Thursday, June 11, 2015

Off camping: ACE family needs a new name..

We are off camping with our toddler and 3 week old. Cam and I have been itching to get back camping ever snce last October. Work and pregnancy did not give me any energy to get out much in the wilderness the last 7 months. I miss it so much and want my kids to once again experience camping.

Now since I had my first camping trip at 3 weeks old I thought it would be fitting to take our second daughter at the age of 3 weeks. I'm hoping this weekend will give us inspiration for a new name for our family blog. Any ideas???

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Packing for a toddler: All Inclusive Trip

I thought I would write a packing list for a toddler if you are leaving for a one week vacation to an all inclusive resort. This is similar to my packing list during other trips but with a 'sun and swim focus'.

- 4 onesies
- 3 sleepers (Keep warm if you have A/C on)
- 4 shorts
- 4 pants
- 7 t-shirts and/or dresses
- 3 long sleeve shirts (A/C rooms and plane ride)
- 1 sweater
- 1-2  U/V swimming suits
- 1-2 Swimming bottoms
- Swim gear (Optional): Puddle jumper, float device with canapy, water wings,
- 2-3 sun hats (to allow them to get wet)
- 1 pair of runners
- 1 pair of sandals (That can also go in water!)

- 1 sleeping blanket
- 2 light blankets (Aden + Anais) Light for naps in the stroller and covering the stroller from sun.
(Make sure that if it's hot to not completely cover to let the air flow.)
- Travel Bed (Optional) : (We brought out tent bed that is only 5 lbs. All Inclusives do not guarantee a crib for your toddler and since ours was so light we decided to bring it along).
- Any necessities for bedtime routine. I included: books and stuffed animals, in toy section of this post)

- 30 diapers (60 if you are worried about diarhea)
- 2 packages of wipes
- Bum Cream (We like healing balm by honest company but your basic zinc and vaseline if you like)
- Changing mat
- Hand Sanitizer
- Baby Soap
- Tooth Brush
- Tooth Paste
- Baby Wash cloths (Optional)

- 2x Advil and/or Tylenol
- Benydryl (You never know about allergic reactions)
- Hydralight (not a medication but a hydration drink in case of diarhea)
- Sunscreen (A whole bottle so you do not run out)
- Thermometer
- Polysporin
- Nose Sucker (great for runny noses!)
- Nail clippers

I am not usually a fan of Etta eating tons of packaged food however we did not know how the buffet would nourish her and decided to bring quite a bit of stuff along.This helped alot as the first 4 days she basically ate only bread, fresh fruit juices and cantaloupe. By the end she started eating other foods.
- 2 packages of granola bars
 (These were great for pre-breakfast. Our daughter likes to eat right away when she wakes up. This made it so we did not have to rush out of the room to the buffet.)
- 7 Smoothie packs
- 5 packaged dinners
- Fishies or crackers (a pack)
- Toddler Cookies (a pack)
- Package (For carry-on on the flight home)
       - 3 packaged dinners
       - 1-2 smoothie packs
       - fishies (handful)
       - 4 cookies
       - 4 crackers
Toys: (Some of these items will go into carry-on)
- 3-4 books
- 2 stuffed animals (We packed Morgan her baby doll and Husk her Husky Dog)
- Stacking cups (Great for both the beach, plane and hotel room)
- 2 packs with a pack of stickers and paper or reusable stickers
- 2 packs with 3 crayons and paper

Carry on Bags, stroller (Optional)and Carrier (Optional):
This is how we packed our carry on bags. It worked very well for us. We did not bring a carrier but some people love this option especially for maneuvering an airport. Some of the stuff was listed above and we chose to put it into our carry on instead. Also I organize certain items in packages within the bags so that I can easily pull out what I need.

-Chicco Liteway Stroller (Checked at the gate)
                 (Borrowed the stroller from a friend. Completely reclines so our daughter could sleep                           while we were our and about)

Bag number 1: (Backpack)
- Husk her husky dog
- 2 books
- stacking cups
- Small bag with a zipper
- 3 small bunnies, a small rooster and a small bird inside the small bag with a zipper
- Fun Packs: (Homemade)
     - 1 pack with a pack of stickers and paper
     - 1 pack with 3 crayons and paper
     - box with foam shapes in it.
Included in Bag number 1 for mom and dad:
- A book for Mom (I actually did get to read during her nap!!!)
- A book for Dad
- Headphones

Bag number 2: (Rolling Carry on) 
Package with
      - 7 diapers
      - package of wipes
      - Bum Cream
      - change of clothes (T-shirt, pants, socks)
      - Dirty clothes bag (For dirty clothes and/or diapers)
Package with
      - Advil
      - medications for mom and dad
Package with (food for lunch, dinner and snacks for family)
      This package is healthier on the trip down then the trip back home unless you are able to hit up a          grocery store in Mexico while at your all inclusive.
       Some food examples:
      - Fruit: Berries, Bananas, Apples
      - Cheese slices
      - Sandwhiches
      - Granola bars
      - packaged dinners
      - smoothie packs
      - fishies (Bag)
      - Cookies (Treats)
Package with
      - 6 napkins
      - 1 spoon
      - 1-2 containers for food

Any other suggestions? Add them in the comments below!

Mexico bound: Travelling while pregnant with a toddler!

Very pregnant with a toddler in tow, Cam and I flew to the Mayan Riviera to celebrate Cam's brother's wedding. Although all inclusive resorts are not our usual destination it was so nice to celebrate Matt and Chelsea's wedding vows with family.

Read on to hear about the ACE families prep for an all inclusive trip, the travelling and the adventure!!! (Check out packing list for a detailed list of what to pack for a toddler)

Insurance: (Always check if your covered and if baby is covered after they are born as things are constantly changing. Write down the name of who you are talking to and the time and date to avoid problems. We ended up having lots of problems. Also get it in writing. This is our insurance story).

In September 2014, before we had to book our flights, we made sure that I was covered under my work travelling insurance through Blue Cross. Since we were told that baby and I were covered at 33 weeks, as long as I had a doctor's note saying I could travel, we booked our flights. We were going to Mexico!!

I decided to call Blue Cross 4 weeks before our scheduled departure to ask a few minor details about the insurance only to find out that they would no longer cover me. Since the wake of the 'Million Dollar Baby' that hit CBC news in October 2014, some insurance companies have changed their policies regarding how they will cover a pregnant lady and the newborn baby. That is what we think happened with Blue Cross. Most will not cover you anymore when you are within 2 months of your due date however we did find out that Sunlife Insurance will cover you up to 36 weeks if you buy an insurance plan with them. They do not see pregnancy as an illness. We ended up buying Insurance through SunLife to ensure coverage. Shortly after buying the insurance Blue Cross ended up honoring a phone conversation that they had on tape saying they would cover me and the baby. This was great because then we could cancel the SunLife insurance and save some money.

The Flight:
Traveling while 32 weeks pregnant and with a 20 month old daughter did not exactly scream relaxing vibes. But,since Etta has been on over 24 flights in her short life and to 9 different countries, flying while pregnant with a toddler did not seem too overwhelming. The only real issue we had was when Etta HAD to sit on our laps because of turbulence. It was rough having a toddler screaming, squirming and swatting your face because she wanted to either sit or walk on her own. You cannot resason with a toddler when they have made up their mind about wanting to do something and they feel like your holding them in a straight jacket.

Cam was on toddler duty for both plane rides. He was in charge of diapers, running after Etta and cuddling her while she slept. We had a back pack full of snacks and meals for her along with another backpack with books and activities for her to do. I ended up cudddling Etta for the last 2 hours on the flight back from Mexico while she slept and I felt like my blatter was about to explode. She did not wake up when we landed so I walked her sleeping in my arms till we got our luggage when I could FINALLY use a restroom. This meant my 33 week pregnant belly was about to explode because I was drinking water on the plane to avoid dehydration.
I did not want to put a flash on hence the poor quality of my phone picture. Cam was an allstar looking after our daughter. 
With lots of snacks and other flyers to entertain, Etta was a ball of positive energy in the airports. 
The Resort:
After working out a few obstacles it proved to be a good vacation with the family before the new baby arrived. Our daughter Etta had the time of her life hanging out night and day with mom and dad. She would wake up every the morning and from naps saying "swim in water... Swim in water"

Etta started to get very adventurous swimming in the water. Even now in Vancouver she asks to go to the ocean and wants to go swimming almost everyday. Her favourite book at the moment is 'Whoosh' which is abook about animals and sea creatures that love the water. 

Hanging out with my two babes on the beach. 
We kept Etta on Vancouver time which meant that she woke up around 9-10am  everyday and bedtime was not until 9 pm. We did keep her up some nights if I felt like I could handle it. She is pretty flexible but a 33 week prego lady looking after a toddler is not.... Somedays we had her sleep in the stroller so we could stay up and hang out by the outdoor bars with friends and family but often we would put her to bed in the room so I could rest. Cam would then headout and hang out with the family and friends.

Everyday we would go swimming twice. Once in the morning and once in the afternoon.  I wish we could have done some excursions or cruised around the resort a little more but I was a beached whale that enjoyed cooling off in the pool. Give me ice cream and virgin mojitos in the pool and I was a happy prego lady.

 We had our naps in the A/C room from 2-4 pm which I especially needed to get out of the hot sun. We would have breakfast and lunch either in the buffets or in the beach hut. We tried to have dinner at one of the 8 sit down restaurants. It was relaxing not to have to make dinner or clean up afterwards. We brought some food from home for Etta which I am really glad we did since it took her about 3-4 days to get used to cooking that was 'not moms'. We would often hang out by the outdoor bars so Etta could run around in circles and dance to music. She has this 'thing' where she has to get really rumbunctious before bedtime. I am often surprise she falls asleep after all the running.

Etta loves hats. This hat she got from Grandma and Grandpa. She especially loves that it is similar to Cam's. 

Etta got lots of attention from the grandparents. 

Etta with grandma on the beach!
The wedding:

The main reason for our visit to Mexico was for Matt and Chelsea's wedding. Matt is Cam's older brother. It was a beautiful wedding with the ocean in the background.

Etta and I mostly hung out in the shade but she also walked around the beach bside to the wedding. 

Big hats to shade from the sun. 
That night we danced and partied. Etta had the time of her life dancing with everyone especially close family friend Janice.

On our way to the party.
Dancing the night away with her cousin Lochlan.
Not your typically ACE Family adventure, Mexico proved to be a relaxing time with family and friends. Etta had the time of her life spending 7-8 hours outside during the day and most of that was in the pool. It was a great way to have a vacation before the new baby was born.