Seattle 1 of 3: Enjoying the Seattle Sights

We have just returned from our five days in beautiful Seattle.  We had a great time!  For any of you considering where your next vacation will be I encourage you to consider Seattle.  There was so much to do and experience, I have to break my Seattle recap into three different posts.

Today’s post will focus on the city of Seattle sights.  A kid friendly city, we had no trouble using public transportation to get around.  All the sights we visited were stroller friendly and our little guy loved every moment of it.

So what did we do?

We first visited the International Fountain and enjoyed a choreographed water and music show.

fountain

untitled (15 of 207)We continued our walk and found ourselves in awe of the Space Needle.

space needle

We took a ‘break’ and visited the Chihuly Garden and Glass Museum.

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glass

The next day we visited the famous Pikes Place Market.

pikes place

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Left Pikes Place Market to enjoy other sights of Seattle.  The day was gorgeous.  There was a light breeze and bright blue skies.

walkWe then stopped at one of my favorite sights of the entire trip the Seattle Public Library.

untitled (67 of 207)We took a moment to appreciate the Olympic Sculpture Park and later in our trip visited Bruce Lee’s gravesite.

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brucelee

We indulged our love for music at the EMP Museum where we recorded our band, 3 Miles Island’s, first music video.  Turns out our little guy is more of a DJ than a drummer.

dj

We took a ferry to Bainbridge and admired the Seattle skyline.

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We ended with one last view of Seattle from Kerry Park.

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Have you been to Seattle?  What’s your favorite sight?

Summer Must Have #1 the Boba Carrier

I am less than a week away from summer break! That means I will be outside enjoying all the free concerts, eating al fresco, and taking advantage of the many family friendly activities Chicago has to offer. We will also be traveling quite a bit. We even plan to do a family camping trip at Yosemite!

In the spirit of summer, I have some summer gear must haves to share. My first summer must have is the Boba Carrier 3G. I have owned this carrier ever since my little guy was 3 months old. I LOVE IT and highly recommend it.

V iPhone (146 of 446) This is my little guy at 6 months.  I happen to have won a Baby Cargo 300 Series stroller at this moment.  My little guy is so comfortable, he didn’t even wake when I squealed in excitement. 

Why do I love it so much? First of all, I love ‘wearing’ my little guy. Before the Boba carrier, I used the Moby Wrap, which I also loved. Once my little guy was 5 months old, the weather in Chicago was warming up and unlike the Moby, which could get hot with all the fabric, the Boba carrier allowed for babywearing without overheating. Now, my little guy is almost a year and half and when he is in the Boba  carrier I can have him in both front or back position. The Boba carrier is lightweight and extremely comfortable to wear. I find that I can comfortably wear the Boba with him in it for a few hours. The shoulder straps are wide which help distribute his weight comfortably, the waist strap fits well around my waist. Both my husband and I like to use it.  It is always quick and easy to switch the Boba carrier between us.

Why is the Boba Carrier 3G a summer must have? Well, actually it is a yearlong must have. I use the Boba all year long, but for my special summer activities, I especially like the Boba. We do most of our traveling during the summer. Each time I do air travel, I bring the Boba carrier. Before boarding the plane, I wear my little guy onto the plane. That leaves my hands free to fold and check in the stroller, to carry the diaper bag, and to deal with carry on luggage.

At our travel destinations we use the Boba carrier often.  Due to the nature of traveling, our little guy is in the stroller more often than usual. I bring the Boba along for either my husband or I to wear him. He loves that he can see the world and interact with us at our level.

The Boba carrier is great for hikes. During our last vacation to Washington D.C., we hiked some trails at Great Falls National Park. The hike was more than two hours and covered a few miles. My little guy slept almost the whole hike! He was that comfortable in the Boba carrier. It is common for him to fall asleep while I am wearing him. The closeness to me and the walking really helps to lull him asleep. The Boba carrier will definitely be joining us during our summer and fall hikes and on our trip to Yosemite.

If you’re a fan of babywearing or are considering trying it out, I highly recommend the Boba Carrier 3G. The carrier is lightweight, very comfortable for parent and child, packs compact for easy travel, and comes in a variety of colors and patterns.

untitled (48 of 262) Enjoying our spring hike along the Potomac River.

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I spy with my little eye a babywearing momma and her little guy (in a Boba carrier).

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Doesn’t this picture ‘rock’?  Look how great the Boba carrier is.  I can even rock climb while my little one sleeps in it!  Just kidding! I’m actually kneeling on the rock below pretending I am climbing a rock while my little guy is in his Boba carrier.  By the way, he’s so comfortable he stayed asleep despite my moving around, adjusting,  and shouting to my sister photography directions all to get the best ‘rock climbing’ angle. 

untitled (100 of 262)He’s awake and he’s a moose on the loose.  His whole outfit including his moose hat is from Gap Kids.   

Do you babywear? What’s your experience?

*The Boba Carrier 3G was a gift for use and review.  My blog content reflects my true experiences and opinions.  All ideas and opinions  written by me are strictly my own.

*All images are original Yellow Loves Grey content.  These images may not be used without my written consent.

Surviving the Winter Season- Baby’s got the flu

The Friday before Winter Break I was so excited.  Two weeks off, a trip to California to visit family and friends, and most importantly, full time with my mister and little guy.  And then it happened, Friday evening, the little guy’s temperature kept climbing, reaching a 101 degrees, he couldn’t sleep, threw up, clingy all night…and then I got sick too!

Well, mommy and baby survived after a week of sickness. What helped us through it?

NoseFrida

Our little guy was very congested during his flu and the NoseFrida worked a lot better than the traditional bulb sucker.  To use it, you have to put one end up the nostril and the other end in your mouth.  You suck the boogers out.  It’s pretty gross, but effective.

Exergen Temporal Scanner Infrared Thermometer

The forehead thermometer made it very easy to take the little guy’s temperature.  On the night his temperature reached 101 degrees, we had to take his temperature often.  I’m glad we didn’t have to use a rectal thermometer.

Crane Drop Shape Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifier*

Living in Chicago, this humidifier has been great!  We use it throughout the winter season.  It is actually my second Crane humidifier.  Our first was the cow  which I loved so much I purchased it as a gift for my expectant sister-in-law.  When the little guy was sick we needed to make sure the air wasn’t too dry for him. This humidifier has various settings and the cone top can be moved and adjusted to flow in the direction you want.  I highly recommend this humidifier.

How about you?  Any tips you can offer for a sick baby?

Disclosure:  Items marked with an * is a product I received for free.  The stories and opinions expressed are that of my own. 

Dealing with excessive lipase

For many of the working moms out there, I am sure you would agree that the last week of maternity leave is pretty emotional. To add to an already rough week my little guy was refusing to take the milk I had stockpiled in the freezer. It turns out I have an excess lipase issue that causes my expressed milk to smell and taste soapy and rancid after just a few days. Learning this left me concerned, confused and frustrated.

Luckily, I found several great resources on excess lipase. A resource I often turn to for breastfeeding issues is Kelly Mom. There is a helpful article about how to scald and store milk that has too much lipase here. According to the resources I found, some babies will still take it, but my little guy refused. I joke that he’s too much of a foodie to settle for my excess lipase milk. So I spent that last week before returning to work frustrated and disappointed. It was unfortunate that I had use my free moments pumping and scalding breastmilk, when I would much rather enjoy my last days of maternity leave with my little guy. Fortunately, my supportive hubby was there for me every step of the way.

For those of you who are experiencing the excess lipase issue here is how I have been dealing with it.

Step 1: Identify the problem

Before resorting to the extra step of scalding the milk, I had to first figure out if excess lipase was really my issue. To test my milk I divided my pumped milk into two containers. One of the containers was then labeled with the date, time, and the word “unscalded”. For the other container, I went through the process of scalding the milk and then labeled it with the date, time and the word “scalded”. I then kept a notepad near the refrigerator to taste test the two containers of milk. I made a T chart with one side labeled “unscalded” and the other “scalded”. I tested both containers every few hours and would write “ok” if the milk still tasted and smelled ok and wrote “no” when I knew my little guy would no longer take it. My unscalded milk smelled soapy and rancid by the end of the second day, while my scalded milk lasted four days. Based on my test, I did have excess lipase.

Step 2: Pumping breastmilk

When I returned to work, I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to scald my milk right away. I learned that scalding it when I got home from work was fine. That was a major relief. My advice for anyone with excess lipase would be to store your milk in a fridge rather than relying on an ice pack. It kept ‘fresher’ longer.

Step 3: Scalding the milk

I think this is the trickiest of all the steps. To scald the milk pour your milk into a saucepan and turn the heat up to high. Watch the milk carefully. Once the milk along the sides of the saucepan start to bubble immediately take the saucepan off the heat and pour the milk into a glass container.

Step 4: Cool the scalded milk

To quickly cool the scalded milk I put the glass jar of milk into a bowl of ice water. I would let the jar sit for about five minutes.

Step 5: Transfer the milk into the bottles to be refrigerated or frozen

After about five minutes of leaving the milk to cool in ice water, I would transfer it to the bottles for feeding the next day. I found that even with scalding the milk, my frozen milk still had a soapy consistency. I did my best to avoid frozen milk even if it meant some days we would have too much milk and eventually have to pour it down the drain.

There you have it, how to deal with excess lipase. Don’t you think going back to work is already enough of an emotional rollercoaster? It was a tough week for me, but thanks to online resources I was able to get through it and know that while at work I was still able to breastfeed my little guy. Hopefully this post will help any other parents out there going through similar issues. For new moms out there, breastfeeding is hard, but worth it in so many ways. This was one of several occasions I considered formula but am glad I stuck with it. What issues did you have with breastfeeding? What was the result?

Now, what about my freezer stockpiled with over 100 ounces of breastmilk? Stay tuned.

Mommy and Me Out and About #5 Chicago Botanical Garden

This post is long overdue, especially since we went to the Chicago Botanical Garden in the Spring and now it is Summer.

For those of you looking for baby friendly environments that will coincide well lulling baby to sleep, the Chicago Botanical Garden is a great destination.  Located north of the city of Chicago, it is a quick car ride, or if you prefer, Metra train ride away.  The garden is peaceful, has plenty to look at and enjoy, stroller friendly, and a nice place to spend an afternoon.

We liked it so much we got an annual pass.  Maybe we will see you there?

DIY Father’s Day Gift

Last weekend we celebrated the mister’s first Father’s Day.

To commemorate the day, my little guy and I made a special gift for him to use every Father’s Day, a special ‘Father’s Day’ plate. As you can see from the photo I used Martha Stewart paints and stamped the little guys feet while also writing a special Father’s Day message.

The idea behind the plate is that for each Father’s Day the plate will make an appearance. It will be a wonderful reminder of his first Father’s Day and of how much our little guy has grown each year.

What did you do to celebrate Father’s Day?

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