Top 5 Travel Tips for Flying with Baby

Mom Monday Blog Title Header Food Marriage

I recently took my daughter on her first plane ride.  I took her to Chicago to celebrate her Uncle Matthew’s Graduation from Chiropractic School and also to meet her GREAT Grandparents for the first time. My husband wasn’t able to make the trip due to work and school commitments, so I was traveling alone. People thought I was crazy for flying alone with her. I almost didn’t book the trip because of so many fears! But in the end I decided to do it! And guess what? Flying with a baby wasn’t nearly as bad as I thought it might be!

We flew when she was about 7 months old, so I was able to keep her on my lap the entire time (talk about cost saving!) Most airlines allow you to have a child on your lap up until they reach 2 years of age. Overall, we had a great trip and I was so glad to have taken the opportunity to go on a trip where we could spend quality time with family that we do not get to see often.

Top 5 Travel Tips for Flying with a Baby via Airplane | FoodMarriage.com

 Here are my Top 5 Tips for Flying with a Baby:

1. Do Not Read Negative Articles Before You Go – this will only stress you out.  A couple weeks before we left, I read an article about a woman being kicked off a plane because her child was crying uncontrollably before takeoff. This happened to be the same airline that I had already booked. Everyone was trash talking the airline in the comments section and basically said if you have kids, steer clear of that particular airline. Of course, I freaked out after reading this but it was too late to change flights at that point. We kept our flight and I was pleasantly surprised to find that everyone we encountered on the airline was extremely friendly and helpful. We could not have had a better experience.

2. Do Not Care What Other People Think – this will also stress you out. My biggest fear was sitting down next to another passenger and getting “the look” – you know the one where they are thinking in their heads “I cannot believe this person brought a baby on a plane.” What I found was that most strangers were happy to make silly goofy faces at my daughter and make her laugh and giggle. How could you not love a smiling bright blue eyed little babe!?

3. Do Not Forget Hand Sanitizing Wipes – Notice I did not say “Do Not Let Child Touch Any Surfaces” because let’s face it, that is nearly impossible to do.  Let your little one play and be curious – it is a fun and new experience for them and they are exploring the world around them! Just be sure to be quick with the wipes before they put their hands in their mouth!

4. Do Not Be Afraid of Making Friends – I usually keep to myself when traveling, reading a book or minding my own business. I rarely talk to other passengers. I found that having a baby in your arms invites conversation. Don’t be afraid of it! I found myself giving tips on baby carriers to a pregnant woman and having conversations with a group of young adults on their way to Basic Training in the Navy. It actually made the trip fun and go by quickly!

5. DO ENJOY EVERY MOMENT – as we all know, our children are only little once. As a working mom who works full time outside of the home, this time I spent with my baby girl was precious. This was the first Mother/Daughter trip that we took together, and I hope there are many more to come. Try to look at the world through your child’s eyes and see what an incredible adventure you are on!

Hoping that these tips can ease some of your travel anxiety if you are planning your first trip with your little one! Best of luck!

 

xoxo, Food Marriage

How to Make a Baby Ladybug Halloween Costume!

Mom Monday Blog Title Header Food Marriage

For my daughter’s first halloween, I knew I wanted to make hand make her costume! Nothing against store bought costumes, but I was just itching to do something creative! I originally wanted her to be a baby bumble bee after I saw this No Sew Bee Costume from Sugar Bee Crafts, However, when I went to the craft store, there was no bright yellow tulle to be seen. I saw bright red tulle and was sold on the idea of a little ladybug! I started right away on making Little M’s ladybug halloween costume!

How to make a homemade baby ladybug halloween costume for your little girl, complete with a ladybug painted pumpkin, red antennae headband, matching handmade mommy and me infinity scarves, and little ladybug wings | FoodMarriage.com

With less than a week until Halloween, you can still make this easy costume if you want to! I paced myself by doing one piece of the costume each day until it was finished. Here’s what you’ll need to create this adorable baby halloween costume:

  1. Basic Black Clothes and Red Socks – Any plain black shirt and black leggings will do (Tip: Wal-Mart carries Garanimals brand clothing for babies and toddlers with mix and match separates – you can get exactly what you need at a great price – under $4 a piece!) I also picked up fuzzy red socks from Carter’s.
  2. Ladybug Wings – I was going to get red felt and then cut out black circles and glue them on, but I got lucky and found red felt that already had black dots on it the craft store. Score! I bought two pieces of felt, used a bowl from the kitchen to cut them into half-circles and then glued them together at the top with Tacky Glue. Once it was dry I used red thread and hand stitched the wings to the top of the black shirt.
  3. Tutu – I got black elastic, black tulle, and red tulle.  I followed the general idea from Sugar Bee Crafts of just hand-tying the tulle to the elastic band.  I did NOT use glitter tulle as I thought that was not a good idea for a 9-month old. I used regular matte tulle and bought one roll in each color (I used the 3-inch wide kind).
  4. Antennae Headband – Using leftover elastic that I had from the tutu waist band, I tied it in a little knot in the back to make a headband. I then took little red pom poms and stitched them on to the top with red thread.
  5. Mommy & Me Matching Red Infinity Scarves – I used to crochet a long time ago, but haven’t done it in years. I watched this Easy Crochet Infinity Scarf Tutorial on YouTube by Melanie Ham, and it came right back to me!! Her tutorial was just what I needed to get back in the swing of things and learn how to do an infinity scarf, which I had never done before. I made our scarves much smaller but the general pattern was the same with a half double crochet stitch. I wore a black shirt with my scarf to match my little one!
  6. A Pumpkin with Red & Black Acrylic Paint – We spent one night painting our pumpkin red with acrylic paint.  The next day, we painted the top black and added black polka dots with a round sponge brush.

Hand Painted Ladybug Pumpkin for Halloween with red and black acrylic paint. The perfect compliment to your little girl's costume or to your home decor. | FoodMarriage.com

We were happy to get our little girl all dressed up for a party this past weekend. And we are even more excited to get two uses out of her costume this coming weekend for Halloween!

 

xoxo, Food Marriage

5 Closest Hotels to the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania (HUP)

Mom Monday Blog Title Header Food Marriage

I gave birth in the middle of winter, so of course my concern was WHAT IF THERE IS A GIANT SNOW STORM? At that point, I wasn’t even thinking about the fact that I was planning to give birth at a Philadelphia city hospital and we live an hour away in the suburbs on a good day without traffic. In preparation for our baby’s arrival, I developed a 5-page word document for my family (yes, you read that right….5 pages) – slightly overkill you might think? Not to an extremely pregnant woman who needed to prepare for every little detail!

5 Closest Hotels to the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania (HUP) | @FoodMarriage | www.foodmarriage.com

My document outlined the address, where I would be in the hospital,  parking options, and public transportation options (you know in case my family couldn’t GOOGLE the information and figure it out themselves!) Then I decided to put together a list of hotels in the area – in case there was a major weather event and we needed to camp out there before the baby or if my family got stuck in the city and couldn’t get back home.  Yes, slightly irrational thinking – but I’ll tell you – this hotel list ended up saving us!!

Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania HUP

Photo Credit: http://www.uphs.upenn.edu/pennorl/education/residency/hospitals.html

There was no snow storm. There wasn’t even rain on the day our daughter was born. However, when I started having contractions at 2:00am on a Friday morning, then had a regularly scheduled doctor’s appointment IN THE CITY at 9:00am, and then he sent us back home to the SUBURBS – we had already had quite enough back and forth for one day.

My contractions started getting worse and we were facing a new challenge – rush hour on a Friday night. The only image going through my head was being forced to have our baby in a car because of being stuck in Philly gridlock traffic. Luckily – I had my handy dandy prepared list of hotels! It was about 3pm at this point, and we knew we still and time to beat the traffic.  My husband, Pat, suggested we go ahead and book a hotel for the night – that way if we had to go to the hospital in the middle of the night or even early the next morning, at least we would already be closer.

Homewood Suites by Hilton University City Philadelphia Hotel

Photo Credit: http://homewoodsuites3.hilton.com/en/hotels/pennsylvania/homewood-suites-by-hilton-university-city-philadelphia-pa-PHLUPHW/index.html

We got to the hotel around 4:00pm and thank goodness we did! After having the car parked, checking in, and attempting to make our way to the room – my water broke in the hotel elevator!! We were only in the room for about 10 minutes, before we decided it was time to go to the hospital! Labor still lasted quite a while and we didn’t have our little one until 3:21 am on Saturday, but we are still glad we made the decision to head into the city early!

Here’s my list of hotels (and bed and breakfasts) closest to the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania (HUP), where I gave birth.  The list is organized by distance from the hospital: 

  • The Hilton Inn at Penn – 0.6 miles from hospital
  • Sheraton University City – 0.6 miles from hospital
  • Cornerstone Bed and Breakfast – 0.9 miles from hospital
  • Spruce Hill Manor Bed and Breakfast – 1 mile from hospital
  • Homewood Suites by Hilton University City – 1 mile from hospital

We booked the Homewood Suites by Hilton University City for two nights. While we didn’t get to use the room that night, we offered it up to my in-laws to use after a long night in the hospital.  The second night, my husband used it to get some sleep on a comfy bed (intend of the pull out chairs in the hospital room) – it was nice because he was still close if we needed him to come back for anything!

Hopefully this list will help you too! Whether you are planning to give birth or if you are traveling to visit someone at the The Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania for other reasons!

 

xoxo, Food Marriage

To the Sweet Girl who Made me “Mommy”

Mother and Baby celebrating Mother's Day

To the Sweet Girl who Made me “Mommy,”

I love you to the moon and back, to infinity and beyond, for forever and a day. I dreamed of you for countless nights, and now finally you are here in my arms.  Today on Mother’s Day, and as you celebrate being 4 moths old today, I am amazed by the miracle of life and by everything you do. How is it possible 121 days have gone by so far since you have been born? I want time to stand still, but at the same time want it to keep moving forward so I can continue watching you grow.

Mother's Day Quotes

I get weepy when I realize that you may not remember all of these moments that we spend together. But I will remember them for you. I will take pictures and tell you lots of stories when you get older- like how Daddy and I were both shocked when you rolled from your tummy to your back at just 2 months old! And how I swore that you said my name “Mom” already – even though nobody else believes me! I’ll tell you how we spent our Sunday mornings doing “family snuggle time” and how Daddy and I would fall back asleep, each one of us holding one of your sweet little hands. I’ll tell you how you NEVER cried once when we put you to bed at night – a miracle in itself! And how you smiled and giggled  when we told you it was time to go to sleep (a girl after my own heart…gotta love sleep!)

Mother's Day Quote

I’ll tell you how much I loved hearing you coo and babble in your crib in the morning. And how when I had to go back to work, just seeing you smile at me as I would walk out the door would make my whole day better. I’ll tell you how much more I fell in love with your Daddy, just seeing the way he takes care of you. And I’ll tell you how much your Daddy made me laugh when he literally wore a mask to change your dirty diapers!

Mother's Day Quote

I’ll tell you how much we loved you from the very beginning (even when you were inside my stomach and we called you “Pedo,” short for “Torpedo” because that’s what my stomach looked like at one point!) I’ll tell you how much we loved you when you first arrived in this world and we found out you were a healthy little girl.  I’ll tell you how much we loved you each and every day after that and how you seemed to grow right before our eyes.

Thank you sweet girl, for making me your Mommy. I look forward to everything that the future holds for us!

Happy Mother’s Day to all of the Mothers out there…especially those celebrating their first Mother’s Day, like me!  What are you doing to celebrate and remember this special day?

 

xoxo, Food Marriage

Christina Bruce Photography for Newborn & Family Photos in Bucks & Montgomery County, PA

Mom Monday Blog Title Header Food Marriage

A good photographer usually gets the majority of their business through referrals, which is exactly how we found out about Christina Bruce Photography. I LOVE being referred to work with someone because you usually get good feedback firsthand from others who have worked with them!

My husband Pat and I did not do a maternity photo shoot, but as soon as our daughter was born, we knew we wanted to get newborn photos taken of her! We didn’t plan ahead, and decided to find a photographer that first week we were home from the hospital. Christina had done beautiful photos before for my sister-in-law AND she actually went to high school with Pat! We contacted Christina and she responded right away with her avaiability.

Christina Bruce Photography - Newborn and Family Photos

Some of the photos Christina took of our family!

Not only did Christina come to our home, which made us so much more comfortable than in a studio, but she was incredible with our baby girl. She literally was a baby whisperer!! If the baby fussed even just a little bit, she held her hands gently to put her back in her pose and made a shushhh-ing noise which put her right back to sleep!  And while Christina did bring some of her own props, she made use of a lot of what we already had in our home. See the baskets in the pictures? They were ones we were already had here!

We had a great experience working with Christina and will treasure the photos she took of our family for many years to come!

Christina Bruce mainly focuses on newborn and family photography in the Bucks and Montgomery County areas of Pennsylvania. If you are interested in contacting Christina or seeing more of her work, you can get in touch via her Facebook page at Christina Bruce Photography.

 

xoxo, Food Marriage