Thursday, May 23, 2013

New Parent Survival Guide

keith and i were so excited when we found out two of our close friends were expecting their first child this spring. they broke the news to us over the december holiday right after kingston was born. we are so happy for them and wanted to share everything we had learned about becoming new parents. we probably overwhelmed them with all our recently learned baby info. since they live on the west coast  we decided to ship them a care package with all the items we could not live without the first few months, instructions on how we like to use them and a homemade a video. 
i registered for the cloud b travel size sleep sheep and it took me two weeks after kingston was born to remember that it was as noise machine. duh. total mommy brain. 
everything tagged and labeled
our instructions included a few notes that we learned along the way
a few things just for mama


xoxo, beth-ann

Monday, May 20, 2013

Five Months

sleeping. sort of. it does not happen much during day light hours, but this day......magic and i caught it on digital film.
i had to stop myself from kissing you
ha. that hand is cracking me up
goodnight my love (until 2 am)
xoxo, beth-ann

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Thursday, May 16, 2013

Have Infant Will Road Trip

no. 1 baby delight snuggle nest : no. 2 beco baby carrier : no. 3 mini badger baby balm : no. 4 travel cloud b sleep sheep : no. 5 aden +anais burp cloths : no. 6 hello baby books : no. 7  babyganics mini hand sanitizer face, hand and bottom wipes and extra gentle shampoo and body wash : no. 8 :bumbleride indie stroller and carryingcot

four months and  keith and i have had two successful road trips with our little guy. we spent a long relaxing weekend in maine with family and friends and most recently a week in north conway. both trips were easier and more relaxing than expected. i think a little planning, realistic expectations,  and rolling with whatever limits baby set, helped us enjoy our time away from home. 

on our honeymoon in greece i spotted this adorable european couple with their infant saddled on dad's back and mom with what looked like a backpack full of what they needed for the day. the little family was smiling, enjoying the sunshine and beautiful views. it was at that moment that i knew what kind of parents i hoped we would be. the image of that family remains with me. it reminds me to relax and try to continue life as usual, even with this huge challenge. Of course, traveling with the newest member of our family takes extra effort, but i think it's totally worth it. here are the things i try to keep in mind before and during our road holidays:

1. travel light:

i know traveling light seems impossible with an infant, but think about things that can perform double duty and wearing things more than once or twice. i actually kept all this in mind when selecting items that we would use on a daily basis. 

no. 1 the baby delight is what our little one slept in for the first two and half months at home. it folds up and provided a familiar sleeping environment anywhere. 

no. 2 the beco baby carrier, a carrier can make life so much better if baby is already use to hangout in it. i wear my guy almost everyday. not always for long periods but at least for a little while even if is just to pass the vacuum around the house or go for a walk. 
no. 3 badger baby balms come in these cute little tins so small it is a regular in our diaper bag. i spread it on baby's cheeks if we are outside and under his nose before bed. he recognizes the calming aroma and it seems to help him relax.
no. 4 originally i was going to purchase the standard size sleep sheep noise machine. i heard so many good things about the product but than i found out that they made a travel size version. he sleeps with this guy on "waves" every night. the pint size attaches right to the car seat and is perfect for a baby on the go. 
no. 5 aden + anais burp cloths double as bibs. a gift from my sister in law that knows her brother all too well. they are super soft and take up little room in the diaper bag. 
no. 6 hello, bugs! hello, animals! these book have high contrast images that provide baby with some interesting eye candy. we use them in the car and in restaurants to combat baby boredom. 
no. 7 babyganics products are great for mommy and daddys on the go. my little man's thoughtful auntie  has gifted us many of their products. the baby wipes can be used all over, the mini hand sanitizer has a permeant place in out diaper bag and we all use the shampoo and body wash in one while away form home. 
no. 8 the bumbleride indie stroller and *carrying cot. i researched strollers like crazy when i found out i was pregnant. i finally decided on the india and boy i am not disappointed. i can't say enough about this mover and shaker.  we have been giving it a run for its money for four months and i still love it. we pushed him in stores, for long walks and even through snow in new hampshire. the carrying cot can easily be added for bedtime. prior to this trip we took long walks with him in the cot so he was use to taking cozy naps in it. please keep in mind he is not rolling yet and he is always swaddled at bedtime.  

*my friend is a craigs list expert and sent my the link to the carryingcot and footmuff. it was a great find. we still use both pieces.  

2. preplanning:

learn from our mistakes, test run everything more than once before the big trip. bickering about how the footmuff and liner attach to the stroller can happen at home verses away when tension can more easily escalate. if you are familiar with your gear it will make life much easier. i can actually put on my baby carrier on and put him in it as i am walking because i use it almost everyday. 

our ideal place to stay offers access to laundry and at least two separate living quarters. the areas can be small, but one designated for sleeping and another with a kitchenette are a must for us. it is also nice to have restaurants and shops within walking distance and an indoor swimming pool. we look for either a rental unit within a resort or vacation rentals on airbnb. just remember to select a place that you don't mind spending time in if baby is not up for going out and about all day.

once we decide where we are heading i always research a little about the restaurants and activities close by. since baby arrived we avoid peak hours with a late lunch after spending the day out and about. later we grab a six pack of good beer or nice bottle of wine to share after our little one is sleeping. we also like cheese and crackers with fruit and mixed nuts for a late night snack.  

3. attitude:

i'm a planner. i like to know were i'm going and what we are doing once we get there. however, i have had to learn to relax a little. and remind myself things may not go as smoothly with our newest addition. keith is good at reminding me that everything takes longer with a baby. he is very good at managing our expectations of how long our drives will take and accomplishments per day with breastfeeding pit stops, diaper blowouts and possible melt downs.   for example, he will recommend we do two things in a day and i want to do four. we compromise by prioritizing the four things and keep in mind that there is a good chance that we might only get to do two or three of them. 

4. the ride: 

remember to dress baby cozy. save the jeans for another day and dress them in their coziest one piece. we curb baby boredom with singing songs and propping up books for him to look at. and sometimes mom has to jump in the back and entertain or sooth him so leave room in the back seat. 

finally don't forget to leave a clean shirt within easy reach. kingston pee'ed on me twice during the first trip once while changing him on my lap (i know. i was asking for that one) and once all over me, his pad and the rest stop changing table. our record is improving though. it happened only once on the second trip... fun times. 

here are a few snapshots. we had a great time celebrating st. patty's day at may kelly's pub and on kingston's first snowshoeing adventure. that is him tucked into my coat. i told keith he needs to start working out because next year it is his turn to carry this little bundle.

1. pre-trip winter walk 2. keith breaking in the beco 3. kingston napping in the car 4. pit stop at the met cafe during a late night walk in the north 5. sleeping at may kelly's 6. milk high 7. snowshoeing 8. echo lake 9. drive-up jam stand 10. wiped out

do you travel with your kiddos? i would love to hear about your trips, tips and tricks. 

happy driving,


Monday, May 13, 2013

Celebrating Mother's Day

the day started off a little cloudy and damp but by the afternoon the sun was shining and the air was warm. we spent a quiet early morning at home listening to music and drinking ice coffee. the rest of the day was spent with lots of quality family time and good food. hope all you mamas out there had a relaxing day.

best ice coffee ever
my boys
current favorite album
my mother's day gift
my first babies
can't believe he is already so big
i kiss him a lot
happy mama!
xoxo, beth-ann

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Pillow Talk: sweet dreams

my bedside table has been taken over. before pregnancy it was a home to my phone, ipad, fashion magazines and whatever novel i was leisurely reading. during pregnancy it slowly collected baby and parenting books until it was covered with them (as seen here.) but lately, somehow all my reading has disappeared and has been replaced with diapers, wipes, snot suckers, baby balms and children's bedtime stories. how this happened i'm not quite sure. but this it what it currently looks like. *diapers, wipes and snot sucker were kicked to the floor for photo op. 

my favorite books to read kingston before bed
we love badger organic night night balm. we all get a dab or two under the nose before we close our eyes. 
a book of sleep is beautifully illustrated with a sweet little story about the different ways animals sleep
it's time to sleep, my love is a lyrical like read with wonderful illustrations. i like to save this one for last.
xo, beth-ann