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In parenting it can be terrifying to see our children trying something new, or being pushed to their limits. This month we partnered with Clif Kid to take on something that once seemed impossible. I watched my daughter face numerous fears and compete in a challenge I honestly didn’t know if she’d try, much less finish. My blog post today is sponsored by Clif Kid, the makers of the delicious CLIF Kid Zbar Filled snack. However, the story I’m about to share and all opinions are my own.

Kids Adventure Games Review

We woke up early partly because of nerves and partly because I didn’t want to oversleep. My youngest sister recently turned 12 and my daughter just turned 7, today they’d be competing in the Kids Adventure games in Vail, Colorado.

Up until then they’d been preparing themselves mentally by watching the preview videos of kids mountain biking over hills and ziplining across creeks. They prepared themselves physically with little exercises, and runs. Between my husband’s bootcamp-style workouts, completing a mud race, and cheer practice I wasn’t as worried about Lil’ J’s physical readiness as much as her mental readiness. She doesn’t like heights, tunnels, fast things, or really anything new. She likes to dip her toe in versus diving head first. It’s just her style. So I knew today could be a challenge, on many fronts. Lil’ J said this race would help her face her fears. Something she’s been trying to do more with stunting on her cheerleading squad.

For breakfast I offered leftovers, breakfast tacos, and lots and lots of water. My daughter munched on an apple almond butter flavored  Clif Kid Z-bar filled snack and fired off a round of questions about what was in store for the day. I reminded her she’d seen the videos and that she could do this. My little sister, a tween and motivated by few things other than food and sat mostly quietly. If she was nervous she didn’t show it. I asked her to please keep an eye on her niece.

Kids Adventure Games Review

Of course this was a team race, so every obstacle would be done together. Aunt Kimmie is my daughter’s biggest fan, and this was their chance to do an adventure together. We knew going into this that it wasn’t to try to win, or get the best time. It was never about winning, but to work as a team and finish together.

After we arrived on the race grounds, got their bikes situated and harnessed up, the girls went into a “kids only” meeting where the adults had to wait outside while the racers got their maps and details about the race. I scoped out a map with Kristen, a Colorado native and as far as I was concerned, a pro at all things adventurous and outdoorsy. We made plans for where I’d stand and take photos throughout the race. I told her I had no idea what to expect, but that the girls would likely surprise me.

As soon as they emerged from the meeting my heart sank. My daughter was in tears (already) and saying she didn’t want to do it.

“They said there’s a dark tunnel!” She nearly sobbed. “And that we’d be completely under water!”

Kristen explained she’d be able to see out the other side. I encouraged her, told her she could do this, and after we’d celebrate. I also mentioned that I’d be nearby taking photos along the way and that adults would be at every obstacle to help her if it was needed.

Surprisingly (seriously, when this girl decides she doesn’t want to do something it’s really hard to change her mind) this calmed her down a lot. She agreed and asked to go wait at the starting line.

I’ll spare you the step-by-step rundown of each obstacle but I will say this… They blew me a way. Particularly at three moments.

The hill

Kids Adventure Games Review

Kids Adventure Games Review

I first spotted them rounding the top of a huge hill, pushing their mountain bikes. It wasn’t an easy trek. I told them they were doing great. I interpreted the look on my daughter’s face as exhaustion and I encouraged her, saying this was the most difficult obstacle.

“This isn’t even hard!” she shouted back.

Ok then. Things were already going better than planned.

The tyrolean traverse

Kids Adventure Games Review

Ahead I watched kids cross a creek hanging upside down, pulling themselves across a rope. I waited thinking there was no way my daughter would do that. But she watched as kids her size, then her aunt made their way across. She stood talking to the man in charge of connecting the kids to the rope. I could see her shaking her head, then taking a few deep breaths, nodding, and eventually climbing up herself. I couldn’t believe it, and I was so proud.

The river

Kids Adventure Games Review

This was the hardest part according to my daughter. She and her aunt had to fit on a raft together and paddle down a few hundred yards to where they’d get out. Problem was my sister is about twice the size of my daughter and she took up most of the raft. Doing this they flipped over after a little dip and both took a swim in the freezing water. Lil’ J screamed for me, and for help (she had a life jacket on and was fine). Kimberly hung on to her and helped her teammate through to the end, which made me so proud and thankful.

But the my favorite part of the whole experience was likely what happened after that, when Lil’ J, came shivering from the river. She told me how scary that was and I explained rock climbing was next, and asked if she would be able to do that and the last few obstacles.

I all but expected her to be like “nope, I’m done.” And really, I couldn’t blame her. But she looked at me with her eyes that had just been crying, after likely the most terrifying experience of her life and said “Yea, I think so.”

The finish

Kids Adventure Games Review

The girls both (sort of) attempted the climbing wall, crossed a mud pit, and the final challenges with great relief.

The announcer handed the girls their fancy medals at the finish line, and my daughter wore it proudly for days, and still shows it off to friends who come over.

“This is my favorite because it was the hardest to earn,” she told me as she hung it up to the rest.

It was a challenge, and she cried a few times, but she never gave up. She may not have won, but she earned her prize.

Months ago when I knew I’d be taking my daughter to the Kids Adventure Games I had no idea how it would go. If you had told me a year ago that she’d be completing something like that I probably would have laughed. But she’s taught me to never underestimate her and that she is truly capable of anything she puts her mind to. Funny, because I tell her that all the time, but now we’ve witnessed that it’s truly possible.

Kids Adventure Games Review

Kids Adventure Games Review  Kids Adventure Games Review  Kids Adventure Games Review

Kids Adventure Games Review

Kids Adventure Games Review

Kids Adventure Games Review

Kids Adventure Games Review

I’m passionate about getting my kids outdoors to play, and making meaningful memories together. That’s why I’ve partnered with CLIF Kid for 2017, to share our adventures getting out and playing together as a family. CLIF Kid Zbar® Filled is crafted with creamy, delicious nut butter filling and a blend of nutrients for energy to help keep your kids zipping and zooming along. Their products are free of high fructose corn syrup and artificial flavors.  You can learn more about this product here

When it comes to potty training, every child is different, so every parents’ experience is different. With all that we’ve been through, I know one thing for sure – I believe it’s important to celebrate little wins. Today’s post is sponsored by Pull-Ups but the story, tips and opinions are all my own.

I have learned the hard way how important is it to be prepared just in case. They say optimists are always late because they perceive they have more time than they really do. Well I also tend to forget that potty accidents are possible.

I can’t tell you how many times we’ve gone on a trip only to realize I forgot to pack any Pull-Ups for bedtime. Or oops… My son just fell asleep on a long road trip and he’s totally not wearing his Pull-Ups. So in order to help you learn from my mistakes so you don’t make the same, here are five tips I have for potty training success on the go.

Potty training on the go. Tips for potty training a kid while on the road.

1. Keep the essentials on hand. Figure out what the essentials are for you and your toddler and make sure you have them with you. For me it was always having Pull-Ups and wipes. For you it could involve a portable potty seat. Make sure they’re easily accessible in your car or a handy bag.

2. Always know where the closest bathroom is. Whenever I walk into a mall, grocery store, airport, whathaveyou, I still have the habit of scoping out the nearest bathroom. Is it at the font of the store or the back? Both? Knowing where it is can help you big time once your trainee pronounces they’ve gotta go. And yes, most of the time it will be when you’re nearing the front of the checkout line.

3. Keep incentives handy. Incentives shouldn’t only be convenient when you’re at home. Remember that toddlers don’t have as deep of a sense of time so instant gratification as important, and they can be less effective when you don’t have them on hand right when you need them. Depending on your child’s negotiating skills and your willpower you could wind up buying something even more expensive at the store as an incentive versus just handing over a chocolate candy at home. Pull-Ups also have great incentives and games on Pull-Ups.com. There are tons of simple ways to make potty training fun and easy for parents and toddlers to start together, with guidance on how to tailor the journey based on your little one’s unique personality. In fact, 3 of 4 moms prefer Pull-Ups©!*

4. Clean up supplies. Definitely something to remember, especially if you’re using a potty chair and stopping along the road. Some hand sanitizers, soap and towels in case you need to tidy up any spills. This is a great opportunity to get your little one involved in the journey too – let them pick out their favorite soap or towel to keep in the car.

5. Extra clothes. I still forget to keep an extra pair of shorts on hand, and yes, I’ve already been in a predicament where I’ve had to run into the store and buy a cheap pair after an accident. You’d think I’ve learned my lesson. A good idea is to keep them in a plastic bag that way when you can replace the clean clothes with the soiled ones.

Potty training on the go. Tips for potty training a kid while on the road.

Sometimes we just think about shorts and underwear but potty accidents can be messy. Actually pack a shirt too while you’re at it! When we are flying, sometimes I’ll have my son carry his extra clothes or Pull-Ups in his backpack so I know they’re always on us. Sometimes I’ll even toss the extra incentives too and hope he doesn’t notice.

Potty training a child doesn’t mean you need to confine yourself to your house and miss out on fun experiences. Potty training on the go can be a challenge but it’s totally doable. We’ve survived! I know you will too.

Any questions? What are your best tips for potty training on the go?

*Pull-Ups offering includes product, packaging and in-pack prizes and activities vs. Pampers© Easy Ups©.

This post is sponsored by Pull-Ups Training Pants.

 

This blog post is sponsored by Shell, for which I was compensated. But the story, experiences and opinions are all my own.

I’m beginning to realize that traveling and vacationing with kids are two totally different things. I enjoy both for different reasons so it’s hard comparing one over the other. But today I’m going to share a recent road trip we took with our kids, and why it most definitely was not a vacation, yet it was rewarding all the same.

Family vacationing to Schlitterbahn

With my husband’s job he works four 10-hour shifts a week, then he gets three days off. Those days off rotate every month. This can make planning for things very difficult. The positive side however, is when he has weekdays off instead of weekends; we can escape for a quick getaway and usually experience less crowds.

We’re always saying we want to go places but sitting down and planning those trips is another thing. I had just gotten through a slew of deadlines for my blog, my husband had a weekend free of trainings and overtime and I had just received my first Fuel Rewards® card in the mail and I was itching to use it.

I sat down to my computer and booked a night at a waterpark and resort between Austin and San Antonio. We’ve gone together pre-children but had never taken the kids. They aren’t thrill seekers at all (I mean, my daughter cried on the People Mover at Disney World because it was dark) but I crossed my fingers I could persuade them to try something.

We told the kids we’d be heading to the water park the next morning and staying at a hotel (they love hotels). My daughter immediately started packing. My son had more questions.

As soon as the word “ride” came out of my mouth, both of them started gasping and asking for clarifications about what kind, how fast, and “do I have to go on it?”

As we hit the road down to the resort we stopped to fill up at a Shell station. I whipped out my new Fuel Rewards card and got excited when I saw the price drop by $.15/gallon. I’m not the best a couponing but when a discount is as simple as swiping a free card I’m all about it. Sign up for the Fuel Rewards program here and start saving with Instant Gold Status. It’s free, takes less than 60 seconds, and you can have your own Fuel Rewards card mailed straight to you!

My daughter on the other hand… Not feeling so excited, but a little anxious about what was ahead. The questions kept coming.

I told them we wouldn’t decide which rides we’d be doing or not doing until we were standing in front of them.

When we made it to the park my son surprised me when he saw a huge slide and immediately said “I want to go on that one!” And pointed way up at the top.

Yea, I’ll believe it when I see it. I thought.

My daughter was all “Nope… Nope… No… Not that one either…”

She went straight to the wave pool and was in her happy place. But I was hoping we could try something new as a family, not sit in a pool like the one in our neighborhood.

I bribed, begged and pleaded. I asked a lifeguard what slow water ride she’d recommend for non-thrill-seeking kids and she said the Congo ride. Great. We had a winner. Almost.

vacationing with kids

Problem was, that ride was full of mist, eerie music, and wildly obvious pretend animals that still had my over-imaginative daughter completely freaking out.

She hysterically asked to get off when we turned a corner and she saw a black tunnel. My husband exited with her and I kept going with our son.

After a semi-steep drop he was surprisingly giggly. So we kept going further down the ride into more drops and a river of sorts. He LOVED it. And I knew my daughter would too. Or at least I thought she would.

It took me a while but I realized that what she doesn’t enjoy about rides isn’t necessarily the thrill level, but the amount of thematic creepiness. She doesn’t like tunnels, non-happy music, dark spaces (hence her freak out on the People Mover when we go through Space Mountain).

I asked another lifeguard if we could enter the Congo ride AFTER the dark tunnel and he escorted us to where the little rapids started. She was extremely hesitant at first, but finally got on.

AND SHE LOVED IT!

vacationing with kids

She continued to surprise me as she’d get on more slides and rapids much more thrilling than the last. Hooting and hollering with delight the whole way down.

“Thank you for bringing us here mommy,” my daughter said, as we walked back from a slide.

Going on trips with kids may not be a relaxing vacation by any means. But the rewards come through in other ways. From watching them conquer a fear, witnessing their joy, and hearing their gratitude. I may be even more tired when I get home, but the time spent together makes it all worth it.

vacationing with kids

I’m teaming up with Shell and the Fuel Rewards® program this year and it’s inspiring us to fuel our fun. I signed up for a Fuel Rewards® card and got “Instant Gold Status” which basically means I can save at least $.05/gallon at the pump – up to 20 gallons/visit (we saved $.15/gallon this trip!) and additional savings other places when I used the card. It’s not a credit card and doesn’t cost anything to sign up!


*Restrictions apply. To qualify for the Gold/Silver Status offers, you must be a Fuel Rewards® member and swipe your Fuel Rewards® card or enter your Alt ID when you fuel at a participating Shell station. With Gold Status, you will receive 5¢/gal in Fuel Rewards® savings on every fill-up. The 5¢/gal reward for Gold Status will be combined with other rewards in your Fuel Rewards® account. If you are an existing Fuel Rewards® member, you will receive Gold Status from 6/5/2017 through 12/31/17, the “Existing Member Introductory Period”. If you are a new Fuel Rewards® member, you will receive Gold Status for the initial month you join through the last day of the month, 6 full calendar months later, the “New Member Introductory Period”. The last 3 months of the Existing Member Introductory Period or the New Member Introductory Period (collectively the “Introductory Period”) is the “Qualification Period”. You will retain your Gold Status during the Qualification Period, but you must make 6 qualifying fuel purchases to qualify for Gold Status for the next 3 months, the “Benefit Period”. During the Benefit Period, you must continue to make 6 qualifying fuel purchases to maintain your Gold Status for the next 3-month Benefit Period. A qualifying fuel purchase is any fuel purchase at a participating Shell station in which you swipe your Fuel Rewards® card or enter your Alt ID and fill up with at least 5-gallons of any grade of fuel. For example, if you are a new Fuel Rewards® member and register on 6/15/2017, you will receive Gold Status through the New Member Introductory Period (i.e., 12/31/2017). You will need to fill up with at least 5 gallons of fuel at least 6 times during the Qualification Period (i.e., 10/1/2017 and 12/31/2017) to maintain Gold Status during the Benefit Period (i.e., from 1/1/2018 to 3/31/2018). Thereafter, if you continue to fill up with at least 5 gallons of fuel at least 6 times during the successive 3 consecutive month Benefit Periods, you will retain your Gold Status. If you do not maintain your Gold Status, you will receive Silver Status. With Silver Status, you will receive 3¢/gal in Fuel Rewards® savings. The 3¢/gal reward for Silver Status will be combined with other rewards in your Fuel Rewards® account. Redeem Fuel Rewards® savings with your Fuel Rewards® card or Alt ID at participating Shell stations. Fuel Rewards® savings are limited to 20 gallons of fuel per purchase, per vehicle, or fraud limits placed by Shell and/or limits placed on your financial card by your financial institution, each of which may be lower. Fuel Rewards® savings must be redeemed in a single transaction. Once you begin to dispense fuel using your Fuel Rewards® savings, you must dispense to the 20-gallon limit or you forfeit any remaining discounted gallons of fuel. For example, if you only pump fifteen (15) gallons of fuel, you would abandon the remaining five (5) gallons of discounted fuel. If you have a rewards balance greater than the current per-gallon price of fuel, the price will roll down to the maximum capability of the fuel equipment, and your remaining rewards will be saved for a future fuel purchase. Dispenser may require a price of up to 10.9¢/gal. It may not be possible to combine multiple discounts and/or rewards in a single transaction. For purchases of $75 or more, please go inside to pay. Unbranded diesel and alternative fuels may not be eligible. The Fuel Rewards® program is owned and operated by Excentus Corporation. Offer may be modified or discontinued at any time without notice. Not valid where prohibited by law. Please see fuelrewards.com for complete Fuel Rewards® program details and Terms and Conditions. Other restrictions may apply. All trademarks are the property of their respective owners. To learn more, visit fuelrewards.com/gold or call (888) 603-0473.

Hi! I’m Jennifer Borget



I'm a part-time journalist, full-time wife and mother striving to make the world a better place and inspiring others to do the same. This is the space where I share my journey in making the most of every day.

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