Survival Guide: Flying alone with a toddler and a baby

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We’ve traveled quite a bit with our kids. It’s always been all together though. I have flown with Rowan by myself twice but never both of them. The thought of being out numbered by kids on an airplane has had me totally freaked me out. When the chance to go to Florida came up though, I bit the bullet and decided to conquer my fears. All in all it wasn’t too bad. Finley was pretty fussy to be honest but I just found out she has a double ear infection so I think that had something to do with it. The lovely folks over at Lily Jade just send us this gorgeous designer diaper bag and it totally saved my life on this flight. When traveling by yourself the less you have to carry the better. It will make it so much easier and make you less stressed if you don’t have tons of bags to drag along. Because lets face it, you are already going to have your hands full with the kids. The fact that this bag can be worn as a backpack was seriously the biggest help on this trip. Plus, the inside is HUGE. I was able to pack everything I needed for our day of travel for both kids in there.

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Here are some other tips I found really helpful when traveling by yourself with your kids…

1. Bring a stroller. The stroller was essential for getting everyone around the airport. Especially between connecting flights. We seriously had a Home Alone moment (running top speed to make connecting flight) and if I didn’t have the stroller we never would have made it. We have a double Maclearn. We LOVE it!!

2. When we first got to the airport and checked in at the desk, we asked if Kev could get a special clearance ticket to go through security to help me with the kids. Did you know you can do that? I never knew that until a few years ago. Not having to go through security by yourself is so helpful. Besides, then he gets to stay with us until the moment we get on the plane.

3. Plan your flight (if you can) for when your kids will be well rested. I use to think it would be helpful if it was around nap time because then maybe they would fall asleep on the plane. HA! Chances are (well, with my luck), they won’t and then you are left with an over tired, extremely fussy baby. It’s better to have a happy, rested little one to play with.

4. Just give yourself a break. It will be tough and it will be stressful. Just know you are doing the best you can. The calmer you can stay the better everything will go. Forget if you can, that you are on a plane with other people. I know it’s so hard! As soon as Finley would start crying I could feel my blood pressure rising. Just remember not everyone is annoyed they are crying. I know when I hear a baby crying I just feel sympathy for the parents and well, most of the time I don’t even notice.

5. Snacks, toys and activities. Here is everything that I fit into my Lily Jade bag for the trip. 1. Mini Eggs (these were for me!) 2. Coloring and activity books for Rowan 3. Headphones and iPad for Rowan loaded with new games and movies 4. Her little toys she picked out for the trip (cheetah, my littlest pet shop pony and Cinderella) 5. A few toys for Finley. She doesn’t “play” with much, just gets into everything that isn’t a toy 6. Her bottle 7. Snacks 8. Teddy 9. My iPhone and charger 10. Aden and Anais swaddle blanket 11. Diapers, wipes and kleenex 12. Hand sanitizer 13. YumEarth Organics Vitamin C gummy bears and lollipops

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*A Lily Jade bag is definitely an investment piece but their quality and function will last you well beyond the baby years. I have the Caroline bag and it’s on sale at the moment! A must have for your baby registry.

OUTFIT DETAILS:
Dress: Old Navy
Sandals: Sam & Libby from Target
Scarf: Target
Watch: Michael Kors
Madeline Bag: c/o Lily Jade

On Rowan:
Dress: gift from Little Hip Squeaks
Floral Crown: gift from The Wishing Elephant

On Finley:
Shirt: Gap
Shorts: Gap
Scarf: gift from Little Hip Squeaks

Tips for Surviving the Winter with your Kids

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Don’t get me started on the 3ft+ of snow outside. It’s beautiful, yes, but I get to a point mid January when all the fun of Christmas and New Years wears off. All that I’m left with is the bleak outlook that winter is still another 2.5 full months (sometimes if we are lucky). That’s the Northeast for you. I would like winter to be around 1.5 months tops. Spring and Fall could be stretched out in my book. The hardest part about having little kids during winter months is not all going stir crazy. The winter blues are real and can get out of control if you let them. Here are some practical tips that help us all stay sane.

1. Get out of the house everyday! I have to get out of the house at least once everyday or I go crazy. Try and plan some fun activities. Find when story times are, find a local gymnastic gym that has open play, find a Mom’s group, etc… Even if it’s just to go to the post office. The act of getting dressed and getting everyone out of the house is super helpful.

2. Search Pinterest for easy activities to do at home for toddlers. THERE ARE SO MANY THINGS ON PINTEREST TO DO. You don’t have to be super creative either to do a lot of them. You and your toddler will have fun trying something new to do at home. Did you see this idea on A Cup of Jo?

3. Play outside. I know. I know. Getting everyone bundled up in winter/snow gear takes F.O.R.E.V.E.R! But even though Rowan will last about as long as it took to get everything on her, it’s always worth the fresh air and rosy cheeks.

4. Mailing lists. Does your town or county have a website of local events going on? Usually they have mailing lists you can sign up for. I am on a mailing list around here that sends out an email every Thursday of the weekend happenings and what events are good for the kids. It’s great. Keeps me up to date on festivals and fun things that I wouldn’t have thought of doing otherwise.

5. Playdates. It is easy to become a hermit during the winter. Invite some friends and their kiddos over (even if it means your place will look like a bomb went off). Trust me. It will be worth the adult conversation while your kids play together.

6. On the weekends when you all get to be together, really try to get out there and do something a little extra adventurous. Take a small road trip, explore a new town, or bring the kids to disney on ice. It helps make the weeks not feel sooo long when you have something to look forward to.

7. When all else fails… build a fort!

Here are some super random photos from the last few weeks as we’ve tried our very best to enjoy these cold, grey days.

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IMG_1964 ^^both girls loving the new spring headbands from Little Hip Squeaks

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^^ the cutest family portrait from the talented and lovely Linda over at Though Very Humble. Thanks Linda!!

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Untitled ^^We’ve been drinking so many smoothies in our house. My favorite at the moment is zest and juice of 1 lime, 2 cups packed spinach, ice, half cup of water, scoop of plain greek yogurt, one green apple, large scoop of ground flaxseed, banana, and a little squeeze of agave nectar. Mmmmm

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^^Art project, art projects, and more art projects. We went on a cold winter walk one day before the snow dump and collected things to make a nature study with.

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IMG_2224 ^^sometimes I take pictures of the girls and can’t believe how big they are. Finley’s shirt is from Geo Fox Apparel, Rowan’s cute dress is from Little Hip Squeaks.

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^^Aww little Fin. I thought I was ready to wean her, but we both aren’t ready yet. I’ll take the sweet moments with her as long as I can.

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Untitled^^ we had a little valentines day party for Rowan and her girlfriends last friday. It was chaotic but lots of fun! And there was for sure a Frozen sing-a-long that took place for a good 45 mins.

Ok, you ready to see what happens when Kev is bored by Olympic Ice Dancing and decides to make ridiculous pictures in photoshop instead? Here is the original… He’s always wanted to try to take a picture of Finley when he tosses her up because she always has the biggest smile on her face. He was on the bed with her and I was sitting on the ground looking up. That is why it looks like she is way high, although she isn’t at all. This picture is funny enough by itself.

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and now this….

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OMGOSH. I can’t even. It cracks me up so much. I literally choked on my tea when Kev showed me last night.

Ha! I am pretty sure this winter is turning us all crazy.

Hi, I'm Jen!

Welcome to my personal lifestyle blog. It features topics such as motherhood, family life, fashion, cooking, and all sorts of adventures. I hope you enjoy what you find!


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