• I’ll take 3 more of her.
  • these first few smiles are literally the best thing ever. when you realize how happy you make a tiny person. when you see their face light up because they love you so much. then you fast forward 2.5 years and they’re demanding brownies and cheetos for lunch. 😬😬😬 #sixweeksold #happilytrista
  • (sponsored) When you become a parent, there are so many new things to learn about and I feel like each person latches on to something they’re passionate about / can’t stop reading and learning about. For me? That’s car seats! Thankfully some states are finally updating their laws to conform to recommendations from the APA. We have tried quite a few different seats and this 3-in-1 Pria seat from @maxicosiusa is the nicest! The chest clip is magnetic, making it easy to clip and unclip with one hand. The straps stay in place thanks to their out-of-the-way spring assist, so no more twisted up straps. And the cushions are both washer AND dryer safe! Yay for no more hang-drying! On top of that, it’s rear-facing up to 40lbs, forward-facing up to 65lbs and then a booster up to 100lbs. #ParentYourWay #PriaMax3in1 #happilytrista
  • 6 weeks of this angel girl ✨
She is still waking up once over night most nights. She just started smiling at us these past few days. She loves tummy time but rolls herself over all of the time so we have to roll her back. She loves to be worn and snuggled. And we have to restrain her brother from kissing her 193739 times per day. 🤪 #happilytrista #newborn #sixweeksold #fourthtrimester
  • We are currently paying the price for last week’s easy bedtimes. I’m trying to get Ben to sleep in his own room. So you can guess how happy he is about that. His yelling has Blaire awake still, she’s been out of her room about 25 times. And Sloane is passed out on the couch. At least someone is asleep. They’re lucky they’re adorable because holy moly I’m tired and just want to veg out on the couch. #gotheftosleep #blairebenandsloane #happilytrista
  • Yesterday was almost 60° and today it “feels like” 21°. We had a handful of fall days and it’s not fair because I’m not ready to skip right to winter. There’s nothing better to get us all out of the house than a walk, especially because wearing Sloane puts her right to sleep. Anywho, trying to squeeze in a nap before we get Blaire from school because once we get home it’ll be a mad dash for me to shower and get everyone ready for Blaire’s first kindergarten parent/teacher conference. AND it’s book fair at her school. Who still gets excited for the book fair? 🤭🙋🏼‍♀️ #happilytrista
  • someone changed out of their pajamas today. it wasn’t me.
#happilytrista #rainbowbaby
  • daylight savings vibes... casually pouring coffee in my eyes today. what time were your kiddos awake? 
#dst #daylightsavingssucks #happilytrista #targetstyle
  • Sorry if this made you yawn. 🤭 I just love that Sloane feels the sleep dust when I’m wearing her, just like Benny did! 💕 Hope you’re having a weekend as great as this girl. She is one month old today! Still waking just at 1:30am most nights to eat... occasionally around 5am, too. When she’s awake she likes to look at lights and stare at mama. Whenever she does tummy time she rolls right over to her back. 🥰 #happilytrista
  • Tried some Pinterest-y nail art while the two older kids were at school this morning... and I’m ready to remove and do something a little less crazy when they’re all in bed tonight. 🤪 Real wild Friday night plans, am I right?
#nailsofinstagram #nailsoftheday #essie #manimonday #happilytrista
  • Sloane’s first Halloween... the one where it snowed 3 inches and was 20° outside. Woody and Jessie lasted about 30 mins trick-or-treating, then they wanted to head home to hand out candy. What was the weather like where you live? And how many pieces of candy do people give out where you trick-or-treat? Here, it’s a tie between “choose two pieces” and “grab a handful.” #blairebenandsloane #halloween #halloween2019 #happilytrista
August 3, 2015

Tips for Traveling with a Toddler


Tips for Traveling with a Toddler

Traveling with a toddler… the words nightmares are made of! The actual art of traveling for a trip isn’t usually super fun for anyone. Dirty airports, long security lines, delayed flights, cramped planes… or maybe you’re driving. Traffic, weather, construction… Ugh. My approach to flying with a child/toddler for the first time was to make sure we had lots of entertaining things. 

I asked for help on Instagram and got lots of fun tips. (Thanks, guys!) I followed them all and our flights out to California were seamless. I felt like a toddler traveling pro and imagined that we’d start flying Blaire all over the place. She’d be such a little jetsetter. Let’s just pretend our flights home were as perfect. Just kidding. They were terrible. I’ll tell you about it later. Well we lived and learned, and we’ve been successful on all of our other flights. All 10 of them. Do 10 flights classify Blaire as a jetsetter? ;) Here are our tips for traveling with a toddler.

  1. Bring a fun mix of toys!
    I recommend you bring a mix of toys you know they love, as well as new toys that will be fun and exciting for them. For us, we knew Blaire loved playing with the iPad. (More on the iPad below.) For new toys, we brought a new book, the magna doodle and the reusable sticker pad (these stickers are basically like window clings and can be placed on the pages of this book, and removed, and restuck). If you can’t find this reusable sticker pad, then bring regular stickers. Blaire loves sticking them on herself, us, the seats, the arm rests… basically anywhere. Also remember – the bigger the stickers, the easier for your kiddos to play with. If you purchase this magna doodle – maybe leave the stamps at home? On our first flight, Jason kept them in his pocket so we wouldn’t lose any. (Reason #129408124 he’s the best!) But Blaire loved it just as much without the stampers, so they’ve stayed at home on our other trips.
  2. Bring something to soothe their ears.
    Whether it’s a binky or something to drink out of. For us, it’s both. Also – don’t count on the airline to have juice or milk for your child. We did and it was our worst flight EVER! For us AND the rest of those poor souls on that small plane. Be sure to grab what you need before boarding the plane even if that means you aren’t the first to board. And while you’re at it, BUY EXTRA! Your connection might be 40 gates away will probably give you less time between flights than they stated when you bought the ticket. Better safe than sorry. Take as many binkys as you can remember to pack! You will not regret it. They’re going to fall on the floor of the plane or hotel or they’re going to get lost in your hotel room. You know how it goes. You do not want to be in the hotel room at 2AM without a back up binky.
  3. Pack snacks.
    Snacks. SO. MANY. SNACKS. Airport snacks are expensive. Pack as many snack containers and baggies of food as you can manage in your carry on. We all know variety keeps kiddos entertained. Some of Blaire’s current favorites (16 months – 22 months) include: Goldfish (original, cheddar and pretzel), veggie straws, cinnamon life, string cheese, mini golden oreos and apple sauce pouches.
  4. Pack smart.
    Make sure you know where things are packed in your carry ons. Also – take the least amount of carryons possible. One our first flight with Blaire, we tried to max out the number of bags we could carry on and it was annoying. There’s nothing worse than having to haul giant bags through the airport along with pushing your stroller and your carseat. (More on your car seat below.) When packing, think about the things you’ll need that are bulky and can easily be purchased when you arrive at your destination. Diapers, wipes and bulk sizes of snacks are all easy things to grab once you get all checked in to your hotel.
  5. Are you taking your toddler’s car seat?
    Or are you renting one with your rental car? We’ve rented one and it was super affordable and convenient. BUT it hasn’t been an option with all of the places we’ve rented cars. If you’re taking your carseat, make sure you have a bag for it. And I recommend gate checking it, it cuts out some of the rough handling it would be subjected to if you checked it with your checked bags. (ALSO my hope is that it’s fairly difficult for them to lose something that’s gate checked.) When bringing along your car seat you’re going to need a bag to cover it when it’s under the plane, and a way to get it through the airport easily. They do make bags with wheels (2 in 1!) or you can purchase something to pull your carseat with, and a cheaper bag without wheels. We chose the second, because we wanted to be able to set a bag (or Blaire!) in the carseat on our way through the airport. This is the bag we use and this is the car seat transporter we use.
  6. Load up your iPad.
    Or phone. Or Kindle. Or whatever tablet you may have. How I wish I would’ve concentrated more on this for our first trip with Blaire! I read about 12970213 blog posts that recommended apps for toddlers and none of them were that great. My worry was that without forcing her to wear headphones, everyone would have to hear music or animals noises from her games. Well I can assure you most people prefer music or animal noises to a screaming baby. Also – Blaire LOVES wearing headphones. So here are our current iPad app favorites.
  7. Make your kiddo feel at home at the hotel/condo/house.
    If there are things they typically sleep with, bring them along! Blaire uses the same pillow pet each night. So I brought the pillow pet and the sheet she had on her bed at the time. I knew sleeping in a portable crib would be different than sleeping in her own, so I was happy to do anything I could do to make the bed feel familiar. And she usually sleeps like a champ! If she’s not feeling the portable crib, we don’t make a huge deal out of it and let her sleep in bed with us. Whatever results in the most sleep is my #1 priority. Especially on vacation!


Magnet Doodle Pad | Reusable Sticker Book |  Nuby Flip n’ Sip with Weighted Straw: Target (in store) | Bunny WubbaNub | Pillow Pet | Crib Sheet | Monster Snack Keeper | iPad | Alphabet Book

So, I promised I’d tell you about our worst flight EVER. Fine. You can read all about it here.

First Class

Okay mamas, what are your tips for flying with littles one? Also, what iPad/iPhone apps are your go tos for your little ones? I definitely need to bulk up the “Blaire” folder on my phone. ;) I hope these tips help you in some way. And I’d love any feedback. Just leave it in the Comments below! xo

Post originally published on August 3, 2015 – Updated on January 5, 2016.

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  • How many kids do you have? Which transition was the hardest? It may not be the traditional answer, but for me, becoming a mama to one was the hardest. I had NO CLUE what I was in for.
The mom guilt.
How long it would take to leave the house.
The sleepless nights.
Losing myself in motherhood — feeling like I had to be with Blaire 24/7.
Adding Ben and now Sloane to our crew has been so much easier for me. It’s like they just fall in line with the crazy. 🤪 And I think being so much more confident in myself as a mom doesn’t hurt either. 💁🏼‍♀️ #motherhoodishard
#motherhood #momofthree #momof3 #clickinmoms #momtog #thelovelysquares #happilytrista #blaireandben #blairebenandsloane
  • ice cream outside with two of my favorite people. when it’s only 70° outside you can actually eat your ice cream without it melting all over us... and by us I mean them. 👆🏻👆🏻 #blaireandben
#2yearsold #5yearsold #momof3 #motherhoodintheraw #lifegivingsquares #petitejoy #motherhoodrising #ourcandidlife #uniteinmotherhood #mymamahood #seekthesimplicity #sharegood #joyfulmamas #documentlife #dailyparenting #momblogger #honestlymothering #therealparenthood  #thehappycapture #momsofinstagram #mytinymoments #thecreativecollective #realmotherhood #lifestyleblogger #stopdropandmom
  • Prepping for our third baby has been pretty easy so far. I guess when you have an older sister and brother, plus a mama who likes to hold on to everything from her babies, there isn’t a ton of shopping to do. The kids are having fun picking out little gifts to give baby sister in the hospital (something Blaire still talks about from when Ben was born), little toys here and there, PJs, and this @babyeinstein 4-in-1 Kickin Tunes Music & Language Discovery Gym at @target. I wasn’t joking when I said they wanted to test it out! #babyeinstein #ignitecuriosity #socialspotters #blaireandben #happilytrista
  • #ad I can’t believe this girl is heading off to kindergarten! With afternoon pre-k last year, we were lucky to not have to worry about the morning rush. So this year, our go-to is a waffle and a chocolate milk for the ride to school. Horizon® Shelf Stable Chocolate Milk is our favorite since we can easily grab it and go! Spoiler alert: she takes one in her lunch, too. Blaire is so excited, but little brother and I are sad to see her spend so much time away from us. But I am excited to be able to walk her to school and avoid the CRAZY drop-off and pick-up lines while the weather’s still nice, anyways. 
You can find @HorizonOrganic Chocolate Milk at @KrogerCo and you can even save $1 with this digital coupon (7/24/19 – 8/6/19). And you can stock up because Horizon Organic milk boxes are shelf-stable, meaning you can safely store them in the pantry. Shop now through the link in my bio. #blaireandben
  • Well we don’t have a Nordstrom near us, but we do have an Aldi. Most of their summer items are on clearance and we scored this sweet pool for $7. Winner, winner. 🦄☀️ #blaireandben
#summer #momentsiwanttoremember #aldifinds #motherhood
  • This summer hasn’t really felt like summer yet. 🤨 So when we have an 85° day we make the most out of it with a trip to the pool! How’d you spend your Sunday Funday? #blaireandben
  • another day, another doctors appointment for someone in our crew. today it’s Ben. he was up overnight saying his ear hurt — a double ear infection for him. luckily the kid loves taking medicine and hasn’t let his ears get him down! as long as he’s up moving around they’re fine, but the second he lays down... 😭😭😭. hoping our poor buddy is feeling better tomorrow. do you feel like you need a frequent flier card for your pediatrician? just me? okay. #blaireandben #itsfinewerefine
#uniteinmotherhood #motherhoodintheraw #momentsiwanttoremember #mybabies
  • When your brother is getting big but you still want to hold him... you gotta pinch his butt because he’s so wiggly. 😂😬😍 #blaireandben •
#petitejoys  #childhoodunplugged #letthembelittle #ohheymama #tagtheqc #mybeautifulmess #thehappynow  #thepursuitofjoyproject #thatsdarling #livethelittlethings #momentsiwanttoremember #everydaymoments #nothingisordinary #motherhoodrising
  • It is definitely bittersweet to leave the house where we brought both of these babies home. But we are excited for our next chapter as a family of five! #rainbowbaby #blaireandben
#pregnancyannouncement #rainbowbabyannouncement #firsttrimester
  • Last night was our first night in the new house. 👏🏻 We still have lots of stuff to bring from the old house and then lots of cleaning over there before the final walk through and closing next Monday. Then we can focus on getting this house unpacked and organized. But first, I would like a nap. 😴 #blaireandben #happilytristahome
  • The snow that never ends. 🙄🥶 Walked out into the snow this afternoon and one kid loved it, the other not so much. “Wowwww! It’s like a wizard out here.” —Blaire 😂
“Yuck!” —Ben #blaireandben
#bestofmom #momlifestyle #momlifeisthebestlife #motherhoodunplugged #mymotherhood #honestmotherhood #slowmotherhood #mymamahood #midwestblogger #eternalmotherhood #motherhoodintheraw #unitedinmotherhood #motherhoodrising #polarvortex