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).