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Getting Ready to Vacation

I haven't been around much or had time to write much. It took me a while to recover from the food poisoning. I even had to take Monday off from work. So then I also had to make up the work I'd missed. Plus, I'm busy getting ready for the vacation I'm taking next week.

That's right, I'm going on vacation next week! I'm going to Florida with my parents. I'm bringing the Pumpkin. But Londo is not coming. Am I crazy? Why, yes. I think I am.

It's not that a vacation with my parents and daughter is a bad idea. It's just, as I've mentioned, she is "spirited" and extremely active. She is not easy in so many ways. I love her more than I could ever express, and she is fun and funny and good natured. Surely, we'll have a great time!

But I know it will be exhausting. She is exhausting. And while my parents will help, I will have to put her down for every nap and every bedtime. I will have to be night duty and cosleep with her every night. I will have to be the one making sure she is entertained and happy and on scheduled.

Also, we will be flying down, and I've read some good tips about toddlers on the plane. Luckily, I will be on the same flight as my parents, so they will be helpful during the trip.

If anyone has any tips for traveling or being on vacation with a toddler, I'm open to hear them!


Shellie said…
gum, and new toys. I new, engrossing toy that you can do a lot with, like puzzles or a drawing board or a doll with clothes to change or whatever will keep the toddler busy during the sit-down boring parts. Take comfort items for naps and sleep times to make it more familiar. Be flexible with your plans, don't cram too much sight-seeing things into one day, alternate types of activities and make sure there are things that will soothe her overstimulated senses. Once I was asked my advice for traveling with twins and my advice was stay home. :)But since she's just one, have fun!
Cloud said…
I really stressed before our first trip wit Pumpkin, but she did better with sleep on the trip than she does at home. I think it was because there were lots of new things to see, and she was just tired out by the end of the day.

As for tips, hmmm... We found the fancy markers that only color on the paper that goes with them helpful on the airplane. And I was really, really glad we took a stroller that reclined, since she took several naps in the stroller.

Have fun!
paola said…
The plane trip shouldn't be too difficult if it's short (I'm guessing, what, a couple of hours?)and isn't too early or too late for the pumpkin. Around nap time is the best time, I've found, as they tend to drop off with the sound of the engines. If she likes to stay on your lap, added bonus. No real suggestions apart from bringing some new toy or some books for her to entertain herself with. My little one liked play dough - that kept her busy for about 1/2 an hour on hour trip to Aus. BTW, mine was fine while she was awake if she wasn't tired, so even 5-6 hours at a time she was happy to hang around my legs or sit on my seat, or play with my son's toy cars. The hard part is when it's their sleep time and they can't wind down ( mine is a tension releaser who often needs to wail a bit before dropping off), but your flight should be short so you won't have to worry about that.

Having your parents there will be a huge bonus, I think even better than having dad. Especially when everyone is on holidays. When we were back in Aus, Zoe was smack bang in the middle of the 18 month
regression and although she was very demanding, with my Mum, my SIL and her cousins in the house, when it was too much for me, I had someone else to distract her. Good luck and have a great holiday.
Becoming Mommy said…
Granted, when we went to California, Sasha wasn't walking yet and was still on 2 naps a day. was a little different. But here are some things I had done that made life easier:
1. Find a pediatrician nearby that accepts your insurance and make sure you have directions to it and the number in your wallet. You never know when that mysterious fever or whatever will happen.
2. Bring only a couple of days of clothes and enough food and supplies for 24 hours. Diapers, wipes, etc. can all be picked up when you get there and will greatly shrink your luggage. Extras can be donated to avoid waste.
3. Have an itinerary planned where your "travel time" is planned during naptime. Kids like to sleep in cars so it helps keep them on schedule and makes sure they take a nap when all the excitement is going on...even if it is short.
4. When eating out, always have some "sure thing" foods in the diaper bag. You never know what mood your toddler will be in and it's worth it to avoid a meltdown.
5. the toddler leash is about the bestest thing ever. They can run around and climb things and never get more than a few feet from you. Wear a belt you can fish the handle thru and you can even keep your hands free.
BisBink said…
Just think, in 3 months Londo will be flying solo with the Pumpkin, while we vacation in Florida. You are going to have a great vacation with the Pumpkin and your parents. If your nights are especially exhausting, maybe your parents could watch her for a few hours during the day so you could take a nap.

As for the plane ride. I have no experience with that, but would think that a portable DVD player with lots of fun/age appropriate cartoons, such as the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, would help the time go by.

I hope you have a wonderful trip!
electriclady said…
Portable DVD player and Magnadoodle for the plane. You don't need to bring a whole lot else--you can get a lot of mileage out of the safety instruction card, Skymall catalog, paper cups, etc. Crayons and paper for restaurants. We also have this portable placemat from Kiddopotamus that is genius--suction cups to attach to table, trough to catch dropped bits.

We actually found that naps and bedtimes were less of a production than at home. Maybe because the hotels all had blackout curtains and big comfy beds (we barely bothered with the cribs they provided).

I got a lot of good advice for our trip--check my archives for June and July for the pre-advice and my post-game analysis.

Have fun! It will be a lot better and more fun than you think it will be. :)
MommyEm said…
I read somewhere to get a whole bunch of (non-choking hazard) toys from a dollar store and put them in separate bags. You then "surprise" Pumpkin with a new toy every hour of the trip. So if you have 6 hours total travel time, you bring six new toys and let her have fun opening the bags and getting the toys out. Now I have no clue if this actually works, but it sure sounds good! ;-)

You are a braver person than I (which you know), for I totally wimped out taking Dorothy to the Midwest for the holidays. I just couldn't imagine taking an almost two-year-old on a plane trip that included a layover and a switch to a commuter plane for the last leg of the trip. The $500 a piece plane ticket also helped.

Have a great trip and say "Hello" to your parents for Dorothy and me.
OneHappyCow said…
Forgive me if these are repeats, I am short on time and no time to read all the comments. I wish my daughter could have frequent flyer miles, she has been on a plane many many many times since birth. I am still nursing, so I can usually boob her down on the plane. She likes to stand on my lap and look at the people all around her. She LOVES the skymall catalog and the safety card. I give her tylenol about 1 hr prior to takeoff (just in case for the ears) and have her drink from her sippy (or me) on take off and landings. She has never had any issue. I bring food (snacks you can dole out one by one - like gerber crunchies, are a big hit and buy time), books. The magna doodle and dvd player sound like great options too. Other than that I always hope to get her to sleep! Good luck, I didn't answer your question of the week but if I could I would say "ditto" - I have told you before I think we have twins that are not related! Anyways, my girl is the same and I am usually alone as my hubby is military, and we always do okay. If not, its not like she is sleeping that great anyways, and you still get a vacay out of it (that's my philosophy anyhow)! You guys will have fun, can't wait to hear all about it.
Colleen said…
Whenever I flew with my kids by myself, I kept one or two favorite books and toys, coveted snacks, the portable dvd player with a favorite video, and sat near the window. We also got a lot of mileage out of cups, straws, and the stuff in the seat-pocket.
I know my cousin will sometimes buy a seat for one of her kids just so that she can strap them in their carseat on the plane because that child would lose his mind only having the seatbelt and not being allowed to run around the plane. She still had toys and books for him, but it's like a Pavlovian response for him to stay calm and patient while in his carseat.

I hope your trip is wonderful and fun. It will be tough playing solo parent, but since you're on vacation and not working, hopefully you can get a little extra shut-eye. And maybe all the fun running around will tire-out Pumpkin enough for her to sleep well, too.

p.s. glad you're feeling better
Anonymous said…
Our son is also into the magnadoodle/DVD player combo for long rides in the car and on planes. We also let him have a few "forbidden" items. He gets to watch the Muppets on the DVD player-he loves them and only gets to see them on long trips.



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