Traveling With a 7 Month Old

Tuesday, April 30, 2013
If you have been following my posts, you are well aware that I was freaking out to put it lightly about Parker's first trip on the plane. In her 7 months of life she has yet to have an ear infection, which I thank her lucky stars each night for because is there anything worse than a baby with throbbing ears? It makes me ache just thinking about it. Anyways, I was insanely worried about Parker's ears hurting bothering her from all the pressure on the plane. I read... and read... and read so many articles about travelling with a baby. About what to do on take off and landing, what to dress them in, what to bring with you, etc etc. I left the house the morning of our trip feeling pretty prepared.

We shipped a lot of our things down to make the navigation through the airports a little easier. Matt's parents found a company that rents out super nice (and clean) baby equipment. They graciously rented a pack-and-play, bouncer, and a few other items so that we didn't have to worry about shipping ours down. If you re reading this, thank you again, Nana and Baba! Among the items we shipped were our clothes, bedding for the pack-and-play and the breast pump. We checked the car seat/base as well as a suitcase that held cosmetics, shampoo, yaddayadda. We packed Parker's diaper bag full of diapers, wipes, extra clothes (she is the QUEEN of inconvenient blowouts), a book, a few of her favorite toys as well as one of my her favorite stroller blankets to cuddle and cover up with on the flight. In reality we would have been fine with just bringing along one diaper, wipes, and a blanket since she was fascinated by my water bottle for an hour of the flight and slept the other hour, but it doesn't hurt to come prepared!

I insisted that we get the seat in the very last row of the plane just in case she was fussy so that we didn't annoy any of the passengers. As it turns out, that wasn't necessary either. Plus when we looked out the window we could only see the engine. It is the weirdest feeling not being able to see where you are when they are landing the plane. I can't tell you how many times I thought we were going to touchdown before we actually did, my body felt like it was bracing for an hour. I was sure I was going to get dirty looks from a lot of people thinking that they had to sit next to a probable crying baby, but everyone seemed to enjoy her just as much as she enjoyed them! I dressed Parker in a plain white long sleeve onesie and leg warmers which was the optimum outfit for changing her diaper on the plane. We didn't have to worry about taking off her pants, dropping the pants on the dirty floor, having someone tip over their coffee which would then spill on her pants, leaving us with a cold legged cranky baby.

I nursed Parker during take off and landing and she slept, smiled at old men and played with her water bottle for the remainder of the flight. There was a one year old sitting across the aisle from us throwing fits and I kept looking at Parker expecting her to catch wind and chime along, but she would just look back at me with her big open mouth smile and continued playing with her sock. Also to add to this success story, she didn't have a blowout the entire flight! That is a huge feat coming from the girl who blew out of her pristine white gown minutes before her baptism.

The trip home, I was much more confident knowing what to expect, and we did get a seat near a window so that she could look at the clouds. She got fussy a couple times during the flight but calmed right back down when we fed her. Also, she kept starring at the guy next to us who wouldn't for the life of him look in her direction. To say she was skeptical of him is an understatement.

My takeaways from our first flight with the baby are as follows. Nursing/feeding during takeoff and landing I think really helped with the pressure. She didn't fuss once and it is an easy way to make sure that she is sucking in that time frame. In the weeks leading up to the trip, I practiced changing her on my lap. Easy access to diapers and wipes was essential. If you can in any way take your baby pant less, whether it be with leggings or a dress, do it! It really made changing a breeze. Lastly, relax. I was so concerned about disturbing the people sitting next to us that I was stressing myself out. It only took 5 minutes before I stopped worrying, and started focusing on Parker's new experiences.

I am by no means an expert when it comes to bringing up a child. We usually turn to our go-to method of winging it and things typically turn out pretty well. I think it's important to just go with what you know works and what feels right for both you and your baby. Hopefully this post was able to help some of you with your first trips with the little ones in tow.

Here's to surviving Parker's first flight!

Expedition Success!

Sunday, April 28, 2013
We are home! Our mini vacation seems like it was over in a blink of an eye, don't they always? Even though it was a quick four days in Florida, this trip might go down as my favorite. It's crazy how since Parker was born, things seem 1000000x better. I was biting my lip for a good week prior to our trip, mentally prepping for the worst but Parker did SO WELL! I feel like she's already earned her own car because she was so well behaved. The flight that I was worried about? Peanuts! She loved smiling and cooing at the other passengers on the plane and discovered her love of water bottles. When we landed she was just so happy to be in the warm weather I found myself seriously contemplating talking to Matt about moving - ha! More details about flying with a baby and the prettiest beach baby I've ever seen are to come!

Here are some teasers - look at those legs!

But for now it's time to unpack (even with Parker, I don't see how this task can be enjoyable) and start new spring projects. this one!

Here's to a successful vaca and the happiness of being home.

Bump in the Road

Wednesday, April 24, 2013
Fun fact of the day. Who knows the proper form of ID that airlines require for babies to board a flight? Well, approximately 20 minutes ago our answer would have been 'birth certificate', too. We like to refer to it as the one form of Parker's that we are pretty sure does not exist. 

I should mention that we forget things A LOT around here. I can't begin to tell you how many times I forget my phone in Parker's diaper bag or need to run back into her school to grab my car keys that I left on the table in her room. Naturally, we didn't start looking for the infamous birth certificate until 18-ish hours before we board our flight. That's how we roll in this Last-Minute-Larry household.

After an hour of frantic searching (on Matt's part), and a few monotone operators later, we were elated to hear that our Florida trip didn't need to be cancelled after all, and that since she was still so young she wouldn't need ID. Seriously, such a relief. I am still coming down from the mental storm going on in my head.

We still have not found Parker's birth certificate but we did stumble across a few items that we kept from our time in the hospital after she was first born. I'm not ashamed to say that one of the items we found was in fact her belly button. She's really going to hate us when she gets older.

We're pretty excited over here! I will be sure to update you all on how it goes on our first plane ride with a baby. Thank you again for all the tips and advice! xx

Packing the Baby

Monday, April 22, 2013
I never thought that I would see the day where I would catch myself smiling like a fool while packing for vacation (aside from being stoked for warmer weather). I'm sure I'll be whistling a different tune a couple more trips down the line, but for now I couldn't love it more. I started packing Parker's outfits (including her bitty bathing suits!) and all of her other traveling essentials and have come to the conclusion that it is without a doubt, the cutest bag of clothes and shoes that I've ever set my eyes on. It's like my wardrobe, only miniature. When picking out her outfits, I like to stick to the motto of would I wear this? If the answer is yes, it's packed.

My personal favorite are the mustard high waisted shorts with the matching headband! The headband came as part of the JamesonMonroe subscription and when I opened it, I almost did a double backflip. I immediately thought of these shorts and how perfect they would go together. 

Girl is going to 

Here's to baby bag packing being so much more fun than packing my own. Oy.

Sunday lax-day

Sunday, April 21, 2013
Sunday already? The weekends are starting to become nothing if not a blur! We have tons of last minute things that we need to do before our trip coming up in just four short days. I'm seriously in need of some sunshine since we've been forced to stay inside all week because of the non stop downpours.

April showers bring DOODLE FLOWERS!

Our 30 second weekend consisted of lunch with my parents, where we discovered we have a bat baby on our hands. As in a baby that prefers to hang upside down. She loved being carried around the house with her head flipped over as she 'chased' everyone around the house. Terrifying!

She also was quite the hit at my cousins baby shower! She wore the cutest purple plaid shirt dress with gray tights and I am super bumming that I didn't snap a picture of her in it. My April resolution is to take more pictures. Parker loved hanging with all the girls and was non-stop flashing her two toothed smile. We are so excited to meet baby Lucas!

As for today, we have plans of a stroll around the hood, laundry for days and a salmon and quinoa dinner! And apparently a nap for baby and pup. Here's to Sunday lax-day!

Cruisin' the Neighborhood

Wednesday, April 17, 2013
Why is it that when spring rolls around, I immediately feel that there aren't enough hours in the day anymore?! We have been running around like crazy the past couple weeks and I feel like nothing is getting accomplished. Maybe because the weather has been starting to warm up and I keep finding excuses to take Parker outside to introduce her to new things that she was too little to actually focus her eyes on in the fall after she was born.

When there is laundry that needs to be taken care of, you can find me instead strapping the babe into the stroller and taking her out around the neighborhood! If you asked me what is the one baby item that I obsess over the most, it's Parker's stroller. After loads of research (usually a good week's reading of reviews prior to purchasing a baby product), we decided to go with the Uppa Baby Vista Stroller! This sucker is major. I think the point where I was sold is when I found out that it can cart around three kiddos at once! Not that I could imagine myself pushing three kids down the street, however I did find that fact pretty impressive. 

The stroller came with a bassinet for wee babies, and an upright seat for when they are sitting up on their own. In the fall after Parker was born, I would take her in the bassinet and that's when I discovered that the girl straight up wanted nothing to do with it. I found this out while she and I were out walking around the neighborhood right when she was around four weeks. Things started off perfect, she was bundled in the bassinet sound asleep for a good mile, then something changed in the air, she woke up and started screaming. And kept screaming. Obviously never being in this situation before I had no idea what to do and was borderlined panicked so I stopped maybe eight times, to pick her up in hopes to calm her down. It worked for a couple steps but then she would start right back up. 40 minutes and one stressed out mama later, we were back at home - holy mother.

Parker's first walk in her stroller through the house. We've all done it!

Needless to say it took me a while to try that again, but when we did I tried attaching her car seat with the car seat adaptor to the stroller - worked like a charm! Up until last week we've been using her car seat and she loved it. I think it helped that she wasn't laying flat on her back and was sitting at an incline.

Something the manufacturer didn't warn me about - this stroller also makes a GREAT makeshift shopping bag holder during big shopping trips.I'm also pretty sure the diaper bag has stroller straps that allow it to strap on to the handle bar but as you see in exhibit A., I haven't quite figured it out yet.

This past week we decided to put the upright seat on the stroller and never looked back. Apparently it lulls her right to sleep in addition to solving the problem we were having with the sun being in her eyes (even though we did find her some super cute sunglasses). I am so looking forward to more spring days to take on the neighborhood again with that sweet face. Here's to FINALLY spring!

Introducing Real Food

Sunday, April 14, 2013
First of all, THANK YOU to everyone who emailed, commented and text traveling tips and encouragement from my last post! I've gathered so many great ideas and hopefully they all work out as great for us as they did for you! Your support truly means the world to me, so thank you thank you thank you! We're just a couple items on the checklist away from being ready for our vacay!

Aren't these little aviators the cutest?! Move over baby swimsuits, mama's got a new obsession.

Parker turned 6 months on April 1st (seriously?). We decided that we would start introducing solids to her exclusive breast milk diet on her 6 month birthday birth anniversary. Exclusively breastfeeding has been and continues to be the biggest emotional roller coaster that I've ever experienced, but that's another post for another day.

After reading through tons (and tons and tons and tons) of articles on introducing solids, I decided to head to the local Wegmans and stock up on the what seemed like the entire organic baby food isle. I had no intention on being 'that mom' who fed her baby organic everything but as it turns out, I am.

The night before Parker turned 6 months, she was eyeballing Matt and I eating our Jimmy Johns informally on the couch (a regular occurrence in our household), super uncomfortable and pitiful at the same time (such a sucker). I decided that it was a perfect time to give Miss Doodle-icious oatmeal. I poured out maybe 1.5oz of breast milk and mixed it with I think 1tbsp of oatmeal (totally winging it with the little knowledge that I picked up from my readings - 'you want it soupy!' was pretty much my only take-away) and added a little dash of optimism in hopes that she would go bonkers over her new cuisine. One messy spoonful, and baby girl was hooked! She LOVED it. With each spoonful she would howl at us with huge eyes and we could not get it in her mouth fast enough. Luckily we caught it on camera and I die every time I watch it.

Over the course of the next 2 weeks we gradually gave Parker oatmeal twice a day. Tonight, however I wanted to try something different and give avocados a go - resorting to our tried and true winging it method. They are smooth, mild, and mama loves them so of course Parker would love them too, right? That's a big green fat no. One spoonful and she made the most disgusted face and spit it out all over herself. Good thing she looks good in green because at that moment there was no way she was going to let me feed her another teaspoon. Okay, crossed avocados off the list. What's next? Mangoes - Okay. Sweet, smooth - she'll love it! Another big fat no - only this time it was a weird brown. Making the same disgusted face accompanied with her tired cry, my attempt was defeated and Parker was back to her preferred diet of the house white. 

Tomorrow's a new day and with a new day comes new opportunity for feedings! We're going to try mixing the fruit in her oatmeal because surely fruit oatmeal has to be better than plain. I can't be certain on how that is going to go over with her, but I do know one thing is certain - girl knows how to get what she wants. Here's to learning along the way!

Traveling with the Babe

Tuesday, April 9, 2013
It's starting to get warmer out (finally) and we couldn't be more excited! During what seemed like the longest winter in existence,  Parker Doodle and I have been fighting the cold weather blues and have been snagging up a some of the most perfect swimsuits. I am beyond amped that she will be able to get some use out of them in a few weeks! We are taking our first real trip with the babe to Florida at the end of April to visit with Matt's parents whom we miss so much (FaceTime just won't cut it anymore).

They sent us Parker's first Easter basket and needless to say, it was a huge hit!

I am dying to get her in her shorts and sundresses and see her initial reaction to the ocean! The only part that I'm dreading? Traveling with baby. How do I even pull that off with the car seat, stroller,  security checks, dealing with pressure during take off and landing, the list goes on and on. I can't begin to wrap my head around it. I've been reading up on countless articles and have all but mastered the technique of changing her on my lap, however if there are some magic tips you'd like to pass along that saved your sanity while traveling baby in tow in the past, I would be beyond grateful! Here's to hopefully, an easy breezy trip. x

Parker's Nursery Tour

Sunday, April 7, 2013
I have been planning this post for probably just over 6 months, however it has taken me so long to put these pictures up because it never felt like it was 100% complete, but thinking about it some more over the weekend I realized that it will probably never be 100% complete. On Saturday I had some free time to clean up the nursery and make sure that the room was EXTRA tidy. Don't get me wrong, her room is the cleanest room in the house however if you stop by unannounced any day of the week, you will find a pile of spit covered clothes piled up by the changing table.

Matt and I decided to not find out the sex of our baby during the pregnancy. Ballsy - absolutely. So with this being the case, we could either go with the traditional yellow or white pallet OR we could go bonkers and shoot for a modern black and white baby theme for the nursery. Immediately I knew that I wanted to go with black and white - with stripes - and a white bear head on the wall - oh, and a zebra rug. It all came together beyond amazing in my head, however after the painter left and the black and white stripes sank in, guess who picked up the phone and told their boyfriend that perhaps their CC (Creative Control - yours truly)  had made a mistake. After some talking, we decided to leave it for a couple months and that we would redesign if necessary after the baby came/after we knew if our bundle was a boy or girl.

A month went by, the nursery furniture moved in and naturally I changed my mind again and fell back in love with the W+B concept. With some inspiration from Pinterest and a little I-have-no-idea-what-this-is-going-to-look-like-but-I-like-the-idea-of-it mentality, I present to you... Parker's nursery.

This dresser was my great grandmother's . I've had it for years, sanded and repainted it, taken it to NYC and back and it now resides in our baby girl's nursery. 

Parker's very own VIP lounge. This is the latest hot spot for some pretty intense after parties with the babe and I. We've even got bottle service until you pass out!  

I am pretty obsessed with Jellycats stuffed animals - if you had to purchase one stuffed animal for your baby, niece, nephew etc. make it a Jellycat. They are beyond adorable and so soft you may try to take it for yourself (speaking from experience).

I love this little station on the changing table. I have a sick affinity for apothecary jars. I think that they are a pretty solution to any home decor issue - such as the dilemma I had when trying to figure out how to store Parker's headbands. I thew them in a jar one day and loved the way it looked. The little lamb on the table is also a God send because it makes the entire room smell like baby. It's strategically placed where the room needs it most. 

Here's to a little dose of cuteness to kickstart your week! x

Teething Baby!

Friday, April 5, 2013
 I like to think that Matt and I were blessed with the most amazingly awesome little girl. Parker Lulu turned 6 months old on April 1st and in the past 6 months I can't begin to tell you how many hours we spend just starring at her while she jumps like a maniac in her exersaucer or when she's doing her long, low pitched howls (which by the way we're still trying to figure out what she's trying to accomplish with that one). Either way, we know that we are beyond blessed and that rest assured our next baby will be a straight up crazy because that's how it works right?

See what I mean? Amazing.
Headband, leggings (Gap, last seson), onesie (Gap, last season)

Why am I so impressed with our Doodle today? Well, when I picked her up from 'school', her 'teachers' told me that she was cutting teeth! I on the other hand had no idea that they were coming in. I've read tons and tons of articles about babies cutting their first tooth and I was sure that although very drooly, she couldn’t be cutting teeth yet because 1. she was still sleeping sound through the night, 2. she wasn't cranky or crying randomly throughout the day, and 3. she wasn't getting low grade fevers, colds, and everything else that comes with a teething infant. I can chalk it up to my lack of experience being a first time mom but I honestly was oblivious to her new little chompers. However, as soon as they told me that, I started examining her little gums and low and behold, a small little sharp white tooth was there occupying her lower gum! Although it's a natural part of life, I couldn’t stop thinking about how proud I was of her. Even though you might not see it, it's there. Here's to a tooth!

*Update: I just told one of my friends about Parker's new tooth and she was one breath away from a freak out when she told me about her daughter's new philosophy of loosing teeth. Her daughter lost her first tooth a few days ago and said that the Tooth Fairy takes the tooth that she lost and then gives it to a new baby. How cute is that?! Coincidence that Parker got a new tooth? Thank you, Julia! x
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