How to fly with multiple small children without killing yourself or others

air travel with two small kids

Flying with Small Children

Ok I’m a couple days off of a flight with a six month old and a 2 year old. Flying with small children is scary. I was really nervous about taking this flight but I had to do it alone. My mother or John couldn’t come down with me so I had to do it solo. It was a short notice flight so I didn’t have much time to prepare but here are the tips that I have for you to make travel with multiple small children easier… and avoid suicide… or homicide.

Give Fair Warning

Let your kids know exactly what to expect and when.

I didn’t have much advance notice about this trip, but once I knew, I started notifying Rohan.  I let him know we were going on a plane, where we were going, who we would see, and how the travel day would go. I kept it light and fun so he could get excited about going to “Frorduh.” A couple times a day we would talk about the upcoming trip so no surprises and no toddler meltdown.

baby on board

Time It Right

Don’t book a flight that conflicts with your children’s nap times or usual cranky times (tired/hungry/hyper) if you can help it.

I took a 6am flight. I knew there was a high chance Kaya would sleep most of the way (she didn’t) and Roey would be calm and relaxed (he wasn’t) Luckily Roey woke up on the right side of the toddler bed that morning and was sweet, even though full of energy. Kaya was a squirmy energizer bunny, but she’s still small enough to contain fairly easily.

Distractions Are Key

Have a lot of tricks up your sleeve, toys/activities/games, and backup tricks/toys/activities/games.

Redirecting Roey’s energy when he’s in a good (or decent) mood is fairly easy. I can just do a loud exaggerated gasp, and he’ll look at me expectantly….while I quick think up something to say to get his mind off of whatever loop it was on before. Sometimes my brain stalls out on me and I come up with like “GASP!!….where is your nose?” But hey, it works. When he’s in antsy mode, or weird energy mode like he was for a part of this flight, it’s a bit harder, I had to have a lot more than just a gasp on hand.

flying with babies

In my carry-on was:

  • tons of snacks
  • books (including his favorite)
  • elmo of course
  • many, many vehicles (given one at a time over the course of the journey)
  • 3 different earphones (because one of them had to be the “right” ones)
  • sunglasses (because he’s obsessed right now)
  • a blanket (for our tent city game)
  • kindle (for me)
  • 2 sippy cups (because “i dont want water, i want milk, i don’t want milk, I want water” happens too often)

When Ro got too fidgety, or seemed bored or annoyed we tried toys, but we ended up playing games more often. Word games, and “can you fix this?” were the most popular. Having a bag of tricks kept Roey out of crank-mode, and kept me feeling somewhat sane.

For Kaya I had a bottle with cereal mixed in, teething toys, her soft dolly, a blanket so she could come to tent city too, and a million bibs.

toddler on the plane

Pack Some Patience & A Good Attitude

Air travel is annoying for adults and children alike. A good attitude helps to make it go down easy.

I tried to have a woo sah experience. Focusing my energy on managing Roey’s happiness was a good way to keep my attitude in check. He took the most deliberate, slow, tiny steps, stopping at almost every row to look back at me for no reason, aaaallll the way down the aisle to our seat (far toward the back, sadly) while mama is behind him with a heavy carryon, and a baby strapped to her. It would’ve been nice to just pick him up and throw him to 23A, but I just had to take a deep breath and gently encourage him to hurry his ass up.

Kaya deciding to wait until I changed her mid-flight, to take the most massive poop ever taken, could have pissed me off…. Okay, it did piss me off, but what could I do but change her again (while Roey said “Kaya poopoop that’s gross ha ha” on a loop the entire time) and keep it movin.

Oh, and this happened intermittently throughout the entire flight. Gee, I wonder if he was tired…..

Don’t Forget About You

Eat and Drink something! Healthy Mommy = Happy Kids  Caffeinated Mommy = Unmurdered Kids

OK that’s dramatic, but I did notice a larger bandwidth for annoyance after I had that 3rd cup of coffee (#judgemeifyawanna) and finished my muffin. I also chugged two bottles of water, and although I had to pee like the dickens, I felt much more capable of making it through the flight alive. Also, I had my kindle on hand in the event the kids slept, so I could catch up on some reading (if I didn’t end up sleeping myself.)

Get Lucky

And pray. Pray they both don’t have a meltdown at the same time. 

Gotta say, I was internally beaming at the end of the flight when people were saying how “good” the kids were…. I know what they really meant was “quiet.”  Even though, at one point Rohan screamed “WE ARE NOT FINISHED FLYING YET!” (I cringed and was waiting for someone to jump bad so I could check them…) but a few people just chuckled.  I was lucky to have a nice group of people nearby. The dude near us said “He’s right. We’re not finished.” I was also lucky to not have a passenger in the seat in front of Ro, because opening, closing and “fixing” the tray table was big fun for a good 25 minutes.

After staying up the whole flight, we get into the truck and immediately……

toddler sleeping in car seat

Thank goodness I packed that good attitude ;)

What are your tips for a solo parent traveling with multiple small children?

 

Mind Right Monday Linkup

Toddler in Sunglasses

Happy Mind Right Monday morning girls! I’m coming to you today from sunny Florida!

I had to come down unexpectedly, and I’m so glad to be here. Roey and Kaya are enjoying all the extra love. And attention. I’m enjoying having a bit of a break from nonstop momming.

We had a pretty good flight even though the kid to parent ratio was 2:1. I will share on that later in the week.

mind right monday linkup

So last week:

  • write a lot
  • return to youtube
  • clear out more stuff
  • get my beachbody stuff together
  • take more pics of the kids
  • workout daily and drink tons of water
  • stick to clean eating
  • get some yoga in
  • get my meal plans online

Listen…..see….what had happened was…..

OK.
It was a crazy week, I had a lot of unexpected stuff pop up.

This week, I’m taking it kinda easy on myself (considering I still have to do all of last week’s work):

Read more than last week
Drink water and eat healthily
Take long walks with Roey
Take a look at some houses and neighborhoods
Write for okdani
Work on beachbody biz (be consistent)
Deep condition hair (I keep forgetting)
Do a bleepetybleeping youtube video

I feel so happy and grateful for:

A healthy mind and body
Healthy happy family
Amzing little miracle children
Elmo
Modern technology
Land for Roey to run around and play on
Kaya finally working her hands and knees to crawl versus her army crawl
Rohan’s flexibility and easily adaptable nature
aunt flo (it’s a love/hate relationship. Love that she visits, but hate her once she’s here.)
Extended family
My gram recovering fully from surgery
Esther and Jerry Hicks
Having Firstworldproblems
Colgate optic white toothpaste
Shakeology
Tea and its magical comfort

Okay, it’s your turn!! I feel like there are going to be some awesome gratitude lists today from every one who links up!

Have a great week!!


Clean Eating: Waffle French Toast Recipe

cbiasdisclosure

  waffle recipe

Now, when I say Clean Eating….what I mean is….you will clean your plate! That counts…right? OK OK OK, so this Waffle French Toast recipe is not clean eating per se. This recipe is perfect for your cheat day, your inner fat kid, your inner stoner teen, or your “i’m on my period and I just don’t care about anything other than deliciousness” day. :)

So here’s the “Clean Eating” Waffle French Toast recipe:

Step 1: Take out your Aunt Jemima waffles and let them thaw out, or toast them for a very short time so they’re defrosted, but not toasted.

Step 2: Make your usual French Toast batter

This is my usual french toast batter: 

  1. whisk together eggs and an almost equal part of milk and dash of cream. (we used vanilla almond milk)
  2. add in cinnamon, dash of ginger powder, a few drops of vanilla (or almond) extract, dash of nutmeg (all to taste)
  3. whisk together thoroughly then sprinkle a lil extra bit of cinnamon on top

waffle french toast collage

Step 3: Dip waffles into the french toast batter mix to soak up on both sides and pop into a hot pan

Step 4: Fry until golden (or to your liking) on both sides and pop on a plate

Step 5: Top with whatever you prefer

Waffle French Toast with Sauce

This is what we did:

Blueberry sauce

  1. pop fresh blueberries and brown (or white) sugar into a sauce pan with a pat of butter (or 4) and a squeeze of lime
  2. put your burner on low and let it all meld together into sweet blueberry deliciousness, you can stir a tiny bit if you want

Easy Blueberry Sauce Recipe

We also used whipped cream on top, Roey had syrup instead of blueberry sauce, but he tried some of my sauce too. He kept saying “I yike dat donut mommy. I yike dat donut a yot!”

Since I was tricky in the subject line, here are some ways to “clean” the waffle recipe up.

  1. Fry in a pan with cooking spray (instead of butter n oil like we did)
  2. Use unsweetened almond milk, and use a 70:30 egg to milk ratio
  3. Top with fresh fruit or “light” blueberry syrup (no whipped cream or syrup!)
  4. Top with fresh fruit or agave nectar instead of syrup

“Light” Blueberry sauce instructions:

  1. melt a teaspoon of coconut oil in a sauce pan and pop in fresh blueberries (or u can simmer the berries in a small amt of water)
  2. let it meld together on a low flame and pop in a squeeze of lime and a small dollop of agave nectar (only if you want!)
  3. sprinkle in ginger powder/cinnamon, and mash a few of the berries while in the pan

I use these frozen waffles for Roey all the time cuz they’re just so quick, but usually I just toast em up, cut them into strips and give them to him with yogurt or applesauce to dip. Feels like every time we go to Shoprite they’re on sale too. This was a nice way to jazz it up though, we actually had these for dinner, and John (even tho it wasn’t his carb day) loved em too. I think I’m going to try a waffle churro recipe next time!

Get $1.00 off your next package of Aunt Jemima Waffles! #4MoreWaffles #CollectiveBias

I’m gunna need you to try this and tell me how you like it.

How do you jazz up your waffles?

Raising an Artist

Roey finger painting

Listen….Van Gogh ain’t got nuffin’ on my kid!

I already shared Rohan’s garbage truck masterpiece here, but I didn’t really let you know what an art-filled life we lead here in the OKDani household.

The promise of painting is one of the few things that can stop a tantrum immediately. Unfortunately, that leads to “cave art” on my wallswhen Rohan is feeling artistic (or destructive, depending on how you look at it) on a whim, but usually it’s harnessed in a positive way.

We color, or paint or do sidewalk chalk every single day. John and I draw trucks for him to color in, about 7000 to 8000 times a day. He creates dough sculptures daily, and asks to play with his doughall the time.

Recently he learned to use a glue stick….

afternoon art

I took “glue stick day” as an opportunity to introduce Roey to a show called Creative Galaxy from Amazon. It’s by the same people who created Rohan’s #1 favorite show: Super Why!

(Interesting to note, Rohan does not speak to the TV, and answer questions when asked, unless it’s Super Why… but he quickly answered the Creative Galaxy character, Arty, when he asked for help! I was surprised)

Creative Galaxy teaches about art in a really interesting way. It’s an interactive show, and they have the main story line going that your child is “helping” with, but throughout the episode, lots of little offshoot teaching moments are sprinkled in. If you’re a person who watches shows with your kids you’ll appreciate it too, and find lots of opportunities to expand on what the show is sharing.

download

For Roey, this show is perfect. He’s big into the planets, solar system, stars etc and like every toddler he loves to do arts and crafts so it works out well.

I don’t consider myself an artist but I want to be sure to raise my children as artists from early on. I want them to remain creative forever. Right now I’m doing all I can to have Roey create and appreciate art.

Some things John and I are trying:

  • daily creative/artwork as mentioned above: painting, play doh, crayons for drawing and coloring, etch a sketch, artistic learning apps on the ipad, building w/ blocks, sidewalk chalk for outside, etc.
  • bookmark age-appropriate arts n crafts ideas on Pinterest so we can come back to it when we have the right tools
  • play “hidden item” types of games with art pieces, or in things we can view artisticlaly, like a rug with many colors in a design, or in a garden, we’ll find alphabet letters…forcing him to look at things in a new way.
  • watch programs with an artistic theme Ex: I found an episode of a show he likes that was teaching about primary colors
  • making Roey tell us a story and we “illustrate” it on the etch a sketch (his story is always about a vehicle or a lion)

Which reminds me, one thing I loved about Creative Galaxy was that they didn’t “dumb down” the content because it was for pre-schoolers. They explained pointalism! Which led me to teach Roey about stippling, and then led him to stab a million holes in a paper in an attempt to do it on his own… (Why’d I give an inkpen to my 2 year old? I don’t know.)

I recommend Creative Galaxy to anyone with pre-school aged kids, or even a little earlier, if they’re open learners. They’ll get a ton out of it.  Rohan copies John and takes his tools out to “fix” everything. He’ll be working with a screwdriver on the side of a chair for example and will say “Ohhh I see the problem, I will FIX IT!!!” very excitedly.  Since watching Creative Galaxy, he now says. “Oh I see the problem…I will fix it… WITH ART!!!” like Arty does….but he still uses his screwdriver lol.

 How do you add art into your kids’ day?

Any pointers for me?!

 

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

Easy Ways to Save Money at Home

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So. I’m in Florida….unexpectedly. Down here to look at some homes and a get a few things done, pre-move. House-hunting is kinda fun, kinda annoying, kinda scary and kinda cool. Makes me feel like a grown up, but also a nervous little kid all at once.

John and I are saving, and preparing to be homeowners. A few other family members are also house-hunting (further along in the process than John and I) and looking into various options to save money with their new place.

Manage Your Bills

One easy way to save money at home is to manage your bills and downgrade to save money every month. Downgrading your cable, having DVR in only one room, removing the fast forward and rewind function on your plan, or even getting rid of premium channels are great ways to save some coin.  Or you can do what John and I did and get rid of cable all together and use your computer to watch your favorite shows.

Phone plans are another way to save money. It’s easy to call your provider and ask what deals are available and what plans are available for you. Asking to be put on the loyalty program is immediate discount that most qualify for after only a few months with your provider.

Manage your Kitchen

Food is a big area in life where we are able to easily save money. It begins with planning your meals so you head to the grocery with a gameplan in mind. This keeps you on track stops you from spending needlessly during the week (or two weeks) for which that you are purchasing food. Easy way to save money is to use coupons and eat home cooked meals versus take out or eating out at restaurants.

Another way to save money with your kitchen is to be organized. Keeping a tally of items you have in stock in your fridge/pantry, and an idea of when items will expire saves you money. I hate having to throw food away. I feel like I’m just emptying my wallet into the garbage can.

Manage your Utilities

I don’t personally know anyone in the U.S. that powers their home with Solar, but I see the solar panels atop people’s homes around south Florida. My only personal friend that has a solar powered home lives all the way in Germany.  Solar power was something my father and I were looking into recently. I thought it could be something to save money long term, but didn’t know how it worked or if it was something I could even afford.

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I learned about Sunrun solar service and found that:

  • Electricity from Sunrun is more affordable than electricity from your utility.
  • Sunrun invented solar service, a way to get solar on your roof without the high upfront cost and hassle of ownership.
  • Sunrun installs, insures, monitors and maintains a solar system that is designed specifically for you and your home.
  • You just pay a low, locked-in rate for the electricity that the panels produce.
  • Sunrun gives you control over your electricity costs and protects you against unpredictable electricity rate increases.
  • Sunrun monitors your solar system’s production remotely

What are your best tips for saving money at home in an easy way?

I have a special offer for you from Sunrun. If you go solar with Sunrun before Nov. 30, you’ll get a $500 VISA® Prepaid Card. (Conditions apply.)

Get a free solar quote here.

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

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