Posts Tagged ‘travel’


Monday, November 14th, 2016

From Monday Mom – Neetika:
We spent the last few days visiting family and the trip involved several flights, layovers, and long car rides. The kids managed fairly well, though we experienced our fair share of meltdowns and temper tantrums. These days, airline travel is pretty fraught anyway (who knows when you’re going to get kicked off a flight for a crying baby) so children just add another level of tension to the mix. But I’m glad to say we survived.

I’m a bit worried about how Haley will fare at school today. We changed time zones, and she wasn’t yet fully adjusted to the time change before that anyway. It may be a rough go of it this week, but we’ll just need to plow ahead and hope she gets the rest she needs over the weekend.

Hudson, in typical toddler style, followed an unpredictable nap and eating schedule the last few days, so I really don’t know what to expect from him. In my experience, two year olds don’t bounce back as quickly from changes. It can take days or even weeks of tweaking to get them back to a semi-normal place. They don’t call them the ‘terrible two’s’ for nothing.

I’m sure someday soon we’ll have a good time looking at all the pictures from the trip and talking about how much fun we had. But for now, I think we’ll use any free time we have to nap!

Have a great week.

Jet Setters

Monday, May 23rd, 2016

For the last few days, we traveled to Toronto, Canada to visit some relatives and attend a wedding. Like any parent, I was nervous about air travel with little ones, but it went pretty well. Every time they even touched the seat in front of them, my heart skipped a beat. But the people sitting around us as well as the flight attendants complimented me on how good they were. We head back today so hopefully it goes just as well.

It was really fun catching up with relatives and introducing them to Hudson for the first time. The kids had so much fun playing with their cousins. Haley also really enjoyed learning more about the culture of the Indian side of her family. Her favorite part was definitely dressing up in her festive clothing. She was so proud of herself—she knew how cute she looked!

I feel very fortunate to be able to give my kids new, exciting experiences. It’s also cool to know that as they get older, they will be able to handle much more. Perhaps, in the future, trips to international cities will involve more than just the hotel pool! The kids were certainly troopers, but I couldn’t push them too hard to sightsee or shop. But whatever they get out of it, I’m happy about it— even if it’s just the fun of eating room service in bed. After running around two kids every day, I’m partial to the relaxing-type vacation myself.

On the Road

Friday, March 11th, 2016

From Friday Mom – Erin
Today finds me away from home for yet another work engagement.  While the logistics of being away are no less daunting than when I first returned to work, (e.g. finding time to pack, creating to do lists for daycare drop off, making sure we have food prepared for lunches and dinners, etc.) I am actually starting to get a little bit better about being away.  Part of that relaxation stems from the fact that Rory has decided that he enjoys being a “helper.”  He showed this during my last trip–doing a great job of helping his grandmother around daycare each morning and assisting with pick-up as well.  He shows it on the more routine mornings, too–picking up Charlotte’s milk cup when she tosses it from her highchair, helping pick up the playroom, and helping collect his backpack.  It’s not always universally the case that he will cooperate, but when he does, he’s pretty good.

Both kids are also getting accustomed to the routine being upended at least a few times a week.  That means that the routine is, in and of itself, less consistent.  It’s not ideal, but it is us.  And it helps keeps things calmer, believe it or not.

Luckily, this week’s jaunt was pretty short and fairly close, so I should hopefully return just after bedtime.  But at least the guilt won’t be as bad and at least my concerns while gone have been minimized.  It is always evolving, but– today at least– it is much improved.

Greetings from Beantown

Monday, January 18th, 2016

From Monday Mom – Neetika:
For some reason, we decided a snowy January weekend was the perfect time to road trip to Boston– with two kids in tow. But it’s actually going great! We’re having a wonderful time bonding with family, eating “fancy” food, and seeing the sights. Haley had so much fun visiting the Children’s museum– the third she’s now been to on the he eastern seaboard. For Hudson, the main highlight has been pizza and gelato. What can I say? The boy knows what he likes!

I have to admit, my homebody tendencies often discourage a great deal of exploration. But whenever I buck up to give my children a worthwhile new experience, I never regret it. Hopefully the drive home today will go smoothly, and we’ll have another successful family adventure in the books

Road Trip

Monday, August 24th, 2015

From Monday Mom – Neetika:
Hudson had his first road trip over the weekend. We went out of town for a wedding—the second of his young life. This kid gets around! This time we were in the car with the kids and the grandparents. It was a very full SUV. Haley loved having her ‘Grandma’ and ‘Papa’ with her and so did Hudson—it’s clear that he knows and adores them.

To be honest, there was a bit of stress too. There was plenty of traffic on the busy interstate, and what should have taken under five hours to drive turned into over seven. Haley was whiny at times. Hudson was fussy at times. The wedding was a little chaotic. Some parts went long. Early on, the kids got hungry and there wasn’t food available. The kids got cranky. Thank goodness we were staying at the same hotel at which the wedding was being held. It was so nice to be able to go up to the room as necessary. Our room and the grandparents’ room were adjoining, which Haley just went crazy for. Long before the party was over, she went upstairs, got into her pajamas, cuddled up with special snacks in front of the TV, and requested a rotating roster of her favorite adults to keep her company.

The trip took a lot out of us. But when we saw the groom, my childhood friend, and his family at the reception, they were incredibly touched that we made the effort. That made it all worthwhile. I hope we’re instilling in the kids what it can mean to the people we love when we just show up.

Road Trip

Wednesday, June 10th, 2015

From Wednesday Mom – Janelle:
Over the weekend, my family loaded up our minivan and started our northbound journey. We have made this trip many times over the years, and we’re finally starting to perfect the process. We’ve learned how to pack the van efficiently, snacks to bring, entertainment, and where to make pit stops along the way.

When we made our first long trip, Tate was an infant and Jack was in preschool. We had no way to know how they would handle a 15-hour drive. Much to our surprise, they did remarkably well given the need for frequent stops to change diapers and feed the baby. We carved a diaper changing area out of the mountain of baby gear in the back of the van. I told nursery rhymes and played patty cake to keep the boys happy. I did anything I could to keep the boys from crying.

These days the boys are more self-sufficient. We pack 50% less gear and can even recline our seats without banging into a suitcase or cooler full of milk and baby food.It is another reminder of how quickly my kids are growing up. Jack and Tate talk about what they see out their windows. We saw the sunrise over the Appalachian Mountains. Jack explained how mountains are formed and Tate talked about how the sun is a star. Jack liked all the different scenery and they both had countless factoids to “teach” us about. We played the alphabet game numerous times and listened to Jack’s knock-knock jokes.

I guess I’m willing to trade longer naps, diapers and nursery rhymes for not having to constantly entertain my kids for 15 hours in a row. We all know how overwhelming that can be.  Now, the kid’s stories, songs and games provide the entertainment.

Planes, Trains & Automobiles

Monday, June 8th, 2015

From Monday Mom – Neetika:
This weekend we flew with Hudson for the first time! Of course I was nervous to take two little ones on a plane, especially since one is an infant. Traveling with kids is so different from going solo. The sheer amount of stuff you have to organize and contend with makes you feel exhausted before you even start your voyage. So many things can go wrong—tantrums, spills, delays, air pressure inner ear discomfort and the resultant screaming—the list goes on.

I’m so pleased to report that it went very well. Hudson really rolled with it, and Haley always listens carefully when she knows Mama’s not messing around.

We flew to Atlanta, where we boarded two trains before we got to our rental car. The gear we were carting included a stroller and infant car seat, a convertible car seat, a baby carrier, a diaper bag, a duffle bag and a large rolling suitcase. Oh, I forgot to mention Haley’s sparkly poodle purse, which she often decided that I was carrying. Once we finally got settled in the car, we contended with Atlanta rush hour traffic—the rumors are true—and drove two hours to our final destination. Luckily the kids were so tired by then they passed out as we drove!

We visited with friends and did some sightseeing, but the best moments were the simple things we did as a family. The kids were hyper when we got to the hotel, so we let them stay up late, play, watch shows and snack. They were in heaven! The rest of the weekend, we swam at the pool, ate at different family restaurants, and chatted as we explored the town. In a way, the four of us leaving home together and going out into the world made us feel truly forged as a complete family. I’m so excited for our future adventures, especially now that I know we can handle it.


Wednesday, July 23rd, 2014

From Wednesday Mom – Janelle:
We are in Pennsylvania this week visiting family. When we are on vacation we like to take the boys to new places and share new experiences. This year, the boys decided they wanted to tour a local cave. My nephews have toured the same cave on school field trips. My nephews really enjoyed the experience and recommended the cave as a fun activity for their cousins.

Jack and Tate decided to be spelunkers for the morning. The entrance to the cave was eighty steps down the face of a creek side cliff. The cave trail was a cool, damp 52 degrees. We learned all about stalagmites, stalactites, rock layers, columns, flow rock and the history of the cave itself. At one point we were 110 feet underground. The kids loved the rock formations and two hundred year history of cave exploration. They also liked looking at the strange shapes of the stalagmites and stalactites to find “trolls, dragons and elephants” shapes in the rock. Mommy and Daddy were also impressed with the sights and stories the tour guide told.

My husband and I love giving our kids the chance to explore the world they live in. Since our town doesn’t offer a whole lot, we like to travel. The boys left the cave with new knowledge about the world beneath the earth’s surface. It was a new learning experience for all of us.

Rolling With It

Monday, June 23rd, 2014

From Monday Mom – Neetika:
Last week, my husband, Joe, had to go out of town for work for a couple of days. I thought, OK no big deal. It happens, and not nearly as frequently for us as it does for many families. I enticed my mother to come to lend her nanny services, ahem; I mean—have a nice visit, especially since Haley had her ballet recital on one of those days.

My mom’s help once again proved invaluable, and at the end of the week, I drove to her house to take her back home and run some suburban-type errands. I looked forward to my Joe’s Friday night return until he informed me that he had to work the next day. Something came up he had to attend to right away, and I understood that. He said he’d join us in the suburbs as soon as he got done on Saturday. Well, he ended up working all day Saturday and had to go in Sunday morning as well.

Joe rarely has to work weekends, but the combination of the extra work hours following nights away was kind of a doozy. I’m starting to realize how much pregnancy can slow you down! I had a lot of help from my parents and brother, which is the only way I got through it. Still, Haley missed her dad, and it was disruptive to have our family unit out of sync. This was the last weekend we had before lots of travel, and it just made things a bit more chaotic.

I know; I need to put away my little violin now. Sometimes, life happens, and you need to roll with it. I remember when I was pregnant with Haley thinking, I can’t imagine doing this again while chasing after a kid. My premonition was spot on! I have just been so tired. Luckily, not too much time ever goes by until I get a chance to really rest, and I’m grateful for that. But I have months to go and a busy toddler to keep up with. It’s time to get my energy up and keep on moving!

Safe Travels

Wednesday, February 26th, 2014

From Wednesday Mom – Janelle:
I have witnessed several major accidents in recent years on roads and at intersections that I drive everyday with my two young children. The collisions were frightening even at low speeds. My husband reminds me of the importance of not driving distracted, especially when others are.  I want to take every precaution to preserve my children’s safety.

We bought a vehicle with numerous airbags and we installed the latest car seat systems in the second row of seats.  I have read countless articles, blogs and official recommendations for several types, models and features of car seats. When we get a new seat, we make sure to read the manual for proper installation and fit. We make sure our children are strapped in properly, EVERY time we drive.

The annoying thing about car seats is that every year experts from the NHTSA, American Academy of Pediatrics, and others constantly change their recommendations about the type of seat required based on age and weight, direction (rear/forward) facing, as well as technical limits on latch welds and seat belt positioning.

However, I cringe when I see irresponsible parents allowing small children to ride unrestrained in vehicles.  I wouldn’t rank myself as a car seat know- it -all, but when it comes to safety, I want the best for my family.  The examples I see at the pick up line at school scare me… knowing small children are at a high risk of death because they are not restrained in an appropriate car seat or even buckled in for that matter.

Soon we’ll be in the market for a new car seat.  Hopefully all the latest regulations will be posted with clarity.  I want to make certain my kids, and other children riding in my vehicle, are safe at all times.