Forgot to post an update on baby Fitz!

Well, as I said in the announcement “Dec 2 (or sometime around there😉)” the new due date for Fitz is Nov 27. Hubs was in Japan for a bit, so I knew exactly when the conception happened, and figured Dec 2 was not accurate. I know I ovulate almost immediately after my cycle, but didn’t want to argue with the Dr. I knew the post 20 weeks ultrasound would clear that up😊. Although, he was still arguing for his date after that with both the ultrasound tech and me🙄 Love him, but come onnnn it’s 2017 doc, the computer and my own cycle calendar know!!! Plus an over 100 percentile baby for Dec 2 is terrifying. 

So we are going with November 27th and 97 percentile. I have a marginal/partial placenta previa (I had a dream/nightmare about this causing me to need a c/s when I first found out I was pregnant actually😳), so my next appointment in the next few weeks will be an ultrasound to check if the uterus stretching helped it go up. Haven’t had any other indications of it, so hopefully that means it really is very very marginal. Even with all of the tearing Bash caused, I’d rather have a vaginal birth than a c-section. So praying every night for that placenta to pulled out of the way. 
We’ll be living in Chicago all of November, so maybe I will post some of the fun things we do when tourists seem to think it’s too cold to visit. Here’s a secret, November is one of the best times to visit!!! 

Baci e abbracci! 

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Baby Delight Snuggle Nest XL Traveler

Ok, so you guys know I’m a huge dockatot fan. Love love love our dock. I will still get one for Fitz to use at home and after he outgrows this for travel, but I check the dock when we travel. It’s just too much to carry on. I found this Snuggle Nest online for a great deal (1/3 the cost of the dock) and it turns into a bag! I can put diapers and wipes, a little blanket and extra outfit in here for the inflight plus have Fitz’s bed with us. No worries of it getting lost and it won’t be using up my carry on allowance bc it’s my diaper bag! It’s light enough that Bash can even carry it around. Now I really can’t wait for Fitz to get here and join our family adventures☺️ And I can give a full review of the product then! 

PS: please forgive the tot tornado in the pictures. They aren’t worth picking up until he is in bed😂

Austlen Entourage Stroller, wow! 

After my Dr appointment (new due date Nov 27!! And another big ol’ 97 percentile baby, shhh I’m not letting my lady bits know yet😂), we tested out the Austlen Entourage, and wow!! Sebastian loved it! Officially on our registry!! Unless another amazing stroller hits the market by December, I think this will be our new wheels!

Bash felt so cool with the sit and stand feature, and the front seat had almost 3 inches of head room for him still!! That’s the most we have found outside of jogger styles (and I don’t jog so really don’t want one of those). I also like that it’s not a side by side. I know they say they fit through most doors, but we visit a lot of historic places and we have had struggled getting a single through some of those door!

The other single to tandem strollers on the market are just too small for Bash, and too hard for me push with his weight over the front wheels. He also can’t fully lay down because his brothers feet will be right there. They do reverse on the new city select lux we tried, but then his head is out in front (don’t like that at all!) and his feet will be right there to kick his brother. None of this is a problem with Austlen Entourage because the stroller actually expands in size. You don’t just throw another seat on the single size frame. 

I really really love this expandable frame. It is so easy to do too! Bash still loves to take naps in the stroller, I think like most 23 month olds, and this stroller allows him to lay completely flat in front while I have Fitz up close to me on the infant seat adapters. We are using our Maxi Cosi Mico Max 30 infant seat that we used with Sebastian and it looks beautiful on this stroller too😍 

When Sebastian is at the point he might just stand on it once in a while (or never) I can use it as a single for just Fitz, open it halfway for Bash to hop on and to carry more stuff (picnic, pool, beach stuff) or expand it all the way to really load up. 

With the ability to fold it all up in one piece that makes it United gate check friendly (don’t quote me as I haven’t tried it yet, but it’s within the rules. Plus, I saw a lady take a huge pram on our last flight and the bassinet didn’t change at all and the stroller barely folded. Made me want to try the xplory!! 😂) This is a big plus for a full size double stroller. It will be so nice to travel with this stroller over a double umbrella. 

There are some cons, but nothing that is keeping me from loving it. Here’s the less than perfect aspects of the Austlen Entourage:

It’s pretty heavy, like over 40 lbs heavy. Being on the tiny side this is almost half my normal body weight, so you would think that’s kind of scary and difficult to use. However, it pushes like a dream with the big tires and sturdy frame. Lifting it will probably be a bit of a challenge, but I don’t plan on carrying it around. I can manage the trunk. It has an awesome rolling fold, so at the airport runway you could just roll it up the ramp to the gate to then put the kids in.

No bassinet add on. This bothers me the most probably because I’m not a huge fan of keeping an infant in the infant car seat. I like my baby to be able to move more freely and get food air circulation. I’m not writing it off because we are having a winter baby this time, so being snug as a bug in the infant seat will be a good thing. But I hate seeing babies in their infant seats out in the summer heat with no ability to get that great air circulation a bassinet or infant compatible seat allows. Hopefully they will end up making a second seat bassinet option. The front seat does lay flat and has a fabric piece you pull over the bottom to make a bassinet kind of environment. However that seat always faces out, which I’m not ok with when my baby is so little. But by summer Fitz will fit in the back seat by then and that seat parent faces. So, if you are like me and really love a parent facing newborn not in an infant car seat in warm weather this might not be the pick for you. Or just have a winter newborn😜 

It is pretty expensive, and the additional seating options and most accessories are purchased separate and not cheap either. My husband was like seriously, I have to shovel out tons of $$$$$ again for a stroller?! But this stroller does everything and it is very high quality!! It folds (pretty compactly!!) in one piece, maneuvers amazing with nice big tires, has a nice big seat, has a tray accessory (super important for our son) turns from a single into a double, sit n stand, shopping cart, works from infant to big kid. It is worth the money!! If you know anyone wanting a near perfect condition xplory with accessories let me know!!😌 We only used it at home for the first year, and we aren’t home often. Writing from a hotel right now😂 

That’s the only cons I can think of! I’m seriously blown away by this stroller. I wish it was out when I had Sebastian almost two years ago!!(😩 in denial about my baby not being a baby anymore in just a month!) My husband does too😂😂😂 

If you have the Austlen Entourage leave a comment and let us know what you love (or hate) about it! Or if you have your eye on it for your family let us know why! 

Happy travels! 

Alert!!Great deal on a great travel stroller option!

Ok, so I’m getting ready to get dressed to then pick up our sitter so we can go out for our anniversary, 3 yrs!! Yay!! But I got this in the mail today and I had to share. I’m literally copy and pasting my insta post, sorry, but I had to share asap so you guys can get in on the deal!! The soft pram insert is already hard to find I’ve discovered, so if you are considering this stroller and want that feature might get to it! 


I’m so stoked about this deal that I had to share! One of the ways we plan on solving our two babes in strollers with one being a pretty large dude (22 months and just look😳) for his age is to just use two singles. We decided to get a second of our favorite and easiest stroller. This was by far our Baby Jogger Vue Lite. Well, when looking for a great deal on a second one, I came across its big brother the Vue on sale for $78!!!!!! This is originally a $200 umbrella stroller. They are discontinuing this amazing stroller!☹️But it means great deals for us!! All the reasons I love the Vue lite are on my blog, but this one comes with all that and even more features (bigger tires, included cup holder, head hugger, calve rest in front) and a more padded bigger seat perfect for a bigger toddler. I think it only weighs like 4 lbs more. Not even noticeable to me at this point carrying a 31 lb toddler around while pregnant. Sebastian immediately enjoyed the front leg rest that is lacking on his lite version. For $78 this is a total steal!! Like the lite it has optional car seat adapters (on an umbrella stroller!!) but I don’t think we will get them this time either. Still can take a pram pack, but it’s pretty enclosed for a small baby when parent facing. We might even just check two of these at the gate instead of a double for our trips!😱 I’m just so amazed at this stroller and the deal I got on it! Definitely check it out mommas and papas before they are all gone! The Vue lite is still a great choice too btw😊 #momlife #strollersnob #babyjogger #travelingwithbaby #beststroller #bestumbrellastroller #travelingmom

Buon Viaggio!! Baci!! 😙😙

Traveling Light

One of my goals is to start traveling light. Yes, even with my toddler (Gah! I can’t believe he’s almost 2😭) in tow, I want our family to be less weighed down by stuff. Not because our backs are breaking (they are though!), but for the mental weight it also takes off of travel. 

Now, I know in my baby packing post I say less is not anymore, but I’m going to try and change that! With an infant, I am not so sure it’s possible. But an older baby or toddler, I think it is! 

I managed to pack our family of 3 a weeks worth of clothes for Disney World and the beach into our carry on size suitcase! We will have our dock a tot and diapers in another bag. So, we aren’t going with just a carry on suitcase, but this is a huge change from our usual two small suitcases or one large suitcase plus the dock a tot bag. 

I’ve been reading more and more about traveling with less and doing more, so I decided that’s our new motto.

I realized in Paris we really didn’t need half the clothes we packed, and that trip was over 2 weeks long. Obviously, having a washing machine made that possible, but going to a laundry mat would work too. It’s also amazing how mixing and matching pieces can make so many different outfits. In Paris, I ended up wearing the same two sweaters over with different bottoms and even over a dress. And my black leather boots were really the only shoes I needed. Baby supplies are hard to cut back on, but I think with adult packing downsizing is definitely possible! 

This is only the beginning of our traveling light journey, so that’s really all I have for now. Hopefully, I will have more to report in the future! 

Happy travels!

Long Haul Inflight with a Toddler or Young Child: a how to sleep guide.

Ciao amici!

 I haven’t posted in a while, sorry! I’m really quite terrible at this whole blogging regularly thing. 

Anyway, I’ve been seeing/hearing a lot people have difficulty with their littles inflight. I can’t promise to work miracles, but I can tell you we have had two fantastic international round-trips with our son at 13/14 and 16/17 months. With babies under 12 months (or pre-walking) you really shouldn’t have to worry, the boob or bottle will knock them right out! But for our now curious travelers who are in the toddler stage inflight seems to be a bit more difficult. 

We slew this dragon with establishing an inflight routine. 

To successfully create an inflight routine we used the following items. However, you can alter these based on your own preferences.

iPad games: fisher price has great free ones, kids doodle, coloring book apps

iPad shows: we have Little Pim in French and Italian, Little Einsteins, Thomas and Friends (whatever your child likes or none of them if you don’t do screen time) 

Bedtime books: if you have specific books you read only for bed or nap time bring them on the plane!!!! I can’t stress this enough!! Or if you have a lovey or something that signals bedtime to your little bring it!

Snacks: whatever your babe eats at home. Nothing new and exciting, we are going for routine and minimizing the stimulation that your little is already getting enough of from the new environment.

So you have your supplies now what? Time to get your itinerary down. Ours goes like this:

1. Board and get everything organized for ease of transition. No pulling bags down from the overhead to get the books, lovey etc. Keep all of that with you from the start. If you didn’t have time to do a diaper change before you boarded do so now. 

2. Snack time. Eating and drinking during takeoff help their little ears feel better during the pressure changes. 

3. Watch a show/play iPad games

4. Meal is served. Eat.

5. Depending on the lights dimming, watch shows or play iPad games. Also take a stroll to the bathroom to do a diaper change into an overnight diaper. Let your little stretch their legs and walk to the bathroom holding your hand. Changing into pajamas is also a good idea if that helps your little get in the sleepy mood. 

6. If the lights are dimmed or they have announced they will do so soon, pull out the bedtime books. Read them with the overhead reading light or until the lights are dimmed. 

7. Now that the cabin is darker, sleep! Your little should be pretty ready for this after a full tummy, fresh diaper, their bedtime books and the lights now low. 

For domestic just alter the routine to the amount of inflight time:) 

Happy Travels! 


Also note the baby neck pillow* 

Babyjogger City Tour

Ciao!! 

We’ve been crazy busy here the past 30 days. We got back from Paris to immediately fly to Florida because my grandfather passed away after Christmas. We stayed a little longer to help my grandma settle into her new life. They were married for 56 years, and she has never lived alone:( 

Anyway, I wanted to at least post something about our trip, and I thought I would share our new stroller that made Paris soooooo much easier! The new Babyjogger City Tour. 

So Paris is narrow and small. Yes, I know it’s a “big” city, but for strollers it is small. The restaurants, cafes, doorways, walkways, crowds, it’s all narrow and small. This stroller has a tiny footprint. It’s also light weight, easy to fold and compact which is important for the train and all of the stairs in the city. Just because there is an elevator doesn’t mean there aren’t still stairs for you to tackle. This stroller makes that navigation a lot easier. It has a good recline (6 months +) and our son napped for hours in if. Also, the basket is pretty big for a compact stroller:) 
I will say it’s the hardest of all of my strollers to push, but this is because of the narrow frame. It’s worth the extra effort (which really isn’t bad, I could one hand push still) for the narrow frame and small footprint. 

The rain cover was also the worst of all my strollers. It took my son just barely nudging it to pop the bottom open. It didn’t let a lot of rain in, but it would be better if it attached better on bottom. 

The backpack feature is cool, but hubby mostly just carried it by side for a quick up or down. Was nice for the gate check, though. Also, good for the train bc we just held our son until we got back outside the station. 

The price is awesome in comparison to other compacts, but if this was my first travel stroller purchase I might opt for the new babyzen yo yo+ despite the much higher price. The City Tour is 6 months+ and the new Yo yo+ is newborn friendly with reversible seat and a bassinet option even<3 However, my babyjogger Vue lite would have been ok in Paris and has a bassinet insert, reversible seat and much lower price tag. But that Yo yo+ has me gaga, and I saw it everywhere in Paris. Definitely worth also checking out! 



Note we did a lot of walking and touring during nap and bed time:) LOUVRE DURING NAP TIME!! We got 2 1/2 hrs in with him sound asleep and then switched to babywearing. 

Buon Viaggio Amici!! 

Travel Gear Must Haves: Fisher Price Ultra-Lite Day and Night Play Yard (Dock a Tot optional)


Update!! We have used it twice now, and it’s awesome. We took it to Paris and Florida, checked it like a regular bag. We even fit the dock a tot in the bag it goes in! I don’t think it would fit if the infant sleeper was also packed in there. 
First, I have to say we have never used it to travel with, yet.

 We just transitioned our son from co-sleeping with us using a Dock a Tot and sidecar crib to his own crib detached from our bed. We are leaving for Paris in a month, so I had to find something that would be easily portable and safe for him to sleep in on his own as they wanted 90 euro a week to use their pack n play! 😳 Going back to bed sharing would ruin all of our progress of sleeping on his own, so I did some research and found this lovely travel cot for under 90 euro (I got it for $89)! This bad boy was the cheapest I found with the best features! I was looking at the Baby Bjorn, and while it is all organic, non-toxic, etc it is also almost triple the cost. If that is something that is very important to you, I would recommend checking that one out.

For us the short term use has as pretty ok with the materials it’s made of and this one has an infant sleeper attachment! That’s right, infant sleeper attachment!! It’s also inclined which is awesome for reflux babies, like our son. You can put your baby on the bottom level too, but I don’t like really little babies near the drafty ground. 

Weighing only 13 lbs with everything in the storage bag that has both a handle and shoulder strap this travel play yard is impressive. That means with the frame, mattress, infant sleeper attachment and the diaper changing mat and caddy all packed in the handy bag it comes in you can easily carry it and baby, check it on its own or even put it in your big suitcase!!

It just pops right open, clicks to tell you it is locked in place, drop the mattress in, do up the velcro straps and done! Or if you want to use the infant sleeper snap it into the top 4 corners, put the cushion on and voila! Just as easy to fold back up and put away.

Despite being light weight it is very sturdy. Our son is pretty big for 15 months, and I am not worried about him tipping it over at all. 

The mattress has a pretty good thickness, not that different from our home pack n play. The foot print of the bottom isn’t much smaller either. It takes standard play yard sheets. 

Basically, I wish I would have known about this guy sooner because I would have used it at home for nap time with that inclined infant sleeper, and killed two birds with one stone!  

I’m really excited to use this bad boy, and let you all know how Paris went with our 1 yr old. He will be meeting one of my best friends for the first time😁 


**the dock a tot pictured is the larger Grand size. Our son is 32.5″ tall and 15 months old.  

Leave a comment! Let me know what you guys think or if you have any questions. 

Baby Travel Gear Must-Haves: Boon feeding utensils and a willing eater! 

Boon is just a great baby company, BpA-free, Phthalate-free and PVC-free. We love all of their utensils and especially their rubber duckies! But the Squirt and Pulp utensils, in particular, are perfect for travel! 

Now as much as I love these Boon products I’m about to share with you, the true reason we have such success eating is because of our very willing little eater. We are foodies. We travel mostly with our stomachs, not hearts (except for you Roma😉). Our little man is being raise the same way. 
We started solids at 4 months, with the basics apples, bananas, avocados, but the moment the doctor gave us the OK, he was eating exactly what we eat. He eats American classics like chili (I don’t hold anything back in making it, except it’s not super spicy), corn bread, meat loaf, green bean casserole, Mac n cheese, you name it, he’s had it! But we also give him all the other cultural food we love. He eats Indian favorites like chicken tikka masal and mango lassi. He eats pasta with all different sauces, ravioli with any filling. He eats food from the sea, his favorites being lobster and crab (go figure, the more expensive and harder to prepare stuff!). Mediterranean/middle eastern favorites like lentil soup and hummus are an easy go to because I just spoon them as they are right from the bowl. This may not be for everyone, but it has made our life easier and we feel it is doing him a great service. 

Children are not born picky eaters. I’m not saying we aren’t born with any preferences, but we are definitely not born programmed to only like foods like chicken nuggets and pasta with just butter. This kind of food preference will make world travel much more difficult. I’m not even going to sugar coat it. This kind of children’s menu style pickiness is not well tolerated outside the US, at least not the places we go. Most restaurants in other countries don’t offer a children’s menu, nor is it likely they will be very kind to a picky eater tantrum. Food and its preparation is more highly regarded in basically everywhere else I have been. 

That said, it doesn’t mean I think you should never travel with your picky eater. Quite the opposite, you should definitely expose them to other foods. Maybe a different environment will inspire some openess to trying different things. I just want to warn you that you won’t go into an Italian trattoria and find chicken nuggets or a grilled cheese made with American cheese on a children’s menu, but I will say Italy is by far one of the most accommodating countries you can visit with your baby! They also have plenty of McDonalds in the bigger cities if you are desparate😂 If you staying in the US you will have no problems finding accommodating food, but I would still suggest trying to introduce local favorites. Trying and Eating new foods should be fun, and what better way to start making it fun than in a fun place!

Boon Pulp Silicone Feeder, this is how we manage to give him just about anything and not worry about him choking on it. It also seems to be helping him learn to chew which is really cool. 

 
 
Boon Squirt Silicone Baby Food Dispensing Spoon, no need for bowls, which are hard to deal with on the go and hard to pack. Only takes one hand to feed baby with and no worrying about baby getting a hold of the food to make a mess.  It even has a little lid so you can fill it before you leave if you would like or save the uneaten food for later. Just don’t wait too long and refrigerate it to help prevent bacteria from baby’s mouth growing quickly in it. 

  

Here’s some photos of our little guy enjoying some different foods for the first time and using the Boon Pulp and Squirt:) 

***not endorsed by any of the products I suggest, everything is purchased by us and my personal unbiased opinion. 

   
   

 
Safe and Happy Travels!