Family, Uncategorized

Top 5 items when traveling with Kids

Are you planning on going on a trip? Wondering what to pack for your child to make your trip/vacation a success? Check out these top 5 must have items that you and your family will love!

#5 Child size suitcaseminion

We purchased this minion suitcase from Target (click on picture for link) for Liam to take to his sleep overs at his grandparents house. This bag has come in handy and he loves to pull it on his own. It has 3 zipper compartments and a netted pouch inside. I pack both boys clothes in it for now until Bennett gets older and requests his own luggage.

#4 Gallon size Zip lock Bags

These will become your new best friend! I actually use these when packing the boys clothes. If you have an independent child like I do this process is so easy. Each bag gets an outfit plus underwear and socks (fun accessories for the girls). This makes getting ready super easy and NO FIGHTS! Children who don’t have opinions on what they wear (lucky you!) or too young like my Bennett I just pick his outfits. Because he’s under one I put all of his outfits in one zip lock. The weather is so unpredictable sometimes that I pack both outfits for warm and cold. I use 2 zip locks for the different weather clothes. Not only are the bags useful for keeping outfits together, if you release all the air from them the clothes shrink and you can get more in your suitcase. To me more is so much better! Big tip is to label your zip locks. If you are traveling with extended family, have more than one kid, or just want your husband to get your child dressed so you can finish your hair; labeling will save your life. No one can question you when it is written in sharpie! If you have a messy or potty training child always pack a bag of extra clothes.

#3 Baby wipe container

baby wipe container

Each child gets their own container of snacks for the road. If they are old enough you can have fun and let them decorate their own container. I’m planning on having a timer on my phone letting my kids know when its time to eat a snack. My phone timer has become our way of life, we use it for everything! Knowing my son, he could eat every snack in his container in one sitting. I often let him have 2 snacks every hour and a half.  We always  to pack some of his favorites like nutri-grain bars, mini muffins, pretzels, and fruit snacks. I only buy the Annie’s Organic Bunny fruit snacks. They are all natural which is great for my active 3.5 year old. Red dye and sugar cause him to become very unfocused and over stimulated.

#2 Bag of Toys

Having toys is equally as important as having snacks. Whether for the car, the house your staying, or hotel; toys from home give your child a reminder of home. Being away from their environment can be stressful and make a child anxious. I always have Liam choose which toys he wants. I bring a thirty-one large utility tote to fit toys for both boys.

#1 First Aid kit

Our house has at least 4 first aid kits at our disposal. Having a husband that’s a chef who uses knives and burns his skin at least once a day we collect a lot of first aid materials. It’s always good to have this on the road for any emergency that might occur. Our kit consists of:

  • band-aids (I add some fun ones for kids)
  • hand sanitizer
  • gauze pads
  • first aid tape
  • alcohol swabs
  • cold packs
  • thermometer
  • antibiotic ointment
  • Ibuprofen
  • Tylenol
  • Antihistamine
  • aloe
  • itch relieve
  • cotton pads
  • flashlight
  • tweezers
  • saline solution
  • scissors
  • tissues
  • disposable gloves

 

I hope this eases some of your stress when packing for your trip. Lists are always a good idea. I make mine weeks in advanced so I can slowly add more stuff as I think of it. I also give myself the entire week to pack, whether it’s because of certain laundry that has to be washed or so I’m not packing for 15 hours the night before we leave. Give yourself plenty of time and relax. Everyone knows if Mom’s stressed the whole family feels it. Take pictures, laugh, hug, enjoy this time with your family and always pray before your trip begins. Starting your trip focused on the Lord will wipe away anxiety and allow joy to enter.

 

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Feeling strong, not small

Today my baby boy is 9 months old. Looking at how grown he’s become and the new skills he learns everyday makes me so proud and a little sad. He’s that much closer to becoming a toddler and less of an infant.

I told myself this second postpartum would be different and I would give myself 9 months to lose the weight. You know the “it took you 9 months to gain so 9 months to lose”. As of today I’m 10 pounds from my goal and couldn’t be happier. Why do you ask? Yoga!!! I’ve been practicing since July and it has completely changed my outlook on my body and my spirit. Every practice is focused on my relationship with myself which in turn is focused on the Lord. I have become stronger physically and emotionally. I can feel a huge difference in my posture, especially in my back. After having 2 babies I felt like my back would never be the same and I would always be in pain. Feeling this good after only 2.5 months I’m excited to see the changes in the upcoming months. The numbers on the scale don’t defy me anymore, my main focus is listening to how I feel.

I start my morning around 5-5:30am before the boys wake up for my yoga practice. It’s still dark and the place is so quiet. I can focus on myself and block out the world for the next 15-45 minutes. I’ve once heard you should wake up for your kids and NOT wake up to your kids. This statement has changed my mindset as a mom and has made such a difference to my entire day.

Thank you Jesus for opening my eyes to the woman, mother, wife you are molding me to become.

https://m.youtube.com/user/yogawithadriene

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Postpartum depression

I was diagnosed with PPD after both of my pregnancies and I wanted to share both of my experiences.

I was told during my pregnancy with Liam that Postpartum Depression was common in my family. I took that time to research, ask questions, and take as much precaution as necessary. After Liam was born I had the common aches and pains a woman goes through after a vaginal birth, I fell in love with my husband all over again watching him become a father to our son, and I had an unconditional love for this incredible little boy.

It took three days after he was born and those feelings turned to extreme anxiety, overwhelming sadness, and no control over my emotions. I would cry for hours and have no reason for it. I would get panic attacks that consumed my whole body, It was as if i had swallowed hot coal and the white hot burning feeling would start from the pit of my stomach and grow up into my chest and head. My heart would be pounding and I knew that everything that I had read was happening to me. My husband and I decided to officially start bottle feeding Liam that day because of the stress I was under and the fact that he was 100% uninterested in breast feeding. The next morning I immediately made an appointment with my OBGYN. They were very supportive and happy I had realized the things I was feeling was out of my control and it was ok to ask for help. Right then they prescribed me with some medication. I only needed the lower dose to just help get my hormones back in check. The medicine took about 2 weeks to settle into my system. During that time I was taking Melatonin to make me sleepy to control my panic attacks. My mom would come over daily to help take care of Liam, make me meals, and take care of my apartment. I don’t know what I would of done without her! After about a month I started to feel myself and my husband had his wife back.

When I got pregnant with Bennett I knew there was a very good chance my Postpartum Depression would return. We decided from the beginning that I would bottle feed him as I was already busy with a toddler and didn’t need the added stress. I started taking the same medication and dosage I had the first time 3 hours after delivery. The three day mark came and my anxiety was about a 5/10. The next day it was 3/10. By day five I had no anxiety and I felt like me. The pains of pregnancy were gone, I had a healthy baby boy, and my family felt whole.

I wanted to share my story for those woman who might have felt the way I did the days after having a baby. Some times you might fell a little overwhelmed and completely exhausted, but if there’s a chance it might be more than that please don’t be embarrassed to talk to someone. Being a mom is the best gift God has given to woman, but we need to stick together and help each other out when we feel it’s a lot harder than we expected.

Us Mommies have to stick together!

God bless.

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Hopscotch activity

Summer days bring late, firefly filled skies and lots of fun pool days. They can also bring a lot of showers and storms. This past week was pretty dreary and we didn’t see the sun for days. For anyone who have an active child like mine, too many days inside is a recipe for disaster. I decided to make this fun game that would get both me and my sons body moving and blood pumping. 

I don’t have a template for this activity because I made it by hand. You could also have your child help by cutting the paper and helping you color the paper for fun. This is also a guideline and you can write as many activities, more or less, and also change the numbers. Liam and I used a rock he had found outside, he loves rocks. 


Sometimes those rainy days are nice to remind yourself to slow down. Enjoy the time with your little ones!

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Bathing suit

“Bathing suit”

Why is it when I hear this word I want to run and hide under my covers in my sweats!! Yes I’m almost 6 months postpartum, but this world only shows perfection and “mommy bods” aren’t exactly the ultimate fashion statement. Even celebrity mommies go into hiding till they have the pre baby body they once had. No I do not have a nanny or personal trainer to help whip me back is shape. I’m also not breast feeding so that’s not helping either. Self love is a tough one for me, I struggle with just loving myself and the body God has given me. I heard someone say once, “If you don’t like yourself then your always around someone you don’t like”. That statement really hit me right in the heart. How can you be happy and feel love if you can’t feel that way about yourself. I’m a boy mom so I don’t have a young girl looking up to me, but I do have boys looking at my husband who calls me beautiful and gorgeous. He even has my oldest come to me and tell me I look pretty. I would usually say thank you, but then criticize something like my hair doesn’t look right or my favorite dress I wore last year pre baby doesn’t fit, or that I  just woke up and still have morning breathe. Now I try to think of that statement and how I have these men in my life who love me for me; no make up or even the extra 20 pounds can change that.

Talking about self love, it’s pool season and yes that mean less clothes and a bathing suit. If you’re looking in your drawers and don’t like anything you see, buy a new one!! After having Liam I purchased a one piece that made me feel pretty and covered everything I needed covered. I came across a video on Facebook just after having Liam, her name is Jessica Rey and she had created a bathing suit company for woman and girls. Her focus was to make woman look beautiful without showing too much skin. I fell in love with her message and checked out her website, I immediately found this beautiful swimsuit, I was looking for something that had ruching (to hide the post partum belly), padded bra, and supportive straps. This suit was perfect, plus it was named after an Audrey Hepburn character!

Things to think about in a new suit after having  a baby:

  • Comfort
  • Does it cover everything
  • Support. This is for the girls (breastfeeding or not) also your baby will like to grab on your suit well into elementary age.

If you get to the pool, new suit and all, and you’re just not ready, buy a really cute cover up that can get wet. Just remember that no one is really looking at you anyway, they’re all looking at that beautiful baby!

ann in seaspray

Ann in Seaspray $120

Women's Woven Cover Up Dress - Merona™. Image 1 of 2.

Women’s Woven Cover Up Dress – Merona™ $19.99