Fun in the City of Angels!
Hi everyone! Happy July! (Can you believe we are in July!?) Below, I will be sharing some pictures from our trip to LA late last month. You know I like to keep it real RE: traveling/existing/living with a baby, so I will also be sharing a couple of tips and tricks for traveling with a toddler, getting said toddler to sit through a baseball game (her first! <3), AND making it to a theme park the next day.
I would like to start off by thanking my parents for this trip. #Realtalk: things have been financially tight in the Mendez household. When we made the decision to have me stay home with Ximena, we knew it would come with some sacrifices. We have certainly been feeling those this summer! Summers can be hard for teachers; even though M is still teaching, his after school gigs get shifted around, and his checks need to be stretched out just a littttle bit more than usual. We are obviously SO lucky that we have the privilege of one stay-at-home parent, but that comes with less moo-lah for travel and frivolous spending.
I have to remind myself of how lucky we are when it appears that EVERYONE on Instagram is on a luxurious vacation surrounded by beautiful sandy beaches. (Ugh, why is FOMO still a thing. 🙄 I actually listened to this podcast episode recently, and it helped.)
Nevertheless, I cherish this time with Ximena - even though some days are far from glamourous. And I, of course, cherish my parents for thinking of including us on this super fun trip to LA. They even surprised us with our own hotel room. 😭
We had some car trouble (you can read more about it here). We had to stop and buy duct tape at a grocery store. It was a tense moment, but you can see the beauty and innocence of childhood above in Ximena's excitement at "driving" around the grocery store while Mamí and Papí searched for the strongest tape.
Ximena has always had a pretty early bedtime. She's usually asleep no later than 8:00PM. As this was her first Dodgers game, she got to stay up late. She had a great time, though was 100% over it by the time the fireworks came on.
Just a few tips and tricks, in case you're wondering how we "did it".
1. Remember the Magic: When I think about my childhood, I am filled with nothing but happy memories, and the distinct taste of Honey Nut Cheerios. Like us, I know my parents struggled to stretch my dad's checks every month - especially when there were four growing kids involved! We never felt any of those worries or woes. My mom (and dad, of course) infused every bit of our lives with magic. I make it a point to do that for Ximena every day. If something stressful happens, I spin it in a way that will make her little eyes open wide with wonder. I'd like to think that Ximena didn't know about the stress of taping up our car, the uncertainty we felt at whether the car would make it the remaining hour-and-a-half drive to Elysian Park, or the sweat pouring down her Papí's forehead as he tried taping our front bumper.
2. Baby Carriers are Everything: I honestly do not know where I would be without the advent of a baby carrier. We didn't bring a stroller out to Dodger Stadium. Ximena happily rode on my back as we navigated the parking lot and the stadium to find our seats, and nodded off as we walked (and got lost on our way) back to the car. Thank you LílléBaby. I love you. <3
3. Everything is Going to Be Ok: One of Ximena's favorite books of all time is Pete The Cat: I Love My White Shoes. In this book, Pete starts off by telling us that he LOVES his white shoes. He even has a song about it. Then, he steps on a pile of strawberries! Suddenly, his shoes are red. But he doesn't mind, he sings about his red shoes instead. He steps on a few more things that turn his shoes even more colors. At the end of each misstep, he reassures us that things are ok, and he celebrates the new color of his shoes. By the end of the story, we are reassured that things are "Groovy." So, fellow parents: no matter if you step on the pile of strawberries, or your trip isn't on schedule, remember that everything is going to be OK!
Enjoy the ride :)