Wednesday, August 22, 2012

On Moving and Loving

In less then a week we will be boarding a plane. We'll have checked our bags, stashed our carry-ons, and settled in for the flight. 4 hours later, we'll be on the other side of the country. 

A place called Nova Scotia. A place we'll call home. It's already become home to us. It's the constant answer to my two and half old's questions of where, what and why. 

"In Nova Scotia, darling."

The goodbyes are starting to be said. 'Till next time. 

We've been living out of suitcases for a month and half already. Living with my in-laws, traveling for work and pleasure, tying up loose ends. 
We'll be repacking those suitcases come Monday, making sure it all fits within airline regulations. 

There's no checklist for emotions. No list of feelings one must feel when one moves across the country. It's been a roller coaster ride of excitement, anticipation, nervousness, mingled with a little fear of the unknown. 

Tears have been shed. Laughter has filled the air. I've grabbed moments and held them close, memorizing faces and places. 

It's not always easy. This business of packing oneself up and moving. But the hard stuff isn't to be feared, it's all part of the journey. 

And so I embrace it.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Traveling with the Kidlets ( and not going crazy)

I recently got back from a week long trip to visit my sister. My husband had to work so the girls and I went by ourselves. It's a decent day's drive, over and around the mountains into the province west of us. We did  the drive again (because we're crazy?) this week for some photo work and to spend more time with some of our favorite people.

In a couple of weeks (ah!!) we are going to be flying across the country to Nova Scotia. Flying.
With the same adorable, rambunctious little girls. 

We love to travel. It's one of the things we do as a couple and now as family. Rather then stopping altogether in the busy season with littles, we just figure out a new rhythm. 

Here's what we've found works for us:

Pack activity bags for the vehicle
These are often a collection of the girls' favorite books, the ones they like to look at over and over again. A few small toys that can be manipulated like an etch-a-sketch, an I-SPY bottle or a doll. I always make sure Kilmeny's sunglasses are in there, she likes to travel in style that one does. A favorite teddy and blanket are always close by as well. I avoid toys or books with any sound effects, hours in a small contained space with those sorts of toys would make us all go crazy. Agreed? 

Snacks and Drinks 
On my trip, we stopped by a grocery store on our way out. I grabbed some favorite snacks, ones that I don't buy all the time so they have that novel appeal. I also made sure I got Starbucks before heading out. 
Small containers work great for housing snacks like strawberries or chips and Kilmeny loves the idea of eating out of her brightly colored bowls. Small baggies of dried fruit and crackers work well as I can give the whole bag to the girls who can eat at their leisure without me constantly passing back another cracker. I made sure we were well-stocked in the food department for them and me so that if they were sleeping, I could just drive and drive. There were a few beautiful moments on my way home of driving through the mountains, sipping some hot tea and delighting in the rain amongst the trees while the girls slept.  

Keep it Fun 
Everytime I've driven somewhere long with the girls solo, I've always found a playground to stop at. I can feed the baby, Kilmeny runs around and plays, we all get fresh air. They typically fall asleep again after that little break which totally works for me. The novelty and delight of a new place to play is always worth that half hour (or less) it adds onto the trip. 
This last trip, Kilmeny was getting fussy and tired of being in her carseat until I gave her a fresh wipe. She 'cleaned' her carseat and then 'cleaned' everything she could reach. She was happy. I was happy. And it only took a few fresh wipes which under normal circumstances are not playthings. 

Make it Special 
 Something I'll be doing on future trips is packing a special surprise for each hour. It could be a snack, a new toy (hello dollar store!), coloring book/crayons, book, just something new and novel to pass the time away. Giving one each hour helps them to wait for it and keep their anticipation high.

There are some ideas, what works for you? Any new ideas on plane travel with two active little girls? 

Thursday, August 9, 2012

In which my Khaira-baby turns One!

Khaira Tatiana Monique,

You're one today, baby girl. Crazy how fast a year goes. You were so little, so new and needy. My little blue-eyed baby, looking so much like your Daddy. 
Your blue eyes sparkle most of the time, your smile makes everyone else smile. 
We've shared lots of time together, you and I. Lots of cuddle time late at night, lots of walking in the living room, lots of crying for you and me both. 
And now you're growing up, sleeping by yourself and happy, so very happy. 
You love being close to me more then anyone else and I love that. 
Always stay close, baby girl. Always keep that sparkle alive, stay close to mama but stay closer to God. He will be your Rock and your safe place. 

We're so happy you're part of our family. You are loved and treasured. 

Happy Birthday, little princess! 


Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Embracing the Messy {finger paint recipe}

The mess that goes along with being a mom at times makes me (inwardly and sometimes outwardly) freak out. The toys, the books, the stuff pulled out of cupboards, the outfit changes, the laundry. It's a constant balancing act of washing, tidying, and putting away.

 But this, this creative mess. I love it. 

The delight on their faces when they realize they can smear the paint everywhere. The mixture of colors that creates new color. The mess that comes when they create.

It's beauty. 

And their sodden pieces of paper are works of art.  

Simple kitchen ingredients come together fast to make the paint. It didn't keep the kids occupied as long as I thought it might but it was fun. I loved the bright colors and smiles as they oozed the paint everywhere. They loved being able to make a mess and create beauty.

What messy beauty are you embracing today?


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