A Parent’s Guid To Road Tripping And More!

 

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If you missed part one and two see it here and here! It’s crazy how far away this vacation seems to be now yet at the same time it feels like we just got back yesterday!

So after visiting Amsterdam and falling in love with this exciting and very charming place, we packed our bags and left the hotel, in our wonderfully practical and fully loaded minivan. My key secret to having a peaceful road trip with a toddler, is load that car with anything and everything I could lay hands on, meaning: Before we go anywhere, we pass by the supermarket and we stock up on water, fruits, vegetables, yogurt, cheese, crackers …etc. I also make sure I include plenty of my “busy boxes”, which are shoeboxes filled with different things. Each box has a theme, one can be filled with crayons, paper, pencils, glitters, and other art supplies. Another one can have some glue, some cardboard, and some pre-cut pieces of paper. Sometimes when I feel very crafty I would make them into different shapes. A shoebox can also contain a book and things related to that book, for example we had “The Very Hungry Caterpillar”, so back home, before we traveled, I made a caterpillar and some oranges, some strawberries, some plums, a moon, an egg… etc. Adam loves telling us the story using these little things! You can fill these boxes (or bags if you prefer) with anything you like and they are a great way to keep a toddler busy!

 

Stopping the car from time to time and stepping out to get some fresh air is also a great way to enjoy the trip. Adam loved the greenery that was abundant and surrounding us from every angle! We got to run a bit, roll on the grass and meet new friends which is always a blessing!

 

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Adam discovered Pizza in this trip! He had it for the first time in his life, and he loved it! So it made it very easy to have dinner in the car while baba is driving. This way we didn’t have to worry much about wasting time or missing dinner, because Adam is always so tired by the time we reach the hotel.

We all love music, so we always carry some CDs with us when we travel, and we listen to them during our trip. One of them works like magic in putting Adam to sleep, and this way we never missed any of his naps (It was a gift for his first birthday, and that’s exactly why we love the friends who got it for him- or should I say for us- Thank you Mirna & Sergio lol).

 

Road trips are one of the very awesome things we do. I love them insanely because growing up I used to go in so many of them with my family and I have such great great memories from that sweet time! So I am so glad that I get to do the same thing with my small family!

 

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I must say this time I was a little more worried about how will Adam be in this road trip, because he wasn’t feeling so well. The last week of our 3 weeks stay in Morocco, Adam seemed like he had a tummy bug, and for three days he had a fever that reached 40 degrees one night. It was the first time Adam gets sick this bad and of course I was panicking. Luckily I always trust my instinct, it never fails me. Although his symptoms looked like a flue, and my whole family agreed on that piece of info, I knew it was something he ate and his tummy now harboured a dam cursed bacteria that was refusing to let go! I am no doctor but this is what worked for me regardless of who said what.

 

1-  First and foremost, NEVER EVER EVER give a child something to stop his diarrhea or vomiting!! This is the body’s natural way of cleansing itself, if you stop it by giving medicine, the bacteria will never leave and you will only suppress the symptoms. Instead make sure you hydrate the body with plenty of water, or water with a teaspoon of sugar (to replenish the minerals), give few sips of green tea, it works like a miracle! Also give plenty of starchy food (when the child is able to eat, because you should never force them to eat), like potatoes, rice, carrots, and even chocolate.

 

2- Use garlic in anyway you can! I used to crash it, leave it to rest for 15 minutes and then  give it to Adam. Garlic contains a compound called Allicin, which has potent medicinal properties. It is a real wealth so use it generously.

 

3- Fenugreek, a miracle when it comes to boosting the immune system! Because the child’s immune system is at its lowest, we need to look into ways to revitalize it. I would soak some fenugreek seeds overnight, and give Adam a teaspoon of that water every morning. It is safer to use small doses and it sure helps like nothing else!

 

4- For the fever, I swear by vinegar!! Soak the child’s socks in vinegar, and put them on for him, repeat this whenever needed. It really does wonders. In 15 minutes you will start noticing the fever going down.

5- Lemon and organic honey!! Amazing for anything and everything! Just squeeze half a lemon, mix it with a teaspoon of honey and give the child to drink.

I also always include lots of ginger (in soups), parsley, blueberries, turmeric, and onions in Adam’s diet whenever he is sick. It is a great way to help the body heal itself naturally.

 

It took Adam one whole week to recover totally, but I haven’t used any medicine at all. No antibiotics no anti-inflammatory, nothing at all! I did take him to see a doctor afterwards though, just to confirm that he is well and nothing is wrong. We then found out that he had salmonella! YES! I have no idea how he got it, but whatever I did was the best way to deal with it! You never want to suppress an infection (in this case Salmonella) by giving antibiotics, this will just make matters worse. You need to give it a chance to leave the body entirely and peacefully!

 

I hope today’s tips help you even a tiny bit and Thank you for reading!!

 

Ouiam

1,2,3 GO!! (Our Summer Vacation Part 2)

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So of course we did it! (For those of you who haven’t been following, this is part 2 of this), We made it to “Wadi Shab”, just us: Four ladies and Bruno, our faithful GPS! The trip was about two hours long. Once we reached there we were immediately struck by the beauty of this place. The peace that surrounded the area was astonishing! I have never seen anything similar… Those majestic mountains reminding us of how small we were as human beings, the freshness of the air we inhaled and never wanted to exhale, you could almost feel it satisfying every inch of your brain. The water of an incomparable pureness … so blue and still that you could see your reflection in it! Although it was already the end of May, but the heat wasn’t bad at all. It was bearable and there was this cool breeze that would kiss our sweaty faces, every once in a while, and it would make us stop to savour the moment, each and every time! My idea of what’s beautiful has changed over the years, but I think this trip has just lifted the bar so high!

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This trip was one of a kind. I learnt so much about myself and about who I am… deep down. When you peel off all the layers of “who you should be”, “who you want to be” and “who everyone wants you be”. Yes, those annoying layers that the community sticks on your back, and somehow you find yourself compelled to go with the flow. For once, I was certain that no matter what I did, I wasn’t going to be judged, scrutinized and inspected with a funny look from head to toe! What a relief…! This feeling didn’t leave me once we left this magical place. No, it stayed… until now, it never left! the sense of comfort, freedom and confidence this trip has given me was immense! My tank was full and surprisingly it keeps of filling itself automatically! The place was magical! Really magical!

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The trips that preceded this one, were of a different kind of magic! It was a different kind of beauty, a different kind of bonding and excitement.

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We always loved traveling, my husband and I. Having a child never stopped us from doing what we loved, we just took him with us everywhere we went, and the outcome was nothing like we expected! Our travels with Adam were way more meaningful and so much more fun! The memories we made and are still making are priceless! A treasure that I keep forever locked safe in my heart!

 

We arrived Amsterdam after a 3 hours drive from Brussels, we were to stay there for three days. My husband –as usual- did a wonderful job planning and searching for the best places to visit when in Amsterdam and came up with a plan for each and every day. We were so excited to discover this place…  Amsterdam the city of bikes- it is almost impossible to drive there because of the huge number of bikes on the roads, no wonder everyone there looks so fit regardless of their age!

 

One of the places we visited in Amsterdam was the Van Gogh Museum, which hosts many works of the famous painter. Although it was crowded and the estimated time of waiting to get the tickets was 45 minutes… Aghhh!!! Luckily we were eligible for “a special treatment” because we were with a toddler. Something that always warms my heart, when similar places understand the agony of waiting more than 10 minute with an excited, bored, full of energy 2 years old! So Thank you Adam and Thank you Van Gogh Museum lol

 

You might be wondering why would we even think of taking a toddler to a museum; Well it is something we love doing as a family, we also would like our son to go through life appreciating all what’s beautiful and peaceful. Plus, we couldn’t possibly go to Amsterdam and not visit the Van Gogh Museum! Few things that really helped us though were:

1- The short time we spent waiting for the tickets (Barely 5 minutes), if you intend to do something similar with your little one, it might be helpful to buy the tickets online, or check first if the place you are visiting have a special counter for families with babies and toddlers. This really saved us!

2- The first stop MUST be the restaurant! Even if you just had lunch. We passed by the cute little café, at the museum,  we had lunch there and a piece of chocolate cake that made our bellies happy and so ready for all the fun we were about to have!

3- Make sure you have plenty of water and snacks! It never harms anyone to carry an extra bag of grapes and a cold bottle of water!

4- Do not stay too long! We stayed about 45 minutes after we left the café, it was just enough time to see what we wanted to see! And we left happy and still excited. Nothing worse than a tired child in a crowded museum

We also visited the famous Anne Frank House, the flower market (Oh how I wish we had something similar here in Bahrain), and the famous Canal belt of Amsterdam! We were in awe with the beauty of this place, a place we intend to revisit again very soon!

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Although the trip to Europe was short -about one week long, but because of all the stops we made, and all the exploring and sightseeing we did, I was worried that Adam might not be too happy about it. So I prepared myself for the worst. Wanna know how we managed to enjoy every minute of our road trip? How we kept our little nugget happy at all times? Stay tuned and wait for my next blog post! There will also be lots of talk about treating sick babies with natural and herbal remedies, when you are miles away from home and when everyone around you is pressuring you to use that anti-inflammatory/ antibiotic already, while making you feel like you were a bad parent! Stay tuned xx

 

 

Ouiam