Jet-setter Baby

A the ripe ‘old’ age of 9 month little miss Jellybean has been to the east coast, west coast and Midwest!  Pretty well traveled baby don’t you thinks?!?!  Between the age of 3 and 9 months we’ve flown with Jellybean a number of times and taken two long car trips.  During each trip I learn of something new I should pack as well as what not to pack.  Finding the balance between enough and not enough stuff has been challenging.

The ability to wash clothes at the grandparents’ houses was clutch!  When we were in Seattle clean clothes were hard to come by and, yeah, we totally ran out of diapers … the trip was only 4 days.  The husband admitted (after the fact) he thought I over packed, and was completely befuddled when he had to hand wash a onsie and go buy more diapers on the last day of the trip!

Let me put my cards on the table here.  Traveling with a baby isn’t as bad as I thought it would be!  Do I want to travel with her weekly or even monthly?!  No, not really.  But all in all flying with an infant isn’t all that bad — even when taking into account the blowout we experienced on Mother’s day.

Traveling with all of the baby’s STUFF …. now THAT, THAT my friends, that is another story. :) For such a little person Jellybean’s suitcase and carry on bag {aka diaper bag} is overflowing every time we travel.

I did my share of Googling and surveying friends when planning how to best travel with our infant.  While I am clearly not an expert when it comes to traveling with a baby I did want to share what I’ve learned so far!

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Tips to make Flying with an Infant Easier

  1. Gate check the stroller and car seat.  It’s free so there is no reason not to bring them with you.  Yes they are clunky, but the ability to put JB in her stroller/carseat and walk through the airport was amazing.  While a baby carrier is great I find carrying the baby plus carry-on bag to be a bit much!  If you little one is out of the car seat already you can check it for free after obtaining your boarding pass.  Not shlupping that thing through the airport is SO nice.
  2. Change baby’s diaper just prior to boarding.  Even if the diaper is just a tiny bit wet it’s best to start fresh.
  3. Boarding early .  When able, that is, apparently United doesn’t do early boarding for families, boo!  It’s nice to get on and get settled without having to navigate around others … or hold up the boarding process.  Better yet, when traveling with another adult, have one person get on early with the gear and then other board last minute with the baby.
  4. Allow for extra time to go through security.  TSA is super chill about carrying on formula/pumped milk, and purees/food.  TSA does do an extra check so it adds a tad bit of additional time for them to do the check.
  5. Place the diaper bag and ALL baby related items under the seat in front of you.  Inevitably something I thought we would not need became a MUST HAVE RIGHT NOW item during take off or landing – clearly if it’s in the overhead one will need it when we can’t access it.  :)
  6. Bring a baby carrier.  For most it seems like the baby carrier and stroller are an either/or travel item.  For me, BOTH are a must.  The carrier was clutch when we were flying to Seattle.  It was the only way I could have my hands free and allow Jellybean to take a nap.  I wouldn’t ever travel without it again.

BONUS TIP! Cheerios and/or Puffs are great for entertainment and containing the little one in tight corridors.

Here is Jellybean on her maiden trip to the Midwest :)

FlyingwithaBaby

Any travel tips? What is your must have items for baby when traveling?

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Favorite Baby Gear – Months 6, 7 & 8

It’s funny each month the husband and I remark at how this is our ‘favorite’ month and what I’m starting to realize is … every month/year/decade will always be the best!  Just a few of the highlights of the past few months include Jellybean crawling, pulling up on everything in sight, holds her own bottle, clapping and producing FOUR teeth!  The whole teething thing was not a high point, but her adorable smile with 4 little pearly whites certainly is.

I have already shared my newborn and 3-5 month must have baby gear.  I’m excited to continue the series with more essentials for months six to eight!  Careful consideration goes into each product before we purchase it.  It’s important to ensure things are a good match for both Jellybean and our lifestyle.  Over the past few months I have found so many baby and mommy approved items that I had trouble narrowing down the list of essentials to share with you!

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Burpy Bib  // This is a burp cloth and a bib in one!  It’s definitely a little bit pricier than your typical bib or burp cloth, but totally worth it!  I with I had invested in a few more of these earlier on.  Though I still swear by the cheap burp clothes I mentioned in my newborn necessity post, I’m a big fan of these as well!

RazBaby Raz-Berry Teether // Despite not being a pacifier lover, Jellybean is fan of this teether. There are a bunch of textures on it and has come in handy when her gums have been especially itchy.

Squeeze and Teethe Elephant // This is the same brand as the as Sophie Giraffe, which seems to show up on EVERY baby registry list I’ve read.  Honestly I liked the Elephant way better than the Giraffe.  The giraffe has long legs, which Jellybean has gagged herself on more times than I can count and the elephant’s legs are shorter.  Plus it’s nice to be a little different!  Tip – this also come in a lion you just have to look past the ginormous giraffe display. :)

Snack Catcher //  We call it the Cheerio cup!  This comes in handy both at home and when we are on the go.  Keeps, most, of the cheerios in the cup and Jellybean can feed herself without any issues.

Sleepwear – Cupcake Onsie // These are my favorite nighttime onsies.  The come in the cutest designs, plus they are footless.  Jellybean is pretty tall so when we tried to go up a size in clothes for her length and they were too big around the waist I realized footless onsies were the perfect middle ground.  JB still sleeps in a sleep sack so we don’t worry about her toesies getting cold.

Having a Ball Get Rollin Activity Table //  When the pulling up began I quickly realized we needed a toy Jellybean could pull up on and play with.  The coffee table was effective at first, but it wasn’t interactive or stimulating … even with toys on the table.  I love this activity table and so does JB.

Peak-a-Boo Forest // This was given to us as a gift and Jellybean has been a pretty big fan for a while.  The book makes that crinkle noise, which is a huge hit.  Over the past few weeks Jellybean has gone from liking the book to being completely obsessed. She carries it everywhere (by the handle) and cries when you try to take it away … sorry JB, but the book can’t bathe with you hahaha.

Booster Pads Diaper //  I can’t even remember who suggested I tries these, but I was sold after 1 night.  Instead of purchasing specific night time diapers we place one of the booster pads into the diaper each night and we haven’t had a leak or issue yet!!  PLUS the booster pads fit into every size diaper we’ve used so far (sizes 1 -3) … no need to purchase new pads when your little one outgrows their diapers.

Munchkin Lake Buddies Bath Tub Toy //  These double as bath toys, regular toys and teething toys.  Jellybean LOVES the different characters and at least one can be found in every room in the house.

Puj Spout Cover //  No real explanation needed here.

Butt Paste // When registering and purchasing maternity clothes I got a lot of bags with free samples.  One of the samples was Butt Paste.  I gave the name a little snicker and threw it into my ‘master’ bag of samples.  Little did I know Butt Paste would become our go to when a diaper rash was developing.  Jellybean’s skin is very sensitive and it took a few tries to find the right tush cream.

So there you have it our favorite for Jellybean’s 6th, 7th and 8th month.  What are your must have baby gear items?  Any recommendations for months 9 to 12??

Oh and it’s so cliche, but how do they grow up so fast?

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Mini Fashionista – Halloween Edition

Candy corn season has arrived!  Usually, I eat more candy corn after Halloween then before.  I love to buy the candy once it’s gone on sale … they have to make room for all the Christmas decorations starting November 1st so it makes sense to capitalize on that, right?!  While the husband and I are yet to make a decision on what Jellybean will dress up as for her first Halloween; I’ve been in full blown holiday purchasing mode for the past couple of weeks.

And honestly, this surprises me.  As an adult, I have never been a huge lover of Halloween.  I always dressed up for parties and what not, but never really put much effort behind it.  My favorite costume was by far Rainbow Brite — hello, clearly a child born in the 80’s. :)

For whatever reason having a child of my own has renewed the love I had for Halloween as a little girl … though I think it is manifesting itself in a different way.  I want to style both my home and my child for the upcoming ‘kick off’ to the holiday season!  {Don’t you think Halloween is the start to Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah and New Years???}

For the condo I am currently crushing on this Tick or Treat banner and these Bat Candles, though I will admit I’m thinking of buying them only if they go on sale.  Jellybean’s wardrobe has certainly grown over the past few weeks with a couple of my favorite ‘Mini Fashionista’ Halloween finds … AND I was able to buy all but one item on sale … online shopping for the win!

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Wickedly Cute Shirt / Pink Skeleton PJ Set / Cat Onsie and Pant Set
Cat Hat / Black Skeleton PJ Set / Halloween Witch Tee / Halloween Stretch Leggings
Halloween Bat Tee / Socks / Mommy’s Little Monster / Fleece Skeleton Hoodie

After I finished the blog I found this adorable candy corn headband on Etsy.  I might just have to buy it … it would look so cute on Jellybean!  “Hi, my name is Nicole and I am a borderline shopaholic” LOL.

Now that Jellybean is appropriately Halloween theme styled for the daytime, I really do need to get on making a decision about her costume for the big day.  The husband wants to dress her up as a vampire due to the two little fangs she is currently sporting — this mom isn’t 100% sold, yet.  My sister and brother in-law will be in-town visiting so JB better get her game face on for multiple cameras going off all at the same time!!!! I CAN.NOT.WAIT!  :)

Oh and ummmm who else is super excited for Hocus Pocus to be shown on TV?!  Seriously, I still really like … okay love that movie!

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What are your favorite fashion finds for Halloween?  What did you dress your kiddo up as for their first Halloween?


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Nanny Share Favorites

Nanny shares are all the rage in DC.  Are they where you live?  If you are unfamiliar with what a nanny share is … it’s pretty much 1 nanny and 2 babies.  In our case we were lucky enough to share with our neighbors/friends who a baby girl just a few months older than Jellybean.  By March we had two little cuties and two mommies who had to return to work (extreme sad face).

We were lucky to find an awesome nanny on a local listserve, though we were interviewing people from Care.com as well.  Over the past 6 months I have learned that just like a baby, a nanny share also requires gear.  Some items were givens, such as a double stroller, however others we learned ‘on the job’ so to speak.

I wanted to share not only the nanny share must haves (and favorites), but also a ‘what’s in my diaper baby – nanny share’.  I think my nanny share diaper bag is probably similar to that of daycare, though there might be a few differences …and well, that’s for another post.

Nanny share must have list includes …

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City Select Double Stroller & Lock / Bottle Labels / 2 Sets of Keys / Baby Connect App

Double Monitor / Pack n’ Play / Diaper Bag / Big Picnic Blanket / Snack Catchers

Any additional must haves for a nanny share?


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{Recipe} Szechuan Green Beans with Ground Turkey

Growing up green beans were always called string beans in my house.  Or at least that’s what I think they were called as each time I go to say green beans my brain desperately wants to say string bean.  STRING BEANS, STRING BEANS, STRING BEANS!  Okay I think I got it out of my system. =)

Oddly enough I have a few fond memories of cooking with string green beans.  I’m standing in the kitchen next to my grandmother (or mother) snapping off the ends of the green beans and eating a few along the way!  Green beans are one of those things I can eat cooked or raw.

But back to the recipe …

Do you ever have one of those days where you defrost meat and then none of your go-to recipes sound appealing? I’ve been having that happen to me frequently as of late.  The other week I decided to defrost some ground turkey for dinner.  Shepard’s pie, taco salad, turkey meatballs and a few of my other easy recipes felt just well ‘over-done’ … get it?! I’m so funny – well probably not, but I couldn’t help myself.

So yeah, anyways, it was time for something new, easy and healthy!  I was browsing Pinterest while contemplating dinner.  After doing a quick search-a-roo on ground turkey I had a few contenders.  The husband and I really enjoyed this new meal.  One of the best parts … it’s a ONE pot meal so relatively easy cleanup.

Recipe_SzechuanGreenBeansGroundTurkey

Recipe inspired by The Lemon Bowl

Ingredients
1 lb ground turkey
4 garlic cloves – grated
2 tsp ground ginger (or 1 tbs fresh grated ginger)
1 lb green beans – trimmed
½ cup chicken broth
1 tbs corn starch
3 tbs soy sauce – low sodium
2 tbs rice vinegar
1 tbs chili sauce (more or less to taste)
½ tbs sesame oil

Instructions
Serving Size – 4

Pre-heat a large wok or frying pan over high heat and spray with non-stick spray.  Add the ground turkey, garlic and ginger.  Break up the turkey and cook until browned.

In a small bowl, whisk together chicken broth, corn starch, soy, rice vinegar and chili garlic paste.

Once the turkey is browned, add in green beans and broth/soy mixture.  Cover and let simmer on low for 5-10 minutes.  Stir occasionally so the sauce doesn’t burn.  Add in the sesame oil.  Cook an additional minute or two then serve.

Serve with Israeli couscous or rice.

SzechuanGreenBeansGroundTurkey

This recipe has definitely grabbed a spot in our dinner rotation!  What’s an easy recipe you are digging lately?

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