Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Open Book Answers Part 3 (by Heather)

Questions Answered Tonight: Travel & Antics

First, TRAVEL (out of all 67 questions asked, this one is my favorite!) , then Antics.

Anonymous said... We have been reading basically since you started blogging. We can't get over how adventurous you are with two young kids (TWINS!), and how much you travel with them. Our question is what are your biggest pieces of advice for travelling with young twins (we have twin girls age 4 and we still haven't taken a trip with them and make everyone come visit us because we are too scared to travel with them STILL!!!!!!!!!!). Help!!!!?! How do you do it? :)The Tannenbaums (Sharon, Steve and twins Kara and Emma) from Michigan

Hi Tannenbaums! Photos above taken on our recent trip to New Hampshire. I totally understand your anxiety about travelling with your twin 4 year olds! It is hard to handle, and even though we travel quite a bit with Kyle and Owen we still get anxious ourselves! But we LOVE love love to travel with our boys and we make it a top priority for our family. We have been doing it since Day One with them (literally!), because within a week of meeting them we flew with them from Port-au-Prince to Miami, and then from Miami to Philadelphia. I'll never forget the euphoria of that first trip. OMG, it was amazing! Anyway, we do travel a lot with them -- especially relative to most twin families. However, there is one family I know of who travels even more than us with their twins (and I love this family from a distance)! Check out their blog by clicking here. But you're asking about us, so I'll try to stay focused (I love the travel-with-kids topic!!!). We have gone on a bunch of "big trips" (as they call it) with K & O. For K & O a "big trip" is a trip that involves airplanes. We have also done quite a few road trips, but we try to never go more than a 4-5 hour drive away because, basically, our boys have a VERY hard time in the car. They are awesome, however, on airplanes. We're not sure why. Maybe because they've been doing it so regularly through their young lives. I counted it up and to date we've done 10 "big trips" in the past 2.5 years, 4 of which were international involving more than one airplane. That means that K & O have actually been on 24 different flights in their 3 years of life. That's not a lot for Brangelina's kids, but that's a lot for our kids. When they were babies we always travelled with them in the front pack baby carriers. We'd keep them in there the entire flight and never detach them. As they got bigger we had them convinced that they had to sleep on airplanes. We always planned our flights to be during their naptimes and did everything in our power to get them to go to sleep. They almost always did. (yes, it was a shock to us too!!!). Now that they're older they sit in their own seats and they get to watch videos (portable DVD players are *key*!!!), and have their favorite snacks (Kyle eats a whole entire sleeve of whole grain fig newtons on each and every flight now, NO KIDDING). They love when the attendants come by with drinks and nuts. Southwest Airlines is our favorite for travelling with the boys because they are incredibly, incredibly family and child friendly. Knock on wood, K & O have always been *awesome* on every airplane. It still shocks me each and every time. People are always complimented us like, "Wow! Your kids were sooooo great on the flight!!! How on earth do you get them to be so good???" And we just laugh to ourselves because it is hard to believe they are actually talking about our kids (since normally the boys are off the walls with their antics!!! see question answer below!). In terms of hotels/resorts/etc... We have found that travelling with K & O is *much* easier on all of us if we are able to have some sort of suite or villa of some sort with kitchenette and separate bedroom (with an actual door). A little kitchen is a huge help (microwave and fridge at the very least) because then we can do food (or at least some of it) for K & O ourselves and not force them to do restaurants 3x/day. A microwave lets us warm up milk, mac-n-cheese, etc. We almost always travel w/ a cooler with some food/drink for the boys (on flights they will allow you to check food, so we pack it into our luggage). A separate bedroom is a huge plus because we can let them nap and/or go to bed early at night and Braydon and I can still have some time/space. It costs more for this, obviously, but we've found that if we research and search and work at it we can usually find some sort of great deal on an arrangement that works well for us. Lastly, when we travel we try to keep some of our important rituals in tact (we try to stick to our normal bedtime routine of books and prayers & we always are sure to have Owen's "warm milk" for him when he wakes up, for examples), but otherwise we 'let it all go' (i.e., we will sometimes rock them to sleep, let them eat cake for breakfast, let them watch more videos than usual, etc. -- things we normally wouldn't do at home). Then when we get home we try to immediately snap right back to our usual ways-of-being. When we're travelling with them we go into it expecting that there will be lots of meltdowns and tantrums and 'issues' -- and there always are -- but if we're expecting it, then when it happens it feels not-so-bad. And the truth is that the good parts soooo far outweigh all the 'issues' that it is well worth it to deal with that stuff. Anyway, tips... my biggest tip is to just take the plunge and do it! And put "patience" on the very top of your "To Pack" list! :)

haze said...
I don't have a question, I just like reading your blog and seeing your boys up to their antics
Thanks Haze. I think. ;0 LOL! Even though you didn't ask a question I couldn't resist posting this photo in response to your comment. This just happened a couple days ago. I bought the boys new toothbrushes -- those pseudo cheapo 'electric' toothbrushes you can buy. Well, K & O absolutely love these toothbrushes. Tonight, in fact, staring lovingly at his new "motor toothbrush" Kyle said to me, with love oozing from his tone, "Mama, I love my new toothbrush. I love it." Anyway, we heard them 'brushing their teeth. Braydon went to check on them. For obvious reasons. He told me I should come see it. I went, and this is what was happening:
In addition to brushing their teeth, they had squeezed out an entire new tube-full of Cat In The Hat toothpaste into the sink. Note that the deflated, squeezed out tube is placed precisely in its place on the counter and they are diligently brushing their teeth in the mirror. Antics!!!!!!!!


haze said...

Thanks Heather!

trish said...

Great post. You know how to have fun. Who knows! Maybe we will unexpectedly cross paths in an airport someday! Or maybe we will plan it :)