When To Go Home Early

If you are on vacation, various things can happen that make it impossible for your family to enjoy your time together. This year, we decided to go to Kalamata (yes like the olive) to visit a dear friend the day after Christmas. We were set to stay for two nights, but we quickly realized that we may have to cut our trip short.

Christmas night my son threw up all over his bed. He also had a high fever. He’s the little guy so he tends to catch everything. His immune system isn’t as built up as the girls. They have gone to school for years, so they have plenty of opportunities to get sick. It didn’t surprise me when only he got sick. It happens that way quite often. The next day he seemed better with no symptoms at all, so we decided not to cancel our trip.

On The Road

Everything was peaceful. My oldest didn’t even get car sick, which is a miracle. We arrived, checked in at our hotel, and went to meet our friend. They were having a bunch of free activities by the dock, so we went on a nice boat ride. We started to feel hungry so we went to a place we had gone to a previous time. It was fun. We ate burgers, talked to the owner who was also from the US (married to a Greek guy), and went back to the hotel for a nap. We had gotten up early to make the three hour drive.

Before she got sick, enjoying the balcony with her brother.
Before she got sick, enjoying the balcony with her brother.

The Beginning

During the nap, my oldest threw up. She made it to the toilet though, praise the Lord! So we rearranged our plans. My husband, his dad, and the two youngest would go hang out in the city center while my oldest and I watched “You’ve Got Mail,” on the hotel TV. There are mildly inappropriate parts for an 8 year old, just an fyi. She liked the movie. Then after the movie my husband appeared with the kids.

“She threw up on the way home from the park.” He pointed to my other daughter.

She probably got sick at least 8 times during the night, but each time she made it to the bathroom.

Fast Forward

Sometime during the middle of the night, my husband and I joined in on the fun. At least we didn’t need the one bathroom at the same time. I will confess something to you. In the morning, my oldest daughter found me asleep on the bathroom floor and helped me get to the bed. That has never happened to me before! I mean, never. No virus has conquered me so thoroughly as that one did. The next day went ok. We all had fevers, but at least the vomiting ceased. None of us were hungry, besides the three year old, who was starving. I had packed some food, so we let him eat all of it.

Our friend that we went to visit brought a bag of things to help from the pharmacy, which I really appreciated. Especially the club soda.

Dead Dreams

When we first checked into our hotel, I was so excited. The kids could sleep while my husband and I could hang out on the balcony which overlooked the ocean and mountainside. It was an amazing view. But after spending the night on the bathroom floor, I realized that everyone was miserable. When you are miserable, it’s better to be home. At home you can make peppermint tea and watch your favorite movie. It is not fun when you are sick and you don’t have any of the things that normally make your sickness more bearable. A hotel is NOT a fun place to be sick. This is especially true when your bored three-year-old is feeling fine and driving all of the sick family members crazy because he has no toys to play with or movies to watch.

Part of the view from our balcony. There was a mountain on the other side.
Part of the view from our balcony. There was a mountain on the other side.

I Just Want To Be Home

After thinking about our options for several hours, I finally told my husband I wanted to go home. I was willing to suffer and stay if everyone else was feeling better, but that wasn’t the case. We decided to go home early. He already had plans with his dad to see a movie with the girls, so they went. Our youngest girl fell asleep in the theater, poor thing. We left directly after at 11pm and drove for three hours. We had to carry each of the three kids into the flat and put them in bed, but I think it was the right decision. In the morning everyone was happy to be home.

How To Decide

Every situation will be different for each family. Maybe your family deals better with insane and evil viruses than mine does. You know you could have stayed and it would have been fine. Maybe you would have canceled the trip just in case. Then you wouldn’t have missed peppermint tea and toast like we did. Whatever you decide, make sure you communicate to your children why you did what you did. Kids want to know things like that. It helps them with disappointment if there is a “why.”

Hopefully our next trip will be virus free.

Happy travels,

Kristin

Wrapy Product Review & Guest Post

Hey everyone,

I’m so excited to feature a guest post from my amazing friend Sarah. She recently gave birth to one of the cutest babies I have ever seen, and she was kind enough to review the Wrapy on behalf of Sprouts En Route, since I don’t have any wrap sized children these days. Thanks Sar!! Happy reading to everyone else, and if you want to read about some other slings and things, check out this post after you read Sarah’s review.

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Sarah and her little cutie.

Since my daughter was born in October this year [2015], I’ve been experimenting with a couple different kinds of carriers of wraps, so when Kristin offered me the chance to try out the Wrapy, I was more than happy to do so. We have a Boba wrap and an Ergo carrier, both of which we use on a fairly regular basis. I generally use the Boba around the house and the Ergo when we’re out shopping or something.

When I opened the Wrapy, I noted that it was similar in style to the Boba wrap – a long piece of stretchy-ish fabric. I read through the instruction book that accompanied it and immediately noticed a few differences:

-Wrapy suggests one hold that is specifically for nursing, which I was pretty excited to try.

-Unlike the Boba, you fold Wrapy in half lengthwise before tying it on. (The reason for this is because it creates a pocket that you rest the baby in for some of the holds or gives you extra support in other holds.)

I have a Boba wrap as I noted above, so I’m familiar with how to put it on. If you’ve never used this type of wrap before, there’s a learning curve, but the instruction book is very clear. I tried a couple of the holds with my daughter [10 weeks, 11.5 pounds] and in the end, came to the following conclusions.

PROS:

-Wrapy fabric only stretches in one direction, which makes it a little more secure than my other wrap. With our other wrap, I often have one hand supporting my daughter (especially if I’m leaning over for anything) and have to tighten it if I want to put her back in after removing it. Wrapy stayed much tighter and I didn’t feel the need to keep a hand on my daughter.

-Offer multiple holds that facilitate nursing.

-Comfortable

-Secure

CONS:

-It’s kind of a pain to fold the fabric in half because it’s so long.

-The previously mentioned learning curve—but don’t be intimidated! With a little practice, you can put it on really quickly.

-The nursing hold—while freeing up one arm—presented me a dilemma when my daughter fell asleep because it only supports the bottom half of the baby and requires you support the baby’s head with your elbow. I wish there was a way to transition from that hold to another one without waking the baby… maybe there is, and I plan to explore a bit more, but nothing explicit that I saw in the directions.

-My daughter screamed when I tried a hold that places the baby in a pocket (the second hold that allows nursing), but I think that’s something that is more specific to her… she hates swaddling too and generally dislikes anything restricting. I think a newborn or a baby who enjoys swaddling might like this hold a bit more.

Overall, I was really happy with the wrap—and even my husband tried it out and thought the wrap was comfortable and convenient!

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Thanks again Sarah 🙂

Happy travels,

Kristin

The Wrapy was given to Sprouts En Route in exchange for the honest review you have read here.

The Seat Swap – Flying With Small Kids

Have you ever had to do the, “seat swap” while traveling? No, I am not talking about some new and exciting dance or party game. I wish I was. What I am talking about is trying to sit next to your toddler or newborn without paying lots of extra money to pick your seat. In fact, there are airlines that don’t let you pick your seat at all, even if you wanted to pay extra. What’s a mother traveling with a tiny child to do? Well, you have to engage in what I like to call the seat swap. Here are a few rules that will make other passengers less likely to give you the stink eye when you ask if they would be willing to swap seats.

infant in flight

The Seat Swap Rules

1. Keep your child close.

If someone realizes that you are asking to switch seats, and they don’t see your little one near you, chances are that they are already telling you no in their head before they attempt to say it out loud. I once asked a teenager (who wasn’t sitting near his mother either) if he would be willing to switch with me. His mom started to come our way, intending to put me in my place. Her son pointed out my two year old daughter, sleepily resting in a random seat, “she wants to sit next to her little kid, Mom.” If she had seen my little one, we could have avoided the five minutes it took her working her way down the aisle full of people to yell at me for bothering her son. As soon as she saw my sleepy little muffin, the frustration melted right off of her face.

2. Smile, smile, smile!

The best way to counter grumpy people that are annoyed with you for wanting to switch seats is to smile your butt off. Well not literally, since you actually need your butt for sitting. You need to try your best to keep a positive attitude when you notice the other person seems irritated. Getting frustrated yourself is not going to help an already awkward situation. I try to explain my best, that even though I purchased five tickets together, the airline has seated my husband and our very young three children all over the plane. “I would really appreciate if you would swap seats with me.”

Ksena sitting in a CARES harness when she was a little over 3 years old.
Ksena sitting in a CARES harness when she was a little over 3 years old.

3. When they also have a travel buddy.

This is the worst situation (which can only be made worse if another parent is also traveling with their child! In my opinion, the parent with the youngest child should win). In this situation you have to be quick, and be good a remembering seat numbers. If there are only two people, you can usually get a single person to swap nearby so that the seat you need can be swapped, while they still get to sit next to their travel buddy. The most complicated instance I have ever had of this was for four people to swap seats in order for everyone to be happy. In the end I was glad though, because I couldn’t imagine my 3 week old baby (whom I had purchased a ticket for so he could have a car seat), being next to a stranger, and having to reach over them every time I needed to breastfeed. Yes, this is a serious scenario I am describing. It makes me mad at airlines, but they don’t take into account that you really need to sit next to your small child.

4. Ask which seat they prefer.

If you have seats in the aisle and next to a window (which is possible if you are traveling with a large family), ask the person you are asking to swap which one they prefer. Or you can say, “Hi, I’m traveling with a small child, does someone close want to swap for my aisle seat?”

CARES harness on three year old
My sweet looking ball of fire 🙂

5. Dealing with a Grump – Let’s Get Real!

It could be that a person refuses to switch with you. This has happened to me before. I will look at them and say something like, “Well ok, but since I can’t be next to my child during this 7 hour flight, that means that if the ‘fasten seat belt’ light comes on, that you are going to have to take care of my 2-year-old.” Or I could say something like, “Here are a few extra barf bags for when my daughter gets air-sick.” Insert their grumbling, shifting around things, and them moving to the seat I was originally assigned to. I think when someone realizes that they are going to be next to a screaming toddler, they are a tad bit more willing to be flexible.

6. If all else fails, get your flight crew involved.

If you can’t secure a reasonable solution yourself, look for the woman on your flight crew that is the most likely to have had children, and ask for her help. The flight crew is trained in smoothing over awkward situations, and they want everyone else to have a smooth flight as well. They know the chances of your child screaming for four hours increases if your seat is three rows away from them.

Do you have any stories about a seat swap on a recent trip? I would love to hear them. Please tell me I’m not the only one 😉

Happy travels,

Kristin

Gum In My Kids Hair

We have been driving all over the U.S. and are currently in Indiana. It has been a blast, and I promise I will write more about our trip once we have some down time. For now I will tell you what happened today. We were at the mall with friends and the Information Center was giving out lollipops. What I didn’t was that realize the lollipops had gum in them. Little T actually did fairly well with the gum for a two year old. The problem didn’t come until later when I realized that K had been chewing on her gum, and also on her hair at the same time. (The hair chewing is a new bad habit I am trying to get her to stop. It’s pretty gross.)

gum in kids hair

So when I was getting her ready for bed I noticed that her hair had gum in it. Ugh. Five inches up. I started to think what she would look like with her hair that short and went straight for my friend’s refrigerator. I grabbed her all natural peanut butter, and rubbed it on the spot where the gum was. Then I was able to successfully take the hair off of the gum, and it was time for K to take a shower.

Viola, hair saved!

So the next time you have gum stuck in your little one’s hair, rub some peanut butter on there. In my opinion it works better than ice. If you are traveling in the US you can find peanut butter at pretty much any store.

Happy travels!!
Kristin

SipSnap on Kickstarter – Perfect Drink Solution for Travel!

I got an email about the SipSnap Kickstarter campaign this morning, and I couldn’t wait to share it with you!

Please watch the video. I am so excited about this product!! I wish I had $20 extra around to get in on this campaign myself, because the SipSnap would be a life changer for me. It would mean that my kids could drink out of regular glasses at restaurants, on airplanes, and at home! We have smoothies almost every day and the straw option would be so perfect for my 4 year old. Unfortunately we have had her entire lunch smoothie spilled all over the table and floor more than a few times.

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You can check out their Kickstarter website here. They have already reached their production goal and then some. While I was looking at the site the backing number kept going up and up. These tops are spill proof, BPA free, and dishwasher safe! They are pretty much everything you would want out of a sippy cup, but without the bother of having a special cup.

I would love to hear your feedback about this great idea and product. Or am I the only one so excited about this?

Happy Travels,

Kristin