are in his top three that he asks for consistently.

For a follow up on my last post regarding Roman's sleeping habits. It hasn't really improved.  If we want him to sleep in his room, I have to sit in the glider and wait for him to fall asleep in his bed.  If I leave before he's asleep he gets up and comes to our room.  Sometimes he falls asleep in 10  or 15 minutes, but I've sat in there for up to an hour on multiple nights.  He's not playing either, he's just laying in his bed, but he'll pop his head up and look to make sure I'm still there.  Even when he does fall asleep in his room he usually wake between 4-6 and comes to our room and gets in our bed.  At least we have the baby sleeping in his crib all night so there is room in the bed.  I figure at this rate by the time Roman finally stays in his room all night Dominic will be the one coming in our room.  Hooray for us! Haha!

This should be a pretty busy month for us, we have Circuit Overseer visit this week and next week we are going to the Circuit Assembly in Salisbury.  I feel like there is something going on in the latter half of the month but I can't remember right now.

So that's our life right now in a few paragraphs.  With that I leave you with these photos and videos :)

Being adorable at all times

Serious boy who loves to eat and play (He's eating a costilla)

Losing a Pet

This post is a departure from my usual fare of kid life and travels.  Last August our first baby, our furbaby Leela was diagnosed with cance...