Taveling With Bebe, Part 1: We’re Going To Ireland!

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I thought this title of “Traveling With Bebe” would be quite fitting for our newest adventure. Next week, we’ll be traveling with our “bebe” (6 month old Jacob) to Ireland! Jon has to travel to Cork in southern Ireland for work and Jacob and I are going to tag along with him on his trip. There are actually some practical reasons why I’m going with him on this trip (more on that later), but it’s also pretty awesome that I’ll get a little mid-winter vacation and that we’ll be there for Valentine’s Day! We’ll just be there for a week, so it will be a quick trip.

Luckily for baby Jacob, he’s still nursing–and we don’t have to buy him his own plane ticket–so he gets to come along with us. Unfortunately for 2-year old David (and fortunately for us–can you imagine flying for 16 hours with a TWO year old?!), he’ll be staying state-side with his grandparents.

We’ve already done quite a bit of traveling with the boys. David rode on his first plane when he was about 9 months old, and I’ve already flown solo with Jacob down to Phoenix. Of the times that we’ve taken the boys on planes, about half of those times have been me by myself, and the other half I’ve had at least one helper. Even though we do have lots of travel experience, we’ve never done a trip quite like this. It will be a very long day of travel (especially by baby standards) and will involve a time change of 8 hours (hello, jet lag!). Plus, we’ll be traveling internationally so there are a few extra precautions that need to be made on that front. Overall, though, it should be a fun little experience for all of us.

There’s a lot to think about when you’re traveling with little people, so I thought I’d share a few things I’ve learned along the way to make things run a bit smoother. First and foremost, just acknowledge that you’re not the one running the show–so don’t get too upset when things don’t work out perfectly. Kids will scream, babies will cry, and things will likely get a bit messy. Just go with the flow, have an adult beverage on the plane, and know that it will all be over in a matter of hours 🙂

This week I’ll get into the nitty-gritty of traveling with the under-two set. Check back tomorrow for my tips on organizing and packing, then later in the week for how we actually get through the airport and our flight.

I’m actually a bit nervous about taking baby on such a long flight, so I’d love to hear about your travel experiences. Feel free to leave a comment if you have any proven travel tips or great stories from your travels with kids!

*Author’s Note* Click here to read about what we did while we were in Cork, Ireland!

Our Family Recipe For The Best Darn Cinnamon Rolls You’ll Ever Eat!

Sometimes things just don’t go according to plan. Last week was one of those weeks. Jon and I were both sick with bronchitis and ear infections (not sure how we both got the same two unusual ailments). Between caring for our own illnesses and trying to take care of the boys, we were pretty wiped out. But, what’s that I hear?! Duh-duh-duh-duh! Grandma to the rescue!

Jon’s mom was kind enough to come over last week and help us out a bit. She helped take care of the boys while I took a shower (all by myself, no munchkins at my feet!) and attempted (but failed) to actually take a nap. She also made us dinner before she left–such a welcome treat to this tired mama. One of the things grandma made for us was while she was visiting was our family recipe for dinner rolls. They are one of my absolute favorite foods–there’s nothing better than the smell of warm bread baking in your oven. Well, there’s actually one thing that’s better. Turning those dinner rolls into cinnamon rolls.

A number of years ago my mother-in-law figured out how to use the dinner roll recipe to make cinnamon rolls, and they are the best cinnamon rolls you’ll ever taste. Better than Cinnabon. They’re ooey-gooey, melt-in-your-mouth, close-your-eyes-and-sigh delicious. They take a bit of time and effort but, trust me, they’re worth it. You may gain 10 pounds after making this recipe (because you’ll want to eat the whole batch) but, again, it’s worth it! So, with no further ado, our cinnamon roll recipe.

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Peterson Family Cinnamon Rolls (AKA The Best Darn Cinnamon Rolls You’ll Ever Eat)
Makes about 30 rolls

2 1/4 cups milk
1/2 cup butter, plus an additional 1-2 cups (2-4 sticks) of softened butter
3 cups flour, plus an additional 3-5 cups flour (can be white, wheat, or a combination of flours–this time I used half white and half whole wheat flour)
1/2 cup sugar
2 teaspoons salt
2 packages rapid rise yeast
2 eggs
2 pounds brown sugar
1/2 cup cinnamon
1 recipe for frosting or glaze (we like this one)

  • Heat the milk and butter to 120-130 degrees (use a thermometer to ensure accuracy–too hot and you’ll kill the yeast, too cool and the yeast won’t grow)
  • In a large mixing bowl, combine, 3 cups flour, the sugar, salt, and yeast.
  • Lightly mix the flour mixture (I use a stand mixer with the dough hook attachment, but you could do this by hand), then add the heated milk/butter
  • After slightly blended, add the eggs one at a time, blending well after each egg.
  • Slowly add 3-41/2 cups flour to form a dough that holds together well but does not stick to the mixer. This part you just have to go by feel–not too dry, not too sticky.
  • Turn the dough onto a floured board and knead the dough into a soft smooth ball.
  • Lightly grease a clean mixing bowl, put dough ball in the bowl, cover with a clean dish towel, and let your dough rise (follow the instructions on your yeast packet for how long the first rising should be, usually about an hour if you’re using rapid rise).
  • During the first rising, mix together the brown sugar and cinnamon (use a fork and/or your fingers and make sure there are no lumps in the mix)
  • After the first rising, divide the dough in half. Cover half of the dough. Roll out the other half of the dough to a thickness of about 1/2 inch (it should make about a 12″ x 18″ rectangle).
  • Spread with 1-2 sticks of softened butter
  • Sprinkle with about half of the cinnamon sugar mix; pat the mixture into the dough
  • Roll the dough tightly, then pinch tightly along the seam to keep it sealed
  • Slice into 1 1/2 inch thick rounds and place in a lightly greased pan
  • Repeat the roll out/butter/cinnamon sugar/slicing steps with the second half of the dough
  • Bake at 375 for 15-20 minutes, until lightly browned.
  • After baking, flip rolls upside down onto a cookie sheet covered in wax paper and scrape all of the extra cinnamon goo on top. Then, flip the cinnamon rolls with the wax paper right-side up onto a cooling rack.
  • Let rolls cool, then top with icing. (I usually can’t wait for them to cool before I eat about half the batch, but if you have the self-control to wait, kudos to you)
  • Eat, eat, eat!

DIY Apple Stamp Valentines

Today is February 1st and, with Valentine’s Day just around the corner, I thought it would be fun to make some cards for our loved ones. I much prefer home-made cards to store-bought because they’re more meaningful, they’re fun to make, and they cost less than the off-the-shelf variety. I got my idea for this year’s apple stamp Valentines out of a magazine. For the life of me, I can’t remember which magazine it was and, since I just purged and recycled all of my back-issues a few weeks ago, the world may never know. So, to whichever magazine I borrowed this idea from, thank you!

Apple Stamp Valentines

First, cut an apple in half and trim the bottom to a point so that it looks like a heart. Put some red paint on a plate (we used finger paint because I already had it and it doesn’t stain clothes).

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Dip your apple into the paint and stamp it onto paper (I had pre-folded cardstock into small cards for our project). You don’t need a lot of paint on your apple in order for it to stamp properly. Pull the apple stamp straight up off the paper so you don’t smudge your heart shape.

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Let your stamped paper dry completely.

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After the paint is dry, you can use makers to add a stem, leaves and seeds to your apple hearts. I also added some little sayings to my cards. The sentiments I used were: “You’re the apple of my eye!”, “Love is a fruit in season at all times, and within reach of every hand.  -Mother Teresa”, and “The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.  -Galatians 5:22-23″.

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I have several blank envelopes from a stationery set that I’ll use to mail out our cards. Happy Valentine’s Day!