My Week in Review- Ice Cream Treats, Dental Anxiety, the Perfect Burrito, an Unboxing and a Movie Matinee

This week the ice cream man stopped a meltdown, I survived a morning of torture at the dentist, my Instagram post about the perfect microwave burrito attracted silly bot comments, Keelan and I unboxed a Moms Meet box from Lindsay Almond Butter and we attended a movie matinee as a family for the very first time.

Week in Review August 6 – 12

Saved by the Ice Cream Man – Maybe it’s a parenting weakness, but I have been known to turn to bribery in moments of pure desperation when I can’t get my son to break out of a full tantrum meltdown. Like the screaming possessed child kind where they don’t even seem to see or hear you no matter what soothing loving words you keep trying. But you know what they can hear? The far away tinkling sounds of ice cream truck music. So moments before my soothing words became manic parent yelling, we heard the music. I whisked my son off the ground and shouted like a crazy person (because at that point I did feel a bit crazy) “Do you hear that? Do you hear THAT?? It’s THE ICE CREAM MAN!!” And magically the screaming and tears stopped. I could have kissed the ice cream man, but that would have made things really awkward so I just paid him the $3 and thanked him for his perfect timing.

saved by the ice cream man
Sometimes, all you need is ice cream

The Secret to the Perfect Burrito – Sometimes you feel the need to share your life lessons, even the simple ones. In college I perfected the microwave burrito so I shared a pic on Instagram of my fabulous burrito and my favorite hot sauce, along with the instructions on getting it done all the way through instead of the usual hard on the ends and cold in the middle results. There’s so many bots on Instagram now leaving silly comments based on hashtags that my burrito on a paper plate was deemed “amazing” and also got a few “inspiring content” posts, along with a compliment on the photo composition. I deleted a few of the obvious fake comments before deciding to just start answering them back. That was way more fun.

the perfect microwave burrito
Are you inspired yet?

We Unboxed Some Yummy Almond Butter – My trusty completely unreliable and destructive assistant and I unboxed a surprise from Moms Meet and Lindsay Almond Butter. I’m working on a review/recipe post for next week!

I Survived the Dentist – This could probably be a stand-alone blog, and I probably will write about it at some point, but I am terrified of the dentist. I turn into a big 40-year-old baby. I needed a filling replaced and a crown. They gave me Valium, gas, a neck pillow and a blankie. (I totally asked for the blankie) My anxiety is usually so high that the gas doesn’t affect me, but I keep trying because I’m optimistic like that (and my insurance covers it.) I got through it without crying so I’ll call this one a success. I was monitoring my heart rate on my watch and it topped out at 150 bpm but I managed to keep it around 100 for most of it. The bad part is I have to go back to get the permanent crown on and am trying not to think about it.

at the dentist
Are we done yet?

Our First Family Movie Matinee – I was SO excited to take Keelan to the movies! It’s funny the little things that are milestones as a new parent. I used to go see movies all the time, but not so much anymore. There’s a lot of normal life things you really take for granted before you have kids. (like showering, sleeping, pooping alone, etc.) and every time you get one of these little life luxuries back, it’s a huge deal.

Well that’s it for this week. One our biggest events was actually on Sunday – we saw PAW Patrol Live! I’ll be doing a full post on that one. It was a first for both of us since I’d never been to a big kid’s event before and had no idea what to expect. We don’t have anything too exciting on the calendar this week, but you never know what can happen between now and next Sunday! It’s a whole week just waiting for an adventure to be planned.

And Now I Know Why They Do That…The Great Kid Mystery Explained

If you’d like to skip to the end for the answers, it’s because they’re kids. And no matter what my mother says, they are all little monsters at times. It’s possible my mom got off easy and I was actually the quiet little well-behaved angel she describes. But she set the bar pretty high with the way I judged children. And of course now every one of those judgements is flying back in my face as complete crap while I watch my son run from room to room squealing and whacking things with a stick.

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That time our friends came to visit and their two sons managed to disable our TV remote, break a wine glass, set the fire alarm off at dinner and later grab our toothbrushes off the counter?

I get it.

That kid I saw dragged off the playground today screaming at the top of his lungs? Been there.

Also that time I just couldn’t understand why our 4 year old cousin grabbed a hurling stick and just started bashing it on the ground until it busted? Well I have seen that reenacted right here at home.

So all these “awful” things that had me horrified about these unmanageable crazy children…well now I realize they were just being children. And every time I realize that, I feel a little sheepish for my previously uninformed judgements. I don’t even question the crazy anymore. I understand now it’s just some childhood instinct that kicks in and they act insane. I also understand that it is just going to keep happening no matter how “good” anyone’s parenting skills might be.

Because they’re kids. And That’s why they do that.

So, what crazy thing did your kid do today? 

 

My Week in Review – Cosplay Mom Make-over, White Plates, Toddler Painting, Park Hops and Good Teeth

It’s good to be back home! We had a great vacation and then jumped right back into things with the GAAM event, I got some new plates to better display food pics, we got messy with some paint pods, spent the morning at the park with Jax Moms Blog and K had a great visit to the dentist.

Week in Review July 30 – August 5

The Mom Make-over – Originally we had been working on costume from Final Fantasy for the GAAM event. Then we ran into “mom time” issues and didn’t finish in time. I wasn’t going to let my friend Effie attend her first big cosplay event not dressed up, so we threw together an anime inspired look to fit the theme. Here’s our big Before & After looks:

Showing off the Food – All my plates are colorful and most of them are old with scratches and chips. They aren’t the best thing to display dinner creations for recipe posts. I noticed most people (and restaurants) are using white plates so the focus is on the food. I guess I have a hard time NOT choosing color because I picked these out with the light blue rim. I used them for the first time to show off a meal made with Prego Cooking Sauce with chicken and mushrooms, which is a BzzAgent.com campaign I’m currently working on. I got to try the Creamy Lemon Parmesan and it made a really delicious easy meal.

 

 

Let’s Get Messy – I invited Effie and her son Alex over for a messy afternoon of toddler painting. You can pretty much put “toddler” in front of anything and it becomes a messy activity. We were sent some fun games from Goliath Games and the kids had a great time with the unspillable paint pods in the Paint-Station. They went at it with paint brushes, fingers and later entire and dinosaurs. The paint washed off everything amazingly well!

 

The Last Park Hop – We made it to the last Jax Moms Blog Park Hop of the summer and got to practice putting, take pics with the Little Mermaid, build and shoot a rocket and just run around the park like crazy. They choose a different park for every event in the summer and bring in a lot of fun activities and vendors. I think there needs to be a fall session as well, hint hint….

 

Clean teeth – We also made it to the dentist this week. Little K was very brave and had a good cleaning. I was a little worried since I have the hardest time ever getting him to brush his teeth. The folks at Fishman Pediatric Dentistry did a great job making him feel comfortable and rewarded him with a big blow-up monkey and a new little car!

 

That’s it for this week! As this posts on Monday I’ll be on my way to my own dreaded dentist appointment. I’m just hoping I can be as brave as my son! Wish me luck. At least they prescribed me some Valium so maybe I can get through my appointment without tears too, lol.

Tips for Traveling with a Toddler in Tow

We’ve been traveling with my son since he was seven months old. Our first trip was to Hawaii and it was a pretty rough experience. There was a lot of crying for everyone involved. After he turned a year old it started getting better, and now at three he’s an expert world traveler. We just returned from a trip to Ireland and by now I think I’ve learned enough to share my favorite traveling tips for both international and domestic travel.

** This is not a sponsored article, these are my honest tips from my experiences…but any product link is an Amazon affiliate link because a girl’s got to pay her bloggy bills you know **

Traveling with Toddler Tips:

* Don’t fill up valuable suitcase space with loads of diapers if you are traveling to a place with grocery stores. Just bring what you need for the trip there and a couple days. You can always buy diapers there! Otherwise you end up with half a suitcase of diapers for a two week trip.

* Should you bring a stroller? The answer with babies is an obvious yes, but what if they’ve pretty much grown out of it? We lugged a BOB all the way to Ireland and didn’t use it once! We should have brought the hiking backpack carrier. The only benefit was that is worked great as a luggage cart and we were put through the security line faster on the way back from Ireland. If you do bring a stroller, it’s very easy to just check them at the gate and pick up when you deplane. Unless somebody on the plane gets arrested. Then you don’t get your stroller. Because that totally happened to us and now there’s a very nice BOB that we can’t locate. (I’m looking at you, Aer Lingus)

* Stock up on toys, but leave the Play-Doh at home! Mine was confiscated. Apparently it looks like C4 explosives 🙄 Oddly enough, this was not covered on the many “What Not to Pack” articles I reviewed before packing.

* And speaking of toys- I always stop by the dollar store and pick up at least 10 random things to play with. These are great for whipping out during tantrums and turning things around! The key is to keep them hidden so each one is a surprise.

* And while we’re still on the topic of toys, the Trunki is pretty cool for keeping them entertained during layovers. They can pack toys in it, ride on it, or pull it around. It’s a little hard to open and falls over if you turn too fast, so it needs some improvement, but it kept my son entertained and that’s pretty much what my life revolves around these days.

trunki with toddler

* Have a sippy cup ready for take off and landing to help with the ear pressure. Swallowing helps their ears pop. But also be ready for the cup to explode when you flip it open! I know this happens and I still do it. It will come shooting out like a fountain if you open it after take off. The way around it is to unscrew the lid, release the pressure and then pop the top open.

* The Benadryl question. One of the first things people usually tell you when asking for flying advice is to give the kids Benadryl to make them sleep through the flight. I’m here to tell you it doesn’t always work and can backfire. Yes, I’m guilty of trying it. It made my son grumpy as hell and he slept for maybe an hour and then woke up even grumpier. My personal favorite sleep encouraging supplement is melatonin. The Sleep Melatonin Supplement by Zarbees works wonders. My son loves the grape flavored tabs and he goes to sleep usually within 30 min. The trick is to give it to them near nap or bedtime though. It’s a natural sleep aid, not a drug to knock your kid out. Plan accordingly. If it’s a daytime flight and they are bouncing off the walls, you just better have that bag full of toys ready.

* Should you get them their own seat? We’ve always gotten our son his own seat when flying so I haven’t tried the “baby in lap” approach. I cannot imagine trying to keep him on my lap for six hours. If you have one of those sweet babies that just snuggles and coos then by all means, save some money and have them ride in your lap. My child is more of the “get up and run the aisles” variety. Some airlines offer a lower fare for children. It’s usually not that much lower, but worth checking out.

family travel

* What about a car seat? We used a car seat on airplanes until he was two, and then it was more of a hassle to lug it around. It also made it way easier for him to kick the seat in front of him, unless he was turned backwards. We spent one flight taking turns holding his feet down and apologizing to the person in front. It’s easier to skip it and just add it to the rental car. It’s usually only about $40 for the entire rental time. Our last trip was his first without the seat, and we just buckled him in and during any bumpy parts I employed the age-old “mom seat belt” method of holding my arm across him. I know there’s a lot of articles insisting they need a car seat, but after two it just gets in the way.

* Plan your sleeping arrangements before you go. Hotels and a lot of Bed and Breakfast places will usually have a crib you can use, but you need to reserve it ahead of time. If you are past the crib stage, the safest option is a blow-up bed. I love this one I got on Amazon – the Intex Kids Travel Bed Set. It rolls up pretty small, doesn’t weigh that much and we easily packed it in our suitcase. It comes with a pump to help blow it up too. My son totally loves his travel bed!

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* Bring all the snacks! Pack tons of snacks in plastic baggies so you can pull out small servings at a time. It’s better to have extra food than a hungry kid. Or a hungry mom for that matter! Just think easy and not messy. Things get messy fast in confined spaces.

Traveling Internationally:

* Bring your own kid-friendly headphones and a laptop or DVD player to use with them. (This goes for domestic travel too) The ones on international airlines have two plugs, so you’ll need an adapter, or have to use their’s and the ear buds don’t fit in little ears. Most airlines have little screens now, but it’s always good to have back-up incase they can’t reach it, figure out how to make it work, or just really need to see their favorite PAW Patrol episode before they freak out. My son refuses to wear anything over his ears- not the cool Captain America headphones I got him, and not even the soft and lightweight CozyPhones that I thought were definitely going to be a hit. So he ended up just holding the earbuds up next to his ears. Whatever you go with, don’t be that parent that lets their kid blare their movie or game with no headphones and disturb everyone around you. Yes, I will totally give you the stink eye for that.

Be careful with the milk. On this last trip, after getting to Ireland and giving my son the full fat local milk, he got sick. He proceeded to get sick every time he drank it. My mother-in-law said she remembered that happening to my husband when he was little. She said just switch to low fat milk and he’d be fine, so we did and he was. Other people were drinking the milk, so it wasn’t bad. It could just be a coincidence that switching to low fat worked, but just keep that in mind if it happens to your child.

* Yes, you will need an adapter plug! If you are staying at a major hotel chain, most will have a USB for charging but everything else needs an adapter. The best thing is to get an adapter and then an extension with extra plugs so you can charge more than one thing at once. Or just get a set like this with it all in one: Ceptics World Traveler Adapter Set. And if you buy a set and are not sure which one to bring, just research it first. Do not leave the biggest weirdest one at home because you are SURE you won’t need that one, because then you’ll get to Ireland and have every plug but the one you need. Yes, I did that.

* Make life easier, use your phone. Just call your carrier and see what options they have for international travel. We have AT&T and they have a cool day rate of $10 for 24 hours and you are just using your regular data and messaging plan. No extra charges besides the $10.

* Check with your credit card and make sure you are using one with without foreign transaction fees. And while you’re at it, make sure they know you are traveling. This is good for both domestic and international travel. You don’t want your card frozen due to what might look like suspicious charges.

* Get the bigger car. Even if you have just one kid, you are going to need the larger car size. Compact in the US and compact abroad are different! We had to upgrade after arriving because we couldn’t fit us plus the luggage in the vehicle.

General Traveling Tips

* Check your shoes. Especially if you are going to be hiking cliffs in Ireland and decide to pack the hiking boots you last wore two years ago. Shoes don’t always hold up, as I found out first hand on Day 1 of our Ireland adventure, when suddenly the sole of my shoe just crumbled away.

traveling tips

* Instead of packing full size toiletries, bring all your samples! I love experimenting on vacation and save up all my little sample sizes for trips. That way if you leave it, lose it, or if it explodes as soon as you take it out of your luggage, it’s not a big deal.

sample size beauty products

I think that covers it for my favorite traveling tips! I hope I answered some questions you might have had, and some you may not even have thought to ask. If there is something I didn’t cover, please post in the comments. I’m happy to answer questions!

The Real Reason Toddlers Have Tantrums

My 3-year-old is going through some intense development right now, and the resulting tantrums are quite impressive. I am lucky they are short-lived because the decibel level of the screams could possibly cause some eardrum issues. If I have any future hearing loss, I’ll be telling my son he did this to me as a toddler. I’ve read a lot about it being the result of them not being able to communicate, and then the frustration manifests itself as a screaming demon. The articles didn’t actually say “screaming demon,” but I know what they were getting at. So I’m going to unveil the mystery behind what really causes tantrums:

  1. You gave them the cookie they asked for. It was the wrong cookie.
  2. You gave them the right cookie, but you put it in the wrong spot. Cookie is now on the floor.
  3. You picked the cookie up off the floor. No!! They were going to eat that.
  4. We’re done with cookies and now want cars. You can’t find the right car
  5. You found the right car, but put it on the table and he wanted it on the floor.

Do you see a pattern here? It’s obviously us. We’re doing it all wrong. Our mind reading skills are just not sharp enough. Some days we get it. And some days, you just have to hand them the whole darn bag of cookies and walk away.

toddler tantrum