10 Tips for Surviving a Flight with a One Year Old

First off, I am not an expert at traveling with kids…let alone one small child measuring approximately 31.5 inches. Such a small person should be easy to cart around right? I haven’t had a “wow that was such a great relaxing flight” with my one year old who is off to the races on foot.

However, I have flown with her a few times and have come up with a few tips to share with my future self when I have two small children under two and anyone else who might be dreading an upcoming cross-country flight.

If you are debating going on a long trip with your active toddler, it’s worth it. We had one of the worst 12-hour days with Bailey on our flight home from our recent family vacay but after all of that, I would 100% do it all over again to spend that well-deserved previous quality time with my little family. Our goal pre-baby was to fit Bailey into our lives, versus changing everything around to fit into hers. By continuing to travel and get into some unpleasant circumstances is all part of that and will hopefully help round her out as well.

We recently travelled to Florida from California which took us on a 7.5 hour flight with a one hour layover each way. Our flight was delayed both ways and we barely made it to our second flight. We even left our stroller at gate check on the way home to make sure we actually made it home. We had travelled to Vermont when Bailey was six months old but as it turns out, having an active toddler who enjoys yelling loudly and quickly walking around makes things a whole lot tougher.

Based on my newfound toddler-on-flight experience, I have a few tips to share:

  1. Do not have high expectations. And by that I mean, expect it to be one of the worst days of your life. You might come out of the terminal at your destination thinking it was alright.
  2. Buy that kid a seat. Don’t skimp out even though they’re free until two. If you have a flight over three hours it’s worth it to get them their own seat.
  3. Bring lots of snacks. The more variety the better! Veggie straws, baby Goldfish, granola bars, Cheerios are my go-tos. It’s totally okay if they don’t have a wholesome diet for one day.
  4. Do not try to force naps. Bailey has a very set nap schedule that she’s developed over her long 14 months of life and she loves her crib so much that she practically tosses herself into it to get away from me by the time it hits 10 am or 2 pm on the dot. Bailey slept about 45 minutes per flight on the way to Florida. Not bad considering our flight delay, loud announcements, and a bright daytime flight. The way home was a different story. She fought her morning nap HARD and unfortunately fell asleep for the last 20 minutes on flight one…basically the moment the pilot said “we’re getting ready to land”. We woke her up and raced to our second flight (sans stroller). Since it was time for her afternoon nap by the time we took off, I tried to help her get to sleep. Big mistake. She was SO exhausted she kept putting her head down on my shoulder and then yanking it back up…for three hours. In retrospect, I wish I had given up and just entertained her. She would’ve undoubtedly fallen asleep for a bit and we all would’ve been better off.
  5. Do not bring messy food. Smashed blueberries that Bailey loves? Yeah, probably not the best idea considering that both of our pants were stained purple from a few landing underneath us. Food pouches saved us (yes, you can get them through security even over 4 oz!).
  6. Bring a few favorite toys and a couple new ones. We brought a couple of her favorite books, and some wipeable toys along with a new fake remote (so exciting!) and new stacking cups. They fit well in the diaper bag and could be used at our hotel.
  7. Use the aisle to your advantage. Bailey loved walking up and down the aisle. Bonus for when the flight is slightly tilted so they have to work a bit harder to climb uphill, tiring them out faster. Just kidding.
  8. Avoid diaper changes. Unless they have a stinky poop or a diaper rash, try to get away without changing them until you land if possible (if the flight is a couple hours) by changing them right before take off in the comfort of the airport bathroom. I also learned that poopy diapers must be placed in a bag before being tossed. Oops.
  9. Help them get through take off and landing. If they still take a paci – great! A straw cup, food pouch or lollipop will also do the trick.
  10. Bring a carseat on board. I still haven’t seen this on a flight but I’ve heard it works wonders. It would be a lot more comfortable for napping (if they can get one in) to sleep and hang in the carseat than on mom/dad’s shoulder or on the seat since they are still so small. Next long flight, I’ll be trying this out!

To anyone out there reading this and getting ready for their next trip, good luck and have a ton of fun! Once you’re in the middle of enjoying your family vacation, it will be totally worth it!

DIY Thanksgiving Pumpkin Name Cards

This year, we’ll be hosting our immediate family for Thanksgiving so I wanted to create some quick, easy and cheap place cards for the table for the adults and kids.

I decided this would be a good time to re-use my mini pumpkins from Halloween and I shopped my house for the rest of the items so I didn’t have to worry about trying to print on thick paper, etc. Overall, it only took a couple minutes per pumpkin to make these!

Supplies Needed:

  • Printer paper or thick paper
  • Scissors
  • Twine or ribbon
  • Colored pencils
  • Hole punch
  • Mini pumpkins
  • Bunny tails (optional)

Instructions:

  • Print or write out the names of your guests on printer paper. I used “Adelline” from dafont.com. They have tons of free fonts that you can download to your computer for personal use which is awesome for projects like this!
  • Cut each name out into a leaf shape.
  • Outline each leaf with colored pencil. I chose three different greens but you do you! Shade in the rest of the leaf.
  • Hole punch the end of each leaf. Feed the twine through and tie it around the pumpkin stem to make a bow.
  • Thread a bunny tail through the hole punch or the twine.

Post-Partum Must Haves for New Moms

Post-partum struggle is real…physically, mentally, emotionally. Luckily I have a few friends who recently gave birth before me who were super helpful in telling me what to expect, what they recommended, what I would need, etc.

On the physical side, I am SO glad I had stuff ready to go when I got home from the hospital (Thank you to my girls for instructing me on what I would need!) That said, I wanted to compile these suggestions for everyone.

First of all, don’t be shy. Take all the supplies you can from the hospital. This means pads, mesh undies, ice packs, etc.

Tucks: These cooling pads were lifesavers for the first couple weeks post-partum. The hospital gave me half a container to bring home but I ordered more for at home since I used them so much.

Dermoplast: My nurses sent me home with two cans so I didn’t need this at home but it was also a lifesaver! This stuff is the BEST!

Padsicles: Make these ahead of time! Pour some aloe gel & witch hazel on large overnight pads and freeze or put in the fridge. Frozen were way too frozen for me so I ended up putting them in the fridge when I got home. They feel SO amazing.

Frida Peri Bottle: The hospital sent me home with a couple squirt bottles for down there but the Frida peri bottle has a better angle so I was grateful to have been gifted it at my baby shower.

Undies: The hospital mesh undies are alright but they didn’t fit very well and kept riding down. The Frida undies are full stretchy shorts that are super comfortable and made me feel very secure everywhere. These are disposable but technically you can wash and reuse. For the days after the Frida days, or possibly just for during the day, these high waisted undies were great. I wish I had ordered a size up though.

Nursing Bras: I would recommend two kinds. Soft criss-cross bras for bedtime and padded bras for daytime. I ended up ordering a two packs of the bedtime ones since they tend to get milk on them every night.

Joggers/Sweatpants: Somehow I only owned one pair of sweats that I bought two weeks before I had Bailey. Leggings are not really an option the first couple weeks since you want to wear loose fitting bottoms, so I could really only wear pj pants and my one pair of joggers. Don’t make this mistake, especially if you’re having a baby in colder months.

Slippers: I invested in some Ugg slippers as my first pair of Uggs and I have worn them basically every day since I got them in January. They were super cozy for late night feedings and walking around rocking the babe.

Nursing gowns: Breastfeeding can be pretty messy (milk and spit up everywhere). We’ve made a ton of progress as time has gone on but I definitely went through nursing clothes sometimes a couple times a day. The Ekouaer nursing gowns are super soft and affordable.

Nursing tanks: Again, breastfeeding is messy so these are clutch. Bonus points for dressing up your tank with a cardigan!

You got this mama!!

ClaudettesCorner

 

 

 

Conquering Gestational Diabetes: Recipe Ideas for All Six Meals

At 29 weeks pregnant, my 1 hour glucose test came back with a big F. I also was shocked to see that I had gained 12 lbs since my 24 week appointment. At 30 weeks pregnant, I failed the last 2 blood sugar tests of the 3 hour glucose test.

Diagnosis? Gestational Diabetes.

Not going to lie, I was pretty upset at first, thinking I had done something wrong and had been creating an unhealthy environment for my baby. But the doctor reassured me that there was really nothing I could have done to prevent it – it’s all hormones!

Since then, I have been following California’s Sweet Success Guidelines for my diet.

Thankfully, with a change in diet and more walks after meals, I have been able to maintain healthy blood sugar levels and do not need insulin shots. Having GD also entails pricking my finger four times a day, logging every meal, meeting with a dietitian and heavy duty meal planning.

My doctor said that for many women, this is a life-changing experience because it really makes you realize how many refined carbs we eat on a day-to-day basis. So true! It’s absolutely insane. I am now that person who looks at the label on every single food item at the store. I have always eaten pretty healthy but there are so many things that I’ve realized have extra, unneeded “fluff” that I don’t need.

That said, I have come up with meal and snacks that I enjoy, fill me up and work for me. Trial and error with testing blood sugars an hour after anything new has helped me to figure out what I can and absolutely not get away with so I can’t say that all of these will work for everyone.

Now for the GD recipe ideas:

Rule of thumb: always pair a carb with a protein. And follow up each meal with a 10-15 minute walk.

1 carbohydrate = 15 grams

1 protein = 7ish grams

Breakfast Ideas:

1 protein + 1 carb

No dairy or fruit with breakfast?? That one really threw me for a loop. Already gone are the days of a runny egg with toast or chilaquiles or all things good with eggs unless they are scrambled due to the whole no-raw-things pregnancy diet.

Breakfast has never been my favorite meal of the day so I typically stick to eating cereal and brown sugar or apple oatmeal packets for the most part. Welp, scratch both of those!

On the bright side, I feel much more full after eating my GD breakfast options. Although I could go for a second slice of avo toast…

  • 2 egg bites + 1 slice of whole wheat toast
  • 2 scrambled eggs on 3/4 whole wheat English muffin (but who wants just 3/4 of an English muffin?!)
  • 1-2 eggs with salsa and avocado on 1 Mission Carb Balance tortilla. Thank god for these tortillas…I am the queen of flour tortillas and definitely am not a corn or whole wheat kind of girl. I am able to get away with these which totally totally fulfills my love for tortillas.
  • 1 hard boiled egg, + 1/3 avocado on 1 slice toast or 3/4 whole wheat English muffin Top if off with cherry tomatoes, Everything But the Bagel seasoning, arugula, scrambled egg, salsa – the options are endless! I’m not able to just eat avo toast due to it having to much fat and not enough protein but when pairing it with a protein, we are in luck!
  • Bean, eggs and cheese burrito.
  • Peanut butter toast on 1 slice toast or 3/4 whole wheat english muffin sprinkled with cinnamon. Sneak a dash of honey on if it doesn’t make your blood sugar go too high. Mix it up: Use almond butter, cashew butter, sunflower seed better, etc.
  • One Vans Protein waffle with peanut butter or butter.
  • Plain oatmeal with 2 TBSP peanut butter and cinnamon. Blah, I know…

Snack Ideas:

1 protein + 1 carb

Snacks, snacks and more snacks. With three snacks a day, it’s easy to get bored of the same thing over and over. But luckily, now is the time to add in dairy and fruit – hooray!

  • Cheddar cheese + whole grain crackers. Mix it up with goat cheese or fancy hard cheese.
  • Dried apricots + walnuts. Switch it up with other dried fruit or different nuts and DIY your own trail mix packs.
  • Fancy cheese (any hard cheese) + an apple
  • 1/2 banana + 2 TBSP peanut butter
  • One apple + 2 TBSP peanut butter. Switch it up with another fruit + peanut butter or almond butter.
  • 1 protein shake with 1 cup milk, protein powder or 2 tbsp peanut butter, 1/2 cup berries, 1/4 banana, and a bit of unsweetened cocoa powder if you want a chocolate version. Add spinach if you want to be really good. I can’t do milk so I substitute almond milk or oat milk.
  • Celery + 2 TBSP peanut butter + raisins (Kindergarten fav brought back to life!)
  • Carrots + hummus + crackers + beef stick
  • Lara Bar (there are a couple with no chocolate if that makes your sugar levels go too high) or Clif Bar Whole Lotta. I am obsessed with the Spiced Almond Ginger one!

On-The-Go Proteins 

1 protein

You’re not supposed to skip any meals, even if you’re not very hungry or out and about, which can make it a little harder. Or if you’re like me and need a small second afternoon snack to stay full until dinnertime, carbs may not be the best bet.

So when in doubt, throw down some protein.

  • 1 Protein shake with Protiva scoop + water + dash of cinnamon. Switch it up with a dash of unsweetened cocoa. My doctor had me take Protiva but I honestly hate the taste so I tried it in a bunch of different things. Cinnamon or a little cocoa seemed to do the trick. There are other protein powders that probably taste much better – just make sure they are pregnancy safe!
  • Grass fed beef stick
  • Cheese stick
  • Hard boiled egg
  • 1/3 avocado with Everything But the Bagel seasoning from Trader Joes
  • 2 spoonfuls of peanut butter. They sell packets of almond butter and the like that will do the trick!

Dessert Snack Ideas:

Officially making this a new category because when deprived of ice cream and cookies, us pregos definitely need a little treat…in moderation of course! Trial and error may give you additional sweet options.

  • Almonds + dark chocolate pretzel slims from Trader Joes.
  • Skinny Dipped Dark Chocolate Almonds. I’ve never had these but they are AH-mazing! You can get them at Target usually with a coupon too!
  • 3/4 cup greek yogurt + one cup of berries. Mix it up: Use raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, or mixed berries, and add pecans/nuts and/or a dash of honey if you can get away with it.
  • 2 Bon Bons from Trader Joes + a protein, like 2 spoonfuls of peanut butter. I was lucky enough to be able to eat 2 Bon Bons at 7 carbs each and my blood sugar was fine in the morning.

Lunch & Dinner Ideas:

1-2 protein + 2-3 carb (one coming from veggies)

I find lunch particularly difficult because I have a hard time getting away from sandwiches every day and getting enough protein in. I’ve found the easiest thing is to eat dinner leftovers for lunch or opt for tuna. But not too much tuna because that’s bad too *eye roll*.

Lettuce is pretty much a free for all so I have it with dinner almost every night with dinner and top it with different things like tomatoes, cheeses, carrots, etc.

  • 2 chicken + lettuce + tomato + cheese wraps with balsamic vinaigrette on Carb Balance Tortillas. You can get creative with what all you put on these.
  • Baked salmon + asparagus + 1/3 sweet potato. On a baking sheet, I squeeze lemon juice on top of the salmon and rub with dijon mustard, letting it sit for about 30 minutes. Drizzle EVOO over the aspragus and top with a dash of kosher salt + pepper. Pop in the oven at 405 for 13 minutes and voila!
  • Salmon leftover + brown rice + salad.
  • Grilled chicken thigh + caprese salad + brown rice.
  • Tuna sandwich: 1 can tuna with cottage cheese (or mayo) + dijon mustard + celery + pepper on whole wheat bread. Salad on the side.
  • 1/2 Board & Brew Turkado sandwich on squaw bread. This is one of my favorite things ever so I did go against the no-deli-meat rule of pregnancy because I figure their meat is at least sliced fresh.
  • Chicken, beans, cheese and rice burrito.
  • Peanut butter sandwich on whole wheat bread with 1/2 banana cut up. Add cinnamon and a tiny drizzle honey if you can.

As you can tell, I go through peanut butter like no other. Cinnamon and other spices are fair game so that’s definitely the best way to make anything taste better and more exciting.

So what am I looking forward to most after baby is here?

Orange juice, BBQ sauce, ice cream sandwiches (these guys right here), blackberry jelly, having more than two Cuties at a time, not having to count out my almonds and Wheat Thins one by one and not scrambling for a protein at each meal, even when it doesn’t “go” with my carb.

However, this experience has been very educational for me and something I plan to continue to a way less strict scale. I will be more diligent about reading labels, adding protein and steering clear of foods with lots of added sugar.

If you have GD, I wish you the best of luck and hope you come away with the many positives that I have. Life altering for sure!

ClaudettesCorner