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    Hello from Turks and Caicos

    turks and caicos - the palms turks and caicos turks and caicos the palms spa turks and caicos turks and caicos turks

    Hello from this beautiful island!!  Though despite these pretty pictures we had a whirlwind yesterday – wes went from feeling and acting fine to suddenly sleepy with a terrible cough, we took him into the ER here- after nebulizer and medicine he is feeling much better.  We are so thankful it wasn’t anything worse!!  Anyway, just wanted to check in from TCI (:

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    Traveling with toddlers

    While I know I am really no expert in this … Annie recently asked me if I’d do a post on traveling with little ones and specifically what we do for sleeping arrangements.  There are seriously waaaay more qualified people to write this post (Amanda and Lauren quickly come to mind!) but I figured it couldn’t hurt to tell you how we made it work this summer on two separate trips with a 14-15 month old and 3 and a half year old.

    For Wesley we put the pack n play or crib (whatever is provided for us) in the bathroom (so sorry wesley!!), turn on the noise maker , use the baby monitor app on the ipad- synced with my iphone, and he’s asleep generally from 7-7.   Unless he gets sick and is on steroids for a couple of nights … then nobody is sleeping..  But typically this is how it goes for him.  Thankfully my in laws had an adjoining room in Key Largo so we could go to the bathroom in there, and in Turks & Caicos we had two bathrooms in our suite.     So obviously our arrangements isn’t ideal for everyone, but it does get dark, he’s got his white noise, and he’s good to go.

    For Tuck we let him sleep with us.  He usually crawls in our bed around 4am most nights at home anyway, so this isn’t really a huge change.  Honestly a family bed makes me soo happy anyway.  But not ideal for some who aren’t a fan of that, and for this you could always have another pack n play, a crib, or take a long a travel cot.  When traveling with either of our parents both grandmas always offer for Tuck to sleep in there.  We do take them up on it more often than not!   On the Disney Cruise, tuck slept pretty good on the single bed in their room.  But did fall out once, which is the only time he’s ever fallen out of a bed.  He has a full at home, and just wasn’t used to it I guess.  Thankfully it was so close to the floor that the worst thing that happened to him was that it scared him.

    For flying these things helped:

    travel diaper bag

    {contents:  diapers, wipes, tons of snacks in a ziploc bag, pouches, a little sailor rattle , puppet, a touch and feel book, anti-bacterial wet ones, fisher price phone  – all in the fawn design diaper bag}

    traveling with toddlers

    {contents:  snacks (annie’s fruit chews which he doesn’t get at home, apple sauce) in a ziploc bag // puppet // a little batman car // pet shop puffy stickers – this was a huge hit with both boys //  paw patrol invisible ink game book // I also bought him a kindle fire for kids on prime day for $49… didn’t give it to him until the flight but loaded up a bunch of stuff I thought both boys may like. — all in his Peekawhoo seersucker backpack (c/o — you can get 10% off all mint products this week with code BUSYBEE  }

     

    IMG_3093IMG_3666when you don’t bring a stroller … you improvise (:

    For both flights, the boys did really well.  Which surprised me as I was dreading it for Wes.  It’s just an hour and 45 minute flight, but he is a BUSY guy.  But once we got on (we got on last, not first, so to tire him out) he sat down and never even tried to get out.  Which is a complete departure to real life.  It helped that each flight happened to be right around his nap time, so he passed out for much of both flights.  I gave him a sucker for take off for the first flight, and had to nurse a bit, but for the second one he was asleep before take off.  Juice helped on his descent both times.

    I did have Wes in my honest carrier through security in Fort Lauderdale but had to take him off in Providenciales.  We don’t have global entry (though we talk about it every time we travel and I think if you have American Express they will cover part of the fee for you- we don’t.) …  but download Mobile Passport App (it’s free!) helped us get through the initial lines in custom.  Though I hear it’s great in some airports, you fly right through, and in some (like FLL) they are still working out the kinks.  Still worth a shot, especially as it improves.

    So that was the rundown!  Would love to know any tips or tricks you have when you travel with your kids?  Or if I didn’t cover something, I’m happy to- just ask.

     

    Want other traveling with kids posts?  Here’s one from Tucks first ever flight.  And one from Sicily.

    **affiliate links are used in this post**

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    Grace Bay Family trip

    dinner on the beach in turks and caicos

    This shows how both boys feel about strangers. Tuck 100% all in- obsessed, and wes 100% not into them.

    the palms turks and caicos IMG_3480 FullSizeRender (7)

    at half moon bay after snorkeling!

    at half moon bay after snorkeling!

    tucks new pose when I say "smile" #glamourshots

    tucks new pose when I say “smile” #glamourshots

    this was taken with my tosh underwater iphone bag!

    this was taken with my tosh underwater iphone bag!

    loved this floor to ceiling marble in the steam room

    loved this floor to ceiling marble in the steam room

     

    We are back from beautiful Providenciales in the Caicos islands – Grace Bay to be specific.  Even with Wesley being sick for a few days, it really turned out to be  a wonderful family vacation.  Thankfully my in-laws also came, and I had six extra hands to help with both boys.  That was so helpful!  We stayed at The Palms  right on Grace Bay.  The water there is incredibly clear, and the sand is probably the softest, whitest sand I’ve ever felt/seen.  The resort is pretty small, with just a couple of restaurants – but that didn’t bother me as I loved how close everything was.  Our room was just steps to the beach, pool, lunch- which is so nice with little bitties along.  It was a beautiful beach, with very little waves or current, so perfect for kids.  JB and I went on a catamaran one day to snorkel the reef, and to visit Half Moon Bay.  Which was a lot of fun!  Three out of the six nights we were there we had dinner right on the beach. The temperature is very comfortable compared to Florida right now, with a constant slight breeze.  We were outside almost all of the time, aside from naps, and I never felt too hot.  JB and his parents went diving a couple of times, and LOVED it.  So if you are a diver, this would be a good spot to visit!

     

    Grace Bay now has a piece of my heart, and I know this will be a place we go back to in the next couple years!

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    Providenciales

    half moon bay

    blurry self timer pics and crazy after snorkeling hair (:

    SAMSUNG CSC

    the palms turks and caicos

    SAMSUNG CSC

    Just another check in from beautiful Providenciales!!

    xoxox

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    what’s in my beach bag

    what's in my beach bag

    Since we are close to the beach I never unpack my beach bag.  But since we are headed to turks and caicos toward the end of the month I have been thinking of what stays behind and what’s coming with … This is a paired down beach bag but all the essentials (:

    The Frogglez– simply the best goggles for kids.  They don’t tug at the hair – I wish they made them for adults!

    These packable pails come with us on every beach trip!  Though these look to be three for the price of one, just a different brand.

    Tuck and I both have thin/easily tangled hair so I use this tangle teezer at home and bring along one for after the beach.  Especially if there’s been any snorkeling.  My hair and snorkeling do not mix well!

    baby powder!  Any baby powder will take off sand in a second, but we have honest.

    a protective case for the beach.  Would I totally trust it?  no!  But it’s great for catching a few snaps of my kids in the ocean and not being paranoid if it does drop.

    Supergoop  everyday sunscreen and lip balm – still our favorite.

    swim diapers – I’ve used reusable ones but we had a bad experience with one (thankfully in my parents pool -sorry mom and dad!) so I haven’t tried since.  We now buy these little swimmers and they’ve worked great.

    Snacks – I usually pack some goldfish, sneakz (yummy on the go smoothies my kids love with some veggies snuck in there), water, and some fruit.  Hangry is an emotion I try to avoid at all cost with my kids.. and myself!

    a good hat (to cover the fact that I probably haven’t done my hair).  mine is (c/0) J.McLaughlin

    a big beach bag to fit it all in.  Mine is an old sole society one, but this one looks to be about the same size and similar style.

    palm towel is TBBC

    **affiliate links are used in this post**

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    three little {financial} things I wish I had done sooner

    just a pretty pic of Colmar.  Has nothing to do with $!  (:

    Let me start off by saying I don’t consider myself super financially savvy, so take what you will out of this post!!   Thankfully JB is.  Over the course of our marriage I’ve gone from cringing to hearing about budgets to being excited about them.  They used to feel daunting and now they feel a bit like a fun challenge.  Thanks 100% to JB.   I’m grateful for how much knowledge and forethought he has when it comes to money.  Though none of the tips below are all that life changing, all of them I wish I had done a lot sooner!

    sign up for a credit card with decent rewards.  We were late to the credit card game- in our thirties before we ever got one.  Then we never used it and why would we?  The rewards on that one weren’t much at all.  But then we started looking last year at what credit card to get that would be a good fit for us. It took us forever to decide,  but we finally went with the Capital One Venture Card.  Since I am not loyal to any airline, this lets you erase any travel purchases using points from any airline or hotel, etc.  Now we put literally everything we can on it (except for target purchases- we use the target red card debit), and pay it off at the end of the month.  We’d put our mortgage on it if was allowed (and I know some banks will let you).  With our last credit card it took forever to accrue enough points for a flight, but with this one we bought tucks plane ticket to turks no problem pretty quickly.


    download the starbucks app!  Sometimes starbucks drive thru is a God send!  And I cringe at how long I didn’t have a starbucks card or app.  Having this on my phone made it easier for me to get to gold status, plus periodically there are days when you get more stars, or a special pops up .  I also love that you can just reload right from your phone, no problem.


    get a target red card.  If we are anything alike at all, you are probably already shopping here.  So why not get a red card?  You can get one that’s hooked up to your debit card, so you don’t even have to go the credit card route (which is what we did).  Five percent off every purchase at target really adds up, especially if you’re getting your groceries there.  On top of that I use cartwheel.  I never browse the offers, as I feel like that just makes me buy things I wouldn’t normally purchase(i.e. generally a big waste of money).  But while I’m shopping I scan the items to see if they have any extra savings, and a lot of times they do or it’ll suggest a similar product that does have additional savings.

    I’d love to hear what else I’m late to the game on!

    *this post is in NOT sponsored in any way*

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    Thoughts and some daydreaming

    This summer we are doing a Caribbean vacation (Turks and Caicos) with the boys and my in laws.  Which I am so excited about!  But we also can’t stop thinking about next summer.  We are in the (very) early stages of planning a trip to Europe and then extending in Basel for a bit.  To the point where I can’t stop looking at airbnb’s in my limited free time.  JB would only stay, at most, two weeks.  While I would stay longer… I think?!   My mom would likely meet up with us at some point and fly back with us.  That’s the current plan anyway.  But we will see!  We thought about hatching this plan for this summer but we both decided the boys ages will be better for the following year.  Still crazy for sure. But what I wouldn’t give to bring both boys to Basel, to have a bit of time to visit our friends who have kids of their own now, and wander around with them.  We were thinking we might put Tuck in a soccer camp for the week.  Some of my friends have said they’d save bringing them to Europe until they are much older, so they can really appreciate it.  And I don’t blame them!  I wonder too how much a child absorbs or when is a great age.  Though I’d hope this would be a trip we’d do every few years, if we are able.  I will say that when my family and I lived in Italy I was young, but it marked my memory.  Europe remained this mysterious land of good chocolate and beauty that I wanted to get back to as soon as I could.  But part of me thinks my love affair with Europe clouds my view a little.  Amanda and Lauren certainly don’t help my wanderlust either!  All this to ask – what city in Europe do you think is the best for a visit with kids?  We’d probably do just one other city and then head to basel.  Or if you think we’re nuts, feel free to chime that in with that as well (:  
    I worry about Tucks elementary school.  He is three!  I know how crazy this sounds.  The testing intensity in public schools freak me out.

    I had a scare with my heart last week.  It ended up being fine but we had to wait out the weekend and I was a mess thinking of what I’d miss out if I had to have surgery and during the recovery.  I take way too many of the little things of this life for granted. 
    I have never had a hard time picking out clothes in my life.  Until Wesley was born anyway.  I feel like what’s the point?!  a lot of days.  I also don’t want to look like a weirdo trying real hard picking up Tuck from preschool or going on playdates.  This is one aspect of working I miss.  Getting dressed for something and not worrying about whatever I’m wearing getting dirty, or just looking cute for cutes sake.  I first chalked it up to nursing but I’m still nursing and I don’t think it’s that.  I thought about doing a category on here of “what I’m actually wearing”… as a way to motivate myself to look appropriate and cute.  But leggings and the same rotation of three shirts is not very aspirational.  So… hopefully I’ll figure it out soon.  
    Heading to church is so hard right now.  Early service is right when wesley is about to go down for his nap, and he’s usually waking up about thirty minutes from when second service has already started.  So we bring him, and he is SO tired after.  I’m glad when we go, and it’s even like a date, but the day gets wonky.  
    The week before our washing machine and dryer broke,  I remember lamenting – how do we have this much laundry!  It never ends.  And then once they broke, one right after the other, I was like I will never curse laundry ever again!  ha.  we’ll see how long this lasts.  Plus I always think of how much I longed to do little people laundry,  think of women waiting on babies and how they’d love to have some tiny onesies to wash.  That helps me be thankful when I’m up against a mountain of laundry.

    My dad put in a dog door for Lola.  She refused to go through at first but now loves it.  It’s great!  Only problem is Wes is obsessed with it.  Every chance he has, he goes through.  It’s hilarious (: A couple more pounds and I’m hoping he won’t fit through so I don’t have to worry about him escaping all of the time.

    My heart aches for people going through infertility.  I pray for y’all every day that the Lord answers that longing in His way.  My friend has a blog about their infertility journey.  I know the purpose of her sharing is to help others not feel so alone.  

    I was so relieved to hear that other people have sippy cup woes like I do.  Loved the recommendations too!  Looks like the Nalgene wins.  

    my sippy cup shelf looks like a tornado hit it. Mostly because I keep buying new ones in hope that I like them better. …
    Posted by Sarah Tucker Styles on Tuesday, March 8, 2016

    if you made it to the end of this post – wow!  thanks for listening to my rambles.   Hope you have a great day!  xxs

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