Tuesday, May 30, 2017

6 tips for traveling with young kids

when we got back from hawaii I was asked so much about how traveling with the babes went.
...and quite honestly it went GREAT!! 
sooo.... with that, (I'm no pro by any means!), BUT here are some tips and things that we found helpful while traveling with two kids under the age of three.
 harper (2.5 years) & tanner (9 months).
**now first let me start with this disclaimer: all could have gone the complete opposite as well. but some how the stars aligned for us and we sailed right on through those 6+ hours of flying. EACH.WAY. ;)

1. if you can take grandma. then TAKE GRANDMA. (or any extra set of hands to help for that matter). my mom went with us and it was HUGE.
2. for baby bring a wrap to wear for them to nap in. I brought my solly wrap (rather than my ergo because it's small and takes up a lot less space. and when traveling with kids there is already SO much you're lugging around. so go for a small one you can stuff in your carry on.)
I put it on prior to boarding our flight so I didn't have to mess with putting it on in the tight airplane space. I didn't actually put tanner in though until we were able to be standing and moving about. then in he went and it was naptime!
3. sit in the aisle seat. this was so helpful for me to be able to get up and down if I needed to keep tanner moving to keep him sleeping. and let me tell ya. IT WORKED. cause boy slept for 2.5 hours!!
4. for harper (busy little toddler) it was all about newness. things she hadn't yet seen before. new snacks. new (little, easy to pack) toys (think dollar store!), new movies (we brought a portable dvd player), and of course... the iPad! 
**make sure to not use everything up cause you'll still need some new things for the flight home!**
5. use the other passengers around you! ha! we were sitting by such kind people, and if they were showing interest in my baby and wanting to talk to him, by all means I was gonna let them!
6. when you book your flights, if possible try flying in the morning. the kiddos are still fresh in the day and not yet over it and getting tired for bed. our flights home were a little later in the day and the kids were just a little busier cause of it.

if you have any questions for me, please don't hesitate to ask! cause there is certainly so much more to it than six simple steps haha! ;) if I can help just one mama out with this, that makes it all worth it. I know the travel can bring on lots of stress and anxiety of what to expect. 
if there's a point where things aren't going great-- just get though it. cause once that plane lands and you're off, that part is over and you're now ready to enjoy the vacation!


follow along on instagram @brittneyhjelseth

Monday, May 22, 2017

a fun summery sunday

a photo every hour post.. turned just a fun summery sunday post.
I started out good but as the afternoon came rolling around, a photo every hour just didn't happen cause we were having too much fun. but lots of fun pictures of my loves that I can't help but document :)

early morning waking in the 6's, but when baby slept allll night without a single wake-- I actually felt energized!
these new insta filters-- so fun!!
a little time with my girl drinking our chai while brother naps :)
...and then that's when I lost it.
we headed to the country club for a family lunch to celebrate Brandon's brother Tyler's birthday.
then harper went over to nana + papa's for a few hours while brandon and I spent some time with this little (BIG) guy.
a busy day made for not getting his good, solid afternoon nap.. little one caught a quick cat nap on our way to dinner at our friends garrett + lexi's. 
a sunny sunday in the books and I can't wait for what the rest of this summer has in store for us!


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Thursday, May 18, 2017

hawaii || family vacay 2017

we've been back for a whole week and a half already! it's taken us all (especially the babes) quite some time to adjust back to our normal life. the vacation was 100% worth it, but boy (!!) being out of our norm for 8+ days has taken a toll on us this past week. and we've been thrown right back in full force with a teething tanner. the nights have had included some rough times!
but this boy is so stinking sweet.
when he's not screaming about teething pain in the middle of the night that is ;)
anywho... HAWAII!!!
a little vacation recap/big 'ol photo dump!
because how can I not. I never want to forget all the memories we made.
vacationing/traveling with little kids is not always easy. it's A LOT of work. but we would do it 100 times again just for all the memories we made together and the quality family time we had that we don't always get with the busyness at home.

we rented a little two bedroom condo right by the beach that walked out to the pool. it was perfect for what we needed. with two babes who take naps, having a ground level condo was HUGE. we were able to be out at the pool while they napped without having to be cooped up inside for 3+ hours each day. harper still is referring to it as our "hawaii home" I so wish she were right and it actually was!
we were so nervous to take on the 5+ hour flight with a 2.5 year old and 9 month old. leading up to the trip I got thinking, "are we crazy!?" I was prepared to be up and about with an antsy baby + busy toddler the entire flight. but that was NOT the case. like at all!!
the flights were smooth sailing. thank you, Jesus!!
(I may do a post of travel tips that worked for us.. as a few friends have asked!)
#1 tip though. take grandma with you! haha. but really. my mom came along with us and it helped SOOOO much! from the traveling to even little things like making snacks and getting kids dressed.
our days were relaxed with not much more on the agenda than walks along the ocean, pool time, naps, a couple trips to the beach, and a little sight seeing.
this was brandon and I's second time in hawaii (we went last year for the first time for our babymoon while I was pregnant with tanner). both times we've visited Kauai. it's the only island we've been to thus far and we just love it! the island is small, relaxed, and low key. I'm sure you can't go wrong with any of the islands, but as of now, Kauai has our hearts!
♡♡♡♡♡ was something extra special about his hawaiian naps ♡♡♡♡♡♡
the boy napped HARD!
it was such a joy watching harper have the time of her life the whole week. she just loved it all! every single bit of it. vacationing without kids is great in it's own way, but there's something so special about sharing it with your kids too!! every little thing was so exciting for her. tanner being just 9 months had so much fun too. pool time, chasing after chickens, and exploring every where we went :)
this trip was just we needed to get us though this stinking spring weather we've been having! it rejuvenated us all!
we already can't wait for our next visit to kauai. we had just the best time and are going to try so, so hard to make family vacations be something we do.
homeward bound babes. they were so ready for it by the last day. vacation is AMAZING but there's also no place like home :)
P H O T O  D U M P!!
(along with a few captions-- for memory's sake)
straight from her mouth... "this is cool!"
how I just love her!
nothing hotter than daddy spending time with his babies. 
maybe that's why I want about nine more ;)
...and there's those chickens I've mentioned! literally EVERYWHERE on the island!
if you're even in Kauai--- one of our top recommendations--- get a puka dog!
a polish dog, sweet fruit relish, and a grilled bun. I can't explain how yummy it was. but we went back for a second one :)
the hawaiian sunsets!! of course the picture doesn't do it justice.
baby boy LOVES the water!!
sooo many gorgeous views! we stayed on the south side of the island which is more dry, but one morning headed up to visit the north shore which is more rainforest and it was so pretty!
car nursing session, before catching a nap on our drive back. though he was completely woken when we transferred him to his carseat. just the worst!!
there are two gorgeous waterfalls that happen to be pictured j u s t right behind harper's head! haha!
tanner missed out while he snoozed in the car and we took turns getting out to see :)
she was more interested in throwing food (sticks) over the side of the wall to a little mouse :)
we were buying a WHITE pineapple (if you're ever in hawaii- buy one! best pineapple ever! worth the $19 it cost. so much money for a pineapple, but sooo good!!)... this guy selling them at the market called out to harper and gave her this adorable mini pineapple. so sweet of him! and she just loved it! carried it around the rest of the evening :)
excited beyond words to go to the beach!
baby boy's first ever beach nap.
it was perfect for a whole 30 minutes until the wind blew over the umbrrella.
my heart could've just burst with how adorable she was just plopping herself down in the sand with her toys to play. she could've just sat there the whole time and been totally satisfied with the beach. THEN we introduced her to the ocean waves and girl was in heaven! I was so shocked that she built up the courage to go in and that she loved it so much! she's more brave than her mama ;)
just kill me with the cuteness.
LOVE my mama and the time we got to spend together.
another reason to have grandma come along on vacation-- we got a DATE NIGHT in!!!
love this man. he means the world to me.
and he ain't bad lookin' either!
beach nap #2 for the win!
she coud've stayed out in the ocean waves allll day long if she could
...him not so much ;)
enjoyed it more from a distance
first ever shaved ice! and she actually got TWO that afternoon!
you're only in hawaii once right?? ;)
saying goodbye to the condo!
--mama you're the best! thank you for sharing the week with us!--
best little nine month old traveling trooper there ever was.

follow along on instagram @brittneyhjelseth