Tag Archives: parents

Yes! You Can Travel Internationally with Toddlers & Babies

I’m often asked how and why I travel internationally with my little ones. The answer is simple. I cannot NOT do it . I have to see the world and  I’d miss those little crazies if they weren’t with me. There’s no excuse to pushing off your international travel for when they’re old, or when you trust them, blah-blah-blah. Go now and go often. Even better if you have a child under two because their tickets only cost 10% of a full-price.

Ultimately, traveling internationally puts us on the same course as our children. We need the foreignness to feel the sense of wonderment that they perpetually live in.

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You want to cross the pond with your munchkin clan?  Here’s what I think you need to do.

Be a Damn Roman in Rome

Max the Local

Rent a home via AirBnB, your kids will start to feel more at home in an actual home. Load up on local eats at the grocery stores and markets.  Afford yourself a couple of days to be a local with no agenda other than walking around and taking it all in. Get to know the city. Feel it. Watch its people. Find the parks. Tire out your kids in them. Rent a car, get the carseats. Attempt the language. Live. Explore. Eat. Drink. Pass out in your drool.

Get Passports Immediately.

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Get your kids passports. Now. I don’t care if your newborn is one day old. Get a passport. You can’t leave the country without one. Also make sure you have appropriate Visas–even my baby needs a Turkish Visa for our trip in a few weeks. Want to go to Brazil? You all need Visas.

Above is my newborn Miko’s first passport shot. The passport photo place wouldn’t take one because he was “too young,” so I put him on his white background (diaper changer) and did it myself.

Be a Decision Maker

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Even if you’re naturally not a quick decision maker, you’ll need to become one. The last thing you want to do is stand around, mouth agape welcoming  pickpocketers, or and sex traffickers to grab your kid. Okay, that’s a touch melodramatic, but just saying. Make shit happen. Make a freaking decision. Never stand around looking confused. Don’t study maps for longer than a minute. You’re not going to “see it all” so make the best decisions you can, stick to ’em, and enjoy the ride.

Under Pack

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Guess what, they actually sell things abroad! I mean, nothing was here originally anyway (it was all made in China). Don’t overpack diapers. Don’t overpack clothes. DO NOT bring the  big stroller (side note: your stroller is the size of two family-sized tables in most countries’ restaurants). Just bring:

  • A couple of stylish albeit comfortable clothes with good walking shoes (no screaming bright tennis shoes)
  • One dress-up outfit
  • Stylish scarves for the whole family; Zara carries great scarves for children.
  • Bjorn and/or very compact stroller

Seen above, a $19.99 crap stroller that has been up and down fjords in Norway, up and down a billion stairs in the Greek isles, and over millions of uneven cobblestones in Poland.

Eat or Die.

Max Krakow dinner

What, you have a picky eater? Welcome to the club. Eat or die, kid. Lil’ man doesn’t get his favorite cereal over there and he’s going to survive. This is the mindset you have to take on. Kids are resilient, they’ll end up eating. Starved after a few days of foreign eats, my one year old grabbed my plate of Païdakia in Athens and ate nearly all of it.

Seen above, my Max  attacking golonka in Krakow.

Accept Meltdowns. They’re Half the Fun (later in your memory at least)

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Your kids will melt down. Maybe even a lot worse than at home. They’re off schedule and out of their comfort zone. They nap in crappy $19.99 strollers and they sit there watching Mom and Dad eat and drink for six hours every night. It’s called character building.

Ditch the “Schedule”

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Sure your kids operate better on a schedule. That’s not going to work abroad. Firstly, you’re in a totally new time zone. Secondly, you need to see and do what you want to do whenever possible. Making a train, boat or bus time, getting to the museum at the right hours, whatever it is, it’s not gonna jive with junior’s hit-or-miss naptime so don’t plan on it. Say goodbye to the schedule – that monotony is waiting for you back home and has no place on vay-cay.

Seen above: pregnant me and my one-year old in a jazz club that doesn’t get started until 11-ish. Disclaimer: the beer is my husband’s.

Where do you want to go? Where have you gone? Please share!

Happy Poopy Valentine’s Day, Honey

I remember when Valentine’s Day was all about what I’d get (Tiffany’s). Where we’d eat (hottest new restaurant). What champagne we’d booze (Dom Perignon).

V-Day took a turn post kids. Lady Gaga wrote about a Bad Romance, but Good God, the woman’s, not even a mother. You want to know what a Bad Romance really is? It’s Valentine’s Day everyday with little ones.

Here’s what Valentine’s Day looks like for the parents of babies & toddlers.

Dessert for Dinner

Valentine’s Day provides us with an excuse to have chocolate for breakfast, lunch, and dinner! Except that with a toddler, that’s actually what’s demanded everyday. When not provided, a tantrum ensues. Watch as they fall onto their knees and bang away, as the waterworks begin. Worst Mom Ever for not giving chocolate for all meals. Fine, honey, you want chocolate for every meal? Then we’ll have to work out extra hard to keep off the pounds.

Lu Zhihao kicks a ball at a basketball court in Foshan

Wet & Wild

How can you be romantic when most of your days revolve around who is going to clean the latest “blow-out?” God, to think I used to order fudgy lava cake for Valentine’s Day dinner dessert. Now, that’s what I wipe up with 1.375 packets of Whole Foods brand baby wipes in one damn go. Yum.

productshowcase1Dirty Talk

Dirty talk becomes potty talk when you have kids. If only I could laugh the way I do over potty humor in the scenarios, instead of finding myself on the brink of (another) mental and emotional breakdown.

  • Holy SHIT, What the f*#$ did you eat? (oh yeah, 5 yogurts)
  • He didn’t make it to the potty – bring me the bleach!
  • What the f*#$ do you mean, we’re out of wipes?
  • Can Mama finish dinner before you go poo-poo? (STUPID question)

Courtney_Lochner_Austria_Sign_No_PoopingDowntown Date

Recently my husband and I actually got our Babywipe Smelling Selves out on a date downtown (here’s where you congratulate me)–only to be reminded what dinner downtown looks like: a three hour wait – no reservations accepted. Cool, cuz like, we got babysitters and I’m sure they won’t mind staying over night since like, we can’t even eat dinner for another few hours. No prob. Guess we’ll just get drunk at the bar and try to relish in not telling the other to clean up a pile of shit, right?

Restaurant queueMassage

These days when I want a massage, I can usually get one on-demand! How? I simply lay my baby down and then face my back to his kickin’ little legs and let the kinks work out. He paddles around and around as if biking the Tour de France, and I get a one-in-ninety-eight kicks actually hitting a sore spot and helping.

voorkant-600x600Breakfast in Your Underwear

Yes, the romance of getting down to your skivvies for breakfast. If by skivvies you mean diaper, (baby size for the kid, adult size for you).

IMG_7333A Lot of Time in Bed

To jumpstart your romance, spend a lot of time in bed. So like, go to bed at 8:30 p.m. (pass-out in your own drool) and wake up for the next feeding, round o’ tears, or cries for water.

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When all is said and done, I wouldn’t have it any other way. The tears, the poop, the late nights. Hubby – I love you and wouldn’t want to wipe an ass with anyone but you. Happy Poopy Valentine’s Day, Honey.

7 Surprising Habits that Parents Acquire

1. Staring At the Wall

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Like a poindexter. Staring at the wall becomes a new hobby for parents. Don’t get me wrong, we have loads of,  ambition, an enormous to-do list and plenty of intentions. It’s just that once the kids are in bed the only thing we really seem capable of doing is staring at the god damn wall. Shell shocked. Tomorrow I’ll fool myself once again though, that I’m going to kill my to-do list as soon as they kids nap or go to bed. There’s a sucker born every minute.

2. Watching Previews Instead of Movies

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Movies? Oh yeah, catch ’em all the time in 2 minute snippets. What you thought I could watch a full length film? Ha! I’m lucky if I make it through ALL the previews before falling asleep in my own drool.  You see, parents receive an invisible tranquilizer dart in their ass every night around 9pm. Par-tay on.

3. Vulture Eating

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Yep. Really sexy. All those bits and pieces your sticky-handed kids left on their high chair, you’ll eat it. That leftover Mac&Cheese, sure why not? Bread crust? It’s what’s for dinner.

4. Swapping Showers for Baby Wipes

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Showers are a thing of luxury. Something that goes on your to-do list the same way “pay the bills” does. Until you figure out that baby wipes can do so much more than wipe a little poopy ass. They can kinda shower you.

5. Describing Your Actions in Third Person.

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This becomes how you communicate with your partner in a charming and oh-so condescending manner. It’s how you tell your partner that he/she is failing in a more subtle yet, really annoying fashion.

  • Mommy is cleaning the kitchen right now because Daddy didn’t do it.
  • Looks like Daddy is on his own for dinner since Mommy passed out in front of HGTV with her plate of bread and olive oil.
  • Mommy just lost her mind, go ahead and congratulate mommy!

6. Smelling Butts.

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This one may be less surprising since most of us have seen parents do it before becoming one. It’s inevitable. We become little gorillas who smell butts to confirm what is already blaringly obviously – baby just blew out his diaper.

 7. Emotional Transference

mommy martyr emotional transference

Here’s where you describe own behavior and feelings but transfer it onto your child. Really mature.

  • You are being crazy right now!
  • You need to relax honey!
  • STOP SCREAMING!

Uh, look at the mommy in the mirror. Time to make that change.

 

Top 5 Things Parents Say at the Toddler Park

As a parent, going to the park can be invigorating for so many reasons:jsp-pics-22nd-march-image-24-682683620

  • You can easily tire out your child/children in a fenced in area
  • You can meet someone new that may be your new best friend for life or the next 5 minutes
  • You can sit your ass down for five-hot-minutes
  • You can adore your child as he plays his little heart out

Perhaps one of the best things however, is learning that you’re not alone. How so? By overhearing the following five things time and again, it tells me that my parenting style is on par with the norm and that I’m not alone in my daily war against the kids.

Top 5 Things Overheard at the Toddler Park

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1. We’re leaving in two minutes…do NOT have a tantrum and do NOT cry.

If standing close enough I then hear mumbled under breath, “For the love of God, please don’t have a tantrum, oh please, please God + silent prayer and a tear or two.

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2. “We can come back but right now Mommy needs a Starbucks, so let’s go!”

Mumbled under breath: “Mommy also needs some quaaludes”

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3. “No honey! That’s not your scooter, get off!”

Mumbled under breath: “Maybe if you fell on your ass and broke a bone you’d learn your lesson for always stealing that damn scooter.”

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4. “Did you just poop?!?”

Mumbled under breath “I frickin’ hope not because your genius mom didn’t pack a diaper.”

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5.  “I said we’re leaving in two minutes!”

This is usually said 30-45 minutes after original claim of a 2 minute departure.  Mumbled under breath: “I gave you so much extra time so please Lord, don’t have a tantrum, I’m begging you.”

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What quotes did I miss??