Flying (ALONE) with Waylen

If you don’t already know, I recently took cross country flights with my 8 month old, ALONE. Before the trip I pretty much searched the internet for any and every piece of helpful information I could find so now I’m going to tell you what worked and what didn’t! 

First let’s get into what I carried 

  • Ergo 
  • Diaper bag
  • Oversized purse 
  • Umbrella stroller 
  • 1 checked suitcase 

I highly recommend baby wearing in the airport. You don’t have to take them off to go through security so it’s a lot easier then getting them in and out of a stroller! I also have a diaper bag that converts to a backpack and I highlyyyy recommend investing in one! Not just for flying, just for life in general ha. I strapped my baby to my chest, then had my diaper bag on my back and still remained hands free to push the stroller, get IDs out, etc. 

Now most importantly what did I actually put in my super cool backpack diaper bag.

Well for starters, way too much ha. I didn’t really think everything through. Since Waylen was a lap child and since I was traveling alone, it was pretty difficult to get anything out from under the seat. I could only really grab the top toy without getting up. So this is what I brought on my second flight for the baby: 

  • 1 days worth of diapers
  • 1 new pack of wipes
  • 2 outfit changes 
  • Teether 
  • Burp cloth
  • Crinkly book 
  • Highchair rattle 
  • Favorite stuffed animal 
  • Plastic bag (to contain any blow out clothes)
  • Clorox wipes (I almost didn’t bring thing but I’m so glad I did because my tray table was covered in sticky stuff BOTH times) 
  • Now I still breast feed so for his food I just brought my boobs ha. 

For myself I brought: 

  • extra shirt (sometimes blowouts are intense)
  • Sweater (I used this to cover while BFing and while bean slept to keep it dark!) 
  • Water bottle
  • Snacks 
  • Book (I think I read one chapter ha) 

For the first flight we nursed at takeoff and then Waylen slept for 1+ hour. When he woke up we played with my water bottle, cookies, crinkly book, then he ate again, played some more, ate AGAIN, then napped for about 40, woke up, changed diaper, played, walked around, (because mama needed to stretch,) then nursed while we landed! 

The flight back went a little differently. Bean only napped for one hour in the beginning and then he peed on me ha. So I was definitely glad I brought those extra clothes! We pretty much only played with my water bottle and those cookies they give you for the entire flight- it was just so much easier than trying to get stuff in and out of my bag!

Overall he really did great on both flights! No crying except for a brief whining when his ears popped on one of the landings. Besides that he was happy and playful the entire time. For me though, IT WAS EXHAUSTING! Ha Trying to entertain a baby while sitting for 5 hours is a workout both mentally and physically. In the future if I can avoid flying alone I totally will but come on, I’m sure everyone would ha so I mean it really wasn’t so bad. 
I’m guessing though it will only get harder as Waylen gets older and more mobile. So if you’re thinking about flying alone with a babe, do it now! The younger the better!

Oooo and also a really weird thing that happened on my flight home — they told me Waylen wasn’t allowed to be in the ergo for take off and landing because I wouldn’t be able to brace for impact. Sooo I can’t brace for impact when I’m hands free but I can when I’m holding my baby on my lap? Doesn’t really make sense to me but it really didn’t matter since I nursed at takeoff and landing anyways. 

But GOODLUCK to anyone about to make a trip solo, hopefully this post is helpful! 

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Flying While Pregnant

After flying back and forth across the country at 30 & 32 weeks plus back and forth to Oregon in-between I feel like I am pretty much the pregnant flying expert. Ha okay not really but I think I can still offer some words of advice! Here are some things I would definitely recommend:

               Compression Hosiery

First off if you are traveling late in your pregnancy your doctor will probably recommend getting some type of compression hosiery. Socks, tights, leggings, stockings, etc. After reading way too many online reviews I decided to go with a pair of Sigviras Compression Tights from A Pea in a Pod. And for reference I purchased a size A and they fit perfect. Plus I didn’t even have to have Chappy help me get them on. Haha. I decided to go with tights because I heard socks could get uncomfortable where they hit along your calf. I also went with a lower mmhg because up to that point I hadn’t had any swelling so I figured the lower compression should be enough to keep my circulation up. Also… lets be real, they were on sale and I STILL paid $46.11 with tax and shipping… for one pair of tights… not really what I wanted to spend my money on. But I guess they were worth it (maybe?) because I didn’t swell on any of the flights! And I know you might be thinking I shouldn’t have been worried since I hadn’t swelled at all yet but just a little fun fact… Once while traveling back from Las Vegas on a red eye pre-pregnancy my feet randomly swelled, so I legitimately thought it was a possibility.

Aisle Seat

Everyone says how important it is to get an aisle seat. If you are peeing every 5 minutes having an aisle seat would be critical. I didn’t actually get up to use the restroom once on any of the flights I took though. Ha I’m really not sure how that miracle happened but it did. The only “close call” was on my short flight to Oregon. We had already landed and were stuck in our seats waiting for our gate to be ready. I could have REALLY used a restroom then, but in the end I survived without one.

Also since I was taking a red eye flight back to NC I was worried about the recommendations around getting up and walking during a longer flight. Hello I would much rather just sleep the entire time then make sure I got up to walk. Without me even asking my doctor brought it up and let me know that as long as I had compression hosiery I should be find sans walk. And guess what? I was! Even though I didn’t actually need an aisle seat I still would recommend getting one though because seriously during pregnancy you never know how you’re going to feel so it’s better just to be prepared!

               Snacks!

This was especially important for me because I hadn’t been able to eat big meals up to this point. I pretty much just continuously snacked throughout the day so I had to make sure I had ample snacks for my cross country trip. Also make sure you have a good variety because we all know how pregnancy cravings go… you may love something one moment and hate it the next. I brought popcorn, granola bars, leftover Halloween candy, etc. etc. and drank LOTS of water.

               Lumbar Support

If you’ve been having any type of back pain I would recommend bringing some sort of support for the trip. For me sitting upright in a chair isn’t the most comfortable so the idea of sitting on a plane for 5 hours wasn’t ideal. Now no need to get fancy though. I just brought along and extra sweatshirt that I could ball up to help support my back. Worked like a charm!

Comfy Clothes

Black leggings, a t-shirt, and a flannel were basically my go-to travel clothes. I wanted to make sure I was able to move around to get comfortable without the restrictions of a dress or skinny jeans. I’m weird and will sit Indian-style or with one leg up on my seat sometimes so leggings were a serious must. Also I pretty much immediately removed my shoes once on the plane basically just making myself completely at home and let me tell you, it was totally worth any weird looks I received ha.

 

That’s pretty much all the advice I have to offer.  If you are still having morning sickness or nausea I would also recommend getting one of those sea sickness pressure point bracelets. That was probably the only thing that helped me through the early months (aka half my pregnancy ha.) And lastly if you feel uncomfortable going through the new x-ray scanners, then don’t! I opted out and instead received a quick pat down. It was easy peasy! Now go and enjoy your vacation!!

Staycation

This past weekend I surprised my husband with a Staycation. He had been (not so) secretly dreading the idea of driving somewhere far for a weekend getaway so when I finally let him in on the secret he was SO relieved. There were three main rules we had to follow while on the Staycation. No friends, only eating out, and no hanging out at home. Just like any vacation I plan I came up with a suggested itinerary for each day and made lists of all the great bars, restaurants, and places we should visit. Overall the weekend was PERFECT and just what we needed. I may have gained 10 pounds in three days but I swear calories don’t count on vacation so don’t judge me.

Our first night on Friday involved The Spoke Easy, Custom Shop, and Twenty Two. The Spoke Easy is essentially a full-service bike shop with a bar. It is located in Elizabeth and was right next to our dinner spot so I figured it would be the perfect location to hop in to and grab a quick drink. Also since Chappy is an avid mountain biker I figured this shop would be perfect for him! The shop was so hip, relaxed, and clearly the cool place to hang if you’re a biker. There was also this adorable toddler whipping around (wayyyy faster than I ever could) on a push bike. So cute!

   
  

Next up was Custom Shop and O-M-G the food was amazing! First and foremost, CHAPPY ATE BRUSSEL SPROUTS. Let me repeat that, CHAPPY ATE BRUSSEL SPROUTS. The real scary part though… he actually enjoyed them. Okay let’s let that sink in for a second. Crazy right?? Yeah, I know! So for dinner I got the Cocoa Rigatoni, Chappy got a crawfish pasta that was on special, and we shared the Brussels Sprouts and a Bread pudding for dessert. Everything was delicious. My pasta was rich and creamy and the squash added a great brightness to the dish. The Brussels and Bread pudding were by far the stars of the night though. The Brussels were crispy with a touch of sweetness and the Bread Pudding was the best I’ve ever had,( and I’ve had A LOT of bread puddings.) It really just had the perfect blend of textures and the flavors were on point.

   
  

Lastly we finished off the night with a visit to Twenty Two, a small art gallery with a beer and wine bar located in Plaza Midwood. This place had a cool loungey feel to it and was the perfect spot for our night cap.

   

Now let me warn you, our first real day on Staycation was seriously packed to the max! We started off Saturday with breakfast at Tupelo Honey and shopping at the Atherton Mill Market, then drove up to Lazy 5 Ranch (which was SOOOOOOOO worth it,) popped into Sugar Creek for a beer and some shopping at the Pink Social, then headed to NODA for lunch at Cabo Fish Taco and more beer at Heist, and finally finished off the night with drinks at the Summit Room, dinner at Beef and Bottle, and then more drinks at the Punch Room. (Remember calories don’t count, so stop judging! Ha) Now if you can only get one thing at your next visit to Tupelo Honey get The Queen Mary bloody mary. Okay, so I guess you should probably get food too, not just a cocktail but this drink was so unique I would definitely advise that you get it on your next visit. First off it’s yellow, not red and it comes with a shrimp garnish. It was spicy, refreshing, and lighter than your standard bloody so get it and you can thank me later.

  

Now let me start by saying if you have not been to Lazy 5 Ranch you need to get in your car and go there right NOW. You get to drive your car through the exhibit and feed the animals. It was sooo cool and very reasonably priced. Make sure to bring cash though because that’s all they accept!

   
    
   

Our next food stop was Cabo Fish Taco in Noda. Basically we went in thinking we weren’t that hungry but somehow we still managed to finish our plates. Whoops… oh well. We got the Carne Asada, Tavarue Tuna, and Blacked Mahi Mahi tacos and they were all delicious. The carne asada was so tender and seasoned perfectly, the Mahi Mahi was fantastic (and also one of my favorite types of fish tacos,) but the real star was the Tuna taco. Surprising I know, but the blackened lemon rub gave a great depth to the tacos which were already bursting with flavor from the kiwi-pineapple fajita and honey wasabi sauces. It was a party in my mouth for sure.

   
  

Our last food stop for the day was at Beef and Bottle for dinner. By this point in the night we were pretty stuffed. I swear we normally don’t eat like this so the idea of eating an entire steak dinner seemed a little daunting. We decided instead to share the French onion soup, Filet Mignon, and Deep Dish Apple Pie. The food was everything and more you look for in a quality steak dinner. I also didn’t even have time to snap one picture since Chappy dove in before I had a chance which can probably attest to how awesome the food was. One of the coolest things about this place though was actually the location. They have really kept the old-fashioned atmosphere which makes you feel like you’ve stepped back in time as soon as you walk through the door. The entire experience was great and we have already added it to our go-to list of restaurants.

Our very last stop for the night was The Punch Room located in the Ritz in Uptown. We had heard a lot of buzz about this place and since Chappy is very into craft cocktails we HAD to try it out. Located on the 15th floor, this place is pretty exclusive and only holds about 35 people. The vibe was perfect for a cocktail and punch lounge and the drinks definitely fit the bill. If you are looking for a real craft cocktail in Charlotte this is the (only) place to go; be advised though the cheapest cocktail on the menu is a solid $17.00 so be ready to spend some money. We had originally planned to hop in for a quick taste before our next stop but ended up staying for the entire night. Awkwardly enough we spent more on drinks than we had spent on our entire dinner. (Remember, no judging!!!) They were all delicious though and totally worth it so we will be back.

   
    
  

Our last official day of Staycation was less packed and involved a bike ride to breakfast at Owen’s Bagels, bowling and lunch at 10 Park Lanes, a Funny Bus Tour, and dinner at Soul Gastrolounge. I was not feeling so hot Sunday morning (probably from a mix of drinking and binge eating from the previous day) so I opted to get something simple at Owen’s and stuck with a blueberry bagel with CC and cinnamon sugar. Chappy decided to get the Dixie Philly which smelled SO GOOD but also kind of made me want to vomit so I steered clear. Chappy downed it real quick though so I am sure it was delicious plus there was a steady line out the door for the entire time we were there so obviously this place is a big hit.
  

Next up was bowling and BBQ at 10 Park Lanes which had seriously been on our bucket list since seeing it on Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives about 3 years ago. I’m not really sure what took us so long to finally make the trip but bowling is always fun – except this time since Chappy actually beat me for the FIRST TIME EVER—UGH and the food was yummy. We had heard about these stacked jars of bbq so of course we had to try them. Now I would not go so far and say that they are true “Carolina BBQ” but they were still very tasty. We got the Que and Smoke Jars to share which basically involved pulled pork, slaw, and beans versus brisket, jalapenos, and mac and cheese. Our favorite ended up being the Que Jar which was surprisingly spicier then the Smoke jar with jalapenos.

   
  

Next up we headed out to do the touristiest (totally not a word but okay) thing so far on our Staycation. Take a tour of the city! Now of course we couldn’t just do any tour, especially since we actually live here so we decided to try out the Funny Bus Tour. It’s a 90 minute tour that takes you around Uptown. You get a little bit of history and a lot of comedy club style jokes. The best part is that you can drink beer and wine on the bus during the tour! The ride was funny, relaxed and it seriously was the perfect way to spend the Sunday afternoon.
   
  

Of course though we couldn’t finish out the Staycation without eating out one last time for dinner, right?? HELLOO I had to get in all the calories I could before they started to count again. We decided to waddle (I swear by this point we had ate enough food for the entire week) our way to Soul Gastrolounge in Plaza Midwood. We picked the Shells & Cheese, Fried Brussel Sprouts (because SURPRISE CHAPPY EATS THEM NOW—LIKE WHATT,) Spanakopita, and Fried Goat Cheese on Bruschetta to share. Considering we were already pretty full I am not sure why we chose three cheese dishes. Don’t get me wrong, they were all delicious but the struggle was real. Chappy’s favorite part was by far the cheese from the Shells & Cheese dish. He literally was dipping everything into it. So yes, he was in fact dipping fried cheese into cheese. How he managed to do this and not explode I’m not sure.

  

In the end our Staycation truly felt like a weekend getaway. We did so much exploring and really made a solid dent in our 2016 Food Bucket List. The funny part about vacations though is that sometimes you need a vacation to recover from your vacation so that’s exactly what we did. On Monday, the last official day of tax season, we decided to sleep in and take the day off. It seriously was the perfect ending to the stress filled tax season.