Time For A Change

We always make a plan for life, and it always gets changed. If your heart is telling you something, you should listen. It will make you a better version of yourself.

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Outfit Details: Pink Blush Floral Dress | Target Booties (sold out, but similar here) | Kiddos clothes are from Target…obvi (haha)

In true Kallie fashion I am always late to the party. I always have an idea in my head about what I want to do or say, but my execution style is a little slow…ha. This time I’m blaming it on the fact that I have been sick for 3 weeks! It’s insane. I really think that mom’s should have some kind of immunity card on any kind of sickness. We don’t have time for it! But anyway, the post is here! Finally!

If you follow me on Facebook or Instagram, you know that I chose Intention as my 2018 word. I love the meaning of this word: performing with a purpose, living in the moment, taking advantage of the time we have, being strategic…I could go on, but you get the point. Living with intention might be the hardest thing for me to do. I feel so overwhelmed with everything going on in life and I feel like my head spins constantly with the amount of “things” I need to accomplish each day.

The pictures above are some of my new favorites, snapped really quick before church a few weeks ago. I love seeing my kids smiling and happy. I love seeing their genuine happiness and glow. It makes me stop and think about what kind of mother I am and how much better I can be. I want them to know what it is like to be loved unconditionally, to be able to take risks and know that they can learn. I want them to reach for their dreams, and be comfortable doing whatever gives them purpose and helps them feel fulfilled! I want them to know how much I love them and want them to succeed. I want them to know I am a support and someone they can lean on.

These are all things I want for them, but in order to be that kind of person, mother and friend, I have to be an example first! I have to show them how to chase their dreams, how dreams don’t just happen- they are achieved with hard work, perseverance and dedication (and also some hardships along the way).

For the past 2.5 years I have been a stay at home mom. I cannot say I have loved every second of it, but I am glad that I have this opportunity to be the first person they say when they wake in the morning and the last person they see when they go to bed. I get to see all their firsts, I get to sit and play with them- and read the same books over and over again ;). I get to help them learn and grow in a safe environment. When Brian and I made the decision for me to stay home, I gave up a great career. One that I loved. It was a tough decision, but with a new baby at home and a cross-country move ahead, it only made sense for me to stay home and help with the adjustment.

Along this SAHM path, I have learned a lot about myself (and my kids!), but I think the hardest thing for me is the lack of fulfillment I am experiencing. I have tried to fill this void by picking up side businesses, only to not feel successful and endure even more feelings of inadequacy. Brian has always been supportive of whatever choice I make about my life i.e. whether to stay home or go back to work. Earlier this year we were having a discussion about what I really want- did I see myself staying home forever, or is there a desire to go back to work. For the first time, I was completely honest with myself and with him- I said I want to get back into work as a therapist. As soon as I said it, mom-guilt rushed over me. It was like a naughty word- I want to go back to work. I felt like I let my kids down the moment the words slipped out.

A few days later, after multiple thoughts ran through my head about ‘could I do it’ and ‘what about the kids’, I sat quietly with these thoughts during naptime- after another long morning, where ‘mean mommy’ was ever present. And I told myself STOP! I thought back to how I felt when I was working, how happy it made me, how fulfilled I felt, and how much better a mother I was during that time in my life. I was happier, more productive, felt like I had purpose, played more with my kids, overall just a more fun person to be around. That is what I want my kids to see- the fun mom, the excited mom, the mom who spends the time she has with her kids doing quality activities instead of ‘just passing the time’.

I’m starting up a group on Facebook to help get me back into the social work frame of mind (it’s been 2.5 years since I set foot in a therapy room!). I have been out of the game a LONG time. I have lost my ‘therapy voice’ and I need some practice to shift my frame of mind. The first topic we are going to discuss and work through is self-care. Going back to work is my self-care. It will make me feel like I have purpose again (don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that being a mom doesn’t give me purpose. I love my kids and am SO blessed to have been able to stay at home for this long. I feel that something is missing…and that something is leading to a lot of negative self-talk and low days).

I want my children to know that you do not have to follow the status quo. You can have your cake and eat it too! They need to know what it is like to feel fulfilled, to search for not only happiness, but fulfillment. They need to find something they are passionate about and do something with that passion. They need to know how to live a healthy and balanced life. They need to know how to take care of themselves, so they then can care for others. They need to know how to look at life and see the good, see those who support and love them. I want this person to be me!

Goodness, safety and love start in the home. And with that, it starts with parents who are in a good place. It starts with achievement and satisfaction. It starts with filling each other’s buckets and supporting each other. It starts with loving ourselves so we then can truly and genuinely love others. I am so excited for this new journey. I am scared, hesitant and anxious about diving back into social work. But all of these are good feelings to drive me to better myself.

Thanks for reading along and following in this journey. A friend mentioned to me that life has many seasons, do what fills your soul. They ebb and flow, always changing. So here I am working on living with intention, living in the present moment, and following that intuition we all have.

Wish me luck! ha

~xo~

Stripes and Casual Sundays!

I keep saying this over and over, but I am going to be more consistent on these posts! I have a lot of people always ask me where I get my dress from, my pants from, etc. so I figured making some consistent posts about my fashion (I still laugh at this because I feel I am the farthest thing from a fashionable person!) and where I like to shop.

Up first is a dress that I wore while pregnant with Elizabeth that easily transitions to an after bump dress. I love the fabric and the fit. It is more form fitting, but not super tight. The length is great and the I love the faux turtleneck (has the look of a turtleneck, but without the bulk). I don’t feel like it is choking me and it works great for the fall and winter months. This would be super cute with a leather jacket to spice up the edge, or throw on a scarf. I can’t say no to a good black and white stripe dress, this one is a definite yes – the only problem is it is not nursing friendly (unless you want to hike the dress all the way up…ha)

Striped Dress 1

Striped Dress

Striped Dress Mirror

Striped Dress Jewels Close Up

Striped Dress Arm Party

Outfit Details:
Pink Blush Dress c/o | Lucky Brand Open Toe Booties (sold out) {Similar here and here and here and here} | Stella & Dot Sunglasses | Stella & Dot Necklace 1 and 2 and 3 | Stella & Dot Bracelets 1, 2, (exact cuff retired, similar here), and watch (exact retired, similar here) | Rebecca Minkoff x Stella & Dot Earrings and Ring

Next up is another look at these cute pajama pants, so cute and comfy they deserve another look. You can catch me in these pants after church on Sundays (casual Sunday, Sunday naptime – whatever your into!) or when I’m just hanging around the house! Floral is so “trendy” right now and these pants are super comfy. Again, another piece that worked well with my bump (sorry for the horrid picture! ha) and works great for post-bump times. I tend to have slightly longer legs and need pants to hit the floor. These are long enough to do just that. I will admit that I have worn these “pajama pants” out in public with no shame (although I did have a sweet 4 year old girl at the airport ask me why I was still in my pajamas…ha) but I think they can pass for both pants for home or comfy pants to wear out.

Floral Pants Prego

Floral Pants

 

Outfit Details:
Target Long Sleeve Tee {Similar here and here} | Pink Blush Pants {Similar here
and here}

Final look for this week is my all-time favorite sweatshirt. I wore it a ton in Denver over Christmas and love to throw it on for errand running or hanging out around the house. The length is perfect (I typically wear mine over jeans, but you could easily do leggings) to hide the bum and the sleeve length is super long PLUS it has thumb holes. I need this baby in every color. An extra bonus, is that the strings make perfect chew toys for those babies. Ha! It tends to be a bit pricey, but it is well worth the $$. Mindy Mae’s also has a sale every once in a while, so be on the lookout – these sweatshirts tend to be marked at 50% off (common sizes go SUPER fast though).

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Mindy Maes Sweatshirt

Outfit Details:
Mindy Mae’s Sweatshirt | Target Jeans {Similar here and here}

You guys are going to have to tell me how you like this format and if you even care about my mom fashion posts (probs not, but I am going to keep doing it!). I promise my pictures will get better (I’ll turn Brian into an Instagram husband if it kills him 😉 ), and I’ll eventually get pictures without dog bums, messy beds or dirty mirrors…small steps to begin with.

~xo~

It Is Definitely Worth It

This title could refer to so many different things, but this time it is all about the Instant Pot! The Instant Pot is all the rage right now and with good reason. (Target peeps find yours here. Amazon peeps find yours here. Also found it at Williams & Sonoma and Crate & Barrel.)

Instant Pot

I got my Instant Pot on Friday and have used it 3 times already! It is super easy, once you get passed the slight learning curve. I have not even glanced at the recipe booklet, but with due time I will get there. I have just used Pinterest and the Internet to figure it out quickly.

Our first night of owning it, my husband and father in law tested it out to make sure it worked (we are pretty sure it was a return since they are sold out or backordered everywhere right now!). Just did some simple water to see how it works and how long it actually takes to pressurize, cook and de-pressurize. Brian wanted to test it out right away, so he just googled a Peach Cobbler recipe and found a simple one to try. We tried it the next day!

  • 3 cans peaches (we used the light syrup version)
  • 1 box yellow cake mix
  • 1 stick butter
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon

We used the manual setting for the Instant Pot and cooked it for 22 minutes, per the recipe he found. It actually took about an hour from start to finish because the Instant Pot takes about 15 minutes to warm-up/pressurize + actual cook time + cool down/de-pressurize time. But still super easy. We just dumped everything in closed the lid and set the timer. When it was done, we had fresh Peach Cobbler and topped it with some ice cream.

Peach Cobbler
Pic Credit: buildingourstory.com

One change we would make is to do real peaches. We found that it was a little on the gooey side, and we think it was because of the canned peaches + syrup.

The next night we made brown rice for our Steak Burrito Bowls. Again, we just went to the internet and found the time we needed to cook the rice. The Instant Pot has a rice setting, but that pertains to white rice (it only takes 8 minutes!). With Brown Rice, we just used the manual setting again and cooked it for 20 minutes. I just put it in before prepping everything else. Cooked it perfectly.

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Last night I completely forgot to about dinner! And this is why I am obsessed with the Instant Pot! It cooked frozen chicken in 25 minutes!! I love this Chicken Cream Cheese Chili Recipe and followed all ingredients as listed. Adjusted the time to 25 minutes for the chicken and left it! We were pretty skeptical that we would need to cook it longer, but I was pleasantly surprised when we pulled it out and I was able to shred it! We like to serve it over rice and use chips to eat it (my kids like it rolled up in a tortilla).

Cream Cheese Chicken Chili
Pic Credit: Food.com

So far, so good with our Instant Pot! I need your favorite recipes though! Comment below or add the link to your Instant Pot faves! Definitely loving this new toy.

~xo~

Easy Kid Lunches

If I could change one thing about Paisley and Carson’s preschool it would be to have them provide lunch for the kids. Along with the struggle of “What’s for dinner?” I have to combat the “What are you making me for lunch tomorrow?” struggle too. Paisley is adamant on asking every day what I am making her, and if it will contain any “surprises” – aka candy. ha

The biggest obstacle I have is avoiding any peanut butter (for Paisley and Carson’s class) and egg products (Carson’s class). If I could use peanut butter, it would make packing a lunch way easier! But alas, kids have allergies and I do not want to be the parent to put another child in danger.

I have made up a few of my kids favorite options for lunches and am sharing the wealth! I pin a TON of lunch options, and am working on which ones my kids like the best. I love the Bento Boxes I bought the kids. They keep everything sectioned out for my semi-ocd kids and they do not spill! Plus they come with a cute spork and a flexible lid for the circular/dressing spot. The one down side is there is no room for their drink, it isn’t a problem for now with my kids but next year I am going to get Paisley a Bento Box lunch bag so it acts as a one stop shop for her lunch box and drink.

Here are a few that are sure winners in Paisley and Carson’s book!

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  • Pretzels
  • Snap Peas
  • Hummus
  • Clementine
  • Cucumber
  • Pasta Salad – Chopped ham, peas, cheese cubed, macaroni noodles, italian dressing

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  • Turkey and Cheese Roll Up – Cut up for Carson
  • Snap Peas
  • Strawberries and Blueberries
  • Chocolate Chips

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  • Turkey and Cheese Roll Up – Cut in half for Paisley
  • Snap Peas
  • Strawberries and Blueberries
  • Chocolate Chips

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  • Turkey and Cheese Sandwich on Whole Wheat Bread
  • Blueberries
  • Strawberries
  • Goldfish Crackers
  • Snap Peas and Cherry Tomatoes
  • Hummus to dip

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  • Ritz Crackers
  • Turkey sliced
  • Colby Jack Cheese sliced
  • Celery and Cauliflower
  • Boiled Egg (already peeled)
  • Fruit Snack for “surprise”

I finally found some Silicone Cupcake Liners at Ikea which are the cheapest option, but they only come in pink. I found some multi-colored ones for my Amazon Prime peeps here, and for my Target lovers click here to find yours!

I would love to have more ideas to try! If you have any kid lunch ideas shoot them my way! Good luck pleasing those kiddos and have fun with it!

~xo~

Santa Visit and Christmas Party

Our neighborhood put on the most fun Christmas party this past weekend. My favorite part was seeing the kids reactions to Santa Claus! haha

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Carson was terrified at first, but eventually warmed up – he even gave him a high five before we left!

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Elizabeth never warmed up! As soon as she sat in his lap, the tears started…and didn’t stop until I snagged her back up.

Paisley loved every minute of it and asked him for real makeup! And a microphone…at least one is on her list!

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There were a ton of activities for the kids – face painting, balloon artist, glitter tattoos, coloring, ornament making – the list goes on! It kept our kiddos entertained throughout the entirety of our time there.

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We ended our time with a little dance party with Santa’s elves. Paisley of course loved it and Carson sat on the sidelines and watched – his go to.

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It is only the start of our Christmas season celebration and I am excited to continue to create memories with our kids. Next up, hot chocolate and touring the city Christmas lights!

~xo~

2017 Christmas Gifting Guide

With some input from the family, here is the Gettinger 2017 Gifting Guide (Check out the Valentine’s Day Round Up and last year’s guide for even more ideas)! And I have to start by promoting Ebates! If you do not have an account with them, but you online shop – you need to stop right now and sign up! It does not cost you anything. When you activate an account, add their Cash Back Assistant Button to your computer and anytime you are on a stores website it will notify you if you can earn cash back from that store! Plus at checkout, Ebates will let you know if there are any coupon codes for that site and will work through a number of ones to find you the best deal!

Another great program is Amazon Prime. When you first sign up, you have a 30 day free trial. Included is Amazon Music, movies and shows (my kids love this) and if you have an Amazon Echo or Echo Dot you can link your account and stream music, help with grocery lists, check the weather, stream Pandora and iHeart Radio, sports games, etc. PLUS 2 day FREE shipping – I think this is my favorite feature and well worth the $99 yearly fee.

For the Guys:

Brian had a limited list this year, but he realized that some new work threads were needed. He found some shirts that actually fit his tall and skinny self. Charles Tyrwhitt is the company and they are based out of London. Brian stated it was basically like picking out a custom-made shirt. They are offering all shirts for $29.95 (regularly they run over $100 each). If you have a guy who is hard to shop for, check these shirts out. Brian bought a few and has been rotating them through his work wardrobe. Super soft and he said they are long enough to stay tucked in! Just go here to get the deal.

Guys

For the Ladies:
I realized that the first item on this list is a pullover sweatshirt, that down here in Houston I will probably only wear once, but I love a good sweatshirt or cardigan so it makes the cut! Women love personalized gifts that have meaning. Find a good engravable necklace or bracelet and you will be set. I’ve added a couple of other items that are on my personal list, which hopefully will make my life a little bit easier!
Ladies
For the kids, we wanted the “big” gifts to be things we could do as a family. Check out your area for kid friendly activities with memberships that you will do often. We focused on the local Children’s Museum and the Zoo.
We also like to play games as a family, so finding kid-friendly games was a must. We added Let’s Go FishingGo Fish, and Memory to the list.
Kids
For Little Girls:
This list is based off of what ideas our daughter Paisley had. She will be 5 in February, so adjust accordingly.
For Little Boys:
For the boys, our son Carson is 2, so this list might be a little young. But as noted, our daughter loves the Playmags equally as much – we have Magnatiles too and found that there is no noticeable difference between that brand and the Playmags brand – except the Playmags are half the price!
For the Babies:
And we cannot forget the babies. Our daughter recently turned 6 months old, and is getting more mobile and using her hands. We opted with toys that require interaction with us, as that is how she learns the best – parent/child interaction and modeling!

Obviously this list is not exhaustive, but it gives you a pretty good head start. What are some of your favorites you have on your list? I love focusing on STEM toys for the kids – so if you have some good ones let me know!

~xo~

Flying with Kids- Updated!

Another week, another flight! This time we surprised my dad for his 50th birthday!!
By this point we do not consider ourselves experts, but with 10 one-way trips this year (all with kids) we know the ropes.
 
I previously wrote about how we flew with 2 kids, and now that Elizabeth has joined the club it is a whole new ballgame. Brian and I are outnumbered, so we put together a run down of how we make it through a flight with them all. 
 
-Side note: These are tips to fly on Southwest. Brian is A-List and he has companion pass. There are also affiliate links throughout that I make a slight commission off of, but do not charge you anything extra if you choose to purchase an item-
 
Night before:
-Charge Electronics
I am typically in charge of collecting all the electronics (Brian gets stuck folding the laundry or doing the dishes or loading the car!). Our kids don’t typically get electronics while at home, so this is a huge treat. They aren’t bored with the games or shows and love to have control over what they watch or play during the trip. We have an iPad for each kiddo – one with just shows and toddler type games for Carson, and the other with shows and games to meet Paisley’s skill level. Each kiddo has their own headphones, so they can watch their show and we can have some peace and quiet. We download shows and movies from Amazon Video using their app. Once downloaded, you can view the shows for 48 hours from the first time they are watched – you can access Amazon Video with your Amazon Prime Membership
 
Paisley also has a LeapPad Platinum that has a bunch of games on it for her to play. Check the App Store on the Leapster for good deals for downloads. I recently bought 12 full games for under $100.
 
-Pack Headphones
We found the cheapest, most old school ones work the best. They are easily adjustable and fit the kids ears. Our kids do not like the version that go inside their ears.
 
-Extra clothes for all kiddos
Even if your kids are potty trained, they might spill a drink or food on their clothes. It is always nice to have a back up set!
 
-Pack in separate carry on
My daughter has her own roller bag that she likes to be in charge of in the airport. All electronics and accessories plus a few coloring books, crayons and stickers go in her bag. We got her bag at Target. Her Lady Bug version is sold out, but there are a ton of different styles online!
 

I pack all the snacks (non-messy snacks i.e. fruit snacks, popcorn, pretzels, etc.) and toys (cars and books for Carson. Baby rings, rattles, etc. for Elizabeth)

 

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I make sure my nursing cover, 2 burp cloths, extra clothes for Elizabeth, and extra pacifiers for both Carson and Elizabeth are in this bag. I found it is easier to keep toys/games separate from diapers and wipes. I know which bag I need to grab and I don’t fumble through searching for it.

 

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-Child Restraint 😉

Carson is our adventurous 2 year old. He has a hard time staying in one place for too long. He hits his limit an hour and a half into a flight and wants to walk up and down the plane. When I flew solo with the 3 kids from California to Kansas City I bought this harness. It turns the airplane belt into a five point harness. Super easy to do and it keeps him in his seat. One good tip is to make sure your kiddo is NOT wearing slick pants. Carson wore slick basketball shorts and slid down the seat. I read somewhere to use shelf liner to prevent slipping. I will be sure to try that next time!

 

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-Brian’s Carry On
My husband likes to be in charge of the documents. I take the kids and he checks us all in. Brian puts all travel docs in his carry on/backpack. We usually just use our passports and stuff the birth certificates in the passports, that way they are all together for check in and security. 
 
Day of:
-Allow 30 extra minutes 
Kids come with a lot of surprises, so having the extra time allows for less stress.
 
-If you are traveling with a spouse, one of you parks the car while the other one stays with all the kids and your stuff at curb (hence the additional 30 minutes).

This eliminates some of the hassle and gives you a shorter walk to the check in counter with all your stuff! It is WAY easier to do this. Your other option is to park the car with everyone, drag your luggage and kids and carseats from the car, load them on the shuttle, unload them from the shuttle, lug them across the lanes of traffic and to the check in counter. We discovered the first version and haven’t looked back.

 

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-Bring a stroller
We love our BOB Double Stroller. It fits through a normal doorway width, and acts as our pack mule. I wear Elizabeth, Carson is in stroller and Paisley walks with her carry on. Carseats and carry ons get thrown on top to get us to the ticket counter and on through the airport. At security, you have to empty everything out of the stroller and TSA will test it. We have not had any issues and just load it back up with all our items to get to the terminal. 
-Buy carseat bags from Southwest ticket counter
Brian and I do not gate check the carseats, so we opt to place them in Southwest carseat bags ($17 at the ticket counter) and check them at the counter. The extra bonus is they are huge (this is also a downside – just ask Brian), but we typically can throw in “extras” that didn’t fit in the suitcase. We bought ours the first time we flew with Paisley, almost 4 years ago, and it has held up decent on all our flights. 

Kid items do not count towards your bag totals (carseat, pack n play, stroller). But if you do not need them at the final destination I suggest you leave them at home! Just more junk to haul around.
We gate check our stroller, just so we don’t have to carry everything through the airport. Plus it keeps Carson contained for the critical time in security line and walking to your gate. I wear Elizabeth the entire time. I have the Lille Baby Carrier and I can get through security without having to take her off.
 
-Security
Brian leads our security line (he has all documents to show TSA at once). He has A List Status, so we all get to skip the long line and tag along with him. Adult will have to have empty water bottles, but kid cups are okay to have liquid – they just test them once you get through the security screening. If you are traveling with kids, you will most likely have your snack/diaper bag flagged.

Depending on the TSA agent and airport, you all can go through the metal detector as a family or they will split you up. Brian usually goes through the Xray machine, but myself and the kids go through the metal detector. Once through, Brian wrangles the kids and stuff while I get my hands tested (because I keep Elizabeth strapped on). 
 
Once you get through security it’s smooth sailing. Breathe easy! You are almost there! If you gate check your stroller or any carseats, just go to the desk at your gate. They will issue you a tag for the items and you will drop them at the end of the walk way before boarding the plane.  
 
-Boarding the Plane

Since you will be flying with kids (at least I assuming so because you made it this far on the post! ha!), you can board in between the A group and B group – as long as you have a child 12 and younger. If you were diligent and checked into your flight on time (24 hours prior to your flight!) and got A boarding group, then just board with the A group – obviously! 

Brian has his fancy A list boarding pass, so he boards the plane first and takes his carry on plus another bag. He gets on and saves us an entire row, plus the aisle seat right across the aisle. We try to aim for a row closer to the front of the plane (de-boarding the plane goes quicker, and this is the time the kids are usually the most antsy). I board with the kiddos during family boarding (between A and B groups). There is no “line” for family boarding, just kind of gather by the check in station.

-On the Plane
Because Brian boarded before us, he has time to set up Carson’s harness. It just slips over the seat back (under the tray behind his seat) and has two holes where the seatbelt slips through. Once he is situated, we set Paisley up with an Ipad or Leapster. She is a flying champ! Literally all she asks for is snacks. Carson is our wild card – sometimes we whip out the Ipad right away, or sometimes he can handle just hanging out for a bit. We bring cars, building blocks or stickers to entertain him, too. Play it by ear and do what works best for you and your kiddos. 

As much as it makes me cringe, we literally throw all “rules” out the window for flying. If the kids want to watch shows for the entire time, we let them. We bring extra snacks and some candy, in the chance they get antsy. I figure there are very few things that are more stressful than being the parent on the flight with the fussy kid (trust me, we’ve been those parents! It is NOT fun!). So instead of trying to win any “mom of the year” awards by bringing Pinterest worthy activities, we stick to what is easy! It makes the trip much more enjoyable for us, but also everyone else on board!

De-boarding the plane is a piece of cake compared to getting everything prepped for the trip. We just shove everything back into the bags, get the stroller and go. Balancing bags and carseats is always an adventure and challenge, but you have the worst part behind you…until it is time to fly home!

Have other tips and tricks? I’d love to hear them! Happy travels this Thanksgiving and Christmas Season!

~xo~