How we decided where to travel – with our new born

When the vacation planning began, my husband (Rich) sent me a list of places he wanted to travel. I was open for anywhere but I knew if I chose a place he liked it would be easier to get his buyoff.

His list included both international destinations (Amsterdam, Barcelona, Venice, Dublin, Croatia, Copenhagen, Singapore, and South Korea), Canada (Toronto) and U.S. destinations (Los Angeles, San Diego, Chicago, South Beach Miami).

Let me start my saying I am a planner. I love to plan trips and research cities and places. So I put my planning hat on and began looking at the cities, determining the best time of the year to travel there.

Here is what I found on best time to travel for the International Cities:

  • Amsterdam – April – November
  • Barcelona, Venice, Dublin – May – September
  • Croatia – May – October
  • Copenhagen – June – August
  • Singapore – February – April
  • South Korea – Same seasons as US

From determining the best time to travel I decided my ideal travel schedule would be as follows:

  1. September 2019 – Amsterdam, Venice, Dublin or Barcelona
  2. November – December 2019 – Los Angeles
  3. January 2020 – South Beach
  4. March 2020 – Singapore (and Malaysia)
  5. May 2020 – Chicago
  6. June 2021 – Croatia

Next decision was to look at flights and see if we could find any deals. I was convinced anywhere we chose would be fine with a baby because we could make it work. Reviewing flights in September helped me eliminate some locations and narrow down our list.

We love to use google flights to research our options and find the cheapest times to travel from Philly to destinations. This helps us get the best flight deals and we always flex our dates based on cheaper flights.

For travel in September and October Venice was way too expensive and Barcelona was cheaper at the end of September. Here our dilemma arose – Lincoln starts daycare on September 16th. Do we really want to pay for him to be in daycare while we are on vacation?

So we locked in the dates in early September and narrowed it down to Amsterdam and Dublin. This is where the google flight map came into play. I saw Paris was cheaper to fly to from Philly then Amsterdam and I started to research how we can do Paris and Amsterdam.

At this point I started searched for “traveling with a baby” for each location and found blogs on both cities. Amsterdam had a lot of positive aspects of traveling with a baby and Paris seemed doable. The flights were affordable from Philly to Paris and Amsterdam back to Philly and the train was the best option for getting from Paris to Amsterdam. I put our flights on hold and the rest is history.

Well, it still took a little convincing from my husband and since our flights were only on hold for the next 30 hours (through American Airlines) we spent the day researching more about traveling with a baby and an hour before our hold was set to expire we did it, we booked the flight! Paris and Amsterdam here we come!

It is important to remember, when you book a lap child for an international flight you need to add them to your itinerary (by calling customer service for your airline). Most airlines charge taxes for a lap child which is typically 10% of the price of the airline ticket.

Next up – Get Lincoln a Passport and FAST!

P.S. – Although I have my ideal travel schedule as mentioned above, we have not yet planned any additional trips. As soon as we do, I will keep you all posted on the research aspect and our traveling with a baby plans!

My house is a mess…

In an effort to keep it real to share my true feelings on this blog I am exhausted and my house is messy!

Walk with Lincoln post daycare!

I have all intentions to write my food posts, and recapture my vacation.. and I promise that is coming, but for now, here are some of my mom thoughts!

For the past three months I guess I have run on adrenaline. Despite the sleepless nights and having a baby to take care of all day I managed to keep my house clean and feel like my schedule has not really changed.

Well now I’m writing to you, my house is mess. We have been back from vacation for a week and they’re still laundry and our suitcase all over the floor. The clean laundry, which was done by my husband I may add, is folded on the couch and I have no motivation to put it away. The mail is piling up on the dining room table along with other random junk and daily items that aren’t being attended to. I absolutely can’t stand it. I love having a clean house.

The only chore I make sure gets done – cleaning the bottles and pump parts, which are a necessity to feeding my child!

I love having a clean house so much so that I pay a cleaning lady to come once a month and clean it. Now that may sound a little snobbish, but for me it’s more than just a clean house it’s like therapy – when I walk into a clean house all my anxiety goes away. I truly feel relaxed after every time my cleaning lady comes. However a lot goes into having a cleaning lady come. My house needs to be organized and things can’t be piled everywhere otherwise she’s just cleaning around stuff and not actually cleaning efficiently. Up to this point I have not had a problem keeping my house tidy for her to clean but the tables have turned and now I understand motherhood is hard and there is no extra time in the day!

The difference between the first three months and now is I am back at work. Even though I work from home most days I can’t just stop what I’m doing and clean or tidy the house.

It’s funny because the sleepless nights have actually gotten better since Lincoln only wakes up once overnight. However I am way more exhausted. We used to put Lincoln to bed around 10 o’clock and now he goes to bed around 8, but I find myself so exhausted and wanting to go to bed around that same time as well.

The other thing that is tough is that Lincoln just started school, well daycare, this week. Like any new mom I am struggling with not being with him all day. The mom guilt is so real. (I’ll write more on that later). When I pick him up I want to make sure my undivided attention is on Lincoln. Sometimes that even means staring at him while he’s napping 🤷🏻‍♀️. Well that pretty much ties up my evening from 5 PM to 8 PM.… So when is there time to do anything? When do I have time to clean my house? I am now on the struggle train that I so often hear moms talk about, the lack of time and energy.

I know I’ll survive and I know it will get better but if any moms have any advice for me I’d love to hear it now.

What Inspired Me to Create FoodFitFunMom

Creativity is intelligence having fun.

— Albert Einstein.

Welcome to my blog – FoodFitFunMom! I’m just getting this new blog going, so stay tuned for more. Subscribe below to get notified when I post new updates.

So it was July 2019, I was on maternity leave and I had SO much time on my hands. Well you know… the kind of time where you are sleep deprived, your schedule is dependent on your newborn and most of your day is sitting around nursing.

My problem is when I am nursing my mind is thinking about 1000 other things – all the dirty laundry, the piles accumulating with mail, what do stay at home moms do?, how many days left do I have on my maternity leave?, is there anything I want to accomplish today?, how do I sleep when the baby sleeps – I’d be sleeping all day and most importantly where should we go on our first family vacation?!

Call me crazy but I was planning our first family vacation when Lincoln was in utero. “We are going to go to an all-inclusive resort in January, after our son turns 6 months old – we need to wait till January because babies cannot wear sunscreen before 6 months.” This is what I would tell everyone and I was so happy to be planning a vacation. Most people just called me crazy and told me to have the baby first, even my husband.

Well, if there is something about me you should know, it is that I am go go go (definitely an east coast girl), I have a lot of energy – even as a sleep deprived new mom – and I am very persistent. I should mention too, that my husband and I LOVE to travel so the thought was not something new, just different with a baby in the picture.

Fast forward a week or two and Rich (my husband) who was back at work, decided to send me a list of some of the top cities and places he wanted to travel to and you bet your socks I did not let a moment pass by before I started planning our first vacation. His list meant I had the go ahead to starting planning. I spent every ‘hands-free’ moment googling “where to travel with a baby.” Well let’s be honest, I did this quite often before Lincoln was even born but now the vacation seemed more likely to actually happen. (Stay tuned for an additional post on how we chose where to go and why we traveled when we did).

All the googling and researching had me looking at blogs of families or people who love to travel, sharing their stories and experiences so people like me can gain useful information. Well after this I began to think, (at this time, that’s all it was, really just a thought) maybe I should share all about my life as a new mom so others can use my passions, experiences, and lessons learned to create their own experiences.

As we rolled into September and started last minute preparations for vacation I took the initial step to create an environment for my blog – changing my Instagram name to FoodFitFunMom. During our vacation I kept using phrases such as, “I need this picture for my blog”, or “this should be documented for my blog.” Well I talked about creating a blog day in and day out during our vacation and even upon our return and I am pretty sure Rich was trying to call my bluff.

Well here we are today, one week post vacation and here I am writing to you and letting you know I am committed to sharing my experiences as a new mom and all the fun adventures life brings.

My blog may transform overtime, but like my name suggests I will be sharing information about food (since eating, especially amazing food, is the key to my existence), fitness (I love to workout and like every mom I am struggling with my postpartum journey), all the fun things my family and I do (travel, outings, and more to come) and just general information about being a new Mom.

I look forward to sharing this journey with you all!

XoXo FoodFitFunMom