Posted in View from YOUR Stroller

View from YOUR Stroller: Austin Texas

Welcome to our third post in our View from YOUR Stroller series.  This is a guest column series where other parents around the world do a small interview about their life and the views they see with their “stroller”.  If you’d like to participate in an interview, drop me an e-mail at viewfts@gmail.com I would love to here from you.

Today’s post comes from Caitlin, she is a thirty-something wife and mother of one, living in Austin, TX. She grew up in Houston and Austin is true Texan. She has a Ph.D. in neuroscience and works from home finishing some research projects that she was working on prier to having her son. She loves to run and swim and used to be a triathlete when she had time to herself!  She and her husband love to travel and they hope to soon take their little one on his first overseas adventure!

Mamma or Pappa:

Mamma

Where are you:

Austin, TX

SAHM(D), WAHM(D), WOHM(D):

WAHM

What stroller/carrier do you use:

We love our BOB Revolution stroller, especially for runs around the neighborhood, and stroller fitness classes at the park. We also have a Britax B-Agile which is great for shopping and travel. I have an Ergo carrier also but my son is not a fan.

Tell us about your littles:

My son is almost 9 months old. He is big for his age, full of energy, and so laid back and happy.

Best thing about your town for kids:

Austin is so kid friendly! There seem to be so many FREE activities for kids, and it is also a really friendly place so its easy to meet other parents.

You are heading out on a play date, where are you meeting up?

We often have playdates at the park through my stroller fitness class. We attend FIT4MOM 3 days a week which is an hour long bootcamp style workout with the stroller. After class there are frequently organized playdates for the little ones. We have also met up with friends at the Thinkery (Austin’s children’s museum).

Thinkery

Hidden gem in your town for kids:

I recently attended a free baby playgroup at BabyEarth (a local baby store) and it was awesome. They had so many fun toys for the kids to use and my son enjoyed himself immensely. We can’t wait to go back! We also love the baby storytime at the Spicewood Springs Library. Another fun and free activity for babies!

If you’re in your town you must try:

All the wonderful restaurants! There is so much good stuff, but Mexican and Asian are my favorites! I love Chuy’s or Maudie’s (Tex-Mex), Rice Bowl Café (Taiwanese), and Swad (Indian). North locations is also amazing for Italian!

Your go to source for kids things to do in your city:

Usually other moms! I also see a lot of events on facebook since facebook creepily knows I have a baby and am interested in stuff like that ☺

Best kid friendly restaurant:

Phil’s Ice House! It has a playground.

Most difficult thing about living in your town:

Traffic and cost of real estate! Austin is growing fast which is making it congested and expensive.

Three things you can’t live without for your little:

BOB Revolution Stroller,Munchkin 360 cup (he loves drinking from a cup), and our Gro-Via diapers (we cloth diaper)

Thinkery

Best advice someone gave you about kids:

The first 3 months are the hardest! Once my son got to be around 3-4 months it seemed like everything got so much easier. We have new challenges now (like he thinks he can walk LOL) but honestly just knowing things would get a bit better around the 3 month mark made the newborn phase that much more manageable.

What’s your daily uniform:

Usually workout clothes. I like to start my day with either a stroller fitness class or a jog, and then I get busy with my son and work and don’t get around to showering or changing until the evening. Gross I know…

Favorite travel spots with kids:

So far we have mostly just traveled to see his grandparents (Chicago and Houston). We did take him to Winter Park, Colorado in February for a quick ski trip and they had great child care! Although I felt a little guilty ditching him while we hit the slopes! We are also hoping to take him to a beach soon, because this kid is a total water baby.

Biggest traveling advice with kids:

Buy a carseat bag to check the seat on the plane. You can use the extra space in the bag to pack various baby items and then it all gets checked for free. Plus the bag protects your car seat.

When traveling you make sure not to forget:

Baby wipes. Lots and lots of baby wipes.

What’s in your diaper bag:

Diapers, wet bag, baby wipes, an extra outfit or two, bib, baby sunhat, sunscreen, and sunglasses. I also generally carry my wallet, chapstick, and cell phone in the diaper bag.

What helps you get through the day?

Coffee.

Parting thoughts?

Parenting should be fun. It is important to have a good sense of humor about things because babies do crazy things all the time. There is also so much conflicting parenting advice out there it can be overwhelming. I think it’s most important to do what you are comfortable with provided you are being reasonable about safety.

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Posted in View from YOUR Stroller

View from YOUR Stroller: Hilliard, Ohio

Welcome to our second post in our View from YOUR Stroller series.  This is a guest column series where other parents around the world do a small interview about their life and the views they see with their “stroller”.  If you’d like to participate in an interview, drop me an e-mail at viewfts@gmail.com I would love to here from you.

Todays post is brought to us from the Buckeye State!  Kendall a Buckeye herself is telling us all about the view from her stroller in the Columbus suburbs.  She is a social worker by day specializing in foster care and adoption. When she’s not caring for her own amazing little guy, she’s doing some amazing work caring for little ones and families throughout the Columbus area.

Folk & Sons

Mamma or Pappa:

Mamma

Where are you:

Hilliard, Ohio (A suburb of Columbus)

SAHM(D), WAHM(D), WOHM(D):

WOHM 3 days a week and WAHM 2 days a week.

What Stroller/Carrier do you use?

We use the Graco Modes Click Connect Travel System Stroller and an ERGOBaby Original Baby Carrier.

Tell us about your littles: 

I have one son, Liam who just turned 6 months old. He has such a sweet and fun personality and is an all-around happy little guy!

Best thing about your town for kids:

Hilliard and Columbus are both booming towns with a lot of young families. There are a ton of parks and activities for little ones in close distance. We don’t have to travel more than 20 minutes to most anything we would want to do!

You are heading out on a play date, where are you meeting up?

Columbus has over twenty Metro Parks! Each one is full of great scenery, walking paths, playgrounds and more! We have one located right in Hilliard that includes a bike path. Now that the weather is nice I enjoy taking my little outside on walks or just to sit and enjoy the sun! We have tried the swings now and are looking forward to playing more on the playgrounds as he gets older. We also have a smaller park located within our neighborhood called, Frank’s Park that has been very convenient and a good way to meet other parents and kiddos in our neighborhood.

As summer gets closer we are also super excited to take Liam to one of the Hilliard Municipal Pools. These pools are decked out with water slides for older children and have smaller areas for young children/babies with all sorts of fun waterfalls and splash toys. They also offer swim lessons and fun summer activities such as movie nights.

Hidden gem in your town for kids:

The Little Ice Cream Shoppe in Hilliard. We are able to walk to it from our house and it is delicious! It is operated by a local family and has delicious homemade ice cream! The flavors even change daily and I have loved everything I have tried. Of course, Liam is too young to enjoy it now, but that doesn’t mean mommy can’t!

If you’re in your town you must try:

The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium! It is ranked as one of the top ten zoos in the country and we have really enjoyed it! We took a couple trips there before we had Liam and have taken him once now. We are excited to get passes and take him more as he gets older. The zoo is broken up into six regions: Australia and the Islands, Congo Expedition, Shores, Asia Quest, North America and Heart of Africa. For someone with absolutely no sense of direction, me, I found the zoo very easy to navigate! There are thousands of animals and we are looking forward to going back and seeing the new baby Polar Bear, Nora as this exhibit allows you to see the bears both above and under water. Liam was still a little young to appreciate all of the animals when we went, but he did enjoy the aquarium, the small petting zoo in North America and getting up close to Kangaroos in Australia!

If you are in Columbus with kids I would also highly recommend the COSI Science Museum. My husband and I went a few times before the little joined us and will take him when he is a bit older and can appreciate it. It is full of fun and interesting exhibits about Space, the Human Body, Technology and much more. A lot of the exhibits are very hands on for kids and they have events, and live shows as well as a Little Kid Space where they can explore and play safely!

Columbus Zoo and Aquarium

Your go to source for kids things to do in your city: 

Honestly, I have gotten a ton of information from a Facebook group for Hilliard Moms, Hilliard Moms in the Know. Here, moms share resources and activities in the area and I have been able to learn a lot!  The Columbus City Guide also has a lot of helpful information.

Best kid friendly restaurant: 

So, I have not been yet, but it is on my list to try as I have heard great things about Little Skippers Play Café in Hilliard. The Café has a small menu of food and beverages that look tasty and it houses several play areas for kids including an infant crawling area!

Most difficult thing about living in your town: 

As stated above, Columbus and Hilliard are booming which is a great thing but, also comes with a lot of traffic! On the days I work out of the home it is always a rush to make it to the daycare by their closing time of 6pm as it can sometimes take me 45 minutes to an hour to get to Hilliard from where I work. I try to avoid making any appointments or anything that would have us traveling close to rush hour time as it is not good for mommy or baby to be stuck sitting still in the car!

Three things you can’t live without for your little: 

  • My stroller! It is so nice after being cooped up with a newborn for all of winter to be able to get out with him and enjoy the sunshine! The travel system is also great as we can just click in the little’s car seat if he falls asleep in the car without waking him!
  • His favorite toys which right now are his: Sophie Giraffe, Toucan Colors Book, and Fisher Price Shape Sorter Blocks. All of which are easily portable!
  • Burp Cloths, lots of burp cloths! Our little is a big drooler/ spitter upper!

WHAT CANT YOU LIVE WITHOUT

Best advice someone gave you about kids: 

Try to enjoy every minute because it goes by fast!

What’s your daily uniform:

If I am not at work, I like to be comfy in yoga pants/leggings and a tank or sweatshirt!

Favorite travel spots with kids:

We have not done much traveling yet other than a trip to see family in North Carolina when Liam was only 2 months old and driving to and from Cincinnati to see the grandparents (about an hour and a half drive from Hilliard). My parents have a condo on the beach in Destin, Florida so we are definitely excited to get there soon! It is a beautiful beach with a lot of family activities in the area!

Biggest traveling with kids advice: 

Since we have not done much traveling, I don’t have a lot of advice! It has been super helpful though for the grandparents to have things at their house such as diapers, food, umbrella stroller etc. so we don’t have to schlep everything back and forth every time we visit. It is amazing how quickly you can fill up your car for just a weekend visit!

When traveling you make sure not to forget: 

Toys/Entertainment and a comfort item if your little has one!

What’s in your diaper bag? 

Diapers, Pampers Sensitive Wipes (the only wipes that have not made my little break out), Changing Pad, Boogie Wipes, Burp Cloth, Extra Outfit, Plastic Bag, Small toys, Bottle, Water, Keys, Wallet, Gum, Cell Phone and Lip Gloss for Mommy!

Folk & Sons-2

 What helps you get through the day? 

Getting a workout in! Before Liam I loved going to the gym for an hour after work. Since that can’t happen anymore I have turned to a great workout App called, DailyBurn. I especially enjoy the Daily Burn 365 program which has a different 30 minute workout every day! I find my little can usually let me get through it and it gives me the energy I need after a long day at work to get through the rest of the evening. We also enjoy turning on Sesame Street on the HBO Go App when we just need a minute for everyone to calm down. We don’t use it all the time, but Liam enjoys looking at the puppets for a few minutes of peace!

Parting thoughts?

Don’t overwhelm yourself with parenting books, articles, theories and advice. Of course there are great resources out there, but just do what feels right for your family and enjoy! Try not to stress about what everyone thinks is best!

Posted in View from YOUR Stroller

View from YOUR Stroller: Arlington, VA

Welcome to our first post in our View from YOUR Stroller series.  This is a guest column series where other parents around the world do a small interview about their life and the views they see with their “stroller”.  Today I am starting out with well me… As this is my first post on this blog I wanted to get the ball rolling on this series.  If you’d like to participate in an interview, drop me an e-mail at viewfts@gmail.com I would love to here from you.

I am an event planner, blogger, and Etsy Shop owner from Arlington, Virginia.  I report on ways to make events easier to manager and cheaper too.  I also make adorable printables for your events in my shop so make sure you head over to check it all out. You can also follow my event planning on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, or Linkedin.

Mamma or Pappa:

Mamma

Where are you:

Arlington, VA

SAHM(D), WAHM(D), WOHM(D):

WAHM- Work at Home Mom

What Stroller/Carrier do you use?

Britax B-Safe 35 and a Tula Baby Carrier we have Navigator

Tell us about your littles: 

I have one little boy he is almost 8 months old and is such a goofy little guy!

Best thing about Arlington for kids:

So many free things to go and do in D.C. and Arlington and all of the amazing playgrounds in the area.

You are heading out on a play date, where are you meeting up?

I love to go bring my little one to meet up with his friends at all of the story times here in Arlington.  There is one Monday-Friday just for little ones under one.  I really appreciate that I don’t have to bring him to a story time with kids up to 5, rather have one that’s more geared towards him and his friends.  Plus they let you stay and play after story time is done so it also creates great mommy hang out time.

If it’s nice out I also like to head out to the playground and park.  There are some amazing parks here in Arlington not to mention the National Mall and the Zoo.  The Zoo is free and we recently got a membership so that our parking now is as well!  It’s a great place to meet up with friends and head out to look at and interact with animals for the day.

National ZooNational MallRoosevelt IslandNational Zoo

Hidden gem in Arlington for kids:

Roosevelt Island because there is so much fun hiking right in the city.  You can hike the island or walk along the Potomac and get amazing views. Plus free parking.  Another hidden gem is the Fairlington Community Center they have a free soft play room the that little ones can use! Great space for little ones to get their energy out on days when the elements aren’t in your favor.

If you’re in Arlington you must try:

Arlington County story time and all the free music and outdoor movie events for little ones.  Summers here are amazing!

Your go to source for kids things do do in your city: 

Kid Friendly DC

Red Tricycle

MONA– Mothers of North Arlington

Best kid friendly restaurant: 

Silver Dinner– They have amazing fresh and local foods. A great kids menu.  Are incredibly accommodating for little ones.  It is my favorite place to take my little one in Clarendon because it is just so easy and delicious!

Most difficult thing about living in Arlington: 

The traffic.  My little one does not like the car to sit still.  He’s fine if we’re moving but stopping is not his favorite thing in the world and the traffic here is just not good for him.  I try to avoid rush hours like the plague.

Three things you can’t live without for your little: 

  • My stroller/tula we need to be able to get out!
  • His favorite toys which  right now are Sophie and his Lovey.
  • Books!  He loves to read and look along with the books.  Hours of entertainment. Some of his favorites are Little Blue Truck, Snuggle Puppy, and all of the Dr. Suess Board Books. All are great to travel with as well.

B-2

Best advice someone gave you about kids: 

Don’t get used to a routine because it will change the next day.

What’s your daily uniform:

Yoga pants, t-shirts, and sneakers for running around town and after my little crawler!

Favorite travel spots with kids:

We are passport ready but haven’t left the country yet.  So far we’ve only gone to visit the grandparents in the Bay Area and Florida.  But any vacation with grandparents is great right!

Biggest traveling with kids advice: 

Wear your little one if they are small enough.  It’s easier on the plane and great for breast feeding in private while on the go!  I also like to pick my airlines carefully.  The best one I’ve found so far is Jet Blue.  They have been so incredibly accommodating for my two trips I’ve taken on them.  And both of those trips I was going solo with the little man.  Thank you Jet Blue!

When traveling you make sure not to forget: 

Their favorite toys, a noise machine (or app on your phone) to help them sleep in a new place, books, and snacks.

What’s in your diaper bag? 

Diapers, wipes, plastic shopping bags just in case, swaddle blanket, nursing cover, book, toys, snacks for me and baby, water bottle (he likes to drink from a CamelBak so we share), phone, keys, wallet, and an emergency outfit.

What helps you get through the day? 

I love to get out of the house.  I am currently injured but before that happened I was doing Stroller Strides. It’s a great way to get us out of the house and to stay fit! And play dates/groups letting my little one get some energy out and letting me get some adult conversation in is essential.

Parting thoughts? 

Get out there and enjoy where you live with your little one.  And don’t be afraid to create an opportunity for you both if one doesn’t exist.  You can always start your own play group or even a story time if your library doesn’t provide one for you.