Monday 29 October 2018

Flying with Children

Hey lovelies!

Holidays are looming on the horizon and it's time we start planning our year end vacation. You may have already planned your trip, chosen your accommodation and even booked your flights, but there’s so much more to travelling with the entire family than just the logistics! 
I love travelling and seeing new places, and it is so rewarding seeing new places through the eyes of my kids, broadening their horizons and enriching their minds. The only trouble I have with travelling is usually the flight; I do not enjoy long haul flights. I cannot sleep, I struggle to remain still for an extended period of time and cannot watch a screen for too long.

Now that they're older, flying is much easier!

Headphones are a travel essential for young travellers

My kids on the other hand love flying! It is one of the aspects of our vacations which they really look forward to. With our first trip, our baby was still quite young, and my concern was to keep him still for a 9 hour flight. These are a few things which helped me make the flight more bearable for him (and me!): 

  1. When travelling abroad, ensure your documents are in order. For kids under 18 you’ll need their unabridged birth certificate, an affidavit if one parent is not travelling with you; and try to keep an official document handy with your maiden surname if your passport reflects your married surname. I was held at Heathrow because I didn’t have any document which reflected my maiden surname (I’m not entirely sure why though). 
  2. Leading up to your journey, talk to your child about how amazing the vacation will be. I included the kids in deciding which tourist activity or sights they wanted to see at our holiday destination - so we put together our own itinerary. I let them google the destination and find what they felt they’d enjoy, this heightened their anticipation and made the flight bearable for them. Because at the end of the long flight there awaited an adventure for them! 
  3. Let them decide what their favourite quiet activities are, and plan their in-flight activities together. I purchased travel boardgames which they chose. A few other activities we planned was how much screen time they’d be allowed (ie games on the iPad- ensure all electronic devices are fully charged), some movie time, and my youngest loves the Where’s Wally books which kept him occupied for a while. 
  4. Take along their favourite soft toy and, if possible, their own small pillow. My youngest loves his own pillow, so he has a special travel pillow, which we use for road trips, and whenever we’re away. It goes a long way to calming any anxiety they may have during the flight, which becomes really restrictive. 
  5. Some kids are really fussy with food, and airplane food may not be appetising for them. So pack in some of their favourite snacks which will come in handy if they refuse to eat the kiddie box one gets on the flight. 
  6. I prefer to fly during the night as they would sleep for a large portion of the flight, try to wind them down on the flight as their usual bedtime approaches. I would try to read his favourite bedtime story, get him comfortable (sometimes this means laying across the parents laps) and try the usual bedtime routine. ie the story, prayer time and the usual rituals. 

What really works for me is preparing them before the time, and really getting them involved in planning for the trip as well as the flight. This creates a sense of anticipation which I will remind them of as they start to get restless on the flight. I’ll show them the places we would be visiting once we land at our destination (saved offline on the iPad). Flying with kids may be trying and exhausting and can leave one feeling frazzled- but always remember that the young ones do not necessarily know how to manage the frustration of being cooped up for so long, or what to do for the earaches. So it is imperative to avoid getting annoyed and impatient with them in the hopes of having a relatively fuss-free flight. 

So for those of you flying this vacation, have a safe journey and enjoy the precious family time! ♥️

Ciao for now,
RuBe xoxo
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Friday 12 October 2018

Another phase ended ...

Hi lovely readers, 

Shew! This week has been a rollercoaster, the most notable event was standing at my sons Valedictory ceremony, recording the entire matric class's rendition of 'End of the Road'. Firstly this song was released when I was still at high school, so it brought back my own school memories; of my youth; and in stark contrast, here were these young kids animatedly singing their hearts out to this song. And secondly, it was such touching scene seeing them perform their last unified act as Matric 2018.

In that moment, the reality hit me, that I now have another young adult on my hands, and even though I've been through it before, it landed like a ton of bricks. I witnessed the end of his childhood years in that ceremony, as they put twelve years of schooling behind them, banking those memories and experiences which have shaped them into the young people I see today. I listened as the speeches covered memories from the beginning of high school, significant moments which are etched in their very beings; thanks was given to peers, teachers, parents and grandparents. As they talked, all my memories of my second born, Ameer, filled my head. From his first day at grade R (and some of his current classmates have been around since then) to his grade 7 farewell, the highs and lows and how much he has flourished during this year.

As a parent, this year has brought many challenges, navigating the parenting landscape with a 20 year old and an 18 year old, has resulted in countless sleepless nights. I have had to embrace the reality that these young men have developed into strong, capable and headstrong individuals. I am thankful that they still seek our advice, that they heed our guidance and I can only hope that the foundation we set will steer them on their way in life. Today, I stood there and absorbed enormity of having another son entering a phase which leads to adulthood. And leaving behind the carefree days of a carefully designed learning environment, detentions, leadership camps and drama productions. My heart skips a beat as I realise this means that childhood has officially been shelved in favour of adult choices, career options and less structured learning environments. I realise this past year has partially prepared me for this young man and his journey into the world. And it is vastly different to the first time I experienced matric with my first born. Our children are individuals and therefore cannot be painted with the same brush, nor can we have the same expectations upon them or expect them to deal with things in the same way.

I have always been conscious of each of my sons personalities, their likes and dislikes and the way they orient themselves; and as such I am 'prepared' to handle each of them differently. Each one is unique, with their own respective love language, which I aim to 'speak' in the hopes of supporting them developing into whole human beings. This was something the principal mentioned in his address today, that they can only hope to have contributed to whole individuals leaving the school. Being whole means so many things, although ultimately for me, it means that these young people know themselves intimately. That they understand, and can embrace themselves entirely: weaknesses, strengths and what triggers they travel the world with. 

Today, I am sitting with all the emotions, happiness, nostalgia, love, joy and pride. 
Happiness: for my son who has arrived at this long-awaited moment 
Love: for the Divine gift  bestowed upon us in Ameer
Joy: for all the moments of pure delight he brings into our lives
Pride: for the young man he has developed into

The principal ended his address with this Gaelic blessing, which spoke to me and spurred the tears streaming down my cheeks:

"May the road rise up to meet you.

May the wind be always at your back. 
May the sun shine warm upon your face; 
the rains fall soft upon your fields 
and until we meet again, 
may God hold you in the palm of His hand."

Today's look features a bold Opulence silk embroidered pashmina, for those days when you're not sure of the weather. Paired with a wide legged pants, crisp white shirt, raw silk scarf and finished off with a pastel pink leather bucket bag and gifted leather sandals. A preppy look for the office, ladies brunch or lunch date.



Outfit details:
Opulence pashmina & bag
Old Raw Silk Scarf
Striped pants (old)
White shirt (old)
Mimco heels (gifted)
Earrings (old)

Ciao for now, 
RuBe xoxo

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