We're heading off tonight for a much anticipated two week holiday to visit family. This will be Owen's first flight, where air travel is old hat to Levi. Fingers crossed for a flight with a few empty seats, or at least for a big, busy boy to be content sitting on his dada's lap for 4 hours!
We have a few plans up our sleeves to keep the peace including LOTS of snacks, and a new DVD just in case he isn't feeling whatever is on the seat back TV. He doesn't watch much TV at home, so when he does he pretty much loves whatever is happening on the screen, but you just never know. We also will have the always trusty paper and crayons, but it tends to be a short-lived form of amusement at this point in Levi's life.
I think everything is all packed and ready to go. I will continue to post when I'm away, but of course it will depend on all the goings on, so maybe a little less than usual.
If you are a breastfeeding mom you already know that basically everything nursing related is kind of pricey. It's nice to have the odd thing that helps you in being a little more discreet, as well as bits and bobs to soothe and assist, so I have poked around for as many nursing related tutorials I could find and here is what I came up with:
There are a few items I am so glad we have had with us traveling that I really think I should share:
*My sister in law lent us this amazing stroller sun shade, and I don't know what we would have done without it under the hot Italian sun. Our son was able to nap protected, in complete shade no matter where we were. The shade is called Protect-A-Bub by Kiddopotamus. Well worth it. I will not find myself traveling in a hot climate without it. It packs up into a small carrying case, can fold back on the stroller when not needed, and can be pulled right down to create a cozy sleeping space for your babe. If you are bringing a stroller, definitely bring one of these along too.
*This great, packable, cloth "high chair" has served us well.
Specifically in Italy, Highchairs in restaurants were obsolete except at a couple of tourist sights (Pompeii, and one restaurant in a central piazza in Florence were the only high chairs available to us on our entire trip).
We sometimes were able to find space to fit a small stroller next to our table, but more often they were tightly packed and there just wasn't the room. This fabric seat cover also came in very handy for feeding times at our apartment rentals.
*A small night light or flashlight can be invaluable when your little one wakes in the night and you are trying to navigate your way to them through a new, unfamiliar space without turning the lights on.
I've never used a headlamp, but thinking we will try that out for our next trip. You will most likely be sharing your sleeping space with your child or children while on the road. This can make reading at bedtime somewhat difficult, which I quite like to do. I have considered buying a small clip on reading light, but I think a headlamp might be the smarter buy as it would serve well for both reading and tending to your baby in the night. Everywhere we have gone with our son, I have wished I had one.
*A sling, or carrier. There are so many places that can be tackled so much easier with a carrier. We have used the Ergo for our last couple of trips and love it. Our only problem with it is that our child is at such a curious age we would have loved a carrier that he could face out in and see the world. Here is an earlier post where I wrote about the three carriers we have tried and enjoyed.
*We carry one bib with us, the Kiddopotamus Bibbity Rinse and Roll Bib.
It is wipeable, and rolls up into itself to pack away easily. I would definitely recommend a bib such as this. You don't want cloth bibs, it just adds to your wash load, and your weight as you would need several as opposed to one.
*A toy strap is very useful for preventing a snack cup, sippy cup, or favourite toy from falling to the ground (or for averting that fun little game of throwing toys to the ground while mom or dad continually pick them up). Here is a simple tutorial to make your own.
*If your child uses a pacifier, do not leave home without a pacifier clip. For us we never used one at home, but were so grateful to have one with us on our trip.
*The last, most important, thing to bring is: as little as possible. Since you already have your most important item (your baby) to worry about you really want little else to distract you.
This list was mainly compiled on our trip to Italy which was when our son was 11 months old.
Why oh why did I agree to share??? This little icecream monster ate the whole giant scoop to his face!
I can't really blame him, it was his first time with a cone and he lost control. He doesn't yet know the slow, enjoyment of licking the icecream so he just rubs the big blue scoop on his lips and into his face - wonderful to see! :)
And when I borrowed it back for one quick sec to clean up the sides?...
It sure is fun to watch a little one enjoy something that immensely.
I considered the possibility of diaper removal, I really did. I thought "no way. This guy is WAY too tired for that". And so it goes...
An all too short while later, chatty McChatters is partying it up in his crib so I decided an intervention was in order. When I poked my head in the door I gotta say, it didn't smell pretty, and when he spoke the words "poo poo" to me, I thought "um yeah, no kidding", but I did in no way expect to see what I did.
Yikes! He looked pretty comfortable laying there in all that poo, ankles crossed, feet resting up on the side of the crib. He also looked pretty proud of himself for pulling his nappy off all on his own. Needless to say, it took one full load of washing, one bath, and one clean set of blankets and sheets to set everything right once again.
Note to self: Levi MUST wear onesie over nappy
Note to God: Please don't let him learn to unsnap his onesies!!
When you have something special, something irreplaceable, do you tuck it away for safe-keeping, or do you make use of it?
This denim bag has been mended and re-mended, over and over again. On it's most recent fix-up, I had to alter the shape of it entirely, and lost a good bit of size to it as well. Sometimes I think I should stop using it, but then what would be the point in that?
This bag used to hold my eldest brothers pencil crayons. He was an incredible artist and I'm sure would have gone on to be even greater had he lived past the age of 18. Now, being in my 30's, I realize even more-so what an incredibly short life he lived.
This memory of him has traveled around the world with me for two years, and has held everything from jewellery to art supplies. Using it all the time is sort of like carrying a photograph.
I think I'll continue to use it, patching and mending away, until the bag itself becomes so small it can do no more than patch another well-loved and cherished item. I think he'd like that.
The Armchair traveller: Enjoying bits of the world in the comfort of your own home.
The TimTam is something special. Something so tasty we thought it had to stay in Australia where we found it. Had to remain a memory. And so, after excitedly discovering we could buy them here in Canada, and then declaring our allegiance to our Australian memory of it, we proceeded to pass it by, again and again and again.
As I am, once again, about to pass them by, with the memory so distant I think our decision may have been a silly one, I stand here staring them down and wonder "To buy or not to buy?..."
Aw YEAH!!!! TO BUY!!!
Anyone hear of the TIMTAM slam??
Nibble opposite corners of the chocolate biscuit to expose the wafer inside.
Use your biscuit as a straw and suck like crazy. Any hot bevvy will do.
Hurry up and pop that biscuit into your mouth before it totally disintegrates in your hand and you miss out on the whole beautiful thing!
I'm a bit behind on this post, but I had a beautiful mother's day! This is only my second and I have two sons already - seems kinda wild...
I was actually able to get the older of my two sons to sit for a photo!
And then, yet another photo, with all 3 of my boys!!
We had amazing, sunny weather. Perfect for walking around St.Jacobs - a nearby Amish town.
Thumbs up for summer! :)
And my sweet man treated myself and a close friend to an awesome performance by The Wailin' Jennys.
I liked this trio before, but AFTER seeing them live?? Amazing. Thanks hub!
(That was just A video from you tube of a totally different show - not my video. Good though right?!?)
I hope all you mama's out there had a special day!
Though at a distance, I am so blessed to have my mom in my life. She is a strong, courageous, beautiful woman who I consider myself lucky to be told regularly how much I look and act like her. She has been tested with tragedy more times in her life than anyone should, and still she holds strong in her faith and love for God and family.
For all the times I thought to myself how I wanted to be different (hormonal teenager talking there), my mom is with me every step I take in my own actions, and every choice I make for my babies, and I am so thankful for it.
She no longer has her own mom in her life, but her mom shines through her as my mom shines through me in so much that I do. That is the blessing of a mother.
MY MOTHER TAUGHT ME TO APPRECIATE A JOB WELL DONE ‘If you’re going to kill each other, do it outside. I just finished cleaning’ MY MOTHER TAUGHT ME RELIGION ‘You better pray that will come out of the carpet’ MY MOTHER TAUGHT ME ABOUT TIME TRAVEL ‘If you don’t straighten up, I’ll knock you into next week!’ MY MOTHER TAUGHT ME LOGIC ‘Because I said so, that’s why!’ MY MOTHER TAUGHT ME FORESIGHT ‘Make sure you wear clean underwear in case you’re in an accident’ MY MOTHER TAUGHT ME IRONY ‘Keep laughing and I’ll give you something to cry about’ MY MOTHER TAUGHT ME ABOUT THE SCIENCE OF OSMOSIS ‘Shut your mouth and eat your supper!’ MY MOTHER TAUGHT ME ABOUT CONTORTIONISM ‘Will you look at the dirt on the back of your neck’ MY MOTHER TAUGHT ME ABOUT STAMINA ‘You’ll sit there until all that spinach is gone’ MY MOTHER TAUGHT ME ABOUT WEATHER ‘It looks like a tornado went through your room’ MY MOTHER TAUGHT ME ABOUT HYPOCRISY ‘If I told you once, I’ve told you a million times; Don’t exaggerate!’ MY MOTHER TAUGHT ME ABOUT BEHAVIOUR MODIFICATION ‘Stop acting like your father!’ MY MOTHER TAUGHT ME ABOUT ENVY ‘There are millions of less fortunate children in this world who don’t have wonderful parents like you do.’ MY MOTHER TAUGHT ME ABOUT NUTRITION ‘Don’t eat with your mouth full.’ MY MOTHER TAUGHT ME ABOUT THE CIRCLE OF LIFE ‘I brought you into this world. I can take you out!’ MY MOTHER TAUGHT ME ABOUT ANTICIPATION ‘Just wait until we get home’. MY MOTHER TAUGHT ME ABOUT RECEIVING ‘You are going to get it when we get home!’ MY MOTHER TAUGHT ME ABOUT GENETICS ‘You’re just like your father’. MY MOTHER TAUGHT ME ABOUT MY ROOTS ‘Shut that door behind you. Do you think you were born in a barn?’ MY MOTHER TAUGHT ME WISDOM ‘When you get to be my age, you’ll understand.’ MY MOTHER TAUGHT ME ABOUT JUSTICE ‘One day you’ll have kids, and I hope they turn out just like you.’
Our travel plans will always include at least one hostel stay.
The hostel experience is one you cannot get anywhere else. The traveling community is at it's best here, adding to the social side of your trip in a fantastic way. Obviously you want to commingle with locals on your journeys, but the next best thing about travel is meeting people from all across the globe. Mealtimes in a hostel are the best time for meeting new people and learning about other countries.
Hotels simply do not provide this opportunity the way a hostel does.
Another bonus about hostelling, is the opportunity for unique experiences at a low cost which otherwise may be tough to find. Many hostels will have a board posting cultural events, and outings for every day of the week open to all guests. At one of our hostel stays in Italy, I learned how to make pasta for an afternoon, and also went for a beautiful horseback ride in the Abruzzi National Park while my husband watched our son. Another day, while I hung out with the little guy, my husband went for an amazing day long hike. These experiences are even possible, as you can tell, when you have very small children (with a bit of sacrifice - as in not being able to enjoy these times as a couple).
Hostels tend to have more character than other types of accomodation. Often feeling more like a home away from home, with the cozy atmosphere of a common lounge which always includes my favourite bit - the bookshelf, where you can see what other travelers have been reading and trade your finished read for something new. From farms to castles, the style of hostel accomodations come in all shapes and sizes.
A few of our favourite hostels:
Sleeping in a giant teepee at The Arts Factory in Byron Bay, Australia
If you are traveling with kids, check it out. Many hostels welcome families with children, and some even have family rooms available for booking. Baby beds may not be so readily available at a hostel, but in Milan we had a king size bed in our private room and slept very comfortably all together.
What a love-hate relationship I am having with my computer yesterday and today. We've run out of space and are trying to reformat & remove some stuff. It seems to be causing some annoying technical issues... Be back soon if I don't decide to just toss the thing! ;)
In theory, it was a good plan... no it was a great plan. Levi was going to sit in the wagon the whole time with his good friend Nami, and he was going to love it.
We were going to peruse antiques, and I would arrive back home with my arms loaded down in beautiful vintage sewing goodies, and for some reason today, antique linens, potholders and the like. Ahhhhh, dreams...
Well, it all started with getting pooped on. Yes friends, I was pooped on this morning, and no it was not by one of my beautiful baby boys - which, I can totally handle (you kind of have to handle it after it happens a couple of times).
As I reached my unsuspecting arm in to my car to unfasten my littlest guy from his seat - BLAMMO! My hand and wrist were targeted in a fly-by, as were the side of my baby's car seat and the main seat back inside the car.
I didn't let it get me down though, because as all good people know it is fabulous luck to get shat on by a bird.
After that brief episode I was sure that I was in store to find the most wonderful surprise at the antique market today. hmmm..
Well, needless to say, though Owen snoozed away in the Ergo as usual, Levi was not okay with maxin' it out in the wagon no matter who was going to sit with him. His game was either throwing rocks or "mama, Up". It's not the easiest having 14 pounds in a front carrier, and 30 pounds on your hip. Good workout though. I did become an instant expert at the very quick neck snapping action required to keep an eye on your exploring, handsy little one, and all the antique goodies around. At one point as he tells me "ball, ball" I turned my head to spy him holding the "ball", which actually was a big, round, very breakable, orange ceramic basket.
I should get a medal for speed! :)
So, lesson learned you ask?? Well, I can only hope the littles learned that antiques are awesome, and are meant to be enjoyed. Next time these kids are gonna love it. That's the lesson we're talking about right?
Besides, despite spending the better part of the morning feeding, chasing, or changing little ones we did have sun and warmth, and I did enjoy a good chatty sit down with a coffee and friends.
I would like to add, Hooray for kind people who let you bud into the enormous line-up to buy your little fella a drink, for playgrounds at the antique market, and for good friends and their wagons who help to make these adventures a little bit possible, even if the wagon is only happily used accompanied with snack bribery.
In conclusion, to the unlucky soul who decided being pooped on by a bird was good luck:
I'm sorry that you clearly have had to suffer this fate enough times that you had to create this fiction but hey, whatever helps you sleep at night.
The boys, all wiped out from the excitement of the market.