Posted in Mom life, Two Cents Worth of...

Solo Night Alone.

Almost two years. Two whole years since I’ve been totally alone in my home with only my pets.

It feels really weird and I’m not used to the silence.

Dead silence as I write this.

My husband went to Florida with his brother to fish for a few days before his work picks up again and my son was with Grandma and Grandpa for the day while I worked. Turned out they got my dad scheduled for his first dose of the vaccine away from home so they stayed the night and took my little guy.

A few days before my husband left I tried to think of what I was going to do with the evening to myself. I mean I literally have been with either my son while my husband is on night shift or with my husband. They’re wonderful, obviously.

I made so many plans in my head of things I could do, where I could eat, who I could call, where I could shop.

Know what I did on my one solo night with out them here?

Not a single one of the plans I had played out in my head a few days before.

Instead I kept to myself and just truly had a night to myself.

I enjoyed every single minute of it too.

I first reorganized all of my kitchen cabinets because of baby items now being replaced with toddler stuff. Then I cleaned up the hidden dog poop from the winter that has now thawed. My dog decided she needed to roll in deer poop while I did that so she got a spa day afterwards and completely scrubbed down. Then I tossed a bunch of stuff that was bothering me in the kitchen, because I can and no one can yell at me not to. 😊

Then for the best part of my day. I began a new Netflix series and ordered myself sushi and some Chinese food for lunch to cover the next few days.

Of course I treated myself. I had to include the mom stuff that I so enjoyed (not the poop clean up crew part) without anyone else in the house too because that’s also part of my “me night.”

WOW.

Almost 2 whole years since I’ve had a night like that. I loved it. I almost finished the first season of the show and I don’t regret a single thing.

My pup and cat also did too. They got all of my love and snuggles without having to share.

I might have to schedule myself one of these more often. 😉

Posted in Mom life, Two Cents Worth of...

Play Dates… for Adults too

We set up play dates for our kids, or in my case, a friend suggests it because I’m a homebody and fail to reach out. However, as much as our little ones need the time with other littles, did you realize how much YOU need it too?

I didn’t until the other day. One of my long-time close friends who I consider family, texted me asking if our son’s could get together. I immediately said yes because my son has been having some very busy days and outcries showing he’s over mom and dad.

These two boys are totally best friends when they’re together. To the point they melt our hearts when they hug one another with emphasis and her son tells him, “I love you!” Cue the emotional tears welling up in your eyes when you get to witness that. *GAHHH I love our kids*

Anyways, back to what I was getting at.

They came over in the afternoon and our sons jumped into all of the toys and proceeded to enjoy their time together. Well, his mom and I got to chatting. We’re Italian so all we do is talk.

But she mentioned that she was home and thought to herself how she was bored and figured she needed out as much as him. We were together for several hours in our home watching the kids play and doing nothing but being friends.

Nothing more simple than that.

We even had a cup of tea and pizza for dinner. How old do we sound?! HA! I literally asked her if she takes sugar in her tea. Sorry mom and Bridge, but I sounded like a REAL MOM for a second. 😉

There was something so nice about that time though. Sure, we witnessed our sons escalate their energy to about 200 miles an hour then come back down and begin the cranky tiredness of bed time. In that time of them ramping up and then winding down, we got to be who we are again, friends.

That time with a friend was much needed as a decompress of life. I didn’t think about the crazy world around us. We were mindlessly enjoying one another’s company and that was it.

We got to be the friends we always have been. Of course we talked mom life, but we also laughed over other things and chatted girl talk. That’s part of being friends through all of the stages of life.

After she and the kids left, that’s when I realized everything I mentioned above and how simple it was. How needed the time with her was for me and I hope her as well!

Make sure that you’re setting up time for your kiddos to have fun but also for yourself. Sure, you may do things with them or go places with others around, but are you enjoying it as much as them? Maybe reevaluate the play date to accommodate yourself a little bit too.

It might be something you didn’t know you needed like I did. I’m very thankful for friends like her that I know will always be around and keep me grounded but make sure we stay true to who we were before we were moms.

Us, before we were moms, but I love us through every stage, because we’re still friends!

Posted in Mom life, Two Cents Worth of...

Traveling with a Toddler

We recently went to Florida to visit my in-laws for my father-in-law’s 60th birthday and given everything going on, I certainly thought about driving there.

Once I accepted the actual reality of putting a 20 month old into a car for an 18 hour, give or take, car ride we decided against it and went with the option of flying on a 2 hour and 20 minute flight.

Mom brain makes you think all the worst of course. So rather than explain every single one I had, let’s fast forward to how we did for his very first flights to and from Florida.

I asked friends on Facebook for their best traveling tips for a kiddo on the plane and I went to the ever trustworthy Pinterest. 😉

I gathered all of the fun tips that truly did allow us to have a pretty awesome trip with our little dude.

Below are a few of them that maybe will help you or you can store for the next trip you take. Thank you to all of my friends who shared the wonderful tips for us to use and now pass along to others!

  • If you are traveling with a car seat, it flies free. This was for Spirit Airlines.

  • Said car seat is also NOT weighed by the airlines. Use this to your advantage. Strap in your bulky items. We packed his diapers, life jacket, wipes and our jackets into the car seat. This saved room and weight in our baggage. (This was my favorite tip given to me so I had to share it because I would not have thought of this!)

  • If you have a diaper bag, I’ve recommended this before, but get yourself the backpack types. They’re much easier to carry with a child than a bag over your shoulder.

  • Arrive roughly 1 ½ hours before your flight. Here’s my thought on it and it worked PERFECTLY for us both times. You always board about a half hour before the flight. This gives you about an hour to check your bags, go through security with a little cushion due to checking the snacks & drinks, and a bathroom break for everyone on the walk to your terminal. We spent no more than 15 minutes waiting in a seat before we could board. BOOM. Less time for him to be bored. This was in the Pittsburgh & Tampa airports that are rather large.
  • Bring the saving grace items. Ours is his binky (pacifier), that he is slowly getting rid of, but it’s used for naps and bed time. Well, it’s great for any panic moments on a plane too! Pop that baby in and you saved a mild meltdown for 20 minutes. Every minute counts. 😊 We used this both ways. No shame.

  • Pack an extra set of clothes & more diapers than you expect. Wouldn’t you rather be prepared than up a creek without a paddle?
    (I legit forgot the wipes in Florida for the trip home to save weight, thinking I had them. We also left the house at 4:30 am, sooo tired! Thank god for having the tiniest pack in his diaper bag from a sample and we had no poop incidents!)

  • Kid’s snacks and drinks are welcome. Pack them in a clear Ziploc bag to make security checks easy on yourself.
    To be sure of the snacks and drinks, check the TSA website. https://www.tsa.gov/travel/travel-tips/kids-rule-airport 
    Clear containers for drinks are allowed. I brought him a sippy cup of milk with us as well as Capri Suns since they have a clear bottom. Now, in Pittsburgh we had no issues with them but in the Tampa airport she told me Capri Suns weren’t allowed but she would allow us to proceed. (I call BS). They were all nice to us but it took a little more time in security for them to check those items. I’d still wait that long to ensure he has all his snacks on the flight!
  • You get priority boarding if your children are under 2 years old. This was golden for boarding and situating ourselves as we were first to board on both of our flights.
  • Allow them to snack while taking off and landing. Give up your mama rules people. He had a bit of trouble on the first landing with his ears, even while eating, but it wasn’t too bad. He grabbed and pulled on them but didn’t cry. I chalk that up to being his dad’s son. His father has trouble with his ears on every flight as well.
  • Keep it fun for them. Bring activities that fit within your diaper bag/backpack. We used his tablet for Netflix and Disney+ as well as the Melissa & Doug water wow books. He even had playdough that is allowed through since it’s less than 3 ounces and another board book. Bring what they like!

At the end of the day, make sure you keep yourself calm and the child as happy as you can. It’s a lot for you all on those travel days! You all will be tired once you arrive to your destination.

For us, it did offset his schedule for a solid day once we arrived in both locations. That’s a simple fact of changing their daily routines but as usual, you roll with the punches and adapt along with them. That’s your only option when it comes down to it.

Don’t overthink it, while I know you probably will. I did too. 😊

Happy traveling everyone! We have our first flight travel in the books now!