Monday, January 27, 2014

Eek! New Home!

It has been quite the busy and stressful season. The last couple of weeks have been exciting, stressful, and exhausting. Why? Because I decided to buy a new home! Yay me!

Before we officially move in we are getting the house painted and ready. No need to live there with all the mess around. It was decided that to make the transition smoother on my toddler, the decor from the old house would just move into the new house. Not too much will change. Plus I love the choices we made on the first house and it will help me keep sane with my new budget. The one change I’m thrilled for is to get some extra room in the kitchen. Now let’s just hope I have time to actually do some cooking. I feel I've neglected those duties for quite some time now. Hopefully as I finish moving in I’ll find some time to get back to the blog. I’m excited to share all the new products I've tried! Plus of course an awesome giveaway!

Friday, January 17, 2014

Vacation Over - Back to Reality

This past week I was up for a challenge. A vacation that included taking my 20 month old. We were invited to my best friend's wedding in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. For a long time I toyed with the idea of leaving Maddie behind. But for 5 days? Could I really do that? The answer was simply no. I'm too is she. So I decided to go ahead and get her a passport. The next thing that came up is do I buy her a seat or carry her on my lap. Being that she is still under two years old she could fly on my lap. Well let's take advantage of this opportunity, especially since there was no need to carry a car seat as we would not be driving any where. Plus let's face it, she was going to want me to carry her all the way there anyway. Well for a hundred bucks Maddie went to Mexico and back! Sweet.

Packing for a toddler is not an easy feat. With diapers, wipes, and snacks taking up most of the suitcase, there wasn't much room for anything else. Okay, I made sure I could fit everything, but it was tight. The good thing about traveling to a warm climate is that swimsuits, dresses, and shorts don't take up much room. We ended up using everything except for 2 outfits and 5 about cutting it close. Luckily if we did need more items we were close enough to town to go shopping.

I was worried mostly about the other passengers on the plane. What if I ended up with a fussy, crying toddler in air?! Well Maddie was just perfect! Thank goodness. Apparently no one even knew she was on the plane till we got off. She slept for half the flight, and entertained herself with the iPad, thank you Apple! The flight back she was as close to perfect as she could be due to the fact that on our last night there she got a little sick. Luckily before we even sat down on the plane a gentleman who was to sit next to us found an empty seat somewhere else, thus freeing up a seat for Maddie. So on the flight home, she got to sit in her own seat - giving me a small break from carrying her. Again sleeping half the flight.

We had a wonderful time at the wedding. Everything seemed to just go by too fast. Wish I would have had more time with the bride, but at some point I lost her and couldn't find her (as she was off taking her pre-wedding pics). Maddie decided the ceremony was the best time for a nap, which I was completely happy with! At the reception she and her new "bff" danced the night away. And then I danced the night away carrying a sleeping baby (ouch, my back)!

I wish I could have stayed longer. Both for hanging out with the BFF and enjoying the warm weather (as Chicago experienced one of its coldest winters ever - did someone say Polar Vortex). But alas reality has called and we must go back to the daily grind.

Tips for traveling with a toddler:

1. Don't - just kidding. Of course you should bring them with!
2. Bring along their favorite toys and books (or iPad). We brought about a backpack full of toys to use both at the beach/pool and on the plane/room. Her favorites "Baby" and "Elmo" we brought along because we new if they got lost we could try and replace. Those are her comfort toys (along with her blanket).
3. Make sure you know about how many diapers you use in a day and add 5 to it, just in case. I think I would have barely had enough had it not been for the fact that we also had to bring swim diapers.
4. Bring snacks, as TSA allows you to bring baby food and drink on board an in your suitcase. Especially when going out of the country. You never know if baby will want to eat the food available at the resort.
5. Take pictures, but remember to live in the moment. I had to stop myself from taking too many pictures. I think I took enough and was able to enjoy it more not worrying about "capturing" a moment. Click, it's in my memory.
6. Instead of a diaper bag I brought a drawstring bag where I was able to fit our pool stuff and her necessities. Diaper bags get to bulky and heavy.
7. And the best decision was to bring along an umbrella stroller! Life saver. Light, no extra charge, and folded up easily to fit everywhere.

Here are a couple of pictures from our vacation:
Excited for her first flight - International Traveler- Impressive!

My Best Friend's Wedding

Our View - Ocean Side