Thursday, June 30, 2016

Baby Essentials for Staying in a Hotel

I am not going to lie, I was STRESSED about going to stay in a hotel with 11 month old Molly Anne.  Anytime we've traveled, it's been to my parents or brother's house so it was easy - we had laundry, a sink, soap, towels, a separate room for her, a pack n play etc.  

Going to a hotel - we would have none of that.  Well I guess we could have paid for laundry service ($$$!) or used the hotel crib but I wanted to have a sleeping arrangement that Molly Anne was familiar with.  

I'm by no means a professional but here's a list of things I brought with explanations beside each item.  I always make lists for any trip we go on.  I start the list a couple weeks prior and keep it in my phone so the second I think of something, I just quickly add it to my list.  It makes packing a lot easier.  

1.  Sound Machine - I'm not a believer in sound machines (we don't use it at home) but I did think it was important to have just in case.  We did use ours but I have no clue if it made a difference or not.

2.  Dish detergent, sponge and tea towels to let the bottles dry on - because I had to wash bottles in the hotel room sink.  Lovely, I know.

3.  Molly Anne bath soap - because hotels don't provide this!

4.  Pack N Play and a mattress to go on it to make it more comfortable.  This mattress came highly recommended from a mom's FB group I'm a part of.  Also, don't forget the mattress sheet!

5.  A big LL Bean type bag - in this I included essentials - LOTS of diapers, wipes, diaper cream (Triple Paste!), extra formula, her bottles already filled with water, swim diapers, food pouches just in case, spoons, bibs, burp cloths.  Everything that was essential.  This was an important bag and I had extras of everything.

6.  Bag of toys - a smaller LL Bean bag filled with toys for her to play with.  I didn't bring big things, just small rattles and blocks for her.  And a lot of options so she wouldn't get sick of them.  

7.  For the car ride - refer to #6 and also a portable DVD player with a case that attaches to the headrest.  LIFE SAVER.  Mickey Mouse clubhouse 5 episodes on repeat.  Sarah I love you.

8.  Washcloth and towel - I brought hers because they're extra soft and they made her feel a little like home was with her.

9.  Plastic baggies in all sizes.  I use the sandwich size ones to put diapers in (#1 or #2) because no one wants to smell that in a small room that you're sharing.  I bring gallon and quart size ones too because you never know what you'll need.  In fact, I keep a few baggies in my regular travel bag too.  But you at least need a bunch of sandwich size ones for diapers! 

10.  Monitor - if your hotel room has a balcony, bring a monitor so you can hear them if you're out on the balcony. 

11.  Clothes - usually I put all of her outfits individually into gallon size plastic bags.  I think I've mentioned it before but I do this every Sunday for the week so it's easy to get her outfit on her in the mornings.  Definitely do it for vacations - I didn't this trip because I didn't have time but I would have normally.  I also put all pajamas in one bag - ps bring extra pajamas always.  Bonus points for labeling each bag...yes I have a problem haha.  

12.  Medicine cabinet - I call it a medicine cabinet but I put each med into a sandwich bag, and write in a sharpie what the dosage is for each medicine on the bag and include the syringe too.  Then I put all of the sandwich bags into one gallon baggie and write on the outside - "Molly Anne's Medicine Cabinet."  Ha!  I'm not kidding but it's easy and I can just pop it in her bag when we go anywhere overnight.  It includes....Motrin, Tylenol, Benadryl, a bulb syringe, gas drops, some ointment for any bites, saline drops, nail scissors and a digital thermometer.

13.  Kit - let's call it a little kit because that's what I call mine.  I put her bows and hairbrush in this little pouch.  It's her primping kit.  I foresee little hair diddies that can be used for pig tails in it as well.  

14.  Sleeping essentials - Baby duck and blanket - she always has to have baby duck and her Little Giraffe blanket.  She sleeps with them every night.  I forgot Baby Duck this past trip but she got to sleep with her Minnie Mouse instead which she was thrilled with.

15.  Fridge - if you need to store milk or snacks, we had a refrigerator brought to our room that the hotel provided.  I purposively didn't transition her to milk prior to this last trip just so we could stay easy peasy with formula.  If we had to have milk, the fridge would have been essential.

16.  Snacks - and a lot of them.  We brought a bunch of stuff so we wouldn't have to rely on the hotel for a pack of crackers.  I could have fed her every meal with the amount of food I brought but I didn't want to be reliant on anyone else for Molly Anne's food.  She did end up eating with us almost every meal but just in case!  

17.  Stroller - we used it everywhere we went throughout the hotel.  And on the beach.  It was a necessity.

A few things about staying in a hotel:
1.  I had to get over the fact that she was going to crawl on the floor.  And honestly it wasn't that big of a deal because she didn't do it much, plus the hotel was extremely clean.  I did bring a small blanket in case she played on the floor instead of the bed.

2.  I was stressed about where we were going to put the pack n play so she would be able to sleep and we could still have a light on.  We ended up putting it in the corner against the sliding glass door and between it and the desk.  It worked out perfectly and she had her own little nook out of the way.  

Hope this helps someone somewhere!  

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Baby Essentials for a Pool or Beach Day

I've been learning for weeks now what is essential to have at the pool since we've basically lived there every weekend.  And since our beach trip last weekend, I know a little about the beach too.  Let's start with pool because you're going to need all of that stuff at the beach too, plus some more.  

Pool Bag Essentials:
1.  First off, we use this big bag (in size XL, zippered top and long handles) to keep all of our pool stuff and I never unpack it.  Makes life so much easier and we can just bop to the pool quickly anytime we want to!

2.  I use this bag for our sunscreen.  I love my LOLO bags and this one is the perfect size for 5-7 bottles of sunscreen.  

3.  Sunscreen - our pediatrician recommended Blue Lizard Baby for Molly Anne's body and Cerave Stick (I got this at CVS or Walgreens) for her face.  Both are super easy to put on and don't leave a bunch of white streaks all of her.  Most importantly, they protect her skin really well.  My dermatologist says Neutrogena 30+ or more SPF only for me and absolutely no spray bottles, only lotion, so I use this.

4.  Beach towels.  I love these for Molly Anne.  Christine has to monogram anything I get for her from Pottery Barn Kids because "Molly Anne" is one too many characters! ;)

5.  Snacks - goldfish, animal crackers and a water bottle - lots of water to keep her hydrated.  We used to bring a bottle and formula if we went midday when she used to get that bottle.  I also usually bring a little lunch box of waters or maybe a limearita or two!  Koozies are also necessary of course!

6.  Swim Diapers - I always bring a couple extra and I stick them in a wet bag (this one is cute but I got mine at a cute shop in the Charlotte airport ha) that I bring for her wet suit from swim class.  I don't use the throw away swim diapers at swim class since she uses an iPlay diaper there.

7.  Toys - we bring a few bath toys and lately Molly Anne has liked the dollar store little tube that she can lounge on.  I got one of these floats for her to hang out in but she was not interested in staying so still in a pool.  Soooo we haven't used it.  She'd rather be active haha.

8.  iPlay hat - again she isn't a huge fan of this because she can't swim underwater in it but I do get her to wear it so the skin on her head doesn't get too toasty.  She wears size 9-18 month now.  

9.  Coverups - I've learned that the swim diapers do leak a bit.  I still put her in it at home and slip her bathing suit on but then sometimes I'll put a regular diaper over her bathing suit until we get to the pool.  I'll just take it off of her in the car before we get out to walk up to the pool.  Also, these coverups/tunics are super cute but I've learned not very practical for the pool because they're hard to get on and off.  This Janie and Jack one has been on repeat because it's cute, sleeveless and easy to get on.

10.  Hair brush - not really essential but nice to have!

11.  Wipes - always necessary. 

Beach Day Essentials:
In addition to the pool items above, I brought these things to the beach:

1.  Baby powder - my moms FB group was spot on with this.  It gets sand off the skin SO easily.  

2.  Stroller - our Baby Jogger City Mini was wonderful for the beach.  I locked the front tire and dragged it backwards through the sand on the back two tires.  Once we got to hard sand closer to the water, it was like walking on asphalt, it was so easy.  It was this reason that I was able to get Molly Anne to nap on the beach because we walked and walked and I put her in the lay down position in the stroller and she was out!

3.  Umbrella - our hotel provided these so that was really nice.  An umbrella is necessary and I recommend putting it in front of your chairs so the child has room to play.  We just slid our chair under it so she could drink her bottle in the shade.

A couple more things:
I freaked before I left about getting a beach baby tent but I'm so glad I ended up returning it to Amazon after it took more more than 15 seconds to get it put back into the bag it came in (who has time for that while trying to watch a child near water?!).  It was not necessary at all. Maybe for a 2 month old who doesn't move much but my child wouldn't have even thought about going in that thing for a nap.  She would have rather played in the water.  Hence why I had to put her in the stroller and walk just so she'd nap!  

Fitted sheet - I had heard to take a fitted sheet and to secure all four sides with a bag, cooler etc. and that the sheet would give a sand free space for the baby to play.  Yeah right, my child had sand EVERYWHERE.  This did not work for us.  Again, maybe for a smaller baby that would be perfect.

Hope this list helps someone!  I don't think it's a crazy amount of stuff, just the basics of what you'll actually use!  Let me know if I forgot something!

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Gigi's Barnyard Bash

We had the best time at Gigi's second birthday party!  Sarah always goes crazy on parties and they're all Pinterest worthy!!!   Although she told me she was going low key on this one....yeah right.  

She had a local farm bring a bunch of animals.  It was so fun for all the kids!

Sweet friends!

I mean can you take the cuteness?!!!

The cupcakes were Molly Anne approved!

Sorry Winn. It prob won't be the last time buddy. Ugh.

She gave all of the kids a Barnyard Book which was super sweet.  I need to write Gigi's Second Birthday in it so we always remember.  

It was such a cute party and I cannot believe she is two!!!!!

Monday, June 27, 2016

Amelia Island

Last Thursday morning we drove down to Amelia Island, Florida. Yes, I was in Salt Lake for the day on Tuesday -- got up at 3:45am and left on a 6am flight Tuesday morning. Then took the red eye home that night and didn't sleep a wink. It was a fun all nighter. Not!  When I got home, I played Mom and we went to a swim lesson right away since we would miss Thursday's. I did finally sleep for one hour on Wednesday afternoon. I had to pack for leaving the next morning.  And umm have you gone to stay at a hotel with a one year old recently?  It's insane the amount of stuff you have to take. A post is coming on what I found useful and what wasn't necessary.  

So I made it to Thursday morning and I think I had our act mostly together. First up, taking mills to camp early that morning so we could beat rush hour.  While I did this, Kevin got Molly Anne up and ready and packed the car.  We got out of the house at 8:15am. I was shocked. 

Sarah let me borrow her travel DVD player and a Mickey Mouse clubhouse DVD. Essential!!!  My child was so thrilled!  This was the first road trip we've done since she was 8 weeks old so I had no clue how much we needed this.  

We got to the hotel after surprising Kevin's mom that we were there as well to help celebrate her 70th birthday!

First stop, the pool. And Molly Anne had flatbread cheese pizza for dinner at the pool. Basically she was thrilled with life, especially after a six hour drive. 

We got a babysitter to come sit in our room while Molly Anne slept (ps, she was wonderful - the nanny service was recommended by the concierge!!!) and the adults went to dinner at Joes Second Street Bistro. The concierge recommended the restaurant as well and it was outstanding.  I had snapper and Kevin had grouper. 

Breakfast the next morning - one of the Ritz Kidz gals came around and gave Molly Anne this princess!  They really cater to the kids there!

Beach!  Molly Anne loved it. She jumped waves and had the best time. She didn't try to eat the sand as much this time as she did the first trip to the beach. 

I asked the umbrella guy if he wouldn't mind putting it a little bit in front of our chairs so she could play under it.  It worked out perfectly. 

I had taken a sheet for her to lay on to nap - yeah right. Way too much going on for her to lay on a sheet on the beach and go to sleep.  So.. I loaded her into her stroller and we walked down the beach. And walked some more. She ended up sleeping for almost an hour.  PS I loveeee our City Mini stroller.  It is the best. 

Beach naps are almost as good as boat naps!

We went to the pool for about an hour then headed to the room to get ready for dinner. On our way she got to say hey to the parrot named Amelia that they have at the pool!

Trying to entertain a child in a hotel room....while you blow dry your hair standing in front of her so she doesn't fall off the bed.  

Dinner at Brett's Waterway Cafe and a walk out onto the docks. I love this doll baby.  

There were two English cream golden retrievers out on the dock. Soooo cute. Molly Anne loved them.  

The next morning, she was done done and done. 

We made the 6 hour plus stops trek back.  Three days, two nights and one beach day and we were back in Charlotte. Quick trip. I'd recommend staying for longer if you have a little one.  I think it was a lot for Molly Anne judging by the last couple hours of our ride. 

Tired Bubba. 

We got back and we went to the pool to let her get some energy out. She had been cooped up for 8 hours at that point and I wanted her to have some fun. And she slept well that night!

Sunday we went to the pool after her morning nap. 

And Kevin made us BLTs for lunch. 

Then we went to Gigi's second birthday party!  I'll share that tomorrow!  

And I'm also going to try to do a post about traveling to a hotel and what I found helpful and also a post about baby beach essentials. We'll see how this week goes ha!

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

All New Make Up

Well my friends, I finally got new makeup after my extensive years of being a Clinique gal.  

I have needed some new stuff for a longgggggg time and I finally bit the bullet!  Belda at Nordstrom hooked me up and I'm so glad!  She basically taught me how to do my makeup because I had no clue!  I've since gone back to her after I tried the new stuff at home and she's helped me learn how to do brows better than I was and confirm I was doing eyeliner right (I swapped the below BB one for a Mac one too per Belda)!

Everything was 10% off from Bobbi Brown and Mac was 15% off so that helped.  Yes, I spent wayyyyy too much but this stuff really does look at a lot better!

I still want to get more Bobbi Brown brushes because my Elf ones just aren't nearly as amazing but it's hard to spend $50 on a darn brush!  I did splurge and get the bronzer one because that was the most critical.  I really makes a difference.  The powder brush is on my wish list!

I feel refreshed and maybe look a bit better?

Thanks BELDA!!!

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Day In The Life

I love reading other's day in the life posts so I figured I would do one.  This was a regular day which I use "regular" very lightly because we don't have many regular days because I'm always going somewhere.  But let's pretend this day happens five days a week because that would be amazing. 

6am - I wake up and take care of Millsy.  We go out, come back in to eat his breakfast, I wash his face with a warm, wet paper towel every morning then we go out again. It's been our routine for as long as we've had him so why change a good thing?  He knows what to expect. 

6:20 - I try to get some makeup on my face and brush my hair.  I always shower at night so I can sleep as long as possible. 

6:30 - Molly Anne is awake and I go give her a bottle then get her dressed for the day.  

6:45 - I put her in bed with Kevin then I get dressed and I'm out the door on my way to Southpark for work.  

7:00 - Kevin and Molly Anne play and he gets half ready.  

7:15 - he takes her to Ms. Beckys where she gets there at 7:30 then has breakfast around 8:30 and a nap after that. 

7:45 - Kevin is back home to get ready then he zips to his office.


11:30 - MA is getting her bottle and lunch at Ms. Beckys then goes down for her long nap around 12:30/12:45!

12ish - I usually do errands during lunch then pick something up at Teeter or Dean and Deluca for lunch. Kevin goes home at lunch and does laundry, bottles, yard work etc. 

3:00 - I leave my office to get Molly Anne.

3:30 - depending on when I get her, either Ms. Becky or I will give her a snack.  

4:00 - we get home and unpack and repack for the next day.  I do all packing of bags and bottles the night before so we can run out easily in the AM.  Then we play.  I'll sometimes start dinner during this time. But we always do something fun when we get home in the afternoon. Most days we FaceTime my mom too. 

5:00/5:30 - if I'm lucky I get something on the table for dinner. I try to prep for dinner the night before so it's super easy when I get home because I'd rather spend that time with Molly Anne. 

5:30 - Kevin is usually home and the three of us eat at the table together.

6:30 - bathtime for Molly Anne

6:45 - bottle 

7/7:15 - bed for her

7:30 - Kevin lays low and catches back up on work and this is when I'm just getting started!  I either prep dinner for the next night, wrap up laundry, order gifts, get my life organized, talk to a friend on the phone, read blogs, play with Mills. Whatever. 

9:00/9:30 - I shower then get in the bed. Asleep always by 9:30 or 10 on school nights!  

Monday, June 20, 2016

Father's Day Weekend

We loved celebrating Kevin ALL weekend long!  

Friday Molly Anne made donuts for Dad and this cute hands down artwork at Ms. Becky's!

That night I had made reservations for us and gotten Kathryn to come over so we could go out.  I didn't tell Kevin our plans but just to be ready by 6:30.  We took Uber to Bricktops for just a drink then Ubered over to Del Friscos for dinner.  He hadn't been to either place before so that is why I chose both places.  Kristen was spot on - the White Sangria at Bricktops was amazingggg!

Can I please tell you how amazing this salad was at Del Friscos?!!!!

Filet topped with foie gras and truffle oil...such a treat.  

We headed home after dinner.  Hung with Mills out back for a little bit.

Saturday morning know, all the processed food I eat all the time...had to clean up my act.  HAHA!  Butternut squash, avocado, spinach and over easy eggs.

Little morning play time.

Then to the pool after her morning nap!  And what's better than time at the pool?  Pool then swinging!

On Thursday I had made lasagna for us to have for dinner Saturday night so we had that and laid pretty low.  Lasagna is Kevin's favorite so that's why I made that. 

Sunday morning after her morning nap, we went to Kevin's parent's club for Father's Day.

All dressed up and mad I put her in her crib for a picture haha!

Sunday afternoon we snuck in a little pool time with Daddy!

Then we met up with Kevin's fam again for dinner at Cantina to celebrate his brother's and his Mom's birthday which are this week.  Molly Anne and her cousin Kendall!

Sunday night chilling with my bud.

Here's to a crazy week ahead!