In May, we road-tripped to NYC for some much needed vacation. We had some key toddler activities that really helped us make it through. (You can read about those HERE).



If driving from Cleveland to NYC wasn’t enough of a challenge, we embarked on our biggest road trip yet driving the Indiana, Iowa, Illinois and back to Ohio. Day 1: a five hour drive. Day 2: A six hour drive. Day 4: a three hour drive. Day 5: a seven hour drive.

With. A. Toddler.

We brought along the classics from the last trip, but I knew we were going to need a few more goodies.

So, I went to my favorite store in the world, Marc’s (and my husband’s least favorite store), and stocked up.

This time, I bought a few new books, flashcards/picture cards, and a massive amount of stickers.

I really had no idea if any of these things would work, but to my surprise, they did!

The real MVP of the trip was the sticker book. For $1.49 (this is why I love Marc’s), J-bird had a new book about a party in the jungle. At the end of the book, you could make a party hat and load it up with stickers.

I am not joking when I say that this occupied J-bird’s time for about 3 hours! Yep!

Stickers take a lot of concentration to peel off, and then for a little creative mind, placing them in just the right place is very important, not to mention ripping them off and placing them on mommy’s arm, the seat, or anything really.

What a hit.

For your next trip in the car, test out some stickers and let me know how it goes!




Planes and Babies

Last weekend we embarked on Baby Girl’s first plane ride to meet my husband’s relatives in Iowa and Illinois. It was a whirlwind weekend trip, but with a lot of coffee and teamwork, we made it back in one piece.

It seems like I’ve had very few flight experiences that don’t have some sort of glitch. I bet you’ve experienced those as well, so I’ll save you the drama. Needless to say, we got very cozy in Cleveland airport’s Interfaith Center, cafeteria, and finally our assigned gate. To the man who came into the Interfaith Center to pray when I was changing a diaper, my apologies. When you are supposed to be in the air at 8:30 am and you don’t leave the ground until after 3 pm, you get creative.

On the train to the airport

Other than some crazy messed up flights, the actual traveling went wonderfully. I feel very satisfied with our packing strategy, so I thought I’d share what worked. If you are going on a 4 day or less trip, I bet this could work for you, too.

What we brought:

1 checked suitcase
1 diaper bag
1 backpack
1 car seat in a car seat bag
1 Ergo baby carrier

David carried the car seat on his back and pulled our suitcase to the first check-in point. I carried BG in the Ergo, the backpack on my back, and the diaper bag on my shoulder. Once we arrived at the airport we checked in the suitcase and car seat (which flies for free!). This freed David up to carry the backpack and diaper bag. We also got a great tip to pack diapers inside the car seat case with the car seat.

David carrying luggage

Stocking the diaper bag with diapers, burp rags, pacifiers, toys, and a few outfits was really helpful. Ideally we would have left our house at 6:20 am and arrived by lunch. Instead, we sat an the airport all day and arrived in Iowa at 8pm. Slightly different than the original plan. I was so glad to have multiple pacifiers, pacifier wipes, plenty of diapers/wipes, teething toys, and a board book. BG was well occupied and had clean clothes all day long.

Going through security with a baby was also really easy. Since I was wearing her in the Ergo all I had to do was take off my shoes and walk through a metal detector with her still in the carrier. On our way back they even let us go through some preferred flier line that had no wait at all.

We had a great time visiting family. David’s aunt hosted us in her home for part of the trip and wins the MVP award. She was one of the most hospitable people I’ve met. She stocked up on lots of great vegan food and even made us breakfast and packed hummus and veggie wraps for our lunch. It was awesome.

So would I travel again with a 4 month old? It was slightly challenging, exhausting, and a little germy (gross public changing tables), but it worked out well.

Have a fantastic day!