We’ve spent a lot of time in the car this summer. First up was a trip to Connecticut to visit my little sister and her husband. Then, we went to Northern Virginia to visit my husband’s family. And just last weekend, we drove to the beach. I realized the other day that during some of these trips, we were in true survival mode. As in, please just let us get to our destination alive. A four-year-old and an infant are not necessarily ideal travel partners. However, I cannot imagine making those trips without them! Children really do make everything more fun. And I’ve come a long way in my parenting style, allowing me to choose my battles. I found myself asking, “Is she hurting herself or is she hurting someone else right now?” If the answer was no, I let it go. This resulted in a serious reality check in several areas and meant that a lot of things happened that I never imagined would happen on my watch! Besides the obvious things like later bedtimes and extra snacks, Molly and James were living life large this summer.

For instance, I never thought I’d…

let my child eat a cinnamon roll and ice cream for breakfast. Yep. After having a stomach virus at the beach (is there a worse place to be sick?!), I woke up to find out Molly had ice cream as a side to her cinnamon roll for breakfast one morning. What can I say? The girl got her sweet tooth from somewhere.

photo1 put my baby in a baby pool on the beach. Y’all, this is genius. I don’t like to schlep a lot of stuff to the beach. But I like   to sit on the beach as long as possible.  James isn’t crawling yet and won’t wear a hat, but I wanted to be on the beach with the rest of the family, so we took our inflatable baby pool ($4 at Target!), put some ocean water and sand toys in it, and James happily splashed around under the umbrella.  photo


let my four-year-old use the iPad for hours on end. We have a pretty strict screen time policy at our house, but during the 15 hour trip to New England, I felt so bad for Molly that I let her use the iPad more than I planned. We had loaded a few Disney movies on there, but she never watched an entire movie. She mostly played a few games and listened to Taylor Swift on repeat. On the way home from the beach, Molly had the headphones on before I had even buckled James into his car seat and I realized about 30 minutes from home that she still had the iPad out. Oops!

put my baby to sleep in a bathroom (or a closet). We’ve been doing this since Molly was born. Put the pack & play in a dark closet or bathroom, turn on the white noise (bathroom fan, anyone?) and they sleep like babies.

What are some things that have gone out the window while you were on vacation?