roller coasters, bumper cars and cotton candy, oh my!

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we stopped by the little carnival last week that’s happening this summer in central park right now¬†(victorian gardens!) and had the best time because both E and S are finally tall enough for pretty much all the rides!¬†josh and i took turns with conrad so we could be obnoxious and do a bunch of the fun rides, too (would you ever expect anything less?!) ¬†i love this kind of stuff. i remember when josh and i¬†used to go to the county fair outside DC way before we even had kids. haha! it’s a good time no matter the age.

a few photos below…4aJKsm784hfn7589-94aJKsm784hfn7589-324aJKsm784hfn7589-31

oh man, i don’t know how i didn’t puke coming off that ride. samson wanted to spin that turn-y thing faster and faster while we were already up in the air and while he laughed the entire time, i truly panicked. it looks harmless, i know, but once you’re spinning fast while also rotating up in the air in the opposite direction, it’s a whole other story.

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i spy with my little eye, JOSH AND CONRAD!

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i might be the only one in the family who gets excited for cotton candy but samson at least pretended to for a minute there to make me feel better. i guess it’s a good thing my kids aren’t into it. i don’t know why that somehow bums me out though.

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LOL. do you think josh enjoyed it or what!

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i mean, seriously. :)

4aJKsm784hfn7589-344aJKsm784hfn7589-354aJKsm784hfn7589-424aJKsm784hfn7589-11 how cute is this little crew of mine! heart eye emojis all around.

ps. for where things are from– my hooded shirt (here)¬†and jeans are from madewell¬†(sold out now.) wearing salt water sandals and sunglasses from topshop. ¬†samson’s shirt is from crewcuts.¬†eleanor’s shirt from here. ¬†samson’s shoes from here and eleanor’s here. conrad is being held in the ergo carrier. josh’s tennis shoes from here.

another ps. a post from last year when we stopped by the county fair in utah!

morning at the high line!

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yesterday we spent the earlier part of the morning exploring the¬†newer section¬†of the high line. josh still hadn’t been to the newer part (although a large chunk of it is currently under construction this month, so only a small portion was open.)¬†i know a lot of these images show us playing on train tracks, but that’s the beauty of the high line! it’s a beautiful walkway and park built on top of historical train tracks, so the tracks are actually walkable pathways in a few areas. ¬†we always have a lot of fun down there, and need to go more often. it’s such a great area to explore.

we basically set up camp in one spot for a good while and let the kids run and play and just hang out. ¬†conrad hates shoes right now (he’ll cry and fuss and pull them off if we attempt to put them on) so i just don’t even bother¬†with them.¬†we plop him right into the bath whenever we get home and try to watch where he stands and plays when we’re out, but he’s rockin’ the whole city kid thing just fine. ¬† i also noticed for the first time while holding him this morning and seeing the sun reflecting off him how RED his hair looks these days. people always say it, but it hasn’t ever really looked red to me before. and i know it’s just a hint of red, but today i saw the hint! it’ll be interesting to see how that changes over the years.

we enjoyed checking out olafur eliasson’s exhibit ¬†called¬†the collectivity project¬†on the high line before leaving. ¬†you can see more photos at the bottom of this post, but what an incredible way to engage the public in participating in his art. ¬†the kids are having a major moment with legos so it was right up our alley. definitely worth checking out if you’re in the city!

we ended up taking a taxi home because we were hungry (i was actually very very HANGRY, sorry family) and we were running late and needed to take a business call in the taxi. ¬†i used to¬†tease¬†josh that he was really bad at multi tasking but i’m actually realizing that dude can¬†juggle being articulate on the phone while dealing with chaos¬†amidst our three kids and me and also remain calm and patient as i am¬†losing it. ¬†i think that is one of the best things about a relationship, you balance each other out pretty well. ¬†there are a lot of things i do really well, and a lot of things he does really well, and a lot of teaching moments in the middle for us both.

anyway, some photos below. i didn’t edit down this batch very well because i loved too many, so sorry, it’s a lot!

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my backpack above is from sole society. after i scored that other one last month for such a good price, i keep going back to look for others. i am convinced backpacks are seriously the way to go for diaper bags.

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that styrofoam bracelet thing eleanor is wearing came from some packaging from something we bought the other day! she carried it on her arm for most of the day. i love how little things that mean nothing to adults can mean everything to a child, even the packaging from a box!  :)

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made this little crown braid in eleanor’s hair while we were on the subway early this morning! getting better and better at them every day and so thrilled my little girl has begun to request them so often!

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outgrowing his jeans and looking cute as ever.

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my happy baby boy!!!!

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tickles for you, samson rex davis!

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hey eleanor, people (ah hem, your mama) pay lots and lots of money to have pretend lashes that look like your lashes. you know that, beautiful? you definitely didn’t get those from me.

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seriously, this lego thing was incredible. i love how exhibits like this bring people together to create things. it was fun to see a few people around us making different things to contribute.

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heaven right here for this boy.

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we also spotted the cutest little wire creatures on a spray painted dumpster on our way home. the kids liked them but i especially loved them. things like that just make me really happy. ¬†i’m curious who put them there, or took the time to make them.


for those interested,¬†my shirt is from here. hat from jcrew. black flats¬†from here. sunglasses here and black backpack from here. eleanor’s t-shirt and leggings from here. samson’s shirt from here. conrad’s onesie c/o kira kids. baby jeans from here. ¬†kids sandals from here. josh’s shirt from here.

the sleeping post.

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sleep

so i started writing this post all about little ones and sleep over a month ago, after receiving many questions focused around the topic when i shared how we make our small 2 bedroom apartment work for us in new york city (where our 3 kids share a room).

the truth is, i’ve been hesitant to write a whole post on it because i don’t feel like an expert whatsoever on this topic, and i don’t want to come off that way. a bedtime routine is not a perfect process. i strongly feel like each family and even each child is so different when it comes to sleep, that there is not just one way to approach it correctly.

i can’t even tell you how many baby sleeping books i read while i was pregnant with¬†eleanor, just to feel frustrated or disappointed a few months later¬†when my growing baby still wasn’t sleeping 12 hours straight after i’d followed all the steps a certain method or way suggested. we have since figured out a way that works best for our children and our family (for now),¬†which¬†involves a lot of structure around bedtime routines, some co-sleeping, and a whole lotta flexibility when it comes to it all (because one thing is for sure, sleep is not necessarily a forward process with kids!), but our way works for us, and that’s what matters in our home.

so while i’m about to share a few things that we’ve found work for¬†us, i don’t at all want to say this is what works for everyone. i actually think this is a great opportunity to use this¬†post to perhaps¬†encourage others to share their tips and tricks with the rest of us, too! because sometimes gleaning just a few ideas or thoughts from other mamas around the world is the way to go, and i’m always down for¬†learning more and trying different approaches and ways.

so, i’d love to share the 3 things i know about sleep (besides the fact that i loooooove it) and sleep with kids, and how it works for us. i’d also love love love to hear how you’ve made it work in your home or apartment, particularly if you’re in a smaller space like us and have multiple little ones!

a few things:

1. CONSISTENT ROUTINES ARE HELPFUL
we don’t have a super strict bedtime that we enforce, but we do strive for a consistent bedtime routine that starts around the same time as often as we can. around 5 or 6 each night we begin a routine of getting ready for bed with a meal, baths, brushing teeth, pajamas, dimming the lights and closing the black out curtains (ps! black out curtains are where it’s at!), reading a few bedtime stories together…the structure helps the little ones know what is going on and helps wind down the chaos from the day. ¬†by the time we’ve said prayers and are all tucked in, they are much more ready¬†for bed. with samson and eleanor, either josh or i will stay in the nursery with them after we turn off the lights until they fall asleep (i sometimes sing a couple of songs quietly, but usually we just sit on the floor right beside their beds or cuddle with them.)

sometimes it takes just a few minutes and they are asleep, other times it takes¬†a really long time¬†before we sneak back out of their room. but we’ve done it this way ever since we transferred them into their tiny¬†beds, and i know it sounds crazy and like a lot of work, but we seriously don’t mind it, and it’s kind of a nice break from life for a minute¬†to sit quietly beside them as they doze off.

2. FOR A SHARED ROOM, SPACING OUT BEDTIMES WORKS WELL
while our three kids share a room, for a long while¬†we spaced out all their bedtimes. eleanor or samson would trade off going to bed¬†first (while the other had some quiet time looking through a few more books on our sofa), then we’d put the other one down maybe 20 minutes later, and then about an hour later i’d nurse conrad to sleep and transfer him to his crib in their room. now, both E and S have been going down at the same time, with conrad following about an hour later.¬†¬†we mostly spaced each bedtime out because sometimes someone would get the giggles or keep talking and keep their brother or sister up. but lately, and perhaps it’s because neither nap anymore, both E and S are ready for bed by the time they lay down, and fall asleep rather quickly.

as far as sharing a room goes when it comes to sleep, my kids are pretty sound sleepers. so they don’t tend to wake each other up. ¬†i credit a lot of this to living on a loud busy street in new york city, where they have grown accustomed to noise like sirens or horns ¬†since they were tiny. they’ve also napped really well on the go in their strollers here in the city (although E and S no longer nap), and i¬†was always surprised how long they could¬†stay down when so much was going on around them while we¬†were¬†out. conrad also naps while we’re out pretty well, but he’s still so little, it’ll be interesting to see if he does stroller naps as a toddler as well as his brother and sister did. ¬†i found¬†it to be a huge blessing. haha! miss those napping days terribly. ;)

while our kids¬†currently share a room, i pull C back into our bed when he wakes for his nighttime feeding. our room is next to his, and i’m not a deep sleeper like my kids (unfortunately), and can usually hear him tossing and restless during the night. i have co-slept on and off with all three of my children during their first few years and it’s made breastfeeding a million times easier. it’s not for everyone, but¬†if C sleeps beside me after his night feeding, he usually (teething or a random growth spurts aside) doesn’t wake or wrestle whatsoever, and just cuddles with me until morning in the deepest soundest sleep.

3. IT’S A PROCESS THAT¬†EBBS AND FLOWS
for our kids, nothing sleep related is ever a forward process. when we seem to make progress and everyone is sleeping through the night in their own beds for a week or two, the routine and progress gets all¬†out of line again¬†up with a sick little one or a growth spurt or a time change with travel. i think remaining patient and flexible is key and understanding that some weeks you move back a few steps regarding your progress, but it’s not the end of the world and you’ll get back on track soon enough.

the two first days and nights we’re home after traveling are always tricky. ¬†i find black out curtains to be¬†super helpful, as we try to trick the time a bit if needed to get back onto our proper schedule. ¬†i think patience is also key, and finding what works best for you and your kids even if it’s not the norm.

if you have any tricks that work well for your family, i’d love to hear them in the comments below!

will travel for chicken sandwich.

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the thing about me, is i’m highly motivated by food. it’s kind of what gets me up in the morning (besides my 3 other little *loud* alarm clocks called my kids). ¬†but thinking about what i’m going to eat for breakfast, along with planning out my other meals (and snacks and treats and drinks) in my head is a big motivator for getting out of bed each day. ¬†i can find any excuse to take 2 different trains downtown for a particular bowl of rice pudding, and i’m willing to walk over a mile to get to a specific bagel shop. what would life even mean or be without food? i don’t ever want to know.

anyway,¬†i read a few months back that shake shack was coming out with a chicken sandwich, and i basically flipped. and while they are still holding it hostage by currently only serving it in their¬†brooklyn locations (OK, BROOKLYN! YOU WIN YOU WIN YOU WIN!) and won’t give any updates on when it’s making its manhattan debut (i keep asking), i figured FINE.¬†we trek to brooklyn for our favorite ice cream and pizza and lemonade and even carrousel ride, what’s adding a chicken sandwich to the mix?

so we loaded up team davis and ventured out to brooklyn last week¬†to give this sandwich a try. ¬†and yes, you guys, it’s everything it’s hyped up to be. everything you’d imagine a deep fried and crispy chicken sandwich to be, and yes, i might hate to admit it, but i’m drinking the brooklyn kool-aid hard after that one. ¬†can we find a way to go back again tomorrow for dinner?!

and what’s a trip to brooklyn (or anywhere?!) without a camera in tow. PHOTOS! below…

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HI CHICKEN SANDWICH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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the stained glass house is still looking all pretty in brooklyn!brooklyn49686brooklyn950866brooklyn945496967

playing in the glowing colors the stained glass house was making on the ground!

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ps. eleanor’s wearing samson’s t-shirt above and conrad is wearing samson’s t-shirt below and i don’t even know what is happening here besides the fact that all three of my kids are sharing the same size clothing sometimes these days and it is wild!

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dear chicken sandwich at shake shack, we’ll be seeing you again SOON. also, dear shake shack, can you bring it to manhattan already?!

happy monday, folks!


ps. my yellow skirt is an old one from anthropologie, shirt is from madewell, sunglasses are from free people. ¬†josh’s shirt is from jcrew. the kids clothes are from kira kids, ¬†crewcuts and wearing teva’s sandals. ¬†e’s headband is from shop ban.do.

tips for packing with kids!

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after coming home from our latest trip as a family of 5, i feel like we’re slowly but surely figuring out our groove in terms of traveling with 3 small children. i’ve blogged before about tips and tricks for flying with kids as well as this big blog post on traveling abroad with little ones, but i thought i’d focus on the packing part today, because that¬†part is kind of critical when it comes to having a successful trip or not. we’ve partnered with tom bihn today, whose luggage we love and have been using for several years now,¬†to share 9 of our biggest tips on how we pack and travel with three little ones….

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every trip is very different, but i think our biggest lesson we’ve learned the past few years is that traveling light is everything! i understand that it’s not for everyone, and of course it depends on the kind of your trip you’re taking and how long you’re staying, but finding a way to bring less stuff and fewer bags makes the entire trip, from start to finish, far more enjoyable, easy, and managable with our family.

1. WAYS TO PACK LIGHT WITH KIDS
a¬†few things tricks we’ve found work well for us here include only taking the right amount of diapers and wipes with us for just the day of travel, but purchasing the rest of our¬†diapers when we arrive (and using them all up besides the amount you need for your travel day back home, before you leave.) i realize this can get tricky depending on where you’re traveling, but most places still carry diapers of some sort!

another big one is taking versatile clothing, things that can pack small, and can be worn a few different times, a few different ways. shoes tend to be a big one here! if you can find one pair that work for several kinds of occasions, and you wear them during your day of travel, that can be one of the biggest packing saves.  (i find this harder to do in the summer, but easier in winter with a boot you can dress up or down and is comfortable for lots of walking.)

we have also found that if you are traveling to a place where you can wash clothes, you don’t need to take as much, and it makes a huge difference. (although if you choose to do laundry at your hotel, check their pricing out first! i will never forget when we had laundry done at our hotel in rome and the large¬†bill¬†afterwards that made me feel like¬†jim gaffigan when he said they must have washed everything in champagne. haha!) pretty much anywhere you travel will have a local laundry mat though. ¬†i also often bring a bleach pen and small travel size container of detergent like¬†woolite because – with kids and their¬†incredible ability to get dirty while not even touching or holding a thing – it’s sometimes easy to just wash a few of their pieces by hand in your hotel bathroom at night and hang them to dry.

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2. ON LUGGAGE, CARRY ONS AND CHECKED BAGS
whether your bag is a carry on or a large bag you’re checking, finding a bag that helps you stay organized is important.¬†we look for bags and organizational accessories that make sense and work well together.

after josh did tons of research on luggage a few years ago (he sorta got obsessed with reading about one bag traveling), we invested in a few tom bihn backpacks and travel bags before we left for our first international trip with kids.  the main reasons we chose them was because we loved that their super sturdy travel bags can be backpacks and how it frees up our arms and hands for other things like the kids. (josh has worn it on the front, too!) it is also the maximum legal carry on size, so we can use it as a checked bag or a carry on.

the packing cubes¬†by tom bihn were the biggest game changers though. they make these part mesh cubes that come in different sizes specifically for each bag’s compartment¬†and help you pack things tighter, in more organized ways. it helps us keep track of everyone’s separated clothing better. the stuff sacks are also wonderful for this reason (we can¬†even stuff the kids bigger puffier coats into them) as well as use them as laundry bags¬†during the trip.

occasionally this last year, we’ve also traveled with a large duffle bag we can check when we arrive at the airport for when we choose to travel with our more bulkier items (like the kids puddle jumpers or their tennis rackets) if we’re going somewhere¬†where we’ll be using them.

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3. WHAT TO PACK
this one varies so much for¬†each individual person and family member, as well as the kind of trip you’re taking! with the mentality of packing lighter, we try to plan outfits ahead of time and bring just a few for each of us. we usually double the amount of outfits for the kids, because they tend to get dirtier and go through them faster. wearing our heavier, more bulkier clothing when traveling (sweaters, coats, hats, etc) helps free up a lot of valuable packing space. ¬†as i mentioned above, bringing less shoes is also¬†a big one!travel59767965

4. ON PACKING CRIBS/PACK N PLAYS/CARSEATS
it’s different for every family, but we don’t travel with any of these things. we once brought our own carseats with us, and it was just really hard lugging those through the airport with all of our luggage plus our kids. props to those of you who do it! if we plan to use a car during our trip, we rent car seats from the rental car company. i think the days you set aside to travel to your destination with kids can be really fun or really exhausting, and schlepping 3 car seats around with you for a day is never any fun. it’s just less of a hassle this¬†way.

we also haven’t ever brought a crib or pack n play with us, either. most hotels will have cribs handy if you’d like one, and they can even¬†set up in your room for you before you arrive. ¬†we usually co-sleep while traveling though, because that is what works best for our family.

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5. ON PACKING COMPUTERS AND CAMERAS 
josh is always in charge of carrying our computers and cameras and lenses while we travel.  he loves his tri-star for packing all of that stuff along with his clothes and things. we just started using the night flight travel duffle which can come with padded organizational dividers to protect our camera gear.

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by the way, i’m wearing the tom bihn aeronaut 45¬†in this photo above, and just wanted to say if you are ever traveling alone with a baby, a backpack type bag like this one saved my life when i traveled alone to DC last month with just conrad. i use it as¬†a backpack, over the shoulder, or carry it as a duffel.¬†because there are lots of compartments and packing cubes, it all stayed organized even when it was on my back, and made all of my traveling and train riding a whole lot easier since everything was comfortable on my back.

PS. here is a throwback¬†photo of me almost 3 years ago carrying¬†samson on the front of me instead of conrad while wearing my aeronaut! eek!! i can’t believe how little samson is here!naomibackpack-540x540travel947578

6. ON COMING HOME WITH MORE STUFF THAN YOU LEFT WITH
it might just be me, but sometimes we tend to accumulate “stuff” as we travel. we try not to do a lot of shopping while we travel, but little trinkets or books or other sorts of souvenirs tend to show up as the days go by. ¬†we always try to keep this stuff to a minimum in general (since we don’t have much space in our apartment for it anyway) but we try to have one side compartment in our bags left empty when we start the trip, so we have a bit of wiggle room for anything we pick up along the way.

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7. ON THE KIDS BAGS
eleanor and samson have been using little backpacks since they were basically walking (these photos of eleanor as a baby with her new bag are some of my favorite.) they don’t carry all their own clothing and supplies in their backpacks (YET!), just a few things for the airplane to play with, their water kanteens, books and stuff. ¬†sometimes i think it’d be easier to just carry everything in my bag and not have two little backpacks to try to keep an eye on as well, but i like the idea of eleanor and samson¬†contributing and helping in some way by carrying something. and i think they like that it gives them an important task that they are in charge of.

here is a post all about airplanes and little ones i wrote last spring. it has lots of information on travel times, what to bring to feed them and entertain them on a long flight!

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8. ON PACKING STROLLERS AND CARRIERS
we have traveled all over the place with our double stroller. coming from a place where we use a stroller every day around the city, it just feels natural. ¬†as eleanor and samson have begun to walk more and stroller less, we’ve been traveling with our smaller and lighter bugaboo bee stroller for baby conrad with an attached ride board lately for the older two (although they all tend to rotate through the stroller seat quite a bit). ¬†if you’re taking a stroller, i find it¬†most helpful¬†to use it throughout the airport and check it at the gate after you walk down the ramp while boarding. it’s one of the main reasons we bring a stroller, is for the airport. haha! if your stroller doesn’t come with a travel case, we¬†usually bring¬†heavy duty black garbage bags with to put the stroller in at the gate to give it better protection for when they put it under the plane.

we also always have a baby carrier handy for the airport, airplane, and the trip in general.  our kids do really well in them, and they often make all the difference in our time traveling.
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9. ON PACKING AN EXTRA BAG FOR ALL YOUR EXTRA LOOSE ITEMS/THE CAR/AIRPORT DAY
no matter how well you plan, there are always¬†those¬†few things without¬†a¬†home!¬†we really like tom bihn’s shop bags, which you can essentially crinkle up and stuff someplace to not take up much room, and then pull out at the airport, or in a rented car for all those loose toys/food items you begin to accumulate as you go.

hope this helps in some way! i don’t think there is only one way to do any of this, but this is what has been working best for our family! we’d love to hear all of your tips and tricks when it comes to packing and traveling with little ones in the comments below! we are always trying to improve the ways we travel and i’m sure we can learn more from all of you.