Road trip to Pittsburgh

At the beginning of November, the Hubz, the girls and I travelled to Pittsburgh for my husband’s cousins’ wedding.  I was terrified to do a 6 hour car ride with the girls. (give or take an hour or so).  I mean, Miss S literally asks for a snack as soon as I buckle her into the car seat.  And she (like any other kid, including myself when I was her age) incessently ask “are we there yet” or “how many more minutes”. I was really afraid I would lose my $#!t.  (#BadMom alert!)

I am happy to report that it wasn’t as bad as I thought.  Considering we’ve done a few 2 hour trips with them, this was relativity easier.  Mainly because we broke up the trip and having Miss S ride half the time with us and the other half with her grandparents (who were also attending – just driving another car).

We made sure to have lots of snacks, a bag of entertainment (crayons, letter beads/pipe cleaners, hot wheels and lots of books via this children’s e-reader), a few CDs burnt with our favourite songs of the moment (like this, this and this) and of course an iPad with some downloaded kids shows as back up (thanks to Netflix Canada’s downloadable feature)…. I felt for the most part prepared.

Not sure if we could do that type of road trip on our own but I do feel a little more aware of what to expect and a dare I say a little more confident.

Here are some of the pictures I snapped while we were away!

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Kids asleep in the mobile bunk bed (aka a double stroller) so we get to ENJOY!

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Miss S always makes our family pictures so much fun :P

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I always love seeing the “4 pillar” representations at Hindu weddings.

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Gparents babysitting meant that us two got a break and went straight to the Hotel Lobby Bar ;)

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The happy couple!

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Our first multi generational vacation

At the beginning of September, our little family of four travelled to Las Vegas with my parents, my sister and her husband.  It was our first multi generational vacation.  We’ve done multi generations weekend getaways before but going away for 6 nights, on a plane with 2 kids, to a normally adult-only destination was a little daunting (ok a lot daunting).

But we managed to make it work and have a ton of fun!  #ForMemoriesSake I wanted to do quick recaps of each day.  I always wish I had more pictures (ha – like our entourage going through security checks) but I’ll post what I have and hope that years from now my memory will won’t fade.

Day 1: Travel & get settled

We left on the labour day Monday.  After parking out car we loaded everything into the shuttle: 1 large suitcase to be checked, 1 carry on luggage, 1 MEC backpack and 2 umbrella strollers + ourselves. Ellie was on me in her sling and Miss S was so excited to be on a bus.  What helped was prepping her ahead of time.  Our flight was very early in the morning which meant we left the house by 5am.

TLY_MultiGenVacation1Us 4 got to the airport first as we had to check our large luggage.  Shortly after we met the rest of the fam and went through security.  Luckily we were the only family in the family line so it went by super quick.  I took both kids through security while the mister handled the luggage on the belt and other family members helped before or after.

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We had an hour or so to hang out before boarding the flight.  We all had coffee and some breakfast.  Ellie took a nap and Miss S got her sillies out by running all over the place, taking a few too many trips on the moving sidewalk and telling everyone which plane was hers.

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The flight was good-ish.  I had planned entertainment bags for both girls.  A few new toys for Ellie and random activities for Miss S, which included: stickers, no-mess marker with letter tracing note pad, beads with string, fruit/veggie gummies and suckers).  We also had her sit at the window seat so she had lots to look at.  Miss S was too excited to nap but thankfully Ellie did get some rest (which meant so did I)…!

 

#NiagaraParks + Tips for easy getaways as a new family of 4

This past weekend we took our first over night trip as a family of four.  We had been in talks about what to do and where to go for a few months.  I was toying with the idea of either an AirBnB near a beachfront or the Niagara Fallsview Waterpark.  I am glad we went with the latter.  The waterpark was not crowded (and we went on two days) and walking around Clifton Hill and checking out The Falls is always entertaining.  Thankfully, the hotel we stayed at had breakfast so we filled up on food (twice for some of us) and didn’t have to worry about preparation or clean up!

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This was totally a kid centric trip, meaning we were back in the hotel room by 8pm.  And even though we were on a “stay-cation” we were still parenting (i.e.: reminding Miss S to eat her veggies or use her walking feet and dealing with baby nap times).  It was by no means easy (I mean travelling in any capacity with kids is a challenge) but it was worth it.

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Within minutes of getting into the hotel room, Miss S and Ellie were playing with each.  Miss S would make a funny noise over and over again and Ellie would laugh at her.  Miss S enjoyed the water way more than I’ve seen in the last year.  And Ellie got to take her first dip in the pool as well.

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Miss S got a few piggy back rides and Ellie got more sling time than usual.  We got a few family selfies and got to eat some Sweet Jesus :)

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Even with all the awesomeness there is some crankiness but everything is a learning opportunity.  If you are looking for some mom hacks to get you through a weekend away with your growing family consider these tips:

  1. A double stroller is must
  2. Adults need to have fun too (and not just cater to the kids)
  3. Always ask a stranger to take pictures of you and your family
  4. Look into hotels that offer continental breakfast or complimentary snack bars

Home Sweet Home

We just spent an relaxing, exciting and rejuvenating in San Diego.  As much as I love California – it was nice to be back home (even though it’s still cold).  This was our 3rd trip with our kiddo who is now a toddler – so flying and vacationing was an interesting experience.  Other than venturing out to the see the sights, the zoo and the children’s museums we managed to sneak in some shopping and early bird dinners (yep 5pm dinners!).

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Even though some parts were hard (and had me thinking “who is the kid”) we had a great time and can’t wait to vacation again.