Traveling this Summer?

July 14, 2011


10 Ways to Have a Great Family Vacation

10 Ways to Have a Great Family Vacation

Summer is the time for family get-aways. Have Fun!

Whether you’re planning a weekend get-away or a stay at a mountain or beach resort, if you’re taking the kids, the vacation will be fun. It will be even better if you take advantage of our travel tips.

1. Plan Ahead
If you’re flying with young children, request bulkhead seats. Request the right sized rental car and a car seat, if appropriate. If you want the kids to take tennis or swimming lessons, make arrangements ahead of time. Book activities such as rafting, horseback riding, and all-day excursions that you don’t want to miss.

2. Pack Small Bags
Rather than two or three huge suitcases, pack a number of soft, small bags such as duffels and backpacks. Kids can carry these themselves. They can also jam their sweatshirts and stuffed animals in them. And these bags tend to fit in nooks and crannies in overhead bins and rental cars. Make sure every bag has an identification tag.

3. Limit Highway Time
Expect the kids to be bored on road trips. Plan the drive so that you never spend more than five or six hours on the road. Stop often for bathroom breaks and snacks. Encourage the kids to run around a little. Pull into rest stops with room to toss around a ball or Frisbee or to run races.

4. Stop and Pet the Animals
Plan roadtrips so you can pull over when you see a sign for roadside attractions such as petting zoos, alligator wrestling, dolphin parks, caves, “Wild West” towns, or fossil museums. These sights may not be your idea of culture, but children love them.

5. Take Along Games, Books, and Tapes
Pack small toys, games, and simple art supplies. These are great for passing time on planes and in cars as well as in airports and motel rooms. Don’t forget books. Pack your children’s favorites for bedtime reading – or anytime they need a little comfort.

6. Look for Pools
Kids don’t care about oversized towels and late-night room service. But they do care about pools and ice machines. Stay at motels where youngsters can work off steam in the pool and get sodas from the vending machine. Some motels have large “family rooms” which save you money even if they deprive you of privacy.

7. Skip Breakfast
Not really. If you eat breakfast in a restaurant, kids tend to load up on pancakes and bacon; a few hours later, little stomachs might rebel in the car or on the plane. Instead, bring along cereal, granola, and fruit (pack milk and yogurt in a cooler) and eat lightly and sensibly in the room. Save the restaurants for lunch and dinner.

8. Keep to a routine
Help younger kids stick to routines. If your toddler takes an afternoon nap, try to accommodate her on the road. If you’re lucky, she’ll sleep in the car. If your preschooler snacks mid morning, make sure you keep to his schedule. And don’t forget blankies and stuffed animals. These comfort items help enormously when little ones are tucked into unfamiliar beds. Nightlights are good ideas, too.

9. Keep Tickets, Passports, and Documents Safe
Appoint one adult tour leader. He or she is responsible for plane tickets, hotel reservation confirmations, visas, health records, and other valuables. Teenagers may ask to carry their own passports and plane tickets. Resist!

10. Document the Journey
Make sure at least one member of the group takes photos. Bring plenty of film. Give kids their own cameras or arm them with disposable ones. They get a kick out of underwater disposable cameras even in swimming pools. Everyone loves looking at pictures of their own vacation!


Beat the Heat

July 7, 2011
Hot Weather Tips
As the temperature rises it is important that you do all you can to take care of yourself and your little one(s) by staying hydrated and cool.  Here’s some tips we’ve learned the past few hot summers of Stroller Strides:
  • Drink extra water before, during and after your workout. Add in a little Gatorade or other electrolyte drink if needed.
  • Eat a sensible breakfast before class.
  • Bring a spray mist bottle and/or a Chilly Pad to cool down yourself or little ones.
  • A clip on fan, a bag of frozen veggies or even a Chillow can help keep baby cool, especially those still in the infant car seat carrier.
  • Listen to your body! If you feel you’re getting overheated alert your instructor and stop to take a rest. Don’t be embarrassed or try and push through.

Mom Tip

May 26, 2011

The Art of Mothering

Painting the Future

Ok, not to freak you out here or anything, but basically everything you do with your kids shapes them. This is not a bad thing, even when you think your brush strokes look more like a painting by Pollock than Monet. (Get ready for some mixed metaphors.)

When a sculptor begins with a block of marble, they visualize the finished piece before they pick up a tool. Once they start chiselling away what doesn’t belong, they make adjustments to their final vision according to what the marble wants to become.

This is what you’re doing with your kids: they come to you with their own personalities, gifts and challenges, and you make small changes every day. The good news is that one unwanted brush stroke can be manipulated into the larger picture – or covered up completely.

These brush strokes aren’t just about art, though. They combine every day with your scientist-mom side to contribute to your growth as a mom.

Mom Tip #2

February 5, 2011

Always losing your phone? No one around to call it for you? Run to your computer and have this FREE website call it for you!

Mom Tip #1

January 9, 2011

Already feel overwhelmed with the new year? Take 5 minutes to complete one of these mini chores… and you will not only get an accompishment buzz, but good use of your fleeting downtime.



Pitch three old items from the refrigerator

Call your dad

Sew on a button

Test your smoke alarms

Test markers and toss the dead ones

Wash the dog’s bowl

Untangle a necklace

Cancel an appointment you just really don’t want to keep

Write a thank you note you have been putting off

Walk around your house with a small can of white paint; do touch ups

Put to-be-donated clothes in a bag by the door

Refold your sweaters and stack them by color

Move some random files on your computer desktop to the correct folders