Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Surviving traveling with twin toddlers

At the end of June we traveled to Utah for a family reunion.  Now while I was excited for the twins to get to ride on a plane and see  family that hadn't seen them since they were 2 months old! So here are some of my tips for traveling with toddlers!

Tip #1: Packing

 I spent a lot of time trying to figure out how to effectively pack for all
4 of us while maintaining some sense of organized as well as not have a ton of luggage to pack around along with the toddlers. I ran across this idea on Amanda's blog, I thought this was genius, I could make sure I have clothes for each toddler each day plus a couple of extra (just in case) outfits and it would all be orderly. This worked wonderfully for us.  I packed the twins in one carry on size suitcase, including shoes, diapers and wipes.  I packed my hubs and I in one regular size suitcase which I have become really good at doing, I kind of like to think of myself and the packing master!  We did check both of our bags so that we would have our hands free to be able to handle both kids without having to worry about bags too. I had also made sure all important documents were within easy reach in my purse so when going through all check points I didn't have to mess around to find them including boarding passes/id's/birth certificates.

Source (all things simple)
Tip #2: Carseats & Traveling

I had to decide if we wanted to lug our Britax Marathon 70's along for the ride, at first we thought it could be a lot of work to take 2 full size heavy carseats with us but after reading stories like this, I decided it was well worth the time and effort to bring our own carseats, my children's safety is not something I want to take a chance on. I purchased these to protect them on the flight and I loved them, they were easy to carry/roll or to put on your back like a backpack.  They also had extra space to put a few more things in there like a stuffed animal or doll or extra diapers, plus since carseats are free to check on most airlines you should take advantage of the extra space.  By checking the carseats we had our hands free to handle the twins going through security and to the gate.  The carseats were treated well during flight and I had no complaints. Our family had rented minivans for the ride and of course with the Britax easy latch system they were a breeze to install (even at 11 pm in 102 degree weather). 

Tip #3: Entertaining your toddler

I had asked on twitter what were some good ideas for entertaining a toddler on the plane.  One of my favorite twin mama Erin suggested I get a new toy or something for them to play with.  I ran over to Target and picked up travel sized magnadoodle pads! They loved these, I didn't let them see them until after we took off and it occupied them for quite a while.  Also I fit everything into the Pottery Barn Kids Preschool size backpack, I first got these and wasn't sure how often I would use them, but we use them A LOT! I actual think that Ava and Landon love that they have a bag of their own to use.  We had an iPad and a portable DVD player so that they could watch a movie or a show and snacks for the ride! All in all they did such a great job on the plane ride and I was pleasantly surprised!  

 Tip #4: Maintaining your sanity

Luckily for us we had family along on the trip to help but I now can safely say I would travel with them on our own for an extended period of time.  We maintained their normal schedule as much as we could including we would try to time any car ride that was longer to nap time so they would sleep.  We kept bedtime as close as we could to normal and did our normal bath, brush your teeth and pj routine to keep them in check.  I'm sure it helped that they were playing hard most of the day and were exhausted by the time bedtime rolled around. 

Well I hope maybe some of my tips will help some of you who might be getting ready to travel with small ones this summer, if you have any great tips or something that has worked for you please let me know! I am always looking for better and more efficient ways to travel with toddlers!

Check back for my story about the time I was "that mom" in Vegas with her kids awake at 12:30 am in the lobby of the Palms Hotel...yeah that happened!

Happy Tuesday!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Blogger 411 Link Up

Because I am late to everything these days why would this be any different.  Anyways, I have seen so many Blogger 411 and I have learned so much about a lot of bloggers that I really love that I thought it would be fun to join in the fun (even a couple days late).  Becky always has the greatest ideas for blogger link-ups, I used to love when she did Seriously Thursdays and her Meet this mama features! She is always a great host and one of my favorite daily reads!

1. How long have you been blogging?
I started blogging approximately 3 days before I got put in the hospital until the twins were born, in my head I had all these great ideas to go back and document my pregnancy while I was on bedrest at home and then things just got a little crazy. 

2. Did you go to college?
I was all ready and planning with acceptance letter in hand to attend a state University but well I decided to follow my heart and get married to my high school sweetheart instead. ;)

3. Where have you traveled?
I have been to Canada, Mexico, Hawaii, California, Washington D.C, Oregon, Utah, Arizona, Nevada, and many of the states across the US since my parents dragged us on a train trip that took a few days and stopped all along the way to Washington D.C.  I hated it at the time, now I think it was a cool trip.

4. If you won the lottery, what would be the first thing you would buy?
I would probably purchase my dream house on the water.  I would also take care of my parents.  Then I would take everyone on a big family vacation.

5. What are your 3 biggest pet peeves?
1.The toilet paper not being the correct way (comes over the top), I will change it even if I am at someone's house.  2. Dishes in the sink, this drives me nuts and my husband will tell you this, I can't stand the thought of them just sitting there getting all gross.3. Junk, junk mail, trinkets, whatever you want to call it, I keep very little, only things of significant meaning.  My mother keeps everything and I just don't like "stuff" all over the place.
6. What is your favorite movie?
Hands down, Pretty Woman, I know it's a movie about a hooker but I love the love story and I have watched it probably a hundred times.

7. What is your drink of choice; wine, beer, or liquor. Or Water, Soda, Tea?
This is a fun one, honestly I love water, I drink so much water all day long.

8. What is something you enjoy to do when you have me time?
A good pedicure or a massage would be nice, hasn't happened in a long time though.

9. If you could have a $10,000 shopping spree to one store, which store would it be?
O boy, well since I would try and stretch it as far as it could go it would probably be Target because you can buy anything there and well $10,000 would buy a whole lot of everything.

10. Share with us an embarrassing moment of your past? Or present.
O gez...where would I start, actually I think I must have blocked most of these out of my memory because I can't think of any right now.

11. What day would you love to relive again?
The day the twins were born, I feel like everything was such a blur and really it was, but since I really couldn't relive that one, maybe my wedding day, I was young and now would do a lot differently.

12. If your life was turned into a movie... what actor would play you?
hmmm...Maybe Jennifer Anniston, one I love her, two I feel like she is quirky and funny and well that's how I am most of the time.

13. What are the jobs you had in high school/college/the early years?
In high school I worked at a toy store which was fun, then I went to work for my FIL and I have been here ever since.

14. Show us a picture from high school or college.
O gez, since I honestly have no idea where most of those are...hello digital cameras, you will get one from my early days of marriage (aka when I would have been in College) Deal...
Honeymoon November 2005

15. If you could travel anywhere in the world, all expenses paid, where would you go?
Europe, a two month trip to Europe so I could go all over.

16. Show us the most current picture of you or you, or your family, or anything of meaning to you.
Utah Family Reunion from June

17. Where do you see your life 5 years from now
Living in my forever house and my kids will be 7 (INSERT PANIC), working at a job I love and just living my little life here in the PNW.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

The 4th of July in iPhone pictures

So since I rarely seem to actually pull out my camera today my iPhone is responsible for about 90% of my pictures on a day to day basis, so 4th of July wasn't much different, I did take some real pictures but by the time I actually upload them at the rate I'm going it could be next July...

So here is our 4th of July.  We went to our hometown parade, BBQ'd with some great friends which included the best ribs ever, potato salad, fresh pineapple, strawberry shortcake, and s'mores!  Our summer here in the PNW has officially started and our weather has been BEAUTIFUL the last week or so, this is the time when we all stay outside ALL DAY!

Hope you guys all had an amazing 4th!