Happy Thanksgiving! I haven't really gotten my blogging groove back yet since having Gregor, but I have not forgotten about this little spot I have here. I often think of writing about some crazy ideas that I have been mulling over in my mind, or throwing together a photo post full of my messy studio and my ragamuffin kids, but by the end of the day there is little time, and with the holidays approaching, or well, with them being here, I am finding myself spending the late hours of the night and wee hours of the morning in my studio sewing away. 

Chloe's first Thanksgiving Day Parade

But Thanksgiving, yes, Thanksgiving Day. It's tomorrow! We are going to be heading to the parade in the morning, and by "we" I mean myself and my sister and our kids. This will be my third year attending the parade, and I have learned a few things about toting kids to a parade in the cold. So, I thought I would kill a few birds with one stone: I would break my blogging silence, procrastinate prepping my thanksgiving foods, and share my tips on toting your littles in the cold to parades, or whatever holiday events you may have lined up for you. These are things I have learned from experience, and like all these types of posts, it all depends on you and your kids, and your event, and what will work for you... this is what has worked for us:

1- Set out your clothes the night before. We are going to be leaving the house a lot earlier than usual, and catching the train, so being able to get everyone ready quickly is key. Having everything set aside and ready helps to avoid scrambling to find her gloves, or his hat. Also, having the diaper bag ready to go will cut down on last minute chaos as you run out the door, and give you a little peace of mind.

2. Everyone potty before you leave. Chlo hates public rest rooms... I don't like them either, but she freaks out in them, even if she is not using them and just going along for the trip. So, I always make sure I try to limit her fluids before we leave, and see that she uses the toilet right before we walk out the door. While we are out, I try to save snacks and drinks for later in our travels if I can. Anything to avoid needing to use a public rest-room. 

3. When it comes to food, try to bring something quick and easy. Think granola bar, apples, pretzel sticks in a little container... something that is easy, portable, and not very messy.  One year I made and brought white chocolate cranberry scones. They were bomb - sooo delicious! But they got crumbs everywhere! Another year I brought my own coffee, which wound up spilling all over the floor of the train. I learned that there just are not enough hands to manage a toddler, a stroller, diaper bag, and my coffee on a train. But, there is always someone selling coffee somewhere. Yeah, it might cost a bit more, and it might not be as good as your own, but I found it more enjoyable to buy a cup on the go, once we are off the train, instead of needing to worry about spilling it all over. If you are really set on using a certain travel mug, you could always bring it along empty and stop when you are off the train to have it filled.

4. Take public transportation, if you can. Chloe loooooves going on the train, and looks forward to this trip for weeks, just because of the train. Taking the train gets us right where we need to be without worrying about finding a parking spot, feeding a meter, and needing to walk however many blocks. Plus, in my humble opinion, taking the train adds to the whole parade going experience. It is really quite fun to sit with your kids on the train and not need to worry about driving.

5. Bring a stroller, even if you kid hasn't used a stroller for like a year. My niece who is six, and has not used a stroller for many years, still appreciates being able to take a sit in the stroller with a warm blanket wrapped around her, while we are at the parade. If the kid will fit in a stroller, take it along. I plan on bringing my Maclaren because it is light enough to carry up and down stairs in the train station. Gregor will be in the baby carrier during the parade in order to keep him warm, and keep me from needing to drag along the double stroller. 

My niece Mackenzie, and Chloe, in their strollers, keeping warm.

6. Dress warm! Dress in layers, bring a blanket, or two, for your little one in the stroller. Buy some hand-warmers to keep in your pockets, and in theirs. It might not seem too cold out, but once you are on the street for a couple hours you will appreciate any warmth that you can get. 

7. Bring a buddy. My sister has gone with me the past two years. We keep each other company, have a great time making some memories, and help with each other's kids. This allows for us to take turns using the bathroom , or grab a cup of coffee without needing to drag a kid with us. I have a feeling we will look back on these trips together, despite them being a bit crazy and cold some years, as warm memories - and in the end, that is what these holiday traditions are all about.

Are you heading to the parade this year? Will you be watching on the television from the comfort of your living room? Will you be traveling? I hope wherever you are, that you have a very happy thanksgiving holiday!



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