Holidays Away from Home

Sometimes going out of town for the holidays can be more work for a mom then having guests to her own home. As moms we have to add strategic packing and extra cleaning to our list of daily chores and then try to think of ways to entertain our toddlers on the plane or road ride.

Since Ben and I woke up at 3:00 this morning and couldn’t go back to sleep, we both proceeded to get up and go about out daily tasks. Even Miss Ophelia got up and blessed us with her cheerful laughter and morning smiles. Now that Ben has gone to work, and O back to bed, and I have scrubbed my kitchen, started laundry, run 2 loads of dishes, I must set about planning my packing and cleaning. For starters, I found this fantastic on-line pre-checklist that should help get the ball rolling. Personally, I like to write up a list stating the date, day, and planned “event” and then write specifically what I’d like to wear that day.
Tuesday 20th, Plane ride
Abra: Wool pants, red blouse, black cardigan, black flats
Ophelia: Jeans, Kitty top, red hoodie, converse*

Wednesday 21st, Great Grandmas
Abra: Blue Jeans, brown tunic, plaid flats.
Ophelia: Cords, pink top, socks.

You get the idea. I found this checklist at Babycenter.com to be especially helpful as I pack my carry on or diaper bag. If you’re flying by air, remember to identify your bags with a colorful ribbon or tag. Since we do a lot of traveling, I had personalized tags made that make claiming our luggage a breeze. But you can use any brightly colored ribbon or key-chain doodad, to help your luggage stand out in a crowd.

Again, if you’re flying, remember that you can bring food through security, just not drinks. So feel free to pack a lunch and crackers or cookies to save money on your trip. I like to buzz by a vendor after getting past security to buy a bottle of water to keep us stocked up, that way the stewardess isn’t constantly refilling O’s sippy cup. Remember to bring your toddler’s birth certificate, too. I’ve only ever been asked for it twice, but I was glad I had it when they did. I keep mine in an envelope in a zip lock bag to protect it from the inevitable juice-spilled-all-over-the-inside-of-my-bag problem. At least for Ophelia, I’ve found that bringing an doodle pad, babydoll, a favorite book, extra headphones to listen to music or watch the air-television, crackers and an emergency treat (chocolate, usually) keeps her pretty entertained for the first 3 hours. After that, it’s a matter of playing games and attempting to get her to take a nap.

Please let me know your tips and tricks for packing and traveling, I can use all the help I can get. Happy Thanksgiving!

*a note on dressing children for plane trips: I’ve found that dressing my daughter up especially cute helps the other passengers not be quite so hostile towards us. How can you be mad a cute kid? Terrible, but true. 😉cimg1727.jpg


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