We are so excited for baby #2's little life!
Watch below to see how we found out and how I told Ryan.
I bawled like a baby making this birth video, so much so that it’s 6 months late. Mom hormones, I guess. Whoops.
If you’ve ever wondered Amelia’s birth story, check it out below. (There’s lots of bellies and baby, so avoid if you aren’t into that sort of thing.)
I’ll just be over here crying and rewatching 1000x times. Sorry, Mila, your momma’s crazy and loves you a lot.
No, but honestly, Amelia was so awesome. We were so excited to take her on our 2 week speaking tour of California. At 2.5 months old, she earned her first wings, taught us a lot, and honestly was such a good traveler. We loved getting the opportunity to travel and fly with a baby. The world is so new and precious when you watch your baby experience it for the first time. :)
Check out our podcast below to hear some of our stories from the trip and our best tips for traveling with a babe. Or read on if you're more of a reader. ;)
1. Pack light
We tried to fit everything we needed in one checked bag and a carry one. Somehow, we did it! (and if you travel a lot, you know this is hard!) :)
Our packing list for Amelia looked like this:
5 onesies (variation of long sleeve/short sleeve)
A couple pants
1 pair of bloomers
1 nursing wrap doubling as a blanket
*I wish we brought a pillow to lay her on for plane rides, but I stole my mom's ;)
Babies are resilient and don't need much other then love and cuddles. We just re-washed her clothes wherever we went and made do. It was SO nice not having so much stuff!
2. Have margin
Let's be honest, it WILL be different traveling with a baby. So plan ahead that things will take longer and give yourself margin. There is NOTHING worse then running around frantically, worried you'll be late to your flight, heavy bags in tow, with a screaming baby. Get places early, leave early, and know that you have to account for feedings, poop explosions, and extra cuddles.
For instance, we had to nurse Amelia quite a lot when we drove into Yosemite because of the elevation change and ears popping. This meant we had to pull over to nurse often. We could have been frustrated because it was taking twice as long, but we chose to leave early so we could enjoy the scenery and not feel rushed.
3. Check your car seat/stroller
This was a LIFESAVER for us. Some facts about bringing a car seat and stroller that I didn't know:
- It's free to gate check both and doesn't count against your luggage count.
- Airport staff are usually SUPER helpful if they see you with a baby and stroller.
- With a small babe, you can usually board the plane earlier to get situated.
- You don't have to bring that strange clicky-booster seat type thing that your car seat clicks into at home. I was freaking out about that, but realized you can JUST bring the car seat and seatbelt it into any car.
- They have AWESOME little stroller and car seat covers at Walmart & Target for gate checking. This ensures it doesn't get gross or banged up. Check them out here.
- If you can't travel with a swing (which is most of us), the car seat was an awesome alternative to lay her in when we were out and about, hanging in the living room, or outside. She could watch us all and I could manually rock it to put her to sleep. More work, yes. But great alternative to not have to bring a 10lb swing.
- Getting a resiliant stroller was AWESOME because we took it all through out Yosemite and Marin Headlands. Helped give our backs a break!
Renting a car seat is always an option, but they can be around $10 a day, which would have been considerably more expensive. We loved having our's to provide her a consistent safe place that smelled like home and helped her sleep!
4. Flying tips
- Babies can be lap infants until 2 years old. We did not add Amelia to our reservation mistakenly and many of the airport staff told us we should have (we didn't see a spot for it). They let us through, but make sure to do this upfront! It doesn't cost you, but ensures they know you have an infant.
- For domestic flights (at least for us), you don't need proof of identity for baby. We brought her birth certificate just in case, but we were never asked for it. For our international flight in the fall, she did need a passport.
- As mentioned above, mommas with small babes can often board sooner. Ask the desk when you go to gate check your stroller and car seat
- If you're traveling with your babe as a lap infant, bring a pillow for the flight. Not having one was hard, but then we borrowed my mom's and she could lay right across Ryan and my laps comfortably. This was so much easier!
- Nurse during take off and landing to help soothe and create natural ear popping
- Babies love bright colors (especially red) so Auntie Cassidy watched the Lion King with her and she loved it. :)
5. Have an extra outfit and diaper on you at all times
This is in case of big poop explosions! Amelia happened to have one when we landed in L.A. It was a DOOZY! Poop smeared all up Ryan's arms and hands. We had to sit in the plane with said poop all over us as people got off. It was actually pretty funny. The bathrooms were all full in our terminal, so we ended up changing her on our hard top suitcase. We had diapers, but I realized that the extra outfit I packed was newborn size and she didn't fit into it anymore. So we had to wrap her in our nursing wrap/blanket and bring her to the airbnb as a little nakey babe. Oh well! Lesson learned. ;)
6. Travel with friends + family
We had most of our family with us and they made it SO much easier. When she had that poop explosion, they helped grab diapers and wipes. When we had to run to the store, they watched her for us. Extra hands that love your babe are so reassuring and helpful for your peace of mind. So, if you're making your baby's first big trip, we definitely recommend going with some people that love you and your baby! (and people don't mind screaming every now and then. ;)
7. Be chill
A couple rules for traveling with a baby that you have to live by.
- Things aren’t the end of the world. A poop explosion won't kill you or her. Find ways to laugh about it.
- Don't care what people think. Babies cry and most people have had one before. Apologize and be polite when needed, and then just let your kiddo do their thing. Don't be embarrassed. Most of the time, other people have been where you've been and feel for you!
- Babies are resilient. They've been surviving for thousands of years in so many different environments. This doesn't mean be stupid, but don't be fearful of everything. Yes, bad stuff happens, but bad stuff happens at home too. And A LOT more good happens. For me, I'd rather be out traveling with my baby and living life, then worrying at home that something will happen. As long as you're paying attention to their well being, feeding, changing, and helping them sleep (and giving them lots of affection), they are generally A okay!!
Happy Traveling, friends!
Check out my new podcast on Finding Balance below! Or, if you're more of a reader, read the blog post. :)
I’m so excited you’re here today because we’re chatting about something super important to me....and that thing is BALANCE.
In prior seasons, I had no idea how important balance really was. I thought because “I was juggling well,” it meant I was balancing well. But balancing and juggling are different.
Juggling is chaotic and stressful. You may be keeping the balls in the air, but you have to do a lot of external movement to get them up and off the ground. Balance is peaceful. The external movement is much less, and thus eliminates the chaos from your life.
Anyone else want less chaos in their life?? For sure!
If you’ve listened to my past podcasts, you know where that lifestyle led me. It led me to being a workaholic who was anxious and drowning in feelings and emotions that controlled me. NO THANKS.
Currently, I help run the operations of my company, Trades of Hope. I am home a couple days a week working WHILE taking care of my babe. I run my Instagram, photography, blog, and podcast for fun. I did much of the above mentioned while finishing school a few years ago. At this moment in my life, I am so fulfilled, mostly because I've learned the art of balance.
When I was dealing with some hard stuff, God kept bringing the word SHALOM to my mind. A word commonly used by the Jewish people, it is a thread that runs through the Bible in so many ways. And it is the core of how God operates...a peace that brings completion and wholeness.
That became my word for my life (I know it’s probably cliché, but it helps me). Because I want to be whole. When you’re whole, you don’t lean to extremes. You don’t rest TOO much that you lose your purpose and drive. And you don’t work too much where you lose your sense of community and balance. Whole. Nothing missing. Balancing each facet of life in a way that is not too much and not too little. Now, we’re never going to be perfect. But If I realize that God wants this SHALOM for me, I can walk in balance.
So in thinking about this topic, I identified 5 areas that really helped me shed the old mindset of juggling and adopt this mindset of BALANCE.
The first one was:
1. PRIORITIZE VALUES
I talk about this a lot, but values drive us as individuals. And we all have different ones. I could come here and tell you “do this or do that…” but if that THING does not bring you joy, it won’t work.
Before being balanced, you need to know what your values are. What are the FIVE things you have time for in your week? Unfortunately, it’s not everything. But you can do everything YOU value, because we make time for what we value.
We’re only on this earth for a short time, so I’m not going to waste it by doing something that sucks my soul dry. I’m going to spend my life doing things that make me come alive!
Just to give you an example – here are my priorities and the things I make time for each week:
Community & Friends
Work & Aspirational Goals
Spiritual Life & Downtime
Ryan & Amelia
You can’t do it all. But you have enough in your week to do the right things. Make them the things you love.
2. MAKE A PLAN. HAVE DISCIPLINE TO STICK TO IT.
I’ll be honest with you. In love, some of ya’ll just need more discipline in your life and some of your problems will be answered.
Making a plan for the week is ESSENTIAL to making sure I get the right amount of time with the 5 priorities in my life.
Some people will say to me ‘well I’m just spontaneous” or “I don’t like to be overly planned.” But when you're intentional in your day, you actually have TIME to be spontaneous.
Dream setting has its place, work has its place, rest has its place, and spontaneity has its placed.
So once a week, a sit down with my project management app and I plan my week. I use the app basecamp. I block out each day, and plan what I WANT to do at each time. It doesn’t always happen exactly that way, but it gets pretty close and I get to accomplish what I want, spend time with my baby and loved ones, and end the day on a restful note.
When you plan, you can compartmentalize. When you compartmentalize, you can work when you need to work. And then you can spend time with your family without stressing about other things.
Planning gives you the ability to compartmentalize.... which in turn gives you the freedom to live present again.
Making decisions for short term happiness leads to long term regret. Set your values and plan your days according to your values. The beginning will be painful and require a lot of discipline. But in the long term, you will realize that it gets easier and easier to balance, stay committed, and live the life you dreamed.
3. ELIMINATE TIME WASTERS
To make a plan and stick to it, you have to eliminate the things you’re doing that cause what I call ‘spill-over’ into other areas life.
Social media scrolling – anyone? Ever started scrolling through your insta feed and look up and see that an hour has gone by. Yeah, me too. It’s not a good feeling. That is a spillover activity.
Put a time limit on it. I block out a 20 minutes at the end and beginning of the day to scroll, post, and engage in my friend’s posts. Another thing that is a time waster is allowing others to dictate your day. Waiting for people to comment on your photos on social media, waiting for emails to come in, waiting for someone to come talk to you at the water cooler, chatting it up in the office with whoever can talk.
None of these are bad things, and we need relational time in our life, but too much leads to you meeting everyone else’s need, wants, or tasks, and not moving any of your tasks forward. You’ll end the day feeling like none of your goals progressed.
Don't work out of the pressure of whatever is right in front of you.
Work out of pressure = low capacity. If you work on everyone else’s time table, you will always be a low capacity person.
Stop freaking out about disappointing everyone & have grace for yourself
In order to eliminate time wasters, we need boundaries. To have boundaries, we have to disappoint some people. And then we have to have GRACE for ourselves.
I used to feel SO guilty when I would say, “I’m sorry, I can’t do that.” Or “Not this week” or “Can we schedule a meeting at 1pm instead of chatting now?”
But now that I see how it’s revolutionized my life, how much more intentional I am, how much I can get done WHILE still having time for people….I don’t feel guilty anymore.
You see, being intentional has actually given me MORE time with my family and friends.
But you have to be okay disappointing some of them up front. Explain kindly that you’re trying to be more disciplined with your time and that you’d like to have some time on X date (and then actually, intentionally set aside time for that person.)
And most of all – have grace for yourself! You can’t do it all. Honestly you cant. The people that seem like they can are making sacrifices not to do certain things. The difference between you and them is that they are probably sacrificing the things they don’t value to do the things they DO value.
And you may be saying YES to the things you don’t value and sacrificing what you DO value.
5. CHANGE YOUR LANGUAGE
I'm going to be honest for a second here. It's a pet peeve when people tell me that they are just ‘so stressed and so busy.’
Look, some people really are, especially in certain seasons. Seasons of illness, childbirth, overwhelm, etc. And that’s okay. But if you’re touting your busyness as a badge of honor because you’ll feel LESS than others if you don’t say you’re busy, that’s silly.
I find that busyness makes us feel good. But it’s empty. So stop using busyness as an excuse. People make time for the things they value. If you value watching endless amounts of Netflix on the couch, then do it. But if you don’t value it, don’t do it. And for goodness gracious, stop telling everyone you’re so busy doing things that don’t even make you happy!
What you speak, you become. If you speak juggling, stress, and chaos over your life, your life will feel like that. If you speak wholeness, peace, and intentionality over your life, that is the fruit you will produce.
Remember friends, we don’t have to juggle. Juggling is chaos. We can balance. Balance is not an extreme in either direction, rather it is a way to have a little bit of everything we love, allowing us to feel whole and complete.
This podcast is very near to my heart and was incredibly hard to share. For so long, I've been afraid to even speak of this season of my life that I struggled with panic and anxiety. I was fearful that by even speaking the names of these things, they would be triggered to return.
But I truly know that I am healed and that stories of healing are meant to be shared. Have grace with this podcast. I am rambly and a little disorganized, but it's because I'm emotional and it's all so personal.
I believe that by putting biblical and logical concepts of discipline in place, we can manage anxiety and find peace. But my 4th point is the most crucial and life changing for me. I believe that by the power of Jesus and his Holy Spirit, I found the true and absolute healing I was looking for.
Please listen if you or someone you know deals with anxiety and have grace for my bumbling words. I pray something in here resonates with you and helps you understand concepts that could help you.
During this time, I wrote the below words as a way to remind myself that there was healing from all the pain. I wrote a lot during that time, and never shared most of it, so I might little by little post it here. Kind of scary to me, but it's also healing.
I’d always grown up believing the best of the world, seeing it with rose colored glasses.
But darkness scraped off my childishness, removing my skin, rendering it ashes.
I had a choice
To sit, to remember, to anger, to condemn
Or I could re-grow that skin, painfully stronger than it had been.
So you know what I did?
My skin grew back, tough and more rosey than ever before.
I have a power inside of me that spoke to the darkness ‘no more.’
‘You do not have to be broken to be real.
You don’t have to be broken to feel.
You are mighty in your wholeness.
Strong and growing and healed.
And your rose-colored glasses are glasses no longer,
but have become the way you see what is stronger.
the darkness only wins if we sit in our anger
but in healing, that childlike-rosey light is now your anchor.’
With your first baby, everything is so new and just a tad confusing. I remember making my baby shower registry and having to ask my mom for help on EVERYTHING. It seemed like babies needed A TON of stuff, some of it I had no idea about.
When I googled "the most important products for a new baby," I was met with a hundred articles with all kinds of fancy gadgets that I could not afford nor did I want cluttering up my house. Ryan and I have lived in a camper and tiny apartments our whole marriage, so you can say minimalism is an appreciation of ours.
Now that Amelia is out and hanging around our house, I can tell which products I definitely needed and which ones were just an added bonus.
Here's my list of TOP 5 Baby products
(yes, you read that...top 5. Cause you honestly don't need a ton more than that).
* Remember, this is just my own personal list because everyone has different needs. I did not include necessities like diapers, wipes, and things like nail clippers. These 5 products are the extra things that were lifesavers for me.
1. WildBird Slings
I got this as a baby shower gift and it is my MOST USED product. I put her in the sling the third day she was born and have barely taken her out since. She absolutely loves it and falls asleep so quickly. With wanting to get back into work a few weeks after birth, this sling made it so easy to have my hands back while still keeping her close.
Pictured is SongBird and Sparrow colored slings. :)
2. Hevea Orthadontic Pacifier & Pacifier Clips
I love my babe, but like any baby, she can be fussy. Her plastic pacifiers pop right out of her mouth, leaving me in an endless game of getting up to put them back in....only for them to pop right out again. This specific pacifier is super soft and leaves no marks on her face, while also staying in her mouth for SO much longer than the other ones. The pacifier clip is also super helpful so we don't lose the pacifier when we're walking out and about. (and functions as a teething ring when her little teefies come in. ;)
Pacificer Clip >
3. Baby Swing
Everyone told me these were awesome, but they really are. There's so many fancy ones, but the two I received as gifts are below and I love them. One rocks her side to side, and one is a true swing. (The swing works really well during the day when she wants to be rocked, but wants to see around the room).
Similar Swing >
Hey, friend! I'm Chelsie!
Stay a while and get comfy. <3