daphne {month nine}

SONY DSC

{alligator: Jellycat // dress: Peek // leggings: Carter’s (old) // onesie: Gerber (old)}

SONY DSC

{Eloise wanted to jump in during the photo shoot with Daphne this morning. I love this picture of them. Sharing a sister secret!}

{month nine} Nine months? Guys, that’s three-quarters of a year. I feel like I am going to blink and it’s going to March 1st. This monthly milestone is definitely emotional for me (emotional, but in a good and happy way).

Daphne is all about standing these days. If she can use something to help her get up to standing, she will, for better or for worse. And she has definitely taken some tumbles from trying to use something that wasn’t strong enough (like a toy or ball) but she is learning and getting so much stronger in her legs. She can stand up on her own and only be holding on by like a finger – she is SO close! But, beyond standing, she doesn’t seem as interested in actually walking. At least yet. She will cruise a bit along the table, but if she wants to get somewhere, she is happy to plop back down on her bottom and crawl. And boy is she a fast crawler! She can get around a room so quickly these days and I think the second gate (to block off the stairs) is imminent. Like this weekend. Daphne has had some exposure to stairs, but still has some learning to do. The actual climbing up part is pretty natural for her (a lot like crawling) but she tends to want to sit down which is scary on stairs since there isn’t much room for that!

Eating is still going well. As I mentioned, Daphne is eating all BLW food (so she is feeding herself with her hands) and it is almost impossible to get her to eat from a spoon at this point. She just wants to grab it and fling the food off, and then chew on it. So, eventually we will re-introduce the spoon as a feeding tool that she can control, but for now, her hands work well! More and more I have been trying to feed her what we are eating (especially for dinner) just a de-constructed version of it. We have yet to find a food that she doesn’t eat, and we have tried a wide breadth of food!

Daphne is still such a good sleeper. (Knock on wood!) Part of the thing that helps, especially for me during the week, is that she is pretty routine by waking and sleeping at the same time every day. There is still some leeway in her schedule where some days she is up at 7:30 am or doesn’t nap in the afternoon until 1:45 pm, but still consistent enough where I can rely on her daily schedule to schedule my own day and week, and know exactly when she is going to be ready for sleep. Before nap times she can go from crazy crawling all over to asleep in 1 minute, but at bedtime, she is ready for bed. Any time after 7 pm is fair game for bedtime and she will let us know when she’s ready for a bottle and bedtime snuggles. We are still alternating between pumped milk and formula at nighttime and she doesn’t seem to have a preference at all.

Like the true younger sister that she is, Daphne never wants to be left out. If there is something going on, she wants to see it and be part of it. It is pretty cute when this means that she is included in Eloise’s play, but it sometimes means that things get moved up to the dining room table or other high-up surface and that Daphne does not get to play. But we have a rule with Eloise that if Daphne is either playing with something that isn’t a Daphne-safe toy or is something really special to Eloise (meaning she doesn’t want to share it), then she has to find an alternative toy for Daphne. Sometimes Daphne will be super interested in that alternative toy (meaning she will chew on it) and sometimes she will move onto something else by speed-crawling away!

Nursing is still going well and is super short these days. Partly that is because Daphne is a much more efficient eater, but partly also because she is SO distracted. I try to nurse her in a neutral setting where there isn’t too much distraction (noise, lights, people) so that I know she will get a full feeding. We are still nursing 4 times per day and I don’t see any early signs of weaning. Yet. I know its coming, but for now it works!

{weight} 19 pounds.
{hair} blackish brown.
{teeth} two bottom middle teeth, top four teeth.
{eyes} dark grey/brown.
{clothes} 6 months (pants only), 9 months and 12 months (Carter’s), 6 to 12 months.
{diapers} size 3 {from the honest company}. At home we are doing cloth (Grovia) and disposables when we go out and overnight.
{feeding} nursing every 3.5 to 4 hours during the day, starting around 8 am. feeding sessions last around 5 to 10 minutes (both sides). bedtime is around 7:30 with a 6 oz bottle.

{likes} eating, bath time with Eloise, watching big kids or babies, crawling, pulling up to her knees or feet, spinning on her back and belly, teething rings, chewing on anything, sitting in her highchair, staring at her quilt (from Amanda), rattles, nursing, riding in the car (usually), her big sister Eloise, Sadie, singing, lights, paci, being bounced, sucking on her hands, being tickled, talking (cooing).
{dislikes} having gas, lying down flat right after eating, being hungry or tired, not having a bottle immediately after seeing it, having her face or nose wiped off.

{nicknames} Daph, Daph Daph, Daphers, Bug, Snorty, Baby D, Daphne Doo, Daph-a-doo, Love, Lovebug.

And here is Eloise’s nine month update.

Happy NINE months Daphne!

M

This post contains affiliate links.

daphne {week 39}

SONY DSC

{letterboard: Letter Folk (Poet) // top: Burt’s Bees (old) // leggings: Target (old)}

{week 39} This last week we were in Boise, so while I tried to keep the routine as consistent as possible, there were interruptions and changes that we just had to work thru. Mostly the decision when we are out of town or have someone visiting (or every day I guess for me!) is whether to try an on-the-go nap in the morning and risk Daphne not sleeping or sleeping very little.

There was one morning (last Wednesday) that Grammie, Eloise, Daphne, and I ventured out to the Festival of Trees and I was hoping Daphne would snooze thru it. She fell asleep in the car on the way there, but then once I transferred her to the Ergo, she was awake! I don’t blame her since the entire Festival is huge rooms full of Christmas trees with Christmas music and lots of people milling about. At one point right before lunch she looked like she may fall asleep, but she moved thru that quickly and didn’t fall asleep until after lunch on the car ride home. We stopped at Target, though, before heading home and she did sleep (in her car seat) thru that entire trip! Every other morning we were in Boise though I made sure she was able to go down for a proper nap.

Afternoon naps are almost always regular because that is around the time that Eloise has “quiet time” and Daphne took good afternoon naps, for the most part. The roughest part of sleeping this trip was definitely nighttime! She slept thru without a peep for two nights, but every other night was up multiple times. We couldn’t really figure out why she was waking up (or why she was upset) but the last few nights, she wouldn’t let me leave until I rubbed her back while she fell back asleep. Yeah, that was super fun. I would think she was asleep so I would stop rubbing her back and stand up to leave and head back to bed, but then she would pop-up wide awake and cry until I started rubbing her back again. Grumble, grumble. Luckily she hasn’t seemed to continue that expectation now that we are home!

We were able to see almost all of my family that lives in town during the week, particularly on Thanksgiving Day, and while Daphne was pretty shy with stranger danger during the first few days, she seemed to warm up towards the end of the trip. It helps if she is well-rested and has just eaten (nursed and solid foods) when she is around new people, but sometimes Mama is the only one that will do.

Daphne did AMAZINGLY WELL on the car trip home on Sunday. As I mentioned in my weekend post, the stops for nursing, potty, gas, and meals all aligned and we made excellent time! Daphne slept a lot more than I anticipated and within a few minutes of being in the car after a stop, she was back asleep and had hardly any awake time while in the car.

We are happy to be home and getting back into the normal routine of things (I LOVE our mornings together while Eloise is at school) as we countdown the days to December 1st!

And here is Eloise’s 39 week update!

Happy 39 weeks Daphne!

M

my {thanksgiving} week in pictures.

20171120_235649760_iOS

{Daphne was really interested in my parents’ puppy Izzy. They were pretty cute together!}

20171121_195945977_iOS

{And Daph also really loved that baby she could see in the oven. Kisses all around!}

20171122_225022551_iOS

{I picked up this turkey kit at TJ’s last week and Grammie was so nice to do it with Eloise. Cutest turkey of the year.}

20171123_233657732_iOS

{Eloise got a few early Christmas presents, including Candyland, which she wants to play non-stop. If you come over to visit anytime soon, it is pretty much a guarantee that she will ask you to play a game with her.}

20171123_234844356_iOS

{The girls with my brother, Uncle Jason, and Aunt Kelly on Thanksgiving.}

20171123_235025568_iOS

{Love them.}

20171124_013108430_iOS

{And Daphne with my oldest sister Keri (or Aunt Dollie as we call her).}

20171124_040226633_iOS

{And that belly!}

20171124_182947907_iOS

{Daphne could not wait to play/destroy all of the dollhouse pieces and there were moments this week where Eloise would let her play. It was the sweetest.}

20171124_184143498_iOS

{And Sadie is always the protector of these girls. Wherever they were, she was too.}

20171125_061847583_iOS

{I got to hang out with my old girlfriends TWICE this week, including a mamas only dinner! We had amazing food and conversation and shut the restaurant down! Such a great time with these ladies.}

20171125_200104642_iOS

{I may or may not have forgotten to get a Thanksgiving picture of the girls (and definitely didn’t get a family one) so I re-created it for photos later in the week. This is my current favorite picture of these two girls.}

20171125_234407071_iOS

{Eloise gets her love of popcorn from Aaron, but it didn’t take much convincing for Paga to have some too!}

20171126_015918948_iOS

{I was SUPER nervous about the Apple Cup, but the Huskies did so well! Apparently I had nothing to worry about though because Wazzu didn’t show up to the game until the very end, and then it was too late! Go Dawgs!}

20171126_025700228_iOS

{When Izzy was calm and sleepy, Eloise was a pretty big fan!}

20171126_150407944_iOS

{We left at 6:30 this morning to hit the road back to Seattle. We didn’t get to see a real sunrise but it was still pretty to see dusk.}

20171126_151516484_iOS

{We stopped in Baker City, Oregon at Sumpter Junction restaurant which is one that my dad suggested. This place has a train that runs thru the entire restaurant and I grew up going here on our roadtrips from Boise to Seattle (to visit my grandmother). Daphne didn’t really care about the train too much but did love Aaron and being out of her car seat.}

{The train going by our table. And clearly I am just as excited as Eloise! Plus, matching Christmas jammies are going to be on repeat for the next month!}

We spent the week in Boise with my family and had so much fun! It was wonderful, as always, to see friends and family that we just don’t get to see as often as we’d like. The week was mostly relaxing and I tried not to schedule too much. As with everyone else, we counted our blessings and things we were thankful for, and this year we have SO MUCH to be thankful for!

We drove back home today and the trip went really well. The girls did amazing the entire trip and all of the timing of stops for gas, potty, food just all worked out! We have a pretty packed week coming up and I am hoping to get back into the groove of normal life sooner rather than later. Plus, finally decorating for Christmas is on the agenda, though our tree will probably have to wait until next weekend.

How was your Thanksgiving week and long weekend?

M

P.S. Did you see our new blog header? I have been meaning to update it for the past few months, since Daphne was born, but didn’t get around to it. One of the photos from our Christmas card shoot was perfect (and I will be sure to share the rest in a few weeks).

P.P.S. It is officially Christmastime at The Petite Flag Shop and I am loving the new additions of mini flags and cards (I can’t decide which is my favorite). There is a 30% off sale (and free shipping, always) going on thru Cyber Monday if you use code: BLKFRIDAY17!

daphne {week 38}

Daphne_Week 38.jpg

{letterboard: Letter Folk (Poet) // top & leggings: Tea Collection}

{week 38} Happy Thanksgiving!

This past week or so Daphne has discovered stranger danger. She has always been a mama’s girl, but especially so right now. While happy to look at other people and interact with them, she only wants to do so if I am holding her. So, that’s been fun. I know it’s totally normal, but I am ready for her to be super social again!

We are at my parents’ house this week for the holiday and finally got a chance to weigh Daphne (our scale’s batteries stopped working…) and she is 19 POUNDS! I did not think she was that close to 20 pounds. She goes in for her 9 month check-up in two weeks and I am eager to see where she is on the growth curve.

We drove down to Boise this past weekend (as you may have seen in the weekend post) and Daphne did so well. She is generally good in the car and does well in her car seat. Her feeding schedule stretched out to 4ish hours when we were driving which was perfect for meal and wiggle breaks, though she varies between 3.5 and 4 hours between feedings now anyways. Daphne ended up napping a lot this trip which sort of surprised me. And it wasn’t until after lunch that she got upset about being in her seat. It was a 10 hour trip, so I don’t blame her, but she was acting a little funny after lunch when we started back on the road. Just overly fussy and a little warm but I thought her breathing sounded a little shallow. So I pretty closely monitored her for the rest of the trip and we made sure to let her get out for a while when we stopped for a feeding just to let her get a break from her seat. But we made it to Boise!

Sleeping has been pretty good while we have been here and Daphne is sleeping in a pack n’ play in the laundry room! Both of the girls typically sleep better when they are in their own space (and so do their parents!) and it has worked out pretty well. Naps have been really good but nighttime sleep has been harder. The time change has worked well for us because Daphne had been waking slightly earlier at home (just after 7 or 7:30) which puts her up at 8 here. She has been up a few times during the night and a handful of times just giving her a paci has not cut it (which is unusual). So it has been a few more wake-ups at night than we are used to, but all-in-all not too bad. On Tuesday morning she was up just after 5 am and pretty much didn’t go back to sleep after that (and was so upset). We couldn’t figure out what the issue was since even a feeding didn’t completely calm her down. But, she made up for it with a super solid afternoon nap (and two naps in the car while we were out for the morning) along with making me feel very thankful that I am not up with her at 5 am every day. Thank you Daph for being a (normally) great sleeper!

Also, we set up a diaper changing station in front of a mirror in my old room and Daphne is OBSESSED with that baby in the mirror. It is amazing because it keeps her distracted while we are changing diapers (because she generally wants to flip over and crawl around) but it is also so impossibly cute! And once she has a new diaper, she will sit up and then high-five herself and give herself kisses. It’s the BEST! We should probably get her a big mirror at our house too. (She also has been doing this on the oven which I shared over on my Instagram stories the other day!)

And here is Eloise’s 38 week update.

Happy 38 weeks Daphne!

M

my weekend in pictures.

20171117_181155036_iOS

{Finally found some time to start packing for our Boise trip and SO excited to use our Walker Family Goods duffel. My friend Lex that I grew up with started this company with her husband and it had a really successful kickstarter. I love this bag already and am already eyeing a pink one! It is perfect for packing both girls.}

20171117_212324564_iOS

{A big purple dinosaur joined Daphne and me on our post-lunch walk.}

20171118_030050200_iOS

{We had our monthly family dinner with the Sadliers’ and had the best time, as usual. It’s so fun that the kids all play together (for the most part).}

20171118_190938370_iOS

{A sunny and dry Saturday means yard work for Papa and Eloise. There were so many leaves and tree debris down in the yard from the crazy windstorms we had earlier in the week.}

20171118_195027409_iOS

{Just got this book and I am super excited to get into it. Getting a jump-start on New Year’s resolutions I guess!}

20171119_032056840_iOS

{Bedtime with the girls.}

20171119_150353187_iOS

{We woke up super early (okay, early for us, it was 5 am) to get on the road for Boise. Driving thru Snoqualmie Pass and realizing just how gorgeous our state is.}

20171119_193435757_iOS

{We stopped in Pendleton, Oregon for lunch and got some wiggles out at a local playground.}

{And Daphne LOVES the swing! She has only been in one one other time but didn’t laugh and giggle like this. Eloise has never really liked swings so I haven’t tried it with Daph too much. Apparently I should change that!}

20171120_194931739_iOS.jpg

{The girls playing together. Okay, truth: Eloise setting up the dollhouse and Daphne wants to join in on whatever she is doing!}

We spent all day Saturday cleaning up the house and packing up, and then all day Sunday driving to Boise to spend Thanksgiving week! I am completely in denial that it is already the end of November (what?!) but excited to celebrate Turkey Day with my family and then head home to DECK THE HALLS for CHRISTMAS!

How was your weekend?

M

This post contains affiliate links.

traveling with littles // our travel essentials

Traveling with Littles.jpg

Since I posted about our Mexico trip (over on Instagram and on the blog) I have had TONS of questions about how we traveled with the kids, what we took, and tips from the trip. So, I thought I would just put up a big post with links to everything so I wouldn’t have to type and text and respond with the same things to everyone. Plus, this is a great reference for me because as much as I love traveling, the actual act of traveling gives me a bit of anxiety, especially in the day or two before. It’s mostly the preparation, which is sort of counter-intuitive since I am such a planner, and the lists and lists of things to pack and to-dos before we leave (like I will stay up all night cleaning the house and doing all of the laundry the night before so I come home to a super clean house).

Any-hoo, onto our travel essentials. Obviously it depends on your kids, your routine and every day necessities, and your own preferences, but lots of these things work for most of the littles. Also, I have tailored this to air travel, but many of the same things are true when we drive.

Something that I had growing up was a travel backpack which was a backpack full of toys and things that I only got when we traveled. (Thanks Mom & Dad!) And this is something that we started when Eloise was tiny and continue to do. Guys, it’s magic. These are special toys that she only gets when we drive or fly, so they are really special every time. It really doesn’t have to be anything crazy or over-the-top, and remember that they have to really be small enough for your littles to carry (or else you will have to carry it!). Right now these travel-only toys include: this Doodle Pro, these Mermaid stickers, flashcards (from the Dollar Spot at Target), these headphones, coloring book or paper and crayons, and this kids’ digital camera we added as a new surprise for this most recent trip! I also include a small snack in the front pocket of her bag (usually a bar and a pouch).

I try to have Eloise carry some of her own things, but since her backpack is so tiny, realistically I have to carry some things. I generally put her stickers, a small book, her headphones, and her lovie and blanket in her backpack, and then I carry everything else. This trip I took my diaper bag (I have this Skip-Hop one which I am LOVING right now because pockets and over-the-shoulder handles or cross-body – necessary with two kids) and this awesome Lo & Sons bag (Deluxe Small). And then Aaron carries a bag too, currently this Miir backpack which is also awesome! Between all of those bags, we can usually fit everything we are carrying on the airplane without it being too obnoxious! I put all of the essentials that we will more than likely need during the plane trip in my diaper bag (diapers, wipes, water bottles, pacifier) that goes under the seat, and then at least one of the other bags goes up into the over-head bin (and includes things we don’t need immediately like extra clothes, snacks, etc.).

STROLLER, CAR SEATS, AND CARRIERS

Even though our every day stroller is pretty compact (we have the Bugaboo Bee) it seemed too bulky to take on the trip. I wanted something that either girl could sit in that would be easy to maneuver around the resort. But I also didn’t want a super cheap stroller that would break during the trip. So we settled on this umbrella stroller and it was perfect! It fit either girl, laid back for the occasional nap, had a pretty big storage basket underneath, had a cup holder (bonus!), and folded to be pretty compact. We took this stroller with us in the airport and then gate-checked it. Though not necessary, I like to put gate-checked items into bags and this one was perfect for an umbrella stroller!

We weren’t planning on doing any extra driving while in Mexico, but since we did have to get from the airport to the resort (in a vehicle) we brought both of the girls’ car seats. We don’t use them on the plane (see below) but I didn’t feel comfortable being in a vehicle without car seats, despite the assurances that Mexico does not actually require car seats for children. (Um, yikes, but that’s not the point here.) So we checked the car seats using these car seat bags. Obnoxious, yes. Practical, yes. The bags have backpack straps (which Aaron can use; I, however, will fall over backwards!) and are big enough for the seat plus we always put diapers in the seat to save room in our luggage! A note about international travel and car seats is that other countries, including Mexico, don’t have locking seat belts, so be sure to take these brackets which will “lock” the seat belt!

We also took both of the carriers for the girls (the Tula and the Ergo) since we both can use them and Aaron can still carry Eloise in a carrier. In hindsight, we should have just brought one since the Ergo went unused during almost the entire trip. (It was WAY too hot to use the carriers when we were in Mexico, for the most part!) But, we find the carriers really helpful when we are getting on the plane because it frees up both sets of hands to carry bags. And as much as I love my Solly wrap, in the past it has been too tricky to try to get Daphne in and out of it as the other carriers (though I loved it when D was a newborn).

PLANE

Getting on the plane with littles is always an experience. And one that gives me anxiety. I just want to be on the plane with my luggage stowed and seat belt fastened. So I make sure that we get any gate check bag tags that we need (for our stroller and sometimes our infant car seat, but not this time around) as soon as there is someone at the gate counter, and then I wait in the immediate boarding area in case there are any updates about the flight. And there are differing opinions about this, but our system is to get on the plane as early as possible! That generally means we board with the “families or passengers that need extra time getting down the jet way.” For some airlines this is the very first group to board, and for others it is after all of the gold, platinum, whatever flight status passengers get to board. But, long story short, we get onto the plane with the girls before 95% of the rest of the passengers.

Once we find our seats, I get in first to sit in the window and then Eloise will get the middle seat. I wipe down everything (tray – both sides, arm rests, window and wall) with a disinfecting wipe. My girls, especially Daphne, lick and touch everything. So there’s that. While I am disinfecting, Aaron is installing the CARES harness that we use for Eloise onto the seat; it is a loop that goes over the seat, but requires the tray to be put down for tightening, and then provides an upper harness that loops into the regular airline seat belt. Again, there are many differing opinions about how small children should be restrained in an airplane, but we have chosen to have lap infants (before age 2) and then use the CARES harness (rather than hauling a car seat on the plane). And then Daphne sits with me during pre-boarding and then during take-off and landing, just in case she won’t take her paci and needs to nurse.

Before I had littles, I didn’t put anything in the seat back pocket. But now, I load it up with wet wipes, water bottles, books, snacks. When you have a baby on your lap, it is difficult to get a bag out from under the seat, so I try to get most of what I might need during the flight out where I can easily reach it. And then we use the under the seat space at Eloise’s seat to store one of the bigger carry-ons that has things we will need during the flight, and the other carry-on goes up into the overhead bin. That leaves Aaron with no bags at his feet so he’s a bit more comfortable (since his knees nearly hit the seat in front of him).

 

PLAY

Even on a short flight little ones need something to do, so we try to bring entertaining things to keep them occupied for as much of the flight as possible. Like I mentioned above, we have special airplane toys/items that only come out during travel, so they tend to keep Eloise occupied for a little longer than normal. In addition, I bring a few small board books or magazines for her to read or to have read to her. For Daphne, I brought a few soft toys and books, but avoided anything that squeaked!

Before each trip, Aaron will pre-download shows (Daniel Tiger, Mister Roger’s, and Sesame Street are the current ones) onto either his phone or one of our computers. This way we don’t have to worry about Wifi on the plane or any sort of buffering during the show. We are pretty strict about screentime with Eloise during our normal life, and during traveling, we are equally strict. She gets to watch one (maybe two) shows of her choosing during a plane ride, but only after she takes a nap. It is amazing that a toddler can go from “I am not tired. At all.” to sleeping in a matter of minutes if it means there is a show on the other side! We don’t always get the longest naps, but we make sure she naps before a show. And, also, we try to exhaust every other possible entertainment method for Eloise before we let her watch a show; that means reading stories, snacks (so many snacks), walking up and down the aisle, going potty, etc. We know from other parents that if you offer a show too early in the trip, the only thing your toddler wants to do is watch a show!

 

FOOD

I bring tons of snacks on trips, always. Even before kids. I guess I worry about being on a plane or in a hotel room without food! I tend to make a big trip to Trader Joe’s a few days before a trip because it has the BEST snack foods. And snacks don’t have to be unhealthy. We do a lot of trail mix, dried fruit, and other healthier snacks so that I don’t worry as much if that is all Eloise will eat on the trip.

One thing that we do bring that we don’t have normally (so it’s special which magical for toddlers!) are food pouches. They are heavy but really convenient and if you have kids, TSA doesn’t make a stink about them at all. For a flight, I will put one into Eloise’s backpack for her to find and then let her choose when she wants to eat it. But I do limit the amount of pouches to one per day for Eloise. Daphne, on the other hand, was young enough on our trip that we were still transitioning between purees and BLW (baby-led weaning). So I loaded up on pouches* and brought enough for one pouch per meal since I didn’t know what the food situation was going to be.

*Since I don’t normally buy food pouches, I was overwhelmed (an understatement) when I went to Target to buy them for the trip. Holy cow there are about 100 brands, even if you are only looking at organic ones! So, I started reading the labels. Many pouches (and other baby foods and drinks even) use apple sauce/puree as the main filler with only a small amount of the other flavors. My test for pouches was to find ones that were (1) organic and (2) weren’t apple sauce. And I ended up finding these Happy Baby Clearly Crafted Stage 2 that fit the bill and were in a clear pouch (bonus!) with lots of interesting flavors. Like I said, I loaded up and ended up bringing enough for 2 or 3 every day which was so, so heavy going down to Mexico, but Daphne ate them all during our trip and we didn’t have to haul them back (except the ones I saved for the flights home).

Along with TJ’s snacks, we also like Ella’s Kitchen snacks, Bambas, and Larabars (mini). We don’t usually let Eloise snack much during the day because it just destroys mealtimes, but when we travel (and especially when we fly) we are super lax about snacking. We ended up being able to get food really quickly at the resort in Mexico because there was a food buffet open almost all day, but sometimes waiting in restaurants for a meal is hard, so I always have snacks or a pouch in my bag.

 

SUN AND SAND

One thing I was dreading with the hot weather in Mexico (and also just summer in general) is sunscreen. I loathe sunscreen but the alternative is worse. I am also really picky when it comes to sunscreen and will only use physical sunscreen which means almost all of the cool sprays, mousses, dry-touch ones are all no-nos. Our favorite for the past few years is this non-aerosol spray from Babyganics which we all use. And I also picked up this Babo Botanicals Clear Zinc for our trip after reading really good reviews on it, and I really liked it! Aaron wasn’t sold on it, but the smell was amazing. Neither one of these sunscreens are super white and greasy which is what I am looking for. And be sure to test sunscreen on an arm or leg of your babies first to make sure there isn’t a bad skin reaction! Daphne wasn’t able to wear sunscreen all summer-long (because she was under 6 months) but thank goodness she was old enough when we went to Mexico and that she wasn’t allergic to either sunscreen we had.

Because we were going to be at the beach, I brought along our little anti-UV pop-up tent that I picked up at the Nordy’s Anni Sale this past summer. It didn’t get as much use as I thought since Daphne was so little this summer and we mostly just stayed out of the sun, but it folds up small enough (and flat enough) that we were able to get it into our suitcase for this trip. To be totally honest, we only used this tent one morning while we were in Mexico, but it was still worth it! I was able to keep Daphne out of the sand since she would just eat it and be covered in it (between the sunscreen and her hands in her mouth all the time) which was amazing! We have previously rented a big tent for the beach when we went to Maui and it was awesome for the beach!

If it is sunny and hot at all, my girls are used to wearing sunhats (at least Eloise is). Since neither will reliably keep sunglasses on, sunhats are the way to go. We love this iPlay one since it is super lightweight, dries quickly, and breathes. Plus, it is adjustable and has a chin tie (which is necessary for a baby who tries to pull it off). Eloise had a dark navy blue one when she was one, but I quickly discovered that the dark color got hot in the sun. So she and Daphne both have white ones. There is also this one that has more neck coverage. And in addition to a sunhat, we wear lots of sunshirts near the pool or at the beach. We have one from Crewcuts (J. Crew’s baby line) and Honest Co. but I have also been liking the ones that come with the bathing suit set (like Cat and Jack for Target). Often I will bring an extra sunshirt along in my bag and then can switch out the girls’ shirt if we are going to be in the sun so I don’t have to slather on quite as much sunscreen!

SLEEP

Ah, elusive sleep. Especially when you are traveling, sleep is elusive. We have two really good sleepers, but traveling and being away from home and in a new place can be disruptive! We try to mimic our sleep routine and schedule from home as much as possible when we are traveling. Same jammies, same lovies, same pacis, same/similar sound machine, same sleep sack.

We have this travel sound machine which has been good for the past few years, but we have been having trouble with batteries corroding in it, so I am on the hunt! Basically, I want something that is lightweight and can give us the sound of rain (that’s our preferred sound) all night long (so no timer). If you have any recommendations on a good travel sound machine, I am all ears!

And since Eloise had been recently night-time potty-trained, I brought along this waterproof mattress pad cover which is the one that we keep on her bed at home. Luckily, we didn’t end up needing it, but I will probably still bring it along with us for our next few trips since it folds up like a small blanket.

And for Daphne, I ended up bringing an extra blanket for her which I used on the plane while she napped and then hung on the side of the pack n’ play while we were in Mexico. I wouldn’t normally hang a blanket on the side of a pack n’ play but in this case we were sharing a hotel room so I needed to put something up to block Daphne’s view so that she would sleep. We put her over on the other side of the room (from the beds) to give her some space and quiet, but the sides of the pack n’ play are mesh… so we hung a blanket over one side and a towel over the other and it worked really well (the other two sides were facing the wall and the sliding door with curtains). At this point (one month later) Daphne probably would have pulled that blanket and curtain off the sides since she can now stand up in a crib, but at the time it worked!

PASSPORTS AND TRAVEL DOCS

When we decided to book our trip to Mexico for the entire, we knew it would require passports for the girls. Even though we don’t have any other international trips planned as of now, it’s nice to know that we can plan a last minute trip or take a drive across the border if we need/want to (Canada is just about 3 hours north). Plus, passports for littles are insanely cute and good for 5 years. We took our own pictures using the Murphy bed in the guest room/office for the white backdrop, and then printed them at Walgreen’s.

{Side note: This section is about vaccines. We have decided to vaccinate ourselves and our children which is a personal decision. This isn’t a post meant to be pro-vaccination, but just to explain what our process was regarding travel and vaccines.} And since we were traveling abroad, I did ask our girls’ pediatrician about any extra vaccines they may need before the trip since other countries have different exposure risks than we do domestically. He told us that Eloise was good-to-go since she is up-to-date on her vaccines (thru three years), but that he recommended that Daphne get an early booster of the MMR (which isn’t started until after one year) because there is a high risk of exposure when you travel internationally, specifically in international airport terminals. Also, since it was early October when we left for our trip, we all got our annual flu vaccines before flying.

And finally, be sure to research any other documents you might need on your trip, depending on where you are traveling, including any required visas. I also took pictures of our passports as well as scanned them and saved them to our cloud storage (just in case they got lost) and took a copy of the girls’ birth certificates and vaccine records (which I always have with me).

What are your travel essentials?

M

This post contains affiliate links.

 

daphne {week 37}

SONY DSC

{letterboard: Letter Folk (Poet) // sweater: babyGap (old) // leggings: Target (old) // quilt: made by Amanda}

{week 37} Guys, Daphne is on the move. Like big time. I know I mentioned it in her monthly update (and probably every weekly update!) but it’s so true. Every day I think she gets faster and more confident in her ability to move. Crawling is her preferred method of travel and she is starting to pick up some serious speed. She hasn’t gotten close to the stairs yet, but I think we will need to be putting the second gate up soon (we will put it in the short hallway upstairs).

And along with always moving, Daphne does not like to be flat on her back. So I am surprised we can even get any weekly pictures at all. And if you saw the outtakes, it is all of her rolling around and crawling away! Even during diaper changes, Daphne crunches her head up and doesn’t want to lay flat.

There are lots of giggles these days, especially for tickles or for Eloise. We also got some giggles when I brushed Daphne’s teeth the other night. She has the sweetest little laugh!

Daphne is working on sounds and currently says: mama (but not in context), mimi, and nang nang (when she is hungry and bangs on her tray for more food). We are also working on signs with her (eat, more, milk, all done, please, and thank you) and Eloise has been really helpful in teaching her.

This girl loves food. Seriously loves. She eats anything and everything, and will eat until we cut her off. We keep a plate of her food on the table and then move pieces to her tray (or else so much of it will hit the floor) and she will bang on her tray and whine if she sees something on the plate that she wants to eat. But really, she loves (roasted) brussel sprouts and cauliflower as much as she loves kiwi and blueberries.

And here’s Eloise’s 37 week update.

Happy 37 weeks Daphne!

M