In-Flight Entertainment

Entertaining a toddler with never ending demands and an attention span the size of a peanut can be extremely daunting, this is especially so, when said toddler has to be confined to 18″ wide seat for what some might feel like hours on end, even if it’s only an hour long flight.  So, wether it really is an hour long flight, or 15 hours, here are some ideas for entertaining small children on the airplane.

Books, Puzzles, and (some) Electronics

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So… I tend to over pack in all aspects of the term.  I recently got the boys new carry-ons to hold all of their traveling fun and they are the perfect size for someone like me (and my boys) who wants to bring ALL the things!  First things first, books.  Both of my boys, like most children, LOVE books.  I try to pack at least 8-10 of our favorite books, small/ lightweight ones for the plane, and the others get checked with the luggage.  Books are the easiest entertainment in my opinion.  My boys read the whole library of books I bring, repeated amounts of times, on every trip we go on together.  Sooooo books are a no brainer, and I’m sure you all knew that.

Small puzzles are such a great airplane activity.  We like these Melissa and Doug ones and I just recently got this Djeco AnimaBasic for Remy because they help with his sorting skills in addition to his fine motor skills.  Speaking of fine motor skills, this Melissa and Doug Lace & Trace is sooooo good for killing time, but the little ones might need more of your attention because they will need a bit of help, but my kids “need” my attention 100% of the time, so nothing new here…

As for electronics, we do have iPads for the boys, and we do use them often on flights, but I prefer that to be a last resort option (more about that later).  The electronic I like to whip out first would be this LeapFrog My Own Leaptop.  It has different levels of skills for toddlers which is nice because what Remy is learning in school is certainly not what Bennett is learning.  It’s nice that you can change the program to something a little more advanced for the older kiddos.

Play-doh & Planes, Trains, and Automobiles

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Ok, if you have kids on a plane and you do not bring Play-Doh, I don’t know how you do life.  In fact, I don’t want to know, because there is no better place to bust out play-doh than on a plane (I NEVER DO PLAY-DOH IN MY HOUSE).  I keep this sacred activity special by only allowing it on the plane.  Now, they play with Play-Doh at school almost every.single.day… they certainly are not deprived of it.  I just prefer the nasty crusty mess to be somewhere else.  K, thanks!

P.S. bring ALL the accessories- not just the Doh. Again, part of my over packing problem.

We also tend to over indulge in small airplanes, trains, and monster trucks, but who doesn’t?

Window Clings

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I feel like this is another “duh” product that everyone knows about and uses, but in case you haven’t seen these things before, or maybe you haven’t thought to bring them on the plane, do it!  This most recent flight, Bennett was more interested in the Play-Doh than the window clings, but let me tell you, when we had downtime at the resort, those boys proudly displayed almost every single window cling we brought on the windows in our room.  The best part, they can be used again and again.  I found these to be the most economical.

More random small stuff...

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The fox sweatband is Bennett’s headphones that he just started allowing me to put on him.  They are soft on his ears so if he happens to lean his head against the window or lay in our lap they are not all bulk and in the way.  He can easily sleep with this on his head.

I always find a lot of small travel activities in the dollar section at Target.  The little Dinosaur book, card games, stickers, etc… all from that (soul sucking) section that you cannot avoid when you first walk in to the mega store.

Have y’all played with Kinetic Sand?!?  Ummmm… can we all agree it’s so much better than Play-Doh?!?  I always grab a couple packs of it when I see it to throw in for extra fun on the plane.  To me it is not nearly as messy.

I also bring a pencil bag (the shark one pictured above) full of those special markers that only mark on special paper. Such magical little things!

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Now this Skodzy set was initially introduced to me by Bennett’s speech therapist who has really been such a blessing to our family.  For those who may or may not know, Bennett was a late talker and struggled behaviorally (think frustrated because he couldn’t express what he wanted, when he wanted) for a while before starting the therapy.  He started right when he turned 3 years old and not even a year later, he is a totally different child.  He talks with ease (almost too much now) and is so much happier in life now that he can communicate.  I highly recommend this for anyone who thinks their kid needs a little push with speech.  Anyway, this activity is great for helping your kids learn their prepositions such as over, under, beside, and on top of.  You can say something like, can you put the green peg on top of the red peg, and they will do as you ask.  You can make it more complex with numbers and color coordination.  My son loves this “game”.

Thoughts about the iPad

So, here are my thoughts on the iPad… I am ALL ABOUT the iPad.  My problem is, the iPad is a special treat while traveling, so my kids are not the best navigators on the iPad which causes a lot of melt downs at the absolute worst times on the airplane.  Which sucks, this is a double edged sword for me.  I don’t want them playing on an iPad at home.  When my kids have access to YouTube Kids on the iPad- its like a crazy vortex that takes over their ability to be human beings and they instantly become zombies.  Then, when you are on an airplane and you cannot stream YouTube Kids- they are psycho!!!  It’s seriously the worst.  Now, Bennett is getting better at navigating around and finding matching games that can entertain him an entire 2 hour flight (crazy!!), but with Remy, he is unreasonable and I dread the moment he loses it while playing on the iPad which happens within minutes of getting his little hands on it.  I know I will grow to like to iPad… Remy just needs to mature a little bit before I do.  For now, it’s my last resort.

The New Carry-On!!

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I’m obsessed.  Great size, fits right under the seat in front of you on the plane.  Some might not like it because it is quite large for small kids, but if your kids are like mine and enjoy having their own bag of tricks, this is a great option!  It holds ALL the things!  Seems that’s the theme of this post… ALL THE THINGS!

You can find it here.

I hope this post was somewhat helpful! Oh!  And if all else fails, SNACKS!!!  Bring ALL THE SNACKS!!

xx


Ambergris Caye, Belize

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Oh, Belize… you were so good to us.

Going to Belize, I really had no idea what to expect.  Everything that I heard about Belize was not the most flattering of reviews.  People said the bugs are insane (which they are, but manageable), that Belize wasn’t the best idea for a family vacation (false), the infrastructure was terrible (yes, but… whatever).  As soon as we arrived at the resort, White Sands Cove, (three flights and almost 5 hours of travel), I knew I would never want to leave.  This place was pure paradise.

The backstory… so my good friend (you all know her- Laura- she takes all of my family photos) went to a charity event and won the trip at an auction.  When she was telling me about it at church one Sunday a few months ago, I obnoxiously and overwhelmingly invited myself and my whole family to tag along with!  Of course, she said yes, because… who wouldn’t want me and my two terrorist (JOKING!!) children to join them on their fabulous trip?!?  All in all, I’m so glad we went with another family.  The kids entertained each other and the adults got to hang out and sip the local cocktail favorites.

We spent a lot of our time hanging by the pool, beaching at the not-so-secret Secret Beach, eating so much good food, drinking all the drinks, and oh, yes (!!), we took a private catamaran trip for a whole day where my TWO YEAR OLD swam with sharks!  No need to clean your glasses, or re-read that last line.  You saw correctly.  My baby, Remy James, swam with sharks in Belize.  We did some snorkeling too.  Did you spy the Spotted Eagle Rays and Green Moray Eel in the underwater pictures above???

We drove around town to see all the sights via golf cart which is the ideal transportation on the island.  The roads are very rough, but not the worst I’ve ever seen.  Everything was extremely casual.  No need to dress up for any of the restaurants, even the nice ones on rooftops were shorts and flip flop appropriate.  Speaking of restaurants, the food… my mouth is still watering over the wonderful Snapper they would prepare in the Belizean way, wrapped in foil with spices, peppers, and onions.  Wowza!  So yummy!  Another thing, the first language of Belize is English.  All of the signs and locals speak it perfectly, no language barrier whatsoever.  This makes traveling there even more perfect!

Our whole family had the best time with our friends in this wonderful country!  Hope you guys enjoy the pictures!


Bahamas, 2019

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Our Bahamas trip was pretty epic if you ask me.  I mean, what wasn’t to love about hanging with pigs on a beach, swimming with sharks, and feeding iguanas?  Of course that was only one day out of our full week there because yes, we were there for a meeting.  But I’m so glad I could mark this off my bucket list!

We stayed at the gorgeous, Rosewood Baha Mar, I took so many pictures of the resort because it was absolutely fabulous!  Every space was designed impeccably.  There were tons of restaurants on property to pick from, high end stores to shop at, and there was a casino!  It was the perfect location for a work meeting.

The one day we had off, Husband & I took full advantage of and flew to the Exumas.  We did a 8 hour tour which took us by boat to all the spots we thought we HAD to see- Iguana Cay, Pig Beach, and Compass Cay to swim/ pet nurse sharks.  After all the adventures, we stopped at the yacht club and drank plenty of painkillers (a favorite cocktail of the locals) and ate plenty of conch fritters.

What a fabulous trip!  Will definitely be back with the boys in a few years!


My little family.

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I cannot even begin to describe the feels I get when looking at this absolutely beautiful collection of images that my dear friend, Laura Gattis, captured of our family.  Do you ever look at the moment within a picture and wish you could go back to the day, that minute, that exact second to relive it?  That’s how this session was.  It was supposed to rain… but it didn’t.  Bennett was in the BEST mood of his life, and Remy didn’t mind wearing the cowboy boots I picked out, #MomWin!

Oh. My. Goodness.  I will cherish these pictures forever and ever.  I cannot wait to scatter these in fresh frames all over my home.  You don’t realize how fast life is soaring by you until you look at pictures from a week, month, year ago… I want to cherish every single smidge of time I get with my boys.  For every tantrum and what seems like torturous moments, there are seriously hundreds of incredibly heart flutteringly wonderful moments.  I love this little family of mine more than comprehension, and nothing will ever change that.  These pictures captured about two hours of our life together, and I’m so thankful to have them to stare at later when my kids are grown and no longer hang on me for love and attention.  I will remember these small moments of time with fondness, thinking about their innocence and joy, and they will bring a smile to my face every time.

Worth the investment… 100%.


Valentines From The Dietrich Boys

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Aren’t these bug themed Valentine’s the cutest?!?  I ordered the PDF of the cards from a shop on Etsy and had them printed and cut locally.  Then, I found the Melissa & Doug bugs on Amazon.  It was pretty easy to glue the little guys on and voila!  Valentine’s are ready to pass out at school on Thursday!  Can’t wait to see what everyone else is passing out!

xoxo


Big Sky, Montana

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Has anyone been to Big Sky, Montana?!?  This was a first for us and it was incredible!  And cold!!  The highs never got above 30 and it snowed almost every day we were there which was pretty chilly for these Floridians.

The trip was dedicated to skiing with our friends, we stayed in a ski in/ ski out home that was absolutely fabulous, but unfortunately Bennett (who was allowed to start ski school because he is 3 and potty trained) did NOT enjoy it.  Not surprising… it takes him a while to warm up to new things, but he didn’t even give it a second chance.  I’m hoping we can do another ski trip next year and try again, that way Remy will be able to join in on the fun and hopefully encourage Bennett to try.  Although, I must say, Remy HATED being cold.  Every time we went out and played he cried the entire time (see solo picture above ha ha ha!).

I took a lesson since I haven’t skied in over 15 years.  I learned so much in that three hour private lesson than I ever did as a teenager.  I feel like as adults we appreciate the time and energy it takes to do activities like skiing, so we pay attention better as to really avoid hurting ourselves ;).  I didn’t want to go home with two very energetic little boys and a broken leg or hip!  So, I was very attentive and felt like I got the hang of it fairly quickly.  Now… I’m very slowwwwwww.  This mama won’t be going down a black diamond any time soon.  But, I did enjoy myself every day that I got to ski and cannot wait for the next time!  Husband grew up going on ski trips with his family and friends, so he is a fantastic skier.  He picked right back up where he left off and was feeling pretty sore after the first day going down blacks.  He was super sweet and went skiing with me a couple of times and was super patient while coaching me down the mountains.  Love him.

When we weren’t on the mountain shredding powder ;) we were hanging with our kiddos.  We got to experience authentic dog sledding which was an interesting adventure.  It was like a blizzard that day and the kiddos were freezing, so just getting them into the sled was a complete sh*t show.  Everyone was staring at us like, get your kids under control and wipe the snot please.  But once the doggies started running and as long as they were at full speed, my boys were silent and enjoyed the moment and scenery.  It was so beautiful.  I don’t think I will ever need to go dog sledding ever again, but at least I can check that off the bucket list.

Another day was spent traveling over to West Yellowstone where we actually got to drive through the outer side of the national park (gorgeous, would love to go back in the summer) and visited the Grizzly & Wolf Discovery Center.  The boys loved it!  The wolves were stunning and so interactive.  We only saw one bear and he seemed a bit old… but still entertaining for a few minutes while he moved logs around and ate.  Highly recommend if you are visiting the area with small children, it’s nothing fancy but it was interesting.

Most of all, what made the trip so fun was going with some of our great friends and their kiddos.  We spent many nights making dinner at home, warming up in the hot tub, and cuddling up enjoying the log burning fireplace with a nice glass of wine.  We had a great time and hope to visit again real soon!

 

 


A Cali Birthday for Mama

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My 35th year on this beautiful planet started in one of my favorite places.  California, and Malibu in particular, hold such a special place in my heart.  I lived there for 5 years, went to college there, made some amazing friends that are like family to me there, and have experienced some pretty incredible things that most people only dream about.  I’m very fortunate that my parents sacrificed so much to allow me these opportunities, and it helped mold me into the person I am today.

In 2018, I was so fortunate to be able to travel to California not once, not twice, but THREE times!  The first we went to visit my very best friend and celebrate her daughter’s first birthday at Disneyland.  I don’t think I posted about this trip because it was a quick weekend, I didn’t get many pictures, and to be honest… it was EXHAUSTING traveling with two toddlers by myself.  Not sure what I was thinking…  The second trip was in October where Husband & I went with three other couple friends to Napa for a few days of wine drunk hilarity, again, I don’t think I posted about that trip… read: wine drunk hangover.  But this trip, this amazing birthday trip, I got to go with my sweet little family (plus our nanny :)) and enjoy the good life for a few days.  Got to do all the cool stuff like stay at one of my FAVORITE hotels (Shutters on the Beach), hang at the beaches and parks, and visited my alma mater, had brunch with my sister cousin and sweet baby Parker James… then, when husband & I wanted to have a nice dinner or go shopping without being interrupted by a massive meltdown, the kiddos went back to the hotel and hung with the sitter!  It.Was.AWESOME!

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^I have to tell you, what made my birthday trip so incredible was this man right here ^

There are not enough words to express how amazing he is to me.  He truly exemplifies what it means to be a husband and father and I couldn’t have been blessed with a better partner in life.  He really outdid himself this year, and I’m so lucky.  So. Very. Lucky.

Thank you, hunny, for always treating me like a queen.  I love you.