Friday, August 28, 2015

Houston Trip - Part 1: Packing

Tonight will be Jack's first plane ride!

We are heading to Houston to visit Max's sister and her husband. So I thought I would write a little something on how/what I'm packing for Jack since I can't be the only parent that is overwhelmed by traveling with baby the first time.

Max's sister doesn't have any kids yet so there won't be anything to borrow/steal while we're there so everything must be brought or bought. It's also a super short trip (we come back Sunday night) so we can also skimp on a few things.


- 3 Bottles - All of these will be going in the carry on empty. Then once we're pass security we can buy some water to make the formula with. Anything to make going through security easier am I right?!

- Formula - we're bringing the whole can in the carry on, it just seems easier than parsing it out. We'll see how this does going through security.

- Oatmeal Cereal - This will be checked and in a baggie since it's already been opened. I really don't want cereal all over our clothes.

- Spoon - Also in the checked luggage and probably in the same baggie as the cereal.

- Bibs - These will be checked too. We're bringing plastic ones so they are easy to wipe off. I'll do anything to avoid doing laundry on our short trip.


- 3 Burp Rags- Not clothes but necessary to keep our clothes clean :). One will go in the carry on and two in the check. We probably don't need three but can you ever have too many burp rags?

- 6 onesies - Our flight is late and we won't land until almost midnight so I'm going to put him in his safari pajama's. I also tend to get cold on flights and in the airport so hopefully this will keep him warm too. Then 2 other onesies will go in our carry on in case of blow outs or giant spit ups and the rest will be checked. Also as a side note these onesies were on sale at Target for $3.99 a piece so you should totally check them out. They are so adorable!

- Hats - These will be in the checked luggage since we'll be landing at night. But during the day it's going to be hot and sunny like AZ and Jack got the short end of the stick with two pale parents so a hat for him is a must. The last thing we want to do on vacation is have a sunburned baby.

- Sunscreen - See sunburned baby above. And even though we have a stick rather than lotion for him we are still going to check it. There's just no need for it before we get there. Sorry Jack, your parents are just too pale. You'll learn to love the smell of suncreen.


- 20 diapers - 5 are going in the carry on and the rest will be checked. I'll probably put these in baggies t0o so they don't get ripped or torn on something. A diaper with a hole in it is probably my worst nightmare :)

- Wipes - We're only bringing what is left of the pack that was already in my purse/diaper bag and if we need more we can buy them while we're there.

- Dog Poop Bags - "But you're not bringing your dogs," you say. True but we are bringing our own personal poop machine. These baggies will give us something to put smelly gross diapers in when a trash can isn't readily available. They'll go in our carry on so they can be used anytime and they take up such little space.

- Changing Pad - This goes with my purse/diaper bag from Lilly Jade so it's definitely coming with us and will go back in my carry on purse.

- Binkie Wipes - These will go in the carry on too. Now I will admit I hardly ever clean Jack's binkie's off more than just a quick wipe with my hand. But for the times that they get in real dirt or get some kind of gunk on them or maybe they touch an airport floor for instance I like to have these wipes on hand. They are safe for him to have in and around his mouth so no need to dry off the binkie for giving it back to him and they do a good job at making it squeaky clean.

- Diaper Rash Cream - Jack doesn't really ever get diaper rash but you never know, they can start so fast! This will probably go in the checked luggage. I just don't feel like fighting with security over some butt cream.

Fun Stuff:

- 3 Binkies - Jack MUST have a binkie at all times, plus it will help with his ears. So one is coming with us attached to him of course. So you could say it's Jack's carry on :). Aw that was adorable. Then the other two will be packed.

- Muslin Blanket - Jack has to sleep with a blanket not only on him but also over his face. It's horrifying but what can you do? So this muslin blanket is perfect. It's super lightweight and breathable. We're going to check it because the other blanket is going in carry on along with a diaper rag that he can use as a blanket/cover his face with on the plane.

- Quilt - This is going in our carry on. We're going to use it at the airport to give Jack a place to lay down since our changing pad is just a little too small and then in Houston he can use it to play on and sleep with. I love multi-use items!

- Sophie the Giraffe - As every mom knows this is the best teething toy and Jack is no different, he loves it. (More details in the 4 month must haves coming up) This will no doubt be going in our carry on.

- Rattle - My sister got this rattle for him and it twists and turns and even has chewing nubbers on it. Jack has grown to love it so it will be in the carry on too.

- Mr. Bear - This is Jack's Mr. Bear. I put it on the 3 month must haves but it is still a must have for him. He loves the soft texture and let's be honest he's also easy to chew on :). This is a carry on item too.

- Butterfly - This butterfly toy is also one of Jack's most favorite toys (while writing this I learned it's a firefly and not a butterfly o 'well lol) There are so many dangly things that he loves to play with (see more on his 4 month must haves coming up). This is probably also going in the carry on, but if it get's too tight we might check it.

- Squeak Toys - These three little animal toys I actually bought from Jack's swim lesson place, so they are really bath/pool toys. But he loves them. They are the perfect size for his little hands and the soft rubber is great to chew on. They squish into the smallest places so they will go in our carry on.

We are also taking the stroller, carseat, and his front carrier. We debated a long time about the stroller but figured since we have the awesome City Mini that folds up super easy and is really light we might as well. So our "plan" (we all know how well those work with a baby) is to put Jack in the car seat in the stroller. Then once at security we will wear him and put the stroller and car seat through the detector then ourselves. Then we'll check it all at the gate. Pictures and hilarious after-the-fact stories to ensue, I'm sure.

Well that's everything. Wish us luck!!

Monday, August 24, 2015

North Rim of the Grand Canyon

If you are like everyone else in AZ you are from somewhere else. Something like 80% of the people who live here are and I am no exception. As you know; I'm from the Bay Area and moved out here to go to ASU and stuck around once I married this nerd:

However, Max was born and raised here. That means I knew/know NOTHING about this state and Max knows EVERYTHING.

I have no places to show him, take him, surprise him with, etc. without him saying "Oh I've done/seen this before." Awesome, Fail #1,938,475,543,157. So he takes me around to all the places he loves and I get to see some amazing things like this:

Sierra Anchas
But even after 7 years I am still trying to find something that will be new to the BOTH of us. Enter the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. Technically Max has been there before...shocker. But it was when he was a kid and he only remembers bits and pieces so it's basically new for the both of us. We have been checking for reservations for years. But they are always full a year in advance and booking something for a year from now just isn't our style; besides a lot can happen in a having a baby per-say. But one day we were looking online and there was a CANCELLATION only 3 weeks away. Done and done; Max booked it.


This also happens to be our first true family vacation! No parents, no dogs, no help! But I was bound and determined to make it as fun and amazing as possible.

We left Sunday morning and after a 6 hr. car ride, in which Jack decided to either be silent or scream as if his car seat was some kind of torture device, we made it up to the gates of the North Rim. I didn't know what to expect but I knew there would be trees (something you cherish when you live in a desert), amazing views, cooler temps (for those that don't know it's currently 115), and some kind of wild life. What I didn't know was that as we entered the park this would be our view:

What the What?! I had no idea buffalo were at the Grand Canyon let alone in AZ! I always figured that to be a Yellowstone thing. Even though Jack was screaming as loud as he could it was still an amazing sight.

We reached the Lodge, got checked in and put our stuff in our log cabin. Yes you read that correctly, are you jealous yet, you should be.

Don't worry that's not how Jack actually slept.

Then we headed off to grab some sandwiches at the deli for dinner and ate outside over looking the canyon. What a sight.

Since it was still too early for bed we decided to walk around the top and take in the views. Max even made a timelapse at sunset. You can check it out on his blog.

Then we headed back to our cabin to settle in for the night. I know what you're thinking, "What did baby Jack sleep in? He can't sleep in a bed yet!" Well first don't under estimate Jack he's a bad ass. Second I worried about this too. We could have brought the pack and play but let's be honest they don't pack as much as they should, they way like a 1,000 pounds, and our cabin was pretty tiny and I wasn't sure how it would fit. So like a week before the trip I bought the Brica Fold n Go Travel Bassinet. I tried it out at home first to make sure he wasn't too big or anything and it worked great so it came with us. This thing is amazing. It folds up super slim, weights roughly 3lbs, and un-folds like a dream. And the best part was Jack slept in it GREAT! He wasn't scared or confused where he was and the mesh on the sides allowed air to move so he could breathe and I could sleep :). The first night we put it on the twin bed across from our bed but there is ONE SINGLE squeaky floor board between that bed and ours so it was a bit tricky to check on him and pop the binky back in without fully waking him up; so the second night we put him on the floor next to us. Both worked great except for the stupid squeak :)

Per-usual Jack woke us up for his 6AM feeding so we decided to start our day. We headed out for a short hike along the Widfross Trail.

The really cool part about this was not only that it was along the top, thus meaning flat, it also had a pamphlet guide that told you about different things along the trail at different points. It was kinda cool to learn some new things and it gave us a chance to stop and take a breather and enjoy our family time.

Jack did great too. Max carried him in the carrier instead of the Moby wrap this time because he's getting a bit big and squiggly. And this carrier also breathes a bit better which was nice in the sun.

We went up there to escape the heat so once the sun started bearing down on us we headed back. We hung out in the cabin for awhile so Jack could eat and enjoy some play time outside of the carrier. He loved every second, that kid has the cutest smile!

After some much needed relaxing we headed out for a picnic. This was my #1 to do while we were up there. I wanted some time just sitting around on a blanket soaking in the scenery and our little baby. Max drove us out to an amazing lookout point that also had a wonderful picnic table area. The ground was too rocky and pokey for the blanket so we just put it on the table and let Jack go to town (supervised of course!). We had some PB&J's and walked along the non-railed edge (it was terrifying but worth it). It was great quality family time. And aren't we the cutest little family ever!

After our picnic we headed back to the cabin to rest some more and give Jack some more play time. He rocked the tummy time at the picnic so now it was time for sitting, rolling over and giggles. Jack really isn't into rolling over, he'll roll onto his sides but feels no desire to go all the way over. Sitting and standing however might be the coolest things he has ever done. He will sit and stand for hours if you let him. But by far the best part was when he mastered his squealing giggle. He hasn't done the belly laugh yet but his squeal giggle and huge grin is simply amazing. I may have tickled and danced with him from then until dinner ;).


Before we left I called and made reservations for dinner on Monday night. There are only two sit down options; one fancy white table cloth style and one buffet western cook out style. Which one do you think was better with a 4 month old. Yeah we went with the cook out. They picked all of us up outside the lodge in a train; it was so adorable. The cookout was in the adjacent camp ground under a huge tent. The food was pretty good and there was even a live western show! They sang music, told corny jokes, and even told a story. Jack did great and even danced along to some music (with mama's help :) ).

That night after dinner I knew Max was dying to hike the canyon but since I'm in NO shape to do that and Jack is well...a baby we obviously couldn't. So Max was left to hike it alone, through the dark, our last night there while Jack and I "slept". And by slept I mean Jack slept and I stayed awake hoping Max didn't fall to his death, but you know whatever :). He started around 11PM to beat the heat and got back around 7:30AM. I was a little jealous; first he got some alone time, I love Jack but some mommy time is much needed, second he got to see some super cool bats. Max hates bats so this was more annoying to him but I would have loved it.

Once he got back we packed up and got ready to go. Jack was less than enthused about leaving, and wanted to stay napping with mommy in the big bed; I think we all felt the same.

All in all it was a fantastic trip and NEW FAMILY MEMORIES MADE!

Win #1.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Jack's 4 Month Update

Weight: 12.6 lbs. (8%)

Length: 25" (55%)

Loves: TALKING! He is so happy just laying on the floor kicking and talking to you. It's like he's dictating some great master novel. He also likes sitting up, standing, looking in the mirror, staring at the tv, and kicking and wiggling.

Hates: Not being able to see us at all times, loud noises, and not being in the exact right position for nap time.

Milestones: He still hasn't made rolling over a regular event. He only does it at the most inconvenient times like during swim lessons or when being changed. He loves to roll onto his side when he's on his back but hasn't quite figured out how to flip all the way over. He's working on it though and gets frustrated when he's so close. He also LOVES to stand. Whenever we stand him up he gets the biggest smile. We just hold onto his waist and he does the rest.

Sleep: He's doing great! He sleeps regularly for 6-9 hrs. mostly from 9:45ish to 4:45ish and even pushes to 6 sometimes!

Eating: Breastfeeding every 3-4hrs and eating 5 oz. at daycare. The Dr. said we can move onto rice cereal whenever we want. But she doesn't recommend any later than 5 1/2 months. I don't know why but I'm super excited to see him try his first bites. Then after 2 weeks of eating well we can move onto pureed veggies and fruit. Max and I are hoping to make our own so watch from some posts about that!

Teething: Lots of drool, snotty, and sometimes rubbing his face so maybe he's teething? The Dr. said there's no way to tell until a tooth pops so we'll have to see.

Monday, August 10, 2015

Swim Lessons

For 9 weeks now Jack and I have been going to weekly swim lessons. I have been wanting to do swim lessons ever since I found out we were having a baby. Swimming was such a huge part of my life so I wanted to be able to share that with him. And besides what's cuter than a swimming baby?! :)

And my sister was in town this weekend so she got to join in, which was so fun!

During swim lessons we do all kinds of things:

Back floating

Tummy floating

We hang on the side of the pool to get used to pulling ourselves out

We pull them around in "boats" which let's them kick and move

And we finish up with some tummy time on a giant floating hippo.

All in all it's a lot of fun and Jack loves it. I was so glad Katie got to watch Jack and I show off our skills :).

Check out some videos too! And you can see more photos on my facebook page.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Monthly Must Haves - 3 months

Jack will be 4 months on Sunday so it's time for our Monthly Must Haves!

3 month old Jack really marked the beginning of baby-hood. He no longer seems like a little newborn. Everyday he had something new to show me; grasping at blankets, trying to giggle, and rolling onto his side.

  1. Johnson & Johnson Body Wash - We have been using this wash ever since he was born. But I love it a little extra now. Because sure enough immediately after I lather up his hands he sticks them all over his face, including his eyes. But this wash is a no-tear formula so it doesn't bother him one bit and we can keep the good times rolling.
  2. Mr. Bear - This is Jack's favorite cuddle buddy. Whenever he is about to go down for a nap I give him his Mr. Bear. It's nice and soft and gives him something to grab onto since he's in the death grip phase. My sister got his from a boutique store in SF but you can find a similar one here.
  3. Pacifier Clips - Better known as Life Savers. Jack constantly needs to be sucking on something, his hands, feet, toys, or his binkie. And the last thing I need to be doing is running around the house with a screaming baby trying to find the last place he chucked it.
  4. Baby Brush - I literally laughed out loud when my mom told me to buy one of these. He doesn't have hair?! The little he does have I can just run my hand over. Well I ate my words once Jack got cradle cap. I felt so bad. It looks terrible and seems awfully itchy. While it doesn't seem to bother him I want to help him get rid of it. Brushing over it with this soft brush really really helps.
  5. Baby Bathtub - When Jack was a newborn and until this week we have been using this tub. It was perfect. We placed it over our sink and the water would run right through and if he peed he wasn't sitting in pee water. We moved it to the bathtub once his belly button fell off and we could use more water. It worked great there too. I wasn't worried about him drowning (even though I never left his side) and it was easy clean up because I didn't have to drain anything. But now that Jack is a bit older and squirming around I wanted something he could play a little in. So we graduated him to this tub. Besides the fact that it's adorable it also allows him to splash his feet and play a bit more. Since he still can't sit up it has a butt stop which works perfectly.