Traveling Trio

Sunday morning, we left bright and early for a flight to St. Maarten. With a flying time of just over three hours, it seem like a puddle jumper, compared to our six hour trip to California last month. At the airport, the customs agent commented how well traveled the kids were, as they flipped through the stamps in their passports. I didn’t think much of it, until we jumped in our taxi and I started looking myself. Stamps from Aruba, Dominican Republic, Turks and Caicos, Nevis, and Bahamas filled the pages. That night Jason and I were talking about how lucky our kids are to have experienced so many places, in such a short period of their lives. On this trip, we are visiting St. Maarten and St. Barths, and it took me 34 years to get here.
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When Jason and I were children, our family vacations consisted of three hour long car drives to the Jersey Shore. In fact, coincidentally, we both realized that we had only been on an airplane twice, prior to college. I hold nothing against my parents for not traveling as much, but things were different back then. I feel fortunate that we can share so many places now with the kids, and I am fascinated when I see their reactions to visiting these new places, exploring countries and culture, and trying different cuisine. Looking back, my biggest regret was not studying abroad during my college years. I had the opportunity to travel my junior year, but I was reluctant to leave my job at the time. Instead, my travel began when I finished college, and started to work for fashion companies, with sales territories all over the country, taking me to places like California, Colorado, Texas, Tennessee, to name a few.

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It was traveling to the unknown alone, and mapping my way through different states in a rental car, sans GPS mind you, with tons of clothing samples stuffed in rolling cases, that really opened my eyes and sparked a passion to get away. Now with children, Jason and I always agreed that we would never let children hinder our travel, instead we want to try to take them to as many places possible. The last two years my job has brought my family and I so many unique experiences that I feel extremely fortunate for and will remind my children how lucky they are as well.

On this trip, and as hard as it is traveling with three young children, I am beginning to notice a change in them, almost as if they were well seasoned travelers. They understood the security lines in the airport, kept their seatbelt buckled when they were suppose to, packed their own backpacks, and even Gemma cooperated, which was a definite first. The big ones get especially excited now with our new ventures, and can’t wait to see what’s next.

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We are all fully enjoying one another, and taking tons of photos along the way, because I want us to remember each and every moment. I think we have created a mental map of these places for them already. They are taking it all in, and hopefully they will recall even portions of our adventures. When they get older, I trust they will have a list of new places they want to visit, and pray they see every place their hearts desire.

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So far, we’ve spent two days in St. Maarten, and leave for St. Barth’s tomorrow. We rented a car to drive around the island and discovered a beautiful beach called Le Galion. Protected by land on both sides, Le Galion was the perfect beach for the kids, because without waves or undertow, Ryder was even able to teach his little sisters the ropes. Even Siella could splash without swimmies, and Gemma hung with big kids as mommy and daddy watched from the shore. Looking back at days like these, I do think if I traveled as much as they did when I was a kid, I would probably live abroad right now. The world we live in is magnificent, and I want to see it all.

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Off to St Barths…stay tuned!

Back To Sleep

A few months back, Gemma started climbing out of her crib whenever I put her down to sleep. This behavior continued for a little over a week, so I figured the confines of her being in a crib had come to end, and she needed a big girl bed. While buying a crib conversion kit, I became concerned because I thought it would negatively impact her ability to continue nap time in the middle of the day. I consulted our pediatrician, and she suggested trying a sleeping bag, because it would deter her from climbing out. I was very familiar with sleep bags for infants, but I wondered if companies offered them in her size.

While researching, I looked into Love To Dream, an Australian brand I was introduced to last year. One of the first things that turned me onto the brand was their unique approach to swaddling.  Two out of my three children were not fans of being swaddled, and Love To Dream offered a more functional and effective baby swaddling solution, I remember wishing I had these sleep bags for when my children were in their newborn stages.

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When most babies are placed on their backs, it is natural for them to sleep with their arms raised over their heads. Traditional swaddling binds the baby’s arms across their chest or sides, so when they wake up and try to self-soothe they are unable to. Love to Dream swaddles with the arms up, giving babies the freedom to rub their cheeks or put their hands in their mouth. While those are great, I of course needed the next phase for Gemma. And as it turns out, Love To Dream just launched a Stage 3 of their “wearable sleeping bags”.

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Since my big girl no longer needs to be swaddled, we are now in Love To Dream’s Stage 3 of their sleep system for babies and toddlers, ages 8 to 36 months. Two different styles make up the final stage of the Sleep Bags, the Inventa and Nuzzlin. The Inventa (pink) offers a cooling system to help moderate baby’s temperature, without disturbing their precious sleep, by simply adjusting the built-in zip as needed, creating a more even temperature & increased comfort. They super soft wearable blanket features a hypo-allergenic lining which is smooth, silky and breathable. The Nuzzlin Sleep (aqua) is ideal for the warmer months or tropical vacations, featuring an extra light 100% cotton knitted fabric. Both Sleep Bags are adjustable, according to the height of your baby. Gemma has been in her little sleeping bag for a few months now and is no longer climbing out of her crib. She enjoys putting on her blanket during bedtime, as this has now become a routine for her.

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Love to Dream is also dedicated to safe sleep practices, and they have partnered with First Candle, to create their Safe Sleep for your Baby at home & in day care campaign, which educates parents looking for safe practices at home, and during day care for their children. First Candle is an organization dedicated to safe pregnancies and the survival of babies through the first years of life. Their main priorities are to eliminate Stillbirth, Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) and other Sudden Unexpected Infant Deaths (SUID) with programs of research, education and advocacy.

Last October, I attended the First Candle Gala, co-hosted by Safety Mom’s own Alison and listened to her share her heartfelt story, about the loss of her first child to SIDS many years ago. Today, she dedicates all of her time to helping parents navigate their way through parenthood with research and tips, on how to keep their little loved ones safe. Tips like these are critical for any new parent. While raising my own children, I was made aware of the back to sleep philosophy, which is basically what it sounds like, put the baby to sleep on their back; but I can remember my mom especially saying they were told the opposite back when I was a child. New data and knowledge such as this is the backbone of the Safe Sleep Campaign and now it is accessible by ways of downloading literature from their website and sharing the info with anyone caring for your child.

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As we become parents, there is plenty to learn, but it is important that the education is not limited to just mom and dad. Grandparents, caregivers and day care personnel tending to your child should be versed in these practices. Love To Dream’s partnership with First Candle provides such powerful information, and I hope that sharing this information with you, can make the baby’s lives in your circles, just a little bit safer. Click here to download the Safe Sleep for your Baby at home & in Day care” flyer.

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You can find all of the Love To Dream styles and stages at Buy Buy Baby.

 Thank you Love To Dream for sponsoring this post. 

Sunday Styles: Milan & Oz

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We all know that I adore shopping for my little ones way more than myself, but even I get overwhelmed purchasing clothing for them. I like to carefully curate each piece I pick out for them, making sure comfort is the number one factor, high quality fabrics, and having them also be stylish doesn’t hurt… Read more »

Making The Foreign Familiar

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As parents, we try to teach our children everything, but considering all the time spent in school, it is inevitable that they will pick up habits and ideas from friends in school. One of Ryder’s classmates always talks about her weekly excursions to Chinatown with her family.  One day after she gave Ryder a business… Read more »

Sunday Styles: Anaïs & I

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Siella received a butterfly kit for Christmas, and she hasn’t stopped talking about it for months. The kit comes with a covered jar for caterpillars to transform, and a net house to hold the butterflies when they hatch, but we needed to wait for the warmer weather, prior to sending away for the caterpillars. Once… Read more »

Dropping The Ball

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It was Monday morning and my day was planned out to the minute. I started shuffling between appointments for work, school pick up and drop offs, a doctor appointment for Ryder, following by an event which I attended with the kids. I kept a list of the day’s events, checked it twice, and even had… Read more »

A Great Mother’s Day Escape

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Since I was a little girl, like most little girls, I always dreamed about being a mom. I was uncertain how many kids I wanted, but now, I know how blessed we are to have three incredible children. Six years ago, if you asked me exactly what a mother is meant to do, my text book answer… Read more »

Sunday Style: Nawi Kids

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Out of all the clothing in my children’s wardrobe, the things that get the most wear and tear are their pajamas. When you think about it, they usually eat breakfast and sometimes dinner in jammies, followed by 10 hours of sleep. I recently discovered Nawi Kids and while I love their unique plush blankets and toys,… Read more »