This is a sponsored review from BlogHer and Slim·Fast.
We were head-over-heels excited because we live very stressful and busy lives. We are the proud parents of 3.5 year old QUADRUPLETS!!!! So, an all-inclusive vacation on a cruise line to the sunny beaches of Mexico was a dream. (Not to mention that the current weather conditions for our neck-o-the-woods was ice/sleet/snow and temperatures in the teens!)
Leaving for a 5 day cruise (Saturday to Thursday) takes a ton of planning- especially when you are leaving 4 small children behind. So I immediately began to formulate my countdown-to-cruise to-do lists.
#1- CHILDCARE: A total of 10+ family and friends volunteered to help with the quads while we were away. My sister-in-law, Ashley, was a life-saver. She agreed to keep all 4 of my super active kids and her 2 year old bundle of energy---all while being 20 weeks pregnant! That’s a LOT of work, folks!
#2- FOOD for the KIDS and CARETAKERS: I want to make it as easy as possible for people when they come over to help with the kids, so I like to have home cooked meals ready to pop in the oven. A couple of days before we left, I spent several hours in the kitchen preparing: 2 chicken pot pies, 2 poppyseed chicken casseroles, 2 cheesy noodle goulash casseroles, 1 meatloaf, and a partridge in a pear tree. I also made 8 lunches for the kids to take to school- all packed and ready to go. I had printed out a list of available food/snacks and sample menu ideas for breakfast, lunch, and dinner- and where these items were located.
#3- CLOTHES for the KIDS: I picked out 8 sets of clothing, socks, shoes, underwear, jackets for the kids to wear to school and set them out neatly with labels: “Monday School Clothes”, etc.
#4- EMERGENCY LISTS: I updated all of our emergency contact information, our day-to-day cruise itinerary, important phone numbers, medical release forms, etc. and placed them all in a binder for easy access.
#5- WHAT TO PACK: swimsuits, beach attire, flip flops, etc.
#6- DRUGSTORE ITEMS: Motion sickness medications, Sea-bands, Airborne, First Aid items, Sunscreen, Lotion, etc.
#7- HIT THAT GYM & EAT HEALTHY: Keep in mind, we were just coming off of the holidays. I always gain my “extra padding” in the winter…you know, to keep warm. (tsk, tsk) The thought of crawling into a swimsuit, in the middle of winter, with a boat full of Joe’s coworkers was terrifying. So I was extra-diligent in my efforts to work out and eat right.
It seems that all of my planning and list-making paid off. We left for our cruise and had a wonderful week of relaxation and fun in the sun.
Oh- and Ashley & the kids were still alive by the time we returned, which is always a plus.
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