traveling with kids!

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a few years back i blogged about flying with little ones and also¬†traveling abroad with little ones. ¬†questions around these topics are asked often in emails and my comment sections, so i thought since those posts seem to be pretty buried and¬†we’ve learned a few new¬†things since, that i might share¬†a bit about it again, borrowing from those posts and¬†adding a couple¬†more things we’ve picked up since then.

on traveling on planes with kids:

– when booking your trip, try to find a flight that works well with your kids’ schedule. for example, if you can find a flight during your child’s usual nap time, SCORE! we tend to love the red eye flights especially with our kids because they sleep through them no matter what! and a sleeping baby on a plane is well worth your own neck ache or zombie walk the following day (in our opinion. although truth be told my body is maybe telling me these days i won’t be able to get away with that trick much longer.)

– if you’re traveling with a stroller, check it at the gate so you can use it throughout the airport (don’t check it with your bags). if your stroller doesn’t come with a stroller bag, bring a few extra large heavy duty black garbage bags to wrap it in at the door of the plane (after you walk down the ramp) to protect it from getting hurt or dirty when stored¬†under the plane. make sure to get your tags to attach to your stroller or garbage bags before leaving it at the door of the plane.

Рonce you get the gate, be sure to go up and check in straight away. they will give you tags for your stroller if you have one and also help you board the plane first which is helpful so you can get situated before all hell breaks loose (just kidding). but seriously, probably the best perk to flying with kids is getting to board early!

– if you’re traveling with a baby, nurse or bottle feed or give them a pacifier during take-off and landing. on our¬†last flight, my ears were definitely feeling the pressure. i can take it but i was worried about how conrad’s ears must have felt if i was feeling it so much. ¬†he seemed to do alright though through nursing. that¬†constant sucking and swallowing motion can help with the plane changing pressure considerably. (for toddlers, you can give them something to eat during this time so they are also chewing.)

– if you’re traveling with toddlers, the iPad can be your best friend! ha! something i never thought i’d say a few years ago. we don’t allow for too much screen time at home, so eleanor and samson are always elated to get some quality time with those special friends, and i am happy to oblige! ¬†find some educational apps or a few new app games (a few of our favorites here and here) or download a new movie for the trip so it’s all new to them and extra special. (and do not forget to charge that thing beforehand!)

Рpack a carry on full of new surprises! a new coloring book, toy figure, or little animals. have you seen these water wow books? they are genius and our kids love them. for this trip, josh brought sticky tack and googly eyes to make faces with, which was a big hit. even silly things like plastic bubbles can help. a few plane rides back, a slinky once proved to be extra popular and gave us a solid twenty minutes of playtime! thank you, blessed slinky. be creative!

Рalso pack snacks in your carry on that are easy to eat and keep their blood sugar up.  we take sliced peppers and sliced apples with us almost everywhere we go these days, since our kids love them and they are healthy and easy to eat. packing a few new snacks or favorite treats can be helpful too!

– when the seatbelt sign is turned off and it’s okay to move around, take a walk up and down the aisles. it’s hard enough for me as an adult to sit still for an hour or two, so i can’t imagine forcing a child to. ¬†and it helps to break up the trip (especially if it’s hours upon hours) to let them get a bit of exercise.

– be communicative with the people around you, if you can. sometimes it’s nice to say hello when you sit down and apologize up front for any crying or spilling or chaos that may break loose at¬†some point during the flight, and let them know you will do your best to keep it to a minimum.¬†we’ve really lucked out the last few flights and have had nothing but great people around us as well as great flight attendants. ¬†it makes such a big difference and helps me feel more calm and relaxed. whenever i’m holding a baby while boarding a flight i get a little bit stressed because¬†i¬†don’t want to impose on anyone with my children. very occasionally you may see an¬†eye roll or hear that snarky comment and you’re like, i know. i get it. i’m trying and i’m sorry.¬†but for the most part, people are really great. and several have offered and been more than happy to help if you need an extra hand for a minute, and they understand you’re just trying to get somewhere too.

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what did i miss? what are your biggest tips for traveling with kids?

have fun and bon voyage!

of course that measuring tape is a lasso!

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josh and i pretty much have an ongoing conversation every day about our littles ones. i think most all parents do. that constant talk about how they’re doing and how we’re helping them. are we providing what they need right now and what they’ll need in the future. ¬†are they getting the right serving of vegetables each day, more than enough hugs and loves and stories read?¬†do we have¬†the proper amount¬†of laughter and happy music in our home?¬†is¬†there a proper amount of laughter and music in one’s home?¬†are we brushing their teeth correctly and supporting their dreams already? are we providing the right opportunities for learning and growth and what are the right ways to discipline and is their¬†enough positive reinforcement in our home? ¬†it’s all so new to us as well as it is to them. and you kind of only get one shot at it all, which is really really scary. ¬†there is only so much parenting guilt you can take before you want to throw in the towel and call your own mother and ask her to come over and fix everything.

through most of our conversations lately, josh and i have decided to try¬†to focus hard on just a few things. three of the main things that we’re working on in our home right now for the kids–

nutrition and sleep (because we all know what a step up it gives in the early years. they seem to affect everything else and we hope that the habits and lessons they get now will stick with them when they’re older.)

positive love and reinforcement (because our upbringings were incredibly¬†different from one another, and we’ve both seen how constant positive reinforcement or¬†constant¬†negative reinforcement during one’s developing years makes a huge impact, for better or unfortunately for worse.)

and¬†encouragement every single day to explore, to ask more questions, to use that incredible imagination and make everyday a big adventure! (because nurturing a blossoming imagination is probably our biggest honor and role as parents. because these kids can do anything they set their mind to, so long as we don’t step in the way and knock down their dreams.)

i can’t say for conrad just yet, but eleanor and samson both love to use their imaginations all day right now and it makes my mama heart soar. because duh, of course that wooden xylophone is¬†a skateboard, and of course your bed is a rowboat keeping you safe from the sharks and fish and “octopuses and seahorses” on the nursery floor, and duh, of course that measuring tape is a lasso! and all that construction paper with tape just the right way can make you the fanciest crown in all the world, or a beautiful fairy wand or even a big golden sword too. ¬†and i understand now, of course¬†the kitchen is an airplane and¬†traveling all the way from one end of the apartment to the other means you’re now in a far far away place, and a make-believe see-through astronaut suit (with all 17 pieces properly in place) means you are floating through the room or ready to do a moon walk down the hall and see earth as just a small ball, the size of¬†the world globe on the shelf. of course, my little ones! of course!

the ways to give our little ones the best possible start are endless, and there are countless books and experts and methods¬†that tell you this or that is the right way. and that stuff is certainly helpful,¬†but only to an extent. ¬†it’s all up to us as parents, to figure out in which areas our kids need us¬†the most, and then find ways to support their minds, their play, their imaginations, and their precious hearts.

we have partnered with fisher-price to share news of a big sweepstakes they just launched called “be a fisher-price baby!” to help parents give their children the best possible start and celebrating every playful, joyful learning moment! to support this,¬†one grand prize winner will receive $10,000 towards a 529 college savings plan, a trip for three to los angeles, california and a professional family photoshoot to celebrate the all-important early years! six additional winners will receive $1,000 saving bonds and three fisher-price products of their choice. see full details and¬†enter here!

an afternoon at pearl harbor.

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i meant to share this last week with our hawaii posts, but didn’t get around to it in time. ¬†here are a few photos from an afternoon we spent at pearl harbor. ¬†both josh and i had family (my grandpa, his granddad and his uncle) who served in the pacific during world war II¬†so we really wanted to go visit.

these sorts of places¬†that are filled with so much history, it’s always kind of a roller coaster for me when we visit. ¬†i usually leave feeling overwhelmed, of course always leaving feeling incredibly thankful, but also just confused and sad with the world. ¬†i don’t think i can adequately express what gratitude i have for those from many countries who have given their lives, or risk their lives every day, for our freedoms. ¬†and also, the gratitude i feel for their families, because i don’t know how they do it. ¬†i don’t know how i’d do it. ¬†i don’t even know how to comprehend it. so thank you, a million times over, thank you.

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we didn’t get tickets ahead of time because we weren’t sure when and if we’d make it there with the kids, so the day we did go, the USS arizona battleship tours were sold out. ¬†we got tickets to explore the USS missouri instead (where¬†the surrender of the empire of japan that¬†ended world war II took place) and went at our own pace without a tour. we got extra lucky though, because no¬†one was really around and we practically had the entire thing to ourselves. ¬†they let you really get up and in there and explore almost every area of it, which our entire family appreciated. it was fascinating!

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after our afternoon of exploring, our taxi ride back to the hotel was pretty quiet.  the kids were winding down for the day and ready to sleep and i think josh and i were still processing everything we had seen and read at pearl harbor.  we decided to take a detour over to waiola shave ice for a little pick me up. (delicious! and helped lift the mood!)

grateful for the chance to stand in a place full of so much incredible history. and again, so so thankful for those who have fought, and those who fight, and their brave families…. forever indebted.

ps. for those who’ve asked in past photos, my¬†birkenstock sandals can be found¬†here.¬†my dress is by lauren moffatt,¬†fedora hat from madewell¬†and¬†beach bag from here (30% off right now!)¬†eleanor’s sweater is an oldie from mini rodini¬†and¬†samson’s fedora is from here. eleanor’s blue sunglasses are from the honest company.

a few of my favorite swimsuits for the season!

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love-taza's-favorite-swimsuitsa lot of you have asked on instagram and blog comments about swimsuits!¬†before leaving for hawaii, i spent a good couple of hours searching for a new swimsuit. ¬†i’ve collected a lot of different one piece swim suits over the years, but i don’t know if it’s the¬†fact that i just had a baby or what, but i wanted something with even more coverage than my usual one pieces. ¬†i’m extra thankful for all the rash guard swimsuits¬†that seem to be making a more prominent appearance this season, because i like feeling comfortable in what i’m wearing and a suit that can give me a bit more cover in all the right places these days is always appreciated! even if i’m not exactly using it to go surfing. ;) maybe one day!

if anyone else is in the market for a new suit, a few i own and love and a few others that caught my eye below….

1. mara hoffman long sleeve bodysuit (also available here!)
i bought this for hawaii and i am in love! you might have seen from photos from last week, but when i found the little girl version as well, i couldn’t pass up a matchy matchy moment and had to get one for eleanor, too. ¬†here’s a¬†one piece girl version, and swim shorts, too.

2. kore swim minerva cutout halter swimsuit

3. dotty underwire one piece

4. zinke starboard one piece

5. seafolly miami high neck swimsuit

6. recycled consign & design racer stripe tankini
quite possibly the most flattering two piece i’ve come across.

7. confetti cross-back swimsuit
such a beautiful suit and on sale for a $20 steal!

8. helen jon marrakesh rash guard

9. nautica signature retro one piece

10. tutti frutti skirted swim dress (i have a suit similar to this in almost every color- yellow, black, a floral print! sometimes when you find something you like and works, you just have to stock up over the years!)

11. draped black and white striped one piece

12. dotty sleeveless rash guard

13. lisa marie fernandez zippered short sleeve swimsuit

crossing fingers spring shows up soon which means summer isn’t too far behind. ¬†happy swimsuit shopping, friends!

a little film: our trip to hawaii!

we had so much fun putting together this little video with a few snippets from our time in hawaii! thanks to the sheraton maui and moana surfrider at waikiki beach for hosting us!

music by katrina stone.