Traveling with a Toddler

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Hellooooo everybody!  So I’ve done a post like this before and another one here.  But those were when Zach was younger than a year and boy have things changed!  I now have an active, hysterical, talkative, sometimes adorably stubborn toddler.  Many things have changed, including traveling!  We went to Florida last week and I made sure to be SUPER organized because I was traveling alone with Zach.  Here is how I stayed partially sane traveled with my 21 month old to Florida this past week.

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TIPS:

– Packing:  Write down the number of days and nights you are going to be gone.  For nights, pack that many nighttime outfits plus an extra, as well as any other sleeping “device.”  I am a sleep nutso so I aim to make Zachary’s sleeping situation mimic that of his home as much as possible. I packed his sound machine, sleep sacks and light up turtle (that makes stars on the walls).  For day time, I always pack 1.5 times the amount of days we are going to be gone for outfits.  Zach is messy.  For instance, if we are going for 6 days, I will pack 9 outfits.   I am also OBSESSED with this SIMPLE yet amazing J&J travel pack that has SOOO many uses.

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It is less than 5 bucks on diapers.com and is awesome.   It has shampoo, lotion, diaper ointment, body wash and baby powder.  Now I don’t use baby powder on Zach, but this handy dandy travel kit helps me out too and serves double duty; the powder I use as dry shampoo (because I am generally too lazy to wash my hair ever on vacation).  LOVE this travel kit.  Also airline friendly.

– Buy it there:  IF we are going away longer than 5 days, I buy some things when I get to my destination.  These things include diapers, wipes, etc.  BUT, I do pack the most AMAZING thing that I have bought: the travel diaper changer with some diapers and wipes.  This one RULES.

 

It has a handy pocket too that I throw anti-bac wipes and other essentials in. That goes in my carry on.

Transportation: If you can afford it, buy a wheeler for your car seat (if you are bringing a car seat). I bought this one from diapers.com.

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I made the mistake of letting Zach “down” to run around the airport before we got on the plane to work some energy out.  BAD IDEA.  I was either going to lose him or my mind.  The latter MIGHT have occurred.  Anyway, on the way back from Florida, I made him sit int he car seat the ENTIRE time we were at the airport.  He then didn’t even think of getting “down.”  Good call, Mama.

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As for security, they were (surprisingly) awesome and just took the car seat attached to the wheeler through security for me.

-Security: DO NOT, I repeat, DO NOT be afraid to approach each and every TSA officer you can to ask if you can go into a family lane or something similar where you can through security as quick and possible.  Oh and make sure you show your baby 😉  Let’s be honest, no one wants a pissed off toddler, TSA, other passengers or otherwise.

Ticketing:  If you are able, buy a ticket for your toddler.  They WILL need the room to either nap (if you bring the car seat that is your best nap-bet) or do their “toddler thing.”

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So here is a trick:  when you pick your seats (either ahead of time or if Southwest that day-ps for Southwest get the preferred boarding) as an aisle and a window.  If you are lucky enough to not have a full flight, chances are people will NOT choose to sit between you and your monster toddler.

Entertainment:   Call me a cheap bastard (I’ve been called worse) but I am not going to go out and buy all new stuff to occupy my child on the plane.  TRICK?  Find old toys that he/she used to love and has forgotten about and include some new favorites too.  Wrap them all in wrapping paper so they are “presents.”  And dole them out as needed on the plane.

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I wrapped his old laptop, three books, a car, a play phone and some stickers.  He LOVED it.  I totally saved some for the way back too.  Oh, and SNACKS.  Pack those too.  I just packed sippy cups in my carry on and bought bottled water at the airport so that I wouldn’t have to argue with security. I also bought a bottle of apple juice as a treat (I water down juice for Z as a treat sometimes).

– BREATHE.  Truly.  You can hope things will go well, but in the end, accept that whatever is going to happen is going to happen.  You have a toddler. An unpredictable, exciting and adorable toddler.  You can’t control it. Let go.  Ha.  If I could only take that advice myself… 🙂

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Any other travel tips?!  Please comment!

THE IBOOTY & No Running for a Week and I Lived to Tell About it.

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Oops,  totally forgot to post the following post (italicized)

Hello everyone. I am coming off the WORST stomach flu I have EVER had.  For reals.  It lasted almost a week and is still wreaking havoc on my system.  Hence, there was NO RUNNING done for a week and while I thought it would devastate me, here is what I realized…

-Sometimes your body just needs a break> My body/I myself tend to gogogogogogo for three months and then BONK.  It has been mastitis in the past, a 24 hour bug, and this time the stomach flu from HELL.

-I have no running endorsements from Brooks, Mizuno, Procompression, Zensah, Asics, etc., so if I miss a week running, NO ONE (except me) cares.  I know, right!?  Why wouldn’t they want to endorse my 8:10 mile ass!? 🙂 I KID.

– I was terrified of loosing fitness over a week and after getting on the treadmill for the first time in a week today, I can say that yes, I have lost fitness. But no, my world did not end.  Plus, the next race I have is Broad Street in May.  I see it as almost restarting my training cycle 😉

ANYWAY, end of story, I didn’t run for a week because I was really sick and I lived to tell about it AND am back in training fitness.  In fact, my long run (9 miles) was great Friday.  I just needed three days to get back into it.

BLAH BLAH BLAH.  Now, I tell you about the IBOOTY.

My friends, Zachy LOVES the IBOOTY (pronounced I-booty, like your rear end).  The what?! The library!

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I was tired of being in the house last week, so I brought Z to the local Philadelphia library branch (Santore) and it was AWESOME. We have gone three times since!  It is SO great.  There is a huge room dedicated to children, with games (legos, etc.),

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big bean bags, child-accessible book bins,

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computers, tonnnnsss of greatly filled shelves and just the best.  As you can imagine, my mom (previous school librarian) was pretty stoked about our visit.  Zachary LOVED picking out books and I LOVE that it is a great FREE place to go.  He even got his own library card!

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Um yea, and the fact that Zachy calls it the ibooty KINDA (really) cracks me up.  He says every day almost since the first trip, “Ibooty?  Book?”  SO CUTE.  OK, well enjoy the rest of your weekend!  And take a trip to the IBOOTY!

What’s for dinner: Sticky Soy-Hoisin Chicken Thighs

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IMG_7081Hi everyone1  I HAD to share this insanely delicious recipe that I ripped out of my Mom’s magazine (can’t remember the name now).  I have made this meal three times since (probably in about three weeks). It is THAT good.  I will warn you, it is not the easiest recipe, but it is so worth it.  Steps in easy terms:

1.  Start rice.

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2.  Dump ingredients for marinade (see above recipe) in large Ziplock bag (adjust chili sauce for heat).  Smoosh around (yup, that is a professional term; google it.)

3.  Dump chicken thighs in – I used skinless boneless

4.  Let sit for 30-60 min

5.  Place on a sprayed cooking rack (I used a rack on top of a baking sheet to reduce mess)

6.  Put in 450 degree oven for 15 minutes.  As they are cooking, put the rest of the marinade that was left into a sauce pan.  add a tsp of corn starch.  Boil for three minutes to thicken.

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7.  After 15 minutes, brush the thighs with more of the marinade.  Save the rest in the sauce pan.

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8.  Bake an additional 15 minutes or until thighs are cooked thoroughly.

9.  Toss finished thighs in the rest of the marinade mixture.

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10.  Enjoy with rice, veggies or whatever your heart desires 😉

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This is an amazing dinner that I HIGHLY recommend!

OK, so before I “sign off” for today, I must fill you in on my goals!  So I killed two birds with one stone today:

1.  SELF CARE- took a day off from running (also helps in preserving my running career)

2.  FITNESS- stretched and did a few minutes of core

BAM!

Oh, and this:

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Too cute.

New Year Resolutions: The definition of insanity…

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Is doing the same thing over and over again, expecting a different result, right?!  Or so I hear.  Anyway, I NEVER make New Year Resolutions.  Honestly, for me, they just don’t work.  Hence, the definition of insanity (doing the same thing over and over again, expecting a different result).  BUT, this year I have decided to focus on some BROAD goals for myself, that, albeit a “new year” are good fixes for ANYTIME.  I truly am not a big fan of the “lose weight, workout more, be less of a bitch nicer” resolutions.  Those are meant to be broken 😉 Let’s go broad or go home.  So here, broken down into 4 major categories, are some (lofty) goals, not just for 2014, but for me!

1.  DIET-  This is going to sound SOOOOO cliche, but I REALLY need to eat more vegetables.

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It is so sad, but there are definitely too many days that pass without a veggie in my belly.  Not good.  I should be modeling better veggie-eating for Zach and it will benefit my body as well.  I want to incorporate more and new vegetables into my meals, not just dinner (when a veg occasionally appears now-a-days).  I want to learn to cook and prepare them in different ways as well.  I will keep you posted 😉

2.  FITNESS- This one is 3-fold (of course hehe)

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a. Stretch more (when you are starting from 0 like me, should be do-able)

b. Work on both my core and “trunk” muscles to stabilize my running and prevent future injury.  I want running to be a LIFETIME thing for me, so I want to do what is necessary NOW (before it is too late) to avoid injury and allow me to be a “forever runner.”

c.  Run Broad Street in May 2014 in 1:24 (less than 8:20 pace).  Last year I ran it in 1:27 and change (8:45 mile).  I ran it wearily as I had been sick post-races prior.  This year I want to go ALL out.  (Balls to the wall, leave it ALL on the road) I also hope to raise a LARGE amount of money for Moms in Training (with whom I ran the Rothman 8K this fall).  I ran that race (5 miles) with an 8:10 pace so this is what I based my (lofty) BS goal on.

3. PARENTING/FAMILIAL-  Continue to attempt to be more present with Zach and others that I love.

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It sounds easy, but for someone with a very busy mind like myself, it is quite a challenge to remain present and focused as much as I would like to be.

4.  SELF- Practice better self care.

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I don’t really want to go into this one too much; it is a loaded topic and is very different for each person. For some people it can mean “saying no more,” for others “saying yes more,” or anything in between.  It is a personal thing and I think EVERYONE could benefit from an increase in self-care.

So, these are my “goals.” I am glad I took the time to think about these; in today’s rush-rush-go-go world, it is to take the time to take a deep breath and reflect.  What are your 2014 “goals”?

This Year in Running: 2013

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Hi!  So if you are bored by running posts, skip this one and come back later for a (yawn) resolutions post.  SO, as you know, I LOVE running, and ( you may not know) I LOVE Numbers.  I have a page dedicated to tracking my monthly mileage here, and below you will see some fun stats for 2013.

TOTAL MILES FOR THE YEAR of 2013= 1,360

By month…

JANUARY 2013= 101

FEBRUARY 2013= 104

MARCH 2013= 125

APRIL 2013= 98

MAY 2013= 103

JUNE 2013 = 67 (sick for two weeks, off during this time)

JULY 2013= 118

AUGUST 2013= 140 (PDR)

SEPTEMBER 2013= 103

OCTOBER 2013 = 141<highest month

NOVEMBER 2013= 126
DECEMBER 2013= 134 < streak failed 😦

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So…some fun numbers…1360 miles is…

about 204 hours

almost 52 marathons

almost 104 half marathons

136 Broad Street Runs

(probably) over 1100 treadmill miles, which means

almost 165 hours of TV

And…

A TON OF FUN!!!

Shake out run post Rothman

What were your fun stats for 2013?  Running and/or other?!

Count down to the New Year!

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Well, well, well, what better way to re-enter the blog world than with a fun “Count down to the New Year” post.  For real.  In all honesty, my absence has been due to a plethora of things; some crazy, some good, and some not-so-good, but all-in-all, I am glad to be back and blogging to you!  I am also looking forward greatly to the New Year!  How is everyone celebrating theirs?  We are going to Disney on Ice with Zachy this afternoon and I am excited to see how that goes!  Should be interesting! I honestly have NO idea how he will react.  He has never gone to a movie, and doesn’t watch TV longer than half an hour.  But my parents are coming too so hopefully all will go well.  I will let you know.  Then tonight we are all laying low 😉  So I thought I would attempt to count down my favorite 12 (one per month) things/moments from this past year.  What a challenge!  It has been an amazing one; as my life has greatly been enriched since the addition of my beautiful son 🙂  Woah.  Cheesy but true.  So, here it goes!

12.  Thanksgiving- so much to be thankful for!

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11.  The Rothman 8K with Moms In TrainingNot only a PR for me, this race was a really special experience and running for our team hero meant so much to myself and the other Moms. 

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10.  Generations Connect visits (the second Saturday of every month)- PLEASE email me if you are interested in coming with us!  We go the second Saturday of the month and a good time is had by all.   Our mission is to instill respect for the elderly through music, crafting and socialization.  Find us on FB!

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9.  Christmas; especially our own tree decorating at home 🙂

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8.  The Leaf Photo Shoot at Grandma and Grandpa’s House.  Funny story about this actually; if you are waiting for our holiday card still, don’t hold your breath.  I ordered the cutest holiday cards ever featuring these pictures, but alas the company messed up and sent us a different family’s card and they have yet to respond to my inquiries!  So here are the pics anyway 😉

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7.  Making New Friends (adult and babies).  This year was an amazing one in terms of making new friends; ones that are REAL, GENUINE and forever.  I am SO grateful and feel SO blessed.  You know who you are 😉

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6.  Fun at Nest.  I am SO thankful for my job at Nest.  I am amazed each day by the greatness displayed there and am so proud to be a part of the family 🙂  Speaking of, check out this article about Nest that yours truly was quoted in 🙂

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5.  Halloween

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4.  Zach’s discovery of ice cream (Ah-EEE)

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3. Trips to the playground with Mema and Poppop

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2. Special family visits

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1.  Random Moments at Home

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Cheers to a wonderful blessed 2013.  I cannot wait for all that 2014 will have to offer, although I can’t imagine it will get better than this 😉  Happy new year! xo