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MC#28:What are your helpful tips for traveling with small children?

I am part of an AWESOME mommy panel with Cassie from Two In Diapers and a group of bloggers.

Each Saturday, we will bring you fresh new ideas and advice about motherhood.

If you enjoyed what you read, we encourage you to tweet about it!

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Now on to this week’s topic!

What are your helpful tips for traveling with small children?

Here is what Mom Connection shared:

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Welcome! I’m Julie over at Naptime Review. I am a mom of two wild, crazy and beautiful girls. My oldest just turned 4 and my baby is 16 months old. This is my advice for traveling with small children:

We all know the stress that traveling with kids can bring. Many of times before we boarded an airplane, I prayed for nice and understanding people on our flight.

Every time I have traveled I have enlisted the help of friends and family for some tips and secrets. Here are a few things that have helped keep our sanity over the last 4 years when it comes to traveling with little ones.

  1. Plan Travel Around Nap Time: When we drove to Florida, we pulled an all-nighter. It was great. Averie slept the whole drive. Now, when we arrived Mommy and Daddy were tired and Averie was well rested but we made great time with only a few stops.
  2. Purchase New and Exciting Stuff: I hit the dollar bins every time we travel. I buy new snacks and some new toys to entertain. When traveling by air, I always make sure to have a drink box or sucker for the kids to help with air pressure.
  3. Pack Car seat and Boppy Pillow: The car seat was a must-have when we flew to Florida last Thanksgiving. We knew our rambunctious toddler needed to be strapped in at all costs. We were also comfortable with the fact she knew what was expected behavior in her car seat. Now, the bobby pillow comes in handy for babies. It was great for traveling when Averie was 6 months old. It supported her in the seat next to me and provided myself with comfort when holding her on my lap for 4 hours.
  4. Ask Your Doctor: I had a pediatrician recommend Benadryl for Alice’s first flight. She did great on the trial run at home but was wide awake on the plane. Go figure!! However, I have heard urban legends of kids doing well with a little Benadryl cocktail.
  5. Technology Makes A Great Babysitter: Pack portable DVD player, Ipads, and Leap Pads. I always download a few new games when we travel.

Good luck when traveling this summer! Hopefully, these tips will elevate some of the stress that travel can bring. When all else fails, just remember it is only a phase and one day travel will be easier!

Hi! I’m Cassie from Two In Diapers, and I’m a mommy to three sweet babies, ages 5, 3, and 2. This is my advice for traveling with small children:

We just returned from Florida, which was a vacation that included two four-hour flights with all three kids! I am happy to report that both flights went as smoothly as possible!

One major thing that makes our travels with children a bit less painful is our general attitude. When we travel, my husband and I try to keep the mood to a lighthearted and excited one, instead of the way we usually really feel – tired and stressed. :) Since our littles feed so much off of the tone we set in our family, this helps a ton right from the start. We try to point out every little exciting thing about the trip. Kids are so easily excited, so why not make the trip as fun as possible?

For this last flight, I raided the dollar section at Target. I found all kinds of travel-safe toys for super cheap! Tiny dry-erase boards, flash cards, books, etc. I individually wrapped each item and marked it with the child’s name and the order in which they were to be opened, which I arranged strategically (for example, least exciting toy first because at that point they’re just excited to open a present). I made sure NOT to tell the kiddos that they had a bag full of presents so that they wouldn’t always be looking for the next one, and believe it or not, we didn’t even get halfway through the presents on the trip there! This worked out perfectly because we had a few for the trip back also.

We definitely also packed lots of snacks… snacks are a great distraction for kiddos! Especially the ones that you can play with – animal crackers, scrabble Cheez-Its, etc.

My final piece of advice is… don’t plan on reading a book or closing your eyes for even a few minutes. Set realistic expectations for the trip and plan on playing with the kids. Make it fun for everyone!

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My name is Alexa from No Holding Back. I am the mom of Nayner Bug (male, 5), Jelly Bean, (female, 3) and Tiny (female, 1). This is my advice for traveling with small children:

We have some experience in this since we drive from South Carolina to Upstate NY once, if not twice a year to visit my husband’s family. 16 hours in the car! This summer will be the first time we do it with three children, and I’m not looking forward to it at all! But this is how we survive:

-          In vehicle entertainment systems are a must! DVD players, good music, anything to keep their minds off of the road

-          Pack lots of snacks! When all else fails, I give them a treat!

-          Plan to stop at rest areas that have room to run. Pack a ball or something that they will enjoy playing with and let them run around for a little while.

-          If you stop for fast food, make sure to stop at a place with a playground!

-          Make a “travel kit” with books, coloring books and crayons, and some of their favorite toys. This works for car or airplane.

-          Perhaps invest in a new toy or something that, if all else fails, you can whip out and give to them! (Not bribery, just positive reinforcement for behaving!)

If you have never traveled with small children before, the key to survival is the realization that you may have to make frequent stops and you are going to have to be patient. It is easier for us to travel on a plane with them than in a car, because there are so many distractions on a plane. But, we have found ways to keep them entertained on long car trips.

And you never know what may provide entertainment. On our first drive to NY when my oldest child was about 18 months old, he had a big time with a roll of paper towels. He must have played with it for over an hour, maybe two. First unraveling it, then ripping it to shreds. We had a mess to clean up, but he was entertained and happy!

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My name is Fotini! I blog over at Glamorous Affordable Life. I am the mom of (Isabella 2 years and Christian 6 years). This is my advice for traveling with small children:

We love to take family vacations at least every year so it’s important that the kids adjust, so it’s enjoyable for all of us! First things first, I make sure there are plenty of activities to keep them busy while we drive or even fly.

Coloring books, dry erase boards, chalkboards, road trip bingo and other fun games here, magnetic puzzle boards and books.

Prepare snacks ahead of time. It will save you money while on the road plus you won’t have to stop quite as often and they’ll be satisfied! I pack a small cooler full of sandwiches, their favorite snacks, juice, frozen yogurt sticks and water.

If your vehicle doesn’t have a built in dvd player, invest in one! Our van doesn’t have them, so last summer we bought a dual headrest dvd player so they both get their own screen to watch their favorite movies. I try to surprise both of them the day we leave with a new movie. That keeps them quiet for the first couple of hours!

I try my best to make the environment familiar for both of the kids, but especially Isabella since traveling is still new to her. I bring things from home that she’s close to, like her favorite blanket, babies and a couple toys. I’ve found every time we’ve traveled and I’ve stuck as close to our at-home routine as possible, everything goes really smooth, including bedtime! That makes it so nice for Daddy and I. :)

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Your Turn:

What advice do you have on traveling with small children? Leave us a comment; we love to read your tips and advice!

Need advice? Check out these previous Mom Connection topics:

Setting Goals with Your Children

Teaching Your Kids to Share

Getting your Preschooler Dressed

Balancing Blogging and Motherhood

Check Out This Months Sponsor:

MC# 27: What sorts of summer activities or camps do you enroll your children in?

I am part of an AWESOME mommy panel with Cassie from Two In Diapers and Julie from Naptime Review.

Each Saturday, we will bring you fresh new ideas and advice about motherhood.

If you enjoyed what you read, we encourage you to tweet about it!

Coming on May 18th, we will discuss:

Tips For Traveling With Small Children 

Now on to this week’s topic!

What sorts of summer activities or camps do you enroll your children in?

Here is what Mom Connection shared:

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Welcome! I’m Julie over at Naptime Review. I am a mom of two wild, crazy and beautiful girls. My oldest is 4 and my baby is 20 months old. This is what sort of summer activities or camps I enroll my children in:

Every summer since Averie has been a baby we have always done swim lessons. This summer since our new home has a swimming pool, the girls will be doing Self Rescue Lessons.  If you haven’t seen the Facebook video floating around, you should check it out here. It is amazing! It was a real eye-opener to how fast a child can find themselves submerged into water.

I am also excited that Averie is finally at an age to enroll on Vacation Bible School.  VBS is a week long of bible stories, crafts, music and fun! We are so excited!

So other than swim lessons and VBS we look forward to relaxing and enjoying the sun!

Oh, and did I mention packing up and moving with two small children? IKES!

Hi! I’m Cassie from Two In Diapers, and I’m a mommy to three sweet babies, ages 5, 3, and 20 months.  This is what sort of summer activities or camps I enroll my children in:

I definitely think a successful summer is one that is full and fun! Since our children are still pretty little (our oldest just turned 5), organized summer activities have been mainly soccer, and we will be participating in Vacation Bible School this year. In addition to that, we frequent every park in this city and make a few visits to the pool as well! I also co-run a playgroup, so we have weekly activities through it. When my littles get a bit older I’m sure we will be swamped with camps and things, but for now we just try to get out and enjoy the sunshine every single day!

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My name is Alexa from No Holding Back. I am the mom of Nayner Bug (male, 5), Jelly Bean, (female, 3) and Tiny (female, 1).  This is what sort of summer activities or camps I enroll my children in:

We are on a really tight budget, so our activities will be mostly limited to free, or mostly free activities. I have the kids already registered for two vacation Bible schools!

My 6 and 3-year-old both really want to do gymnastics, so I will probably enroll them for the summer and see how that goes. That will give them a planned activity each week.

We are lucky that we have a pool, so we’ll spend a good bit of time swimming. We also always take advantage of our zoo membership, and I’m sure there will be plenty of trips to the zoo, the park, and picnics with the other moms and children in the Moms club.  We live about 40 minutes away from a large lake and two hours from the beach, so those are both feasible day trip options.

This summer I also plan to take full advantage of the programs at the library.

The summer will be over so fast!

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My name is Fotini! I blog over at Glamorous Affordable Life. I am the mom of (Isabella 2 years and Christian 6 years).  This is what sort of summer activities or camps I enroll my children in:

Since Christian was about two years old, I’ve had him in swimming lessons every summer and some sort of sport. We always enjoyed spending the mornings at the pool for lessons and a little play afterwards, and then practice a few evenings during the week. And then Ms. Isabella became a busy little toddler and doesn’t like to sit still. I learned this the hard way last Fall when we signed him up for soccer. I spent both practice and games chasing her around. Needless to say, we will be taking a break from a busy summer schedule this year! I did, however, enroll Christian in T Ball with a little guy from his class, who also lives in our neighborhood. We’re really looking forward to that starting the end of the month. My hopes are that Isabella will listen to me a little better and be intrigued by Christian!

This year my husband thinks we shouldn’t sign Christian up for swimming lessons; he wants him to get comfortable with the water and swimming all on his own. I do plan on signing Isabella up though. She is pretty much fearless and it scares me to death! For us, it’s important that she knows how to swim.
Besides that, we plan on having a relaxing summer! Maybe take a couple of weekend getaways and lots of quality family time J
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My name is Kristen from The Mrs. & The Momma. I’m the momma of 4 children ages 2-7. This is what sort of summer activities or camps I enroll my children in:

With my oldest being seven, we’re not quite at that age where I can send my children off to summer camp for a glorious 2 weeks (while I sit at home reading, taking baths, and luxuriating in doing nothing).  I always hear friends gush about what great memories they have from summer camp, and I’ve thought of sending my children someday.  There are some amazingly legendary ones around the Austin area.

But for now, our plans for summer activities include gymnastics lessons, library reading program, and possibly swimming lessons.  Horseback riding lessons are another option, but very few instructors around here begin as early as seven.  Whatever our summer may bring, I plan to have a weekly outing or activity I do with all four kids….whether it be going to the pool, the children’s museum, or just playing in the sprinklers outside.  Here’s to a wonderful summer!

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Your Turn:

What sorts of summer activities or camps do you enroll your children in?

Leave us a comment; we love to read your tips and advice!

Need advice? Check out these previous Mom Connection topics:

Setting Goals with Your Children

Teaching Your Kids to Share

Getting your Preschooler Dressed

Balancing Blogging and Motherhood

Check Out This Months Sponsor:

MC#26: What Is Your Favorite Thing About Being A Mother?

I am part of an AWESOME mommy panel with Cassie from Two In Diapers and Julie from Naptime Review.

Each Saturday, we will bring you fresh new ideas and advice about motherhood.

If you enjoyed what you read, we encourage you to tweet about it!

Tweet

Coming on May 11th, we will discuss:

What sorts of summer activities or camps to you enroll your children in?

Now on to this week’s topic!

What is your favorite thing about being a mother?

Here is what Mom Connection shared:

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Welcome! I’m Julie over at Naptime Review. I am a mom of two wild, crazy and beautiful girls. My oldest is 4 and my baby is 20 months old. This is what I love most about being a mom:

What I love about being a mother is nap time or anytime my kids are sleeping! Just kidding, I truly feel blessed to be able to fulfill my dreams of being a mother. As a young girl, I played house and dreamed about being a mother. I wake up every morning and thank God for trusting me to mold and shape these 2 beautiful girls.

Now, being a SAHM has it challenges so when those challenging times come and they come often with an almost 2-year-old and a strong-willed 4-year-old, I try to focus on the positives. I focus on watching my girls play and interact. They are forming sisterly bonds that will last a lifetime. I focus on them not being this small forever. That one day I will blink and they will be off to college and they won’t need their mommy to snuggle and love on them. I focus on their little brains absorbing so much and learning and growing daily. I focus on all the funny things that my girls say and do.

I really love being a mom! It was what God has called me to do, and I feel so blessed to be able to do it day in and day out. So when their toys are everywhere , the kids are screaming in the grocery store, or they just dumped a bowl full of cereal on top of their heads, I just stop and focus on all the good before my eyes. There are so many things to love about being a mom. I am truly blessed.

Hi! I’m Cassie from Two In Diapers, and I’m a mommy to three sweet babies, ages 5, 3, and 20 months. This is what I love most about being a mom:

I know we’re all passionate about mothering or we wouldn’t be here at the Mom Connection, but being a mommy is my absolute passion.

Since the question of what I love about being a mom sent my head spinning in all sorts of directions, I’ll just list a few things for you. :)

- I love every moment of the “process”, from pregnancy to delivery to watching them grow and change each day.

- I love the responsibility of teaching these tiny people everything from basic facts to behavior and manners to deeper things.

- I love seeing them grow and finding qualities in them that mirror my husband or me.

- I love the way their smile or rosy morning cheeks can completely brighten up my mood.

- I love their sweet, precious, wholehearted and innocent love for their mommy.

I am so very blessed to be a mommy.

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My name is Alexa from No Holding Back. I am the mom of Nayner Bug (male, 5), Jelly Bean, (female, 3) and Tiny (female, 1). This is what I love most about being a mom:

It’s easy to get overwhelmed in the day-to-day insanity of having three little ones and forget about all of the things that we love about being a mom. My favorite things about being a mom are the following:

·         Lots and lots of kisses and hugs! I am blessed with three snuggly bunnies!

·         Giggles and silliness!

·         Getting to relive life again and see the joy of the small things (look mommy! A caterpillar! Ooh mommy, look at the pretty flower! And so forth.)

·         Playing and dancing and not giving a care in the world.

·         Swinging with my little ones!

·         Exploring and learning things that I never realized I had an interest in!

·         Learning how to be crafty!

·         Did I say giggling? The sound of my children giggling, and getting to giggle myself! That might be my favorite! No, kisses are definitely my fave!

·         Made up words and expressions! Monkey cheese (mac n cheese) samliches, bathing soups, two nail polish, and so forth!

·         Imaginations!! Oh boy does my son have an imagination!

·         Celebrating milestones and achievements.

·         Hearing those precious little voices say “I love you mommy!”

They know how to push my buttons, but man I love those three little monkeys!! J

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My name is Fotini! I blog over at Glamorous Affordable Life. I am the mom of (Isabella 2 years and Christian 6 years). This is what I love most about being a mom:

I wake up every day with a big smile on my face the minute I hear Isabella saying “Mommy come here!” My kids have truly shown me what living life is all about. I love when they call me Mama, surprise me with a kiss or hug, tell me I’m pretty, like what I cooked for dinner, tell me they love me, want to cuddle, and listen to me. I love to hear them laugh, love to see them smile, hold them when they’re scared, sing them to sleep, cuddle them close, hold their hands and provide for them every day!

Christian is at the age right now where he’s becoming quite the charmer ;) He’ll say sweet things and leave me the cutest little notes that just melt my heart! I have a memory box I keep all those little notes in and I know they will brighten my heart as I grow older! He has also been doing things around the house and at school that he knows will please me, which makes me feel like I’m doing my job right J

Isabella is becoming more independent every day, and since she’s my baby it’s been hard for me to let go of the “baby” stage, but at times she’ll snuggle up to me and want cuddled and tell me she loves me. She is such a loving child and it makes my heart smile. <3

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My name is Kristen from The Mrs. & The Momma. I’m the momma of three girls (ages 7, 5, & 3) and a little boy (18 months). This is what I love most about being a mom:

1.  Unlimited hugs and kisses.

2.  Becoming an expert on all things kid-related.

3.  Being able to stay at home with them and not miss anything…letting them know how much they matter.

4.  Loving some one unconditionally…actually 4 some ones.

5.  That I have built-in friends for life.  Plus my husband, of course.  :)

Being a momma makes me more appreciative of every other momma in my life.  It’s an honor and privilege to be a mother…my biggest blessings in life have come from my children.

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Your Turn:

What are some of your favorite things about being a mom?

Leave us a comment; we love to read your tips and advice!

Need advice? Check out these previous Mom Connection topics:

Setting Goals with Your Children

Teaching Your Kids to Share

Getting your Preschooler Dressed

Balancing Blogging and Motherhood

Check Out This Months Sponsor: