Ben takes on Europe!

10 05 2012

We are finally back from our much awaited vacation to Europe. Dan and I were VERY nervous that it would be less vacation-y and more stressful dealing with long plane rides and time changes with a 20 month old. Ben was such a rock star, I can’t even tell you! He did amazing on our first flight to Amsterdam, and only woke up once the first night and then slept through the night EVERY OTHER NIGHT. I know! My kid is awesome! The flight home was fine, too. We had an empty seat in between us which was nice (the flight there was totally full so he was on our lap).

My travel tips with a toddler:

  • take the last row of the plane, and have the child in the window seat
  • snacks and more snacks
  • their favorite toy(s)
  • NEW toys they have never seen
  • bring benadryl if you want to make you FEEL prepared, but you won’t need it 🙂
  • bottle or sippy and pacifier if you use one for naps (this helped him sleep). They will give you milk on the flight.
  • don’t let them run up & down the aisles b/c once they are out of their seats it’s all over
  • RELAX. I was way too stressed for days before and got myself sick the first 2 days in Amsterdam.

The trip was absolutely perfect. We had the best time visiting our friends in Amsterdam and taking a side-trip to Paris. We were in Amsterdam for Queen’s Day and rented a boat on the canals all day which is really something everyone should add to their bucket list! We did Keukenhof and saw the tulips which were a sight. We rented bikes. We went to the famous market. In Paris we drank wine outside the Eiffel Tower at night. Walked to the Louvre. Took the Metro to Notre Dame. Spent lots of time in Jardin des Tuileries. It was magical!

Ben is wearing an H&M hoodie, Gap jeans & TOMS boots.

I Amsterdam

Me trying to keep Ben from jumping in the water

Ben’s first bike ride

Since everyone wears orange on Queen’s Day, Ben was wearing an orange bicycle Gap shirt (perfect for Amsterdam!!), H&M shorts & sneakers.

Queen’s Day on the canals!

Above is the boat we rented…it was the best 3 hours! Good drinks, good food & great company. Also, the weather had been rainy and chilly, but on Queen’s Day it was sunny and 70! Perfect weather. The canals were kind of empty (in a good way!) since it was 11am, but as we were leaving they were getting much more crowded. I can’t imagine what it was like by evening! Mayhem.

Happy family! (Ben had just woken up from his nap on the boat)


Dan and the tulips

When the blankie goes on the head, you know he’s ready for a nap!

First glimpse of the Eiffel Tower!

Trying to get a good picture of Ben and the Eiffel Tower was near impossible.

Love this one!

Outfit change! Ben started out in jeans but as the day got warmer we changed him. He is wearing a Janie & Jack polo shirt, Janie & Jack shorts and H&M sneakers we bought in Amsterdam.

The area surrounding the Eiffel Tower is perfect for a picnic or relaxing. They also have a wonderful fenced-in playground where we spent most of our time. Ben could run around and be safe, and we could soak in the view of the Eiffel Tower right behind us. I didn’t realize how family-friendly the area would be. They also have a carousel right below and vendors selling drinks and snacks. Everything is very stroller-friendly also!

Walking to the Eiffel Tower at night. This is right when the lights turned on.

Life doesn’t get much better than this!

Dan, Ben & Notre Dame

Ben is wearing H&M pants, a Gap sweatshirt we bought in France and H&M sneakers.

Ben racing towards the only puddle in a park outside Notre Dame.

Love Locks

I didn’t really know about these locks before we went, and I wish I did. You can read the story about them here. Paris is such a romantic city!

Ben is wearing a Janie & Jack lobster polo and H&M pants and sneakers.

Back on the Thalys from Paris to Amsterdam!

All in all, it was truly the trip of a lifetime! It was wonderful for Dan and I to spend 11 days together with Ben. I think it was much needed for Ben, also. He slept every night in our room and woke up so happy seeing us each morning. I never felt like we couldn’t do things because of Ben. We are already planning a trip back to Paris and Europe for next year! Hopefully we can convince some family members to come with us 🙂

How to be a Hipster…

15 04 2012

…and other fashion advice from Ben.

In case you have been asking yourself the age-old question  “How can I get my baby to look like a hipster?” then this picture was meant for you.

Effortlessly cool

Let’s take a closer look…

Sunglasses at night? Check.

Messy shag haircut? Check. (Although, it’s just the way his hair is naturally. Hipster-ish.)

Jacket that could have been bought at Urban Outfitters and NOT Carter’s? Check.

Rejects mainstream culture? Not sure yet.

{Sidenote: Ben actually does own one V-neck t-shirt that I literally cannot wait to put him in. Maybe that will be Hipster lesson Part 2}

Now while Ben was a hipster by night, he was pretty prepster during the day. Sporting a Janie & Jack crab shirt & khaki shorts, we went to my sister’s house for a fun BBQ. We brought our baby gate to close up the deck and it was the perfect set-up!

Ben is wearing a Janie & Jack t-shirt, H&M khaki shorts, Janie & Jack socks, and H&M sneakers. The sweatshirt above is from Carter’s. Stroller: UppaBaby G-Luxe.

Let's go to Aunt Laura & Uncle Jeff's!

All Ben needs for a perfect afternoon: Sippy cup, snacks, and some dinosaurs.

I can’t take that face. Ben was so good just playing on the deck all day. He is obsessed with his little dinosaurs and makes them go “RAWR” and sometimes even threw them off the deck. I mean, does it get any better than that?

My angel / Uncle Bones / Trying to escape / Sisters

My boys / Laughter / Ben's level / Coolness

So there you have it. How to have the world’s best BBQ and how to be a hipster. Happy Sunday!!

***Linking up to Harper’s Happenings!***

Ready for the Weekend!

12 04 2012

I am so ready for the weekend. For some reason the weeks have been feeling looong. Maybe it’s that I am just ready for summer. Or maybe I just have a lot on my mind. One being a huge attempt to lose the last of this pesky baby weight (so basically I am hungry all the time), and the other being our upcoming trip (VERY excited, just a little nervous that Ben will behave on the plane).

Yesterday Grandma treated Ben to a few new shirts at Janie & Jack, thanks to a really great sale they are having right now. I just LOVE Janie & Jack’s clothing. They have adorable, high quality items that actually last. Forget about the girl stuff…if you have a daughter you will go broke just looking in the window.

There was one shirt they only had in size 6-12 month, but we had to get it anyway. It fits him PERFECTLY, and it’s long sleeves, so it works out. It’s also reversible. It almost makes their prices worth it since you can turn the shirt inside out and you have an entirely new outfit! (This picture shows the other side of the shirt…cute!)

Ben is wearing a Janie & Jack shirt, Gap jeans, H&M sneakers and a ridiculous comb-over. 

"Where's your belly button?" Close, Ben. Close.

Such a dapper lil’ guy.

Ben modeling his new shirt. And a Lucy butt.

Seriously, how cute is that shirt? I don’t know, maybe I am biased. (Please pardon the blurry picture. It’s difficult to capture this crazy man standing still).

Sitting on Mommy's lap giving Lucy a hug

Currently Ben is eating his dinner with 2 forks, 1 in each hand. It’s adorable. (And smart, since he can eat twice as fast this way).  No clue if this kid will be lefty (like Dad) or righty (like Mom). The minute we start guessing, he goes and uses the other hand. Looks like we’ll have to just wait this one out and see what happens!

Tomorrow and the weekend is looking gorgeous! I will be dropping off the pups at the Grandparents’ house tomorrow since we are going to Baltimore for the weekend! I have never been to the Inner Harbor, so I am really looking forward to it. At this rate, I will be able to write a book on roadtrips with a toddler!

Happy Friday!

Un rêve devenu réalité

10 03 2012

Hallo, Amsterdam! Bonjour, Paris!

I really thought that Hello would be a little more different in Dutch, but it’s pretty much the same. Since we have our European trip booked to see our friends currently living abroad, I think these pictures of Ben in his Dutch clogs are very appropriate! He is obsessed with these and makes us put them on him (even though they are basically too small now). I guess we’ll be able to get him another pair soon!


I guess I should brush up on a few French words also, for our 2 days in Paris! (insert excited squeal and a million exclamation marks)

My mom picked up this adorable outfit from Janie & Jack for Ben yesterday…perfect for strolling beneath the Eiffel Tower, don’t you think?

Janie & Jack polo and shorts

We will be renting bikes to get around the beautiful city of Amsterdam, which will be wonderful! I hate rental cars or driving around strange areas anyway, so this seems like the best of both worlds to me! In Paris, we will be walking most of the time, maybe hopping on the metro when we see if it is stroller-friendly or not (how less stroller-friendly can it be than the NYC subway, and we have no problems there!)

A Dream Come True. Un rêve devenu réalité.

This trip really is a dream come true. Seeing Europe again, but this time with Ben. I cannot wait to experience everything with him!

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