Baby O’s First Big Trip

They say that traveling is good for the body, mind, and soul and I overwhelmingly agree. We knew from the start that we wanted to instill our love of travel and adventure into our children and in order to do so we started right away. At 6 months baby O was on a 14 hour road trip to Colorado. At 12 months another mini road trip to see Santa. And at 18 months, we decided to take baby O on his first international vacation to Mexico.

The unpredictability of traveling with a little one had me not only apprehensive but very anxious. So many unknowns, would he be okay? Fussy? Sleepy? Throw a fit? I was pretty confident in my ability to calm him down in any situation so we packed up and headed to Mexico with a dozen of our favorite people.

When I planned this international family vacation to celebrate our 5 year anniversary, I wasn’t anticipating a pandemic and I was completely unaware of how traveling with a toddler would be. Overall I was pleasantly surprised! Our first big vacation with our little one was a complete success! 1800+ miles away from home, 4+ hours on a plane, and zero meltdowns; he did so well!

Here are a few things I learned on this trip:

  • When traveling with a baby/toddler:
    • Pack snacks ! Not just for the airplane but for the resort/hotel as well. Baby O eats a lot and frequently. Snack are a necessity at all times of the day!
    • Keep them entertained. Whether your little one needs screen time, toys, or books, pack them all!
    • We took advantage of baby O being under 2 and he sat in our laps on the plane. Next time he will definitely get his own seat.
    • If possible, book the plane ride during baby’s nap schedule. Baby O slept on the plane both ways!
    • Pack extra necessities such as sunscreen and diapers. We packed enough but if we needed them, they were expensive at the resort.
    • When traveling to Mexico for the summer stay on the pacific side. The other side is swamped with seaweed from May to September. If I would have known this in advance I would have booked Puerto Vallarta instead of the Riviera Maya area.
    • Book a local photographer for family photos! It was inexpensive and easy to do.

We couldn’t have asked for a better first big trip with baby O. We soaked up the sun, enjoyed family time, and were able to watch our sweet boy enjoy vacation as much as we do.

Up Next…

Having a baby has been the biggest adventure of our lives and I have loved every single minute of parenthood. But, traveling isn’t quite what it use to be. The Bearded One and I use to spontaneously book an Air B&B, pack an overnight bag, and hop in the car, which is an absolutely impossible task these days.

Don’t get me wrong, we still love to travel, and we plan to take Baby O on endless adventures, but it can get a little tricky these days.

First of all we have to plan our adventures a little better, and account for any little bump in the road. Will he be fussy? When will we need to stop to change a diaper? Can we stop by a restaurant or should we eat in the car? So many questions with a plethora of possible scenarios!

All of those little details can be worked out, we are quite flexible when it comes to travel and preparation. The biggest question is, where can we take a toddler?!

Not all of our old favorite stomping grounds are necessarily toddler friendly. While I’d love to take him to a local brewery, or outdoor concert, it just isn’t possible to expect him to sit still for a lengthy amount of time. Baby O is a wild one and he definitely needs to be entertained at all times. He needs to run and climb and explore his surrounds…which begs the question, where do we take him?!

We do have a few vacations already in the works but we would LOVE some realistic suggestions! (too tiny for theme parks, Disney is out of the question!)

We are for sure going to Mexico on our big Anniversary trip with family and friends, and we are excited and nervous about that one (first plane ride for Baby O)!

We’re also taking him to The Preserve, an elephant sanctuary only a few hours from home. I am super excited about this one and I hope he loves it! (Here’s the link if you’d like to check it out https://g.co/kgs/DhrhAp ).

If you have any suggestions, ideas, personal experiences or advice on fun toddler trips for this summer, please share! We want to make the most out of every moment with our littlest adventurer.

Our Not So Adventurous Life

When I asked God to give me more time with my son, this is not what I envisioned.

Since December 27th I was already doing my best to keep our itty bitty baby locked up, and hidden away from the germs, flu, RSV, and all the other possible illnesses out there. I was TERRIFIED of our little man getting a sick. My anxiety as a new mom got the best of me several times, so I shut the door and locked my baby away from the big bad scary world.

When it was finally time for me to return to work the very thought of putting my son in daycare sent me in to hysterics. I cried and begged for a solution. We were about Halfway through our Spring Break when I learned we would not be returning to work. I have to say, I let out a huge sigh of relief. If I had only known 30+ days ago the extend of this virus I would have begged God for something different.

This is a crisis. Coronavirus: COVID 19 has rocked not only our nation, but the entire world and it makes me feel utterly helpless. Although my opinion may be unpopular to some, I firmly believe our government is failing our people. “We the people” are failing our own people. This should have been contained, there should be solutions, this is not and never has been a hoax. I know I can only attempt to protect my corner of the world but my heart aches for our healthcare workers and all of the people suffering right now. How did this happen? How did this get so bad? How is this happening in OUR front yard? How is there NO solution or relief yet?

This is a time in my life I should be celebrating the birth of my only son, his baptismal, his introduction to family and friends. But instead, I’m snuggling in the house, avoiding everyone, and praying each time my husband goes out he doesn’t bring back the virus.

Our adventures theses days consists of watching our son grow through his milestones and the occasional evening drive in the country.

I am thankful and blessed that we get this extra time with our son and that we are happy and healthy. For now the adventures of Messy Bun, Bearded One, and Baby O have ceased to exist. Hopefully, in the near further, we will be back at it. Until then we will keep soaking up the snuggles and enjoy every minute of this extra time with our perfect little boy.

My Unadventurous Valentine’s Day 

It’s 8:30 AM and my Valentine is taking his first nap of the day. 

My Valentine didn’t get me flowers or chocolates or make me heart shaped pancakes.

My Valentine is not going to take me on a fancy date or write me a sweet love poem. 

There will be no oversized teddy bears or red and pink balloons. 

There’s no time to do my hair and make up or throw on a cute red and pink Valentine’s outfit.

                            ❤️💕❤️💕❤️💕

We didn’t exchange Valentine cards or gifts and that’s okay, because none of those Valentine’s Day cliches compare to the snuggles and smiles I will get today. 

My Valentine doesn’t care that the shirt I’m currently wearing is covered in his spit up, my hair may or may not be clean, and I’m still in my pajamas. 

My Valentine doesn’t need chocolates, balloons, or love notes. 

My Valentine and I will spend our day soaking up the unconditional love I never knew I could feel. 

One day I’ll make him heart shaped pancakes and he will follow the lead of his daddy and fix me the perfect morning coffee and kiss me goodbye. But today, on his first Valentine’s Day, we have a nap date on the couch, a warm bottle waiting, and all the snuggles and kisses in the world.