Monday, February 17, 2014

Florida bound with little Nat

My parents moved to Florida in the winter of 2010.  I guess Snowmagedeon was the final straw for them.  Every year since then, I have tried to take a trip down to see them.  In 2011, between wedding planning and you know, actually getting married, I didn't quite have the time to do it.  In 2012, Brandon and I spent his spring break in sunny Florida.  It was fun to show him where my parents live and to take him to all my favorite places down there.  It was April and the weather was gorgeous.  In 2013, Michelle and I went to Florida in July as a final girls' trip before little Natalie came along.  It was nice to get to spend some time with my sister and my parents during my pregnancy and before life as I knew it changed.  And now, in April of 2014, I am taking Miss Natalie on her first plane ride to go visit my parents.  Having a baby was like creating an instant travel companion and I am so excited about it :)

As excited as I am, I am also a little nervous about traveling with Natalie without Brandon, not because Natalie is a tough baby (because she isn't), but because this is unchartered territory.  I don't know much about this whole process so of course I have started planning, reading up on the TSA website and some baby blogs and figuring out details months in advance.  On the upside, I will have my mom with me for the flight to Florida.  She is coming up at the end of February to help care for Nat like Lori has done.

I have been warned about flying with small humans.  Both my older sister and one of the pharmacy reps I work with gave me the same warning: beware of the baby blow out.  Apparently my nephew and Jeff's son Cooper both had blow outs during the landing portion of their flights.  Crap. Literally.  Knowledge is power and I have come up with a plan that I think is fairly genius.  It might not be completely sane or even comfortable for Natalie, but it will help aid in the possible blow-out clean up and I am sure that Nattie can appreciate that.  I am going to take a puppy pad (it's ok to start judging me) and cut arm holes.  Then after putting a diaper on Natalie, I am going to wrap the puppy pad around her then dress her.  That will help contain the blow out - provided it even happens... which it will because it's just my luck.

The TSA has very basic general information on their website that I found incredibly helpful.  Little things like knowing Natalie won't have to take her shoes off to go through security and that I can gate check the stroller ease a lot of anxiety.  Babycenter.com has two articles that I found helpful.  One was on traveling with a newborn to 8-month old and the other was a checklist for packing.  And I love a good checklist. 

That being said I have started to make a checklist of things to do, yes I know it's over a month away, in order to help me prepare:
  • Use my thirty-one Cindy tote as my diaper bag - something I really should be doing anyways - and have it double as my carry-on.  It's a bit bigger than my current diaper bag and the straps are a bit longer and more comfortable.  I think, overall, it will be easier to organize and carry. (Plus, I love that it is monogrammed)
  • Buy diapers/wipes/formula online and have it shipped to my parents house.  This will save me tons of room in my bag, means less I have to pack and gives me the comfort of knowing that I have things ready to go at my parents house.
  • Start putting aside things that we don't use every day that I want to bring with us.  I have several outfits already picked out in my head (plus her bathing suit!) that I can start to put aside for Natalie's bag. 
  • Find a place where I can rent a pack-n-play for Natalie to sleep in for the week. I will obviously compare the cost to that of purchasing something, but want to know all my possible options. I looked into this and it was cheaper for me to BUY a pack-n-play for my parents house.  This will be nice to use whenever we go down there for the next 3 years... maybe longer if we have another one :)
It is taking a lot of energy to not drag out the suitcase and pack already.  Besides being so excited, I am completely OCD and want to have things done so I can re-do them approximately 1000 times before we actually go :) Here's the hoping I can keep calm and not let my OCD get the best of me.  I know with the right preparation and planning, this will be an easy trip and that Natalie and I will have a lot of fun visiting my parents :)