GUEST POST: Tips for green traveling with kids

Hello friends! With holiday travel approaching for us all, please read this wonderful guest post, from green blogger, Sophia Evans. She is kind enough to share her green words of wisdom in my little part of the blog-o-sphere! Thank you, Sophia!

Living green… travel green… it’s easier than you think!
If you are a fan of the green lifestyle, having kids is not a reason to stop living in a healthy way and protect the environment. If you have some plans about traveling with your family and show your kids some interesting places, this is a great opportunity to also teach them how to be more environmentally friendly. Use this chance to make your travel a more eco-friendly experience which can be really fun and educational for your children.
I have a few tips for you which you can follow and make your family trip fun and still green. I promise you that if you trust these suggestions, you will teach your kids to be more aware of the environment around them and how to protect it. Having a green vacation is a wonderful way to enjoy your time and still be responsible and do the right things to lessen the global pollution.
Start with the planning
The first step of your future vacation is to choose the destination. I suggest you research for ethical places to visit. These are locations which truly care about saving the environment and they do everything they can to protect some of the treasures of nature. By visiting such locations you will be able to support these places and contribute to the popularization of such destinations.
Clean your car before you hit the road
If you plan to use your own vehicle for the trip, you can use a homemade green solution which will help you to clean your car and prepare it for the long ride to your destination. For this DIY cleaning product, you will need half a cup of white vinegar, one cup of club soda, half a cup non-toxic liquid soap and a quarter of a cup of a lemon juice. Grab an empty spray bottle and mix the ingredients in it. Shake the solution well and spray the upholstery of your vehicle. Use a brush to tackle all the dirt and in no time your car will be ready to hit the road.
Use public transportation
If your children are old enough, you can leave your car at home and use a train, a bus or even a ship to get to your destination. This way you will be able to reduce the toxic emissions from your car which pollute the environment. Another advantage of using these methods of transportation is that you and your children will be able to enjoy the nature and the view along the way. This can make the whole trip a lot more interesting, clean and eco-friendly at the same time.
Make healthy snacks
One important thing you must remember to pack are the snacks. Don’t forget to bring something that your children can munch on during the long trip. You can prepare some healthy homemade snacks so that you can be sure that your kids are not consuming some candies with too much sugar and artificial flavours.
Choose a green hotel
If you can, choose a green hotel to stay in. These hotels are designed to keep the environment clean. They usually use solar power and they are big on recycling. This way you can be sure that the place you and your family are staying in also shares your green view of life.
If you follow these few tips, you can be sure that you and your family will spend a wonderful vacation and your travel will still be environmentally friendly. Use this opportunity to show your kids wonderful places which they have never heard of and teach them to cherish the beauty of nature.
Thank you, Sophia! Here is a Yiddish Proverb for you all!
Travel in good health! For gezunterheit!
  

The well-worn path to the fridge

Now this guy, he is a fresser and a nosher

To say my kinder (kids) like to nosh (snack) is like saying the Pope, he is Catholic. Who doesn’t like a nice nosh (little something to eat….). My Little, she will even quote ‘Winnie the Pooh,’ and ask, “Can I just have a little smattering of something.”  Now, no Jewish momma even this atheist Jewish momma is going to want to hear the geshrei (cry, moan scream) of hunger from their babes. Essen, bubbelah (Eat Sweetheart). It’s what we grew up hearing. You’re tired? Eat. You’re sad? Eat. You’re angry? Eat. You’re __________ (insert any feeling, emotion, TV show, a brand of car, celebrity, a sign of the zodiac, etc. and the answer in a Jewish home is always, EAT!) Eat. Stuff those emotions down your throat with a nice shmear (a robust portion of cream cheese) and lox (smoked salmon) on a bagel. Mind you, before dinner, Little, she had a nice plate of lox

Noshers and fressers (those you can eat freely and copiously, no reserve!). That is what happens on movie night in our apartment. And last night, was no different. Vey iz mir (OMG), it’s a non-stop fridge free-for-all, where they stare like a deer in the headlights with the refrigerator door wide open — as if a spell has been cast upon them. Let me share with you a bissel of the essen (little of the eating) that transpired. 

First, a nice meal. All of us sitting down together almost civil. Gatsby, he is circling, waiting for the crumbs to fall. We had a healthy, organic, vegan meal of Nona’s homemade lentil soup, bean burrito’s, roasted cauliflower, carrots, hummus — a nice spread albeit a little windy for all. We decide to rent Cinderella, the new-ish one. Dim the lights, roll the show, and…

I’m hungry (in unison)! Can I have something to eat?

Mind you, we barely finished the dishes. And so, being Saturday night and all, we live big! The girls, they each have an ice cream sandwich (the very best of sandwiches in my book). Cue the film. Take 2!

I’m hungry (in unison)! Can I have something to eat?

Something healthy, I cry…

My little, she brings the bowl of carrots over to the sofa and they crunch, munch and chew. Once the bowl was empty:

I’m hungry (in unison)! Can I have something to eat? Can we have another Ice Cream sandwich?

No madeleh.

Can you make these bisquits?

No sweetheart. I’m not going to potchke (to fuss, and/or cook) in the kitchen now, after already making a nice dinner. Are you f**king kidding me?

Can I have that cake from Thanksgiving? 

Not bloody likely! How about a squeezy-yogurt, honey? Breathe they’re just kids and they are growing

The squeezy-yogurts are from the freezer, so this should buy us at least ten minutes of movie time. Tick-Tock. Tick-Tock.

My Little, she then shouts, “Can I have a pickle?”

Sure.

Big chimes in, “Me too?”

Of course.

I gotta let you know, they killed that entire jar of pickles. Gone. Gornisht. Bubkas left.

On a normal day, this Jewish momma would be thrilled with a nosh of roasted cauliflower…

Little, she is still whimpering and is about to ask Alexa for the phone number to the department of childhood injustices, when she opts for a bowl of roasted cauliflower. I warn her that her belly is going to really start to make tsuris (trouble) for her and us. This is just too much. And this combination, oy, her kishkas (intestines) will be in an uproar. Now, you must remember, She’s got pipesOne bowl of cauliflower. Two bowls of cauliflower. At least this is some healthy sh*t she is eating!

Big, she starts stirring are they even watching the movie? and opens some almond butter granola bars before anyone notices. So of course, Little, she now wants some jalapeno blue corn chips.

ENOUGH! THE KITCHEN IS CLOSED! Itisafter10pmatnightandyouhavenotstoppednishingWearegoingtowatchtheendofthismoviebrushandflossourteethandgotobedTherewillbenocryingoutformorefoodYouareeatingoutofboredomorhabitormaybeagiantmomfailonmypartDoyouevenknowwhatishappeninginthismovieNexttimewewatchamovieitisonesnackOnesnackandthatisitOneDoweallunderstandJesusChristYesAtheistJewssaythistoo

And then, not ten minutes later, in bed, our Little, she says: MommyEma (an endearing term for us both), my belly hurts. No smoking gun here…

       
      
      
  

LEGO LAND is a big win for all!

My littles and me, we went to the LEGOLAND Discovery Center. We are fortunate, it is only about 15 minutes away, and it opened this past summer. My Mrs., she has been taking the shana maidelehs (sweet girls) time and time again.  She was off on a photo shoot, so I had some time all to my kinder (kids). The air, it was a bit nippy, so they wanted to stay inside. Truth be told, I was hesitant. I mean, I love LEGO’s as much as the next momma except when I step on them barefooted and scream like a meshuggeneh (crazy person) but to make a whole land of them? I had my doubts. I made sure to keep my shoes on, no matter what the policy!

To say my Littles love coming here is an understatement. They chattered excitedly the whole car ride over about the pirate ship, the ninja training, and about how they were going to be my guides and show me absolutely everything. I was feeling excited through their passion and a bissel ( a little bit) of osmosis.

Waiting in line for the ride in on the Imagination Express…

We have annual passes for 3 of us I am mostly always at work during such fun, and despite being a Star Wars special weekend, we got in rather quickly. It was lively and crowded inside. Despite the parties of people, it felt like a safe place to be playing.

Yup, we got the red car!

I couldn’t take photos during the Imagination Express ride in our red car — I was having too much fun taking part in the giant laser game we drove through to get inside. We all had a magic wand equipped with a red laser to score points at every twist and turn of our giant LEGO car adventure.

Once inside, the colors, the shapes, the LEGO sets and play stations for all levels… eye candy in every direction. My Big, she met up with life-sized LEGO friend, Andrea, while my Little, she hung tight with Emma. I could tell we were in for an afternoon of colorful, creative play — exactly what we all needed!

The vibe inside was festive, albeit magical. The girls, they ran over to the big LEGO pirate ship of Pirate Adventure Island. Momma got to sit down and watch had to stay back, and no joke, I was happy. You have to take your shoes off to enter the Pirate Adventure Island. Short of passing a kidney stone or a festering flesh wound, nothing, I mean bubkas hurts like stepping on a random lego brick in bare feet….

Playing on Pirate Adventure Island!

The girls, they ran, jumped, slid, screamed, squealed, climbed, scurried, hoisted, heaved and hurried themselves up, down, and all over that ship. About 45 minutes later, they were tuckered out, damp, and ready for our next juncture.

So we made our way to the LEGOLAND version of Philadelphia! They built this city… They built this city out of on rock -n-roll LEGO’s. Miniland is AMAZING! Literally, the entire City of Brotherly Love was scaled down, brick by LEGO brick.

The Philadelphia Museum of Art, complete with the “Rocky Steps”

While searching for Yoda and the Star Wars Ninja’s for the scavenger hunt, hidden amongst our town, we saw the Art Museum and the famous Rocky steps. We strolled over to City Hall, and I thought about setting up a LEGO soapbox but held back. We were playing! And I ranted fairly well enough yesterday…

Philadelphia, City Hall

We went to LOVE Park and saw Robert Indiana’s famed statue, and even made out Claus Oldenberg’s, Giant Clothespin on Market Street.

LOVE Park

The lights dimmed, and our city center skyline filled the night. Behind us, on boathouse row (not pictured) fireworks erupted like the fourth of July! It was nothing less than stunning!

The city lights at night!

After our walkable Philly adventure, it was time to relax a bit. We headed to the 4D movie theatre. There were four shows playing and we walked into one of them timed oh, so right.

Movie time, in 4D: That’s 3D adventures, plus environmental (rain, snow, wind, etc) effects!

I was mesmerized!

The movie was 12 minutes of pure fun and adventure. After the film, we knew it was time for some serious LEGO ninja training. We stretched and headed over to the Ninjago Training Camp. All three of us excelled, with the sharpest of moves, skills, and mind. Who knew we were such talented Ninjas in the making? I’d show you, but then, well, you know…

Extra Ninja training for my Little
and extra Ninja Training for my Big

My Little and Big, they are strong, proud ninja’s through and through. I will not bat an eye if they are asked to be in the next LEGO Batman movie… We all wished we had cupholder hands rather than opposable thumbs, and left with great memories of fun times in LEGOLAND.

Yiddish Proverb:

When you look to the heights, hold on to your hat. Ven ir kuk tsu di keyts, haltn aoyf deyn hut.

This post is a totally unsolicited and true review. We paid our own way, and will gladly do it again. We love it here and since we don’t have cupholder hands, we give it a hefty 5-star, thumbs up review! Have you been a LEGOLAND Discovery Center?

     

     

On Sunday it was summer

Without some outdoor play, they are both like vilda chayas (wild animals).

      

  

Finding the laughter

You can always count on Little to make Big burst into laughter!

This is one tough world we live in… but who am I to tell you that? I wake up each morning and cautiously look at my smartphone, one eye opens at a time, and already, I get discouraged.

Stuff yourself with hope and you can go crazy. Fun loiter hofenung ver ich noch meshuggah.

Grateful? Mindful? Of course! Every day I remind myself of the good. And yet still, there is so much bad in the news, in the world, in our lives, in the lives of our friends. So what to do? I must find the laughter. Share the laughter, and add to the contagion in the chaos of the smile theory.

Laughter is heard farther than weeping. A gelechter hert men veiter vi a gevain.

So here’s a little story to share:

Right before school started, the Mrs. and me, we needed to get the kinder (kids) leggings and jeans. We went to Old Navy, you know, the cheap version of Gap? We found quite the sale, which better fits our frugal finances of $0 per month on frocks and finery. We found about 8 -10 pair, a shirt or two, and we were only lighter by $30-some dollars (That’s a -$30-some on the master budget spreadsheet). Not bad. Don’t you know, when we got home, the first pair my Big wants to wear has a dime sized hole mittendrinnen (smack dab in the middle of) her tuchas (tushy, butt, derriere)? I dry the tears and promise to sew this slit and salvage the day. After all, I am of the age that literally had to take Home Economics in school (feminism, oy vey). What part of baking brownies and crocheting toilet paper roll covers made that class economics? Oy, a whole other blog post right there. Needless to say, I made a promise.

Smiles and laughter, contagious!

A needle and thread were tough to find in our little flat, so two weeks later, I finally remember to make a trip to the local pharmacy. For $4.95, I buy a small kit to fix the leggings that were $1.99. Little, not caring a bit about the rip on the rump, had already worn them to school. Big, she has been hock mier chinik (banging on my tea kettle, yammering on and on) for me to make the fix.

It doesn’t cost anything to promise and to love. Tsuzogen un lib hoben kost nit kain gelt.

This morning, it was the first thing I set out to do. These pants, shmata (rags) no more! I make a nice hot coffee and place the new sewing kit, and the lacerated leggings all in arms reach. Gatsby, he is securely settled in my lap in support. Children nestled all snug in their beds our bed. I begin.

Threading a needle is a tad bit more difficult than I recall. Glasses on. Glasses off. Like Karate Kid, I repeat this mantra. At 654 months old, home ec or not, it took me over 25 minutes to put the blue f***ing thread through the teeny, tiny needle. Less than three minutes of sewing said slit, and I’m done. My Big, she is still sleeping. I almost want to wake her to see the joy on her shanah punim (beautiful, radiant face). I know she will wear them immediately.

Silliness spreads the joy!

I get up and proudly look in the mirror who the h*ll is that wrinkly old lady with gray hair?   (Glasses on. Glasses off) as I brush my coffee tinted breath. I laugh. Maybe this gray coif is the silver lining of optimism I need.

I hope you all laugh today, and continue to find the laughter. We need it.

      

      

      

     

 

Helping Hands

It’s been an ‘all hands on deck‘ kind of week. School is in full swing, dance lessons are back, and as they say in this Yiddish Proverb:

If you ever need a helping hand, you’ll find one at the end of your arm.  Aoyb ir alts darfn a helping hant ir vet gefinen eyner in di suf fun deyn orem.

Take a look at my kinder (Sweet kids) and their hantalehs (hands) at work play!

They were so fascinated by the typewriters! They didn’t want to leave! Azoi!

Shana Tovah to all who celebrate! May it be a sweet and happy new year ahead for us all.

    

      

Summer lovin’ had me a blast…

 The last trip of the summer holidays had us off to Boulder, CO to see my mishpocheh (family). Here are some of our favorite pics…

And boy, did we ever! L’Chaim! (To Life!)

Our very happy Gatsby on return! My boychik…

Travel in good health! For gezunterheit! We did!