Another Missed Flight…

this time to Vienna. After our failed attempt to get to Norway last weekend we were very excited (and VERY prepared) for our trip to Vienna. Bags were packed with plenty of time to spare, passports were OUT of the safe the night before (the reason for our Norway fail) and we headed to the airport 3+ hours ahead of our flight. However, it was on the train to Stansted Airport that Lucy started uncontrollably coughing/crying. It was bad. We were those parents that everyone was staring at wondering “who gave these two a kid?” “did they really think taking a sick baby on a train was a good idea?” “that poor baby, they should just hand her over to me” – even thinking back on it makes me cringe. Little did they know Lucy had been cleared by the doctor to travel and had been a little fussy but mostly fine until we stepped on the train. It didn’t help that I, in an attempt to calm her, tried to give her a baby cookie which she then proceeded to choke on. Another mom win…

Anyways, between lots of “omg wtf is going on” glares between Geo and I during the train ride by the time we got to the airport we knew Vienna wasn’t happening. We got to the airport, gave Lucy a bottle and some medicine and turned right back around. Silver lining of that was we didn’t end up paying for our train ride back. I guess we were both looking for a #win and got a little sneaky about it (Geo did, I just nervously followed his lead).

We got home, ordered turkey from Strut and Cluck because it was Thanksgiving, after all. A holiday our family members were blissfully celebrating while we struggled to not simultaneously have mental breakdowns (we made sure to take turns – for the safety of Lucy of course :p).

Two things I learned during this shit show of a day:

  1. When you had a kid, travel insurance is necessary. No. Brainer. Gah.
  2. A cabbage can be eaten whole and raw. I saw it with my own two eyes while feeding Lucy at the airport. It made me smile with awe and slight disgust, which is exactly what I needed in that moment.

Grateful: That even though we aren’t in Vienna right now we made the right decision to stay home because it turns out Lucy has an ear infection 😦 And we now have a weekend at home with NOTHING to do. Which is not something we’ve had in a long time.

Oh Those Toes…

and fingers along with the rest of her they have my heart. How could they not?! 🙂

screen-shot-2016-11-22-at-8-07-21-pm

Grateful: For this sweet moment being captured on camera 🙂 Aunty Liv and little (very little!) Lucy.

Screen Shot 2016-11-22 at 8.15.23 PM.png

Dear Barcelona…

we failed you.

It’s true, what I had imagined as being a beautiful and even relaxing trip ended up being a tiring, frustrating and at times surprising one.

Small glimpse of what just one part of our weekend looked like:

Saturday morning we sleep a little later than planned because, well, Lucy was still sleeping and who doesn’t go back to sleep on a weekend morning when the babe is asleep? That’s sacred time that does not come along all that often. When we do head out the door we (I) make the mistake of hopping on the first bus that shows up going in the direction of the city. “As long as its going towards the city, then it’s taking us closer to the Sagrada Familia.” **not my smartest moment. When we finally get off I suggest to Geo we just grab a cab because our tickets state our entry time is between 9:15 and 9:30. He assures me that this is just a “suggested” time and they’re probably not to stringent on it. **not his smartest moment.

Cut to us walking 1.5 miles to the basilica, only to get there and be told we weren’t allowed entry because we were 45 minutes past our entry time.

Enter annoyance and the beginning of whats to be a pretty long day.

Lucy wasn’t phased by her parent’s frustration, nope not one bit. Instead, she took in the sites like a boss. #HelloMyPeople

ewt_9063

And the weekend just continues in this fashion until we get home on Sunday night after multiple travel delays. Besides the issues we ran into while in Barcelona we did find area’s of the city that we really enjoyed. Such as the area in which our Airbnb was located, El Poblenou which is right across from the Mar Bella and Bogatell beaches; strolling down to the water was my favorite part of the weekend. And across from the water was a terrific little neighborhood – full of little shops, family friendly restaurants and some great people watching. This also happens to be where we lost Lucy’s favorite little bunny – #tear.

Lucy enjoying the Hop On Hop Off bus 🙂

ewt_9122

Oh my heart…

EWT_9214.JPG

And then there’s this… #alldaylong

ewt_9211

Thank you for having us, Barcelona!

Grateful: For a visit from George’s brother and sister-in-law! It was so so nice having them here the past few days 🙂

It’s Hard to Blog Today…

about anything because my mind is so distracted by the fact that Donald Trump just won the U.S presidency. So I’ll just do two things.

  1. Share what I posted to Facebook and Instagram
  2. Share a funny interaction I had at the mall yesterday, because it’s good to balance heaviness out with a little lightness 😀

What was shared on FB/Instagram:

She deserves so much more. Anyone with a daughter, how could you vote for him? The way he views women alone is enough of a reason to be disgusted by him but I guess if he’s gonna “make America great again” then it’s all okay… pretty sure treating women with respect would be a good starting place. #Confused #Why?? #MamaBear #BabyGirl #Respect#Daughter

EWT_9261.JPG

So now onto the semi funny/awkward exchange that occurred yesterday while in line at the mall. Lucy was in her carrier facing outward and on the verge of a mini meltdown, she was clearly over my little birthday shopping escapade, and to be honest so was I. So we’re standing there and the woman in front of us seemed pretty out of it. She was well put together but she was kind of swaying, staring off into space and then shifted her focus onto Lucy. At first I was a little uncomfortable but then thought “eh, its keeping Lucy content, I’ll roll with it.”

Then the woman says, “How old is he” (typical – most people seem to think Lucy is a boy) and our chit chat continues with the usual empty banter. And that’s when she mentions she has a little guy who is 4 months old. Now the “swaying” and “staring into space” makes sense.

The conversation continues as so:

Woman in line: “Yea, today is the first time I’ve been away from him. My husband is at home right now. It’s really hard to be away, isn’t it?”

I swear I saw a tiny tear start to form in the corner of her eye.

Me: “Hmm I didn’t think it was that hard. I actually remember really enjoying my first outing by myself :D” *Insert giggling and smiling*

Instead of smiling and laughing along with me in agreement or at least in amusement she seemed to be in shock. “Wow, who is this woman? How is she allowed to be a mom?” was written all over her face.

And thankfully that’s when she was called up to the register.

Yes, I really enjoy my alone time but that doesn’t mean I don’t LOVE my time with Lucy. To the woman in the line, I hope you find a way to enjoy your alone time because I personally think it’s really important for you, your baby and your husband. But what do I know, I’m the kind of mom who has a babysitter, lets her babe watch tv, and shares ice cream with an 8 month old – Lucy doesn’t seem to mind 🙂

DSC01983.JPG

PS. Next post is about our trip to Barcelona. It was fun. tiring. beautiful. tiring. warm. tiring. and a trip for the books. Did I mention it was tiring?

Grateful: For 4 year presidential term limits. 4 years, that’ll fly by right?

I’m No Expert, But Here Are Some Tips…

for traveling with little ones. I know there are many moms and dads who have traveled a lot more with their kiddos, so I in no way claim to be the go-to person when it comes to family travel but I’ve learned, mostly the hard way, some tricks that make traveling smoother with a baby and am happy to share the wealth 🙂

  1. Forget the cute over-the-shoulder diaper bag and use a backpack. It’s so much easier to have something secure to your back than having to constantly adjust a bag that’s slung over your shoulder. Plus I think it’s easier for my husband to deal with carrying around a backpack than a traditional diaper bag (a little less scarring for the ego :p). I use this Eddie Bauer backpack/diaper bag from Target and love it.
  2. Organize the contents of the bag with individual bags. Sound redundant? It is! Haha But after going on a couple flights and getting so frustrated having to dig around for items I realized I needed to have three bags within the big one,: one for Lucy’s toys, one for Lucy’s food and one for Lucy’s diapers/wipes. The diapers one is great because instead of having to lug the backpack into the airplane’s TINY bathroom, I just grab the smaller bag and off we go. The bags I use are a variation of these ones from Cath Kidston.
  3. Bring an extra outfit for the babe (obvious) but also be sure to bring an extra shirt for yourself. I would say an extra outfit altogether but I’m assuming you’re like me and are already low on space! It’ll feel great to throw on a fresh shirt (poo, pee, spit-up free) before you get off the plane.
  4. Wear an extra large scarf. I say this only because some flights don’t provide blankets (especially the short ones) and it’s always nice to have something extra to wrap yourself and your little one in if it gets chilly (which in my experience it does, especially on night flights).
  5. Just because they invite you to board first because you have children, doesn’t mean you have to. I think spending as much time outside the aircraft as possible is best. I have no desire to get onto that plane and spend any unnecessary time in cramped quarters with Geo and Lucy… the flight is long enough 🙂
  6. If you can, buy a handful of new toys to slowly introduce to your little ones throughout the flight. I literally just went to London’s version of the Dollar Store, Tiger, and got some things like measuring spoons, a mini snow globe, a wind-up pumpkin (random shit! lol), and showed them to her on the flight. It was fun for her and me.
  7. Lastly, my favorite thing about flying was being able to sit back and watch a movie. The first couple flights with Lucy I didn’t even bother turning the t.v. on because it didn’t seem worth it. One of my recent flights with her though I realized I just needed to find a movie so stupid that I didn’t need to follow a script to understand what was going on… that movie was Blake Lively’s The Shallows. And yes, it was awful. BUT I’m not gonna lie, during those brief moments of downtime it was nice to lock into my screen and know what was going on even though I hadn’t been following it.

Oh and I know there are lots of strong feelings about medicating your child during a flight but I’ll be straight-up and share that we gave Lucy Benadryl during our red eye home to London a few weeks ago. It was the first time we’d given it to her (ever, actually) but she’d had a cold all week that seemed to be getting worse and we were concerned her ears would be bothering her on the flight. I know, I know all about having her suck on a bottle or paci during the rise up and descent but the hours were so late I knew she wouldn’t be interested in a bottle at that time. So we drugged her and it worked.

We gave her 1.5 ml of the suggested 2.5 ml for a 7 month old and I would totally do it again. Our only motivation to give it to her was to prevent her from being in pain, and it did just that. SO if you have any reason to think your baby might benefit from some medicine during a flight than I don’t see why you should avoid it. It’s just an opinion but I know moms in my own circle of friends that might feel differently about this and I just think its important for any mom contemplating it to hear from someone who’s gone this route.

Flights can be stressful but Geo and I try our best to find humor in it all!

image-1

Ps. Get ready to get a workout in! I feel no regrets eating candy on a flight because I know I’ve earned it carrying all this extra weight around! 🙂

img_0013

Grateful: For the opportunity we’ve had these last few months to travel and experience so many new things together as a family. George and I understand what a rare chance this is and are trying to enjoy every moment of it. Next up: Barcelona!

When Your Babysitter…

is a better parent than you are 8)

Geo and I walked into the house after a date to the gym (not quite as fun as last weekend’s date!) and I hear what sounds like the music from Harry Potter playing in the background. So the next 30 seconds goes like this:

Me – “Hey Jenny! Oh is this the music from Harry Potter?”

Jenny – “Oh, actually no. It’s Travosky.” Followed by a sweet pity smile thrown my way.

So yea, its going to be hard finding a replacement babysitter when we head back to the states! Especially since Lucy seriously LOVES her. She gets so excited when Jenny walks through the door, which makes it all the more easy to leave her.

In other news, food is FUN and MESSY. #CleanUpAllDayLong

PS. We love Ella’s Kitchen baby products! They have a wide variety of options, all delicious (I look forward to each eating level so that Lucy can try the new combinations/flavors) and best of all, the ingredients are all REAL. If it says it’s Sweet Potatoes, Pumpkin, Apples and Blueberries (one of Lucy’s favorites), that’s literally all there is (in addition to a dash of lemon). That’s it! Because I don’t make my own baby food (something that many moms do nowadays) it makes me feel very good giving my little one food that I trust is nothing but the best.

screen-shot-2016-10-30-at-6-58-48-pm

screen-shot-2016-10-30-at-6-59-27-pm

screen-shot-2016-10-30-at-6-58-58-pm

Grateful: For a relaxing weekend home. The next couple weekends will be busy (Barcelona next weekend and the following one Katie and Ted will be visiting!), so it was good to hang out, cook, watch t.v. and get some sleep!

Our Day Date in London…

was the perfect remedy for a couple who had barely seen each other in two weeks and were in need of some alone time to reconnect and just, have some fun!

Last Saturday, after taking a 7 hr long flight home with an 8 month old, Geo and I spent the morning sleeping, unpacking and eagerly awaiting the arrival of our babysitter, Jenny. I had made the decision earlier in the week that having Jenny come would be a nice way for us to rest, eat out, take a breather and I was right – it allowed us to do all of the above. We had Jenny for 4 hours and spent the first hour sleeping… pure bliss. We then headed out for a mini adventure.

First stop, a photo with my two new besties:

EWT_8826.JPG

Next we headed to London’s South Bank in search of a good place to eat. Along the way we couldn’t help but take a few pics like this one:

screen-shot-2016-10-28-at-10-11-18-pm

We then came across a restaurant called Bill’s, a small chain in London. It was cosy, warm and had a great menu. I ordered a Mint Iced Tea and had NO regrets (might have been the best part of the meal!). Here’s a peak of our visit there:

screen-shot-2016-10-28-at-10-18-48-pm

screen-shot-2016-10-28-at-10-19-02-pm

screen-shot-2016-10-28-at-10-19-16-pm

I got the veggie platter and between the falafel and spicy hummus I was in heaven.

After indulging in a late lunch we headed to the highlight of the day date, the Clink Prison Museum! Dun dun dunnnn. It was spooky, grotesque and basically everything you’d expect it to be. Next date we’re heading to the National Portrait Museum, probably a little more worthwhile :p

We made a couple friends though! (the sort of friends nightmares are made of… creepy.)

screen-shot-2016-10-28-at-10-28-42-pmscreen-shot-2016-10-28-at-10-28-49-pm

When we were finally done with the museum we headed back home feeling refreshed, reconnected and just excited to see Miss Lucy. But of course we had to stop to take in the Thames one more time. It’s amazing to me how busy it always it. I wouldn’t say it’s the most beautiful river I’ve ever seen but there’s something magical about all the commotion that seems to take place on it – always moving, always different, always with a backdrop of London. We will certainly miss it.

Geo asked me to pose, so naturally I gave the best Kardashian look I had… #Fail #HowDoIDoPoutyLips?

Screen Shot 2016-10-28 at 10.40.06 PM.png

Grateful: For this little pipsqueak who finds amusement, wonder and happiness in just about everything (especially my phone!). I hope she holds onto this for a long long time (the wonder, not my phone!).

Screen Shot 2016-10-28 at 10.42.59 PM.png

 

Right Around the Corner…

from us is the cutest, coziest little coffee shop. Verde and Company is the perfect spot to stop in for a coffee, or in my case, a late-afternoon hot chocolate 🙂

Their hot chocolate is voted best in London for a reason – it is truly delish! Dark, creamy and sweet; just what you need after a long day with a baby who is jet-lagged :p Lucy enjoyed her teeny little baby sip so much that she wouldn’t stop grabbing at it! Like mother like daughter. #ChocolateDoesTheBodyGood

Grateful: For our construction worker friends who are always around to help me lift the stroller into our apartment complex, give us a friendly wave as we walk by and/or come chat with us during those witching hours that we so often spent sitting on our front stoop watching the people walk by 🙂

Our Visit Home…

was wonderful. I was excited to visit friends and family but what I hadn’t realized was how nice it would be to be back in my comfort zone. I absolutely love London and have whole heartedly embraced our way of life here but it was really calming to be back by the sea, by our friends and family and in a town that we’ve very much made our home.

One thing that wasn’t so wonderful was how I spent much of my time there…

work work work.

Screen Shot 2016-10-23 at 9.56.12 PM.png

But there were many moments that were pure bliss. Here are a few of those 🙂

Screen Shot 2016-10-23 at 9.56.51 PM.png

Screen Shot 2016-10-23 at 10.00.00 PM.png

Screen Shot 2016-10-23 at 9.57.43 PM.png

Grateful: For a mellow, relaxing Sunday. Breakfast out, followed by lounging at home, grocery shopping together and some cooking. It doesn’t get much better!

Bring On The…

catcalls. Yep, I said it – bring. them. on.

They may be degrading and gross but I got whistled at for the first time in maybe years (ouch, I know) and I kinda loved it. There I am, pushing a 7-month old in a stroller and some guy in a truck (sleezy as it may have been) checked me out! My 10-pound heavier, postnatal bod and liked what he saw enough to shoot me a whistle. I will take it.

Note: I actually felt really awkward when it happened and refused to make eye contact (like the mature woman I am lol) but it was kind of nice to know I’m still noticeable and don’t blend into the world of all things baby that my life has recently become 🙂

In other news we just moved back to London after visiting the States for a couple weeks. It’s great to be back in our own space and have our own routine but I certainly cannot complain about our living accommodations while home… Thanks Mom and Dad for letting the three of us crash as Casa Burke!

screen-shot-2016-10-22-at-8-31-22-pm

Grateful: For my occasional moments of brilliance… Having our babysitter come for the afternoon after a night of traveling made all the difference for Geo and I. We’re feeling refreshed, happy, united and ready to take on a night that will no doubt be a long one. #JetLagSucks #PoorBaby