Friday Five: Introducing Maya

Happy Friday! Maya Evelyn arrived almost six weeks ago so I thought it was high time to introduce her to the blogosphere with her very own Friday Five all about Maya and what life has been like since her arrival! 🙂

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  1. Maya was born January 21st at 11:39pm. 7 lbs 12 oz and 19″ long.
  2. Maya was born at University of Maryland Medical Center and throughout my pregnancy I saw the Ob/Gyn practice at Redwood associated with the hospital. I thought all of the doctors and nurses were fabulous through pregnancy, labor, delivery and our four night stay at the hospital. UMMC also offers a number of classes of which we took advantage: birthing class, breast feeding and newborn care + infant CPR. As first time parents these classes were a huge help and taught us so much!
  3. Maya came out with a full head of hair that she still has six weeks later! Newborns often lose their hair and it can grow back a totally different color or texture so that is what we expected to happen. Nope, still has her lovely brown locks. maya-one-month
  4. Being a new mom is hard. Learning to adjust to life with an infant is definitely a challenge – what with not sleeping, breastfeeding, worrying about the little one, recovering from a c-section, and riding a hormone-induced emotional roller coaster. Around week five I felt like I finally got my footing and things became a little easier, but every day brings new curve balls and of course new joys because Maya is the cutest, snuggliest little thing.
  5. Mom and dad have been living off of carry out, delivery and meals dropped off by friends and family. We are so grateful to everyone who has been looking after us and making sure we eat! We’ve been dining on Honeygrow, Samos, Mi & Yu, Nalley Fresh and burgers from Mother’s (thanks to Amazon delivery!). We’ve made one attempt at dinner out with the little one – we made it through salad and bread at Brendali before packing up our entrees to eat at home.  We are excited to get back to some of our Baltimore favorites!

Mostly, I feel so lucky to be Maya’s mom and can’t wait to take part in some of the activities and resources available to moms in the city!

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Friday Five (of my travel tips)

Travel Tips

I’m stuck sitting on a runway waiting for a tech to reboot my plane’s computer system, so it’s only appropriate that today’s Friday Five is dedicated to summer vacation. I’m not a total pro, Up In The Air style, but I like to think I do OK.

1. Book It. Experts say the best time to book your flight is 50-100 days in advance. I like to start monitoring flight prices early, then book when I find a good deal. Remember that you have 24 hours after booking to cancel your purchase if you change your mind. I love Southwest, and if you’re loyal to a brand, definitely take advantage of any loyalty programs they have. My flight home ended up costing me $5 because of all the points I had racked up! I also rave about ITA Flight Matrix, which is owned by Google flights. ITA lets you customize your search more than any other travel site I’ve seen. It can be a little tough to use at first, but it’s definitely worth learning.

2. Plan ahead. I’ll admit, I’m a little overzealous on this. My boyfriend gets stressed out by my detailed Google doc itineraries. But I can’t stand being somewhere cool and wandering. I want a vacay bucket list–a list of cool places I can get to at a moment’s notice. Trip Advisor is great for this, as is Yelp. Research everything down to tour guide companies so you know who does the best ghost tour or which whale watching company the locals use.

3. Pack your bags. No, seriously.. Pack some bags. I stuff grocery bags, Ziplocs, a canvas tote and a collapsible duffel in my luggage. I can’t tell you how often I end up using them. Other packing tips: Keep at least one outfit in your carry-on in case of lost luggage; mini bottles of liquor are permitted through airport security (in your liquids Ziploc); photocopy your passport and other travel documents and keep separate from the originals; and alllwaaayyys have a few granola bars on hand.

4. Hit the app store. Make sure you have any apps that might help make the trip smoother. Download your airline’s app, your hotel’s, the destination’s, Yelp, etc. It makes looking things up so much simpler. In fact, I just helped my seatmate by looking up the flight status of her connecting flight.

5. Relax, enjoy, and don’t forget to take pix! I know I am probably making travel sound really stressful, but I guess my point is that by doing all this prep in advance, you should be better able to enjoy your trip. Don’t sweat the small stuff–a flight that’s two hours delayed and just got deboarded, for instance (grr)–and don’t be afraid to go rogue from your schedule. Have fun!

I DO exist! (And something cool I found today)

Hey guys… it’s Jeanette, co-blogger extraordinaire. This is the way my conversations have been going with Abby lately:

Her: What did you do yesterday? Boathouse? Can’t wait to see your blog post.

Me: Silence.

Her: Reminder to book the second room for staycation and respond to my facebook message. AND blog :):):)

Me: Silence.

Her: WHY WON’T YOU RESPOND TO ME!?!?!

OK, so I’ve been a little lax about the blogging part of co-running a blog. I did make that blog header, though, so… props to me, right?

Anyway, I’ll start off with something cool I found today. After living in my apartment for a year (and recently re-signing the lease), I figure it’s about time to do a little sprucing. And by sprucing, I mean pulling out the poster frames that have been sitting on the floor in the corner between the bookshelf and the wall, and maybe even getting some actual art ON the walls. We recently put up curtains in the living room, so we’re movin’, bebe.

Those who know me know that I never buy anything full price and don’t like paying for something I can get for free. So I’ve been poking around the Internet trying to find free, downloadable wall art that doesn’t have cheesy sayings like, “Dance like nobody’s watching.” I was excited to find Stamen, an open-source site with some seriously cool map treatments. Basically, pick a style, type in your ZIP code and up pops a map pretty enough to frame. I did a watercolor-style treatment to a map of Baltimore. Save the image as a jpeg, print, frame, and voila. The poor (wo)man’s Etsy art.

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