Our First Family Vacation

When Tim and I first started talking, before our first date, we often talked about going to the Supercross race in Las Vegas. This now has been something on our bucket list for over three and a half years. A few months ago we were watching a race on TV and I got to thinking that there is also a race in Phoenix, AZ. Which also happens to be where my godparents live. So, while watching the race I jumped on the computer and found out which weekend the race was and then looked at tickets. I could hardly believe my eyes when I pulled up tickets on Southwest for just $88 round trip, total! That price included taxes as well as two free checked bags. I was so excited that I asked Tim, "Wanna go?" He of course said, "Yes!" My next step was then to look up how much tickets were to go to the race, and if we could find good seats. Since we had found such a great deal on the flight we were able to find great seats at a somewhat decent price.

I quickly called my aunt (godmother) and made sure it was ok with her for us to come and stay with them. She of course was extremely welcoming. It was settled, we didn't hesitate, bought the tickets and waited a few months for our first family vacation! 

Our flight out to Phoenix left at 6:15am. So, this meant we left our house at 3:30am. We of course were excited so sleeping didn't come too easy, but thankfully we did sleep a little. Karoline, who we thought would sleep on the way to the airport didn't fall asleep until we got to the parking lot, go figure. 

After getting onto the shuttled, checking our bags, through security and finding our gate we had enough time to eat a little breakfast and get ready for the flight. Traveling this early might not be ideal to some, but we loved it, especially Tim. One could say he's not the biggest fan of having to deal with other people or wait in large crowds. 

We were able to board the plane with all of the other families, before general seating. 
Karoline was great on the flight. We made sure we got up and walked around once as recommended by my OBGYN. We also gave her a sucker when we started our decent into Phoenix to help with her ears popping. Truly, she was awesome, we couldn't have asked for it to go any better. She of course did not sleep, despite being woken up 4 hours before her usual wake up time. 

After getting our luggage and finding my aunt we made our way back to their house for some breakfast. At this point it seemed Karoline got her second wind, so we went to the park. It was only after we left the park that she seemed a bit on the sleepy side. We were going to go for a drive to show Tim my uncle's golf course, and then this happened ...
Please note this is not our usual car seat and we still have Karoline rear face. This car seat was one that we were able to travel with much easier at this time since I am unable to help carry anything over 25lbs.
Apparently they were both a little tired. We drove around for a little bit. But, true to form the second we pulled into the driveway Karoline was wide awake for the rest of the day. 

On Saturday we were able to go to the Train Park. A park that I remember playing at with my brother and cousins. It was really neat to get to experience it all again with Karoline. 
Karoline enjoyed riding on the train!

My parents have a picture of me "driving" this stage coach in their home.

Sand is always a favorite.

After playing at the park I was fortunate enough to get Karoline to take a nap. Not only that but, I also got a picture of her sleeping! I do not have very many of these.
Such a sweet girl sleeping with her "bay."

Saturday night was the Supercross race. I was very excited to get to see what it was my husband used to do. The race was held at Chase Stadium. I had been to the stadium for a baseball game before, it was neat to see it transformed to a track. Overall, it was a really fun experience. I enjoyed getting to see it live, vs on TV, we (Tim, my uncle, and I) all had a great time. I was however glad I had ear plugs. They weren't necessary and the noise level was safe for R2. But, they sure were nice to drown out the sound of the announcers who felt it was a good idea to yell into a microphone. 

This was also the first night that someone else has put Karoline to bed in over a year. She did great and so did I. There is something to be said about knowing your child is in good and capable hands. It makes it much easier to enjoy yourself and have a good time. Karoline even started calling my aunt, "Nana." At this point in time she can't quite say the word aunt. None of us ever used the term Nana when referring to my aunt, she came up with that all on her own. My brother put it best when he said, "They (my mom and aunt) both do have extremely big hearts and aren't afraid to show it. So, I could see the confusion on her (Karoline's) part." 

We were sitting on what is normally the third base line.

Such a handsome guy.

Sunday was the last full day of our trip. Karoline wanted to make sure that we enjoyed all of it and was up at 4:30am. She slept with us off an on until about 6:30. One of her worst nights in a while. I am beyond thankful that her normal nights of sleep are from 8pm-7am. I sure hope R2 sleeps just as well as she usually does. The boys went on a bike ride while us girls had some shopping to do. I made a seven layer dip for the Bronco game as well as a carrot cake for dessert. There was a nap for Karoline that came in the car. I am not sure how many times I've sat in the car so she could nap but it always has been worth it. She would love to not nap, but poor little thing doesn't realize her little body still needs them. Thankfully she slept well and was able to make it through the Bronco game. 

Representing the Bronco's in AZ!

The game ended well and we were all pretty happy with the outcome. After such an early start to our day we were in bed and asleep by 10pm on Sunday night. Both Tim and I were elated when we woke up on Monday morning all on our own at 6:30am! Karoline didn't wake up until 7am, guess it just took a few days for her to get used to her surroundings. 

The airport in Phoenix is not near as large as DIA. We were able to make it to our gate in no time and had plenty of time to people watch and eat an early lunch. Our flight home went just as well as our flight out. This time we came into Denver from the west side. It was really neat, Tim was able to point out the Sand Dunes, Salida, Canon City, Pikes Peak and we could even see a dust storm in Pueblo that had shut down I25. On our decent it was a little bumpy, the rhythmic swaying was enough to put Karoline to sleep and to make me pretty sleepy too. When we landed several people were surprised to see Karoline was even with us at all, they all said she was just an angel on the flight! I'm very thankful it went so well. 

All in all, we had a great trip. I learned that traveling with small children definitely takes a bit more planning up front, but if you put in the time everything will hopefully go smoothly. I'm glad we were able to take a trip as a family of three and that it went so well. I look forward to many more trips in the future as a family of four. I can't believe our little R2 will be here in 12 weeks. We have finally picked a boys name, still no clue for a girl! 

Second Time Around

For over 19 months I've been trying to write this post. Now I have sweet little R2 kicking away and it's a great time to get my mind ready for the impending delivery date.

When Karoline was born I read every book and I asked every question I had to all of my Facebook world friends. Come to find out, there's no way to 100% prepare for having a baby and there are still several things that you really can not know until you've experienced it. So, to all of my friends who have told me that I better write everything down so that when they have kids I can pass along the info, this post is for you. Who am I kidding, despite the fact that we will have two kids under two this post is for me too. I am now a mom and experience mom brain on a regular basis. I'm hoping this post will get me in the right mind set to be prepared for baby number two. 

Bare with me as this list will be in all forms ... 

  • You really don't need to take pillows to the hospital.
  • Pack extra clothes, just in case your stay is longer than you think it might be.
  • You don't have to wear that horrible hospital gown or a gown of any form after you have the baby. Who knew, I wore a gown the whole time. No one told me I could change, so I didn't. Wish I would've, next time.
  • You can change your baby. No your baby doesn't have to wear that ugly little white shirt and look like a hospital baby the whole time. 
  • Disclaimer: I had minimal laundry to do when we got home because of not changing into our clothes. 
  • Take a swaddle to the hospital (the ones with velcro) their blankets do not keep the baby snuggled up tight.
  • Take your boppy pillow for nursing at the hospital.
  • Bring more snacks than you think are necessary for your husband. Maybe even make him order himself a pizza.
  • Keep everything the hospital gives you. Ask for extra pads before you go, the ones they provide are fantastic. 
  • Don't take anything to the hospital that can't be replaced. 
  • Read books about getting the baby to sleep before the baby is in your home and you're desperate. I recommend, "The Baby Whisperer." Never, ever pay full price. Find a children's consignment store and buy it, they're everywhere. 
  • Bottles: Only buy one of each kind, maybe two different types and wait and see what one your baby likes. Then and only then buy more, if you need them.
  • Google, "mastitis," and read about it so you know the symptoms. Catch it early and it might not be as HORRIBLE as what I experienced. 
  • When breastfeeding keep a towel, or several within arms reach. You'll thank me later. 
  • Disposable breast pads, buy them, buy LOTS of them. Washable are great after a few months but for the first few months you'll go through them, and you'll go through them fast. Seriously, if you think you have enough of them, double it. 
  • Feminine pads, some of all sizes, buy as many as you can. You think I'm joking, I'm not. Don't worry about buying name brand, the store brand works just as well. Put them in the freezer when you are needing some relief. 
  • Gripe water drops!!! Find them by the baby Tylonal (might want to get some of that too, we didn't use it until Karoline was older but it was nice to have on hand). Gripe water saved us on several occasions. It is a must!
  • Breast milk bags, lay them flat when you freeze them so they will store easier. Found that out the hard way. 
  • The "Diaper Genie" is in my opinion a waste of money. We bought a bathroom size trash can that has a foot pedal lid. It keeps the smell out and we just empty the can often. Oh, and Walmart bags are free!! Every diaper genie I've ever experienced still has a nasty odor when the lid is open. Not sure about you but I'd rather toss a Walmart bag more often and keep the smell out of my house completely.  
  • Completely cover the changing table with these amazing little white square (12"x12") pads, you can find them at Babies R Us. When I say completely, I mean it ... even with little girls. If you don't do this, you'll know why I said to soon enough. 
  • Cloth diapers are the best for cleaning/soaking up spit up. 
  • A spray bottle with a little clorox and water is your best friend. Amazing for getting stains out of onsies, and for getting the bath tub clean in a pinch when the baby explodes. Keep that bottle handy! It was such a huge help when I was home alone with Karoline and needed to sanitize fast. 
  • Hand sanitizer (in every room) and lotion, you'll need it. 
  • Stock up on everything that you can before the baby comes. The last thing you want to do is go to the store after the baby is here.
  • If someone wants to visit you and they ask if there is anything they can bring, take them up on it. I was so hungry after Karoline was born. I should have asked everyone that came over to bring a fruit or veggie tray. 
  • Lower your standards for your home. I drove myself crazy and really didn't take time to just enjoy holding Karoline. I was always worried about keeping the house clean and the laundry done. Something I wish I could take back. 
  • Do what you can when you can. If you want to hold the baby while they sleep, do it. Yet another thing I wish I would have done. No matter what that baby will learn how to sleep in their own bed at some point in time. I don't know too many people who still sleep with their parents. 
  • Increase your fiber in the last few months of pregnancy. 
  • Tucks pads, google them and what they are for if you aren't sure. Put them in the refrigerator if you are needing a little extra relief. 
  • Medical glove full of ice, place where needed. Sounds funny but I've been told this really works wonders. 
To those moms who are anxiously awaiting their sweet baby remember this. Although these last few weeks may be uncomfortable, try to savor the moments. Put your feet up, feel your baby move and rest. Please remember that there are women everywhere who would give anything to be in your shoes. Having a baby is a blessing and for some it is a dream that is still out of reach. So, while your feet may hurt and you are anxious beyond belief, give thanks.

I'm sure at some point in time I will add to this list. But, for now this is a pretty good start. I hope that any and all who read it will take away some useful information. Please comment if you have something else to add to the list. Like I said, I'm hoping that my second time around will be a little easier. Any information or tips will be greatly appreciated!