Big News! I have launched a new blog!

Hello, awesome Realistic Lunchbox readers!

I am so excited to announce that I have launched a new blog that caters to busy moms who would like to transform their lives and reclaim or discover their BEST SELF EVER!

This new blog focuses on intertwining mind, body and soul approaches to wellness because just addressing one ain’t gonna get the job done.

So please come on over and take the new blog for a spin. Who knows, you might just find what you need for today… And if you don’t, I would LOVE to hear from you as to what you DO want me to write about.

So click on the link to my new blog site, Lunch with Leah, below and check out all the new stuff there, comment on a blog post or sign up for my weekly email newsletter and get a FREE guide with 9 simple ways to regain energy, lose extra weight and start feeling amazing!

I hope to see you at !

All My Best,



Back To School Lunchbox Ideas and Tips – Part 1

Admittedly, I’ve had a recent love affair with Instagram. It’s so easy to snap a shot of my subject, tweak a little filtering and editing, say a couple words and bam, you’ve got a post of your amazing creation sent out to the world. And apparently people like me on Instagram. #stillbogglesmymind However, a friend I’ve known for years sent me a message and basically requested this post. At first I was like, “Seriously? I have no time for that…” but then I got to thinking….I kind of owe it to my followers. I mean, how else can I expect them to be brilliant at making lunches like me if I don’t break it down for them? Ok, just kidding. I’m really glad she asked for this post and I hope you will be too.

Here’s what we are going to talk about in a multipart series.

  1. Gear – the things I use most to transport, contain, refrigerate and accessorize my lunches.
  2. Grocery List – my favorite pre-packaged and fresh healthy and natural lunchbox foods found at the grocery store or online.
  3. Prep – some foods you can make at home to pack an extra nutritional and yummy punch in your lunchboxes and some minimal prep tips for making your week of lunch packing easier.
  4. Tips – golden nuggets I have gleaned over the years that I’m finally throwing down into a list to help make lunch box prep easier.


Lunchbox or Container

As you can see from my Instagram Feed (@therealisticlunchbox) or my Facebook Page (The Realistic Lunchbox) I have some favorite Lunchboxes that I use repeatedly. I’d love to try others but if you don’t see me mention one here it’s because if I buy another lunchbox my husband will withhold my credit cards. Here are the ones I have with pros/cons so you can possibly extrapolate to other lunchboxes.


I own their mid-size, the Rover, and it is hands down my FAVORITE, also the most expensive (this fact being the top of my husband’s CON list!). I bought the first one as my first son entered Kindergarten and we are now in 2nd grade with the same one and going strong! Another great thing about the PlanetBox is that the lid closes to seal all the compartments completely. No leakage. This is important when packing… let’s say a sandwich and raspberries. No one wants soggy bread. Lastly, my favorite feature is the way they designed the compartments. They are so easy to fill to make a balanced lunch that LOOKS good. I would say my only con for this lunchbox is that you can’t send warm/hot foods (well you can but they won’t stay warm/hot!)


(Quad on top, Cinco on bottom)

The first lunchbox we owned for kids was the “Quad” and it’s quite durable – we are approaching 4 or 5 years with this one. I love the size for toddlers and preschoolers but it’s a bit small for an elementary school appetite. I’m a big fan of the fact that it’s stainless steel and not plastic, and like the PlanetBox it is dishwasher safe. We still use this one quite frequently for my 3 year old (as you will see in my feed). Most young kids like their food separated and not touching so the Quad accomplishes this well. However, I do have a few cons for this one. First, the lid is sometimes hard to open (maybe because we dropped the lunchbox a few times??) Also, the lid is not attached to the body (one more thing to misplace…). The compartments are NOT sealed, so sometimes moisture from one food goes to visit another food and the result is not appealing.

Bentgo Kids

We picked one of these up at a garage sale (#winning) so we couldn’t pick the color but my 3 year old son doesn’t seem to mind the pink/purple! Same as the LunchBots Quad, I love the size of this lunchbox for toddlers and preschoolers and the many small compartments. Unlike the LunchBots Quad, this one seems to seal the compartments quite nicely. Also a pro for me is the attached lid BUT it’s not super easy for small kids to open and close well. Sometimes I get the lunchbox coming back in the lunch bag only partially closed which means….total mess if he didn’t finish his lunch or if I packed cottage cheese 😳. My biggest issue with this lunchbox is that it is plastic. Yeah, I don’t care if it’s BPA free or not, there are so many different types of plastic and most of it touching food is not great. Today it’s “BPA is bad for you” and tomorrow it will be another type of plastic that will slowly kill us. #notafanofplastic

U Konserve

(UKonserve divided rectangle is on the right, Thermos Funtainer on the left)

I actually have the divided rectangle and the “round nesting trio” pictured above. These containers are very affordable, fairly easy to open/close for little hands, made mostly of stainless steel, and dishwasher safe. My complaints for the divided rectangle is that it’s too small for an elementary lunch and the divider seems to shift sometimes (it’s meant to be removable and movable). The nested trio I use for snacks.

Plastic Divided Containers

I found these simple plastic divided containers on Amazon. 4 containers cost me about $16, so very affordable in my opinion. As you know, I’m not a big fan of plastic, but sometimes it comes in handy. I use these containers for certain outings or summer camps when I know that I would blow a gasket if my child lost a more expensive lunchbox and the odds of getting it back were close to zero. I also use them when we need something lightweight, like for hiking or carrying it around all day. The compartments don’t seal 100% and it’s a bit sketchy as to whether they get closed up tight after a meal. They are a great option if you are a family that likes to make multiple days of meals at once and store them in the fridge. (Also pictured is a silicone Squeasy Gear bottle which I will talk about under Accessories).

Lunch Bags

Well, not much to say here other than make sure you can fit the lunchbox and/or containers in it with room for an ice pack! PlanetBox lunchboxes are a hard fit for most of the lunchboxes you will find. I just buy their brand and have been pretty happy with them. And make sure the lunch bag fits into the child’s backpack!

Ice Packs

Gotta have one. Try Target. They seem to have all shapes and sizes. I would recommend saving some money this way instead of buying the ones that are brand specific.


Yay, the fun part! While I don’t recommend going crazy with accessories (kids will spend more time taking them out of the food then actually eating the food) I do think a few here or there can really make a child smile or be more engaged with their food. Heck, I even managed to quiz my child on spelling words without using technology and while miles away from him. Stumped? Just wait. Here are some of my favorites….

Bento Food picks So many options here. Just check out Amazon for a variety of choices. My favorites are listed. Food picks are great to dress up a strawberry into a little strawberry creature or to simply make mini skewers of olives and cheese (or anything else you want to string together.) It can add a lot of variety and creativity to how foods are presented in a lunch box. Kids are much more likely to eat an olive on the end of a cute eyeball pick then one that’s not! (Here you can see a few of the bento eye food picks…)

CutezCute Bento Eyes Design Food Pick (Set of 10), Black/White

1 X Japanese Bento Cute Food Pick 100 pcs – Clear and Slim by JapanBargain

Torune 26 Piece Japanese Bento Accessory Food Pick Letter Set

Silicone Muffin Cups (round/rectangle/square/star) These are great to add divided spaces to lunchboxes with larger compartments. While they won’t work for things with high liquid content, they are perfect for the toddler or child who doesn’t like their food groups touching. (In this lunchbox I used a green star shaped silicone muffin cup).

Ipow Thicken Silicone Cupcake Baking Muffin Cups Liners Molds Sets,24pack

PlanetBox Silicone Pods These can be purchased through PlanetBoxes website and they are SO helpful to create more compartments if wanted. **NOTE – they also fit perfectly in the LunchBots lunchboxes! Here you can see a yellow and green pod along with two orange silicone muffin cups.

Small containers with silicone lids I use the ones from PlanetBox that come with the lunchboxes but there are other brands that make similar small containers for dips or salad dressing or yogurt. Make sure they fit in your lunchbox (this is why I like PlanetBox – they come custom made for that lunchbox and work seamlessly together). This is also a great way to reduce your waste and get away from all the individually packaged disposable containers. #reuse #reduce

Here you can see a large Planet Box Dipper (silicone lid not pictured)

Squeasy Snacker Silicone Squeeze Bottles These come in a 3oz or 6oz size and are AMAZING for young kids and toddlers. They do a pretty good job of preventing messes when drinking (my 3 year old figured out the only way he could make a mess was to use it like a squirt bottle but other than THAT method they are pretty much mess-free!) They are dishwasher safe or very easy to hand wash and it’s food grade silicone! I like to make my popular chocolate spinach smoothie and put that in there as an accessory to a lunch. (The kids have no idea how much spinach I can hide in there!) You can also use these to make a homemade version of prepackaged versions like GoGurt. This will cut your child’s sugar intake by at least half! Here is a green 6oz Squeasy Snacker…

Thermos Funtainer For soups or dishes you want to send warm for lunch. 10oz size. (Funtainer is pictured on the right, with leftover Chipotle.) You heat the food first and then add it to the thermos. It’s easy to open, perfect size for kids and keeps the food nice and warm!

Random Small Dinosaurs Huh? Uh, yes. You know those tiny dinosaurs that kids get in party favor bags or as prizes? It doesn’t have to just be dinosaurs, any small toy can be used to add some pop to a lunchbox. I don’t use these things everyday but once in a while I do and son feels like he found a treasure in his lunchbox. I’m starting to think my 7 year old is a little “over it” but the 3 year old just loves the days I put a small dinosaur or planet or lego guy in his lunch. Go search your kids’ toy boxes and let your imagination go wild! (And wash the toys first! 😜)

I hope this gives you some great ideas! Making homemade lunches in reusable containers for your kids gives you the chance to offer them a balanced, nutritious meal to power their bodies and brains, saves you money (even after forking over the big bucks for the perfect lunchbox!), and reduces waste in the environment. It even saves them precious time by not having to wait in line to get a school lunch. With the average American child getting 20 minutes or less for lunchtime, these minutes saved is a big deal! Not to mention you can have a visual on how much and what they are eating for lunch.

Stay tuned for the next posts in this series. We still have a lot to cover!

Leftovers for Lunch


Toddler lunch, preschool lunch, school lunch or even for adults, this lunch is good for the whole family, especially people with food allergies or sensitivities as it is peanut free, nut free, gluten free and dairy free. 

Today we are using our Thermos Funtainer to keep honey sesame chicken with brown rice and broccoli warm. Since this is for my 2 year old I cut up all the food into small bite size pieces. The other containers pictured are Kids Konserve and have raspberries and coconut chips (chocolate and plain). You may want to check that your small child can open these containers by themselves before sending them to school, teachers are often very busy at lunch time and may not have time to open every child’s lunch stuff. 

1st grade! 

1 for #firstgrade! I can’t believe how fast we went from having a Kindergartener to having a first grader! Here’s his first day of school lunch…

Open faced sandwich on a potato bun with melted cheese and bacon (pre cooked over the weekend to speed up lunch prep). Pluot, carrots (with bento eyes- found on Amazon) and bell pepper “teeth” and cucumber eyes, #waybettersnacks sweet potato chips and gummy stars from #wholefoodsmarket. 


Sprouted and Toasted Pumpkin Seeds

Pumpkin Seeds  – also known as pepitas – are one of those things that I always forget about, suddenly remember how healthy they are and “why don’t I have any on hand?”, prepare them, and then can’t believe I forgot how amazing they taste! 

Pumpkins seeds are touted for containing high amounts of zinc and magnesium as well as vitamin E and protein. What does this mean for you and your kids? Zinc is great for many things, but heading into the school year I’m singing its praises as an immune booster. Magnesium is well known for its calming effects…your child’s teacher will praise you for this, and protein keeps bellies full longer so it makes a great snack.

How do you make them so scrumptious that your kids will not be able to say no to this nutritious snack? The key to unlocking the taste and health benefits is in the soaking so don’t skip this step…

Step 1: Soak seeds overnight (but no more than 24 hours) in room temperature water with a teaspoon of salt.

Step 2: Rins and pat dry. Combine with choice of oil and seasoning in a bowl. (See below for some suggestions). Coat seeds in mixture.

Step 3: Spread seeds one layer deep on parchment paper covered cookie sheet.

Step 4: Bake at 250-275 degrees F for about 30-40 minutes or until seeds start to turn a golden brown. Stir seeds every 10-15 minutes.*

Enjoy as a snack, over salads or cereal, or throw them in a lunchbox!

A Few Seasoning Combination Ideas (based on 1 cup of seeds used):

1) Cinnamon and Brown Sugar: 1 Tbsp butter (melted) + 1 tsp brown sugar + 1 tsp cinnamon + dash of sea salt

2) Sea Salt and Pepper: 1 Tbsp coconut oil (melted) + 1 tsp sea salt + 1/2 tsp pepper

3) Chili & Lime: zest of 1 lime + juice of 1/2 a lime + up to 1 Tbsp chili powder (depends on how spicy you want it) + 1/4 tsp sea salt

* This step is even better when done at a lower heat to preserve the nutrients – at 165/170 degrees – but many ovens don’t go this low anymore. Some studies say roasting above 200 degrees and more than 20min will damage some of the delicate oils in pumpkin seeds but on the other hand you won’t get the amazing nutty flavor. I find it hard to get the seeds to dry up and taste good in my (less than ideal) oven at temps lower than 200 degrees and less than 20 minutes.  

The Adult Lunchbox Experiments

My first “adult” lunch post! Granted, most of my lunchbox posts can be applied to adult lunches, but this one is slightly more mature. More “adult” lunchbox posts to follow will include food that might appeal to a more sophisticated palate or contain food that would be difficult for a toddler or young child to handle. Also, I would never send a young child to school with a Pyrex dish!  I’m excited to get some BPA-free plastic bento boxes in the mail tomorrow to play around with as well.  

Pictured here is a sprouted whole wheat tortilla with cream cheese, salami, pea shoots and tomatoes. Roasted pumpkin seeds (find the recipe for soaking and roasting your own here), caprese bites, cucumber, carrots, and green apple. #therealisticlunchbox #theadultlunchbox #nutfree 

How to Build a Nutritiously Balanced (and fun) Lunchbox

Here is what lunch prep looks like at my house.

Even though the little guy (age 2) doesn’t have school today, I’m still prepping his lunch at 7am because I have all the stuff out anyways. It saves time later and we bring it out and about with us so that after the gym we may just sit down at the grocery store and have our lunch there.  It gives me a lot more freedom with my mornings out because I feel like we can just stop whenever (and wherever) and have lunch instead of racing home. 

Someone asked about how my thought process works for making lunches….so here we go.  First I decide on the main protein source. Will it be some meat in a sandwich or tortilla wrap? Perhaps just cut up meat and cheese for crackers? Have we been eating a lot of meat recently and therefore I should switch it up for a hard boiled egg or perhaps a nut source of protein? After I decide on the star of the show (protein is so important for kids!) I next think to what will be the fruit and vegetable and as far as this goes my belief is the more the merrier. This is usually the artistic fun part because I always have several options in the fridge (unless it’s been more than a week since I’ve been to the store!) anything else on the lunchbox is all extra. 

Protein Ideas for the Lunchbox:

  • Lunch meat (in a sandwich or wrap or just plain)
  • Smoked salmon (in a sandwich or wrap or on the side – toddlers seem to like this!
  • Greek yogurt
  • Any type of nut butter (including sun butter which is OK for a nut-free setting)
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Hard boiled eggs or egg salad sandwich
  • Tuna or salmon salad (in a sandwich or by itself or served with crackers)
  • Cheese (on a sandwich or in a wrap or by itself with crackers)
  • Hummus, roasted chickpeas or anything else with legumes
  • A bar or muffin either store bought or homemade that is high in protein (check out the recipe here for scrumptious banana nut muffins that have 9g of protein per muffin!)

For more fun ideas to make your child’s (or your own) lunchbox nutritious and pleasing to the eye visit my Instagram account @therealisticlunchbox. Here are a few examples…


New Green Smoothie Recipe


I created  a new green smoothie recipe that I think is a winner, so of course I have to tell the world!


1 kiwi 

1 lemon (peel off) 

1 Apple (cored) 

12oz water 

about 2 cups loose spinach 

1 leaf kale 


Blend together in a Vitamix or other powerful blender.

Resut is 1 green smoothie packed full of Vit C (yes please I will take a dose of natural anti-inflammatory), folate (well sure I’d like to lower my risk for cardiovascular disease), antioxidants (let’s fight those pre-cancer cells), and minerals like calcium (🎶 dem bones dem bones…). It has a hint of a “green” taste but the sour of the lemon cuts it and the kiwi and apple add a hint of sweetness that is not too overpowering. I don’t like thick, sweet smoothies and this is almost more like a juice, but with the benefit of the fiber found naturally in the fruit and veggies. Raw fruits and vegetables provide your body with active enzymes and vitamins that are often destroyed by heat, so drink to your health!

Bubs, Bikkies and Beaches

We moved into our rental house for the duration of our stay here in Perth and this is our view from our master bedroom balcony… 

 Yup, we are staying THAT close to the beach!

The first few weeks here in Perth the weather has been amazing with midday temperatures in the low 70s and lots of sunshine. Even on the days of high 60s the boys still want to go to the beach. This is what many afternoons look like for us.

 It starts off like this… 

and then we get closer to the water, the clothes start coming off and there is no stopping them from getting their feet (and other parts) wet!  


 and then we end up like this…and by “we” I mean the kids…

I finally got a little smarter in packing ahead before leaving the house and I started stuffing swimsuits, towels, and extra clothes into our double stroller. 


I could go on and on about the beautiful beaches here. Even though it’s winter, we still found enough sunshine to dip our feet in (or whole bodies in the case of the kids – but they are crazy). There are tons of surfers and paddle boarders out on most days (wearing wetsuits) but also some brave locals or crazy tourists in just their swimmers. 
 And the sunsets are gorgeous…  

So there’s the “beaches” portion of the post, but life here isn’t all glorious beaches and superb sunsets. The picture taken here with my two boys sitting in the grass enjoying a sunset….that captured moment lasted about 90 seconds before they were back up and running around whining about being tired, cold and hungry (well that’s what they would be saying if their whining was translated). 

It’s been a tough transition with a husband working long hours (for all that we see him during the week he could just as well be travelling), a new house to settle into with very few toys and way too many buttons and touch screens at toddler level, an almost bare pantry, and no friends. However, we were extremely lucky to have incredibly helpful family living here in Perth and my brother visiting for 9 days as we settled in. If not for that, I would have lost my mind. I seem to remember my sleep-deprived self telling my husband in the first week or two of being here that the only thing stopping me from going back home was a 40+ hour journey alone with two little kids. Thank goodness I didn’t, because things have gotten much better. 
For one, we got a rental car! Perth has some great public transport but it really is a driving city. I was pretty horrified about the idea of just climbing into a car and driving around on the left side of the road, but after some reassuring words from my brother I set out to try. I was astonished at how quickly I adjusted. Now, about 3 weeks later I feel completely normal driving on the left. I laughed out loud the other day when I noticed this sticker on my windshield… 

Gee, thanks for the reminder. I’m pretty sure I shouldn’t be driving on the roads if I need this reminder every time I look up into the heavens for (help/reassurance/prayers answered)?

Also helping make our stay here more enjoyable is the delicous food! I love the European influence here. We found a local, organic butcher within walking distance where we can buy great quality meat, frozen pies (the kind with meat in them!) and other yummies. 


And they love treating the bubs (babies) well here. A specialty we like to treat the littles to is a Baby Cino (frothed milk) with bikkies (biscuits or cookies). 


We also found a local brewery called Little Creatures in Fremantle (the port city of Perth) that my 5 year old constantly asks to go back to because of this great kid-friendly aspect… 

  So we enjoy great beer while they can play in a sandbox! And of course, I’ve found the local bottle shop (liquor store).

All in all, we are settling in okay. Now if the current torrential downpours this weekend stop plying us with rain every hour or two I might venture out to procure some ingredients to make ANZAC bikkies. 

Next post follow us on our adventures in Perth’s Naturescapes!  

A Journey Like No Other- Part 2

Sometime between Thursday May 28th and Saturday May 30th

Ok, we made it on board the flight from SFO to Auckland without Air New Zealand weighing our carry-on luggage (which apparently they actually do quite frequently) and forcing us to check it, which would have been a pain since we had toys, food, and clothes for our 42 hour journey. Phew. After that hurdle was crossed reality of the next 12+ hours sunk in big time; we are going to be stuck on a plane with little kids. There will be no escape. I was trying to think positively, but it was hard. I’ve done this before with one child and it was really, really hard.

Our 5 year old was amazing, but we expected that. After all, he IS a world traveller many times over. Heck, he’s even been down under. But our 18 month old? Well, how can I say it…he’s not like his brother. He was pretty good consider the spectrum of what could have happened, but our flight was overnight and uninterrupted sleep, even for an hour or two, was not on his flight plan.

Air New Zealand does have this “sky couch” configuration where three economy seats have little footrests that come up to be flush with the seat part to create a platform from seat back to the seats in the row ahead. Then the flight attendants lay down a mattress pad and give you feather down pillows and wool blankets. Sounds amazing, right? Well, it would have been if my young sleeping companion had felt the same way! I finally woke up my husband half way into the 12 hour flight and demanded a switch in sleeping arrangements. I was hopeful that although not a perfect nigh’ts sleep, I would have a chance to get about 5 hours of fairly restful sleep still. Wrong again. “Mommy, I need to go to the bathroom”, “Mommy, I’m thristy”, “Mommy….”…and on and on and on. While these are all valid reasons for my 5 year old to interrupt my sleep, at this point I’m running on fumes and my patience is nonexistant. Thankfully I didn’t cause permament psychological damage with my less than amiable retorts (I hope?) So went the 12 hour flight. No sleep for the parents, fitful sleep for the 18 month old, and a good solid 8-9 hours of sleep for the 5 year old. 

The other issue we encountered with this flight was that our 18 month old struggles with a dairy sensitivity and since I’m still nursing him, that means I am also dairy-free. When we called Air New Zealand to request special meals, they replied that they would make a note of it in our file but couldn’t guarantee these meals. They also wouldn’t allow us a bit of extra weight to accommodate the extra meals we would have to take with us. This was pretty frustrating, and was even more frustrating when the meal carts came and there was no mention of our request. So basically they offered me fruit (and called it very filling, I don’t what these flight attendants eat normally but fruit alone does NOT fill me up.) So the toddler and I ate fruit and summer sausage I had brought. Did I mention I hate flying?

So we made it to Auckland. It was 5:45am local time when we arrived and completely dark (this pic was taken later in the day). My biological clock was so screwed up I had no idea what day it was, or what time of day it was. My brain was so fried from being awake for about 30 hours at this point I didn’t know left from right or up from down. But I was hungry! 

After eating some breakfast (or dinner? or lunch? still not sure what meal that was) we explored the Auckland airport looking for a place to set up camp – we were going to be there for 8.5 hours. After realizing that the airport was super small and all the good sleeping areas were taken, we proceeded to take over aquire some seats in a group where we only displaced politely asked a couple people to move. Funny thing is, as the hours passed and the kids ran around and (mostly) used inside voices, the seats surrounding us became more and more vacant (probably just a lot of flights leaving – couldn’t have been our lovely overtired children causing a raucous).

One thing I did find rather nice about the Auckland airport was the fantastic “Parent Rooms” they have. It’s basically a family bathroom but they have thought of everything. Nursing/changing stalls, child and adult size toilets, sinks and drinking fountains and most importantly – a tiny ENCLOSED playroom where I could stash my children while I used the facilities (my husband was off dealing with said stroller incident). Let me tell you, that was one of the most stress-free trips to the bathroom I have EVER had with kids. I can’t even pee by myself in my own home!


 We passed the time by coloring (mostly on the paper), blowing bubbles, playing with trinkets, eating, trying to alternate sleeping, drinking coffee (because the sleeping didn’t work), eating, walking miles and miles in the airport to put the extremely overtired toddler to sleep and filing a damage complaint with the airline. Uh yeah, you read correctly. As if we didn’t have enough to deal with, Delta had damaged the handle bar of our stroller (which was annoying but it still functioned) but then Air New Zealand damaged our wheels so that our double jogging stroller was more of a limping, wobbly baggage cart (still functional but not as I needed it once we got to Perth!) They were pretty accomodating and told us to take the stroller to a Phil and Ted retailer in Perth and bill the repairs to the airline. Sounded straight forward so we agreed. (More on that later.)


I think they were so tired of being around us that they needed thier space.        

    So we finally made it through the LONG layover and it was time to complete the last leg – a short flight of 7.5 hours (well it seemed short after the 12 hour flight!) to Perth. At this point we didn’t even care if they made a fuss over carry-on weight, I would have ripped them a new one. Seriously. I felt like this flight had the potential of being the best one yet. We had the sky couches again and both kids wanted to sleep. Wrong again. About half an hour or so into the flight I was trying to settle the toddler to sleep and he was fighting it like a rockstar. We were almost to zzzz land when out of no where he starts vomiting. Holy %$#@ (fill in whatever you like there). I did NOT see this coming. At first I thought it might have been because the smoothie we had in Auckland contained yogurt even though we had requested no dairy. At the time I was mildly pissed off when I tasted my toddler’s almost finished portion and realized there was yogurt! But now I wondered if he was reacting to the dairy by vomiting or was this something else? Now I wanted to rip Auckland smoothie-girl a new one too. But maybe he just needed to get it out of his system? Well, 5 hours later he was still vomiting and looked like hell. We were kind of freaking out now. It’s a powerless feeling when your child is sick but then take that scenario 35,000 feet in the air over an ocean and it’s a whole different feeling. The flight attendants even paged a doctor. 

Finally, with about an hour left in the flight, he fell asleep and stopped vomiting. Now we were not only worried about his health but also that the flight attendants were talking about possible quarantine upon arrival. Australia is really strict about these things, especially with the Ebola outbreak.

The poor little guy kept throwing up so much he had on only a diaper in this picture. He just lay there limp in our arms as we dressed him before exiting the plane. After about an hour more of getting luggage, filling out the forms we hadn’t had a chance to on the plane, and going through customs we left the airport and found our way to our apartment. We were a mess. Once again, family saved the day! My aunt lives in Perth and she stepped right into the role my own mother would have filled; bought us basic groceries, helped put the kids to bed, sought out dinner, the list goes on. What a wonderful feeling when someone just knows how to step in and care for you. It felt a little like home.

Thankfully, our sick little guy had stopped vomiting and had wet his diaper in the night so we didn’t have to worry as much about dehydration and hospital visits. And for all the worried moms out there reading this, he was much better the next day…not himself yet but better nonetheless.

42 hours, 3 planes, 1 illness and 0 hours sleep for the parents later and we are half way around the world. I am NEVER doing this again until my kids are older! Ummm, except for the trip to Italy next summer to celebrate a family member’s wedding…which we just found out about (the location) on the heels of this nightmare trip. Oh, and to get home in a couple months (cringe).

PS I would like to make it known that I titled this post BEFORE I realized how true it was to be.

Stay tuned for our first few days of adventure in Perth! (I will try to keep the posts shorter and incorporate more about food – especially my trials and tribulations over ordering coffee!)