The Ultimate Traveling Partner

You guys, I am so happy to report that this product actually lives up to the hype I built. It might even better than I thought it would be! We were lucky enough to be sent two bed boxes from Jet Kids for my older kiddos and they were SO excited to take them on our trip to Austin. We usually get comments on our Orbit stroller that boasts two super rad skateboards but this time we got constant comments on their little suitcases they were riding around! And when we told them that they also turn into a bed on the plane?! Their minds about exploded. A couple of older men said they wish they had one for themselves!

There was a tiny bit of a learning curve for our kids scooting around the airport but that’s to be expected. The floors were a little more slick than our floors at home but they quickly adjusted and were zipping around easily soon enough. I love the sense of independence it gives kids to pull around their own suitcase. They feel like they’re contributing to the family which always makes them feel good!

Having the bedbox on the plane was amazing for the kids to stretch out their legs, keep their stuffed animals close, and keep their snacks all in one, convenient space. Usually they find it hard to get comfortable on the airplane but being able to stretch their legs helped a lot. And you guys, if you travel a lot with a baby, this would be a d-r-e-a-m. Being able to lay down a sleeping baby or even set one in a seat without having to worry about them jumping off, such a peace of mind! If you get it early on with a baby, you would be getting your money back a hundred fold with the years of use you’d get out of it, trust me!

I would definitely recommend getting one for your kiddos. It’s a really quality product (and a 3-in-1) so even though the price tag might be a little more than you’d typically spend, this is an item you will be passing down from kid to kid. You can buy a bed box of youre own here and they also have a list of retailers on their website!

-LWPH

This post was sponsored by Jet Kids but as always, every word is my own.

Blarney Castle

You guys, I’m FINALLY sitting down to blog about our Ireland trip! Only what, 4 or 5 months later?! Life hasn’t been crazy at all, if you can’t tell. I had gotten so many questions about our trip but hopefully I’ll answer most of them in my series of posts and that everyone gets the bug to visit Ireland because it was incredible.

I actually was such a slacker and didn’t take very many photos on the plane! It was kind of crazy and I feel like it’s kind of like birth — when you’re going through it it’s awful but afterwards you tell friends, “Oh it wasn’t so bad!” Sawyer was kind of sick leading up to the trip and our pediatrician told us to expect either throw up or some fun diapers and lucky for us, he gave us both on the plane! After that though it was a fairly easy flight. We were able to call ahead and reserve the bulkhead seats where they can put a little bassinet together for you which was great. Basically a box but at least it was somewhere we could set Sawyer down to sleep! I wish I could tell you he slept for like 5 hours but nope, maybe 45 minutes at the longest stretch and woke up every 15 minutes while sleeping on me BUUUUT it was fine. We did an overnight flight and I regret expecting him to sleep for at least a good portion of the flight because then I was extra bummed when he didn’t.

After 11.5 hours, we landed in Dublin and went to get our rental car. My mom was with us too so we got a little “bus” that can seat like 9 and that was interesting! Cars are typically pretty small in Ireland so it basically looked like we were driving a big, red delivery van but people couldn’t miss us so that was a plus! Driving on the opposite side of the car + road wasn’t nearly as bad as I thought it would be! We drove straight from the airport to Blarney where we stayed at an old Woolen Mill turned hotel which was the cutest!

 

The hotel was literally a five minute walk from Blarney Castle. You could practically see it from our hotel window and it was amazing being so close. We toured the grounds and met up with two of Allan’s sisters who happened to be in Ireland at the same time! Our six-year-old, Holden, loved Blarney castle and could not stop talking about it the whole trip.

The older kids and Allan ended up going back for a second tour while we stayed back at the hotel and warmed up Sawyer. He got pretty cold while sleeping in the stroller so he was needing some extra attention and a warm bath. We actually wanted to go into Cork the second day we were there but with Sawyer having a hard time, we had to let it go. That’s the thing with traveling with little kids — your plans sometimes don’t work out the way you intend them to and things sometimes have to be cut short. My biggest recommendation is to be flexible! Don’t set your expectations too high or there’s a bigger chance you’ll be disappointed by the trip you’ve planned. You can read more about my tips on traveling with little ones here.

Next up is beautiful Killarney so stay tuned!

-LWPH

Day Trip to San Francisco

We live about 45 minutes south of San Francisco and we love going into the city every chance we get (although with three kids it’s equal parts fun and exhausting). Living in a tourist destination means that family comes and visits often, which is so great since we live so far. We got to play tour guide to my BIL + his girlfriend for the last week and our first outing was the city!

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One thing that’s super important in taking day trips/vacations with kids is making sure you bring the right gear. I’m talking about gear that will make your life easier so before you pack up the car, make sure to think about what you’ll be doing and bring what will be the most helpful. For this trip we brought our new G-LINK stroller from UppaBaby + our Ergo 360 as a backup for Sawyer. Three kids means three places to sit if they’re all exhausted at once so the G-LINK with two seats was perfect! A diaper bag that helps you be hands free (and looks gorgeous) is always a huge plus and this Fawn Design in black is the perfect one to do just that.

My biggest tip for traveling with little ones is to be flexible. There will be meltdowns, more rigid lunch/dinner times, nap times to work around, and unexpected things that come up. We always try to set a loose schedule by planning a few things we want to do that day then do them in whatever order works out the best with the kids’ schedule. Try not to let it ruin your day if things don’t go as planned (any other Type A’s out there?!) because half the fun is just being together, no matter what you’re doing.

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We always stop at the Ferry Building Farmer’s Market first. It’s a gorgeous building right on the water with the best donuts inside, fresh fruit + veggies everywhere, and the atmosphere is just really fun.

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You’d think going almost anywhere in the US in July or August would mean pretty warm temperatures but with the San Francisco fog, you have to be prepared with layers. It ended up being warmer so we all peeled off our jackets and put them in the basket below. Thank goodness for the extra space because there were seven jackets under there plus a blanket!

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If you’re ever in San Francisco, the Palace of Fine Arts is definitely a must-see. You feel like you’re in Europe and it’s right in the heart of the city. It’s also really convenient location-wise, a quick stop on the way to the Golden Gate Bridge. The beauty here is jaw dropping and the pictures don’t even do it justice!

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We walked around quite a bit so it was nice having the G-LINK where the older two could jump in and out as they wanted and Sawyer was comfy strapped to me.

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I mean, come on!

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Everyone who comes to San Francisco has to at least drive across the Golden Gate Bridge! You might think that it’s just a bridge but it really is beautiful. The fog had rolled in, covering the top of the towers but it added to the beauty. I highly recommend walking across part the bridge if you have time. Driving across just isn’t the same!

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I get a little freaked out walking on the bridge so I didn’t go as far as everyone else. I made it farther than I did last time so I’m still patting myself on the back! We opted for just taking the Ergo on the bridge because it’s a bit of a hike from where we park to the bridge. I’m so glad we grabbed the Ergo because carrying Sawyer all the way up and all the way down would have been a nightmare! Like I said, make sure you have the right gear and even if you think you may not use it, BRING IT.

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We will be taking basically the exact same baby gear on our trip to Ireland later this year so I feel like this was a good test run. We chose the G-LINK by UppaBaby because we wanted a stroller that folded up into once piece, was easy to fold and carry up stairs, had two seats, extended shades, space below, and a rain cover. A rain cover is a MUST in Ireland, I hear, so I’m relieved we were able to find a stroller that checked off so many of our must-haves for traveling with little ones.

-LWPH

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of UPPAbaby. The opinions and text are all mine.

>Road Trip from West Texas

>Yesterday morning we packed the truck full of all of our luggage, 3 boys under the age of 5, and 2 adults. Needless to say, we were crammed. 



About five minutes into the trip, we hear JR say, “Are we there yet?” Then there was a breakdown. We got a little nervous. 


[“Mom, I’m SO tired!”]

Aunt Gwynne & Uncle Wayne bought the boys Christmas gifts and we had to open them before we even got to Big Spring. Luckily, things vastly improved after that. Holden fell asleep for a few hours and Asher & JR were having fun playing with their cars. 


[We stopped at Whataburger for some lunch. Holden is officially a ham for the camera!]

The other two boys had breakdowns later in the trip. Asher’s was very minor. Holden’s breakdown didn’t involve many tears – just “I WANT OUT OF THIS CAR SEAT” screams. Who would want to be strapped in for that long though? I wouldn’t! 

I think Holden improved from the trip there. He cried for an hour total but I would say 30 minutes was fussing and 30 minutes was serious crying. We thought we would stop for a few minutes to nurse H thinking he might go back to sleep. There I was nursing him in a gas station parking lot when I hear him filling up his diaper. I knew it was a blowout and Lori confirmed it. Ew. Luckily Lori was nice enough to deal with it 🙂 

We made good time…even if I did take a detour through Las Colinas on accident 😛 All in all the boys were amazing on the trip and I had fun chatting with Lori for a few hours! 

We also got to go to the temple for Sallie last night. It was really special and I’m glad we made it back in time for it. Allan & I have set a goal to set aside a night each month to go to the temple…get back in the groove of things. 

-Little Wife Power House

>Road Trip to West TX

>The trip to West Texas was suprisingly pleasant. My theory is that you go into things like these expecting the worst and you always come out the other end pleasantly surprised. We started the trip off on a good note…that was until we hit Fort Worth and got stuck in traffic for about an hour. Three wrecks within ten miles. Just our luck. We got through that and the rest of the drive was smooth sailing. Holden cried for about and hour and a half [when we told my mom this, she said “That’s a good trip?”] Yes, mom! It was a good trip. Here’s why:

  • Holden slept about half of the trip
  • We got pulled over on the highway and got out of a ticket 😛
  • I got a Blizzard from DQ that I had been craving!
  • We arrived earlier than expected

Doesn’t this break your heart?

The upside to him being in his car seat for so long was that he was extra, super snuggly when I would get him out. I had a hard time putting him back in! Here he is when we took one of our breaks:

Christmas is so close! I can’t wait!

-Little Wife Power House

>baby’s first road trip

>As I said yesterday, we will be trekking to Midland this afternoon. This will be Holden’s first road trip and I’m scared because he just started liking his car seat. This might reverse it! Nooooooo! A friend suggested stopping every 90 minutes. I think that’s a good idea. It’s a long enough stretch of time that we will get there before the sun rises and short enough that we will have plenty of stops for nursing, diaper changes, to stretch our legs. Thanks for the tip, Stephanie! Does anyone else have tips for road tripping it with a little one?


What I don’t want:



What I do want:



Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated! The real test of patience will be Monday when [still not set in stone] Lori & I drive back with a 4-year-old, an almost 2-year-old, and a 5-month-old. Will we make it back with our sanity in tack? Stay tuned…


-Little Wife Power House

>a weekend with the great grandparents

>

We had so much fun in Midland this weekend. It was Holden’s first time on an airplane and I had nightmares of him crying the whole time and everyone on the plane going “ugh…” We got there bright and early – even had enough time to grab a Cinnabon! Yum! While GiGi was getting the Cinnabon, I went to a seating area to change Holden’s dirty diaper. He was crying pretty loudly. Here’s the conversation my Mom had with a guy in line:

*Everyone is looking over at us*
Mom: That’s my daughter. She said everyone is probably thinking, “I hope that baby’s not on our plane…”
Man: Yeah…*shifty eyes*

Luckily that was the worst of it. He was a perfect angel there and back! I nursed him on the take off and landing except on the way home Holden pulled away because he’s a tough boy and didn’t need to nurse on the landing! I’m glad it went well because now I won’t be dreading the next plane ride. Here are a few pictures on our way to Midland:



We spent the weekend visiting with my grandparents, playing with Holden, showing Holden off to various visitors, playing in the rain (see below!), making our traditional trek to 7-11, and just relaxing in general. It was nice to get away from everything and just be able to be with family. I wish we could go more often. For the first time I noticed just how alike my grandma & mom are. They are both soooo stubborn! Neither of them will let anyone do anything for them unless you force them. Their personalities are so similar. No question that my mom is her daughter. 🙂 Holden loved Midland! He can’t wait to go back and neither can we. 



Here is a picture of four generations. Grandma, Mom, me, and Holden:


This picture cracks me up. Like father like son…both infatuated with the iPad…


-Little Wife Power House