How often do you get out of your Comfort Zone? + Baby’s Big Day in the City

Hello hello – the first day back from Labor Day weekend! It was a super fun 4 day weekend for me so today was a BIT of struggle city getting back into it!
I don’t think it’s a secret that the past 18 months of my life have been a bit crazy – relocating for the first time away from all friends & family, taking on a new leadership role with increased responsibilities, finding out we were pregnant, moving apartments 3 times, making all new friends, having Calvin, getting engaged, and the list goes on! Yada, yada, you guys have heard it all. That is so much to fit into 18 months and people have often looked at me like I’m crazy or asked me how this is possible.  NOT that I think i’m the expert on any topic, as most of the time I’m writing about something when experiencing it for the first time. I also DON’T think others haven’t gone through crazier changes or experiences in even shorter time frames or that I’m special!
BUT the past 18 months are what have inspired me to write -the challenges and rewards are what inspired me to continue on this blogging journey and allowed me to discover something I love to do.
But why do I keep talking about this? Why do I say the back half of my twenties has been a ‘life changing’ time?
It has all been done completely out of my comfort zone.
None of it this has been comfortable – it has stretched me (both mentally and physically, ha) but all of it is preparing us for our growth, success and new opportunities in the future. I sound so responsible! But for real – Nothing rewarding I have ever accomplished has been done in comfort.
I didn’t WANT to relocate initially but I knew I needed a change and to challenge myself professionally.
I didn’t WANT to move apartments after only 6 months in the other one, but we needed more space.
I didn’t WANT to live away from family when we started our family, but we stuck to the decision we committed to, and have made it work very well for us.
Even going back to college, I didn’t WANT to practice with my dance team 16+ hours a week, but I wanted to be on a team where I could win a world championship more than anything else in my life. *humble brag moment*
Sometimes the right thing isn’t the most fun (initially.) If you want the outcome more than you don’t want to feel uncomfortable, it will be worth it.
I’ve gotten out of my comfort zone more recently than I even care to admit, but making the best of the situation, overcoming, and moving forward, I think, is where you start to see rewards and new opportunities. People may look at you like your crazy but if you have a feeling deep down that what you’re doing is right, you have to try.
I guess my question to you is, are you consistently finding ways to stretch yourself or do you stay with what is familiar? Are you unhappy in some aspect of your life but you keep doing the same thing every day? What have you been wanting to do but are too afraid of what others think?
Getting out of your comfort zone doesn’t have to be moving across the country – it can be sending that email or setting up that meeting at work that you’ve been putting off. It could be finally introducing yourself to another Mom you’ve been wanting to connect with in your “circle” of acquaintances. It could be going to an event that takes a hell of a lot more effort to attend than to sit at home on your couch eating chipotle.
What can you do this week to get out of your comfort zone in order to grow a bit? Seriously, I want to hear the “scariest” thing you’ve done recently! Let me know below!

One thing that we’ve made sure to do is to keep living our lives and truly incorporate Calvin into the things we enjoy doing. I’ve learned that having a baby doesn’t mean you no longer have a life – yes things are more difficult, and there are certain things you can’t do, but remembering you CAN still do things is key.
Since he was born, we have never shied away from taking him places – to restaurants, parks, the beach, friends houses, the city.
Earlier this summer my sister and brother in law let us know that they’d be coming into NYC in August and asked if we would be able to meet them for the day. We live in NJ – about an hour outside of the city, a 75 min train ride on the NJ transit. For anyone who has been to NYC, you know it is a different world – overwhelming, mesmerizing, full of opportunity. Before we got pregnant we went into the city a few times, always leaving exhausted but feeling grateful that we live so close to such a buzzing atmosphere. The east coast is no joke – it is fast paced and you can get lost in the shuffle easily.
When given the opportunity to take our 6 month old baby into the city with us, we could have easily said no or come up with a million excuses to why it isn’t safe, he’s too young, or that it’ll be too hectic. We knew it all of these things could be true in some capacity, but we were excited for the challenge and adventure of the day trip with Calvin. Plus, if we can take the babe into NYC and explore, we may just be able to take him anywhere!
It turned out to be the best day – even with an unexpected torrential downpour and we can’t wait to take him again.
Here are some of our fam pics from the trip!
^Cal’s first train ride
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^view from the Boathouse in Central Park^reppin’ the Bengals in NYC^central park

I hope you all have an amazing week and start to your September!!

Talk soon,

KaylaSignature-02

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Flying with an Infant + Travel Necessities

Hello, August!
Remember at the beginning of the summer when I said exciting things are coming? Well it is officially the month they are happening! Stay tuned in the coming weeks for changes, upgrades, and of course more posts on my site 😁
We are home from our first trip and we made it back in one sleepy piece – barely! Traveling with an ~18 lb infant for the first time alone…let’s just mark it as a challenge I’ve now overcome. And now I have stronger arm muscles to show for it! When we got home, Calvin and I both slept for hours because we were so freakin’ exhausted from the whole week.
image^^us @ home in Mason, OH
I don’t have a ton of great advice and I am certainly NO expert on traveling with an infant, but I can share my experience and offer some suggestions – what worked, what didn’t, and necessities I believe you need. Traveling is pretty difficult and strenuous with no baby, so adding a little human, just makes it a bit more complicated. It’s certainly do-able and no reason to shy away from traveling, but with some advice and great products, it can be a much more smooth ride.
download^I held Calvin on the flight but decided to pose him for a pic in my seat before take-off
 Key Notes & Travel Necessities
*you can click on images to shop the item*
Drop-off
 If you don’t have someone going with you, you’ll need help getting all of your stuff from the car to the check-in. Some airports have helpers with carts, other’s don’t. Cincinnati had no one to help, so my Mom took a chance at leaving her car at the departure drop off. Once you are at the desk, you can check bags and car seat for free so all you will have left is baby and carry-on bag.
Car Seat Check
 You can check your infant seat + base for free. I suggest buying a travel tote for protection. The BRICA is technically for a “real” size car seat that you don’t usually take in and out of the car, but the infant seat and base fit right in there. Now we don’t have to buy another tote when we move up to the toddler car seat.
BRICA Cover Guard Car Seat Travel Tote

Breast Milk/Formula:
You can take pre-made bottles through security with no issues. They will pull the milk off to the side to check the liquids. Don’t worry, they don’t open the bottles, they just place them in some special machine. If the milk is frozen, it won’t need checked. I was super nervous about this step but we made it through with no problems and then did a happy dance with Calvin (literally) when there were no issues! I highly suggest bringing a few bottles with you, as the airport and airplane are not nursing friendly at all. Plus, there are people everywhere. Calvin didn’t seem to have an issue with the pressure, but they do say to feed your baby on take-off and landing if you are worried about their little ears. I tried nursing Calvin on the way and he was kicking the large man to my left and hitting his head on the plastic wall to the right – not exactly comfortable for baby or airplane neighbor, lol! Good times.
JJ Cole Insulated Bottle Bag

(we use this insulated bag every day for day care as well)
Baby Wearing vs. Stroller
 I keep going back and forth on this, and which one is better. I wore Calvin in his BABYBJORN carrier because I didn’t want to worry about a stroller. I think this would be just fine, and the best option, if you have someone else with you. Since I had no one with me, I felt like I needed more hands. Without a stroller, you literally have nowhere else to set baby while you are taking carrier off for the plane, restroom, etc. I wasn’t about to hand him to a stranger to hold, or lay him on a seat that he’d easily roll off of, so it was extremely difficult. Basically, you better be ready to hold your pee if you don’t bring a stroller. If you are with someone, you can just hand the baby to them and it would be much easier. So, if you are traveling alone, I would highly suggest a stroller, as you can check it at the gate for free.
BABYBJORN Baby Carrier One
Carry-On
Don’t try to bring a purse and a diaper bag, just combine the two – you already do it every other day, anyways! Invest in a great back-pack diaper bag, especially for traveling. Never thought I’d say this, but it really is NOT about being cute at this point – it’s about successfully getting you and your baby where you need to go! Craig got a Columbia Backpack at our baby shower and it was great for the purpose of traveling – sturdy, comfy straps, and coming with a changing pad and insulated side pocket.
Columbia Summit Rush Backpack Diaper Bag

Distractions
Make sure to bring toys and a pacifier (if you use one) for the plane. If you are holding your infant, they are going to need a distraction, as there is no where else for them to go. Calvin is obsessed with crinkle books, or anything that has that feel. Not only do you need distractions, but everything you bring should be attachable. You will drop things a million times, but if you have toys that can attach to your bag and a paci that can attach to their outfit, it might save you a few times of bending down to pick things up, burning leg muscles and minimize sweating. 😅
Sassy Go-Go Attachable Elephant Book
Pacifier Clip by Honeyed

image^^Calvin in his crib @Grandma’simage^^Calvin learning about selfies with Grandpa
The hardest part about traveling alone was that we were away from Craig for a full week which was super weird for all of us! Thankfully our trips for the rest of the year are all together.  We are traveling again with the bebe in just 4 short weeks. We are going back to Cincinnati but for my best friend’s wedding – not for work – which will also be a bit more exciting. Not that going on a work trip isn’t exhilarating 🙂 I’ll let you guys know how much different traveling is with help!
Any more tips/tricks I should know? I’ve already had a few friends with babies ask me questions, so let me know what you want to know!
Talk soon!
❤ Kayla