a few of my favorite things…

As another one of my friends is preparing for a new addition, I decided to share my favorite baby items! Continue reading

eating out with allergies. (updated)

Begin rant: restaurants make it SO difficult to quickly identify what foods contain the top allergens. Being the parent of a severe egg allergy child- this does not make me warm and fuzzy when I think about eating out. I do my diligent homework and try to look at restaurant nutrition information prior to leaving (because I hate those stares from people in line behind me when I am trying to see if an ingredient will send my kid to the E.R.)- but so many times the 11 page nutrition sheet doesn’t include allergens! (Just calories and fat)

Solution to rant: Chick- fil-a. FINALLY! An easy, at a glance allergen menu that I can read and understand in less than 1 minute. I had to share it! The good news for Chick-fil-a- yet another reason why I love supporting them.

Like, right now. Off we go to dinner. At Chick-fil-a… with our allergen menu in hand. LOVE it when something is simple.


**Update: After dinner, I had to add a few quick notes: Chick-fil-a provides cheerios for toddlers in small containers (with lids on them)  in the same area as the silverware (a great distraction while waiting in line), plastic disposable place mats are free to use and automatically draped over high chairs, table wipes are on top of ever trash container and every table (which was super clean) had fresh flowers on it (but yes, I am that mom that Clorox wiped my table anyways), and kids meals come with REAL FRUIT bowls. Don’t be fooled by the title ‘fruit cup’- no, no, my friend. It is a real bowl of cut fruit! Baby Bunny had fresh apple slices, mandarin oranges, blueberries and strawberries- without a yucky syrup- just fresh cut fruit!!!


feeling like Mary Poppins…

The search is over: I found THE diaper bag. Actually, I found it about a week about but was in the middle of replacing a furnace, fixing a smouldering socket in the wall while I washed the LAST load of laundry, and packing our little family for a vacation. PHEW! So, I present it to you now- and with the ability to share how it handled at the airport, train, beach, stroller and car.

Photo courtesy of BuyBuyBaby.com

Photo courtesy of BuyBuyBaby.com

I headed to Buy Buy Baby last week to see a bit of their selection and really try out a larger bag. A few of the ones I wrote about in an earlier post were there, along with a few new ones. I found that ‘larger bags’ often meant wider but with a narrower opening or shallow depth. That wouldn’t work for me. The few ‘twin’ bags I looked at in person were not much bigger than my Baby Mel bag.

Then I find this beauty. It is decivingly small when you first pick it up and is VERY light (thanks to a durable but thin wipe off nylon shell and light weight lining). It fits nicely over my shoulder and allows for easy access to the outermost pockets, even when being carried. Total compartments- get this- 5 zippered, 2 snapped, 3 exterior pouches (including a true baby changing pouch where dirty changing pads stay away from clean clothes) and 4 interior pouches (including a cell phone pocket). It acts like the PBK bag I had first started drooling over, but without the heavy weight of canvas and extra length that I couldn’t manage. Add on soft faux leather wrapped handles and the built in stroller clips- I love my new bag.

Here’s what I packed for our trip- all in my new bag: (in the 2 outside pouches) 6 diapers, 4 disposable changing pads, 1 travel wipe pack, 1 sippy cup (first front snap compartment) mommy items= boarding documents, zipper clutch, ziploc bag of liquids for security, tylenol, zippered bag with contacts, glasses case, kleenex and Starbucks Via packets (large main compartment with zipper) zippered bag (tutorial still to come) with 2 changes of clothing (onesies were the easiest to pack since they are less bulky), 5 food pouches, 2 Wet Ones pouches for hands/face, 2 Clorox wipe pouches, 4 toddler Mum Mum’s, 1 Nutragrain bar, 1 sippy cup of milk, burp cloth, silicon table cover, 4 disposable bibs, 1 travel pre-sealed carton of Cheerios, and Baby Bunny’s lovie (in the rear snap compartment) TOYS- 4 mini books, leapfrog cell phone, toy camera, stickers, paper, crayons, post-its, Indestructables book, and ear phones for Baby Bunny (on the outside clips) scented travel diaper disposal bags and hand sanitizer. THATS A LOT!!!!

Airplane: the WHOLE diaper bag- still full- fit easily under the seat in front of me with room to spare. I wish it had grommets or feet on the bottom; I didn’t like that the bag directly sits on the dirty floor, but I was able to Clorox wipe the entire bottom. I had to change Baby Bunny’s diaper on the plane: thank you Southwest for having a baby changing station on board! Downside- airplane bathrooms are super tiny so I couldn’t bring the whole diaper bag into the bathroom. Once we were done- the baby changing mat went into the separated outside pouch where it waited for Mommy to disinfect. 🙂

Airplane security: AWESOME- I was very nervous about this leg of the trip- I have to say that all the pouches, zippered wet bag, and built in clear bag, made security a breeze. The whole bag went through the x-ray and then security came to inspect food- they took the sippy cup with milk to test and peeked in the rest of my compartments. They only took about 30 seconds to do so because everything was so organized! The worker loved my bag and so did I- nothing was jumbled and everything was right there.

Subway/train in airport: as you can tell, I FILLED this bag during our travel day. So, it got pretty wide and I did have a hard time with it bumping into other people. I always get a little nervous when in tight situations like this that people might pick pocket me- but inside my ‘Mommy compartment” there is a heavy duty snap (I think meant for keys)- I used it to secure my wristlet, and felt much better. People didn’t really like how WIDE I was when trying to exit the train, but I never saw them again. 🙂

Car: bag fit great behind the seat (although it is not my ideal location for a diaper bag since in the event of a crash it is a missile) but was heavy/cumbersome when trying to hold it on my lap.

Overall- I am very happy with my new purchase. It was a little more than the husband expected ($90 minus BBB 20% coupon), but has proved its worth. It holds everything, keeps me organized, and is easy to sanitize. I never looked at Skip Hop bags before but can’t sing it’s praises enough, and would never buy another brand (that is saying a lot).

Happy travels! (Here’s a picture of my bag- still full- with a little beach, just to brighten  your day)

Grand central diaper bag at refurbishedteacher.wordpress.com

Grand central diaper bag at refurbishedteacher.wordpress.com

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