Friday, December 30, 2016

It Just Got Real, Bachelor Nation!

Y'all it happened...ABC has FINALLY created a Fantasy League for The Bachelor! You can sign up HERE (my username is FormerKennedyBlog) and make your predictions each week. Last year my husband and I made our own Bachelor bracket but this is a game changer. I'm not a long time Bachelor Nation fan, Ben's season was my first time watching, but I'm so in love now and trying to get friends to audition. Get signed up before the season premiere on Monday, January 2nd!

Who else is ready for the new season?! Do you like that the two time "runner-up" Nick is The Bachelor? Who do you think will show up from previous seasons? Comment below so we can chat!

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Brynn's First Trip to Walt Disney World

It's no secret that I LOVE DISNEY! Walt Disney World will always have a special place in my heart because of my five years working there. It's where I made some of my greatest friends and memories. I spent so much time working and playing in the parks that I know them like the back of my hand, which has spoiled my husband and family when we visit. People kept saying to me that they couldn't believe I was going to brave the parks with a four month old but they were forgetting that my job used to be touring families (a lot of the time with babies and toddlers) around the parks so it's second nature to me. With my husband Brian, brother-in-law Jay, and best friend Kathleen in tow we made Brynn's first trip to Walt Disney World at the beginning of December.

You can tell she's my child with that textbook side eye

We opted for a long weekend where we all arrived to Orlando late Thursday night and left Sunday afternoon. We had a bunch of people who wanted to see us and meet Brynn so everything was scheduled around that. Friday we had a lunch date with our friend Leanna at Disney Springs and then headed over to the Magic Kingdom for Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party. I had two objectives as soon as we got there...get a Christmas card photo and take her on her first ride while it was still bright outside so we could film it. I was amazed at how well Brynn did being out and about all day in an unfamiliar place. She probably just loved being in constant motion.

Our Saturday was spent at my old stomping grounds, Epcot. Thanks to rider switch we got to experience the new version of Soarin, enjoyed delicious food and drinks, and spent time with some of our favorite people. We started a new tradition at Epcot which was getting Brynn's silhouette crafted, I'll do a full post on that later. Brynn met Santa and Mrs. Claus for the first time and by "met" I really mean she slept but managed to pull off the cutest little yawn you can see in the video below. On our way out we got Brynn her first Disney souvenir, a Belle ragdoll she adores and stopped by the guest relations lobby for old time's sake.

I had thought my best Disney days were behind me but this trip made me realize they are just beginning. I can't wait to share my tips on navigating Disney with a baby soon...until then enjoy the video of our trip below captured with my new obsession our GoPro.

All photos courtesy of my bestie Kathleen Norris at Places I Will Go Blog

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Four Months of Brynn

It seems like each month passes faster and faster as you continue to grow and our family is getting busier and busier which is why this post is late. We're doing our best to savor each moment with you while we fondly remember "how things were" in the beginning and celebrate all the new "how things are" with you. Here are some things that happened this month...

You have started to eat less times each day but eat more during each feeding.You are still waking up one to two times a night to eat but I feel like pretty soon it's only going to be one time a night. Daddy has gotten you on a solid morning routine which consists of you seeing me off to work, swing time while you watch Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, eating, then morning tummy time and walks in your stroller. You are now big enough to ride in the stroller without the car seat portion which will come in handy next month at Disney! Speaking of Disney, this month you watched your first Disney movie which was Beauty and the Beast. You took to the skies again for your third and fourth flight up to Cleveland where we spent your first Thanksgiving with daddy's family.

You're developing such a cute little personality. You love to smile, laugh, and "talk" to us. You are a huge fan of Queen Elsa and watch the Let It Go video at least once every day. Mulligan and you get along great and he gives you kisses any chance he can, Caddie on the other hand is scared of you but getting more comfortable with you as time goes on. Whenever we want her to get off the couch all we have to do is lay you within 3 feet of her and she's gone!

You're still crazy about your "bunnies" (pacifiers), tummy time, being held, and your swing but now you try to slide out of it so we have to buckle you in which you are not crazy about. You are drooling like crazy because you are starting to teethe, so now we are having to bust out the bibs or you go through multiple outfits a day. Daddy has discovered that you like to have the window cracked in the car because you like the breeze. I'm hoping this means you will really love the open air rides at Disney like Dumbo.

We can't wait to see what new excitement next month brings! We love you so much Mouse!

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

My Tips for Flying with a Baby

I'll be the first to admit that prior to becoming a mother I was less than enthusiastic when I saw a baby on my flight. I was never one of those people who would get made if they started crying...however school age children kicking the back of my seat and the parents saying nothing well that's enough to piss off Pope Francis. When the time came to take our daughter Brynn on her first flight I wanted to do everything in my power to make flying with her enjoyable not only for myself but for everyone. I'm not the kind of person who is going to make little treat bags for everyone on the flight because who the hell has time for that and I'm not apologetic for being a mother who loves to travel. At the ripe age of four months she will have been on six flights and with many new mommy friends asking for my advice I thought I would share five tips that have worked well for us and our future Travel Channel star.

Research your airlines policies for traveling with children

I am the queen of flying budget airlines...I can't help but run off to Orlando every other month when I find $29 flights. I have made packing an art form and rarely ever have to pay the additional baggage fees that come with booking budget airlines. When I realized how much more we have to bring on trips now I thought we would have to say goodbye to our cheap flights but luckily I'm married to a man that loves to research. Brian learned that both airlines we almost always fly, Frontier and Spirit, check a stroller and car seat for you at no additional charge as well as let you bring a diaper bag in additional to your one free personal item. This was a game changer for us and made us realize we could still travel to see friends and family without breaking the bank.

Get to the airport early

Your days of strolling through security with a bag and purse are over sister. You already know going anywhere with a baby requires a little more time and the airport is no exception. Feeling rushed sucks...feeling rushed with a baby in tow is miserable. We currently live in Atlanta and if you've ever flown out of Hartsfield-Jackson you know the pain of that airport. We make sure to arrive 2 hours before our boarding time so we have plenty of time to get through security and to our gate. Some airports, like Atlanta, have a separate line for guests traveling with strollers which is super nice. If your airport offers that JUST DO IT. This is not the time to be proud and think you can go through the regular line. We never feel rushed loading up all our bags on the belt, getting the baby out, and folding the stroller when we have used the stroller security line. If you are bringing opened formula or bottled breast milk just let the TSA agents know and they will perform a test on it and you can take it through, even if it's more than three ounces. Also when it's time to board take advantage of early boarding when they call for passengers traveling with small children. The extra time really helps you not feel rushed and lets you and the baby get settled in and comfy.

Bring items that make them comfortable

It's truly a pain in my ass to haul it around but our Boppy nursing pillow has been a godsend when flying. Brynn is able to be comfortable laying on it and cuddled up to me. Speaking of comfortable, dress the baby in a comfy sleeper and while you're at it dress comfy yourself...I promise you'll feel better too. Whether it's a pillow, blanket, or special stuffed animal bring whatever will make your baby feel at home.

All smiles on her third flight

Keep their little ears from popping

A few years ago I was on a flight and struck up a conversation with the lady beside me who happened to be a flight attendant of more than ten years. I asked her for traveling tips because at that time I had only flown about three times my entire life. One of the things she told me was that babies and kids gets to unruly on flights because of the unfamiliar feeling of their ears popping. She said with babies nursing, bottle feeding, or even giving them a pacifier will help this from happening and with toddlers and young children chewing gum does the same. I have nursed Brynn on every flight during take off and landing and have never had her cry on the plane, most of the time our fellow passengers don't realize we have a baby until we are getting off the plane.


Y'all I get it. There's no around not being stressed, nervous, and scared when you're flying with a baby but it's so true that they feed off your energy. If you're freaking out about everything there's a solid chance that little one is going to as well. Take a deep breath and own it. If the baby cries on the plane so what! If another passenger makes a comment or is rude about said baby crying that's what curse words are for...just ask the lady who pushed past me in the aisle as I was holding my baby #SorryImNotSorry. I've flown with the baby with my husband and by myself and managed to survive both ways. Sometimes people will surprise you and be incredibly kind and helpful like the TSA agents at Cleveland Hopkins who helped me in every possible way they could at security when I was flying without my husband so be grateful when things like that happen and don't dwell on them if they don't. Keep your attitude positive and don't feel like you have to apologize for being a parent.

At the end of the day all you can do is try your best and know that the flight won't last forever and when you're greeted by the people you're traveling to see it will all be worth it. Happy travels!