Thursday, July 27, 2017

Guide: Summer Festivals with Kiddos

summer is in full swing! this time of year new england is in celebration mode, whether it be music, food, cultural or all of the above. it is the season of festivals. during my teenage years i attended a music festival once a summer with all my hard earned summer job dollars. it was always the highlight of the season. i also remember being very hot, thirsty, hungry and tired at some point, usually mid-afternoon, during the day long event. i have learned from my mistakes and as years passed have became better at planning.

these days, my hubs and i, still like to go to festivals and try are best to make a few favorites over the summer. however, things are quite different now with two little ones in toe. we have all seen or possibly have been that family with unhappy kiddos in a place that is suppose to be fun. unhappy kiddos makes for unhappy parents. in an attempt to avoid family meltdown we do are best to make our outings enjoyable and memorable. of course, there is a little bickering along the way, but that's to be expected. we have also observed and learned a few tricks from other adventurous parents.

1. make a PLAN. i can't express this more. if the venue has a website read it. all of it. from the home page to the FAQ. you can learn a lot about what is allowed and what is not allowed. if a website is not available try GOOGLE and social media. you can gather info. from other sources and people. if the event is considered family friendly you can usually bring a good amount of what you will need for the day.

2. fluids. okay, so we all know that staying hydrated is important so make sure you and crew drink plenty of water. in addition, sip on sports drink, like gatorade, which contains sugar and electrolytes like sodium and potassium that your body is also loosing under the hot sun. offer little ones and other family member something to drink often. i forget this myself, but keith is great at reminding all of us to drink up.

3. always bring food. even if it has to stay in the car. a snack before you head in can keep everyones stomach in check for a bit. and snacks after can ease a long wait in traffic. if the venue allows food inside bring as much and you can tote along. at a minimum i regularly pack three to four snacks each and lunch. we always have our little one bring a backpack. even the smallest packs can hold a few granola bars and piece of fruit. quick breads are one of my go-to am snacks. the day before we plan on going on a day trip or outing. i try to get one on the oven. banana walnut and blueberry walnut are our favorites. i usually make sure everyone gets a hardy slice either in the car or shortly after arrival. other go-tos are apples, mixed nuts, carrot sticks, a container of fruit salad and/or cucumber tomato salad and some kind of salty treat like a big bag of hard potato chips. we also make sure to bring some cash for a few sweat treats like dell's frozen lemonade, homemade root beer or ice cream. and if we are still at an event during dinner time we hit up a food trucks or stand.

4. sun and ear protection is a must. lots of sunscreen applied a few times a day, sunnies and sun hats. if the event does not provide a shady area to take a break from the sun. i recommend bring a sun shade or beach umbrella if allowed. we own a kelty sun shade and a big old beach umbrella and both get good use through the summer months.

i also carry bandanas for the whole family. we wet them for cool cloths, wear them to protect exposed skin from sun and if needed wipe a rose nose. we add a change of cloths into the pack for accidents or layering, thin long pants that can be rolled, a long sleeve tee and sweater.

new little ears are super sensitive. sound muffling headphone or molding ear plugs work great for protection those new ears from load music or crowds. long days can get boring so we always bring small toys, like match box cars, harmonics, bubbles, beach ball, etc.

5. consider arrival time and departure. if you can swing it and get your S-H-I-T together i recommend arriving early. most likely you will beat the inbound traffic, making for a less stressful entrance, and a quick exit at the end of the event. sitting in grid lock with screaming kids if not the way you want to end your day. once in the venue always find a seat reasonably close to the bathrooms. little ones and pregnant mamas can't hold it as long and frequent the potty more often. don't be in a rush to leave if the kiddos are content. staying a little later and taking your time as things wrap up can make for a more relaxing exit.

6. finally consider your child's age, personality and what you want out of the experience. if you are not okay with chancing around a newly walking toddler during your favorite bands set then leave the babe at home. you want everyone to have a good time so make sure your child will enjoy the experience was much as you if you toe them along. remember to take things slow, lower expectations and make sure you get good night sleep the night before.

if you do this a few times a year you will develop a go to plan with items that you know you have to bring along for a happy day. building excitement up to the event is also a great way to ensure a good time is had by all. read books, listen to music, taste foods, etc. whatever you can do to make the event relatable to your little one will help with the fun factor.

whatever your adventure, enjoy!  good or bad, if it isn't funny now it will be in a few years.

Monday, September 12, 2016

Down By the Bay

the days are getting shorter and my nephews returned to school a few weeks ago. i can't believe summer is slipping away and fall is already upon us. the summer was a little bit of a blur with the anticipation of a new baby and an overwhelming number of appointments. but i hope these boys remember the time they spend together, exploring, being silly and enjoying the warm weather. they are all such great ages. i would like to freeze them in time. the oldest, is a creative storyteller that capture the imagination of the younger two. the middle, is a mover keeping everyone else on their toes. and the youngest, is an observer always aware and curious of the things around him. 

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Baby Bodhi

just like that we are a family of four. kingston is beyond thrilled and mama and dad are smitten with this little nugget. two weeks ago we welcomed baby bodhi and could not be happier. he poops, pees and sleeps an awful lot, but we still like him. kingston has been reading to him, holding him and helping out when mama needs a wet cloth, diaper or binkie. kingston is really taking his big brother roll to the next level which makes my heart skip a beat. i forgot how wonderful it is to have a newborn. and one that sleeps well is a total bonus. bodhi you are a dream. 

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Base Camp Lately: Quality Time Pre New Arrival

the week before the new baby arrived i attempted to spend as much quality time as possible with my two favorite guys. keith and i even snuck in a date night to newport for dinner, walking thames street and ice cream. i love ice cream but i do miss a good cocktail. also, i have been taking the cub the out as much as possible too. mostly morning since i usually have to get my feet up by early afternoon. he has been so good about letting me rest and playing on his own. he is going to make the best big brother. okay baby... i think we are finally ready for your arrival. now for a little bounce on the bed to get things moving. 

Monday, August 15, 2016

Base Camp Lately: Me, My Cub and a 39 Week Baby Bump

i have all of a sudden felt guilty for not documenting this pregnancy as i did the first so in these last few week i have been snapping away. kingston has been my loyal assistant which has added an interesting complexity to the process as you can imagine. we have to compromise over control of the the camera remote and height of the camera stand. he like to be the subject and then switch to the photographer. at first it was hard for me to let him lead the process. but finally i came to the realization that i was going to have to go with the flow on this one. the images come out far from perfect but we have a good time and that is all that matters.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Base Camp Lately: Father's Day Weekend

we celebrated father's day with a relaxing weekend. saturday morning we checked out the aquidneck island growers' market for the first time. keith bought some bacon from pat's patured for sunday's breakfast which was delicious and i found a stand that carried great mosquito repelling plants. we purchased some lemon balm, citronella geraniums and basil for the backyard. the sweet lady running the stand even let our cub pick out a sunflower plant to take home. he is doing a great job of taking take of it so far. later we stopped by waterbrothers for a new t-shirt for dad, tacos for lunch outside under the tree at perro salado, then headed home for an afternoon nap and a snuggle wrestle as our little one likes to call it. please excuse the serious bedhead we are all rocking in most of the pictures.

Monday, June 27, 2016

24/52, 25/52 and 26/52

"a portrait of my child once a week, every week, in 2016"

24/52 our cub: he loves jamming with these cool dudes and they totally let him muscle his way into center stage. such good guys. he thinks they are pretty rad. 

"a portrait of my child once a week, every week, in 2016"

25/52 our cub: hours searching for sea glass and flat rocks for skipping by the bay with his cousins 

"a portrait of my child once a week, every week, in 2016"

26/52 our cub: spent the weekend camping and not once did he get this dirty. 20 minutes at home and i had to scrub him down twice before bed. he loves digging in the dirt. 

every week we are linking up with practicing simplicity weekly portrait project.