The Daniels Take D.C.

We made it to Washington, D.C. where we are in town due to a work trip Greyson and I get to tag along for. This is the first time we’ve visited since Greyson was born (we took a quick trip during Thanksgiving last year) so we were looking forward to catching up with friends and seeing family.

 The Daniels Take D.C. | theprimarilyinspired.com

 The Daniels Take D.C. | theprimarilyinspired.com

Thursday

Our flight was quick, thanks to a couple Bloody Marys and a showing of Fantastic Beasts & Where To Find Them. Just like our trip to Texas, Greyson fell asleep during takeoff and slept sweetly the entire 4hour flight. I am so proud of how well he adapts to traveling. We were unsure of how he would take to the three hour time difference but overall he seems to have adapted fairly quickly.

 The Daniels Take D.C. | theprimarilyinspired.com

Once we got settled in our room we were eager to grab some food and meet up with friends of ours for a late bite and some drinks. It was nice to see that our old stomping grounds have and haven’t changed since we’ve moved almost three years ago. The restaurants are all still there, with the exception of the forever growing 14th St NW. A lot of shopping and luxury apartments/condos stand in the place of the old neighborhood we lived in. You know gentrification is occurring when you can spot a Trader Joe’s, Soul Cycle, and a Lululemon within the same block.

The people are just as hustle and bustle, on-the-go in their own bubbles, complete with earbuds in their ears and phones in their palms. The young professionals have officially descended and brunch is still very much a thing. People watching during brunch continues to be a favorite pastime, almost like an urban safari, as I watch all the beautiful young people with a full set of makeup, a trendy outfit, and heels (HEELS! On a Sunday?). I suppose I remember the ‘good ole days’ when brunch meant you grabbed a shirt that was clean and sported a messy bun to meet with friends over a concoction that would ease that hangover from the night before.

Friday

The following day we managed to see a number of our friends we’ve been missing since we moved. It seems as though hitting the ground running since landing here on Thursday was beginning to take a toll on us – and Greyson. Saturday night is when things began to a take a turn for the worse as this is when Greyson began throwing up. Let me back up…

Saturday

Saturday our friends hosted a little brunch gathering which allowed us to catch up with a lot of our friends. The town had a St. Patrick’s Day parade as well, but we never made it (something about prosecco and enjoying good conversation will do that). Instead we enjoyed drinks at a bar, then we peeled off for a moment to grab dinner at one of our favorite seafood spots in Alexandria, Hanks Oyster Bar. We enjoyed all kinds of food; Greyson of course couldn’t eat any of it so we fed him crackers and his packed snacks instead. Afterwards we returned to our friends house and stayed there, like old times, watching music videos and just enjoying the company.

Before we knew it, we realized Greyson hadn’t taken a nap all day (OMG, right?!) we fed him a bottle and within the hour he projectile vomited everywhere. After cleaning up and our clothes were dry, we caught an Uber back to our hotel. At first we didn’t think much of him throwing up, even though it was much more than just spit up. Later that night we pulled him into bed with us (even though our hotel is amazing and had a Pack ’n Play available to us) and after a small bottle he threw up again. This time we were beginning to think this is more than just a little throw up. We slowed down with the bottles, cleaned him up, and he was able to get much needed sleep. We were afraid that this was due to the stress of traveling or possibly motion sickness from being on the metro and in cars since arriving. Plus there’s the obvious like the extreme cold/weather change and different germs.

Sunday

Sunday started off well, we all had a chance to sleep in and ease into our day. Greyson seemed to be doing better and kept down a little bit of formula at a time. We grabbed breakfast at one of our favorite places on 14th St and before the food could arrive Grey immediately fell asleep on my husband. We were looking forward to seeing my family later that day for a little birthday celebration for Greyson. My grandparents, cousin, aunts and uncles were there but as we grabbed an Uber and were almost to my parents house he threw up again all over the place. He just seemed so miserable and since this was the third time in less than 24 hours I felt in my gut we had to take him to the hospital to get checked out.

Heading to the hospital

Our driver was very accommodating and dropped us off at Inova Fairfax Hospital and we went straight to their emergency pediatric wing. We got checked in and by this point Grey seemed to be recovering from his upset stomach. I called my parents en route to let them know where we were and that we would keep in touch – hoping to still make it for his birthday party. We didn’t wait long before we were taken back and a couple nurses checked him out. His attitude and overall demeanor was normal, he didn’t have any diarrhea or a hardened abdomen, or appeared to be dehydrated. All great signs. They gave him a dissolvable Zofran tablet to stop the vomiting and we waited 20 minutes. Then he drank some pedialite and had a popsicle and we waiting to see if he’d keep that down. Within the hour he managed to keep it down so we made the decision after being discharged to try and make it to my parents house. Even though we only had a few minutes to spend seeing everyone before they all had to head home, I’m grateful that they stayed and waited for us. It surely wasn’t how I was expecting to spend his birthday, but at the very least he was able to see everyone for a short period of time.

Witnessing death

My parents let us borrow their car in which they had a carseat just for Greyson. We finally made it home and something put that day into perspective. When we drove up to the valet of our hotel my husband and I noticed there was a man, who appeared to be homeless, laying on the sidewalk near the street. It’s not an uncommon sight unfortunately in D.C. so we didn’t think much of it. I did hear him moaning, but again never thought much more about it as the homeless are usually on drugs or drunk. However, as we sat in the car I noticed a passerby happened to see him as well and went over to him and began turning him over. I was confused at the time but as I peeked outside my window I saw what looked to be white vomit coming from his mouth and that the woman was turning him so he wouldn’t choke. At this point I knew this man was overdosing and it didn’t look good.

I immediately took Greyson up to our room as my husband checked in with the valet and brought our things up. As I passed by the front desk a gentleman was talking to 911. As I got Greyson settled in our room, and  I took a peek outside our hotel window, which faces right out front, and by this time a firetruck had arrived and I could hear an ambulance in the distance. I noticed that the first responders weren’t moving very quickly at all, which is a sign that the man had died. The ambulance arrived and again they weren’t moving as if it were an emergency. My heart sank for this man. Here he was, unknown, and dying right before my eyes. The first responders placed him in a bag on a stretcher, cleaned up the mess he left behind, and carried him away. In that moment I prayed for his family and that his pain had stopped. That night both my husband and I processed what we saw. I had been stressing out about others and inconveniencing my family because of taking Greyson to the hospital when at the end of the day it pales in comparison to the phone call someone will be receiving; a phone call my own family knows too well.

Monday

As luck would have it, come early Monday morning I began to feel a little queasy myself. The tightening of my stomach and I knew this wasn’t a good sign. I had a feeling that since Greyson seemed to be on the rebound and I now felt sick, that possibly whatever he had he may have passed onto me. I found myself running to the restroom all day, feeling exhausted and trying to rest. My husband was to begin his first day of conferences and thankfully he got me some anti-nausea medicine, gatorade, saltines, and antibacterial everything before he left. I knew that if this were to go own this road I needed an arsenal to help keep it at bay.

 The Daniels Take D.C. | theprimarilyinspired.com

I was miserably sick all day and on top of that had to care for Greyson. Thankfully he rested when I did and didn’t mind a day indoors to take it easy with mom. I got him all set up in his Pack ’n Play, his Veggie Tales on the iPad, and his books and this kid was good to go. I survived the day and my husband was pretty amazing considering he’s now officially at work on this trip. He went out and got our favorite noodles for us (from one of the first places he took me when we began dating) and returned my parents car. I was happy to see that thus far Greyson and I were both coming around and back to relative normal.

The key is to keep the hubs from getting sick.

Tuesday

Today is much better although it appears Grey has some diarrhea, although we’re thinking it’s mainly from the pedialite we’ve given him these last few days. Hoping it isn’t a sign that a little bug is still there, but I did read that if it’s, in fact, a stomach bug then we both could be contagious still even though our symptoms had subsided. The plan for today was to try and make it out to a museum, but with the possible rain and not wanting to expose others we may just enjoy another day inside. I know they’ll be a time to come back and share the museums and D.C. with Greyson, it’s just a bummer that I had so many plans that just went out the window. But, I suppose that’s life.

Tips for safe family travel + a few tidbits from our journey

  • Wipe down all surfaces in your hotel room that will be touched. This includes remotes, door handles, the thermostat, curtain pulls, etc. I would also recommend wiping down everything in the bathroom.
  • After a sickness, request new sheets and towels.
  • Keep bottled water stocked at all times and make sure not to share if you think you’re sick.
  • Buy antibacterial soap for the bathroom since most hotel soaps aren’t antibacterial.

Before any travel it’s just good practice to support your immune system and have healthy supplements packed and ready such as vitamin c or other natural remedies.

  • When booking your room ask to see if they can provide a crib. Most hotels offer them – and of course wipe it down. I also pack our own sheets, blankets, and mobile so that he has as much sense of home as he can – plus I know it’s clean.
  • We rented our stroller (wipe this down too!) from a great service called Babierge (baby + concierge). They delivered the stroller straight to our hotel (a $45 fee) or you can opt to pick it up yourself for no cost. They have a lot of locations around the U.S. so it’s a perfect option for those not wanting to travel with your own gear.
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Scenes From Our Weekend | vol 5

Scenes From Our Weekend | vol 5 | theprimarilyinspired.com |

We’re home again, home again.

Phew, what a week it’s been for our little family. Greyson earned his first wings flying for the first time as we made our annual trip to visit with my husband’s family for the holidays. He did better than I could ever imagine – no problems with his ears and he slept on most of our flights. We were a bit nervous to see how he would do knowing we had connecting flights and weren’t sure how his ears would fare. Thankfully he’s one of the best babies to travel with as he made friends with everyone, flirted with the flight attendants, and slept most of the way to and from Texas. I seriously couldn’t have asked for a better travel experience. Traveling light was the way to go and made our trip that much less stressful from beginning to end.

P.S. apologies for the iPhone photos that follow 😉

Scenes From Our Weekend | vol 5 | theprimarilyinspired.com |

Now that we’re settled back home and getting into our normal routines, Grey included, I wanted to take some time to share with you all a few scenes from our week in Texas!

Christmas Cookies

Every year my MIL bakes her delicious sugar cookies and the kids (who are now adults, haha) get to decorate them. She makes her icing from scratch and adds her own flavors, which to me makes it that much more fun. This year I didn’t participate, rather it was my husband getting to share in this tradition with his Goddaughter – talk about precious. It was great getting to see the two of them bond and pick up as if it really hasn’t been a year since they saw each other last.

Another great aspect to having her visit was for her to meet Greyson for the first time whom is her Godbrother. Not only is my husband the Godfather to her, but her mom is Godmother to Greyson. I just love it! My hope is that they grow up and have a bond similar as their parents.

Christmas Eve

Christmas Eve with our Texas family is always a good time. My FILs family hosts everyone and we come over for food, drinks, a bit of catching up, an epic white elephant gift exchange and this (see video above). This is one of my favorite aspects to celebrating Christmas Eve because the guys get together to play while we, as a family, sing Christmas carols. Greyson loves music and getting to be a part of this was amazing – plus I loved that he got to listen to his Grandpa play!

Christmas Day

Christmas morning was always a special time growing up and now as we embark on Christmas with Greyson it takes on a whole new, and yet different, meaning. Thankfully with the time zone difference and just being tuckered out from traveling and a busy Christmas Eve, Greyson allowed us to sleep in before tearing into his presents. I’m going to cherish this sleeping-in thing considering I know once he understands Christmas we’ll be awoken at 6am (or sooner) just like we did as kids to our parents.

Although a lot of his gifts will be shipped back to us in CA, it was fun letting him tear into his presents. He loved his stacking rings and activity walker from Grandma! He also received a lot of fun books and cute clothes, which are fantastic gifts considering this boy is already into 18 month clothes! We are just so grateful for the love surrounding Grey and his baby cousin this year!

Scenes From Our Weekend | vol 5 | theprimarilyinspired.com |

Greyson got to meet his great-grandfather on our trip too!

Gruene, TX

There’s something special about this little town of Gruene, which is about an hour or so from San Antonio. The husband first took me here almost five years ago when we first began dating and we were visiting Texas to see family and for me to meet his family for the first time. It’s a quaint little place with shops, antiques, a little wine tasting, and then there’s Gruene Hall, which is a dance hall where the beer is cold and live music can be heard around the block. We were happy to be able to make it back with Greyson this year and take in some music and enjoy a beer, a little tradition of sorts for Philip.

Scenes From Our Weekend | vol 5 | theprimarilyinspired.com |

Scenes From Our Weekend | vol 5 | theprimarilyinspired.com |

Scenes From Our Weekend | vol 5 | theprimarilyinspired.com |

A fun little tradition the husband and I have is that whenever we get the opportunity to sneak away to Gruene we always take a photo right in front of the H.D. Gruene Antiques store like we did when I came to Texas for the first time almost 5 years ago. We were only dating then (bottom right) and I got to visit this town (and I distinctly remember it being a bajillion degrees out) for the first time. We visited again a couple years later while in town for Christmas and this year was special because our little family grew by one. It’ll be fun to see how these photos change over the years and for how long we can keep up with this little impromptu tradition (apologies for the early years of Instagram filters!)

Scenes From Our Weekend | vol 5 | theprimarilyinspired.com |

Scenes From Our Weekend | vol 5 | theprimarilyinspired.com |

Seriously though…having a bit of fun at the antique store 😀

Fredericksburg, TX

On our last day in Texas my FIL took us all out to (yet another) cute small German town of Fredericksburg. The biergartens were plentiful (and even drinking along the streets is legal) and the food and atmosphere was friendly. We grabbed a beer, took an opportunity for some photos, had a wine tasting, and finished off our day with a fantastic dinner t in a way celebrate the holidays coming to an end and time spent with family.

Scenes From Our Weekend | vol 5 | theprimarilyinspired.com |

Scenes From Our Weekend | vol 5 | theprimarilyinspired.com |

I feel like I should frame this photo for the obvious reasons.

Once we arrived to Texas it felt as if we hit the ground running. We cherished time with our friends who now live in the area, created special memories with our family, and took in the sights and sounds the best we could. Oh, and the wine continued to flow and Scrabble and Catchphrase battles ensued. Christmas with the babies made it even more special for us – getting to meet our baby nephew for the first time and trying to remember the time when Greyson at 2 months old. Even though we were there for seven days, the days just seemed to fly by.

Scenes From Our Weekend | vol 5 | theprimarilyinspired.com |

Goofy Grandpa

Now we’re settled back home and looking forward to ringing in 2017 as our little family. We also sit here anticipating our D.C. trip coming up in March (Grey gets to meet my side of the family next!) and having my husband’s parents visit for his first birthday once we return! Oh, the thought of this guy turning one! Gah!

Happy holidays everyone as I hope you all enjoyed the season with loved ones and surrounded by good company. Cheers to a new year…or anyone who actually stays up to midnight to ring in 2017 (I mean, I feel like NYE should be an Olympic sport for moms. Who actually stays up that late with their kids?)!

How did you spend your Christmas holiday?

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The Minimalist Traveler + A Dog & Baby

A Story Of Traveling Minimally + A Dog & Baby | theprimarilyinspired.com |

Making the transition to living minimally has proven to have many benefits. Everything in our home has purpose; our closets are cultivated specifically for multiple outfits with a basic number of pieces, we utilize the space in our small one bedroom apartment, and we never bring anything in without donating, selling, or ditching the things we no longer use.

By living this way it’s helped me reevaluate the way I travel too and this week we’re flying for the first time with not only our baby, but our Murphy in tow as well.

How To Be The Minimalist Traveler

Traveling, even without a baby or a dog, is stressful. There’s getting to the airport in enough time, getting through security, finding your terminal, meanwhile navigating around every other person who is trying to accomplish the very same thing you are. Not to mention bearing those ridiculously long lines to get that essential cup of coffee or to get that last pee in before your flight (thanks to said coffee). Furthermore, the holidays make this an especially stressful task due to the number of people flying the same day you are.

However, traveling with a minimalistic attitude helps cut down on those unnecessary stressors such as fumbling with your (often too many) bags or not having things like your wallet, boarding pass, or keys easily accessible. Simply reevaluating the way you pack can easily eliminate those stressful aspects to traveling.

Here’s how we are flying with two adults, a baby, and a dog all in a duffle bag and a backpack.

Be Prepared

I’m starting with the obvious task here and that’s simply being prepared both with your time and with how you pack. When catching a flight with a baby and dog in tow, timing is of the upmost importance for us. Packing ahead of time and having those key items within reach such as our wallets, I.Ds., and boarding passes will save us so much time in the long run.

Tip For Family/Pregnant Travelers: once you find your terminal, speak to one of the people at the desk to see if you can board first before they call the groups so that you have time to get settled. We do this all the time when we travel with our dog, when I was pregnant, and now even moreso with Greyson. It’s rare that they will ever turn you down.

The Golden Rule of Packing

Whether your packing for a quick weekend or a weeklong trip (like us) it’s important this golden rule of packing: only take the essentials. Leave everything else behind or purchase them when you arrive to your destination. There’s no reason anyone should have to check luggage the size of their body regardless of how long you’ll be traveling for. I used to be one of those people and have since learned how much easier it is getting in and out of the airport when I only travel with my essentials. So, what are these?

Essentials: toiletries, makeup, wallet (even invest in a special wallet case for your phone), phone, devices & their chargers (iPad, Laptop, etc.), clothes, socks, shoes, and anything absolutely needed for the trip or while on the plane.

Even though checking a bag takes it off your hands while navigating the airport, in the end you risk losing it or at the very least standing in the myriad of people attempting to pick it up after your flight. For me, it’s never worth the hassle. By cutting out checking a bag we’re able to quickly move throughout the terminals, board and deplane quickly, and get on the road once we arrive at our destination. It’s all in how we pack that makes this simple even with a baby and dog.

The Backpack Diaper Bag

Traveling with a backpack is almost as great as rolling carry-on luggage – but better. It only requires super packing skills and a determination to bring just enough to fit in the bag. For our trip, we decided that Greyson’s diaper bag will be this backpack. I should mention that we are very fortunate enough to have much of what Greyson will need already stocked at my husband’s family’s house. This really helped us cut down on the number of things that we would have had to take with us on our flight. Anything Greyson would need in addition to what we bring will just be purchased once we arrive in San Antonio.

A Story Of Traveling Minimally + A Dog & Baby | theprimarilyinspired.com |

A Story Of Traveling Minimally + A Dog & Baby | theprimarilyinspired.com |

I am using Ziploc bags to keep his packed items clean and easily accessible in his backpack. I also made sure to pack new toys for the plane so that it’ll keep his interest during the flight.

Nonetheless, packing for baby follows the essentials rule too! We are only packing him items for:

  1. diaper changing
  2. one bottle with enough prepared formula for two bottles and snacks like Puffs
  3. a couple of his favorite toys and books to keep him busy
  4. his infant Tylenol, his favorite Wubbanub pacifier, and lovey

This is in addition to the few outfits and socks we packed for the week and spare clothes for any blowouts that may occur.

We are utilizing our Baby Tula carrier instead of bringing our stroller so that it keeps our hands free and is less to manage once we’re at the airport. My husband will carry Greyson like a backpack, I’ll have his diaper bag backpack on me, then it’s just our shared duffle bag and Murphy in his dog travel carrier. Backpacks are the way to go for anyone who needs to move quickly and at the airport it’s essential to have mobility!

Two Adults In One Bag

A Story Of Traveling Minimally + A Dog & Baby | theprimarilyinspired.com |

Because I’m wearing one of my outfits on the plane, I’m saving so much room in our carry on!

This is when minimalism combined with a capsule wardrobe comes into play and becomes a huge benefit when traveling. Having a capsule wardrobe already in use helps me narrow down just a few items to pack, which includes:

  1. 1 pair of jeans/pants
  2. 3-4 tops including sweaters
  3. my new outerwear jacket
  4. 1-2 accessories including a scarf
  5. 1 pair of shoes (which I’ll wear to the airport)
  6. 1 sleep/loungewear outfit

This also take into consideration what I plan to wear for our flights, which should be comfortable but with practical use too. I also plan to pack any camis, bra, and underwear for the week. We share a toiletries bag, but I do have makeup of which I’ll need to make room for. It really helps when my husband can get away with packing one pair of jeans and multiple shirts and be good for the week – helps save more room for me 😉

A Story Of Traveling Minimally + A Dog & Baby | theprimarilyinspired.com |

Shop this travel look below! My cargo vest and black skinnies are from my recent Stitch Fixes but I have included similar items.

I hope you all have a joyous Christmas weekend and enjoy the company of family and friends! Be sure to follow along with me and my little family on social media!

The Minimalist Traveler: See what tips & tricks I have found to be the best way to fly in one carry on and a backpack with dog and baby in tow. | theprimarilyinspired.com |

What are your favorite flying essentials? What tips & tricks do you have flying with a baby?

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Scenes From Our Saturday | vol 1

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Anytime we can grab our tiny family and head to Santa Barbara it’s a good day. Saturday was a free day for all of us and in need of something fun to do out in this gorgeous weather a trip to the Funk Zone would satisfy that itch. When we found out a few weeks ago that our favorite craft beer company, Topa Topa, was opening their second location in downtown SB we had to pop in for a visit (I mean, we already know we love the beer). They’re nestled in between the wine tasting rooms and trendy restaurants that lead you in the direction of the water. I like that they’re almost off the beaten path and was quite impressed with just how large their new space is. I love their Ventura location, but it is on the smaller end – a quality that makes tasting there so comfortable and welcoming. It’s almost a feeling of visiting a friends house for a few beers to unwind (or wind up) from your day. So tasting in such a wide open space with this awesome backdrop of the mountains makes you feel right at home.

Scenes From Our Saturday |theprimarilyinspired.com|

You may have noticed my new ink. So proud of this one as the baby fox is reflective of Greyson and the time points to his time of birth. Such a cherished tattoo of mine #momswithtattoos

Scenes From Our Saturday |theprimarilyinspired.com|

Scenes From Our Saturday |theprimarilyinspired.com|

After our first tasting at Topa Topa we were off to find some food- something vital if you plan to properly day drink. This fun mural was at a small pizza and sandwich shop called The Lucky Penny (and if you’ll notice their exterior walls are made from pennies!). Their pizza was delicious and the hubs got a pulled pork sandwich, which was also pretty tasty. I highly recommend this place if you’re looking for something delicious, quick, and prefer to eat outdoors!

After some food we mosied on over to do some wine tasting at our favorite spots such as Kunin, Santa Barbara Winery, and Municipal Wines. We took our time over the course of the day and it was fun to get out and enjoy what this life has to offer us!

Scenes From Our Saturday |theprimarilyinspired.com|

Happy weekend all! What kept you and your family busy this weekend?

This post is also a part of a series called NaBloPoMo 2016 hosted by BlogHer. NaBloPoMo is short for National Blog Posting Month and it challenges writers and creatives to post on their blogs once a day (at least) for the month of November.

Feel free to join in and share your post either here or on my Facebook comment thread for each day’s post! I’d love to see my fellow blogger friends join in!

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