HURRICANE HACKS - Be Prepared for the Worst!

Born and raised in South FL I have seen my fair share of storms. We have been pretty lucky as a family to bypass a lot of them. As a Floridian, it's basically our nature to "wait it out" and not freak out until last minute. It is what it is, people! We know the repercussions of our actions! Now that we have a baby, seeing that a category 4/5 hurricane is heading our way is a little more terrifying. As of now, we don't even know our plan - but I know we are getting prepared.

**The best way to stay safe from a hurricane or natural disaster is to get out. Take time to plan, and DO NOT leave last minute. Fun Fact :One of the safest places from natural disaster in the world is Oregon.. Go there ;)**

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Hurricane Preparedness

 

The Normal Stuff

I'm not going too far into depth with this, because this is the normal stuff that all the news channels are probably telling you every 5 minutes. Here's the list :

  • Water (1 case [24] per person per day is the rule of thumb)
  • Batteries (AAA for the small flashlights usually, D for the larger flashlights)
  • Flashlights 
  • Non perishable foods / food that can be kept in a cooler with ice easily
  • Ice (day before, kept in freezer until needed, or day of)
  • Important documents (License, social security card, birth certificates)

For Kids :

  • Diapers
  • Wipes
  • Baby food
  • Distractions/toys
  • Formula / bottles 

That's just the basics, but let's think outside of the box a little bit!

Ice/food/fridge

We usually get ice the day of, honestly. I know, not the best plan. But surprisingly last year day of, their was plenty of ice to go around at our local twice the ice/ ice machine. We just had to bring our own cooler, and fill it. Now - if this is not an option, or you want to get ahead of the game, start freezing cubes in multiple trays at a time, putting them in sandwich bags, and squeezing them in various places in your freezer until needed.

If you are leaving, definitely do not go grocery shopping this week. Try emptying out your fridge the night before/morning that trash is supposed to come before the storm. Then, put all of your food in an iced cooler. Depending on your car situation, bring the food with you or keep it at a friends house who is staying. If you don't, then there's no point to this method bc all of the ice is going to melt and the food will go bad, anyways. I would suggest bringing the cooler with you, and putting it in a fridge ASAP wherever you are evacuating to.

If you are staying, try squeezing ice wherever you can in your freezer, and having a cooler on standby. Still go through your fridge and freezer the last trash day before the storm. You may not lose power at all, who knows. So if you are staying, keep everything in the fridge, easily accessible, and if the power goes out, quickly put everything in the cooler, throw the ice in there, and hope that your power will be on soon. (FPL is usually the bomb dot com at this - we love our linemen!) If not, then when it is safe, try to go out asap and get ice. Continuously do this until the power is back on, or you somehow find access to a generator. If it gets so bad that there's crazy flooding and a state of emergency and you have no roof, then screw the food obviously. Get out of there!

 

Pets

If you have animals PLEASE PREPARE FOR THEM. I am a dog mom, and am thoroughly preparing for this, and if we evacuate we are taking our sweet boy with us FOR SURE. 

Here are a few things you can do to cut back on costs, and also take care of your pets.

Fill old water bottle, jugs, or even Tupperware with tap water. Keep it in the fridge until hurricane time, or freeze it, or keep it wherever you freaking can. Just do it. This ensures that they are not taking from your water stock pile. If you keep enough aside, you can even use this water for cleaning yourself, washing hands, etc. If you're really terrified, and think you're screwed - fill your tub up before you lose power.

Stock up on various essential pet items such as their food. Also, make sure you have tags on them with your contact info, in case they get out or somehow get lost during the storm!

 

Electronics

If you are evacuating, bring all portable electronics with you. iPads, laptops, phones, and chargers for them all. I know I can't afford a brand new MacBook Pro or iPhone! 

Propane

Everybody always checks the basic places for propane, and they usually run out the first word of a storm coming your way. Almost immediately. Check around town for local feed stores, and RV camps. We got propane last year DAY OF at an RV camp in town. Nobody ever checks those kind of places for whatever reason, first thought is publix, Walmart, etc. If those places are out, try these! Google is your friend! Google local RV camps and feed stores! I'm almost positive there is one nearby you. 

Foods

Our essentials are probably a little different from people who are active campers, etc. We don't have a grill at this time, so we stocked up on easy cooler foods, and snacks. This is what we bought :

  • Peanut butter & jelly
  • Bread
  • Lunchmeat
  • Peanut butter crackers
  • Trail Mix
  • Chips
  • Bean dip
  • Bananas 
  • Oranges

 

Lights

Don't have a flashlight? We are SO terrible about this. We have about 3 mini flashlights that put off pretty much no light, and that's it. We do, have a ton of candles but UGH those make things so hot! If you can somehow hunt down one small flashlight, and a jug of water, lean the light facing the jug, for maximum illumination. Or strap it, or put it on top. You get the idea. 

 

Babies

Doing this with a kid is extremely stressful, so we are really stocking up on her necessities, especially. We have a box of 148 diapers right now, a huge box of wipes, and a ton of baby food. We bought the baby food POUCHES because they are resealable (um awesome) and compact, so they can easily be thrown into the cooler. 

If there is a mandatory evacuation, take it seriously!! Do not mess around. If you are unsure of the powers of a hurricane and its' different categories, here is a (scary) reminder. 

Stay informed. Stay safe. Get prepared!

LEAVE!!

Xo

-MMM

Sleep Training 101; 4-6 Months

Hey friends! If you're curious on sleep training methods from 0-3 months click here to read up on that! 

As for us, we have progressed! We hit the 6 month mark this week so I guess I'm writing this a couple of days early but OH WELL

These couple of months were rough. Right when you think you're getting to know your baby, and their exact next move - BAM they change. Seriously. They change all the freaking time and they don't do it on purpose but DAMN I need a break! (excuse my language? Is damn bad? idk????? help??) ANYWAYS We have prevailed friends! And we made it through another sleep deprived couple of months! I keep telling myself dang I can't wait for our next baby (yes I can) because I feel like I'm going to be totally prepared with my online journal aka my blog. (I know this is unrealistic haha - let me dream okay!)

I had a sleep training epiphany though, last week. I realized that at different points of her life, different sleep training methods work...... differently.

Who woulda thunk it?

SOOOOOOO the first 3 months of her life we were ALL about swaddling, and it totally worked for us! But now that she has a better grasp on rolling over, it's not in our routine any long. Ttem permanence & cry it out totally did the trick for us from 3-4 months, but it just hasn't been working for us as well lately. So last week, when I was convinced I would never sleep again, I did some research.

At 3 AM. My favorite time at night if y'all didn't already know. 

I basically found that at this point in her life, a similar but totally different (are you still following?) method is working for her. I'm definitely not opposed to doing crying it out again at a different point of her life, but right now this other method is working best for us.

*Just so you know, my posts usually contain affiliate links. This means that if you make a purchase by pressing a link, I may receive a small commission, at no extra cost to you.*



sleep training your baby

Basically, our nightly routine (and nap time routine - consistency is key, besides bath time, of course) goes something like this :

7 PM Bath time

I try to make sure I don't do bath time any earlier, because then it throws off her entire routine. So we do bath time, which honestly takes us a solid 10 minutes, because who knew bathing a small human was super quick, Less surface to cover I suppose! After bath time, we do our normal baby lotion massage, and sometimes read a bedtime story depending if she's really fussy or not. She is different every single day, but also the same. I know, I sound insane. 

Jammie switch up!

If you read my last sleep training post, we weren't dressing her in those warm footie pajamas everybody swears by, because she was swaddled and we didn't want her to overheat! Well you guessed it! We are now in the footie pajama stage. I still stick to my word on 0-3 months about not doing it, but like I said before - she changes constantly! Since we are no longer swaddling, we have now switched to those warm and fuzzy footie pajamas! Not only are they absolutely adorable, but they keep my girl nice and warm at night (since we are not letting her sleep with blankets because of the risk it raises for suffocation and SIDS). 


Nurse

For us anyways. If you're formula feeding, this is where your bedtime (or nap time) bottle would come in. So we sit in our rocking chair, while I nurse. I usually turn her bedroom light off and nurse in the dark to set the calm atmosphere vibes. 

Independent crib time

I used to be pretty huge on rocking her to sleep, and then putting her in her crib and tip toeing to sleep, but more often than not she would wake before I could even leave the room. I thought she was regressing or maybe her "startle reflex" wasn't quite gone yet. Turns out, she just wanted to self soothe and be left alone. Since she can now understand item permanence and knows when I am no longer there, I talk to her. I know she doesn't understand exactly what I'm saying with my words, but she can sense my emotions and the different tones in my voice. So I coo at her, and turn her mobile on, and she smiles and coos back. Then I tell her that I'll be back to check on her soon. I quietly escape to our room, and watch her on the baby monitor. She continues to coo and play with her pacifier, as well as puts the pacifier in her mouth on her own when she wants to. Most nights, I go in her room about 3 times, just to let her know I am there and I am checking up on her. Then I tell her again each time that I will be right back in a calm happy manner. Make sure you are taking lots of deep breaths - even if this takes forever! Remaining calm is huge! 

Now, that being said - she does have bad nights when we try to do this. Where I leave the room, and she screams at the top of her lungs. In this case, I kind of let her cry it out. BUT by cry it out, I mean I let her cry and when she stops for a moment, I rush right in. I am trying to basically "reward" her for not crying. Does that sound terrible? I feel like it does - but it really works! These nights are far and few between and I feel like it's because she knows that if she doesn't cry and scream that I will be more likely to come in. Maybe I'm crazy who knows. But it's working. And usually, after about 3 times in and out of her room, she falls asleep on her own. I mean out of nowhere passes out, and doesn't wake up for 3 - 4 hours. (she still eats a lot throughout the night - we are working on that!) When she does wake up, I nurse her, she passes out, I put her down, and that's all.

Now, if you're just tip-toeing into crib transitioning, I suggest doing the 3-5-7-10 minute method. Put the baby down in their crib, leave for 3 minutes. Go back, soothe them, lay them down, repeat, but this time for 5 minutes. Then 7, and finally 10 minutes. The hope is that after that 10 minute mark they will be asleep! 

Remember that attitude is everything!

If you remain calm, and tell yourself this is something you can do - then you totally can do it! Babies can 100% sense our anxieties & our stress, so once we calm down, they tend to as well!

Back to bed for mama.  AHHHHHHHH

 

Final thoughts

 

  • Reward not crying
  • Dress in warm footie pajamas
  • Self soothing in the crib
  •  

     

    This is what's working for us right now, but I'm sure it will change for 7-10 months!

     

    Happy sleeping!

     

    Xo

    -MMM

     

    Disney World with a Baby

    Last weekend we did a spur of the moment trip to the happiest place on Earth... Walt Disney World! We were in Orlando for a family getaway, and right before getting on the highway to head home, we said what the heck! And headed to Disney. Super unprepared, we had no idea what we were in for. Think it's impossible to take a baby to Disney? Think again! We were able to do so much more than I expected. It was quite the learning experience, and since we are now Annual pass holders, we cannot wait to go back again - this time with much more preparation!  

     

    **When planning a Disney World vacation, make sure to stay at a hotel that offers transportation to the parks. Save gas, time, and stress by doing so!**

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    Disney world with a baby

    Rides

    Our original interpretation of Disney World with a baby was a lot of baby swaps and taking turn riding rides. (Let's face it, we were there for us, not our 5 month old!) To our surprise, we were able to ride a ton of things with our little babe! Some rides we rode with her were :

    • Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin

    • It's a Small World

    • The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh

    • Monster's, Inc. Laugh Floor

    • Pirates of the Caribbean 

    • Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover

    • Under the Sea ~ Journey of The Little Mermaid

    & we barely even scratched the surface! There are so many more we can take her on.. check out the FULL LIST below!

     

    Perks

    Annual pass holders get a pretty good amount of perks that I totally was not expecting. First of all, we were pass holders at Universal for awhile and thought about renewing this year, but surprisingly enough Disney was way cheaper. I couldn't believe it! We have a ton of stuff to learn as far as benefits go for being pass holders, but so far I was really impressed/surprised with the following :

    • Kids under 3 get in FREE!!!

    • Fast passes (3 to begin the day - once those are used, one at a time for the remainder of the day. We didn't wait more than 15 minutes for a ride most of the day.)

    • PhotoPass Downloads (All photos taken during rides, or by cast members, link to your magic band which in turn links to your Disney app - more on that later)

    • Blockout dates (We have the Gold pass, which was perfect for our budget, and also only has block out dates during Christmas time, and spring break time - all times we never would be caught dead in that area of craziness!)

    • Parkhopper (Visit all 4 theme parks on the same day)

    • Free parking!!!!!!!! (Or park at Disney Springs and take the bus to Disney for free as well!)

    • Magic Bands (Your key to EVERYTHING. Pictures, fast passes, and your entire ticket/pass linked)

    • My Disney Experience app (Probably the most impressed with this Access to everything linked to your band. Can book fast passes via the app for your next ride, look at your photos, make dining reservations, look at the park map [which has all wait times for all rides at all parks] and much much more!)

    Necessities

    Although it was last minute, we were still prepared to an extent. We just kind of lucked out! Some necessities I will not be caught without in the future are as follows :

  • Baby Carrier (we wore her most of the day, especially during rides and it was super convenient, and comfortable for her!)
  • Stroller (absolute necessity! Ours is compact when folded, which makes bus rides easy [you can't have them in the stroller on the bus, you have to fold it up!] and also helps with storage of all your things!)
  • Sneakers (don't make the mistake of wearing flip flops! I know it's FL, but you will not be a happy camper at the end of the day!)
  • Baby Wipes!!!! (I don't consider myself a germaphobe, but baby wipes are super handy in keeping your trip as clean as possible! Quick hand wipes, seat wipes, stroller wipe down, etc.!)
  • Lessons Learned

    Like I said, we were SUPER unprepared for this trip. Some things I wish I had on hand, and will definitely be packing next go around include:

    • Cooler bag (snacks, waters, baby food, etc.)

    • Stroller cover (for the inevitable FL rain - our stroller just finished drying this morning after one soak at the park!)

    • Poncho or Umbrella - or both! (Agin... the FL rain is inevitable y'all.)

    • Towels (Okay seriously - don't play about the rain friends. Be prepared.)

    • Change of clothes for Mom & dad (can you guess why? THE RAIN PEOPLE!!)

    • Cooling towel (FL heat is no joke either. Luckily, it was overcast. But still.)

    • Clip on fan (for the stroller! Saw someone with one yesterday and now I'm on the hunt for one on Amazon!)

     

     

    We plan to head back in the next couple of weeks! Being the money savvy couple we are, we will definitely be getting our money's worth from these passes! And I'm so excited to write about our PREPARED experience next time! Make sure to subscribe and get the scoop on all of our future Disney World adventures!

     

    Happy Vacationing!

    Xo

    -MMM

     

     

    Postpartum Realities

    As a new mom there are so many different things constantly running through your mind. A new problem I never expected to have postpartum arises every single day. You think you know, but you have no idea, until you are actually in that spot. 

    Last night my daughter slept through the night in her own crib in her own room. This wasn't the first night this happened. But still, somehow I am exhausted this morning. Why? Because I sat and stared at the monitor as every single minute  passed.



    postpartum realities

     

    1. Sleeping through the night

    WOW. Nobody warned me how miserable this was/still kind of is. Is it just me mama's? Am I crazy? Don't get me wrong- I totally enjoy my evenings with my other half. But 3 AM hits, and she still hasn't made a peep - and I am losing it. Why did everybody talk about this moment like it was magical? I know I SHOULD be taking advantage of this moment right now, but I can't because every fear in the world is currently setting up camp in my brain. Then she rolls onto her belly - and now I'm really hyperventilating. This is NOT all it's cracked up to be. I miss her, I'm worried about her, and I'm still exhausted the next morning. I feel like this is really a lose lose and I should prob go pick her up and cuddle with her right this instant, right? 😩

     

    2. THE CLOTHES.

    So I knew she had a huge wardrobe even prior to our baby shower, but WOW. Nobody can prepare you for the amount of decluttering you're going to be doing AT LEAST the first 6 months of their life. It doesn't just happen in spurts like you would think. I'll go through her clothes at 3 months, then 6, so on so forth. Nope. Every. Single. Day. I go through clothes. I have a permanent gift bag in her room that I am forever throwing things into, so I can pass it down to my friend who is having a baby next month., And don't even get me started on YOUR clothes. You find something comfortable, that fits, and then your weight fluctuates AGAIN. You go from super preggo, back down to 3-month-preggo look-a-like postpartum, and then kind of back to normal... but not really? Clothes = clutter = madness = I-dont-have-time-to-declutter = AHHHHH!!!!!!

    postpartum recovery + healing after birth

     

    3. Unwanted parental guidance + Negativity

    Okay, third time is the charm. WOW. I can't believe the things people say to you as a new mom. I mean I heard horror stories prior to being a mom, but it's an entire other level when you are actually a mom. Let me break it down for you in the simplest terms - you will never win this battle. It doesn't matter how long your kid is rear facing, or how often you homemake their baby food, or whatever it is you do. You will never be able to please everybody. People are going to constantly question every single method of your parenting. Why don't you cut their hair? Why don't cut their nails? Why don't you feed them this way? Everybody has something to say about everything. Accept it early on, and ignore them. Don't let it consume you! Why are we so negative towards each other? Why do other moms feel the need to constantly tell me "Oh, it's only just started" or "It gets worse" Like??????????? Can we stop?! And how about the judgement and questioning? Why do we feel the need to question each other about how we parent? I am all about advice from other mama's who have struggled before me - educate me! And I love to educate others from my experiences as well! It's why I started blogging! But do we have to be so negative? Stop putting each other down, or telling people that it gets worse! Seriously?! We can do better mama's! This goes for all of you, I don't care what generation! Grandma, aunts, cousins - it's not okay! 

     

    With everything in life, "this too shall pass"!

    But until then, I'll be enjoying my growing babe, staying up all night watching the monitor, and ignoring the negativity! I hope you choose to do the same!

    What kind of postpartum surprises did/do you run into? 

    Xo

    -MMM