We’re walking past the library to get to our car and the boys’ keen eyes find some construction. They take in every detail in a matter of moments. There’s a traffic light on the ground, 2 big bucket trucks, one with a crane, lots of men standing around waiting for their turn, a police officer and his cruiser.
We were coming from kid yoga and had some beach towels with us, so we laid one down, and 1, 2, 3, 4 boys sit side by side and watch for about an hour.
Even if you have girls, you should stop for construction if you can.
We made the trek to Key West, via 2-2 hour flights with 1 small 2 hour layover in between.
There’s a huge phobia concerning surviving a flight with kids, and for good reason. Running through an airport with luggage, having to take off shoes and put them back on, potentially long waits, and in the airplane, confined space, where you can’t move around much, can’t be too loud, and where there are people who might be really disturbed to be sat next to young children.
1. Timing: There is a challenge that goes along with any time you choose to travel. We woke the kids very early to fly out by 6am. Little K was able to catch a nap on the second flight. Little J was very tired by bed time, but they caught up on sleep by day 2.
We’ll leave in the evening on the way home, getting back to our house by 1am. We’ll put the kids in the pjs for the flight home. They will sleep for most of it and we’ll have to huff their sleepy little bodies throught the airport along with our roll on suitcases. This is when NOT checking bags comes in really handy.
2. Dress Code: Wear slip on shoes for easy take off and put on at security. Wear layers just in case the flight is too cold or too warm.
3. Hydrate. The pressure changes and stress of travel can take a toll on your body and phychy. Drinking lots of water can at least elliviate the headache hangover that sometimes accompanies a plane ride.
4. Patience: Realize that during the flight, the chances that the kids will disturb someone are pretty good, and take those “Negative Nelly’s” right off your radar. There’s only so much you can do to keep your kids calm and quiet. Smile and apologize when necessary. If there’s more than one adult, do a switch off when someone runs out of patience.
5. Pack a bag of fun stuff…not too full because you don’t want to be lugging an enourmous bag around the airport, cutting off the circulation in your shoulder while also rushing a toddler to the bathroom. I’ve taken a box of bandaids with us a couple of times and it kept the kids busy for while.
This is what we packed: The boys each brought their comfort toy…for Little K is was his blanket and for Little J, his burpies…1 small backpack and in it, lots of paper back children’s literature because they are thin and light, a couple of little dry erase books that help the boys practice learning their letters, 2 small white pads of paper, a small bag of drawing supplies (crayons and pip squeek markers), Kids’ Cliff Energy bars, applesauce containers in a zip lock bag (that had to be checked in with security,) 2 small bags of playdough with old credit cards for cutting, an alphabet game called Pairs in Pears and a dvd player and educational shows (Sid the Science Kid and Might Machines) that we save for desperate measures.
6. Encourage some Independence: Little J loved to be in charge of his own ticket and small roll on luggage.
7. Pack Light: We tried not to check any bags, packed really light and each had 1 carry on roller bag that fit neatly into the overhead, and 1 backpack that fit nicely under the seat in front of us on the airplane. We didn’t bring a stroller or car seat. We show up to the airport with enough time to make it through security and to our make it to our terminal, while allowing the kids to set the pace.
8. Everyone should try to use the bathroom before and after the flight, washing hands often.
9. Enjoy the take off and landing as its own form of entertainment, look out the window and talk about how you are above the clouds. For us, looking out the window has inpires great conversations about wheather, the earth and about heaven and God.
10. When you get to wherever you’re going, carve out some time to decompress from travel. We sit on the hammocks on the back porch of my folks little vacation home and feel the sun and wind on our face while the boys pretend to fish in the canal with ropes and buckets.
We’ve been as busy as a hill of ants the last couple of days, stockpiling our summer stuff into as few suitcases as possible, in preparation for our yearly vacation to Key West, Florida.
We make a lot of lists for packing.
Even the boys.
Here is our wish list for Key West this year:
1. Fishing with Papa
2. Go to Toy Store
3. Eat dinner at the restaurant with little hens and chicks running under our feet.
4. Visit Pirate Nick
5. Swim at the Island Beach, (the sand bars)
6. Get Ice Cream
7. Swim nuddies in the canal
8. Higgs Beach
9. Get Icecream
If you’re planning an adventure with your kids this summer, like a vacation away, try making a family list of things to do. It was fun for us and will be even better to have these activities as goals during the week we’ll be in Key West.
If your kids enjoy farm play, you might be interested in what our local CFCE, Coordinated Family and Community Engagement program, had in store for us this Thursday. The CFCE program is funded by the Massachusetts Department of Early Education & Care.
We read 3 farm books that are very silly and highly recommended.
Then, we spread out our beach towels and use them as yoga mats, as we explore a handful of animal yoga poses. The teacher has the children use a small foam ball to help inspire certain movements. The ball is meant to help the kids focus.
Here are yoga animal poses from YoungYogaMasters.com:
Camel Ride – a basic warm-up in Kundalini Yoga, sit in easy pose, hold your ankles, inhale lift your spine forward and up, exhale and relax your spine back – as if you were riding on a camel.
Elephant taking a Shower: stand up and make a trunk with your arms, keep your legs straight and dip your trunk into the imaginary watering hole in front of you, then lift your trunk up and spray the water like a shower.
Frog: squat and stretch your legs like a frog warming up and then jump!
Butterfly Drinking Nectar: sitting, put your feet together and knees bent wide apart. Flutter your legs up and down like a butterfly. Then move your chest to your feet and drink the nectar from a flower in front of you.
Cheetah: move quickly on all fours like a cheetah running across the land
Unicorn: Make your hands into a magical unicorn horn over the centre of your head then gallop.
There is also a craft set out on the table. The materials are farm animals stamps, large stamp pads, glue sticks, construction paper cut out into barn shapes.
Friend H comes off the bus ready for a project she’s been thinking about all day. She’s brought her mud boots to our house in preparation for her plan. There is a big cliff of rich dirt at the side of the yard that we’ve been allowing the kids to dig into.
Yesterday, she started digging a deep hole in the side of the cliff of dirt.
Today, she fills it in with soft natural found objects: moss, grass, puffs left over from last season’s hydrangea flowers, leaves and needles of the magnolia bushes and the arbervity trees and dandelions. She adds some pretend treasure (coins and play jewelry.)
Friend H says she’s building a nest for a family of Blue Jays.
Girls + Dirt = Happy Messes
We’ve been getting farm fresh, organic eggs from our CSA. There is a substantial difference between a typical store bought egg and a farm fresh egg. The farm fresh egg shells come in a range different colors and sizes, and the yolk is a much darker orange color. The taste is slightly more rich. I know we’re getting better TLC from an egg from a local farm. If your family loves eggs, you should look into some local farms to buy eggs.
With Little J’s surgery, we’ve been trying to feed him lots of power foods to boost his system.
One hairy morning, when the recovery seems particularly difficult, Little J and I decide to scramble some eggs together.
He helps a lot in the meal making process and has become kitchen competent, so he can scramble a mean egg with hardly a spill.
This is how to scramble an egg, in Little J’s words:
“You need eggs, milk, sugar (he means salt), a fork and a bowl and butter in the fryin’ pan.
Mommy breaks the eggs into the bowl.
Add milk, mix it with a fork, until the eggs are all turned into liquid.
Sprinkle with sugar (he means salt)
The butter melts in the frying pan.
Put the eggs in.
You mix the eggs with the spoon until the eggs are made, but not when they’re greasy, when they’re dry.
You eat them.”
Eggs contain ingredients to develop a healthy body including nearly all of the essential nutrients such as folic acid, B1, B6 and B12. They provide the minerals calcium, magnesium, potassium, zinc and iron and they are complete in all amino acids making them the most complete food protein.
~ a fun fact from today at play
We’re participating in TinkerLab’s Egg Carton Challenge:
I have 2 cardboard egg cartons on hand, offer them to the boys and ask them, “do you have any ideas how we can use these?”
Little J, reminded of the egg coloring project he worked on in school using paper towels, water colors, eggs and egg cartons, has an idea.
Per his instructions, we collect these materials:
the 2 egg cartons
liquid water colors
medicine dispensers to use as droppers
strips of old paper
Little J’s idea is to snip pieces of paper towel, sorting the pieces into the egg carton cups and to drop water colors into each cup.
When the boys have filled all the cups with color, we notice the way the cardboard material absorbs the liquid.
We find other materials to dip in the watercolors…more paper towels, strips of paper, and the skin on the boys’ little hands. We make a “clothes line” and the boys hang the pieces of wet colored paper and towel on the line.
The theme for library story time is sheep.
We start by tracing the kids little hands.
Then we cut out the hand shape,
and glue cotton balls on the palm part of the paper and a little googly eye for tip of the thumb.
Here are some good books about sheep.
- No Sleep for the Sheep! by Karen Beaumont
- Feeding the Sheep by Leda Schubert
- Where Is the Green Sheep? by Mem Fox
- Sneaky Sheep by Chris Monroe
When I was a college student, I spent a Spring Break in Italy, visiting my BFF who was abroad for the year. Many times, as people do in Italy on a beautiful spring day, we would find ourselves sitting at a sidewalk cafe. We would sip on coffees and the O so Precious, Freshly Squeezed Blood Red Orange Juice while we mulled over our lives, the conversations causing us to slowly sip and savor every drop. So delicious, the drink being one of my favorite parts about the trip. And where it seemed impossible to find them when I got back to the USA, I’m finding them all over the stores right now.
Currently, the boys are getting restless with the same old fruit selections. I want to bring some new tastes into the kitchen and onto the snack table. I make the mistake of calling the orange by its name and the boys are convinced there’s blood in it. They are scared to try. I don’t know how I con them into putting a piece to their reluctant lips, but they taste and fall in love. Yeah, That’s what I thought. Yay, vitamin C and keeping the taste buds interested and the immune system strong.
I selfishly save a couple blood red oranges, to try out an adult beverage recipe that looks divine.
Here is the recipe for all you cocktail hour folks out there:
blood red orange juice
Muddle a few mint leaves with tablespoon powdered sugar and juice from 1 lime
Top with lots of ice
Dribble whiskey over the ice
Blood Red orange juice to top it off