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For the past two weeks, I have had the luxury of being on vacation.  My husband and I rented a house in Cape Cod, and have been enjoying sunny days, cool nights, and long afternoons at the beach with our infant and toddler.

For me, these are the dreams I always had for a family vacation – quality time together, good weather, good food, no stress.  Some of these visions have come to fruition.  These extended vacations definitely involve quality time.  We’ve been blessed with great weather and fresh seafood.   But the stress? Unfortunately a stress-free day is pretty much non-existent with two young children, no matter where you are.   In fact, being out of your usual element and routine can mean that vacations can actually be more stressful than summer days at home.

After taking these long vacations for a few years, I have learned (the hard way) how to make things a little bit easier.  Here are my top 5 tips for you and your family to make your summer holidays a little more relaxing:

1) Bring DVDs.  Lots of them. 

I have to admit that I am generally one of those Type A parents that doesn’t like my kids to watch too much TV.  I try to impose limits on each day (aka, two episodes of Yo Gabba Gabba, or 45 minutse of Nick Jr.).  But on vacation, I relax this rule.  It’s just easier on everyone.  A house or hotel is never babyproofed, so it means you can keep your kids entertained and sitting instead of opening cabinets and turning on sinks.  Further, you can only pack so many toys.  When the limited toy options get old, pop on Toy Story.  The extra TV won’t fry their brains (though I make no promises!)

2) Bring all of the kids’ clothes.  That’s right, all of them.  

I used to go through each child’s closet meticulously in preparation for vacation. I’d pack a couple of outfits a day, some jackets, extra shoes, etc.  Without fail, there was always something I didn’t bring that I ended up needing, like rain boots, or an extra sweater for when my toddler spills grape juice all over his jacket.  There’s something about vacation that causes your children to soil clothing at a much quicker rate.  So do yourself a favor, and save yourself the packing stress – just bring it all.

3) For toys, quality is more important than quantity. 

I used to try to stuff as many toys as possible into a large suitcase, until my husband put his foot down.  He was right.  The kids’ didn’t play with half of the toys anyway!  Now, I use a small duffle, and try to bring activity based toys.  The Real Tooth Fairies award-winning books would be a great vacation activity.  Girls are captivated by the detailed illustrations of their fairy friends having adventures in Real Fairyland – with character building content as well. For more information on these positive-value based stories that entertain your girl over and over again, click [HERE].

4) Invite the grandparents.  

I’m the first to admit that being in a small space with the most wonderful of  parents and in-laws can get a little crazy at times. But the happy chaos makes for great memories – and grandparents love to babysit.  They are able and willing and love the bonding time with their grandchildren when parents are out.  And it means that my husband and I can take a much needed break during the day or (gasp) actually go someplace at night!

5) Put up your feet and let go. 

Even with all the preparation in the world, a family trip with small children is not going to be the relaxing honeymoon you once had.  So do your best to have fun, get through the day, and let go of all the must-do’s of your regular routine. Enjoy some alone time with your husband once the kids go to bed.  After all, you’re on vacation!

After thirty two years on this earth, my memory of early childhood is hazy and exists in choppy flashes of moments in time – going down the slide at preschool, chasing my dog, eating green beans in our retro kitchen.  I remember sunny days and curiosity and Barbies and baths.  But I can’t tell you when, or sometimes even where, these memories took place.  Now, being a mother myself to two children, it is bittersweet for me to realize that the precious times I have with them on a daily basis will someday only be snapshots and flashbacks in their mind.  Such is childhood. Of all of my scattered recollections of growing up, one that surfaces with surprising clarity is my relationship with a very special woman.  I dreamt of this woman, thought about her throughout the day, and did what I could to emulate her every characteristic.  This woman and I had a bond that no one understood but us.  We never met, but communicated nightly through letters, visions, and prayers.  She was my truth, my idol, my destination.  Just knowing that I had this wonderful, secret friend gave me confidence and inspiration throughout early childhood’s trials and tribulations. That woman was my Tooth Fairy.

I can’t quite remember how our relationship started, and to be honest, I can’t remember how it ended either.  What I do know is that for a brief period of my childhood, a snapshot clearer than the rest, I was completely captivated by a magical world.  As an adult I can say that it is, by far, one of the happiest memories I have.  It is so strong that it overshadows the bleaker memories typical of any childhood – of teasing, of rejection, of insecurity.When I recently found out that the world can now see and learn about Real Fairyland and The Real Tooth Fairies, I was ecstatic.  At last, girls and boys today can experience that spark of magic that I had as a child, and that still resides in me, even after all of these years. Knowing of my close relationship with my Tooth Fairy, Queen Sirona asked me to start this blog for parents.  Not just to impart my own childhood experience, but also to connect with you about all of the issues that come with raising children and keeping the magic of childhood alive in our multi-tasking, rushed lifestyles.  The answer, of course, was yes!

So now, one of my missions in this world, in addition to being a stay at home mom to two future Tooth Fairy loving kids is to connect with the parents of other Tooth Fairy loving children.  I’ll write about kindness, bullying, health, education, and all things parenting.  I’ll write about parents needing a break sometimes.  I’ll ask you for advice and solicit your parenting experiences. I’ll write about things going on in Real Fairyland that translate into meaningful together times for you and your kids. And I’ll write about the magic that a Tooth Fairy can bring into a child’s life. I should know.

 

The Real Tooth Fairies are here and they’re bringing the magic of childhood and kindness to your family.

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