My Nephew is a Marine!

Over the weekend, I did a trek to San Diego to watch my oldest nephew graduate from Marine Boot Camp. My nephew, Malik, has come a long way and there was a time where I honestly wasn’t sure if he would make anything of himself. Now, I’m not saying that to bash him (I love the kid) but sometimes you have to be real on someone’s progress.

I’m proud to say Malik has definitely turned his life around and joined the Marines. Before I’ll share personal photos, I had to prepare Bear for an overnight stay and long road trip.

Maks couldn’t come with us because of work commitments so it was all on me to make sure Bear was prepared. Google Maps told me it was going to be a three-hour long drive from Pasadena (it’s normally two hours but add in traffic and there was a ton of it, it became 3 1/2 hours).

On that note, I had to make sure Bear had enough to entertain himself when we were on the road. Let’s go with my personal tips on how to keep your kid(s) entertained and you sane.

1. Bathroom break before the road.

This one is pretty much a given. Everyone should void their bowels. But in case emergencies arrive (and trust, they will), always keep something handy:

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I’ll admit we didn’t even use this when we were potty-training Bear and he just went from Pull-Ups to the toilet on his own volition (more on that in a later post). However, we decided to keep this because we do travel a lot on the road and it’s just easier in case Bear needs to go and there aren’t any rest stops or restaurants he needs to go to.

To purchase the Lil’ Loo, click here.

2. Pack all of their favorite entertainment.

We recently purchased the Kids Kindle for Bear and he absolutely loves it. We also have his other iPad with newer games. But we also have good ol fashioned entertainment such as books:

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And let’s not forget Minecraft:

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To purchase Minecraft, click here.

3. Snacks. They’re pretty much mandatory.

Sometimes fast food options are not available and even if you don’t like fast food, you probably have to drive a while before you hit a restaurant. I recently purchased a new lunchbox for Bear and boy, did it come in handy for the trip!

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Fun fact: Bear hasn’t seen Incredibles 1 or 2 but he really wanted the lunchbox.

To purchase, click here.

So, I loaded up Bear’s lunchbag full of his favorite snacks on top:

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And his drinks on the bottom:

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In hindsight, I should’ve packed more snacks because all of this was gone by the end of the night.

Onto my nephew graduating from boot camp! It was a fun and exciting day. I’ve never been to a military graduation before so I was super excited to go to one. Malik plans to make a career in the Marines.

Here are the family pics for your enjoyment:

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Bear with his cousin, Kaiden. 
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Malik with his grandmothers, Suzy, and Sharon (my mother).
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Malik with his mom and my sis-in-law, Audrey, younger brother, Kaiden, and grandfather (my dad). 
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Malik with his dad, my older brother, Tahari.
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Malik with me! I got him to smile! 

It was a fun trip, though it was quite the drive to San Diego. We stayed at the Town and Country hotel and while they were undergoing renovations, it wasn’t bad for the price but I’m not entirely sure I would stay there again.

The hotel did have a cute vibe, tho:

And Bear, along with Minecraft, enjoyed the view:

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Overall, I had a blast and so did Bear. Can’t wait for our next road trip!

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