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Sep 8 2014

So You Want to Go On Vacation With Five Kids?

By at 10:05 am

Family picture par excellence.


About two weeks ago, I came back from a two-week family “vacation” in Europe. Our group was four adults (me, my husband, and my parents) and my five children–three of them aged 3 and under. Nine suitcases, two of them duffel bags full of diapers, wipes, bottles, and baby food. And three strollers.

It was wonderful. And I have only just now recovered from it.

Have you ever fantasized about taking a big trip with your little ones? If so, read on for some unsolicited advice. Read the rest of this entry →

Sep 14 2011

Seeking Peace When On the Road

By at 11:42 am

Our digs in Seville.

How did the Israelites maintain Shalom Bayit (peace in the home) as they wandered the desert for 40 years? I lose my patience after my husband got us lost for 40 minutes. Like the Israelites, my family has been nomadic for the past three weeks, and it has taken its toll on our Shalom Bayis.

We have schlepped from country to country, city to city, hotel to hotel. We had great fun doing this on our honeymoon just last year. This time around, with a budding toddler in tow, not so much. There are plenty of sources of tsures (trouble): the endless packing, unpacking, and repacking; Aiven’s crabbiness when his naps get disrupted by our irregular schedule; and the struggle to keep all of our stomachs full (not such an easy task when your child eats more than a plague of locusts and your husband is a vegan).

Shalom Bayit has come to symbolically mean marital harmony, but with us the challenge to ours has actually come from the literal lack of a place to call home. At least the Israelites had tents they could call their own — we, on the other hand, have slept in one disappointing hotel after another.

To recap:

Edinburgh, Scotland:  B&B confirmed there would be a queen bed, a crib, and no stairs. We had two suitcases equaling 50 kilos, two carry-on bags, and a stroller.  Stairs were not an option. We arrived to find a double bed, no crib, and three flights of stairs. My ingenious husband improvised a crib out of our suitcase to give us a few hours of sleep without our son taking over the entire bed!

London, England: Hotel room had a crib, but the bathroom was the size of an airplane’s. Shower included. And the room was 50 square feet. Baby feet. Read the rest of this entry →


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