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Traveling with Toddler-Must Have

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I’m sure you know by now, but Jamie is a year old! I still can’t believe it. We have had so many experiences in the last year, I can’t imagine what the years to come will have in store for us.

The first time I traveled with Jamie by plan, she was 4 months old. Luckily, I had my dad with me on our flight to Virginia, and we flew Southwest Airlines and if you haven’t ever flown with them, with a child, it was a great experience. They were very helpful. The second time we traveled together was 4 months later, and we went back to Virginia. Jamie was almost 8 months old, and I was traveling by myself. Now, here we are again, a year old “toddler” and I traveling to Indiana. We made it successful, on a different airline too. After all of this I want to share some tips and tricks that I believe have helped along the way.

Distractions. Bring lots of distractions for your children. I’ve been lucky enough that all of the flights I’ve been on with Jamie have been 2-3 hours at the most. I know when we are at home, she plays with something and is ready to move onto something else within 10-15 minutes. I try to pack enough distractions for her to enjoy for the duration of our flight. I download apps on my iPad, and have some interactive toys as well.

Snacks. I can honestly thank my Sister-in-law for this one. She traveled with her youngest right before I had Jamie and she was by herself. She is ALWAYS good about having snacks for her children, and on a flight is no exception to this rule. When I traveled, I made sure I had enough different snacks, I probably could have fed everyone on the plane. It worked. When Jamie was hungry or bored, snacks saved the day!

Milk/Water. I’m still nursing, but I also had a cup of milk, and water for Jamie for on the plane, and in the airports. Security will let you through with those items for a small child, which is great!

Blankets, extra clothes for you, and child. Seriously. YOU NEVER KNOW WHAT CAN HAPPEN! I’ve had spit up on me, a blow out on the airplane, lost socks, you name it, I think it’s happened. If you don’t want to pack extra clothes for yourself, at least bring an extra shirt or something to cover up with. The blankets serve as a nursing shield, or you can help cover them if you’re flying during nap time.

Stroller. If you are traveling solo, the stroller is great to have. It just makes life easier. All airlines will let you gate check the strollers, and it’s ready for you to grab once you get off the plane. I wouldn’t leave home without our stroller when I’m traveling. I didn’t have one the first time, but thankfully, my dad was with me. Now – even if I had help of someone else, I would still bring the stroller.

This is my must have list for traveling solo with a child. Most of all, just remember to have fun, know that things happen, and be polite to the people along the way. It will get your farther. Don’t forget your diapers and wipes, and remember to breathe!!

Do you have something to add to this list? Let me know!

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** Links to some of my favorite items**

Umbrella Stroller

Snack Holder

Interactive Toy

 

 

 

 

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12 things I’ve learned in the first year as Mom

I’m still in awe that you are a year old. How in the heck has this past year gone by so quickly? I remember it like it was yesterday, your dad and I thought we were going to a football game, and about 8 hours later, you were born. ( See that post HERE )

It’s easy to say this has been the best year of my life. This has also been a year of reflecting, learning, growing, and developing for myself, too. Watching you grow and learn isn’t the only thing we do. We grow and learn right along with you.

So, in honor of your first birthday, I want to give you 12 things that I’ve learned in this first year.

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  1. Everything you thought you “would” or “wouldn’t” do, throw it out the window. – Remember when you thought you wouldn’t drive around in the car to get your child to sleep? Remember when you said you wouldn’t give into letting her/him have the phone? The Television? Yeah. Go ahead and throw it all out the window. Take bits and pieces of what you want, or don’t want to do, and make it your own.
  2. You seriously have no idea what you are doing. – You have read all the books, you have researched it all on the internet. You think you are going to be prepped, ready, and you have loads of information just at your disposal. Let’s also remember, there is no handbook. So while all those things are useful, they have NOTHING to do with your child, family, or life. Take bits and pieces of everything you’ve read, learned, or researched, and make it your own.
  3. Shop all the diapers, and figure out what is best for you. – Don’t just think that one brand is going to be better than another. Sure, they might be for one child, or family, but for your child? NOPE! What works for one, doesn’t always work for another. Try them all, and see for yourself.
  4. Eat the peanut butter. – Let your child experiment with foods. Give them anything and everything you can while they are young. If they don’t like it now, they might like it tomorrow. Eggs, peanut butter, lunch meat, chicken, pork. Whatever we are having for dinner, you are usually eating too. Baby foods are ok, but let’s face it, who really wants to eat that stuff?
  5. Call your parents, and in-laws often. They appreciate it more than you know. – It is just as important for your families to see and hear about different growth and developmental stages as it is for you to see them for yourself. Call them. Send pictures. Give updates. They really do appreciate it.
  6. Smile. Laugh. Cry. – It’s ok to roll with the punches. Remember when I said that you have no idea what you’re doing? Sometimes you get frustrated. Sometimes you think you’re a failure. Sometimes the realization of having no idea what you are doing hits you. It’s ok to smile. It’s ok to cry. It’s also ok to laugh. Remember, “this too shall pass.” Also remember, “The days are long, but the years are short.”-Gretchen Rubin
  7. What really is sleep training? – THIS. IS. A. HOT. TOPIC. I can honestly tell you I have NO IDEA what works or doesn’t here. I can tell you that your dad and I have been blessed with a good sleeper, for the most part. It really didn’t take me long to transition you into sleeping all night once I tried it. I will thank all the heavens and angels above for that.
  8. FaceTime is just as important. – Use the technology you have for good. Keep in touch with your family. Again, they really do appreciate it.
  9. Spend time outdoors. – We live in Texas. This summer has been crazy hot for a baby. But going outside even for just a few minutes a day has helped tremendously. Babies seem to really love the outdoors, and it makes me feel less like a prisoner in my own house. Play outside. It’s ok to get dirty. You will get a bath, I promise!
  10. Put the phone down. – This is hard for me, too. I work from home, so I need to use my phone during the day. But I’m also a mom, and I don’t want to miss things. Spending time with my family is also important. Having some disconnect time is good for the soul. It’s good for your relationships, too.
  11. Take lots of pictures. – Remember that time when my phone was filled with nothing but pictures of my animals? Fast forward a year, and now we have pictures of the animals with the baby. TAKE THE PICTURES! They are amazing for looking back, and for remembering the sweet times                                                                               **This can be good, and bad for baby fever! 😉 **
  12. This  IS the best time of your life. – Seriously though, I can’t think of another time in my life that I can say has been the best time. Sure, the day I married your dad was AMAZING. Relocating, vacations, dinners, parties, anniversaries. They have all been truly spectacular, but this, THIS is really the BEST time in our life.

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Do you have any insight to add to the list? What are some things you learned in the first year of your child’s life?

**Link to our amazing photographer HERE 

 

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*NEW* Toy Box!

It’s been a while. To say the least, we’ve been busy. We’ve been undergoing a lot of changes here lately, and life have been HECTIC! That’s a positive thing though, right? Change is good, right? YES! We like change around our house, but sometimes that means we have to take a step back from the other things we enjoy doing, and figure out one stop before we move on to the next.

Thus, here we are again! Jamie is now 10 months old, crawling, babbling, eating solid foods, pulling herself up and cruising furniture, and fighting every nap she possibly can! I wouldn’t trade it for the world, though. She is a blessing to our little family, and I truthfully could not think of a better job to have. Being her mom is such a wonderful experience. I truly am lucky God blessed me with the joy of motherhood.

Around our house, I try to repurpose things, or sell them if we can’t find another spot of them. With that said, I had this old hamper in my closet for the longest time, and I didn’t know exactly what to do with it. I thought I might use it in Jamie’s room eventually, but until then, It just sat in my closet, collecting bags, shoes, and whatever else I needed to throw in there for the time being. Needless to say, it was ON MY NERVES!

Well, we’ve transitioned my office, to also be a playroom. It’s nice because I am able to work on the computer and Jamie can play. It’s been a positive transition so far, and I only hope that it continues on this way. While making this transition though, all of the toys were just thrown here and there on the floor, with no rhyme or reason. That brings me to my new idea. Why don’t I use that old hamper and make it into a toy holder! It was so easy, it cost around $8.00, and I’m really happy with the outcome!



What I used

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  1. Old hamper
  2. Burlap (bought at Wal-Mart, 2 rolls for about $8.00)
  3. Hot Glue
  4. Scissors

What I did:

We used the hot glue gun for adhesive for the burlap, and simply wrapped the burlap around the hamper! I also threw in an old bath towel that I needed to throw away and put it on the bottom of the hamper. That’s really just an option, whether you want to or not.

Seriously! It was that easy! I didn’t over think this, as I’m very capable of doing, and really, I think it turned out great for what we are going to use it for! In the future, I can use it in Jamie’s room too, if we want! Also, right now it’s perfect for her because she’s going to pull herself up on it, and if she falls, it won’t hurt her. DOUBLE WIN!

What do you think? What kind of things have you repurposed that have been really easy too? I would love to hear of more ideas for future projects!

Enjoy!

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An Ode to Mom – My first Mother’s Day

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As Mother’s Day is drawing near, I can’t help but think about how lucky I am to be a mom. I’m celebrating my very first Mother’s Day this year, and while I’m so excited, and honored that I can now be a part of this amazing group of women I know, love and respect, I also want to reflect on the many lessons I’ve learned in just this short period of time. So here it is, an Ode to my mom – and all the mom’s out there, on Mother’s Day!

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Mom,

I just want to tell you – I get it now. While I might not get all of it at this point, I do somewhat understand what it’s like to be a mom. I always wondered if I would hear myself say those words, and now I’m excited and honored to be a part of this amazing journey we call Motherhood.

Remember all those sleepless nights? I get it now. I understand the sacrifice that you made for myself, and my siblings, working, providing for, and making sure that we were nurtured in the best way that you could. You did all these things while staying strong, and trying to keep a smile on your face at all times.

Remember all those missed, or cold meals you had? I get it now. There are times when you would have rather been entertaining your friends and family at gatherings, or times when you were hungry, but we needed you more. You went without those meals, or ate them later, because you love us, and you knew that these times would also pass. You smiled, and rolled with the punches, and never let it get the best of you.

Remember being happy that we were growing and developing, but sad at the same time? I get it now. You were so excited that we were growing, and learning new things, but at the same time, your babies, your children were growing up into their own people, creating their own personalities, and becoming the independent people that we are today. You smiled, laughed, and cried with us all. And did it in the most gracious and loving ways.

Remember thinking that this is the hardest, most tiring, most stressful, but most rewarding job of all time? I get it now. Being a Mother is the hardest, most tiring, stressful job I’ve ever had, and ever witnessed you do. You did it the best way that you knew how, and you did it with a smile on your face. You showed up when it seemed everyone else was walking out, and you have always been by our sides.

Remember that word you always used – Balance? I get it now. I know that you had to balance a job, family, home, and all the other tasks that you took on, all while making sure that we were safe and taken care of. You did it, and you were always there for games, practices, and whatever else we were a part of. You did all of these things, and you did them all with the highest level of integrity, and devotion, daily.

So mom, I just want you to know, after all these years. Thank you. Thank you for being one of the best role models that you could be. Thank you for teaching me valuable lessons on how to be the best mom that I can be. Thank you for sticking by my side, and thank you for being so loving, nurturing, and understanding.

Oh, and mom. I get it now.

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Thirsty Thursday – Lee Harvey Edition

HAPPY THURSDAY, EVERYONE! I’m so ready for this upcoming weekend, I can’t even stand myself. It’s been a week for the books, that’s for sure. I can’t complain though, it’s been a busy, tiring, fun-filled week. This weekend is also Easter, and I’m happy to be celebrating another first holiday with my little family. Those are the best things to look forward to. Oh, the joys of being an adult, and a parent!

So, here I am, sipping on my wine, ready for next week already, and thinking about some of the best places to tell you all about. This one comes because I can’t wait to go back! We have a friend coming into town next week, and when he asked us to take him to Lee Harvey’s, I couldn’t even begin to tell you how happy I was about this! So, without further ado, here is this weeks “Thirsty Thursday” – Lee Harvey Edition!

A small little bar in South Dallas that was made from a house, this place doesn’t even boast small. Honestly, when you walk in the doors it feels like home, maybe a little home from the 80s, but it still feels like home. Drink specials every night from 3-7, and seriously, who doesn’t like a place that makes their own pickles?!

They have bands that play on the weekends, they have this super kick ass outdoor area that you can bring your dogs too if you want. Picnic benches, and even fire pits surround the outside. Makes you never want to leave. Their motto, which I personally LOVE is “a little friendly dive bar that welcomes everyone.” I can’t say enough good things about this place, but I’ll let you check out their webpage for yourself  Here

I’ve even added some pictures of this joint, just so you can get a feel of what I’m talking about.

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Do these pictures not make you want to hang out there, like ALL THE TIME?! If you don’t believe me, you should try it for yourself. Also, if you want to join their mailing list, so you can see when the next event or concert is, just go Here .

So that’s all I have for now, friends!

Have a wonderful night, and BOTTOMS UP!

Cheers!

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Happy Half year Birthday, baby! 

Jamie, Jamie, Jamie… where has the last 6 months gone? It was yesterday that your dad and I went to the hospital on a whim (Link to that story Here) and a few hours later you were born. You know, I really wasn’t sure how life was going to play out before you arrived. I was nervous, excited, hesitant, happy, sad, scared. Any emotion you can think of, they all ran through me, but the minute you arrived, all those feelings subsided. You blessed our family in a way I never thought possible, and I don’t even remember what life was like before you arrived. In this short period of time you have taught me how to love, in a way I didn’t think was possible. 


Seeing you grow and learn, the way you smile at your daddy, when you laugh, all of those things touch my heart. I can’t wait for the next six months, and at the same time I want time to stand still! 


I hope that you know how much we love you, and I hope as you grow, develop, and learn, you continue to spread the love and joy to others that you do now. But most of all, I want you to shine. I want you to walk with confidence, and never settle to be anything less than the person that God wants you to be.


Here’s to the next 6 months and beyond- my sweet baby girl! 💜💜

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Girls and Bows

Before my daughter was born, I swore I wouldn’t be one of those parents that put all those crazy bows on my child.  I don’t know, I’m just not into that fashion trend. We tend to keep things a little more light and airy around our house, and in our wardrobe. So, this sweet friend of mine, who happens to own a bow boutique sent me 2 of her handmade bows. Ya’ll, I’m here to tell you they are GREAT!

First of all, Jamie has been blessed with my small head. That’s a blessing and a curse. The trouble is that no headband really seems to fit her. I have a few that work, but most of them are too big. But the bows from 2ndavenueboutique work great. The elastic on these headbands are PERFECT! They aren’t too snug, nor are they too big. When she moves, they seem to move right with her.

Melissa-the owner of 2ndavenue boutique can do pretty much anything too! As you know, our family is a Clemson Tiger family. (National Champs… WHAT, WHAT!!) Knowing that, Melissa made the CUTEST headband for Jamie! It’s a little bigger than I would have picked out for her, but OH MY GOODNESS, it’s still perfect!


Obviously Jamie loves this bow too. Can’t you tell from her expression?!

There are so many other options that Melissa can do. She’s made bow ties for the men, even a tutu for a wedding! Whatever you can dream of, I’m sure that she can do it. The sky’s the limit with this boutique!


Are these not perfect?! And if you really still don’t believe that she can do anything and everything, look at this cute puppy!


So do me a favor, my family and friends. Go Here and check out her etsy shop! You won’t be sorry that you did. I promise you, I’m not!

Happy shopping, friends! 🙂