Stay-cation Day Two

Day two of our stay-cation was another action packed day. We started with a family round of mini golf, cooled off at Splashdown Water Park, and finished up at Cold Stone Creamery for ice cream (some of us, more on that soon).

One of the byproducts of this stay-cation is that Thing 1 and Thing 2 are spending a LOT of time together. Not a problem as long as they are engaged in some fun, new activity. But in between those fun activities they are sitting in very close proximity in the car in DC traffic where they can’t seem to keep their hands to themselves or the decibels to a bearable level. So today SuburbanDaddy had to get tough and Thing 1 ended up sipping water while his brother and parents enjoyed ice cream and smoothies. Tomorrow I think we will build in some separation time.

Here are the pictures… Continue reading Stay-cation Day Two

Stay-cation Day One

We usually take a family trip to the beach in the summer, which is anything but a vacation for anyone but the kids, but with our new addition this year we weren’t quite ready to go anywhere as a family of six.

Instead, we opted for a stay-cation with just Thing 1 and Thing 2. The younger ones will be in daycare all day so we can do some of the activities we can’t do on the weekends with strollers and toddler tantrums and nap schedules.

We have a full lineup of activities for the week and the oldest Things are very excited. Today we took a boat ride on the Potomac, ate lunch (sitting down!) at a real restaurant – the famous Fish Market in Old Town, Alexandria – and hit balls at the driving range.

It was striking as we were walking, with no diaper bags or strollers, and no particular schedule in mind, that this is what it’s like to go somewhere with no baby gear or worries about turning our head away for even a moment or saying “put that down!” every minute.? This is SO EASY!? It gives us hope that there is light at the end of the tunnel for us in a few years.

But it was also noticeable that we were missing two of our Things and it felt a bit incomplete.? Sad even.? But that feeling lasted for, oh, about a second and quickly went away as we actually relaxed and enjoyed the boat ride without worrying Thing 3 would fall overboard or throw something into the water.

A quick recap of our day in pictures after the jump.? Tomorrow, look for more of the same.

Continue reading Stay-cation Day One

KidsMobile Stops in Washington, DC

Washington, DC is a great destination for kids.? You probably already know about the world class museums and American history attractions.?? But you may not know about everything else that Washington, DC has to offer.? Check out these lists from local bloggers? for tips on more Washington, DC popular attractions.

Trekaroo?s growing community of families from all across the country have pitched in with their votes for the most kid-friendly stops in Washington D.C. Here?s the line up for 2009!

Continue reading KidsMobile Stops in Washington, DC

Stress Free Travel Tips

Guest post from our friends at Born Modern Baby

Between arranging flight schedules, booking car rental services, and developing the perfect budget for an upcoming trip, traveling can prove to be a stressful activity. Add a few kids into the mix and the vacation may feel close to impossible! The best way to avoid any additional stress that comes with keeping the whole family organized, on time, and happy is the preparation that goes into your travel plans before you even leave the house. Since younger children need the most attention in terms of packing and planning where everyone?s going to sleep, it?s best to seek out information regarding your accommodations beforehand. For instance, check to see the type of baby furniture that will be available to you at your accommodations. Most hotels are able to provide a reliable crib that can be transported and properly set up upon your arrival but it?s best to check in with the front desk ahead of time.

Once your accommodations and travel arrangements are in place, it?s time to develop a packing list for each member of your family, including yourself. Check weather conditions to get an idea of what to expect on the trip however, packing a little bit of everything for your children can certainly help out in the long run. Despite what the weather prediction may be it?s always a good idea to bring along a set or two of cool weather clothes in addition to rainy and windy weather gear to keep your kids as comfortable as possible. When traveling with children, the days of stuffed suitcases filled with your own clothing are long gone. Now?s the time to put all of your focus on the kids because when they?re happy, you?ll be happy! In addition, pack an extra set of walking shoes or sandals that have been worn a handful of times so as not to make your vacation the time for your children to break in new sneakers.

While we?re on the topic of keeping our children happy, now?s the perfect time to mention the essential toys and games that will keep the kids entertained in case you encounter long travel schedules or layovers. In addition to the clothing and diaper essentials, be sure to pack plenty of pacifiers, baby bottles, and your children?s favorite stuffed animals and family fun games that will cheer up any bumps you may have during your vacation. Depending on how far you are traveling, it?s always a great idea to stay mobile with children and bring along a compact stroller that is perfect for exploring around your destination. Many models offer a sleek, collapsible construction that makes it easy for parents to quickly pack up the stroller and use with the kids for an entertaining family adventure.

Oreos and Intoxication

Did you know that Oreo’s can have an intoxicating effect?? Maybe not on me or you, but to a couple of preschoolers, eating a few Oreo’s is like downing a few shots of Tequila.

I wrote a few weeks ago about the best of times and worst of times during our beach vacation.? That was the best of times.? Unfortunately, it was also the exception.

This video will give a more accurate look at what our week at the beach was like.? Thing 1 and Thing 2 acting silly, drunk on Oreo’s, harassing passerby’s, and generally being unruly.? This episode is actually not too bad since we are outside in the middle of the day.? But it’s a little different at 6am.

A Tale Of Two Trips

To paraphrase Dickens, our recent trip to the beach was both the best of times and the worst of times.? At times we were relaxing, having a great time, watching the kids enjoy the sand and surf.? But that was just a teeny, tiny portion of how we spent our days.

The rest of the time was a lot of whining, crying, and fighting.? And of course, a fair amount of drinking to drown out the same.? To illustrate the two extremes, I have some video to bring you closer to my world.

We start with the best of times.? First, the kids are reasonably clean for the beach.? I defy anyone to get rid of all the sand after a one year old has been sitting in wet sand and shoveling sand into his mouth for hours.? Second, they are dressed in coordinated outfits.? SuburbanMommy insists we do this once per trip and take family photos.

Stay tuned for video from the worst of times…

Back From The Beach

Another summer ends with a beach trip for Suburban Family.? It wasn’t much different than last year’s adventure.? We were happy we went, and happy when it was over.? It was one of those trips.

The kids had a great time, which is the whole point, right?? For Thing 3, it was his first time to a beach.? He loved diving head first into the water and eating sand.? When I say eating sand, I mean shoveling it in by the handful and laughing as he was doing it.? It may be all laughs going in, but it isn’t much fun when it comes out the other end if you know what I mean.

Eating Sand At The Beach

Thing 3 also had what was probably the single best time of his life, running through the spraypark fountain outside our restaurant.? It was a lot of fun to watch, even if most of the rest of the trip he was a handful.

Thing 1 and Thing 2 loved the beach, mini-golf, and getting to eat ice cream sometimes twice a day.? We decided to relax many of our regular rules while on vacation and go with the flow.? It worked for the most part.

A big surprise was how well the two of them got along.? They actually shared a bedroom which I thought would be a disaster, but it worked out great.? One night, I overheard Thing 1 explaining to Thing 2 all the stuff they would do on the beach the next day.? Something about digging a hole and making sand castles.? And Thing 2 was actually listening to his big brother, hanging on every word.? Incredible.

Best Friends

Don’t let these photos fool you.? The trip was not easy.? When Thing 3 woke up at his usual 5:30am, everyone else had to get up at the same time because there is no keeping the noise down in a condo.? And the rooms were far from child friendly.? Every 2 minutes someone was either bumping their head or breaking something.? Especially Thing 3.? Fifteen months is a tough age to travel with.

I’ll sure I’ll have more stories, videos, and pictures to post from our trip in the coming weeks.? But, for now, I’m just happy to have survived another family vacation, and happy to be back from the beach.