Eager for warmer days
Although Max was here last Easter, he was only one month old and therefore not old enough for a basket. This year he loves taking things in and out of his toy baskets around the house so I’m going to put together something simple and sweet for him. Here’s what I have planned:
A dozen wood eggs I will dye using natural colors. Admittedly, this was not my idea. I belong to a few mommy Facebook groups and someone else ordered the eggs and organized the date. I’m looking forward to meeting new friends next weekend!
Picture found on Pinterest, this beautiful set can be found on Etsy
Genius idea: play scarf in place of icky plastic grass
He loves playing peek-a-boo! A scarf sounds like a great idea. Another grass alternative is pom poms made of yarn.
A simple board book. Maybe this one:
Classics are always in style
Looking for more ideas on junk-free baskets? Check out these links:
Growing up Herbal
Modern Parents Messy Kids
The Mushy Mommy
Mamas, what do you plan to put in the Easter baskets?
I cannot praise this book enough! I’ve renewed it from the library twice and have read through it quite a few times. Marie gives solid advice for keeping things simple at home and protecting children from the advertising world. She advocates parents look inside themselves to consider what their values are and how they can live those values. She suggest family meetings and a family mission statement. Most importantly, she tells parents that children learn best by example.
A few statements to ponder:
- “Marketing aimed at kids has skyrocketed. Corporations now spend more than $2 billion annually on advertising directly targeting children, a more than twentyfold increase in the last decade.” And this book was written in 2003!
- “Corporations now use psychologists and psychiatrists to perform research on children’s developmental process to better perfect their kid-targeted marketing.” Marie also writes that advertisers aim to surpass parental authority by portraying adults as annoying, nagging and lacking in intelligence.
- “What many…have convieniently forgotten is that the environmental motto begins with “Reduce” and ends with “Recycle.” Our first obligation to the environment is clearly to consume less, not to recycle more.” She also points out that consuming less allows us to be able to contribute to those in need around the world.
There are many ways to simplify family life such as eating dinner together, reducing commitments and extracurricular activities, and creating family rituals.
What are some ways you have consiously simplified your life?
I am currently on a decluttering mission. I believe that simplifying my space is a starting line for simplifying my life.
Vegan zucchini cake with whipped coconut frosting
On Monday our little taco turned uno. We celebrated over the weekend with a backyard Mexican fiesta. My friend Nicole made the cakes, a healthy-ish zucchini for Max and a decadent tres leches for the rest of us (find her on Facebook at Belle Torte Cakes). The local Mexican restaurant delivered the food and we kept the whole thing simple yet festive.
A year of Max
A cold wintery sunrise in New Jersey
Five new (to me) blogs I adore:
Slow Your Home: The Simpler Life You Want
The Minimalist Mom
The Simple Year
The Fearse Family
A Cup of Jo
It started with a quest to find the perfect words to politely say “no gifts please” on Max’s birthday party invites. We have Christmas presents that haven’t been taken out of their boxes yet and he just doesn’t need anything. I don’t mean to sound ungrateful. We are very lucky to have our needs met. But when it comes to stuff, I really want to simplify. As I mentioned on my About page, I love the idea of minimalism…but I have a hard time letting go of all the excess (like clothes that haven’t been worn in years or my 25-year-old collection of Lisa Frank stickers). As I write this I am inspired to lighten up. I’ve already put my wedding dress on Craigslist and stacked up all of the novels I’ll probably never read again. And if I did, I could just borrow them from the library. Now it’s time to tackle the stationary drawer(s).
What are you holding on to that could go? Do you have any favorite blogs?
A monkey at Playa Dona Ana…the best rest stop in the world
The perfect place to stop for lunch on the way to the beach after a flight into San Jose
Yoga in the treetops at the Nosara Yoga Institute
Baby Max chasing a beach puppy at Playa Guiones
Swinging at a family-owned restaurant in Nosara town (across the street from the air strip)
Playing around on a long board
We stayed two nights in Tamarindo, Costa Rica’s hip surf town with a large number of expats, beach bars and surf shops. The yoga class that I took there was for the most part in Spanish with a little English and focused on hips, which I so needed after the journey. On Saturday we drove three hours through mostly dirt roads to the quaint little town of Playa Guiones near Nosara. M and I rented a long board to take turns on while Baby Max happily played in the sand. On our last day in Costa Rica we headed back to the San Jose area to a Swiss chalet…yes a European style hotel in the mountains of Heredia. The air was crisp and cool and the scenery was stunning. Although the truth is…it was quite an odyssey to get there. The internet said four hours, and after six and several trips around the same town I was starting to think a nice
boring safe Marriott next to the airport wasn’t looking so bad. Baby Max was crying and everyone we asked kept saying take the main road up the hill. Problem was the main hill wasn’t labeled along with all the rest of the roads. Alas we finally made it and like always when traveling, it was worth it.
“For my part, I travel not to go anywhere, but to go. I travel for travel’s sake. The great affair is to move.” – Robert Louis Stevenson
Two days later…finally in Costa Rica with a gorgeous view at a roadside stop for lunch
Our vacation got off to a slow start with a delayed flight out of Atlantic City due to fog. The first leg of the trip was scheduled to depart at 7 a.m. and we ended up leaving around 11:30 in the morning. That’s an extra 4 hours of entertaining baby at the airport, but surprisingly things went pretty well. The AC airport is small and there aren’t many flights scheduled at the same time so there was plenty of room for Baby Max to crawl around and play. For the first half of the three-hour plane ride to Fort Lauderdale he was energetic but happy. Then at last, the nap came.
Airport fun; meeting new friends
Travel tips that work for us:
- Hide a few toys in the days leading up to travel. Take them out one at a time on the flight.
- Water bottle fun: shake it, peel the label off, drink it
- Nurse for takeoff and landing (it’s supposed to help alleviate pressure in the ears).
- Bring plenty of snacks, but try to wait as long as possible to break these out. My goal is to wait until at least the second half of the flight. I also dole them out very slowly.
Publix stop on the way to the hotel for an avocado roll
We missed our connection and ended up staying the night in Fort Lauderdale. Exhausted but excited and unwilling to waste our one night in South Florida we headed out for dinner and a stroll through South Beach. Max hung out in the Ergo for the evening and M and I found amazing veggie risotto.
He loves avocado sushi
Normally when I travel I can be a bit of an introvert. I never talk my seatmates. I’m usually reading or wearing headphones. However, traveling with a baby is a
little lot different. No books and no headphones. Traveling with a baby is all about living in the present moment. And so far I’ve learned that almost everyone loves babies, even that thuggish looking guy with the backwards hat and tattoos. On our way to Costa Rica M and I ended up chatting the whole way with a soon-to-be groom on the way to his bachelor weekend. The conversation started when he asked us how old Max was. He sipped mixed drinks while we entertained Max and the flight passed pretty quickly.
Costa Rica is a baby friendly nation. Upon arrival we (and another family with an infant) were whisked to the front of the customs line. The rental car guys oohed and aawed and strangers all around stopped us to say hi to Max.
Since he was up most of the plane ride he napped for a big part of our 5 hour ride the the beach
There were a few tough moments, but overall the trip here went pretty well. Now it’s off for some fish tacos and fruit smoothies.
I’m super excited and somewhat nervous about this Wednesday’s trip to Costa Rica. M and I are taking Baby Max south for 10 days of sun & surf. This will be my fourth trip to the most peaceful little nation in Central America. I love the people, fresh fruit and expansive coastline. We are headed to the touristy beach town of Tamarindo for the weekend, followed by the quiet village of Nosara for nearly a week. We rented a modern condo in Tamarindo and a private house in Nosara. Baby Max has been traveling with us to and from Florida since around six weeks, but this will be his first passport stamp. And his first long plane ride, with a layover. Once we arrive in San Jose it’s a 4-5 hour drive to the Pacific coast. We might be a little crazy to attempt this type of trip with a ten month old, but it’s been a while since we had an adventure and we’re itching for one.
We won’t be needing the hat and jacket next week
The past few days I have read this blog up and down for advice and inspiration: Have Baby Will Travel. It’s full tips for everything from what to pack, whether to bring your own car seat (yes) and how to entertain little ones through security and on the plane. Speaking of car seats, ours is a bit to bulky to lug around the airport so we picked up a cheapie at Burlington Coat Factory Baby Depot. Until now we’ve been squeezing our little 20-pounder into an infant car seat stroller system at the airport, which he is way too old and big for. The journey is worth it…once we’re there I’m looking forward to yoga, waves and spiked tropical smoothies.
Do you have any advice for traveling with an infant?