7 tips for a road trip with a newborn (??!)

I am not a fan of long car rides. I don’t like being in a car for that long. It feels like a complete waste of a day and you only get so many days in your life, you know? Anyway, my parents recently moved to Tampa and we decided to go visit them during my maternity leave and for baby girl’s first Christmas. The drive from Louisville, KY to Tampa, FL is about 13 hours without a newborn. I know… WHAT WERE YOU THINKING, KELSEY??

All I can say is that I planned this before baby girl was born & as the days got closer and closer, I dreaded the drive and wished we had bought plane tickets 6 weeks out. I know flying in a plane has its challenges, but I felt that it would have been easier with a shorter time frame. The grass is always greener, right?

Anyway, the drive went smoothly with only a few hiccups. Our baby is such a good girl, she didn’t really complain. Here are my tips:

  1. Have one parent sit in the back with the newborn. In this situation, that parent was me. My husband prefers driving and other drivers don’t cause him road rage like they do me, so this was an easy decision. I sat in the back with baby girl and was there to tend to her needs and try to get her to sleep.
  2. Pack snacks. I packed several snacks to eliminate additional stops for food. We only stopped for food during lunch & dinner. I kept a cooler in the back with me & was able to hand Beau any snacks & Diet Dr. Pepper during the drive.
  3. Let go of all expectations. As much as I tried to do this, I fell short. I really wanted to get there within an hour of the original time amount causing me severe anxiety when we didn’t make that goal. All self-inflicted.
  4. Bottle-feed if possible. This saved us a ton of time, since I could feed baby girl while we were driving. Like I said above, I kept a cooler in the back with me and just kept making bottles in the car when needed. This may not be possible, in which case see tip above.
  5. Stop every two hours (ish). The biggest issue that poor baby girl faced was my fault. She fell asleep after I had fed her two bottles, so I told Beau to go on. We made it four hours without stopping and felt really great about it. That was, until we stopped and we couldn’t get our poor baby to stop crying for about 30 minutes due to trapped gas. You live and you learn. We made a rule to evaluate how baby girl was doing every two hours OR immediately after baby girl finished eating. We also tried to combine stops. For instance, Beau would pump gas and run to the restroom while I burped & changed baby girl. Then I would hand her over to Beau who would continue burping her (we really wanted to prevent that first breakdown from happening again).
  6. Bring a few toys & books. I packed a few toys to hang on baby girl’s carseat to entertain her during the drive and packed a few books to read. I really did not plan on using them. However! When we got stuck in traffic and were not moving at a smooth clip, baby girl got a little fussy. She likes to move! So, I read her a book and it seemed to work to get her calmed down. I only packed two books and two hangers on. After all, she was only 6 weeks old!
  7. Give yourself time. I had built in days for travel when I planned this trip, so if things went to pot completely, we could just stop halfway through and stay at a hotel. It wouldn’t have been ideal, but it gave me peace of mind to have that exit strategy if we needed to take it.

It ended up taking us 16 hours to get there and 14 hours to come back (back is supposed to be 12.5 hrs). Atlanta traffic KILLED us. Thanks a lot, ATL.

Hopefully these tips help you to make a decision on whether you can brave the road trip with a newborn. I’ve heard mixed reactions in regards to taking babies out on the road that early and for so long, but I am only listening to the people who say it will make her a better traveler. Positivity, baby! Let me know any other tips below.

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Mid-December Update

Guys, my little nugget is almost 6 weeks old. The last six weeks have been… well. Life changing to say the least.

We’ve gotten our bearings a little, but not completely. I mean, how can you? How does anyone? The hardest part of having our sweet little newborn is the lack of sleep. Which everyone warns you about. But you don’t fully comprehend how little sleep you get until she’s here and waking you up. Day after day, week after week. Luckily she’s cute.

In other news, I’ve lost my baby weight, however my belly pooch lives on. Oh well. It seems that all my attempts to stay active and eat healthy have paid off. That was definitely one of the hardest things I’ve done in my life (my, how easy my life has been). But I’m anxious to get started again. The doc has cleared me for exercise, but I am taking it easy through the holidays. In January, I’ll be starting back slowly to exercise with walking to back to running. I’m hoping my back doesn’t give me trouble. I have also been planning on doing the January Whole30 challenge to get myself weaned off of sugar and back in the healthy mindset.

I’ve planned out several meals for the month, and will be hoping to meal prep for breakfast and lunches on the Saturday or Sunday before the week. It’s going to be tough with the baby but I’m hoping that it will actually make me have more energy on less sleep. Anyone else going to do a Whole30 in January?

Take it easy, have a merry Christmas & a happy new year!

Mismash of Thoughts

Hello hello hello! No baby yet. The last few weeks have been a mixture of trying to get everything done while simultaneously being a complete couch potato. It’s been a mixed bag so far. ANYWAY!

Tomorrow is Halloween, and we’ve got enough candy stocked for any trick-or-treaters who may stop by. We didn’t get any last year that I know of, so we’ll see. Although, now that I’m thinking about it, I don’t think we were home last year. So that would explain the absence of candy-grabbers.

The fall leaves have been changing here, and I am LOVING it. It’s even gotten cold enough for a fire! in our fireplace, the first fire of the season! We lit it up last night while we started watching Stranger Things 2. We’ve only just finished episode two, but I personally think it’s going a little slowly. I’m not going to give up on it. But I think it should’ve picked up by the second episode. The audience is getting slowly back into everyday life in Hawkins. Maybe that’s what they’re trying to say–everyday life in Hawkins IS slow. POINT PROVEN. Will watch more and report back.

Hope you are enjoying the seasons changing… & before you know it, pretty soon it will be time to put my Christmas tree up (mid-November HEHE). Happy Halloween!

Run to your kitchen right now

and make these Levain Bakery copycat cookies by A Bountiful Kitchen.

My husband absolutely loves these cookies. Like, he requests me to make them every week. And so, like the good wife that I am, I oblige (for the most part).

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Beau & me after I make these cookies. (Source.)

I’m torn because they are obviously not healthy. But they are so! chocolatey! And I loooove chocolate.

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Me. Always.

My modifications:

  1. Beau has a nut allergy, so I do not use peanut butter chips. I use dark chocolate chips. I know, I know. So! Chocolatey!
  2. I don’t use the two 10 ounce bags of chips. I just use one 10 ounce bag. I like to think that this makes them a little healthier.
  3. I also make the cookies a lot smaller–about the size of my palm. This yields about 26 total cookies.
  4. Beau likes to put these cookies in the fridge? I have not tried this, but if you do please tell me the appeal. I don’t get it. I like my cookies warm & fresh out the oven.

Let me know how you like them and if they become a staple dessert in your kitchen.

 

Kelsey’s Unofficial Fall Holiday

Hello friends! Today is September 1st, and while it’s not technically the beginning of fall, it’s beginning for me. Today we had perfect cooler weather so I pulled out a sweater and my bean boots. Also, pumpkin spice lattes came out today! *insert gleeful dancing here*

This weekend I’ll be putting up my fall decorations and start getting into the spirit of fall. Our baby is due on Halloween, so I’m going to try to soak up as much autumn flavor before I am busy learning how to be a mom.

I sent my husband a list of things I want to do this fall, and hopefully between his surgery rotations and my work schedule we can fit some fun things in.

Fall Bucket List – 2017

  • Go to a pumpkin patch
  • Carve pumpkins
  • Have a campfire & make s’mores
  • Game night
  • Watch Gilmore girls
  • Make pumpkin bread
  • Drink a pumpkin spice latte
  • Drink apple cider
  • Bake a pie

It’s simple, but we’re busy, y’all! What are your favorite fall traditions or what’s on your bucket list?Image result for small pumpkin illustration

 

Life update

Hello friends. It’s been awhile! So sorry for the extended hiatus. As I’m sure you have been busy, so have I!

I know you are all hanging on the edges of your seats to hear about me & my life. NOT. Haha. Sorry for being so self-absorbed. But I’m going to tell you anyway. I’m expecting a baby with my husband. So that’s the real reason for my long break. I’ve got about 10 weeks to go. The first trimester completely zapped me of my energy and desire to do ANYTHING. It’s crazy how a little teeny tiny baby can wreak havoc on you body.

It was about the middle of the second trimester when I started to feel like my old self again, but tempered with a little extra concern. The great news is that I really started feeling like I could work out regularly was right before my third trimester. I had been running sporadically, but it just a) was too painful for my back after my run and b) I kept having to stop to use the restroom. So, I started my weekly spin class again which has been great. I can feel it in my back afterwards, but it’s nothing like my runs were.

As far as eating has gone, during the first trimester I actually lost a few pounds because I felt so nauseated and had an aversion to most foods. Don’t worry, my appetite is back! LOL. In my second trimester, I gained about 10 pounds from one month visit to another. Since then, I’ve tried to reign it in and really make healthy choices instead of eating everything in sight (since I felt as though I would never eat again from the first trimester–not dramatic or anything, I know).

Currently, I’m at the doctor’s office for my 3 hours glucose testing. I took the one hour test and it came back at 134 rather than 130. So I’ll be patiently awaiting those results. For those who have to take it, here’s how my doctor’s office did it: I fasted for twelve hours (12 am–8 am). The nurse took my fasting blood sample, which came back fine at 91. This meant that it was okay for them to administer the dreaded glucose solution (the like 8-10 ounce bottle of straight up sugar). I drank this within 5 minutes, which was trying, but baby and I made it through. Then I had to wait an hour, then they tested my blood again (this time leaving a bruise, WHOMP). Then, waited another hour and tested it again. Then, waited another hour and tested it again. This brings me to a total of FOUR blood draws.

Hopefully I don’t have gestational diabetes, but my doctor reassured me that typically with people like me, it’s easily managed by checking sugars. All the prayers appreciated for this, and for a safe and healthy delivery.

Hope you all are doing well, I’ll try to keep you updated more frequently.

Sometimes we need to be THAT guy

How many of you use Snapchat? I use it all the time to send pictures to my family in Florida of my everyday life. I have a love/hate relationship with it. I love seeing my family easily throughout the day, but don’t get me started on their featured stories, which I HATE. (Okay, you got me started–they’re wildly inappropriate for young kids who have snapchat, and there’s no way to filter them.) Anyway, I use the “memories” feature quite a lot because I like taking pictures of my food and taking pictures of myself working out and being generally “THAT guy” on the regular.

The Snapchat memories feature allows me to do that without being THAT guy. I have a record of my workouts and can look at my accomplishments and feel good WITHOUT annoying everyone. Win/win. It also helps to motivate me to keep up my goals. No, seriously, I use it all the time:

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It’s nice to go back over the past week and give myself a pat on the back. “Hey, you did that. You can do it this week too.”

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