Family Vacation. What is “vacation”?!?!

1471628573867Merriam Webster defines vacation as “a period of time that a person spends away from home, school, or business usually in order to relax or travel.”

Okay, so we have the first part down. Definitely away from home and business, but definitely not the last few words,”relax”? Not sure I have even figured out what that is yet! You see, as a parent your “work” never goes away. You are always a mommy and a daddy. No matter how much help (in the form of other competent adults to watch your tiny humans) you bring with you, your children ultimately want you and need you!

We have been at the beach down south for 5 days now and my expectation for what our first vacation as a family of four would be has changed drastically!

TODDLERS DO NOT LIKE CHANGE. 

My tiny humans are so confused and out of their element. We are in a huge house with a large portion of our family. They don’t know which way is up, or how to get anywhere. It’s a long walk to get to their snacks and up to their toys in their room. How frustrated would you be if you had no idea where anything was? We are trying as hard as we can to make it feel like home, but that’s pretty impossible in a house double the size of ours.

It’s light out way past their bedtime. Falling asleep has been extremely hard, and they aren’t sleeping through the night because of various unpredictable noises.sleep8.jpg

Thankfully, I am a morning person and I don’t mind getting up at five, but I’m sure the entire house doesn’t want to get up at the arse crack of  dawn to go for a walk. The up side is I have seen more beach sun rises than ever before!

TODDLERS AND HEAT AREN’T FRIENDS. 

“I got my toes in the water, butt in the sand, not a worry in the world, a cold beer in my hand. Life is good today.”

Life is definitely good, but your typical vacation habits are just a dream. Babies get hot quickly and then the tantrums start much more easily than they otherwise would. We only spent an hour or two outside at a time for the first few days of vacation.  It is a completely different heat than they are used to in Ohio.

TODDLERS ARE A LOT OF WORK. 6cc5077b7cce3efb033f0b79e148bdc4.jpg

Oh my word. I am a stay at home mom, so I am used to my children around me 24/7, but add in a different location and they were attached to me like white on rice. Go into vacation with the mindset that you will only relax when the munchkins are sleeping. We never stopped worrying or running around with them. We loved every minute of it, but it was work, work, work, work, work, work…

TODDLERS STILL MAKE MESSES.

Okay, so this is obvious, but I still want to mention it. They still get into everything that you don’t want them to get into. There are still toys strewn across the house. And, unless you pack for every single day, then you will be doing laundry. A lot. All the chores you had at home are still there, just more annoying because all you want is to be laying on the beach. Just to lay on the beach for five minutes…

TODDLERS SENSE RELAXATION LIKE ANIMALS SENSE FEAR.

We worked in shifts, attempting to be able to just sit and soak up the sun. It never failed that once one of us settled down in our chair that both children would start screeching like they were dying.1122d00fe61511c76ef0d455707a4abb.jpg

Sand in eyes.

“He touched me.”

Grandparent moved out of sight.

Wrong parent is holding the baby.

Daddy covered his foot with sand. He is dying because said foot is now gone.

Catching birds is hard.

The best one of all, both toddlers get up and go. In different directions.

So, you run to the rescue of whoever was attempting to watch two toddlers alone.

NO ONE ELSE SPEAKS YOUR TODDLER’S LANGUAGE.

Like I said before, we have a ton of family with us that give us breaks from time to time.

All parents know the “toddler language” but unless someone is around your toddler a lot, then you run into conversations like this…

Adult: I know you were trying to relax, but I have no clue what she is asking for and now she wont stop crying!

Me: Okay, bring her out here.

BK#1: mommmaaa  oooseie in yewwooo tup!!!

Me: Good grief kiddo, take a deep breath and tell that to her without fussing.

BK#1: Juice in yellow cup?71775eeec83a20ff87fd0ae41a27e065.jpg

Two year olds are funny fickle little things! Don’t feel bad if you don’t know what they are saying 80% of the time. There are days I just stare at her like she is an alien because the things she is saying definitely doesn’t follow  a language on earth.

We are having a blast on vacation and you should definitely make it happen for your family if you can! Thankfully, all my children will remember are the hours floating in the ocean and lots of alone time with mom and dad, but man oh man, next year I will definitely be going with much lower standards of what family vacation is with young children!

Keep a lookout for more on our family vacation. Tips, tricks, lists, products and how we turned chaos into fun!

❤  Amanda

 

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Baby Spring Float by SwimWays {Review}

BurritoBuzzBabySpringFloatI have been prepping like a mad woman for our end- of-summer vacation! Taking BK#1 &#2 on vacation is not going to be an easy task. I have been diligently researching and trying to make sure we have all the essentials to make this an enjoyable and fun vacation! I might be wound a little tight, but my anxiety kicks in and I kinda loose it thinking about a 10 hour car ride, miles of open play areas, sleeping arrangements, making sure we don’t forget anything,  oh and safety!

Obviously, I have been looking into beach safety, but I have really been worried about the pool! We don’t have one at home, so my babies aren’t around them often. Besides that, they are 1 and 2! Rules don’t mean a whole lot to them right now! When I came across the SwimWays Baby Spring Float (Whale), I was so relieved! Most baby floats have a weight limit that my oldest child exceeds and usual pool floaties are only safe when your child is at least 30 pounds, so my toddler can’t use ones like the Puddle Jumper! SwimWays covered that 20-30 lbs gap that most floats don’t.

About the Spring Float:

  • No weight limit.. within reason. Don’t try and put your 4 year old in it.
  • Ages 9-24 months
  • It comes in  different color patterns and they are all adorable!
  • Low seat provides secure center of gravity
  • It has their patented “inner spring” for better stability in the water.
  • Flat area around them to put toys on or to splash without flipping into the water.
  • Folds flat and compact for easy storage and portability – it’s perfect for travel! I was going to wait and post this review in my Beach Babies post, but it’s too awesome not to share now.BurritoBuzzSpringFloathowto
  • Very light and comes with a mesh storage bag.
  • Some styles comes with removable and adjustable sun canopy.Burritobuzzswimways.jpg

This float is priced fabulously! Only about $18. The construction of this float is superb and I’m sure it will hold up for a long time! Even though the price point is affordable, they didn’t skimp on quality.

While doing research on it, I found some people were upset because water got on top of the float. I didn’t have this problem, but I did see some photos where people didn’t blow up the little air pockets. It is designed like a pop up kid’s play tent, but you still have to inflate it! Be sure to follow the directions when you use it.

I am very happy with the Spring Float and it is definitely a must-have for summer! Keep a look out for an update on this post. I will probably add some more pictures when we use it at the beach!

– Amanda

**Burrito Buzz received this product at low or no cost for the purpose of review or testing. No compensation for a positive review was provided. All product reviews are based 100% off of our personal experiences and we never guarantee a positive review.**

Travelling with a Baby {Painful Truth Edition}

derek-imageOh man guys. I know I need to tell you all about this while it’s fresh in my mom-brain, but even thinking about it brings back a flood of stress and anxiety. If you’re a parent looking for tips that will help you travel with your LO: I warn you. This will both help you, and make you want to barf. #Sorry

We embarked upon a 12 hour, multi-state drive with my parents this past week. I really thought I had prepared for everything. Beach cabana for baby, travel DVD player, toys, blah blah blah. And let me tell you, no amount of prepping for this trip could actually PREPARE my mind.

  1. The Trip Down
    1. We decided to leave at 2AM. My LO goes to bed at 8, so we figured “great, he’ll sleep and we’ll sleep, and we’ll wake up to leave and he’ll stay sleeping.” Wrong. He was up and ready to party. Our pediatrician12065520_10205056619637005_1249445246177441679_n told us that we really needed to get him out of the car seat about every 3 hours to move around. HA. Do babies actually last that long in a car seat in the first place? So, the trip down was marked with many stops, lots of crying, and the occasional hour of constant entertaining to avoid screaming. (Photo is of my LO’s “comfortable” sleeping. He put the book there on his own.)
  2. Once at Our Destination
    1. Our condo had a pack n’ play and high chair provided. Sounds good, right? No. Just no. Though the condo was immaculate, the baby amenities were old, worn, and really kind of just sketch-city. Thankfully, I brought my own quilted pack n’ play sheet. If you’re traveling and have space, bring as much as you can. Bring your own pack n’ play, and something your LO can sit in to be entertained by (something you can fold flat for travel is ideal.)
    2. Don’t bring extra of everything. Bring enough to get you there, and then go to the grocery store for any food, diapers, wipes, etc. Same for the trip back: take what you need.
    3. The beach isn’t fun with a baby. Plain and simple. My LO had an interest level of ZERO in actually playing on the beach for more than an hour. And the ocean? HA. No. So we made short trips down to the beach, mostly to s12038538_10205056783961113_6812155279190095261_nave our sanity. We used our baby carrier and walked along the coastline often. Definitely the best/most relaxing part of our trip. (Photo is of me on the beach, with Lucas in his Tula.)
    4. SUNSCREEN. Tons of it. Also, swim diapers. You’ll be happy you can just tear the sides and throw them away when you’re done. I kept my LO shaded most of the time, so the swim suit with SPF was really a waste of money (considering you need to get the kind with “rash guard”, a thing I didn’t even know existed until last month.)
    5. Plan trips where you can use your stroller. If your LO is like mine, they love being carted around and seeing new things. We took our little umbrella stroller, and it was perfect. Malls, aquariums, places where you can move freely.
    6. When going to restaurants: go to places that are loud. Your LOs giggles, grumbles, and cries will be masked and others won’t be irritated with you. Also, bring a few toys, sanitary wipes to clean the high chair and table, and their food (my LO ate puffs often to keep him entertained.) Let them play with things at the table– our LO was entertained forever by a crumbly napkin.
  3. The Trip Back
    1. I was now a survivor. I prepared myself for the trip home. I learned from my mistakes. This momma was NOT going to lose her sanity again.
    2. We left a day early. This gave us two days at home to just get back into our “element” before having to go back to work. Best decision we made. Sure, we lost out on a day’s worth of condo rent… but totally worth it.
    3. We left at 8:30 AM. LO was fed, diapered, and in a good mood.
    4. I kept the atmosphere calm the entire trip. This helped not to get him super worked up, just to be stuck in his car seat for 10 more hours.
    5. We sat in the farthest back seat, where I could be right next to him.
    6. Toys. Just a few toys that are good for travel. Nothing to big that will be a hazard if a wreck should happen.
    7. We avoided the portable DVD player and just had some constant, steady music going.
    8. When he got tired, I wrapped him in a blanket and gave him his binkie. He slept much more the trip back than the trip down.
    9. All-in-all: our trip down was infinitely more successful. No stress, and our LO did great.
  4. To the Moms
    1. I know you want to look good. Especially if you plan on date nights. BUT, take my word on this… find ways to just look casual and cute, or you’ll end up looking Like Suzanne Somers after a sweaty episode on Dancing with the Stars. Your LO will interrupt your beauty routine, and you’ll have makeup everywhere and end up half dressed.
    2. I took a few casual summer dresses, which worked out great. I twisted my hair into “mom buns” so that later in the day my hair would have some natural wave to it.
    3. Keep the makeup simple. Less is more.
    4. Take advantage of the time your LO is sleeping to do what you need to do for yourself.

Our Travel Bag Included:

  • Several onesies, for approximately 2 outfit changes per day. A sweater for cold weather. 2 pairs of shorts. 2 pairs of pants. Socks. 1 pair of shoes. 2 pairs of pajamas.
  • Bath Chair that folds flat for a suitcase (Summer Infant)
  • Bath supplies: wash, powder, lotion. Diaper ointment. Nail clippers. A few small bath toys.
  • 2 baby blankets.
  • Quilted pack n’ play sheet.
  • Several toys. Our favorite was the Leap Frog drum
  • Food necessities: Travel spoons (I like Plum Organic’s) Bib that can be wiped off, any bottles or breastfeeding supplies. Take your own formula! And if you prefer organic food for your baby, research your options prior to travel. We found plenty of organic supplies while on vacation.
  • Extra diapers/wipes for travel, (but we bought most of our supply while there.)
  • Medications. Tylenol, saline, Advil, gas drops. Our LO was teething, and we ended up using Tylenol several times.
  • Teethers, if teething.
  • Video monitor. Our LO went to bed before we did, so this was great to keep an eye on him, and didn’t take up much space in our luggage.
  • Sound machine. Our LO doesn’t typically use one, but he wasn’t used to the new sounds and the close proximity (he slept in our room, when he typically sleeps in his own at home.)
  •  Beach: Cabana or umbrella, sunscreen, swim diapers, hat, portable fan.

Best of luck, travelling parents! May the force be with you.

-Katie