Camping with Family - Celebrating Motherhood at Deexterous

Enjoying the cuddles throughout the struggles|Celebrating Motherhood|Lisa Aroney

Celebrating Motherhood

Enjoying the cuddles throughout the struggles

Celebrating Motherhood on Deexterous

I have heard the phrase ‘Motherhood has to be the best and hardest thing I’ve ever done’ countless of times in my life, but I never truly understood the meaning until my first bouncing baby entered the world.

My pre-baby life

Let me put this into context, I haven’t lived a quiet, sheltered life where my whole existence centered around one day raising children. I’ve dived with sharks, raced high-powered motorbikes, owned my own business and backpacked alone around Europe. I’ve shattered bones, won a young achievers award and spoken in front of thousands of successful businesswomen.

But none of these things in any way compare to the highs and lows of motherhood.

The first year

The first year of Celebrating Motherhood at Deexterous

It feels like the whole first year of motherhood was a whirlwind of emotion, a blur of unfathomable joy and profound frustration, how could such a little being have such an immense impact on your life? How could my perfectly planned natural, relaxed labour turn to a 3 day ordeal ending in an epidural and forceps?

And then there’s the well thought-out routines and sleep arrangements that turned into breastfeeding and co sleeping for 20 months?

There is hope. Things do get better!

Around the time my little boy turned 2 things started to get a little easier, he was less reliant on me and we all seemed to ‘find our rhythm’ as a family unit. So much in fact that my husband and I decided we were finally ready to try for another.

Of course once you’ve had one child you know what you’re in for second time round right?

I was so wrong.

Doing it all over again - Celebrating Motherhood at Deexterous

Doing it all over again, and it sure was twice as hard

Even though the birth of my daughter was an amazing experience and the love that my little boy showed for his tiny baby sister was completely overwhelming. Having a newborn baby to nurse and care for is put into a whole new realm when there is a toddler vying for your love and attention.

That first year with a newborn and 2.5 year old was the hardest year of my life. (did I mention we were renovating and all ‘slept’ in the same bedroom?) Though I LOVED being a mother, I completely lost my sense of self and fell into a routine completely revolving around my children which left little to no time or energy for my friends, my husband or even occasion to wash my hair.

I was so accustomed to having a fast passed life, a high-powered job, setting goals and the exhilaration of achieving them. All of a sudden the only thing I managed to accomplish in a day was folding a load of washing and peeling a few carrots.

Life as a stay-at-home mom

Being a Stay-at-home mom - Celebrating Motherhood at Deexterous

However I promised myself that I would stay at home to raise my own children no matter what the cost. I was also reminded from my mother-in-law just how quickly this chapter in our lives would be over. That soon I would be wishing to once more have those tiny little arms wrapped around my neck knowing that I was their entire world. And most importantly to not wish this time away but to take the struggles with all the cuddles and just enjoy the wonder of watching their beautiful little personalities blossom.

Surviving on a single wage isn’t easy but I truly wanted to be around and present for those first impressionable years of their lives. I wanted to instill those essential principals like empathy, compassion, perseverance, tolerance and the importance of knowing that it’s normal and ok to fail as long as you get back up and keep on trying.

That being said, although I am at home with my children on a daily basis, somehow life still does get in the way of real, quality time. The constant piles of washing, the meal preparing, food shopping, nappies, nap times, sickness, bedtime routines, reading, cleaning…

But… there is one thing that always resets my focus and inspires me to remember to slow down and just enjoy my family.

Something that instills the importance of that irreplaceable bonding time with our little ones that if missed can’t be re-claimed.

Camping with the family

Camping with Family - Celebrating Motherhood at Deexterous

It’s camping, where you leave the routine of everyday life, the digital world and society behind and just exist with your family.

Why camping you ask? How can it benefit your family, your children?

I have written a whole article on these 5 reasons why you should take your kids camping and how beneficial it can be.

In short:

  1. It helps you reconnect
  2. Fresh Air is like Magic
  3. It teaches us that ‘Less is More’
  4. Your kids Sleep better!
  5. It creates Confidence

If you haven’t ventured out camping with your kids before then please check out Camping with Kidz for loads of other tips, tricks and insight on the world of family camping.

~ Lisa Aroney

 

Celebrating Motherhood is a space on Deexterous where real moms can share real stories. Drop a note if you would like to share your story.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Baby Badger sunscreen cream with SPF 30

Badger baby sunscreen review, features & usage

Badger Baby sunscreen review, features & usage

To maintain that baby soft skin and to protect our little ones from the harmful rays of the sun, we need a powerful sunscreen cream. After doing good amount of research and asking around for recommendations, we bought the Baby Badger Sunscreen on Amazon.

This sunscreen is certified organic and there are no artificial ingredients. The composition is good and it is easy to apply on babies skin (and Mama’s too). The smell is a bit too strong for my liking but baby doesn’t seem to mind it.

Unfortunately the high Zinc amount in this one (almost 20%) leaves a white mark, which takes some time for the skin to absorb.

They claim to protect from UVA + UVB rays and also water resistant for up to 40 minutes.

Do ensure to re-apply sunscreen every 2 hours in all exposed areas. It’s best to not be in the direct sunlight in peak hours: 10-4. Also try to get extra covers like sun hats when possible.

Make sure to keep fingers away from the mouth and if not, just avoid using the sunscreen below the wrist.

Remember, babies below 6 months of age do not require sunscreen.

We’ve been consistently using it since an year and totally love it. Buy it on Amazon now!

Do you have a baby sunscreen that you can recommend?

Update: We have been using the Badger Baby sunscreen for one year now and really love it!

Until later,

Dee

Deexterous is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com

This was never part of the plan|Celebrating Motherhood| Jennifer

This was never part of the plan

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A photograph of the beautiful family by Amanda Stark Photography

I spent the majority of my life convinced that I didn’t want kids. I think when I was little, I might have envisioned myself a mom, but somewhere after high school I started on a trajectory that involved a successful career and higher education. I had a good group of friends, a good job, my dogs, and had traveled all over, certain that kids would ruin that life. That might have been true. But when I re-connected with and then quickly married, my high school love, everything changed.

We decided that we definitely DID want kids.

Having spent my entire life trying not to get pregnant, it was a strange shift to suddenly hoping I would be. I kind of just assumed it would happen quickly. It didn’t. After six months, I wasn’t quite worried, but I was wondering what was going on. After one year, I was really nervous and sitting in my OB’s office waiting on an ultrasound to check that everything looked normal. That’s when I was told I had PCOS and that it would be more difficult for me to get pregnant. Start medication, change diet, see what happens in a few months. Another six months, and I’m given Clomid to help things along. Then we schedule a  hysterosalpingography, or HSE (hands down the most painful part of getting pregnant or having a baby for me).

At this point I’m struggling with concerns that I had waited too long, and that now I wouldn’t be able to have children. Those were difficult months, because now that we had decided to try, it was all I wanted in the world. The thought of giving up at any point was heart-wrenching, but we knew that IVF would be beyond our means. We took a breath, and decided to stop focusing on getting pregnant, and remove that stress for the time being. So, of course, in early August of 2016 I found out I was pregnant and we were in for the most eventful two years of our lives so far.

Pregnancy journey

I was fortunate to have an easy pregnancy. Even with high blood pressure, I didn’t have any physical issues or complications leading up to my due date. However, my husband works in a somewhat volatile industry and it’s normal to change jobs or be a temporary employee. So the question of medical insurance was a constant worry. In fact, we had to make the decision to induce a week early because our coverage was going to end five days before my due date.

I was nervous, but my OB wasn’t concerned and we were all pretty confident things would go smoothly. I’d even been having mild contractions the day we were scheduled to go in. After a round of cervidil and a couple of pitocin, it became clear that my daughter was not ready to be born. The contractions were progressing, but I was not. My water never broke, I never dilated, and she never dropped into position. At this point, we couldn’t keep using medication to move things along, and we were running out of time. So, after 24 hours of labor that went nowhere, we decided to do a C-section. I was relieved, because at this point I was exhausted, and starving. Once surgery was under way, we discovered why this was the only course of action her birth was going to take. The umbilical cord was wrapped around her neck, not once, but twice, preventing her from dropping. Had we tried to keep going, we would have ended up in an emergency C-Section anyway, with her at risk.

Life with a newborn baby

She was a good newborn, and was sleeping for 6 hour stretches within a couple of months, and for twelve hours at a time by four months. She hit some developmental milestones early, and took her sweet time with others. I read a lot of advice for new moms, and got some from friends, but the best was, by far, from one of my roller derby sisters. She told me, “For the first couple weeks, don’t worry about anything but you and that baby. Feed her, and yourself, and get lots of skin to skin. Rest, cuddle, and soak it in. Ignore the house, ignore the mess, ignore your inner cleaning lady, and just bond with her and your husband and enjoy that time.” I tried to keep that in mind, and while I still couldn’t keep myself from cleaning up a little bit, her first days and weeks are what I remember the most. Once I was up and doing everything again, time started to blur, until she was almost six months old.

My entire pregnancy I had this vision of our first year as a new family. Evenings spent with our baby, late night and early morning cuddles, first laughs, first foods, and all the other milestones. I knew it would be hectic, but that it would also be beautiful and contain some of the best memories of my life. While all of that is certainly true, the reality of this first year has been far from what I imagined.

Reality of the first year

Family is important to both myself and my husband, and we both come from a world where you do anything you can for them. So when his mother faced a significant life change and needed to move in when my daughter was six months old, we cleared out our front living room and dining room and moved her in and her other son into our home. The change for me was difficult. I’d gone from a stay at home mom who could spend the day in my pajamas with my new daughter to sharing the house with my mother-in-law and her teenage son.
I’m an only child, and have generally avoided having roommates. I’m also pretty Type-A and a Cancer, so I like to maintain control of my home environment. Suddenly I felt incredibly outnumbered, like I was a guest and was instantly uncomfortable in my own home. This wasn’t a result of anything they had done, but just the way my mind works, and the way in which I’m used to living.

For awhile it didn’t really affect me; I’d had her 1st six months with just the three of us. But around the holidays I started to wear thin. It was difficult trying to keep the house in order and live up to the expectations I’d placed on myself for her first holiday season. I felt stressed, overwhelmed, crowded, and guilty that I’d somehow failed already. I made things pretty tough on my husband, using him to vent about the thousand little things that drove me crazy every day.

Two more perspectives, four more hands to help

One day, he sat me down and offered some advice and perspective that I try to keep in mind every day. He acknowledged that no, this wasn’t the plan we had, and that he knew how much that bothered me. But he reminded me that she was, at least for now, growing up in a home with not only her parents, but her grandmother and uncle. We have two extra people to help if we need it. She has two more perspectives with which to see the world; two new ways of interacting.

Everyone will tell you to have a birth plan, but be flexible, and understand that sometimes things jsut won’t happen the way you had intended. This, for some reason, was easy for me. I didn’t have major regrets once she was born, because I knew we did the right thing for our situation. What you don’t hear as much about is to be flexible for that first year. Maybe things go right on schedule. Maybe your little one hits those milestones right on time. Maybe she stands before she sits up. Maybe he doesn’t crawl until 9mos.

I’ve learned that there’s always a trade-off. I get jealous of moms who succeeded in baby led weaning, but have to remind myself that they don’t get to sleep through the night, let alone until 8:30 in the morning. I might feel crowded, but my daughter is surrounded by people that love her and will jump in to take care of her at any moment. I live with my mother-in-law, but I get to go to appointments, and run errands without hauling the baby with me if I don’t want to.

My husband and I can go have a date night whenever we want, and I’ve got someone who has raised a couple of kids on standby if I need advice. It was easy for me to accept that every pregnancy is different, and to be really laid-back during those months.

Now I’m learning to apply that same perspective to life with a kiddo. It’s important, because this part lasts so much longer.

~ Jennifer Fread

Celebrating Motherhood is a space on Deexterous where real moms can share real stories. Drop a note if you would like to share your story.

Texas Motor Speedway at No Limits in Fort Worth, Texas

Texas Motor Speedway|No Limits|Fort Worth, TX|Schedule 2018

Texas Motor Speedway|No Limits|Fort Worth, TX|Tickets|Schedule

Texas Motor Speedway, No Limits, Texas

 

I had the pleasure of visiting Texas Motor Speedway, a speedway located in the north Fort Worth, Texas. The track measures 1.5 miles with banked 20° in turns 1 and 2 and banked 24° in turns 3 and 4. Texas Motor Speedway is a quad-oval design, where the front straightaway juts outward slightly. 45 pit stalls for Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, 35 pit stalls for the Verizon IndyCar Series. With a total seating capacity of 181,655, the track debuted in 1997.

Major Events at Texas Motor Speedway

Texas Motor Speedway at No Limits, Fort Worth Texas

Texas Motor Speedway is home to two Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series races: the O’Reilly Auto Parts 500 and the AAA Texas 500, as well as two Xfinity Series races, the O’Reilly Auto Parts 300 and the O’Reilly Auto Parts Challenge and the Indy Racing League Verizon IndyCar series race, the Firestone 600. The track also hosts two NASCAR Camping World Truck Series races, the Rattlesnake 400 (which takes place on the same weekend as the IndyCar Firestone 600) and the Jag Metals 350.

Race car at Texas Motor Speedway at No Limits, Fort Worth Texas

The list of events this year are:

  • Verizon IndyCar Series – Texas Indy 600
  • Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series – O’Reilly Auto Parts 500
  • Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series – AAA Texas 500
  • Xfinity Series – My Bariatric Solutions 300
  • Xfinity Series – O’Reilly Auto Parts 300
  • Camping World Truck Series – Rattlesnake 400
  • Camping World Truck Series – JAG Metals 350
  • ARCA Racing Series – Rattlesnake 150
  • Global RallyCross Championship
  • Speed Energy Formula Off-Road

All the big races of the year can be found on their events pageWall of Champions at Texas Motor Speedway at No Limits, Fort Worth Texas

 

Exciting things at No Limits, Texas

  • The speedway club

Enjoy VIP experiences at The Speedway club and take your NASCAR experience to a whole new level. The Speedway Club offers extraordinary benefits to both race enthusiasts and businesses alike.

The Speedway Club at Texas Motor Speedway in No Limits, Fort Worth, Texas

View from The Speedway Club at Texas Motor Speedway in No Limits, Fort Worth, Texas

  • Free parking for over 80,000 cars and RV’s! Their gates open up a week before the races so you can actually holiday at the tracks
  • You can also rent out RV’s and camp at various designated locations at No Limits, Texas! Find out more about this on their website or leave me a message and I’ll be happy to help

Camping at Texas Motor Speedway in No Limits, Fort Worth Texas

  • You are allowed to carry your coolers with beer! Yes, you don’t need to buy expensive alcohol that discourages most of us to visit such events
  • They have an exclusive App with all the track and racing information
  • Watch out for the Speedway Children’s Charities in May and other Fundraising opportunities
  • You get personalized track tours that last almost 2 hours and cost just $10
  • They have The World’s largest LED TV screen – Big Hoss TV where they run drive-in movies every summer so watch out for this fabulous experience.
The world's largest LED screen showing movies every summer at Texas Motor Speedway in No Limits, Fort Worth, Texas
The world’s largest LED screen showing movies every summer

Some other tracks at Texas Motor Speedway that you might be interested in:

  • Infield Road course
  • Lil’ Texas Motor Speedway
  • Texas Motor Speedway dirt track

Texas Motor Speedway at No Limits in Fort Worth, Texas

Make sure to carry ear plugs or those massive noise blocking headphones. You can also rent them out at their store. Also carry rain ponchos & umbrellas. It’s infamous to have rained on so many race days!

Pit stop at Texas Motor Speedway at No Limits in Fort Worth, Texas

Here’s the race weekend schedule for 2018. Hope y’all have a blast with your friends & family!

*Giveaway closed and  the winner is Samantha Williams*

TEXAS MOTOR SPEEDWAY AT NO LIMITS, TEXAS IN FORT WORTH

 

Much love,

Mama Dee

Note: This post is in affiliation with Texas Motor Speedway.

Bayou Wildlife Zoo - open range Zoo in Texas

Bayou Wildlife Zoo| Open range zoo in Texas

Llamas that you can touch in the best open range zoo in Alvin, Texas
Hello Llama

One of the most fun things to do with kids is the Bayou Wildlife Zoo in Houston area! We spent a day with 500 different animals and 60 species of birds from India, Africa, Asia, Australia, North and South America.

The Bayou Wildlife Zoo has two miles of trails, 15 lakes and ponds, native trees and over 3,500 feet of waterfront on Dickinson Bayou

Animals you can see at the Zoo

Llamas at the best open range Zoo in Alvin, Texas - Bayou Wildlife Zoo

Some of the animals we saw in 86 acres of natural habitat were:

Ostrich

Ostrich in the best open range zoo in Alvin, Texas

Giraffes

Giraffes in the best open range zoo in Alvin, Texas

Water Buffalos

Alpaca

Llamas

Llamas at the best open range Zoo in Alvin, Texas - Bayou Wildlife Zoo

Zebras

Zebras at the best open range Zoo in Alvin, Texas - Bayou Wildlife Zoo

Watusi cattle

Watusi Cattle up-close at the best open range zoo in Alvin, Texas - Bayou Wildlife Zioo

Camels

Wildbeest

Endangered species

Babtang cattle

“Pee Wee”, a White rhino

Pee Wee the White Rhino in the best open range zoo in Alvin, Texas

Guar cattle

Ring tail lemur

Addax, Barasinga, Hog and Pere David Deers

Deers the best open range zoo in Alvin, Texas Pee Wee the White Rhino in the best open range zoo in Alvin, Texas

Bactrian Camels

Bactrian Camels-Horned Oryx

Nile Lechwe

Best open range zoo in Alvin, Texas Pee Wee the White Rhino in the best open range zoo in Alvin, Texas

Best drive-through zoo in Texas

 

  • Adventure-filled 45 minute Safari tram ride through the park
  • Children’s Barnyard for the kids to let off some steam before or after the tram ride
  • Petting zoo which is a great activity for kids
  • Free three-minute pony ride for kids unto 90 lbs which is a super fun activity for kids
  • Picnic and party area

 

Check out this post on Lehigh Valley Zoo, PA to view another experience that you might not find on the most obvious lists.

Details of Bayou Wildlife Zoo

  1. Timings:
    • 10AM to 4 PM – March to August
    • 10AM to 3 PM – August to March
  2. $20 for Adults and $10 for children – cash only
  3. Bucket of food is expensive at $2.5 – But 1 bucket per family is more than enough!
  4. Amazing space for birthday parties and leisurely brunches. There’s no food available there so bring your own and find a spot to picnic
  5. My 15 month old was a bit scared at the beginning seeing the animals so close but then enjoyed the picnic and barnyard
  6. Save some time for the little gift shop to pick up some souvenirs
  7. Straight drive from Houston to I-45 south and then 6 miles west on 517 and you’ll be there within 50 minutes!

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Fun fact – If you have $7 million lying around, this Alvin Zoo is up for sale. It attracts over 90,000 visitors a year and be a wonderful way to spend time close to nature and these animals from all over the world.

If you are looking for fun things to do in Houston area, do make the drive down to Alvin and enjoy a day at the Bayou Wildlife Zoo!

 

Love,

Mama Dee

My journey as a first-time mom|Celebrating Motherhood|Ashley

My journey as a first-time mom 

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“Parenthood – It’s about guiding the next generation and forgiving the last.”
My daughter has so many clothes. For someone that has yet to take her first independent steps, she sure does get around with regards to fashion, with a wardrobe from every boutique, store and hand-me-down you could imagine.  Gifts abundant from loving grandmothers. It’s been a doozy on my laundry routine.
 
You see, I didn’t think it would be like this. Any of it. Parenthood has changed me in so many ways, in the span of just under twelve months. And I’m still reeling and hurting and growing and curious, still yearning and fresh and experienced altogether. It’s been the best gift anyone could have given me. But it’s no cake walk. For any parent.

Life before my baby 

My life before Lillian was go, go, go. I was a full-time Realtor with hunger of a young entrepreneur  and enough experience under my belt to begin seeing returning clients. It was my pride to make an impact on others, to be at their side every step of the way – showings, inspections, closing day, physically there. I averaged 18,000 miles per year on my car meeting the needs of clients, attending seminars and conferences and showing properties. 
 
About a month before Lillian was due to arrive, I began to tap the brakes on my jetsetting ways and focus on the task ahead of bringing her into the world. We readied the house. We bought things in bulk. We read the books. We had so many plans – a natural, unmedicated birth at home, to greet our baby boy or girl (we chose to not find out the sex during pregnancy) with a midwife. But of course, she had her own plans and I found myself hooked up to IVs and an epidural needle, laying supine at Baylor of Dallas. But there she was.

The first few months 

Those first two or three months are such a fog to me now, as I endured the throws of learning to breastfeed (nobody really taught me), navigated my way through a number of real estate listings and Buyer needs while physically healing, and began to really assess myself and my value while watching my daughter squirm and nap throughout the days. Postpartum depression hit me, and hit me hard. I struggled with my identity as a woman, now Mom. I hated having to stay at home, indoors all day, but wanted so desperately to be everything and more to my baby girl. I resented my husband for leaving, whether out of town or to the post office, near or far. For the first time, I really reconsidered what my own Mother may have experienced. 

It’s funny how your parents are miraculous supreme beings in your youth. And then one day you realize that they are human, too. 

Eventually, the baby blues lifted and I began to feel like myself again. My daughter began to show a glint of personality and I became entranced with her development. But my husband and I were navigating this new norm – with a baby that hated car rides, a household income that was being stretched and the neglect that man and woman can feel when there is a breastfeeding baby playing referee. Our intimacy was shot, and at times we wondered if our ‘spark’ was lost forever. 

How motherhood has changed me

In all of these things, the good and the bad, I began to see other women in a different light. To reach out to strangers without inhibitions. I felt the plight of the great juggle that so many of us go through – to raise children as if we were stay-at-home moms while providing for the family like a full-time wage earner. And maybe some of it was a pressure that I placed upon myself, but I had survived this chapter of darkness and my optimism had been restored.
I wanted to let the woman in the grocery store with a toddler melting down in aisle 3, that it’s okay. Or the mother with an infant in the restaurant trying to breastfeed in public without the attention of onlookers for the first time, that she will be just fine. 
To my mother who tasted motherhood herself at the same age, in a time without the internet as a sounding board and the ability to text her fears or concerns to a friend in the wee hours of the night – that I felt her and I thanked her and I love her for everything she did. 
 
The days are so long, but the months (and years) fly by. And all of the sage wisdom and advice that has been passed to me will be shared again. And again and again. This parenthood journey is so inspiring, and a chaotic, messy and overtired joy to experience. But we are all human. 
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My husband and I are back on track and laughing again, allowing eachother grace. We enjoy our part in raising our daughter, together, alongside one another. And my daughter is such a little ham these days. She is soaking up the sights, the sounds, and every glimmer of life this world has to offer her – and I hope that my optimism will be hers one day
 
There aren’t enough words to describe the effort that parenthood has demanded. Fewer yet to describe the feelings of overwhelming love a tiny human can bring. It is my journey.

Ashley Sharum

Celebrating Motherhood is a space on Deexterous where real moms can share real stories. Drop a note if you would like to share your story.

Road trips with kids| Car travels with babies and toddlers

I’ve always loved love road trips, just like many of you. But once you put babies, toddlers or kids of any age in the equation, the fun increases manifold, right!? Road trips with kids can be a nightmare or can be fun, just like every day life with kids! Read this detailed post before you plan your next trip!

We’ve been on the road a lot and Baby V has always hated his rear-facing car seat. He cries most of the time and on some good days, he passes out for a nap. But we’ve found a few things that work and a few that DON’T. It’s all been by trial and error but one thing that usually works is to turn up the music and drive on!

You might also be interested in reading: Baby on board

Where to go – Road  trip ideas

If you would like to drive to a city, I suggest looking up these websites for some ideas:

  • Pogo Pass – Your pass to family fun in Dallas/ Fort Worth, Austin/ Waco, San Antonio, Phoenix/ Tucson and Las Vegas.
  • Viator – plan that spring or summer getaway to the Caribbean, Orlando or San Diego
  • City pass – This is a very popular pass you can buy for literally any city in the world. You can save 50-60% on some really amazing venues. Just look up the cities you are traveling to and get the pass that suits you the best.

If you would like to drive off the normal path, look up national or state parks or a lake that you can camp at.

Read this post on saving precious $$$ on a road trip.

A few points on how you can handle your itinerary

  • Rent a car or RV depending on where you are going. Do enough research of the activities you would like to do
  • Ensure you have a comfortable car seat, your insurance is up to date and if possible, sign up for road side assistance
  • Give enough breaks every couple of hours
  • If your baby’s younger, plan around nap times 
  • Avoid driving at night. Take a pit stop and get some rest before you hit the road again. It takes less than half a second to loose control of the vehicle

Read how to Survive long-haul flights with kids

Activity ideas

Books

Gulukul books available in Amazon perfect for a kid during road trips

The most essential part of your kid’s childhood and I am extremely passionate about Early Literacy. Read my detailed post on 1,000 books before Kindergarten. A few suggestions to get you started:

  1. Gulukul books on Indian culture – OUR FAV
  2. Dr. Seuss – Oh, the places you’ll go
  3. Little blue truck board book
  4. Bookroo subscription boxes

Little Passports

An innovative company where you can order boxes of books and other collectibles for your littles. You can get your kids of age 3+ excited about traveling and exploring.

Give the gift of Adventure!

 

Car toys

Keep a few toys for the car separately (not part of their regular toys at home). This will ensure they are excited with the “something new”. This always works for kids, almost always.

Little Adventures

You can get Halos & Wands from Little Adventure to give your little girl a fun journey. Playing a little dress up on the way to your destination is always fun. But be mindful that they are old enough to handle these accessories. storytelling on the road can really help the journey.

Useful Apps for a road trip

Apps for the adults

  • Roadside America
  • Road trippers
  • iExit
  • Waze
  • Gas Buddy
  • Spotify
  • Soundcloud

Apps & travel games for kids

AAP recommends that kids up to 2 years of age get no screen time and less than two hours per day after that. Some useful apps:

  • Highbrow
  • Stack the states
  • Elmo Loves 123s
  • Disney story central
  • YouTube kids – but make sure to monitor what is being watched.

Road trip essentials – what to bring along

Healthy road trip snacks and water

There is nothing called too much snacking when you are traveling. It is a must and it is a life-saver!

The Gerber Store

Just be very mindful of what kind of snacks you are carrying. Avoid all sugar-laden ones. You can bring some from home and carry some packaged ones. We personally love Gerber. You can buy on The Gerber store online and get FREE Shipping over $35 and you can save save 10% by just subscribing. Some of our favorites are their pouches, cookies, and their organic range. Their bundles are super value for money and I highly recommend checking them out!

Ensure you carry enough water for all the adults and kids. You might want to keep some electrolytes handy, just in case. Either way, stay hydrated. Make sure to carry a lot of water but also remember that more liquids = more stops on the way.

Read this post on malaria prevention by The Globe Trotter GP. Leanne who is a medical doctor also has other fantastic travel & health posts.

Clothes

There’s nothing called too many clothes when you are traveling. Especially if your on a road trip and have room for luggage, you can

  • Opt for simple clothing from Gymboree“>Gymboree, Janie and Jack“>Janie & Jack or Crazy 8“>Crazy8. Always dress them in layers so that the kids are able to peel off the layers as the trip progresses. And yes, there will be mess. But mess is fun. For them!
  • Try daily deals from Pat Pat. You will find unique designs and also some matching ones for mom & dad.
  • Try these deodorants from Earth Mama Organics. They will save Mama from a lot of embarrassment. Keep it a part of your diaper bag.

Other essential items

  • If you have a baby or toddler with you, I highly recommend Totseat. We’ve used this while on the road and it is such a life-saver when there are no highchairs around
  • Trash bags for the inevitable
  • Music – you might want to carry your own music
  • iPad/ Tablet/ Interactive games for the kids
  • Diapers, wipes, sunscreen, moisturizer for the kids
  • Chap stick is extremely essential

Also read my post on packing a diaper bag.

Free printable information on doing a road trip with babies & kids.
Pin this or save this image!

 

Hope this post helps you in planning your next road trip. Have you been on a road trip? What works for your family? What doesn’t?

 

Happy Travels!

Much love,

Mama Dee

PS: This post contains affiliate links that might give me a very small commission at no additional cost to you. It helps me keep up the website. 

60% off Pogo pass - one year of unlimited family fun in Dallas, Fort Worth, San Antonio, Waco, Austin, Texas, Las Vegas, Nevada, Phoenix, Tucson, Arizona

60% off on Pogo Pass – 1 year of all things family fun

 

60% off Pogo pass - one year of unlimited family fun in Dallas, Fort Worth, San Antonio, Waco, Austin, Texas, Las Vegas, Nevada, Phoenix, Tucson, Arizona

POGO PASS for one whole year of family activities – now 60% off

If you are looking for one whole year of family fun at an affordable rate, then you’ve reached the right place. Finding things to do with kids, especially in harsh weathers can be difficult.

I’ve partnered with POGO pass to bring you 60% off (use my discount code DEEXTEROUS) on hundreds on venues in the following cities:

You get the pass for just $40 (with my code: DEEXTEROUS) and it is valid for 1 whole year from date of purchase. So you literally have your 52 weekends covered to keep your family entertained.

You don’t even need to print it, just show the barcode on your mobile while you enter the venue.

Discount code: DEEXTEROUS

Here’s a list of venues in each city that you can access for a whole year:

Austin/ Waco, TX

  • Multiple sports including Austin spurs and Texas Stars
  • Texas sports Hall of Fame
  • Dr. Pepper Museum
  • Mayborn Museum
  • Hawaiian Falls or San Antonio Splash town
  • Austin’s Park & Pizza experience
  • Austin Aquarium
  • Cameron Park Zoo
  • Urban Air trampoline Park
  • Austin Rock Gym
  • Skate country
  • Skate world
  • Epix
  • Quest
  • Wonder World Park
  • iPlay Austin
  • Mt Playmore
  • Dart em up
  • Nation
  • Monster Mini Golf & Laser Tag

Discount code: DEEXTEROUS

Dallas/ Forth Worth, TX

  • Hawaiian Falls or San Antonio Splash town
  • Texas Discovery Gardens at Fair Park
  • Fort Worth Zoo
  • Urban Air trampoline Park
  • Texas revolution
  • Sci-tech Discovery Fun
  • Frisco Rough riders
  • Texas Legends
  • Kid Mania
  • Pump it up
  • Alley cats
  • Children Aquarium
  • Dallas Wings
  • National Videogame museum
  • Going bonkers
  • Dr. Pepper Star center
  • Strikz
  • Dallas Heritage Village
  • it’z

Discount code: DEEXTEROUS

Pogo pass Dallas

Las Vegas, NV

  • San Antonio Zoo
  • Splash town
  • San Antonio aquarium
  • San Antonio Rampage, UTSA roadrunners,
  • University Bowl
  • Urban air trampoline park
  • Pump it up
  • America’s Incredible Pizza company
  • Battle for Texas
  • Wonder world Park
  • Laser Legend
  • Nation

Discount code: DEEXTEROUS

San Antonio, TX

  • Cowabunga Bay Water park
  • Springs reserve
  • Discovery Childrens Museum
  • Las Vegas Mini Gran Prix
  • Sea Quest interactive Aquarium
  • Game works
  • Get Air trampoline Park
  • Las Vegas 51s
  • Bouncy World
  • Lions Habitat Ranch
  • Nevada climbing centers
  • Battle blast Laser Tag
  • The Dome at Container Park

Discount code: DEEXTEROUS

Phoenix/ Tucson, AZ

  • Multiple sports including Arizona diamondbacks, Arizona Rattlers, Phoenix Mercury and Tuscon roadrunners
  • Phoenix Zoo
  • Golfland sunsplash
  • Fat cats bowling and glow bowling
  • Enchanted Island amusement park
  • Phoenix rock gym
  • Air time jump centers
  • Stratum laser tag
  • Tempe airsoft & paintball
  • Skateland
  • Idea museum
  • Urban jungle fun park
  • Ice den
  • Arizona zip line adventures
  • Golf n Style
  • Golden pin lanes
  • International wildlife museum

Discount code: DEEXTEROUS

So what are you waiting for. Grab your tickets & grab your kids for the best indoor venues in your city. Check out the POGO Pass website & facebook page.

Much love,
Mama Dee

Deexterous is an affiliate of Pogo Pass and we might earn a small commission on sales, but this will be at no additional cost to you

Holi post by The Snazzy Mom

Celebrating holi with a toddler|Festival of colors|The Snazzy Mom

I personally love Holi and can’t wait to introduce this festival of colors to Baby V. Being an expat family, it is so important to instill Indian culture & values into our kids. If you are wondering how to make Holi fun for your toddlers, read this post by fellow blogger Arushi who writes at The Snazzy Mom. She documents some fun activities to make celebrating Holi with your toddlers or babies fun: Celebrating Holi with a toddler.

Share your own experience or some tips on how we can celebrate Holi with our little ones.

Happy Holi!

Much love,

Mama Dee

PS: The featured image is from The Snazzy Mom‘s blog post.

Things I miss about being pregnant with a baby belly

Things I most miss about being pregnant |Bonding with baby

Things I miss about being pregnant with a baby belly

Pregnancy is a wonderful time in a woman’s life. I thoroughly enjoyed my pregnancy and worked till the day I went into labor. Do read my other posts on pregnancy. Now that Baby V is over 15 months old, I really think back and miss my pregnancy days. I was inspired to write this post after reading a similar one by a fellow blogger Mommying BabyT. Here are some things that I reminisce till date:

  • Sleeping – YES! This is the absolute one thing I would pick as my favorite on this list. I miss sleeping. And I miss sleeping through the night. In the last month before baby, we actually stayed in bed for 48 hours straight, ordered food, ate, watched movies and so on in bed. What bliss that was!
Here’s a little something for that mama to be from Earth Mama Organics. ‘cos they need something special too!
  • Prenatal yoga – My sessions at Zen Yoga were the absolute best and it helped me all the way through till after I delivered my baby. We were also privileged to attend a couples yoga workshop less than 24 hours before my baby was born.
  • Gorgeous hair and skin – Along with all the wonderful pregnancy hormones comes the prenatal vitamins. And these vitamins bring gorgeous hair and skin. I wish this lasted though and I wish the hormones din’t yo-yo as after the baby is born
  • Having the baby to myself – That powerful feeling that growing a little human gives you is like nothing you have ever felt before. Feeling the baby kick and hiccup is surreal and almost magical, if you may. I’m blessed to have felt this for myself. Once the baby is out there, there are so many other people and factors that come into play, you loose some control and that is the first part of letting it go. One step at a time.
  • Watching the belly grow – In the 1st trimester, your body is quite the same. In the 2nd trimester, when you start piling on the pounds, you might as well just have eaten a bit too much. Mid-way through the pregnancy when the bump really starts showing is when it all feels real
Get $5 off this Bump Bag Bliss from: The Spoiled Mama
  • Maternity clothes – I didn’t over-indulge in maternity clothes as we believe in minimalism. I actually had to transition to maternity clothes only Month 6 onwards 🙂 I ordered a good bunch of workwear from ASOS and absolutely loved the feeling of special clothes to cover my special bump!
  • Just him and me – I love that our little family has a walking talking and sometimes annoying little human, but I miss just being us too. I miss watching 5 movies a week or weekends spent doing nothing.
  • Being the center of my world – Taking it a step further from the previous point, I miss being the center of my world in my thoughts and actions. I miss being carefree and careless. I miss spending hours window-shopping or hanging out with friends.
The next time you need to gift something to a pregnant mama, try out Ecocentric Mom. They are a delightful website where you can buy subscription boxes from pregnancy through Preschool.

But Baby V makes up for everything and makes life simply beautiful. I’m grateful to stand where I am today and I’m ever so grateful for my journey so far.

Read my post on tips during pregnancy here and tips while during pregnancy 

Much love,

Mama Dee