motherhood

Traveling tips for your summer vacations with kiddos

Recently my family and I traveled to Austin, Texas. It was our first big trip as a family of three and Eleanor's first time flying. I was little hesitant because I wasn't sure how Eleanor would do on a plane and being away from home for so long. However with a little planning ahead we were able to have a great trip. So today I want to share with you some things I learned while traveling!

1. Plan ahead what everyone will wear

Comfy clothes are a must on trips but practicality is just as needed. Going through security can be a daunting task especially when you have little ones. I made sure that Eleanor had clothes that were easy to get on and off and didn't have any buckles or things that would go off in security. She wore a simple little dress that was perfect for the trip. For me it was important that I wore something that I could easily breastfeed her. A button down shirt was great because I didn't need to lift up layers upon layers to be able to feed her. 

2. Bring new books/toys/shows/movies

On road trips when I was younger I remember my mom always had a little special something for us on our trip. It usually wasn't anything extravagant but it was fun for me as a kid to have a new little toy, movie or book to explore when we were on the road. For Eleanor I got her some new books and downloaded her favorite show from the Netflix app. Her Usborne books were a hit. She loved having something new to look at and it was easy to stash in our bag. It doesn't have to be anything expensive but having something new (could be from the dollar store) is a sanity saver. 

If you are interested in some great books for your road trip or travels this summer check out Usborne books! They have something for every age! You can shop my link here or if you are interested in earning free books by hosting a party comment below and I will be sure to get in contact with you :) 

3. If you are staying with friends or family ask to see if they have extra carseats, strollers, and pack n' play.

One of the best parts about our trip was the fact I knew I didn't need to worry about the carseat, stroller or pack 'n play. My sister, Amber had extras of all these for us and it was such a lifesaver. If you are able to check with family or friends to see if they have friends or family willing to let you borrow those big items so you don't have to worry about checking them when you fly or stuffing them in the back of the car. 

4. Pack smart

It is so easy to over pack especially when you are a new parent. I packed Eleanor's bag multiple times before I finally knew exactly what I needed. One thing we decided to do that was a big help was that we only packed enough diapers and food for the flight going to Texas. We knew a Target was close by and could stop and pick up a pack of diapers and get her food for the week there. It saved us a lot of space, which was really helpful.

5. Dont stress

It is so easy to think about all the things that could go wrong with your trip and stress about it. I know the stares that other travelers give and how unnerving it can be to have a crying baby in public. However when you keep calm it helps babies and kids know that everything is going to be alright. Other passengers can wait, it wont hurt them when you have to take the extra moment to calm yourself and your kiddos. Don't stress about other people around you and what they might think. And remember if the lady in front of me could travel with 5 children ( all under the age of 9) by herself you can do it too!

-Sarah

For the love of Reading.

One of my favorite activities to do with my daughter is sitting down in our living room and reading books together. Growing up my mom has countless photos of me reading my favorite books and now I see that same image when I take a photo of my daughter as she attempts to flip pages, chew on covers and climb over the towers of books we have. 

Little Sarah Reading

Little Sarah Reading

Walking into book stores is a serious struggle for me and gosh, there is something about children's books that gets me caught in Barnes and Noble for hours. So when my friend, Megan, invited me to her Usborne book party I couldn't help but be excited for a party in my pajamas at home and the chance to see lots and lots of new and exciting kids books. 

Now, I'm not trying to sell these books to you or push you to join Usborne, this is just my real and honest experience in buying their books and how I fell more in love with children's books after I hosted my own party. 

"Usborne and Kane Miller books are the most exciting, engaging, and educational books on the market today. They are high-quality, innovative, lavishly-illustrated, and best of all, they are the books kids love to read. Choose from over 1,800 bright, colorful, and fun titles covering a wide variety of subjects."

"Usborne and Kane Miller books are the most exciting, engaging, and educational books on the market today. They are high-quality, innovative, lavishly-illustrated, and best of all, they are the books kids love to read. Choose from over 1,800 bright, colorful, and fun titles covering a wide variety of subjects."

When looking for books for my daughter I am always on the lookout for fun and educational books. I love learning and I love a well illustrated book. When these two are combined its hard for me to set down the book and walk away. A majority of the Usborne books help children learn new skills and attain new knowledge. They are durable and I love the bright and colorful illustrations in each of their books and this is why it took me almost 2 hours to pick out the books I wanted to buy Eleanor. They not only have babies buts but books for all kids which is great because I know we will be buying some more of these books as Ellie grows up.

Im going to share with you our top 4 books I got from hosting a party. It was great because I paid so little for all of them and I absolutely LOVE each one I got (and so does Ellie) 

One of our favorites is "That's Not my Princess" It is great because Eleanor loves touchy feely books and the book is full of bright pictures and catches her attention. 

The next book we got that is hard to put down is Garden Sounds. This book is full of pretty birds chirping, bees buzz and rain pitter pattering. What drew me to this book was that the sounds are really pretty and don't get annoying! They have little cutouts throughout the book that Ellie loves to feel and she enjoys listening to the different sounds.

Baby's Very First Play Book Animal Words and Farm words are two books full of cut outs and finger trails, bright beautiful pictures that help children understand and recognize different animals and farm words. I loved it because I am not a fan of lift the flap books. Most of my experience with them is children ripping them off. This book is just finger trails and cutouts for little ones like Ellie so that she can play and I know when Im giving her the book it wont be destroyed in a matter of moments.

The last book I'm going to gush on is Baby's very first slide and see: Under the Sea. This book is so unique and I never saw anything on the market like it. Each page has a fun sliding aspect that creates a new, fun experience when reading together. Eleanor is too little to do the sliding part, but she loves watching the pages change and see the book come alive.

I seriously could go on and tell you about each book in our library, not just Usborne books, and why I love each of them. Reading is so important, it helps our kids learn listening skills, stimulates their imagination, and helps them get a love for learning at a young age. Plus it's a fun activity to do together.

Hope you enjoyed learning about some new books!

Have a great Monday! 

Sarah

**Today on Instagram Stories I will be showing the Garden Sounds Book and Noisy Nursery Rhymes book. So head on over and follow us @honestlymotherhood so you can get see these books in action. You can also go to Megan's Blog to find out more about Usborne books and how you can purchase them if you are interested.** 

Because the Sh*t Will (Eventually) Hit the Fan

I'm so worn out by the way we do motherhood. 

And I'm realizing that there should've been a tenth chapter in my book (I already published). 

If I could go back, I would call it "Embracing One Another".

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You see, there's this huge burden on my heart lately. An old elementary school friend of mine has been in the hospital for the entirety of 2017. With her son. Who has only ever known hospital walls. 

And this son of hers, precious, beautiful, perfect child, has an extremely rare form of epilepsy that could, honestly, be terminal for this little guy. 

And yet, all around me, I see mothers go about bashing and critiquing and correcting and chastising and beating one another down. 

Oh, not so much in person, but "cowardly-style", behind our thumbs and screens. 

(There's probably some of you that are still hung up over my almost use of the "s" word in my title. Some "hypocrite Christian she is".)

We're cruel. We're brutal. We're about making sure that everyone knows that this motherhood thing can't be done any better than the way we're doing it. 

(I should know. I used to be one of them. But with experience, comes wisdom.)

And then this world has women, mothers that are literally going through hell on earth, and they'd do just about anything to get out of it. 

We seem to be so consumed about one-upping those Pinterest Darlings, that we forget that we are all human beings, with real trials, and challenges, and, yes, even feelings. 

There aren't any "safe spaces" for motherhood. (Although, a lot of you may say that Target counts).

Because aren't we all trying here? 

Isn't this gig hard enough? 

I mean, maybe we aren't trying our best all of the time. Maybe, in fact, we are barely ever trying our best. I know I don't.

Maybe our best is just in the trying. And maybe that mother that feels completely guilty for not being as blog-worthy as the next mom, just needs you to say to her that it's just right. She's doing motherhood just right. 

The sh*t always will hit the fan. It just will. There's an endless supply, if you haven't noticed yet. (Story of your life, eh?)

And maybe the walls are covered in the room you're standing in. Maybe you feel like you're the only one that can clean this mess up, but in reality, it's too much for one person. 

We need to be cleaning one another's walls. Lifting each other up. Embracing one another. Showing up and doing. Encouraging. Loving. Being. Looking. 

Looking for opportunities to pray for, come alongside, give breaks, love on, and listen to other mothers. 

Just think of one thing. 

Just one. 

And do it. Words. Deeds. Living and Breathing together. 

Because it's all hard. It's so hard by itself. Life adds the extra. 

So, be the extra-takers. 

Love, ae.