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Our carryon bags were packed to the brim with snacks, juice, iPads, busy bags, coloring books, travel play-doh…you name it. I like being prepared for the worst of delays and anything that can go wrong (especially with 2 kids). After being stuck on the tarmac for 4 hours flying out of Beijing, China (before an already long 13 hour flight), I learned my lesson. The only thing worse than that scenario would be if you added 1 toddler and 1 baby to the mix. No. Thank. You.

I made a list of the entertainment and things we brought with us on the 3 hour flight to Turks & Caicos, Providenciales. For the most part, it kept them busy the whole time! They didn’t even play with all the toys that I packed in their bag. I was pleasantly surprised! Because Atlas is under 2, he flew as an “infant in arms” for free (though, you still have to pay taxes). He sat on Nick’s lap for the majority of the flight, and Kennedy got her own seat. She needs a paid ticket and reservation for herself, because she’s over 2. And they both need passports! Regardless of age, anyone and everyone needs a passport to travel internationally. We had a whole row to ourselves and sometimes we put Atlas and Kennedy next to each other on the same seat. They loved it, and it gave us a break!
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ENTERTAINMENT:  

FOOD: 

“Leak proof” sippy cups /  Juice boxes  /  Squeeze pouches  /  Travel spoon  / Bagged snacks (Goldfish, crackers, raisins, trail mix, and a few M&Ms) and bibs!!  Don’t forget bibs for babies, especially when you’re trying to feed them baby food on an airplane. Also, don’t bring a lot of sugary snacks…you could regret that later on the flight.

DIAPERING, ETC:

Diapers (I suggest going up 1 size to hold more in flight) *Not all airplanes have a changing table. This should be a law. On several flights, attendants have told me to simply lay them down on top of the commode. ARE YOU KIDDING ME? Request for a blanket and change them on the floor. In front of the plane near the exit door, it’s usually more private. I suggest going there!  /  Wipes  /  Diaper trash bags (Flight attendants will not touch a diaper and cannot place it in the same trash with the food either. These are also super handy if your child soils their clothing and yours…you’ll find a lot more uses for these than you think!)  /  Purell Sanitizing Wipes (gentle enough for hands & faces and strong enough to wipe down nasty airplane tables)  / Honest Spray Hand Sanitizer (great for grubby toddler hands)  /  Lots of napkins

JUST IN CASE:

Dramamine motion sickness relief  /  Extra change of clothes for all kids and yourself!  /  First Aid Kit

I probably have more stuff than I’ll ever need for the flight, but I like being over prepared. You never know how long your flight could be delayed!

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We planned a long trip to Turks & Caicos, Providenciales a few weeks after Atlas was born to celebrate his first birthday. We took Kennedy to Iceland for her first birthday and wanted to carry on the tradition with our baby boy. We knew that life with 2 kids would be much different than it was with 1 (it rocked our worlds to be honest), and we wanted to go ahead and get a trip in the books. Otherwise, time being it’s sneaky self, it would get away from us and wouldn’t happen. It’s hard to believe that a year came and went, and our sweet Atlas is now 1 year old.

Vacationing with your baby and a toddler is fun, not to be confused with easy. I was overly prepared (mentally, too!) and ready to take on anything and everything that could surprise you with 2 kids in tow. Whether that was a blowout on the airplane…it happened. I swear there is some unwritten rule amongst kids that they must save their worst stomach issues for travel. It just happens! I don’t know why…we’ve just come to accept it and be prepared for it now! haha. Or, whether the flight was delayed for hours (that’s happened, too)…I wanted to be fully prepared for whatever the world could throw at us. Our carryon bags were packed to the brim with snacks, juice, iPads, busy bags, coloring books, travel play-doh…you name it. (Side note: I’ll be sharing a whole blog post soon all about what else we packed in both carryons and our checked bags for the kids).

With all that being said, every day was a fun adventure. Watching Kennedy and Atlas play along the shore laughing and screaming in delight as the waves came up brought us so much joy. They were filled with curiosity and found even the simplest things to be extraordinary. Experiencing new places through the eyes of children is truly the best gift. It was as if we were seeing the beach for the first time. It was about 75 degrees and sunny most days with a few thunderstorms rolling in for the late afternoon. We adventured around the island in a Jeep Wrangler that we rented from Grace Bay Car Rentals and explored down all the rocky, sandy roads. It didn’t make for great car napping for kids, but we did find some awesome places to take pictures. Trying to set up a family selfie is another adventure in and of itself! We spent most days playing in the low tide of Sapodilla Bay, meeting new friends and other toddlers for our kiddos to play with (bonus!!), and enjoying tropical drinks. We’ll definitely be back!

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Nick always plans the best trips for us, whether we’re together as a family or it’s just the 2 of us for a weekend getaway. He puts so much thought into every detail down to the flight time, connections, car rentals, proximity to attractions…everything. I keep telling him that he needs to be a professional tour guide!! It was an amazing, fun-filled, exhausting trip and we can’t wait for the next one. We listed a few of the things we did during our stay in Turks & Cacios and some of the things we didn’t get the chance to see (but, would’ve loved to)!

BEST FAMILY BEACHES:

FAMILY FRIENDLY RESTAURANTS:

  • Bugaloos Conch Crawl
  • Mother’s Pizza (because they deliver, and what’s easier than that?!)
  • Las Brisas: Cannot say enough amazing things about this restaurant. It’s perfect for kids, the waitstaff is incredibly friendly and warm, and they brought Atlas a piece of cake and all sang happy birthday to him! We made a few friends here and even stopped by before our flight for one last goodbye.
  • Da Conch Shack: There are even adorable, toddler-sized picnic tables for your kids to sit at and enjoy their own food. It’s a win-win!
  • Turkberry: Delicious yogurt and homemade donuts.

THINGS TO DO & SEE WITH YOUR FAMILY (TODDLERS + BABIES):

ACCOMODATIONS:

CAMERA GEAR:

  • iPhone 6:  Surprisingly amazing for how small it is.  The iPhone is just convenient and takes amazing panoramas! Though I do hear the iPhone 7 is even better.
  • GoPro Hero 5 Black:  Waterproof, adventure camera that we brought to the beaches. It’s survived many dives to the ground from on top of the car while attempting to take family self portraits…
  • Fuji x100t:  Small, walking around camera that fits perfectly in your diaper bag! I say no more. Okay, I do…this camera can shoot in RAW, has a fixed focal length of 35mm and this is the main camera I use on every trip now.

Stay tuned for some new posts about tips traveling with 2 little ones and what worked/didn’t work for us! Sharing all of the things we learned and what we would’ve done differently…

At first glance, Lauren looks like Emily Maynard from the Bachelorette! Also, Caleb is a super talented photographer himself, so you can only imagine my nerves. You can check out some of his work, here. I always love working with this beautiful family of 3 (soon-to-be 4!). They’re all truly just as beautiful on the inside as they are on the outside…and that’s a whole lot of beauty. haha. Their sweet daughter Ava is an absolute doll and she loved having her picture taken. I’ve been so excited to share this session…it almost makes me want to be pregnant again :) Lauren and Caleb, thank you so much for allowing me to document your growing family again. Lauren and Caleb, romantic maternity session, fine art family session, film photography, editing, fine art maternity, timeless, elegant, beautiful 01Lauren and Caleb, romantic maternity session, fine art family session, film photography, editing, fine art maternity, timeless, elegant, beautiful 04Lauren and Caleb, romantic maternity session, fine art family session, film photography, editing, fine art maternity, timeless, elegant, beautiful 03Lauren and Caleb, romantic maternity session, fine art family session, film photography, editing, fine art maternity, timeless, elegant, beautiful 12Lauren and Caleb, romantic maternity session, fine art family session, film photography, editing, fine art maternity, timeless, elegant, beautiful 02Lauren and Caleb, romantic maternity session, fine art family session, film photography, editing, fine art maternity, timeless, elegant, beautiful 06Lauren and Caleb, romantic maternity session, fine art family session, film photography, editing, fine art maternity, timeless, elegant, beautiful 07Lauren and Caleb, romantic maternity session, fine art family session, film photography, editing, fine art maternity, timeless, elegant, beautiful 08Lauren and Caleb, romantic maternity session, fine art family session, film photography, editing, fine art maternity, timeless, elegant, beautiful 09Lauren and Caleb, romantic maternity session, fine art family session, film photography, editing, fine art maternity, timeless, elegant, beautiful 10Lauren and Caleb, romantic maternity session, fine art family session, film photography, editing, fine art maternity, timeless, elegant, beautiful 11Lauren and Caleb, romantic maternity session, fine art family session, film photography, editing, fine art maternity, timeless, elegant, beautiful 13Lauren and Caleb, romantic maternity session, fine art family session, film photography, editing, fine art maternity, timeless, elegant, beautiful 14Lauren and Caleb, romantic maternity session, fine art family session, film photography, editing, fine art maternity, timeless, elegant, beautiful 15Lauren and Caleb, romantic maternity session, fine art family session, film photography, editing, fine art maternity, timeless, elegant, beautiful 16Lauren and Caleb, romantic maternity session, fine art family session, film photography, editing, fine art maternity, timeless, elegant, beautiful 17Lauren and Caleb, romantic maternity session, fine art family session, film photography, editing, fine art maternity, timeless, elegant, beautiful 18Lauren and Caleb, romantic maternity session, fine art family session, film photography, editing, fine art maternity, timeless, elegant, beautiful 19Lauren and Caleb, romantic maternity session, fine art family session, film photography, editing, fine art maternity, timeless, elegant, beautiful 20Lauren and Caleb, romantic maternity session, fine art family session, film photography, editing, fine art maternity, timeless, elegant, beautiful 21Lauren and Caleb, romantic maternity session, fine art family session, film photography, editing, fine art maternity, timeless, elegant, beautiful 22Lauren and Caleb, romantic maternity session, fine art family session, film photography, editing, fine art maternity, timeless, elegant, beautiful 23