Wednesday, June 27, 2012

The Highs and Lows of Flying With a Baby

I know airplane travel with infants is something that moms (and dads) have been doing for years, but up until becoming pregnant myself, I avoided eye contact with mommies packing babies and rolled my eyes with the rest of the passengers when a baby wouldn't stop crying.

Come on lady, get your kid under control.

Now, I get it. We're all in this together- just trying to survive.

“In the event of a sudden loss of cabin pressure, oxygen masks will automatically descend from the ceiling. Grab the mask, and pull it over your face. If you have children traveling with you, secure your mask before assisting with theirs”.

Photo Credit
Yeah right, I'm pretty sure loss of cabin pressure is not my biggest concern when flying with a child!

Our trip from North Carolina to California was fine, REALLY. Nothing crazy happened, but let me recap what I learned:

Be explicit with the Skycap when you are checking in. He tried to tag my stroller and carseat, but failed to give me boarding pass for Grace. I figured this out after standing in line at security and then being sent back to the checkin counter. GRRRRR!

Don't give the boarding passes to your baby to hold...I know, this is a rookie mistake! Lesson learned.

When choosing a seat, go either with an aisle or window, and then try and look big and loud as possible so no one will sit next to you. Trust me, it was pretty obvious that no one wanted to sit by us.

Dress in layers, but expect to shed most of them because you will be sweating bullets. I wiggly baby on your lap is guaranteed to keep things hot.

Moms don't need pity, but a little kindness from strangers goes a long way. This is one instance where a little help is truly appreciated. (One man let me put my cup on his tray and another Captain helped me unfold my stroller.)

Make it an all day buffet. If she'll eat, feed her. Anytime Grace started getting fussy, I just shoved a boob in her face. It seemed to work.

Conversely, don't eat or drink ANYTHING. The last thing you want to do is use the airplane restroom while holding a baby.

Anything is fair game when it comes to keeping her occupied: magazine ad cards, straws, ice, my phone, any poor sap who makes eye contact with my baby. You want to play peek-a-boo with my baby? Go for it.

Pack light. HA! Who am I kidding? This one is impossible with a baby!

If at all possible, have In-N-Out waiting for you.

Happy flying! May your destination be worth it!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Some Dads Like Golf...Some Dads Like Fart Jokes

Some dads hold you until you fall asleep...

...and some dads wear sweet hats and carry you in a backpack.

Some dads push you in a stroller...

...and some dads put in doggie doors.

Some dads hook you up with cool gadgets...

...and some dads have to be away for a little while.

Happy FATHER'S DAY to the amazing dads in my life!

A Father's Day card for my dad 26 years ago and for Grace's dad this year.

Grace sends slobbery, gummy, open-mouthed kisses to her Daddy, Grandad and Grandpa!

Monday, June 11, 2012

Social Grace(s)

Summer must be in full swing because Grace and I have had quite the full social calendar these days!

Thursday we tested out the local cuisine in Raeford with Caitlin and her little boy, Zack- or Zackaroo, as he is often called. Las Palmas was delicioso (and we were the only ones there, so Grace and Zackaroo had their run of the place!)

Friday was the Army Birthday 10 Miler. Grace took the morning off, and hung out with her buddy, Amanda, while I ran with a couple lovely ladies. Top 1,000 finisher, baby!

Saturday we drove up to Raleigh to visit Kayla, an old high school friend who moved out here for school and never left! How crazy that in a school as small as Golden Sierra, (I'm talking 100 in my graduating class) we would both end up in North Carolina a few hours apart! Kayla and I played volleyball together long ago, and she has always been the nicest, sweetest person you could ever hope to meet. 

Thanks Kayla and Naasief for a wonderful day!
I even dug out an old pic of the volleyball team's Bring It On dance routine. No big deal. 
Grace and I also found time to catch lunch with our friends, Deb and Alexis. Deb is hilarious and reminds me of Monica from friends. She is addicted to shopping at The Dollar Store and stock piles greeting cards. Alexis likes to eat puffs and smile.

Alexis is 3 months older than Grace, but I'm pretty sure Grace has her beat on the scale!
(The girls are missing their buddy, Donovan, who moved to Germany a few weeks ago.)
  Finally, this week was the start of SWIM LESSONS! I've been dying to squeeze Grace into a swim suit! It went pretty well, and I think she liked it even when she got dunked under the water. Apparently, Grace winked at one of the lifeguards, and she was definitely distracting the little old ladies taking an aerobics class.  

Just 1 more week until California! 
We can't wait!

 P.S. Cole got his Father's Day package, and loved everything! 

Monday, June 4, 2012

For Grace's Dad

For the past month I've been preparing a care package for Cole in celebration of Father's Day. He really doesn't need anything, nor does he have much space for storing things where he is stationed. Grace and I had to get him something, though- it's his VERY FIRST FATHER'S DAY!

So, I decided to to make a mini accordion book and dry erase calendar through MPix with the photos from our session with Skye Snyder Photography. I am really happy with the way they turned out! I can't wait for Cole to receive them along with his mouthwash, protein bars, weightlifting gloves and baby wipes. (Yeah, I know, I went all out! Protein bars and baby wipes? Cole is one lucky guy!)

I thought this calendar would be a great way for him to mark off the days until the end of his deployment while enjoying some pictures of his favorite girls. 

Grace is such a thoughtful baby. 
This mini accordion book is perfectly pocket-sized, so we will never be far from his heart. 

I also threw in a little something from me:
"52 Reasons I Love You" Cards
This is a thoughtful and easy craft that I've seen multiple times on Pinterest. (Check out these cute ones for more inspiration here and here). 

Basically, I wrote down 52 reasons why I love my husband- one for each card in the deck. I typed up the reasons and printed them out onto clear labels. Then I attached one label to each card, punched 2 holes in the entire deck and attached them using 2 binder rings. I used photo paper and Sharpies to create the cover and a back page. 
I hope he'll have fun reading each of the 52 reasons he'll always have my heart! 


  • A deck of playing cards
  • Labels 
  • Hole punch
  • 2 binder rings
  • Photo paper (trace one of the cards for the cover)
  • Sharpies

Friday, June 1, 2012

Bam! I Speak Fluent Swedish...

Ok, maybe not fluent Swedish, but I did manage to decipher the instruction manual from Ikea and assemble my patio furniture!

My inner domestic goddess is doing back flips... 
(50 Shades of Grey anyone???)
The porch still needs some livening-up, but at least people can tell there are inhabitants in the house. 
This picture on the instruction manual almost scared me off...
I don't want to look sad and lumpy with cracked furniture!
But actually, I ended up feeling more like the guy on the right (and I didn't even call Ikea)!

I do have one small confession. When I went outside to enjoy my glass of ice cold lemonade- because that's what you do in the south- I realized I put the back of one of the chairs on backwards. Whoops. I didn't panic, I just pulled out my trusty wrench-screwdriver-tool-thingy and whipped that chair into shape! Grace was very impressed.
Next step: flowers, seat cushions and maybe a RED front door.