Sunday, December 05, 2010

Flying with Kids

I'm so behind on my blogging!! It kills me not to be caught up, but to quickly sum it up, I had a great birthday/Thanksgiving, spending time with the Christensens while they were here, as well everything else we've had going on in the last few weeks, but now I'm mostly just trying to stay afloat as I finish up client orders, freelance work, making holiday gifts, etc. I will catch up on the blog soon.

But to add to the craziness of this time of year, I'm flying out of town this week with my kids to attend a friend's wedding, which I am so excited about (the wedding part), but also a little anxious about how the rest of it is all going to go.

I haven't flown solo with both kids before, and while I think Eli is at a great age for flying and should hopefully be fine watching movies and eating snacks, Charlie (turning 2 in January) is at a not-so-easy age. He is becoming more strong-willed and opinionated every day. Refusing to wear his coat or hat, despite that it's 20 degrees outside. Or throwing major, crazy tantrums when I pick out a shirt or sweater that he doesn't want to wear (though I get big smiles when I pull out his Spiderman shirt). He was crazy moody at church today, being so forceful to the little girl sitting next to us (anytime her feet grazed the side of his chair, he flipped out and yelled, "NO SHOES!!" or if she touched his arm, "NO ARM!!") Oh boy. He is a character. And when he's being grouchy, it's often contagious and Eli turns into a grump too.

Charlie did, however, use the potty for the first time today. Never mind that we sat there reading books for 30 minutes, but he was beaming once he finally went. We're starting the potty training slowly...

So back to the original subject - flying with kids. I've gotten some great suggestions so far from friends of things I can do or bring to make the 3+ hours on plane not so painful and I thought it would be fun to share. Here are a few of them:

  • Bring scotch (or masking) tape and paper for the kids to go crazy taping and doing whatever they want with the tape. My kids LOVE tape, so they will have a hay day with this one.
  • Big obvious one - bring a DVD player. I'll also have my ipod with a few kids' shows and movies loaded on there. Verizon, I really wish you had the iPhone already since that alone would entertain my kids, but for now we're making do until you do. 
  • We don't usually give our kids fruit snacks, but I'll have a bunch with us on the trip since they're a novelty and the boys will be so excited for a treat.
  • On the same lines, a friend said she brings fruit loops and dental floss so the kids can make little necklaces. 
  • Bring a container of tic tacs for each child.
  • Have a set of post-it notes for each child and they can post them around where they are sitting.
  • And the lightbulb tip for me - wear pants with a stretchy waistband so you're not dying every time you have to bend forward to pick something up, which is constantly when you have two little boys :) Why am I always wearing jeans when I travel, when it is so uncomfortable to bend forward in those tiny airplane aisles. 
Let me know if you have any other great tips! I love hearing new ideas.

And to end on a different note - I've done the majority of my holiday shopping online, and wanted to remind you how fabulous Mr. Rebates is - basically you just start there at the site, search for the store where you're shopping, click through to the store to shop and you'll often get anywhere from 3% to 15% back on your purchase (you can request a check anytime after 90 days following your purchase). I just placed an order with Snapfish and will get 12% back. Toys R Us is on there. Sephora. Gap. Both on there. Amazon, unfortunately, doesn't give any sort of rebate. Seriously, if you're not already using something like this, check it out!! Even a couple dollars back starts to add up after a while.

Wish me luck this week as I navigate the airports with two kids, two bulky car seats, a suitcase, a carry on, a stroller, a purse, and then pick up our luggage and the rental car once we land, then load the car seats in and try to keep the peace between the kids who will most likely be crabby at that time of day :) It will all be worth it, and should be an adventure! Eli can't wait to spend time with cousins (who he'll hang out with while I'm at wedding festivities).


kelly said...

you are one brave mama!!! good luck - that last paragraph made me start twitching just thinking of the stress. yikes!

Amy G said...

Ooh, you are brave!! Give yourself plenty of time so that you can TAKE YOUR TIME lugging all that stuff through the airport and to the rental car! Do you need to bring both carseats on the plane? You could rent them from the rental car place. Also -- on the airplane -- wrap up some stuff for the boys to give as "presents" throughout the flight. Could be the tiniest thing -- piece of candy, little toy they haven't seen in a while, the post it notes you're planning to bring. Kids love to unwrap stuff, and it's a good behavior incentive.

Finally, ignore anyone around you who is annoyed about the kids, noise, stuff, etc. -- you'll know that you are doing your best!

kell-bell said...

Oh Sarah, that does not sound like fun. But I agree with Amy, you should rent your carseats, one less thing to lug around! Stickers and coloring books work for us when we travel, i'm even thinking of pulling out the binkie, which Tessa has given up, for our Christmas flights. You'll do great!

Erica said...

I'm doing this on Saturday as well, Sarah - and I was fretting to my Brother in law who works with TSA and he told me that you can get an escort pass when you check in (for your husband, friend, mom, anyone willing to help you out). The escort can help you all the way up to the gate (and maybe even onto the plane - I'm not sure). With the crazy new security measures and two kids to get through security - find someone to help you!!!!

Zurmely family said...

i started wearing my yoga pants WHENEVER i travel... they're black, comfy but still flattering and not to pajama-y. it's so great to be able to move and get to all the things i need to - on a plane, in a car... whatever! i flew all by myself with 3 kiddos when they were 6,4 and 2. it was totally fine. a little crazy, but we made it. you'll do great. just give 'em whatever they want to make 'em happy... that's always my motto when traveling with kids! =)