Flying with a toddler – Learn from us!

We recently had an epic family trip to Florida.  This was little girl’s first time on a plane.  For the most part, the flights were a pretty smooth experience.  However, we did learn a few lessons that we will use for future flights.

  • Pack snacks. Pack snacks everywhere! I had snacks in our carry-ons, in my purse, in the diaper bag, everywhere.
  • Bring a sippy cup or water bottle that you can fill up once you have gone through security.  Little girl had her water bottle the entire time and sipped from it pretty continuously.  I have a feeling that the constant sipping helped to avoid any ear aches that frequently happen for little kiddos (and grown-ups) on planes.
  • Check your luggage. We didn’t and we both agreed that we would check luggage the next time we flew anywhere. Checking luggage will ensure that you have some extra hands for child wrangling.
  • Although this can’t always be helped, try to fly during the time of day when you know that your child is calmer. We flew in the evening for our flight down and in the morning for our return flight. The morning flight was far more pleasant because she napped for almost the entire flight.
  • And although this also can’t always be helped, try to fly non-stop. If you have a layover, plan on longer than an hour. That way, you have plenty of time to relax/bathroom break/have a snack/walk around/whatever before you have to get back on the plane again. Our flight down had a one hour layover and our first flight was very delayed so we had to run to our connecting flight. No time for the much needed diaper change.
  • And, if you are planning on using your car seat we purchased something like this that was great.  It was fantastic because we were able to attach the car seat to a carry-on suitcase, strap her into the car seat, and wheel her around the airport.

What tips do you have for traveling with a toddler?

Summer To Do List

The summer is quickly moving along and I have a lot that I want/need to do this summer.  As we are still house hunting, this summer may very well be our last in Chicago so there are a lot projects that I want to complete and places that I want to visit before school begins once more.

In no particular order:

  • Read.  Read.  Read.  I have so many books that I have yet to finish or even start.  My goal is to finish as many of the paperback books as I can so that they can be packed up in boxes.  Then, I can return to the books on my Kindle and the Kindle app on my phone.
  • Go on a walk every day.  So far, weather permitting, I’ve been great at this one.  Just have to keep going with it.  The key is to get most of my walk in before we pass any swings at the park.  Because as soon as little girl can see the swings, she’ll lose her mind until she sits in one.
  • Start mommy and me yoga classes.  I was going to start this this past Friday, but, the Blackhawks won.  And we live in Chicago.  So…of course we had a parade to attend.
  • Finish the furniture renovations that we began at the beginning of the summer.  We still need to sand and paint the dresser which is a rather large piece of furniture.  There is also a stepstool that matches the original paint on those pieces but I have yet to figure out what I’m going to do with it.
  • Go to the zoo.  Lincoln Park Zoo is one of my favorite places in the city.  The best part is that it’s free!  I’m planning on going at least once with Peanut.
  • Spend a rainy day at a museum.  The museums in the city are amazing and almost all have activities that are fun for little kiddos to do, too.
  • Have a yard sale.  We’ve been slowly going through all of our stuff.  What do we need?  What can we get rid of?  What should we donate?  What can we try to sell?  We have accumulated a lot of stuff and it would be great to not have to try to box it all up when we move.
  • Buy frames for photos that need to be framed.  We had family portraits done and need to frame those.  Ryan and I also still have Peanut’s one-year photos on the dining room table.  We need to frame those as well.
  • Have matting done for art pieces.  We have several prints that we have already purchased frames for.  All that they need now are to be matted and they will be ready to hang in our new home.
  • Do this project.  I’ve had the pattern printed out and the paper purchased for a long time now.  I just need to purchase the wood for the background, cut out the pieces, and complete it.
  • Eat outside as much as possible.  Almost all of my favorite restaurants have seating outside because Chicagoans love (!!!!!!!!) eating outside.  This one won’t be much of a challenge to complete.  🙂
  • Make a terrarium using a mason jar and succulents.  I’ve been doing a lot of research on Pinterest about types of terrariums, types of soil that is needed, and different succulents.  Will probably do this closer to a moving date, whenever that is.  I am a bit concerned about succulents and the cats so I will have to figure out a place in the new house where the succulents can be and where the cats can’t get to them.  Whenever bringing plants into a house with animals, please research the type of plant as much as possible.  The ASPCA has a great list of plants that are poisonous to animals that you can see here.
  • Go to the beach.  We have yet to take Peanut to the beach for a day and I know that that is something that I want to change soon.
  • Do this project.  I’m not sure what word(s) I’ll do.  “Family.”  “Love.”  “Laughter.”  “I love cookies.”  I’m open to suggestions.
  • Watch tv.  I’ve been slowly working my way through seasons of shows that I never watched when they were on using our Netflix.  I finally understand what people had been talking about years ago.  🙂
  • Do this project.  I love it because it looks so easy and could be any possible color palette.

That’s my list.  It’s pretty extensive and I probably won’t get most of them done but writing down the list is a good start.  What’s on your summer bucket list?