Archive for the ‘Are We There Yet?’ Category

When’s The Last Time You Took a Break?

Wednesday, October 27th, 2010

I need to post this pic on the fridge. It was taken a few years back, when Randy and I got away to a bed-and-breakfast while Matt was at summer camp for a week.

Just looking at the photo reminds me how relaxing those few days were. We walked around the lake. Lounged in the in-room jacuzzi and looked out at the lake. Tried parasailing above the lake (fun!) and sat around, enjoying a glass of wine and (you guessed it) gazing at the lake. (What is it about water that’s so relaxing?)

We didn’t stay all week, and didn’t break the bank. Just a night or two was all it took to feel like we’d gotten AWAY from the everyday routine.

What do you do to refresh yourself now and then? And (be honest) when’s the last time you did it?

The Little Princess

Wednesday, February 24th, 2010

Spoiled Girl

I was on a flight from to L.A. the other day. A mom with three three kids sat across from me, with one next to her and two in front of her.

The woman is sitting behind her six-ish-year-old who has just trashed the floor around her seat with food, toys, and papers. It’s about time to land and the place is a mess.

The flight attendant is on her hands and knees, cleaning up around the kid. The kid never thanks her. (The mom, a bit sheepishly, thanks the flight attendant after the fact, but never encourages her daughter to show any appreciation.)

I think the mom missed a real opportunity by not reminding the girl to say thank you (and perhaps reminding her to help — or to not create such a mess on a crowded airplane in the first place).

It bothered me to see the girl sitting there, like a little princess, while this hard-working flight attendant was on her hands and knees at the girl’s feet, cleaning up.

What has happened to our manners in this country? What can we do about it?

Think YOU Were Never a Pain When You Traveled With Your Parents?

Wednesday, February 3rd, 2010

Just another happy family-travel pic, huh?

I remember that day.  On a family vacation, we stopped at Four Corners, the only place in the United States where four states (Arizona, New Mexico, Utah, and Colorado) come together at one place.

My brother and I (AKA, the hormonal pre-teen) were obviously underwhelmed and Mom had probably had it up to HERE with both of us.

Now that I’m the mother of a teenager, I crack up even more when I see this photo.

When Kids = Distracted Driving

Tuesday, January 26th, 2010

We often think of distracted driving as driving while eating, putting on makeup, talking on a cell phone, etc. Driving with kids in the car can be distracting, too, according to a recent Consumer Reports* blog post, especially if there is crying, whining, or some other issue that warrants attention.

“Usually it’s either a dropped toy, needing a tissue, drink, or snack, that forces me to reach back and try to assist,” says Consumer Reports automotive writer Liza Barth.

“A few weeks ago, my husband rolled into a car in front of him after he inadvertently pulled his foot off the brake at a stop light while reaching to the back seat to tend to our son,” says Barth. “After that, we realized that even when stopped, it can not only be dangerous, but expensive (unfortunately, it was a BMW) to look away or remove your attention from the road.”

Visit the Consumer Reports blog for tips on driving (safely) with kids in tow. And visit Consumer Reports’ kids and car-safety section for more safety tips on driving with children.

*Full disclosure: In addition to being a parenting and health writer,  I work for Consumer Reports as their social media reporter. You can follow me on Twitter at @CReporter.

Who Needs a Vacation?

Sunday, January 24th, 2010

My favorite moms and travel gurus, The Traveling Mamas, are now The Vacation Gals.

Have you checked out their new blog? Beth Blair, Jennifer Miner and Kara Williams are three professional travel writers — and moms — who share their favorite destinations for family trips, girlfriend getaways and romantic escapes. They also talk about the latest travel gear and travel news and offer great travel tips.

What I really like about the blog is that it doesn’t just cover family travel (as much as I love family travel!). They’ll also get your juices flowing for that great girlfriend getaway or a romantic weekend when Grandma’s watching the kiddos.

Very cool:  The Vacation Gals is a finalist in the 2010 Bloggies — the 10th annual Weblog Awards.

Voting takes just a minute, and it’s a great way to support your favorite blogs. (Another fave of mine, Leo Babauta’s Zen Habits, is also a finalist.) Check out all the great stuff these gals are doing, then go vote!

“Mommy, I Have to Go Potty!”

Sunday, June 28th, 2009

We've all been there.

Sometimes you're out and about with your child in a public place and he or she has to go to the bathroom NOW.

If you have a PDA with a Web connection, visit Just enter an address, ZIP code, city or even just an intersection in the search bar.

When I visited the site, it boasted more than 59,000 rest rooms in their easy-to-use database. Check it out. We parents on the go need all the help we can get!

Traveling With Kids? Don’t Skimp Here

Monday, June 15th, 2009

Love, love, love Travel Savvy Mom. So many great tips from moms who live in the real world and who know what it's really like to travel with kids — especially young kids.

Kayt Sukel has written a terrific post today: "Things to NEVER Skimp on While Traveling With Kids." Her top-five list (created after polling other moms on Twitter and FaceBook):

°    An extra seat on the plane (in addition to the reasons listed, I'd also add: safety)
°    Snacks
°    Direct flights
°    A DVD player
°    Something new

Check out her post to get the scoop. Kayt's anecdote about the GREAT deal she got online on a hotel room for her family is worth the read, too. ;)

Try This Do-It-Yourself Pillow on Your Family’s Next Flight

Tuesday, May 12th, 2009

Not long ago, on a flight that took off at about 6:30 a.m. (ugh!), I saw parents trying to get their sleepy kids comfortable on the plane. Many of the kids (and parents!) wanted to go back to sleep, having faced a 4 a.m. alarm clock to get to the airport on time.

The flight attendants quickly ran out of those tiny airline pillows, and some parents weren't crazy about using them anyway, with one mom wondering aloud, "Do they re-use those? What about germs?"

Then the mom across the aisle said to her preschooler, "OK, let's make the pillow!"

"Huh?" I thought.

From her carry-on bag she pulled a Ziplock bag and a kid's t-shirt. She sealed the first bag except for about an inch-long opening, and then blew up the bag like a balloon before sealing it. Then she slipped it inside a t-shirt and handed it to her son, who snuggled up with his "pillow" against the window.

"Smart!" I said. She smiled. "Oh, we've been doing this since I read about it in a magazine. Love those tips!" I told her I'd be sharing that tip right here. She said to mention that it's best to not blow up your "pillow" all the way. Instead, leave a bit of room so that the pillow is a bit squishy and not too firm.

What would we do without our fellow parents!

Safe Holiday Travel With Kids

Sunday, November 2nd, 2008

If you're like many families, you'll be hitting the skies or the highways for the upcoming holidays. Need some tips to help make it a better trip? Check out my latest article in Memphis Parent, Safe Travels During the Holidays.

You'll find car-seat safety tips, help for painful ears on long plane rides, tips for avoiding jet lag and much more.

Gas Prices Got You Down? Vacation at Home

Friday, June 6th, 2008

Wondering how high airline ticket prices will go as you're planning that family vacation? Thinking that a driving trip will break the bank?

There's another option. Check out my article, "Vacationing at Home," over at You'll find lots of tips for making family memories right in your own backyard. (And I promise, this doesn't involve mom doing any dishes! I mean, there are limits, right?)

Of course, vacationing at home still means VACATIONING. I highly recommend going out for yummy breakfasts at every opportunity… And for the price of a tank of gas these days, you can buy a lot of banana pancakes with whipped cream!