2015: Part Nine

So one thing about living in Alaska is that we are so far away from family and friends.  Don't get me wrong sometimes that's a good thing (hee hee hee)...totally kidding, but not really, but really ha!  Whenever we want to go somewhere it takes us a full day of traveling.  We've been able to travel quite a bit while living here which is a huge blessing and have had the chance to see family a lot more than I originally thought but it can take a toll.  The kids are now old enough it's getting easier and easier, but every time we get on a plane I feel bad for them all snuggled up scrunched together sleeping on nasty airplane seats.  Good thing they don't know any better.  They are such great travelers.  Friends and family who don't live far away or have to travel are always saying "I don't know how you do it" (yes usually I'm traveling alone with my kids), Ernie tries to meet us but he's got to pay the bills so I'm at least traveling one way by myself.  To those they say they don't know how I do it...well let me tell you how (and to be quite honest, all of you would do it and probably do it better than me).

First, I know some moms have their kids pack their own bags, but I feel like thats just more bags I have to keep track of so I have one necessity bag (diaper bag), which is a backpack and I HIGHLY recommend having a diaper bag backpack.  I have LOVED my Petunia Pickle Bottom that I got from my friends back in DC, but I think now there are many many options. Then I have another tote bag that I carry all the other stuff.

What other stuff, here's my list: I buy the washable magic marker coloring books so you can only color on the paper.  I bring a little grab bag full of small toys for the little ones (usually micro machine cars, and trains, or the small farm animals), my kids love eye spy books, so Ive brought those and they have been a hit.  Pipe cleaners have always been good.  My oldest has a small lego traveling bin and he brings that.  He does now carry his own backpack because we have to sit separate from each other due to there being 4 of us and only 3 to a row.  I bring a large zip lock bag of food and that's it.  Gold fish, nuts, cutie oranges, craisins, small snacks that take a while to eat....that's the trick (BRING THINGS THAT TAKE A LONG TIME and SPACE OUT YOUR TRICKS).  

Thank heaven for the IPAD, seriously I am so thankful for that.  I bought a splitter for my kids so two of them can listen or play a game on it together, and then we usually rent a digi player so the other child has something to do to.  I normally don't let my kids play on the iPad at home, once in a while they get to but it is a novelty when traveling and so it keeps it fresh and fun. However, i'm sure even if I didn't do it they would still be entertained by it.

I use to bring lots of books but it just became so heavy so I can download books to the iPad and the kids can listen to stories on there, or if I do bring a book, it's usually one that has 4-5 stories in it at a time.  I also recently found an I SPY app, so we do that instead of bringing the books, but my kids have been entertained by those for HOURS!!!

So, see it's not hard, it's doable.  It makes for long days but I say anything goes when traveling (well, almost anything), they get dum dums, and tic tacs, and goodies they normally wouldn't get but whatever keeps them quiet and happy.  Do what you gotta do, is my motto!

Anyway...we were able to go to Utah in October for our uncle beanie's wedding!!!  Had some fun cousin time and enjoyed the warm fall!!

Cici playing with her oldest cousin Drew...it was so cute watching them play the piano together.  Ive got some pretty awesome nephews and nieces.
We all went to get pedis together...it was my sister in laws first time.  It was so much fun!!! I think I got her hooked.
My Man of the hour giving me "the girl" look.

All the beautiful flower girls!!! For some reason my daughter cannot give a normal smile when asked to smile.  Every pic she is doing some weird face.  Needless to say the girls were adorable!  

The Bride and the girls!!!  Such a pretty day!