Category Archives: Travel

The Next Female NASCAR Winner?

Click here for other amazing Wordless Wednesday participants. If you are participating in Wordless Wednesday, leave a comment so I can check out your picture of the week!

Happy Wordless Wednesday!

Mary Kate



Filed under Toddler, Travel, Wordless Wednesday

The Wonderful World of Diaper Bags

As I start the process of mentally preparing myself for work, I have gathered great advice from other mothers (thanks Mary and Rachel). One tough subject is diaper bags. I was completely lost about how many bags I need, when I need them, which are good for what? So I am summarizing all the tips and advice that I’ve prodded from other people. I’m sure I’ll have to revise my plan a dozen times. But this is my plan for now.

**Note: With daycare coming up, I’ll be the first to admit that we are flat broke. So all these diaper bags are hand-me-downs from family members or bought on a gift card.

Here are all my diaper bags (thanks Leslie).

Diaper Bags Galore


Big bag 1.) This is the biggest bag I have. My plan is to use this one when we are going to be gone all day or traveling. It’s huge but it also has a wide shoulder strap that is comfortable and balances the weight well.

Tiny bag 2.) This one is my smallest one. I plan on using this when I need to just run around the corner to the grocery store or other quick trips.

quilted bag 3.) This is a really soft quilted bag. I think this will be my “daycare” bag. It can hold a lot but is also quilted and can be scrunched up into a small space (for example, a cubby). So I can leave it at daycare while I’m at work.

red bag 4.) This is my favorite. It is a red canvas bag that is waterproof. It also has clips that will secure it to a stroller. And I think it is the perfect size – big enough to hold everything I need but small enough that I don’t feel like I’m carrying a piece of luggage. This bag will be my weekend bag for going to the park or shopping or whatever else we may be doing.

  • Another great tip I picked up – stock all the diaper bags if possible. That way I can just pick one up when I need it and I don’t have to worry about transferring items.
  • My last tip – I am going to put all my cosmetics and loose ends in one small make-up bag. That way, when I do need to transfer personal items, I’ll only need to transfer a wallet, phone, and make-up bag.

Well, this is the plan anyway. I’ll let you know how it goes. I’m sure the diaper bag learning process has just begun. Who knew diapering was so complicated?


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Filed under Baby, Daycare, Mom Issue, Product Review, Travel

More Travel Tips

Well, we successfully lived through our first airplane trip together. And it really wasn’t that bad. I learned a very important lesson from it all. It is that I can do this. I can be a mom and take care of him and handle sticky situations. I feel a little more confident now (till the next big milestone anyway).

Here are some things that helped me while traveling:

  • Definitely take a window seat if possible (especially if you are breastfeeding). It just gives you more privacy.
  • Wear your easiest nursing top that doesn’t show stains. I found the logistics of breastfeeding challenging at times and I was glad that my top didn’t show all the “stains” that can happen from careless breastfeeding.
  • Take your time! Let everyone else get off the plane first. Don’t rush. As soon as I accepted that everything is going to take a lot longer, my life got a lot easier.
  • I carried John Patrick in a Baby Bjorn and didn’t even bring a stroller. It was easy but be prepared that you can not have him in his carrier during take off or landing. I just held him on my lap.
  • John Patrick had no problems with the air pressure. I made sure he was sucking his pacifier during take off and landing.
  • Lastly, my friend Sarah always brings earplugs for nearby passengers just in case her little one gets a little too loud.

I was a nervous wreck leaving for the airport but I can honestly say, it wasn’t bad at all. It’s just one of those things that once you do it, it’s a piece of cake. Well, until he’s walking that is – YIKES.



Filed under Baby, Infant, Travel

My Car Seat Walk of Shame

I’ve gone back and forth on what Mommy Shame I should divulge.  Should I start with something small so I don’t horrify my audience and scare them away?  Or should I just lay it all out there for them to sift through (sometimes referred to as naked blogging).  After much thought, I decided to take a middle-of-the road route.  Not so revealing that I would be afraid to be seen around these premises for awhile but not to tame either (after rereading my post, I think my confessions are somewhat tame.  However, my next car seat confession will take me to a whole new level).

 So I have some Mommy shame around the car seat.

1. When Becca was about 4 months old, we had spent the morning doing errands and we were on the way home.  Becca had been a little fussy and started crying pretty loudly soon after we got in the car.  Since I had *just* fed her and changed her and we were only 10 minutes from home, I decided to tough it out.  Becca seemed to get more and more hysterical but there really wasn’t anywhere to pull over and we were almost home.  I began singing to her and reached behind me to rub her head (this sometimes soothed her) only to discover it was much lower than I expected.  I quickly glanced in the rearview mirror to see that I had somehow placed Becca’s car seat so that her head was horizontal to the seat and her legs were in the air.  She had been trying to tell me this for the past 10 minutes or so and I had completely ignored her (in my mommy wisdom, I *knew* that she had no reason to complain.  

2.  Right around 6 months, Becca really seemed to dislike the carseat.  Everytime I put her in it she would begin crying pretty quickly and seemed pretty upset about being in the car.  As I often did at that time, I logged onto my “Birth Club”at to see if other moms were having a similar issue.  It seemed as if there were a few moms who’s baby didn’t like the car so I figured I must have one of those car-hating babies.  I was a little worried becuase we often need to travel for family events but I figured there wasn’t a whole lot I could do about it.  Not to long after that, Becca and I had been out doing errand (see a pattern here?) and I had stopped at Wendy’s to pick up lunch for me and nurse Becca.  I climbed into the backseat to nurse Becca and while I was back there I noticed something interesting about her car seat— there was a slot to change the HEIGHT of the harness straps! At 9 months old, I was still strapping Becca into the height for a newborn.  My poor baby was being squished into her car seat!  No wonder she hated it!  I quickly pulled apart the car seat (which was harder to do than I expected) and  readjusted the harness straps AND the front clip.  I placed Becca into the seat and I could see her wiggly around as she adjusted to the new space.  I didn’t hear a peep out of her the whole ride home!

I started to share one more Car Seat Walk of Shame but realized this particular incident needed its own post.  Therefore, if you would like to witness my ultimate Car Seat Walk of Shame, you will need to check back in next Friday, for the big reveal (can you tell I watch a lot of reality t.v.)

Quickly averting my eyes and slinking out of the room as I go to check that Becca’s car seat is buckled and positioned properly.

Mary Kate


Filed under Travel, Walk of Shame

Airplane Travel Tips (Child on lap)

Below is a list of tips that I have compiled over the past few weeks. A few were suggested to me and I figured out a few on my own.

  • Use a Hot-Sling or simple sling— A few people recommended using a Hot Sling for carrying Becca in the airport because it is less hassle then a stroller. When going through security, children need to be removed from their strollers (as well as all the bags/packages) so you end up carrying them anyway. With a Hot Sling, the child’s shoes need to be removed but otherwise he/she can go through security in the sling without a problem. I wore the Hot Sling under my coat and just removed my coat (and her shoes) when we got to security. With Becca in the Hot Sling, it was one less thing to worry about as Omar and I struggled to put all of our worldly possession into those grey bins. The Hot Sling was a great recommendation (Omar even used it a couple of times).
  • Sit in the Window Seat – Definitely, definitely, definitely reserve the window seat. It provides you with a few extra centimeters of space and an amazing diversion for your child. Becca loved looking out the window and moving the window shade up and down (with my help). I appreciated the extra space and having something to lay my head against. It also provided an extra bit of privacy when breastfeeding.
  • Use the Tray Table – I was surprised at how much we used the tray table and how helpful it was for us.
    • When it came time to eat or drink, we put both of our tables down and Becca would sit on the edge of one of the tables (she loved this!). We were then able to eat without too much trouble.
    • When it came time to change a diaper, we learned that not all airplanes have a changing table in the restroom. So instead we placed a Day & Night Underpadon the tray table and changed Becca right there.
    • When it came time to take a nap, we had the option of laying a blanket on the tray table and laying her down over both tables.
  • Toys Are Optional – It is always helpful to bring some diversions, however, I found that Becca was much more interested in the airplane then with playing with any of her toys. Try not to bring any toys that make a lot of noise especially the kind that repeat the same song or phrase over and over again. I brought a Fishy Fascination Station because I thought it would attach to the tray table (it didn’t– but it stood pretty well anyway). Becca was interested in it but she also enjoyed putting things into the seat pocket in front of us, looking out the window and moving ice from one glass to another.
  • Dealing with Ear Pressure– Before travelling, I had a lot of people warn me that children tend to cry when landing and taking off because of their inability to ‘pop’ their ears. I was encouraged to nurse Becca or provide her with a bottle or sippy cup because this helps to relieve the pressure. One person suggested I even have Becca chew gum (that would have been something to see). My experience was that the change of altitude did not seem to bother Becca too much, however, I did notice another little girl who was crying as the plane was landing. My advice would be to be aware that the altitude change could be uncomfortable and be prepared to offer your child something to eat or drink. This will help him/her to ‘pop’ his/her ears and relieve the pressure.
  • Pack plenty of wipes and antibacterial soap – These are so helpful and come in handy in so many situations.
  • Dress in layers and Pack a change of clothes – Since airplanes can be chilly, I always dressed Becca in layers which helped me to keep her warm and accommodate the change in climate. I also found it helpful to have a change of clothes for Becca and an extra shirt for both Omar and I (just in case). Fortunately, we did not need to use our extra clothes but I have heard a few horror stories of crazy diaper blowouts that require everyone to change.
  • Blanket and Pillow – Either grab the airline blanket and pillow as you walk in or bring one of your own. Like the wipes and antibacterial soap, they really came in handy.

Overall our trips were extremely positive and Becca was a great traveller. All of the flight attendants and passengers were very helpful and seemed to enjoy Becca’s antics.

Happy traveling!

    Mary Kate


    Filed under Baby, Infant, Toddler, Travel

    Packing for a Weekend Car Trip

    So we are headed out of town for the weekend (hip! hip! hurray!). We have gotten pretty good at packing for a trip and dealing with a car trip. Here are some quick tips:

    Check the car seat – Before heading out of town, it is always a good idea to check out the car seat. Is it still the appropriate seat for your child? Is it installed properly? Does it need to be readjusted in anyway?

    Pack a ‘traveling’ bottle of expressed breast milk or formula – I always have a bottle with me just in case Becca gets hungry at an inopportune time. This way, we can keep on driving as she is eating.

    Bring Snacks and Toys– It is helpful to have snacks and toys to keep the baby occupied during the trip.

    Have an adult sit in the back – If possible, have an adult (or older child) sit in the back with the baby. This helps to entertain them and extend the time they are willing to spend in the car.

    Leave after Feeding and Before a Nap – If possible, try to travel during prime napping time.  This way, your child will be asleep for at least a portion of this trip.  I find that it helps to feed Becca right before the trip.  Usually, she will play for a little while, sleep for a little while, wake-up and play again.

    M. Kate

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    Filed under Travel