Traveling Internationally with Kids (must haves!)

We just got back from spending 2 weeks in Iceland! We had our kids (ages 3 and 5 months) in tow.

Here are a few items that made our trip a success:

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  1. Portable sound machine. I kid you not, this is the best invention ever! It is $10, it can clip onto a stroller, carseat, baby carrier, etc! It runs off batteries (perfect for going international) and you can choose to have it run for 15, 30, and 45 minutes OR you can let it run forever. 🙂 This really helped with getting our kids to nap on the go, plus we used it in our sons crib at night. You can get it at Target or Amazon. (myBaby sound spa on-the-go sound machine) IMG_4767You can spy it hanging on the stroller and laying in the crib.   IMG_4336IMG_1818
  2. A baby Carrier. We brought along our Ergo for our 3 year old and our Infantino for our 5 month old. The Ergo was perfect for our 3 year old because it’s like getting a piggy back ride without having to use your arms! haha. The Infantino was perfect for our 5 month old because he loves to face forward and look out at the world. Both works so well for napping on the go and hiking! Both of these can be purchased on Amazon or target as well!IMG_2568(okay so this photo makes me laugh! My 3 year old wouldn’t put his arms under the straps and then fell asleep and was just flopping. 🙂 It was pretty funny!IMG_4066IMG_4170

  3. Headphones for the toddler. I got these completely adorable headphones on Amazon! Its a little headband with speaker by the ears. It stays on and if your kiddo  falls asleep it’s still comfortable! (CozyPhones kids headphones)IMG_4768
  4. Hust Hat. This bad boy can block out the loud noises when you’re trying to get the little ones to nap! It was a life saver for the plane, restaurants, and just being out and about! The plus side, it keeps the babe warm!! You can get it at Target or Amazon as well. IMG_4769

(so funny, the hat did slip down and cover my son’s eyes. He is under there somewhere!! ha 🙂 )IMG_4204

5. Pacifier Clips and a Wubanub. If you have a little baby like we do, that pacifier clip will come in so handy! You can clip it onto the baby carrier, clothes, carseat, etc! That way you don’t have to worry about losing it.

6. Stroller with a rain cover. This last one really all depends on the age of your kids and whether or not you’re expecting to be around rain. We went to Iceland and the weather there is so crazy. Luckily it was nice most of the time, but it would randomly rain throughout our whole trip. The stroller and rain cover were a life saver when it was raining. It helped keep our kids warm and dry, we also were happy to stick everything else under there (shopping bags, diaper bag, camera, etc!

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Well there you have it! That is my list of MUST HAVES. Stay tuned for my next post on what to pack in your child’s carry on bag.

 

Thanks for stopping by!

…until next time! xoxo ❤

Preston – 3 years!

Happy birthday, Punky!! I can’t believe my little boy punk is 3 already!!!💙 You are, oh so sweet and charming. First thing in the morning you always say ‘I love you so much!!’ and give me a big hug. You tell me how cute jack is and that I’m beautiful. You look at me and say ‘you’re so beautiful, mommy!’ 💃🏻Even though you spend like 95% of your waking time with me, you always like to tell me ‘how daddy does it’ or ‘what daddy says’! Haha. You are such a good big brother to Jack. You love to give him kisses and you started calling him ‘little chipper’.🤣 You have become so independent lately! (100% potty trained! Yeah!) But you still love your snuggles with mom and dad!! You are a little more demanding these days and enjoy acting out during the day when I’m busy with Jack. But I’m hoping that just means you will make a good CEO someday! 😝You can play by yourself, you have a great imagination, and love running away from monsters that are chasing you! 🤢so cheers with our chocolate milk to my smart and silly 3 year old! 😘💕

(I had to throw that last pic in here! You said Jack was cold and needed to cover him up!🤣)

I am just so proud of the little boy you have become! I’ve never felt like you went through the terrible 1’s or 2’s! There was a little rough patch shortly after Jack was born. That only lasted a few weeks and now you’re better than ever. Every day your Daddy and I talk about how fun and sweet you are!

The other day when I was cooking dinner you looked at me and said: “Mommy, I want to go buy you pink tulips!” That is just like you. So sweet and thoughtful. Every time we go to Aldi you pick out flowers for me by the check out. ❤ you will make an awesome husband some day!!

You got a watch for your birthday (not a digital one either) and you are so cute with it!! When I ask you what time it is you’ll say “It’s 7 and 3, mom” (meaning 7:15)

Everyday you’re at school your teachers tell me how amazing you are! Yesterday when I asked you who you played with at school you said, “Jack and Evan. I love Jack and Evan. They are my best friends!” (not brother Jack; to clarify)

When we were at the gym (in our new town) for the first time, when I went to pick you and Jack back up from the nursery, the lady in there told me how attentive you are to your baby brother. She said she rarely sees that with older sibling. But you were on the ball with his Binky (pinky as you call it), if he was crying, etc!

you are an amazing eater! You will eat anything!!! The other day you were downing sardines and decaf green tea. I think it’s because Daddy has had you on a broad palette since the beginning (think: beef liver, pickled herring, fresh kale picked from the garden…)

Okay, Okay, I’m done rambling! I just love you sooo much! xoxo

…until next time!! xoxo

38 weeks with Pip2

We have been SO busy around here lately, but I thought I’d do a quick post, it may be the last one I get to do before baby arrives!

 Today I am 38 weeks and 6 days pregnant! :O

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As per usual, I’m feeling huge and uncomfortable, but I’m finally feeling better! I ended up catching a pretty nasty head cold the day we closed on our house. It was accompanied with a nasty cough that hurt SOOO bad every time I coughed. Let’s just say the last week has been a whirlwind. Packing, Closing, Moving, Unpacking, Organizing, all while sick and very pregnant. Not exactly something I would recommend!!

Our house is coming together. Thankfully, all the moving boxes are empty and waiting in our garage to be picked up. I actually feel like I’m 80% ready for this baby to arrive. I just need to finish my hospital bag, Preston’s bag, and a few last minute things in the nursery. I really wish our formal dining room and sitting room had furniture, but I have a feeling that’s going to have to wait. I just haven’t had the time to do any furniture shopping.

Preston and I have visited a few ‘schools’ for him to attend. I thought it would be really nice for him to have something to do a couple mornings a week once the new baby arrives. I really want him to have that social interaction with other kids, structure, and discipline! He has a trial day tomorrow from 8-1pm. I’m really looking forward to seeing how he does, and having 5 hours to myself! But who am I kidding? Those hours will be filled with last minute baby prep, finishing up the Christmas shopping, making a run to the grocery store, etc! I’m sure it’ll fly by, but I know it’ll help not having a toddler in tow.

(our most recent trip to target for organizational purposes. lol 🙂 It guess nesting and moving create an angry organizational monster!)

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My birthday is on Friday, so I’m looking forward to spending the weekend with family and enjoying the last week(end) as a family of 3. Hoping baby will stay put until Monday the 19th. 🙂 But who am I kidding, as long as he’s healthy, I’ll be happy!

I hope everyone has a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

…until next time! xoxo ❤

34 weeks!

Hard to believe I’m already 34 weeks!!! This pregnancy has been flying by! There is no baby bump picture this week because selfies in the bathroom mirror are not near as fun! oh, and the fact I can’t seem to put a bra on. Like ever.

This pregnancy has been a little rough on me!! Not only was I sick until like 27 weeks (and I still get sick on occasion at 34 weeks) but we are in the middle of a move and relocating. All I want is a huge glass of wine! Seriously, the days are long, the nights are short, nap times are shorter, and my wine glass is empty. {only 6 more weeks until I can kick back with a glass of my favorite ALDI wine!!}

My hubby has already started his job so Preston and I have been staying at our house while he lives a Bach lifestyle without us. Let’s just say the day to day is exhausting!! Chasing after a 2.5 year old, organizing for our move that’s happening in #2weeks 😳, cooking, cleaning, walking the dog… you get the picture! Daylight savings time sure didn’t help… my only saving grace is that Preston is in bed by 7pm now! #Hallelujah

I do know hubby feels bad he can’t help out more. He’s working so hard for our family and we appreciate it so much!! He is such a huge help when we do get to see him. He cooks me meals, does nap time and bed time routine with Preston, and cleans… it’s glorious!

However, something always seems to go wrong when hubby is away: faulty smoke detector that likes to go off at 5am, a spider infestation in my car, bentley’s 🐶 Collar breaking as I’m trying to tie him up at my parents house before making the 5 hr drive to see hubs with Preston.

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I am thankful I have a house with smoke detectors, a car to drive, and parents who will watch our pup. ❤

As much as I’m going to miss our gorgeous beloved home, I am excited to get settled into our new house. I can’t wait to get it all decorated and cozy feeling just in time for the holidays! {It brings me back to when I was pregnant with Preston and we moved when I was about 27 weeks pregnant! When we closed on our house Nov 15, 2013, the first thing I did was put up my Christmas decorations!! This time will be fairly similar, except I will be 36 weeks pregnant and we close on Nov 30, 2016! I can promise that the first thing I do will be to put up my Christmas decorations again!! I am sensing a theme here….lets just say next time I get knocked up we aren’t relocating to a new state like the last 2 times. lol!!}

I’m trying to enjoy the time with just Preston and I before Pip2 to arrives. I’ve also been working on some ‘busy bins’ for after the new baby arrives and Preston needs some new and fun things to keep occupied!

I’ve been doing a bit of nesting lately, too! I’ve gone through and sorted and organized all the baby clothes, gotten baby items together, and got the infant carseat out and ready to use–just in case Pip decides to arrive a bit early!! I don’t want this stuff lost in the move and have no clue where it’s at!! I even got my hospital bag started, just with a few things for now, but that’s another thing I want to have ready and organized before the movers come and pack us up and ship us out! haha.

Next time I’ll try to have a baby bump picture to include! Even though I’m feeling huge and uncomfortable…I really don’t remember feeling like this with Preston… second pregnancy probs maybe! Hopefully I can do one more post before we move and the crazy begins!!

Okay, edited to add a selfie bump pic! 34w5d

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…until next time! xoxo ❤

 

 

 

On the move!

Hi friends! I figured I’d do a little update of everything that’s been happening lately. After coming home from a much needed weekend away with my sisters and Che, the only thing that could have made life sweeter was an offer on our house.

A little overview of the last few days: I left home on Thursday to head to Chicago for a weekend away. Chad stayed at home with Preston until Sunday and then they headed to Chicago to meet Emily and I for dinner. We had an inspection on our new house on Monday. Heading back to Iowa after our inspection, we got a showing request for first thing Tuesday morning. So Chad dropped Preston and I off at my parents house and he headed straight to Nebraska for work. (That way we didn’t have to worry about getting out of the house before Preston even wakes up in the morning!) I was a little nervous as I hadn’t been home since Thursday, but knew I could trust hubby’s cleaning abilities.

So anyway, call me crazy, or hormonal and pregnant, but yesterday (tuesday) was the day for happy tears. Preston and I got home after being gone since Thursday. When I walked in the house and saw how clean and perfect Chad had left our house, I just couldn’t help but try and fight back the tears. I was so impressed! That’s been the stress of having our house on the market–keeping it perfectly clean for showings! Shortly after that, I received a call from our realtor, we had TWO offers coming in! um, what?! I was just so happy that there were people who loved our house just like we did. One of the couples even asked if we’d be interested in selling any of our furniture with the house, I was so flattered! 🙂 Anyway, with one of the offers that came in, also came with a letter to us from them. The letter was perfect and sweet and made me cry. They talked about how they loved how we had our house decorated and how it was already baby proofed. They have a 2 year old and a baby on the way this winter. (um, what? just like us!). They talked about how their son had found our raspberry bush in the backyard and couldn’t help but pick the raspberries and eat them (one of Preston’s favorite things to do) and they said that he played in the Preston’s sandbox the whole time they looked at our house. This letter couldn’t have been more perfect. It was just what I needed to hear. It’s been so hard thinking about even leaving this house that we have grown in and love,but knowing that there is a new family, just like us, that will be taking our place makes it seem a little more bearable. We’ve written a letter to send back to them and can’t wait for them to read it! Makes me cry just typing this up.

Those of you who have been unfortunate enough to be around me since we listed our house the beginning of October, know how stressed and worried I have been. Thank you for listening to me stress and worry and vent. I swear this whole process would have been so much better had I not been weeks away from having a baby.

(what if our house won’t sell? what if the contingency expires on the house we made an offer on in Illinois?  what if we are living out of a hotel with a toddler and a newborn? When can i start going through baby clothes for Pip? When can i start nesting? Am I stressing so much I’m going to go into early labor? Should I start packing my hospital bag?) you get the jist! #basketcase #nutjob

We are excited for the new adventures ahead, it’s going to be so bittersweet leaving this home! This is the home that we welcomed Preston home to and the one where we found out we were adding another bundle to our family! Hoping the next house will be perfect to making many new memories.

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…until next time! xoxo

3rd trimester…bliss?!

happy third trimester to me! Normally I would be all about this third trimester business, but honestly, it’s just showing me how fast the time is flying by! Seriously!

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I need this baby to keep cooking as long as possible! There is so much to do and get done before Pip2 makes his presence.

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We are moving within the next month or two for my hubbys job. So our house is on the market, it’s been crazy around here trying keep a clean house, staying away for showings, watching the neighbor boy, hubby traveling every week. 😳 I’m overwhelmed just thinking about it!

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Normally, I love fall and am counting down the days until Christmas! Not this year. Before Christmas rolls around we need to sell our house, but a new one, move, unpack, and have a baby. 😳 Along with all the other stuff that comes along with moving to another state.

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I have been feeling pretty good the last few weeks! I’ve been making it to the gym to workout, yay!! I went to my favorite step aerobics class the other day, and it felt so nice! Other than being exhausted, things are going great. I am so grateful for this pregnancy and can’t wait to meet Pip2 for the first time!!! However, in the meantime, i could use a long nap and a day at the spa…but that might have to wait! Haha

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hubby got me a massage last week and it was so nice to shut out the world and get a rub down from a professional. I loved it so much I scheduled another one in a few weeks!! I figured It would be well deserved by then, considering my hubby will be getting ready to start his new job by then, whether we are there with him or not. 😝

Not much longer now! We do have a house hunting trip scheduled for next week, so say a prayer our house will sell fast enough! 🙏

…until next time! Xoxo ❤️

The single parent life.

To say the last few months have been busy would be an understatement. It has been so crazy around here!! Chad has been traveling to Nebraska for work every week–so during the week it’s just been Preston and me. Every weekend seems packed full as well!

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I’ve been watching our cute little neighbor boy 3 days a week. It’s definitely been great for Preston. He loves Joey so much and they have so much fun playing together. I love watching them interact. They do such a great job sharing and taking turns. I’m hoping this will prepare Preston for being a big brother, too!

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(^^ready for a bike ride, mom!!)

Little Preston is such a ham! He reminds me of when I was young. Looks and silly-ness!

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I think Chads traveling has been wearing on me. Not because Preston is a handful, he’s absolutely not! He’s actually SO very good for me 95% of the time. My sweet boy. But it’s all the other things that come up while your husband is away.

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For example: a few nights (mornings?) ago at 5am the smoke detector in our bedroom went off and continued to go off every 30 minutes. At first I thought it was from the humidifier in our room (i was also battling a horrible head cold), I drug a barstool in from the kitchen and I had to balance this 25 week prego  body on a high barstool to get the button pushed for temporary silence. (The bad thing about high 14′ ceilings). The alarms were going off and it eventually woke Preston up, (of course, chad was gone), I was so frustrated, tired, and sick (and pregnant) so I started crying and Preston crawled on my lap and gave me a huge hug and said ‘it’s okay, mama’. He’s just too sweet!! I finally got the ladder hauled inside from the garage (a huge heavy metal/steel? one) to change the batteries (Chad had to talk me through putting the latter up while i sobbed uncontrollably over the phone) but as soon as I unhooked the smoke detector and the alarm went off Preston goes ‘yay!! You did it Mommy!!’. He’s my little cheerleader for sure. Later, Chad was talking to Preston about it on the phone, Chad asked Preston about it and he said ‘it woke me up in my crib and scared me. I cried in my crib. Mommy was sad and crying. Had to change batteries’. Gosh he is just so cute. I seriously can’t get over how sweet and cute my little boy is!! The funny thing is that they went off again this morning! OMG (chad’s gone) it really was my humidifier (just getting over my week long sickness). At least this time I knew exactly what needed to be done. (the darn ladder below)

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We’re trying to get our house ready to put on the market as well. So I’ve been over working myself trying to scrub our walls, trim, and floors. I’ve organized the inside of all of our closets and under the sinks. Lets just say by about 3pm I can no longer move! It’s been killing my back for sure! I’ve been making many trips to the Salvation Army and lifting things I probably shouldn’t be lifting. My mind won’t stop running about everything that needs to happen before December when Pip2 will be here. I’m just praying we can sell our house and won’t be living out of a hotel with a toddler and a newborn. 😮

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Come buy our house!!

Preston has been his cute little self lately. He is so into learning it’s crazy! I’ve read a few things about teaching children (for example, teaching them to identify letters rather than just memorizing the alphabet and teaching kids to actually count during that time, rather than memorizing to count to 10.) Well, Preston has known to identify the letters in the alphabet since he was a little over 18 months. Lately, I’ve really noticed that he’s knows how to count, too! Which is great, because I’ve felt like a slacker Mom lately. The other day we were driving by wal-mart and they are doing construction outside to build a new bigger one. Preston said, “Mommy, I saw 3 diggers, 2 bulldozers, and 1 semi at the construction site’. After that he told me 1 digger was red, 1 was orange, and 1 was yellow. Once we got home he told me we got to go over 3 railroad tracks, too! (which was true, we went over 3 sets of tracks on our drive to and from our CSA–took a different route on the ride home).

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Last night I let Preston stay up until 8:30 (past his bedtime) because he was so focused on reviewing his letters of the alphabet! He kept going through all of them telling me what they were. This morning Preston woke up and wanted to learn about money. So I got out some quarters, pennies, dimes, and nickels. He knows what a penny is and a dime. Still working on quarters (or quarts, as preston would say) and nickels.

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I had my Glucose test at my prenatal appointment last week. I passed, YAY! Pip2’s heart rate was 140’s. Can’t wait to meet this little guy, but glad to keep him in and cooking for the next 3 months!

24 weeks

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25 weeks

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Tomorrow the hubby and I will celebrate our 4th anniversary. We are hoping to hit up an apple orchard/pumpkin patch and then have a babysitter arranged for a date night! Time has flown by, but I can honestly say, this has been the best time of my life! Four years in and I still feel like this marriage thing is…don’t hate me…but it’s easy. Chad and I get along, we agree on things 98% of the time, we share parenting styles and views on spending vs. saving, we have our own likes and interests, yet enjoy hanging out together and as a family. It’s been a crazy fun adventure and I can’t wait to see what the next year will bring!

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Today Preston and I did some painting (handprint/footprint art) to make a card and picture for Chad and the little stinker spilled the beans to him on the phone today. “i made a lion with my feetprint. Card for daddy” “mommy painted my hand. Made a fish”

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Every night before bed, I sing to Preston. His favorite is the Itsy Bitsy Spider. But I LOVE hearing him sing Twinkle Twinkle Little Star (or Tinkle Tinkle Yee-ole Star). Preston is so cute that he can’t say his L’s very well.

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Yesterday my uncle John passed away. It was very unexpected. He was always such a joy to be around! My favorite memories of him are from the houseboat we used to rent every summer growing up! His funeral will be next week in my hometown. Hug your loved ones a little tighter tonight!! ❤

Enough of my rambling. Time to fold laundry! Hubby will be home tonight, thankfully! I hope everyone has a great weekend.

…until next time!! xoxo ❤