Tuesday, February 23, 2016

road trippin'...

If you haven't ventured into taking a long distance trip with your baby, don't.  But if you absolutely have to, I've got a few tips to help you along the way. Since Olivia was born 6 months ago, we've gone on seven 3+ hour road trips. This includes three 8 hour road trips and one 10 hour road trip. This week we'll be venturing into our longest one yet, a 15 hour road trip from Tucson, AZ to Dallas TX. We are not doing this for the fun of it, my boyfriends job requires it. Fortunately we'll be semi-stable for the next six months in Dallas.

As a mother, traveling with a baby is one of the most stressful (normal circumstance) situations to  be under. I flew with her at 2 months of age, our first road trip was when she was 5 days old, and we tried to book a cruise with her but we have to wait until she is 12 months. This will be the 3rd time we are relocating since having Olivia, so it's not for fun.

  1. The first piece of advice I would have to offer is to plan out and map out your trip. Load your trip on to your GPS, figure out if there are safe areas to stop and make sure you plan out the necessary gas stops. The last thing you want is to be stranded in the middle of no where with a baby in the car. Since I've made several of these long road trips on my own with Olivia, choosing safe areas to stop was extremely important. 
  2. Prep food/ snacks- Olivia is formula fed, so I feel like getting her bottles ready with water and pre measuring out the formula is a HUGE help. Dealing with a frustrated crying hungry baby and spilling formula all over the place because you're trying to measure stuff out in the car is a pain in the but. BEEN THERE! Haha! Also, when baby is sleeping... that's when you get your best driving in, so you might not want to stop to grab a bite or a snack during that time. I always pack a bag of snacks for the front seat. Granola bars, trail mix, and water bottles. ALSO, throw in an energy drink just for emergencies! You don't want to get sleepy and depending on the time of day you're driving even the sunshine might make you sleepy. 
  3. Baby mirror- If you don't have one yet, invest in a rear view baby mirror. They're not very pricey and it's great being able to see how your little one's doing. This is the one I have and it's been a life saver. Brica Baby Auto Mirror.
  4. Prepare to stop every 2 to 3 hours- If you're like me, you can easily make your 7 hour drive without so much as a pee break. However, your baby will get tired and frustrated sitting in that car seat. Stop, change diapers, feed, play a little, and then hit the road again. Sounds like a great plan but be mentally prepared. It might not go as planned and that's okay. On one of my drives I planned a stop 3 hours in. I pulled into a Starbucks, changed her diaper, ordered myself a coffee, and sat down in a big comfy couch to feed baby. Problem was, although she hadn't eaten in 3 hours, she wasn't hungry or just didn't want to eat at at Starbucks. 5 minutes into hitting the road again she began crying at the top of her lungs. We had to wait 20 minutes until the next exit to pull over into a big open semi truck kind of area so that she could eat. Things happen. 
  5. Dress comfortably- You're gonna be sitting for a long LONG time. Put on your yoga pants and tennis shoes and put that baby in PJ's. You'll all be comfy and who cares what people thing cause your baby is in pajamas in the middle of the day. Your baby will be comfy and you'll find it much easier to change that diaper!
  6. Patience- Babies cry. That's what they do and sometimes you feed, play, diaper, and love them but they're just gonna cry. Be patient, you don't want to be frustrated behind the wheel. If you need a break, pull over. Walk around a store. Maybe grab a hotel room for the night and continue your trip the next morning. I had a 7 hour trip turn into a 10 hour trip because I just needed to take that many breaks. It's okay. Things are different with a baby and that's okay. Just breathe, get that radio going and sing and enjoy the drive. 

I have a few days until I hit the road for our 15 hour road trip. If I run into any other helpful tips, I'll definitely update, but if you have any great tips to share please let me know! I'd love to hear from you!

Monday, February 15, 2016

swimming with my fishy...

I have loved the water ever since I was very small and now that Olivia is 6 months old (and the weather is cooperating) we have been pool bound every day. While at the pool I've had many parents ask me how old she is and how early I introduced her to the pool and have received a lot of compliments about how well she does in the pool. I've also watched several parents force their crying baby to stay in the pool so that they could "get used to it". Although that might be what works for some, I just want to make pool time as fun as possible. Here are a few tips on how I prepared Olivia for pool time.

  1. At a very early age (2 months) I would get her dressed in her swim suit and sit her on the pool stairs with me, making sure only her little feet were in the water. She didn't have any major shots yet, so I didn't want her touching too much of the water or put her in a situation where water could get into her mouth. 
  2. I have never bathed her in a baby bath tub. When bathing, I fill up the regular tub with about a half a foot of water and lay her on her belly (with my arm under her of course) and allow her to exercise her natural kicking and "swimming" reflexes. I allow her to to this for about 10 to 15 minutes before I get to the actual bathing part. 
  3. I have a blow up bath pillow I bought at Walmart for when mommy gets to take long relaxing baths (yeah right!) Which has now become Olivias bath floatie. It's in a shape of a shell, so once she became more comfortable on her tummy I switched my arm for the floatie pillow and just held on to it and kept a very close eye on her. With the floatie it was much easier for her to practice her kicking and she holds on to it like a boogie board. 
  4. We are lucky enough to have a big soaking tub, so every now and then we'd fill the tub and one of us would go in there with her. We did it to get extra bonding time with Olivia, thinking it would help her relax in the water but it also helped her become comfortable with us holding in the water. This seemed to make a difference when going into the pool. 
  5. Another thing that definitely helped was waiting until she could sit on her own and unassisted. I think this helped her stay upright while I held her with only one arm in the pool. I'm sure you could take the baby in the pool while holding the baby with both arms to make sure they don't fall back, but if you need an arm to stabilize yourself it's definitely safer knowing your baby will hold himself up on their own. It was also a good idea to wait until she could sit up on her own because your arms WILL get tired and having her sit on the top step of the pool (with my hands VERY close to her) so that I could get a break was a life saver! 
  6. MAKE SURE THE POOL IS HEATED! Don't need to say anything more here.
  7. The last tip would be to let your baby watch you having fun in the pool before you bring em in with you. I mean, they already want to do everything you do. I did not do this with Olivia but I think she might have thought of the pool as a giant bath tub. However, when daddy took her out of the pool so that I could take a swim she made a big enough fuss while watching me and we figured out she wanted back in!
At the end of the day every parent should make their own assesment of whether their child is ready for the pool or not. I found that these tips made a huge difference. The first time we took her to the pool area she seemed very frightened and after a few months of the bathtub tips, the actual introduction into the pool went very smoothly. She even seemed excited to get in. Are there any pool tips that worked for you? I'd love to hear from you! 

Sunday, February 14, 2016

valentine mission...

Today we went on a little adventure to San Xavier Mission. There are less than two weeks to go until we embark on our new adventure and I have been dreaming of this mission ever since we arrived in Tucson. I have to say that it did not disappoint! The mission is gorgeous and the weather was perfect to capture a few shots. These photos do not do it justice. If ever in the Tucson area, I recommend taking a quick detour.

Now, anyone who knows me knows that I don't ever wear color. EVER! I'm a neutrals girl but more like an all black all day every day girl. So me, in pink? I was definitely in a Valentine's mood. 

Monday, February 8, 2016


I've got 3 weeks left before I pack up my life again and head to our next spot. So before that happened I figured I should take a little road trip with my little to visit my family in Tijuana. Taking a 7 hour road trip with a 5 month old is one of the most ambitious things I've decided to take on. Just momma, the open road, and a screaming infant. What a great idea, right? I did learn that I have to stop every 2-3 hours, change a diaper, offer a snack, and have a little play time. Long road trip aside, the visit with my family was wonderful and we had a great time.

My all basics neutral anytime outfit. 

Ray Bans Aviators go with almost everything and every occasion

Morning staple with a little cafesito.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

retreat in the desert...

We decided to take a little staycation. We've only got about a month left in Tucson, so a little Arizona exploring and relaxing weekend was much needed. We unfortunately have some..."active" upstairs neighbors and needed to get away so that we could get some sleep!

We ended up at Boulders Resort & Spa and it was AMAZING! We are already planning our next trip there!

We each had to take turns hiking to the top since we had the baby in her stroller. It was a beautiful end to a beautiful relaxing weekend!