How to Pump While On a Vacation Without the Baby

December 13, 2016

For any guys reading, just skip this post. Given the title, I can’t imagine you would have clicked on it anyhow 😉

This past weekend, Marcus and I headed to New Orleans to celebrate our 30th birthdays! Mine is on December 12th and his is on the 31st, so we asked my parents to watch he boys and off we went!

A trip without kids is so so needed after having a little one. Finding someone to watch them is always the toughest part, but with our family in town, we don’t run into that problem very often. Next come the logistics of being away from a 6 month old who is still very dependent on me. He only eats breastmilk, with the occasional solid food meal 1x a day, so I had to make it a priority to pump while we were in New Orleans. Here are my tips on how to make an adults only vacation work while still breastfeeding.

Find a centrally located place to stay

We stayed right outside of the French Quarter at the JW Marriott, so we could get around really easily. I would pump before going out to walk around, eat meals, etc., which would give me a solid 3 hours before needing to be back to do it again. It ended up being perfect! By staying pretty central, we would have to pass our hotel to get to other activities anyhow, so stopping in for 15 minutes to pump, use the restroom, etc. was really quite simple. It was also just a block from Starbucks, which I loved!

Bring bags for milk

Bags are significantly easier to travel with than bottles, so be sure to bring a bunch with you. They fold up and are so so simple to use. If you drive to your location, I’m sure bottles and a cooler would be pretty easy as long as you keep it super cold. For flying, bags are the way to go. if you use the Medela bags, you can even pump right into the bag, without having to use the bottle first.

Make sure you have a freezer in your room

This is probably the most important part. You have to be able to keep the milk after you pump it, and freezing it is the best option. Before booking out hotel, we made absolutely sure we would have a fridge/freezer combo in our room. Staying at an Air BnB would have made this even easier, but we just didn’t find any in the area we wanted to stay in. Also, if  you have frozen milk, TSA doesn’t have to test it on your flight home. They will just put it through the scanner and you are good to go!

Pumping While Traveling_1

Time activities accordingly

We didn’t do anything longer than 3 hours, knowing it was important to come back and pump periodically. I could have stretched it to closer to 4 hours, but since I always pump every 3 hours at work, I really wanted to keep to the same schedule. It’s still really important that I keep up my supply, so sticking to the same schedule that the baby eats is key!

Pump n dump if you need to

A trip without a baby means you have the liberty to go out and have a glass of wine (or three) and not have anyone to come take care of at the end of the night. Even though it absolutely pains me to do it as well, just pump and dump if you want to imbibe a bit. It’s pretty amazing to go have a good time and its best for everyone to just pour that session’s milk down the drain.

Pumping While Traveling_2

Bring a lunch box in your suitcase

Fold up a lunch box and put it in your suitcase for the flight home. Since you have the frozen milk in the freezer, you can easily transfer it on over and bring it on the plane with you. Assuming your flight isn’t terribly long, the milk will still be frozen by the time you get home!

Bring a hand pump too

I brought my hand pump, just in case my regular pump stopped working for some reason. The pump didn’t break, but I did end up using the manual pump on the way home on the plane. Our layover was pretty short, and I was just sitting there anyhow. Rather than having to plug into an outlet somewhere (our plane didn’t have in seat outlets), I opted to pump manually while I was sitting down. It was no big deal at all and no one even noticed what I was doing. The manual pumps are a really great thing to fall back on.

Sure, having to pump while on vacation is not exactly convenient. If you plan correctly, it’s really not a big deal! I hope these tips helped you!

Do you have any other tips to add to the list?

 

Davis: 6 Months

December 7, 2016

Dear Davis,

Hey little guy! This month has been a lot like the others you’ve experienced – it’s flown by! You experienced your very first big holiday, Thanksgiving, and were a champ the whole time! You snoozed on and off throughout the day and watched your very first Macy’s Day Thanksgiving Day parade with your dad and Grant while I was off running the turkey trot. The day before Thanksgiving, Mimi actually discovered your very first tooth! Just a couple of days after, your second tooth came in as well, so now you have both bottom chompers! Your toothy little smile is pretty adorable!

Davis 6 Months

You are completely obsessed with your little feet these days. Whether you are in your car seat, on the changing table, or hanging on your playmat, those toes are in your mouth. I’m pretty sure it is my favorite little trick of yours! You are working hard on sitting up unassisted, but you just aren’t there quiet yet. I’m sure you will be there in just a couple of weeks, if not sooner. You weigh 15 pounds now and the pediatrician says you are perfect. You are on the smaller size in terms of weight, but you are pretty long in length! You are definitely taking after your daddy in so many ways.

We introduced some solids at the very end of your 5th month, right before your 6 month birthday. So far, you’ve eaten sweet potatoes, hummus, peas, avocado, and yogurt. You LOVE the yogurt and hummus, and can just tolerate the others. We are really just in explore mode at the moment with food, and you seem to really enjoy it.

Davis 6 Months

You are still breastfeeding like a champ and it is such a nice time we spend together. Although, your brother does like to hand out with us in the chair sometimes while you are eating, and you think that is pretty funny. You will take a few sips, laugh at him, and then get back on the boob. The two of you are already quite the pair!

Davis 6 months and Grant 2.5 years

Davis, are rocking your 6 month clothes and are still in size 2 diapers. You are grabbing for anything and everything right now, especially my hair! You love taking a huge handful and giving it a good tug – its definitely not my favorite 😉 Rattles seem to be a lot of fun for you, as well as taggie blankets. I’m pretty sure you would spend all day in your bouncer if we let you – it gives you the best view of the house, for sure!

You are still an amazing sleeper, taking 3 naps a day, ranging anywhere from 1-3 hours at a time. You pretty much just sleep for as long as you need to, and then wake up super happy, just babbling away. Nighttime is pretty similar, as you love 12-14 hours of straight shut eye a night. Thank you for being such an amazing sleeper! We are all so incredibly thankful!

Davis 6 months giraffe

Your best friend these days seems to Winnie B! Any time she walks by, your eyes are absolutely glued to her. You will just watch her every move, and pet her ears and back whenever we hold you close to her. She gives you big kisses and it doesn’t even phase you. I’m pretty sure you want her to do it more!

David 6 months Winnie

The next month is going to be the absolute best! We have both Christmas and a new year to look forward to, with lots of celebrating with family and friends. I can’t wait to experience every minute with our little family. It’s going to be amazing!

Love you so much sweet little boy!

A Pink and Gold Baby Shower

December 5, 2016

Over the weekend, my amazing friend Mary and I had the privilege of showering our best friend in preparation for the arrival of her baby girl! Baby Amelia is due late January, so we planned her shower to fall right before the holidays. We did a pink and gold tea party theme, and everything turned out absolutely perfect. I can’t wait to meet this little one and see our kiddos grow up together!

Pink and Gold Baby Shower_17

Pink and Gold Baby Shower_18

Pink and Gold Baby Shower_2

Pink and Gold Baby Shower_3

Pink and Gold Baby Shower_4

Pink and Gold Baby Shower_5

Pink and Gold Baby Shower_6

Pink and Gold Baby Shower_7

Pink and Gold Baby Shower_8

Pink and Gold Baby Shower_1
Pink and Gold Baby Shower_9

Pink and Gold Baby Shower_10

Pink and Gold Baby Shower_11

Pink and Gold Baby Shower_12

Pink and Gold Baby Shower_13

Pink and Gold Baby Shower_14

Pink and Gold Baby Shower_15

Pink and Gold Baby Shower_16

Thanksgiving 2016

November 28, 2016

The holidays are always the highlight of my year. Now that we have 2 amazing little boys, this season is even more fun!

As always, I woke up on Thanksgiving to go run the local turkey trot. I opted for the 10k, as I prefer the distance over the 5k – I don’t excel in 5k speed, so for me, the longer the better! My friend Steph and I carpooled over together and it was so nice to have a friend to pal around with before the race started.

Tampa Bay Times Turkey Trot 2016

The long and short of the race was it was hot – I was dying mid race for going out too fast, but I finished well and really can’t complain. It was my slowest 10k in quite some time, but oh well! Doing no speed work will do that to ya! We each grabbed our top finisher mug, a cup of coffee, and then scurried back home to see the boys!

They were all happily watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade when I got there, along with simultaneously cooking breakfast. After eating bacon and eggs, the rest of the day was a bit of a blur. We hosted a decent sized group – our whole immediate family and a good friend, so there was a lot going on! Everyone brought a dish, so we were just responsible for the mac n cheese, butternut squash, and the mashed potatoes.

Thanksgiving 2016

There was tons of cooking, relaxing, and laughs to be shared by all.

Thanksgiving 2016

It was an awesome Thanksgiving! Come Black Friday, we didn’t step foot into a single store. We #optedoutside instead and spent some special time with the animals at the zoo! It was a gorgeous day and we had so much fun together.

Zoo #optoutside 1

Zoo #optoutside 2

Zoo #optoutside 3

The rest of our weekend was full of playing at the park, finishing up our leftovers, and running with these two cutie pies.

Double Stroller Running

Davis went on his very first stroller run without his carrier since he’s big enough now. It was pretty nice to have a little less weight to push!

We rounded out the weekend fun with a little Christmas decorating. We put up our outside lights, picked out a tree, and played Christmas music. It was definitely my kind of heaven 😉

Davis Grant Christmas Lights 2016

Davis Christmas Lights 2016

Davis Christmas Lights 2016 2

Seeing Grant light up was absolutely amazing! This obviously isn’t his first Christmas season, but it is definitely the first one he really understands what is going on.  I have a feeling the holidays will just be getting more and more fun each year!

Christmas Tree search 2016

Tips For Running with a Double Stroller

November 21, 2016

Exercise is a part of my life I’m really not willing to compromise on when it comes to having a family. There are so many things I no longer get to do – sleep in on weekends, go to movies on a whim, and the list goes on. Running is my time to make myself feel normal and get some stress out, even if it only for 30-45 minutes at a time. Sometimes, running solo just isn’t feasible, so I am so so thankful I have a Bob Duallie running stroller. It was gifted to me last Christmas by my family, as everyone knew it would be the perfect gift for our growing family. I’ve been running with the single stroller for 2.5 years now, and feel like I really have it down pat. The double seems to be a whole new game, and since Davis is bigger now, I am getting comfortable running with him too! Here are a few tips on surviving (and enjoying) a run with 2 kids in the stroller.

bob-duallie-running

Concentrate on Your Form

My first couple of long runs with a stroller, my low back absolutely killed me! I was obviously using the wrong muscles to push, and mile after mile was just making me ache more and more. Stay as upright as possible, and try not to you use your low back too much. A very slight tip at the hip hurts a lot once you finish up. You will use your core pushing a double (or single!) stroller more than you ever realized so concentrate on a night tall back and tight abdomen.

Don’t Pack Too Much

I think this goes for any stroller run – the more you pack the heavier the stroller weighs, and the tougher it is to push. Plan and simple.

Pick Fun Places to Stop

Especially when it comes to long runs, scheduling your run around places for the kids to stop and play is pretty necessary. I love it when Grant comes and asks me to go for a run. He’s actually been coming in our room in the morning, bright and early, asking to go running. I’m not a huge fan of the bright and early, but the running part is pretty cute! He really looks forward to going because we tend to stop and look at animals in the water, do pull ups at a little outside workout space, and search for trucks, busses, and fire engines. If he’s really lucky, like he was yesterday, we will even stop at the park for a little fun. I know Davis could care the least now, but getting him out of his car seat is a big perk in his eyes. It tends to give him the break he needs from being in the stroller to make it the last couple of miles home.

Davis Grant Park

Switch Arms Often

You will create a pretty solid imbalance if you use just one arm (the same arm) to push your double stroller. When I get tired, I tend to use both arms to give me the extra push I really need, but for the most part, I tend to switch arms every handful of minutes or so. I am able to strengthen both sides of my body, and I don’t get that fatigue either.

Build Up Your Distance

As with just about anything to do with running, start small and slowly increase – this refers to distance and speed! It takes quite some time to get used to running with a stroller. Heck, its tough to get used to running with a water bottle! Cut yourself some slack and just keep at it. Before long, you will see your splits getting lower and your mileage getting higher.

 

Double Stroller Run

Realize How Wide The Stroller Really Is

Remember, you are sharing the sidewalk with everyone, and a side by side double stroller is not exactly the most easily navigable item. Hug your right side as much as possible when passing so you give everyone ample space. I find most people are pretty pleasant and give you the space you need since you are pushing two little humans, but you always find those people you just woke up on the wrong side of the bed.

Being a parent is all about adapting to the new norm. I’m pretty happy there are amazing strollers out there so I can keep doing what I love and bring my kids along for the ride!

***This is not a sponsored post, nor did I receive any sort of payment. I really just love this stroller!***